Giveaway: Win 1 of 3 prizes with Kiqplan App

There are mainly two occasions within the year that people vow to get fit, one is a New Year's resolution and the other is within the run up to summer and I'm as guilty of this as the next person!

Instead of signing up to an extortionately priced gym contract on a whim and being more concerned about the fashion expectations inside, why not take a look at what Kiqplan has to offer? 

Kiqplan is a digital coach. It's basically like having a nutritionist, trainer and lifestyle guru all at the palm of your hand. Kiqplan can help you change the way you look and feel in just 12 weeks. The best thing is, there are 8 different plans to choose from, meaning you can personalise your fitness plan depending on what you want to do. 


HOW DOES KIQPLAN WORK?


WHAT DO YOU GET WITH KIQPLAN?


There's no unrealistic goals!  From Beer Belly Blaster to Pre-Natal fitness, I'd say the range is likely to offer something for everyone. Each app costs £19.99 and is compatible on a variety of devices from your Android smartphone or iPhone, right through to gadgets like Fitbug and Fitbit - for the full (and long) list click here. 

Kiqplan is offering 3 prizes for 3 of you lovely readers in a giveaway to celebrate getting fit. Two winners will take away a Fitbug Orb and a Kiqplan app of their choice - a prize worth nearly £70, and the 3rd winner will win a Kiplan app of their choice worth £19.99.

All you need to do is visit Kiqplan.com and leave a comment below with the title or link of the plan that you would like to receive should you be drawn the winner. Once you've done that, there's loads more way to gain entries so fill your boots guys. Remember, the more entries you have, the more chance you have of winning. 

Easy Peasy Kiqplan Pleasey!!
Good luck everyone

Stop with the socks and boxies! - Gifts for men.

Hands up who's never opted for socks and undies for their Dad or their children's Dad. I bet there's not a single hand up in the air right now! 

What is it with us? Why do we think that boring (or worse - cheesy!) under garments are an acceptable form of gift for a fella? I mean, let's face it, if we were gifted with a bra from our kids for Mother's Day we'd all find it pretty damn weird. 

They may be practical, but I decided to have a nose and find some gift ideas that blast socks and boxies right out the water, and for any occasion - not just Father's Day. Practical doesn't have to be pitiful...



1. T-shirts.
Yes they're just as practical, but you can choose from a bajillion designs out there - no more boring or cheesy 'best dad' stuff!  Try clothing that's inspired by a love of the recipient. For example, Insert Coin offer clothing and accessories that are inspired by computer games so it's a double whammy for any gamers out there. I've just ordered hubby 3 t-shirts yesterday - I hope they arrive tomorrow ready for Father's Day!

2. Grooming/Hygiene products.
Why we think deodorant and shower gel is also acceptable to gift is baffling. Take a tactile approach instead and focus on a particular feature of the recipient. My hubby is particularly fond of his beard but doesn't treat it with as much care and attention as he does with the hair on his head. A beard grooming kit for him is practical, and also  incredibly thoughtful. I love the idea of the full Beardman's kit from a company I stumbled across called BeardBrand, albeit way out of my price range. No facial hair? Then buy a fake beard - it would be brilliant for someone who doesn't have/can't grow a beard, ha! Seriously though, don't be scared to think outside of the box - it may be that they keep good care of their hands and nails? 

3. Gadgets.
Whenever the word gadget is mentioned, I automatically think of extortionately priced games or tablets etc but I am SO wrong! A quick nose at Hawkin's Bazaar and I was sold on the idea of practical gadgets for dad that don't cost a month's wage! From old skool cassette shaped speakers for your smart phone (cool!) to remote control helicopters for the Dad who's a kid at heart, there are loads to choose from.

4. Booze.
Most Dad's would enjoy nothing more than a nice cold pint on Father's Day/their birthday etc. But go one step further to make their gift plentiful as well as practical. A couple of years ago I won a a bottle of vodka on twitter called Black Moth. It was the most beautiful vodka I've ever tasted - nothing at all like your supermarket stuff and, admittedly, double the price, but it stands head and shoulders above any others you could gift. It even contains truffles - Super special! More a whisky man? I've heard lots of good things about David Beckham's Haig Club whisky!

5. Wallet
It's practical, it's a necessity and there are some really beautifully made and presentable wallets out there if you stop and look for a minute or two. Take this Hugo Boss one from House of Fraser, it's absolutely stunning (and currently half price!)

If none of the above tickle your fancy then try this... 


6. A Money Tree.
This one was stumbled across over at Hawkin's Bazaar when I was looking at gadgets. Hilarious! 


Hey, they're always wishing for one! 


To The Lady Who Thought He Was 'Naughty'

A picture could tell a thousand stories but let me tell you mine.

I took the below picture today in the supermarket after I'd dragged my son to do the shopping with me - against his wishes. To an outsider, it may appear that he is naughty, a spoilt brat, having a temper tantrum. But even if that situation is correct, what gives you the right to roll your eyes at the mother who's attempting to calm her child down? 

An upturned lip, raised brow and an eye roll might make you feel empowered or superior but how about you remember that, actually, you're clueless as to the situation and, frankly, it is you that's embarrassing yourself, not me.

You see, this is the picture taken today....

A symptom of hyperacusis: a reduced tolerance and increased sensitivity to everyday sounds in your normal environment.

It's a mid-meltdown snapshot of a 6yr old autistic boy with hyperacusis.

Whilst it may be easy for us "norms" to phase out of earshot any background noise, this boy simply cannot. He has real issues in trying to deal with the different levels of noise happening all at once. Sometimes he is absolutely fine with music, but when it's identifiable (i.e. a song with words) on top of loud chatter and hustle and bustle, it causes complete and utter fear and terror, rendering my lovely boy a jibbering, quivering mess. It absolutely breaks my heart to see him like this

Was I mean to take him to the supermarket? His consultant paediatrician has advised that it could actually be detrimental in avoiding such places altogether, so no. I don't think so. It was busier than I had anticipated so perhaps I had chosen the wrong time of day. I wouldn't normally put him in such a situation but I had no idea it would be so busy. By the time we get half way around the supermarket, he is perfectly fine. The music is not so loud, he is happily preoccupied talking about his little obsession that is 'all things numbers', the fridges and freezers have a boring drone, which he quite likes - "ah, now we get to listen to hummmmmmmm" is what he actually said! This is some real progress.

Was I mean to take the picture? No. I realise that explaining what happens is not the same as seeing it. When someone doesn't understand just how much of an impact that this can have on your normal everyday life, it is easy for them to imagine that perhaps I exaggerate as to why I "can't do this" and I "can't go there". If someone is observing this 'behaviour' in a supermarket then I guess it's also easy for them to assume that I'm a terrible mother with a terribly behaved boy making a terribly holy show of ourselves. Fine. I do get that. 

But, if you're reading this then please remember that not everything is as it seems, so don't be so quick to judge (or direct your eyeroll in my direction!)

Modern Dad Pages

Our Review & Win with Chemist Direct

According to Sempora 'UK Retail Pharmacy 2014' consumer study & Hitwise May 2015, ChemistDirect.co.uk is the UK's number 1 online retailer of pharmacy medications, specialist skincare products, everyday essential toiletries, vitamins & supplements. They even stock a dedicated range of products to keep your pets happy and healthy!

I was asked if I'd like to review their site by placing an order and feeding back to you guys how it went. So, off I trotted to have a gander. 

Ordering prescriptions on chemistdirect.co.uk
Simply choose the item you require and place it in your basket, like you would a tin of beans during your online grocery shop! I was a little taken aback at first, I thought "how irresponsible!" HOWEVER a pharmacist will review your order and refuse to dispense should you not provide your valid prescription proving it's what you require. Phew! Upon placing un-prescribed Calpol and a packet of paracetamol capsules in my basket, I was also asked a series of questions enquiring as to why I required these items, who they were for and why etc. Far from irresponsible, this really eased my mind.

My online experience, including value for money.
Whilst I didn't have any prescribed medication to order, I was pleasantly surprised to see that I could purchase a variety of goods that would normally be way to heavy for the pram and my arms to take if I physically went out to the shops. For example, a box of 12x Simple Baby Wipes, were on offer for a fabulous £12.69 - I snapped those right up! A plethora of bathroom toiletry options meant I could also grab my shampoos, conditioners, shower gels, bubble baths, deodorants, hand washes etc. in one foul swoop too. This was going to be one very large parcel! Not to worry - it's free delivery if you spend over £40.

Placing the order was really easy, just as any online shop. Searching for items is made simple by providing categories of items, for example Fragrance & Beauty, or if you know exactly what you want you can enter it into the search bar. My favourite feature of online shopping as opposed to physically trawling the shops is having the ability to sort via price order, or by most popular, so I was pleased to see this on Chemist Direct too. An additional method of sorting is via the amount of money saved, i.e. how big of an offer an item is! Which brings me on to value for money. As in any store, be it online or high street, there will be some items cheaper elsewhere. That said, there really are some great deals at Chemist Direct, the trick is to have a browse.

chemist direct review online prescription
Check out the haul!

The delivery
Everything I ordered was in stock at the time of ordering, however after 3 working days I received an email to say that one item had since become out of stock so would therefore be missing from my delivery. If this happens you're refunded the difference immediately if you paid by paypal or the amount will simply be deducted from the total due to be paid on dispatch if you opted to pay via card.

I must admit that I felt a little anxious in that I didn't know when the parcel would arrive as the confirmation email didn't come with an estimated delivery date. The email also stated that my parcel may arrive in 2 consignments which further added to this niggly feeling I'd had. There was no need to worry though as my whopping great parcel arrived exactly 5 working days after the order was placed and in 1 parcel. A very well packaged parcel at that, might I add. All 'leakable' items such as the shampoo and bubble bath etc were strongly wrapped in bubble wrap, packaged standing and surrounded in brown paper that filled the box right up.



Thanks to ChemistDirect.co.uk we have a giveaway! 

One of you can have a £50 discount voucher to spend on their site simply by filling in the rafflecopter widget below. If you enter all 4 options, then you will unlock further methods of gaining entries which will increase your chances of winning this incredibly generous prize
GOOD LUCK!

Terms & Conditions.
Prize is supplied by ChemistDirect.co.uk 
Prize will be in the form of a £50 discount code, usable on a £51 minimum spend. 
Voucher cannot be used on sale items. 
Any questions with regards to these terms can be directed to joanna.elizabeth.smith@gmail.com and I will happily find the answer for you.
Ends 11:59pm on 30/06/2015


I received a £50 discount voucher FOC in order to try out the service for the purpose of reviewing on this blog.

What To Do For Father's Day... Without Dad

It's that time of year were I'm receiving Father's Day emails left right and ruddy centre. Am I happy about it? Well, no. Not really. 

Whilst I can ensure my hubby has a fab day with the kids, what am I supposed to do after having lost my dad just over 9 months ago? He currently lives in a jar next to the TV at my Mum's as we're not ready to scatter him or anything yet, so it's not like I can go to a graveside to pay my respects. So, what do you do for Father's Day when you've lost your Dad?

Carson has some wonderful memories of his Grandad that he talks about on a very regular basis, which makes me smile. Finley will not remember him, which makes me sad. 


I decided to gather some of my favourite snaps and create a canvas collage that will not only take pride of place in my hallway, but can be passed on to one of the kids later in life. Maybe Carson would like to take it to continue remembering him? Perhaps it could be nice for Finley to have and look back on the images of his Mum with her Dad and his Brother with his Grandad? 

I opted for Dad holding me as a newborn, Dad holding Carson as a newborn and Dad holding Finley as a newborn too. I feel it shows a generational stage of our lives in a really beautiful way. I plonked a picture of Dad being his usual joker-self, slap bang in the middle to give it a bit of humour as opposed to a shrine of sorts (creepy!). 

It was quite emotional even thinking about this canvas and which pictures would be 'most meaningful' so I was glad that it was really easy to create in that I simply uploaded the images, selected collage, and clicked to shuffle a few times until I liked the look of the layout. No re-sizing, no careful placement, no hassle. It made it all less of a 'doing' and all more of a 'reminiscing' - allowing an emotional and therapeutic experience, if you like. 

father's day without dad

So, I owe a massive thanks to TruPrint for allowing me to enjoy this really quite sensitive month in one little way by celebrating my Dad, even though he's not here to see it. Mind you, if he was here to see him plastered on my hallway wall, I'm sure he's have something to say about it! 

If you would like to think about something a little different this year and make your Dad part of the #TruPrintDads army, then head on over to Truprint now and take a look. PLUS get up to £30 off your Father's Day Gifts by using code LOVEMYDAD but remember the last order date is Monday June 15th!

Happy Father's Day to all you past, present and expecting men out there. 

You're probably loved much more than you can ever imagine, remember that.

Voucher terms:
Code LOVEMYDAD gives £10 discount on order £20-£49.99 and £30 discount on orders £50 or more
Minimum spend does not include P&P charges
Offer is valid until midnight 15th June 2015.
Offer is valid for single use during the promotional period and to customers residing in the UK on Truprint.co.uk only.
P&P charges will apply
Offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer or on pre-paid prints.
Please allow an additional 1-2 delivery days during this promotional period.

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