Saturday, 25 May 2013
Mister Maker Watch and Make Vol. 5 is due to be released on the 3rd June, it's full of boredom busters ideal for the Summer holidays! Thanks to Abbey Home Media I'm offering readers the chance to WIN 1 of 5 copies! Just follow the simple steps on rafflecopter below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Friday, 24 May 2013
Firstly, I’d like to confess that while this is described as a crop top for triathletes I am most definitely not one, you see there is a problem with triathlons and me and it’s a most cringe worthy one which I am sharing publically for the first time.. I cannot nor have I ever been able to, ride a bicycle. There, I’ve said it! It was something I never learnt as a child and until now - when my eldest wants to learn to ride a two-wheeled bicycle - it’s never been an issue! But that’s a separate blog post!
The Aqua Trek Triathlon Crop top is designed to work both in, on, and away from water. Whether you are running, swimming or sailing the Aqua Trek could be exactly what you are looking for! Designed with both support and comfort in mind the crop top fastens at the front with a zip a feature which I would have loved during my wetsuit wearing days as a dinghy sailor – no more snagging in your wetsuit zip! The straps are adjustable to ensure a perfect fit, and again the strap adjustment system is designed to give a smooth finish (in fact I struggled to find where to adjust the top initially as it was so well hidden!). I was a bit bemused by the ventilation holes, but have to confess they do work well to provide some much needed air circulation even for my lowlier exercise efforts!
The Aqua Trek triathlon shorts, these really surprised me I have to say I’ve road tested these hard as I wasn’t convinced they’d be as comfortable as they claimed, however I am delighted to say they really are!
The high fit waist means not only do they stay up without need to constantly adjust them, but they also cover the area I’m least keen on - lower tummy! Even after wearing for several hours, the retain their shape and are still comfortable without any points of discomfort or chaffing! Do they dry quickly? Yes, and there is no sagging of the super lightweight fabric. Basically, I felt as though I was wearing comfortable underwear rather than swim bottoms. While I don’t think I’d be brave enough to wear them as shorts, I’ll be wearing them with the crop top for some wild swimming this summer and I think the tankini top is now a necessary purchase!
Disclaimer: I have an ongoing relationship with Berlei,the products were provided for the purposes of the review, all thoughts and experiences are my own based on my usage of the products.
Thursday, 23 May 2013
It's no secret that we're big fans of Orchard toys and so we were delighted to get the opportunity to review their new game Baa Baa!
Baa Baa is aimed at children 3+ and is for 2 to 4 players, it's really straight forward to set up and both boys helped me to put the game ready to play! The board and figures are made of a good quality card so are robust for little hands, and the characters are adorable!
Baa Baa is a colour matching game, with simple rules which are easy for the younger members to follow. It's a great introduction to board games and ideal for my boys to play together - (they're two and half year old and four) with a little help from me! The game is can be played quite quickly which is helpful for the younger players - holding attention long enough that the game stays fun!
Not only are they learning to match colours, and take it in turns but they are also learning that this is a game of chance! Boo is very competitive and wasn't over joyed that his little brother had beaten him at this game until I explained that it's not about being best but about the luck of the draw, at which point he announced he wanted to play again!
Disclaimer: We received a copy of the game for review, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Wednesday, 22 May 2013
It's half term for us next week and I want it to be a fun one! I'm hoping the weather will be fabulous, but I know I can't do anything about the weather so I'm going to be prepared for lots of fun whatever the weather! I know it's silly but holidays pass so quickly I'm determined we make the most of this half term and so I'm making a list of all the things we're going to do!
- Swim!! - I've booked Boo in for an intensive swimming course, he's very keen to start swimming and I'm hoping the course will kick start him!
- Picnic - The boys both love eating outdoors, so we're going to see how many picnics we can cram into half term!
- Adventure! Ok so this one is going to require a little more planning, but I've decided we're going to go on an adventure and try doing something new..what could it be? (ideas on a postcard..!)
- Bake - We're going to be baking biscuits and cake - lots of cake!
- Paint - Actually we're going to be doing some redecorating and Boo wants to help!
- Grow - Boo is going to have a go at growing some plants (he's already painted some plant pots in anticipation!)
- Make Music - Boo has been asking to have piano lessons and I'm keen to encourage his musical side, so we're going to have a go at home and see what happens!
- Take a Print - It's been to long since we made hand and foot prints, so I'm going to get both boys to have a go at making a print and decorating it!
Ms G x
Tuesday, 21 May 2013
I used to really enjoy watching Sooty as a child I used to find Sweep hilarious, but it's not something my boys have had the chance to watch until now! Abbey Home Media kindly sent us a copy of the new The Sooty Show DVD!
Boo sat down to watch the DVD reluctantly, but within minutes was totally captivated and laughing hysterically! He adored Sooty and Sweep and found Richard very entertaining! Each episode is full of fun and chaos in true Sooty style! Boo's favourite episode was the one at the beach he said "I loved the episode at the beach when Richard threw the ice-cream, it was so funny!" - that episode featured Frank Bruno! I can honestly say this is perfect half-term entertainment, plenty of laughs and family friendly fun! The Sooty Show - The Children's Party is available now!
If you'd like the chance to WIN 1 of 5 copies on DVD follow the simple steps on rafflecopter below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
ThePrizeFinder - UK Competitions
Monday, 20 May 2013
When did you last change your perfume? I love to try new fragrances, and I really enjoy wearing them, I have to confess that I feel naked without a spritz of fragrance on! I was delighted when I was asked to try a new fragrance from Victorinox, and quite excited as it is not a brand I've tried before!
|Victoria - Victorinox|
The bottle is sleek and stylish, with a spray which is easy to use, delivering a good even spritz! The fragrance is floral and light, I've described it to friends as a 'happy fragrance' as it reminds me of summer - I guess that's the fruity tones! The Victoria fragrance lasted throughout the day I found I didn't need to top up at lunch time! However, I have to confess the handy travel spray which looks like a Swiss Army Knife has been used when I'm racing from work to dinner, or hurrying from the gym to collect the my son from school!
|Love the travel spray - yes it looks like a Swiss Army Knife!|
Victorinox are running a fabulous competition to celebrate the launch of their new Victoria Fragrance and giving you the opportunity to win a Spa break or bottles of the Victoria Fragrance, all you have to do is create a virtual bouquet and enter it into the competition! When you've created your bouquet you get the chance to send a postcard of your bouquet along with a free sample of the Victoria Fragrance to a friend, who would you send one to?
Disclaimer: I received a bottle of Victoria by Victorinox for the purposes of the review.
Friday, 17 May 2013
Are you wondering what you should buy for Father's Day? Or perhaps you are struggling to encourage your child to enjoy reading? I'm offering you the chance to win a personalised book from Love2read just in time for Father's Day!
To create your own book is easy, you simply upload the 10 photos you wish to use and add the simple text to go with each photo! So whether Dad (or Grandad) likes golf, skiing or football you can personalise the book just for them! I think they're a lovely idea and really do encourage reading! The books are based around the National Curriculum keywords which children learn are taught to recognise during the early years at school.
If you want the chance to WIN one follow the steps below, Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
ThePrizeFinder - UK Competitions
One of the best things about training for the 5k, has been making time to get together with one of my closest friends so we can train together. I have to confess, working up a sweat in a tracksuit is far from the days in our early twenties when we'd be dressed up to the nines in dangerously high heels, and frighteningly short dresses with plunging necklines! One thing remains the same though, our mutual love of coffee and nothing beats a good iced coffee in my view! I was sent some vouchers so I could indulge in some Emmi Caffe Latte, and tipped off that they now do a "skinny" version - ideal if like me you are looking for lighter options!
I was impressed with how tasty the 90 Calorie Emmi Caffe Latte Skinny was, in fact I wouldn't have known it was a light version at all it was very luxurious! It's easy to drink on the go with a handy takeaway style lid! The Cappuccino version is a stronger blend but I was impressed with how tasty the blend is - there is no hint of bitterness. I've yet to try the Caffe Latte Caramel as it's always sold out when I get there, but will keep looking!
Emmi also sent me a special cocktail recipe to share with you, which uses their delicious Skinny Latte and the entire cocktail only contains 180 calories - very good for such a creamy cocktail! So this is what we'll be treating ourselves to after training this weekend!
Want one? Recipe for a Skinny Rhumba is:
- 35ml Golden Rum
- 1/2 Cup Emmi Caffe Latte Skinny
- 1/2 Banana
Blend all the ingredients together and then serve! Simple and delicious! I have also been experimenting with adding crushed ice for an extra cool version!
Do let me know if you try it out!
Ms G xx
Disclaimer: I was sent some Emmi vouchers for the purposes of the review, all thoughts are my own, the recipe was supplied by Emmi.
Monday, 13 May 2013
After a 3.15am start to Sunday due to Boo being full of cold, I decided to use the early start wisely and head to the carboot sale early. There were surprisingly less sellers than normal, I guess the torrential rain on Saturday night had put many people off, but there was still plenty to wonder around and hunt out some bargains.
I found some adorable Joules wellington boots with a mouse logo on, but I wasn't sure what size I needed for E, and in the time I took to decide to buy them anyway someone else had got there first. However, instead Boo ended up with a pair which will hopefully fit him by winter (they are currently 2 sizes too large..)
Don't they have a fun tractor design? I love finding things like this for Boo to wear! The lady also included a pair of fleece hunter welly socks for him - so he's really sorted!
Next up, I fell in love with the print on this dress so even though it's a bit big, it had to come home with me! Now I just need to invest in a sewing machine so I can take it in!
I love the nautical print, and I'm hoping this will be perfect for me to wear on our summer adventures! The question is can I find some thrifty accessories to complete the look?!
Have you had any fabulous thrifty finds this week?
Friday, 10 May 2013
Boo is in his last term of reception year at school, wow where has the year gone? I am really proud that he has grasped the basics of reading over the last year, and wherever we are he tries to read things! At school they use the Phonics method, and this was something really alien to me as when I learnt to read we didn't use it! The Alphablocks have been super popular in our house since they very first arrived on our tv, and provide a fun way to introduce phonics! Each of the short episodes is both educational and fun, and as I parent I find them really helpful to ensure I'm making the right sounds when we practise reading!
Volume 2 of the Alphablocks on DVD is out now, and I am giving 5 of my readers the chance to WIN a copy just follow the steps below - Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
ThePrizeFinder - UK Competitions
I decided it is about time I updated you on my fitness efforts, especially with my 5k now only a month away! I have to confess that my training isn't going quite as it should be, I have had to step things down after stirring up an old injury, it's frustrating but there's I've had to accept that rest is required - and I can still do some non-weight bearing strengthening exercises, so all is not lost! I look back to where I was a year ago, and I can't see that much has changed physically, I've dropped bra cup sizes but not dress sizes! But then this was never really about weight loss, it was about being physically fit and strong. Fitness wise, so much has changed! A year ago, just the thought of running made me break into a sweat and I was terrified when I first tried to run! Aerobically I'm in a much better place, and it's noticeable that I run around with my sons without having to have a "rest". Now I just need to be a bit more strict with my diet, and really opt for the healthy options rather than raid the biscuit tin at the first opportunity...(usually just after the school run!).
Anyway, as some of you know I have been trying out some Bras for Berlei, and sharing my thoughts on things over on the Berlei blog. I fell in love with the Berlei running bra, not only is it really supportive but it's ultra comfortable to - in fact I am wearing it now (and I am not running while I type I can assure you!). Berlei have launched a special edition of the bra in candy pink, and for each bra sold £5 will be donated to the Karen Green Foundation.
Whether you are running or cycling for charity, or just working out in the gym why not consider treating yourself to some comfort and help out a fantastic charity at the same time?
Are you raising money for charity this year? Let me know as I love to hear about your challenges x
Saturday, 4 May 2013
Mine name is Mrs G, and I am easily distracted. I don't intend not to give things my full attention, it's just that often other things are more interesting than the thing I am trying to do. It's a bit like when as a child I was stuck inside revising on a hot summers day, when all I really wanted to do was run along the beach barefoot or sit swinging my legs on the bench waiting for that hunk to walk by. Hunk, oh now I am dating myself! For some reason I say that word and all I can think of is Brad from Neighbours, the surfer with bleach blonde hair - have I lost you yet? Well, as I said I'm easily distracted.
Thankfully there are times when I am pleased that I am easily distracted, for example when 2 year old E was today shouting down an intercom "Hot Donalds!! I want Nuggets!" and I was easily able to distract myself from the humiliation that my child thought we were at a fast food eatery when actually we were just trying to negotiate a security system. There was an element of humour as the voice at the end of the intercom struggled to understand what I was saying amidst the demands of a very vocal child. The voice at the end of the intercom sounded utterly confused as I tried to explain to E that the man would not be providing us with nuggets, or in fact anything edible at all. E looked at me with wide eyes, clearly he was utterly convinced that once I had spoken to the man, food would follow shortly. Oh how wrong little E was, no food followed my loud conversation. Clearly we have frequented "Hot Donald's" a few too many times on our way home from days out. Luckily for me E is also easily distracted, so when the food didn't arrive and the tears began to roll, he was quickly distracted with a banana and a promise of cartoons when we got home..don't you just love the power of distraction?
Ms G x
Monday, 29 April 2013
It's no secret, I like to try to save money where I can as it makes our money go further each month! MoneySuperMarket are running 30 ways to save £1, and asking bloggers to list their favourite ways to save money! Here are mine:
Coupons, love them or loathe them if you are shopping in a store it's worth checking out coupons before you go!
If you are shopping on line, remember to check for online discounts or free delivery! Money supermarket have a great section on vouchers!
Invest in plastic! We bought some Tupperware boxes for packed lunches, they have already saved us money in plastic lunch bags, are better for the environment and encourage us to take lunch with us - saving us loads!
Buy a water bottle! OK, so I'm encouraging you to spend money again but over the course of a year thing how many £'s you will save by NOT having to buy a bottle of "mineral" water while you're out and about?
Make your own Pizza! The base is easy to make and costs pennies, they freeze well (so you can make them in advance!) just top them and pop them in the oven for 15-20minutes - that's faster than a takeaway delivery and MUCH cheaper!
Limit your meat intake! Try cutting down your meat intake to 2 or 3 times a week and try vegetarian alternatives - I love a good veggie curry, it's easy to make and it's much cheaper than a chicken one..!
Dump Gym! Why pay to exercise in an enclosed space when you could be out and about and getting the same results? Run, skip, and use tins of food as weights to save yourself a fortune!
Really want to use a gym? Look into Pay as you go Gyms - that way you're not paying unless you're going!
Use a teapot - one teabag will easily make 2 cups and think of the saving over a year..
Family love Smoothies? Buy fruit from the market at the end of the day, it's often past its best, but perfect for blitzing up into yummy smoothies!
Onions.. they are so cheap to buy in a big bag, and add loads of flavour to all sorts of meals! Buy them, chop them and freeze them into portions - this is much cheaper than buying them pre-frozen and saves you having to do it at every meal!
Don't run on Empty!! Use a petrol price checker before you go to fill up, seeing where's cheapest on your daily route can save you a £ or two!
Visit specialist discount stores, I saved a small fortune on a visit to Home Bargains buying things I was going to be buying anyway! The best buy had to be some garden screening which I paid £3.99 for, elsewhere the cheapest roll I could find was £17.99..
Fancy some TLC? Take yourself off to your local Beauty and/or Hairdressing College, most offer treatments to the public and are considerably cheaper than the high street!
Stock up when it's on offer!! If it's something you *always use* if you see it on a really good offer, stock up! We do this with Fairy Washing up Liquid and Fairy Washing Gel, I can't remember the last time we paid the RRP.
Live or work near a Waitrose store? Get a My Waitrose card (free!) and they currently get one free tea or coffee a day - perfect for a caffeine fix!
Join a library, the books are FREE to borrow and some libraries also lend DVD's cheaply too, but be warned, if you are late returning the book or DVD they DO fine you!
Look out for Hotel sales, last year I bagged a hotel room in a central London travel lodge for £25 which was perfect for Britmums Live - BARGAIN!
When you book a hotel on line, remember to use a cash back site like Top Cash Back or Quidco.
Day out with friends? Look into using vouchers to reduce the cost and always try to check in advance, some places offer large discounts if you book in advance!
Special Occasion coming up? Have Tesco Vouchers? You can get 4 x the value by exchanging them on line for restaurant vouchers! (There are only limited restaurants participating but still..a fabulous potential saving!)
Orange Wednesday, go to the Cinema with a friend and only pay for one of you! You do need to be a customer of Orange for this one to work, but they often do free PAYG sims, and the minimum top up is £5!
Orange also offer BOGOF at Pizza Express on a Wednesday!
Use baby oil to bring you stainless steel up like new - always test a discreet area first! (Much cheaper than the "proper stuff")
Buy bars of old fashioned soap for hand washing, they last longer and are cheaper!
If you have to have a soap dispenser, fill it with value own brand shower gel - saves pennies each time you fill it, which adds up to pounds over the year!
If you have somewhere to hang your washing outside, stop using your tumble dryer! Imagine the saving over on your electricity bill over a year.
Smelly fridge? Pop some bicarbonate of soda in a bowl and it will eradicate the odour! This also works on smelly shoes and is huge saving on buying specific odour eating products!
Don't be afraid to buy your children's uniforms second hand! Whether they're for school or clubs, check out your local shop notice boards or ask the staff if they have a second hand store! Saves ££'s!
Dress Agencies, these sell good quality (normally current or the last season) clothes and accessories, in as good as new condition. They're generally more expensive than a charity shop, and obviously the money isn't going to a good cause, but great if you really want something smart at a saving!
Have you got any money saving tips? Why not join in the MoneySupermarket 30 ways to save £1? You never know it could be YOU who wins £1000!
Ms G xx
Friday, 26 April 2013
If you love cake (like me!) enjoy baking and fancy doing something fabulous to raise money for a marvellous charity how about taking part in Bake for Bumps in aid of Sparks. Bake for Bumps will take place 17th - 19th May and hopefully they will raise lots of money for Sparks which are a charity supporting children's health - did you know that each year in the UK over 3000 babies die before their 1st birthday? Sparks help to fund lifesaving research, and your bake sale could help fund research and ultimately save a life. Whether you hold your sale at work, home or maybe a club, why not doing something fantastic and plan one today?
Thursday, 25 April 2013
Between the school runs, play dates, and endless washing (seriously how do two small children manage to create so much?!) I have found myself really enjoying life the last few weeks, hence I've neglected the blog.. Since December I've felt in a bit of a rut, rather unhappy I've struggled to see the bright side of life and the miserable cold weather certainly didn't help my mood! The first signs of sunshine spelt a new era, and I have found a new energy and confidence! I've been cavorting around the country visiting friends, exercising, gardening and even (whispers) cleaning! Now don't get thinking I've become a domestic goddess over night, that is simply untrue - I still can't cook, although I have managed to perfect some simple baking skills..I am now truly one of those women who when stressed bakes!
I have to confess, I had a break through with my diet after reading the book Beyond Temptation, it addresses over-eating and unhealthy relationships with food which I undoutedbly have. Yes I am that woman who buys a large pack of cream eclairs and having opened them to have one with my coffee, I then end up eating the entire pack to conceal the evidence that I have had one at all.. The book doesn't make excuses, doesn't make promises that you will weight, but DOES help you deal with issues around why you starve all day and then binge at night, or punish yourself for having that ice cream at the beach. I've still got a long way to go, but I've stopped feeling guilty when I decide I want a desert as I fancy it (and I've stopped referring to it as "a treat").
So, life is good and I'm training for a 5k with my lovely friend Ani who will undoubtedly shame me with her speed around the course! I've had a sneeky chat with a personal trainer and he's given me exercises which I can do at home in front of the tv..perfect for the lazy girl in me!
Ms G xx
Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of Beyond Temptation free of charge, the link is NOT affiliate. All thoughts about the book are my own based on my experiences using the book for the last 8weeks.
Tuesday, 16 April 2013
The spring sunshine has caused a flurry of colour, bright yellow daffodils and beautiful primroses cover my garden and lift my spirits. I feel hopeful that summer is truly on its way, I look forward to long evening walks, the smell of freshly cut grass and of course..the Pimms! Are you looking forward to summer?
Ms G xx
Monday, 15 April 2013
At the weekend we held a film night thanks to Age UK, the aim of the evening was to think about how much we'd thought about Travel and contents insurance, which I have to confess is something I hadn't thought of at all until now! We were sent a DVD and a takeaway voucher to fuel our discussions!
We sat down to watch the film UP, which in my mind is the perfect retirement adventure - fulfilling a childhood dream is in my mind the perfect adventure, and even better when you then discover you can start a whole NEW adventure! We were asked to think about the following questions, I've answered them honestly and included extracts from friends to!
· What is your best “family holiday” memory?
My favourite holiday memory has to be running along a sandy beach my feet almost being burnt under the hot sand to get an ice cream from the ice cream hut on the edge of the beach. It was always my Dad who'd take me to get the ice cream, and they used to use fresh fruit to make the ice cream more or less in front of you!
· When was the last time you spend quality time with your parents/grandparents?
My Grandparents died when I was very young, so I try to make sure my children get plenty of time with their grandparents - at least once a week. I would spend a lot more time with my parents if I could, I think I'm still a Daddy's girl at heart and love sitting putting the world to rights with him. Mr G visits his family once a week for a cup of tea and a chat. The girls also make time for spending time with their parents and Grandparents too - what a nice lot we are!
· Are you aware of the benefits and help that Age UK can provide to families who travel with family members over 60?
Honestly, we were all a bit clueless about travel insurance for over 60's, we were hopeful of what might be covered but had no idea! I was interested to read that pre-existing medical conditions can often be covered, and that Age UK cover children under 18 travelling on this policy for free (see the t&c's)
· Have you thought where would you like to spend your last days of retirement? Anywhere exotic?
My friend Ani wants to live a rebellious life, no where exotic but doing all the things you might expect an out of control teenager to be doing (so I have been warned I may be expected to recover her and her mobility scooter from the police station..) Claire suggested she'd like a more exotic lifestyle and would be touring Vietnam for as long as her legs were able! Mr G and I have plans to spend our time on a barge getting away from it all somewhere on a canal but still with the home comforts of a good cup of tea! This barge in Birmingham inspired us!
|A Barge in Birmingham|
· When was the last time you visit your parents’ house?
Happily we could all answer that we had been to visit our parents' within the last week or two.
· How much do you know about home insurance for people over 60?
I personally assumed it would be the same as anyone else it's not something most of us had discussed with our parents or grandparents so it was interesting to discuss any potential issues. My friend Ani suggested that perhaps premiums were more expensive, due to having specialist mobility equipment?
If you are as clueless as us on these important matters, have a read up on Age UK, and why not let me know what you're planning to do in your retirement years?
Friday, 12 April 2013
Prima Princessa DVD's are aimed at children aged 3-6 and aim to introduce children to the delights of ballet! It's been created by Mum's with the help of some of the most prestigious ballet companies in the world! Check out the trailer here:
The Prima Princessa DVD's are available from Amazon now, or you can enter for your chance to WIN a copy of the fabulous Prima Princessa Presents Sleeping Beauty, featuring the Royal Ballet by answering the simple question below!
What costume do Ballerina's traditionally wear on stage?
a) Wellington Boots
b) A Tutu
c) A Cycling Helmet
Please leave your answer as a comment, you MUST leave either a twitter ID or email address in your comment so I can contact you if you win.
One Entrant Per Household.
UK Entrants ONLY (sorry!)
No third party or automated entries.
Only entrants who correctly answer the mandatory question will be eligible to win.
There is ONE prize of 1 Prima Princessa DVD.
Winner will be required to respond within 72 hours of winning notification or a new winner will be selected.
Winner's details will be passed to Prima Princessa for prize fulfilment.
Winner will be selected at random.
Competition Closes midnight 27th April 2013.
ThePrizeFinder - UK Competitions
Tuesday, 9 April 2013
We're in the process of sorting our house out and making it beautiful rather than just a living space, and as I'm sure some of you already know this is the perfect excuse to indulge in a little thrifty shopping! This weekend has been full of practical purchases such as some huge new bean bags which due to their colour have gained the unfortunate nickname from Boo of "the boobies.." (in honesty they do resemble boobies, but I hadn't noticed that when I bought them.. so I need to dye the covers!).
Amongst the practical purchases, Imagine my delight when I came across this Swing-A-Way Ice Crusher in original box, admittedly I have no intention of ever using it as an ice crusher (unless I can make home made slush puppies?? - answers on a postcard please?).
When I opened the box (after getting it safely home - yes I know I should have checked the box BEFORE buying it..but it was £1!!) I was amazed to discover that it's actually never been used! I love the retro box, so I'm trying to work out how to display my new kitchenalia without wrecking the box in the sunlight - any ideas?
Linking up with Missie Lizzie for Magpie Monday, have you found any terrific thrifty finds?
Thursday, 4 April 2013
Last year, we decided to travel to Disneyland Paris and then to Ghent, Belgium, this meant a long drive to both destinations and I had some concerns about how we would keep the boys busy - especially our lovely eldest (who was still 3 at the time!).
Mr G decided to create a game called "yellow car" which basically involved being the first to shout "yellow car" when you saw one and then we kept a running score. To make it more interesting we said a yellow lorry would be worth 10 points as it was harder to shout! Boo wanted to know when the game would be "won" so we told him the winner would be the first person to see a bright yellow combine harvester (what are the chances of seeing one of them?). The game was a great success although fairly noisy and we became ridiculously competitive, the game in fact carried on for several weeks after we arrived home, and only ended when we were in the car on our way to visit the National trust property Stourhead and Boo spotted an enormous bright yellow combine harvester - so he won!
I also discovered keeping a little bag of goodies in the front worked well when the boys got really bored. They were only simple things like toys from crackers or books from the local charity shop, even some toys they'd not played with for a while but they seemed "new" and fun on the car journey and added a little calm to the traffic jam boredom!
Our first holiday with Boo we hired a car and drove around Scotland, it seems a life time ago! Did you know Travel Supermarket have a car hire page?
Wednesday, 3 April 2013
The Joolz Nursery bag is made to fit perfectly with the Joolz buggies, they have even designed a space on the chassis for it to hang from, now, I don't have a Joolz buggy ( although it's on my wish list if we have another baby!) but was very pleased to get the opportunity to try the nursery bag out. The bag is made of a real nice strong fabric, and the lining is really soft.
The bag is a great size and ideal for storing everything you need for a day out, it's big enough that I could carry a change of clothes for the boys when we went out for the day - I suspected and was quite right that they'd get covered in chocolate...! Anyway, there are two main compartments and plenty of little inner pockets for storing everything you need for your little one (and yourself!).
There is a handy change mat included which folds easily into the spacious bag, it is nice sized mat and perfect for nappy changes on the go! I also like the two bottle holders at either end of the bag, whether you need to carry baby bottles, toddler cups or a bottle of water for yourself they're a really good size, and are thermal lined so will keep drinks warm or cool!
The logo on the bottle holder at one end of the bag is the only obvious branding on the bag, I especially like the minimal branding by Joolz!The nursery bag has been great for carrying around all our toddler bits and pieces and I would say it'd be fabulous for anyone with a newborn!
You can keep up to date with everything Joolz on their face book page here.
Monday, 1 April 2013
Our Easter Sunday was spent at the National Trust Easter Egg trail at Foxbury in the New Forest. With plenty of fresh air, easy to walk paths (we saw a few families with pushchairs) and lots to learn about how the National Trust are attempting to restore this area to heathland by removing invading trees and plants it was a really great day out for all the family.
Boo couldn't wait to have a go at toasting a marshmallow, the lady carefully showed him what to do and he said it tasted fabulous!
There was a falconry display on a bit later in the day, which sadly we couldn't stay for, but we still caught a glimpse of some amazing birds of prey including a huge Owl and this beautiful falcon.
At the end of the egg trail, we were rewarded with a fabulous chocolate egg - a very good sized one! The boys (and us) were delighted, and all the volunteers were very friendly checking that we'd managed to see the birds of prey and have a go at the activities. It was superb! A great value event to as it cost £3 to participate in the trail, under 5's went free (although we paid for Boo unwittingly before we realised that).
The combination of excitement of following the trail, the chocolate egg eating and all the fresh air had a wonderful effect on the children..
A huge thumbs up to the National Trust for a marvellous event, we're already looking forward to next year!
Thursday, 28 March 2013
One of Boo's favourite cartoon's is Horrid Henry, and as I have explained before I rather like it to! With a new updated and very cool theme tune which Boo wants to sing unaccompanied by his Mother.. sigh... Thankfully, I am still cool enough to watch Horrid Henry with him - Hoorah!
If you'd like the chance to WIN a copy of It's All Your Fault! See the rafflecopter widget below and follow the easy steps - good luck!
ThePrizeFinder - UK Competitions a Rafflecopter giveaway
Tuesday, 26 March 2013
Cocoa Boutique offers luxury chocolates via post, their chocolates are sophisticated and exotic with flavours you won't find in an average box! Master chocolatiers including Barry Colenso and Sun Trigg create chocolates to tantalise your taste buds.
The simple but eye catching box, hides well the beautiful exclusive chocolates chosen carefully for each box:
The chocolate selection this month, was beautiful! Just look at all the colours and designs - so pretty! I didn't know where to start! Looking at the guide, I carefully worked out which flavour I would taste first, and I was not disappointed!
|Milk Ball, decorated with silver shimmer.|
With a good variety of milk and dark chocolate, there was something to appeal to every taste. My personal favourite was the sea salted caramel, which was utterly divine! I even surprised myself by really enjoying Cocoa-Nutty Cream - and I'm not usually a fan of coconut, but this was seriously light and utterly scrumptious!
|The exotic Bakewell Tart, super pretty and very sweet to eat!|
The contents of each box is influenced hugely by the feedback they receive from each customer who completes the feedback form which arrives with each box, I think this is a great idea as they're continually acting on customer feedback! With subscriptions being available to receive chocolates monthly, two monthly or quarterly the membership is quite flexible. They also offer gift subscriptions where you can buy 2, 3 or 6months and pay in advance, which I think would be a lovely gift - for a special birthday perhaps?
Disclaimer: I was sent a box of Cocoa Boutique Luxury chocolates for the purposes of the review, the review contains affiliate links.
Wednesday, 20 March 2013
Sometimes we get the most amazing opportunities or goodies, and this parcel was one which made us all smile with delight:
We were sent a fabulous selection of NICI products from the Jolly Logan Range, which depicts a Wolf dressed as a sheep and a sheep dressed as a Wolf! They're a fabulous range of gifts with something to suit all the family!
This seriously cute cuddly wolf was an instant hit with both boys (and me!) as it's incredibly soft - perfect for a cuddle and very good quality. Both boys were quite keen on the fact they could disguise the wolf by pulling his hood up:
I think this beautiful soft toy would make a lovely gift for anyone who'd like something to make them smile! Ours is on time share between the boys, and has already been on several adventures, he seems to be doing well to help E get over his fear of the big bad wolf in fairy tales! I envisage Logan wolf being taken on many expeditions over the next years - photos to follow!
This NICI bag is super cute, it's big enough to fit in a A5 notebook and super soft to touch! With a great adjustable strap which can be worn across you or just on the shoulder, it's sure to be a hit with children and adults alike! The boys have discovered Logan Wolf fits very well into the bag too..
Boo was most excited by the notepad, where he has recently started reading and writing he is very keen on nice notebooks and this one really captured his imagination! He instantly noticed the bookmarks and found homes for them in his school books, then took delight in writing his "own book" in the notepad. The note pad has plain pages so it's perfect for any age group whether they want to sketch or write their ideas!
For me, the most exciting item in the parcel was the money tin. Growing up my sisters each had a money tin, and while I always wanted one, I never did get one, until now! Yes, I have claimed this as mine!
Firstly, I love the design - who could fail to like the cute sheep dressed as a wolf? Secondly, I love the fact this tin has a lock and key as it discourages just dipping in to the savings! The tin is a great size and there are two keys, (one for me and one for Mr G!) which means you can keep one key safe for your loved one if you give it as a gift. It's such a cute design, I love it!
NICI is available to buy at many local retailers and online at these retailers:
You can keep up to date with NICI on facebook and see all their latest ranges or say hello to NICI on twitter.
Disclaimer: We were sent a selection of NICI items for the purposes of review, all thoughts and opinions on the items are my own.
Tuesday, 19 March 2013
Jollywobbles is in my opinion Justin Fletcher at his very best, performing old fashioned silent comedy to a fabulously fun original soundtrack!
There are seven episodes and each episode follows a theme, our favourite episode was the day spent at the Lido - it was extremely funny watching what happened - who knew you could swim in the foot bath?! Both boys loved watching the DVD and were very keen to sit together through the entire thing! If you are looking for family fun entertainment for the holidays, look no further, it really is brilliant slapstick comedy!
Would you like the chance to WIN a copy of the DVD for yourself? Thanks to Abbey Home Media there are 5 copies up for grabs! Follow the simple steps on rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclaimer we were sent a copy of the DVD for the purposes of review.
<a href="http://www.theprizefinder.com" title="ThePrizeFinder.com - home of competitions and prize winning" target="_blank">ThePrizeFinder - UK Competitions</a>
Monday, 18 March 2013
When we were asked if we'd like a copy of Argo on DVD to review, I could barely contain my excitement. I was really keen to see the film, but through months of chicken pox and every other bug going around the children, we hadn't found time to take ourselves on a date to the cinema, so getting a chance to review the DVD was perfect!
I didn't really know what to expect of the film, I'd read reviews and noted the incredible amount of awards won, these are the awards Argo won:
BAFTA Award for Best Film
· BAFTA Award for Best Direction
· BAFTA Award for Best Editing
· Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture- Drama
· Golden Globe Award for Best Director – Motion Picture
· Academy Award for Best Motion Picture of the Year
· Academy Award for Best Achievement in Editing
· Academy Award for Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published
Award winning films aren't always films I love, so I tried to ignore the awards and just watch the film - unbiased. Well, what can I say? I was not disappointed! The film, based on a true story kept me on the edge of my seat and I had many moments where I was so captivated in the action and felt such a part of the film that by the end I was in need of a strong cup of tea! I don't want to give away any storyline details just in case anyone hasn't yet seen the film (if you haven't YOU MUST!) but what I will say is it is finally balanced with elements of comedy and drama mixed in and it is intense! The storyline seems so ridiculous, that you do have to remind yourself that this is based on a true story but then I've always thought truth is stranger than fiction! I really enjoyed Argo, and have fallen in love with Ben Affleck, well, (his acting!) all over again! I will definitely be watching it again!
Many Thanks to Warner Bros. for sending us a copy of Argo to review!
Sunday, 17 March 2013
We were sent a fabulous Easter present from Baking Mad to help us get baking for Easter, Boo is very keen on baking at the moment and it's something I'm keen to encourage, thankfully we've no trouble finding an Easter recipe on Baking Mad there are lots of ideas!
Within our parcel of goodies, we found some edible decorations to help make cupcakes look like bunnies, so we decided we'd have a go!
Using one of the fun Easter baking ideas we made a beautiful batch of cupcakes, Boo enjoyed helping weigh out the ingredients and adding it all to the mix. We discussed how we would decorate them while they were cooking, and when they came out the oven they smelt divine - we could barely wait for them to cool! Boo decided he wanted to top the with chocolate which we did, and then he set about decorating!
A selection of the finished cakes complete with one very happy 4yr old!
|One bunnies nose is missing..Boo had to taste test!|
Of course, now Boo is keen to challenge me to make some hot cross buns or Easter buns as he calls them, luckily for me there is a great video to help me! I might even have another go at making biscuits (usually mine are a disaster!).
Are you going to be baking this Easter? I can't wait till the school holidays, as we're going to have a go at making our own Easter eggs - do you think we'll manage to keep them without taste testing them all until Easter Sunday??
Many thanks to Baking Mad for sending us some Easter treats to get us baking this Easter!