Father’s Day Flash Giveaway with Evo Shave…

Father’s Day is fast approaching and we’ve got a little last minute giveaway to share if you are looking for a gift for the dad in your life. We’ve shared about Evo Shave before and we are delighted to have three of their razors to giveaway. 
 
One will be given away here, one on our Facebook page, and one on our Instagram page. You could enter all three if you want to maximise your chances of winning! 

Simply tell us who the razor would be for in the comment section then click on the Rafflecopter link to complete your entry.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

  

Good luck! 
 

Terms & Conditions

One item will be won. 

Winner will be chosen at random by rafflecopter on Wed 14th June. 

Item will be posted first class within the UK. 

UK entrants only.

 No cash prize alternative. 

Spam entrants will be disqualified. 

Posted in Things we love

My Sunday Photo 

A lucky capture… 

OneDad3Girls

Silent Sunday with MummyConstant

Posted in Photography Tagged with: ,

Peace out…

Today is election day. Unless you are living under a rock, you can’t fail to know that we have a surprise and short notice general election happening here, in the UK. 

It’s been an interesting few weeks. Lots of political campaigning, lots of vitriol and opinion, both from the campaigners and also social media, as well as much heated debate, and discussion. 

This election has actually caused me a lot of stress and anxiety, and I have thought long and hard, had many chats with friends, family and people on my social media about voting, and who for. 

It’s been intensely hard, and I don’t vote lightly. I will vote. I cannot look my daughter in the eyes and say I won’t, because women fought and died for my right to vote and for hers, when she is old enough. I don’t feel happy about my choice but frankly, it’s the best of a bad bunch. 

I am signing out now. From most social media, from the news, from people talking about it. I need 24 hours of peace, to not think about the (frankly dire) state of our country and who will be in charge when I wake up on Friday. 

I don’t want to see more political rhetoric, I don’t want to read people’s opinions and views. I have seen and heard enough. Most of all, I know there will be anger, fear and things said because it’s been a fierce few weeks and people feel very passionately and if things look like they are not going their way, it can be hard for them and things get said. Be that right or wrong, I can’t watch or read any more. Brexit was an example of that. Trump was another example. 

I have my theories about who will be the winners and looser on Friday morning, but I will keep those to myself. I need some peace, some calm. To focus on my own little world, because I can’t control much beyond that. I will tick the box, and then walk away. 

For now, basically, peace out. I will be hanging around on Instagram, because that’s my happy place. See you on the other side, and lets hope, which I am trying to muster, that something good comes out of this crazy few weeks of election chaos. 

Posted in Me, beyond just being "mum" Tagged with: , , , ,

Moving House When You’ve Got Kids: The Basics

We aren’t moving house, but this collaborative post might be helpful if you are.

Everyone knows that moving house can be difficult – but you might not have thought about how your kids might react. Here are some tips to help you out…

Consider How To Explain The Move To Your Kids

First of all, every parent knows that sometimes children can be worried or afraid of new concepts, whether that’s starting school, getting a new brother or sister, or moving house – and considering the fact that sometimes kids can even be nervous about new pizza toppings or just how open their bedroom door is at night, it’s clear that moving house can be a jolt to them. The truth is that to a lot of small children, time is a pretty abstract concept. Saying “We’re thinking about moving house” or “We’re going to move house in three months” might be a little alarming – consider how to introduce the concept of moving at a different time, like when everything is absolutely certain, so that you can answer their questions with certainty and make them feel safe and secure.

Image source

Be Careful Of Your Finances

It’s important to make sure that you’re careful about your financial situation. Moving house can be expensive, and when you have kids, you’ll know that it’s important not to take too many risks with your financial situation. Providing for people other than yourself means that you have to prioritise their needs above your own. Make sure that you work with a reliable mortgage company – Pete Reeves 1st UK Mortgages works well for a lot of people because they’re flexible and willing to work with people who don’t have great credit. It’s important to remember that even if you don’t have great credit, you still have a chance of buying a property.

Image source

Look For The Potential In Your New Home

Remember that not every home that you look at will be absolutely perfect. We all have huge lists of what we want from our homes. Maybe we want enormous back gardens, or utility rooms, or twin sinks in the master bathroom, or walk in wardrobes. But the truth is that nothing in life is perfect and no home will be completely ideal, so you need to focus on the potential of your new house instead of what’s already there. Consider whether you could get a loft conversion so your kids won’t have to share a room, or whether you could get the pond in the back garden filled in so it isn’t a safety hazard. Remember that there are a lot of things you can do to turn an imperfect home into your dream house.

Image source

Check Out Your New Area

Make sure that you consider the area that you might be moving into. With kids, this is especially important. The local schools are something that will shape the futures of your offspring – so if you have to pick a smaller house closer to a better school, this might be a worthwhile sacrifice to make. You should also remember that commutes are very important and linked to your happiness – and this applies to your children just as much as it does to you. If your teenagers will have to travel for an extra half an hour to get to school, or if they’re moving away from their friends, some problems might arise that you hadn’t previously considered. It’s also important to look around the area that you’re moving into and check out the local amenities – maybe there’s a local football team that your kids could play in, or a shopping centre where they could spend Saturdays, or even a great soft play centre for your little ones. Remember that having those facilities close by is invaluable for parents.

Image source

 

Consider Babysitters

The actual move itself is likely to be a pretty difficult and complicated time – and if at all possible, why don’t you hire babysitters? Whether they’re family members or through an agency, making sure that your kids and your pets are out of the way on moving day is absolutely invaluable and it’ll be money that you won’t regret spending in the slightest. Make sure that you focus on getting your kids’ rooms sorted out first so that they have somewhere comfortable to sleep that feels familiar. You should also focus on making sure that your bathrooms and kitchens are ready – although you might want to make your own room perfect, you only really need a bed and the ability to shower to begin with!

Image source

Remember Your Kids’ Emotional Needs

Finally, remember that moving house can be rough on kids. Lots of changes can be emotionally challenging and they might be upset about leaving neighbours, friends and close by family members. Make sure that you listen to their concerns and that you’re as patient as you can be – and if your kids are older, remember that you can be honest with them and voice your own worries too.

Posted in Family Life and Parenting, Home & Garden, Money & Finances Tagged with: , ,

She’s wearing my shoes…

This week, we had a bit of a mum fail. My tweenager was supposed to be singing in a concert, with some of her class and children from other schools. It was in my diary, we had tickets, and I knew she had to be at a certain place at a certain time. What I hadn’t checked was what she was supposed to wear, and of course, we only realized as she was going to bed the night before the concert. Cue some frantic wardrobe rummaging and a text to the singing teacher (who is also a friend,  I don’t message her teachers, normally) and we were semi sorted with what she needed. Phew, sorted, or so we thought. 

Until she had to put the shoes she had chosen to wear on, ten minutes before we had to leave for school. Of course they don’t fit, why would they, and of course I hadn’t checked they fitted, I just assumed they would. 

Cue a bit of door slamming and tears (on her part) and sighs of frustration and trying to figure something out (on my part) oh and Mum guilt, of course. 

I went into my wardrobe and had a hunt about, and dug out a pair of my shoes. Cautiously approach unhappy “I will look stupid not wearing what I am supposed to wear” angry tweenager,  and suggest my shoes. 

She tries them on. 

Tears dry up, a smile appears. Relief dawns and the mum guilt slides away. 

But then it dawns on me. 

She’s wearing my shoes. She’s reached a point where she is almost as tall as me, and she can fit into my shoes…

I walked her to school, and said goodbye, but I will admit to wiping away tears, quietly, as I sat on the bus, on the way to work.

When did she get so big? This mum is not coping with how fast time is going and how big and grown up her girl suddenly is… 

Ps the concert was great and she sang beautifully! 😉

After the Playground
Posted in Family Life and Parenting, Parenting into tweenagehood and beyond...

Getting some volume in my hair with John Frieda Luxurious Volume range

I have had some issues with my hair lately. Due to the hormone treatment I am taking, I have been loosing a lot of hair (a normal side affect, but frustrating) and although I normally wear my hair up (because I work with small children, long hair doesn’t mix well with paint, play dough, kids snacks and generally running around after hoards of toddlers) when I have been wearing it down, it has seemed thinner and to have less volume. I am normally used to having quite thick hair, so this has been a bit of shock to me. 

So, trying out some hair products that help a bit with that was “just what the doctor ordered”, so to speak. 

John Frieda have come up with a range of hair products to help detangle and boost hair volume. I have been a fan of some of their other products for years, so I was hoping for good results from these. They contain a special caffeine formulation to help with hair volume. 

I tried out 7 Day Volume Shampoo, 7 Day Conditioner and Perfectly Full Mousse. 

The shampoo – 

Discover transformational volume every day.

Now with Caffeine Vitality Complex, Luxurious Volume 7-Day Volume Shampoo transforms fine, flat hair with alluring volume and touchable softness.

The conditioner – 

Now with Caffeine Vitality Complex, Luxurious Volume Touchably Full Conditioner detangles and builds fullness while it conditions for naturally soft, touchably full hair.

The mousse – 

Style your way to touchable fullness and lift. Now with Caffeine Vitality Complex, our ultralight Luxurious Volume Perfectly Full Mousse adds lasting fullness without a crunchy feel.

I have to say, I am always a little skeptical about hair products claiming to make a difference to hair issues, but I have been impressed with these. The shampoo and conditioner are easy to use, wash and rinse well, and leave my hair feeling smooth, soft and also easier to de tangle. (my hair is long, it can  be a pain to brush and de tangle) and the mousse is light, and applies easily. I don’t normally use a mousse, so was pleasantly surprised by how nice it made my hair feel, and as it says, it doesn’t leave my hair crunchy. I am a child of the 80’s, when hair mousse was the big thing, I remember crunchy hair, I don’t want to relive that. (yes, I am that old!)

It really does seem to help to give my hair the boost it needs right now and when I wear it down, I think it looks less thin and limp. This has helped me to feel a bit better about the state of my hair, and it’s condition, and a bit more confident. The prodcuts are designed to help and really do seem to do their job. I plan to keep using them. They also have other products in their range to help and style hair that needs boost and volume, naturally. It’s great to find something that works, from a brand I trust. Thanks for that, John Frieda! 

*I was sent products to try. Opinions are my own, and information sourced from site*

Posted in Beauty, skin and hair care Tagged with: , , ,

This old girl has arthritis…

If you follow us on social media, you will remember that a few weeks ago, we had to do a rather urgent run to the vet for Layla. She really is the feline face of this blog, and she is my baby, too, as well as the children, in fact she has been around longer than the children. 

She will be 12 in July. I think, technically that makes her 80 in cat years. She’s basically an old lady, or getting there. 

It turns out she had damaged her hip, probably chasing Jasper, or climbing her favorite tree in the garden, then jumping down again. A course of anti inflammatory medication and some pain relief and making her stay indoors so she didn’t over exert herself did the trick. 

But, when the vet examined her, he did say she has the beginnings of arthritis in her back legs and hips and that we would need to look at how we approach caring for her with that in mind. She will start to get stiffer and slower, I have already noticed she is a bit less mobile than she used to be and she grumbles when she has to jump, and as we know, arthritis is painful. Both the vet and I agree that despite her rocky start to life and her health issues, that she’s doing really well, and to use an old quote, “there’s plenty of life in the old girl yet”. So we want to make sure she has a good quality of life, and is as pain free as possible. 

It’s hard thinking that a much loved pet, with so much personality, is getting older, and that she may start to feel pain and not be able manage as well as she is used to. She’s off to the vet next week for a full MOT and some tests to see what’s what (which she will hate, and she will sulk for days after, of course) and then we will go from there as to what medications and treatments she needs to help her live her life to the cranky, grumpy full that makes her so special to us… 

ANIMALTALES

Posted in All things pet related, Family Life and Parenting Tagged with: , , , ,

I love my country but I don’t want to be here anymore.

Before you read on, if you know me in real life, you need to know this is me finding writing cathartic and helpful. We aren’t leaving any time soon, we aren’t going anywhere. Please don’t send me panicked messages wondering about what our plans are or worrying that I won’t be there to be your summer holiday childcare this year… 

This is me getting things off my chest. It’s my blog, and I occasionally use it  for therapeutic reasons. 

I am British. I wasn’t born here, but I am the child of a Scottish mother and an English father. I spent my formative school years here, and whilst I have also lived abroad, now, at the age I am at, I have lived here, in the UK for longer than anywhere else. My children are British, with a vague hint of South African because of their half and half genetics on their father’s side, but they are more British than anything else. 

I love this country. It’s my home. It’s where I came back to from when we were living abroad. It’s where I live now, and where I work. It is where my children are growing up. It’s beautiful, even if it’s weather is frankly crap. It’s wildly different and not one part of the UK is the same as another. We have amazing beaches, cities, towns, scenery, food (I know some won’t agree but that’s not up for debate right now) and we as a country have, to be frank, survived some tough stuff in the past. I have relatives who fought and died for this country. 

I chose to live here. 18 years ago, I was offered the option of moving abroad to work and live. I was tempted. It was kind of what I wanted to do. However, the pull of my home country and the man I loved and wanted to marry kept me here. I don’t regret that. 

But now I don’t want to be here any more. I feel powerless in my Britishness. I sit today watching my city, my London, the town that I love most of all, recovering from an uncalled for and brutal attack on people who were doing no harm, going about their business and tonight I see our current Prime Minister using this attack as a political pawn. 

I don’t want to live in a country where institutions like our NHS and our education system are being destroyed by politicians who don’t care about ordinary people. 

I don’t want to live in a country that has failed to deal with the problem of disenfranchised people who voted for something they didn’t understand and now we all have to deal with the consequences of that vote. 

I don’t want to live in a country where we risk being run over, blown up or stabbed by lunatics who hate us simply because our government has made poor choices to get involved with other countries politics and now we face the brunt of that. 

I don’t want to live in a country where my ordinary, peaceful Muslim friends feel vilified because madmen are carrying out crimes in the name of their faith, when they don’t support that. 

I don’t want to live in a country where we will be snooped on and our internet presence recorded even when we are not terrorist suspects and my every move could be held against me. 

I don’t want to live in a country where nurses haven’t had a pay rise in years and some can’t afford to feed their own children  but politicians get to claim second home allowances yet tell us our country is doing well financially, when I see families who regularly can’t afford the basics to survive life. 

I don’t want to live in a country where whole generations have been dumbed down and told they can’t do anything without being totally reliant on the government for hand outs and help, who are now being forced to face the realities without that and who aren’t coping and a generation of children suffering because of that. 

I don’t want to live in a country where people vote because of racism and xenophobia and where people, friends of mine,  who have lived and worked here for years, call this country home, but because they weren’t born here, now face a future of uncertainty and I can’t tell them it will be ok, but only apologize and tell them it wasn’t my vote that landed them in this situation. 

I don’t want to live in a country where I simply cannot choose between who to vote for because all of the options seem abhorrent and I don’t honestly think any of them have the real interests of people at heart. 

I love my country but I am not proud of it anymore. I am sad that my children have to grow up in a place where their future isn’t secure, and where they’ll come out of university with more debt than a deposit on a house is worth. 

I don’t have any magic answers. I am not looking for any. I don’t want to be told to cheer up, or that other people face worse (I know they do, I spent ten days working with refugees in Greece last year) but this is my situation and my country I am worried for and I am allowed to feel the way I do. I don’t want to be told to pray harder or have more faith, or to only think of the positive things. I want to be able to say “I am proud I am British” and right now I can’t. I am proud of the people who were so brave last night in London, and last week in Manchester, I am proud of people who serve and support and who prop this country up but they are, to me, it seems fighting a tidal wave, that isn’t going to ease. 

I love my country but right now, I am looking at our future and thinking we may seek it elsewhere. I know no place is perfect, every country has it’s problems, but right now I feel desperately sad, and powerless to make any change. 

So I write my feelings, and get them out. I know not everyone will agree, I know many will try to tell me I shouldn’t feel this way. I don’t want to be told not to be afraid or not to worry. I simply can’t pretend it’s all fine and ok. 

I am allowed to feel this way. I won’t let it fester, but I am allowed to get my feelings out. Simply writing it all down makes me feel better. To just be able to say the things in my head, is helpful. 

Feel free to comment but any racist or hate inciting comments will be deleted and their authors will be blocked from this blog. You may feel the same as me, and want to vent, or you may feel the opposite and maybe you will be able to offer me perspective that I currently can’t see. 

Thanks for reading. Cats, chaos, children and coffee normal will be back tomorrow… 😉

Posted in Me, beyond just being "mum" Tagged with: ,

Make a memory into a star – with a giveaway from Star Name Registry

Sometimes you need that little extra something special. A gift for someone, or to remember someone you love. It can be hard to find things that are unique but also meaningful, but that also don’t cost the earth. 

So naming a star after  a special person or someone you loved is a really amazing thing to be able to do, and is something you can know you can treasure, and also it will be around forever. It could be the perfect gift as a memorial to or for someone. Star Name Registry can do all that for you with ease. 

 

It’s actually incredibly simple to arrange and you can name a star that is visible from the UK and there are various packages you can choose from. We were delighted to be able to choose and name an extra bright star after my mum.

You get a certificate with information about your star, and where it is positioned in the sky and depending on what package you choose, it can be framed. 

We were really impressed and delighted and it’s a truly special thing to have as a memory and being able to look up into the sky and know there’s a star that’s special to us. If you really are stuck for a gift this is ideal and it comes beautifully packaged. 

We also have a giveaway for one lucky winner. If you would like to be in with the chance to win your own special star to name, all you need to do is comment and tell us who you would name it for and then follow the Rafflecopter link instructions to complete your entry. 

One winner will win an extra bright standard star which is the £24.99 package on their site and and you get to choose a star name, memorable date and personal message. 

Giveaway ends on 28th June 2017

Terms & Conditions

One winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter. 

No cash prize alternatives

Spam entries will be deleted

Entries must be completed

UK only

*We were sent a product to review*

Mudpie Fridays
Posted in Uncategorized Tagged with: , , ,

A Pain In The Neck: Recovering From Whiplash

I have fortunately never suffered from a whiplash injury, but I know people who have. This collaborative post has some tips that may be helpful if you ever are diagnosed with whiplash. 

Whiplash is a type of neck strain usually caused by an impact or a blow that causes the neck to jerk forward or back. In serious cases, it can be a debilitating injury, stopping you from doing any activities that require neck movement. If you’ve recently been diagnosed with it or think you may have whiplash, here are some steps you should take to make your recovery.

See a doctor

Your first course of action should be to seek medical treatment and get a professional diagnosis. More serious neck injuries may require surgery or some form of medication to ease the pain. You may also be given a neck brace to where for the first few weeks.

You may be able to find cover for these medical costs if it wasn’t your fault. Can you make a claim as an injured car passenger? Alternatively it could be a work injury. Don’t pay out of your own pocket if it could have been prevented by someone else.

Take a break from driving

A doctor will often advise that you refrain from driving whilst recovering as this requires full neck movement to check mirrors and look behind. If you need to still travel to work, find alternative methods of transport or get a lift. Activities such as cycling, swimming and many sports that require sharp movement are also not advised. That said you shouldn’t abstain entirely from moving your neck, only sharp movements – keeping your neck mobile will aid recovery of motion.

Cool off

For the first two to three days putting ice on your neck can be a great way of relieving pain and swelling. This could be an icepack or a frozen bag of vegetables. Do it for 15 minutes every three to four hours for maximum impact.

Heat up

After two to three days of icing your neck, switch to a warm towel to ease the inflammation. Taking a hot bath can also be good for helping muscles to relax and heal. There may also be holistic heat treatments that you can look into.

Get a massage

A doctor may recommend that you see a physiotherapist. They may be able to provide a massage to ease the pain in your neck. A general massage may also be to help, as well as other holistic treatments such as acupressure and acupuncture. You may also be able to massage yourself – buy a roller, lie on your back and then put the roller under your neck and gently roll back and forth. Some find that a tennis ball can be just as effective.

Change your pillow

You may want to change your pillow to help make sleep more comfortable. You can buy supportive pillows specifically for whiplash. Avoid using more than one pillow as this will put a strain on your neck. You can also use cushions when sitting down to support your neck – travel pillows can be useful for keeping your neck straight and your posture upright.

Posted in Health Tagged with: , , ,
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