How I'm Helping Make a #brightFuture For My Children

Unilever’s brightFuture initiative focuses on small changes that can make big differences and how we can build a world where everyone lives well and lives sustainably.

Since the launch of the Sustainable Living Plan, Unilever has helped 482 million people to improve their health and hygiene, including through hand washing, improving self-esteem and oral hygiene.

You may have seen the ads on tv recently, documenting the Domestos campaign that has committed to helping 25 million people gain improved access to a toilet by 2020. Access to clean sanitation can protect people from preventable diseases, reduce mortality rates, help reduce school dropout rates and improve quality of life.

That ad gets me every time! We take working, hygienic toilets for granted don't we?

When I was tasked by Unilever to think about the small changes we can make in our lives in order to help provide a #brightFuture, I struggled at first. But when I sat back and swigged my coffee, I have to admit that I waaay over thought it because, actually, I'm already actively making changes.

We try to recycle as much as we can in our home. It's really not difficult to make use of stuff that you originally thought was fit for the bin. Think about it, reusing packaging such as coffee jars for pencils or detergent dosing balls as a button store (in my case, a spare candle store!).

I even purposely purchased a double bin for our kitchen, ensuring Carson knows that 'green is good' and so recyclable items go in here. It's finally beginning to become second nature which is exactly how recycling should be, in my opinion.

I love 'messy baking' with carson, not only does it promote knowing where our foods come from, but also encourages creativity. I actually blogged about just that a couple of years back, which you can take a look at here if you like. The best bit is, it also teaches Carson how to clean up after himself as well (bonus!)... And a tip of the cap to Unilever themselves because even when washing them messy bakers' clothes at a lower temperature, they come out clean and fresh. So that's another fine change for a #brightFuture lesson right there!

Our double bin encourages recycling.

Did you know that six out of ten parents say that they have started to live in a ‘greener’ way at home at the suggestion of their children. Whilst Carson didn't suggest it in our home, he's definitely on board which, in itself, is an achievement. The closest I got to recycling as a kid was keeping the egg box for that week's episode of Art Attack!

It's because of these changes that 83% of children continue to feel optimistic about their own future and 59% feel optimistic about the future of the environment. Most parents (between 70-80%) believe that, compared with themselves, their children will live longer, have a better education and better job prospects, and will enjoy life more, even if they will have to work harder to reap the rewards of the greater benefits ahead.

Messy baking, tidies easily and encourages creativity

Like any parent, all I want is a bright future for my children. I'm trying my best to do my bit and I admire organisations like Unilever for making it more thought of in every day ways.

Tell me, what small changes do you, or could you make?

This post is an entry for BritMums #brightFuture Challenge, sponsored by Unilever

Sunday Funday!

Sunday funday! Today we went for a lovely carvery dinner together as a family. It's not something we often get to do, all together, as the hubby works most weekends, so this was a really nice change for us all and the weather was just stunning which meant we could go for a lovely long walk near the prom too.

We went to a local restaurant in New Brighton, where my sister actually used to be a chef and the hubby used to be a waiter around 6 years ago - some little interesting facts for you there. You know what they say, it's a small world we live in. Aside from slower table service than normal (due to being so busy on such a lovely afternoon!) we had a beautiful roast dinner and the kids had some ice cream too! 

I've blogged before about how lucky we are to live in New Brighton, the views are stunning and the regeneration over the past few years has seen a previously run-down, has-been, seaside town into the place to be come rain or shine.

Carson took his ipod to keep him calm in case there was any music and sat next to me. (You can read here as to why that's important, in case you're unaware of his situation.) Finley was happy to let me sing that he stinks of poo to keep him amused - and onlookers confused, I'm certain of it!

Finley was so well behaved in his booster seat, until he decided that sitting up was too much hard work and so flung himself across to the next seat, into hubby's lap. This child has no sense of danger whatsoever, it's a good job he was on the ball because he could have ended up nutting the floor otherwise! 

All in all, we've had a really wonderful day with no tantrums from the hubby and the kids, some unexpected beautiful weather, decent grub and brisk walking in the fresh air. That's what I call some quality family time. Oh, and I'll SO sleep tonight! 

Winning at life right now.

How was your Sunday?

Lottoland - the way to play for millions!

I can't be the only one who always associate mega-money amounts with Chris Tarrant, thanks to that ITV quiz show back in our school days! So, I find it rather apt that he's the face of Lottoland on the tv adverts at the moment. Great career choice Chris. I wonder if he needed to phone a friend... I'll stop now, honest.

Lottoland is a platform based on lotto betting and at first, I was scratching my head thinking "a lottery ticket is a lottery ticket isn't it?" but it seems that they're a bit different than just a company selling lottery tickets.

Lottoland's model enables you to bet on the outcomes of lotteries all over the world, rather on the lottery draw itself - you can even bet on the world famous American Powerball, which had a mind blowing, staggering, £1billion jackpot earlier this year. If international lotteries aren't your thing, you can stick to those you may be more familiar with such as the Euromillions or the Irish lottery if you prefer. 

 Take me to Lottoland

I was given some free credit to have a dabble for myself, for the purpose of this post, and I found it really straightforward. I chose to bet on a couple of Irish and Euromillions draws, both of which failed to turn me into a millionaire but at least I was in it to win it to begin with!  

If, after all reading all that, lotteries aren't your thing, Lottoland offer a range of scratchcards and slots to entertain you too. Again, I was pretty unlucky in having a go at Raid the Piggy Bank (10 games for £2.25), but it was fun and didn't break the bank either. 

So, if you fancy a change to the normal lotteries available to you, Lottoland is where you need to be heading. Additionally, when I googled them I found that if you sign up now (at the time of publishing), you can get your 1st line for FREE betting on international lotteries like EuroMillions, MegaMillions, PowerBall, Irish Lotto and Oz Lotto so head over and good luck!

Are you tempted to try other, international, draws?

Reigniting 'date nights'

Together for 9 years, the majority of the hubby and I's 'togetherness' has been in the role of a parent or the house cleaning tag team! Aside from our anniversary back in July when we managed to get a night away in The Village Hotel together, I honestly can't remember the last time my hubby and I went on a date together. 

Night out for my best friend's mum's 60th birthday

If my memory serves me right, our dates have also been pretty casual. None of this glamming up in dresses and suits , but more a jeans and tee affair. Cinema going or having a couple of drinks in the local Wetherspoons is pleasant enough but sometimes we deserve a little more.

I'm sure a lot of you guys will know that I do love to enter a good competition or two when I get the chance and I've made it my mission to find the ultimate additions to make us feel great enough, and confident enough, to go somewhere really romantic.

The last time we got proper-glammed up was around 3 years ago!

An uber glam dress, for me - something long, elegant and slightly glitzy will do just fine! A couple of suits for him, preferably a 3 piece, because the hubby does love a good waistcoat or jumper himself. In fact, men's suits are a must for an Autumn wardrobe, I think. Easy to dress both up and down with perfect layering opportunities for the changeable autumn weather. Yes that's right, men do layers too, you know!

A win for a night away somewhere would be lovely too. It saves all the messing around with taxi's getting home and, instead, we can chill out exactly when and however which way we fancy. Not to mention worrying that the postman will knock and wake us up in the morning way too early on the day that we have no kids to wake us up - why does that always happen?! 

The little things are the biggest sometimes.

Whilst winning these things aren't guaranteed and with Christmas creeping into sight there are ways we can ensure that date nights can happen indoors at low cost, for the times we have no one to sit for the kids. I remember once, I came home from work to a home made dinner, surrounded by haribo hearts, with flowers and oil burners lit, and it was just the sweetest thing. The kids were already sorted and in bed so we could eat in peace with a glass of wine then watch a movie together. It's things like this that make someone swoon!

I do still want the opportunity to totally get dressed up and get out. I think everyone would like that once in a while though wouldn't they, not just me being high maintenance for once?!

*This is a collaborative post in partnership with

Why Autumn is my favourite fashion season.

That heatwave ended pretty dramatically didn't it? Some of those storms were absolutely incredible, if a little terrifying I must admit. So summer is drawing to an end and it's nearing my favourite time of year - Autumn.

Breathing in the crisp , fresh morning air whilst crunching the fallen auburn shaded leaves underfoot. Oh, and layers!

This time last year, blouse and jumper time!

Ahh yes, layers, my absolute favourite way to dress. There's no need for the winter coats yet, people. Unless, of course, the flushed and melted make-up face is the look you're aiming for? You see for me, autumn isn't necessarily cold, but definitely changable. More winds, more rain, but definitely still pretty decent mid-teen temparatures.

Layering is the ultimate in practical versality, keeping you warmer when those winds are blowing a gale but giving the freedom to cool down discreetly and stylishly when required.

One of my favourite ways to do this is by investing in one or two staple knits and pairing them with vests or a tee underneath. Opt for a blouse for a more professional outfit at the office. Choosing high quality knitwear will last throughout the season without bubbling or stretching. *Hint* if choose single coloured styles they're super easy to accessorise and for dressing both up and down.

All the layers! Vest, net knit and scarf

Dress scarves are also incredibly handy when it comes to layering. Drape around the neck, un-fastened for a cool accessory-like feel, or loop around for some extra warmth around the neck and chest areas.

Another of my favourites is something I've blogged about before - Wingz. If you can't bear to part with your summer wardrobe just yet, then wingz add sleeves to any top, instantly. There's so many styles to choose from that you will never have a problem matching them to your favourite dress or swing vest.

So many options!! I'm looking forward to the cooler days now, I really am. I can't be the only one either, surely? Tell me how you feel about losing the warm weather.

Do you have any tips of your own to get through Autumn that you'd like to share?

*A collaborative post, in partnership with David Nieper