Black Friday Offers from Pet Shop Bowl

Have you been caught up by the Black Friday Offers? Well there is still time to get some bargains over the weekend, and here are some being offered by Pet Shop Bowl.

Pet Shop Bowl Black Friday Offers:

1. Our main offer: Free £5 Voucher when you spend £50 OR Free £10 Voucher when you spend £100.
2. Extra 5% Off Royal Canin (excludes vet diets): Use code – ROYAL
3. Extra 5% Off Selected Hills (excludes vet diets & nature’s best): Use code – HILLSOFFER
4. 20% Off Selected Almo Nature dog & cat food
Pet Shop Bowl have a great range of products for your pet, and not just food a treats, all delivered to your door. To take advantage of this deal and have a happy pet follow this link to the Pet Shop Bowl website. You will have to be quick to get these offers as they end on Cyber Monday, so happy shopping.
Pet Shop Bowl is a nationwide home delivery subscription service to pet food. We are a young company with a team of friendly, helpful staff dedicated to saving you time and money. All of our staff are pet owners so we understand the needs of other pet parents.
Disclaimer we have been offered pet products in return for promotion of these offers.

Lighting your home this winter

Lighting your home in the winter can be tricky. With such a huge choice of table, floor and pendant lights in so many different colours shapes and sizes sometimes I feel bewildered by the choice. I certainly found the lack of light noticeable this year on our return from Florida. The light levels are defiantly lower during the day, and my whole house seemed grey and in need of cheering up! Changing the way you light your home can make such a difference. Not only can it make your home feel warm and inviting, but it can banish the winter blues.

In preparation for putting up the Christmas tree in a couple of weeks time I thought I would have a think about how I light the lounge. I have a couple of table lights which give a soft warm glow and are nice to watch TV by, but have come from our old house and don’t really go with anything. Sometimes we need more focused light as the boy likes to build his Lego models, and needs good lighting to see the instructions clearly, and the only bright light I have comes from the ceiling lights.

lighting your home this winter

I have energy-saving bulbs in my ceiling lights, which I know save me money but I do find can be a little yellow in colour. This isn’t helped by my brown lampshades so maybe its time for a change. I was looking for something not to modern that would still be bright enough to read by, but without being too bright. This Rihanna Flush Ceiling Fitting – Chocolate and Brushed Gold from Homebase, would be perfect and fit well with my colour scheme.


This Living Skittle Rattan Floor Lamp, would compliment my scheme and look perfect in the days after Christmas when you take the tree down and the house feels dusty and a bit duller!


Finally I think a new floor standing reading lamp would be just the thing for the boy, he can sit at the dining table and spread his Lego projects out and construct to his heart’s content!


Homebase have a handy buying guide to lights, explain how to create different effects and moods for your room.


Disclaimer, in collaboration with Homebase. Lighting photos courtesy of the Homebase website.


Brian – My half term Lego Build

When I saw a competition to build a Lego version of Brian from I knew what I would be spending my spare half term days doing. I am not usually allowed to build my own Lego, as the boy likes to make the models his own now. Spurred on by Jenny from the Brick castle, that it is ok for adults to actually make their own Lego models, I knew I had to give it my best shot! The boy quickly decided that building a replica Brian was too difficult, so started on his own version of a robot complete with jail, tower and minifigure’s. There are two competitions running side by side, one for an Apprentice builder and the other for Master Builder, so we can both enter our efforts.


So starting from the bottom up I set about trying to make my very own Brian, the Master Builder brief was to make your model as close to the real Brian as possible. The first problem was finding some suitable tracks and this is where we started to deconstruct some of the boys other Lego sets. The first model to be raided was Chima Lavel’s royal fighter with the Technic style pieces forming the base. Next I built up a platform using lots of my white or slightly yellowed 1970’s bricks. I needed to form a slope across the front which was achieved with a hinge on the back of two Star Wars base panels.

The most difficult pieces to fit were the curved areas, and this was achieved with the base of the Lego City Airport control tower, finished with some of the Ninjago Ice Dragons scales for the hint of blue. Still building up the back of the model with my vintage bricks I fitted another panel as the torso of Brian made from the roof of the Lego camper van. This was hinged again to get the right angle from the front, and then a small printed logo added for effect.

Adding in the detailed pieces for the sides was a fiddle, as I was not used to using the more advanced Technic Lego, which allows you to build on the side as well as top and bottom. The addition of a couple of Star Wars round dish shapes, and then the joints from the Ice Dragon allowed me to complete the side. Lego Hero arms were perfect for the model and not to off scale so I used these to complete the arms.

On to the all important face. I knew I had the blue dots from Lego City police cars for eyes, and a Star Wars grill for a mouth. But getting the shape how I liked it was tricky. I had a couple of attempts and then I found some more curved roof parts from the camper van which I think worked perfectly. Adding the head so it can both tilt and swivel allowed the face to have a little more character when I took the photos.

brian collage 1

I am so pleased with my finished model, and he is currently a proud addition to the model collection in the boys bedroom. If you would like to wish me luck, of have a look at some of the other amazing Lego Creations then pop over to the Brian Facebook page and my effort can be found here.

I love a creative competition, and this one is by far one of my favourites as I have a bit of a soft spot for Brian and the funny adverts that make. They certainly do stick in your mind.

Moonpig Gifts for Mothers Day

Did you know sell flowers and gifts? Well I didn’t, I thought they just sold cards! So when I was invited to have a look at the new range of Mothers Day flowers I was interested to see what Moonpig had to offer.

moonpig flowers

I was very surprised at Moonpig’s extensive range of not only flowers but chocolates and plants, some amazing personalised cards and even bottles of Fizz! Yes, something for every type of Mum. I have designed cards with before, for special people and occasions, so I know this is a very easy process. Now shopping for gifts and flowers for is just as easy. With a great range you can browse by gift ranges, bestsellers or even British Grown plants and flowers.

moonpig plants

I loved all the different Moonpig bouquets, and was particularly taken with the range of planters and garden plants available. I think its nice to have a plant that you can enjoy for years to come. The planters and pot plants looked well presented and would be great for any keen gardening Mum, like me! There were some lovely different bouquets with unusual lilies’ and Protea as well as better known roses and gerbera mixes. Lots of the Moonpig Bouquets will also make lovely gifts for a special person, and I loved the spring bouquets which would brighten up any dull day.

moonpig gifts

The gift baskets had some lovely and surprising and scrummy looking gifts including Montezuma’s which are made locally here in Sussex and have some fantastic chocolate treats. With smellies, from Beau Jardin, with no nasty additives and even mini sponge cakes which all make me very happy if I received them.

The prices for all the Moonpig gifts were are very competitive and include delivery and in some cases a free card. Delivery next day if you order before 4pm (Mon-Fri) means you can find a good package for you.

Mother’s Day Delivery:

·         Flowers under £30-Last order 2pm Friday28th for Saturday 29th delivery

·         Flowers over £30- Last order 4pm Saturday 29th for Mother’s Day delivery

·         Free card with all flowers and selected gifts

So no excuse not to have a stunning gift for your Mum in time for her special Day, rather than the last minute garage forecourt offerings.

I certainly will keep Moonpig in mind next time I am looking for something special for someone. I love the personal touches and being able to have enough choice to find the perfect fit for the recipient. Fingers crossed if I drop enough hints I might even get a Moonpig gift in time for Mothers Day!

Disclaimer, thanks to Moonpig for the invitation and sample gifts, and remuneration, the opinions remain my own and have not been changed.




What are you doing for World Book Day?

This Thursday 6 March is World Book Day, and schools, libraries and more will be getting busy celebrating books and raising funds and awareness for Book Aid International.

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, even if you haven’t entered one of the giveaways, chances are that you’re a big fan of books.

But sadly in some other countries, such as those in sub-Saharan Africa, books are not in such plentiful supply – meaning that communities don’t have access to the information, imagination and inspiration that we take so much for granted.
That’s why Book Aid International sends over half a million books each year to mobile libraries, universities, schools, hospitals and more to change the lives of children and adults in 12 African countries.
Each individual book goes on a long journey towards making a difference:

And it’s because we want more of these books to go on that journey that we ask people to do something for World Book Day. From reading to quizzes to parties and more, there are plenty of ideas for you to try.
What will you be up to on World Book Day?​

Thank you to Book Aid international for this guest post, I have enjoyed finding out more about the journey of books, and how they can help people in other coutries not just our own.

Carcraft Lego challenge

Carcraft are challenging bloggers to make a story using Lego and we chose to use some of our cops and robbers (Our Lego set arrived after the video deadline).Getting to build the Baddies for the Lego Carcraft Challenge

Over the half term we have been practicing stop start animation, with about 300 pictures making up a 30 second piece of film. In the past we have made films using a camera with this technique, the animation software we have now makes things much easier. We had the odd mishap, the hand in shot, plus trying to find a way of keeping the scenery very still. With the addition of music, and a little poetic licence this is what we came up with, we hope you like it!

Our animation shows that crime doesn’t pay! If you are looking to buy a car Carcraft, can help as the country’s leading used car supermarket, with no added nasty’s!

Building Lego


Disclaimer, we have been sent a Lego set to keep, the video, ideas and opinions remain our own.



Klorane Nettle Shampoo

Klorane Nettle Shampoo has a deep cleansing formula for those prone to oiliness and something I was looking forward to putting to the test. I have found as I get older that my hair is getting oilier. I have reasonably long hair and I really would like not to have to wash it every day. I find that I can manage one sleep before my hair needs washing again, so was interested to see if Klorane would change that.

Klorane claims

This gentle, effective treatment shampoo gives you more time between washes, working to regularise the amount of oil your scalp produces while slowing its spread throughout the hair. The star ingredient of the shampoo is scopoletine, an extract from nettle, which restores balance to the scalp

I was surprised that even after only one shampoo I noticed a difference, and after two weeks of use, I am able to sleep twice on my hair before I notice the greasiness and itchy feeling comes back. The shampoo itself has a lovely smell, and If I didn’t know it was made from nettles, I would describe it as freshly mown grass. I have found that you perhaps need to use a bit more shampoo than a conventional brand as it has a runny consistency. The bottle does seem to be lasting well though so at RRP £6.00 would still be good value for money compared to the brands I usually purchase.

Klorane shampoo is available from the Escential website here, and along with lots of other beauty products, as well as conditioners from the Klorane range.


Disclaimer I was sent this product to review the opinions remain my own and have not been changed.

Crying real tears for Elise Christie

Yes we had real tears today for Elise Christie, as our short track star was once again judged out of her final race. One very upset young man has gone to bed, whispering to himself at the unfairness of it all. He said

“It would be like me being disqualified in foil, then sabre, then the one whose name I can’t remember! (Epee) and that is just wrong!”

Is this a good lesson for him to learn? I do hope so, I know in his chosen sport of Fencing he will meet plenty of his own judges decision’s, that at the time may not favour him. I know he has been warned that sometimes it is how you behave, and who you know that will get you points.

I am not saying that Elise deserved any of what to us seem unfair judging decisions, and I am sure that like so many athletes before her she will go on to achieve greater things in her life. I can’t help feeling a little sad myself tonight that things did not go her way. The boy of course sees things so black and white, and I know if he was in Sochi right now, he would be up there sorting out the judges to find out exactly why they disqualified one of our greatest medal hopes for the Winter Games!

So Elise if you are reading this, we believe in you, and my 8-year-old boy will be shouting the loudest in 4 years time, louder than anyone for you to prove them wrong, we know you can win gold.

My son

My son

Valentines Gifts in Unusual Places

Yes it is possible to find Valentines Gifts in Unusual Places, and that is the challenge for the two men in my life, set by Sports Direct. Of course Sports Direct sell sport clothing and accessories and that would be perfect for my two sporty fan’s. I am talking about Hubby and the boy, they come as a pair in my life, so I think it only fair to treat them to something fun this valentine’s. I was looking for the unusual, while still being a practical kind of Mum, this proved easier than I though. So here are my choices:

A Nike combat base layer will be perfect for the boy on a Friday fencing session. As much as I love to watch the boy fencing, and I love his enthusiasm for his sport, the soggy sweaty cuddles are not so appealing, so this could be my answer! and even better at £15.99 a great price.


Next to Dad M, who since his Badminton accident has not done any sport. We need to ease him back in gently so the perfect thing, would be to have a little game at home. This set of 4 badminton rackets and shuttle would mean we can have a gentle game in the garden and get Dad M back to his fit self. Priced at £16.99 for the set this is perfect as an introduction to the sport, or simply a great beach, or garden set.72802590_xlNext I would treat them both to a new skate bag, something that they can transport their skates easily in and much cooler than a supermarket shopper. These Airwalk bags would be perfect and at £11 and £12 are not over priced, while still having plenty of style and useful pockets.

Finally I would get them this trophy, just to say how proud I am of them both and how special they are. If I hadn’t met Dad M all those many years ago, we wouldn’t have our fantastic boy. So here are you go, you don’t have to buy the dull and boring chocolates and cards this Valentines find something a bit different and not so ordinary!

All the gifts above are available on the Sports Direct website, this is my entry onto Valentines Gifts in Unusual Places with Sports Direct.

Regatta fantastic customer service

Regatta have to win best customer service for me in 2013, as if there is one thing I think all companies should take note of, is how they treat customers. It’s a bug bare of mine when you get poor unacceptable treatment from a retail company. Having worked in retail, mail order, and third sector roles I know how important the public are to everything you do.

So why have regatta earned my adoration well its a long story so here you are…

On 29th dec 2012 I went shopping for a new winter coat something to keep me warm and dry on the soggy school run. I found what I thought was a great 3 in 1 coat from Regatta in a warehouse style chain store, costing £70 the coat was not an amount I am used to sending on myself. When bingo granny offered to pay for the coat as my birthday gift I felt much happier.

Fast forward and after a very cold winter, lovely warm spring and summer I was happy to get my coat back  out after its summer break. But within one week of use one of the zips fell to bits, knowing enough about needlework I knew it was not something I could repair. Anyway the coat was still within its guarantee so I needed to return the coat, this was the start of my problems. My nearest store is over an hours drive do I contacted them by email. After a long conversation where they couldn’t guarantee to either replace or refund me I faced 6 weeks without a waterproof coat. I maybe unusual but I only have one waterproof coat!

So facing a long trip and with no free time between now and Christmas I wasnt sure where to turn untill a friend suggested I contact Regatta directly. I felt that it wasnt their problem, but thought it was worth asking if they would be able to help. After contacting them on twitter, then by email and explaining my dilemma I resigned myself to no answer, and planned to squeeze in a long drive.

So imagine my shock when I had a reply from Regatta to say that they would replace the coat free of charge and have it delivered over the Christmas break. I honestly can’t thank them enough for this goodwill gesture. I was contemplating my next action and not looking forward to the possible hassle with the warehouse store. With faith restored in the Regatta brand and retailers in general I will be wearing and recommending Regatta to everyone, including all of you. I wear my new coat with much pride and will not face the prospect of a wet school run in 2014.