Monday, 30 September 2013

Back to Uni: Internet – How do you use yours?



Now that the next academic year is upon us, I am now back to spending my nights studying (groan?) Well I love studying so it’s not a real issue for me. As you know I am with the OU and as I do distant learning, a lot of the information I need is online. I do tend to print off some of the things I need, but this is increasingly getting unmanageable – it is a nightmare filing sheets of paper, costs a fortune in ink and a lot of the time I don’t use all of the information anyway.  So I have decided this year to read straight from my tablet or laptop. This is where my broadband connection is really important, and BT’s student broadband deal is great – fast internet speeds at an affordable price.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Center Parcs Family Blogger Club - Our Entry

Center Parcs choose 12 families every year to be in their Family Blogger Club. As part of the blogger club, their job is to review a family holiday at one of the villages of their choice. (I know - hard job but someone's got to do it, right?)

Well, when I heard they were on the lookout for the next group of families to do this job, I was really up for the challenge! The judges want the potential Center Parcs families to create a video showing how they like to spend quality time together. So I put my thinking cap on and came up with the video below!

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Event Preview: Dinosaur Zoo at the Lowry


This event at the Lowry in Manchester looks absolutely amazing, so I thought that I would pop some information here - this may be something that you are interested in seeing. Unfortunately, we can't make the date due to other commitments (boo!)


Dinosaur Zoo creators 'Erth' use amazing puppets to bring dinosaurs to life in an interactive and imaginative live show. The show is suitable for families with children aged 3+.


Sunday, 22 September 2013

Creating a Haven for Birds In Your Back Garden

My kids love animals and wildlife. We do not have any pets at this moment in time - we are all so busy that I don't think it would be fair to take on board another furry little family member just yet! So our contact with animals is generally limited to the dogs in the park, or the animals in the zoo or farms.

Alice particularly likes birds. We took the kids to Martin Mere not long ago, and she was fascinated by the birds and the ducks there. Lately I've been thinking about maybe attracting wild birds to our own garden. It would be lovely for Alice to watch them come and go freely, without keeping them as pets.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Review: Safety Reign Backpack from PfM

We were really pleased to be given the opportunity to review the Safety Rein Backpack from

Presents For Men, an online gift shop. The name of the website is a bit of a misnomer really - the website has lots of  fantastic Christmas gifts and presents for people of all ages and both sexes.


Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Open University A326 - Empire - Books Have Arrived...COR!

Wowsers. My books are here. I'll not lie - I am really excited to be doing this course. I love pure history, and this is what this is for me. Last year I did A218: Medicine and Society. This time I feel like I am returning to something that I love.
There are three pretty hefty looking books, a DVD, CD, a Visual Sources book (good old OU!) and a letter explaining that there is a lot more reading on the OU website...I knew it looked too easy...

Review: Zappie Children's App



ZappieLogo.jpgWe recently got the opportunity to review a brand new children's app by Zappie. The app is a new interactive application for youngsters that aims to bring pictures to life.

Monday, 16 September 2013

Review: Baker Days Cake - YUMMY!

We were delighted to be offered a cake from Baker Days to review - who wouldn't be? In exchange for a review, we were given a personalised letterbox cake. A letterbox cake is exactly what it says, it is small enough to fit through your letter box, but big enough to share! When ours landed on our mat we were really excited - we love cake in our house.
The package was cute - the cake itself arrived in a tin with a little card and candles and party blower.


Open Plan Living Space - The Clear Winner?

So we as a family are starting to think about moving house. We currently live in a three-bedroomed property, and with having the three girls, we're looking at hopefully getting something a bit bigger, finances permitting of course. The one thing that I would look for in our next home is a large open plan area downstairs. I would love to have a large front room and large back room as well as the kitchen and dining area.


Friday, 13 September 2013

Review: Softly Snail Activity Fun House


We were really over the moon to be given a review opportunity with Little Bird Told Me. We were chosen to review this gorgeous Softly Snail Activity Fun House and couldn't wait to get cracking with our toy testing! With Rosie just about turning 6 months old we knew that Rosie would be super-excited to test out this gorgeous toy. She is just at that age where little ones love to explore different sounds, textures and colours, so I knew as soon as we received the toy that it would be a hit with her.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

The Most Important Lesson To Teach Kids About Money #ThinkMoney

Think Money are running a competition on their website for bloggers to write about what they think is the most important lesson to teach their kids about money. This is my entry for that competition.
Alice cooking her books

Well, it just so happens that me and Emily (10) were having a conversation about money last night. She is interested in how finances work - how can we afford our house? What money comes in and why can't we spend it all? How do people pay for more expensive goods like cars and home improvement or once in a lifetime holidays? We talked at length about these and do you know what, Shakespeare came to mind. Specifically Polonius in Hamlet, as he delivers his advice to his son Laertes, he says


'Neither a borrower nor a lender be.'
    (Polonius, Act 1, Scene 3)

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

BT Broadband Deal For Students


I am over the moon to let you in some exciting news. BT have picked me to be their student brand ambassador! This means that I will be working with them to let you know about their fantastic 9 month Broadband deal for students! I am pleased to bring you this post – it’s a fantastic deal.
If you are a student and use the internet as much as I do then you’ll want reliable, fast, cost effective internet access to keep connected by internet and phone. That’s why I’m so excited to be letting you in on this new student promotion by BT.

The Deal


In a nutshell, BT is offering a 9 month subscription package for students with the option of:

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Reviews: Disney Soundtracks Phineas & Ferb and Planes

We were delighted when we were sent the soundtracks to review for two new Disney productions, Phineas & Ferb: Rockin' and Rollin' and Planes.

Emily and Alice love dancing and singing, and they also really love Disney, and when we were offered to chance to listen to these soundtracks first, Emily was like 'YESYESYES' so obviously I obliged and said we would do the review.

If you didn't know, the series follows Phineas and his step brother Ferb. Every day, the boys embark on some grand new project. Other characters include their sister Candace, who is frequently annoyed by their antics and Perry the Platypus, who is a spy.


Review: Organix Baby Food Products

 We were excited to receive a cute little package from Organix last week as part of their campaign to introduce new textures to baby's diet. Our little package included a small fruit pot, a box of raspberry and banana muesli, a fruit snack pack as well as some charming little cutlery for the baby. The pack also contained a blindfold, feathers and foam pieces to blindly touch and feel - this was to keep in with the texture campaign - a lovely idea - Emily put the blindfold on and

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Our First Visit to Red Hot World Buffet Liverpool as #RedHotTasteMakers


A while back I made the announcement that I was selected to take part in the Red Hot Tastemaker Programme with Red Hot World Buffet as a brand ambassador for 2013/2014. This means that I will be sampling their food and getting involved in their events and reporting back here. From time to time I'll also be highlighting any special offers that they have on and letting you in on them!

Friday, 6 September 2013

Mummy Hand-Care Review Part 2: Bizzy Bee Rubber Gloves

When the chaps at Bizzy Bee Gloves and Cloths contacted me to review their rubber gloves I was over the moon.
As I have mentioned before I get really dry hands, and being a Mum I probably spend 99.9% of my time in the kitchen. (OK maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration...)
Anyway, I tend to wear gloves a lot of the time. Plain usual pink or yellow rubber gloves, you know the type. I always have issues with the fit if them - the lining is non-existent and they always ALWAYS rip or leak and I am constantly replacing them. However, these gloves that I have been sent for review are nothing like that.

Mummy Hand-Care Review Part 1: Dettol with E45 Softness Hand Wash

I have been sent a sample of a new hand wash Dettol with E45 softness to review for my blog. I have really dry hands and it is important for me to take care of them, although I am guilty of not doing so!

As a Mum, I love Dettol for it's germ-killing qualities and I also sometimes use E45 cream on my dry skin, so seeing that they had buddied up to produce a hand wash really intrigued me.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

My First Car: My Car-Buying Tips

So, after about five million driving lessons, and at the age of 23, I finally passed my driving test. It was a great feeling - I could actually drive my new car. And by new I mean new to me. It was a used P reg baked bean coloured Vauxhall Corsa, and by used, I mean

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Review: My Little Pony - Welcome to Ponyville DVD

 
Now I used to love My Little Pony as a kid - I used to collect the little ponies on my window sill as a child, brushing their hair with their little combs and 'galloping' them across the window ledge! When we were offered the chance to review their new DVD, I jumped at the chance. Alice is a real girlie girl and I knew that she would be all over
My Little Pony!

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Giveaway: 2 x Jamie Cullum Tickets, Roundhouse London

As you know, being a busy wife, mum and erm...student bum, I don't get a great deal of spare time. When I do have a babysitter and free time just me and Warren we love to go to gigs, buy theatre tickets, and just go out for a nice meal and a chill out.

With a mum and dad or girlie night treat in mind, I have managed to acquire a FANTASTIC giveaway for you!

Rainbow Toy Awards - Our Toy Review: Tri Inline Skates



We were delighted to be chosen to test a toy for the Rainbow Awards For Toy Excellence 2013. The toy awards are run annually and aim to reward the very best toys to help Mums and Dads like us in the run up to Christmas. Each toy is tested thoroughly by a blogger, given a score and commented on. The results are released this year on 27th September, and we are very proud to say that we have been a part of this.

Monday, 2 September 2013

Back to School Uniform - How Do You Do Yours?

I've been reading a lot on Facebook and Twitter lately from normal mums and dads about the whole going-back-to-school uniform issue. Let's face it, it can cost a small fortune. I know that it's not all about money, and of course, we do want our kids to look smart for school - but the fact of the matter is that everyone has a budget, and some people's kids get massive ink stains on their shirts quicker than others. Not mentioning anyone in particular. Emily.

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