Thursday, 29 March 2012

2nd Independents Day - Supporting Independent Businesses


BE AN INDIVIDUAL, SHOP INDEPENDENT


Today is the 29th of the Month so it must be #IndependentsDay.   We had a great response last month to our first ever Independents Day (it's deliberately spelt that way just in case you think I am spelling it wrong ) *smiles* .

 I really hope we can grow this to show support to all the hard working people out there who have been brave enough to go it alone and set up their own businesses. I truly believe Independent businesses will be a major factor in putting the GREAT back into this country.  But we have to get out there and promote ourselves.  It's no good just setting up a website, bricks and mortar shop/business, on line business and just sitting back expecting the customers to turn up.  I know from experience it doesn't work like that.  You have to work at it and by using Social Media (which is mostly FREE) you CAN make a massive difference to your business. 


Here's how it works :


If you have a blog, please write a short post mentioning and linking to three or so independent businesses that you follow, buy from or just plain admire. You can of course link to your own business if you want to. Its all about building up the links to help people find our businesses.


Leave a comment below with a link to your blog so we can all pop over and take a look. It would be really great if you would link back to this post and if you want grab the badge code.

and/or

Tweet about the independent businesses you are supporting and mentioning the hashtag #IndependentsDay


and/or


Link or share this or your own post on your Facebook page and encourage others to share


You don't have to be an independent business to get involved or have a blog. Comments, tweets and Facebook mentions will all help enormously.


Below are this months featured independent businesses.
  I will be featuring more each month so if you want to get involved please leave a comment below so I can find you.

http://www.precious-memories.co.uk/   Creating fingerprint Jewellery, hand, foot and pet castings and impressions.




http://minimagpie.com/   The coolest upcycled clothes you are likely to find anywhere


Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

http://www.coombemill.com/   Family Farm Holidays in Cornwall




http://www.charliemoos.co.uk/   Award winning Party Bags



http://musicbus.com/about-us/   Pre-school music for babies and toddlers. Making music fun




http://www.attachatag.co.uk/   Clothes labelling made easy



http://byjada.com/collections    Fine Jewellery

Please leave your comments and Link up your blogs and businesses below

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

It's Easter so it must be Aldi

We were thrilled to receive this lovely selection of Aldi treats. Perfect for Easter and with 3 boys in the house always great value.



We are regular shoppers at Aldi where they offer high quality, brand like products at the best low prices I have found anywhere.  If you are yet to pop along to one of their shops you might like to know that they won 128 performance awards in 2011 including Grocer discounter of the Year and second place in the Which ? Annual Supermarket Satisfaction Market Survey, beating many of the top supermarket names.


Do you like my Easter bunny and basket ?  Found for just £1 in the charity shop and perfect for popping these Choceur Marzipan mini eggs in . £1.49 for 200g.



Think this one is for me *big smile* no really, has my name on it, saw it on the inside as I gobbled it all up.  Absolutely too die for Choceur Flame Egg just £2.99 it is so worth it.  Real luxury chocolate egg with milk and white chocolates inside. YUMMY !



Selection of chocolate treats perfect for the boys and their friends. A large selection of treats on sale just for Easter.  Range in price from just 79p for the chocolate bunny, 99p for the marshmallows if you want a non-chocolaty treat to £1.89 for the luxury filled mini eggs.



and if your children (or you ) Love Haribo then you will love this new range just launched at Aldi.  Haribo Jelly Jungle, Farmyard Friends and Fizzy Seaworld all at just 89p for a 225g bag !


*We were sent these items curtesy of Aldi.  All words are my own and I wrote the post because I wanted to : )

Monday, 26 March 2012

Whitestep cozy wrap giveaway


THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED

The winner as picked out of the hat by Jarvis is

MISSY

CONGRATULATIONS

Thank you to everybody who entered, more giveaways coming soon

************************************

Although I am long past the baby stage I was really pleased to be offered a cozy wrap to giveaway by the online baby shop Whitestep.

When no 1 son was a baby there wasn't anything similar on the market and I used to carry him around in a really uncomfortable sling that dug into my shoulders and really didn't give me any contact with my baby.  When the twins came along it really was impossible to try and carry two babies at the same time unless of course I had been an all in wrestler.





Whitestep say :

" We are passionate about products that are functional, practical and beautiful with a twist of innovation and lots of style. The Cozy baby wrap is no exception…

Having your baby close is comforting for you both, and promotes your baby’s well-being and development. Babies who are carried cry less, soothed by your warmth, closeness and the sound of your heartbeat. Comfortable and ergonomically designed, the Cozy wrap can be worn in one of four positions, so you can adapt to your baby’s needs as they grow.

Baby wrap frees you to do more, and puts your child right in the middle of the action. Whether shopping, travelling, or just doing the housework, your baby is with you at all times, listening to your conversations, and watching you go about day to day life.

Cozy wrap is made with just the right amount of elasticity to calm your baby with a soothing rocking effect, resembling womb-like movements. A handy small pocket in the wrap is perfect for keeping small items like keys handy, and the Cozy wrap comes in three stylish colour combinations, so you can show off your new baby in style! "

 The Cozy wrap is made from high quality materials – 95% cotton and 5% spandex for elasticity, and is fully machine washable.

To enter the giveaway all you need to do is to follow this blog and leave a comment below telling me why you would like a cozy wrap.

You will get one additional comment for each of the following (but not necessary)  :

If you want to follow me on twitter and leave a comment https://twitter.com/#!/allaboutheboys

Follow Whitestep on twitter and leave a comment https://twitter.com/#!/WhitestepUK

Giveaway ends on Monday 2nd April 2012 at 8.00pm
Winner will be picked at random
Prize will be despatched from the supplier
open to UK residents only (sorry)

GOOD LUCK

Friday, 23 March 2012

Are your twins identical ?

Second only to  "buy one get one free" usually in a queue in a shop and always followed by hysterical laughter.  Like they are the first to say THAT!

I have twin boys Milo and Jarvis






We think it is clear to all around that they are not identical.  Doesn't stop people asking us.  What do you think ? 


I have to say the funniest one I ever heard was this one to my friend who has twins.

Are they Identical ?


(this is not a picture of my friends twins, but yes she does have a BOY and a GIRL )

Post written for Multiple Mayhem Carnival. Hosted by Rebecca from Here Come the Girls

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Blogger Wedding Album

Ok, so I know I'm not a great one for taking part in meme's, galleries, blog hop's etc but when I saw Tara was planning a Blogger Wedding Album I had to take part.  I  have had a few chats recently with twitter/blogger friends who have found love again and though people might be interested in my story.

When I was 15 I used to hang around street corners with a group of friends (it was what we did in the 70's) we lived on a council estate and didn't have the resources many of today's teenagers have.  One night we happened to walk past the garages where one of my friends brothers hung out.  Actually we used to deliberately walk past there to sneak a look at the lads.  This particular night I noticed a tall, blonde lad (not unlike Stewart Copeland from The Police ), we stopped and found an excuse to talk to them, I don't remember how, but The Stewart Copeland one and I got talking and that was the beginning. 

Until meeting him I had "boyfriends" but he was my first love.  We dated for two years, went everywhere together, made lifelong memories in those two short years.  I always thought of him in years to come whenever I heard Bob Marley or Bat out of hell by Meatloaf !  Then one day I looked at my life and saw it for what it might become, marriage (maybe) babies (certainly) the same old grind as my mum, never going anywhere, staying in the same town, with the same people, living a small life.  I got scared, it wasn't what I wanted.  I loved him but I wanted more, I wanted a life.  I made a impulsive decision to join the Army !  At the time I was at college on a pre-nursing course and the Army careers visited us, painting this great picture of life in the army, travel, money and qualifications.  I was hooked.  Six weeks later at just 17 I was in the Army !  My boyfriend didn't know what had hit him.

I had a wonderful life, I truly did, with very few regrets. Ten years in the Army visiting amazing places, having wonderful and scary experiences.  When I left the army I went on to have more amazing times and relationships and can say that there have been very few regrets.  Always when the family got together and talked about old times, we would talk about my first love. Laughing and fondly remembering.

Life moves at a  fast pace, before I knew it I was nearly 40 !  I had my gorgeous No1 son from a brief relationship that was doomed from the start.  Life was good.  I had a great well paid job, my own home, no1 son was in a private school but I had been alone for over 5 years.  I wanted to meet someone special, someone to make our life complete.

We decided to have a party for my 40th Birthday and my mum thought it would be a good idea to contact my school friends through Friends Reunited.  It was wonderful getting back in touch with people from my school days but one call I will always remember as if it was yesterday.  My mum rang me to say that she had received an email from an old boyfriend of mine (ohh that narrows it down a bit)  When she told me who it was (my first love) my heart skipped a beat.  No way, he will be married with ten kids, but wouldn't it be great to just talk to him again !

He wasn't married, he didn't have Ten kids, he was recently out of a long term relationship, he had a good job, his own home.  OK he must be a serial killer right ?  It was over 23 years since we had last seen each other. I was now starting to feel just a tiny bit sick.

Many emails and a few phone calls later and we arranged to meet up.  He was still living in Birmingham, me in Devon.  He arrived one Friday night.  Watching him walk towards the house it was like all the years fell away, the walk; a kind of lollop, his height and broad shoulders. OMG! I swear I am going to pass out when he gets to the door.  What if he doesn't like me. I've changed a lot. I'm BLONDE now for god's sake !  We sat all night talking. I explained about how I felt and why I left.  He spent many years thinking he had done something wrong, we laughed, cried a little. I left him on the sofa to try to get some sleep at 5am in the morning.  I remember lying upstairs in my bed, in the room above him, unable to sleep.  Alternating between "its him, its really him, downstairs, in my house" to "OMG what if he is a murderer ! I know nothing about him, what if he is going through all my things whilst I am up here" After a few sleepless hours I went downstairs but sadly the weekend turned into a disaster.  He ran away back to Birmingham on the Saturday.  It was too much too soon for both of us.  I was distraught, I knew it was too good to be true.  Thank god, my son was away for the weekend and never met him.  I cried, and cried and cried. I didn't understand what had happened. Slowly over time we started again, slowly this time, a few visits, lots of calls, lots of emails and then on the morning of my 40th Birthday he proposed to me. 

My birthday bash turned into an engagement party.  We married on July 5th 2003.

Our Picture

Monday, 19 March 2012

My Cybher Sponsors

I'm thrilled to announce my sponsors for Cybher 2012 are Vosene.  Providing hair care products for families since 1949 and an established, household name.


My family and I first met the team at Vosene when we were invited to a new product launch at London Zoo



A wonderful event with lots of though and effort put into the day by the Vosene team.


After the event the PR team kept in touch with regular updates, product samples and thoughtful gifts.



Building relationships with lovely PR's like Holly (above) was not difficult and we were soon onto a new campaign NITWARS my 15 minutes of fame.


Michelle from Vosene, very fetching in her nit suit and camera crew in the background.

As you can see we have had lots of fun working together so I was truly thrilled to bits to receive a christmas card telling me the Wonderful Vosene people were sponsoring me to attend the conference.

If you see me at Cybher please do come over and say hello.

EXCITED

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Mothers Day - This one is probably not for you

It has to be said I dread Mothers Day and its commercial "Look at me , see how much MY family loves me" pressure.     I know now not to have any great expectations, no special lunches out, pampering or presents, usually a small appreciation of gratitude or a hurried petrol station type purchase.  I know this should be enough but its lack of though is what hurts the most.  It's ok, I am used to it now, if not mostly just a little sad.

I don't consider myself a bad mum, I work hard (very hard) I set a good example to my children.  They are clean, well fed, I take them to sports events, days out, I play with them, tuck them up in bed every night.  We have music and singing in the house, we laugh, there have always been stories, playing (lots of playing, I have three boys).  They are not subjected to large amounts of shouting, smacking or rows between my husband and myself.  So yes, I do feel a little let down by this day.

I am (mostly) over it.  (might not be true).

On Mothers Day (I will be thinking about my own mother) but I will mostly be thinking about :

Those mothers whose own mothers have died and are no longer here to be celebrated.

To single mothers who probably don't have anybody to help their children celebrate the day for them.

To mothers whose husbands are serving in the armed forces.

To mothers who are beaten and abused and the best they can hope for on this day is to be left alone.

To mothers who suffer from PND or depression.

To mothers who are in a house full of family but are forgotten.


To mothers whose children have been taken away from them too soon.

This is for you.



Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Lucas Frank joins All About The Boys

I am thrilled to announce the new range by Lucas Frank is now being sold by All About The Boys.  As part of my drive to support Independent Businesses, I recently decided to increase the brands I sell to include new and classic styles for babies and boys.



Lucas Frank is a small but perfectly formed range where quality and attention to detail is paramount.   Described as "Leisurewear for little gentlemen" it certainly delivers all it promises. 

The collection currently comprises of polo shirts, tee shirts and hoodies for boys from 18 months to 10 years.  Beautifully made, the clothes really do have "quality stitched into every seam"  .  The price is a pleasant surprise too, no designer price tags.  Polo's retail at £19.99 at All About The Boys.  Fitting in perfectly with our promise to deliver quality and style with an affordable price tag.



I started my business because of my love for quality clothes for boys and I can assure you Lucas Frank certainly delivers its promise, the twins are rocking their new polo shirts.  They describe them as "soft  as their teddies" and "not scratchy at all"  High praise indeed.



We love the nautical lighthouse logo too, classic nautical inspired styles never go out of fashion.  You can be sure these clothes can be washed and worn by both big and little brothers and still retain their quality and timeless style.

 I'm offering FREE POSTAGE on Lucas Frank until Sunday.  Pop over to my website www.allabouttheboys.co.uk and buy your boys some classic English style while stocks last.




Thursday, 8 March 2012

Pinterest No 1

Pinterest thought for the day

Pin It





Flowercard

I don't think I know anybody who doesn't love to receive flowers.  I used to buy myself fresh flowers every week in our pre-twin days and occasionally I would also get a surprise bunch from my hubby.  I love flowers (except yellow ones), so when I was asked if I would like to receive some to review of course I said "yes Please".

These arrived yesterday in the post !



 I must admit I wasn't too sure if they would survive the Royal Mail postal system. They were packaged in a pretty pink box  inside a plastic mailing bag.  I am pleased to say they didn't look any worse for their travels when I opened them.



They are a pretty display and good value for money at £19.99compared to many other postal or delivery flower companies , especially around Mother's Day.

If you are thinking of sending flowers to your mum this year take a look at Flowercard    they have a large selection of flowercards covering every possible special occasion you can think of and with prices ranging  from £9.99 to £34.99 to suit every pocket.

The website is easy to navigate and really well presented.  I do think they would benefit from having a option to sort your selection by price range though, this is the option I select most often when buying online.

The only other thing I would say about my flowercard is that the cardboard "card" was not the best quality with the curved section at the front showing the perforations where a section had clearly been popped out.

Overall a good value, nicely presented gift.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

All About The Boys Spring / Summer 2012

New stock just listed on my website www.allabouttheboys.co.uk .  Lots more on its way.  You will not find Authentic Ralph Lauren for better value anywhere else on the internet.




I have also decided to start selling lots of new brands from great Independent Retailers very soon.  If you sell baby boy or boys clothes, shoes or accessories please do get in touch if you are interested in supplying me.

I would also love your views on what brands, colours and styles you buy or love and would buy if they were affordable for your little boys.

We are ALL ABOUT THE BOYS !

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Sea Band Giveaway

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED

Many apologies for the delay in drawing the winners.

The winners picked at random by Jarvis are :

LucyRobinson - Child Sea Band
Hannah Batram - Adult Sea Band
Ness - Child Sea Band
Maria - Adult Sea Band
Sarahmumof3 Adult Sea Band

I am so sorry I only had 5 sets to give away and as there were only 11 combined entries (7 individuals)  I will contact the company and see if I can get two more so that everybody is a winner !

Many thanks for taking part and another giveaway will be coming soon.




Do you or members of your family suffer from feelings of nausea, travel or sea sickness ?  If so this weeks giveaway is for you.  I have two sets of the adults and two of the childrens to giveaway. 
The Sea-Band Story

The natural way to fight feelings of nausea.

The Sea-Band is an elastic wrist band, which applies pressure on the Nei Kuan acupressure point on the wrist. This is a natural, effective and drug free solution to alleviate even the worst feelings of nausea.

Sea-bands are clinically tested and proven to work for –

 Travel Sickness

 Morning Sickness

 Chemotherapy Induced Nausea

 Post Operative Nausea






How Do Sea-Bands Work?

The plastic stud on the inside of each Sea-Band applies acupressure to the Nei Kuan pressure point on the wrist. This naturally soothes the stomach and eases nausea.

Since Sea-Bands are all natural and drug-free, they can be worn at any time by anyone with no adverse side effects (making them especially useful for ladies suffering with morning sickness).

Sea-Band Features

The only clinically tested wristband

No drugs, no side effects

The natural alternative to drugs

Used by doctors and in hospitals

How to wear Sea-Bands Place your middle fingers on the inside of your wrist with the edge of your third finger at the bottom of your hand, at the crease of your wrist. Underneath your middle finger, you will find the Nei Kuan pressure point, in between two wrist tendons. You will be able to feel it by pressing down in this spot. Place the Sea-Band on your wrist, with the plastic stud toward your skin on the Nei Kuan pressure point. Do the same with the other wrist band. Both Sea-Band wrist bands must be worn at the same time for them to be effective.

You should begin to feel relief within five minutes. If nausea worsens, apply pressure with your finger to the plastic stud.



* I was given the seabands for the purpose of this giveaway. I was not paid for this post.

To enter the giveaway :

Leave a comment below telling me who in your family could benefit from the Sea Bands.

For an additional entry pop over and like the Sea Band Facebook page (don't forget to leave a comment so we know you have visited them).

Open to UK residents only I'm afraid

Giveaway ends on Monday 12th March at 8.00pm

Winners selected at random

Thanks and good luck

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