Wednesday, 13 November 2019

(Ad - Gifted) The Baylis & Harding 2019 Christmas Range!

I am a big fan of Baylis & Harding products. They are affordable but also have a bit of luxury about them. I like to use them myself and there sets make fantastic gifts.

It's that time of year where our thoughts are turning to Christmas and what to buy for loved one's and I don't think you can go wrong with something from Baylis & Harding. Last year's Christmas range was fantastic but this year I think it's even better! There is something for everyone!

Midnight Plum & Wild Blackberry festive hand wash. 
£2.00 from leading supermarkets and Boots.

Baylis & Harding´s iconic hand wash are known the world over. Midnight Plum & Wild Blackberry is brand new Limited Edition collection for 2019. The stunning new fragrance blends the juicy, ripe fruits of mulberry and raspberry with accords of plum and creamy vanilla undertones.

Beauticology Rudolph Festive Treats for Feet Set.
£8.00 from Amazon.

The Treats for Feet Gift Set makes a fabulous stocking filler or secret Santa gift for Christmas. This fantastic gift set contains everything you need for a perfect home pedicure. The 50ml vanilla icing foot Lotion is enriched with vitamins A, B and C for super moisturisation and there's the fun and festive super soft striped socks for cosy toes and toasty warm feet!

Fuzzy Duck Sloe Gin Cocktail Candle.
£15.00 from Next and Amazon.

The luxury fragranced double wick candle fragranced with the scent of Sloe Gin is presented in a stunning coloured glass jar with a gold coloured metal lid, this is a must have for any stylish home! This is inspired by the fabulous Sloe Gin made at Baylis & Harding's very own boutique Cotswold's inn: The Fuzzy Duck!

Fuzzy Duck Cotswold Collection Luxury Wrapped Soap Set.
£6.00 from Debenhams.

A stunning set of 3 individually wrapped 100g soaps in 2 beautiful; Wild Flower, Meadow and Woodland Bluebell. Silicone free, cruelty free and suitable for vegans!

Fuzzy Duck Whiskey Bath Bubbles.
£8.00 from Sainsbury’s and Asda.

What better way to enjoy a bath then with this Whiskey Premium Bubble Bath from Baylis & Harding? These bath bubbles come in a bottle containing 750ml bubbles that will leave your skin feeling clean and smelling delicious. Packaged in a green, plastic bottle with a silver, screw top lid, it has been designed to look like the real deal! Whether it’s for yourself or a friend, this lovely whisky bubble bath is the perfect present for Christmas!

Fuzzy Duck Winter Wonderland Festive Bath Bubbles Bauble.
£6.00 from Boots.

This fabulous bauble shaped bottle is filled with indulgent bath bubble and fragranced with the most festive Mulberry & Mistletoe scent. The perfect stocking filler or Secret Santa gift!

Beauticology Unicorn Rainbow Fizzers.
£15.00 from Asda and Morrisons.

Unleash the rainbow with five pastel Bath Fizzers. Gorgeously scented so that you can sit back, relax and release your inner unicorn! This super cute set contains 5 bath fizzers and a 50g jar of bath salts to transform your bathroom into a fantastical unicorn paradise. Fragrances include Ice Cream Sundae, Vanilla Ice, Unicorn Candy, Mint Choc Chip and Cookies & Cream.

Sweet Mandarin & Grapefruit Luxury Home Gift Set.
£15.00 from Debenhams.

This beautiful gift set contains a 500ml hand wash and a luxury 1 wick candle with a metal lid and is perfect for adding a touch of style to the smallest room in the house and also makes a lovely gift to a host this Christmas.

Fuzzy Duck Men’s Pink Pepper & Oud Wash Bag.
£21.24 from Amazon.

A stylish wash bag that contains all the essentials needed when on the move. Contains 100ml shampoo, 100ml body wash, 50ml aftershave balm and 50ml shower gel.

Will you be buying any Baylis & Harding products over the festive season, for yourself or someone else?

I was sent these Baylis & Harding products free of charge in exchange for this blog post.

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Period talk & the contraceptive implant!

Just after my youngest, Ellie was born I tried a couple of different contraceptive pills. They didn't work for me. One gave me terrible migraines and the other made me sick! I felt like I had morning sickness again. I couldn't function so I went back to the doctors and she suggested the contraceptive implant and I have been using that ever since.

I had the first one put in and had an utter nightmare with the healing process especially when it came to taking the bandage off. There was blisters, massive bruising and it bloody hurt. I did actually ring the NHS helpline because I was so sore and worried. As soon as the steri-strips were off it did start to heal.

I stuck with it and I am glad I did. I had about 2 and a half years without any periods and then they came back just before I was due to get the implant changed. I got the implant changed and my periods disappeared. 2nd time around the minor operation (it is classed as that) was fine. I was obviously a little sore but nothing compared to the first time. There was hardly any bruising and no blisters at all. My periods vanished again.

When I had the 3rd implant put in there was debate about where the implant should be placed. The first and 2nd implant were on the under of my upper arm but the third one was moved further around my arm but next time it would need to be in my other arm. Eek! I am dreading it.

Now is the time where my body is screaming for my implant to be changed. For the last couple of months my periods have been erratic to say the least! As of writing this on the 9th of November I have been bleeding, on a heavy period, or whatever you want to call it for 3 whole weeks. I've had the whole lot over the past three weeks: cramps, clots, heavy bleeding, bloating, mood swings, aching, spots, diarrhea and constipation. I feel exhausted with it all! I feel like my body is saying here's all the periods you missed out on, enjoy. It's quite normal with the implant says the nurse at the GP's.

Before I had the implant in I would suffer with most of the period complaints to some degree but when I've had the implant in I don't have hardly any periods. The worst I get is one that lasts a day maybe every 6 months. I've spent 2 and a half years in ignorance and it's a shock to the system when they do come back!

I have totally milked having this stupid period though. I have had my fella heating up a hot water bottle for me to partly ease the cramps and mostly warm me up because I hate having the heating on during the day. I have scared my dad. He isn't a modern fella. He hates the word "period" and gets totally freaked out by it. If you get a sanitary pad out of your bag he will turn around, walk away and pretend he's not seen it. His partner, Sarah knows I have been "on" forever and sympathises and she keeps saying "Kim feels like rubbish, it's her time of the month" and he asks no more questions.

My dad is 70 odd years old and is of the generation which doesn't talk about periods. Thankfully my fella does talk about them and understands them. It's a good job living with 3 females. When Becky and I have periods he supplies us with hot water bottles, blankets and an endless supply of chocolate. hahaha

When I saw the nurse when we registered with the doctors back in the summer I did say my periods were coming back and she suggested to get the implant changed a couple of months before it was due. That is now!! I did ring up the doctors and the only appointment they could offer me at the time was on the 21st of this month. That isn't going to work. It's my 40th birthday so I'm going to ring later this week to see what other appointments they have.

I have heard horror stories about the contraceptive implant but so far it seems to be working well for me, well apart from the last few months of it's lifespan. Have you had any experience with the contraceptive implant? How did it work out for you?

Monday, 11 November 2019

Our weekly meal plan! 11th - 17th Nov. #MealPlanningMonday

Last weeks meal plan went well. Every meal was eaten and enjoyed usually at least one of my family moans about at least one of the meals but last week nobody did. 

My dad was given a huge bag of potatoes and gave us half of the bag as he wouldn't get through them all. I swear the potatoes are as bigger than a babies head. lol so we're going to have to work our way through them.

Over the weekend I got my usual grocery order delivered but I used the Tesco Club Card vouchers I have been saving up all year. I got £65 off my shop so I got a ton of things for Christmas. The wine for Christmas day and cupboard things which will last until the big day. I also bought the girls a few presents as they have the health & beauty gifts all half price. 

This week on the menu we have:

Monday - Lentil and bacon soup with crusty bread.
Tuesday - Leftover soup with pasta added to it. Martyn from Inside Martyn's Thoughts gave me the idea from his Chicken Casserole post.
Wednesday - Gammon steaks, chips, pineapple rings and a fried egg.
Friday - Pizza.
Saturday - Burgers in buns with fries.
Sunday - A casserole of something in the slow cooker with mashed potato.

(Ad - Gifted) Become a spy with the SpyX Micro Gear Set ! Review & Giveaway!

Ellie is a fan of all little gadgets and thought a spy kit would be fantastic for her to try out. The SpyX Micro Gear Set is perfect for children's undercover and secret missions. They can feel like a real spy with this set!

The sophisticated SpyX range offers working features that fuel the imagination, kids can role play with cool crime fighting gear and gadgets, just like real hero agents.

This set includes a handle utility belt with four special tools that no spy should ever leave the home without!

Ellie was very keen to get into the box and try everything out. Everything apart from the motion alarm was ready to use. We had to add two AAA batteries to it. The rest of the equipment already had the button cell batteries included which I thought was great because looking for batteries is the last thing you want to do when a child is keen to play with something!

The four micro tools are:

 An ear spy light!

The ear spy light has a LED flashlight you can attach to your ear. Perfect to see where you are going and to do secret spy things. The flashlight is so bright and great for when you are in the dark. Ellie tested it out in the garden when it was dark and she thought it was fantastic fun. She liked that it was on her ear and her hands were free to use.

An Invisible ink pen.

The invisible pen is great to write and decode secret messages. This was Ellie's favourite of the spy tools. At one end of the pen there is a pen with invisible in and at the other end there is UV light which you shine on what you have written to make it visible.

Micro motion alarm.

Use the micro motion alarm to set up a secret alarm trap to surprise your opponents. This worked so well. You put it somewhere where you think people might walk or on something that you want to protect and turn it on. Once the red light has flashed it is ready to go. Whenever anyone walks in front of it an alarm will sound. Ellie has put this in her bedroom to let her know when her sister is going in it. lol

Micro listener.

Use the Micro Listener to listen to conversations from far away and out of sight. You put the earpiece into your ear and you can then hear any noises the other end picks up. It was a shame that the cable is so short so it's not like you can put it in another room and hear what people are saying but I suppose that is a good thing so Ellie doesn't hear something she shouldn't. hehehe

Ellie and I both think this a fantastic set and it's already given her a couple of hours of fun and I can see her playing with all the micro tools for a long time. All of the spy equipment can be attached to the utility belt so you can keep everything together and carry it around.

This set is suitable for ages 6 years+ and can be bought from Amazon or Argos for around £19.99. I think it would make a fantastic present for Christmas.

I have one of the SpyX Micro Gear Set's to give away! Please enter using the rafflecopter form below. All entries are optional. You can do just one or all of them and you can  come back each day to gain extra entries.

Terms and Conditions:
I am giving away one SpyX Micro Gear Set. There will be one winner.
You must be a UK resident aged 18 or over to enter.
This competition will close on 26th of November 2019 at 12am.
The winner will be contacted within 48 hours of the closing date and will need to respond with a postal address within 28 days or a new winner will be chosen.
You will have to supply your name and address for delivery of your prize but that information won't be used for anything else.
No cash alternative will be offered.

I was sent the SpyX Micro Gear Set free of charge in exchange for this blog post.

Sunday, 10 November 2019

Rainbows and rain! #MySundaySnapshot

This weeks my photos are from the same field where I took last weeks Sunday photo. (the one with the lovely view which could pass for a summers day!) I was stood at the far side of the cars last week. This week it wasn't possible!

First up the rainbow on Wednesday! It was the start of the terrible weather we've had this past week. The field was a little muddy but nothing too bad but then we had a months worth of rain on Thursday and my dad was left with a lake in his field. It seemed crazy that the day before there was nothing there, not even a puddle!

Saturday, 9 November 2019

Week 45 of #Project365 - A photo every day for a year!

It has been a wet week. We've had so much rain. Yesterday I was sick of being stuck inside so I decided to go out no matter what and I spent the day at my dad's helping him out. It of course rained for about an hour, heavy but I just sat and had a catch up with Sarah his partner. I spent most of the day raking leaves and came home cold but I felt so much better for being out.

Now for a photo every day!

304/365 - 2nd November
I found the cupcakes I forgot about for Halloween in the cupboard. Oops. They were still OK to eat so that was good!

305/365 - 3rd November
We watched the film Nativity Rocks! I wasn't sure about the new Mr Poppy but I liked it and even laughed out loud a bit.

306/365 - 4th November
I got some of the Christmas decorations out so I could take some photos for a blog post. I got them put away before the kids got home so they didn't get any ideas about putting them up.

307/365 - 5th November
Fireworks! We watched them from the bedroom window instead of going out into the cold.

308/365 - 6th November
I hate this time of year, trying to get the washing dry.

309/365 - 7th November
Rain, rain and more rain!

310/365 - 8th November
Leaves, leaves and more leaves. lol

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Friday, 8 November 2019

This week my Word of the Week is: Wet! #WotW

This week my Word of the Week is:

Is anyone else sick of the rain? I am! It has rained here most of the week. Wednesday morning it was bright but it didn't last by mid afternoon it was starting to drizzle and by the time Becky came in from college it was chucking it down. She got soaked!

Ellie has finally given in and admitted that she needs to wear a coat to school. She doesn't like to as the kids are not allowed to wear their coats inside of the school and have to carry them around. I refuse to pay the ridiculous amount to hire a locker for a year because she really doesn't need one. Yesterday she went to school with a jacket and a woolly hat on and left me with orders to buy her a coat with a hood. I found a couple which are more like mac's then thick coats so they're light and can fold up and be put in her bag. I of course had to wait to order one until she got in from school because she's a fussy so and so.

We were supposed to be going to the local bonfire and firework display earlier in the week but it had rained all day and it was cold so I didn't fancy it. I thought I would have my work cut out convincing them that we didn't need to go but they weren't fussed about going out into the cold. Phew! So we got to stay in the warm and I'm glad we did because we could see all of the fireworks from the front bedroom window! 

I was sat on the loo the other night and felt something drop onto the top of my head! I screamed, my first thought was it that it was a spider. I built up the courage to touch my head and it was wet! Phew! At least it wasn't a spider. I looked up thinking the roof was leaking but no there was loads of water drops on the extractor fan. I guess we really should start using it when we're in the bath. Oops.

Stu had an unexpected day off work yesterday because of the rain. He mostly works outside as a general laborer. (A big change from working in a shop when we lived in Northumberland but he loves it.) It was so wet that his boss rang to say don't bother coming in. It's fine, he has been working extra hours to make up for days like that so we're not losing out on any money. It meant he could do a few jobs around the house which have needed doing for a while.

It's got to that time of the year where there is wet washing hung everywhere. I have 3 big airers which is more than enough for a load of washing but I don't want to have the heating on all day to dry it so we're thinking about getting a tumble dryer. We're not going to buy a new one, it will be second hand from the local auction. We just have to wait for one to come in. I'm would buy new if we would be using it all of the time but it's only weeks like this that we need it.

Thursday, 7 November 2019

Tips to make a Christmas holiday in the UK stress free.

Last Christmas we went away on holiday from the 23rd until the 27th of December. It was such a big deal for us as we had never been on a family holiday and going away over Christmas meant there was so much more to think about than the average holiday! 

Here are my idea's and tips to make a Christmas away in a hotel stress free.

Reserve your seats on the train!

I was able to reserve our seats from Newcastle to York as I had an idea it might be busy and on the way back reserved them from Leeds to Newcastle. I am so glad. The train was packed! Travelling by train makes people angry, me included. Without the reserved seats goodness knows where we would have been stood. The trains from York to the hotel and the one back from the Hotel to Leeds were practically empty. I think with the main routes you need to reserve a seat especially if you have kids. People are ruthless when it comes to travelling.

Sort the presents!

We started planning early and decided that the kids wouldn't be getting all of their presents while we were away on holiday. They would get their stocking and a few of the lighter/smaller presents. They all had to fit in one suitcase and I used one wrapping paper for Ellie and one for Becky so we knew who's presents were who's. When we got home they had a 2nd Christmas and opened the rest of their presents. It worked well.

Sort the luggage!

We decided that we would take 3 suitcases. One for mine and Stu's clothes, one for the kids and one full of presents. As we were travelling by train that's all we could manage as Ellie wasn't big or strong enough to pull one. We took a couple of backpacks too with all the electronics in which could be kept close to us at all times.

On the way home we managed to fit one of the smaller suitcases into the large one so there was only two to worry about.

Keep up the traditions!

We kept some of the same traditions. New pj's on Christmas  eve, leaving milk and a cookie out for Santa, sneaking into the kids room with the stockings while they were asleep, waking early to open presents, watching the Christmas day film and eating as many mince pies as we could!

Stay off social media (a little).

When we went on holiday we were not keen on letting people know we were away from home. We lived in a rough area, I didn't even mention it on my blog until we home. I wanted the house to be safe. I did share some photos on Instagram but I was careful about what I shared. There were a lot of close ups of various things.

Scrap the bedtime routine.

The kids didn't have a set bedtime when we were away and were up until midnight most evenings apart from the last one where we were all in bed earlish because we'd partied too hard. We even took time each afternoon to have a nap. 

Enjoy not cooking!

I think this was the best part of Christmas was away, not having to cook. I didn't have the big Christmas food shop to do but did book a delivery for the day after we got back home. It was so good to have a cooked breakfast every day and a big meal each evening. I think the only thing I missed was the leftovers from the Christmas lunch! I cooked a Christmas lunch over new year so I missed out on nothing!

Take snacks!

After having a big breakfast and a big evening meal we didn't really need to eat much during the day so I made sure we had plenty of snacks. Crisps, cereal bars and fruit which I bought after we got off the train in a shop near the hotel so there was less to carry when we were travelling.

Join in with the fun that the hotel offers!

We thought the kids might be a little bored and I made sure to take their tablets, colouring books and a couple of board games but they were kept amused the whole time.

Hot drinks and mince pies every afternoon, hot chocolate and carols on Christmas eve, they had board games, there was bingo and entertainment each evening. The kids thought the Christmas day disco was the best. They were the only kids there so got all the attention and had a good giggle at all the old grannies getting tipsy. hehehe They thought it was so cringy but loved it!

Have you ever had a Christmas in a hotel?

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

(Ad - Gifted) What you need for a cosy night in!

I am heading towards my 40th birthday and I am at an age now where nights out are far too much effort and are really overrated! The faff of finding something nice to wear, getting ready, finding somewhere to go which doesn't cost a small fortune and then being ready to come home by 10pm. lol

Items marked with ** were sent to me free of charge to feature in this blog post.

 At my age I would much rather spend a cosy evening in, having a bit of a pamper, soaking in the bath, burning a candle, getting in my pj's, having something nice to eat and drink and watching a box set or a good film.

A good pamper session needs a face mask and I have a new one to try. The **T-Zone Glitter Mask Peel Off - Silver. 

It draws out impurities to help keep skin clear. Enriched with skin caring Strawflower and firming Centella Asiatica Extract, to help the skin look more vibrant and glowing. Costing around £2.99 it is a lovely treat!

A bath of course needs a bath bomb and in my opinion the best come from Lush. The Snow Fairy one and the Intergalactic bath bombs are my favourites. Costing £4.95 they are a little expensive but they are a once in a blue moon treat!

When I'm soaking in the bath I do like to burn a candle. At this time of year I seem to notice candles more as they are an Autumn and Winter thing.

The **Handmade Jade Orchid & Lotus Blossom Scented Candle from Perfect4U costing just £5.90 would be perfect accompaniment to a soak in the bath.

The handmade Jade Orchid & Lotus Blossom Scented Candle has a beautiful, fresh and relaxing fragrance of indulgent orchid which is freshened with bergamot, leading into a heart of oriental lotus blossom spiced with cinnamon and cradling on a base of musk and vanilla.

Comfy pj's are a must. I love the pyjama sets from Primark and the fleecy one's are my favourites! They are so cheap too. You can get a decent set for about £12. I have my eyes on a couple of sets which I am hoping to get for my birthday in a few weeks. hehehe

For something to drink when I am having a full on treat night I want something a little different than my usual wine. The **Tomatin Scotch Whisky fits the bill perfectly! It is a Single Malt made by Tomatin Distillery in Scotland with 43% of alcohol strength.

The Tomatin Legacy derives its unique flavour from both virgin oak and bourbon casks. The young entry-level Tomatin is fresh and flavourful, with a crisp citrus nose and mellow palate.

There of course has to be something sweet too. I love this time of year because all the Christmas chocolates are on the shelves. I think my top 3 are Quality Street Fruit Cremes, the classic Terry's Chocolate Orange and After Eight mints!

What do you like to have on a cosy night in?

Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Blogging every day! How I do it!

Last month I joined in and linked up with a lot of other bloggers taking part in Blogtober where people blog everyday for a month lots of these people don't blog daily and it got me thinking about how I do and always have.

When I started blogging almost 7 years ago I had a lot to say and started blogging daily. The blogs I read did and I thought it was the done thing. It never dawned on me that some people only blog every other day, once or twice a week. I have never regretted choosing to blog daily and over the years I have found it easier then when I first started.

When I first started blogging I had no routine. I would blog about anything on any given day. Over the years I have got into more of a routine and joined in with some fab linkies where I've met some wonderful people.

After a couple of months of blogging I started meal planning and joined in with a meal planning linky which was ran on a Monday. It has really changed our lives. I don't buy random things we don't need and there is a lot less waste. Monday became Meal Planning Monday.

Then I discovered Silent Sunday. One photo and no words. It was a simple post to write, there was no writing as such. Back then I didn't even edit the photos, I just shared one that I liked that week.

I think it was in 2014 when I came across Word of the Week. Jocelyn from The Reading Residence used to run and Ann from Raisie Bay took it over! The idea of the linky is to reflect back on your past week summing it up in a word or phrase. I write about what we have been doing for the past week, the every day things which don't really deserve their own blog post but do deserve to be remembered.

In 2014 right through to the end of 2016 Wednesday were taken up with Wicked Wednesday photos. A linky that Brummy Mummy of 2 used to run. It was to share a funny photo from your life. Mine used to mainly involve the stupid things the kids did (mostly Ellie). lol I am still sad that Emma stopped running it. hehehe

As time went on I was lucky enough to receive things to review and once a week I would post a review blog post. I do try to keep it to once a week but sometimes there might be a 2nd review post especially in the run up to Christmas.

In 2015 I started taking part in Project 365 where I take a photo every day for a year and write a little about it. There is a fab community of ladies who join in with it and it is a brilliant way to record the everyday moments. 

So as it stands now it's.

Monday - Meal planning 
Tuesday - Family life or something personal.
Wednesday - A review.
Thursday - Something random! A recipe, tips, a wish list or something completely different!
Friday - Word of the Week.
Saturday - Project 365.
Sunday - My Sunday snapshot.

People sometimes ask how I manage to daily blog. I think it's years of practice and to be honest Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday's blog post's practically write themselves. On a Friday evening I have a blog post writing session and get my blog posts done for the week up until Friday's. I can't write the Word of the Week post until the week has happened, I write that usually on the Thursday.

I can't see myself ever stopping daily blogging, to me it would seem really strange not to. There is no right or wrong amount to blog. You do things your way. Your blog, your rules!

How often do you publish a new blog post?

Monday, 4 November 2019

Our weekly meal plan! 4th - 10th Nov. #MealPlanningMonday

Last weeks meal plan went well. The leftover roast dinner pie 2nd time around was even better than the first one I made. The extra leftovers were frozen, defrosted and then put in the pie with more gravy. I guess it added to the flavour. I have a roast dinner planned this week so I can get more leftovers!

The fry up yesterday was better than I had even planned. My fella went to Tesco to get me a bottle of wine and saw there was reduced things and got 2 packs of 4 black pudding for under £1 and got 16 sausages for under £1 too. Fab! 

This week on the menu we have:

Monday - Spaghetti bolognese with garlic bread.
Tuesday - Leftover bolognese in wraps.
Wednesday - Spicy bacon and baked bean casserole with rice.
Friday - Pizza.
Saturday - Meatball sub melts.
Sunday - A roast chicken dinner.

What are you eating this week?