Monday, 31 July 2017

Cleaning Short Cuts and Tips to Keep Up with the Housework

A neat and tidy downstairs cloakroomIt's very easy to get completely overwhelmed with housework. I do. It feels like I blink (or get absorbed in Facebook arguments) for a second couple of hours, and Armeggedon appears, uninvited, in my house. There are various issues that can cause this unwelcome phenomenon to occur. Maybe you are a bit of a hoarder, or have a brood of mini-hoarders, or just have other things you'd rather be doing. Whatever the reason, you are left with two choices; you can either dedicate yourself to a life maintaining a spotless showhome, worthy of a spot in Good Housekeeping or, you can do what I do and cheat a bit, fake it, and have a clean and happy home, without the hours of rubber-gloved drudgery. Here's how.
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Friday, 28 July 2017

Review of The Gorgeous Buddy Box from The Blurt Foundation

Contents of the June Buddy Box
I have bored everyone for quite a while with the devastion caused by the death of my best friend, but, as I mentioned in my previous post, a few good things came out of it too, not least the kindness of others. Many of my friends came through with all kinds of offers of help and support and it amazed me how thoughtful and understanding everyone was when I needed them most. Although, it shouldn't have done, because friends are amazing. One particular act of kindness made me smile so much, though, I've decided to give it a post of its own. Introducing the Buddy Box, from the mental health charity The Blurt Foundation. It's a hug in a box! 
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Tuesday, 25 July 2017

SS Great Britain Summer Events Programme


A couple dressed in Victorian costume. School is finally out for us and the last few weeks have been crazy busy. Along with school plays, leavers' celebrations and other events, we somehow managed to squeeze in a visit to one of our favourite Bristol tourist attractions to find out what's on over the summer. The SS Great Britain is somewhere we have always been fond of, as it has a way of growing with children. Each time we go, we discover something different that we hadn't appreciated before. During the summer break, you can get even more for your ticket price with the addition of some amazing extras that will amuse your brood, whatever their age.
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Win a Creature Peeper and Get to Know Your Critters!

Insect Lore creature peeper
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Monday, 24 July 2017

Smoking - How I Nailed Giving Up with No Substitutes

I am very proud to say that my husband has finally managed to give up smoking and the amazing part is, there was virtually no trauma involved! I've always known him as a smoker and I've always accepted it as part of life. As a non-smoker, I have never felt able to judge something I haven't experienced, so I never questioned it. I remember when he first admitted he was a smoker. It was on our first date and he was clearly embarrassed about it, but it never really bothered me. There have been massive advantages to him giving up though, not least to our bank balance and you won't believe how he did it. This guest post, in his own words, explains it all.
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Saturday, 22 July 2017

My Sunday Photo: Clash of Ages

A couple in Victorian costume, one with a mobile phone!
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Globenfeld Men's Rose Gold Automatic Watch Review

The face of a men's watch, on a bed of lavender.
We have reviewed a Globenfeld sports watch before and the husband was very pleased with it, so when I was offered this limited edition, rose gold automatic watch to review, I was thrilled. It looked beautiful in the picture and I was really looking forward to receiving it. I was not disappointed, it is truly stunning. I have never seen anything quite like it, as it doesn't have a battery, but also doesn't need winding. It works through a complicated network of 110 tiny moving parts, some of which can be seen through the windows, which give the watch its unique look and old-style charm. It's a real homage to traditional watch makers of old and has a great deal of appeal as a gift purchase, or treat for yourself.
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Sunday, 16 July 2017

Win a Disney Travel Easel - Ends 30/07

Disney Travel Easel
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20 Ways to Encourage Children to be More Active

Two Children Walking through a Muddy Path
We all know how important it is to encourage our children to be active, and the summer sunshine makes it all the more obvious, but not all children appreciate it. This might be open to a bit of a 'nature versus nurture' debate, but, in my opinion, all children are different and this aspect is no exception. There are some children who would prefer to be indoors, probably, shock, horror, on their playstations. So, I've made a list of 20 ways to encourage your child to get outside and be more active. I've tried to include different age groups in this, as it does get harder as they get older, but some ideas will overlap anyway. 
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Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Spiderman: Homecoming - A Parent's Guide

Spiderman balanced on a small Eiffel Tower, floating in the sea. Another Marvel film has been released in UK cinemas, and many young children will be desperate to see their favourite hero in action. The reason for this is, of course, because Marvel characters are very much marketed at children, despite the films being  routinely given a 12A certificate. The CBBFC defines this as: Films suitable for children aged 12 and over. People younger than 12 may see a 12A so long as they are accompanied by an adult. Responsibility for allowing a child under 12 to view lies with the adult. Which means parents need to be sure their children can handle it and that the language and references are appropriate for them. So, I went to see Spiderman: Homecoming and this is my parent's guide to help you decide. 
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Saturday, 8 July 2017

Can the Combover! Thoughts on Male Pattern Baldness

Balding man, taken from aboveThere has been much speculation about the authenticity of Mr Trump's barnet. Everything about it is wrong. The colour, the sculpted, undulating waves, the fact you never see an individual strand move, it's all a bit... unnatural. Experts seem to have concluded that it isn't a toupe, despite its resemblance to a well-groomed dead animal. The jury is still out on how he is doing it, and more importantly, why, but it got me thinking; why do a lot of men, especially celebrities, worry so much about their hair? It would be sexist not to expect them to care about their appearance, but some women find bald men sexy, so should they be concerned? 
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Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Dirty Dancing at The Bristol Hippodrome - Review

Classic scene from dirty dancing
When I first heard about the stage version of Dirty Dancing, I was really curious as to how they would handle some of the bigger scenes from the 1987 film. It might have been 30 years ago, but it's such a classic that I still watch it now and again, so was very aware that there would be some challenges for the production team. The stage show has enjoyed three successful West End seasons and is now midway through a nationwide tour, taking in no less than 16 UK towns and cities. So how does a dance-based film, with a large cast and many iconic scenes, filmed in some diverse locations, transfer to the stage? We received free tickets for our review, which will hopefully provide the answer.
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Monday, 3 July 2017

Thoughts on Saying Goodbye

Balloons in the sky with a church behind
I went to put up a Sunday Photo today and realised that I hadn't posted since last Sunday, which seems impossible, but this week has gone in kind of a blur. So, I thought instead, I would write a bit about why I have been so unnaturally quiet this week and what's been happening in between. The reason for my absence hasn't been a happy one, but sometimes you just have to write what's in your heart and hope no one minds. I often, like now, right these introductions before I write the actual post, so I don't know how they are going to turn out. However, I do know that I am going to try to end it on a bit more of an upbeat note, so try to hang in there, if you can.
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