Thursday, 11 September 2014

Trendy Tot Thursday

This week has seen Olivia back at school for her first full week and to be hones opportunities for her to be out of her uniform have been sadly missed. Madam herself was supposed to take the lead with this weeks post but in true pre-tween fashion she told me if I wanted it done to do it myself! Story of my life that is, which brings me cleverly into this weeks outfit choice :) little 1D song title to link in with her favourite 1D top!

I would like to point out that this outfit was last worn a few weeks ago and apologies for awful pics but it was a baking funday at my sisters and as she doesn't know we blog it was kinda awkward trying to get pictures to do our Trendy Tot post for that week. So this is kinda like an outtake week, the one that almost was if you like. But..... I do love this outfit I chose it with love as a birthday present for her 8th birthday.

  • Top £4 age 8-9 Internationale's Sophie Range

  •  Pinafore Dress £8 age 13-14 Internationale's Sophie Range

 Her top is in a heart typography style with all the names of the 1D boys Harry being in the centre obvs! He is, apparently, going to be my son in law one day I have been told. I am sure that by the time he is Colin Farrell will also be my husband!

I love the pinafore dress it really suits her but she would pose with it on properly but it looks just as good the way she has it on in the pictures so it's almost like 2 for the price of 1 really.

Again sorry for dodgy pics but I really didn't want to not link up this week and hopefully normal service will be resumed next week!

Trendy Tot Thursday : ClearlyBex

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Surcare Review

This month I was luckily enough to be able to try out the Surcare range.  I was so excited! I know that says a lot more about my (lack of a) life than the possibly the product but when you reach a certain age certain things become more important. Like sleep, comfort and looking after yourself a bit more which is where Surcare come in.

Surcare's products are all fragrance free with absolutely no products at all to irritate your skin making them perfect for babies, children and allergy sufferers like myself. With no dyes, no acids and no enzymes or perfume just nice clean fresh smelling clothes.

I suffer from an allergy to fabric conditioners. It makes my skin really itchy and irritated so it goes without saying I don't use it ever. As you can imagine my clothes, bedding, towels can be a little rough at times as there isn't really anything in my wash to soften them. I also tend to use the same soap powder brand religiously as other products can irritate my skin too.

The last time I remember using fabric conditioner myself it was a leading brand aimed at babies so I thought well, I should be OK with that shouldn't I? Wrong! I thought I was doomed to life with rough towels and itchy skin.

Then I received the above package from Surcare. The whole range which includes washing up liquid, soap powder, liquid detergent, gel liquid and capsules and lastly fabric conditioner *dum, dum, dum* Would I, could I, should I?

I did. For the first time in over 8 years I actually used fabric conditioner and I did not itch! At all, not even a little bit. If I am completely honest I actually forgot I had used it/was using it until about 3 days in (starting to wonder how I get through my days? Yeah me too!). When I realised I was wearing all the clothes that had been washed with fabric conditioner I noticed there was no irritation. Nothing at all no itching, scratching nothing! Surcare's amazing formula of nothing extra added to their products is exactly what my skin, and clothes need. For the first time in years I actually have soft clothes, snuggly towels and happy skin I couldn't believe it at all.

The liquid and gel are almost as clear as water so you can tell that nothing has been added at all and the fabric conditioner is a milky white liquid

Their washing up liquid also cleans just as well as my preferred big name brand too but my hands aren't nearly half as dry after using it as they used to be. What more could you want!

Based on current prices at Asda Surcare's products are slightly more expensive than what I usually pay as I always buy bulk at offer prices, but they are not so expensive that I wouldn't buy them at all. In fact I think I may be a convert, actually no, I will be converting 100% to Surcare I am that impressed by the quality of the products I have been using.  They clean just as well as other brands but with nothing in to irritate my skin and I am so grateful to have actually found this product.

Highly recommend it to anyone with sensitive skin or looking for something delicate enough for newborn or absolutely anyone!

You can find Surcare in all major supermarkets or online. They are also can be found on Facebook and Twitter

*Disclaimer: I was sent the above products for the purpose of this review foc. All thoughts, opinions and sensitive skin are my own*

*nibnibs Review and Competition*

Recently I was offered the chance to review nibnibs mini cheese straws range. Not one to say no to say no to food I jumped at the chance to try them out.

Based in Yorkshire nibnibs specialise in premium baked British nibbles for the most discerning connoisseurs! Well that I am not but I do enjoy quality food with great taste! Awarded with a Great Taste 2013 award and the winner of deliciously Yorkshire award 2013-2014 you just know they're going to taste really good.*drools*

You can enjoy nibnibs cheese straws in 2 sizes full size straws and mini ones which I received. All made with West Country cheddar either in just exceptional cheddar or paired with cheeky onion or spicy chilli. You can also get them in Sea Salt and Cracked Black Pepper. I also received jumbo peanuts in Sea Salt and Cracked Black Pepper.

So what did I think? Yes? No? Good? Not so nice? This is the question isn't it and lets face it the whole point of this post so let me be totally honest with you please read on.........

First to be taste tested were the jumbo peanuts. Sea Salt and Cracked Black Pepper. I love peanuts and I love pretty much anything flavoured with salt and pepper, chicken wings anyone?, but I have never had peanuts of this flavour. I naughtily snuck them up to bed with me to help with my blogging. Honestly they didn't last long. I had only planned on having a handful or two but before I knew it the whole tub was gone! Addictive doesn't even come close. They were so delicious and moreish and I am totally stocking up on these!

The exceptional cheddar straws were next on the list! Now if I am being honest I imagined them to be the same texture as mini cheddars but with better flavour. I was wrong totally wrong. They are small crunchy little bread sticks with the most delicious cheesy flavour. The thing is I really wasn't keen on the texture and found them a little hard to eat despite the fact that they actually tasted delicious, so needless I didn't really eat many. But.......... Olivia loved them! Little Miss Fussy Eater is awful at trying anything new but I managed to get her to try one, which led to two, then three, four and quite quickly I had to take them off her so she had some left for her packed lunch the next day.
"Mmmmm these are delicious. I love them" Olivia B age 8 

This then left us with the cheeky onion flavour and the spicy chilli straws. So I opted for the chilli and Olivia the onion straws. Sharing is caring and all that although I don't think Olivia felt the same bout sharing these at all!

After not being fussed about the cheddar straws I was a bit dubious as to if I actually wanted to even try the chilli ones but being the good (and thorough) blogger that I am I delved right in. *Pah* chilli what chilli I thought as I popped one into my mouth. Damn these things have got some kick for something so small! Just one little straw had me reaching for the milk my mouth was on fire, I was impressed and hooked. I scoffed the whole tub as quick as my burning mouth could cope with. As far as I am concerned the hotter the better and boy, were these hot! I loved them and found them a lot easier to eat than the cheddar ones.

Despite Olivias reservations about not liking onion (this girl 'doesn't like' an awful lot) there were none left in her lunch box when she came home and asked if there were any left for the next day! Think I've found a new favourite for her lunch box.

There is so much flavour in nibnibs it's not hard to see why theyare award winning snacks and I don't think Olivia will pleased with me if I don't stock up with more of her new favourite snacks. I would love to get these for a pamper night I am having soon. I was planning on saving some but well, Olivia had other ideas........ They are just too delicious not to eat!

So..... where would you nibble yours? Me? Well I nibbled mine on the sofa with a box set of the Ghost Whisperer while Olivia was at school and Olivia? She nibbled hers in the lunch hall at school shared with friends!

nibnibs can be found on Facebook and Twitter too.
How would you like to try some out for yourself?

The lovely people at nibnibs are offering one lucky reader the chance to win some of their delicious products how nice is that!
The competition is being run on my blog but isn't being hosted by me nor will I be picking the winner.
The competition will run until 30/08/2014

*Disclaimer: I was sent the above products to try for the purpose of this review foc. All opinions are completely honest views on what Olivia and I thought of them*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, 8 September 2014

What it is really like to be Fat

There's this whole thing in the media about Katie Hopkins putting on weight to show how easy it is to lose it. To show the fatties that there is no excuse for the way that they are but is it really that simple?

Let me tell you my story.

I have struggled with my weight my whole adult life. It started at school with the envious looks at the skinny girls. I wasn't big myself but was aware that I carried weight easily on my stomach.

Upon leaving school I started work and remember frantically dieting to fit into dresses for the weekend. I didn't need to lose it but still I tried.

The first time I actually put weight on was when I was 19. I moved away changed jobs but failed to change my eating habits and on piled the weight. I felt huge but in reality I was only 10 stone not excessively overweight but I hated it.

I stayed around this weight yoyo ing between 10 and 11 stone until I became pregnant with Olivia. This is where it all changed. Eating what I wanted when I wanted without a care in the world.

I put on 2 stone losing just 1 when I gave birth. But at that point I had better things to worry about. I didn't worry about it until I split from Olivia's dad. I have no idea exactly what weight I was but after a few months of being single I enrolled in a course with my doctors about educating me on how to have a healthy diet, understanding food labels and making wiser food choices all based on the balanced nutrition plate. It was a 12 week course and I managed to lose 12lb just changing my diet no exercise except walking. I was at my lowest since being pregnant at 11st 13lb and Olivia was 3 and a half by this point.

Since then I have struggled and I mean really struggled. I seem to have no self control at times. If I feel sad, I eat. If I'm happy I won't even thing about what I am eating. Stressed? Bring out the chocolate. I eat junk then skip meals. Sometimes my days can be filled with non stop eating I find it really hard to feel satisfied at time and I know that this is something I really need to work on.

The worst part is the actually physical cravings. My body being so used to getting these foods that if it doesn't get them I genuinely cannot help myself at times. It feels like almost an addiction as silly as it sounds to some people, food too just like anything else can be an addiction.

Of course I have tried many things to help shift the weight but none of them have been that permanent solution that I stick to and keep going. Slim Fast, Desirable Body, Closer Diets, 5:2 you name it I have probably tried it. But my love for all things calorific and my laziness and complete disorganisation always derail me. But I am under no illusions my problems with food are exactly that my problems and habits I am yet to break. There is no miracle cure but with no willpower there will be no weight loss. I am my own worst enemy.

Last year I took part in a 10 week challenge with Desirable Body and through sheer hardwork, a complete diet overhaul, supplements and a lot of exercise I managed to lose 22lbs and 23.5in! So the thing is you don't need to tell me it can be done, I know it can be done. But it was all undone when I couldn't go to the gym or swimming due to severe dizzy spells and suspected Menieres Disease. Luckily it wasn't.

I want to change, I need to change but it is not as easy as it looks. Losing weight isn't about isn't all about what you eat. It is about why you eat what you do. It's about changing your whole mindset about food and stopping all the bad habits that have become part and parcel of who you are right now. I'm not saying it can't be done but it is not easy.

I want to be able to look in the mirror without feeling disgusted with myself, to be able to go out in public without worrying about what people may be thinking about me. To eat in public comfortably without looking and feeling like a greedy pig. To hold my head high and not feel ashamed with the way I look.

But mostly I want my confidence back. I want to feel like me again not the me stuck inside all these extra layers I have now. I am ready to change but the question is can I? I'm not so sure but what I do know is I won't stop trying. I will find the holy grail of healthy living and eating that works for me.

So with all due respect and no nastiness involved I really hope Katie Hopkins struggles with her impending weight loss because if losing weight was easy no one would be fat would would they.......

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Viking: Your One Stop Office Supply Shop

For me September heralds the start of the new school year and for the new school year comes the need to for lots of new things. New uniform, new shoes, new stationary. Olivia loves having her own stationary with her in school even though really she doesn't yet need to in year 4.

She is still into the cutesy matching sets but shortly she will heading towards secondary school *shudder* and with that will be needing a whole host of new things not just her usual Hello Kitty pencils. 

Now, me being me, I have no idea what to get or where to get it or even exactly what I should be buying?!?! especially when it comes to ordering off the internet, we have all had those experiences haven't we!

I like to do my online shopping the way I do my actual shopping quickly and easily and all in one place if I can! Yes I am universally lazy not just limited to housework/cleaning lazy.

Office Supplies from Viking

You can imagine how impressed I was when I found Viking. They are an one stop online stationary supply site. They specialise in all your back to school goodies, office supplies, even if work from home or a blogger like myself you are catered for here, everything you may need all in one place. I spent a ridiculously long time imagining what I would buy for my staff, I was my own boss! And let me tell you I would be an amazing boss free coffee for all with the chairs you can spin around in all day!

Whether it be just a few top up items, or the whole shabang for a brand new start up Viking can help you out. From supplying your staff with everything from pens and paper to their own tablet or laptop to to help them do their job. you can even make sure they have a supply of tea and coffee to keep them going through the day! Or kitting yourself out with everything you need to build your own home office desk, printers, an executive office chair perhaps.........

Even if you are just buying for personal use like I would be myself, you can find a whole host of things. A new laptop or tablet would make a great Christmas or birthday present or a fab treat for yourself. A new camera to help with your blogging pics, complete with memory card and batteries, which Viking were kind enough to supply me with to help me improve my blog with great pictures. You can even get yourself a new mobile phone too!

Camera from Viking

Looking to kit your child out at uni? Look no further. Need supplies for your cleaning cupboard, all sorted. Safety supplies all here too.

Exclusive product offers and deals.

It really is an Aladdin's cave of products backed by 23 years of experience and with a whole host of offers to sweeten the deal too. They offer fast free delivery on orders over £30 and a no hassle 30 day trial, can't say fairer than that can you! Teamed with prices from as low as 99p and amazing deals and free gifts to be had! Free microwave with hand towels*! Free gift on orders over £100*

You can find Viking in the following places too Facebook Twitter and Google+

*Offers correct at time of publishing blog post please see website for current offers*

*I received products as payment for this blog post. All pictures taken from Viking Direct website*