In a further attempt to cut down screen time we have now designated Wednesdays as ‘no screen days.’ I was worried how the kids were going to react but they were surprisingly accepting.

The deal was that instead of using screens for entertainment we would play board games, or do some baking or crafting. I promised to make the evenings lots of fun so that they wouldn’t miss their screens.

They came home from school on Wednesday and decided it would be fun to play a board game, so we got out ‘The Game of Life.’ After setting up I gave the kids a little treat, one of their favourites, Oreos.

As you can see this went down really well. Two Oreos each was enough to fill their after school tums and help them concentrate on the game. I think it worked well!


We love spending time together as a family and we do this when we go out, but in the house we often tend to be off doing our own things. Spending time with no screens meant we had to find other means of entertainment and this is better done together. Our first No Screen Wednesday was such a success we have decided it’s going to be fun every week.

Going back to the ‘Game of Life’ I was the loser! Now, I know as parents we tend to let our children win a lot of the time but with this game it’s really hard to know who is winning or losing as there is so much to add up at the end. It turns out I came last because I didn’t have any children! A little ironic, don’t you think.

game of life spinner with an oreo on top

Spot the Oreo

The Oreos were also a success. In fact our wonder- filled family Wednesdays were inspired by the Oreo Cookie Quest which is challenging you to spend more time as a family. The Great Oreo Cookie Quest can be found on packs now and there are some awesome prizes to be won, including a once-in-a-lifetime trip to California and the  Googleplex.

 A Little Oreo Cookie Quest for you

In celebration of our no Screen Wednesday I am presenting you with a photo of the world’s first ever programmable, electronic, digital computer, Colossus. This was build during the Second World War to help decipher codes. It doesn’t have a screen so it’s okay to use it on our No Screen Wednesday post.  I’d like you to take part in my mini Oreo Cookie Quest, I have hidden 6 oreos on Colossus, can you find them?


Okay, maybe that’s a little easy but I hope you had fun and I hope you enjoyed reading about our wonder-filled No Screen Wednesday. Let me know in the comments if you found all six oreos and tell me what your favourite board game is if you wish.

This post is an entry for BritMums #OreoCookieQuest Oreo Wonder-filled Challenge, sponsored by Oreo  





Twin Mummy and Daddy

I was gifted £20 in vouchers to spend at B&M Stores for Mother’s Day.

I took the kids along to our local B&M Stores and told them that they each had to pick a gift for me for Mother’s Day and then let them have free choice of what to choose. There was lots of choice and while I was eyeing up the bargain boxes of chocolates the kids rushed off to the ornaments section.

I’m not a huge fan of ornaments but it was up to the kids and I wasn’t going to interfere. To be fair once in the ornaments aisle I was pleasantly surprised. They could have chosen practically anything from there and I would have been happy.

Here are the gifts they chose for me;

a collage of gifts, a candle, a set of LED jars a quote block and a Mother's Day card

Star’s gift.

Star immediately picked up a wooden block with the words “Do More of What Makes you Sparkle.” She thought it was perfect for me and I thought that was sweet. It looked a lot more expensive than £2.99 so a real bargain.

wooden board with the words 'do more of what make you sparkle'

The Little Man’s Gift

The Little Man was having trouble, he kept on picking up word blocks but he couldn’t make up his mind, then he found these light up jars. I think he was more attracted by the fact there was a button on the box so you could see how they worked, he can never resist a button. I love them! They are going to look great on my sideboard.  Each jar is inscribed with the words “home is where our story begins” which is a lovely sentiment. The jars are filled with battery operated fairy lights. I think they look great and another bargain at just £6.99

Boo’s gift

Boo was the only one who knew exactly what she wanted to buy me before getting to the shop. She knows my favourite colour is purple and that I like candles, so she wanted to get a purple candle. She found this lovely big Simply Home Yankee Candle in lavender which was also £6.99. Of course I was thrilled with it.

a lavender candle in a glass jar

The Card

B&M Stores also have a great selection of Mother’s Day cards which are really lovely and reasonably priced too. The kids chose this one for 99p.

Mother's day card with flowers and the words, if Mum's were flowers...I'd pick you

Overall our purchases came to £17.86. That’s a great price for three lovely gifts and a card. I may have treated the kids to something for themselves after all their hard work of choosing gifts for me.

Picking gifts for Mother’s Day is easy at B&M Stores. My children seemed to have avoided the gifts with Mum on them, which there are a lot of, from wine glasses, to mugs and candles. There is also a big choice of chocolate boxes for every taste and price. You could also buy Mum some of her favourite perfume at a great price, or if cooking is her thing there are plenty of reasonably priced kitchen gadgets and accessories. Whatever your Mum likes I’m sure you’d find something suitable that she’ll love. I know I will love my gifts, which for now have been hidden away until Mother’s Day, which this year is on March 11th.

Do you know what you are getting your Mum for Mother’s Day?

Ambassador Badge

I was gifted £20 in vouchers to spend at B&M Stores in return for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Do you listen to audio books? I have to admit, I didn’t really think it would be something I’d do. Back when I was a librarian, audio books were on cassette and generally borrowed by blind people, I guess that’s why I was reluctant to take the first step.

Then I discovered Audible by Amazon. I joined up with a free trial and downloaded my first audio which was a book of meditations. I’d already completed an online course, The Activation Game, which had a weekly meditation that I’d become used to  listening to in bed on my phone and found it incredibly relaxing. So I was looking for some more meditations to listen to and are plenty to choose from on Audible. To start with I tried this one, Mindfulness for Health by Vidymala Burch.

mindfulness for health cover on audible

I found it really helpful and having it downloaded to my phone meant that I could listen to it in bed. Vidyamala Burch has such a relaxing voice. The good thing about these meditations is that it doesn’t matter if you fall asleep, you can listen again anytime, but it’s job is done if you are relaxed enough to sleep. I have recommended many friends to try these type of meditations to help them sleep, there are so many available.

Recipe Books

Now I have shelves full of recipe books, many of them used over and over and have the stains to prove it. Cooking by ear was a different experience. Yes, you can listen to your recipes while you prepare them, it’s so much easier than flicking the pages or finding a clean spot for your book…or if you are like me trying to put your glasses on to read while your hands are covered in flour or garlic. My first Audible recipe book was a Paleo Diet one. If that’s not your thing there are many more recipe audio books available. Perhaps you’d like to hear how to make something sweet?

make a cake from scratch cake recipes on audible


It took a while for me to head into fiction, I like reading books and I didn’t think I would enjoy listening to them so much. However, there are times when listening is really useful, for instance, on the bus or train. I found that reading too long was causing me eye strain, even with my reading glasses. Unfortunately my condition comes with eye problems which cannot be corrected with glasses, so to keep on enjoying my books I had to consider listening to them instead. I’ve found them really comforting during those long hours I spend in hospital receiving my treatment. I’m saving The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins for my next session. (If I can wait that is!)

the girl on the train cover on Audible

There is so, so much more available on Audible, autobiographies, non-fiction, children’s books, crime thrillers, sci-fi and educational books.

You can sign up to Audible for a 30 day free trial and after that it’s £7.99 per month. You will get a free download every month you are a  member. You can cancel anytime. Visit the Audible help centre for more information.

If you are a member of Top Cash Back you can get money back for joining, at present they are offering £10 cashback and half price subscription fees for the first three months. (£3.99)

Are audio books something you may be interested in?

Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links

It’s a while yet until Spring arrives and bedrooms this time of the year need to feel cosy and warm. However, we don’t really want our rooms to feel dull and boring either, especially not the kids bedrooms. My kid’s room have been the centre of my attention lately. I don’t have much cash to spare, it’s that time of year when Christmas emptied the bank account but I’m now saving desperately for our holiday. So I’ve been thinking of ways to make their bedrooms better without costing too much and now I’d like to share my ideas with you.

Here are some simple ways of cheering up a child’s bedroom.

Tidy Up

Quite obvious really, a clean bedroom is much nicer than a messy one. This is a cheap and easy tip to make your kid’s rooms much nicer. There is an added bonus, you can pick out some stuff they no longer need and may even make a bit of profit off Ebay. Or you could donate them to a charity store, they love receiving old toys and clothes. I honestly believe that a tidy bedroom helps to encourage restful bedtimes too. Just think of the time wasted trying to find that much needed teddy that they just can’t get back to sleep without!

My kids bedrooms were in much need of a tidy up and I’m afraid to admit, it’s an ongoing process, we have already filled one charity bag and I have a heap of clothes that have barely been worn to go on Ebay. There is profit in a good clean out for sure.

Tidying up can involve a simple sort and clean, but you may also wish to buy some new storage. This can in the form of cupboards or shelving, or opt for the cheaper option of a toy basket. This one would look great in my girls room and the ideal place to store all of those cuddly toys which they refuse to part with but barely ever look at. No doubt the basket would remain until they were teenagers, maybe even longer.

soft toy basket in light grey colour with stars

Toy basket from Room to Grow

Change the Bedclothes

Put on some lovely fresh clean bedclothes, what a simple and quick way to cheer up any bedroom. But you could even splash out on some new sets. At Room To Grow They have some fabulous sets at prices that won’t break the bank. I got some for my kid’s beds and they loved them. I let them choose themselves which ones they wanted. With the girls their room is pink and purple so most sets would fit in nicely. Of course, it would look neater if they had the same but with two very different personalities they obviously went for different sets. Star chose flamingos, while Boo went for Unicorns. The prices are great too, just £15.75 for the Unicorn single duvet cover and pillow case, and only £12.50 for the Flamingo set.

a bed dressed with a pink flamingo bed set, a second bed covered with a pink unicorn bed set

Room to Grow Pink Bedsets

The Little Man’s room is magnolia, I’m going to get around to painting it soon, I promise. I wanted something bright and light and this lovely Animal Kingdom set was perfect. The Little Man agreed and when we put it on we spent an age looking at the map on the pillowcase and talking about where all the animals lived. Educational as well as pretty! Also, a bargain at just £15.75

Lovely Animal kingdom bedset and close up of the pillow with a map on

Now my kids have their new bedclothes they can’t wait to get into bed!

And The Little Man doesn’t want to get up in the morning either!!

little man snuggled in his bed

Add a Bit of Colour to the Bedroom

If the room is looking a bit dull you could consider painting the walls, or adding wallpaper. If you don’t have the time or money for that, why not add some colourful new prints or even a wall sticker. There are plenty of wall stickers to choose from, just take a look on Ebay or Amazon. I have a wall sticker on my bedroom wall (which is magnolia because it’s another room we haven’t got around to painting yet) and it really makes a difference. I may get one for The Little Man’s Room , maybe some animal stickers to match his new duvet cover. (I’m not just using this as an excuse to get away with painting his room, honestly!)

animal wall stickers, giraffe, leopard, monkey, koala bear



Light it Up

What’s the perfect way of brightening up a room? Add lighting of course! In a kids room this can be in the form of a lamp which they can use on the desk, or one for the bedside table.

a selections of colourful desk lamps

Or you may just want to replace the lamp shade, there are some great, colourful kids ones available.

The girl’s have a bedside lamp which is often left on all night! I don’t mind, I just put a low bulb in it. The Little man also has a bedside lamp but his comes on when he touches it, so he’s quite happy to turn it off while sleeping as he knows he can simply reach out and it will come back on if he needs it.

Hopefully once I’m finished the rooms will look much brighter and the kid’s may even spend more time in them. I live in hope.

How do you brighten up your kid’s bedrooms?





Disclosure: I was provided with new bed clothes in return for writing this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own

I think I may have mentioned a few times before how much I love my photographs. I have boxes of printed photos from my past, some in boxes, some in albums, some in photobooks, some printed as canvas and some framed. I love them all, so many memories captured to be enjoyed over and over.

In 2016 I got married to my long term partner and father of my youngest three children. It was a very special day for us and I had most of my photos from the day put into a wedding album. I have a couple of favourites which I framed but they are just average size. What I really wanted was a big version of my favourite photo.

wedding photo of me, my husband and our three children

The problem was finding a frame to fit a bigger photo.

Hello Canvas

That’s where Hello Canvas came in.  I could get the photo of the size I wished already framed for me.

Using the Hello Canvas site is really easy. First you upload your photo, then you choose your photo frame size, whether you want landscape or portrait and if you want a passepartout (border around photo.) Then you have a choice of 3 colour effects and 6 filters to play around with. You also get a choice of photo frame colours from black, white, oak and whitewash oak. The end result can look exactly how you wish and it’s all so simple.

On each page of Hello Canvas there are detailed instructions on what you need to do to create your perfect print. It’s really foolproof, and so customisable.

I chose not to have editing of my photo but the option is there if you need it. All you have to do is explain what you want in the box provided while ordering your print. Here are some of the ideas taken from the website.

Black & white with colour highlight, add texts, backgrounds fade, improving colours, delete objects, repair and refurbish old photos. In short, nothing is too crazy!

You get to preview how your photo will look before you order it.  Once you are happy you put through your order and your framed photo will arrive just a few days later.

The Result.

My framed photo came well packaged in cardboard with supports but there was less over packaging which you tend to find these days. The box was recycled by my lovely daughter Boo, so there was little waste.

Once opened I found it was ready to hang so no messing around. The photo was framed by a thick card passepartout which is acid free so it will not discolour the photo, it also serves to enhance the photo. You can choose to not have this but I like the way it looks. I chose a whitewash oak frame, it was difficult to choose as they all looked good, but a lot of my frames are already whitewash oak so I figured it would fit in better. The photo is protected by an acrylic sheet that looks and feels just like glass but is much hardier. It was so clear and shiny I had difficulty taking a photo of my framed picture because of reflections.

my framed photo


If you don’t fancy a framed print, Hello Canvas can also provide you with a canvas, metal print, wood print and floating frame. You can also have a personalised phone case or a poster . Also available is a fabulous selection of World Maps. (I was so tempted to go for one of these, they look great and are so educational.)

a map of the world


The prices vary on which product and size you choose. For example, my framed photo measures 80 cm by 60 cm and would cost £69, but it’s one of the most expensive products. Prices start from less than £10 which is great value.

So what do you think? Do you have a favourite photo that you would like framed?


I received a framed photo from Hello Canvas in return for my honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.