Back to School

 

IMG_8198

Clearly I am not heading back to school, but getting a new rucksack has made me feel a bit like I used to at the end of the summer term. I had 6 weeks ahead of me stretching out… yet I used to get a new bag, shoes, pencil case and stationery in the first week of the holidays! Of course, I always used to leave my homework till the last week… Anyway I have a new rucksack! I’d been thinking about getting one for a while now that I am using the mei tai carrier for Athena a bit more, it means if I have her on my front I can just fling this on my back and go!

IMG_8201 IMG_8430

The Mi-Pac Rucksack and new my new Vans are from Rawk.com, who sell allsorts of skater/riding gear, from skateboards to ice skates and everything in between! The Rucksack is big enough to get my laptop in and has a little waterproof hole to poke headphones through too. There’s a front pocket as well as a couple inside, and the base is padded to protect your valuable cargo (or beach towels and swimming costume, as was the case on Thursday!) I love the mint green colour and Nordic pattern, in fact the only thing I’d change is a little more padding on the straps!

IMG_8199 

Now Vans probably don’t need much introduction to most people, they’re so comfortable and from memory don’t get that annoying squeak that converse do when they reach around a year old! I went for black so they go with anything, they’re not so trainer-looking that I felt like Lily Allen circa 2007 wearing them with a dress either!

Both items sent for review purposes, all opinions and words my own.

Guest post: Brighten up the day with Bingo

clip_image001image credit

When you’re having a full-on day with the kids or at work, it’s great if you can find a way of winding down for a few minutes without necessarily having to book a chunk of time out of your day and / or finding someone else to look after the kids while you take five.

Fortunately, the internet is the gateway to a myriad of different entertainment options, all only a couple of clicks away. And one of those options that has really taken the globe by storm in the last few years is online bingo. Yes, the humble game of bingo that used to only be associated with OAPs and funny rhyming bingo calls has moved into the internet age, with a huge choice of sites to choose to play at.

So why is bingo better than other games you can find online? For a start, it’s so easy to play. Even if you’ve never played bingo in your life, all you need to do when you play online is choose which game to play and how many tickets to buy. You don’t even have to concentrate on what’s happening during the game as any numbers on your ticket that match the numbers called are marked off automatically by the software. So it really is a game where you can just sit back and watch what happens. And this in itself can be quite relaxing – unless, that is, it suddenly looks like you might win, and then you’ll be on the edge of your seat!

There is the possibility, of course, of winning a large amount of cash while you’re playing. No-one really imagines that they will win the jackpot when they’re playing an online game, but it does happen, and if you look at the winners’ pages on the bingo sites, more often than you might think. But even if you don’t win a significant amount, bingo still represents great value entertainment, not least because many of the sites offer free playing credit when you first sign up to play. If you play at Winner Bingo, for example, and put in a minimum deposit of £10, the site credits your account with an extra £30 – to use on bingo and other games on the site. Online bingo industry invests heavily to keep the game affordable and fun. Big names like Playtech’s Winner Bingo and Sky Vegas provide impressive bonus schemes and promotions. When bingo games start from just 1p, that’s plenty of games you’ll get to play for free! Winner’s just one example, of course, you’ll find similar welcome bonus deals at other sites like Gala and tastybingo.com.

But for many people, playing online bingo isn’t about the simplicity of the game or the possibility of winning big prizes for such low stakes. No, it’s really about the social side of the game. This is where online bingo really differs from the bingo hall version, where players have traditionally always had to be quiet so that everyone could concentrate on the number calls. With online bingo, as there’s no need to concentrate, it means every player is free to chat, so that’s what many of them do in the online bingo chat rooms. Once you have a bingo card in play, you can access the chat room linked to it, and meet other players there to do the same thing as you. It’s not just bingo talk – many topics are covered and there’s a chat moderator always present to make sure that everyone feels included and that the topics remain wholesome!

Really it’s this social element to bingo that makes it so popular. There are loads of other online real money games where you can play in the hope of winning cash prizes, but none of the others are quite so friendly and fun as bingo!

A guest post from Sarah;  Having never visited a real bingo hall in her life, mum-of-one and marketing consultant Sarah is an online bingo convert who likes to play whenever she has a quiet moment.

Thoughts: body confidence

 body-confidence

I can’t work out whether I am more or less body confident than I was pre-baby. I think I am more confident, well, most of the time. My body is definitely different, I have bigger boobs and a saggier belly. My legs are much the same size wise but I have faint stretch marks on my thighs, and my upper arms are still a bit flabby too. I wish I had put less weight on when I was pregnant, but hey, you live and learn right? I actually only weigh around half a stone more than I did when I got pregnant in fact, I just look different! I now wear jeans and tops to cover up my flabbier-than-before middle (and make it easier to breastfeed), whereas pre-baby jeans or trousers never graced my legs at all! How things change!

body-confidence

It’s at this time of year when I start to feel more aware of my body. Today I walked past someone in town with her baby in a buggy, wearing a crop top and shorter than short shorts. She had an awesome figure. I was wearing shorts too, but mine were linen and on the longer side, and I had a sensible cotton top on from next. I felt very middle aged. I then had a strict word with myself, she was in early late teens or early twenties. I am 30, it’s no wonder I didn’t spring back into shape, and I wasn’t as slim as she was in the first place!

mel-shoes

Till late spring I was happy in my jeans and jumpers. But not only is there more on display to compare myself too in the summer, but it’s bloody hot in case you hadn’t noticed! I’d love to be wearing next to nothing but just don’t have the confidence to do so. Plus if I wear shorter-than-short shorts my thighs would rub together and cause me great discomfort! I also get under-boob sweat now I actually have boobs… but do I care enough to do anything about it? No, not really. I figure that at some point I’ll be pregnant again and undo all my hard work. Although I do plan on not putting on as much weight as I did with Athena, that’s for sure!

Until this week with it’s ridiculous weather I have been keeping my upper arms covered, annoyed at how flabby my bingo wings are, but I have decided to go with the flow, it’s too hot to keep my pits ensconced in fabric! Remember I said in this post I did a sneaky Asos order last Sunday? This is one of two sleeveless dresses I bought. So here I am, pale and pasty upper arms and all!

body-confidence body-confidence

Origami print Dress: Asos. Shoes: Mel (they’re made of rubber and are scented, seriously weird but they were reduced to £10 in Debenhams! I plan to use them as beach shoes mainly!)

This time 3 years ago I would have a lovely glowing tan, acquired from  every-other day sessions on a sun bed. I always like a tan made my podgy belly and wobbly thighs look better than their natural flour-white appearance. Now, I am happy (Well, happier) to head out baring my milk-white legs for all to see, sometimes I don’t even shave them when I probably should! I guess I am more body confident now! After all, I think i’m the only one who gives a damn, and I wish I could tell my 20 year old self that!

Ps: This isn’t a ploy to get people to tell me I have nothing to worry about!

How has your opinion of your body changed over the years?