Monday, 31 July 2017

Fabulous Finds For July 2017

July is the month when all thoughts turn to summer holidays, even if the weather isn't great. My Fabulous Finds for this month include super value suncream, flip flops, beer, activities for children, bodywash for after swimming and a couple of great blogging finds (contains some affiliate links). I also had an extra post this month for Free From Fabulous Finds with a great selection of dairy free, gluten free and vegan foods.

A collage showing all 9 fabulous finds for July 2017 as detailed below


Friday, 28 July 2017

Review: Great Hair with Argan Oil Extract Moisture Drench Shampoo and Conditioner

What my hair really needs is a good hair cut, but as I doubt I will get to the hairdressers for a while I have been looking for a great shampoo and conditioner which will help stop my super dry hair getting so knotty. Baylis and Harding sent me their great hair Moisture Drench Shampoo and Conditioner to review and I have been testing it out.

A bottle of shampoo in a white bottle and conditioner in a turquoise plastic bottle.  

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Review: Craft Time Mini Mosaics

I’m always looking for compact activities we can take away with us when we go on long car journeys or aeroplanes. We were sent a couple of new Craft Time Mosaics from Brainstorm and they arrived just in time for our holidays. A long drive to the Netherlands was the perfect travel opportunity to test out these stick on mosaic patterns so when M started asking for the iPad I suggested she completed one of the kits instead. Luckily she was excited to have a go.

The Dolphin and Pony mosaic sets in their packaging

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Recipe: Dairy Free Chocolate Brownie

I love a rich, gooey chocolate brownie so I’ve modified my favourite recipe from Konditor & Cook and made it dairy free. This means I can continue to indulge in one of my favourite treats even though I'm not eating any dairy at the moment. This rich brownie is perfect for chocolate lovers.


Monday, 24 July 2017

The Gruffalo's Child Trail at Thorndon Country Park

The Gruffalo trail in Thorndon Country Park, Brentwood, Essex has recently been rebranded as the Gruffalo’s Childs trail. We went for a stroll in the deep dark wood to find out what has changed.

A wooden carving of the Gruffalo's child next to a girl in a pink coat holding the gruffalo's child book up


Sunday, 23 July 2017

Fabulous Finds for July - Free From Special

My visit to the Free From and Allergy Show introduced me to a huge number of dairy free products I wasn't familiar with. I dedicatedly munched and slurped my way through them to find the best of the bunch. I found so many products to recommend that this month I have an extra addition of Fabulous Finds to showcase the Free From finds.

A collage of photographs showing the free from products highlighted in the post


Saturday, 22 July 2017

Review: Garden Games with TJ Hughes

Long Summer days are perfect for making childhood memories. We love going out to the farm, zoo or parks, but some of our best days are spent relaxing at home. With home comforts and no time pressures we all seem to be more chilled and there are less arguments. I love seeing my daughters playing together in the garden so thank you to TJ Hughes for sending us a couple of review items to make the summer days at home even more fun. We were sent a Disney Mickey Mouse Patio Set and a swing ball set to review and my girls have been testing them out.

Blue table, chairs and sun umbrella with Mickey Mouse theme

Friday, 21 July 2017

How To Limit TV For Kids Without Tears

It won’t surprise you to hear my children love to watch TV.  In fact we all love to watch TV, but when my girls watch too much I notice their behaviour can get worse. The compromise? I make TV time a treat, a reward for good behaviour and special family time. How do I do this? Well it helps to have a great TV like the Panasonic HDR 4K TV, but read on for my tips on how to limit TV watching and make it more special.  *Collaborative Post*

Two girls aged 5 and 1 sitting on a sofa focused on something in the difference
Absorbed in the Television

Thursday, 20 July 2017

First Year Of School

Wow, what a difference a school year makes. Today was the last day of Reception for Big Sister. That’s a whole school year persuading her she needs to be out of the house, suitably dressed and on time. Impressively we haven’t been late once, but there have been a number of mornings my throat has been sore from shouting. We have gone through 3 pairs of school shoes, lost countless cardigans and her book bag looks tattered from being dragged around. The changes to her belongings over the last 11 months is nothing compared to the changes I can see in M.

A picture of M in a green and white checked summer dress on her first day in Reception next to her last day in Reception
First day of Reception and last day of Reception

Monday, 17 July 2017

Giveaway: Niederegger Chocolate Marzipan

July is a fun time as a “mummy” blogger, obviously there is the mad rush to get as much work done and scheduled before the school holidays start, but the great thing about July is Christmas In July events. Every July loads of fab brands hold press shows to demo their latest products and what they think customers will want to buy for Christmas. For a blogger who can write and publish a post the same day it seems a little crazy to be thinking that far ahead, but print magazines don’t have the luxury of such a fast turn around.

A Classic Dark Bar, A Classic Milk Bar and a 100g box of Double Loaves


Sunday, 16 July 2017

A Tale As Old As Time

I was so excited when I saw “Beauty and The Beast” is about to be released on DVD that I actually said “eek” out loud. I recognise it isn’t the greatest film in the world, some of the acting and singing could be better, but there is something about the film. It’s the Disney of my childhood.

Photo of Beauty and The Beast Album artwork showing Belle (Emma Watson) and a beast.


Friday, 14 July 2017

Review: Collagen Re-Inforce Elizabeth Grant Face Creams

As I get closer to 40 than 30 I recognise the years of broken sleep and poor diet haven’t exactly helped my skin. I was recently sent some products from Elizabeth Grant to review and after having a quick Google I found out they are a Canadian company which focuses on anti-ageing cream. Does reviewing anti-ageing products make me officially old?

Close up of packaging of Elizabeth Grant creams in silver, white and grey


Tuesday, 11 July 2017

How Did People Manage To Parent Before Modern Inventions?

Like every parent each day has it’s ups and it’s downs. A few hours ago I was being cuddled as I took my daughter upstairs for her nap. I thought to myself how lucky I am that I get to spend my day having lovely cuddles, I didn't get so many when I had a job. But now, only 3 hours later, I am sitting on the sofa exhausted and wondering just how did people parent before all of our amazing modern technology? How did I get from there to here? What went wrong? It was that nap.

A close up of a toddler asleep in a car seat with her head at an angle

Monday, 10 July 2017

Choosing A Dream Pet

Getting a pet is a big commitment: they need to be fed, cleaned and looked after.  They can be your friend for months or even decades so it’s pretty hard to choose the perfect pet. I think mine would be one that loved a cuddle and didn’t make a mess. We’ve all been thinking about what our dream pet would be after Petplan invited us to take part in a campaign where they would create a cuddly version of an animal drawn by my eldest daughter.

A young girl with big blue eyes cuddling an alien in bed

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Review: The Search For School Shoes Which Can Survive School

I have no idea what my daughter does at school all day. If I ask her I generally get “I don’t remember”, but whatever it is it’s clearly pretty tough on her shoes. Last time I bought her a new pair they looked awful after just one day. Term Footwear have a new range of school shoes and they offered us a pair to review. Would they survive better than her previous two pairs bought from a popular high street shoe shop? 

A pair of bruised legs, white socks and Term Footwear school shoes

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

An Afternoon Tea To Remember #RLDTasters

If you are looking for an afternoon tea with a difference you might want to head to Paradise Wildlife Park in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire. I have spent many long days at this zoo with my daughters in the playgrounds, on the train, in the sand pit, in the splash pool and even occasionally looking at animals. When Red Letter Days invited me to taste one of the experiences on offer at the zoo I was excited to have a look around child free and have afternoon tea with the some tigers! 

A tiger lying on a wooden platform


Monday, 3 July 2017

Those Monday Morning Conversations

“How was your weekend?”, “Good thank you, yours?”. That’s the conversation you are meant to have on a Monday morning. It’s the Monday alternative to “how are you?” “fine thanks, you?” . It’s not even expected that you share what you actually did and you definitely shouldn’t say anything negative. It’s just what people say all over the country as they greet each other in offices every Monday morning. It’s the same for my new SAHM life with the school run too, but fortunately children make it more interesting.

Filling a small paddling pool with a hose while a toddler stands in it fully clothed