Monday, 28 November 2016

Find the best gift this Christmas with UncommonGoods

Now I don't know if it's just me but I find gift giving extremely difficult, especially at Christmas time when there are so many gifts to try and find (and in our family just after a lot of birthday's too). That's why websites like UncommonGoods come in handy for those special and maybe more quirky gifts, especially when they are a company with great morals both environmentally and socially.

The hardest people to buy for? Men!! If the men in your life are anything like my Husband, Dad, Father in Law or Brothers then they often just buy what they want even before Christmas-highly frustrating!

That's when Christmas gift guides come in very handy on websites, especially when there is a whole 'men' section to look at with over 400 gifts to choose from.

Both my brother's and actually my Mother in Law play guitar, so something like this guitar pick punch would make unique and useful gift.

http://www.uncommongoods.com/product/pick-punch

If you know someone who likes spirits like my father in law then these granite disks would be a great idea to keep the drink cool without the need for ice. 

http://www.uncommongoods.com/product/on-the-rocks-set

For more Men's gift ideas click here.


Now, I'm sure I'm not the only one who would love to treat their Mum at Christmas. 

Jewellery always goes down well with my mum, I thought these parent nestling necklaces were really sweet! 

http://www.uncommongoods.com/product/parent-nestling-necklaces
Of course I'm a mum too, and jewellery and kitchen things are always a good thing to buy me! How pretty are these butterflies on this necklace?!

http://www.uncommongoods.com/product/butterfly-cloud-necklace
I really like to bake when I have the time, this time of year I am found baking many birthday cakes in our house, often these days I find it loads quicker to find a recipe online rather than flicking through books, so this would be perfect. With the utensil section it is also useful when not being used to hold the tablet too. For more gifts perfect for Mum's click here.

http://www.uncommongoods.com/product/kitchen-utensil-and-tablet-holder
I hope this helps with some Christmas shopping this year! 

This is a sponsored post but all words and views are my own.



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Thursday, 17 November 2016

Snowed under!

It's been a busy few weeks! 

I'm trying to get myself organised for the Christmas evening at Alex's school, I have booked a table to hopefully sell my makes...! I'm hoping it goes better than the couple I tried in the summer months!

On top of that I have had some orders coming in too and I feel like I am juggling it all and panicking I won't have enough stock made up!!



With pregnancy tiredness and the dark nights I must admit I am getting a little stressed out about it. 

It's such a busy time of year at home too, it's Alex's birthday on Sunday, mine the following Saturday James the Saturday after and then finally Sam's on the 9th of Dec. 

As always money is at a tight squeeze, normally we try and cut costs on parties and have it at home but I just couldn't face that with Alex this year, we have booked bowling for a few friends, so all I have to worry about it making a Thor hammer cake on Friday or Saturday-I've not baked in so long so hopefully I get it right!!

Anyway I better get back to the making...

Do check out some of the latest makes on facebook.


Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Three is the magic number

Super happy and excited to say that baby Spencer no.3 is growing nicely, so nicely in fact my date moved from the 11th of May to 6th May, happy days. 

Keeping everything crossed that it stays that way. 

After weeks of feeling nauseous and sick it has been so nice to be able to eat and be in the kitchen again the past week or so-I'm certainly making up for all the lost eating!!

I even managed to cook last night which is the first time in a VERY long time as I literally couldn't stand the thought, look or smell of food for about 2 months, thankfully James stepped up to the plate and did all the cooking for the kids and himself!

I was so relived to see a tiny heartbeat and pleased to know that everything looks fine, it's always a bit of a worry before a scan, I couldn't help but think "what if", but I have been much more at ease since Monday morning, it definitely feels more real now!

Time to start thinking of all the baby products we need to save up for, we got rid of the cot as part of it was broken, the high chair went mouldy in the loft and a new pushchair travel system is top priority after Christmas! 

Exciting times, the kids are happy, although I am not so sure Sam understands the concept, he keeps saying "but it's not here yet" and doesn't believe it is growing in my tummy!




Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Autumn half term fun, salt dough leaf imprinting

With any school holidays I am filled with both excitement and dread.

I love the lazy mornings and not having to rush around (no one likes the time limits of the school runs do they)! BUT the arguing between the boys and trying to keep them constantly entertained is difficult and wearing at times! Sam constantly asks to watch TV, Alex comes up to me every 5 minutes saying he's bored, and asks to play on some form of technology pretty much on and off all day!

Today was one of those days! Alex sneaked his tablet in the morning so was quietly playing that in his room, cue tears when I took it off him, after breakfast they started fighting over hot wheels car and which one was the fastest or the best...this went on for some time!!

So after my shower and a bit of a shouting match I decided it was time to do something fun, I made up a batch of salt dough and we went out to collect some leaves (short walk to clear the head ache for me also)!



The recipe I used was simply, 1 cup flour, 1 cup salt and about 1/2 to 3/4's cup of warm water.

After returning i sprinkled flour over the table, got some geometric cookie cutters out and a couple of rolling pins. I let the boys pick the leave and also a couple of acorn cups they had found.



We rolled the dough to about 1cm thick, and then laid a leaf down upon the dough and lightly rolled over the leaf-hard enough to leave an imprint but not too hard to flatten the dough (this happened a few times with my two)!

They then cut with the cookie cutter, using a straw I poked a hole in each shape made in case we want to hang them at a later stage.

We placed them on some baking paper on a baking tray.

The boys also used acorn cups for making imprints, Alex had the idea of making circle indents in his dough which Sam quickly copied, we tried rolling the acorn cups to leave a pattern but this didn't really leave a great effect.

Once all the dough had gone I popped the shapes into the oven at about 140C and cooked for about 2-2 1/2 hours turning them over half way.




They came out reasonably well, whenever I have cooked salt dough in the past it has puffed so I am glad it didn't this time!

We may draw or paint on them another day...will update if we do :)

This was a fun and cheap activity to do and they had a great time.

Friday, 7 October 2016

Disconnected

Here I am sat on the sofa yet again.

I've spent weeks here half asleep and sometimes in pain.

The nausea taking over in waves, sometimes so strong that I just burst into tears.

I've lost count of the times I have said "I can't take this anymore".

Of course I am happy and excited about the future, but when the sickness takes hold it is hard to look beyond the moment itself, let alone the day, weeks and months ahead.

I feel quite alone at the moment, apart from school runs every day, Alex's swimming lesson, the kids odd party, and a couple of evenings with our parents I haven't left the house.

I'm literally in our lounge most of the day, watching trashy day time TV, I don't have an ounce of energy to do anything!

I feel guilty that I just can't be a good parent to the boys, and a good wife to James.

James has been doing so much, he leaves the house very early in the morning and gets back around 6pm most days.

When he gets home he sorts dinner for the boys and him, the evenings I just can't face the kitchen, the thought of food and definitely the smells.

He's been doing a lot of the bedtimes, some nights the kids have had to come down to say goodnight to me here, on the sofa as I just don't have the energy to move.

Evenings seem to be the worst time for me, from collecting the boys from school to when I go to bed I just feel nauseous and food cannot pass my lips, I'm lucky if I have a glass of water to drink too.

Because of all this, I just feel a bit useless. I am 9 weeks pregnant. Only 31 weeks to go...

The positives, I had my 1st midwife appointment last week and the midwife is lovely, now I am patiently awaiting the scan date, ok not patiently at all, each day the post comes I get all excited but it hasn't appeared yet.

After the heart ache earlier in the year I am very much hoping all goes well this pregnancy!

I was going to wait until the scan to post here, but I just felt I had to get it out somewhere, our close family and a couple of friends we see most days on school runs know but I desperately want to tell everyone, I am sure many of the school mums have guessed as I have looked awful for weeks!!


Monday, 3 October 2016

Alex's guardian angel

I don't know who or what was looking over us today but I am thankful!

We left the house at 8ish to head to Alex's school we have a mile cycle to get there, Sam on the back of the bike with me, Alex on his own bike.

Our area is quite built up, there is one dual carriageway running through the middle of lots of housing, it has been notorious for red light jumping as there are so many junctions along it.

Today we were crossing at the first junction we need to cross over, the light turned red for the cars, a car and tanker were starting to go from the shop side and our light turned green. I told Alex to go across as did I. Then I heard the engine told Alex to stop and move back and there was the car.

It narrowly missed hitting Alex, I think he may have clipped the front of Alex's bike but it all happened so fast I'm not really sure what happened exactly.

At first he didn't even realise it was his fault, I don't know if he'd been looking down or at a phone, or if it was the sun that caused him not to see his red light. Then I think it dawned on him that it was still a red light and completely his fault.

We were all shaken up, the man stopped, and checked we were ok, he was a dad too apparently and seemed to genuinely be sorry and I don't think he could quite believe how close it was, and what potentially could have been.

I just can't help but think of the worst outcome, and how I should of checked the road again and again before even saying 'yep it's green go'.

I got his number plate, he offered his number but I stupidly was too shaken up to take it, my legs were shaking so much, and I've never been in a situation like it, and as I don't drive never been in a car accident where you need any details or anything either so I really had no idea what the right thing to do was, that and any anxieties I have don't help!

I just thank our lucky stars Alex was ok, someone was watching over us today.

Friday, 9 September 2016

Zoflora product review

With two young boys and a husband who works in the building trade the house is often a mess if I am honest!

It was more so in the summer when the boys were constantly in and out of the garden and raiding the kitchen cupboards!

So when Zoflora contacted me to try out their products I jumped at the chance to try it out.


We received one 120ml disinfectant in the 'Green Valley' scent and one 250ml disinfectant in 'Citrus Fresh'.

As they are concentrated you have to dilute the disinfectant with water, I think this is great as it makes it last so much longer, I put my diluted solution in a spray bottle to make it easy to use when I needed it.

I will say I have mainly used it within the kitchen, it's always nice to know that 99.9% of bacteria & viruses are being killed, odours eliminated, and all day freshness achieved. I've been really impressed with the disinfectant, I was worried that the smell might be too overbearing, as sometimes I do find these sort of products that way but actually it is fairly subtle but lasting enough to notice when you come back in the room hours later.

I would say that my favourite scent of the two is probably the 'Green Valley' one as it just leaves a lovely, lush, fresh smell, the citrus one I prefer for bathroom cleaning as I didn't overly like the citrus smell in the kitchen.



I keep it in the kitchen as it is the room we mainly enter into and out of the house from our backdoor so our floor is in often need of a quick clean, that and two messy eaters who like to drop their food on the floor. It is really good to use on the worktops after cooking too and leaves the room looking and smelling so fresh.

You can use the Zoflora undiluted as well, but only on certain surfaces such as ceramic, metal sinks, drains and toilet bowls.

I would definitely recommend this product for use in the home, it lasts for such a long time when used diluted too. Just remember to always read the labels and keep the product out of the reach of children too.

The one thing I might suggest to Zoflora is that I would prefer the product to have a lid that was more child proof rather than a normal screw cap.

Zoflora can be bought from many shops, and for more information please look at their website:    http://www.zoflora.co.uk/




I received the products mentioned for this review, all words are my own. 

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