Thursday, 27 February 2014

The benefits of a PAYG phone

Ever since I can remember I have had a mobile phone on a contract. I have never thought to change it because I am happy with my package and its convenient to know I will not run out of credit. 

However, I was recently invited to review the Samsung Galaxy Fame, which is a PAYG phone from 3 mobile. I had a £15 PAYG 3 mobile all in one top up voucher, and it turns out that this £15 will provide you with 3,000 texts, 300 minutes and all you can eat data (to use within 30 days). I was shocked! I didnt know you could get such PAYG deals! I spend more than that on my monthly contract! This £15 top up would be more than enough for me. 


Whilst using the Samsung Galaxy Fame, it got me thinking about how practical this type of contract is. I mean if you have teenagers that want their own mobile phone, but you don't want the risk of them running up huge bills, this type of top up is perfect! Lets face it, most teenagers nowadays are glued to the internet. I can't blame them, if the internet was available as much as it is now when I was a teenager I would be glued to it too! So the unlimited data is the most useful part of this top up. They would need the minutes to call their parents and let them know where they are, and 3,000 texts are surely enough! If you were ever worried about running out of texts or minutes you can keep a check on the handy My3 app. 

The phone itself did take me a bit of getting used too. I have never owned a Samsung phone before, and as with all new things once I had used it a few times, I easily picked it up. The phone was easy to navigate and you could even place the apps that you use regularly onto your home page, making them easily accessible. Its a small and compact phone, yet it still packs a punch! My only gripe is the camera. I know that phone technology moves so quickly nowadays and Camera pixel size is always changing. But for me as a Mum (and a blogger) who uses her phone camera all the time, to capture those all important memories out and about, it just isn't big enough to produce good quality, useable pictures. My current phone has a 8.7MP camera, so perhaps I have been spoilt with my picture quality.

                                       
Looking into the future, when Chester and Millie are old enough for me to consider getting them mobile phones, cost is going to be a big factor for me. The Samsung Galaxy Fame is £99, which I think is really good value. It has more than enough to keep a teenager happy and with the £15 3 mobile all in one top up, it certainly does make it a manageable monthly outgoing. Unlike a Contract, you would have no fears of getting a huge mobile phone bill, but you would have the peace of mind that your child would be able to contact you or you would be able to contact them if needed. 

What are your thoughts on teenagers and mobile phones? 


Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Chester's new found reading confidence!

I've said it before, Chester is a typical boy. He loves to run around and would just do that all day if he could. In fact, he has recently told us that when he grows up he wants to be an Olympic runner and win a gold medal!

We are now halfway through the School year and until recently he didn't show any interest in reading, drawing, and actually to some extent writing.  It's really difficult not to worry now that he is at School. As a parent you naturally want to tell everyone what milestone your child has reached (just like I am doing now), and as much as I am genuinely happy for the Children who seem to of mastered reading ages ago, I couldn't help but feel a bit down about the fact that Chester seemed to show no interest at all. None. Whatsoever. 

After speaking to Chester's teacher she assured me he is perfectly fine and that he will show interest in his own time. She assured me that he is very much a part of the class and takes on board all of the learning. He is always asking questions to further his understanding on the subjects. 

I would so love to be a fly on the wall in Chester's class, just for one day! 

But over the last month, his reading and drawing seem to of snowballed! He went from not wanting to  do them at all, to doing them all of the time! 

He can now easily recognise what I would call the key words; the, and, it, was, is, got, did, Dad, Mum, at, he, not. 

He is also much more confident at attempting to phonetically sound words out. For instance if you were to ask him a couple of months ago what D-I-D spells, he would reply with D-I-D ... Banana! But now he will confidently say D-I-D did! He will sound out letters for lots of random words he  might see during the day. He may not get all of them right, but he is attempting too. Which is a massive improvement! 

The Friday before half term he even came home to tell me that he had got the reading award in School assembly! He was so proud of himself, and I think this gave him the confidence boost he needed to keep up the learning.

Hopefully this will be the start of something big in learning terms for Chester. I am sure it won't be long before he is teaching ME his phonic sounds!

Do you have a child in Reception? How are you finding the reading and writing journey?

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

A new memory displayed for me to smile at every day...

As you have probably guessed, I take loads of pictures! Everyday, without fail at least one picture is taken!

I just can't help myself, I love to preserve memories!

One picture I took recently has become a favourite of mine. It was taken on our trip to the country park, and it just reminds me of just how much Chester and Millie love to play together. I know that this could change at any time so whilst they are happy to play together I am happy to keep capturing those moments!

Canvas Design UK, sent me that picture on a canvas to review....


The Canvas is 12" x 26" which is a custom size. Canvas Design are good like that, they are able to make your canvas using custom sizes if that is what you need. It has a really easy ordering system, you can make changes to your picture and play around in sizes until you get what looks right for your picture. The cost of this canvas is £19.47. I found out how much it cost after it arrived and I was expecting it to be so much more! The quality is amazing! 

Postage and packing is FREE! The couriers that deliver it send you a text with a delivery day, then on the day they send you a time slot! Which is really handy! 

If you are looking to order your own canvas you can get 15% off using this code BLOG15. Making it even more of a bargain! 

But thats not all.... I also have a fantastic giveaway for you to win a canvas. There will be one prize of 1 Canvas in any size you like from 6x6 to 40x40 inches, and using any picture you like! How amazing is that?!! 

To enter all you need to do is answer the mandatory rafflecopter question below. After answering the question (leaving your answer as a blog post comment) you will have the option for additional entries, these are not mandatory. 

Good luck! 


a Rafflecopter giveaway Win competitions at ThePrizeFinder.com

The Dummy Fairy has been!

Just over a week ago we had a visit from The Dummy Fairy. I am smiling now, but it has not always been plain sailing. There have been tears and tantrums (and thats just from me) but I have had encouragement and support along the way which helped the process become a lot easier than it could've been.

I shall start at the beginning .....

We have been thinking about weaning Millie off of her dummies for a while now. Chester gave his to the Dummy Fairy at a similar age (Millie is just 2) and it was a really awful experience. Because of this, we kept putting it off.

With Chester we told him the Dummy Fairy was going to take his dummies and give them to the babies that needed them. The Dummy Fairy left him a present, and for the next week he spent his bed times trying to put his present back where he found it, so that the Dummy Fairy would take it away and just give him back his Dummies. It was heartbreaking.

With Millie, we really wanted the whole experience to be different. Dont get me wrong, we knew she would be upset, just like Chester. But we wanted to make sure that we were prepared enough for it to be a much easier process!

That is where The Dummy Fairy Workshop comes in! They are there to help put some fun into what is about to happen!


You fill in your child's details, and any relevant information. Then a lovely kit arrives in the post. Its cleverly packaged, the parent part of the kit is in a sealed white envelope and the child's part, is in a clear, cellophane envelope.

Here is what's included in the kit...


The Kiddie's Kit :
A Letter of Invitation from the King or Queen of the Dummy Fairies
The Enchanted Dummy Bag in a choice of bright colours 
Fairy Dust & Magic Spell
A Colour Your Own King / Queen of the Dummy Fairies
Reply Card & Envelope



The Parents' Kit :
A Thank You Letter from the King / Queen of the Dummy Fairies
Personalised Certificate of Generosity (with optional inclusion of child’s photo)
Polka dot ribbon to wrap around Certificate
2 x Gift Tags to attach to the Certificate & child's gift on Dummy Day
Instructions on how to implement our Dummy Fairy Workshop weaning tools
Dummy Fairy Workshop Fridge Magnet

The instructions were a great tool for us, sometimes its the simplest of things that you may of not thought of, or forgotten. I also tweeted The Dummy Fairy a few times and I always got a reply, sympathising, supporting and encouraging me.

We decided to not use the reply card and Envelope with Millie. She is just two, and although she does understand a lot more than we give her credit for, I think that part of the process would of just been lost on her. I can see how it would benefit an older child though. Millie (and Chester) were really excited when I read out the letter from the Queen of the Fairies. I did this a week before the Dummy Fairy came. I spent the whole week going back over the letter and talking about why the Dummy fairy needed Millies dummies. To give to the little babies of course. I think that by talking about it before hand made it a little easier when it came to collection day.

Collection day came, and again I spent the day explaining that the fairy would be coming that night. Millie seemed pretty positive about it all. We got her bright pink Enchanted Dummy Bag out and popped her two remaining Dummies inside. I had spent the past week sneakily throwing away all other dummies! Millie calls her dummies her 'Myys' and she did get a little upset at this point. Chester helped her add the Fairy dust whilst I was reading the magic spell. We then hung the bag on her play kitchen and it was time for bed!



Millie seemed pretty calm and happy, until she actually got in bed and realised that was really it. This was at 7pm, at 11.45pm Millie was still screaming! It was just awful!

Whilst she was doing this, the Dummy Fairy came. So there was no going back! Left in their place was a certificate, a letter and a present. I chose to get Millie the Disney Princess Palace Pet because she loves the app on my ipad and it would be something familiar for her.

She did eventually drop off to sleep. When she woke the next day, she was a little upset. But as soon as she saw her bag filled with the letter and her present she seemed to forget about her 'Myy'. Amazing, a totally different story to Chester's experience!


Over the next week we had lots of ups and downs. I kept referring back to my instructions, to remind myself of ways to help calm the situation. She would have a day and night of no mention of the dummy. But then the next day would be a disaster. 5 days on and things started to settle. 8 Days on and no mention of the Dummy at all! We did have a little blip on day 9, when Millie  'stole' a Dummy from a baby at toddler group! But after a minor face on floor tantrum I managed to distract the subject by showing her some musical instruments!

As Parents we are still adjusting to life after Dummies. Millie is taking shorter naps and waking up much earlier. But we are very proud of her for giving them up, she has done really well.

The Dummy Fairy Kit is personal to each child and is £19.95 + postage and packing. To me, this did sound like a lot of money, but after using the kit and comparing Chester's experience to Millie's I can see that it is totally worth the money for us. The support we got along the way was priceless. At a time where you question if you are really doing the right thing or not, it was really needed. The little extras you get in the kit were a real hit with Millie, and even with Chester. It may not of been his dummies that were going but at aged 5 he was still very interested in helping Millie, and he was totally amazed with the letters that were sent to Millie!

I am really happy we managed to overcome this hurdle with Millie! Have you had any experiences with The Dummy Fairy I would love to hear them....

*Please note, we were sent A Dummy Fairy Kit for the purpose of this review.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

English breakfast pancakes

Everyone knows I love pancakes, with a sweet tooth like mine its no surprise. But I think it is less well known that I also love savoury pancakes. So when OXO UK challenged me to come up with a pancake recipe, I decided I would go down the savoury route rather than sweet. Lots of bloggers have taken part, you can check out their yummy recipes by searching the hashtag #oxoukpancakeday on twitter.

I decided that as breakfast is the most important meal of the day it would be a good idea to make some English breakfast pancakes, inspired by the good old English fry up! I wanted to create a stack of pancakes each one having a different element of a Fry up. Full size pancakes would be too filling, even for me, so I decided to use my trusty one egg frying pan instead. I also had the help of the OXO UK flip and fold omelette turner. Which, despite its large size, still managed to flip my small pancakes perfectly!

Firstly, I whipped up a pancake batter. Using 100g plain flour, 1 egg and 300ml of milk.

Then I grilled 1 sausage and 2 sliced of bacon.

Whilst they were grilling away, I chopped up a handful of mushrooms and fried them off in my small frying pan. I also drained some tinned chopped tomatoes.

Once the sausage and the bacon were cooked I chopped them up into fine, small pieces.

With everything prepped I was ready to go....



I used a tiny amount of butter to grease the frying pan and then used a turkey baster to pour in the batter (as it was a small frying pan I realised this made the least amount of mess). I sprinkled a small amount of bacon onto the raw batter in the pan.


After around 1 minute it was time to flip. The OXO UK flip and fold helped me with this, it was effortless to go around the edge of the pan and sliding underneath the pancake was just as easy.



Once the pancake had been flipped I cooked it for another minute before turning out onto a plate.

I repeated this process with the other ingredients until I had four pancakes.



We had the The English breakfast pancakes for a lazy Sunday breakfast this weekend, my parents were staying over for the weekend. The pancakes went down a treat and filled us up until lunch time!

I think its quite a versatile recipe. Most people have their favourite elements to a fry up so its easily adaptable to suit everyones likes.

For example when I asked Millie if she would like bacon on her pancake, she replied with 'No I want banana'. So even though banana is clearly not your everyday fry up breakfast item, I quickly chopped up a banana, followed the process above but also sprinkled brown sugar on top, which created a caramel! It kept Millie happy and we were all still able to carry on with our English breakfast pancakes!

That also went down a treat and I can see me making this version for snack time quite often!



Are you looking forward to pancake day? Whats your favourite topping?! 

Saturday, 22 February 2014

A treasured moment...

It's not often I put posts up with such little words. But I think these two pictures tell a Thousand words.

Millie with her 90 year old Great Nannie this weekend....







Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Arctic sensory play

Ever since we first saw Disney's Frozen Chester has been asking me lots of questions. He is mainly interested in finding out about ice, snow and cold. The scene at the begining of the film where the men are cutting the ice blocks is something Chester asks talks about everyday. 

You may remember recently that I told you about Chester arguing that crocodiles come from Zoos, and how mortified I was that he still thinks we are joking when we say they are wild creatures! 

Since then I have been determined to open his eyes to different animals and their habitats. This is where the Arctic sensory play comes in. 

I placed some water in a rectangular tub, and then placed a smaller round pot filled with water in to the tub. I placed this into the Freezer and left over night. My cousin kindly gave me some arctic animal figures, which I set aside ready to play with. 


There was another idea that I wanted to merge with the Arctic theme. 

I enjoy reading lots of blogs, and something that I see time and time again are water beads. I have always wanted to give them a go with Chester and Millie. So I researched further and brought some on Amazon. They were very cheap, under £2 for 6 packs. For those that don't know, water beads are the small gel crystals that florists use (I made sure I brought non toxic ones). When they arrived I was shocked at how small they were. But we emptied the packets into a bucket of water and left them over night. They grew to the size of marbles! 

                       

When the time came to play with our Arctic sensory scene I layed out a plastic sheet and placed the frozen tub and bowl full of water beads onto it. I eased out the small round plastic pot from the tub, and filled that hole with warm water. This caused some of the ice to crack slightly and have different textures. Exactly what I was hoping for! I placed the animals in the ice tub and let the Children explore! 

                     


They both took to it really well, at first they wanted to just play with the ice, we talked about the different animals and their habitat. We talked about what they might like to eat, and then added some fish into the warm water hole for the animals to catch. 

Chester extended the play by asking to use the ice from inside of the round pot I took from the tub. He turned it into a home for a Yeti! He used a big Moshi Monster figure as a Yeti and tried to scare all of the other animals! 

Next the attention turned to the water beads, Chester loved feeding them to the Yeti and the other animals. He also realised pretty early on that they bounced well on our wooden floor! Millie used small pots to collect the water beads and tip them into the Arctic pool. We spoke about the colours of the beads and what they felt like in our hands. Some of the beads crushed in our hands when we squished them. But that was ok, there were plenty more to play with! 

 
                      
 
I was amazed at how much this activity captured the Children's imaginations. They were playing with it for a very long time, sometimes together, and sometimes on their own. But at all times they were engrossed. 

When we finished playing I simply topped up the water in the Arctic tub and popped it back into the freezer. The water beads were put into a tub. The next day both Children asked to play Arctic again! This time Craig had his day off and was only too happy to play with them and see what all the fuss was about! They all loved it and after another long play session, Craig told them about the ice age and then they placed some of the animals in the water hole and placed them it back into the freezer for another day! 

Chester, being 5, asked me lots of questions, it really fueled his desire to understand the Arctic. I will be writing another post in a few days about how we have continued our Arctic learning in a fun way! 

Has anyone else used water beads for sensory play? I would love to hear how you got on... 

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Greased Lightning - Showroom Shine review

Recently I had an email pop in my inbox about a product.What caught my eye was what the product claimed to do...

"Greased Lightning specialises in cleaning products that offer exceptional quality without the need for sponges and buckets. They have developed their signature product, Showroom Shine, to quickly and innovatively make even the dirtiest car shine, all without the need for a single drop of water."

I was asked to review this product, and will admit now that not for one second did I think that it would work. I take Chester to School via muddy country lanes 5 days a week. My car is filthy, and I am not the sort of person that enjoys (or finds the time) to clean it! This is the picture I tweeted of the state of my car a couple of weeks ago....



Awful isn't it?!

I accepted the invitation to review and later that day told my Husband all about it. He is the opposite to me, he is a bit of a car cleaning geek (when it comes to his own car) and even he had his reservations. 

BUT, on Sunday, when the sun was shining I decided to try the Showroom Shine. I was totally amazed with the results! 




The Showroom shine waterless car wax and polish is priced at £17.99, it comes with a 1 litre bottle (with a spray attachment) and 2 microfibre cloths. All I had to do was shake the bottle and I was ready to go! 

All I needed to do was spray a small amount of the showroom shine onto the car and gently wipe it off with a microfibre cloth. Then once I had finished a whole panel use the other microfibre cloth to buff up the shine. 

This is what my car looked like with one spray and gentle wipe...


Amazing isnt it?! The dirt and mud on my car was dried on and had been there for ages, yet one effortless wipe and it took most of that section of dirt away! 

after less than 5 minutes I had finished the rear door panel! Just look at what a difference it makes....


Chester really wanted to help, so I let him have the buffing up microfibre and he followed me around the car!


I cleaned 3 quarters of the car, including the wheels and windows, by then Craig really wanted to try it out so I let him do the last two panels!


Craig was just as shocked and impressed as I was! He was amazed that it actually worked! He also pointed out to me that I had the nozzle on the wrong setting. It should of been on mist, so I had used  a lot more product than I needed too. I could see from him using the mist setting that it was even more effortless! 

I really am impressed with this product, its so quick and easy to use. It makes car cleaning not such a chore, which is great for people like me, who are always busy and do not have the time nor want to spend the time cleaning a car! But thinking further afield it is also really good for people who do not have access to an outside tap or perhaps live in a apartment that has underground parking (like my parents)which would usually make cleaning your car a pain. 

As I said previously the Greased Lightning Showroom Shine is priced at £17.99. 1 bottle is on average expected to clean 8-10 cars. I think if your car was as dirty as mine then it would be more like 6 cars, however I would agree with 8-10 cars for the average car. I think £17.99 is a great price for the kit, lets not forget it also features 2 great quality microfibre cloths. I actually needed to use an extra 2 application microfibres (luckily Craig has a stash of those) because my car was so dirty! 

So who wants to see what my car looked like after I had finished?!



Looks lovely and shiny doesn't it?! 

So it turns out my initial thoughts on this product were totally wrong! It does indeed work exactly how it is described! I can not stress enough how easy it was. No elbow grease required at all! 




Monday, 17 February 2014

We should of worn our Wellington boots!

I don't know about where you live, but here in Kent it was a really lovely day yesterday! By lovely, I of course mean it wasn't raining and the sun was out! It was still a bit chilly, but hardly a cloud in the sky.

We had a bit of a lazy morning, Craig was making the Lego biscuits, and I was cleaning my car. After Lunch we decided a trip to the country park would be a great idea. Chester and Millie both love the outdoors and with all the rain we have had recently, we have had very little opportunity to go out and play! 

We got to the park and Chester immediately took it a upon himself to take charge! He wanted to show Millie the ropes, by ropes I mean he wanted to show Millie how to be as cheeky as him and get away with it! 


We wandered over to the play area first, the children loved burning off some energy here, and spent a lot of time between the sand area and the big slide area! 


Next we decided to walk further round the park. It really is a lovely walk, normally we would go down to the lake. However, it was really water logged around that area so decided against it!

We did realise very soon after that we should of all worn our Wellington boots! Well, the Children at least, Craig and I actually do not own Wellington boots! In the end we just gave in and let Chester and Millie jump in the puddles they wanted too! They loved it! Chester is a born explorer, so was making up games with sticks and stones, Millie copied everything Chester did and had lots of fun doing it! 

We met a little Jack Russell who took a shine to Millie, ever since she has been telling us the doggy gave her a kiss and she loves him and wants to cuddle him! 


Before we knew it, we has been in the park for 2 hours and it was time to head home! We must of walked 2 maybe 3 miles all in all. Millie walked the whole way round and didn't complain once! Both children slept very well last night though so I think the fresh air done them some good! 

It's amazing how some time in the fresh air can make you feel so good! 

How was your weekend? Was the weather as good as this for you? 



Toy Story of Terror! DVD Review.

Disney and Pixar launch first ever Toy Story short film exclusively at Sainsbury’s!

Available to buy on DVD from Monday 17th February, the new 21 minute animated film, Toy Story of Terror, will be available exclusively at Sainsbury’s stores.

We were sent a copy to review, and I think it's fair to say that all four of us were very excited! Craig's favourite Disney films are the Toy Story trilogy, we even had You've got a friend in me played at our wedding! 

This short film didn't disappoint...


                      

The film is set just after the events of the popular Toy Story 3 and follows the toys as they travel on a spooky road trip. Whilst on their journey, the toys experience a flat tyre which causes Bonnie and her mum to reluctantly spend a night in a haunted hotel. As the toys start to go missing one by one, it is up to the remaining toy friends to find out who is behind the mysterious disappearances.

I have to say I was a bit worried about letting Chester and Millie watch it at first, as it has Terror in the title. They did both jump out of their skin at one point, the first time we watched it. Which admittedly was hilarious to Craig and I! But actually, they both really love it! Millie can be heard shouting go Jessie go! At a certain point. Then Chester laughs so much when the Pez cat vomits up a Pez sweet. 

From an adults point of view the short is great! It features some more toys that take you back to your childhood and the little details, as will all Disney Pixar films are great. 

As mentioned above the short film is 21 minutes long, it starts from the moment you put the DVD on and then plays on a loop. So no adverts to skip and no menu button to have to keep going back too! If you have children, you will know how much of a big plus this is! 

We love the film so much, the children have watched it countless times, and I suspect they will be watching it a lot more over this coming half term week! 

The film will be available both in store and online at www.sainsburys.co.uk from today, Monday 17th February 2014. 


Sunday, 16 February 2014

Lego Biscuits!

Chester has been asking for ages if we can make Lego biscuits. As you all know, Chester's new(ish) obsession is Lego, so it was only fair that I helped him make these biscuits, right? Wrong, he actually wanted Daddy to make them with him!

That was actually fine with me, as much as I love to bake, Craig works a lot. So see's Chester less than I do. So whenever the children ask to do activities with Daddy I always make sure we can squeeze them in! 

I gave Craig a few tips (and my old Be-Ro book) and then left them too it! It turns out Chester only really wanted to sort the M&Ms and ice the biscuits, so Millie helped with the biscuit making! 

                              

They used.....

175g butter
75g caster sugar
250g plain flour

They mixed it all together into a dough. Rolled out to 1cm thickness and used duplo blocks as a cutting guide. They then baked the biscuits for 20 minutes at 180 degrees. 

Once fully cooled, I came in to help! I couldn't help it! I mixed 200g of icing sugar with a small amount of water until I got a thick paste consistency. I then split the icing into 3 bowls and added small ammounts of food colouring gel to each bowl (one blue, one green and one red). Then we simply spread the icing onto the biscuits and lastly, added the M&Ms. 

What do you think..... 


Link up your recipe of the week





Alternative activities for a grown-up night in

Winter goes on for a long time and once you’ve got past the excitement of Christmas and New Year, the rest of the winter months do have a tendency to drag! In the summertime, once you’ve got the kids tucked up in bed, there are a couple more hours at least that you can spend time outside pottering in the garden or sharing a bottle of wine with some friends or your partner. In the winter, when darkness falls around 4pm, and from that time you’re cooped up inside until your own bedtime, so the evenings can be very long.

When you’ve spent the day playing with the kids or doing the housework, a little adult conversation can be just what you need. Going out isn’t always an option if you can’t get anyone to look after the children but there are lots of activities you can do at home.

Why not invite the girls over for a pamper evening? Get everyone to bring something – perhaps one friend is great at painting nails and another is a pro at massage. A few bottles of wine and some snacks never hurt either!  It’s a great way to unwind after the stresses of the week and have a catch up with friends – plus it’s a whole lot cheaper than visiting a spa!

Another activity which is becoming increasingly popular is online bingo. In the olden days you might have popped down to the local bingo hall with friends but nowadays a whole new realm of online gaming has emerged. If you’ve never tried it before you can give it a go at  bgo.com/bingobgo normally have good offers on and you’ll see there’s a huge range of different games that you can play that are scheduled to take place around the clock. It’s always nice to have the opportunity to win a bit of cash – have a read of this article about a woman from Hull who scooped the jackpot with a £1 stake. Online bingo is also a great way to socialise as you can chat with other players in the bingo chat room and celebrate your wins!

If you have some generous relatives who are willing to look after the kids for the evening, then it could be the perfect opportunity to have a date night with your other half. Get a bottle of wine, some nice food and your favourite movie and enjoy spending some quality time together. It can often be difficult to spend time together as a couple when you’re busy working, looking after the kids and doing chores but it’s important to have some alone time every now and again!

So, at the end of the week when you’re tired out from being a busy mother, wife and housekeeper try and make some grown-up time for yourself!


This post was written by Gemma Collier


Wednesday, 12 February 2014

The word 'no' and it's meaning to a two year old.

I have come to the conclusion that the word 'no' has a totally different meaning to a two year old. I seriously think Millie thinks it means 'do what I like'. 

Over the last few days this is what has happened when I have said 'no, don't do that please'.....


Apparently she was just trying to draw snakes?! And yes, those tights she's wearing are brand new WHITE tights.

In this one today, she was only trying to feed the fish.....


Then if you tell her off, she gives you these eyes.... 


But I can hardly stay cross with my 'terrible twos' Millie for long, when I go upstairs to find her dressed like this can I.... 








I have been indulging in a little 'me time'...

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I have spoken recently about needing to find time for myself, I do think that it's important to take time out for yourself. Of course my Childrens needs always come first, so budgeting for some 'me time' is not always easy. But I have recently discovered a way to have a little bit of 'me time' and not break the bank. As you may of guessed from the picture above, I have started painting my nails! This may sound like a bit of a minor, everyday thing to other people, but to me its not something I have ever really spent a lot of time doing. 

I don't class myself as a girly girl, but recently I have really enjoyed painting my nails. I don't have a lot of time for 'me time' but I am really enjoying experimenting with nail painting. I am finding that sitting down with a lovely hot drink and spending 15 minutes or so painting my nails is just enough time for me to chill out and concentrate on me (for once!)

At the weekend I decided it was time to treat myself to some new nail varnishes. My collection mainly consists of different shades of pink and as much as I love them, I would like to branch out and give myself more colour options! 

I set off to Bluewater (shopping centre) for the ultimate me time.... shopping without the husband and children! Pure.Bliss. 

I headed straight for Boots, its my go to store for lots of health and beauty items. This particular store has lots of lovely make up counters to browse around. I spent lots of time looking around and chatting to the sales assistants, it was so nice to just do everything at my own pace and not have to worry that the children were bored or playing up! 

I finally decided on these two nail varnishes.....


What attracted me to them was the massive range, not to mention the buy 1 get 1 half price offer! With so many colours to choose from it was a tough choice, I eventually picked two totally different colours, the green one is not something I would normally go for! What do you think?!


I even had time to meet up with a couple of friends for a catch up before heading home! 

I arrived home chilled out and relaxed. My thoughts then turned to my new nail varnishes and what colour combinations I could do! 

I started off by getting myself a nice hot chocolate to go with my chocolate, which I have been saving for a special occasion! 


I then spent the best part of an hour painting my nails! It took this long purely because I am not used to such lovely thick nail varnishes and I kept getting the nail varnish on my skin as well as my nails! Practise makes perfect though and it was nice for all of my concentration to be on my nails and not the million and one other things I normally have on my mind! Anyway, this is the outcome, check out my short mummy nails! 


Then yesterday I got a bit greedy... whilst Millie was taking a nap, rather than get some housework done, I decided to repaint my nails! So two lots of me time so far this week and I am loving it! 

My nails now look like this...


I have really surprised myself, I think the green is actually my favourite! 

How about you? How do you indulge in a little 'me time'? 




Thursday, 6 February 2014

Don't be silly Mummy!

Crocodiles don't live in the sea (or rivers) they live in the zoo!


That was Chester's response when he overheard Craig and my Sister having a FaceTime conversation! As you may remember me saying that my Sister is currently traveling, she is in Austrailia at the moment. Chester and Millie both LOVE the time they get on FaceTime with their Auntie and Uncle. They would do it every day if that was an option. So when they do get the chance they love to tell them what they have been up to and then listen to their Auntie and Uncle telling them what life is like on the other side of the world! 

On this particular day they were telling us how they had been fishing and swimming and Luke (their Uncle) had been nipped at by an eel! The conversation then turned to what they are most scared of coming across, this was after I said I wouldn't be able to swim in the sea as it would remind me of the time I swam in the Caribbean and loads of little fish swam with me, I hated it! My Sister said she was most scared of the Crocodiles. That is when Chester piped up with Crocodiles don't live in the sea, they live in the zoo! We all tried to tell him they are wild animals but he thought we were joking and still won't believe us now! 

I find this both fascinating and sad. Have I really brought Chester up to think animals only live in Zoos?! Yes, we visit Zoo's, but I am sure I have explained about their wild habitats?! So high on my priority list at the moment is to change his views on animals homes, I have got a little half term activity lined up already. 

Chester is going through a very inquisitive stage at the moment, he asks questions about so much. This mornings conversations included what does a phone box look like and why haven't we got a King! The latter has come about since watching Disney's Frozen, he certainly tries to process everything he see's. It was hard explaining about the British monarchy as it stands at the moment, but he takes it all on board because he said oh well if Millie marries a Prince at least she can be a Queen! 

I always try to answer him as best as I can. Sometimes it's hard to explain something that to me may seem such an everyday thing. 


Have your children said anything that has surprised you recently? I would love to hear all about it! 


Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Cookie cutter stamp and paint hearts.

Millie is only just two, she is a very head strong little girl who likes to be as independant as possible. This independance includes crafting. She gets very stroppy if you try and help her in any way.

So where Millie is concerned I try to keep it simple for now, she still has a lot to learn and I find that she is more likely to want to learn something if you show her once and it's easy enough for her to do herself. Her attention span is longer this way. 

I decided to use small cookie cutters in the shape of hearts for this painting activity but we have in the past used small animal, letter and number cookie cutters too. 


All I did was put some paint onto plates, I chose to use red and a glitter pink paint. Then placed the cookie cutters on the plates ready to use. 

Then Millie set about stamping her cookie cutters, dipped in the paint, onto her paper.



She had a lot of fun, they weren't always perfect hearts but it was done completely by her. She is very proud of the two paintings, making sure she showed her Daddy and her Chester when they came home! 







Fruitbroo review

I was recently asked if I would like to try a brand new hot drinks range called Fruitbroo. I was intrigued to find out more and after taking a look at the Fruitbroo website and finding out that "Fruitbroo is a new range of insanely tasty juicy fruit drinks specially blended to be served hot. 100% natural with no caffeine, gluten or dairy and only 15 calories a cup!" I just knew that I had to try it!

Fruitbroo comes in 6 flavours; Rhubarb Apple & Cinnamon, Lemon & Ginger, Elderflower & Lime, Honey & Lemon, Peach Pear & Honey, Apple Ginger & Spice. I tried 4 of them. 


I was most looking forward to trying the Rhubarb Apple & Cinnamon, because I have an obsession with rhubarb!

It was very easy to make up, you just add one or two teaspoons of the liquid Fruitbroo into your cup and add boiling water. I added two spoonfuls and it was just the right amount I think. Once open you can refrigerate for up to 3 months. But I have to say I don't think most of mine will make it until 3 months!



The taste is totally different to any hot fruit drinks I have had before. It is more intense, you can really taste the different flavours. I love that they are 100% natural AND only 15 calories per cup!

The bottles are small in size so great for storage or for if you want to take them to a friends house with you!
Fruitbroo is available to purchase in  Sainsburys or direct from the Fruitbroo website. It is £2.50 a bottle and makes 15 cups per bottle. I do like Fruitbroo and for me personally that kind of price is OK for a treat. so maybe once a month I would buy one flavour. The flavours go very well together and I would say I liked them all. My favourites being the Rhubarb Apple & Cinnamon and the Peach Pear & Honey. The latter was especially nice when I was recovering from the dreaded sickness bug a couple of weeks back. It was really soothing.

So if you fancy something different in a hot drink and are counting calories then I recommend you try Fruitbroo!