More than a Mum

More than a mum is the place I save everything that doesn’t fall into the Travel, Food and Lifestyle buckets. It’s all those little things that go into my life and make me the person I am. Expect to find, fashion, beauty, photography, hobbies and anything else that is another part of me that I thought you might be interested in.

natural products

It seems these days, we’re constantly told we’re doing something wrong. Don’t eat that, don’t shop there, or don’t you dare drink that. It’s exhausting. Is it too much to ask for some positivity? Something good we can all get on board with and agree on. Well, thankfully, this is the beauty of natural products. They have so many benefits it would be hard to find the negative in them. Here are just a few reasons why you should consider using more natural products in your everyday life.

Money Saving

You may be worried that investing in natural products will cost you more money. This isn’t necessarily the case. Sometimes by going natural, you can actually save yourself some pennies. A good example here is shampoo and conditioner. Did you know it’s actually better for your hair if you use products such as baking soda or lemon juice? These are simple household ingredients, and can easily cut down the costs of your next toiletries shop. Once you start looking for natural product alternatives, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how much choice there is out there.

Sleep Better

natural products

You can use natural products – such as candles and reed diffusers from Neom Organics – to fill the rooms in your home with fresh, gorgeous scents. These aromas can help you to de-stress, relax and you’ll find yourself falling asleep before you know it. There are so many scents for you to choose from, you’re guaranteed to find one that suits your home, and will send you to sleep. You could also place a reed diffuser in the bathroom, perfect if you want a peaceful bath before heading off to bed.

Better Skin

natural products for skin

It’s been shown that most chemicals work against your skin rather than with it. By using natural products, your skin will quickly reap the rewards. This is particularly useful for those with sensitive skin as natural products are less likely to cause a reaction. Once again, it doesn’t have to break the bank either. It can be something as simple as an avocado face mask. Rather than stripping back your body’s natural chemicals, and replacing it with man made chemicals, natural ingredients can help feed your skin – they can keep it looking, and feeling, healthy.

Environmentally-Friendly

Natural products go hand in hand with helping nature. For a start, the production of them – as they’re natural – won’t harmfully impact the environment. Plus the disposal of them won’t have lasting damaging either. This is because most natural brands are very earth-aware. The packaging on them – if there’s anything – will be recycled and green as can be. Natural products are much more sustainable, so not only does using them benefit you, but also the planet. What have you got to lose?

Disclosure: Collaborative post

Hotter whisper boots

I love this time of year, falling leaves, lots of bright colours, some glorious days and long walks in the woods or the countryside, even on the beach.

We’ve been quite busy this autumn, we have been to Dreamland in Margate – it’s the perfect time of year to visit as there are no long queues! We’ve walked over to The Leather Bottle pub in nearby Cobham and I have taken the girls shopping to spend some of their vouchers.

On each of these occasions, I have enjoyed the comfort of my Whisper boots made by Hotter.

Hotter and Mari’s World got together to show how three generations of women could wear the Whisper boots and style them in their own unique way. I am the middle generation, mum is the top and Oana, who was delighted to join in, showed how the younger generation could wear and style these boots just as well as any other woman in town.

The top generation

Hotter Whisper boots

Mum was delighted to join in and at first couldn’t decide which colour to go for. It’s so easy to choose a sensible black or brown boot but no, mum pushed her boundaries this time and selected the bright red boots. Quite a statement and, although I knew she’d come up trumps as she’s always been a woman who has taken great care in her appearance, I was curious as to how she would fit these bright beauties into her wardrobe.

Mum and granddad passed by for a night a couple of weeks ago on their way to Sardegna and she picked up her boots with glee saying she couldn’t wait to try them on. I asked her about her boots on a recent telephone call and she loves them, she’s been walking the well heeled streets of Sardegna looking fabulously smart. She said,

In the words of a song by Nancy Sinatra – “These boots were made for walking and that’s what they will do …”  They are very comfortable, fashionable and I love the colour.  Thankyou

I’m sure I’ll be seeing mum enjoying her boots a lot more this autumn and winter.

The younger generation

Hotter Whisper boots

Oana is my grandchildren’s mother. She is 28 in November and like most women, takes enormous pride in how she looks. Even when money is scarce she manages to come up trumps and look a million dollars. However, could she be tempted to review a pair of boots that women of all ages would happily be seen in? Would she think they made her look ‘old and frumpy’?

I proposed the challenge to her via Whats App and sent through the Whisper boot link so she could see for herself. She loved them and came back almost straight away with her colour choice and size.

Oana has been working a lot as a care assistant the past few months and has to feel comfortable when she is working but she says they are also perfect for slipping on to take the children to the park, for the school run and she said, they look perfect with jeans.

The middle generation

Whisper boots Hotter

Ok, you can decide which generation you prefer to be classified in but the point of this review is to show that one pair of boots can stretch a multitude of ages and styles.

I went for a plum-coloured, suede pair rather than opt for a traditional black or tan boot. I’m really pleased with my choice and have been able to wear them on casual occasions and for ‘going out’. I’ve worn them to work and for long walks. I have been asking the girls to take my photo and they only just got the boots in but you can see plenty more on the Hotter website.

Whisper boots Hotter

They are incredibly comfortable, they are like putting on your favourite pair of slippers. In fact, I’ve often got home and started on house chores only to realise I haven’t changed into my slippers!

I was fascinated to learn from the Hotter Instagram that there are over 40 pieces that go into making a pair of whisper boots. This really goes to underline the care and craft that goes into making a pair of Hotter boots.

Hotter Whisper boots

I can happily say that all three of us thoroughly recommend the Whisper boots by Hotter as a fashion statement and the most comfortable boot you’ll put on this winter.

Disclosure: We were sent a pair of boots each to review for the purpose of this post. All opinions are our own.

best friend birthday gifts

Our best friends are important. They’re there through everything, we confide in them and they’ve seen us at both our best and worst. We laugh with them (or occasionally at them), cry together and share some of the most important parts of our lives with them.

While we do things for our best friends all the time, a birthday is the perfect opportunity to say thank you and show them just how much they mean. Here are some gift ideas for your best friend.

Time to Relax

birthday gifts for best friend

If your best friend is also a mum, then chances are, they probably don’t get many opportunities to enjoy some me time. Make your best friend’s birthday all about her by gifting a personalised pampering set, complete with scented candles, bath products and beauty treatments.

Make it Yourself

A homemade DIY gift can be really special and shows how much thought you’ve put into a present. For your best friend’s birthday, you could make a scrapbook filled with your favourite memories and photos, bake some of her favourite goodies, or use your skills (from pottery to knitting) to make something special.

Update her Wardrobe

birthday gifts for best friend

As a mum, it can be very easy to neglect your own wardrobe – after all, your children come first. So, on her birthday, why not treat your best friend to some new threads? Alternatively, buy a gift card for her favourite store, or arrange a birthday shopping trip for the two of you.

A Birthday Celebration

birthday gifts for best friend

Many people prefer to be gifted an experience, rather than receive a physical gift. If your best friend is like this, then plan a celebration. This could be anything from afternoon tea and a spa afternoon, to an evening out with Witness for the Prosecution tickets or a meal at her favourite restaurant.

Their Wish List

Has your best friend been eying something up for a while? Is there an item they really want, but can’t quite justify purchasing? As mums, we always put our families first. For her birthday, make sure your best friend number one for the day by surprising her with a wish-list item.

Select a Subscription

Why treat your best friend for just one day, when you can spoil her throughout the year? Whether she’s a book lover or animal obsessed, gifting a subscription box allows you to give her presents for months to come – these beauty options look lovely!

The bond we have with our best friends is special, so when it comes to their birthdays, we want to get it right. For a gift that tells them just how much they’re appreciated, consider these ideas for your best friend’s birthday.

Disclosure: Collaborative post

SIlk'n Lipo

Earlier in the year, I was sent a Silk’n Lipo device to trial in the comfort of my home.

I wrote my first post shortly after receiving the machine to show you how I was getting along. I promised to come back with news of the results of my 12-week test and I have to hang my head low and admit that I gave up.

I was doing really well but the last month or two of summer term got so busy that I was flying around everywhere trying to fit everything in and  I just had to drop some balls – one of them, unfortunately, was my Silk’n Lipo trial.

Never mind, I said to myself. I’ll hang onto the machine and give it a go over the summer when I am home and relaxed and have five weeks off school. Great solution right?

But then 2018 turned out to be the BEST SUMMER EVER. Every day was a sunny day and my husband was barbecuing till his heart’s content. I dropped the buns with my burger, I piled on the salad but I chose to enjoy a glass of cold wine or a fresh beer from the fridge. The Silk’n Lipo trial was so far from my mind – even when my trousers started to feel tight.

We spent two weeks in Thanet, friends came to stay, we ate, we drank and we had so much fun.

Then, I went with the girls to Lake Garda to stay with Megan for 10 days. The land of delicious food – my favourite food on the entire planet. Of course, I tucked in and enjoyed myself and gained about 7lbs doing so. Boy, those mojitos were worth it though!

All of this is great but my Silk’n Lipo was gathering dust at home and I still couldn’t find the time to properly sit down and get on with the trial.

Come September with Back To School, the girls were studying for the 11+ which overtook our lives and once that was over, all of my studying materials turned up for my Open University Open Degree that I am about to start. Yeah, I haven’t yet told you about that one yet.

I have come to the conclusion that the Silk’n Lipo and I are not going to be able to meet anytime soon and with regret, I am returning the device.

There’s a whole part of me that still wants to give it a go and there’s a grand part of me that thinks with commitment, this would be a successful trial but I can’t keep this trial dragging on any longer and am calling it a day.

Silk'n lipo fat buster

Thoughts on Silk’n Lipo

  • I do think this is a great idea and, if you can commit, you would most likely get great results.
  • I chose to work on my belly – it’s a large area to work on and realistically I think you would need longer than 12 weeks.
  • I also think that to treat the stomach area you would need to combine the Silk’n Lipo with diet and exercise – two things that totally dropped off my radar this summer.

My Silk’n Lipo trial

I managed about 6 weeks using the machine approximately 3 times a week. I discovered that as it’s such a large area, I would place the belt on a different part of the stomach each time. For this reason, I imagine it would take 36 weeks (12+12+12) to see a reduction in my waistline. (I could be wrong though) I did measure after the 6 weeks and didn’t see any difference in measurements. I must add that I wasn’t dieting or doing extra exercise at the same time and maybe this reflected on my result.

Lottoland

“If I won the lottery…” – that old one creeps into conversation time and time again, doesn’t it? EVERYONE has an idea of what they’d do with their winnings. I have even bargained with the amount I’d potentially win, £84million? £60 million, goodness, I’d be happy with just a couple of million! Of course – just for the record, in case the Universe is listening, I wouldn’t mind winning a dirty fat jackpot.

What would your spend list look like if you won the lottery? I have been indulging in the idea again (I know!)…

Home

If I won the jackpot (I wonder who invented that word?) I think my first spend would be on my home. You know, that new kitchen I’ve been banging on about since we moved in 8 years ago. The block paving out front which needs re-laying, the garden fence and patio area, new windows, new front door, re-plastered walls. That would take care of a good 30 – 40k, oh and the roof felt needs renewing too! Then it strikes me, I COULD BUY A NEW HOUSE and get ‘people in’ to decorate it to my specification. I’ve always longed for a house project to take on.

I could buy another property in Thanet, maybe in Margate, a town which is really on the rise. I could also buy a property on Lake Garda having just spent a fabulous 10 days there with Megan. Imagine, I could spend Christmases with her and summer holidays, it would be marvellous.

Family

Of course, I’d look after my family and hand out very generous amounts of cash. Debts would be paid off, houses bought and cash sums available for all. I’d really enjoy helping them out too.

Travel

If I won the lottery, I wouldn’t waste any time at all in booking up some fabulous dream holidays that I have been thinking about forever. One of my earliest posts on Mari’s World was a list of places I’d like to visit, I could start crossing them off my bucket list. Remember that cruise I nearly won? I’d book that. Take the twins and family (whoever wants to come) to Orlando Florida. I’d love to revisit New York, Barcelona, Paris and Italy. I’d revisit Venice, Florence, Rome, Puglia. I’d take the girls up Etna in Sicily and tour around Sardegna.

Beach holidays to Cyprus and Greece would be on the list and I would ‘do’ South America in style taking 90 days or maybe longer.

At this point, I’m most likely going to need a full-time tutor for the girls too!

Shopping

Oh. My. God! The thought of going shopping without any worry – can I afford it? Do I really need it? Can you imagine the fun? Shopping with a bottomless wallet, buying those things you’ve always wanted but could never afford. Theatre tickets, restaurants, a new car, oh which one? An electric car like the BMW we trialled for six weeks?

Charity

First off, I’d like to donate to our local school where I work. There are a few areas that could do with a cash injection and it would be a fun project to take on. I would support local charities for the old, for the young and the homeless. Some of the charities very close to my heart who would also receive donations are The Smile Train charity, The Miscarriage AssociationClic Sargent and The Princess Trust.

Win £50 at Lottoland

We have a fabulous prize to give away today – £50 credit at Lottoland to spend. You could try your luck at EuroMillionaire or have you ever wondered about entering the Irish lottery? A great alternative to the UK version. A lesser known lottery well worth having a go at is the American Powerball with huge jackpots up for grabs – a staggering $1.6 billion (£1 billion) was won in January 2016 and hundreds of millions worth jackpots won since.

How to enter

Leave a comment on this blog telling me what you would do if you won the lottery. Register your comment in the Rafflecopter widget below and you’ll then unlock some bonus entries. Do as many as you can to maximise your chances of winning.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Post in partnership with Lottoland. The competition will close at midnight on 10th September 2018. UK entrants and over 18s only. A winner will be chosen at random and notified within 7 days. You will have 30 days to claim your prize. No cash alternatives, prize as stated.