Here you will find reviews of products, services and days out. Look out for some fab competitions and giveaways too!

To catch up on tales from the Button household, click HERE

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Experienced Grannies as Au Pair

Gerda Sehr, 57, might be a Granny Aupair, but she is definitely not your typical Granny.

Following 38 years as an employee at the National Insurance Office, the Austrian from Carinthia was on the lookout for a new challenge- “I’ve always been annoyed that I can’t speak English, when I complained about it during a trip to India my daughter just said “Go to an English-speaking country and learn it!”

Surfing the net looking for an occupation for middle-aged ladies, she came across the website www.granny-aupair.com and applied and shortly afterwards was placed as a Granny Aupair with a family in Nottingham.

Prior to her placement she and her husband visited the doctor couple at home and hit it off immediately. Gerda Sehr moved into the couple’s garden house with free board and lodging. “I didn’t receive a fee, but my family, who is very proud of me, could stay with me any time”. She went on a lot of trips with her guest family, among others to Sherwood Forest with Robin Hood’s Tree.

Every year families around the world hire young women aged 20-or-so to take care of their children and housework -- activities that an experienced 50-plus woman like Gerda Sehr can do easily. Why not rely on this know-how and invite a Granny as an au-pair to your home? In 2010 Michaela Hansen, 50, launched the initiative to send young-at-heart “Grandmas“ initially from German-speaking countries all over the world. “Senior citizens often remember their one-time dreams with a bit of melancholy,” says Michaela Hansen from Hamburg/Germany. “Staying abroad is often foremost among these dreams. Some wanted to immigrate to America when they were young, others dreamt of a sheep-farm in New Zealand. But even the wish to work abroad as an au-pair was not fulfilled." Michaela Hansen is amending this by giving these experienced women a second chance.

Thanks to her initiative, older women now have the opportunity to go abroad for an extended period, improve a foreign language and intensify their knowledge of a country – more extensively than is possible during a holiday – an opportunity which has already been taken up by more than 300 “Grannies” placed in 40 countries. The Granny helps with housekeeping and children, and gets free board and lodging in return. Becoming part of a family makes it easier to immerse oneself into life in a foreign country. It’s a win-win situation for both sides, as the idea of au-pair is based on mutual help.

Patricia, a Vancouver Mum states: "The past three months have been an interesting experience for the three of us. The opportunity to have a Granny Aupair has taught us so many things, as we open our home and hearts to that person and there's so much to learn from the experience: from the differences in our cultures and backgrounds to the similarities we might have. But the greatest part is learning to welcome one another and share the space and our day to day lives, and this experience has particularly shown me so much about myself." 

Families and single parents looking for a “Granny” are encouraged to contact Granny Aupair at info@granny-aupair.com. More about the service can be found at www.granny-aupair.com

This is a sponsored post

Friday, 10 May 2013

iPhone case from The Snugg

The Snugg, who sell a whole range of cases for phones, iPads, and tablets, recently sent me a case for my iPhone.

I was pleased they contacted me because I have a bit of a phone case obsession, and like to change them quite regularly.

They supply a  huge range so I found it hard to settle on one, but eventually went for this ultra thin purple case.

And I should add that it is the nicest case I have used.  It is really nice to hold and adds a bit of colour to my phone.

This particular case comes in all sorts of other colours too - do go and check out their website...

Splosh cleaning products - just add water!

I recently received a Splosh starter box, which included kitchen cleaner, handwash gel, washing up liquid and laundry detergent.

But instead of the usual cleaners you might buy from supermarkets, Splosh have come up with a radically new way of doing things, which dramatically reduces both transport CO2 emissions and plastic waste.

They supply a stylish and simple plastic bottle for each cleaning product, together with concentrate sachets.  Then all you have to do is place one (or two, depending on the product) sachet into the bottle, fill the bottle up with hot water from the tap, wait a minute, give it a shake, and it's ready to go!

And once the cleaner runs out, you re-order some more sachets, and re-use the bottle - easy!

I have to admit that my starter box sat unopened in our kitchen for quite some time, as I felt a little daunted about what might be inside.

However, once I actually opened up the box I realised just how simple the whole procedure is - you just pop a sachet into a bottle, and then fill it with hot water from the tap - simple!

I am so pleased that I have discovered Splosh - the smells of each cleaner are wonderful, they use natural ingredients, they clean beautifully, and in using them you are saving money and helping to save the environment at the same time.

Splosher-in-Chief, Angus Grahame says: 'Refilling may seem a novel concept at first, but I promise it won't take long to become second nature.  It's fun watching our sachets dissolve, pleasing not having to throw our bottles away and super convenient when refills pop through your letter box.'

Please do go and check out their fabulous website for more information.

Angus is happy to answer any question you might have.  He can be contacted at: hello@splosh.com or @sploshtweet

Thursday, 2 May 2013

mySupermarket - price comparison site

I don’t know about you but I can spend hours hunting round the internet for nothing in particular.

In comes my husband one day and asks me what I’m looking at?  I give my standard response of ‘ nothing in particular’ and I can feel him staring at me.  I think he’s about to say ‘how much is it going to cost us this time?’ but instead he kindly suggests that if I insist on hunting aimlessly round the web  then I might as well be productive about it and buy our groceries online instead of moaning about having to go to the shops when I’m too busy. 

He was right you know, not a bad idea at all. So off I set to pursue my online shopping grocery needs, and I knew just where to go. To be honest, we could do with tightening the purse strings anyway and comparing prices online before you buy is always a good way to help reduce the bills.

mySupermarket is an online shopping site that allows you to compare prices across Asda, Tesco Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Ocado. All you do is choose a store and start shopping. As you go, you can see how much each product costs across all the supermarkets so it’s easy to make price comparisons and find special offers. Add products to your basket and if you decide to switch to a different store because it works out cheaper, your filled basket follows you so you don’t need to start over again. The site is also full of other nifty features like ‘swap and save’. This lets you know if there is a similar product for cheaper within the same store and gives you the option to switch. They also have a dedicated offer shelf which clearly breaks down all the different kinds of offers so you can fish through all those bargains more easily.

Perhaps my most favourite mySupermarket feature is the ‘price alerts’. Take a product that you normally buy or something that you want to treat yourself to and mySupermarket will notify you when the price drops significantly so you know it’s a good time to buy and even stock up.

All the comparing prices and finding good deals could not match my delight at seeing the delivery van pull up aside my house, right on time and with all my weekly shopping hand picked and delivered right to my front door. There is definitely something to be said for online grocery shopping, it takes a lot of stress out of the week and can save money.

Guest post by Sara Flack