Friday, 26 December 2014

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Sorry about the lack of posts - i scheduled a lot of posts to pop up automatically as i knew how busy December was and none of them have worked! 

I managed to retrieve 2 out of 17 - gah! 

Need to decide what direction to take my blog in 2015 too.... ignore me - just talking to myself and trying to sort some lists of things to do! 

See you soon and Have a fab new year - see you on the other side! 




Tuesday, 16 December 2014

School Swimming

       Parents concern over the quality of school swimming

·    Despite an increase in the number of pupils leaving primary school able to swim the minimum 25 metres unaided (as recommended in the national curriculum) parents are unaware of the required standard and in many cases their own child’s ability, due to a lack of assessment information
·    A new report from the ASA shows that 40% of parents are not being informed of their child’s swimming ability, with the amount of time dedicated to school swimming neither known nor measured by school inspection and accountability body Ofsted
·    With 45% of children aged 7-11 years old (primary school aged) unable to swim a length unaided, and with one in 14 schools (over 1,300) offering no swimming provision at Key Stage 2, the ASA is calling for a continued spotlight on swimming in the curriculum in tandem with a far greater level of assessment
·    The ASA recommends that schools allocate at least 25 hours of study time a year per child to swimming, however the report shows that 55% of schools are not meeting these guidelines
·         Report has recently been presented to politicians and government officials at an All Party Reception in Whitehall; the national governing body for swimming in England awaits a response
·         Calls for every primary school in England to sign up to the ASA School Swimming Charter to pledge to prioritise the only sport that saves lives

As the new curriculum beds in to primary schools across England, questions are being asked of school inspection body Ofsted as it is revealed that the standard and regularity of swimming is overlooked in school assessments.

This lack of accountability is worrying for two fifths of parents who have not been informed of their child’s swimming ability, and is particularly concerning with 45% of 7-11 year olds (primary school aged) unable to swim 25 metres unaided.

That’s according to a new report released today by the ASA, which recommends that schools should be allocating at least 25 hours of study time a year per child for curriculum swimming.  
However, the report, which surveyed primary schools across England, shows that less than half of all schools offer that level of swimming instruction, while one in 14 schools (over 1,300) offer no swimming provision at Key Stage 2. This is despite a 40% increase in fatalities amongst all young people in the water in the last year.

If primary schools can commit to adopting the recommended approach, the ASA estimate that approximately 200,000 additional children would leave primary school being able to swim.
Which is why they have today launched the School Swimming Charter, offering primary schools support, training and guidance on swimming to further increase the impact of school swimming provision in England.

While much work still needs to be done, the ASA’s continuing push for more resources and focus on school swimming has led to positive progress in the last 12 months in the number of children now leaving school able to swim 25 metres unaided.

Whilst across the country, 2013 saw 51% of children aged 7-11 year olds being unable to swim 25 metres, this year that figure has fallen to 45%.

Additionally, the average number of lessons made available in a school year has increased from 16 last year to   18 this year.  The amount of time spent in the water is also on the increase.

ASA is keen for momentum to continue and is pushing for the issue to become part of political parties’ education agendas ahead of next year’s general election.

Monday, 1 December 2014

Have yourself a Poundland Christmas!

Have you put up your decorations yet?

Are you buying new this year?

We have no space for our large tree this year due to shifting round the sofas etc so we have opted for a smaller real tree for a change.  This meant that although the tree wasnt taking up as much space, we had more space for other decorations to brighten up the place.

I popped in to town and was amazed at the huge Poundland Christmas range  available in store!  Everything from decorations to presents, wreaths to wrapping paper and everything in between!

There are some fabulous tutorials over on the Poundland Youtube Channel if you fancy handmaking some of your decorations etc this year! 

When the boys were little we would always make them a special calender where they get to unwrap 24 little presents in the run up to Christmas.  This year was Evies turn now that shes a little older and can appreicate things a little more.  Like every other little girl out there she is Frozen obsessed too, Poundland have a fabulous range of Frozen goodies in store (you probably saw the news footage of hoards of shoppers fighting for stock! - thankfully ours was well stocked and still is!)

We also boughts some make your own decorations which involve putting together little boxes to create a little present bunting set - however these would be great if you are handmaking sweets or chocolates - you could present them to the recipient with their initials already glittlered onto the front of the box.....well, you could if their name starts with one of the letters in Merry Christmas! ;)  

Have you picked up any bargains this Christmas?



Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Oxo Herbs and More - Roast Garlic & Rosemary Flavour Pot! #oxoherbsandmore

 Everyone knows we love to cook, so when we were offered the chance to work with Oxo Herbs & More we jumped at it!  I have seen these in the supermarket but not purchased any yet so this would be our ideal chance to give them a go! 

We received our pack and love our Kitchen Magician and Kitchen Magicians Assistant Aprons! There was also a Kitchen Magicians Wand, instruction cards and packs of the different flavour Herbs & More pots!

 We decided to Conjure up a Carbonara!  Evie didnt want to help as she had been off school poorly so Scott to the rescue!  He put the apron on and away we went....

Since there are 8 of us we doubled the recipe and substituted the parmasan for cheddar.

For the original recipe you will need:

500g linguine
2tsp olive oil
4 egg yolks
1 Roast Garlic & Parsley Herbs & More
50g grated Parmasan
(little extra to sprinkle on top)

The cards are set out so that you 'Kitchen Magicians Assistant' can help the child 'Kitchen Magician' with the baking so that they are getting use to being in the kitchen.  These recipes are perfect to get children involved and the flavour pots mean that there is no dicing or grinding of herbs etc - bonus! 

The little pots certainly pack a punch - i seriously wish there was smelly vision as the aroma from these flavour pots was amazing!

Having got the pasta on to boil Scott set to work frying the bacon.....

....once cooked through we got to add the flavour pots...listen to that sizzle!! 

 After everything was combined we couldnt wait to dive in!  I can safely say this will be a regular to our menu as it was SO easy to do and would work out MUCH cheaper than buying jar sauces!  

There was so much flavour and the fact that the children can help out in the kitchen is simply genius! 

Children see it as helping and theyre learning life skills too -  we are all looking forward to trying everything from Cottage Pie with Rosemary & Thyme to Glazed Cod with Tarragon and Chive! 

Tomorrow however it is Cottage Pie with Rosemary & Thyme! 


 I'm working with BritMums and OXO on this project and have been compensated. All opinions and editorial oars my own.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Younique 3D Fiber Lashes Mascara - review!

I was asked by a lovely friend (Lindsay Davis) to try the new Younique Moonstruck 3D Fiber Lashes Mascara and WOW am I impressed! 

Supplied, in what looks like an expensive black embossed glasses case, you receive 2 tubes which look like mascara - one is Transplaning Gel and the other Natural Fibers.  There is also a step by step instruction leaflet

First you coat your lashes with mascara like you normally would.  Allow them to dry and then apply the Transplanting Gel, followed by the Natural Fibers and finish with the Transplanting Gel again.  

(Please excuse the tiredness in the first photograph - can you tell how much i was smiling in the second one! lol  Long lashes make such a difference!)

One lot was all i applied so i can only imagine how much difference it would make if you went for a second round! 

I am a serious make up addict and can honestly say that out of all the lengthening mascaras out there that i have tried nothing comes close to the difference this makes! 

If you would like to purchase please follow this link -  (i dont get commission or fees etc im just passing on a way of buying these)  


(I was supplied with the Younique mascara to make this blog post - all views and opinions are my own) 

Friday, 7 November 2014

My girls!

I thought it was time to do a little update on how Amelia is doing!

Shes such a doll and at almost 6 months shes on solids with her milk and certainly has her own thoughts! She is such an independent little soul and is always smiling!

She loves to be cuddled and is starting to grab at my face to give me kisses! 

She is completely doted on by her big sister and brothers!  Talking of big sister - look how grown up Evie is getting!  I cant believe shes 4 (going on 14) and completely Frozen obsessed right now.  Shes still a real girly girl and has a huge hair bow obsession!  The bigger the better! lol

I am so looking forward to watching them both grow :)


Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Thank you Thank you Thank you

*personal post alert*

I have started to re-read The Secret.  

Yes, that book that everyone went gaga over a few years back.  Well, i read it a couple of times then it was put away, out of sight out of mind blah blah......

 In the back of my mind ive always thanked the universe and ALWAYS been greatful for what i receive....but i havent had the right frame of mind for the past couple of years.  

Yes ive been lucky with some competition which makes me think things are good.  

False sense of security n all that...

Think again lady, just because youre winning stuff doesnt make you good with the Universe.  I need to get my mind back into the game and know that things will be ok, that things will work out alright and that things all happen for a reason.

This past year has been so much better than the last one and i can only hope of going into 2015 with a positive view and greatful heart!  

Ive made mistakes and Ive faced up to that, problems are being dealt with and overcome and I hope that next year can be a fresh start.

That I can look forward to building myself up and working towards what we need as a family instead of being stuck in the past.  

Heres to moving forward...

Heres to a positive attitude...

Heres to making things work for me!


Thank you Thank you Thank you 

Green Earth Frying Pan by Ozeri - review!

We were lucky enough to be chosen to do a review for another pan in the Green Earth range.  We were sent the 20cm frying pan which is a little godsend! 

This pan is the ideal size for single servings of omlette or if you just wish to fry a coupke of eggs.  No need for any oil and completely non stick! No catching, no mess - no problems at all.

Easily wipe clean and bright colour makes this an ideal must have for every kitchen!

  • Utilizes GREBLON ceramic - an ultra-safe ceramic coating from Germany which is 100% PTFE and PFOA free (no heavy metals or chemicals).
  • Innovative textured pan surface delivers unprecedented non-stick performance without releasing harmful fumes or toxins at high temperatures.
  • Features a scratch-resistant 100 percent ceramic coating that is super easy to clean.
  • Made out of durable heavy-gauge pure aluminum with no heavy metals or harmful chemicals.
  • Boasts a comfortable heat resistant silicon coated handle, and a magnetized induction stove safe base for rapid heat transfer.

Currently £19.99 instead of £39.99 on Amazon

We were sent a pan free to review. All opinions are my own.


Thursday, 16 October 2014

Halloween Nicholas style!

Any excuse for a party!

We love Halloween as it means all the kids get to play games, dress up and eat candy for the sake of it! lol  No better reason!

Here are a few of the ideas we have had over the past couple of years.... 

Game Ideas:

Mummy (see who can wrap up another person in toilet roll fastest!)
Bob for Apples
Touchy Feely (someone blindfolded has to feel random foods and guess what they are - hot dogs are fingers, jelly is brains etc...)
Pin the Hat on the Witch

Things to make:

Streamers from loo roll
Decorative candles (be careful where kids are) 
Haunted mirrors and journals (theres too many nice papers and stickers out there NOT to decorate everything in sight!

Instead of splashing out on expensive facepaints etc just raid the make up bag! Black eyeliner works well for cobwebs and stitches and red lipstick makes a fabulous blood trickle! 

Above all though, enjoy yourself and have fun with it!  Hand out sweets and try to be a little spooky - its the one time of the year when you can act scary and get away with it....mwahhhahahahaha!


Monday, 13 October 2014

Snufflebabe & Dentinox to the rescue!

Its almost silly season again - yes when one of the kids comes down with something it has a serious domino effect in this house!

6 children generally flat out with runny noses, coughs and trouble breathing through the night - arent night times always the worst!

Maybe they could see my nose glowing from where they are or maybe it was the sleepless nights and endless crying from a stuffy Amelia that alerted Snufflebabe and Dentinox to send us some goodies to try out.....warning....if youre in any way squeamish with runny things from the nose dept dont read on! 

First up was this fabulous little contraption from Snufflebabe.  It is a nasal aspirator that has you gagging until you realise what a little wonder it is!  You pop one end at the entrance of babies nostrel (NOT INSIDE) and SUCK! heard me right!  

Worry not though there is a filter inside where all the gloop collects and its easy to wash out too - it really does work!

Next up is vapour oil and i think everyone at some point has used vapour oil.  This one is a little different in the fact it can be used with a dummy which helps little one breathe that bit easier.  Ive tried the drops in water, ive tried the drops on the radiator - nothing works but this seemed to help her a little more than any other way.....even when it dropped out of her mouth it was still close enough to help clear her airways.  

A little gem of a product and i can see this being used lots in the winter and thoughout!

Lastly is something that will no doubt be a staple in our medicine box - instead of using syringes (which are a nightmare to clean!) this dummy allows you to pop in a dose and dispurse it straight into babies mouth! 

 No mess, no fuss - just pop the medicine in the open end, close and squirt while baby is sucking! Simples!   We havent had need to use this one yet but as soon as the Calpol is out rest assured this will be too!

Now i know not everyone gives their children medicine etc and this is purely a 'what works for us' post - i am not giving medical advice and i am certainly not saying how you should care for your little ones.  We all try to do the best for our children and im just pleased ive found something that works for us! 

Thank you for listening and I hope all the littlies stay cold free this winter! 


I’m working with BritMums on a project with Dentinox and Snufflebabe to test their products during cold season. All opinions are my own. To find out more about the products visit and

Sunday, 12 October 2014

belVita Biscuits #morningwin Challenge!

We were offered the chance to take part in belVitas #MorningWin Challenge where we had to document about those little morning wins that brighten up a day!

This couldnt have come at a better time since I had the children all starting back to school and having to get into a new routine with Amelia! 

We were sent 3 of the new belVita breakfast packs and oh my word....I cant decide which was my favourite....Hazelnut, Chocolate or Apricot! 

Jake and Ethan are usually out of the house in a whirlwind on a morning so i made sure they grabbed a pack each  before leaving for school and after the first day Jake commented on how much he was enjoying school and learning lots!  Now dont get me wrong im not giving belVita the whole credit for this but when your son comes home for the first time ever saying hes enjoying school then it gets you thinking hes had a little boost of energy from somewhere! That was def a #morningwin

Having got all the kids to school and Amelia settled after her breakfast bottle its my turn to sit down and do something for me! A cup of coffee, some chocolate chip belVita and a little crafting - what more could a girl want!  I love a crafty #morningwin!

 What are your #morningwin blessings?

“This post is an entry for #MorningWin Linky Challenge sponsored by belVita Breakfast. Learn more at


Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Pampers/Unicef Vaccine Campaign.

Emma Bunton launches the 2014 Pampers and UNICEF “1 pack = 1 vaccine” campaign to help eliminate maternal and newborn tetanus

Now in its 9th year, the Pampers UNICEF campaign has helped to eliminate maternal and newborn tetanus in 15 countries

Celebrity mum, Emma Bunton is inviting parents across the UK and Ireland to join together and support the launch of the 9th Pampers and UNICEF “1 pack = 1 vaccine” campaign to help parents all around the world celebrate their babies’ first time moments. For every specially marked pack of Pampers you buy, Pampers will donate the cost of one vaccine to help UNICEF in the fight against maternal and newborn tetanus.

A healthy start in life opens the door to a world of special first-time experiences for you and your baby. But there are still millions of babies in the world at risk of never experiencing theirs, because of the continued danger posed by maternal and newborn tetanus.

With Pampers’ support, great progress has been made by UNICEF, the world’s leading children’s organisation, in the fight against maternal and newborn tetanus. Since the Pampers UNICEF “1 pack = 1 vaccine” campaign started in 2006, Pampers has donated funds for 300 million vaccines; helping to protect 100 million mums  and eliminating the disease in 15 countries - that’s five more countries since the 2013 campaign!

Emma Bunton, Pampers UNICEF ambassador said: “I recently visited Madagascar – where the elimination of maternal and newborn tetanus was announced in June this year - to see the direct impact Pampers’ funding has had on the lives of people in the community that benefitted from the vaccination programme. As a mum of two myself, I have been lucky enough to enjoy lots of special moments with my little ones and my experience in Madagascar reminded me that there are still plenty of mums and dads that need our help to give their little ones a healthy start in life.

Something as simple as parents buying Pampers nappies or wipes or watching our campaign video online can really make a difference and lead to the elimination of a deadly but preventable disease. From October to December, for every pack of Pampers purchased or ‘First Times’ video viewed, Pampers will donate the cost of one tetanus vaccine to UNICEF. Together, we can help ensure parents can celebrate their babies first time moments, no matter where in the world they are.”

Since 2006, Pampers’ support has enabled UNICEF to help eliminate maternal and newborn tetanus in 15 developing countries: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Lao PDR, Liberia, Myanmar, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Timor Leste, Madagascar and Uganda. But there are still babies in 24* of the world’s poorest countries at risk from this fatal but preventable disease.

How we can help?

1 Pack = 1 Life-Saving Vaccine

During October – December 2014, you can help Pampers and UNICEF protect women of child-bearing age and pregnant women in the developing world against tetanus. For each specially marked Pampers - UNICEF pack purchased, Pampers will donate for example the cost of one tetanus vaccine to support UNICEF in the fight against maternal & newborn tetanus.

1 View = 1 Life-Saving Vaccine / 1 Share = 1 Life-Saving Vaccine

During October – December 2014, you can also help Pampers and UNICEF protect women of child-bearing age and pregnant women in the developing world against maternal and newborn tetanus simply by watching our online films that celebrate the first-time moments of babies everywhere, many of them made possible by a healthy start in life.

  Watch the above video on Youtube and we will donate one vaccine. Share it with your friends and we will donate a second. Upload to our Facebook page a photo of your baby experiencing their first special moments - whether that’s cuddles, smiles or tastes - and we will donate a third life-saving vaccine.
UNICEF Pledge Donations

All parents want their children to be secure, well nourished, educated and healthy.  Through your support, you’re helping children that need it most, but there are many more who are vulnerable and urgently in need.  By becoming a monthly donor to UNICEF today you can join thousands of other parents who donate every month to improve the lives of these vulnerable children. Visit to see the difference that you can make.

Thank you for taking the time to read and watch the video.

Thank you for helping to get more life saving vaccinations.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Cake & Bake Show Earls Court - 2 ticket giveaway!

I have 2 tickets to giveaway for the Cake & Bake show at Earls Court on the 3rd - 5th ~October.  The tickets are Adult Early Bird for The Saturday and worth £10 each.

All you need to do is leave a comment below saying who you are looking forward to seeing the most??  

Paul Hollywood?

Mary Berry?

Rachel Khoo? (my favourite!)

Who are you hoping to see?

Winner will be picked on Wednesday next week to allow enough time to post the tickets :) 


Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Its a vintage dress and pearls kind of day!

Nuff said! 

Necklace made by me! 

What kind of day are you having?


Saturday, 13 September 2014

Pampers Active Fit Nappies #BritainsDriestNappy Challenge

When we were chosen to take part in the Pampers Active Fit Nappy challenge for #BritainsDriestNappy both myself and Amelia were very happy as we are huge Pampers fans.

To be honest we have tried all different kinds with all the kids and Pampers are the only ones that seem to work really well in all circumstances!

We went into this with an open mind though and purchased a pack of Tesco own make nappies also to try out the challenge with a cheap pack v a more expensive pack to see if it really is worth spending the extra.

Both nappies were placed side by side and 150mls of water poured into each, which is around 2 or 3 pees worth (probably the amount that would be needed before you notice a nappy change is needed)

Once all of the water was poured we set the egg timer for 1min 30seconds and waited for the exciting bit!

When the timer pinged it was time to place a piece of kitchen paper on the nappy surface to see if there was any leakage....just enough pressure to simulate a child sitting in the nappy and look what happened!

The Tesco nappy was still very wet....but the Pampers nappy however was bone dry and I mean BONE dry!!

I cut open the nappy to look inside and see what little miracle holds the water away from babyskin - these fabulous little micro pearls absorb all the liquid and form a gel!  

How clever!!

Yep - I can confirm I am still a lifelong Pampers fan and will most definitely be adding the active fit nappies to the shopping list (we currently use Pampers Baby Dry)!

Hope you liked this little demonstration - i know we did *and i never enjoyed science at school*! lol


This post is an entry for #BritainsDriestNappy trial sponsored by Pampers. Learn more at

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Rag Dolls!

Having girls means I can make ragdolls for them! 

They love their dollies.... making a boy superhero one too! 

This one is for a special little girl whos mum i use to go to school with!  :)

I love them all and to make them a little bit more special they have a birth certificate and little history too :)