Monday, 16 December 2013

Minion Cakes!!!

With Christmas around the corner I thought I'd share my creations of Minion cakes! For those of you who don't know what a Minion is, firstly, where have you been? Haha, they are the cute little yellow, um, minions belonging to Gru in Despicable Me. We love the film here and have bought the second to watch over and over again.

My obsession with making Minion cakes began back in August when I made one for T's 10th birthday. They're slowly getting better and they are always really tasty (so I'm told anyway!).

Here are some piccies:

Minion cake number one - August 2013
Minion cake number two - October 2013
Minion cake number three - November 2013

Minion eye cakes made for T&Js Christmas Fayre - December 2013
Minion cake attempt number four - December 2013

 I think number three has been the best so far as the icing was a little runny on number four. What do you think?

Thursday, 12 December 2013

12 days of Christmas Advent competition - DAY 12, the final day!

So, this is it, the beginning of the end. It's been fun, 12 days of madly rushing around sorting prizes, posts and scanning the entries as they get added.

A massive thank you to everyone who has taken the time to enter the competitions, I do hope you'll stick around after Christmas, I have some great things planned for the new year! We'll have more competitions, reviews and even a few series starting!

I won't go on any longer, I wish you the best of luck for this final competition, and any others you have entered.

12 days of Christmas - day 12 - An iPad Mini!

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

12 days of Christmas advent competition - DAY 11!

After being super early yesterday, I mess it right up by almost forgetting today! Tut, silly me.

Anyway, we have a brilliant prize here! As I am late, I'm extending this comp until Thursday 19th 23.59 - the voucher will be sent via email as soon as the winner confirms by replying to my "Winners Announcement" email. Don't worry if it's you - you won't miss it!

Best of luck!

12 days of Christmas - day 11 - A £50 Amazon voucher!

PS Keep a special eye out tomorrow as we have a FANTASTIC prize coming up, but it's only live until Sunday (15th) at 23.59! Tell all your friends to keep watch too so none of you miss out!

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

12 days of Christmas advent competition - DAY 10!

Check me out! Early for todays competition as I am going out for the day.

We have a bundle of smellies up for grabs today!

Best of luck!

12 days of Christmas - day 10 - A bundle of smellies!

Monday, 9 December 2013

12 days of Christmas advent competition - DAY 9!

We have a fantastic LeapFrog Creativity Camera app toy today!

J and T love using my phone to fill it with pictures.

Best of luck!

12 days of Christmas - day 9 - A LeapFrog Creativity Camera App!

Sunday, 8 December 2013

12 days of Christmas advent competition - DAY 8!

Today, we have a beautiful Faux Fur scarf, perfect for keeping your neck warm in this cold winter, from Danilo Gabrielli.

Check out the lovely ranges they have, the scarves come in a variety of colours.

Best of luck!

12 days of Christmas - day 8 - Faux Fur Scarf

Saturday, 7 December 2013

12 days of Christmas advent competition - DAY 7!

We have another bundle of goodies for you today, but this time it's more baby / toddler aimed.

It includes: £20 worth of vouchers for Little Dish meals, an OXO Tot Twist Top Water Bottle, In The Night Garden DVD, A fleece blanket and a little rabbit teddy.

Best of luck!

12 days of Christmas - day 7 - A small bundle of baby goodies

Friday, 6 December 2013

12 days of Christmas advent competition - DAY 6!

A quick shout to my eldest daughter C who is 13 today! People warn me that the trouble starts now, "terrible teens" and all that, but I've had it for the last 4 years! Haha, she can be an angel when she wants to be though.

So, today, the 6th day, what have we got?

We have some lovely "Print your own" Fridge magnets and a £10 photo voucher so you can get using the frames straight away!

The fridge magnets are part of the "Print your own" photo gift range, there are some lovely items that can easily be used for gifts.

Best of luck!

12 days of Christmas - day 6 - A set of "Print your own" Fridge magnets & £10 photo voucher

Thursday, 5 December 2013

12 days of Christmas advent competition - DAY 5!

As the Rabbit once said, "I'm late, I'm late, I'm late!" - apologies for my delay in posting this up, real life got in the way. Parents evenings and a teething baba, but all is well now!

Today we have a fantastic app toy from LeapFrog UK! I love LeapFrog products, I find them so easy to use and so helpful teaching the kids.

12 days of Christmas - day 5 - A LeapFrog Learn To Write with Mr Pencil!

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

12 days of Christmas advent competition - DAY 4!

These days are flying by aren't they? Christmas day is three weeks away! Three weeks!!

Here, we have some lovely chocolates from Hotel Chocolat for you to win in today's advent competition! Check out my review of Hotel Chocolat here.

12 days of Christmas - day 4 - A Hotel Chocolat Christmas Goody Bag

As always, best of luck!

You're sweet like chocolat - A Hotel Chocolat review

Never have I been more excited than when I received an email from the lovely people from Hotel Chocolat. I mean, what girl wouldn't like the chance to "test" a box of chocolates?

I chose the Sleekster Classic Christmas Selection RRP £23.00.

The box itself is stunning, it made me feel all Christmassy just by looking at it. It would make the perfect gift for someone as it even comes with a little card.

The chocolates were a variety of flavours; from the delicious Milk Bauble, containing milk chocolate, to the melt-in-your-mouth Cranberry Cup. Each chocolate was so exquisite and tasteful, you could tell these were made to taste good!

The only problem I had was that they didn't last very long! Once the kids knew I was hiding a box of chocolates that was it! Of course, being the good mummy that I am, I had to share with them :(

The description of each chocolate is very clear and made it easy for the kids to choose which ones they liked (boo!) and which ones I could have they didn't. Unfortunately, that didn't leave me with many, sob! But, I liked being able to share with the ones I love.

Aside from being awesome at chocolate making, Hotel Chocolat are well known for their support to cocoa communities in Ghana and Saint Lucia. Their own Engaged Ethics program has being running for 8 years and allows benefits to the cocoa communities. I like a company looking out for everyone involved in the process, I wish more would follow suit. You can read more on the Hotel Chocolat story here on the website.

With Christmas just a few weeks away, why not have a browse through the website, there are some fantastic boxes on there, all suitable for gifts. Just make sure you buy extra for yourself too!

Disclaimer: We were sent the chocolates for free to review. However, our opinion is 100% our own. 

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

12 Days of Christmas! Advent competition - DAY 3!

Day 3 already? Only 22 sleeps until Christmas morning!! Yay!

Today we have a few goodies up for grabs!

Best of luck everyone :)

12 days of Christmas - day 3 - A small bundle of goodies

Monday, 2 December 2013

I need to tell you something.......

This morning, I went without breakfast! :O

As much shock as that may be, it isn't something that's going to make the national papers.

However, whilst I was not eating breakfast and catching up on social media, I came across this video from Tom Daley.

I admire the guy, he's an Olympic Gold medalist for crying out loud, but why did he feel the need to do this?

In the video he says how supportive his mother has been, how some family members were against it - what does it matter what they think?

I struggle to understand the buzz about famous people. Yes they are well known, yes they have more money in the bank than most of us, but, at the end of the day, they are humans too, right? Why do they feel inclined to post tweets, facebook statuses, pictures, videos and the like, about their private life? Because surely, their private life should be exactly that? PRIVATE?!

It annoys me that the news media thinks that we all want to know what colour pants so-and-so is wearing today, who's pregnant, or if Miley Cyrus has poked her tongue out today! Leave them be, let them live their lives.

So far, I have seen nothing but support for Tom Daley. Not many people, famous or not, would do what he's done. But I can imagine there'll be some against it. I wish Tom and his partner the very best for the future!

The one thing I'm certain of though - my daughter will be GUTTED!

Christmas Gifts

In an earlier post I mentioned how difficult I find it to buy for the men in my life. I have to admit, I also find some female relatives impossible to buy for!

Take my mother, for example. I could just imagine her face if I ever tried giving her something to help with either housework or cooking. She only reads one author, Kathy Reichs, and ALWAYS buys any new book as soon as it's on sale. She loves Bones (The TV show) but, if there's no new DVDs out, I'm stuck.

So when Personal Planner contacted me and asked if I would like to review one of their planners, I hoped it was something I could pass on to her.

That wasn't going to happen though! The problem started when I went on to the website.

As you know I am a busy mum of four. You can't see my fridge due to letters, reminder notes, timetables from school. My phone's calendar is full of appointments for all four, I had a diary I kept in my handbag once, that's full! I'm fed up of having pieces of paper with important information on everywhere!

On the website, you can choose and change pretty much every aspect of the planner. I went for a "Large" size and got to work at personalising it. It was so simple to do, no faffing around with things, I added a picture to the front and one to the back of all my mums' grandchildren. Then I had that thought. "This is something I have been looking for ever since I started getting a mountain of letters from school!"

Sorry Mum! This one is mine!

I changed the cover pictures, added birthdays, important dates, changed the themes - it was a breeze!

And the end product? Well, take a look for yourselves!

I absolutely adore my planner! It didn't take long to arrive, about five days. Even though my Mum didn't get this one, I'm ordering her one for Christmas!

Do you like the look of them? Well, I have a competition for you to win one in today's Advent Competition here. Good luck!

Disclaimer: I was sent a Personal Planner for free to review but all views are my own.

12 days of Christmas! Advent competition - DAY 2!

The lovely people at Personal Planner have offered a code for someone to win to create their own fab planner.

Check out my review to see what I thought of it here!

Good luck!

12 days of Christmas - day 2 - win a Personalised Planner!

Sunday, 1 December 2013

12 days of Christmas! Advent competition - DAY 1!

Ho ho ho! Merry Christmas!

As many of you climb into the attic or loft, dig deep in the garage or shed, or just go and buy new decorations to put up today, why not take a five minute break and enter this fantastic competition?

I will be adding 12 competitions in the next 12 days. This is the first.

The Dog Doo Dahs is a really great website with a range of cards to suit your fancy.

12 days of Christmas - day 1 - win 1 of 5 personalised cards from!

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Buying for the men in your life.

If there's one thing I hate, it's Christmas shopping for men. Take my partner, for example. If he had his own way, he'd be happy with a pile of Xbox games for Christmas. Now, that would be fine if the games didn't cost £40+ each!

I've been looking for something different for him this year and came across this great Budweiser BBQ sauce and marinade gift set  from Home Wet Bar  - my partner loves his BBQ sauce so this would be perfect!

As well as the list of Xbox games, he also adds the same things every year; socks, pants and smellies. I don’t mind those things so much, especially as it seems our washing machine eats his socks and the kids love making their “potions” with whatever they can find on the bathroom shelf.

Another winner for presents, I find, is something the children have created. This also works for birthdays, of course, and I love receiving a card that they’ve spent creating themselves. Last Christmas we made some lovely photo frames for their grandad – ideal if your children have had a photograph in school recently.

My dad is so hard to buy for. He enjoys watching the cricket, drinking coffee and playing some game on Facebook. But recently he’s found Mrs Browns’ Boys. The first episode he watched, my mum said he didn’t stop laughing! So, after trawling the web, I found this funny personalised mug!

Another man in my life, my Grandad, is another that I have trouble choosing a present. Since he bought himself an iPad, many presents from other relatives have been iTunes vouchers – nice and simple! I would rather put some effort into choosing a gift. I seen an advert for this book and instantly thought off him! He’s forever telling us jokes, making us use our brains with his riddles or reading out the funny letters from the paper or Readers Digest. So, hopefully, this book will tickle him!

For the younger man, my brother for example, the choice is endless. Many have favourite aftershaves, even a shaver would please some, but I’ve chosen a gift experience this year. With it he can try out skydiving, drive a car fast (legally!) or even learn to fly a plane! The choices are endless, I just need to choose which one now!

Who do you have trouble buying for at Christmas time? How many of them are male? I would love to hear your suggestions for mens gifts!

Monday, 25 November 2013

Christmas is coming and that can only mean one thing......

Well, maybe not just one!

I've been letting my blog go by itself for a few weeks now. I always thought I'd have plenty of time to write loads of posts. How wrong was I? If it's not lack of sleep combined with the inability to even think straight, it's an illness that has struck down one of the kiddies.

Take last week, for example. Baby B (who now has four teeth by the way!) was being very grumpy. His front top teeth are refusing to cut through and the two fangs (do they call them that? The ones either side of the front two anyway!) have come through. On top of teething, he's had a chesty cough, runny nose and sneezes. J's nose has been running like a tap for the last week, he even had a day off school last week as he wasn't well at all. C was sick last week too, she had to have a day off school. I'm really surprised that T and myself haven't had it yet *touch wood*.

It's no wonder people can be so miserable during the winter months. All I feel like is cuddling up under the duvet and hibernating until Spring! Maybe not, it's my birthday in February, I'll be the big 3-0, so I don't want to miss that! But seriously, I feel so down. I don't like the cold weather. I love snow, I love Christmas, I just don't like cold!

Am I on my own? I doubt it. I just wish Winter would hurry and go away! I need some warm sunshine!

Either that or bring on the snow so I can pretend I'm an angel!

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Competition: Win 1 months supply of Formoline! (10 winners!!)

I have a box of Formoline to give away to ten lucky people!

Need to lose a few lbs for the Christmas party? There’s still time thanks to formoline L112

If you’re worrying whether there’s still time to squeeze into your favourite LBD before the festivities begin, then formoline L112 can lend a helping hand.

Germany’s number 1 slimming product, formoline L112 is a certified Class lll medical device.

But this is no ordinary slimming pill. This is a practical ‘engineering’ solution to an essentially simple but persistent problem: if you consume more energy than you need for your body to function, your body stores the excess as fat. So to lose weight or prevent weight gain you need to reverse that equation.

formoline L112 helps you do just that. By using a naturally derived fibre that binds with fats, formoline reduces the overall calorie intake from food by removing a significant proportion of dietary fats at source, in the stomach.

The fibre is entirely inert, none is metabolised, and it passes safely through the system with the bound fats, removing them from your body before they are digested.

formoline L112 works specifically on fats (not sugar-based foods or carbohydrates) and so is most effective when calories are derived from a diet rich in processed foods that contain large amounts of saturated and trans fats. Unlike some fat-binding supplements, formoline does not require you to be in the close vicinity of a bathroom at all times.

Results show a possible weight loss of 7kg over a 4-week period.

formoline L112 can be used as part of a systematic weight loss programme or as an occasional use product when it isn’t possible to count calories, such as when on holiday or when dining with friends, and will help you to manage your overall intake of fat and fat-derived calories.

It also promotes a feeling of fullness, so users may naturally consume fewer calories. It does not act on the body’s metabolism and is very well tolerated. It is suitable for people with diabetes as there is no carbohydrate exchange value and it can help to lower cholesterol intake.

formoline L112 is an award-winning, trusted slimming product that has graced the headlines in Germany (for all the right reasons), for more than twelve years. German users have learned to adapt their use of formoline L112 according to their circumstances and it is used as much by those trying to maintain their weight as those trying to lose excess weight. Now it’s time for slimmers in the UK to employ a little “weight loss durch Technik!”

formoline L112 usually costs £24.95 for 48 tablets but we have 10 free boxes to give away as well as a £10.00 money-off voucher for every reader to spend on formoline online at Simply type in SLIM112 when prompted at the checkout.

Win 10 months supply of Formoline worth £250!

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

To declare or not to declare? That is the question!

Since I started blogging 7 months ago (has it really been that long?!), I have joined numerous groups on Facebook. These groups are full with other bloggers that can help, or at least point us in the right direction, if someone is ever stuck with something. From how to find statistics to finding the best domain to use for the blog, there is almost always someone in there that can help. I love these groups!

Today, I was doing my daily nose through them when I spotted a post from the lovely Sara Thomas from Pretty In Pink blog about specific guidelines when it comes to reviewing items or being paid to post content. You can read her post here and read the ASA's post here.

In a nutshell it basically states that if a company pays for content or a "positive review" then it MUST be disclosed (A little note stating that you received payment).

Now, my regular readers will know I have done both reviews and paid for content. I disclose on every post that I feel needs to be. But it turns out I needn't had to.

I sent an email to the ASA enquiring as to where I stood when a company sends me a product, for free, for a review. I always thought it had to be disclosed. Their reply certainly put me straight!

"Thank you for your email.

If you are sent the product for free that doesn’t present a problem as your subsequent review will be (should be) you own opinion, and we aren’t here to regulate opinion. However, if a company sends you a product for review and pays you to give it a positive review, then you should disclose this in your review so that your readers/followers are not mislead by the information you have provided. If you would like further clarification on the rules, please contact the Copy Advice team, who can provide free and confidential advice to bloggers and advertisers.

I hope this is helpful."

It turns out that you don't have to disclose on a product review as long as you weren't paid for a positive review. In all honesty, I would never accept a payment for a review, my reviews are always 100% honest, if I didn't like it, you'd know about it! I know other bloggers may not be the same but at least with this they can see how and what they need to disclose!

So, for all bloggers worried about if they're disclosing properly, I hope this helps.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Let's go crazy, crazy, CRAZY!

Apologies for quoting an annoying pop song, although T would be giving me "The Look" right about now if she heard me say that!

These last few weeks have been absolutely mental! Half term last week didn't help, I'm now up to my eyeballs in washing, housework and blog posts! The important things come first, of course, so my poor bloggy has been put on the back burner for a while <insert sad face here>.

I can't even promise it'll get better in the coming weeks. Christmas is less than eight weeks away (Argghhhh!!) and I'm nowhere near ready for it. On top of present-buying I have room-decorating, floor-laying, de-cluttering and much more things to do! I need a few extra pairs of hands and hours in the day!

I hope the run up to Christmas is going smoother for you. Do you have any tips on how to keep it stress-free?

Before Christmas comes, we have Bonfire night tomorrow. Please keep safe!

Weighing it up! An Ozeri Digital Kitchen Scale review.

Having found a new passion for baking and designing character cakes, we were thrilled when asked to review a set of Digital scales. I've always used cheap tacky scales from the discount shop which never measure precisely.

After taking it out of the box, I was surprised at how small and compact it was. In all honesty I didn't think I was going to like using them. I like my kitchen bits and bobs to be big, hence why I have no room in there! But after reading through the instruction manual and having a little play around with the buttons, I was quite astonished that it was, in fact, a nifty little thing to have!

For a start, you don't have to use one set of units for measuring. I always use grams and kilograms but my nan likes using pounds and ounces, and it's so easy to switch between the two. The "Tare" button allows you to reset the weight - so if you put on a bowl, as I did, you can reset the weight to zero therefore enabling you to measure whatever you put in the bowl.

Nice, simple design for ease
of use.
With the Tare button, you can reset
the weight easily!

It also allows you to add multiple things and measure them separately. Weigh in some flour - reset - add the eggs and weigh - reset - you see where I'm going. It's a brilliant gadget that will make my life that little bit easier, when it comes to baking at least!

A rare problem I faced with the cheap scales bought from the discount shop was that I struggled to get the exact measurement I wanted. These scales are so precise, you can measure as little as 1g!

These scales are so simple to use, a must in every busy kitchen! I almost forgot the little surprise! It even has a timer! So you can set the clock for however long you need it and carry on with the day! I think it truly is a great item!

You can buy these from Amazon at a bargain price of just £9.95!

Disclaimer: We received a set of scales for the purpose of this review. However, our opinion is 100% our own.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Winter's coming.... oh, hang on!

I am soaked! I only walked a few metres to T and J's school to pick them up but I got drenched! I look like a drowned rat.

Don't get me wrong, I love the rain. When I don't have to go anywhere and can curl up in my duvet and listen to it outside. But when I have to go somewhere, I hate the stuff! We get soggy, my shoes don't dry properly and I feel cold.

I actually prefer the snow - at least you can have fun in the snow, throwing snowballs and making snowpeople.

So hurry up snow please!

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Please don't share!!

At one point we've all seen it. Friends or family on Facebook sharing random pictures. Some are Memes and are really funny! Some are of missing people and I always share these in the hope that it will reach that one person that holds vital information! Some are of scammy competitions, I spend ages trying to explain to some that they are fake and so noticeably fake! Like the current one, "Argos." see the fullstop? That's how you know it's fake! Facebook really need to clamp down on these pages, especially the ones offering 1,692 iPads because the security film is damaged and they can't sell them! (!!) I mean, really?

But they're not the posts that concern me most.

It's those ones of abused babies and children. The latest, about a boy called "Chris" who was supposedly murdered by his own father. I know this happens. A few posts ago I wrote about the subject. I'm not trying to hide the fact that it happens. Far from it! But, tell me, what good does it do to share the picture of the little baby black and blue? It won't stop it from happening to someone else. All you are doing is giving the person / people who abused that poor child the attention that they crave.

By all means, share a post of writing. Tell the world, or at least your friends, family and any followers, how you feel about this and to report anything they feel is even the slightest suspicious. Babies don't have a voice. We adults are their voices, we need to protect them!

So please think hard before you share that picture again. We need to help these innocent children but not by sharing the pictures of their abuse.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Do you Trick or Treat?

From the moment they are born, all we, as parents, want to do is protect our children. When they are old enough to understand, we drum into them the dangers of life around us. How to cross the road safely, how medicines are not sweets, why it's not a good thing to pull your little brother around by his arm (yep, I've had that!). One of the most important things we teach them, especially in this day, is not to talk to strangers. My worst fear as a parent is someone snatching my child.

 So why is it that every year we allow our children to knock on doors unknown. We dress them up in little costumes and let them get sweeties from all those who like to open their door. Yep, I'm talking about Halloween.

 It's only been the last couple of years that I've allowed the kids to go out on Halloween. J was almost three when we first took him out. Dressed in his little Skeleton outfit, he looked really cute. I only allowed them to visit people that we knew in the area, yet they still managed a bag-full each of different sweets and treats.

Last years costumes!

However, the following day while walking down my nans street, J started to walk up someone's path. When I asked what he was doing, he replied so innocently "I'm trick-n-treating mum! I want some more sweeties!"

It made me stop in my tracks. my almost-three year old was linking knocking on doors to getting sweeties. What had I done? It made me realise why so many parents don't allow their kids to go out "Trick or Treating". It also made me think how many did and allowed them to knock on strangers doors! Why do parents spend the time to inform their kids of the dangers yet freely allow them once a year?!

How about you? Do you let your children go? Do they go alone or you do take them? Do they knock strangers doors?

I am quite excited this year, as it's Baby B's first Halloween and I've bought him the cutest little Frankenstein costume!

The girls haven't decided what to dress up as yet, but I've heard some whispers about Smurfs. J wants to dress up as a skeleton again (for the third year running!). I'm even going to attempt some Jack O'Lanterns this year! 

Considering last year’s event I think it’s a smart choice to chaperone them again this year until I feel like they’re at an age where they understand the hazards involved and can do it safely on their own…it’s not all fun and games you know. This costume infographic from fancy dress ball (scroll to bottom of page) has some excellent ideas if you like me are chaperoning again this year and will give you some food for thought if you want to spook not only the kids, but also put a scare into the neighbours.

Some tips for a safe "Trick or treat!":

  • Please remember that, although the costumes look lovely, in darkened areas they aren't so easy to spot! Get some reflection badges or bangles - they are cheap to buy and make seeing a child so much easier!
  • If your children are going out alone, make sure they understand the dangers of knocking on strangers doors.
  • Make sure you keep an eye on your group when you go out. With some lovely costumes available it's likely that other children have the same one - it's so easy to grab a hand of the wrong child.
  • Don't let them eat too many sweets! Apart from being bad for their teeth, too much sugar means very hyper kiddies before bed! Not a great thing, believe me!

If the weather is bad we'll be staying in and playing some games! We'll be playing "Pin the foot on the skeleton", dunking for apples and spider treasure hunt! I think I'll get the kids to carve some pumpkins too!

I’m still wondering if there’s a reasonable way to dissociate Halloween from the notion of getting treats…any ideas?

Have any of you made any cool Jack O’Lanterns?

We hope you all have fun on Halloween this year, but please remember to be safe!

This post was a collaboration :)

Monday, 14 October 2013

The Anagranimals & The Wishing Tree review and giveaway!

Our household is a big reading one. We love books. If we go on a long journey, we all have a book in our hands. If we go on holiday, we all take our books. If we want some quiet time, we get the books out. We've always encouraged books as we believe it helps contribute to a childs intelligence and vocabulary range. With reading tests in school, C and T have always been above average. In their last tests, C was 5 years older in reading level and T was 3 years older. I hope J and Baby B follow!

When we were sent "The Anagranimals and the Wishing Tree" book written by Leith Moghli, the kids couldn't wait to read it!

It is aimed at 5-9 year olds, but each of the kids really enjoyed the story (and the pictures!)

 The story is about 6 animals who wish they could do things that other animals can do. They literally bump into a magical tree. This tree is a Wishing Tree, and it grants each animal a wish!

J loved looking through the book himself, but he loved T reading it to him too. He said he'd like to see animals change in real life. I'm not sure I would like to see a Leo-Tiga-Mur!!

The book has an open ending for another story "The Anagranimals and the Weeping Willow". We are looking forward to any future releases, especially J!

It's such a warm and fun story that any child will enjoy! In fact, that any person will, as I enjoyed it just as much as the kids did!

Thanks to Leith Moghli, I have 1 signed, first edition copy of The Anagranimals & the Wishing Tree to give away! All you have to do is complete the Rafflecopter below.

The first four options are mandatory and you MUST complete all four to be entered. The other options are free for you to choose from. If you have any problem trying to enter, please see my guide on how to enter.

Best of luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, 13 October 2013

The Versatile Blogger Award

I've been nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award! Many thanks to Linda @ Mother Distracted for the nomination!

"What is the Versatile Blogger Award?" I hear you ask.

Well, it's an awesome way of showing up and coming blogs to you, the readers, to have a nosy at and enjoy! The rules are simple;
(1) You must add the Versatile Blogger Award picture to your post
(2) Thank the blogger who nominated you
(3) Write 7 random facts about yourself
(4) Nominate 7 other bloggers.

7 random facts about me!
Hmmm, just 7? Haha, I have a lot more than 7 but here goes!

(1) I absolutely LOVE Gizmo - you know, the cute little gremlin. Not the ones that destroy everything, the cute brown and white little thing. I even bought a Gizmo Furby when I was younger!

(2) I rock at Guitar Hero! We always play it as a family and I always win! I still can't master Through the fire and flames on expert though, but I'm happy with that! Have you seen how hard it is? See this video if not!

(3) My secret weird crush is Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory. He is so awesome - the things he comes out with sends me into fits of giggles. I want a Sheldon Cooper - so much I was even thinking about naming Baby B "Sheldon"!

(4) I was a young mum. I found out I was pregnant just after finishing my GCSE exams. My doctor initially told me the reason I was constantly being sick was due to gastroenteritis and stress. The tablets he prescribed me could have caused miscarriage or early labour!  I was 16 years and 10 months old when C was born and I wouldn't change her for the world!

(5) I love doing cross-stitching! I did one whilst I was in hospital with C (long story, will blog about it soon) - it was a gorgeous Winnie The Pooh sample with her names, date of birth and weight. I haven't started T's yet, but will do soon.

(6) When I was a teen, I had Bell's Palsy. The left side of my face wouldn't "work" properly. My eye wouldn't shut, if I smiled the left side would stay still, but my body was fine. My doctor said it was very rare for a child of my age to get it, let alone a female of my age! You can still see the effects of it in my face, my eye is a little droopy and my smile is crooked.

(7) I started smoking when I was 13. I smoked for 11 years, but I quit 5 years ago. I'm very proud of myself for that!

7 bloggers I nominate:

(1) Jacqui & Kelly's Us Two Friends - very good friends of mine and well worth a read!

(2) Lucy's The Parent Game - pop on over for a wonderful read.

(3) Su's Soosie Wales - a fellow Welshie, pop on over!

(4) Christine's Mummy of 3 Diaries - this lady has a lot of choccy as competitions. No good for my diet! Haha

(5) Erika's Eclectic Enchantments - a new blogger but a lady after my own heart! And I love the dress!

(6) Claire's Penny For Them - she has a wonderful blog and even better taste in music!

and last, but by no means least;

(7) Joanne's The Blunt Truth - another Welshie friend, I love reading about her thoughts as her boys grow older.

Take a look at these wonderful blogs and share them with your friends :)

Friday, 11 October 2013

If the shoe fits! Brantano shoe fitting review

A couple of weeks ago, J and I took a little trip to Cardiff to visit Brantano. As J started school in September, I knew the importance of getting the correct size shoe for him. And because he has weird feet just like his mum (sorry babes!) I knew that it was even more important to get him measured so he would be comfortable all day in his school shoes.

Excited at having a new pair of school shoes!

 The lady that measured J's feet was lovely. J is normally very shy around strangers, but she made him comfortable and kept him talking about school and his friends whilst she measured his feet.

Having his left foot measured.

First,  she started by measuring the length of each foot. Many children, and adults, have different sized feet. You probably wouldn't even realise without measuring them!

As it were, J's feet were the same size.

Now for the wideness!

After the length's been measured, the width of the feet is then done. J's was off the scale as he has such wide feet.

After having his feet measured and picking out a pair of shoes he liked, J received a certificate and a sticker. On the certificate is his name and his feet measurements. I thought this was a great idea as it means I can just refer to that if I needed to get him another pair in the coming weeks!

"Look at my certificate mum!" - J
So, with J's feet measured there was only one thing left to do - try his new shoes on! We went for an 11.5 H shoe and they fitted lovely, with space for growing too! The lady explained that when buying shoes you should always be able to squeeze your little finger around the heel and there should be about a thumbs width at the toe of the shoe to allow for growth.

His new shoes fitted perfectly!

J was really chuffed with his new shoes and couldn't wait to show them off in school! We really enjoyed our little trip to Brantano, it was so simple and relaxing to get him a pair of school shoes with no stress! Why not take a visit to your nearest store? The shoe fitting service is free! I think it saves a lot of hassle and moans of "They're hurting mum!".

Disclaimer: We received a free pair of shoes for doing this review and visit. However, our opinion is 100% our own.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

When? What? Where? Who? A Paperblanks 18-month dayplanner review

Are you like me? Do you forget almost everything? I am useless when it comes to appointments. Birthdays I'm pretty good at remembering - just don't ask me how old - and some phone numbers, but you can almost guarantee I'll forget an appointment. And with four children, that's not great.

Paperblanks were very kind to send us an 18-month dayplanner to review. I'd been looking for something I could store everything in and this was perfect!

 There is everything you would ever need in this planner. As well as week-to-view pages there was a removable address book, national and international holiday dates, a world time zone chart, birthday and important dates page - the list goes on!
Simple and perfect.

Don't forget to add your I.C.E. details!

With monthly-to-view pages you can mark and see all of your important dates at a glance!
I can even add the kids timetables so I know what they need each day for school!
Plenty of space with the week-to-view pages.
A detachable address book!

The ideal size, this diary now has a permanent place in my handbag. I have all my dates in reach and I now have no excuse to forget any!

Disclaimer: We were sent the dayplanner for free to review. However, our opinion is 100% our own.