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Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Washing Babies Clothes and Senstive Skin #Shop #CollectiveBias

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CollectiveBias 

A lot of my friends are pregnant or have recently had babies again, and it's doing nothing for my broodiness. I cannot wait to have more children but I've recently changed jobs and we get married awfully soon so it's in delay. 

However it got me thinking about when I was pregnant with Jack and when he was first born. Jack is the first grandchild on both sides, and Ashley had never dealt with babies before, he'd never held one and only remembered his siblings being babies. But either way I don't think anyone can prepare you for having children of your own. No-one could explain how much you would love and care for this baby and how much you would want to protect them.

When I was pregnant I expected everything to go wrong with my pregnancy, however I had a fairly simple birth until nearer the end when I had reduced fetal movements, but all turned out well. Since Jack has grown hes had a few more problems but nothing too serious. 

 Ahh how I miss this little bundle

Something we do take great consideration with is laundry detergent, Ashley and his father have sensitive skin and eczema, as does Jack now. When I was pregnant and ever since its been important to me to use a detergent as soft as possible on his clothing. When your a new parent every product is thrown at you and it can be a bit of a whirlwind, but we've always stuck to the same which is in our budget, Persil and Comfort as a fabric conditioner.  They are both reasonably priced and has sensitive skin in mind, using no enzymes and recognised by the British Skin foundation, both are dermatologically and hypoallergenic tested. Being recognised by the British Skin foundation was a big positve for us with all the skin problems Ashley's family have, I want Jack to have as much protection as possible.

One of the things I love about Persil and Comfort is their support for Tommys charity, the charity that saves babies' lives. 
Tommy's fund research into pregnancy problems and provides information to parents. We believe it is unacceptable that one in four woman lose a baby during pregnancy and birth. 
Tommy's is a charity I'm a supporter of, I'm luckily enough to have never needed their support but the work they do is amazing. I cannot think of anything more devistating then loosing a child, whether whilst still pregnant or once born. Tommy's fund medical research into causes and prevention of miscarriage, premature birth and still birth and provide free information to those in need. 

In your locals ASDA stores you can pick up promotional packs of Persil non-bio 25w and Comfort Pure 42w products where 25p from each pack will be donated to the charity, with a total of £100,000 being donated. #Mums4Tommys

Monday, 25 August 2014

Hassle Free Second Phone Lines - Vonage

In June of last year, I set up my own business, its still building slowly but thats okay. Whilst I was working part time I was trying to find a way to make money by staying at home with Jack. This is when I decided to begin my own business. However, deciding to run a business isn't the easiest of things. 

So, I run a small company, literally just myself and Ashley helping occasionally, dealing with sweeties. I do all the work at home or on the move, mainly at home, however our home is not a business property. My business involves talking with clients on a regular basis either via email or via phone. Personally I like talking to people on the phone I feel it gives a better presentation, however, I only have my personal mobile and our home phone. So until recently I chose to use my personal mobile for all business related calls. But, recently we were given the opportunity with mumsnet to review Vonage, which is a fantastic service allowing you to have a second phone line, hassle free without high set up costs.

To good to be true yes? 
Well you could think that, I did, but its true. Vonage simply connects to your existing broadband creating a second phone line. All you need to get started is broadband with a Wi-Fi router, which has a spare LAN connection, and a phone handset. No need for high set up fees or a costly technician to visit your home. Simply once your Vonage box arrives at your home, you can be up and running within minutes, literally!

So, to make your new second line work you will receive a Vonage box, a Vonage box power supply unit, an Ethernet Cable, a Telephone Socket Adapter and a Quick Start Guide. 
The quick start guide will simply get you started quickly, its easy to follow but provides enough information. It really couldn't be made any easier apart from someone doing it for you. 

Vonage works for both UK and interational calls, and to mobile phones. So with this in mind you would think its expensive yes? Well no, Vonage starts from as little as £7 a month and rises to £24 a month. Of course there are other packages in between. What really sells this to me is there is no additional costs such as line renatl, the only extras are additional call charges made outside of your plan. Theres no fixed contract, you even get a 30 money back guarantee included. 

I think Vonage is a perfect solution for any small business, or any business infact that is in need of a second phone line. Its a simple way to claim as a business expense to if need be. I enjoy having a dedicated business line, it makes me feel like a proper business woman. 

I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Network Research Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Summer Weekends Of Fun.

I know we are half way through Summer, but I feel we are now in full force British Summer as the rain has arrived.

This year it seems like many a weekend 'food festivals' are happening, either that or I've not seen as many in previous years. One that's rather impressed me this year is The Manchester Picnic, which is basically three fun days of family food fun, now what could be better than that? Food, Family and Fun! This is taking place from Friday 29th - Sunday 31st August so for the very end part of August. 

The Manchester Picnic is now in its fifth year, as a much loved family food festival, its one I'm eager to try if we can get there. It will take place in Piccadilly Gardens daily from 11am - 6pm on the above dates. This year there is a theme of 'Play' to celebrate the recent opening of the children's playground near Victoria Memorial in Piccadilly Gardens, so you could visit two things in one go right?

Now for the children, on Sunday 31st August, the popular children's teddy bear's picnic shall be returning with a special appearance from Baby Ballet's Twinkle The Bear.
It sounds like a truly wonderful weekend of fun, and food.

If like us you would have a little travel to make, or maybe your local but fancy a night's break away from general life. There are hotels nearby such as The Crowne Plaza, Manchester Airport which is only a short drive away in a car. Which also means, you could possibly fly there from further away destinations to enjoy the event.

My other suggestion is, as it is summer in the UK its probably best to bring a lightweight rain coat just in case. 

This post is in Collabaration with Crowne Plaza

Friday, 15 August 2014

Experiencing Crime

Normally I would not write about super personal things, things that may get me discovered, pin-pointing my area. But I recently thought I began this blog for myself so why shouldn't I?
I've been a little quiet of recent due to taking on a new job, which I'll write about soon.
However, this past week even the few people I would still speak with on social media won't have heard from me. This is as we as a household have been a victim of crime, pinpointed crime. Its left me too scared to leave the house, but again too scared to even want to be in the house alone.
This week we have been unfortunate to have someone try to pop all the wheels on our cars, two of the cars in our household anyway. But we've also been the victim of graffiti on our house. 

Now, to some people this may seem like something that happens regularly within you area, unfortunately for us it isn't. We have lived here for 11 years now, we were and still are hoping to move within the next two years. However this is the first time we have seen or heard of any direct crime within our immediate area.
Of course, we are hoping this is the last, but you can never be too sure.
Now heres hoping we don't get anymore trouble.

Monday, 11 August 2014

Disney On Ice 100 Years Of Magic Is Coming To Birmingham

Disney On Ice 100 Years of  Magic is coming to Birmingham. 

This one of a kind skating spectacular features more than 60 loveable Disney characters.

Having wowed audiences all over the world in Disney On Ice Celebrates 100 Years of Magic, Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and their friends Mulan, The Lion King, Pinocchio, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles and Toy Story will be bring this on-ice spectacular to Birmingham this autumn.

Produced by Feld Entertainment, this fanfare production features more than 60 unforgettable Disney stars that span the decade, a sing-along score of award-winning Disney music, stunning choreography, elaborate sets and beautiful costumes.

With Mickey and Minnie leading the fun, the show includes breathtaking skating numbers, devised by an award-winning choreographer who created the skating segments for the Opening Ceremonies of the 2002 Winter Olympics. 

Complementing the fabulous skate sequences are countless memorable Disney musical classics, such as 'A Whole New World', 'Beauty and the Beast', and 'Can You Feel the Love Tonight' which bring everyone's favourite memories of Disney to life on ice. 

Outfitting this cast was a huge challenge for the show's costume designer with dazzling designs raging from Mickey's Marching Band, to the 'Its A Small World' dolls, to the stars of Mulan and Finding Nemo. Bright colours and minimal structure in the Finding Nemo costumes allow the characters to move freely to mimic the natural movement in water, while a red sequined evening gown worn by Minnie is the star of the show!

The design team, who have worked on a numerous Broadway productions, have bought a magical, theatrical feel to the on-ice experience. Skaters weave around and bring to life the 'Its a Small World' sequence, amidst sparkling floats that turn into a radiant light parade and a blanket of snow and an avalance fall as Mulan battles the Huns. Another highlight is when a giant present is opened to reveal Buzz Lightyear, as he is first introduced to everyone's favourite toy cowboy, Woody and his pal Jessie.

Tickets are available now - booking fees apply. 
To discover more about Disney On Ice click here

Disney On Ice celebrates 100 Years Of Magic will be appearing in Birmingham at the NIA between 22nd October and 2nd November 2014.
The show will also be at the following:
Braehead, Glasgow - 26th September - 5th October 2014
Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle - 7th - 12th October 2014
Phones4u Arena, Manchester - 15th - 19th October 2014
Motorpoint Area, Sheffield - 5th - 9th November 2014
The O2, London - 24th December 2014, 26th - 29th December 2014 and 3rd & 4th January 2015.

We are looking forward to taking Jack to see the show during its stay in Birmingham. 

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Summer Recipes with Appliance House & Competition

As a full time working mum, its hard to find time too cook meals freashly each evening for us to eat as a family as soon after we get home its bed time. I enjoy spending as much time as possibly with Jack and don't like this to be shortened by spending a lot of time over the cooker. 
Don't get me wrong, we still eat and enjoy lots of fresh meals, however we just do the preperation at an earlier stage and freeze. Appliance House have joined up with an ex Waitrose food editor who shares five fab recipes which are all suitable for home freezing. One of these is Chocolate and Cherry Brownies.

Chocolate and Cherry Brownies
Who doesn't like brownies? These have a crisp crust and a delicious gooey centre, best served warm with vanilla ice cream. If you've frozen them previously then just warm them briefly in a hot oven.

Preperation Time: 15 miniutes
Cooking Time: 35-40 miniutes
Makes: 18

200g butter, cubed
100g good quality dark chocolate, roughly chopped
4 eggs, beater
425g granulated sugar
100g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder, sifted
½ tsp sea salt
1 tbsp vanilla extract
100g dried cherries

1. Preheat the oven to 180o, gas mark 4. Line a small roasting tin with baking parchment.
2. Place the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl and allow the ingredients to melt either over a pan of barely simmering water or in a microwave on a low heat. Allow to cool slightly.
3. Place the remaining ingredients in a mixing bowl and pour in the melted chocolate and butter mixture. Fold together lightly until throughly combined. Pour into the prepared tin and place in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes until a crust forms. Remove from the over and allow to stand for 15-20 minutes. Cut into squares when cooled.

Cooks Tip.
Add alternative ingredients to the cherries according to what you have in your cupboard. Pecans and brazil nuts work well instead of cherries, or leave out as you prefer.
To freeze them wrap first in cling film and then in foil and freeze for up to 3 months. 

The lovely people at Appliance House have offered readers of my blog the opportunity to win a  Electrolux Rapido Wet and Dry Rechargeable Handheld Vacuum Cleaner.
Rechargeable and cordless, the Rapdio is a high performance cleaner with low noise levels suitable for wet or dry spills at home or in the car.

Moshi Monsters Arrive At Birmingham Sea Life

A couple of weeks ago we were invited to spend the day at Birmingham Sea Life Centre. We had been once before with Jack two years previous, Jack was a little young and probably didn't have a clue but still it was fun. However, this time it was for an exciting adventure, to seek out moshi monsters.

The Moshi Monsters are visiting Sea Life Birmingham until 31 August 2014 and there is plenty going on for your children to enjoy. Jack is obviously too young for moshi monsters, but enjoyed some of the fun activities, and Ashley and I enjoyed seeking out the tiny moshi monsters within the different tanks.

The tanks which had figurines within them were clearly marked with a large sticker so you know which specific tanks you would find a moshi monster in. As for the small quiz you are given to look for as you walk around, these were hidden within the facts of each tank. 

As you get half was around the Sea Life Centre there is a Moshi Monsters swap shop, this is located within the Otter Teaching Room. Here you can swap your spare Moshi Monsters for new and exciting ones, wheter common, rare or ultra rare. Unfortunately I never got any pictures of this as we zoomed past to look at the otters.

Just past the otters, there is a green screen area where you can get your photo taken and they will be placed onto a couple of various backgrounds, one being Moshi Monsters themed.

Jack really enjoyed looking at all the different sea creatures, but most of all loved the penguins! We couldn't get him away and it took some bribing for him to move. 

We had an absolutely fantastic time yet again at the sea life, finding all the moshi monsters and all the different sea creatures. As well as all the usual fun things to do at the sea life, there is also the moshi monsters event happening until the end of August so great fun for the school holidays. 

Please Note: We were given free entry to the Sea Life Centre for an honest review upon the blog. All photos and opinions are my own and are not influenced in any way.