26 February 2015

Mother's Day Treats

Looking for something to treat that special mama in your life on Mother's Day? Well, I have a few tried and tested goodies for you.

First up, is this fabulous flower delivery service, Wild Flowers Company deliver gorgeous flowers to your door, weekly or monthly. A great idea that keeps on giving, the flowers are all sourced from British suppliers and the stunning bouquets are a delight to receive - From £28, pop back to my original post for 20% off!

Next up, if you have a mama in your life that likes baths and all things natural then this Weleda Wild Rose Bath Cream is for them, this luscious bath cream is beautifully silky and leaves your skin feeling wonderful and moisturised, the bottle is also super pretty - £12.95.

With spring on it's way the fabulous Sun Jellies have a great new range of bags and their shoes and jewellery is always a hit, you can find my review of the shoes and bag for more information. Prices starting from £10.

And finally, the fabulous Yumbox, this is a great lunchbox for busy mums, whether they are out for a picnic, at work or just want something that you can pack in the morning and take with you to ensure you get a balanced lunch. They even have a mothers day offer of free P&P so check them out, it's a box that can be used day in day out and looks great too, for more check out my previous reviews of the Yumbox and Panino. £24.95

Now, I wonder if this is a big enough hint of what I might like, a girl can never have enough bags, shoes, flowers, bath stuff and lunch boxes right.


24 February 2015

What's Your Driving Style?

We all know someone who’s driving we consider to be a little ropey, have seen better days, my husband and I have done many miles in various cars and driving to France and back we’ve had our fair share of falling outs over his driving.

I think it’s because he takes more risks, he’s been caught speeding a few times and his driving makes be jump because I think he’s going to either crash or be crashed in to.

His new car has many sensors and a few, thankfully, that back me up, one of these is a collision warning, which detects objects in front of you and beeps and a red light flashes on the windscreen in front of you, when this goes off, I know it’s not just me being jumpy!

For example my husband, in my eyes doesn’t start to break when I would, thusly making it feel like we are going to crash. So how great would it be to have something in the car that helps ensure you drive safely?  Something that would mean if he drives safe he saves money.

Would he drive better? I have no idea! Would I dare have it in my car to save money, it would certainly be interesting and if it could save me money on my car insurance then all the better. 

Who do you know who drives badly?

NB This is a collaborative post, all words and thoughts are my own.

House of Fraser Children's Clothing Review

I was recently asked to review some children's clothing from House of Fraser, now it was news to me that they even sold children's clothing, as we have a House Of Fraser in Nottingham but they don't sell children's clothing there.

So, I had a look on their website and found a few pieces that I knew my daughter would love, they have some great brands including Polarn O. Pyret, Mango, Lily & Sid to name but a few. They arrived a few days after I ordered them.

I chose this fab top from Polarn O. Pyret, the print looked really playful and it is in my daughters favourite colour, pink.

The fabric itself is soft, the sleeves loose enough to allow her to play and the length perfect. I loved the detail of the button on the shoulder and the general feel of this top is one of quality. She has loved wearing the top and it goes great with leggings or jeans, this top was £20.

The next top was from Mango Kids, I really loved this top when I saw it and the price was very reasonable, the colour is a hint of pink and looks very pretty. The fabric is soft and I love the attention to detail on this one too, my daughter instantly loved the pocket and I thought the linen tag was a nice touch. This top was £7.99.

My daughter really loves this top too, my only gripe with this one, is that it is slightly cropped. My daughter is about 101cm and this top is for a 104cm child, yet, when she lifts up her arms, it shows her tummy and this isn't something I would normally choose. It is a very pretty top and with some high fitting leggings or jeans it will be fine. The sleeves are a really practical three quarter length, meaning we don't have to roll them up when we are baking and crafting.

Overall I am really impressed with the clothing from House of Fraser, they have a lot to choose from, whether you are after smart or casual. You can pick up in store for free or delivery is between £3 and £8, depending on what you spend and how quick you want it.

I have put together a little Pinterest board of some of my other favourites from House of Fraser, they have a great range of clothing whatever your budget.

Follow The Mummy Diary's board House of Fraser Kids on Pinterest.

NB: I was sent the tops to review, however all opinions and photos are my own.

23 February 2015

Visiting Newstead Abbey in the Spring

The last few weeks have seen us decorating and sorting our house out ready for it to go on the market, it means that getting out of the house has been for just an hour at a time. So yesterday, now that everything is complete, we managed to get out of the house for longer.

We headed to Newstead Abbey for a walk around the beautiful gardens and to see the snowdrops, it's a magical place steeped in history and it's a short drive from Nottingham city centre.

Stood behind the waterfall, watching the water made us notice how relaxing and thought provoking it actually was, though it was pretty noisy! There was so much wildlife about, birds, ducks and these rather cheeky swans!

The Japanese gardens on the other hand are peaceful, beautiful and full of fabulous corners to sit and relax in, the waterfalls here are more about gentle running water and are so serene.

With moss covering the stones and the odd clump of snowdrops it wasn't as luscious as the rest of the year but I think that added to the atmosphere as we hopped across the many stepping stones.

We stopped to look bugs under logs, we only spotted a few millipedes, a woodlouse and a cobweb but it was still fun.

The gardens where full of winter plants and the hedges always look beautiful no matter what time of the year, we played in the park and ran around.

And finally our treasures of the day...

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

22 February 2015

Win Tickets to see Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom Live

If you have children, then you probably know of a little kingdom hidden among the thorny brambles. Ben and Holly are a favourite in our house and I am sure they are  for many other families around the country.

My daughter loves to watch Ben & Holly on their adventures, her daddy has even met the voice of Gaston (yes we know he just barks).

So it’s great news that the hugely popular Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom theatre production takes to the road again for a second UK & Ireland tour this year.  A BAFTA award-winning TV animation, Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom comes from the makers of Peppa Pig and was produced for the stage by top children’s theatre producers Fiery Light Productions, whose growing stable of work includes the stage adaptions of Peppa Pig and Octonauts.

The Little Kingdom – where everyone is very, very small – is home to Princess Holly and her best friend Ben Elf. Holly is a young fairy princess who is still learning how to do magic properly and sometimes her spells don’t work out quite right. Ben is an Elf. Elves don’t do magic but they are very good at making things. Ben doesn’t have wings like Holly but he flies on the back of Gaston the Ladybird.

In this exciting new musical adventure, Ben and Holly have fun and games helping Gaston clean up his messy cave; they go on a trip to The Big World with tooth-fairy Nanny Plum; and still have time to plan a surprise for King Elf’s birthday party, complete with an unplanned jelly flood.

Packed full of games, songs and laughter, this is an enchanting and magical visit to the Little Kingdom, live on stage for the very first time. This beautiful story of elves, princesses and childhood innocence will delight all the family.

Now for the really good bit, I have one family ticket up for grabs for a venue of your choice (T&Cs apply). To find out where the show is playing near you visit http://www.benandhollylive.com. Just enter via the Rafflecopter form below, terms and conditions can be found on the Rafflecopter widget against each entry tab, by entering your agree to the T&Cs.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Black & White Photo Project Wk 33

We were at the park the other day and I spotted this fabulous duck, not sure what type it is but I just thought it was super pretty.


19 February 2015

My Birthmarks and Me

When my parents bought me home from the hospital, they were as proud as any new parents could be of their perfect new baby.

After a few weeks though, some red spots appeared on my skin, one on my forehead, one on my fontanel and one on my wrist. As I grew older, they grew bigger, these bright red strawberry patches were called haemangioma.

The start of the marks...
Haemangiomas are raised strawberry coloured marks on the skin, they can occur anywhere and increase rapidly in size for the first six months, before eventually shrinking and disappearing by around seven years of age.

My parents obviously loved me, marks and all but that didn't stop the comments from strangers, the people who looked at me and asked my parents what they'd been doing to me.

Here you can see the marks on my head
Here you can see the mark on my wrist

I'm not sure what people thought my parents had done to me but comments like this hurt, it's partly the reason why I owned the worlds biggest fringe for much of my childhood. My mum trying to give me the best chance of not being picked on.

But why am I posting about this? Well it got better and I wanted to show how better, for those whose beautiful babies may be going through the same thing. Now you can't see much of my birthmarks, apart from a slight indentation and difference in skin.

Back in the 80s there weren't really any treatment options, other than removal at a later date, now though there are several options and I have seen first hand how successful these can be, one of the little girls at my daughters nursery has one above her eye and within a year this had shrunk massively during treatment.

People will always stare at anything that is different, it's human nature, it doesn't make it any less painful, but it can get better, I am proof of this. People who have known me for years don't notice my birthmarks, even those who know I have them, my children very rarely point them out.

I had never thought of writing about my birthmarks before, they are part of me and I love them but I was inspired by Jess over at Lilypod and Sweetpea who writes about her beautiful son who has a haemangioma on his face, I think you'll agree he is a sweetheart and I wish her and Jaspy all the luck in the world with their journey and treatment.

16 February 2015

Making Time

A few weeks ago I was having lunch with some fabulous bloggers, one of those was the lovely Becky from Baby Budgeting and A Beautiful Space.

We were talking about my daughter starting school in September and how I am trying to make the most of the time I have left with her before she is there full time. She told me a wonderful story about her and her daughter before she started school and how they made a bracelet together, it made me more determined to make the most of my time with my little girl.

So, after we had dropped my son off at school, we went to the park. We spent an hour or so playing hide and seek, then we sat on a bench and talked about how we'd miss each other come September.

Then we went to play on the park, spotted some snowdrops and looked at the ducks. It was a wonderful way to spend some time, afterwards we went home to warm up and have a hot chocolate.

I missed my son when he went to school but I had my daughter to fill my time and the gap he left, I'm not sure how I will feel come September but I know that half terms, inset days and weekends will become even more precious.


15 February 2015

Black & White Photo Project Week 32

How ornate is this old till, I love the details and the round buttons, its so beautiful.

 photo 4d06e438-4e6a-4f3b-88b2-0c1093350397_zps361ad0e9.jpg

11 February 2015

Red's True BBQ Nottingham Review

A few weeks ago, I was invited to the launch night of the new Red's True BBQ restaurant in Nottingham, both my hubby and I love BBQ food, so this was right up our street.

Walking in, the smell of BBQ hits you, it's a lovely smell which reminded me of summer! The restaurant itself is very industrial, with lots of metal, wood and some velvet to soften the atmosphere!

We were shown to our table, where we were presented with the fabulous menu, it looks like a bible and contained the holy grail of a menu. It is fair to say a menu rarely excites me as much as this one did.

First of all we were bought a selection of starters, I don't normally eat chicken wings but these were tasty and done to perfection, the meat was falling off the bones and tasted delicious. The burnt ends were super tasty too and the jalepenos were sooo hot that I couldn't manage them, but the peppered bacon was like a smoked wrapper of loveliness! And finally Mac-N-Cheese balls, oh so tasty!

Whilst sat waiting for the mains we perused the sauces, as they are lined up on each table it means no waiting for sauces once your meal arrives.

For my main, I chose the skirt steak with garlic and herb butter and a side of sweet potato fries, now a lot of people won't have heard of skirt but it is a staple in our house, prepared and cooked well it is a delicious cut of meat. There was a lot, so much so, I had to take some home for lunch the next day, it was equally as good then!

My husband chose the donut burger, now this is not for the faint hearted and is about 2000 calories! However in his words 'it was amazing'. It consists of two beef patties, with bacon, cheese and dirty sauce, sandwiched between two sweet glazed donuts and topped with a giant onion ring. He looked very happy devouring it!

The donuts, they sourced from a small supplier in Leeds and the beef is sourced from the UK, as is most of the meat they serve, with the exception of the Brisket, for which they import USDA approved black angus from Nebraska, purely down to the amount they require being unavailable in the UK. He also had some pulled pork on the side to try, which was very tasty and gave us an excuse to try some of the sauces, the leftovers pulled pork came home with us too.

With lots of craft beers, several house wines, soft drinks and shakes there is something for everyone to enjoy with their meal, each item on the menu also comes with a drinks pairing suggestion, this is useful if you are looking for something to accompany your meal but not sure what.

The kids menu was also unbelievably well thought out and great value at just £6.50 for three courses, a side and a drink. Although we didn't try this the guys there gave us a pack to take home, the pack contained not only everything you need to keep a child entertained but the menu and recipes to take home, we used the Cola BBQ Sauce recipe for some brisket of our own, it was delicious.

If you are in Nottingham or close to the other Red's true BBQ restaurants I can highly recommend a visit, we will certainly be back with the children, their brunch menu looks fantastic and the whole ethos surrounding Red's is one I am happy to support. Local food, cooked well and lovely staff!

Thanks to the Red's team for inviting us, we had a great time and next time i'm going to try the puddings!

NB: I was invited to the Red's launch party in Nottingham, I was under no obligation to write this post but had such a wonderful evening that I wanted to.


9 February 2015

Brewhouse Yard Museum

During Nottingham Light Night, we got to visit Brewhouse Yard, I have been there many times before but it closed a few years back to the public and so we have never had chance to take the children.

This was a great opportunity to discover a huge part of Nottingham's history, the houses and caves are set below Nottingham Castle and are over 300 years old!

There were many uses for these caves, deep inside, they were used as air raid shelters in world war two, I loved the way this one was laid out. You can see the beer kegs in the next room, from when breweries were based here. Castle Rock, a local brewery, takes it's name from this very rock.

In this bedroom there were only candles lighting the room, it was interesting to be able to show the children how it would have been all those years ago.

Ye olde shoppe...

Looking at some old vintage classics, including can you spot them....Sun Jellies :)

I loved this beautiful old till, sat amongst a replica of an old chemist the ornate buttons and patterns were beautiful.

Looking at the old war posters on the walls of the caves...

Trying out some old puzzles...

All lit up, this beautiful row of houses looked stunning in the dark...

This is our Magic Moment this week, linking up to The Olivers Madhouse.