30 June 2015

What I Wore to BritMums Live

I've had a few people ask about my outfit for BritMums Live, so I thought i'd put it on a post for everyone to see.

My tops and skirts were from Joules. They are so soft, feel and look great on and are perfect for work or days out. Being stretchy, they are also perfect for bending down to pick up little ones or chasing them round the park .

The shoes are Saltwater Sandals, I have had these for a few years now and I absolutely adore their comfort, durability and waterproofness!

And finally the bag, this bag had so many comments, it wasn't particularly glam in comparison to some but it meant I stayed as comfortable as I could, with my purse, phone, camera etc in it. It is currently in the Cath Kidston sale too for those that liked it

BritMums Outfits

I got to meet some lovely people from Joules at the event, it was a great opportunity to see some more of their collection up close and talk to them about this fabulous and ever growing brand!

Joules stand at BritMums Live
Joules currently have a sale on so I am off to have a look...

29 June 2015

Summer, Strawberry Picking & an Easy Strawberry Flan

So, yesterday started off a little bit grey, however I had been watching the weather forecast and knew it should clear up enough for us to pop over to the local pick your own farm and collect some yummy strawberries.

We picked up a couple of baskets and headed off to find some yummy red beauties, we may also have eaten one or two on the way round!

Afterwards we popped over to the rhubarb patch to pick some huge stalks of rhubarb, the kids loved helping me to pull them up and then carried them back over their shoulders like huge fans.

Once we got home we washed our beautiful red strawberries and made them into this super easy strawberry flan.

All you need is a flan case, some custard, I used Ambrosia Devon Dream as it can be kept in your store cupboard and then some lovely fresh strawberries....top the flan case with the custard and then arrange your strawberries as you wish.

Here are some more fabulous summer strawberry recipes for those extra strawberries you don't manage to eat on their own.


28 June 2015

Black & White Photography Project Week 51

We were at a wedding on Friday evening at the beautiful Stubton Hall, we had time for a stroll yesterday morning before we left, in the sunshine it was a glorious view.


26 June 2015

My First Time at BritMums Live

Last weekend saw my first time at BritMums Live, I had heard great things about it for a few years now and I was lucky enough to find my fabulous sponsor, Zoflora to help get me there.

I was up early Friday morning, probably nerves, excitement and the fact it was a bright morning and the sun was shining through the window.

I got on the train in an empty first class, enjoying the journey down there, reading tweets and Facebook posts of other bloggers on their way too.

I met up with a few other bloggers for a drink first, a little bit of dutch courage to be honest before heading to the the fabulous surrounds of The Brewery and Montcalm Hotel.

We were welcomed by the Twirliwoos, I hadn't really heard of them before but my daughter had and she loves the fact I have had my picture with them, I was also given a Twirliwoo headband which she hasn't taken off since Sunday.

The event started with a with a welcome from Suzanne and Jennifer of BritMums and then the first keynote speech from Ella Woodward of Delciouslyella, her journey was really interesting to listen too and it just proves anything is possible.

Followed by the very inspiring Victoria Wright, she made me laugh and bought a tear to my eye with her wonderful insight into growing up with a facial disfigurement and her journey into adult life and having a daughter.

We also attempted and broke a world record, it was a rather apt record of most mummies wrapped in three minutes, we broke the record by one which I think you'll agree is amazing, well done to us all.

I got to make a mood board in a session with a blogger I have long admired, Capture By Lucy's session was absolutely fabulous, I had such a great time and took so much away with me, what my style is and what I need to do to better my blog. I loved making this mood board, everyone says it is very me and I am inclined to agree.

We then got to try some fabulous Lindemans wine, it was a lovely evening so I sampled some of the Rosé which was really refreshing. Myself and a few bloggers then headed to Wagamama for some tea.

After that we headed back to the hotel, I was absolutely shattered so it wasn't long before I headed up to bed.

The following day was an early start, with coffee and pastries being served in The Brewery, the food was really delicious and the granola bars and fruit juices were just what I needed to kick start the day.

The day kicked off with a keynote from Carol Smillie on her fabulous new venture Diary Doll, it was great to hear what she'd been up to. The product itself is something I could really relate too, and although talking pants and periods isn't for everyone, for me and my journey with endometriosis it was a cause close to my heart and I will talk more about it on the blog soon.

Afterwards I went and spoke to Carol, we chatted about Diary Doll, I did a video in the booth they had setup and I got to have my picture taken with her too.

Some of the other fabulous brands there for the event included Santa Maria, Boots, Merci Maman, Super Savvy Me and Parragon Books to name but a few. 

A big wave to Joules, who you'd be mistaken for thinking were my clothing suppliers, I didn't know they were going to be there but I have recently become a huge fan and the skirts I wore are super soft and stretchy so perfect for a mum on the run.

I had an amazing experience chatting to fellow bloggers about their blogs as well as my sponsor Zoflora, so many people had heard of the brand and gave me some hints and tips on how they used it in their home.

I got to meet up with friends and make some new ones, as well as learning so much about how to enhance my blog, make my blogging life easier and lots of tips on SEO, design and much more.

I hope to go back next year, armed with knowledge of how to make the most of the event and hopefully making even more friends.


25 June 2015

Hey Time, Slow Down Please

Yesterday I dropped my son off at school and as my daughter and I walked back to the car, she asked me to sing a song, so I dutifully did, but as I sang Dingle Dangle Scarecrow it suddenly occurred to me that this won't happen for much longer.

Come September, I will be walking back to the car empty handed, no one to go off and spend the day with, at that moment my heart broke a little as i realised that my time with my baby is slowly rushing away from me.

Me and my daughter have a bucket list of things we want to do before she goes to school, we have painted a pot together, we have been to see Cinderella with her dressed in her Cinderella dress, we are going to build a bear and lots of other things.

You forget how precious those minutes, hours, days are and fill them with cleaning, shopping and moaning, when instead you should embrace every second, singing, dancing like a could of daft people in the kitchen (it's a regular thing in my house) and enjoying the moment.

So from now until my son breaks up, our three days together are going to be just that, no time constraints, just doing things that make us happy and making so many memories together.

Whats that saying...
"Cleaning and scrubbing can wait ‘til tomorrow For babies grow up we’ve learnt to our sorrow So quiet down cobwebs, dust go to sleep I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep" 

23 June 2015

Born to Be Brave

Back in 1991, I visited a place called Kingswood Camps, I remember taking part in archery, team building, go karting and many other things. It was an amazing experience, one I remember even now.

So when I was asked to help spread the word about their #BornToBeBrave campaign I knew it wouldn’t be difficult.

My children surprise me with their eagerness to try new things, sometimes a little afraid of what might happen but happy to try it none the less.

My daughter loves to climb, she has no fear and is so brave, even if she can’t climb to the top of something she’ll do her best. 

We were at the park last month and she rushed to  the older kids section of the park, she climbed up the rock slide part of the  playground, she didn’t stop, she didn’t falter she just climbed up, she is such a brave little thing.

My son fell off his scooter last year, he bust his chin open and we spent several hours in A&E, he was so scared but in all that, he remained brave, even covered in blood.

I was and still am petrified of him going back on his scooter but being the brave little guy he is, he got on it, bandage still in tact.

Kingswood Camps offer holidays for 8-17 year olds and pop-up day camps for 3-12 year olds’, both offering a great range of activities and opportunities for both younger and older children.

They currently have the #borntobebrave competition where you can win the following prizes:

The Prize:

First prize – a choice of:
7 night Multi-Activity holiday for 2 children at any of Kingswood’s holiday camps (aged 8-17) – worth £1078
A week at a pop-up day camp for 2 children / 2 weeks for one child (aged 3/5-12) at any of Kingswood’s pop-up camps – worth up to £400
Second prize (prize of choice for runner up):
A Bear Grylls Survival Academy Day Course at Grosvenor Hall Ashford or Isle of Wight
£100 voucher towards any Kingswood Camps holiday or pop-up day camp.
Just head on over to the Kingswood Camp Facebook page to enter, all you need  to do is submit a picture of your child being brave, something as simple as climbing a tree or trying a new food and get as many as your friends and family to vote for them. Full details and T&Cs are on the Kingswood Camp Facebook page.

So when has your child been brave?

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

21 June 2015

Black & White Photography Project Week 50

This weekend has been amazing for me, I have managed to squeeze in so many workshops and meet so many lovely people. This picture is from the fabulous Capture By Lucy session, I loved putting together this mood bard. Thank you BritMums you've been amazing!

18 June 2015

Announcing My BritMums Live Sponsor

This weekend I am heading to BritMums Live for the first time, it looks to be a great event, with so many wonderful speakers and like minded people attending I am really looking forward to it.

Even better still I now have a fabulous sponsor for the event, I would like to thank and welcome Zoflora to the blog and as my sponsor for BritMums Live 2015.

If you don't know what Zoflora do then here is a little bit about them. Zoflora is a concentrated disinfectant, it is an easy to use, multi-room and multi-use disinfectant that banishes 99.9% of bacteria and viruses.  Available in a selection of long lasting fragrances for all day freshness in and around the home. I have been using it for several months now and it has become part of my cleaning routine as well as having many other uses around the home.

Zoflora isn't just a great product either, it is a great product that is Made in the UK and for me that is a winning combination.

So if you are at BritMums then why not find me to talk more about Zoflora and their fantastic range of fragrances and uses.

14 June 2015

Open Farm Sunday 2015

This year, I didn't make it to Open Farm Sunday with the family, as I was at the fabulous Creative & Crafty Blogger meet at Breadsall Priory. However, I made sure they all went to enjoy the lovely warm weather and obviously what the local farms had to offer.

At Betty's farm, they have around 24,000 chickens! They were invited to take a tour of one of the enclosures, where they were encouraged to pick up the chickens. My daughter, who loves animals, really got up close, although she wasn't sure about them when they were trying to peck her feet to see if they were food. 

They learned about how they protect the chickens from foxes, by putting the llamas in a field on the path most used by foxes, apparently you don't mess with llamas! The farm shop had tastings of some of their delicious products, including some creatively named rubs from Bohns Rubs.

Later in the day, at Stanton House Farm, the children got to watch some of the 750 cows being milked in a rotating parlour, this milking turntable holds 50 cows at a time and the milk they produce is turned into cheeses, which they were able to sample at the farm.

They also got to watch a sheep being sheared, they always look so shocked during the process but afterwards a sense of relief at having their 'hair cut'. My daughter loved stroking the fleece, once it has been cut off, it is wrapped up in a specific way to protect the best wool.

I really missed going as it is a truly great event for all of the family, my husband took his dad and they all had a great time, going on tractor rides and seeing the farms and animals up close and personal.

If you didn't get to visit this year then it is well worth putting in your diary for next year.


Black & White Photography Project Week 49

My gran has always had lots of beautiful roses in her garden and the smell is always divine. This one is a beautiful bright yellow, but I love the detail in black and white too.

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

12 June 2015

Father's Day Gift Guide

With Father's Day just over a week away, it's the perfect time for this last minute Mum to look for presents for the Dads in her life.

I love watches but with the rise of the mobile phone they seem to have disappeared off the wrists of lots of people, however they look smart on a man and I think these two from Chisholm Hunter would make great gifts.

First up, how about this sleek watch from Hugo Boss, with a date window and chronograph, it shows more than just the time. Still a classic design but also great for todays gadget loving man.
For a more contemporary fashion watch, how about this from Emporio Armani, with its sleek black dial it is sure to be a timepiece that they love for a long time.

For completing a smart look, for work or maybe a wedding, how about some cufflinks? These classic rectangular stainless steel cuff links are a great choice.

Or, for those that love a splash of gold then these fabulous stainless steel rose gold and black cufflinks are great, they'd look fabulous with a smart suit and I love rose gold, it is so soft and looks fabulous on.

I have put together a Pinterest board with some more fabulous items to chose from this Father's Day

Follow The Mummy Diary's board Fathers Day Gifts on Pinterest.

NB: This is a collaborative post.

10 June 2015

A Creative & Crafty Blog Meet at Breadsall Priory

On Sunday, I was invited to a Creative and Craft event at Breadsall Priory in Derbyshire. It was a great chance to meet up with some other like minded bloggers for a chat and to find out about some great products and businesses in a truly beautiful setting.

On the day, I decided to go with a vintage look, with some vintage Ralph Lauren and Marks & Spencer glammed up with a joules top and accessorised with a Sun Jellies bag, shoes and necklace.

On arrival to Breadsall Priory we were shown to a beautiful garden room for a selection of drinks, before being shown to our table for afternoon tea. The afternoon tea was stunning, with beautiful cakes, sandwiches, and scones with plenty of clotted cream and jam.

Even me, with the sweetest of teeth couldn't manage all of the the cakes, thankfully though the lovely staff bought them to our room so we could finish them in the afternoon.

After tea and cake we made our way to the Morley room, a beautiful and bright airy room which I can imagine would make a gorgeous backdrop for a wedding ceremony, especially looking out into the stunning gardens.

First up, we had a talk by Annette from Weleda, a brand I already adore and have lots of time for. We got to try some of their bath milks, hand creams as well as learn about how they work. I bought some foot balm to help prepare my summer feet.

Then we got on to making and crafting, with some hoops supplied by Korbond and lots of scraps of fabric, we set about designing a picture on fabric. I am a real novice when it comes to something like this, I am normally found crafting with paper, glue and children in tow. So it was great to find something new to try.

We also had  talk from Jen from Lunar 21 and Alice from Bless Your Arts Boutique and Phil did a great talk on Polyvine, they do some great products so I will be looking a bit more into this.

It was a lovely few hours and I only wish it could of been longer, there was so much more to learn and craft and talk about so I look forward to the next one.

Thank you to Samantha and Kat for organising and Breadsall Priory for hosting us, and their wonderful little goody bags I am looking forward to popping back to use the leisure facilities.

The day raised £100 for the Mollie Makes Crafternoon For Comic Relief  too, so as well as being fun it was helping a worthwhile cause.


8 June 2015

Beat Travellers Tummy This Summer

I'm a little OCD when it comes to keeping hands clean, mainly because I worry about germs and tummy bugs.

With a holiday fast approaching you start to think about first aid kits and what to take in one. Stomach bugs from different food and water are a big worry for many people when travelling abroad, after all no one wants to spend their holiday with a sickness bug in tow.

So enter Enterosgel, a non-allergenic, intestinal adsorbent, developed for the simple and effective removal of viruses, toxins, allergens and pathogens from the intestinal tract. Created from organic methylsilisic acid and water, Enterosgel has a porous structure which selectively adsorbs medium weight molecules as it passes through the gut and removes them within 12 hours. 

These include substances such as histamines (allergens), pathogens (harmful bacteria and viruses) and other toxins. Conversely, Enterosgel is hydrophobic (repels water) and so does not remove water (hydration) which is of crucial importance during episodes of diarrhoea.  Likewise the structure of Entersogel does not tolerate the removal of vital vitamins and minerals.

Enterosgel is not absorbed into the body at any point and is completely excreted. It is non-allergenic and is classed and approved as a medical device and safe for for babies 0+, children, adults, breastfeeding mothers, elderly people and the chronically ill.

It sounds perfect and although we fortunately haven't had to try this yet, I will be packing this as part of our first aid kit for our holiday.

The box states it also relieves symptoms of indigestion, IBS and it accelerates the elimination of alcohol from the body, we have a couple of weddings this year so I might pack this in our suitcase too.

Enterosgel is available at all Lloyds Pharmacies, price £12.80

NB: I was given a bottle of Enterosgel for the purpose of this post.


Bank Holiday Fun with Punch & Judy

On May bank holiday, we went to one of our new local village pubs for a spot of bank holiday fun, balloon models, bouncy castles and a classic Punch & Judy show.

Most of us have seen this fabulous, if not a little un-PC show, with brightly coloured characters and audience interaction, it has something for all the family.

I can't remember the last time I saw the show but it still had me gripped and I felt unbelievably old when I was the only one in the crowd who shouted back 'Oh Yes You Did"!

With plenty of slapstick fun, from a policemen, crocodile, clown, chef and ghost it it wasn't hard to see why this show still makes children laugh

My two both really enjoyed it and with my daft mummy ways I have been reenacting the voices, they fall over with laughter and it just proves it is a format that entertains even this generation, with their TV shows and video games.


Magic Moments 8/6/15

The lovely Jaime over at The Oliver's Madhouse is having a well earned holiday this week, so she has passed the Magic Moments torch on to me for a week, she'll be back next time though.

The thing I love about Magic Moments is that it gives you time to reflect on the week, from your child learning to write their name for the first time to learning to tie their shoe.

So without further ado its Magic Moments time! 

Don’t forget there is a Magic Moments page on Google+ to, so if you are on G+ feel free to pop over and add your link and visit … also I have just created a Magic Moments collaborative Pintrest board too which you are more than welcome to pin your post onto too! Feel free to email me directly  ( jaime@theoliversmadhouse.co.uk ) so I can make sure I am following and that I can add you to the board too.
If you are new to Magic Moments you can find more information over HERE.
Don’t forget that linkys only work when people take the time to visit and share with others. With such a large crowd linking in please don’t think you have to comment on every one. I know many of you don’t have time for this and it’s unrealistic, however please visit as many as you can manage to share some love and build community spirit.
If you would like to join in  I would love it if you would pop on the Magic Moments badge or a link back to me as it also helps others to see where you are linking up and they may decided to pop over and link up too! Remember the more people who take part and link up, the more people who are likely to visit, but this is only a polite request not a prerequisite.