Amelia Salmon

UK Parenting, Lifestyle & Beauty Blog. Mum to Darcy

Monday, 10 June 2019

We Love A Freebie

New to Freebies? Checkout our beginners guide!

A lot of people are obsessed with freebies. It’s easy enough to stand in a long queue just to get a freebie. If you are new to the freebies world, there are a few things you should know if you want to be successful at it. Here are some useful tips to help you get freebies effortlessly. 

Stay Away If It Sounds Too Good To Be True 

It’s easy enough to cloud your judgement if you are too excited to get your hands on some free items from your favourite brands. There are always advantages and disadvantages to every transaction. However, if the thing is free, you often tend to forget the disadvantages. People get such an emotional charge from free items such that they imagine that free items are more valuable than what they are actually worth. 

You’re going to forget about common sense if you are getting something free from any transaction. Remember, there are some brands ready to sell your soul just to give you a free item. Therefore, you need to know what you are getting into right from the start. Make sure the free item you are getting is actually genuine. Don’t forget to read the terms and conditions so that you have a proper understanding of what you are getting. 

Lower your Expectations 

It’s very hard to get full-sized free items because most freebies come in small envelopes or tiny sachets. The brand wants to make sure you try the product and actually like it before you make a future purchase. You will save some money because you will not be spending money on anything you don’t like. Of course, you will not receive everything you apply for so you should lower your expectations when you apply for these freebies. 

If you find that you are getting fewer freebies, you should continue applying for more rather than giving up. Before applying for any freebie, take the time to read the terms and conditions to make sure it’s worth your time. Here, you can find out how many free samples are available and how big the final product will be. It should help you manage your expectations accordingly. 

You Won’t Get Anything If You Don’t Ask 

You should take the time to write letters to companies or send emails to inquire about their samples. You are likely to get more freebies this way as well as some money vouchers. Don’t sit back and wait for the freebies to come to you because you won’t get anything. Also, don’t forget to give out feedback about anything you don’t like. These companies would very easily give you replacement free products if the first ones don’t appeal to you.

Don’t Feel Any Guilt about What You Are Doing 

Don’t feel any guilt when you order freebies because these companies are not losing out on a lot of money by dishing them to you. Actually, it’s a huge benefit on their end. When they send samples to people, that’s a potential new customer in their books. If you get a free product and actually like it, you would definitely end up buying the full sized one without being pushed. 

Use another Email Address If Need Be 

If you want to claim freebies, you need to set up a second email address. That way, you can avoid getting unwanted emails and spam. Even better, you can set up another phone number or social media accounts. You can use all these platforms to claim freebies without any hassles. 

Always Stay Ahead Of the Competition 

There are so many fool proof ways to get freebies before anyone else does. Sign up for WOW Free Stuff newsletter and you can get the best freebies to your inbox right before everything gets on social media. 

Use these tips and many more to get a lot of freebies and manage your expectations accordingly. You can’t afford to miss out if you want to win any freebies!

Thanks for reading

Thursday, 9 May 2019

Delicious Healthy Muesli Bars

Like a lot of people, I am that girl that likes to start off the week on a healthier note. I'm not going to call it a diet but there are definitely good intentions in wanting to eat healthier. I've been researching a lot recently on meal prep and eating well but not at a huge cost because that is something I struggle with, eating well can come at a cost. 
This week I made these muesli bars and I really surprised myself at how good they really taste. Sometimes eating healthy can be very boring!

1 Full Cup Of Oats (90 Grams)
1/2 Cup Of Cranberries (50 Grams)
1/2 Cup Of Sultanas (88 Grams)
1/2 Cup  Of Pumpkin Seeds (60 Grams)
Handful Of Chopped Nuts
1/2 Teaspoon Of Ground Ginger
10 Medjool Dates (No Pips)
325ml Water

Heat oven to 180c and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and set aside.

In a bowl add everything apart from the dates and water and set aside.

In a pan add the water and dates (makes sure you've taken the pips out!) and cook for 10 minutes on a low to medium heat until the dates have softened.

Pour the date mixtures into the bowl of dry ingredients and mix until all covered.

Pour the mixture into the lined baking tray and pop in the oven for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes take out the oven and cut in to bar shapes, pop back in the oven for a further 15-20 minutes.

See I told you, easy peasy!

If you do give this a go, please let me know!


Friday, 26 April 2019

How I Got My Food Shopping Down From £70-£80 A Week To £40-£50

So I am constantly looking for new ways to save money on things I really don't enjoy spending money on, one of those things is food shopping. I hate doing the 'big' food shop, I literally get no enjoyment out of it whatsoever. 

Recently I did an online shop with Ocado and one of the freebies with your first food shop was a weekly meal planner. I mean, I don't why it took me receiving a free meal planner to decide I was actually going to meal plan, I could have done it myself but sometimes these things happen. 
Anyway, when it came to doing my next food shop I decided to do a meal plan and only buy the ingredients on that meal plan, obviously with the essential milk & bread on top. I looked through my fridge & cupboards to make sure I wasn't going to buy anything that we already have. 

After doing this and writing my list I realized that list was considerably shorter than it usually is.  Off I went to the supermarket and in my first shop, I spent £46.77. This includes washing powder or any other toiletries we needed. I generally try and buy things like that at Wilkos but sometimes it isn't always possible. I know on this particular week, all I bought was washing powder, bin bags & Darcy's bubbles bath. 

I know you're probably thinking that this is a really obvious way to save money but I think if I had read a blog post like this, I would have done it a lot sooner. It really doesn't take much time and looking back I spent a lot of time in the supermarket thinking about what I wanted to cook when I could have done all the thinking at home.

I decided to ask a few fellow bloggers what there ideas on saving money in the supermarket were and this is what they came back with. 

Batch cooking is a great way to save money, by buying a little bit more you can make enough for 2 servings. We also bulk foods up with pasta quinoa or rice. - Carla

Shop online even click and collect it saves you looking at the offers and purchasing more then you need - Charlotte

When buying food look at the cost per unit rather than the total price. This is how you can get the best value for the quantity you are purchasing. - Charlotte

Make one pot meals as they go so far and leftovers can be used for lunch which then saves money on buying lunches - Lianne

Eat seasonally. Buying what's in season is massively cheaper than trying to cook the same things all year round. - Rachel

Try shopping for “yellow sticker bargains” It’s a great way to save loads on the stuff you want and most of it can be frozen. It’s good to go about an hour before they close and pick up bargains saving you money - Beth 

Do a little taste tasting and see which non-brands you can save a large amount by using own brands (providing everyone likes/ eats them)
We didn't switch everything on one shop as we didn't want to waste money in case the switches were no good. - Sinead

These are really good suggestions, some of which I will be putting to the test.


Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Low-carb Alternatives for a Hungry Family

Eating a low-carb diet, or at least reducing the number of carbs you eat, can be healthier for all the family. You don’t have to be obsessive about it or make it hard work, either. Nor is it a boring diet or overly complicated when you get to grips with some alternatives to replace bread, pasta, and high-carb snacks. 

If you want to try low-carb and you’ve never done it before, try having one or two low-carb days each week to start. As you get more familiar switching out highcarb foods, you can get more adventurous and include more days. 

Easy low-carb snacks 

Snacking comes partly from habit, partly from boredom and partly from hunger. And it’s a really tough habit to break since eating is one of life’s great pleasures for most of us. Instead of denying yourself any snacks at all, prepare some easy low-carb snack alternatives:

● Eggs. Boiled eggs are packed with protein, easily portable and very low in carbs. Hard boil a few and keep them in the fridge. 
● Nuts and seeds. Some nuts are better than others when you’re reducing the carbs in your diet. Good ones to nibble on include macadamias and almonds, pecans or brazils. Avoid cashews and pistachios. For seeds, try pumpkin and sunflower. 
● Some fruits. This is where low-carb eating can get a bit confusing because most diets tell you to eat more fruit. But when you’re trying to reduce your carbs and start investigating, you’ll find some fruits are higher than others, such as bananas. Good fruits include some of the berries, for instance raspberries or blackberries. You can also have plums, kiwis and cherries. Have a little pot of full fat whipped cream on the side for dipping and they are a delicious, low carb-snack. Having said all that, eating a banana is still better than eating a packet of crisps. 
● Ready made lunch snacks. Try veggie rice as a quick lunch snack. You can get this in pouches, ready to eat, and it doesn’t need to be in the fridge to stay fresh.
Low-carb vegetablesLots of vegetables are low in carbs and high in fibre, making them nutritious foods whether you’re trying to change your diet or not. Preparing fresh vegetables puts off many people living a busy lifestyle, but these days prepared, convenient vegetable dishes such as cauliflower rice are easy to find in most supermarkets. 

For low-carb alternatives try: 

Cauliflower mash instead of mashed potato. It's great served with sausages or as an alternative topping to cottage or shepherds pie. 
● Carrots and swedes mashed together make for a tasty and colourful alternative. 
● Try roasting butternut squash cubes instead of roast potatoes. 
● Instead of chips, make some courgette fries. They are really nice with home-made burgers. 
● If you don't like courgettes, try carrot fries instead. 

Low-carb Alternatives Kids Will Like 

With so many children developing allergies and food intolerances these days, getting them to eat more natural, plant-based foods is more important than ever. Fortunately, most vegetables are naturally in high in fibre and gluten free, providing lots of healthy nutrients and helping to reduce allergic reactions. Knowing this and putting it into practice are two different things however, especially if you have picky eaters at home. 

Make young children’s food colourful, fun, and easy to eat: 

● Make a plate of food into a story or game. Chop up carrots into long thin sticks and arrange them in a sunburst or a face on the plate, or stand them up in a tub so they look like French fries. 
● Bake thinly sliced beetroot or carrots in the oven to make homemade vegetable crisps. You’ll get more even slices if you use a mandolin, but a knife works just as well with a bit of care. Pat the slices dry with kitchen paper to remove excess moisture before putting them in the oven. 
● Slice cucumbers into ribbons by cutting them lengthways and using a potato peeler.
● Make veggie kebabs with cherry tomatoes, cucumber cubes and sweet red peppers. You can add a bit of apple or cheese too. 
● Make wraps out of crunchy lettuce leaves instead of using tortillas or bread for lunchtime snacks. When you first start, finding low-carb alternatives to everyday dishes can seem challenging. It soon becomes second nature though, and the health benefits certainly make up for a bit of extra effort at first.


Friday, 22 March 2019

Mothers Day Crafts

With Mothers Day just around the corner, I began thinking about what to get for my mum. Presents can get so out of hand if you don't stop yourself, making something with Darcy would be a great way for us to spend time together whilst she making something for her grandmother. I put it out to my fellow bloggers to see if they had any ideas of what me and Darcy could make and here is what they came back with.

These are such a lovely looking and tasty gift, who doesn't like chocolate!? 

Easy Recipe: Sparkly Chocolate Cups for Mother's Day

A lovely gift to make with the kids! I bet they smell amazing too.

bath bomb how to make bath bomb thimble and twig

Love this idea, really good instructions too so perfect with the kids.

Mother's Day Flower Colouring Craft - Smaller Version

This would be the kind of idea that would be perfect for my mum and something she'd really use.

How to make your own twig wrapped flower pots - a simple and fun nature activity for children, great for a homemade mother's day gift!

A really cute personalised gift.

Mothers Day craft for kids

Some really good ideas here, so glad I asked as it's given me some inspiration for me and Darcy to make something for my mum on Mother's Day.


Wednesday, 27 February 2019

World Book Day Characters For Pre School Children

Next Thursday is World Book Day, as a child I always remember my mum putting so much effort into dressing me up for it and now that I have Darcy I'm excited that it is my first year of doing the same. 
Darcy currently goes to nursery being only 3 years so I really wanted to go for something she's obviously already read with me. Asda have an absolutely cracking selection of dressing up outfits so if you're short of inspiration that is the best place to go.

A few of my favourites are:

Little Red Riding Hood which is most likely the costume we'll be going for as Darcy seems to really like the book. I'd like to think she'd wear it after too. 

Source: Asda George
Elmer is such a good costume too, what kids wouldn't want to be this colourful, so cute too.

Source: Asda George
Paddington Bear. Now if I had it my way then this would definitely be the costume Darcy would wear, soooo cute! Darcy seems to disagree unfortunately.

Source: Asda George

In future years when Darcy goes off to school, I'd really like to get in to making the costumes ourselves as I think that would be so nice. (and cheaper too!)

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

How I've Started This Year As A More Positive Person & You Can Too.

This had been the year where I'd decided to make a change, yep I am that person that waited until the new year. Fresh start and all that. I realise that we are now in Febuary but I just wanted to talk about a few changes I have made within my mindset this last month. I think that your mind is more powerful than you'll ever believe and I've always found it difficult to be in control of it. 

If you're positive then good things will happen to you.
I've really believed this for as long as I can remember, a negative attitude never helped anyone really did it. I can't say I am the best at this because I do love a moan, but it is something I am working harder on.

Practise gratitude.
This is something that I've only recently started implementing, when you wake up, write down 3 things your are thankful for, then at the end of the day write down 3 things that you were thankful for, it really can be so simple but it makes you understand that you're grateful for the small things in life. Also it puts in to place the first point I made about being positive.

Learning about the law of attraction.
This is basically everything I've said above and more but its basically putting all your positive thoughts and manifesting them to make them happen. It's all something I am still learning about but very interesting, I am looking to read more self development books and learn more.

Smile more.
Smiling is one I didn't realise I wasn't great at. I have a bit of a rbf ( Resting Bitch Face. ) I have been consiously making more effort to be smilier as I looked a massive grump 90% of the time.

Take vitamins
I started doing this just before Christmas and I can't tell you how much of an improvement this has made to me. Especially the re-energising tablets I put in a glass of water in the morning. I don't drink coffee but I can only describe this what I'd imagine you'd feel like after having a coffee in the morning, but with vitamins and goodness.

Eat Healthy and drink more water.
I guess this is a given, If you want to feel good you gotta eat good. Water was my weak point and I didn't drink enough of it, I am no a changed woman drinking at least 2 litres a day woooo. Eating healthily needs improvement mind.

I'd say this is the most obvious one isn't it, get those endorphins going. I do find it difficult exercising and finding time to do it, but I just stick on youtube and do whatever the TV tells me to do. Also, Darcy either enjoys joining in or she enjoys laughing at me, either way it's entertainment for her!

Challenge Negative thoughts with positive ones.
So whenever a negative thought comes in to my head, I've got the other side of me saying 'well does it really matter though, can it be sorted' The answer is always yes if you're positive enough to change it. The way I describe it is you're your own best friend so give yourself the advice you deserve.

Set goals.
Goals setting is such a good way to see how far you've come, I've been setting goals and the satisfaction you feel when you've accomplished one is amazing.

I hope you change your life to be the most positive you can be but it does feel gooooood!

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