#KidsGrowWild gardening challenge

Like most 4 year old’s, my son Joe is never happier than when he’s spending time in the garden. And the good weather that we had at the beginning of June afforded us the perfect opportunity to spend lots of time having outdoors fun. The paddling pool came out, the football net was set up, and all manner of ride on toys finally emerged from the shed. We also got the time to indulge in a little bit of planting for a special Britmums challenge.

Britmums have teamed up with Money Supermarket.com to host a special challenge for those little ones with decidedly green fingers. Called the Kids Grow Wild gardening challenge, this offered a perfect opportunity for any budding Alan Titchmarsh’s or Charlie Dimmock’s to get digging, planting and growing their own plants.

We were sent a gorgeous little gardening kit from Little Pals that contained gardening gloves, a watering can, a mini spade and rake, and a selection of seeds, including that perenial child favourite, the sunflower. Joe was really excited about having his own tools and gardening gloves, and although these were a little big, he insisted on wearing them to do ‘his work’.

The great thing about planting and gardening with your child is that it is affordable fun. Seeds can be picked up cheaply from places like Poundland, and we got two huge bags of sale for less than £1.50 from Asda. Kids love being dirty, so messing in the soil is a great favourite activity, and also learns them about what things need to grow, Joe chatted animatedly whilst involved in the planting, but was also able to follow simple instructions like making little holes in the soil for the seeds.

The challenge was a lot of fun, and continues to do so. Joe has been watering his plants every day and is now excited as shoots are starting to show. There is a real sense of achievement in this, he keeps repeating ‘I’m making them grow’ and is very proud of the fact. He has also cleaned lots more garden pots and wants to plant more seeds, fostering a real interest in his garden as somewhere more than just the place he plays in.

This post is an entry for BritMums’ #KidsGrowWild Challenge

Loving the Joe Browns Collection at Kaleidoscope

You know that feeling you get when you’ve been waiting for a very exciting event, and suddenly you realise it is just days away? You start to get excited, and also not a little bit panicked in equal measures. Well, that is exactly how I am feeling at the moment, because next week I am due to attend my first Britmums Live, an event which promises to be a great mixture of brands, bloggers, keynote speakers and interesting exhibitors who hopefully will give me lots of hints and tips on how to become a better blogger.

I am lucky enough to be part of this great event because I have been chosen for Britmums sponsorship by key British retail brand Kaleidoscope. Kaleidoscope is one of the UK’s most successful mail order services, with a huge online following too. I t offers fashion and style for all occasions, as well as a great range of affordable homewares. One of my absolute fave lines from Kaleidoscope is Joe Browns for casualwear, a collection that could be described as festival style for adults, cool casual daywear with a slightly bohemian twist.

Joe Browns Denim Dazzle Top 

Joe Browns totally redefines casual daywear. Avoiding the cliché that casual dressing means jeans and a t-shirt, it offers pretty prints in soft crisp cottons, dresses that work perfectly for the school run on warm summer mornings, skirts that have a vintage 1970s vibe, evoking classic Laura Ashley and Bill Gibb, and even 1950s Riviera print styles that would be the dress that you would need on a summer vacation. Clearly Joe Browns has much to offer, and with affordable Prices and sizes up to an 18, it is a collection that is definitely worth a look.

Joe Browns San Poetro Halter Neck Dress 

Joe Browns Halter Neck Skirt Dress 

Joe Browns Antelope Dress £50 click to visit Joe Browns

Joe Browns Angela’s Legacy Tunic 

Joe Browns 50’S Garden Party Dress 

I truly love this unique and pretty collection – it is one of those where I would just love to buy EVERYTHING. You can check out more of the great pieces at Kaleidoscope – it is well worth a look.



#XmasSavingTips Challenge with BritMums – My tips

Phones are just totally indispensible come Christmas time (I know, anytime really) but at Christmas time they just come into their own. Just this week I’ve used to my phone to plan a birthday party for my little boy. Facebook all the invites, text my best friend to arrange a pre-christmas drink, and ordered a few extra pressies online. Indeed, whatever did we do before we had our phones?

Tesco Mobile currently have some special December offers that make them a great choice for families. This Christmas they are offering families some of the best deals on handsets and tariffs. Most notably the Samsung Galaxy Ace – available for £12.50 a month including 500 free minutes, 5000 texts and 500 MB of data. Or there is the classic BlackBerry Curve 9320 –  available on pay as you go for £125.

So why go with Tesco?

  •  You can control your mobile spending with their capped tariff: This means that family members can’t use any more than their allocated monthly minutes, texts and data and you don’t end up with any nasty surprises on the bill at the end of the month. Perfect if you are buying the phone for a teenager who spends all their time on the phone to the person who lives next door…
  • With two or more contracts you get extra perks with the Tesco Mobile Family perks offer – this means you can add all your family handsets onto one single bill and each member can choose from a selection of extra perks each month such as free texts, minutes or data.
  • What’s more, if you’re a Tesco Clubcard customer, you’ll get triple points for every £1 you spend at Tesco Mobile, meaning your calls can be buying you that new dress you’ve had your eye on for ages.

More tips to save money

Saving money on your mobile is just one way to look after those pennies this year. Here are a few more tips that I have been personally using throughout the year.

1. Use price comparison websites like Kelkoo before you purchase an item. I saved £13 this way buying Rocky the Robot truck for my little boy, getting it at Boots for £51, when I’d originally seen in on another website for £64. Once you’ve found the best price, go through Quidco to buy your item and you can then get cashback from hundreds of retailers.

2. Look for 3 for 2 offers. Most stores offer these, Laura Ashley, Boots and Debenhams are just some of the stores that have offered these on various products, from Christmas decorations to toiletry sets. The Boots offer has been great this year for buying presents for my sons teachers – he has three of them!

3. Collect your store card points throughout the year. Nectar points, Boots advantage card points and Tesco Clubcard points can be collected throughout the year and then used to buy presents and provisions over the Christmas period.

4. Voucher Code sites are an invaluable way to make a saving on fashion, fragrance and accessories. You can find all sorts of money off codes and codes that offer free post and packaging. It is also worth signing up to email alerts from your favourite retailers, these will let you know about savings, early alerts about sales etc.

5. Shop the sales. This is more a tip for next year, but buy wrapping paper, tags, cards and any additional decorations when the sales start, and then put them somewhere safe for the next year. You will save an absolute fortune.

This post is part of the BritMums #XmasSavingTips Challenge, sponsored by Tesco Mobile.