6/30/2016

Mummy & Me - June



I can't believe it's been another month! We didn't take many photo's of the two of us in June, which is a first but this is probably the best out of the bunch! It was just a quick candid shot where Noah had sneaked his dodo in and I was giving him a big squishy nosed kiss! Mwah!

Nicola... Life Through My Eyes

6/28/2016

Fruit Bowl Snacks - Review & Competition


We all know that toddlers love to snack and how important it is for them to do so a long with their three set meals a day. Snack time is an important time in our house and over the past few years Noah's tried so many different types and brands of snacks. Although he isn't picky with what he eats there are a few brands which are his favourite, Fruit Bowl being one of those.



I was recently asked if Noah would like to review some of their snacks and with them already being a firm favourit I was more than happy to accept. We were sent 4 multi packs of Raspberry, Mango, Blackcurrant and Strawberry Fruit Flakes and 2 multi packs of their new Fruit Peelers in Blackcurrant and Strawberry flavour. 

Prior to this review Noah has only tried their yogurt coated fruit flakes so both the Fruit Flakes and Fruit Peelers were new to him. When they arrived he recognised the Fruit Bowl logo straight away and literally wanted to try them all at once. Both the Fruit Flakes and Peelers have been popular with him but he's fond of the Raspberry Flakes in particular and always seemed to go for those first. We've found both to be the perfect mid morning or mid afternoon snack and they are also ideal for packing for on the go.




For some (fortunately not for us) getting fruit into your diet can be difficult. In fact, research shows that over 30 million adults don’t eat the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables each day and most worryingly nearly two-thirds of children (63 per cent) don’t get the optimum amount of fruit and veg in their diets. To help make eating fruit a much more fun and appealing snacking option, Fruit Bowl has created a range of tasty fruit treats that provide a great way to help you reach your five a day. The Fruit Bowl range provides a variety of irresistibly tasty and fun to eat fruit snacks to munch between meals or curb after school tummy rumblings. They’re made with real fruit in fact, Fruit Bowl Fruit Peelers are so fruity they even count as one of your 5 a day, plus there’s no added sugar.  

All Fruit Bowl fruit snacks are gluten free and suitable for vegetarians. A great addition to lunchboxes they can also be added to your favourite baking recipes or sprinkled on top of breakfast cereals and desserts as a delicious treat. Prices start at £2.00 per multi pack and you can purchase Fruit Bowl products from Tesco, Asda and other supermarkets.


How would you like to win everything you can see in the photo above? x24 bags of Fruit Flakes and x8 Fruit Peelers? To enter all you need to do is use the Gleam form below. Good luck and don't forget to enter my other blog competitions!
Fruit Bowl Snacks

Terms & Conditions.                                                                                                 
1. There will be 1 winner who will win the prize mentioned above.
2. Prize supplied directly from the PR. 
3. Competition ends 01/08/16 
4. Incomplete entries with be disqualified. 
5. UK entries only.

6/27/2016

Top 5 Summer Favourites


Believe it or not we are now in Summer! We've not seen much sun yet here in Lancashire but fortunately we were lucky enough to go to Majorca last month where we did get to enjoy some rays. It's amazing what a bit of sun can do for your mood and I always feel like it does the world of good. With this in mind and with the rain currently pattering on my windows I thought I would put together a post all about my Summer Wishlist in the hopes that it will coax the sun back out of hiding.

1. Tropical Print Pleat Midi - £55.00
You can't beat a bold and bright dress in the warmer months and this sleek number from Oasis just screams Summer to me. It's one of those dresses which can easily be styled for evening wear and just as easily for daytime too. I adore the tropical feel of the print and I also like the delicate pleating and belt detail.

2. OPI Live Love Carnival - £12.50
When you go all out in a nice new dress you need to go all out with the nails too! Splurging out on a bit of OPI does just that and I'm loving all the coral shades at the moment cause not only are they bang on trend but they also go with pretty much everything too! 

3. Gabor Karen Wedges - £85.00 
I've fallen head over heels with these women sandals as again just like the dress they could be worn during the day or on a night out too. I adore the straw effect heel and also like the fact that they aren't too high. The leather insoles can ensure maximum comfort too and that's just what I need! 

4. Jean Paul Gaultier Perfume - £25.50
I'm big on perfume and this scent from Jean Paul Gaultier is a new favourite of mine. It's quite a feminine and sensual scent with top notes of orange, pear and rose and base notes of musk and vanilla. It seems to lift my mood whenever I wear it and with the scent being quite delicate it's the perfect perfume for Summer.

5. Gold Straw Shopper - £22.00
Last but not least this gorgeous tote bag is on my to buy list as I'm partial to a little bit of gold in my accessories. I don't think I'd team it with the dress on the wishlist but I really have to get my hands on it because it would go with so much I have already! 


Do any of these items take your fancy?
- This is a PR collaboration. 



6/25/2016

Project 365 - Week 25


19th June - 25th June

19/06/16

20/06/16

21/06/16

22/06/16

23/06/16

24/06/16

25/06/16

This week has been a funny old week. We started it off with a bang on Sunday as I'd won a night away at The Inn on the Lake in the Lake District. I decided to use it as a 30th birthday and Fathers Day treat for Nick and I'm so glad we did. Included in our stay was not just the 4 star accommodation which was absolutely beautiful but also tea and scones on arrival, a three course al a carte meal and a full Cumbrian breakfast in the morning. It was incredible, we had such a great time and it was just really nice to have that one on one time too whilst Noah spent the night at my Mum's. The rest of the week went by in a blur and we didn't really do much really despite the usual, visiting family, playing outside, shopping and what not! Life of riley!


What have you been up to this week?




6/24/2016

Bratz Remix - Competition


A couple of weeks ago we were sent one of the new dolls from the Bratz Remix collection and a pair of Bratz headphones to celebrate a fun new campaign #tweetabeatThe Bratz love music and this collection is all about their favourite playlists. They love mixing up their everyday fashions by accessorising with oversized headphones which are inspired by their spiritual animals.

As part of the campaign we were asked the following questions which were actually quite fun to answer because my little one and I love the same songs and are always having a boogie to them! 
What song makes you happy? Happy - Pharrell What song makes you want to dance? Uptown Funk - Bruno Mars What song makes you want to sing? Lush Life - Zara Larrson What song reminds you of your favourite people? I Can't Feel My Face - The Weeknd

Each doll comes with a full outfit, one pair of shoes, oversized headphones with detachable ears, a smartphone and a brush. As with every collection of Bratz doll they each have their own style and taste and the Remix girls are no different. 


Yasmin loves relaxing in her peaceful spot to acoustic covers.
Jade
 listens to high-energy electro-pop music while hitting the skate park.
Cloe
 is all about the hottest new tunes on the charts.
Sasha'
s playlist is filled with dance remixes of hip-hop and pop crossovers.


To continue our #tweetabeat party I also have a Bratz Remix doll to giveaway to one lucky reader! To enter all you need to do is use the Gleam form below. Good luck and don't forget to enter my other blog competitions

Bratz Remix Doll

Terms & Conditions.                                                                                                 
1. There will be 1 winner who will win 1 doll, style of doll chosen at random.
2. Prize supplied directly from the PR. 
3. Competition ends 29/07/16 
4. Incomplete entries with be disqualified. 
5. UK entries only.

6/23/2016

Noah's latest obsession



Noah is now two and a half and over the past few years and months he's had so many different obsessions and favourite characters. It's almost hard to keep up with them all and it's always interesting to see where his attention will move to next.



First we had Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Jake and the Neverland Pirates and Peppa Pig. Every morning without fail we'd be up and dancing to The Hot Dog song with Mickey, Goofy and Donald. Or we'd be marching with Jake and the other pirates, yo ho ho! If we weren't dancing or marching I'd be cowering in a corner whilst Noah delighted in the horror that is Peppa Pig! Thankfully that obsession didn't last too long! Yay!


Then we had the longest obsession to date, Toy Story! Everyday without fail he would have to watch the film and would even act out his favourite parts. He would also cry when Buzz realised he was just a toy, try to fly and break his arm which broke my heart the first time he did it. In the end I think I knew all the words to all three films and no parent should ever have to admit that one! But recently Woody and Buzz have been deserted and Noah has diverted his attention elsewhere...


It's now all about the Superheroes! Noah can't say his own name yet but he can name all of the Avengers, perhaps we should rename him Iron Man?! I thought I'd have a little while longer until we got into this phase but it's here and for now I'll have to pretend I really enjoy running around the garden pretending to be Thor whilst being "hulk smashed" by my two year old! The things we do for our kids!

What is your little one obsessed with lately?

6/22/2016

Positive over negative



As a mother you want the best for your children. Maybe some mothers would disagree as to what exactly ‘the best’ is but I imagine that there would be more common ground than there would be areas of disagreement. If you had the opportunity to give your child three gifts I think it would be safe to say the majority of mothers would choose good health as one of their gifts to bestow on their children.

I have heard people say that you do not always appreciate your health until it is gone, I am not entirely convinced by that logic. When I was out recently I passed a group of teenagers smoking, and it made me think about why people still smoke in this day and age. I find it hard to believe that there is anybody that doesn’t know about the dangers of smoking. Knowing all about the health risks, you have to ask why do people still smoke?

When I pointed this out to a friend they told me about the lengths another mother, whose child attends the same playgroup, had gone to in order to get their partner to stop smoking. They started by simply asking their partner to stop. When the partner said no they then started to reason with them. They told them apart from the obvious health risks that they were fed up ‘kissing an ashtray’. This failed to do the trick. They then upped up their game - they decided to play dirty. They bribed their children so that they would continually harass their partner into stopping smoking, even feeding the children lines to use. Unfortunately, this was still an epic fail. Wearing them down was not working, all it was doing was causing friction in the relationship.

They then took advice from someone who had successfully given up smoking. They decided to take a 360 turn in the approach they were taking. Instead of coming at the situation from a negative perspective, they decided instead to be positive and encourage their partner. They offered their partner possible solutions and encouragement instead of focusing on the problem. They researched (substitute research with googled), how other people had managed to successfully quit.

After talking it through together they opted that their partner would try using an e cigarette. Again they did their research, both online and speaking to people directly about their experiences before coming to a decision. When it came to choosing which e cigarette to buy they went with a model and brand that they had heard positive things about. They also took the decision that if their partner did lapse for whatever reason and have a cigarette both sides would try to remain positive and supportive.

This all got me thinking, should I interfere or help (depending on how you look at it) with friends and family who still smoke? Should I only get involved if directly asked or if it directly affects me? Does something as unhealthy as smoking make it a duty for you to intervene? 

Just today I saw another positive news story about e cigarettes in a newspaper. It has all began to make me think that it might be worth positively trying to help my loved ones kick the filthy habit that is smoking. Maybe if I blog about it, it might help them take the hint that it is time to quit.


- This is a collaborative post.

Toot the Tiny Tugboat - Review





Thud Media and Lupus Films have partnered to launch the third in a series of children’s apps based on popular Channel 5 and Cartoonito pre-school series Toot the Tiny Tugboat.

The storybook app Toot to the Rescue lets young readers enjoy an interactive tale with characters from the series where they can read along with the narrator as the action unfolds.

Featuring games, events and animated elements, the app brings to life a new and original storyline, written by the series head writer Ian Carney, providing users aged 3 to 6 with an engaging and entertaining reading experience.

The app also has a dual language feature which allows the story to be read in English or Welsh, and the text is highlighted word by word as it is narrated, aiding reading and language learning. There is an added educational angle in that the app also teaches children about water safety.

Thud Media’s creative producer Ben Cawthorne said: “It was great to bring animation and interaction in to enhance this picture book. Developing the story, laying out the artwork and building in the interactive elements to engage the reader was an enjoyable process. We created a 3D page that can be turned while reading so the book feels responsive and elements can remain active. We hope readers appreciate the quality of the book’s presentation and narration.”

Ruth Fielding, Lupus Films’ joint managing director and series producer of Toot the Tiny Tugboat, said: ‘We had great fun directing voice actor Duncan Wisbey who plays all the parts in the story. Kids will recognise him as the voice of the Harbour Master, Lenny the Lighthouse as well as Blue Claw the Crab and Gus the Seagull’.



To celebrate the launch of the new App we were sent a code to use to claim our free game, a copy of Milkshake magazine and a pair of Toot the Tiny Tugboat PJ's. All three of which have gone down a storm with Noah. Toot the Tiny Tugboat has become a household name here quite quickly and Noah's always asking to watch the show on channel 5 or on YouTube. 




First of all let me mention the Toot the Tiny Tugboat PJ's! The short sleeved tee and shorts have been ideal for the stuffy weather we've been having lately and recently we took them on holiday to Majorca with us. They are such a lovely design, are super soft and come in sizes 1.5-2 years through to 5-6 years. They cost just £8.00 too which I think is very reasonable as sometimes character wear can be a little pricey!

The buy Milkshake magazine quite often and the copy we were sent was just as good as previous months. It was full of puzzles, stickers, stories, free toys and kept Noah occupied for quite sometime, which is always a plus for me!

We also love love love the app and we've found it to be ideal for Noah's age as it's designed for preschoolers and children a little younger too. The app is bold, bright, eye catching and is lots of fun. Noah loves to sail around the harbour, finding his friends a long the way and collecting a reward or two too. There are also a couple of mini games to play on the app, our favourite being I Spy!

Toot to the Rescue is the third app developed by Thud following on from previous releases; exploration game Toot’s Harbour and boat racing game Toot’s RaceThe new app is available for download now via iTunes and is priced at £2.99.


- We were sent these products for the purpose of this review however all opinions are my own.

3 things you need to know about becoming a landlord



Whether you’re starting out as a buy to let investor or you’ve decided to rent out a property for other reasons, there are certain things you’ll need to know. As a landlord, you’ll have specific responsibilities - and there are a range of pitfalls to avoid too. It’s important to make sure you understand these before you welcome your first tenants. To help you get clued up, here are three important points to bear in mind.

1. You have to make sure your property is safe
Perhaps your most fundamental obligation as a landlord is to ensure that your rental property is safe for people to live in. As part of this, you’ll have to make sure all gas and electrical equipment is properly installed and maintained. You’ll also need to fit suitable smoke alarms, make sure that any furnishings you provide are fire-safe and ensure there is always access to escape routes in the event of a blaze. Your property should also have secure windows and doors.

Bear in mind that if an emergency arises that makes your rental property insecure or unsafe for tenants, you’ll be required to resolve the problem and cover the cost of repairs. This could mean anything from fixing broken doors or windows to replacing faulty cooking equipment. So that you’re not left counting the cost of these repairs, it pays to get appropriate insurance. Fortunately, there are policies that are specifically tailored to include this. For example, Landlord insurance from HomeLet can include emergency assistance protection. You can find out more about your cover options online.

2. It pays to get tenant references
Even if you’re in a hurry to get your first tenants, it’s important not to rush the process of selecting the right people. If you’re not careful at this stage, you could be left counting the cost later on. After all, while the majority of tenants are trustworthy, some fail to keep up with their rental payments, damage properties or cause problems for neighbours. The best way to reduce 
the risk of choosing the wrong tenants is to get references that confirm people are who they say they are, have the means to pay the necessary rent and have a history of being reliable renters. You could try to do this yourself, but it’s much easier to get specialist tenant referencing service providers to do it on your behalf. If you rent your property out through a letting agency, they may include referencing checks as part of their service.

3. There are rules governing access to your rental property
You might be used to being able to walk into your property unannounced at any time, but as soon as tenants move into it, this changes. You have a right to inspect your rental property’s state of repair, but under the law you must give your tenants a minimum notice period of 24 hours before you do so. Many tenancy agreements also specify that these visits have to be at ‘reasonable times’ to ensure your tenants can be present if they want to be. However, you can enter your rental home at very short notice if you need to conduct emergency repairs. It’s important to read up on and understand your rights of access before your tenants move in, to avoid any unnecessary conflict.


These are just a few of the issues you need to be be aware of before you become a landlord. To ensure you’re fully in the know, it’s important to do some in-depth research. You should be able to find the information you need online.

- This is a guest post.

6/21/2016

May Degustabox - Review



Another month brings another Degustabox! We've been receiving a subscription for quite some time now and it's always something we look forward to each month. Once our Degustabox has been delivered my son and I unpack it together and love to discover what's inside!





1. Jack Daniels Honey BBQ Glaze Sauce - £1.99
2. Garofalo Fusilli Bucati Corti - £1.99
3. Cranes Alcoholic Drink - x2 £1.90
4. Kallo Corn Cakes - x2 £1.29 & £1.69
5. Pasquier Brioche - £1.80

6. Get Fruity Bar - £1.00
7. Beloved Date Nectar - £3.50
8. The Wonderful Company Almonds & Pistachios - x2 £0.90p
9. Pechkeks Misfortune Cookies - x2 £1.00
10. Pomegreat Pomegranate Juice - £1.49


May's box was fantastic because as per usual there's a little something for everyone in the family and lots of brands that we hadn't tried before. Our favourite products out of the bunch were the brioche and the corn cakes as both were a welcomed treat at breakfast time for both my son and I. My partner absolutely loved the Cranes alcoholic beverages too as was impressed with how low calorie they are, which is great if you are watching your waistline! 

Degustabox costs £12.99 per month but if you would like to try it for the first time use 
BLDEG15 at the checkout to receive a whooping £6.00 off! 


Which products do you like the sound of? 



- I was sent this product for the purpose of this review however all opinions are my own.

50 annoying phrases we must stop using at work


We are all guilty of saying and hearing annoying phrases in and out of the work place, at the end of the day! Just had to squeeze that phrase right at the beginning because for me that one is the worst of the worst! Number one on the list of phrases which should be banned! Citrix GoToMeeting recently put together an infographic which tells us all about 50 annoying phrases we hear at work, in case we need the reminder! I have to say some I haven't heard of before but there's a couple I would be happy to never hear again! Which have you heard of before? 



- This is a PR Collaboration

6/20/2016

Sense Organics - Review & Competition

As a Mother I'm always looking for new brands and new places to buy Noah clothes and Sense Organics is a new favourite of ours. Sense Organics offer clothes ranging from birth through to toddler hood and beyond and what I really love about them is that their range is super soft and organic and also Fairtrade too! They don't just stop at clothes though as they also sell a wide range of other products too from skincare products through to toys.

I was recently asked if we'd like to review a couple of pieces from their range and after seeing what they were all about I snapped up the chance! I have to say it did take me a while to decide on what to go for because all their items are so beautiful but in the end I decided to go for the All Over Print Marl Peter Pan Pyjamas, Grey Marl Boxers and Grey Marl Stripes Vest.




The first two pieces I chose were the Don Grey Marl Stripes Vest which costs £8.00 and the Prince Grey Marl and Stripes Boxers which retails at £12.50. When I opened them I was blown away with how soft they were and you can really tell that they are made from 100% organic cotton. Not only are the vest and boxers great for underwear but Noah's also liked to wear them as lounge wear, especially in the stuffy weather we've been having in the evenings lately. Whenever he wears them he always exclaims that they are nice, so I presume that's him letting me know how comfortable they are!


Last but certainly not least I chose the Peter Pan All Over Print and Marl PJ's which retail at £18.50. They are lovely and gender neutral and come in sizes 18-24 months through to 5-6 years. Just like the vest and boxers I can't believe how soft the PJ set is and I'm slightly envious that Noah gets to wear something so comfortable to bed! It's also worth mentioning that all three items are generous sized and all wash very nicely too. Sense Organics have given me a new found love for organic cotton as nothing really compares to this level of quality, it's unbelievably soft. 

Sense Organics weren't just kind enough to send us some of their lovely pieces to review but they've also offered the chance for you to win a set of their organic cotton PJ's too! (In your choice of size of course!) To enter all you need to do is use the Gleam form below. Good luck and don't forget to enter my other blog competitions




Sense Organic PJ's worth £18.50

Terms & Conditions.                                                                                                 
1. 1 winner of 1 pair of Sense Organics PJ's in their choice of size.
2. Prize supplied directly from the PR. 
3. Competition ends 25/07/16 
4. Incomplete entries with be disqualified. 
5. UK entries only.

6/18/2016

Project 365 - Week 24


12th June - 18th June


12/06/16


13/06/16


14/06/16


15/06/16


16/06/16


17/06/16


18/06/16

Another week, another Project 365. This week was another lovely week and we were either playing inside when it was raining or headed out in the garden or for a walk when it was dry. We also had a nice play date with the next door neighbour and had a tour of Noah's future nursery too! Nick turned 30 yesterday and today we spent the afternoon outdoors and visited family which was really nice! Much of the same old, same old really!

What have you been up to this week?