I’m A Virgin Money London Marathon Reject

Around six months ago I entered the Virgin Money London Marathon Ballot. It was easy to do but I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t been quaking in my running shoes since – you see, when I applied I couldn’t even run a kilometer.

What’s the you say? ‘You’re a dreamer and a mentalist?’ – yes, yes, you’re right – I am.

I’d started the Couch to 5k two weeks before applying having never ran in my life and was jogging intervals of two minutes when the husband and I decided to apply. ‘Why not?’ I said, ‘we’ll have six months to train and I’ll be comfortably running 10k’s by the time we find out if we’re in’.

Pahaha how I laugh now.

After applying, I thought about my chances – they weren’t great, I mean half of the country would be applying for 20,000 places – there’s just no way I’d get a place the first time I applied. I resigned myself to the quite probable fact that I wouldn’t be running The London Marathon 2018.

As October approached, the reality hit home that I might actually get a place – I mean I can now run 10k as planned but nowhere near with the pace and ease I’d thought – even with running two to three times per week for the last five months , I still sound like an octagenarian dog with asthma when I run and I have all the grace of a hippo with a gammy ankle – shit.

I could actually get a sodding place…

For two days this week it was at the forefront of my mind – shit. What’ve I done?

Why on earth did I think I could run a sodding Marathon? I’m a thirty five year old mother of two and I’m a good three stone over-weight!

Every time the post landed my heart raced – shit. I jumped up to see if there was an answer.

Two days this week we got no post. Nothing. Zero. I started thinking the local posties were on strike or something.

Then one of the days we got this leaflet – we don’t even sodding like cats.

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Pull-Up Nappies – An Honest Review

As soon as our daughter started showing the signs of readiness for potty training, (mainly whipping off her nappy thirty seconds after it was placed upon her person, before repeatedly saying ‘poo’) we invested in some Pull-Up Nappies.

Bobbi, like her sister before her, got the hang of it relatively early (they were both around 20 months old).

In some ways, this is a great thing. In others – not so much.

We opted to make the switch from traditional nappies as Bobbi thought it was great fun to remove her undercrackers at every possible opportunity, tugging at them until they ripped – rendering them entirely useless.

This was very frustrating – as the alligator death roll usually performed during the nappy donning process made things considerably more difficult – going through the ordeal of it, only to see the blasted thing laying disguared on the floor two minutes later was really starting to boil my urine.

So there you have it – we switched.

Straight away life was easier – I could slip the Pull-Up Nappies on her as she was running away from me and she could pull them up-down-up-down as she pleased.

The downside to Pull-Up Nappies, is that finding a size to fit is nigh on impossible. If they’re snug they won’t survive the riggorous and constant yo-yoing, and if they’re loose they’ll fall down every two minutes.

If you’re out for any length of time and your little cherub wees in them – they will become heavy and fall down.

Nappies

It’s a pain not being able to pop one on without having to fart about with trousers/leggings/tights – putting on a pair of Pull-Ups does become a naked from the waist down affair which is more time consuming.

They make it really easy for your little poppet to copy the dog…this is not a good thing…

Pull-Up Nappies

And finaly – I’m fairly lucky in that it’s been a good two weeks since I’ve had to deal with an in-nappy-turd – the first couple that actually did grace the Pull-Up Nappies simply flopped out and splatted on the floor.

There must be some kind of special trick that I’m just missing with this? They literally roll out and present themselves on your living room floor – leaving you (if you’re anything like me) with a wriggly, turd covered little demon who wants to break free, run away and create a dirty protest – and a dirty tramp, opportunist puppy who (if you’re not lightening fast) will dive in and eat your precious little ones latest creation faster than you can say ‘Aw shit’.

Disclaimer – I gained absolutely nothing by writing this – it’s just the fun ramblings and observations of me as a mother.

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10 Things To Consider Before Running With A Dog

If like me, you added a dog to the family with the express added intention of having a running buddy – here’s just a few things you should know before your first jog – (you’ll need to wait until your pooch is old enough – which will feel like an ETERNITY – but is very important – this varies from breed to breed so be sure to check).

Obviously choosing a breed that’s able to run without dying is important too – there are some bloody cute K9’s about – not all will suit – eg:

We put loads of thought into which breed to get as our four legged friend also needed to cope with young children – we added Fridge (never let a three year old name your pets) to the gang.

So here are my observations so far…

1. Going off too quick – your dog can run much, much faster than you – it makes pacing a nightmare but if you’re lucky you’ll get a PB every time.

2. Tripping over – If your dog is young – you WILL trip over them at some point as they will dart out in front of you when the get the faintest sniff of a squirrel.

3. Sniff – You’ll have to stop to let your dog play ‘sniff’ – after all – the run is for them too.

4. Picking up poo – At some point you will have to stop to pick up a steaming pile of dog turd – if you’ve started too quickly in an attempt to keep up with your furry friend – you might be quite glad of the break – perhaps the only time you’ll ever be happy about picking up dog poo?

5. Dragging the dog – At some point you’ll end up dragging the dog away from things they’ve sniffed for too long.

6. Being dragged by the dog – At some point your dog will drag you – probably to chase a bird.

7. Threat of rain – Possibly breed specific – Fridge is a whippet cross and Whippets HATE water – if it started raining while we were out jogging I’d have to carry him – he’s getting big, is heavy and would try to play ‘bitey facey’ all the way home.

8. You might lose them – If you accidentally let go of the lead – your dog (if anything like mine) will ditch you – this could be a competitive jape or a bid for freedom as they just don’t want to run any more (let’s face it – they can’t just tell you!) – either way – they’re off.

9. Take treats – Keep them sweet – your dog is your friend and they’re working hard too – treats also help to entice them back if you’ve let them go (if you haven’t already invested in a harness [note to self  – buy harness]).

10. Guilt – Your dog will pester you and lay the guilt on thick on your rest days – dog does not need rest days.

So there you have it – your dog will need to learn how to run on a lead – if you’re considering introducing your new best friend to running, check out – intervals are a great way to build up stamina for humans and dogs alike.

Good luck and happy tripping.

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Free Stuff UK Ideas For Any Consumer To Take Advantage Of

You can look at your free stuff UK options and figure out whether or not this is the right kind of thing for you to work with. There are many ways to get something for free or for a tiny bit of work like writing a review. Below are some ideas to help you begin.

Always see if when you are getting something for free, there is some kind of fee involved where you’re going to have to pay for shipping or handling. Sometimes if you’re about to get a free sample, for instance, they will want your payment information so they can charge you something for it in the way of a fee to get the item to you. This makes it not free and that’s why you should avoid things of this nature.

Source: https://www.justfreestuff.co.uk/how-to-save-money-by-using-vouchers-freebies-discount-codes/

 

Try to look at the website of a company that you like to shop with from time to time and also look over their social media pages. This is because sometimes they may put up coupons or things like ways to get samples and it’s always of benefit to you to just check out their offerings from time to time. If you do get a new product to test out then it’s good to write reviews so they know what you thought. Generally if something is popular then they will keep making it and that is good if you enjoyed the sample.

Check for buy one get one free deals or something similar. If you’re already going to buy something for a certain price anyways, you may as well get something out of it for free. There are many times when you will enjoy something enough to where you’ll be able to buy one or two and then get something free so you don’t have to go back to the store to spend your money at a later time. Look at when the deal ends because at times you may want to take advantage of it more than you usually would if the deal is that good and going away soon.

There are many benefits to learning about free stuff UK options so you’re able to get what you need at no cost to you. It’s important that you work closely with every option you have so you’re able to better deal with each decision you have to look at. Now you’re prepared to get free stuff so give it a shot!

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Childs Farm – Review

Childs Farm is an award winning British brand that uses natural ingredients and essential oils to produce mild, kind and absolutely delicious smelling toiletries that care for the skin and hair of newborns, babies and children.

I was sent some products to review from Child’s Farm and wanted to share my thoughts with you all – These are all suitable for sensitive skin which was my main criteria because of mine and Nina’s eczema. I’ve had it since I was a child and Nina (4) has started getting a small patch on her face so I’m trying my hardest to manage it for her.

We were sent so many lovely products to try and here’s what we think of them all..

Moisturiser

This award-winning moisturiser can be used all over the body for fresh-smelling, soft and hydrated skin. It contains grapefruit and organic tea tree oil, it works like magic on grown-ups too – I love it myself and the girls smell and feel AMAZING post slathering.

Hair and Body Wash

This fabulous smelling hair and body wash contains argan oil, which is suitable for even the most sensitive skin. It can be used all over body and hair to cut through grime and dirt, and to leave skin moisturised and smooth. It’s excellent for children with sensitive and eczema prone skin.

3 in 1 Swim

Their award-winning 3-in-1 swim is a shampoo, conditioner and body wash all in one. Use after swimming to thoroughly clean off chlorine and come up smelling of strawberry and organic mint. Especially formulated to protect and moisturise young skin and hair. This product from Childs Farm makes it easier to pack light I’d you’re going away too – which is essential when you’re packing for four (+) people and a dog!

Baby Wipes

I love these as they’re just wet enough – some wipes I’ve tried are far too wet! These are dermatologist and paediatrician approved as being suitable for sensitive and eczema prone skin – they’re even gentle enough for use on newborn skin.

Wipes

Again, these are suitable for newborns and upwards. Dermatologist and paediatrician approved as suitable for sensitive and eczema prone skin. I bung these in my handbag as I always end up needing them when we’re out and about.

The girls love all of these products and they are the most important judges.

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The Closest Thing To A Universal Parenting Guide

All children are different. You know it, I know it, and every article you’ve read has stated that a million times. But that statement doesn’t help you much, does it? Whether your child is 3 or 13, you might still be having trouble coming to understand them and knowing whether you’re doing all you could be doing as a parent to bring them up properly. Kids really don’t come
with an instruction manual and that can be immensely frustrating when you’re exhausted and just wish you knew what to say or do to make them happy. Above all else, you just want the best for your child. You want to know that they’re going to
grow up to be a happy, independent, and successful person who goes on to have a happy family of their own. That’s all you feel you can control. The important thing to remember, of
course, is that your child is an individual who’s in control of their own feelings and their own
future. You can’t control the path they take; you can only offer guidance. And if you want to
know what sort of steps you can take to be the guardian your child needs then this self-proclaiming “universal” parenting guide might just help.

Bedwetting.

One of the most common problems children deal with whilst they’re young (and sometimes up until their teenage years) is bedwetting. It can stem from bad dreams or other problems but, no matter how much you tell them that it’s a common thing that children deal with, they’re still going to feel embarrassed about the whole thing. Of course, if bedwetting
stretches further to problems with holding their bladder during the day then you might want to check out sites such as https://dryandcool.co.uk/ for washable incontinence pants. It can help with your child’s self-esteem if they have some sort of way of hiding the issue until it
sorts itself out. Many children go through a bedwetting stage in their life and all you can do as their parent is provide them with a way to avoid embarrassment and keep going as confidently as possible.

Emotional​ ​development.

Another way in which you can guide your child as a parent is to help with their emotional
development. Believe it or not, the way in which your child’s mind develops is also a product of nurture as well as nature. You can play a big role in ensuring that your kid develops a view of the world that is kind and caring. As we’ve discussed before, you need to promote the idea of being caring to others as much as possible to your child. Lead by example and show them what it means to be empathic and understanding of other people. These are all social skills that your child will need to develop in order to make friends but also connect well in more formal situations in adult life.

Laugh​ ​more.

Finally, the best way to raise a happy child is to be happy yourself. Learn to laugh as much as possible with your little one because that’s really all there is to being loving and nurturing. Happiness doesn’t have to be some complex formula; sometimes, it can be as simple as
spending the day with your little one and making some great memories that they’ll remember
forever (as will you).

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Throw Your Little One The Best Birthday Party Ever

It’s that time of the year again; your child is a year older. With all the work commitments you have had, you have forgotten to think about what you will offer your kid as a present this year. You know they liked the gift you got them last time, and you might get them something similar in order for you to see them smile uncontrollably once again. But wait, this year there is something better you could do to show your love for your child.

If you are tired of hitting the shops and getting them something material and would instead prefer to invest effort and money into putting together something more personal, why not throw them the best birthday party they have ever attended?

With the below tips in place, there are no obstacles in the way of you planning your child’s most epic birthday bash!

Secretly invite their best friends

Your children are in the process of growing up and as such, already probably have a large circle of friends with whom they socialise both at school and after. If you would like for them to have a superb time on their special day, you should ensure you invite their friends to the party. Without telling your child, arm yourself with a list of people who you could telephone and call their families with a set date in place. This will not only allow you to talk to the parents of your child’s friends and maintain contact with them, but it will also help you organise the party of your kid’s dreams. Be as secretive as you can about this and on the big day your child will be pleasantly surprised when they see their best mates walk through the door.

Plan a set of activities in which they will be able to compete

If you would like to see your children smile on their birthday party, this won’t take a lot of effort as the mere fact that their friends will be present on their big day will be an incredible surprise for which they will be grateful for the rest of their lives. If on top of this you would like for them to spend the time in style, why not organise a set of activities in which they could compete and earn prizes if they turn up to be the winners? This won’t take a long time to organise, and it will no doubt put an even more significant smile on their faces. For example, if your child is into sports you might want to hold matches in which they will attain a reward for coming first. This is easy to do if you have the right prizes in place. Have a look at trophiesplusmedals.co.uk and choose your pick!

Bake the best cake you have ever made

There is no birthday party without a proper cake in place and your child’s big day needn’t be an exception. If you would like to throw your children the best birthday party they’ve ever had, you will need to also impress them with your baking skills and this is something you will be able to do with the right tools in place. You might want to invest in these baking sets in order to make your kids’ party an unforgettable one.

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Lottie Dolls – A Review

I was recently sent a Lottie Doll to review and I love it and everything it stands for.

As the Mother of two young girls, I often find myself worrying about them being insecure and trying to live up to the – let’s face it, entirely unrealistic and for most, unachievable ‘beauty ideals’ that women aspire to these days – my girls are currently aged two and four – they are funny, smart, strong, caring and beautiful – I want them to grow up knowing this and believing in themselves.

I want them to feel confident enough to reach for the stars and know that they can achieve anything they put their minds to.

They have loads of dolls and play with them often – a lot of them are the same though – completely out of proportion, they were clearly modelled on aliens who are seven feet tall (and five feet of that is all leg), high insteps and tiny waists – loads of make up and boobs.

Do I want my daughter’s at the age they are, to aspire to be like them?

Absolutely not.

The Lottie Dolls are different. They’re designed in part by children and their bodies are based on the proportions of a nine year old child, which I feel is so much more suitable than having them look like a playboy bunny!

These dolls are super cute and dressed appropriately too – compared to other dolls who look like they’re ready for a night out in a club drinking cocktails.

Another thing I love about Lottie Dolls is that the creators understand how precious childhood is, they want to help us to protect their innocence for as long as possible. To help them develope a healthy imagination and a love for exploring and feel empowered to be themselves.

The dolls are dressed in comfortable, bright clothes that our kids would wear and enourage outdoor play like fishing, body boarding and puddle jumping –

We love this Muddy Puddles doll – it’s one of this girls’ favourite things to do.

It’s no wonder they’re award winning dolls!

Which one will you choose?

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Ten Things To Do In Paris

If you’re looking for a short break with friends or a special celebration with your partner, a noteable anniversary perhaps – Paris is an amazing place to visit, filled with fun things to do and fabulous food.

There are so many beautiful places to stay you’ll be spoilt for choice when booking – if you’re looking for somewhere a bit special, check out this site for Paris Luxury Homes.

Once you’ve got your travel and accomodation sorted, you’ll be looking for an itinerary – here’s a few great ideas to fill your time in gay Paris during your luxury break…

The Eiffel Tower

It’s not difficult to see the reason that this is the most popular attraction in Paris – you can choose to climb the seven hundred and four steps to the most breath taking views of the city, or, alternatively, you could take the elevator if you’re either not able, or just can’t be bothered – it’s always nice to have options!

If you do choose to take the stairs, you can visit one of the restaurants (there are five choices for dining on the Eiffel tower ranging from a snack bar to full on French Cuisine), the immersion gallery, gift shop and the see through floor on the first floor – yes – it is possible to walk on it – physically anyway – you might not actually be able to muster up the courage! (the lift doesn’t stop at this floor). Will you become one of the many lucky people to get engaged at the top of Eiffel Tower?

The Louvre

The world’s largest art museum, an historic monument and a beautiful landmark of the city, The Louvre houses hundreds of thousands of objects, some of which pre-date history!

It contains many famous masterpieces that you might possibly recognise, including the Venus di Milo, Mona Lisa, Winged Victory of Samothrace to name just a few – it also hosts the best collection of Greek, Roman, and Egyptian antiquities, and paintings from the middle ages.

Well worth a visit if you’re in the neighbourhood whether you have an eye for art or not.

The Champs Elysees

The Champs Elysees is well known for it’s cafes, theatres and luxury shops, if you’re going to Paris for a spot of retail therapy, this is the place to be.

The Arc De Triomphe

One of the most famous monuments in Paris, The Arc De Triomphe De L’Etoile honours those who fought and died for France during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.

It stands a staggering fifty meters tall and fourty five meters wide, with a depth of twenty meters – it’s a truly impressive sight that literally can’t be missed.

Palais Garnier

Made famous by the absolute classic that is ‘The Phantom of the Opera’, The Palais Garnier is one of the most well known (if not THE most well known) Opera houses in the world.

Speaking of The Phantom of the Opera – it was losely based on real events that actually took place at the Palaise Garnier in the late 19th Century, and a legendary tale about a ballerina’s skeleton being uncovered there. Well worth a watch – if you like musicals, you’ll have heard of it – if you don’t this would be an absolutely fabulous one to start with.

The building itself is an eccentric masterpiece of architecture and the auditorium is an absolute triumph that will completely top any theatre or opera house you’ve ever seen before.

It truly is the epitome of over-the-top luxury, if you’ve never been to the Opera before, this is the place to try it for the first time.

Food/sightseeing Tours

There are too many available to list, but these are easily found online as there is so much to see and eat in Paris – this would be a lovely way to spend an afternoon!

River Seine

Stretching over 777 in in, the River Seine is a slow flowing and easy to follow river with thirty bridges allowing crossing and fabulous views.The ashes of Joan of Arc were scattered in the Seine at Rouen.

Catacombs

The Catacombs are a collection of man-made, sub-terranian passageways that hold the remains of more than six million people – it was created as part of a solution to combat the cities over crowded cemeteries.

Notre Dam

Notre Dam, meaning ‘Lady of Paris’, is a medieval Catholic Cathedral and widely considered to be one of the finest examples of French gothic architecture.

Within it’s treasury, it houses some of the most important relics in Catholicism, including the crown of thorns, a fragment of the true cross and one of the Holy nails.

The Cathedral has 10 bells – The largest, Emmanuel, is in the south tower, weighing in at just over 13 tons and is rang to mark the hours of the day and for various occasions and services.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame was written by Victor Hugo in an effort to get more people to appretiate the Cathedral. Definitely worth a visit.

The Moulin Rouge

This has been firmly on my bucket list for over a decade – The Moulin Rouge is the birth place of the can-can and paved the way for the production of cabarets around the world.

This is a spectacular tourist attraction, offering musical dance entertainment.

The ‘Féerie’ consists of a troupe of 80 artists, including 60 Doriss Girls recruited world-wide, 1000 costumes of feathers, rhinestones and sequins, made in the most famous Parisian workshops, fabulous sets in shimmering colours, uniquely designed by Italian artists.

You can simply go for the show, or make a real thing of it and have dinner too – the menu looks absolutely INCREDIBLE.

Obviously this is only a small selection of what you could do in Paris, the city of Love, great wine, fabulous food and Let’s not forget Disney Land!

How would you spend your ideal weekend in Paris?

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Free Stuff Guide In The UK

If you were wondering about the free stuff that they give away in the United Kingdom, you should know that most of the stuff being given away there are items you’d be pay good money for. We’re talking about bottles of wine, Toblerone chocolates, hair straighteners, a tube of Olay CC cream, among others.

Of course, anything that’s offered for free always has a catch, and if you’re like most people, you’re probably wondering why firms want to give free stuff away. But if you’re like us, however, you’d probably say to yourself, who cares? Everyone loves free stuff from Mega Free Stuff, and businesses realize that giving a flavor of the goods is always good for business.

There are many, many websites out there that give away thing for free. Often, they send free samples of the products of their affiliated companies. If you love free things (everyone does), subscribe to a free stuff newsletter. You will need to enter your details in the subscription box. This is necessary, but don’t worry, your details won’t ever be passed onto the business or any other third party. Below are a few tips for you when trying to get freebies:

  • In order to avoid spam, consider creating a secondary email account for freebies and offers. This can keep your primary inbox clear, and you also will have the ability to immediately see the businesses that are giving away freebies and offers in real time.
  • Keep a watch on each website’s Terms and Conditions and see if you want to check or un-check specific boxes which will lead to more unwanted emails.

How can you locate offers, competitions and free stuff? You should have a team of committed cash-saving enthusiasts who are hell-bent on locating all the most recent free stuff, offers and competitions that can be found on the internet. If you find anything, bookmark it.

The good thing about free stuff that’s being given away for free in the United Kingdom is that they’re not limited to consumer goods. You can actually get more free stuff for travel, accommodations, festivals, and others. We’d like to share some tips on how you can get them.

Gather Avios points in your regular shopping so you can build up enough to buy a vacation that is totally free. There are a variety of methods to gather. When you spend on grocery stores, fuel and bank cards making use of your Shell Devotion or Tesco Clubcard you can earn just as much as 3 points per GBP1. We’ve worked out the typical home could get a complimentary vacation to Egypt after only one year of gathering Avios points.

In case you want to meet new folks and favor a home to a hotel room, sign up CouchSurfing.com or Tripping.com Those websites give you the opportunity to have your accommodation totally for free and to enjoy your destination as a local. Simply enter your details, select your destination, and search the community to find people who will allow you to crash on their couch for free.

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