Money Supermarket's Home Improvement Hero Challenge

When I heard Money Supermarket were once again hosting a home improvement challenge I knew immediately which room I wanted to tackle - my front garden.

The Yorkshire 3 Peaks- Success or Failure?


Yesterday myself and two amazing ladies, Leyla (This Day I Love) and Amanda, came together to climb the Yorkshire 3 Peaks for The Alzheimer's Society. Over a period of twelve hours we were to climb three mountains, the highest being at 723 metres (for comparison Snowdon is just over 1000 metres), walking a total of 26 miles.

All fresh and raring to go!

I Heart Kyna Boutique

Have you heard of Kyna Boutique? If not I suggest you head over there immediately!


They stock beautiful, organic clothing by the kind of brands you don't find on the high street. Since blogging I have come across quite a few independent retailers and although sometimes it can be more expensive than buying in say, Primark, I find at these online stores the clothes are always top quality and quite stunning, plus you're less likely to find your next door neighbours child sporting the same outfit! Kyna Boutique is the pick of the bunch for me.

I have been eyeing up some Ava & Luc PJ's for my two for a while now, even though they are different sexes I still like to very occasionally dress them in matching. So when I saw the purple horse pyjamas I knew they would be perfect. 
Jenny, the lovely lady who created Kyna Boutique, was so helpful. Even though they hasn't got the new stock in, she ordered me the right sizes in and within two days they were in my hands. Beautifully packaged, I eagerly opened them to reveal the beautiful pyjamas inside.

Made of the softest organic cotton, the lovely bright purple PJ's are fun and sport Ava & Luc's signature animal print. You can tell just from handling them that they are high quality and will be worn many a time. I ordered size 1-2 years for Baby J and 3-4 years for Little H. Jenny was extremely helpful when I asked about sizing and advised Ava and Luc can sometimes fit on the smaller size, and ordering slightly bigger for H means they will last her a long time.

I immediately dressed the children up, of course making them post for photos! They loved being dressed the same and kept pointing to each other and giggling. The round next top easily slipped over their heads and the elastic cuff and trouser bottom meant that even though they are slightly on the big aide, they can be pushed up and don't hang over their feet and hands.
 

At £24 a pair they are not the cheapest of pyjamas, but I do love them so. I know the children will wear them again and again and they will be around much longer than any other PJ's they own. That in itself is worth the price to me.

*I did not get anything for doing this review I just love these products and wanted to shout about them!

Round & Round The Garden #4

It's week four of Round & Round the Garden and we are almost halfway through our project. So much has changed since that first post when all we had was a mudpit outside our back doors, it been so interesting documenting the process. The last week has seen the completion of the painting of the tyres, however they are not quite ready to be revealed as yet. I have finally, however been able to plant up my lovely planters from Next which I have been dying to showcase.

The Yorkshire 3 Peaks

In five days, yes FIVE DAYS, I will be embarking on my biggest challenge. As I turn thirty on August 4th (yes I expect presents!) I decided to do something to remember it by. At first I considered Ben Nevis, and even Kilimanjaro, but as I am not really a walker or particular an 'outdoors' person, I decided not to go too crazy for my first time.

Celebrating my last birthday as a 20-something

Blog On MOSI: My Thoughts

Yesterday myself and lots of other northern bloggers (and a few select southerners we let through the border) attended a new blogging conference Blog On. The baby of Laura from Tired Mummy Of Two, it was set to run over one day, with three sessions which all rotated around so we didn't miss anything, with time in between to chat, speak to brands and grab a bite of the yummy Blog On cake, all whilst gazing on at the fantastic displays at our venue The Museum of Science and Industry.

Blogs Up North Blog On 2013

Round & Round The Garden #3

This week's Round & Round The Garden seemed to involve a lot of work for no completed results! We spent all of Sunday painting the undercoat on the decking. It didn't look like it would be a huge job but in the end with the spindles and various nooks and crannies it took us eight hours!

Before & After Basecoat
In between that time I managed to spray paint five of the nine tyres for my recycled flowerbed project and plant up some of the plants I had received from Bents Garden Centre.


My Story of Mum

Today the Story of Mum virtual exhibition is stopping off at Hollybobbs! The idea behind this is to complete the sentence 'I'm a mum and...', take a photo of yourself and share it with the world!

I came across Story of Mum a while ago and have been discussing taking part since then, however when I met Pippa at Britmums and finally had my photo taken we set a date. I think it's a great concept

Here is my curation, I am a mum and:


After a tough  few months I am finally getting to a place where I am feeling happy and confident about myself. Of course it is a long process and there is still lots more to learn, but for the first time I feel like I am OK to be me.

To continue the exhibition here are a selection of others from the site that I really associated with, which I think says a lot about my current mentality:






 And finally I put together a few images that my I felt represented a future self:

 

 
 
 

To My 15 Year Old Self

Dear Lisa

I know things are tough right now, really tough, and I'd like to tell you that things get easier. They do, but not for a while yet and you may feel sometimes that you are all alone. But you're not. When times get bleak, look to your family. They are the ones that will be around, keep you grounded and love you. Don't be afraid to tell them how you feel, you may be surprised at what you get in return. And those silly girls who make you feel so  bad are not worth your time, in the future they will be long gone and you will meet people who will love you for you, and be proud to do so. 

It will take a while to figure it all out, to find your path and to find yourself, in fact fifteen years later and you'll still be working on it. But during those fifteen years you will go through some amazing times that will make you and fulfil many of your dreams. You will meet the most amazing man you will ever know. Seriously. You will get married, have a dream honeymoon, buy a big house, live in America and have the children I know you desire already. Two - one of each. And they are beautiful and they make every day worth getting better for.

Don't be in such a hurry to grow up, cherish your days of freedom, carefree and full of energy. There are lots of days ahead to get old. 

It doesn't matter what ANYONE tells you about you. However you deal with things is ok, it is right for you even if people make you feel it's wrong. Live your life for you and you alone, it's the only way to be happy.

You will question yourself a lot. You will feel a failure. You will try so damn hard to please everyone and forget about yourself. But in the end you will realise life can't be figured out so fast, it is a journey. So buckle up and try to enjoy it. Thirty comes round bloody fast.

Round & Round The Garden #2

What a difference a week makes! When last time I posted our garden looked like this:


It then went to this:

Then this:

 
And it now looks like this!


Our turf has been laid and bedded in and for the last weekend and evenings Mr H and his dad have been slogging away getting the decking up. We bought a 'ready made' set from Screwfix and whilst they haven't needed to do any cutting and sawing, there has still be a lot of work.
I'm looking forward to the finished result, and then brightening it up with some lovely paint from Farrow & Ball. At first we were thinking of a muted green colour, but as several items we have already got for the garden are green, and of course so is the grass we thought it might be a bit of a green overload, so we decided to look at more grey colour. After a lot of umming and erring we opted for this Pavillion Grey, which I think for a large amount of the garden it will blend in nicely.
 
 
We have also been working on my planter idea, inspired by this one I found on Pinterest:

 
We sourced a load of tyres from our local garage and have testing the layout. After Mr H lugging them about and building up a sweat for several minutes, I think we have decided on this:
 

 
It looks a bit like a trailer park at the moment but I'm hoping once they are painted and planted it will be transformed. Watch this space!
 
Next week I'm hoping to have installed a little bit more life into the garden! Mr H will be continuing to finish the decking and then it's onto the children's play area as well as painting up those tyres. Do head back the same time next week to see how we've got on!

Our Big Night In With Money Supermarket

We were challenged by Money Supermarket to explore what A Big Night In is to us. In days gone by we were huge night-in hosts and always throwing fancy dress parties, cocktails parties and basically found any excuse to have our friends over and have a great night!

Whilst for the most part those days are long gone, we still find time every now and again to spend time with our friends, it's just now the children join us in the fun. So over the weekend whilst the weather was glorious we invited over a few friends and children and took our Big Night In into the garden.


I sent Mr H to the supermarket and he returned with enough food to feed the five thousand. He decided to make his own burgers, so set to work on those whilst the hot dogs and ribs were cooking. He puts on a pretty good spread, my hubby, and this was no exception.


After a day of running round in the paddling pool and enjoying the new crazy golf set, the children were ready to tuck into their grub. 

After they were cleaned up the older ones settled down on the sofa to watch Dora the Explorer on DVD, whilst us adults relaxed with a Peroni or two.

Whilst our Nights In might not be as wild as they used to be, they are just as much fun!

*I was offered £50 from Money Supermarket to spend on our Big Night In

A Garden Party with Asda & CBias


For a while now I have wanted to try out the Bento lunchbox craze that has begun. Inspired by Capture By Lucy's beautiful photos, I thought the idea of making mealtimes fun and playful would suit us greatly as I am always looking for ways to spark the children's imaginations. When I was challenged by Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community to come up with a healthy but original meal for under £10, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to give it a try.

Win £75 with Sainsburys

Hollybobbs and Sainsbury's Finance have teamed up once more, this time offering you a fantastic £75 voucher for Sainsbury's. You could use this to buy your food, shop for you holidays or stack up on nappies, the choice is yours!

The entry is simple - just use the Rafflecopter form below and leave a comment to tell us what your garden is worth to you? You can also enter by tweeting about the giveaway - the more times you enter, the better your chance of winning the £75 Sainsbury’s voucher. Whether or not you’re our prize  winner, your gardening ideas could also potentially appear in a future Money Matters Blog post. The winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter (which uses random.org) and announced on this page. The deadline for entering the giveaway is Wednesday 10th July at 00:00am.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Round & Round The Garden

In November of last year we bought a beautiful house. It was in the village we currently lived in, it was up the road from a lovely primary school and it was brand new. After moving house eight times in the nine years we have lived together (two of those being transatlantic moves), this is the house we want to firmly lay roots in.

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