Sunday, 27 October 2013

Love Your Gums

If there was one thing that I could change about myself it would be my teeth.  When I was young and I started to lose my baby teeth, I didn't have enough adult teeth to replace them which has left me with some gaps.  Then, vanity as a teenager saw me refuse a bridge (as to me it just meant I would have a false tooth) which has meant my teeth have moved.  Now I hate my smile and I would give anything to go back and have that bridge so that I could have a smile just like this.

I've always gone to the dentist regularly.  I remember going when I was young and it never bothered me.  I had the obligatory train-track brace as a teenager, but that was fine.  But as I've got older I seem to have developed a little bit of fear around going.  It's something about not being able to swallow while my mouth is open for long periods.  Then a recent bad experience with root canal treatment has left me really afraid.

I'm sure I'm not the only one.  A bit of tooth pain and I'm immediately petrified of the thought of going to the dentist other than for my usual check up.  I know it's important, but I do tend to delay it for as long as possible.  I figure that if I look after my teeth well myself by brushing a flossing regularly, then it's not that bad if I don't book an appointment straight away.....

I was recently sent a tube of the new Oral-B Pro-Expert Premium Gum Protection toothpaste to try.  I always thought that all toothpaste was the same so didn't expect this to be any different.  So I tried it, and I loved it!  It gives me that lovely clean feeling of just having been to the hygienist.  You know, when they polish your teeth and they feel really smooth afterwards.  It's also really fresh, but without that overly minty taste that some other brands leave.  I am very impressed and I will definitely be buying more.

Oral B are running a campaign to promote the importance of healthy gums.  I've only really suffered with bleeding gums in pregnancy, at the same time that even brushing my teeth would make me gag.  It wasn't a pleasant time.  I kept brushing though as I know the risks of gum disease, and I certainly didn't want to lose any more seeing as I didn't have enough to start with!  I do think that pregnancy did affect my teeth and gums as I seem to have had a few more problems since having my children.  I wish Oral-B Pro-Expert Premium Gum Protection toothpaste had been around them as I'm certain it would have helped.

This post is an entry for BritMums’ #ORALBLoveYourGums Challenge sponsored by Oral-B, promoting healthy gums – something especially important for pregnant women. Get tips and advice on

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Save money by switching your energy supplier! [Infographic]

If you're anything like me you'll be looking for ways to save money at the moment.  Times are hard and I check every month that I'm getting me best deal on all my bills, especially the household ones.  This infographic shows us how much we can save simply by switching our energy supplier.  I'll definitely be checking out whether I can get a better price.

 Switch Energy Supplier Infographic
Brought to you by Ovo Energy – the cheaper, greener and simpler energy supplier

Monday, 7 October 2013

My Kids have Captured the Colour

My boys have always loved taking photos so they were really excited when I told them they were going to get a new camera to take part in a competition.  It did have to be a joint effort between Zac (7) and Ethan (6) as I would have had tears and tantrums if I'd had to choose between them.

So here are their photos:

Green - we live on the edge of the Brecon Beacons so on a day out it seemed very appropriate to stop at the top for Zac to take a photo.  I just love this one with all the different shades of green.  I was also very impressed - I don't think I could have taken a better photo.

Yellow - we went to a food festival last weekend and Ethan headed straight for the cheeses to take photos. The smell was a bit too strong for me so I stood back while he went for the perfect shot.  The stall holder did wonder what we were doing, but Ethan won her over with his smile.

Red: this is Ethan again, this time with the red chillies and salsa.  The boy really does love his food and I love how the colour of those chillies.

White - on another drive over the mountain Zac saw the clouds and thought this would represent white really well.  There was nowhere to stop so he had to take the photo from the car.  I love that the sky is lit up beneath the clouds.

Blue: on a day trip to Legoland we visited Star Wars Miniland where Zac took this very blue photo for the competition.  I have absolutely no idea what it is, though I'm guessing I probably should as I live in a house full of boys!

Both boys took some amazing photos of every colour of the rainbow and they had great fun in the process. I've also got lots of photos of random people and close ups of me (not good and will be deleted).

This is our competition entry for Travel Supermarket Kids Capture the Colour Competition.  Zac and Ethan received a camera in order to take part.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Tips for an affordable family holiday (Guest Post)

You've trawled the web looking for the best deals, packed the dog off to kennels and little Laura's already looking forward to writing a story all about it when she gets back to school. Yep, you guessed it, we're talking family holidays.

Despite the leaner times, a healthy number of people are expected to get away from it all this year. Explore Research found that 82%  were 'very likely' or 'quite likely' to holiday overseas in 2013. Unsurprisingly, the study revealed that 55% of respondents were most concerned about the costs associated.

So, how can you make holidays more frugal?

Here are a few tips:

Where to go
Whether you're seeking a relaxing sun-filled break, or a city trip bursting with family activities, it is certainly possible to plan to an enjoyable holiday and keep within budget.
Check out this list of budget family locations for 2013:
·         Some Eastern European destinations, such as those in the Euro could be more appealing, including Bulgaria, Estonia and Slovakia
·         For skiing, how about Slovenia, a trendy destination for winter fun? The Slovenia Tourist Board has a list of resorts in different price ranges.
·         After a beach holiday? Then good auld Spain is recommended by The Lonely Planet. It may not be off the beaten path, but over the years it’s remained affordable and enjoyable for British families seeking sunshine. The Costa del Sol is top of the list for bargain resorts.
·         Think about going long haul? If you kids are a little older and you can tackle a longer flight, places like Cancun, Bali, Vietnam or Sri Lanka may command expensive flights, though dining and accommodation costs are usually great value.

Have plans, will travel?
Arrange your flights as soon as possible as most budget airlines don’t discount their flights at the last minute. Book accommodation either very early, or very late, as prices are often discounted at these times.
Check out the dates you're travelling and make sure they aren't during a big festival or event, when accommodation is likely to be more expensive. Prices can rocket during the school holidays, when most other families like to make a great escape
Shop around for the travel money rate. Rates across providers can vary considerably, so it could be worthwhile doing your research.
How you will get there? Can you take the train or drive instead of flying? Check out Eurostar andRaileurope to try and find some competitive fares. You could also make a ferry journey part of your trip, or choose your holiday based on the cheapest flight available. It pays to be flexible!

Where to stay?
Rather than splash out on a hotel, where you have to pay for expensive ‘extras’ and meals, hire a villa which can accommodate more than one family. By splitting the cost, this approach could work out much cheaper. If you're a small group, then why not camp, home swap or rent an apartment rather than book a hotel? Try Airbnb for accommodation all over the world and for those on a budget.

Spending wisely….
You'll want to spend your hard-earned travel money as economically as you can. When in ‘holiday mode’, it’s easy for expenses to pile up. Many of us like to splash out on holidays, which is why planning parts of your trip in advance could help you cut back on unexpected expenses.
Here are a few money saving tips to keep in mind during when you travel.
·         Research free attractions and museums, or visit the smaller venues that might charge less.
·         Buy a city pass, like the Copenhagen card, that gets you inclusive travel and entrance fees.
·         Can you buy restaurant vouchers in advance? Many restaurants are signed up to daily deal websites and you can book your dates before you go.
·         Limit the number of meals out. Take a picnic so you can enjoy food in novel places, whilst enjoying the views.
·         Try walking, cycling or public transport rather than a hire car.

A family holiday on a budget does not have to be a ‘budget holiday’. As you can see, there are many ways to save money and still do all the things you and your family love.

This guest post was written on behalf of Sainsbury's Bank’s Money Matters blog. The views expressed here are of the author and not of Sainsbury's Bank. Though it may include tips and information on affordable family holidays, it does not constitute advice and should not be used to make any financial decisions. Sainsbury's Bank accepts no responsibility for the opinions of external contributors or any external websites included in this piece. All information provided was correct at date of publication.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Learning to ride a bike

I've been struggling a lot with my blog lately.  I've got about ten posts in draft but I can't seem to finish one.  I feel a bit envious of bloggers who appear to find it easy to write and manage to get posts published every day.  I've thought about giving up because it's just something else to add to my seemingly never ending list of things to do.

Then today, something happened that made me want to write.  Ethan, my 5 year old, rode his bike for the first time.  He can only go in a straight line, and can't stop without falling off, but he rode it.

It reminded me that I originally started my blog as a diary of their childhood.  Something to remind me of these stressful, tiring and utterly amazing days of them learning and growing.

I'm joining in with this weeks #CountryKids post over on Coombe Mill

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Monday, 29 July 2013

AEG UltraCaptic - The Final Review

I have been using the UltraCaptic for a few weeks now and I feel that I've put it through its paces so it's time to give an update on how we're getting on.  To cut a long story short AEG promises powerful multi cyclonic suction and easier emptying and that is exactly what I got.

The digital display makes it easy to see the power level and it's really easy to increase, or decrease, the suction depending on the floor type.  There are five power levels to choose from, and the suction is incredible, even on low power.  I had to turn it right down on a few of my carpets as it was threatening to suck them right up!

The telescopic handle makes cleaning those hard to reach areas much easier (especially for a vertically challenged person such as myself). 

I can finally reach into the top corners without using a chair!

It comes with three different nozzles: the AeroPro Silent nozzle, which really does reduce noise levels, a Turbo nozzle making pet hairs easy to pick up, and a Parketto nozzle which is great for hard floors. There is also a brilliantly designed 3-in-1 tool featuring a brush, crevice nozzle and an upholstery nozzle (I found out what it was called!) all in one little tool. The AeroPro Silent nozzle has side brushes which clean right up to the skirting boards, reducing the need to use the crevice nozzle and, more importantly, reducing my cleaning time, which is really what most of us are after.

The AeroPro Ergo handle made it very easy to handle and I was able to push it around with a lot less effort than an ordinary vacuum cleaner.  It is very easy to maneuver and glides around on its soft wheels. You can also store it vertically or horizontally as there are parking clips on the side and back of the cleaner.The HEPA 13allergy filtration makes it great for anyone suffering from an allergy and this filter is removable and washable
Parked horizontally
Parked vertically

Hygienic Hepa Filter is great for allergy sufferers and it cleans the air

The compact body means it fits into small places and I found it really easy to clean my car after our trip away.  Three children in the back of a car for three hours meant there was one big mess!

It fits perfectly in the back of my car

I wanted to see how quickly I could whizz around my house changing between different floor surfaces such as carpet, lino, tiles and laminate flooring.  I was amazed when I maned to do the whole house in 15 minutes, saving me at least 10 minutes on my normal cleaning time.  The AeroPro Silent nozzle managed to clean right up to the skirting boards and got into the corners so there was no need to keep changing the nozzle like I normally do which saved me loads of time.  The flexible nozzle was able to lie quite flat so I was about to clean under furniture easily.

I actually worked out that I can do the laminate floors downstairs in less that five minutes, making it perfect for running around quickly before guests arrive.

I did get my oldest son to help out with his room and here is what he thought.

His room is quite small and he has to get under his mid sleeper but the UltraCaptic did a brilliant job, even if it was a bit too powerful for him.  Maybe I should have turned it down a bit.

What is really great is that I am finally able to clean when the children are in bed thanks to the AeroPro Silent nozzle.  This is definitely needed as what is the oint in cleaning when the children are still awake?  Within 10 minutes I would have to do it all over again.

What I love about it is the Compact and Go system.  Emptying the vacuum cleaner is a bit like putting petrol in the car for me.  It's something that has to be done but I will leave it until the very last minute to do.  It's boring and tedious and to be honest, I wish that someone else would do it for me.  But that was before I had the UltraCaptic.  It's so easy to do and a bit gadgety (I don't think that's even a word) and that it makes me want to have a go.  Though I have shown hubby how to do it for when the novelty wears off.

Here is how it's done....

So that's it really.  I love the design.  It has fantastic suction.  I get my vacuum cleaning done much faster than normal.  It has every gadget that I could possibly need.  I couldn't really ask for more.  Thanks AEG.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Project 365: Days 188 - 194

Day 188: It was so hot today that we got the paddling pool out.  The boys thought is was brilliant and they jumped straight in.  Even Ollie enjoyed himself.

Day 189: It was a real struggle to get Ollie to bed tonight.  He kept coming down and when I told him off he sat at the bottom of the stairs in a bit of a strop.

Day 190: My pumpkins are growing! I am growing quite a few bits of veg this year, but the pumpkins fascinate me the most.  The plants are getting really big and I can't believe all of this has grown from one seed.  Fingers crossed we'll have a pumpkin for Halloween.

Day 191: Ollie was in a funny mood today and was dancing around with his socks on his hands, making me laugh. 

Day 192: I appear to have a Harry Potter in the garden.  Ethan does love dressing up.

Day 193: Ollie was hiding his eyes behind his hands and giggling hysterically when I said peepo.  

Day 194: A rare photo of Zac, just because I don't seem to get as many of him as he's getting older.  He is growing up so fast.

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Beach fun with National Trust #50Things and giveaway

As the weather has been so lovely lately we decided to take a trip to the coast, and what better place to go that the beautiful Rhosilli Bay which in on the South Gower coast.  If you've ever been there you'll know what I mean.  If you haven't here's some pictures of this fabulous place.

The coastline is owned by the National Trust so it was also the perfect place to go to catch up on a few of our 50 Things activities.

There were lots of caves and the boys even manged to explore a few.  My five year old was straight in there but my seven year old made me laugh as he was afraid of everything.  There was a really strange noise coming out of this cave though so we didn't stay too long.  I still don't know what it was.

Outside the cave there was an actual bonafide shipwreck.  It's called Helvetia; a ship wrecked in 1887.  The boys didn't believe me at first but I showed them the netting and part of the ship that is visible when the tide is out.  Isn't that amazing?  It's not often you get to see a shipwreck.

Then we had a very long walk down to the sea to jump over some waves.  We all had great fun splashing around in the sea, and even though my 2 year old was a bit wary to start with, he soon joined in with the fun. After getting soaked we decided it was time to collect some water for the moat around the sandcastle that we were planning to build, so we got that and headed off back up the beach.

We spent the next few hours climbing up the rocks, building sandcastles and some cool sand cars.  The boys had one each (you can see those in the first photo at the top.

We didn't manage to catch any crabs today, so that'll be something to do on our next trip to Rhosilli.  I'm sure we'll be back there before long.

Would you like to win a family pass to a National Trust property in Wales just in time for the summer holidays?   Just tell me where your favourite beach is in the comments section below, and don't forgot to say that you've entered in Rafflecopter.  Good luck.

You can find out more about National Trust Wales properties on Twitter and Facebook
 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Project 365: Days 181-187


Day 181: Day trip to St Fagans - Museum of Natural History.  I've always loved St Fagans.  I used to go there on school trips when I was in younger so we decided to take the boys there.  We had a great day, even if it was a bit cold.

Day 182: After school fun - what's better than bouncing on the trampoline on a warm summer evening.

Day 183: Sleepy - Ollie fell fast asleep on me not long after I got home from work.  He must have been a busy boy.

Day 184: Drinks - I love watching him drinking out of a normal cup as he concentrates so much.

Day 185: Dinosaurs - Ollie asked me to build him a dinosaur track instead of his usual train track.

Day 185: Teddy Bears Picnic - We went along to the local Teddy Bears Picnic and Ollie couldn't believe his eyes when Mickey Mouse turned up.  He had a big cuddle with him.

Day 186: Another sleepy one - it was so hot today that even the children didn't stay outside for long.  I went in to find Ollie had made himself a bed on the rug in amongst his trains and track.

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Thursday, 4 July 2013

AEG UltraCaptic Review

I applied to test the AEG UltraCaptic and was extremely excited when I found out that I had been successful.  It's not that I love cleaning, in fact it's quite the contrary.  It's just that I'm on an eternal quest for find things that will make cleaning easier because, let's face it, it's something that has to be done.

When it arrived I was a bit worried about taking it out of the box.  After all, in my head I was imagining a cleaner that was going to change my life and what if it didn't live up to that?  I didn't want to be let down.  But I had to find out.

So I opened the box to find a machine that certainly looks the part.

I do admit to just looking at it for quite some time.  I did touch it once or twice too.  I eventually realised that I actually needed to take it out of the box and get it set up.  There were a few parts to put together and I checked the manual to ensure that I did it correctly, but it wasn't too difficult.

One thing did baffle me though.  Where were all the attachments that you normally get with a cleaner?  All that was there was this brush.

Then I noticed that on the brush it said 3 in 1.  So another quick check of the manual shows to attach it the other way around for the nozzle.  Very clever.

And the third?  Just open the nozzle out for the other attachment (I have no idea what to call this so please let me know if you do).

It is ingenious.  No more attachments that always go missing as this attaches to the UltraCaptic so it's always available when you need it.  I love it!

So I admit that it looks good.  But what does it claim to do?

The product summary on the AEG says that is "provides powerful cleaning, and cleaner and easier emptying".   The UltraCaptic compacts the dust before emptying "allowing for a controlled disposal".  I do like the sound of that.  I don't know how many times I've emptied previous vacuum cleaners only for half the dust to go flying area meaning that I needed to vacuum again!

It's got HEPA 13 allergy filtration that lets out nothing but fresh air, so is perfect is someone in the family suffers from an allergy.

It's got an AeroPro silent nozzle which claims to ensure "quick, spotless results" on different surfaces.  Hopefully it will be quieter than other vacuum cleaners that I've owned as the children always complain that I'm disturbing them when I clean, and god forbid that I ever try and vacuum when they're in bed.

It also claims to be easy to maneuver and can be stored both upright and horizontally.

So does it live up to these claims?  You'll have to find out in my next post as all the excitement of opening and putting together the UltraCaptic has exhausted me so I'm way too tired to do any cleaning today.

Look out for posts from the other AEG testers on the AEG Facebook page.  One of us is going to be crowned AEG Ambassador.

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Project 365: Days 174 - 180

Day 174: Asleep on the landing
Day 175: Made it to his bedroom but he's asleep on the floor
Day 176: I want his eyelashes!
Day 177: Big smiles
Day 178: Lego - it's a robot :)
Day 179: School Fayre
Day 180: Kickboxing grading

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Project 365: Days 167 - 173

Day 167: Cuddles - This is Ollie with my mother and it is special as Ollie has had an 'issue' with my mother for some time so there aren't many photos of them together.  As he's getting a older he's growing out out this so hopefully there'll be plenty more photos like this one to come.

Day 168: Asleep - I spent all day in work so it's a sleeping child photo for today.  I could sit and watch my boys sleep for hours.

Day 169: Strawberries - I'm still practicing my macro shots and this is one of my strawberry plants that I've got in hanging baskets.  I'm so excited that they've flowered.

Day 170: Army - Another close up; this one of an army of figures that Ethan set up in his bedroom.

Day 171: Wine - I had a night out with the boys and got a little bit drunk on Rosé.  It was a great night.

Day 172: Trains - Another train track that Ollie got me to make for him.  I'm quite pleased with this one as it has two crossings and two bridges.

Day 173: Cake - We went shopping to Ikea and Ollie insisted on stopping in the café to have a chocolate muffin.  I can't say that I blame him.  It was very nice.

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Review: Kärcher Steam Cleaner

I am the first to admit that I don't like cleaning.  I like my house to look presentable, but tend to ignore things like the skirting boards (no-one ever looks down right?) and my oven only gets cleaned when I remember (which isn't often).  I always have a massive range of cleaning products in my cupboard, most of which I hate using because they make me cough, or smell horrible.

I was recently contacted by Kärcher asking me if I would like to review one of their products, and I jumped at the chance as 1) I had always fancied trying a steam cleaner and 2) it was time for some Spring cleaning and I was hoping to make the job as painless as possible.

When the steam cleaner arrived I was ridiculously excited.  I didn't really know what to expect as I'd never used one before.  It was extremely easy to put together as only the wheels had to be attached, and after quick read of the manual I figured out all the attachments and where they went.  I received the SC 2500C and it came with:

  • a steam gun
  • detail nozzle
  • round brush
  • hand nozzle
  • hand nozzle terry cloth cover
  • 2 extension tubes
  • floor nozzle
  • terry floor cloth

When it's all put together it's very small and neat as all the attachments have a holder, making it very easy to store

 The manual contains the instructions in lots of different languages, so even though it looks a bit intimidating, only eight of the pages are in English.  I like to know what I'm doing so read all of the instructions (much to my husband's amusement) before I got started.

At first, I was really worried about the children being around when I was cleaning, but I soon realised that as long as the spray wasn't directed towards them it was harmless.  In fact, my youngest son was suffering from croup at the time, and the steam seemed to really help him. Bonus!

The first job to be done was my oven.  I have been really worried about posting these photos as I was embarrassed by my obvious domestic sluttery, but  I am putting my embarrassment to one side to show you just how good this steam cleaner is.

The photo at the top left shows my oven door before it was cleaned (I know, it's horrible. Can I just say that I do cook a lot!), and then the photo next to it show it after being cleaned with the Kärcher steam cleaner.  I never knew it could be so clean!  Look at the reflection of the cupboards above it.  I was completely amazed.  Now, we did need to put a bit of elbow grease (as if it needed any more grease!) into it.  I'd let it build up into this state so it took a bit of work to clean it off.  Of course, if you use another person to clean it (as shown in the bottom picture) then less elbow grease will be needed from you).

We have decided to steam clean the oven once a month so this doesn't happen again.  Hopefully, next time it will be a bit easier to clean.

My next task was the tiles in the bathroom.  We dump all the children's bath toys on a tiled area next to the bath, and as a result all the grouting has turned brown.  I've tried everything to get it off but nothing works, so I thought I'd give the steam cleaner a go.  You can see the result for yourself.

I used the detail nozzle and brush and it worked a dream.  Most of the stains came off and I think a few more uses will remove even more.  I've showed this photo to all my friends and family and now they all want a steam cleaner too.

These were our two main areas to clean with the steam cleaner and I am so impressed with the results.  It made light work of some of my cleaning, though  I did have to put a bit of effort in in some areas, and it removed the need for nasty chemicals and lots of scrubbing.

We did, of course, try it out on just about anything that crossed our path (hubby even managed to take some paint off our kitchen wall - the manual does warn against that!)  It cleaned up our patio doors brilliantly, made my kitchen tiles sparkle, and it was great on my leather furniture.  I used the hand nozzle with cloth cover to clean all of my furniture and it was so easy and looked great afterwards.  That's a job that normally takes me an hour so it was great to be able to get it done in ten minutes.  My faux suede dining chairs also got a bit of a freshen up.

So is there anything I would change?  Well, I think that for the price there should be more Terry cloths included as it would have been nice to have had a spare available when one was in the wash.  Also, something to wrap the power cord around would be good (the is a small compartment to put it in but I struggled to get in in there properly.

But the positives far outweigh any negatives.  It's small and lightweight making it easy to both store and carry around the house (it's also got wheels so easy to pull around after you), it's brilliant at cleaning lots of different surfaces without the need to use any chemicals, and it also helps reduce allergens around the house.

It has been independently tested by Allergy UK, who concluded that the steam cleaner removes the following:

- 99.99% of House dust mites ¹
- 99.83% of Cat allergens ¹
- 99.01% of Dog allergens ¹
- 99.37% of Pollen allergens ¹
- 100% of Fungal spores ¹

¹ Kärcher Steam Cleaner was tested according to Allergy UK protocol AUK-008SF 2011.

I would recommend this steam cleaner to anyone, but especially if you've got children and/or pets.  Now I've got one I wonder how I've managed for so long without one.

Disclaimer: I received the steam cleaner to review but all views contained in this post are my own.  I have included the press release from Kärcher below:

Join the Kärcher steam revolution!
Clean deeper without chemicals with the new steam cleaning range

For environmentally-friendly, quick and convenient cleaning, look no further than Kärcher’s new range of steam cleaners, the ideal solution to all your home cleaning needs.

Kärcher, the world’s leading cleaning specialists have expertly designed their range of steam cleaners to revolutionise home cleaning, tackling even the most stubborn of stains with professional results and abolishing the need for hours of endless scrubbing!

Kärcher’s steam cleaners can be used throughout the house and are engineered to clean deeper without chemicals, making them a natural and environmentally-friendly solution that provides a family-friendly alternative from chemical cleaners that aggravate allergies and are harmful to children.

The range of steamers are proven to cut through everyday dirt and stains to leave your surfaces sparkling in seconds, making light work of tough, baked-on oven grease, stubborn carpet stains, limescale and mould on bathroom tiles as well everyday dirt on laminate floorings.

Kärcher has a steam cleaner to suit all cleaning needs, including;

The SC 1.020 is ideal for floors, tiles, grouting, work surfaces, taps, mirrors, shower screens and much more. With an innovative new ‘lamellae’ floor tool, it cleans up to 35% more effectively than traditional bristled floor tool. RRP £129.99

Designed with two tanks, the SC 2.500C not only tackles the jobs that the SC 1.020 does but it also includes a removable and refillable tank for non-stop steam, so you can finish those hated cleaning tasks even faster. RRP £229.99.

The SC 5.800C is an evolution of the two tank design in the SC2.500, with the addition of a continuous steam flow control and  a Vapo-Hydro water function (for instant hot water), as well as a detachable steam hose allowing use of the steamer with a Kärcher steam iron. It also comes complete with a floor cleaning kit, hand tool, detail nozzle, round brush, and power nozzle. RRP £349.99.

Whatever your cleaning needs, join the steam revolution and see how Kärcher can transform the way you clean your home forever. For more information on how Kärcher’s new products can take the bore out of chores visit

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Project 365: Days 160 - 166

Day 160: Shipwreck - we went to Rhosilli Beach which is part of the National Trust coastline and had an amazing day. The weather was beautiful, we jumped over waves and checked out all the caves, and even saw an actual shipwreck. How cool is that?

Day 161: Reading - Ethan loved to read and tries to read anything and everything. He's in bed reading a Batman comic and doing the puzzles.

Day 162: Peppa Pig - we got a personalised book to review and it's now one of Ollie's favourites as he can't believe that it's actually him in the book.

Day 163: Who cares if it's raining? - my friends came for lunch and the children decided that they would like to go out to play in the rain. Ollie loved jumping on the trampoline wearing only his t-shirt.

Day 164: Monsters! - Ollie loved the Lego monster that his dad made for him and went around the housing roaring at anyone in sight.

Day 165: Girls weekend - I went on an overnight stay at a spa in Birmingham with my friends and it was amazing.  To be honest, it was more about the food, wine and gossip and less about the treatments for me.  And the food was totally amazing. This is my extremely chocolatey dessert.

Day 166: Home Sweet Home - I loved my night away and having time for myself, but I did moss my boys and it was lovely to get home and see them.  There were lots of cuddles.

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Review: Personalised Peppa Pig book from Penwizard

My youngest son is following in the footsteps of his older brothers and has developed a love for all things Peppa Pig.  Over the last few years we seem to have built up quite a collection of Peppa Pig goodies, and I've even joked that the children's slightly English accent is due to them watching Peppa too much on TV.

Ollie is two and a half and at the age where everything is exciting.  He's constantly learning and becoming more and more independent, and also very assertive it showing his likes and dislikes.  He's also really hard to buy for because we've already got most things handed down from his older brothers.

So when Penwizard contacted me and asked if I would like to review one of their personalised Peppa Pig books I jumped at the chance.  I had a look on their site and found that there were four books to choose from: Swimming, Playgroup, Birthday Party and Christmas Party.  I chose the one where they go swimming as Ollie is a bit afraid of the water and I thought that reading this book might help him start to think about going swimming and having fun in the water.

The ordering process is very straightforward.  You can choose between paperback or hardback and then go on to create your own book.  Once you've chosen whether it's for a little boy or girl, you then go on and choose hairstyle, hair colour, skin colour and eye colour.  You can even add glasses.  The picture on screen changes as you choose your options so you can see exactly what your character will look like.

You can then add the name for the front cover of the book and a personalised which will appear on the first page.


The book arrived very quickly and was extremely good quality.  I chose a paperback book which has a lovely glossy cover and is a really good size (it looks about the size of an A4 piece of paper). The story follows the style of the TV programme, and I even found myself trying to read as if I were the narrator!  My child's name is used throughout the book and also it the write up on the back cover.  
Ollie absolutely loved it.  His older brothers were also really excited to see his name in the book which pleased Ollie even more.  He kept saying "that's Ollie, that's me" with a  look of pure joy on his face.  I think he's at a really good age to appreciate this book, and it will also last for some time yet.  It's more than just a book; it's something that we will treasure as it's been created especially for Ollie.

Overall, I think this is a fantastic gift for any Peppa (or George) fan and perfect for the child who's got everything.

Disclaimer: I was given the book to review but all opinions are my own.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Project 365: Days 153 - 159

Day 153: Guilty! - I caught my little one playing in the dirt.  He looked very guilty when he saw me but I was quite impressed that he'd stayed away from my plants.

Day 154: Little house - O decided that he wanted his cereal in his playhouse.  I suppose we all need some time on our own sometimes,

Day 155: Grow it - I am really pleased with how well my plants are growing. These re my tomato plants and they're looking great.

Day 156: Getting up close - I get photo envy when I look through all the amazing photos in Project 365 so I've been practising my close ups.  I have to admit that it's been taken on my phone because I can't use my camera.  I suppose that's the next thing to master.

Day 157: Train track - O will use absolutely anything as a train track and today it was his seesaw.  He spent ages running his trains up and down it.

Day 158: Say cheese! - It was a beautiful day today so O and I spent most of it in the garden.  He decided to put some sun tan lotion on himself, but most of it ended up on his nose. I wasn't allowed to wipe it off.

Day 159: Another hot and sunny day but the boys were in and out.  On one of their cooling down periods in the house they decided to build some LEGO robots.  This is the police version.

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky