Kindness of Strangers #ThankYouStranger

Anthony Nolan, the UK’s blood cancer charity and bone marrow register have recently launched an online campaign with the theme Kindness of Strangers. The campaign was launched on the 16th of October and has seen people sharing stories of random acts of kindness.  Leading the campaign is this short film, which is available to view on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, and features members of the general public and a bone marrow transplant patient, Simon Perkin.  It shows people talking about the kindest things strangers have done for them and that they have done for strangers. This includes helping a blind person cross a road and helping an elderly person carry a shopping bag.

 I love the idea behind the campaign and the way it highlights how a small act of kindness from a stranger can have a real impact on someone’s life.  Watching the video got me thinking about occasions I have experienced an act of kindness from a stranger or been kind to a stranger myself.  The film is designed to build on the success of our Kindness of Strangers campaign which launched earlier this year to mark the Anthony Nolan charity’s 40th anniversary.  The charity is  looking for people to share act of kindness stories. It can be an occasion you showed a stranger an act of kindness or an occasion a stranger showed you an act of kindness, whether it be big or small.

If you have an act of kindness story then do get involved in the campaign, it’s really easy to take part. Just share your act of kindness story and include the hashtag #thankyoustranger.

As well as looking for people to share their stories Anthony Nolan are always looking for people to join their bone marrow register, if you would like to find out more about the charity or to sign up to the register head over to anthonynolan.org.

I’ve been talking about a random act of kindness that was shown to me by a lady who found my phone on the box.  I’ve talked about my story on this YouTube video here.

When I went to collect my phone I found that the lady was living in a local hotel that specialises in the sort of B&B temporary accommodation, I’m sure none of us would like to end up in.  I took her a nice box of chocolates to say thank you for her kindness and she seemed so surprised and delighted by this gesture, which seemed to me the very least I could do, that I wished I’d bought something more generous.  Her kindness meant a great deal to me as my phone was a bit of a lifeline to me and had photos of my son on it.

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October Round Up

Veronica's CrispsSo this month we have been trying all sorts of things, so I’ve brought a few of them together in one post.

Veronica’s Crisps

Veronica’s Baked Crisps, are a baked-not-fried range of gluten-free crinkled crisps that come in three flavours: Barbeque, Roast Tomato & Spanish Paprika veggie crisps and Sour Cream, Herb and Onion. As you can see from the picture we tried out the Barbeque flavour which went down very well. It’s good to know that there’s 60% less fat than regular crisps, and that they contain 100% natural ingredients, and have no artificial colours or flavourings.  Another plus point is that they don’t taste like they are gluten-free or low in fat, they still have a good crispy flavour.
We have also been trying out Crunchy Creatures, which are fun dinosaur-shaped corn puffs.  They are great for children, but I can vouch for their adult appeal too. It’s nice to know too that they have 40% less fat than regular corn snacks, with no artificial colours or flavourings and are gluten-free.
olive oil, cereal bars and green tea
Cereal bars tend to be my snack of choice for when I’m on the go.  I don’t think I’ve tried The Primal Kitchen bars before though.  The new Hazlenut and Cocoa Bar was amazing like eating a chocolate bar, but all healthy and good for you. Like The Primal Kitchen’s other bars it’s cold-pressed and handmade in the UK, and this variety contains just 6 ingredients: hazelnuts, dates, almonds, almond oil, organic/fair trade cocoa powder and natural vanilla.
Natur Boutique’s Organic Lemongrass and Green Tea
Now I’m a bit of an herbal tea fan, so I’ve been racking my brains trying to think if I’ve tried lemongrass tea before and I think the answer is no I haven’t.  This tea takes high quality organic lemongrass and combines it with green tea. This tea has a light lemon taste, with hints of mint and ginger, plus the more familiar green tea flavours.  I found it refreshing and enjoyable.
Oi1Viannos is produced from Koroneiki olives,which are grown in the mountainous and costal region of Viannos in southern Crete. Olives grown in this area give this oil a more robust taste with fruity and peppery flavours.   As a stronger tasting oil, it’s ideal for using on salads or for dipping bread into as you get a fuller flavour.
Aveeno
At BritMums this year I came across Aveeno and I’ve been using some of their products since then.  Aveeno products contain colloidal oatmeal which has been clinically proven to help restore the epidermal barrier and leave skin feeling soft and comfortable.  It’s useful for caring for dry, sensitive skin and in particular it helps provide a skin barrier function for eczema-prone skin.  The products are very pleasant to use and leave your skin feeling smooth and soft.  They don’t just produce creams and lotions either and there is a Bath & Shower Oil too.
Currently, Aveeno have  launched their first children’s book called The Dry-ventures of Ellie and Eddie: Bye Bye Dry Skin!  It’s the story of Ellie and her gecko Eddie who both suffer from dry skin.  The book helps children with skin problems understand how they can help their condition.  You can download the Aveeno ebook from the Aveeno site.
I’ve tried Bee Good’s wonderful products before, but for some reason, I’d not sampled the Honey & Wild Flax Daily Moisturiser.  It’s a gentle, easily absorbed facial moisturiser with a very pleasant scent.  It combines the moisturising benefits of British wild flower honey with British propolis (also produced by bees) which has anti-bacterial properties.  Add to that a little skin protection from camelina oil (again produced in Britain) and you have a winning combination.  I can see this cream becoming a daily beauty regime regular as it is so easy to use and leaves my skin feeling nice and soft.
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How to have fun online once the kids have gone to bed

For all mums the time after the kids have fallen asleep is a magical time of day. I certainly like to sit back, relax and have some time to myself. Many of my fellow mums like to take part in their favourite activities, many of which are found online. Here are some helpful hints for mums about what activities can be found online.

Enjoy a Flick
It is easy to enjoy a movie from home with services like LoveFilm or Netflix. These services can be accessed by a variety of devices making it fairly universal. With literally thousands of movie titles in all genres, even the pickiest mums can find a movie to enjoy.

Catch up with Friends
Stay at home mums need to have some time with other women with common interests. This is why many mums will spend their evening enjoying social media sites. For instance, on Facebook they can keep up with friends and family. Chat options also make it easy to converse with others.

Learn Something New
Mums may wish to take some dancing lessons online. They may learn a dance style that requires a partner which can involve their significant other or they may learn a dance on their own. Either way, it’s a fun activity for mums to enjoy in the evening.

Shop from Home
The internet has made it much easier to shop from home. Many stores offer sale prices at their online stores which means mums don’t have to visit the land based store to take advantage of sales. Add a glass of wine and evening becomes a relaxing time to shop.

Relax with Gaming
Gaming online is a popular pastime enjoyed by many mums. They can find their favourite games or perhaps learn a new one by taking advantage of online tutorials offers. Some of most common tend to be bingo, along with free card games such as solitaire and even 21 which you can learn to play at an online casino with your own deck of cards.

There’s a lot to do online, so you should be able to find an activity that suits you.

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Christmas Cards with a Difference from Hallmark

Hallmark Christmas CardsHallmark recently sent me a selection from their Christmas Card and Christmas packing ranges, so I’ve been taking a look through and picking out some of my favourite cards.  I love picking out nice cards and thinking who I might send them to.  In particular, they have a good selection of cards, if you like to buy a special named card for your spouse or other family members.

A couple of my stand out favourites from Hallmark Christmas cards range though are in the picture.  I love the way it pops up into shape as you take it out of the envelope.  Its even got doors and windows that open, plus there is room to write a message on the back.  If you send someone this card, it will be taking pride of place on their mantelpiece this Christmas.  Another one that caught my eye was the Christmas scene one which is also in the picture.  It’s a well made card with a framing window which stands proud of the wintry scene inside.  The scene itself has two layers and some lovely glittery colours in a silver and gold palette.

If like me you aren’t very skilled in the wrapping department, it’s worth a look at Hallmark’s Christmas gift bag range.  If you are giving bottles you’d be mad to wrap rather than gift bag them as that is so easy.

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