Monday, 27 April 2015

Saving Money On Your Baby Shopping

Having a baby can be very expensive, having had three children myself i know that preparing for a new arrival can be both exciting and also rather stressful at the same time. You want everything to be perfect for your new bundle of joy and you want to make sure that you are well prepared for there arrival. But step into any baby store and you will be met with so many products all claiming to be the must have baby product. It can be so confusing trying to decide what you do and do not need, i know i have been there myself.

Image - by photostock
When i had my eldest i went totally overboard and spent a small fortune getting ready for her arrival, she had a beautiful decorated nursery with everything matching, a top of the range pram, a wardrobe full of tiny outfits and so many gadgets and toys. And you know what we did not even use most of the stuff, the clothes never got worn, she soon outgrew the nursery and i think i had brought enough baby toiletries to last her until she was six. 

By the time i had baby number three last August i knew what i did and did not actually need and it is fair to say i spent a lot less then i did the first time around. So what do you actually need for baby and how can you make having a baby a lot less expensive ? 

First make a list of what you actually need, yes you may have your heart set on gorgeous matching bedding and cot mobile but do you really need it ? the honest answer is no not really. So stick to the essentials which are 

  • Somewhere to sleep, you will need a cot or crib and remember that you will need a new mattress if it is a second hand cot.
  • Bedding, you really do not need to buy cot quits and bumpers , yes they look nice but they are not recommended for children under one. You only really need two fitted sheets and a couple of blankets or i use sleeping bags as i find them safer.
  • A carseat, you wont be able to bring baby home from hospital without a one and by law you have to have a carseat when travelling in a car with a baby. 
  • A pram so you can get out and about with your little one, it is the best feeling ever pushing your baby in there pram for the first time. Or if you are baby wearing you will need a sling or carrier for getting out and about.
  • If your bottle feeding you will need a steriliser about six bottles and a tin of formula. For breastfeeding you will need nursing bras and breast pads.
  • You will need nappies and baby wipes and baby bath products. You will also need some cotton wool balls as most midwives / hospitals will recommend you use cotton wool and water to clean baby's at first. Don't go crazy on the toiletries though you only really need bubble bath and nappy cream. 
  • Clothes this is where i spend far to much money but baby clothes are just too cute. You really only need vests, baby grows, hat, socks a jacket and plenty of bibs. Trust me everyone you know will buy you baby outfits once your baby is born. 
Then once you have all these things organised if you want you can buy all the lovely extras like nice changing bags and cute outfits and toys as i know i am guilty of this even when i had baby number three. But a great way to save money when buying your essentials and also those lovely extras is to visit websites like voucherbin which is a great website where you find many money saving vouchers on so many great baby and children products which could help you save on all those baby buys. And you never know whilst browsing the website you might also see some great offers on treats for yourself too, so what are you waiting for choose  and see how much you can save today. 

This is a sponsored post , however all words and opinions are my own. 

Sunday, 26 April 2015

My Sunday Photo 26.04.15

My eldest and other half love going in the rowing boats at the local park when it is warm.


Saturday, 25 April 2015

The North East Baby And Toddler Show : Ticket Giveaway

On Saturday the 16th of May 2015 the North East baby and toddler show will be coming to Gateshead international stadium and it looks set to be a great event for all us parents and parents to be here in the North East. And i for one can not wait as i love discovering new products and service and this event will be a great way to find out more about products and classes available for us parents here in the North East. 

There will be lots of different exhibitors attending including Capture forever photography (formally knowing as i just love babies) who done Jacobs amazing newborn photo shoot which you see here   and also Katy from Babynatal Newcastle who we reviewed last year and who runs brilliant parenting classes here in the north east that offer practical advice on how to care for a baby, and she also runs baby first aid classes and weaning classes too. Puddleduck Swimming lessons will also be attending and we were lucky enough to attend one of there classes last year and you can read what we thought here. Along with many other services such as rugby tots, little kickers and buggyfit to name just a few. There will also be stalls selling baby and children products, with stalls catering for everything from pregnancy, birth, baby, toddlers and childhood. 

As i said the North East baby and toddler show will be held in just a few weeks time on Saturday the 16th May 2015 at Gateshead International stadium which is easy to get to via car or public transport. It starts at 10 am and will be on until 4.30 pm and there will be lots going on to entertain the whole family. Tickets cost just £6 per adult with children going free and if you are one of the first 500 people to order your ticket online you will also receive a free goody bag at the event. You can book your tickets online on the website You can find out more about the show and all the exhibitors attending on the facebook page or via twitter as they are adding to the list of exhibitors all the time. 

The North East baby and toddler show have very kindly offered five of my readers the chance to win a pair of tickets to the event, all you have to do is sign in to the rafflecopter below with your email address (don't worry you are not signing up to anything, it is just so you can be contacted if you win) you then just follow the instruction by visiting myself and the North East baby and toddler show on social media and that's it, super quick and easy. So what are you waiting for get entering and i am sure that you will have an amazing day out, and if you see me there come say hi as i would love to meet you. 

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T & C - Open to UK residents only. Five winners will be chosen at random from all valid entries by rafflecopter to win two tickets each to the North East Baby And Toddler Show, which will be held on 16.05.15 in Gateshead Tyne & Wear UK . Tickets will either be posted to the winners or if you wish picked up from the event. Tickets will be sent direct from the North East baby & toddler show, no cash or prize alternative. Good luck. 

Why not enter more competitions at ThePrizeFinder

Slimming World: Week Two

I have found my second week on Slimming World easier then my first as i have not been craving chocolate and crisps as much as i did on my first week. I am actually really enjoying eating lots of fruit and salads now that the weather is getting warmer.

After i got weighed last week  i did go off track a bit and i did eat a ham salad baguette with mayonnaise on from Gregg's and a cake but i synned them and got straight back on track and have found that i have stuck to plan all week. I have also found that i have been using less syns this week simply because i have been too full off all the meals and free foods that i have been eating to want anything else. I have mainly been using my syns on sauces to go with my food and the odd packet of crisps. 

This week i have ate a lot of salads i have ate steak salad, ham salad and turkey salads. I have also had salt and pepper chicken as it so tasty, chilli, roast gammon and i tried diet coke chicken which was delicious and you find the recipe here .

I was really hoping for a 2.5 lb loss this week so that i would get my half a stone award and i was overjoyed on Thursday morning when i got weighed and seen that i had in fact lost exactly 2.5 lb  meaning i have lost 7 lb in total. I got my first half a stone certificate and sticker and i am still slightly amazed that i have lost half a stone in just two weeks and have never once felt hungry or like i am dieting. 

I could not stay to class this week as i had both the little ones with me as the other half was at work so i had no one to watch them, and there was noway i could have stayed to class with a 8 and 22 month old, they would have caused destruction and screamed the place down. I find staying to class helps motivate me and inspires me so i am hoping that i can stay on track and still get a loss this week.

 I am hoping for another 2lb off this week although i am not getting my hopes up as i know that this week will be a star week and my chocolate and bread cravings will come back with a vengeance. But i am going to try and drink more water as i know i don't drink enough and everyone was saying last week that they had a good loss after drinking lots of water. I am also going to try and eat more speed foods and try some more new recipes so i don't get bored of eating the same things all the time. 

You can find out more about Slimming World and find your nearest class on there website

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Super Busy Mum

Monday, 20 April 2015

The DreamSnatcher By Abi Elphinstone : Book Review

A while ago my oldest daughter was sent a copy of The Dreamsnatcher a debut novel by Abi Elphinstone. Being a typical twelve year old she never got around to finishing the book as she is always out with her friends, so yesterday afternoon i started to read it myself and i was hooked and read the whole book in one afternoon.

The Dreamsnatcher is about Moll a twelve year old Romany gypsy girl who lives in a gypsy camp in the forest. Moll has recurring nightmares about a witch doctor with a drum and rattle who is after her, the nightmare drags her from her sleep and into the woods in her sleep each night. 

But one night Moll discovers that her nightmare is real as she stumbles into the deepwood to rescue her stolen horse from a rival gypsy gang, where she hears the rattle and drum for real. Moll discovers that dark magic is taking place in the deepwood by the dreamsnatcher and that he is after her life. 

The story sees Moll embark on an adventure with her trusted wildcat protector Gryff by her side where she will find out about her past and try to stop the dreamsnatcher and the dark magic before it gets so strong that it takes her life. 

This book was just so amazingly written as it draws you in right from the start and you just have to keep reading to find out what happens and if Moll can stop the dreamsnatcher before her gets to her. It was fast paced and action packed and left me on the edge of my seat with each turn of the page.

This book is aimed at older children but i found it quiet scary and spooky in places, although it reminded me very much of the Harry Potter books as the voices Moll hears and the dreamsnatcher is similar to voldimor. I loved Molls adventure and i did not want it to end and i was rather disappointed when it did as it left things on a rather big cliff hanger. This book is part of a series and i am not sure when the next book is realised, but i hate books that keep you in suspense as i like to know how a story ends.

I can not wait until the next book in the series is released, even though this is a children's book as an adult i really enjoyed it and would highly recommend it to others as i can guarantee that you wont want to put it down either. 

* Disclosure : I was sent a copy of this book free for the purpose of this review , however all opinions of this book are my own. 

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Slimming World Diet Coke Chicken Recipe

Since joining Slimming World i have been trying out lots of new foods and recipes and one of the recipes i kept hearing was diet coke chicken. When i first heard of this i thought it sounded awful but people said it was nice so i gave it a try and i actually liked it and my twelve year old loves it. So here is the recipe. 

You will need

  • A bag of chicken or 2-4 chicken breasts.
  • 2 cloves of garlic.
  • 1 large or 2 small onions.
  • Red and green pepper.
  • 1 can of diet coke.
  • 8 tbsp passata.
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce.
  • 4 tbsp tomato puree.
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce.
  • 1 tsp dried mixed herbs.
  • 200 ml chicken stock.
  • Fry light cooking spray

To Make

Chop the chicken into chunks and also the peppers, finely dice the onions and garlic cloves. Then spray a pan with frylight on a high heat. Add the chicken , peppers and onions to the pan until they are golden brown. Once they are cooked add the full can of diet cola, the passata, tomato puree, garlic, chicken stock, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and mixed herbs and stir it all together well. Bring it to the boil and then simmer on a medium heat to thicken the sauce up. Once it is all cooked and the sauce has thickened it is ready to serve. 

To serve

I had mine with boiled rice and a few sweet potato slimming world style chips. But you could have it with anything you like such as chips, wedges, baked potatoes, rice or noodles. It is a really easy to make simple dish and it is all free on the extra easy eating plan so you can eat as much of it as you like. 

To find out more about Slimming World or find your nearest group visit there website . 

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Sunday, 19 April 2015

Cbeebies Live - Mr Tumbles Circus

Last Monday we were lucky enough to go to see Cbeebies live Justin and Friends : Mr Tumbles circus show at Newcastle's Metro radio arena. I took my toddler Sophia with me who is 22 months and also my brothers partner and my three year old niece Heidi came along too.

We were running late to the show as Sophia wanted to stop and stare at everything on are short walk to the arena from the Metro at Central station. But we made it to are seats just moments before the show started.

The stage was full of lights and music right from the start to keep little ones entertained. It was the first time i have taken Sophia to a show and she was amazed when she seen what was going on although she would not sit still and was trying to wonder about, but my three year old niece was enjoying the show so much she sat still and watched the whole show in amazement.

The show started with Cbeebies character Robert Robot from Justin's house followed by cbeebies favourites Andy, Kat and Gem followed by Justin himself. I think every child loves Justin and all the charceters he plays, i remember my oldest daughter use to love him twelve years ago when he was in Tikkabella on Cbeebies and we seen him at a show about seven years ago.

The show starts with Robert the Robot who is determined to get all of the jobs on his list complete before any one can enjoy the circus. This sees the cast feeding Tiddles the dinosaur who Sophia loved as she is a bit dinosaur obsessed. Keith Fit also took the stage with some dads from the audience to do some weightlifting and this was followed by getting the audience involved by splitting the audience in teams to cheer the dads on and passing a giant ball around the audience to see which team would win, are side lost.

Aunt Polly also made an appearance, appearing in the audience and squirting everyone with a water gun as she made her way to the stage. Where her washing machine broke and filled the stage with bubbles.

There was then a twenty minute break as the first half had been on for an hour. The second part of the show seen Mr Tumble himself take the stage singing Let me entertain you, and the audience went wild when they seen him appear at the back of the audience and make his way to the stage to loud cheers. He sang his hello song and you could hear all the children joining in with him. And he was whizzing around the stage in his rocket car which everyone loved.

Then Mr Tumbles circus took place and there was jugglers, acrobats, plate spinning and unicyclist to entertain us along with Mr Tumble himself. The second half lasted forty minutes and was full of songs, bright lights and all the fun of the circus.

The show ended with lots of songs from all the characters and the dancers on stage.

Overall i thought the show was great and the audience seemed to love it. The only bad thing i can say about the show is that Mr Tumble did not seem to be on very much and i know that a lot of children wanted to see more of him as every time he came on there was so much cheering from the audience. But Justin did an amazing job of playing so many characters in one show. And i am sure i will be taking Sophia to see another Cbeebies show in the future as they are perfect for young children.

Disclosure : I was sent four tickets to attend this show free of charge for the purpose of this review, however all opinions are my own honest account of the show. 

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