Filling up that cup

As the saying goes,

“You cannot pour from an empty cup”

And my cup is feeling pretty empty.  My cup of patience at any rate.

Last night I shared this post on my instagram:

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Eurocamp Accommodation – Espace (3 Bedroom)

We spent May half term in a 3 bed, 2 bath Eurocamp Espace at Chateau de Lez Eaux in Normandy, France.

Having not done a Eurocamp holiday myself since I was about 7 but with the ringing endorsements of family, friends and fellow bloggers, we were excited to see what Eurocamp had to offer us.  As a family of five, we often find ourselves gravitating towards self-catering holidays mainly due to the flexibility the separate bedrooms offer us as well as space for us grown ups to relax once the children have gone to bed.  Standard family hotel rooms don’t often cater for more than four people.

I’m going to be honest and say that our first impressions of our Eurocamp Espace were not great – it felt dark and cramped compared to the pictures I’d seen online and, with it being the start of the season, it smelt a bit musty.  I was also disappointed to see how shaded our Espace was by the surrounding trees, I felt like we were going to be missing out on what little sun was available to us!  However, the following morning, when I’d had a good night’s sleep and was in a better frame of mind, I felt much happier with our little holiday home.  This isn’t a fancy hotel, you are camping!  I started to see our Espace for what it was – sheer luxury in comparison to a tent.  It is, of course, all about your mindset.  The musty smell faded over the course of the week thanks to the air freshener we invested in at the local supermarket and us keeping the windows open as much as possible to air the property.  And, whilst I have been in other mobile homes of similar size with a better layout, the Espace suited our needs perfectly.

Eurocamp Espace review

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Tried & Tested Tuesday (Week 23- 2018)

#TriedTested badge

Welcome to another Tuesday, and another Tried & Tested. This weekend was crazy busy for us with the Great Yorkshire Bike Ride and car shopping – luckily they were both successful!

In case you are new here – let us tell you what Tried & Tested is all about. We all know how useful reviews can be. Most bloggers do them – be it things they have bought themselves or have been asked to review. They are a useful tool for people looking for honest and thorough reviews of products they need, things they are considering buying, or even to introduce people to exciting new products they have never even heard of. You can find out more about how to join in here.

If you have linked up with us before – welcome back! We love having you. Please have a quick read through the points below to remind yourself how things are working:

* Tried & Tested is open on Tuesday – from 8am to midnight on the same day.

* We’d love to share your post on Twitter – please tweet us your link (@Lollinski & @FamilyFever) along with the #TriedTested hashtag and we’ll retweet that for you.

* If you’d like a Twitter reminder each week when the linky is open then please drop Kate a tweet and she’ll add you to the list.

* Each week we feature our two favourite reviews from the past week and we have a super special “featured blogger” badge! If you are this week’s featured blogger we will send you over the code which we would love you to add to you blog post or sidebar!

That’s about it – it’s super simple to join in, so crack on, link up and share some commenty love – let’s face it, that’s what makes linkys work.

Last week we loved:
#TriedTested featured blogger
Brio Metro railway set review from Mrs Shilts. We are huge fans of Brio, and this Metro set looks like a fantastic addition to the range. I love the detail on the station, and the lights and sounds on the Metro train.

#TriedTested featured blogger

How to make your own slime by Sim’s Life. Slime seems to be the big craze at the moment – it’s not something which has quite hit my own house but the children I teach are obsessed!

We don’t have lots of rules for #TriedTested however the ones we do have are really important

Please do make sure you visit your hosts Family Fever and We’re going on an adventure to leave a comment on the posts we have each linked up

* Try to comment on a couple of other posts as well if you can – we know that people really appreciate the feedback!

* We do ask that you link a maximum of 2 posts each week to keep things fair for everyone – if you choose to link up an extra post please make sure you visit extra posts in the linky to balance it out. (Additional or irrelevant posts will be deleted out of fairness.)

If you link up please do make sure you visit your hosts Family Fever and We’re going on an adventure to leave a comment as well as a couple of others if you can!  We do ask that you link a maximum of 2 posts each week to keep things fair for everyone – if you choose to link up an extra post please make sure you visit extra posts in the linky to balance it out.

We do our best during the course of the week to visit you all, leave a comment. If you’d like us to share your review on twitter please tweet @FamilyFever and @Lollinski using the #TriedTested hashtag and we will gladly retweet it for you. We would of course love it if you grabbed our badge and popped it on your post too!

We're going on an adventure


Learning Financial Lessons

At 38 years old, I feel like I’ve finally got a grip of my finances.  Dave and I budget religiously – we do a long term plan at the start of each year and then edit this ahead of each month according to what money we know we’ve got coming in and our commitments.  Dave has worked for the same company since he was 16 and earns a regular salary each month with the potential for a bonus each summer.  As I am self-employed, my income is more sporadic – we can have weeks where all the invoices seem to coming in at once and then other times where it feels like I’ve not been paid in ages.  Keeping a close eye on our budget and planning months in advance means we avoid the temptation to splurge when I get a big pay day.  (That said, we do try to assign the larger payments to specific things like a new dining room window, or finally getting our back garden sorted – both of these are things I’m hoping will happen in the next month or two).

It has taken both of us a really long time, some harsh lessons and significant support from my parents, to learn how to manage our money properly and feel like we know where we are at with everything.  With hindsight I guess that yes, there are things I might have done differently, but ultimately the way I’ve lived my life until now and the lessons I’ve learned as a result have brought me to this place and I wouldn’t change that for the world.

cash money - learning financial lessons Read More »

Siblings – June 2018

Unusually it actually feels like a really long time since I wrote my last Siblings post, I think probably by virtue of having been on holiday to France!

Our little gang were absolute heroes on our holiday to France – taking the long car journeys in their stride!  I had fully expected that there might be some bickering but they just got on with it – they chatted, snoozed, played on their tablets and occasionally moaned that they needed a wee or to stretch their legs but my nerves were unnecessary.

Whilst we were away they just got on really well, yes they annoyed each other a bit but mostly they loved being in each other’s company.

In true sibling style, Amy managed to give Ben an impressive black eye on our very first night by leaping into the pool at him and catching his face with her chin!  It was an absolute corker but I think she was more upset than he was in the end!

Since we’ve got home, the usual bickering and frustrations have settled in and the volume level in our house is often to be found set to “ridiculous”.  The irony of me shouting at the kids not to shout at each other isn’t lost on me.

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Personalised Bento Lunchboxes from Petit-Fernand – Review & Giveaway

As a primary school teacher and a parent I’m a big fan of personalisation – anything which makes it easier for children (or their teachers) to identify their property is a win.

Petit-Fernand offer a range of personalised bento-style lunch boxes with customisation options including colour, font and background images meaning you can perfectly tailor your child’s lunch box to suit their likes!

Ahead of our trip to France last month, we ordered Ben, Chloe and Amy new boxes featuring the limited edition nautical and Liberty prints (you’ll need to be quick if you want to order one as they aren’t available after 17th June but there’s new limited edition prints on the way and the standard range are super cute too!)

Petit-Fernand liberty print lunch box

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Fantasie Lingerie – The best bras for big boobs?

From my very first bra, I was always an M&S girl – getting regularly measured and fitted to ensure I was getting the right shape and support for my increasingly ample chest.  In my early to mid twenties I had a lovely pair of fairly full and perky 36DD breasts however, three breast fed babies down the line, with my forties staring my in the face, my boobs are not what they were – yes they’re still big but now they hang low, they lack any volume or fullness so in the wrong bra they just look sad.  This is unflattering, uncomfortable and just now how I want my boobs to be!  The beautiful balcony bras I used to love no longer fit properly – my boobs now tend to just sit in them, looking flat, rather than feeling shapely and supported.

In recent years, I have found my bra choices in M&S becoming increasingly limited – I know that a “full cup” style suits me best but all too often these are designed for older customers and just leave me feeling frumpy.  A couple of years ago, Mum bought me a gift voucher for Bravissimo for Christmas – somewhere I had always avoided shopping as I didn’t think my chest was “that big” and I had this misconception that Bravissimo was really expensive.  In reality I think that yes, Bravissimo do sell bras that are a little more expensive than M&S but they’re not ridiculous, and certainly not as expensive as I had thought they would be.  Regardless of cost, when I got my first bras from Bravissmo, friends actually commented on the difference proving that a correctly fitting, supportive bra can be a complete game changer.  I felt like I had my boobs back!

Through a mixture of trial and error and with the help of a great fitting at Bravissmo, I’ve learned that I suit a full cup style with side support which pushes up and forward to encourage the natural rounded shape that I miss.  Unfortunately a full cup isn’t seen as being the most youthful of styles and as such the colours and fabrics are not as modern as I would like – on my last trip to Bravissmo I found the full cup bras available in my size were really old-fashioned and matronly.  I actually ended up just buying the same bra as the one I was wearing and left feeling thoroughly frustrated that whilst I did have a lovely bra that fitted and supported my boobs – I just didn’t seem to have any choice in buying pretty patterns and colours.  I shouldn’t have to be stuck with boring old lady bras just because I wear a 40F! Read More »

Tried & Tested Tuesday (Week 22 – 2018)

#TriedTested badge

Morning all! Hope you had a good weekend and managed to catch some sunshine.

In case you are new here – let us tell you what Tried & Tested is all about. We all know how useful reviews can be. Most bloggers do them – be it things they have bought themselves or have been asked to review. They are a useful tool for people looking for honest and thorough reviews of products they need, things they are considering buying, or even to introduce people to exciting new products they have never even heard of. You can find out more about how to join in here.

If you have linked up with us before – welcome back! We love having you. Please have a quick read through the points below to remind yourself how things are working:

* Tried & Tested is open on Tuesday – from 8am to midnight on the same day.

* We’d love to share your post on Twitter – please tweet us your link (@Lollinski & @FamilyFever) along with the #TriedTested hashtag and we’ll retweet that for you.

* If you’d like a Twitter reminder each week when the linky is open then please drop Kate a tweet and she’ll add you to the list.

* Each week we feature our two favourite reviews from the past week and we have a super special “featured blogger” badge! If you are this week’s featured blogger we will send you over the code which we would love you to add to you blog post or sidebar!

That’s about it – it’s super simple to join in, so crack on, link up and share some commenty love – let’s face it, that’s what makes linkys work.

Last week, we loved these posts, with a bit of a travel theme:

#TriedTested featured blogger

Bailbrook House Hotel review from Bubbablue and Me. The perfect venue for a short break, in a stunning setting and close to an amazing city.

#TriedTested featured blogger

Luxury glamping in the Cotswolds from Life as our little family. Glamping seems to be all the rage at the moment, and I can see why. These luxury wigwams seem to offer all the fun of camping without any of the discomfort.

We don’t have lots of rules for #TriedTested however the ones we do have are really important

Please do make sure you visit your hosts Family Fever and We’re going on an adventure to leave a comment on the posts we have each linked up

* Try to comment on a couple of other posts as well if you can – we know that people really appreciate the feedback!

* We do ask that you link a maximum of 2 posts each week to keep things fair for everyone – if you choose to link up an extra post please make sure you visit extra posts in the linky to balance it out. (Additional or irrelevant posts will be deleted out of fairness.)

* We do ask that you link a maximum of 2 posts each week to keep things fair for everyone – if you choose to link up an extra post please make sure you visit extra posts in the linky to balance it out. (Additional or irrelevant posts will be deleted out of fairness.)

If you link up please do make sure you visit your hosts Family Fever and We’re going on an adventure to leave a comment as well as a couple of others if you can!  We do ask that you link a maximum of 2 posts each week to keep things fair for everyone – if you choose to link up an extra post please make sure you visit extra posts in the linky to balance it out.

We do our best during the course of the week to visit you all, leave a comment. If you’d like us to share your review on twitter please tweet @FamilyFever and @Lollinski using the #TriedTested hashtag and we will gladly retweet it for you. We would of course love it if you grabbed our badge and popped it on your post too!

We're going on an adventure



Summer fun with Gazillion Bubbles

The appeal of playing with bubbles is universal.  I don’t care who you are, old or young, the pleasure of creating huge bubbles, watching them bob about in the air and popping them cannot be denied.

We took some of the Gazillion bubble range on holiday to France with us last week – this is a far cry from your Mum topping your bottle of bubbles up with Fairy liquid when you were a kid.  In our experience Gazillion bubble formula is perfect for making lots of big bubbles, not just one that pops pathetically on the wand but masses of bright, colourful bubbles!   The Gazillion bubble formula is non-toxic and non-staining making it perfect for indoor and outdoor use.

Giant bubbles with Gazillion

Children popping enormous bubbles

bubble popping fun

We took the Giant Incredi-buble wand down to the beach with us to make the most of the open space while we made some enormous bubbles using the specially formulated giant bubble solution.  We did find that because it was a little windy, we had to keep waiting for the breeze to drop to be able to make the best bubbles – it was a bit frustrating but totally worth it when we got those huge streams of bubbles!

Gazillion bubble wand on the beach

Stream of Gazillion giant bubbles on the beach

enormous Gazillion bubbles at the coast

Gazillion incredi-bubble wand

Enormous stream of Gazillion bubbles

bubble tunnel Gazillion

Little girl popping huge Gazillion bubbles on the beach

popping Gazillion bubbles

Back at the campsite we tried out the new Gazillion Crazy Wands (£3.99 a pack) – these photo-booth style wands made the kids giggle.  Ben had thought the bubbles might change according to the shape of the bubble wand but of course that’s not the case, the bubbles form a typical round bubble shape once you’ve blown them.  Blowing bubbles from the Gazillion Crazy Wands isn’t as easy as blowing bubbles from a standard bubble wand but for the novelty value they’re great fun!

Gazillion crazy wands

photo-booth style bubble wands from Gazillion

The Gazillion Bubbles Tornado Bubble Machine is the ultimate bubble machine, perfect for creating a storm of bubbles in seconds and ideal for parties!  It’s worth pointing out that batteries aren’t included – something I had failed to notice meaning we couldn’t use the machine on holiday in France – we’re now saving it for a family party next month instead!

Finally the 2L Gazillion Bubbles Premium Solution is an enormous bottle of bubble solution with a suitably large 7-in1 bubble wand.  You’re not going to run out of bubble solution in a hurry with this!

Gazillion Premium bubble solution

Gazillion Premium bubble solution makes lots of bubble to pop

little girl popping bubbles

*We were sent our Gazillion Bubble goodies free of charge for the purposes of review.  All thoughts and opinions remain our own*

Tried & Tested Tuesday (Week 21 – 2018)

#TriedTested badge

How was half term for you? You might have seen on my social media that we were off gallivanting in France which was just lovely!

In case you are new here – let us tell you what Tried & Tested is all about. We all know how useful reviews can be. Most bloggers do them – be it things they have bought themselves or have been asked to review. They are a useful tool for people looking for honest and thorough reviews of products they need, things they are considering buying, or even to introduce people to exciting new products they have never even heard of. You can find out more about how to join in here.

If you have linked up with us before – welcome back! We love having you. Please have a quick read through the points below to remind yourself how things are working:

* Tried & Tested is open on Tuesday – from 8am to midnight on the same day.

* We’d love to share your post on Twitter – please tweet us your link (@Lollinski & @FamilyFever) along with the #TriedTested hashtag and we’ll retweet that for you.

* If you’d like a Twitter reminder each week when the linky is open then please drop Kate a tweet and she’ll add you to the list.

* Each week we feature our two favourite reviews from the past week and we have a super special “featured blogger” badge! If you are this week’s featured blogger we will send you over the code which we would love you to add to you blog post or sidebar!

That’s about it – it’s super simple to join in, so crack on, link up and share some commenty love – let’s face it, that’s what makes linkys work.

Last week, we loved:

#TriedTested featured blogger

Cobra Paw game review from Serenity You. We love this twist on traditional dominos; it definitely looks like one of those games that would become a family favourite!

#TriedTested featured blogger

OXO Good Grips spiralizer review from Nip it in the bud. A fantastic, easy way to spiralize whatever you fancy, and there are some great ideas for family meals here too.

We don’t have lots of rules for #TriedTested however the ones we do have are really important

Please do make sure you visit your hosts Family Fever and We’re going on an adventure to leave a comment on the posts we have each linked up

* Try to comment on a couple of other posts as well if you can – we know that people really appreciate the feedback!

* We do ask that you link a maximum of 2 posts each week to keep things fair for everyone – if you choose to link up an extra post please make sure you visit extra posts in the linky to balance it out. (Additional or irrelevant posts will be deleted out of fairness.)

* We do ask that you link a maximum of 2 posts each week to keep things fair for everyone – if you choose to link up an extra post please make sure you visit extra posts in the linky to balance it out. (Additional or irrelevant posts will be deleted out of fairness.)

If you link up please do make sure you visit your hosts Family Fever and We’re going on an adventure to leave a comment as well as a couple of others if you can!  We do ask that you link a maximum of 2 posts each week to keep things fair for everyone – if you choose to link up an extra post please make sure you visit extra posts in the linky to balance it out.

We do our best during the course of the week to visit you all, leave a comment. If you’d like us to share your review on twitter please tweet @FamilyFever and @Lollinski using the #TriedTested hashtag and we will gladly retweet it for you. We would of course love it if you grabbed our badge and popped it on your post too!

We're going on an adventure