Tuesday, 30 June 2015

It's a Blogger Thing; Five Unique Bloggerisms!

Milkshake with title overlaidBloggers will photograph anything. A lamppost, a streetsign, a really ugly fleece on a stranger (from behind, obviously). Bloggers have even occasionally been spotted staking out the sausages in the local supermarket. Nothing is off limits, because who knows when you will need a colourful picture of a milkshake or a man's hat. Many a perfect post has been ruined for the lack of an ideal photo, and it is also secretly kind of fun. Along with some of the crazy photographs I've collected over the years, I've also listed some other strange things that are perfectly normal, if you're a blogger.

Monday, 29 June 2015

Win a Child-Proof iPad Mini Case worth £45!!

Ok, I can't really guarantee child-proof-ness, as some children are more, um, thorough than others! I saw this, though, and thought of all the parents forced to entrust their shiny tablets into the sticky hands of their offspring. There are so many fun and educational apps for little ones these days, a tablet case like this one is a really good idea! This particular example is not called 'The Survivor' for nothing. Meeting, or exceeding, US Military standards, the enclosed iPad Mini was shown to withstand a drop test of no less than six feet in tests. You need one, you do. To protect your mini from your minis, it's an essential piece of kit. Enter below and it could be yours!


Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Making Basic Biscuits Better, with Betty Crocker!

Biscuits, with title overlaidI am a massive fan of these little cookie mixes, by Betty Crocker. I'm actually a huge fan of Betty Crocker in general. The tubs of icing are so convenient and last for ages, even when they've been opened. I use them all the time in my quick mix recipes, like this quick mix sponge cake. If you are entertaining though, or want your cookies to look a bit more 'homemade' (ahem), they can seem a bit, well, flat. Here a couple of ideas to pep them up a bit, without really making much effort, because you want to save all your energy for the eating part, don't you? 

Sunday, 21 June 2015

85 Reasons to Buy Avon Dry Oil Spray and a Competition

Avon Clinical Eye Lift I make no secret of the fact I am a massive fan of Avon. It's no coincidence that Avon has been selling beauty products under the brand name since 1939. Their constant innovation and quality ingredients have built a level of trust with the general public that has really stood the test of time. I grew up with it, and it is still the only brand I turn to for certain products, such as the AMAZING Clinical Eyelift, which is so much cheaper than other eyelift products and is so effective. It's great to have a product that you can use on the eyelid, especially as I get dry skin on my eyes, so I find it really soothing. It works, too, I always look more awake after I've used it. It is half price in the current catalogue, so it's a great time to invest in a pot!


My Sunday Photo; Seagulls Diving en Masse

Seagulls Flying and Diving


Friday, 19 June 2015

Roebeck Country Park, Isle of Wight Review

Covered Eating Area at Roebeck with Title Overlaid
The build up to our holiday had been fairly intense, with lots of child-based excitement and sleepless nights, but finally the day had arrived! We were so excited, we left the house at midnight, for the three hour journey! There is definitely an arguement for travelling in the early hours if you want a stress -free road trip, but even I thought that was going a bit far! This is our review of our stay, although I'm not sure I could really do it justice, there is so much we loved about it. Roebeck Country Park is situated near Ryde on the Isle of Wight and we visited during May half term.


Tuesday, 16 June 2015

My Unusual Shed Design

A Pink and Yellow Striped Shed with Large Blue Painted Flowers
This is a bit of a nostalgia post, as we have had our shed for a while now. It was originally 'designed', by me, in 2014 and has attracted a few comments since. Mostly, because you can see it from quite a distance away. I had always wanted a beach hut-ispired shed and, a year later, I have no regrets about the bold statement it makes in the garden. Every now and then, I like to applaud The Husband's stoic ingenuity, often in the face of financial adversity. This somewhat psychedelic monument celebrates The Husband's dedication to some of my more bonkers design ideas and has so far gone largely unsung. So,today, I give you... Our Garden Shed!

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Win Star Wars Single Reversible Duvet Set!

Today's competition is one for the Sci Fi fans. A reversible duvet set, featuring lots of great characters AND it's easy iron, bonus! A lovely addition to any child's bedroom. Enter below and may the force be with you. #CompersWelcome


Living With a Back Condition

Woman in bed, covered with a quilt, except for the eyes. Title text overlaid. I'm contributing my own post to our Hidden Illness series today. Something I've been wondering about doing for a while. A lot of the subjects I blog about begin with the same thought; 'Do other people feel this way?' I started this blog because I wanted to offer support to other parents by not being perfect. Because, to be a parent, you don't have to be perfect, you just have to try. You won't always get it right, but you do your best, and your children exist safe in the knowledge that you love them enough to always give them your all, even if sometimes it's a bit wonky or soggy in the middle...

Vanity and the Spectacled Woman

Every time my optician's check up comes round, I am reminded how vain I am. I have needed glasses since I was 16, but I have only ever worn them on an 'as required' basis. I needed them when I was at college, that was a long time ago. I need them to drive, but I don't drive. Not just because of the glasses, you understand, I am just spectacularly rubbish at it. If I was meant to go backwards and turn at the same time, I would have been born with wing mirrors. So, that's me, vain and quite lazy.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Encouraging Children to Read

Fairy Tale Book with Title OverlaidSome children love to read, but some need a bit more encouragement. It is definitely worth persevering with, as they will certainly thank you when they are older and will hopefully develop a love of reading in their own time. It can be concerning when your child shows little or no interest in reading, particularly as they approach school age and years of formal education, including test scores and peer pressure, stretch before them. It is worth remembering though, that children develop at their own rate and there is absolutely no need to panic if they just don't care about reading. 

Monday, 8 June 2015

An Easy Salmon Recipe for the Barbecue

Cooked Salmon with title overlaid
My family love barbecues. Perhaps a little too much. I think they would have barbecues for breakfast if I let them! I don't mind them and enjoy being outdoors and the social aspect, but I find burgers and sausages get a bit samey after a while. So, when I found a half side of salmon reduced to £1.50 in the bargain bin at the supermarket yesterday, I decided that had to be the answer to my barbecue boredom. But what to do with it... Inspiration came in the form of another bargain buy, a bag of limes for 9p! Here's how to make a delicious salmon dish to add some interest to your usual barbecue meals. 


Positivity, Polishness, and a Competition to Win an Ipad!

Market Trader

There has been an awful lot in the press for quite a while now, about immigration, and more often than not, there are negative connotations attached. Now, I don't want to get all political, because I actually think there are several different issues at stake, two of which are; those that are already here, and those that have yet to arrive. Should the government make changes to the immigration rules? Probably, but for those that are already here, this is home.


Sunday, 7 June 2015

My Sunday Photo; Smiles and Slides

Boy Going Down Slide

Strawberry Ice Cream Milkshake

Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream MilkshakeWe love strawberries and are always trying to think up new and different strawberry recipes. This super simple strawberry milkshake recipe is so easy, it's a lovely one to get children involved with. It's brilliant fun and perfect for cooling down during the summer months. The taste and texture is very reminiscent of the milkshakes you get in a certain fast food restaurant, but contains real fresh fruit, for extra health benefits. If you don't have strawberries, you could try substituting another fruit, such as raspberries or bananas. As with a lot of my recipes, the amounts aren't set in stone and can be adjusted to taste without completely ruining it. All you need is....

Friday, 5 June 2015

Blog Camp, for Bloggers and Wombles with Tots 100

Today I did something I've never done before. No, not naked Morris Dancing. I went to Blog Camp. There are a lot of different blog conferences that go on in different parts of the country and I never go, because it always costs a bit, or is too far away. So, when I heard there was one in Bristol, I felt it would be rude not to pop along and see everyone. It's always interesting to hear from other bloggers about what works for them and how they got better at their particular area of blogging. The event was hosted by Tots100 and the most interesting talk was on Freelance Writing, I had no idea how many different ways there were to earn money from words!

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Travelling 'Abroad' with Wightlink Ferries

I love being a blogger. I love writing, which is why I started blogging, but also, sometimes epic things happen. Like, when I was recently asked if I would like to review a holiday park on the Isle of Wight. Brilliant, I thought! Then I hit a snag. It was pretty short notice and I needed a ferry crossing. A cheap one! Along came the lovely people at Wightlink who offered us a free crossing, if we promised to let you know how we got on. So, here is our review of the Wightlink Ferry Portsmouth to Ryde crossing, we hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Attracting, and Keeping, Garden Birds

Bird Box with Title OverlaidWe decided a long time ago not to keep pets in the house. This is partly financial, and partly down to the level of commitment required. We have always quite liked the fact that we can go out for the day, or even the weekend, at short notice, without having to worry about who's going to take care of the furry offspring. It is still possible for children to observe and learn about animal behaviour, though, by encouraging wildlife into the garden. It helps animals find food and a safe place to be, and encourages children to be considerate to their environment. Here's how we brought birds and frogs to our garden. 

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Camping. Great Entertainment on a Small Budget.

I have always taken my children on standard 'holiday camp' type holidays, where you stay in a static caravan or a little chalet and there is lots available on site, such as a swimming pool, restaurants, entertainment, etc. In recent years though, this option has become more and more expensive. Sometimes even more expensive than travelling abroad! This year we went on a traditional camping holiday, kindly supplied by  Roebeck Country Park for us to review. We were all really surprised by how positively it compared to our previous holiday choices and I wanted to write about this aspect as I would never have realised how enjoyable it would be and how little we would miss the holiday camp environment.
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