How to style trainers outside of the gym*

In the last couple of years, humble women’s trainers have moved up and up as fashion accessories, meaning they’re no longer resigned to the gym or sports field. If you’ve seen fashionable ladies on the street rocking trainers with skirts or smart outfits – but aren’t quite sure how to pull it off yourself – here are my ideas for styling trainers from the office to the bar.
Casual but stylish weekend look
You’re heading out for a big day of shopping and need some comfy footwear, or want to look your best to see the in-laws and know there’ll probably be a walk involved. Take the lead from Rosie Huntington-Whiteley on how to make trainers look chic with a weekend outfit. Here she teams a pair of tight jeans and a plain T-shirt with some pale grey trainers that she’s coordinated with her fedora. I love the fact she’s gone for a pastel blazer draped over her shoulders and a matching pastel bag to make everything a little bit girly.
Smart workwear
If you have to walk to work or are out and about at meetings all day, the last thing you want on your feet is heels. Most of us have to look groomed for the office though, but fortunately there are plenty of options out there. Take a look at the PU knot skaters in the trainer selection from Tu available at Sainsbury’s – they’re ideal as they’re a smart black and have an oversized bow on the front to make them more dressy. Plus they also look seriously comfy. Wear them with a suit or a skirt and a smart top to give your outfit an edge. 

Comfy date night 
You’re not a girly-girl, that’s ok, don’t feel like you have to wear heels just because it’s date night. Your other half will want you to be comfortable and feel yourself anyway. A look that’s really elegant with trainers is palazzo pants and a camisole. Keep the trainers more streetwear style than sporty for it to work – a chunky sole is best.
Dress it down
When you have a cool new dress and you can’t wait to wear it out, but you also don’t want to feel overdressed, in step the trainers. If the pleated midi skirts trend was anything to go by, it’s definitely alright to dress down even the girliest of looks with a pair of daps. And good for us, trainers go just as well with this season’s skirts and dresses, like your favourite off the shoulder dress.

Everyday wear
Still not sure about wearing trainers? If Kate Middleton can do it, so can we. You might be the kind of girl who likes to be dolled up, but if practicality comes calling follow Kate’s lead and wear your trainers with some classic slim jeans and a smart jumper or top. Keep trousers ankle length to stop the whole look from being dowdy. You really can go with whatever trainers you like for this everyday style.

Which look is your favourite?

Num Noms Series 4 Dessert Tray & Lights Mystery Pots Unboxing*

Whoa, Num Noms series 4 out. The adorable collectibles that we have grown to love are back and better than ever. Series 4 includes glitter lip gloss and nail polish. If you read our last Num Noms unboxing you would know that Darcy is obsessed with them,and she couldn't wait to review the new series. So you can imagine how excited she was when we were kindly gifted a Dessert Tray and some Light Mystery Pots to review.

The Dessert Tray comes with 12 Num Noms in total, including a mystery Num Nom and two lip glosses. Our favourites from the Dessert Tray are Pumpkin Spice, Mint shake with a cute little straw on the top, Goldie Cake which smells of the sweetest vanilla and Candy Karma which opens so you can put your lip gloss inside. I especially love Mocha Frappe as I'm such a coffee addict. As usual you can stack them up to create your own scent combinations. We've used the packaging that they came in as a storage case as it is really sturdy cardboard and even has a cute spoon carry handle.Priced at £16.99 it's a perfect addition to anyones Num Noms collection.

Num Noms Lights series 2.1 pack comes with a scented Num, a light up Nom and a cool ring to display and wear your collection. They light up by pressing their head and switches off by doing the same thing. We unboxed a special edition Carole Candy Cane that reminded me of Christmas as it just smells like a candy cane. Darcy could not wait to show off her brand new bling. Num Noms Lights series 2.1 retails at £3.99 each.
Num Noms Series 4 are available now in all good retailers or you can find out more here. It issafe to say that series 4 is our favourite so far! Are you a fan of Num Noms?

Lalaloopsy Babies Potty Surprise Doll Review*

Darcy being Darcy she has so many toys she could open her own toy shop. She has now added a new addition to her toy shop with a Lalaloopsy Babies Potty Surprise Doll, which we were sent to review.

I'm going to be completely honest now and say this is not the type of doll I would generally buy Darcy. I mean c'mon a doll that poop surprises!, but I'll put my hands up and say this is actually a really fun doll and I'm really glad we had the opportunity to review the doll. As Darcy has fallen in love with it and plays with her all the time.

Along with baby Jewel Sparkles, you get a potty, a bowl with a spoon and three jars of baby food. Jewel Sparkles head, arms and legs are movable and is wipe able and she has her trademark Lalaloopsy button eyes.

First off you have to twist the dial on her back to one of the four positions, this will create the four different potty surprises. The baby food is actually kinetic sand, pop one scoop of carrot, apple or grape baby food (any more than one scoop at a time will clog up the doll) twist her belly button. Don't forget to take her nappy off! Simply place her on the potty and watch her go! Baby Jewel Sparkles magically poops a surprise shape, each poop is a different shape.  One of the good things about this doll is you never run out of baby food, you can even introduce new food to her diet with different colour sands.

Even though this doll is for age 4+ Darcy was still able to play happily with her and the fact that I even had fun playing with her shows it's perfect for all ages.

Lalaloopsy Babies Potty Surprise Doll retails at £20 and can be found at all good retail shops. Is your little one a fan of Lalaloopsy?

Paw Patrol Live Review

As it's the summer holidays, I've been finding fun things for Darcy to do. I've seen adverts for Paw Patrol Live for ages, but was umming and arrhing over the price of the tickets. Then wonders of wonders, I saw Wowcher had a deal, so I had no excuse and booked tickets for the SSE Arena, Wembley show.

I decided to keep it a surprise, even being on a tube with a whole load of children dressed head to toe in Paw Patrol clothes and costumes!!. Once we were outside the venue, I handed her our tickets and told her what we were seeing. Her little face lit up with excitement, and my eyes started to well up. (please note this will not be the only time I get emotional).

Darcy took advantage of my emotional state and I ended up spending  £15, yes £15 on some flashing light thingy that she wanted. Once I composed myself and we got to our seats, the fun began.
The show opens with Ryder hyping up the crowd more before Marshall, Chase, Rocky, Rubble, Zuma, and Skye introduces themselves with their own personal song.
Everest is seen during a scene later in the show. If your child is a hard-core Paw Patrol fan, be forewarned that the newest pup Tracker does not make an appearance.

Not to spoil the show for you, Adventure Bay are losing the Great Race to Foggy Bottom's Mayor Humdinger because Mayor Goodway sprained her ankle chasing Chickaletta over pumpkins. So Ryder and the pups step in for an action-packed adventure to find three clues hidden around Adventure Bay to make it back to the finish line before the sunsets. After all no job is too big and no pup is too small!!!!

The show is around 60 minutes long, with a 15 minute interval in the middle of the show, which is a good time to go for a quick toilet break.
The show is very interactive, with lots of set changes and use of the pups famous vechicles.The pups costumes were fantastic, using  Bunraku puppetry, which really helped bring the pups to life. I have to say the actress who pays Mayor Goodway was fantastic, she really brought her character to life. Darcy made friends with the boy next to us. They were so excited together hugging and high fiving each other. Half way through the show she shouted this is the best day ever, you're the best! (cue emotional break down number 2)

I have to admit Paw Patrol Live was actually really good. We sang, cheered and danced all throughout it, and left with big smiles on our faces and a even bigger Chase balloon. Which made our journey home on the tube in rush hour rather interesting to say the least!

The rest of the tour dates are below, tickets range from £16.80 - £39.20. However I would suggest checking out Wowcher to see if their deal is still on.

Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham – August 12th and 13th
Echo Arena, Liverpool – August 16th and 17th
Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle – August 19th
First Direct Arena, Leeds – August 23rd
Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff – August 26th and 27th

Family Festival #FamilyFestQuiz

Music festivals have undergone something of a transformation in recent years. It's no longer about the young, wild and free. Now music loving parents can shake their leg at music festivals thanks to the rise of family based festivals such as Camp Bestival and Latitude. If Chris Martin can take his family along, why can't we?
You can tell we are newbies to the music festival scene by our white trainers!!

This year we have dipped our toes, with a few London-based family festivals,  including not 1 but 2 days at Lambeth Country Show  . I wasn't sure how Darcy would cope with all the excitement and hustle and bustle of a festival. It turns out my child is a right little raver and I had nothing to worry about. So I'm already planning on going to a festival with her next year, but I was unsure which one would be best for us.

Luckily Travelodge has created a fun quiz to find out which family festival suits your family best, it only takes a few minutes to complete. Not only does it tell you which festivals are best for you, it also finds a Travelodge hotel which is nearest the festival site. You can check out the quiz here.

Our results shows that our festival personality was ..... foodies, shock, horror!! And matched us with Jimmy's Festival which unfortunately we have missed this year. 

We used Travelodge a lot, not only are they great value for money. Their family rooms are  spacious, they come with the most comfortable king size bed, two pull out beds and their all you can eat breakfast is free for kids. We are actually heading off to Bournemouth this week for a few days, fingers crossed the weather is good so we can paddle our feet in the sea.

So have you taken the #FamilyFestQuiz yet? which festival personality is your family?

Win a Project Mc2 H20 Nail Science Lab

If you have a tween you will know all about the popular Netflix show Project Mc2 (pronounced Project MC-squared). A team of girls who use their love of S.T.E.AM subjects (that's science, technology, engineering, art and maths) and spy skills to undertake missions for top-secret organisations

As seen on the show, Adrienne Attoms’ next mission is to use her cosmetic chemistry skills to formulate the perfect look for saving the world. And now your child can do the same cool S.T.E.A.M. experiment at home using just household ingredients.  They can create one-of-a-kind nail designs by using a scientific process called hydrographic printing to create amazing and unique marble designs! 

It can be applied directly to their own nails or provided press-on nails with any rainbow array of polishes from your beauty cabinet.  Each set includes a multi-LED light up station with built-in nail dryer, three stands with holders for your nail polish, three discs with blank nails to design, adhesive stickers, four science pipette, one design stick, and one clear beaker. 

We are giving away a  Project Mc2 H20 Nail Science Lab, simply complete one or more of the entries on the Rafflecopter below.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Summer Bucketlist! Fun Things to do This Summer With Kids!

Yay!! it's officially the first day of the summer holidays. One perk of being a mature student is I get the spend all the summer holidays with Darcy.  Darcy is at the age where she gets bored really easily, so I need to make sure that she is kept busy over the next few weeks. I thought I’d share with you all our summer bucket list and give you some ideas what to do with your little ones.

Hopefully we will get the chance to tick them all off.

What fun things are on your summer bucket list?

Family Friendly Garden Ideas*

 Summer is here and there is nothing better than spending it outdoors

Now that it is summer, Darcy and I love to make the most of the sunshine and spend a lot of time in the garden. From eating al fresco to having water fights.The more time we spend there the more I realise that I need to make our garden more toddler friendly.

As usual I found myself on Homify, looking for garden inspiration. There is such a variety of garden spaces, it's hard not to get inspired.   

Here are a few of my favourites;


Some things to think about when planning a family friendly garden; 

Basic safety checks, if you have a pond make sure you have a safety grid across it to prevent children from falling in. Check to see that your plants are not poisonous or have toxins that causes rashes. You would be amazed at the number of every day plants that could harm your children and or pets. Fix broken fences to make your outdoor space is  secure and make sure that all paths and steps are level to avoid slips and trips.

Create zones, any garden can be multi functional if planned right. for example, an area for the kids to play in and somewhere for the adults to enjoy an afternoon read with a decent book or end the day with a chilled glass of wine. Clear zoning helps make the garden functional, pleasing to the eye and functional.

Child friendly surfaces - there are a variety of different type of surfaces to protect your toddler, for example artificial grass, bark chippings and wetpour. These alternative surfaces not soften falls they are also low maintenance. Wetpour has come a long way now coming in lot of colours and designs which help create a fun, educational beautiful playgrounds.

Storage - out of sight out of mind. You don't want to be tripping over garden toys, bikes or scooters, nor do you want your little ones getting their hands on your rake or hoe.There are lots of garden storage on the market. From plastic wood effect storage boxes to traditional sheds. Keeping everything tided away in storage will also help maximise your outdoor space.

So these were a few of my family friendly garden ideas. Where are your favourite places to go for Garden inspiration?

10 Great Benefits Of Switching To Electronic Cigarettes*

Leaving behind cigarettes after smoking them for years is an incredibly daunting task. If you keep your end goal of finally being free of the addiction in mind however, it really does help! With that in mind, here are 10 of the best benefits to switching over to electronic cigarettes which contain e liquid:

1 - Cleaner Hands

Smoking leads to tobacco stains and the lingering smell of smoke. This can be picked up by others at the most inopportune times! It's awful to make a bad impression during an important meeting because your hands were stained or smokey during a handshake. You can leave this problem far behind with e-cigarettes.

2 - Cleaner Teeth

One of the most obvious downsides to smoking is the effect it has on your teeth. Yellowed teeth go hand in hand with cigarettes. If you can make the switch to electronic cigarettes, it's going to be far easier to restore those pearly whites.

3 - Cleaner Hair

The smoke from cigarettes can make your hair feel dirtier, and the smell is also an obvious issue. No one wants their hair to smell like a chimney! It's just about the farthest thing from appealing. After changing to e-cigarettes, your hair will be more luxurious than it's been in a long time.

4 - Healthier Skin

Cigarettes also have a big impact on your complexion. Your skin will actually look less vibrant and almost sickly in comparison with regular enough cigarettes use. Smokers also tend to develop age lines and crow's feet more quickly than others. Luckily, making the switch to electronic cigarettes can reverse a lot of the damage done.

5 - Higher Energy

Making the change to e-cigarettes may seem difficult at first. However, you'll naturally start to maintain a higher level of energy than you had while hooked on cigarettes. That alone will improve a host of different aspects of your life, and also make the decision to switch over much easier to stick with in the first place. It's really all about taking that first step, and everything will fall into place from there.

6 - Improved Sense Of Taste

You may not realize it at the time, but smoking cigarettes regularly actually inhibits your taste and sense of smell. The switch to electronic cigarettes will slowly but surely return your former ability to taste and enjoy food far more. This is a great example of the "simple things" in life being taken for granted and then enjoyed so much more once you realize it.

7 - You're More Present During Important Moments

If you've been smoking long enough, you've likely missed a lot of great moments at family gatherings or nights out with friends because you had to run off for a cigarette break. Sometimes
even incredibly important moments can be missed out on this way. Without the addiction to nicotine

Num Noms Series 3 Unboxing Review and Giveaway

If you don't know about Num Noms, they are cute, scented characters ranging from waffles to cheese toasties to strawberries to ice cream. You can stack them up to create your own scent combinations. Some are soft and hollow whilst others are lip glosses, stamps or erasers,.D is obsessed with them and collecting them since series 1. So imagine her joy when we received two starters packs to review.

Series 3 Num Noms come in little food packaging, which you can easily pop open,  they also have air holes on the packaging so you can sniff before you buy. In the package you will find a colourful collector checklist alongside the Num Noms.

In the marshmallow starter pack you get Sara S'more who is super delicious with her graham cracker, marshmallow and drizzled in melted chocolate. Then we have Bella Bubblegum she has three different colours and is cheeky with her tongue poking out. Rachel raspberry is Darcy's favourite as she's pink and very sparkly. She's duper super cute and squishy too.  Then we have Mellow erase who is very special because she's an actual eraser. She is completely solid with a hole in the bottom so you can place her on your favourite pencil for safe keeping.

They come with a cupcake case, and a spoon so you can scoop them up and put them into the cupcake case.

Glazed Donuts includes Valerie vanilla, shes covered in icing. She's sweet for sure and wait till you smell her. Choco Sprinkles is just like her name suggests covered in chocolate and sprinkles, I mean who doesn't love a chocolate donut? Sophie Strawberry who you won't be able to stop sniffing. we have a stamp who is a donut shaped scented stamp. The box also comes with donut tongs and a coffee cup so you can dip your Nom Num into it.

If you head on over to the Num Noms website you can tick off which ones you have already in your collection and mark the ones you want.

As well as starter packs for series 3 there are two other starter packs Hard Candy and Fresh Fruit. A lunchbox which has double the amount of Num Noms,  and the surprise packs which has one Num Nom.

Nom Nums series 3 is for children aged 3+, although you may find yourself sniffing away and stacking them up yourself and are available at all good toy retailers and supermarkets.

We are giving away a Glazed Donuts Stater Pack worth £9.99. To enter, simply complete one or more of the entries on the Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway