My Sunday Photo!



Swizzles Bon Bons Giveaway!

Swizzels introduces Bon Bons to its confectionery range

To celebrate the tasty new Swizzles Bon Bons I have a great giveaway for you! Win 8 packets of Bon Bons to devour or share with a loved one. So delicious they won't last long! 
Sweet manufacturer Swizzels has transformed their bestselling brands (Drumstick and Refresher) into a soft Bon Bon format.

The new addition to the Swizzels range is available in 150g standard bags. £1 a packet they feature the recognisable and much loved Drumstick and Refresher branding.

The original Drumstick Lollies and Refresher bars were both introduced in 1957 and have been popular with sweet lovers ever since.

To win 8 packets of Bon Bons as shown above just complete the rafflecopter form below! Just think how cool a parent you'll be this summer! Giveaway ends Midnight Sunday 7th August 2016. T&C's apply. Open to UK residents only. Good luck!
Win prizes with theprizefinder.com




Furthering Learning to Improve your Career.

Before I met my husband I had been in a relationship with someone who had no ambition. The night I first met hubby he was chatting to some others about having recently changed his career by training to become a Sports Massage Therapist, after working in London for 17 years. I immediately took to him and our relationship grew from there. Move forward a few years and we were married with our first child on the way! I was thinking about putting work on hold to raise a family and hubby was thinking about furthering his new career with more training! Being newlyweds with little money saved and with myself soon going on maternity leave we had no option but to look into borrowing the money so that he could train to become a Pilates teacher.
We found a loan with a company that we were happy with as the course hubby had to do to qualify was over £2000. It meant the course could be paid for and hubby could offer more to his clients. We were delighted this was a possibility.
Hubby doing a single leg stretch
Moving forward again, hubby has now been a fully qualified Pilates teacher for 8 years now and loves teaching his classes. He still does the Sports Massage too and is also a Personal Trainer as well as a soon to be Kettlebells instructor.
Hubby doing a Teaser!
I'm so glad I overheard his conversation that evening we met and was struck by his ambition. I'd love to further my learning and do a course myself but we'd probably need to borrow again and I've really no idea what course I'd take! 

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Yushoi Snapea Rice Sticks

As an ultimate crisps lover the thing I've missed most in the last 18 months whilst losing weight and keeping it off, is crisps! I've found it easier to stop eating as many of them as I did but truth be told, I do miss them and am always on the look out for an alternative!

Yushoi Snapea rice sticks are a new snack which make a great change from crisps. They are much healthier too! 

Yushoi Snapea Rice Sticks are baked, free from nuts and dairy, suitable for vegetarians and vegans, high in protein and fibre and have no artificial colours, flavourings or MSG….And there are less than 99 calories per bag or per serving!
The snacks come in four different flavours - Lightly Salted, Sweet Chilli and Lemon, Soy and Balsamic Vinegar and Smoked Salt & Szechaun Pepper. 
All flavours are available in a range of pack types (including 21g single serve, 6 x 21g multi pack and 105g sharing bags). We really like them and the monkeys have even tucked in! Great for sharing, putting in your lunch box or snacking on the go. 

Which flavour would you love best?! 

We were sent these snacks in return for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.



Back to School Bags with Debenhams!

I know the monkeys have only just broken up for summer but already we are thinking about back to school! They have a shorter holiday than usual this summer. Under 6 whole weeks off. We'll need to buy new school shoes, more white polo shirts as the old ones are now stained and greying and of course school bags! 
Did you know you can buy school bags at Debenhams? They sell a range of bags for both boys and girls. The monkeys both chose Star Wars ones! A messenger style one for big monkey, seen being carried above and a back pack one for little monkey which as you can see below he seems proud of! Both are delighted with them.
As the evenings draw in during September, the yellow piping on big monkeys bag will be visible when we walk home from school. Both school bags are Licensed Star Wars merchandise.
This Storm Trooper back pack is better for little monkey as he can carry it on his back to school and the weight will be more evenly distributed.
With school bag prices starting from just £7 they are very affordable and look to be very well made. Of course using them will be the real test of their quality but for now I have two happy monkeys who cannot wait to use their new bags (after a summer of fun first)!

We hope you all have a great summer and those back to school shopping days are good ones! 

Our new bags were bought using a gift card from Debenhams as part of their back to school campaign.



Bubblebum Review

Being 5 and 8yr's old the monkeys still need to travel with a booster in the back of the car. We use a high backed booster whenever possible for little monkey (unless a third child needs to sit in the middle of the back seat) and a cushion booster for big monkey. I say unless a third child needs to sit in the middle, this is because they can't fit in the middle if the high backed booster(s) are used in our car. It has three three-point seat belts but there just isn't the room across the back seat for one or two high backed boosters when a third child travels with us. To be honest this isn't very often but we like to be prepared should one of the monkeys friends need a lift home from school or similar.

Of course if they do bring a friend home we need another booster cushion and this is where the portable Bubblebum car booster seat comes in very handy!
Deflated Bubblebum
The inflatable portable car booster seat comes in it's own bag for ease of storage and carrying. It's so easy to use and costs just £29.99. Available in two colours, black or pink (cotton candy) we have been trying one out! 
Contents inside the box
What's in the box?
Inside the box you'll find the cushion in it's deflated state, a tether strap and the carry bag with drawstring fastening. Instructions on how to use the car booster cushion are also in the box and very straightforward.
Value to inflate the bubblebum
Inflated bubblebum
How to use the cushion
Simple inflate the cushion using the valve to the rear. Pop on the seat on the car and position the car seat belt inside the side clips so that the lap belt sits comfortable across the child.
Use the shoulder belt positioning clip to ensure that the car seat belt sits across the centre of the chest. Simple! 
When no longer needed deflate the cushion and store away in the carry bag. Ideal storage if the child needs to take the booster into school for use later. 
Side clip
Tether strap and shoulder clip
Secured by the car seat belt
What we like!  
This booster cushion is safety tested, Mum approved, expertly engineered and has won more than 20 design and innovation awards including Mumsnet, Mother & Baby and Practical Parenting. I like that it comes in an alternative to black for those that need it, it's comfy and lightweight and easily fits between a high backed booster and another conventional car booster seat. Perfect for short journeys, emergencies or when travelling by car abroad.
5yr old using the bubblebum
8yr old using the bubblebum
Fit using the top tether/should clip
The monkeys were both very keen to try it and loved using it.

What we dislike?
At present there is nothing we dislike about the Bubblebum. Of course now both monkeys want one!

Perfect for emergency/short use for 4-11 year old's this Bubblebum is innovative and funky but also very practical. We really like it and will be making good use if it for a while to come.

We were sent the Bubblebum for the purpose of this post. All thoughts and opinions are our own.
Tried and Tested



Move or Improve with a Loft Conversion?

I've written before about how we would love to move to a bigger home, but how we really can’t afford to do so! Instead, we opted to make home improvements. This included our much loved loft conversion, which was built almost four years ago now.
We've made other changes too, like having a conservatory built back in summer 2012, and the windows replaced when I first moved to Essex way back in 2006. I think we've finally settled on further extending our home instead of making a costly move into a bigger house. We've done so much here; we want to stay! Loft conversions, like those built by Chingford based company Dolphin Home Improvements, provided hubby and I with just what we needed - some private space and another bedroom so that the monkeys could have a room each of their own. We also have our own en-suite, meaning the monkeys share the main family bathroom which leaves everyone happy!
We were recommended the firm who did our loft conversion and got really involved with the planning process and selection of fittings and fixtures. Although not huge, it's just what we needed and still remains one of my favourite rooms in the house.Our next 'move' is a single story extension on the back of the house. We’re hoping to convert the conservatory into a brick built kitchen diner with glass roof, and of course having a brand new kitchen designed to fit. This is something to look forward to in the future, but for now we're happy as we are – waking up each morning in our room, high in the sky with the velux windows open, and our own shower room just a few steps away. If you are debating whether to move home or staying put and improving your home with a loft conversion, I would highly recommend the latter; we have absolutely no regrets.
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Celebrating Mummy's Birthday!

As a parenting and lifestyle blogger, I and other bloggers often post about the kids birthday's but forget the adults ones! Yesterday was my 45th birthday. Each year I share it with my brother. My twin who was born a full 45 minutes before me. 
My day started with a phone call to him to wish him happy birthday too and then the monkeys helped me to open my cards and presents. Well, they did most of the unwrapping if I'm honest! I had some lovely gifts and was very spoiled. 
My card from big monkey was just awesome. The words he wrote inside made me cry......they were so lovely. Hubby said he wrote exactly what he wanted and had no input from hubby at all. 
Once the monkeys were safely at school the day was then all about food! Hubby and I had a light breakfast together at one of our favourite cafe delicatesant and at lunch time I enjoyed a leisurely afternoon tea with four girlfriends. They spoiled me too. 
After school pick up at teatime we all went out for an evening meal together! I know, three meals out in one day. Well if you can't do it on your birthday then when can you! 
By the time the main course arrived my eyes were obviously bigger than my belly, as clearly I'd already eaten too much and really struggled to eat my chosen meal. I had to leave a good bit of it.
All three meals out were so lovely though and really made me feel loved, lucky and spoiled. 
Once home I sat (with a Pimms) in a food coma and couldn't even face breakfast until late this morning. 
I love birthday's and really feel it's the one day of the year that you can wallow in gift's, whatever food and drink you like and just enjoy a day of treats. Maybe others don't feel that way but I like to make my own birthday and that of loved ones special. I had a great day and look forward to the next one.


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