Monday, 30 November 2020

Antique Jewellery For Your Wedding Day


" Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue and a Lucky Sixpence in her shoe."

I am sure this is an old wedding rhyme that most of us are familiar with. I know from personal experience that a lot of brides-to-be still stick to this rhyme as following it is meant to bring good luck to the marriage. I also know that a lot of brides struggle with finding something old to wear on their big day. Personally, I choose an old pair of diamond earrings my late mam give me as my own something old. But if you don't have any old family jewellery that is suitable then help is at hand from Carus Jewellery who are antique jewellery specialists that have some beautiful pieces, perfect to wear on your wedding day. 


Friday, 27 November 2020

Race With Ryan Road Trip Deluxe Edition Switch Game Review


If you are a parent to primary school-aged children then I am sure you are aware of Ryan's World. Ryan is an American child YouTube star who is loved by children around the world. His Ryan World, Ryan Toy Reviews and spin-off channels the kaji family, The Studio Space, Combo Panda and Gus the Gummy Gator have millions of subscribers and billions of views. The channels feature 9-year-old Ryan Kaji, his parents and younger twin sisters along with his animation characters Combo, Gus and friends. 

My children are huge Ryan's World fans, they have been watching Ryan's YouTube channel for years and more recently his T.V show on Nickelodeon. They have some of his toy's  - the giant mystery eggs were huge hits in this household the past two Christmases. It is safe to say he has been a firm favourite for the past few years and kids seem to find his videos so entertaining and love his toys and games. So when we were offered to review the Race with Ryan Road Trip deluxe game edition for the switch I knew that my children would enjoy it. My son actually asked for the game last Christmas but it was sold out in Smyths - it was that popular! 

Friday, 6 November 2020

Paw Patrol Mighty Pups Save Adventure Bay Game Review


Paw Patrol has been a favourite in our household for about 4 or 5 years now, back when it launched my now 7-year-old was obsessed with it. At one point I think we had seen every episode of the show, we had all of the toys and we even went to see it live at the arena. We knew all about Skye, Marshall, Chase, Zoomer, Rubble, Rocky, Everest, Tracker and of course Ryder and all the residents of Adventure Bay. As my children have grown (they are now 6 and 7) they are not into Paw Patrol as much as they used to be but they do still have a soft spot for the show and remember all the characters fondly. 


Wednesday, 14 October 2020

L.O.L Surprise Movie Maker App Review


My 7-year-old daughter is a huge L.O.L Surprise fan, she has built up a huge collection of the dolls, pets and babies over the past few years. She also has some of the bigger items like the glamper and playset too and she spends hours playing with them all. So when I heard about the new L.O.L Surprise! Movie Maker app I thought she might enjoy it so downloaded it for her and she absolutely loves it!

What Is L.O.L Surprise Movie Maker? 

L.O.L Surprise Movie Maker is a free to download app that is available now on the app store and Google Play, you can find out more via the L.O.L website. Downloading the app was straightforward and once it was downloaded you can play straight away. My 7 year old managed to work the app on her own within minutes, it is that easy to use. 


Tuesday, 6 October 2020

What It Is Like Having A Puppy And Why We Need New Flooring

 Collaborative post.

Back in May, we welcomed an 8-week-old  puppy, Teddy, into our family and we have had him for almost five months now. As first-time puppy owners, it has been a bit of a learning curve over the past few months, however, I am so glad we got him and would recommend a dog to anyone thinking of getting a one. I have never been a dog person, I was bitten as a child and was terrified of them growing up. It has taken my husband and children years to convince me to get a dog, and I honestly think getting a dog has been the best thing for our family. Teddy brings us all so much joy, he is so playful with the children, he gets us all out the house on family walks and he makes us smile and laugh every single day. I think it is safe to say we are all a little bit smitten with him, even me!


So what has it been like being first-time puppy owners?


Tuesday, 22 September 2020

Introducing Rainbows and Daydreams


My teenage daughter recently lost her part-time job due to the covid-19 pandemic, as she worked in the hospitality sector. So she decided to set up an online, handmade gift shop called Rainbows and Daydreams selling bespoke wooden home d├ęcor gifts, handmade resin keyrings and clay hearts. As she is still only 17 and studying for her A-Levels next summer, I have been roped in to help her - I mainly order in stock from suppliers, keep track of orders, accounts etc while she creates the items. We have a Facebook and Instagram page and an online Etsy store and we are planning on setting up a website in the next few weeks. The shop only launched last month and we have already had over 25 orders, so it is going well for being such a small and new business.  


Tuesday, 8 September 2020

Embracing Mischief As A Parent With A Little Help From MAOAM


With 6 months of lockdown under our belts, the children are finally going back to school! It has been a long time for children and us parents to be home and away from school, friend and family. As a mam of three, including a teen, 7 and a 6 year old (who fight often), I hold my hands up and admit that lockdown was challenging at times. When boredom hit and tempers frayed, I found that laughter was the best medicine and quickly brought harmony back to our family life. 

I recently told you all about the MAOAM Mischief Hub, which launched in April and is home to resident, Mischief Maxer, Max. The site is full of mischievous ideas to prank your family or take part in fun crafts and challenges, even featuring children's favourite pranksters, Dick and Dom


Thursday, 13 August 2020

Tips For Getting Married On A Budget


Last summer I got married and wrote so many posts about our wedding day, it even featured in a wedding magazine. As parents, we did not want to go crazy and spend a fortune on our wedding so it was on a bit of a budget, although we did end up spending a lot more than we originally planned. When planning a wedding I always think it is best to decide what you want to spend on and what you don't mind saving on, for example, we splurged on a sit-down meal, decent DJ and booked a venue decorator. Whilst we saved on transport and made our own sweet table, place settings and seating plan to cut down on costs. 

With so much uncertainty in the world right now and so many people having weddings cancelled and having to make re-arrangements I thought I would share some of the ways, I saved on my big day. 

floral wedding arch

Tuesday, 4 August 2020

Back To School Ready With Smash Lunch Boxes

 AD Review. 

After months at home, children will be returning to school in just a matter of weeks. As a parent I have very mixed feelings about this, my children are so ready to return to the classroom, see their friends and have a bit of normality back in their lives. However, I am a worrier and have been trying my best to think of ways to keep them safe when they return to school. One thing that I have decided to do is to have all three children (one in 6th form, one in key stage 2 and one in key stage 1) on packed lunches. Previously the younger two had school dinners at primary school and the teen would head to the local shops for lunch on her lunch break. So for my teen especially, taken a packed lunch will be a lot 'safer'. 

The kind people at Smash sent all three children lunch boxes and water bottles for the return to school and I have to say I am impressed. We were sent three totally different style and designed lunch boxes and each one is high-quality with Blue iQ lining, which helps protect against harmful bacteria. We all know how grubby kids can get their lunchboxes in, but the lining has a protective barrier which won't allow food to absorb, which prevents bacteria. They are also wipe-clean which reduces smells and stain and they are insulated, helping keep food cooler for longer. 

We were sent a football lunchbox, a mint green one and a blue floral design lunch box. 

football lunch box


Monday, 3 August 2020

A Little Update August 2020

It feels like such a long time since I last typed up a blog post, other than a few brand campaigns that were agreed at the start of the year I haven't blogged much this year. With the coronavirus pandemic taking hold it did not feel right for me to blog about days out or product reviews, it all seemed a bit pointless when so many people have lost loved ones, jobs or businesses. I had been following the pandemic since earlier this year and was worried about it - I think I drove my husband and teen mad talking about it, but I don't think any of us realised just how bad things would get. I suffer badly with anxiety and it was just too much for me, I even took my children out of school almost two weeks before they officially shut as the whole thing scared me. 

Having the children home for such a long time has been challenging at times, I suck at home-schooling and I will be honest we didn't do an awful lot of it. The teen had online lessons (she is studying for her A-Levels) but the little two didn't do a lot. We baked, we watched films, we went on family walks, the children played. Sophia has flourished and enjoyed being home, Jacob not so much as he has missed school, his friends and football. It has been very chilled out and it has been so lovely to have all three children home and to have a break from normal life, after school clubs and busy weekends. 

I just feel very lucky that my husband still has a job and none of our family has been affected by the virus. 

Saturday, 18 July 2020

Playmobil Scooby Doo Toy Review

 My children aged 5 and 7 adore Scooby-Doo and will often watch it on T.V as it is one of their favourite shows. So when I heard about the new Playmobil Scooby Doo range I knew this would be something that both of them would enjoy playing with and we were kindly sent some of the new toys to try out and see what they both thought. The new range of Scooby-Doo toys are to coincide with the realise of the latest Scooby-Doo film, which will be premiering at home and I am sure my children will ask to pay to download and watch.

Playmobil sent us three toys from the range. We were sent the Mystery Machine, a set with Scooby, Shaggy and a Ghost and four mystery figure blind bags.  The children were super-excited when the box of toys arrived and could not wait to start playing. 

Playmobil Scooby Doo Toys

Wednesday, 15 July 2020

Getting Crafty This Christmas With Design Bundles


Being on 'lockdown' seems to have made so many people reassess their life and discover or re-discover hobbies that they never knew they had. There has been a huge rise in the number of people baking, decorating, gardening and crafting as people look at new ways to keep occupied as they finally have the time to do things that they have put off. I know of so many people who have discovered new skills and have used the extra time at home to be creative in all sorts of different ways, as not only does it keep you occupied but doing crafty things yourself often means that you can save money too, or you may even learn a new skill you can sell and make a few extra pennies from. Super important at this uncertain time in the world.

white and pink wraped christmas gift with bow and babubles

A few friends that I know have recently started up little craft businesses selling personalised items, prints and even clothing. My own teenage daughter is one of them, as she sadly recently lost her part-time job due to the lockdown impact on her workplace (she worked in hospitality). As she is studying art for her A-Levels she has put her artistic streak to good use by setting up a handmade gift company - with a little help from me of course. It is still early days and we don't have the website or Facebook page up and running yet as we are busy making stock but we will hopefully be launching it in August. We will be selling mainly handmade wooden and clay decor gifts and of course some Christmas items. 

Monday, 15 June 2020

We Got A Puppy

We got a puppy! Everyone meet Teddy the Poochon puppy (his dad is a toy poodle and his mam is a bichon). He was only two weeks old when we reserved him and we have had him since he was 8 weeks, he is now 13 weeks - we have had him for 5 weeks but it feels like he has been part of the family forever. 

Yep I know it sounds like such a lockdown cliche as apparently everyone is buying puppies at the moment (have you seen the price of them? people are charging crazy prices now), but we actually reserved him all the way back in March. The kids and husband have always wanted to get a puppy and I have always said no as the teen is allergic to dogs. Late last year we heard about poochons which are hypoallergenic dogs - they don't shed hair and are great for allergy suffers. So we agreed we would get a poochon puppy this summer after our holiday, in March our holiday in May was cancelled and the same day we found out about a litter of Poochon Pups and we ended up with Teddy. 



Wednesday, 3 June 2020

Things I Loved May 2020

It feels like forever since I sat down and typed a blog post, with everything going on in the world it did not feel right for me to be blogging about days out, reviews or any of my usual topics. I have had a super long break from blogging and social media (apart from two blog campaigns I agreed to pre-lockdown). The break has been lovely and just what I needed, I think I am one of the few people who actually likes 'lockdown' as it has been nice spending time at home with the children and having a bit of a break from the chaos of normal life. 

So much has happened over the past few months, I was so unwell all of February and some of March with my first ever chest infection - it was the most unwell I have ever been (I do wonder if it was corona) and I am still not 100% months later. It has been challenging at times having three children at home and I will be honest not a great deal of homeschooling has gone on, but that's ok the kids are happy and healthy and that's all that matters. Obviously, we have had holidays cancelled and press trips cancelled but we luckily managed to get our money back from TUI. The other half is still working so thankfully our finances haven't been hit like a lot of people, so I am feeling very fortunate. 

giant silver spoon in a field cramlington


Friday, 29 May 2020

Banishing Boredom With The MAOAM Mischief Hub


Hands up if your children are getting a little bit bored? Mine are now that the novelty of staying home during the pandemic has worn off. My children are 6 and 5 so they don't really understand what is going on and they are missing their friend, school, and after school clubs. Things are starting to get a bit mundane now as I am starting to run out of ways to entertain everyone, as we have played every game we own, watched lots of movies, spent hours in the garden and in the kitchen baking alongside our daily learning. 

May is also a tough month for us as we have had to deal with cancelled holidays abroad and cancelled birthday parties (the 6-year-old is turning 7) so I have been looking for fun ways to try and cheer us all up. So when I heard about  MAOAM's new Mischief Hub (yep the yummy sweets) that launched last month - I knew this would be something my own family would enjoy. The MAOAM Mischief Hub is home to 'Mischief Maker', Max, who is a bit of a tinker (very much like my own children). 

MAOAM Mischief Hub

The MAOAM Mischief Hub is, as you expect, full of mischievous content for families to discover and learn some new pranks, get creative and take part in mischief missions, perfect whilst staying at home. Mischief Maker, Max, is joined by kids favourite, Dick and Dom, to help families embrace their inner Max from the safety of their own homes. I don't know about your children but anything involving pranks, mischief and family participation gets the big thumbs up from me. 

Friday, 20 March 2020

Gigantosaurus Nintendo Switch Game Review


For Christmas, my five-year-old son got a Nintendo Switch and plays on it for an hour most days, especially now that we are home during the pandemic. He currently only has two Mario games for his switch so when we were offered to review the new Gigantosaurus game (which is released next week) I knew he would be happy. Gigantosaurus is based on the Disney jr animated series of the same name, which is super popular with dino mad children. The game is available on the Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PS4 and PC and you can download the game to your device, perfect when we are all at home. 

gigantosaurus carton dinosaur game cover

Sunday, 8 March 2020

My Teen Is Learning To Drive and Finding Out The Most Expensive Cities To Own A Car

Collaborative Post.

My seventeen-year-old daughter is currently learning to drive, she has had just over 20 hours worth of lessons so far so hopefully, she should be passed before the summer. She is really enjoying learning to drive and as it won't be long before she is on the roads we have started looking at first cars for her and looking into insurance and how much it is going to cost to run her car. Whilst searching online I came across a report by Kwik Fit on the Most expensive cities to own a car and luckily Newcastle was one of the least expensive cities to own a car in the UK. 

holding car key

The report found that Birmingham was the most expensive with average running costs such as fuel, insurance and parking totalling £3,326.87 which I found surprising. Newcastle was around £1,879.11 and Exeter was the cheapest at £1,675.75. 

Saturday, 29 February 2020

Hockey Heroes Helping Children Discover Their Hidden Super Powers


Do you have children aged between 5 and 8 years old? If so then you need to read on and learn all about Hockey Heroes which my 5-year-old son has just taken part in and thoroughly enjoyed. Hockey Heroes is a fun way for children aged 5-8 years of age with no previous Hockey experience to learn about the sport in a fun way, the programme lasts for 6 weeks and is a great introduction to Hockey and team sports for young children.

J taking part in Hockey Heroes lesson

What is Hockey Heroes? 

Hockey Heroes is a fun and empowering program aimed at children aged 5-8 that aims to develop both their physical skills and character 'super powers' helping them unlock the hero inside them! It is a six-week introductory programme for beginners.

Tuesday, 25 February 2020

How I Make Money From Blogging

Collaborative Post.

As a blogger one of the questions that I get asked all of the time is how do I earn money from my blog? And the answer is lots of different ways, such as writing sponsored posts, working on brand campaigns, reviews and social media promotion. I have worked with huge household brands over the years such as Jet2, TikTok, Arla, Smyths Toys, Debenhams, ASDA, Pampers and McDonald's to name just a few. Other bloggers also add adverts to their blog or YouTube channels which generate income or they use affiliate links. 

The second question I get asked a lot is, can you really make an income from blogging? Again the answer is yes and most months I earn more then I would working part-time in a traditional job. Some months I even earn more then I did working full-time. 

laptop on table

I have been blogging for almost 6 years now and I have been earning money from blogging for about 5 years. In the whole time, I have been blogging I have done it part-time around raising my family and studying for my degree,  full-time bloggers earn a lot more then I do! I love the flexibility that blogging offers, when my children are unwell I can take the day off and I can pick and choose what jobs I accept. Obviously being self-employed means there is no guaranteed income and some months I earn a lot more than others, some months last year I earned £2,000 other months zero. 


Friday, 21 February 2020

A Year To Change My Life

The past few months have been rubbish, I have been poorly again! This time with a nasty chest infection which I am currently on antibiotics for. Since October I have been unwell, I had flu which totally wiped me out for two months and as soon as I started to get better I came down with this chest infection which has floored me for the past four weeks. I am fed up and I feel awful complaining about it but being unwell has started to affect my ability to be a good mam and that is something that is getting me down. We had so many plans this half-term and they have all been ruined by me being unwell. 

I have decided enough is enough and I need to change my life, not only for myself but for my family too. So I am giving myself a year to change my life for the better. Now before I start I know I am so lucky to have the life I do, I have just got married and have three happy, healthy children. My husband has a good job and I am a stay-at-home mam and we have a nice home and are able to have holidays. But I need to change things in my life to make me healthier and happier and a better mam to my children. 

So what do I want to change?

Tuesday, 11 February 2020

Things I Loved January 2020

Can you believe we are almost half-way through February already? Once again this year is just whizzing on by at super-speed. I had so many good intentions for this year and once again they have been scuppered by ill-health, I honestly don't know what is going on with me lately. I had flu in October which totally wiped me out and I haven't been the same since and now here we are in February and I am unwell again, this time with a bad chest and cold that is zapping all my energy and I just can not seem to shift for the last few weeks. 

Anyway due to feeling rotten and a tad sorry for myself we haven't done a great deal recently if I am honest as Sophia has been poorly too and the husband had an accident at work and has hurt his knee and is off work unable to walk. Which is probably why I am not better really as I haven't had time to properly rest. So to cheer myself up and get out my gloomy mood I thought I would come on here and write something positive about the things that I loved in January 2020. A way to remind myself that even when you're having a bad month that good things can still happen too. 


Tuesday, 21 January 2020

One Month Of Trying The DietBon Diet Meals Delivered Service


Every single New Year I make the same resolution, get healthier and lose some weight. Every single year I fail. I have tried every healthy eating plan going and attended slimming groups in the past and I always end up failing for a number of reasons, the main one being lack of time. As a busy, work-at-home mam of three, I struggle to find the time. I normally have something quick like a sandwich for lunch and then I make an evening meal the whole family can enjoy in the evening. When I have previously been on healthy eating plans I found I was cooking two separate evening meals most nights as the children did not like the 'healthy meals' plus I found the healthy meals were expensive or took a long time to prepare. 

So when DietBon got in contact in December and asked if I would like to try out the DietBon diet meals delivered service I decided to give it a go. 

DietBon pasta meal with a side salad


Monday, 20 January 2020

10 Netflix Shows Worth Binge-Watching

I don't know about you but January is a month where we spend a lot of time at home as the weather is a bit rubbish and we are a bit skint after Christmas. I am such a home-body though and actually like staying at home although it can get boring at times I do love nothing more than getting cosy on the sofa on an evening when the children are in bed and binge-watching a series on Netflix. At the moment I don't have any series to watch so if you have any recommendations of must-see Netflix shows then be sure to let me know in the comments below. 

If you too are looking to get stuck into a new Netflix series then here are ten Netflix series that I have enjoyed binge-watching over the past few months. 

remote with netflix button

Thursday, 16 January 2020

2020 Goals

I am totally late to the party here but for the last few weeks, I have been pondering about what I want to achieve this year. There are so many things that I would like to improve in my life but I am not really a one for resolutions (I always end up breaking them). Plus I always think January is a daft time to start making changes as its a bit of a miserable month, the weather is rubbish, everyone is a bit skint after Christmas and if your house is anything like mine it will still be full of treats from Christmas. 

February seems a much better month to make changes in my opinion so I have been thinking about the goals I want to achieve in 2020. I always think goals are a much better way to improve your life then resolutions, as goals are something you can work towards throughout the year. 

So here are some of the things I want to achieve in the year ahead.


Sunday, 12 January 2020

Taking Care Of My Health In 2020

Collaborative Post

Now that it is a brand new year and everyone is talking of resolutions and goals for the year ahead it got me thinking about what my goals for the year ahead are. I am so bad at always making New Years Resolutions and breaking them so I much prefer the idea of creating achievable goals for the year ahead that I can work on throughout the year. This year my main goal is to work on my health. 

So many people have goals and/or resolutions this year to lose three stone or drop two dress sizes or run a marathon. I don't have any of those goals, me and fitness do not go well together and while I would like to lose weight that is not what I am focusing on. I am simply going to focus on being healthier. 

two heart shaped bowls full of fresh fruit salad

Thursday, 9 January 2020

A Look Back On 2019

At the start of the New Year, I always like to look back on the year gone by, it doesn't seem so long ago that I wrote about 2018 and now here we are in 2020 writing about 2019 - time please slow down a little. 2019 was a funny old year for us, it started off well and the highlight was most definitely our wedding in the summer (best day ever!). Thing's kind of went down-hill a bit after the wedding though and it has been a very stressful few months and my mental health has suffered massively so I took a huge step back from blogging and online life last year. I ended the year feeling thankful that I have my family and determined to make this year a much better year for us all. 

Anyway here is a look back on 2019


Wednesday, 8 January 2020

Things I Loved December 2019

We are now a week into 2020 and after a lovely break from the online world over the festive period I am back blogging and I feel so much better after the break. 2019 was a bit of a mixed bag for us, the first half of the year was good and we got married in the summer which was the highlight of the year for us. However, the second half of the year was not so great and as a result, this blog was majorly neglected but now I am back and I am going to blog more often again as I have missed it. 

One thing that I did manage to do each month last year was write my monthly 'things I loved' posts, as these are a nice way to record the happy moments from the month gone by. Even when you have had a rubbish month there are always things to be thankful for and that made you happy and these posts are my way of recording the happy moments. So let's have a look at the things I loved in December 2019. 

sea at whitley bay beach

Tuesday, 7 January 2020

10 Most Popular Blog Posts Of 2019

At the start of each year, I always sit down and look at my analytics to see which of my blog posts performed well and which not so well. It is always super useful as it lets me know what kind of content performs best and helps me plan what kind of posts to write more of this year. I normally get a surprise when I work out which posts perform well as sometimes the most unlikely posts perform the best. This year an old recipe post from 2015 received 46,400 views on my blog this year alone, the photos in it are shocking and it is an old post but for some reason, it keeps getting daily hits via Pinterest. 

My second most popular post with 18,500 views this year is my review of Pirates Village Hotel in Majorca. This was a holiday we had paid for ourself and went on in 2018, we had booked it a year in advance and we had been so looking forward to it and it was a brilliant first holiday for the little two. All of the other posts I wrote about the trip performed really well this year too. 

However, I only like to include posts written from the past year in my most popular posts so here is a look at the most-read posts from my blog in 2019. 

Image from Kynren

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