Normally when I ask Belle what she wants to do at the weekend she says ‘nothing really.’ She stays in bed until about 1pm and then watches Vampire Diaries until I drag her out to Homesense or something dull like that.

Last weekend though when I asked her, she said ‘I want to go and do a photoshoot, where I wear lots of different outfits and you take pictures of me in front of cool backgrounds.’

Well.

Who would have thought it?

So Belle filled the back of our tiny car with clothes and shoes and make up and hairbrushes and I got my camera and we went up to Stokes Croft in Bristol. When we lived in Bristol we lived pretty close to Stokes Croft and it’s one of my favourite parts of the city. There’s such a vibrance to it – so many colours and cafes and different kinds of people. Unfortunately on Saturday it was also a bit on the drizzly side, and bitterly cold, but we had hot chocolates in Cafe Kino, braced ourselves, and did our best.

I understand that being 15 can suck quite a lot. I look at my body now and think about my body at 15 and I want to cry a bit, because of the inversely proportional relationship that goes on – the younger and more beautiful you are, the more full of self-loathing you also are. Once you get old enough to realise you’re actually a goddess, i.e. me, then things are rather past their prime. Hopefully Belle will be able to look at these photos and realise how beautiful she is.

(Although probably not because of being 15. See above.)

Anyway, we had a lot of fun, despite the cold, and it was nice to get out of the house for a proper weekend outing.

View Post

Recently I wrote a little post about HotUKDeals, a website with a community of deal seekers, who help each other find the best bargains, on and offline. If you didn’t read it, go and have a look at how I saved £527 on my Christmas shopping.

HotUKDeals is the UK’s biggest deal-sharing community where millions of consumers find, rate and share deals so that you don’t have to do the leg work, trawling the internet for bargains. The voting system on HotUKDeals makes it ideal for Black Friday deals, as you can see at a glance if something is worth investigating – the hotter the deal, the better the offer. You can also set keyword alerts via the website and free app, so all the deals relating to matching items, such as Xbox or LEGO, come straight to your phone or email.

Today though, with the infamous Black Friday fast approaching, HotUKDeals members have put together some tips for us, to help you grab some great deals. Some of them are pretty extreme – I’m not sure I’ll be staying up all night in the name of a discount – but if you want to be top of the bargain tree then these tips should help.

ALSO…

HotUKDeals has very kindly given me a whopping £250 Amazon voucher to give away! HOW COOL? Have a read of the post and then I’ll tell you how you can enter for a chance to win an Amazon shopping spree.

Black Friday tips

So first up, here are 14 tips from HotUKDeals members to help you get the best Black Friday deals: View Post

In association with Sugru

Belle is a big fan of crafts. Whereas I might decide I need some kind of storage solution and immediately order it from Amazon, Belle will take the time to think up an ingenious homemade solution, probably inspired by an Instagram video.

She’s made some really cool stuff recently, including ombre make up brush jars out of old baked bean tins and leftover paint and a very clever makeup storage board using Velcro, with spaces for each of her eyeshadow palettes.

When Sugru asked if I wanted to have a go at a craft activity using their new family-safe, skin-friendly formula, my first thought was ‘I’m definitely going to get Belle to do that…’

For ages she has wanted to make one of those things where you fix mason jars to a bit of wood with hose clamps. I bought some bits for it but to be quite honest I had absolutely no idea how you go about fitting a hose clamp together. I ended up with a length of metal in one hand and a clip thing in the other, staring at both in a baffled way, like an old lady looking at a Sky remote.

Cue the Sugru!

Sugru is, as Mr Shev so nicely summed up on Twitter, amazing stuff:

Imagine getting some plasticine, moulding it into whatever shape you want, and it setting into a super strong but flexible rubber. Or imagine you need to stick something to something else, but you want to use a material that’s easy to use, simple to remove, and brightly coloured too.

That’s Sugru.

Sugru crafts View Post

This post, as you may have guessed from the title, comes courtesy of Bee. It was inspired by the recent launch in the UK of Lottoz, an online lottery platform that lets you play lotteries from around the world from the comfort of your own home, or potentially in Bee’s case, you’re own library.

Lately I have been thinking about playing the lottery. I know that the chances of winning are basically zero, or 14 million to one or something, but there’s always this little part of me that thinks I really could win. I mean, someone has to win, right? And it’s never going to be me if I don’t actually play.

I just find it frustrating how much money limits us in what we want to do. I don’t really want much. I really enjoy my job so I don’t ever feel like if only I won the lottery I would finally be able to throw my apron to the ground and just walk out. In fact, even if I was a millionaire I would probably still do it, just because I love it. I wouldn’t even have to win that much money for it to make a big difference to my life, just enough to buy a one-bedroom flat with a bit of cash leftover would really be all I would need to keep me happy and put my money worries to one side.

But that’s thinking about it seriously. If I really did win millions of pounds, here are the things I would definitely consider buying, even if only for a fleeting moment.

A house with its own heated indoor pool, gym and library

I do have a gym membership for a gym that’s really easy and convenient to get to, but even so, I feel like I would definitely get up and go more if it was in my own house and I didn’t even have to get dressed before I went. The same with the pool. I really love swimming but hate swimming with other people around me peeing in the water and stuff. The same goes for a library. I feel like I would read a lot more if only I just had somewhere to keep all my books and a quiet place to read them in. Obviously I don’t think this would actually make any difference to whether I used them or not, and the pool and library would start collecting dust, but it would be nice to at least have the OPTION to better myself in my own home.

library View Post

In association with Princes

So go on, tell me, what did you think of my overnight slippy peach pancakes?

I mean presumably as soon as you saw the post this week you whipped up a batch ready for breakfast the next day? Good. Glad to hear it.

In case your tinned fruit stocks are running low, and you’re getting worried about your next batch, then I’ve teamed up with Princes again today to offer you a super cool prize – a week’s shopping at Morrisons and a Princes tinned fruit hamper! Specifically, the lucky winner will get an £80 Morrisons voucher, plus a selection of 14 different tins of Princes tinned fruit, which you’ll know from my pancake recipe post counts towards your five a day. Tinned fruit is packed fresh at source, and helps to cut down on waste – no more festering bananas in the fruit bowl for you.

And then THIS can be your breakfast every day:

tinned peach recipe

Hoorah!

They were REALLY good.

If you’d like to win an £80 Morrisons voucher and hamper of Princes tinned fruit then it couldn’t be simpler. All you have to do is complete as many of the entries in the widget below as possible. The more you do, the greater your chances of getting to go to Morrisons, supermarket sweep style.

The competition will close at 11.59pm on 1st December 2017 and is open to UK residents only. Full T&Cs apply.

Good luck!

Princes