Monday, 21 August 2017

My little fish - Epaderm Junior review

My quest to help my little man learn to swim began when he was just a few months old with mother and baby swim classes, although I started with the best of intentions these classes didn't go to plan.  For one reason or another we were unfortunate enough to have them cancelled or moved to days when we couldn't attend.  A few months ago we decided to start again with an intensive swim week, then followed these up with weekly swimming lessons at a local private school pool.

Daniel has gone from being afraid to put his head in the water to being a little fish and swimming both on his front and his back.  I'm one very proud mother.

The one negative to all this is the effect the chlorine has had on his skin.  For some with eczema chlorine can have a positive influence as recent research has shown mild bleach can reduce bacteria on eczematous skin, for Daniel the chlorine has had a drying effect therefore causing him irritation.

So what did we do to counteract this?  
Applying Epaderm Junior, which is the newest addition to the Epaderm family and is specially developed by dermatologists, washing the chlorine off his skin after swimming then re-applying his cream.  Thanks to this process and continued use of the cream and ointment after a couple of weeks his skin was no longer dry and symptoms of irritation had stopped.

We were used to using a thicker prescribed ointment from the doctor, which for the most part worked well so I was sceptical about the light Epaderm cream, his skin however loves it.  

Although we were exclusively using Epaderm for 4 weeks we now alternate between the doctor prescribed hydromol ointment and Epaderm because we've found that Daniel's skin requires a variety of different moisturisers at different times.

As for the swimming, we're off to our local pool today to enjoy some summer holiday swimming fun.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Hello Strangers

I promised myself I would write at least one blog post this summer, in the aim to get myself blogging again.  Having written this I will have achieved that goal, I'm certainly not one to break a promise, except sometimes when that promise is to myself.

You know like the promises you make yourself never to let anyone treat you badly again, or the promise never to be fooled into buying something you don't need because the deal sounds too good to miss out on.  Those promises are more difficult to keep.  I can promise myself not to let anyone treat me badly, the problem with that is I'm not in control of the actions of others, so instead a better promise would be to promise myself that how I handle someone who treats me badly will be better than I handled it before.

One promise I have managed to keep for myself though is the promise to keep fit, don't get me wrong I've not always managed to get to the gym and I've definitely enjoyed a doughnut or two (or the whole packet on a good day)  but despite that I've kept my steps up, exercised at home, maintained a somewhat healthy diet and enjoyed some healthy alternative forms of exercise.

For the rest of this year my promise to myself is to write; be it one or two blog posts a month, a poem on a scrap of paper, a story for the little one or a play script for the teen, I will write.  I would love if you can help me out with encouraging words, tweet reminders or a little nudge in my inbox every now and again because sometimes we forget to do what we love because we are so caught up trying to love what we have to do.

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Happy Birthday Fireman Sam!

This year sees the 30th birthday of our much loved children's character Fireman Sam.

To celebrate Sam turning 30 Abbey Home Media have released a new DVD collection 'Fireman Sam - Sam's Birthday.'

Daniel and I had the pleasure of reviewing the DVD.  I have to admit that although I was looking forward to watching the DVD Daniel was not so excited.  The pace of children's programs has seemingly changed dramatically and everything is fast moving action.

Fireman Sam has a more relaxed pace and tells a story that is easy to keep up with.  With all the rushing around that happen's in today's world it was nice to sit and relax to something at a more easy pace. 

Daniel's opinion, "It's for babies." 

Our recommendation is that it is most suitable for those under 5.

Saturday, 10 December 2016

5 Budget Toys For 5 Year Old Boys

Excuse me if my Christmas cheer went down the drain with my last payslip, it seems being a so called 'middle earner' is no good for a single mother.  Taking my lack of financial liberty into account It was a bit of a struggle to decide what I would put on the list for best Christmas gifts.

The list I finally came up with was actually pretty great and despite the low budget they are things that would have ended up on my Christmas list anyway.  Without further ado here is my list of 5 budget toys for 5 year old boys.

1. In at number 1 is the Star Wars Nerf First Order Stormtrooper Blaster.  I'm not really a fan of guns but my little boy on the other hand loves them and this one happens to be within budget on sale at around the £10-15 mark.

2.  You can't go wrong with a bit of lego, especially not if it's avengers lego.  The Lego Juniors Iron Man Vs Loki is the perfect set that provides just enough creating for little hands and lots of imaginative fun.  It's also a great starting place for a hero collection.

3.  Robotics are apparently all the rage and having been on robotics course recently they can also be a great learning tool.  To test out the waters there's Boombot The Extreme Humanoid Robot, which has over 60 interactive responses, including laughing at it's own farts, now what little boy isn't going to love that!

4. In at number four is a subscription to Okido, the arts and science magazine for children aged 3-8.  A lovely magazine packed full with activities and information to keep them occupied all Christmas.

5. Last but certainly not least the Imaginext range is amazing (not sure who likes them more, me or the small person).  With lots in the range to choose from there is something for every budget big or small.

The opinions are my own, I have not been paid to write this list but did receive 3 free copies of Okido magazine with no obligation.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016


Earlier this month saw the release of the BBC's first ever Children in Need charity compilation Pudsey and Friends and we were lucky enough to be sent a review copy.

We saved our viewing until half-term as it meant we would truly have the time to sit, chill out and watch the 3 hour compilation of CBeebies finest, including some of our favourites like Charlie and Lola, Bing and Mike The Knight.

This fantastic compilation, released by Abbey Home Media on 10th October, also includes shows for the younger viewers such as Twirly Woos, Something Special and In The Night Garden.

Little man had yet to sit through a full episode of Peter Rabbit as he has always found it scary and switched off the TV but I'm glad to report that he finally faced his fears and watched a whole episode!  He had this to say: "It's not scary, it's quite awesome." When asked if he would watch it again he gave a heartwarming and excited shout, "Yes!"

The DVD retails at around £5 and a minimum of £2 from the sale of every DVD goes towards supporting disadvantaged children and young people across the UK through BBC's Children in Need.

You can get your copy from most high street stores or visit here.

We were sent a copy of Pudsey and Friends for the purpose of this review, all opinions are my own.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Tortillas and Crackers - A Review Post

The children and I just got back from a lovely family break at Center Parcs Woburn.  

We had a great time but there was a lot of prep to do beforehand.  We had to decide between spending more to eat out each night and for snacking or to pack some things to take along with us and save us some money, we decided on a bit of both.

I was lucky enough to have received some lovely goodies from both Santa Maria and Thomas J Fudge which accompanied us on the journey.  

The Santa Maria goodies are products I've used before and come back to time and time again.  They are good value for money, the seasoning mix is around £1.79 and tortillas are available at £1.59 prices may vary).  I used these items to prepare the teen a Quorn and avocado wrap for lunch and the teen boys in our group ate salsa on almost everything.

The meal was really easy to prepare and the seasoning gave the Quorn a mild spicy flavour that was very enjoyable.

I left the Thomas J Fudge items on the main table for group snacking in the hopes I could receive some non solicited, honest opinions.  

Some of the words that were used to describe them were, ''Moreish, tasty, addictive, and strangely addictive."  These comments were mostly in reference to the Punchy Jalapeno flavour and the Thai Chilli flavour mini wafers but the Almond & Cranberry and Hazelnut & Apple crackers were also amongst the favourites.  

Thomas J Fudge are a bit more of a luxury brand than my usual crackers and are priced in the region of £2.25 - £4 per pack, but are well worth it for a treat.  These savoury snacks would make a great accompaniment to a cheese and wine night or as one of the boxes (Sunflower & Caraway, my new favourites) suggests, "Topped with a sumptuous slab of pâté."

This is a review post, all opinions are my own.  I have been given the food items for the purpose of this review. 

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Glimmers Of Sunshine

This week has been an interesting one, as far as my mood goes I've been a storm with glimmers of sunshine, so there is hope for me yet.  As far as activities go we've pretty much stayed close to home and had a few family days, including a trip to the theatre to watch Wicked, which by the way was exactly that, it was so good that even the little prince, who I half expected to fall asleep, watched until the end and spoke about how much he enjoyed it.  It was also a day where I got the opportunity to take out my DSLR and get some cute snaps of my two gorgeous children even if I do say so myself).

The boy will not stay still

A natural

Friday saw my little prince turn 5 years old, we all had a fantastic day and he kept saying it was, "The best day ever." His Gambado's party was full of fun and watching him and his friends play was the cutest thing ever.

 The only thing that hurt a little was that morning he kept saying, "I wish Darrell was alive."  
If this were the only time he said it probably wouldn't affect me much but he says it ALL THE TIME.  He says it as soon as he wakes up, he says it during his breakfast, he says it whilst brushing his teeth, he even says it whilst he's sat on the loo.  It's been just over 10 months since Darrell died and as selfish as this might be I don't want to be reminded every second that he's not with us anymore, it makes me feel physically sick, like someone is swinging my stomach around inside me and refusing to let go until I'm left with a dizzy stomach on the verge of falling over.  It does make me wonder how the teen feels, after all it is her who has lost a father, who, like me, was also one of her best friends.  For now my only response when the prince says it for the millionth time is, "I know son, we all do."

On another completely separate note, the teen and I will be completing the muddy run in September and would love to get a few sponsors so if you're feeling generous visit our just giving page and show your support x