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MIMI ROSE AND ME

A FAMILY LIFESTYLE BLOG

Top Tips to Embrace The Adventures on the Road

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Embracing the adventure is something that we love to do as a family. Nothing makes us happier than making a picnic, bundling ourselves into the car to go and discover and explore. With half term just a few days away we are already making lots of plans. We have booked a super last minute getaway and trying to agree on a little place to discover was pretty hard, who doesn't love a stay-caption in the UK though?. There are so many places that we have yet to discover that are only a car journey away. 


We love getting into our car and heading off into the beautiful countryside for adventures, but nothing is as exciting quite like discovering a place with new surroundings, new people and new things to explore. Sometimes I think we don't fully really appreciate the beautiful scenery, amazing beaches and woodland walks that surround us. So today I thought that it would be a great idea to share my top tips for family adventures on the road. 


My husband loves his car, no seriously he loves his car - so much so, it's like having a second child. But despite how much he loves his car I cannot fault him in making sure that his car is safe and efficient before any of our journeys. I don't know about you but when you have a child, you think differently. I know from my own experience you like to always make sure that you take that extra step to ensure that they are safe. So much so, we drove 5mph on the way home from the hospital. We have got up to speed now that she is four though. Safety is kicked up a notch or two when you have little people to consider. Along with my husband we have complied a little list for you to use when it comes to your embracing family adventures on the road... 

Before You Set Off...

Make sure you and your car are road ready. You need to ensure that you and your car are correctly insured, taxed and your MOT is up to date. First, let’s get the obvious out of the way – get your car serviced and make sure everything is as it should be; top up or replace oils, coolant, lights, wiper blades and tyres; and carry all your car’s documents. Any driver out there on the road will know the importance of the MOT test and that its an annual test to ensure that the vehicle is road safe. A check on the vehicle by a fully trained tester at a recognised MOT station is the only way you can be assured that your vehicle is fit to be on the road so book your MOT with KAP’s Brighton Branch and get yourself on the road, safely. As the MOT certificate allows you to get tax and insurance. So before you set off check your MOT expiry date, just in case you're due. You may be surprised to know some of the things that are checked and not checked when booking your MOT. Nearly half of all faults found during MOT checks could be avoided by carrying out simple maintenance, so it's worthwhile checking items like lights, wiper blades and tyres beforehand so that your vehicle has the best chance of passing first time. But a general MOT will check for: 

* Vehicle Identification Number and Registration Plate

* Lamps, Reflectors and Electric Equipment - checks the condition, whether they are working how they are suppose to, consider whether they are secure enough and check the colour. 

* Steering and Suspension - the tester will assess the strength and condition of steering wheel. Suspension will be checked for excessive corrosion, distortion and fractures. 

* Brakes - The overall condition of the brakes, pedals and levers are inspected, as well as any warning lights.

* Tyres - three main things you need to look checking your tyres and that's tread depth, pressure and keeping an eye out for damage

* Body and Structure - Check the Vehicle Identification Number, Registration Plate and speedometer. A general inspection of the body, chassis, engine mountings, seats, bonnet, boot and doors will be made as part of your MOT checks. All components must be free from excessive corrosion and must not have any sharp edges that might cause injury.

* Exhaust and Fuel Emissions - the tester will check for general wear and tear, corrosion and consider whether the parts are working how they are supposed to be.


The Car Checks Before The Road Trip…

Before embracing any kind of adventure it's so important to undertake a couple of essential last minute checks to make sure that your a road trip ready, by now you will have relevant insurances and that your MOT certificate is up to date. Basic checks to your car are also pretty important too. Begin with checking over your tyres, the engine and ensuring that you have topped up the engine oil and coolant. Making checks with your battery and any belts, and hoses for general wear and tear. It can be difficult to guess what can happen. So it's best to try and prepare yourself for anything. Even after you have completed all the necessary checks and you have made sure that everything is in working order, always prepare for things in case the do go wrong. By ensuring you have breakdown cover will help you feel at ease, companies such as AA or RAC are more than happy to assist you when you're in need.

Snacks are EVERYTHING…

As parents we are not supposed to use food to bribe our children, but on car journeys, regular snacks can help alleviate boredom and keep little ones happy. A hungry travelling child is NEVER a happy travelling child. Dried fruit, crackers, rice cakes and cubes of cheese are all great choices for snacking. Avoid anything too sticky, because a few chocolate buttons are never a great idea. Before you hit the road, always make sure that you get enough sleep and eat a snack or meal. I know some people rely highly on coffee or energy drink to see them through, they may help you in the beginning, but these caffeinated drinks may have the adverse effect as your journey continues. Pull over for regular checks and breaks every couple of hours if need be. 


Car-oke!

Our favourite part about embracing our family adventure is without a doubt music. Even now there are certain songs that take me back to a certain trip and everyone has a car song right? Over the years my husband and I have travelled far and wide and the one song that makes us both smile from ear to ear is Don't stop Believing by Journey! It's a song that was made for Caroke! Now we have a certain little lady coming along with us on the adventures it's only fair we indulge in a little car-oke from time to time. However, we don't listen to Disney Princesses the whole way, she actually likes a few from the charts but one she loves is MK - 17 or as she likes to call it her 'get you back song'. 

There’s Nothing Like a Classic Car Game…

What’s more fun than a few classic car games. Depending on how old your little ones are there are a variety of easy games you can play as you travel across the country, or just down the road. Everyone loves a little game of I Spy. This is our little lady's favourite however we are still getting to grips with the rules of the game still, so we tend to make up our own version. Simon says is another great game to play in the car and what simon says, goes (within reason of course). A new one we have just started playing is banana where every time a player some one notices a yellow vehicle, they yells 'Banana!' and receives a point. The player who has the most points at the end wins. 


A Little Entertainment…

You could even download child friendly apps and games onto a kindle or ipad if they get tired of traditional games. Some people may frown upon kids being given tablets to play with, but kids love feeling like they’re doing things that adults do, meaning they will more likely to be kept entertained for longer. And for the sake of a peaceful journey, it’s worth it! I have found from our car journeys that keeping a stash of books and toys in the front is the way forward because let's face it most toddlers like to drop and throw things, don't they? But even if they do you'll be ready with your secret stash in the front. We also have a backseat and pushchair organiser which secures to the back of the driver or passenger car seat and it's the perfect distraction for my daughter. It has several compartments to hold drinks, toys, snacks and so much more. 

So there you go! There are a few of my top tips to embrace the adventure on the road. Where are some of your favourite places to visit in the UK? What are some of your best tips for road trips with little ones?

BIRCHBOX - February 2019: Let Love Grow

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I don't know if it was just me but did anyone else think that January seemed to last forever? It's a little unbelievable that we are in the second week of February and I still haven't posted my Birchbox post for this month. Better late than never, right? You're in for a little treat this with Birchbox this month with their Let Love Grow box which as you can assume is all about the big LOVE. It's an exciting collaboration with Not on the Highstreet that is an amazing place for inspiration for gifts for loved ones. I really didn't think much to last month's box, so I was pretty happy when opening that little drawer on the gorgeous blue and floral box. Every box this month will come with a tube of Coco & Eve Super Nourishing Coconut & Fig Hair Masque and a full size of LOC Liquid Shimmer Shadow and Luxie Blending Brush


If you're new to Birchbox they are one of the main leaders in the beauty box subscription game. Each month you will receive five deluxe samples and travel sized samples and these will be with makeup, skin care, body care or hair care. It's a great way to discover new products that you wouldn't normally come across if it wasn't for this little beauty subscription. So without further ado let's take a closer look. 


LOC. Liquid Shimmer Shadow in Moonlight. RRP | £8

Ever subscriber will have a LOC liquid shimmer in either Eclipse or Moonlight as part of their choice this month. This liquid shimmer provides a subtle hint of colour and shine that can be layered up for a bolder look. This eye shadow is amazing! Because it's liquid you don't get any of the fall out like you would with a powder. It goes on so smooth and the color last all night! I will be buying more. It so simple and easy to use. You basically take the applicator to swipe the shadow across eyelids. After applying, you’ll have about 15–30 seconds to blend and layer to your desired finish. Once dry, the shadow will not crease or smudge.

Anatomicals. Shower Gel. RRP | £4

I love discovering new brands and this one is completely new to me, that's why I love beauty boxes so much. This gorgeous shower gel is the perfect way to give yourself a little pick me up. Even though I have to be careful what shower gel I use on my skin because during the winter month it's pretty dry, but this one was fantastic for moisturising my skin, and the subtle floral scent made it this shower gel even better. You simply massage over damp skin, work a lather then rinse. 


Coco & Eve. Like a Virgin Nourishing Coconut & Fig Hair Masque. RRP | £9

Quite an interesting name but I couldn't wait t try this one. A good hair masque is something every lady needs in their life this time of year, battling the elements with just shampoo and conditioner is just too harsh for our hair. So as you can imagine I loved seeing this little tube in my beauty box this month. I have too many flyaways and so much frizz and after one application, I kid you not, there is a complete difference. This masque works miracles. After shampooing, apply thee mask evening to wet hair. Leave for 10-15 minutes to help work it's magic, then rinse. Hello gorgeous silky locks! 


Luxie. 205 Tapered Blending Dreamcatcher. RRP | £11

I am sure you'll love to add this little beauty into your makeup brush collection. Like seriously how gorgeous is this brush? A fluffy brush for applying and blending powder or cream eye shadow. Handcrafted with a blue and rose gold handle and soft, synthetic bristles, 205 Tapered Blending Brush is designed to gently buff and blend eye shadow over the eye area to deliver an on-trend, professional finish. I'm so happy to add another great brush to my collection. Eeeek!


Philosophy. Pure Grace Nude Rose EDT. RRP | £35

Philosophy Pure Grace Nude Rose is a deeper, warmer musky rose scent consisting of blush rose, dewy greens, neroli, orange flower, warm cedarwood and sun-kissed musk. This is definitely a scent for the spring and I really love it! From the first spray it’s quite different to what you might expect from a rose scent. Once it settles, you can really pick up the orange flower tinged with musk. I also love the generous size of the bottle, well done Birchbox. 


So what did you think? Are you a Birchbox fan? If not, you should at least try a couple of boxes. A monthly Birchbox subscription, with no long-term commitment, costs just £10 (+ £2.95 P&P) per month. 

Don't forget to check out our previous Birchbox boxes...

Valentine's Gift Guide

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With Valentine's Day being just around the corner, today I thought that I would post my Valentine's gift guide before it's too late to buy your loved one a gift. Now normally both my husband and I tell one another that we won't do Valentine's Day as we celebrate our wedding anniversary a month later. But every year he walks in the house with a bouquet of flowers and chocolates. But saying that, most people like to feel a little appreciated on the big day of LOVE.


A Few Gift Ideas for Him and Her…

Lingerie…

In this gift guide, I have put together a couple of ideas that I would love to receive on Valentine's Day, but if I am honest I'd be happy with some chocolate or tulips! So let’s kick off this gift guide with a little lingerie. Whether you're looking for something feminine, sexy, or lingerie that provides figure flattering appeal on your curves you’ll be able to get something. I love pretty underwear, if it’s pink that’s even better. Who said that anyone had to splurge on such lingerie. Primark have some of the most beautiful bra and underwear sets that are sure make your loved one smile. Or you could buy yourself a little gift for the most romantic night of the year for your other half! 

Beauty…

Now it couldn't be a gift guide without some kind of mention of a makeup treat can it? Lately, I have been venturing more and more into high street makeup, well because there are some pretty impressive palettes out there. I think my favourite pick from all these amazing products has to be that beautiful colourful Makeup Revolution Re-Loaded Iconic Fever Palette. 15 shade eyeshadow palettes that are bound to pack a punch at an affordable price. Warm burnt shades for lovers of orange and burgandys, in a variety of matte and shimmer shades. I cannot believe the price of this palette and the fact that you can create so many different looks all from one palette really amazes me. 


Accessories…

Jewellery is also something that will always be appreciated. This Semi-circular Sterling Silver Pendant from Browns Family Jewellers will sure turn their head this Valentine’s. This delicate semi-circular opulent sterling silver pendant from the Waterford jewellery collection. The pendant features a dazzling pavĂ© set Waterford crystal, finished in polished 14 carat rhodium toning. This gorgeous necklace is a simple but striking design, suitable for everyday wear. Something that every girl loves is a new handbag! Now I am a handbag girl and have a different handbag for every occasion. A neutral handbag is a key part of any wardrobe. I have been hunting for the perfect little handbag, but the ones I like are either too big or not quite big enough. So I was pretty happy that I finally found an all rounder This Fiorelli Daisy Chestnut Crossbody in Chesnut is the ultimate everyday crossover bag. It's rounded shape and multiple fastenings are functional features to carry those all important essentials. There are more colours available as some of the colours are currently on sale and would make such a cute gift for a loved one. Everyone needs a new handbag!


For Him…

Men are really hard to buy for any time of the year, and if yours is anything like mine and never gives you an inkling what they want, so you have to try and figure what they may like. So I have been thinking of a few ideas that you could get for him that are always a winner. These Boss Hugo Boss Three Pack Gift Set from Mainline Menswear is a lovely option. I really love this website as it's jam packed full of ideas for him that he will love to open on Valentine's. You can choose from tailored shirts, tees to wallets, belts or hats. Mainline Menswear will have you covered. Now a gift that you can't go wrong with is an aftershave. You could head over to the closest fragrance shop and enjoy a spritz or two. My husband loves Paca Rabanne but another aftershave he really wants to try is Calvin Klein Obsessed for him and it really does smell so good. 


Decor...

Something that not everyone thinks about is buying your loved one something for their home. I love buying bits and pieces to add a little character to my home, so a couple of gifts for my home would be perfect. This gorgeous Pink Double Sided Faux Mongolian Cushion is a dusty pink and has such a soft texture and you can really tell that it's great quality. These cushions come in an array of colours to suit all decor and colour schemes. I also thought that this little round pink tray would be a great way to add a little style and practicality to my kitchen or living space. I think placing this little tray with a cocktail set on a mini bar would be such a lovely look. 

Fragrance…

Yes, a fragrance is always a winner. My favourites this year are Jimmy Choo Fever and Calvin Klein Obsessed for Women. They both smell incredible and are long lasting which can be hard to find sometimes. What says I love more than a little perfume subscription box, a little something that your loved one can enjoy over and over each month! With Secret Scent Box you’ll receive three surprise fragrances each month that last for 30 days through your letterbox every month. The perfect gift for Valentine’s. In last month's subscription box I got the chance to try Jimmy Choo Fever, which is something that would definitely buy again. Joop WOW! for Women and Calvin Klein CK IN2U Her. I love this idea for a subscription box, as you know I do love a subscription box. 

Champagne & Chocolates…

Would it be Valentine's without a glass of bubby? It actually reminds me of my first Valentine's with my husband where he ran me a gorgeous candle lit bubble bath, poured me champagne and even put a couple of strawberries into my glass. Major brownie points for him. It was such a sweet thing for him to do, especially as he doesn't do Valentine's! So to help you celebrate being in mushy LOVE, sip on this G.H Mumm Brut Champagne. This particular champagne is presented inside an engraved champagne box containing three champagne accessories. All you need to do to complete this gift set is add a personalised message to the engraving plaque which will appear on the champagne box. The perfect pick for Valentines. You can't possibly sip on champagne without chocolate can you? Baileys Chocolates Salted Caramel Pouches are the perfect way to show your love this Valentine’s Day. Available in a sharing tube or pouch, each is filled with mini truffles wrapped with silky smooth chocolate shells and oozing with a salty caramel centre that has a touch of the iconic Irish cream. Thomas Fudge will always be a winner in my eyes! These Salted Caramel Florentines are an irresistible fusion of crunchy fruit and nuts, gooey caramel, and a layer of velvety Belgian chocolate. Perfect with a glass of Champagne as you celebrate Valentines day, or spoil a loved one with a box with zero guilt! It's Valentine's after all. 


The Card…

On the day of LOVE what better way to say I love you lots than a lovely mushy card? Or...perhaps make your partner giggle with a funny or witty card. My husband has a wicked sense of humour and I'm always thinking of creative ways to make him laugh and I have found the perfect card for him. Thortful is the place to go. A creative card marketplace with amazing designers, quirky illustrators and fun photographers who help create beautiful, unique greeting cards. There are so many different designs to choose from and I found the perfect one that I know my husband will love, or at least have a good giggle. Some of my other favourites collections are Cardinky, CookieDesign and Oh So Serendipity. So there are my top picks for him and her this Valentine's. So go and spread some lurve and treat your loved one, or yourself?


I really do hope that my gift guide inspires you, even a little. Some of the items feature in my gift guide for Valentine's have been sent to me for review, but as always my words are my own.


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Mila and Pheebs Chinese New Year Edition.

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With Chinese New Year approaching what better way to get prepared than some crafts, and get a little messy. Children absolutely love getting messy don't they? I know my daughter loves any opportunity to grab the craft box and make some kind of creation, and seeing as Chinese New Year is just around the corner it made complete sense to have a themed craft session at home with a little help with Mila and Pheebs.


Many people all across the world are getting ready to celebrate Chinese New Year with this year's new lunar year and welcoming the year of the pig. The Chinese New Year celebrations give many families opportunities to get together, eat good food, watch fireworks whizz pop and bang, and many children receive money in lucky red paper envelopes. So, we decided to get involved with the celebrations with the help from Mila and Pheebs. For those who don't know Mila and Pheebs create stationery and activity boxes for children. They contain a mixture of stationery, crafts, stickers, and fun items, based around a different theme each month. It’s £12.99 per month and each month has a different theme.


I was so excited when I came home and found this had been posted through the letterbox. There laying on my doormat was a cute patterned blue box with the Mila & Pheebs sticker. On opening the box we couldn't believe the amount of crafts and activities that were included in the box, it's jam packed full of fun. And before we had a chance to look through the entire box my daughter grabbed the pig eraser in pursuit of finding her apron so she could get crafty. 



The first thing you notice when opening the box was that you're greeted with a lovely newsletter that includes splendid jokes like this month 'What do you call a duck who likes to watch fireworks? A fireQUACKER! I kid you not, I couldn't stop laughing. The newsletter included facts and and even dates for your diary which are super handy for us mamas. It also tell you about the golden ticker winners for the previous month, which is such a great idea. Every month they put a golden ticket in a random box before shipping if you find it in your box you get your next box for free! 


There are honestly so many arts and crafts included in this month's box. Activities this month include stained glass dog decoration kit, Chinese money purse sewing kit, greeting cards and envelopes, puzzles, word searches, glitter by numbers and no end of stickers. This month also include a very cute pig eraser that my daughter was obsessed with, she even gave this pig a little name, Wilbur. 


I really liked the fact that this box included some fantastic activities to do with your little one, all in their own striped coloured bag. My daughter's favourite activity was getting those glitter tubes out for the glitter by numbers dragon for the competition! And yes of course glitter got everywhere and I know I shall be finding it for days and days. This month's box also included some blank greeting cards and envelopes which I thought was a wonderful idea children should be encouraged to make and send their own cards a little more. 




Most of the activities are really easy to follow, but there are a couple in this edition where my daughter needed to help. My daughter was able to do most of the activities in the box, but struggled with the Chinese money purse sewing kit however with a little encouragement she soon got the hang of it. The Mila and Pheebs subscription box is aimed at children of six and above, but younger children will most certainly appreciate the craft fun with a little help if need be. 


The Mila and Pheebs box is jam packed full of crafts and activities and is most definitely worth £12.99 a month. There are also a wide range of different packages and different subscription plans you'll be able to find one to suit your lifestyle. If you have more than one child you could choose the monthly sibling package where you receive two boxes each month at £21.99. There are many ways you can use one of these boxes. It’s great to have stashed for a rainy day, or to take away on holiday. Don't forget that if you sign up for the Mila and Pheebs newsletter, you'll be able to get 10% off your first order.

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We were kindly gifted a subscription box from Mila and Pheebs for the purpose of this review. But as always my words are my own.

Roasted Red Pepper and Sweet Potato Soup

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There are not many things that can warm you up quickly like a bowl of hot streaming soup. It's my favourite choice when it comes to the colder months and ever since starting slimming world I am always thinking of new ways to get more fruit and vegetables into my diet. Soup is the perfect way to do this and nothing beats a home made hearty soup that is jam packed full of veggies. With this simple and easy recipe, red peppers, onions and sweet potato are paired with paprika and roasted in the oven to make such a sweet tasty soup. This soup recipe has become my favourite way to warm me up in the afternoons. The unique flavours are a match made in heaven as the combinations are blended together to make a super rich and healthy bowl of soup. What makes this even better is the fact that it's low calorie and completely syn free, great news for those on slimming world. 


To make this delicious roasted red pepper and sweet potato soup you'll need:

2 medium - large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 medium red onion, peeled and sliced into wedges
2 red peppers - deseeded and chopped
Low calorie oil spray
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 litre stock (chicken or vegetable)
Salt and pepper to taste

This roasted red pepper and sweet potato soup has become one of my favourite ways of making a quick and tasty soup, perfect when you want something that can be prepared with the minimum of fuss. Roasting the peppers and sweet potatoes really intensfies the flavours in the recipe. You start off the soup by chopping the red peppers, sweet potatoes and red onion and placing them onto a baking parchment. Spray one calorie spray and add salt, pepper and paprika over the veggies and pop them into a preheated oven at 180°c for 15-20 minutes. 

At this point, it's time to make up your stock. Then add all your roasted veggies into a saucepan along with the stock, a little more paprika and use a hand blender to combine the ingredients together. Now all depending on your preference you can blend to a smooth texture or leave the veggies making a lovely chunky soup. Adjust the seasoning to your own tastes and then serve whilst warm and steamy. Or alternatively, double up on your ingredients and then put some into a container and pop in the freezer for another cold day. 

This roasted red pepper and sweet potato soup is my go to soup now. It's so simple and easy - you roast your veggies in the oven, blend them and out comes a super tasty soup to help warm you up on the colder days. It's jam packed full of flavour and goodness that you will want to make over and over again. 

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