Finding Fungus

Finding FungusWe are creeping into the last week of November and I am not ashamed to say it I am missing my garden. 

I miss the flowers in bloom, the toddler rolling on the grass and the laughter. 

My garden is feeling empty unloved and dead. 

Or so I though until we ventured out there for a full 20 minutes. The last few weeks we have only really ventured into the garden on the way to the shed or to scare off one of a million cats from the area that like using our garden as a personal toilet (more on that one another time) 

After being in for too many days to count I broke free of the patio door and stepped over the threshold and went in the garden.

To say it was refreshing would be an understatement …. it was cold .. but it was also refreshing, refreshing to see so many plants still battling to keep their colour and their delicate flowers. In fact some of them that had stopped flowering through the summer have now got their second wind so to speak and are looking very vibrant against the darkness of the fungus.
Autumn GardenFungus is by far something I have in abundance … in some amazing shapes, colours and sizes and in some areas so densely populated with the magical growths that even could start to believe there was faeries at the bottom of my garden.
Autumn gardenWhen time is not against me next week I cant wait to get out there and do the Autumnal garden clean. To dead head, prune, and cut back ready for the serious winter months to soon be here.
garden I am making a mental note to make more effort to discover what is on my doorstep regardless of the weather this season.

How Does Your Garden Grow
Posted in Garden | Tagged , , | 14 Comments

Ready Brek Review & Giveaway

readybrek.jpgOver the last few weeks over here at The Oliver’s Madhouse we have been on a breakfast mission! 

Like most households with Children, the stress levels in the mornings over breakfasts can be a little more, elevated shall we say so its not always so easy to get a breakfast into them that as healthy and nutritious. 

So for the last few weeks we have been eating a more healthy and warming breakfast in the form of Ready brek! 

Did you know that Ready brek now comes in 3 flavours Original, Chocolate and Gingerbread! and with handy pre-portioned packets it’s now easier than ever to have that warming, nutritious tasty breakfast … with less mess if you are verging on OCD like me! 

I personally preferred the original with added extra fruits, Beth the Chocolate *shock* and Joshua who I thought would prefer the chocolate actually adored the Gingerbread! 

We have tried some healthy add on’s with our Ready brek, from raisins, apples, strawberries, grapes and banana … and even tried a small portion of jam! 

readybrek.jpg

Don’t worry if you haven’t tried the new Ready brek flavours as you can now try some as they are in store now. However for one lucky reader they will be winning a months supply (30 days) of Ready brek for themselves to discover their favourite flavours too!

  • 1 Pack of Chocolate Ready brek ‘Easy Sachets’ (Contains 10x30g sachets) 
  • 1 Pack of Original Ready brek ‘Easy Sachets’ (Contains 10x30g sachets) 
  • 1 Pack of Gingerbread Ready brek ‘Easy Sachets’ (Contains 10x30g sachets) 

In order to enter follow the rafflecopter options below and get thinking of what you would you add into your Ready brek if you won! 

Please note: Entrants must have a valid UK address & full Terms and Conditions can be found on the Rafflecopter widget

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Disclaimer: All thoughts and opinions are made independently by members of The Oliver’s Madhouse

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Periods, Pimples And A Pink Parcel

teen parcelOK cards on the table in this post I am going to be talking about Periods, hormones, teenagers, mood swings and chocolate … 

I remember when I started my period, I had just turned 10, in primary school and the only girl in the whole school that Aunt Flo was currently visiting on a regular basis. 

I was distraught. 

For the first visit, I was still luckily on Summer holidays, however I was so mortified that I kind of went into shock and denial that I told no one, thankfully it was only light and managed with wads of toilet paper, a rogue pad or 2 I snaffled from the bathroom and it was all over and done with in just over a day.

I was mortified.

When it came for the 2nd month I just couldn’t bear it and sat wailing on the toilet where my Mum came downstairs and found me, congratulated me on becoming a women and provided me with some teen sanitary products, a hanky and a hug and made it all right, or as all right as I could be.

Even though I had the ‘time of the month’ conversation with my Mum I don’t think anything prepares you for when it happens. 

So with my teen daughter, thankfully there was no periods at 10 but we had discussed them well in advance, but fear I was in denial that they would happen … a few months ago they did and I am such a crap Mum … I really had nothing motivational or inspirational to say on the matter like my Mum. 

pink parcelHaving been introduced to the new Teen Parcel by the folks a Pink Parcel, I am kicking myself I didn’t have this pack a couple of months ago .. who needs motivational or inspirational words from Mum .. If I had passed her this little beauty! ….

With nail polish, Clean and Clear products, a Tea Pigs tea bag (chocolate flavour), a bag of Haribo sweets and a discount voucher for 10% off from the Binky London website along with branded Tampons and the well thought out bag for them,  I have no doubt she would have been over the moon .. her reaction on receiving it today said it all….

“Thanks Mum” … as a parent of a hormonal highly strung teen I pretty much Haven’t heard a thank you since 2009 from her so it’s made my day, Parent points to me … its been a while.
pink parcelThese parcels are normally priced at  £9.95 (each month) but currently you can get your first box for just £5.95 which I have to say with the amount of quality sanitary products, and goodies along with the convenience factor its a hit in my book! 

Thanks Pink Parcel for showing me my Teen can still smile.

Disclaimer: This collaborative post in which I received compensation, However all thoughts and opinions are made independently by members of The Oliver’s Madhouse 

Posted in Health, Household & Health Reviews, Reviews, Sponsored, Tween/Teen | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

Giveaway: £50 To Spend Online With Konfidence

konfidence giveawayOver the last year I have been super fortunate to discover and work with the fantastic children’s swimwear brand Konfidence who supported Joshua’s swimming journey over the last year and provided us with some amazing items to review, like the Sun Protection Suit and Hat and the super-duper Neoprene Beach Boots and the amazing Konfidence Float Jacket and AquaNappy

So a big Thank You to Konfidence! 

For us swimming was one of those life skills that we are always trying to teach the kids, Beth at 13 is a more than proficient swimmer but with Joshua being only 3 he is still on his swimming journey but after this year he is a far more confident place than he was a year ago when he cried at being in the water. 

With the end of the year creeping up upon us and with some thinking already about their new years resolutions … (is it wrong I have mine already in stone .. although that’s another post)

Maybe you are considering going swimming more, starting the children in swimming lessons in the new year or want some quality family time, whatever it is Konfidence will have what you need for you little person. 

To celebrate the festivities, new year, new starts and generally helping us keep active the very kind folks over at Konfidence are sharing the swimming love with one lucky reader by giving them £50 to spend on-line on anything they want on their website! 

I have to say I am slightly upset I can’t enter as I have my eye on lots of lovely things! …. however that’s one less person able to enter so what are you waiting for?! 

Good luck! 

Please note: Entrants must have a valid UK address – Full Terms and Conditions can be found on the Rafflecopter widget

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Disclaimer: This prize has been given for the purposes of running a competition, I have not been compensated in any way. All thoughts and opinions are made independently by members of The Oliver’s Madhouse 

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Date Night And Dreaming Of New Year

Edinburgh It will come as no surprise when I say this for anyone that reads regularly as I have blogged before about our journey into making more time for each other and for generally spending more time together as a family. 

However on this post I am dreaming of date night, in fact I am lying I am dreaming of date weekend and to be more precise my perfect weekend … New Year.

I seem to be spending lots of time zipping around all over the country for work at the moment and staying in some gorgeous places in some of the most breathtaking hotels but its boring. 

Boring? yep to me on my own I get bored and often think about having hubs with me so we could rise early and explore or lie in and catch up on some long needed sleep in luxury. 

fireworksWith the Christmas season on our doorstep and time only ever going to get more fraught I would love to set our festive season off with a bang and to visit on of those places on our must go list Edinburgh.

Ideally I would love to visit Edinborough at Hogmanay to see the spectacular torchlight procession that kicks it all off on the 30th and with street party and spectacular fireworks on New Years Eve itself it would be a dream come true to go. 

However with Ollie working I think we will just have to postpone that dream for another time and instead will have to look at booking in a hotel another weekend in the new year like the Holiday Inn at Edinburgh City West or even the central Holiday Inn to have date weekend instead of night! Edinburgh

Taking in some of the beautiful sights and reconnecting with each other and discovering what culture Edinburgh to offer … although if its tasting new food … I am NOT going to try haggis .. EVER! 

So if you have visited this beautiful place, is there somewhere you would recommend we visit? 

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post in which I received compensation for writing, however all opinion and thoughts are those of members of The Oliver’s Madhouse.

Posted in Out & About, Sponsored | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Serenata Flowers Review & Giveaway

Serenata FlowersRecently I was asked if I would like to review some flowers, not my normal review I know and come to think of it they are not my normal purchase. 

why? 

because I have always felt that flowers are too expensive, end of…

I was wrong ….

I took a look at Serenata Flowers to see if I could find products that would be my minimum and maximums I would like to go with IF I were to buy flowers for a gift to send to someone else or to buy for myself!! 

What I first noticed about the site was that there was a very large range of prices covered not just from the super high-end range but also a really great range of mid priced bouquets that had just about every colour variation you could think of!

One of my favourite  things I did discover was the range of £10 flowers!! Well done Serenata for making them more affordable. 
serenata flowers
So in order to better gauge if these £9.99 flowers were in fact worth it I ordered the Camalot for £9.99 and a mid priced range called Enchanted Elegance at £24.99 both of which came with free delivery. 
seenata flow reviewCamelot:
2 – alstromeria – white
3 – alstromeria – alstromeria-orange
3 – alstromeria – alstro overig rose
Wrapped in clear cellophane

Enchanted Elegance:
3 – ammi – Ammi Majus
5 – chrysanthumum – santini-yellow
5 – chrysanthumum – santini green
5 – germini – Harley
6 – dec/ greens – Aspidistria – per leaf
6 – dec/ greens – Pistache Kort /stem
Wrapped in clear cellophane

Conclusion:
Firstly I have to say I was more impressed in real life with the £9.99 Camelot bunch, as they arrived with most of their flowers closed and over the duration of 2 weeks the remainder followed so this helped massively with making them last. 

Both bunches of flowers were beautifully picked and packed and with the Enchanted Elegance coming in at 13 days (before being binned) and the Camelot coming in at 14 days (before being binned) I have to say they have totally been a really cost-effective at making the most of buying flowers! 

Competition:
Now one lucky reader also gets the chance to test drive some beautiful flowers too as the folks over at Serenata Flowers are offering one lucky winner the chance to spend £40 on flowers of their choice. 

Please note: Entrants must have a valid UK address – Full Terms and Conditions can be found on the Rafflecopter widget

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Disclaimer: All thoughts and opinions are made independently by members of The Oliver’s Madhouse

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