Cookhouse and Pub - A Meal Out Review

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Last week I was invited to review Cookhouse and Pub on Nottingham Road in Ripley with a table for 4 for myself, Stuart and our friends Paul and Julie. It was a really cold and snowy day that we went and a bit of a drive at about 20 minutes away so when we arrived I was hoping the food would be good as I was hungry by then and freezing cold!

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Dips and sauces for the buffet table

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When you are planning a buffet the vegetable sticks, dips and sauces are a perfect element which could be made healthily without too much trouble. Here I will share with you a selection of dips and similar which should help you when planning a party buffet.

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Giving your home that seasonal spark

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When I was asked to share this with my readers I thought it would be great. I love to put up Christmas decorations but never really take things any further with Christmas cushions etc so I thought this was a great article with some different ideas.

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New Year Resolutions - Starting to plan now!

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In less than three weeks people up and down the country will be making New Years Resolutions, but will you stick to yours? I have some years done really well sticking to mine and other years only managed a day or two! According to The Guardian 78% of people do not succeed at their new year resolutions! I thought I would share my top ten tips for planning a resolution you will stick to!

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Mediterranean Vegetables in a Balsamic Tomato Sauce

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We love this with a pasta dish or risotto, it is really tasty and filling. A nice change from simple fried or boiled vegetables with lots of flavour and almost a meal in itself!

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Get the Presents there in time for Christmas

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It is only 12 days now until Christmas as I haven't bought all my presents yet I don't know about you but I am starting to get worried as I need to organise myself! Do you have presents still to buy? Do you have any to post? That can all too easily be another stress can't it! Or maybe not if you are organised and do it properly, read on to find out more!

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2018 Diet Trends

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What are the forecast diet trends for next year? Will you be doing any of them or are you more like me and prefer a set diet rather than the latest trend? Do comment and let me know what you think!

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Guest Post - Three Cheap, Healthy, Winter Recipes.

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Today I have a guest post for you with three tasty recipes from Faith who blogs over at lifeoutthere.co.uk. Her blog is primarily about her solo travel and she describes herself as the living Lara Croft. Her style is totally unique and her blog is really something different to anything I have ever read. If you want to read a totally unique travel blog with a huge difference then pop over and have a look you will love it.

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33 things kids today just wouldn't understand!

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There are so many things that children like my Ben who is 12 will never completely understand! Or other things they wont understand until they are older. I hope you all have a good giggle reading through these and reminiscing.

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The Ultimate Christmas Dinner with Hello Fresh

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I love cooking and usually manage to get everything done on time for the Christmas dinner just how we like it. I know though many people do worry about it though and look for guidelines on how to make the ultimate Christmas dinner so it is all ready on time.
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Pret a Pousser Grey Oyster Mushroom Growing Kit Review

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When Pret a Pousser contacted me and asked me to review their Grey Oyster mushroom kit (Affiliate link) I was so excited as I have never grown mushrooms and thought it would be a fun thing to do with Ben. I was however a little apprehensive as I am not at all green fingered! I appreciate these kits are supposed to be very easy, but so is looking after a cactus and I always seem to kill those!

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Christmas Food - The Best and The Worst!

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Whilst you certainly don't have to eat "on plan" over Christmas I always feel that it is worth looking at each element of your dinner/drinks and deciding then which choice to make. Here I share with you some of the choices you can make and the difference they could make! Please remember these are approximate as everyone cooks things slightly differently but to give you an idea! You really can enjoy a wonderful Christmas day on Slimming World
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Globenfeld Starlight Rose Ladies Watch Review

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When I was offered this watch to review I was delighted as I love watches and this one looked stunning. I had a look on Amazon (Affiliate Link) at it and the picture showed a beautiful watch and I really hoped it was as nice in reality.

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Post Office Fibre Broadband Review

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I was given a fibre broadband package to review for the Post Office and as it has now been up and running for around 6 weeks I feel it is a good time to share my thoughts with you.

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Sausage Casserole

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We often enjoy sausage casserole and it is so easy to make I thought I would share the recipe I use for you. It is perfect on a cold day as it cooks in the slow cooker so is hot when you get in.

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Sustainable Living with Electric Cars - Making the Best Future for our Children

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I often wonder how the future will be for Ben and then his children and so on. The world seems to be changing so fast and things don't last forever do they. When I was young all cars had leaded petrol and must have had such an impact on the environment. As time has passed we have moved to most cars being unleaded and some diesel. Now electric cars are becoming more popular.

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Spaghetti Primavera

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This is a really lovely recipe for Spaghetti Primavera a tasty filling pasta meal that is colourful and full of flavour. Quite easy to make I thought you would like the recipe!

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Relaxed listening - Bookbeat

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We have been trialling Bookbeat which is an app with audiobooks and ebooks, you can read my previous post about it here. I thought I would write a little to update you on how we are getting on with it and the books Ben has been enjoying in his bedtime listening.

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The Snowman Tour - A Family Christmas Experience

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Don't you just think The Snowman is the best and most classic Christmas movie? To me it is what symbolises Christmas, with magic and music that just makes me feel instantly festive! If you read my post in September about getting these tickets you will know how excited I was. If you didn't read it and want to you can here. Well last night was the night we went to see The Snowman Tour and I loved it so much I wanted to write about it right away!

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24 Easy Ways to help Charities this Christmas

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We would all love to be able to help charities more wouldn't we but sometimes it isn't that easy or affordable to. Here I share lots of ways you can help charities without breaking the bank!
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Guest Post - 10 Awesome Tips for Working Out With Your Baby

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Here I have a guest post for you from the lovely Samara who blogs over at Tiny Fry. She is sharing with you some tips for working out with a baby. I didn't even think about anything like that when Ben was young but these are great tips. Let me know what you think and if you have any further tips to add.

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How to get a Job as a Personal Trainer

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After losing weight so many people take up exercise and then consider new jobs in that so when I was offered this post to share I thought it would be perfect as I am sure I have readers who have considered work as a personal trainer. Obviously this isn't written by me but by The Training Room however I am sure the information may help someone.

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CaseApp Gadget Case Review and Giveaway

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Your phone really isn't your phone without a case on it anymore is it? A personalised phone case is even better isn't it! So when CaseApp contacted me and asked if I would like to review some of their products I was of course delighted especially as my Samsung S7 Edge has fewer options than most phones!

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Sloane and Sons Garden Bench Review

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We had looked at garden benches previously but never decided on one we liked so when Sloane and Sons asked us to review one of their benches I was of course happy to! The choice on their website was good with a good variety of styles and sizes with something for everyone.
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Fibromyalgia and Weight Loss, my experiences laid bare

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I have mentioned my fibromyalgia briefly before but I felt it would be a good idea to actually write a post about it and share my experiences with you. Whilst I know everyone is different I also hope that my experiences help to show one persons experiences of how fibromyalgia can be and how it can change over time.

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Guest Post - Top 5 Walking Breaks in the UK

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I know many of my readers enjoy walking or would like to get more physically active without joining a gym or going to classes. Walking is perfect exercise whilst also being enjoyable and a family activity. Here I share a guest post from another blogger, Sam from Coco Travels with her top 5 walking breaks in the UK.
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Gift Ideas for Older Children

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Do you struggle like I do with what to buy for older children who think they are too old for toys and only really like expensive computer games or grown up things? Sometimes you just want to keep them as children as young as possible don't you. I am sure when I was young I was much more immature at Ben's age and kids grow up so quick nowadays!
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Gifts for all the Family

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Sometimes you don't have the budget to buy gifts for everyone or you want to just buy something for the family to share! Here are some great ideas for family gifts.
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Personalised Gift Ideas

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Sometimes you just want a personalised gift for someone to make it extra special. I have got together a selection of gifts here that can be personalised for that special someone to make them just perfect. Not only that but they are really easy to order but look so thought out!

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Christmas Markets in the UK - Which one to go to?

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Do you like Christmas shopping? Which do you prefer online shopping, Christmas market shopping or high street shopping? The Christmas Market in Nottingham is nearest to me and is quite nice but I have never been to any others so was intrigued when I looked into the different markets and was offered this post to share with you all.
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Gift Ideas For Him

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Men can be so difficult to buy for so I was determined to find some new and different ideas for both myself and my readers to buy this year rather than ties or socks from the supermarket! There are smaller gifts in my Stocking Fillers and Secret Santa post but here are some other ideas I hope you will love.
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Food & Drinks for Christmas or New Year Parties

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Are you hosting a Christmas or New Years Party this year and want to buy something a bit different? Here are some great things you can buy that might just be something a little different to get that party looking all up market and classy!
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Creamy Mushroom Soup

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I love mushroom soup and this recipe is a creamier version than the other one I have listed so it really depends what you like! I am sure you will like this one and it is really easy to make and perfect for a cold day.

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Gifts ideas for Her

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Whilst I know a high proportion of my readers are women I still felt it would be a good idea to do a guide with some different and unusual gifts "for her" because we always like to buy something for our friends don't we and lets face it so many of our partners like to be given ideas! I hope you like this little selection I have put together for you of some ideas you may not have thought of!
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Gifts for Foodies and Healthy Lifestyle Lovers

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Since I started cooking more and following a healthier lifestyle I know people sometimes want to support that and buy food related gifts but are stuck for ideas so here are some you might like!
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Guest Post - Tips for Money Saving When Eating Out on Holiday

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I love going on holiday but unless you go all inclusive the cost of food can be expensive. A fellow blogger Kelly from Tiny Trips and Tips enjoys lots of holidays so she shares here with us some great tips to save money when eating out on holiday!

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Stocking Fillers and Small Gifts for Older Children

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For this small gifts and stocking fillers gift guide I decided to focus predominantly on older children as I always think they are harder to buy for and as such we are always looking for new ideas aren't we!

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Rejoining Slimming World - Back to Basics

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It will be four years in January that I first joined Slimming World and started my weight loss journey. Back in 2014 I never imagined that I would get to my target weight and could only have dreamed of being a size 6-8. I achieved that though and really surprised myself. I kept the weight off predominantly for around 16 months but then slowly things started going downhill. I have never given up my journey entirely and continued to weigh in most weeks but things were going from bad to worse so I have drawn the line now and rejoined to start afresh.
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Win a Personalised Christmas Cake with Bakerdays

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Did you see my post about Bens birthday and the personalised letterbox cake he received from Bakerdays through the post? Do you want to win a letterbox personalised Christmas cake?
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A Birthday Full of Treats - Ben turned 12!

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So, this week my amazing boy turned 12 years old and you know what he makes me so proud. He has grown into a fine young man and deserved to be treated like one so we had two days of birthday treats I thought I would share with you!

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Stocking Fillers and Secret Santa Gifts for Adults

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Are you struggling to find small or low cost gifts for someone this Christmas? Secret Santa can be so difficult cant it when you don't necessarily know the recipient well or worse still you pick out the name for your boss! Here I have over 20 suggestions for you which hopefully will give you some ideas! Ranging in price from £1.99 there really should be something for everyone!
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The Cost of Christmas Past

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Do you ever sit and think how much you spend on Christmas? It is easy to get carried away isn't it but the reality is there is nothing which is essential is there? The cost of Christmas has changed so much over the years so when Hillarys showed me the research they had done into this and how you can find out how much some of the classic Christmas purchases like your Christmas dinner used to cost. To find the cost in the year you were born, first lived away from home or maybe just a few years ago then just have a look below and do give me a comment of what you think!

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Social Media, Online Screening and Your Future

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We all share so much of our lives on social media don't we, birthdays, jokes, ranting about colleagues and chatting about the latest films and TV shows. Do we honestly think about life in a few years and who will be looking at our previous posts. I know I haven't really done before. As an employer do you even think about your applicants and what their social media profiles are like?

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Guest Post - Family Christmas Party Planning

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I love Christmas but sometimes organising things is hard work isn't it! Here is a guest post from the lovely Laura who loves organising things like Christmas parties so she has shared some tips with me for my readers. If you like her post do pop over and have a read of her blog too.

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Healthspan YoGo Omega 3 and MultiVitalty Children's Gummy Bears Review and Giveaway

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When Healthspan contacted me to ask me to review their products I was a little unsure at first as I have always said I would not promote supplements etc as I am all about a healthy lifestyle. These however are simply vitamins and minerals to help boost a child's intake and designed for alongside a healthy lifestyle so they seemed perfect.

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John Lewis Big Hamper Giveaway

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Do you want to win a hamper in time for Christmas? You could win this John Lewis Hamper by entering this amazing giveaway I have for you! I have collaborated with some other amazing bloggers to bring you this fantastic prize! Who doesn't love a hamper of goodies to treat yourself for Christmas? Obviously if you win and don't want it I am sure you could find someone to give it to, but really, who wouldn't want it? Read on to see which other bloggers are involved and to find the widget with the different entry options available to you! With lots of different ways to enter you can be in with a great chance!
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Why Santa Doesn't Bring Ben Much at Christmas

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This is something that is really important to me and I hope that I can write it in a way that comes across well and without sounding mean or patronising so forgive me in advance if I do as it is not intentional. Also kids please don't read this post!
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How to Hack Black Friday

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With Black Friday fast approaching I thought I would share this article written by Digital Agency Fifteen all about how to get the Black Friday type bargains without the crowds and stress! We all love a bargain don't we but sometimes I do wonder if the stress is worth the saving don't you?
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15 Great Advent Calendar Ideas You May Have Missed

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Advent Calendars don't have to be the simple chocolate shape type and neither do they have to be the expensive Champagne and Whiskey ones. There are some amazing Advent Calendars out there you may have missed so I thought I would share my favourites with you!

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Domestic Abuse - spotting the signs and offering support

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With family time increasing and money struggles often apparent the Christmas period can be a time when domestic abuse is more prevalent. Seeing family members at Christmas or friends you don't see often can also make you worry if you think they may be experiencing domestic abuse. Here I share from my experiences, and those of other survivors of domestic abuse I know, some tips for spotting the signs of abuse and how you can support someone you worry may be a victim.

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Home Bargains Flowers - A Review

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When I was contacted to review a bouquet of flowers just after my birthday how could I refuse! I love flowers, they really brighten up a room don't they, so obviously I said yes! Home Bargains flowers whilst part of the popular discount brand Home Bargains, do not have that written on the box so I was intrigued to see how they would arrive and if they would be as budget as their price!

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Win Activ8rlives Sleek Bluetooth Body Analyser Smart Scales for Christmas

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I have another fabulous giveaway for you! Some Bluetooth Body Analyser Smart scales which I have myself and can assure you they are great! If you want to read my review of them you can find it here. I think they are rather stylish but also I found them to be accurate (as much as I wish I weighed less!). 
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Christmas Gift Wrapping Tips From The Bloggers

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I am not a big fan of wrapping Christmas presents and I always seem to do a pretty rubbish job so I decided to ask a group of bloggers their advice. I am sure everyone out there does a better job than me and got some great tips so thought I would share them for anyone else like me who just hates wrapping!

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Win a Wooden Trio of Gift Boxes Advent Calendar

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It is nearly Christmas and one part of Christmas that many children and adults alike love is an Advent Calendar to count down to Christmas. I remember having one with little boxes when I was young and there are so many of those about nowadays. The lovely Melody Maison have given me a gorgeous wooden Advent calendar to give away to one of you lucky readers!

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New Year, New Kitchen? Tips for a modern design

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Are you starting to think about getting a more modern kitchen in the new year? Here I share some tips of how you can make your kitchen have the modern look with some simple changes.

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Guest Post - Five tips for eating healthily on a student budget

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It is a long time since I was at university sadly, I finished back in 2003! Here I have a guest post for you from a fellow blogger Eve who is a Student and shares her tips for students on how to eat healthily on a student budget! Eve writes a blog called Total for Tea which can be found here. Do pop and have a read if you enjoy this post.
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11 Top Tips with Eggs

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Unless you are vegan or have an allergy the chances are you use eggs fairly often. There are some tips of how to get the most out of them without too much mess or stress!

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12 Days of Weight Loss Christmas Survival Tips

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So, people often ask me for tips to minimise weight gain or even lose over the Christmas period. Everyone is different and everyone's body is different but I hope that my tips will help someone to not have the gain they could have had in January. Even if it is a gain there are ways to try to do the best you can and minimise that rather than giving up completely.
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Thorntons at Intu Derby - a new concept store with amazing food and drinks!

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I was lucky enough to be invited to a pre opening event at the new Thorntons Store which opens today (2nd November 2017) in the Intu shopping centre in Derby. Unlike other stores this has an amazing modern look and really is unique, if you love chocolate then read on to find out more of what I discovered there!

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10 Reasons why you should holiday in Majorca

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We have recently been on holiday again to Majorca and we absolutely love it there yet I know many people have never been and are not sure what it has to offer. Without reading huge guides or searching the web for hours I thought I would share with you the 10 reasons that our little family love to go to Majorca for holidays!

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Chicken or Quorn Jalfrezi

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Jalfrezi is one of my favourite curries to cook, partly because I am a bit of a wimp when it comes to spicy things but this is one I really like, and partly because it is really easy to make! The ingredients are things I generally have in the fridge/freezer anyway so it is an ideal meal to make that whilst it is quite quick and easy to make it feels like a proper meal as such!
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Vremi Espresso Maker and Wine Preserver Review

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I love coffee and I love wine so these two products were really up my street to review! I am a little puzzled though who these people are who have left over wine? I cant say I have ever really encountered that problem! When Vremi sent me these two items to review I was excited to try them out.
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Tips for making your holiday a relaxing one

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It is usually around this time of year that if you haven't got a holiday booked for next year you are starting to think about if you can afford one and where you would like to go. A holiday should be relaxing and stress free so I got a group of other bloggers together and here I share my tips and theirs for making your holiday relaxing and stress free.

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Jingle Mingle - My First Blogging Event

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This week I went to my first ever blogger networking type event. The Jingle Mingle was organised by Prezzy Box (The online gift store) and Talk Becky Talk (A very successful Vlogger). It was held at Baresca in Nottingham and also there was The Perfume Studio. I was so nervous but thought I would write a little about it and share with you guys what it was all about!
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Post Office Wi-Fi Squad Review

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We were recently given a package of fibre broadband and a visit from the Wi-Fi Squad from the Post Office in return for sharing with you our experiences of the Wi-Fi squad visit and a further post about the broadband. I must say initially I was a bit unsure about the idea of the Wi-Fi squad as I have always set up broadband myself and never encountered any problems so despite us receiving this for free I was sceptical that it was an unnecessary cost for most. Is it something I would recommend or an extra that we are sold and don't need?

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Keeping Motivated During Weight Loss with Motivacelet

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One question I am often asked is for suggestions of how to stay motivated during a weight loss journey, well this is an idea I think you will love! Something you can wear and see your progress every day whether you are shopping, eating out or feeling depressed that reminder will help you how well you are doing.

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Garlic Mushroom and Spinach Pasta Bake

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I love pasta and fancied making a creamy pasta dish using mushrooms and spinach as I had lots of each to use up (I bought lots reduced!) so this is what I came up with and it was delicious!

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Household gadgets for babies!

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My son Ben is 12 in November and I cant believe how much has changed in the gadgets you can buy for little ones! When I was shopping for Ben's arrival I remember looking bewildered at all the different baby monitors but they were much more basic than todays ones! I got a pretty basic baby bouncer that also vibrated and a nappy bin that I never used as it was too much of a task and easier to just put them in a bag in the wheelie bin! So when I was sent this information over I was both amused and amazed and thought I would share it with you guys!

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Chicken/Quorn Tikka Masala

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When I decided to make a curry a couple of days ago I fancied something different, I usually make a mushy pea curry, a Jalfrezi or a Biryani so I set about a Tikka Masala as I haven't made one in what seems like ages!

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#metoo Sexual harassment and Sexual abuse my thoughts

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**Trigger Warning**
Some of the topics in this post may not be suitable for under 16's or people who have experienced sexual harassment or assault. Please be aware of this before you read on

This last week social media has been flooded with people posting #metoo in response to a campaign to show how widespread sexual harassment and sexual assault is. Whilst I think this has been so good at showing both men and women how common these issues are in society I also feel in some ways it puts all assaults and harassments in the same bracket which in my opinion they don't necessarily belong. As someone who also typed #metoo on social media this week I wanted to share a few things with you readers as a way of saying that you are not alone if you have experienced these things too and to show that an average woman like me can be both a victim and a survivor to these things.

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12 Tips to help your child be a healthy weight

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Since Ben joined Slimming World (you can read about his journey here) and myself and Stuart have focussed much more on his eating and food habits he has grown and lost weight and now looks a lot better for his height than he did previously. I wont say he was fat because I truly don't believe children should ever be referred to as fat because if they are a little overweight it is just that they need to adjust their habits as they grow in order to become an adult of a healthy size. So here are my top tips for helping your child to be a healthy weight.

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Guest Post - Easy Decluttering to make your home relaxing

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I have a guest post here from the lovely Lisa who dedicates her blog to decluttering and not having a house full of stuff you don't use and don't need! This is the kind of thing I really need to do so I thought what a perfect person to share her suggestions with me and my readers. I have far too much clutter and I am determined to be organised and get rid of it! So over to Lisa for her tips!

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Zu3D Animation Kit - A Review

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Ben was delighted when we were asked to try out and review the Zu3D animation kit. Zu3D is a complete stop-motion animation kit for Windows PCs, Apple Mac OS x, and iPad IOS. Everything you need is in the box to make your own animation. So, we gave it a go and share our thoughts.
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Cauliflower Garlic Bread

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If you like garlic bread but don't want to use lots of syns/calories then cauliflower garlic bread is worth a try. It isn't really quite the same but we quite like it and it might be something you do too so worth a try!

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Beef or Quorn in Black Bean Sauce

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This is not quite syn free on Slimming World but much lower syn and lower calorie than ordering a take away and we enjoy it just as much!

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Crispy Kale

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This has been said to taste a little like Crispy Seaweed and is just a nice little addition to a Chinese Fakeaway!

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Vegetable Spring Rolls

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These have to be one of my favourites for a takeaway Chinese so I was determined to make a healthier version! Here is what I came up with!

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Egg Wraps

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If you don't want to waste syns on pancakes or maybe you are gluten free or just fancy a change, these egg wraps are really easy to make and lovely with shredded chicken etc or chilli. They are not as firm as a wheat type wrap though so fillings need to be quite firm or they easily go soggy!

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Sticky Mushrooms

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A great side dish for a Chinese feast these sticky mushrooms are really easy to make and taste absolutely delicious!

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Rattan Direct Conservatory Furniture 5 Drawer Abaca Storage Rack Review

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When I was asked to review some conservatory furniture my first thought was that I couldn't do it as I don't have a conservatory however on looking at the items I realised many of them would go well in various areas of the house not just a conservatory so I chose to review the 5 Drawer Abaca Rattan Storage Rack.

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Chicken/Quorn and Mushroom Curry

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A favourite at the Chinese, this recipe is also rather tasty and a great way of having your favourite Chinese at home with less syns or calories! Easy to make and well worth giving a go!

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Sweet and Sour Vegetables

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I love sweet and sour, but all the packets or jars are high in calories so I checked out a few simple Slimming World Friendly recipes and this was my favourite and very easy!

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Chow Mein Style Noodles

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I love a Chinese and especially noodles when they have a good flavour rather than just boiled plain noodles so I decided to find a way of making Chow Mein style noodles and this is what I came up with!

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My Birthday Meal and Night Out

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Last week was my birthday, 21 and a little bit of interest, ok a lot of interest! Ok so I was 37, I feel old on one hand and young on the other, is it really over 20 years since I left school? It isn't often that I do anything much for my birthday and the last two years I have actually been on holiday on my birthday so this year was very different. Two nights out in a row, but very different nights out to celebrate getting older! So what did I do....
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Heartier Meats Review and Discount Code

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We were lucky enough to be asked by Heartier to review some of their meats and recently received a box of foods to try out. Obviously as you know I am a vegetarian so my opinions are on the cooking and costs of the meats but I rely on Stuart and Ben for their verdict on taste! Heartier pride themselves in having a few local producers and butchers who send out their quality meat perfectly packaged. So we put Heartier to the test, are they as good quality as they say? Is it really like farm shop food delivered to your door?

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Just Average Jen is 2 Years Old Birthday Giveaway!

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Wow my blog is two years old already so I thought I would do you guys a little giveaway from me along with sharing my feelings about the last two years of blogging and a little thanks to you all!
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7 Must have apps for weight loss and healthy eating

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With most people having a smartphone nowadays I thought I would do a little roundup of some apps that can help with your weight loss journey and healthy eating regime. Here are my favourites, all available on Android, what are yours?

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How Active are our Children?

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As you will have seen in previous posts of mine about my son Ben and children in general, their diet and exercise is very important to me. Previous posts I have written around the subject can be found on 70 Ways to keep the kids moving and here about Ben's Healthy Eating Journey. I just wanted to share with you some research I have come across which may interest you.

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Our Holiday in the Sun

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If you follow me on social media you are likely to have spotted that we have just been on holiday to Majorca for just over a week and had an amazing time. I thought I would share with you some of the highlights of our holiday.

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Olive Oil Buyers Guide

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Whilst we usually use a low calorie spray oil there are some meals where only olive oil will do! We have just come back from a holiday in Mallorca so being in the Mediterranean many foods are made or prepared using olive oil and I discovered I quite liked some of the things they made. Whilst I still follow Slimming World I know if I want things like this I can syn them but if I am going to do that I want to use the right olive oil for the job!

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Guest Post - 5 Top Tips for Saving Money This Winter

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I am all for saving money so when Sarah, a fellow blogger suggested writing a post for me and my readers about saving money this winter I thought it would be a great idea as I know you readers love to save money too! Sarah writes a blog called Life in a Breakdown which is a lifestyle blog which covers a huge mixture of topics from beauty and money saving to mental health and travel! Sarah has been blogging since 2010 so she really does know what she is writing and is a hugely popular blogger so well worth a look. So, over to Sarah to give you some tips!

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9 Ways to make Vegetables Fun and Tastier!

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So many people who follow healthy eating plans such as Slimming World struggle to get their whole family eating the same meals as them because members of the family, particularly young children, do not like many vegetables. Adults can also get bored of the same vegetables and lose interest easily so I thought I would share some hints and tips of how to make your vegetables more interesting.

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Guest Post - The Miracle Morning

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I would love to wake up and start the day feeling really positive and full of energy wouldn't you? Apparently some people actually do achieve this....yes I know strange isn't it! I was chatting to another blogger Charlie about this recently and she told me all about "The Miracle Morning" and how this could really change my life. I was intrigued and when she started explaining I thought this would make a perfect guest post so all my readers could hear about it too. So here we are over to the lovely Charlie to tell you all about this philosophy and how it has worked for her.
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Guest Post - Moroccan Meatballs

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A blogger friend of mine Kerry from Blissful Domestication always makes some tasty looking food so when she offered to share a recipe with you guys I knew instantly that I just had to share it! Kerry does not follow Slimming World herself so I have added in the current syn values however please remember it is your responsibility to check if you follow any healthy eating plan!

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7 Ways that meal planning can change your life

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Sometimes when someone suggests meal planning it is the last thing that you actually want to do, but actually it is a really good idea and in my opinion can really change your life! If you don't believe me then read on and see if you agree then, or maybe you subconsciously meal plan but just don't write it down? After reading this I am sure you will reconsider and write up a meal plan for next week!
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Heartier Meats Unboxing and initial thoughts

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I have recently been sent a box of meat from the lovely guys at Heartier to review. The review with lots of photos will be posted in around a week or so however in the meantime as a little introduction to what they do here is my unboxing video and first thoughts.

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How to get a Stylish kitchen on a budget

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The kitchen is one of the best rooms to spend time in as a family. Whether it’s cooking a delicious roast, catching up at the end of a busy day or helping the kids with their homework, it’s certainly a room where we spend a lot of time. For that reason, you want it to look great. However, a stylish kitchen can come at a cost, and you can end up paying it off for years to come. What if I told you that there was a way to get the stylish kitchen of your dreams, without spending a fortune?

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Gingersnap Emoji Light box Review and Giveaway

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I love light boxes, they are so simple yet so useful but yet I have never bought one! When Gingersnap asked me to review their Emoji Light box I knew it would be a hit at home as Ben is almost 12 and like most children his age he loves Emojis! Not only can I share with you what I thought to this light box but you have the chance to win one too!

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Pork and Herb Melt in the Middle Burgers

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We had some pork mince that was 5% or less fat so I decided to experiment with some burgers for Ben and they went really well and work out as low syn or syn free on Slimming World (depending if you use your healthy extra a choice) so I thought I would share the recipe!

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Cauliflower Pilau Rice

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We love curries and love our Pilau rice so I thought what better a way to fill our plate with vegetables than to make a cauliflower Pilau rice that is full of flavour but also full of vegetables! It is so easy so I thought why not share the recipe for others to enjoy it too!

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Onion Gravy

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Gravy is such a staple on a roast dinner isn't it but it can also be quite high in syns or calories so I set about making one I would enjoy that would not only be syn free but also packed full of vegetables too. It isn't quite like a shop bought one but I love it and so do Stuart and Ben so I thought I should share the recipe!

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I Have Depression but it's OK - Ditch the Stigma!

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I have talked about my depression previously with you but I feel it is a good time to chat about it a bit more and with a bit of a different take on it as such. So many people have depression whether that be post natal depression, clinical depression or any other named type of depression. They are all the same though aren't they really, depression is depression but it doesn't have to have a stigma and we don't have to see it as a bad thing.

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Mixed Vegetable Biryani

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One of my favourite Indian foods has to be biryani, I love this recipe as it is super simple and makes a rather tasty biryani! Once you have tried it once you can easily swap ingredients around to make different biryani dishes too!

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Make My Blinds - Review

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I was recently approached by Make My Blinds to review some of their made to measure blinds and it couldn't have come at a better time. A few weeks previously we had broken the kitchen blind (being a little heavy handed with it!) and had been putting off replacing it while we looked around at different options. We also fancied one for the bathroom to match the colours we have in there.

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The Snowman Tour - A Perfect Pre-Christmas Family Show

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We have been lucky enough to have been given some tickets to see the magical Snowman Christmas show in early December. I am not ashamed to say that I am so excited! The Snowman just has to be my favourite ever Christmas film and the idea of seeing this show with a live orchestra just sounds amazing! Do you watch it as a family at Christmas? Maybe this would be a perfect family show in the lead up to Christmas?

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My Top 10 Sweet Tooth Buys

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I really do have a sweet tooth and would choose sweet over savoury every time I think, cake biscuits, chocolate, ice-cream I am really not fussy! I do however like my sweet fixes to be low in calories or low syn if you follow Slimming World like me. I thought I would share some of my favourites with you to hopefully give you some ideas of things you may not have tried yet! Just don't all rush out to buy them at once or there wont be any left for me!

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prAna Fall Collection Review and Discount Code

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The lovely people at prAna have sent me some clothes again to share with you guys. This time the clothes were from their lovely Fall '17 Collection. The clothes from prAna are all made with outdoor activity, and yoga in mind whilst still maintaining their passion for keeping clothes all made from hemp and where all products used are traceable and ensuring fair trade.

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Sweet Potato Cakes

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Despite the name unfortunately these are not cake! However they are very tasty and more like a hash brown in texture, spicy but not too spicy, unless like me you put too much chilli in by mistake, and great as a snack or with a huge variety of meals!

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Personalised Map Gifts - A Review

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When I was approached by the lovely Steph from Juniper Daze to review an item from her Etsy shop I must admit I was excited because I love a personalised gift! There is always something nice about having a little something in your house that is entirely made for you isn't there.

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Xupo - A Review and Giveaway

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Are you always losing your phone, keys, work pass, or something else? Do you like me spend forever looking for your phone while you are talking on it? I do hope some of you are reading this and as forgetful as me! I am always losing things, though not as often as Stuart and Ben, what is it with men and kids not looking for things properly? If you or someone you know is always losing things then the Xupo could be just what you need! We were lucky enough to be sent one to review!

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5 Years Time - A look at what I want to achieve by 2022

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So, this is another one of those blogger posts where bloggers all task each other to share certain things with our readers. This time it is all about where we want to be in 5 years time! So here are my answers which may or may not surprise you!
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Planning Christmas - 13 ways to make your money stretch!

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With Christmas gifts and decorations starting to appear in the shops and children starting to countdown (and some adults!) may of us are starting to wonder how we will afford everything we want. It is the same date every year but somehow it seems to just creep up on us doesn't it! Here I will share some tips to help you make your money stretch as much as possible so you can have the best Christmas you can afford.
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Should we ever discriminate because of weight?

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I read an article on the Daily Mail website this week (yes I know Daily Mail can be very much argument enticing articles but I couldn't resist) about a lady who refuses to let her daughter be taught by a fat teacher. As I have been both a size 30 and a size 6-8 and various points in between I have a mixture of opinions on this I thought I would share. The article I am talking about can be found here if you are interested.

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Safety Tips for Exercising Outside Alone

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As the nights draw in and we get more and more toward the winter months it can be harder to exercise outdoors alone. In collaboration with Bike Discounts UK I have some tips which will hopefully help you to stay safe whilst still getting out and doing the exercise you love whether that be walking the dog, running, cycling or even roller-skating!

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40 Healthy Family Meals on a Budget

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Are you looking for some budget recipes to feed the whole family? Did you have a nice summer but now worrying about paying the bills? Are you saving for Christmas but feel like you will never afford everything you like? Or maybe you spent a small fortune on school uniforms and now you feel you need to cut back? Whatever the reason I have some great recipes here for you for meals that will feed a family of 4 for less than £5 with some of the meals much less. Not only this but all fit well into a healthy eating plan like Slimming World! Don't let people tell you that it is more expensive to eat healthily because it doesn't have to be! Read on for some amazing budget recipes!

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Global Energy Race Sheffield UK 3K and 5K and Discount Code

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Do you want to be part of a world record attempt, Burn some calories, Get a Medal and help a charity all for just a few hours of your time and a few pounds? What are you doing on 24th September 2017 and can you get to Sheffield? If the answer to these is yes then read on!

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Knoppers - A New Yummy Chocolatey Snack!

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Do you love chocolate as much as I do? If I could live off chocolate and not gain weight I really would and I love to try new things so when I was approached to try and review Knoppers which are low calorie/low syn I was excited. It is a dream job really being asked (and paid!) to review chocolate!! So obviously I forced myself to try them and I will share with you what I thought, but I wont be sharing my samples!

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Slimming With the Slow Cooker - Family Meals

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Now the summer is almost over and the kids are going back to school I know I am not alone in loving using the slow cooker for quickly preparing a meal in the morning ready for a hot meal for all the family later on. I have compiled a selection of great slow cooker recipes that are great on Slimming World and other healthy eating plans for you to try. Some of the recipes are mine and some are from other bloggers.

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Barbeque Chicken

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This really quick and easy to prepare barbeque chicken recipe can be put in the slow cooker in the morning and ready when you get in later, a hit with all the family and a great time saver!

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Mushy Pea Curry

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If you haven't tried mushy pea curry you really don't know what you are missing! I hate mushy peas so didn't think I would like this but actually I was surprised to find I do! It has to be one of the easiest meals to make but I warn you it can make you a little gassy!


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Chester Zoo - A family Day Out

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When Chester Zoo offered to give us tickets for a day at the zoo and only asked for a blog post if we enjoyed ourselves how could I resist! We had an amazing time so here I am sharing with you the best bits! I cant possibly share everything because I took over 300 photos!! Four of us went on the day out, myself, Stuart, Ben who is 11 and Stuarts Nephew Ryan who is 12. We were all very excited so read on to see how we found the day out.

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Double Soup of Red and Yellow Peppers

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This is one of those recipes that looks absolutely amazing and is actually really easy to make. I have made it a few times and when friends come over it always looks amazing and tastes so amazing too so very worth a try!

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Improving body confidence with clothes

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When you have low body confidence the clothes you wear and how they feel can make all the difference! As someone who has been a size 30 and a size 6-8 and varying places in between I thought it would be good to share with you some of my tips of what you can change about your clothes to help you to feel better about yourself.

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11 Tips for Healthy Choices when eating out.

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During my recent Facebook live chat a few people mentioned that eating out can be an issue. I have found that too and sometimes I chose to eat off plan as such and eat what I want on a meal out however many times I stick to plan too. If you are wanting to stick to plan but enjoy a meal out here are my top tips!

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Guest Post - Me and Multiple Sclerosis

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The lovely Jane from Lady Janey Blog has written a guest post for Just Average Jen about how Multiple Sclerosis has affected her to raise a bit of awareness and understanding. She talks about how it has affected her diet, her work and her daily life. Read on to hear from Jane and find out more.
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Free one week meal plan

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After many messages from readers asking if I can make a meal plan for them to follow I decided to make one that is downloadable. This is based on the kinds of foods I have eaten through my weight loss journey and continue to eat however please note there is no guarantee that you will lose weight whilst following it. You will also receive my newsletter every week with all the posts I have written that week so you don't miss anything!
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My 30 top phrases to keep you motivated

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I love a good phrase and find sometimes that putting one in my purse or on the fridge helps me stay motivated when I am tempted to eat something I shouldn't. I thought I would share a list of some of my favourites I have heard which may help you too!

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Supporting Elderly Relatives - 7 ways we can help?

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**Post in Collaboration with Fenetic Wellbeing**

Since visiting my Grandma recently and sharing a post about her which you can read here I have been thinking lots about how we can help elderly relatives. I guess a lot of this would also apply to friends and neighbours who are elderly too or maybe who struggle due to disabilities.
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Photo Personalised Luxury Pencil Case and Notebook Giveaway!

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Do you want to win a luxury pencil case and notebook that you can personalise with your own photos? They are amazing quality and could be yours by entering this giveaway! The pencil case would be equally good as a make up bag or similar!

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Chunky BBQ Sauce

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We all love BBQ sauce at home but so many recipes I have seen are not vegetarian and I wanted to make a chunky sauce that was and also rather than a dip would be nice poured over a meal and this is what I created!

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Penclic R3 Wireless Mouse Review

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When I was approached to review the Penclic R3 Mouse I was very intrigued because on one hand it does look a little dull to be reviewing a mouse, but this mouse is different and fun looking so I wanted to see if it was really worth its £59.99 price tag or just an over priced gadget!

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Money saving and eating healthily on a budget

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So, its that time of year where everyone is watching their pennies! Maybe you overspent on your holidays, you are saving for Christmas or next years holiday, you're trying to get your finances in order, or you have a sudden cost you didn't envisage such as problems with your car or a speeding fine! Whatever it is the chances are that as you are reading this, like me, you are thinking that you need to spend at little as you can on food whilst still eating healthily! It is easy to use the excuse of cost to mean you eat rubbish foods, I have done it many times over the years but the reality is that with the right foods and meal plans you can stick to a healthy eating plan like Slimming World and eat well on a budget!
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My Weight Loss - Your Questions Answered

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During my Facebook live session I answered a lot of questions about my weight loss journey and following some questions afterwards also I thought here would be a good place to put those answers down into words. For future live chats I will focus mostly on different areas asking you to put questions to me based on that subject for example comfort eating, Snacking, eating out etc.


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Back to School - Helping your children with school work

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It is almost September so all across the country parents like me are rejoicing at the idea of being able to clean a room and then an hour later it is still clean! The fridge will stay full and the routine will be back to normal! This does however bring the battles of homework, do they do it straight after school or at the last minute before it needs handing in? The reality is at some point every parent is likely to have this battle! There is something that may help you though.

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Facebook Live and Social Media

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If you follow me on social media you may see some extra things to those I post on my blog website here. For example this week I did a Facebook live broadcast which is an opportunity to hear me chat live to you and answer any questions you fire at me!

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Guest Post - Low Syn Carrot Cake

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Carrot cake is one of my favourite cakes, not that there are really many cakes I don't like in all honesty! When Stacey from Stacey in the Sticks blog said she had a great low syn carrot cake recipe she would like to share with you I was all excited! So over to Stacey for the recipe!

A wooden board with a loaf shape carrot cake with one slice cut covered in frosting

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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.

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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My Grandma my amazing inspiration!

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Last week I went to see my Grandma for the first time in months and have vowed I must see her more often. She lives about a 2 hour drive away though so it isn't always easy. I just wanted to share a bit with you guys about her and my thoughts about her generation.

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Five Funny Things Ben Does

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I have been tagged in another bloggers tag where we are asked to share something specific with our readers. This one is all about sharing Five funny things your child does! I was tagged by www.mrsmummyharris.co.uk and will tag some other bloggers at the end to also participate! I must say Ben is hilarious and makes me laugh daily so choosing just five things was rather difficult but I managed!

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Guest Post: 5 ideas to help you exercise ‘little and often’

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This is a guest post from the lovely Suzie from the blog Cinnamon Sunrise all about how you can get exercising easily even if you have never exercised before! A few ideas that might give you the courage to try something or the confidence you need that you don't need to do hours of exercise a day!
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Relaxing Body Butters and Essential Oils after a stressful day!

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When Natures Best offered to send me some products to try they really couldn't have come at a better time! In the middle of the school summer holidays all parents need to relax don't they and what better way than with something for you!

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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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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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