Enjoy Drinking More Water Challenge

robinsons-2-copy

This post is an entry for the #EnjoyMoreWater Challenge, sponsored by Robinsons. I am a huge advocate in drinking more of it, and actually love the taste of water!

Being one of my favourite daily beverages I wanted to take this opportunity to encourage members of the family to drink more water especially as it’s thirsty work being a parent! A survey of 2,000 people conducted by One Poll for Robinsons has found that 70% of those questioned have gone seven hours or more in a day without drinking a glass of water.

Just over two-thirds cited being “too busy” during the working day to grab a glass of water. Highlighting the importance of taste, 80% of respondents said they would usually choose to drink something other than water, with just one in five claiming to love the taste of water.

I was recently sent a box of Squash’d; a super concentrated squash in six different flavours all in small bottles which can be easily carried in bags without the bulk. Robinsons as a brand brings back childhood memories especially drinking squash at school sports days and especially after playing outside in the summer (when seasons were seasons).

During my pregnancy with Jay I developed Gestational Diabetes which thankfully I was able to control with my diet without having to take any medication. As a result I am much more aware of ‘processed sugar’ in foods these days and have made big changes to my diet including drinking even more water.

As a family we have been trying the different flavours my personal favourite is lemon and lime, and looking at the concentrate as I poured it out I thought it would have tasted sweeter but it isn’t which is fine by me. Each bottle makes approximately 20 servings  with no added sugar.

unnamed-8

Water is vital to a child’s health, fortunately my son quite happily drinks water and squash. If you are a parent that is worried about your child not drinking enough water perhaps try to flavour it or use a fun style water bottle with their favourite characters to encourage them to hold and sip fluids. This chart from Robinsons is a fun way to keep a track of refreshments.

unnamed-9

I used to set a few alerts on my phone to remind myself to sip on water but I didn’t follow this too well.  That’s when I discovered an easy water bottle which I ordered from Etsy that gives you time goals for when you should be drinking water.  I love it!  If you don’t care about what your water bottle looks like, you can always just use tape to create segments on your water bottle with corresponding time goals.

il_570xN.1014692851_6w9g

The campaign aims to remind people that with real fruit in every drop and no added sugar Robinsons is a tasty way to stay refreshed. Do you drink enough water in the day?

Thanks for reading

Bella

~X~

summer_range_v1

The City That Never Sleeps

unnamed-67
unnamed-56

Start spreading the news
I am leaving today
I want to be a part of it
New York, New York

-FRANK SINATRA

We attended my sister-in-law’s wedding in Danbury, Connecticut last month and pre-wedding accommodation was by way of a beautiful place called Candlewood Isle in Fairfield which was very ‘Dawson’s Creek’ esque!

IMG_4600

When you are geographically oh so close to the ‘Big Apple’ it would be rude not to visit. As both Mr M and I aren’t getting any younger we thought this might be our only chance to explore NYC toddler free. I knew that with all the travel components involved it would be way too much for our little cub so he got a week’s holiday with the grandparents and had a wail of a time!

If you haven’t been to New York, try and get there in this lifetime but be prepared for a lot of walking. According to the Apple health app on our phones, we walked 29.5 miles in 3 days. I quite possibly need a new pair of legs.  It is exactly how I imagined it would be. New York City’s five boroughs are home to some of the world’s cherished landmarks and attractions.

IMG_5692

One of the most recognisable landmarks, the Brooklyn bridge was built in 1883. The Brooklyn Bridge connects Manhattan to Brooklyn, with its limestone and granite neo-gothic towers the bridge’s pathway  offers fantastic views of the Manhattan skyline and downtown Brooklyn. There were loads of tourists all stopping for photos selfie sticks pretty much everywhere. I saw a bride and groom having their photos taken trying to avoid the large groups of tourists passing them by. The other thing you can’t miss is the love locks and headphones attached to the bridge by visitors and (possibly locals) which apparently is a real problem for those who are responsible for the maintenance.

IMG_6435

unnamed-68

Our hotel was  a five minutes walk away from the foundations of where the Twin Towers once stood.  The memorial consists of two enormous waterfalls pouring into the foundations with the names of the victims cut into a metal rim around them. The 9/11 Memorial I thought was beautifully made to remember the thousands of people tragically killed in the attacks and those who died in the World Trade Centre bombing in 1993. Deeply moving standing there at the water’s edge, looking at a pool of water that is cascading into an abyss.

IMG_5391

IMG_5372

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

New York was made to be seen from up high in my view.  No visit to New York City would be complete without a stop at this masterpiece of Art Deco design, and perhaps the most famous office building in the world. I have to say I preferred the Chrysler building and this was for me the most beautiful building in the City hands down and yet I don’t appear to have taken a photo of it.  *slaps forehead* so the below photo is one I’ve grabbed off the web.

chrysler-center-bg

unnamed-70

IMG_7083

I did have a few moments thinking about the film King Kong and also Sleepless in Seattle (you know that final scene).  But this was interrupted when I saw a romantic marriage proposal which was really sweet up on the 102nd floor. When the man went down on his knee I thought he’d dropped something and was looking for it so I very nearly went over to help, so glad I saw the box with the ring otherwise I would have ruined his perfect proposal! Mr M and I then chatted about our marriage proposal and how it didn’t quite go to plan…but never mind nearly 6 years on we are still very happy in love.

The Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World has been a beacon in New York since 1886.  The torch represents enlightenment and the way to freedom showing us the path to Liberty and the tablet she holds represents a book of law. A gift from the people of France, the Statue was designed by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and built by Gustave Eiffel symbolising freedom and democracy.

IMG_5783

Located in midtown Manhattan at the intersection of Broadway and Seventh Avenue, Times Square has often been referred to as the crossroads of the World. Full of bright lights and billboards, it also serves as the hub of the Theatre District. Naturally I compared it to London Piccadilly Square.

unnamed-57

unnamed-69

IMG_5986

Hanging out with the locals

Grand Central Terminal is one of the oldest original pieces of architecture still standing in New York. This terminal is so pretty and even though I love St Pancras in London this terminal is simply stunning.

unnamed-60

I love theatre nights in London so this was really a highlight for me.  I was treated by Mr M to great seats watching Chicago which I really enjoyed even though I’m not a huge fan of musicals this one kept at a good pace and we even drank Malbec from toddler style non-spill beakers.  The man sitting next to me was asleep all the way through but I thought Chicago was a fun show.

IMG_5437

unnamed-64

unnamed-62

unnamed-63

A Coconut and a Lychee Mojito.

Ever since visiting San Francisco in December 2015  fire escapes catch my eye wherever I go. In West Side story (I don’t really like musicals honest) the famous balcony scene took place on a fire escape and there are plenty of these in NYC.

unnamed-58


IMG_6160
Central Park is a great green space with loads on offer,  I loved it and could see this would be the place I’d probably most visit if I lived in Manhattan. I did have a little someone on my mind.  A few ice creams and lots of water later we left the park. I did have to stand in what seemed like a mile long queue for the Ladies ‘Rest Room’  whilst we watched the men go to the their side of the block watching us all unsympathetically. Why aren’t there more toilets available for women here and every where in the World!

unnamed-66

So this adventure in NYC alone meant we walked 62,281 in 3 days and I did have some neck ache from constantly looking up at all the sky scrapers towering above me. On one of the days we  had to run very fast to catch a river taxi back to the hotel and I seriously hadn’t run like that in a long time. I could feel my heart beating out of my chest and I couldn’t keep up with Mr M but fortunately we made it just in time. Just thinking about it gives me the sweats!

unnamed-71

New York is an exhilarating metropolis. As Frank Sinatra sang ‘ If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere’ well I share the same sentiment about London!

Thanks for reading

Bella

~X~

IMG_4627

The Lost Smile Book Review*

unnamed-72

WHAT MAKES CHILDREN SMILE?

ACCORDING TO NEW RESEARCH, IT’S A BEDTIME STORY

I’m supporting Wrigley’s Extra who have just released their first children’s storybook called The Lost Smile as part of their Extra Smile Back charity campaign.

The book is a lovely story about a little boy who realises his family aren’t smiling anymore, and so goes on a smile hunt to find them.  The aim of the storybook is to remind parents about the power of a child’s smile and the importance of protecting it. I have read this book to Jay recently and continue to do so. I certainly want to protect his smile as he grows up and fortunately he didn’t mind me brushing his teeth which I’ve done ever since he started getting his milk teeth. Now at 27 months he is happy to brush his own teeth under my watchful supervision!

The Extra Smile Back Project aims to protect children’s smiles by donating money from every pack of sugarfree gum sold during the promotional period to charity partner Action for Children. The monies will be used to create and run oral health workshops, endorsed by the Oral Health Foundation. With this activity Wrigley aims to protect the smilesof over 10,000 children and 5,000 parents across the UK.

Research conducted by Wrigley’s has revealed what parents already know that it’s still the simple pleasures in life that make our children smile. Forget technology pulling silly faces (44%), reading stories (28%) and playing hide and seek (27%) remain the best and simplest ways of putting a smile on a child’s face said the survey of 1,000 parents and children.

Launched as part of Wrigley Extra’s Smile Back Project – The Lost Smile depicts Kyle’s search for his family’s missing smiles, armed with a toothbrush “for brushing up smiles”, and a feather duster, “to tickle out hiding smiles.”

6,500 copies of The Lost Smile – authored by children’s poet Joseph Coelho and illustrated by Sheena Dempsey  will be distributed free of charge through a Wrigley’s Extra partnership with The Co-operative, reaching children in parts of the UK where rates of tooth decay among children is particularly high.

Joseph Coelho, author of The Lost Smile said: “It’s so exciting to hear from the research that a simple bedtime story is still so meaningful to children. Children give smiles so easily and yet as grown-ups, the pressures of modern life can stop the smiles from happening. This book is a simple nudge to parents to smile. You smile and the world smiles back. So it’s critical that we protect those smiles.”

The monies raised from sale of the book will go towards Wrigley’s Extra Smile Back Project which aims to protect children’s smiles by donating money for every pack of Wrigley’s Extra and every storybook sold to its chosen charity partner, Action for Children. This will fund the creation of oral healthcare workshops for families across the UK, benefitting more than 10,000 children and 5,000 parents in its first year.

For information on how to protect your family’s smiles and how you can support the SmileBack Project through the purchase of The Lost Smile, visit www.smileback.wrigley.co.uk. The book is available for £3.99 RRP and all funds raised through its sale will go towards supporting the work of Action for Children and the Oral Health Foundation.

unnamed-73

I have 5 copies of the book available to give away over the next two weeks from the date of this post so please do contact me via my email alongcamejay@gmail.com with your details should you like a copy and I would be more than happy to post one to you providing you live in the UK.

Thanks for reading

Bella

~X~

 

Garden Centre Magic

IMG_8172

There are some benefits living in leafy Surrey and although I still find life abnormally fast paced down here in the South of England, I like the variety of places I can take my ever curious 27 month old and of course this includes garden centres.

IMG_8182

Last weekend was a cracker as far as perfect weekends goes. Mr M took me to see my first ever ballet Swan Lake performed by the English National Ballet group at the Royal Albert Hall (Oh My God it was Amazing!).  I instagrammed about that of course!

A BBQ with our fabulously generous neighbours was on the agenda for Sunday and then we headed to quite possibly my favourite garden centre to date Garsons Garden Centre and Farm Shop in Esher.  This one is quite literally blooming marvellous! I must be turning into my parents as I love going for a browse at these establishments especially at Christmas where I feel they really do create fantastic festive displays .

As I drove my precious cargo which included my parents down to this centre of delights the sun shone brightly and there were smiles all round. The British Summer continues to be the subject of jokes but I am still ever hopeful that this summer will be kind to us. Garden centres are great way to keep children and err grandparents entertained with lots of things to do.

IMG_8210

Garsons of Esher is an award-winning pick-your-own farm. But it doesn’t just stop there, it also has an extensive gifts and homewares selection and a new craft department which I was really impressed with as I’m getting into my artsy crafty stuff these days. I can’t wait to take Jay fruit picking even though he isn’t a fruit fan with the exclusion of apples (sigh).

1a50197c07fdd6527ed8868886fba3e7f8139972

Home-grown and home-cooked food have new kudos, and garden centres are in prime position to provide both.  The food here is so good and I love the glass like dome setting.

8c6ad2a01a2210272b7957246d17b89162556953

IMG_8225
ac207513e307ae1e07d2482ee88d65f28943c630


f630e55d906baed1ff72f0c13e0be6024b64ac9f

I recommend heading to your local garden centre for a morning, afternoon or day out in the fresh air.  Life tends to be better when the sun is shining but even on those gloomy rainy days there’s something refreshing about walking around plants and flowers even though you might not know your hardy from your perennials.

Are you a fan too?

Thanks for reading

Bella

~X~

BeerBods For Father’s Day

unnamed-52

How about a gift subscription with a difference and quite possibly the best Father’s day gift ever! 

I’m not sure why I’ve never come across Beer Clubs as I’m aware of Wine Clubs. Here is a quirky present idea for the Beer enthusiast in your life. Have you heard of BeerBods? Well for starters I love a good start up story and what better than a few friends drinking in a shed coming up with a popular subscription service and the rest I guess is history!

With Father’s day approaching Sunday 19th June (yes it’s that time of the year again) I wanted to let you know about this fabulous online beer club supplying a mix of ales, lagers, porters and stouts with reasonable subscription fees.

unnamed-55

A beer is announced each week via Social media or through BeerBods and they’ll tell you the story behind the beer, as you drink it. The beer supplied is made by small independent breweries and at 9pm  every Thursday if you are still awake there is a live tasting through social media where drinkers can share their thoughts and opinions on the beer of the week. There are dozens if not hundreds of brewing styles and no doubt a great topic to tweet about if you like that sort of thing. #beerbods.

unnamed-54

You pay £36 every 12 weeks | 12 beers or £70 for 24 weeks | £135 for 48 weeks.

The lucky receiver gets a gift certificate via email or post with a website link and a code to redeem their subscription online and then wait for the goodies to be posted. The tricky bit is not drinking it all at once!

carouselquote1  
In 2013 BeerBods was voted “one of the 100 most innovative, disruptive and resourceful small businesses” in the UK.

If you know an Ace Dad -Make it a Father’s day to remember.

Twitter | Facebook |Instagram

Drink Happily (but responsibly!)

Thanks for reading

Bella

~X~

unnamed-53

*I was sent a complimentary Gift Certificate for the subscription. All opinions are my own.