Is there such a thing as too much Autumn??

Because if there is I don't want to know about it.

I LOVE Autumn, its 100% my favourite season and that's not just because my birthday happens to fall inside it. It's just so beautiful, not too cold and certainly not too hot but just the right temperature to throw on a chunky knit or a bobble hat.

Autumn even makes me excited to visit the park (and I HATE the park) that's what Autumn does for me.

One thing no parent likes about Autumn is the clock change, but despite even less sleep then usual we managed to get out, blow the cobwebs away and have a very British Sunday of feeding the ducks at the pond.

Look how Wilf is already over half the size of me, won't it be the weirdest thing when I kids grow taller than us??

Lets forget how many bugs are probably in my hair after throwing leaves..

I'm wearing the cosiest jumper from Fox and Feather which is one of the best Bristol clothes shops (in my opinion) it's originally from Native Youth which is a brand I LOVE. You can see them here. Also have my eye on this jumpsuit!

I asked Tom to take the pic above and then the kids thought we were all hiding behind leaves. Love the one Wilf chose and totally thought he was hidden behind it haha

How old do you have to be to not find going down a slide backwards fun? Because if there is a limit I don't want to know about it.

I love these picture Tom took of me and Mabli on the swings, there's a tiny part of me thats saying 'oh but I have no make up and I've not slept for two years and I'm pretty sure my thighs have grown two sizes bigger just in the last two months but honestly I mean who cares? My kids sure don't and I would have loved pictures like this with me mum. This is why I started this whole blog, to capture these moments and memories make up or no make up.

I mean..

And that was our Sunday! If there is ever a picture to frame its this one. I'm not saying that they are this close all the time but they sure do love each other this funny pair. I feel so proud of Wilf being a big brother and Mabli just adores him. They are a crazy pair when they get going and sometimes it feels like there is constant noise and questions and requests for snacks and the theme tune to Bing going on all day long, but I know I will miss these days so badly just as soon as they have passed.

It's really lovely being a mum.

(and thats what a beautiful Autumn day will do to me!)

Hope you all had a lovely weekend x


Soup of the day - Potato and Leek (and will my kids eat it?)

Like most mums my life is pretty busy. It feels like I'm constantly trying to juggle a million and one things and sometimes (more than often) I find I eat lunch too late or end up grabbing something on the run. I'd love to be able to meal plan or really prepare healthy and yummy lunches every day but the truth is more often than not I just grab a cheese sandwich!

We're working with Heinz in this post who have set us the challenge of seeing if we can recreate one of their Soup of the Days following the same recipe as one of their carton flavours. Whats brilliant about the Heinz Soup of the Day cartons is that there is no added sugar across the entire range. They also cook and seal them straight away meaning there is no need for added preservatives but they can still be stored in the cupboard rather than the fridge (meaning they don't use up valuable fridge space!). I love the idea of having a few stocked away in the cupboard for days when we haven't thought ahead about lunch and want something quick and easy.

I must admit though I was hesitant to believe that a carton soup would taste as good as soup made from scratch. I can certainly see the ease of convince but I was worried that would compromise just how tasty they might be. I was prepared to be proven wrong though and given that I had to serve these up to my family I knew their opinions would be genuine, especially the kids!

The recipe for the soup called for a 5 min prep time and 30 minute cook time but in actually fact it took closer to an hour as my prep time was more like 20 minutes! Probably because I didn't know the recipe and was stopping to read what to do etc so obviously it would be quicker if I knew what I was doing but I have to say I don't usually have time to be doing something like that in-between working and 'mumming'.

Saying that I did enjoy the process and it reminded me that cooking is a really nice relaxing thing to do when I have the time.

On the flip side of course the carton of Heinz 'Soup of the day' Soup took about 5 minutes to pour and cook.

The real test of course was putting it down in front of family, without either of the kids knowing which bowl contained which soup both chose the Heinz soup over the soup I made from scratch! I tried not to be offended haha. Tom thought they were equally as nice as did I so I think the taste test really proved that the pre made soup didn't compromise on taste at all.

The real winner of course is ease, there is no faff, no washing up pots and pans, peelers and chopping boards or rooting around for the hand whizzer that you can't remember when you used last.  When you lead a busy life you don't always have the time to cook from scratch and thats where having something equally delicious in your cupboard is defiantly a winner.

We actually made a little video of our results if you fancy a watch, I particularly like how Wilf took over the presenting, ha! What have I created? The fact that Mabli says 'more more!' after having her first spoonful is a recommendation in itself for the Soup of the day.

I'd love to know what you think and if you've tried this range from Heinz yet? Leave a comment below if you or if you'd think you'd give them a go!

In partnership with Heinz


5 Autumnal Jumpers - Asos Haul

Heya, I thought I'd pop a little video I did over on my channel over here incase any of you were interested! It's just a little ASOS haul where I picked out 5 Autumnal jumpers. I've only kept two but do let me know in the comment if you think I should keep any of the others too! I'm always up for being enabled ;)

Doesn't Autumn just feel SO Autumnal right now?? I mean I know thats a bit of a silly thing to say but its like everything is screaming the season. I had my first gingerbread latter today and yesterday we had a big Autumn leaf fight ha! I love this season so much. I hope you like the video!

Items are :

ASOS Jumper in Rib with High Neck and Flared Sleeves - http://shopstyle.it/l/lazh

Vero Moda Petite Colour Block Jumper - http://shopstyle.it/l/laA8

New Look Colour Block Jumper - http://shopstyle.it/l/laCT

New Look Block Stripe Knit Jumper - http://shopstyle.it/l/laCW

Do we need a Smart Home?

I have to say when it comes to gadgets I'm pretty happy to admit I am a bit of a geek.  I LOVE a good gadget and it's more often me than Tom that gets excited about new technology or kit that I think that help in our life.

So when Maplin got in touch and asked if we'd like to give their Smart Home Survey a go I was really intrigued. Gone are they days when the idea of lights been operated by your voice was something from a Sci-Fi (or just for people on the TV show Cribs!). I feel like technology like this is being embraced and becoming more and more common for everyday families. Currently the only smart device we both own are smart phones and I can't imagine life without one now, I rely on it for everything and it's made so much of my life so much easier. I couldn't wait to hear what they would say or recommend for us to help out in the home.

Like most families I guess the things that are most important to me in our home is knowing its secure. I was particularly interested in seeing what kit was available for monitoring anyone at the front of our house and being able to record any suspicious behaviour. We've thankfully never had any break ins but you never can be too careful and as we travel quite a bit its often a worry.

What I was immediately impressed by after meeting Chris from Maplin was that this wasn't about a sales pitch. It was about evaluating what our needs are and what we might genuinely be in need of. I'm sure I'm not alone in being wary of being pressed to buy things or additions to things you might not actually need. Chris went through all the items that he thought might be of use but never pushed anything and actually at a few points suggested to me that certain items might not be a good fit for our needs, I thought this approach was really great as I knew he was only recommended what honestly might be of use.

We loved the sound of Smart living so went for a Google Home (which as well as being useful for questions and playing music can also help control other smart devices using TP Link Plugs). We also went for a Nest Protect which is a smart smoke and CO2 detector and a Ring Doorbell which will send notifications of who is at the front door or in the vicinity.

I loved the sound of the Ring Doorbell as we are often getting deliveries for my job and the idea of being able to communicate with the courier when we are not there and letting them know where to leave the parcel or when we'll be back was such a good idea. You can also answer it when you're out and pretend you are in but not able to get to the door (even if you are away on holiday!).

We also went for the Smart Lighting which included TP Plugs again and the Phillips Hue which will be controlled by the Google Home.

In terms of security we decided upon the Yale Smart Alarm which as well as acting as a visible deterrent also has a Smart Hub which connects to the router and wirelessly to the sensors which are in  our home. Whats great is the sensors are pet friendly so they won't pick up the cats wondering about. We also went for the Canary Flex to use as a monster in the kids room and provides footage via an app on your phone.

Lastly we picked up a 'Fake TV' which is such a neat idea, its basically LED lights that seen behind a closed curtain mimic the lights from a TV, simulating scene changes, colour changes etc. It also used less power than a night light so is really eco friendly. Such a simple and cheap idea to seem like you are at home when you might be off on hols!

We've just received all the items from our free home survey and booked in for the installations of some of the items before we give them a proper go. I'll be back in a couple of weeks to let you know how we've been getting on!

Would you turn your home into a smart home? Or do you already have some of these products? I'd love to know.

In association with Maplin

Hot tub in the woods - A family long weekend in the forest!

Isn't it funny how sometimes the places that are on your doorstep are the places you don't visit? We were that way with the Forest of Dean which is just an hours journey for us door to door. I think because we don't drive sometimes we don't get to go into the countryside as much as we'd like, although you can get trains it would have taken us three hours which seemed way to long so instead we hopped in a cab! We've never done that before but it worked so well, I think with the money we save not running a car and um both of us learning to drive (which we will do..one day) a few longer taxi journeys sort of equal themselves out in the long run. It made this trip SO much easier so now I'm looking into other places less than an hour away that are a bit off the beaten track!

Anyway, I'm digressing a bit! We were invited to the Forest of Dean to spend a long weekend at Forest Holidays as guests of F&F clothing. They kindly asked if they could kit out the kids and also sent us all pj's for our stay. I am completely obsessed with my pink satin pj's and have been singing there praises ever since this weekend, I love them!

Apologies in advance for how picture heavy this post is, I must have taken about ten thousand pictures so this is literally me cutting them down ;)

It was so lovely seeing these two play together a bit more, theres something universal about the joy of splashing in puddles, it doesn't matter what age you are! I even got in on the action!

I love that both kids were in their matching F&F parkers! They are fleeced lined and so cosy, will be perfect over winter.

Had to get a cheesy family shot in our PJ's especially with the log burner on. There was weather warnings as the storm was passing that weekend so we didn't do great with the weather. The forest school was cancelled as it was just too windy but it made for a super cosy weekend instead, just chilling out, popping to the woods between rain showers and then getting running hope to play board games or charades!

There were SO many dogs, I could have done a series of cute dogs but I was too scared to ask to take a pic of them all.

Is there anything better than a good ol' leaf fight? I mean lets forget about the fact we were probably throwing bugs and dirt at each other too right..

Stood in puddle right up to her middle

I loved the architecture of the cabins at Forest Holidays, we stayed in one in the meadow but you could also get them overlooking the forest and with rope bridges like you were actually in the trees. When we were in the hot tub (in the pouring rain) it was amazing to look out onto all the Autumn trees.

Wilf's lumberjack shirt was very 'hike in the woods' appropriate.

Holding hands, is there anything better than seeing your kids be lovely to each other??

We actually filmed our weekend which will be on my channel on Saturday so do check it out, I think it's one of my favourite trips away I've ever filmed actually. Despite the weather being so bad it was one of the loveliest weekends, spending quality time with my family.

Thanks so much to F&F clothing for kitting the kids out and sending us on a little woodland adventure! 
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