Vegetable and Chick Pea Paella

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Recently whilst I was making Stuart the meat paella he loves (recipe here) I decided to make myself a vegetarian paella and thought I would share the recipe with you. It is very similar and perfect for vegetarians or vegans.

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Guest Post - Why Exercise helped me get pregnant when IVF didnt

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This guest post is from the lovely Carrie who blogs at www.mycircle.org.uk, Carrie shares her journey to having a family and how she thinks exercise really helped her achieve that dream.
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My weight loss story will never end, an honest update

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I know many of my followers and readers found my blog due to my amazing weight loss of over 10 stone. I still cant believe I did that, I lost over 10 stone in 15 months with 8 stone of that in 37 weeks, and I kept it off for over a year. Of course in that year I had ups and downs but I was never more than around half a stone away from my target weight. This year though things have changed and I have struggled so I want to be honest and share this with you and hope you understand and continue to follow my journey that will never end.

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Guest Post - Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe

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This Spaghetti Bolognese recipe is from the lovely Kelly-Anne who blogs over at http://www.mimiroseandme.com/.

I don't now about you, but there really is nothing that beats a homemade bolognese when you are seeking some form of comfort food. The simple and easy to follow bolognese recipe will soon become a favourite that you can cook over and over again. It's a favourite in our household. This thick, rich sauce has become the staple for our Italian inspired recipe and what makes this even better is that it is low in calories and slimming world friendly -  a healthier shortcut to real Italian taste.

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Mobile Phone Shopping Made Easy!

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***This is a Sponsored Post***

When you are looking for a new mobile phone whether it be a contract or pay as you go it really is a minefield isn't it? I love a bargain and knowing I have shopped around and found the best deal for me don't you? There is nothing worse than committing to something then realising you could have done so much better!

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What we're loving this week

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So far this week has been pretty rubbish weather wise but good food always makes up for that doesn't it so I thought I would share what we as a family are loving at the moment. It may give you some new ideas of things to buy or maybe just that you will think we have strange tastes!

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Globenfeld Seal Chronograph Sports Watch Review

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When I first saw this Globenfeld Seal Chronograph Sports Watch I was asked to review I thought wow it looks good, Stuart was impressed too when I told him he could keep it! It is very much an all round watch on initial impressions but at £59.99 is it worth it?

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You know you're an adult when.....

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After sharing a picture on my Facebook page saying "You know you're an adult when... you get excited when there's a new sponge in the sink" I thought I would share some more humorous (hopefully!) and real truths of adulthood! If there are any youngsters reading, this is the life you have to look forward to, enjoy your childhood now! Please comment at the end of the post with your "You know you're an adult when..." and give me a giggle!

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Guest Post - Different Weight Loss Plans, The Contrast of Success and Failure

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Here I have a guest post from a lovely blogger Laura who shares her experiences of a few different diets and why the Body Coach 90 Day challenge/Lean in 15 didn't work for her and what has worked for her. Well worth a read if you are looking into different weight loss plans and wondering what will work for you! So, I will pass you over to the lovely Laura!

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I am a Secret Eater

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My little attempt at a poem about secret eating and sabotaging yourself for the full week!

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Over 30 Money Saving Hacks for the Kitchen

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I have been looking a lot at how we could save money lately so I have taken to social media and searched the internet and found some great money saving ideas! I have not tried them all yet but I am going to give a lot of them a go! Do you have any ideas of how to save money in the kitchen?

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Leek and Macaroni Cheese

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This recipe is a firm family favourite and as it is syn free other than the cheese which can be used as a healthy extra a choice it is perfect for both those on Slimming World and everyone else in the family too.

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Lime Cheesecake Tartlets

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If you are looking for a tasty dessert that is a bit different and great for a party or even just having friends over for tea these tartlets are perfect. The filo pastry case with a cheesecake style filling is east to make and can be adapted easily with other flavours.

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Vintage Apple Crates Review

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When I came across an opportunity to review some vintage apple crates I was both excited and nervous! I love a challenge but was really undecided what to do with them. There are so many ideas online and I am so indecisive so I will share all my ideas with you and then what I settled on!

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Creamy Cheese and Ham Fusilli Bake

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Ben loves carbonara and similar type meals so I set about creating something similar to that. I wanted something I could make easily and pop in the oven for him and so this recipe was created! He assures me it is nice and tells me that I should tell Jamie Oliver the recipe because it is that good, I will let you try it out and decide!

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Bidvine - Finding the professional you need is a few clicks away

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**This is a Sponsored Post in collaboration with Bidvine**

How do you find a local tradesperson or maybe a photographer for your wedding, a personal trainer or a music teacher? We all ask friends don't we and then if we still struggle we go online and search various numbers ringing up and asking for quotes. It is awkward though trying to explain what you want and then knowing what to say if it is out of your price range! Bidvine eliminates all of that time and awkwardness!

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My 12 Favourite Blogs You Really Should Read

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I know many of you love reading other blogs not just mine so I thought I would share with you some of my favourite blogs and why I like them to maybe give you some ideas of other blogs you might like to read!

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A Healthy Picnic With Some Simple Hacks

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**This post contains affiliate links - this means that I may get a small reward for advertising these items to you if you buy them. The service to you is the same**

Today it is a bit rainy, typical British weather, however in the summer going out for a picnic with the kids is an essential activity really isn't it. It can be an activity that leads to an unhealthy meal often but it really doesn't have to be. Here are some tips and hacks so you can enjoy a family picnic in the sun without it being unhealthy!

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Jerk Chicken and Caribbean Rice

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This is a recipe that we all love as a family and whilst it may at times be a bit fiddly it is a dish that we enjoy all year round and perfect for a summer evening. It also works quite well with Quorn if like me you are vegetarian!

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Rosemary and Caramelised Red Onion Mini Crustless Quiches

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This is one of my favourite summery snack recipes which is ideal for a picnic, a snack or as part of a main meal. They are really easy to make and I am sure you will love them too!

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Locket Loves Leggings and Fitness Gear Discount Code

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**Please note this post contains affiliate links which means I am rewarded in some way for advertising them to you if you then go on to buy them. The service you receive is unaffected by this**

I have recently discovered some amazing leggings for running or really any kind of fitness that have some fabulous designs I know you will love! I also managed to get you guys a discount code to make them even better value than they are already!

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Wicked Uncle Outdoors Toys Review

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When we were asked to work with Wicked Uncle again I was of course excited as they had been such a pleasure to review for previously (previous review here). When I told Ben he was thrilled, to be honest would any child not be excited at the idea of getting new toys! It is the school summer holidays and the theme of this review was outdoors items and the choice on their website was good!

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Chicken Fajita Pasta Bake

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At the weekend I was planning on making Stuart a meatball pasta bake but then realised I had forgotten to buy meatballs! So instead I decided to experiment and from that the Chicken Fajita pasta bake was made!

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Dominique Bra from The Bra Closet Review

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When I was asked to review a bra from The Bra Closet I must say I was excited, I do like a new bra it really makes you feel good doesn't it? I was clear from the start though that I would not be posting photos of me in the bra! I wear bikinis which I know are not that different but I figured you guys wouldn't really want to see me in a bra so don't panic no photos of me here!

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20+ Ways with Quark - from Pasta to Baileys Cheesecake!

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One of the weird and wonderful things I had never heard of before I joined Slimming World but it became quite a staple in my diet and helped me lose so much weight I am sure. When I first started my blog back in autumn 2015 one of my first posts was about Quark and its uses and as it has always been popular so I thought I would write a new more detailed one! So here are a variety of Quark recipes from
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Guest Post: Deconstructed Frozen Berry Cheesecake

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We all love cheesecake don't we so this guest post from the lovely Kelly from www.schoolrunshop.com is perfect to fill that gap! Just looking at the picture is making my mouth water!

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Lives Not Knives - Having That Conversation

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When Leicestershire Police posted in a bloggers group asking for bloggers from across the UK to get on board with their campaign of #LivesNotKnives I thought it was a great idea. My son Ben is only 11 and in some ways I want to wrap him in cotton wool but in others I want to make sure he is as worldly wise as possible and obviously keep him safe. So what did I tell him and how did I approach this?

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School Holidays - 70 cheap ways to keep the kids moving!

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Here we are, the start of the six week summer holidays and parents everywhere are wondering how to keep the kids busy for such a long time, or is that just me? As much as Ben likes to play computer games and watch television I am determined he will have plenty of physical activity over the holidays and now my asthma is more under control I need it too. So I have compiled a list with some help from other bloggers of ideas to keep the kids active and also thinking back to what we all played as children! Obviously some of these ideas will not be appropriate to the age of your children or the area you live but hopefully will give you a few ideas, most cheap or free!
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JML Copper Stone Pan Review

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I love cooking as my regular readers will know, but I am also a bit of a cheapskate! I only buy new saucepans and frying pans when I need them and never buy anything expensive because I never thought they were any better than the cheap ones! So when I was asked to test out the new JML Copper Stone frying pans I was a little unsure as I was convinced they were just going to be the same as cheap ones with a hefty price tag!
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Dear Stressed Mum in the Supermarket

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Dear Stressed Mum,

As you walk around the supermarket with your little ones. The basket balanced on the pushchair and a littlest one trying to reach things. The older one wandering off and asking for everything they see. I see the stress in your eyes. The nappies hooked on to the handle and the little one starting to cry you look worn out. This isn't a criticism it is because you probably are worn out, children are hard work.

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Skinni Range Blazing BBQ Pack Review

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As we have reviewed items from the Skinni Range of West Coast foods before I was excited when they asked us to again as I know they are great products and were loved by both Ben and Stuart last time. We were asked to review the Skinni Range Blazing BBQ Pack for £24.99. So this time we decided to really put them to the test and have a family BBQ with Stuarts family with them!
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Kitchen Gadgets - Useful or Useless?

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**This post contains affiliate links, this means if you click and buy anything the item and service you receive is the same but I get given a small percentage from the company**

Kitchen gadgets are such a big market, every year we spend a fortune on the latest buy which promises to cook our food quicker or with less fat but are they worth the money? Do we use them day in day out or do they end up at the back of the cupboard? Here I use my experiences and share my favourite kitchen gadgets and chat to some other bloggers too about theirs!
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Skinni Range Blazing BBQ Pack Unboxing

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Here is a video showing the Skinni Range Blazing BBQ Pack which is great value at £24.99 and all except one item are syn free currently on Slimming World! I will be writing a review of the pack in the next few days!

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50 Questions you never asked

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I love doing bloggers tag posts so when Rhian from http://www.rhianwestbury.co.uk tagged me in the ’50 Questions You’ve Never Been Asked’ tag it was another chance for me to share random nonsense with you that you really didn't know you would ever want to know about me!

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Cosy Holder - Tablet holder (and protector from grumpy child!) Review

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This post contains affiliate links which means if you click and buy through my link I get a small percentage.

So recently I was asked to review the Cosy Holder tablet holder, initially I couldn't decide if it was cool or babyish and whether at 11 Ben would love it or hate it. I showed him it and he was very impressed and thought it was cool! After a few accidents with his iPad I was willing to give anything a go to protect it from more injury!
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My Most Popular Blog Posts Round-up

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I thought I would share some of my most popular posts for you to read again or maybe if you are new to my blog you may not have seen. Some of my posts have surprised me and been more popular than I imagined so I have looked through my stats and just sharing those which have been read most! I hope you enjoy reading some you have not read before. Obviously more blog posts to come as usual!
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Things Bloggers Don't Tell You!

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Everything is not always as it seems and if you were to be there in person when some photos are taken you'd see that the reality can be often be incredibly comical. When I was thinking about it the other day it gave me a giggle so I am sure it will have you in stitches too!

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When diets become more crazy than healthy

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As my regular readers know I lost weight with Slimming World and whilst I am a bit above my target weight at the moment I continue to follow Slimming World and go to a Slimming World group. In the past I have also tried Weight Watchers though it was not right for me at the time. Both of these are healthy eating diets which involve eating proper food and everything in moderation. Other diets can be like this too but not all, some are much more restrictive and a bit extreme so I thought I would ask the bloggers on a group I use what crazy foods they have eaten in attempt to lose weight and the answers really surprised me!

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My Favourite Aldi buys this week

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I am often asked about eating on a budget and it can be said that eating healthily costs more but this isn't always the case. I often shop at Aldi and this week I thought I would share with you some of my favourite buys.

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Lemon Curd or Lemon Fool

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A tasty snack with fruit or enjoyed on its own, quite quick to make and very tasty!

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Relaxing Bath Pillow - A Review and Discount code

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I love a relaxing bath to wind down after a busy day or to distract me when I feel like comfort eating and I know I am not alone in this! Are you like me too? I have never used a bath pillow and never saw the need to so I was intrigued when Luxury Bathtime offered me one to review.

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Hate Your Arms? Love this Giveaway and Discount Code!

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Do you hate your arms? I hate mine and I am sure there are very few women out there that don't! Are you like me and sometimes see lovely dresses and wish they covered your arms? Well this is where Wingz come in, sleeves that you can add to a top or dress to change its look entirely! I have a giveaway here to win one of two sets of Wingz (up to the value of £20) and a discount code for 20% off Wingz.

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Real Art at Real Prices - Crowdfunded Art by Matt Forster

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What do you have on your walls at home? Family photos? Quotes and phrases? Pictures and canvases from high street stores? This is the sort of thing we have and I imagine many of you do too. Why don't you have a real painting rather than a print of one purchased from somewhere on the high street and mass produced? Did you, like me, presume it would be too expensive? Finding the idea of walking into a gallery and not being able to afford anything daunting? Well there is another way and you can buy a genuine painting from just £25, meet the artist here and take a look.
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My 5 Favourite Things

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This is another of the bloggers tag posts where us bloggers tag each other to complete a set of questions or tasks to help our readers find out a bit more about us and then invite other bloggers to do the same! This time it is sharing my 5 favourite things! Obviously I love my family and friends but I wont write about those because this is about things not people! So here are my 5 favourite objects!

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Which apps could you not last a day without?

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This is a Sponsored Post

Which apps do you use on your smartphone regularly? Do you and your friends all use the same ones? Carphone Warehouse have done some research about the apps people use and it turns out I am quite average in that respect!

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Harvester Nottingham Castle Marina - A Review

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When we were asked to review the Harvester in Nottingham, Castle Marina, I was quite excited, I have been there before but not for quite a while and always loved the salad bar! I discovered the restaurant menu was online so I could have a good look before we went. As we all follow Slimming World as a family I was pleased to find the syn values of many items on the Slimming World app however we decided to enjoy our meal and have it off plan.

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Rich Tomato Soup

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The other day I made some tomato soup using the basics of a recipe I have used before and adding things I needed to use up! I was pleasantly surprised as it was really nice so I was glad I made loads! As it was popular on my social media and I have been asked for the recipe a few times I thought I should type it up and share it. I don't want to mention brand names but it is a rich one like you would get in a carton rather than a tinned soup type taste and texture in my opinion.

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Ben makes me proud at Slimming World

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This last 2 weeks Ben has made me very proud at Slimming World. He is only 11 and he has special needs but I am so immensely proud of him. If you follow me on social media you more than likely will know some of what I am going to say but read on as I haven't posted all of it. If you don't follow me on social media then why on earth not?! (Links are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest). Read on to see why I am such a proud mum!


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Bloggers' Summer Galaxy Tab E 9.7" Giveaway

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Again I have an amazing giveaway for you which is because I have teamed up with a number of other fabulous bloggers like myself! Together we have made it so one person can win a fantastic Samsung Galaxy Tab E 9,7" which is just amazing. Unfortunately I can't enter but if anyone wants to give it to me if they win I really wouldn't object! If you want to be in with a chance to win read on!

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The Ten Truths of Slimming as a Couple!

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As those who have followed my slimming journey for some time will know my boyfriend Stuart also follows Slimming World. We met through the mutual interest of Slimming World however had both started our journeys independently. Stuart had got to target with a loss of 22 Stone 7lb, and I was a fair way through my loss when we started dating. However now a few years down the line we have been following the plan as a couple and here I will share the truth of my experiences of the good and bad aspects of slimming as a couple!

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Guest Post - Moroccan Chicken Casserole, Roasted Butternut Squash and Cauliflower Rice by Lisa from Mummy Gummie

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Here I have a guest post of a recipe for Moroccan Chicken Casserole with Roasted Butternut Squash Cauliflower Rice, which I cant wait to make with Quorn for me and Chicken for Stuart as it sounds great! It was written by the lovely Lisa from www.mummygummie.com who is quite a new blogger but shares some great posts so definitely worth a read. Lisa has recently started Slimming World too and as you can see this is a great recipe if you follow Slimming World or any other healthy eating plan!
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A Coffee Break with Kate from Modern Mum, a farmer, blogger and mum to six!

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For this weeks Coffee Break Chat I have had a great chat with Kate who blogs over at www.modernmum.net about her life as a blogger, mum to 6 and working on their family farm. I had lots of questions as I just cant imagine living on a farm so I am sure you will be interested too!

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Accepting Father's Day Is Not For Me And My Dad

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Father's Day is here again, a day when we celebrate our dad, the man who was part of bringing us into the world, the man who should be there for you no matter what. That isn't always the case though is it! For me Father's Day is always hard and emotional, not because I am grieving for my dad like some people are but because I am grieving for the Dad that my Father is not and I believe will never be, here I will share why.

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Some Questions I Would Like To Ask Breatharians...

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The practice of Breatharianism has been around for some time and involves living on sunlight alone see link here from Wikipedia . This week it has hit the media with many articles about a couple who are breatharian and they have two children who they are raising to understand their beliefs but still eat and drink normally. Snopes (here) however have looked into this and claim that there is no proof that breatharians actually live on sunlight alone! There has been a lot of interest in this practice as a result of this couples appearances in the media (an example here) and I feel there are a few questions I would like them to answer should they or any other breatharians read my post!

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Sweet Banana Pots - Great for kids to make!

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This is a recipe Ben loves because he can make it himself. It takes a few minutes and you really can't go wrong. Ben loves the fact that he is using a proper recipe and making something for us. The recipe is from the Slimming World little book of light bites but as you can see below is easy!

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Guest Post - Dating as a Single Mum by Natalie from Crazy Little Thing Called Love

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Many years ago I faced dating as a single mum and that was before all the now popular dating websites existed, or if they did before they were as popular as they are now! I can't imagine the world of dating now with online dating and having to juggle that and being a mum. Luckily I am happy with my boyfriend and don't have that to face. I do have single friends who have looked into it though so was very interested at Natalie's blog about being a single mum dating. I must admit I truly did laugh at some of her stories (links below!). This is a guest post from her about dating as a single mum.
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Admiral Young Driver 10-17yr old Driving Lessons - A Review

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When I received an email asking if Ben wanted an Admiral Young Driver driving lesson to review I must say I was a little unsure at first. Ben is 11 years old and a bright boy but he does have autism so I always worried that as an adult he would not have the quick responses and understanding required to drive. Also the reality is he is only 11, putting him behind a wheel when he is so easily frustrated and distracted. The idea did scare me but equally I was excited by the idea. I looked into it a little more and we decided to go for it! We survived to tell the tale so here is what we thought!

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An Update and Apologies

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Lately I have had a few longer gaps between blog posts that I would usually try to avoid so I just wanted to explain. I aim to try and get 3-4 blog posts a week online as a minimum with a mixture of guest posts, food related posts and lifestyle related posts but recently I apologise the frequency has been a bit sporadic.

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Guest Post - How To Survive Eating Out With a Toddler by Kelly-Anne from Mimi Rose and Me

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When you have young children eating out can be a disaster. Ben as a toddler (and beyond!) was terrible for throwing food, screaming if someone else's food came first, and getting bored whilst waiting for food. Not all restaurants have a play area or your children might not be old enough or tall enough to play. Trying to keep your little one quiet enough so that you avoid the glares of other diners can be a nightmare so here we have a guest post about just that. Kelly-Anne from the blog Mimi Rose and Me writes a family blog and shares with us her tips of how to survive eating out with a toddler!
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Getting The Perfect Fitting Bra

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This is a Sponsored post.

As I lost weight my bra size obviously changed and as a lady who suffers a lot with confidence I find going bra shopping, particularly being measured and trying on underwear quite stressful. At the time I was a bit reluctant to buy online but now I look back I really don't know why! The choice is good and it is straight forward to see what sizes each bra comes in, no rooting around the racks and them all falling off their hangers!

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Finding New Friendships as an Adult

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As a lady in my mid 30's (36 is still classed as mid thirties right?) and who has been in abusive and controlling relationships I have found myself finding new friendships and learning who I am all over again. A recently single friend and I were chatting the other day about how people of our age find new hobbies and friends which got me thinking about how others do it so I asked some blogger friends and did some research and have written about it!

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Guest Post - Frozen Fruit Nibbles by The Frugal Family Blog

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This guest post is a recipe for some frozen fruit nibbles. Whilst it isn't syn free if like me you follow Slimming World, it is a healthier option than many things you would bake with children! I have been asked many times for ideas to encourage children to try more fruit so this seems a great idea! Claire is a popular blogger who shares various ways to live a frugal family life so she shares this recipe with you guys.

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A Coffee Break with Liz Knight, a weight loss superstar!

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This week for my coffee break chat I have had a cuppa with Liz, an amazing lady who has lost a whopping 16 stone in weight following the Slimming World diet! She looks amazing and shares a bit of her story with you below! If she inspires you do comment and let her know!


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Exercise can be fun - Try these!

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When I think of exercise I often think of the gym or back to my school days and cross country, gym skirts, and having to get changed in front of loads of others. I didn't exercise during my weight loss journey because when I started any forms of exercise I felt self conscious or didn't enjoy it so I decided exercise wasn't for me. As my regular readers will know I then did start running and enjoyed that a lot however due to illness at the moment I cant run either!

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BBQ Week - My BBQ Essentials

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It is National BBQ week and the start of the summer and BBQ season, weather permitting! This week started with a typically wet bank holiday Monday but it has brightened up so I am sure we are not the only ones that have had a barbeque and rushed out to buy the essentials on the day to ensure we could do it while we had a nice day! So I thought I would share some of my essentials for a successful barbeque with you.

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Guest Post - Confidence in Makeup by Georgia Anne

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As a girl who suffered with acne throughout her teenage years, and still gets bouts of it as an adult,I've learned quite a few nifty tricks here or there about how to use makeup to make me feel justthat bit more confident in my skin, so read on to see how you can find your confidence inmakeup
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Father's Day Gift Guide

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In just over a fortnight it will be Father's Day here in the UK. A day that people up and down the country struggle to buy gifts for! Men are hard to buy for and I am sure I am not the only one who is starting to panic wondering what to get! My Step Dad is amazing and has been like a dad to me since I was a teenager but I call him by his first name not Dad, so that already rules out some gifts! I don't have contact with my own father so just have the one gift to buy from myself. Whilst looking for ideas I thought I would share some of my favourites with you!

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Please don't be offended if I dont share...

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On social media we are messaged daily asking us to share our underwear colour or where we keep our handbag for "awareness" and there are endless appeals for missing people, supporting charities and quizzes to complete. I very rarely share things like this and when I do I am very selective and here is why I am so cautious.
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Chinese Fakeaway - A Healthy Feast of a Takeaway!

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We all love Chinese don't we especially at the weekend or with friends. It is one of the main things that can get in our way when we are trying to lose weight though, the love of takeaways and socialising with food versus the wish to lose weight! Last weekend my best friend was coming over for an evening of gossiping, drinks and food so I decided to cook a Chinese so we could save our syns (we all follow Slimming World) for the drinks! It turned out we had far more to drink that the daily syn allowance but it would have been worse with an actual take away! Here I will share what I made and maybe you will enjoy it too.

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Neighbours - are yours friends?

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This is a Sponsored Post (See my disclaimer page for more information)

I have moved house a fair few times over the years due to previously renting and also at university when I moved every year! Sometimes neighbours have become friends and other times I have not even known their names. In my grandparents era everyone knew who lived next door to them I do wonder if this is a sign of the times with so many people leading busy lives and driving so rarely even seeing their neighbours? What are your thoughts?


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Thrive Feel Stress Free App for Smartphones - A Review

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We all experience stress at some point in our lives whether that be a more long term depression or a shorter term problem like worrying about money before pay day. In the long term stress can sometimes need input from a doctor, counsellor, psychiatrist or psychologist however this is not for everyone. There are many apps out there designed for smartphones to help alleviate stress so when I was asked to try out and review the Thrive Feel Stress Free app I was keen to see whether it really does help or if it just preys on vulnerable people.


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Guest Post - Coffee Me Up by Latte Lindsay

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The name’s Lindsay, Latte Lindsay. I’ll have a coffee, black like my soul…..
When your screen name is after your favourite beverage, people have expectations. Sadly, for some people, they fall short of their name. But not me! I love coffee in every form and these are my top tips for getting your caffeine fix.
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General Election 2017 - Use your vote!

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I am voting....are you? Read on to see why I think it is important to vote for whoever it is you believe should rule this country.

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Bereavement Leave - The reality and how you can help

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I appreciate this isn't like the subjects I usually post about but it is something I think is an extremely important topic and one that I am sure you as readers will agree is in need of a big overhaul. Both the Labour party and the Conservative party have mentioned statutory bereavement leave in their manifestos but we will see what that entails as time progresses I guess. A campaigner Lucy Herd from Jacks Rainbow came to my attention recently for her continual work on this important issue following the death of her son Jack. For anyone who doesn't know what is and isn't available please do read on.

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A Coffee Break with Vanessa from Olivia's New Life

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This week for the coffee break series I am chatting to the lovely Vanessa who has a blog with a huge difference, it is a fictional blog so almost like reading a book chapter by chapter as they become available! I think it makes for such good reading and I was sure you readers would love it too so had to share!
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Starting a Blog - how easy is it?

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Since I started my blog I have had quite a few friends ask me about my blog and how easy it is to start one! I am by no means an expert but thought I would share my experiences as I know there are possibly other friends who want to know but haven't asked too!

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The You Have to Laugh Blogger Quiz

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So, the guys over at You have to laugh created a little bloggers quiz where bloggers tag each other to do it and tell everyone a bit more about them so we get to know other bloggers. Also it is great as it helps our readers know different things about us! So read on to see what silly questions I was asked, the answers I gave and maybe find out some random different things about me you may have otherwise never known, or even wanted to know!

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Do I Inspire you? Please Vote for Me!

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Since I started blogging I have been aware of some of the blogging awards that other bloggers ask for votes for but now I feel I am brave enough to ask if anyone might consider voting for me!

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Giveaway - Win an Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8 and Kids Edition

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I love bringing my readers great giveaways and this one is amazing. A group of bloggers including myself have got together to have one huge giveaway for all our readers where you can win a Kindle Fire HD 8 Tablet, a kids edition tablet and some accessories so in total it is worth around £200 for one lucky winner! Read on to see how you can be in with a chance to win!

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10 Tips for Money Saving on the Food Shopping!

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This is a Sponsored Post.

This evening when I popped into the supermarket for something I forget earlier, yes I know I should have written a list, I got some great yellow sticker bargains! That isn't the only way to save money on food shopping though is it, there are plenty of other ways so I thought I would share a few for you.


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A Coffee Break with Charlotte from Cups of Charlotte

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This week for my Coffee Break chat I am talking to the lovely Charlotte who blogs at www.cupsofcharlotte.co.uk. Charlotte is a mummy blogger but they are not a typical family, read on to find what makes Cups of Charlotte a bit different to other mummy blogs out there and if you have any exams coming up or children who do there are a few tips here too!

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The Love Myself Challenge

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I have been very open on my blog previously that I struggle with self confidence and I know many of my readers and followers do too so I have created a challenge which I hope will help me and others to build our confidence in small steps. So please do have a read and consider joining in.

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Landon Tyler Reed Diffusers - A Review

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I love candles for how they give your room such a nice aroma but candles can be such a pain can't they, especially with a child like mine who just blows them out whenever he sees them! Not only that but they just aren't practical are they? You have to think of the safety and if you are not staying in a room you shouldn't leave a candle on so then you get no scent! Frustrating I find as air fresheners are just not the same. I love reed diffusers for this very reason, they usually have lovely scents like a candle but smell lovely all the time!

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We Are Littles Coffee - A Review (Part 1)

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I love coffee, especially flavoured coffee, I am not such a big drinker of the plain stuff, its just too dull I much prefer a lively cuppa! There are a fair few flavoured coffees on the market and syrups to add to coffee but not all are low in calories, in fact some of the syrups are scarily sugary! I have been a fan of We Are Littles coffee for a while now so I was so excited to be asked to be a brand ambassador for them. As part of being their ambassador I get to sample their coffees for free - it is a hard life being a blogger I know! I also get a discount code for my followers!

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Sock Shop - Heat Holder Socks - A review

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As it is now the middle of May I appreciate sharing a review for heat holder socks may seem odd but bear with me! I always have cold feet, I never seem to be able to warm up when it comes to my feet so I was excited to try out these heat holder socks (http://www.heatholders.co.uk/). Usually I am a bit frugal and buy supermarket own brand socks and just opt for the thermal or thicker pairs rather than ones like this designed especially for the job! I was however surprised at the difference.

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Guest Post: Time Saving Health and Fitness Tips for Busy Parents!

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Today I have a great guest post for you from the lovely Anna who blogs with health and fitness tips over at www.squatssassandsaggyskin.co.uk. I am sure you will love the simple tips that will help you out if you want to squeeze a bit of fitness into your lifestyle and some healthy living tips too without having to follow a set diet! Have a read and see what you think!
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Mixed Meat Paella (Chorizo, chicken, and bacon) Recipe

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Yesterday I made Stuart a paella for tea and not only did he love it but my Instagram, Facebook and Twitter followers all loved the look of it too so I thought I had better share the recipe! I made it myself and didn't write it down as I went along but luckily I can remember how I made it so I can repeat it another time and you guys can try it too!

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A Coffee Break with Gemma from Life at Floor Level

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This weeks coffee break chat I have chosen based on mental health as May is Mental Health Awareness Month and there has also been the introduction of Maternal Mental Health awareness week. It is a subject I feel very strongly about and feel more awareness should be raised on both mental health more generally but also on maternal mental health because how can you care for your baby or child if you are not well either mentally or physically. Gemma from Life At Floor Level talks about her experiences and Tokophobia, something you may have not heard of but it is worth reading about.
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BookBeat Review

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Do you enjoy reading but find you rarely are able to make enough time to read and finish a book? I love books and when I do have time I really do enjoy reading but I always seem to have something else to do first and books I start I rarely finish! I do love books though and have read to Ben since he was a little baby and now he reads with me every evening and loves his books too. He falls asleep every evening listening to audio books too. As a family we were excited to be able to try out and review BookBeat and given a year subscription.

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Guest Post from Jon from The Money Shed

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Here I have a guest post from Jon from The Money Shed for you to have a read of. The Money Shed is the UK's largest community website dedicated to earning money from home so definitely worth a visit. Jon wanted to share his thoughts with you about weight loss and exercise in regards to finances.
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Guest Post - Marie Curie Charity Appeal for Fundraisers

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Are you looking to fundraise for a good cause this spring? If so, look no further than Marie Curie. Although their Great Daffodil Appeal is drawing to a close, it’s not too late to fundraise this year. Marie Curie is a charity that helps people living with a terminal illness and their families. Here is a list of fundraising ideas to get you started:


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10 tricks to make your BBQ or Summer Buffet healthy!

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It is spring and almost summer, it is bank holiday weekend, and there is only a few weeks until we have another bank holiday weekend. Does this mean you have to eat unhealthy foods, drink lots and gain weight? No it certainly does not! Of course the choice is yours but if you want some tips to help you make your Barbeque or summer buffet healthy then here you go!
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A Coffee Break with Josh from Josh's Jobs

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This week for my coffee break chat I am chatting to someone very different. It is not another blogger but instead is someone I think is inspirational and you will all enjoy reading about. Josh, like many people is in debt, he is only 20 and wanted to get this sorted so he can move on in his life. To tackle his debts Josh has come up with an alternative to taking out more debt or struggling and has set up a business with a difference which I think you will love.

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Tips for Keeping Safe while Running or Walking Alone

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This is a topic I feel very passionate about because unfortunately the way of the world is that not everyone out there is law abiding and there will be incidents that make us doubt going out alone. However equally family circumstances and confidence often mean that we are going out alone for a run, walk or with a dog. Here are my top tips to help you to be as safe as possible whilst out alone both for personal safety and your health in general. I hope they help someone to feel safer when out and about.

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Wicked Uncle Science and Engineering Toys Review

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I was lucky to be asked to review the Wicked Uncle website with some toys for their April theme of science and engineering. Ben was obviously very excited at the prospect of testing out a toy website and getting to order some toys! Though he did find the choice made him very indecisive.

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Spring PrAna Clothing Reviewed

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I was lucky to be asked to be part of the spring prAna campaign and share some of their lovely clothes with my readers along with a discount code for you! The spring range is a lovely relaxed range of beautiful outfits so I was very keen to try them out.


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A Coffee Break with.... Ana from Funky Fitness

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This week I have been chatting to the lovely Ana from Funky Fitness about her exercise classes and how she feels as a fitness instructor who has struggled with her weight and suffered various health problems but has changed that with exercise, yes that's exercise not extra fries! She has changed her life and understands the battles her clients face with their weight too which isn't always common with fitness instructors is it! Though I should add I have another friend who is a fitness instructor and has struggles with her weight who I will chat to another week for our coffee break chatter!
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10 Things People with Depression want you to know

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I have always been very open on here about my battles with depression and how that has impacted on my weight and my self confidence. I am always happy to share with you readers about my depression because I know that it is not my fault I have depression the same as any physical illness is not (usually!) caused by anything we do. I am not ashamed of having depression however as my son Ben does sometimes read my blog and I am aware some other youngsters read my blog I do try to be careful about what I do and don't share. This is the things that in my experiences and that of friends, people with depression want you to know.

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A Coffee Break With Jodie from Autism with Lots of Love and Affection

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This week on my coffee break series I am chatting to the lovely Jodie who writes a blog called Autism With Lots of Love and Affection about her children particularly her daughter Lola and how autism affects them as a family. As it is still April and Autism awareness month I thought it would be great to feature an autism blogger after sharing my own experiences of autism here.


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Garlic Mushroom Risotto

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I love risotto and recently decided that I fancied mushroom risotto so after a bit of experimenting I made the following and it was lovely so I thought I would share it!

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Goodbye my friend it is over!

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In recent weeks I have decided that a part of my life needs to change, I can no longer carry on with things as they are and I know that I need to be stronger and more confident in myself so that I can change. My friend is the reason I am not happy and the reason I need to get rid of this friend for good.

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School Dinners, then and now, healthy?

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Recently school meals have been in the news after Jeremy Corbyn (Labour Leader) suggested that free school dinners should be extended to cover all primary school aged children. On the BBC News website he is quoted to have said "All too often teachers see the impact that hunger has on their pupils. It affects their concentration and ability to learn and their physical and mental health and wellbeing. The benefits of a healthy and nutritious school lunch are well documented,". While I appreciate this may well be the case I would like to question how healthy school meals actually are.

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Little's Coffee Chocoholics Selection Pack Giveaway

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To win a yummy Chocoholics Selection Pack of coffee from Little's https://www.wearelittles.com/ it is quite easy with various different ways to enter it couldn't be simpler! I absolutely love Little's coffee as there are a variety of flavours and as I follow Slimming World I love that they are syn free! It is available in store at Sainsbury and Waitrose and online from Little's directly, Amazon and various other places. See their website for more details!

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Buddy Pouch Giveaway

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Do you want to be the lucky winner of one Buddy Pouch, colour and style of your choice? It is really easy to enter my giveaway and be in with a chance of winning. If you want to find out more about the Buddy Pouch pop over to read my review here.
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The Buddy Pouch - A Review

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Since I started running I have used a couple of different bags to carry my essentials but had never tried the Buddy Pouch so was excited by the opportunity to review one and share it with my readers. Due to the size of my phone (Samsung S7 edge) which I take on runs and the need to carry my inhaler I was sent the largest Buddy Pouch to review, the 7 XXL, however they are all very similar and the size is the only difference. All available models can be found on their website www.thebuddypouch.co.uk/.

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A Coffee Break with Sarah from Boo Roo and Tigger Too

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This week for my Coffee Break series I have chatted to the lovely Sarah from the blog www.boorooandtiggertoo.com. Sarah writes a very popular parenting blog which has a mixture of days out, fun activities, reviews of products and more. Sarah talks about being a work at home mum and all the fun and stress that entails. So here we find a bit more about Sarah and her blog for a little coffee break reading!


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Ben's Slimming World Journey and half stone award!

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Ben is doing really well on his Slimming World Journey and wanted to share some news of a certificate he got today! Watch the following video to find out how he is doing! I am so proud of him! He would love any nice comments too!

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11 things every stay at home parent knows!

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If like me you are a stay at home parent you will already know all these things and I am sure will giggle along with me at how true this is!

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All the things you didnt know you needed to know about me!

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This is one of those blogging tag posts where we ask each other to tell you readers random things! This one is 26 things you didn't know that you needed to know about me, one for each letter of the alphabet! Some might surprise you others might make you giggle and some may just be odd but hey here goes with some random things you didn't know you would find out about me today!

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A Coffee Break with Laura from Mama, Eden and Me

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This week for my coffee break chat I am talking to the lovely Laura who blogs over at Mama, Eden and Me about her two mum fairytale adventure. Laura is in a same sex relationship and has a beautiful daughter. Mama, Eden and Me is a blog which talks about difficulties conceiving, conceiving using a sperm donor, same sex parenting, and just the ups and downs of parenting from a mums perspective. Laura talks so openly about their journey to become a family and it really is a great read.

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Autism Awareness Day - Our Reality

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Today, 2nd April is World Autism Awareness Day and April is Autism Awareness month. This is something I was not aware of before I was a mum, something I had probably heard and soon forgotten because it didn't affect me. I am sure there are many of you readers that have not had a personal experience of autism and only know of autism from what you have read or seen in the media or heard through friends. There is nothing wrong with this in my opinion as we all have life experiences of different things and no-one can expect to know everything about everything! So here on World Autism Awareness Day I thought it only right that I briefly share our experiences of autism as a family and my hopes for autism awareness.

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Slimming World - What no-one warns you!

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When you think about losing weight the main things you imagine are feeling slimmer, getting into smaller clothes and loving yourself more. There are lots of other things that you need to be aware of that happen when you lose weight that no one warns you of so I thought I would share with you a little list of things I think weight loss groups such as Slimming World should warn you before you even start losing weight!


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Musclefood Giveaway

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There is currently a giveaway running on the Just Average Jen Facebook page which can be found here which is for a £79 Ultimate Slimming hamper and a £30 voucher for Musclefood (two separate prizes). Please do pop over and enter it is really quick and easy to do and closes on 9th April 2017 at 23.59pm. I have a few more giveaways coming up so do keep checking back so you don't miss out.

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House of Watches Sekonda Watch - A Review

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I was sent a watch to review from House of Watches, an online store which is part of the T H Baker family of Jewellers. I had never heard of the company before but have owned several Sekonda watches over the years and they have always been good so I was keen to see what this would be like. A watch is usually something I would buy in a shop where I can see it first rather then online so I wasn't sure if the watch would be as pictured and how accurate the description would be. What did I think?
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A Coffee Break with Ellamental Mama

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This week I am chatting to the lovely blogger from Ellamental Mama blog which can be found here. Ella is an anonymous blogger who uses the name Ella for writing purposes and when you read her blog you really do get drawn in and it doesn't matter in the slightest that you don't know her "real" name. Whilst I would like you to read more and find out what Ella blogs about I will say now it talks about some mental health issues and may not be suitable for a younger reader.
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My 10 Reasons to be Happy

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This week was International Day of Happiness. Whilst I don't usually partake in all the days of this that and the other I quite like this one and a lot of bloggers have been sharing with their readers a list of their top ten reasons to be happy and asking other bloggers to do the same. So, I thought I would join in on this and share with you my 10 reasons I have to be happy (plus things like this also help with my depression!).


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Ego Mediterranean Restaurant Sutton In Ashfield - A Review

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Anyone who has read my blog before or even just seen me on social media knows that I love my food, so being able to review Ego Restaurant in Sutton In Ashfield (website here) was a great opportunity. As a vegetarian, especially one who tries to stick to a healthy low fat diet where I can, eating out can be extremely difficult with the choices limited. Looking at Ego's menu online (here) I was excited and decided that I would eat off plan on this occasion and enjoy the food as it sounded amazing. Did it live up to my expectations?
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A Coffee Break with Hayley from Fat Girl Slim

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This week for my Coffee Break Series I have chatted to the lovely Hayley from Fat Girl Slim. I have known Hayley a while through Slimming World and I know you guys will all be astonished by her weight loss too. I wont spoil it for you by telling you her story here but read on to find out how she lost an amazing amount and changed her life!

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Eat out and lose weight - Ten tips!

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There are some quite simple things you can do when eating out to make your meals that little bit healthier and actually mean you can still lose weight! Sometimes I chose to eat off plan and enjoy my meal out without worrying about what I am eating, other times I really am careful and have had a few meals out in a week and still lost weight! Here are my ten top tips!

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Redex - A Review

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When I was approached to review Redex I felt a little daunted at first because anyone who knows me will know that I am not at all technically minded and I am very clueless when it comes to cars. Though when I looked into it a little more I realised that there is nothing at all technical about using Redex at all.


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Activ8rlives Buddy Band 2 - A Review

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When I was asked to review the Buddy Band 2 waterproof activity and sleep tracker (available here) I was very excited as I have wanted an activity tracker for ages but haven't been able to justify buying one! There are so many different activity trackers on the market I would never know where to start and the prices vary so much! There are large brands of activity trackers but they are out of so many peoples price range that this activity tracker at an RRP of £59.99 seemed a great alternative so I was keen to put it to the test!


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Activ8rlives Body Analyser Bluetooth Smart Scales - A Review

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When I was contacted and asked to review a set of these Activ8rlives Body Analyser Bluetooth Smart Scales I was quite excited as I have only ever used normal digital scales at home or the Slimming World scales at my Slimming World group so the idea of fancy scales like this appealed to me. I was also to be reviewing the Buddy Band 2 activity monitor and sleep tracker made by the same company so was keen to see how both would work with the app they provide to track various elements of your health.


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Which dieter are you?

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It occurred to me last night when I couldn't sleep that I have many friends who all have different approaches to dieting and I was thinking back over the years how my views and experiences of diets have changed. I thought I would put together this, hopefully amusing, definition of the different dieters there are, and how to spot them! Which dieter are you?


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A Coffee Break with Laura from Five Little Doves

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This week I have chatted to the lovely Laura who blogs over at www.fivelittledoves.com. I was instantly drawn to Laura's blog and I am sure you will be too as she is not the same as many other parenting bloggers I have come across. Laura not only shares the ups and downs of parenthood and the things they get up to as a family but she also talks very openly about some very sensitive subjects. The subjects Laura talks about are stillbirth and anorexia from her own personal experiences. I hope that you are comfortable reading this and know it wont be for everyone and may be too close to home for some however I do think they are important subjects that Laura talks about so eloquently and it really did touch me and make me think about how I would respond to a friend in a similar situation so if you can it would be great to read on.


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Skinni Range Slim Pack 1 Giveaway

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We have a West Coast Foods Skinni Range Slim Pack 1 to give away. This picture shows the pack I have reviewed which is the same as the pack up for grabs! You can view the pack on their website here and you can read my review of it here. This pack is £39.99 including delivery but you can win it just buy clicking on the Rafflecopter widget below and following the instructions. There are a number of entry options available to you.


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Skinni Range Slim Pack 1 Review

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When I was asked to review the Skinni Range Slim Pack of meats available from West Coast Foods I was excited as even though I am vegetarian I know many of my readers are not and I know everyone loves a good burger or sausage. My partner Stuart and my son Ben both eat meat so for the taste of the items I will be relying on their input however as I do all of the shopping and cooking in the house I can share my views on the costs and how easy the items cooked etc. Whilst the pack was sent to me free of charge for the purposes of the review please be assured the views that follow are the true views of myself and my family. As we follow Slimming World as a family I will share the syn values of these items at the time of the review but please remember it is your responsibility to ensure for your weight loss that you check these yourself.


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Muscle Food February Extra Lean Selection Review

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Muscle Food (www.musclefood.com) are a big supplier of meats and various other foods and do a range of hampers. This February hamper was sent to me for review and whilst it is no longer available it is similar to other hampers and my review of the items in it would obviously still apply to those items in other hampers. I hope my opinions and experiences help you in deciding if you wish to buy from them whether it be a small order of a few items or a big hamper. As I am vegetarian myself I can only comment on the value for money and how I found them to cook as I do all the shopping and cooking in our house. My partner Stuart and son Ben however can comment on the taste of all the meats.


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Healthy Ben - an update from him!

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As you have probably read previously on my blog my son Ben who is 11 years old does Slimming World as a young member. The previous posts can be found firstly about him joining Slimming World here and then an update of his progress here. The focus for us has never been for Ben to lose weight, just for him to learn healthier habits that will continue into adulthood. Ben has enjoyed attending the groups with me and making new foods and trying different things and is keen to share with you directly how he feels about food now and how he feels his healthy eating is going. I have asked Ben to give you his top tips and an update from him of how he feels he is doing, so over to Ben!


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A Coffee Break with Sarah Turner

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This week I chatted to Sarah Turner who is not a blogger as such but she is popular on Instagram and I thought her story may be interesting to many of my followers. Sarah lost a lot of weight without being a big fan of fruit and vegetables! Lots of people message me asking if they can still lose weight as they don't like many vegetables so I hope you enjoy this. I wont tell you any more and spoil it for you!


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Butternut Squash Soup

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At the moment Butternut Squash seems to be rather popular with supermarkets selling spiralised butternut squash, butternut squash waffles (squaffles), butternut squash lasagne sheets, and even down to prepared butternut squash chunks in the fridge or freezers. I have enjoyed all of those and do love butternut squash made into wedges/chips, soup or put into casseroles. Here is the recipe for the way I make a yummy butternut squash soup.


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West Coast Foods Skinni Range Slim Pack Unboxing

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Here we have a short unboxing video showing the Skinni Range Slim Pack available from West Coast foods here. They have sent me this hamper of foods to review and share with you guys so this shows what we received and a full review will follow in the next week or so when we have cooked with all of the items! As I am vegetarian you will get my opinion on the cost and cooking of the products and Stuart and Bens opinions on the tastes. There will also be a giveaway to win a pack the same as this once the review is done too so keep checking back!


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Just Average Jen How I started to run and you can too!

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A short video sharing my running journey and how I started running after having never exercised. Please do remember to take things slowly if you are new to running and seek medical advice if necessary.


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InstantPrint Life Size Cut Out - A Review

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As someone who has lost a lot of weight I have always wanted a life size cardboard cut out of the old me. I know it sounds random but I just love the idea of a big Jen that I can look at once in a while and give me that buzz of motivation that I definitely don't want to go back to that! Also I just thought one would be a great visual for when I am asked to do inspirational talks etc. I already take my old clothes to these and photos but a life size cut out does have a bit of a wow factor doesn't it!


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A Coffee Break with... Kelly from Nature Mum Blog

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This week I chatted to Kelly who writes a popular blog called Nature Mum Blog. This is a blog about families getting outdoors and enjoying nature. This appealed to me because of course the more time as a family you spend outdoors the healthier you are surely likely to be. Doing exercise as a family doesn't have to be seen as exercise and running around outdoors can be just as healthy but most importantly fun! The Nature Mum Blog also covers nature activities, science experiments, recipes and more recently a birthing series about difficult births to offer others support.


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Things you didnt know about me

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I am very aware that my blog is very much centred around my weight loss, my family life now and a little bit about my depression and past relationships. I thought I would do a little post about me and some random facts about me that might help you know a bit more about the woman behind the blog! Please do let me know if there is anything here that interests you and you would love me to post more about in my blog.


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Fab little bag - A review

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Sanitary products are not normally something you read reviews about are they, but this is something a bit different so do keep reading! The fab little bag (https://www.fablittlebag.com/) is a disposal bag for tampons, not very exciting sounding I agree but a useful product all the same and I was very intrigued so excited to be asked to review it!


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Hollywood Browzer - A review

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I have openly admitted to you all before I am not really that much of a girly girl in that I don't take huge pride in my looks and wear make up etc. I also must say I am not always one with the best groomed eyebrows, its just not high on my list of priorities I'm afraid! So, when I was sent to try the Hollywood Browzer http://www.hollywoodbrowzer.com to try out I was quite excited as I thought if it is as pain free as it claims then maybe I could look better without too much hassle or pain!


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Hollywood Browzer Giveaway

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To win a Hollywood Browzer as pictured below click on the widget to see all the different ways you can enter!


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A Coffee Break With.... Ashley from #ImNotDrunk

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This week for our coffee break guest I have the lovely Ashley who blogs at #ImNotDrunk which is a really inspiring and unique blog about Huntington's disease. It really taught me a few things and made me question my assumptions so it would be great if you could read it too. I hope you enjoy it.


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20 dieting mistakes we've all made

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We have all made mistakes in dieting that seemed to make sense at the time but didn't help us at all, here is a light hearted list of 20 for you to giggle at and realise you're not alone! We all make the same sort of mistakes and we laugh about them too so give this a share and see how many friends also recognise themselves in these!


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Muscle Food February Extra Lean Selection unboxing for review

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Kindness Week - What you can do?

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This week is Kindness week across the UK and I must say I love this idea. It doesn't have to take long to do something for someone else and doesn't have to cost a penny! A few years ago I made a new years resolution of doing something for someone else every day, it lasted about 7 weeks but I had some great ideas and I loved doing things for someone else every day. This week why not take a minute or two out of a day and do something to make someone else smile. Here are some suggestions of free or low cost things you could do. It would be lovely to hear what you have done so please comment if you do something for someone this week.


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101 things to do to avoid comfort or boredom eating

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I am often stuck comfort eating or boredom eating and I know I am not alone in this. Having lost over 10 stone many people ask me how I managed to avoid comfort or boredom eating so I do hope this helps someone. It is easy though isn't it to get caught up in emotions and eat to make us feel better, or we're sitting watching TV and need something to do with our hands. So I have compiled a list of lots of alternatives to help myself and others when you want to avoid eating but you just need that bit of inspiration! Some of these have helped me and others I have heard mentioned by others so I am sure there will be something for everyone! Feel free to add any ideas of your own in the comments and bookmark or Pin this page for anytime you need it.


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A Coffee Break with... Kerry from Kerry Shaw mummy of Four

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This week I chatted to Kerry who writes a blog called www.kerryshawmummyoffour.com. Kerry has 4 children including twin boys, she is a popular blogger and also a mature student. When I came across Kerry's blog I was instantly amazed at how anyone with four young children including twin boys could possibly have time for a blog let alone being a student too! Kerry's blog is an honest account of her life as a busy mum and a great read.


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Wingz - Add sleeves to anything - A review

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When I was asked to review the Wingz products http://www.wingzfashion.com/ I was very intrigued. I often have confidence issues with my arms which I know many of my readers do too. We all hate our "bingo wings" don't we! The idea of being able to buy sleeves that you can add to a dress seems a simple idea but I haven't really seen anything like this before so was very intrigued at an alternative to wearing a cardigan or shrug. I reviewed them with three friends who all required different sizes to me to give a good balanced view on the fit and comfort of them.


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12 Weigh Day Rituals!

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I know I have them, I think most people have them, those little things we always do on weigh day to "help" on the scales! Which do you do? If you do anything else that isn't here do comment and share!


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Candescent Lip Balms - A Review

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I was delighted to receive some Candescent Lip Balms to review recently because in this cold weather I really hate to have sore dry lips. I am sure I am not alone in regularly buying lip balms and either running out or losing them at the bottom of a bag so I expect there will be a lot of you reading to see what these ones are like ready for, if you're anything like me, when you next need one!


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Amphora Aromatics Skincare - A Review

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I was recently sent some lovely shower and bath gels and shampoo samples to try out and share with you. Amphora Aromatics Skincare products (www.aaskincare.co.uk) are packed full of essential oils and herb powders in a selection of plant inspired scents. Designed to be great for your skins health and suitable for a variety of skin types there is something for everyone in this range.


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A Coffee Break With.... Hannah, an inspirational 7 year old

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This week I chatted to Hannah who I have known a number of years who writes a blog with the help of her mum Hannah's Helping Hand. This is a blog about Hannah a 7 year old young lady with a mission to do as much as she can to help others. I wont say any more as it will spoil your reading of this weeks interview.


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Excuses wont help my jeans fit!

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This morning when I checked my Facebook the first thing that came up was that it was apparently "Friends Day". Facebook had a video/slideshow for everyone with pictures of them with friends. Lovely idea but it did get me thinking. There is a day for everything isn't there nowadays. I had a bit of a search of the internet and found that tomorrow is national carrot cake day and the following day is homemade soup day, there is a day for everything, I even came across a "cook a sweet potato day"!


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A Coffee Break With... Emma Reed - Author and blogger

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This week I chatted to Emma who writes a popular blog called www.emmareed.net. Emma is also an author of a book about teething babies. I was interested in chatting to Emma because I have always wanted to write a book but I am not sure I would ever be able to actually go from an idea through to publishing it. It also fascinates me that someone could be a mum, a blogger and an author, I am sure there aren't that many hours in a day!


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DermaSalve - A Review

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I have had dry hands for a long time and my son Ben has eczema and very sensitive skin. Like many women I often have dry heels and want to moisturise them and have lovely soft heels like all the shoe adverts! Recently SkinSalve asked me to review some of their DermaSalve products and sent me some hand cream and some foot and heel cream to try out. As always I never guarantee a company a good review but I always promise I will be honest and open in my experiences of a product.


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Feed your family for £2 per person per day Challenge

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When I Came across the challenge to feed your family for £2 per person per day I thought this was a great idea. The challenge was started by Voucherbox with a charity called Zamcog who support Zambia's most vulnerable children.


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Mrs Gleam Kitchen Cleaner and Degreaser - A review

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If you read my blog you will know I love to cook and I am often cooking a few different meals a day. I am not a huge fan of cleaning though, but is anyone? It can be such a boring task I find, especially when it feels like you take forever cleaning just one thing, or always feel like you are cleaning the same things. When Mrs Gleam asked me to review their Kitchen Cleaner and Degreaser, suggesting it might make cleaning the kitchen easier, of course I jumped at the chance, who wouldn't want to make cleaning easier!



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Nutalicious Giveaway

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Nutalicious sell beautiful gift boxes of nuts as a gift by post. Ideal for Valentines day, Mothers day, Easter, Birthdays, Anniversaries, Christmas, or just because! I have recently reviewed some of these nuts and can tell you they are yummy! You can read my review here.


Nutalicious Review

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When I first came across this company I wasn't sure as I love some nuts and am not so keen on others but as my boyfriend Stuart loves most nuts as does my son Ben I jumped at the chance to review them. The main thing I am not so keen on about nuts is overly salty ones as I really do dislike salt on or in anything. I am more of a sweet than a savoury kind of girl.


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Vegetable Spiralizer by Savisto - A Review

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I have been wanting a spiralizer ever since I first saw them available and people on social media posting their pictures of cute curly carrots etc. Can you imagine my excitement when Savisto asked me to review a spiralizer for them? Savisto sent this product to me for a review and to keep afterwards however the review words and views are my own.


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My Blogging Wish list

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Since I started blogging I have realised that despite not actually needing more than a smart phone or computer to start a blog there are some items that I would love to make it much more fun or to make my posts or photos look better. So here is my bloggers wish list.


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How to Stay Healthy on a Budget

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There are some great ideas here of how to eat healthily on a budget. This was shared with me by My Voucher Codes website and I already do some of these things but it has given me some extra ideas which I am sure will help too. Do comment and let me know if it has given you any ideas.


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A Coffee Break with.... Kayley from Friendly First Foods

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This week I chatted to Kayley who writes a popular blog called Friendly First Foods. This is a blog about weaning babies and making easy family friendly foods for them to grow and develop. I like this blog because it is all about feeding youngsters a varied diet as soon as you start weaning. Giving babies a healthy start is so important and Kayley has done so well at sharing her experiences with her son so that other parents and carers have ideas to help the next generation.


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10 Characters You Find At Slimming World Groups

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As you know I have attended Slimming World group for the last almost 3 years. I have been to a number of groups and met lots of people during the course of these three years and found that all groups seem to have a similar group of people which I thought I would share to give you all a giggle and see if you can spot yourself and your friends. These may also apply to other weight loss groups but it is some time since I have had any experience of these so I am not sure!


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Be a friend but do it right!

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Recently I have had a few messages from people who have seen my transformation photos, my YouTube video or heard about me on social media asking for advice in how they can help their friend or family member. With so many adults now overweight or obese it is inevitable that we all know someone who we think could do with losing some weight. I spent so many years as not just obese but for a long time morbidly obese and as a result there were no doubt many people in my family or friendship circle who thought I should lose some weight. There is no doubt that I needed to lose weight for myself, my son and for my health but even when people brought this subject up with me it rarely worked and encouraged me.


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Sweet Freedom Giveaway

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Sweet Freedom fruit syrups are available in a number of supermarkets and health food stores. They are made with fruits rather than sugar and are much lower in calories and therefore considered better for you. One teaspoon of the syrups is just 13kcal.


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Sweet Freedom Choc Shot and Fruit Syrup Review

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Sweet Freedom kindly sent me some of their products to try out and share with my readers. Of course tasting hot chocolate and various other sweet things I made with them was hard work but I did it for you all!


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Real Good Tomato Ketchup - A Review

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We all love a good squirt of tomato ketchup don't we but it is scary how much sugar some brands contain so I was excited to try out the Real Good Tomato Ketchup when they offered to send me a bottle to review. Ben loves his ketchup, as most 11 year olds do, so he was delighted especially that the people at Real Good had read that he was eating healthily and mentioned him saying they hoped he would like it!


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Just Average Jen from size 30 to size 6-8

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A New Chapter - Rediscovering Myself

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It is the start of 2017 and we all have resolutions and plans for the year ahead. Some people aim high with a plan that will change their life permanently, others aim for a month of no alcohol for example. I have had various resolutions in the past, most have been given up by the middle of January! This year I am sharing with you my aims and hopes for the year ahead and ultimately for the longer term too. I am doing this partly because by writing it down and sharing it I will be more committed but also because I feel that my readers who have followed my weight loss and read about me will understand and maybe relate to what I am saying.


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The (Not big or fat) quiz of the year 2016!

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Since it’s the end of the year, here is a little Q&A quiz just for fun, to reflect on this past year and look ahead to 2017 Katie from Living Life Our Way asked me to do this and I think it is a great way to sum up the year!


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