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Do you have an emergency fund?

Today I am handing my blog over to a friend, a wise, thrifty, money saver of a blogger. The following is all written by Emma. Hi, I’m Emma and I blog over at From Aldi To Harrods, all about saving money and ways to make some extra money. I am a strong believer in having an emergency fund and it has certainly helped us out of a few financial pickles. Having an emergency fund is really important so that if you were faced with sickness, job loss, a large repair bill or any other unplanned financial emergency, you have the money set aside so that you can maintain your normal lifestyle. Here are some of my tips to help you kickstart your emergency fund. How much to save In an ideal world, we would have at least 6 months of our salary set aside as an emergency fund. I don’t know […]


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The Epson EcoTank 4500

Recently a lovely email popped into my inbox. Would I like to review a printer that I already had my eye on but couldn’t afford right now? Erm, yes! Our old printer was old, the software was no longer compatible with our current version of Windows and it was becoming a right nuisance. Worse than that, it had faded from white to some hideous orange-ish beige. When the Epson EcoTank 4500* arrived I was so happy, I actually danced about the kitchen when I saw the delivery guy. “Pleased to see me love?” “Oh yes. That’s my new baby right there.”


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Brewers Fayre* does the Beano this half term 1

Brewers Fayre are upping their game for the children this February half term and are hosting a barrel load of Beano fun in selected restaurants. Your little folks get a rather cool Beano comic to keep them busy at the table, or they can play in the soft play areas. The play areas have recently been given a Beano themed makeover and they can also ask for a Beano balloon after their dinner if they fancy it. On Friday 19th and Saturday 20th at selected Brewers Fayres there will even be a disco. The toddlers party is scheduled from 9:30am until 3pm then the bigger kids are welcomed between 3:30pm to 7:30pm and costs just £3 per child. Full details of the restaurants that are hosting these discos will be online at Brewers Fayre from 2nd February, so bookmark it now if you are interested. What was the comic itself […]


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London Toy Fair

Today and yesterday I’ve been in the city, at Kensington Olympia for Toy Fair. This is a massive exhibition of toy brands and promoters, if you are a toy geek this might be heaven. Lego, Knex, Playmobil, Microscooters, Popples, Nerf, Care bears, Danger Mouse, Minions, tons of teddies and toy cars, . It’s all here. I’ve had some nice chats, and nearly nodded off in the press room. Note to self Do Not Sit Down when you are busy, it always makes me super sleepy. This is a bit like window shopping in a massive toy shop, you can’t buy things from most of the stands, the items are display toys – and you are encouraged to touch and try things out. I have found myself talking about toys I didn’t even know existed until this weekend, and fiddling with some toys I had previously dismissed as “not very good” […]


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The Oakwood Table Table* at Twigworth

Around Christmas time we went to The Oakwood, a Table Table restaurant at Twigworth near Gloucester. It is just off the side of a busy road, but inside you don’t really notice the road noise so you can relax. We were met by a friendly young lady in a festive jumper and she showed us to our table. The boys are children but they usually order from the grown ups menus, not out of greed, but because they prefer more flavour and less fried food. Children get a Horrible Histories sticker book to keep them busy, I thought it might have been a 6 page miniature book, but it was a proper one, I’d estimate a £4 to £5 value for similar at a newsagent or book store so it really is worth asking for. This kept Jen so busy he almost forgot that we were here for dinner!


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Sleeveless dresses in Winter? No problem with Wingz * 1

About a week ago something cool came in the post, Wingz. Nope it isn’t a ladies hygiene product or a travel company. Wingz are sleeves without tops, a pair of sleeves you pop on under a dress or top that is short sleeved or sleeveless. The sleeves themselves come in a few options from plain black or white jersery, delicate chiffon, lace or wild prints. If you are like me you dress according to mood and not seasons. I don’t have different “wardrobes” or store my Summer things away until after Spring. If I like it, I wear it. This is why I’ve decided I love Wingz – rather than shivering stubbornly and refusing to get changed I can wear these genius little things under my dresses. Why did I not know about these sooner! My problem now is knowing the words to use, is it a pair of Wingz, […]


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Movie night at Gracewell*

This evening we had a family film night thanks to Gracewell* Healthcare. The four of us on the sofa, with the fire on, watching Paddington. Although most parents I know have seen Paddington I hadn’t. There were a few belly laughs, and we were almost crying from laughing so hard at some points. I was pleasantly surprised as I was expecting the boys to like it whilst us grown ups would be bored stiff. NOPE!


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Wellness food for dogs 2

Over New Year Doris and Freya have been trying out Wellness dog food. It’s a premium dog food range made from good quality ingredients. They tried Core, a complete wet food and which comes in 170gram pots. The packaging is actually a strong plastic bowl that you can feed from, but we always feed the dogs from their own bowls when we are at home. Having it come in a usable bowl is great for travelling or going out with the family and dogs – many family attractions have dog water available so a drink is much easier to find. I think it would be better than the sandwich bag of dry food I normally take out as a dog packed lunch. As I hope you can see in the above pictures it has a chunky meaty middle covered in a smooth pâté. Freya and Doris like different textures so they […]


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New year, new… bog seat 2

New Year, new me new bog seat. None of the new year lies resolutions for me. After years of moaning and saying how manky our loo seat is, and dropping hints about it to the man of the house I took matters into my own hands. It was an MDF seat, factory made and painted white with metal screws. Around 2 years ago chips in the paint allowed boyish whiffs in. The screws were rusted so much that it was locked to the pottery base. No amount of cleaning, scrubbing or even perfume would hide this stench. I seemed to be the only one who could smell it, the lads were nose-blind to it. I was embarrassed if anyone asked to use our loo, the stains that looked like a petri dish experiment just wouldn’t go and it looked like it had never ever been cleaned.


BrewBarrel

BrewBarrel – make your own beer

Does someone in your life like beer or ale? Brewbarrel might be worth considering for new years? Tara at Cattitude & Co said….. Brewbarrel offer a wide range of home-brewing kits that any beer lover can enjoy. Their bestsellers include: Lager, Pale Ale, India Pale Ale, Oktoberfest Style Beer and even a kit that allows you to create your own bespoke lager. If you’re reading this and thinking “wow this sounds great but I’m lazy“, I’m here to tell you that it couldn’t be simpler. Your Brewbarrel comes with everything you need including pre-weighed ingredients. All you need to is some water and a kettle. Best of all, it only takes ten minutes to prepare!


Dog stocking fillers

Gift ideas for dogs 5

If you have a dog you’ll know that they really are family and my pet dogs have always had gifts. Since the internet happened it has been very easy to get a thoughtful gift for dogs or for the owner. Treat boxes. If you are shopping mainly for the owners then monthly boxes are a good idea, Pawsome box for example. It won’t arrive in time for Christmas now but just send a card saying that Fido will be getting a regular gift for however long you chose. Use code blg49x2a to get 25% discount on your first box. The Christmas Pawsome box *contains a squeaky vinyl Santa, a tennis ball on chewable rope, a seriously cute robin teddy, posh Biogance dog shampoo, chocolate orange treats, miniature Christmas pudding treats and some Trixie chews. As normal it has a little leaflet about the products, which is helpful. I had a nosey […]


Photo of Star Wars Lego taken by Dee.

Last minute gift ideas for boys 4

As a Mum of two boys I’ve had a lot of gift ideas mentioned to me. If you are a last minute shopper I might be able to help you avoid buying the dreaded socks, or worse still, petrol station purchases. Star Wars Lego. We were recently sent some Lego by George at Asda* and the lads do rather like it. Dee (age 13) chose the TIE fighter, whilst Jen (age 7) chose a couple of smaller sets. The TIE fighter took a while to build which is great for an older boy, or even a childish adult. With the size of the box and the RRP of £59.99 I was honestly expecting more, something bigger or with a smaller ship or droid in the box. Dee said he likes the set but that he also felt the price was too high, and he’s an avid Lego collector. I’d recommend […]