It’s here! Our new Sainsburys store is open :)

As you’ll know from my previous post I’ve been eagerly awaiting the opening of our new Sainsburys store.  I’ve really missed not having their store in the town I live in, I love the choice they offer, quality and also the fab TU clothing range, especially for an ever-growing Monkey.

So as soon as I’d dropped Monkey off at pre-school yesterday morning I zoomed into town to have a quick look around our new store on its first morning.  Sadly, by the time I got into town at 8.50am I’d missed the grand opening, but the buzz outside the store was lovely to see on a bright sunny morning.  Yes, I was not alone in being rather excited.

I was eager to get inside for a look around, I will do a more thorough shop later in the month, but I was really eager to look at the clothing in particular. I grabbed my trolley (you will need a £1.00 coin for them) and headed up the travelator to the mezzanine floor which houses the clothing and homeware goods.

Choice!  Lots of choice, bright, light and airy with lots of room to move.  You don’t feel crammed in, great on a busy opening day morning.  As you all know Monkey loves his tractors and vehicles so I was thrilled to find him a new winter coat, mac and wellies – which he loves.  Yes, I do like to be prepared!

I’ve always bought Monkey’s winter coats from the TU range, and have been really impressed by how well they’ve withstood his misuse, so he is now ready for this winter.  The mac will be great too, as it packs away into itself and as his feet never stop growing, he now has new wellies too!

I needed to finish off his uniform for School Nursery which he starts in September, so found him the necessary polo shirts. All ready for school nursery All ready for school nursery

Then I was back down the travelator to have a brief look around the main store – each trolley had a great ‘where to find’ guide …..

I loved the wide aisles, no trolley clashing here. The store is very light, just as you’d expect.  Monkey loves the Goodies Oaty bars, I found them easily – how refreshing to have a choice of flavours.  I got some fresh chicken for dinner and some sandwiches for us to eat on our trip to London that afternoon.

I will be back very soon for a full shop.  I know I’m not alone in loving our new Sainsburys Store – my personal Facebook feed was buzzing with it all day yesterday 🙂

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Discovery Foods are on Instagram – join their competition

I am not alone in joining Instagram this month.

I’ve been joined by Discovery Foods who are celebrating all this month (July 2013) by offering us all to get creative in the kitchen with their products – what do you need to do?

Basically, create your meal using Discovery Foods products and share your photo on their Instagram page here.  Then you can be in with a chance of winning one of 10 prizes to the value of £25.00 every week during July 2013.

How fab is that!  Now I’ve got my brand new Iphone I’ve joined Instagram too and this is my entry from earlier in the week – Beef strips coated in Fajita Seasoning mix, stir fried with peppers, mushrooms and red onion, served with brown rice and kidney beans, topped with a generous amount of Soured Cream – yum yum. It tasted delicious.

Feel free to link up with me as I start my Instagram journey too 🙂


disclaimer:  we were sent the products shown for the purpose of review and to announce this competition, our comments however, remain our own honest thoughts.


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Tractor Ted – Book Review – Activity Book 1

We’ve been reviewing a number of Tractor Ted DVD’s and books over the last few weeks and the final review is for the Tractor Ted’s Activity Book 1. Tractor Ted's Activity Book 1 Tractor Ted’s Activity Book 1

As with the other Tractor Ted books we’ve reviewed this book is full of great photographs of the animals and machinery you find in Tractorland.  There are over 30 pages of activities within the books, and as with all Tractor Ted books the pages are quite heavyweight so not easy for children to tear!

You can count to Ten and learn to write the numbers ……


Look at Opposites ……


Match animals to feet, as well as fields machines …….


Do some colouring in ……..


and if you are really clever you can play Spot the Difference …….

DSC09753You can also play Who’s the odd one out and at the very end of the book there are a couple of recipes to try out.

Monkey is just over 3 and half years now, and this book is already keeping him entertained and it will come in very handy as he learns to write his numbers.

As with all the Tractor Ted books we’ve reviewed I can thoroughly recommend this book for any animal and/or tractor mad fan out there.  Fun and learning – what more can you ask for?  Currently priced at £4.99 (2013 price) this would make a great addition to any holiday rucksack!

disclaimer:  we were sent this book for the purpose of review, our comments however, remain our own honest thoughts.

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Winner announced – Pork Farms Your Pie Your Way campaign – A Pork Farms Giveaway

I’m pleased to announce that Rafflecopter has selected a winner – Anthea Holloway!  Well done and congratulations.  I’ve emailed you this morning for your details.

Thanks to everyone who joined in with my first ever competition.  Watch this space as I’m sure I’ll have something new to announce soon.

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I left my brain at home today

I left my brain at home today! FACT.

I am usually extremely organised, if I’m going somewhere – I know exactly how to get there, where I can park (this is always a major stress for me as I can’t parallel or reverse park at all – life is now too short to stress learning), how long the journey will take, make sure I have contact numbers etc etc etc.

Today, that all went out of the window, today was not a good day.

Monkey and I had been invited to the London HQ of Egmont for a new APP launch (more to follow on that in a separate post.  I’d checked if there was on-site parking – no, ok, how could I do this without stressing about parking as I really wanted to go.

I looked on the internet and saw that they are actually very close to the Westfield Shopping Centre – so I checked again, if I parked there (no stress) was the office really as close as it looked (walking with a 3 and half-year old etc etc) – yes, just across the road.  Lovely – sorted!

We needed to be in London for 1.30, so I picked Monkey up from pre-school at 11.30, got him changed there, and put him in the car.  I decided we could drive down, park, have a sandwich and still have plenty of time to walk to the office.  I set the Sat Nav going and off we went.

All was going rather well until I realised that the Sat Nav seemed to be jammed!  Ok, don’t panic, I roughly knew where Westfield was so kept going, and luckily came to some traffic lights on Red so managed to quickly re-set the Sat Nav and it jumped back into life – phew.

We got parked at Westfield (easily – thank you god) – rather larger shopping centre than a country bumpkin had appreciated., ate our lunch, still had loads of time to get to the office.

Perhaps I should point out – that I don’t do LATE, I am obsessive about being on-time, which normally means I’m everywhere much earlier than I need to be!

I did have a little niggle in the back of my head, hope I get out at the right side of the Centre, no, it’ll be fine.  Oh dear – fatal mistake.  I found the Concierge Desk and asked a lovely man if he could point me in the right direction – how do I get out of the Centre, and I need to be here – showed him the address.  Uum, I’m not sure, I don’t live locally.  He looked on his computer, got the Centre map out and told me to go up 2 flights, right across the Centre and out the other side and I’d find it.

So we end up at the other end of the Centre, outside, I can’t see the road I need to be at, and NO-ONE knows where it is, I’m in the wrong postcode – I know, I live in the Shires, this is a big deal in London.

At this point I have 25 minutes to get to the office, I don’t know where I am anymore, I upgraded my phone at the weekend and it doesn’t have the email with contact telephone number, the invitation I have in my hand doesn’t have a telephone number either.  I’m lost, I’m going to be late, and I have Monkey with me. Nightmare!!

I should have been meeting Anna from In the Playroom blog at the event, but she couldn’t make it.  Bright idea – ring Anna for the office telephone number, ring the office, shout HELP – where am I!!!  So rang Anna, I was in a state of panic, no telephone number on the email.  Where are you?  Not sure, I can see a tube sign for Wood Lane.  Ok, get on the tube, one stop to Latimer Street and you are there.

Monkey loved being on the tube – one happy boy, even if only one stop.  Got out of the tube, by this time I had 5 minutes to get to the office.  Came out of the station, no sight of the elusive road, asked a number of people, they all looked at me blankly, walk down there maybe was the best response I got.  Rang Anna again, can you email them and say I’m lost and will be late, I’m really panicking, Monkey is being wonderful, I feel like an idiot.  Anna pointed me in the right direction, and with the help of a delivery driver and a passing Aussie, we made it to the event.

We were not alone in being late, everyone was lovely.  When I explained what had happened to one of the team, they pointed out of the window – there is Westfield!  He very kindly explained how to walk back to the centre.

It was a SHORT walk, it was just across the road, when Monkey and I walked back and found our way back to the car I realised that the Concierge should have pointed me in totally the opposite direction than he did.

But I can’t blame him at all. I was the idiot who left her brain at home today, along with a map, contact details and the ability to see my phone screen in the sunlight!  What a prat.  Thankfully, during all of my madness, my 3 and half year old son, remained calm and did everything I told him  – he made a bad situation so much easier to deal with!

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Being Me for a whole afternoon!

I had a wonderful afternoon on Saturday.  I was actually just ME, for a whole afternoon.  It was wonderful.  Daddy P works such long hours that I rarely get the opportunity to have any sort of social life that doesn’t involve Monkey these days.

His niece recently celebrated her 40th birthday, it’s quite strange to think she’s only 5 years younger than me!  Anyway, she decided that she wanted a girls only trip out for an Afternoon Champagne Tea at The Old Parsonage in Oxford.  I loved the idea, persuaded Daddy P to rejig his work schedule so he could look after Monkey for a few hours and said yes – count me in!

The only problem with going out with family is that they have already seen the vast majority of my wardrobe, so what to wear?  on a budget 😦

I’d had a few pennies land in my bank account unexpectedly so I didn’t feel so bad about treating myself to an absolute bargain in Karen Millen, £45.00 from £160.00 – couldn’t resist, it’s black and white so good for lots of different events.  Also meant I’d got shoes and bags aplenty at home so easy to accessorize. Even Daddy P couldn’t fault my rationale.  I dusted off my favourite heels and was ready to go 🙂

So on a lovely, sunny, Saturday afternoon in July, fourteen ladies went off to Oxford for a wonderful afternoon tea.  We arrived early, so treated ourselves to Gin and Tonic’s (me!) and Pimms on the terrace, before being escorted inside to our private room. Our Champagne arrived, along with a wonderful selection of sandwiches, scones and little cakes.  This was followed by tea or coffee.

We all had a great time, it was so nice not to think children, talk children or be surrounded by children.  Just for a few hours, just to be me.

Only thing I forgot to do was take a photo to record the moment!

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#MagicMoments – picking strawberries

This week’s Magic Moments is also my 200th post 🙂

As you know we’ve been growing some of our own fruit and vegetables with Monkey.  Our little garden is constantly changing as the various projects grow – tomato plants, courgettes, pumpkins, carrots, parsnips, raspberries and lettuce.

Today Monkey got to pick his first few strawberries – so this is our Magic Moment 🙂

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My own beautiful Butterfly Print thanks to Little Pea and Bertie

Any reader of my blog will know by now that I love nature.  I especially love butterflies and dragonflies – takes me back to my youth and chasing after them with my butterfly net.

little pea and bertieHave you heard of Little Pea and Bertie? Their website is definately worth looking at.

Little Pea and Bertie offers whimsical nursery prints, contemporary kids art, typography and Rock The Lobster design range which encompasses photography, digital art and pattern to ensure a strong statement artwork .  Many of the designs can be personalised all of which would make a wonderful addition to any room. 

I was thrilled when Little Pea and Bertie sent me one of their beautiful prints recently. It was wrapped so nicely it would have been ideal for a present.

I unwrapped the package and found this wonderful mounted print …..

It’s from the Rock the Lobster Design collection and is called Techno Butterfly.  You can imagine just how much I love it.

I just need to get it framed now so it can take pride of place in my bedroom – I don’t need to worry about the vibrant colours fading as …..

Our Giclée prints are produced on large format professional printers all pigment editions. This printing technique offers the highest quality and most fade proof printing available.  We only use genuine pigment inks that are lightfast for up to 100 years.

When I showed Monkey this print, he wanted to put it up in his bedroom next to his (actually mine but I’ve lost that too) butterfly collection, but just for once I’m going to be totally selfish and keep it for myself!

Little Pea and Bertie offer some great personalised artwork for nursery’s and children’s bedrooms in general, along with ranges to suit us grown-ups.  Print prices range from £19-£55 depending on item and size required and there is an option for mounting too.

Actually I’m really taken with their compliments slip too – think that might end up in a frame too.

I’m off to pick up some frames at the end of the week …….

What do you think?  I’m very happy 🙂

disclaimer:  I was sent this print for the purpose of review, my comments however, remain my own honest thoughts.

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I’ve joined the Hygiene Revolution

I live in a house with Monkey, a typical 3 and half-year old muck attracting little boy, a one year old cat who insists on walking all over my kitchen work tops with his muddy paws and Daddy P who is verging on OCD when it comes to keeping the house, neat, clean and tidy.

When I was introduced to the Hygiene Revolution, I knew that this would help me keep the germs at bay, and Daddy P happy. byotrol I’ve now been introduced to Byotrol  – products that contain Byotrol not only kill, like the vast majority of other cleaning and personal hygiene products, but they also protect.

Unlike traditional products, which stop working less than 30 seconds after drying, Byotrol continues to protect …… by creating a barrier, which remains even after drying, and prevents unwanted germs from settling on that surface again for up to 24 hours.

This was music to my ears, and I knew Daddy P would be hooked instantly.  We were sent a couple of products containing Byotrol to try out. We've joined the Hygiene Revolution We’ve joined the Hygiene Revolution

The first product was a Tesco Anti-Bacterial Multi Purpose cleaner which can be used in Kitchens and Bathrooms.

I love the Apple fragrance which left a lovely fresh smell after use.  I detest anything with a citrus scent, so this was a bonus for me.  Daddy P and I both like the reassurance that our kitchen surfaces are now germ free thanks to the long-lasting protection offered by the Byotrol within the cleaner. So, although I’m still constantly removing Brewster from the work surfaces, I’m not so worried about the germs he might be leaving behind!

The second product we received was Boots Anti Viral Hand Foam, it also contains Byotrol and is suitable for use from the age of 2 years upwards.

This product now lives in my rucksack and goes on trips out with us all over the place.  It produces a foam (looks like the foam you would use to style your hair) which you rub over your hands. It dries quickly and leaves no residue – so great when you are out in the countryside as there is no need for soap and water, but you still have the Byotrol protection.

If you’d like more information then please visit the Facebook page for Hygiene Revolution and send them a message mentioning Over 40 and a Mum to One and you too, can try a product sample and join the Hygiene Revolution, also look out for cleaning and personal hygiene products with the Byotrol logo on them.

Hygiene Revolution have also created an informative video you might be interested to watch.

disclaimer: we were sent products for the purpose of review, our comments however, remain our own honest thoughts.

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Tractor Ted – Book reviews – Meets the Animals and Big Machines

As you know we love all things Tractor Ted so when we received some of the Tractor Ted books to review I was very interested to see what Monkey thought to them.

The first one we read was Tractor Ted Meets the Animals (there is also an accompanying DVD) …..

DSC08772The book talks you through the various animals that live in Tractorland, and the different names for males, females and baby animals such as the sheep shown on the page below.



We also have to guess which animal lives where, as you can see in this page.



Each of the 32 pages contains lovely photographs and clear text.  Monkey loved this book straight away and I can see this being great as he learns to read too. An added bonus for us are the pages that focus on the farm machinery and the jobs they do around the farm for the benefit of the animals.  We’ve all learnt something from reading this book.

At the end of the book are a few activity pages like the one shown below to make the children think about what they’ve learnt by reading the book.


The next book we read was Tractor Ted Big Machines. Our first Tractor Ted purchase was the DVD that goes with this book, which has now spawned our Tractor Ted obsession!


Having the DVD, and that being a huge hit in this house, I had big expectations for the book.  As with the … Meets the Animals book, this book has wonderful photographs throughout and clear text.


The book follows the storyline of the DVD, introducing us to the different machines that help in the construction of a new barn at Tractorland.  To say that this book was a hit with Monkey would be an understatement.  He loves books with factual information about machinery, so this is a firm favourite now.


We learn all about the machinery involved in harvesting the wheat and see the new barn being filled with grain.  The book is a great add-on to the DVD, but also works as a stand alone read.

As with the first book mentioned there are a few activity pages at the back of the book to test your child’s memory.

Both books retail at £4.99 (2013 price) which I think is really reasonable, and actually I’ve bought 2 additional titles as Daddy P and I were so impressed with the books mentioned above. I can also highly recommend All About Tractors and In the Summertime!

disclaimer: we were sent the 2 books mentioned for the purpose of review, our comments however, remain our own honest thoughts.

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