Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Balancing Disability with Family Life

Animated frog in showerHaving struggled with aspects of daily life, after being diagnosed with SPD in 2006 and then herniated discs a few years later, I know how hard it can be when things that used to be second nature suddenly become trickier. There are various aspects to consider, beyond the obvious physical challenges presented by such basic processes as bathing and dressing. For example, it's exhausting negotiating barriers from the second you wake up in the morning. It's also humiliating. No self-respecting adult is going to enjoy discussing their difficulties with getting dressed or washing, let alone having to get help with it. So, if you are the partner of someone who is struggling with a disability, or are a sufferer yourself, how can you make things easier? 
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Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Bristol Zoo Review; A Summer Send Off

Bristol Zoo ReviewThe husband and I had our first date at Bristol Zoo, so it holds a special meaning to us. I've watched it grow and change over many years and seen it develop its habitats and enclosures to meet the growing needs of an increasingly endangered population. It's a really special place. Wedged into a beautiful, but heavily populated, part of Clifton, space is at a premium and it's a balancing act to give all the animals the best environment for their needs, whilst also accommodating a vast number of visitors 364 days of the year. In recent years, there have been many changes and developments within the zoo and if you haven't been in a while, you may be surprised by how different it is now. It was the perfect place to begin our last week of the school holidays!
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Growing Old Gracefully with Bathing Solutions

Older lady skipping in her garden
How old is too old? I've often wondered about this. At what age does a person become 'old'. You know, the sort of old where you stop being considered 'wise' and start to illicite eye rolls everytime you share the wisdom of your years. Think Uncle Albert in Only Fools and Horses, or, of course, good old Victor Meldrew. They can't always have been old, so where does the dividing line sit? Is there a day when you suddenly find that nothing you say is truly listened to and you find yourself unable to begin a sentence without starting with; 'In my day...' Or is it more gradual and, most importantly of all, will you see it coming? I'm a little concerned about this whole subject, in all honesty. I'm approaching *cough* 40 *cough* much quicker than I would like and I can distinctly remember an age when I thought 40 was positively ancient. 
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Sunday, 28 August 2016

Eco Egg Laundry Egg and Stain Remover Review

Ecoegg in packagingEco Egg produce around 20 eco-friendly products these days, so it's easy to forget that it all started with one simple idea. An antidote to the myriad of different chemical-based detergents that are currently available to buy. It's been seven years since the first laundry egg was officially launched, and it's gained a huge amount of popularity in that time. There have been 1.5 million eggs sold, in 34 countries around the world. If you are anything like me though, you will still be asking yourself, does it work as well as my normal detergent, and is it worth the money? In this post, we will be finding out the answer to that question and also, how will an eco stain remover cope with a stain that might be chocolate milk? 
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Saturday, 27 August 2016

My Sunday Photo: The Box is the Best Bit!

Boy standing with large box covering most of him.
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Easy Chicken and Bacon Pasta


This recipe is so easy to make, it's barely a blog post at all! I thought it was a good time to post it, as a new batch of students are beginning to think about life at university. If you click the Recipes tab, you'll find lots of other easy-to.make recipes for practising cooking skills, most requiring just a few, low cost ingredients. Our two favourites are Easy Sausage Casserole and our Baked Salmon recipe. Today's recipe is a bit of a cheat, because it involves a tin of soup, but it's cheap and tasty, so I think it's acceptable. Read on, to find out how you can turn a tin of soup, into this...

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Thursday, 25 August 2016

Review and Giveaway with Beards and Daisies - The Letterbox Florist

White rose in bouquet, taken from above
On your right is a sneak peek at the quality and insane loveliness I found when I recently received a hand-tied bouquet from the hilariously named 'Beards and Daisies'  (more about that later) to review. Isn't it amazing? I don't think I've ever seen such a perfect rose and each one of the four roses contained within the bouquet were the same quality. Not a blemish among them. Stunning. I haven't edited the photo at all, apart from to darken the background a little. Here's the best part, though. You can win an equally incredible bouquet of your own, delivered straight to your door. Read on, to find out more and see the rest of the flowers in all their glory!
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Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Ideas for Your Children's Shell Collection!

Shell Necklace with Union Jack DesignEveryone loves a good day at the beach. Especially me. We spend a lot of weekends at the coast, enjoying the sea air and indulging my favourite pastime of shell seeking. It's a great, low cost activity that everyone can get involved in. The children love seeing what treasures they can find, or dig up. You can tailor it towards their interests, for example looking for pebbles with possible fossils in for dinosaur hunters, or finding shells with holes in, to make into jewellery. Read on for a great craft, with the added bonus of using up old nail varnish.
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Monday, 22 August 2016

Win £50 Astonish Cleaning Bundle - Review and Giveaway

Man holding Dishmop Seductively, with Sparkly Background
The husband is fairly unique in that he does his fair share of the housework, without grumbling. Like a lot of men, he does like a pat on the head and a KFC now and again, but he is generally quite happy to pitch in. So, when I was asked to review a range of products from Astonish, who better to pose for the photographs! We were sent a number of products to review and are also pleased to announce that we have a Back to School Pack worth £50, containing a selection of essential laundry busters to make life as a parent just that little bit easier. The pack will ensure that your child is top of the class when it comes to looking smart. Just what every parent needs after Day 1 of the new term! Read on to find out if our kitchen really did sparkle after trying out some of the products! 
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Friday, 19 August 2016

How to Look Expensive, Without Spending Too Much!*

Floral Dress from LystAt least once a year, an invite will probably drop through your letterbox (or into your inbox, it is the 21st century), requiring you to wear something smart, formal and usually expensive. Whether it's a wedding, conference, or Christmas do, the remit is always the same; tailored, unique and extravagant-looking. This can pose a real problem, if you are not financially equipped to invest in a designer dress or, are reluctant to splurge on something which is unlikely to see the light of day again. There may be friends, colleagues, or relatives at the event, with whom you have not shared your financial affairs, and you would like to keep it that way. Or perhaps you just don't want to be the subject of other, judgier, guests comments. Whatever the reason, you need a posh outfit, on the cheap, and quick!

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Thursday, 18 August 2016

Back to School: Make This Their Most Successful Year Yet

Pencils, Pencil Sharpener and Eraser on Plain BackgroundIt’s hard to believe that it’s already time to be thinking about going back to school, but this time of year is always full of surprises. Whether you’ve had a summer full of sunshine or have been waiting for the rain to stop so you can go outside, September will be here sooner than we can say “school uniform”. Among the dash to buy new stationery and school shoes, make sure you take time to think about how you can support your child’s school experience this year, and whether you can make any positive changes at home to help them.
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Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Olympics; Could the Sexism Police be Making it Worse?

Sometimes, a commentator says something, really, really stupid and we have to laugh. Who can forget the greatest ever innocent observation from Brian Johnston, who quite accurately reported, during a Test match at The Oval in 1976; The bowler's Holding, the batsman's Willey. Brian Johnston often said something daft, and had a little chuckle to himself, and we laughed along with him. This was the golden age of commentary, when commentators were allowed to have personalities and say silly things and make mistakes. Then along came Twitter, and everything changed. The Sexism Police arrived and political correctness went a little bit bonkers.
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Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Simply Be Outfit Review. Dresses for all Occasions


Summer dress, sandals and waterfall cardiganSince I waved goodbye to my tiny twenties and thinnish thirties, I have found it much trickier to find clothes I feel comfortable and confident in. The summer poses a particular problem, when, like many people, I face the issue of having to wear less clothes in order to keep cool, but not wanting to wear anything too revealing. Dressing for my age is very important to me. I know it's personal choice, but I don't feel right with too much on display. So, when Simply Be offered to send me an outfit to try out, I was really keen to see what was available for the summer season, from a company who specialise in the plus size.
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Sunday, 14 August 2016

Win Minions DVD Bundle with Now TV



*This post has been produced in association with Now TV and includes an affiliate link.*
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My Sunday Photo: See? Gull!

Seagull in flight over estuary
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Saturday, 13 August 2016

How to Make the Perfect Crispy, Fluffy Yorkshire Pudding

Single Yorkshire Pudding with title overlaid Recently, I published a photo of one of Phil's culinary creations, the humble Yorkshire pudding. Now, I'll be totally honest, this is not something I'm especially good at. I just don't have the patience to faff about getting it exactly right. It seems I'm not the only one, as the photo recieved a fair bit of admiration from people, with one or two suggestions that it might even be *gasp* 'purchased from the frozen aisle'. What an outrageous suggestion! Phil says it's not actually that difficult and has been promising for ages that he will share the recipe. So, here it is. Phil's foolproof method for a crisp and fluffy Yorkshire pudding.
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Thursday, 11 August 2016

Things I Missed on Holiday; A Camp Fire Song

Cmp Washing Up Drying in the Sun
We had a lovely time camping, but I did miss one or two little luxuries. You know, like running water that didn't taste of hosepipe and cold drinks on demand. The only thing cold was my feet at night! For #Prose4Thought this week, I've written a camping-inspired poem and tried to include all the things I thought abut while I was away. To get the full effect, you have to read it to the tune of 'My Favourite Things' from The Sound of Music. Extra points for singing out loud. 
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Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Children's Quizzes as a Learning Tool

Boy in school holding visitors badgeEducation is my thing. I've been involved in it in some way all my adult life and I can't think of anything more important to a child for their future. With a good education, you give the tools to succeed. Maybe not on a traditional route, not everyone is cut out for university, but in work, and even life, it's easier if you know the answers. Budgeting for the weekly shop, applying for jobs, even blogging, are all examples of tasks that are considerably easier if you have a level of education. We all want the best for our children, but how can we support them on their learning journey? After a long day at school, learning is often the last thing on a child's mind, but a lot of parents want to get involved and be supportive. 

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Tuesday, 9 August 2016

First Time Camping; The Good, The Bad, and The Snuggly!

View of Landscape from Lady's Mile Campsite Yesterday we returned from our first ever 'proper' camping trip having only ever been 'glamping' before. Glamping has become popular in recent years, but you can't beat the challenges and achievements that come with residing under canvas in a field! We had a brilliant time, but it certainly had its ups and downs and, along the way, we learned a little bit about the dos and don'ts of camping life. Read on to find out where you probably shouldn't pitch your tent and how we coped with the dramatic weather changes! 

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Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Charceuterie. What It Is and Why You will Want Some!

Carnivore Club BoxCharceuterie is the art of curing meat and also refers to the products themselves. Think; really posh ham, salami, biltong, that kind of thing. The interesting thing about Charceuterie, is that there are a vast array of different types, originating from different countries, and yet we probably stick to about half a dozen tried and tested favourites. When The Carnivore Club got in touch, asking if we would like to try one of their monthly subscription boxes, bringing the best of artisan cured meats from top suppliers to your front door, I thought it was a great opportunity to learn more about British Charceuterie.
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Monday, 1 August 2016

A Review of Stretch Armstrong, Relaunched for a New Generation

Stretch Armstrong seated on a swing
I remember Stretch from my youth. Which might have been the 1970's. Just. Nearer the 80's, though, actually. *ahem* In 2016, Stretch has been relaunched, still wearing his trademark trunks, and is ready to captivate a whole new audience with his phenomenal stretching abilities. You can buy your own Stretch Armstrong from the Character online shop. L was sent a Stretch to try out and, since he had never heard of him, I was interested to see what he would think. We took Stretch for a little outing to the park, to test his twisty-stretchiness and really put him through his paces. Here's how we got on.
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