Saturday, 24 December 2011

Merry Christmas 2011

Would like to wish all of you a 'Merry Christmas', and I hope Santa makes your wishes come true!



Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Get F.I.T The Davina McCall Way!


Black, Pink & Zebra Patent Ballerinas £28
With Christmas fast approaching, turkey on the table and booze in the fridge it's time to let your hair down and enjoy CHRISTMAS!


I'm sure I won't be only one that will have the word 'diet' in the back of my head on Christmas Day, but it's only one day so I'm going to very badly break the chain of my healthy eating, but after Christmas get back to my Zumba on the Wii and my pasta dinner's.
Spot Corsage Ballerinas £32
I have heard a few people talk about 'Slimming World', I thought about going there but chickened out because I only moved to Durham in September and still feel abit lost, plus with my shyness I decided to give it a miss for a while.

We have all seen fitness fanatic Davina McCall's workout DVD right?
My friend swears by Davina, to this day she has always said she lost the stone for her wedding by doing the Davina workouts.
Charcoal Cuffed Jogger £25
 Launching in time for Spring 2012, Davina For Next provides the ultimate workout and post work-out clothing along with a range of innovative everyday shoes which feature dual density mid-sole technology to reduce stress on joints. From aerobics to running, power-lifting to pilates – all in great modern shapes, fabulous colours and outstanding fabrics, there’s something for every activity.

Davina says: “My approach was to concentrate on what I would wear, thinking very carefully about the details that matter to me, like a place for an MP3 player, or reflective strips on the bottoms – essential when you’re jogging in the early morning or at dusk. And I’ve ensured the workout tops are extremely solid and secure so your boobs won’t be bobbing around while you’re working out!”
Pink Stripe Slub Vest £18
Davina For Next promises to shake up what any woman wears before, during and after her workout. Her comfort and style are assured as she gets into great shape!

You can always count on Davina, so no doubt these will sell very quick, keep your eyes peeled in Next!


My Birthday Princess Is 2!

I remember being pregnant and on numerous occasions people would say "treasure every minute, as they grow up very quick"! I would just laugh because I heard it way too many times from people. That phrase some became 'o so true' when I gave birth to my bundle of joy (Alesha) on the 19th December 2009. The first year flew by very very quick, and so has the second!


Me & Mr.B are so proud of our darling daughter, she amazes us each and everyday and always brings a smile to our faces when were feeling down.
We couldn't wait to see her face, when she sees her presents and balloons (she is mad for balloons).
Alesha's little tea party was at home because we don't have any friends etc in the area, so there was me, her daddy, one of her grandads and one of her godfather's.
She had such a fun day dancing to her favourite songs, ripping the paper off her presents and best of all opening a birthday card to find money and then chucks the card on the floor!

For Alesha's 1st Birthday me & Mr.B baked her a birthday cake and this year was no different, I had a good old nosy on YouTube and came across a castle cake that didn't look too hard to make!
I was VERY nervous baking it, but the final results brought a smile across my face. A bigger smile was seen on Alesha's face when I brought the cake in and everybody sang 'Happy Birthday'.
The dress she wore was the one me & Mr.B bought for her as bridemaid for our wedding, but we have put it back 2 years so she would be too big for the lovely dress so we decided she could wear it on her birthday and also Christmas Day. 



                           Our little girl looked so grown up, it brought tears to our eyes.












Mummy & Daddy loves you so much Alesha, your our special gift, your the world to us sweetheart!


Saturday, 17 December 2011

Review: Yankee Candles

Are you doing some last minute Christmas shopping? Unsure of what to get someone? 
Well I may have the answer, how about some Sampler candles?  You get up to 15 hours of home fragrance for just £1.75 (that works out at 11p for a constant hour of home fragrance!) and because of the complex layering of each Yankee Candle fragrance, you  know you will still be able to smell the fragrance for a long time after you have put the candle out. You could put the sampler in a Foil Pattern Votive Holder (£4.15) or a Roly Poly Holder which is just £1.09 and wrap in clear cellophane with a coloured ribbon for a lovely present.
I was over the moon to have received a box containing different fragranced sampler candles and also 3  Foil Pattern Votive Holder's.
As soon as Mr.B opened the box the lovely strong scented smell from the candles escaped into our living room! Our living room smelt 'good enough to eat' and that's without lighting a candle.

Later that evening we lit one candle in the holder and within a few minutes the scent was all around the living room. 
It was lovely to relax and unwind in a yummy scented room!
The next morning when Alesha got out of bed, she kept asking me to take a candle down because she wanted to smell it. After having a sniff of each candle her response was "mmm nice mummy"! So it's not only me & Mr.B that has a thing for Yankee Candle's.

Yankee Candle's have a wide variety of Christmas fragrances out now!
You can purchase them from a wide range of high street stores and also many online shops including www.yankee.co.uk.

***WITH CHRISTMAS JUST AROUND THE CORNER, WHY NOT BUY A LOVED ONE A YANKEE PRODUCT AND MAKE THEM HAPPY ON CHRISTMAS DAY***

About Yankee Candles
Christmas 1969. Seventeen-year-old Mike Kittredge, too broke to buy his mother a present, melted some crayons to make her a candle. A neighbor saw it and convinced Mike to sell the candle to her. With that small stake, he bought enough wax to make two candles - one for his mom, and another to sell. That was the birth of Yankee Candle.







Thursday, 8 December 2011

I'm Taking Part In The Kodak Christmas Crafts Challenge..Are You?

I joined the Britmums community a few days after I started blogging, Britmums helped me find my feet in the world of blogging!


They have got a challenge running at the moment- the Christmas Photocrafts Challenge! #printerprojects which is encouraging everyone to use their printer and Kodak’s cheaper-than-you’d-think printer ink to create gorgeous Christmas decorations, treasured keepsakes and memorable gifts.

I love to get creative with Alesha especially at Christmas time making Christmas cards and placing an old photo of the person on the front of the card, Alesha then gives her special touch by writing (scribble) her name on the bottom at the back of the card. 
The personalised handmade photo cards always seem to go down well, think we will have to change and think of something else for next year.

Our most treasured photo craft has to be the photo collage me and Mr.B put together, a few days after I gave birth to Alesha back in December 2009.

We used our photo printer (which is now broke) to print off some photos, we printed ones that really ment something to us, me & Mr.B feeding Alesha for the first time, a photo of Alesha when she first arrived into the world!
We also placed 2 professional photograph's into the collage, Mr.B standing behind me holding my stomach when I was pregnant and the other is Alesha's first professional photograph in hospital.
Also in the the collage you will see my first scan picture of Alesha and also her hospital name band which was on her leg. 
Now I have shared my craft idea's with you, why don't you share your's with us, or even a photo you would like to use in a craft, it's as simple as that!


Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Is Your Child Scared Of Santa?

I am loving Mr.B's new job because he works two 12 hour day shifts and then two 12 hour nightshift's and then he was 4 WHOLE days off, "plenty of family time"!

Today is his second day off work and considering Mr.B has caught up with his beauty sleep, we decided to go do some Christmas shopping with our little princess, "she isn't that little, she turn's 2 on the 19th scary"!

We took a trip to Sunderland as our town hasn't got that many shop's. 
We spotted the Santa's Grotto so we decided to take her there. Alesha is more aware of Christmas this year, she sings the Christmas songs, she knows what a reindeer,snowman, Santa is and all the rest!

Men and Mr.B like to read her Christmas stories and show her Christmas songs. 
With the decorations and the Christmas tree up in our house, she has got very excited and like's to talk to the singing Santa on our living room window sill.

Back to today, we thought she would of been overwhelmed to sit on Santa's knee but as we edged closer in the queue, she got more and more scared, gripped onto me more and more.
Me and Mr.B was saying "look at this little girl sat on Santa's knee, Santa is giving her a cuddle, would you like a cuddle from Santa"? Her reply was "NO" and clung to me even more!
It was Alesha's turn to go in and see Santa, I placed her next to Santa and she cried to get up. So I sat next to Santa and Alesha sat on my knee.
She was then happy talking to Santa, "she even gave Santa her favourite teddy"!

Ever since we got home, all I keep hearing is "look mummy, Alesha and Santa" (pointing to the picture).

What was your child's experience when they saw Santa for the first time?



WINNER of the Bach Emotional Eating Kit

A massive thanks to each and every one of you that took time to enter my competition to win a Bach Emotional Eating Kit!


The lucky winner was chosen using Random.org ......


Lucky number 34,  CONGRATULATIONS to Helen E Harris (@picklepie35)


Please email me with your contact details, I will then forward them on so your kit get's sent out a.s.a.p.


Hope you enjoy your prize and well done!


True Random Number Generator  34Powered by RANDOM.OR

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Review: Visit Aldi This Christmas!

Christmas is only a few weeks away but don’t worry – Aldi has a selection of indulgent festive food and drink at great value prices for the whole family to enjoy.


When I was contacted by a lovely PR to ask if I wanted to review a few of Aldi's Christmas goodies, I jumped at the chance!
I have been to my local Aldi a few times and I enjoy their food and but more especially I enjoy the everyday essentials department. 
This year I haven't had a chance to taste their Christmas product's firstly because I haven't done my food shopping yet!

I was really excited when my postman knocked the door with my Aldi product's, guess what? "He had 3 Aldi parcels for me"! "Yes three"! 

I was like a little kid at Christmas time, I couldn't wait to see what was in the boxes. 
Mr.B gave me a helping hand opening them (not that I needed it), he was very happy to come across a packet of Scottish Smoked Salmon, his favourite fish!
We also received, Luxury All Over Iced Christmas Cake, 6 Luxury Mince Pies, Chocolate Reindeer, Roasting Potatoes In Goose Fat, Rijoa Reserva and another bottle of Amador Cava Brut.
The day before Alesha received a few of their Christmas Sticker and Activity Books which are on sale from only 99p. 

I think these books are a bargain at 99p, so grab one while stocks last! Alesha had loads of fun, she enjoyed colouring in Santa and his reindeer and also putting the stickers on the pages.
A lovely treat for a little one at Christmas, the books contain activities, games, puzzles, stickers and press-outs.  
Me and Mr.B enjoyed a glass of Cava with our chicken pasta, it wasn't Mr.B's cup of tea because it was too sweet for him but me on the otherhand I poured out another glass!
My tastebuds enjoyed the citrus taste from the Cava and I to me the Cava went with my meal, even though most people say Cava goes best with fish.
Aldi's Amador Cava Brut is priced at £4.49 which I think is a very reasonable price.
Are you looking for a low cost Christmas cake that taste's delicious? Well look no further, Aldi's Luxury All Over Iced Christmas Cake is only £6.99, "isn't that a bargain"?
I was attracted to the holly design on the top of the cake, it wasn't over done with decorations, so therefore it was very appealing.

We have not yet tried the cake as we decided to put it away and enjoy it after our Christmas dinner, but a friend of mine had a piece of the cake last week at her work's Christmas party and she said it was tasty, rich and moist, she also gave a positive comment on the icing on top and the marzipan.

Next up is the Luxury Mince Pies that retail at 99p for a box of 6.
I'm not a fan of mince pies, never have and don't think I ever will, but Mr.B and Alesha had one. There was no way Alesha would put anymore in her mouth after the first bite so hers went straight into the bin!
Mr.B enjoyed them that much that he had another one, he said "the taste of brandy was slightly strong but I liked it".

The chocolate reindeer was eaten by the 3 of us, "how nice are we sharing chocolate"?  
or the size of the reindeer and the taste, it is definitely worth 99p, an ideal stocking filler for the young and old.
It was beautifully wrapped in the shape of a reindeer, Alesha knew right away what animal it was!
These are available in both milk and dark chocolate, grab some while stocks last!

Mr.B as of yet hasn't got round to cooking a meal for him and Alesha with the salmon, he is too busy working but he finishes for Christmas on the 21st so I'm sure he will enjoy the salmon then!
You can find it in Aldi stores for only £1.99.

If you are wanting a Christmas product then you would need to visit an Aldi store a.s.a.p because the products are only available until stocks last! 
For more information please visit www.aldi.co.uk 


Friday, 2 December 2011

Low-Cost Christmas Gift Guide PART 8

If you haven't read part 1 - 7 you can do so here.

25. Useful info about: Kiddicare
'Established in 1974, Kiddicare is the largest online nursery and baby supplier in the UK'.

'Our 60,000sq foot showroom based in Peterborough (www.kiddicare.info) is the largest in Europe and offers one of the widest ranges of baby products, accessories and equipment stocking all your favourite baby brands including QuinnyMaxi-CosiBritaxGracoMaclaren,Baby BjornCosatto and Phil & Teds under one roof'.

Alesha was sent one of their products to review, Little Helper Kroom Dollshouse with Furniture she was really happy to see it upon it's arrival into our household, "what little girl wouldn't be happy with a new dollshouse" ?

Mr.B was at work the day it arrived so it ment Alesha would have to wait until he got home because I took a look into the box and it look way too complicated for me. 
So with that in mind you could picture the reaction from Alesha, let's just say "she wasn't a happy bunny because mummy was making her wait"!

Mr.B made it look very easy when he was putting it together, so I decided to give him a helping hand and put the furniture together, it wasn't as hard as I predicted. 
When it was all done it looked absolutely beautiful, I couldn't wait for our little miss (AKA Alesha) to play with it.
The cardboard was very strong which ment the dollshouse was sturdy. 
The dollshouse has lovely bright colours, great for little imaginations!

The multicoloured dollshouse is the eco friendly gift for Christmas, made from reinforced recycled cardboard.  It comes complete with a 14 piece furniture set for your little girl to create an imaginative world and lots of fun. It’s easily assembled (requiring no tools at all) and so your little princess can get playing on Christmas morning.  
You can find the dollshouse over on their website for £19.99, I personally think that's a good bargain!

26. Useful info about: Baylis & Harding 
'Mostly known for our heritage signature brand of delicately fragranced bathroom essentials, we are also the company behind a diverse range of other well known brands. Each and every one of the product's are created with a unique enthusiasm for perfection'.  


'Having a presence as the licence manufacturer in the bath and body market with exclusive offerings is also a strong hold for us. Aimed mainly but not exclusively at children, our diverse range includes Mr Men and Little Miss, Timmy Time, Jelly Belly, Peter Rabbit and Thomas The Tank Engine.'


After a long day, there is nothing better than a good soak in the bath even better with a Baylis & Harding product.
I have always bought Baylis & Hardling giftsets for my girly friends as a Christmas or birthday gift. 
I was sent a beautiful Sweet Mandarin and Grapefruit Luxury Boxed Gift Set to review as part of this Christmas guide.
I couldn't wait to relax in the bath that night, so as soon as Alesha went to bed, I ran some warm water into my bath and added some of the bath and shower creme into the running water. 
The smell was to die for, a relaxing sweet smell. I can honestly say that I really enjoyed my bath that night.
After the bath I put some of the body lotion onto my face and neck, and again the scent was lovely!
Even Mr.B commented on how lovely I smelt when I sat next to him on the couch.


Baylis & Harding products has never irritated my skin or caused and dryness, I would highly recommend Baylis & Harding. They have a wide range of choice to suit everybody, my young to old and even for men!


The luxury giftset that I was sent retails at £25.00 and you can find them stocked in a wide range of shops including Boots!


For more information please visit Baylis & Harding website, www.baylisandharding.com



Thursday, 1 December 2011

Recipe: Lettuce Soup

Once Christmas and new year are over, are the cupboards and fridge looking bare after weeks of entertaining? Don't feel like braving the supermarket again just yet?
Try this delicious soup from the 2012 Dairy Diary that can be whipped up with only a few minimal ingredients!

Lettuce Soup
Butter 50g (20z)
Lettuce leaves 350g (12oz), roughly chopped
Spring onions 110g (4oz), trimmed and chopped
Plain flour 1tbsp
Chicken stock 600ml (1pint)
Milk 150ml (1/4pint) 
Double cream to serve, optional

Serves 4
Time 20 minutes
Calories 313 per portion
Fat 29g of which 16.3g is saturated
Suitable for freezing

1. Melt butter in a deep pan. Sauté lettuce and spring onions for about 5 minutes, until very soft. Stir in flour, then add stock. Bring to boil, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
2. Let soup cool and then purée in a blender or rub through a sieve. Return to pan, add milk and seasoning . Reheat to serving temperature
3. To serve, ladle into soup bowls, add a swirl of cream (if using) and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. 



 

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Review: SodaStream

We all love a glass of fizzy pop but at the same time we know the cost involved in buying can's and bottles.
So when Sodastream contacted me about testing one of there interesting machines, I was delighted!

SodaStream and Soda-Club are the world’s leading brands for the simple, elegant and appealing preparation of carbonated soft drinks in millions of homes across the world. There drinks makers, flavours, gas cylinders, and bottles are retailed in thousands of stores across markets in Europe, North America, Asia, Africa and Australia.
When my SodaStream arrived I was delighted to see how stylish it looked, a lovely design with a digital display for an accurate and timely amount of bubbles.

After reading the instructions I gave it a try and was amazed at how easy it was to use. 
I simply filled the bottle up with water to the line and then screwed it into the machine and pressed the lever to add some gas. I then unscrwed the bottle and poured a cap full of one of the flavours into the bottle, closed the cap and gave it a good shake with the help of Alesha!
The brilliant thing with the bottle is you can pop the cap on and then put it in the fridge, just like you would do with a normal bottle of fizzy pop, so it doesn't go to waste.
It taste just like a normal glass of fizzy pop but this is much more healthier because it's made with water, "yes water"!

There is a great range of flavours, my favourite at the minute has to be the lemon & lime, Alesha's favourite is pink grapefruit whereas Mr.B's favourite is the cola!
The flavours are reasonably priced at between £3-£4 a bottle, each 500ml bottle makes up to 12 litres.

If your buying a loved one a SodaStream for Christmas then why not also buy them a variety sample 12 pack, which includes 12 trail sized samples of SodaStream's most popular, refreshing flavours including 6 diet and 6 regular samples. Each 42ml sample makes 1 litre of soft drink.
You even get money back if you trade back your used gas cylinders, good ey?

The SodaStream we were sent was the Fizz  Incredibubble! It retails at £119 and I have to say it is worth every penny!

The fun will never stop with this easy to use drinks maker. You can make continuous amounts of carbonated drink with control over your fizz levels. The Fizz Chip will also display the amount of CO2remaining in your cylinder.

SodaStream’s brand new Gift for the Environment range is the perfect gift for smart Mums who want a sleek and stylish design with the benefit of being able to make soft drinks at home. The shimmering design in Fizz (RRP £119.99), Jet (RRP £54.99) and Genesis (RRP £69.99) looks set to light up Christmas, and sits perfectly alongside the new range of natural flavours to make her the envy of all her friends.

I am looking forward to doing our weekly food shop because I will definitely be stocking up on some more flavours because all of the family love them. 

For more information on SodaStream please visit www.sodastream.co.uk

Low-Cost Christmas Gift Guide PART 7

If you haven't read part 1 - 6 you can do so here.

21. Useful info about: Jumbo
'The red elephant has been the Jumbo trademark for games and puzzles since 1976. The elephant first appeared in the Hausemann & Hötte logo for the first time in 1936. Around that time, they were selling wooden toys under the name Jumbo. The quality was perceived to be strong enough to withstand the weight of an elephant standing on the wooden toys and the name – Jumbo - and the red elephant have been used ever since'.

I was contacted to see if I would like to review one of Jumbo's toys, I had a look at the wide choice of puzzles they had to offer and I choose the Peppa Pig puzzle & colour because firstly Alesha adores Peppa Pig, "what kid doesn't"? And secondly because it was more her age range at 3years +.

My little miss moo AKA Alesha got very excited when she saw me unwrapping a Peppa Peppa item, she wanted it there and then, so we took the 24 piece jigsaw puzzle and the 4 crayons out of the bag and got to work joining the pieces together.
It was lovely to watch her using her cognitive skills by thinking what piece goes where?

Alesha had loads of fun with this puzzle, after she had coloured it all in there was no need to bin it because the crayons are wipe able so we just wiped the puzzle nice and clean, ready for round 2!

This puzzle retails at £14.99 and can purchased from Argos, Toys R Us, Tesco, Smyths, Mothercare and MANY MANY more!

Here are some other puzzles from Jumbo that would make an ideal Christmas present, Starline for girls £14.99, Starline for boys £12.99, Anti-Virus £17.99, Disney Pixar Cars puzzle & colour £12.99.


22. Useful info about: Cox and Cox
Fiona Cox and Lizzie Thornton-Allan launched Cox & Cox Mailorder in 1999. Cox and Cox has now substantially grown into the current inspirational and unique format with great PR, marketing and loyal customers. The personally chosen products have a nostalgic and retro feel aimed at individually-minded customers who trust the choices offered by Cox & Cox and do not want ‘mass-produced’.


We received the doggy bank from Cox and Cox last week, It's not really my thing so I gave it to my partner to test out (and play with). It's a great little gadget, you pop loose change into the dog bowl and in seconds the dog eats it! Its really realistic to watch and makes saving fun. Our daughter Alesha has now started saving with it, she will ask for penny's and then ask to put them in the dog bank.
Its great for gadget people who like saving or people just looking for something funky!  Its now sat on our sitting-room sideboard and all the spare penny's go into it.


I would recommend this to anybody as I feel its a fantastic little Christmas gift. 
The only downfall is the price, the doggy bank retails at £18.50 and I would only be willing to pay around £14.00 for this item.


Why not pop on over to www.coxandcox.co.uk to see what other products they stock.


23. Useful info about: Build-A-Bear-Workshop
'At Build-A-Bear Workshop®, our mission is to bring the Teddy Bear to life. The Teddy Bear brings to mind warm thoughts about our childhood, about friendship, about trust and comfort, and also about love. Build-A-Bear Workshop embodies those thoughts in how we run our business everyday'.


Alesha was sent one of the new arrivals for 2012, Eric the penguin from Happy Feet 2.


There is also three other teddies that are new for 2012, Sock Monkey and family favourites Snoopy Flying Ace and Alvin.
Alesha was really pleased to see the new member of our household, he came suited and booted for winter, with his hat, scarf and woolly jumper!


These really are the ideal gift gift for a little one, why not take them to one of the many Build-A-Bear workshops, you can find your nearest store here


Build-A-Bear Workshop® is the place for Christmas gifting.  With gifts that give back, classic friends and traditional Christmas favourites, personalised gifts with sound, stocking stuffers and more - there’s something for everyone on the list and for every budget.  Fulfill gift requests with one-stop shopping at any of the more than 50 Build-A-Bear Workshop stores in the UK or online at buildabear.co.uk. 

Build-A-Bear teddies never look cheap, they are good quality bears and made to grow with your child!



24. Useful info about: Clintons
When I think of Christmas and birthday cards, Clintons is always the first to pop into my mind. 
And this year is no different, so as you've guessed I bought my Christmas cards and Alesha's birthday card from the one and only Clintons!


We were sent some lovely Clintons products and Clintons did it again, lived up to their name! I was really pleased with the box of Family Assortment Christmas cards which included 15 high quality cards for only £1. 
I collect Me To You's so I was over the moon to find 3 scented Christmas Me To You candle's, the pack of candle's only cost's £9.99, a perfect present for a Me To You collector, right?


Give a little Christmas joy to the little ones in your life with one of these cute gifts, Roofle Reindeer for £9.99 or Rosy Robin for £6.99. Alesha was sent both soft toy's and she adores them, whenever we get a visitor she has to show them her reindeer. Lovely gift's at reasonable prices.
Take the stress out of Christmas shopping this year by visiting Clintons – the high street haven that meets every gift, card and wrapping need


Clintons has a range of gifts available at affordable prices for all of the family! What’s more, you can purchase your cards and gift wrap all in the same store - leaving you with more time to enjoy the festivities.

To help your money go further, Clintons is offering customers exclusive bargains from now until Christmas Eve including:

·         Buy one get one half price on Calendars, Advent Calendars and Diaries (cheapest item half price. Offer can be mixed and matched with Calendars and Advent Calendars buy not Diaries)
·         Buy one get one half price on boxes of Christmas cards (cheapest item half price, excluding charity cards)
·         Buy one get one half price on all Christmas wrapping paper and accessories (cheapest item half price)
·         Me To You Tatty Teddy Bear Offer - £100 now only £50
·         Me To You Tatty Teddy Bear Offer £50 now only £25