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How to throw an amazing Carnival birthday party

Emily turned 7 this week and wanted a themed carnival birthday party. Okay, I thought, this doesn’t sound that bad. I had three weeks to plan it so, I got a pen and paper and…

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Xplora Smartwatch – Find out why we love this watch

Ad- This is a collaborative post with Xplora however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

They also encourage adults to be active too. I ditched the car so we could cycle to school but now I have ditched the bikes so we can walk to school and I will tell you why in this post. I had seen these smartwatches on Instagram and I was instantly attracted to the Gps tracking feature, especially as recently my girls have started to play outside and that does nothing for my anxiety.

Lydia and Emily were kindly sent the Xplora X5 each to review and they wear it every single day.

Xplora’s Mission

Xplora was founded with the mission to give children a safe onboarding to digital life and a better balance between screen time and physical activity.

Play to move the world

Our vision is to enable children around the world to experience how their everyday activities can make a positive change in the world.
Our Xplora Platform rewards activities and incentivises children to be more active. Each week, our users walk more than one billion steps. That’s the equivalent of walking around the world once every day!!

What’s in the box?

  • -Xplora X5 smartwatch
  • -Charger lead that magnetically attaches to the back of the smartwatch and takes a few hours to fully charge.
  • – Sim card trap tool opener

Setting up your new smartwatch

You will need to download the Xplora app so you can link and manage the smartwatch, once set up and linked you can then monitor your child’s activity through the app.

To use all the features Xplora has to offer on their watches you will need to use a sim card. Xplora will send you out a GiffGaff sim card with your new watch which is what the girls use in theirs and we currently use the £6 goody bag which gives them 500MB of data, unlimited texts and calls.

The data is strictly used for the GPS feature so you do not need to worry about your child being able to access the internet.

You can add pre-approved numbers to the watches through the app which means the girls can only call and text the contacts that I have set up for them through their watches. They can not see anyone’s mobile number and they can definitely not see their own mobile numbers so they cannot give them out.

The camera on the X5 smartwatches is really good, better than I thought it would be. The camera is on the front so they can only take selfies, I get random pictures of them sent to me even when they are upstairs which is quite random and funny.

Let’s talk about the GPS tracking

Now, this is the feature that I was looking forward to the most.

The door knocks every day with one of their school friends asking if they can play out and I dreaded it and always said No. My reason was that I wouldn’t be with them to protect them and keep them safe and I wasn’t comfortable with that. We have a lot of children playing out the front I felt so bad stopping them because of my own anxieties until one day I said, Ok. I was outside every two minutes checking them, making sure I could see them and that they were safe.

They know they are not allowed to cross the road and they know their boundaries but that still didn’t stop me from going out and checking on them. When their smartwatches arrived, I felt relieved because one of the features is the tracker so I was very eager to see how it all worked.

Please be aware that without a sim card this feature will not work.

All I have to do is go into my Xplora app and swipe to which child I want to check on and I can see where they are. I can see the pin moving as they move around the boundaries I have set them. You can also set up a safety zone where you will get an alert if your child comes out of the said zone and an SOS button on the side of the watch just in case god forbid they need to use it which will alert your phone.

I am looking forward to using this feature in the summer holidays when we go on days out and moving forward when the girls go no school trips again.

Rewarding your steps

This is what I was talking about at the beginning of the post. I ditched the bikes because we wanted the steps and that is because we get rewarded for walking. HOW, you ask?

For every 1000 steps, you take you are rewarded with 1 Xplora coin which you can save up until you have enough Xplora coins to buy something from their Goplay store. The shop restocks and opens every Friday at 4 pm and you can buy real stuff like scooters, trampolines,  Instax camera, clothing and smaller items like puzzles, binoculars, footballs etc.

When you first get your new Xplora smartwatch, they give you a code for Xplora coins on the side of the box to start you off, make sure you add them.


You can win bigger prizes by joining these campaigns, It will cost you 1Xplora coin to join any new campaign. You can get a daily reward which will help you towards your overall distance just by checking in every day but other than that you don’t need to do anything else except for walk as it will monitor is all for you. There is an option to buy boosts using your XCOINS but we don’t do that as were are saving all of ours to buy something in the store.

School Mode

This is another great feature that I love.

I asked the girls headteacher if they can wear them to school and she said yes as long as they don’t fiddle around with them. Well, they can’t in school mode, all they can see is the time and that’s it until it unlocks at 3.20 pm I have set mine to lock from 8.30 am to 3.20 pm Monday to Friday however in this time, it can still monitor their GPS location and steps.

Since Covid, we have not been allowed to physically take our children round to their outside classroom door so we have had to leave them at the gates and watch them go through. There have been times where I have watched them go through but second-guessed myself because there are so many children going through at the same time. I just log onto my app, refresh the location and I can see they are in school. This has been such a relief for me.

The watches are also waterproof until 1.5m/30 min so if they do accidentally put in in water, you don’t need to panic and the screens are gorilla grass and have a protective cover on. My girl’s screens are scuffed a bit now from all the wear and that’s okay because you can buy replacement screen protectors on Amazon.

Battery life

I have found that the watches only take a few hours to fully charge and when fully charged we can get around a day and a half out of them. There have been mornings that I have stuck them on charge before school for an hour and 23% would last them all day until around 5 pm. I try not to let them go flat before I charge them and I don’t leave them charging overnight. I would say the battery life is very good.


I am so happy with the watches, I have told everyone that I can about them and all the amazing features. I am shouting about them over on Instagram because they are so handy to have and leaving reviews everywhere I can because we love these smartwatches.

The girls can call me for the park instead of having to keep coming back every two minutes ( not that I mind) and I can call them and ask them if they took a drink or if they’re both okay. I can even set an alarm on their watch through the app so they know when to come home. I still go out and check on them every few minutes but I feel more relaxed since having them. They love ringing each other when one of them is out with an adult and I love that we get rewarded for walking. Since having our watches we are doing at least 10k steps every day and feel so much better for it.

For 15% off anything from the Xplora website, use my code JO15

AD – 10 Reasons why you should hire a Rug Doctor

Ad- This is a collaborative post with Rug Doctor however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

We recently had the opportunity to work with Rug Doctor focusing on their home delivery rental service. I have been very excited about this because I love cleaning, I find it very therapeutic and I can switch off and focus on what I need to do and think of nothing else. It’s good for my mind and keeps me organised, and when I am organised I function better.

We bought our sofa four years ago, and over this time I have tried my hardest to keep it clean by using warm water and a drop of washing up liquid. It would take me hours to clean it because I would have to clean each and every cushion, if I didn’t clean the whole cushion I would have watermarks left behind and it would take all day to dry. My sofa never looked really dirty but it was in dire need of a deep clean.

I have three children 15, 8 and 6, plus two labradors 4 years, and 13 months,. Although we didn’t let the kids eat snacks or drink drinks on the sofa, they did occasionally, often leading to a spill of some kind. The dogs used to love being with us on the sofa as well, but we decided to stop it once I had spent the entire day cleaning muddy paws. It took forever and never felt clean.

This is why I was so excited for the Rug Doctor to arrive, so I could finally give my sofa the clean it deserves, see for yourself the colour of the water!

Why did I choose Rug Doctor?

  1. Easy to book online.

Go on to the website and register your details.  it will explain in 3 easy steps how to book your cleaner. At the bottom of the page, you will see a button where you can book your home delivery time slot.  Make sure you select the hand tool if you want to clean your sofa and stairs.

2. Gets delivered and collected from your front door.

Your Rug Doctor will arrive in a big box, put the box somewhere safe for a few days as you will need this when returning it.

3. The Rug Doctor is very easy to set up and use.

4. Does not leave any odours whilst drying.

I thought I would be able to smell the damp dog smell whilst my sofa was drying. It didn’t smell or anything which I was very pleased about.

5. Dries within a few hours.

As soon as the kids left for school, I started cleaning the sofa. This gave it the longest time to dry before the kids come home from school; the first thing they love to do is sit on the sofa and tell me about their day. The sofa was completely dry within a few hours. My carpets were the same except for in a few places where I had overlapped.

6. You don’t need to worry about storing it if you don’t have space.

We have very little storage in our house so the rental option is the ideal solution for us because we only have to store it for a few days before it’s gone again.

7. You will save yourself so much money by hiring a Rug Doctor and doing it yourself.

A few years ago I had an independent quote for my sofa and my carpets and in total it would have come up to just short of £300.

8. You don’t have to just use it on your sofa or carpets.

I cleaned my sofa, stairs, hallway, three bedrooms and two mattresses for the few days that we had it and I wish I had cleaned the upholstery in my car too.

9. You feel so much cleaner after it’s all done and will be surprised/disgusted by the colour of the water, even when something doesn’t look dirty.

I found it very satisfying to use and watching all the dirt being sucked out. It was soo good!

10. You will not be disappointed.

I am already looking forward to when I need to use it again. I was going around the house looking for things to clean (hence the mattresses)

I can’t recommend this machine enough and how easy it was to use. I was worried about taking it up and downstairs as it felt heavy but just make sure it’s empty first and take the white container out so you can get a better grip on the machine. It was very easy to pull along on the carpets upstairs and I did all three bedrooms and the hallway in around 30 minutes.

You will not be disappointed with this, I guarantee you. Easy to set up and use, dries fast and affordable,  What more can you ask for?

If you found this post helpful and liked it, you might be interested in my 12 simple tips to keep your kitchen tidy and organised.

AD | Comfy Loungewear by Femme Luxe

Ad/gifted products- I received the clothing in this post in exchange for the purpose of this review, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

I spend a lot of time in my comfortable clothes, they’re a staple for me, a must-have. I would spend all day every day in them if I could and since we have nowhere to go at the moment, that’s exactly what I have been doing. I have put on some weight since not having anywhere to go and my routine being chucked out the window so not a lot fits me at the moment. Its my fault though because I love nothing more right now than sitting in front of the television in the evening once the kids have gone to bed, wearing comfy clothes with my partner, surrounded by snacks ( good and bad ) whilst I watch a film or binge-watch a series on Netflix. Femme luxe recently got in touch and have kindly sent me a selection of their loungewear clothes for me to try out at home.

First of all, I should mention that they have a fantastic range of clothes for all different occasions. The first place I got to on any clothing website is the Loungewear section and Femme Luxe did not disappoint. One thing I really wanted to test out when reviewing loungewear is the wear on the knee’s, some leggings stretch in the knee area if you are sitting in a certain position for too long and do not regain their shape again. This didn’t happen with any of the bottoms I have received.

I picked this set out in this particular colour because it’s not what I would usually go for. First of all, it’s not black, most of the time I pick black because It’s an easy colour that goes with everything and will hide everything, so this is why I went out of my comfort zone and picked Rose. I love everything about this set, the colour, the style, the fit, it’s a very flattering set to wear because of its boxy look and I wouldn’t think twice about wearing this to pop out to the shops, it’s cute.

The next set I picked is this one below, its a tracksuit style set and the bottoms have pockets, gotta love pockets. It’s so comfortable to wear and I do wear this one the most.

The great thing about loungewear is that you can mix and match with them and Femme Luxe has a fantastic range of joggers to choose from, I love the cuffed joggers everyone is wearing right now, I can see myself having them in every colour, plus they look amazing paired up with one of their slogan T-shirts or a cute little crop top. I love everything about this look, especially the colour of the joggers.

The last loungewear set that I have picked from their website was this set in the colour camel. It is worth noticing that the material on this set is different to the other two. I did experience bobbling to the upper inner thigh (where you would expect chub rub) after only wearing for a few hours  This one is more figure-hugging than the other two. It fits your body really lovely and I think it’s a very flattering set to wear. The leggings are high waisted which is great for mum tums like mine and the top is a long-sleeved V-neck.

I am so pleased with the selection of loungewear clothes that I have picked, they don’t make me feel frumpy, they make me feel good and I do really feel comfortable wearing them. I love that I can do the housework in them and still feel like I have got dressed and ready for the day ahead which is great for my mental well-being right.

Femme Luxe also offer Next day delivery FREE if you spend £30+ If you haven’t checked their website, what are you waiting for? I guarantee that you will find something you like.


Frenchic furniture paint and why I love it so much

Frenchic Logo

I rave about Frenchic every single day. In fact, I don’t think there’s a single day that goes by where I haven’t mentioned it. It’s the creme de la creme of furniture paint.

First of all, let me tell you a little bit of background information about the lady who founded and started Frenchic.

Frenchic’s founder

Pam has always enjoyed painting furniture with chalk paint but she wanted paint that would tick all the boxes, she wanted paint that was safe to paint children’s toys, with no odour and that didn’t have to be stirred, shaken or that needed water adding to it.

In 2014 Pam gambled her £15,000 life savings to set up Frenchic. She did everything herself in the first year, She packed the orders, sent them, ordered new stock and brought in new stockists. Her kitchen was covered inboxes. After her first year, she turned her husband’s chiropractors clinic into Frenchic HQ and they’ve even had to move warehouse FOUR times to keep up with demand.

Her chalk paint business now is worth £16m and I am not surprised. Go, Pam!

Frenchic - Pam Gruhn

Frenchic – Why I love it and what I have used it on so far.

I have also always enjoyed painting furniture throughout the years, I had previously used a different brand of chalk paint which I wasn’t completely satisfied with. I didn’t like the odour or the finish and was limited with colours. I remember seeing my friends pictures on Facebook of her painting her tv unit in this amazing blue colour and asked her what she used, Frenchic, of course!

I did a search on Facebook and joined their fan forum and that was it, I was blown away by it all and the finish on the furniture looked incredible, I had to try it. You can buy it directly from their website or from your local stockist. Just go on Frenchic’s website, type in your postcode it will tell you who your closest stockist is.

I remember the first time I opened the tin and I could already see by the consistency that this was going to be amazing and I wasn’t wrong. The coverage is second to none and it goes on like a dream with barely any prep work needed. ( I say barely because I do like to do a little even though you don’t need to with this)

At first, I thought the paint was expensive but that was before I started to use it.

Since discovering Frenchic I have painted all sorts and I can tell you that it does go a long way and I can also tell you how much I have used and what I have done.

Dusky Blush 750ml and 150ml

  • x2 coats on my front door
  • x2 coats on my outside light lantern
  • x2 coats on my grandfather clock
  • x2 coats on my bike
  • x2 coats on my rattan planter

Dazzle me 750ml ( Whitest white)

  • X2 coats on my dressing table
  • Garden signs
  • x 2 coats on all of my downstairs skirting board and has really brightened them up

I still have most of the tin left.

Dazzle me 750ml

x2 coats on another grandfather clock project

x2 coats on a corner unit which I then sold on.

I still have most of the tin left.

Wise old sage 150ml

I used this one on little details in my garden like signs and little ornaments.

I have also used the copper frensheen which is a powder that you mix with a finishing coat to create a metallic look. Although I have not used this on furniture yet, I have used it on my daughter’s school projects and I will be using it on my bike to add some detail. It mixes beautifully and goes on an absolute dream.

There are so many different ranges to try which offer different shades of colour but I have only ever used the Alfresco and Frensheen.

  • Original Artisan range
  • The Lazy Range
  • Alfresco inside/outside range
  • Chalk wall paint
  • Trim Paint
  • Easy Crackle
  • Waxes

Then you can buy brushes stencils Frenhsheen, finishing coat, sugar soap etc

There are endless projects you can do with this paint. I have seen people paint their window fascias, fireplaces, garage doors, kitchen cupboards, floors, garden slabs, rattan furniture, light shades, sofas, chimineas, sofas, blinds, radiators and so much more.

I have seen people transform rooms from boring, dated and dull to exciting, clean, fresh and vibrant with just a tin of this stuff, it’s actually insane and deserves to be shouted about.

Why not read my post on how to make soft chewy cookies.