Slimming World #3

Just to clarify, this isn't my third week with Slimming World but the third week of my slimming world updates. I've been a member on and off for years, I lost nearly 4 stone a few years back but unfortunately gained it back and a little more. It does annoy me that I've let myself go so much, but sometimes you just can't help or control the way you feel and deal with things. Comfort eating is something I do, and I hate it. I hate that I can't control it sometimes and that's what slimming world is about mostly - self-control. Whether it's self-control by stopping yourself from buying chocolate on the shelves, going for huge portions or picking in between meals. For someone who has never been in my shoes it will probably be very difficult to understand - but honestly, a lot of people go through this, and it's very difficult to get out of.

However, saying all this, I am glad I stuck to slimming world. It changed my life before when I lost nearly 4 stone. I was starting to feel good about myself. I even wore a dress in front of my partner for the full day - for the first time ever. I've still got the dress in a box upstairs, just waiting for me to fit into it again. I was on holiday when I wore it, but it was still a huge step for me. It's the little things that can change you massively.

Getting back to this past week. I haven't done all that great, but the scales shocked me. Food-wise, I've struggled a lot. I've been feeling down and stressed a lot this week, and the way I've coped with it is snacking between meals. I've tried my best to balance it all out, but as each day was passing, I felt like I was failing it. But, something I'm glad I've stuck to is walking. I'm still walking every day with my friend and one the weekend my partner, and I tend to take the kids out most of the day.

I lost 1.5 lbs this week

Making it a total of 8.5 lbs loss in total

I am super happy with my weight loss this week, and I'm so happy I've gone over the half a stone mark. I am ready to see that stone mark now, and the number I am on the scales is a number I haven't seen since last year, so I'm really happy with that. I guess with this whole weight loss thing - you have to be in the right mind and focused to actually do it.

So, next week I plan to carry on walking, eat more speed such as my veg and fruit and just take each day as it comes.

Family-Friendly Attractions in the Lake District

Popular with hikers and nature lovers, the Lake District is filled with family-friendly attractions that encourage children to get active and explore the outdoors. The next time you enjoy a family stay in the Lake District, here are five attractions you should add to your to-do list:

Alpacaly Ever After

Alpacas have become a popular wildlife attraction all over the UK and it’s easy to see why. With their charming faces, and a temperament much more relaxed than llamas, they make for the perfect exotic creatures for excited children to interact with. 

At the whimsically named Alpacaly Ever After, you can enjoy an alpaca walk with the whole family around the beautiful grounds of the Lingholm Estate. Whilst kids might not appreciate the view, what they will enjoy is that guests are allowed to take the alpacas for a paddle in the lake, meet the herd, and even take part in feeding time.

Loughrigg Fell

Young hikers might not yet be up to the challenge of conquering Striding Edge, but the Lake District offers plenty of child-friendly walking opportunities. Families with older children can enjoy a hike up Loughrigg Fell, which offers stunning panoramic views of the central Lake District. At only 335m it’s relatively small, making it the perfect day out for active families and the chance to experience one of 214 famous Wainwright Fells.

The Lake District Wildlife Park

A short 10-minute drive away from Keswick, the Lake District Wildlife Park is spread out over 25 acres of the stunning Lakeland countryside and showcases a display of over 100 domestic and exotic creatures for visitors to marvel at. A popular spot for families, the park is home to a range of birds, mammals, and reptiles.

There is plenty to see and do with daily talks offered by the expert keepers, and various experience packages available to purchase for a truly unique family day out. Visitors can also look forward to flying displays, otter enrichment time, and public meerkat feeds.  

Mirehouse, Keswick

The inside of Mirehouse won’t be of much interest to kids, but it’s the grounds of this 17th-century manor house, set on the shores of Bassenthwaite Lake, which make it the perfect place to visit on a family break. The wooded grounds are teaming with hidden adventure play areas offering plenty of opportunities for the kids to burn off some excess energy. For an activity that the whole family can enjoy, Mirehouse has a beautiful heather maze - perfect for a quiet stroll or for whizzing around its wide path.


No visit to the Lake District would be complete without a visit to one of its many aquatic attractions. Whether it’s kayaking, paddle boarding, or a day spent sailing, Ullswater has plenty of family-friendly activities on offer. For a less physically demanding attraction, take a day cruise on one of the legendary Ullswater Steamers, which have been ferrying passengers for over 150 years.

 * Collaborative post.

Our Superhero Picnic with Milkybar Wowsomes!

I try my best to stick to a routine during the week when the girls have school. The main reason being that I find it easier knowing what we’re doing and it just makes the day easier as in getting things done. However, every now and then we do love to do different things after school such as little surprises for the kids or going out for a walk.

One afternoon, after the girls had finished school I decided to do a little after school superhero party. I thought Why Not? It was the beginning of the week and something fun for us all to do – and to make memories too. I put up some banners and we all even had a cape each – except Freddie wouldn’t wear his. It was the perfect afternoon full of giggles and chatters. We were also playing I Spy and a couple of other games. We had a table full of picnic food that the kids absolutely loved. They get super excited when we have picnic tea.

Talking about Why Not… we are working with Nestl├ę Milkybar on their Why Not campaign for their newly launched Milkybar Wowsomes. When I was a child my Dad always used to take my brother and I on last minute adventures and last minute plans. There have been many of times my girls have asked me if we can go to places, last minute and there have been times I’ve said no and I do regret it as I do believe the last minute plans are always the best. The unexpected days are the best memories.

Elliw had been asking for a picnic at home for a while, and I thought why not just do it. I’ve had a rough couple of weeks, and thought having a family picnic indoors with a little theme would be just the thing to pick up the mood in the house. I was right too, it was a laugh and we really enjoyed ourselves. One of their favourite snacks during the picnic was the Milkybar Wowsomes. I rarely add chocolate to a picnic but Milkybar Wowsomes have 30% less sugar than similar chocolate products and are 100% as delicious with no compromise on taste. It’s also the first Milkybar product to use milk and white chocolate.

I’ve always been a bit wary of my kids eating too much chocolate as I think it’s important for them to have a balanced diet. Milkybar Wowsomes are breaking new ground with reduced sugar chocolate bars without artificial colours, flavours, preservatives and sweetners in a fun and playful way. They are absolutely delicious and you feel no guilt when you eat them too. My favourite is the white chocolate – super tasty.

Our superhero indoor picnic was super fun and although we were supposed to go out – but it was raining, we still had fun. We switched our phones, tv and iPad off and spent some family quality time together playing games and as you see, posing for photos too. Why not try your Why Not day soon? Take a last minute trip to the beach or a picnic to the park. Or even have a fun indoor picnic like what we did? Last but not least, why not try out the new Milkybar Wowsomes, if you haven’t already?

*We are working with Nestle on this campaign. However, all words, images and opinions are our own.
Milkybar Wowsomes are to be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet.
Per serving: Fibre: 1.0g. Protein: 2.5g. Sale: 0.10g. Energry: 95kcal. Fat: 5.8g. Sugras: 6.6g.

Linked this post to these amazing linkies: Blogger Club UKCool Mum Club#KCACOLS

Millennial Renting: What do renters look for in 2018?

My partner and I have private rented two houses in the past before buying our current home. The first house we lived at for 6 months and the second house we lived there for just over 2 years. When we rented our first house, there were a few ‘rules’/guidelines’ by the landlord such as no decorating as in no painting and no holes in walls. This limited our plans to try and make the house feel more like home, but we did know that in the long run, it wasn’t really worth to spend as we knew that we wanted to move to a bigger house.

Our second rented house was bigger and we had no intention of moving out. Again, we were told not to decorate, but if we wanted to paint the walls or hang photos up, we could, as long as would fill the holes and re-paint back to its original colour before we moved out. We did do a few changes by painting walls and making it feel more like home. But we still felt quite restricted on what we could do.

We feel fortunate that we have been able to buy our home. However, there are many millennials out there who are renting their homes and if I was still renting or looking for a house to rent there are a few things I’d definitely look into before signing a contract again. Of course, being a landlord can be quite scary too as you do need to find the right tenant for your home. Landlords can get insurance from who will help support you on your landlord journey.

Here I’ve listed a few things that millennials will look for before renting a house:

Storage: Many millennials travel on a bike to work/see friends/town, having some storage outside or inside can help massively.

Decorate: Being able to decorate the house is probably a big must for many, especially if they are looking into renting long term. Although it’s a rented house, it’s still nice to be able to make the house a home. Whether that’s wallpapering, painting or hanging photos up on the wall. Being able to have a choice to decorate or not will probably interest more people.

Pet-Friendly: I have heard many people back out from renting houses main reason being that they were not allowed to take their pets with them. For many, pets are family, and they are not willing to give their pets up. So having a house that’s pet-friendly will gain a lot more interest.

Gardens: Whether it’s a family, couples, singles or students looking to rent a house. I am sure many will be looking for a reasonable garden. Having a decent size garden will attract a lot more interest than a house with no garden at all.

Email/Text: Millenials these days are all for the texting instead of the phone calls. Having a choice of being able to discuss certain things over a text or email might interest some millennials as many don’t like talking over the phone.

Parking: Having a parking space nearby the house is a big plus for any renter who’s got a car or/and work van/car.

I’ve asked a few other fellow bloggers to see what they would look for when renting a house, here’s what they said:

Lyndsey from mehimthedogandababy said: "Signs of damp. Feel the walls as you look around and make sure there is plenty of ventilation"

Laura from Five Little Doves said: "I would look for a good state of repair so you can be reassured the landlord is providing a decent service!"

Kat from Raising Harry said: I've lived in a house without central heating and NEVER AGAIN, especially now I'm a Mum"

Katie from Mummys Diary said: "Storage space as we have two children, off road parking or not on a main rain, seperate living and kitchen area."

Emma from Mums Savvy Savings said: I would want to know what I'm allowed to do - can I paint rooms?

Lianne from Ankle Biters Adventures said: "Have they got a boiler cover with British Gas- as you are guaranteed someone can be called out if you are without heating or hot water"

Katy from Katy Kicker said: "I'd look for a garden! Well maintained that I was allowed to plant in"

Sarah from Mummy Cat Notes said: "If they allowed pets, we have a cat and I would be heartbroken if we couldn't take him with us."

What would you look for if you were renting a house? 

* This is a collaborative post.

Analysing my blood pressure with Braun iCheck 7 monitor

A couple of weeks back I wrote a post about a challenge I was set by Braun. They challenged me to analyse my blood pressure by using their iCheck 7 monitor. It’s a monitor that can give you your blood pressure results at home and not only that, they have a free app that keeps your results too so you can check through the month if it’s improving or maintaining. I have been analysing my blood pressure for the past couple of weeks now, and I’ve been using their free app; Braun Healthy Heart.

When I downloaded their app, it was really simple to connect the monitor via Bluetooth, and it had recorded some of the readings I had previously done a couple of days before. It’s easy to view your results on the app, and you are also able to email your results, which is great if you need to pass on your results to anyone. The chart is also colour coded; red, orange, yellow and green. Red being too high and green being the average healthy reading.

To analyse my blood pressure I’ve been trying to make a few changes to my lifestyle too. I’ve started to get back to eating more healthy and cutting down the snacking and pickings in between meals. Not only that, I’ve been drinking more water as well as trying to move around more too. Whether it’s doing a few little workouts from home, going for a longer walk after the school walk or anything else that will pick up my steps and movements during the day.

Not only has my blood pressure improved, but I feel better about myself too. I feel better and happier in myself. A bonus is knowing that my blood pressure readings are going the right way and it’s showing I’m a little healthier than before. Having high blood pressure does always worry me as my Dad, and my Nain have high blood pressure, but if I was ever to be really worried, I know now that I can always show the doctor my readings from the app by using the iCheck 7 monitor at home.

Not only can the app store your blood pressure reading, but you can also log your sleep, diet and exercise on a daily basis too. This will help you, even more, to keep on track and lead a healthier lifestyle. By having somewhere to log your daily meals, sleep tracking and exercise tracking can often be something that motivates you to carry on.

Do you ever keep track of your blood pressure? 

Hatchimals CollEGGtibles Season 3

Both my girls are still huge fans of Hatchimals, so they were super excited when they received a parcel through the post of the new Hatchimals, CollEGGtibles Season 3. They received 5 products, and there was a lot of eggs to hatch! They were so excited to hatch a whole new world and see which characters they got. Luckily, near the end they both got a set of twins each and even fuzzy one too - there were lots of happy faces those moments.

There are over 100 characters to collect this season. This new season also has a different theme to the first and second season. The theme is "Hatch Friends Forever", and I think it's a lovely theme to have. My girls really liked the time and were excited to see if they were going to hatch a single, a squad or a twin. What's even more exciting if you hatch friends you can put them into different poses. Each of my girls got twins and Mia got a fuzzy one which she absolutely adores.

Each egg is speckled and has a purple heart that you rub until it cracks. The eggs are speckled with different colours, each letting you know where in Hatchtopia your Hatchimal lives. This Season there are now new webisodes where you can watch your favourite Hatchimals come to live. You can also download the free app to explore Hatchtopia, play games and much more.

The products available this season:
Hatchimals CollEGGtibles Season 3 - 1 pack blind bag, £2.99
Hatchimals CollEGGtibles Season 3 - 2 pack, £4.99
Hatchimals CollEGGtibles Season 3 – 4 pack, £9.99
Hatchimals CollEGGtibles 2 pack Cloud Egg Carton - £4.99
Hatchimals CollEGGtibles Season 3 One Dozen Egg Carton - £24.99

* We were given these items free of charge in return for an honest review.
All words,images and opinions are our own.

Slimming World Update #2

I have finally got round in posting my second Slimming World update. I wrote my first Slimming World update last week, and I'm feeling pretty confident that I'm going to be sticking to posting on a weekly basis, possibly fortnightly sometimes. I'm even uploading Slimming World updates and related videos on my YouTube channel too - which is great for me! It's motivating me to carry on and stick to plan also.

The past week has been pretty good. I've been walking every day, much more than I normally do. I've been feeling better, except on Sunday and Monday I struggled a bit with sticking to plan and just my 'mood'. I've been on and off for years now when I get into that particular mood, I can't seem to get out of it. That's when I seem to struggle to stick to plan too which can be quite a pain. But I didn't worry too much - I'd be lying if I said I didn't worry at all - cause I did.

I was really hoping all the walking and extra movement this week would have balanced Sunday and Monday off a bit. All my meals were on plan those days, just the snacking in between took my syns over. All the other days were fine and on plan. It's nuts how just going for an extra 3 mile walk can de-stress you and make you feel much better. It's cleared my head a lot this past week, and I do believe it's one reason I'm slowly feeling better. I've done it before, a few years back when I was obsessed with walking for a few months - it helped my weight loss, and it helped me mentally too.

So, this week, I lost one pound.

Total loss is now 7 pounds. I'm really happy that I've got half a stone off and I'm back at where I was a few weeks ago. I am feeling good, I am feeling the difference too which is motivating me even more. I am still finding it difficult to see the end of my 'journey', seeing as I have 8 stone to lose, but I'm trying to concentrate little by little. So we will see.

Next weeks goals:

- Drink even more
- Stop going over syns
- Eat speed food instead of synned snacks
- Need to prepare meals again
- Carry on walking

Restoring the floor with INNOVO®

When I started writing this blog back in 2013, the first thing I told myself was I’d want it to be an honest blog and this post is one of them honest kind of posts. Some women (and men) may feel embarrassed to talk about this type of topic but having urinary incontinence is very common, and in fact, 1 in 3 women (and 1 in 10 men) suffer from it. There are many excuses that we use (even I use it) such as a weak bladder, sensitive bladder, leaks and so on.

I’m sure many people can agree that they have suffered from urinary incontinence but to actually admit it, is a different matter. However, it’s something we should not be embarrassed to talk about. It most commonly happens if you’re pregnant, post-childbirth, going through menopause and inactive women (who participate in certain sports). In men, it’s most common as a result of prostatectomy surgery and is known to be one of the biggest challenges to overcome during the recovery process.

INNOVO®have challenged me to try out their non-invasive pelvic floor restoration device to see if it helps me in the next few weeks. I’m really looking forward to trying it out and seeing some good results. Did you know that there is no such thing as a weak bladder? It’s a weak pelvic floor and again, nothing to be ashamed about. INNOVO® have created an effective treatment called Innovotherapy that’s available for men and women to help strengthen their pelvic floor muscles, which means fewer leaks.

The great thing about this product is that you can do it in the comfort of your own home. There’s a set of pads which you place on your thighs and buttocks, and it’s even a clinically proven technology.

I will be writing an updated post in the next few weeks, so be sure to keep an eye out for that. I’m really looking forward to trying it out and hopefully, some great results too.

We are currently working with INNOVO® with this campaign.  

5 Ways to treat yourself on a budget

Being a Mum we don’t very often treat ourselves. Many reasons being that we buy the kids things instead. But it’s very healthy and important to treat ourselves every now and then. If you’re worried about spending too much on yourself, there are many things you can do on a budget. It’s all about looking around and finding the budget things, but sometimes you don’t even have to spend a thing.
Here are just five ways you can treat yourself on a budget:

Relaxing Hot Bath
Fill the bathtub with hot water and fill it up with bubbles. Make sure it’s an evening when your partner is home and he’s/she’s able to take over the evening with the kids if they wake up. If you don’t have a partner, you could plan for the kids to go have a sleepover in a friends or family members house. Having that relaxing hot bath will be worth it. A perfect end to a busy day.

I love my perfume and there are so many lovely smelling perfumes out there. I feel conscious if I go out of the house with no perfume. Perfumes don’t have to be expensive, you can buy them at reasonable prices in many places and there are great perfume discounts at Groupon.

Blowdry and Cut your hair
If you don’t fancy colouring your hair, you could always book an appointment in the salon for a cut, wash and blowdry. It’s normally reasonably priced and it also give you a chance to relax, and what’s better than someone brushing your hair? It relaxes me so much. Not only is it relaxing, but you’ll feel like new walking out of that salon.

Spa Day/Spa Night
This might be out of budget for some but you can easily host a spa day/night in the comfort of your own home for yourself or for you and a friend. You can buy many products such as face masks etc to create your very own spa at home, and feel brilliant afterwards.

Take an Evening Off
This is completely free. As parents, we are constantly on the go. Whether we are running around our little ones during the day, trying to keep on top of the housework and living our life around school runs, meal times and nap times. It can get quite exhausting and overwhelming at times. Even during the evenings once the kids are in bed, we are still finding ourselves doing something. Why not just take that evening off. Close the doors if you have too, or try and fit it in before the kids go to bed, just so you can relax during the evening by watching a film or catching up on your soaps.

How do you treat yourself on a budget?

This is a collaborative post.

Quinny Zapp Flex Plus Pushchair Review

A couple of months back we were sent the Quinny Zapp Flex Plus Pushchair to review, and I was super excited to try it out. We owned a Quinny pram for Elliw, my middle child, back in 2013, so I was interested to see how updated it was and if I’d still like the pram or not. First thing, I love the fact that you can customise your pram. There’s a great choice of colours to choose from, and you can even choose your own colours. I chose the Blue on Sky shade, and I am in love with it.
The Quinny Zapp Flex Plus that I received has four wheels instead of the original three wheels that most Quinny prams have. Honestly, I prefer the four wheels, and I think it looks super stylish too.  When I received it and put it together, I was pleased with how easy and how quick it was to put together. Everything pretty much just needed to be clicked on and it wasn’t heavy as such either – which is always a bonus.

Taking it out for the first time, which was the following day after putting it together I was looking forward to seeing how it was on pavements, going up and down kerbs and round corners as we went on the school run. I was overly impressed with how easy it is to push, you can easily push the pram with just one hand, which is great if you have other children. It pushes smoothly on most grounds, which I liked.
The pushchair has a one handle, which is a little bit of a pain at times because there’s nowhere really to carry my girls’ school bags, but we have worked around it, and there have been no big problems about it. There is a basket, and although it’s a little on the small side, it is bigger than it looks. I do manage to get a lot of things into the basket with no trouble.

The hood extends when you open the zip, something I like, especially if it’s a sunny day. Freddie always loves to pull the hood wide open too. It’s really easy to open and close, you can also put it in different positions. The toddler seat is able to forward face and parent face. I think it’s always geat to have the two choices of which way you want the seat to face. Freddie sits with the seat forward facing as he loves to look around, but secretly I would love to carry on parent facing.

The Quinny pushchair has some great features:
-          The wheels are swivel which is great, but there’s also a choice to put them off swivel if you need.
-          The basket is easily accessed, even when the seat is reclined.
-          The seat reclined in different positions and also reclines all the way back.
-          The one handle helps the smooth push.
-          Very easy to fold and folds up small which is great for not taking up much room in your boot
-          The fabrics are water resistant, so they are easy to clean
-          Maxi Cosi Carseat Adapters
-          Raincover
The raincover included does cover from the top of the pram to the bottom. However, my son has been able to kick the raincover off a few times, I think because it goes in at the bottom near where the feet are. He also is able to close the hood, which makes the raincover fall a bit as you have to have the hood all the way open for the raincover to go on. But we rarely use the raincover, and it’s never been a huge problem for us.

Quinny sells many accessories for this pushchair, such as an extra shopping basket, bumper bar, seat covers and much more. These prams are suitable from birth, but you will need to buy a carrycot – which you can choose the colour of too – which is great.
-          Really smooth to push and manoeuvre
-          Wheels are swivel
-          The height is perfect for me (I’m 5foot7”)
-          Easy access to the basket
-          Seat faces both ways
-          Easy to fold and unfold
-          Seat reclines all the way down and different positions
-          Great choice of customisable colours
-          Comes with a raincover and carseat adapters
-          Stylish and modern
-          Four wheels make it looks lovely and easy to push
-          The basket is a little small, but it looks smaller than what it actually is.
-          The raincover is a little disappointing
Saying that about the raincover – it wouldn’t put me off buying the Quinny at all.

Overall, I am overly pleased with the Quinny Zapp Flex Plus pushchair. The colour is lovely, and the quality is high. It’s a brilliant pram, and it’s so smooth to push, even older babies who weigh more than younger babies. My son is 22 months old and fits perfectly fine in the seat, and he also doesn’t make the pushchair too heavy to push either.

* We were gifted this item free of charge in return for an honest review.
All words, images and opinions are entierly our own.

Little Tikes Trike - Afternoon Walk

Finally, the weather is getting better. We had a week of gloomy weather but the sun is shining back again, and that means more outdoor adventures. Freddie absolutely adores the outdoors and is forever playing in the back garden and gets all excited when we go out for a walk. We’re quite lucky that we live near a cycle track that’s lovely to have a walk. We’ve had many walks on the cycle track, letting the kids go on their bikes, scooters or run around.

We were given a Trike from Little Tikes for their Tour De Trike campaign. I decided to go for a walk on the cycle track with Freddie his new trike and the girls on their bike. The girls love their bikes recently, and Elliw can finally ride a bike with no stabilisers, and we are so proud of her. The trike was so easy to push around and move around. I love the fact that it’s 4-in-1 which means It’s suitable from 10 months up to 5 years. I always look for something that will grow with the child, and this trike definitely will last for years.

It has a detachable hood, safety straps, parent handle, storage tray holder, basket, bottle holder and more features. The one thing I love about the trike is the feet rest. There’s space for their little feet to rest and stops them putting their feet on the front wheel – which can be annoying! You can also remove this as they get older, as well as removing the extra back of the trike seat and parent handle.

We went for a walk after school one afternoon, and the sun was shining, and it was super warm. Freddie was shouting for the sheep and shouting ‘meh!’ – his new thing recently. He loves his animals, so he got even more excited when he saw some cows the further we went. All the kids were giggling away, the girls have races with each other and Freddie laughing along at them passing him. Walks like this are times I feel so grateful and happy. Making happy memories with the kids really is the best. The weather just makes it even better. We are so excited for more adventures with the trike.

Where are your best adventures?

* We were given this product as part of getting involved with the Tour De Trike Campaign with Little Tikes. However, all words, images and opinions are our own.