Any thoughts are welcome on this site, I love to hear your views. What would you like me to review next on myrealfairy.com? If you are a brand, small business or voluntary organisation then please get in touch.
Here we are again with one of my special blog post linky parties! #mainylovessummer Thank you so much for joining me. How is your summer going so far? Hectic with plenty going on I suspect.
I loved holding the previous one off specials for Christmas and Easter so much that I couldn’t let summer go by without having a blog get together.
As usual there is no badge that you have to paste anywhere. What I do ask though is that where you have saved time (and space:) by not having that little task, is that you definitely do follow the guidance below.
The linky is open from 7am on Friday 11th August and closes at 7am Wednesday 16th. You then have until the Friday to complete your comments.
It’s all about sharing, reading and enjoying each others writing. Feel free to add up to 3 of any type of blogging post old or new.
Reviews, giveaways, recipes, parenting, lifestyle, poetry all manner of posts are welcome here.
Just let common sense prevail and refrain from anything outrageously offensive:)
My favourite forum is twitter so please also tweet as many posts as possible using the hash tag #mainylovessummer @myrealfairy and I will tweet away for days and days both your posts and all those you tweet from the link up.
Let’s make this a real summer sizzler and get everyone reading and talking about your posts.
We’ve all felt like the odd one out when starting a new school right? Well starting school or nursery when you are the parent can be just as daunting, if not worse! Fears and self-doubt can creep in and old leftover experiences of when we were younger can all surface again.
As a parent, waving the little ones off …well peeling them off you as was sometimes the case when mine were little is one milestone to get over. The next is standing there having waved them off and then walking home or back to the car-park alone.That feeling is the pits and I think, totally unnecessary! Now is the time to get in with or make your own Mum Tribe, it will make the next few years so much easier!
• Smile Smile Smile, it can take the place of a thousand words and can be a huge pick me up for whoever is on the receiving end.
• Make something happen! Arrange a coffee morning as a way to get to know people. Odds on you aren’t the only one feeling the same way. Arranging a time and place to meet takes the headache out of it for other people. We are all so busy that having to hang around and umm and ahhh over where to go often leads to absolutely nothing, nada. If you take the initiative and arrange something, even if only one person can make it then that’s fine, it’s one person you will always have to laugh with about that first get together.
• As with the point above, you have to make things happen. So, if someone asks you to go along to an event that they have planned then try your hardest to go. You might feel tired, not of washed your hair or don’t fancy meeting over the other side of town. The thing is making the effort and then feeling the benefit afterwards. You can even have a look at my post 5 tips to help the school run go smoother which should help in getting there on time and without being too stressed!
• If you have to go past other mums who are all gaggled together like they’ve known each other for years, take a deep breath, walk over and say hi. You’ll get a feel for them pretty quickly and you have the most legit get out of jail card by saying that you can’t stop as you have to dash off to work – doctors-friends etc. But what you would have done is broken the ice, said your name and made the first move.
I mean, what’s the worst that can happen!!
• Volunteer to help out at the school or nursery and before you go all shivery and think ‘No Friggin Way’… do it, even if it’s just the once. Think about it, you probably always have to talk to the teacher right? – So that’s one person who you know and can chat to. It’s your way in. If you volunteer for just one cake, book, uniform or whatever the heck sale it is then you will have people coming to you to talk and it’s ready-made intros.
Let's share so that everyone can feel the love to find their mum friendsClick To Tweet
It might seem a little daunting or hard work at first. Over time, just like when we were at school or starting out at work or uni, it falls into place and we settle with friends that we click with. Being in your new mum tribe is just one more path of being a fully fledged grown up. Enjoy the riches that these women can bring to your life.
What tips have you got? What were your first experiences of making your new mum friends.
Who doesn't love a delicious snack/dessert recipe, especially when it includes chocolate!
Feel free to add cacao powder to the mixture too if you want a little extra chocolate flavor.
I am very pleased with my new chopping boards and am delighted to be able to show them to you today. Finally I’ve got something very classy that makes me look like a pro cook. I don’t know about you but I love to be in my kitchen trying out new recipes and more and more I like to have good quality but also funky accessories around me. I was nearly jumping for joy when my Joseph Joseph Chopping Board set arrived. At last I could finally throw away my old wooden one that was warped and leaving little bits of wood on the knife every time I cut anything up, surely not a good sign! My other old plastic one that I had hanging around had managed to get bent out of shape and had seen better days.
This set is great because they are easily identifiable in what they are to be used for. The set comes from Red Candy which sells wonderfully stylish bright homewear.
Red Candy was launched in 2009, as the world’s first red-only website. Back then every product they stocked, from clocks & colanders, to mugs & magazine racks, was red! I spent so long having a look on the site I’m sure that I could have redesigned my house about 5 times over – I loved it.
‘Shut up, beige!’ is their battle cry against everything bland. You will definitely see that is true if you visit their website. At the moment there is a really good sale of up to 70% off so you can get loads of pressies and gifts for yourself.
I’m going to take every opportunity to show off my lovely boards. Below you can even see them with one of my home-grown cucumbers. You’ll see more of my gardening escapades in future posts. Remember the runner beans vlog from last year? It still makes me smile to see Little G doing his presenting.
These boards all have a little extra to them depending on what their function is; the veg one has a little lip all the way round to collect juices for either putting into your dish or it stops it running over onto your work surface. the fish one had a little gripper which stops a slippery fish moving around and helping to cut safer.
Have a little look and see, I’m going to stock up and get a bit of early christmas shopping done, ever the thrifty mum!Share these great designs with others... click to share nowClick To Tweet
Disclaimer: I was given a set of chopping boards to review for this post. All thoughts are my own and I must say once again that they are great:)
Today I’ve got a packed post filled with a vegetarian recipe, pictures from the garden and a healthy hamper giveaway. It’s an eclectic mix that I’d love you all to enjoy.
Like most of us I am usually busy and on the go, either to work, dropping the kids off of having to run some errand or other. I love it like that, it keeps me busy and happy. What I do have to remember is to eat well and I like to make sure that all of us at home have good food to keep us fueled up and healthy.
We grew cucumbers on our patio garden this year and have been amazed at how well they grew and how huge a cucumber plant actually gets, it’s massive. They took ages to germinate but once they got going they grew so fast. I have been using them fresh off the plant and really enjoyed creating new dishes for them to go in.
The additional ingredients today have been supplied by Indigo Herbs who sell organic and quality assured products. They have a huge range of foods with which they wish to inspire and motivate you on a journey to a healthier lifestyle. I spent ages on the site looking at all they have on offer including; natural health guides, superfoods, wholefoods, herbal teas, aromatherapy and lots lots more.
This Cucumber, Gogi Berry and Quinoa Super Salad that I am going to be showing you today is just the ticket to give a boost to your body that will help set you up for the rest of the day.
The Protein packed Tricolour Quinoa Grains are a great wheat free alternative to rice or pasta and I’m sure you’ll agree they give it a wonderful burst of colour.
I love the sprinkle of pine nuts at the end. These nuts have a beautiful sweet flavour and are soft to bite into. If you have any left over from the packet then you can use them in my carrot tops pesto sauce which can be set aside for later in the week. Pine nuts are actually the seeds from the pine tree and they contain a wealth of antioxidants, including vitamins A, B, C, D, and E.
Rinse the quinoa grains, place in a saucepan with double the amount of water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes.
Mix together the lemon juice, Rapeseed oil and minced garlic.
Disclaimer: I was supplied the ingredients by Indigo free of charge to use in my recipe. Everything you see is an honest view and use of the products and I was delighted by the products as you can see!
This dish is so easy to make and the idea that you can make super yummy pesto made with carrot tops is a great idea. The amount of green carrot tops that just end up in the food bin is really daft and finding that they can be put to good use is pretty cool.
We have been growing vegetables this year which you can see in my free pallet patio garden post and you can actually see the carrots as they started off there. They have come out all shapes and sizes which is really cute.
We eat lots of pasta at home and it’s a really quick supper for our family which can fit in with our busy homelife. Pesto has long been a favourite but I had rarely made it before. Then when I was looking for ways to use the leftovers from some of my home grown vegetables I stumbled across someone saying to try it in pesto. I adapted the general idea and had a play and came up with this recipe which is quick, easy and very adaptable to the amount of ingredients you have to hand.
Once made you can store for up to two weeks in an airtight container in the fridge. Try it out on chicken or tofu too.
This delicious Pesto made with the leafy green carrot tops adds a new dimension to Pesto Pasta. Also great to be smothered over meat or vegetables for your BBQ or main meal
Wash the leafy tops of the carrots well in cold water to remove any soil
Peel a garlic clove
Put all of the ingredients into a small blender with a chopping setting.
Whizz for approximately 2 minutes until it is all chopped to a smooth paste
Easy Step by Step Guide
Fancy growing your own fruit and veg? I thought the same and am now managing just that! Here’s how to build your own free pallet patio garden.
Last year I had a new patio and it’s a great area to sit out in as it captures a lot of sun. The boys use our garden to play football and I learnt the hard way that football and plant borders don’t mix well! I actually get upset when I see the ball thud into the plants and race over to see whats happened. The boys then scurry away waiting to see if yet another tomato plant has bitten the dust.
So when the patio was laid I started thinking of ways that I could enjoy growing some fruit and vegetables on the patio.
I wanted a way to use recycled products and make something that really made the most of the small compact space we had.
Here’s a step by step guide to how I made this brilliant pallet patio garden out of mainly recycled bits and bobs, for free!
We put a base down so that the structure wouldnt sit directly on the slabs and cause too much discolouration.
Here is my other half fixing a free pallet that we picked up onto the back of the crate used to deliver the patio slabs in. If you can get hold of more pallets then use them to make a crate. You can find them on free sites or even in skips.
We had some weed suppressor mat in the shed and if you havent got anything like that hanging around then they are easy to pick up very cheaply. I just wanted something lining the inside that would help with keeping the pots contained and not having the water running straight out onto the ground.
The you are all ready to go and start putting in the pots that you wish to have there. What I found useful was that on the sunny days I can move the pots onto the top of the back pallet and they can make use of the sunshine. When it’s a windy day they can nestle back into the base and be a bit more protected.
You can see by these photos how the plants are coming along. The potatoes are growing well and the carrots on the right hand side in the base are showing nicely. I’ve planted onions next to them as apparently they fend off one of the mites that would eat the carrot tops.
Come back soon for an update and more than likely a recipe made out of some of the home grown veg. It will be great to see you again.
Have you got any tips on growing veg in small spaces? You might be a seasoned pro or just starting out. I’d love to hear.share with others this handy guide... click to shareClick To Tweet
My youngest still likes to have a light on somewhere upstairs which is fine as it helps him settle and he’s happy. Over the years I’ve tried different ways to make this happen; I’ve tried the plug-in night lights, leaving the landing light on and various themed lights.
I’ve had the chance to review this sensor light for Hamswan which has a variety of uses. As you can see from the picture above it’s a really contemporary design and for me it can fit into any room without the need to be hidden away. It’s also something that if you’re using it for the kids, they won’t grow out of the design which is a problem I’ve had over the years with something suddenly being too babyish for my boys and they wont go near it!
This one is stylish and handy, it even has a hanging ring that you can use to pop it up on any wall if needed.
One of the best ways to see this light in action is to watch my youngest who loves to ‘vlog for his mummy’s blog’ under the name of little G. He’s one to watch out for the future I think *surprise surprise* Have a look here and you can see the light in action.
It’s really easy to set up and it comes with a USB charger cable. If you are like me then the last thing you need is to be trying to work out how to work something, normally while the kids are running around and one eye on the other 5 things you’re doing. You can get this out of the box, push the on button and you are good to go. When you do charge it usually takes 3-4 hours, and it will last for 4-100 hours after a complete charging (depending on the brightness used).
The unit is sealed so it’s great for keeping little curious fingers out of it. Great for peace of mind and leaving in the kids room. The light is soft and the big bonus which we liked is that you just have to wave your hand over it and it comes on. Then leave your hand above it and it will dim or get brighter. For me this was a first, I hadn’t seen this before on a night-light.
I think that this has lots of uses – for example – it would be great for when you have to get up to do the night feeds for the baby. I remember those days well, even though they are 8 years ago – there are some things we never forget! I remember being so tired I would bump into things in the dark or be dazzled by the bright lights in our hall. The dimmed light of this one would be perfect and we have already earmarked another one that we will buy when the boys step sister has her baby. Another present sorted that is actually useful and beautiful looking.
I think that you can see above that I have sneaked it into our room as I think that these look really nice on our bedside tables. I often wake in the night so this soft light shouldn’t disturb my other half and I can have a little read without waking him!
Don’t worry, I did put it straight back into little ones room afterwards, he would not have been impressed to wake and find it gone bless him.
I’m happy to be able to offer you a great discount of 15% when you buy one. Here is the link that will take you to the Sensor Light and enter the code: 770001OF when you check out. I’d love to know what you think about this one and night lights in general. Have you had to use them for your children or do you like them for yourself.Share the love and the discount for this fab Sensor Night Light xClick To Tweet
Disclaimer: I was gifted one of these night lights for the purpose of this review. All comments are mine oh and my sons own words and I think it’s pretty clear that we love it! Thanks for reading. There are no affiliated links in this post.
I’ve been taking my children away on holiday since they were both tiny. I even remember very clearly taking my 2-year-old abroad while I was pregnant and I did that alone whilst potty training the 2-year-old. Now I know lots of parents, single or not have had to do this but I just wanted to set the groundwork that I have some experience of juggling traveling with kids and having to find ways of keeping them entertained! A happy mummy is a happy child in my book. So, I thought that I would share some of my own tips with you which you can add to your own tried and tested methods.
1. Food! Kids love to eat, so whatever is their favourite snack – pack! Remember to pop a small pack of wet wipes in your bag for those sticky fingers!
2. Soothing toy – when mine were tiny my eldest had a small blue bear that went on each and every travel. Even now at 8 and 11 there is always something special that they like to have close to them. I let them decide and *whispers* it’s usually a soft toy!
3. Magazines – whatever the age and whatever the gender there are so many different types of magazines out there to suit almost everyone. It’s a good way to get some reading going on for the kids besides their electronic devices – we’ll get into those later!
4. Colouring books – again, a bit like the magazines there are so many that really cross the different age ranges and the children can be really creative. Colouring books theses days don’t just satisfy the 2-5 year olds thankfully.
5. Textiles – crochet, knitting, teddy bear making, all of these activities can easily be taken on holiday with very little fuss. I remember learning to knit from both of my mans when I was little and it would keep me amused and occupied for hours. It’s also such a great skill to learn for boys and girls.
6. Writing a diary of the holiday is a great way of getting the kids involved in the whole process of the holiday. As you are planning the holiday they can start jotting down what is happening and sticking in pictures from brochures etc. While away they can collect different flyers and leaflets to do with where you are staying and stick and paste.
7. Kids Club – I always book something that has a kids club of some description. Holidays are for all the family and you need some downtime as well. There are baby crèche, mini club, maxi clubs and all sorts to suit all different ages. All you have to do is look for them. It doesn’t mean that they have to go to the club all the time but it’s there as an option. Leave the guilt at home and pop them in there so you can have a couple of hours by the pool without any worry. You’ll be surprised how good it feels if you haven’t tried it.
8. Take your mum or another family member if you can. I’ve been having a holiday with my mum and my children ever since they were born. It’s amazing and for us it adds a very positive dynamic to our holidays. We noticed this year that there are so many grandparents holidaying with family now. I don’t know if I just didn’t notice it before or that it’s become so much more popular. This year we had fun in Alcudia and it was mainly down to my mum being there with us.
9. Take one of their friends….No I’ve not lost the plot. If they are a certain age, around 9 and above then this is a genius idea. Your child will have their buddy and not need anywhere near as much attention (in a good way) as if they were on their own. They will be happy and feel a bit of independence as they will have their mate to explore the venue or even just the kids club where you are staying. Plus and this is a bonus….your child might even get invited away with them next time. It could be time to get out the Romantic weekend away brochures. I bet you thought that would never happen again!
10. Photography – this year my son started wanting to take photos. Whether this is on your phone if you dare trust them or on a disposable camera it’s a great way for them to feel part of it all and take some photos that they can then show around when they get home. It doesn’t really matter if it’s just the tops of heads or random sky photos, it’s theirs and can form part of lots of craft projects when you get home.
Bonus one – If you really need to and if it makes everyone happy then take the kindle, ipad, or whatever it is away with you too. Remember, everything in moderation and “a happy mummy or daddy is a happy child”.Tweet to share these 10 ways to entertain the kids on holidayClick To Tweet
Please share with me what other ideas work for you and your family. The more the merrier to help make the holidays go as stress free as possible.
If you are stuck for what to do at a children’s party or get together then this great giveaway will be the ideal game for you. This Barnyard Bash party game is an interactive game for up to 20 children!
This game comes with everything you could need for a light-hearted party game. Probably best suited for preschool upwards. You get everything you need including chick stickers, poster and blindfold.
Enter in the rafflecopter entry form below for your chance to win. Good luck!