Motherhood · Live, love, laugh

*guest post* What is this thing called love and where can I find it?!

Of course I know what it is really-I see it and feel it everyday with my children, family and friends. I mean love that goes hand in hand with a relationship. I’ve been single on and off over the last five years after being married for 17 years. I’ve dated and had a relationship within that time, however I’m currently single. At the age of 39 yrs this wasn’t quite what I had envisaged for myself. That’s not to say that I’m not happy, I count my blessings having two amazing children and wonderful family and friends around me. I would however like to meet someone to share my life with. I’ve been told countless times that I will meet some one when I least expect it however that’s not been the case so far and I am impatient so online dating has and still does play a part in all this.                                                                                                         I was quite wary about signing up online to start with, after all things have changed quite a bit and it was all new to me. Still I took the plunge and have tried a few different sites. I have had several dates some successful, some not so much and some almost disastrous!          

That’s how my blog was born, I had been on a date and leading up to it everything that could of gone wrong really did. It’s no secret that time keeping isn’t a strong point of mine, however this time I was spectacularly late, and just as I was finally ready to leave the house one of my not so carefully applied nails pinged off, I dashed indoors to reattach it this proved to be easier said than done as I couldn’t find the glue because it was hidden underneath a pile of clothes. Once located I couldn’t open the glue and for reasons best known to myself I decided to open it with my teeth-cue a mouthful of nail glue, and the need to rinse my mouth and brush my teeth. I finally arrive flustered and very late, I jump out the car to discover my shoe was broken, so I’m now hobbling along through the car park as quick as I can under the circumstances! When I’m finally seated and the introductions are over I find I’m very nervous and give him a full version of events, whilst thinking to myself that I should just stop talking! That’s another joy of dating I find my nerves have a mind of their own and I’ve been known to either talk incessantly or not be able to string a sentence together, the best part of this is that I never know quite which way it’s going to be until I’m there!

So following this particular date I was out with a friend, talking about it. We had a good giggle and said how typical it was for these things to happen to me. I had also decided that for various reasons a second date wasn’t going to happen but I wasn’t quite sure how to tell him that. As we sat in McDonalds she helped me decide what to say and that was that all sorted. Later that evening we were having a girls night at another friends house and after a few Amaretto’s the conversation turned to the usual subject of my love life or lack of, and of course my latest date. After much giggling and laughter it was suggested that I should start a blog about dating as a single Mum where I could share the highs,lows and funny moments. I laughed it off but when I got home and couldn’t sleep I thought maybe I could do it, so I sat up and got started and I’ve not looked back.

I love writing and sharing my stories,I’ve been on quite a journey so far and it’s great to know that I can share them with everyone, I’m sure you can all relate to the crazy goings on at some point.❤️x

Find me here- crazy little thing called love

Or here on Facebook                                        

                             

Holiday · Interests and Hobbies · Life · Live, love, laugh · Money saving tip

Guest blog : How to save money when booking your next holiday

Hey! I’m Laura and I’m thrilled to be writing for Epril and Amy today. After spending 8 months travelling in the last year, my travel and lifestyle blog is filled with adventures, stories and advice about backpacking around the world. Follow my adventures on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook or subscribe to my blog to keep up with the latest travel, food and lifestyle updates. Now, onto those money saving tips… 


It’s time to book a holiday! Among the excitement, picking the right one can sometimes be a minefield: we want the best deal but also convenience and hassle-free booking. While these things don’t always go hand in hand, I’m going to share with you a couple of really simple ways that you can save money on your next holiday. Whether you want a solo adventure, couples retreat or a fun family getaway, these tips should work for everyone!

Plan your dates

It’s an old favourite but if you can avoid peak travel times, you can save hundreds on your breaks. July and August is peak summer season in Europe while the price of travelling to Asia soars during the cooler months of December to February. If you need to work around the kids holidays, the best deals can often be found in October and February half terms – and the weather is still warm in parts of southern Europe. Bonus tip: if you’re unable to avoid jetting off in peak season, flying midweek is often still cheaper than weekends!

Search for added extras

Bonus freebies are my favourite thing. You know those deals where they throw in a three course meal or free upgrade? Yep, I’m all over them. From kids eat free offers to free airport transfers, it’s always worth having a look if your tour operator or hotel is offering any extras that you’re already expecting to pay for. Backpackers, even hostels are on the ball with this one! My favourite hostel extras include free breakfast, social activities and even a load of laundry – hey, it’s the little costs that add up!

Think outside the box

Often, the first thing we do when we search for accommodation is head to one of the popular booking sites or get it all wrapped up in a package deal. Now, I’m definitely not knocking the ease of these deals but with just a little extra time to look you can find awesome places to stay that could even save you a chunk! Take Airbnb: if you prefer to self cater, apartments or holiday homes to rent can often be a better, cheaper option than a hotel room. Plus, you’ll often have a host contact who can give you local tips to help you see a new side of the area.

Location, location, location

Unless you’re staying in a small town with everything in walking distance, location is crucial. It’s all a balance between the cost of your accommodation and transport. You might save £50 on that hotel outside of the city centre but if you account for the cost of transport each day, it can sometimes work out better just to pay a little extra to be right in the thick of it. This isn’t always the case but it’s definitely worth checking it out before you pick an area.

Carry snacks

This advice, I live by. Whether you’ve got a hangry other half with a seemingly bottomless stomach (I’m definitely guilty) or you’re trying to save money on pricey cafes, carrying a couple of snack bars can alleviate a surprising amount of troubles. If you’re enjoying a day out at the beach, heading to a supermarket to buy a picnic can be way cheaper – and more fun to eat! – than having to pack up and leave for a restaurant. Similarly, if you’re packing in a ton of city sights into a short time, having something in your bag means that you can eat on the go with more time for the sights!

Keep an eye on the exchange rat 

It sounds boring but a saving is a saving, right? Before you go, use a comparison site to find the best, commission free rate for more money in your pocket before you even start! While you’re away, a good rule to keep in mind is to live by the local cost of living. For example, if you visit Vietnam, paying £5 for a meal may seem cheap by UK standards but actually, you’ll end up spending way more than you should.

Busy area? Take advantage

In popular tourist hotspots, there’s often a ton of competition and this can mean that ou can bag yourself a great deal by being a little savvy. Different restaurants will have happy hour deals or special lunch offers to persuade you to eat there – scope out the best ones and enjoy! Venturing off into a quieter side street can also reveal hidden gems. You can often bargain tour prices down a little too, especially if there’s a group of you. But remember, while not being ripped off is important, be sensitive in poorer areas too. While haggling down an extra one or two pounds may not make much of a difference to you, that could be a days worth of meals in Cambodia.

How do you like to save money on your holidays? Leave your comments below, I’d love to know more!

Laura x

You can find Laura online 

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Life · Live, love, laugh

How organised you are based on your zodiac sign? | #organisedmess

 According to F@W office desk our level of tidiness depends on our zodiac sign. And I couldn’t agree more. 


Amy works in the office managing their family business and she is a Gemini. According to the zodiac sign above, Amy is unorganised since she is gemini and guess what? I totally agree…Why? Look at the state of her office below 🙂 


And look how organise she is with her filing lol 


Obviously the zodiac sign is right, don’t tell her though that I’m spilling the beans 😉 

I think that Amy’s office furniture really needs a massive overhaul. It looks messy everywhere plus those poor tired looking chair needs upgrading and everything needs sorting. Her office needs a breath of fresh air so that it will come back to life. 

Well I can’t blame her, I suppose it’s her zodiac sign gemini’s fault that she can’t keep up with it. However, her parents are considering improving their office and updating the furniture so that it will be more relaxing to work there. 

I’m helping Amy to freshen up her office by giving her ideas that will help her. On the other hand My zodiac sign is Leo and I like to have fun first which often result in a mess. But this time, I’m going to have fun helping Amy choosing some furnitures for her office. 

Value line premier

I like the look of this furniture desk, it has a filing storage underneath of the table which is perfect for Amy and will make it more accessible for her as well. It looks much more bigger and spacious and smarter than what she has at the moment. 

Value line budget

This one looks perfect as well as comes with a matching set of drawer cabinet on the side. The underneath of the table has got some filing drawers as well which is lovely. It’s just what she needs after all. 

Also, a lovely pictures on the wall would brighten her office. She needs to throw her old furnitures and change it with something new. Maybe needs redecorating as well and clearing out the mess. Most of all she needs to be more organised with her mess in order to maintain a clean, relaxing and smarter looking office. Do you agree? 

What about you? How organised are you base on your zodiac sign? And Which one do you prefer for Amy’s furniture desk? The value line premier or value line budget? What can you suggest for Amy’s office transformation? Please share your comment below as we would love to read them. 

#organisedmess

*collaborative post

Gift guide · Interests and Hobbies · Life · Live, love, laugh · Ocassion · Product review · Shop

Amy’s surprise Da Vinci Bouquet from prestige flowers


I wanted to surprise Amy on her birthday and I thought the best birthday surprise is to deliver her a beautiful bouquet of flowers. 


Prestige flowers sent a Da Vinci Bouquet for Amy’s birthday. It was beautiful and looks so expensive and posh. Honestly, I’ve never seen such beautiful flowers. It came in a lovely box and inside is the flowers wrapped in luxury paper. Also in the pack is the plant food and care instruction guide and there is also a card (showing the Virgin Mary Da Vinci painting) with a personalised message for the receipent. 


Included in the bouquet are superb Vanda Orchids, magnificent Memory Lane Roses, Calla Liles, Eryngium, Ruscus, Pistacia enhanced with gold wire. The use of this variety of orchid is used to represent the rocky setting highlighted in the Da Vinci painting, the callas are used to signify the unusual use of lighting and flora. The various colours and textures perfectly represent key elements of this painting, namely the angles, hazed sky with pastel shades and golden orbits to represent the finer details shown in the beautiful face of the Virgin. This masterpiece is housed at the National Gallery in London.

I thought Amy deserved to receive some luxury flowers inspired by artwork since she loves arts. And of course she loved it and was really impressed with this bouquet. She was really pleased and happy with these flowers and I think it’s well priced. It will be a special treat for any recipients. I had a good look at it as well before delivering to Amy and it has a beautiful golden leaves, I thought they were plastic but they are real. It’s really captivating. 

Amy sent me these photos below.

Disclosure : I was sent the flowers for the purpose of this blog post. However, my thoughts and opinion are my own including pictures and video unless otherwise stated. 

Days out · Life · Live, love, laugh

Our Family Day Out At Drusillas Park Sussex | #triedtested

We celebrated Father’s Day by having a family day out at drusillas park Sussex. It was our first time experience at drusillas so I thought Father’s Day was the perfect time to make a wonderful family memory. I told my children about drusillas before our trip so they were very excited about it as they knew it’s going to be a fun and full of adventure.


I was sent a press pack admission prior to our trip to drusillas so I already had a guide map and some more details about the park. We also had a stamp book, zoolympic challenge booklets, animal spotter books and trail passport which I thought was a perfect way for my kids to get to know the animals that they were going to see.

As we arrived at the parking lot my boys couldn’t contain their excitement and wanted to go inside straight away. The parking area is quite spacious and there is a lot of signs on the way to the entrance. The area looks very clean and there is a lot of  bins everywhere to keep it clean.

Meeting the animals

At entrance, you will get offered to buy the map guide for £2.50 so it’s optional and there are big maps throughout, so you don’t need to buy it. Inside we were greeted with loads of animals to see such as parrot, penguins, camels, red pandas, snake and many more which over 100 animals to see. My children loved the monkeys, rats, flamingoes and many more to name. They were delighted with so many things to do. It’s also very educational for the children as there is a lot of information like a flip book style.

My kids loved filling in the animal passport, they had to stamp the book everytime they saw an animal on the list, which gave them a checklist and makes them familiar with the animals names.

Play area 


After exploring the animals, we went to the playground which is a big spacious area. My children didn’t know what to do first, but went for the soft play in the end. There is a wet play area which is great for hot days like when we visited. I wished I had brought swimwear for my kids, such a shame they never got to try the wet area. Hence my advise if you ever go to drusillas, bring a swimwear!

There is a “go bananas swing” which we never got to try but it looked great fun. There is also a zip line but my boys were too small to try it.

The weather was so hot, we decided to have a rest for a while and had an ice cream. We sat at the cafe table outside, although we didn’t try the cafe food (as we already had lunch before going there) the food did seem good, as I could see loads of people eating everywhere outside. There is also a picnic area if you bring your own pack lunch.

Go safari! Kids rides attraction and train rides


My boys are train mad, so they couldn’t wait to get in the train. As we traveled along the tracks, there are loads of surprises with snigger and sneer the laughing hyenas and great lion’s roar. My kids really enjoyed the train ride and were really excited by its safari theme.

The next thing we explored was the new safari ride. We all went on this ride, although my boys were a little scared at first they seemed fine and started enjoying it as we go along. The flying cheetah is so much fun, you press a button to control it to go up or down so it’s like flying in the air which we really enjoyed. The mighty hippopotobus can give you a tummy flip feel as it’s go round and round. My youngest son was a bit scared but as we reassured him he learned to relax and didn’t cry at all. I think the rides are a good way for children to overcome their fears and to try something new out of their comfort zone. The rides are not that scary, they are much more fun and a little bit gentle compare to funfair. I usually get dizzy going to rides but the safari rides didn’t make me feel dizzy at all so I felt safe.

Hello kitty secret garden 


After a taste of safari rides, we went to the hello kitty secret garden and I was surprised to see more rides in there. My 5 years old boy was so brave to go with his sister on the hello kitty hopper ride.

One of our favourites is the hello kitty car ride; my 3 year old loves pretending to drive our car so he thought that he is really driving it which was so cute. My daughter and 5 years old enjoyed it too.


The last ride we went too was the hello kitty teacup ride. You have to spin your wheel if you want to go faster, we worked as a team to make it spin faster and faster. We had so much fun and laughter on this ride. There is also a face painting booth, hello kitty house and many many more things to see and do. My son enjoyed riding thomas train as well but that needed a £1 coin.


There is a lot to see and do in drusillas and it’s worth having a full Day Out. Every corner of the park is full of adventure, fun, exciting activities and views. You can’t get enough as it’s really loads. It’s tiring exploring the whole park but it’s all worth it.

The place is very clean, the staff were lovely and it’s the best place for a family day out. This is best place we’ve ever been as a family. My children were super entertained and it was educational too. They even thanked me for bringing them to drusillas park. They really loved it there and definitely their new favourite place to go for a day out.  The pricing is available on their website and I think that’s it’s well priced and definitely worth it. It’s also a lot cheaper to book it online or to have an annual membership. Check out their tickets and prices for more information.


Have you been to drusillas park? What is your favourite part of our day out? Please leave a Comment below as I would love to read them.

Disclosure : My family and I was invited to spend a day out at drusillas park in exchange for a review blog post. However all thoughts and opinions are my own including pictures and videos.

Family Fever
Live, love, laugh · Motherhood

Some ideas to entertain school aged children

A few weeks ago my friend asked if I could look after her kids for her on general Election Day. I am always happy to help so agreed, they will be dropped round at 7.30 and collected at 5.

I have a 5 year old and an 8 year old and my friend has a 5 year old and a 9 year old. Suddenly nearly 10 hours of 4 children and no car in order to take them out (I don’t have space in my little Zoe for 4 car seats) seems really hard work and to make matters worse the sunny weather has gone away and we seem to be stuck with rain, which put an end to my friends suggestion of a waterfight.

I ask my fellow bloggers for ideas:

    • Rachel from the Illustrated Teacup suggested fort building and the fort which lasts all day wins a prize!
    • Beth from Twinderelmo suggested a colouring competition, charades and hide and seek!

    • Clare has written a whole post for Brit Mum’s full of cheap ways to entertain the kids
    • Cass from Frugal Family suggested I bake some biscuits and get them to ice them *top tip* put a cover on the table and lay everything out for them to use. Then when they are done you can shake the messy sprinkles off the cover into the garden to clear up quickly 😉

If all else fails I will take Lauren’s advise (from Scrapbook Blog) to leave out snacks and drinks and hide in the bathroom 😂

Any suggestions welcome!!

I will let you know how it goes after their visit! Wish me luck…

Home & kitchen · Interests and Hobbies · Keep or clear challenge · Life · Live, love, laugh · Style

Getting the Most Out of Your Small Home

We’re told that bigger is better when it comes to homes, but this isn’t necessarily the case. Having a big home just makes it easier to get the home you want. If you’re smart, then you can transform a small space into a home that you’ll love. In this day and age, there’s always a way to get around whatever problem you might have: if your issue is that you’re struggling for space, then don’t worry – just take the tips we offer below, and you’ll be able to get the most of our small living spaces.

Source: Pexels.com

Mirrors

You need to make it look like you live in a bigger home than you actually do. This is all about tricking your mind so that you think your living spaces are bigger than they actually are. One of the best ways to do this is to make sure there are plenty of mirrors hanging around your home, as they can make a room look much deeper and cavernous than it actually is. You’ll always be able to always catch a look at yourself throughout the day: double win!

Decluttering

If your home is big enough, then bags and bags of clutter stacked around your rooms won’t make all that much difference. You’ll have enough extra space to cover up for the issues that it brings. You don’t have this luxury if you live in a small space. If that’s you, then you need to keep your home tidy of junk and belongings. This doesn’t mean adopting a minimalist style and not having things in your rooms: it’s just about ensuring that everything that’s in your room has a purpose. If you’re a hoarder, it might be time to get sort through your belongings and make some difficult choices about what should stay and what should go!

Play to Its Size

You know the saying, “there’s no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing”? The same goes for homes. There’s no such thing as a small home because it’s all relative. If you have an interior decoration that is obviously too big for your home, then it’ll look small. That’s why it’s important to play up to your home’s size.

When you fit curtains, look at https://www.montgomery.co.uk/shop/made-to-measure-curtains and get custom measured curtains that are right for your room. If you’re looking at radiators, then get ones that hang vertically rather than horizontal. It’s all about thinking about the size and shape of a room’s essentials.

Finding the Right Furniture 

If you go into a home furnishing store and pick a piece that you like, you might get home and discover it makes the room look too clunky. Of all the things you’ll be buying for you, none will have so noticeable an impact than your furniture. Because you have limited space, you need to be making sure you have the right furniture for your home. Note, though, that you don’t always have to buy small. You should avoid bulky furniture, but large pieces can have the unexpected effect of making a room look bigger.

Source: Pexels.com

Storage

You don’t have to choose between having space in your home and owning the things you want to own. You just need to get creative with your storage and look at new options for hiding your belongings away. Do you know that you probably have many more storage options than you realise? You can add storage under your stairs, under tables, under the bed, and more. As you walk through the home, take a look at all your spaces and ask whether it might be suitable for another storage space.

Having the Right Colours

The color scheme of a home can dictate everything about how we feel about a home. It gives a room its tone and greatly influences how we perceive its size. If you paint a room with dark colors, then it’ll naturally look smaller; fine if you have a big room and are trying to make it look cozy, less fine if you have a tiny home and need to make it look bigger. Instead, go for brighter colors. You should avoid going for white walls, as although it might make the room look bigger, it’ll also make it look uninviting. Go for soft yellows and creams instead.

Using the Corners

The corner of a room is comfortably the most neglected part of the room. Everything tends to face toward the centre of the room, when really you can make a room look a lot bigger if you make the most of the corners. Adding tables, reading corners, and the like can bring the corner into play in the room, and will expand the room just enough to make a difference.

Big Windows 

To get the most of a small home, you need to be letting in as much natural light as possible. You can do this by adding big windows – and make sure they’re clean – and adding French doors that open up to the back of your property. They’re relatively small additions to a home, but can make the world of difference, and increase its value at the same time. Also, don’t underestimate just how much of an impact having plants inside your home can have! They bring a touch of the outdoors inside and help make a room feel less claustrophobic.

Get Creative 

Your home is unique, and so are you what you want to achieve with it. If you want your small home to be the best it can be, you’ll need to get creative and put your thinking cap on what is the best way you can use the space? There is a lot more you can a room than most people realize, so if you want it to be the best it can be you’ll need to look at a room for what it is: a simple space with four walls and a ceiling. Check out some of the best small room designs at http://freshome.com/30-small-bedrooms-ideas-to-make-your-home-look-bigger/ for inspiration.

 

*collaborative post