Tag: sponsored post

Back-to-School School Supplies with Smiggle

*This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Smiggle

I know what you’re thinking, school hasn’t even ended yet.  But hey, what can I say?  My daughter is exactly like me who loves anything to do with stationary, coloured pens, and beautiful sparkly journals.  Personally, I prefer my journals not to be sparkly, but when you’re a six-year-old, I guess they prefer, one that glimmers.

I’m familiar with the brand Smiggle.  Who isn’t?  Go to any city centre and you’ll find a Smiggle shop filled with the brightest pens and everything your little one will need for school, or even just for their collection.  When the lovely people behind the brand got in touch and asked if T would like to sample some, I said yes of course.  And boy was she pleased when she opened the package which was addressed to her, she especially loves this very sparkly journal:

She spent hours just playing with the sequins alone.  By brushing across it with your fingers, you can actually change the design.  She quickly wrote her first entry down and I’m not kidding when I say that she actually slept with it.  That was how much she was pleased with this very sparkly journal from Smiggle.

She also had fun with this DIY pencil-case that has everything a child would need for school.  It has coloured felt-tip pens, a rubber, a ruler, a sharpener and scissors.

There was also a small little badge journal which smelt like candy.  T loves it! And of course, not to mention a letter T keychain which she quickly put on her backpack.  I was kinda hoping she’d save it for September, but did she listen to me?  Of course she didn’t.  When a child is that excited, you wouldn’t want to burst their bubble now would you?

Thank you Smiggle for making little T a happy bunny.

What about you?

Are you and your child crazy about stationary/school supplies too?

Intimate Conversations with Canesten: Plus a Chance to Win a £50 Voucher from Amazon

*This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Canesten

I’ve always wanted a daughter.  I guess it’s also because I’m close to my own mother and want to replicate the kind of relationship I have with her, and what I have with little T is even better.  She’s my little shadow. When she’s not in school, she’s always with me.  She likes to cuddle and gives kisses freely.  And we talk, we talk a lot.  We talk about everything.  I dread the day when she won’t do as much anymore or even want to be with her old mum as much as she used to, hopefully that day will never come.

Little T is a perfect combination of a little girl who loves ballet, playing her cello, gymnastics, but at the same time won’t hesitate to play rough with her best friend who happens to be a boy, or win a race on sports day.  She’s both “girly” and “boyish” though I don’t really like using labels, but she’s definitely both.

My darling daughter is turning seven in August.  How did that happen?  Where did my chubby little baby go?  I can see traces of her on her little six-year-old face, but soon, even that will be gone.  I’m not ready for T to grow another year older.  I know that sounds selfish, but time is just happening way too fast.

I’m not really looking forward to those intimate albeit awkward conversations with T, especially The Talk.    I’m imagining there will be lots of giggles, or maybe she’ll be too grossed to even want to listen to me.

What I want to say to her is this, it’s all part of being a girl, part of being female, part of being a woman.

Already she has questions about when will she have breasts, although at this age, she still refers to them as “boobies” and always said with a little giggle.  I really don’t mind talking about the changes in a girl’s body as they turn into puberty, especially once she starts having her period.  She knows what it is, when she was younger she used to call it “pyramid” and much to my embarrassment used to announce “Mummy has her pyramid today”.

And of course along with that comes the changes in a girl’s body together with the discussion of  proper care of our intimate health and common intimate conditions such as thrush, cystitis, and BV.  Some may think, isn’t it a bit too early to discuss this with your daughter?  I’m not saying I’m going to discuss all of this with her in one go.

I think it’s important to prepare them early.  And to discuss it in a manner where it comes out naturally.  If she gets used to talking about it at an early age, she won’t hesitate to come to me for more questions, at least, that’s what I’m hoping for.

I didn’t have this you see, when I was growing-up.  I never even knew what Thrush was or what the symptoms were.  I had to find them all out on my own.  As parents, we try to give our children as much life skills as we can.  I believe that this includes having these intimate conversations with them, especially for daughters, no matter how trying these conversations may be.  And to reiterate that no matter how embarrassing or difficult the question are, they can always discuss it with us.  What about you?  If you have daughters, have you had this discussion with them?

And for those who want to win a £50 Amazon voucher, all you need to do is answer the question in the comments below. The best answer will win the voucher.

What I wish I knew about intimate health when I was younger.

Terms and Conditions:
1. There is 1 prize of one £50 Amazon vouchers. The prize is non-transferable and no cash alternative is offered
2. Open to UK residents aged 18 and over.
3. Closing date for entries is 17 of July 2017.
4. Entrants must leave a comment below.
5. The winner with the best answer will be chosen.
6. The winner will be informed within 14 days of the closing date and will need to respond with a postal address within 28 
days or a new winner will be chosen.
7. The winner’s name will be available on request.
8. The prize will be sent within 28 days of receiving the winner’s address.
9. This is a joint promotion between Little Steps and Canesten®
10. Entry to this confirms that participants have read, understood and agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions 


Good Luck!

Pet Parasite Action: Join Us!

*This is a Sponsored Post.

One of the reasons why we love our house is the location.  We are surrounded by 500 acres of farmland and Doc, little T’s dog, absolutely loves it.  He loves exploring, especially with the other farm dogs.  He likes to go up to the cows and see how long they’ll tolerate him before they moo him away.  He also likes finding the smelliest thing he can find and then roll onto it till his fur is absolutely caked in it.  Then with a smile on his face, comes home to us.

As you can see, one of Doc’s favourite thing to do is chew on sticks.

I do worry about him and all the germs he picks up when out on his adventures, especially since he likes eating the poo of the calves.  Our farmer neighbour said, they (the dogs) like eating that because it’s full of milk. So far, he hasn’t shown any bad effects from eating all that poo.  Fingers crossed, he’ll be fine.

As pet owners, we all worry about our dogs and of course, when you have children, you worry about them too.  Some of us may know that roundworms and ticks are worrying not just for our dogs, but as well as for us humans too.

Scary isn’t it?

Jenni Falconer with her dog Alfie.

In line with this, TV presenter Jenni Falconer is backing the Pet Parasite Action campaign which aims to raise awareness of the need to treat our pets.

As a dog owner and a mum I want to be sure that I do the best thing for my pet and family.  During the pet parasite action campaign I’m encouraging all pet owners to visit their vet for a simple way to help protect their pets against parasites inside and out, including those that may be harmful to the rest of the family.  Let’s act now to help protect all the members of our family, furry or otherwise.

 

According to a survey carried out by Pet Parasite Action of over 1000 dogs nationwide, lungworm worries dog owners most with 74% saying they are concerned about this parasite. While 82% of dog owners are able to correctly identify that lungworm could be fatal to their pets, while 43% said that they think dog lungworm is the parasite that poses the greatest risk to human health, when actually it’s harmless to people.

Over a third of survey respondents (36%) say that they are worried about ticks but just 48% realise that ticks can cause fatalities in dogs because of the diseases they transmit.  Also only 28% recognise that ticks (as a transmitter of Lyme disease in people) are a risk to human health.

The least worried about parasite according to the survey is probably one of the most concerning. Just 15% say they were worried about roundworms and only 7% correctly say they think roundworms could threaten human health. Yet if accidentally eaten, eggs from the roundworm Toxocara pose a significant threat to human health, potentially causing blindness or neurological disease – especially in children.

One in four people don’t realise their pet could have parasites but they might not be visible, as is often the case with lungworms, hard to find ticks and roundworms and the microscopic eggs they produce.

Around 1 in 6 say that it’s been about a year since they last treated their pet for ticks, lungworm or roundworm and despite concern about its effects, 23% say that they don’t know when their pet was last treated for lungworm.

At the end of the day, especially like Jenni, if you are a parent of young children, it’s best to make sure that your dogs are healthy by taking them to the vet regularly.  That old adage is definitely true – better be safe than sorry.

What about you?

Ready to take Pet Parasite Action too?

Join us and help spread the word.

 

Have you planned your Summer Holiday?

I’m sure by now a lot of families out there have planned if not booked their summer holiday already.   If you’re one of those lucky/organised ones, well done, you guys.  When going abroad, we like to book ours well ahead of time too.  As you know, it’s cheaper that way.  Sadly, we haven’t done any bookings as I type this all because little T and I have to renew our passports, which we hope to get sorted out next week.

As for plans, oh we have loads of those!  After all, planning is free right?  At the moment, we have a few choices up our sleeves.  It’s nice to have alternatives, in case, the first one doesn’t pan out right? Here’s ours.

PLAN A: Spain-Portugal

Go on a road trip again.  The first time we ever went on a road-trip as a family, was when we drove all the way to a remote cabin in Scotland and absolutely loved it.  The second one was a road trip to France (with a day-trip to Belgium).  We stayed in a Eurocamp and did day-trips to Disneyland and Paris, as well as  trips around the beautiful French countryside.  Ah, that was bliss.

This time though, the plan is to drive to Plymouth to catch a ferry to Santander and drive all the way down the Spanish coast to Portugal – doesn’t that sound dreamy?

We love doing road-trips.  I guess one of the reasons is that you can stop anytime, especially if you see something that catches your attention.  It’s easy to just stop and roam around and experience the local culture without having to worry about your schedule too much.  And if that doesn’t work, there’s ….

PLAN B: Train-trip to Eastern Europe

Ever since reading “The Historian” by Elizabeth Kustova, I’ve longed to travel by train to Hungary and Romania and yes, visit Count Dracula’s castle in Bran.  I would love to watch the beautiful countryside/mountains of Eastern Europe.  When I mentioned this to my husband, I was pleased  to know that he’s always wanted to do it too.  But I’m wondering though whether T is too young to appreciate a trip like this one, though I’m sure she’ll enjoy travelling by train.  And then there’s …

PLAN C: Homegrown

This is the easiest and if I’m honest, the most feasible plan.  I have family from the States who might come over this summer and of course, it’s only right that we show them around the UK.

I’ve always wanted to explore Wales, since we’ve never really had the chance apart from staying in Hay-on-Wye and doing day-trips from Bristol.  A close friend who regularly camps in Wales has been inviting us to go with her, so this might just be our chance.

And of course, there’s still so much of the UK that I haven’t explored.  What better way to do it when you have guests right?

As you can see, our plans are still up in the air and I know that time is indeed running out, hopefully we’ll be able to finalize our plans soon.

What about you?

Have you booked your summer holiday?

*This is a sponsored post.

Small Joys and Skin Toners

When I was single, I used to enjoy walking around the aisles of supermarkets or drugstores and shopping for toiletries.  It’s one of those “small joys” I really enjoyed indulging as a single woman, not shopping for clothes, but instead buying “beauty products”, excluding make-up.  I never really wore make-up even when I was younger.  Does that sound odd?

And of course as a single working-woman, money wasn’t much of an issue. I could pick-up products without worrying about the cost. It’s a whole different story now that I’m a mother. I always double check prices and compare them before chucking them in my trolley. I would never buy anything expensive, the “mummy guilt” would always set in and I would always think “With that price, I’d rather buy something nice for little T”. Besides, I barely have enough time to pick up stuff for myself now, before hearing a little whingy voice saying ” Can we go now?”

Ever since I’ve become a mother, my priorities have changed.  The little one always comes first. Besides, I can’t really spend time in the bathroom longer than I have too, without an impatient knock on the door and that little voice (again) asking “What are you doing in there mummy? Are you doing a poo?”

But now that little T is getting older,  I’m slowly putting the “me” back on the list.  As mothers, it’s important to think of our needs too, even if it’s something as superficial as toiletries. After all, it’s a lovely feeling to pamper oneself isn’t it?

This Vitamin C Toner is all about just that – loving our skin the way it should be. It has a really refreshing “citrusy” smell which T really likes. “You smell like lemons mummy!” And that scent aways reminds me of summer.

I also love that it is made of natural ingredients, especially since I have very sensitive skin.

The only negative comment I have for this Vitamin Toner is the price. It’s a little bit too much for me. Then again, if price isn’t an issue for you, I highly recommend this product. I’ve been using this for about a week now and I certainly like the feel of my face. It certainly feels cleaner and fresher after every use. And to top it off, I have the smell of summer on me!  And that to me is precious!  Click here if you want to try it out too.

What about you? What is you’re favourite skin toner?

Or

what to you, is the smell of summer?

Disclaimer:  I received this product for free for my honest and unbiased feedback.

Family Fever

Let There Be Light…

…is probably one of the most famous lines from the book of Genesis in the Bible.  I could be wrong of course, not exactly an expert, nor am I religious.

If you’ve been following my blog for some time now, you might have read in a  past post (specifically posts from last year), that the year before that, we put our house up for sale.  By January 2014, we’ve had several viewings and the next month got and accepted an offer.  Then the sale went pfft right before our very eyes.

My husband and I were heartbroken, especially since we were looking forward to moving into our new home in Crackington Haven, another small village near where we currently live right now.  While it wasn’t exactly our dream house, it ticked all the boxes.  The extra room which we want to turn into a study, a bigger garden, a downstairs cloakroom and the bonus was, it had a huge garage.

Yep, but that’s all in the past now.  Currently we are still living in a terraced two bedroom house with a small garden, which isn’t really so bad.  But we are desperate for a study, as some of you may know, my husband works with the OU (Open University) as a lecturer in History.  At the moment, we have the bureau in our bedroom and shelves upon shelves of his history books, since he has ran out of shelf space in our bedroom, some of his books can also be found on our bookshelves in the living room.  The dream is to have a study where he could keep all his history books together, so when he’s working, he doesn’t have to keep running back and forth from the bedroom to the living room trying to find a particular reference book he needs  for work.  Yes, it is a bit chaotic.

Since we were utterly disheartened from the disappointment of the sale of our house.  We didn’t have the heart to go through all of it again.  Our little house isn’t that bad.  In fact, we love it.  So we thought, why not just do an attic conversion instead and make that into a study?

Our wounds quickly healed and excitement ensued as we hired an architect to foresee the conversion.  At first though, he wasn’t convinced it was possible, but when he went up our attic he was pleasantly surprised with how big it was.

When he left, I was bubbling with excitement and quickly got my home magazines out and started flipping through them for some inspiration.  Then we saw this spread and we both were in love:

VELUXcollage_littlesteps

Can you imagine working on your desk, looking up and seeing breathtaking countryside views?  For a couple of months, my husband was daydreaming about looking out these windows, while sipping his first morning cup of coffee before switching on his computer to get to work.  As you can see the marking tape I put on a year ago is still there.

And we were sold on these windows.  The company VELUX has a variety of different kinds of window styles or even light tunnels to choose from, when converting an attic, or simply adding a window to a very dark room or even a corridor to add more light.  And as everyone knows, they  have a very good reputation for their high-quality products and superb service.

This is one of my faves, although it will be used in a study/guest bedroom, not a bathroom, though of course you’d probably have to install some roof blinds or even blackout blinds which will be so handy in the summer.

whiteVELUXwindow_littlesteps

The only problem was our stairs was in the wrong way and for it to be approved, we’d have to move our staircase, re-plan the layout of our living room and our bedroom.  Everything seemed promising till the plans were drawn.

For us to have our dream-attic conversion with lovely windows from VELUX, we would have to change the position of our staircase, move it in front of our front-door, so in case of a fire, it would be an easy way out.  If we don’t do that, we’d never get planning permission.  Moving the staircase would mean that it would use up space in our living room and also the stairs leading up to the loft-conversion would also use up space in our bedroom, and this would also mean that we’d have to move the bathroom too.

We were willing to go through all that, even though when added up all together, moving into a new house would somehow come out cheaper.  I guess what really popped our bubble was when our architect said that in spite all these wonderful and lovely plans, with windows that would open to breathtaking views, if in the future we intend to sell, it would never be marketed as a three bedroom house.  In the end, it will always be a two bedroom house with a lovely attic conversion.

You may ask, what’s the problem with that?  Nothing but the real deal-breaker was, if we ever do manage to sell in the future, we won’t be able to get the money spent for that glorious active conversion back.  At the end of the day, it all boils down to money.  And no one wants to lose any – right?

With a bit of a heavy heart, we put our house back in the market lat Autumn.  As of writing, we haven’t had a single viewing.  I’m still hoping for some light at the end of this very long and dreary tunnel, who knows?  We might just see it soon 😉  So I say, let there be light!

What about you?

Have you had any attic conversion?

What kind of windows did you use?

*This is a sponsored post, however all views and photos are by yours truly.