Monday, 30 April 2018

Dining at Bistro Pierre - and special offer for TBM readers

I really do love finding new places to eat and dining out is one of my favourite things to do. I like to take a break from cooking and enjoy a nice atmosphere and tasty food. And I think I have found my new favourite... Bistro Pierre.

It's an independent chain of 21 French bistros, promising 'great value provincial French cooking', and our local one can be found canal side in a beautiful setting, partway between Birmingham's Mailbox and Broad Street destinations. 


Thursday, 26 April 2018

#TBT - Back off our post-baby bodies!

For #TBT, I thought I'd share this slightly ranty post I wrote a few years ago again, given the arrival of the royal baby this week and much talk around Kate and how quickly she appeared in front of the media...

Warning: this post is a bit of a rant but yet again, a Daily Mail story has ruffled my feathers. I know, why do I read it if it riles me so? Well, it does have good celebrity stories and shameless gossip on my lunch hour is always appreciated.

But I have just about had enough of how the Daily Mail, and all the other gossip magazines and sites, talk about women. Specifically in this instance, new mums.

Body image is a topic of much debate that everyone has thrown their twopence worth in. There can be no denying that what we see in the media has an effect on how we view the world and ourselves. Even when armed with the knowledge that what you're seeing may not be real - that the model has been airbrushed or certain types of people have been excluded altogether - if all you see is distorted images, then your concept of 'normal' becomes manipulated.

This is very true when it comes to mums. The media love to monitor every stage of a celebrity's pregnancy, from speculation - Mila Kunis anyone? - to a running commentary on how their bump is growing and what they're wearing to hide / show off said bump - step forward Holly Willoughby.

The real analysis is saved for when they have actually had their baby, to see who races towards the 'be skinny in just X weeks' finish line first.

The article that's prompted this rant can be read here and it's a good example of how the Daily Mail can turn anything into 'news'. In this case, 'woman has baby then wear bikini'.


Add Personality To Your Home This Summer

Every home requires a personality of its own, otherwise there will be no theme or reasoning behind anything you have. Of course, you require the essentials to live, but when you look past that, what else do you have other than four walls? If you aren't able to answer the question, then it's proof that you lack flair and purpose.
* This post contains affiliate links

When you walk into a home, you want to feel as though you are overcome by a sense - the sense is entirely up to you. It could be passion, romance, simplicity, abstract - it's whatever you make it. But if you aren't sure then you need to start thinking now.

A great tip is to reflect on yourself. What do you like? What traits do you have? And how would you best describe yourself in one word? Thinking about these things may open your eyes as to how you want your home to be so that it connects to that.

The summer is right around the corner, and if there was any time to redecorate - it would be now before the sun welcomes you and you no longer desire to do anything other than chill out.


Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Essential Rattan Garden Furniture You Need This Summer

With winter a distant memory, you want to enjoy as much of the summer as you can. And that means lazing in the summer sun, dining and entertaining in your garden. To get the most of your garden, you need superior garden furniture. Take a look at the options for 2018...

* Collaborative post

How do you make the most of a garden? As well as a fantastic garden design that makes it accessible, a combination of garden furniture options gives you more choice as to what you do in your garden.

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Your phobias and you

Having a phobia is a common thing. It could be completely irrational, and you have no clue where it stems from, or it could be from a traumatic experience as a child and you’ve not been able to move on from it. Whether your fear is a trip to the dentist, a fear of flying, needles, dogs, clowns or spiders – it might seem like something you’ll never get over. But everyone who has a phobia has the capacity to overcome it!

* Written in collaboration with Weybridge Dental

While some might tell you to tackle your fear of dogs by simply petting one or facing your fear of the dentist by heading to a professional and highly recommended practice like, for those of us with deep rooted phobias, it’s not as simple as that.

Thursday, 19 April 2018

How To Survive Your First Family Holiday Abroad

It’s safe to say that every year is a busy year. Even when you think that you’re going to slow down a little, it never seems to happen - especially when you have small children. So, you’re always going to want to be able to enjoy a break away from the stresses of everyday life.

* Sponsored post

When your kids are very small, you often want to stay in the UK, just to test the waters with holidaying, to begin with. But before long, you’ll want to travel a little more, explore different locations, and generally get out and chase the sun! 

When you’ve not been abroad together as a family before, you can often get a little weary. You’ll wonder if taking the little ones abroad is every a good idea! And it always is, because it’s nice to enjoy family holidays together. So if you’re starting to think about going on yours, here’s what you need to do.

Monday, 16 April 2018

An Aldi haul from their Baby and Toddler event

Spring has sprung, the weather is getting better and there seems to be babies springing up everywhere. So it must mean that it's time for Aldi's hugely popular Baby and Toddler Specialbuy event!

* Post in collaboration with Aldi

Online TODAY and in store from Thursday (19th April 2018), now is a great time to stock up and grab a bargain for the babies and toddlers in your life. Aldi got in touch to give me the lowdown on the latest special buys you can expect to see, and I have a few things to share with you, especially as I have a couple of friends and family members looking forward to welcoming their bundles of joy soon.

Here's a few things I have found that I just LOVE and think you will too (especially the prices)...


Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Snack time for avocado addicts

Hands up, who is an avocado addict? * ME! ME! * It's the favoured food of Millennials apparently and the humble avocado has become much loved by many a food lover and I simply can't get enough of it. I like it on toast, in a salad and LOVE it as guacamole - I've even blended it in smoothies for a creamy and healthy drink.

So, imagine my joy when I learned of a new avocado based snack. 

Snackamolé is a new avocado based snack that delivers you one of your five a day in a convenient pack that you can enjoy at your desk, on a picnic or on the go. In two varieties, you can choose between a Chunky Avocado Dip or a smoother, zingier Guacamole Dip, both of which come with popped paprika flavour chips.


Monday, 9 April 2018

500 pairs of tickets to give away to Grand Designs Live!

I absolutely love interiors and can spend hours on Pinterest, Instagram and flicking through home improvement magazines for inspiration for our own home. I love seeing what's new for the season and every year or two we plan a bigger home renovation project, so we're always looking out for what's new and expert advice.

If you're like me, I have something very exciting to share with you today...

To Become Mum has teamed up with Grand Designs Live to give you the chance to claim one of  500 - yes 500! - free pairs of tickets, worth up to £34 each, to the UK’s leading contemporary home show – Grand Designs Live at the ExCeL, proudly sponsored by Anglian Home Improvements. 


Sunday, 8 April 2018

#MySundayPhoto - star of the holidays

We've done lots of things together during the Easter holidays so far, with my week off with Ethan, and I've managed to get lots of snaps of my little guy out and about and exploring.

I've picked this one for My Sunday Photo because I like the detail picked up in the starfish, when we visited the National Sea Life Centre Birmingham, and how Ethan is in the background. I also loved some of the photos from our visit to Becketts Farm, but decided to stick to the one this time.


Friday, 6 April 2018

#LifeLately - what we got up to over the holidays

Ste and I have split the Easter holidays between us so we can both have some quality time with Ethan and make our annual leave go that little bit further to cover as much as we have to throughout the year. This has been my week and here is what we have got up to, and what we are planning for the second week of half term (you can read my top 5 tips for the Midlands here on the Free Radio website)...

Good Friday
We had a slow start then went into Birmingham to Town Hall to see Tiddler and Other Terrific Tales - another fun family show, really worth checking out their what's on list as there's always something different to enjoy.


Thursday, 5 April 2018

Baby animals at Becketts Farm

Today, I took Ethan to visit Becketts Farm - in Wythall, south of Birmingham City Centre - as they have a marquee for the Easter holidays full of farm animals, including baby chicks, lambs and goats. What better way to spend a morning or afternoon this half term?

I have passed Becketts Farm Shop and Restaurant a few times but had never been. I saw they were offering the chance to meet new additions to their farm animal family for just £1 entry per person (under 1's free) and knew this was something to add to the list for our Easter activities.


Our love of TV and films, and of Alexa!

Stephen and I first met when we were at uni and both started working at Blockbuster (remember them?!). We 'clicked' over our love for film and it quickly became one of our favourite pastimes; going to the cinema to see the latest release and building a pretty huge DVD collection. Between us, and using our Blockbuster discount in the beginning, we amassed around 700 DVD's. Then came the Blu-rays. Then the 4K HD discs.

* Sponsored post

We're quite a techy family, with various consoles (it's hubs' main passion, don't ask me to tell you which ones we have!) and subscriptions to Netflix, Now and Amazon Prime. Oh, and we welcomed Alexa to our home with our Google Dot over a year ago, and she even helps control our Philips Hue lights around the house.

Talk about living in the future!


Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Spring cleaning

Around this time every year, we have some kind of DIY project on our hands, be it our big lounge makeover, refreshing our hallway or making some updates to our bedroom, or at least a big clean. Well, it's a good time to get some housework done, right?! 

Clear the clutter, sweep away the cobwebs and welcome in the lighter, brighter days. Hear hear!

Whilst we have no DIY plans at the moment, it would be good to use some of the time we have off at home to sort a few things out (our spare room comes to mind...) and I do enjoy stocking up on my cleaning bits and bobs. Might be a bit sad to admit it, but I do love having a stocked cupboard with all the things we need to keep the house spic and span.

Thanks to Marigold, we have everything we need to put some elbow grease into our home and get things sparkling clean.

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