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Month: November 2017

Wicked Gifts from Wicked Uncle – Making Life Super Simple!

Wicked Gifts from Wicked Uncle – Making Life Super Simple!

With Christmas well and truly on its way, Hubs and I have been thinking about the perfect gifts to buy our girls. Now that we’re both working, tasks like this aren’t just down to me. His Lordship has to muck in too! The trouble is, neither of us are especially good at the gift buying thing. In the past we’ve gone straight for the easy option and given money or vouchers. With two children to keep happy over the festive period though, vouchers just won’t cut it. We need all the help we can get. Luckily this week I was contacted by Wicked Uncle to try out gift buying, their way!

 

 

What do Wicked Uncle do?

Wicked Uncle are a website designed to make your gift buying experience for children, as simple as possible! To start you off, all you need is the age of the child and you’re presented with an array of age appropriate gifts. There are extra categories to narrow down your search, such as the gender of the child and what they’re most interested in. Our favourite categories to search through were ‘Braniac’ and ‘Outdoorsy’, as these suit Hubs and I perfectly too. There’s also the option to add gift wrap and personalised messages to the gifts you buy. They really have set out to make life as easy as possible!

 

How did Hubs get on?

As my husband usually leaves gift buying to me, I thought he would be the perfect candidate to try out the service that Wicked Uncle have to offer. He accepted the challenge and headed straight over to their site, eager to see what he could get our girls. The teacher in him always goes for the more educational toys, with the system that Wicked Uncle have in place he was spoilt for choice in no time at all.  He loved that he could identify immediately whether the toys would be age appropriate.

In the end he opted for a Learning Resources, STEM gears deluxe building set, for the biggest. For our youngest he chose the TOMY Megasketcher Classique.  The delivery on our items was really quick, perfect for those last minute buys. We were both impressed with the products and service from Wicked Uncle, especially Hubs who will definitely be using it regularly from now on!

 

 

What did the girls think?

Gift buying is hard at the best of times, but when you have two of the harshest critics to please, it gets even more difficult. It seems that with the help of Wicked Uncle, daddy did good! Both girls have loved their presents, they’ve also enjoyed playing with each other’s too.

 

 

So, thankyou Wicked Uncle! Not only have you made gift buying from here on in super simple, but we have two very happy girls as well. That’s definitely a win-win!

 

 

*We were gifted these products from Wicked Uncle for the purpose of this review. As always, all thoughts and opinions are our own.

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#WorkshopWednesday – Five Easy Tasks you can Complete Before Breakfast

#WorkshopWednesday – Five Easy Tasks you can Complete Before Breakfast

Welcome to #WorkshopWednesday, my weekly feature with a focus on all things blogging! Each week there’ll be tips, tricks and advice on how to get your blog running like a well oiled machine!

 

Whether you’ve been blogging for five years or five minutes, you’ll know that there is ALWAYS work to be done! It’s never ending, which is why we have to find time to complete as many tasks as we can throughout the day. I find that the key to keeping on top of my to-do list, is to assign certain tasks to certain times of the day. It’s crucial that I don’t attempt to complete tasks, when I know they’ll end up being abandoned half way through.

There are some tasks that I find are best completed everyday, in order to keep on top of them. Otherwise they spiral out of control, before we’ve even realised we’re behind! It’s so easy for us to shelve things at the back of our minds, but often we’ll forget to come back to them later. So, I have a little list of easy tasks that I know need to be completed everyday and I aim to do them before breakfast. Keeping on top of this list is a great way to keep my head in the game and to start off my day feeling productive!

 

Five easy morning tasks –

 

  1. Reply to comments left on your blog and social media

  2. Like and comment on Instagram posts within your niche.

  3. Retweet fellow blogger’s content on Twitter.

  4. Share your work to blogger support threads and linkys – provided you have time to come back later and complete the reciprocation requirements.

  5. Plan a blog post.

 

This may seem like a lot to get through before breakfast, but many of these tasks only take a few minutes to complete. Just imagine how much you can tick off of your to-do list if you stuck to this routine. Even it’s only for three mornings a week, you’re sure to feel more on top of your game than ever before!

 

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#MumisBest Guest Post – Rhian, From Tum to Mum!

#MumisBest Guest Post – Rhian, From Tum to Mum!

Welcome to another instalment of my new guest series #MumisBest!  #MumisBest is all about the ever-growing SAHM/working mum debate.  I really want this series to highlight that there’s no right or wrong way, but whatever works for you and you family.  If you’d like to take part do get in touch, I’d love to hear from you!  For now I will leave you in the hands of Rhian, From Tum to Mum!

 

Mum is best – Can we have it all?

When you get pregnant, you mentally make lots of decisions about how life might be with a family.

You may decide that you want to follow some kind of “written” guidebook of how life will be (the likes of Gina Forde). Or you might like the idea that you can fit the baby into your life and it’ll be easy to have it all.

Of course, you know it’s going to impact your life and there’ll be sacrifices, but you have no idea what they will really be until that little face pops out and drains every last smidgen of energy you have left. The chances are that the naive decisions you tried to make during pregnancy will turn out to have been a pipe dream.

For most mums I know, even though they may have been super ambitious prior to pregnancy, changes happen. Priorities change. Energy levels change. Work changes. They change.

Priorities

For some Mums, they continue their career path and choose to return to work full time. That’s fine. For a lot of us (me included) they seek a more flexible working pattern because their job is suddenly not the ‘be all and end all’ that it once was. That’s fine too. Many may not be able to change their work situations financially. Equally fine, although I’m sure they’d prefer not to. Whichever it is, that good old “Mum guilt” will go into overdrive.

I am self employed so I didn’t really take a break at all, as I’d work around the clock. I mean, I was up anyway, so I thought I may as well sneak a bit of work in whilst she was feeding. I now have a more organised structure working only during childcare or at night time if I need to.

Energy levels

Once your offspring is sleeping more, you’ll most likely feel more tired. You might now be doing those extra jobs you didn’t get around to during the day well after little one is down for the night. Or you may still be up throughout the night. In short, you’re still going to be knackered most of the time and that’s likely to influence whatever work situation you have.

Work

You haven’t been around for a long time, and in most businesses, a lot changes in a short space of time. So it’s likely that work won’t be the same place that you left.

So what does that mean?

It means that “having it all” might actually not be the easiest thing to achieve. There is a strong possibility that you’ll constantly feel as though things aren’t quite right and you could do something better. You will probably always feel as though you are letting someone down.

So here’s the thing… you’re not.

You’re doing something amazing.

Whether you’re back at work, a SAHM or somewhere in between, you’re showing your child the realities of modern life. It bloody hard and we think we can do everything. Very rarely do I say ‘no’ to much, hence working with a newborn, but seriously, it’s knackering.

There is no perfect solution that won’t make you feel as though you’ve done 10 rounds with Mike Tyson.

It’s an ever-growing debate, and there is certainly no right or wrong. You just have to do what is right for your and your family.

The way I work, I feel like my daughter knows that I am always around for then important things, but she also knows that Mummy works too. That’s her time to have fun with her friends at nursery.

So my advice is, don’t try to have it all. Try to have a good balance and continue to be uber awesome, because Mum, you are.

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Are your Tyres Road Worthy? It’s Time to #TestYourTreads!

Are your Tyres Road Worthy? It’s Time to #TestYourTreads!

How often do you check your tyres? Do you know what to look for when you do? In our house car safety is paramount. Even more so now that we have two little people in the car with us. That’s why this week we’re teaming up with TyrePlus, to highlight just how important tyre safety is and to share exactly what you should be looking for when it comes to road worthy tyres – it’s time to #TestYourTreads!

 

Photo Credit

 

Checking your tyres –

Having previously worked in a garage, my husband is very car savvy. He takes pride in looking after both of our cars, making sure that they’re safe for our girls to travel in them. After a recent check he found that the tread on my tyres was getting a little worn, so he took it straight to the garage for a set of shiny new wheels! It’s so important to check your tyres regularly, in case you’re a little unsure here are a few things you need to be looking for:

Correct tyre pressure –

If you don’t know what the correct tyre pressure is for your car you should find it in your manual, or by doing a quick google search of the make and model! If your tyres aren’t inflated correctly, the feel of your car can change dramatically. It has a direct effect on how well your car grips to the road, meaning under inflated tyres can put all of your passengers in unnecessary danger.

Did you know that under-inflated tyres can wear out quicker than if they were correctly inflated? Not having enough air in them can really effect how economically your car runs. Making sure they’re at the right pressure will not only increase the safety of your car, but it’ll save you money too!

Tyres looking tired –

As with most things in life, after a while things can begin to look a little tired. Everyday use takes its toll on your tyres and you might find that they get damaged along the way. If your tyres are looking a little worse for wear, it’s probably worth investing in a new set!

Tread depth –

Car tyres have tread on them to help them grip well when the road is wet. The minimum tread depth for cars in the UK is 1.6mm. This has to be consistent around the entire circumference of the tyre and across the middle three-quarters of breadth. If your tyres don’t have enough tread your car isn’t safe for use. Not only that, if your caught with tread below the minimum depth, you could be in for a hefty fine as well as points for each tyre that isn’t road worthy.

 

Photo Credit

Stay safe –

Heading out with tyres that don’t meet the right standards is a sure fire way to put yourself and others in danger. So if there’s only one thing you do today, make it heading outside to check your tyres!

 

TyrePlus have put together this fabulous infographic including vital information you need to know about tyre safety!

 

 

*This is a collaborative post.

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Vremi Baking Cups – Review & Giveaway

Vremi Baking Cups – Review & Giveaway

We’ve had a lot of fun this week at The Tale of Mummyhood HQ, as we’ve had our baking hats on. We were lucky enough to be sent a selection of Vremi Silicone Baking Cups and the girls couldn’t wait to get messy! I’m the first to admit that baking isn’t my strong point, but with the help of Hubs we managed to create some edible buns that we all enjoyed!

The great thing about these baking cups is that you get so many. With twenty-four in the pack you can make enough cakes for everyone and some for when the kids are finally in bed! They come in 4 different colours, pink, yellow, blue and green, which was great to help us identify who’s cakes were who’s!

 

 

So, how did we get on?

Having only used paper baking cups before, Hubs and I were super impressed with the ease of the Vremi silicone cups. They are so much stronger than the paper ones, so our cakes kept their shape in the oven and there were no spillages because of collapsing sides! They are non-stick too, so when you remove your cake from the cups you get the whole lot, rather than chunks of cake being left on the side of the paper.

As a parent the best thing about these cups is that once they’ve been used, you just throw them in the dishwasher ready to use all over again! This means that there’s no messy washing up to do and there are always baking cups in the house if the girls decide they want to make cakes! I know that our baking cups will get so much use as our girls get into baking. I think the practice will be good for me too!

 

If you’d like the chance to win your own Vremi Baking Cups and Apple Slicer, all you have to do is enter using the form below. Please do take a peek at the terms and conditions…good luck!

 

Win the Vremi Silicone Baking Cups and Apple Slicer #17

*We were sent the Vremi baking cups in return for this review. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Vremi Apple Slicer – Review & Giveaway

Vremi Apple Slicer – Review & Giveaway

I’ve always been a lover of gadgets. Anything that makes my life that little bit easier is a good investment. So this week, when we were offered the chance to try out the Vremi Apple Slicer I just couldn’t say no. I always need a helping hand in the kitchen and with two littles that love their fruit, this product was sure to come in handy!

 

Helping to make life simple –

 

When our apple slicer arrived, I was the first one to use it at the girls’ snack time. They eat a selection of fruit everyday and apples are one of their favourites! I usually spend a while chopping up their apples to remove the pips and the skin for the littlest. This time though, all I had to do was use my new apple slicer! In no time at all the pips were cut out and the apple was in perfect slices, ready for both girls to enjoy.

As well as being an apple slicer, this handy bit of kit also comes with a potato cutting blade and a mango slicer. I have used all of these and I can safely say that my time spent in the kitchen has become so much more efficient! As with most of the Vremi products we’ve tried out, when you’re finished using the slicer, all you have to do is put it in the dishwasher. Easy clean and no mess!

 

If you’d like the chance to win your own Vremi Baking Cups and Apple Slicer, all you have to do is enter using the form below. Please do take a peek at the terms and conditions…good luck!

 

Win the Vremi Silicone Baking Cups and Apple Slicer #17

*We were sent the Vremi apple slicer in return for this review. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Our Adventures with the Toddlebike2!

Our Adventures with the Toddlebike2!

As as family, we love to spend time outdoors. We enjoy nothing more than heading out into the fresh air, to get a little exercise. Now that our youngest is on her feet though, we’ve found that we do less walking as she gets tired so quickly. She doesn’t like being confined to the pushchair either, so we needed to find something that suits all of us. Luckily our saviour and founder of the Toddlebike2 Jo Hockley, got in touch to see if we’d like to try out her fabulous creation!

The Toddlebike2 is a kind of ‘pre-balance’ bike, best suited for children around eighteen months or who are stable on their feet. Founder Jo discovered the first generation Toddlebike when she was holidaying with her family in Belgium. Her young son had a great time on this version of the Toddlebike!  On returning home Jo negotiated the rights with the manufacturer and so the Toddlebike2 we know today was produced.

 

 

Cycling Fun with the Toddlebike2

 

Prior to our Toddlebikes arriving, I wondered how well our littlest would get on. She’d never used this type of bike before, so I thought it would take a little getting used to. I was reassured by Jo that even if she didn’t take to it immediately, she would find her own way with it and eventually love it. This was absolutely true! For the first couple of weeks, the littlest walked around with her bike, she then progressed to sitting on the crossbar. Now she rides her Toddlebike like she’s been doing it forever!

 

 

The Toddlebike is really lightweight so it’easy for both girls to push and pull around, when they aren’t racing each other up and down the room! This makes it great for taking out too, if the girls decide they want to walk for a while, it’s no trouble to carry the bike for them as there’s no weight to it at all. Even though it’s so light, it’s still a solid piece of kit that will stand the test of time. Ours have had so much use over the last few weeks and they still look like new, even after being outside!

 

 

One of the things I love most about the Toddlebike2 is the confidence it’s given our littlest whilst learning to walk. She hasn’t been on her feet long, but after using her bike she has improved so much as she’s constantly on her feet pushing or riding her bike around!   Our eldest daughter who is a little over two, took to her Toddlebike immediately. She loves taking her bike outdoors and racing against her sister!

 

 

Overall, the Toddlebike2 has been a huge success in our house. They may seem simple, but these bikes really are a game changer when it comes to heading out with kids. At £23.95 they aren’t expensive and you certainly get your money’s worth! They come with us everywhere we go, we’ve come to realise that you never know when a Toddlebike2 will come in handy!

 

Do you love the Toddlebike2? Then don’t miss out on 10% discount using the code BLOG17 at the Toddlebike shop!

 

 

*We were sent two Toddlebikes for the purpose of this review. As always, all thoughts and opinions are own.

 

 

 

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#WorkshopWednesday – Why your Blog Should have a Disclaimer.

#WorkshopWednesday – Why your Blog Should have a Disclaimer.

Welcome to #WorkshopWednesday, my weekly feature with a focus on all things blogging! Each week there’ll be tips, tricks and advice on how to get your blog running like a well oiled machine!

 

You might have seen disclaimers popping up on the blogs you regularly read. Disclaimers are really important to protect yourself and your readers, as often people with take advice from your blog. There’s nothing wrong with sharing your pearls of wisdom, as long as you make it clear that the information you are sharing may not be 100% accurate. It’s therefore important that you include a disclaimer help cover yourself if an individual acts on your advice.

Your disclaimer should be thorough and easy for your audience to read. If you’re really unsure about what you need to include, then seeking professional advice may be advisable. Here’s a brief outline of what a good disclaimer should include:

Terms of use –

Basically, letting your audience know that they’re reading at their own risk and free will.

Copyright –

Explain that you are the legal copyright holder of the material on your blog. Make it clear that others may NOT publish or reprint any of your work, unless they have your written consent.

Content –

Let your readers know that the content on your blog is written for entertainment purposes only. It’s essential to make it clear that you are NOT offering legal, professional or medical advice.

Privacy –

Make sure your readers and subscribers know that you will not NOT pass any of their personal details on to third parties. You also need to make it clear that you are NOT responsible for the privacy practices of your advertisers of blog commenters.

Reserve rights –

It’s good to reserve the right to shut your blog down, change the focus of it sell it or change the terms at any point and at your own discretion.

Sponsors and advertisers –

Make it clear that you are not responsible for the actions of your sponsors or advertisers.

 

Photo Credit

 

 

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Are our Screens Doing us Harm? The Importance of Reducing Exposure.

Are our Screens Doing us Harm? The Importance of Reducing Exposure.

When I think about how long I spend sitting in front of my laptop, I appreciate that it’s probably more than what’s recommended. Especially on the days when I don’t have time to take a break in between tasks. My screen time doesn’t end when I’ve finished writing though. When I do finally shut my laptop, you can guarantee that I’ll just migrate over to my smart phone and continue working discreetly on there. Throw in a little more time on the iPad and I’ve spent the majority of my day looking at a screens.

I know I’m not alone in this, but it really is shocking to think that screens are such a dominant feature in our lives. It appears that we’re now unable to go for long periods of time, without referring back to our trusty technology! I must admit that this wasn’t something I’d given much thought too until recently. Working is something that I love to do, so I don’t see spending time on my laptop or my phone as a chore. Often I’ve no desire to down tools, so I don’t and the hours keep on racking up! However, when I was contacted by Ocushield this week, it really hit me that I spend so much time looking at a screen with no concern for my health what so ever.

 

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What are the dangers of too much screen time?

Our computers are capable of emitting low-frequency and radio frequency electromagnetic radiation. This kind of radiation has been linked to many medical conditions including, but not restricted to; depression, Alzheimer’s and cancer. It’s frightening to think that something we use so much and on a daily basis could be so dangerous.

The symptoms of overexposure include; tiredness, headaches and dizziness among others. I for one have suffered with headaches on many occasions, when I’ve had a full day at my desk working on my laptop.

 

What can you do to protect yourself?

If like me, you need to use your laptop to work and if your phone is never too far away, there are a few simple steps you can take to make your working environment safer. Think about the following:

  • Sit a safe distance away from your computer screen, ideally around 10 – 12 inches away.
  • Take regular breaks, even when you have deadlines to meet. Walk away from your screen and have a breather.
  • When using smartphones and tablets, don’t hold them too close.
  • When you’re working, divert your eyes away from the screen at regular intervals. Blinking more often can be beneficial too.
  • Minimise glare from your screen by using a computer screen cover for eyes, you can get these for smartphones and tablets too.

 

Photo Credit

 

Looking after our eyes is so important, but it’s not always easy to down tools altogether to get away from our screens. Therefore it’s necessary that to take the rights step to protect ourselves from the effects of overexposure. After all, if we don’t look after ourselves now then our work will only end up suffering in the long run!

 

*This is a collaborative post.

 

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#MumisBest Guest Post – Sophie from Mama Mei

#MumisBest Guest Post – Sophie from Mama Mei

Welcome to another instalment of my new guest series #MumisBest!  #MumisBest is all about the ever-growing SAHM/working mum debate.  I really want this series to highlight that there’s no right or wrong way, but whatever works for you and you family.  If you’d like to take part do get in touch, I’d love to hear from you!  For now I will leave you in the hands of Sophie from Mama Mei!
Work at Home Mum: My struggle with being a career girl and a wannabe stay-at-home-mum.
I got pregnant with my first child during my final year at university.
I’d only been with my boyfriend a couple of months so needless to say it hadn’t been planned.
I was due to move to London as I had a work placement at The Guardian and most my freelance work was for ITN and Channel 4 News which are based near Kings Cross.
But it was whilst at the newspaper I discovered on my lunch break that I was up the duff (preggers).
So it changed everything, although I was fiercely determined to carry on working as an investigative journalist but from home in Sheffield and Wakefield (when I stayed at my boyfriend’s family home).
I had decided that I would work right up until I popped and then straight away once I’d given birth with no maternity leave.
I was sure that a baby wouldn’t change my career goals.
Oh how wrong was I?!
Even down to the labour I was still answering work calls, making sure I didn’t miss out on a story. I was obsessed about being a “success.”
But then this cute crying little blob sailed into the world.
I was smitten by my baby Jasmine.
But within weeks I was back freelancing. I felt I had to do it as I didn’t want to be forgotten.
This stubborn determination carried on for the next two years in which I completed a post-graduate diploma in Journalism and eventually secured my dream job as a broadcast journalist at the BBC.
I thought I could throw myself into it and relocate my little family to Media City in Salford where my offices were based.
I had every intention of achieving my “goals,” until I got pregnant again.
I continued to complete my training all over the country so I had the tools I needed to become a proper BBC Journalist.
But after working for a few months, I was off on maternity leave.
And everything crumbled.
I became very poorly with only a couple of months until the due date.
Luckily I gave birth to a healthy baby girl but my own health wasn’t great.
On autopilot however I was determined to return to work.
But as the my start date dawned I found myself in another hell.
A nightmare worse than my worst nightmares.
So that was the end of my career. The one good thing out of it though was that it put everything into perspective.
And whilst my daughter was in intensive care, I kept a video diary (as above) which sparked off my new journey in vlogging and blogging as well as being a stay-at-home mum.
As much as I felt happy with my decision, I couldn’t help but feel pain leaving the job I’d worked my whole life for.
My bosses had been amazing throughout but I couldn’t live with myself if I kept letting them down so I had to leave for my own sanity and to focus on my family and health.
Nowadays I’m more of a work at home mum, so I feel lucky to have the best of both worlds.
I blog, vlog at mamamei.co.uk and do PR as well as video production for evokemediagroup.co.uk
I also teach and perform bellydancing at bellydancebysophiemei.com

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