Breaking Barriers with Bathing Solutions

My mini monsters are very lucky to have 2 sets of Great Grandparents, this was a rarity when I was small, in fact both my Great Grandparents died whilst me and my siblings were very young. But it would seem as we head into a time when for one of the first times in history we are about to see the number of our senior generation surpass that of the youth, with those 65 and up making up 15.6% of the global population by 2050, that Great Grandparents are becoming a norm in a young child's life.

I don't remember much of both sets of Great Grandparents other than them being quite old looking and very frail, with walking frames, in care homes and they didn't really have a lot to with us, there were definitely not any lifelong memories made. I hope I don't sound disrespectful when I say that, it's just quite a stark contrast to the monsters Great Grandparents, their Great Grandad goes to football at weekends and is highly active. And my Nan, also in her 70's, has Ellie over to stay every week, I do think that Ellie being older is a factor in this as I wouldn't ever send the mini monsters that's for sure!  I've also found that since the mini monsters started school, a lot of the people in the playground are Great Grandparents, as Grandparents are still working, the Great Grandparents take role of child carer now too.

My Nan is always going on about how she is 'behind the time', and how she should learn how to do stuff, which may I add she isn't, she recently went out and took part in a computer course, which she completed, she was so so proud of herself for doing it! Even if some of her terminology was wrong, she still got that certificate at the end of it, and she could not wait to tell everyone about it. From her Grandchildren, to the random lady in the queue at the post office, she let everyone know the her age had not stopped her completing and gaining a new skill.

The fact of the matter is that with all of the amazing advances in healthcare and improved standards of life quality for older generations, mean we are all living longer. But it also had the lovely folk over at Bathing Solutions asking, 'Why does society often cast off its seniors as 'incapable' or 'unable' to learn new skills?' With it's new #BreakingBarriers campaign, Bathing Solutions encouraging our older generation to take action and learn new skills, whether that be learning a new language, learning pilates, or how to cook like Mary Berry there are lots of ideas on the Bathing Solutions website, you can also find more information about community courses in your local area.

#4 Top 5 Essentials For...Creative Play with School Aged Children with Thimble and Twig

Welcome back to part four of my Top 5 Essentials, guest blogging series, for details on how you can take part, head to the bottom of this post. In the meantime, I hand over to Jemma at Thimble and Twig.

Family Fun with Anki Overdrive

If you have children with quite a big age gap you will know that it is quite hard to find stuff to do as a family in which everyone enjoys themselves, so last weekend we had the chance to head over to London for the very cool Anki Overdrive Christmas event, it was a miracle that we were all as excited as each other! Jenson, 5, was excited to play a racing game. Ellie, 11, excited to try out some new tech before her friends!

Anki OVERDRIVE is described as a combination of "Scalextric, Lego and Mario Kart" making it the world's most intelligent battle-racing game. The level of technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI) within the game is unprecedented.

You build tracks, big or small, within seconds and each supercar is a self-aware robot driven by AI.  It's not just a racing game as cars battle each other and each has its own arsenal of weapons that you can control through an app on your mobile device (works with both iOS and Android). With the game being software-driven, players have access to continuous free software updates, as well as new pieces of kit on a regular basis! The brand new SuperTrucks were launched just last month (October 2016)

The magnetic track snaps together quickly. And because it's wireless and durable, you can build your battle track anywhere, your smart device and the Supercars connect automatically and then you are ready to race! With the starter kit (RRP £149.99) you can build up to 8 tracks and with extra kits for available the track of your dreams in not far away! Your smart device and the Supercars connect automatically  available as well as extra cars, the possibilities are endless!

The monsters had so much fun playing with Anki on Saturday and it is most definitely on our Christmas list! Click the Amazon links to get your Anki Overdrive in time for Christmas! Believe me you wont regret it! For more information head to over to the Anki website



Bunch'ems Review

When we were asked to review Bunch'ems I was slightly dubious after reading lots of stories of them getting stuck in children's hair. But as the kids kept asking for them when they saw the adverts I thought what the heck and jumped in with a yes!

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links, I've done the searching so you don't have too! Just click through to buy, it doesn't cost you any extra but I receive a small amount of commission in return for sharing Amazons links*

Belles Musical Tea Cart Review

You know me and my guys love Disney, and that my girls love a princess toy! So a while back when I went to the BlogOn conference and spotted the Jakks Pacific Disney Princess Belles Musical Tea Cart I knew my girls would love it and promptly added it to my mental 'they need that for Christmas' list! Imagine my delight when a few weeks later we got an email asking if we would like to review it! Of course I squealed with delight as I quickly typed my reply, knowing my kids would love this early Christmas present!

#3 Top 5 Essentials For...Potty Training with Vie Choufleur

Welcome back to part two of my Top 5 Essentials, guest blogging series, for details on how you can take part, head to the bottom of this post. In the meantime, I hand over to Halina from Vie Choufleur.

My Top Money Saving Tips from 2016

So I know 2016 isn't quite over with yet but I thought I would share a few of the ways we have saved money this year. I wont lie, it has been a tough year money wise, we stuck our heads in the sand with a few bills and, as we know, sticking your head in the sand soon catches up with you, so this year we pulled our heads out and started sorting out our finances. No more skipping that bill so we can have that day out. No more ignoring that red letter so that we can have a holiday. We have had less days out, less weekends away,  less treats, less meals out. As well as becoming more responsible, it has also made us more grateful for the days out, the weekends away and the treats.

So where to start? You see, we are in no way saving hundreds. We are living on a tight budget, we don't have savings and sometimes we still have to borrow money from parents to help towards our rent.  Its lots of little things that make up a big picture, so whilst these next few steps may seem like very little, in OUR personal picture they help us. Let me know how you save money in the comments below, but here are the top 3 ways we saved money this year.

1) Swap to e-cig's.

Earlier this year Dean made the swap from cigs to e-cigs. This saves us a good chunk of money as it was costing £10-15 a week for his cigarettes. Vaping is not only more economical it is said to be a safer alternative to smoking. E-cigs come in a variety of designs and you are sure to find a flavour to suit even the fussiest of fussers (believe me if the hubby can find a flavour you can!!)
2) Meal Plan.
We save so so so much money by meal planning! It literally makes all the difference. At the begining of our meal plan journey we ate for a whole month using what we already had in the house, with just a small top up shop for milk, bread, fruit etc each week. Our first meal planned shop cam in and £15 FOR A MONTH! After that an we were out of most stuff our shop went up to £60 a week, but lately we have managed to dwindle it down to less than £40 a week for 6 of us. Find out how in my little video below...

3) Become a camping convert!

Did you know that camping costs, on average, around £20-30 per night? Compare this to a £150+ hotel stay you can make some mega savings! And with these savings probably be able to afford more than one holiday too! So OK, you need your equipment, but we went to carboots, searched internet selling sites and all that jazz and we picked up a 6 man tent for £20, we picked up sleeping bags for a couple of quid each and our BBQ cost just a tenner from Wilkos. Right now is the perfect time to pick up such bargains too as they are not in very high demand so there are plenty of bargains to be had!

How do you save money? I would love to hear your tips so leave me your messages below!

This is a collaborative post

Family Meal Plan #14

Remember a few months ago when I shared with you how I was managing to get our weekly shop for 6 under £30 a week? Well lately I haven't been meal planning and we have been going crazily over budget on our food shop! Its time to rein it back in and start with the meal plans again. Last week I used most of what we already had and our grocery shop cost less than £20! I stuck to the meal plan and we didn't need any mid week shop dashes, apart from needing extra milk due to an obsession with yummy hot chocolates! But hey I am still having a heck of a lot of money making them at home, so an extra carton or 2 of milk is nothing compared to the £20+ I would have spent going to Starbucks!

This week we still have quite a lot in the cupboards and freezer so another cheap week for shopping, I am typing this on Sunday morning and thinking I can get my shop this week for around the £25 mark. Pop over to our YouTube channel to watch my grocery haul and see how well I did, but for now, here is our meal plan for this week. (I will try and remember to embed the video here but in case I forget, which is highly likely just follow the link!)

Lots of lovely, autumnal family friendly meals, most of which I plan on using the slow cooker. And off course it wouldn't be my meal plan if I didn't have a 'use what ya got/freezer meal night'!!

Lilys Driftwood Bay Talking Soft Toys | Review

Its no secret that my monsters are big fans of kids TV. So when we were asked to review some of the brand new EXCLUSIVE  to Argos range of Lilys Driftwood Bay from Golden Bear Toys, we jumped at the chance!

House Of Fraser for Kids Little Dickins and Jones Star Print Coat | Review

We were recently asked by House Of Fraser if Evie would like to review their star print padded coat. And with the weather all of a sudden turning wintry she didn't have to wait long to give it its first test drive!

#2 Top 5 Essentials For...Twins with Twinderelmo

Welcome back to part two of my Top 5 Essentials, guest blogging series, for details on how you can take part, head to the bottom of this post. In the meantime, I hand over to Beth from Twinderelmo.

NEW Bob The Builder Toys | Review

My monsters are big Bob The Builder fans, as much as it pains me because I much prefer the 'old version' but any how..we recently got send a big bundle of the new range of Bob The Builder Toys from Smoby and they went down awesomely! The monsters love them, especially Elsie who has been getting her ''fix it'' on at every opportunity!!

Googly Eyes | Review

I am always on the lookout for things we can do all together after school, my monsters get easily bore and much prefer to have games and activities rather than 'just play'. When I heard about University Games 'Googly Eyes' I knew it was a game we could all enjoy!

This post contains Amazon affiliate links, I've done the searching so you don't have too! Just click through to buy, it doesn't cost you any extra but I receive a small amount of commission in return for sharing Amazons links*

Top 5 Essentials For...Breastfeeding with Chillling With Lucas

I have been wanting to start a guest series for a long time, but could never think of a theme. It then hit me that it had been a really long time since I regularly posted my 5 Ideas For posts, mainly because I ran out of ideas! So, it hit me one afternoon, why not open it out to other bloggers, and ask them their 5 essentials for a topic of their choice.

Review. Baby Annabell Bedroom

You know my guys love to play with dolls, especially their Baby Annabel and Baby Born dolls. So when we were asked to review the new Baby Annabell Bedroom I could not turn it down!

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links, I've done the searching so you don't have too! Just click through to buy, it doesn't cost you any extra but I receive a small amount of commission in return for sharing Amazons links*