Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Loyalty & Fairness with RBS

I remember walking home from school one day... I was in High School, as was my younger sister, although I'm pretty sure she was only around starting age. She was walking a short distance in front of me but we didn't walk together, both preferring to lose ourselves in some form of emo music through our headphones. I looked up to see two boys chasing after her, shouting some form of childish abuse and without prior thought, I ran towards them, shouting threats of being her big sister and that if they didn't back off, they'd have me to answer to.

In that moment, it didn't matter that I was likely to be annoyed at her for wearing my hoodie, or for finishing the last of the cereal that morning. She was my sister and we'd been raised to look out for one another, to be loyal to our family. And I know had it have been me, my older sister, or even my cousins on the receiving end, they're would have been someone there to do the same for me.

As a parent, you can't really predict how you will raise your wee ones. I know when I was pregnant it was more thinking of things along the lines of how you thought you'd deal with tantrums & not sleeping through the night, that you kind of forget what ideals & values you'd like to instil in your children. One thing my parents always taught us was to be loyal to your family and with that, always treating people fairly with respect. And even when I was torn between the naughty step & gentle parenting, I knew I'd want my kids to grow up with an understanding of loyalty & fairness.

John and David may be young but the way I see it, you can never be too early in teaching such values. Whether it's the simple act of sharing toys, not snatching and generally playing fair, or that it's not ok to disrespect each other with hitting (or in David's case recently; biting!); it's an everyday decision to teach the boys about fairness & loyalties. And although a conscious decision, it can be difficult at times, especially given how difficult it is to remain loyal when so many parts of modern life are not particularly fair.

However, the Royal Bank of Scotland is breaking the mould and recognising their existing customer's loyalty whilst waving goodbye to unfair offers that are only available to new customers. No more 0% teaser rates, nor excluding their existing customers from the best offers. No more unexpected charges, nor fees for being late with credit card payments by only a day. Here's hoping that other banks & companies will soon follow suit and I won't have to utter the words, "lives not fair," to John & David that I can still remember my Mum often saying to me.

Plus I think #ThatSofa would scare John from ever sitting on a sofa again, so it's a good job it won't be tempting in new customers just to dump them in favour of the next one that comes along!

I do hope John & David do grow up with similar ideals & values to the new ones of RBS, with a good grasp on what's fair & what it means to be loyal, especially to one another. Be that not biting or snatching toys & choosing to share their things; recognising what it means to be loyal to family & friends and not only treat others fairly but to only accept fair treatment onto themselves. By reminding them of fairness & loyalty on a daily basis, I hope that should it ever happen, they'll have each others back on the walk home from school too.

This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Britmums & RBS.
All words & opinions are my own.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Using Recycled Jars for Preserves #DDDHMC

Diddle Diddle Dumpling's Home Made Christmas - Using Recycled Jars for Preserves.

We're back again after a couple of weeks off with Diddle Diddle Dumpling's Home Made Christmas! And with only 2 months to go(!!) it's time to get making. This week is all about recycling jars for our previous (& future) jam & chutney recipes (click here to see them); not only is it great for the environment but it's also great for the purse strings! Ask your friends & family to keep hold of any old jars for you, or if that's not possible, simply buy some value jam (generally less than 50p) and use them instead - & why not use the jam to make some cake or biscuits in the meantime?

• • •
Removing Labels. I have a fear of sticky things. Ok, that's a bit of an exaggeration. It's not so much a fear but sticky things that are dirty (used plasters, scraps of sellotape, old stickers...) gives me major heebie-jeebies. So when a label comes clean off in one fell swoop, I let out a little sigh of relief. Unfortunately, this rarely happens.
When you're left with that lovely sticky residue there's a couple of things that will help. Depending on how stubborn the residue is, some hot soapy water might just be enough. If not, grab some acetone (the same stuff you use to remove nail polish & false nails) and give it a good wipe. Your sticky mess should come off with ease & just give another wash to remove any streaks on the glass.

Spray Paint Lids. This is such a simple step but it makes such a huge difference. Give you lids a good clean, pop them on a piece of newspaper & in a well ventilated area, then spray away! You'll probably need to do at least two coats, as it's difficult to get an even finish in one spray, but depending on your chosen colour (I like a simple black) you may get away with just one. Just be sure to let your lids dry completely before touching or moving them, otherwise you'll scar them with your finger prints! And top tip; if they end up stuck to your newspaper, give them another wash before sterilising & the newspaper will clean right off.

Sterilising. You should always 100% of the time sterilise your jars & lids, but when using recycled jars, it's even more important. As jams & chutneys are generally kept for a long period of time, it's essential that the jars they're stored in are clean & free of dirt, to prevent any mould forming & spoiling your preserve.
There is various different ways to sterilise jars but my favourite way is in the oven. After washing your jars in some hot, soapy water, pop them onto the oven shelf on top of some baking parchment - lids off! Switch the oven on at around 100°c and leave your jars there until ready to fill. I tend to pop them in just as I'm starting my jam/chutney, giving them plenty time to sterilise.

DIY Labels. Time to get creative! Whatever your style, the quickest & easiest way to transform a recycled jar & personalise them to suit your contents is with a beautiful label. If you're crafty, why not have a go at designing your own labels? The possibilities are truly endless. And if you're not so crafty, fear not; Pinterest offers literally hundreds of printables. I'm still torn on how my final labels will look but I particualrly love the idea of something simple on brown paper, with a festive flare!

• • •

And there you have it folks, some simple steps to getting your started with Diddle Diddle Dumpling's Home Made Christmas jams & chutneys. Whether you choose to use recycled jars for environmental or financial reasons, you can't really go wrong! As always, be sure to use the hashtag #DDDHMC on your social media of choice so I can see what creative home made gifts you're whipping up and to follow the progress of all the other Home Made Christmas creations I'll be sharing too.

Happy making!


Monday, 20 October 2014

We Made a Video!

I've been wanting to film a vlog for a while now. For one reason another, I've kept putting it off. Last week though, we bit the bullet and did it. Nothing overly exciting, I'm afraid! To kick us off in what will hopefully be a good relationship with vlogging, we did the YouTube Mum Tag.

I'm more confident in my video editing skills than my actual being in a video but hey ho. We also missed out question 10, which I did realise until putting the video together... But such is life. Anyway, have a watch, tell us what you think (please be kind!) and if you do like it you can give it a YouTube thumbs up, subscribe to our channel and even give me some suggestions for another video in the comments!


Thursday, 16 October 2014

Life Lately

Instagram - @amylorimer
We seem to have taken an unscheduled hiatus this past week or so. That's the thing about life, sometimes it catches up with you! We're still very much adapting to life back at work, with two at nursery and Iain's shifts at work being all over the place for the time being. Then there was the bout of Hand, Foot & Mouth, David's top 4 teeth breaking through all at once, John having a tough couple of weeks and then me getting food poisoning too. Fun times, really!

When family life isn't going as sweetly & picturesque as you would hope, it's time to take a step back from the computer screen & enjoy the [few] good moments as they happen. And that's exactly what we've been doing! The house may be a state and we don't have many clean clothes left, but these are things that will still need done in 20 years from now, when both boys are grown up & no longer in need of sofa cuddles and trips to the park. And as much as a love blogging, sometimes that needs to take a backseat as well, to make way for those cuddles & days out...

Both boys are in good health for the time being, 4 new teeth are officially broken through, John is back to his cheery self & I'm currently not poisoned! So stay tuned for some new posts in the next few weeks, including more from Diddle Diddle Dumpling's Home Made Christmas, our first ever vlog and even David's 1st Birthday in a little less than a month! (Boohoo!)


Sunday, 12 October 2014



We're not morning people. Anyone that has ever of had the pleasure of being around me before 11am will know that I'm as far from a morning person as you can get. Iain's the same; he even works the backshift so he can avoid the morning rush hour.

John's 50-50 and it purely comes down to what side of the bed he wakes on; you can usually tell by who he cries out for in the morning. "Daddy," is good mood (well trained!), "Mummy," is always a sign of being grumpy & needing a cuddle. Then there's David who, like in all aspects of life, is usually all smiles. The darker mornings are confusing him though so his usual 6am grin is now replaced by a 6am moan as he's never too sure if he's meant to getting up or looking for comfort back to sleep.

So when it comes to the Morning Win front, we're severely lacking. Generally, after a game of Whoever Can Ignore The Kids The Longest, either Iain or I gets up, releases John from the cot (yup, still not in his bed...) and it's through for a bit of Cbeebies & the morning banana. Nappies changed & off and suddenly their energy ensues. Whoever won the extra time in bed only enjoys their victory for 20 minutes max, as once those bums are clean, it's time to jump on Mummy & Daddy's bed. A Morning Win for John & David, perhaps?

Iain leaves for work around 7.30am just now (much to his backshift loving self) so it's quickly just me & the boys. If I'm lucky & they're not in the mood for destruction, I'll manage a shower (#morningwin!). Then it's on to a proper breakfast; if I'm feeling particularly productive, I'll make some eggy bread or pancakes but that doesn't happen much these days so generally it's some cereal, toast or Belvita breakfast biscuits. On the best of days I can even snaffle a Chocolate Chip Belvita to myself without sharing, although this usually requires eating in a cupboard (#morningwin...?).

After breakfast, David naps (definite #morningwin) and John & I watch some Fireman Sam. After which we'll head to the shops, generally for cake because cake is essential for getting through the morning. And before long we're approaching lunchtime. David has his second nap and if I'm really lucky, John has one too. With that, morning finally comes to an end.

So, Morning Wins... We don't get many of them, simply because mornings aren't our thing. Waking up is hard to do and we do all we can to ease ourselves into the day with little effort. A real morning win is just getting through to lunch time with minimal tears & minimal tantrums (& that's just me!).

Good morning,

This post is an entry for #MorningWin Linky Challenge sponsored by belVita.
Learn more at and linking to


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