Win A Pair Of Eyejusters – Reading Glasses With Adjustable Strength

Being both a glasses and a contact lens wearer brings a unique set of challenges when you need a varifocal lens.

To date, there seem to be no varifocal toric lenses to meet my prescription on the market which means that if I wear my contact lenses I still need reading glasses for close work.

Olive and cream multilayer eyejusters
Olive & Cream Multilayer Eyejusters

Which rather negates the point of having contact lenses in the first place.

Still, despite this bugbear, I am assured that a varifocal lens to meet my needs is coming so I just have to soldier on with my cheap pair of shop bought readers which will allow me to do useful things like read labels on the back of tins and menus in restaurants.

Each pair of these has a fixed strength which means that I may still occasionally struggle to read things in small print and, of course, if my prescription changes, I have to buy a new pair of reading glasses.

Eyejusters, on the other hand, are British invented and manufactured adjustable reading glasses that allow you to change the focal strength of your reading glasses by adjusting two little black dials either side of the lenses.

Discretely placed, by simply twiddling them together you slide back a kind of inner lens which alters the strength of your lenses with a certain tolerance – this is known as Slidelens Tech.

Because your vision in each eye varies, Eyejusters can be adjusted to suit each eye separately.  And you can’t see the little black dials from most angles either.

They are great for people who need to see the small stuff, for example when doing DIY or computing, hobbies like jewellery making and sewing or reading your mobile device. They would make a great Father’s Day present too as you don’t need to know the wearer’s prescription.

I was surprised to find that I could alter mine to not only see my PC screen close up but I could almost adjust them to my distance prescription – that is to say matching the prescription of the contact lenses I wear.

Linda Hobbis wearing Eyejusters adjustable reading glasses

They are not, it must be said, a substitute for a proper optical examination and properly prescribed lenses, particularly for driving but they are a definite step up from the cheap and cheeful reading glasses you can buy over the counter in a number of shops these days.

Available on line, Eyejusters are unisex and there’s 17 different styles and colours to choose from. They are priced at either £69 or £79 but they should last a lot longer than my over the counter readers because they will last through more than one or two minor prescription changes.  They are suitable for someone who requires a positive prescription up to 3 dioptres.

They also come with a money back guarantee.  Try them at home for 30 days and if you don’t love them simply send them back. There’s free delivery and free returns.

The frames are sturdy and pleasantly coloured (mine are olive and cream) and they come in a a strong grey case with a cleaning cloth.  I was impressed to discover that the lenses have an anti-scratch coating which often attracts an additional charge from an optician.

The only downside is that because there is a kind of double lens, I did look a little ‘Joe 90’ (retro reference there) but if it means I can choose my own restaurant food without having to hiss ‘I can’t read this’ at the husband then I really don’t mind.

The frame, being plastic, is heavier to wear than the cheaper readers but still quite comfortable. 

If you would like to try a pair for yourself. I have one pair of your choice to give away.

Entry is via the Rafflecopter widget below and the giveaway ends at 11:59 pm on Sunday 18th June. Terms and conditions apply which are to be found on my competitions page. UK entrants only.

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Win Og On The Bog From Drumond Park Games

Let’s be honest.  There’s nothing like a game involving general bodily rudeness to capture the imagination of youngsters (and many adults) and we’ve been sent just such a game to review by Drumond Park Games.

Og on the Bog game by Drumond Park

The electronic Og on the Bog (rrp £24.99), age 5+ for 2-4 players) is truly hilarious and takes revolting games to completely new heights with its outrageous brand of gross and disgusting toilet humour.

This may well be an acquired taste but my two found it very funny indeed.  Og on the Bog is simple but appeals to a vast range of youngsters up to the age of 11 and beyond.

Og on the Bog game - Og's Bog

The aim of the game is to steal Og’s loo rolls and leave him stranded on the loo.  Players take turns on the spinner to see if they can sneak a loo roll of its pole.

If your hands are unsteady, however, you’ll disturb Og who will fart loudly and scare them away!

As play proceeds anticipation and excitement build because if Og does a truly humungous, explosive fart, he blows his Bog apart!

Og on the Bog Game - Og's Exploded Bog!

To play you set up Og and his bog in the centre of the table. Each player is given a loo roll to start them off and the youngest player spins the tree stump spinner.

A red cross means you’ve made a noise and it’s not safe to tip-toe up to Og’s Bog, so your turn is over and the next player spins.

Caitlin & Ieuan playing Og on the Bog game

The hand holding a loo roll means you can pinch a loo roll from any other player!

A green tick means you can stealthily try to steal a loo roll from Og’s loo roll pole… and here’s the tricky part. You have to push down the front step of the bog to see if Og has heard you. If he says anything, he has – and you must run away; your turn is over.

If he grunts or farts he has not heard you – and you can try to lift that loo roll off the pole. 

If you twitch it too much, Og will make another noise: if he shouts out something (which could be quite rude!), you must drop the loo roll back on the pole and your turn is over. If he grunts or farts – success! – he did not hear you and you can keep that precious loo roll.

A wobbly hand might just set Og off more than once during your loo-roll-lifting efforts, and the same rules apply; if he shouts, drop it – but if he farts, you’re safe (and I never thought I’d hear myself say that one)!

If Og does a monster fart and his bog explodes during your turn, you have to put two of the loo rolls you’ve already collected back on to the pole and finish your turn, raising the walls of Og’s bog once again so that play can continue.

Caitlin & Ieuan playing about the Og on the Bog's loo rolls

The winner is the first player to collect three loo rolls if 4 of you are playing, otherwise you have to collect 4 loo rolls each.

You do need to have a steady hand to retrieve the loo rolls and it doesn’t take much for Og’s bog to explode, leaving him sat looking very disgruntled.

The game is just the right level of complexity for Caitlin and Ieuan and an ideal length – we found it lasted around 10-15 minutes which is ideal for their attention span.

It’s also blissfully easy to set up with a well printed set of instructions.  There’s nothing worse than a game that takes longer to set up than it does to play (and we’ve had a few!).


I have one copy of Og on the Bog to give away to one lucky winner to test their own loo roll retrieval skills.

Entry is via the Rafflecopter widget and terms and conditions apply (on my competitions page). UK entrants only and the giveaway ends at 11:59 pm on Sunday 23rd April.

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My Random Musings

Win 4 “Her Ladyship” Etiquette Guides By Caroline Taggart

Now obviously being the lady I am (cough), and having what is possibly an unhealthy interest in all things ‘posh and polite’, I was delighted to receive these lovely guides by Caroline Taggart.

Born in London of Scottish parents, Caroline spent most of her childhood in New Zealand but, nevertheless, thinks of herself as a Londoner.

Her Ladyship's Guides:  The Queen's English & Running One's Home

We actually share something in common apart from our love of etiquette because as an English woman living in Wales since 1969  I have the same dilemma when it comes to which rugby team to support, as does Caroline when it comes to choosing between England and New Zealand.

These four guides are entitled:-

Her Ladyship’s Guide to The Art of Conversation

Her Ladyship’s Guide to Running One’s Home 

Her Ladyship’s Guide to The Queen’s English (for all us grammar nazis out there)

Her Ladyship’s Guide to The British Season

All are written in Caroline’s inimitable style and peppered with funny anecdotes and helpful examples.

For example, from “The Art of Conversation”

Am I boring you?  If you have to ask the answer is probably “yes”.


“A friend of Her Ladyship remembers fondly a snippet she heard in her student days: two Oxford dons were crossing a college quadrangle and one was heard to say firmly to the other “And nineteenthly..”. Her Ladyship confesses to considerable admiration for anyone who can follow a train of thought so clearly that they can keep tabs on nineteen points of it.”

The Queen’s English is a helpful guide to spelling, grammar and pronunciation.  Her Ladyship also lists those cliches and words whose incorrect usage sets her teeth on edge such as:-

at the end of the day

touch base

slip through the net

up to speed

window of opportunity

Whilst being funny, this guide also has the effect of making you think before you open your mouth!

Her Ladyship's Guides:  The Art of Conversation & The British Season

Running One’s Home is a title which amuses the Husband no end as he is convinced I am a stranger to a duster and think Mr Sheen was once a famous motorcyclist.  

Obviously this is not true and I have many house spiders who will back me up on that but this guide is a useful collection of tips that even those of us who haven’t quite made it to a mansion can use.

There’s a housekeeping schedule, advice on spring-cleaning, coping with laundry (it never ends!) and being a good hostess.

Her Ladyship also advises that your cheese course should be served before pudding if you are adhering to “the French way” but you need to make sure you don’t overdo the Brie just in case an enormous Eton Mess should appear.  Quite a nice problem to have in my view.

Lastly, there’s “The British Season”.  Here in Wales we have two seasons – the Rugby Season and the Rainy Season, however, this guide lists the Great British events which get the aristocracy out to sluice down Prosecco whilst wearing tailored jackets.

For example The Chelsea Flower Show, Glyndebourne, Royal Ascot, Wimbledon, Cowes Week and so forth.

It also tells you how to behave giving you, for example, the rules for dressing should you be lucky enough to gain access to the Royal Enclosure at Ascot.

I can but dream.

Her Ladyship’s Guides are published by Batsford Books (an imprint of Pavilion Books) at £8.99 each. They are stout little hardback books with a nice, almost cloth covering and would make a great present for Mother’s Day too.

If you would like to win the set of the four books mentioned above, simply enter via the Rafflecopter widget in the usual way.  Terms and conditions apply.  UK entrants only and the giveaway ends at 11:59 pm on Tuesday 28 February.

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Good luck!

Win A Man’s Suit From Dobell Menswear

After the Christmas festivities, it can be a bit of a relief to don our workwear again and prepare for a fresh new year.

Dobell Blue Man's Suit

We make our New Year’s resolutions and determine that this year will see us become even more successful and what we wear definitely helps us to “walk the talk”!

In fact in a survey undertaken by car manufacturer Kia in 2014, when asked what made them feel confident, the top 10 list for women included: high heels, a little black dress, and designer perfume and for men the list included: a freshly shaved face, a new suit, and a nice smelling aftershave.

If you’re looking to spruce up your man, there’s nothing like a crisp new suit to make a statement and Dobell Menswear have kindly provided a man’s suit for a lucky Mother Distracted reader.

Dobell menswear have created fine men’s suits, tuxedos and wedding suits for over 10 years, and create handsomely fitted suits and formalwear accessories, at great value – up to 50% cheaper than the high street.

They stock leading suit and shirt brands such as Paul Costelloe, Tommy Hilfiger, Noose & Monkey, Esprit, Lambretta, Paul Gross, and Alexander Dobell.

They also cater for men who want to look and feel correctly dressed when they’re attending black tie dinners, weddings, balls, business conferences or calendar events such as Glyndebourne and Ascot.

There’s free standard delivery, and free UK returns, a next day delivery service, and international delivery. Their site offers on-site expert advice articles and sizing guides or, if you prefer, you can talk to their dedicated customer service team who are on hand to help from 9 am to 6 pm weekdays.

For a chance to win, just enter via the Rafflecopter widget below.  Terms and conditions apply (please see my Competitions page).  UK entrants only.

The prize is one Dobell branded man’s suit in your preferred size (jacket and trousers).

The giveaway ends at 11:59 pm on Friday 13th January 2017.

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Good luck!

Win A Haribo Christmas Selection

HARIBO are kindly giving one lucky winner the chance to leave some HARIBO goodies out for Santa this Christmas eve.

The prize includes HARIBO’s Starmix and Tangfastics Crackers, a Mega Stars Selection Box and new Starmixmas, along with a Christmas t-shirt.

All you have to do to be in with a chance is to enter via the Rafflecopter below.  UK entrants only. Terms and conditions apply (on my competitions page).  The giveaway ends at 11:59 pm on Monday 19th December.

Please note the winner must supply their details no later than 21st December in order to receive their prize before Christmas.

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Good luck!

Protect Your Family From The Winter Cold With Redoxon® Multivitamins

As the festive season approaches with all its social events, shopping and entertaining, we often find our systems need a boost to make sure we’re in a fit condition to enjoy it all.

To stay healthy we’re trying to eat nutritious, vitamin-rich foods and to get outside to enjoy the beautiful autumn countryside with lots of walks and cycling.

Caitlin and Ieuan in Cwm George, Dinas Powys

But we parents live in fear of the kids coming down with coughs, colds and the dreaded ‘puke bug’.  I am already giving Caitlin and Ieuan daily probiotics and slathering them in anti-bacterial hand gel but there’s always the chance that they will come home with something virulent that we’ll all get.

So we’ve been trying new Redoxon® Triple Action effervescent tablets, which contain high strength vitamin D to help support the immune system, vitamin C to help us to feel energised and zinc to help maintain our skin.

Why is Vitamin D important?

Our bodies need vitamin D to absorb calcium and promote bone growth. Too little vitamin D results in soft bones in children (rickets) and fragile, misshapen bones in adults.  Vitamin D is also needed for other important body functions and a lack of it has been linked to breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, heart disease, depression, weight gain, and other maladies.

Read on for a fabulous giveaway ……

Redoxon® is the leading immune brand in the UK with over 80 years’ experience of helping to keep families’ immune systems on top form.

There’s Redoxon® Triple Action for when you need a bit of extra help and Redoxon® Every Day Immune support for day to day support.

Caitlin and Ieuan have been trying the Triple Action formula in the form of gummies for children.

Redoxon Triple Action Multivitamins

NEW Redoxon® Triple Action effervescent tablets

When you need a bit of extra help, Redoxon® Triple Action is a combination of high strength vitamin C, D and zinc to support your immune system.

Why use Redoxon® Triple Action?

• Top up of vitamin D even when there is less sunlight. During the summer months, vitamin D is mainly formed in the skin through UV-B sunlight, and functions to help support the immune system
• Vitamin C can help you release your energy
• Your skin is the body’s first line of defence. Zinc can help
maintain your skin

The effervescent tablets are for adults and children over 12 years of age.
Simply dissolve 1 tablet per day in a glass of water to make a refreshing orange drink. Available in packs of 10 at a RRP of £3.80.

New Look Redoxon® Every Day Immune Support for day to day support

Even though you may not feel it, your immune system works 24 hours a day and that is why you need to take care of it. When you have a busy lifestyle, sometimes it can be good to have extra support.

Redoxon® Every Day is a daily multivitamin for children and adults, providing day to day support for the immune system. The effervescent tablets contain vitamins (A, B6, B12, C, D and folic acid) and minerals (zinc, iron, copper and selenium).

Redoxon Triple Action Every Day Support orange drink

Why use Redoxon® Every Day?

• Vitamin A, vitamin C and zinc help maintain the skin
• Vitamin C, iron, vitamin B12 and vitamin B6 help reduce tiredness and fatigue
• Vitamins (C, A, D, B6, B12 and folic acid) and minerals (zinc, iron, copper and selenium) help support your immune system – your body’s natural protector

Children over 12 years of age and adults: Dissolve 1 tablet per day in a glass of water to make a refreshing orange drink. Children 6-12 years old: Half a tablet per day. Redoxon® Every Day come in packs of 15 (RRP £5.00) and 30 (RRP £9.50).

These make a lovely, refreshing orangey drink with no chemical after-taste.  It dissolves easily and I wasn’t left with powder at the bottom of the glass.

Caitlin & Ieuan Hobbis

New Redoxon® Triple Action gummies

• 3 tasty fun flavours (orange, strawberry and papaya)

Per gummy:-

• Vitamin C 30mg
• Vitamin D 5μg
• Zinc 2.5mg

Suitable for children 4 years and older:
• Children 4-8 years: 2 gummies per day
• Children 9-13 years: 3 gummies per day
• Adults and teenagers over 14 years: 4 gummies per day
Come in packs of 25 at a RRP of £2.49.

The kids like the taste and texture of these and, unlike some of the vitamins we’ve tried, I’ve had no protests from Ieuan at all!

Redoxon® products are available at a range of stores including Boots, Sainsbury’s, Superdrug, Tesco, and Waitrose.

It’s good to know that we are taking care of our immune systems – and hopefully warding off Mr Puke!

If you would like to try Redoxon® for yourself and win some lovely goodies and a shopping voucher, why not enter my giveaway?

The giveaway 

Redoxon goody box giveaway

Redoxon® are kindly giving one of my lucky readers a lovely goody box containing plenty of Redoxon to try along with a winter support kit containing a scented candle, hot chocolate and a mug, winter socks and a 2017 diary to help you get the family organised.  Not only that but there’s a £50 Tesco voucher to stock up on some healthy food too (or some mince pies….).

Entry is via the Rafflecopter widget.  UK entries only and the usual terms and conditions apply which can be viewed on my Competitions Page, where you can view my other current giveaways.

The giveaway ends at 11:59 pm on Sunday 4th December.

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Good luck!

Save 25% & Beat Rylan At Christmas Carol-oke To Win With

Here’s a great competition for all you budding X Factor stars out there and all you need is a smartphone and the ability to carry a Christmas tune – specifically “The Twelve Days Of Christmas”., the UK’s leading gift experience provider, is looking for Christmas Carol-oke stars to create their own unforgettable moments, so they gave ITV’s Xtra Factor Presenter and previous X Factor contestant Rylan Clark-Neal a Christmas challenge he will never forget to see if he is up to the job!

Rylan’s task was to sing Christmas carols whilst being driven around the Brands Hatch race track by a professional racing driver at speeds of over 100 miles per hour, with plenty of hair raising moments along the way!

Watch Rylan’s hilarious attempt at Christmas Carol-oke!

I think it’s safe to say Rylan failed the challenge and apparently he is no longer friends with the driver Pete (!) but he was definitely a good sport.

Rylan said, “Singing Christmas carols whilst being driven around a race track at over 100mph was certainly an experience I won’t forget in a hurry! It was harder than I thought it would be to sing at those speeds and even though I was worried about getting helmet hair, it was definitely an adrenaline rush!”

So if you want to give your loved ones the gift of an unforgettable experience this Christmas, have a look at’s extensive range.  They have over 4,500 gift experiences, with everything from adrenaline-fuelled days including the longest zip wire in Europe, sky diving and car racing, to relaxing spa days and hotel breaks.  Personally, an afternoon tea is about as racy as I’m prepared to go!

As Rylan says “Experiences are the perfect gift for Christmas as the sentiment lasts longer than other gifts and they create long-lasting memories. Its experiences like I had, speeding around a top race track in a supercar that you can give to your family and friends this Christmas, which are sure to be remembered for years!” and Rylan are making it easy for people to give their loved ones a Christmas they’ll never forget by offering a discount of 25% off the website, just enter the code RYLAN25 at the checkout (expires midnight 7th December 2016. Exclusions apply).

And if you think you can do better than Rylan at Christmas Carol-oke, send a video of you or your friends singing ‘The 12 Days of Christmas’ carol and you will be entered into a competition to win £300 worth of vouchers, just in time for Christmas to share an unforgettable moment with your loved ones. Not only that, but you will also be in with a chance of starring in the Christmas Carol-oke video edit made from the entries!

Just go to  to enter!

Quick And Simple Time-Saving Hacks For Parents

We are all getting busier and busier and I find that there seem to be far fewer hours to get things done once the clocks go back in October. When you’re juggling work and family life, it’s good to have some tricks up your sleeve to get things done in double quick time, to cope with all those commitments such as the kids’ social life and after-school activities. That’s why time-saving hacks for parents are worth their weight in gold.

And getting things done quicker means more time to spend together as a family.

Family time is precious, but with parents often exhausted at the end of a working day and children focused on gadgets we forget to spend just five minutes together.

Time-saving hacks for parents

So how do we save time in the Hobbis household?

Here are my 5 top tips.

Invest in a slow cooker

Yes, there’s still a little prep time to make a warming beef stew or a veggie curry but there’s nothing better than coming home to a hot meal that’s just waiting to be dished up.

Write out a weekly meal plan

If you can discipline yourself to do this you’ll find you won’t be hit by the 4 pm angst when you remember you’re supposed to throw something together for tea.

Plus having a meal plan streamlines shopping, reduces your bills because you won’t impulse buy and allows you to make better use of leftovers.

Prepare lunchboxes the night before

You can bet the morning you’re rushing to prepare a lunchbox is the time you’ll discover muddy school uniform and need to get the iron out!

Make things easier by prepping the night before and sticking the whole lot in the fridge to keep cool.

Delegate some chores to the kids

There’s no reason why kids can’t lay a table, put shopping away or (at a sensible age) help with basic chopping and food preparation. I used to peel the potatoes for mum when I got home from school.

Agree a sensible switch off time for gadgets

We know that we are supposed to turn off our gadgets at least an hour before turning in for the night so having a set switch off time means you have a few more precious moments to read stories, talk about your day and just cuddle.

Have a homework timetable

If you can it’s good to have a designated quiet area for your kids to do their homework.  No TV, no music and no gadgets! It’s also worth drawing up a basic homework timetable with the kids so that nothing gets forgotten.

This means checking their school bags when they get home on Friday afternoon because you can bet something will be remembered at 4 pm on Sunday.

You could also incentivise sticking to the timetable by offering a family treat as a reward.  Depending on your budget this could be a meal out, a trip to the cinema, a walk to the park, a movie night at home or even playing a board game altogether. The point is to ensure more quality time together as a family.

I hope I’ve given you a few ideas and I would love to hear your ideas in the comments below.

What Will You Do With An Extra Hour When The Clocks Go Back?

This year the clocks go back at 2 am on Sunday 30th October.  This means, for those of us with children, that our kids will get up at exactly the same time and the extra hour will be spent, at least in our house, either watching Power Rangers or playing Minecraft.

Ah, how I remember with fondness my single days when the clocks going back meant a blissful extra hour to snooze and snuggle under the duvet.

So how will you be spending the extra hour?

Elizabeth Shaw, makers of some of my favourite chocolates suggest that one way to use the extra hour profitably is to practise thoughtfulness, to do something nice for someone else and reap double the benefits of that extra time.

Actually, for frazzled working women and mums everywhere, I’d suggest the best way to use the extra hour is to take some time for yourself.  

Many of  us are completely hopeless at treating ourselves with the same care and loving attention we give the rest of the family.

We make tea and full fry-ups for our partners and kids.  We chauffeur our footie-mad offspring to football pitches and then stand freezing on the side-lines whilst bellowing encouragement.

We drive kids to swimming pools where the noise made by the boisterous swimmers is so loud that it makes our teeth rattle.

Some of us do the dimly-lit commute to face the Great British Public in shops, bars, call centres or to tend to the sick at the forefront of our National Health Service.

It’s always inspiring to read about “random acts of kindness” and “paying it forward” but, as the saying goes, you need to breath deep from the oxygen mask yourself first in times of crisis if you are to help others.

There’s no denying that doing good things for others makes us feel good ourselves though.  Whether it’s paying for the coffee of the person behind you, letting someone more laden down, bedraggled and knackered have the first taxi or leaving a book you’ve loved stashed somewhere with a note saying “please read me and pass me on”, there are lots of ways to spread a little happiness.

But you know what?  If you’re feeling a bit spent and in need of a little loving R&R, I’d get the family to make your favourite breakfast or just brew some fresh coffee for you.  They can run you a candle lit bath or get you some chocolates to accompany your coffee.

For many of us 2016 has been an unremittingly tough year and I always treat the movement of the clocks, either forward or backwards, as a time to stop, reassess and find something to look forward to.

Writing a list of things to be grateful for, of things you love and appreciate in others and then sharing that list may be one of the best ways to spend that hour.

There’s never as much time left as you think so we all need to use it wisely.

And, should the thought of all the darkness make you feel a bit gloomy, there’s always scented candles, wine and, of course chocolate to see you through.

I have a fabulous hamper of Elizabeth Shaw chocolate worth £50 to give away to one lucky winner.  Simply enter via the rafflecopter widget and let me know in the comments below this post how you plan to use the extra hour on 30th October – and whether you have ever experienced a “random act of kindness”, or whether it’s something you practise yourself.

The giveaway is open to UK entrants only and ends on 11:59 pm on Saturday 5th November.

The hamper includes;

• Dark Chocolate Cappuccino flutes
• Dark Chocolate Lemon flutes
• Dark Chocolate Mint Flutes
• Dark Chocolate Orange Flutes
• Milk Chocolate Amaretto Flutes
• Dark Chocolate Mint Crisps
• Milk Chocolate Mint Crisps
• Milk Chocolate Orange Crisps
• Milk Chocolate Salted Caramel Crisps
• Milk Chocolate Almond Bites
• Milk Chocolate Cappuccino Bites
• Dark Chocolate Raspberry Bites
• Dark and Milk Chocolate Mint Collection
• Orange Merry Christmas Mini Gift – includes orange flutes and bites
• Mint Merry Christmas Mini Gift – includes mint flutes and bites

There’s plenty there to share!

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Book Review & Giveaway: The Quick Guide To Parenting by Laura Quick

Just occasionally, I find a book that makes me laugh out loud.  And this one has the double honour of making the Husband laugh out loud too.

The Quick Guide to Parenting by Laura Quick is a series of acutely observed illustrations which delve deep into family life and the inner turmoil experienced by some parents on a daily basis.

She captures the topsy-turviness, the incongruence and the self-flagellation.  Guilt, humour and love are all there in abundance.

From what they said to the man at the bus stop, to where you found the remote control, when you’re a parent, laughing at what gets hurled in your direction is beyond important. Laura has been sketching scenes from daily domestic life on her blog, The Daily Think. All the bizarre moments and ridiculous conversations that are part of being a parent are here, from the day Laura’s daughter tried to poke her finger into a dog’s rear end, to the temper tantrums, and the sense of relief when the school holidays are over.

Trained as an illustrator, working in art direction, concept development and strategy, Laura Quick is a specialist in editorial Illustration and design as well as look books, ad campaigns, and Visual Merchandising. She has worked closely with fashion photographers, artists and designers for over a decade. Laura began drawing and observing people for her blog, The Daily Think six years ago. Listening and observing at fashion shoots, in meetings, on the bus and, later on, with kids in tow, in the playground.

Laura now produces almost all her commercial work off the back of this observational and humorous style. Working for the likes of The Guardian, AnOther Magazine, The BBC, The Royal Opera House, Thames and Hudson and many more, her work moves more towards her fascination in people and their habits, their self-expression and individual characters.

Very often this kind of book can be a two minute ‘flick through’, usually whilst waiting for the kids to finally choose something in the bookshop but I think this one is worth perusing thoroughly and will be great to pick up when you’re having an off-day – just to remind yourself that you’re not going mad and this is actually what parenting is like.

It would make a great Christmas gift for exhausted mums everywhere and, if you’ve enough of a sense of naughtiness, to give to pregnant friends as a slightly sardonic warning that parenthood is a country for which there is absolutely no map.

You can check out Laura’s very funny blog too.

“The Quick Guide To Parenting” is published by Portico, an imprint of Pavilion Books RRP £9.99.

Recent Reviews

‘Charming, quirky and funny’ – THE GUARDIAN, September 2016

‘All parents will be able to relate to these hilariously accurate illustrations of raising children’ – THE HUFFINGTON POST (UK)/PARENTS, September 2016

Beautifully drawn, honest and hilarious illustrated guide to the everyday life of a parent – MUMSNET, September 2016

‘Laura Quick has perfectly captured the topsy turvy world of parenthood that all parents can relate to in one way or another in her new book’ – NETMUMS, September 2016


I have one copy of “The Quick Guide To Parenting” to give away.  Entry is via the Rafflecopter widget and the usual terms and conditions apply.  (Please see my competitions page).  UK entrants only and the giveaway ends at 11:59 pm on Friday 4th November.

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Good luck!

On Trend Menswear For Autumn & A Fab Giveaway From Mainline Menswear

The approach of autumn usually signals that it’s time to update our wardrobes and whilst there are some stylish men who will already have worked out which of the upcoming trends they want to adopt, I suspect the average bloke is still muttering about how his range of Motorhead, Black Sabbath and tropical patterned tee-shirts will be quite enough to last throughout the winter.

The answer is some sensible negotiation and a spruce up of the Husband’s wardrobe with some stylish shirts, tees and hoodies.

We recently discovered Mainline Menswear, a leading retailer specialising in men’s designer clothing, footwear, and accessories.

Established in 2004 the Mainline Menswear website carries a huge range from top men’s fashion brands such as Armani Jeans, Armani, Hugo Boss, Diesel Jeans, G-Star, Adidas Originals, Fila Vintage, Franklin and Marshall, Ralph Lauren, Original Penguin Clothing, Superdry, Lyle and Scott, Pretty Green, Levis Jeans, Replay Jeans, Stone Island, CP Company, Paul Smith, Henri Lloyd, Ted Baker, Belstaff Jackets, Lacoste Trainers, J Lindeberg, Fred Perry, Mens Timberland Boots, Luke 1977, Edwin Jeans, Cruyff Trainers, Nike and more!

You can find Designer Jeans, Designer Jackets, Designer T-Shirts, Designer Jumpers, Designer Long Sleeved Shirts, Designer Shirts, Designer Shoes, Footwear and Trainers, Designer Socks, Watches, Designer Flip Flops, Designer Boxers and Designer Swimwear.

All orders are dispatched using their premium UK next day delivery service.

We were offered a Hugo Boss Polo Tee Shirt to try and the husband chose the one pictured above. The quality is excellent and the sizing ‘true’, with no pulling under the arms and with a sensible length in the body.

And Mainline Menswear have kindly given me a £100 gift voucher for one lucky winner so that they can update their autumn wardrobe.

Entry is via the Rafflecopter widget below and the usual terms and conditions apply (on my competitions page). The giveaway is open to UK entrants only and ends at 11:59 pm on Sunday 18th September.

For more information visit Mainline Menswear online or you can find them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have A Fresh New Diary Any Time Of Year With Toad® Diaries & Giveaway

I have always loved diaries.  They offer the chance to start all over again, to renew and change whatever you’re not happy with.  Just the act of writing things down helps to make them happen, so they say.

Up till now, there’s been the rather stark choice of either waiting for Christmas to buy a diary for the next calendar year, or waiting until July when the academic diaries start to appear.

Now I don’t know about you, but it’s been a long time since I needed to make a note of my lecture times and I have often wished for a diary which would start when I wanted to.  There are undated diaries of course but, for some reason, I’ve never found these quite as exciting.

I have recently discovered TOAD® Diaries who will not only personalise your diary or notebook (on the front and back covers) but will allow you to choose what month and even what day of the week you would like it to start.  Sadly you will still need to include Mondays ….

You can spend happy hours on their website indulging your inner diary-geek (or should that be fiend – anyway ..) playing around with lay-outs, covers, sizes, formats. You can have week view, appointments, mid year, academic, family – there are far too many formats to describe here.

There is a range of cool themes such as Molten (which I chose), Retro, Cities and some rather cute Monsters.

Not only is the site’s designer tool really easy to use but the diaries and notebooks are reasonably priced and come spiral bound with an extra plastic cover on the front and back to protect them.  Happily, they will lie flat when opened making them really easy to write in.  You can also choose between yellow and white paper.

Once you have checked your personalised text is OK and that you have chosen the right format, your diary will take approximately 3-4 days to reach you.

TOAD® also do a range of notebooks to complement your diary and again you can choose the format that most appeals. I was gifted a diary and a notebook by TOAD®.

I chose Molten- Rose from the Molten Theme for my diary which starts in August with weeks starting on Monday. It is wiro-bound, covers 12 months and is Quarto size (midway between A4 and A5).  I also chose yellow paper.

For my notebook I chose a wiro-bound 120 page A5 journal in Molten-Halycon with lined pages (medium spacing).

Your notebooks can be lined, gridded, blank – again lots of choices.

I really likes TOAD products because they have the odd quirky touch – like how to make an Origami toad and infuse humour into the world of stationery.  Apparently not everyone gets as excited about diaries as I do.  Weird, eh?

TOAD® Diaries have given me a £25 gift code to give away to one lucky winner so that if you really can’t wait till December for a fresh new diary (and let’s face it, some of us will want to write 2016 off as a bad job so far), then you can.

Entry is via the Rafflecopter and terms and conditions apply.  UK entrants only.  The giveaway ends at 11:59 pm on Friday 29th July.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!