Friday, 27 September 2013

A Very good deal

Now I love a good deal I really do. I often get sucked in. I had a letter from Very offering me £15 my first £25 spend. I browsed the website as Leon needed some new wellies. Then I searched discount codes and found a £30 off when you spend £60 code! 50% off is a great deal. You do have to open a credit account, but I paid it straight away as I didn't really want a credit account.

I bought these hunter wellies in green (which they don't seem to have anymore). I bought a pair each for the boys which would have been £70 but with the £30 off they were only £20 a pair! Second hand Hunters on ebay sell for more than that!

I also opted for free delivery with collect plus! Very are definitely in my good books at the moment I think its a great deal. If you haven't already got an account with very you should check them out because they have a 60% off sale at the moment, just imagine the bargains :)

Whats the last bargain you got and have you got any codes as good as this one?

*BTW this isn't a sponsored post I just think its a blimmin' good deal!

Thursday, 26 September 2013

How much time do you spend online?

Have you ever thought about how much time in minutes or hours a day you spend on the Internet? How much does this add up over a week, month or even lifetime. I know I'm spending more and more time online for one thing or another. Even my children are spending more time online. I went to a reading meeting at school this afternoon and they have introduced a new scheme where they would like the children to start reading books and doing homework online!!

This survey charting the nation's online habits is rather interesting and completely surprising in some bits. For example did you know its more likely that we have been stalked online than not. And look what crime 37% of people in the North East are admitting to!

I think I probably spend far too much time online especially on facebook. I can also 'check' my facebook on the go, I have notifications that go straight to my phone so I know immediately if anyone has tagged me or commented on any of my photos or status. I also look through posts at night when the children are in bed. I like companies and local business' pages and often find out about sales and discount codes this way. I also use Facebook to promote my beauty business, its free and a great way to promote offers etc to a lot of people at the same time. 

I love online shopping because I really think you will get a better discount or bargain for toys and household goods. I always search google first if I am looking for a particular item for the cheapest, then I google discount codes for the that website. More often than not there will be a discount code even if it is just free delivery. I wasn't surprised to learn from the survey that most people don't bother with reviews as I don't either - I don't tend to read them or leave them.

I obviously share alot of personal information on this blog about my family and life. You will also find me on Twitter and Pinterest sharing away! At the moment I keep facebook for my 'real' friends - but who knows in the future! I really don't know how we lived without social media back in the day!

How much time do you spend online and are you addicted to social media?

*This is a PR related publication – all thoughts however, are my own.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Little Man's birthday

Wow... My little man was 5 today, I know everyone says it but I really can't quite believe how quick time goes. His little life really is flashing by.

He's such a happy boy and always has been. He loves action, superheros and lego. Here he is a six weeks old.

Today has been such a busy overwhelming day for him. He started by opening his presents at home, we got him a new bike and the new iron man nerf glove. His bike was half price from Halfords and the nerf had 25% off from Argos! I love a good discount.

He had a fun day at school and got to be the first the bring the class bear home, we had visitors all afternoon. As a family tradition we go for pub grub for dinner and it just so happened that kids eat for £1 on Tuesdays, which is an added bonus! After dinner we all came home for chocolate cake which I made yesterday! 

Super hero cake

He couldn't decide which superhero he wanted or which he liked best so we made all of them! I love seeing their faces light up when they see their cake in the morning. It really has become a tradition now that the cake is part of their presents. They don't see it the night before because it takes me ages!

Happy Birthday Toby XXX

Monday, 16 September 2013

Internet safety for kids

Since Leon won an iPad from Tate kids, my children have been much more aware of the Internet, gadgets and gaming devices. Even my two year old can quite happily work her way round the iPad. I try to download games I think they will learn from but also ones they will enjoy. Often at the end it gives them an option to upload scores etc. to Facebook or twitter. 

Whilst the younger ones can't read, Leon can. He's asked so many time what facebook is and can he 'get it'. Since he has been able to read so well it’s got me thinking about how I need to keep them safe online. For a start I've told him he can get Facebook when he's 16, another 9 years to go! I really disagree with children having profiles on Facebook and it always shocks me when parents allow it.

Fortunately, I'm not the only one

I've spoken to a few people about what they do to protect their children online, but most people don't seem to know the right approach. Here is some advice I found on Norton’s Learning Centre to get started. 

Although I have never had any problems with my children and the internet, I've heard of plenty of stories about people who have. The only precautions I take is to be with or around them whilst they are using the iPad. When they want to play games on the computer, they are educational games and I sit with them. I am happy for them to use gaming sites to be honest I just usually limit my keyword search to typing 'games for 7 year olds' into Google

I think I need to invest in some sort of security so I am not always hanging over their shoulder making sure they aren't going accessing sites that they’re not meant to have access to or watching videos not suitable for their age group. I don't think it is something they would deliberately, but you just never know what they might click on out of interest or error.

There is a lot of family friendly software out there meant to limit and monitor exactly this.  Although I think most of features and benefits might be more suited for families with older kids, it’s still useful to feel like you’re in the loop with the ability to monitor their keyword search as well as automatically blocking access to apps that are not deemed age appropriate.  Here are a few of the other features and benefits of parental control software:

  • You can set limits on how much time your kids can spend on the computer; including days and times of the day that they can be online.
Time can run away with you so quickly when you are on the computer; this would be a great feature for them (and me!)

  • You can track all the websites your kids visit or attempt to visit, and lets you block specific sites or types of sites.
This is my main worry; that they will click onto sites that they shouldn't be on by accident so I think this is such an important feature.

There are so many more great things especially if you are worried about who your children are talking to or are currently associating with. You can even link up to their phone and see what they have been texting and to whom (should you ever you wish to do so). It also lets you decide the rules with your children, which if you have stroppy teenagers, is a great idea.

What do you think of these parental control features and do you have your own rules and limitations in place already for your children?

*Disclaimer: This was a collaborative PR Post, but all opinions are my own.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Look what i did today

Today I ran a 10km. This is something I have been 'training' (I word I use loosely) for, for about 8 weeks. My sister came up with the idea a while ago, coincidentally she didn't run it in the end. I ran it with my husband and some girls from work

As a teenager I ran quite seriously and represented my county numerous times a year. However I haven't ran in a race for about 9 years and needed the challenge. 

I have tried to get out and run at least 3 times a week although towards the end the novelty of training wore off a bit and I only ended up doing 2 runs a week. I have found that running definitely doesn't come naturally to my body in my old age of 25 years! I've found it so much more difficult than used to but I'm using the excuse of having a busy lifestyle with 3 children and not the fact that I am probably 2 stone over weight :)

Although I didn't prepare as best as I could I felt ready for the run this morning. It was cold and slightly windy but dry. The course was a good varied surface and lots of nice scenery. We ran along roads, across fields, through woodland, along the canal, over iron railway bridges and through boggy mud. I'm not entirely sure what time I completed the course but I think it was about 1 hour 6mins, hopefully the times will be on the website soon.

Running along hearing my children cheer me on was so nice. I didn't realise how much it would take out of me though. I've been fit for nothing all evening and my legs are aching like mad. I've heated a hot water bottle and have in on my legs trying to ease the muscle pain! 

For some silly reason I can't wait for the next one. It must be the sense of achievement! Here's a picture of me finishing at the end. I'm all in black with the long red pony tail!

Have you done any running recently?

Friday, 13 September 2013

Be money wise

Dear Leon, my little money mad entrepreneur,

You may only be 7 but you think and talk about money like its the only thing worth living for. Ever since you started potty training you have loved money. I used to give you 10p when you did a wee on your potty because that's what worked! Last year your teacher said she couldn't understand why your couldn't add 17+3 together but you had no problem with 17p+3p. You are a great saver and your an even better negotiator and I always end up parting with my money before you part with yours.

Whilst money is always going to be a huge part of your life its not going to be the most important. This is something I want you to remember, love and happiness is what you need most. I know you will tell me you also need a Ferrari, you have done for the past 4 years, but when you get the car of your dreams I assure you, you won't get as much pleasure from it as you will your friends and family.

Now... about getting that car you want. You need to make some serious money and to achieve this you need to start by listening to other people's advice, your way my not always but the best way. Listen to other peoples ideas and thoughts. And take your time with big decisions. 

You need to save, which your already very good at, but your girlfriend or wife might not appreciate this when she's always paying for your dates. So I think as you get older you should put a set amount away each month or week. Don't forget to treat yourself for all your hard work with small things while your still saving.

And finally be sensible don't waste it on boozy nights and the latest gadgets. You only said today you would like to have two holiday next year, and so do me and daddy, but we need to spend wisely and save hard for one holiday. If you want two your going to have to be VERY savvy...

Lots of love,

P.S. STOP wobbling those teeth at every opportunity, the tooth fairy will only come when the teeth are ready to be taken.

This is my entry to think money competition. Entries need to be in by 15th September and prizes are 3 £250 shopping vouchers. Good Luck if you decide to enter!

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Toby's first weeks at school

I haven't blogged about Toby starting school until now mainly because I've been mega busy but also because i can't quite believe that he's actually started school. 

He's wanted to start school basically ever since he started pre-school. I think having an older brother already at school really helped, the transition from pre-school to school has been much easier with Toby than it ever was with Leon. 

He's never had any worries about starting school and has always looked forward to it. He tried his uniform on numerous times before the 1st day. Here's a picture of him on his first day.

Excited and pulling funny faces

They have decided to break the children gently into going to school and they do 3 weeks of half days. I personally think its too long. This week he has been in for the afternoon doing 1pm-3.15pm which is less time than they did at pre-school. I think its abit silly really but I guess its to help the teachers do their assessments aswell.

Today I picked him up from school and his teacher handed me a blackberrry phone and asked if it was mine. When I turned it over it had a picture of my husband on! It was my old phone Toby had decided to sneak into school! We had a letter yesterday to say under no circumstances mobile phones are aloud into school.... I didn't mention it to Toby as I didn't think it applied!

I was so embarrassed but he just laughs about it and finds it quite funny! Has your little one settled back into school nicely?

Monday, 2 September 2013

Madame Tussauds Blackpool

On Sunday we made the most of our last weekend before reality kicks in again. We had a day trip up to Blackpool, we went last year and the kids loved it. This year we took them to Madame Tussauds.

Dave and I went to Madame Tussauds in London and had a great time. We were both looking forward to visiting the Blackpool one. We wasn't exactly sure what the kids would make of it and was almost certain they wouldn't know many of the wax work figures. So we kept an open mind!

I think we picked a good day to go because the entrance was nice and clear and when we showed our tickets we were straight in. The staff were very friendly.

We never really explained to the children what was going to happen inside but as soon as they saw other people posing with people they joined in. They asked about people and I actually think they learnt alot about different people and professions.

As you can see they really got into the swing of things and loved copying the celebrities poses. There was other smaller activities to do around the place. Including playing drums, posing for special effects photos which were professionally done by the staff and creating your own pictures with different props. These were busy areas so we went past most of them.
There was a small soft play area and a mirrored maze, which is so much fun for all ages. The kids absolutely loved trying to find their way out without bumping into their reflection. There was also abit at the end with children's characters although I think they enjoyed that just as much as the rest. The royal family was a great hit!

I really liked the newest wax figure Bear Grylls, mainly because of the set I just thought it was much more imaginative than the figure just standing there. There was alot more questions about him and what he does. You could also have abit more fun posing with him!

It took us about an hour to go round the whole place, I think it was just the right length for children. But I think if it was just Dave and I, we would be wanting to see a little more. 

If you wanted to visit you are much better buying tickets online as they are cheaper and you get the skip past the ques if there are any. Pre-booked tickets for adults are £12.50 and £9.95 for children. A group of 4 would be £40.00 and under 3's go free. 

I wouldn't say this is a great value for money family experience, I think the childrens prices are a little high, but I would say the adult prices are good.

All in all we had a good time, I think we would probably visit again when the children are a bit older and can recognise a lot more of the faces.

*Disclaimer. All opinions are my own and I was given complementary tickets for the purpose of the review