Sunday, 12 August 2018

The #LoveFreshCherries Campaign

Before the boys came along, my partner and I had a holiday to Crete and one of my favourite memories of this holiday was being provided with a bowl of delicious cherries after every meal we bought whenever we went out to eat. They were so sweet and juicy and I vowed to eat more of them when we returned home off the holiday. To this day they are still my favourite fruit and so I couldn't wait to take part with the #LoveFreshCherries campaign to show how we enjoy cherries as a family! 

When the boys were little I used to worry about the little stones in cherries but with a cherry de-stoner, it's quick and easy to remove the stones whilst keeping the cherries intact. Once our cherries were de-stoned we decided to take them along on a picnic. After a walk and a play around the Botanical Gardens, we sat down to enjoy the cherries. The were really juicy and refreshing and because they were so sweet they boys were quite happy to indulge. Cherries are jam packed with vitamin C (just 100g provides 25% of the daily RDA) as well as antioxidants. They also contain melatonin to promote a healthy sleep pattern. A healthy and delicious fruit! 

One of our favourite ways to enjoy cherries is as they come but for an added bit of luxury they are delicious with a scoop of ice cream or dipped in melted chocolate! 

Do you enjoy cherries? How do you like to prepare them? I'd love to hear! 

This post is an entry for the BritMums #LoveFreshCherries Challenge, sponsored by Love Fresh Cherries

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Exploring the Big Kidz Range From Wicked Uncle

We love Wicked Uncle in our house: they have a really interesting and unique selection of gifts on their website, so when it comes to finding an great present for the little people in our family, it's often our go-to place to look! I was really intrigued to hear that they now have a Big Kidz section on their site which means there's a selection of gifts for teens and adults too! 

The range includes fabulous gadgets, exciting games and interesting books, to name just a few. The gifts are even categorised (for example Sporty, Adventurer, Books and Games) to make finding the right gift even easier. You can also filter these on price and popularity. 

Our Favourite Gifts...

Exit The Game - The Abandoned Cabin
Escape rooms are all the rage at the moment and so this Escape Room game really appealed. There are clues to crack and puzzles to solve in this exciting game as you strive to escape a locked cabin in the woods! Suitable for 1- 4 players and with a playing time of 1-2 hours, this is a great activity to play on your own, as a couple or with a group of friends! 

Mini Arcade Machine
Who wouldn't enjoy a bit of old fashioned nostalgia with this awesome mini arcade machine? It is jam packed with popular arcade games (in fact there are 240 built-in games) and it has a full colour screen and speakers! This is the retro gift for big kids everywhere! I can't think of anyone who wouldn't enjoy this gift! 

Wicked Uncle items always arrive really quickly (they will send out the same day if ordered before 4pm) and they are also really well packaged. There's a gift wrapping service and the option to include a greetings card as well as a message too if required! 

Why not check out their exciting range of gifts? You'll be spoiled for choice! You can visit them here.

* We were very kindly gifted the above items in exchange for an honest review. We loved them! 


Monday, 30 July 2018

The Ultimate Holiday Essentials Guide

If you're planning a holiday this year, there will be a few items that you just won't want to be without but there are also those items that make your holiday experience extra special! I've put together a guide of holiday essentials to help you get the best out of your time away. Happy Holidaying!

For Families... 

Littlelife Family Beach Shelter
When you're planning a day on the beach, a beach shelter is a must and this one really delivers! It has a UBF rating of 50+ offering protection from the sun's harmful rays. It also shelters from wind and rain and their's a little zip up door if you need privacy or your little one needs a rest. You can find one here.

Colief Breathe Easy Patch
There's nothing worse than poorly, snuffly little ones! Why not pack these Breathe Easy patches just in case your children are poorly while you are on holiday? They attach to your little one's clothing or bedding and the peppermint and eucolyptus in them will soothe, aiding a restful night's sleep. They are suitable for ages 3 and over and can also help ease the symptoms of hayfever. Find out more here.
Remington Tangled 2 Smooth
When you're little one has spent the day on the beach or has been in and out the swimming pool, brushing their hair afterwards can be a bit of a challenge to say the least! But Remington's Tangled 2 Smooth electric brush can ensure your little one's hair is brushed, detangled and smooth in no time at all and without the tears! Special teeth on the brush help to ease out any knots and tangles. It's portable so you can take it out with you and it can also be used on wet, damp and dry hair! Find out more here.

Carbon Monoxide Detector
For safety and peace of mind on your holiday, a carbon monoxide Detector is a must. Did you know that 40 people in the last two years were sadly killed after being exposed to this gas whilst staying in a tent, caravan, holiday cottage or boat? Carbon monoxide is odourlous, colourless and tasteless so without a carbon monoxide alarm you'd be unable to detect it yourself. Project Shout is a national campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide. Visit their site for more valuable information about these dangers as well as how you can keep your family safe.
For you...

Dry and chapped lips can be a result of sun, windy and salty sea conditions as well as from dry recycled air from planes. Damage to your lips as well a lack of sleep or dehydration can make you more susceptible to the cold sore virus. Prevasore helps to relieve, prevent and treat cracked lips as well as helping to heal cold sores and prevent their occurrence. You can find out more here!

Remington Air Plates Compact
When you're short on space in your luggage, you don't have to go without those all important hair straighteners! The Air Plates Compact from Remington have a smaller handle so the bulk is removed from the handle, not the plates, meaning you don't need to compromise on the styling ability. The straighteners feature suspended plates which are designed to reach every strand of hair in one pass. they also come with a heat protective sleeve which is idea for when you're on the go. You can find out more here.
4711 Refreshing Tissues and Cool Stick
4711s Cooling tissues are a refreshing way to cool down and refresh the skin. Infused with the famous Eau de Cologne fragrance, the scent will also invigorate and revitalise the mind. The cool stick is a concentrated cologne stick which can be used to top up the zesty scent when you're on the go. With a crisp light fragrance, you'll feel as if you've just taken a dip in the pool! Find out more here.

Zap-it is a mosquito bite relief devise. It takes the itchiness and sting out of insect bites as well as jelly-fish stings and stinging nettles. By clicking the device over the affected area, the toxicity of the bite or sting becomes neutralised. It is small and compact, weighing only 12g and contains no batteries either. You won't want to be without your Zap-It! Available here.
Optase Eye Spray
Optase Eye Spray helps to hydrate and soothe tired and dry eyes. It also helps to moisturise the eyes and eyelids resulting in healthier looking eyes. Hot weather, air conditioning and pollen levels can all contribute towards irritation and dryness of the eyes so this is the perfect product to take with you on your travels. Find one here.

Olverum Bath Oil
If you're planning some serious relaxation during your holiday, Olverum bath oil will help you create your own little nirvana. It contains 10 pure essential oils and smells absolutely divine. The travel set containing three 15ml bottles (ideal for 9 baths!) is the perfect accompaniment. Relax, reset and renew! You can purchase a travel set here.
Cienna Rose Nail Lacquer
For fabulous nails this summer, the range of Cinena Rose nail lacquers won't disappoint. There are 27 different shades with an enriched formula, free from harmful chemicals. These stylish nail lacquers leave a gel like finish and are long lasting and chip resistant. Not only that but they are cruetly-free and vegan friendly. What's not to love? Find out more here.
HEVL Face Cream
Protecting your skin in the sun is vital. We've all heard about UVB and UVA sun rays but Hevl (high energy visable light) sun-rays also pose a risk to us. These are the rays that are present in day light, regardless of whether it's sunny or not. HEVL face cream will help protect you from these rays. It is light and non-greasy cream, containing a slight tint. You can find one here. Discover some of the top sun creams for your family with this great guide from All About A Mummy.

Curaprox Be You
For a dazzling smile during your holiday, you'll love the Be You range of teeth whitening toothpastes from Curaprox. Each contains tiny power pearls for extra cleaning and freshness. They also contain a blue optical filter which reduces yellow discolouration, making your teeth whiter. This range also contains all-natural ingreditents and come in a range of different flavours! The taster mix pack is ideal for your travels and contains all six flavours! Discover more here.

*I was sent some of these items in exchange for an honest review


Friday, 27 July 2018

Holiday Insurance: Make Sure You're Covered

When you've booked a holiday, it's easy to get caught up in the excitement of it; the day trips you will book, the activities you will do, the outfits you will wear, the food you'll try... to name just a few things! Holidays are great fun, but what happens when things don't go entirely to plan? While it's not something we plan for, making sure we are protected against any unfortunate occurrences is of the utmost importance. And luckily, it doesn't have to be a big job.   

Why book travel insurance? 
Travel insurance can help cover any medical fees that you may be liable for in the event of you needing medical attention while abroad. It can also ensure that you are covered in getting home if you do fall ill. It also covers you against disruption to your plans; if your flight has been cancelled or delayed for example, or if you've had to cut short or cancel your trip for reasons beyond your control. It can also cover you against lost or stolen luggage, passports and money. 

If you don't have travel insurance you may lose money as you'll have to pay to deal with the issue yourself. Travel insurance is widely available and can be bought from many places including travel agents, holiday companies, online comparison companies, banks, insurance companies, supermarkets and retailers.

Before buying your travel insurance, it's important to check the cover is right for you. You might need extra cover if you're planning on engaging in particular high-risk sports or activities whilst away. If you're over 65, your insurance may be more so it's worth looking into policies tailored to this age range so you can get the best deal. Certain flights and cruises are sometimes not covered by some insurance companies so always read the small print.

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)
If you're travelling to Europe, the EHIC Card entitles you to free or subsidised health care if needed. If you live in the UK it's free and you can apply for yourself along with your children and partner if needed. It is not a substitute for travel insurance. It doesn't for example, guarantee free healthcare, nor does it cover you against coming home if needed or for trip cancellations or lost of stolen property. Visit this guide to the EHIC which includes information about the benefits of the EHIC card in each of the different EHIC countries. 

There's every chance that your trip will go without a hitch but in the event that it doesn't then not having the financial means to pay for your treatment and to come home is one huge stress that you will be grateful you avoided. If nothing else, that peace of mind while you are away from home will be worth it's weight in gold. 

*This is a collaborative post

What Should Your Next Family Holiday Be?

When you’re considering your next family holiday, your main considerations will probably be on the location. However, when you limit yourself just to where you’re going, you’ll find that you’re also limiting yourself to the kind of holiday that you go on too: you may find that you get stuck in the same holiday-type trap. And that’s only natural. Plus, when you’re considering a family holiday, and you’ve got toddlers to entertain for example, then when you find something that works for you, it’s good to stick to it! However, it’s also fun to think about different options that could shake up your holidays. So let’s consider some different options for you this summer. Check out this fab post from Pickle & Poppet exploring 3 different ideas for travelling when you have little ones.

Holiday Camp

First of all, there’s the idea of heading to a holiday camp. When you think of a holiday, you may automatically think of going abroad. But what’s wrong with staying in the UK? When you went to British seaside resorts and holiday resorts as a child, didn’t you love them? And you know that they’re going to be a lot of fun for your children too. So make sure that you think about the different local resorts that could offer you a really great holiday.

On The Road 
A bit of a wild card would be to head on a family road trip. Now, for a lot of people, this can seem like a nightmare. Because the idea of being on the road with their children can seem a bit much. You just know that they’re going to get bored. But if you plan the route well, and you know that you’re only driving for short bursts before stopping somewhere, then it could actually work out as being a lot of fun! And you’ll get to see a bunch of different places too.

On The Sea

So if you do definitely want to go overseas or have more of a ‘sun holiday’, then why not do it with a difference? You should find that family sailing holidays are something worth considering as an alternative to just laying on the beach. And if you love the water, or your family loves to be active, then you could find that this is going to be an ideal fit.

Seaside Resort
And, of course, there’s always a seaside resort. If you really want to go abroad, then take a look at the best beach holidays in Europe for babies and toddlers, rather than struggling to find somewhere yourself. This could be the best option for giving you the sun holiday you really want. I just love this guide from Truly Madly Cuckoo exploring some top family holiday destinations!

Just The Two Of You

But you may also be in need of a little time away. When that’s the case, it’s actually okay to admit that. If you’re working hard, and you’re working hard to bring your children up too, sometimes you just need a break. So maybe instead of a family holiday, you actually want to go away, just the two of you? See if you can find a nice break away that will allow you to relax and get some rest, ready to come home and run your life again.

*This is a collaborative post 

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

5 Essential Things to Sort Before You Travel!

When it comes to travelling with your family, you want it to be as stress-free as possible. With tickets to buy, annual leave to book, accommodation to sort and packing to be done, it can be easy to overlook a few things. But with this handy guide you can ensure the main essentials are sorted which will make your travel plans as stress-free as possible. After all, the smaller things like a toothbrush or nappies can always be solved with a last minute dash to the airport shops. An up-to-date passport? Not so much!  

That all important passport!
Yes you might have a passport, but did you know that some countries require a passport to be valid at least six months before the completion of a trip, so if yours doesn't fit this criteria, you'll need to renew yours in good time prior to travelling. It might seem obvious but knowing where your passports are in advance will save a lot of stress. There's nothing worse than a bit of last minute packing panic! 

Make sure you're covered! 
Buying travel insurance is essential before you travel. It can help cover any medical fees you may be liable for if you need medical attention while abroad. It can also ensure you are covered in getting home. It covers you against disruptions to your plans, for example if your flight is delayed or cancelled and it can also reimburse you if your luggage is lost or stolen. Click here for more information about Bupa Global Travel insurance. Also make sure you have an up to date EHIC card if you are going to Europe. This entitles you to free or subsidised health care if needed, but is not a substitute for travel insurance. 

It's all in the details! 
Make sure you have a folder with the important details for your trip, the address, hotel confirmation and contact number for example. It's worth jotting down an emergency contact number in the event your bank or credit card or mobile phone is lost or stolen. Make a note of your passport number in case you lose it too. Knowing you have all this to hand if needed will give you a real peace of mind before and during your travels. 

Money, money, money! 
If you are planning on taking currency abroad, don't leave it until the airport to change your money, as these rates won't be ideal. Check online for the best rates, for example on TravelMoneyMax. If you're planning to use a credit card abroad, check that yours is designed for overseas usage. Some debit cards can have charges every time you use them abroad which is an expensive option best avoided! 

Know your luggage limits! 
Getting to the airport checking desk and discovering your luggage is too heavy is one stress you could do with out. You'll be faced with having to unpack your bag and to disperse it into your hand luggage or will be forced to pay extra. If you do need extra luggage, you can pre-pay and book this online which will save a lot of stress at the airport! 

So there you have it; 5 tips to ensure your travel plans are smooth sailing. With a little bit of preparation, travelling to your chosen destination will be almost as enjoyable as the holiday itself; after all, everyone loves an inflight magazine don't they!? 

*This is a collaborative post


Monday, 23 July 2018

My Personalised Case: A review

If you're anything like me, your phone will have been dropped a fair few times. And in my case, it has not always been dropped by me; my children are prone to picking it up and dropping it and even, dare I say it, have thrown it a couple of times. My poor phone! And so it's no surprise that my phone has seen better days. While the screen has, by some miracle, remained intact, the back has cracked which has made it quite unsightly and also a bit sharp to touch! And so when My Personalised Case got in touch to ask if I'd like to review one of their cases I couldn't wait to try one!

My Personalised Case offers a range of personalised phone cases to choose from. It's very simple and straightforward to choose and design your case. They have a wide selection of cases to choose from so once you've selected the make and model of your phone you can then choose the type of case you would like, for example a hard case or silicone case. You then upload a photo or image of your choosing and can also opt for a particular layout if you prefer a couple of photos or would like a collage of images on there, for example. You can also add text to the case, a variety of stickers or can even apply a filter to the image/s selected!

I decided to add a photo of my little boys, one that never fails to make me smile. 

The phone arrived really quickly and not only that but its great quality. The image is clear and scratch resistant and will certainly survive the odd knock or drop here and there! Probably for the best and all!!

Why not give them a visit to design and make your own phone case?

*This is a collaborative post

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Ten Stunts Small Children Try To Pull While Playing I-Spy

Long journey ahead this summer? You just know there's going to be 700 games of I-spy. Just don't assume you'll be in for an easy ride. Here are the ten stunts the kids will try and pull while playing I-spy. Consider yourself adequately warned!

Child: I spy with my little eye, something beginning with.....'l' 
3654 guesses later... 
Adult: I give up! 
Child: Lemur. 
Adult: At what point did you see a lemur? 

Child: I spy with my little eye, something beginning with... 'red'.
Adult: That's a colour.

Child: I spy with my little eye, something beginning with... 'cow'. 
Adult: Is it cow? 
Child: No. It's 'c'.

Child: I spy with my little eye, something beginning with... 'n'. 
78657 guesses later...
Adult: I give up!
Child: Ball.
Adult: That begins with 'b'.

Child: I spy with my little eye, something beginning with... 'a', 'r', 'm' and 'd'.
Adult: No.

Child: I spy with my little eye something beginning with... 'w'.
Adult: Window?
Child: Nope.
4568493028 guesses later...
Adult: I give up! 
Child: Window! 

Child: I poo with my little poo, something beginning with...poo.
Adult: Poo?
Child: *Squeals with delight YES! 

Child: I spy with my little eye, something beginning with... 'f'.
6676299990 guesses later...
Adult I give up.
Child: A floop.
Adult: That's not a thing.

Child: I spy with my little eye, something beginning with 'm'.
36475889967759660 guesses later... 
Adult: I give up. 
Child: It was 'MY legs'.

Child: I spy with my little eye, something beginning with... 'pffffttt'
Adult: I cant even...


Monday, 9 July 2018

A Treat For Your Feet With Hotter Shoes

My first introduction to Hotter shoes was on my birthday last year when my mum treated me to a pair of black boots. Of all the boots I've ever tried these are hands down the most comfortable and I feel like I'm wearing a pair of slippers every time I put them on! And so I was delighted to be given a pair of Hotter shoes to review following the BlogOnX conference this year! 

I was very kindly given a pair of the Sol sandals to try and I decided on the gold colour. They also come in nude, white, navy, red, white, brown and black too! I love the soft gold colour as they can be worn casually during the summer or can be teamed up with a more dressy outfit for special occasions. The gladiator style of sandal is really on trend at the moment and these really complete a summery outfit. I'm really looking forward to taking them away on holiday soon. 

I actually didn't realise that sandals could be so comfortable, it's like putting on a much cooler, summery pair of slippers. I love walking around the house and garden barefoot but I genuinely don't want to take these off once I put them on. They feel like such a treat for my feet!

The sandals are really lightweight, made with soft leather and have a cushioned and contoured sole for ultimate comfort. They have adjustable straps as well as adjustable ankle support so you can ensure they are the right fit for you. 

These are hands down the most comfortable pair of sandals I have ever worn and they look lovely too! You can find these here!

*I was gifted a pair of these sandals in exchange for an honest review. 

Sunday, 8 July 2018

How Can A Personal Loan Help You?

Sometimes, despite your best made plans, there can be times when you need to borrow money. You may need this quickly, perhaps your boiler has broken down, you need some car maintenance or you have had a burst pipe for example. Or you may need some extra cash to fund a something bigger: for help getting onto the property ladder, paying off existing debts or for home improvements for example. There are several different types of loans that you may be eligible for. I've put together a guide to help distinguish between those available. 

money, coins

Personal Loans
Personal loans can sometimes be referred to as 'unsecured loans'. This is because you don't have to use anything to secure the loan eg, your house or car. Your personal loan will be offered based on what is in you personal credit report along with some personal details such as income. You will usually be able to borrow approximately £100 to £25,000 with an interest rate of between 3% and 30%. A personal loan can be a steady way of borrowing, you will know how much you will be paying back each month as you will have an agreement with the lender. This can be different if you have a variable interest loan. 

Secured loans
This is when you borrow money which will be secured against something that you own, usually property. This means that if you do not pay back the loan the lender has the right to take the asset you have as security. You will need to have sufficient equity in your property. You can usually borrow higher amounts with this type of loan with an interest rate of approximately 4 to 10%. 

Payday Loans
Payday loans are short term loans, designed to be paid back within 28 days. There is usually a fee to be paid rather than an interest rate. If you miss a payment or cannot repay, you'll be charged more which can make this an expensive option. 

Short Term loans
These loans are taken over a short period of time and are paid back in installments. The interest will be spread evenly across the repayment term. They usually have a high APR. 

Bad Credit Loans
If you have bad credit or no credit history at all, it can be difficult to get a loan. You may however get a 'bad credit loan' These sometimes need some security against the loan and you may also have to pay a higher interest rate.

Guarantor Loans
A guarantor loan is where another individual shares some of the responsibility of the loan repayments if you can not pay back. This will usually be a family member such as a parent. There will be higher interest rates on these loans. 

Property Loans 
When you are buying a home, unless you have the cash payment, you will need some quick property finance. A mortgage is a loan that is used to by a property. It is different from a usual loan in that it is usually over a longer term, ie 25 years, although this can be up to around 40 years. It is secured against the property that you have bought, so if you are not able to repay the loan, the lender is able to take away your property. You will usually have to pay a proportion of the cost of the property yourself (the deposit). 

meeting, bank, business

Things to consider before taking out a loan...
It is important to ensure that you are able to make the repayments of the loan. You can sometimes take out payment protection insurance (PPI) incase you lose your job or are unwell for example. Always compare loans to find the best deal for you and do ensure that you read the small print of the loan too. It is also advisable to look at the early repayment fee for if you are later in a position to pay the loan off in full. 

*This is a collaborative post