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#whatwedidthisweek 17.04.17

#whatwedidthisweek 17.04.17

#whatwedidthisweek – Yey Bank Holiday Monday means that it is officially still part of the weekend. We haven’t really gone very far this weekend, as we’ve been busy working so are knackered and we’re also preparing for Ryan’s 18th Birthday on the 29th April which I can’t possibly talk about on the remote off chance that Ryan might read it. We decided to pop down to the Quay for a nice walk with the dog and Isabelle on her scooter. As usual we tried to coax Charlie into the water, but this Labradoodle unusual for his breed does not like water! We ended the afternoon with a bit of lunch at Bar Venezia. The pizza was so scrummy!

You can’t possibly go to the quay without getting an icecream. Clearly Isabelle has Daddy wrapped around her finger when she came back to the table with this whopper of an icecream!

#whatwedidthisweek
Back to work, school and college on Tuesday for all of us. What a shocker when the alarm went off at 05.35. That’s Tuesday and Wednesday whizzing by in a work/school/college blur.

Look Good Feel Better

Thursday was another long day at work, but I had the Debenhams Look Good Feel Better event to go to. When we arrived we had a little mooch around with Isabelle heading straight for the lovely brownies and other mini desserts on offer. I had a sneaky glass of prosecco which felt a bit odd standing in the middle of the make-up counter. My favourite counter is Estee Lauder so I bagged myself a few freebies including their lovely primer which I’m using at the moment.

After speaking to Jennie from the Charity I was really intrigued by what they do for women who have had or are undergoing cancer treatment. So much so that I thought I would write a separate post about it. Another highlight of going was meeting Hayley from Sparkles and Stretchmarks. I’m so in awe of her blog and blogging achievements so it was awesome to meet her.

#whatwedidthisweek

Friday was a normal working day again but an early finish for me which was much needed. Don’t you think it’s odd that a four day week can feel much longer than the usual five day week.

Saturday (big sigh of relief) we slowly started the day with a boiled egg brekkie and staying in our pyjamas for a bit. We had arranged to meet the ‘dog-lady’ today who will hopefully look after Charlie when we go away in August. I felt quite nervous and really hoped that I liked her as she would potentially be looking after our precious boy. Chris laughs at me, but I feel quite (a lot) nervous about handing over Charlie whilst we go away.

I know that I’ve had two kids and have used childcare (that was an ordeal to start with) but with children you can at least reassure them that you’re coming back. A dog won’t understand that and might think that you’re never coming back. You may laugh (the dogless amongst us) but it’s really important to me that whilst we’re away he gets love, comfort and strokes from someone in our absence. Thankfully she was lovely with an amazing garden which Charlie christened! Our holiday isn’t until August but he’s going for a sleepover to see how Charlie gets on with her own dog, Betsy. Ha ha, this will feature next week!

Sunday we had another lazy start to the day with a scrambled egg brekkie followed by a dog walk and a bit of bike riding practice. Now that Isabelle has mastered her bike we’re thinking that she needs a slightly bigger and lighter bike. Why do kids bikes weigh a ton!

What did you get up to this week?

Lisa x

Devon Days Out – Fingle Bridge

Devon Days Out – Fingle Bridge, Dartmoor.

We’ve ticked off another from our Family Bucket List 2016! We went to Fingle Bridge on Dartmoor.

Since getting the dog a couple of years ago we love finding new places to walk him and thankfully Isabelle loves a good walk as long as we have the following:

Drinks
Snacks
Mud/Sand
Water

fingle_bridge

One of our fellow dog walkers recommended Fingle Bridge as a place to go with the dog and the littles. Lots of opportunity to paddle in water, lots of mud to splash and splodge in and being woodland lots of stones, twigs, acorns and other things to fill our pockets with.

We started off at the bridge noting the HUGE pub with it’s lovely setting and garden.

What to do!

The route that we took was not the easiest of walk with lots of tricky areas, huge muddy patches (thankfully we all managed to keep our shoes on our feet) and narrow rickety steps to contend with.

This was great for Isabelle who at five is slightly more fearless than we’d like her to be.

Charlie (our dog) was amazingly well behaved and loved to explore his new surroundings. We kept our beady eyes out for families with food as unfortunately at only two he’s still a total scavenger and will gatecrash, steal and run!

Strangely there were canvasses dotted around the place which kind of looked a bit odd, but Isabelle quite liked looking out for them.

The walk took us a good couple of hours with a picnic stop along the way.

Isabelle found a walking stick along the way which she held onto until we found a waterfall so she sent it on its way out to sea and wonders what country it will end up in.

It was a lovely day and we ended it by visiting the pub at the start (Fingle Bridge Inn).  We may even have to go back for the Duck Race which takes place in April/May of each year.

fingle bridge

For a full list of #southwestdaysout pop over for lots of inspirations on days out with the kids.

Lisa x

#whatwedidthisweek 10.04.17

#whatwedidthisweek 10.04.17

#whatwedidthisweek – I’ve missed doing this for a couple of week’s as I lost my whole entire blog for just over a week which was so unbelievably stressful, and then it took me about a week to catch up and get over the whole debacle (not sure why I added that word as I’ve never verbally used it before).

This week I’ve been off work with the little miss as it’s the Easter Holiday’s so we’ve had our fair share of much needed lazy mornings and yummy weekend style breakfasts.

Monday we didn’t have anything planned so we decided to take a road trip with Daddy as he’s a top sales dude. We ended up in Burnham-on-Sea where I don’t think I’ve visited before. It was so windy but that’s never stopped a trip to the beach for us. The sea was so far out that you couldn’t actually see it, but we had a nice walk along the seafront and Isabelle wrote our names in the sand. We found a cafe come chip-shop as I was really hungry and fancied some chips. How disappointed was I when we didn’t get ‘chip-shop chips’ but were served a plate of chunky home-fries style chips. However all was not lost as we had ice-cream on the beach and won a teddy in the arcade that came had a velcro stick-on tear that Isabelle named Max.

#whatwedidthisweek
We were treated to Isabelle singing us all the way home which she video’d for prosperity. The videos gave us quite a chuckle as you can hear Chris and I almost screaming over the top of her to shut-up!

Isabelle had a sleepover at Nanny and Papa’s (of her choosing) which she has only done a couple of times since she was born, but she was really excited and looking forward to it. Sleep and Isabelle are not two words that fit together in a sentence so this was as exciting for us as it was her.

Off she went with no problems, and we should have made the most of being in a child-free situation, but instead we had takeaway and vegged in front of the TV.

Tuesday, again being child-free should have been used a bit better but Daddy set off for work, and after a lovely walk with the dog I sat and updated blog post SEO and other tedious jobs.

Wednesday was definitely a stay at home day, as we had a catch up with the washing and other housey stuff so none too exciting.

On the plus side, or scary side we have confirmed the booking for Ryan’s 18th Birthday meal. His impending 18th birthday is really scaring the Shizzazzle out of me and making me feel about as old as can be. I hate having a teenage son!

Ha ha I need to rephrase that. Having Ryan as a son is great, but ME being a mum to an 18 year old makes me feel old and decrepit!

Wednesday did give me a little, actually BIG ‘fist pump’ moment. We have been accepted to be a Rainbow Awards Toy Tester. I love that Isabelle plays a part in my blog and her being given the opportunity to review toys is so cool. My kid is cool!

Thursday we had a park day with one of Isabelle’s friends, so I had the chance to have some adult conversation whilst the littles played. Following this I met with a friend whilst Daddy took both kids for their dental check-up. The dentist trip for the kids has to be done by Chris as I’m such a baby when it comes to the dentist. Just sitting in the waiting room sets my teeth on edge. It’s not great when you’re trying to coax a six year old into thinking that the dentists is a fun place to go ‘and you get a sticker’!

My friend and I sat and had a coffee and carrot cake in peace and quiet and had a much needed catch-up. She’s definitely one of those friends that I might not see for ages, but when we do it only feels like yesterday!

The kids came back from the dentist check-up with the good old thumbs up for the next six months. Isabelle had to have something removed from her teeth which got me worried, but it was just a piece of popcorn that I fed her before her check-up. Oops!

Friday we played on the trampoline and then Daddy took Isabelle out on her bike for a little de-rusting practice as she hasn’t been on it for a little while. We hadn’t realised how long her legs had got, but she definitely needs an upgrade.

Yesterday we started the day by making up chocolate truffle mixture for our Japanese Inspired Chocolate Truffles. We were sent some rather unusual ingredients by Yutaka along with some recipe ideas to make. Once this was in the fridge setting we went off out for a lovely dog walk along the river. Charlie went for a little paddle, only up to mid-leg though as we have a bit of a fradey-cat when it comes to water. We ended up at the Double Locks pub. It’s a great place to go when the weather is good, and it seems to have changed quite a bit since we last went with the addition of an outside bar and toilet block and it looks as if more work is being done as well.

#whatwedidthisweek

Easter Sunday started off with CHOCOLATE. The Easter Bunny had left a great easter treasure hunt for Isabelle which she found and loaded into her easter bucket at lightening speed. We’ve been waiting for Easter Sunday for about three weeks now, or should I say Isabelle has been waiting for Easter Sunday and we’ve been suffering along the way.

You see my MIL had her for the day about three weeks ago and they popped into Sainsbury’s where Isabelle spotted a DC Superhero Batgirl Doll and Nanny bought it for her – For Easter. Realising that she wasn’t getting the doll on the spot she had the mother of all temper tantrums which lasted from Sainsbury’s to The Range and then carried on at home.

This Barbie Doll has been the topic of conversation since then with her even going as far as making a Barbie Day countdown calendar, a Lego Batgirl house, and an every day question of ‘How many day’s is it til I get my Barbie Doll?’

#whatwedidthisweek

This morning we were on hourly countdown until we got to Nanny’s house, where at last she got the much wanted Barbie Doll and of course loads of chocolate!

Did you do anything interesting this week?

Lisa x

Sparkles & Stretchmarks Sunday Best

5 Japanese inspired Chocolate Truffle Recipes

5 Japanese inspired Chocolate Truffle Recipes

Easter is upon us and everywhere you look there is chocolate to be seen.

I love chocolate with dark chocolate being my favourite and when I was given the opportunity to try some Japanese inspired Chocolate Truffle recipes I jumped at the chance. The flavours we’re going to make are:

  • Miso Caramel – think salted caramel with a twist
  • Shaoxing Rice Wine – a warm, boozy hit
  • Wasabi Furikake – milder than chilli with the added crunch of sesame
  • Pickled Sushi Ginger – chocolate & ginger with the surprising tang of pickle
  • Yuzu – a hint of citrus

Japanese Inspired Chocolate Truffles

I have to be honest when I received a box of ingredients I was hard-pushed to imagine them paired with chocolate but here goes.

This is the list of items needed to make the truffles:

Good quality Dark Chocolate
Double Cream
Unsalted Butter
Truffle cases
Shaoxing rice wine warmed
Vermicelli
Yutaka Wasabi Furikake
Drinking chocolate
Yutaka sushi ginger
Cocoa
Yutaka Yuzu
White chocolate
Sugar
Water
Yutaka Miso
Pink salt crystals

Japanese Inspired Chocolate Truffles

Quite an interesting list of items, but this is to make five different flavoured truffles and will make approximately 30 – 36.

Chocolate Easter Truffles Recipe

200g dark good quality chocolate
60ml double cream
80g unsalted butter
Truffle cases

Method for all truffles

 In a double saucepan (or a Pyrex bowl in a saucepan), place chocolate, butter and cream. Heat through slowly until smooth whilst whisking. Remove from heat and divide into 5 equal portions, adding the various flavourings to each individual portion as below. Place in the fridge to set – overnight if possible.

Remove the various truffle mixes from the fridge and, with a teaspoon, scoop out a goodly amount. Roll into a ball and place on a plate (remembering to keeping the various flavours separate) and continue until all the mixture has been used.

Yutaka Shaoxing rice wine flavouring

2 tbs Shaoxing rice wine warmed
Vermicelli for coating

Yutaka Wasabi Furikake flavouring

2 tbs Yutaka Wasabi Furikake
Drinking chocolate for coating

Yutaka Pickled Sushi Ginger flavouring

2 tbs chopped Yutaka sushi ginger
Cocoa for coating

Roll the ginger truffles in cocoa and place in truffle cases.  Roll the Wasabi Furikake in drinking chocolate and the rice wine truffles in vermicelli and return to fridge.

Yutaka Yuzu flavouring

2 tsp Yutaka Yuzu
100g white chocolate – gently melted for coating

Using a double boiler (or Pyrex bowl in a saucepan) melt the white chocolate over a low heat and, when removed from the heat & cooled slightly, spoon over Yuzu truffles until coated.   You can use a cocktail stick pushed carefully into a truffle to help you turn and coat with the chocolate.  This needs patience!  Leave them to set on a plate.

Miso caramel sauce filling

75g sugar
25ml water
50ml double cream
1 tbs Yutaka Miso
100g dark chocolate – gently melted for coating
Pink salt crystals for sprinkling on the top

Miso caramel flavouring method

Put sugar and water in a heavy bottomed saucepan, stir and leave on a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until caramel in colour. Carefully add double cream (it will hiss a little) and whisk whilst off the heat, add miso paste and whisk thoroughly until smooth. Add 2 tbs of miso caramel sauce to the remaining truffle mixture.  The remainder of the sauce saved and used over ice cream for a delicious dessert.

Melt the dark chocolate and coat the Miso caramel truffles using a cocktail stick pushed carefully into a truffle to help you turn and coat with the chocolate.    Sprinkle a couple of pink salt crystals on the top.

We made up the five different flavours and left them in the fridge whilst we went out for the day. Three of them were fairly easy to mould into ball shapes, but the Shaoxing rice wine flavour and the Pickled Sushi Ginger were quite tacky still.

We thought it was quite fun smelling all of the ingredients and wondering how the truffles were going to taste. I thought that the Shaoxing rice wine smelt quite nice. We all agreed that the Wasabi Furikake smelt awful and Daddy and I had a taste of it neat which was a bit of an experience for the tastebuds.

These are our lovely looking truffles all ready to be tried.

Japanese Inspired Chocolate Truffles

Miso Caramel – We all agreed that it was quite salty, but not in a bad way so this one gets the thumbs up.

Shaoxing Rice Wine – This one was up there as one of our favourites.

Wasabi Furikake  – We were all very nervous about this one. We gave it to Ryan without telling him what it was which he wasn’t impressed by. For me this felt like attempting a ‘Bush Tucker Trial’ so I only had a very little taste. Now that we’ve ticked this off our list of tried and tested I don’t think we would go for this one again. Daddy is very keen to use this in savoury cooking though.

Pickled Sushi Ginger – I wasn’t too sure that I would like this one as it seemed like a lot of ginger, but surprisingly it was a nice hit of ginger.

Yuzu – This was up there as our other favourite. I think the white chocolate made this the prettiest one as well.

This was definitely a taste experience for us all which we enjoyed.

Lisa x

*We were gifted the ingredients by Yutaka for the purpose of this review but all the opinions are our own.

 

 

Craft – Easter Pom Pom Painting

Easter Pom Pom Painting.

With each school holiday, the craft box inevitably comes out especially if it’s raining.

Isabelle loves all crafts so I use Pinterest as my inspiration for new ideas for us to do together.

Easter Pom Pom Painting

I saw the pom pom painting and wondered if it might have been a little bit young for her at six, but she absolutely loved the idea.

What I tend to do now is set up our ‘station’ with all the materials that we need and usually she’s over the moon at having something new to try.

What you will need:

White card
Wooden pegs
Poster paint
Craft Pom Poms

Pinch a pom pom with a wooden peg and allocate to the colour. You will need the same number of pegs and pom poms for each colour you choose.

Easter Pom Pom Painting

Drawing an egg shape onto the card, use the pom poms to create a pattern of your choice.

Easter Pom Pom Painting

Isabelle mixed it up a little bit by using different sized pom poms.

For younger children and pre-schoolers this would promote good hand eye co-ordination. Isabelle took it one step further by creating not just Easter Eggs, but dinosaur and alien eggs as well.

Easter Pom Pom Painting

Once the eggs were dry we cut them out. I was going to make them into Easter Bunting but Isabelle thought that it would be a good idea to make an Easter Egg hide and seek game so we did that instead.

Easter Pom Pom Painting

Happy Easter!

Lisa x

White Chocolate & Strawberry Cheesecake Cups

White Chocolate & Strawberry Cheesecake Cups

White Chocolate and Strawberry Cheesecake Cups – What’s better than a recipe that you don’t have to cook. I’m pretty sure that I don’t know anybody who doesn’t like cheesecake or if I do they haven’t mentioned it. What’s not to like, Yummy creamy topping on an even yummier biscuity base (which if you’re the one serving you get to have extra – servers rights) and fruit. Fab combination!

Strawberry Cheesecake Cups

What you will need:

For the filling

150g White Chocolate
25g Butter
1/2 Teaspoon vanilla extract
200g Cream Cheese
25g Icing Sugar
50mls Double cream, whipped
1 Punnet Strawberries

For the base:

Half a pack digestive biscuits
50g Butter, melted

For the base, put the biscuits in a freezer bag and using a rolling pin crush the biscuits. Add the crushed biscuits to the melted butter.

Strawberry Cheesecake Cups

Put 12 cupcakes cases into a cupcake tray and add a spoonful of biscuit base to each case. Put into the fridge to chill whilst you prepare the topping.

Strawberry Cheesecake Cups

Melt the white chocolate, butter and vanilla extract in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Making sure that the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Once all the ingredients are melted, take off the heat and stir to make a smooth mixture and set aside to cool.

Strawberry Cheesecake Cups

In another bowl add the cream cheese, icing sugar (sifted) and cream until smooth.

Add the chocolate mixture to the cream cheese mixture.

Strawberry Cheesecake Cups

Take about half the punnet of strawberries, wash and chop off the tops and cut into very small pieces before adding them to the cream cheese mixture.

Strawberry Cheesecake Cups

Top the biscuit base cases with the cream cheese mixture and put in the fridge for approximately 4 hours. Top each cheesecake cup with a quartered strawberry and serve.

And there you have lovely little scrummy White Chocolate & Strawberry Cheesecake Cups.

Strawberry Cheesecake Cups

Enjoy!

Lisa

11 Easter Activities in the South West

11 Easter Activities in the South West

It’s Easter Holiday time and definitely time to get out and about with the kids. The weather should be a lot better, although Saturday was definitely a cinema day with torrential rain. Here are 11 Easter Activities in the South West that I’ve found.

Easter Activities in the South West

We have a half work, half time off Easter Holiday’s this year but here are some great ideas to get out and about with the kids in the South West.

Easter Activities in the South West

1. Egg-citing Easter Dinosaur Egg Hunt 1st – 16th April – Seaton Jurassic.
£1 for a clue sheet – Just complete the trail and claim your prize!

Easter Activities in the South West
2. Easter Egg Hunt – The Miniature Pony Centre 14th, 16th and 17th April
As well as all the usual fun stuff to do at the pony centre including pony rides, indoor and outdoor play they are holding an Easter Egg Hunt with a fancy dress theme and entertainment from Dan the Hat and Jack’s Zoo.

Easter Activities in the SouthWest

3. Easter Activities at World of Country Life – 1st – 17th April
There’s loads of stuff going on at the World of Country Life including Easter themed arts and crafts, meet the Easter Bunny, Ferret racing, an Easter Egg Hunt and The Chicken Run (which is a surprise event).

Easter Activities in the South West

4. Crealy Mega Easter Egg Hunt – 14th – 17th April
Once you’re in, collect you map and go and find the stamps. Find all the stamps and receive 1 of 10000 eggs that they’re giving away!

Easter Activities in the South West

5. Exeter Racecourse Family Day 11th April
Lots of family fun including meeting Sid and Scrat from Ice Age, Dartmoor Ponies, Children’s races, facepainting, meet the jockeys and lots more.

Easter Activities in the South West

6. Easter Fun at Pennywell Farm – 15th – 17th April
Join in the Giant Easter Egg Hunt, Egg Rolling, Egg Tossing and guess the weight of the Easter Egg as well as meeting and feeding the animals. If you go on Good Friday before 11am you may be lucky enough to get a free hot cross bun with your cuppa.

Easter Activities in the South West

7. Easter Egg Trail at Powderham Castle – 14th – 17th April
Join in the Easter Egg trail and receive a chocolaty treat from Chococo!

8. Various Kids Activities in Exeter City Centre 11th – 14th April 
Join in with Easter Crafts, street food, face painting and balloons at various places including Sidwell Street, McCoys Arcade and Harlequins Shopping Centre. Many of these are FREE as well.

9. Easter Egg Hunt at Poltimore House – 9th April
Enjoy walking round the grounds, hot cross buns and let the children go and look for the chicken’s and eggs.

Easter Activities in the South WEst

10. Cadbury’s Easter Egg Hunt at Killerton House – 1st – 20th April
Search the grounds for the eggs and collect your Cadbury treat at the end. Don’t forget to visit the cool bear house!

11. Easter inspired crafts at Bunyipbeads – 4th – 13th April
Enjoy some Easter inspired decoupage, cross stitch and bracelet making. Booking is required and recommended age group is 6 – 16 years.

Whatever you do make sure that it’s Egg-citing!

Lisa x

Devon Days Out – Killerton National Trust

Devon Days Out – Killerton National Trust

Living in the South West we have beautiful surroundings and loads of things to do with the kids.

Since getting our lovely Labradoodle (now 3) a lot of our days out are places that the kids can have fun and the dog gets walked at the same time. We pack the car up with food, drinks, wellies, dog treats and plenty of pooh bags and off we go.

Friends of ours recommended Killerton ages ago but it was only on Bank Holiday Monday that we went for the first time, and it definitely won’t be the last.

Killerton is a National Trust Property with lots to offer.

Killerton National Trust

It was a nice surprise when we arrived that they were hosting the Cadbury’s Easter Egg Hunt. So off we set looking for clues…..

You had to collect letters to make a word at the end to claim your Chocolate prize.

Amazing Outdoor Space

There are parts where the dog wasn’t allowed so Daddy did a bit of walking whilst we carried on the hunt and came across the Bear Hut where a real bear was kept by the family in the 19th century. The picture on the right was the walls and the ceiling inside the hut.

The whole place was beautiful with lots of places for Isabelle to stretch her legs and climb on.

We didn’t venture inside the house as we had Charlie, so we’ll have to make a trip back without him so we can have a look around and stay for tea and cake.

After hiding under a tree during a huge downpour with hailstone we found this low rainbow in font of the chapel.

All in all it was a great day and we’ll be going back again soon.

 

 

5 Ways to Make Some Extra Money in 2017

5 Ways to Make Some Extra Money in 2017

*This is a sponsored post

Whether you spent way too much at Christmas or your New Year’s resolution is to be more sensible with your finances, making some extra money wherever possible will be extremely beneficial.

Not everyone is lucky enough to bring in a monthly salary that allows them to live a care-free life, so saving and finding ways to profit by other means is an ideal way to stay financially afloat in 2017.

5 Ways To Make Money in 2017

 

You may be surprised to find that there are many ways of making some extra cash here and there — some of which are already right under your nose. From renting rooms and parking spaces to selling jewellery for cash, let’s take a look at five ways for you to earn some extra money this year.

  1. Sell Your Junk via Online Marketplaces

If you’re someone who tends to be a little bit rubbish at throwing things away — which, let’s face it, most of us are — you could be making a decent profit from old things you have no use for. Online marketplaces like eBay and Gumtree are an absolute goldmine to find some cheap deals, and therefore as a seller, items you have in good enough condition to sell will be worth something to someone.

While you may not make a fortune from each item individually, you’ll soon accumulate a tidy sum if you manage to sell enough of your old stuff. Anything that you own and no longer have a use for is worth putting up for sale online. You never know who’s out there looking for some cheap furniture for their new flat, or for some reason have taken a shine to the cuckoo clock that you received from a barmy relative.

  1. Recycle Old Mobile Phones

A new model of iPhone and various Androids are released every year, and many people feel the need to have the new model as soon as it comes out, leaving behind a large number of relatively new phones that become unused. If you are one of these people and you’ve struggled to sell your old phone or haven’t bothered to sell it at all, you should think about recycling it.

There are a bunch of sites that offer cash for old mobiles, and if you have a fairly recent model to trade in, you could come away with £200-£300. That type of money would go a long way to paying off monthly bills or be a nice little addition to your savings.

  1. Sell Old Jewellery

Jewellery is one of those belongings that people seem to hoard, often without even realising how big their stash has become. Selling jewellery can be a tricky task, as without a proper appraisal, you’ll be unsure whether you’re getting a good deal or not. This could well be the reason why your pile of treasures has continued to grow.

If you’re selling jewellery and are looking for a way to get them appraised before money changes hands, seeking out a cash for gold company is a good way to have a precious metals expert take a look at what you’ve got and give you a quote. It’s worth doing a bit of homework, because the higher-quality companies have a price match scheme and will match any company that offers you more.

Postal gold services are a really great way of selling jewellery for cash, especially if you don’t have much time on your hands and want a quick and easy process. They’ll send you an insured, first-class envelope, so all you have to do is put your items in and send it off. You’ll usually get a quote within 24 hours. Simple!

  1. Rent Out Your Parking Space

A lot of houses and flats these days will come with an assigned parking space, but many of these spaces remain unused by people who don’t drive or do not own a car. If this is the case and you live in a city where parking is expensive or scarce, renting out your parking space could prove to be a straightforward and efficient way of making money.

If you live in a big city like London, people will be coming far and wide for all different reasons. One prime example is football fans heading to the city to watch a game. They will have already spent a hefty amount on tickets, fuel and potentially overnight accommodation, so a cheap parking space in the city would be an ideal way to save money.

  1. Rent Out a Spare Room/Airbnb

If you have a spare bedroom that currently has the purpose of being a dumping ground for old junk, a walk-in wardrobe, or makeshift man cave, you’re wasting an opportunity to gain a bit of extra income.

Having a clear-out and putting together a basic spare bedroom won’t cost you much at all, and the potential it will then have to bring in a hefty sum while charging rent is too good to pass up.

Another option is Airbnb, a site that allows you to rent out your living space to people who are planning a visit to your town or city. This can be especially profitable if you happen to live in an area that’s more popular with tourists — and you can even rent out your garden or nearby land for campers to pitch their tents.

Although money isn’t the be all and end all of life, if you ask a room full of people who would like to be earning more money, you would get a room full of raised hands. Finding ways to make some extra cash, whether it’s through selling jewellery and old belongings or renting out a living space, will prove to be extremely useful for relieving some of the stress of bills or other future endeavours.

Lisa

www.babynotincluded.co.uk 

Mila & Pheebs Kids Boxes

Mila & Pheebs Kids Box Review

One of the things that Isabelle and I like to do together is arts and crafts. There isn’t a day that goes by without Isabelle drawing a picture, colouring or making something.

Arts and crafts is our go to thing to do when we haven’t got anything planned or it’s pouring down with rain.

Mila & Pheebs Stationery & Activity Box Review

 

Mila & Pheebs Stationery and Activity Kids Box

Isabelle has inherited my love of stationery, and like me loves pens, notebooks, folders, clipboards and little pots of paperclips that we may never use.

When we were asked to review a Mila & Pheebs Stationery and Activity box we were very excited.

You can subscribe to Mila & Pheebs so that each month your child gets a surprise themed box through the post addressed to themselves with lots of lovely goodies inside. Even better, the box fits through the letterbox so theres no chance of missing the postie and having to collect it from somewhere.

One of the other things that Isabelle is obsessed with at the moment is kids Youtube videos. She usually watches surprise boxes being opened which are mostly American Girls opening ‘blind bags’ which contain all kinds of Disney Princesses, Shopkins or other such things.

Recently she’s started to talk in an American accent, and I’ve caught her loads of times pretending to make her own videos so I thought I’d give her a chance to have her 15 minutes of fave and let her introduce what came in the Mila & Pheebs box so over to Belle!

I’m a huge fan of kits like this which can easily be packed away to do on a journey, taken to Grandparents house or brought out for rainy days.

Each box is packed full of all you would need to complete the task and has several different things in the box to do.

We got:

  • A pencil with a donkey rubber topper
  • A really cute cow rubber which comes apart (including detachable nose)
  • Colouring-in sheets
  • A horse hand puppet kit
  • Animal shaped crayons (Isabelle called these rubbers in the video)
  • Farm Animal foam stickers
  • A maze and wordsearch sheet
  • A piggy notepad with pigs to colour in
  • Plain cards and envelopes
  • Sheep decoration kit
  • A felt chicken paperclip (might have pinched that)
  • Glittery farm animal stickers

So as you can see, you get a lot for your money.

Mila and Pheebs Review

You can subscribe to the boxes which you will receive each month, and each month has a different theme. You can also unsubscribe at any time for times when you may be away. There is also an option to buy a one off which would make a lovely gift.

We had great fun making the horse which we did on a day after school when the weather was a bit pants and Isabelle fancied something fun to do. I was quite intrigued watching her with her concentration face on, determined to do the sewing part from beginning to end.

Mila and Pheebs Review

 

Mila and Pheebs Review

The Mila & Pheebs Stationery and Activity Box gets the thumbs up from us!

AND if you like what you’ve seen/read then you can get 10% OFF your first subscription by adding ‘babynotincluded’ until 31st March – would make a fab Easter Egg alternative.

Lisa x

*We were sent a Mila & Pheebs Stationery and Activity box free of charge for the purpose of review. All thoughts and opinions are 80% Isabelle’s and 20% mine.