Thursday, 9 June 2016

Simple Changes Can Encourage Big Changes + Giveaway!

It's almost Summer, and that means that that the shorts and skirts are out and alot of people are trying to eat healthier or kick-start a 'bikini body' regime.

It can be hard to overhaul your eating habits though so it can be helpful to just make a couple of changes here and there.

This is where Discount Supplements come in. They sell an array of health and lifestyle foods at affordable prices and they kindly sent us some to try out in place of our usual foods.

First up, Apple Butter!

Let it be said, Dex absolutely loved this! He used to have chocolate spread in his sandwiches for lunchtime, but we had been trying to kick this habit without much success. Then Apple Butter appeared. It's sweet, but a healthier alternative and it's calorie-free!


It comes in quite a large pot too!


My only criticism is that it's extremely hard to spread. It's like trying to spread jelly, but I find that squashing it with a spoon worked better than trying to spread it with a knife.


Coconut Oil! I had been wanting to try Coconut Oil in place of normal oil for a while but I was never sure where the best place to buy it was from. This jar is huge and a little really goes along way. We now use it in place of our regular virgin olive oil and it works a treat. It also gives food a very subtle hint of coconut (which is true of Bolognaise anyway!) and the smell of it cooking is divine!



It also doesn't contain any GM, artificial flavours, preservatives and all those nasties either!


Having used it in place of our regular oil, I definitely think it's a change we'll keep. My husband and the boys love it too.

Now onto Buff Bake Protein Almond Butter. The sound of this was intriguing and it smelt really nice, but when it came to tasting it, we just didn't like it and it wasn't for us. We really didn't like the texture, which is a bit 'sandy' (for lack of a better word) The taste wasn't inherently bad, but we just couldn't get past the texture. However, taste and texture is subjective though so what one person doesn't like, another will love. Horses for courses, and all that.




Lastly, Choc Shot. This is a great addition to any coffee to give it a kick and it's also great on pancakes and toast!


I have a major sweet tooth so these healthier alternatives have given me the kick I need to start my weight-loss journey!

How would you like to win your very own bundle of the products above? Simply enter via the Gleam widget below. :)

As ever, all tasks are optional. :)


Discount Supplements Giveaway
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Find-a-Present - Making Gift Giving a Doddle

With the internet being full of gift giving websites, it can be overwhelming to know what to get your loved ones for special occasions.

Searching can seem endless with so many websites out there, and with sites you've never heard of before, how do you measure legitimacy?

Enter Find-a-Present. Find-a-Present make the process of finding and giving gifts incredibly easy.

The website is a search engine of sorts, pulling different gifts from different websites into an easy to use interface. The gifts are also categorised which makes it quick to find something your nearest and dearest will love!


You can also narrow the results down by age, price and more!


When you hover over a gift on the site, it will tell you where you can buy the gift and you can also search for the product on Amazon to see if you can find it cheaper. All of this can be done via the links on the site so you don't need to worry about knowing what to search for on Amazon to find a lower price.

I bought some lovely notebooks from the Gorjuss range and I used the 'search on amazon.co.uk' feature to find them at a cheaper price (ever the moneysaver!) I'm still waiting for them to arrive so I'll update this post with photos when they do.

Find-a-Present has transformed the way that I'll search for gifts from now on. It's so handy having everything under one virtual roof, so to speak. I'd love to see Find-a-Present expand in the future to bring alot more gift ideas to the masses.

If you're looking for an easy way to find gifts that your recipient will love, then Find-a-Present is your go-to place.

-Anni-

Disclosure: Please note, I received a voucher so that I could test and utilise the site. However, all thoughts remain my own and are completely unbiased.


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Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Making Family Celebrations Fun With Minimal Effort

I don't know about you, but with all the picture of family celebrations on Pinterest and Instagram, make me feel a bit overwhelmed. Everything looks so perfect, the food the entertainment, it's so easy to start to feel the pressure! Let’s stops that pressure getting to us, by having some fun family parties with minimal effort.

Food

First of all, you want to think about the food.  Food is one of the major points of the party, and it is important that there is something everyone to eat. Depending on the weather you might want to cater hot or cold. What I would recommend is that whatever you do, is provide something which guests serve themselves. No formal dinner parties, please! That means that leave you with the offers the options of a Jacobs lunch, a BBQ or a hot or cold buffet. There are plenty of places that you can get some good buffet food that is not too expensive. Stock up on things like samosas, chicken satay skewers, mini spring rolls, and mini hot dogs. If you can buy them frozen, all you need to do is pop them in the oven, and you have a ready-made buffet.  A Jacobs lunch is a great idea; that minimises the effort of catering for the whole family. Everybody coming brings a dish; which is also a great way of involving all the people that you're inviting.

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Decorations

While Pinterest is full of decorations that you can make yourself, it might be a bit unrealistic to do them all. So why not buy in some of the decorations? There are plenty of places online that you can get decorations on the same theme. This means you can theme your party from wallcovering, hanging decoration, bunting and cups and plates, they will all match. Fun theme includes Marvel heroes, pirates, or and an English tea party.

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You also might want to provide some small gifts for the kids, there are some nice inexpensive gifts available from snapfish the I review here that would be suitable.

Fun

Entertainment at a party can be really good ice breaker, and get everyone talking. Some cheap and easy ways to do this include a quiz, bingo and ‘a minute to win it’. If you decide on a quiz, you may feel that writing your own questions might be too much effort. If this is the case, why not pop on the internet as there are plenty of ready-made pub style quizzes there.  Don't forget to offer a prize to the winner of the quiz and make sure people know beforehand because that will amp up the competition.  Suitable prizes include a little trophy engraved with your family name and quiz winner. Even if you leave it to the last minute, don't worry, as you can get next day delivery on trophies and medals available from many sites.

Bingo is another fun family game, and you can buy a bingo set or download one from here.

For a minute to win it games, try things like how many mini marshmallows can you get into a cup with chopsticks. There are some other fantastic weird and wonderful suggestions here, which are guaranteed to be hilarious!




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My Tips For Getting Some 'Me' Time As A Mum


Being a mum can be stressful, and there’s no doubt about that. When you think about having children, mums will always tell you that having children is a dream come true. They’re right, it is. But there’s no denying that it’s also a great deal of hard work. Every once in awhile you’ll find you need to take some time for yourself. You want to get away from the stresses of being a parent for a little while and have some freedom. How do you do this? On this post, I’m going to give you some advice on obtaining the free time you need.

Arrange A Playdate

You might think a playdate is for the kids, but it’s not really. It’s more about giving one couple a break from looking after their child. If you can arrange a playdate with your child at someone else’s house, you’ll get that much needed spare time you desire. You should at least get a couple of hours before your kid is brought back to you. Although, don’t expect this to be a free ticket. If they go to their house one day, they’ll be back at yours the next. It’s a give and take scenario. The same is true for sleepovers. If you have one at another person's house you can bet, there’s an imaginary rota. That means at some point you’ll have four children that don’t belong to you around at your house for the night. That’s not too bad when they’re still little. But when they get into the teenage years, it’s not a great deal of fun.

Disney, Nickelodeon, CBBC

New parents would do well to remember these names. Make no mistake; they’re going to become your best friends. If you want some time to yourself, switch on the Disney channel and retreat out the room. These channels, as most parents know, have an endless stream of kids programmes running through the day. Kids will never get bored watching these, and it will give you the spare time you want. Of course, you do need some form of digital TV to gain access. But Sky and Freeview aerials are easy to buy and arrange for installation online. The cost of some digital services can be quite expensive. But I’m sure you’ll be able to find one that suits your budget.


Spa Weekend

Finally, I love this idea. If you’re starting to feel things weighing you down, how about a quick weekend getaway? I recommend trying to squeeze in at least one of these each year. I know as mums we have busy schedules. But it’s always a good idea to put some spare time aside for ourselves. If you head to a spa, a stranger will make you feel like royalty. They’ll massage your body and pamper you until your heart's content. The best part is that these spa weekends aren’t often as expensive as most people assume. So, you should be able to fit it in no matter how tight your budget might be.






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Friday, 3 June 2016

Great Gifts for a New Mum

One of the happiest benefits of pregnancy is that you meet so many other women about to embark on their journey into motherhood. And once you’ve been through it, you can’t help but want to help others make it through with a positive experience. As you meet more and more mums, you’ll form closer relationships. That means you need to get pretty creative when it comes to buying them their New Mum gift!

Fortunately, there are lots of options for a gift for a new mum. You don’t need to spend a lot. And it doesn’t always need to be baby related! Some mums that are stuck at home nursing a poorly newborn could be absolutely thrilled to see the colours of a fresh flower bouquet. And other mums will be delighted with some hampers full of all those little luxuries and treats they have been abstaining from.

Baby gifts are often handed over at the baby shower. To truly celebrate becoming a mother for the first time, it’s important to buy something just for her. Some beauty products and spa gifts can be ideal. This is especially helpful if Mum is feeling the effects of missed sleep. While it may be hard for her to imagine right now, a day out without baby could be a perfect gift. If you can arrange a trusted sitter (or the other parent) to take care of the newborn for a few hours, that can be ideal. Then head out for some retail therapy, dinner, or a movie.


If you haven’t got a lot of cash, you can still offer a great gift without breaking the bank. Many new mums struggle to find the time to get everything done with a newborn. Offering the gift of time can be so welcome. Can you pop in for an hour each morning to give mum a chance to have a shower and get dressed? Or perhaps you can take the baby out for a walk each afternoon so mum can catch up on some sleep!

If you can’t spare a lot of time, why not hire a housekeeper for a couple of weeks while mum is recuperating? Having someone else take care of the laundry, the cooking and the cleaning gives a new mum valuable time to truly bond with their baby. Or maybe someone who can take care of the garden will give mum a break during the summer months.

New mums quickly find that their bodies are not the same shape they used to be. All new mums need new clothes, but changing rooms and babies aren’t easy to manage. Head out for some retail therapy with your new mum friend. You can offer an honest opinion about the choices of fashion. And you can hold the baby while she’s getting changed. Why not treat her to one or two items? Or offer a gift card for her favourite store.

Finding that perfect gift for your friend doesn’t have to be a challenge. A little thought and a little insight into life as a new mum are all you need to make a perfect choice.

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Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Feel Confident In A Bikini After Having Kids

Having kids can completely change your body and shape, so some women can end up feeling extremely self conscious in their bikinis. Just because your body has changed doesn’t mean you have to shy away. These tips will help you to feel much more confident in your bikini after having kids:

Choose A Flattering Bikini Style

Choose a bikini that you feel will flatter you. There are all kinds of styles out there. High leg bikinis can accentuate a great set of pins, while high waisted bikinis will hide a tummy that you don’t feel too proud of. It can also help to know your body type and what suits it in general so you can make an informed choice. For instance, pear shaped bodies usually need to play up the shoulders and play down the hips to create a more balanced look.

Use Accessories To Distract From Bits You Don’t Like

There are many accessories you can use to distract from bits you don’t like too. Maybe wear a wrap around skirt if you’d like to hid the bottom part of your body while still looking great. Accessories don’t necessarily need to distract from your body either. You can wear them to play up your outfit. Body chains work really well!

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Get A Little Exercise

You might think you have no time for exercise, but everybody has 10-20 minutes to spare each day. Even if you just go for a walk, it all adds up. There’s a form of exercise called HIIT that’s becoming more and more popular. You only need about 15 minutes to do it, and it burns fat like nobody’s business!

Focus On Eating Right

Put a focus on eating right and you’ll notice a big difference. If you’re already unhappy with the way you look, it can be easy to get caught in a negative cycle where you eat because you’re unhappy and then feel worse. By making an effort to eat right, you should notice a difference straight away and begin to feel better. Know the healthy foods you should be eating and stock up on them. You can have things like matcha powder to enhance your results too. Avoid keeping treats in the house, because chances are they’ll call out to you and you’ll eat them when you’re not supposed to.

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Stand Up Straight

By having good posture and just standing up straight, you can actually knock pounds off your figure instantly. Be more mindful of how you stand and sit. Keep your back straight, shoulders back and chest up. Not only will it flatter your figure more, you’ll look more confident too.

Learn To Love Yourself

Learning to love yourself whatever you look like beneath your clothing is important. If you learn to love yourself, you’ll feel great in whatever you wear. Many people agree that the sexiest thing a woman can wear is confidence, so learn to love yourself and see how it affects the way you feel. It can take time and many changes in your thought patterns, but if you commit to it you can do it.
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Monday, 30 May 2016

Father's Day Gift Guide 2016



Are you racking your brain over what to get your dad for father’s day? Socks and aftershave again? Well, men don't have to be so tough to buy for. Keep to one of the four ideas below and you are bound to find a present that they will treasure.


Homemade gifts


Homemade gifts are so very cute if you are under the age of 10 or are very good at cooking or craft. A macaroni pasta picture if you are 30 is not the best gift for dad on father's day! So what sort of things can you make?


Firstly, food. Men like food, dads like food. So what about making them something to eat? Yes, you could cook a whole meal. Breakfast in bed is always a winner on father's day. But I am thinking more of a yummy treat like fudge or cookies or this amazing maple bacon thingy. Yes, its has candy and bacon! And men love bacon! If you are still stuck, have a look here for some ace ideas.


Exciting adventures


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If your pa is more an adrenaline junky that a foodie, what about taking him on an adventure? Options like ADayInATank.com, a birds of prey day, a flying experiences or a race car day, means that there is something for every dad and budget!


Of course, you don't have to do something scary or muddy. There are lots of more educational and calm days available like cheese making, Tai Chi and spa days for guys. Yes, guys like spas too. Get over it!


There are also some great family days on offer that you can all enjoy together like Legoland or Alton Towers.


Look into the location and travel time, and whether Dad will need overnight accommodation.  Pick something that you know he is into or that he has wanted to always do, but wouldn't get for himself. You could even get a ticket for yourself so you could go alone with him. Making lots of wonderful shared memories. Now that is better than a pair of socks and some aftershave.  


Something personalised


If you are going for a purchased gift, consider one of the many personalised options out there. You can get some inventive items with personalisation now. I like the wallets or jewelry with latitude and longitude on. You could use Dad’s favorite place or the place that you were born. I also think the word pictures of favorite things are such a cool idea. If shows how well you know and appreciate them and is a gift that would look perfect on the wall of a man cave.


Something practical


If your father is not the personalised jewelry type. What about a good old practical gift. Unlike mothers on mother's day, when they receive an iron, dads are quite happy with a present that they can use. So what are the best options? Power tools. They are powered, and they are tools. What more do I need to say? They make even the most boring DIY fun. Dremel multi-tools and the ROBI system, with one battery that fits all the gadgets are dad worthy.


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