Does your local school have a Lollipopper?

The Churchill Lollipopper Fund - Providing a safeguard around our schools.

Thankfully, there are more than 20,000 lollipop men and women who help keep our kids safe across Great Britain.  However, the number of these amazing ‘Lollipoppers’ on our roads is dwindling. 

Road safety is paramount for our children.

Churchill Insurance's research, recently published here, show that according to parents there are 32% less Lollipoppers since they were no longer deemed a legal requirement in 2002.  Did you also know that 61% of that number of parents revealed that they had no alternative crossing made available to them either?

When I was a little girl, I remember our lollipop man knowing every single one of our names, no matter what the class or year. Saying that, we were lucky enough to have 2 very near to our primary school, a rare thing these days. I've since discovered that my old primary school is one of those to have their lollipopper disappear, although they do have a crossing alternative.

Meet Sue, Carson's lollipop lady...

Sue is loved by every child in Carson's school. Rightly so, she's brilliant!

Sue has been a 'Lollipopper' for coming up to 15 years now and let me tell you she's a natural. Just like when I was young, she knows all the children's names,  and is never without her huge smile and friendly "Good Morning's".  I hope and pray that Sue will still be gracing our roads and school gates when Finley is old enough to go to school too. We love her!

I hope Finley can also benefit from a local 'Lollipopper' in years to come.

Every school needs a Sue. Does your child's school have one? 

"With the highest rates of child pedestrian casualties in the UK occurring during the school run, the provision of a safe road crossing at schools plays a key part in our work. With a decreasing number of lollipop men and women on the roads, the safety and lives of children are being put at risk as other school crossing alternatives don't offer the same level of vigilance and care." Michael Bristow, from road safety charity, Brake.

Churchill want to help redress the balance and make this safeguard around our nation’s schools stronger than ever by giving funding to 50 schools to have their own Lollipopper.  

With 95% of parents (myself included) and 88% of children aged between 5 and 11 years feeling safer knowing there is a Lollipopper present on their route to school, you'd be nuts not to nominate your local school for funding.  

Simply head on over to the fund nomination page HERE and make your vote count. With 50 schools set to benefit, you've got a good chance of making it happen.

Discalimer: I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to highlight causes for Mumsnet. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity. Get in on the school-gate discussion over on Mumsnet here, or chat more Churchill here

30 Annoying Words and Phrases That MUST STOP!

We all have things that annoy us. For me it's annoying phrases or words - mainly because I end up using the bloomin' things and hating myself deep down inside. 

Ladies and gents, welcome to the page of rage... 

1. Labelling stuff 'cheeky'.
Since when are items 'cheeky'? If you want to have a pint with your mate on a Wednesday afternoon, it doesn't make said pint any more or, might I add, less cheeky than it does on a Saturday night. But do feel free to tell me if I'm wrong. I've always been interested in personality disorders of the average beverage.

2. It would be rude not to.
Whilst I'm standing tall on my soapbox can I also ask where you all get off, telling everyone that it would be rude not to as well? Because, actually, it would be rude if you were to! You'd be re-enforcing the sheer cheek of said pint by giving in to it.

3. Mumpreneur. Courtesy of Kerrie @ Wife Mum, Student Bum
As if 'entrepreneur' wasn't poncey enough, we now have new words dedicated to those who feel the need to add the fact that they're a mother as well. How utterly irritating. As you can gather I'm not an entrepreneur. I'm simply mumployed.

4. Hun. Courtesy of Michelle @ Seeing Rainbows
I am ashamed to say that this is one I have been caught up in. Hook line and sinker. I do it all the time and it's severely shameful. It's nothing but a fake term of endearment and it's not even correctly spelled. Gah!

5. Bae. Courtesy of Jamie-Lee @ Bibbity Bobbity Boo
FOR REAL?? I just. I can't.

6. Just sayin'. Courtesy of Claire @ Girl Geek Up North
Well I didn't think you'd telepathically informed me. It's a verbal hand to the face isn't it, a politely worded 'full stop and shut up'. Bore off with the rudeness. 

7. I don't mean to be rude but... Courtesy of Jenni @ Chilling with Lucas
So you're clearly about to ruffle my feathers then, yeah? This is way up there with "With all due respect"... prepare to be disrespected at the highest degree!

8. Totes, Well Jel, Bants, Ridic etc. Courtesy of Alicia @ A Mummy First
All this Southern 'reality' TV codswollop. I'M DOING IT MYSELF AND I WANT TO CUT MY TONGUE OUT. Please stop abusing the English vocabulary and dragging me down with you.

9. Throwing shade. Courtesy of kirstie @ Behind the Scent
Back in my day you were simply 'being shady'. Since when was it turned into a physical activity?

10. I'll reach out to them and... Courtesy of Rachel @ Rachel in Real Life
No. What you're going to do is call or email them aren't you? Reach out. Pfft.

11. I'm not gunna lie. Courtesy of Amy @ Amy Rutter
You mean to tell me you normally would? Keep an eye on those who use this phrase.

12. Cray cray. Courtesy of Tori @ The Adultier Adult
As Tori says "It's not even an abbreviation! It's the same amount of syllables and just makes you sound like a moron. Aaaaarrrggghhh!!"

14. So basically what it is, is this. basically. Courtesy of Deanna @ The British Belle 
Basically overusing basically when talking, basically.  Just spit it out!! It's things like this that ruin Jeremy Kyle for me. 

15. Smile, it might never happen. Courtesy of Deborah @ Country Heart & Home
Well it just did, you condescending meff.

16. I feel you. 
Remind me never to tell you anything ever again. 

17. It is what it is.
If it wasn't what it was then we wouldn't be referring to it as being the thing it is in the first place. Talk about stating the obvious.

18. I'm really OCD about that. Courtesy of Dizzy @ Twirliegirly
You mean anal. And even that's just wrong.

19. I literally died. Courtesy of Rebecca @ Pocahontas Jane
And yet here you are telling me the story. You need to be scientifically probed about that. Literally. 

20. Believe you me.
Wait, what? That doesn't even make sense. Why would I believe you?

21. Where did you last have it?
If I knew that, I wouldn't be asking for your input as to where it is currently.

22. Tour de force.
Pretentious much? Can we not just say it was good? *Sigh*

23. At the end of the day / The bottom line is...
I'll stop you right there. Did you know that there is one word you can use instead of spouting this irritating tosh? Ultimately. Please just use that. 

24. That ship has sailed.
Missed the boat on that one. 

25. Referring to things like make-up as 'beat'. Courtesy of Angi @ Two Different Worlds
As Angi put it - "My face looks beat" doesn't sound like a positive thing to me!

26. On fleek / On point Courtesy of Lesley @ The Rustic Wedding Company
What does this even mean? Ohhh, it's a good thing? Right, OK.

27. Telling you, it was hashtag cringe! Courtesy of Amy @ Purely Amy
Yes. Using the actual word hashtag to explain the situation's status during a conversation. #Cringe. 

28. Were you born in a barn?
Wow, I just forgot to close the door but thanks for pointing it out in such a way, you obnoxious git. 

29. You only live once (YOLO!)
You do know you only die once too, right? 

30. At this moment in time.
It's just an excuse to get out of what's being asked. Such a weak escape! Man up and say no instead. 

So there you have it. 30 of the most annoying words and phrases that simply must stop!! What others would you add? Are there any on here that you feel shouldn't be?

Skincare Education with MONU

So if you've heard me whinge about my skin once, you've heard me do it a million times. I've never had great skin. I'm just not blessed with a blemish free complexion, nor do I adhere to a 'normal' skin label. Woe is me with my dry/greasy/patchy blemishy face!

The problem I have is that I've started using even more make-up than normal in a bid to disguise the spotty, dotty, problems as opposed to tackling them head on. ('scuse the pun.)

Anyway, when MONU Skincare got in touch asking if I had any current issues, they listened to me. Not only did they listen but their Skincare Educator recommended the Delicate Facial Wash used with Active Toner to help with oily skin whilst calming redness.

They arrived in the post just a couple of days later and firstly, I just want to say how cute the packaging is. Delicately wrapped in branded tissue, complete with gift bag, it screams "I'm a luxury brand and I care about you!" which gives a great first impression.

The Delicate Facial Wash is pearlescent in appearance and silky serum-like to touch. Lather onto wet skin using fingertips across the face and neck then rinse. The Active Toner will help remove those very last bits of dirt or make-up that you may have missed whilst washing and leaves a firming, clean, feeling after using. There are two ways to use the Toner. Spritz and wipe off with cotton wool or, my preferred method, spritz and wipe with a hot damp cloth for instant radiance.

The visible difference in my skin is not captured on camera as it is in person but believe me, I certainly can see the change and wow, can I feel it. I hadn't actively noticed until making this before/after grid that, actually,  my forehead lines have faded somewhat too. To say I'm chuffed is an understatement. 

I feel soft, smooth, and moisturised, not greasy skinned with bizarre dry patches which has been the norm for such a long long time. I adore the facial wash. It's scent, which includes Lemon, Grapefruit and Orange Essential Oils, is stunning and my husband often compliments me shortly after I've used it "mmm you smell nice". Yes, yes I do! I have been using it twice a day for just over 2 weeks now and have just about come to the end of the tube. Noooo!! To make it last the full month, I could have just used it once a day.

The toner, which contains distilled witch hazel, I use less often as twice daily makes my skin feel too tight. So, once a day with a hot cloth in the evenings makes for a lovely firm clean face that has softened by the morning and calmed the redness I am often left with after I've removed my make-up the night before. I must admit I'm not as keen on this scent as the facial wash but that is purely because the active ingredients are based on florals and wood aromas rather than the fruity facial wash. Purely a personal preference and I can't deny the good work it's doing so I'm not getting too hung up about it, that's for sure!

Have you used MONU skincare before? 

You can follow MONU on facebook or twitter here for news about their range as it happens.

Oh to win the Lottery!

It'd be so good I'll say it again... Ohh to win the lottery!

There's so many things I'd like to do. For a start, I'd get my passport and head to a travel agents. I've never even been to an airport in my 31 years of life thus far, never mind been abroad. I honestly wouldn't have the first idea of how to book an overseas break, ha!

Australia is one of those places that I've always wanted to go to. I've probably got good old analogue tv to blame for that. Home & Away and Neighbours, oh my days that takes me back. The sun, the sea, the sand.... in the winter months. Oh yeah, I'm not sure I could deal with a cold summer and a hot winter. There's some things I just don't agree with!

New York at Christmas though? Oh yes. I want to hit Duncan's Toy Chest and have my very own cheese pizza, compliments of the Plaza Hotel. Ok, Ok, so that's another tv reference (Home Alone: Lost in New York) but seriously, all that snow. The mega Christmas trees that our home town could only dream of. Miles and miles of shops to spend my winnings in. That big old green statue of liberty. Everything about NYC makes me feel warm inside.

Only after my overseas virginity is taken would I get my sensible head on and do the stuff that really mattered. You know, like sort my family out or learn to drive. After all, being able to travel abroad really would be the first thing I ever did for myself without having to worry about money.

Oh to win the lottery!!

This post is in collaboration with Multilotto who, coincidently, allow customers to play the world's biggest lotteries without having to travel abroad to do so. Get in! Lucky me. Powerball please!

Win 1 of 10 Family Day's Out (worth up to £500 each)

It's been a whole week since Easter and I am so fed up of the sight of half eaten eggs wrapped back up in their foil and bunnies with no ears!

It's time to make the most of the spring sunshine and make memories outside - stepping awaaaay from the chocolate!!

That's exactly what we did the other day, took a family stroll along our beautiful New Brighton prom in Wirral. I've written before about how lucky we are to live in Wallasey, just over the Mersey from Liverpool, if you want go and have a read.
Taking pictures of Carson and Finley together is so hard but I was incredibly fortunate to capture a natural shot of Carson putting his warm around his brother in such a proud and loving manner. I just love the result.

Brantano currently have an Easter Competition running (don't worry I know that Easter is over but it doesn't end until 10th April) where you can WIN a family day out up to the value of £500. To make things even more exciting, There are TEN up for grabs so to enter simply click here and input your details, then sit back and keep those fingers crossed tightly.

I'm hoping we get to have some more family days out this year, be it a small and local walk like this again or a zoo adventure miles away, taking several trains to get there! Either way, any time together is good time together as far as I'm concerned.

Where, or what, would your ideal family day out be?, pub-8301510335931825, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0