‘Sandra is always putting stuff on Facebook about what a good stepdad Pete is,’ Fiance said to me the other day. ‘Why don’t you do that?’

‘What, do you want one of those weird poems about dancing between the raindrops?’ I replied, ever the kind and compassionate girlfriend.

‘No,’ he said, looking a bit sulky, ‘just a bit of praise now and then?’

And so I showed my love and appreciation through the only medium I know – GIFTS!

I arranged for him to try out the Cornerstone shaving kit, and here’s what he thought…

Cornerstone shaving review View Post

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Advertorial in association with Quaker Oats

Following on from my Quaker Oats recipe for PB & J overnight oats, I’ve got a great giveaway for you today, so that you can create an aspirational breakfast to make your family proud! Read on to find out more…

There are plenty of moments that, as a parent, have not been my proudest.

For example, Belle seems completely unable to forget the one time I made her a tea that consisted simply of four burnt fish fingers. I can’t remember the context – I’m sure there was some – but of course, that will be the one thing she remembers forever and ever. Will she care that I have built myself an entire career around school hours, just so I can be there for her in the morning and after school?

No.

She will remember the fish fingers.

Very occasionally though, I have one of those amazing parenting moments, where I actually do something that the mums on Pinterest do. Like when I made those pink doughnut helium balloons, or the time I made these Pingu cupcakes for Bee’s birthday. (And by ‘made’ I mean ‘paid someone else to make’.)

#vegan Pingu #birthday #cupcakes 🐧🍰☺️❤️

A post shared by Bee ✨ (@teachezbee) on

That was a very proud day for me.

I had another of those aspirational parenting moments this week when I tried my hand at making some overnight oats using one of the new Quaker Oats MissPrint mason jars. I actually made PB & J overnight oats with a home made raspberry and chia seed jam, so bonus points to me. Skip back a few days and you’ll find the recipe post. View Post

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When your children are really little, going on holiday is hard work physically, but at least you know what makes them tick. Keep the ice cream flowing, car journeys to a minimum and abandon all hope from day one for doing anything that you actually want to do, and chances are that everything will go pretty smoothly.

Holidaying with teenagers is a little more complex.

Being a teenager can be heart-breakingly difficult – you can barely understand your own emotions from one day to the next, let alone anyone else’s. One minute they will be clinging to you, desperate for attention, and the next they will be mad with rage because you dared to suggest that they might like to hang out with you at the beach instead of spend all day in the hotel room on Snapchat.

It’s hard work for sure.

Here’s a casual sunset view from a Villa Plus villas, just to inspire you and make you believe it IS worth it.

Much like toddlers though, if you plan ahead and cater for their needs, you CAN all have an amazing holiday, I promise. Their needs might be slightly different – they are far less likely to be bothered about whether you cut their sandwiches into squares or triangles for instance – but they should be easy to satisfy with a little pre-holiday preparation.

I started off by asking Belle, 14, about the things that were most important to her in a holiday, and whether there were any things that she absolutely couldn’t do without in her suitcase.

Villa Plus then chipped in to help me to come up with some tips to help you pack teenage essentials and choose a holiday destination that will hopefully minimise tantrums. (Yours AND theirs.) Villa Plus has over 30 years of experience  when it comes to holidays, with handpicked villas in some rather gorgeous locations across Europe. Their aim to create your dream holiday – a time together as a family that you will ALL love, no matter what your individual needs. They have friendly, bi-lingual staff in each resort too, so peace of mind for you knowing there is someone experienced on hand should – heave forbid – the worse happen, and the wifi stops working. View Post

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Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have a butler?

I’m not talking about a regular old butler who just does as he’s told, I’m thinking more like a Jeeves style butler, who knows what you want before you even know yourself.

You know the sort of thing I mean right? You’re Bertie Wooster, you wake up with a hangover, having been at the club for dinner the night before, and you lie there wondering how on earth to move. Then Jeeves is suddenly at your side with a home made hangover cure and before you can say ‘bacon’ he’s rustled you up eggs benedict.

That’s what it’s like driving the Hyundai i30.

Loads of things can be set to auto for a start – auto lights, auto windscreen wipers, auto hold on the brake – so you find yourself in the drizzle, starting to think ‘I should probably put the windscre…’ and BOOM! They’re on already. The car has done it.

It’s the same with the safety features.

‘I don’t think Madam really DOES want to overtake just now,’ the car says, except it doesn’t, it just beeps at you if you indicate when there is something in your blind spot, but you know that’s what it’s thinking.

The handling is beautiful, and it feels very and light to drive. Visibility is decent, and the space is just right for a small family. We’ve actually owned an i30 before and really enjoyed it. It’s not flashy, it’s not trying to be anything it isn’t, it’s just EASY. And for it’s price, it comes with a lot of impressive functionality. It’s definitely great value.

Have a watch of the video we made below and find out more about all of the cool Hyundai i30 features. You can also read this post about our weekend in the woods with the Hyundai i30.

And Jeeves? Make mine a gin and tonic.

We test drove the Hyundai i30  for two weeks for the purposes of this review. All opinions are my own. 

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Advertorial in association with Quaker Oats

PB & J overnight oats recipe

I went through a stage last year of being totally overwhelmed by the amount of oats I had in the cupboard. I don’t know what went wrong with my shopping, but every time I’d go to look for something for dinner, all I could see was the Quaker Oat man smiling up at me. I swear I had about six different boxes at one point. It was bonkers.

Oats are brilliant of course. They are tasty, nutritious* and really versatile. You can’t get as far as I have down the parenting road without having made about 27,000 batches of flapjacks.

And then I really got into making granola and my oat problem was solved. I found a recipe in a book that made it look so easy I couldn’t believe I’d never done it before. Normally about half of the mixture makes it to the oven and the rest goes into my mouth in warm little squished up balls, but that’s okay, because breakfast IS the most important meal of the day.

Overnight oats are the next step up from making your own granola, (which is basically like making a giant flapjack and passing it off as breakfast). Overnight oats are what that mum at school that you want to be like makes for her family. They are the stuff that Instagram dreams are made of – those beautiful layers of colour and texture, all laid out on a wholesome looking wooden board, sprinkled with oats and toasted seeds.

If you make overnight oats you know that you have WON at life. View Post

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