Tesco Mum of the Year Awards 2015 Nominate now image

It’s that time again! Time to nominate an incredible mum that you know for the Tesco Mum of the Year Awards 2015.

You don’t have a lot of time as nominations close on 5th September. So you could read the rest of this post, or click straight over to the nominations page.

I’m delighted to be an official blogger for the Tesco Mum of the Year Awards once again.

Last year I was privileged to attend the ceremony at the Savoy, which was screened later on Channel 5, and spend an afternoon in the company of the 2014 winners – an incredibly inspiring group of women who had achieved so much despite life throwing the most difficult challenges at them.

Still on my mind is Laura Young who tragically lost her eight-year-old daughter Verity to cancer in 2009. Laura went on to set up The Teapot Trust charity providing art therapy to sick children.

I was at the Awards ceremony the previous year too. One winner whose story particularly moved me was Margaret Aspinall. Margaret lost her son in the Hillsborough tragedy and spent twenty-four years campaigning for the truth as part of the Hillsborough Families Support Group.

Also there that day was Claire Lomas who got married, had a baby and walked the London Marathon despite being paralysed in a riding accident, which still seems miraculous.

Now in its tenth year, the Tesco Mum of the Year Awards have helped raise the profile over 80 winners and their causes and charities. And they will celebrate even more incredible mums in 2015.

Tesco doesn’t just sponsor the Awards, they own the Awards, which they started back in 2006 to recognise ordinary women who do extraordinary things.

If you know an amazing mum, head over to their nominations page. Nominations close on 5th September so act fast! For more information visit the Tesco Mum of the Year page on Tesco Living.

Tesco Mum of the Year Awards 2015 logo

Disclosure: I’m working with Tesco as an official blogger for the Tesco Mum of the Year Awards 2015.


The Photo Gallery: World Photo Day

by RosieS on August 20, 2014

Portland Bill Dorset

It’s thanks to Tara Cain’s weekly Photo Gallery that I’ve developed a real passion for photography in recent years, so I couldn’t miss World Photo Day.

You see the world differently when you walk round with a camera looking for a shot. There’s so much more that you notice. The little things than many people miss. The colours, the light, the position of the sun – all things I rarely paid attention to before.

This is Portland Bill in Dorset on a rather overcast evening. It’s quiet at that time of day and it feels like you are standing at the edge of the world. The small boat huts dotted along the cliff edge would make the perfect hideaway to sit and spend your days novel writing, longhand on an old fashioned notepad with an ink pen.

One to visit if you haven’t already, and even if you have.


Taste-testing Zoobs

by RosieS on August 20, 2014


Despite repeated attempts to get IJ to add vegetables to her diet, I’ve never got further than raw carrots, which she occasionally eats. She reacts to the addition of vegetables to her plate as if she is about to be poisoned. Let’s not get started on the subject of fruit, which receive much the same treatment.

So when the lovely people at Zoobs asked me if we wanted to try out their new vegetable based snack, I decided we had nothing to lose. They consist of 52% vegetables – beans, carrots, tomatoes, peas, onions and chickpeas – so I saw an opportunity here.

We were sent two flavours – Pizza Margherita and Tangy Cheese. I got more excited about the packaging than the contents, which looks great. The bright orange will certainly grab attention on the supermarket shelf, which is obviously the idea.

The Zoobs themselves look a little like a cross between a Wotsit and a Twiglet.


Both varieties have strong flavours, which put IJ off and she wouldn’t try them unfortunately, but a group of her friends tried the Pizza Margherita flavour and gave them the thumbs up.

The tangy cheese flavour I didn’t like at all. The flavour felt too strong, but then I’m not a huge cheese lover and the snacks aren’t targeted at me. In the absence of another taste-taster in the family though, there’s only my opinion I can give.

Zoobs contain 77 calories per pack, 1.2g of fibre per pack and are they are lower in salt and fat than traditional crisps. I think they make a great, healthier alternative. Perfect for kids’ lunch boxes.

Zoobs nutritional information

I found the Pizza variety a bit moorish, to be honest. Adults might find themselves eating two packs in one sitting though, or maybe that’s just me. Remember adults – these are for kids!

At the time of writing Zoobs are on sale at Tesco at £1 for a 6-pack. We don’t have a Tesco near us, but if we did I’d buy the Pizza Margherita variety and eat them all myself.

We were sent 2 x 6-packs of Zoobs for the purpose of this review. 


Kaiser Chiefs wardrobe box

In possibly the most surreal week of my life I’ve hung out backstage with the Kaiser Chiefs, The Charlatans and Paul Weller, watched films in an Italian field at three in the morning, and launched a new business. And all of this in the school holidays, just to add an extra layer of complexity to the proceedings.

Umbria Rock Festival merchandise

The original idea for the summer was to log off completely and do absolutely nothing for a week in the run up to the launch of my ecommerce venture Pamper Parcels. But then came the offer to spend a long weekend in Italy backstage – and front of stage – at the Umbria Rock Festival, for whom I’ve been managing their social media.

James sign on dressing room door

And no one turns down the chance to get up close with some amazing international acts in the Italian sun. So I took a plane and headed off.

Umbria, Italy

It was the sort of weekend you look back on and wonder if it actually happened. Eating breakfast while Paul Weller did a sound check. Dining in a restaurant with the Kaiser Chiefs. Hanging around backstage watching James prepare for their set, seeing the acts live on stage.

Ricky Wilson Kaiser Chiefs on stage

Seeing Paul Weller backstage, hairdryer in hand, before stepping on stage.

Paul Weller at the Umbria Rock Festival

And posing for a photo with Tim Burgess from The Charlatans.

Tim Burgess backstage at the Umbria Rock Festival

Then after a weekend of the most incredible music and sunshine, travelling home on a plane with The Cribs, fellow festival goers and a bunch of music journalists, and making an epic train journey from the airport to the south coast, I joined the family on holiday in Dorset.

Sunset in Weymouth

From an adrenalin-fuelled rock festival and the excitement of Ricky Wilson (don’t judge me!) to the peace and tranquility of Chesil Beach.

Sunset on Chesil beach

Then with little time to pause for breath I launched my new business on Monday and started off on a completely different kind of journey.

The aim of the business is to encourage us all to take a little time out from it all and enjoy a little me-time by selling a range of natural and organic pamper boxes, that give back to others too. After nine months of preparation and planning it’s finally here.

Pamper Parcels selfie

From partying to pampering, the last week has been slightly crazy, full of the sort of experiences that leave you feeling blessed.


The Photo Gallery: Animals

by RosieS on July 23, 2014


It isn’t the best image as I snapped it quickly on my phone. It was taken during our stay at Chessington World of Adventures over the weekend. The hotel backs on to a gorgeous safari park, a world away from the slight craziness of the theme park.

I treated IJ to a break there to celebrate her eleventh birthday. She loved it. Next time we go I’ll grab a shot of the giraffes at the back of the park, which were even more impressive than the zebras.

This week’s gallery theme is: Animals. Check out Tara’s blog for more entries.


The one where I name drop Paul Weller and the Kaiser Chiefs

July 18, 2014

I’ve spent the last few weeks immersed in the world of Paul Weller, the Kaiser Chiefs, The Charlatans, The Basement Jaxx and James. That’s not a line I ever thought I’d be writing in a blog post. I’m currently managing the social media for the Umbria Rock Festival. It’s a little bit epic. It also […]

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What loom bands and a bunch of school kids taught me about play

July 16, 2014

I’ve spent the afternoon working in the park – one of the perks of working from home. Rather unexpectedly I was joined by a group of 30 school children, all in high spirits at the end of term. They decamped a short distance from me by a pair of trees so the teachers could sit […]

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The Fear

July 15, 2014

I started writing a slightly sentimental blog post the other day marking IJ’s eleventh birthday. It started off by mentioning how difficult the early days were and how daunting and bewildering it can be when you’re on your own with a newborn. It reflected a little on our more difficult early years when I was […]

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My Plan B

July 11, 2014

For the last six months or so I’ve been working away in the background on a project I hope I’ll still be working on in five years’ time. It’s exciting, nerve-wracking and a big leap into the relatively unknown. And I’m loving every minute of it. I’ve been referring to it as my plan B […]

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First day at secondary school

July 2, 2014

I’m not quite sure how it’s happened or if I’ve imagined it, but IJ has just walked out of the door for her first day at secondary school. That can’t be right. Only yesterday, it seems, she was playing on her three wheeler bike in the garden. Not long before that we were playing with […]

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