Sunday, 27 July 2014
Friday, 25 July 2014
Monday, 21 July 2014
However I am determined we will go away SOMEWHERE just the two of us, and I'm starting to do some research!I really like the idea of staying in one of the many Henley Hotels as it's somewhere I've never been before and we can really make a weekend of it! While we are there it's nice to look at the history of the place:-
"The first Henley Regatta was held in 1839. Prior to then the same stretch of river had been used for the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race along with other events. In its early days the Regatta was more about socialising and entertainment than sport and initially was just a single afternoon event. As its popularity grew more events were added and its duration was gradually extended until 1986 when it became a five day event, which it has remained to this day."
I love stuff like this, it's really Pimms and cucumber which we don't really have up north all that much! The Regatta was before national or international rowing federations and consequently it is unique in the world of competitive rowing and has it own set of rules that are not governed by either British Rowing of the International Rowing Federation, whoever it is recognised by both bodies.
I'd really love to go to something like this and I think I've got in mind exactly where we will spend our anniversary this year! It's really nice to do something a bit different and see a different side to English life - even though it's only a few hours from Yorkshire. I love learning about the heritage of it all, having a few much needed glasses of Pimms and enjoying a good row! What more could you want?! In collaboration with Superbreak
Friday, 11 July 2014
If you're reading this blog you probably know how rewarding it is having kids - but you'll also know that to appreciate it (and stay sane) you have got to make time to relax at some point!
It's amazing to think that, fifteen years ago or thereabouts, we were all just starting to get into this internet business. Now it's everywhere, and we're literally carrying stuff around in our pockets that would have been science fiction when I was growing up. Weird to think that children now will never know anything different!
One of the brilliant things about modern smartphones and iPads and the like, is that we can grab a bit of downtime when we get the chance - that's so important for mums of young kids (or any age kids, really), as it means we can take the opportunity when we get it. If your kids have a nap after lunch, you can use your phone for half an hour of Words With Friends, Angry Birds, or even to play bingo online. Imagine having to run out to a bingo hall a few years ago if you fancied a game! Now that wireless is everywhere, even the hassle of getting on the internet in the first place is gone.
The way the technology has changed is amazing. I remember the phone I had ten years or so ago - a tiny black-and-white screen and that was about it. It seems like phones got as small as they were going to get shortly after that, and suddenly, as everyone started getting online on their phones, and the graphics got better, everyone wanted bigger screens. Apple's next iPhone is supposed to be coming with a bigger screen and I'm quite tempted...
I also remember the days when the internet was basically just sites that told you stuff. Now there's a forum for just about everything (various parenting ones spring to mind!) and everyone can contribute. It's the sharing of information that makes going online so different these days - nobody, including new parents who often feel like they don't know what they're doing, needs to feel alone.
At the moment though, for me it's the ability to "tune out" when the moment presents itself that I value most. With two small boys I never quite know when it's going to be, but as long as I've got my phone to hand I'm always going to be ready!
(Image courtesy of mashable.com)
Tuesday, 8 July 2014
|My first day at school in 1983|
There's something definitely special about a "first day at school". I guess it's the end of an era, a big transition between staying at home with mum and venturing into the big wide world.
Anyway, back to uniforms wearing out in two minutes! I buy all my uniforms from George at Asda - they are one of the few uniform providers to make navy blue trousers which wash well and last 100 days! That might sound short but in the life of a school trouser it is very long indeed! In fact, if you have any issue at all with your uniform, Asda have a no quibble guarantee which is really reassuring.
|George at Asda Navy Trousers only £3!|
Where do you buy your school uniform?
This is a sponsored post although all thoughts are my own.
Monday, 7 July 2014
It's always going to be a stressful process, and in the past we've always gone for new builds which has been great - everything is perfect when you move in and there is NOTHING to do to it - the downside being that the value of the property does slide over the first few years. This time we're not going to make that mistake, we're not going to take the easy route and in fact we've already got our next house in mind! I'm a really impatient person and I know that when we do make the move, I'll want to have everything looking "perfect" (ish) as soon as possible. I think the way to do this is to get some ideas beforehand so it's not all last minute. I've been having a look at what to do with the bedrooms already and for the boys bedroom I like the idea of something bright and bold and think this quirky crocodile head is pretty awesome!
Singoli Crocodile HeadIn keeping with the safari ish theme, I think this giraffe cushion is super cute and a great accessory!
Gola Children's CushionI've also come across quite a few lovely blogs on this very subject, I like this one here called My Little Lovebird, there are loads of great images on there with various ideas and concepts. Looking at blogs for home design ideas now seems like a total no brainer for me!
That's about as far as I've got thus far! If you spot any awesome kids bedroom stuff please leave a comment below!
Friday, 4 July 2014
A few weeks ago we had the chance to put this into practice by spending the day at Lightwater Valley! It's quite near to our house, probably about an hours drive away - so we set off quite early to make the most of the day. I remember going to Lightwater Valley as a child with school and having a great time, it's nice to revisit old haunts with your own children years later I think.
When we walked through the ticket barriers, this little guy was on hand to greet us! I thought it was a nice touch, especially as my boys LOVE Angry Birds. They were thrilled!
|Angry Birds Fun!|
|Angry Birds climbing frame|
|More Angry Birds stuff!|
|Fun on the swings|
There were LOADS of rides suitable for toddlers as these photos show, though there were some height restrictions on some rides it didn't affect our enjoyment at all. It was quite hard to get action shots of the children on the rides as they all came out blurry!
|Looking serene on the swans.|
|We went on this ferris wheel several times!|
We had a typical fast food lunch in one of the cafes at lunchtime, there was plenty of choice including baked potatoes, pizzas, hot dogs that kind of thing. Not mega healthy but then that's what kids seem to like on days like that!
All in all we had a great time, the weather was fab, staff lovely, rides lots of fun - what more could you want!
I received these tickets as a gift but all thoughts are my own.
Sunday, 22 June 2014
Anyway, I was lucky enough to be given a £75 Karen Millen Voucher as a gift at Christmas and unbelievably I've had the will power to hold onto it for 6 months in time for the Summer sale! Here's what I chose...
|Karen Millen Palm Print Skirt £49|
|Snake Devore Top £25|
I was REALLY tempted with this block heel sandals too, were £110 now £55. They looks pretty as well as practical.
|Karen Millen Two Part Block Heel Sandal £55|
Friday, 13 June 2014
|Floral Print Dress from Dorothy Perkins, £22|
|Gingham Jeggings from Topshop, £22|
|White peasant blouse from Dorothy Perkins, £22|
|Coral Texture Jumper from Dorothy Perkins, £22|
- wear the dress on its own
- wear the dress with the jumper making it look like a skirt
- wear the dress with the white blouse, again making it look like a skirt
- wear the jeggings with the white blouse
- wear the jeggings with the jumper
Winner! I also bought a light blue shirt from Gap but I think it hindsight it was a mistake for me - it's not very structured so it sort of hangs off my narrow shoulders, strangely it's not on the Gap website but I do like wearing it over the gingham jeggings, but only tied at the waist over a white tee.
Shoes wise I'm all for buying a couple of new pairs of pumps each year, as even expensive ones get worn out. I like these and they also go perfectly with the items listed above!
|H&M Ballet pumps £7.99|
Monday, 9 June 2014
Friday, 30 May 2014
I was lucky enough to be offered the chance to review something from My 1st Years and I chose a personalised art apron for my youngest son - he loves painting and always seems to be getting paint all over himself (and everywhere else too) so I thought this would be a nice choice. Best of all, the apron also includes a lovely paint set with matching brush - which he absolutely LOVED!
Anyway, onto my review. The apron and paint set arrived inside a lovely gift box, this is a really good idea as I like sending things direct to people online but it seems a total waste of money to pay for gift wrap. The box is free which I think is a great idea and makes the item seem a bit more special. Plus my boys were keen on using the box to create a space ship for their lego men so it was a total win win!
Inside the box there was the lovely apron complete with the paint set neatly tucked inside the apron's pounch, I was thrilled. The quality of the apron was outstanding and I loved the way his name had been embroidered so carefully and lovingly. The apron is totally wipe clean so I won't have to wash it, I think that's a total must.
He's already had a go at using the paints and I have to say, they were great. The paintbrush was also a "proper" one that he could use over and over again.
All in all I was really pleased with the apron and at £14.99 it's the perfect price for a present.
Wednesday, 21 May 2014
I've had a look at The Watch Hut as a start and, as is expected, I'm thinking BLING!
I like this Michael Kor watch.
|Michael Kor Watch £229|
Don't you think watches are just PERFECT for a birthday present? Exactly the right price, shiny, potentially blingy and a bit "special", in a good way. I do have a nice watch, a REALLY expensive one but the thing is, it's so expensive that sometimes I think it sort of owns me, rather than vice versa. That's another good reason to get something in the "reasonable" bracket.
What do you think? When is the perfect time to be given a nice watch?
This is a sponsored post.
Thursday, 8 May 2014
And wouldn't you believe it! As luck would have it I was chosen to be a #Morrisonsmum and have a little mosey round Morrisons to take a look at their new cheaper prices and to buy everything I need for an awesome family BBQ. Fun! I've always liked Morrisons as I think their meat and bread products are second to none. There are LOADS of Morrisons around here, mainly because we live near their HQ in Bradford (an invite would be nice Morrisons HQ!) and there is a REALLY nice store nearby in Guiseley that has the world's busiest supermarket cafe, so I'm well versed in the ways of Morrisons. Morrisons work with farmers to get the highest quality ingredients, and I think it really shows in their end product.
Now Morrisons have raised the bar again by promising to lower prices even more! Wherever you see a yellow sticker like this...
....so you can be sure the price is cheaper than any other supermarket, not just matched!
So here's some piccies of our shopping trip and some bargains we found!
|3 sets of BBQ meat for £20, bargain!|
|Half price champers at Morrisons|
Our neighbour Paul (hello Paul!) put us onto this awesome French lager, it's low in alcohol and is great for a summer's day.
|French Lager, bargain at £3.45|
You can't see it in this picture so much, but one of the things I love about Morrisons is the steamy salad stuff, either way this is a bargain and good quality salad too!
|Lovely garden stuff.|
Anyway, here's our looty (or is it booty?) when we got home.... all ready for dining al fresco!
If you really want to impress when you're entertaining, consider my lovely little tip of smoked salmon bites!
- Melba Toast (99p)
- Cream cheese (choose brand own rather than Philadelphia, tastes the same and it's cheaper!) (£1)
- Smoked Salmon (£3.49)
|My Salmon bites 35p a portion|
|Enjoying the scran.|
Having a lovely BBQ with all those wonderful ingredients really put me in mind for the Summer ahead and I'm looking forward to more BBQs courtesy of our local Morrisons!
Morrisons have cut prices on over a thousand products and where you see a yellow marker in store and online which says the item is cheaper, you can be sure it is staying cheaper! They are cutting prices and not corners. I was sent gift vouchers from Morrisons to enable me to shop for this meal and produce this blog post though all opinions are my own.
Sunday, 13 April 2014
Tuesday, 8 April 2014
Sunday, 6 April 2014
|Britains Got Talent Judges calling round for a cup of tea at my house...|
2) Opera duo Charlotte and Jonathan really stuck in my mind from 2012. I think we all love an underdog and they certainly were that! They came on and like everyone else I was thinking, "here we go again" and how wrong was I! They were wonderful! Simon Cowell asked Jonathan to sing without Charlotte but being a gent, he said no. However I did see online that they have now gone separate ways and signed with Sony.... that's showbiz!
3) Gabz - ok she may have looked like a moody teenager pretending to be nice, but you've got to admire her songwriting skills. There were also some amusing comments at the time on twitter about her being a potential nightmare to work with, but who cares! It was a nice song and my boys enjoy singing along with her, with their pretend lighters.... is that wrong?!
|Gabz, potential nightmare but great songwriting skills!|
|Only Boys Aloud, total crowd pleaser...|
|The act we all love to hate..|
Thursday, 27 March 2014
Having said all that, I can see that taking part in sport (if you can see) is a really good thing and not to be sniffed at, especially if you really really love the sport you are involved in. Anything that keeps children interested and off the iPad is good as far as I'm concerned, and team sports are a great way to learn about dealing with other people and working as a team. Therefore I'm really happy to be able to let you know about a new awesome opportunity Samsung are offering to some very lucky children - the chance to learn how to play with Chelsea FC youth coaches! Samsung Dream the Blues campaign aims to help young people between the ages of 9 and 13 to realise their football dreams and train with the best. As part of the sessions, keen footballers will go through a series of skill sessions and mini games learning how to control, dribble, shoot and pass along with other children around the same age. This year, Chelsea FB will be holding youth football camps in China,Vietname and Columbia where children will have a chance to meet with their Chelsea heroes Torres, Hazard and Terry in London! Bonza!
Find out more checking the Dream the Blues Youtube Channel
Check out the official Website
Have a look at the previous Dream the Blues Campaign
This post is sponsored by Samsung, but all thoughts are my own.
Tuesday, 25 March 2014
Unfortunately, hearing loss is a natural part of getting old. As part of the aging process, hair cells in your inner ear begin to die and the more hair cells that die, the worse our hearing gets.
If you’re having problems with your hearing, or know somebody who is, it is important to see a hearing professional as soon as possible. After some simple tests, they will be able to tell you if you are suffering from any hearing loss and will advise you on what to do next. Never put it off; having it checked on a regular basis will ensure any problems can be resolved earlier rather than later.
This is a guest post.
Sunday, 16 March 2014
Sunday, 9 March 2014
|She of most wonderful hair-ness|
So I'm going to be writing a bit about nineties style and how to turn it into (erm what do we call this decade?!) nowadays trendiness, so here's a start.
The Mohair Jumper and Kilt Look
For those familiar with the early work of the artists formally known as Friends, this won't be a new one. I fail to see how anyone can look bad in a fluffy jumper and skirt, ok maybe some people would, but since according to my husband I have ridiculously long legs and "no torso" this is a good one for me. Here is a classic example of what I call the "Clueless" fashion. As in the film.
|Clueless fashion from Missguided|
|ASOS check skirt was £36 now £25|
Totally wearable and flattering for all! Pair it with a classic.... tucked in of course.
|Soft short sleeved jumper from Matalan, £7|
Saturday, 8 March 2014
Anyway since the weather has picked up, I've spotted that H and M have got some fabbo ones in the offing, and it's probably worth getting them now before they sell out, especially if you are a bit, erm challenged in that area.
First of all, these aren't ballet shoes at all, but I love the idea of these as Summer work shoes
Friday, 7 March 2014
Recently I've noticed a similar trait in my oldest son. I was really shocked a few days ago when we were watching "Jungle Run" and he suddenly said, "that girl is fat" about one of the contestants. Although I don't mince my words, I would never talk about someone in that way and certainly not in front of him. I immediately spoke to him about how it wasn't kind to say that about someone and he was not to say that again. He was confused though, he explained that he'd been learning about staying healthy and that if we eat too much of the wrong food we get fat. I couldn't disagree with that, but it did lead me to question what else he might be coming out with..I didn't have to wait long.
A few days later we were at an after school club and he felt the need to inform one of the other children about their physical disability, loudly. I was absolutely mortified and immediately apologised to the child's mum who just said she gets it all the time and she wasn't at all bothered. But I was. Then the very same day he said to his Daddy, "you have a big belly" which was just totally unncessary too.
I'm cringing just thinking about it but it made me think - where is the line between being honest and being hurtful. He was saying things that were true, but to me they were hurtful comments that people should keep to themselves. Where is the line between telling the truth and being insulting and rude and more to the point, how do I teach him not to cross it?
Sunday, 2 March 2014
"The first ever Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Games take place from Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd March 2014. The public can join the fun and games by running, swimming or cycling their way to raising cash at over a thousand venues around the country, including the landmark events at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
As one of the biggest fundraising events, Sport Relief brings the entire nation together to get active raise cash and change lives. The money raised by the public is spent by Comic Relief to help transform the lives of some of the poorest and most disadvantaged people both at home in the UK and across the world."
I don't do this sort of thing normally, so it would be lovely to be sponsored by, someone, if you can our page is here>> http://my.sportrelief.com/sponsor/bradfordteamhonk
and you can also text HONK to 70005 and donate £5 to Sport Relief .
Our aim is to raise £20,000 for Sport Relief and lots of people are doing tremendously creative things like Morris Dancing their way through their leg, hula hooping, rafting and the like. I will be running in usual running gear plus one toddler in a pushchair. There are over 200 bloggers involved, plus their (long suffering!) family and friends, and it promises to be a huge event. The route and masterplan is here and you can see exactly what is going on where and I'll be taking part in the Bradford leg.
When I've done my leg, I'll report back on what happened and how it went! WHOOP, go me!
Thursday, 27 February 2014
Having said that, I'm never one to look a gift horse in the mouth and if I had a chance to actually win a holiday I would certainly go for it! Cosmos are offering one lucky winner the chance to win either a skiing holiday to Austria, or a tropical paradise holiday to Sharm El Sheikh - do you embrace the cold or would you rather board a plane and head for the nearest tropical paradise? Find out whether you have a Snow or Go personality and be in with a chance of winning!