Time to rethink your drink with Aspire


Aspire is a low calorie soft drink that has been rising in popularity in the heath food sector.
With it's Zero sugar and Zero calories this green tea infused health drink is a fab alternative to your usual sugary drinks. 

Asprie has come along way since I last mentioned them and now have 2 new flavors. As well as the original cranberry flavor you can now get apple and acai and the newest release mango lemonade. 

Mango lemonade has to be my favorite and I have been challenged recently for a week to rethink my drink and swap 2 of my usual soft drinks for 2 cans of Aspire a day. Over the week I noticed an improvement in my energy levels and have also been snacking a lot less than I would do normally.

Aspire is ideal for people who are wanting a healthy drink that boots energy levels during a busy day or seeking an healthy alternative to sugary soft drinks. Being a busy mum I find that I sometimes just need a little boost mid day as that's when my energy levels are a bit lower so having a can of Aspire during this time has really helped me. I also don't like to drink soft drinks that are high in sugar and tend to go for diet versions of fizzy pop so this was also another alternative for when I don't fancy something as fizzy. 

Have you ever tried Aspire?

Aldi Toy Event

I'm very excited about today's Aldi Special Buys as today (Thursday 27th October) is there toy event. The event has a wide range of toys which will make great gifts for Christmas. 

The special buys toy range boasts everything from great value, FSC certified wooden toys to super sporting equipment and treats for tiny tots. 


One of the items I'm really hoping to get my hands on is the large wooden kitchen for£29.99.It features a microwave, oven, hobs, chalk board and sink. You can also purchase a wide range of wooden kitchen accessories such as the pots and pans below for £9.99.





 Another fab item is the Wooden rail way set for £14.99 which is ideal for Blake who absolutely loves trains. The set comes complete with array of wooden vehicles.

There is also a great selection of sound books at £2.99 each, Blake loves the fire engine to the rescue one and it is now his favorite at the moment. Its a fun interactive book that all little ones will love. 


Another great item is the Little Town 150 piece Dominoe's set which comes in a handy tub for storage. 


There are also others toys such as puzzles,doodlepeid's, soft Disney toys, football tables, rocking caterpillar etc. 

Will you be heading to see what your local Aldi store has in there toy event?

Family Planning: Essential Things to Consider When Spacing Your Children

Some parents only want one child. However, there are many others who want to have at least two or three. Having multiple children isn't for everyone. But you may feel that it makes your family complete. There is one issue that many parents find themselves unsure about when they want to have more than one child. How should they space them out? Many parents think carefully about when to have each child, considering the age gap between them and other factors. Some don't want to have a newborn while their first child is still a toddler. Others want to have their children close together to get the baby stage out of the way. If you're thinking about family planning, here are some issues to consider.


Children Less Than Two Years Apart

One of the things many parents think about is how much of an age gap is too small. For some parents, having their children close together seems logical. They can work through the baby and infant stage for a few years and then have children who are getting more independent. However, for other parents, this can sound like a nightmare. Having two children still in nappies can take a lot of juggling. Trying to chase after a toddler and care for a newborn at the same time might seem impossible. But there are reasons to consider short age gaps between your children. You might want them to have close relationships that might be better formed if they're close in age.

Getting Kids into School

Another reason you might think about having kids close together is that you want them all to start school at similar times. Perhaps you're taking time out from your career or working part-time. But you want to get back to it as soon as possible. If your children are spaced far apart, it could be ten years or more before they all start school. Of course, there are other options, such as daycare and nursery. However, you might want to spend their early years at home with them. On the other hand, you might not want them starting school swiftly one after the other. Perhaps you would prefer to enjoy having them at home for longer.

Finding the Right Method of Birth Control

When you're thinking about family planning, there's more to consider than just age gaps. It's not always possible to space out your children exactly as you want them. You might have an "accident" and end up pregnant sooner than you had planned. Or it might take you longer than you had hoped to get pregnant. And, of course, you can never time everything exactly. Nevertheless, you can still plan to have certain age gaps and get close to what you wanted.

Contraceptives are important to think about when you're planning your family. Some will be more suitable for your plans than others. For example, if you want larger age gaps between children, you might find that an IUD is best. Other people may prefer taking an oral contraceptive for a shorter-term solution. It's easy to get what you need from your doctor or even online. You can order contraceptives like Rigevidon to ensure your supply doesn't run out. If you're breastfeeding, there may be some contraceptives you can't use. So that's another factor to take into account.


Splitting Your Time

If you have an only child, you can give as much love and attention to them as you want. However, with multiple children, you need to share your time. Some of this is out of necessity, such as feeding, changing a nappy or putting a child to bed. But you also need to balance things reading a bedtime story or going on an outing. Having children close together can mean that you often have to give more of your time to your children. You're so busy taking care of necessities that you don't have time for niceties. If your children have a larger age gap, this can change. You don't have to spend as much time caring for more independent older children. So you are able to spend quality time with them, instead of just helping them get dressed or feeding them.

Your Relationship
It's important not to forget your relationship with your partner when you plan your family. Two or more young children can take its toll. For example, you might find that you get very little sleep for a few years. Larger age gaps can allow you to spend a bit more time together, both alone and with your kids. But make the gap too big and you might have got used to the idea of leaving the newborn stage behind.


Everyone has different ideas of the perfect age gap between siblings. You should discuss what's best with your partner to decide what works for you.



*Collaborative post

Autumn Activities


As I have mentioned many times before autumn/winter is my favorite season. 
I have compiled a list of activities that we hope to get up to and if we don't do some than I have the list for next year. 

- Go on a autumnal scavenger hunt ( collect things like different colored leaves, acorns, conkers, pine cones etc) 

- Go for a woodland walk 

- Make nature rubbings (This will better when Blake is a little older) 

- Create Autumn leaf art

- Play autumn treasure memory game ( use the items you collected in the scavenger hunt) 

- catch autumn leaves

- Make apple jam 

- Have a movie afternoon

- Drink hot chocolate

- Toast marshmallows

- Make an apple crumble

- Make stews and casseroles in the slow cooker

- Make homemade soup 

- Make an autumn tuff spot tray to explore

- Make a messy tuff spot pinterest has some fun ideas. 

- Make mud pies

- Visit a farm 

- Have an indoor picnic

Aldi's kitchen helpers range


On Thursday 20th of October Aldi will be releasing their kitchen helpers range which includes on-trend Marble Effect Pans and Kitchen Accessories. The products will be sold in store and online while stocks last.

 Stay on trend with Aldi’s marble-effect cookware featuring large, medium and small pans (ranging from £6.99 to £12.99) as well as a Bread Bin (see below,£9.99) and Tea/Coffee/Sugar Canisters (£9.99). These attractive essentials are the ultimate style update for any kitchen.

The range is released on the same day as the Aldi Christmas baking range so head to Aldi to get your bake on! and update your kitchen essentials in time for the festive period. 



Halloween Pumpkin Potion Muffins

Last week you may have seen that I made some Halloween cupcakes and today I am sharing with you a recipe for Pumpkin potion muffins in collaboration with Discount Supplements


The above recipe is easy to follow and makes 12 delicious muffins.
Below are half of the muffins we made just to give you a glimps of how they turned out for us. You of course can choose to decorate them if you wish or leave them plain like we have. We baked our muffins in the oven for 24 mins and they turned out perfectly. I would recommend that you add less nutmeg if you prefer a subtle  taste. Overall these were delicious muffins to tickle your taste buds. Perfect for the autumn season especially for Halloween. 




* We were gifted an ingredient budget as well as some Groovy Food coconut oil and agave syrup for the purpose of this post. 

£200,000 To Raise A Child? Try These Money-Saving Tips




There are many ways to save money on parenting. Buying second-hand prams and using freebies are some of the things. At the beginning prices can be extortionate.

It costs a lot to raise a child today and it's not unusual that the cost of raising a child from birth to the age of 21 is almost £200,000. In the first year alone it's estimated to set you back £9,152.

It's quickly easy to see how the mounting costs of raising a child can add up. From clothes that are adorable when they first come out but will be outgrown in weeks to the bling on the baby carrier to the buggy, you'll find that you're spending more and more money and pretty soon, you've spent more than a new car would cost. 

With so many online checklists, there are ways to part you and your hard earned money if you have children. The best ways to cut back and save money are to be creative and buy used items for your new baby. There are many great shopping lists available online that will help you to decide if you must have something, might want something or don't need it at all. By sorting your items into categories, you can determine how important they are to you and whether or not you can borrow them or buy them used. 

If it's not a necessity then wait until you need it and don't spend any more than you have to on it. Otherwise, you end up with things that are never used or cost a fortune, or both. Always find out if you can borrow items that are going to be used for just a short time.

Essentials

Keep the pre-shopping to a minimum. Believe us, the shops will still be there after the baby arrives. Buy just what you need. Here is a scaled down list to start with:


  • Clothes (in large quantities-babies can go through several outfits in a day).
  • Baby friendly detergent (to wash the clothes babies go through in a day).
  • Nappies (either disposable, cloth or both). Don't forget a changing mat and some cotton wool, baby wipes or a soft flannel to help clean baby up.
  • Baby bed: A moses basket, cot or somewhere for baby to sleep.
  • A sling, pram or both so that you can easily transport baby back and forth.
  • Baby bath (this isn't essential, but it is very helpful when baby is very small). They help you to save on water until baby can sit up and they help you to wash a slippery soapy baby when you've slathered baby up for his or her bath.
  • Car seat. Even if you don't have a car, you're going to need this when you go to and from doctors appointments or ride with someone else.
  • Bottles if you're not going to be breastfeeding. If you are going to breastfeed, you will want a few muslins to help wipe baby's face and perhaps you may want to use a breast pump.


It's easy to get caught up in wanting to have the best of everything for your baby. It's an emotional time, especially for first-time parents. With so much pressure to buy everything new, it may be hard to not feel guilty for buying used. 

However, if you want to save money, if you want to save on the initial cost of £9,000 in that first year, be patient and don't buy everything the moment you find out you're expecting. Wait and see if things come in as gifts, borrow whenever possible and buy used whenever you can. Baby isn't going to notice if things are brand new and shiny. 

However, always buy a car seat brand new. These shouldn't be second hand unless you know, without a doubt, that they've never before been in a wreck. If you have a car seat from a previous baby and you've never been in a wreck, that car seat is fine. As long as there haven't been any recalls on it. Wrecks can leave a car seat weakened and unsafe.

For the remainder of items, you can buy used. Even for cloth nappies. Don't be tempted by fancy things that will just eat up your money, a baby will likely outgrow these before you can wash them and put them back on baby. Accept all the hand-me-downs that you can and know that newborn clothes will be outgrown quickly. Ask around, borrow if you can and when you can't borrow buy used. 

You can check eBay, charity shops, local NCT sales, car boot sales, online and also with friends who have children just slightly older than your new baby. 

Find free stuff wherever you can. Consider free samples that baby companies offer and sign up for all of those that you can. Use coupons and take advantage of offers where you buy an item and get other items for free.

If you have friend or family who are asking you what they can buy as a gift. Have a short list handy to give them. It doesn't have to be expensive to help you out. It can be simple items such as baby shampoo or powder.  

Try to list items you'll use and keep the cuddly toys to a minimum. Many people just want to help and get things they know you need or will use so be prepared for some inexpensive items that would really help you out.

Lastly, if you plan to have other children, save what you can for the next child. This can save you a lot of money.

Autumn/Winter new look lust list


I've been on the look out for some fab autumn/winter pieces recently and have found some great items in New Look with their plus size range and wanted to share with you 5 items I'm loving at the moment.



Black Faux Fur Trim Flecked Parka
This parka is perfect for winter. I need a new coat and feel this one would work really well as it's black it will go with most items in my wardrobe and would keep me cosy and warm. It's £49.99 which is a bit pricey but I feel coats are an investment piece for this time of year. 

Bell Sleeve Wrap Front Belted Top
I really love the autumnal color of this top. I also like that it's a v neck and a wrap top which seems to suit my body shape. It is also belted as well. Retails at £19.99

Blue Scuba Peplum Top
I have a black peplum dress which I love. Again this sort of style suits my body shape and I really love the shade of blue. £15.99

Black Flounce Skater Skirt
I like how it's a versatile skirt, It's an elasticated fitted waist which I feel looks great. 
I would team this with black tights and a warm and cosy jumper. £12.99 

Burgundy V Neck Brushed Top
I love the color of this top, it's very simple and casual and has a V neck and 1/2 sleeves which I really like. I have had a top that's pretty similar to this before. £12.99


What do you think of my picks?




What Blake Wore: Autumn/winter with Blade and Rose



Blade and Rose are known for their bright and colorful clothing, especially their leggings. 
They have launched a new selection of bright and fun clothing sets for babies and toddlers for this season. So prepare your little one for autumn/winter with Blade and Rose's new designs featuring: Paddie Pirate, Oheo Owl, crazy cat, pineapple and rainbow sets. 

The selection includes leggings, hats, bibs, socks, tops and even cute cuddly toys. 
I was sent a pair of their bright and colorful rainbow leggings in a size 2-3 years for Blake. 
I am very impressed with the quality of their leggings and they are true to size. 

I love the bright and colorful design of the leggings which is a popular design from Blade and rose at the moment. The leggings feature red, blue and yellow stripes with a cloud design on the rear.The rainbow set also includes a rainbow reversible bandana bib with colorful stripes and stars, a red star hoodie and a matching red chunky bobble hat all pictured above.  


I put Blake in his leggings with a red long sleeve top that I already have for him. 
I also tested out the leggings when he was in a cloth nappy and found that they fit perfectly over them, which I struggle when it comes to with his usual trousers and jeans. 

You can have a look at the full Blade and Rose autumn/winter range here.







Bing! DVD Giveaway

STUDIOCANAL and I are collaborating to give you a chance to win a copy of the popular Cbeebies program Bing! show and other episodes on DVD.

It is the eighth and final volume in season one following Swing, Paddling pool, Fireworks, Surprise machine, Music and Cat.

If you are not familiar with Bing! than the program celebrates the  noisy, joyful and messy reality of pre-school life.  The stories are all about everyday dramas that all young children and grown ups can relate to. 

The DVDs episodes are as follows: 
- Show
- Not yours
- Mine
-Lunch
- Woof
- Eggy head
- Toy party
and
- Mobile phone. 



HOW TO ENTER:
- Enter via the rafflecopter below
- Leave a comment below anwsering the question in the rafflecopter 
- The more entries you complete the better the chance of winning

T&C
- This competition will close on 19th October 2016 at 12.00am GMT 
- The winner will be chosen at random and notified via email, twitter or facebook
- Open to UK residents ONLY
- You must be a UK resident and over 16



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cake Angels Creepy Cupcake Kit

Baking is something we don't do often enough in our home. I am busy a lot of the time if I'm not playing with Blake I am out at groups or at the park with him. If I am not doing them things I am either cleaning or blogging and so sometimes find there just aren't enough hours in a day to bake. 

That's why when Cake Angels got in touch to see if I wanted to make some cupcakes using their creepy cupcake kit and some sprinkles I jumped at the chance.


All you have to do is add 1 egg, 6g of butter and some water to the mix. There is even cupcake cases and some edible decorations included as well as some icing to make up by just adding a small amount of water.  

This is how the cupcakes turned out after being in the oven for 15 minutes. One thing I have to comment on is that the box states that it will make 10 cupcakes I used 2 boxes and it only made 11 cupcakes instead of 20. 


Once the cupcakes had cooled down there was the fun part making up the icing and decorating them. 

The kit is simple to use which makes it fun for doing with children as its so easy to do. 
Children will love mixing the ingredients and then decorating the cupcakes once they have cooled down. Blake isn't really interested in this kind of thing yet as he is more interested in getting into mischief climbing and running around. As he gets older kits like this will make baking fun and easy. 


Have you used any of Cake Angels baking kits? Will you be making some treats this halloween? 

Locked Out? Try Fastkeys




If you have managed to misplace an important key recently or maybe you need a replacement lock than Fastkeys are there to help you. Fastkeys are online key cutter specialists and suppliers for replacement keys, locker keys and locks for office furniture and lockers. Keys are cut to order at their premises and then sent to you via first class post. To provide this service to their customers all they need are the numbers from the locks or key (if you have one available), along with any manufacturer's names. 

Fastkeys supply quite an extensive range of locks from many manufacturers for many types of office furniture including: desks locks, filing cabinet locks and cupboard locks . Keys cost as little as £1.70 each, depending on the exact quantity ordered. 

If you’ve ever lost your bunch of personal keys you’ll already know the problems it creates. 
 A few years ago I managed to lock myself out our first floor flat whilst I was 5 months pregnant. This wasn't good as I went into a complete panic. Especially when I got the spare key off my husband, the door still wouldn't budge. 
I was lucky my Mum was with me at the time and she calmed me down and we got it all sorted. Since then I have been a lot more careful when it comes to keys, not just our front door key but also other keys that we need such as our personal lock boxes, Stuart's bike key etc. 

Fastkeys also supply a range of Rottner Security products including: key cabinets, cash boxes and safes.I think products like these are essential in the home especially for important items and documents so that they are kept safe.

Do you use cash boxes and safes for important items?



Vintage Jewelry with Berganza jewellers

Berganza jewellers are a family-run jewellers based in Hatton Garden, London. There staff are knowledgeable and experienced in selling unique antique and vintage jewelry. 

There you are sure to find a range of unusual rings and jewelry due to there wide collection of  antique and vintage pieces. They supply only the finest quality pieces available, and ensure all their gems are natural untreated stones without enhancements. Basically, when you purchase a piece of fine vintage jewellery from Berganza, you are investing in a rarity.

If you are on the look out for an an antique engagement ring than Berganza is the place for you. They have such a wide range of different antique and vintage rings and there website showcases some of the most beautiful. 

If you see an item that you are interested in than you will want to snap it up asap. With each item being unique you will find that items are likely to sell quickly. The greater the interest in an item the quicker it will sell.

Do you love vintage and antique jewelry? Do you own any awesome pieces? 
What do you think of my two picks? 

I'd love to know as usual comment below. 

A simple way of updating your kitchen


photo

I don't know about you, but sometimes I can get pretty bored of my home and sometimes all it takes it little updates to make you love your home again. 

The kitchen is the room in our flat that I dislike the most, mainly due to being too small for what we need, but also because its not they style I'd choose myself.  If you are looking to improve your kitchen and own your home than there is a simple way to give the room a little update. 

Acrylic kitchen splash backs are an ideal alternative to the usual glass and traditional tiling. 
You can choose from a range of colours and finishes to transform your kitchen.

There are also other areas of the home that you can update and you can use these perspex sheets to do so.  Using clear arcylic sheets and splash backs are great around the home as they can be cut to size but are also are of high quality and versatile. 

photo

Autumn/Winter essential's for men


It's no news that autumn/winter is my favorite time of year. This time of year is when you start to look at the things you need to add to your wardrobe for the colder months ahead. I like looking up women and men's fashion to see new things that have been released. 

So here are some men's clothing must haves for Autumn/winter:

Jeans
A good pair of high quality men's denim jeans are ideal for the winter months for everyday wear. My husband only wears black jeans as other colors don't to suit him as well. 

Scarf
perfect for keeping nice and cosy 

Long sleeve shirts 
Perfect for colder months and can look smart as well as for casual wear. Burgundy is my favorite color for this time of year so I love it when Stuart also wears a burgundy shirt.

Jumper
Stuart has a very similar jumper and its ideal for layering when it gets a little colder. 

Coat
A good quality coat is important for the colder months. We love to go out for walks so it's a must have especially as we don't drive.

There are a great selection of of mens designer brands at the moment that are filled with great high quality items perfect for this time of year. 

September favorites

 Hi all it'a time for September favorites and its a rather short post today as this month we've mainly been loving the same things from previous months but we do have a few little things. 



Clinique chubby stick in the color number 2 Robust Rhubarb is a product I liked the look of but was unsure I would use when my mother in law gave it to me. However I love it, its perfect for giving me a little color to my cheeks on days I need it a bit more. I only need to use a small dot on my cheeks and then blend.  


I love the original Maybelline Lash sensational mascara so when I saw that they had the Maybelline lash sensational luscious mascara I decided to give it a try.  The new mascara contains a luxurious oil-infused formula for a softer, denser multiplying lash effect.


I've managed to read four books during September and have include three of them in this months favorites. 

The first is You're the one that I want by Giovanna Fletcher which is a perfect chick lit book which was easy to read and a perfect summers read. 

Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris is a gripping thriller than I just couldn't put down. It wont be everyones cup of tea but I did enjoy it. 

The last book is while my eyes were closed by Linda Green, again it wont be everyones cup of tea. This is a psychological thriller which concerns every parent’s worst nightmare – a child going missing. I found it fast passed read and managed to get through it within 2 days. 


Onto Blake's favorites other than his usual toys that he loves playing with he has loved playing with his new bath toy from Aldi which was in their baby event last week. 
Blake loves bathtime and this toy is fun and colorful so catches his eye. 


Reading wise he is loving one of his books that was included a few months ago Iggle Piggles lost blanket which he wont stop reading. The other book he has taken a liking to this month is Poppy Cat All Aboard! It's a bright and colorful book and Blake loves looking at the pictures.