This Friday it’s BritMums Live – and it will be my first time attending. I know on the Friday it’s a bit more ‘dressy’ than the following day, so have been trying to decide what to wear. I popped into my local New Look to check out their dresses - I like the Skater dresses in stock, but they’re a bit too short for me, alas – a bit of length and I’d probably have bought four of the styles!
Fortunately I bought a long ditsy print skirt from New Look a while back (which I’ve written about previously), so will definitely be wearing that – and have bought some clothes recently from Next – in black of course – a nice top and jumper to wear. I just have to work out which shoes now… (hence me being barefoot on the picture)
Saturday is a bit easier – I’m a t-shirt and jeans kind of girl, so will be wearing that, along with my RocketDog shoes I bought from Schuh (and got cashback from Quidco!) – cashback sites are great for good deals and I almost always remember to check. T-shirt wise it’ll be something from UniQlo or my cassette t-shirt from Teefury, and of course both days I’ll have my Mia Tui Amelie bag to carry everything I could ever need. I learnt my lesson after Cybher…
The other thing I’m looking forward to at BritMums is chatting to the brands and companies there. Butlins will be there and I’ll be heading over for a chat, as well as Parragon the book publishers. Panasonic will be there too, so I’m sure I’ll be talking breadmakers with them and whether I can make jam in them yet. One brand which has stood out for me is Kattoo who do temporary tattoos for kids to wear when you’re at an event – which sounds brilliant (and I’m already looking ahead to Lollibop)! I’ll also probably end up gushing at Argos for their new computer system and how shopping there is so painless these days…
So yes, I apologise now for my nervous gushing that will probably happen, but I’m intending to have a brilliant time and catch up (and meet!) some of my favourite bloggers – wheeee!
This post contains a sponsored link, all opinions are true though.
Warmer days are with us now (with plenty of rain of course), and although we’re later than usual we’ve been planting various seeds and things. As part of MoneySupermarket’s Kids Grow Wild challenge with BritMums we received some seeds for flowers, as well as a mini gardening kit for H which includes gloves, a watering can, a trowel and a fork – and a garden bag to keep them in. She loves having a ‘kit’ to do things and this makes her really enthusiastic when we try things like this as she’s got her own special things so gets properly stuck in.
So plenty of digging and planting and re-potting was done. Our seeds range from various flowers to radishes, to carrots, to peas, lavender (of course) and more pretty flowers. The majority of these were already growing, so Shaun picked up a large pot for H’s new project and they’re off!
H has always been quite picky about having dirty hands – if she falls over and gets muddy she’s more upset about that than having fallen, especially if it’s her hands – so gardening seems a good way for us to make her realise it’s okay to have mucky hands (plus having the gloves is a genius move, we hadn’t thought of that!). They set to work – Shaun put plenty of soil in the pot, and H added seeds, a few at a time.
A week later and it looks like this!
I was quite amazed how quickly radishes start – I bought a £1 tray from Tiger and some seeds, and within a week really big plants had appeared – so they were repotted today.
Last year in the garden we grew potatoes, carrots, peas and peppers – and had a failed attempt at courgettes. This year we’ll have peas and carrots again as well as some of the seeds you get in Pizza Express – I know there’s some mint in there, I can’t remember what else. Then there’s the radishes, and we’re going to try again with cress (how can you fail at cress? We managed). H is out there every night after nursery watering the plants and making sure they’re okay with daddy.
With the next week set to be sunny and rainy it’s good plant growing weather – so keep an eye on our instagram feed and you’ll see how we’re getting on! Also, Shaun bought a new book last week which uses old wine boxes instead of pots to plant in and it looks great too. Now there’s an idea, a little salad garden… that and when we’ve cleared H’s toy tubs they might make a good plant pot..
This post is an entry for BritMums’ #KidsGrowWild Challenge
We made our annual Father’s Day trip to Painshill Park today, where dads go free – which works out (as of June 2013) at £6.50 for one mum, one dad and one three and three quarter year old.
Nonetheless, we walked, saw The Grotto and how the restoration is going (it should be open for a few hours every weekend in two weeks) and got around a lot of the park, including the two new bridges. Things are changing at Painshill and in a good way – they’ve received money to do essential restoration work, and the next plan is a proper boat shed for their barge (which lives at the side of the main lake and has been known to sink).
We love Painshill – it’s somewhere we can go back to many times and spot something we’ve not seen before – plus there’s several long walks you can do there, and several good places you could stop for a picnic (we had picnic envy when a large group of friends with kids walked past with their various supplies).
If you got the Gardeners World 2 for 1 coupon you can get to Painshill Park using that card, otherwise it’s £6.50 per adult.
Porridge on Tuesday is a new website with healthy recipes tailored to your diet and helping you organise your life (and food cupboards) – and I’m proud to announce I’m an Ambassador! If you’ve followed my weight loss challenges over the last few months then you will already know I’ve done pretty well following Weight Watchers. I didn’t make it to my target of 12 stone (I got to 12 stone 2, so I’m not beating myself up here) and I’ve been in ‘maintain’ mode for a while now.
Porridge on Tuesday is going to help me get organised. More often than not on Weight Watchers I’d stick to food I know, and I need to branch out a bit while keeping my food healthy and easy to make in a short space of time. Luckily their website is set up to do just that.
I put in all my current information – including my previous medical conditions (diabetes, high cholesterol issues) and my current weight and height, plus waistline. My ideal weight has been set at 10st 9 which is quite a lot to lose so we’ll see how we get on. I’ll be happy if I could get below 12 stone and have tastier food (disclaimer: I’m not saying Weight Watchers wasn’t tasty, we made some lovely recipes with them) – and I particularly like that you can generate a shopping list based on the recipes.
Firstly, you need to set up an account. That’s straightforward and you decide which programme you want to be on. I opted for ‘eat well and do more at my current weight’ as I don’t need to lose a lot more weight but I could use better stamina and be toned a bit more. After that you need to meal plan. That can be time-consuming, but already there have been some delicious dishes I’ve seen pictures of that I want to try. I’ve been vegetarian for 30 years, whereas Shaun and H eat meat (when Shaun cooks it) so our dishes will be vegetarian ones unless they opt for meat. It’s a simple click and drag process to choose the foods you want, and the calorie content is taken from your daily total.
After that there’s exercise – you mark when you can do anything (I’m not sure if running for the train every morning counts, but I may well log a two-minute sprint) and you have calories set for the day.
Unlike Weight Watchers your calories aren’t broken down into points – this is proper calorie counting and initially I’m finding myself dividing everything by 40 to work out a rough points value as it’s what I’m used to. The choice of recipes are constantly being added to, so I’m looking forward to trying some things out.
So, here we are – a new weight loss journey. I found I worked much better doing it publicly last time, so here’s hoping the good work continues!
H is becoming quite obsessed with the Magic Belles – six really lovely little fairies who sprinkle their magic dust as they go, each with their own ‘wonder’. She’s been signed up with the FREE Flutterbud Club – yes, you read that correctly, and if you have a young girl then really truly sign them up as it’s lovely – every month H gets a picture, badge, sticker, book to make and loads of activities within that.
We were lucky to be chosen as one of a few bloggers to receive a special treat from Cupcake Belle – a recipe and of course the all-important things you need to make cookies.
Wednesday is my day off, so H and I headed to the shops and got to work…
When we got home I weighed out the main ingredients – so that’s 125g of unsalted butter, 125g of caster sugar, 250g plain flour and had a medium egg and some vanilla extract ready. In the meantime H laughed at me a lot when I told her to “put her pinny on”.
So H mixed the butter and sugar together
We cracked and added the egg together and she carefully measured the vanilla extract with her special measuring spoons
I helped a little bit with mixing, mainly guiding her to make sure she did it right, as she seemed to want to rush it rather than do it slowly and carefully. H was in charge though, never let it be said otherwise.
After that we sifted in half the flour and mixed, then the other half and eventually made the mixture into a dough. I then wrapped it in clingfilm and left it in the fridge for about four hours while we went out to soft play and swimming.
We got back and I needed the bigger rolling pin to get the dough rolled out, once we’d done it H cut a few cupcake shapes, and we laid them out on a tray to be baked – 20 minutes later and they were done.
Then all we had to do was roll out the icing and cut out more shapes and roll pink icing and trim it for the cupcake top (which I did as it’s a sharp knife) then get some water and make sure the icing was stuck to the biscuit, add sprinkles and a small circle of icing on top and voila! Sugar treats for us (which will be shared with my mum at the weekend as there’s lots of them!).
Thank you Magic Belles – the key thing I spotted with this was how much H felt like this was ‘hers’ – she had her special mixing bowl and measuring cups and tools as well as a hat and pinny, and she did the majority of the mixing and making – the recipe is simple enough for a three year old to manage (like H) without being complicated. Add to that she thinks Cupcake Belle is her favourite and really you’re on to a winner.
I like to work her hard
For more Magic Belles information head here
To join the excellent Flutterbud Club head here
We were provided with money for ingredients and goodies to make the cookies, all opinions are our own.
- BritMums Live is Coming!
- Getting Green Fingered
- Dads Go Free at Painshill on Father’s Day
- Porridge On Tuesday – I’m An Ambassador!
- Cupcake Cookies Making with Magic Belles
- V05 Dry Shampoo and Replacing My Eighties Nightmares #cbias
- H’s Room Needs Improving
- Review – Monski Mouse’s Baby Disco – London Wonderland
- Bunting For Impatient People
- Cybher 2013