Tuesday, 8 May 2012

I've Moved!!!!

Posted by Sonia at 9:18:00 pm 2 comments
You can find me over here from now guys... http://thismummyloves.com/ 

Finally decided it was time to go self hosted, seeing as I've had my domain name sitting there for months lol ;)

Please bear with me while I get it organised and prettified and I'd really appreciate it if you could change any links you have more me xxx

I'm really quite sad... I love my little blogger blog :(

Alternatively you can now find me at http://findingmyinnergirl.co.uk

Barclaycard Amazing May Deals

Posted by Sonia at 1:06:00 pm 0 comments
Barclaycard have some amazing deals during May for new customers wether you are looking for your first credit card, a balance transfer or to save money on your summer spending. These deals will be closing on the 31st May 2012 so make sure you get in there whilst you still can.
  • Market leading 22 month 0% BT offer is now even stronger with the introduction of a brand new £30 discount on the transfer fee (for transfers over £2,500)
  • New 15 / 15 deal - 0% interest on both purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, an extra month improvement from the current 14 / 14 offer.
  •  The low BT fee card (fee of 1.6%) is extended to 17 months duration, increased from 16 months
  •  A completely new, 0% interest on all purchases for the first three months with Barclaycard Initial, a product designed for those customers who are new to credit 
David Chan, chief executive of Barclaycard Consumer Europe said:
“We’re very excited to be offering even better value and such a huge amount of choice to new customers; from those wanting to manage their money better, to those who are seeking to build a credit history.”

22 month balance transfer with £30 off the transfer fee
Those looking to manage their balances can now receive money off the transfer fee on the Barclaycard Platinum card, with which they can enjoy 22 months 0% interest on balance transfers. New customers moving over £2,500 will now receive £30 off the fee. The card comes with a variable APR of 17.9% and new cardholders will all benefit from 0% on the first three months of purchases. 

15 months 0% interest on purchases and balance transfers
For new customers eager to save on summer spending and on existing balances, the Barclaycard Platinum Purchase card now comes with 0% interest on both purchases and balance transfers for 15 months. The card has a variable APR of 18.9% and balance transfers incur a fee of 2.9%.

Low fee balance transfer for 17 months
Looking to save money on your balance transfer fee? The Barclaycard Platinum Low Fee card has a market leading balance transfer fee of just 1.6% and now comes with an extended 17 months 0% interest on balance transfers, with also three months 0% interest on all purchases. The credit card has a variable APR of 18.9%.

0% interest on purchases for the first three months for those new to credit
For those new to credit, the Barclaycard Initial now comes with 0% interest on all purchases for the first three months. The card has an APR of 29.9% (5 percentage points lower than the current Capital One Classic) and new cardholders will be offered a manageable starting credit limit as well as text and email alerts to help them manage their account.
Unfortunately as I am already a Barclaycard user I am not entitled to any of these great deals, although I did transfer to them along time ago as a balance transfer and have been totally happy with their service! If you have a large credit card bill then balance transfers are a fab way to save you money. Look into it if you haven't already :O)

For full details and to find out more visit the Barclaycard Website here - http://www.barclaycard.co.uk/personal/credit-cards

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Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Creating Memories with the Kids

Posted by Sonia at 7:38:00 pm 2 comments

As a photographer creating memories for my kids is really important to me, photos are a massive part of my life and they constantly trigger memories from the past! I have no photos of me under the age of 2 years and 10 months which makes me really sad! I have no idea what I looked like as a baby; if I was similar looking to any of my three children or not at all! I'm sure it is the same for a lot of people as cameras were a very expensive luxury years ago. Anyway my kids won't have the same problem lol I have thousands and thousands of them ;o)
First photo I've got of me! I'm on the left :O)
I've been thinking a lot recently about my memories as a child and most of my memories are of holidays, days out, family get togethers or quite traumatic things like having stitches, losing a pet etc so I want to make sure that my kids have plenty of good, happy experiences for them to have great memories when they are older.

Things I really want my kids to experience –
  • Adventure – When we were kids every day was an adventure, climbing trees, exploring the countryside, picnics with friends, hide and seek on a hot summers night etc  Does this even happen anymore? Has society got so messed up that children cannot be children anymore? We used to go out first thing in a morning and come back at tea time with dirty clothes, scraped knees and stories full of adventure! I know that I am very cautious about where my kids are and worry about who is out there! I wish that my kids could feel the “freeness” that I felt when I was younger!
  • Hard work – I had a paper round from a very early age (yes yes it was an uphill one) and worked from the age of 11/12, I didn’t really have a love for school but I loved to work and make money so I could treat my nephews. We used to have to help out at home too; I used to dread the day when Dad would cut the hedge as he’d make us stay at home and pick up all the trimmings lol! I really don’t think hard work does us any harm! I hope to show my kids hard work sometime ;) Not in a bad way… do you know what I mean?
  • Love – I desperately hope that my kids will always feel loved by me!

Some places I want to take my kids (not just for my kids these are experiences for me too) –
  • Disneyland in the USA – This has been a huge dream of mine for years and unfortunately I didn’t get to take Liam when he was younger but I do plan to take Maisie & Maxwell at some point! After visiting Disneyland Paris last year I can only imagine how amazing I will be!
  • Lapland – Another huge dream of mine is to take them to Lapland to meet Santa & go on a sleigh ride!
  • I want them to experience different climates and cultures, experience new foods and smells!  I first went abroad when I was pregnant with Maisie.  I was 29 when I got my first passport! I have been to France twice!!! Other than that I have never left this tiny Country!

Things I want to do with the kids –
  • Take them camping and sit round a campfire singing and toasting Marshmallows.
  • Explore London & take them on the London Eye.
  • I want to teach them to be helpful & kind and show them how fortunate we are.

There are so many things I want to do with them; over the next few week I am going to put a list of everything we want to achieve on the blog and then strike it out once it is completed! I really need goals in my life to make things happen!!

I realise some of these things will be way above are budget and some will probably force us to go down the cash for gold route lol but I'm really starting to believe that if you 'think big, big things will happen'

Things I want my kids to know & remember -

That they had a loving family with lots of happy times!

That Mum & Dad were/are there for them no matter what!

That Mummy loves them more than anything in this world xxx

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Friday, 27 April 2012

Frankie & Benny's Review

Posted by Sonia at 10:00:00 am 11 comments
This blog has now moved to http://thismummyloves.com 

When Liam was here a couple of weeks ago I took him to Frankie & Benny's for a special Mum/Son meal! I let him choose what ever he wanted off the menu (a teenage boy's dream!) We arrived about 6.30pm to the Lenton restaurant in Nottingham. It wasn't very busy, there were a few families in so I wasn't concerned about how the service would be. I thought we'd be done in time to catch a movie! We were showed to our table straight away and given the menu and asked if we would like drinks while we decide. The menu is huge and there is so much choice it took us a while to decide, we eventually decided and our waitress took our order. the waitress was polite but not particularly friendly. After about 15 minutes I asked if would be OK if we could move tables as I was freezing and every time the door opened I got a draft, this seemed to annoy the waitress a little; I'm not sure why as there were many other empty table in the restaurant. Anyway she moved us and it was still a little chilly but much better than where we were. 

After 45 minutes we were brought our starters, yes 45 minutes is quite a while for a starter isn't it! Especially when I had been watching the waitresses walk past them on the counter for the last 20 minutes! Needless to say my Bruschetta as lovely looking as it was; was actually stone cold! Thankfully after letting our waitress know she brought another over in under 5 minutes! 
My Bruschetta was served stone cold! The second one however was delicious!
Liam had no complaints about his Large Chicken Wings
Thankfully the rest of the evening the service got better; I wish I could say the same for the food! Liam opted for a *special* Oven Baked Chicken Parmigiana I'm really not sure what was special about it to be quite honest. The sweetcorn was completely overdone and so dry; the spaghetti was dry and stuck to the plate. Liam compared the taste to tinned Ravioli, definitely not worth  £13.95. My main course was Chicken Club Triple Decker it was supposed to be served on wholemeal bread but they didn't have any left so I go ciabatta instead. It was served with chips and coleslaw. Not a bad meal but you can't really go wrong with a chicken sandwich!! 
Oven Baked Chicken Parmigiana - not so special!
My Chicken Club Triple Decker
For our desserts we chose from the lighter options because 1 we were stuffed and 2 I didn't want to go over the £50 voucher which we had been given to review their new menu. I had Chocolate Pancakes at £2.95 they were simply dreadful - I was given a spoon to eat them but what I actually needed was a steak knife; they were so dry and tough. I had a couple of mouthfuls and left them. Liam had Lemon Sorbet which he said was lovely but still I begrudge paying £2.95 for two tiny scoops!! 
Chocolate Pancake - awful dry, tough pancakes!
Two scoops of Lemon Sorbet - can't get that wrong!
So overall I wasn't particularly happy with our Frankie & Benny's experience, Thankfully we didn't have to pay for it. The bill came to £53 and the waitress knocked off my starter which brought it to £48 so the voucher covered it. 

Would I go again? No.

Oh and we never did get to catch that film... 

Monday, 2 April 2012

Quorn - Making Meals Healthier!

Posted by Sonia at 9:00:00 am 0 comments

I’m not a vegetarian but I do use Quorn in a lot of my cooking; basically because I go to Slimming World and using Quorn as a replacement for meat in dishes like spag bol, chilli makes them syn free which means I can have as much as I like! So I’m happy as are the rest of my family who are getting a healthy, substantial meal and most of the time don’t even know the difference ;) My other half who turned his nose up at me buying Quorn was astonished when I made him Spag Bol only to be told afterwards it was made using Quorn and he did not have a clue!
I recently discovered the Quorn website and got quite excited by the amount of different recipes they have on there from everyday family favourites such as Spaghetti Bolognese, Chilli Con Carne and Cottage Pie to something a bit different like Moroccan Quorn Tagine.

My absolute favourite recipe from the Quorn website is their Quorn Lasagne – I made it recently when we had friends round and they absolutely loved it! Very easy and not a lot of hassle; just serve with a big green salad and lots of warm garlic bread a few glasses of wine and you have a perfect evening ;)
The Quorn facebook page has a large amount of followers and Quorn are encouraging people to share photos of their Quorn dishes and share recipes!  I love getting tried and tested recipes from people who  buy the product… actually that reminds me my sister makes a MEAN Quorn chilli which you can find the recipe to here ;)

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Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Choo Choo!!

Posted by Sonia at 9:39:00 pm 4 comments
I've been brought up surrounded by trains! My Dad is a real train enthusiast and has a huge collection so I guess it's rubbed off on me a little as I always encourage my kids to play with trains! I was over the moon last year when I won the Brio Little Forest Starter Train Set on someones blog. 
The Brio Trains are recommended from age 3+ so I was a little disappointed that Maxwell was only one at the time lol - but Maisie has had a great amount of fun playing with it. So I have decided that over the next year I am going to build up a great collection of Brio trains up for Maxwell's 3rd Birthday :O)
The Wooden Toy Shop has a really great selection of Brio trains and some of them I just found out are battery powered! :O) It gets even better! I really love wooden, traditional toys; you just cannot beat them for quality!!

 *Hold the phone* I've just discovered that this Brio My First Railway Set if suitable for 18 months ... Runs to find my credit card ;O)

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Thursday, 16 February 2012

E.ON Innovation

Posted by Sonia at 1:55:00 pm 0 comments
My blog has now moved to http://thismummyloves.com come over and join me :)

This month E.ON has launched a crowdsourcing project called E.ON Innovation to find the next generation of energy products and services. This online community is open to the UK public and will feature five challenges to coincide with episodes of the new Channel 4 Show Home of the Future. The winner from each of the five challenges will be the one with the best idea submission and will each win a home energy makeover worth up to £2,000; this could include some really exciting gadgets from the Channel 4 series 'Home of the Future' to make you home more energy efficient. Judges will then go on to choose an overall winner out of the five finalists who will go on to win home energy makeover worth up to £10,000 ! All of the five winning ideas will be developed by E.ON with the intention of the products and services becoming a reality during 2012. There will also be two runner up prizes of £100 in Homebase vouchers. E.ON will be encouraging participation by giving out £100 Homebase vouchers to the best participant each week, you will also earn badges and points for voting and commenting within the community. You can follow the conversation about this project by following E.ON on Twitter (@talkingenergy) and looking out for the hashtag #eoninnov.

The first challenge is now live and is about Rest and asks participants 'how could the home ‘learn’ about your energy use in order to create a more restful environment?' Some of the ideas that are already in the forum are incredible I have no idea how I can come up with something better! Even if you have no intention of taking part then I would recommend going and reading some of the ideas and voting for your favourite.  You can look for inspiration within the community or go to the Home of the Future Website. Each week there will be a new theme - work, food, play & well-being. I really love this idea and would absolutely love to win a home energy makeover; living in an old Victorian house we are not exactly energy efficient! So I've now got to get my thinking cap on to come up with some fantastic ideas!! I get so excited when thinking about the future; everything has come so far since I was a little girl and I just find it totally mind-blowing! I just cannot wait to see what the final five ideas are and how E.ON will develop them.
You can watch the 'Rest' episode of Homes of the Future on 4oD and watch out for the 'Work' episode coming on Sunday 19th February 2012 and then the new challenge for 'Work' will be open to ideas. Make sure you catch the show to get your energy saving juices flowing!

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