Lunchbox Inspiration with the #HartleysYourLunchbox Challenge

As the summer holidays are drawing to a close my thoughts turn to getting organised for the new school year ahead, Daisy will be eligible for a free school meal as she begins foundation stage 2 but I still want her to experience having a packed lunch so I’ve decided that on a Friday she can take her own lunch from home.

Britmums and Hartley’s are challenging bloggers to share their tips and inspiration for filling our children’s lunchboxes with quick, easy and nutritious food.

Hartley’s are celebrating back to school by offering you the chance to claim your own exclusive lunchbox which comes with two sticker sheets one with the alphabet on so your child can personalise their lunchbox. You will need to collect 12 special edition green lids from across the No Added Sugar Jelly Pots (115g) range to claim, you can find out more about the promotion at www.hartleysfruit.co.uk .

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I personally like to keep my lunchbox ideas simple, affordable and realistic here are some of my top tips.

  • Stick to what you know your child will eat but don’t be afraid to slowly introduce new foods just like you would at meal times at home, to keep this affordable buy loose fruits and vegetables and trial sized packs of products until you know your child will eat it.
  • Use sandwich squares or wraps if your child struggles with full sized sandwiches, I find these are great for both savoury and sweet fillings.

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  • Invest in some small lid containers and try experimenting with some chopped mixed fresh fruit (add a drop of lemon juice to avoid discolouration).
  • Add a sweet but healthy treat like a Hartley’s No Added Sugar Jelly Pot or a handful of homemade popcorn.
  • Having a fun and colourful lunchbox can help, bright colours and stickers appeal to children and make lunch time more enjoyable.

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  • If you want to avoid sending juice with their lunchbox you could add a slice of lemon, lime or orange to their water bottle for a healthier alternative.
  • Mini rice cakes or pretzels are a great alternative to crisps, you could also try mini breadsticks with a little pot of hummus.
  • Use Pinterest (search lunchbox ideas) and Instagram (use #lunchboxideas) to find inspiration, there are so many ideas for simple, fast and healthy packed lunches.

I hope my tips have given you some ideas and inspiration if you have any of your own please leave me a comment I love hearing from you.

This post is an entry for Britmums #HartleysYourLunchbox Linky Challenge, sponsored by Hartley’s Jelly www.hartleysfruit.co.uk .

Angela xx

 

 

Look In My Letterbox

I don’t have much to show you this week but with the two fabulous wins I’ve had this week I really can’t complain about the lack of post, you can read about one of my amazing wins on my Word of the Week post and I will tell you about the other below.

Prizes

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I’ve really enjoyed getting back into reading this year so I’ve been entering competitions for books that look exciting, I won this from a one of the book blogs that I follow it’s been translated and sounds like a gritty read.

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The day after my huge win this letter arrived from Real People magazine to say I had won £150 in one of their puzzle competitions, I’m over the moon and can’t wait to buy a few treats with the cheque.

Reviews

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I haven’t reviewed anything on Amazon lately but accepted these bulbs as we are in the process of swapping all our bulbs over to more economical ones.

So that’s all for this week, hopefully I will be back next week with some more lovely things to show you.

Have you had anything nice in the post this week ? leave me a comment I love to hear from you.

Angela xx

Word of the Week – Win

On Wednesday we had planned to meet up with some friends at the park for an afternoon play date, I woke up feeling a little yucky I’ve not been sleeping very well and the heat wasn’t helping. I felt like staying home and if I’m honest the last thing I wanted to be was sociable but I pulled my socks up and went anyway, as we reached the park a bird pooped on me and let me tell you it was that big I thought it might have been a squirrel. Instead of heading home I rolled my sleeves right up and got on with it.

The children had a great time playing with their friends on the park it was a beautiful day and we all know those have been few and far between lately. After having a giggle at my misfortune my friends remarked that it was lucky for a bird to poop on you and that I would win the lottery and you know what they weren’t that far off the mark with what happened next.

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The children and I headed home and Jake took his afternoon nap, I didn’t check my emails until late afternoon and when I did I had the most wonderful surprise awaiting me. I’ve been entering consumer competitions for almost 15 years now it’s a wonderful hobby that has brought me so many wonderful prizes and experiences over the years but what I won on Wednesday blew me away.

Dreams have been running a weekly competition over the summer and I won on week 6 which was £8000 worth of goodies, here’s what I will receive

  1. Bedroom makeover (£4,000 to spend at Dreams)
  2. Samsung 55″ Smart TV
  3. Sonos Playbar Home Cinema Sound Bar
  4. Apple Ipad Air 64GB
  5. Nikon Coolpix bridge camera
  6. Bose® SoundLink™ On-Ear Bluetooth Headphones with Mic/Remote
  7. Michael Kors Handbag
  8. KitchenAid Artisan Cook Processo

I wish you could all have seen my reaction to that email, I’m still in shock and of course delighted and so so grateful to have won.

This weeks word of the week couldn’t be anything but win, I’m linking up as usual with Jocelyn at The Reading Residence .

 

The Reading Residence

 

Do you enter competitions ? what’s the best win you have ever had ? leave me a comment I love hearing from you.

Angela xx

I’m The Mama Who….

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I’m the Mama who was young, naive and impulsive.

I’m the Mama who cared too much about what other people thought.

I’m the Mama who was unsociable.

I’m the Mama who sat on the sidelines watching and never joined in.

I’m the Mama who got cross and raised her voice in frustration too many times.

I’m the Mama who rushed little hands and feet.

I’m the Mama who isn’t in any photo’s because I cared too much about how I looked.

I’m the Mama who had little patience.

I’m the Mama who organised, supervised but never played.

I’m the Mama who was sad inside.

I’m the Mama who was sorry.

I’m the Mama who has regrets.

I’m the Mama who got a second chance……

I’m the Mama who asked for help.

I’m the Mama who learned her lesson.

I’m the Mama who knows children don’t stay little for long.

I’m the Mama who tries harder every day.

I’m the Mama who puts fun first.

I’m the Mama who listens.

I’m the Mama who doesn’t rush.

I’m the Mama who poses for photo’s.

I’m the Mama who dances and sings no matter who is watching.

I’m the Mama who doesn’t care what anyone else thinks of me.

I’m the Mama who knows she is so lucky.

I’m the Mama who will always be here.

I’m the Mama who loves fiercely.

I’m the Mama who laughs.

I’m the Mama who is truly grateful…..

This post is for all my babies who I love with all my heart despite my failings, because of you every day I am a better person.

Angela x

 

 

A Picnic At Tatton Park And A Bibetta Lunch Bag Review

Jake was recently sent a lunch bag from Bibetta to review and as we had ‘have a picnic’ on our Summer bucket list I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to test it out. On Sunday we drove to Tatton Park it’s close to home and is a fantastic park with lots to see and do and as a bonus they are celebrating 100 years of Roald Dahl.

The lunch bag from Bibetta is made from washable neoprene and comes in a variety of fun colours and designs, Jake chose the blue fish design. I really like the easy open zip and soft grip handle which are perfect for his little hands. The lunch bag has lots of room and is naturally insulating and can be washed by hand or popped in the washing machine which I think is fantastic, no more crusty corners.

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Once we arrived at the park we spent a while on the huge adventure playground before setting off to find a nice spot on the grass to eat our lunch, we found the perfect place underneath one of the ancient trees that populate the whole of the parkland the weather wasn’t great but the rain stayed off and we still had lots of fun.

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We all tucked in to the picnic, when our bellies were full we relaxed under the tree for a while before setting off to visit the farm where we saw lots of animals and played on an adventure forest trail complete with den building and Mr Fox’s hidden den.

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Leaving the farm we headed to find an ice cream van so the children could indulge in a good old fashioned 99 ice cream, much to my frugal dismay these now cost £2.50 each ! but they were thoroughly enjoyed.

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We decided not to visit the garden or the mansion this time as we were all pretty exhausted, Jake still has an afternoon nap and he was starting to flag so we quickly stopped by the stable yard where we took photo’s with the BFG and sat in Roald Dahl’s ideas hut, I would love a writing hut in my own garden.

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We had such a wonderful day and will be visiting again before the end of Summer so we can squeeze a few more picnics in before the seasons change.

If you would like more information about the range of lunch bags then take a look at the Bibetta website you can also like them over on Facebook to keep up with the latest products, fun and news.

Have you been on any picnics recently ? leave me a comment below I love to hear from you.

Angela xx

*we were sent the Bibetta lunch bag for the purpose of review all opinions and photo’s are my own*

 

Now You Are Seventeen

Seventeen years ago today I gave birth to a 8 lb 6 oz beautiful baby boy, he was the only baby I have gone in to labour and given birth to naturally, my only pregnancy that went smoothly and the only baby whose sex I didn’t know until he was born. Today he’s grown into a handsome young man who I couldn’t be prouder of him and I want to use my little corner of the internet to celebrate.

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Scott is such an easy going laid back chap, he studies hard at college and will soon be applying for university and I just know he has an amazing future ahead of him. I don’t see him as much as I would like to but understand that he has his own life to lead now, he has friends and a boyfriend and his college life and I want him to enjoy and take every opportunity that his final teenage years bring him, I will always be here waiting with an ear to listen and a comforting hug should he ever require one.

Of course I miss the little boy he was but all children must grow and follow their own path in life wherever that leads them, so go walk it my beautiful boy and know I am supporting you every step of the way.

Happy Birthday.

Love you always.

Mum xx

#Serenz Allergy Relief Review

When it comes to nasal allergies I was quite a late starter, I never suffered as a child but as soon as I hit my early twenties boom I found myself in hayfever territory. Summer didn’t just mean long days, warm weather and sunshine anymore it also meant a runny nose and constant sneezing, over the years I’ve tried lots of different remedies finally settling with antihistamine tablets which are okay but they don’t offer instant relief which is what I really crave so when I saw a chance to review Serenz allergy relief I took it.

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Serenz nasal allergy relief is a natural product that uses carbon dioxide for drip-free relief that works within minutes of use, not only does is work quickly it doesn’t cause drowsiness which is a huge bonus. Serenz gently cleanses the nasal passages which quickly helps to relieve the symptoms of hayfever and allergy like a runny itchy nose, sneezing and nasal congestion.

My Serenz arrived at the perfect time as I had just spent the morning mowing the lawn and doing some gardening, I had already woken up with a runny nose and I knew my symptoms were likely to get worse as the day went on. I read the instruction leaflet carefully before my first use as I didn’t want to get it wrong.

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I had to activate the hand-held unit before use by using the blue key that is included, this only needs to be done once and it’s simple to do, once you can hear he gas flowing you know that your Serenz is activated and ready for use. I got ready to use the Serenz by forming a tight seal between the nosepiece and my nostril and held the it there for 10 seconds I have to tell you that it’s a very strange sensation and a little cold but bearable and definitely worth it for the almost instant relief it provides.

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Chris my husband has suffered with allergies all his life and he has been using the Serenz as well , he usually can’t smell things very well and he couldn’t believe how much better he could smell after his first use he said his nostrils haven’t felt that clear in years so it’s a big thumbs up from him too.

Serenz is suitable for adults from 18-65 years old and can be used as needed up to six times a day.

If you want to try Serenz for yourself you can buy it online from Weldricks Pharmacy.

Angela xx

* I was sent the Serenz Nasal Allergy Relief for the purpose of this review all opinions and photographs are my own*

 

 

Look In My Letterbox

I didn’t realise until Tuesday that i hadn’t shared last weeks look in my letterbox, I did get a few nice things in the post so instead of missing a week I’ve combined two weeks worth into one post instead to share with you.

Last weekend I rekindled my love of comping and I’ve been spending some of my spare time entering for prizes I would really like to win, I’m trying out some different methods and also going back to basics to help me get back into the swing of things again. I have been comping for almost 14 years and I don’t think I will ever give up.

Prizes

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I won this beautiful book from the Mumsnet book club, I can’t read it without getting a little teary because the guy who wrote it lost his little boy and writes these books in his memory.

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I won these Aftamath drinks on Instagram, they are giving two cans away every day during August, check out the competition post on their Instagram feed it’s a simple like and comment entry.

Freebies

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Oh my goodness not only do these tea samples look adorable they taste amazing too, I think this freebie from Taylors might be my favourite of this year so far.

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I never get a huge amount of Tesco clubcard vouchers as we don’t shop their regularly but every little helps as they say.

Reviews

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This awesome neoprene lunchbag from Bibetta arrived for Jake, we have a few picnics planned for the Summer so it arrived at just the right time. Look out for a review coming soon.

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This colourful Hartley’s lunch box arrived from Britmums, I will be featuring it soon in a blog post about back to school lunch ideas.

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Daisy was very excited when this Minnie Mouse fashion doll arrived for her to review, we have one of the dolls to giveaway so make sure you check out the review and enter for your chance to win.

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I’m always looking for things to help us fight some of the symptoms of hayfever so I’m more than happy to review this Serenz allergy relief, so far so good expect a review post soon.

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Anybody who follows me on Instagram might have spotted that I regularly post pictures when I find a new fun edition of Carex handwash in the shop. It’s a firm favourite in our house in both the bathroom and the kitchen so I was delighted when Swizzels sent me thier Love Hearts collaboration it smells delicious.

Purchase

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This photo does not do this adorable figure justice, I had some fun money to spend so I chose this Rock Candy vinyl collectable I love her colours and the pose she is stood in.

Have you had anything nice arrive in the post this week ? leave me a comment below I love hearing from you.

Angela xx

 

Word of the Week – Autumnal

I certainly didn’t expect to be writing a blog post in August and calling it Autumnal but I can’t think of a better word to describe the weather we’ve experienced this past week. On Tuesday we walked to the local park to meet up with some friends, the wind was blowing and the rain was freezing, there were brown leaves falling from the trees and I had to remind myself that we were still in Summer.

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I’ve also debated digging out my jumpers this week, sat watching TV a few nights ago I was freezing which it not something I expect to be in August, this crazy unseasonal weather has had me craving big fluffy socks and blankets.

I think I could be forgiven for not taking the news reports that a two week heatwave is on it’s way, I think I believe that when I feel it, until then I’m wrapping up warm.

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What has the weather been like where you live ? leave me a comment I love hearing from you.

I’m linking up with Jocelyn from The Reading Residence for Word of the Week.

 

The Reading Residence

 

Angela xx

Minnie Mouse Fashion Doll Review & Giveaway

Daisy was very excited when the delivery man brought her a parcel this week, she was even more excited when she found the Minnie Mouse Fashion Doll from IMC Toys inside that she had been sent to review.

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There are three Minnie figures to collect, Beach Beautiful, Fashion Fun or Like A Princess and each one comes three different outfits and lots of fun accessories.

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Daisy got the Beach Beautiful Minnie and she had lots of fun changing her outfits and styling her with the accessories to get her ready for a trip to the beach, of course we had to make Minnie her own private beach to enjoy. Daisy has also taken Minnie in the shower wearing her snorkel and flippers.

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I really like how chunky and flexible the doll, outfits and accessories are, Daisy was easily able to change the outfits and attach the accessories by herself. I also think her outfits are adorable I love the stripy swimsuit that she’s wearing in the photo below.

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As you can tell Daisy has had a lot of fun playing with her Beach Beautiful Minnie and we would like to offer one of of our readers a chance to win one of the Minnie Mouse Fashion Dolls. To enter just complete the gleam widget below, leaving a comment is mandatory and you can come back every day for extra chances to win.

Terms & Conditions

    • Open to UK residents only.
    • Closing date is the 31st August 2016.
    • Winner will be contacted by email & will have 28 days to respond.
    • Please allow 28 days for delivery of prize which will be sent directly from the promoter.
    • The winner will be sent one of the three dolls available, I can’t guarantee which figure you will receive.

Minnie Mouse Fashion Doll Giveaway

Angela xx