Thursday 30 June 2016

No Spend Challenge

So with July looming around the corner I though I would try the No Spend Challenge.

I'm going to give it my all and try my best not to spend money on random crap we don't actually need.
Obviously ill be buying our food, but 
I will be mega strict and stick to the list and meal plans.

No off the list buying.

Ill probably go back to shopping online for our food, as that helps reduce the unwanted rubbish falling into the trolley.

It will be interesting to see how much I have saved at the end of the month and see if I struggled at all.

I have a feeling I'll struggle once the money comes in for a few days as I always suffer with 'ooooooooo I have money I neeeeeed to spend it' once I get over that I should be fine.

These past few months my money has been blown within a few days of it landing in my bank and then at the end of the month I have no memory of what the money went on.
Whether it was useful or not.

I probably need to join Shopaholic anonymous!

Have you tried the no spend challenge?

Wednesday 29 June 2016

#WickedWednesday || Dancing In The Rain

So when the heavens open my boys don't run and hide like normal people, they strip off and start dancing.

Wild, Young and Free.

The mother in me wanted to grab them all in and tell them to wrap up but the child in me let them be.

They soon all came running when the thunder crashed.


Tuesday 28 June 2016

Book Review || The Lost Smile

The Lost Smile illustrates what we know to be true: Children's smiles are powerful and infectious, inducing a 'smile back' effect on those around them.

Authored by award winning children’s poet, Joseph Coelho, and illustrated by Sheena Dempsey.

We were very kindly sent a copy of 'The Lost Smile' the boys were drawn to it as soon as it came out the envelope.
The story is short and sweet and the illustrations are very cute.

You follow a little boy named Kyle on the hunt for his families missing smiles..

He packs up his bag with all his smile searching tools,
A toothbrush for brushing up smiles.
A book on how to identify smiles.
A magnifying glass to find small smiles.
Sunglasses to protect against bright smiles.
A feature duster to tickle out hiding smiles.
A camera to capture smiles.

Kyle makes up some LOST posters and sets about on his mission.
He even takes a trip to the moon.

The boys were very taken with the story and when I asked why Kyle was searching for his family's smile, the twins responded with because they are all a bit grumpy looking.

At the start of the week I hosted a giveaway to win a copy of The Lost Smile over on my instagram
I had four lucky winners;

The Smile Back Project
The Extra Smile Back projects aims to protect children's smiles and to help them smile confidently back at the end of the day.
By donating a minimum of £250,000 to Action for Children, we will create and run oral health workshops, in partnerships with the Oral Health Foundation.
Through this project, Extra aims to protect the smiles of more than 10,000 children across the UK.

For more information on The Smile Back Project, visit

Sunday 26 June 2016

Britmums Live 2016

This weekend I attended my second Britmums Live.
I went last year, but I felt so far out of my comfort zone that I couldn't really enjoy myself.
Don't get my wrong, I got steaming drunk at the BiBs and ended up losing a goodie bag, but when the alcohol wasn't running through my veins, I stood around feeling a bit lost.

This time around I felt more confident in myself as well as myself as a blogger.
I also knew a few girls who were going and I was travelling up with Serena.
So the nerves never really touched the sides.

Serena and I decided to stay in a hotel on the Friday as we'd be able to attend the Fringe party in Camden and be able to get to the event nice and early and not have to faff around with the trains in the morning.

We stayed at the Barbican Thistle.
I think I was expecting it to be a lot posher than it was, but for an over night stay it was fine and did what it needed to do.
The first room we got given smelt strongly of smoke even though it was a non smoking room.
After going back to the reception we were given another room.

Clare and Sophie the other bloggers/vloggers  who were staying in the hotel joined us once they had arrived and we made a plan to get ready then head to Camden to grab a bite to eat before the fringe party at the Holiday Inn.

We spotted The Diner down a side street and decided that would do us nicely.
We each ordered a burger and then shared some sides.

I loved that the wine was served in a tumbler glass....something I do at home and my Halloumi Burger was amazing.
We arrived rather late to the party so missed out on the free drinks.
We said hello to a few girls that the others knew and had one drink before heading back to our hotel.

We chatted the rest of the night away in the hotel lobby over a drink .....mine was a pink lemonade, as I knew if I had anymore I wouldn't be getting up bright and early without a fight!

Britmums was held at the Brewery.
Its a lovely venue and the staff are very friendly.

I bumped into Hannah from Zombiiemummy at the coffee bar. which was nice as I was hoping to see her.
We played pass the parcel as the ice breaker and then once that was over everyone headed into the hub to meet the brands.

I had a few sessions I really wanted to attend but me and Serena lost track of time and missed out on the first two.

Even though we missed out on some sessions, we spent a good amount of time talking with the different brands.

We had lunch and made it to a few sessions in the afternoon, one of which was held by Big little tent festival , we got to make Bloody Mary's - I've never really been tempted to try a Bloody Mary, so really I have no idea how to make them, nor did Serena or the lady next to me.
So we tried our best and it looked rather pretty but I don't think it tasted to amazing as we didn't win the taste test!
Never mind it was all fun and games.

This may sound a bit sad, but one of my best highlights was the Whipsmiths ice cream.
It was aaaaaamaaaaaaaazing!!!
I went for the button moon flavour, which was Peanut butter and white chocolate and I nearly fainted it was that scrummy.

They made it there and then using cream, peanut butter and white chocolate and liquid nitrogen, so not only did it taste out of this world it was ridiculously exciting watching him make it up. 

I had a massive fan girl moment when I bumped into Cherry Healy in the hub, the words I LOVE YOU literally fell out of my mouth and to be fair she was ok with that but omg what an idiot.
Control yourself woman!

Her talk was hilarious, I don't think I've laughed that hard in years.
She was so great that on the train ride home I bought her book,
'Letters To My Fanny'.

Sorry for the rubbish photo!

This year was Britmums Live 5th birthday, so they had a special cake made and everyone sang Happy Birthday.

After a long day I was happy to get home, happy and extremely hungry so I made Jon order some pizzas and I sat on the floor pigging out and checking out my goodie bags.

I have a few things that I'll be reviewing, so you'll see those soon.
This Mim-Mim bunny was inside the bag and I gave it to Ru as soon as he woke up this morning.

He loved it, but the twins became pretty upset when they found out I only had one.
I bribed them with sweets and they soon forgave me.

It was lovely spending a few days away as it really makes you appreciate what you have at home.
Its great to let your hair down once in a while and it gives you the chance to go back to parenting with a fresh outlook.

I learnt some helpful blogging tips, which I shall be putting into practise,
I met some lovely people and mingled with some brands.

I don't think I'll be going again next year, just as I think I need to test the water with other blogger conferences.

I'm hoping this weekend has given me the kick up the bum i need to get back into blogging. As i seem to have lost my spark for it at the moment. 

Thursday 23 June 2016


A recent survey commissioned by The Co-operative Childcare found that 81% of parents believe that children’s experiences at pre-school can affect their social skills in later life. 

The survey conducted by Censuswide revealed that although academic subjects like reading and writing were of high importance to parents, social and physical skills like riding a bike were also highly rated. 

Responses from more than 1,000 parents with children aged between two-and-a-half and five years’ old, discovered that over a third of parents would have preferred to have learnt how to ride a bike at a younger age over learning a skill such as reading or writing.

Almost half of the parents surveyed said they want their children to learn to ride a bike while they are still at pre-school and 42% confessed to worrying that their pre-schooler would struggle to make new friends in a new environment.

Mike Abbott, Group General Manager at The Co-operative Childcare, which operates 44 nurseries across the UK, said: “Where education remains hugely important, non-academic activities are also a big part of a child’s early development, allowing them to explore their creativity, individuality and of course to socialise and interact with their peers.

“It’s interesting to see that 49% of parents want their child to learn to ride a bike at pre-school, which was almost as highly rated as academic development. This is why we’ve worked with parents to launch our pre-school programme which will see children benefit from extra activities in familiar nursery surroundings, giving them the opportunity to develop their confidence and social skills before they head to school.”

Launched this week (Monday 20th June), The Co-operative Pre-school includes a new uniform and book bags for children between three and five years-old, to help them feel more comfortable with the transition between nursery and primary school. An educational programme that includes communication, language, mathematics, literacy as well as lessons on understanding the world, physical development and art and design help to prepare pre-school children for school lessons.

Every nursery in the chain will also benefit from the investment in balance Islabikes, and dedicated cycle lessons that allow children to learn to ride a bike at their own speed, alongside the regular curriculum. 

Purnima Tanuku OBE, Chief Executive of National Day Nurseries Association, said: “Private and social enterprise day nurseries such as NDNA member The Co-operative Childcare are a great option for parents when it comes to choosing a place for their child’s preschool education.

“Private, and social enterprise nurseries are flexible on days and times that children can attend, to suit the needs of busy, working families. Many have fantastic facilities and pride themselves on being able to offer an amazing range of activity as well as standard educational teaching such as reading and writing.”

Mike continued: “The move from nursery to primary school is a big one for young people and the impact on them shouldn’t be under estimated. Our pre-school programme aims to provide children with the skills they’ll need at school, whilst still in the familiar surroundings of their nursery, with colleagues they know and trust.”

For more information on The Co-operative Pre-school, please call 0800 954 0669, email or visit

Raving Mad Parents Set To Shun The Sun and Sea For Headline Acts and Muddy Fields This Summer

Has Britain gone raving mad?
70 per cent of parents admit they’d rather ditch their sun loungers and bikinis in place of wellies and muddy fields at a UK festival with their kids.

As the nation’s biggest festival gets ready to welcome it’s revellers, a survey by iconic fashion doll Bratz, has discovered that seven out of ten parents are keen to head to a festival with their kids instead of on a traditional summer holiday. And it’s no surprise that Glasto was the pick of the bunch with one in five (22 per cent) of parents keen to attend.

Over half of parents (54 per cent) felt their was real benefit to talking their children to a festival, one in five (20 per cent) felt they represent great value for money and are less expensive than a family holiday abroad, one in four (22 per cent) think they are good opportunities to share music tastes with their children, helping to create memories of a lifetime. And one in ten (11 per cent) feel festivals less stressful to organise and prepare for.
 The survey also found that children aged 10 –15 are just as keen to ditch the bucket and spade in place of seeing their favourite artist on the main stage with 87 per cent of kids keen to go to a festival.

Known for keeping on top of trends, this summer, iconic fashion doll Bratz launched a Festival Vibes range, with dolls and accessories themed to different genres of music. Nicola Mellor from Bratz said: “As a brand that encourages self-expression, festivals were the obvious route for our next collection, linking to a popular trend and encouraging our fans to take pride in their own unique style. Despite our unpredictable weather, festivals are firmly established in British culture and our research shows a growing trend in attending these as a family.”
 Events company Broadwick Live, who organize several festivals, including the award winning Festival No.6 commented on the increase in families attending festivals. Festival Organiser, Luke Huxham said “Due to an increase in child-friendly activity, from kids’ shows and performances to activities and soft play areas, at major music festivals, the number of families attending festivals each year has dramatically increased. Festival No.6 saw an increase of 100% on child and youth tickets between 2014 – 2015.”

Ruth Davies, who blogs at Rock N Roller Baby is also a festival fan. She said: “Taking children to festivals might not be the obvious choice but honestly, find the right ones and it can be more fun than a week in the sun! When Glastonbury started, it was all about the family and although the image may have changed, in our mind over time the reality is that there are some amazing festivals out there to be embraced with the little ones. We go to
 Camp Bestival every year which is the only place on earth where it's acceptable to have a toddler on your shoulders and a beer in your hand and it's fantastic! The children run wild and with feathers and flowers in our hair we get our festival family vibes on for three whole days of camping, music and friends!”

The new Bratz Festival Vibes range is available now from all good retailers along with other on trend lines including #Selfiesnaps and Bratz Remix. 

 Are you taking your children to a festival this year?

Wednesday 22 June 2016

... Friendship ...

I've never found it easy to make new friends.
My social awkwardness and shyness always tends to get in the way.

So when moving to a brand new place, away from all the friends I had just made at Noah's school and all my old school friends I thought I was going to be pretty lonely.

I wasn't dreading that to much to be honest, as I knew I would still see Jenny at least once a month.
If contact was lost with Jenny, I would probably find a dark hole and go live there for the rest of my days.

This beautiful necklace was given to me by Serena, and she has a matching one.

When Noah started his new school, I thought maybe I could make a new friend or two.

But as I'm sure you all know, it is RIDICULOUSLY hard it is to break into a group of mums who have had a friendship going for the last few years.
It's not going to happen easily.

To be honest I've always found it a lot more easier making friends with guys than girls....there's always less drama that way and they're less judgey.

I met Serena through Instagram  ....  little did we know that we were literally a 5 minute walk from door to door, or that our boys went to the same nursery!

Once we met up our friendship blossomed into what it is today.

I would probably be bored out of my mind if I hadn't met Serena, its always nice to know if you need someone, you have someone you can rely on whose only around the corner.

Also she's my first proper blogging buddy!
Its nice to be able to talk to someone who gets what your going on about, when I try and explain blogging politics to Jon he has no idea and thinks I'm going crazy.

Not only do we get on well, the boys all get along like a house on fire.
My next mission is to get Serena's hubby Mr B and Jon together and life would be great!

Why are men so stubborn when it comes to meeting new people??

#WickedWednesday || Nope

When you just want to hide away but your mother sits you in your highchair and makes you eat dinner.


Monday 20 June 2016

~ Benefit Cosmetics Haul ~

So last week I won £400 in John Lewis vouchers for taking part in a Britmums linky challenge.

As soon as I knew they were for John Lewis I knew I wanted to buy some new makeup.
I've never been a massive makeup person, not that I don't wear it, I wear it every day all day but I never gone mad buying it.

Before kids when I worked up at Canary Wharf my go to makeup was always Benefit.
then the boys all started popping out like ping pong balls
and my makeup budget became a bit sparse,
So I now
when I need to top up my makeup basket I will buy whatever I can find in a local drugstore that's on offer
or whatever bargains I can find on Amazon.

The Benefit counter after my make over.

Being impatient and wanting to spend my voucher as soon as it landed on my doorstep.

I went online and packed it full of some mac cosmetics as I thought oh wouldn't it be great to try something new that probably won't suit me and be a complete waste of money.

After staring at the basket for what seemed like hours
I changed my mind.
I made a cup of coffee and sat down to watch some makeup videos on YouTube,
after a while I still couldn't really make up my mind.
I gave Serena a text and she said it would make more sense to go along to Bluewater and have a proper look at all the make up counters and match it properly.

So this morning we headed off to Bluewater geared up for another girlie shopping trip.

There was no mac counter in John Lewis so I had to re jig my want list.
I checked out Urban Decay and had some foundation popped on me, along with some contouring.
Serena gave me her disapproval look so I knew it wasn't right.

After we had left the Urban Decay counter in
the nicest way possible Serena told me I had massive pores and I should really sort that out before buying new foundation.

We headed off to my old favourite - the Benefit counter with the aim
to put an end to my pore dilemma by purchasing some POREfessional.

We were greeted by the lovely Melissa.
She was hands down brilliant.
Really helpful and lovely.

She started off by doing my brows.....I've never quite managed to perfect my brow game, but she did an amazing job.

She then went on to do my whole face.
Obviously please with the result I decided to get it all plus a little bit more.

So lets get down to what you really want to see.....

Lets start with the skin care..

Instant Comeback Facial Serum.
I saw this whilst Serena was having some bronzer tried out on her, and oh my god its amazing, I popped some on my hand and I haven't stopped stroking it all day (like a right proper little weirdo)
It's über soft and smooth.

Ultra Radiance Facial Re-hydrating mist
Smells amazing and left me feeling really refreshed.

Oil Free Remove it Makeup Remover
It's Potent! Eye Cream
Total Moisture Facial Cream

Now on to the pretty stuff....

The POREfessional PRO balm - 44.0ml tube (exclusive to John Lewis)
Big Easy
Shade - 03 light / medium
Shade - light
Shade - light /medium
They're Real Mascara
Shade - Black
Watts Up!
Hervana Ultra Plush Lipgloss
Shade - 01
Sugarbomb Blusher
Hoola Bonzer

I also got some testers thrown in at the end to.

Not only are benefit products lovely their packaging is always pleasing to the eye!

Now I know this is a pretty big makeup haul and ended up costing a small fortune, if I hadn't had won the competition I would have never ever ever eveeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrr spent that amount of money in
my life on myself!!

So thank you to Britmums again.
Also thank you to Melissa for doing a great job on my face.

I'll let you all know how I get on with my new goodies.


Saturday 18 June 2016

Keeping Your Bedroom Cool During The Hotter Months

I've teamed up with the guys over at Yorkshire Linen to help give you a couple of tips on how to keep your bedroom cool during the summer months.

Pictures found on Pinterest

Linen bedspreads are a great way to keep cool in bed.

"Linen helps you keep nice and cosy in the winter but it also allows you to keep cool when it's hot!
Linen is a highly absorbent, temperature regulating fabric that becomes softer after every wash! Best of all, some studies have suggested that linen bedding can improve sleep! A widely quoted study from the University of Milan found that you fall asleep faster, sleep deeper, and wake up in a better mood after sleeping on linen sheeting. Warm in the winter and cool in the summer — linen is a breathable fabric which can wick away moisture, unlike lesser polyester blend sheets."

One thing I do every summer, is keep the curtains drawn and the windows open.
Which helps keeps the room nice and airy.

It helps keeps the sun from warming up the room, so that when it comes to bedtime you're not off to sleep in a stuffy room.
No one wants or likes that!

Fine Linen curtains help keep the room cool, but don't make the room too gloomy/dark, you may not want the room to be ridiculously hot but you also don't really want to spend the day sat around in the dark.

Not only do Linen curtains help keep the bedroom cool, they add a whole new level of elegance and style to the room.
By just putting up a new pair of curtains the room instantly looks fresh and new.

Fine Linen curtains with a black out blind are a perfect must have for the summer.

Linen curtains at Yorkshire Linen's website suit all budgets and rooms.

Pictures from Pinterest
**This was a sponsored post**

Friday 17 June 2016

Coffee, Pokemon, Shopping and Chicken Pox

So this week I have been dragged into the world of Pokémon by Jon.
I say dragged I more than willing to enter.

I didn't think I would like it as much as I do.
I'm normally a bash any kind of button and games player and I've never really gotten on with the games where you have to follow a story and hunt things out.

I've gotten so into Pokémon that my blog has been put to the side!
 I sat on it for two hours straight the other day and I only stopped because the boys were telling me it was dinner time.

So now Pokémon is restricted to only being played once all the boys are in bed.
Which has come in handy since the football has taken over the TV.

You may or may not have seen this picture on my Instagram at the start of the week, with the caption of  "Ru's hand washing obsession is sure to flood my house if I don't keep an eye on it!"

Well half an hour later and the downstairs toilet was flooded, I went into the hall to find him trying to stop the stool floating away by putting Jon's shoes on top of it.

The water went into the hallway and into the lounge.
We're lucky it didn't go up into the walls. The carpets all dried up ok, but we are now planning to bring forward getting wooden flooring put down.

Ru has now been banned from using the sink alone.
Something that hasn't gone down very well with him.

On Tuesday I went into Maidstone with Serena to find an outfit for Britmums Live, which is next Saturday.
We went all over and could really only find things in Primark, I did see a lovely dress in Next which I am planning on going back to buy sometime next week.

I had an idea for an outfit in my head, and for the first time ever it actually seemed to have worked!
Ill probably turn up to Britmums and everyone will think what the hell is she wearing.
Along with my outfit I couldn't help buying some other bits and pieces for my wardrobe.

A shopping trip wouldn't be complete without a trip to Costa and a ridiculous sized cup of coffee. 

Popcorn Cappuccino

One of the tops I got from Primark was this Quidditch top ....You can never be too old for Harry Potter right?!?!

On Wednesday it looked as though Ru may had caught Chicken Pox.
I wasn't able to get a doctors appointment because our surgery is just crap and always busy or shut for lunch.
So I took him along to Tesco's to talk to their pharmacist.
They had a look and said it could possibly be Chicken Pox.
So they gave me some cream and some antihistamines.

None of the other boys have had Chicken Pox yet so I'm a bit of a novice when it comes to really knowing whether its them or not and what's best to help stop the itch.

His spots seem to be clearing up and fading so now I've no idea what's going on.
I'm still treating them as pox.

Some lovely mummy's on my Instagram told me Oat baths are good at soothing irritated skin, so once we got back from Tesco's I set about making some Oat bombs.

I put them in Ru's bath in the evening and it freaked him out a bit, so as long as that black ball was out of sight it was fine. Noah and the twins loved theirs and used them to rub all over themselves.
What ever floats your boat boys!

I'm back trying to loose weight.
I have a stone and a bit to loose, so I really have my work cut out for me.
I hadn't really even noticed a change in my diet, yea we've had a few extra take always here and there but nothing to drastic, I've even cut down on my chocolate buttons munching.

I'm sure my body just went
"yep F*** it,  lets hang it all out there for the world to see she's gained weight."
I have fat rolls where I've never had fat rolls before.
*cries a little*
Hold in undies really are my best friends at the moment.

Jon is trying to teach me the ways of Slimming World and I'm gearing myself up to going to my first meeting alone.
I was meant to be going 3 weeks ago....I'm obviously not quite ready yet.

Mug Shots are syn free apparently.
I'm currently having my blog redesigned by the amazing Helen over at Ellie Illustrates and I saw the header design this morning and its perfect.

Just what I wanted and I really can't wait to see it up on the blog!
Hopefully it should be up tonight, so keep an eye out.
I'm sure to tweet once its done.

The twins Pre School graduation photos came back yesterday and don't they look cute?!!?
I'm still in shock that in 3 months time they will be starting "big" school.

I won £400 in shopping vouchers this week too.
Stuff like that never happens to me.
(Please don't think I'm bragging, I just wanted to share my happiness with you)

It was for joining in with the Britmums Petits Filous First Linky Challenge.

I've no idea what shop the vouchers are for so I'm impatiently waiting by the letter box for them to drop on to the door mat.

To finish off Ru has been offered a space at the boys nursery.
Starting on the 1st July.
He's been offered Tuesday morning and Friday afternoon.

I went in yesterday to have a talk and a look around, as I've never been in the 2-3 yr old room.
I'm really impressed and think Ru will love it.
(I hope he'll love it.)

I spoke with the SENCO teacher about my concerns and all about Ru's habits.

She has asked if I would write a list of all the Makaton signs Ru knows so that they will be able to learn them, themselves if they don't yet know them.

She was really lovely and told me not to worry.

He has his first settling session on Tuesday morning.

I'm now trying to squat up on my Makaton signs by watching far too many Mr Tumble epsiodes.
Ru knows far more than I do and sometimes I have no idea what he's trying to sign to me.

Have a lovely weekend.

Thursday 16 June 2016

App Review || Teddy Passport

We've been trying out the cool new Teddy Passport App.

The twins take their sheepdog teddies that we go from Bluestone EVERYWHERE.
To bed,
To nursery,
On the school run,
To the beach,
To the toilet.
Anywhere the twins go, the dogs go.

Alex's is named Daddy Dog and Oscar's is named Baby Dog.

When I heard of the Teddy Passport I knew it would be great for the boys and they would love stamping the passport with all the places that the dogs go!

Its really easy to set up and just like a real passport once you've submitted your details you cannot change them.
So make sure you get them right first time!!

You also can't double stamp in one day.
The twins love getting the app up on my phone and making sure they stamp in whenever we go somewhere with the dogs.
Its been such a good hit with them, even Noah has downloaded it on to his tablet for his teddy.

If you have a child who has a favourite teddy they take everywhere then this is the app for you!
The summer holidays are coming up, you could use this app to record all the places you visit.

You can find the app here -

For only £1.49.