11 articles Articles posted in Advertorial

Get a £10 Free Bonus with Sky Vegas

Written in collaboration with Sky Vegas.

sky vegas

Sky Vegas is running a really great offer at the moment where you get a free £10 signing on bonus, as well as up to a £1000 deposit bonus the first time you top up your account, depending on how much you add to your account. This means that, if you deposit £10, you’ll end up with £40 worth of playing time – four times as much fun! Follow this link to sign up for yourself: http://goo.gl/xm4VYG (affiliate link)

It’s safe to say that having a little flutter is something that both Husband and I enjoy from time to time, be it a bet on the football or a few spins of the virtual roulette wheel. We’re always super sensible about how we play, setting ourselves a strict limit that we never exceed (usually about ten pounds) and once it’s gone it’s gone. We also have strict rules with ourselves about when we stop – it’s really easy to win a few times, build up a decent pot of winnings…and then bet it all away again! By the same token, we’ve also had days where we’ve won a fair amount – we bought our last fridge freezer with online winnings!

Gambling responsibly can be really fun, as long as you know your limits, which is why doing it with a friend or partner is a great idea. You’re able to keep one another in check and celebrate together if you win big! Why not make a night of it by getting a takeaway or some snacks, making a Spotify playlist for your evening and even making some fun cocktails? It will probably work out a LOT cheaper than a night out and you can even do it in your pyjamas! Are you a fan of online gambling? Do you ever make a night of it? Have you ever won big? I’d love to hear about your experiences!

#IWantToBe – Blossom Magazine and Female Aspirations

Sausage is an avid reader of just about anything she can get her hands on; books, comics, road signs…but most of all, she’s a huge fan of magazines. Blossom Magazine is one which has just started to catch her eye – it’s aimed at 5-8 year girls and their mix of crafts, stories, popular characters and regular inclusion of stickers (I think if Sausage ever had an x-ray, she’d be made of about 90% stickers – girl can’t get enough!) makes it very popular with my almost-6 year old.

Blossom I Want To Be Edition cover

Blossom Magazine’s latest competition is one which has us super excited. They’re asking girls to make videos in which they share their career aspirations with the world, and as a mum to two girls, I find this really encouraging.  One of the carers they’ve featured is quite poignant for me; they’ve interviewed a female pilot and if you’ve read my blog recently, you’ll know that this is what I wanted to be for most of my childhood, only to be thwarted by my terrible eyesight!

Blossom I want to be a pilot

Best of all, they’ve this week launched a brilliant competition for their readers.  The #IWantToBe campaign is asking young readers to submit a video entry of what they want to be when they grow up. Entrants have until 6th September to submit their video to the email address of hello@blossommagazine.co.uk and one winner will be selected to win a VIP London family trip which includes one family ticket to ZSL London with a Meet the Meerkats experience; one Rainforest Café voucher worth £100; overnight accommodation in one family room at 3-star hotel, in Central London and a visit to Blossom HQ plus a Blossom Goody Bag.

Blossom I Want To Be

I don’t put Sausage or BB on the blog, so I can’t post a video of her here, but I asked her what she wants to be when she’s older and she said that she’s planning to become a primatologist, studying and caring for monkies and apes. She’s always been absolutely mad about animals, so I have every faith in her that this is what she’ll do, but her Dad and I would support her no matter what she decides to do with her life.

So, what does your little one want to be when they’re older? Leave me a comment below!

T&Cs:  Terms and conditions: Promoter: Immediate Media London Company Limited. You must make sure that we have your entries by 11.59pm, 6th September 2014. 1. You can enter if you live in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland or the Channel Islands, unless someone who lives in your house works for the Immediate Media Company. 2. By entering the competition, you promise to us that you have read these rules and that you will follow them. 3. We can’t include entries which arrive too late and we can’t accept responsibility if your entry is lost. By entering this competition, parents/guardians grant permission to Immediate Media Company (publishers of Blossom) to post the winner’s video and entrants’ first names in its publications, websites and on its social media sites. 4. Winners will be chosen at random. 5. One entry per household. We don’t allow bulk entries or entries made by other people on your behalf. We will disqualify all entries which break this rule. 6. If you win, you will receive the prize described. We won’t swap the prize for cash. No alternatives or substitutions for any unused elements of the prize. If there’s ever a reason why we can’t give you exactly the same prize, we’ll give you something  j ust as good or better instead. Prize is one family ticket to ZSL London valid for 2 adults and 2 children aged 3-16. Children must be at least 5 years of age and be accompanied by an adult for the Meet the Meerkats experience. One Rainforest Café voucher worth £100, see voucher for expiry date and additional T&Cs – includes drinks. Overnight accommodation in one family room at 3-star hotel, in Central London selected by Immediate Media Company. Visit to Blossom HQ includes a Blossom Goody Bag. Travel and other personal expenses are not included. Prize must be redeemed before 31st December 2014. 7. Winners will be contacted within 28 days of a competition closing date, either by post, telephone or email. 8. If we contact you to tell you you’re a winner, but you don’t reply within a month, we may have to offer the prize to a runner-up or give it away in a future competition. Your details: We will use your name, address and any other details that you give us to run this competition. If you win, we will pass them to the person who’s providing the prize so that they can post it to you, and we may use your first name and county in the magazine or on our website but we won’t provide them to anyone else without your permission. You can find out the winner’s first name and county once the competition is over by sending a stamped addressed envelope to Competition Rules, ATTN: Marketing Assistant, Blossom Magazine, Immediate Media Limited, Vineyard House, 44 Brook Green, London W6 7BT. Remember to tell us which magazine, issue number and competition you’d like to know about.

 I am receiving a year’s subscription of Blossom Magazine in return for writing this post.

Healthier Smoking – E-Cigs Discount Code

bestofbrandskit_black__69168.1396478717.386.513Here’s something that you may or may not know about me: before Sausage was conceived, I was actually a really heavy smoker. I’d smoked since way before I was legally old enough to smoke, back in the days when shops were allowed to display their cigarette counters with pride and pubs weren’t proper pubs unless they had a smokey haze and a full ashtray on every table. However, as soon as we started trying for Sausage, I knew my smoking days were numbered.

I wish I’d had something like these electronic cigarettes (e-cigs) from E-cig Store – I went cold-turkey, and I have to say, it was really difficult. I am not a woman who is known for her willpower, and letting the nicotine ebb out of my system was one of the hardest things I’ve done. E-cigs didn’t exist back then, but if I had to give up all over again, I’d definitely opt for something like this to help me.

The thing is, even if you like your nicotine hit and don’t actually want to give up, e-cigs are still a great product. You can puff away (INDOORS!) without there being any smoke to affect anyone else, you’ll not be ingesting the tar and chemicals that you find in regular cigarettes, and you can even choose a different flavour for your e-cig too, so you’ll be inhaling a lovely fruity taste instead of acrid cigarette smoke.

Obviously the health advantages are numerous, but the thought of being able to rid your hair, clothes, house and car of the smell of cigarette smoke is a huge bouns, too. Something I didn’t know about e-cigs is that you can also choose the strength of nicotine that you’re inhaling. If you usually smoke heavily, you can go for a higher dose, but if you’re a ‘one or two a day’ kind of smoker, then there are much weaker strengths for you to try.

Here’s some of the blurb from the site:

“Recent scientific studies have shown that ecigs can reduce health risks by at least 95% when compared to traditional cigarettes. We’ve listed just a few of those hundreds of benefits from using e-cigs over traditional smoking:

The primary benefit of e-cigarettes is that they’re a much healthier alternative to smoking tobacco cigarettes. Numerous scientific studies have proven that traditional smoking puts you at higher risk of a wide array of health risks including, heart disease, lung and throat cancer, Alzheimer’s – the list goes on, 99% of which are caused by the burning of tobacco and other chemicals which are eliminated with use of e-cigs.

E-cigs are odourless – Every smoker is used to the strong scent of cigarettes which gets absorbed into your clothes and hair and can be off putting for anyone you come into contact with. E-cigarettes don’t give off any odour due to the exhalation of vapour as opposed to smoke

Extremely cost effective compared to traditional smoking. Dependent on how much you smoke on average a day, switching to e-cigs could save you hundreds of pounds a year let alone the huge reduction in smoking related illnesses”

There are several different brands and systems for you to try, as well as handy accessories such as car chargers and carry cases and Mum’s the Word is pleased to say that we have an exclusive discount code for you to use if you buy something from e-cigstore. Simply enter the code MUMSTHEWORD15% at the checkout and you’ll receive 15% off of your order.

I must say, if I wasn’t so firmly in the ‘I’ve QUIT’ camp, I’d be seriously tempted to try the maple syrup flavour E-liquid!

Moments That Matter

Lloyds Bank are currently running a campaign to get us to show our ‘Moments that Matter’ and have kindly produced a .gif for me, made up of our very own moments:

mumstheword

Obviously, one of our biggest moments this year was finding out that we’re expecting baby number 2, but there’s been a lot of other stuff along the way. Sausage discovered her love of horse-riding and started her first course of lessons in the summer. She’s going to start again in the Easter holidays, hopefully.

We also had some great day trips, many locally but also to Longleat where I met and fed lots of Lorikeets, my favourite birds. We went to our first firework display as a family, visited Anfield and had an AMAZING experience there (as well as getting to see Luis Suarez score his first ever hat-trick at home!). Sausage and I had our lovely Christmas manicures in the run-up to the festive season, as well as spending lots of quality time together.

Chuck gets a mention because he’s been with us for 8 years this year and my lovely old boy is still an incredible companion for our whole family. The picture of Big Ben represents the day that I had to visit St. Thomas’ hospital for our fetal cardiology scan and finding out that our baby girl has a strong heart which is developing properly, despite my diabetes. It was a HUGE weight off of our shoulders.

All in all, 2013 was a pretty big year for our family and 2014 is looking to be even more hectic, what with a new little person coming along. I cannot wait to see what the rest of the year has in store for us and what new challenges and opportunities might pitch up along the way.

What was your ‘moment that mattered’ from 2013 and what are you looking forward to about the year ahead? Do let me know.

A Much Needed Holiday

Written in collaboration with Marsdens Cottage Holidays

Devon

Husband and I had lived together for about 8 months when we decided that we wanted to get a dog and after a little bit of research, we adopted Chuck from a local shelter. He’d been pushed from pillar to post and was literally on his last chance before the local pound would send him to be put to sleep. As a result, we promised that we’d never leave him in kennels without us and we never have, but this means now that we have Sausage is that we’ve never been able to take her on a proper holiday.

She’s got to an age now where she’s started asking about holidays and we’ve decided that we need to find a way to take both her and Chuck for a nice break. We recently found Marsdens Cottage Holidays online and are thinking about booking a cottage for us all to go to – lots of their Devon based cottages allow pets to be brought along and knowing that we could get away without having to leave Chuck would be absolutely amazing.

The Devon countryside would be the perfect place for us, as a family, to visit; Chuck would absolutely love all of the open space and Sausage would be able to visit some of the gorgeous local beaches. Husband and I would love to visit Dartmoor and see the wild English landscapes and just getting out of our little house would do us all the world of good.

Self-catering would be a really good option for us too, as we could please ourselves in terms of mealtimes. It also keeps the cost of a holiday down if you can do a food shop for essentials, saving money for day-trips and expeditions to the local pubs – of which I’m sure there’d be many!

A cottage holiday would be ideal after the baby is born, too, as we’d be able to have a nice relaxed holiday and not have to worry about her crying and disturbing other people, like we would if we were at a hotel. Lots of the cottages have hot tubs, too, so I’m sure we’d manage to fill our evenings with plenty of relaxation!

Do you have any experience of holidaying in the UK or specifically Devon, especially in a rented cottage? Have you even taken pets away with you? Do let me know, I’d love to hear about it.

Is Cyberbullying a Problem for Your Child?

Post provided by quib.ly

A survey commissioned by the Anti-Bullying Alliance has uncovered some very worrying statistics. 60.5% of UK parents believe that cyberbullying is part of everyday life for their children. The survey also asked parents whether they felt they were equipped to deal with the problems raised by cyberbullying. 40% of parents stated that they did not know how to handle cyberbulling issues, whilst 44% of teachers admitted that they didn’t know how to cope with instances of cyberbullying.

These are worrying statistics, but is the problem really as significant as parents and teachers think? The parenting advice website quib.ly investigates…

Is cyberbulling a widespread problem?

So it’s clearly a concern for parents and teachers, but does reality reflect these grown up worries about cyberbullying? In England at least it looks like the problem is not being overstated. 55% of kids surveyed claimed that they see cyberbulling as part of everyday life.

But the facts and figures vary. In March 2013, the NSPCC came out with research which suggested that 38% of children have been affected by the practice. It’s a very difficult thing to monitor. Children have very different perceptions of the issue – for those only indirectly involved, it may not seem like bullying. For the perpetrators of this type of online abuse, speaking honestly about the problem is not possible. Meanwhile, the media are always ready with shock stories which can trigger parental fears and cause more of a panic than necessary.

It does look like there is some disparity between the concerns of adults and the concerns of children on the issue. Just 40% of kids think that cyberbullying and how to deal with it should be included on the national curriculum. Meanwhile 69% of teachers believe that the issue should be incorporated into mandatory lessons at school.

Whatever the percentage of affected children – the figures are still too high. No children should experience persecution online. Whether you’re looking at the highest figure (60.5%) or the lower statistics (38%), these are not negligible figures. The problem needs to be tackled.

Is my child affected by cyberbulling?

In this climate it is understandable for parents to be concerned about their children online. It is difficult for children to speak out about cyberbullying and they may not even recognise that this is a problem affecting them. If you are worried that your child may be a victim of cyberbullying, there are a few warning signs to look out for:

  • Visible nervousness when receiving text and email alerts
  • Hides or closes computer and phone screens when you’re around
  • Withdrawal from friends and peers
  • Impaired academic performance
  • Loss of appetite, volatile moods, noticeable change in behaviour

Of course a lot of these signs are normal teenage behaviour associated with hormonal changes and teenage life. That’s why it’s important to talk to your child about cyberbullying and what’s going on in their life.

How to address the issue

Talk to your children. Make sure they know that you will be supportive no matter what people are saying online. Let them know you are in their corner and will do everything you can to protect them from online bullies.

If your child is evasive, it may be time to take a closer look at browser histories, emails and text messages. This is a drastic step as it constitutes as invasion of privacy, but if you find evidence of cyberbullying it’s crucial not to be angry and present a supportive shoulder for your child. The next step is taking the issue to a trusted teacher or, in extreme cases, to the police.

Tesco Boost Christmas Wish List

We’re big fans of Tesco Clubcard in this house, having used our points in the past to exchange for vouchers for various things, from furniture to days out, so it’s great to see that Tesco is doing Tesco Clubcard Boost for the festive season, allowing you to exchange your vouchers for more to spend on selected items. Every £5 of Clubcard vouchers will buy you £10 of Clubcard Boost vouchers,  and there’s a whole load of great items to spend them on.

Tesco asked me if I’d like to put together a wish-list of things that the Mum’s the Word family would like for Christmas, so here’s what us 4 (soon to be 5!) would like:

Me

Kenwood Chef

I know it’s probably not very feminist to ask for a kitchen appliance for Christmas, but I think feminism is about the freedom to be yourself, so what I really want for Christmas is this Kenwood Chef (£239.00). I love baking and this would be perfect for that and I fully intend for the baby to eat the same as us once she’s weaned, so I’ll be doing a lot of blending next year, making this the perfect appliance for me.

Husband

Canon EOS 60D

My Husband has a really good eye for photography – you could give us the same cameras, same lighting and the same thing to shoot and his photos would still come out a thousand times better than mine, so I’d love him to have a really awesome camera to use. I know lots of people who recommend the Canon EOS 60D (£829) and as it’s part of the Tesco Boost deals, this is what I’d choose for him.

Sausage

Furby Boom

If you’ve got little ones, you probably know that Furby (£49.99) is THE gift of choice this year, and Sausage is no exception. She’s been asking us for a Furby since she saw the adverts a couple of months ago and we’ve been steadfastly using the “Well, you’ll have to see what Santa brings you..” line, so this will definitely be on her list. I remember Furby when I was a kid but it’s a whole different creature now, as it can be linked with a tablet PC and controlled with an app!

Baby

Jumperoo

When Sausage was little, we had some great toys for her, which aided physical and mental development, and as soon as I saw this Fisher-Price Discover ‘N Grow Jumperoo Bouncer (£85.00), I knew it was something that we’d want for the baby. Sausage absolutely loved being upright as much as possible and was trying to stand up from about 3 weeks old, so the new baby will probably get a real kick out of this toy, and it’s suitable from birth too, which is just fab!

Chuck

House-of-Paws-Tweed-Oval-Dog-Bed-in-Green

Obviously, Chuck is an important part of our family, so he doesn’t get left out at Christmas. Now that he’s getting older, he needs a comfy place to sleep that’s also warm – he’s a short-haired breed so he gets chilly at night when we turn the heating off. This House of Paws Dog Bed (£74.14) would be perfect for him, giving him both comfort and warmth, and I love the tweed pattern it comes in too.

So, that’s what we’d choose – what’s on your list this year?

Brighten Up Your Kitchen in Aid of Children in Need

The exclusive polka dot retro fridge freezer available from Crampton & Moore in aid of Children in Need.An independent electrical retailer is hoping to raise hundreds of pounds for charity with a ‘cool’ unique online auction.

Sheffield based electrical retailer Crampton & Moore and white goods manufacturer Servis, have designed a one-of-a-kind Pudsey Bear inspired retro fridge to auction off, with all proceeds going to this year’s Children in Need. Consumers can make their bid on eBay for a chance to win the unique polka dot retro fridge freezer.

Bidding will start from 9am on Monday 11 November and will run until 8pm on Friday 15 November, the official Children In Need day.

Steve Lineton, E-Commerce Developer of Crampton & Moore commented: “Having worked with six different charities in the past, we are really excited to be part of this year’s Children in Need. Crampton & Moore has recently partnered with Servis and we thought an eye-catching product such as the retro fridge freezer would be ideal to help us raise money for the charity.

“We are proud to support such a worthy cause and hope consumers will join us next week and make their bid for the chance to win this exclusive fridge freezer.”

The limited edition fridge, in Classic Cream with Children in Need style polka dots, will be in Crampton & Moore’s Sheffield store on Wednesday 13 November to encourage consumers to make their bid online.

Servis’ retro collection fuses vintage style with modern cooling technology and is ideal for a household looking for extra food space. The retro fridge freezer boasts a practical capacity of up to 335 litres of fridge and freezer space, giving plenty of room to stock up ahead of the Christmas period.

In addition to the retro collection, Servis’ dishwashing, laundry and cooking appliances are also available from Crampton & Moore.

For more information or to place your bid visit www.stores.ebay.co.uk/Crampton-and-Moore.

(No money was received for the publication of this advertorial)

A Game of Dress Up

A few weeks ago, we gave Sausage’s bedroom a bit of a makeover; now that she’s a big girl, she needs a room befitting, so we bought her a new wardrobe and storage, as well as some pictures and a proper wooden desk with a pink swivel chair for her to use to do her homework. Of course, new furniture meant a lot of sorting out, and in the process of this I realised that my daughter owns an astounding amount of fancy dress costumes, so much in fact, that we’ve had to give it its very own storage box as there’s just not enough space for it to all hang in her wardrobe!

Whilst looking through her stash, mad as I am, I started thinking about costumes that she didn’t have, and though that I’d like to add some children’s superhero fancy dress to her collection. A couple of years ago, we had a conversation and she revealed to me that she didn’t think that girls could be superheroes, she thought it was solely the domain of males to save the world, and Husband and I embarked upon a mission to introduce her to Wonder Woman, Super Girl and the many awesome female X-Men characters that she was unaware of.

Elliots fancy dress shop in Belfast offers some great options for both superhero and villain costumes (I think my favourite is the Minions costume, as we’re huge fans of Despicable Me in our house), but I’m seriously considering investing in a Super Girl costume for my little hero, so give her a sense of empowerment. That’s what super heroes should be about, as far as I’m concerned – a regular person who’s able to do masses of good for the world with their individual strengths. Maybe the ‘S’ on the front of the costume could stand for ‘Sausage’?!

A Room Somewhere…

I’m a bit of a musicals fan, and this time of year always reminds me of the inimitable Eliza Doolittle:

All I want is a room somewhere,
Far away from the cold night air.
With one enormous chair,
Aow, wouldn’t it be loverly?
Lots of choc’lates for me to eat,
Lots of coal makin’ lots of ‘eat.
Warm face, warm ‘ands, warm feet,
Aow, wouldn’t it be loverly?

I’m a real creature of comfort and I love winter because I can hibernate indoors, get snuggly and shut out the chilly outside world. What I’d really love is a modern wall hung gas fire to heat the house and chill out in front of on winter nights. Our house is chilly at the best of times and a fireplace would be the perfect decorative addition, as well as giving our central heating a bit of a helping hand!

I also love traditional gas fires, and the thought of being able to have a proper fire place is very appealing – there’s nothing that looks nicer at Christmas than a mantelpiece, laden with garlands and wooden festive decorations, around a roaring fire. I like to think I’m a fairly modern gal, but there’s a bit of me that hankers after tradition, and I love the image of my girls opening their presents on a thick rug in front of the fireplace. Who knew there was a 50’s housewife hiding inside me?!

I know someone else who’d love a fireplace too – my dog Chuck is an epic snuggler and now that he’s 9, he loves nothing better than curling up in front of a radiator. It’s just not the same as laying in front of a fire, and I’d love to be able to give him somewhere to lay in his old age. They say that dogs are like their owners – well, we’re definitely both creatures of comfort!