Term Wellies Review 

From splashing in puddles and paddling in streams, to squelching in mud and wading through the wilderness (well ok, exploring the local woodlands anyway!) we spend a huge amount of time outside. With all our outdoor adventures, good footwear is a must; so wellies are an essential item for Squiggle!

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I am sure her new wellies won’t stay this shiny for long!

We received a pair of wellies by Term footwear to review. This is a small UK company who have been selling children’s shoes for 7 years. The husband and wife team began by importing and selling a variety of footwear brands in the UK, and have now partnered with some great suppliers and designers to launch their own brand. The wellies are manufactured in the EU and conform to EU standards.

Term wellies, footwear, outdoors, review, Living Life Our Way, get outside, #LivingLifeWild

The wellies come in a variety of colours so I showed Squiggle the website and let her pick out which colour she preferred. The wellies come with thick removable roll top socks, so they are sold as dual EU sizes (because they are an EU size bigger with the sock removed). It was easy to figure out what size to choose though because the website gives clear information on this. Once we had ordered, the wellies were delivered within a few days.

Term wellies, footwear, outdoors, review, Living Life Our Way, get outside, #LivingLifeWild

The wellies are really flexible and lightweight, and Squiggle reports that they are very comfortable. They retail at £21.99, which is more than I usually spend on wellies, but these will be likely to last much longer probably, especially with the removable sock/ dual size and also in terms of actual quality too. Squiggle loves them!

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Term wellies can be purchased here.

Follow Term footwear on social media: 

Twitter @termfootwear

Instagram @termfootwear

*Disclosure: We were sent a pair of Term wellies free for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Willows Activity Farm Easter Eggstravaganza 

Willows Activity Farm Easter Eggstravaganza event is a fun day out that we have been to every year for a number of years and yet it still works just as well as it is suitable for a range of ages. This year we were lucky enough to get a free family ticket through Herts Big Weekend but we did wonder whether this might affect the size of the crowd. Luckily, although it was busy, it didn’t seem particularly packed. And there is plenty of space and lots to do which helps it feel less crowded too.

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The schedule of events is carefully timed so that you can still do the majority of activities and shows even if you are only there for half a day, like we were, but there is certainly more than enough to do for a whole day out too. We were able to do everything we wanted without feeling rushed from one thing to the next but without much spare time to fill either! 

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Squiggle meeting Lilly Bobtail

Some of the highlights of this particular event include the Bunny Hop show, Easter Garden egg hunt, meet and greets with Peter Rabbit, Lilly Bobtail, Benjamin Bunny and Easter Bunny, and various shows by Peter Rabbit and friends – including a brand new show featuring all three characters on stage together. We didn’t see this particular show but we did watch the Bunny Hop show with the Easter Bunny.

Squiggle loved this show and got really into it. One song in particular about chocolate really made her laugh and it was really catchy; she has remembered alot of it to sing to herself after just hearing it that once! 

Willows Activity Farm, Easter Eggstravaganza, Hertfordshire, Easter, events, Bunny Hop Show, days out, places to visit, family fun, Living Life Our Way
Bunny Hop Show

The Easter Garden is open for most of the day, daily throughout the Easter Eggstravaganza event. Here you are given a basket on entry and then search the garden to find five different coloured eggs. Once you have completed the hunt you can exchange the five eggs you found for yummy chocolate prizes. 

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Easter Garden

This is also where the Easter Bunny makes an appearance for meet and greet sessions, so be sure to check the schedule if you want to time your visit right! (Entry to Easter Garden is only permitted once). 

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Squiggle meeting Easter Bunny

Other activities also available at Willows include Peter Rabbit playground, agility course, sand pit, funfair rides, bouncy castle and slide, animal encounters, tractor ride, indoor role-play village, tractors, soft play, and arts and crafts. Plus of course lots of animals! There is also a large cafe and gift shop. For further information see Willows Activity Farm website.

Fun Party Venues Ideas

As signs of Spring start to appear all around and the sun begins to make an appearance, there is no doubt that many of us are now looking ahead to summer; busy booking holidays, festival line-ups announced and summer events organised. Whilst I don’t personally have a do to arrange myself this year (although my 40th appears to be coming round rather quickly – only a couple of years before I will be organising that! Eek!) a few of my friends are already in the throes of summer party planning around London. 

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Stock image

If you are one of the many people looking to get your party on this summer, Venueseekers is a handy site for finding places to hold an event in and around the capital. See their website for more info: Party Venues London. And here are just a few of their fun venue ideas in central London to inspire you and get you started…

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Stock Image

Madison: This award-winning New York style restaurant and bar overlooks St Paul’s Cathedral. It holds 120 people (seated) up to 900 (standing).

Oxo Tower: Floor two of the famous OXO tower is a brilliant place to hold events in the summer, with riverside balconies and stunning panaromic views of the Thames from inside too. It can hold functions for anywhere between 50- 400 people, with the adjacent gallery offering additional space for larger parties.

The Artillery Gardens: If you are looking for somewhere to host a larger function, this venue holds up to 2000 people and is very cool, it even has a funfair! Well worth checking out. 

If you are looking for somewhere near London but a little more suburban, here are a few other ideas…

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St Michaels Manor (Credit: Jenny Murray)

St Michaels Manor: Set in the heart of historic St Albans, surrounded by pretty parkland and next to a lake view, this lovely manor hotel is popular for weddings and other functions. It is a short, direct non-stop train route into London and is situated not too far from the St Albans City station so is ideal for those travelling from further afield. 

Four Seasons Hampshire: Set in the countryside with amazing views over Dogmersfield Park but yet highly accessible from London, this lovely venue has ample natural daylight flooding the indoor spaces and an outdoor terrace that can be used for functions too.

Do you have a summer party venue recommendation? Leave in comments!

*Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.

The Great Daffodil Appeal – Marie Curie 

It’s that time of year when people all over the country are getting involved in The Great Daffodil Appeal for Marie Curie. Marie Curie is a wonderful charity that supports people with terminal illness, and their families. The funds raised from the appeal help to pay for nurses to provide care to families during this most difficult time.

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If you want to take part but haven’t already registered, it’s not too late! Here are some of my favourite fundraising ideas to get you started. And if these don’t inspire you, make up your own instead!

Get creative:

  • Make and sell handmade cards, crochet daffodils or origami daffodils.
  • Hold a creative workshop and charge an entry fee to raise money.

Get baking:

  • Make some delicious cakes to sell.
  • Have a bake-off challenge.

Find some yummy celebrity recipes here.

Get active:

  • Hold a charity sports match.
  • Have a sports day (charge for people part in the races).
  • Do a sponsored run or swim.
  • Set yourself a walking, cycling, running or swimming goal to achieve by x date.


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Find out more information and sign up for fundraising here: 

The Great Daffodil Appeal Fundraising Page.

The Great Daffodil Appeal, Marie Curie, fundraising, charity

Sunshine Blogger Awards

Thank you Devon Mama for tagging me in the sunshine blogger awards. These are the answers to my questions…

How did you come up with the name of your blog?

My daughter answered this one very well: “It is because sometimes we do things differently to most, but we live life our way, in the way that is right for us!”

What would you sing at karaoke if you HAD to pick one song?

Tricky with Lindsay (Sorry to everyone who is not her and won’t ‘get’ this answer!)

Who would play you in a movie of your life?

Can I play myself?!

What’s your proudest achievement (aside from being a parent!)?

Taking my own path in life.

If you had to lose one sense (taste, touch, hearing, sight or smell) which would it be?

I hate these kinds of questions! Taste, I guess.

What was your first job?

Cleaner at the school I attended.

What do you love most about your child?

Her creativity and ability to think entirely outside the box.

If you could change one thing in your life, what would it be?

I would like to be able to travel more.

Why do you blog?

I enjoy it and it is very flexible.

Who is your hero?

Anyone and everyone who keeps growing, who fights for a better world and/or who comes out stronger when faced with personal challenges.

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I now tag Business For Mums to answer the following ten questions…
What is your favourite hobby? (Besides writing!)

What is your favourite TV show currently?

Where would your dream holiday be?

When was the last time you cried and why?

How did you celebrate your last birthday? 

How do you spend your ideal night in?

Who inspires you?

Why did you start blogging?

Where did you last go out? 

Who would you most like to sing a duet with? 

Surprising (and not so surprising!) Ways That Couples Spend Valentines Day

Do you spend Valentines Day on a romantic date with your partner, or are you a Valentines ‘grinch’ who would rather forget it even exists? Do you plan months in advance, or go with the flow? And parents, do you reach for the phone to call the babysitter or do you include the entire family in the occasion? Read on to find out what these couples do…

Date Night At Home

A date night at home is a popular choice. Some couples, such as Angela from The Inspiration Edit, and Kate from Modern Mum, love to chill at home with a bottle and a movie with their partner. Katie from REOLife agrees, she also opts for a simple night in, doing some gaming together and watching a movie. As Angela says

“Chilling out is lovely, and just spending time together on an evening when we are usually so busy is a special thing to do.”

 

The Family Occasion

Devon Mama jokes that she just wants hubby to take the baby so she can sleep! But in reality they tend to cook a meal together and buy each other a card. This year that will extend to their little one too, to start his Valentines Day card collection early! Tracey from Witts in the Wild also likes to involve their daughter too…

“My husband usually buys flowers for both me and my daughter, and buys her a soft toy with a love heart, we decorate the table and the walls and have a themed dinner together making it special for the three of us.”

 

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The Couples- Only Night

Nomipalony on the other hand explains why Valentines Day is important couple-only time for them and they prefer to go out; they grab a babysitter and splash out on a fancy restaurant…

“We always celebrate valentines as both of our birthdays and anniversary are all in the same week, so we never end up celebrating our anniversary; so Valentines makes up for that in our house. It’s not about the kids at all for us, it’s mammy and daddy time so usually we will arrange for a babysitter and head to a really nice restaurant for a lovely meal and drinks. The past two years we have been to a Michelin starred restaurant for their tasting menu. We normally wouldn’t be able to justify the expense of that so its a real treat for us and we are both foodies so we love it.”

 

The Sentimentals

Many couples like to return to a spot that means somewhere to them as a couple personally; for example the place where they met, or proposed, or maybe even shared their first kiss! Laura from Oh So Mummy and her fiance, who go to the pub where they first met to reminisce. How cute!

 

The Mutual Interest/ Hobby Date

Some couples choose to spend the day or evening doing something that may not be typically romantic, but is a hobby or activity that they both enjoy doing together so is the perfect way to celebrate for them personally. For example, Kirsty from Life With Boys intends to spend Valentines Day at the Bingo, which is somewhere she enjoys going with her partner. Or if you can’t get a babysitter, you could even play online together instead. If you aren’t sure where to start, check out a bingo review site to find out.

We’re 23 going on 80, plus who will ever turn down the chance to win the valentines jackpot….

 

The Surprise Date

Whether it is the same person who organises the date each time, or the pair take it in turns to arrange, some couples opt not to decide together and instead one person surprises the other. Such as Ed, who surprises Emma- Louise from Even Angels Fall each year with something different. He has made it tradition to choose something that is not considered typically romantic, but ironically this idea in itself has a rather unusual but romantic ring to it. She tells me:

We’ve been horse riding and to a shooting range so far. No idea what this year will be but looking forward to the surprise. It’s nice to do something not typically romantic on Valentine’s Day and it’s become our tradition.

 

Something Different

A day out is another nice way to enjoy Valentines Day. There are lots of possibilities, such as the zoo, or even a theme park for example. Beth from Twinderelmo agrees this is a great idea, this year they are going to the Harry Potter studios. Very romantic!

 

The Grinches

Jen and her fella are being somewhat more unromantic about Valentines Day this year; rather than their usual meal, he is going to football and she will be at at home watching TV with a cuppa! Trying to rivel them in the grinch stakes is Emma from Me and B Make Tea who will spend the evening blogging whilst her partner plays xbox! Now that is romance 😉 They are not alone though; many people view Valentines Day as an over-commercialised money-making exercise and choose to ignore the whole thing! Duvet day until it’s all over anyone?

 

So what type of Valentines Day couple are you?! I would love to know in the comments below!

 

*Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.

#2poundchallenge – The £2 Food Challenge with Zamcog and Voucherbox 

Can I feed myself for £2 for one day?

That was the challenge set by Voucherbox. The purpose of this challenge is to raise money for the charity Zamcog, whose goal is to support Zambia’s most at-risk children through food and education. It costs £2 to feed and educate a child in Zambia every day, and for each #2poundchallenge post published, Voucherbox will donate £50 to Zamcog. That supports a vulnerable child for nearly a month! The challenge also aims to encourage people to think about their own food spending and waste too. 

How could I possibly say no? Of course I jumped straight onboard! So here is how I fed myself for £2 for one day (shopping from Sainsburys)…

Morning Smoothie (Breakfast)

Frozen Summer Fruits (500g £2.00) 50g 20p 

Fairtrade banana 16p each

Apple (family pack of 11 £1.75) 16p each

Small handful mixed seeds 6p 

Kale (500g £2) 10g 4p

(Almond milk £1 per litre) 100 ml 10p

= 72p

Lunch (Jacket with Beans)

Basics baked beans in tomato sauce (25p) 1/2 can 13p

Small baked potato 22p

= 35p

Dinner (Vegetable Cous Cous) 

Vegetable stock cubes (10 x 10g 65p) 7p

Cous cous (1kg £1.20) 200g 24p

Chargrilled mediterranean vegetables – aubergine, courgette, red & yellow peppers (500g £1.60) 100g 32p

Carrots (1kg 50p) 2 carrots finely sliced/ grated) 8p

Brocolli (335g 45p) 1/3 15p

Beansprouts (400g 65p) 40g 7p

= 93p

Total = £2

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I found it easier than I thought to do this for myself for one day, but it would have been a harder challenge to do it as a family, and I think I would also struggle to do it for long to be honest! However, I was able to still have my breakfast smoothie, albeit abit smaller than usual, that is packed with nutrition and sets me up for the day. I was also able to stick to my usual diet of mainly vegan and raw food, but did have to opt for frozen choices rather than all fresh in order to maintain eating a variety of fruit and vegetables within the small budget set.

It did make me think about how I could reduce my shopping budget though, which I will try to take onboard. I do often freeze fresh fruit and veg just before it goes off already, so this helps to minimise waste and cut down on costs. Also, if I had been doing this challenge at another time of year, I could have used alot of home-grown food. But I enjoyed taking on this challenge and I am thrilled to be able to use my blog to raise money for such a great cause too! 

Are you a blogger who would like to raise £50 for Zamcog? If so, why not take part in the #2poundchallenge too!

The (Not So) Little One Tag

I was tagged by Amy & Tots to do this fun quiz with Squiggle. Here are the questions, and her answers…

What is the best thing about being 8?

Lots of things! Having Pierre the seal!!! (Beanie boo cuddly toy). All of my Christmas presents!

What makes you laugh?

When daddy was still dancing after the music stopped!

Who do you love and Why?

Loads of people! I need to think about that question, it’s a very tricky question. Erm… mummy, daddy and the cuddler (a cuddly toy seal) because he jumps for cuddles!

Whats your favourite book?

Sylvanian catalogue

Favourite Food?

Don’t know.

Favourite Song?

I can’t pick one favourite, I love them all! If I had to pick one I would pick the seal song.

Favourite Outfit?

All my clothes.

Favourite Tv Programme?

N/A

Favourite Toy?

Big Pierre (the beanie boo cuddly toy seal). I just about picked! Obviously that is just one of my favourites, I love all of my toys!

Favourite thing to do?

Ah, so many things! Erm, obviously this is just one example because I have so many favourite things to do! Seeing the seals at Donna Nook. And going to Sealife Centre.

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Donna Nook

Thanks for taking part Squiggle!

I now tag the following fab mamas to take part with their littlies…

Home with Mrs Harvey

Mayflower Blogs

 All The Beautiful Things

Mumma Hub

Emmys Mummy

Valentines Day: What Do Women Really Want?

Do you celebrate Valentines Day? And if so, how? Of course everyone is different, and no doubt there is no exception when it comes to this special occasion, but Rattan Direct are seeking to discover more about Valentines Day preferences and habits by carrying out a survey. 

(Click here to take the survey)

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The survey asks questions such as how and where you would choose to spend Valentines Day, how much your budget usually is, who you think should organise and pay for the date, and what your thoughts are on this special occasion. Do you think it is all a making money con, or do you throw your heart and soul into it? Would you rather go out to the cinema, have a nice meal, head to a bar for a few drinks, snuggle on the sofa for a cosy night in, or spend the evening having some time to yourself? Do you think under £100 is ample enough budget or do you splash the cash to the extreme and budget £500 plus for it?!

Personally, I think the budget range should have started much lower; the first option was 0-£100, which I honestly think is a massive range and imagine most people I know would fall somewhere in this category probably! If I were celebrating, I would say a budget (well) under £50 would be enough.

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I personally think both people in a couple should treat each other equally, so if one person organises and pays then that shouldn’t always be the same person! Or plan the ideal night together and split the cost. For me, equality all the way…

As for what I would choose to do, all of the options sounded nice to be honest! I think it’s more about spending time together than about what you do specifically. 

And what do I think of Valentines Day generally? Well, I think it’s nice for couples to spend time together obviously! But I also think that should be something that occurs regularly, not just a big gesture on one day of the year. I admit that I do think Valentines Day is over commercialised, but then again, it is what you choose to make it!

*Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written in collaboration with Rattan Direct.*

Bakerdays Letterbox Cake: Review and Competition

When bakerdays tweeted me asking if I would like to review their letterbox gift cake I was quite excited! Admittedly, I am not a particularly big fan of cake generally (I know, I know… it’s weird) but I was really intrigued by the concept of a cake that can literally be delivered straight through the letterbox. Would that really work?! I had to find out. And I knew that Squiggle would jump at the chance to share some cake with me too!

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The website is very user-friendly and there is a massive selection of designs to choose from for all different occasions, including options to personalise with text or an image. I spent ages trying to pick my favourite design because there are so many great choices! 

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I finally settled on this design with my own personal message that I knew would make Squiggle giggle…

bakerdays, letterbox cake, Valentines Day, special occasion, gift, dairy-free cake, gluten-free cake, review

There were a selection of sponges to choose from too. I really like the fact that all of the designs in their entire range can be ordered as a gluten-free or dairy-free option, rather than there being a restricted selection of choices, as is often the case. It is worth noting that the dairy-free option is not vegan, as it does contain eggs. 

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Whilst we avoid gluten as much as we can, medically we do not need to be strict about it, so I decided on the dairy-free option instead. We do generally try to eat as closely to vegan as we can manage anyway but, apart from anything else, I was keen to test how the dairy-free version tasted! 

The cake didn’t take long to arrive and, as promised, it plopped through my letterbox without fuss. The box landed face down and I must say I felt a slight wave of anticipation, as well as excitement, as I picked it up to check the contents! 

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I need not have worried; the cake comes very well packaged, secured in a cake tin, inside the cardboard box. It also has plastic packaging to keep it fresh and well protected within the tin itself. It even has thoughtful instructions on how to remove it carefully without damage!

bakerdays, letterbox cake, Valentines Day, special occasion, gift, dairy-free cake, gluten-free cake, review

The cake itself was delicious! The sponge was light and fluffy, with a lovely buttery filling (which incidently is on the bottom of the cake as opposed to in the middle, due to the letterbox design!) and the icing was soft and tasty. Squiggle was very impressed too; she declared “thank you for sending the cake, I love it!” 

We demolished it pretty quickly, but the 5″ letterbox size is easily big enough for 3 or 4 generous portions, as it suggests. We really enjoyed it.

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I like the novelty factor of getting a cake delivered directly through the letterbox, it was nicely presented and it was yummy too! So I think a letterbox cake would make a great unique gift for Valentines Day, or any other occasion.

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For more information about bakerdays…

Websitewww.bakerdays.com

Facebookfacebook.com/bakerdays

Twitter: @bakerdays

Last but not least; to be in with a chance to win a 5″ letterbox gift cake in your choice of design, enter my giveaway via the rafflecopter app below. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ends at midnight on 8th February 2017. Open to UK residents only. Prize will be sent out by 1st class Royal Mail. Other T&Cs apply. (See rafflecopter for details).


*Disclosure: bakerdays sent me a free letterbox cake for the purpose of this review, all thoughts and opinions are my own.*