Monday, 22 September 2014

Autumn wardrobe update with La Redoute


September heralds the start of Autumn, an excuse to update your wardrobe and refresh your look. I like to opt for layers, ideal for dealing with the unpredictable changing weather! Chunky cable knits are a firm favourite for my Autumn wardrobe, I opt for longer styles which flatter my figure and have a feminine edge.



While looking at La Redoute online, which offers french inspired fashion, I discovered an on trend cable knit cardigan from Soft Grey at La Redoute. This super soft light weight but cosy cardigan is perfect for those autumnal walks. With the shawl style neckline it is perfect for cool autumnal days, and the addition of the coordinating pin makes the cardigan sophisticated. While the cardigan hangs beautifully unsecured, I do love the pretty pin and so have tended to wear it fastened or with the pin as a brooch - I love the tiny bells detail!



Sizing is generous, I would normally wear a UK size 14/16 but the cardigan I received is a UK 10/12 and it still fits ok! I was impressed with the length of sleeves as I normally struggle with sleeve length, and these sleeves are nice and long!

Wear the shawl neck cardigan with a vibrant tunic, leggings and knee high boots for perfect for out to lunch with friends, or dress it down for the school run like I have with jeans and boots.





Disclaimer: I was sent the cardigan in return for an honest review.


Friday, 19 September 2014

What's in a name?


What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet..

Act 2 Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare

Wise words from Shakespeare, so why is it we are still fixated on names? Katie Price announced her newborn daughter was to be named Bunny, and people instantly start to comment on her choice of name and how awful it is. I sat slightly puzzled reading some comments, I mean seriously, why does the name offend people so much? And more to the point, what is it to do with anyone else anyway?! 

Of course there are things children shouldn't be named, and indeed there are rules in place to prevent you legally calling your child certain names but otherwise you are free to name your children what you will. There is no book of names from which you must choose your child's name, and personally I prefer more unusual names, as I look back to school years and there being 3 Alex's in a class, all ending up being referred to with their surname initial which was no fun for any of them. 

While we may personally not choose to name our children with quite such exotic names as Katie Price, why do we feel the necessity to mock the given names of small children?


New - Coca-cola Life


I received a lovely delivery from Coca-cola, containing their new product, Coca-Cola Life! I love an ice cold can of Coca-cola - it's my little indulgence after the children have gone to bed - so I was keen to try the new flavour!




Coca cola Life comes in a rather smart green can, and is sweetened with a blend of sugar and stevia extract, so it contains a third less sugar than original Coca-Cola. It tastes lots sweeter than diet coke or coke zero, and is more similar to original coke in flavour though I think it's a little fizzier!



So, Coca-Cola life has all the taste but with less sugar is a healthier alternative to original Coca-cola, look out for the green packaging in store and try it for yourself and let me know what you think!

Ms G x


Thursday, 18 September 2014

Substandard professional advice?


For those of you who watch soap operas on television like me, you may have seen the story line involving substandard materials being used to replace a floor which resulted in the floor collapsing and a nasty injury. Just imagine you had paid for someone to undertake building work on your property, and the work they do is poorly undertaken and perhaps causes structural damage or injury? What would you do?



There are times when we all need some legal assistance. Whether we need to write a will, dispute a will, buy a house or seek advice following an accident most of us will have dealings with a solicitor at some point in our lives. Redress Law offer legal services to help assist when things don't go to plan with professionals you are dealing with. Perhaps a solicitor, accountant or surveyor you have instructed has given you incorrect substandard advice, or building work has gone terribly wrong and devalued your property? You can seek advice from Redress Law to see whether you have a case in professional negligence. 

Redress Law is a trading name of Leo Abse & Cohen solicitors which is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority under number 00045921


Disclaimer: I have been compensated for writing this post. Information in this piece is not intended as legal advice.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Colds..how do you deal with them?


Getting a cold when you're 3 isn't much fun for anyone, E seems to get a cold and it instantly turn into a nasty cough.. no-one sleeps for days..best still..he likes to share his germs..yuk. We have a few things which always make colds easier to deal with, and while none are very clever (and certainly not medical advice!) I thought I'd share. 

1. Boxes of tissues

Sounds obvious but keeping boxes of soft tissues about the house encourages little noses to use them rather than sleeves, cushions or anything else which is handy..

2. Ice Lollies

Whether you make them yourself, or shop buy them, they're excellent to encourage little ones to take on a bit of fluid when they might not feel like drinking. 

3. Olbas Oil

I swear by this! Pop a bit on a tissue and put it well out of the reach of your little one, the smell radiates around the room and helps you/them breathe, they do a special kids one which is milder - use this one for under 3's!

4. Have a bath..

Yes, take yourself into the bathroom and have a hot bath, let them play with something in the bathroom while you soak, the steam really helps..everyone!!

5. Thermometer.

Buy a digital forehead & ear thermometer, we bought ours from Lloyds pharmacy and it's currently on sale for £11.99. I like this as it makes taking the boys temperature easy, and it speaks so they think it's funny! It was also handy to be able to tell the out of hours Dr recently what Boo's temp was and get him seen in an out of hours clinic!

6.  Fizzy Drinks.

I am not a big fan of fizzy drinks for the boys, but when they're ill I make an exception as to be honest I want them to drink so they get better and lemonade seems to encourage them to slurp away happily.

7. Straws.

Good old fashioned drinking straws, when I was little I got a straw at parties and when I was ill. I always viewed them with excitement, and my boys do to! We buy a big pack from Ikea or anywhere I see them on offer and keep them for when we need them! They seem to encourage drinking copious amounts of the fizzy drinks aforementioned!

8. Honey & Lemon

This one is more for the parents, although Boo likes this cold! Good old fashioned honey and lemon, the honey soothes your cough while the lemon gives you a dose of vitamin c.


Do you have anything you do to make having a cold a bit easier? x

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Using a digital agency


We live in a digital age, where social media can drive a business to success when it is used effectivel. Being able to interact instantly with customers who are sharing their thoughts and opinions in a public forum such as twitter is a powerful tool, but can be catastrophe if not handle effectively! I know that I look to how companies react to complaints or feedback via social media, and seeing customers complaints being resolved or handled appropriately tends to make me see the company in a positive light. Companies almost gain a human persona with effective social media usage. Using a digital agency and ensuring you have a great social media strategy can put a business head and shoulders above the rest which is why more and more businesses are opting to use agencies such as Total Media to handle all aspects of their digital media in a professional and effect manner.


Of course it isn't just about social media, using a digital agency  such as Total Media can help improve every aspect of a business' media marketing. From working to improve SEO rankings,  to building digital advertising these are all vital elements which businesses both large and small should be taking into consideration as part of their marketing campaigns in order to succeed in the current climate. Total Media aim to get to know your business and provide a service which fits with your business need - they understand there isn't a one size fits all approach to media marketing! 

Disclaimer: This post was written in association with Total Media.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Meal Planning Monday w/c 08/09/14


I'm beginning to get used to the idea of being a family of five, the new addition is being breastfed and so I'm finding I'm hungrier than normal but so far I don't think as yet it has had a huge impact on our food shopping budget. Anyway, now Mr G is back to work, I'm back to planning our meals - just to ensure we actually eat a balanced diet again! Once we get back into the swing of things I'm hoping to keep a better tab on our grocery budget too!

Breakfasts will be cereal or toast depending on what we fancy. Lunches are for myself and 3yr old, Mr G will be on soup this week at work and 6yr old gets lunch at school. We also have a good stock of fruit, vegetables and snacks for the boys (and me..). But main meals wise.. here is our week ahead!

Monday

Lunch - Sandwiches

Dinner - Roast Chicken, potatoes and vegetables

Tuesday

Lunch - Roast dinner leftovers

Dinner - Spaghetti Bolognese

Wednesday 

Lunch - Scrambled Egg on toast 

Dinner - Sausages, mash and vegetables

Thursday 

Lunch - Beans on toast

Dinner - Fish and Chips

Friday

Lunch - Baked potato with beans

Dinner - Fry Up

Saturday

Lunch - Sandwiches

Dinner - Baked Potatoes with bolognese (children) or chilli.

Sunday

Lunch - Ploughmans

Dinner - Roast? (not sure about this one yet!).


Friday, 29 August 2014

Healthy Salad Recipes


I really enjoy salad, although I have to admit I'm not overly keen on the preparing side of making salads so I tend to buy Florette salad as it is ready to use! Mr G is not so keen on salad unless it is in a fajita, although this summer I've tried hard to change his perception on salad and slowly we're making progress! 

I have been looking into healthy salad recipes on the Florette website and found some great ideas to keep eating salad interesting all year around! With simple recipes to use up Sunday roast left overs (Roast Chicken and vegetable salad), exotic salad ideas which are worthy of date night (spicy duck salad) or salads to remind you of your summer holidays (the Halloumi salad) there really are ideas to suit every mood. The health benefits of eating salad are huge, and you don't need to see salad as a plate of rabbit food, or douse it heavily in fattening sauces to be able to manage to eat it! Salad can make a super simple and incredibly healthy meal in minutes, all you need is a little inspiration! 




Florette offer a variety of tips on how best to present your salads, ways to use up left over salad and top tips on things to consider when creating a unique salad to serve with a main. So whether you're looking for ideas on a complete recipe or simply ideas for flavours which compliment each other do check out their site!



Disclaimer: I was sent a florette goody bag, all thoughts and opinions are my own - I am a regular user of florette salad as it makes enjoying salad easy!

Friday, 22 August 2014

Petshopbowl - Bank Holiday Offers Upto 60% off!




I'm a huge fan of Petshopbowl, I love the fact I can get all our pet supplies delivered - especially good if (like me) you're heavily pregnant and can't carry the heavy stuff! Petshopbowl have got a variety of fabulous special offers on to celebrate the August Bank Holiday Weekend! 

There's 60% off Dentastix fresh, 50% off James Wellbeloved Dog Food pouches, up to 33% discount on Drontal and Frontline and lots more offers! There are some huge savings to be made, so it's well worth stocking up and saving some money! Don't forget delivery is FREE on orders over £19.99, and I've always found the delivery service to be prompt and well packaged! They also offer bottomless bowl, so you need never worry about running out of pet food again! 


Ms G x


Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Mega Bloks - First Builders


Having a 3yr old and a 6 year old in the house, we seem to do a lot of construction, building sets like Mega Bloks are hugely popular! In recent months we have noticed a return to the boys wanting to build imaginatively without instructions, and it's something I am keen to encourage. Mega Bloks sent us the First Builders Big Builders 220 piece set currently on sale for £29.99, for the boys to review! It's aimed at ages 1 - 5, so E (aged 3) is the perfect age to test the set out, and was happily assisted by his big brother!

The set arrives in a great storage box, ideal for keeping the blocks tidy when they're not being played with!


The lid to the storage box is cleverly designed so it works as a building base, enabling play everywhere and anywhere, it was especially useful for garden play when E wanted to build tall towers and we needed a nice stable base!




The boys both enjoyed the Mega Bloks, with E experimenting with towers and shapes, while Boo opted to build bridges to use for play in the sand and with some of their other toys, and spent a long time encouraging his little brother to help with the building! Rather effective I think!




So if you're looking for a toy to encourage motor skills, imagination and work well either indoors or in the garden, grab a box of Mega Bloks First building blocks!


Disclaimer: We were sent the Mega Bloks for the purposes of an honest review, all thoughts, opinions and images are my own.

Friday, 8 August 2014

The summer job!


I remember well my first job, it was working in a tiny cafe in a seaside village, and I'll be honest they worked me ludicrously hard for pennies. It is a summer I remember fondly though, as I gathered the little brown pay packets together and took them into the bank and saw the pennies add up! It's funny looking back how much I learnt through having that first job, if only with regards to my time management skills! I did resent missing out on long days at the beach, but loved having the money to buy my own chips while my friends still had to ask their parents for money!

One thing which sticks with me though, is there was no training at all, they just expected that I would be "sensible" although as I'd never seen a tea urn before this was a bit stupid, and I am thankful I only had one minor scold on my hand. It does occur to me now looking back that I was quite lucky not to have really hurt myself in a work accident

Of course now I think businesses are much more aware of the need to look after their employees, and I'm sure that same cafe now ensures their young staff are well trained. But accidents can still occur and when they do you might find yourself needing some help from a company like Leo Claims, they are operated by a firm of Solicitors regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. While you have three years to pursue a claim for personal injury, it is worth getting advice sooner rather than later - if only to ensure that if you have a claim, it has the best chance of being successful. 


Disclaimer; This post is written based on my thoughts and opinions based on my experiences. It is not written with the intention of providing any form of advice. This post has been sponsored.

Monday, 4 August 2014

Taste Inc. Microwavable snacks


We received some Taste Inc. microwaveable snacks to try, and I have to say I was quite excited by the sound of the chicken and chorizo baguette in particular! 




The idea of these snacks is simple, in under 2 minutes you can have a burger or deli style baguette in the comfort of your own home - or perhaps your work place! 

The quarter pounder with cheese, this looked impressive, the only difficulty I had was un-peeling the cheese from the plastic wrap!


How did it taste? It was rather good, and certainly tasted as good a takeaway burger, this was certainly our favourite! 

The chicken and chorizo baguette, was simple to cook - you needed to turn it half way through cooking, and it looked very impressive! Unfortunately the chorizo wasn't as spicy as I was hoping, and the mayo sauce it came with neutralised the flavour, so it was a little disappointing, I think I would not use the mayo next time!



Then there was the Sweet and Smoky BBQ Chicken Sandwich, this had a great sauce, but the roll was unfortunately a little chewy. It was a tasty snack, and at 280 calories, served with a salad formed quite a low calorie lunch time meal in minutes!



Disclaimer: We received the 3 reviewed items for the purposes of an honest review. All images, thoughts and opinions are my own.

Beautiful Sandals #MagpieMonday


It's no secret that I love a bit of thrifty shopping! As I heard someone selling at our local carboot sale say "It's not about the money, it's about recycling..avoiding things ending up in landfill.." that's so true, and I have to admit I do love a bargain too! 

This week, my ultimate purchase is a pair of sandals for me.. I adore shoes, and it's been a while since I could justify an impulse purchase on beautiful shoes.. however these caught my eye, sat in their box looking unworn and unloved and I knew I had to have them! Daft as it sounds, even if they hadn't been my size I think I'd have attempted to force my foot into them..however luckily for me they were my size..fitted well..and they were coming home with me!




They're beautiful leather gladiator style Boden sandals, with a zip fastening on the heel. I was a little worried that perhaps the zip would rub my heel, but they're designed cleverly so that the zip is concealed behind a piece of the super soft leather so there's no fear of the zip rubbing! I'm not convinced they had been worn at all, the leather soles had slight marks but they could have been made in minutes of trying on, so I am delighted! I am saving them for post pregnancy as currently my feet are quite swollen during the day! Can't wait to wear them!

Ms G x

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Homemade Marshmallow Crispy Squares


Marshmallow crispy squares are a firm favourite in our house, and the joy of them is you can make them easily with your children! You can also keep them plain or go a little crazy adding extra ingredients, decorating them, or my favourite - drizzling them in melted chocolate! They're ideal as a tea time snack or as a treat to take on a picnic, and super simple to make!

You will need:


45g Butter
300g Marshmallows
180g Rice Kripsies (approx - add slowly you may need a little more or less!)

(We also used malteasers and sugar craft butterflies to decorate)

Method:

Melt the butter and the marshmallows on a low heat, when the mix is totally melted add the rice kripies slowly to ensure that they're all really well covered! Line or grease a brownie tray, and then spoon the mix into the tray making sure you pack it down well into the tray. 

The boys decided we should add some malteasers and butterflies to decorate our marshmallow crispy squares, so they pushed them carefully into the top of the mix. 





This works really well using M&M's or smarties too, or my favourite..crushed honeycomb pieces! Wait until the mixture is cool, and place it into the fridge to set. Once it is set firm, serve it whole ready to slice or cut it into pieces and enjoy!








So there it is, a simple to make super tasty treat perfect for summer!


This is my entry into the Stuck in the tree Bakespiration Challenge 


Summer day out to London?


Whether you're on a day trip or a local to London, if you're looking for something fun to do this summer holiday have you considered a trip to visit The O2? Let me tell you why I think it's a fun place to visit!

Firstly, jump on a river bus to get to the O2, it gives you an entirely different perspective of the City of London, and it's much more comfortable than other forms of public transport, it also turns the trip into quite an adventure! We have tended to jump on the river bus from by the London Eye, and so we can enjoy the trip down the Thames and arrive relaxed at The O2 ready to enjoy the rest of our day out! The river buses are very frequent, and there are lots of pick up points along the river!

There is plenty to do when you arrive at The O2, you can catch up with the latest Hollywood or Bollywood films at the 11 screen cinema which also boasts Europe's widest 3D cinema screen! If you fancy something a little more active, take the family bowling, or if you're feeling really adventurous you can even take on the challenge to climb the iconic building!! Imagine what amazing 360 degree views of London you'd get from the top of the building! Or if you fancy something a little more sedate how about catching one of the fabulous shows which The O2 is renowned for hosting - how about something like Lee Evans which is sure to make you laugh! Whatever you decide to do, there is also a great variety of places to eat or grab a coffee so you can catch up with friends before checking out some of the free activities offered at The O2 - e.g. The Sky Studios (where you can even have a go at reading the news yourself!).

Have you visited The O2? Do you have a top tip to share for visiting? 


DISCLAIMER: This post was written in conjunction with The O2. 


Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Nutritious and Delicious - Fritatta Recipe


During the school holidays, I find the boys want food quickly, and I have found myself frequently trying to quickly make them a *something* to avoid them eating all the unhealthy snacks in the house. However 6 weeks of thinking up fast recipes is quite a lot for anyone, and I have been looking into new fast, simple and healthy meal ideas! The boys love eggs, and they're easy to cook with plus there are lots of recipes on the British Lion Eggs site to inspire you too! We regularly make things like eggy bread and scrambled eggs with cheese as the boys enjoy helping to cook them, and eggs provide lots of vital minerals and vitamins! Plus if you cook them carefully the calories in an egg are quite low, so are perfect if you're trying to maintain a healthy weight. 

Fritattas are easy to make, and can use up lots of leftovers, plus they're easy to eat and if you have a fussy eater enable you to sneak a few extra vegetables into their meals!

We used;

3 x Medium eggs

Milk (approx 15ml)

Grated Cheese (we used about 25g)

Ham, chopped into small pieces.

3 Cold Salad Potatoes - peeled and sliced

1 Tomato chopped.

1 Spring onion (diced)

Mixed Herbs

< NOTE: You could use all sorts of things in a fritatta - chorizo, chopped cooked carrot, cabbage, broccoli - any left overs could potentially be added! >


Simply whisk the eggs, milk and herbs together, while you're gently heating a little olive oil in frying pan on a medium heat. Drop the ingredients into the pan spreading them out well, then pour the egg mixture all over! 

Just added to the pan

Almost cooked..but not quite!

Cook it until it is starting to brown, and the edges are lifting away from the pan, do make sure that it is cooked properly before you serve it (ours took about 15 mins to cook as I used a large frying pan and the mix was thinly spread. Cooking time will vary depending on how many ingredients you use and how efficient your stove is). Serve straight away, we like to enjoy it with some fresh vegetables, but it also works really well with a slice of fresh crusty bread!




A great lunch and so simple to encourage even the fussiest eaters to enjoy helping to cook and eat healthily! Both of the boys have asked if we can have it again, and have begun to suggest variations to the recipe to! 

What would you add to a frittata? Do you have a favourite mix?


Disclaimer: This post was written in collaboration with British Lion Eggs.








Fruity tea Ice Lollies!


I'm a huge fan of fruit tea, and as it's been so hot I've been enjoying lots of iced tea! The boys enjoy iced tea too, but are some what addicted to ice lollies so I wondered if I could combine the two to create a slightly healthy iced treat than they normally want to eat!

What you need;

I used 1 x teapigs super fruit (or your favourite fruity tea)
A handful of frozen raspberries
A handful of blueberries
Honey to taste.




Make up your tea as normal, add honey to taste (you'll probably want the tea to be quite sweet so that the lollies taste yummy!) and allow the tea to go cold. Add the fruit to the lolly moulds, then pour in the cold tea. Pop the lollies into the freezer (I left ours over night!). 

Then when they're frozen.. enjoy! What do you think? They look pretty tasty don't they?


I enjoyed them as they're very refreshing, and my 6yr old loved the fruit hiding inside them! Next time I think I will add a little more honey as my 3 year old found them not quite sweet enough as the raspberries were quite tangy!




Monday, 7 July 2014

Great Pet Ideas for Children!

Once kids reach around 5 or 6 years of age, they may express a desire to have a live cuddly companion around the home. So when the time comes, what kind of pet should you go for? Adding a pet to your many responsibilities at home can be a challenge, but the outcome is well worth it.

The following pets are ideal for kids of any age - each one providing something your children can treasure and bond with as they grow. Take a look at these great pet ideas to help you make an affordable and appropriate choice for your child.

Guinea Pigs

Guinea pigs are very friendly and can be a little shy at first but this is what makes them such loving and affectionate pets as they become more relaxed with you. Aside from cleaning out their cage every week or so, they require very little maintenance (welcome news to young families!). Keep in mind that guinea pigs don’t like to be alone so it may be a good idea to keep two at a time. This works out especially great with two kids since each one can learn to care for their pet on an individual basis.

Cats

Gifting your young child with a kitten is maybe one of the best pets you can pair them with. As well as giving them something they can bond with long into adolescence, cats will make less work for you since they’re more independent than most pets.

Kittens can be hugely playful and energetic which is just what your kids crave in their formative years, but take care to supervise them if your children are particularly young. Some cats may have a lower tolerance than others depending on their personality so take care when choosing your first cat.

Fish

Fish can make a great first pet for younger children since taking care of them is fairly low maintenance. Kids can enjoy feeding them and generally observing them in the tank. Fish are known to promote a calm and soothing effect on owners too so this is a huge plus for any hyperactive little ones!
Also, unlike other common pets, fish don’t come with any vet bills or visits. You just need to make sure that the tank is well equipped to guarantee a safe and healthy environment for the fish and ensure that they are fed regularly. Encourage your child to feed them routinely so they won’t forget, for example, before breakfast each morning

Disclaimer: This post was provided for me by Victoria Sharpe, the thoughts and opinions do not necessarily reflect my own.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Thai Restaurant Southampton, Kuti's Royal Thai Pier.


A restaurant in Southampton with a view of the water is a rarity!  Kuti's Royal Thai Pier is situated adjacent to the Red Funnel terminal, and is within an easy walk of the main shopping area. I adore Thai food, and had heard several people talking about how good the food was, so when we were invited to try the restaurant out I jumped at the chance.
Kuti's Southampton
Kuti's Southampton
We dined on a Thursday evening, and the restaurant was serving to a good mixture of couples and groups of friends. The atmosphere was friendly, and relaxed - the ideal venue for us to enjoy a quiet meal for two! The view from my seat was lovely, and I confess I was rather in awe watching the Red Funnel dock!

20140619_192227
View from Kuti's over Southampton water

The waiting staff were delightful, friendly without being over demanding and offered help with the menu when I struggled to decide which side would compliment the main the best! The food itself was beautifully presented, I ordered the tempura vegetables as my starter, and they arrived adorned with this beautifully carved carrot butterfly;
Carrot Butterfly - Kuti's Southampton
Carrot Butterfly - Kuti's Southampton
The tempura vegetables were impressive, a generous serving, and cooked to perfection, I can honestly say that they were the best I have eaten, and as I love tempura vegetables that is impressive!
Kuti's Tempura Vegetable Starter
Mr G opted for dim sum, he commented on the beautiful presentation and said they tasted divine - so divine that he would not share.. though he was happy to taste test my tempura vegetables.. I'm not grumpy about this honest..(maybe a little bit grumpy..)
Kuti's Dim Sum
Kuti's Dim Sum
The main course came with only a short delay, which was lovely as often  I find the delay between courses too long ! We ordered Phad Thai, Duck on a sizzling platter and Egg fried rice. The duck looked impressive as it was placed onto the table sizzling noisily, and I can tell you it was the most succulent and delicious dish!
Kuti's Duck on a sizzling platter.
Kuti's Duck on a sizzling platter.
The egg fried rice was beautifully cooked, it was tasty and light, although fried it had no greasy texture, it complimented the duck dish perfectly! The Phad thai was served cleverly, with the nuts and lemon served on the side of the dish, so you could add if you wanted or leave if (like me) you don't like the crunchiness of nuts mixed into the dish, though I enjoyed the Phad Thai, it wasn't quite as good as I had hoped.
When we finished, we weren't hurried to decide whether we wanted desert, and this meant we had a lovely chat and then decided that we did indeed want desert (hey, I'm 7 months pregnant..if I don't have a great excuse for desert now when would I?!).
I decided to go for the Thai style pineapple fritters, they were divine and as I am sat here typing this my mouth is watering ever so slightly! Cooked to perfection, they smelt as sweet as doughnuts with the wonderful tangy hit of pineapple! The vanilla ice-cream which accompanied the fritters was rich and creamy to - it was a truly luxurious desert!
20140619_203228
Kuti's Pineapple Fritters

Mr G opted for a chocolate cake, which arrived as an enormous portion, looked fabulous and he admitted was absolutely beautiful, totally delicious and in truth the portion was so generous he struggled to finish it.. (luckily I was on hand to assist - it was a fabulous slice of cake!). Sadly, the image I have taken doesn't do this chocolate cake desert justice, but I assure you if you love chocolate cake - this is for you! It's laden with chocolate!!
Kuti's Deserts
Kuti's Deserts
We will definitely be returning to visit Kuti's Thai Royal Pier again, the food was fabulous and the relaxed friendly environment was the ideal place for either a romantic meal for two, or a catch up with friends. They offer a great value lunch menu too, with two courses for £9.95. There is free parking directly outside, or for very little cost in the Mayflower park car park adjacent. Whether you are a Southampton resident, just visiting the city, or passing through (perhaps on your way to a cruise..) I would recommend a visit to Kuti's Thai Royal Pier.


Disclaimer > We received £40 towards the cost of the meal in return for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Little Big Songs - Pre-School Music CD


Singing is the easiest way to get children involved in making music, most of us probably remember singing with family or at play group from an early age. Don't panic if you feel you can't sing, if you enjoy it you will encourage your children to enjoy it. Singing is very personal, and I've often heard over the years "I can't sing as I'm embarrassed by what people might think" and often from the people with lovely singing voices. 

So, what can you sing with small children? I've already explained my horror as my children started singing songs from the radio, thankfully getting certain lyrics totally wrong! However it's inevitable that children sing what they hear frequently! If you want more child appropriate songs, without resorting to the golden oldie fail safe nursery rhymes or songs from children's tv, check out the fabulous CD Little Big Songs by Jerry & Co. The songs are all about everyday experiences, e.g. The day we moved, Ooh that's lovely grub; and are sung by a mix of a gentle adult voice and children's voices. 



Complete with a little book of lyrics, you can sing a long to your hearts content! I have been singing Scrub-a-Dub with my children on a daily basis, it has a simple melody which is catchy and easy to remember, plus it does seem to encourage small children who are reluctant to wash to actually enjoy bath time! The CD is perfect for people who want to encourage their children to be musical in a very simple and positive way! Whether you use it to sing-a-long in the car, or want to be more ambitious and create actions to go with songs this is the perfect pre-school music CD! There are a range of songs which you can watch as a video with beautiful illustrations depicting the story line of the song.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the CD for the purposes of an honest review, all thoughts and experiences are my own. 

Pampering Gifts for Dad this Father's Day.


Sometimes it is hard to choose a gift for Dad on Father's Day, I know my own Father is incredibly hard to buy for as he always likes any present we get him. Mr G is no different, he will always smile and make a fuss of the boys - even when they bought him an Ironman toy one year! This year how about showing your Dad (or the special man in your/your children's life) some TLC with Radox and Dove for men?



We were sent this fabulous selection for Mr G to try out, now he won't admit to enjoying a bit of pampering, but seriously Mr G, I know you "borrow" my face wash and moisturiser from time to time! Mr G is a big fan of Radox already, he loves a good soak in the stress relieving bubbles and swears he does feel more chilled out after a long soak in them - these will be perfect for any Dad feeling the pressure over the World Cup matches! The Shower & Shampoo Mr G described as refreshing!




The biggest hit had to be the Dove Men + Care, Mr G described the face wash as very luxurious, he said it was very rich to apply and lathered up in a way which left his skin feeling moisturised. I can vouch for his skin smelling lovely after he'd used it to! The moisturiser absorbs quickly, and works well to leave his skin soft, he will definitely continue to use the Dove for men products! I think they're great value, and would make a lovely gift for any man needing a little TLC for Father's Day or to de-stress from the world cup! 




Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Hospital Bag Essentials.. 30weeks Pregnant!


Eek...30 weeks pregnant, I'm in the final countdown, and it is time to get organised! I think I am fairly organised for baby's arrival, but for myself? Erm.. no..my organisation stops at having the baby's moses basket sorted in honesty! 





So.. I'm making a list..and sharing it with you incase I have missed something vital! I'm writing this post as part of my role as a bras4mums ambassador, but all thoughts and items on the list based on my own thoughts and opinions!

Hospital Bag - for me!

  • A Bag.. yes I need to get a holdall!
  • Maternity Pads (I bought these on offer from Boots!)
  • 3 pairs of pants, I like the look of these maternity pants.
  • Black yoga trousers
  • 2 Vests/Camisoles
  • 1 Cardigan
  • Flipflops (to use in the shower after giving birth)
  • Moisturiser 
  • Facial Water Spritzer (these are great while in labour to refresh you without fuss!)
  • Hair brush
  • Towel
  • Toothbrush and Paste (incase they keep me in..)
  • Night dress, I have a great Hotmilk nightdress like this one which is designed for breastfeeding but looks good enough to be seen out in!
  • Nursing Bra, I have a couple of nursing bras, but I am about to purchase this one from bras4mums after a discussion with the lovely bra lady herself TJ, you can read about my struggle with my favourite bra.
  • Breast Pads 
  • MP3 player, I am not going to bother making a playlist this time as last time I was in so much discomfort I stuck it on random and Rudebox was playing as I was pushing..I would have laughed but I was so mortified that I even had that song on my MP3!
  • Socks.. I always have cold feet!
  • Medication, I am on long term meds, so I need to remember to pack them!
  • Mobile Phone
  • Purse with change.

Ok so what am I forgetting for *my* hospital bag?! Help!

 

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

EBody - Review


After the ecloth event I attended last month, I was sent some products to try out, and a couple of these were from the EBody range I was excited as I tend to end up with a house full of damp towels and flannels, and in the winter they take hours to dry!


The hand towel is super soft, and really absorbant! I would recommend washing it before you use it though, as I did notice a few bits of fluff come off on the first use! It really dried hands well, and it never got that cold soggy wet towel feeling! The towel is also lots lighter than a normal towel, so ideal for travelling with! We're so impressed we've decided to order two of the bath towels!

The Face Cleansing Mitt, I loved the idea of this, you put your hand inside the mitt, add a little of your normal cleanser and away you go. Sadly, I was unimpressed, it worked ok, but no better than a flannel. It is incredibly soft, so may be great if you have super sensitive skin, but it's not something I would use - unless travelling when it again is so light it would be ideal to pack if you're on a limited luggage flight.

By far my favourite product, was the hair turban, I LOVE this! I have very long thick hair, and a towel drying my hair is a nuisance - and not great for it either! The hair turban allows you to sling your wet hair into it, and then carry on getting dressed, your hair is partially dried when you take the turban off, and while it was quite wet and soggy when I took it off my hair, it dried very quickly! This is my new must have hair product, I couldn't be without it! Sorry about the dismal selfie, but I wanted to show the waffle fabric off!



Disclaimer: I was sent the EBody products to give an honest opinion on them, all thoughts and opinions are my own. I was not financially compensated or asked to write this review.


Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Garden thriftiness! #magpiemonday


The sun was shining brightly, and the carboots were heaving..so our Sunday morning started in style! We are slowly doing up our garden, and I have been desperate to find garden furniture but with a minimal budget I have a minimal choice. Being pregnant, the fabric and metal framed furniture has not appealed, as I fear I will land on the floor..(ok I may not have gained that much weight, but I feel as though I have!) and the sturdier furniture is more than my budget will stretch to at the moment! So it was with huge excitement I spotted this very ordinary plastic garden chair, and with great glee I handed over £4.50! The chair is sturdy and reclines, best bit...I saw a brand new cushion which will fit it perfectly at a charity shop on Friday so I'm hoping it might still be there later today! 





I went on to buy two of these for 50pence each..



They're insulated coca-cola glasses, with a lid and slide top so you don't have to worry about a) spillages or b) bugs in the glass! They were sealed and brand new, and while I've never been on the Royal Caribbean cruise ships I can recline on my new chair sipping an ice cold drink pretending to be sailing away somewhere exotic all from the comfort of my garden!

Linking up with the lovely Liz for Magpie Monday, do check it out if you love a thrifty bargain! 

Ms G x



Friday, 30 May 2014

Let's Make Music - 1



I'm from a musical background, and believe it's important for children to both enjoy making and appreciating music. I want my boys to make there own decisions on whether they like the sounds of music and talk about why. I try to expose them to an ecletic variety of musical styles and encourage them to respond - this may be simply by dancing along! This half-term, I have been subjected to a duet of the boys version of Gangnam style.."Hey....sixty ladies.." and while I was horrified at their song choice I was impressed with how in in tune they were. Boo has been desperate to learn to read music for a while, but I remember vivdly being pushed to learn to read music at a very early age (I could read music before I could read words..) and it's not a memory I look back on fondly.This half term, his persistance and nagging to learn to read music so he can learn to play an instrument has paid off, and I gave in, gently introducing him to the musical alphabet and looking at a picture of a piano keyboard she's worked out which way is "up" and "down".
To make things more interesting - especially for E who at 3 loves making music but isn't too interested in the how to.. we decided to make our own instruments. Most parents have experimented handing their children pots and pans with a wooden spoon, I still do if I need 10minutes to do the washing up! I asked Boo what we should try making, his reply that thing the bald man plays, looking at him blankly I finally worked out he was referring to Richard O'Brien..this video is to blame..






Yes, OK the love of this song is entirely my fault, but come on it does make you want to join in with the dance right?! Unphased, we grabbed a couple of old boxes (we used an egg carton lid) and some elastic bands. If you had more patience you could decorate the box so it looked more attractive than our efforts, but simply pulling the elastic bands over the box (and warning the boys not to "play" it near their face incase of elastic band pinging!) made a great and super simple instrument.




We experimented with what happens when you tighten the bands, move them or use thicker elastic bands. We then talked about pitch, which band made the low sound or the high sound! From there we moved on to talking about what happens if we used something to hit the bands rather than pluck the bands..I then started complicated things by talking about the workings of a piano and had to stop as I could see two blank faces looking back at me.. Still.. the boys are on their way to learning more about music and instruments and I've not spent money on plastic toy instruments which play for them..! (Or been subjected to a recorder..though that is due to recommence next week..!) My plan is weekly to encourage a musical activity for all of us, which will be educational and fun, and I will share it on the - with better images (and maybe a video?!) Do you make music with your children? How do you make it fun?

Ms G x


Tuesday, 27 May 2014

WIN a Personalised Reading Book for your child!


Father's Day is almost upon us and I'm delighted to be able to offer one reader the chance to Win a "My Dad.." love2read personalised book! Just imagine Dad (or Grandad's!) face when he sees himself as the star of the bedtime story! 



Love2read enable you to use ten photos and text to say simple phrases ideal for youngsters learning to read - e.g. "My Dad likes cars.." There are lots of templates to choose from, you just select one, and follow the simple instructions to upload 10 photos and simple text! You can even make the name of the book more personal "My Dad", "My Daddy..", "Our Dad.." "My Hero.." to name a few!



Having reviewed a couple of love2read books, I can safely say that they are really lovely and each book we have received has been treasured by all the family! So this would be a fabulous Father's Day gift which will be enjoyed for years to come! All Father's Day orders need to be placed by Tuesday 10th June to ensure they arrive on time check out the website for further information; www.love2read.co.uk
 



Want to enter? Follow the steps on rafflecopter below!




a Rafflecopter giveaway




  Win competitions at ThePrizeFinder.com - See more at: http://www.theprizefinder.com/content/personalised-reading-book-fathers-day#sthash.Y9S9Axzo.dpuf