Children’s Birthday Gift Guide

It’s that time of year again when both my youngest children have their birthdays – 9 days apart! It can be hard work and expensive. When you ask what they’d like you’re either answered with a 4 page list or a resounding “I dunno”. Here I list a few inexpensive items that make great present ideas for both boys and girls. giftpup-emoji-notebook-little-brian-paint-sticks-tangle-angel-tangle-cherub-find-me-a-gift-chocolate-chops-smiggle-goo
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Friends For My Fortieth?

When I was at school being 40 was ancient, anything after that and you were practically dead. You were boring, wore corduroy and drank Horlicks at bedtime, we thought. Oh how the tables have turned. I am finding myself fast approaching 40 and have no idea how to celebrate it.

Well, actually that’s a fib, I do have several ideas such as an 80’s themed party or an 80’s weekend at Butlin’s but I’m either terrified to see them through or lacking in the basics required. Now you might think it’s a money thing but it’s not really it’s more about friends. To have a party you need people to attend. Of course I have my wonderful family but sometimes it’s nice to see other people, catch up on their lives. What if nobody does turn up though? What if you invite lots of people and you’re stood there in all your finery and no bugger turns up? Not even to nick the finger foods?!!

The last time I had a party was for my 18th back when I had lots of friends and not a care in the world, apart from the hideous hangover the next day. Go to work, go home, get dressed up, get pissed and have a laugh, rinse and repeat, that’s what we did back then. Fast forward a couple of years and I’m alone with a baby and all my friends have moved on to bigger and better things. Who wants to get stuck with the mate with a kid hanging off her tit at all hours hey? I was young, they were still in party mode, I was in ‘frig sake I’m too tired to do anything other than die on the settee come 8pm’ mode.

Getting sick of the same 4 walls I found a job in a call centre where I formed new friendships, bonding over a mutual hate of people who screamed at you for the long wait to get through, although with most of them being male I found myself again dropped when I forgot to buy one of my best friends a birthday card despite being in hospital miscarrying at the time. The friendship never recovered – not necessarily  a bad thing given the circumstances but then the others all met partners in time and once they were on the scene I was surplus to requirements or a threat (no I don’t think I would be either, have you seen me without make up? Mind your eyes!!) so they got rid sharpish.

My job now is quite lonely, there’s plenty of people coming in and out but it’s not an office full of employees where you form friendships with colleagues , it’s just me and 1, maybe 2 others. So with that in mind who the hell do you invite to your exclusive party? To your mad throw up somewhere you shouldn’t weekend away in Butlins or otherwise?

I often see people all over my Facebook feed having amazing girly weekends away or nights out and wonder how I ended up being the proverbial watcher through the window. Like a Peeping Tom but far less pervy. I’ve never been invited on a hen night or to someone’s wedding other than family and that’s not happened in years. When did I end up being the saddo Billy No Mates? I have plenty of online friends whom I’ve met through blogging, they’ve seen me through good and bad times and are always there for me but we’re talking travelling hundreds of miles to be anywhere near me so it’s really not practical to expect that to happen.

Although I’m not particularly bothered about the prospect of turning 40 I do want to mark it in some way, make memories because it only happens once. So that is my dilemma, short of asking Hooks & Dragons to crochet me some new buddies I’m pretty much stumped.

So if you’re at work full time and the Mum’s at gymnastics rebuff your attempts at small talk where the bloody heck do you find new friends these days? Answers on a postcard or you know just like point me in the direction of some people who won’t murder me and eat my liver.

Hi I’m Julie. Wanna play?

Monday Stumble Linky


2nd Anniversary Giveaway

I’ve been writing this here blog for 2 whole years now. It’s gone so quick, I’ve loved and hated blogging in equal measure over the course of this year but ultimately I do enjoy it and when I do actually get 5 to myself I do have great fun writing it.

I have enjoyed talking to other bloggers and have laughed and cried reading so many talented writers posts. Here are some of my favourite bloggers and their posts.

• This tearjerker about adoption called Why did you leave me? from Alan at OMG it’s a girl

• This one from proud Dad Martyn at Inside Martyn’s Thoughts after his little man remembered how to contact 999 when his Dad had a fall.

• I love Northern Dad Julian’s entire blog just because he’s slightly bonkers but always make me laugh out loud. I particularly like this one because it reminds me of myself!

• This hilarious take on Alanis Morrisette’s Ironic from Gemma at Life is Knutts 

Looking forward to more from these guys to whom I also want to say a massive thankyou for always being supportive!!

This year has brought around lots of opportunities for me and some genuinely lovely items to review. My favourites have been these Star Wars Itty Bittys just the cutest little dudes ever! This BABY Born Interactive Doll that my daughter absolutely fell in love with and still plays with on a daily basis and last but not least this review I did for Lucas Frank Clothing  the tops we were sent turned out to be 2 that my son is wearing to death as his favourite colour is green.

So onto the giveaway is it! This year I’m giving away a lovely little treat bundle which includes:


• A set of Remington Big Style Air Rollers

• A box of Marks & Spencer Swiss Chocolates

• A set of Skippy Peanut Butters – 1 Smooth, 1 Crunchy plus a spreader.

To be in with a chance of winning just enter via the Rafflecopter below.


1. The competition is open to residents of the UK only.
2. There is no cash alternative offered.
3. To enter, please use the rafflecopter widget above.
4. The winner will be drawn at random from all qualifying entries.
5. The giveaway will run until Midnight 11/12/16 
6. Once the giveaway is over the winner will be contacted for their details to arrange postage of their prize 🙂


Partying With Naturelly Jelly – Review & Giveaway

We have been celebrating here, my little man is now the grand old age of 7 and so we partied with Naturelly  who very kindly offered to send us some Jelly Juice to go with the party spread.

If you’ve never heard of Naturelly Jelly Juice it’s a gelatine free jelly which contains gellan gum which is a natural dietary jelly with real fruit juice. It comes in a no mess easy-squeezy pouch so it’s great for not getting dropped on the floor or needing  spoon to eat it with. It’s suitable for children aged 2+ so perfect for a treat.



  • Naturelly Jelly Juice has NO added sugar or sweeteners so it is the perfect healthy treat for children and great for sugar-savvy mums.
  • The ideal treat for active children who love the sun and outdoors as they do not need to be kept refrigerated.
  • Naturelly is gelatin-free, suitable for vegans, vegetarians and religious diets so all children feel included.
  • A clever way to give your child 25% of their RDA of A,C and E without nasty flavourings or colourings. The product is fun, yet healthy!
  • Naturelly Jelly Juice comes in three NEW scrumptious flavours: Totally Tropical, Summer Fruits and Apple & Blackcurrant – ideal for those fussy eaters.
  • Naturelly Jelly Juice (100g) – RRP £1.19 is available at Wholefoods stores, a selection of health stores nationwide, Amazon, Ocado and Boots. Also available to buy online at Naturelly.

All the children tried the Jelly Juice and I’m pleased to say not one of them said they didn’t like it. Out of the 7 children who tried it the Tropical Fruits definitely came out the favourite. They liked the flavour and said it was just like jelly but a bit ‘squidgier’. There was no mess and they were easy to gather together ready to bin and the clincher – no extra dishes!

We were really pleased with them and I think they are great as a snack after school or for adding to my children’s lunchboxes. As it has no added sugar or sweeteners there’s no need to worry about filling them full of sugar.

I thought another great thing about it is that it is free from gluten, wheat, dairy, nuts and gelatine and is suitable for vegetarians and coeliac disease sufferers.


I’m giving my lovely readers a chance to win a set of 12 Jelly Juices. Enter via the Rafflecopter below.


  1. The competition is open to residents of the UK only.
  2. There is 1 prize which is non-transferable, cannot be exchanged and no cash alternative will be offered.
  3. To enter, please use the rafflecopter widget above.
  4. The winners will be drawn at random from all qualifying entries.
  5.  The giveaway will run until Midnight 27/06/16
  6.  Once the giveaway is over the winners will be contacted for their details to arrange postage of their prize :-)

Julie x (2)


*We were sent the products for free for the purposes of this review however all opinions remain honest and my own*





Ten things I have liked/loved-June

Joining up with the gorgeous Stevie at A Cornish Mum for her Ten Things linky.This month I’m doing ten things I have liked/ loved.

1. 2 of my children having birthdays making them 6 and 3.We had little tea parties for them and are going to Legoland shortly in place of a big party.

IMG_6758 IMG_6882

2.Father’s Day,a busy but fun day as I had to visit my own Dad and Step-Dad as well as my other half having presents from the children.



3.Having fun with water beads.I came across them while reading another blog and was fascinated so got some via Ebay.They’re very strange but great fun to play with!


4.Being able to play outdoors in the sunshine.The kids love it and so do I as they sleep WAY better 😀

5.Watching Jurassic World,wasn’t sure what it would be like but I loved it!

6.J’adore hair mist – can’t believe I’ve never come across it before but it smells so lovely and lasts all day on your hair as well as the perfume!

7.My Mad Fat Diary coming back on E4,didn’t even know they were doing another series so I’m so chuffed.It’s fab.

8.Big Brother,sad but true!I love to hate it.

9.My daughter enjoying her induction day at Nursery.I was terrified she’d hate it but she took to it really well!

10.My daughter discovering her artistic side…who am I kidding gahhhhhhhhhhh



Lovely Things – 1st June

My first time linking with Laura’s Lovely Blog for Lovely Things.

My son has celebrated his 6th Birthday (don’t know where the time goes!) and we had a small party at home for him.In my wisdom as his favourite colour is green I thought I’d get him some green edible spray for his fairy cakes.BIG mistake:


As you can see they actually look mouldy.Bleurgh!So for attempt number 2 I went back to good old icing.

IMG_6732We also tried out a pinata for the first time – didn’t realise how strong they were!Thought it would be easy to break but all the kids were shattered afterwards!And played stick the eyepatch on the pirate.Dizzy kids everywhere!!


It was a small affair as his main “party” is a trip to Legoland so I felt a bit guilty but he seemed happy.


Happy Birthday Little Man xx

Lovely Things