Saturday, 13 December 2014

Carbon Monoxide Awareness

Carbon monoxide is a deadly gas emitted by unsafe appliances. It is colourless, odourless and tasteless and this makes it especially dangerous. When I was asked to write about carbon monoxide awareness I read up on this and was quite surprised at just how dangerous carbon monoxide can be.

My University Survival Kit



I have been a student for almost six years now, and in those six years we have got married, bought a house, had two babies – life continues as usual of course! So in amongst all of this real life-stuff going on, I ha desperately have to try and stay organised. This can be really hard with two little ones running around and the tween pulling on my arm and ear. I thought I would share with you what helps to keep me organised amongst the chaos – sometimes it’s the little things that really help!

Friday, 12 December 2014

Review: Me and My World 'I Want To Be A Vet' Kit

At ours, we really love educational toys. I like watching the girls play together and enjoy seeing them learn and growing together. I was really excited to hear about meandmyworld.com. They produce educational and fun kits aimed at teaching children about a variety of professions and roles whilst being fun and engaging at the same time. We couldn’t wait to get started with ours!

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Review: Asda Wooden 2 in 1 Hob & Grill

My kids love role-play toys. I love them playing with toys where they can pretend - it fires their imagination and I love to watch them interact with each other. That's why I was so excited to take delivery of Asda's 2 in 1 Hob & BBQ Grill.


Saturday, 6 December 2014

Review: QV Skincare - Emollient Therapy

Most of us in or house have dry skin conditions. I have contact dermatitis on my hands and have to wear gloves in every aspect of cleaning around the house - the cold exacerbates the pain in my hands and even peeling vegetables can sting if I am not careful.

Alice and Rosie also suffer with dryness and some eczema  on the backs of their knees - this can get very red and angry at times - I have took them both to the Doctor about this and we are prescribed medicated cream at times.

So all things considered, I was definitely willing to try out QV Skincare to see if this would make any difference. 

Monday, 1 December 2014

Christmas Giveaway: BMW MW3 Kids Ride-On

Seeing as it is Christmas, I have teamed up with BMW to offer you a lovely little giveaway. It is for a cool BMW Baby Racer II - a lovely little ride-on toy worth £76.

Obviously the cold times are here, and it is really important to get your car serviced. I don't use mine half as much now with not driving to Manchester to work but we still  get it serviced often to make sure that I don't get stuck! If you have a BMW you might want to use their servicing. *Dreams of BMWs...*

Anyway, on with the giveaway!

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

FAO: Students - How To Study With Kids

I don't know what's changed in the last few weeks, could be because it is my last year of my undergraduate degree, changing jobs, my kids getting that bit bigger - but I've been a lot more stressed lately. Being a student and a parent is taking it's toll.

People ask me how I do it. I'm very flattered when people say this. But this is my answer. This is how to study with three children.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Review: Teen Parcel

As a mother of a tween girl, I was very excited to review Teen Parcel. Em is only eleven and I know that soon she will be 'blessed' with that time of the month. I remember it being an exciting but pretty scary time. We are very open about this kind of thing - we have already had 'the talk' - we have a good relationship in that way so I am happy to explain all the goings-on - good and bad!

So, Teen Parcel is a new concept - once a month you will receive a lovely little parcel, and in it you will find all of your sanitary protection and some lovely treats to make that time of the month a little bit more of a happy time.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Wreck-It Rosie

There is always one isn't there.

One little critter.

Rosie is ours. She wants to climb, to explore, to rip,  She enjoys making a mess.

Alice is Princess Alice, all sweetness and light. Rosie is Wreck-It Rosie.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

The Unfulfilled Parent

"Alright while I'll get the early train home so I can be back. No it's OK. It's fine"

"No I'll leave it. I can't."

"Nah. I'm not bothered."

I say these things all the time. I turn down things I want to do. I leave events early. I don't have 'stuff' anymore. 

As a parent, do you sometimes feel unfulfilled? Or am I being a selfish cow?

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Mumsnet Blogfest: It's About The Community

Last week I was very honoured to attend Blogfest - a blogging conference organised by Mumsnet. I had also been asked to particiapte in a round-table as a contributor - I was very proud to be asked and was very much looking forward to taking part.

The train to London was a great experience, as I met up with Ally who writes Messed up Mum and Beth from Plasticrosaries. I have never met them before, but I recognised them from their blogs saw them stood at the platform - 5.30am nursing coffees - so we travelled down together, plenty of laughs and good conversation on the way down.

Review: Albumcards

We love music in our house. We always have a radio, Youtube or the record player on in the day. Usually we are playing Pop music through Youtube for the kids, or Warren gets his vinyl out and pops that on. However, Emily likes to put her headphones on and listen to songs through her (my old) mobile phone. That's why we were really pleased to review a new product about music!

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Review: Time4Sleep Memory Foam Pillows

I have never tried memory foam pillows. We always use feather and each time I have looked at memory foam, something has just made me go 'urgh no,' probably just out of habit. So when I got the chance to review a set, I thought I should set aside my pillow-rut that I had got myself into and try them out.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Review: Smiggle UK Stationery

I have a bit of a stationery 'thing.'

OK I am a bit of a stationery weirdo. I love all things stationery. I enjoy little post-its and making lists in nice notebooks, and scented pens and pink ink.

There, I've said it.

Stationery can make studying and working so much more interesting! Which is why I was so excited to be sent some stationery items from Smiggle to review.

A327, War, Peace Modernity TMA 01 Results and on to TMA 02

So the course is now in full swing. I think it's fair to say that this one is very heavy on the reading. It's all cool though. I have been getting the bus to work and back so I have been making the most of that.
And you know what I'm like for watching Youtube videos for a bit of quick revision, so it is all good.

Friday, 31 October 2014

Let's Make a Den!

As if my children would say no to this brilliant way to spend 5pm - 7pm! Our kids love climbing and playing and crawling and messing about, so making a den is just a great way for them to get creative and have fun at the same time.
That's why I was delighted when I was sent a full den-making kit from Philips as part of their 'den challenge.' As soon as the package arrived, the girls got stuck in!

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

A327: War, Peace, Modernity - TMA 01

So it's back to uni for me as usual. Strange really, this is my last year as an undergrad, so I'm really throwing myself into this. And at the same time drowning in all the reading material.

As per usual, then,

9bars Mixed Seeds Cereal Bars

I was treated last week to a lovely delivery. A gorgeous little hamper filled with lots of yummy treats from 9bars for busy Mums on the go. I'm sure a few of you would appreciate the need for some of these!

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Easy French Onion Soup Recipe

I am a bit partial to the odd bowl of home-made soup. Something that is quick and easy to do is the order of the day for me. So I was more than happy to follow a recipe given to me by Sunrise Senior Living Care. The recipe is so easy and yummy too.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Review: Citadines Hotel, South Kensington

So a few weeks ago I was invited to the MAD Blog Awards ceremony in South Kensington, London. This was where we were doing the 'secret bloggy thing' I had told you about - basically a flash mob dance in the middle of the award ceremony, in front of everyone and the brilliant host Dr. Ranj. As you know, we had a great time, and our stay at the plush Citadines Hotel made our stay even better.

Monday, 20 October 2014

An Open Letter to... Disney Collector

Dear Disney Collector

Thank you for entertaining my children in that beautiful inimitable way of yours on Youtube.

I love your hands. I love the way you unwrap those surprise eggs with all the excitement of a child even though you are about 34. 

I love your glittery nails with the Disney stickers on - do you do them yourself or do you get someone else to do them for you? Once I saw an episode where there was a slight chip on your index finger-nail - were you as gutted as I was?

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Review: Bells Shoes

So as you know, I will be starting a new job in a few days' time.

#eeek.

So I have been on a little mission to try and buy some new clothes and outfits - new job, new start. With Autumn/Winter well underway I also needed new shoes for work - so when I was asked to review Bells Shoes, of course I jumped at the chance.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Dear Soon-To-Be Teenager

This is a letter for Emily. She is in Year 7 and is 11 years old.  It contains some helpful life hints that she may wish to take on board as she moves forward with her life. If you have a tween, or a teenager you may relate to this. They may need to read this too.

This is a tough time for all parties concerned - I understand there is some sort of transition happening - this is a weird in-between stage. But tweens, just have a word with yourselves, will you???

Here you go

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Review: Mozimo Shoes

So, Autumn is here and Winter will soon be upon us. To me, that mans a change of shoes and general switch of wardrobe. I have loved wearing flat sandals for the summer, but now is the time for a change. I will be starting my new job in a week, so I am really keeping an eye out for new workwear for this season - shoes included. I was delighted when I was asked to review a pair of ladies shoes from Mozimo. Mozimo offer quality designer footwear, and I thought it would be great to review a pair here.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Who are the Internet Trolls?

When you write a blog or an article you have your say and that is that. You have a little platform that you can vent on. It's not a big deal to everyone else.

But sometimes, just sometimes, there is an article or a post that causes a bit of a stir. Kiran, a very talented and brilliant blogger recently wrote an article on teaching feminism to toddler boys. I wholeheartedly agree with the post. 

Kiran is spot-on. If we are not feminists, male or female, then what are we? Do we not advocate the rights of women equal to men in all spheres? If we are liberal, then surely we are also feminist? This is clearly a contentious issue.

My point is that Kiran has also written a post, following some pretty horrible Internet abuse, including the suggestion that she should "have her tubes tied with barbed wire" by so-called Internet Trolls, that she is having a break from her writing. 

What on earth is a frigging Internet Troll?

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Alice's First Day At Nursery School

We had submitted the forms for nursery-school ages ago. I couldn't wait. Finally five half-days of free nursery for Alice. They told us that the next intake would be January. Plenty of time away yet.

But last week, we received a letter, a place had become available.

All of a sudden I began to panic. She is only 3. She can't go to nursery school just yet...can she?

Of course she can.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Review: Aldi's New Running Gear Range

I have a gym membership and although I am not as active as I would like to be, I do try to keep up going and to try to get outside more at night, although the cold does put me off! 
Aldi are launching a new running range this coming Thursday, and they sent me some samples to review just in time, so here is what I thought.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Review - Go Ahead Biscuits

I am always looking to eat healthy snacks in the day. I always pack fruit and a decent packed lunch for us for work and school, but I am a bit naughty sometimes and like to include a biscuit. Which is why I was very excited to review for Go Ahead biscuits.  Go Ahead biscuits are packed with fruity flavour and are a bit less naughty than your usual biscuit!

Monday, 6 October 2014

Review - Tommee Tippee Steri-Bottle

I was very pleased when Tommee Tippee asked us to review some of their new steri-bottles. Although Rosie is probably a bit too old for bottles, and she does drink out of a sippy cup - she still enjoys drinking from a bottle.

She calls it her "Milky na-night" - super cute.

5 Essential Parenting Life Hacks

I have been a parent for just over eleven years. In these eleven years I have picked up some most-excellent tips (or LIFE HACKS) as they are now called.

So I'm sharing them with you.

You don't need to pay me or anything, these are free.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Shaking Off The Commute - *SOUNDS ANNOUNCEMENT KLAXON*

So...

I have some news.

You know like I am always moaning about driving for HOURS. Like literally 5 hours a day sometimes to get to Manchester and back...

Well...

I have a new job - close to home!

Friday, 3 October 2014

5 Reasons Brands Don't Want To Work With You

As a blogger I have fast become accustomed to the whole blogging scene. You can work with brands, run competitions, get paid to blog - whatever.

But sometimes, brands will not want to work with you.

I know this.

I feel your pain.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Cussons #VoiceofMums

As you know I was involved in the production of that super-cute video with Cussons Mum & Me. They also asked me to make a video myself talking about the ups and downs of parenthood - so I did.

Being a parent is obviously boss.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Year 7: The Beginning

"Well, I had the tie around my head, so I took it off at the end of the day and left on Miss's desk but..."

This is my daughter's phone call to me at work this morning. What I hear is that she is playing at being John Rambo at a school in St Helens. And for that, she has left her tie in school and probably lost it.

First Blood?

No, more like First Year.

*sighs*

Monday, 29 September 2014

Blogging With Integrity

I often wonder about this. Many bloggers are quite keen to maintain their integrity, blogging-wise.

I'm not sure I even know what that means. I'm just writing some stuff that comes out of my head. It might be a bit daft or rude sometimes.

What is integrity anyway?

Sunday, 28 September 2014

What Would You Say To Your Younger Self?

Time is  a funny thing isn't it. It flies over and with it we grow, learn and change. I sometimes think that I was a different person when I was younger - I was nothing like I am now.

Legal & General  are running a campaign asking "What would you say to your younger self?" so I thought it would be good to write what I would tell my younger self.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Our Tea-Time Routine

As a busy family, tea time is one of those make or break times of the day. It can either go swimmingly well, or just desperately wrong and you can end up wishing it had gone better - it can really ruin your night if the kids don't like something on their plate and then they won't eat it and then they are not full, and get upset and you might have to cook something else...

Not to mention the mess.

So anyway we have a pretty strict routine. Just lately we have started meal planning. We have never done this before, we just tend to buy 'stuff' and then go from there. But we have been meal planning for about two weeks now and it really does save us time, money and effort.

Friday, 26 September 2014

The Car: A Cautionary Tale

Or, the day that Alice, aged 3 was an actual Super Hero.

It was a long day. I had been stuck in traffic on the way in to work, and a long working day meant that I was tired and flagging. The rain had pelted the car on the drive home, the rhythmic sound of the wipers making my eyes droop at the wheel. Three hours in the car, I pulled up at my mother-in-law's house to collect the kids. Emily and Warren were staying late at open evening in the school. It was 7.30pm and I was shattered.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

On Saving Things For Best and Letting Yourself Go

"She's let herself go"

I hate this phrase. Sometimes I hear it in my head when I have scraped my hair back, leggings on, baggy top and odd socks - I'm only doing the school run, after all.

I thought it was no big deal, and in fact I found it quite amusing. I literally took two minutes to get ready in the morning. Showered, clean hair - not dirty. But just not done either.

I thought it would be OK. I'd just save my make-up 'for best.' I'd save my perfume 'for best'.

My nail varnish
My hair brushing
My wearing anything else other than leggings

Saving it all for best. Well, guess what - there is no best when you have children, nights out are few and far between aren't they, let's face it.

What Will You Call Your Blog??

I often get asked this question. "When you are not a student, what will you call your blog?"

Well, I will probably be a student for quite a few years yet. I graduate next year but I am planning on a Masters, so I'm pretty much covered. However, it got me thinking... what will I call my blog when eventually I am not a student??

Don't worry... I have it all figured out.

I've designed my new possible blog headers - what do you think?

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

5 Things I Learned From Award Ceremonies

Specifically the MAD (Mum and Dad) Blog Awards which were held at the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington in London last Friday.

I wasn't up for an award, I was there because we had been tasked to do a 'secret bloggy thing.'  I was so excited and terrified at the same time - hey, I'm proper Northern and London is a scary place for me!

So, true to form I am going to list 5 things that I learned from this amazing award ceremony.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Adventures in Baking: Swiss Roll Part 2

So if you saw our Adventures in Baking Part 1, you will know that this particular endeavour did not end well.

Our swiss roll was a bit of an entire 100% disaster.

However, swiss roll will not beat me. This is part 2, and we made this today. I'll just let the pictures speak for themselves really.

I swear I am not much of a bragger: BUT  LOOK AT HOW FRIGGING BOSS MY CAKE IS!!!

Adventures in Baking: Terry's Chocolate Orange Swiss Roll Part 1

I'm starting a new series on here called 'Adventures in Baking.' I have no idea about baking and I am only just starting to get involved. I thought it would be nice to show the ups and definitely downs of a new baker - I suppose I am trying to show that if I can bake, then anyone can bake.

But not with this post.

This was a MASSIVE FAIL.

But its OK, I'm learning.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

The One Where We Were in An Advert...

A few weeks ago I was invited to Media City to do some singing with the kids on film for an Internet advert for Cussons Mum & Me products. I said yes, it was my day off and we didn't have anything planned. This wasn't a blogging thing - they just wanted 'real mums' to get involved.

The kids were well-behaved on the way to Manchester, and I was a bit excited taking them both out a bit into the unknown - like a little adventure.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Cutting Costs After You Have Had A Baby

This post was written by A. Walsh a freelance writer.
Maternity pay helps you to take some time off to be with your baby once he or she is born, but the reality is that, like most people, you’ll be living on a reduced budget. Click here to make sure you’re getting the maternity leave and pay you should be and prepare to cut back on some everyday costs.

Money Worries and Fart Jokes

You might know that I have a house for sale in Manchester. I write a lot about this.

But I live in Liverpool, and pay a mortgage on my old house as well as council tax. It is all very boring and I am so very tired of it. My wages equal the cost of the house that I don't live in. A few weeks ago we had an offer - a low, rubbish offer, but an offer none-the-less. I consigned myself to the loss, consoling myself with 'it will all be done by Christmas.'

And this week I found out that the sale is not going ahead.

What do you do when you are in a hole you can't get out of?

Monday, 15 September 2014

People Who Want to Ruin Your LIfe

Life can be challenging and rewarding in equal measure. Sometimes you do good, sometimes not. But it would be a lot simpler if you just had control of your own circumstances wouldn't it. Sometimes there are people who, not matter what, just end up f*cking your life up in one way or another.

But fear not reader, for I have identified that b*stard lot. Listed below are the five types of people who are most likely to attempt to f*ck up your life.

Take this sage advice: avoid. Avoid them like the tranquility and smoothness of the path that is your life depends on it.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Baby Cuddles #PowerOfSoft

This is a sponsored post

I love having babies around the house. Alice and Rosie are so funny and gorgeous and well...cuddly. I know only too well that babies grow quickly into big kids - I can't quite believe that Emily has started High School already, It seems like only yesterday she was a babe in arms and we were cuddling on the couch.

Is it Right for the Kids? What You Should Take Into Consideration when Buying a Car as a Parent

This post was written by a freelance writer.


When looking for a family car, there are numerous factors you need to keep in mind. Sometimes it’s easy to get lost in what you want, rather than what’s practical for you and your kids. As a parent there are times you have to sacrifice what you want for what your kids need. However, a family car doesn’t have to be boring. There are plenty of great, high performing and reliable family cars out there. Take any used Ford from Jennings Motor Group for example. Ford has ranked first in the best selling cars of 2014 for good reason. Below you’ll find out more about the things you should consider when choosing the best car for you and your family.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Winter Clothing

This is a PR collaboration

I hate to say it but winter is just around the corner. It is this time of the year where we are going to need to wrap up warm, stick the heating on and drag the winter wardrobe out. With that in mind, here are some really great ideas to get you toasty warm.

Learning to Drive



This post was written by a freelance writer.

Kids grow up so quickly and before you know it they've had enough of Mum and Dad's Taxi service and want to learn to drive.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Notes on Trying to Conceive (TTC)

Hold the phone. I am not actually trying to conceive, and even if I was then it would be pretty pointless seeing as though we had my husband fixed last year.

But, not too long ago - yes, I did plan my babies. I was a TTC-er. I did all the things that you're meant to do (including have sex!) to get pregnant. I thought it might be nice to write some old notes to the people that in some way witnessed me during my TTC days, and specifically during the time that you wait to see if you have conceived. (The Two- Week-Wait - or the 2WW.)  See, I know the lingo...

Dear everyone

I'm sorry...

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Our Three Girls

Here is a bit about our girls:

There is Emily, aged 11 who lists causing arguments in the house, Minecraft, causing arguments outside the house and erm... Minecraft as her interests.

Then Alice, aged 3. She loves Peppa Pig, Ben & Holly and being very helpful in probably an unhelpful way.

Rosie is 1 and likes laughing and farting. She also likes Peppa Pig and  the Ninky Nonk.

We have three girls. We never did have a boy and are more than happy with our lot. There are sometimes I think "Ooh maybe we should have had a boy too." But these moments don't last. I realise how fortunate we are to have these three in our lives.


New Homes

This is a PR Collaboration

We currently live in a three-bedroom house as a family. We are happy where we are for the time being but there will come a time when we want to move to a bigger home. Rosie and Alice share a bedroom and of course this is fine, but eventually it might be nice for them to have their own space. With that in mind I sometimes flick through the estate agent's pages and see where I would like to live and what type of house.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Review: Faith In Nature Aloe Vera Gift Bag

I was given this product free of charge for the purpose of this review. All words and views are my own. 

When I was offered the chance to review this Faith In Nature Aloe Vera Gift Bag I was really chuffed. If you read this blog you'll know that I am very busy and there are only so many hours in a day - my pampering is fairly limited! So, obviously in the interests of reviewing this product fully, I have taken the time to use the product and actually enjoy pampering myself!

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Review: Cyber Clean

I was given this product free of charge for the purpose of this review. All words and views are my own. 

I was given the opportunity to review Cyber Clean - a cleaning compound for home and office. It is a rubbery, slippery ball - for want of a better description and can be used to clean keyboards, gratings, phones and other hard-to-clean appliances.

It is based on natural ingredients and kills 99% of harmful germs.

I thought it would be a great idea to take this into work to give our computers a good clean - here is our review!

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Sure-Fire Ways to Increase Your Traffic: Sex Sells

I have managed this WHOLE website single-handedly now for oooh... a couple of years. It takes some serious frigging dedication, serious topics, discussion and professional level-headedness to make a blog a success.

This is why I feel that I am now more than suitably-qualified to let you in on some secrets to increase your traffic, if you have your own website or blog, or thinking of embarking on such a project.

So here are the top 5 ways to increase your blog traffic. And remember the GOLDEN RULE: Sex Sells.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

What You OWE Me

I always complain about working too much for not enough. It seems like life as a mother means there is no rest and no time off.

Well, family. I have prepared a lovely itemised bill for you, just for today, just for one day where you have driven me up the wall.

Payment is in cash only, I'm not accepting cuddles, farts, trodden-on Cheerios or baked bean kisses in lieu.

Pay up, or GET OUT!!!

What you'll encounter as a graduate job-searcher

This is a guest post. 

For up to three years you have more than likely slept, manically worked, partied and then slept again - like one big circle of life – and now this is all over you have come to the stomach-dropping conclusion that you are officially unemployed.

The bank of Mum and Dad suddenly stops being so friendly now that you’re back home and it suggests that you get a job and start paying rent until you can move out. ‘Move out?’ You think, ‘but I’ve just got my room back to how I like it!’

So, where do you start?

Sunday, 31 August 2014

The One Where We Do Baked Alaska

So if you read you will know that there is one mum-job that I really do not do:

BAKE.

I don't do desserts.

I don't make cakes.

I don't make anything like that really. I can do a mean evening meal and some lovely salads and savoury items - but baking is definitely not my forte.

That's why when I popped a comment on Helen's blog, The Crazy Kitchen regarding an oh-so-yummy baked Alaska recipe, I was probably just joking about trying to make one. I mean, buying one is easier, right?

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Great Disney Mysteries of Our Time

I've been thinking about Disney films and what they mean lately. And well... there are just so many unanswered questions...it's bonkers.

Picture evidence within...

Review: Robinsons Fruit Shoot Jam

Just before the summer holidays began we were sent some Robinson's Fruit Shoot Jam to try out and see what we thought, along with some other summer-fun goodies.

Well, here is what we thought!

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Beginning 'Big School' and Remembering

"I don't need to try them on, I know the aged 9 one will fit...It's FINE!"

We're shopping for school uniform. It's busy, I'm hot and bothered about our two toddlers, Rosie and Alice are stomping around. Emily, aged 11, about to embark upon Year 7 of her new secondary school, is moaning about not wanting to try her skirts on.

"I don't LIKE socks with patterns on. Why aren't they just PLAIN?"

I sigh and grab Rosie as she tried to pull the entire contents of the knickers rail down upon herself. "Emily...they are just the stitches, it's no big deal. You just need grey socks..." but before I can finish my sentence she has cut me off, complaining.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Blog Ranking Tips: And Why You Should Give A F*ck

So it's that time of the month...NO not THAT time of the month I'm not that open with you.

It's THAT time of the month where the blog rankings are updated. The Tots scores use a variety of yard sticks such as Klout score, blog traffic, Instagram followers to measure each blog signed up (around 8,000 I'm led to believe). Each blog is measured and scored appropriately and then ranked,

This is how you get your Tots100 score for the month.

But as bloggers, we all knew that right.

So now I am going to tell you exactly why you should give a f*ck about these rankings and what it means to you. Pay attention... THESE THINGS MATTER!!!

The 'When-I've-Sold-My-House' Book

I have this absolutely gorgeous notebook. It was a present for my birthday. It has a hard-back and folds over with a magnetic closure. The art-work is beautiful.

I think it was from Blackwell's.

Look how gorgeous it is.

Monday, 25 August 2014

A327 War, Peace, Modernity - Getting a Head-Start

Yes, you read that right.

Finally, in my last and final module I am being organised and getting ahead with some reading! I think I have finally realised that being ahead is probably the best way to operate when you have three kids and a job and all that on top of studying! I think it is the thought of the final FINAL exam scaring me into it to be honest!

So...last module....#exciting!

Sunday, 24 August 2014

My Husband - My Rock

I don't really mention Warren.

Not very much.

He doesn't like his picture taken and he doesn't like being in my blog. He is private...and pretty normal really. Unless I ask him to be involved then he is not bothered.

So there will be no photos of Warren here. Just some words and a representative image. Because he is my rock.

The best person that I know and have ever known.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Date Night: Everything You Need To Know

Not a Saturday goes by without you hearing about someone who is going on a date. And usually, at my ripe old age of 32, people are actually going out on date night with their partners, to whom they have been married or otherwise attached for a number of years.

This is all cool, say I.

But of course, now that I have been married for over four years and attached to my loved one for about six - I have some expert advice to give you from my brain - some hints, tips and tricks to make sure that your date night is the best. Pull up a chair...

Friday, 22 August 2014

Because I am a Mother

There are and have always been many atrocities committed in war. In the name of religion. In the name of freedom. In the name of independence. In the face of conflict, children inevitably are injured and worse still, killed.

I will apologise for this post now. It probably doesn't belong here in this blog that aims to look at the lighter side of life and to joke about modern parenthood and juggling the shit out of life.

None of these things really matter when you open your eyes.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

How to Train Your Toddler

Having toddlers is hard work.

We know this, we have two of the little creatures running around the house. You see, they are just like little dragons...they need to be trained. They don't know ho to behave unless you tell them. So this post will tell you exactly what you need to know about training your toddler.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

So I was on all of these Quiz Shows...

I have been on the toughest quiz shows ever. Ones that really have tested my sense of how good a mother I am.

Because. let's face it, if we are going to test ourselves and be judged, then we might as well do it on prime time TV.

Judge me, haters.

Monday, 11 August 2014

What your choice of driving music says about you

This post was written by a freelance writer.


If you are a music lover, you most probably have all sorts of music players in your car. If you’re new to driving you’re probably relishing in having a car stereo system, a car radio, or a CD player, with ample ports to connect a USB drive or an MP3 player. You most probably have the latest speaker system installed as well.

Some drivers like listening to music while driving. Some listen to classical piano melodies, some to jazz and blues, while others tune in to the radio for the latest pop tunes. What does your driving music say about your personality?

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Family Budgeting

This is a PR collaboration, all words and views are my own.

This day and age everyone seems to be watching the pennies - the cost of living sometimes seems like a mountain to climb, especially if you have children. There are a few things that we do as a family to save money, and I have included them in this post.

Monday, 4 August 2014

Future Proofing Your Child's Tomorrow

This post is sponsored

Do you think about looking out for your children's financial future? Times are tough and sometimes it seems like your household budget is the main concern, of course. But we could also be thinking of savings for our children - just putting a little bit aside every month could mean the world of difference to them when they come of age.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Review: MU Cheese

Last week we were invited to the National Football Museum in Manchester to meet George Sampson and for the kids to learn some cool new dance moves. You can read about that here. As part of the day we were invited to a cheese-tasting session with MU Cheese, which we enjoyed very much. We were also given a goody bag full of cheese to try and report back on the blog!

National Football Museum with MU Cheese & George Sampson

Last week we were invited to a really great event at the National Football Museum in conjunction with MU Cheese. We were there to sample some of the cheese and to learn some cool dance moves with Britain's Got Talent winner George Sampson. The kids couldn't wait to get involved with this!

Monday, 28 July 2014

Dulux Bedroom In A Box - Follow-up and Competition

If you read regularly you will know that we recently reviewed Dulux Bedroom In A Box - a bedroom make-over kit containing everything you need to decorate a child's room - mural, wall and wood/metal paint and adhesive. We chose the Peppa Pig design - you can read our review here.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Our Visit to Imperial War Museum North

I am a massive history nerd, as you can probably tell from my blog posts about my studying. I absolutely love the Imperial War Museum in Manchester, and so I tend to go to every blogger event that they have - and this time was no exception. This summer they have a major First World War Cenenary exhibition - and we were invited to the preview.

Recipe Challenge with Tenderstem Broccoli - Asian Salmon

We were recently asked to create some recipes using Tenderstem Broccoli. The recipes are inspired from cuisines from all over the world, and the aim is to use more Tenderstem broccoli in our food through quick and easy family-friendly recipes. 

This is the final blog post about Tenderstem - and I'll be honest I am a convert! You can read the first blog post here. They have some great recipes on their website so do check them out and let me know if you try a few out for yourself.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Recipe Challenge With Tenderstem Brocolli - Spanish Paella

So if you have been following these recipe posts you will know that I was asked to take part in a challenge to use Tenderstem Broccoli in a few different recipes, inspired by cuisines from all over the world. This is my second instalment in the series, and I must admit I have loved doing this. I hope you have picked up some ideas from their website!

Recipe Challenge with Tenderstem Broccoli - Mexican Beef Fajitas

We were recently asked to create some recipes using Tenderstem Broccoli. The recipes are inspired from cuisines from all over the world, and the aim is to use more Tenderstem broccoli in our food through quick and easy family-friendly recipes. We do eat quite a lot of fruit and veg in our diet, but admittedly I had never cooked with tenderstem before. This was something that I was quite keen to get started with. I began by making two recipes sent to me. I will be writing more about tenderstem in another blog post to let you know about how we got on with the other recipes!


Thursday, 24 July 2014

Tea-Time: Another Cautionary Tale

Imagine you have three children. Three girls aged 10, 2 and 1, a curious mix of hormones, Haribo and Horrid Henry - or Emily, Alice and Rosie. Tea-time can be quite...interesting. By tea-time I mean evening meal, you might call this dinner, but I'm not here to preach about semantics.

So imagine, home from a hard days' work, you and your husband partnering up, as usual to prepare the evening meal. Alice, aged two is pottering about the living room making pretend cups of tea, and Rosie is sat strapped in to the chair at the dining table, eagerly awaiting her food. Emily is outside playing with her friends.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

My Open University Experience

This is a vlog about my experience with the Open University.

I put my posh voice on and EVERYTHING.

Hope you enjoy, feedback appreciated!

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Review: Dulux Bedrooom in a Box

We were really excited to be given the opportunity to review Dulux Bedroom in a Box. Having Rosie meant that two of the girls now share a room, and it was a little outdated - we had Alice and Emily stickers on the walls, and actually now Alice and Rosie share the room. So we were really looking forward to getting stuck in and making over the room!

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Matalan Bloggers Event

I was given a goodie bag and vouchers to purchase school uniform items for attending this event. All words and views are my own.

This week I was invited to Matalan head office in Skelmersdale to take part in a bloggers event there - they wanted to show us the new range of clothing and give us some information about what they do, as well as asking our opinion on their products. I jumped at the chance to go - we often go to Matalan, I find that their products are well made and value for money.

Review: Personalised Ben & Holly Book from Penwizard

We were sent this product free of charge for the purpose of this review. All views and words are my own.

We were delighted to be able to review this gorgeous book from Penwizard. Penwizard offer a number of different books that you can personalise for your children and give as a gift. Both Emily and Rosie have personalised books from a while back and I had been planning on getting one for Alice too - and this one is just perfect for her.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

A326 Empire Results

So the results for A326 Empire were due to be released on Friday 18th July, but this morning I got up and switched on my laptop and noticed loads of messages on the Facebook A326 groups. I knew the results were in.

To be honest I was all nervous and excited - I always get a bit frightened when I sign in to check the results.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Review: Takeaway.com

As a family we don't really have too many takeaways. We try to limit these to one a month - a little treat. I do enjoy letting someone else do the cooking once in a while!
So we were chuffed to be asked to review Takeaway.com - an online food ordering service - what could be easier?

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

The Ups And Downs Of Britmums Live

I know I already wrote a post about finding my own voice. But that was all a bit ME ME ME. But, you know what, it was a big deal for me.

But that's that.

Now I'd like to say a bit about the event itself, show you some pictures and maybe a video from the actual awards ceremony. OK I made one myself. About BOOBS. I'm great with metaphors, you'll see what I mean.


Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Princess Alice

A term of endearment right? A beautiful, graceful Disney princess.  

Errr...NO.

I give you...

Monday, 16 June 2014

Child's Play For Grown Ups

This post was written as a guest article by a freelance writer.

Kids get all the fun, don’t they? Sometimes it feels like we adults are just there to pick up the pieces. All work and no play… right?

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Blogging Event: 50 Days of Summer with Roberts Bakery

We were over the moon to be invited to Delamere Forest to learn about Roberts Bakery and their 50 Days of Summer campaign. We were invited to learn some new sandwich recipes.There was also story time for the children and of course we got to eat our sandwich creations after we had finished!

Review: Funky Giraffe Bibs

I was very excited to get to work with Funky Giraffe Bibs - I do enjoy having my children be part of my blogging, and reviewing bibs would be a great chance for me to take some photos of Rosie whilst checking out some bandana bibs!

Friday, 6 June 2014

The Golden Gap Year

This post is a PR collaboration.

The famous gap year is a time which many youngsters embrace with open arms – but what if you’re a little more mature in years?

Thankfully, exotic travel and retirement go hand-in-hand, ensuring that the golden gap year is open to everyone. Around 10,000 people turn 65 every day and many of these individuals wish to make the most of their new-found travel opportunities – leaving their McCarthy and Stone retirement homes temporarily in the pursuit of pastures new.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Best Places in London to Unwind This Summer

This post was written by E. Cole who is a freelance writer and blogger.

London is not a place which everyone would associate with unwinding and relaxing. One of the busiest cities in Europe, many people who live there simply want to get out if they are in the mood for relaxation. Nevertheless, the capital has some excellent spots to chill out in. Londoners and those from further afield should not be put off the idea of unwinding in the city, simply because of London’s reputation for busy – not to say – hectic lifestyles. If you want some ‘me time’ then London can offer it.

Saturday, 31 May 2014

Blogging Event: Pottery Painting at Minikins

Last week we were very lucky to be invited by Grown Up Milk to an event at Minikin Emporium in Sale.

Grown Up Milk is a new website that aims to help parents pick healthy options for their child's nutrition, and they wanted to give us a fun day.  Minikin Emporium in Sale was the perfect venue. It is a beautiful paint and pot family art cafe and sweet shop...hang on... ALL of that?

Yep. It was fab!

Friday, 30 May 2014

Blogging Event: Toast of The Town Cocktail Event

I was extremely excited to be invited to a cocktail making masterclass at the Copthorne Hotel in Manchester. I definitely don't make the effort to go to enough blogging events so I promised myself that I would start getting out more, and I wasn't disappointed!

I'm a BiBs 2014 Finalist!

This post has took me AGES to write. I'm a a bit scared to say it to be honest. I've been so overwhelmed that I have hardly been able to think about it - and drowning in Uni work meant that I had to bury it so I didn't get too giddy

Anyway: I'm in the final 6 for the Brilliance In Blogging Awards  in the laugh category.

*faints*

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

A326 Empire: Stick a Fork In Me...I'm Done

I've always wanted to say that in real-life. About anything really.

So anyway, I am done. End of module assignment done and dusted. I must have spent around 20...30...40 hours on it. Would I prefer a three hour exam?

Yes.


Saturday, 17 May 2014

A Day In The Park...

Today we went to Croxteth Park in Liverpool. The sun was beaming down and we had a lovely day. I got a bit snap-happy and so I have decided to link this post up to the Tots 100 and Center Parcs Family Blogging Challenge as an entry to win a break at one of the Center Parcs villages.
First of all I read some tips on the Center Parcs blog about taking photos. I've never really been a great photographer, but I read that sometimes you can take the best photos with just a normal phone.

Saturday, 10 May 2014