Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Parenting and Trying to Relax

Lady seated by lake, readingDifferent parents face different hurdles when it comes to relaxing. I've heard new parents tell me they can't even relax on the toilet! I've certainly faced different challenges since having a boy, they seem to be a whole different species when it comes to chilling out. Even playing computer games or watching TV seems to involve an element of pent up nervous energy finding its way out. I must admit, I have been known to resort to headphones to get some peace. I use a Youtube audio cast featuring hairdryer noise and it's brilliant for clearing your mind. I know it sounds mad, but it really works.

Monday, 26 September 2016

Hard Surface Cleaner from EcoEgg Review

EcoEgg Hard |Surface CleanerYou may remember, about a month ago, I reviewed the Laundry Egg, from Eco Egg and found it to be a revelation in space, and money, saving household products. So, this month I am having a go with a really intriguing product, the Hard Surface Cleaner from Eco Egg. I had never heard of a hard surface cleaner before, so I wondered what you could use it for. It turns out, pretty much anything, with a few small exceptions. So I set out to put it through its paces. We were sent the Hard Surface Cleaner pack , which is available at a very special price for today only (September 26th) on QVC as Today's Special Value item. You can buy it for just £14.98, which is a huge saving on the standard retail price of £23.54.

Saturday, 24 September 2016

My Sunday Photo: Stalagmites at Bristol Museum

Stalagmites that look a lot like penises

Why my Son Won't be Participating in the NHS Child Measurement Programme

Like all parents in England, when my child started school, it wasn't long before we received a letter informing us that he would be weighed and measured, as part of the National Child Measurement Programme. This was, apparently, in order for the NHS to build an accurate picture of the heights and weights of UK children. Fair enough, I thought. That sounds like a worthwhile exercise to get behind. So I didn't object, and thought nothing more of it, until, out of the blue, I received a letter informing me that my son, who had dressed himself for school that morning in clothes aged 4-5, was in fact, overweight. The 4-5 year old trousers were actually pretty huge and I had to draw the waistband right in.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

My Weird Christmas List

Christmas gifts under a tree, with feet. Sorry to mention Christmas, but for some reason, it always starts creeping into my mind, once everyone goes back to school. I know what L wants, he's easy, but adults are so much trickier. They get more difficult as they get older too, because they've either already got it, or just decide to buy it anyway, in a fit of retirement-induced boredom (mentioning no names, you know who you are!). So I thought I would share with you all the strange things I've thought of, that I would quite like for Christmas this year. Perhaps it will give you inspiration for your own relatives, or just a window into the inner workings of my slightly bonkers mind. 

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Concentrix - What Now? An Update and Thank You!

White fireworks in the sky. After all the excitement of Lynn's appearance on The Victoria Derbyshire show yesterday, great news has been announced with the decision not to renew Concentrix's current contract. After all the support that Lynn has received from readers of this blog, we would both like to thank everyone for all the signatures on the petition and the tweets and comments that helped with this very important cause. A lot of people have been asking about the next steps, as it doesn't end here. Lynn, and many people like her, are still without essential funds and there is a bigger fight to be won.


Tuesday, 13 September 2016

The Kindness of Strangers, an Unexpected Outcome

A couple of days ago I invited a good friend of mine to guest post about a subject that has affected her and her son very badly, when Concentrix put another family into poverty. I wanted her to have her say, because she was at her wits' end. It was yet another HMRC out-sourced agency that caused the immeasurable distress that she found herself immersed in. She, we, wanted to talk about how that pans out at the bottom. After the leaf has made its way through all the beaurocratic branches, all the facts, figures, number crunching, forms, tick boxes, etc, what does it actually mean to have nothing to live on? 

Sunday, 11 September 2016

True White Mirai Toothbrush - Review and Giveaway

Mirai Toothbrush Packaging - RedI love gadgets and I'm especially fond of toothbrushes. It might sound a bit bonkers, but I have always felt you should invest as much as you can in your teeth. Dental work is very expensive, not to mention pretty unpleasant! A little time and money spent now, could prevent a lot of pain, and even more money spent, later on. It's also reassuring to know you are doing the best for your teeth. You only get one adult set, after all. So, when True Company offered to send us a new design of toothbrush, worth £150, to review, how could I say no? Curiosity won me over and I couldn't wait to give it a try. The good news is, they have also agreed to send one to a lucky winner, so don't forget to enter the competition at the bottom of the post!

My Sunday Photo: Sunset Over the Severn Vale

Sunset through tree landscape

Friday, 9 September 2016

Dear Mr Thompson #ConcentrixFamilyPoverty

A Guest Post by Lynn.
I have hosted a guest post before on the realities faced by individuals who are dealing with our broken and inefficient benefits system. There are so many stories in the press. Many, highlighting the poverty and distress that the cuts, austerity and mistakes have caused. There are some pretty horrifying statistics out there. Including people taking their own lives through the stress and fear that these departments cause. Once again, I have witnessed first hand the catastrophic affects these decisions, made in an office somewhere, usually based on a series of ticks on a list, are continuing to have on people I care about.


Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Appreciating our Little Car!

Children standing next to white carLiving in a semi-rural area, you get the best of both worlds. Lovely countryside, with beautiful scenery and a peaceful existence, but also an impressive array of different shops and entertainment options just a short distance away. The frustration I have, though, is that it's very difficult to get around. We are lucky, because we have a rather old, but utterly brilliant car. It's utterly brilliant because, despite being middle-aged in car terms, it goes. That level of reliability is worth its weight in gold living here. 

10 Phrases You'll Recognise If You Grew up with 90's TV

Television has a lot to answer for and one of its legacies is catchphrases. There are obvious ones, usually originating from Bruce Forsyth, but then there are the less obvious ones, many of which have found their way into common usage and can be heard up and down the country, without any even knowing, or remembering, where they originally came from. Here, I will try and put that right. If you grew up with 90's TV, you may recognise some of these examples, if I've forgotten any good ones, feel free to add them to the comments! 


Monday, 5 September 2016

Life on the Other Side

Somebody just said to me that in a few days, it will be under a hundred days until Christmas. Firstly, how?! Last week, it was July and we were debating whether or not to get the big paddling pool out and the week before that, it was April and I was contemplating how long I could make the final year of my thirties last. Well, clearly that last thought didn't go according to plan! Secondly; who does that? I mean children do, obviously, but it does perplex me when adults can't contain their excitement for Christmas from September onwards. Retailers can't either. The manager of my local supermarket is really over excited, he's already got his Christmas displays up, I think he is reliving his childhood.

Bogs Footwear Review and Giveaway - Amazing Wellies!

Bogs children's wellies, in a blue and yellow stripe.
I'm not saying that my son is fussy, but he is a little bit obsessed with comfort. If it isn't comfortable he does not see any need to wear it and I am inclined to agree with him. There's plenty of time for sensible shoes and collars and ties when he starts caring about girls. In the meantime, his shoe of choice is always the welly. He loves a welly. Plenty of room to wriggle your toes and easy to pull on and off when you need to rush out and do something important at a moment's notice. L lost his favourite wellies, in a distressing experience at the beach, and after hearing about this, Bogs Footwear sent him some new ones to review, and as you can see, he loves them already!

Saturday, 3 September 2016

A Voyage on The Matthew - Review

The Matthew ReviewThis is the last week of the school holidays for us, so we thought it would be nice to have a couple of last days out, before we have to start being all sensible and going to bed on time. We were lucky enough to be able to review Bristol Zoo Gardens this week and we were also invited to attend a cruise of Bristol Harbour on board The Matthew. We have sailed on The Matthew once before, but it was a very short trip, due to bad weather, so we were really excited to find it was a beautiful day, when we were due on board. We've been so lucky this summer with the weather, I can't remember ever having so many consecutive sunny days and it has really meant we could make the most of the holidays. 
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