This past weekend we were invited to an event run by in Manchester at Artisan kitchen and bar in Spinningfields which is one of my favourite areas of Manchester. This is a link to the hut’s website. Summer Fun

As we are so fond of Spinningfields and the weather was so nice, we arrived early so we could have a nice walk around and enjoy the sunshine. Theres always something to look at in that area of Manchester and even the boys love exploring to see whats changed and whats new.

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I wasn’t sure what to expect as I’d not shopped with before. I had heard of the company but I am not familiar with what they sell. The invitation was extended to family’s so I was hoping the boys would be kept entertained while I got a chance to look at the products.

On arrival we were greeted by this site, which was very welcome on such a hot day.

the hut

The boys enjoyed some soft drinks whilst I indulged in a glass of prosecco, it’s not often I get to drink whilst we are out as I’m usually driving so I jumped at the chance to have a small glass since I wouldn’t be driving home!

The juices looked so refreshing!

The boy made a beeline for the games and spotted a Disney version of Monopoly. He loves monopoly although his attention span isn’t very long so he plays his own made up version most of the time.

Being a Disney mad family this is perfect for us and is on our ‘wish list’ now. I loved the details of the game, the playing pieces were just so lovely and intricate. Daddy tried to explain the rules again to him but often it’s just best to go with the flow and try to follow his own made up rules!


While he was busy with the game Flixster spotted the Ninky Nonk (if you haven’t got young children this is a vehicle from a television show called In the Night Garden) and was very happy to spend a long time just pushing it around and playing with it.

ninky nonk

Perfect conditions for Mummy to indulge in a little browsing. The tables were set out with various different items and my first call had to be to the shoes, a little passion of mine although I haven’t been able to indulge in a while.

I love the Vivenne Westwood ladies shoes, shame they weren’t my size but a fellow blogger did try them on and exclaim how comfortable they were (jealous!) We are already converse fans in our house so I was interested in the Superga shoes as I think they’d be much easier than laces for the boys whilst we are on holiday. If only I had a girl for the pink converse too!

Homeware from

The other things I spotted were some lovely housewares (yes I know I should like an old person when in my head I’m still an 18 year old running wild!) These Calvin Klein towels would defiantly be kept for best and not rolled out with the regular pile the kids are ill! (yes everyone has those don’t they!) They are just so soft, if only I could have an adult only (no make that women only) bathroom.

The clothes too looked lovely, in particular I had my eye on this Boss top, so floaty and summery it has to be on the wish list from, I can see it being worn with some lovely skinny jeans and heels and a statement necklace.

I was genuinely surprised at the range that stock, I’ve since had a look at the website and there’s loads more choice on there too. They currently have a voucher on the website for 15% off for new customers so I’ll be making use of that myself. If you spend over £20 p&p is free and if the total is over £50 then next day delivery is included at no additional cost (I’m an impatient person so this is a nice bonus for me!)

I was genuinely surprised at the diverse amount of products that sell and have enjoyed browsing through the website, there’s definitely a fair few things added to our family wish list.

My favourite thing though about event apart from the chance to get my hands on some fabulous products was the chance to have a little family time together in a lovely surrounding on a sunny day and being able to chat to other lovely blog writers and hopefully make some new friends!



Unwritten Rules of Shopping in Aldi or Lidl

There are some unwritten rules of shopping in Aldi or Lidl, read on I will try to explain them!

I’ve been shopping in Aldi and Lidl for a couple of years. In the last few months I’ve noticed just how busy it’s getting. They used to be a fairly quiet place to shop. I think it’s fabulous that so many people have now discovered the treasures that they hold. But I also chuckle to myself every time I go in the shop and see someone who has clearly never been before. New shoppers stand out by a mile!

Shopping at Aldi and Lidl is unlike any other supermarkets experience. There is an unspoken and unwritten set of rules to follow when shopping there. If you’ve never been there before it can be quite daunting at first. So long as you grasp the rules quickly you will soon be fitting in like the rest of us! The planning starts before you leave the house too so don’t just expect to turn up!

The Rules (The unwritten rules!)

1) Bags – As with all shops now you’ll need to take your own bags, while they do sell them at the till for emergencies what you really need is some nice wide bottomed hessian type bags. They are perfect for packing up everything at the end, so you can see when you get home where everything is. I did see the other day someone in there with some fab bags that clip onto the shopping trolley and sort of line it. They looked fab and perfect for shopping there. I’ll be on the look out for those. Also make sure you take more bags than you think you’ll need. Trust me you always need the extra ones! No one ever goes to Aldi or Lidl and leaves with just an item or two!

2) £1 coin or a shopping trolley token. The trolleys always need them and even though you might think you can get away with a basket for just a few items, you never leave with just a few. Once you’re inside you’ll end up wanting to buy more than a basket full! Always have your coin or token ready for the trolleys.

3) The aisles won’t look anything like you are used to, theres way less choice which is a good thing. Believe me when theres only one type of baked beans it takes seconds to pick them up. Last time I went to Tesco to buy beans there was nearly a whole aisle of them, it took me ages to make my choice.

Although all the different beans looked great you’ll waste no time picking beans in Aldi, just pick them up! Although there are some branded goods most of the brands are their own and having tried most of them you probably won’t notice any difference between your usual brand and the Aldi or Lidl one. So just take a punt and try them, your purse will thank you!

4) The middle of the store is usually reserved for a variety of household goods stored in metal cage type storage bins which change on a regular basis. Each week new things are added. Try not to block the aisle hanging around the items though! If you want to know the price of something just look up, its usually there somewhere!

5) Wine – Don’t overlook it, you may be in a budget supermarket however both Aldi and Lidl sell some really great award winning wines. At great prices, the prosecco is fabulous! They usually have descriptions up as well as any awards, have a good look at them all. This is one of my favourite unwritten rules!

6) Checkouts – If you have a trolley full of shopping go against your instincts and pick the longest queue! Why you might ask? Well you need as much time as possible to remove all your shopping from the trolley and put it onto the belt before the cashier starts putting it through the till. If you spot someone with just a few items always ask if they want to go before you. Not only will they be grateful for getting through quicker but it buys you more time to get all the shopping on the belt.

7) Once all the shopping is loaded onto the belt get ready to whizz your trolley round to the other side of the cashier. There is no space to pack your bags there. I will say this only once…..


As soon as the item is scanned get it in the trolley. The lovely workers of Aldi and Lidl are the fastest scanners I know. The shopping will be coming towards you in a blur. If you get behind with putting things back in the trolley just do the one arm sweeper movement to get the shopping in the trolley, so long as there’s no eggs already scanned through you’ll probably be ok! If you want the shopping in any order in the trolley then you have to plan ahead and put it on the belt in that order. Don’t try to do it as its coming at you at 90mph through the till!

8) Once you’ve paid your bill (and got over how much you’ve saved!) quickly move away from the till to the packing bench. If its full and it tends to get like that at the weekend then just wait for a spot. Get your bags out and start to pack up, replacing the bags in the trolley as room is made for them. Once you’re packed you’re pretty much done. On the way out pick up a leaflet for next weeks special offers, it’ll save you time looking next week and stop you looking like a newbie!

If you have any more tips to add please do let me know!




This past weekend I made a trip to the Baby and Toddler Show at Eventcity Manchester with my good friend Jenny from Lets Talk Mommy. I had won tickets in a giveaway on another parenting blog and was looking forward to having a nosey around the various stalls of companies large and small. I have been previously and knew what to expect of the day. I arranged to meet Jenny in Starbucks for breakfast before the show, as usual I was running late so text her as I was leaving to say I’d be there soon. Unfortunately her son had been poorly during the night so she too was running late, we ended up arriving at roughly the same time. I had a pumpkin spiced latte and pumpkin loaf. I love pumpkin spiced lattes but they are an occasional treat for me as I know they are quite calorific so try not to have them all the time. I love autumn and winter time so I know once Starbucks start promoting the PSL its time for the seasons to change!

We had breakfast and chatted about the children then headed over to the show. The line to get in was long but moved quickly, once inside we headed straight to the changing area as Flixster was getting grouchy. I didn’t bring the boy with me as he’d have been bored and would have a much better time at home with daddy. The changing area was well equipped with complimentary disposable nappies, wipes and Vital Acquaint Sanitising spray. I haven’t seen or used this product before so thought I’d give it a go, I used it to wipe down the surface after changing. It certainly seemed to act like water with no sticky residue, I’d definitely be looking out for it in the shops so that I can give it a try around the house. I’m a sucker for cleaning products, especially baby friendly ones! After a quick change we swapped sides and went into the feeding area, as a breastfeeding mummy I love it when comfortable seating is provided for me to feed baby in, I certainly wasn’t disappointed at the show, I managed to bag myself a nice rocking chair to feed in. As I was first into the area this was great, I think later on in the day then it may have been harder as there were only two rocking chairs as far as I could see and some other softer seating, so I hope for future shows that they provide a few more comfortable chairs to feed in. After Flixster had finished we headed back into the main show area to begin exploring all the stalls. There were major brands showing there alongside some much smaller companies which was great. I love to see new products and find that getting hands on at show and seeing demonstrations live really helps me to remember them. The show seemed busy but I was able to move around freely which was great. I had Flixster in a baby sling but even the mummies and daddies with prams and pushchairs had room to move which was great. I tried to avoid the large area of prams and buggies on display as I already own three myself and I don’t think the hubby would be happy if I told him I wanted another one, I do really enjoy trying new prams though so best to steer clear!
One of the highlights of the show for me personally was seeing the OnetoOne Midwife stand. When I was pregnant with Flixster I referred myself to the fabulous service of OnetoOne midwives as I am very lucky to live in an area that they currently provide services to, free of charge to pregnant ladies. My main midwife wasn’t at the show on the day I attended but my secondary midwife was so it was lovely to see her again there. I was on the look out for some new dribble bibs for Flixster at the show and I wasn’t disappointed, there were at least two stands selling them but I chose to buy from a company I’d never heard of before called Zippy Bibs as they had a large selection of Christmas bibs and I am absolutely mad for Christmas, it’s my absolute favourite time of year, I have fond memories of Christmas as a child and find its even more magical now I have children of my own. So I bought at least 3 Christmas themed bibs in my selection.


Jenny didn’t really have much on her shopping list but did buy a new changing bag or as she would say in her lovely american accent ‘Diaper bag’ from Mia Tui. Last year I bought a lovely change bag from them at the show so I wasted no time in recommending them to Jenny who does a lot of travelling with her children. Their bags are great for everyday use as a handbag as well as a change bag and are ideal for travelling. I will do a review of mine soon, but as it’s in everyday use I’d need to find time to empty it out properly, its like a Tardis! As there’s so many lovely colour choices Jenny took her time to decide on a beautiful autumnal coloured one that will go with anything.



Jenny and I spent quite a lot of time at various stalls and by the time we had finished looking around and shopping our tummies were rumbling so we headed oer to the Trafford centre for some lunch before heading our separate ways to go home.

The baby and toddler show was a fun day out but I’m not sure it would have been worth the £15 price per ticket, in the run up to the show there were lots of ticket offers flying about so if you can get a discount on future shows then I’d highly recommend it to expectant parents and parents of young children. I didn’t notice many products for toddlers but I’m sure this may change in future years as it certainly seemed busy this year so I’d hope that in future this would attract even more brands and products to the show. I’m looking forward to visit again in future as Flixster gets older!