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Win a £100 Google Play Gift Card with Three Mobile

I love using apps to keep me entertained, organised and informed while I’m on the go. Add educational and fun apps for Amy and keeping up to date with the latest app trends can become quite costly. I have teamed up with Three Mobile this week to make using your favourite apps and experimenting with new ones a lot more fun.

Three Mobile have added three fantastic new handsets to their range and to celebrate the addition of the Samsung Galaxy S5, the Sony Xperia Z2 and the HTC One M8 to the Three Mobile family, I am giving one lucky reader the chance to win a £100 Google Play voucher that allows you to buy apps, games, music, books or game currencies for your mobile phone, or tablet.

Three Mobile competition with Samsunf Galaxy, HTC One and Sony win a Google Play voucher

With almost 1.5 million apps available via Google Play, there will be a suitable app for absolutely everyone and everything. It doesn’t matter, if you are into photography, Ancient Greek history or you simply need an educational app to help your little ones to learn colours, letters or counting.

Apps can be everything you want them to be: fun, educational and all about you, so make sure you enter our fab competition to be in with the chance of winning this amazing prize.

All you have to do is fill in the Rafflecopter form below following the instructions provided. Please don’t cheat as I will double-check entries and disqualify invalid entries. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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How to keep your kids happy during the summer holidays

It can be a challenge to keep your kids entertained during the summer holidays, especially when you are separating from your partner of over 5 years at the same time, but despite all the sad moments of this summers, Amy had a great couple of weeks. Mecca Bingo challenged me to share my tips on how to keep your kids happy during the summer holidays and I could go on and write right an essay about all the things you should consider when planning a summer with kids, but usually it’s the simple things that count – at least it is for Amy and so I thought I’d share with you some of her happiest moments of this summer.

family time in Germany

The photo above was taken at my Nan’s 80th birthday meal and Amy had an absolute blast wrapping everyone around her little finger and taken coin after coin after coin off them to finance her donkey ride addiction. It was so funny to look at and she spent a good hour on said donkey. She loved every minute of it and had the best of fun!

family times Amy and her great-grandparents

She also loved spending time with her great-grandparents when we visited my family in Germany. She helped them water plants in their garden, snacked on fresh strawberries and enjoyed cuddling with them on the swing before getting my grandad and mum to push her home on my grandad’s bike. Family-time like our trip to Germany doesn’t happen anywhere near as much as we’d love to, but that’s why we enjoy those rare moments so much.

Amy Germany shirt of dominos pizza party

As a German and half German, we had a good reason to celebrate this summer. Amy and I loved watching the World Cup and she sported her little Germany top with pride trying to sing football chants whenever Germany were playing. She was fast asleep during the big finale, but she was ridiculously excited when I told her that Germany had won the next morning – her dad wasn’t too impressed. Might have had something to do with England’s out in the group stages – maybe!

Rostock Zoo polar bear statue

Trips to the zoo were another highlight of Amy’s summer holidays. She adores seeing all the animals and copying their noises. I think I might have a little future zoo keeper on my hands. Polar bears are her absolute favourite and she kept shouting Eisbär (the German word for polar bear) whenever her icy friends dared to look into the opposite direction. We might have even broken our own personal record with 3 zoo visits (to different zoos) in just 5 days. Quite impressive, don’t you think?

Amy at Wookey Hole

We also enjoyed park dates with friends, fun in the garden and day trips to local attractions. A day that Amy is speaking about even now is our trip to Wookey Hole with our friends Andrea and Sophie. It was the perfect day out and just what we needed to pick us back up after a couple of miserable weeks.

Amy and Sophie having a cuddle

Friends like Andrea and Sophie were what got us through these summer holidays. They might live over two hours away from us, but one day of fun, laughter and giggles can boost your energy levels more than you will ever imagine and we really needed that to keep us going. Thanks guys!

Amy drenched in water at @Bristol

Of course, no summer is complete without lots of water fun. At the beginning of the summer holidays, Amy enjoyed her first dip in the Baltic Sea, which according to her was frrrrreeeeezing. It didn’t stop her from completely falling in love with the wet element though. Days and days of water play in the garden were followed by fun in the splash park in our local park and getting completely soaked in Bristol’s harbourside, the perfect location for parents with water-loving children.

Amy with the spraying can attacking mum

Amy didn’t leave her passion for water play at the front door though. No, she took it to a whole new level and attacked me with her little spray bottle whenever possible. I didn’t really mind, it’s just water after all, and seeing me jump made her laugh the deepest and darkest belly laughs, so it was totally worth it.

Amy in the garden Silent sunday

Overall, the last couple of weeks have changed my outlook on life a lot. I have always been afraid or too embarrassed to get involved with childish things like water fights or stupid sing-alongs in the street, but life is too short to not be silly and make your little ones laugh. Amy loves it when I do stupid things with her and seeing her happy while I was going through a really tough time, did not only lift my spirits and make me incredibly proud of my little girl, it also showed me who I am living for. I want Amy to have the happiest childhood full of beautiful memories and to ensure she does, I have to be happy myself and sometimes even a little silly!

What has kept your little ones entertained this summer? What has made you happy?

This is my entry to Mecca Bingo’s Summer Activities Competition.

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What we’ve been loving over the summer holidays

panda drinks for children

Panda Drinks are an iconic brand, but I have only found out about them last month. The lovely people at Panda Drink sent Amy a fabulous little summer package with a lunch box, some of their most popular drinks as well as an activity booklet and a skipping rope that Amy had a lot of fun with in the garden.

The Panda Still Juice Drinks come in raspberry and blackcurrant flavours while Panda Splash, a fruit flavoured water, comes in both orange & pineapple and blackcurrant flavours. At 250ml per bottle, Panda Drinks are perfect for lunch boxes, picnics or a quick treat throughout the day with the sports cap meaning that they can be enjoyed when out and about without any annoying spills.

Amy is usually water-total, but every now and again she fancies a flavoured drink. Panda Drinks are naturally fruity, don’t contain any added sugar and use only natural colours making them a drink that I am completely happy to give to Amy. She particularly enjoyed the blackcurrant flavour – perfect for summer.

Panda Still Juice and Panda Splash are currently available in Asda, Tesco and Ocado priced at £1.99 for a six bottle multipack. Panda Squash is sold in Tesco, costing 99p for a one litre bottle. More info on the official Panda Drinks website.

Ryvita tin Ben de Lisi

A treat for me was this gorgeous metal tin from Ryvita designed by one of my favourite designers Ben de Lisi. I’ve written a whole blog post dedicated to his designs a while back and when Ryvita’s PR got in touch and offered to send me some goodies and the new tin, I just couldn’t say no.

Ben’s designs are bright, bold and my new tin is perfect to ensure my that my Ryvita crispbreads (Fruit Crunch is my current favourite) are kept crisp and fresh while giving my kitchen a pop of colour. The eye-catching tin has an abstract design with splashes of pink, green, orange, yellow and blue, along with Ben’s well-known signature on the side and costs £7.49 including packaging and postage. It’s available on the Ryvita website.

Carex Bubblegum Hand Wash and Carex Strawberry Laces Hand Gel

Love bubblegum and strawberry laces? Then you’ll love the deliciously smelling new products from Carex that we’ve tried over the last couple of weeks. Amy and I loved the Bubblegum Hand Wash and have already repurchased it. Yes, there’s been a lot of handwashing going on at Mummy Alarm HQ, because the new Carex range doesn’t only smell amazing, it also kills 99,9% of bacteria. The hand wash is very creamy and moisturising and perfect for little hands or those of grown-ups with sensitive or dry skin.

The second product that we tried from the Carex fun range was the Strawberry Laces Hand Gel. It’s bright pink, comes in an ordinary sanitiser bottle and smells much better than any hand gel that I’ve tried before. It doesn’t completely hide the scent of alcohol, but it’s much more appealing than any competitors. Which girl doesn’t like a bit of pink? It’s super handy and I’ve got it in my handbag now to fight germs, sticky hand rails or germ-ridden door handles in shopping centres.

Both products are available for around £1.50 and £1.80 in all big supermarkets or drug stores.

Pic Stick photo magnets

Another treat for me or in fact our fridge were these fab little photo magnets from Pic Stick. They’re a super cute way to spruce up any boring metal surface in your kitchen or around your desk and I really like how they’ve turned out. Each individual photo magnet is 50x65mm and 0.75mm thick and very durable – handy, if you’ve got a pre-schooler like mine that loves rearranging the magnets a minimum of twenty times a day.

The order process for your very own Pic Sticks is really easy. All you have to do is visit the Pic Stick website and upload photos from your computer, phone or apps and social networks that you are using. Once you’ve uploaded your favourite 9 pictures, crop them to your desired size, hit save and pay using one of the payment options.

We received our magnets within 2 working days, I was super impressed with that, and the picture quality is really great. The colours are bright and the images very clear. There are no issues with pixles whatsoever and I will definitely be getting some more Pic Sticks as stocking fillers and birthday presents for friends and family. They are affordable at £9.50 for a sheet of 9 magnets with free world wide shipping and I think they’re a unique and creative way to show off your favourite snaps. Thumbs up from us.

Also, make sure to keep your eyes open here and on my social media channels (links in the top right corner) over the next couple of days, as I’ll be giving away a Pic Stick voucher each to two lucky readers.

We received all of these products free of charge for the purpose of this review.

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The challenge of planning a kids party

kids birthday party buffetIt is never easy planning a birthday party or important celebration for your children. Theres a lot of pressure – a lot of things that can go wrong.

One of the main challenges is that there are so many choices – so many different companies all eager to sell you the dream of the perfect kids’ party. Check out the free classified ads in your local newspaper or online community portal and you will soon realise that planning children’s parties has turned into a really big business.

It is easy to get caught up in the hype of drama of trying to make your child’s party the best ever, but the secret is to keep it simple.

Of course you need to find something that is suitable for the age of your children and their friends, and you need to find something that your kids will actually enjoy, but you can also give a bit of gentle guidance and a bit of a push in the direction of activities that are easy to organise and as stress-free as possible.

Have a pool party

If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere turn your garden into a water park wonderland with slippery slides, stacks of water bombs, water pistols and anything else that you can think of to help get everyone wet and wild. Hire a snow cone maker and offer a rainbow of different flavours. If you want to splash out why not hire a comedy life guard to help keep everyone involved (and safe).

celebrate your kids' birthday with a pool party

Bouncy Castles

It’s a kids’ party classic but you really can’t beat a good bouncy castle. The best is when you hire bouncy castles that are suitable for both adults and children – kids love it when adults get silly and get involved in the fun, and for the adults it is a great way to burn off all of the sugar that you’ve consumed during the party.

Go to the movies

One of the best solutions to your children’s party dilemma is to take it offsite – why not hire a small cinema and take everyone to the movies – go for a new release or a classic that you know everyone will love. Lay on the popcorn and the ice-cream and the event will be a smash.

Keep it simple and keep it drama free and you will not only survive your next kids party but there is a small chance that you might actually enjoy it.

What’s your party tip to make kids’ birthdays a success?

party ideas post

Image credits: the hollycopter and Sophie Serafino via Flickr

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Family Broadband: Finding the Perfect Fit

How to find the perfect broadband deals for families or those working at homeAll things considered, the internet is a relatively new phenomenon, and one which continues to evolve at lightning speed. For many families, navigating the world of broadband is somewhat more confusing than navigating the web itself. Not that there are so many options on packages, from phone and television to broadband only deals, the average family can get easily bogged down in the fine print and packaged deals being peddled online. Here are a few tips for finding the package that’s right for your family.

Know what you want

It’s a good idea to begin a broadband search with an accurate idea of how much bandwidth you use monthly and what (if any) kind of package you’re interested in procuring. For some families, bundling television, phone and internet makes the most sense and is economically beneficial; for others broadband only packages are the way to go.

Finding the perfect package

It’s most important to find the deal that suits your specific family. There are all types of broadband packages including heavy-use broadband for those who download regularly; business broadband for families with members who work from home as well as mobile broadband which facilitates easy access on the go. Often there are family-specific packages that can accommodate multiple devices (including gaming consoles).

Consider the need for speed

Broadband products have quickly become so popular because they boast super fast connection speeds — but how fast is fast? And what kind of speed does the average family really need? In many cases companies boast speeds that are by no means guaranteed in their advertising. Broadband speed relies on many factors and is often sold in tiers that relate directly to speed.

Know what you need

Super fast broadband is the fastest option and typically comes with unlimited data allowance which is something of an internet consumption free-for-all.  Families pay a premium for speed but the second tier fast broadband is a reasonably priced (and effective) middle-ground option that allows families to stream HD content and upload movies and games. While this option may be a bit slower during peak times, the disruption is far from dire and the costs are very reasonable.

Navigating the world of broadband is something of a moving target. Keeping tabs on how much data your family uses monthly as well as what levels of speed are realistically required will help every family find the broadband package that’s right for them.

What do you look for in a broadband provider?

This is a promotional post with an image from Don (via Flickr).

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Monday Parenting Pin It Party #69

Hands up, who thought that summer was over and we were getting ready for autumn crafts, hearty comfort food and lots of rainy day activities? Yep, me too, but it seems that we might be getting one last week of summer before your Monday Parenting Pin It Party gets taken over by Halloween, Thanksgiving and dare I say – Christmas?

This week, your host is my lovely friend Andrea who blogs over on All You Need Is Love And Cake. She’s just given her blog a complete makeover and I love the new and fresh look. Make sure to pop over and check it out. It’s also where you find Andrea’s favourite pins of last week.

All You Need Is Love And Cake

You’re new to the party? Here’s a quick recap for you: The Monday Parenting Pin It Party is a linky that is traveling from blog to blog, giving you the chance to link up your best craft, recipe or parenting posts, so that we can share them on our collaborative Pinterest board and show them some comment love. Each host also picks, their two favourite link ups each week and awards their favourite posts their very own special badge. Cool, right?

So let’s get pinning…



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5 Ways to monetize your blog

5 ways to monetize your blog

Once you’ve blogged for a while and shown your readers and companies that you regularly produce high-quality content, you will receive more and more offers that will enable you to monetize your blog. There are a couple of different opportunities that might be coming your way and I want to introduce you to five of them:

1) Partner programmes and affiliated links

Partner programmes and affiliated links are one way to monetize your job, but it’s a concept that doesn’t work for everyone. How it works: Bloggers sign up to a company’s affiliate programme, all big companies seem to have them, and whenever they include a link to the company’s website and their reader goes on to purchase something from said website, the blogger earns a commission. You can make anything from pennies to thousands, but your success very much depends on your niche and authority. Beauty and fashion websites seem to be doing incredibly well.

2) Sidebar and contextual ads

Digital agencies such as Total Media (among others) work closely with blogs to find the perfect platforms to introduce their clients to a wider audience. This can be in the form of sidebar or banner ads or contextual ads and links within written content, often called sponsored posts. The amount of money you can earn through advertising depends highly on factors such as your page rank, your domain and page authority as well your traffic and the demographic of your audience.

3) Recipe development

If you are a food blogger, developing recipes for food and non-food brands can be a great way to monetize your blog. There’s no better way than seeing your product being used than in a mouth-watering recipe. Even non-food brands have learned that the way to a (wo)man’s heart is through their stomach, so no matter if it’s picnic recipes for a cutlery company or cocktail ideas for a glassware brand, being able to develop unique and creative recipes is a skill that companies are happy to pay for.

4) Create video content

Video content is becoming more and more popular and with YouTube being the second largest search engine after Google, it makes sense for bloggers to start creating video content that supports their writing. Add clips of products in use when reviewing them, make a short video of your days out and establish yourself as an expert in your niche. Companies will sponsor you to talk about them and their products on your own channel or invite you to share your experience and knowledge on their own website and YouTube channel. Filming and editing might seem scary at first, but they are skills worth having.

5) Write an e-book

Know a lot about your niche? Then why not share your expert knowledge in an e-book? If recipes, craft ideas or activities for a rainy day, e-books are a great way to monetize your blog and establish as an expert in your field. They are cheap to develop and publish and you can sell them straight through your blog or via Amazon/Kindle. The more useful your knowledge to your readers, the money you will be able to earn.

Do you monetize your blog? If so, how do you earn money blogging?

This is a promotional post.

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3 Benefits Of Buying Wholesale Products Online

3 Benefits Of Buying Wholesale Products OnlinePurchasing clothes in bulk online has become a popular way to update your entire wardrobe in time for a new season, but a lot of people still stick to the traditional method of shopping on the high street. The increasing number of scams or frauds in the online world is one of the main reasons for people’s hesitation when it comes to shopping online. Fans of shopping from the comfort of their home however appreciate the flexibility and convenience of purchasing clothes online. If you are still undecided, here are some benefits of buying wholesale products via the internet.

Saves Both Time And Money

When you purchase wholesale products in store, you often have to visit show rooms and stores more than once to find the perfect products, sizes and styles. You don’t only spend a considerable amount of time traveling, you also spend money on petrol, oil on top of your actual purchase. Shopping online couldn’t be easier. You have the entire range laid out in front of you and can choose the styles, materials and sizes you need. You can see how easy it is here.

You Can Compare Products Easily

When you decide to buy wholesale dresses or wholesale children’s clothing, then the first step is to compare the price and quality of products offered by various online sites such as http://www.qclothing.co.uk. Should you decide to go the traditional way, make sure you bring some comfy shoes as you’ll have to put in some leg work to compare prices and quality between stores Websites however allow you to read reviews by customers, compare clothes, styles and materials with just a few clicks.

Online Shopping From The Ease Of Home Or Office

Online buying of Wholesale Products UK such as wholesale bags, clothing’s, etc. is a convenient mode of shopping as you just require to “log on” to the website, fill your shopping cart along with the required number of items and make payments for them and place your orders.

You can compare a broad variety of products without with the help of a salesman that involved in street store shopping is one of the most important benefits of shopping.

This is a promotional post with an image from Napu Doll.