Monday, August 31

Labelling the uniform with Stamptastic

I have to admit, I am one of the least organised people I know.  It actually only occurred to me tonight that with this horrid weather we have been having that Emmy may need to go back to School in a Winter uniform - now I do know her old Winter one doesn't fit, cue mad panic as the only days I have the car this week are the ones where I will be out all day at pre-arranged days out so I wouldn't have time to visit the shops.  Thank goodness for internet shopping and of course next day delivery and of course credit cards.  Phew, panic over (well as long as it fits that is!)
Is anyone else finding the Summer has disappeared and they actually aren't ready for the back to School rush?
Thankfully though labelling her uniform when it arrives will be very quick, easy and almost effortless as before the Summer I was asked to become a Stamptastic Ambassador.
This wasn't something I had used before, but once I had is something I had known about sooner, it has saved so much time for me and stopped the dread which sets in each term when the children have new School uniform, coats or in Harry's case - all his clothes as they all need labelling for Pre-School. 
Stamptastic is a very fast way of labelling belongings and isn't limited to just clothes either - it is a personalised stamp block which used in conjunction with the special ink pad can be used to name fabric, wood, metal and some plastics.
The stamp itself is clear so you can easily see through when positioning onto your items, this makes it easy to see if you have placed it in the position you would like and to see the name will be clearly visible.
You can chose any name (provided it fits onto the block - you can preview this on the website before ordering).  You are also able to  chose between a number of font styles and font sizes, and add a picture to your stamp too.
I have 2 of these stamps - one with a Car on and Harry's name and the other with a Butterfly and Emmy's name (Emily obviously as it's for School).  These stamps are a standard size and cost £10 each.
You then purchase a stamp block separately which costs £12.  This is a special ink which one used with the stamp onto fabric can be washed over and over again and won't come off or fade for around 50 washes.
I actually used ours before the summer with all of Harry's pre-school jumpers and hoodies, these have been washed frequently and the labelling has not faded in the slightest.  Emmy's old school uniform was named using this too and also hasn't faded through washing.
These really are easy to use and I have even used as walking out of the door after realising the sunhat or jumper the kids have switched to at the last minute isn't named - a big NO NO for school as we would never see it again.
Now when Emmy's new uniform arrives this week, I know that I can quickly name effortlessly without the faff of sewing or ironing on labels.
Available from:
Disclaimer:  We received our products as part of our Ambassadors role.  All thoughts are our own and unbiased.

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Emmy and I ran the Race for Life last month in loving memory of my wonderful Mother-in-Law Anne who sadly passed away on 14th July. We would be honoured if you would consider sponsoring us to race money for Cancer Research UK.

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

Saturday, August 29

Persil and Unicef unite to help 10 million children

School holiday's are almost over now and we have begun the back to School preparation with new School shoes, haircuts and last minute uniform size checks - me being me has managed to lose Emmy's PE bag full of her clean kit which I cleverly washed and repacked at the end of the school, so will have to try and search over the weekend or replace before we go back.
With this preparation it has made me remember the preparation of 2 years ago when Emmy first started Nursery and Facebook/timehop has also been reminding me with pictures of her trying on uniform and by next week it will show her first day.  This picture popped up today which my brother sent to me on the run up to her starting:

That was pretty much what Emmy was like - while her friends were busy getting excited, she was busy saying she didn't want to go, crying and getting herself very upset.
It was hard to see as a parent and upset me greatly.  I knew as a former Nursery Nurse and Nanny that once she was there and I had left that she would be fine, the tears would stop almost instantly and she would have fun.  It didn't make it any easier though and I did cry myself on a few occasions.
She of course survived, she did stop crying almost instantly but did cling to me crying at most drop off's for a while, I would pass her over to the teacher and leave as quickly as I could, not because I am mean but because it was easiest for her and her teachers and had I stayed she would have wanted that all the time.
Of course it didn't last forever, she made friends and was excited to go to school, then cried when it wasn't her school day as she missed her friends and teachers.  We went through this all over again when she started in reception.  She had new children in her class who she didn't know, new teachers and a new classroom - it was all different and she didn't like it.  She doesn't cope well with change but eventually we overcame this and she was happy again.  I am expecting it all over again when she goes back as she will have a new classroom and a new teacher, more structured lessons and dare I say it....homework.

We are lucky though, in the UK all children are entitled to an education from aged 5 - 16.  Globally, there are 130 million children in education who will reach year 5, but fail to learn basic reading, math, writing and social skills they need to achieve their full potential.  Furthermore, an additional 58 million children are out of school without access to basic education.
Persil has launched their 'Learning for Tomorrow' initiative in partnership with Unicef.  Their first step in committing to help improve the future of children around the world and support them in reaching their full potential through access to quality education and new learning experiences.

The initative is funded with an initial €1.4 million donation from Persil and Unilever Global Partnerships, which ill contribute to Unicef's education programmes, providing access to quality education opportunities for 10 million children in Brazil, India and Vietnam.


As part of Persil’s partnership with Unicef, celebrating the giving of 10M children worldwide access to quality education, Persil are running a Photo-A-Week challenge. Each week for 4 weeks, you could win exciting prizes! Each week Persil will announce a school theme on their Instagram page @PersilUK and ask you to upload your photo to Instagram. Just mention @PersilUK using that week’s competition hashtag. 
"This is a sponsored post"
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Emmy and I ran the Race for Life last month in loving memory of my wonderful Mother-in-Law Anne who sadly passed away on 14th July. We would be honoured if you would consider sponsoring us to race money for Cancer Research UK.

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

Friday, August 28

Decorating your bathroom on a budget

The bathroom is one of the most-used rooms in the house, and as such it takes much more of the brunt of daily wear and tear that comes with everyday life. Bathrooms can be notoriously expensive to revamp or redecorate though - so can end up a little neglected. But don’t despair! It’s more than possible to give your bathroom the makeover it deserves even on a tight budget. Here’s a few tips to help you know where to spend your budget to make the biggest impact.

A Lick of Paint

It's truly amazing what something as simple and inexpensive as a new coat of paint can do to upgrade a bathroom. For the walls and ceiling, you'll want to invest in mildew and mold-proof primers and paint, which are admittedly slightly more expensive than basic formulas, but you won't need more than one tin to cover an average-size bathroom. The extra cost is money well spent as it builds in extra damp protection for moisture-prone bathrooms and can stop bigger and more expensive problems in their tracks. Cover any dingy surfaces, including baseboard molding, window trim, and scuffed cabinetry – only when you do will you realize how much of a difference it makes to the overall look! If the budget’s too tight, though, skip replacement and focus instead on deep cleaning. If your budget won’t stretch to a new bathroom suite – or if you don’t really want to replace your current one for purely aesthetic purposes - then consider updating them with suitable paint. For example, simply painting the outside of an old roll-top bath will give instant, dramatic results that can be the focal point for the rest of your revamp.

Bathroom cabinets can begin to look dated, worn or the paint flakes after a while but you won't necessarily want to change those, you could sand down and repaint, change the colour with paint or go for a neutral tone and replace the door and drawer handles for a brand new look with little effort

Invest in lighting

An underappreciated way to get a rich look in your bathroom is to change the lighting, either by replacing ugly outdated fixtures, by changing the placement of the lights, or both. Check out Scotlight Commercial Lighting for some great options to help you update the lighting in your bathroom, no matter what your budget.

Consider options carefully before getting the electrician though, as you’ll want to make sure the new lights fit with the aesthetic of the room. Hanging a small chandelier with crystal drops over the vanity can be dressy and sophisticated. Replacing harsh bulb strips around the mirror with sleek sconces is an immediate modern update. And inserting lights in the ceiling that you can dim with a controllable switch creates a feeling of tranquility for those long soaks in the tub. The possibilities are endless, and not necessarily as pricey as you might have thought


By adding a new bathmat with a splash of colour or even changing the colour scheme of your towels you can change the look and feel of a room effortlessly and very cheaply too.  If you've a plain white bathroom then adding a bold colour to these accessories can draw the eye away from the white and make it look bigger in the process

Remove clutter

Tidy away toothbrushes, toothpastes, brushes, hair and shaving accessories into a drawer or cupboard if you can to keep surfaces clean and clear - cluttered shelves make a room look smaller so by putting away you can create an illusion of more space.  If you don't have anywhere to store these then wicker baskets are an option

Bath toys can also be placed into a hanging storage bag or perhaps a large bucket to help the room tidy too

Once the kids are back to school I need to get cracking on our main bathroom as the tiles all need a good cleaning and the paint on the doors is cracking so I plan to paint those, I'm also eyeing up some lovely crystal style handles to give the room a different look, and new towels wouldn't go amiss

This is a collaborative post"

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Emmy and I ran the Race for Life last month in loving memory of my wonderful Mother-in-Law Anne who sadly passed away on 14th July. We would be honoured if you would consider sponsoring us to race money for Cancer Research UK.

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

Taking a look a credit scores, why they are important and how you can improve it

When you are younger you may not worry too much about your credit rating, or actually have an idea just how important it can be in the long run.
It's mainly when you are looking to secure a loan, buy a house and apply for a mortgage or maybe even take on a contract mobile phone that you may begin to see how important it is to have a good credit rating.
So what actually is your credit rating/credit score?
It is one way that banks, credit card companies and other lenders make decisions on whether or not to lend you money.
A good credit score will help you to get better rates when you apply for rates or a mortgage.
A bad credit score may mean that you are declined on your loan or mortgage application.
You may have a bad credit score if you are unemployed or without a regular source of provable income, i.e - recently started working and as yet don't have proof of earning, recently self-employed (being self-employed myself I have had this issue when I first started as I didn't then have the paper trail to prove my income).

You can also have a bad score if you have had previous loans, credit cards etc and the minimum payments haven't been keep up to date for example.

Many of us will need to borrow money at some point in our lives, whether to tide us over until payday or to buy a home, most of us will go to our banks, TSB for example, for advise on the best rates.  However, it is important to borrow sensibly and not let debts get out of control. If you over-stretch yourself and do not repay your debts on time, you will damage your credit rating.

How do you check your credit rating?
You can obtain a copy  of your credit file which will contain both private and public information recorded in your name showing all your credit history.

You can obtain this from various credit reference agencies such as Experian, Equifax or Callcredit.

It is actually a good idea to get a copy of this history for your own reference should you have ever been the victim of identity theft, lost your wallet or had it stolen.  It could be that someone else has tried to obtain credit in your name which could then in turn effect your chances of being approved for a loan later down the line.

Ways to help improve your credit rating
  • Make sure your name is on the electoral register
  • Stop applying for new credit cards or loans until you have begun to improve your score, or sorted out an underlaying issue on your credit file
  • Cancel all unused credit cards
  • Pay your bills on time - this may sound simple but if you regularly forget the date a card or loan payment is due then set up a direct debit to at least pay off the minimum each month, if you find you can afford to pay more one month then make an extra payment - the credit card or loan company won't mind two payments in one month and you will avoid the monthly fee for missed payments.
  • A credit-builder pre paid card is an option for some.  This is a card which is pre loaded with money so you can only spend money which is on that card, you can not over-spend on this.  Some cards allow you to borrow a set amount of perhaps £60 and then you sign a credit agreement to repay the minimum of around £5 each month until this is paid back.  If you don't miss any payment you will have this noted on your credit score/rating as 12 months of successful payments.
 If you are having credit difficulties you can find lots of information from the Money Advise Service or Citizens Advice

"This is a collaborative post"

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Emmy and I ran the Race for Life last month in loving memory of my wonderful Mother-in-Law Anne who sadly passed away on 14th July. We would be honoured if you would consider sponsoring us to race money for Cancer Research UK.

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

Join us for a Bob the Builder Twitter Party #Bobthebuilderon5

Join me and a few other lovely blogger for an early morning twitter party, and when I say early I do mean it!

On Tuesday 1st September we will be joining in with to host a twitter party to celebrate the brand new TV series which will air on Milkshake! (Channel 5)

Bob the Builder is a programme I used to watch with the children I looked after Nannying.  Emmy watched for a while and Harry loves too - whenever he has a toy hammer et.c he shouts "Harry can fix it".

Relaunched and with a facelift to bring him and the show up to date.  The show will air at 7.20am

So if you've a Bob the Builder fan in your household, do join us on Tuesday from 6.30am - 7.45am and tell us what you think of the show.

Don't forget to follow us on @emmys_mummy and @UKMumstv and join in using the hashtag #Bobthebuilderon5 for your chance to win some prizes including tickets to KidZania.

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Emmy and I ran the Race for Life last month in loving memory of my wonderful Mother-in-Law Anne who sadly passed away on 14th July. We would be honoured if you would consider sponsoring us to race money for Cancer Research UK.

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!