De’Longhi  Piccolini Coffee Machine


As a mum it's probably not a surprise to hear that I drink a fair bit of coffee. Coffee at home can be a bit boring though which is why from time to time I like to go to a local coffee shop to get a latte or other barista style coffee as a treat instead of my usual plain coffee with a splash of milk.

Coffee shops however can be fairly pricey and you have the temptation of other goodies on display.  So when I was sent a De'Longhi coffee machine I was thrilled to be able to make barista style coffee from the comfort of my own home. 

The De'Longhi Piccolini coffee machine  is a capsule coffee machine which is the perfect choice for those who love delicious and easy to prepare coffee. With a high 15 bar pressure which guarantees an even distribution of water and pressure you will get the perfect cup of coffee every time.


Using my new machine only takes less than a minute to prepare specialty drinks thanks to a quick and simple capsule meaning no need for measuring grains and making a mess.  The capsules are specifically designed to ensure that every cup is fresh and contains the best ingredients. 

With over 30 different coffee capsule varieties you are spoilt for choice. Not only can you enjoy a delicious hot coffee of your choosing but you can also get hot chocolate, mocha's, tea and even cold drinks as well. I was sent latte, flat white and Nesquick capsules along with the machine and I'm looking forward to trying out others, for example chococino. 

The machine is super easy to use, you just need to fill the back with water, pull up the black lever, pop your choice of drinks capsule in and then pull down the lever. There is an on button at the side that lights up green when its turned on and then you just need to slide the button at the top for hot or cold drink and it starts filling up your cup with delicious coffee. 




Some must know information regarding the machine:

- I found that I needed an adaptor as it was a two pin plug. Luckily this was something we already had but its worth being aware about when ordering from the coffee mate.

- The water tank at the back of the machine doesn't have any markings for measuring. The capsules packaging tells you how much water is needed though, but if you are like me you can just wing it.

- Some drinks require 2 capsules such as latte's which adds the milky part

-  It can be pretty loud. This doesn't bother me but may bother others so its worth knowing.

-  The machine like any appliance will need to be cleaned out every 3-4 months to prevent limescale.

-  It's so simple and easy to use 

- It's a compact size so doesn't take up much counter space. 


I have to add that all 3 drinks I've had so far have been absolutely delicious. You can definitely taste the strong Nescafe flavour within them. On top of that I do love the aroma of coffee in my kitchen. 

* We were gifted the De'Longhi Piccolini coffee machine and the Nescafe coffee capsules in exchange for this review. However all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

Nature’s Path Envirokidz Breakfast Cereal

You may be aware of how fussy my 4 year old is when it comes to food.  It's one of Blake's autistic traits and he has such a limited diet. So when Blake decided to start eating different breakfast cereals other than just cheerios we were so proud of him and was so happy that we have managed to achieve something positive in regards to his eating. 

Natures Path got in touch and asked if Blake fancied trying out three new cereals from their Envirokidz range.  So of course I said yes especially as they are organic and contain no artificial ingredients or colourings.  They are also dairy free, gluten free and vegan and made with simple ingredients.


The 3 cereals we received are : Choco Chimps, Gorilla Munch and Leapin Lemurs. On the packs you can find interesting facts and  drawing activities to inspire children to to care about the world we live in. Each animal featured on the packs represents an endangered or vulnerable specie that Nature's Path helps through it's donations. 1% of sales of these cereals are donated to help those endangered animals.

Choco Chimps - Raises money for the Jane Goodall institute,which creates educational resources for local countries in Africa and promote the importance of environmental stewardship.

Gorilla Munch - Supports the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, saving gorillas through community patrols and educating and empowering children to be stewards in the rainforest.

Leapin Lemurs - Helps the lemur conservation foundation and the creation of an Envirokidz centre, which in turn provides a community and education space in Madagascar. 

The cereals taste delicious too and Blake's favourite is of course the Choco Chimps. If you fancy giving them a try Morrisons should stock all 3 and Tesco, asda and other stores may also have selection ones. Each box retails at £2.99

* We were gifted the Natures Path cereals in exchange for this review. However all thoughts and opinions expressed are our own.

July #Littleloves


July has been a busy month for us. We've had Blake going into school for some sessions before he starts in September. We also had a lovely walk one Sunday along the River Trent. Then we have had our wonderful holiday to Butlins Skegness which I'll be sharing more of below.



READ

This month I've read 3 books and currently on my 4th. I'm surprised I've managed to get any reading done tbh considering how busy we've been.

Breathe Magazine 
I took some time out to catch up reading on a couple of issues I'd yet to have read. I've been really into my books that I've been neglecting  my breathe magazine subscription.

The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe
If you enjoyed The tattoist of Auschwitz than The Librarian of Auschwitz should be added to your tbr pile. It's not the best book about the holocaust I've read , however worth a read. 

The Evidence Against You by Gillian McAllister 
Absolutely loved this thriller by Gillian McAllister.  I was fully gripped into the storyline and couldn't stop reading as I wanted to find out what happens.

Five years from now by Paige Toon 
I was in the mood for a light hearted read and paige toon is an author whose books are perfect for that.  Nell and Van meet as children when their parents fall in love, but soon they are forced worlds apart. Five years later, they find each other.  Their bond is rekindled and new feelings take hold, but once again they must separateFor the next two decades, fate brings Nell and Van together every five years, as life and circumstance continue to divide them. Will they ever find true happiness? And will it be together?

The Second Husband by Louise Candlish
Not one of her best books. It took me awhile to get into and the outcome was quite predictable. 

Currently reading:
 The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan 
I'm really hoping that I can get more into this one now I'm back from holiday and have more time to read. I've heard good things about the keeper of lost things and hoping it's going to live up to what I'm expecting.


WATCHED

Netflix:
Schitt's Creek
I some how got into binge watching this. It's not something I'd usually watch but it popped up as a recommendation so I found myself binge watching it as the episodes aren't too long.

Shows:
We have seen many wonderful shows at Butlins.

Stephan Mulherns Spectacular Show was a fun family  friendly show featuring magic tricks and more with interaction with members of the audience.

Sleeping beauty was a magical panto for all the family to enjoy. Featuring beautiful costumes, singing, dancing and more.

Big top circus was pure amazing with wonderful and amazing trapeze artist's, chico the clown, motorcycles in a globe and more.

Last of all Paddington at the seaside was a wonderful show which Blake adored.


HEARD

I am so excited as this month I heard that my sister and her bf are expecting their first child in January 2020. I'm absolutely thrilled for them.


WORE

New pjs - I picked up this pair of shorts and top ones for holiday and am glad I did as it's been super hot whilst we were away.

Suncream, flip flops and maxi dresses - The hot weather has meant the summer outfits have come out and the factor 50 too.



MADE

Other than the wonderful memories made on holiday we've not made anything much. Blake did have a go at making his own biscuit at one of the school sessions as he really wanted to join in.



AND LASTLY..
Here are some more holiday snaps. I took over 50 photos so obviously I've not added them all. 



Permanent Hair Removal with Silk'n Infinity

As someone who has PCOS ( Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) excess hair is one of the annoying symptoms of the condition. I'm fed up having to shave almost every day due to excess hair in areas such as my stomach, top lip and chin. I also find general shaving such as my legs and under arms annoying as I'm having to shave frequently as it grows back so quickly.

 I've considered laser hair removal before however the cost always put me off. However thanks to Silk'n who do a very handy Silk'n Infinity laser hair removal device I can now permanently remove hair in the comfort of my own home. 


I've been asked to trial the Silk'n infinity device and to share my results. The typical treatment plan is as follows:

Treatments 1-4  plan 2 weeks apart 
Treatments 5-7  plan 4 weeks apart
Treatments  8 + treat as needed.

I'll be sharing my results here on my blog in 2 further blog posts after a few months to share how I get on and how well it works for me.



The Silk'n Infinity can be used on many areas of your body to remove unwanted hair. Ideal body areas include: underarms, bikini line, arms, legs, face ( below the cheekbones), back, shoulders and chest. The typical full hair growth cycle may take 18 to 24 months. During this time is when multiple treatments using the Silk'n Infinity would maybe required to achieve permanent hair removal. 

How does the Silk'n Infinity work?


Silk'n build on the world-renowned HPL technology with Galvanic Energy and Optical Energy. These energies combine to give you a more efficient hair removal solution. Working together with 5 different energy levels, they open the skin pores and allow the light to reach the hair follicles without pain, irritation or ingrown hairs.


Who Can Use Silk’n?

The Silk'n Infinity is suitable for all skin tones, including the darkest skin colours and almost all hair colours. That includes redheads, blondes, and greys.

So now begins my journey of using the Silk'n Infinity. I do hope that I get noticeable results over time.

Silk'n Infinity hair removal device is available at Currentbody for £229
* I've been gifted the Silk'n Infinity in exchange for trialling and reviewing. However all thoughts and opinions expressed are our own.

34 photos to capture this Summer

The arrival of summer means making memories and enjoying the sunshine. There are beautiful reminders of how the summer season is such a delight all around us. From nature to the coasts and countryside it's time to soak it all in and why not have fun snapping some photos to look back on? Or even do a photography competition with friends or children to spot summery delights to snap.



With this said I've decided to compile a fun list of things to capture this summer to give you a bit of inspiration:

- Footprints in the sand
- A bucket and spade
- A sand castle
- Wild Strawberries 
- A brightly coloured deckchair
- A glorious summer sunrise/ sunset 
- A picnic  set up
- A babbling brook 
- An ice cream cone
- A juicy watermelon
- A pair of flip flops
- Clouds
- A woodland trail
- A cocktail 
- Any flowers you spot
- Any bugs and animals you spot 
-  A water fountain 
- A decorative canal boat
- A rainbow
- Your children playing at the beach
- Your children playing at the park
- Your children playing in the garden
- Your children doing other summer activities
- BBQ
- Bubbles
- Summer hats
- Seashells
- Summery landscapes
- Sunglasses
- Beach huts
- Hot air balloon
- Swimming
- Fun at the arcade 
- The pier 

Why Wooden Furniture is a great option for your home

*In collaboration with Trade Furniture Company 

Wooden furniture is a great option for all households. Today I am sharing with you why if you don't already have wooden furniture you need to.

Wooden furniture is suitable for any room in your home and you can get all kinds of colours and styles from retro looking pieces to rustic designs and even painted oak for a modern feel.


Wooden furniture can really transform the look and feel of a room or entire house. Making the home feel welcoming and creating a cosy and homely feel. 

There are many advantages other than the style aspect of having wooden furniture in the home. 

Strength and durability 

Wooden furniture tends to last alot longer than other materials as it's a robust material which is made to last. The durability of wooden furniture means that should you choose to sell a well looked after piece than you should be able to maintain the value. Also the durability of wood means it's easy to maintain.

Sustainability 

Because wood is made to last it's a sustainable option. The production and processing of woods carbon footprint is much lower than other building materials available. Buying wooden pieces locally helps by supporting the local timber industry.

Variety

As I mentioned earlier in this post you can get many different colours of wood and styles. Beautiful wood living room furniture can be purchased in dark or light woods and you can opt for many different styles such as retro, vintage, rustic and modern painted oak.

Versatility 

I also mentioned previously that wooden furniture is ideal for all homes. This is because wood is such a versatile material. With the many colour and style options available it means that it suits all home styles. Wooden furniture doesn't have to be just indoors either as you can find many excellent quality outdoor furniture pieces that when treated correctly with the right oils can withstand exposure the elements.

Holiday Must Have's 2019


In a few weeks time we will be heading off to Butlins Skegness for a week. I'm hoping the sun will stay as we had to rearrange this holiday from June til July due to floods. Even though Butlins is filled with entertainment and plenty to do, we definitely want to head out to the beach and walk along the pier. This will be our first time going to skegness and we are really looking forward to it.

Last year I wrote a Holiday Essentails post and we still use quite a few of the bits featured so definitely head over and have a nosey.

This year I wanted to share with you some of the new bits we've been trying and will be taking on holiday with us.


First of all an item that isn't the most obvious holiday item but is important. The Ring RTC1000 Rapid Digital Tyre Inflator is an essential for drivers to have in the boot for emergencies. We may not drive but hear me out as this handy product is also great for blowing up air beds, lilos and more so is a saviour for both drivers and non drivers. The handy tool can inflate a 13” tyre from 0 to 35PSI in just 2 minutes! 



Most of us by now are aware of how much plastic is going into our oceans and are finding ways to cut down on our plastic consumption. The Shine shampoo bar is a must have for everyday as well as holidays. I'm not new to shampoo bars, I've been using them since last year. However shine is a brand that's new to me. The Shine Bar is a luxury shampoo bar which means that there is no product waste, no mess and no bulky bottles.  I love how one bar is the equivalent of 4 bottles of liquid shampoo. They are definitely handy for holidays especially as they dont take up much room and are stored in a small tin. 

If you know you are going to be drinking on holiday then the VIE Recovery patches are a must have. Formulated with essential herbs, vitamins and minerals that will naturally help your body to break down alcohol, Vie Recovery patches use transdermal technology to deliver their active ingredients into the bloodstream through the skin. These include vitamin C, green tea extract, globe artichoke extract, thiamine, taurine and chromium picolinate. Simply apply a patch to a clean, dry and hairless area of your skin before your first drink. Patches can be left on for up to 24 hours.

If you are like me and suffer from Hayfever than give the Hay-Band a try. It works by applying pressure to the LI-11 point on either arm.  Acupressure is believed to increase the flow of natural energy through the stimulation of various pressure points and in doing so, help unblock energy pathways to the nose and throat, and promote wellbeing.


Look after your skin with the HEVL SPF 50 Face Crème from Skin Shop. We all know that UVA and UVB sun rays damage skin. What’s not so well-known is a third type of harmful ray called High Energy Visible Light (HEVL). HEVL are basically rays produced by daylight, whether it’s sunny or just light, these harmful rays can damage exposed skin. Although HEVL is a less well-known ray, it’s an important one as it causes as much damage as UVA and UVB combined together. Some sunglasses now protect against it. HEVL is a light non-greasy face cream with a skin-coloured tint.

Micro sprays are great with them being so compact and being able to get 300 sprays out of them. Theye mosquito repellent is a practical product that lasts for approx 6 hours from one application. The Theye SPF 30 suncream is ideal for not needing to carry a big bottle around with you.

Children are always falling over and getting cuts and scrapes. Did you know that Tea Tree Oil is a great natural antibacterial solution? The Thursday Plantation 100% natural Tea Tree Oil which inhibits a broad spectrum of bacteria  cleanses and protects skin abrasions and blemishes. 


When summer is here and you are yet to have got a tan then the all new Skinny Tan coconut water tanning mist is a great solution. The super hydrating mist is deliciously scented and develops to leave your skin with a healthy, glowing medium tan. The formula is quick drying so you can simply spritz and go - no need to rinse for a super natural looking result that won't streak or look orange. 


Talking of skin related products don't forget your little ones. The sun can really dry out childrens skin so using Aveeno Baby body wash and hair and body wash products on their skin can help bring back moisture. The soap-free formula gently cleanses leaving skin feeling moisturised. It is free from parabens, dyes, soap and alcohol and is formulated to minimise the risk of allergies, using colloidal oatmeal. And for little bottoms the Aveeno daily barrier cream helps to prevent nappy rash on the delicate area.

When on holiday I still like to wear make up and the Blank Canvus Cosmetics 6 piece brush set is a must have. The 6 piece set has you covered with a mix of face  eye and lip brushes. 


We love to go swimming on holiday and are looking forward to the splash Waterworld at Butlins. The kids splash about  hooded poncho towel in the Noah's ark design is highly absorbent and ideal for after swimming cuddles. Children feel the cold more once out of the water so is great for providing extra warmth. 


The Theye compact beach towel is going to be ideal for our trip to skegness beach as it's highly water absorbent and made from microfiber suede. The towel folds up small and fits into a compact and waterproof pouch that is ideal for fitting in hand luggage. I chose the sunset design as I feel it's such a summery colour.


Blake was in the need of a new swim shorts and these Splash about jammers in navy and jade are ideal for Blake as at 4 and half he is still not toilet trained. The jammers are designed like a happy nappy but in a cool sporty design. They are designed to mold to your child’s body and move as they move, the Splash Jammers are secured by a snug, yet comfortable rib at the waist and medical grade silicone at the thigh, making them the most reliable incontinence swim short on the market. Made from super soft neoprene in unisex sporty designs these form fitting incontinence shorts are ideal for those children who are only just potty trained as well as those requiring extra support due to faecal incontinence weakness. Splash Jammers are made to look exactly like normal swimwear meaning no one needs to know and you child can simply get on with enjoying all the benefits of swimming with none of the worry of accidents.


Last of all is a brand new summer hat for Blake from Buff wear. Buff wear sell a wide range of hats and I chose the Archery Blue pack kids hat. Made for kids, this ultralight cap is designed to enjoy the summer while protecting children from harmful UV sun radiation. Small-sized and adjustable, it becomes extremely small when packed: perfect to store inside any pocket or backpack!

Our Summer 2019 Bucket List

Summer is almost here and we are looking forward to making the most of it. Children get bored easily so one of the things we like to do is come up with a list of fun ideas of what we can get up to. 

The summer holidays can be expensive, however they don't have to be. Below is our list of fun free and low cost ideas.


- Go to the beach
- Have a BBQ
- Have a picnic
- Go to the park
- Baking
- Go to a splash park
- Go Swimming
- arts and crafts
- Visit a nearby museum
- Go to Kings park in retford
- Turn up the music and have a good dance
- cloud gazing
- go on a bug hunt
- feed the ducks
- make a fairy garden
- get the bubbles out
- walk along the river trent
- day trip to Leeds
- go to the cinema
- play in the garden
- visit Richmond park (Gainsborough)
- explore more of Lincoln
- go to a pick your own farm

The Mum tag 2019


I was tagged by Karen at Twice Microwaved Tea to answer 15 questions about being a Mum.  So let's get stuck in with my answers.



1. Favourite mum hack?

Honestly I don't really have one. I definitely need to try more hacks I've seen though. I definitely recommend when it comes to parenting being organised is key.


2. Most embarrassing mum moment?

We've had the usual tantrums in shops. It's something I've learnt to deal with though. Luckily nothing else embarrassing has happened other than that. Now that Blake's speech is coming along more and he is repeating things. I wouldn't be surprised somewhere down the line he will do or say something super embarrassing. 

3. What part of the day do you love the most?


Mid afternoon, that tends to be generally when we spend time together one to one doing fun activities. 

4. What part of the day do you like the least?


Morning. I am not a morning person what so ever so find it tricky to function. Thank goodness for coffee.

5. The worst thing someone said to you while you were pregnant?

I've been lucky and not had any nasty comments. I had a small bump however so I was worried people wouldnt realise I was pregnant and found asking for a seat on a bus pretty awkward.

6. Baby name you didn’t agree on?

We had our baby names sorted before I was even pregnant. I'm glad that we both liked the same names.  Although if we have another child and it's a boy I definitely think there'll be disagreements.

7. Do you co sleep?

Yes and no. No when at home and we are strict with that as we personally feel it's not for us. When away from home we let him sleep with me because he doesn't like change and needs the comfort.

8. Something you bought but never used?

I did a lot of research when pregnant with Blake so we used most of what we brought. One item though that turned out to be useless was a bottle warmer.


9. Three hospital bag must haves?

Big comfy knickers, a fan and plenty of snacks. Comfy knickers are important no matter what your labour was like. A fan because even in December the room was so hot. Snacks because hospital food is just awful.

10. Are you a routine mum or a ‘go with the flow’ mum, and what does bedtime look like?


I use to be go with the flow and still in a way am. However as Blake is autistic he loves routine so we need to prepare him if something changes. Bedtime we generally get Blake to bed at 8 or 8:30 at the latest. We bath Blake every 2 days and the usual routine is once he is in his pjs, he has some milk as it's part of his routine and its something that is a comfort to him. We than do his teeth, put his night light on and he goes to sleep. I try and read to him while he has his milk.



11. What type of labour did you have? What pain relief did you choose

I was induced and went 14 hours of only gas and air before opting for an epidural which didnt work. This then was followed with an emergency c-section. You can read about it here if you are interested.

12. Have you ever been mum shamed

There was one women who snubbed me at a mum group. I had been talking to her and then Blake needed to be fed. Soon as the bottle came out she never spoke to me again. Another time on the bus an elderly couple started discussing in front of me that they felt that buggys needed to be paid for on buses as they get  in the way. 

13. The biggest challenges you’ve faced since becoming a mum?

It has to be learning and adjusting to Blake having autism. It's definitely a challenge.

14. The best bit of advice you have ever been given – biggest piece of advice you’d give to a new mum?


Don't compair your child to other children. I know its hard and its definitely something I'm working on as children  develop at different rates.

15. Who’s your mum crush?

Giovanna Fletcher. I've followed her on Instagram for ages. She is also really down to earth and I even had a quick but awkward chat with her when we saw her with Tom and her 2 boys Buzz and Buddy at In the night garden live one year.


I'm tagging 
Michaela from Adventures of a Yorkshire Mum and any other mums who want to join in.