Monday, 25 June 2018

Sweet Pups Review And Giveaway

Children just love to collect thing's from pine cones, shells, toys and stickers just to name a few. If your child loves to collect thing's then they might like these collectable soft plush toys Sweet Pups. Sweet Pup's is a collection of 12 sweet pastry treats which transform into cute little puppies and if that wasn't sweet (pun intended) enough they are also scented.

We were sent a Sweet Pup to review, Eryn spotted a parcel and every time a parcel arrives the kids argue over who is opening it. As Jared was at school I thought it would be best for me to open and actually be able to get a picture of it in the packaging. The packaging is simple and clear so you can see the pastry though it. Eryn at this point was just looking at me repeating "ME" meaning she wanted to have a look and see what it was.

The Sweet Pup we received was a chocolate scented macaroon which changed into a pup called Romeo. At first I wasn't aware that it was scented it was until Eryn started licking it, which is actually pretty normal in our house. As she licked it I took it off her to tell her (for the 100th time) that we don't lick everything, that is when I could smell the chocolate.


To change from pastry to pup is really simple Eryn can even do it. You undo the velcro and flip it inside out then do the velcro back up. The macaroon is rubbery feeling whilst the pup is just soft and cuddly.

What the kids liked about Sweet Pups was that you could use it in many play roles. They had afternoon tea with a chocolate macaroon then they played vets with the pup, there was also a game which involved the pup being a superhero and defeating the crocodile in order to rescue the princess Peppa.

You can find Sweet Pup's on Amazon for £7.99 they are also in Claire's they are perfect for a little birthday gift or dare I say a stocking filler for Christmas.   Win 1x Sweet Pups

All About The Blogger: Kelly Allen Writer

Today's post is a guest post by Kelly from the blog  Kelly Allen Writer. This is part of a new Linky that I have joined, I hope to find new blogs for both you and myself to enjoy reading.

My name is Kelly and I blog at Kelly Allen Writer. I live in Cardiff with my husband, two children and labradoodle, and I write about family lifestyle, arts and culture.

Q1. How would your best friend describe you?
I asked him (my best friend is my husband Warren!) and he said...
gorgeous, sexy, smart, funny, caring, lovely, empathetic, sweet, honest, friendly, beautiful, awesome...
Awww my heart!

Q2. What is your favourite thing about blogging?
Reaching out to people and writing, of course! I love writing about different things I feel passionate about, and I also love it when people can relate to my thoughts and situation.

Q3. If you could change anything about blogging, what would it be?
I think it would be good if there was a set fee companies had to adhere to to prevent people being paid a pittance for good work.

Q4. If you were invited to a Blogger’s Cocktail Party, which three bloggers would you invite and why?
Oh I love this question! I'd invite Jess from Mrs Helicopter Writes, Laura from Side Street Style, Ayse from ArePops and I have to add a fourth, the wonderful Lianne from Anklebiters Adventures. They're all ace and so kind, and I don't see them half as much as I'd like!

Q5. What is the best blogging tip you have been given?
Write what you love.

Q6. When you aren’t blogging, where is your favourite place to visit for a day out?
The beach! It calls to me and I feel safe and sound when I'm on the sand listening to the waves crashing against the shore.

Q7. Tell us about your guilty pleasure. It could be food, drink, a TV programme or your favourite band.
Probably beer!

Q8. If you knew you were going to be marooned on a desert island and could take 3 luxury items with you, what would they be?
One of my fave questions. I'd take a photo album of my family, dry shampoo and aftershave to remind me of Warren :(

Q9. What was the last good book you read?
Probably Ruby by Cynthia Bond.

Q10. Describe your perfect date night?
Anything as long as it involves Warren. My favourite thing would probably be a meal,movie and massage night!

Blog URL: www.kellyallenwriter.com
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Sunday, 24 June 2018

Get Fit For Free

Since being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes I have been making more of an effort to get fitter. I'm a realist so I know that I'm not going to be running marathon's anytime soon but I've got to start somewhere and running is a great way to start. Ok so maybe I walk quickly and jog more then run but it is a start and better than sat watching Jezza. I have a huge issue about being out and about on my own so my first choice was to look at joining a gym and just using a treadmill and maybe the bikes, sadly my bank balance and time doesn't stretch enough. However there are many ways to get fit for free.
Photograph by John Kees
I have started to attend Parkrun with my son on a Sunday morning. Liam attends the one for adults on a Saturday but due to the time and lack of child care I can't go to that one which in a way is a blessing as with the junior one I can jog and walk and not look like I'm completely hanging, basically my son is shielding how unfit I am. Parkrun has events up and down the country and is free to join in, you can register online for a barcode which if you take with you will be scanned and you will be emailed your time and position that you came, not that it is a race I think it's so you can keep a tally on your progress.

Another great free running group that is local to myself and I think has other's dotted about the UK is Sweatshop running group. It is run out of a the Sweatshop clothing store and there are a choice of routes to follow, what makes this different to Parkrun is that it is held on an late afternoon early evening and you don't have a way to check your time unless you use your own timer or Fitbit.

Work out at home. So this sounds a lot easier then it actually is, I have an app that has been giving me notifications and inspirations for the past month and a half. The thing is I haven't actually completed any of the routines yet. I find it difficult at home not to just give up I have nobody to watch me and make me feel guilty for giving up. I also find that I go into it to hard and fast as a lot of the apps and free work out video's that can be found on YouTube are for those people who have some level of fitness and aren't a complete potato like me.

When I first looked at how to get fit for free I came across boxing. So technically it is free but the catch is you need to raise money for charity, not that this is a bad thing to do. I signed up but then realised the fight night was on a birthday that I couldn't miss. The main reason I wanted to do this was for the free 8 weeks training that you get, it would boost motivation and fitness levels which would then make it easier to fall into a natural routine of exercise. You would also get great skills make some friends and who knows you could be the next Mike Tyson (I know nothing of boxing can you tell?). If this tickles your fancy then check out White Collar Boxing.


A lot of people take up a sport that will have a small cost to begin with but will be free to do every day of the week, cycling is one of these. There are many benefits to cycling and anything I can do while sat on my butt is a plus. Cycling can become expensive the more you get into it but there are website that can help with the cost such as https://bike-discounts.co.uk/

I would love to see the Government invest money into free to use outside Gyms. You know the ones that you see on TV next to the beaches in California. As a main topic at the moment is about the rise of obesity and obesity related health problems I feel that this would be a benefit in trying to tackle this issue. Every time I have sat speaking to my doctor I have been told to change my diet and exercise more which is great advice but when they suggest exercise it has always been in the form of a gym or an activity club.




Wednesday, 20 June 2018

My Personalised Phone Case

When I got my phone there wasn't many choices when it came to choosing a phone cover. The Google Pixel 2 came out when I was due an upgrade so I was limited to clear, black or white phone covers. I chose the clear one and vowed I would find one that better suited later.

A while later and still no phone cover that I liked, they were all to girly or one that every other person had. Which for me is no good, I like to be individual and I also like to be able to spot my phone should I ever lose it (touch wood I never do). I decided to look online and still had the same issue but also not many did them for my phone. I then got the opportunity to work with a company that make personalised phone cases.

I now had the task of choosing what I wanted on my phone case which is hard as I can barely choose what to cook for dinner. Should it be a picture of my adorable children, my dog or maybe one of my drawings? I spent a while looking through pictures and decided against the idea of having any of them and instead went along the lines of choosing something that made me feel happy. The one thing (aside from my kids) that makes me feel happy and have good memories with is the band Blink 182. Yep that's right I'm a 28 year old mother of two who loves pop punk, well actually I love all punk and rock music and my phone is usually blaring out either Blink 182 or Slipknot depending on how I feel. So back to my choice of case design I flicked through various pictures from when I went to see Blink 182 and even toyed with the idea of creating a collage so I could include the gorgeous alien hunter Tom DeLonge ( I love that man's voice). I didn't have any suitable pictures from when I saw them in Leeds but then I remembered that one of my friends bought the poster for the tour at Leeds (each tour venue has it's own poster design) and that was exactly what I wanted on my phone.


The design has lot's of colour which I thought would be good to put the test as I know some can print out with a duller shade. The process when uploading the image to the website was easy and I had a play around to get the sizing right and so that the wording was still readable and showed not just the main band name but also the amazing support acts of the night. I found the whole ordering process really easy to use and I wasn't having to enter loads of information over and over again. Once I was happy with how the case looked on screen I completed the order and just had to sit and wait for it to arrive. I had express delivery which is 2-3 days and it came within the 2 days. The packaging was great and not oversized for the product, unlike some companies who feel they need to use a ridiculous amount of bubble wrap and parcel paper. I was a little nervous to open the package as I really wanted this poster to look great, I was not disappointed. Like I mentioned the case has a lot of colour on, vibrant colour. The colour's are sharp and clear and there is no pixelation of the picture nor the wording, this is what I was most nervous about as I have ordered pictures in the past that have then ended up looking like something out of Minecraft.


Overall I'm more than happy with my phone case and the process of creating and ordering. I spent longer thinking about what to have on it then I did either writing this post or ordering it. If you are looking to make your own case then I would recommend using this website they have a wide range of phone cases they can make so whether you an Apple, Sony, Huawei a Google or something else you can find a case to fit. Price's vary depending on the phone and the type of case you choose so my case is a retail price of £12.45. As well as phone cases they also offer cases for Ipad's and power bank's.

Friday, 15 June 2018

18 Summers Wish List

Time goes far too quickly and apparently it goes that quick that we only actually get 18 summers with our children! which for me means I have 13 left with Jared and 16 left with Eryn. It wasn't until I read that that I realised how precious time is and how I need to make more memories with them before they get to the point where they don't want to anymore. Below is my list of 18 wishes of what and how I want to spend those 18 years.

Road Trip
I want to rent a camper van and take them on a road trip ideally America would be my go to place but I think it would be great for them to experience the UK more. Although we try and visit lots of place around the UK it can be exhausting travelling back and fourth so if we could take off for two weeks and start one end and work our way to the other that would be so much fun.

Try New Foods
If we get to be so lucky to travel to different countries I want them to experience different foods. So many children become fussy eaters and then as an adult become even fussier. I maybe would draw the line at them eating scorpions but if they really wanted to try it who am I to say no.

Love To Learn
In life they will need some many skills some more useful than others. I always felt pressured to learn and as a result didn't enjoy learning and rebelled. I want my kids to love it and want to learn new things. Learn to play an instrument, ride a bike, ride a horse, speak a new language or even learn archery.
Be Wild
Enjoy being able to climb a tree and make den's in bushes. Enjoy being able to forest for food's and know which are safe to eat. It may not be as useful as it once was but it's fun and still useful, we often go strawberry picking at a pick your own but how great is it when your walking through the woods and come across a blackberry bush and pick them.

Visit The World
Ok visiting the world may be a bit ambitious but I want to explore and experience new places with my children. We have spoken about this before and Jared really wants to visit Japan (apparently there is a all you can eat cookie shop). Other places include Thailand, America, Germany, Italy and Canada.

Be Responsible
My children are both really good with their manner's but one thing that they do need to learn is responsibility. Jared still thinks it is my job do to everything for him but he is slowly learning that it is his responsibility to keep his room clean and put his washing on the wash pile. I don't want to do everything for my children I want them to learn age appropriate responsibilities.

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Modibodi Review

When it comes to underwear gone are the days of me wearing a thing or some sexy french knickers. I tend to go for a mini brief now which is more for feeling comfortable than anything else.

Since having my kids a brief is more needed as well, pelvic floor muscles have certainly weakened. I find myself needing to get to the toilet quicker to avoid any accidents but not only that my period's have become a bit heavier. It's a bit of an embarrassing subject but something that many of us experience and it can make us feel awkward. I find being at the younger age I don't really need panty liners and I wouldn't feel completely comfortable wearing them.


Thankfully there are alternatives out there, one of them being ModiBodi pants. The pants I tried are classic bikini style in black with a band with their name on. The absorption part is built in and is actually really comfy, I was worried that I would feel it whilst moving but once they are on they just felt normal except slightly more comfortable. This particular style can be used without any other products on a low-medium period flow, it felt strange not using anything else a feeling you get used to. If you have heavy periods these are great as a safety measure, I'm sure we have all experienced a leak even while wearing a tampon.

There are many different styles to choose and different levels of absorption. I really like that by using these pants I'm lowering the use of pads which is not only saving me money but also helping reduce the use of single use plastic products. Having had a good look on the website I'm really happy with their prices compared to similar items I've seen on the market.

DIY Daddy
3 Little Buttons

Monday, 11 June 2018

The Harry Potter Studio Tour

On Friday I was lucky enough to attend an event at the Harry Potter Studio Tour along with fellow blogger's and vlogger's. Having never been on the tour before I was rather excited to be going to see behind the scene's and see the actually sets that the film's were filmed on as well as props and costumes. The tour have the Goblet of Fire exhibit which is running until September.


Before the tour begins you have plenty to look at while waiting, there is also a cafe so you can grab a bite to eat and something to drink. The gift shop is also there for you to have a look round and maybe grab a wand, because every wizard and witch needs one. The first part of the tour gives you a few ground rules and then you watch a short video before entering The Great Hall.



The Goblet of Fire sits at the end of The Great Hall waiting to reveal just how the Triwizard Champions' are announced by firing a piece of paper out, there are plenty of these so you can keep one as a memento of the tour. After the demonstration you have a few moments to have a look around The Great Hall before moving on and be left to look around in your own time and take in every little detail. You really appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into the sets.



The first section you come to is home to the potion room, where you can take your time in trying to read every potion bottle label, there are a lot. You can stand, sort of, at the bottom of the moving staircase, take a peep at the boy's dorm and see for the first time the tap's from the prefect's bathroom, they are so beautiful I wished my motion picture could show you just how beautiful. There are so many different props to be amazed. We got to step into Dumbledore's office and the detail is just fantastic I just wish that we could of gone up the steps and closer to the desk so we could see more closer.

As you walk around the tour there are little stamp stations to stamp a passport which you are given before the tour starts, this is great for the kids who may not be as interested in looking at every little thing. Around the tour their is many things to keep the kid's engrossed, they can call their broomstick up near the Quidditch display before heading over to go broom flying. After you have had your flight on the broomstick you can purchase the video or a photo. There is a few places where you can have a picture taken for free, if you don't fancy buying your broomstick ride.


Before entering the forbidden forest you can polish up on your wand skills, trust me you will need them. During our stroll through the Forbidden Forest we saw Buckbeak, Aragog and a Patronus. The Forest was great with more interactive treat's for you to play with, towering tree's and eerie fog rolling in.


Next stop Hogwarts! I personally think the Hogwart's Express should be the first thing you come across, before you begin your journey through the sets. This area was really fun you could take pictures of you running through the walls with your trolley, of course I had to take a silly picture who smiles when they are running at bricks! This section also had another green screen area where you can sit in the carriages. You can board the express and see the carriages (you can't sit in them on the train) or you could play out waving goodbye from the window.



We were about half way round at this point some we stopped for a quick bite to eat and a Butterbeer. I chose to have a chicken burger which I thought would could with fries or wedges but sadly not. I thought the food was rather expensive and wasn't that nice, the price of the chicken burger was £7.95. Maybe I've just lived in the north for too long but it just seemed really over priced for what it was. I opted for a Butterbeer while my sister chose to have the Ice cream. I really like the Butterbeer and even drank some of my friends it's strange as it is like a fizzy butterscotch drink with a creamy butterscotch top. The ice cream was just butterscotch flavoured but very nice.

                                                

After our pit stop we went outside and ended up on Privet Drive, you can go inside the house too. We took it in turns to get a picture with the Knight Bus, I wish all buses were like the Knight Bus. We took a walk across the Hogwart's Bridge before taking a look at The Potter Cottage.


The next section is all about the prop's and my word there are so many. In here you can have a go at moving Dobby as well which the kid's seemed to really enjoy. I know I said it at the start but in this room you just can't help but think how amazingly skilled the craft people are. When we watch anything we never fully appreciate the work that goes into what they create you really have to see it to appreciate it fully.

To get to the design/art section you need to take a short walk through Diagon Alley. I loved walking through this street what would make it better is if they made some of the shops accessible, Imagine being able to by your souvenir in the Weasley's shop or a new Wand at Ollivander's. I think this would make the tour ever more amazing. So on to the design area where you can find models and drawing's and small models of the bigger models before they become real life sets. The amount of time that must of gone into these models is unthinkable.


We exited the tour and entered the gift shop. Here I go all northern again as I found the gift shop very out of my price range, I wanted to get a gift for my sister would couldn't come due to a GCSE exam. My thinking was I will get her a nice notebook for her to use when she goes to college. In my experience of buying gift's at studio tours I was thinking maybe £10 which I would of happily paid but for the A5 sized note book it was £18 and I just couldn't get that and also something for myself.

The tour was really good and I would recommend it to everyone. There is free onsite parking and if travelling by train a shuttle bus from Watford Junction, £2.50 for a return ticket. We drove down from Yorkshire and found the drive pleasant and the studio easy to find by following sat nav.








3 Little Buttons

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

A Beginner's Guide To Electronic Cigarettes And Vaping

This Year I will have been stopped smoking regular cigarettes for three years. I had been smoking since I was a teenager and didn't think I would ever give up. I had tried patches and gums but they never helped with the urge which I'm sure if you are a smoking you will know what I mean. I used an e-cig to help me quit and my partner did the same he is now what I class a vaping expert. For those of you who are unsure of what it is or if you are looking to stop or switch then have a read below.



What Is An E-Cigarette?

Electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigarettes or personal vaporisers, and are clever alternatives to the traditional tobacco cigarette. Nowadays, there are thousands of these items on the market and some of the models are designed to look like traditional cigarettes; however, there are also models that are more exotic in their appearance. An e-cigarette operates by turning a flavoured liquid into water vapour which the smoker will inhale. Once the smoker inhales the vapour, it feels similar to taking a 'drag' from a cigarette.


All e-cigarettes are created using a rechargeable battery, a liquid tank (which is known as e-liquid), and an atomiser. The atomiser is the part of the e-cig that turns the e-liquid into water vapour and is the most important part of the product. E-liquids are available in a plethora of nicotine strengths to suit the user's preferences; in fact, some of the e-liquids do not have any nicotine in their makeup.

The refill e-liquid contains approximately half a dozen ingredients licensed for human consumption, while traditional cigarettes contain approximately 5,300 ingredients that are known to be either carcinogenic or toxic in nature.


Why Should I Use An Electronic Cigarette?

The majority of people in today's society are opting for e-cigs over traditional tobacco cigarettes. This is because they prefer to inhale nicotine in a cool mist with well-known ingredients that are approved for consumption as compared to inhaling toxic smoke from a traditional cigarette. It is a well-known fact that smoking tobacco cigarettes is detrimental to one's health and that people who smoke tobacco die young. The e-cig has minimal or no odour, no second-hand smoke issues, no risk of harming any people surrounding you, and does not leave the smell of smoke on your hair or clothes.


How Do Electronic Cigarettes Operate?

An electronic cigarette presents with a head unit and a battery. Most often rechargeable batteries are utilised, and the head with the end fittings at the mouthpiece consist of an atomiser coil that is heated by this battery. It should also be noted that e-cigs contain a cartridge holding refill e-liquid.

In certain e-cig models, the atomiser and cartridge are combined to form a 'cartomiser'. When the switch is pressed or air is pulled through the cartomiser, the heating element vaporises the e-liquid and a cool mist is produced. Similar to a traditional cigarette, you need to draw in the air to enjoy
the 'smoke'; however, you will be 'smoking' a water-based vapour that contains flavouring and nicotine if desired. No combustion is required and nothing is lit; all that happens is the e-liquid is heated and vaporised.


What Is An E-Liquid?

E-liquid refers to the 'juice' used in the electronic cigarette. It is available in a plethora of flavours ranging from drinks, alcoholic beverages, fruits, spices, foods, and popular standard cigarettes. The liquid contains vegetable glycol and propylene glycol as ingredients. Propylene glycol or PG has a naturally sweet taste and produces less vapour than vegetable glycol or VG; it is the more commonly used e-liquid option. VG forms a denser vapour that can cause difficulty when vaping because it has a thicker e-liquid; therefore, the atomiser can have problems heating it correctly and the smoker may have the sensation of a harsh throat hit. VG and PG are available in a variety of nicotine strengths and flavours.


Who Can Utilise An Electronic Cigarette?

E-cigarettes can be used by individuals over the age of 18 who are searching for a healthier alternative to traditional cigarettes. No other person should use an electronic cigarette.


Can I Use An E-Cigarette Anywhere?

No, definitely not! Certain regions, such as cities, have introduced laws prohibiting the use of electronic cigarettes in public areas. A person can allow or prohibit the use of items in their own home, but transport authorities and property owners of public buildings can prohibit e-cigarette usage.


Are Electronic Cigarettes Healthier Options?

It is impossible to say with certainty whether or not the e-cigarette is a healthier option as there are no long-term clinical trials to disprove or verify the statement. The latest version of the e-cigarette was created in 2003 and has been used widely since the year 2006. Whether or not it is healthier than a traditional tobacco option is a decision you need to make on your own; however, most people consider the decision as a no-brainer. Would you prefer to inhale a cool mist containing half a dozen ingredients, or inhale a toxic bonfire? This is the reason why electronic cigarettes are becoming popular on a global scale.


Is Nicotine Dangerous?

Contrary to popular belief, nicotine is not the dangerous ingredient in tobacco cigarettes; it is the smoke from the cigarette that kills a person. Smoke and combustion artefacts result in heart disease lung cancer and various other physical conditions. No medical evidence is available to suggest that nicotine is more dangerous than, for example, caffeine; however, it needs to be appreciated that all people test positive for nicotine as an element in their natural diet. This is so significant it must be repeated - all people test positive for nicotine as part of their daily diet