Choosing A Care Home

Friday, October 30, 2015

I think we all have an elderly relative either in a care home or living alone. It can be worrying when someone you care for can no longer take complete care of themselves. Many have lived in their family home for years and so comes the dilemma of what to do when they can no longer live alone. Financially it is a huge step but there are many options for you to consider when making a decision to paying for care.

There are many factors which decide on how much a care home costs, usually relating to where you live and the level of care needed. A person who needs round-the-clock care would pay significantly more than a person who is mostly independent so an assessment is needed to determine level of care. According to laws, meals, laundry and accommodation have to be included in the cost whereas entertainment such as days out or hairdressers/appointments may be charged as extras.

It is completely possible to be given financial help towards the cost of care from local authorities or the NHS so always look into ways you can help your loved ones financially as you may be surprised at the help available. Your local authority can carry out a financial assessment (free of charge!).

Some people find it necessary to sell their home to fund care but this ebook has lots of great advice to help if you would prefer this to be a last resort option. It tells you exactly how pensions and benefits may affect costs and also which benefits will be affected by moving into a care home.

For many of us, putting a loved one in a care home is something we never want to think of doing but by doing plenty of research into financial help and choosing a care home you can help them get the care they need and in some cases give them a less lonely way of life.

*Collaborative post

Family Days Out

National Trust: Canons Ashby

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Back in the Summer, we decided to invest in National Trust membership for Me and Andy (Its is free for children under 5). I have always loved reading about History and whenever we go away on holiday, we decide to visit local Castles to explore with the kids so we figured that buying an annual pass will also give us the excuse to visit all of our local National Trust properties. 

children's toys

Fisher Price Octonauts Octopod Playset

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Octonauts is one of Zach's favourite television shows at the moment. Thanks to Sky we can download the episodes easily for him to watch but like many kids what he really likes is to re-enact what he see's and use his imagination to play. He was sent the new Fisher Price Octonauts Octopod Playset to review. 


Halloween Entertainment

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

With less than a week to go until Halloween, it is the perfect time to plan some Halloween night entertainment. Here I have a few family friendly suggestions to suit young children.

'Pumpkins, Pumpkins Everywhere' Smriti Prasadam-Halls, Lorena Alvarez


Competition: The Baby Show Olympia 2015 Best Bits

Monday, October 26, 2015

This weekend, Me and Elsie headed down to London Olympia to meet up with a few of our favourite brands and try and discover some exciting new brands. Unfortunately I just didn't have chance to look around for new and exciting brands as we were so busy which is so sad as it is my favourite part of visiting The Baby Show. I did however get to meet up with a few of my favourite brands to see what they have coming up in the next few months and I also got to have a look at some of the latest talked about pushchairs.


Review: Interplay Glitter Tattoos

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Gracie loves temporary tattoos. We quite regularly buy her favourite character tattoos but she doesn't get to use them as often as she would like as they can be difficult to remove and they are not allowed in school. Gracie was sent an Interplay Glitter Tattoo set to review.


Competition: My Little Pony: Complete Season Two

Friday, October 23, 2015

As Gracie is probably the biggest My Little Pony fan I have ever known, I thought it would be great to offer the complete My Little Pony Friendship is Magic Season Two DVD to celebrate it's release on 26th October!

Twilight Sparkle and her friends Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, Apple Jack, Pinkie Pie, Rarity and Spike are back for a bumper bundle of magical adventures in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Even though Twilight Sparkle has learnt a lot of friendship lessons in Ponyville there are still more hurdles to jump and horsey harmony to be found in 26 enchanting episodes of this beloved series. In over 9 hours of irresistible fun and friendship it is one crazy adventure after another, all under the guidance of mentor Princess Celestia, the co-ruler of Equestria. Join the ponies for birthdays, parties and playdates as this season culminates in the grandest of all celebrations - the greatest wedding the ponies have ever seen – and you’re invited!

We have watched every episode whilst it was on TV and it is brilliant. The complete season would make a great Christmas gift for any MLP fan whatever their age.

So I have one copy to give away to one lucky reader. All you need to do is follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter form below. Don't forget if you are commenting as 'Anonymous' to leave your name in your comment so I know you have commented! 

Good Luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms & Conditions
Open to UK only. The competition will end 06/11/2015 at 12am. All entrants must complete the mandatory entry on the rafflecopter form. Those who don't will have all entries removed. The blog owner will choose the winner through the rafflecopter form (which uses The winner will be notified by email and displayed on the widget. One winner will receive one copy of My Little Pony Friendship is Magic Series 2.  No alternative prize will be offered.  Allow up to 28 days for delivery.


Doc McStuffins Pet Vet Twitter Party

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Last week we were hosts of a Doc McStuffins Twitter Party along with UK TV Mums and a selection of other bloggers. At our party, we had five children altogether, that was my three along with one of Gracie's best friends and her younger sister. This meant we had two 4 year olds, one 3 year old, one (almost) 2 year old and little Elsie has just turned 1. It was such a good range of ages for testing out toys! The aim of the party was to see what the kids thought of the new Doc McStuffins pet vet range of toys. 


Review: Braun Thermoscan 7

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

I was recently asked to review a Braun Thermoscan 7, The Thermoscan 7 has a unique age precision feature meaning you don't have to guess whether or not your child's temperature is too high/too low/ normal. Simply choose your child's age range, take their temperature and the colour coded display will help you understand the temperature reading.

baby clothes

Blade & Rose Unicorn Leggings

Monday, October 19, 2015

Following my post on the Halloween blade and rose leggings, Elsie was also sent some gorgeous Unicorn leggings from the AW15 collection. Not only do I love baby leggings but I also love Unicorns so I just couldn't resist when I saw these. Baby leggings are perfect for Elsie at the moment. She is at that awkward stage where she is climbing up everything but still insists on crawling to get around. This means clothing either restricts her movements or fall off with her constant wriggling. A decent pair of leggings cover her legs, keep her warm and protect her knees whilst she is racing around. In fact I even used to buy leggings in boy prints for Zach when he was Elsie's age.


Autumn Walk In The Park

Sunday, October 18, 2015

This weekend Andy actually got a Saturday off and the only plans we already had were for a birthday party Gracie was invited to in the evening. After what has been a very hard week, for Me and the kids, I felt like we needed to get out and do something fun and we always enjoy a trip to the park. 


Koodi Day & Night Light Up Mirror

Friday, October 16, 2015

A few months back we were sent a light up mirror from Koodi. Koodi were my sponsors for this years Britmums Live! conference and amazingly chose me to be their blogger ambassador! They sell a large range of clever products designed to make parent's lives easier. 

The Day & Night Light Up Mirror is designed to help you keep an eye on your baby whilst driving as it is placed on one of the back headrests. It also allows your child to see themselves which can entertain them. Elsie especially likes it if she catches your reflection in the mirror when she is admiring herself. 


Gracie's School Progress

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Last week we had Gracie's first parent's evening since starting Reception. After doing a whole year of half days in Nursery, adapting to full days was a huge step for her and her friends. Apart from being tired all of the time, she is doing amazing. I have been spending as much one on one time with her as I can, as she is really missing us while she is at school, the one thing she has been asking me to do is help her with her reading. So a few times a week I sit with her and write out a selection of easy sentences with small words that are easy to sound out and she is doing so well with it. 


Halloween Hama Beads

Monday, October 12, 2015

Halloween Hama Beads

Last year me and Gracie made some great Hama bead Halloween decorations and I decided to write a quick blog post showing our great Hama creations. As it was a pretty popular post, I planned to do more this year, then we were offered a great Halloween Hama kit to review which I thought was an even better idea. The kit contains everything you need to make a great stand up Halloween scene.

Doc McStuffins Pet Vet Twitter Party

Saturday, October 10, 2015

This Thursday between 1pm- 3pm we will be hosting an exciting 'Doc Mcstuffins Pet Vet' Twitter party. You may have seen the brand new series started this week, with every child's favourite toy doctor branching out into caring for pets too! Gracie & Zach have been watching and love it so far. 

Gracie and Zach will have a few friends joining them for lots of Doc McStuffins fun, trying out toys from the new pet vet toy range, playing fun games with great prizes and we have some brilliant goody bags for the kids to take home. I will be sure to share lots of photos of all the toys in use and the goodies the kids receive and as usual there will be lots of prizes available to win on the day.

So make sure you join us over on Twitter from 1pm, @CarlyMarkham1 and @UKMumstv using the #DocMcStuffins 

See you there!


Halloween Party Decoration Ideas & Competition

Friday, October 09, 2015

If you are having a Halloween party, you will be wondering what direction to go in with decorations. Do you go full on scary? Or go stylish and modern? I have to say I am in between the two. I love the stylish wall decorations and balloons but I do love to have a few novelty items around my doors and garden. 

baby clothes

Home Made Halloween Outfit Featuring Blade & Rose

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

I am a huge fan of Blade & Rose leggings. I love to see babies wearing cute yet comfortable clothes. Elsie is still at the cruising stage. She is climbing up every surface but to actually move around she opts for crawling and so thick leggings protect her knees and don't restrict her movement. I wanted a simple but cute outfit for Elsie to wear for our little party we are holding on Halloween and so I thought these lovely Halloween leggings from Blade & Rose would look great with a quirky home made vest/top.


Halloween Food: A Selection Of Treats

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Halloween wouldn't be the same without tasty treats! Whether it is food to dine on for your ghoulish party or sweets and treats for the neighbourhood kids. Here I have a few personal suggestions for this Halloween.

fisher price

Fisher Price Thomas & Friends Daring Dragon Drop

Monday, October 05, 2015

A thrilling adventure awaits Thomas at Dragon Island! When Thomas finds a shield on Misty Island he bravely goes to explore Dragon Island to seek out the legendary dragon. With a volcano on the way though, Thomas must try and escape, but first he must cross the dragon bridge. 
The latest Take-n-Play Thomas & Friends set from Fisher Price, 'Daring Dragon Drop' is full of excitement and adventure for children with a big imagination. Your child can help Thomas escape from the erupting volcano by taking the zip line down the dragon bridge.


Halloween Party Essentials

Monday, October 05, 2015

So you are throwing a Halloween party, but what do you need to make it perfect? First you need table wear. Aldi had their Halloween special buys event start on Thursday 1st October and they have a huge range of table wear at amazing prices. These paper plates have a great Halloween design, they also have matching cups, bowls and napkins. They are all just 89p each so great value for money.

baker ross

Halloween with Baker Ross

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Following on the Halloween theme, we have spent the last few weeks doing a range of Halloween crafts from Baker Ross. The kids love our fun weekend crafting sessions and these Halloween activities have got them so excited for Halloween. The Halloween mosaic wand kits were a big hit. It is a great activity that the kids can do with little supervision. Gracie and Zach actually had friends around one day and I entertained them all with mosaic wands! They come in a set of 4 for £3.96

Autumn Style Wishlist*

Friday, October 02, 2015

I love every thing about Autumn clothing, it is definitely my favourite season. Cute dresses with woolly tights, chunky knit cardigans and boots! I love this embroidered floral print dress from Oasis, £45. The colours, fit and length are perfect for my body shape. It would look great with or without tights depending on whether it is a chilly day or if this autumn sunshine sticks around. These Dune Quentin leather brogue Chelsea boots, £85 look perfect for a bit of added style. They are quite a masculine shoe but I think teamed with the flowers and decorative fringing they will give the outfit a classic twist. They are not particularly cheap but a decent pair of boots will last you a good few years and are definitely an investment! Now this fringed suede bag from Oasis, £69.99, would look great slung over your shoulder whilst wearing this dress. To be honest, I am not sure quite what I like about it but it just jumped out at me and I knew it would be the perfect addition to the outfit.

I would actually wear this outfit in the daytime and I don't think I would feel restricted to where I could wear it. I would be just as happy wearing it on the school run as I would going to an event of some kind. 

*Collaborative post


Home Bargains Halloween Supplies

Friday, October 02, 2015

Welcome Sign 79p
We love to celebrate Halloween, back when I was a child, we would go trick or treating every year in home made costumes usually made out of bin bags or toilet roll! These days, Halloween is all about the parties! We tend to let the kids trick or treat around the block, knocking only on houses all lit up or decorated in some way. This year they are a bit older and taking more interest in the occasion and so we have decided to have a small party with friends and lots of exciting decorations and games. Home Bargains currently have a fantastic range of party supplies and dressing up costumes for all the family. They sent us a selection to try out for ourselves.

Children's Dressing Up

Halloween Competition Smiffy's UK

Thursday, October 01, 2015

I wanted to do something a bit different this year for you all and decided on having a whole week of Halloween themed fun. I love Halloween, even before having my own kids I loved the excuse it gave me to dress up and go to fun parties and watch classic Halloween movies, well of the not too scary kind. Think Hocus Pocus, The Witches etc. I even went to Disneyland Paris aged 17 just to see all the Halloween themed fun!

Anyway, to kickstart our week of Halloween fun, I have a great competition for you. The lovely team at Smiffys, who happen to be the leading costume, Halloween and carnival manufacturing company in the UK, have donated a bundle of fantastic prizes to go to ONE lucky winner.