Category Archives: General

My Top Money Saving Tips

I have always been a money conscious person worrying about every penny I have and even more so when we brought our first house 2 years ago because of the big responsibilities of paying the mortgage, bills etc and making sure we got the best deals we could on everything we bought.

I always knew I wanted to buy my own house so saved for years as a young girl to have the money for a deposit,  and even before we were anywhere near buying a property I was buying stuff for the house, Cleaning products, plates, saucepans, cooking utensils, coffee, tea (things that wouldn’t go out of date) etc just to spread the cost over a longer period of time.  Some people called me mad for doing this but in the long run it saved us so much time and a larger expense all in one go.

Anyways here below are my top money saving tips that I believe work for me.

1) I tend to go food shopping on an evening as firstly it’s easier as I’m at work all day and secondly you get lots of reduced products and bargains, all fresh but the best before date is close so they reduce the product for quick sale, they reduce them quite a lot too so worth it.  Then I just put it all in the freezer to use at a later date.

2) I’m always searching, downloading and using coupons from the internet.  You can find 50p, £1.00, £1.50 or more off it’s just knowing where to look then you just print them and take them shopping with and save yourself some money off.

3) Branded products,  I used to always say “you can’t beat Heinz ketchup” I now don’t believe you can always tell the different in shop brands to named brand products.  Same as things like tea,  I absolutely love tea but I’ve brought Aldi’s own brand tea and drank PG tips, Tetley, Yorkshire tea, and decaf tea and I honestly personally can’t taste the difference except the price difference.  Others may disagree.

4) Do your research first I am always comparing prices online between supermarkets to see where the best price is, Asda, Sainsburys, Morrison’s & Tesco but I will only go if it is not to far out and worth it.  I do feel, in my opinion Sainsbury’s and Tesco are a little expensive and over price their items.

5) Store point cards, get them I know it’s a pain having lots of cards in your purse but it is so worth it,  Morrison’s “more” card offer points every time you spend and when you reach 5000 point you get a £5 off voucher to use on your shopping plus lots of other vouchers.  It doesn’t take long to collect the points up.

6) Instead of always buying bin bags, I know there not that expensive, So I use the free charity bags that come through the door, some weeks we get none, others we get 3/4 bags and because there is only 2 of us and we recycle everything we can, we don’t get through many, usually one a week maybe more.

7) Stamps, most of us will use these in everyday life, over the years I have seen and watched the prices creep up and up for a single stamp. I don’t mind, but I do think now 64p for a 1st class stamp and 55p for 2nd class is getting a little on the expensive side.  My tip to you is this, when you received a letter in the post check if it has been franked, scribbled on or defaced etc…?! if not great news carefully peel it off and reuse it.  Easy right?… NO, you need to be very careful not to tear or leave any previous paper on it and make sure it is stuck down properly, I can’t remember the last time I brought a stamp or a book of stamps for that matter.

Everyone may have their own saving ideas that work best for them, but these are mine.

* Remember, also don’t leave your change behind – every penny counts!

Would love to hear your money saving tips!

My First Year of Blogging

My blog is 1, where has the time gone!

Well where do I start?

I originally started up my blog as “KimzKardz” to try to help me with my handcrafted cards and wedding stationery and after speaking to friends and family to see if it was a good idea.  At the beginning I got a little help from a few business with sending me products etc but nothing that was life changing unfortunately. After thinking long and hard whether it had been the right decision I had a brain wave and decided a few months down the line to change the name to allow a more open aired name to shine through and move into Lifestyle Blogging, there I then created and came up with the name “Life of an Auntie”. Why I hear you ask yourself?!….Because I am an auntie to 4 beautiful boys who I have watched grow over the years and who I love very dearly, so thought it suited me perfectly.

Well what a year it has been so far it has had lots of lows but plenty of highs as well.  It has been a very mixed emotional year but it is defiantly on its way up now.  I have still got a long way to go to get more traffic and build up my blog more but I am working hard to get more established with lots of different companies etc.

12 months on and I’ve just brought my new domain, exciting times.  It is something that takes a lot of time and consideration to make sure your making the right decision.  I may then change it again when I start a family so it involves my family more rather than just my nephews so can combine everything together.

Working full-time as well can sometimes make it difficult for me to keep on top of all the posts I have to write up which is why I don’t post very regularly in a week it’s all over the place, but I’m hoping now that I know what I’m doing and where I’m going the next year will see lots of improvements.

My aim for the next 12 months is:

  • Get more views to my page
  • Work with more wide range of companies
  • Attend more blog events
  • Meet more bloggers
  • Post more in a week
  • Try and do more collaborative & Guest post
  • Get involved in more linkies

I love writing about products and sharing my thoughts and opinions and without you guys reading my posts and getting involved in competitions I wouldn’t have been able to continue, So thank you for all your support it means a lot.

What made you start blogging?  Leave me a link to your blog in the comments box would love to have a browse and make some new friends. 

A – Z Of Kim Palmer

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I haven’t done this sort of post before and I thought it would be a great way to share things about the person behind the blog that you probably wouldn’t find out otherwise. It’s basically an A-Z of all things me…

A is for Animals

As many of you will already know I have always had a mad love for animals and have grown up with a variety of different pets, Hamster, Fish, Rabbits, Guinea Pigs and now our Dog.  You can read more about my Pets Here.

B is for Bridesmaids

The begining of the year me and My fiance finally set a date to tie the knot and get married.  Then was the task of trying to decide who I wanted as Bridesmaids, after a long while of thinking I decided on, one of my best friends Zoe to be my maid of Honour, and a further 3 bridesmaids who were my other best friend Alexandra, My sister in Law Rachel & my Cousin Natalie.  They were all so excited when I presented then with a little box with a little note in, a personalised glass and a bottle of prosecco to ask them, they didn’t have a clue.

C is for Card Making

For a number of years now I have been making handcrafted cards for all occasions.  I make Baby Cards, Birthday Cards, Wedding Day cards and many more check out my cards and designs Here

D is for Dog

Most of our friends and family knows that last year me and my fiance rehomed a dog from a family friend who could no longer look after her.  Her name is Carly and she is a 4 year old Rottweiler and is just beautiful and the biggest softest you will ever meet.  All she ever wants is fuss and attention.

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E is for Engaged

3 years ago me and my fiance got engaged and it was the happiest day of my life.  It was our anniversary and we had gone away for the weekend.  It was a complete shock but was amazing.  You can read all about it here.

F is for Fiancee

2 years ago I was very surprised by my boyfriend when he popped the question whilst we were away for a weekend for our anniversary.  We have been together 7 years and next year 2017 we are getting married.  Ekkkk so excited.

G is for Garden

I have always loved gardening too, and since moving into our own house nearly 2 years ago our garden was plain, over grown and needed TLC so we have started adding some colour.  Top photo is before, Bottom is after.

H is for Hospital

A few years ago I took myself to A&E after going over on my ankle whilst playing football in the park with my nephew, I found out I had a hairline fracture and was put in Plaster.  My ankle has never been the same since.

I is for Inked

Another word for tattoos… Yes I have 2 one on my lower back and another on my foot.  My lower back didn’t hurt but my foot did, quite bad.

J is for Jobs

I have had quite an array of jobs over the years including: A Paper round, Argos, Boots, Iceland, vet pratices and so many more… but am sticking within Admin now.

K is for Kimberley

I was christened with the name Kimberley but I much prefer to be called Kim, some of my friends and family call me Kim, Kimmie & Kimbo or even Kimbee but that’s fine by me as long as it’s not Kimberley.

L is for Little

As most people will know I am a bit of a short arse, just reaching 4ft 11″ tall.  I don’t mind my height all the time but sometimes can be a struggle.

M is for Marriage

YES next year July 17  me and my Fiance Tom of 7 years will be tieing the knot.  I am super excited and can’t wait but have got so much to organise and decide on.

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Me & My Fiance
N is for Never Ending Story

The Never Ending Story was one of my childhood favourite films to watch of all times.  My Grandma introducted it to me and I’ve watched it hundreds of time and will never get bored of watching it.

O is for October

For those of you that know me you know how super crazy October is with Birthdays, The months starts off with mine, my fiance’s, My sister in law Rachels, herfamilys.  Fair to say it is a very expensive month all round but none stop partying and celebrating partner Graham’s, and our nephew.  Then not forgetting more friends and .  The best people were born in October!

P is for Pets

All my life I have loved animals and have had all sorted of differents pets, you can read all about them here

Q is for Quiz

Pub quizzes?  Love them even if we never win.  We’ve been to quite a few over the years with friends, they are great but have never won anything.

R is for Rabbits

As a child I always wanted a pet rabbit along with many other pets.  Then one day a friend has a little black Rabbit who had been found as a stray at 3/4 weeks old with a poorly eye has he had been brought in my a cat they think.  I then offered to rehome him and get him back to good health.  I started with 1, then got a friend for Christmas, called Smudge, she sadly had to be put to sleep, I then rehome another female bunny called Pumkin, who a week after having her gave birth to little Autumn.  Then Sadly Pumpkin died so Ive got just 2 rabbits left.

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S is for Suits

Suits is a TV series me and my partner have been watching and has us hooked…If you haven’t heard of it or watched it, find it and watch it now you won’t be disappointed.

T is for Turkey

Last year me and my fiance went on holiday with one of my best friends and her Boyfriend to Turkey.  It was absolutley scorching hot hitting highs of 40 degrees most days but was an amazing holiday.

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U is for University

I always thought I wanted to go to university after leaving school to study but I never did, I don’t regret it but think I would of liked to now.

V is for Veterinary

When I was younger I always had the dream of becoming a veterinary nurse, so I went to college to train and gained experienced in a vet practice, but sadly decided it was not the right job for me.  It was such a difficult job to deal with.

W is for Wales

As I was growing up my Grandparents had a house in Twywn, Wales, so every holiday I used to go over with my Mum, Dad and sister and all my cousins.  I used to love going Rock pooling and walking along the beach and spent hours in the arcades playing on the 2p machines.

X is for X-Rays

This ties in with my hospital post a litte, as I’ve never had x rays before until I had a fracture in my right ankle then when I was diganosed with a knee issue to try and find out what was the problem.

Y is for Yankee Candles

I am in love with any candles but especially Yankee Candles, the fragrance etc is just amazing but they are very expensive so I tend to only treat myself when theres a sale on somewhere.

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This was just a small collection of mine.
Z is for Zoo

A few weeks back I was given the opportunity to go to Twycross zoo for a Blog review and have hands on experience feeding their 3 male giraffes that are fairly new, It was an incrediable experience and they are such amazing creatures.  You can read all about my time at Twycross Zoo Here.

Have you posted an A-Z post? I’d love to see it!

Universities, Cars & Bad Education #LittleLoves

Howdy, Happy Friday everyone. OMG How are we already at the end of another month? It’s really scaring me how quick this year is flying by.  We are now under the 12 month mark till our wedding day.

Watched

A comedy TV series called “bad education”;  It is hilarious and has got the comedian Jack Whitehall as the main actor.  It’s a must watch and can be found on Netflix.

Here is a sneak peek at the Movie.

Wore

It’s mad to think that last week I was lying outside in maxi dresses and bikinis now I’m wrapped up in Jeans and jumpers due to heavy rain and cold, miserable weather.  Oh well – the joys of british weather.

Read

Haven’t read anything this week.  I plan to read my Kindle more next week, and especially next weekend as we’re off to Wales to gate-crash Tom’s parents holiday.

Heard

As most of you may know, I was made redundant a few weeks ago. I finally have a few weeks’ temporary work at Birmingham University. It’s not great, but it will do for now. I also heard that I had been selected for an interview at an estate agent in Knowle.

Made

Maybe I cheated a little bit, but I made these.  I have to say for the price of them they aren’t great but they are edible.

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And Finally….

My car went in for it’s MOT on Wednesday and IT PASSED!  I have only done 2,500 miles in 12 months because I don’t tend to drive many places so I don’t clock up the miles.  I’ve had the car 8 years and it came with 18,000 miles at 6 months old and it now it’s got 50,000 miles so not bad at all.

How’s your week been? Love to hear what you’ve been up to.

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Carly’s first year in her new home

For most of you that know me you know I absolutely love animals, and have owned quite an array of different types of animals over the years, and the latest being our dog Carly.

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Carly is a 4 year old Bitch Rottweiler who we rehomed back in September 2015 from a friend of a friend who could no longer look after her due to unforseen circumstances.  We arranged to go and visit her one evening just to see what she was like etc…  When the evening came to go and visit me and my partner tom, and his mum came with us to talk to the owner and find out her temperament, behaviour, health etc…  Well it was love at first sight with her, she was perfect in every way house trained, used to be on her own while were at work and good with kids and other dogs.

After we made the decision to rehome her we picked her up a couple of days later on the friday so we could spend the weekend with her and get her settled in to her new home and surroundings.

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When we first brought her home

She brings us so much happiness and laughter with all the funny things she does.

A lot of people think that Rottweiler are one of the dangerous dogs, which isn’t true because no dog is born dangerous it is how it is brought up and what it is taught,  it is fair to say that Carly hasn’t got a nasty bone in her body.  She great round the kids a good guard dog and just a great companion a very loyal and loving dog.

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My nephew and Carly

She loves playing in the park and running around burning energy off, she’s been out in all weather, rain, snow, sun and wind and loves it.

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Carly and her friend Archie
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Carly with her friends Kai and Tilly

We spoil her like we would kids with toys and treats etc. she has got quite a strong jaw we have to be sure to get her strong toys that she can’t destroy easily and we found the perfect ones in Pets at home, but they were in the sale so bargain.

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When you come in from work and have had a bad day or feeling a little under the weather Carly will always without fail make you smile, running up to you when you get home and bringing you a toy to play with.

Christmas time we had only had her a few months so treated her to an advent calendar and some new toys and maybe decorated her with tinsel while putting the tree up.

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Nearly 12 months on she is amazing, settled in great and an absolute joy to have around the house.

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Have you rehomed animals? Would love to hear your story. 

Our holiday to Alicante Spain

Just over a week ago we returned home from our 10 day holiday in Spain.

Every year me and my fiance go on holiday together abroad but this year was going to be different.  For the last 2 years my friend and her husband come and stay with me and my fiancé from Spain. I have worked and known Cheryl for almost 10 years now and she is like a 2nd mum to me.

Nearly 2 years ago Cheryl and her husband decided they were going to move over and emigrate to Spain to enjoy their retirement life. I was very sad to see her move but also happy for her and I had always told her she was welcome anytime to stay with us, so for the last 2 years around March time she has come over back to Birmingham and stayed at ours.

This year it was our turn, they invited us over to stay at their house in Spain, so while they were staying with us in March this year we organised a time to plan and go over for our holidays.  We decided on June so was cheaper and out of season. We booked our flights within about an hour of looking for the best deals around etc, we booked the flights through Monarch, I have never flown with Monarch but had heard some good reviews about them.

Eventually after waiting for what seemed like forever the date arrived, we started packing a day before as we had been so busy, Our flight was at 7.05am on Monday 20th June so we had to get up at 3.30am, we pre ordered a taxi to.  We arrived at the airport around 10am, but spain are 1 hour ahead so it was 11am.

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My friends picked us up from the airport, it took us around 30 minutes to get back to their house, but when we arrived it was beautiful, it’s located in a little community and was so peaceful and quiet.

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This is their House

There was a community swimming pool as well just a few steps up the road which was lovely, we went there a few days to keep cool.

We went out a few days which included, Torrevieja, the beach, A Market, Guardamar and La Senziar.

The first day we arrived we stayed in and just relaxed as we had such an early start we were tired, plus the England game was on.  My friends made us lunch and cooked us dinner on the evening which was lovely too and we sat upstairs on the solarium eating and looking over at the sun setting.

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We didn’t plan to do much as we wanted to relax but was nice to go out and see the sights and the places round Alicante, as we hadn’t been to this area before.  We went out for meals on the evening to lots of different places and experienced lots of different types of food, Italian – All you can eat & drink, Chinese, Grill House, Pub like places (Hogs Head) and more, most of which were a set menu for 3 courses at great prices for around 9-11 euros each with a drink – can’t complain at that.

The temperature most days was between 27 – 30 degrees most days and the sun was always shining from early morning till late at night with a slight breeze blowing through.

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At the Grill House

The day we went to Torrevieja it was extremely hot with a breeze, we walked along the sea front and around the coast which had lots of restaurants, cafes, ice cream parlours and little shops,  It was lovely watching people play on the beach and in the sea all having a great time.  We must have spent at least half a day walking and talking and taking in the spectacular views of the coast lines.  On the walk back to the car we all stopped off to get and ice cream – tradition right, wow they had hundreds of different flavours.  I chose After eight mint flavour and it was delicious, but melted super fast, and my fiance had Kinder bueno flavour.

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As we carried on walking we came across some little rock pools – I loved these as a child as still do now and we had a little look to see what we could find and we came across this little guy, a crab hiding under the rocks for safety.

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We then got back in the car and headed home to chill for a while before going out for dinner.

The days seemed to be going past both quickly and slowly dependant on what we did in the day.

Another day we decided to go and spend the day at the beach just the 2 of us for a change, Phil drove us to the beach as it is a bit far to walk.

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We found a perfect spot, the sand was golden and soft, with no sign of litter anywhere which was great.  we lay our stuff down, I read my kindle and Tom listen to music.  There was a lovely sea breeze that kept passing over to keep us nice and cool.  We had a spot of lunch in the beach restaurant, then we had a walk down the beach and before we knew it the time had passed and it was nearly 6pm, so I gave my friend a ring to see if she wouldn’t  mind picking us back up.  I really enjoyed the beach, listening to the waves slowly crash against the shore.

There was so much to see and do in spain, we just didn’t have enough time to go and see everything.  Sadly we only had a couple of days left so we went to a market on another day, it was around a 45 minute drive from the house, it was absolutely packed when we arrived.  we tried to find out way round in a manely order but that was just impossible.  Unfortauntly after on a few hours of being there I didn’t start to feel so great, luckily we met up with my friends so decided to head home.

The last few days went passed so quickly,it’s hard to recall what we actually did  other than have a fantastic time.

Then the sad day finally came where we had to pack up our things and leave the wonderful spanish sun behind and head home.  Our flight wasn’t till 8pm so we did have some of the day to do something so we decided to go to the pool and just relax.  It was then time to pack up properly say goodbye and head to the airport for our flight home.

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Where are you going on holiday this year?

Holiday, Football & EU Referendum #LittleLoves

WOW! Well hello July, doesn’t seem like 5 minutes ago I was writing my first post at the beginning of June….crazy where the months are going.  I can finally say though that on the 22nd it will be 12 months till my WEDDING DAY! So excited but nervous too.

Well these last few weeks have just flown by in a blur for me, coming out of hospital, working, Zoo review, friends wedding, Fathers Day then our holiday now were in July, suspose the saying is correct when they say “Time flies when your having fun”.

Read

Lots of kindle books, while relaxing on the beach or by the pool on holiday for the last 10 days.

Watched

Football…. A lot of it at that!! I’m not a mad football person but I will watch England play, but unfortuantly we didn’t seem to do so well did we in the Euro’s and we were out very quickly.  I have to say I did enjoy watching all the players running around on the pitch.

Wore

Well I don’t want to rub it in, but have lived in bikini’s and maxi dresses as I’ve spent the last 10 amazing day in the beautiful Spanish weather, reaching highs of 27- 30 degrees everyday. Take me back.

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Also wore this new dress for my friends Wedding, I really struggle to find clothes especially dresses that I like.  I had some lovely comments on it though so made me feel much better.

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Made

Don’t think it counts as properly made but BBQ we had one, one evening and it was amazing, I love a good BBQ.  shame britain really doesn’t have the weather to have them.  We had burgers, hotdogs, chicken kebab’s and jacket potatoes, with salad and it was delicious – I was truly stuffed after.

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Heard

The EU referendum decision…and people opinions at the end of it.  Can’t really say much more on this subject as I think it is a very sore matter at the moment for some people with the decision that was made.

And finally

It was back to reality this week after returning from an amazing 10 day holiday to the beautiful spainish country of Alicante, Spain.

Hope you have had a good week? Have a good weekend?

Little Loves

Twycross Zoo – Review & exclusive Girafffe Feeding Experience

Your never too old for a visit to a zoo – are you?

Well I have been given the opportunity to visit Twycross zoo, I have always loved animals and visiting any zoos, safari parks and rescue centres, I have worked in many rescue centres and I really do have a soft spot for all different types off creatures big and small.

Little Bit about Twycross

Twycross Zoo was founded in 1963 by pet shop owners Molly Badham and Natalie Evans, after the pair’s increasing zoological collection outgrew their three quarter acre site in Hints, Staffordshire.

Bonobo mother and infantTwycross Zoo is now renowned as a World Primate Centre and has a wide variety of monkeys and apes including the UK’s only group of bonobos. They have breeding groups of many endangered primate species so often have babies and toddlers playing around in the great ape groups, and in many of the monkey groups. they also hold a range of other species including Asian elephants, snow leopards, penguins, meerkats, tapir, hyena, and the world’s rarest big cat, the Amur leopard.

Set in more than 80-acres, they have around 500 animals of almost 150 species to see, including many endangered animals and native species in the Zoo’s Nature Reserve. You can walk with ring-tailed lemurs in their walk-through enclosure; see a troop of emperor tamarins leap above your head in their treetop exhibit, and watch the Humboldt penguins take their daily walk. Keepers present regular talks and feeds where you can learn a bit more about some of the animals such as the chimpanzees, Asian elephants and South American coatis.

Our Day at the zoo

On Sunday 12th June I was invited along with my Fiance, Mum, Dad and Nephew to have a day out at Twycross Zoo, which isn’t a million miles away.  We jumped in the car and it took us around 30 – 40 mins to get there.  unfortunately it was a wet, rainy miserable day but we weren’t going to let a little rain mess up our day.

We arrived at the zoo around 11am and were told we were due to meet and feed the giraffes at around 3pm, We had kept it a secret from my nephew as it was a surprise for him. We started off looking round at all the other animals, I have always loved zoo’s ever since I was a little girl. I don’t always agree with keeping wild animals in captivity – but that’s a different story.

We started off looking at all the different types of monkeys, Gibbons, orangutans, Bonobos, Lemurs, Howler, Spider and so many more.  Not all of them were out as it was a wet miserable day so they kept snug and warm inside you were able to see some of them in there inside enclosures.

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We just worked our way slowly round looking at the map as we went along to find what we were going to see next.

We saw, Elephants, Zebras, Kangaroos,  Leopards, Otters, Meerkats, hyena’s and many more.

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There is also a new attraction at Twycross called “Lorikeet Landing”.

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This is where you can buy nectar for £1 a pot and go into the walk through enclosure and feed and have the lorikeet birds land on you.  I love birds and would love one as a pet.  They are such beautiful creatures and so colourful.

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We then stopped for a quick hot drink break to warm ourselves up and to shelter from the rain for a little while.

We continued our way round the zoo and went into the walk in lemurs enclosure, unfortunately we were advised there was only 1 lemur out as all the rest had gone indoors to hide from the rain – Can’t blame them really.

Around 1pm we decided it was time for some lunch, we had brought a picnic with us, we headed back to my dads car and sat and ate it, my mum had made loads of food, sandwiches, crisps, sausage rolls, salad, fruit, drinks and cookies.

After lunch we took a walk over to the “Explorer Zone”

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I believe this section to be newish as I have never seen it before.  In here we found the butterfly enclosure with an array of beautifully coloured butterflies (apologies for the blurry pictures my camera got steamed up with the humidity).

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After we had explored this section it was time for us to all head over to the giraffe house and await our meet with the zoo keeper to feed the giraffes.  Aren’t they just incredible animals.

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We were given some health and safety rules before we were able to start trying to encourage them inside to feed.  The giraffes arrived in Twycross for just over 12 months, so are still fairly new, they are all males and came from 3 different zoos.  We all got the chance to feed them.  My nephew was very excited to be able to do this.

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unfortunately they didn’t play ball as well as we would have like but it was an amazing experience to get up so close and personal with these absolutely incredible creatures.  The boys all had names and were called Brad, Epesi and Setant.

You can find out more about what other animals you can get up close and personal with Here. These would make a lovely gift for someone special.

Even though the weather wasn’t on our side and we got merely a little soggy wet to say the least our day at Twycross zoo was amazing and the best bit was defiantly feeding the giraffes.

If you have never been to Twycross zoo head over there this summer.  Directions can be found here

* Disclaimer – I was given entry to the zoo free of charge for the purpose of a review, all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. I paid £75 to be given the opportunity to feed the giraffes.

All About Being an Auntie and Buying Gifts for Your Niece or Nephew

Being an auntie is so much fun! You don’t have to be the one that disciplines them or grounds them. You just get to be the fun auntie that they want to hang out with. When it comes to birthdays and Christmases, I can go a little overboard. I know it isn’t about the presents and more about presence. But it is so nice seeing their face light up with a gift that you have given them. There can be things that I see when I’m out and about, and it just makes me think of them. Their parents are going to get them the standard gifts and the things that they ask for. So getting them something fun and special is so nice for me. Not too annoying and noisy, though. You know you’ll get payback from that from their parents one day!

Baby, Birth, Child, Gift, Greeting Card, Girl

When your sibling is expecting a baby, there might be quite a few things that you want to get them. Everyone is excited for a new baby, and it is nice to be able to help out. I think it is a good idea to check with the parents first, though. Going out and just buying something without checking might be a bit of a no-no. They will more than likely want to shop and browse for things like baby cots themselves. You could always contribute to it, though. Things like nappies, wipes, and burp cloths are always a winner. Noone is ever going to be mad at getting them as a gift!

A baby shower is always a good indicator of things that they might like. Some people register for gifts, so it is handy to be able to get things that they definitely want. It is also a nice idea to throw a baby shower as a gift before the baby arrives. It is such a special time, and a baby shower is a great memory to have; especially if it is their first baby.

When the baby is born, then the fun auntie duties can begin! Quite often the parents will have everything that they need by then. Some of the best things you could do for them is to offer to babysit. Sometimes it might even be that they are in at home, but you just take over while they have a nap. The tiredness can be overwhelming for first-time parents, and that type of ‘gift’ is worth its weight in gold. Other thoughtful gifts could include making a meal for them or just heading over with chocolate. A new mum would love a little pamper time. You could buy them some food shopping or just come over to clean the house a little for them. Gifts of time are a great idea and mean a lot to new parents.

Gift, Made, Surprise, Loop, Christmas, Festival

When it gets to the baby getting a little older, then it is time to get all of the fun gifts and trips out. For up to their first birthday, they are learning quite a lot all the time. There is still a physical limit of all that they can do. So getting something like a walker is a great idea. They can navigate their way around the house, and it will help them to learn to walk. Things like building blocks are a great idea too. It will help their fine motor skills and development. Pull along toys are a great idea as they will be learning to walk and can drag it along with them. They look so cute being able to pull a little toy along with them.

For preschool age, craft kits are a great idea for little ones. They love to get a little messy and creative. It is great for their development too. Painting is a great idea; pretty much anything that they can cut and stick. A sticker book or a little chalkboard easel is a great idea. If it encourages them to make an organised mess rather than making a mess on a wall, it is onto a winner with everyone!

When they get to school age, there is a whole world of things that they will need or be into. First of all, if you want there to be nice to your sibling and their other half, you could offer to help out with the cost of school things. For your niece or nephews birthday, you could get things that foster their interests and hobbies. Quite often they have an interest in dinosaurs or in space, so you could get things that go along with those themes. At school age, children may be interested in collecting things. It could be Star Wars figurines or anything Disney related. Adding to their collection pretty much makes you the most awesome auntie ever.

Birthday Cake, Cake, Birthday, Cupcakes, Candles, Party

Books are always a winner with school aged children. Start off with books that they will be able to read. Then they can build up and move on to different and trickier books. Rhyming books are a great way to help them learn words and sounds, so Dr. Seuss books could be a good place to start.

As they get even older, gifts that allow them to risk a little are a good idea. Now hear me out, I’m not talking about any super extreme. Things like a chemistry set are a good way to allow them to learn. But they can experience a little risk in the things that they are making. Though not real risk really.

Trips out are always a fun thing to do with your niece or nephew. It is something that you will both look forward to. Think about trips to the zoo, a day at the farm or even the beach. Having family members that they are close with is so important. Quite often there might be things that they don’t want to talk to their parents to. But if you build up a close relationship with them they should be able to share these types of things with you.

Incredible Upgrades You’ll Want For Your Home

As a homeowner, you probably take a lot of pride in your property. Owning your own home also buys you a lot of freedom to customise your house to suit your tastes and your lifestyle. It’s also an investment for your future. Over time, you will owe less and less. And your property will increase in value. It’s also the place where you raise your family. It will be the setting for some of the most treasured memories you’ll collect over your lifetime.

Of course, there will also be plenty of opportunities to make your house into that little sanctuary away from the bustle of the world. You may want to indulge and add those little luxuries that we all love from time to time. If you’re looking to upgrade parts of your home, why not try some of these amazing ideas:

Luxury Bathroom Fittings

Lots of people rip out the bathroom when they move into a new house. It feels weird using the facilities in your own home when you know the previous owners have been in there! But over time, you may feel like adding some extra special features to your bathroom. Jacuzzi baths have become increasingly popular as ways to relax and soak away the day. You can even choose a P-shaped one so you can still enjoy the shower over the bath.

A complete luxury bathroom should benefit from a bidet facility, like the ones at Aquarius Hygiene. You may not have to worry about finding extra space. And it can be a highly desirable addition to the family bathroom. Do you have space for a shower enclosure? Why not consider upgrading the facility to include interactive lighting, a sound system, and touch panel screen? Luxury!

Sauna

There is no doubt that there are many health benefits to be enjoyed from having a sauna. A family sauna needn’t take up much space. They’re not nearly as difficult to maintain or keep clean as you think. Some can be installed without the need for electrical fittings. Or you may prefer a high-end sauna complete with sound speakers and lighting effects.

Filtered Water Taps

Installing a filtered water tap in your kitchen could provide you with the purest drinking water you ever tasted. And if you’re always battling your kettle to keep the scum off the surface of your tea this could be the answer. A boiling filtered water tap provides pure boiling water at the turn of a handle. It is energy efficient too. There is no waiting for it to reach temperature. So throw out your kettle, and enjoy a perfect cup of tea.

Underfloor Heating

More of us are enjoying the beauty of tiles and solid wood flooring. But in the winter, we feel constantly wrapped up with socks. Underfloor heating keeps the floors at a lovely temperature just right for bare feet. And it can free up your wall space as you’ll no longer need those wall radiators.

There are plenty of little indulgences you can add to your home. Or you may choose to upgrade an entire room. What will you improve today?