Thursday, 13 December 2018

Great Gifts and Gadgets for Everyone from CoolStuff

I've recently been introduced to a Swedish company Coolstuff.com who have expanded in to the UK, their goal is to offer the most innovative, cool and fun gifts and gadgets on the market, and I think they're doing a great job. I had an enjoyable hour or so the other night browsing their site to see what I might like to buy and I was pleased to see that there is a real mix of items I actually need (and want) and quirky items, that I love but had no idea I wanted, or even that they existed! One of the items I've been hankering after for quite a while now is this collapsible wagon. 


Look at my girls! It's these impromptu fun moments that make a childhood. Late last week we received this fab blue collapsible trolley (or wagon as they call it) and I'd been using it to take the recycling and rubbish up to our bin area, which is quite a walk, but they got home from school and had other ideas of what it should be used for, and why not it takes up to 100kg!

The wagon collapses down small and can be stored in your boot to always be available to help you bring the shopping in, or is great for when you go on holiday and have quite a walk to your lodge or mobile home. When we were staying with Eurocamp in France, every second family had one of these. It retails for £49.99 on Coolstuff.com and is available in red or blue.

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Tips for Mums Going Back to School

Photo credit, thanks to Unsplash

Having babies is tough. Raising kids even harder. Looking after a house and organising everyone’s time is hectic and stressful. Most of us also look back on our school days as being difficult, tiring and often overwhelming. And yet more women than ever are now choosing to take on higher education while they are raising young children, and maybe even holding down a job.

On paper, this can sound crazy. Surely there aren’t enough hours in the day to do it all. But, it can be well worth it. Going back to school has many benefits, and the skills that you have picked up while looking after your family can be put to good use in your search for knowledge.

Going back to school can enrich your life. It can give you something away from the home and challenge your mind. It can help you to rediscover yourself away from your family and give you an enormous confidence boost. It can provide you with career options, both now and in the future, and perhaps most importantly, returning to education can set a fantastic example to your children.

Despite all of these advantages, there can be no denying that it is going to be tough. You’re going to have trying times, it may wear you down and stress you out. You are going to have to work hard and battle for what you want, but, if further education is what you want then nothing can stop you. 

Monday, 10 December 2018

Sharing your LIves with the Grandparents in Print, by Neveo

My three kids and my parents, they have such a wonderful relationship

My parents would love nothing better than to live on our doorstep. Well, OK, not actually that close but I know they'd love to have us in the same town, just a short walk or drive away and this has never been the case. It has meant that we have to be more intentional in our efforts to see each other regularly, which is a good thing but nothing beats just dropping in for a cuppa most days, without it having to be a big effort.

One of the reasons I started this blog a decade ago was so that my parents and other friends and family who lived away from us would be able to see and read about the kids regularly, so they didn't feel they were missing out, but over the years the kids have appeared less and less on here. Also, I find that people of my parents age tend to like a physical photo, rather than a digital one, so I have created some photo books over the years, but they do cost a bit and feel like a lot of effort if I'm honest.


Introducing Neveo
However, I want to share with you a better way and one that won't break the bank.  Even my husband's 94 year old Grandma can enjoy this way of sharing too, without a gadget in sight. Have you heard of the app Neveo? No, well I hadn't either until recently but we've been missing out.

Neveo is a brilliant app you can download (iOS or Android) for free or use directly on your laptop and it makes creating a monthly photo journal super easy. For £9.99 per month (including postage - anywhere in the world) you can upload 50 photos a month and caption them or even write a small essay with each and then on the first day of the next calendar month, your photos and personalised captions will be made into a beautiful photo journal for your loved ones, specifically in our case, the grandparents, to enjoy.


Right now, it sounds a lot like other photo book sites, doesn't it?  But it isn't. The beauty of Neveo is that you have the whole month to add your photos and it takes literally minutes. So each time you take a photo you like, you can instantly upload it direct from your phone to the app and it is super quick, I found no lag time at all and I live in an area with rubbish Internet speed, as I'm in the middle of nowhere.

Saturday, 1 December 2018

Women Expecting Monochorionic Twins Need to be Aware of TTTS


I'm happy to share a guest post with you today, written by Kate Phillipa Clark, the founder of about-twins.com, a wonderful resource website for those expecting and parenting twins. In this artcile Kate talks about Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome, which can be a serious complication of having twins, who share a placenta. Whilst it's really improtant to educate yourself about this, I want to make clear that it is only a concern to you if your twins share a placenta, and even then it only affects about 8-10% of monochorionic pregnacnies (source), so there is no need to get unduly scared, just speak to your sonographer and doctor at your next appointment. 


Women pregnant with twins need to know their twins chorionicity. It’s extremely important to know whether or not you expect twins who share a placenta to be on the lookout for conditions like Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS).

It might not be the first thing you think about when you learn that you’re expecting twins. But knowing chorionicity in twins is extremely important. Chorionicity relates to whether or not your twins share a placenta. Twins who share a placenta are called monochorionic twins. A sonographer determines chorionicity by using ultrasound at the dating scan during your first trimester. If you learn that you are carrying monochorionic twins, you’ll need to be monitored more often than with dichorionic twins. Dichorionic twins have separate placentas and are not at risk of the same conditions as monochorionic twins.

Thursday, 29 November 2018

A Week of Reasons to be Cheerful | #R2BC


Thursday has rolled around again, it really does astound me how quick time flies by an each week. As I sit down to write this post I am reminded that I must cherish every moment as they are gone in a flash.

I'm celebrating something from each day in the last week -

Thursday, JJ's Parent evening - We got told what we thought we'd hear, that he is super bright, destined for 8s and 9s across the board, but he rushes and needs to go into more depth in a couple of subjects.  He makes me so proud.

Friday, We went to see the local village panto - and it was good fun. It's fab to watch a production where you know many of the characters and can enjoy all the village jokes.

Saturday, We went to an enormous craft fayre - it was fabulous and we all really enjoyed th yummy street food. I went to Turkish chicken skewer, with handmade bread, Greek salad, humus and tatziki.

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

My 5 Top Recommendations for Family Villas in Phuket

Photo by karl S on Unsplash

Phuket, it's the island you dreamt of visiting as a little girl. Well it certainly was for me, the name sounds exotic, the beaches are abundant with white sand and crystal clear blue water and have names like Paradise Beach and freedom Beach, and surprisingly the prices are much more affordable than many other luxury islands in Asia.

I've been having a good look through the Villa-Phuket.com site and picking out my favourite Phuket villas for all types of family travellers. Why not have a look and see which one takes your fancy from my selection?

But first let me tell you a little more about Villa-Phuket.com, part of the Villa Finder family.

High Standards
They have 250 selected villas in Phuket, all of these were inspected before being added to their site and they continue to inspect them on a regular basis to ensure that standards are kept. Most of their villas are privately owned and this means you get a variety of styles to suit all tastes. Of course the big bonus of a villa holiday over staying in a hotel is the space, privacy, and peace and quiet of being able to suit yourselves, and not worrying about neighbours in the next room.

Travel Consultants
I was very impressed to see that once I see a villa I like, I can send an online enquiry (or call them if I so wish) and one of their professional travel consultants will call me back to understand my needs fully. Do I need a highchair, pool safety fence, car seats etc? There is nothing like personal service and whilst browsing the Internet can be fun, it can also be exhausting and confusing, so to have a travel professional available to me who knows the island and the area I want to stay in, is invaluable.

Thursday, 22 November 2018

Reasons to be Cheerful - Chilling, Painting and Praying


Happy Thursday friends, how are you doing?  I'm well here, feeling better and just left with a chesty cough now from my cold, but I'm praying that is on its way out too.

I've had a chilled week and it's been very good. I've enjoyed being creative, making some birthday cards and also painting a picture as part of our Be Still... week or prayer we are having here. I've managed to get over to the prayer centre each day for some quality time with God and that's given me loads of food for thought.

I headed back to the gym and did a workout and swim, which is good as I was feeling a bit guilty having had the week off, but realistically I couldn't do it with a cold and chesty cough.

My husband and I had fun with some friends at a quiz night last Friday and we headed to the cinema to see the Grinch on Sunday, which I'm embarrassed to say I slept throughout quite a bit of it, but woke for the happy ending!

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

18 Great Ideas for your Teen Girl this Christmas | Gift Guide

On the one hand teen girls are so easy to buy for, there is so much she wants, but then on the other, boy are they fussy! Depending on your girl, and maybe her age, will dictate whether you can pick up bargain items from Poundland as stocking fillers or whether she'd just rather one great gift, like some tech, a pair of Adidas trainers or an Abercrombie & Fitch hoodie. 

I've put together some gift ideas for teen girls (probably the younger end of teen) with a range of price points from £1 to over £50.

Gifts for under £5

False Nails - £1
Poundland do a great line in false nails, all sorts of styles, colours and both glue and adhesive sticker application. These are a real quick win and an easy way for your teen to be able to change her look, even when she had a fatal nail break!

false nails

5 Pack of Lip Glosses - £2
This pack was such a bargain, again from Poundland. There are five great colours, so something to suit all skin tones and cheap enough that it doesn't matter if she loses it the first time she takes it out with her.

lip balms set