All posts by Kim

About Kim

Wife to Tom, First time Mummy to Little Boy Freddie and Auntie to 4 Boys & 1 Girl.

Meal Planning Monday 30/07/2018

How are you we at the end of July already? I believe the schools have broken up now for the 6 weeks holidays too.  I wish I was on holiday but the countdown is on for my break away from work at the end of August. 

This week we have: 

Chicken & bacon pasta bake 

Garlic & herb chicken, rice and salad 

Sausage casserole 

Steak fajita & homemade wedges 

Meatballs & spaghetti 

Omelette & salad 

Whats on your meal plans this week?

Hope you all have a great week

Canvas Champ Review & Giveaway

I have always loved taking photos, I’m not very good at them but they turn out ok normally. I have a camera and a smart phone and most of the time I just upload them online to Facebook or Instagram and we never print them out. 

We have been married nearly 12 months already and not one of our professional photos by our photographer Peter Blancflower have been printed out yet.  We were determined to get our butts into gear and sort through all the photos and get some either framed or put on canvas for the house.   

But this is where canvas champ come into it and asked if  I wanted to review a canvas I immediately said yes, and left the husband to select a picture of our wedding he liked.   

We were sent a 12″ x 8″ canvas of our chosen photo, which isn’t huge, but fit in a nice free space we had on the living room wall. The quality of the print is spot on – no blurring or distortion whatsoever. 

The back of the canvas already comes with a hook attached to the frame so that it is really quick and simple to hang straight up. 

Prices start at £3.99 for an 8″x8″ canvas, but if you fancy your chances of winning a 10″x 8″ photo canvas for yourself, enter the giveaway below! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**Please leave the ‘URL’ box BLANK when writing a comment unless you are a blogger or a website owner. You do not need to write N/A, none, Facebook or anything – failure to do this will lead to disqualification from the giveaway** 

5 Tips To Get Your Body Lean and Toned This Summer

  • Every girl wants a perfectly toned body for summers. But, sadly, for many women, summer is the most embarrassing time of the year because their flabby bodies just don’t cooperate with them. However, no matter how hard it may seem, it is genuinely possible to attain a toned physique before summers arrive. Here are some useful tips that will help you achieve the look you want.   
  1. Work on Losing All that Excess Flab 

First things first, you need to get rid of all that excess flab that’s standing between you and your dream of a lean body. Keep all of your initial concentration on losing all the extra weight because that’s what’s going to dramatically change your look. You can do so by increasing your physical activity. Take part in sports, run, swim, jog. Do everything you can to stay physically adept and active.  

The easiest way to do it all is to plan a proper summer body regimen. Sketch out all that you are going to do for burning your fats and religiously follow that schedule on a regular basis. Do ensure to incorporate cardio exercises because they tremendously help in shedding additional fats. 

If you are not sure how to plan a workable routine, you can ask any friend for help. Or, you can consult any physical trainer for guidance. But, whatever you plan, make sure to stick to it.  

  1. Work on Your Muscles 

Alongside losing the fats, you have to work on your muscles as well. If you don’t have any additional fats in the first place, that’s even better. You can fully concentrate on your muscles. Muscle building and toning up require some serious strength training. So, do prepare your mind in advance that you’ll be lifting up heavyweights. 

Now, we do understand that this might not be the easiest thing to do. But, if you take on the right approach, it will become easier for you. You need to start with small weights and then gradually make your way up to heavy lifting. Nothing else affects your muscles more quickly than strength training does. Plus, the good thing about it is that you don’t necessarily have to do it every single day. Thrice a week for a full one hour is more than enough.  

There are a few things that you need to bear in mind during strength training. First, it requires a lot of stamina and strength, so you cannot eliminate calories from your diet. Secondly, you need to incorporate more proteins in your diet through natural foods like fish, lean meat, tofu, and more. Lastly, and more important of all, you need to warm up your body before you start lifting.  

  1. Walk 

The good old walking never disappoints. Make a habit of walking for at least 30 minutes on a daily basis, but obviously, the more, the better. Walking is a great way of toning up your legs for making them ready for your short summer apparel. Moreover, it helps in burning extra calories as well. For better results, try brisk walking instead of taking a leisurely stroll. You will begin seeing results pretty soon. 

  1. Say Goodbye to Processed Foods 

Eating processed foods is probably the worst thing you can do to your body. Let us warn you!  If you can’t stop consuming processed foods, you’ll have to eventually leave your dream of getting a lean body. So, you can either choose one or the other.  

Since processed foods contain fats, salt, and sugar in higher concentrations, they become a cause of weight gain. Similar is the case with other junk foods. They are an enemy to your body and your overall health. As a rule of thumb, do not eat any packaged item that is available in the junk food section of the grocery store. Instead, focus on eating more fruits, leafy greens, and foods that contain fibers. Eat lots of proteins and whole grains.  

  1. Use Natural Supplements 

For speeding up your weight loss and muscle toning, you can also incorporate natural supplements into your diet. There are many such supplements on the market that can be found in the form of pills or powders. However, there are a lot of fake companies out there that claim to have all the natural ingredients in their products. But, their products are full of synthetic components. You have to watch out for such phonies. 

For best results, only go for a supplement that is widely recognized due to its benefits and comes from a reputable company. For example, Anvarol supplement by Crazy Bulk UK. It is specially designed to burn extra fats, boost strength, and retain lean muscle. So, it will surely bring you quicker and better results. 

5 Places To Look For Wedding Inspiration

There’s a lot of pressure when it comes to your wedding day. You want to make sure that everything’s done just right, that it’s within budget, and that it looks amazing. Yupp, we ask a lot from our wedding days! However, it can be difficult to get our special day just right, especially if we’re lacking in inspiration. If this is your first time planning a wedding, then you might be a little lost. How do people make the wedding look and feel so good? Below, we take a look at ways places to look to make sure your day exceeds your expectations.

bride, cake, ceremony

Your Past Experiences

This might be the first time you’re planning a wedding, but it’s surely not the first time you’ll be attending a wedding. Think back to the other weddings you’ve attended: what did you like, what didn’t you like? As a starting point, this approach will help you immensely. You’ll be able to understand straight away the things that you’re not looking for. Though be careful not to take all the things you’ve liked about a particular wedding – it should be your own day, and things might get awkward if you’re inviting many of the same people who attend the first one….

Look at Popular Themes

A good way to think about your wedding is to look at the popular “themes” – such as rustic, minimalist, and so on – and then build your wedding from there. While it won’t take care of all the details, you’ll have a framework within which you can work. A useful starting point for those people who don’t know where to begin when it comes to planning.

The Experts

If you’re not full of confidence when it comes to planning a wedding, and can’t differentiate between the good ideas and the bad, then looking at working with an expert. By working with wedding planners Simply Elegant Weddings, you’ll have access to all the best trends and ideas when it comes to modern weddings. They’ll help to take care of all the “little” details that can make or break a wedding day.

Your Backstory

Finally, take a look at the backstory of you and your partner. This is your wedding, after all, and by drawing on inspiration from your backstory, you’ll be sprinkling your story over the whole event. The personality of the couple – the things they like to do, the drinks they drink, where they live, and so on – can (or even should) play the biggest role when it comes to planning the wedding day. So if you’re really stuck for inspiration, take a step back and ask yourself: who are we, and what would we look like in wedding day form? It’ll guide you in the right direction.

Final Thoughts

There’s no single right way to have a wedding day, only your way! By juggling all the inspiration above, you’ll hopefully come out with a wedding day that is unequivocally your own – and which will turn out to be a day to remember.

Meal Planning Monday 23/07/2018

Well I haven’t been food shopping since Freddie’s Birthday party so I really need to go and get some proper food in to be able to cook decent meals, but we have survived living out of the freezer as have lots of bits I can throw together to make a OK dinner.   

So this week we have: 

Pan Fried Pork with homemade wedges 

Chicken in white wine sauce and rice 

Chicken caesar salad 

Salmon, minted new potatoes & salad 

Spaghetti bolognese 

Garlic & herb chicken with beef rice and salad 

Fancy burgers & chips 

We are getting bored of the same old meals I do so any new ones would be greatly received.   Leave in the comment box below

What’s on your plate this week?  

Disrupt the Classic Living Room for Family Fun

Stack of pillow of a light blue carpet

No family is the same and yet we all tend towards the same kind of homes. We have kitchens with the same things in them and we have living rooms with the same sofas pointing at the same TV. But what if we completely scrapped everything we thought we knew about interior design? Would we still go for the same things or would we pick something else out?

The honest answer is that we would probably choose something a bit more fun, something that catered better for our own lifestyle and gave a little more freedom. Companies like IKEA are already forging a path towards more adaptable spaces but there is still plenty we can do for ourselves.

Seating

The sofa is a must as far as most families are concerned and since we spend a lot of our time sat here, getting it right is crucial for your room. But sofas aren’t the only choice, or rather, they can be so much more.

Imagine for a moment that you could get rid of your bulky and rigid sofa and exchange it for an 8 foot beanbag. This would be more accessible for little ones to clamber about and play on, but it would also be easy to drag out of the way when you want the floor space for something else. Plus, a beanbag is great for cuddling up together and having your body fully supported by the flexible stuffing. It sounds great, doesn’t it? And you can read more details too.

Floor cushions have also had a recent resurgence and they are great for providing additional seating for kids and adults alike. The great thing about floor cushions is that you can stack them out of the way when they aren’t in use – if you have a sofa with extra storage space, this could be just perfect.

The more flexible the seating arrangement in your living room can be, the more likely it is that the room will work for you. This room shouldn’t just be about watching TV (however happy Netflix and Hulu make you!), it should also be the main stage for family discussion, playing games and building forts. This room can do a lot when you think more flexibly.

Lighting

It is always surprising just how important the right lighting can be. Obviously, you will already have a main light, whether that is a single light in the centre of the ceiling or a few spots, but additional lighting is essential for creating different atmospheres and switching up the dynamic.

Fairy lights should never be underestimated and should certainly not be put away after the festive period. In fact, twinkly lights are a year-round joy in many houses and should certainly be put to use in yours. Try putting a small string of lights into a jar or draping them around a fireplace if you have one. Alternatively, create a bit of a feature by draping lights around family photos.

Small side lamps are also a must in any room. These lights should be used in the evening instead of your main lights as they will help you to gradually relax your eyes. Too much light and you will wake up; dimmer, softer lights and you will start to feel sleepy. Use darker light shades if you are stuck with those crazy bright LEDs and want something a bit gentler. Alternatively, go for dimmable lights that you can tone down to suit the mood.

Throws and Cushions

There is something that is just nice about cuddling up with a cushion under a blanket and whether you are watching a film together or you have built a cushion fort, these are usually the main ingredients you require. Rugs are also great if you don’t have a carpet in your living room as they provide a softer surface for your kids to play on or sit on.

Everyone has their own idea of what sort of color scheme they like but bright colors are always going to be a winner for young families. These colors stimulate the eyes and can quickly bring a pop to an otherwise neutral scheme. If you have young children or pets, try using thicker cushion covers you can take off and wash to help tackle the inevitable spills.

Throws come in all shapes and sizes and the more you have, the more comfortable you are all going to be. Try mixing different types of fabrics from the classic knit to more modern felts so that you get a mixture of textures. Everyone will have slightly different preferences for what they like to snuggle up in anyway.

To store your throws, you can either leave them on the sofa as a kind of protector, or you can fold them and pile them up with your floor cushions. This is a nice way to create another soft splash of color in the room and will make your throws more accessible for your kids to play with.

Don’t Be Afraid to Swap and Change

No matter what we like to think about ourselves, we are all creatures of habit. For some of us, this goes as far as sitting in the same seat every day to do the same things over and over. This is fine most of the time but if you want to switch things up, all you need to do is move about a little bit to see things from a different perspective – literally!

Rearranging a living room might seem like a huge ordeal but if you have gone down a more flexible route with beanbags, floor cushions and other soft furnishings, it won’t really be too hard to rotate the room every so often. Or, just rotate yourselves instead of the furniture – play some musical chairs!

One of the best things about soft furnishings and lighting options is that they are very easy to change and don’t have to cost a fortune either. As your family grows up, make small changes like swapping pictures or going for a new color scheme to keep things fresh.

Meal Planning Monday 16/7/18

Another busy week at work it has been, but we had a lovely weekend as we had a family photoshoot on Saturday in Lutterworth with a guy called John Jenkins, Sunday we decided to get up early and go to Weston Super Mare to enjoy the weather while we can. It was a lovely day out, and it was only Freddie’s second time on a beach.

I also had an interview this morning in Warwick for a potential Accounts Payable Clerk/Supervisor.  Fingers crossed!

I don’t know about anyone else but I hate cooking when it’s hot, I’m hot enough without adding even more heat in the mix.

This week consists of 

Quiche & Salad 

Paprika chicken, beef rice & Salad

Breaded cod, minted new potatoes & Salad 

Steak & homemade chips 

Lasagne & homemade wedges 

Chicken Tagliatelle, with bacon & cheese sauce 

Roast dinner with all the trimmings

What’s on your plate this week?

Getting a Good Night’s Sleep with the Otty Memory Foam Pillows

There really is nothing like a good night’s sleep and so when Otty asked us if we’d like to review their Memory Foam Pillows I couldn’t say no, as ours were starting to have seen better days.

At the moment Otty are giving away two free pillows with any of order of their mattresses and the memory foam pillows are like nothing else. They are big and square – like a smaller version of the mattress – and you only ever need one of them. At first they take some getting used to as they feel so solid under your head but, they are great to sleep on and whereas we usually move our pillows about, re-shape them and turn them over through the night to get comfortable, the Otty pillows are just consistently comfortable. They keep their shape, have the same removable covers and support your head and neck so well. I did find them a little on the heavy side but super comfy.

The OTTY Deluxe pillow is the perfect combination of soft, comfortable memory foam and our Cool Blue Gel, which regulates your temperature for the perfect night’s sleep. This highly-acclaimed pillow has quickly become one of fastest selling in the UK. And its forward-thinking design and 3-year warranty make it easy to understand why.

My first night of having new pillows was amazing I really did sleep like a baby and woke up feeling all refreshed and ready to get on with the day ahead.

They are priced at £54.99 each and measure 60 x 40 x 10cm

I do feel they are a little expensive but if I had the money I would buy these as they are perfect pillows.

You can find out more about the Otty collection over on their website.  

Disclosure: We were sent the above Pillows for the purpose of this post however all thoughts and opinions are my own.   

Adding the finishing touches to our Bathroom Renovation

I love nothing more than adding the final finishing touches to a room that has been freshly decorated or renovated.  So once our bathroom had finally been completed this was exactly what I did.  Find below what I did.

New Flooring

It took us 2 months to finally decide on this flooring, we had been let down by two previous companies, and I walked into Solihull Carpets one Thursday after work to get samples, took them home, we decided that night that we found one.  Took the samples back to the shop on Friday, got it order and booked in for fitting the following week and all for just over £100.  Great service, highly recommend this company.

Towels 

Firstly I knew I wanted brand new fresh fluffy towels for the bathroom, there is nothing wrong with our others one but don’t really go with the new colour scheme in the bathroom.  I brought 2 sets one from John Lewis and the other from Marks & Spencers.  They were both in the sale so managed to save a few quid too.

 Accessories 

We were gifted the below items from croydex for inclusion in our bathroom refurbishment. 

Memory Foam Bath Mat – £20.00 

This is a memory foam mat and is so warm, soft and fluffy you won’t want to get off it.  Will be sure to buy another one of these.

Textile Bath Mat – £18.50 

This one is also very soft, they are easy to wash and with them being grey doesn’t show up dirty as easily as other colours might.

Squeegee– £15.37 

Now we just have a shower this is needed to wipe down the tiles and scream to prevent smears and water marks, I do it whilst still in the show but after I have turned it off, obviously.

Toilet roll holder

Unfortuantly the one we had chosen has since been discontinued so can’t link to it but it is square which matches the shower, luckily the fitters put it on the wall for us but you can screw it on or glue it on dependant on what you want to do.

Sainsburys Home Heart Tealight holder – £5

Then finally I saw this one day in sainsburys as I was having a wonder round and fell in love with it and thought it would make a great vase supposed to a candle holder.

What finishing touches do you like to add to your newly renovated room?

Leave me a comment below

 

How to decide if gambling is right for you?

I have never been a gambler of any sort, other than playing the odd game of the national lottery – if you class that as gambling and only ever been in a casino 3 times and even then I think I only spent £10 but it’s all for fun and I know when to stop.   

Ecommerce, Computer, Cash, E-Commerce, Online, Money

There are so many ways, from online sites and shops now where you can access machines to play a game of roulette or card games, but with Online casinos it shows you the Top 10 best online casinos rooms and includes reviews of explaining what each site is all about meaning you can easily scroll down looking for who has the most stars, again helping to guide you into making the right decision and lastly If there are any promotional offers running for better chances of winning and how much can be won 

My top tips for playing safe 

  • Know your limits, if you don’t know when to stop then it’s not a good place to start as you could get into a lot of trouble not to mention debt.   
  • Set a money limit and stick to it – have a look at your finances and see how much you could spend without jeopardising other responsibilities 
  • Set a time limit and stick to it – try to allocate a time when you will leave the venue or website to help you stick to your budget 
  • Expect to lose and treat any winnings as a bonus – treat gambling just like going to a concert or out to eat: don’t expect to get your money back at the end 
  • Have other hobbies and interests – make sure that you keep up with other hobbies and interests 
  • Be open and honest about your gambling – if you find yourself struggling to be honest about what you’ve spent or how you’re spending your time, consider finding some help 
  • Understand the game, odds and house edge – knowledge is power!  
  • Only use cash – a great way to stay on budget 
  • Quit when you are ahead 
  • Don’t gamble alone – making sure there is someone who can take care of you is a great idea 

Things to Avoid 

  • Borrowing money to gamble – it’s not advisable to borrow money or lend someone money to gamble, and there is no guarantee you will get it back 
  • Developing strategies for gambling games – the definition of gambling means there is always a chance you could lose more money 
  • Trying to win back money you have lost – this might seem like a good idea, but can be a slippery slope 
  • Keep playing until you get lucky – by then it might be too late 
  • Believe you will win – confidence is key with lots of things in life, but not gambling. In fact it’s probably better to expect you will lose! 
  • Gambling for a long time without a break – always take a break 
  • Gamble as a way to cope with bad feelings – gaming when you’re feeling low might seem like a distraction, but might make the problem worse in the long ru

This is a Collaborative Post, However all thoughts & Opinions are my own