Monday, 31 March 2014

Little bag of MamaBliss new mum gift review

Any kind of pampering when you're a new Mum is very welcome.. and the Little Bag of MamaBliss gift bag from MamaBabyBliss designed specifically for new Mums is a perfect way to reclaim some calm and time to yourself.

The gift bag contains three products and a guide to MamaBliss.  The products are: relaxing bath soak, bliss stick and Mummy baby balm.  All come in a lovely pink voile gift bag.  It retails for £22.50 which I think is a fair price for lovely, natural products.

MamaBabyBliss bliss stick

The MamaBabyBliss bliss stick is an uplifting oil 'roll on' stick.  I absolutely love it.  The main scent I get is a fresh but warm citrus, and I use it everyday on my pulse points for an instant uplift.  I find the scent very calming and uplifting and it helps me focus.  The stick contains 10ml, which will last for ages, and the natural active ingredients include aloe vera, calendula, bergamot, lime and geranium oils.

MamBabyBliss Mummy Baby Balm

This is a wonderful rescue balm for any dry and chapped areas of skin on Mum, Dad and baby.  Very thinly applied it would work as a nappy cream (although baby girl rarely suffers so I haven't tried it as so), or as a barrier for extra dry skin, or a lip balm.  I love to use this on my hands, where my skin gets so dry and chapped it often bleeds.  This provides a perfect moisture 'hit' and protective barrier.  This is also approved for breastfeeding, and I'm sure would provide lots of relief in those early 'wincing' days.

The tube contains 50ml and again the ingredients are natural:  sunflower oil, beeswax, shea butter, mango butter and vitamin E .

MamaBabyBliss relaxing bath soak

The last product in the bag is an absolutely gorgeous smelling relaxing bath soak.  In those early new baby days the idea of having a bath all to yourself for a while seems impossible - this bath soak would make it happen!  I use only a very small amount (a drop or two), and it fills the bathroom with a lovely lavender, geranium and lemon scent.  With such a small amount, it doesn't bubble too much - I prefer it this way.  I also love that it contains no sodium laureth/lauryl sulphate which tends to irritate our son's skin.  The kids sometimes have this in their bath too when I want them to smell extra lovely!  

The bath soak contains 100ml (enough for loads of baths if used sparingly) and the ingredients are all natural: aloe vera, calendula, lavender and geranium oils.  A perfect and soothing combination for postnatal Mums.

Little Guide to MamaBliss

Lastly, the Little book of MamaBliss gives some hints and tips about enjoying a daily dose of MamaBliss on your own and with baby.  It's a nice addition to the set.

I love this gorgeous gift set and highly recommend it for new Mums, or anyone who's feeling like they need to reclaim some calm and 'me time' in their lives.

If you buy any product from the MamaBabyBliss website before 11th April 2014, 15% of the purchase price will go to the Lullaby Trust. Win-win! 

I'd love to know what you think if you try anything from MamaBabyBliss.. did it work for you?

*I was lucky enough to win this set at the recent #MidsBlogMeet, but all view are my own.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Turner's Chocolate Assortment review and giveaway [now closed]

Turner's Chocolate Assortment claim to be 'world famous chocolates' and 'an assortment of high quality branded mis-shape chocolates'.  I passed by them in a local shop, and at 89p for a 250g bag I thought they had to be worth a go.

I was looking for a helper to review these for my blog, and my son stepped up to the mark.  It's a tough job, but someone has to do it!  So here he is with the contents of the bag:

21 fully formed chocolates, with three dark and 18 milk chocolates.  In total in this bag there were five different varieties.

Now I've tried lots of chocolates before, and if I were a betting person, I'd say these were all Cadbury's chocolates.  You can see from the picture that although these are whole chocolates, they're a little bit bashed here and there.  It doesn't stop them being nice though!

The five varieties were as follows:
  • Long dark chocolate - chewy toffee
  • Long milk chocolate - chewy toffee
  • Round milk chocolate - chewy caramel (a bit softer than the toffees)
  • Round tall milk chocolate - soft caramel
  • Oval milk chocolate - soft caramel with a nut in the centre.

I'm not sure I recognised any of them from Roses, or a similar Cadbury's selection, so I suspect they ended up in the misshapes bag because they were a trial run, or ended up with the wrong centres.  Either way, they were all delicious and didn't last long in our house!

I've since bought another bag or two *ahem* of these, and although I've had the same chocolates, they have been in different quantities.  One bag had 20 of the milk and dark chewy toffee chocolates, and that was all.

All in, these are great value and delicious.  If you're looking for high end dinner party chocolates, these probably aren't going to cut it, but if you want something that's great value and chocolately as a treat or with a cup of tea then these are perfect.  Our son loved them!

Ours came from our local Farmfoods store and were 89p - I have also seen them in Iceland and Poundland for £1 a bag.

Would you like to win two bags of these delicious chocolates?  Complete the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win...

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Win competitions at

  • You must be resident in the UK to enter. Prize will be shipped to a UK address.
  • Competition runs from 26th March 2014 until 23:59 on 9th April 2014.
  • Entry is via one and/or more of the methods in Rafflecopter widget.
  • Winner(s) will be chosen at random by Rafflecopter.  Winning entries will be checked and must be current at time of checking.
  • There is one prize.  The prize is two bags of Turner's Chocolate Assortments.  There is no alternative.
  • The winner(s) will be contacted by email or on Twitter (if appropriate) by 16th April and asked to confirm their delivery address within 48 hours.  If no reply is received, a new winner may be chosen.
  • I'll do my utmost to get the prize to the winner within seven days, but can’t guarantee it.
  • Judge’s decision is final.

Monday, 24 March 2014

Ways to keep a five year old boy amused

Sunny afternoon, and our son is kicking around.  Husband suggests washing the car... his eyes light up!

One boy, one mucky car and one jetwash.  One hour later and he's back inside with a MASSIVE smile on his face.  Loads of fun! :-)

Friday, 21 March 2014

Shakespeare - WotW

My word of the week this week is:


Our son's school has been celebrating Shakespeare week. It's been lovely to hear him talking about Shakespeare and asking to visit his house in Stratford. 

Predictably for a car mad boy, he wanted to know what car Shakespeare drove and was aghast to learn they weren't invented then!

He has gone to school dressed as a jester from A Midsummer Night's Dream today, and I have promised myself to dust off and re-read my copy of Romeo and Juliet from school.

Wonderful :-)

Linking up with The Reading Residence for this post.

The Reading Residence

Monday, 17 March 2014

Really easy slow cooker gammon or ham

Gammon or ham cooked in the slow cooker is so delicious.  I promise once you've tried it, you will never buy packs of sliced ham again.

I like to cook a joint of gammon at the weekend, slice or shred it, and then freeze it to use in sandwiches, with salads or with pasta or soup throughout the week.  Yum!

Slow cooker gammon or ham
Serves loads, it depends how you're using it.

Gammon or ham joint, smoked or unsmoked depending on your preference (I use unsmoked)
Big jug of water

Remove all the wrapping from the meat and place in the slow cooker.  Cover the meat with water, so the water level and top of the meat are at the same level.

Cover with the slow cooker lid and cook on low for eight hours, or high for around six.  There's no need to turn the meat or do anything to it in this time.

Once it's cooked, it doesn't look delicious (yet), but it smells absolutely yummy.... I promise!

Remove the meat from the slow cooker, draining slightly as you lift it.  Once it's on a plate you can easily cut off the fat (it should just fall away).

Leave to cool for 10 mins or so, and slice or shred away.  In our house, most of it gets eaten at this stage!


Let me know if the recipe works for you :-)

Linking up with A Mummy Too for this post.
Link up your recipe of the week

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Saturday is caption day

We spent a really enjoyable day at the Heritage Motor Museum a week or two ago.  Our son was particularly taken by this car, that had been chopped in half.  I wonder what he's thinking?

Linking up with for this post.


Thursday, 13 March 2014

Heritage Motor Museum half term day out

During half term, our son and I spent a lovely afternoon at the Heritage Motor Museum at Gaydon in Warwickshire. 

Our son LOVES cars, so I knew this visit would be a hit!  When he was about two he could name the make and model of almost every car in a car park - yes, he is that obsessed.

As the Heritage Motor Museum is quite near us, we headed out there for an afternoon.  Our entrance ticket cost £12 for me, and as he's five, £8 for him (under fives go free).  Our tickets give us free entry for a year now - bonus!

Our son absolutely loved it.  I mean, really, really loved it.  There are so many cars there from old to new - everything from the first cars made, right through to formula one cars and the latest Land Rovers.

He loved seeing cars from movies - a shiny DeLorean from Back to the Future, a Land Rover from Judge Dredd and a pink FAB car from Thunderbirds.

Our son most especially loved the engineering section which explained our brakes and suspension work.  The interactive demos really caught his imagination!

The kids' play area with colouring, toy cars and pretend cars where he could drive was great too.  They even had pedals!

It was a great afternoon out, and I was flagging long before our son was.  There is a cafe there, but if it's a nice day, I'd take a picnic as there's a lots of space outside for a picnic and a kids' park too.  The museum also has loads of activities on during school holidays.  You can find out more information on its website at

We will definitely be back!

Monday, 10 March 2014

Happy birthday baby girl

Baby girl had a very happy birthday last week when she turned one.  A whole year ago she came into the world and turned our lives upside down.  It feels like she's been part of our family forever, and I can barely even remember what our lives were like without her.

We celebrated with a small party with her brother and three cousins joining in with pass the parcel and musical statues.  Baby girl took it all in her stride as usual, but she did look like she was wondering what was going on at times!

The massive chocolate cake I made was munched by everyone, and baby girl's face was covered - despite only having a small piece!  She was spoiled by everyone, and had lots of lovely presents.  Her favourite was a fab peekaboo book.  The simple things eh?

Happy birthday my baby girl.  x

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Party - #WotW

My word of the week this week is:


Happy birthday baby girl x

Linking up with The Reading Residence for this post.

The Reading Residence

Friday, 7 March 2014

Tag: blog your heart out

I love blog tags - thank you lovely Lauren at Life of Miley for tagging me!

Here's why I blog my heart out:

Who/what encouraged you to start blogging?

I joined Twitter and started reading blogs when I went on maternity leave with our baby girl.  There were so many inspirational blogs that I decided to start one of my own to record our family life.

How do you choose what topics to write about?

This blog is about the four of us in our family; things we love, places we go and thoughts in between.  If it makes our lives easier, or we love it - it's in!

What is something that most people don't know about you?

I once had a hamster called Snuffles.

What three words describe your style?

Direct, honest, tired.

What do you love to do when you're not blogging?

Eating chocolate, drinking lovely coffee, having lunch with friends and spending time with my two lovely kids.

Now I tag:

@ChantelleVR at
@mrstuteyblog at
Amy @2boy1mum at
@LondonBirdLucy at
@ETusty at

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Hello heart throb, be mine - sweets giveaway! [now closed]

Yes, I admit it, I've been Love Heart-ed.  Have you ever made sentences with Love Heart sweets?  Bet you have!

And did you ever do the thing about your teenage crush, where the next Love Heart means it will come true with them?  Only for the sweet to be crunched away and the sentiment quickly forgotten if it wasn't the message you wanted to hear.

So wouldn't it be great to design your own Love Heart with a personal message?  As Love Hearts celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, they are giving one lucky fan the chance to do just that.  You can win a factory tour, loads of goodies and the chance for your sweet to go into production.  You can find out more about this fab competition and enter here

While I think about my entry, I'll stick to making messages with these yummy sweets.  Sadly we no longer have the 90s sweets which asked us to 'fax me', 'text me' or declare 'I love you 24/7' (although I'm not sure my kids would know what they mean anyway!).  Like the sweets I remember from my childhood, today's sentiments are fantastically simple.

This one is especially for our son:


To celebrate Love Hearts' 60th anniversary, I'm giving away some bags of Love Hearts Squashies sweets - a member of the Love Heart family and very tasty indeed.  To enter, simply complete one or more of the options in the Rafflecopter widget below.  Don't forget to tweet every day for even more entries!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

  • You must be resident in the UK to enter. Prize will be shipped to a UK address.
  • Competition runs from 7pm on 5th March 2014 until 23:59 on 20th March 2014.
  • Entry is via one and/or more of the methods in Rafflecopter widget.
  • Winner(s) will be chosen at random by Rafflecopter.  Winning entries will be checked and must be current at time of checking.
  • There is one prize.  The prize is four bags of Love Heart Squashies sweets.  There is no alternative.
  • The winner(s) will be contacted by email by 24th March and asked to confirm their delivery address within 48 hours.  If no reply is received, a new winner may be chosen.
  • Swizzels Matlow and I will do our utmost to get the prize to the winner within 28 days, but can’t guarantee it.
  • Judge’s decision is final.

Win competitions at

Saturday, 1 March 2014

February's been and gone

It is absolutely unbelievable to me that we are already in March... March!  Where on earth have the first two months of this year gone? 

Here are my highlight from February, it was a busy month for us..
  • Baby girl's first settling in sessions at nursery.  A disastrous first session, but she soon got the hang of it
  • Work for me, the first time in 13 long, wonderful months.  A busy and long day in London, but it's good to be back.
  • After-school club for our son, and lovely cards he make there.  He loved his Kik-Kak.
  • Our son's first handwritten story for us.  '[Escort] Cozzee and the anti-lag system'.  He is utterly, totally mad on and knows so much about cars and how they work. 
  • Half term and the Lego Movie, Heritage motor museum and lunch dates with my boy.
  • My birthday.... I am no longer in my early 30s (gulp).
  • Mercedes-Benz World and a fun day
  • Baby girl crawling for the first time, we really thought she would roll for the rest of her life!
  • Rain, rain, rain and more rain.  It's been a wet old month all right.
  • National Trust with a friend, followed by an evening realising just how lucky I am.

We have so many things to look forward to in March.  Come on spring, we're ready for you!  I'd love to hear about your highlight of last month....