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Archive: September 2015

"B is for Beautiful"
 
 
Each morning I wake up to my two beautiful little girls. Either they are moaning for me to get up, jumping on me or arguing. But I am lucky. I mean, I have two happy and healthy little girls. What more do I want? Every single morning we have the exact same routine.

- Breakfast
- Wash/Brush teeth
- Get changed
- Brush/style hair

Every morning is the same. Once their hair is done, I hold them by the face and call them beautiful. I am not quite sure why I do this but it has become part of the routine each morning. Will I stop? No. I will never stop calling them beautiful. I may be biased but I do thinkknow my girls are beautiful. Everyone is beautiful. I want my girls to feel confident in themselves. I want them to know they are beautiful inside and out.

I feel so lucky.
 
I think beautiful is such an important word to say to someone. Everyone is beautiful in their own way. No one should tell you any different.
 
 
 
 
Do you all remember Miffy? I'm sure most of you do. Guess what?! Miffy, the iconic white bunny will be on our TV's from Friday, 2nd October 2015 on one of the most favourites children's programmes, Tiny Pop.
 
With new children voices, new locations and new characters, children are bound to love this new programme. We will see Miffy in CGI for the very first time on TV. Miffy's Adventures Big and Small will start at 7pm and run for 7 minutes, which is perfect for those little people to relax before bedtime.
 
Tiny Pop has always been a popular channel for children with other great programmes such as My Little Pony, Littlest Pet Shops and more. Since Tiny Pop became available on Freeview, Tiny Pop is the 3rd most popular and loved channel, just after Cbeebies and Disney Junior.
 
Miffy will also be celebrating 60 years this year. So what better way than celebrating with a new TV show? Hope your children will enjoy watching Miffy on their screens.
 
 
 
Remember, 7pm, Tiny Pop on Friday 2nd October 2015


* I received some Miffy Books in return of this post.

Elliw started part-time school 2nd of September. Although she has been attending play school for the past year and a half it was still emotional watching her walk into the big school on the first day in her school uniform. From a young age we noticed Elliw's development was behind, especially if I compared her to her big sister Mia. Elliw didn't walk until she was 15 months and wouldn't step on the outside floor until she was 18 months old. The recent thing we noticed was her speech and language development. It was behind and I told my Health Visitor about it and that was when she put Elliw on the list for Speech therapy.

Elliw has been going to Speech therapy for nearly a year now is progressing really well. Before the summer holidays we were invited to a school in a town near us. The school has a side building just for children who struggle with their speech and language. My partner and I were really nervous meeting the teacher and other staff but they greeted us with a warm welcome. The room was amazing, so many things for the children to do and Elliw fully enjoyed herself there whilst we were talking and discussing things with the teacher/team leader.


A few months later I got a letter through the post to say Elliw got a place at the school. I was really happy but I was also really emotional. My youngest baby girl was having to go into a taxi on her own (without me) with other children to attend the speech and language school 3 times a day. Her set days are Monday, Tuesday and Wednesdays in the afternoon (1-3pm). In the first two weeks I was putting Elliw in her local school 5 mornings a week and then the speech school 3 afternoons a week but I had a phone call from the local school to say she is not supposed to attend the local school on the days she goes to speech school because it is too much for her age, apparently.

Since starting school I have seen her speech develop a lot more. She has started to say fuller and longer sentences. She still has a little trouble saying some words but I know she will get there one day as she grows and learns more through both schools. Elliw loves going to both schools but she never talks much about neither school. She is always a happy bunny going and coming home from both schools so I presume she loves it in both.

She has a book from the speech school where they write updates now and then on her progress and write what she has been doing. She has done a lot of singing, crafts and colouring in the school and she is always so proud showing her book to us and anyone else who wants to see it (as you can tell from the photo below).

Elliw speaks English and Welsh, sometimes both languages in the same sentence which can be quite funny at times. She goes through a phase of speaking one language more than the other but we are trying to push welsh more on her as the village we live in and both schools languages are all welsh. It has been hard trying to help her with her speech but it's also been quite easy and pretty fun for all of us.


TIPS:
  • If you are watching TV, explain things to the child about the programme. Such as the colours, what that particular character is doing and ask the child questions about the programme. E.g. "What colour hat was XX wearing?", "Did you like watching that TV show?" etc.
  • Going for walks can be fun and educational for your child. Whilst going out for a walk you can explain to the child how fast or slow you are walking. Describe the animals by telling the child the animals name, colour and the noise the animal does. You could also talk about the grass, trees, cars or if you see anyone you can describe what they are doing.
  • If your child asks for something but just does noises, pick 3 things out (where the child was pointing), say each of the items names and let your child repeat which one they want.
  • Do not talk over your child. Let your child take their time in telling you what they want to say to you.
I am a huge lover of Instagram. If you don't find me posting then you will find be browsing through other accounts and finding ideas for the home. I love all the different styles and taste everyone has. I could easily sit down looking through Instagram for hours, even all day long.


You can follow my Instagram account here.

Last year I reviewed some Kerrygold butter and it has always been one of my favourites. I recently received a surprise parcel through the post one day. I had no idea I was going to be sent this parcel by Kerrygold so I was overly pleased. I love surprises! In the box was a new book called 'The Tale of City Sue' by Jeanne Willis.

Kerrygold have teamed up with children's book author Jeanne Willis. The story is about a cow named Sue who has a lot to learn about the country side of living. Which involves a lot of free roaming and lots of lush meadow grass to eat. The book tells us about Kerrygold's story and how it works with small co-operative farms.



"We are thrilled with the creation of our fantastic storybook 'The Tale of City Sue'. The charming tale perfectly encapsulates the values at the heart of Kerrygold and we really hope that families enjoying reading the charming tale together"
- Said by Gemma Singh, Marketing Manager for Kerrygold
 
You can also download the digital version and animated version of 'The Tale of City Sue' for free on the Kerrygold website, which includes a special Irish celebrity voice over. 

Christmas can be an expensive time of year for most families. Most of us always try to keep to a certain budget but most of the time we always go over our budgets. For the next few weeks I am going to help you by letting you all know about some bargains I have found online. There will be Christmas bargains for babies, kids, women, men and a mix of other things. Christmas shouldn't be a time to stress about money problems so I hope you find these bargain posts useful.


Here are the links:
My Little Pony Rainbow Rocks Doll £5.99 (plus £1.28 delivery)
Sofia & Friends Figures Free delivery on orders over £20.
Fur Real Friends Butterscotch Walking Pony £15.99 (Free delivery on orders over £20)
My Little Pony Activity Pad £1.94 (Free delivery)
Magical Tea Set Rainbow Cake (54 pieces! for only £8.99 and Free delivery)
Wooden Kitchen £20.99 (£4.95 delivery)
Snow White Dress Up £5.65 (Free delivery over £20)


Here are the links:
Toy Story Wrex Figure £4.49 (Free delivery on orders over £20)
Star Wars Flash Speeder £25.54 (Free delivery)
Star Wars Command £6.99
8 Pack of Cars £1.35 (Free delivery)

Here are the links:
Little Tykes Coupe Car £32.84 (Free delivery)
Scuttlebug £18.24 (Free delivery over £20)
iRobot Puppy Dog £9.99 (Free delivery)
2-in-1 Activity Table £34.99 (£4.95 delivery)
Minion Watch & Wallet Pack £3.83 (Free delivery)
Star Night Light £0.94 (Free delivery)


Here are the links:
Connect 4 £6.66 (Free delivery over £20)
Minnie Bow Toons Giant Foam Floor Jigsaw £4.50 (£3.15 delivery)
Egg Shapes £1.19 (£1.00 delivery)
Warships £6.95

* Please note that this post was written on 27th September 2015. These bargains may not last long. If you find that the prices have changed please feel free to let me know by e-mailing me at bethmiaelliw@outlook.com, so I can edit and change the price to let everyone else know too please.

Christmas on a budget with Life-As-Mum has started. I can't wait to share many more Christmas bargains with you all in the next coming week. There will soon be a linky you can all join in with and share your bargain finds with everyone.


My eldest daughter Mia will be 6 years old at the start of December. I honestly can not believe it. Watching her play, sing, dance and even having a tantrum makes me a little emotional because only 6 years ago, she couldn't do neither of those things.

She can drive me so mad at times with her attitude and answering back but that is what growing up is all about. Of course, every child is going to try and push their luck with their parents. Aren't they? I used to think when you were a baby that your tantrums were hard then. Never did I believe anyone who told me that tantrums would only get worse when you are older. But now. I believe them.

Watching her playing in her bedroom just reminds me of my younger self. She always plays teachers and pretends she has a full classroom. It's just a bit weird but lovely too see. Every single day I used to pretend I was a teacher, now I see you playing it every single day.


Watching her love of stationary growing, again, is exactly like me. I love my stationary and knowing someone else in our home loves stationary too is a big plus! I now don't have to go into stationary shops by myself anymore and I can spend as much time as I want there. The amount of notepads Mia has gone through is unbelievable - I have lost count.

I remember going food shopping one time a couple of years ago, when she would sit in the trolley seat and I remember seeing parents with children who walked. They were roughly Mia's age now. Never did I think that time would come by so quickly! Mia never sits in the trolley seat anymore, maybe in the main part of the trolley is she is too lazy though.


I am so proud of Mia's handwriting. She had neatest handwriting in her class last year (as said by the teacher). I love writing and so does Mia. Mia is now learning to spell on her own. She struggles with English words but is great with the Welsh words, because she is a Welsh speaker and goes to a Welsh school. I love watching her write and trying her very best to write a word/sentence. She is also great at drawing. She loves drawing me, my partner, Elliw and herself as a family. It's lovely looking through her old drawings and comparing them to her most recent drawings.

Watching Mia growing for the past nearly 6 years has been amazing. I am looking forward for plenty more proud moments. She is becoming such a clever little girl with a huge love of stationary (as said above), just like a Mama (as she calls me!)
Hello everyone. Hope you've all had a fabulous week and we hope you will have a great weekend too. Thanks so much to everyone who linked up last week. We really appreciate it. We love reading every single post. I love the variety of posts that link up. It's great. Now on to week 22 of #justanotherlinky

Can I also say, I hope our lovely Co-host - Kirsty has a wonderful time off this week. Wishing her son a great birthday and hope you have a great time at Disneyland!

PLEASE READ BEFORE LINKING UP
• Reviews, Giveaways & Sponsored posts allowed
Link up a post, not your blog please!
• Please take some time to comment on at least 2 other posts
• Leave a badge/link somewhere on your post or blog
• Old and new post allowed
• Feel free to tweet #justanotherlinky . Me and Kirsty will re-tweet you
Link up to 2 posts per week
 
YOUR HOSTS
• Beth | Life-As-Mum | @lifeasmumblog
• Kirsty | somethingcrunchymummy | @crunchy_mummy
 
 FEATURED POST

My favourite post from last week is staceyloring 's 'Peek inside my planner'

 
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 ** GRAB THE BADGE **
 
 



I've said it again. The 'C' word. Sorry guys! But we are now (finally) in double figures counting down to Christmas. I can't even explain to you all how excited I am! I am quarter of the way through buying presents and my cupboard is slowly filling up which is getting me even more excited.

Preparing for Christmas can be really stressful at times. I remember the first Christmas I had to buy presents for my children, it wasn't as fun as I thought. It still isn't. But now, I prepare myself for Christmas. I don't do it last minute like I have in previous years.

SHOP ONLINE
I can't advise this enough. I really do think shopping online shopping is much better than going out to stores. You have a lot more choice and also a lot more bargains. You can look around and have 10+ pages on the go. When you are out shopping you can only be in one place at a time. But the plus side of going out to shops is you get to see what you are buying, in person. But then again, if you online shop your items get delivered to you - perfect!

SAVE
You may think I sound mad when I say save money for Christmas, right? Well you can. There will soon be a post up about saving money at Christmas time. There are many ways you can save. For example, like I said above you can save by looking around for bargains. It also may be best to start Christmas shopping in September/October before Halloween as usually prices go back up to full price November time as they know people want to buy for Christmas.

MAKE A LIST
One of the most obvious things to do before a Christmas shop is to make a list. Write everybody's names down and a few things they like. Remember to take it with you to the shops though! (I am hopeless at that) You could also ask family member and friends what they would like.

CHRISTMAS CARDS
You could let your children make Christmas cards or if you'd prefer the less hassle and easy way then you could always just buy a pack of cards from the shop. List everyone's names down first on a spare piece of paper to make sure you get everyone.

ELF ON THE SHELF
Not everyone does this, I haven't before but I may purchase one this year or I may just even use a toy we already have. We will see. But you could prepare by writing down what things you are going to let the Elf/Toy do each day in December up until Christmas!

To help you out, Life-As-Mum (yes me!) is giving one lucky reader a £10 Amazon Gift Card. Would be great to help you buy some extra presents or maybe to treat yourself to something? All you have to do is wish yourself luck, read the T&C's and enter via Gleam below (yes I am trying a new way this time!).
 
GOOD LUCK
 
1. Giveaway ends 18th October 2015 at 11.59PM (uk time)
2. Winner will be notified via E-mail
3. Winner will be given gift voucher through e-mail
4. No cheating. I check all entries.
5. Prize is provided by me (Life-As-Mum)
6. The prize is a ten (10) pounds (UK) gift voucher via e-mail for Amazon only.




When Mia was 5 months old I got a job in a Nursery and I was lucky enough to have Mia come with me. As the 2 years went by and watching Mia grow and make friends within the nursery it got me thinking. I had to quit my job when I had Elliw because I moved and couldn't afford the childcare and bus fares. As I was on maternity and still wanted Mia to play with other children, I decided to put her into the local (and only) nursery in the village I moved to and where I live now. She loved it but she was only there for a little while.

A few weeks after Elliw was born Mia had a place in playschool at 2 and a half years old. She went Monday - Friday for 2 hours in the morning. I was nervous. I was thinking 'should i?' and 'is she too young?' but I am so glad I stuck to her going each morning. She started joining the dinner club 2 - 3 times a week as the months went on. I saw many changes in Mia and she made a friend, a friend she is still friends with now. In fact they are best friends and do everything together in school.

Watching Mia grow and develop so much in so little time, I decided that I wanted Elliw to join at the same age. As the playschool was getting a lot more kids around Elliw's age, she was only given 2 days a week which was fine by me. Once she turned 3 years old she also went 5 mornings a week. Elliw has always been behind in her development, especially her speech and it has helped her. It's grown her confidence a lot more.

1. Confidence
I never had any confidence when i was younger and I don't want my girls being like how I was. I want them to be able to stand up for themselves, be able to stand up in front of the class and not get too shy and be confident in themselves. Interacting with other children can bring up a child's confidence a lot.

2. Development
Many people think that playschool is just for their children to play toys and have fun but they also learn your child many things. Most of the toys and activities they do in playschools are there for a reason, to help your child's development. Within just a few weeks you should notice the difference in your child's development.

3. Making Friends
This may not be a big thing to some people and it never came to my head as a reason to wanting to start my child in school/playschool so young but Mia has made a very good friend. A friend she can be confident with and a friend she adores. It's always nice too see that your children have made friends.

What age did you start your child in playschool/school?


Quite a few months ago I started to enter competitions. Once I started, I kind of enjoyed but one day I won something. Since then I have been entering as many competitions as I can. I think they are a great way to keep you busy and if you win the prizes they are great to treat yourself or even a present for a friend/relative. At the moment I am only entering giveaways through blogs but I am looking at looking at Twitter and Facebook and see how I go from there.

I have been thinking should I start another linky? #justanotherlinky is going really well at the moment and I have always wanted a monthly linky. So this is when I had decided that I will host a competition linky every month.

The first 'The Competition Linky' will start October 1st. I would really love it if you could pop along each month and link up your latest giveaways. Any giveaways will be allowed to link up, such as Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.
 
This will be the badge! I can't wait to start the linky :)

I am forever looking online for new clothes for Mia and Elliw. My favourite online store is NEXT. Most of their wardrobe is NEXT clothes. I recently came across their Autumn/Winter clothes and oh my! They are gorgeous. I have chosen a few of my favourite bits.






Do you like any of the clothes/shoes I have chosen? You can check out NEXT's New Girls Range here.

You may have recently read my Miss Mane Hair Accessories Review, If not then you can read it here. Me and the girls loved the clips and bobbles we were sent and now one lucky reader can win the same as we received! How great is that? For your chance to win, then all you have to do is enter via Rafflecopter below. Good Luck.
 
* Remember to read all Terms & Condition's first *
 
1. Giveaway ends 11th October 2015 at 11.59PM (UK time)
2. UK entrants ONLY
3. Prize is a pack of 4 clips and a pack of 4 bobbles (as shown in photo)
4. Winner will be notified via e-mail
5. Winner will have 14 days to reply to e-mail, if no reply then another winner will be chosen (14 working days)
6. Anyone who cheats in any way of an entry, they will be disqualified. All entries are checked.
7. Winner will be notified within 48 hours of giveaway end time.
 
 

I was recently asked if I would like to review some hair accessories by Miss Mane Accessories. I am forever going through bobbles and clips because they either get misplaced or broken. I had a look at Miss Mane's Etsy shop and I noticed how pretty every single clip, bows and bobbles looked. The bobbles certainly caught my eye as I have been wanting to own those kind of bobbles for a while but I kept forgetting to order some.

I decided to choose different shades of pink bobbles as that is my girls' favourite colours and also chose a pack of 4 blue design clips. These are not just any ordinary bobbles and clips. Many hair clips these days are just metal but these gorgeous clips have material on the top which makes it no slip and comfortable for your baby/child's head.



The bobbles are very elasticated and I was unsure if they would tie properly on Mia and Elliw's hair but they did. I was able to tie it round 3 - 4 times just like any other bobble. Another great thing about these bobbles is they do not leave a bump in your hair once you take the bobble out at the end of the day. There is nothing worse than having that bump in your hair from wearing a bobble!



 
As you can tell from the photo above, there is a lot of stretch in the bobbles. Please note - they can stretch a bit more than shown in photo!
 
 
If you are interested, pop over to Miss Mane Accessorie 's Etsy store.
Fantastic and affordable prices for each hair accessories. The strength and material are sure going to last a long time - which is well worth the money.
 
 
* I was sent these products free of charge in return of an honest review. All images, words and opinions are my own, as always.

You may have noticed that I have recently started back at my local Slimming World group. After loosing 3 and a half stone by last Christmas, I fell off the wagon when I came back home from Thailand. I gained nearly 2 stone so I decided to take a break and try it at home. I had some good and bad days. I finally had the urge and courage to start back again. 3rd time lucky (I hope!). There are many Slimming World meals I enjoy and here are just some of my favourites.

Chicken curry with rice and chips
1. Cook chicken, add onions. 2. Put into pan then add chopped tomatoes, curry powder, a little bit of garlic (choice) and chicken stock cube. (Chips receipe at the bottom). Serve with anything you fancy.

Mushy Pea Curry (Doesn't sound very nice, but it's lovely!)
1. Fry chicken and onions. 2. Add to new pan then add mushy peas, baked beans, chopped tomatoes and vegetable stock cube. 3. Add curry powder. 4. Mix well and serve with rice.

Gammon, egg, chips, pineapple and mushy peas
Simply cook all as normal. Cut fat off gammon and use Fry Light to fry the eggs.

Big Mac in a bowl
1. Fry extra lean mince with onions and mushrooms (choice). 2. Add gherkins (choice) 3. Add thousand island dressing 4. Serve on top of iceberg lettuce

Spaghetti Bolognese
1. Cook spaghetti as instructed on packet 2. Fry extra lean mince with onions and mushrooms 3. Add garlic (choice), chopped tomatoes, beef stock and seasonings (oregano)

Chips and Cheeseburger
Cook chips as normal (see below). Use wholemeal bap (Healthy extra B), Cheese slice (syn it or Healthy extra A). Slimming World burger from Iceland

Pasta and tomato sauce
1. Cook pasta as instructed 2. Once pasta cooked, add chopped tomatoes, onions, basil, garlic and oregano seasoning.

Vegetable Soup
1. Cook all veg until soft 2. Add all together then add vegetable/chicken stock and some seasoning if wanted then blend and serve

Beef Cawl
1. Cook beef 2. Cook all vegeatables (carrots, swede, onions, leeks and potatoes) 3. Add all together then add beef stock, stir until hot and serve.

CHIPS RECIPE
1. Peel and cut potatoes into chips shape
2. Lay them on pan and spray with fry light (feel free to season them)
3. Oven at temp 190 for 20 mins
4. Turn over half way through
 
Simple and easy!
 
You can find out more food inspiration over on my Instagram page here

I was recently asked if I would like to review Zoflora concentrated disinfectant. If I am 100% with you all, I am not a great 'housewife'. In fact I am a terrible one. There is always a full laundry basket and it would probably take a whole day to tidy the whole house. But when I do give the house a good clear out (I try to once a week) and cleaning to I am quite fussy with my sprays. They have to smell good and do what they're supposed to do (clean and hygiene).

I chose the Pink Grapefruit to review. It's Limited Edition so get it whilst it's out (if you are thinking of buying Zoflora). When I opened the bottle the first thing I noticed was the smell. It smelt quite fruity and really fresh. Something I do like! It comes in a 120ml bottle and says all the instructions on how to use on the back of the box.


There are 4 ways to use Zoflora -

General disinfection of surfaces - Use Zoflora diluted 1 in 40 with water. 1 capful which is 10ml will make 400ml. When diluted as above Zoflora becomes non-flammable.

Neat/undiluted - Use undiluted only in ceramic and metal sinks, drains and toilet bowls.

Hard surface pet areas - When correctly diluted Zoflora may be used where pets are kept. Do not allow pets to lick or walk on wet treated surfaces. Keep off until dry.

Use as a spray - Dilute as above and use as a spray to create a fragrant freshness throughout your home.
* As written on the back of the Zoflora box.
 
 
Zoflora is great for all kinds of homes. Homes with pets, children, students, adults and elderly. Zoflora kills 99.9% of bacteria and viruses. There are so many things and surfaces you can use Zoflora such as floors, tiles, baths, worktops, potties, toilets, pet areas, dishcloths and more. What's great about using Zoflora? The fresh smell stays in your all day.
 
You can check out Zoflora's website to see their other ranges. You can buy Zoflora from many supermarkets.
 
 
 
* I was given this product free of charge in return of an honest review. As always, images and words are my own.
 

 
One day last week I had my usual afternoon school run. It had been a pretty miserable day but luckily it had brightened up by the time I had to leave the house to get Mia. Elliw and I got ourselves ready a little early so we could walk a different way round to school. Elliw wanted her wellies on because she wanted to 'jump in muddy puddles' as she said.
 
So she got her wellies and coat on and I got myself ready and off we went. There were many puddles on our way to get Mia and it was a surprisingly warm and lovely afternoon walk. Very rarely will Elliw just run off herself and play by herself, especially when we are on a walk but this day she wasn't too bad. I had to tell her a few times to let go of my hand and just run. We did a few games on our walk, such as racing, eye spy and of course, jumping in muddy puddles.
 

Last Friday me and my partner made last minute plans. Mia was off to her Dad's for the night and we asked my partners parents if they would take Elliw for the night. We both felt very relaxed and decided to go somewhere for food. As we started driving we were forever trying to think were to go. In the end we decided to go to Aroy Dee Thai Noodle Bar in Bangor.

Before I went visit Thailand I never took any interest in Thai food and if I am honest, I didn't fancy trying it either. The first time I properly tried their food was when I was in Thailand itself. Now, I love Thai food but as long as it is not too hot. We both had a starter, main and dessert. It was really nice sitting in the restaurant not having to tell a child off and making sure they were happy and busy. It was nice to be able to have a chat just me and my partner with no one interrupting. We caught up on a lot of things and it was lovely to unwind.



After the meal we decided to go for a spin in the car. We went to Anglesey and went on the back roads, got lost a couple of times but finally found our way out. We were driving for a good few hours, just going on roads we had never been on before, and just to be nosey. Again, we were catching up on things, and chilled out. In the end I started to get really tired and fell asleep a few times.



We arrived back home at midnight and I went straight to bed but my partner went to catch up on the soaps. It was a really nice evening just me and him for a change. Every single day we never really get that chance just me and him. In the evenings, recently Elliw hasn't been settling until late so we are both stressed and end up arguing or just falling asleep. So to have that peaceful time together that Friday evening was something we needed.

 
* I was not given anything to review this restaurant. This is just my personal opinion and review that I wanted to share with you all
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