Wednesday 28 February 2018

Kids Spring/Summer 2018 Wardrobe Wishlist

With all the snow that we are currently getting, you'd be forgiven for thinking that we are in the middle of December and Christmas is around the corner. In reality, we're almost into Spring so it's the perfect time to start thinking about upgrading my children's wardrobes - if we start getting some better weather that is!

Spring/Summer is probably one of my favourite times to shop for as I just love the prints available - especially for girls. I'm a sucker for anything with a pineapple or watermelon whereas three year old E is obsessed with unicorns. I've been doing a little bit of window shopping for the upcoming season for both C and E and here are a few of my favourites!

Boys SS18 Wishlist

Even Spring and Summer months in Northern Ireland can be a bit chilly so I always make sure they have a cute little coat or jacket. River Island have some gorgeous boys coats and jackets in at the moment and this blue denim borg collar jacket would match everything plus the collar is detachable too!

I love a pair of chino shorts on C in the summer and I always opt for a beige or stone colour as it isn't too dark and keeps the outfit nice and light. These ones from Next are perfect.

I am a proper money saving type of mum so I love the t-shirt multipacks that I see in supermarkets each season. They are great value, plain so you can style them up however you want and I don't mind if he only wears them for a couple of months because I haven't paid a fortune for them. I love the colours of these four from Tu at Sainsburys - so summery!

I know C is five now and growing up before my eyes but I can't resist anything with a kiddie motif on it and Boden is always my go-to for this. How perfect for summer are these little shark plimsolls?

I always buy the children a new cap every summer and it's always from Sports Direct. They are an absolute bargain and I begrudge spending more than about £5 because we hardly get any sun!

Girls SS18 Wishlist

I find shopping for E much easier as there seems to be a lot more choice for girls. My first stop is always dresses because they are so simple to stick on on a summer's day before a fun day out. This broderie frill dress from River Island is so cute that I actually will cry if I don't manage to get it in E's size!

I absolutely love Disney so have no qualms in putting E in character items and I'm so glad that she shares the love too. The little Dalmatian appliqués on this Gap jacket are so understated and adorable.

E is a massive My Little Pony fan so my eyes lit up as soon as I saw these on Primark's website under New Arrivals. She would have tons of fun flipping the sequins to reveal either Twilight Sparkle or Rainbow Dash.

Every little girls needs a gorgeous pair of sandals for summer and oh how I love the pom poms on these Boden ones! I was even more won over when I spotted that the straps are metallic too.

Similarly to C, E needs a cap! She is obsessed with princesses and Ariel is her favourite at the moment.

Have you seen anything in the shops lately that I need to know about!? Let me know in the comments!

(This is a PR collaboration.) 
Tuesday 27 February 2018

Three Easy Ways to Build Your Credit Score

When I left school I was 'book smart' but I wasn't prepared for life in the real world. I'll admit, my parents did a lot for me as a teen so when I moved out and began living with Chris, bills, expenses and all other "grown up" stuff hit me like a tonne of bricks. I've now been living away from my childhood home for eight years now, raising two children and I'd like to think that I'm doing a pretty decent job! The downside is that back then we were, and still are, privately renting a home but we obviously want to get on the property ladder as soon as we can. Although I had a job and had had a mobile phone on contract for a number of years, my credit score was neutral or average.

A credit score is a tool that most lenders use to determine whether or not you qualify for a particular loan, credit card or mortgage. For us, wanting to be able to get a mortgage is high on our list of things to do especially since having children. An average credit score isn't bad but the higher, the better as creditors will be reassured that you will repay your debts as agreed. Here are three things you can do that can help you build your credit score over a little bit of time but if you have bad credit you could still secure a loan if you are short on time and need it urgently!

1. Make sure you are on the electoral register
This may sound simple - too simple - but it really can affect it. If your name isn't on there, you will find it much harder to get credit. Plus, it's always good to be on there so that you can vote!

2. Pay bills on time 
Again, this might seem like an obvious one but if you have bills such as TV licence, phone and electric, ensure that you have the funds available to pay those bills straight away. My bills usually come out on the same date every month and I always account for them before spending. This is a great way to prove that you are capable of managing your own finances effectively.

3. Get a credit card
I know it may be hard to get a credit card in the first place, but if you shop around you may be able to find a company who will allow you to take one out - we managed to get ours from Vanquis. We use our credit card to pay for our grocery shopping even though we have the cash in our current account, then just transfer the money to pay off the credit card right away. Just be sure that you don't spend what you don't physically have and can always pay back your credit card.

Do you have any tips for building your credit score? I'd love to hear them!

(This is a collaborative post.) 
Monday 19 February 2018

Keeping Your Car Safe When You Have Children

My partner Chris passed his driving test in May 2017 and it was the best thing to happen to us. With two young children, doing shopping could take all day and we rarely had day trips as it could cost a bomb unless it was relatively local.

Having a car has been a huge help and it has been very important to Chris to make sure that it's in top condition. Even nine months after getting the car he religiously checks everything to make sure it's all working, especially as we will be putting our children into the car. The last thing he wants is for something to go wrong when they are strapped in the back. 

The first thing we insist on doing is making sure that both car seats are fitted and secured correctly (it's also important that if it's your first car that your children are in the correct car seat for their age/height), then ensuring that the children are buckled in with no twisted seatbelts. Not wearing winter coats is important as the belts cannot be tightened fully and may not work properly in the case of a crash.

Checking that all the lights work correctly before setting off on a journey is an important one. The last thing you want is to be on a busy road then realise that a light isn't working as you could quite easily cause an accident. Chris is still a restricted driver as he hasn't yet been driving a year so it's still all new to him and does, on occasion, have to refer back to his car manual and test them out by having me stand by the car and tell him if they're working or not. This can be a bit time consuming but definitely worth doing to be on the safe side.

On Christmas Day last year, we had a lot of family to visit and a very short amount of time to get round everyone. We were roughly ten minutes from our house when, bam, flat tyre! This was the first time it had happened and luckily we had a spare in the boot. It took ten minutes for Chris to replace it and get us on our way again but then we had to make sure we purchased a new spare as soon as we possibly could in case it happened again. It's so important to check your tyres regularly for any foreign objects that may be stuck (this is what happened in our case) but also ensuring that the tread and pressure is ideal.

Our car is up for MOT in April and although Chris checks the car as much as he can himself, he is definitely planning on getting it in for a service beforehand. He thinks that this would be beneficial to pay for so that he can be told of any problems and get those sorted, so that his car isn't failing and he isn't wasting money on having to rebook his MOT over and over again. The important thing is finding the perfect servicing station such as Ossett Tyre House which offers all types of car servicing in Wakefield and surrounding areas. Fingers crossed all is good and his "new baby" passes!

(This is a collaborative post.)
Tuesday 13 February 2018

Shrove Tuesday - Num Noms Inspired Pancakes! #NumNomsPancakeDay

Happy Shrove Tuesday!

At three years old, this is the first year that E has been excited about making pancakes on "Pancake Day". The only thing the girl loves more than food are collectible toys with Num Noms being top of her list!

Num Noms set us a really exciting challenge - to make some Num Noms inspired pancakes. We received some goodies to help us get started, as well as some Num Noms series 4 sets for us to take flavour inspiration from.

We were familiar with the Starter Packs (RRP £9.99) and we were so excited to smell the Ice Cream Sandwich scents - Wintergreen Crème is definitely my favourite. I'm a sucker for mint! 

We also already own some Glitter Gloss-Up and Polish-It Noms (£3.99) as E received a couple for Christmas. E is such a girly girl and loves applying lipgloss and having her nails painted.

The Num Noms Lights boxes (£3.99) were completely new to us and Erin totally fell in love with them - who doesn't love a light up toy?

After the excitement of seeing which Num Noms we got - it was time to make pancakes! I'm a lover of anything that makes my life easier so pancake mix in a bottle is a game changer and you just can't go wrong.

E put on her trusty Num Noms chef hat and helped me pour the mixture into the super cute heart pan. The fun part was deciding how to decorate them when they were ready. She decided to base her pancake on Candy Karma with her candy floss scent, but first she made sure to spread her beloved Nutella on first, followed by lots of hundreds and thousands.

Now the best part - eating! E had so much fun creating her Num Noms pancakes and receiving her Pancake Champion certificate! I get the feeling that she'll be wanting to make these a lot - yum!

You can purchase Num Noms from Smyths, The Entertainer and all good toy retailers.

(We received the items mentioned for the purpose of this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.) 
Monday 12 February 2018

Superzings 'Rivals of Kaboom!' - the new collectibles in town!

C and E are huge fans of any collectible toy so as soon as we get wind of a new set being released, I hear a chorus of "Mummy, can we get those?!"

Superzings are newly released and so much fun. They are by Magic Box Toys who also make Zomlings, which we have reviewed here before. The Superzings definitely remind me a lot of Zomlings and for Series 1 of Superzings, the theme is 'Heroes and Villains'.

There are over 80 coloured figures to collect with each of them being every day items brought to life with their own capes and eyemasks. Series 1 has 36 regular characters in two different colourways but, as with most collectibles, there are silver, rare and super rare figures to try and find. C is utterly obsessed with heroes and villains so I knew this theme would be a hit. He especially loved how each individual hero had its own nemesis, as shown on the character leaflet that comes with each set. It also gives you an insight into the Kaboom City background for the characters and it reminds you of a comic book.

Speaking of the sets, there are so many ways to collect and a set for every budget. The blind bags are only 80p so even just buying one of those for your child whilst out shopping will keep them happy and excited to see which character they get, but also not break the bank for you.

You can also get hideouts, which are obviously to hide from your enemy and inside each of these you get one Superzing but again, it's a blind bag so you don't know who you'll get! These are only £1.50 each.

Every hero and bad guy needs their own car to get from A to B and outsmart each other. In each Supercar box you get one supercar and one Superzing for £2.50.

If you have a little bit more money to spend, or are just starting off your collection, the Starter Pack (£5.00), Blister Pack (£7.00), Mission Pack (£12.00) or Kaboom Trap (£5.00) are perfect as they add to the playtime and enjoyment.

The Superzings range is aimed at children aged 4-8 years and is available to buy from The Entertainer, Tesco, Asda, Co-op and Spar!

(We received these items for the purpose of this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.) 

Friday 9 February 2018

Flush Force Collectibles - Review #theflushforce

I have spoken so many times on the blog and over social media about how much my children, C and E, love collectible toys. The best part for them are opening blind bags and being surprised by which character is inside. Flush Force take this further and make it a bit more exciting. My son loves a bit of toilet humour so I knew they'd be right up his street.

"Toxic sludge has mutated everything in the sewer! Now the Flush Force is coming up your toilets to attack! It's up to you to collect them all and flush them back."

There are four products available in the range; Number 2 Pack (£2.99), Filthy Five Pack (£5.99), Bizarre Bathroom 8 Pack (£10.99), and The Collect-a-Bowl (£14.99) so there's something to suit every budget.

The toilets work in the same way as the blind bags that we've all come to know and love. You simply add water into the tank and shake, shake, shake! With 150 foul characters to collect and their 'flush-to-reveal' technology, it's always a surprise to see who's lurking inside. I think it's great that they're a bit more interactive and engaging, rather than just ripping a foil bag open.

If the water turns green, you have a rare Clogger and if it turns purple, you have a super rare Unflushable! Unfortunately we didn't get any rare or super rare collectibles but the children weren't bothered by this at all as it didn't detract from the fun. They loved getting their hands wet (we had to put a towel down due to their overzealousness!).

Each Flushy belongs to its own group such as squishy Squirmin Vermin, colour-changing Grimy Grubs or unflushable Putrid Parts. Each set that you get comes with a character leaflet so you can find out their name and tick them off as you collect. Five year old C can read so he had a good giggle at some of the names like Turd Mite and Turd Bird.

The Collect-a-Bowl not only comes with four exclusive Foul Floater Flushies but it's great to put your characters in (it holds 50+!) and flushing! The handle really works and when pushed, it emits the sound of flushes and farts. I think C sat for around 15 minutes straight just laughing at the fart noises - typical boy! As if all this wasn't enough, you can even download the FREE app to explore Flushville, play games and much more.

The Flush Force range is aimed at boys aged 4-10 years but of course my 3.5 year old girl loved them too. They are available to buy from Smyths, Toys R Us, Argos, The Entertainer, Tesco, ASDA, Sainsbury's, Toymaster as well as independent retailers.

If you want to keep up with all the grossness, follow the Flush Force YouTube channel here. There will also be a Twitter party this evening, Friday 9th February, where you will have the opportunity to learn a bit more and win some for yourself. Just join in between 6-7pm by following @spinmasteruk and joining in the chat with #FlushForceFriday.

(We received these items for the purpose of this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)

Monday 5 February 2018

Valentine's Gift Ideas (+ TWO giveaways!)

We are finally into February after what felt like the longest January in history and now begins the countdown to Valentine's Day. I know that choosing Valentine's gifts, especially if you've been together for a long time, can be difficult so I've put together a few items that I think would be great to gift to the one you love. If you read on to the end, I have two fabulous giveaways for you to enter too.

First up, cards! Hallmark have a really sweet collection of cards in lots of different designs and styles. Some of their bestsellers are showcased below - I love them all!

Going clockwise, we have 'To the One I Love, Love is in the Air, My Boyfriend and I Love Spooning with You. Inside the last one it says "the forking ain't bad either" very funny!

If we go clockwise again, we have a super cute Minnie and Mickey Mouse pop up style card, My Husband, For My Wife and I Only Have Butterflies for You.

Continuing on with Hallmark, they have a really cute range of couple Itty Bittys. Lady and the Tramp was one of my favourite Disney movies as a child (the spaghetti scene is iconic!) so I love that you can buy the Itty Bittys versions of the characters. They also have a cute little bride and groom so if you recently got engaged, married or are getting married soon, they would make the perfect gift. The Hallmark cards vary in price but you can purchase them here and the Itty Bittys are £6.00 each at Amazon.

I think beauty products - for both men and women - can be a great idea for a gift. You know they will actually get used and not sit on a shelf gathering dust.

Moosehead shaping dough (available from all good beauty retailers)  is a nice little gift addition for your man to perfect his hair. It's great for thick hair and leaves a matte finish.

Gold aftershave splash has a beautiful scent and it won't break the bank at only £8.95 at Amazon.

Sleek Makeup i-Art is a liquid eye colour and the shades are to die for! So easy to apply and they really make your eyes pop. Who doesn't love a metallic eye? These are available from Boots at £6.99 each.

St Moriz Dry Oil Self Tanning Mist is great if you like a natural bronzed tan. It is fast drying and leaves you with skin that glows naturally and deepens in colour throughout the day. You can purchase it from Boots for £9.99.

Scunci Bun Maker is absolutely genius. I am rubbish at doing hair and leave mine down 98% of the time so anything that is a hair hack is a winner in my eyes. You can purchase this from Amazon for £5.00.

The Sleek Makeup i-Divine Storm palette is just beautiful. It contains 12 super-pigmented, mineral based eye shadows which are designed to suit everyone. The pearlescent shades contain mica particles which highlight and illuminate. You can pick this up from Boots for £8.99.

Dove have a gorgeous little gift set which I think would make a lovely gift if your partner has just given birth. It contains bath item for both mother and baby so it's a lovely, caring present idea. You can purchase it from Boots for £12.00.

Every lady loves a pamper and getting time to herself. 7th Heaven (or you may recognise them from their previous name Montagne Jeunesse) have a pamper pack which contains everything that you need to treat yourself or your loved one.

It contains 2 hair masks, 8 face masks, a strengthen nail and cuticle masque, a soften glove masque, a soften sock masque, a flannel and headband and a pom pom. Everything needed for some relaxation time! You can purchase it from Argos for £19.99.

No outfit is complete without some gorgeous nails and lashes. imPRESS manicure have some beautiful press-on nail designs and I'm totally in love with these purple ones with a flash of sparkle.

KISS lashes are absolutely amazing and ever since I discovered them, I wondered why I hadn't tried them sooner. They do so many different styles and lash adhesive to ensure you have no fallers! You can pick these up at Superdrug.

If you scroll down to the bottom of this post, I have a giveaway for you to enter.

Want to spice things up in the bedroom this Valentine's Day? Look no further than the So Divine Kiss Kiss Vibrating Rabbit.

With three speeds and seven patterns, it's sure to have your needs covered. It even heats to body temperature (37-38 degrees) to leave you with a warm and happy glow.

You can purchase this from So Divine at a price of £64.99.

Anytime I receive a gift, I love a little surprise of sweets or chocolates. Jelly Belly have some super (pun intended) hero themed jellybeans which I absolutely love! If superheroes aren't your thing, how cute is the little bottle of bubbly? You can purchase these from Jelly Belly.

I love that the Beauty and the Beast obsession is still going strong and I'm clearly not the only one judging by my Facebook and Instagram feeds. This little jewellery box is absolutely adorable. I love that it isn't too cartoony and actually quite fancy. I love it! It's only £9.99 from Paladone.

If Beauty and the Beast isn't your man's thing, how about Snow White? This little mug and sock set, also from Paladone, makes me laugh so much with its little image of Grumpy the dwarf. Such a cute and funny little gift! This is only £12.99 from Menkind.

Bottega Gold Prosecco is a yummy Valentine's gift. It's floral and fruity on the nose and on the taste buds, it's an array of candied and exotic fruits. The gold bottle is designed to protect the wine from any light, ensuring the best flavours. This is £21.95 from 31DOVER.

The PopaBall prosecco shimmer is amazing! Simply add some into your prosecco to create the perfect uniform drink. It adds a bit of a shimmer with its raspberry flavour and rose gold hearts. What a way to make your beverage a bit more exciting! You can pick this up from 31DOVER for £7.95.

I love a bit of cheese and I don't mean the food kind! Cheesy music, quotes, movies; you name it, I'll love it. Genie Gadgets sell the best cheesy Valentine's Day t-shirts ever and I can't even begin to explain how much I love them. They really made me giggle when I opened them out and they have so many different design, images and colours to choose from! They are £12.99 per t-shirt and you can see all the designs here.

Maybe your partner is more of the outdoorsy sports type and this skateboard from Skates would be right up their street? It comes complete with a 100% Canadian maple deck, 5" lightweight pro trucks, 53mm 55DD wheels complete with ABEC 7 chrome bearings.

You can purchase it in either blue or orange and it retails at £44.95 at Skates. Want to win one for yourself? Enter via the Gleam widget below.

Skates skateboard

I'm also giving away this little bundle of lash and nail goodies. Again, just enter via the Gleam widget below.

Nail and lash goodies

T&C's (

  • One winner will win one skateboard in a colourway of their choice, stock depending. 
  • Giveaway will run from February 5th until February 11th. Delivery is not guaranteed before Valentine's Day.
  • UK entrants only
  • 18+
  • No automated entries
  • One entry per person 
T&C's (Nail and lash bundle)
  • One winner will win the bundle pictured. 
  • Giveaway will run from February 5th until February 11th. Delivery is not guaranteed before Valentine's Day.
  • UK entrants only
  • 18+
  • No automated entries 
  • One entry per person 
(This post contains items that I have been sent in exchange for inclusion.)