Thursday, 16 April 2015

Review - Muddy Puddles Waterproof Jacket

We were kindly asked to review an Originals waterproof jacket (RRP £24) from the website Muddy Puddles.

My initial impression of the product was good. The jacket material feels a nice quality and the design is practical. I particularly like the elastic waistband at the back so it's a bit more fitted than your usual waterproof jacket and it also goes a bit longer at the back so it covers his bum if he were to sit down (or fall over, as he usually does!!).

If I'm honest, my son wasn't keen to wear the jacket for some reason unknown to me. He was of the opinion that it was too big for him (which is possibly was a little, but as all parents know it's good to have room to grow and I wanted him to be able to wear it over a fleece if it was cold!). My sister also managed to fit into the jacket, albeit the sleeves were 3/4 length. Not sure if that helped matters though in terms of him complaining of the size!! Anyway, whilst we were on our Easter holiday at Piperdam he loved his waterproof jacket as it kept him nice and dry during a water pistol fight!

I certainly think the product is great value for money and he will most definitely be wearing it again. Waterproof jackets are a must here in Scotland and this one will tuck nicely into his school bag! I haven't washed the jacket yet, but I have spotted that it is machine washable - this pleases me greatly as there is nothing worse than a jacket that needs to be handwashed!!






Here are our scores out of 5 (5 stars being excellent and 1 star being poor):


I've marked the comfort lower because my son was complaining about the jacket a little. He only had a T-shirt on underneath and I think he would have liked it more if he had a fleece on or perhaps a longer sleeved top, just something to bear in mind.

We received this complimentary jacket in exchange for an honest review. As always, opinions are our own.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Travel - Our Easter Holiday at Piperdam, Scotland

Since the kids were born we have holidayed in Scotland either at my sister's house in Aberdeen, my dad's house or borrowed my aunt & uncle's holiday home. This Easter however we had our first 'proper' holiday that I paid for! It felt rather grown-up (although saying that it was my sister and her other half who arranged it & all I did was transfer them the money!!).

We had booked a lodge at Piperdam Golf & Leisure Resort which is just outside Dundee, Scotland. Ali & Robin had chosen the Forester Executive Holiday Lodge, a 5 bedroom lodge that sleeps 10 people, and it was beautiful. The highlight for me was definitely the outside hot tub on the balcony... bliss! It worked out at £360 a night for the Easter min-week break which I think is reasonable given that we were splitting this between two couples. However for a 4 star lodge at this price, I would have expected that towels, toilet roll and electricity would have been provided, which weren't. That said, the lodge was gorgeous and we were nestled in amongst the trees which was lovely. We also lucked out with the weather - it was sunny for the whole week!! Not often that happens in Scotland!! The kids had a blast.

Champagne in the hot tub

Enjoying a Bear fruit yo-yo whilst watching the bears at Camperdown

Uh-oh... littlest wasn't happy :-(

Enjoying the hot tub!

The couples took turns at cooking - steak by Ali & Robin (Tesco Finest of course!!)

The Easter Egg Hunt

Making toilet roll owls with Auntie Ali - she was super organised and 
brought plenty activities for the kids

It turns out there are plenty of things to do for little ones in the surrounding area of Dundee. We had a morning investigating the Dundee Science Centre, spent some time enjoying the wildlife at Camperdown Country Park and went on the flumes at the Olympia Swimming Pool.

We did a bit of vlogging whilst we were there, including a tour of the lodge:

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Parenting - Computer Games

The nursery told us that my son's computer mouse skills weren't great; reason being that he didn't get to use the computer at home. Following their feedback, I subsequently let him start using it and he's literally become obsessed. He is now a huge fan of computer games! Even when he's running about outside, he turns playing into levels and points... He also draws computer games too on paper.

I've restricted his use to weekends only and I time how long he is on the computer so that he's not on it for too long. I do however notice a change in his behaviour when he's been on it, and not for the better. But computers are now part of everyday life and are a life skill we need to learn. He gets computer classes already in Primary 1! At my house he only plays games on Lego.com (sometimes CBeebies) and his favourites are Lego Creator, Lego City and the Star Wars games.

I sometimes wonder where he gets it from, but when I think back to my childhood, my sister and I were massive fans of computer games. Ali more so than me, but we spent a lot of our spare time playing on our PC. My mum was keen for games to encourage our computer skills and so a few of our games involved typing commands of some form. A lot of the time we played together taking turns to be either the typer or the controller of the arrow keys. Our favourites were Leisure Suit Larry and Heroes Quest. Crazy to think though that we were aged 9 and 11 years when we completed Leisure Suit Larry. What were our parents thinking!?




We also loved Theme Hospital, Lemmings, The Sims and Prince of Persia.




We never owned a console and I'm personally not keen on them at all. Guess that's just down to my own experiences though. I have never owned a laptop or tablet either. I do now have a laptop for work but that's all it's used for. I also have a Kindle Fire but the kids are not even aware of its existence! I think if we had a tablet device with games on it then there would be even more fights!

My son has recently been asking when we can get an iPad and eventually I guess I'll need to buy a tablet device of some form. He's been drawing an iPad on paper & making up games in his head...



What are your thoughts on gaming for youngsters? What ground rules do you set and what games would you recommend for little ones?

Monday, 13 April 2015

#LittleLoves 13

I'm totally out of sync with my #LittleLoves posts, but here is this week's contribution...

// Watched

I enjoy books and films that are real to life. I seem to be drawn to films about affairs because I want to try and understand why someone would have one. I guess this goes back to what happened to me with the kids dad. I still don't understand the full story and have so many unanswered questions. I watched Closer and The Other Man on a rare weekend night to myself.


Closer - Two couples meet, cheat and deceive each other


The Other Man - the story of a husband who suspects his wife of adultery, and sets out to track down the other man in her life

// Heard 

Lots of laughter this week (and the odd tantrum too!). I've had the kids for 10 nights over the Easter break, and now they are with their dad for 10 nights. I'm looking forward to catching up on sleep, my blog and getting back into a routine again at work after a week off at Piperdam (more on this in a vlog!). I also need to get back onto healthy eating as my weight has crept up a bit!

// Made

Easter Crowns for the last day of school...


// Wore

I treated myself to my first Urban Decay palette... I went for Naked 2...


// Read

I read Psychologies magazine whilst on a work trip to Bristol...




// And lastly...

This is why you should never work with children... the out-takes at the end are hilarious!!

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Home & Interiors - Room Tour

I've filmed a wee vlog of my home office space... if you haven't seen it yet over on YouTube, then here it is...


It's one of my favourite spaces in the new house. I really enjoying working at my desk blogging and editing videos.

The only thing I'd like to change is the blue carpet!


Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Beauty - My Favourite Perfumes

I remember vividly buying my first proper perfume, it was Tommy Hilfiger and I was maybe 16 years old. Since then I've used a few different scents. ck one was another perfume I used a lot as I was growing up. Then Jean Paul Gaultier Classique. Ah, the memories!




At the moment I've been using Marc Jacob Daisy Eau So Fresh and Chloe. I was very lucky to win these in a hamper from People Loves Glasgow at the end of 2013 for my Christmas jumper antics! But I didn't choose these fragrances and I'm not sure they necessarily reflect me or my taste.

I like perfumes that are a bit different and unique. I like perfumes that are noticeable. I used to wear Calvin Klein Euphoria for years and you would have known if I had walked down the corridor according to my fellow PhD students. However I wore Euphoria on my wedding day and following my separation I haven't gone back to it.


Ever since then I've been searching for the right perfume for me.

I've tried a couple of fragrances over the past three years, but I'm still not sure if I've found one that suits me.

Estée Lauder Sensous Noir


Gucci by Gucci


Bottega Veneta


My female colleagues didn't like Bottega Veneta (apparently it smelt like insect repellant) but I got quite a few compliments from males when I wore this!

Some perfumes that are on my wish list are...

Armani / Prive Rose d'Arabie



Tom Ford Velvet Orchid


Jo Malone Dark Amber & Ginger Lily Cologne


What is your signature scent?

Monday, 30 March 2015

Beauty - March Favourites

Here are my March favourites, with a wee vlog at the bottom too :-)

Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask

After my success with the Origins Super Spot Remover, I went on to purchase the active charcoal face mask. This mask acts like a magnet to draw out impurities from the skin. I've been using it weekly, and I've gotten into the habit of applying it whilst the kids are in the bath of an evening. Multi-tasking at it's finest! It does feel rather strange on the skin as it dries, but it really does seem to do the trick. I've been using the Super Spot Remover less and less now and I'm rarely applying concealer.



Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Face Mask

I bought this overnight face mask recently as part of a limited edition gift box from the Origins counter at Debenhams. I had wanted to try the charcoal face mask (above) and it made sense to buy the gift box as I got a few products for just £30 - the charcoal mask, this overnight face mask, a modern friction exfoliator and a facial brush. Anyway, this overnight mask has such a lovely thick consistency and it really is fantastic at injecting some moisture back into my dry skin. I've not been using Origins products for very long, but I really am enjoying this brand.


Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant

I got a small tube of this from Asda in their sale to replace a tube that I have finished. It really is the best product for chapped skin and I love putting this onto my lips before bed. It's a skincare classic, and probably something that I'll always have kicking about.



bareMinerals Complexion Rescue

Complexion Rescue launches in April but I was sent a tube of the Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream to try and I am super impressed. It ticks all the boxes for me and I think this is going to become a permanent feature in my make-up bag. It's so easy to apply, feels lovely on my skin and gives just enough coverage. You'll find my full review here.


Batiste Dry Shampoo

I wash my hair maybe twice a week after working out. In between washes, a few sprays of this dry shampoo can work wonders. It's great for making my hair feel a bit cleaner, improves oily roots and gives it a bit of oomph. Again, another staple item for my beauty shelf.


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