Flora Family Fun Guide...


Thanks to Flora for sending us a Family Fun Guide last week. When we were not going out on our adventures we stayed inside making yummy treats. That was the snacks sorted for the next days outing. Our Flora boredom busting basket was full of crafty ideas and lovely ingredients.

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Making A Puppet Show : With Flora Butter..


We have been busy, busy over the last few days of the half term holidays. A unexpected visit from my son who is at uni, some fun days out and even a spot of gardening when the sun was out on Wednesday.

When we have been indoors we have not been short of things to do thanks to the boredom busting basket and family fun guide from Flora Buttery.


We had lots of fun making a puppet show. My daughter had lots of fun making a boy and a girl puppet. She named them after her 2 favourite teddy's, Alex (the lion) and Nelly (the elephant).

Credits : A Puppet Show : by Flora Butter.

We all have a pile of odd socks. Give them a new lease of life by making sock puppets.

Time : 10 minutes.

Age: 3+.


What you need :
  • Odd socks 
  • Buttons Glue 
  • Wool Cardboard or felt
What to do:
  1.  Find an old clean sock that’s long enough to go up your arm.
  2. Put your hand inside to make the basic mouth shape with your thumb and fingers.
  3. Sew on two buttons or glue on two circles for eyes.
  4. Now decide what other features to add; some wool hair, whiskers, eyelashes, a tongue? 
  5. Finally name your puppet and suggest the kids stage a puppet show.

We had lots of run playing with our sock puppets, fancy making some too?

About this post :

We kindly got sent this Flora’s Family Fun Guide hamper to have some recipe and crafty fun over the half term holidays. All thoughts are our own and I was not paid for this post...


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Shoe Zone £30.00 Challenge...


If you are a regular reader of my blog, you may know how much I love shoes?  My daughter loves her shoes too, not yet to my level, but give her time! She loves her handbags too. Last week Shoe Zone invited me to a fun shoe challenge. A challenge and shoes "yes please" ...


The challenge:
  • "We would absolutely love to set you the challenge of taking a £30 voucher and buying shoes from Shoe Zone for one or more of your outfit posts, for you or the kids"

Our £30.00 voucher arrived on Saturday morning and although they had some great shoes online, as we were going shopping we decided to see if anything caught our eyes in store. Off we went to our local Shoe Zone with our voucher. We were thinking of what we would buy, and what colours.


We already shop in Shoe Zone so we knew roughly what kind of shoes they stock. I think Shoe Zone is a lovely shop for buying school or work shoes. They sell a large range of black comfy shoes perfect for wearing all day, all at great prices. We buy lots of my daughter school shoes already from them. My daughter knows with the budget I give her for school shoes she can get 2 pairs from Shoe Zone.  Just before Christmas she went in for a pair of school shoes and also came out with knee length boots too.


On this occasion we were looking for something nice to wear for days out in Spring. Flat comfy and a nice light colour. These pink ballet style shoes caught my eye straight away. Flat, comfy, nice width, lovely stylings and a bargain price of £7.99.

 My daughter was off browsing the bags, this adorable owl bag jumped out at her. (Cute animals are always a winner with my daughter). With a 20% extra sale on the bag, it was only £7.99. Then back to the shoes. The black suede style shoes were her go too pair, "these mum"? Only £6.99! Also with an extra 20% Off. So only £5.59!! After we both picked our preferences there was enough money left for the cream ballet shoes for me too, what a great result! 


All in all we are very happy with how many lovely things we got from Shoe Zone for a total of £29.56.


What do you think to the shoes and bag. Let me know..

About this post~

I was gifted a £30.00 from Shoe Zone to pick some shoes to review. All thoughts are my own opinion and I was not paid for this post...


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Traditional Pancakes : Flora Family Fun Guide...


Can you believe the first day of the February half term and it was pouring it down with rain yesterday! Typical! A perfect day to stay inside and try out some of the craft and recipe ideas from the Family Fun Guide that Flora kindle sent us. 

Flora’s Family Fun Guide is full of crafty ideas and easy, tasty recipes to try out. Written by parenting author, Tanith Carey, it’s designed for those days when you need a little bit of inspiration to stop restless kids from climbing the walls.

First up me and my daughter made some sock puppets and left the glue to dry (more on these another day). 

Then next a spot of cooking. My son came home from university over the weekend for a surprise visit and stayed for the night. It was perfect timing to try out the traditional pancake recipe before he went back home. He love pancakes, we all love pancakes.


Serves 8
Set up : 10 minutes 
Cooking time : 15-20 minutes

Ingredients
  • 115g (4 oz) plain flour 
  • 2 medium eggs
  •  300ml (½ pint) milk or milk and water 
  • Flora Buttery for frying
Any of your favourite toppings:
  • Caster sugar 
  • Lemon wedges
  • Strawberry jam
  • Nutella
  • Golden syrup
We timed all the ingredients by 2 to make a double quantity of pancake mix so we all got lots of pancakes each..


What to do: 
For the batter: 
  1. Sieve the flour into a mixing bowl and add the eggs, mixing well. 
  2. Gradually stir in half the milk and beat thoroughly. 
  3. Stir in remaining milk and beat lightly.
  4.  Heat a little Flora in a medium-sized pan over a low heat until fairly hot. 
  5. Slide it around to grease the pan then pour the excess into a jug, ready for the next pancake.
  6. Pour a little batter into the pan; tip pan to spread batter and make very thin coating. 
  7. Cook until the underside is golden brown and the top is covered with bubbles. 
  8. Toss or turn over and cook until the other side is golden brown.
  9. Place the pancake on a plate, sprinkle with lemon juice and caster sugar, 2 teaspoons of jam or your favourite topping. 
  10. Roll loosely and again sprinkle with sugar.
  11. Cover and keep hot under a very low grill, or in a preheated oven 140°C/120°C fan/ gas mark 1, until all your pancakes are ready. 
  12. Add more melted Flora to the pan each time to prevent sticking. 
  13. Serve with lemon wedges.

Having all 4 children and me all hoping the pancakes would hurry up and cook, it was hard work to get a picture of them! They smelt and tasted so yummy. They tasted perfect. I we will be making this recipe today for Pancake day, yeah. We are all looking forward to breakfast...


What is your favourite pancake toppings?

About this post :

We kindly got sent this Flora’s Family Fun Guide hamper to have some recipe and crafty fun over the half term holidays. All thoughts are our own and I was not paid for this post...

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Mix Up Your Run...


As part of the #MixUpYourRun campaign I have been testing out the my new ASICS GEL-GLORIFY trainers that are exclusive to Inter Sport. My favourite colour for running trainers are pink so you can imagine how much I am loving these!?!

 I have put a lot more thought into my training just lately. With having a lot of time off over Christmas I needed a more structured plan for the New Year.  So I was already trying to mix up my training when I received these trainers. The campaign then, reiterated my beliefs that change is good. My mind is convinced, I just need to work on the body!

This week I have been mixing up my runs by doing lots of short runs, a bit of speed work on the track and a few exercise classes at the gym. I can really tell how hard I have worked this week as by the weekend I could not walk!! (No pain no gain, my old gym teacher used to say). I was glad of a rest day on Saturday.

Today I decided to crank up the miles. I set my sights on doing a 5 mile run ( the longest I have done in months is 3, so a challenge ). Laced up  my Ascis Gel Glorify and headed for the door. With a plan to do 3 miles on my own then pop back home to pick up my son for the last 2.

The trainers felt great, with a good transition from heel to toe. I often have a problem where I land too heavily on my heel. Whilst I was slipping in to this every so often, the trainers helped promote a more productive natural foot strike. The shoes feel nice and wide with a good lacing system, so they feel neither too loose or too tight. Snug as a bug in a rug. (note to self avoid too many cliches.)

 I find the Asics Gel Glorify a little smaller around the toe box than the Asics 33-DFA and both pairs come just slightly smaller than my usual brand. If I was to run a marathon in them I think half a size larger would be perfect. My feet do swell on longer runs. For the training I am doing for the foreseeable future they are fine.

 I am looking forward to recovering well and getting a good week of running in this next week. Maybe a visit to the running club for a group session is in order? If the snow and frost keep away that is.


About the Asics Gel Glorify-
  • There for you on those long-distance runs.
  • Go further than ever before in the GEL-GLORIFY. 
  • Every landing is a little easier on you with GEL cushioning in the front and back, as well as a plush FluidRide midsole that feels springy underfoot.
  • It’s the go-to running shoe for runners looking to smash the longer distances. 
  • Take on 10ks, half-marathons and marathons with soft and comfortable materials that support you all the way. 
  • Run long distances in comfort thanks to GEL cushioning and a Solyte midsole. 
  • Land gently and push off smoothly with a FluidRide midsole that has great bounce-backFeel comfortable with a soft, foot-hugging upper.

I am so looking forward to building my mileage back up and these will be my goto trainers for long runs. So far I have been mixing runs between wearing my Asics 33-DFA and these Gel Glorify.

Getting out everyday with my son, who has built his mileage streak up from 1 mile a day in January to 2 miles a day in February.

Asics 33-DFA
About this post-

I have been sent the above running clothes and trainers for review and to be a part of the #MixUpYourRun campaign. I was not paid for this post and all thoughts are my own.
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Parkrun Fun..


On Saturday me and my son decided to start up our Parkrun 'runs' again. I usually say no to running first thing ( I like to get up eat and plan on going out) but having a new running kit from Ascis for the #MixUpYourRun campaign really helped me get out the door and my trainers needed a road test!

 I am really loving running again at the minutes so a nice 5k race is just what I needed to get my competitive juices flowing again. It is was one thing going on your own but competition always brings out the best in me. It certainly helps to push yourself harder than you would on your own.


The course was dry compared to some of the other weeks we have done it. No snow on the floor was an added bonus. A bit of mud on the course gave my new trainers a good bedding in!


The Parkrun I went too today is a 3 lap course so you can gauge your effort for each lap. I always set off strong then settle down. Picking it up on the 2nd lap and then as usual fade a little on the 3rd lap. Overall my run went to plan.


My 11 year old son racing the men.


What better thing to do on a Saturday morning than running through the park on a nice fresh morning?


I never push myself at the end but I had to push myself this time as I had a lady just behind me all the way to the finish line. I was nearly sick to keep my position but just kept it :)


Here in my new Asics coat, t-shirt running socks and trainers. Me and my son after the race, wow he did great and finished nearly 2 minutes in front of me!


I hate getting my new trainers all muddy but that is what they are for! Right? The trainers I wore on Saturday were the Asics33-DFA. They felt nice and lightweight with good heel to toe movement. Very natural. Not only were they a comfortable snug fit, they are lightweight yet offer enough support. Excellent so far then.. It is just the feet legs and body in the shoes that needs a little work!!

Running stats
  • Time 25.58 for 5k.
  • I was 47th out of 111 runners.
  • 6 seconds quicker than my last Parkrun in October even though not much training, over the festive period.
  • 1 minute 24 behind my best Park run time in 2012.
Parkrun goals
  • To beat and smash my best time 24.34

  • About this post-

    I have been sent the above running clothes and trainers for review and to be a part of the #MixUpYourRun campaign. I was not paid for this post and all thoughts are my own.
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Mix Up Your Run...


A few weeks ago I applied to be a part of the new Asics #MixUpYourRun campaign with The Running bug. On Friday I was over the moon on when I received the email to say I had been one of the lucky ones to be selected.It was like the icing on the cake when I got the email saying I was part of the campaign. What a lovely surprise I got on Tuesday when I opened my parcel.....

After only doing the occasional run throughout December I knew I had to get back training in the New Year. I have had flu and colds and then yet more colds. I still managed to have a great January. Building back up gently I ran 29 days out of the 31. Well pleased. Only a mile or two a day and it got me back into running again without over training or risking injury.

Now after getting out running everyday I need to mix up my training, longer slow runs, faster shorter runs and finally starting back up at the running club for proper organised training sessions.


There is a special feeling about getting new running gear, or any new clothes, shoes. I always want to wear them straight away and go out.  In the case of running gear at least it is healthy!


In my parcel :
  • A lovely pink running jacket. (I just love pink running clothes!)
  • A fitted blue short sleeved running t shirt.
  • Knee length running leggings.
  • Running socks.
  • Onyx hot pink and black trainers (Run Natural trainers with the lower heel drop, giving the runner a more natural running style and feel).
  • Gel-Glorify trainer for longer runs, built for road running, cushioned with extra protection. (these trainers are exclusive to Intersport)


As I said my parcel arrived Tuesday afternoon and I could not wait until my youngest son and new training partner came home from school so I could test out my new gear. We have upped our mileage to 2 a day now. Ideal then to try my light trainers, so I could keep up with him. On Wednesday I opted for the cushioned trainers and upped my mileage to 3. The last few days I have been mixing up my training with gym work and I am looking forward now to building up my running miles. So far so good in my new trainers. I have bedded them in nicely with short runs, now I need to go longer. Both pairs feel comfy, well cushioned and bouncy, I will be giving them further tests over the next few weeks.

About the MixUpYourRun Campaign:

The message of the campaign is centred around our Mix Up Your Run philosophy. The key behind this philosophy is in order to get the best out of your training you have to mix up the types of run; Run Long, Run Tough, Run Fast and Run Natural

To keep a eye on how I am mixing up my training and all of the other runners in the Mix Up Your Run campaign use any of the following hashtags on twitter.  #MixUpYourRun  #Asics @ASICSeurope .

I really appreciate any encouraging tweets too.!!!

I will update here soon on how my training is going and how I am finding my new Asics running gear..

About this post-

I have been sent the above running clothes and trainers for review and to be a part of the #MixUpYourRun campaign. I was not paid for this post and all thoughts are my own.

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House Of Fraser Review...


Last week House of Fraser asked me if I would like to take a look at their range of ladies coats and jackets. They sell many of these around the £30.00 price tag. I know they are a retailer of high quality premium brands so I was interested in seeing what range of ladies coats they offered around this price point.

Here are my thoughts opinions.


Over to their website I go to see a more detailed look at what kind off coats and jackets were in this range. I selected the ladies clothes, then shop by department, then onto coats and jackets. I opted for the low to high price and was pleasantly surprised at their range of coats and jackets starting as low as £10.00!

They have a beautiful wide range of coats and jackets from sparkly shrugs, printed Kimono's, fur style jackets, floral blazers to biker style jackets and coats.


I was torn between a few different styles from a lovely blue blazer, a tartan jacket and a lovely Jane Norman jacket.  In the end I chose the Jane Norman jacket, which was priced just under £30.00. (I notice now as I post this review, that this jacket has sold out. It must have been a bargain.)


About the jacket:
  • Get your faux fur fix this season in this timeless leather jacket. 
  • Featuring removable faux fur collar, quilted biker details, flattering slim fit, zip pockets, cuffs and front fastening. 
  • Just add a sweep of red lipstick and you will be good to go!
  • POLYURETHANE/VISCOSE. LINING 100% POLYESTER
  • Machine Wash 30°C
  • £29.99 (Reduced}


I picked out this beautiful cream Jane Norman style biker jacket. I know this will be perfect for spring. I love the style, colour and shape, it also fits perfectly. The size is a true fit, as you would expect. I opted for the size 10.

To grab a bargain coat you have to be quick, they are selling out fast as most have been reduced in the sales.

About this post:

I got to pick a coat or jacket under £30.00 from House Of Fraser to review. I was not paid for this post and all thoughts are my own honest option.

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House Of Fraser Girls Dress Review...

I love dresses my daughter loves dresses. Polka dots, floral and patterns being our favourites. I know what styles she likes, she knows my style to a tee.

She had a couple of new dresses for Christmas season nothing since. I was going to treat her to a nice new dress in the sales but nothing had caught my eye, that was until I was introduced to the Joules range from House of Fraser.


Last week House Of Fraser asked me if I would like to review something from their children's range. I would not normally shop in House Of Fraser except for Christmas pressies and the odd bits and bobs. As my regular blog readers know I tend to buy budget and try to put my unique styling on them.

This then was a pleasant surprise. They have a beautiful range at competitive prices and I was torn between this dress and another lovely style with foxes on. Being House Of Fraser you know every item is quality, the old adage of "you get what you pay for" springs to mind. Excellent.

I knew how much she likes my flowered dress so I knew she would love this one. She did! She wore it all weekend.

  • Joules Girls sleeveless floral bow dress.
  • Fullly lined.
  • Day dress.
  • Machine Wash 30°C.
  • 100% Cotton.
  • Girl.
  • Sweet bow belt.
  • Buttons up the back.
  • In sale : £29.36

My thoughts on the dress:

The dress caught my eye straight away. Such a sweet vintage style dress, with a beautiful pink and floral pattern. The dress also comes with a lovely turquoise satin bow belt which is tied at the front.

The dress is a top quality 100% cotton and fully lined. I would love all of our clothes to be cotton. I always think cotton is the best fabric for me and my daughter to wear, it feels nice, lasts, is natural and adds a touch of class to anything made from it. Obviously there are many grades of cotton, whilst I am no expert, you can tell instantly that the dress is high grade cotton. (Soft to touch, Good colour retention, excellent strength etc.)

The dress is buttoned up at the back with some sweet little vintage style buttons. my daughter is 9-10yrs  I always go a size up as she is big for her age. This size fit perfectly.

All in all the dress is beautiful, high quality and worth ever penny. We need to go somewhere nice now to wear it ...

About this post :

I got to pick a girls dress from House Of Fraser to review. I was not paid for this post and all thoughts are my own honest option. 

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