How we got involved with the Great British Spring Clean #GBSpringclean

We love walking down to our local river and are lucky enough to live very close to it. We heard about the Great British Spring Clean launched by Keep Britain Tidy on social media and we decided that we wanted to be part of it.

the great british spring clean

This is the path leading down to the river and it actually looks really clean and tidy. I thought that we wouldn’t really have that much to clear up as I know that there are groups that volunteer along the river and keep it as nice as possible.

the great british spring clean

The event was held over the weekend of 3rd – 5th March 2017. You could register on the website and make use of all sorts of printable resources to promote what you were going to do.

I printed off some posters there and they also had some printable certificates too which is a nice little boost for kids and adults alike.

the great british spring clean

To be fair it was all a little last-minute and I only got the poster on the path gate the day before the events were taking place. I thought it would be nice if there was anyone who wanted to join in with us. There would already be the 4 of us with me, my OH and the two boys. On the day it turned out that it was just us and another lady who had seen me putting the poster on the day before. She was a teacher and walked down the river most days so liked the ideas of doing her bit.

We all got really stuck into our challenge and the boys and the OH went right into the trees and bank alongside the path. To my surprise the bags were starting to fill up!

the great british spring clean

By the time we had finished we had four black bin liners full of rubbish. We even had a competition for who had the most unusual piece that was found. We decided that it had to be the motorcycle helmet as surely you would notice if you had left that behind!

the great british spring clean

In good recycling fashion my OH then sorted the rubbish into what could go in which of our bins – normal or recycling – and we got ourselves cleaned up in time to watch our beloved Bournemouth football team play in the afternoon on the TV as they were away that week.

It was a great way to spend the day and an eye opener to the amount of unnecessary rubbish left around by people, it’s hard to understand how people can just drop things and not seem to care.

Let other people see how they can get involved with this and other events. Click to tweet...Click To Tweet

You can see in the short video below Steve Backshall talking about the event and the effects of rubbish on the environment.

the great british spring clean

I’d love to hear if you have been involved in any environmental projects or if you do anything locally within your own community.


Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

5 Tips to help the school run go smoother! It’s all in the prep!

So, it’s morning, even though it feels like the middle of the night because surely you have only had a nano second of sleep and the bloomin alarm is shrieking at the top of its voice that you should wake up. If you are anything like me then now is the time that the skill of juggling really comes into its own. Breakfast for the family, just a cuppa for me, after all it’s still the middle of the night in my head *note to self to be a good role model and eat well* it’s on my to-do list!

So before I get side tracked then – here are my top 5 things to help the school run go better!!

The key is, to start from the beginning……

1. Change the ring-tone of your alarm! For years I had the cutest sound of my boys saying for me to wake up, I couldn’t bear to take it off for ages but as the years wore on it was so loud and high-pitched that it wasn’t waking me up the right way. So I’ve saved it to be used for other things and now gone onto a lovely gently undulating tone that lets me wake up in a more gentle way as opposed to heart thumping shock to the system! Try it, even if it’s just for a week.

2. Breakfast, aside from the fact that I am a hypocrite and can’t stomach breakfast in the morning, make sure that the kids have it and digest it properly. In our house that would mean, trying to control their urges to practice dance, gym, football, karate moves while spooning in shreddies to their mouths, jumpers, hamsters and the floor.

3. Teeth! You might have got this one sorted. I have 50% success here, one boy is glued to the bathroom doing his hair, pearly white smile and generally grooming to perfection his appearance while the other one is, well lets just say…not quite there yet. You would have seen from one of my previous posts about motherhood that I have a little trick up my sleeve for how we are currently making sure his teeth are getting cleaned.

5 tips to helping the school run go smoother

4. Everything has been lined up the night before, so we have; uniform, school bag, shoes, coat, drink and whichever activity they have (that they’ve told you about!) The 5  P’s are in operation here; Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance. I’ll leave the 6th one out, after all it’s a family blog:0

5. Then it’s in the car with a double and triple check, a final grilling of have they got everything and off to school we go. 9 times out of ten this can work, on the odd occasion for us then this will be the point that one of them tells me that it’s World Book, Children in Need, day of the peach, environment, woman, man or child day and on those days that’s when I have to whistle a happy tune, turn the radio up and think happy thoughts!

How do your days go first thing in the morning? Have you got it sussed? Have you got any tips to share?

Let see if we are alone in the dreaded prep for the school run. Tweet to share.Click To Tweet

p.s. this is how I actually feel when the school run is over…


Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.



The #RockingMotherhood Tag

Thanks to Zoe from for nominating me to do the #RockingMotherhood Tag. I’ve been interested in the tag since seeing it and having to think what do I actually rock at! Bigging myself up might feel weird to do but here goes, I’m sure once I get into the swing of it there will be no stopping me! The aim of the game is to write down 10 reasons why you rock at this motherhood lark. We are thrown in at the deep end so this is great to actually do a bit of reflecting and realise what we have accomplished.

  1. I’ve always carefully thought about the decisions I make and how it will affect my boys. There were times when I wasn’t sure what to do for the best and had the whole moral dilemma going on but I gave it my best shot and it worked out.
  2. I worked hard to make sure that I could afford a home for them and put food on the table.
  3. When they cry they always have a pair of arms to wrap around them. I’ve also got great family, friends and man, so that helps too and provides even more pairs of arms!
  4. I didn’t choose to shut myself away when things were tough, I got back out there and kept it together for the sake of my boys.
  5. I love to do the lindy hop with my youngest as he learnt it for a school dance. We now do it as a way to get him through the 2 mins of teeth cleaning.
  6. I try to guide my eldest in the difficult and sometimes challenging stage of being 11 and a half. If I struggle I pass over to the safe hands of his dad. I know where my skills lie and that’s sometimes in delegation.
  7. I try and let them have their own space and encourage them to read more instead of being glued to their ipads.
  8. I encourage them to have an understanding of individual differences. Our jobs mean that they have insights into these discussions.
  9. I celebrate every occasion I can and make a big deal out of the smallest event. You gain a merit, well let’s party!
  10. I love ice cream so we get to go to the local sundae cafe very frequently!
  11. I knew that I would get into the swing of it and as I’m writing this it all boils down to the fact that I love my boys more than anything in the world. I enjoy telling them I love them every day and showing them by my actions. I’ve been described (like many mums) as a lioness when it comes to protecting them. That’s good, that’s me, the lioness.

The rules are lovely and simple

  1. Thank the blogger that tagged you and link to their blog.
  2. List 10 things you believe make you a good mother (this is just a guideline. It can be more or less than 10.)
  3. Tag 3 – 5 bloggers to join in the #RockingMotherhood Tag.
  4. Grab the #RockingMotherhgood badge below and add it to your post or sidebar.
I hope you have enjoyed reading why I think I rock. I also hope it has inspired you to write down why you rock. Instead of me tagging people in, if you would like to take part then please either tweet me here or write in the comments section below and I’ll tag you in. It’s great fun and go on, it’s time to big yourself up!
Thanks to Patricia over at who created this great tag.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

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


Tweet your friends if you'd like to share, Thank you!Click To Tweet

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.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

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!


Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

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!

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

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?

tweet if you would like to share this post...aahh go on, make my day:)Click To Tweet

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.



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


Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

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

Tweet to wish us a Happy Birthday! xxClick To Tweet

#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.

I'd love you to let people know about Carols #guestpost week here on the blogClick To Tweet

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!:)

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.