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

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Long Time No Write

It's been a long time since I've been able to visit this little space that is my blog, it's not that I've not wanted to write, nor that I've had nothing to write about but more that my time has been limited.  You see I've been at work.  Work.  That tiny little word that takes up so much of my days, so much of my mind space and in return I get paid.  

I get to help young minds grow and invest in the future of the next generation.  As wonderful as this is I do still miss that me time that means I get to write poetry, write about my family life and take random little visits to places I might not usually experience.

The next few weeks I have the pleasure of the summer holidays and although I may still find my mind drifts into plans for September, I now have much more time on my hands to think and to write.  I'm going to commit myself to write at least one post a week.  It might be random thoughts or posts about exercise, who knows but at least I will have a little time, in between family fun, to write.

I look forward to catching up with some of my readers and once again connecting with some of the lovely blogs that I've had the pleasure of interacting with in the past.

speak soon x

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Amaretto & Cashew Flapjacks

I've recently been spoilt with a box of Thomas.J. Fudge's wonderful Limited Edition White Chocolate Flapjacks, in return I promised them I'd give them a view of my pantries and let them know what I'd put in my own limited edition flapjacks.

They look so tempting even the Prince couldn't keep his little hands off them.

After one bite of their delightful goodies I was not sure I could come up with a recipe to compete, not that it's a competition, but the competitive nature in me wanted to beat them with flavour.

I decided on mixing my favourite nut, the cashew with my favourite tipple, Disaronno.  I don't drink much which is why I still have a 3/4 full bottle from 2 years ago so making these gave me just  the right reason to have a splash.

100g raisins
6 dessert spoons of Disaronno
200g unsalted butter
100g maple syrup
100g brown sugar
100g plain flour
1oog cashew nuts
1tsp cinnamon 
250g rolled oats


1. Place the oats, flour and nuts into a bowl

2. Heat butter, Disaronno, raisins, cinnamon and syrup on a low heat until sugar is dissolved and butter melted.

3. Remove the liquid from the heat and pour over the dry ingredients.  Mix well ensuring all dry ingredients is covered.

4. Place the flapjack mixture into a greased lined square tin spread evenly and flatten.

5.  Put in the oven on gas mark 3 for 20 -30 minutes.

6.  Remove from oven, cut to shape and leave to cool.

There you have it, delicious Amaretto and cashew flapjacks. (Makes 10-15 depending on how you cut them) 

I have to admit as delicious as mine where the white chocolate coating on Thomas. J. Fudge's just gave them the edge.

What do you put in your flapjacks?

I was sent a box of flabjacks to try and asked what I would put in my flapjacks, all opinions are my own

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Love Thy Fro - Book Review

I absolutely LOVE my fro so when Casey Elisha offered me the opportunity to review her children's book 'Love Thy Fro' I jumped at the chance.  My whole natural hair journey started because my then 11 year old princess didn't love her natural hair and I thought to myself, 'What kind of example am I setting her by wearing a relaxer?'  I big chopped, embraced my fro and have not looked back.

This lovely little book is the perfect illustration of the versatility of natural hair.  It gives us the language we need to encourage our little girls to love their afro hair.

Coming from a community of people who often have to work extra hard for acceptance and recognition, it is so important that we teach our young people self acceptance, self praise and self recognition.  It is my strong belief that with pride in ones self, you emanate confidence and force others to see your strengths.

What is extra special about the book is not only does it have a space for the owner to put a picture of their fro in it also has space for them to write what they love about their fro.  This book can form a constant reminder for a young girl that our afro hair (no matter what curl pattern) is special and a part of who we are.

What we need now is a boys version!  I read this to my little boy and at the end of the book without hesitation he stated, "I love my Fro!"

I was given the book for the purpose of this review, all opinions are my own.

Monday, 8 February 2016

Mother's Day Gift Ideas - Five Gifts Mums Will Love

Every mother's day the princess asks me what I want and every year I'm at a loss as to what I really do want, or need and end up saying, "Nothing babe, surprise me."  This year I thought I'd help out the children with difficult mothers such as myself and put together a little gift guide.

1.  For the forgetful mother

This stylish Mum's Office 'Mum's Birthday Book' not only looks good but is a great place to store all those important birthdays and avoid last minute gift shopping.  The book has a birthday card list, a present record and even a space to record the presents you receive.  Certainly a gift worth giving.

2.  For the fit mum
I've been hinting at this one for a while now and still no joy!  A set of weights for home exercise is what every fit mum desires, that is of course if they haven't already got some stashed behind the living room chair that never see daylight.

3.  For the stylish mum

I'm a crazy pinner and once an outfit inspires me on pinterest I just have to have it, I love all the African inspired prints that are around these days and high waisted skirts are perfect for giving just enough hold on that mum tum!  But of course once you've bought her the outfit you have to find somewhere to take her!

4.  For the mum who 'lunches'

Afternoon tea for you and your mother.  Although we love our girlfriends nothing beats a sophisticated afternoon with your eldest, and if you're feeling extra generous follow it up with a matinee performance.  (There are lots of afternoon tea discounts on sites like Groupon.)

5. For the mum who likes all things bling

A bracelet with a special message, or better yet a charm bracelet that you can add to on special days (saves having to think of a new gift each year!)  It's worth having a look on Etsy for something unique whilst at the same time hopefully supporting small businesses.

If all else fails a card (home made if from little ones) and a supermarket bunch of flowers is still sure to put a smile on mum's face, after all, it's the thought that counts.

I was gifted a Mum's Office Birthday book and decided to feature it in this post, all opinions are my own, all pictures are linked to the owners sites.

Monday, 1 February 2016

Summer Love - A Competition Post

Can I tell you a story?

This story is a true story, one filled with fun (I remember what that was like) and dancing until the smiles of our toes parted to reveal the sand beneath them.  Our very first non-home holiday, I know that sounds silly, every holiday is a non-home holiday right?  WRONG! When you have two places you call home (for us that's Barbados and England) a non-home holiday is when we aren't in one of those two places.


I listened to the recommendation of a friend and booked the teen and I (before she was a teen and before the prince was born) in for a week long holiday in a fishing village in Costa Brava, Calella.  Barring the one day spent on the beach and a day at a medieval castle, we would get up early each morning and jump on the train to the beautiful city of Barcelona.

 We fell in love with that city, the arts, architecture, street markets, people and culture had us wishing we had booked a hotel right in the centre of all the hustle and bustle.  

It was an adventure for us both, neither myself or my daughter are the type to spend all day long sitting at pool side, we live for adventure.   

We visited the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art, La Rambla, Sagrada Familia, Barcelona Zoo and L'Aquarium Barcelona.  As well as this, we walked around the city taking in all the sights and sounds; from the street performers, to the children heading excitedly to visit Camp Nou, had we had the liberty not to return to our fishing village hotel, we certainly would have taken it.  

We didn't take much pictures that holiday because we spent so much time enjoying each others company and the many sights through our very own eyes, and there is nothing more magical than that.