Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Get Involved in the Cycle to Work Scheme in 2014

Happy New Year everyone! Are you planning your resolutions? If you’re determined to make 2014 a fit and healthy year, then you could do worse than start cycling to work. The government’s Cycle Scheme initiative is aimed to help anyone who wants an easy and affordable way to start.
We’re all aware of the warnings about the problems affecting the world including our planet’s atmosphere, and just how what we do every single day will have a dramatic effect permanently. This includes incidents we presume nothing of, like leaving a house light switched on, a tv on standby, or boiling a kettle over and over in order to make a cup of tea. For this reason the last few years have seen a barrage of advertising campaigns and appeals launched to help our environment.
One of the worst forms of pollution is exhaust emissions from vehicles on the road. As countless cars, vans and other motorised vehicles travel up & down the country on their daily excursion to where they work, it’s likely to have a detrimental effect.
This is where the government’s Cycle Scheme initiative comes into its own. The cycle to work scheme enables you to cycle to work as opposed to driving, which includes a number of benefits to you, your company and the environment.


Wondering how the Cycle to Work Scheme works?
The way it works is fairly trouble-free, a firm must first register to engage in the cycle to work scheme as soon and as it's been approved they should make their staff aware of it. Employees are then able to look for the bike which suits them best, request a certificate, which is then approved by your employer who can then make an order for this particular bike.
When authorised, the certificate will likely be issued and the employee can redeem it at the shop or over the phone.
Employees should know that they pay for the bicycle over twelve months through their salary, yet the cost of the bike is usually about 42% below what we might have paid if they weren’t active in the scheme.


Cycle to Work Scheme Benefits
Besides the money/financial incentive to both employers and employees as well as benefits to our environment, the cycle to work scheme also carries with it an bunch of other gains:
Recent research suggests that cycling to a place of work helps enhance the economic system by just about £13.7 billion. This is because people that bike it are believed to be not as likely to take a day off sick than those who use other kinds of transport such as car, bus, train.
With all the significant advantages of cycling, as well as cash savings as a result of not having to buy petrol, 2014 is a great year to try out the Cycle Scheme and make a positive lifestyle change.
For more info about the Cycle Scheme you can visit the official site: http://www.cyclescheme.co.uk/
Also, the writer of this article, Global Bike, encourage Cycle Scheme orders and more info can be found at their Cycle to Work Scheme Onlinepage.


This is a guest post.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

What's In My November Nonabox

This will be my third Nonabox and so far I've been really happy with the contents of the last two boxes, I was really excited when my third box arrived and I was yet again really impressed with what I found inside.







  1. JoJo Maman Bebe Clutch Changing Bag - This bag is perfect for those outings where you only need to take a few bits with you rather than an entire change bag full of items, it has some handy pockets for nappy bags, wipes etc and a wrist strap so that you carry it easily or attach to a pushchair. I really like this bag and will probably come in handy to use when Summer is a bit older and I don't need to carry around bottles anymore.
  2. JoJo Maman Bebe Pack Away Pocket Highchair - This is perfect to throw in your change bag for those times when you go out and there are no highchairs available. It fits over almost any chair and holds your baby safely in place with the strong, shaped ties. This will be must have item in my change bag from now on.
  3. JoJo Maman Bebe Henry Rabbit Blankie Comforter - This comforter is perfect for Summer as she has a really gross habit of sucking her blankets and it worries me when she stuffs a lot of the fabric in her mouth but the bunny is great because it's ears, arms and legs are the perfect size for her to pop in her mouth and suck. She's been using this a lot already and she loves it.
  4. Fireman Sam The Runaway Santa Book and Mr Men The Christmas Tree Book - Summer is a little too young for books but my 3 year old son Riley loved these, they're the perfect length for bedtime stories and we've been reading them before bed every night this week.
  5. Plum Baby Baby's First Four Grain Porridge - Summer loves porridge and has it every morning for her breakfast so this was perfect for us, we haven't tried the Plum Baby porridge before so it will be interesting to give it a try and see what she thinks.
  6. Faith in Nature Humphrey's Corner Baby Care - These two samples of shampoo and bubble bath will be nice to try at bath time, they use certified organic and natural ingredients which is perfect for babies and we're looking forward to trying them.
I'm so impressed with this box as every item will be used, it's totally worth the £25 as the items inside are worth far more than that. My only issue with this box is that I was unsure as to whether I was sent a boys box instead of a girls box as most of the items were blue and the books were more for boys, this really doesn't matter as I don't mind the blue items and Riley loves the books but it would be interesting to know if there was a more girly box.

XXX


I was sent the Nonabox for review but all opinions are 100% honest and my own.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Dentek Easy Brush & Molar Mug Giveaway

You may have seen my post a couple of weeks ago about the importance of oral hygiene for babies and children, it's equally important for us adults to practice good oral hygiene of course, so today I have a great little giveaway that will help you out with keeping your teeth super clean and your breath smelling fresh.

3 lucky winners will win a pack of Dentek Easy Brushes and a Molar Mug each. 

DenTek have added NEW Easy Brush Cleaners to their range of interdental products to ensure a deep clean. 90% of all cases of bad breath is caused by harmful bacteria that is not removed by brushing alone.
- Unlike other interdental brushes, DenTek Easy Brushes feature a unique flexible handle to reach back teeth for a deep clean
- Durable, taperedd brush easily brushes around troubled spots
- Available in 3 sizes
- £3.99 from Boots


Here's what Dentek say about the Easy Brush

"Now there’s an easier way to floss and deep clean around trouble spots with DenTek Easy Brush Cleaners. The durable, tapered brush easily brushes around trouble spots and the handle features a non-slip flexible grip for comfort and control. Use the cap to keep brushes sanitary when not in use and as a handle extension to clean hard to reach back teeth."




To enter this giveaway just fill in the Rafflecopter form below, open to UK residents only.

Good luck!


XXX

Winter Walks

There's nothing we love more as a family than a long walk in some beautiful surroundings on a crisp and sunny Winters day. 


Our favourite place to go for a walk is Wollaton Hall, we love to feed the ducks and stroll around the paths which lead around the huge park. 


Wollaton Hall itself is pretty impressive and you may recognise it from The Dark Knight Rises as it was used as Wayne Manor.


We have lots of fun letting our dog Macho and the kids run around and have fun in the grounds of Wollaton Hall.


The only problem with Winter walks is that the dog can get very dirty which means that when we get home it's bath time for Macho.


At the moment we're trying out the Scruffy Chops dog shampoo and conditioners, Scruffy Chops make natural and organic mineral shampoos which focus on looking after your dogs skin. We used the Zest in Show Shampoo with Pink Grapefruit and the Muddy Marvelous Conditioner with Coconut and they both smelt amazing. I've never used a conditioner on Macho before, we normally just use shampoo but it really made a difference, his fur was silky, soft and really shiny after we dried him off.


I really like the idea of using all natural products on Macho and I'll definitely continue to use conditioner on him as it made such a difference. Scruffy Chops have a range of different products to suit all hair types and they're also cruelty free.
XXX

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Prezzo Restaurant Review

Last week we were lucky enough to go and try out the italian restaurant Prezzo's Christmas Menu, me and my husband don't get to spend much time alone these days so this was a chance for us to enjoy a lovely meal minus the kids and we couldn't wait.


We went to the Nottingham Low Pavement Prezzo and it was beautiful inside, the decor was very stylish and modern and everywhere looked very clean. We were actually almost an hour early for our reservation so I was very impressed when they said that this was not a problem and they seated us straight away.


They had reserved a lovely table for us but whenever we go out if there are booths available to sit in we always prefer to sit in those, they just feel more comfortable and cosy to me. So we asked if we could sit in a booth instead and they had no problem with that what so ever and quickly moved us over to an available booth. The staff were lovely and they offered to take our coats and served us really quickly but not so quickly that we felt rushed.

The Christmas menu had some delicious choices and we struggled to decide what to have, I must admit I was very surprised by the prices as I thought it would be much more expensive than it was. On the Christmas Menu you could choose from the Classic menu which was 3 courses for £16.95, the Premium menu which was 3 courses for £19.95 or the Signature menu which was 4 courses and a glass of Prosecco for £24.95. 

We decided to go with the Premium menu and chose the Pane Con Cipolla which was garlic pizza bread with caramalised balsamic onions and melted mozzarella cheese and the King Prawns which came in a tomato sauce with garlic, chilli and spinach and ciabatta bread. Both starters were absolutely delicious, the prawns were so tasty and not too spicy and the garlic bread was amazing but maybe a little too big for a starter.


For our mains we both decided to go with the pizzas, my husband chose the VIP Tre Gusti Pizza which had pepperoni sausage, seasoned chicken, pancetta bacon, fresh rosemary, mozzarella and tomato and I had the VIP Queen Margherita Pizza which was in 3 sections and was topped with sunblushed and cherry tomatoes, asparagus, spinach and basil pesto dressed rocket leaves, bechamel sauce and buffalo mozzarella. They were so good but so big! Way too big for us to manage especially after the massive garlic bread we had just eaten so we did leave quite a lot but we had to leave room for dessert.


On to dessert and it was a tough choice but we eventually decided on the Honeycomb Smash Cheesecake and the Sticky Toffee Pudding, they were both so yummy and we were absolutely stuffed by the time we had finished although we did manage to fit in a coffee before we left.


Our first experience eating at Prezzo was really enjoyable, we had a delicious meal, the service was great and the atmosphere was lovely. We'll definitely be eating there again and I'll be recommending it to all of my friends.

XXX

Best Christmas Jumper Ever Giveaway!

Everyone loves a good Christmas jumper but I think this one is the best I've seen so far and I've got one to giveaway to one of my lucky readers!


This amazing jumper has a small pocket hidden in the front where you can place your phone and after downloading the free app you can have your very own crackling fire displayed on your Christmas jumper. How clever is that?!

Take a look at the video to see it in action.


To be in with a chance of winning one of these brilliant jumpers all you need to do is fill in the Rafflecopter form below, the giveaway is open to UK only, good luck!


XXX

Monday, 2 December 2013

More Christmas Gift Ideas

I've done a couple of gift guide posts already but I figured you can never have too many ideas for Christmas gifts so this post covers gift ideas for everyone.

Gifts for kids


I once read somewhere that 'a book is a gift you can open again and again' which is true, I love books and I think they make a perfect gift for children. Girls aged 4+ would love this Pinkabella's Playhouse book and the Five Little Monkeys Finger Puppet book is perfect for babies aged 6 months +, both books are by Parragon and are available to buy from Amazon, Debenhams, Sainsburys, WH Smiths and other outlets across the UK.


A great gift for girls or boys are Peppa Pig toys, this Peppa Pig Jumbo Playset would be perfect as it contains several different little sets, all for just £20 from Asda.

Another fab gift for both boys and girls is the Tiny Bike Balance Bike, it's the best way for 2-4 year olds to learn how to ride as they teach balance and co-ordination on 2 wheels. The Tiny Bike comes in a range of different colours and costs just £49.95.

Boys aged 5 years + would love this Angry Birds Star Wars Early Pack, it contains 4 figures, a Lightsaber Launcher and 2 blocks to knock over. This pack is just £3.99 in Home Bargains.


Teenagers would love these Sharpie Markers, they come in a wide range of colours and would make a great stocking fillers for creative teens.

Foodie Gift

If you have any foodie friends or family then they would love this Chutney Gift Bag by The English Provender Co. It contains a great selection of chutneys which make the perfect accompaniment for cheese.

Photo Gifts 


I think one of the best gifts you can give someone is a beautiful picture of a loved one and with SnapBox this couldn't be easier. You can take images from your camera or mobile phone and get them turned in to these gorgeous canvas prints which all come in a matte black floating frame. There are 5 different sizes to choose from and prices start from just £19.99.


Another great gift idea is a photo book, Photobox do some lovely photo books and I especially like their A4 Lay Flat Books. They're such good quality and make a beautiful keep sake, we chose to put our holiday photos from this year in a photo book and it's something we will treasure forever.

Gifts for her


If you're looking for gift ideas for the female members of your family or a friend then this Guinot Ready Set Glow Gift Box Set would be perfect. It contains some luxury skincare products designed to brighten the complexion and costs just £40.


This Faith in Nature Gift Set is a perfect gift for someone who likes to use cruelty free, organic and vegan products, they offer a range of different gift sets and products all for super affordable prices.


If you're running out of cash but still have a few gifts left to buy these gift sets from Home Bargains are a brilliant idea, with prices starting at just 99p you can still make someone feel special even if you're on a budget.

Hope this post helped to give you some more gift ideas!

XXX



Some of these items were sent for review but all opinions are 100% honest and my own.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Lollipop Lane Cuddle Robes Giveaway



I was recently sent this gorgeous Upsy Daisy Cuddle Robe from Lollipop Lane who sell some adorable items for babies and I think it's so lovely. These sorts of towels are ideal for babies as they keep their head warm when they have wet hair and you can wrap them up all snug whilst you're drying them.


Summer loves her cuddle robe and I love the bunny ears, they look so cute. Lollipop Lane have a range of different cuddle robes which make great gifts for Christmas or baby showers and they have been kind enough to give 5 of my lovely readers the chance to win a cuddle robe of their choice.

To enter just fill in the Rafflecopter form below, giveaway is open to UK residents only.

Good Luck!


XXX


Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Need Help Encouraging Your Kids To Brush Their Teeth? You Need The Rockabilly Kids!

If you struggle getting your kids to brush their teeth don't worry as help is here in the shape of The Rockabilly Kids, they're a brilliant new children's toothbrush which work similar to a Weeble in the sense that they wobble but they don't fall down. They come in a fab range of colours with characters that will appeal to both boys and girls, they're approved by dentists and they're super hygienic because they stand up by themselves so no need for a toothbrush holder which is apparently one of the dirtiest places in your house.


Take a look at this video to find out more.


The Rockabilly Kids toothbrush range all come with 3 extra heads which should keep your child brushing for a whole year and costs just £6. 



You can currently buy one or all of these fab toothbrushes through their crowd funding scheme here. The owner of the company Hamish Khayat is using the crowd funding to get this project off the ground and is currently in talks with Jo-Jo Maman Bebe and Trotters and Tinc to stock The Rockabilly Kids, he'll also be in talks with bigger retail companies like Tesco, Sainsburys and John Lewis soon but he needs our support to enable him to make his first stock order.


Riley has the Vet Valerie toothbrush and he absolutely loves it, as soon as he saw it he immediately wanted to brush his teeth and I've had no trouble getting him to brush twice a day since having this toothbrush. They're perfect for kids of all ages and I think they would also make a great Christmas gift as they're such good fun.

To find out more about The Rockabilly Kids check out their Facebook Page and Twitter.

XXX


5 Apps To Help You Get Ready For Christmas

Like it or not Christmas is almost upon us, the Christmas adverts are on the television and everywhere you look there are gift guides galore! Don't panic though as help is at hand in the form of some fun and super handy Christmas themed apps and tools designed to make life easier during the festive period.


  1. If you love decorating Christmas trees then this is the app for you, you can download this on to your iPhone or iPod Touch and decorate Christmas trees to your hearts content. Then you can watch your individually decorated tree sparkle as you count down the days until Christmas.
  2. This app will keep you super organised when it comes to your Christmas shopping list. You can track budgets per person, track gifts by status e.g. shipping, received, wrapped and countdown how many shopping days are left until Christmas. It's the perfect app if you buy for a lot of different people.
  3. If you want to look fab during the festive season then why not try this brilliant app which tells you all about the latest beauty trends, how to achieve them and exactly where to buy the products. Everything you need to know about hair, nails and makeup is all in this app and will ensure that you have a very glam Christmas this year.
  4. Want ideas for your Christmas party? Why not try this app for all your lifestyle inspiration, it contains some great ideas for party food, home decor and fashion. It offers some really good ideas to make your Christmas party stand out from the crowd.
  5. While we're on the subject of Christmas parties then why not try this party planner app from Fancy Dress Ball. Using this app you can create and send your party invitations and save some trees at the same time. It's great fun, super easy to use and saves you the hassle of worrying whether your invite made it through the post during Royal Mail's busiest time of the year.

I hope these apps help to make your Christmas a little easier this year.

XXX


PR Post/PR Collaboration

Parenting Myths

As soon as I fell pregnant with my son it was like an open invitation to everyone around me to give me lots and lots of advice, most of it was much appreciated however I found some of it to end up being nothing more than a myth. One way to help you to decipher the myths from the facts is by taking a parenting class, CANparent is a new Government initiative which offers classes and advice to families all over the country with a different range of options to suit everyone's needs, from online support to local groups.

They've made a video about the myths you can encounter as a parent, take a look and see what you think.

On a CANparent class you can get support with everyday challenges such as:-
  • learning through play
  • parents working together as a team
  • communicating and staying calm
  • managing sleep issues
  • coping with difficult behaviour
  • rules and routines
  • understanding different stages of your child's development
For more expert parenting advise and more info on parenting classes visit and "like" CANparent on Facebook.

Here are some of my top parenting myths
  • Parenting comes naturally - for me this was not the case, I went home from the hospital with my son who was two days old and I remember thinking "what do I do now?". That first night my son didn't feed for 7 hours and I absolutely freaked out as I had been told he needed to feed every 3 hours, I ended up having a massive meltdown, convinced that there was something wrong with him and rang the hospital for advice, they reassured me that he was fine and would feed when he was ready which he did and it's things like this that you learn as you go along. Being a good parent is something we learn to do along the way, it's not something that comes naturally as soon as you give birth.
  • Bottle fed babies sleep better than breast fed babies - I breast fed my son and he has always, from day one been an excellent sleeper, as a newborn he woke once in the night for a feed and started sleeping through at 11 weeks, he's always napped well during the day and he still sleeps really well now. My daughter was formula fed from 3 weeks old and getting her to sleep well at night or in the day was quite a task, she would only sleep when she was being held and took much longer to sleep through the night. I think the fact of the matter is, it doesn't matter how you feed your baby, if they're going to be a good sleeper then they will be, if they're not then they won't.
  • If you give your child a wide range of food as soon as you start weaning they won't become a fussy eater - I did exactly this with my son, I cooked all his meals myself, I gave him a wide range of fruit and vegetables and made sure they were organic and he enjoyed them all, until he turned 2 and it all went horribly wrong. He started refusing his meals and then decided all he wanted to eat was crisps, his diet later broadened to crisps and chips and almost a year and a half later we're still battling with him to get him to eat anything remotely healthy. I don't worry about it too much as I know that fussy eating is very common in children his age and he has a multivitamin everyday so it's just a case of trying to encourage him to try new things in any way we can until he grows out of it.
What's your favourite parenting myth?

XXX

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Riley's Special Postcard From Disney

A couple of months ago after watching one of his many Disney DVD's Riley asked me if he could write a letter to Mickey Mouse, I thought this was a really cute idea so I got some paper and some shiny star stickers and we sat down and wrote a letter. Riley told me what he wanted the letter to say and I wrote it for him, then he put the stickers on and it was ready to post, of course I had no idea what address to put on the letter so I did a bit of googling and found an address, I had no idea if it was right or not but I thought "what the heck let's give it a try"


We posted the letter about 9 weeks ago and to be honest I'd totally forgotten about it but today when we got home from picking Riley up from school we had a lovely surprise waiting on the door mat. A postcard had arrived all the way from Florida, addressed to Riley with all his favourite Disney characters on, he was absolutely chuffed to bits and it made my day to see him so happy.


It's great how something so simple can make a child so happy! If you have a little one at home that would love a postcard from Disney then the address to post your letters to is

Walt Disney World Communications
P.O.Box 10040
Lake Buena Vista
FL 32830-0040
USA

XXX


Monday, 25 November 2013

Degustabox Giveaway Winner & Discount Code


The winner of my Degustabox Giveaway has been chosen!


Congratulations to the winner!


Don't worry if you didn't win though as the lovely people at Degustabox have given me a discount code to share with you that will save you £4.00 off your first box. 

The code is - Handbags999

XXX



Christmas Haul Part 2

I've been buying more Christmas items and I thought you might like to see them, can't wait to put my decorations up next weekend!


My husband actually came home with these after I sent him to Tesco for some nappies and I absolutely love them. We're going for a Nordic theme this Christmas so these mugs will fit in perfectly and I think my husband said they were 3 for 2.


I got this lovely Christmas Stocking from Funky Giraffe, it's really thick and padded and it's a good size to fit lots of little goodies in. They cost just £8 inc P&P which is an absolute bargain.


This Crochet Ball Tree Decoration is from Clintons and fits in perfectly with our Nordic theme, it's currently on sale for £4.50.


Every year I always buy the usual Cadburys Advent Calendars but I never know where to put them because they look so untidy as soon as you start opening the doors, so I thought I'd try a Wooden Advent Calendar. I got this gorgeous one from Country Baskets and I absolutely love it, I've bought some white chocolate coins and milk chocolate snowballs to put in the little boxes for Riley to open everyday and it looks so much nicer than the paper ones.


I love to buy my Christmas chocolate from Thorntons, they always do some lovely gift boxes and cute children's chocolate. This year I got Riley a Snowman and the Snowdog and for ourselves I got a yummy Milk Chocolate Hamper so we're sorted for all our chocolate needs this Christmas.

I hope you enjoyed having a nosey at what I got and I'm sure I'll have some more things to show you before Christmas gets here so look out for Christmas Haul Part 3 coming soon lol.

XXX


Some of these items have been sent for review but all opinions are 100% honest.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Inspiration For Summer's 1st Birthday Party

I love planning parties, especially parties for my children. I usually start searching for inspiration months before the actual event to make sure I get everything exactly how I want it, so of course I'm already thinking about Summer's first birthday party which isn't until March.

I've been trawling Pinterest for weeks and I've found quite a few ideas that I really like so I thought I'd share them with you.


I love the colours of these party decorations, I think the mint green, baby pink and gold go so beautifully together and I adore the bow theme as I'm a little bit obsessed with bows.


I think this Breakfast at Tiffany's theme is so adorable and I love the ombre cake.


I really like the pretty colours of this party decor and I love the framed photos of the birthday girl in the background. You can get some great posters for kids parties from Pixel2Print at really reasonable prices which would be perfect to recreate these party decorations.


Lastly I love this cloud theme, it's so cute and unusual. I think it really works well as a baby's party theme.

As always let me know what you think

XXX

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