One of these gift ideas is sure to make mum happy this Mothers Day

If you’ve left buying your Mothers Day gift to last-minute, I’ve put together a sprinkling of fail safe gifts which will get you out of hot water and show just how much you care. From essential oil based natural body care which is free from synthetics to beautiful (and not bad priced ) jewellery sets and my own personal choice of flower delivery service. Keep reading and there’s a little giveaway treat at the end too!

Pia Jewellery 

Affordable and stylish , this 9ct rose gold-plated sterling silver ring, earrings and pendant with  faceted rose quartz is an alternative to gold and silver costume jewellery. Each piece comes beautifully presented and packaged making it positively perfect to give as a gift!

Oleo Bodycare

I’m a huge Oleo Bodycare fan. Hand blended without using harmful chemicals or synthetics. It uses pure essential oils so you have the added benefit of the power of each oil and they smell divine! The Hand and Body treat kit is top of my list.

Oleo body care is top on my list for a Mothers Day gift

Serenata Flowers

I’m a sucker for a bunch of flowers, I love how they brighten a room breathing life and colour. Always a welcome sight in my calm, grey decor. And when I want to share some floral love with someone who lives away, I nearly always use Serenata Flowers. The text message updates for leaving the warehouse and once they’ve been delivered is really reassuring that they’re A; going to make it on time and B; they’ve reached their destination.

Oleo body care is top on my list for a Mothers Day gift

And as a little treat to you for being such a kind, caring individual and putting some thought into showing mum they’re still your number one, why not try your luck in this giveaway? Pia Jewellery are offering one lucky winner a £50 voucher to spend on their website.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Open to UK residents over the ager of 18 only.

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have you got some ooops moments to share?

I’m not going to beat around the bush (s’cues the pun!) I’m sure you’ve seen the advert below already. I just love the approach that lights by TENA have taken in sharing some oooops moments!

C’est la vie, it happens!

With 1 in 3 women having  light bladder weakness, there’s a chance that many of you reading this will be one of them. It can be the result of many things but for many it’s (one of ) the dreaded side effects of pregnancy.  Childbirth isn’t called labour for nothing, it’s bloody hard work, the hardest thing a woman will probably do and caesarian sections aren’t by any means any easier.

So I guess the point I’m trying to make is that pregnancy pushes your body through momentous changes and what ever way your baby enters the world, you’ve carried round a water melon for many (ok, not so much of the many, but when you’re pregnant if feels like forever) months. All that weight is going to have a effect on your muscles, surely.

And did you do your pelvic floor exercises religiously? (hands up who’s actually doing it right now) If you did, great stuff. You can probably leave it here and head off back to Facebook as the rest of this blog post is aimed at those who forgot, the ladies who were thinking about how life was about to go belly up rather than practice a few squeezie exercises (keep squeezing) which wasn’t going to give them a flatter stomach, bust their bingo wings or tighten up the junk in your trunk.

Because you can’t really see what’s going on can you? And is one of those exercises that you wish you’d done in hindsight, when it’s too late and when you know exactly what I’m on about when I talk about Oooops moments and when trampolines and running races are definitely out of the question! (keep squeezing)

The C’est la vie advert lets women know that light bladder weakness is not something to worry about and something they should be able to say C’est la vie to. And that lights by Tena (the liner which you can use to deal with those moments) is now 5 times drier than before and contains FeelFresh Technology™ to lock in moisture and controls odour.

Lights by TENA are currently hosting a Facebook competition inviting you to share their own Oooops moment for a chance to win up to seven prizes. (The prizes include six £100 Debenhams voucher and a grand prize of a spa break for 2. Winners will be announced on a weekly basis.)

This can be a clothes mishap, forgetting lipstick on your tooth or light bladder weakness. (mine was sitting through a whole midwife appointment with a Gavison tell tale smile, but if you ask my husband there’s probably a whole book’s worth! )

Then after you’ve shared your Oooops moments on the lights by TENA Facebook  page, you can scoot gently over to get your  free samples over at their website.

(You can stop squeezing now. )

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Trying out the new Kettle Bites Waves

I’m always keen to see what’s new on the food market.  I’m a marketer’s dream; easily swayed, convinced by the blurb and the first in line to try something new and trying out the new Kettle Bite Waves from my old crisp fave Kettle Chips was no exception. And it’s not just little old me who’s been trying the maple barbecue flavour, as a mumbassador for Talk To Mums I’ve been handing out samples to slightly-suspecting East Devon mums in return for some feedback and a ‘proof-I-didn’t-eat-them-all photo’. (No such thing as a free lunch ladies!)

It’s been a busy few weeks, I’ve been stopping mums in the streets, taking over toddler groups and popping into Slimming World. Kettle has a reputation which proceeds them, and a good one at that, so all but a few were all to happy to whip them from my offering hands.

Championing the low-fat and low-calorie message, Kettle Bites are a great alternative to a cheeky biscuit. With only 95 calories per pack and 50% less fat than standard salty crisps they’re

A lighter snack without compromising on great taste. Using real food ingredients, this sweet and smoky pairing is full of flavour; bringing together maple syrup with tomato, red pepper and paprika  on a crisp and crunchy wholegrain wave.

Kettlefoods.com

Trying out the new Kettle Bites Waves

Opinions and ideas for using Kettle Bites

My initial reaction was how light the bag felt and was slightly concerned that one bag wouldn’t be enough but this simply wasn’t the case at all. Due to the nature of the wholegrain texture and the abundance of flavour one packet was more than enough.

 

I’m already a barbecue flavouring fan and the sweet, tomato-y taste is a nice partner to the wholegrain crunch. Initial reactions from mums varied from

“wow, really nice” “love them” “Are you sure they’re low-fat, they don’t taste like other low-fat foods”

to

“I like how healthy they taste compared to other crisps” “they have a really nice thick crunch to them” “They taste like grown up crisps!”

and

“I like how natural the flavouring is, there’s just enough in a bag and I love that I didn’t have post crisp guilt afterwards!”

There were a couple, and only a couple, I should add, that really didn’t like them purely down to the flavour and not being a barbecue fan in the first place.

And Kettle Bite Waves as a snack didn’t just end there. One mum ate hers with a sour cream dip, another as a crumble over salad to give a kick of crunch and flavour. My biggest surprise was a suggestion to crush them and use as a topping on macaroni cheese. I love that idea!

trying out the new Kettle Bites

Can’t smile, I’m eating!

And own personal favourite way to enjoy these crisps, other than straight from the bag, is dipping into to a bowl of soft cream cheese layered with sweet chilli sauce. Who ever said fast food was bad for you have never scooped out a spoon full of Philadelphia on a plate, squeezed on some sauce and enjoyed an alfresco lunch in less than 3 minutes!

Trying out the new Kettle Bites Waves

I’ll just leave this here…

So it’s safe to say that the world is a little brighter, some might say lighter, place now 500 Devon mums have tasted the delights of Kettle Bites Waves.

Trying out the new Kettle Bites Waves

Disclaimer

I was sent a rather large batch of Kettle Bites Waves to try and share with other mums, all words and quotes are genuine feedback from those mums. 

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do you encourage your child to wear sunglasses? There's some iterating comments on this post about sun safety

I’ve always been conscious about the importance of Slip, Slap, Slop, Seek, Slide when it comes to keeping not only my children but myself safe in the sun.  If you’re new to this parenting lark or have simply never come across this message before it’s a quick way to remind you to

slip on a shirt

slap on a hat

slop on some suncream

seek some shade

slide on some sun glasses

Originating from a SunSmart campaign by the Australian cancer council, it didn’t really start making waves in Britain until 2011 but it’s such an important message that we should be chanting it at the very hint of summer (however illusive it can be over here!)

It was actually a cold, wet and miserable day when I began writing this but I decided it was an important topic to share along with the idea on whether you should encourage children to wear sunglasses, or sunnies as they’re known in Chez Nutshell.

And the catalyst for this brain wave was a comment I received when my toddler was a very little baby. Probably not intended to scorn, it struck me none the less as more the ignorance of the dangers of the sun and how the message still wasn’t getting across.

Babies, Sunglasses and Opinions

 It was back in 2014 on a glorious summer morning and I’d taken my 8 week old baby out for a trip to the beach. Avoiding the mid day sun as recommended, I wanted to get out and being the velcro baby he was, our only option to get from A-B in foot was with a sling. So I popped on a long-sleeved cotton t-shirt, a wide rimmed cotton hat and some baby sun glasses called Baby Bandz  which were designed for, you guessed it, babies.

My aim was to protect his developing eyes from the sun. Simples.

The comment however, was about being an over protective mum.

It’s not that I was annoyed by the comment, as it stands, I don’t think there is anything wrong by being protective and often the lines between motherhood, love and protection are very blurred. My annoyance was the ignorance than it was seen as acceptable for an adult to wear sunglasses but should you make you child wear them then you were doing something out of  the ordinary.

I was reminded me of this comment when buying some funky Raybans for my pre teen. Every year I’ve bought my boys sunglasses in the hope they’ll wear them but more often than not they’ve sat in a draw after the initial excitement has passed. Despite me reminding them, they’ve always been a little hesitant, not wanting to appear different from their friends. Or so I thought.

In true sibling style, my eldest son decided he wanted some too. And when I reminded him of all the pairs I’d bought over the years which weren’t worn. He explained that last year’s were uncomfortable and he couldn’t see through them properly.

So THAT was where I think I went wrong. Cheapie, bargain loving me, not wanting to waste money but feeling mum guilt at not getting them, may as well have thrown money down the drain. But I needed hard evidence that I needed to be spending a little more of my hard-earned cash, so I researched  babies, children and sunglasses.

This is why you Should encourage your children to wear sunglasses

So where’s the evidence?

The advise was a resounding avoid cheap sunglasses.

The cornea, lens and fluids are clearer in a child’s eye than in an adult’s which allows more short wavelength light to reach the retina, which can lead to cataracts in later life.

Sunglasses need to be CE kite marked and block out 99% of the suns harmful rays and as children tend to spend more time outside than adults, it is thought that up to 80% of sun exposure takes place before the age of 18. (more on that can be found in this article at Made For Mums)

So I’m stepping out of my comfort zone this year and investing in some decent ones which they will wear. I’m hoping getting them a style they chose them selves will encourage them to not only take a little extra care of them. But also actually leave the house wearing them.

I’m rarely seen out and about at the hint of sunshine without my signature shades so we’re sending out the right messages. So this summer I will be making sure my children wear sunglasses as well as slopping on the sunscreen and all the other sun safe factors they need.

And if I’m an over protective mum for taking care of my children’s future vision, then so be it!

sunglasses

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thoughtful Mothers day gifts

While having a conversation with my husband last week about how the age of chivalry is dead, it occurred to me that I’d been giving all the wrong signals and with mother’s day fast approaching that’s not good!

I might be only female in our house but that doesn’t stop me mucking in and doing everything the males do. I’m more than happy lugging logs down from the log pile at the top of the garden or getting on and doing diy tasks which I know I can do, hell, I even walk the dog in the pouring rain when the rest of team blue fold laundry and prepare dinner.

That said, I do like to be treated like a lady from time to time and Mother’s Day is always the best day for my boys (and husband) to make me feel extra special, a break from daily chores with homemade cards and a coffee in bed will usually do the trick.

I do like flowers, if money were no object I’d have a fresh bunch every week. I’m also a complete chocoholic, some may even say connoisseur and I’m quite partial to a little thoughtful and meaningful gift. But if I’m being really honest, the latter does it for me every time and  it’s the thought which really counts.

So if you’re looking to get your mum (or wife if the children are young) a meaningful gift and score some serious brownie points try one of these ideas;

A Personalised print of typography

This is the perfect way to show how much you really know someone. You just think of 10 words which are unique to you both and they’re preserved forever within a beautiful piece of wall art. I created one of these for my husband on our anniversary, what I love the most about it is that only we know the meaning of it. you could think up some words from when you were younger, family holidays or just members of your family. (mine came from Toxic Fox but you could also try Not On The High Street or creating your own by downloading an app and printing it off. My boss made me a lovely one from a Twinkl download last year )
A lush personalised wedding gift, this typography print shows you've given some serious thought to the lucky recipient.

High Tea in a local hotel

While everyone is lunching out why not do something a little different and go for high tea instead? I recently did this and it was so much more relaxing than a lunch. We sat over looking Sidmouth bay drinking tea, eating mini rectangular sandwiches and nibbling on cake, eclairs and scones. It was an afternoon of complete gluttony and not something I would do very often but it really was a fantastic way to spend the afternoon.

thoughtful Mothers day gifts

Handcream

Now I did question whether this was a sign of growing up (notice I said up and not old) now that I appreciate a good quality hand cream. I think it goes back to remembering my mum buying my Nanna some for Christmas, but either way, I always have a tube by my bed, every sink and in my changing bag. Not only is it a relief for dryness it’s also makes you smell good and is a nice alternative to perfume. There’s some really lovely ones out there with Cath Kidston, Neil’s Yard and l’Occitane being my favourites.  I’ using Australian brand for dry skin called Hopes which works wonders as just before bed cream and smells pretty divine too, even if it does look a little industrious! (I’ve also managed to bag you a 20% off code HOPE20)

A year of surprises

And finally, of you really want to show your nearest and dearest just how much they mean to you, why not spread out the love throughout the year with a whole year of surprises. My sister, brother and I did this for our mum and she looks forward to finding out what’s in store each month, Buy a pack of 12 sheets of pretty paper (I got mine from ebay in the scrap-book section) and some envelopes then each month write your surprise down. You don’t have to decide them all straight away and look out for Groupon offers. It could be something as simple as a picnic and walk in the park or as extravagant as a weekend away. The ideas are down to you and your budget.

A year of surprises as an alternative and thoughtful gift

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