Time for Mum

Written by Karina Davies. Posted in Just the Parents, Uncategorized

I don’t often make time just for myself or make may purchases for myself, like most mums you tend to your children and family first. It’s very rare that I treat myself, or enjoy time alone that isn’t spent working and I honestly don’t have any problems with that but sometimes it would be nice to be able to treat myself.

One thing that I would like to treat myself to is a nice watch, I’ve never really been a watch person, in fact the last time I can remember wearing a watch was a Baby-G watch in my teen years. I’m now older and beginning to appreciate watches, perhaps it’s my age but I seem to be drawn to them. Whilst cruising through duty free waiting for our flight to depart I spent a long time admiring the selection of watches available trying to narrow down what I would like in a watch. I honestly didn’t know there were so many options available to me.

I had narrowed it down after many weeks of consideration,

First of all I knew that I wanted a watch that would be suitable for all occasions, whether I was traipsing around a garden centre, running around soft play or even attending a wedding reception so this ruled out a leather strap for me.

It needed to be water-resistant, I’m forever cleaning and tidying so I need the piece of mind that if I accidently forget to remove the watch that I’m not going to ruin it.

I have quite large wrists for a lady so I wanted a round face to not draw attention or make them look even bigger.

I wanted the watch to be worn with most of my jewellery pieces so it would have to be of a similar colour.

MK5612342279 thumb Time for Mum

 

 

I had finally settled on the style of watch that I would like in my life, then I saw it, the Michael Kors Ladies Blair watch. It ticked all of my boxes and for the first time in my life I was lusting after a watch. It was the perfect combination of classical and elegant with its paved crystal insets and stainless steel bracelet strap. You can see more about the watch here on the Watch Hut site.

I’ve added it to my Christmas list this year but I actually think that I might go a little crazy and purchase this as a special treat for myself.

*Sponsored Post but all thoughts and words are my own

Coffee Moments with CaféPod

Written by Karina Davies. Posted in Food, Food & Drink Reviews, Reviews, Uncategorized

I’ve mentioned before how much I love my Nespresso machine, it’s become a lifeline in our home. Being able to grab a barista quality coffee in a matter of minutes is why the Nespresso Lattissima + has become one of our favourite household appliances. I do enjoy having a cup of coffee in the mornings along with my fruit and muesli, it’s the cup that prepares me for the rest of the day and I particularly look forward to relaxing in the evenings with a cup of coffee after a meal.You may have also read that even though we love our Nespresso machine, there is a downside of only being able to purchase the Nespresso capsules direct from the online store or from one of their high street stores, if I run out it can be a huge pain.

I had a look around but was only able to find a few Nespresso compatible capsules, most of which were only available to order online which left me in the same situation of not being able to pick up a pack when at the local supermarket. That was until I heard of CaféPod, we’ve recently been trialling the CaféPod Nespresso compatible pods,  I was delighted to discover that they were available from my local Tesco store.

cafepodrange thumb Coffee Moments with CaféPod CaféPod have launched a range of capsules that fit in your Nespresso machine, each box contains 10 capsules priced at £2.75. On first inspection, the CaféPod pods/capsules come in individually sealed foil packets, it seemed a little excessive to me and took up a little more storage space.

The range, like Nespresso are numbered on the intensity and they even have a decaffeinated pod. the pods that I received to try were Smooth, Intense, Ristretto, and Arabica Lungo

The pods themselves are plastic unlike the Nespresso pods which are aluminium, this however made no difference to the actual end result in my opinion but the hot water did take a a little longer to filter through.

I should add here that the pods were just as easy and simple to use as the Nespresso pods, producing a decent coffee in a matter of minutes with just the push of a button.

cafepod thumb Coffee Moments with CaféPod The first pod that I tried was the smooth which has an intensity of 5, it was the perfect coffee for me to start my day with. Just like it’s name, it proved be a very smooth coffee with notes of chocolate and created a rather nice crema, which is just what I look for in an espresso.

cafepodnespresso thumb Coffee Moments with CaféPod

Next on my list to try was the Intense pod with a higher intensity of 8, this was my afternoon pick me up whilst working. It was a rich, heavy bodied coffee with a hint of dark chocolate. We use a lot of unsweetened almond milk in our household and I was quite surprised that the intense pod complimented the nutty almond milk flavour.

cafepodcollage thumb Coffee Moments with CaféPod

After finishing my workload for the afternoon, I took the little one outside to play in sun whilst I grabbed a moment to catch up with my current book over a glass of iced coffee. I chose the Arabica Lungo with an intensity rating of 4 to be the star of my iced coffee for it’s subtle red berry hints and toffee like aroma. It had a slight sweetness to it which really did create quite the delightful iced coffee.

Lastly I tried the Ristretto, it was the strongest with an intensity rating of 10 but after a long day a little pick me up was needed as we sat down to relax. I was quite surprised how much I enjoyed the Ristretto, I’m not usually one for such intense coffees but it was rather pleasant with dark chocolate and red berry hints and underlying hints of spice. I can certainly see this being quite a favourable coffee on a cold day in winter. Overall I found the Smooth to be the most versatile pod and it’s smoothness had me returning for a refill more than I should but my favourite pod had to be the Arabica Lungo, this pod had a fantastic aroma and with the lovely warm weather that we have been experiencing lately, it made the most amazing iced coffees.

CaféPod capsules are available to buy from Tesco, Waitrose, Ocado and Amazon for £2.75 per box.

Disclosure: I was sent a selection of CaféPod coffee capsules to review. All thoughts and words are my own.

 

Meet the Super Fruits!

Written by Karina Davies. Posted in Healthy Eating

A team of superheroes like no other have been fighting the battle for healthy snacks and meals in our home. Meet the Healthy Avengers – the team of Super Fruits

TeamHealthyAvengers thumb Meet the Super Fruits!

We were inspired to create our superhero team by Plum Baby Mighty Moments competition through Tots100 where they are challenging bloggers to come up with a healthy superhero.

Isabelle loves her fruits, pulses and most vegetables, they make up most of her diet and provide her with a healthy balanced diet. She understands that we would rather her have healthy snacks and meals over junk food options and that is why we have an open fridge policy in our home. Isabelle has access to a fridge packed full of fresh vegetables and a fruit bowl which is available to her whenever she fancies a snack. She also loves her dried fruit and we always make sure that we have a varied selection to help satisfy her sweet tooth. She enjoys making herself a little pick and mix of dried fruits, nuts and berries for the day.

At school she has been learning all about the importance of healthy foods and she’s also very much a fan of superheroes so fusing the two together was something exciting and fun for her to do. We sat down this afternoon to talk about her favourite fruits and why she likes them, this then gave us the idea for our entry into the Plum Baby Mighty Moments competition. With my handy helper we set about making our own team from some of her favourite fruits, all complete with superhero capes and special abilities, I may have gone a little overboard making them their own little badges to but I am nothing if not thorough. We also had lots of fun creating and sticking the back ground for Super Fruits to pose in front of for their world wide debut.

CaptainGreenApple thumb Meet the Super Fruits! Our Team of Fruits include
  • Captain Green Apple: He has the ability to plant new seeds to grow lots of fruit and vegetables
  • Super Orange: She provides the vitamin C which helps to fight off colds and germs.
  • Sassy Strawberry Duo: They make the best smoothies to fill little bellies
  • Side Kick Cherries: These little guys are super clever
  • Big Red the Apple: Is super fast and strong
 

This is our entry into the Tots100/Plum Baby Mighty Moments Challenge. You can find our more about the challenge here.

I’m putting on my running shoes – The Color Run

Written by Karina Davies. Posted in The Color Run

In just 44 days I’m attempting something that I have never done before, a 5K run for charity in The Color Run. This might not seem a lot to some but for me with no running experience and overweight it’s a HUGE deal. My running style is terrible, if you imagine a Sea Lion running on an uphill trampoline then you get the general picture of my technique…it’s not pretty. I’m not doing this by myself, my partner in crime, the lovely Ashley from Coffee and Cakes and a bunch of other jolly good bloggers are joining me on the colourful 5K run.

the color run logoRoll thumb I’m putting on my running shoes – The Color Run




I have 44 days in which to complete the Couch 2 5K program in order to prepare me for the challenge ahead. In those days I would like to raise as much money as possible for Save the Children, I’m going to ask all of you lovely lot to donate if you can, I would be ever so grateful.


1794514 10152343057506605 7144531875816371987 n thumb I’m putting on my running shoes – The Color Run

You can check out my fundraising page here

Spring Cleaning Tips

Written by Karina Davies. Posted in Home, Household, Uncategorized

Every year I try to make a conscious effort to de-clutter, we end up over run with toys, games and other items we have accumulated over the year. A good clear out is refreshing and having a really good spring clean really can make a huge difference. Here are a few spring cleaning tips to get you started

springcleaning thumb Spring Cleaning Tips Get rid of unwanted and unused items

We have a general rule in our house, if we can’t remember the last time we used or needed an item then it goes.

Donate clothes and other useable items charity shops and the clothes that aren’t suitable can be sent to recycling centres

Any any broken or unusable items then we arrange a trip to the local tip where they can be recycled.

You can sell items on auction sites like eBay or even your local selling sites. Most of the time you don’t even have to lift a finger. Arranging for items to be collected or even Contact DPD to arrange a delivery service.

upcycle thumb Spring Cleaning Tips Upcycling for those items that could serve another purpose, give that old table a lick of paint and a new lease of life. I’ve been eyeing up a bureau that would look amazing with a little bit of tlc and a fresh coat of paint in antique blue, it would be the perfect addition to my dining room or kitchen.

Make little changes

You can often make little cost effective changes like adding throw pillows, vases and decorative pieces. Little changes like this can make a huge impact and make the room look completely different with different moods without making a huge dent in your pocket. You can even switch out items seasonally for an easy makeover.

A lick of paint

If you are wanting to go the extra step, a fresh coat of paint can brighten and lift any room

Clean your carpets

It’s amazing what a difference cleaning your carpets can make, with a years worth of traffic, dirt and stains can become trapped in carpets which even the strongest of vacuums can’t remove. It needn’t be expensive, you can hire a carpet cleaner for the day so no need to purchase one.

Organisation Something as simple as reorganising your cupboards, draws and shelves will make your days easier. Having items easy to reach and knowing exactly where they are makes life a hell of a lot easier. This year we have invested in a lot of storage boxes, dividers and compartments to help organise our closets and make them more functional.

Feeling thrifty?

naturalcleaning thumb Spring Cleaning Tips

You can make your own cleaning products from every day ingredients, like lemon juice, baking soda, salt, essential oils and vinegar.

Refresh those fabrics

Using natural whiteners like lemons can help brighten fabrics, my curtains and linens look amazing after a good soak.

Finally

They best way to do it is stay organised and go one room at a time, use a checklist if you have to.

 

Keeping your Pets Happy and Healthy in Hot Weather

Written by Karina Davies. Posted in Pets

With a ‘three month heat wave’ set to hit Britain from April-June, it’s time we got prepared in terms of keeping our pets healthy and safe in these upcoming months. Being exposed to extreme weather conditions, including hot temperatures can result in life threatening conditions for our beloved pets that can be avoided almost 100% of the time.

That being said, with a few handy tricks up your sleeve and a bit of careful consideration, there should be no reason as to why your pets can’t enjoy those lovely summer days just as much as we do. We’ve listed a few things you can do to keep them happy during the season.

shutterstock 110764904 thumb Keeping your Pets Happy and Healthy in Hot Weather

Making time together as a couple

Written by Karina Davies. Posted in Just the Parents

It’s often been said on this very blog that the Mr and I don’t really get to spend time together as just a couple anymore, we’re not blaming little legs and love spending time together as a family but every now and again it’s be nice just to have that time together without worrying about nap schedules, toilet schedules and entertaining an excitable preschooler. I can’t remember the last time we had a planned day out without the child, it’s been years.

The Mr is my best friend and sometimes in family life you tend to sacrifice time together.This year we’re planning on making a change and spending some quality time together as a couple, just like we did before little legs came along. I’m putting my plan into action and  weekends away are high on our priority list with the aim of at least two getaways before the year is out.

LondonUnderground thumb Making time together as a couple

First on my list is a trip to London, I’m always drawn to the hustle and bustle of the capital, it’s night life, food and atmosphere are selling points for me and I’m sure the Mr would enjoy a trip to London that isn’t a work trip. We could dine out in the evenings, go sight seeing during the day, take in the museums and galleries and visit the tourist attractions. I’d like to take a trip along the Thames and maybe a spot of shopping or even visit the Food Lovers Market Soho to share our foodie passion. 

Little Face of Venture

Written by Karina Davies. Posted in Fundraising, Uncategorized

The Little Face of Venture is taking place again this year with Venture Photography offering a child the chance to be the Little Face of Venture and the opportunity to work with top modelling agency MOT Models. The lucky winner will also receive a year’s supply of fabulous shoes from Start-rite, if your child is anything like mine, they go through shoes at a rapid rate. It doesn’t stop there, this years winner will also be the proud owner of an amazing prize from Lego (this is the part I am most excited about, who doesn’t love Lego?) and the parents get the winning picture of their little cherub in a beautiful handmade frame from Venture Photography to hang pride of place in their homes.

 

littlefaceofventure thumb Little Face of Venture

2012 winner little Rowan signed with MOT Models and has worked with big brands including Argos and children’s clothing brand Original Marines.   wellchild thumb Little Face of VentureIt’s not all about the votes though, for every child child who takes part, a £1 donation will be made to WellChild, the national charity for sick children. Helping serious ill children and their families across the UK.  

For details on how to enter, visit the Little Face of Venture.

 

3 essential vitamins and nutrients to be a healthy mum: (and where to get them)

Written by Karina Davies. Posted in Health, Health & Fitness, Uncategorized

While many of us may not have given a second thought to filling up on fast food once upon a time, when you’re eating for two you’ll look at food in a different way. The culinary world can be confusing when you’re expecting, but luckily there is plenty of advice available. Here are some of the essential nutrients that should make it into your diet.

Folic acid

This B vitamin can help to prevent your baby from developing certain defects such as spina bifida, which can lead to partial paralysis; limb defects; and cleft palate. But as well as helping your baby to develop healthily, folic acid will help to boost your own healthy red blood cells, and help to avoid a certain type of anaemia.

folic acid foods iStock 000011557346Small615x409 thumb 3 essential vitamins and nutrients to be a healthy mum: (and where to get them)

Sponsored Video: Samsung Dream the Blues

Written by Karina Davies. Posted in Uncategorized

Every child has big dreams, it can be anything from future aspiring careers to meeting their idols. At that age the world is their oyster and anything is possible. For me the one thing that I wanted most was to be a member of the Planeteers, you know of the TV show Captain Planet. My dreams and ambitions changed as I grew but being a Planeteer is the first thing that I can really remember truly wanting, I even fashioned my own Planeteer ring out of tin foil. Being the realistic adult that I am now, that dream would never really have happened as it was a cartoon but nobody ever discouraged me and I am glad that they didn’t. For a child it’s important to have dreams and goals, I even go along with Isabelle’s current career choices of superhero or pirate, although I do hope she doesn’t follow through with any of them but let’s be honest, she’s 3 and last week she wanted to be a cowboy.

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Copyright © 2012 Karina Davies
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