Health: Easy Ways to Eat More Fruit and Veg

Before you click away, this is definitely NOT a health food post! I enjoy roast pork, a citrusy Sauvignon, and cheese far too much to ever write a post about diets, and you will never find me advocating a protein bar. But. I know that there are things that make me feel generally better in myself. A daily walk in the fresh air; plenty of water; a few nights a week without alcohol; and a good amount of fruit and vegetables in my diet. The trouble is, when life is hectic, and food often comes in the variety of ‘grab’ …

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Home: How to Save Money on Energy Bills Forever

Advertisement post: this post was sponsored by The Big Deal, and contains affiliate links I am 51 years old, I’ve been a homeowner for 26 years, and in that time I’ve switched my energy supplier just twice. Twice… I bet you’re the same – full of good intentions, well aware that you could be making a saving, but just too busy to ever get round to it. In fact, 60% of us have never switched supplier, just moving onto the standard tariff once our initial deal ends, and we’re overpaying by £200 to £300 per year! If you ever have …

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Review: Simba Slippers and Sleep Spray

A review of Simba slippers - revolutionary soles for reflexology stimulation

Advertisement feature Some of you will know about my love affair with Simba. It began with a much needed mattress change, which I reviewed here; next I got the Simba pillow, so customisable that I challenge anyone not to find it perfect for them. Now, Simba have asked me to review the Simba Slippers, and their very own Sleep Spray. Simba slippers review My first thought was “Wait. Simba do slippers? Why?! They sell mattresses!” But not content with making the nation sleep better, it seems Simba want to make their customers more comfortable when they’re not in bed too. My next …

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Review: The CoLiDo 3D Pen – a Perfect Gift for Creative Teens

A review of the CoLiDo 3D pen

When I first read about the 3D printer, it blew my mind. A printer that makes actual solid objects – how is that even possible? And yet, for today’s children it’s not only a reality, it’s commonplace – my daughter’s school owns a 3D printer, and the kids get to use it in DT lessons. Mind. Blown. Now though, 3D technology is available at a sensible price to bring home for kids to experiment with, in the form of the 3D pen. I spotted the CoLiDo 3D pen in a review on After the Playground, and I instantly knew my …

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Decorating the Perfect Christmas Tree

Decorating the perfect Christmas tree

I have the perfect Christmas tree. I’m not kidding, our tree this year is perfect, and I’ll tell you where to get the perfect tree for your home too. You know how you schelp to the garden centre every year and uhm, and erm your way around? You know how you argue about which tree is best, and then compromise on a tree that’s not quite right, but will probably fit on the roof of the car? Well I’m the smug person who doesn’t do any of that. Because I go to Pines and Needles. I’ve talked about Pines and …

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Family Food: Review of the Hello Fresh Family Box

Review: the Hello Fresh family box allows adults to spice up a family favourite

Do you sometimes stand in front of the fridge and want to scream? If the worst part of your parenting day comes at dinner time, I have the answer. The new Hello Fresh family box. If you’re anything like me – and let’s be honest: every family needs a bit of help sometimes when it comes to meal times – what was once a pleasurable and relaxing activity has become a daily drudge since you’ve had kids. I’ve been cooking family food for 13 years now, and although in many ways it does get easier (remember cubes of frozen organic …

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Simba Pillow review – How I found the right pillow for my neck pain

A customisable simba pillow

ADVERTORIAL CONTENT *I was given the product free of charge for the purposes of review. I did not receive payment for this post, though links in this post are affiliate links, and I may receive a small referral commission if you make a purchase using them. All opinion, words, and imagery are my own, and I really do love this pillow – I’m still taking on trips with me even in 2020. I have found the perfect pillow. I swear I am the Goldilocks of pillows. I have tried them all: the thin ones, the thick and bouncy ones, the …

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Home: a Review of the iRobot Roomba Robot Vacuum Cleaner

The iRobot Roomba is the most effective vacuum cleaner I've ever had, and I don't even need to do the cleaning!

My kids have been on at me for months now about getting a dog. They will walk it; they will pick up its poo; they will feed it; and they will get up in the night when it cries/vomits/poos/needs a wee. Yeah, right. I have just about managed to come through the fog and exhaustion of early parenthood. Why would I want to go back to the chaos of broken nights, and cleaning up of bodily fluids? With the added bonus of no big holidays, and no spontaneous weekends away, because what would we do with the dog? No. There really is no point in a dog. Besides, …

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Thorpe Park Fright Night – Do You Dare?

Thorpe Park Fright Nights Halloween Walking dead mazes - what it's really like - review

    Thorpe Park Halloween review As Thorpe Park ambassadors this year we get to go to some special events, as well as having annual passes to the park. It’s been fun over the summer visiting with the kids and their friends. But when we were invited to do a Fright Night review of Thorpe Park’s Halloween events I knew my kids wouldn’t be up for it. Not because it’s not good, but because it’s probably too good. You’ll see what I mean, if you read on. Not surprisingly, when I asked around, there were plenty of offers to take …

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Why Music is Important for Children’s Brain Development

Why music is important for kids Music was a lifesaver for me when my daughter was tiny. I remember reading whilst I was pregnant that my baby could already hear music. I think it was around that time I switched from Radio 1 to Classic FM in the car, having heard that Mozart was the best music for babies, and could make my child smarter before she was even born. When we brought her home from the hospital we sat drinking champagne with music videos on the TV until 2am, waiting for her to go to sleep, so we could …

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A Teatime Kids Favourite with Full-On Flavour but No Added Sugar

Hands up who sometimes ends up tearing their hair out at teatime? We make fabulous meal plans and have wonderful intentions to feed everybody from scratch, don’t we? But inevitably there’s going to come a day (or more!) in the week when you’re shattered, everyone’s hungry right NOW, and you just don’t have it in you to put together an elaborate chickpea and soya bean casserole. Am I right? But you still want to feed your kids something that’s nutritious, not full of rubbish, and that they’ll actually enjoy. My kids have always been fans of spaghetti hoops (though if …

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Style: A Swimsuit I’m Happy to Show Off in

Right. Today, I am going to be a swimsuit model. I recently did a “I’m 50 and I  don’t care who knows it, look – I can still look good in cool clothes makeover post,” and people were very nice about it. So I thought I’d dabble in a few more fashion blogger-style posts, and have jumped right in at the deep end, quite literally, with a swimsuit. No, I haven’t dropped 2 sizes and had a boob job (although if you’d like to comment along those lines I won’t complain). Nor have I taken leave of my senses. I …

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A Beach and Inflatable Play Park at Lee Valley

If you’re planning your diaries for the school summer holidays, you might want to include a visit to the Lee Valley White Water centre. Just 5 minutes from the M25 in Hertfordshire, this top notch white water sports centre was built for the Olympics, so it’s probably the best place in the UK for canoeing or rafting adventures. (You can see my white water experiences over on Space In Your Case). But the water isn’t the main reason you’ll want to go this summer. Unless you have older kids with a fancy for it. Lee Valley White Water have installed …

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Lucky Gecko: a subscription box that encourages children to think differently

You know when your child comes out of school every afternoon, and you ask him what he did that day, and he replies “Nothing much.”? Of course, you know he doesn’t mean it. You know he did the usual, literacy and maths, maybe some PE. He might even have done some science, and it will trickle out of him under your feet as you cook tea later. What’s really going on when he delivers his stock 3.15 answer is a need to switch off from the routine of the classroom. And if yours is one of those children who is switched off …

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Beautiful Summer Wine Glasses

*Giveaway ended. Occasionally I try to give up wine. I know, it’s a crazy ambition, but I like to think my cranky old body will miraculously shed pounds and aches, acquiring glitter and pizazz instead if I succeed. Of course, it rarely works for long. I’ll manage a couple of days, then along comes Mr Sunshine and invites me out into the garden for an evening rendezvous with Sir Sauvignon, and I feel instantly so much better! Last week I had an added distraction, in the form of some rather glamorous new wine glasses which were just begging to be …

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School Shoes that Cope well with Playground Antics

I am rocking at parenting today. Today, I sorted out my son’s school shoes for next year. And they look tough enough to withstand 9 months of kicking around the playground as top dog in year 6. Provided he doesn’t grow in the next 9 weeks. School shoes that can handle the worst school run I’m actually thinking of putting a complaint in to his headteacher. In five years, he has never had to wear school shoes. He’s had to own them, but he’s never actually had to wear them. They’ve had this indoor:outdoor shoe policy, whereby they change from their outdoor …

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