Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Thanks a Million Mrs Hinch Home

Home was somewhere I always felt trapped by, so took every excuse I could to go to the park or on a day out with the kids. Pre-kids my escape was long hours at work. My Mum always said I wasn't a "Mrs House" type person and that home was merely a place to lay my weary head. Home was the place where I could never catch up... with the dishes, the laundry, the clutter, it was all too much. And to be honest was never really my thing. Which is odd as I can transform a room with flair when I do put my mind to it. An ability I just rarely tap in to.

It was very early September when I discovered Mrs Hinch Home via my friend Sometimes It's Sarah. Just as she was about to get married. I think Sophie Hinchcliffe was on just under 100k followers at the time. Little did I realise that hitting that follow button would be so very transformational.

What did I do with this new found knowledge?

Well, firstly I immediately bought Zoflora (Country Garden and Bouquet) and secondly, I mopped then mopped again using the Zoflora to disinfect all of the downstairs flooring, which thankfully is all wooden (laminate in the kitchen, dining room and den with a real wooden floor in the sitting room). Yes no carpet, downstairs at least, should mean it'll be easy to toilet train Lottie, which means I ought to have done so by now, but that's a story for another day. I might now be great at cleaning but I am not yet Super Mum.
Clean and clear disinfected wooden floor

Floors are something I always focus on first for several reasons. One, because it's where all the toys invariably are so I get a huge boost from picking them all up and secondly as I am an empath I feel "energy" and stagnant energy tends to be on the floor. So clearing it, via hoovering and mopping, gives me the energy boost I need to then continue with other tasks around the home and if I pop out, say on the school run, and come back to clear floors it lifts my mood hugely. Clearing and cleaning the floors literally LIFTS the vibration of both myself and my home. I can see the benefit for the kids when they walk into that brighter atmosphere too. Such a shame that in traditional cleaning it is advised to do the floor last, it doesn't actually work that way for me personally.

Perception Deception

I suffer from overwhelm, which is where when I look at a task I don't see what you see. If you, dear reader, are tidy, you'll probably eye up a pile or a mess and think "that'll only take 15, 30 or 45 minutes" and you'll dive in. Perhaps the only thing you will think is "that won't take long" if you even stop to think at all. I know my Mum doesn't. A dirty mug doesn't linger long on any of her counters. And beds don't stay unmade. I think the only place my Mum goes before making her bed is her en suite. Clearly I must be more like my Dad LOL. Not so with me - this ability to dive in. I will eye something up quite a few times, be it a cluttered work top, or dining table, or 4, 5 or 6 Ikea bags of clean laundry that needs to be folded and put away, or floors covered in toys and to me it will seem insurmountable so I will do everything else but that task I've decided to put off and then there becomes more than one of those and the overwhelm spirals.

So where does Mrs Hinch come in? Well quite simply, she makes cleaning FUN. In fact she doesn't even call it cleaning at all. It is HINCHING. Like vacuuming became "hoovering".  Hoover was originally just a brand, then it became a verb "to hoover" and ever so quickly we now have "to Hinch". And there is more to it than simply that. Whereas the famous You Tube speed cleaners that have gone before her will focus on a large area, like: this is how I speed clean the bedroom, or the kitchen or the whole house... Mrs Hinch for a long while mostly focused on her sink! So for those of us who can't face DOING IT ALL... it was a manageable task. In an area you face very frequently and an area that gives back rich rewards in terms of sheen and shine. There is NOTHING that beats the feeling of waking up to a clean, clear SHINY sink. Anyone who knows me knows that far far far too many of my Instagram stories were - in the past - me moaning about doing the washing up. I don't and have never, owned a dishwasher. So this isn't a band wagon I have jumped on to be trendy. This is literally medicine for me and much needed. Following Mrs Hinch is like my daily dose of dare I say therapy.

So just like NLP where they will cure your fear of spiders by telling you to imagine the spider in black and white and imagine it as being very small instead of very big, I now see cleaning tasks as something speedy, something fun! Where the outcome and the joy at the accomplishment is so much more than the journey to get there. And because Mrs Hinch names all of her cloths and tools all the drudgery seems to somehow be taken out of it. It helps that she overlays a lot of her Instagram stories, so this now sees me doing everything round the home with music blasting. I'm literally whistling while I work.

It Takes Two

A recent critic wrote an article that all this cleaning is very 1950s and she criticised the fact that it's all women doing the Hinching. Well I have a story of my own there. Where my husband would come home to a messy home, he'd have to pick up toys before he could do anything and the bits he could do would always go unnoticed. Ever since I've been a signed up member of the Hinch Army, he does so much more, because now, it's so much more obvious what needs to be done, because I've nearly always already done three quarters of it. So I'd say he's washed up more frequently in the last 2 months than he has in the past 4 years. So don't always judge so harshly Mrs Journalist. It may be us ladies who are on Instagram, but there's an army of Hinch men behind the scenes. As for the men allowing their women to haul, until I was a stay at home Mum I was always financially independent but anyway, the only items I have bought, since Hinching, have been
  1. Lots of Zoflora, the little one pound bottles
  2. 3 pots of the Pink Stuff at a pound each.
  3. Elbow Grease a pound!
  4. Cif Power and Shine
  5. Astonish Mould and Midlew (which is AMAZING on grout and sealant etc...) and is only a pound!
  6. Astonish Floor Cleaner Orchard Blossom (which smells as great as Zoflora and is only a pound)!
  7. Astonish Oxy Active Fabric Stain Remover. You guessed it, it's only a pound!
That's one of the many things I LOVE ABOUT MRS HINCH she's introduced me to so many affordable products that are more effective than the more expensive options/alternatives. I've used all sorts of costly things in the past to get my sink shiny, to get my grout clean, to get my floor clean. Elbow Grease is an AMAZING product, as is the Pink Stuff! I only hope these things don't all go up in price as a result of being Hinched.

So in response to the naysayers no, not all of us are out spending a fortune on Hinch Hauls. And 100% Hinching is great for one's mental health it certainly has been for mine!


I am yet to buy the Vileda Vera Spray Mop or the Vileda Trace Turbo Mop and Bucket Set (although when money allows the latter will be my preference as I never could understand everyone going mad for Vera and love that Mrs Hinch was introduced to what she soon fondly named "Trace").  Sadly, as I don't have a B&M or Savers, or Home Bargains near me, I haven't even got soda crystals or vinegar yet. But will do, as a way of keeping all my plug holes clear :-)

But on a brighter note I have already Hinched:
  1. My sink regularly obviously. After all, with Mrs H you put your sink to bed every night. But I am yet to claim an elusive Minkeh (if you know, you know)!!!
  2. My kitchen sink cupboard and it's as close to a Narnia as it can be...
  3. My cooker. The windows on my top oven and bottom oven are now crystal clean and no longer brown, which to be fair is how they always were pre-Lottie. It's actually really easy to stay on top of them once clear with a frequent gentle wipe. Extra exertion is only required for a build up and I've seen from the many before and after pics on Instagram and Facebook that I am not alone in that, far from it thank God!
  4. My sitting room, proper clockwise style "mate" frequently, like Mrs H herself does.
  5. My fridge - but I only actually got round to that today as it's been a busy fortnight what with The Pipas 2018Avon Valley and Briz Shiz.
  6. My bathroom grout.
  7. My two toilets!! ;-)
Clean and clear laminate floors perfect walk way to kitchen and back door

Let's Talk Floors and Toys. Toys and Floors.

Our biggest source of marital discontent when Aaron was young, was toys all over the floor and once I'd gone to bed with him I was reluctant to get back up and deal with them. Hubby wouldn't put them away how I liked so some days they wouldn't get put away at all. It took me years (not weeks or months) to find out that other parents made a game of putting toys away and involved the kids in this task pre-bedtime. It's something I regularly do with Lottie now, so as a Mum of two, I'm not nearly as daft and wet behind the ears as I clearly was with one. Oh dear and that's not the only mistake I made LOL. I can laugh now with the benefit of hindsight.

Our favourite part of our home is the den, which leads to the dining room and open plan kitchen and the two big features of this are the skylight windows and the laminate flooring. Alas it doesn't look so great when covered in toys. But here's the thing. I finally got myself what it felt like the whole of the parenting world already had and that was an Ikea Kallax. To make up for being so late to this toy storage phenomena I WENT BIG.

My Kallax is FIVE BY FIVE meaning 25 cubic squares of lush toy storage sanity. So the toys are quite literally vertical instead of horizontal and our laminate floors get to reign supreme. Clear, clean, polished and shiny. Giving a clear walking and visual path through to the kitchen or the back door.

Fast forward to this year 2018 and in my recent busy fortnight, the floor started to get clogged with toys once again, (old habits die hard) but at the weekend when I did a HUGE spruce up to get us back to our new normal it was amazing the effect it had on the kids. It's like the space, the clear wooden shiny laminate floor, said "use me". Like in Alice in Wonderland when there are signs on things saying "eat me", so Lottie played with things she had never shown an interest in before like Aaron's road jigsaw and so thrilled was he, he got out ALL OF HIS CARS and got off the Nintendo Switch, to show Lottie which sized cars better suited the road. They played on the floor for hours and I literally couldn't have been happier. If you follow me on Instagram you will have seen it all in my Instagram stories but they expire after 24 hours so long gone now. But here are a couple of pics I took at the time:
Clean and clear floors are a blank page for creative play

But literally if you want floors clear of toys, get yourself a Kallax, it has certainly exceeded my expectations and the bottom cubes with pull out drawers, I have been very strict about and they've been maintained for a whole year now. There is a theme to each box and they get emptied out like that and refilled and tidied away like that. 
  1. So on the far left is a box of Thomas trains and tracks
  2. Next along is a box full of 2 x Fisher Price Farms with animals and people
  3. Next is a box of Fisher Price Little People a road set with electronic cars etc...
  4. Next is a box of aliens and space ships, the whole Early Learning Centre Happy Land set.
  5. Last box on the right is a box of Lightning McQueen and other remote control cars.

I can't tell you how satisfying it is with the first 4 of the above 5 boxes to tip each one out and EVERYTHING you need to play in that theme is ALL in that box. No routing through ALL the toys looking for one bit you're missing.

My only regret that I didn't get a Kallax when Aaron was a tot instead of November only last year when his younger sibling Lottie was a tot. I was working when Aaron was 1 and 2 and could easily afford it but I was managing to do a full-time role in 3 days a week and always chasing my tail and flying by the seat of my pants, far too busy to ever slow down and see what needed doing at home.
I was shortlisted at the Pipas in the Family section

Thanks a Million Mrs Hinch

There is a reason I specifically said Thanks a Million as the header for this post. Firstly because in the coming days Mrs H will reach a million followers on Instagram (she's already on 979k) and secondly because before she was even in the press or on This Morning, I said "by October she will be on a million followers" and I am finding it quite spooky that I was so right considering she was only on 100k when I said that. Only thing I will admit to getting wrong... eeek.... is I said early October and it turns out it will be later in October, but in my defence I didn't know she was going to get a DVT and be laid up in hospital for approx a week and that took Sophie herself by surprise too. Delighted she's making a full recovery and Hinching again. But there is just something very pure and genuine about her energy and sense of fun, that literally takes all of the doom and gloom out of the overwhelming feelings associated with cleaning. I know people who take a cursory glance at her Instagram account don't really "get it" but there are hundreds and thousands, literally hundreds of thousands of us who DO!!!! I'll always be grateful for the boost she's given me and the whole house and family benefits.

As you'll see in the picture above, from the Pipas 2018 photo awards, Hinching has quite literally seen me getting the spring back in my step and that benefits my whole family. Happy Wife Happy Life. Happy Mum, happy home!
Mrs Hinch signature phrase all the best

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Giveaway Win $100 USD towards a Jord Watch

Hi to you all and so sorry that it's so very long since I've blogged. It's remiss of me especially considering I have a great giveaway running on Instagram since 2 weeks and I ought to have shared it with you.

I have been reviewing this Jord Watch and it's helping me keep track of time (I haven't worn a watch in over 10 years and now I have it on daily and love it). It's great as I no longer need to keep looking at my phone for the time. Now I'm a fully paid up member of the Soccer Mum club I can keep an eye on the clock. Must say though I'm not looking forward to the evenings drawing in. I noticed last night it was nearly dark at 19:30hrs and football is 1800 to 1900 tonight. Thank God it's a warm dry day but we do have Storm Ali skirting passed us and it's just knocked down my washing line with 3 loads on. Anyway I digress back to the watch.
The details of the giveaway are in this post: Jord Watch NewMumOnline Instagram Post
Which can also for your ease be found below:





[Ad] On the sidelines Soccer Mum. Me last night. As my⌚ @jordwatches ⌚so beautifully displays it is 18:50 🥅⚽️and Lottie & I have managed to get through a match without her creating too much mischief. I would say the weather hasn't turned yet but as we were walking to the car there was a downpour 🌊☔and because the boys carried on playing for over 30 minutes it was DARK when we got in. Thank God our first LEAGUE football match is Saturday MORNING at 10:30 am. In my future I see us all requiring thermals. The footie we did thus far for 4 years was inside apart from June and July and didn't have a team/matches. We're hard-core now 🥇🏆⚽️ Anyway I digress I have a #JordWatch #Giveaway for you. Click on the link in my profile link: https://www.jordwatches.com/g/newmumonline The contest will end on Oct 7, 2018 at 11:59pm. All entrants will have a chance to win a $100 gift code to use on the JORD site! One lucky person will win, but everyone will receive a consolation code worth 10% off once the contest is over! All other entrants will also be emailed a consolation 10% off code as well. Once the contest closes, Jord's system will randomly select a winner and email them immediately with their winning code. All you have to do is fill out name and email on the link in my profile. To put it in perspective my watch pictured retails at $199USD so $100 goes a long way to covering a perfect ⌚xmas present for someone 🎄 #SoccerMum #FootballLeague #Offside #SideLines #MeAndMyGirl #WinterIsDrawingIn #ClockWatching #MyTimePiece #MyHappyCapture #OutdoorsAndHappy #WinAwatchVoucher #Ad #GiftedToMe #FootBallMum #SaturdaySoccer #LifeCloseUp #My2YearOld #FootballMad #PBUKad #WoodenWatch
A post shared by Parenting Blogger Liska (@newmumonline) on

To enter the giveaway you can go directly to:

But please note the following:
The contest will end on Oct 7, 2018 at 11:59pm.

You have a chance to win one $100 gift code to use on the JORD site!

One lucky person will win, but everyone will receive a consolation code worth 10% off once the contest is over!

All other entrants will also be emailed a consolation 10% off code as well.

Once the contest closes, Jord's system will randomly select a winner and email them with their winning code.

All you have to do is fill out name and email on the link in my Instagram profile.  The link is also above.
To put it in perspective my watch pictured retails at $199USD so $100 goes a long way to covering a perfect ⌚xmas present for someone 🎄

What is unique about this watch is that it is WOODEN, hence the wooden packaging you see above, which celebrates this quality of the watch. It means it is a real delight and pleasure to wear. It doesn't feel like an alien bit of plastic or metal on my arm. Technically I could see it as a dress watch for special occasions but in reality I am wearing it every day.

Good luck!

Wooden Wrist Watch


See more UK giveaways here:


SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky: the UK's biggest list of blog giveaways


Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Holiday Kids' Clubs in Bristol Summer 2018

Holiday Kids Clubs - great way to break up the 6 weeks school Summer holidays
Ensuring our kids still get the company of their peers and 
lots of activity in a formal secure, yet fun setting throughout
You don't even need to be a working parent
You might just want a few days out where kids can be kids and adults can be adults
When you reconnect afterwards you'll both have a renewed spirit and
be happy to share with each other what you all got up to. 

The first time we dropped Aaron at a holiday club Lottie was sad to say goodbye
but he had so much more time for her at the end of each day
when he'd had time away with kids his own age. 
Of course it also meant I could focus on Lottie one-to-one
which she loves like when he's at regular school.

The trouble with the school Summer holidays is most of your extra-curricular evening hobbies break up for the Summer too just like school. I know all of Lottie's toddler play and stay groups do. With Aaron though, we're very lucky in that our Football Club training and our BMX Club classes carry on throughout. But it can be a long six weeks with no school and no formal structured activities.

We ourselves tried Bristol's Premier Camps in February and Aaron loved it - he made great friends and took part in gymnastics, football, archery, fencing and Nerf Gun wars over two days even coming away with a certificate. When he was in nursery when I went back to work just before he turned one, childcare was circa 50GBP a day, so I was pleasantly surprised to find Premier Education holiday camp from only 15.95 GBP a day (cheaper or dearer depending on the amount of notice given and whether booked on or offline. Book online before you attend, to guarantee a place and the cheapest price. There is a mobile phone contact for each Premier course and the phone is answered by a very personable and informed team member who will give you the exact advice you require. If you do a course local to home you may well find your child knows a few people there.

Premier Camps!Everyone is invited to join the fun.

Inspire to Engage is Premier Sport’s brand new holiday course initiative. Your children will keep busy and active with a huge variety of activities and sports for them to enjoy during the school holiday. The fun environment on our holiday courses means they mix with loads of children of their own age, get active and most importantly have fun.

The programme is accessible across all age groups and abilities. It ensures your children have fun with friends, at the same time learning the importance of living a healthy and active lifestyle. The programme helps your child improve their communication skills, build their self-confidence and develop valuable social skills.

It’s a fantastic, healthy, way for kids to get out of the house. Kids love being active and of course it’s cool being with friends. The usual verdict is "it was brilliant!"



Clifton College Kid’s Clubs – 3-13 Years of Age


This summer, Clifton College in Bristol are hosting their popular kids’ clubs, with a group suitable for all ages between 3-13 years of age. Each club includes a wide variety of activities all with the aim that your children enjoy themselves and learn different skills on the way. 

The Mini’s Kids’ Club (3-4) 

focuses on personal development and interaction with others.

The Junior Club (5-7) 

focuses on encouraging children to pursue their interests and develop their skills through their own choice of activity. 

The oldest club, the Kids’ Club (8-13)

promotes self-expression, confidence building, offering complete flexibility and choice of involvement. Of course, all three groups offer FUN, with activities such as arts and crafts, outdoor play and even afternoon swim sessions (Kids’ Club and Junior’s Club).

Prices for all kids' clubs at Clifton College 

- start from £22 for half a day and 
- £44 for a full day. 

The Mini’s Club started from 6th July 2018 while the Kids’ Club and the Junior’s Club started on 9th July 2018. Feel free to join at any time. For more information, and to book online please visit www.cliftoncollege.com

An example of a day in Clifton College Minis Kids Club

Minis Holiday Club

Minis Holiday Club is for 3–4 year old children plus 2 year olds who attend our nursery during term time and is based in Clifton College Nursery. This provides a stimulating and creative environment for young children during the holidays. Qualified and experienced staff will support children to engage in age-appropriate activities with particular attention paid to personal development, interaction with others and, most importantly, fun! Minis must bring a packed lunch each day.
Typical Day Timetable
0800–1000 – Arrivals, Early Play including Arts and Crafts, Games etc
1000–1030 – Registration and Chat Time
1030–1130 – Playground and Games
1130–1200 – Optional Activities
1200–1300 – Lunch
1300–1600 – Outdoor Play/Free Play/Adult-led Activities
1600–1800 – Departures, Stay and Play and Quiet Time
*Above is an example of a typical day and should be treated only as a guide. Variances regularly occur as staff adopt a flexible approach to meet children’s needs.

This post is a collaboration

Thursday, 19 July 2018

Getting More Organised For The Summer

Life has just gone up a notch. We've now joined a weekly BMX class to add to football and dance class AND we've also joined a completely new Football Club. Deep breath. For long time readers you'll know Aaron's been cycling since he was three years of age so you won't be overly surprised, except the missing part of the story is that hubby put me on a cycle ban when pregnant and it scuppered Aaron and I cycling everywhere. Also, so too did the presence of a buggy when Lottie came along. Alas I discovered via the BMX class that Aaron's cycling skills have suffered as a result but we're now both fully committed to getting him back where he was. I'd say from just 1 hour Tuesday night he's 85% there. It did break my heart though to witness it taking an hour to get back to where he was four years ago. Aaron on the exact same track 4 years ago, just with a different bike and more confidence: Aaron cycling 4 years old. There's something about being 8 years of age - it's like he's more self conscious and unsure of himself, but I'm definitely alongside him to ride it out and LITERALLY.
The football club we joined last night is a proper club as opposed to the weekly kick about he's done every Friday for FOUR long years. So hallelujah to not having to give up my Friday nights anymore (I'd already done that for 6 years as a Yoga Teacher) but we still have to go tomorrow to our old class, to finish the term as it's trophy night. We only tried our new club yesterday but we already have a tournament of matches to go to Sunday. Talk about going in at the deep end. And I thought with tomorrow being the last day of our school term, I thought I'd be looking forward to a slower pace of life for 6 weeks but as our new football club continues throughout Summer obviously that's going to be far from true. No harm though as Aaron's got so much stamina he'd be climbing the walls otherwise.
BUT there is a silver lining and that's after tomorrow NO MORE SCHOOL RUNS. I hate the school run with a passion. I have a "thing" about lateness or rather punctuality. So if you want to get my heart racing put me and 2 children who need to be at school on time in the same room. I mean don't get me wrong we are NEVER late. But sheepishly I tell you I cannot say the say for my stress levels. I could however say I'm never sane. Except of course when I'm asleep. I fully chill then of course. If only I didn't have to be horizontal to do so!!!!!!!!!!
So in an attempt to be more "organised Mum" and less running from the seat of her pants "stressed shrill Mum" I think it's time for a noticeboard and some other organising aids, like actually PUTTING things in an ACTUAL diary even if it is just online (and preferably so so that I get the reminders and can share it with hubby. I know the organised amongst you are probably gasping or at the very least taking a sharp inhale at the fact that we don't already use one. Well yeah, now you know why my memory is gone and my brain is FRIED. The hard drive of my brain is burnt out too busy thinking for four people. No harm in practicing good habits in the 6 weeks leisure time ready to be fighting fit for September though when the doors to YEAR 4 open. I really want to get Aaron up to academic excellence so we will be doing some book work, the 3 Rs, all through the Summer.  It does make me laugh that the 3 Rs are 

reading writing and arithmetic

... given that only 1 of them begins with an R. Clearly spelling doesn't always matter LOL.
And the Whiteboard notice board above could be used as a visual aid. I know in learning Aaron is very visual so to be able to do daily to-do lists on a white board through the Summer would be invaluable even if it was just a schedule starting: "book work 10 - 12, lunch 12-1, Nintendo Switch 1-4.....  I just have to get him into a habit where he EARNS his Nintendo Switch Fortnite time with academic book work time. The only thing that's getting my goat is we have the same teacher next year and I'm worried she may have already pigeon holed Aaron. I don't know how to get her to look at him with fresh eyes in September and not just assume his academic skills will have got rusty over the Summer. I play on practising his handwriting, and reading and maths/timetables all Summer even if it's just an hour a day.

Anyway this is my life currently (even last night whenever he wasn't actually playing football he'd just break into dance. Him and his BFF were both new last night and they both kept doing it whether it was Hype or Floss or Orange Justice etc... The other players just looked on. It didn't help that professional players were doing it during the World Cup so they are now role models and they're like sod what our actual peers think. But yeah life lately is like this:

Friday, 29 June 2018

There's a Woman Under There

Since becoming a Mum I've done that thing some of us Mums are prone to do; I have 100% neglected my appearance. It used to be okay if I occasionally did this in the past as I would have the odd reboot or chance to change my ways, from 2004 to 2010 that came in the form of my annual 8 day yoga retreat in France, which kept me detoxed and my weight under control. Looking back at pics from those days I now want to reclaim that person and her radiance. Also I did many years in fashion retail and the need to be on brand meant I had to fit in the product which became self regulating. The biggest, forgive the pun, thing to change my figure once I got bigger pre-motherhood, was a diagnosis of Candida in 2001 from my Chinese Herbalist. Once I read up on it and made the many necessary dietary changes I lost 3.5 stones relatively quickly AND painlessly. I literally shrank and dissolved and lost it everywhere, even those places that are traditionally hard to lose weight from. If I wasn't breastfeeding I think I quite fancy doing it again, but I am reluctant to do anything drastic when Lottie relies on me. Surely she'd benefit from my diet containing more nutrition and less empty calories though?!?!
Me on the right at one of many European Yoga Festivals - I was a qualified Kundalini Yoga Teacher

Makeup

Me putting on makeup was and is a very rare thing and when I do, it's Bare Minerals all the way which has a really positive effect on my skin. Not that I have ever had acne or anything but it just seems to recharge and renew my skin, which reminds me it is too long since I've last had some on.

Jewellery

Even putting on jewellery is something I am only recently making a conscious effort to do. Usually it's ear-rings a bracelet and a chain. I made the decision to start doing this more often when Aaron changed schools. I just decided new school, new school gates, new me. But it's kind of the only improvement I made.

Clothes

Rather terribly, clothes are limited by what fits and what's clean. My priority is always the kids. How they look and whether everything they own still fits. I have so many old clothes that are gorgeous but of course none of them no longer fit. Only today when I was looking for my sleeping bag for Aaron's movie PJ night at school I came across lots of gorgeous Monsoon tops but they're all annoyingly size 12 and I am firmly (or not so firmly) an 18 now, even though I often yo yo between 16 and 18. Currently my size 16 jeans don't fit so I am permanently in leggings. I haven't even bothered to shave my legs so I even wear leggings under my dresses. 

Nails

Having been a SAHM for many years now, manicures (and leg waxes) are firmly OFF the agenda, but ONCE a year I treat myself to Shellac on my feet along with a luxury pedicure. I literally make it last all Summer and then let it grow out during Winter whilst it's hidden under socks. I do look ridiculous if I go to an indoor pool during Winter when it's half on and half on. I have done this which my friend Helen can attest to. That with the hairy legs is SO not a good look - I've particularly realised this over the last 4 weeks, during my Love Island addiction LOL.
After years of reading about angels I finally got a white feather of my own

Perfume

Once upon a time, literally, I used to have a Debenhams card and I'd be in there buying perfume and makeup, even more regularly during the years I worked ON Oxford Street, before I left retail that is and sought promotion to Head Office retail purely so I could escape the unsociable hours. Glad I did though as that is what saw me get into HR funnily enough with the foundation of everything I'd learned on the shop floor which was actually a very beneficial grounding. Anyway I knew my perfumes back then and had several. Now I literally only have a bottle of Cool Water that an in-law was kind enough to buy me for Xmas. Did you know that The Perfume Shop is on Groupon? No I didn't either.

Body Shape

I am currently an apple having been a pear for many many years. Finally the size of my bust has caught up with the size of my ass and I don't know if that is a good thing but I blame breastfeeding LOL. But having a tummy flattening swimming costume is beneficial, so much so, that despite the cellulite I am going to post this:
I know it sounds really vacuous but I now have a Love Island addiction despite having never watched an episode prior to the current series 4. I think when it's finished I may even watch the 2 series that are on Netflix LOL. I have to tweet throughout the show too and stalk Instagram for gossip surrounding the show and "contestants" there. I've never been a fan of reality TV so I am surprising myself to be honest. Watching the show hasn't made me completely forget that appearance isn't everything to me, never has been even in my vain days back when everything coordinated in the 1980s ha ha. But it has made me realise how very much I've let myself go. It's the oddest thing though - I had a great figure at University but I was SO self conscious I fully covered it up all the time and yet now whenever I am not on the school run I am in my back yard dressed as above, despite my wobbly bits, despite my 45 years, despite my cellulite AND my hairy legs. I even had 14 people in my garden this Wednesday for a belated birthday party, a pool party, for Aaron and yet I still went round in just a cossie. Unfortunately it wasn't the costume you see above though as my friend accidentally took it home, so all those people saw me in one that was a lot less flattering *cries*. Ironically it is the cheaper of the two, that looks better, as above. The unflattering one was 3 times the price - the one above is only Florence and Fred but has a good effect on my bum and boobs :-) My friend Aleks took some pics including that one, for me in the garden yesterday. My favourite is this one of Lottie and I below. I didn't get any pics of me the day before at Aaron's actual party. We couldn't resist getting in the pool again though as we're having the hottest longest heatwave since 1976!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Aqua Wipes and What We Love About Them

We were sent 5 packets of Aqua Wipes. I had no prior knowledge of them and no brand loyalty but I was a convert within literally a couple of wipes. So much so we used those bad boys for everything and they didn't last long. When I say everything... this includes my face of course.... but not for makeup removal but because shortly after they arrived there was a heatwave and oh my.... they are bliss.... cold... when you told them to your forehead and all over your face and neck. First slowly, to just absorb the coolness and then more movement to get rid of the daily grime. I also smugly used them on the windscreen one day. Imagine reduced visibility due to dead flies (may they rest in peace) and me getting out of the vehicle to "wipe" the window. Daddy then practically has a fit and says "do you know how much LOTION... THOSE THINGS contain?!?!". I knew he'd never seen heard or used an Aqua Wipe in his life and therefore didn't have the 1st clue that they are full of WATER, so I just looked silently smug as it gradually dawned on him there was in fact no smears nor no residue on his windscreen. One point to Mumma all the bonus points to AQUA WIPES.

Oh and I also gave a packet to Lottie's nursery who loved them so much they bought more when those finished also remarking on how lovely and refreshing they are when used on one's face.

I am highly embarrassed to say I do not have my usual plethora of well thought out colourful photos to go alongside a review, because not only did we use them like it was a race, but the packet I had saved for photography reasons, Daddy used without my knowledge. It's fine it was FOR nappy changes but he does a nappy change if I'm busy or asleep which means I didn't see him getting through them so couldn't stop him le sigh. So I guess I could be like a beauty blogger and show you my empties as that is the biggest endorsement of all isn't it. We loved them, Lottie loves them and the planet loves them.... unlike the other water wipe on the market, they aren't too wet either. Which means the packet feels like the weight of a normal packet of wipes when in your hand or bag. They're also fully biodegradable hence my mention of our lovely planet.

Unfortunately, currently, the only way to buy them is via Amazon, but you Dear Reader may like to buy everything from there anyhow and may have an Amazon Prime account, which means very fast delivery indeed. For your ease of use this is the link on Amazon below. It is not an affiliate link and I have not been paid to promote this product - I was just simply sent a few packs to see if we loved them and love them we truly do. I don't ever write about products I don't love as I don't agree to review them in the first place. I decided to give these a try and just like with the Be Sensible waterproof sheets I am THRILLED that I did. There's a water theme running through here.... running.... water..... get it?!?!? I am that person who laughs at their own jokes always. #SorryNotSorry

What the company has to say about their Aqua Wipes:
Aqua Wipes’ revolutionary wipes contain more than 99% purified water with an organic aloe vera extract formulation, which uses zero plastic based materials. Used by the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) and registered with the Vegan Society, Aqua Wipes is created with sensitive skin types in mind to care for even the most delicate newborn skin, as well as our planet.
Let's face it newborns do leave the house sometimes and it's not always convenient to bring a bowl of tepid pure water and cotton wool balls EVERYWHERE - wish I had emojis on here to included a LOL one!
Behind the BrandAqua Wipes was born after Founder, Dr Mark Little’s daughter was diagnosed with severe eczema. At the time, it was very difficult for them to find products that were entirely natural or had minimal chemicals, so as not to irritate the skin. They set about creating a baby wipe that was not only natural but kind to the most delicate of skin. Combining purified water with coconut cleansing agent and organic aloe vera extract, Aqua Wipes was born.
For more information on Aqua Wipes and the full story behind the brand go to www.aquawipes.co.uk 

Alternatively, you can find Aqua Wipes on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.