Every three minutes a child with cancer dies in a developing country.

Take a minute to think about that.

In the developed world, a child with cancer has an 80% chance of survival, but in the developing world this can be as low as 10%. How can that be fair? Purely based on where you happen to be born, thousands of children are robbed of that most basic gift – the gift of growing up.

The irony is that relatively, healthcare is much cheaper in developing countries: while it costs £100,000 to treat a child in the UK with cancer, £500 can treat a child in Malawi. £15 covers the cost of a CT scan and £50 could pay for a round of life-saving chemotherapy for a child with cancer in Ghana,

This is good news though, it means that our help can make a big difference.

World Child Cancer aims to address this issue through sustainable solutions which increase awareness of childhood cancer, reduce misdiagnosis and support families that are being pushed further into poverty due to all the costs they have to bear. To promote awareness of their work and to raise funds to help reduce the number of children dying needlessly, World Child Cancer commissioned a photo series as part of their Stop the Childhood Cancer Clock appeal, working with photographer Andrew Whelan, whose images of his daughter Jessica suffering from childhood cancer moved the world last year.

The powerful photo series aims to highlight the incredible things children can achieve if they are given the gift of growing up.

Asha, aged 5, dreams of becoming a scientist when she grows up

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Produced in association with Ecover

Environmentally friendly cleaning products have come a long way.

A long time ago, it felt like there was a formula you could apply to green home care, that went something like this:

G + P = C

Where G is green credentials, P is price and C is a complete inability to get anything clean.

It’s not like that any more though. Green cleaning doesn’t have to mean that you compromise on standards OR take out a bank loan for the privilege. Nowadays you’re not even really a proper middle class mum without a bottle of Ecover washing up liquid by the sink. For me, Ecover is THE green cleaning brand. They’ve been around since 1979 – almost as long as me – so it’s no wonder they’ve built up such a great reputation in that time for innovation and efficiency.

I got to find out a bit more about Ecover, and in particular their new laundry liquid range and fragrances, when I went along recently to an event they were holding in London. I definitely did NOT just go on the promise of gin cocktails – that was just a welcome bonus. Honest. (They were so good.)

Ecover laundry liquid

Because laundry liquid on its own isn’t exactly the most riveting of topics, Ecover laid on a couple of extra laundry related activities. First up, we had one minute to sort coloured washing from whites and load a machine…


That would be a rubbish way to spend an evening.

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Today I have another guest post from the lovely Jon at The Money Shed. Every so often Jon likes to share handy information/mildly mock me, and today he has an excellent cheap web-hosting deal for you. Have a read!

cheap web hosting for a blog

Have you ever read Jo’s blog on here and thought ‘I’d like to give blogging a go!’

Maybe you’ve read one of her many angry posts about signs outside coffee shops or some other middle class problem you can totally relate to and thought you could do an even better job!

Blogging is a fantastic platform to not only connect with other people but also one you can earn a HUGE amount of money from in the long term.

Usually to earn that money though companies who want to place content on your site will want you to be what is called self hosted. That means that you are in full control of the blog you are running and aren’t just hosting it on a 3rd party website such as Blogger or Blogspot.

A lot of people hold off on running a self hosted blog because they worry about the cost involved but trust me, you can worry no more as I can show you how you can host your blog(s) for only £2.99 a month (although it’s actually less but more about that in a bit) with the amazing UK hosting company Kloudhost. View Post

Looking for a BookBeat discount code? Read on for a one month free BookBeat trial offer! 

Bookbeat discount code audiobook review

When I was small I had a cassette tape of Winnie the Pooh stories. I listened to them so often that I could tell them back to you now word for word, remembering exactly all the nuances of the narrator. (Who, it turns out after some research, was a chap called Norman Shelley.)

It was wonderful. Perfect in every way. I would lie in bed in the dark and I could SEE the stories in my mind. (It took me quite a long time though to understand that Pooh and Piglet weren’t following a woozle around that tree.)

What I’m trying to say is that listening to someone else tell you a story rather than reading a book can be a wonderful thing.

It can be a convenient thing too, as you can listen to books at the same time as doing other things, like exercising, travelling or just lying about on the sofa. I love listening to audiobooks while I’m driving – I fall into this (very safe) trance like state and I’m IN the story.

(At the same time as paying careful attention to the road.)

Unlimited listening with BookBeat

This week I’ve been trying out BookBeat.

BookBeat is amazing audiobook app, with thousands of classic and new fiction and non-fiction. The great things about BookBeat, which gives it the edge over some other audiobook offerings, is that once you’ve paid your monthly fee – which is only £12.90 – you can listen to unlimited books.

Yup, you heard me.


As many books as you like, every single month, with no restrictions, including a ONE MONTH FREE trial. You can download them and listen offline too, and there is no contract. You can cancel at any time.

It’s basically Netflix for books, and who doesn’t like a bit of Netflix? View Post

Homesense is my happy place.

I know it should probably be a cliff top, where I can contemplate life and the vastness of the universe as I stare at the horizon, but it’s not. It’s Homesense. Specifically the plant pot section or a display of particularly fluffy cushions, ideally in the middle of the day on a Tuesday, when no one else is there. Homesense is part of the TK Maxx family, so there is always treasure to be found at discount prices, with up to 60% off the RRP.

(I did a quick count around the house and I already have 14 plant pots from Homesense.)

Homesense finds

It’s not that I’m especially materialistic, because I don’t have to buy anything for the magic to work, I just like wandering around and seeing what treasures I can find. I love stroking the sheepskin rugs and looking right to the back of the kitchen shelves to see what goodies other people might have found before me and hidden for later. View Post

As hard as we try to spend cautiously and save carefully, sometimes we’re hit by an emergency that leaves us needing to get money quickly. It could be a car breakdown, a vet bill, a boiler explosion – whatever it is, we suddenly find it’s a week until pay day and we have a cat with a leg in plaster/car exhaust on the road/no hot water. (Delete as appropriate.*)

A couple of years ago for example I came home to find a huge puddle of water on the kitchen floor. I looked around suspiciously. No taps were on and the ceiling was intact. I opened the freezer. Things were suspiciously warm and NOT icy.

ways to get money quickly

Now although I did spend the winter of 1997 living without a fridge and keeping single pints of milk in the garden overnight, this was the summer. Plus I’m not 19 and living in poverty any more so you know, I did quite want a fridge that worked. Fortunately I had a little bit of money set aside, but not everyone is so lucky. If you find yourself needing money for an emergency purchase, I’ve put together a few ideas for ways to get money quickly.

Please note: these are simply suggestions, not financial advice, and my ideas are meant to be for anyone who needs to get money quickly for one-off emergency purchases, not day to day spending or treats. If you are struggling to meet everyday expenditure, like food or bills, then speak to a debt advisor. You can call the Money Advice Line on 0800 138 7777 or try a debt charity like Step Change. View Post