Thursday, 28 February 2013

The Mummy Guilt

Working part time and leaving hubbie in the mantle I often wonder what my two precious bundles get up too, not that I should worry really, he has them off on all kinds of adventures and even cooking me up batches of brownies for my return (and other sweet treats!).  


I feel like I miss out on so much quality family time though, it’s hard when they are growing up so fast and I spend a good chunk of the weekend away from them (and eldest spends lots of the week in school as it is!).

But sometimes you have to relinquish your mummy reigns and go off in to the wider world without them to try and help the finances.  The only thing that keeps me going is seeing other children having tantrums and then I feel a little relief that I am having a break from dealing with public meltdowns.  I can just share a look of understanding with the parent handling it, as they scrape their child off the floor and try and leave the supermarket with their dignity intact...

Giving an impromptu Samba band session on the beach!

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

My favourite place

You’re probably expecting me to say somewhere exotic; with golden beaches and idyllic scenery or somewhere with great children entertainment (to keep my two from squabbling!), but no my favourite place is my bed!
It is so indulgent to stretch out after a long day with the boys, their almost constant fighting is exhausting, on top of handling whatever life decides to throw at us (today my youngest tripped over a lady and is now sporting a lip like a prized boxer, I feel so sorry for him!).  It can be draining handling all the tears, tantrums and raised voices that go hand in hand with the little people (hurray for all the cuddles, loves and kisses to help balance it out!).

I really do enjoy the time I spend in bed, cup of tea to one side, generous portion of cake to my other!  Ideally some romantic trash to watch to unwind to or the American Apprentice we have just started watching (does anyone else think it might be a little staged, I like the British version more, but it is still mildly entertaining watching the contestants have mini breakdowns EVERY episode, blimey they like the drama of it all!!!).

My only regret is our room is quite small, I would love to upgrade to king size beds, but there is no way we could squeeze one in!  Such a shame as when you have hubbie, myself and the two boys (and their ample soft toy collections) for morning cuddles it can be a bit of a squash!

I am so excited as we have ordered ourselves a new bed!  A friend gratefully donated the frame of the one we had to us, but I have been pining for faux leather beds for AGES now and in the midst of a decorating overhaul, it was time to get one, once delivered if I go quiet, I apologise in advance, I am just stretching out in bed, neglecting my blog...

This is a commissioned post

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

My Power Ranger in the Making

My son has loved being a Samurai ranger courtesy of a little help with a fabulous set by BANDAI, RRP £19.99.  Children naturally love role-play and even though he has not seen much Power Rangers on television, he took to the role of a masked protector of all that is good with real enthusiasm!


Eldest really enjoyed changing the coloured discs on the sword, saying he was changing his powers and giving me a little demonstration of what he thought each colour would do!  Then declaring “good one” with zest!  He liked the case to carry the things you need (so he said) but generally it just carries the spare discs… he enjoyed the mask wearing saying he could hide and everyone would think he was a REAL Power Ranger fighting against baddies.


Good set for imaginative play, I just had to keep an eye out for a sword being wielded around.  But if you’re quick to duck, you should be safe with this new toy addition in your home!  The plastic does bend so if you do take a direct hit its not too bad…

He had quite an active workout with all the sword swishing, so a helpful way to get your children up and moving.  The only problem is he has got a real taste for wearing the Power Ranger gear and has spotted the other items you can buy separately to complete his new look!!!

My boys were also sent a Morphin Vehicle RRP £5.99 (what every self respecting Power Range in training needs to keep themselves amused!), these are quite good fun as you can transform them to some degree (moving the weapons to various positions).  Boys love cars, but the excitement of anything extra helps with the length of time they will play with them.  We had a mini squabble over who would play with this first.  So it did generate some interest from my pair!

Baby Bump Style

It’s an exciting time for pregnancies; you’re in good company with Kate Middleton.  The poor love cannot be left to bloom in peace though like I did!  Every little thing she does or says will be analysed and reported back on.  But I guess it’s the price you pay for marrying a Prince.  I guess it does afford certain luxuries, I made do with my sister in laws maternity clothes cast off’s, lovely Kate can be decked out in the finest the land as to offer.  I am guessing Tiffany Rose might be a contender; it’s a good thing I did not stumble upon this site whilst I was pregnant, as I would have been begging hubbie to let me have one of those dresses - with all that style, glamour and most importantly stretch…

This could have been me (although sadly I was more likely to be seen sporting maternity combats!):


I wonder if Kate has watched What To Expect When You’re Expecting, to give her some tips!  My dad gave me the most hilarious film to watch prior to giving birth, it was intended to be a guide in childbirth and ended up more like a comedy.  The woman suggested giving yourself Chinese burns as a taster for the pain of childbirth!  Well I am not sure if the woman had ever experienced childbirth herself as the pain scale of a Chinese burn to a HEAD popping out of your lady bit is not exactly in the same league!!!

Perhaps I should have worked on my dad and I would have got me a Tiffany Rose dress instead of that DVD!  Sigh.  Although he did give me a good giggle, luckily I did not go into the birth unrealistically.  I knew it might hurt and it did.  Am sure Kate Middleton will handle it well, with a stiff upper lip and glow from beginning to end!

Monday, 25 February 2013

Mother’s Day and Flowers the Creative Way

When it comes to Mother’s day, flowers are a natural go to present!  I think it’s much easier to buy for us ladies; flowers (ideally accompanied with chocolates, the bigger the box the better!) and we are happy bunnies.  I was sent an Interflora gift card to review their new Interflora Creation application (http://www.myinterfloracreation.co.uk); I was keen to be involved as I thought it was quite a unique idea.  Usually you head to the Interflora website, pick a suitable bunch of flowers and submit your order.  Well with this clever new application, I could actually select the flowers and place them in a manner of my suiting!  There were oodles of flowers and foliage to help design your bouquet.  I was treating my mum, so I let her also have a nose through the options.

The application was easy to use, although we did have some teething problems with the Steel Grass; it seemed to have a mind of its own!  We could add it but not move it around once placed, this might have been down to uncooperative foliage, or us novices but we got there in the end!

Here is what we ordered:


I think we did quite well considering!  It is fun to play florist for a little bit, it was a little strange not seeing the stems when you have a play around of the application.  When the bouquet was delivered my mum thought it was very green!  So bare it in mind when you start getting order happy on extra foliage.  There are some useful hints and tips too, so it might be an idea to read them before creating your flowery masterpiece!  Unlike myself, who just found that section now, doh!

If your mum loves certain flowers or a colour theme I think this application is a great idea.  But if like me and pleased with most bunches of flowers your money will go further picking one of their standard bouquets (because of the creative charge depending on the number of stems you pick).  My mum went over 15 stems so the creative charge was £20, so I think she wishes she  had chosen bigger more expensive flowers and kept the charge to the £15 instead.

Here is what came:



It was a pretty arrangement and my mum was pleased, the flowers needed time to open for full dramatic impact, but arriving like this the bouquet will bring happiness to my mum for longer as the buds will open gradually.

Journey Up The Mountain

Sometimes you wake up and you crave the great outdoors and making the most of the natural beauty in the area.  


It was time to tackle a mountain with the boys, we had yet to take on the ambitious challenge, as I was convinced they would want to go too close to the edge…

But we packed a picnic and we all set off on our trip.  The track was very hard going, lots of the stone steps where loose or missing but hubby had the boys distracted with honing their tracking skills and gradually we made our way to the top!


Youngest was complaining that his legs hurt and he couldn’t go on but somehow we reached the summit!  I am so impressed as usually he finds it hard walking anywhere for long and begs for a carry (seriously my poor hips cannot take anymore!), so hopefully he can build up his stamina if we make it a regular event.


While we had our picnic we spotted a few sheep perilously sunning themselves on the rocky cliffs – we had to reinforce the fact that these sheep where professional (and sure-footed) to keep eldest and youngest from venturing closer to the edge!

The boys loved the walk; they found some old ruins and some caves, which was quite exciting.


As the walk lasted two hours it was decided ice cream and doughnuts were in order, so all those calories I burnt sadly got put straight back on…

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Learn to read with the Alphablocks

We were sent the fabulous new DVD; Learn to read with the Alphablocks: Phonics First Steps.  I was quite excited because eldest has had lots of help and encouragement to start reading and we needed a good method to kick start youngest off on his learning to read journey.  He has enjoyed discovering the letters of the alphabet with the help of the comical little Alphablocks characters. 


It is a great introduction for his age group; he is three (on his way to four very soon) and finds it hard to concentrate on some activities I try and suggest to help his reading.  But he had no problem focusing on this DVD, so it is great I can use this DVD to aid his understanding in some way.  He found the colourful Alphablocks very entertaining, they like singing and holding hands to spell out words, often with amusing results!  It has definitely made him think reading is something fun at last!

He liked seeing the free poster, which accompanied the DVD; this will be handy to hang on his wall and reinforce the learning from the DVD.


I particularly liked how they sound out each letter and then say lots of words starting with that letter so children really get a feel for how they should start saying them.  DVD’s are no replacement for books but they can be a good starting point, which you can build on.  Youngest will hopefully be more receptive to his learning activities now that this DVD has sparked his interest!

Learn to read with the Alphablocks can be purchased from all good DVD stockists.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Creative Creatures Blog Tour

We were sent a lovely book to get crafty with the kids, Creative Creatures.  This is a good book to be inspired to make something a little different.  The book is colourful, informative and everything is easy to follow.  Having said that I still chose to blog about one of the easier designs ha!  After all the pouts of sickness in the family, I was not in the mood for us to be challenged too much.  But the book has plenty for all skill levels (Donna Wilson is obviously very talented!), so you can really learn some useful ways to entertain the kids with this.


When we feel ready to face the sewing, there are some handy tips at the beginning of the book.  I do want us to get to that point eventually as Donna Wilson makes the cutest knitted creatures (which you see dotted around the book).  Visually the book is very appealing and when I finally convince hubbie I am deserving of a new phone then I definitely want to make one of the Mitten Kitten’s phone cosy’s to keep it tucked away safe.

Cyril’s pop-up card

For this activity you will need yellow A4 card, blue, green and white, paper or card, scissors, glue, sticky tape, pencil, tracing paper, orange card and black pen.  As we usually have heaps of glue and paper in I was hopeful we could manage this task!


Use glue in moderation!  Am still trying to teach youngest the merits of this philosophy...

You make some little blue and green mountains then attach them to the bottom of the yellow card (eldest cut out these but he did not want to pose for a picture!).

You then make a nose for Cyril using the template at the back of the book (another handy included feature that makes crafting a little easier!).

Then you cut out the Cyril shape and secure his little pointy nose into slits you make on his face.

He is then ready to be glued on to the card (cue much joy off youngest getting a chance to use yet more glue!).  You can also add speech bubbles with a message, making it a unique idea for birthdays, admiring the 3D nose as soon as you open your card!

Viola! The end result:


A little top heavy on the glue, but I love it!

Friday, 22 February 2013

Discovering Polarn O. Pyret

We had been exceptionally lucky getting lots of clothes off my cousin for my boys (her son must only wear them for 5 minutes as they are always immaculate when they are passed on to us!), which had saved us a small fortune, but our supplies have dried up now as they do not visit as often!  Sigh.

So it was time to scour the Internet, I am all for shopping local but lets just say the shops in ruralville (in other words the sticks where I live!) are severely limited!  If I stuck to the main clothes shop here, my boys would be dressed exactly the same as most of the children in town (all mini clones of each other!).  Luckily I found a selection of kids clothes from Polarn O. Pyret.  In a way its nice to actually do some shopping for them as its great getting bits and bobs off family, but on occasion its lovely to pick out items I think they might like, even if it means opening my wallet (and dusting out the cobwebs!).

There were some lovely bits that caught my eye and fortunately they look like a site with offers on (20% of all new coats at the moment), as I am always hopeful of saving money when raising kids.  Some items were very colourful and a little more unique than normal.  I have fallen for the Jelly Monsters Beanie, just a real pity it only comes in children sizes.  A nice bright hat would help cheer away those winter blues…

What happened to the popularity of the simple balaclava when I was a child, it was all the rage!  Maybe I should also invest in a couple of them, to see if they can make a come back...
With the bitter cold wind forget the cheeky Jelly Monsters maybe we really need this!  I wonder if I can get them to wear it in the house and then save more money not needing the heating on!

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Tetley Estate Selection Review

I love a decent cup of tea.  I am no tea connoisseur by a long shot; I cannot stand green tea, fruit tea and anything too far removed from English breakfast type tea!  I drink it black, without sugar, some people turn their nose up and say how can you drink it without sugar - well if your chomping back as much cake as I am whilst drinking the tea, that’s how!  I am getting an adequate sugar fix with all of that…

I have found a new tea I love, its called Tetley Estate Selection; it does have quite a ring to it!  Sounds quite fancy with the “Estate Selection” part of its title, like I am a woman with my own over-the-top manor in the country (complete with manicured gardens and a pond with lavish fountains!).  It is tea picked from the best areas of the Kenyan highlands but priced so we can still afford to drink it and enjoy the finer things in life!

Here I am getting ready to have some ME time!  Complete with my dotty teapot and mandatory chocolate.


This makes for a great tasting refreshing cuppa.  Go on spoil yourself!

Available to buy from Tesco now.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Craving a New Phone

My mobile phone is not a brick, but it’s not very exciting either, it cannot take a photograph, connect to the Internet and it certainly does not have a fancy game in its possession.  

Here it is in all its glory...


It is functional (barely) but boring, I long for the excitement of a shiny new phone like my husbands Samsung Galaxy.  But I want one better after making do with my sad sorry phone for so long I want the Samsung Galaxy S3, then it would be hubbie pining for my phone for a change.

I could impress the boys with an array of fabulous downloaded apps, like hubbie always seems to have on his phone.  They do not really even ask to use mine, it is so dull!


I could whip out my phone and actually have a camera to hand for photo opportunities (I miss so many with my unimpressive basic Nokia boo hiss!) and I could surf the net checking emails wherever I am – once I missed a fabulous opportunity from a PR because I only check my emails at home and I tend to be out and about at times.  But with the Samsung Galaxy in my possession I would no longer miss anything, I could reply straight away (and slowly take over the blogging world… cue evil laughter!!!).  Instead of seeing opportunities slip through my fingers again and again.

Am off to browse through Carphone Warehouse and perhaps leave some subtle hints for hubbie to treat me to one for Mother’s Day, after cutting back and having nothing for Christmas or Valentines, surely I deserve a treat at some point!!!  Although I do think he likes having the flasher phone of the pair of us.  It makes him feel important… men and their gadgets sigh!

The S3 would have him chomping at the bit, with some of its very clever features.  I love that it can track eye movement so it knows your looking at it, and the display stays bright then only if you turn away it dims.  I really need a smart phone, stamps feet, throws a tantrum and looks at hubbie pointedly!!!  Maybe if I lie on the floor screaming I might get his attention (it seems to work for the kids!).  Good thing I have started researching on the web how to get my own way…

This is a commissioned post

My Capsule Wardrobe

I am not very girly girly, my wardrobe is sadly very lacking, hubbie and I can easily fit all our clothes in one smallish wardrobe.  My clothes options are not very extensive, I am a jeans and hoodie fan as a rule.  But I have been thinking maybe its time to put some more effort into my appearance and try and have a break from my unimaginative formula!

So given that I do not have an infinite supply of money (such a shame!), I need to shop on a budget.  New Look is a fabulous shop for bargains, you can pay well over the odds for similar looking styles and quality at other stores and frankly why should you do that!  More money in my pocket means more cake (and wine!) funds... I mean dresses for £12.99 come on!  Woot woot!  

So here are a few of the items that caught my eye:

White Leopard Zip Pocket T-Shirt £9.99

A stylish and functional bargain for running around with two boys!  With lots of leopards for added RAH factor.



Khaki High Neck Utility Jacket £34.99

Maybe in a military style jacket my boys might take my orders more seriously!  Room now or drop down and do twenty quick smart!!!  This would be a welcome improvement on my shocking pink raincoat...



Black and White Polka Dot Skater Dress £16.99

Hopefully if I had a nice new dress, hubbie would spoil me to a slap up meal (well I am always dream!).  Am sure he would be dotty about me in this.  Fashion is big on dots at the moment, so maybe I should hurry up and get with the programme before we move on to something else (I am usually so behind the times!).



As for footwear I think I would settle for some kind of ankle boot, for a welcome change from my well worn but well loved trainers!

This is a featured post

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

#TreeFuTomToys Twitter Party

Well we survived our third twitter party, I can relax and breath easy now the pair of them are fast asleep and everything is restored to order!  This one fitted in quite nicely as it was close to the 4th birthday of my youngest.  Although he is querying me constantly now about his actual birthday!  So maybe I was not as clever as I thought.

The toys really impressed me, the Tree Fu Tom Magic Moves Rap Mat especially.  When I brought this out I got the attention of the group of 10 children instantly!  They gathered around me like bears to honey!  They were all desperate to give it a try.  It was a fabulous game for a party, it was easy to set up and incredible fun to play.  An active workout to burn off some of their crazy energy levels!!!  The two levels of difficulty was helpful so they can build up their skill at dancing gradually (youngest had a few sneaky turns before the party to get a head start on his competition!).


With mainly a bunch of boys intent on wrestling I was lucky they were easily diverted by the selection of imaginative, well thought out toys.  Meaning I could relax and take a time out from playing referee.  They loved the Tree Fu Tom stickers, their reward from colouring in.  


They were also keen to learn more about the characters, some of the children were not yet familiar with the show.  So had yet to set eyes on the bling of a Super Holopax (which youngest was keen to flash around his friends!).


After all the active play I was quite happy for them to have a well earnt chippy tea and a few chocolaty snacks!  Youngest went to bed telling me he loved me to infinity, thanks to Tree Fu Tom Toys and UKMums.TV for letting me host the party.  I have a feeling this little group of children will sleep well tonight!


You can read more about the new range of toys over at the Flair website.

Monday, 18 February 2013

The Sapphires DVD Review

It is great when I have DVD’s to review as it forces me to take time out and snuggle in with hubbie, otherwise I might always be up burning the midnight blogging oil!  It’s a double bonus when the film is actually very enjoyable.


I found myself having a bit of a soft spot for the character Dave (played by Chris O’Dowd), the loveable rogue, who enjoys much drinking of Whisky but has a canny eye for spotting talent.  The film has some hilarious quotes “wrack off goat face” – I shall adopt this when I am disgruntled with people…

Very funny film, with lots of dry humour, but with an undercurrent of deeper concerns, such as the war, tensions with race and plenty of squabbling family issues (with a very outspoken older sister at the helm!).

Kay the cousin chooses to ditch a Tupperware party and join the sisters at a wild sailor party (I am so there with her on that!) and be part of the group to sing soul for the troops in Vietnam.  I am not a huge fan of singing films, but with an excellent cast of very real actors and an absorbing plot, I was very pleasantly surprised.


This film really does have everything, even a sprinkling of romance.  It would make a lovely gift for a deserving mum come Mothers Day (you can team it up with a big box of chocolates to be savoured with the film fest!).

Available to rent and own on DVD from the 4th of March (RRP £15.99).

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Born to Ride

As a family when we are both off we like to take the children on family days out, they love animals so a firm favourite is a trip to the Zoo.  But now the weather is improving they could not resist a quick donkey ride.

It is good practise for when they have their horse-riding lesson on holiday in a few months.  Maybe I should get them a set of jodhpurs and a pair of riding boots each so they look the part!  Not forgetting the safety essential of a decent helmet. 

If they enjoy their horse riding whilst away I might have to make it a regular thing.  It would be great for them to have some new interests.  Currently we have karate and trampolining but there is always room to squeeze in something else!  Least we can easily search the nearest horse-riding centre online, so it might not be long before I have two little horse riding champions in the making!  It is a great physical exercise and I love encouraging them to be outdoors.  Unfortunately like hubbie, eldest is already turning into an avid computer gamer, so I do like to balance his interests in favour of leaving the screen momentarily!

My boys were a teeny bit nervous about the whole horse riding idea but when I mentioned they were only little horses they soon cheered up!  They thought I had planned for them to ride some stallions (bigger than Daddy) and there was some understandable reservations.  Once I said the horses are the same size as the donkeys on the beach they started getting excited for their holiday and the horse riding session to take place.

Now they have all settled with the plan, I just need to train the youngest to approach the horse in a suitable manner.  Just incase he has plans to don his cowboy hat and ride off into the sunset…

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Micro Scooters Rucksack Review and Competition

We were sent a fabulous rucksack and lunch box to review worth £29.95 and one to giveaway from our friends over at Micro Scooters.  I opened the package took one look at the impressive bag, admired its pattern and the amount of space to store everything THEN took a surprised intake of breath (I do like to be dramatic on occasion!) when I read the booklet and saw you can actually use the rucksack on your Micro Scooter.  I thought they were branching out and it was just intended to wear on your child’s back, but in actual fact it works amazingly well with their scooters.

On first use we had tentatively placed the rucksack on my son’s scooter but it was fine, he did not topple over, his weight seemed to keep everything steady!  Such a clever design, which really works, given how much you can stash in both the rucksack and lunch box it does come as a revelation, but really would I expect any less from the clever people over at Micro Scooters!


It is a very functional bag, its great they can scoot to school and carry everything with them in the bag, leaving our hands free for a change to help the little ones, push prams or hold your partner’s hand (okay I shouldn’t overdo it, I do not want to encourage him!!!).  He usually starts off with his bag on his back, but I always seem to end up with it somehow!  Even with the best of intentions, it ends up in my hand without me even realising half the time.  So I am all for a scooter doing the hard work!

Sometimes my son comes out of school carrying a small art exhibition (or often you can tell the teachers are just desperate for a clear out, as the other day he came home with a cardboard boat, made of about twenty pizza boxes no less!!!) and I am at a loss how to get everything home, least I can cram more into his bag now… (especially with the scooter taking the weight not my poor son's back!).

Then they can whip it off the scooter when they arrive at their destination!  The wide straps means it sits comfortably on their shoulders too.  The eye catching design with lots of scooters dotted around, keeps him in with the cool kids!


To enter to win a Neon Dots Rucksack and Lunch Box write in the comments below a link to your favourite Micro Scooter accessory.  Please go to the website and pick the links from there.  The competition will close on the 1st of March.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Pumpazing Review and Competition

We had a pleasant interlude this afternoon playing the fabulous Pumpazing game by Drumond Park.  The boys had happy faces to see a new game arrive!


It was quite action packed with all the pumping to get the Zinger heads shooting off in various directions!  We did have to duck a few times, but it added to all the fun, even the boys nain could not resist having a couple of turns.  It appeals to all ages, even though it is actually marketed for pre-school children to those aged about six.  I think the fact you have to watch out for flying Zinger heads is the main attraction.


It is a good workout; it makes a change having an active game to play.  Usually we move around a board, but this game helped burn off some of their limitless energy levels!  They have been a little crazy over half term, so this game has been a welcome distraction, not only with all the pumping but then going off to hunt and find where the Zinger heads land is perfect for keeping them busy.

This is the look of a determined Pumpazing player, look at the concentration on that face!


It is a simple concept for a game, which means we could get playing quite fast!  Always a bonus with my two, if I spend too long reading rules another spat of squabbles start (anyone else finding sibling rivalry exhausting!?!).  They could set up the game themselves, youngest is four very soon, but he was quite happy to reset the button, add the Zinger heads and dish out the life cards.  It is quite refreshing having a game they can really get on with themselves (although you will find it hard not to want to join in!).

Zingy the character that you pump with his arms, requires 3 AAA batteries which are not included (so much sure your stocked up!), this is for his entertaining sayings "zing", "boing" or "Uh-Oh".  If you have a zing or a boing you hang on to your life cards but if you have an Uh-Oh then you lose one of them.  The person at the end with a life card left is declared the winner (with much triumph and cheering and the loser demanding a repeat game immediately in our case anyway!).

My son is having a party next week, I think we might be tempted to bring this out, its pass the parcel without all the layers of wrapping which drive me slightly potty (although after a few years I did finally learn to buy a smaller prize!).

For stockists visit http://www.drumondpark.com or call 01506 855577, available to buy with an RRP of £19.99 (currently an absolute bargain at £9.99 on Amazon)

I have kindly been offered a copy to giveaway to a lovely follower so if you would like to enter please fill out the rafflecopter below by the 2nd of March.
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Thursday, 14 February 2013

Netflix Competition

I hold my hand up my boys have watched a little too much television lately, I do generally like to supplement it with lots of fresh air, but with bouts of illnesses lasting for over a month its been an exhausting time for all of us.  Sadly my parenting mojo was a little depleted!  I need lots of sleep and I rarely get anywhere near enough at the moment.  I am running on empty (and had quite a rough time of it myself with a severe chest infection and my Asthma kicking off sob!).  So it’s great that I can subscribe to something like Netflix to keep my children occupied when I really cannot find the energy to get up and crafting with them or on those long walks to burn off their relentless energy levels.

My previous form will return soon and it will be back to all the activities in a flourish but until then the variety available with a Netflix subscription has really helped, my two can find something to actually agree on watching together!  Hubbie and I have watched the odd film on there in the past too, I do think its better for the kids mind.  But maybe that’s because they tend to hog it, so I never get a proper chance to see what is available for the grown ups!  Plus its quite affordable at £5.99 a month, leaving plenty of money left over for snacks to accompany the TV watching!  With it being so damn cold too, its nice to have a decent excuse to snuggle in and have some relaxing downtime on occasion!


Netflix have kindly offered me a six-month subscription for one lucky winner (to help you survive school holidays or if your all ailing like we were!).  If you would like to enter please complete the rafflecopter below by the 28th of February.

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Ecover Young Green Champions Award

You have to share news when you think a company is doing something pretty special!  When I heard about the Ecover sponsored Young Green Champions Award, I was actually quite keen for my boys school to enter, just imagine the difference the £6,000 prize money would make.  As long as you’re under 18 you can enter your idea over at https://secure.easyanswer.net/ethicalawards

Young Green Champions 2013 Photograph: Ron Levine for the Guardian

Entries close midnight on the 22nd of March, so plenty of time for your little ones to start brainstorming green schemes, whether it’s having a vegetable plot, improving recycling or something to help the local wildlife.  Give them lots of paper and colouring supplies and enjoy watching them think it out (leaving you time to put your feet up for a little while ideally!).  Who knows they might surprise you and come up with something completely revolutionary...

My boys already have a very green school, it is great that the environment is an important consideration for them.  Fortunately they do have a normal uniform and do not go round as caped green crusaders though!  That get up might be harder for me to wash (although I do have my trusty Ecover laundry gel at hand).

Let me know if your little ones have entered and all the best to them!

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Sponsored Video: Samsung and the Monkey Thieves

This video was hilarious it reminds me of my two little monkeys who have just realised the merits of teaming up to pinch food from our kitchen (including the fridge depending on what’s inside at the time), if its in arms length it will be smuggled out and dispatched of quickly out of mummy’s eyes view in the playroom or their bedrooms. 

Their latest stash was quite considerable, they don’t quite have the finesse and co-ordination skills of the real monkeys in the video but they are definitely refining their ability!  As I move sugary treats higher, they bring chairs into play to get to new heights…

I am not sure the monkeys in the video would have braved our fridge; it’s quite higgledy-piggledy in there.  Not very well organised and a little chaotic, one look and they would have been off to orchestrate the perfect food theft crime in a fridge worthy of their attentions.  The Samsung is really Easy in, Easy out, as the poor women on returning home is slightly perplexed to find her fridge completely empty!  Those military organised monkeys had cleared the lot.  But with the advantage of an easy slide shelf, even my two boys could get off with more in the short time my back is turned!  Maybe I should stick to my old fridge until I have civilised them.


But with our fridge being a hazard, my hubbie stacks so much in there, cans of pop come flying out and have hit me on my toe before.  Cue sad face! 
Maybe I need a Samsung sooner than I thought!  Also the boys fruit could be kept fresher for longer, with the innovative MoistFresh Zone maintaining the ideal humidity, now they will arrive at school with fresh fruit not tired looking offerings!

More information on the Samsung website.

This post was sponsored by Samsung

Ladbrokes Octopays

Ladbrokes have treated my family to a day out at a Sea Life Centre; we are looking forward to going later in the year.  We love trips out as a family, seeing new attractions and having a break from the daily grind!  So it’s great to work alongside Ladbrokes as they promote their new Octopays game, especially with the extra treat of a DVD and Seafood cookbook to get into the spirit of all things fishy!


As online slot games go it looks quite good fun with the underwater theme and the addition of baby octopus to increase any wins.  If your planning on having a little punt then it pays to look at any of the promotions before you start, to get some exclusive sign up offers.  As for myself I get a little confused by it all, so think I will just stick to admiring the fish in the Sea Life Centre.  I know my hubbie would know exactly what to do, but all the talk of multipliers leaves me slightly frazzled.


Although I did have a quick free play to see what it was all about, the baby octopus was quite sweet but I liked it when the fish came out of the diving helmet.  It was quite interesting playing along, at one point the Giant Kraken came out and we had a BIG win, I was almost a little disappointed I had been playing for free then, boo!

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Heart Umbrella Review

I was sent the cutest umbrella from find me a gift, it was a vibrant red, a colour I love!  But what made it really unique was the design, the umbrella is shaped in a heart.  The perfect gift for Valentines, especially if you live in Wales like I do!  It's no coincidence we are a green and beautiful country - its down to all the rain fall we have... so a decent umbrella is pretty much a necessity, unless your a fan of the drowned rat look!

Priced reasonably at £18.99 (for the red), you can look quite dramatic swanning around with one of these.  The quality is very good, you would think it had cost lots more.  I can be dry and stylish with this, no more making do with the boys ladybird umbrella for me, I shall stand out in the crowd instead!  
Although I am struggling not to break into Glee inspired singing in the rain dance routines... (maybe I should have stuck to blending in the background ha!).

Also available in Hot Pink and Pink (although Pink is currently out of stock, so be quick before they all disappear!).

Monday, 11 February 2013

Breakfast Time

My mum is a little obsessed with muesli, she has a whole tried and tested formula where she soaks it in water, adds bits and bobs (seeds and nuts) then eats it all with natural yoghurt.  To be honest it looks pretty complicated and just reaching for a breakfast cereal from the cupboard and pouring directly in the bowl is enough for myself to cope with in the morning!  With my eyes all bleary from having settled in the boys in the night, just finding the cereal cupboard is a good start!!!

With the cold weather chilling us to the bones, I wish I loved porridge like my dad.  After he has been out walking the dog, there is nothing like a warming bowl of it to defrost him.

The boys seem to want a mini banquet for breakfast, cereal, and then yoghurt followed by toast (with chocolate spread or jam depending on their mood!).  Then they wash it down with lots of milk, before demanding their chewy vitamin tablet!  Often I find we do not have long in the morning, as fitting in all that food seems to leave us little time for the washing and dressing part before the mad sprint to school, just before the bell rings!

My ideal breakfast would be a giant stack of pancakes, freshly squeezed orange juice and maybe a calorie infused Danish to top it off!  Ideally with the boys having a sleepover at my mum’s so I get to enjoy it all in peace.  Followed by a therapeutic cup of tea and I would be ready to face anything…


Hubbie on the other hand would probably want a full cooked breakfast with all the trimmings (laden down with lard!).  But I am quite partial to sausages and bacon myself; finally being well again as a family the thought of all food is quite tempting!  For a few days of my chest infection I could barely manage to drink without feeling sick!  Now I just want to make up for it with eating EVERYTHING…

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Stuck on You Canvas Wall Art Review and Competition

We are in a state of decoration, the house has been upside down, but it’s finally coming together!  Out with the old carpet and in with the new flooring, the nice new look probably will not last, with my two throwing wooden blocks from a great height (they have just decided they love the sound of the clunking as it hits the floor… bangs my head and really hopes the novelty wears off for them soon!).

With everything looking so lovely, it was the perfect time to add some extra special touches.  So I was pleased to be sent two of the fabulous personalised wall canvas from Stuck on You.  Perfect for kids bedroom gift ideas or in our case for making their playroom walls that little bit more exciting. 

There were plenty of designs to pick from, so I could choose something each of my boys particularly liked.  In the case of youngest he is lion mad!  So his of course had to feature one of them.  Eldest is quite partial to dinosaurs, so he was very happy when he set eyes on his canvas.

They are very well made and sturdy, I was impressed with the quality of both of them.  The design was colourful and eye catching.  All in all they are an ideal addition to your home (and if your not currently decorating having such a nice new home accessory might spur you on to get started or if your still fighting the urge to decorate just think these are great for hiding crayon marks!).
If you would like to win a wall canvas just complete the rafflecopter below by the 24th of February.
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Tiger Onesie Review

My two were happy being tigers prowling around in this costume, bearing their teeth and claws.  They are great fun for children to role-play, coming up with imaginative uses for the costume.  This is a fabulous site for Childrens Animal Onesies, with plenty of variety; the quality and the detailing were both good.  Youngest particularly loved having a tail and I liked the stitching on the hood.


Priced at £34.95 they would make a lovely birthday gift, the only problem you might find is getting them out of it again.  Eldest seemed to think it was quite comfy!  Nice for snuggling in for winter (whilst looking pretty cool may I add!), they are quite loose fitting so you will get plenty of wear out of them.  They come in one size suitable for 5 to 9 years old, but my almost 4 year old fitted in quite nicely, with lots of room to grow (as you can see below!).


These can double as PJ’s, they are really that snugly but we will be using our Tiger Onesie for dressing up time!  It is too nice to be hidden away in bed; it needs to be worn accompanied with roaring for maximum effect… (don't feed the wild animals they may bite!).

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Hallmark Valentine Competition

There is lots to Hallmark, not just their beautiful cards, there is a lovely selection of Valentine themed gifts on their website (and in store!) whatever your budget!  Many of the gifts can be personalised to make them that extra bit special.  Hallmark has kindly offered myself three of their most popular gifts to giveaway to one lucky winner.

On offer we have:

Choc on Choc Love and Hearts £5.99 – visually appealing, with chunky Belgium chocolate shapes and edible glitter, almost a shame to eat them… almost… but not quite!

LOVE Photo Upload Mug £9.99 – a chance to personalise a mug with 5 photo’s, something to really treasure when your grumbling at your partner, just look at your mug to remember those better moments!  When you have had enough sleep, the kids aren’t draining you and life is going your way!
LOVE Slate Heart £9.99 – Beautiful little love token which would look tasteful in any house.  Being welsh I seem to have a penchant for all things slate, so would make a lovely addition to my home (if you wanted to share ha!).

You can see the full range of Valentines gifts here.  Hubbie if by any chance your reading this I love toffee's and the Scribble Heart Toffee Jar would be perfect for my office!

To enter please complete the rafflecopter below by the 11th of February.
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