16 Apr 2014

The Gallery 182 - A Favourite Place

This week's Gallery Prompt at from the lovely Tara over at Sticky Fingers is A Favourite Place.

I don't really have any favourite places. Wherever my children and husband are, that's my favourite place. However, one place that does stick out in my mind is Leeds Castle in Kent. I was in hospital in Kent for 5 weeks over my 25th birthday miles and miles away from home. My dad stayed with me most of the time, in a hotel nearby. When I got out for a day visit he took me to Leeds Castle. I loved it. It is a stunning castle. It was one of the last places my dad and I ever went together as he died within the year of us going. It holds a special place in my heart and I hope to go back there one day. My dad took this picture when we were there.

Leeds Castle

15 Apr 2014

Review - Babyzen YoYo Stroller

Recently we have been trying the Babyzen Yoyo for a few months now and we love it. It is super lightweight, so much so it comes with it's own strap that you can put over your shoulder and carry like a bag. I have done this in to school with Aria in one arm, the pushchair over my shoulder and the changing bag and it was a doddle. I am impressed by this pushchair more than I ever thought possible.

The one we tested isn't suitable from birth but from 6 months +, there is a version you can use from birth which comes with the 6 months + base too. The Babyzen Yoyo Stroller for 0+ looks great value for money.
The Babyzen Yoyo

11 Apr 2014

ISAs Made Simpler

My dad had many ISA's, money tied up in stocks and shares, etc. He was careful with his money and taught me to be the same. I have always been good with money, but when it comes to working out what is the best place to save your money, I'm at a loss. 

Scottish Friendly have set out this simple guide on what an ISA is, why you'd want one and what they do. For me, simpler is better. I don't tied up in jargon I don't understand. Give me computer languages any day over financial languages any day. However, the Scottish Friendly version is simple. Did you know that 1 packet of crisps is the same as saving £1 a day in a new ISA? 

Scottish Friendly

What should I be doing for our family's future is something that prays on my mind, but in this current economic climate, do we have the spare cash to save and if we do what do we do with it?

The start of a new financial year means that everyone over 16 gets a new cash ISA allowance. Did you know that? However, as of July 1st 2014, things are changing, with the introduction of the new ISA or NISA.

Here’s what you need to know:-

1. NISAs will have a cash allowance of a whopping £15,000. This means you can save up to £15k a year and earn tax-free interest on it.

2. Unlike before, when you could save up to £5,940 in a cash ISA and up to £11,880 in stocks and shares, now you can split your £15,000 allowance between a cash NISA and a New Investment ISA in any way you like, allowing you a wider range of investments and flexibility.

3. You can open a 2014-2015 ISA now, and it’ll automatically convert into a NISA on July 1st, when you can top the amount up to £15,000.

4. It’s super-flexible. You can:-
  • change the amount you invest, up or down
  • stop payments
  • restart payments
  • take all of the money out
  • take some of the money out
  • transfer money in and out from another NISA, including transferring from a New Cash ISA into a New Investment ISA and vice versa.
  • close your plan
5. You can transfer a Cash ISA into another Cash ISA or move it to an Investment ISA.New ISAs will still allow you to do just that. However, with an existing Investment ISA, you can only transfer it into another Investment ISA. However, from 1 July 2014, the New ISA will also enable you to transfer your savings from Investment ISAs to New Cash ISAs as you wish.

Cool huh!

Scottish Friendly have also produced this useful video below to help you have a better understanding the of new ISAs and how the work. It really is interesting. 

Disclaimer:- This is a sponsored, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

9 Apr 2014

The Gallery 181 - A Photo I'm Proud Of

This week's Gallery Prompt at from the lovely Tara over at Sticky Fingers is A Photo I'm Proud Of.

I tend to take most of my pictures on my phone. I have it to hand and capture the children doing whatever it is they are doing. If it's a special occasion or we are going somewhere I will take my DSLR, but I'd say 98% of my photos are on my phone. Shocking really. I must change that.

Anyway at the weekend I capture a picture of my cheeky little chappie Tyler. I wanted a picture that capture his sweetness, thoughtfulness and old soul. Usually he's smiling and carrying on. But he's a sweet boy with caring nature.

A Photo I'm Proud Of

8 Apr 2014

#TheBritPack Easter Blog Hop Grubbies And Giveaway

The Brit Pack

Introducing The Brit Pack: A New Voice for British Made Children’s Brand.

The Brit Pack is a collaboration formed of brands that design and manufacture quality goods here in the UK, specifically within the children’s arena. The collaboration is the inspiration of Grubbies - the ‘dungaree evangelists’ – made Great in Britain!

5 Apr 2014

Disney On Ice - A Night Of Memories

DOI Worlds of Fantasy
Last week I mentioned we were going to Disney on Ice World of Fantasy and last Saturday evening we headed to Glasgow Hydro as a family for an evening with Disney. This was one of the most memorable evenings we have ever had as a family. 

We have seen Disney on Ice before in Sheffield and loved it. But this was even better.

4 Apr 2014

Designing a Family Friendly Kitchen

The kitchen is arguably the most important, most used room in a home – it's the hub. It's where food is prepared, where the family eat meals together and talk about their day, the children do their homework, colouring, and crafting at the kitchen table. It's where social gatherings and parties are focused – it's also where the family dog or cat may eat and sleep! A family kitchen needs to be the perfect place for both adults and children to cook and socialise in harmony.

The family kitchen goes through a lot; spillages, muddy shoes, crafting and baking, toy car races (and bangs against the skirting board) – it needs to be up to the rigours of family life! First and foremost a family kitchen must be practical. Search websites like eBay for inspiration on everything needed for a fantastic family kitchen; from family-friendly kitchen worktops to chairs, appliances, fixtures, and fittings. 


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