Getting children out the door

Hey readers,

Why are children super fast when they  want to be but as soon as a parent is desperate to get someone urgent they go to  slough mode!

Here are some thoughts and conversationset I have when trying to get kids ready and out the sodding door.

1) Please get ready, we need to get to school.

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2) I hate you hubby for giving me the task of getting the boys ready, you absolute tool.

3) If I you don’t get ready then I am going to turn off the TV but at the same time promising to turn the tv on because you need to sit still because you need to do their hair.

4) If you don’t get ready I will phone your dad and you will be in serious trouble. (Let’s face it no one wants to hear your daddy yell at you, even mummy gets scared with the decibels used).

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5) When it gets close to birthday/Christmas or any special event that is important to your little darlings, it is the ultimate blackmail to get them ready and out the door promote. If parenting gets so bad it will be threatening every single day.

6) Shall I ask your teacher if you are like this at school? seems my son fears this one because he is so angelic he doesn’t want the illusion to vanish from the teachers eyes. Works a treat to kick his bottom into gear.

7) Threats about no pudding go down a treat (yes pun intended).

8) If in doubt and you desperate bribes can be used to keep your own sanity in tact. If ANYONE disagrees then they could bloody well come round at 7am and deal with the problem for me, no problem with that I tell you.

9) Stare at your child, if gives them the willies that the arguments must stop or mummy is going to lose her sh*t big time. This normally occurs when on a Friday because we all tired and about had enough of having to go through this drama for the fifth time this week.

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10) If your child loves school as much as mine threaten that if they don’t get dressed won’t go to school that day and do nothing all day at home. Amazing how effective that is and they comply to your need of them getting their socks on.

Cheers for reading X

Sticky Mud and Belly Laughs

Mummascribbles

3 Little Buttons

 

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Why social Media is good

Hey readers,

We all get bogged down in the negative side of social media, so let’s for today celebrate all the good aspects of social media.

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The internet is a good way to express yourself. I know for me I find verbal communication really, really difficult due to being autistic. Therefore, writing things down on my blog has really helped. There is also a great autistic community on twitter for example where you can openly discuss topics, it is great to get responses back. It can help other people understand you and help get more personal awareness out on specific topics.

As a parent and someone who struggles with mental health, loneliness is a feeling that has occurred over the years. I find the internet fantastic to connect with other similar people, whether it be through blogging, reading other people’s experience, tweeting or even discussing worries/feelings in forums. Also,the internet can be a useful way to distraction yourself from focusing on negativity. It really has helped me get out of that funk.

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The internet is a splendid place if you want to get lost. With so much information out there, it is great to enhance your learning. You can even find scholarly type materials on google or good old YouTube.

The internet is definitely one way to get free entertainment and to do stuff without breaking the bank balance.  There is so many options, some examples are; watching YouTube videos, listening to radio, using social media and evening writing blogs 😉

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If we look at recent events from this year especially in politics it demonstrates that the internet has a powerful voice. The cyber world can influence for the good and make positive changes. A example of this would be with the way the internet has evolved politics with such matters of politicians being more transparency, though it is a slow process, it is something that is being taken seriously, especially with the way that majority of people get their information from the internet. Gone were the days when it was a two leadership battle, with having the internet it opens doors for more choice. Therefore, politicians have to work harder to get them likes and ultimately the power to change the lives of the ordinary public.

What positives do you find in social media?

Cheers for reading X

Sticky Mud and Belly Laughs

Mummascribbles

3 Little Buttons

 

Gingery Oaty Biscuits

Hey readers,

Looking for a easy recipe to do with the kids that takes  less than 30 minutes then look no further with these gingery oaty biscuits.

INGREDIENTS 

  • 150g oats
  • 100g self-raising  flour
  • 1 heaped tsp of ginger
  • 1 tbsp of golden sugar
  • 75g determa sugar
  • Butter + a bit more for the greaseproof paper

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Method 

1. Firstly, pre-heat the oven to 170c. Then spread some butter on to some  greaseproof paper and then place on to a tray.

2. Measure out the ingredients.

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3. Put the butter, sugar and golden syrup into a pan on a low heat in order to melt the ingredients.

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4. Stir the rest of the ingredients into the melted mixture.

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5. Shape the mixture into little balls and place them on to the tray. I found that flattening down with a spatula helps give an even bake.

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6. Place the biscuits into the oven and bake for 10 minutes or until golden.

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7. Remove the biscuits from the oven and place on to a rack to cool down.

8. Enjoy.

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Cheers for reading X

Sticky Mud and Belly Laughs

Mummascribbles

3 Little Buttons

 

ROXI Electric Jukebox Review

Hey readers,

I was lucky enough to be asked to review a ROXI Electric Jukebox. If you haven’t heard of this product then think of a music streaming entertainment service enhanced with karaoke, a choice of live worldwide radio stations, a game of name that tune with many genres to choose from and more.  There are many streaming services out there but ROXI Electric jukebox is a music streaming service that is an alternative to those such as Spotify, Tidal, Napster, Amazon, Apple, etc. focusing on sharing the experience in a family/party friendly way and moving from the private, sheltered individualistic routes that the aforementioned streaming services take you.

WHATS IN THE BOX / HOW IT LOOKS

The packaging is a smart, well designed affair with an outer card sleeve protecting an inner box that contains the well protected kit. Sliding a new box from a thick outer sleeve always makes me tingle with anticipation as there is normally something of good quality waiting to be revealed and the ROXI Electric Jukebox hub with its accompanying remote/microphone certainly looks the part as you pop the lid of the inner box open.

The ROXI Electric Jukebox hub and remote/mic are nestled into their own snug compartments in a strong card tray. Under that is another tray that holds three cables:

  • Power Adapter – 240v, 3 pin transformer plug to 5v 5.5mm power jack.
  • HDMI cable – 1m long, male both ends for video/audio connection to your TV.
  • USB cable – short usb cable to charge the remote/microphone.

ROXI Electric Jukebox comes with a full year premium subscription membership to get you started (then £52 a year which I believe is about half the amount that some others charge). A nicely laid out paper guide is included to help get you into the fun as quickly and easily as possible.

The ROXI hub is 27mm high and about 130mm square but rounded more like a lozenge with a matt plastic concave top incorporating a shiny ‘eJ’ logo and a smart flush fitted, soft lit power button. The front face includes ‘E L E C T R I C   J U K E B O X’ in shiny block letters. The base of the Roxi hub is convexed down to a soft silicone ring that means wherever you place it, the ROXI hub shouldn’t leave any marks. A really neat feature is a ‘keyhole’ inset into the base to allow you to hang the ROXI hub off a screw on the wall behind your TV. All the sockets are located in the back of the Hub and include: Power; HDMI; Ethernet; USB; Audio.

All in all the ROXI hub is very smart and whether you choose Charcoal, Blue or Coral, it will look good anywhere but is well enough designed to hide behind the TV should you wish.

The Remote/Microphone is wireless and created in the same smart style as the ROXI hub with the matt finish and an ‘eJ’ logo near the base. It is made from a soft feel plastic, is about 175mm long, 30mm square with rounded edges and feels really pleasant to hold and use. The top section of the remote/mic is cloth as it is a microphone but is still as smart and good quality as the rest it Down the front of the remote/mic is: ‘OK’ button, fast forward, pause and ‘voice search’ button.

SETTING UP

Setting up ROXI takes less than two minutes using the supplied power lead to a 240v socket and then the supplied HDMI lead between the jukebox and your tv – easy as pie.

Internet connection is easy enough, you can either:

  • plug in an ethernet cable (not supplied) direct from your router into the jukebox and you have instant internet connection.
  • switch the jukebox on with just power and TV connected- the jukebox immediately asks for your WIFI password so type it in and off you go.

If like us you use a ‘Wireless Station Access List’ for extra WIFI security then you will no doubt be looking for the MAC address of the jukebox – I gave up looking and it doesn’t show in the list of available addresses on my router.  I turned the access list off, connected the jukebox using the WIFI password then refreshed the router page, hey presto, there was the MAC address for me to copy and paste into the Wireless Station Access List; switch the security feature back on the router and then sign the jukebox out and back into the WIFI network again. I can’t help but think it would be much easier if the jukebox’s MAC address was supplied printed on the machine.

NAVIGATION THROUGH MENUS / REMOTE CONTROL

The on screen menus of the ROXI Electric Jukebox are easy to navigate around and the icons used are easy to understand so you don’t get confused like I would normally. Whenever a text is needed, an onscreen keyboard pops up just like on a smart phone. To move your on screen cursor all you have to do is point the remote at the screen and wave it about, pressing ‘OK’ when your cursor is in the right place. It feels a bit strange at first but then you realise it is just like moving a computer mouse about but in the air. To make life quicker and much easier you can use the ‘mic’ button on your remote and voice recognition does the rest for you with no problems recognising different accents.

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I can not seem to get voice search to work in the ‘Party:Karaoke’ mode though which is a big shame – I shall email the ROXI team and update this when I find out more.

FEATURES

There are tens of million of tracks at your fingertips for you to listen to and these can be searched individually or you can jump into different genres to inspire your choice. There are global radio stations and even a section specifically for children’s stories (a perfect way for them to wind down before bed).

A good feature that we like is that once you start a song or playlist, you can still navigate through most of the menus with the music still playing in the background and the information of the current song a the bottom of the screen.

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In addition to this you can select the current song at the bottom of the screen and look at the track list or album/single detailed information which then provides a link to find more music from the same artist. As you are doing this there is always the option of a simple click to add a track, album or radio station to your favourite.

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The home screen gives you a small settings ‘cog’ icon for WIFI connection, Family Protection, Visualiser on/off, auto TV wake when ROXI is switched on, and general product information. The main options on the home screen are:

Party:

  • Sing With The Stars – karaoke to millions of songs with an individual song, artist or album search, classic karaoke suggestions, modern, top artists or browse by genre.
  • Name That Tune – One of the worlds top music quizzes with a choice of 16 genres to guess as many songs in 30 seconds or less with the ability to record high scores for the family. Really fun game against the timer and a bit of friendly competition for the family and friends.
  • Party Playlists – 10 genres of party mixes to keep you bouncing.

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Discover:

  • My Playlists – make your own.
  • Tastemakers – playlists by celebrity curators such as Sheryl Crow, Robbie Williams, Alexander Armstrong (Danger Mouse! my children shout when they hear Alexander’s voice on the radio). In total, 6 celebrities with 33 playlists between them
  • Moods – many playlists categorised under 13 genres such as Romance, Workout, Zumba, Road Trippin’ – plenty of choice to just press play and let the music work its magic.
  • Genres – loads of playlists under classic genres such as Rock, Pop, Electronic.
  • Featured – unusual Genres that are great to explore: Children’s Stories, The Brits, Jacaranda, etc.

My Music: a place to find all your saved:

  • Playlists.
  • Albums.
  • Songs.
  • Radio Stations.

Search: find individual song title, album or artist:

  • Voice Search
  • Test Search
  • Recent Searches

Extras:

  • Radio – find your stored My Favourite radio station or search through Popular Radio, Radio by Genre or individual station search.
  • Sound Machine – Relax, Meditate or Sleep – set the timer for auto-off and chill out to relaxing sounds.
  • Photo Frame – turn your tv into a living photo album by linking to your Facebook photo albums.

OVERVIEW / ENJOYMENT

My kids love the karaoke with ROXI Electric Jukebox and find it ace, my eldest is learning to read so the karaoke helps encourage him to learn new words in a fun way. You do not have to fear about young children hearing foul language as there is a ‘Family Protect’ feature that you can enable prevent the little ones hearing the things you may not want them to.

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I find it easy to use and finding music is quick and fun. We can take it in turns with the microphone or share it. Independant research found that 66% of parents wish they could spend more family time together**. That is why this device is good as it offers opportunity to share some time together as a family and create happy memories. The amount of ready to run playlists are great as it introduces us to new music. I enjoy beating my hubby’s high score in ‘Name That Tune’.

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When it comes time to relax for bed the Sound Machine section under Extras is fantastic and also includes White Noise and the sound of Heart Beats which are great for soothing babies and getting them and the parents off to sleep. The company’s ethos of, “Music at home should be for sharing not headphone wearing” is true – we love sharing our old tunes, our parents old tunes and also exploring new tunes with our children.

ROXI is great but I have a few criticisms:

In the karaoke the ‘next lines to sing’ are very dark and so hard to see, it would be great if they could be a little brighter or use a light blue and yellow mix so we can be better prepared for when the new line comes comes up. What happened to the little bouncing ball that helps us with the timing?

The microphone can be very echoey  but that might be us getting used to how to hold it correctly.

The volume really needs more control, we have to have the TV turned up loud because the music is so quiet and even with the microphone turned to low our voices through the TV are still deafening. I think having 3 volume sliders would improve the sound: one for the music in general; one for the mic and one to control the volume of the music while the mic is being sang into.

As the jukebox is only running on 5 volts and draws no more than 2 amps maximum (according to rating on the transformer plug) I don’t understand why it doesn’t use a usb power socket. As most modern tv’s come with usb outlets for such things it would keep things tidier and would give us the opportunity to swap the lead to whatever length we need (the supplied power lead is only 1 metre long)

Overall, ROXI Electric Jukebox is a fantastic piece of kit, simple to set up, lots of choice and a slick design making it appealing to the modern person. It is a fantastic tool to add to family or group entertainment and will be great for christmases or birthdays.

I have also done a  video of going through the menus etc so you can get a better idea as exactly how the electric jukebox works

Cheers for reading X

**Research carried out July 2017 by censuswide for electric jukebox sample 2000 UK families with children under 14 years old. 

I was given a electric jukebox in exchange for a review. However, all opinions expressed are my own entirely. .

Sticky Mud and Belly Laughs
Mummascribbles
3 Little Buttons

Observations from having two children 

Hey readers,

I am luckily enough to be blessed with two boys. I remember in the earlier days of having my second child how completely different my world turned, compared to just having one bundle of joy.

Firstly, when having two children you need to have skills in multi-tasking and making sure each child has their own needs meet. For example, when it comes to play having suitable aged toys available to them. An example of this would be a playmat for the baby but for the toddler more advanced toys such as stacking blocks.


Online shopping or having the opportunity to take one child out is a blessing. I found it so hard trying to navigate a child and a push chair. I am really lucky enough to get hubby to look after one child whilst I went shopping with the other child. This situation really good for me right now as my eldest  needs a lot of one to one attention when it comes to practicing writing. Therefore, I don’t feel as guilty. But I am slowly learning for everyones sanity is it is ok to ask for help.

Make sure if you have two children of close age to make sure that when ever you chose something for them make sure that the item is exactly the same. Even if it is the same colour beaker, trust me the arguments over silly minor things like having a different colour cup is shocking. It keeps things calm and it protects your hearing from all the squabbling, win-win!
If you have electronical devices make sure there are two. I will one day persuade hubby to get another tablet because really it gives us all peace. Currently I dread when one child asks can they have the tablet, it is a nightmare. Sod the art of learning when it comes to technology, I opt for peace if I could. Until that day I am very much miffed at hubby, 😉.


A good thing about having two children is that the second time round  you kinda know generally what to expect. I felt more relaxed and confident as a parent with things like potty training and wenaing.
Having a second child close in ages is fantastic as my boys have such a strong bond and have a play partner. Not saying that they always get on as pickering often happens but I know they care and love one another. I don’t think you can ask for much more than that as a parent of two children.

Cheers for reading X

Sticky Mud and Belly Laughs
Mummascribbles
3 Little Buttons

On the side line 

Hey readers,

When I was a child I did this thing called masking, aka faking it and what this means is that I learnt the behaviour of others. The problem being is that if something changes that I can mess up badly because I can’t be flexible with my thinking. That is the one of the characteristics of autism is we manage change and see things  black or white especially when it comes to learn.

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I think it’s really hard being an autistic girl growing up because there is so much more pressure to be sociable then a boy. That all the boys got away with not getting noticed there for less social pressure. I used to absolutely hate being a girl because of this reason and I thought boys had it a lot easier or more relaxed attitude with regards to social and communication which suited me perfectly.

Now that I’m an adult I find it a bit more easier because I have more experience and knowledge but I still frequently mess up. If I am feeling anxious or if there is too much going on in my head can’t seem to focus on the rules. There are times when stressful factors cause me more brain power than normal and it is like I regress in my behaviour. That is why it’s so hard to measure autism, as it is not something that you can say x y and z it’s constantly shifting depending on the environment and mindset of that individual.

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Since being a parent I have learnt that there are so many other social rules involved when bringing up a child.

I first it’s lovely when my children where new born as there is less pressure on me to be sociable but since my child has started school last year I noticed that there’s a hell of a lot more interaction going on.

Me being an autistic parent does affects my self esteem. A lot of the time I feel inadequate,  especially as my husband is very good at communicating and engaging with others. It leaves me feeling really angry and frustrated. I know comparing is the worst thing to do but it coincides with me learning of other people.

I think  one of the hardest and upsetting things is when  people don’t see you as an individual but some sort of invalid because you’re autistic. They don’t look past the label or they do but then they just talk down to you in a condescending way. The thing is I am aware exactly what is happening, I just I don’t have the skills to communicate and express myself as clearly as other people do.

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It has really made me feel quite low at times because I feel like I can’t give my child everything that a typical parent has to offer. I suppose that is why I enjoy the school holidays more because I don’t have to worry about the social things. The only downside is that when I return I have to deal with the social side of education and what not.I feel rubbish and I have felt very very low causing me to struggle to get up in the mornings. I have also learnt to avoid situations and tend to get my husband to do them tasks because it’s too upsetting at times to have to face the discrimination against me. I think that’s one of the saddest things about being an autistic parent is the fact that you deal with a lot of rejection or misunderstanding. I like my voice isn’t heard and again that familiar Outcast feeling appears.

Cheers for reading X

Twin Mummy and Daddy
Sticky Mud and Belly Laughs

Selfishness can be good

Hey readers,

I know when you hear the word selfish it dipicts  a negative picture but I want to share with you today why it is actually good for you SOMETIMES to be selfish.

Firstly, because you are listening to your needs and not others. Sometimes, we need to say I want this because I need it for my saniety.

It gives you assertiveness and feeling of comfortability to talk about your feelings to others. It is healthier because of not ignoring your needs and doing something about it can help you feel good. Asking for something should not be shamed upon, asking for help is ok, for me asking for timeout is important. It calms me down and others so in the long run everyone is winning.

You are listening to your needs and doing something constructive about it. As long as you are polite then I think it is ok to say look I need this for me becuase of XYZ.

You will help build your self-awareness skills in opening up to what you need. It will help increase your self-worth because you are being constructive and doing something to help you feel better.

It could mean better relationships because you are finding a solution to a problem, for example if you cook a lot and say to a housemate I need one a day a week off and you need to do the meal for us instead. Even though they might object it gives you the change to discuss issues and talk about how you are feeling. There is less anger and being open will be benefit making the situation more harmonious compared to if you sat on it and didn’t raise your issues. At least  then this could mean  something productive has helped and lead to more positive relationships without any negative impact because you have talked about the situation

Cheers for reading X

Mummascribbles

Sticky Mud and Belly Laughs

3 Little Buttons

It’s a Bing thing!

Hey readers,

Today I bring you my thoughts when watching Bing, because basically I have watched an episode today and I have had enough, I need my place to vent my frustrations, so here goes.

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Why is Bing always having a strop off? Seriously he is such a moany little sod, all the time. He must give his carer/parent a headache.

I think Bing needs to learn the art of No. He is such a little brat, so selfish every single time. If there is one crucial lesson that Bing needs to learn then it is to stop being so self-centred and share.

I think Flop is too soft and he should just quit being all nicey and following him around all day. I mean come on no parent surely has that much patience all day long with wingy Bingy. What message is that saying anyway to a child that if you moan you will get away with it? The thing is Bing needs some discipline. The first port of call would be to quit calling it a Bing thing, more Flop thing and if you don’t like it you know where you can stick it!

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I think Flop has some insecurities with the amount of 1-2-1 time, does he ever give Bing any space.

Why does Flop always say, ‘Aieechee!’ when Bing sneezes, what is that all about? Seems a bit odd to me.

What relationship is Flop anyway towards Bing,  is he a carer a parent and if he is a parent then pretty random considering flop is not any kind of animal, more sack like?

Why does every programme have to revolve around some moral. I believe that the best cartons are just fun, I can’t cope with any more American spin off programmes.  I wish Bing would have a change the format, it is so boring that I can predict what happens.

Why does Pando have a nappy on and no trousers on, surely this is not right, come on woman sort yourself out. You can not be like that 24/7.

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Cheers for reading X

Pink Pear Bear
Sticky Mud and Belly Laughs
The Pramshed

Why I don’t participate in extreme couponing

Hey readers,

You properly have heard of the American show called Extreme Couponing and the craze is here in the UK. Sadly though there are less coupons available here in the UK.

I love saving money, so I researched online about what all this fuzz of extreme couponing is  about. Since 2008 couponing and finding ways to save money has been a big interest in a lot of peoples life. At the time recession hit hard and people wanted to save money as there was less disposable cash available, especially through loans etc from the bank.

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Now there are loads of different ways to save money. A common one is searching and printing coupons, from magazines such as the Tesco Magazine which comes out monthly. The other way is to  go on to the companies own website and if you sign up to a newsletter it gives you free coupons to print at home, such as Coca Cola or Covent Garden Soup.Next thing you have to do is go on mysupermarket.com which allows you to find the cheapest product at the time and in most cases you can get it for free.

An alternative way to save money is through top cash back sites and SwagBucks.

Then there is the good old yellow sticker hunting where if you go closer to the time the supermarket  closes you can be lucky to grab some fab bargains with up to 75% of the original price of the item.

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Now I do use some of these methods such as yellow stickers, SwagBucks, Receipt Hog which are fab and fairly straight forward to get. Though the only downside with these apps is they take time to build up the reward.

The thing that I can’t manage is extreme couponing, where you do the whole signing up to the company and also get a a lot of people such as  friends or relatives to sign up. Therefore instead of getting one bottle of Coca Cola you can get four.

Now I am a mum of two young children so don’t have a lot of time to faff about and get the permission of others to sign up, hunting for coupons or  money back from items etc. Most of the stuff I tend not to use so I ask myself do I really need this, nine times out of ten the answer is no. I would much prefer to spend my time doing something a bit more exciting to be honest with you. I think the key thing to be a successful extreme couponer is time to do the research of looking around for the best deal, printing out and travelling.

Now I do use coupons casually for the odd thing  here and there but I don’t buy multiple items as I do not have the space to stock pile (where you buy large amounts of the same product and store them typically in a cupboard). Fair play if you do, but if I did have the space I can’t really be bothered to have say 15 bottles of strawberry shampoo, 6 bottles of washing up liquid and so forth.

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My other problem is that the products tend to be store cupboard or junk food most of the time. You may get the odd offer for yogurt or Nakd bars but they are few and between. As someone on low income I need food to feed my family that is reasonably healthy and that I would definitely use.

I believe that nothing is free, there is a cost somewhere down he line. Yes you can get a coupon but you need paper and ink to print it. If you are skint and you can’t afford travel, I mean for me to get on the bus it would cost me £3.10 for my 5 yo, and £4.00 for me to travel anywhere.

Not to mention the fact that different offers are on at different stores, you have to travel here there and everywhere. Which I don’t mind but with two young kids, going on the bus and then shopping is a depressing state of affairs.

I also want to point out that it is better to shop less frequently then go to loads of different places as it saves you in the long run. If you don’t shop you will find a solution. Whereas if you are constantly in the supermarket the temptation is there and you just waste money just for the sake of couponing.

A lot of the time the supermarket’s own brand is just as good (if not better) then the actual branded stuff, instantly you save a small fortune just by swapping.

Therefore, extreme coponing is not suited for me. I  don’t knock people for doing it, it is there choice but for me personally I don’t have the time/money/need to warrant the item. That doesn’t mean I don’t use coupons and they can be beneficial but you have to weigh it up do I really need this and if so go forth and buy.

Cheers for reading X

Pink Pear Bear
Sticky Mud and Belly Laughs
3 Little Buttons

DRY KIDS RED ALL IN ONE

Hey readers,

I’ve been asked to try out some fantastic ‘Dry Kids Red All In One‘ waterproof suits for children and, despite the beautiful weather, we managed to get them rained upon. Initially we called upon some of the rain gods, Zeus, Indra, Freyr, Bi Xing, Chaac, Tlaloc and (most importantly) Rob McKenna, but they all told us to go away and get inventive with a hose before they did!

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I had two ‘Dry Kids Red All In One‘ suits to test, one for my three year old and one for my five year old. They both loved the suits and were genuinely upset that we didn’t have any rain. We still tried them on and were pleasantly surprised that they are so easy to get on and off. The zipper runs all the way from through the hem on one leg up to the chin. This is a very important feature as there will always be a time when you need to drop your child’s ‘all-in-one’ down for a toilet break and so many other suits only unzip so far and then you have to fight with a desperate, wriggling child. The zip on these ‘Dry Kids Red All In One‘ is so good even our three year old got his undone and was up on the toilet in time. The weather proofing flap at the back of the zip is really large and easy to keep from getting jammed in the zipper, something I have done with many of our children’s outdoor wear.

Okay, still no rain: so we improvised – a garden sprinkler screwed to the ceiling of our balcony worked a treat.

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The ‘Dry Kids Red All In One‘ suits are lovely and bright with retro-reflective piping down either side of the hood and across the back and chest making them safe at night as well as the day. The sleeve cuffs are elasticated and worked brilliantly on our five year old but not so good on our little three year old (please read on to see why). The leg cuffs are also elasticated and stayed put near the bottom of their wellies keeping their feet and socks nice and dry for both of the boys.

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As you can see, the hoods are elasticated and a nice fit all the way around the face giving a snug and full cover to the head – no rain getting down the necks of my little ones!

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The material is really waterproof which is impressive at this price – a lot of water proofs we have had before had some form of rain seepage and needed extra waterproofing treatment, it was nice to see this material work as it should. The seams are sealed with a good looking weather proof seam tape and it looks like it is stuck down really firmly.

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The ‘Dry Kids Red All In One‘ suits are fantastic but unfortunately we do have some criticisms: one on design and two on quality control.

The only issue we have regarding the design may not be fixable without effecting the great price of the suit. We found that, while playing with the water to fill their buckets up, our 3 year old ended up with water running down the inside of the sleeves and  down his tee-shirt. Although we wouldn’t expect children to be walking through the rain while holding buckets up we do expect the smaller children to be holding our hands a lot of the time. An additional soft absorbent cuff inside the waterproof cuff might stop the ingress of rain while the children have their hands up to ours.

I think the second issue was unfortunately down to quality control. We found two problems in this area. The suit for our five year old had a couple of issues. The first noticeable one was that a seam had been re-stitched: the original stitch leaving a row of needle holes for quite some distance. These needle holes obviously compromise the integrity of the waterproofing and could have easily been sorted out by running a length of seam waterproofing tape over them on the inside of the suit. The photo below just shows a small section so you understand what I mean.

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The second issue was that the seam waterproofing tape was not in the right place at the crotch of the suit. We didn’t notice this before putting it our our child and, as we took the suit off  after the ‘rain’ play, we upset our son by asking him if he had wet himself (you can see why we thought this by the photo of his shorts).

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I took the suit to the shower and gently ran cold water down it to discover the leak in the crotch. These sorts of problems normally only come to light part way through your holiday when you all go for a walk over the rainy downs/hills/fields etc. and end up with an upset, cold wet child halfway through the trek and nothing you can do about it.

The yellow pointers highlight the weather proofing tape and the blue pointers highlight the seam that it just misses. Although it is only a small bit of seam that is missed, it is enough for the gentle shower water to ‘drip drip drip’ through and it would take no time for a child to find it uncomfortable on a cooler day- especially if out walking.

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Our three year old’s suit was perfectly made: all the stitches where they should be; no long lengths of sewing machine run off and, most importantly, the weather seam tape inside being exactly in the right place.

We had one perfect suit and one which slipped passed quality control so I would recommend to anyone buying water proof clothing to check the weather proofing seam tapes and also for any holes prior to its initial use but I recommend doing this on any waterproofs.

We think these ‘Dry Kids Red All In One‘ suits are great- the colour, brightness, price (£12.95 when writing this), fit and (not withstanding the above faults) the detail in design & functionality and, more importantly, our children love wearing them. With the above paragraph in mind, I do recommend these suits as the colour and price are superb. If Dry Kids can tighten up the quality control then, [other than the cuffs on the ‘shorter reachy up‘ children’s suits (I guess ages one to four)], these would be flawless.

Cheers for reading X

I was given the suits in order of an honest review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.

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