Lost Luggage

Collaborative Post

Do you fly on holiday or for work? I have to confess I’ve not flown in almost 12 years as I prefer slower methods of travel. However, I have to admit that I used to fly a lot before I had children. One of the worst things about airline travel for me personally, was putting my luggage in the hold. I had a huge fear of losing my bag, and I’d pack essentials in my hand luggage – “just in case”.

I always chose a distinctive bag to go in the hold so I could find it on the conveyor belt in arrivals! It would amuse people as I stood waiting for my brightly coloured bag. This bag still holidays with me now, all these years later, but is now dragged onto trains and ferries instead on the hold of a plane! I never actually lost my luggage, but it does happen, and luggage does sometimes get damaged too. Would you know what to do if you lost your luggage? Imagine arriving at your flight destination, and discovering that your luggage was not on the conveyor belt – what would you do?

I was sent this infographic on lost luggage, I think it’s a really helpful read! Interestingly in 2017 78% of Lost Luggage was actually just delayed! While still frustrating, it’s good to know that 78% of luggage did eventually get to the destination and was reunited! I think it’s important to read up on what to do if your luggage doesn’t arrive when your flight does, or is damaged just so you know what to do if it happens to you! So before the vacation season begins, this is one you may want to share with your friends, so read on;


Guide created by Xcēd a ground support equipment leasing and rental company.

Save Energy, Save Money!

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Save Energy, Save Money! Is it really that easy? Put simply yes! We don’t have a meter to monitor our usage of energy, but I try to keep an eye on our energy use, as it really does make a difference to our bills over the course of a year. If you have an energy monitor it should be easy to work out where your energy goes! I have worked out that much of our usage is on lights and charging devices.

I try to encourage everyone to remember to turn off the lights when they come out of a room, although it’s hard in the winter months, we are all getting better at remembering! But I’ve been learning more about the best light bulbs, you can read more in the article below! With regards to charging devices, I’m trying to be a bit more savvy not leaving devices in standby, but turning them off. Turning chargers off at the wall, and the same for the TV and microwave – I switch them off at the wall! It may only be a tiny amount of electricity saved but it adds up over a year – just in that little glow!

More ways to save energy

I think we’re fairly savvy when it comes to our heating usage. I have a thermometer and I keep the house at a comfortable temperature. Every year before winter I have a check list which I work through, including things like thermal linings for the curtains. They really do make a difference at keeping the warmth in a room. If you’re on a budget, keep your eyes peeled in charity shops as thermal linings do turn up, although you may need to buy the set of curtains they come with!

I’ve been sent this Energy Saving Checklist, and it is really handy if you’re looking for little ways to save your energy, how many do you do?


Checklist created by Lightbulb Wholesaler bulk light bulbs

Cook your own Pizza!

Post in Collaboration with Schwartz.

Cooking at home doesn’t have to be a hassle. Whether you want a romantic meal for two, or a family favourite, you can create a meal to be proud of at home without too much hassle or expense! I keep a good stock of spices in my cupboard, as they really help to make a meal tasty!

Pizza is a firm favourite in our house, but a takeaway pizza is pricey, and shop bought is never quite the same! So, we’ve been experimenting with making our own pizza, and it has been a big success!

Make your own Pizza Base

Making a pizza base is so much easier than you might think! We use this pizza dough recipe. It is so easy to make, and the children love being involved in the process. It’s a great way to keep everyone busy for a happy hour!

Make your own Pizza Sauce

I make a simple tomato based pizza sauce which works with most toppings! This recipe actually makes enough for 4 pizzas, but it also works as a pasta sauce so that’s lunch sorted for the following day!

Ingredients;

1 Tin of Plum Tomatoes

1/2 Tsp of Schwartz Crushed Chilli

1 Tbsp Of Schwartz Mixed Herbs

1 Clove Garlic – chopped finely

1/2 Onion Chopped

1 Tbsp Tomato Ketchup

Method:

Fry the onions, once they’ve started to brown add the garlic. Meanwhile use a potato masher to mash the plum tomatoes so they’re smooth. Add the tomatoes to the onions and garlic. Add the tomato ketchup and stir the sauce well. (I add ketchup as it gives a little sweetness to the sauce – and makes it taste more like a take out pizza, but you could exclude this!)

Then add the seasoning. Let the sauce simmer for 5 minutes stirring occasionally.

Take it off the heat to let it cool before spreading on to the pizza base.

Pizza

Make up your pizza! Spread the base with the pizza sauce and then add your cheese and toppings of choice. It’s worth investing in mozzarella cheese as it does give the pizza a really lovely flavour. We like to mix mozzarella and cheddar for a really cheesy flavour. Other toppings we love are olives, sweetcorn and peppers! Allow roughly 10-15 minutes cooking time depending on how many toppings you have added to your pizza!

We love Schwartz Crushed Chillies as not only do they give a bit of heat to our pizza sauce, but they can also be added at the end of baking the pizza. This is perfect as when we’re cooking for the children they don’t want to much heat – but we like some extra spices! We have also been known to make grown up pizza bases, by adding chilli flakes to our pizza base dough – great for pizza with extra heat!

Ways to Monetise A Blog In 2020

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Moneytise a blog?

I’ve been blogging since 2010. Things have altered greatly in the decade I’ve been writing blogs. What started as an outlet to parent hood has allowed me to write about many things, and making some money along the way too. I think that the ways you can monetise your blog have increased dramatically too. There are so many ways to earn! I’ve planned that in 2020 I really push on and monetise my blog in an enjoyable way for both myself and my readers too! This year we have two residential stays to pay for so every penny counts! I’m sharing my favourite ways to Monetise a blog in 2020.

Photo by Blake Wisz on Unsplash

Join bloggers networks.

Joining professional networks like Britmums, and The Flea Network will help keep you in touch with opportunities. But designed for professional bloggers who will produce great content. They might be paid, reviews or other opportunities.

There’s also networks who specialise in paid blogging projects. For example Get Blogged who specifically aim to help bloggers and clients find their perfect match. It’s free for bloggers to register. Once registered you can apply for all the current vacancies that you’re a good fit for. You’ll hear if you’ve been accepted for a campaign by email, and then you can either accept or decline the work. I like it as the briefs are easy to understand with a clear deadline.

Network in Facebook groups.

Facebook has loads of groups for bloggers- find one that suits your niche! They are useful for advice too not just money making opportunities!

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is something I am intending on using a bit more this year! It’s basically where you earn a small fee whenever someone buys via your link to a store. So, if I loved some trainers that I had bought from Po-Zu, I could sign up to their affiliate scheme and every time I talked about them on line (and used my affiliate link) I would increase my chances of earning. It’s really important to always disclose affiliate links!

There are lots of companies who offer affiliate schemes. Some are more generous than others, and most like to check your site out carefully first. Amazon seems to be a popular choice amongst many bloggers I know, especially on the run up to Christmas.

Writing Sponsored Content

So, many opportunities I’ve mentioned come from writing content which is paid for by a company or brand. The next time an email drops into your inbox asking if you’d like to review a relatively low value product, don’t be afraid to ask if they will pay you for the review. They may not have a budget, but it doesn’t hurt to ask!

Know your value!

I think my biggest tip is have your rate card planned out before you get offered any work. Work out what you will charge to write a post or host a companies guest post on your site. Remember to allow for not just the time spent writing a piece, but also the cost of hosting it. That way you can respond quickly and efficiently when asked what your charge to write content is.

Most importantly, remember that your blog needs to be enjoyable for readers, but also you need to enjoy writing it! Don’t be afraid to say not to paid content if it won’t be a good fit with your blog, or you aren’t interested in writing about the topic.

Swizzels Sweets Gift ideas.

Items Received for Review

Show the one you love you’re sweet on them this Valentine’s Day with a little help from Swizzels! (Did you know that Swizzels Matlow have been making sweets since 1928?)

For as long as I can recall, Love Hearts have been a part of Valentine’s Day! Now you can buy an exclusive personalised tube to gift to a loved one or keep for yourself! Making a really special gift.

Personalised Love Heart tube

You can also buy Love Hearts with the message “Just married” on – perfect as wedding favours. Oh, and there are the wonderful Limited Edition Valentine’s Pink wrapper Love Hearts!

Swizzels also have a range of sweet hampers in their online gift shop. Amongst the gifts are wicker hampers or Swizzels branded boxes filled with sweets. If you know who you’re buying for it’s possible to select your sweets. (So I’d add lots of Parma Violets!) If you don’t know which sweets you’d like to add (or want a surprise!), you can select a hamper which has a variety of favourites.

I couldn’t help but feel nostalgic with this range of old school favourites! I’ve always enjoyed Refreshers, and Parma violets – sadly there was only one lonely Parma violet packet, and I devoured it. I did share the hamper with my family, but I didn’t want too!

Save 15% on all orders between 1st – 14th Feb at swizzels.com/shop use code: V15

Save money this Valentine's Day and your chance to Lindt chocolates with wowfreestuff.co.uk

Advert

With January almost over, thoughts are turning to Valentine’s Day! But as it’s there’s only been one pay day since Christmas for many people, Valentine’s day comes at the worst time of year! But, it is still possible to make your loved one (or yourself!) Feel special without breaking the bank!

Save money!

Before you buy a gift, remember to check for discount codes on sites like wowfreestuff.co.uk. Even a small discount adds up on multiple purchases!

Have a night in.

Order a takeaway or have a picnic in bed watching your favourite films! No worrying about a babysitter or expensive bill at the end of the evening!

Give a free gift – or low cost gift.

A gift doesn’t need to cost a fortune! An i.o.u. for breakfast in bed or a handmade card are a lovely way to show a loved one you care.

Look out for free stuff!

Wow free stuff have a great competition running to win 1 of 30 boxes of Lindt Valentine’s boxes – head to their site to enter! Yes there are 30 chances to win!

Best of luck!

Ten Acre Popcorn – Review

Post Christmas and my snacking habits have got a bit out of control. I’ve been enjoying leftover Christmas cake and biscuits rather too much. My sugary snacking is a problem, mostly because I can’t just have one biscuit. I guess it’s partly the cold weather too? I want to curl up with sugary food and prepare to hibernate!

Over the Christmas holidays, we started making our own popcorn. It was a great way to let everyone snack when they were watching tv – and avoided them raiding the biscuit tin. But since they’re back at school, we are time limited. Or specifically I am. I find myself looking for something to snack on quickly in between pick ups.


Ten Acre Popcorn got in touch to see if I’d like to try their Popcorn. I couldn’t resist! Aunty Winifred’s Sweet and salty Popcorn is great! The flavour is perfectly balanced between salt and sugar. No unpopped kernels were lurking in my bag. The popcorn has a bite to it but isn’t too crunchy. It’s perfect for snacking at home, on the go or even at the cinema!

According to the packet, there are 474 calories per 100g, so this bag is approximately 126 calories – and it is a big bag! It doesn’t seem to bad for a naughty but nice treat.

I was also sent the Cappuccino flavour popcorn. This tasted sweeter than the sweet and salty variety. A definite coffee taste with a milky hint to the flavour. I’d enjoy these as an alternative to my elevensies cake.

Both flavours of popcorn are Gluten free and Vegan – perfect for those doing Veganuary!

Plastic Free Tea from Brew Tea co.

Tea. Do you drink it? It’s our favourite tipple. We drink a huge amount of tea in our household. We switched to loose leaf tea over a year ago. Deciding to use tea leaves to reduce our plastic waste. But we were quite limited with our choice of plastic free packaged tea leaves which could be bought in a supermarket. Multiple times we had to just but an alternative which was not quite what we wanted.

Then we discovered The Brew tea company.

This is the Brew Tea Co starter kit. It contains everything you need to get started. The glass tea pot holds a cup and a half of tea, I do need to invest in a bigger pot, but it is the perfect sized pot for one!

The tea leaves are proper leaves, not granules or dust, but actually leaves. I was impressed with this, although initially worried whether we would enjoy the flavour of the tea. It looked so different to our regular brand. A scoop of tea into the pot and wait for 3 to 5 minutes. (That’s usually long enough for me to make toast!) Then pour. I think it makes a wonderful cup of tea, with an almost sweet flavour. We made the switch at Christmas and we won’t be switching again!

The best bit? The tea is packaged entirely plastic-free! Even what I thought was a plastic inner is actually not plastic at all and can go in with food waste bin collections.

It’s available to buy directly, at Amazon, Waitrose and Holland and Barrett to! Which means I don’t need to worry about running out. I think it is a little pricey, but it is worth every penny!

Mental Health Wellness

Collaborative post.

When did you last consider the mental health wellness of your family? While we may watch our weight, be careful with our diet and try to make sure we exercise. How many of us take time to ensure our mental health is cared for too?

A New Year brings new stresses and the old ones too. As adults we are told to talk about our problems, seek help if we are struggling and to ensure we give ourselves plenty of self-care. My own idea of looking after my mental health wellness is a good chat with a friend. I will grumble for as long as I need on the understanding that my friend does the same! It’s not easy to say if you’re having a tough time, and I genuinely think talking to someone is the bravest thing you can do when things are tough.

Children often find it really difficult to talk about their feelings. I know my children are often reluctant to talk if something is upsetting them. They may feel silly, worry what reaction they may receive or just not be able to explain how they are feeling. Leaving them feeling very unhappy and those around them may feel confused too.

So what to do and how to tell if your child might be struggling? There’s a handy info-graphic which shows some ways in which you can help a child with their mental health;


Mental Health Wellness Guide created by Sami-Aid

Most importantly, always seek advice from a healthcare professional if you have any concerns over your child or your own welfare.

This entry was posted in Reviews.

New Year – New Diet?

I’ve lost track of the number of diets I’ve tried. Calorie counting, cutting food groups, virtual starvation, and an attempt to eat a well balanced diet. The latter was hardest, and had the best results, but unfortunately I began to ‘cheat’ and lost my way. So here I am in a new decade, looking at my winter weight gain and eager to shift the lbs but also well aware that fad diets are no good for me if i want lasting weight-loss (which I do.)

I don’t want to be thin, just have my trousers fit comfortably around my belly. Which is something post-Christmas they don’t. Ahh but do I regret my Christmas chocolate binge? Not a bit. I loved every moment of cake indulgence and every sneaky festive chocolate. It reminded me of being a child, where Christmas and Easter were the only real times of indulgence.

I think my main desire to lose weight is to be able to move easier, 7lbs doesn’t seem much extra weight, until you are carrying it.

Healthy eating is it expensive?

Eating a healthy diet is probably cheaper than my usual diet if I’m honest. Fruit and vegetables, rice, pasta and a choice of proteins can all be purchased cheaply.

I love frozen berries with my breakfast oats. Frozen berries are so cheap to buy and I love them! I don’t mind frozen vegetables, but prefer them fresh so I will try to stick to seasonal vegetables which should help with costs.

I am not a nutritionist or dietician and so i am just going to be using an app to track my food. I guess I am technically calorie counting – although primarily I am using the app to monitor carbs/protein etc. I have honestly absolutely no idea what I’m doing other than trying to avoid processed sugar packed foods. Well, I will still be allowing myself a couple of treats… But I want to choose them with care and really enjoy them rather than eat them in a hurry as I’m hungry! Anyone else fall into that trap?

My initial target is 7lbs, which should mean my jeans are comfortable again! I’ve two birthday celebrations in the house this month so it may be a challenge, but it isn’t a race!