Twenty two things that I love about Mr Mostly

Twenty two years ago today, I went on a blind date set up by a friend. It was a dreary Thursday lunchtime, my on-again-off-again boyfriend at the time was off again (but this time for good) and I had nothing better to do so thought it would be a laugh. I had never been on a blind date before although technically, I’m not sure if you could call it a blind date. I had never seen him but he had seen me, albeit at a distance.

He used to work with my friend and had met her for lunch and spotted me across a busy road as he walked her back to the office. He asked her if she knew who I was and she did (of course) and fixed us up on a lunch date within the week if I remember rightly. The details didn’t seem so important back then but that was just about the size of it. And the rest as they say, is history. Who would ever have thought that this little story would go on to be legend some twenty two years later?

Happy 22nd anniversary - Mostly Yummy Mummy Blog


On this our twenty second anniversary, I thought I would try and come up with twenty two things that I love about that man. To be fair, if you had caught me on the wrong day, this could easily have been a post listing twenty two things that make me want to strangle that man. I’m sure my archives will back me up here when I say that no relationship can be all hearts and roses all of the time. This is real life folks. And when you are in it for the long haul like we are, there are good times and sometimes bad (but mostly good, it has to be said!)

So in no particular order, here are twenty two things that I love about Mr Mostly:

  1. He buys me a candle whenever he passes Yankee Candle in York. Despite the fact that he really doesn’t understand the whole candle thing you are literally burning money woman and he always picks out a new one every time.
  2. He curls up with me every Sunday and lets me watch Poldark even though he hates it. Aiden Turner and rugged Cornwall coastlines just don’t do a thing for him.
  3. He always enjoys his hobbies with great passion. Whether that is walking up big hills or carving wood, he never does any hobby by halves.
  4. He pretends to like my rubbish packed lunches. Even when he accidentally gets a banana with a dinosaur on that was meant for the kids.
  5. He still squirms about something that he said on our first date (but the truth is it never felt like a blooper to me at the time, but he thinks I only say that to make him feel better)
  6. He hoovers like he mows the lawn, in straight lines.
  7. He has the most awful taste in music. So bad that I have learnt to laugh at it rather than be driven mad by it.
  8. He sends me ridiculous text messages all day long (that I love and never fail to reply to)
  9. He almost never buys me flowers but he does buy me meringues as big as my head from the deli.
  10. He has a way of knowing when a dress needs fastening at the back. I don’t even have to ask him, I just move my hair to the side and there he is.
  11. He never ever questions me when I disappear in the evening for an hour (or two) to soak in the bath. No matter how feral the children are.
  12. He took me to Bettys as a treat and ended up loving it just as much as me and for a while became borderline obsessed with the merits of loose leaf tea.
  13. He loves Lush more than a teenage girl. Seriously. He spends so long in there that the smell makes me want to pass out and the whole time, he pretends in a very loud voice that we are shopping for me oh look here’s the pink flamingo bubble bar you love so much. And that beard conditioner. 
  14. He gets hotter with age (but maybe that is linked to his Lush addiction above?)
  15. He always seeks out my hand to hold after all these years.
  16. He appears from nowhere at the kitchen window almost every night and never fails to make me jump out of my skin. Much to his amusement.
  17. He really does keep me on my toes (and not just because of the kitchen window thing!)
  18. He shares my love of dirty burgers and doesn’t even care if I get mustard on my forehead while eating one.
  19. He has a real eye for hunting out the best royal memorabilia for me from junk stores and antique stalls.
  20. He drinks mint tea with me after dinner every night to aid digestion despite him thinking that it tastes like dishwater.
  21. He loves to experiment in the kitchen and when I say experiment I mean really experiment but sometimes, just sometimes, it is almost edible.
  22. He tells me he loves me a hundred times a day. Okay, well maybe ten. But he means it every single time.

Writing this made me realise that I could easily have written twenty two more reasons why I love him but maybe I’ll save that list for him and spare you? Ha! But I saw a quote on Pinterest the other day (as you do) that really rung true (as they do) and it said something along the lines of I swear I couldn’t love you more than I do right now, and yet I know I will tomorrow. And that’s where we are right now. Twenty two years together and still ridiculously in love. I’ll never know how I got so lucky. Happy anniversary Mr Mostly.

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Octer up for review

Octer collate products from 200 of the top UK stores into one database, which makes it easier to compare products from a range of different retailers. I was asked to give it a try to review here on my blog and I have to say that I was seriously impressed. I’m hesitant to use the C word just yet seeing as we are still in October, but I can definitely see how much easier this might make shopping online in the coming months.

Octer shopping app up for review on top UK blog Mostly Yummy Mummy

In simple terms, Octer uses some very clever tech to read the product image and it aims to find the closest matches from their database. This means that you get to see similar products in an instant rather than checking each retailer individually. Basically it does the run around for you and means that you don’t have a dozen tabs open at any one time on the search for that grey jumper (or whatever else you are looking for!) So no more to-ing and fro-ing between sites or losing of the perfect one. I know online shopping is supposed to make things easier but it doesn’t always feel that way, does it? But with Octer, everything is right there to hand.

Octer shopping app up for review on top UK blog Mostly Yummy Mummy

Octer can be used via the website or app and I have to say that I particularly loved using the app on my phone. Like most people these days, I tend to do most of my online shopping from my phone. You can browse by department – women, kids & baby, men, interiors, technology, beauty, sports outdoors, travel, food & drink, stationery, books or gifts. Or even by store – from luxury brands like Farfetch, Matches, House of Holland, The Outnet, Very Exclusive and Mr Porter to department stores like John Lewis, Liberty, House of Fraser, Only M&S, The Hut, Argos and Debenhams. To say there is a vast choice is an understatement. There was nothing that I couldn’t find on there I loved it.

Octer shopping app up for review on top UK blog Mostly Yummy Mummy

Now here’s the fun bit, when you go on to a product page you can click on the ‘Compare’ button and it will bring up alternative suggestions. The guys over at Octer told me that they are still working on perfecting this new technology so you might encounter the odd blip but I have to say that this wasn’t my experience at all. I had a really good play around looking at all sorts of different items and didn’t once come across a ‘wrong’ match if that makes sense. I think it’s really clever and I know that this is an app that I will use time and time again. Bring on the Christmas shopping! (Sorry I know I said I wasn’t going to mention the C word!)

You can try it out for yourself and see what you think at or by downloading the app from the App Store now.

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Disclaimer: For the purpose of this review I was kindly remunerated for my own shopping spree using Octer but all words and opinions (and hours saved looking for that grey jumper) are my own

Elvie: Your most personal trainer up for review

In all honesty, this isn’t a review that I ever imagined myself writing but when the people at Elvie got in touch asking if I would like to trial their most personal trainer, I must admit that I was intrigued. Elvie is an award winning exercise tracker that helps women to strengthen and tone their pelvic floor making it possible to get more out of your kegel exercises.

I don’t know about you, but I never gave my pelvic floor much thought until I became pregnant for the first time. Pregnant women here in the UK are told by doctors to exercise their pelvic floor in preparation for pregnancy and to speed up recovery after childbirth but I think it is fair to say that there has been limited innovation to help them target this essential part of a new mum’s wellness until now.

Elvie: Your most personal trainer kegel tracker up for review on top blog Mostly Yummy Mummy

I know my experience was being handed a print out in my antenatal class telling me how to find my pelvic floor muscles before being shown a terrifying video of a prolapse after childbirth. To be fair, the sight of that forever burned into my retina and the promise of an easier birth was enough to scare me into exercising my pelvic floor from there on in but for many women, knowing that you are supposed to do them isn’t always enough. There’s a small matter of remembering to do them and actually, knowing if you are doing them properly at all. I mean, how do you begin to even measure that?

In other countries such as France, new mum wellness is paramount and all women are offered pelvic floor rehabilitation after having a baby. Women in the UK are just beginning to realise the real importance of strengthening this core muscle and that’s where Elvie comes in. Touted as a game changer and endorsed by physiotherapists, obstetricians and personal trainers across the world, Elvie is revolutionising what it means to be a new mum. Pregnancy puts three times more pressure on the pelvic floor and more than half of new mothers experience health problems as a result of poor muscle strength. This innovative new technology empowers women to get back to normal after having a baby and gives them the knowledge they need to strengthen and tone their most important core muscle.

Elvie: Your most personal trainer kegel tracker up for review on top blog Mostly Yummy Mummy

So what is Elvie? It is a kegel exercise tracker that you use alongside an app. Getting started couldn’t be simpler, you just download the app then connect Elvie to your phone using bluetooth technology. The device itself is pebble shaped and this sits inside with tail part on the outside. It is 100% waterproof and made with medical grade silicone with a seamless design so no exposed parts. It also comes with an additional cover to make the device larger if needed. It has a portable carry case that doubles as a wireless charger and I love how discreet it looks when it’s stored away. I also love that it isn’t pink as daft as that might sound. It’s a really nice looking piece of kit and nobody would ever know what was inside that little carry case once it is closed. The battery life lasts for up to two months and the app tells you when it needs charging which you do through the case and USB provided.

Elvie: Your most personal trainer kegel tracker up for review on top blog Mostly Yummy Mummy

The pelvic floor is a powerful set of muscles that stretches like a hammock between your pubic bone and your tailbone. When healthy and toned, they lift up your pelvic organs for a strong core and great control. There’s a handy little guide booklet to get you started but the app itself walks you through every step of the way. The app sets personal targets and you use your muscles to move a jewel icon on the screen. It really is very responsive and very easy to use. There are a series of workouts, each lasting about 5 minutes and there are different tasks to complete that use the muscles in different ways with things like pulse, lift, hold, speed and step. You start on the training level then work up to beginner, intermediate and advanced. It is basically like playing a game on your phone but instead of swiping at the screen with your finger, you are using your pelvic floor muscles to control the jewel. Now there is something that I never thought I would hear myself say! Ha!

At the end of each workout, you can track your progress which is measured in points called LVs on the app. Obviously like any workout, you will find that results might vary from day to day, being tired or stressed for example can have an impact so it’s good that you can look back on overall progress rather than just from one workout to the next. You can see results with Elvie in as little as two weeks but this is about not only improving muscle tone and strength but also maintaining it, so it is something that you would aim to use long term. You can even set a reminder on the app to give you a nudge each day if you need to.

A strong pelvic floor helps prepare the body not only for pregnancy but ageing and impact sports too. Like any muscle, with a bit of exercise and effort, you’ll feel the benefits. Even if like me you have never had any real problems in this area, you should really see Elvie as a prevention rather than a treatment. I’ve been trialling Elvie for quite some time now to be able to write this full review but I am so impressed that I will continue to use it. With Elvie, there is no more forgetting to make time for my kegels, the app reminds me. There is no more wondering if I am doing them right or for long enough, Elvie tells me that. And I’m not sure if I should be admitting this but the games bring out a strangely competitive side of me that I never knew I had. There is nothing quite like beating your own personal best scores or seeing the progress chart go from keep trying, to great progress right up to perfect!

Elvie is priced at £149 which I know isn’t cheap but this is a seriously clever bit of kit. I think it is a small investment for such an important group of muscles and we are talking about a commitment of a 5 minute workout just a few times a week here. I think it is worth every penny and every minute. Elvie is available now in selected John Lewis stores or you can find out more at But if you have any questions, please shout and I’ll try my best to answer them (or at least find someone who can!)

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Disclaimer: For the purpose of this review I was kindly provided with an Elvie free of charge but all opinions here are my own 

What I Wore: The Clashing Textures Edition

It’s Wednesday.. it’s what I wore

What I Wore Wednesday: The clashing textures edition on top blog Mostly Yummy Mummy

Black ribbed jumper dress from La Redoute, black fishnets from TopShop, Coachella ankle boots in black leather c/o Air & Grace

I have to say that my autumn wardrobe is in full swing now and I am loving just how easy it is to dress for colder days. I haven’t dug my big coats out yet but I don’t think it will be long. In the meantime I am pretty much living in my denim jacket. I love how it toughens up the simple dress, tights, boots combo keeping it casual for daytime. I should have probably have taken a picture of this outfit with a jacket on too but I didn’t think of that until I came to write this up but it doesn’t take much imagination, does it?

Being black, the dress is impossible to take a decent picture of but it is a chunky ribbed jumper dress. It’s really plain but comes to just below my knee and I love it. I’m sure there are rules about clashing textures in an outfit but who can be bothered to keep up with fashion rules? I think I’m too old to care quite frankly. For me the simple dress, tights and boots formula makes dressing an absolute breeze so that gives me more  room to play about with textures (or colours or prints – just not today!) The mix of clashing textures here was accidental but I actually quite like it. I love the thick knitted wool against the fishnets and leather boots with the wooden block heel. They couldn’t be more different from each other but somehow it really works together (I think!)

What I Wore Wednesday: The clashing textures edition on top blog Mostly Yummy Mummy

I must admit that I was in two minds about the fishnets but then I channelled my inner Clara Hutt and thought what the heck. If this reference is lost on you then you need to hunt down the series of India Knight novels immediately. I’m quite convinced that Clara, the peri-menopausal heroine in the novels, would be my best friend if only she existed in real life. And she would almost certainly tell me to wear the bloody fishnets!

As for the footwear, I swear these Coachella boots from Air & Grace just get better and better with age. The leather has aged wonderfully and they are still as comfy as the day I first wore them. Truly like walking on air and perfect for stomping around and getting stuff done. Best. Boots. Ever. If you are after a pair of your own, you can pre-order now for delivery in November.

So that was me, what have you been wearing this week?

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The one with two ballets in one day

So here’s a funny thing. Last Friday saw me going to the ballet not once, but twice. Only I could buy tickets for two different performances by Northern Ballet on the same day at the same theatre without even realising.. argh!

I bought tickets to take my eldest daughter to see Romeo and Juliet months and months ago. I must have ticked the box for promotional mail at the time and I got an email about a performance of The Tortoise and the Hare and couldn’t resist buying tickets for my youngest two despite it being on a school day – I figured I’d work that out later! So when the tickets arrived for both, I just squirreled them away ready to put the dates in my new diary come September (my brain works in school years not new years, I don’t know about you?) Anyway, it was when I came to fill in my new diary that I had realised what I had done.

Luckily, Mr Mostly could play chauffeur that day so it was just about doable but I think squeezing four train journeys into one day might have tipped me over my public transport limit. Especially with children in tow. We had our harvest festival that morning too so to say that it was a busy day would have been an understatement and I was in serious danger of dying from culture overload but what a way to go, hey?

Northern Ballet perform The Tortoise and the Hare at the Alhambra Theatre in Bradford as seen on top parenting blog Mostly Yummy Mummy

It was the first time that I have ever taken my youngest two to the ballet. At eight and ten, they are still complete wriggle bums and struggle to sit through a film at the cinema but when I spotted this performance of The Tortoise and the Hare especially for children, it seemed too perfect an opportunity to turn down. I never ever take my children out of school for holidays or anything like that – they have to be dying before I even let them have a day off sick – so busting them out of school for the afternoon was the biggest thrill ever for them. Our headmaster gave his full permission of course and agreed that it would be a wonderfully educational experience.

They were probably the oldest children there, the theatre was full of mostly children on nursery trips but they didn’t care they absolutely loved it. We had front row seats down in the stalls so the view was amazing plus they got to have a nosey in the orchestra pit and take in the full beauty of the theatre before it began. They actually gasped out loud when the curtain raised and the ballet began then sat in complete awe for the whole forty minutes. It made me quite teary to see them enjoy something so much and I hope this will be the start of a love of ballet.

Northern Ballet perform Romeo and Juliet at the Alhambra Theatre in Bradford as seen on top lifestyle blog Mostly Yummy Mummy

The evening performance of Romeo and Juliet was quite a different affair as you might imagine but I loved it every bit as much. My eldest daughter makes the best theatre companion and this is our second trip to see Northern Ballet. I took her to see The Nutcracker last Christmas which was hand on heart the most magical night of my life. Anyway, despite being up in the dizzying heights of the upper dress circle, we had an amazing time.

Going to the ballet is such a rare treat and I love that I get to share it with her. When you have a large family, it’s nice to be able to spend one on one time together – especially the older ones – they are such great company. She’s at an age now where she will actually be seen in public with me and even speak to me which is nice. She did tell me off afterwards though for hunting down my favourite dancer on Instagram. Spoilsport. Seriously, in the twenty-odd years that I have been going to the ballet I have never ever seen a dancer with stage presence quite like Mlindi Kulashe. And the rapturous applause he receives after every performance I have ever seen him in suggests that I’m not the only one to feel the same. Anyway, the teen thinks it is mortifying and has made me promise not to follow him or like any of his pictures because that would just be weird. Of course darling. Whatever you say.

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Joosed! Junior by Bensons up for review

We were sent some of the new Joosed! Junior drinks by Bensons to review here on my blog and I have to say that as well as ticking my boxes, they were a huge hit with the kids.

Joosed! Junior by Bensons up for review by top parenting blogger Mostly Yummy Mummy


Bensons is a family run business based in the Cotswolds and they produce fruit juices and ices for all ages but this new Joosed! range was created with little people in mind after owners Alexia and Jeremy Benson struggled to find a healthy soft drink option when out and about with their children.

Joosed! Junior by Bensons up for review by top parenting blogger Mostly Yummy Mummy

I have to say that for the most part, my children drink milk or water but they do enjoy juice as a treat. I am still careful about the type of juice they drink though. It always seems like such a minefield these days trying to find healthier options but these juices have no added sugar, no artificial colourings and flavourings and even count as 1 of your 5 a day. There are no scary ingredients, it is simply juice mixed up with British spring water. It comes in handy sized bottles too with a sports cap so there are no messy spills and the juices are even school compliant.

Joosed! Junior by Bensons up for review by top parenting blogger Mostly Yummy Mummy

We were sent all three flavours to try – apple, blackcurrant and apple and orange and apple. Bensons is a proud supporter of British orchards and all the apple juice in their products is Red Tractor accredited and can be traced back to orchards farmed in the UK. I asked them which one was their favourite flavour but they couldn’t pick one so I think that says it all really!

Joosed! Junior are available in multipacks from Waitrose for just £3.49. I think it is safe to say that they will be getting popped into our trolley again next week. We loved them!

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Disclaimer: For the purpose of this review we were kindly sent a case of Joosed! Junior by Bensons but all words and opinions are our own. We would never recommend a product that we didn’t hand on heart truly love. 

My dream pet (with a little help from Petplan)

When Petplan got in touch asking us to create our dream pet, it felt like the perfect task for my ten year old daughter. She is animal mad. And I mean completely and utterly animal mad I have never known a child like it honestly! It wouldn’t surprise me one jot if she ends up being a vet when she grows up. There is nothing that she doesn’t know about animals from how tall a giraffe can grow to what beetles eat.

We have two cats who she cuddles to death and they love her to bits, they follow her everywhere. She also has her very own pet tortoise who she takes amazing care of. They really are the best of friends he’s such a lovely little thing. So when it came to creating her very own dream pet, I did wonder what she would come up with but she soon started doodling away.

Creating our dream pet with Petplan - Mostly Yummy Mummy Blog

She couldn’t decide on just one animal (and who can blame her really?) so she decided that it would be a bit of a mix up of some of her favourite pets all rolled into one. Got to love a ten year old’s imagination, haven’t you? So meet Chloe. Admitted, not the most imaginative of names but I think you will see that the pet itself makes up for that! Ha! She has the body of a cat with the tail of a fish and hamster arms for good measure. Oh and a unicorn horn. Because when you are ten, a unicorn is a real animal. She also happens to be wearing a very fancy crown too which I just think is the icing on the cake. A dream pet indeed.

Creating our dream pet with Petplan - Mostly Yummy Mummy Blog

Now what happened next was really very special. The lovely people over at Petplan took my daughter’s drawing and had it turned into her own real live dream pet. Well, a stuffed teddy version at least. Isn’t that the sweetest thing you have ever seen? She absolutely loves it! Her dream pet brought to life, crown and all! Something that I am sure she will treasure forever!

Creating our dream pet with Petplan - Mostly Yummy Mummy Blog

Now if there is one thing that Petplan really understands it is that we all treasure our pets. The real live ones as well as the stuffed ones of course. Since Petplan’s inception in 1976, their priority has been to keep the nation’s pets healthy and their owners happy. By offering the very best pet insurance policies and great customer service, they have helped millions of owners get their beloved pets back on their feet following illness and injury.

From the start, Petplan understood that pet owners have specific needs when it comes to finding the right insurance policy and became one of only a few pet insurance providers to offer genuine ‘lifetime’ policies. In addition to their market leading Covered For Life® policies, they also have a 12-month policy that can be designed to suit all needs.

Petplan works with more animal rehoming charities than any other pet insurance provider and are committed to supporting charities and the vital work they do in any way they can. They work with more than 1200 charities throughout the UK and in 1994, they formed the Petplan Charitable Trust which has so far raised more than £7million towards a better, healthier world for animals.

I must just end this by saying a huge thank you to Petplan for making my daughter’s dream pet come to life. What would your dream pet be? Something wearing a crown with a unicorn horn or maybe something a little more.. shall we say.. traditional? I’m going to be terribly boring here and say that my lovely cats really are my dream pets but you probably already knew that!

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Disclaimer: This post has been possible thanks to Petplan but all thoughts (and crazy dream pet designs) are our own