Saturday, 24 December 2016

Win A Milton Silver Mini Portable Soother Steriliser

If your child uses a dummy then these are an absolute must have, I lost track of the amount of times my son would drop his dummy on the floor when he had one and which meant I had to carry several dummies around at a time so that he always got a clean one so this product would have been super useful to me.
Simply pour cold water upto the fill line and add one Milton Mini Sterilising Tablet. Insert the soother teat into the hole in the top sponge, press the soother down and twist to clean the teat. Replace the watertight lid and after 15 minutes the soother is sterilised and ready to use straight away with no need to rinse.


The Mini is 100% watertight, cleans and sterilisers soothers everywhere and is BPA free. Along with the new pearly grey colour, the Mini comes in three other existing colours (purple, blue and green).

The Milton Mini Portable Soother Steriliser is available to buy from Boots, John Lewis, Mothercare, Ocado, Superdrug and Tesco but if you would like to be in with a chance of winning one all you need to do is fill in the Rafflecopter form below, giveaway is open to UK residents only.



Friday, 1 July 2016

Things to think about before renovating your garden


For homeowners who wish to renovate their garden area, where do you begin? What floral arrangements, outdoor furniture, and decor should you go with? Before you simply get started without a plan, consider these factors to ensure you create the ideal outdoor space for your home.

Have a plan -
Don't simply start buying flowers, trees, new furniture, and other items. Instead, lay out a plan. Consider the colours of flowers, the furnishings you want to buy for the space, the arrangements which will grow well. All of this will give you a better idea as to the final look of the space, and also allows you to set a budget for renovating the area. 

Consider hiring professionals -
Yes, they tend to charge fees for work they perform; with this in mind, the right service team will work with you and the set budget you have. Not only will they provide you with several options, they are properly going to plant new flowers, lay out the garden area, choose the right furnishings, and create a calm, tranquil area you can enjoy any time of the year. If you would like to find a gardener there are loads of sites you can visit to find a good local gardener.

Know what you want -
For some, you simply want lavish, luxurious outdoor furnishings regardless of cost. Others are going to be looking for items which match the siding of the home, floral arrangement, and colours of the space. Yet others are looking for the cheapest options, while still having a warm, inviting space. Make sure you know what you want, and begin from there when coming up with the layout for the space you are creating.

When it comes to your garden area, knowing what to look for, and where to begin, will allow you to easily create the perfect outdoor retreat. These are a few simple things to consider, before you simply get started with a huge renovation job you wish to tackle.

Friday, 17 June 2016

How to save money on children's outdoor equipment this summer



When shopping for equipment for your kids to use when camping, going to outdoor events, or otherwise having a great time outdoors, these items are typically quite costly. Whether it is a new tent, new hiking shoes, or other accessories, there are ways in which you can go about saving on the cost. These are a few options to save, while finding all the summer equipment they need.

Consider second hand - 
Hand me downs, trading items with friends, or using items your other children have used in years past, is a simple solution to avoid having to purchase these items brand new. You can even find local retailers which sell second hand items, many in "like new" condition, which are far cheaper than brand new. If you would like to have a look at some outdoor equipment for this summer then there are loads of sites which can help you. One example of a site which can help you find a good price on the product you are looking for is Secondwow.

Shopping around - 
Visiting various outdoor shops, camping supply shops, and sporting goods retailers, allows you to find the best deal on all equipment you are going to buy. Yes, it does require a certain degree of patience; but, those who are willing to visit a few stores prior to purchase, are going to save. 

Shop online - 
Another viable way to save is to buy online. More and more retailers are offering products online, further, you can buy from local sellers online as well. Typically, great mark downs and price reductions can be found on these items, allowing you to truly save on the cost of outdoor equipment. 

Off brand - 
Consider going with "off brand" or un-branded items. In many instances, you can find products for half the price, or even greater discounts on such items. And, many of these products are the same quality, simply lacking the popular brand name logo, meaning you will save. 

You will find many items your kids require to be costly; however, these are a few simple ways to save when shopping for the summer equipment they need this year.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Make the Most out of Children's Catalogues


If you want to spread the cost of children's toys, books, and games, shopping with a UK catalogue provides you with heaps of benefits. First up, you can have your purchases delivered direct to your door, saving you time and hassle. Plus, you can choose from thousands of items all in one place, including the latest electronics and gadgets, so you don't have to spend hours on your local high street. Here are some other tips on how to make the most out of children's catalogues.

1. Watch out for interest

The children's catalogue you choose will likely come down to interest rates. As different retailers charge different levels of interest, it's a good idea to compare different brands before you open a credit account. A price comparison website is a great place to glance at different rates in one place, so you can spot the catalogue that's right for you. Some catalogues that have children's clothes, like Very, won't charge you any interest if you pay for your items in full by a certain date.

 2. Consider the cost of returns

 As a parent, you know that children can be fussy at times, especially when it comes to clothes and shoes. If you order from a catalogue, most brands, like Marisota and Next, will let your child try on his or her clothes for size. If you're not completely satisfied, you can send them back to the retailer. This all sounds pretty straightforward, but some companies charge you more to return an item than others, so always do your research before you open a credit account.

 3. Use a voucher code

 A voucher code could entitle you to money off your order or free delivery, providing you with a significant saving. You'll likely have to enter your code when paying for your items over the phone or online, and this can be a great way to save cash on children's clothes and toys!

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Jamie's Italian Nottingham

We were recently invited to visit our local Jamie's Italian restaurant which for us is in Nottingham and try out some of their food, as we've never eaten there before we jumped at the chance as we're both big fans of Jamie Oliver and had heard good things about the food there.


The restaurant itself had a really nice, cosy atmosphere and even though we were a little early we were seated straight away. Our waitress was super friendly and really helpful, recommending dishes to try and drinks that she thought we may enjoy.


For our starter we decided to go for the Italian Nachos which were crispy fried ravioli stuffed with mozzarella, ricotta and Bella Lodi served with a spicy Sicilian tomato sauce. We absolutely loved the starter, it was something I'd never tried before and it was so good, I'd definitely order it again.


For my main course I had Tortellini Con Carne which was veal ragu-stuffed pasta in a sage brown butter with crispy pancetta, lemon and Parmesan which was absolutely amazing. I'm always a little reluctant to order a pasta dish because they're very heavy and filling but with this you got just the right amount to leave you satisfied but not stuffed and it tasted delicious.


My husband went for the Herby Lamb Steak which consisted of juicy British lamb chargrilled on the bone with charred peppers, sticky balsamic onions, toasted pine nuts and salsa verde. Ian loves meat so this was like heaven for him, he loved everything about the meal especially the lamb which was really tender and cooked to perfection. He also had some seasonal vegetables with his meal which were also very tasty.


For dessert we both went for the Tiramisu which is one of our favourites and to be honest we were a little disappointed, I expected it to very authentic and have strong flavours of coffe and vin santo but there was no flavour at all, it was pleasant enough to eat but it didn't taste at all like tiramisu so we were pretty disappointed with dessert, especially as the rest of the meal had been so amazing.

Overall we had a really lovely night out at Jamie's Italian in Nottingham and I'd definitely go back again, the prices were very reasonable, the staff were lovely and the food was delicious. 

At the moment they have a new Super Lunch Menu where you get two courses from £10.95 so that's definitely worth checking out.

XX 


Sunday, 24 April 2016

HEMA Stationery Haul

I'm really into stationery at the moment and I'm always looking for new shops to try so when I noticed that HEMA sold stationery I was super excited because I know that they sell really cute items and their prices are really affordable.

I recently got a few items and I thought I'd share them with you.


I'm a little bit obsessed with washi tape at the moment so I got the 3 pack of skinny washi, I love the colours and the patterns on the tape and think they'll all look super cute in my planner.

I thought the little pencil case was adorable and just my style, I love that it says "Hello lovely" on it and it looks super cute on my desk with all my bits and bobs in it.

Next I got the magnetic punch which allows me to punch holes in paper on any part of the page not just around the edge which is really handy, I've used it quite a few times and it works perfectly.

Lastly I got the desk tidy set in this gorgeous floral print, it has a real Spring feel to it and goes really well with the decor in my office. It keeps my desk organised and tidy which means I can work much more efficiently while also looking really pretty, it's win win!

If you're a fellow stationery lover then you should definitely check HEMA out, they don't just sell stationery though they sell all kinds of items including baby and kids, cooking and dining, homeware and also beauty items. If you'd like to know more about their beauty items then pop over to my beauty blog www.beauty-by-emma.com where there will be a post telling you all about them.

XXX

Friday, 15 April 2016

4 simple ways to smarten up a family home

If your home is looking a little tired but you don’t have the money, time or the inclination to get major renovation works done, don’t worry. There are lots of clever, cheap and easy ways to give your family space a new lease of life. Here are just a handful to try - and you might be amazed at the difference they make.

1. Splash on a fresh coat of paint – it can work wonders
Paint is relatively cheap to buy and there are usually plenty of great offers around, but it can absolutely transform the look and feel of a room. You don’t need any special DIY skills to pick up a paintbrush or roller and get stuck in, and you can get a whole room done in a day or two. Choose a bright, fresh shade to lighten up a space, or something a bit bolder if you really want to make a statement. 


2. Declutter with simple storage solutions
Sometimes, the look of a room can be spoilt simply by how much stuff is bursting out of every nook and cranny. You can really smarten up your home by taking two important steps. Firstly, have a good old clear-out and get rid of anything you don’t need anymore. Secondly, find clever storage solutions that fit perfectly in your space and work with your lifestyle. For example, the modular, multi-purpose shelving systems available on www.shelvingsystem.co.uk can be designed to fit into awkwardly shaped areas like under the eaves.

3. Deep clean in strategic places
Did you know that cleaning can sometimes make just as much of a difference to a room as decorating? If you choose the right places to clean, you can make each space look brand new. Key examples include cleaning carpets and the grout around kitchen and bathroom tiles, and making windows sparkle to let more light in. 

4. Inject colour and patterns with cushions and rugs
If you don’t fancy getting messy with paint or battling with wallpaper, there’s a much simpler way you can add pattern, colour and texture to your home – accessories. Choose textiles such as rugs, cushions, throws and curtains in colourful, stylish designs and simply place them wherever extra colour is needed. You’ll be amazed at the transformation.



If all else fails, try re-jigging the layout by moving all of your furniture around. The change will feel fantastic, and you won’t have to spend any money or more than a few minutes of your time.

Monday, 11 April 2016

How to perfect your bedtime routine

While you may have your kids’ sleep schedules down to a tee, it could be a different story when it comes to your own. As a parent, it’s vital that you’re alert and energised, especially if you want to keep up with your youngsters. If you’ve been struggling to take control of your sleeping regime, there is help at hand. Keep reading to learn how you can perfect your bedtime routine.


Rethink your bed setup
The bed you sleep in can have a huge impact on your nighttime routine. From your mattress, to your bedding, to your bed frame, your current setup could be hindering your chances of getting a good night’s rest. To get your sleep schedule back on track, you could update your bed. For instance, if your mattress is lumpy and sagging, you could swap it for a new model that is firm and supportive. You could even invest in a memory foam design that moulds to the shape of your body. Moreover, you could overhaul your whole setup and replace your entire bed. For example, you could go for an adjustable model that can be positioned to suit your preferred sleeping posture. As sleep specialists Adjustamatic point out, these beds can maximise your comfort, as well as reduce pain, swelling and tension.

Take the time to unwind
So that you can prepare your body and mind for slumber, it’s important that you take the time to unwind. Unless you give yourself a chance to relax, you could find it difficult to drift off. As part of your bedtime routine, you could take a hot bubble bath, read a book, meditate or even try your hand at some yoga. Setting some time aside to kick back before you head to bed should allow you to fall into a restful slumber quickly and easily.

Cut back on caffeine
If you’re a busy parent, you may rely on a daily dose of caffeine to get you through your day. Although a cup of tea or coffee may help you wake up of a morning, it could be wreaking havoc on your ability to sleep well at night. The truth is, caffeine can stay in your system for up to six hours after you’ve consumed it, meaning that the effects might not have completely worn off by the time you slide between the sheets. You may find it a struggle at first, but cutting back on your caffeine intake is sure to leave you feeling tired when bedtime rolls around, leaving you refreshed and energised the next day.


By putting these suggestions into practice, you could soon be enjoying restful slumber night after night.

Monday, 4 April 2016

Easter Sales & Discount Codes

So it's Easter school holidays and the kids are complaining about being bored, taking them out everyday can get really expensive so what can you do to keep them entertained? How about getting them something new to play with whether it be in the garden (if it stops raining) or inside, there are some brilliant sales going on at the moment and some great discount codes, if you know where to look for them that is.

I recently discovered an amazing website called Everyday Is Black Friday and it saves me loads of time and money when I'm hunting for a bargain. The website basically takes all of the hard work out of sales shopping and puts all the good deals right in front of you as well as some really good discount codes.


It features sales from thousands of shops including Argos and Currys as well as lots of other well known high street shops and if you enter your email address you get access to secret half price deals, click here to take a look.

So if you're looking to grab some new toys to keep your kids happy in the next week or so and you don't want to pay over the odds then pop over to Everyday Is Black Friday and take a look, I'm sure you'll find a bargain or two.

XXX

Spring Homeware Haul

Spring is officially here and it's around this time that I like to give the house a good spring clean and a bit of a makeover where I put away some of my winter items and give the house more of a spring/summer feel. 

This year I'm lucky enough to be working with Ocean Loans who have given me £50 to add some spring decor to our house and here's what I got.


I know Easter has already gone but I bought this super cute picture and wooden bunny a couple of weeks ago from TK Maxx and they really gave my shelves in the kitchen a spring feel in the lead up to Easter. I've taken the picture down now but I've left the wooden bunny up because I think it goes nicely with the spring decor as well as being cute for Easter.


Next I changed my coffee table display, I took away my grey winter style tray and changed it for this fresh new white one and then I got the gorgeous Emma Bridgewater Rose & Bee vase which brings in much more of a spring feel with the floral and bee designs. I think it looks lovely with a few tulips in and really gives our lounge a fresher feel.


Lastly we changed our bedding to a brighter more spring feeling set from Matalan, the brightly coloured butterflies look stunning against the white background and it really adds a lot of light to our grey bedroom.

Our whole house is now feeling much more fresh and bright and I feel totally ready for spring and summer, I just need some nice weather now and I'm sorted.

XXX

Friday, 1 April 2016

March Favourites

I've had quite a few items I've been loving this month so I thought it would be good to write a favourites post and share them all with you.


My first favourite is the Wilkinson Sword Intuition Razor, being a busy working mum I just don't have time to spend hours in the bathroom pampering myself so anything that saves me time is a bonus. The Intuition Razor is brilliant, just add water and it foams up meaning no need for faffing around with shaving foam, you can just go straight ahead and shave your legs and it literally takes 2 minutes. Plus it comes with a handy little shower holder so you can have it on hand every time you shower without having to remember to take it in with you.


After eating what feels like twice my body weight in chocolate throughout March I've been looking for something a little more healthy to snack on and also something that the kids would enjoy. We decided to give the Go Ahead snacks a try and they've been a big hit in our house the past week or so. 

I love to snack on the Crispy Slices, especially the Radiant Raspberry flavour, they're perfect for a mid-morning treat and they only contain 57 calories per slice. The kids love the Cookie Bites and have been asking for them at snack time every day this week, they're low in sugar and less than 100 calories per pack so I don't feel bad about letting the kids have them.

There are lots of different Go Ahead snacks to try and I've yet to try one that I don't like so if you're looking for a healthy snack then give them a go.


You may have seen on my social media accounts that I've recently opened an Etsy shop called My Pretty Summer where I sell super cute stationery items and my own handmade dashboards for planners. To enable me to make the planner dashboards I needed a new printer and I got a brilliant one at a bargain price from Love the Sales

If you check out their Printer sale section you'll find all of the printers that are currently on sale in all of the biggest UK retailers all in one place so instead of trawling around loads of different websites checking prices you can just have them all together and make sure you get the best deal that's out there. Love the Sales have all kinds of items on their website including clothes, homeware, beauty products and sports equipment so if you're looking for a bargain go and check them out.



My last favourite are the super yummy Simplee Aloe drinks, aloe is really good for you, it's great for your skin, detoxing and keeps your immune system healthy and I'm all about anything that has that many benefits. Aside from the fact that they're super good for you they also taste amazing, they're really fruity and refreshing and they contain no artificial flavours, colours or preservatives.

They come in two different sizes, 1 litre and 330ml and are the perfect drinks for Spring/Summer when you want something healthy and refreshing. You can find them in Asda, Holland & Barrett, Waitrose and Sainsburys.

So that's everything I've been loving in March, what are your favourites for the past month?

XXX

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Baby Born Train Andy Dog

My daughter Summer loves dogs and is always asking for a dog of her own, we have a 10 year old Yorkie who she loves but he keeps well clear of the kids as he's quite a nervous dog and Summer would love nothing more than to give him a big cuddle but he's not too keen. 

We were recently asked to try out the Baby Born Train Andy Dog and I knew straight away that it would be perfect for Summer. It's suitable for ages 3+ and it's so super cute and fluffy that she fell in love with him the minute she laid eyes on him.


Andy comes with a click remote control and a plastic bone, it's really easy to control you just point the remote at the dog and click the buttons depending on if you want him to walk or sit and beg for a treat.


Once you have got him to sit you can then feed him the bone and he will make eating sounds as he chomps away on the bone and swallows it. Summer loves to feed him the bone and she thinks it's amazing that he actually eats it.


Once Andy has eaten the bone it's time to make him go for a walk by pointing the remote at him and clicking the walk button, he then goes for a little walk and at the end of the walk comes my daughters favourite part.


Andy poops out the little bone much to Summer's delight, I don't know what it is with kids and pooping but they just think it's hilarious.


Summer absolutely loves her Train Andy Dog and hasn't left him alone since she got him, she plays with him all the time and even puts him on the end of her bed at night just like a real dog.

I'd recommend him to any dog loving children as he's adorable and so much fun, you can buy the Baby Born Train Andy Dog at most good toy stores.

XXX

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

EASTER BUNNY SPRINGS INTO ACTION AT NATIONAL TRUST


The Easter Bunny has kicked off his 2016 schedule in style, with the National Trust unveiling a show-stopping giant topiary bunny at Stourhead, in Wiltshire.

The topiary bunny has been created to celebrate the ninth year of the Cadbury Easter Egg Hunts. The hunts will be taking place at 271 National Trust locations over the Easter weekend (25-28 March). Families are invited to unleash their inner explorer at these adventurous hunts taking place across the country.

Stourhead, known to many as the location of the 2005 film version of Pride and Prejudice, played host to the Cadbury Easter Bunny’s first destination this year, as he begins his nationwide tour to generate excitement ahead of the upcoming Easter Bank Holiday weekend.

The iconic gardens and Palladian mansion, given to the conservation charity in 1946, is just one of the locations providing a beautiful backdrop for an Easter day out. An impressive 271 Cadbury Easter Egg Hunts are set to take families on adventures in and around National Trust places across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, marking the ninth year of the Trust’s partnership with the iconic chocolate-makers.

At a towering height of 8ft, the frame of the impressive topiary bunny, celebrating the Cadbury Easter Bunny’s visit, took a whopping three days to create. If laid flat, the length of the steel wire used for this creation would be that of two football pitches! His accompanying 4ft friends used the combined talents of a team of four over a five day period, using enough wire to cover the length of a further five football pitches in the process.

Hoping to delight children and families alike this Bank Holiday Weekend, the smaller topiary bunnies will be on display at Wimpole, Stowe, Killerton, Castle Ward, Fountains Abbey, Hardwick Hall and Tredegar House.

The Easter bunny has been very busy indeed, delivering an impressive 362,592 Cadbury Dairy Milk Bunnies around the UK.

Visitors to National Trust places across the Easter holiday weekend will be able to take part in special Cadbury Easter Egg Hunts, with every child receiving a Cadbury chocolate treat for getting involved.

Laura Appleby, Senior PR Officer at the National Trust, said: “The Easter Bunny certainly has been busy this year, with Stourhead the first of many stops across the country.
“We are thrilled to partner with Cadbury to offer families the chance to celebrate Easter together, take on an Easter Egg Hunt and explore some of the special places cared for by
the Trust. Visits over the Easter period are so important to us, as they will help enable our continued conservation work.”

Martin Clements, Engagement & Interpretation Officer at Stourhead, added: “We’re really excited that the Easter Bunny started off his journey at Stourhead, and are thrilled to play home to his 8ft topiary replica in our gardens. We hope visitors and families participating in our Cadbury Easter Egg Hunts this weekend enjoy trying to spot our giant topiary bunny – he loves posing for the camera!”

With over 270,000 people getting involved in a Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt last year, and over 3 million people welcomed to participating National Trust places over the Easter weekend, the charity is hoping for another great turnout.

To find your nearest hunt head to: Cadbury.co.uk/Easter.

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Sales Wishlist

I always have a wishlist of items that I want/need to buy and I love a good bargain so when I discovered the website Love the Sales I was in my element. They have every sale item from 500 of the biggest UK retailers all on one website making it super easy to find a bargain whatever you're looking for.

Here's what's on my wishlist at the moment.


Summer desperately needs some new wellies and with spring time and Easter just around the corner what would be better than these super cute Bunny Wellies from Boden, I love the colour and they are currently reduced by 30%.

Summer also needs some smart boots to wear to special occasions and these Glitter Chelsea Boots also from Boden would be perfect. They're so sparkly and cute, just right for a little girl and would look great with any outfit plus they're in the sale, it's win win.

Next up is a top for me, I love the Breton Stripe tops from Boden and they're perfect for springtime, they're stylish yet comfortable and a total bargain when there's 20% off.

I love having throws in our living room to snuggle in when it's a bit chilly in the evenings but having two kids and a dog means they need replacing quite often. Our living room is duck egg blue so this throw from Laura Ashley would be great and the check pattern goes really well with our country cottage decor style.

Lastly I have to admit I have a bit of a flamingo obsession at the moment so when I saw these towels were in the sale at Laura Ashley I thought they would be super cute for my daughter to use. The flamingo design is so pretty and girly, she would love them.

If you love a bargain like me then I definitely recommend popping over to Love the Sales and checking out all the fab bargains available, you could save yourself a fortune!

XXX

Monday, 14 March 2016

Five Interesting Underfloor Heating Facts

Friday, 11 March 2016

The Boathouse Beefeater New Spring Menu

We were recently invited to go and try out the new Spring menu in our local Beefeater which for us is The Boathouse at Castle Marina Park, we hadn't been there before so we were really looking forward to checking it out and trying some of the yummy meals on the new menu.


The first thing we noticed when we arrived was how nice the interior decor was, everywhere looked very clean and modern and it had a lovely cosy atmosphere. We were seated very quickly in a nice, spacious booth and were left to browse over the new menu and choose what we would like to order.


The kids were spoilt for choice with the children's menu, there was so much to choose from, they eventually opted for Popin Chicken with chips and peas which also came with garlic bread. It was £5.49 for a kids meal, a drink and a dessert which I think is really good value and they really enjoyed their food.


There are lots of delicious new dishes to try on the new Spring menu like the Surf  & Turf which is an 8oz Sirloin steak topped with garlic king prawns or the Chicken Escalope which is breaded chicken brushed with garlic and topped with crispy streaky bacon, melted Monterey Jack cheese and a fried egg.

I decided to go for the Chicken Bacon & Avocado Burger which came with skinny fries and coleslaw and it was so good, my only complaint was there wasn't enough avocado but other than that it was delicious.


Ian chose the Beefeater Mixed Grill which included a flat iron steak, chicken breast, gammon steak and pork sausages served with half a slow roasted tomato and mushroom, crispy bear battered onion rings, fried egg and triple cooked chips. He really enjoyed it and couldn't believe how much he got all for only £15.99.


We were all pretty full after our mains but we couldn't leave without trying out some of the desserts so the kids chose Ice cream & Cookies which they loved.


I chose the Warm Brownie with Cookie Dough Ice Cream and it was amazing, really yummy and just the right amount.


Ian decided on the Salted Toffee Apple Crumble and it was huge, it came with custard and Ian really enjoyed it but it was too much for him to finish.


We had a really great time at The Boathouse Beefeater and will definitely be eating there again in the future now we know how nice it is, the staff were very friendly and attentive and the prices are really reasonable.

Go and try out the new Spring menu at your local Beefeater, you won't regret it.

XXX 

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