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Games Night with Coca Cola and #cbias

games night with coca cola

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Since having Amy, nights out have taken a step back in our lives. We don’t have a babysitter and to be honest, I’d rather spend my nights at home than rubbing shoulders with drunk teenagers in Bristol’s harbourside. Movie nights or games nights have replaced clubbing, not that I was a big fan of it anyway, and I have to say that I really enjoy coming up with fun ideas for our nights in with friends and family. If we feel creative, we give our nights a theme like detectives, casino or quiz show, but this weekend’s games night was more of a spontaneous affair.

We saw that the weather gods were on our side, so after a morning at Blaise Castle, we decided to have a BBQ and games evening to make the most of our bank holiday weekend. The men had already arranged the food, so on our way home from the park, we quickly popped into Sainsbury’s on Winterstoke Road to pick up some Coca Cola, nibbles and some cheeky magazines. I can’t step into a supermarket without buying at least one or two magazines, but as we were in a bit of a rush, I turned to the really important thing: the actual shop.

Sainsbury's Winterstoke road Bristol

I usually go shopping with Amy, but she had fallen asleep in the car, so Ben stayed with her, while I quickly popped in to grab everything we needed. Of course, I couldn’t resist a little snoop around the clothing and homeware section, which is offers a great range of products unlike some of the smaller stores. I love the current maritime trend that they have picked up on for bathroom and living room accessories.

On my way to the drinks section, I walked past the freshly made pizzas. We really like them and get them a lot when we have friends coming and we’re too lazy to cook ourselves, but on this occasion I walked past them because I had burgers and sausages calling me! Coca Cola is always a firm favourite on our nights in. It’s great to wash your food down with and also a crucial ingredient of our favourite mixer Cuba Libre, so I headed straight for the Coke aisle, where I was pleased to find out that there were some great offers available at the moment. I got two big bottles as well as two 8-packs of cans, which I picked up on a BYGOF offer, unfortunately none of them with my name on. I love that you can currently buy bottles with your name on. If you haven’t seen Coca Cola’s latest marketing coup, check out my most recent Google+ album for a snoop through my shopping trolley.

My shop was fairly simple and the lady at the check-out absolutely made my day, when she asked me for ID when I wanted to buy non-alcoholic lager (!!!). Looks like the bags under my eyes weren’t too heavy that day. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about the morning after one or ehm I don’t know how many Cuba Libres.

Board Games for all the family Bluff

What I do remember though is that we had a fantastic night. We laughed a lot, played Trivial Pursuit (it’s the one I always win at, so it’s a must-play), my German favourite Bluff and a card game called Knack. It has really simple rules, but for some reason it took me ages to understand them. My family say it’s because I’m a bit slow, but that’s really not the case. They either just can’t explain things properly or they’ve ganged up on me and are cheating.

What are your favourite board games to play with family and friends?

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Saturday is caption day – Amy at Victoria Park

Saturday is caption day Victoria Park bristol Amy in a tube

Last weekend, it was lovely and sunny, so we decided to take Amy up to Victoria Park in Bristol. It’s a gorgeous big park in the heart of Windmill Hill and we thought it would be nice to spend the afternoon there with our neighbour Rich and his two boys.

His eldest son Beau is about half a year older than Amy and over the last year or so, they’ve become the best of friends. It’s so cute watching them play together. They’re a match made in heaven, bounce on our trampoline together and call each other when they are in the garden. Sometimes, they even climb through the fence that separates our gardens, just so they can spend time together.

Last Sunday, Beau and Amy raced up and down the slides at Victoria Park, climbed on the climbing frame and drove an imaginative train. The fun began when they started climbing through tubes. Amy happily climbs through tunnels on the ground, you know these fabric ones that you can put up in the garden or toddler ones at soft play, but as soon as they are off the ground, she gets a little wary of them. She crawls into the middle of it, sits down, contemplates which way out might be the best and happily comes out one end or the other. It’s so funny to look at and I’ve got no clue why she does it? Has she developed tunnel or tube OCD?

Saturday is caption day

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Best car tunes? I can’t decide!

best car tunes all time jon bon jovi living on a prayer meat loaf bat out of hell

I don’t drive, but if I did, I’d be be one of those drivers that you find at the traffic lights rocking out to the best car tunes in the history of car tunes – songs by the likes of Meat Loaf, Bon Jovi, Guns ‘n’ Roses & Co. Songs, that would have me shake my head and play the air guitar. Songs that I would sing along to as if there was no tomorrow. Songs that would make me look incredibly silly. But who cares?

Rock, Pop or Classic music?

For me, rock music would be my first choice of music when it comes to driving. It’s energetic, lifts my mood and most of all, it keeps me awake no matter what time it is. It was a lifesaver when I revised for my uni exams and I think it might have the same effect on me when Amy goes to school and I have to fight my tiredness on the school run.

I can’t really decide on the ultimate car tune, in fact Ben and I have a list of over 700 car tunes in his Spotify account, but I guess it would be either Bon Jovi’s ‘Living on a Prayer’ or Meat Loaf’s ‘Bat our of hell’. I cannot sit still whenever both songs come on, so I guess I will have to let you decide. We are talking music only, because optically it’s quite obvious that Bon Jovi gets my vote, so now it’s up to you. Who created the best car tune in the history of car tunes?

Who wins? Bon Jovo vs. Meat Loaf

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Swimwear for all body shapes

swimwear for all body shapes

Swimwear for all body shapes

Buying and of course wearing swimwear is something that those of us who have concerns about our body shape can worry about. If we want to get the best of our holiday though these worries are something that we need to forget about. Knowing which swimwear can make the best of your body is a big step on the road to beach-side body confidence. There are plenty of solutions to all body concerns these days so no need for anyone to hide themselves away under an over-sized beach towel for the duration of their holiday.

If you are a pear

For women with bigger bottom half than top half, there are lots of solutions in swimwear. Playing with colour is one way. Choose a swimming costume with a darker colour on the bottom section and a lighter colour on the top will balance out a pear’s figure. Draw attention away from your bigger bottom half by choosing bikini tops or swimming costumes with a pretty detail. A pattern or V neck is one route here.

Elongating your legs is another way to create a slimmer silhouette. You can do this by choosing a higher cut leg and avoiding low cut ones. Though it’s tempting to want to cover up your bigger bits, by choosing a low leg you’re actually just drawing attention to the widest part of the thigh.

If you are an apple

Like most body worries, if you’re an apple you can draw attention away from your middle by wearing detail elsewhere. Like the pear shape you can choose ruffles or a v-neck to do some of the trick here. You can make the most of your great bust by choosing a fitted cup. This will also draw attention to the thinnest part of your midriff.

A swimmdress is a good choice for apples as the flirty skirt that kicks out creates a shape at the hip and distracts from a bigger middle. You can also find those with tummy control panels too for extra confidence.

If you are curvy

If you’re plus size or curvy you can sometimes dread stripping off for the beach but there are amazing options today that will have you bursting with confidence. You don’t need to hide under a sarong the whole week! Make sure you make the most of what you have by giving your body plenty of support. Choose moulded cups or under wiring to support your bust and make it look great. Again tummy control panels can give you just that little extra boost.

Tankinis offer the flexibility of a bikini without having to show everything off. Choose one that is clever with colour for the most flattering look. Black colour blocking at the sides will create a slimmer illusion.

Again a swimdress is a good choice to subtly cover your hips and bottom without making you feel over-dressed. The little skirt will give you that feminine touch too.

If you are big Busted

Don’t risk your assets escaping when you dive into the pool by skimping on support. Always opt for swimming costumes or bikinis with shaped cups as these will make the most of your bust and keep it where you want it to be. When choosing your swimming costume, try to go for one with a high cut back, such as a racer back style as this offers extra support.

You can also balance out a bigger bust by adding a swim skirt over your bikini bottoms. This kicks out slightly and so creates a more flattering hourglass silhouette.

Athletic

Swim dresses are a great choice for creating curves where there might not be any. The flirty skirt kicks out and gives a feminine appeal. You can achieve the same by being clever with pattern and colour too. Choose a swimming costume with detailed pattern at the waist and this can trick the eye to seeing a shapely hourglass waist.

Disclosure: This post was brought to you in collaboration with Bonmarché.

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Saturday is Caption Day – Amy covered in sand – 18 May 2013

Saturday is Caption Day Amy covered in sand at Weston-Super-Mare beach

We went down to the beach at Weston-Super-Mare on bank holiday Monday and I almost had a nervous breakdown. Everything was covered in sand – including Amy! I mean look at her. Argh!

After I calmed down (I really don’t know where my sudden sand phobia came from, but it was immense), we still managed to have a lovely day. We ate ice-cream, went along the Grand Pier and Ben even won me a Care Bear on one of the arcade machines. I have always wanted a care bear and now I have one in my favourite colour purple – eeek! I’m still absolutely over the moon!

It was actually the first time ever that I had a go at a gambling machine that isn’t a quiz machine and I can see why they can become a tiny bit addictive. I had a go at a 2p coin pusher machine and got slightly obsessed with the idea of tricking it. It worked on three occasions and I could fish some ridiculously tacky prizes out of the slot, but hey ho I guess you can’t expect to win a fortune on these things.

Saturday is caption day

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Our trip to Bath: Bath Guildhall Market, Abbey, Royal Victoria Park and more

BATH ABBEY 1

My sister and her boyfriend have been back home in Germany for a week now and when they left, I thought I’d have plenty of time to write about all the fun things we did while they stayed with us, but somehow life was a little hectic and I haven’t written about a single thing. I have taken so many photos though that I really want to share some of them – especially as they remind me of the good weather we had when they were here. Somehow England always manages to show itself from its best side whenever my family come to stay. The skies are blue, the sun is shining and the heat and humidity that usually lingers around in Bristol is made bearable by a light breeze. We were lucky again this time, so we decided to drive to Bath for the afternoon. It’s only a thirty minute drive away and a beautiful place when the sun is out. We went straight into the city centre as Ben and Jakob wanted to go into the Roman Baths (my sister and I have both been on numerous occasions), but the queue was so long that they would have had to wait around 20 minutes before even getting to the ticket counter. We decided to visit the Abbey instead and have a stroll around the city centre.

bath weir

We listened to the water burbling along. We watched canoeists paddle along the river before sliding down the weir.

Owls bath market

 We saw Sass & Belle owl cushions at a little market stall and took one home with us.

bath guildhall marketvictoria park bath

 We admired the cute little craft stalls at Bath Guildhall Market before stopping for some cake and making our way to Royal Victoria Park.

royal victoria park bath pavillion

We ran along paths, played hide and seek behind the big pavilion and picked daisies before Amy had enough and wanted to play on the big playground.

blooming trees in victoria park bath

We had a wonderful day. Everything was in bloom, we all laughed a lot and when we got home, we were all so tired that we had a really early night and you all know how unlike me that is!

What’s your favourite place in Bath or the rest of the UK when the weather is nice?

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30 ways of saving £1 or more

30 ways to save money

Money doesn’t grow on trees. We all know that and we all try to make our hard-earned cash go that little bit further. Money Supermarket are currently trying to collect 1000 money-saving tips, so I thought I’d get involved and share my 30 top tips. Please, feel free to share yours. I’d love to hear how you save your pounds and pennies!

save money with solar panels, solar energy, sustainable energy
1. Check that you are getting the best possible gas and electricity deals
2. Tell your TV and broadband provider you’re leaving, they will knock something of your package price.
3. Always write a shopping list to stop yourself from impulse buying.
4. Don’t go food shopping with an empty stomach. You’ll buy things you really don’t need.
5. Check the internet for voucher codes giving discounts or free delivery.
6. Grow your own fruit and veg, if you can. It’s great fun for all the family.
7. Take packed lunches to work, instead of eating out every day.
8. Consider solar panels, they will pay for your electricity in the long-run.
9. If you don’t have kids in school, save money by booking off-season or term-time holidays.
10. Use car-sharing schemes for daily commutes.
library

11. Collect bonus points when shopping online or in store and exchange for rewards at Christmas or for birthdays.
12. Enter blog competitions. Your chances of winning are higher and you can use your wins as presents for family and friends.
13. Empty your purse every evening and save small change in a piggy bank.
14. Use your local library or swap with friends, instead of buying new books.
15. Check the reduced section in your supermarket, you will find bargains that you can freeze for later.
16. Try out supermarkets’ own brands. They’re often just as good as branded products.
17. Don’t buy new clothes for one-off occasions, swap with friends who wear the same size.
18. Check out your local charity shops for bargain gifts or lovely second-hand clothes or toys.
19. Instead of buying Christmas presents of everyone, organise a Secret Santa.
20. Buy wrapping paper and cards in the sale.
fruit and veg market

21. Use flash sale sites to get great discounts on high-end brands.
22. Buy fruit and veg from the market, if you can’t grow it yourself. You’ll be surprised hoe much you’ll save.
23. Bake your own bread. It’s tastier and cheaper!
24. Don’t bother buying cook books. There are millions of free recipes on the internet.
25. There’s nothing wrong with hand-me-downs: They will save you a fortune, especially if you have young children.
26. Don’t buy drinks and snacks on days out: Pack a picnic and bring refillable water bottles.
27. No money for a holiday? Have you considered a house swap with someone living in your favourite country?
28. If you like crafts, baking or cooking, give homemade gifts for birthdays or Christmas.
29. Sign up for interest groups that pay you for your opinion.
30. Cancel subscriptions and read your favourite newspaper online.

Image credits from top to bottom: docoverachiever, ellbrown garryknight

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Flash Giveaway: Win a set of personalised cufflinks for Father’s Day

personalised cufflinks for Father's Day, Father's Day gift guide, Father's Day gift ideas, photo cufflinks

If you are like me, you always struggle to find an individual and fun Father’s Day gift or you ehm completely forget about Father’s Day and look like the most horrible daughter in the world. Yes, I’ve been there and done that and I’m not proud of it.

This year however, you can surprise your dad or your little one’s daddy with a really unqiue Father’s Day gift: personalised cufflinks from Ring Jewellery, a company that is popular with stars such as footballer Theo Walcott, chat show star Graham Norton or musician Mark Ronson and sells gorgeous palladium rings and personalised jewellerey.

Ring Jewellery is based in Brighton and sells a range of beautiful pieces of jewellery for all occasions.. You have the chance to win one of them today. All you have to do is fill in the Rafflecopter form below. Please, make sure to carefully follow the instructions as faulty and incomplete entries won’t be counted and entered into the prize draw.

a Rafflecopter giveaway