Join the #ACEForSchool Challenge!

So it's just over a month since the kids have returned to school...

Ahhh back to school new-ness!

Gone are the scuff-less shoes; early morning eagerness to get up and head off has been replaced with "oh do I have to?"; wardrobes contain 2 less jumpers & 1 randomly gained cardigan that happens to be 2 sizes too small; and the colourful lunchboxes are already fading and dinted. The joys of motherhood huh?

One thing that is different this year though, is the number of crisp white polo tops binned by now thanks to chocolate mousse stains, paint, or... if you're my child... muddy footprints from treating clothes like a rug after outdoor p.e lessons. 

Seriously, just because these supermarket polo tops are pennies to buy it doesn't mean they are disposable and that's something I've genuinely come to believe in, by utilising a simple product that will give the washer a helping hand. That product range is Ace. What's even better is, I spotted these in Poundland the other day as well so it's completely relative to the cost of the tops themselves.

No soaking, no scrubbing, no effing and jeffing about the number of times I've told Carson NOT to trample on his uniform! Simply spray the Stain Remover directly on to the marks, load in to the machine and pop it on to do it's thang. 

With Finley's autism being so severe, I was in two minds as to whether I should show this image but I just have to. Other parents in the same situation need to hear that i actually vouch for this stuff in genuinely removing stains and definitely eliminating odours!! You see Finley has an issue with sensory processing and will smear his nappy contents for the smell, feel and taste.

So in situations like this you want a fresh smelling wash without the perfumed softener. We chuck in a cap of the Ace for Colours. It genuinely eliminates odours. Again, not expensive and not hard for even the less-domesticated to use! Because, you know, we're too busy cleaning the rest of the house after this!

Crack on kids. Make a mess, explore and enjoy your childhood. Grow, develop and thrive! That's why I've taken part in the #AceForSchool campaign. Because it's all too easy to think of mess made by kids is the same as mess by adults. It's not!! It's crucial that they take part!

What I'd give to be daring enough to go jumping in muddy puddles, or hill rolling myself. When did I become such an unimaginative being?

Anyway, I digress... Not once have I had to throw a top away yet. As Carson just said before... "you Ace-d it mum!"

I did son, I sure did.

With very little effort, but I'm taking allllll the credit. 

What's he laughing at?!

This post is an entry for the BritMums #ACEforSchool Challenge, sponsored by ACE. Get help for all kinds of stains with the ACE Stain Helper or to buy head to your local Tesco’s, Morrison’s, Waitrose or Sainsbury’s

My 2018 Goal... I've done it!!

So I write today with a sense of real achievement for I have reached a goal that I'd given myself, for once!

Yes I stuck to something and I bloody well achieved it. Better still, it was something that I'd been wanting to do for the last 15 years and never bothered with. Whether it was for financial reasons or nerves, I never got further than applying for my provisional license. 

I passed my driving test!

I started lessons on 21st March 2018 and had a 2 month break between the middle May and middle of July. That makes the total learning time just under 4 months. I did it!!

I'm not going to lie, being a learner driver royally sucks. At 33, I'm talking huge sweat patches under the arms and boobs and on my back; my left foot would bounce on the clutch as my leg couldn't control the shakes. Just as those nerves would settle down, a normal driver would f*ck things up again by doing something insanely stupid. I mean seriously, the road is full of absolutely numpties.

One lesson was very satisfying in that the impatient cow behind me (getting annoyed I was doing 40 in a 40 ha!) roared past me as soon as it was clear, only for the police to walk out in the road and wave her down. They did her for speeding. Muah hahahaha!!

Anyway, I bloomin' well did it. So I wanted to give learner drivers some tips that I picked up along the way and I really hope it helps.

Eat bananas before your lessons. This really does work. Don't ask me how but several friends suggested it and I could really tell the difference when I hadn't had them.

Chew gum. Saves any dry-mouth situation which really does happen when you're stressed!

Do not wear a lot! You will sweat. Your body is tense for over an hour, this burns serious calories. I have friends who never sweat, even in 30c UK weather, who have admitted that they were dripping at the end of each lesson! No jeans and no thick tops or jumpers!

Ignore people behind you (or to the left or right of you!). I'm not saying to pay no attention or not to bother with your mirrors, but some drivers seems to forget they were learners too once. They're not worth being affected by. Fingers, shouts, flashes, horns... it will happen because frankly, people are dicks. Sorry about that! If you let them pressure you, you will stall or roll backwards, or potentially speed if they're right up your bum. It's just not worth it.

Well I hope this helps someone. If anyone has any questions, fire them at me and I'll answer for sure!

I'm going to set myself  goals more often. I  am loving the feeling of achievement right now!

Great things to do with your kids this autumn

With the summer sun almost out the door and the autumn winds starting to blow in off the horizon, you may be forgiven for thinking the holiday season is all but over. But don’t despair! The blustery period between the end of summer and the festivities of Christmas (yes, the “C word”) doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom and there are plenty of opportunities to have some fun in the fall this year. Consider these opportunities as a great excuse to get out and about, even when the weather leaves you longing for the sunny months of summer. 

Leaf chasing, leaf kicking... same thing!

Leaf Chasing

This is a whole song and dance in America where city-folk from densely populated, not-very-green cities travel out to the country to take in the beautiful colours of autumn foliage. We are lucky in the UK in that we pride ourselves on greenery, even in our busy cities like London and Birmingham, the roads are usually tree lined and there’s always a park around the corner. Of course, it’s not difficult to see the appeal, once the trees start taking on their autumn colours, it’s almost like the world is coming into a whole other life and is a great exercise to name some colours with small children. Don’t forget to collect different types of fallen leaves to keep in a scrapbook, it’s good for identifying different types of trees and leaf shapes. 

You could even turn your leaf chasing excursion into a small break away, while it might be a bit chilly to camp out, most modern-day UK caravans for hire have quality central heating for those cold evenings and there are plenty of sites located in woodlands and wooded areas. Surround yourself with spectacular and colourful autumn nature!

Make an Autumn Collage

Collages are great, not only do they provide lots of interesting materials to use and look at, but they offer plenty of enrichment for children between the different shapes, textures and colours. Get them out in the garden or down to the local park and collect some bits that can be used to make an autumn day collage. Fun, easy to come by materials include dry grass, tree bark, sticks, pine cones, end of season flowers, leaves and even dirt! 

Get a big piece of card or corkboard, use PVA glue to attach your autumn scene parts and tah-dah! A piece of artwork to be proud of. If your kids are a bit older and responsible, help them fix push pins to their larger materials, so they can move their scene around as the season progresses. 

Build a Winter Animal Home

Over the winter, there’s lots of local wildlife that will bed down and hibernate, sometimes around your own garden. Building a winter home for your wild neighbours can be an enjoyable activity for both and your children. Gather lots of sticks, leaves and other natural foliage you can find on the ground to build a shelter amongst trees or under a hedge, anywhere private and out of the wind. You could build a few different types of houses to suit different animals, in the UK we have three different mammals that hibernate; hedgehogs, dormice and bats.

You can use the opportunity to find out more about each animal species together, like the fact that hedgehogs are keen on interior decorating! They won’t enter a nesting box that has already been lined with leaves so leave hedgehog homes bare. 

If you pre-plan and place animal homes somewhere you can get back to with disturbing the animals hibernating, you can always return before the deep winter to find out if the home has become occupied! 

Autumn is a favoured month by many for its pretty colours, fresh winds and the tasty fall vegetables like pumpkin, squash and sprouts. Before the winter chill blows through and the festive decorations start to go up, how will you spend your autumn this year?

Giveaway: Re-live your Wedding Day with Wedding Date Events!

Let’s Set the Scene...
It was the happiest day of your life, there’s no question about it. Weddings go by in a flash and we rarely get to enjoy all of the little moments that we worked so hard to plan for the day.Do you ever look back on your wedding day and wish you could do it all again?Maybe you didn’t get the perfect shot for your wedding album and wish you’d taken more photos?Don’t you ever wish you had one more opportunity to wear your beautiful wedding dress again, other than dressing up to do the dishes?Did you even get the chance to enjoy your wedding meal, or were you too worried about keeping your mother-in-law plied with Pinot Grigio?It’s time to dust off your dresses and suits and get ready for our event which is exclusively for married couples! You don’t have to wear your wedding dress again, but why wouldn’t you?

A concept based on re-living and enjoying your wedding party all over again without the worry of ensuring the page boy doesn't finger the icing off the cake before pics have even been taken. This event is exclusively for married couples... no worrying about any dodgy Derek's from your old job randomly turning up, that's for sure.

This Wedding Date event is a private ticketed event where guests will get the opportunity to wear their wedding attire again (if you like) with an on-site photographer to get their best shots, have an indulgent 3 course sit down meal with fizz, and a dance floor where they can relive the intimacy of their first dance.

Bang for your buck... Tickets are priced at £60 per person and includes a 3 course meal - dessert is wedding cake style of course - a glass of fizz, entertainment for the whole night, and an ambiance and setting that no restaurant could surely replicate. Not forgetting boundless photo opportunities with the love of your life, reminiscing and recounting the memories of your wedding day years before.

If you book using the code carsonsmummy15, you'll get a whopping £15 off EACH TICKET as well! You're not going to get all of that elsewhere for £45 each now are you?

Tickets are limited in availability, just 50 couples have the chance to book on to this exclusive event.

Stay over... Fancy booking a hotel room and making a full night of it? Wedding Date Events have wangled a fantastic offer , limited to 20 couples, where you can bag yourselves a double room for the night for just £99. To give you an idea of the magnitude of savings to be had here, at the time of posting this, their current lowest rate available is £289. To book a room with your tickets, please contact directly on how to claim this fantastic discount.

Scrub up... Another added bonus is that all guests will receive a 10% discount with Johnson's The Cleaners to get those outfits looking tip top for the event.

So, whether it's an anniversary coming up and you're looking for something a bit different to do, or you have a child-free night owed to you - I would seriously consider booking in for one of the most anticipated events of the summer, this September 23rd at Radisson Blu Hotel, Liverpool.  Purchase your tickets here and don't forget, make the most of the discount code carsonsmummy15 to save £15 per ticket.


We're also lucky enough to be able to offer two tickets (rrp £120) to one lucky winner if you enter our giveaway below. All we ask is that you don't cheat, as we will be checking!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Entries close Monday 10th September 2018 at 00:01am. Winner's details will be passed over to for prize fulfilment. In the unlikely event that the party is cancelled or re-scheduled for whatever reason, the winner will be made aware by and tickets will be reallocated to the new date. Minimum age of guests is 18 years old. Tickets not transferable or to be sold on and reserve the right to request ID on production of the tickets at arrival of the event. 

How my year's goal are going so far...

You may remember back in January, I blogged about giving myself 4 goals for the year. Four major things that I will do before I turn 34 next February.

Driving was one of my "defo will do's". In fact it was top of my list. Having never had a lesson in my life, I took the plunge in late March and started the lessons. I've not been behind a wheel since the middle of May due to a few bouts of Instructor illness and his holiday, and my dear Grandad passing away. But, I can tell you all that my practical test is now booked! Even if I have to push it back due to the break in lessons, I will do this, this year.  I told you I'd do it and I meant it. I've never been more determined in all my life to achieve something. 

Finley got his spot at a fantastic special needs school and starts in September so there will likely be days when he'll need picking up mid-way through the day. Having some wheels means I won't have to rely on public transport schedules or do an hour's journey on the bus from work to go and get him. I'm also 3 month's into a different role at work, which invariably means travel. Again, how cool to not have to rely on trains etc?

So that's goal number one almost achieved!

The rest, um, I'm working on! Growing strawberries may well be something I've missed out on this year but to be fair, I barely keep a border grass alive, never mind strawbs in this very very dry summer that we're having. Getting a passport is all very well and good but I doubt there'll be any jollies this year due to work commitments and Finley starting his new school soon but hey ho, what I've never known won't be missed as far as I look at it. Making bread made an appearance on the list and nope, I've not tried this either. I'm saving this for autumn Sunday's though, to go with a big bowl of Scouse. 

I cannot wait for Scouse season again... I'm so over this lettuce and lollyice diet this heat is bringing us ha! 

How are your year's goals coming along?