Wednesday, 7 January 2015

40 and pregnant!'s my news that I never thought that I would be sharing. Why? Because I never dreamt, quite frankly, that another baby would be a possibility. So my news is I am pregnant. Yes - forty and pregnant - who would have thought it?

Our boys are now 6 and 8 years old so life was becoming easier - adding a baby must be madness? Actually, it's's just perfect! Baby number three is due 5th July 2015 - ages way, right?

I realise that all bloggers seem to make a big announcement that they are pregnant, for some people this is literally as soon as they find out. That wasn't for me though and it has taken until now to write it down which over the next few posts will, I am sure become clear. We told family and close friends when I was about 7 weeks and shortly after we told the boys which I'll tell you about another day! However, writing it down on here sort of seemed a little strange until now. So there you go - 40 and pregnant!

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Weird Fish Review - a mixed catch

A while ago I was lucky enough to have been sent a bundle of clothes and bag to review from Weird Fish. I wore my outfit to Britmums but obviously was unable to write the review until the clothes had been worn and washed a number of times in order to portray them in a clear and honest light.

I arranged for the clothes to be delivered to work and they arrived promptly as promised. They were delivered by our friendly courier who for some bizarre reason, I decided to take a photograph of. I think it was perhaps as I don't often have deliveries which are actually for me! It's a good job he has a good sense of humour.

I was sent the following to wear, wash, wear, get the picture!

 - Phoebe Printed Stretch Tunic Dress in Frost Grey (£39.99)
 - Roxanne Knit Cardigan in Spearmint (£39.95)
 - Modello Marl Leggings in Dark Slate (£15.99)
 - Sorbus Striped Tote Bag in Mood Indigo (£39.95)

Now I absolutely LOVE the clothes. They arrived well packaged and ready to wear.

There is nothing worse than receiving crumpled clothes in the post which you then have to iron before you actually wear them. They fitted perfectly which was a relief as I wanted to wear the outfit for Britmums, a blogging conference I was attending the following day.

All three items of clothing have washed really well and look as good as new, even after regularly wearing them for a couple of months. I always worry that leggings will go baggy at the knees after you have worn them for a couple of hours. But these have maintained their shape throughout which is a real positive. (Please see update below!)

So - I absolutely LOVE the design of the clothes so what about the Sorbus bag? I really like the way this bag looks - it's contemporary yet timeless design really appeals to me. The leather base to the bag ensures that it doesn't get dirty and the size is just perfect. I have used it for days out in London with the children, business meetings as well as as my daily handbag. It's very versatile.

However, I am very disappointed with the quality. Having used the bag for a weekend, a split developed on the front pocket zip. This didn't worry me too much as I understand that these things happen in manufacturing. Basically the stitching hadn't caught properly which resulted in the material coming away from the main bag. Another bag was sent to me - the problem was rectified and I was happy.

Unfortunately, after the second outing with the new bag, again there was a problem. This time the seam split along the edge. Very disappointing. I hadn't been carrying much in the bag so there is no reason why this should have happened. Having had two faulty bags, I can only ascertain that the manufacturing of this bag is not as good as it should be. At £39.99 it's not a particularly cheap bag and I would expect it to last at least one season. I am gutted - I really love the design of the bag, but the quality isn't what I would expect from Weird Fish.

Update - December 2014 - the cardigan has developed a hole and has split at the seams - all rather disappointing I have to say.


Love the clothes in design, but the quality is not what I would expect for the money and I would steer clear of this particular bag.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Goal!! Review a goal from Plum Products.

A while a go, I attended a press day for Plum products where we were lucky enough to see their latest ranges of garden and indoor wooden toys, as well as having the opportunity to have a sneak peak of what is on the horizon for this British-based company.

As a 'thank you', they sent me their goal. They didn't ask me to, nor expect me to review it, but my boys love it so much that I decided to.

We were sent the 8ft by 6ft wooden goal. It is also available in a smaller 6ft x 4ft - but if you've got space, I would definitely recommend the larger of the two sizes available. Why? Because I have a sneaky suspicion that the boys are going to play with this for many years to come - even adults seem drawn to this piece of play equipment this summer!

The goal arrives in boxes and you have to construct it. Or rather in my case, you have to ask your husband to construct it. I am quite sure that should it have been necessary for me to do the building, I would have coped admirably BUT I obviously needed to take the photos and make the cups of tea. Nothing sexist in this family I can assure you.

The goal was relatively easy to put together. You need minimal tools and just a little bit of patience. The instructions were clear and easy to follow and everything went together well.

As you can see - the goal is a huge success and has already had plenty of use. The boys absolutely love it. It has also made us get outside and play with the boys - they have a play area but we are a bit too big to go on the swings and slide - but this has appeal to all the family - even Granddad has been spotted playing football recently!

'The goal is good - I've never really played football before but this makes it more fun.' Sam (aged 7).

'It's really great for playing football. I'm glad we have one now' Harry (age 5).


I have no hesitation in recommending this goal to other parents. At £149.99 it's not the cheapest goal on the market but it is well made and sturdy. It will last years and years, giving children and teenagers alike many hours of fun....and exercise of course.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Wells and Walsingham Railway Review

Last week we were lucky enough to be given the opportunity to review the Wells and Walsingham Railway - a regular haunt of ours (outnumbered mum = living in a household of boys = I really can't replace the love of railways or any type of vehicle with fairies and shopping however hard I try!). I have visited Wells and Walsingham Railway on a yearly basis as we holiday there within a few miles a number of times a year and it remains a favourite with my boys. I have watched it remain in the dark ages and retain it's kind of 'quaintness'. However the last time we visited I did think it was beginning to look a little 'tired'. I was interested to learn that it is now under new ownership and already I can see a difference.

The station at Wells has maintained it's oldie-world-feel but at the same times appears a little more 'kept' and 'loved'. Simple things like a lick of paint make the world of difference. It's a basic station - a waiting room, benches on the platform and a cafe....which I loved. As well as the usual teas and coffees and kitkats, they also offered the most delicious looking cakes and my youngest loved the opportunity to have an ice cream of course whilst he waited for the train.

The train itself is a 10 1/4" guage (just in case you are a train buff and are reading this...or you are my 7 year old son) and apparently it's the longest of it's kind in the sleepy Norfolk! It runs from Wells-Nest-The-Sea to Walsingham, a little way in land. Wells is known for it's seaside resort although the station is a good 15 minute walk from the town centre. The train runs to Walsingham which is best described as a picturesque, on one hand sleepy but on the other hand rather busy small Norfolk village. It does get pretty busy at various times of the year as it is one of the best-known villages for pilgrimages - apparently over 300,000 people descend on this village every year so you can guarantee that there will be a touch of hustle and bustle of course.

We boarded the train at Wells and decided to go for an indoor carriage - largely as it was trying very
hard to rain. The train was packed from Wells to Walsingham, as you would perhaps expect in July, peak holiday season. We were travelling as a group of 5 but we all managed to sit together (4 and  1 pretty close by). The train was a mixture of people of different ages - from those of us with children to those who were retired. One addition to my last visit was a sign as we left the station saying that 42 species of wild flowers had been spotted along the tracks that day. My boys kept looking out for the flowers but we did listen to a more 'educated' (or should I say elderly) couple discussing the flowers as out journey progressed.

The train back from Walsingham was empty and we had a carriage to ourselves which was great - it also enabled me to take some better photos of course.

The boys loved the journey - I suppose their smiles will tell you that. There is something quite magical about train journeys and this journey inspired conversations about the magical world of Harry Potter and The Polar Express.


We love visiting the railway and it has become part of our 'Norfolk' routine. It's not cheap however at £9 return for an adult and £7 return for a child (between 4 and 14 - under 4s travel for free). We will be back though - it's a holiday favourite for my boys.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

What to do with children in North Norfolk...our top three!

Next week we are off to one of our favourite places in the UK, the north Norfolk coast. We are very lucky as we get to spend a lot of time there and the boys absolutely love it. We have our finger's tightly crossed for a week of sunshine (although that rarely happens on our family holidays).

I asked my boys (aged 5 and 7) what they wanted to do next week and here are their favourites (based on their previous  'Norfolk' experiences).

1. Bewilderwood

If you haven't visited Bewilderwood then you really should. It is set in the woods between Hoveton and Horning - pretty close to Wroxham. We stay near to Wells but it's worth the short drive. Sam and Harry absolutely love it there - it's a magical tree top world where hobbit like creatures come to live thanks to the amazing story-telling staff on hand to tell you a yarn or answer any questions. You enter the park via a short boat ride where the narrator sets the scene for your visit.

2. Crabbing at Blakeney


I loved this as a child and have fond memories of crabbing alongside my Grandad when I was Harry's age. Blakeney hasn't really changed and the harbour is full of children crabbing whilst parents try to stop them from falling in. We will definitely be crabbing next week.

3. Wells Beach


I'm not sure who loves it most here, me or the children. They love to take the little train from the town down to the edge of the pineforest. We then have a ramble throught the pine forest, a play on the 'secret' swing and then it's on to the beach to build sandcastles, roll down the sandunes (some what smaller thanks to the storms last year) and of course to have a paddle. A must on the way bak to the car is an icecream at the cafe in the car park.

There is so much to do in the summer in North Norfolk, but when I asked my children what they wanted to do - these are the three things they came up with. It will be interesting to see what their three favourite things are after we have visited so keep an eye on Facebook, twitter and Instagram to see what we actually get up to #norfolkadventures

Friday, 4 July 2014

A Letter to the organisers of Britmums 2014

Dear Britmums,

Thank you, thank you, thank you for organising such an amazing event. I just felt that I had to put pen to paper....which in true Jo style has taken me a while to add photos and publish :). I decided to go to Britmums back in August last year when I really was a newbie blogger - with only a matter of weeks under my belt. I thought it would be a good idea. I thought that I would learn a lot and have the opportunity to network with some of the best bloggers in the UK. The good news is, that I thought correctly.

I wasn't as nervous about going to Britmums as many of my fellow bloggers were. I'm lucky, I am very used to London as I travel there a lot. I'm lucky, I am used to talking to strangers as it's part of my job (please don't let me work colleagues know that I have caller them 'strange'). But what I was nervous about was people asking me where I blogged, and me replying 'Outnumbered Mum' and then there being silence....a tumbleweed moment. Either because they quite frankly had never heard of me or even more worringly because they would wonder what an earth I was doing at a Blogging Conference when I don't update my blog daily or every other day. Nobody laughed. Nobody judged. Some people had even heard of my blog!! Shock horror!

I have been to a number of conferences over the years - especially as a teacher and I can safely say that this is perhaps the most organised one I have attended. It ran like clockwork. The delegates were perhaps the most cheery group I have ever had the pleasure of spending a few days with - and the organisers were uber-friendly. As for the seminars - I learnt loads and came back ready to take the blogging world by storm.....well that was the plan, and then I remembered that I had to work full time and had a business to run so had to put things back into!

I didn't take a mountain of photos - just a few. But the photos, the memories are inside my head. I was made soooo welcome by fellow bloggers. We had a lovely evening out, organised by Verily Victoria Vocalises (Victoria Welton) - despite knowing very few people, it was a great evening and I soon realised that many of the bloggers seemed to be ex-teachers.......we all had managed to escape from the profession in one way or another.

I was lucky - a company I know and love offered to sponsor me for Britmums very early on (and another company offered to sponsor me about a week before Britmums but I had to turn them down....but it made me feel popular!) My sponsor was Buggysnuggle and I hope that I flew the flag well for them....if fellow bloggers hadn't heard about the sofasnug before they left then they should have done now!

So thank you Britmums team. You should be very proud of yourselves. These events are not easy to organise yet you pulled it off with class and should be giving yourselves a pat on the back and I hope that you celebrated with lots of champagne and cake.

I'll be back next year without a doubt....if you'll have me that is?

Kind regards,

Jo - no longer a Britmums Virgin


Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Mia Tui Amelie Bag Review

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to receive a rather large parcel through the post - ready for a review. This time the review was an item for me, rather than my children which makes a refreshing change. I decided on the Mia Tui Amelie Bag in Steel Blue and I adore the colour in real life.

Mia Tui, a bag company known for their changing bags had sent me their Amelie Bag - a multifunctional bag designed primarily for traveling. Now - I need to put this in to perspective. Most bags are either too large or too small for traveling with. Too small and you can't fit everything in or too large and the damn thing is too heavy. Mia Tui appear to have hit the nail on the head with the Amelie bag.

I used it last weekend for an overnight stopover with friends. You know the time - when you really don't need a wheelie case as this would be an over kill but you need to appear that you have come equipped with more than just a clean pair of knickers! Even when jam-packed with all the essentials (including a bottle of wine), it was still extremely comfortable to carry on my shoulder.

The Amelie bag comes equpped with pockets galore - giving you ample opportunity to organise your overnight bag. It even comes with it it's own 'extra' bags which fit neatly inside pockets on the interior of the bag - clever stuff and well thought out.

I used the larger of the wetbags as a toilet bag and the smaller as a make up bag. They were just the perfect size and meant that I kept all my 'messy' items away from my clothes. I loved the fact that they had their own little pockets to slip into in the main bag meaning that they didn't get lost amongst my clothes.

Inside the bag, as well as the pockets for the wetbacks and shoulder bag, there are numerous other 'added touches' including two clips which are ideal to keep keys safe and sound. There is also a pocket which I presume has been designed to hold a phone as well as the obligatory pen pockets. The outside of the bag has yet another pocket - perfect for a purse or wallet.

You can either carry the bag using the handles which are amply long enough to be able to sling it over your shoulder, or there is a shoulder strap which clips on. Personally I preferred the handles - they were the perfect length to be honest - not too long and not too short.


The Amelie Bag from Mia Tui is well made and offers a real alternative to a wheelie case given that it is so comfortable to carry. It is well equipped and in my opinion, offers excellent value for money at £63. It is very well manufactured and comes with lots of extras which you wouldn't expect for a bag at this price. I was very pleasantly surprised. A super bag for me which I think that I will use over and over stop Norfolk.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Family Holidays in the UK - it can be done!

A while ago I was asked to complete a quiz from British Holiday company Parkdean. Now, usually I ignore such requests as to be honest I am not interested. But given that this one was about holidays (and I was bored at work - don't tell my boss), I decided to give it a go. Basically you had to identify whether a place was in the UK or elsewhere. I didn't get 100% and that annoyed me. I like to think that I am well traveled and know a fair amount. However, on speaking to my husband he just laughed at me. Of course we are not 'experts' on the UK, largely because we haven't holidayed here very much. Well - perhaps we are ready for a change. There are so many places on the doorstep that remain undiscovered and quite frankly, pretty darn beautiful.

My question is to all my readers - do you need to go abroad to enjoy beautiful sandy beaches? I know that the answer to this is 'no' but this got me thinking. Should I be holidaying more in the UK? In actual fact, this summer we have a cottage booked in an area of England that we know very well, Norfolk. It's in the UK - tick. There is a beautiful beach at Wells - tick. The food is great in that area - tick. We don't have the hassle (excitement???) of traveling through an airport or ferry terminal - tick.

Now of course - there are more places in the UK which could be described as 'beautiful' and beaches that could be described as 'stunning'. Here are my top three of list of 'must visits' that I really would like to take the children too soon.


My number one bucket list place to visit within the UK has to be Scotland. I have never been to the coast in Scotland and having done a little research (and seen my parents photos from a recent visit to the Isle of Mull), this has got to become a priority. My biggest worry is the weather - however all the photos I have seen it seems to be sunny so I'm going to give it a go - and soon I hope!


Another place that I have been saying for years that we really should visit is Cornwall - again a part of the UK which I don't know well (hangs head in shame). However - it looks soooo like France - in particular Normandy and Brittany (image above of St Michaels Mount reminds me of a desolate Mont Saint Michel). I think that Cornwall appeals to me because of the climate - it's 'down south', has a similar climate to northern France yet I wouldn't have the hassle of a ferry or tunnel crossing.


You will notice that again I have picked somewhere a long way from where I live. Despite visiting Norfolk this summer, I really do think that part of the excitement about going on holiday is the journey. We will drive absolutely anywhere and, thank goodness. my children are excellent travellers in the car (they may have been put on eBay had they not been). You only need to look at the colour of the sea in the image above to see why people holiday there. It doesn't 'look' like the UK, that is for sure.

Well - that's just three places in the UK that I have picked out and have added to my 'must visit soon' list. There are so many places that I haven't taken my children to. They think that to go on holiday you 'have' to go on an airplane. I need to show them that they don't and that the UK actually has an awful lot to offer. We maybe need to rethink our family holidays.......if only we could guarantee the weather!

There are so many to chose from.......

Let me know where in the UK you would holiday with a 5 year old and a 7 year old - it looks like we need inspiration!

 Disclosure - This is a sponsored post from Park Dean.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Bee-Ball Junior Basketball Stand Review

My boys love being outside and were thrilled when I told them that we were getting a basketball stand to review - to say that they were enthusiastic is an understatement. We received a Bee-Ball Junior Basketball stand and size 5 basket ball.

It arrived in a big box - we all know that products in big boxes excite young children and I quickly delegated the 'checking of the contents' to Sam, my 7 year old. Sam LOVES this kind of thing and he soon unpacked to check that everything was present and correct...and it was.

The building of the stand was delegated to my husband as it is most definitely a 'blue job' however he has insisted that I would have been able to manage it had I been willing. The base is a hollow which you can fill with either sand or water - we choose water largely as we had some to hand. I love the fact that it is on wheels so that we can wheel it out of sight when not in use....and easily get it out again when it's time to play.

I am really impressed with the quality of the Bee-Ball Basketball Stand - it's very well manufactured and really does look the part. Sam and Harry really do love it and it has quickly become a firm favourite in our garden.

One of the design features that I am particularly impressed with is the fact that you can alter the height of the hoop making it perfectly accessible for both my 5 year old and my taller 7 year old....oh and my husband. Everyone can be challenged but everyone can succeed which is especially important for my youngest who would easily have given up had he not seen some success.


I am very impressed with the Bee-Ball Junior Basket Ball stand. It's great quality and a real hit with my children. We have been using it for about a month now and it has survived many different weather types - heavy rain, frost (yes, frost in March), sunshine and of course the north wind. It still looks like new and is still been used when ever the children are outside (quite a lot!). At £39.99, I think it offers great value for money.

Disclosure - I was given the Bee-Ball Stand and basket ball for the means of this review. However, all opinions are my own and have3 not been influenced in any way.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Project-B pregnancy box giveaway

When I was pregnant with Sam and Harry, I am pretty sure that there weren't any of these 'subscription' type boxes about - or if there were then I hadn't heard about them. Over the last couple of years I have seen more and more pop up in the baby market. Project B decided to do something different and provide a monthly subscription box to women who are pregnant. How nice to receive something for mum in the run up to when we all know that the focus shifts to the baby.

Project B have offered one of my lucky readers the opportunity to win one such box which they can either keep for themselves or gift to a friend or relative. Simply enter via Rafflecoptor below....Good Luck everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway