Olbas Oil and Jakemans Minis-Giveaway

Little monkey has a cold at the moment and kept us awake on and off last night, he is really suffering bless him. We too have some sniffles. Sound familiar? Unfortunately colds are all too common this time of year. Many families are in the same predicament night after night with sleepless or disturbed nights. It's quite shocking how many to be honest.

To help ease the symptoms of coughs and colds that we may catch from our little ones you can win something to help in this giveaway. All you have to do is complete the rafflecopter form below. Usual terms and conditions apply! 

Win 2 Bottles of Olbas Bath, 2 packs of Jakemans Minis Throat and Chest Sweets and 2 packs of Jakemans Minis Honey and Lemon Sweets.
Good Luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
*Open to UK residents only. Winner drawn at random. Winner to confirm acceptance of prize via return email after the giveaway has ended. Closes 12/12/13
Win competitions on ThePrizefinder.com


Beanies The Flavour Co Coffee-Review

I don't know about you but I need to start my day off with a coffee or two! As far as I can remember I used to be more of a tea drinker but since meeting my husband who has yet to perfect how I like my tea, and since becoming a mum, I'm a coffee in the morning kind of girl and I make myself a cuppa in the afternoon! Funny how things change hey!
I was recently asked if I would like to review some of the Beanies The Flavour Co range of new limited edition Christmas flavoured coffees, so on seeing the selection and having a sweet tooth, of course I said yes!
Beanies flavoured instant coffee can be purchased online or in Sainsburys in the UK. No ordinary coffee but "flavoured coffee kings since 2009". I must confess I hadn't heard of Beanies before. 
The three jars of premium freeze dried coffee I received to review arrived carefully packaged and came in cute 50g jars.
I asked for the Winter Warmer, Rich Hazelnut and Amaretto Almond flavours. These retail on the website from £2.50 a jar. Each jar has a different bright and colourful label on it as you can see.
Each flavour I tried had a very strong aroma and a little goes a long way! Once the foil seal is broken to enjoy the coffee you can actually smell the different aromas with the lid screwed tightly on the jar.
I gave my Dad a cup of the winter warmer as he likes different coffee and he said it has a strong flavour. The amaretto one was my favourite and the hazelnut the least strong in flavour.
I would say depending a taste, one small teaspoon is all you need to make a perfect cup. Usually I take sugar but as the jars state, there is no need to further sweeten the coffee. If you like strong flavours and want to try a seasonal coffee why not look at the website and try some for yourself. 

Beanies The Flavour Co can also be found on Twitter and on Facebook.

*I was sent these coffees for review purposes but all thoughts and opinions are my own*


Before You Were Born Meme

Since I started blogging back at the end of March the blog has mainly covered things about the monkeys and rightly so but I thought it would be good to look back on a time before the monkeys came along. I'm pleased to take part in this fab Meme started by Emma at Twinmummyanddaddy. I was tagged by the lovely Chantelle who blogs over at Mama Mummy Mum.

What is your favourite holiday destination and why?
It would have to be safari in the Masi Mara in Kenya. My husband and I went there on honeymoon back in 2007. It was a dream holiday to a destination we were both keen to go to and was just awesome. The animals out in the wild really were something to behold. We spent the 1st part of our honeymoon on safari, then spent a week at a beach resort in Mombasa and finally 2 nights in the rainforest in a treehouse. A really magical start to our married life and our last holiday abroad to date. Big monkey came along 11 months later.

What is your funniest memory pre-children?
This is a really hard one to answer as I have so many funny memories. One that sticks in my mind though is of a dear friend who fell out of her dress trying to save herself when she tumbled down some stairs at our wedding night venue. Being a bit tipsy as you do at a wedding, she lost her footing and gave us all a giggle then and we still giggle over it even now from time to time!

What was your favourite thing to do in the evening?
I worked shifts so some evenings I would be at work. When I wasn't working I would like nothing more than to eat a meal with my husband and snuggle up on the sofa with him watching something on TV. It's really hard to remember a time without the monkeys to be honest. Now my evenings are spent blogging and catching up on social media to the detriment of my housework and chores!
What hobbies do you have that you can no longer do?
I used to be a real shopaholic before the monkeys came along. I had more shoes than you can imagine, and would be seen at the nearest shopping center whenever I wasn't working. But now I have less time, money and inclination to shop. Since putting on weight with the two pregnancies and not going back to my previous weight yet, I've lost all interest in clothes shopping for me. To be fair I would much rather spend any money I might have spare on the boys and buying things for them. So I suppose I do still enjoy shopping, just on two special little boys. Your priorities change somewhat don't they!
What do you think you took for granted before having children?
This is quite easy to answer as I really felt it when I didn't have the chance to do it so easily once the monkeys came along! I took for granted that I could just nip out whenever I wanted at the drop of a hat. It hit me hard at first if I'm honest when big monkey was born and I could no longer do this. Of course I could still go out, but a quick dash to the shop to get milk is a far bigger operation when you have to take a newborn or ensure someone is with him so you can go alone! I suppose living on my own for so long and doing what I liked when I liked had given me a sense of selfishness that I had to change dramatically.

If I have tagged you below, I would love you to take part but don't feel you have to! 
Kate at Family Fever
Colette at We're Going On An Adventure
Jo at Outnumbered Mum
Carly at Mummy And The Chunks
Clare at Emmy's Mummy

Bloobry Decorative Wall Clock Sticker-Review & Giveaway

We have recently taken delivery of a Roman Numeral Wall Clock Sticker from Bloobry. "The place for hand designed decorative wall stickers, clocks and silhouettes". Bloobry is a British run family business owned and run by Ben and Lisa Palmer. I was asked to choose from a large selection of colours and went with Basalt Grey as it matches our bedroom colour scheme well and I had a clear wall in mind for it. Delivery was very quick, just a day after being printed our clock arrived by signed for delivery. Very impressive.
Our wall clock sticker arrived rolled in a cardboard container inside a box, so was well packaged. The clock mechanism was also boxed inside the package. Full written and picture instructions on fitting the sticker were also supplied. 
This particular roman numeral wall clock sticker is priced at £35 on the website.
I have to admit to looking at the fitting instructions and not really taking them in, so initially I fitted the wall sticker to the wall without immediately removing the sticky sheet off the vinyl. It looked good as it was but great once I had completed the fitting process and I have to say I love the finished look and effect. That said, the process of taking the sheet off the vinyl is pretty fiddly even with the scrapper that also comes provided. Just take your time. I'm sure with practice, this would become so much easier.
The wall sticker is designed to last and is removable but not reusable as the vinyl would stretch when peeled off the wall. There is no chance of us removing this fab clock anytime soon as it looks really good in our room. The clock mechanism came supplied with an AA battery and just needed hanging with a picture nail, onto the spot marked on the clock that you can see in the photos. A great alternative to a traditional wall clock. The photo's really do not do the sticker any justice. I really am very pleased with it.
Bloobry have a Facebook page and are also on Twitter, why not take a look at the range of wall stickers they offer.

*I was sent this wall sticker to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own* 

Now you have read the review, how would you like to win a Roman Numeral Wall Clock Sticker in your choice of colour? 
Just fill out the rafflecopter form below, and remember the more options you complete, the more chances you have of winning! 

Open to UK residents only. Terms and conditions apply-See widget.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Win competitions on ThePrizefinder.com

If you didn't win the giveaway don't despair. The lovely people at Bloobry are offering 15% off their two types of Roman Numeral wall clock stickers for 7 days. Ending Midnight 17/12/2013. Just use code 'RWC15' at the checkout. 
Free First class post to UK applies.
Links below!



Book Buddy-October Book Review

We have recently become Parragon Book Buddies which means each month we get to review books sent to us from Parragon, which ideally suit the monkeys reading level and then report back our reading experience. I requested Parragon send us books for big monkey as he is learning to read and is currently loving books. He likes to listen to story's being read to him as much as he likes to have a read himself.

This is our first book, 'Wakey Wakey Big Brown Bear' by Tracey Corderoy. It's from the Parragon Picture Book range, ideal for big monkeys age and ability.
Big brown bear doesn't want to go to bed - he'll miss Autumn....a story about friends who help him experience autumn even though he'll sleep through it. A lovely illustrated story, with colourful pictures perfect for reading now as autumn turns into winter. I read the book to both monkeys, the eldest being more interested as he has been learning about animals hibernating and therefore had some knowledge about the tale. The story really is lovely and I shall enjoy reading it over and over to big monkey and his little brother as he takes more interest. Big monkey liked looking through the book and the type seems easy for him to read. The pictures are beautiful and really help him to tell the story. A bit above his current level of reading but he'll get there.
We are looking forward to seeing which book we will get sent for November, a few more weeks of waiting and big monkey and I can see if it's one he can read and enjoy just like he has done this lovely story. 
Why not see for yourselves what other books Parragon have on their facebook and twitter pages.

*We were sent this book for review purposes. All opinions and views are my own*


The Seasons Are Changing

Until I had children and more recently started blogging, I hadn't really thought about Autumn, except for the fact that the evenings draw in earlier and the days start off darker......but now that we are out and about more often at the park with the monkeys, running about through the leaves and collecting conkers I've taken more notice. I've noticed the colours on the trees more, the feeling you get when out in the cold, blowing the cobwebs away and I've come to actually quite like the Autumn. The winter not so much!

I've written a poem I'd like to share;

The seasons are changing
It looks like it's raining
Time to don your boots
No posh shoes or pinstriped suits

The seasons are changing
It looks like it's raining
Muddy puddles with Peppa Pig
Crunchy leaves, lots of twigs

The seasons are changing
It looks like it's raining
We're thinking about Christmas presents, turkey and Santa
They'll be lots of banter

The seasons are changing
It looks like it's raining
Autumn is almost over
Best put on your pullover

We followed Emma Tapps Tips to play outside whilst taking in our changing surroundings and thinking up a poem idea. We play outside as much as we can as the monkeys love to run about and let of steam. They like nothing more than riding their bikes, climbing and having outdoor fun.

'This is my entry into the Center Parcs and Tots 100 November Challenge. If I'm chosen I would like to visit Elveden Forest.'

#MagicMoments -The Monkey Did Good

This badge was proudly handed to me by big monkey as soon as he reached me outside his classroom last Friday afternoon. I knew what it meant as soon as I saw it....he has been picked to be a playtime play leader at school. I'm so pleased for him and very very proud also.
Some weeks back the school had informed the parents that they were asking the children if they would like to have more responsibility, and help with tasks. This was on top of the schemes they already ran. We had a letter home, which big monkey could complete with our help, if he wanted to apply to become a play leader. To be honest I was surprised when he said he would like to apply, so he wrote down what he thought he should, with a bit of guidance from us and then I forgot all about it. On Friday though, the school had a special assembly and that is where the selected children were named and asked to go up to the front and collect their badges. 
He seems delighted. I'll shall no doubt hear what he has to do in time....though we might have to wait a while! Usually when I ask him what he has done at school, his answer is "I'll tell you when I'm 7!"
This makes me chuckle......he is not yet 6!


Fun At The Farm

Last Sunday I made a decision.....if it was raining I would offer to do a shift at work, and if it wasn't we would take the monkeys to the farm. It's safe to say the latter won! How pleased was I it wasn't raining.
Now, we have been to this particular farm before but not for a while. The last time I went was on big monkeys Preschool outing there back in June 2012. On that day it was scorching hot and a complete contrast to the cold weather we had on Sunday but like last time, the sun was shinning. 
We were lucky to get a deal on the entry price and the day there for the four of us was only £9 instead of £32, so as a treat we decided we would get lunch there and really make a day of it. 
I had heard that since being taken over the farm wasn't as good as before and had less animals but I have to say I thought there were more. Big monkey loved feeding the goats. We saw llama, alpaca, cows, pigs, sheep, chickens, birds of prey, and horses. We watched a cow being milked and then the farm assistant showed the monkeys the pail of milk, which she encouraged them to feel.....the bucket was still warm to touch.
Little monkey especially loved going on the tractor ride and we waved to Nana and Grandad from the trailer, as they live across the river from the farm. The cafe was popular and we had to wait a while for our food but it was yummy, all but pricey. After lunch big monkey had a game of crazy golf and both monkeys played in the soft play barn. Apart from being cold it was a really lovely family day out.....thank heavens it didn't rain!!

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


The A to Z of Me

This super Meme has been doing the rounds and the lovely Chantelle from Mama Mummy Mum tagged me in it. So who would like to find out a bit more about me? Well you can now!

America is the place I first went abroad without my parents. It was a school exchange trip.....what an opportunity! I loved it but at 13 I was terribly homesick.

Boys....I have two of them. Both very similar in many ways but so different in others! They are the love of my life.

Children have always featured in my life. Even before I had my own I worked with them and still do.
David is my twin brother, he is tall and dark. I am not!

Elephants have been my favourite animal for as long as I can remember and I was lucky enough the see them up close on my honeymoon on safari in Kenya.
Flowers are beautiful and I'm lucky that the boys and my husband regularly buy them for me. Purple flowers are my favourite.
Gillingham in Kent is where I did most of my growing up.

Honeymoon was wonderful in Kenya, though hubby was taken ill just before flying home....so we had an extra night there (in a hospital). Holidays seem to be a thing of the past but hopefully not for much longer! Maybe we will get one in 2014!
iPhone...what did I do with out it? Mine is surgically attached to me all the time!

Jo, that's me.....full name Joanne, but only my parents call me that!

knots, I hate them! I can't tie or untie a knot to save my life.

Little Jo is what I was known as at school and college and beyond. Because I'm short....just 5ft.

Mummy is what I am here for. It took a while....I was 36 yrs old when I became one but I'm loving it and always wanted children of my own.
Nan died in 2000 and I still miss her loads. She would have so loved to have known my monkeys....the best nan ever.

Oranges.....I can never peel them! 

Pasta, I love it and so too do the monkeys......they would eat it every day if I let them! Pasta, Pesto and grated cheese is yummy. Oh and pine nuts too!

Quads.....how cool would it be to have them? Being a twin, I would have quite liked a multiple birth.

Rest. I wish the monkeys would rest more! They are full on from dawn till dusk.....they do sleep well every night though, so I can't really complain.

Sunday's are our family day, as they are the only day my husband has off each week. If we have nothing planned I do work the odd one but we try to do family stuff whenever we can.
Toast tastes so much better when someone else is cooking it! I like mine crisp with marmite on. Not soggy.....yuk!

Umbrella's are a thing of the past since having the monkeys.....too difficult to hold pushing a pushchair and quite frankly I kind of don't worry as much as I used to about keeping dry and not spoiling my hair.

Very nice ladies encouraged me to start blogging and I have to say I'm loving it. I've met more very nice people through blogging too.

Wedding day for my husband and I was the most amazing day ever. I wanted to do the whole thing all over again the next day!
X-ray vision would be good wouldn't it?! Mine isn't great to be honest. I'm short sighted....but I actually quite like wearing glasses now. I've worn them since I was 18 months old!

Years seem to fly by even quicker than ever nowadays. It only seems like 5 minutes ago I had our eldest monkey yet he will be 6 next May.

ZZZZZ''s in my own bed are what I like best.....you can't beat sleeping in your own bed can you? 

Now it's the turn of Jennifer from My Mummy's Pennies
                                Clare from Emmy's Mummy
                                Ruth from Rock N Roller Baby
                                Rachael from L-Plate Mummy and 
                                Liz from The Hart Of The Munchkin Patch 
to let us have an insight into their lives. Go for it girls x


Room To Grow Book Sharing Scheme

Before big monkey started in foundation stage at school in Sept 2012 he could not read. But very quickly he was reading simple word books from the library at school and he has continued to progress well through the reading levels. Now in his 1st term in year one he is near the top end of the reading levels and will soon be on 'free readers'. I'm trilled with his progress and amazed at how quickly non-readers can learn to read when given the tools and assistance to do so. I'm also proud that big monkey loves to learn to read and has a go at reading whenever and wherever he can.

With this in mind I was keen to participate in the Room to Grow Book Sharing Scheme. It is running from November to February for children aged 1-14 and aims to get children looking at and reading books, then sending them back so they can be shared with another child and so on. 

"If Room To Grow can help even a single child understand or maintain the joy of reading and create an everlasting affection of books, then that can only be a good thing" 

Anne Davis, Room To Grow

We have been reading Lauren Child's 'I will not ever never eat a tomato'....one of the Charlie and Lola books. This being a 10th Anniversary edition.
Big monkey recognised the book as soon as he saw it, as his class in foundation stage had studied Charlie and Lola. He was keen to listen to me reading the book and struck up a conversation about the foods being talked about by Charlie and Lola. The book is fun and colourful and I would say at a level which fits with big monkeys reading ability at the minute or very close to it. This edition also comes with a pull out wall frieze.
A very clever story of getting children to think about the foods they do or do not eat, which might encourage them to try new foods they might otherwise turn their noses up to! Big monkey was sat intently listening to the story. We are looking forward to receiving the next book now and seeing with interest which one we get sent.
 *We received this book as part of a book sharing scheme, to return to sender. All views and opinions are my own*


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