Easter – that means 500 Creme eggs sold worldwide!

Get your insulin at the ready…it’s almost Easter.

Like Christmas, Easter, let’s be fair, has become far more of a commercial success than a religious holiday. Families up and down the country will be hunting for chocolate eggs and children with telltale chocolate faces will be shooting crazy-eyed looks at weary parents who are counting down the days until school.

I do love Easter, it signifies new life, Spring is with us, my favourite flowers are daffodils and I love chocolate – what’s not to like. Seems I’m not alone either, a whopping 80m chocolate eggs will be sold in the U.K over Easter.

Here are some more eggcellent Easter facts ( yes, I did say eggcellent).

• Easter occurs on the first Sunday following the full moon.  This is why the date changes every year – though it usually falls between 22 March-25 April.
• The largest Easter egg hunt took place at Winter Haven, Florida, USA on 1 April 2007.  It consisted of 501,000 eggs with 9,753 children taking part.
• The largest Easter egg was 10.39 metres in height and weighed a staggering 7,200kg.  The egg had a circumference of 19.6 metres at its widest part.
• The most expensive Easter egg cost around £25,000 and was made by British business Choccywoccydoodah.
• The largest chocolate bunny was made by Brazilian company Senac-RS, weighing 3,850kg and was made from 6,000 bars of chocolate.  It measured 4.1 metres tall and was 1.9 metres wide.
• 48.1 billion Easter eggs and sweets are sold worldwide.
• The first chocolate eggs were made in 1873 by Fry’s in Bristol, England.
• 500 million Cadbury Crème Eggs are made each year globally.
• Decorating Easter eggs dates back to the 13th century where eggs were decorated to symbolise the end of the Lenten period in which eggs were forbidden.  They were decorated and consumed as a form of Easter celebration.
• Egg painting originates from a Ukrainian tradition called Pysanka.
• Easter eggs are likely linked to Pagan traditions where the egg, an ancient symbol of new life, is associated with Pagan festivals celebrating spring.
• The Easter bunny first arrived in American in the 1700s with German immigrants.  Their children made nests for the Easter Bunny to lay their eggs in and the custom spread.
This infographic was produced by Busy Bees Childcare who have a nursery in Huntingdon:
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I had another baby!

When I turned 40, I’m pretty sure it was just my body that got the memo. The ‘me’ inside, seemed content to live out the illusion of still being, shall we say, early 30s.

I still gasp in astoundment when the woman I presume to be the same age as me reveals she has no idea of anything pre-1990. Incidentally, when did the 90s become retro?

This was illustrated perfectly last week while explaining to a  20-something the 1980s entertainment sensation, The Crankies. “Yes, so they were husband and wife and she dressed up as a young Boy Scout and….well yes that was about it really.” We both shifted awkwardly. Enough said.

On a serious note, I didn’t think that much about my fertility declining with my advancing years. I was lucky and here she is:

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I’ve not been blogging much lately, because, obviously, being so old with two children, I’m knackered. But I’m back and looking forward to adventures with two.

medication online – hassle-free or a step too far.

I’m currently suffering from a cold. Nothing too terrible but I’m tired, grumpy and want it over and done with quick smart.

I can’t be bothered to head out to the shops and even the thought of a supermarket fills me with dread, so I’ve ordered some vitamin c and echinacea from an online pharmacy.

I never realised you could actually get so much from an online pharmacy but while I was nosing around the site it was clear they had everything covered! I’m not sure how it works with prescriptions, I’m sure there must be checks in place but it’s nice to know there are alternatives.

I had a good look round The Independent Pharmacy and they had everything covered – including stuff to treat nits! Always good to stock up when you have small people in the house!

I guess if you’ve been taking a medication for long enough and know it works for you then it takes the hassle out of trying to get a doctor’s appointment. I’m not sure we should be self medicating though – I still need to do a lot of research around how the whole process works.

But just maybe, if you make an informed choice and order from an online pharmacy it could be a great way of saving time and getting what you need.

 

Giving nature a little helping hand.

We’ve got a small garden so I’m always looking for ways to make the most of the space. Whether that’s creating a section for the children at the back, or adding mirrors and lights to create a sense of space.

The thing I love about gardens is that the seasons bring their own challenges, whether that losing the comforting veil of green in winter, to the overgrowth of plants and bushes at the end of summer. bottom line is I’ll always lose when I go up against nature. Those pesky roots I think I’ve finally beaten bide their time then reappear weeks later.

The wind battered walls get painted regularly but still they look worn and need another coat by the end of winter. That’s why I love to add flashes of plastic and glass. A huge mirror on that wall looks amazing and I can bring it in when the weather turns. I’ve created dens using plastic acrylic sheets in bright colours.

We’ve even grown tiny new tomato plants in brightly coloured tubes to add a little colour. There’s a great selection at www.simplyplastics.com with everything from flourescent tubes to mirrors, clear plastics and brightly coloured sheets.

This summer I’m planning a bit of a colour crazy kids section where they can plant seeds in the flourescent tubes, put mirrors up and create some games with plastic squares. My son has already suggested a colour version of hop scotch!

I love the natural world but punctuated with a little colour imagination and I can make my garden a fantastic little haven.

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Engagement rings – it’s not all about the wedding!

I’m not sure if I want to get married. It’s not that I don’t love him in doors. I do, I just can’t think of anything I do rather do less than organise a wedding! But that’s not to say I don’t want to get engaged. I know, I know, that’s ridiculous but the truth is I just love a beautiful ring!

Something deliciously sparkly on my finger…the idea makes me smile. I’m fully aware getting engaged should lead to getting married but perhaps I could just have a really, really long engagement and just have a ring?

I often wander past a jewellery shop and stop for a few minutes deciding which one I’d like. It would be rose gold and antique, something which would invite comments such as’ that’s so unusual, where did you get it?’. Buying beautiful antique rings is recycling too, right? So not only would I get something beautiful but I’d be saving the planet too.

Ok so that may be stretching it a little but the idea of wearing something with a past, with its very own love story attached is appealing. Was it bought after months of saving by a young man hopelessly in love with a girl. Was is passed down from mother to daughter in a moment of love – a chance to see her life and her loves live on.

I’m a romantic at heart and antique jewellery, for me, is the ultimate in romanticism. Breathing life into something which possibly meant so much and now sits alone in a shop.

I may not want a white wedding but I might be dropping some not so subtle hints about that beautiful rose gold treasure that winked at me as I walked past last week.

Brexit – what small businesses really think

 

The media told us Brexit would be the end for small U.K businesses and whipped up a storm of discontent – many small businesses owners take a wholly different view.

My partner runs a small family music business along with his dad and while Brexit has left questions unanswered – there is far less doom and gloom than we had feared. Suppliers and contacts all seem to be looking positively towards 2017. The manufactuers we use in China show no signs of fear when dealing with us, although it is early days.

Brexit was a shock but it happened. I think small businesses are making the most of it.

In fact, in the face of a nation awaiting the triggering of Article 50 (the formal legal process of Britain leaving the EU), 43% of small business owners do not believe that their businesses will be affected by Brexit in the next 12 months, whilst nearly half (48%) of respondents stated that they were expecting no impact on their businesses over the next five

Maybe it will force us to look closer to home for suppliers and keep industry within the U.K. There’s a big expense attached to this however, or maybe we’ll just have to batton down the hatches until the rest of the world has gotten over the shock. So far our orders have remained steady going into early 2017 and we have not had any direct feedback concerning Brexit.

Trading with Europe will be renegotiated and common sense tells us the world will still want to deal with us. For us, it’s about concentrating on quality, building great relationships with customers and understanding that Brexit may be a bump in the road, but it’s not the car crash we were led to believe.

Boost Capital interviewed 500 UK small businesses in association with OnePoll and revealed that 90% of respondents stated that they didn’t regret their vote in the Brexit referend

Here are some more key facts from Boost Capital’s Brexit Survey:

● 43% of respondents voted to stay as part of the EU.

● 58% are not taking any precautions to protect their businesses against Brexit.

● 72% are not expecting to expand their workforces in next 12 months.

● 45.8% believe that foreign workers should be allowed but with restrictions.

● Those living in the North East have the most certainty that their businesses will be

affected within the next 12 months as a result (47.7%).

Saving with Groupon this Christmas and beyond

 

This is a sponsored post and all views are my own.

Everyone loves a bargain don’t they? Especially this time of year when money can be tight and there’s a never ending list of things to buy.

That’s why I love Groupon coupons – from days out to bargain food hampers you can find something for everyone. Plus a few treats along the way like a cheeky little getaway in January or a well-earned spa day.

I love eating out and always check Groupon before deciding where we we’ll go to,eat. I’ve saved loads along the way and we’ve had some great family meals. I also treated my mum to a manicure and pedicure for Mother’s day this year and saved  more than £50 at a really lovely salon. It’s the range of offers I love, along side your pamper treats you can bag yourself a bargain car service too!

Some of my favourite bargains I’ve found this year have been Clinique makeup which means I can treat myself to a few Christmas presents too! its not only Christmas shopping but also those year round offers which can save you pounds. If you love sending flowers then the From You Flowers offer is one to take a look at.

Whether it’s a Christmas hamper, a post- Christmas getaway or a few treats for those you love, Groupon Coupons is a great place to start. Happy shopping!

Portable North Pole – making a magical Christmas

imageI love Christmas and as soon as I had children I became even more of a Christmas crazy! It’s all about the magical moments, the times you look into their eyes and know they truly believe. I know it won’t last forever so I’m making the most of it.

This year I’ve used the Portable North Pole (PNP) website to create some magical moments for my five year old. It’s so easy to use, you can create a fantastic video customised for your child in a few minutes. You  just need a photo, a few details and the website does the rest.

I created two videos, one to show Arthur now and one for Christmas Eve. The quality is fantastic with Santa’s workshop, elves, snow covered chalets and a sense that Christmas really is something magical.

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Santa talks directly to your child, sharing details, telling them whether they’ve made it on the good list and interacting with them to create something truly special. Arthur was mesmerised and you can now use the reaction recorder to capture those moments for ever. If he ever had any doubts about the big man, this video hepled him believe for just a little longer.

There are also Santa calls so your little ones can speak directly to th big man in the lead up to Christmas – a great one to have in the back pocket if their behaviour is less than angelic!. I made sure Santa asked Arthur to make sure he listened to his mummy and daddy, he he!

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There are so many options from the personalised calls to a new video each week throughout December. You can also get a Santa-approved certificate for each of your videos. It’s great value and you can use it as much or as little as you like throughout December.

It’s definitely become part of our Christmas tradition and I can’t wait to show Arthur his Christmas Eve video while snuggled up on the sofa drinking hot chocolate.

Christmas family bingo!

The Christmas countdown has begun. It is the most joyful and also the most stressful time of the year. Families UK-wide will be preparing turkey, singing carols and wearing paper hats. As well as the traditional board games why not play a game of bingo. Below is a bingo card, you can download and play with friends and family all day. It shows all the typical things we see in a British Christmas from Eastenders to bad cracker prizes. The first to cross off a full line wins! You can play again and again.

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Christmas traditions across the globe

Fancy hiding a pickle in your Christmas tree? Or maybe roller skating to church for some festive cheer? I love Christmas, I’m that annoying person humming Jingle Bells in November and being incredibly ‘festive’ at every available chance.

I think we do Christmas pretty well in the UK but there are some stonkingly good traditions that happen all around the world at this time of year. So if you’d like to learn how to say Merry Christmas in another language, or just want to see what happens across the globe, take a look at the infographic below created by Bright Horizon’s Nursery Highbury- maybe there’s something you can add to your Christmas fun.

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