Bike rides with the Boys and testing their new Hamswan action camera

The boys and my OH love going for their bike rides whenever possible. We are so lucky to live right by the river and the river paths here are ideal for bikes with plenty of room for both the bikes and people to share quite happily. We also have the New Forest pretty close so there is even more opportunity close by. I had already worked with the lovely Sue on reviewing her companies volume limiting headphones for children here so I was pleased to have a look at their Hamswan action camera. I have been keeping an eye out for something that we could mount on the bikes to get some video footage of the boys on their bike trips.

You can see in the pics below that you don’t just get the camera you get a whole load of accessories for it.

Hamswan action camera www.myrealfairy.comThe list is pretty impressive and the photos below show you the complete package which includes:

Waterproof case, adhesive mounts, spare battery, data USB line, bicycle mount, base mount, adaptors and cable ties.

Hamswan action camera

The waterproof case provided  is waterproof to 98ft (30m) so it can be used for various underwater sports. In addition you have a protective case to protect the camera in wet, dirty or sandy environments. It’s pretty much designed for any environment and it gives peace of mind when you take it out in bad conditions.

Hamswan action camera

You can see on the side here the slots for the data transfer and the slot for the micro SD card where your video and photos will be stored. My tip is to make sure that your SD card is formatted. I wasn’t sure of what this was until the camera showed a ‘custer size wrong please format’ sign showing on the display. With a quick search of what this meant online I found loads of YouTube videos showing how you would do this and in 3 or 4 actions on the laptop I had done mine. It seems that most action cameras need to have this done as each and every video appears with an action camera. Having done that I was then good to go.

Hamswan action camera

It’s got a built in wi-fi mode so we linked our home wi-fi in by following the instruction in the booklet that came with it. It shows up as Hamswan and then it’s easy to connect. You also scan the QR code or search on google for the app.

Now we are not overly techi people, the OH really knows his stuff but I am a fair bit behind him so I just need a camera that I can point, press and it’s done. After reading the instructions and having a bit of a play that’s exactly what this camera can do.

Have a look here at the video that Little G did for the blog. As regular readers will know, Little G is my youngest son and is involved with the blog by ‘vlogging for his mums blog’, enjoy….

You can visit Hamswan on their Facebook page here I’m really pleased with the camera and am glad that I’ve got something to take away on holiday with us and hopefully get some footage that I wouldn’t normally have the chance to get.

If you are interested in buying one then you can through amazon here: Hamswan action camera They are currently on sale for just £54.99.

action camera


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action camera

I was kindly sent one of these action cameras to review. The review is honest and exactly what we experienced with the camera.

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Birthday Celebration Giveaway Part 2

As you probably know by now it’s my blogs 1st Birthday this month. I would like you all to celebrate with me and I have numerous giveaways this month so that we can do just that. You can still enter in my giveaway part 1 here and then pop back! This is the second one from me and today I have these fun Truffle Trivia gift set from Talking Tables.

They are great for giving as gifts and as it’s my birthday I think they are pretty fitting as one of my giveaways.

If you enjoy quizzes and trivia then you will love these and not even think of giving them to anyone else. On the other hand you can always take them to a friends and then insist that you all play, there you go, win win!

So, from me to you, thank you for reading and continuing to support my blog. It’s been a great year and here’s to a few more!

Use the rafflecopter entry below and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Open to all UK mainland addresses. See my contact page for giveaway guidelines.

Thanks for enjoying my blog birthday with me!


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Birthday Celebration Giveaway Part 1

As you probably know by now it’s my blogs 1st Birthday this month. I would like you all to celebrate with me and I have numerous giveaways this month so that we can do just that. Today I have these fun mini surprise balls. I don’t know if you have seen them but they are balls of crepe paper that you unwind to find the gift inside. They are sort of like the modern day cracker without the bang!

You can also go to my Birthday Celebration Giveaway Part 2 here to win more prizes!

These little wrapped up surprises are an Easter delight. Unwrap them and each little ball contains: beads, a joke and a sheet of stickers.

Sent directly to any UK home address they are a treat which will add a little fun to any party, not only at Easter but any time of the year.

Enter in the rafflecopter widget below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Open to all UK mainland addresses. See my contact page for giveaway guidelines.

As with any gift, if they are to be enjoyed by the little ones then be aware of hazards with small parts.

Thanks for enjoying my blog birthday with me!

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Why I chose not to make money from my blog.

My little blog recently turned 1 years old and it’s amazing how far it’s come in that time and also how much it’s changed.

When I started my blog it all happened quite fast, it flowed and I was consumed with starting it up and learning all the new jargon. I had wanted something to channel a creative side that was stifled with the normality of having my job and family and just functioning.

What struck me quite early on was that so many people were talking about how to make money from your blog. At first it baffled me as I had no idea that writing about the random thoughts in my head would have any relationship with earning money, yet there it was, everyone was doing it. I started reading about ads that you insert into your sidebar or posts, you know the sort I’m sure. They advertise different products depending on your audience and sit there quite happily trying to blend in. I normally end up clicking on them by accident as I think they are part of what I’m reading. Clever really!

There are so many pins with amazing statements such as ‘how I make thousands per month’ or ‘make money now from your blog, let me show you how’, I even saw one recently that said how they were making $50,000 per month! Wow, are you kidding me, that’s incredible. So, you can imagine, I was pretty much sidelined by this and pound signs started flashing in my eyes, luring me in their direction. Now the daft thing is that the whole reason I started my blog was to have a hobby that would help with a bit of relaxation-not to earn money-yet there I found myself applying for affiliated links and google ads and all manner of ad companies hoping they would accept me. I’d check my emails frantically to see what news there would be of my requests. Most of them didn’t even reply as I hadn’t really published anything and had no value to them at all, well doh that was pretty easy to see had I taken the time to think about it. The thing is that I still really didn’t want my blog to look like it was advertising anything as I wanted it to represent me and the things that I like, I was still finding my feet with what I was creating. I didn’t want to be a follower, surely to work for google ads is to be a very small fish in a massive shoal. The blog is for me to stretch myself not to stand rigid and conform quite so much.

I remember posting my first piece and including the one advert I had managed to install, I then sat back and  expected people to suddenly flock to the blog clapping that I had appeared, read my stuff, click on the ads and general revel in the fact that I was here…..funnily enough, that didn’t happen.

I gradually came to realise that content is key to keep a blog going and to keep my interest in it. I left my little ad on that post and left it at that. I want people to read what I have to say and not get taken away by the ads and lose interest in me.  That said, I love reviewing products and I certainly wouldn’t turn my nose up at a lovely big commission to work with someone. I’m not against making money in general, after all it’s how I help keep a roof over my head.

I’m now having fun with my blog, I run giveaways, talk about my family, write poetry and cook, it’s a wonderful outlet. For the time being the ads will not have a home here – not now, not yet, but maybe sometime.

What do you think of ads on blogs, do they make you stay, shop or click away?

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Pastry Pro Chocolate Kit Review, Giveaway & Discount Code! 

Put your hand up if you like chocolate? Mines high in the air waving around. I am a big chocolate lover and like nothing better than curling up with a hot drink and a chocolate or two, sheer bliss.

So, even though I didn’t have to think more than a nano second about wanting to review a chocolate making kit I had to think long and hard about sharing the process with my boys!! They take after me so I thought it might be a bit like a rugby scrum trying to get chocolates made without eating it all while making it.

Today you can see our review of the Pastry Pro basic chocolate making kit and then you can enter my rafflecopter giveaway to win one for yourself. There is also a vlog from little G which shows you just how we got on.

In the pack you will receive what look like big chocolate buttons called callets. These are what you will be melting down to form the base of your pretty looking chocolates.

You also get a tray of chocolate moulds which holds enough for 12 chocolates, 5 gorgeous little gold gift boxes, a white chocolate scraper and your instruction leaflet.

My youngest son little G won the competition in our house for who was going to help out with this review and as you can see he is pretty happy with the result! It’s so great with the boys as they both love being involved with the blog and adding their own little creative flair to posts they are involved in.

He has also made his very own vlog which he would love you to see and comment on. He was so chuffed to make it but in all fairness I think that the best part for him had to be getting to lick the bowl at the end!

The people at Pastry Pro are very friendly and approachable. They launched the company in May 2016 but their background and experience goes back much further. They are family run, with currently 3 directors and other friends and family involved in the daily operations.

In addition to the giveaway we also have a 10% discount for all of my readers, just add the code: fairy10 to your order.

Here is our step by step guide to using the chocolate making kit….

Pop all of the callets into a microwavable bowl. Put on a medium setting for 30 seconds. Take out and stir gently. Heat for a further 10 seconds or until the callets have melted.

When they have all melted, pour into the moulds with as much care as you can muster, especially if the little ones are helping!

Leave to set in a cool place for 3-4hrs. Then you can use the cute little boxes which are provided to give that professional touch. Little G took one of the boxes to his nans which made her day! These are great ideas to go in party bags or to give as presents at easter. We had alot of fun and I think that really thats the key to this kit, enjoy it and get a taste for being creative with chocolate. There are lots of more advanced kits on the website which you can progress onto. This is just for beginners and ticks all of those boxes.

The Giveaway

So, you can enter to win one of these kits using the rafflecopter entry here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Open to UK entrants only. All entries will be checked and verified. Good luck!

Screen Shot 2017-02-15 at 12.13.17.png

You can get connect with the lovely folks through their social media sites here:

Twitter @Pastry_Pro

Facebook @pastryproltd

LinkedIn Pastry Pro UK


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Happy 1st Birthday to me!

Oh my goodness, how time flies. I have just looked and is one years old!! I’m pretty blown away because I knew it was coming up but I didn’t realise I had hit it yet, let alone gone past it by a week.

I am so pleased with my little blog and so pleased for you being here reading with me today. Thank you!

Thank you for reading, commenting, entering competitions, cooking from my recipes and seeing what me and my brood are getting up to each week. It means the world to me and I love what you have helped me to create.

Once again…Thank you!

Mainy x

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#guestpost week featuring Carol from Virtually Allsorts

To bring this #guestpost week to a close this time round we have Carol joining us from Virtually All Sorts

Carol is a published author and blogger  where her themes are wellbeing, writing and parenting.  ‘Wellbeing’ covers yoga, meditation, reiki, crystal healing and positivity.  Carol is very passionate about positive thinking and a firm believer that anything can be turned into a positive.  Her writing covers mainly poetry and flash fiction.  Parenting speaks for itself!

Here’s a poem from her that gives us a glimpse that spring is just around the corner and will give us all a lift.

Another Brick in the Wall

When your garden is dull and really quite small,

You can pretty it up, let’s start with the wall!

You can paint it all over, in one block of red,

Or paint random bricks different colours instead!

You can each take a turn with yellow, red or pink,

Whatever the pattern, it looks great, don’t you think?

It’s a breath of fresh air, it’s a cheerful sight,

On a Summer’s day and an Autumnal night.

It’s brightened our garden, our haven, our place,

To chill our boots and to slow down the pace.


Pop over to see more of Carols great writing on her social media sites:

Twitter: @AllSortsHere

Facebook: VirtuallyAllSorts

Instagram: carol_cameleon

Thank you Carol and thanks to all of the #guestpost week bloggers. It’s been great to host and I look forward to holding more of these fun weeks.

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You can find others in my #guestpost week here here here and here, have a look for a surprise post that you might not normally read. Try something different today!:)

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#guestpost week featuring Blissful Domestication

Today on #guestpost week we have the lovely Kerry from Blissful Domestication She has made this wonderful chocolate mug cake that looks totally scrummy. Over to you Kerry…..

Chocolate Mug Cake

I think these would make a great novel dessert for a dinner party, and as they only take 5-10 minutes to rustle up, you can impress your friends with minimal effort. I will be buying some prettier mugs for this very purpose!

As an added bonus of having chocolate cake in less than 10 minutes (as if one is needed!), because all the ingredients are mixed in the mug there is very little washing up to do- it’s win win really!

  • 30g butter
  • 4 tbsp hazelnut chocolate spread
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Put the butter and 3tbsp of the chocolate spread in the mug, and microwave for 30 secs to melt. Mix together well.
  • Allow to cool slightly, then add the egg and beat well using a fork.

  • Add the sugar, flour and baking powder and mix in well with the fork until all the ingredients are incorporated.

mug cake #guestpost week

  • Cook in the microwave for 30-40 seconds.
  • Spoon the last tbsp of chocolate spread into the middle, and cook for a further 40 seconds.
  • The top of the mug cake may look a bit moist, but if it is firm underneath it is done. Don’t be tempting to cook for longer as it can dry out the middle.
  • Sometimes the cake can spill over the edge, just wipe away any spilt cake mixture with a clean damp cloth whilst it is still warm.
  • I chose to just sprinkle the top of mine with icing sugar, but you could get more inventive and use cream, chocolate chips, nuts, anything you fancy really.
  • Enjoy!


NB. I am a home cook, and have had no formal training in preparing food. So these are just recipes that I use at home for the family. Whilst I have taken time to try and be as accurate as possible, some of the quantities are approximate.  I am always keen to learn, so if you think the recipe can be improved upon please take the time to comment below.

Thank you Kerry for being involved in this #guestpost series. Brilliant to have you featured here and I cant wait to try cake in a mug – genius. You can find out more about Kerry by visiting her social media sites below:

Twitter: @blissfulkerry

Facebook: blissfuldomestication

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#guestpost week featuring Natalie from Hello Cuppies

I’m delighted to have Natalie guest posting today and joining in with the #guestpost week on my blog.

Natalie is a happy, and in her own words “late-twenties *cough* mid-30’s *cough*” 🙂  baker, blogger, veggie and Mum. Natalie established Hello Cuppies in 2012 and what started out as a baking and recipe blog has evolved into a lifestyle and personal blog sharing insights on the life of a Northern girl living down south.  Natalie has been baking professionally since 2011 and picked up the caking bug after baking some cupcakes for a friend’s daughter.  She is completely self taught and has developed her skills by experimenting, reading and testing recipes whilst creating lots of new flavours and combinations along the way.  Natalie really dislikes over the top recipes and techniques so will try to keep things simple, but still as effective as possible.

Here’s her great post, over to you Natalie…

Healthy Homemade Granola Bars

Mainy from myrealfairy  was kind enough to have me on-board with writing a family friendly recipe to feature as a guest post on her blog. I’d also recently received a few emails and spotted some comments on my Instagram photos with regards to creating a recipe for something healthy, and for something with a little less sugar so I thought this was the ideal opportunity to share a healthy(ier) recipe.

I’m so used to baking cakes and biscuit type desserts that actually coming up with something reasonably healthy was difficult. I struggled, not gonna lie! I scratched my head, did a little bit of googling for inspiration but couldn’t really find anything that was healthier but still scrummy.  It then dawned on me that I needed to stick with what I know – fruit and natural flavours – and to set myself a bigger challenge – NO ADDED SUGAR – none… nada…zilch!

guest post for


So here you have it, these protein packed granola bars are healthy and yummy! They store well, last well and taste even better a day or so after they’ve been baked. Oh, and they are gluten free too.  Actually, thinking about it, if you could find a honey substitute (maple syrup maybe?) they could easily be vegan – challenge for ya there!

guest post for


This recipe yields 16 to 20 granola bars and shouldn’t take you longer than 15/20 minutes to pull together.

  • 65g pecan pieces & 65g almonds (loosely chopped or blitzed in a food processor)
  • 45g pumpkin seeds
  • 85g dried cranberries
  • 130g of quick-cook oats (I used gluten free)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 100g of smooth peanut butter (Whole Earths is my favourite)
  • 175g of runny honey
  • 5 tsp of vanilla extract


  • Line a 8-inch tin with parchment paper (you could use a bigger tin if you didn’t want them so chunky)
  • Pour the oats into a large mixing bowl and then add both nuts, pumpkin seeds, cranberries, cinnamon, ginger, salt and orange zest. Mix to combine.
  • In a smaller bowl, mix together the peanut butter, honey and vanilla extract until all combined and smooth.
  • Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix them together until the two are evenly combined and no dry oats remain. This will be tough – if it’s too easy and too smooth add a few more oats.
  • Transfer the mixture to the prepared tin and use your spoon to press down and make sure the mixture is even and packed together. I used my hands too as it was easier to tell if it was all compact.
  • Cover with cling-film and chill for 1 hour in the fridge.
  • Bake bars at 200 degrees (fan) for 30 minutes (conversions are here if you need them)
  • When cool lift out of the tin using the parchment paper edges and slice in to bar type shapes.


guest post for

If you make these do let me know!


Thanks to Natalie for these yummy treats and for being part of our #guestpost series. You can read and find out more about Natalie and her work through her media sites below:-



Twitter: here

Facebook: here


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Chalkola Chalk Markers Giveaway, Review & Discount

We had lots of fun this weekend trying out these new chalk markers from Chalkola. We were pleased to review these to try out some fun crafts and get in touch with our creative side. I also have a great giveaway plus a discount code to share with you all.

chalk markers

We were excited to try out the brand new launch of 21 markers which has 15 chalk markers + 6 metallic markers in the pack. We also tried the jumbo markers.

chalk markers

First things first was reading the instructions. Big M was involved in this review as he wanted to see how these markers were used and what design project he could be involved in. I set him the task of first understanding how to use them and more importantly, what we could use them on safely. We’ve recently decorated and I didn’t want to mark things and find out that we couldn’t get it out.

chalk markers

The markers are only to be used on non porous surfaces such as; whiteboards, glass, plastic and windows.

The reason being that porous surfaces have small holes which can absorb the liquid chalk ink and you would then sometimes find it difficult to completely erase them. You must use a test area before starting just to make sure. I tried a small area on Big M’s bedroom door which had white satin paint on it and when we rubbed it off there was a little mark still showing through which took a bit of getting off so I was so pleased we did carry out a test. On most other surfaces you are fine and its really easy to just wipe off.

chalk markers www.myrealfairy.comTo prepare the markers we had a plain piece of paper and pushed the nib up and down about 10 times until the chalk ink was flowing smoothly. They are also odour free and non toxic so I felt safe using them around the boys.

chalk markers
chalk markers

I had a little chalk board which I had picked up at the pound shop and I wanted to use for reminder notes which I needed. Big M set about helping out to create our blog design. The colours are so vibrant on the board and the pens flowed nicely. There wasn’t any blobs of colour spilling out and it was very easy to use, easier than we thought they would be. We were so pleased with the result that we have still left it as it is, my reminder notes will stay on scraps of paper until we get another one!
chalk markers www.myrealfairy.comA bit of a grown ups idea but Big M let his cheeky side out and decorated a bottle of Prosecco I happened to have! I loved it and thought what a fab idea if you were giving a bottle as a present, very personalised and adds that little extra glam touch to something fairly normal. I thought that it would also be great to write peoples names on the side of water glasses, if you had a few people round the table at christmas or parties. It’s a funky alternative to seating plans or placecards.

chalk markers

These were a really good product, easy to use, they had a quality look to them and were well packaged. We had fun and now that I have them I know that they will be sneaking their way into more little touches around our home.

I have a pack of 21 markers with 15 chalk markers + 6 metallic markers to giveaway in the rafflecopter review below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Open to Worldwide entrants subject to Chalkola shipping countries. Prize distributed by the Chalkola. Please see my contacts page for giveaway general guidelines.

Please checkout Chalkola social media sites and website for more details and information of their other products.

Facebook: Chalkola

Twitter: ChalkolaChalk

Pinterest: Chalkola

I also have a 15% discount code which Chalkola have also offered all of my readers. Just enter the code: 15OFFSTR at the checkout

You can order and redeem your discount through their website here or on Amazon here 

I was sent the chalk markers used in this review. All comments and thoughts are honest and my own.

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