We love our children, and that pretty much means we’d do anything for them. It also means we turn to them in the harder times so they can brighten our days, and they always inspire us to achieve more with our lives. We can use this kind of inspiration in all walks of life, so here’s some ideas for you to use when it comes to also living in the online world, where we chat about our families and how our lives are enriched by them!.

Keep an Eye Out for Kid Friendly Deals

The online world is where we find a lot of promotional offers and money off coupons, and when you’re a full time parent (as every parent is!) you’re going to need all the help you can get concerning money matters.

There’s plenty of lists out there that contain all the information you need to know about the coupons that are currently on the market. Similarly, they also have categories for you to search through to find the ones you’re looking for a lot easier. On your next trip to the store, maybe you really could afford some more treats.

On Social Media

Social media pages not only allow us to share the special moments with friends and family who truly care about us, but it’s also a good way to keep a record of everything your little ones got up to in the days gone by. Looking back on this is a great way to inspire yourself, and it’s also a great way build a friendly and loving community!

When it comes to allowing your kids online, internet safety is the first thing to preach. Supervising them online when they first start using the web is a good idea, and it’s also a way to spend a little more time together through digital means. We hear all the time about how technology isolates children and teenagers from their families, so set a good example from the beginning.

Prepare a Business with Kids in Mind

This can take a lot of effort, but often enough you’re already doing all the necessary functions for running an online business. You’re crafting all sorts of things for your kids to use and love; maybe you can do the same for other children out there? Market towards parents just like you with a little less time on their hands, and let people indulge a lot easier in making do and mending.

Use a company like shiply to find a courier to get your products out in the fastest time possible, as this is the best way to make sure you don’t have to carry out extra admin! We don’t want more stress on what we already have to deal with; put a stop to any worries about your would be burgeoning business from the beginning!

Your kids are perfect inspiration models, and letting them be more creative with what they do can lead to a lot of good things all round!

*This is a collaborative post*
I know writing down goals for a new year seem very cliché but I knew I needed to do something. I rarely stick to goals when they are written down as just that 'goals'. When I don't stick to them I feel like a failure. However, last year wasn't the best year for me. I suffered endlessly with my Postnatal Depression (PND) and I also lost a cousin to suicide who was battling a mental illness. I wanted this year to be different. I sat down with pen and paper and couldn't think of a title to write in my diary. I didn't want to use goals or achievements or anything like that. It was only when I glanced at my new Ice-Watch that an idea came to me. It reminded me of 'time' and how precious and valuable that is.

Last year, I tried to do too much with the time I had. Day to day i'd be running around like a headless chicken. I'd be on the school run, going to work, blogging, cooking, cleaning, going to the gym etc. It was all too much. I was so busy that I hardly made any quality time for the kids because I was running around doing everything I thought I needed to do. I was tired and irritable and all of these things would set off my PND. 

It has made me realise that it's time for a change. This year I need to make some time for myself. I need to embark on some self care in order to be happy and be the best mum I can be. 

Each day, I need to slow down and do some things for me. I'm going to try and get some fresh air everyday through either walking the dog or going for a run. Hopefully I can do both. Fresh air is good for the soul.

I'm also going to try and read more books. I used to love reading but I never found the time to do it. I'm going to make more of an effort with it this year.

I'm going to get my passion back for exercise. Exercise releases so many good endorphins so I need to do this more for me and not because I feel like I have to do it to shape up etc. I want to do it because I enjoy it and not because I feel like I have to do it as it then becomes a chore. I'm hoping to do a Yoga class once a week to help me relax.

Most of all i'm going to set aside more quality time for my girls. Eva started school last year so she's out of the house most of the day. When she comes home from school i'm going to make more of an effort to do the simple things that she enjoys such as going to the park, painting and reading etc. This needs to be my priority, not worrying about how untidy the house is or how big my ironing pile is. Time with my girls is irreplaceable. 

My new watch will serve as my reminder to change seeing as it helped me realise what I need to do this year. Hopefully every time I see it on my wrist it will remind me to set aside time in the day to look after myself and to enjoy that quality time with my girls. 

The watch is from the beautiful new 'city sparkling' collection by Ice-Watch priced at £90. Mine is Sparkling Glitter Black which also comes in Gold and Silver. I love it because it goes with dressing up outfits or it makes a casual outfit pop. 

Eva also has a watch which is the Ola Candy in White which is £55. Again when I see her wearing it, it will serve as a reminder to embrace the change.

*This is a collaborative post with Ice-Watch. All words and opinions are my own*

Clean eating on a budget can be done.

Leaping into a New Year, most of us want to focus on our health and well-being, and a huge amount of people start by reviewing their diet. After the excess of the festive period, and with a grey January making us feel run down and de- energised, it’s little wonder that the idea of clean eating starts to appeal. But if the idea of trying to overhaul your diet while sticking to a budget is putting you off, don’t fear. There is a way to eat clean without blowing the bank.

Shop In-Season

One of the best ways to introduce a more organic, natural elements into what you’re eating is simply to respect what’s in season. Years of year round exotic imported fruits and vegetables have blinded many of us to the idea that we should eat according to what is seasonally available. In-season items will drop in price due to increased availability and limited shelf life, so find a guide to what’s in season and start researching ways to use it. Remember, you can always make ahead and freeze recipes to eat them over the next few months. The bonus is that the produce will also be at its peak in terms of flavour and nutritional value when it's in season.

Buy Bulk to Save Big

Look at what you can buy in bulk to make cost savings on the unit price. This works especially well with dried goods such as wholewheat pasta or dried and canned lentils that can be added to curries and soups. But even if something is fresh, you can use your freezer to extend it's shelf life. Everything from summer berries and spirulina for your smoothie to Organic Cheese can be kept fresh for up to six months if stored correctly and frozen. Nut butters, spices and oils are also great to buy in bulk as there is less waste and excess packaging.

Get Into Prepping

Wasted food is wasted budget, so don’t throw your money away. Take time each week to pull together a meal plan, so you know exactly what you need ahead of time. You can also take the time to audit what you have in the freezer already and include some of that. Then make sure that when you go shopping you take a list and stick to it. It sounds simple but eliminating needless waste and impulse buys can really help to cut down the grocery bill and make full use of your healthy produce. This is especially important if you’re aiming to eat more fresh items that perish quicker.

Get Into Couponing

Don’t be put off by the crazies on Extreme Coupon programmes - money off vouchers can give you significant savings if you plan ahead. By meal planning each week, you can work out what you can get a deal on and factor that in too. Coupons that offer an amount off your entire order are the best ones to look out for. There are so many videos out there explaining how to get started and keep track of all the deals. Make sure that you’re also signed up to newsletters from health food stores to get notified of sales and discounts.

*This is a collaborative post*
If there's one part of my body that I am extremely self conscious about then it's my double chin. As i'm getting older, it's getting worse. I used to only have one when I pushed my chin back but now I have one permanently that's not only visible from the side but the front of my face too. I hate it. It's the first thing I notice in photos. 

I'm like a yoyo when it comes to my weight but it seems even when i'm in my best shape, my saggy chin is still present. 

I was asked if I would like to try out the Chin Up Mask which is a non surgical way of reducing the appearance of a double chin. As you can imagine I jumped at the chance. I received a trial pack which contains everything you need for two treatments which is a tape measure, a band and 2 masks. 

The Chin Up Mask is designed to visibly improve the appearance of a double chin by up to 2cm in 30 minutes. It provides instant results by facilitating fat release and aids in the contouring process. It has a special Skintronics serum which helps to convert fat into stabilised fibrous tissue. It boosts the density of collagen and therefore increases cell tension to provide a lifting and firming effect. The mask also contains natural extracts from Acacia, Mint, Aloe, Grape, Olive, Apple and Citrus Fruits. I couldn't wait to try it.

The first thing you have to do is measure your chin from ear to ear. You measure across the front and underneath. I was 28cm around the front and 25 underneath. I think this is a great idea as this allows you to actually measure the results afterwards rather than just seeing a visual difference, so you know whether it has worked or not.

Next you apply the mask to your chin. Your skin needs to be clean and dry and without make up. Then, you wrap the belt around your neck and head and secure tightly. I must admit I found putting the belt on quite difficult so I asked hubby to help. I had it on the wrong way around to start with, but that's probably just from my dopiness and not reading the instructions properly. 

Once I had the belt in place my chin and neck started to feel very warm and tingly. I was quite alarmed at first but this is a sign that the mask is working. For a few minutes I wasn't sure whether i'd be able to wear the mask for the full length of the time as I felt like my neck was burning a lot but it eased down and I got used to the sensation. 

I was worried that I may have some redness or irritation when I removed everything because I have super sensitive skin but my skin looked absolutely fine. Instead of measuring the difference first, I decided to check the results in the mirror. I could instantly see a difference especially from front on. My skin certainly looked lifted and more youthful. I couldn't wait to see what the cm loss was.

Around my chin went from 28cm to 27.5cm and underneath went from 25 to under 24. Even though there's not a massive change in the actual results, i'm sure you can agree that there's a huge difference in my photos. My before photos make me look like I have a Turkey neck (so embarrassing). The difference from the side is amazing. 

Overall, i've been massively impressed with the Chin Up Mask. I was so skeptical about using it but i'm amazed at the results. They last for a few days on me so I would have to keep using it once a week i'd say to keep up the full effect. 

The trial set is currently on sale at £13.98 instead of £34.94 (price correct at time of publishing this post). You can then buy refills for future use. I don't think I could afford to use this regularly but I certainly will be using it for holiday's, night's out and special occasions. 

*I was sent the Chin Up Mask trial set in exchange for this blog review. All opinions are my own*

Every time we visit Newcastle in New South Wales (NSW) Australia, there is one area that is always top of our list of places to go, and that is the beautiful Hunter Valley. The Hunter Valley is north of Sydney and is one of Australia's major wine regions boasting world renowned brands to family run, boutique businesses. It's a wine lover and foodies idea of heaven.

Over the years we have tried lots of different wineries and other places to visit and here i've listed our top picks which we keep going back to.

Petersone House
Any place that lives by the motto 'life's flat without bubbles' is a winner in my eyes. I couldn't agree with the motto more. Peterson House specialises in sparkling wines. They have sparkling whites, rosé, reds, dessert wine and ciders. Personal favourites of ours are the Brut Rosé and the Shiraz.

Peterson House also has a restaurant and an Oyster Bar. My husband and I love the Oyster Bar which is open on the weekends. You can sit on the terrace and soak up the picturesque view with a cold, bubbly glass of whatever you fancy whilst sharing an Oyster or Cheese platter. It's total bliss.

Tintilla Estate
For our first ever visit to the Hunter Valley many years ago, we embarked on a guided wine tour. One of the stops was the amazing Tintilla Estate. Tintilla Estate was established in 1994 and is a family run vineyard. They produce award winning wines and olives. It is one of the prettiest wineries we have visited. 

When you arrive you immediately feel welcome. The estate has a cosy vibe that makes you not want to leave. The staff are always friendly and they are happy to advise and educate you on their wines.

When we visit we always purchase a glass of wine to enjoy on their terrace. It is so quiet and peaceful. You can simply sit back, relax, admire the breathtaking views whilst enjoying one of their wines. It's the perfect place to unwind.

Make sure you sample their Patriarch Syrah. It's one of the nicest wines i've ever tasted. 

Sabor in the Hunter Dessert Bar
I've only got to say the name of this place out loud and my mouth starts salivating. Sabor in the Hunter Dessert Bar has some of the most unique and mouth watering desserts around. It has a stunning backdrop which you can enjoy whilst eating and drinking. 

There are over 50 different desserts to choose from and you will struggle to narrow it down as they all look so tempting.

Children are also able to enjoy Sabor and they have their own menu. Our girls like to have either Chocolate and Strawberries or the Chocolate dipping plate.
Sabor is a must for anyone with a sweet tooth.

Binnorie Dairy
The Binnorie Dairy produces fine cheeses and they specialise in soft cheese. They are delicious. It is open Tuesday to Sunday and as all of the other places i've mentioned, the dairy also has a cracking view which is ideal for photo opportunities. 
I highly recommend trying the marinated Feta and the Labna which is a yogurt cheese marinated in chilli, garlic, rosemary and olive oil. It is divine.

Come and watch our video of our day date in the Hunter Valley:

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