Eating together in the holidays

Written by Emma. Posted in Uncategorized

The holidays are here and for us this is our family time, obviously Lee is off school like the children and finally we can all relax and do family things together.  This weekend has seen Erin and I going to the cinema to watch Paddington (go if you are tempted I thought it was brilliant) and Lee and Dylan were able to go and see the Cheltenham football game.  Term time is crazy busy and we rarely see each other in the week let alone eat together as a five.  I often eat with the children or the children eat together but without Lee and I.  However come the holidays we usually manage to eat together most days.

When we are together it doesn’t even matter if it is a lovingly prepared meal that has taken ages or a quick throw it all together meal. It is the time to sit, eat and chat together that I enjoy.

Ikea recently sent us a dining pack which included this serving tray which I love.

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On Christmas night I have the family over and I am planning on having some buffet food out that people can just pick at at this stand is going to look great on my festive table.  Ikea know just what is needed to ensure that families can enjoy mealtimes together.

Do you eat on Christmas night?  I am planning on having part baked bread rolls with a lovely cheeseboard.  There will also be lots of crisps, dips and of course chocolate.

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Six Stocking Filler ideas for under £10

Written by Emma. Posted in Christmas 2015 gift guide

The Christmas stocking – I really enjoy the stocking and filing it with lovely goodies for the children.  I count up the presents to ensure they have the same amount.  I find a mixture of quirky things and everyday essentials. Here are some of my ideas for what to put in a stocking.

1. Something Sweet like these fab Christmas Bauble Drinking Chocolate from Hans Sloane. These are only £2 each.  Mine all love a hot chocolate and we have tried these and they are a real treat.  They melt in the mug of warm milk and actually taste yummy!

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2. New undies! The savvy shopper in me gets these from the outlet but the teen loves them and at £6 a pair from the outlet compared with £12.50 in regular shops.

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3. Smellies and I noticed that Wilkinsons have some good 3 for 2 Deals like this Nivea set, others included Dove and Lynx for the boys.

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4.  I often get a book for each of them.  For Dylan it would be an annual or for Chloe possibly the Zoella book which has been an amazing hit amongst teen girls, it is a best seller.  This is on offer at Amazon for just £5

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5. DVD’s make a good stocking filler too.  There are again some good buys like Disney buy one get one free.

6. Challenges, I usually find a quiz book or similar too.  This year I am liking the Guinness Book of Record challenges.  These are fun to do when the family are around on Christmas night.  Last year I had both my older grandads picking up maltasers by sucking on straws!!  Very funny and they really enjoyed it!

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5 fashion investments you can’t afford to miss

Written by Emma. Posted in Uncategorized

‘Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world.’ It was believed that Marilyn Monroe made this statement, but although no one can be sure it still rings true to this day and supports the idea that investing in fashion really does boost your confidence and profit when you do decide to sell your investment.

So what fashion investments should you be making and which are the ones you can’t afford to miss out on?

  1. A good watch

Watches aren’t just great for time keeping, they can look pretty great too and work as a major fashion investment to store away in your jewellery box and only bring out on special occasions. Or you could buy in to the idea that you should treat yourself everyday and wear your favourite clothes.

Investing in a smart designer watch is one fashion investment you should definitely make and let’s be honest, it needs to be a designer purchase. However if you’re not sure you can afford a high-end timepiece, take a look at ticwatches.co.uk, where you’ll find some stunning designer watches for very affordable prices.

  1. Fur

There’s a long-standing argument when it comes to investing in a fur coat, over whether the material should be real or not. Of course, there are very few out there now who condone the unnecessary slaughter of animals for fashion, when such incredible replica fur can now be created using synthetic material, but if you must have the real thing for your fashion investment then opting for a vintage fur is the better way to go because you are not killing any living animals and vintage clothing in general is greener.

Something to think about, though, is that on average a fur coat created today uses 55 minks and 100 chinchillas and 50 million animals are brutally killed every year for their fur around the world. By buying new fur you are contributing to this.

  1. Chanel bag

Of all the designer brands out there Chanel is considered one of the most investment worthy and a quilted black Chanel bag, featuring the instantly recognisable logo, is a fashion investment worth making and spending money on.

A classic medium flap Chanel bag, purchased four years ago, would have cost £1,600 and if sold today would go for around £2,700, a 63% increase and nice amount of profit in your pocket. This is the perfect example of why Chanel is one of the main brands to hold its value, along with Hermès, Cartier, Goyard and Alaïa, whereas Versace, Marc Jacobs and Eltro lose their value quickly and have surprisingly low re sale prices.

  1. Louboutins

Worn by all the celebrities Louboutins are a true fashion icon and investment in any woman’s wardrobe. With the instantly recognisable red sole, many wear their Louboutins out to make a statement with their outfit, although many say that they’re not shoes that can be worn all day. If you’re looking for a comfortable pair of investment designer shoes, then opt for some Manolo Blahniks.

  1. Vintage and antique jewellery

If you’re looking for a piece of jewellery to make an investment in, avoid the high street. Vintage and antique pieces will only increase in value over time, especially if you look for jewellery created by Cartier, Van Cleef or Arpels and anything in the Art Deco style, created from 1920 to 1935.

However, don’t expect to see a return on your fashion investment any time. Like a fine wine, jewellery will only get better over time and a good piece can be handed down through the family throughout the generations. Make sure you always insure your most valuable pieces.

 

 

Disclosure:  This is a collaborative post.

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More London shopping and discussions on pocket money

Written by Emma. Posted in family, Uncategorized

Last week I headed to London to meet up and have dinner with the lovely team behind voucher codes we were having a round table discussion on pocket money and family spending before having a dinner. Our venue was the gorgeous ‘The Arch’ in Marble Arch which was fine dining. I travelled up on the train and was thrilled that travelodge had recently offered me a room for the night if I was going to be needing a base in the run up to Christmas.

My base then became the Travelodge in Covent garden which is the perfect location for central London, I was able to walk the short distance from the tube station with my phone for  directions.  I quickly checked in and headed to my room to freshen up before heading to Oxford Street to shop!

The view from my room was amazing and the room was huge.  I was lucky enough to have one of the new beds and the room was just perfect as a base for my busy 24 hours!

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I headed out into central London and enjoyed some shopping.  I *may* have treated myself but I did also get Lee a posh Christmas Pudding from Selfridges!  I thought I should seeing as I was eating out at a lovely hotel whilst he was at home!  On my travels I found a few of the Paddington bears that are currently on display around London.  It was my intention but once I had found the first one I did hunt out a few more!

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Once at the event venue I was welcomed with some fine wine and so the evening progressed.  I was able to spend time with both bloggers I already knew like Kate, Suzanne and Vicky plus meeting new friends like Katrina.  During the first part of the evening we discussed how we give our children pocket money, we discussed whether they did chores for their money and also what they used the money for.  I really liked that Suzanne has taught her children to give a percentage away to charity.  This is something I hope to introduce as I believe it gives a firm foundation for future charitable giving.

We shared how much we each give and it seems that my children are given roughly the same as other children their age.  Interestingly like Dyl, Kate’s son of the same age is not that bothered with pocket money yet.  i can easily not give Dyl money for a few weeks as he doesn’t really spend any yet.  Chloe is very different and frequently reminds me when I *owe* her, her allowance!  It seems there is a gender and age difference in needing pocket money.

Then it was time for some amazing food and more wine.  I spent hours chatting and enjoying everyone’s company before being one of the last to leave!

I would like to say thanks to Vouchercodes for dinner and the useful discussion and also to Travelodge for my room.

 

Disclosure:  I was paid my travelling expenses and recieved a goodybag for the event but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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