Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Wear Yellow for Microcephaly Awareness Day on 30th September!!

Our Hidden Illness series continues, with this post from Sarah.

Tomorrow will be a very special day for me and my family. The 30th of September is Microcephaly Awareness Day. "What's Microcephaly?" I hear you say. Well Microcephaly is a neurological disorder that means the circumference of the head is smaller than it normally should be because the brain has not developed properly or has slowed or even halted growth. Micro means small and cephaly means head. Microcephaly affects 2-2.5% of the population, which actually makes it more common than Autism!

Living with ME - A Guest Post by Catherine

Today in our occasional series Hidden Illnesses, Catherine has joined us, to talk about ME which is a long-term (chronic), fluctuating, neurological condition that causes symptoms affecting many body systems, more commonly the nervous and immune systems. ME affects an estimated 250,000 people in the UK, and around 17 million people worldwide, but many people know little about it. The message, as always is; just because you can't see it, that doesn't mean it isn't causing massive problems for the sufferer. Read on to find out more and perhaps help someone you know with this horrible condition. 

Monday, 28 September 2015

A Beginner's Guide to Couponing

Pile of British small change coins. Couponing is actually quite easy. If you can operate a pair of scissors and a printer, you could be saving a surprising amount of money every time you shop. In the photo is the result of my coupon shop last Friday 25/09. With a recommended retail price of over £83, this shop cost me just over £23. So, I thought I would share with you some of the tricks I've learnt, as well as some of the mistakes I've made, in my efforts to save money. I hope it encourages more people to have a go and save some money, it's definitely worthwhile. Below are the facts and figures for my latest venture, but first, here are my top tips for a successful coupon shop!

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Best Flooring for Children's Rooms

In an ideal world, children would be surrounded by fluffy loveliness at all times. Everything would be white and sumptuous, like clouds. This is how we quite often begin our room decorating as parents, when we are imagining that cute little bundle of joy that will occupy the pastel coloured nursery. However, that is before we discover that our little bundle of joy has a mind of its own and is usually sticky. By the time they are crawling, we are starting to wish we had plastic wrapped everything.


Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Apple and Blackberry Crumble

Apple and Blackberry CrumblesAs it's windfall season, here is a reminder of the Apple and Blackberry Crumble recipe I originally posted two years ago! It was part of an apple round-up, but I felt. as crumbles can be under-represented, I would give it its own post. The secret to this recipe is to use brown sugar, instead of white, as it gives a lovely, caramelised twist to the topping and it will come out crisp and glistening, as if it was created by a true domestic goddessRubbing in the breadcrumbs is particularly appealing to little ones, if you do have any willing helpers!


Highlights and Tealights! Partylite Candle Review and Giveaway

Tealight Candles
There is something infinitely comforting about lighting a candle. It doesn't seem to matter how many technological advances take place in lighting over the years, there is still nothing quite like the soft glow of a flickering candle. When the soft lighting is accompanied by a subtle aroma, the possibilities are endless. You can create all kinds of different atmospheres to suit your mood or situation; relaxing, sensual, uplifting, or even envoking special memories of Christmas or maybe a family holiday.


Friday, 18 September 2015

The Simple Things: Our Budget Wedding

Bride and GroomThere were lots of reasons why we didn't want a flash wedding. Mainly, it's because we are just not flash people. We have always enjoyed a quiet, unassuming lifestyle. We don't really enjoy big crowds or lots of fuss. So it was a long time before we even got around to starting to plan. It was going to be tricky. There was lots to consider, not least the fact that with children to provide for, we couldn't really have justified being too lavish, even if we'd wanted to. What we really wanted, was to reflect ourselves.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Dismaland: A Review by Mel

I often lack motivation, so it is with some irony, that I must report I have yet to find the time to travel down to Weston super Mare for the Banksy exhibition. I would really like to go, but it's tricky bus-wise and I don't think it's an appropriate place for a nine year old, which obviously limits when I can go. All is not lost though, as my intrepid explorer friend Mel, from Diary of a Jewellery Lover did all the legwork for me and reports her findings below. After reading her answers though, I would now really quite like to go. That's more irony, right there. Over to you, Mels.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

The Importance of Time

A Guest Post by Phil

I always feel sad when I hear people say they didn't have a happy childhood. I had a fantastic childhood, with so many memories of the fun I had, I really could write a novel. Those memories have shaped the way I have become a person and brought my children up. I thought I would share some of my theories.  I have always firmly believed that people my age, I'm nearly 50, were the last generation to be brought up as Victorians. My grandparents were born in 1905 and my parents were brought up with those values, which passed down to me. I am extremely old fashioned. I was brought up with the values that you stood up to let a lady have your seat.

Friday, 11 September 2015

More Bedroom Brilliance!

I have become unnaturally obsessed with furniture recently. Since I started investigating what's out there, I just can't stop browsing. I am discovering amazing space-saving contraptions and mind-blowingly inventive storage solutions all the time. I've always been interested in making the most of storage, ever since sharing a two bed flat with two teenagers and a baby. I don't think it will ever leave me, even if I lived in a mansion!


Thursday, 10 September 2015

Children's Furniture Inspiration with Room to Grow

As you will see from my recent wishlist post, I have been thinking a lot about furniture lately. Namely; furniture for small, but growing, boys. When they get to that age where you have to really consider what you buy, because it won't be long before they are teenagers. It has to last and it has to be able to grow with them, so they are not embarrassed about it in a couple of years!

Bristol Bits: Help Our Homeless this Winter

This is a subject that is very close to my heart. I have often contemplated doing something about the appalling plight of the homeless in Bristol. I love Bristol, I write about it often and I appreciate everything that is great about our city. Then it starts to get cold. The atmosphere changes and the homeless become more visible somehow. Don't get me wrong, I am always aware of them being there, but when it's cold, I can't help thinking, how close we all are to being where they are. It really doesn't take a lot. One life event can change your whole life. Last Christmas, two young people really caught my eye. 


Thursday, 3 September 2015

Wash Day Blues

I do like a challenge, that much is true,
So, as soon as the washing cycle is through
I rush out to the garden with hope in my eyes,
And only once do I pause to look up at the skies.

There's a certain injustice, as I try to be green,
Save money and energy, whilst keeping things clean,
But it could rain for a day, or perhaps just an hour,
there's no way of knowing when's the next shower.
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