How You Can Save Money By Stock-piling

People don’t always see the logic in buying more than you need to save money, but it can be a lifesaver. Whether you want to save for a holiday, a new car or just something fun for the family to enjoy, I’ve found that stocking-piling home supplies is the best way to save money. I’ve put together my own top three tips so that hopefully you can do the same…

1) Order online
I’ve found that looking online whenever I need to make a purchase is far more cost-effective than just picking it up in town one day. On an impulse buy, you’re committed to buying it at that one price no matter how expensive it is. If you shop online instead, you could save a lot more by looking around. 

I recently did a comparison article on a new buggy, and this kind of expensive item can often be purchased much cheaper from a place like Amazon than the brand website, as Amazon already drive down the prices for you. Similarly, stationary supplies and printer ink can be bought on special offer from many specialist retailers. We buy all our Canon ink from a website that has specific deals on those products. Before you rush into anything, ask yourself whether it would be better to price-check it online first.

2) Always shop around supermarkets
Since I started to think about the way I bought food, I noticed a huge difference in prices between supermarkets. They’re always at war with one another, but if you’re savvy with your spending, you can be the customer that reaps the rewards. Look at the products you buy regularly and compare the prices of supermarket own brands. 

Don’t be scared of them because they don’t have fancy packaging; they often do deals on these products so that you can stockpile whatever you use the most. You can find tonnes of tips on shaving money off your weekly shop here.



3) Buy presents and kids clothes way in advance
Stock-piling doesn’t just have to mean the mundane household supplies. Last Christmas was an eye opener in that I need to start stockpiling gifts a lot sooner, and thanks to the seemingly constant sales, it’s now possible. Why not pick up birthday presents in the January sales, or keep your eyes peeled for accessories to go with toys they already have when they’re on offer?

I’m definitely going to apply the same mentality for when I buy school uniforms and back-to-school in future too! Buy uniforms when there are offers in September, but buy more than you need or sizes that are bigger for next year. Stock up on stationary and look out for deals on laptops when the kids are older.

I hope you enjoyed my top three tips on how stock-piling can help you save. I’m sure you have plenty of your own, so be sure to leave them in the comments section!

Mothers Day with Appleyard London Flowers

This year will be my second Mothers day and I'm looking forward to it spending time as
a family. 

Last year we went out for lunch at a little cafe this year we haven't made plans as of yet. 
I love getting flowers for any occasion and love having them on the window ledge in our living room to admire. 

The Luxury flower brand Appleyard London contacted me and asked if I would be interested
in having one of their luxury bouquets of my choice. 
I love roses so of course when having a look at their range of flowers for mothers day I wanted to find ones that had roses in. 

Appleyard London  was born out of a passion for boutique floral design. 
They have a small team of creative florists and a dedicated team in customer care 
to make sure that your experience is nothing but perfect. 
They create a new range for each season and calendar occasion using the highest quality seasonal flowers and have collections for birthdays, celebrations, romance and many more. A bouquet from Appleyard London is more than just flowers, it is hand-tied luxury.




As usual when it comes to picking out flowers I found it extremely hard as there is such 
a wide range of gorgeous bouquets. I narrowed it down to two that I loved and let the lady at
Appleyard London choose which one to send out. 

I received the  Lemon Drizzle bouquet that retails at £51. 
It arrived on my chosen date at 9am on the dot and was packed well and
there were no leaks from the water that it was kept in. 
I really love the pastel colors and they look amazing on my window ledge.

The bouquet came with a little message card and care booklet so 
that I can keep my flowers good for longer. 

The flowers in the bouquet are sweet avalanche roses, lemon carnations, crisp white blooms and lemon flair hypericum berries. 




If you would like to order from Appleyard London than I have a special code for you get 
 33% off a bouquet. The only bouquets exempt from the discount is the 'Flowers By Post' range.

To get 33% off use : BLOG33  at the checkout. 

Have you ever ordered or received flowers as a gift from Appleyard London? 

For details on how I work with Brands have a look at my Work With Me Page

Interior Design Tends For 2016

When it comes to our home I love looking up ideas on Pinterest to give me some ideas into what I can do to update the place. 
Even if like us you are  renting and are restricted into what you can do to your home
you can still update the place with different accessories, new or upcycled furniture and lighting.

Trends change very quickly and so trends that were new and inspirational a few years ago 
maybe outdated. 
It's important when it comes to your home that you create a place which is comfortable 
but also practical for your needs but also has a touch of individuality. 

There are some trends that tend to stand the test of tome and one of them being classic pieces its a trend that tends to stay thanks to 
its basics and function in a home. 

Baytree Interiors have shared with the trends that are going to be big in 2016. 


Color choices
When it comes the colors in the home pastels on trend allowing you
to move away from colors such as white and magnolia that a lot of rented homes tend to be. If you are able to get permission to decorate than pastels combined 
with one bright feature wall creates a focal point drawing attention to the specific area of the room. Of course if you own your home you can choose to do this no problem. 
It's a good idea when doing this to choose colors that you love as it will be there for a long time. 



Furniture

When it comes to furniture I pick out classic pieces that will go with the whole room and
colors that will go no matter how the room is changed.
Our living room has pine colors and the bedrooms have white furniture.

Mixing colors is on trend this year with people upcycling instead of buying new. 
This is because people are wanting to create focal points throughout their home.

For bedrooms the Nior french theme is in which is a trend I really love. 
Our current bed fits in very well with this theme too which will make it pretty easy to 
update the room more into this trend. 

There is also a trend on both antique and modern furniture pieces slotting nicely into the same room and is something a bit different. 
This isn't a trend I'll be getting into as I tend to be quite fussy and like furniture to near enough match. 



Changing furniture is one of the easiest ways to update your home. 
Up cycling gives you the chance to update the furniture you have with little cost. 
This can be done with a range of paints and accessories such as door knobs for your wardrobe. 


Lighting

Lighting is important as it a simple but effective way to change the ambiance of a room. 
 Pendant lights, chandeliers, and filament bulbs are a great choice which provide a warm glow with a vintage look. I love the idea of this type of lighting for our living room however our ceilings are quite low so not something we could implement which is shame as it could fit in well with Nior theme in the bedroom as well. 

LED lighting will also be seen in more homes thanks to it becoming more creative and cheaper. 

Mood lighting is also a trend that will popular with people moving away from more standard lights. 


Smart Everything

This trend doesn't become as a surprise with me due to smart products starting to become the norm in households. With smart TV's, heating systems, being able to open and close your garage this way as well as to turn on and off your lights. 
2016 is going to be a year that interior designers get creative and imaginative with technical 
advances.



What are your thoughts on the new interior trends for 2016
Will be you updating your home with any of these trends? 
I'd love to know as always comment below. 

Our bedtime tips and routine

When it comes to sleep Blake has always been relatively good.
He started sleeping through the night at about six weeks old and only wakes up during the
night very occasionally. 

I'm a believer that sticking to a good routine is key when it comes to children so that they feel safe and secure. 
Blake's routine is near enough the same every night. 



Here is our routine: 

Bath
Blake has a bath every 2 nights and he has had this routine since he was
quite young and we try and stick at it unless something crops up and we don't have time to bath at night. 

Getting changed for bed
Once Blake has had a bath we dry him and get him in a clean nappy and his PJ's and sleeping bag

Brushing teeth
We make sure that part of his routine is that we brush his teeth as its
so important to start getting into the habit. 

Bedtime story 
Sometimes Blake is very tired so we don't always read him a story as he can get rather grumpy but
It's a lovely moment of quality time before bed when we do. 


Music
Blake loves having the music playing on his My Pal Scout to help him off to sleep. 
Once he has dropped off we sneak in and take it out so he don't roll on it and 
turn it on during the night. 


My tips: 

1. Stick to a routine this helps children to feel safe and secure

2.  Use lavender scented products 
we use Johnsons night bath and lotion which has a calming relaxing lavender scent. 

3. Make before bed quiet time 
read a story and/or play gentle music.

4. Make sure the temperature of the room is normal
we have a Gro Egg which changes color to let us know if it is too warm or too cold. 

5. Make sure that the curtains/blinds are closed if light is still getting in
a black out blind is good idea.


The people over at the Bed Guru kindly sent me over hamper that will help me  to unwind after Blake is finally tucked up in bed. The hamper includes; Bettys tea room tea and biscuits, Yorkshire Soap co. candle,  coconut and Shea butter face mask and Sally Hanson French manicure kit. 


I also have a hamper to giveaway to one of you lucky readers. 
All you have to do is complete the rafflecopter below. 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

For details on how I work with Brands have a look at my Work With Me Page

Aldi Mothers Day Special Buys

With it being 11 days away til Mothers Day I am sharing with you a range of gifts that 
Aldi have in their Mothers Day special buys which came out on Sunday 21st February. 

I feel that this year Mothers Day has come around a lot quicker than usual. 
Am I the only one that thinks this?

Anyway Aldi have got a fab range of items that are suitable for Mothers/grandmothers 
with a range of interests.        


If your Mum has green fingers and loves spending time in the garden, sorting out the
flower beds than you can pick her up a new garden set. 
This garden set comes with a hand trowel and fork and is a gorgeous vibrant red.
£6.99


With it still being a little chilly outside why not pick
up these leather gloves that have fleece lining inside to keep hands toasty warm. 
£9.99


Then there is this stylish jacquard scarf which you can get in either 
red and cream like the one below or in black and cream. 
£5.99


Slippers are a gift that most women love. 
These cute ballerina slippers are so comfy and 
come in a beautiful organza bag. 
I feel that these slippers would also be a fab gift for a mum to be,
to go in her hospital bag as they are easy to slip on and off. 
£2.99 each



This watercolor weekly organiser is fab!
 I love stationary bits and they make great gifts. 
They have a fab selection of stationary bits this year so I'm going to head
there later this week to have a look at what my local store has got in. 
£2.99



Another stationary item I got and love this little gift set which 
comes with 3 different sized notebooks and a pen.
£2.99 



Will be purchasing anything in the Aldi Mothers Day Special Buys?


For details on how I work with Brands have a look at my Work With Me Page

Car Seat Buying Guide

Recently we have had to purchase a new car seat.
Blake outgrew his Silvercross 0+ car seat which I am surprised that he lasted up to
13 months in. After some research online we knew we wanted to go with one of two brands
Britax or Joie. 

We had looked into go refacing for longer originally however when it comes to car seats I am a novice to be honest.  One thing I knew we had to do was get a car seat fitted as 
I didn't want to get a car seat for Blake that didn't fit the cars we needed it to go in properly. 

So we went to our local In car safety center this was after a recommendation from
one of my mummy friends who got her son's new car seat from there.  

When we arrived the lady who was helping us was very helpful and
we looked a quite a few car seats before deciding on the one that we went for. 
One of the ones that we were interested in which was a Joie wasn't suitable for the car 
as it kept slipping. Blake also hated it and he just didn't look comfortable. 

After a discussion with Stuart we both agreed that we wanted to try out the Britax Duo Plus forward facing seat.



Before I go into talking about the car seat we purchased  I recently came across the
Good Egg buying guide to help you feel safe when making such an important purchase. 


The six points are : 

1. Is the car seat right for my child?
2. Will it fit my car?
3. Is the seat of the correct standard?
4. Are fitting instructions easily understandable
5. Is it a problem if my car has a passenger seat air bag
6. Which make should I buy? 



Now onto the car seat we purchased. 
The Britax DUO PLUS is ideal for our needs and Blake is happy and comfortable in it.
It is a stage 1 car seat which last from approx 9 months to 4 years 9lkg-18kg.

The DUO PLUS combines installation flexibility with a unique innovation from Britax. Compatible with ISOFIX or 3-point seat belt installation the seat caters to any car. While its pioneering Pivot Link System ensures reduced frontal movement in the event of an accident.

Highlights of the car seat: 

1. Comfort without compromise - deep, padded side wings, multi-position recline
2. Perfect fit - height-adjustable headrest and harness with easy single-handed adjustment
3. Lightweight – easy to transfer between cars
4.Practicality in mind - removable, padded cover
5. Easy access - harness retainers



We like that this car seat is suitable to be used with ISOFIX and also with a seat belt as we need
it to fit in 2 cars one which has ISOFIX and one that doesn't. 

There are also 6 rules of safety when it comes to car seats to follow. 

1. avoid buckle crunch
2. be aware of correct harness height
3. seat belt routing must be correct
4. avoid twisted harnesses
5. avoid bulky clothes
6. remove interfering head rests

I hope this guide has been helpful as I know i needed something like this and 
now know a bit more for future car seat purchases. 


Twirly woos magazine

If you have a little one you may have seen Twirly Woos over on Cbeebies.
Well now your little one can enjoy some more of the Twirly Woos with the new 
magazine which is filled with activities and fun things to do. 

We were kindly sent a copy of the magazine a week or so ago. 
The Twirly Woos is a brand new magazine with each issue being based on a theme from an episode. 
It's packed full of pre-school activities so more suited for children older than Blake. 

I definetly think this magazine will be great for older children as there are loads of fun activities which they
will be able to do such as coloring in.


I was also able to do some stuff from the magazine with Blake though such as rhyme time and the stories. 
One thing Blake did love was sitting on my lap and helping pat the stickers in the right places. 
When Blake is older I am looking forward to getting him magazines such as this one as I feel
that he will love them and be able to do more of the activities and he'll be able to entertain himself. 




How I Survive The Great British Winter

Winters in the UK can be wet, windy and miserably cold. We don’t always have a lot of snow, but that doesn’t mean life isn’t challenging when the temperatures plummet below freezing. It’s slippery and icy, and driving can become really hazardous too. But it’s what we get in this country, and we just have to live with it. Fortunately, I’ve found some useful tips to make sure I’m nice and toasty all through the long winters.

I love woolly jumpers. They’re so snuggly and warm. The trouble is, Christmas jumpers are only good for about one month before you start feeling a little silly wearing them. Fortunately, there are specialist stores that sell wool jumpers and jackets like Aran Sweaters Direct. I had no idea there were so many different styles of woolly pully! Best of all, I think woolen jumpers can be pretty stylish.

Wet feet is a pet hate of mine. I’ve found lots of the supermarkets are selling snow boots at the moment. They look so warm and inviting with their soft fleece or fur lining. Best of all, they claim to be completely waterproof. No puddle will be a challenge, and there will be no problems when I’m ankle deep in a snow flurry. Can’t wait to find a tiny pair for my little one too Then we might even think about taking a winter holiday away one year! Isn’t it strange how we don’t mind all that snow when we’re in another country?


Indoors, the heating is on quite high at the moment. I feel guilty if it’s too chilly when I have my one-year-old in the house. He’s on the floor playing a lot, and I know it can get quite chilly down there. I pop a blanket on a rug for him to sit on. I’ve also invested in some pretty good draft excluders on each of the doors. I think they’ve made quite a difference. Hopefully, my energy bill will be a bit cheaper this winter.

Because Blake is still so young, there are lots of occasions when I need to puree food. It’s not too much more effort to turn those healthy vegetables into a hearty winter soup. Hot soup each day is a great way to keep warm in the wintertime. I’ve been experimenting with casseroles in the slow cooker too. I think hot meals are very important when it’s cold outside.


When it approaches Christmas time, the days are so short. And when there are lots of black clouds in the sky it feels like you never get to see daylight. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons why we all love to have so many fairy lights on at this time of year. It gives us just that little bit of brightness and a happy smile on our faces.

Winter in the UK isn’t all bad. Some people get to enjoy cozy evenings in front of a roaring fire. Others can cuddle up to each other in front of the radiator. And there is something quite invigorating about the cold wind when you’re walking along. It may be stormy, and it may be cold outside, but, at least, we have beautiful spring to look forward to.

Amazon Haul

It's time for another haul post, I recently did a spot of shopping on Amazon and
wanted to share with you what I ordered. 


As Blake has swimming classes every Saturday afternoon we use a wrap to keep him 
warm in the pool and this is the second Splash about wrap we have purchased. 
The only fault I find with it is the sizing isn't the best he is 14 months and we are having to put him
in a size 18-30 months wrap as his 6- 18 month one is too small now. 
Other than that we love it, Blake also has the swim nappy and the nappy wrap too. 


I chose this book as I thought it would be a great parenting guide. 
It seems to have good reviews and is about helping your child to develop 
and learn through play. 



The Unmumsy Mum writes candidly about motherhood like it really is: the messy, maddening, hilarious reality, how there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach and how it is sometimes absolutely fine to not know what you are doing. 
I'm really looking forward to reading this it looks like an easy to dip into book for when you have a bit of time to unwind. 


This may sound like an usual purchase since we don't have a garden. 
However we plan to use this for messy play with Blake. 
Since we went to a messy play class when Stuart was off work we decided that 
we wanted to do messy play at home with Blake. 
At the group they had these trays to put all kinds of messy activities in and
I also know nurseries use them not just for messy play but for
playing with toys such as Lego. 

The blue splash mat underneath the tray goes hand in hand with messy 
play as it means we can keep the floors cleaner.



I then purchased some books to help come up with some ideas of play. 

I love Usborne books and this one is fab it has so many great activity ideas. 
I do feel that most of them will be better for when Blake is older though. 
With some of the activities I feel I can adapt them slightly so that they are more age appropriate for him now such as the hand printing ideas. 


Another fab book that has a wide range of activities and can be adapted to suit 
the age of your child. 
I love the idea of this book as we don't have a garden and I find it hard to come
up with ideas of what we can do outside. 
The great thing is that this book has activities for all seasons so that I can find something for us to do no matter the weather.


The title of the book says it all. 
A book filled with messy play ideas. I think these were the little
 books I used in college when studying in childcare to come up with activities for when 
I was at my placement. 


What do you think of my haul?
Do you own any of these items?

Parenting Tips I Think Will Make Life Easier

As a parent myself, I know how difficult it can be to deal with children on a daily basis. So I have come up with techniques to help make life easier for parents. By making use of my tips, you will be able to enjoy the basics of parenting, and do what you can to make things less stressful.

Buy the kids toys
Children need a lot of stimulation and activity to keep them occupied. They will constantly be looking for things to hold their interest and attention. That’s why I would suggest you buy your children toys. Now, there are toys you can buy as gifts and other toys you might buy in everyday situations. But make sure the kids have plenty of toys to keep them busy and entertained. These are important for helping with their brain development and social functions


Family holidays
I think it’s important to still make time to do things you used to do even though you’re now parents. You should make time to enjoy your interests, and to try to live a similar lifestyle to the one you did when you weren’t parents. So, you should still try to make the time to go on holiday, but, this time, make it a family holiday. Bring the kids along with you, and make new memories together as a new family.

Make Bed time stress-free
Bedtime can be one of the most stressful experiences of parenthood. Trying to get your children to go to sleep and stay in bed sometimes seems like a futile exercise. They might get up, throw a strop, scream, cry or need tending to. So you need to try to do what you can to make the bedtime experience more bearable. You can do this using eczema clothing, a night light and a baby mobile. Make sure you do what you can to give your child the best possible sleeping conditions. You should also avoid giving the children sugar or caffeine before bed because this will give them energy.

Hire a Nanny 
It’s not always possible for you to be with your baby at all times. Sometimes you will have to go places and do things, and you won’t be able to bring the kids with you. This can be difficult for a lot of parents because they may not feel ready to let someone else help them out. I know how difficult it can be, but also how important it is. You need to hire a nanny do you have someone to take care of your child. This frees you up to go out and do things that need to be done and stops you from becoming overprotective.

These are just some of the great tips I can recommend for parents to make their lives easier. There are so many things you need to deal with and worry about as parents. So, anything you can do to make your lives easier is a blessing. Have a look at these tips and try to use them to help make the transition to parenting a calming one.