An Autumn Family Photoshoot


This week we are having a family photo session. Since the children were born we have tried to have relatively regular photoshoots as a family, as we both love photographs and it is important to us to capture those memories with the children as they grow.

Our Sofia The First Party

A few days ago we took part in a Sofia The First twitter party. Ran to celebrate the launch of the new Sofia The First Micro Sets, we had some of our friends over to help with the celebrations.

Within my friend group there are two sets of twins - one set are one year old and the other two years old. It's always fun when we get together and we are certainly outnumbered by children - between us there were three mummies and seven children under five! It was great fun though.

The twin mummies with one set of twins

Doc Mcstuffins Carry Along Clinic Review


For the past week we have been trying out the new Doc McStuffins Carry Along Clinic from Flair, so today I am sharing our thoughts on it.

Sofia The First Giveaway


Last week we took part in a Sofia The First Microworld party on twitter and enjoyed a lovely afternoon of pass the parcel, egg hunting and colouring.

Today I am continuing those celebrations with a Sofia The First giveaway! We have one of the Sofia bracelet's to giveaway along with the latest Sofia magazine, two DVD's and a lovely poster, all worth £30.

To be in with a chance of winning simply follow the Rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Doc Mcstuffins Twitter Party #doctober


After the success of the Sofia The First twitter party we are really excited to be taking part in a Doc Mcstuffins party on October 2nd from 4-6pm. Doc is a huge favourite in our house with both the children and we have several of the figures and toys.

Join us on twitter using the hashtag #doctober and be with in a chance to win lots of prizes as well as taking in part of fun and games during the party. Don't forget to follow @UKmumsTV too!

For more fun, Sofia activities and more games visit DisneyJunior.co.uk

Eleven Bloggers and I


In early September eleven bloggers and myself were treated to a holiday with Mark Warner at their Rhodes hotel, Levante Beach. Apart from the odd hello at events, most of us hardly knew one another nor had most of us been on a Mark Warner holiday before. To say I was nervous was a understatement and I don't any of us really knew what to expect.

Balancing the Financial Scales as Parents


We all know that having a family is one of the most joyous times in our lives, but it is also one of the most expensive. It is averaged that the cost to have one child is around £218,000 by the time they reach 21! With this in mind, here are ten tips to help you make sure this wonderful time isn’t overshadowed by money worries.

Maternity or paternity?
If you work, you’ve probably looked at maternity leave and pay, but from April 2015 there will be a new system of sharing parental leave with your partner. You’ll be able to share up to 50 weeks’ parental leave and 37 weeks’ pay, and even take the leave in up to three separate blocks allowing for much greater flexibility. The Money Advice Service has loads of information on how to access maternity, paternity and shared parental leave.

Access to essential services
Just as during pregnancy, you’re still entitled to free NHS and dental services for a year after the birth of your baby. Children also get free prescriptions, eye tests and dental care. Make the most of the free health services available to you. Find out more from your GP, pharmacist or health visitor.

Free entertainment
Getting out of the house and meeting other people is important as a new parent, but it doesn’t have to be expensive. Children’s Centres all over the UK offer a range of groups, classes and activities at a low cost or even free. Find your local centre at www.gov.uk 

4 - Re-work that budget
Everybody’s life changes after having a family. Financial priorities change and making a new budget will help you stay in control of your money, balancing the new pressures on your household income. Online budgeting tools are quick and easy to use.

5 – Make the most of pre-loved
There’s a temptation to buy brand new for your precious little one, but most baby stuff is used for a short time and second hand can be as good as new – check out eBay or local selling sites on Facebook for pre-loved equipment and clothes.

6 – Make the most of pre-loved (part two!)
 …and, of course, make the best of pre-loved at both ends of the scale, by selling your good quality baby goods when you’ve finished with it. Myself and my friends sell our old baby clothes on eBay and use the money from them to buy the next size up - it can be extra work but it saves a lot in new clothes.

7 – Help with childcare costs
When you go back to work, you may be entitled to support with childcare costs, through tax credits or childcare vouchers. You can find details from your employer or from the Government website.

8 – Cook Clever
Planning meals ahead, cooking larger batches and freezing portions all help to keep the costs of feeding your family down. Look out for supermarket own brand products and deals on fresh fruit and vegetables. The BBC Food website has a range of inspiring meals for £1 to get you started.

9 – Search out the deals
Most of the larger supermarkets have ‘baby weeks’ – don’t be tempted to buy what you don’t need, but it could be a good time to stock up on essentials like nappies and wipes!

10 – Keep an eye on your benefits
As your family grows and your circumstances change, keep checking your benefits to make sure you’re getting everything you’re entitled to. Benefits checkers are widely available online, including at www.turn2us.org.uk.

*this is a featured post

The #markwarnermum Blogger Trip Video

Last week myself and eleven other bloggers spent a fantastic five days at Levante Beach, Rhodes courtesy of Mark Warner. I filmed the trip on my iPhone and after many hours of editing it is finished and uploaded.


There will be more posts next week talking more about trip and fantastic resort we stayed at.

*A huge thanks to Mark Warner and in particular Emilia and Polly who managed to get us all there and back in one piece, as well as make the trip as memorable as it was.

A Right Royal Giveaway

So last week it was announced that the Duchess of Cambridge was expecting baby number two. Of course I was excited to hear the news and so decided to have a little celebration here.


Review: Works of Heart


I love pictures and canvasses that display our lives, I especially love customised ones. I have purchased various wall art over the years and there are always pieces I look at as I roam around our house and make me smile.

Are Women Better Parents Than Men?

This is a subject I have been meaning in to touch on for a while. Every day, usually on Facebook, I see pictures, quotes and the like being passed around stating how women do so much and men do so little, how women know so much and men don't etc etc. I may be a women myself, but these images make me seethe.


Time To Party With Sofia The First!

Sofia The First is definitely a favourite in our house. At first it was mummy who was excited when the Sofia film came onto Disney Junior but over the past six months both children have become more entertained by the little princess and her friends. H now has quite a collection of Sofia figures and woe betide anyone if they try and grab one!


To My Babies: 2014

Dear Miss H & Little J

For the last five days I have been away from you, which is the longest time I have spent away from either of you since you were born. Daddy was in charge and in between nursery and grandma you were looked after for me whilst I had a little break. We Facetime'd every night and you seemed happy and relaxed without mummy by your side. In fact it didn't seem like you missed me at all, although daddy reassures me you did.

Out of Office with Mark Warner!


For the next few days the blog will be a little quieter than usual, however my social media feeds may leave you feeling a little bit green.


Back in June I, along with twelve other bloggers, won a trip to Rhodes with Mark Warner and today we embark on our five days away at Levante Beach Resort. I will share all about our trip on my return, but in the meantime you can see my adventures over on Instagram or how about reading Katie at Mummy Daddy Me's review to get you in the mood.

Review: Munchkin Bath Tea and Cupcake Set


I met the lovely team at Munchkin when I attended Britmums in June. They were such a friendly bunch and I noticed they had been fantastic with all the pregnant ladies who stopped by, offering them seats and drinks if they needed it. I have owned quite a few Munchkin products before so when they asked if I'd like to try out one of the their new bath toys I of course said yes.

We were sent the Bath Tea and Cupcake Set to try, and considering Miss H's love of Sofia the First, this set fit in really well with it's purple teapot and cups, and looked just like what the princess would drink from.



Both the children love imaginative play and have a couple of play tea sets they use downstairs and outside for pretend play. Previously in the bath they have used the shells that come with the Finding Nemo Bath Toy we have as cups, or whatever beakers or pots make their way into the bathroom. So they were really pleased to have a proper teapot and cups to play with that was meant especially for the bath.



There are five pieces in the set - a teapot, two cups and two little cupcakes that squirt water. The children enjoy taking turns to pour water from the teapot into the cups and watching it strain through the little holes in the bottom. They try catching the drips, or keeping the cups filled up before all the water trickles through. They like to let the water strain over each others' heads as well as having fun pretending to drink from the cups and often straight from the teapot!


The set is relatively straight forward - no little pieces and no fuss - and yet there is a surprising amount of different play you get from it. It retails at around £10 which seems fair to me, for any more money I would expect a couple more pieces, but for £10 it's not bad at all.


It has now become their go-to toy in the bath, and they often disagree on who gets the teapot they love it that much! And it's great for me as they just get on with it and don't need much encouragement to play so I can sit next to them and relax. Until it's time for getting washed - that's a whole other story!



 *we were sent this set for free to review, however all opinions are my own

Giveaway: The Baby Show at Olympia


The Baby Show is back and this time we have two free tickets to giveaway

The Baby Show is the UK’s number one pregnancy and parenting event and it returns to London Olympia from 24 to 26 October 2014, showcasing more leading, new and boutique brands than ever before.

Celebrating the best in pregnancy and infant essentials, the highly anticipated event will bring together an exciting line up of over 200 companies. This year visitors will be treated to the widest showcase of buggies yet with experts on hand from iCandy, UPPA Baby and Quinny, all helping parents to find the perfect buggy. New for this year is Cuddle Co’s ‘Green Tom’ - the first stroller to be made from recycled plastic; whilst those in pursuit of an active lifestyle will be impressed by the BOB Revolution which allows parents to skate and run whilst transporting their precious cargo.

Back by popular demand, the Baby London Boutique, showcasing the latest trends, styles and niche design products as well as innovative photographers from the baby world is sure to delight parents. While Bumpkins will be running the ‘Baby Show Stars’ themed competition, where visitors to the stand can enter to win a photo shoot for their baby.

The forthcoming show will host an exciting speaker line up including Professor Robert Winston, Annabel Karmel and Clare Byam-Cook as well as interactive workshops run by The Natal Family.  Visitors can also discover the latest innovations in child safety and travel, watch inspirational catwalk shows and enjoy the return of the hugely popular Mother's Know Best live debate panel.

Parents can take advantage of the tommee tippee Feeding Area which offers a private space for breastfeeding mothers as well as heating and sterilising equipment, complimentary baby food provided by Plum Baby, dedicated changing facilities and The Baby Show crèche.

Recommended by mums since 2002, The Baby Show offers visitors a comprehensive one-stop-shop of parenting essentials and expert advice, whilst providing an enjoyable day out for family and friends.

To be in with the chance of winning two tickets, follow the Rafflecopter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A Chronic Fatigue Update

It was last May when I first wrote about my returning depression and last August when I first mentioned Chronic Fatigue. I attended my first appointment at the ME clinic last November and since then have written many posts about my ups and downs with the illness.

Round & Round The Garden: A Year Later

Last year I shared my garden project, Round & Round The Garden where Mr H and I tackled our empty, muddy space into the garden we could be proud of. It was a labour of love and over the summer it was transformed. Of course, a garden is an ongoing project, so I thought I would share an update on how it is doing, a year later.

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