Giveaway with Freckled Frog

Last week I shared a gorgeous rainbow dress from Freckled Frog and have had so many comments on how lovely it is. So today I've got a treat in store - a giveaway from the fabulous people behind the online clothing boutique to win yourself £50 worth of goodies!

Freckled Frog sell some absolutely beautiful clothes from brands such as Wild Things Dresses, Olive & Moss and Down With The Kidz. They are constantly sourcing new, original brands in order to provide the most current and stylish clothing for your little ones. I originally came across them when I bought this Down With The Kidz dress for H and am now always visiting their site or having a look on twitter to see what new lovelies they have come across lately.


Here are some of my favourite pieces from the Freckled Frog range - I have to say though, it took me ages to go through all the collection as there are some lovely things to choose from!
Hmm I think I may be a fan of animals!

Right, time to get down to it! To win yourself £50 to spend at this fantastic store, follow the Rafflecopter below. Good luck!

Freckled Frog & Wild Things Dresses

Last month I very excitedly announced by Britmums Live sponsors, one of those being the lovely Freckled Frog! When they told me they had just begun to stock Little Wild Thing Dresses I may have squealed with excitement!

How To Catch A Star - Ten Years On

I have heard so many wonderful things about the Oliver Jeffers book 'How To Catch A Star', however it is not one I have got around to buying myself. So when I was offered a special anniversary copy to celebrate the book's ten year anniversary I just couldn't refuse.


Low Energy Playtime: Cardboard Roll Cars

Last month I began writing about some low energy play ideas I am putting together for those struggling with tiredness, starting off with foam stickers. This month we have tried a completely new idea that was so easy to set up but so much fun - cardboard roll cars!


Cancer & M.E.

I've never really shared much about what is going on with my dad in my blog. Mainly because I wouldn't want him to come across it one day and be hurt or upset by what I had written. Recently, though, it has become harder and harder not to write about it, as what he is going through affects me daily in some little way or another.

Last year, after going through major heart surgery only the year before, my dad was diagnosed with stage IV lymphoma, an extremely rare form of this called Sezary Syndrome. With this cancer people develop a red, severely itchy rash that covers at least 80% of the body, they struggle to maintain their body temperature and they have raised lymph nodes. My dad now has the cancer is his skin and bones, making it stage IVA and incurable. He is currently receiving treatment to reduce the rate at which it spreads, although this is making him terribly ill, tired and barely doing anything at all.

Time

So today was my third appointment at the ME clinic to learn about relaxation techniques to help deal with the tiredness. I have to admit that I haven't really been practicing the techniques at home much, I find that often the day just slips away and before I know it it's bedtime and I'm too tired.

We talked a little about how things have been going and I ended up in tears. I am so angry and frustrated and completely fed up with how things are at the moment.

Last week we had a really good week seeing friends, having a few too many to drink and leaving our worries at home. Unfortunately it seems that has caught up with me big time this week and I have been completely drained. I find it so frustrating that I can't even enjoy my life any more as I pay for it afterwards and it just doesn't seem worth it.

Things have been pretty bad at home lately, I am finding the whole situation completely overwhelming and I just want to crawl into bed and hide away from it all. Or run away. Mr H is having a hard time picking up my slack, managing the children and their tantrums as well as me and my lows. I really do not know at this minute how we are getting through it.

My mum is incredible - she comes and stays most weeks and whilst she is here she cleans, she tidies, she vacs, she dusts and she watches the children whilst I sleep. All that whilst she has my dad at home who is really ill, I am so hugely grateful and yet feel so guilty at the same time. And I hate that this is the way I spend my time with her at the moment - gone are the days out, trips to the park or playing out the garden.

Everybody keeps telling me it will get better, one step at a time, these things can't be rushed. But if you lived in my head you would understand all that does is make me want to cry more.

Time. One day I will look back and wish I had these years with the children back. I think that makes me cry more than anything else.

They are not babies for long...

Review: Photobox

I have used quite a few different photo product websites, such as Snapfish and Truprint. A few years ago I was introduced to Photobox by a friend and was really impressed by the quality of their products and the ability to customise your chosen item. When they recently contacted me to review one of their canvasses I was more than happy to.

Matilda Mae & Mia Tui

Last weekend was spent in a confliction of emotions - happiness, sadness, love, loss, laughter, tears. But above all it was a weekend of being together and remembering. It was the Matilda Mae Remembers service.

My Office Tour

I have mentioned in a couple of recent posts that we have been working on making our spare bed also an office for a while now. Well, the room is complete so I thought I would show you around.

Giveaway: Creeper Crawlers

Last week I announced my sponsors for Britmums Live 2014. One of those is the fantastic baby clothing brand Creeper Crawlers.

Childhood Chic: Cheeky Baby Tees

I'm a few days late with this week's Childhood Chic post, but this week I'm bringing you some super cute tops to have a look at from Cheeky Baby Tees!

Announcing My Britmums Live Sponsors 2014!


Back in January I once again began my search for a sponsor for this years parent blogger conference - Britmums Live. I also contacted some brands who I particularly loved and hoped to work with. I am now thrilled to announce that two of these brands said yes!

Happy Birthday Twinkl!


I first came across Twinkl last year when I sat across the aisle from the lovely heather on the train home. We discovered we had lived very near each other growing up and had lots to chat about for the three hour ride. She also introduced me to Twinkl - a resource of over 1000 exclusive teaching resources including printables, signs and aids for literacy, numeracy and tons more!

Review & Giveaway: Bobux Shoes

When Baby J was six months old he had a pair of Bobux Shoes. I wasn't really one for putting shoes on babies as to me it felt a bit pointless. However those shoes were lovely - they were really easy to put on his wriggly feet, and more importantly they stayed on! The leather was super soft and comfy and the little digger design on the front was so cute, I got many comments on them.


Cutting Down Our Household Bills with Hive



Since the New Year I have been trying to get to grips with our budget. Whilst Mr H earns a good enough wage that I can fortunately stay at home with the children, we still definitely live to our means and once the bills go out we don't actually have a lot left over.

We have quite a high car loan that we took out two years ago, and so I had a look into it and realised I could get a much better rate elsewhere. It is a bit of a pain to sort out - phone calls to make, paperwork to fill out and send off - but in the end I saved us £120 a month!

Previous to Christmas we were doing our shopping online. In my mind this saved us money because I can be a bit of an impulse shopper and often ended up shopping whilst hungry which is a fatal mistake. Doing it online, I knew what I needed and tried to stick to a budget. However Mr H has taken over the cooking and therefore the meal planning and now the shop. I have to say I have been surprised how much he has cut our supermarket shop down - from £150 to £110 a week, sometimes less!

I have also been looking at our energy bills. Myself and the children are in the house a lot through the day, especially with the weather being so cold, so the heating is on a lot. I do have it on a timer, but I have to say there are times of the day when the sun is streaming in that we really don't need it on. However when I looked at the rate we are currently on and compared it using Money Supermarket, there isn't a better deal out there right now so we will stick with what we have and look at other ways to save money.

One way I have read about is just keeping doors shut and closing curtains on a night - so simple, but yet we weren't doing it! In particular our upstairs doors were always left open, leaving the hot air to drift away to rooms that weren't in use. So now I am trying to close them, although the children and the husband don't always help out!

Another way I have come across is the new Hive Active Heating Kit. Part of British Gas, you can have the system installed in your home and control your heating from your mobile. This sounds pretty handy for those moments when you have left the house in a flap and realised your heating has been unnecessarily left on, or when you are hurrying home frozen to the bone and would love to return to a cosy house. With Hive you can adjust your heating and hot water remotely, switch it on and off, turn it up or down and set up schedules.

Of course for all this there is a charge - £199 - but this does include a state of the art wireless thermostat, receiver and hub; a free app and online dashboard to remotely control your heating and hot water via phone, tablet and laptop; and professional installation by a British Gas engineer worth £80. This is a one-off fee, so you don't have to pay it yearly, and Hive also say you can save up to £150 a year on your bills with their kit so you do recoup the money. It does sound like a good deal to me, once the first year is past you can save £150 a year on your bills.

For more information you can head over the Hive Active Heating website.

*This is a featured post.

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