27 June 2013

Biting The Bullet

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Biting the bullet could mean so many things to so many different people and for us it's about becoming husband and wife. The other half and I have been engaged for almost 6 years now and we always said we didn’t want to be one of those couples who stayed engaged forever and never got married. Well it seems that's just what's happening to us at the moment!

It's not for want of trying though, when we first got engaged all those years ago we thought about all different types of weddings from a traditional Scottish wedding to running away to Las Vegas and getting married by Elvis - we just couldn't decide what to do. Then I fell pregnant with our son and the wedding plans were put aside, 1.) because I didn't want to be pregnant whilst getting married and 2.) because kids are expensive and so are weddings.


Roll on a few years and Logan is now 3 and half years old, we've got our house, the dogs etc and we're now thinking it might be time to approach the wedding subject again. It's not that we don't want to get married, we'd love to do it sooner rather than later. The only thing is I've become majorly fussy about where we actually get married. We've visited lots of venues across Edinburgh and Fife and nothing seems to tickle our fancy, well my fancy more like. The other half rolls his eyes every time I moan about the lack of a good wedding venue in our area. Of the venues we have visited some desperately need updating, some had very 'special' staff, some seemed too good to be true (and after reading reviews they were), and some were so strict a broken glass would probably get you kicked out! Maybe I'm just looking for flaws now, expecting to be disappointed or maybe I'm turning into a Bridzilla already and I haven't even properly started planning anything yet!


Last week however we decided to start a fresh and pick a few venues which we thought would meet our needs so off we trotted to Balbirnie House, my face tripping as usual expecting the worst, and you know what?? It was lovely. The staff were friendly, enthusiastic and polite, the venue is gorgeous with plenty of space in and outside the house and the prices weren't through the roof either. This of course gave us hope that there is a perfect wedding venue out there for us. We just hadn't looked hard enough the first time round.


So we haven't booked anything yet as there's still a few more venues we want to peruse but we both feel refreshed from our experience at Balbirnie and for that I'll be forever grateful.





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26 June 2013

There is a God...

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Well a miracle has happened in my household today. By some freak chance of nature this morning as I was getting ready for work, I perused my usual work attire and whilst shuffling the drab trousers I own found a pair I'd bought circa 2008. Now these trousers haven't been worn since I became pregnant around April 2009 and I've been so lazy busy since having my son that I've never shifted that extra 2 stone I gained! But what the hey I thought this morning, I'm going to try these bad boys on and pray that they fit. And do you know, by some god almighty angelic act of nature they fit!!! Jupiter's cock I could have cried with joy, I smiled at myself in the mirror and had to stop myself from shaking the other half awake to tell him. I'm sure at 6am in the morning he wouldn't have been as happy for me as I was for myself about fitting into trousers that I've had since 2008. So I'll save this joyous miracle to relay for our chat over dinner. Can't wait!

The thing is though, I've been stuffing my face with meals out and McDonald's left right and centre recently so have no idea why I'm fitting into these trousers? Don't get me wrong I've tried to starve myself be healthy but I'm too lazy to stick it. I thought this morning I'd maybe possibly split the arse when I put them on so had to double and triple check before leaving the house. Or maybe I'd burst the zip without noticing? Or were these definitely my circa 2008 trousers!? Then it got me thinking, could there possible be a God out there after all? Even just a tiny little one who pities women like me who struggle to contain their love of junk food and general unhealthiness! Yes!! There must be, there has to be and for once I've been chosen to receive something good in life. A few pounds off to squeeze into some lovely forgotten clothes.

So hurray for once in my life, things might be looking up - especially if God looks like this…




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25 June 2013

Fashion Friday #18

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T-Shirt: WeirdFish (Debenhams)
Car Seat: Britax 123 Plus Evolva (Mothercare)
Sunglasses: Radley


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Michiko and Me Action Against Hunger

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Michiko and Me announces charity partnership with Action Against Hunger

A commitment to help end child hunger


British childrenswear brand Michiko and Me is pleased to announce its support of Action Against Hunger, an international humanitarian organisation committed to ending child hunger. Michiko and Me will provide year round support by making a generous donation on each product sold to Action Against Hunger..  Donation amounts will range from £1 to £5 per product and to celebrate the launch of the partnership, Michiko and Me will apply this donation across their entire product range.

Nicky Lumb, founder of Michiko and Me says, “Our Michiko and Me designs are based on a principle of growing as the child grows. This notion of our children growing happily and healthily is a privilege that we often take for granted. Most of us are fortunate enough to be able to feed our children but this is not the case for all families around the world. Knowing you cannot feed your child is so painful, which is why Michiko and Me wanted to back a charity that supports children and families in the struggle against hunger. Action Against Hunger’s work includes saving malnourished children’s lives and improving families access to food and clean water for the future, making them the perfect charity for us to partner with.” 


Caroline Chaplin, Senior Corporate Fundaising Officer at Action Against Hunger, says, “We’re delighted to be working with Michiko and Me in this innovative way. Not only will it help raise vital funds for our work, but the added exposure we gain through the partnership will help educate more people about the devastating impact of child hunger and the steps that we can all take to help defeat it.” 

Michiko and Me will start  making a donation to Action Against Hunger with every sale through their website www.michikoandme.com from the 1st of June . This will also apply to brand new products such as their Iroka dress. Action Against Hunger’s logo and website links are clearly featured on the Michiko and Me website and social media sites to help raise awareness and further promote this partnership. 

You can show your support by spreading the word and sharing our posts on Facebook www.facebook.com/MichikoandMe and Twitter @MichikoandMe


About Action Against Hunger
Action Against Hunger | ACF International is an international humanitarian organisation committed to ending child hunger. Recognised as a leader in the fight against malnutrition, ACF works to save the lives of malnourished children while providing communities with sustainable access to safe water and long-term solutions to hunger. With 30 years of expertise in emergency situations of conflict, natural disaster and chronic food insecurity, ACF runs life-saving programmes in over 40 countries helping some 7 million people each year.


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24 June 2013

Swimming with the Sharks

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I'm talking literally here! For my father-in-law's birthday back in February the other half and I treated him to some vouchers for a Shark Dive at Deep Sea World in North Queensferry, and Sunday there he finally got to try it out.

I must say I was incredibly grumpy to put it lightly that day as was feeling very under the weather (and still am today actually) and the world felt like it was getting on top of me. I was looking after Logan anyway so just tried to keep out of everyone's way and make sure Logan enjoyed the fish and got to see his Granda diving with the sharks.

Father-in-law and Logan seemed to have a lovely time and that's all that matters so here's some photo's to hopefully cheer up your Monday blues, they're making me feel a little better anyway.

On our way to Deep Sea World
Looking at the fishies & Buddha!
In the spider tunnel. Eek!!
SHARK!!!
Granda in his diving suit swimming with the sharks.
New fishing toy from Deep Sea World.
SHARK!!!



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Review: Emjoi MICRO Pedi

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One of the few things I really like about myself is my feet. They're a good shape, easy on the eye and are average in size (size 6), well I think so anyway. So all in all I'm quite happy with them, that is until the skin starts to go dry and hard around the heel. They mostly go this way in the summer months when I wear flip flops a lot and it's always a dilemma for me as I don't want to wear flip flops if my feet look dry but I don't want my feet to sweat in shoes either. I hate using a pumice stone or a scrub stick 1.) I end up hurting myself and 2.) it just seems to take forever! I do treat myself to the odd beauty pedicure now and again but can't be doing it all the time so I was delighted when Emjoi offered me one of their MICRO Pedi's for review.

Here's what Emjoi have to say about their product: "Emjoi MICRO Pedi is a truly innovative device created to smooth dry, rough and cracked skin on the feet. The unique micro-mineral roller safely, gently and effectively buffs away hard, jagged skin on the soles and heels giving immediate, lasting results. Your skin will instantly be smoother, flatter, more comfortable and healthy." They also promise to "give your feet a salon quality make-over in the comfort of your home" so are they really all that and a bag of chips!?


Well yes, I quite like it and in fact I think most women would if they gave it a try. When I first received the product I had images of it taking the skin right of my feet and taking me ages to work out how to use the damn thing. I shouldn't have worried so much, it was all the complete opposite. The box is small and compact but very eye catching, you can see the product through the packaging so it gives you an idea of what to expect which I think is a brilliant idea. I hate looking at pictures on a box when I think about buying a product. I would rather see the thing in the flesh!

The MICRO Pedi is very lightweight which surprised me, it looks a lot heavier than it is but of course would need to be lightweight to easily move around the foot. It doesn't come with batteries which is a shame for the price of this product, so you'll need 2xAA's handy. It comes with two files though, the blue for more sensitive feet (like mine) or that aren't as dry or the red which is for super dry cracked skin. These files can be used several times but are only recommended to be used for one person for hygiene reasons of course. You can buy replacement rollers and keep a spare set for the other half or your mum if you want! Oh and for extreme dry and cracked feet Emjoi do the black files which you can purchase on their website.


So what did I think, well I liked it. The files are easy to pop in and out when needed. The switch is basically on and off no fuss. It rolls over your foot without any pain or discomfort and smoothes away the dry skin in seconds. It's fantastic if you're going out and want to put your flip flops on, have minimal time and are in a major rush. Just pull out this bad boy, sand down your feet, slap some cream on and away you go. Easy as pie and your feet look smooth and amazing in seconds. You can always take your time as well though, soak your feet first, dry them off, MICRO Pedi them then get the other half to rub some creams and oils into them!

Cleaning the MICRO Pedi couldn't be simpler either although one thing that bugged me was there isn't anything to catch your falling foot skin in so make sure you have some tissues down or something when you file your feet. Anyway yes it's easy to clean, you unclip the back remove the file and you get a little brush to sweep away your foot skin. Simple as that and you can give it a little rinse out if you wish as the heads water resistant.

The MICRO Pedi retails for £39.95 and comes with 2 files and a cleaning brush. It can be purchased directly from Emjoi themselves: www.micropedi.co.uk/micro-pedi and they also have replacement files at £12.95 for a two pack.

Overall a brilliant machine and one you'll definitely want to keep in your beauty box. I'd say the only downside is that it's very expensive and doesn't come with batteries but it does what is says and it makes everything so quick and easy you won't want to be without it.

Mummies rating - 7/10

Please visit www.micropedi.co.uk for more products and information. You can also see what MICRO Pedi get up to on Facebook so why not pop over and say hello.



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21 June 2013

What's In My Handbag?

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When you have a child you tend to lose touch with your handbag, you steer more towards the large baby changing bag and the ample space it provides for nappies, creams, wipes, snacks, drinks, changes of clothes, toys etc. So when you get back to your handbag (when you're child is about 2, I think?) you can't wait to fill it full of stuff that belongs to you again. It's rather quite exciting and feels a bit naughty...

I do love a nice handbag like the next girl but I tend to purchase only 1 or 2 a year and keep them until they are completely dead i.e. worn, torn etc. I am a nightmare for destroying handbags and I'm really trying my hardest not to but it's very difficult. Take my current Radley handbag for example. It's starting to get a bit worn and torn from the mountains of stuff I keep in it so it's very much time for a change! And as if by magic the lovely people from MoneySupermarket.com have a fab competition where you can win a Mulberry Handbag *drool*.


So, what exactly do I have in my Radley handbag? Well;
  • Cute Frenchie Purse from Ted Baker which I got for my 25th Birthday - contains my bank cards, receipts, loyalty cards, family photos, £30 in cash, money off vouchers, driving licence, accumulated business cards, stamps etc.
  • House & Car Keys
  • Notebook & Diary - always essential for busy mums and the notebook doubles as a scribble pad when my son gets bored when we're out and about.
  • iPhone & Works Blackberry
  • Cath Kidston Make-up Bag full of perfume samples, green teabags, mascara, eye cream etc.
  • Cheap Umbrella which needs replacing urgently.
  • Hair Brush - also needs replacing.
  • Mountains of Pens but two lovely ones from Swarovski in there.
  • Spree Book - full of money saving vouchers, great book and I recommend getting one for your area.
  • Molton Brown Hand cream
  • Tissues
  • Ear phones
  • Mints
  • Wagamamas Menu - to tease myself with when I'm hungry.
  • Bus Timetable
  • Torch
  • Nail Files
  • Massive tub of Vaseline as my lips are a chapped mess at the moment!




After writing this all down and calculating the rough value of my bag and its contents I'm extremely surprised to say it's around £1370!! I'm shocked! Glad I'm insured anyway…

Disclaimer: This is my entry for the moneysupermarket.com What's in Your Handbag? competition.
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19 June 2013

Review: Weetabix On The Go Biscuits

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Breakfast? What's that? And I'm sure I'm not alone when I say this but 90% of the time I completely skip breakfast because… I just don't have the time! Most mums and dads these days are too busy getting the kids ready or would rather have that extra 15 minutes in bed than have breakfast in the morning. I know for a fact I'm not the only one and I also know it's not really good for you either so when Weetabix asked if I'd like to try their new on the go biscuits I couldn't refuse.

"After 80 years fuelling the nation's breakfast, Weetabix has applied their expertise and launched new Weetabix on the go - the perfect portable solution for busy mornings. The delicious baked biscuits provide all the good stuff of Weetabix fuel and are great for eating on the run, but have less fat, sat-fat, sugar and salt than the average breakfast biscuit."

Are you a skipper or an on the go eater? From the research Weetabix have done it appears 8 million brits skip breakfast every day with 6 million of us grabbing something to eat on the go! That's a massive amount and 40% say they're not even happy with their on the go choices!

Weetabix sent me two packets of their biscuits to try: Apple with a hint of cinnamon and Milk & Cereal flavour. In true testing style I took both packets to my work to taste test them with a cup of tea. I first tried the Apple with a hint of cinnamon and it was actually quite nice. I'm not a major fan of cinnamon but mixed with the apple flavouring it was lovely. The biscuit itself was quite crumbly and had the same sort of texture as a weetabix which surprised me. It did leave my mouth a little dry but with a cup of tea this wasn't an issue, if you were eating them on their own though you might struggle. The Milk & Cereal biscuit was a lot harder and more biscuit like with a crunch. The flavour definitely taste milk and cereal like which is tasty and they don't dry your mouth out as much as the Apple with a hint of cinnamon biscuits. Both very tasty biscuits in their own ways and if they don't tickle your fancy Weetabix also have Fruit & Fibre flavour available.


Each Weetabix on the go biscuit serving contains 4 biscuits in a handy little protective tray wrapped in plastic which helps to keep the biscuits from becoming broken. The biscuits are sold in 250g boxes containing 5 packets of 4 biscuits but if you just want to try them out and not get a whole box them the Milk & Cereal and Apple with a hint of cinnamon biscuits are also available in 50g single packs of 4 biscuits. They're available from major supermarkets and convenience stores, RRP 55p/£2.19.

I asked the other half and my son, who's 3, to try these biscuits out as everyone loves a biccie in our house, and they both really liked each flavour. If my son doesn't like something it'll be spat back at you so the fact he wolfed these biscuits down definitely counts for something. A great quick snack on the go for him when we're running late or out and about doing things with no lunch or dinner till a bit later. They're so easy to pop into my handbag or Logan's back pack and they hardly take up any space at all. I'd even pop some in the car in case we get stuck in a traffic jam or we're out longer than expected.

All in all a good biscuit and a perfect portion for breakfast. All the family liked them but I do have to say they were a little bit dry. This is easily overcome with a cup of tea or a cup of milk in Logan's case. The pricing is fair and in line with products of a similar nature, packaging looks good it's not bulky and it has a wealth of information on it for those who like the facts.

Mummies rating - 6/10
Logan's rating - 7/10

Please visit www.weetabix.co.uk for more products and information.



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18 June 2013

Bath Time Safety

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Baby and toddler bath times can be great fun but there's always that little niggle of safety in the back of your mind. I was completely paranoid that Logan would drown in the water when he was a baby and I remember secretly making my other half bath him for the first week when we came home from the maternity hospital as the thought of me doing it made my stomach knot with nerves. It's not that I didn't trust myself, I really felt I would slip or trip and he'd fall into the water! It was all new mum nerves though and I quickly got over it, thankfully. So what things can be done to keep your little one safe at bath time?


Bath Time when Logan was a baby

Be There!
Seems obvious but NEVER leave your little one unattended at bath time, not even for a second as that's when accidents happen. Be super prepared before you put your child in the bath and have their towel, shampoo, toys, face cloth etc all ready in advanced. If you have forgotten something shout on your other half to get it for you, if they don't hear you or no one else is in then tough! You'll just have to do without. Don't leave your little one, if it's that important take them with you and bring them back again. Please don't risk it.

Thermometer
Babies and young children have much thinner skin than adults, especially babies, so great care should be taken to have the bath at the correct temperature and the easiest way to do this is with a thermometer. There's lots of different kinds you can get and all are quite effective. You can have a fancy electronic one or do what we did and purchase the strip thermometers attached to plastic.




Bath Seat
Logan had a little baby bath seat and it was fantastic. It was given to us as a present from my auntie when Logan was born and we used it all the time. We only stopped using it when Logan got too big to fit in and by then he was finally sitting unaided and not as wobbly as before. By far the most popular bath seat (and the one we used) has to be the Safety 1st Swivel Bath Seat. It's reasonably priced at around £10 and if you can get it second hand then even better. The good thing about this bath seat is that it has suction cups on the bottom so sticks to the bath but beware it can be moved when your baby gets bigger and stronger. Stay close to your little one whilst they're in the bath seat just incase.

Bath Mat
I do think a bath mat is an essential bath time accessory for safety. Logan is 3 years old now but without his bath mat he slips and slides in the bath which is really dangerous, he could knock out his teeth if he fell the wrong way! Anyway, get yourself a good bath mat and use it every time your child goes in the bath. We have the Non-Slip Colour Change Bath Mat from Toys r Us which tells you when the water's too hot (the crabs leg shows the word hot and changes colour) and again it's reasonably priced at £12.99. Ours has been on the go for 3 years and it's still going strong.



Taps
Sounds a bit silly but don't allow your toddler to touch the taps on the bath at any point. They might not be strong enough yet but they will one day and might turn the wrong tap on i.e. the hot and really hurt themselves. It's best to just discourage any touching of the taps until they're much older and can understand exactly what the consequences are of turning on the hot tap. I always tell Logan that the taps are very hot and could burn which seems to keep him away from them at the moment, and the fact I'm there with him when he has a bath so he doesn't get the chance to fiddle with them.

The Water
Your baby or toddler doesn't need a massive bubble bath only a few inches of water is fine for a baby and a few more on top for a toddler, it's not a swimming pool after all - although my son seems to think it is! The less water the better really especially for smaller children and there's no need to fill above waist height for toddlers. I always think they can play with their toys a bit better if there's less water as the can reach them easier.

So there you have it, some of my tips for Bath Time Safety for little ones. I'm sure there's tons more tips out there and I'd love to hear what other parents do to make sure their kids bath time is always fun but safe.

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