In Association with Lucy Best Bargain Finder – my page on Facebook :)

Black Friday Deal list – feel free to share!
Also, if a store isn’t on here I am pretty sure it will be having BF deals – I just can’t list them all (ASOS, H&M, Sainsburys, Tesco, B&Q are also doing deals)

STORE: Amazon – you know the score (if you don’t – read my notes!)
DEAL: hundreds of items reduced in their lightning deals – I love Amazon – you will get a bargain if you’re quick enough!

DEAL: too many to mention but some Argos, Bench, Debenhams, Joules all have stores on here- well worth a look especially if other sites are down!

STORE: Argos
DEAL: Consoles, tvs etc etc

DEAL: deals in store only
OTHER DEALS: usually tvs – usually fights – good luck!

STORE: bhs
DEAL: deals & free delivery

STORE: blacks
DEAL: 15% off full priced items code CYBER15

STORE: The Body Shop
DEAL: £5 off when you spend £15, £10 off when you spend £25, £25 off when you spend £50 Code TREAT

STORE: Boots
DEAL: 4 days of offers

STORE: Claire’s
DEAL: Everything reduced to £3 – £5 – £10 Some exclusions

STORE: Clarks
DEAL: 25% off full price adult styles Clarks

STORE: Coast
DEAL: 30% off everything CODE: JUSTFORYOU

STORE: currys
DEAL: Changes each day

STORE: debenhams
DEAL: up to 30%

DEAL: 20% off all toys including those on sale

DEAL: Up to 25% off a First Fetch Order
VOUCHER CODE: VOU379997277 + free Delivery when you spend £29

DEAL: 30% Off Full-Price Styles + Free Delivery (some exclusions)

STORE: go groupie

STORE: Half Price Perfumes
DEAL: 15% off

STORE: Hamleys
DEAL: 40% off selected toys

STORE: homebase
DEAL: different deals each day

STORE: house of fraser
DEAL: up to 40% off

DEAL: Save over 75%

STORE: John Lewis
DEAL: Price matching competitor (prob House of Fraser?)

STORE: Joules
DEAL: half price offers
OTHER DEALS: Womens Long Length Padded Jacket, Dark Brown

STORE: kiddicare
DEAL: up to 60%

DEAL: 10% off almost any LivingSocial dea. Max discount £20 code BLACKFRIDAYUK

STORE: look fantastic
DEAL: up to 20%
OTHER DEALS: Order until 9pm to get Next Day Delivery – £1 when you spend £50

DEAL: up to 30% off items across clothes & home. 20% off beauty & gifts

STORE: smyths
DEAL: up to 50%
OTHER DEALS: 30% disney infinity

STORE: The Book People
DEAL: up to 85% off

STORE: The Entertainer
DEAL: up to 50% off

STORE: the works
DEAL: Up To 20% Plus Free Delivery Over £10 codeFRIDAY20
DEAL: 15% off full priced items! Plus up to 50% off code: CYBER15

DEAL: 50% off ‘New’ lines, Free Worldwide Standard Delivery, Buy one get one free on clearance

STORE: Toys R Us & Babies R Us
DEAL: up to 50% off

STORE: Urban outfitters
DEAL: lots of deals plus free delivery with code BFDELIVERY

DEAL: deals unlock every hour from 7am

STORE: Zavvi
DEAL: big discounts across the store

STORE: Zizzle
DEAL: save 50% or more plus 15% Off a First Sizzle Order with code VOU289636556

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I have a confession to bake. I will whisper it.

I am a mum and I cannot bake.

I don’t even enjoy baking (gasp).

My newsfeed so full of friends creating domestic wonders. Some have even started successful cupcake businesses. The creations are amazing – the attention to detail is fantastic and it makes me hungry just looking at them. As well as a tad jealous. Other friends manage to bake something for birthdays or cake sales which not only could I never in a million years work out how it is created, and looks like it took them the best part of a year to assemble.

Even Oscar comes home from preschool with cute looking normal cakes.

I attempted to make some cookies today for the Playgroup disco I am helping organise. I chose cookies as they are relatively simple to make. Firstly, my kitchen now looks like it belongs in Antarctica, secondly I got cross at all the 4 members of my family (the furry one included) and thirdly, although some of them turned out ok, the other ones looked like road kill.

I’m in two minds whether to take them at all, though I must admit, the ones that did turn out half decent do taste nice. I just won’t be taking the flattened squirrel ones.



I am now thinking of how I can get out of donating baked goods for sales.

If I do the sum:

Cost of ingredients + time taken + time being stressed = bog standard cake or cookie

…then it doesn’t really seem worth the effort.

After all cakes are scoffed down in seconds.

I have decided I will either have to practice more, buy some cakes in or ask my friends to bake more to pass off as my own.

Or volunteer for something else. I love creating the posters for such events – I wouldn’t class this as a road kill poster.


I just feel that with the word ‘mum’ usually comes ‘can and enjoys baking’

Well it’s not true for me.

Please tell me I’m not the only mum who can’t or doesn’t enjoy baking? Someone else must have some culinary disasters to share?

Or some easy, foolproof recipes that even a novice baker can impress with.

Posted in Mum stuff, Parenting | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

I drew some penguins for a t-shirt for Mike – it’s our 15 year anniversary today. This is the Rigley Family in penguin form. Don’t we look cute!

I probably should start making t-shirts to sell or pictures. One day…

rigley penguins

The Rigley Family

Just in case you love penguins, then be sure to visit my Obsessed With Penguins page which is full of fab penguin gifts.

Posted in Animals | Tagged , | Comments Off

Those of you who know me will have worked out I’m from Yorkshire.
Yorkshire(wo)men are known for being tight.

I am not sure I’m tight – I prefer sensible.

I love bargains, and have set up a page sharing the ones I find. I am good at finding bargains. I think it’s in my blood.

If only I was good at finding treasure.

Here is my facebook page – please like it and you will find some great online bargains

Posted in Annoyances | Comments Off

After my last post, I realised I should probably share a few tips of how I managed to breastfeed successfully

1) Arm yourself with as much as information as possible – I went to an NHS and NCT course. The NHS one was quick and not as useful as the NCT one but I learned things at both. Ask for tips from friends and family – a willing friend may even show you first hand how it’s done.

2) Don’t be afraid to ask for help – I asked for help in hospital, from my midwife who sent round the hospital’s breastfeeding specialist, a breastfeeding cafe, the NCT and friends. Noone minds being asked – the NCT teacher told us she mans the NCT phones and often they are bored and want someone to ring – it’s their job after all. Other friends have asked to stay one or two days longer in hospital to establish feeding – this of course works if the hospital has space.

3) Get help face to face – advice is all very well but sometimes you need an expert or another mum to help you with the latch for instance. A friend’s baby was recently diagnosed with tongue tie – something which no-one else had thought of until a midwife went round and noticed straight away.

4) Be determined. If your mother or mother in law, or friends didn’t or don’t breastfeed, it can be tough to stand your ground. Explain why you want to – you believe it’s best for you and your baby – it’s your baby and your body after all. Hopefully at least your partner will be on your side and maybe you can show how natural it is to feed and change a few people’s minds along the way.

5) Don’t be afraid to feed in public. But don’t expect to be able to straight away – it takes practice. I bought nursing tops – not everyone I know has. The reason I did was because I was I had a c-section and so had to wear massive pants! Pulling my top up wouldn’t have worked as my pants would have been on show. Some people layer clothes – that can work too. The second time I bought a breastfeeding apron which was great. You can buy a whole variety of them and the baby carrier I had even had a way of feeding while carrying (far too complicated for my liking). But don’t be ashamed – you are just feeding a baby – and most people I guarantee won’t even notice you are doing so.

6) Be prepared to express. If you are suffering from painful nipples it may be your only option for a while. Ask someone to show you how to sterilise. You can use tablets or a microwave or electric steriliser. Breast milk is actually sterile so some people say there is no need to sterilise and just use hot water or a dishwasher. It is up to you – I sterilised at first but after 6 months just used the dishwasher or hand washing.

7) Be prepared to use some unusual things in order to help you succeed. You may need nipple shields and will almost certainly need breast pads – you can buy disposable or washable ones. You will need feeding bras, and maybe feeding tops. A breast pump (electric or manual – personal preference of what works for you), steriliser & bottles if you need to express. You may also need cabbage leaves or a hot compress for when you get engorged (!), a needle if you get a blocked duct and loads of cloths if you are leaking or spraying everywhere.

8) Be patient – your baby is learning how to feed as well as you – it is a journey together. You will have highs and lows. I didn’t enjoy the biting – especially with teeth, or the coming off to smile at me in public (slightly embarrassing as I felt a bit exposed) or when I  was bitten, pinched or having my hair pulled. I hated the nipple confusion pain and the first few days when I was in agony at the latch. These bits are easily forgotten though and probably only a few (painful) minutes altogether.

9) Be prepared to bed share. I didn’t at all with my first baby, but with a toddler as well as a baby when the 4 month sleep regression happened, one night I just fell asleep feeding. I knew a little but not a lot about bed sharing. I wasn’t intending to do it, but with a baby who fed every 2 hours it was my only way of surviving. The NHS and other bodies advise against it. I say read up on it – I had no idea I shouldn’t have a pillow in the bed for instance. It’s better to be prepared & safe just in case (or if you decide to bed share) than not. Co-sleeping is different from bed sharing. Having your baby in a moses basket or cot next to you is classed as co-sleeping which is advised until your baby is 6 months old. My one regret is not buying or hiring a bedside cot like this one The option of hiring them wasn’t available when I had my first baby and I just couldn’t justify the cost. But it would have saved my husband having to get out of bed to pass the baby over for the first few days after my c-section, and also it means the baby could just have fed as and when they needed.

10) If you can’t breastfeed or chose not to try not to worry or dwell on it. You did your best and how you feed your baby is your choice. I know that’s easier said than done – as I’ve said before I’ve struggled with having had 2 c-sections so feel I have failed at birth and I know some mums feel like they have failed at breastfeeding despite going to great lengths do so so. I think we just need to take a step back and realise we, as humans can’t be good at everything and I bet your children will never question the way you fed them as babies (or give birth to them).

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So my breastfeeding journey ended a few weeks ago. I am both sad and glad – it is a closeness I’ll miss, but I’m looking forward to being able to wear normal bras, getting my body back, not being so tired and having a little boy a bit less dependent on me – maybe I can even sneak a night away soon.

For me, like most people I know, breastfeeding wasn’t easy. I had a long 72 hour labour ending in an emergency c-section for my first baby. I was in shock. It wasn’t the birth I wanted and I hadn’t a clue about how to look after the baby. I told the midwives I wanted to breastfeed. They were both pushy and useful. He didn’t want to feed as he was tired- who would after such a long birth? A minute here and there, which apparently wasn’t enough. I am now much more geared with knowledge – lots of babies, especially with long births, don’t feed much at first. He just wanted to sleep. The midwife said I had an inverted nipple & gave me a weird thing to make my nipple larger. It kind of worked, though I think my nipple was squashed or something as it never had been or has been, inverted since. She made me use my manuel breastpump and try to express – I was knackered and hadn’t a clue what I was doing. I was almost in tears – just walking to the room to sterilise was a feat in itself – not easy with stitches in your abdomen, soreness just about everywhere and no sleep for 3 nights. The reason they were worried was because he wasn’t wee-ing. Eventually he did to my joy – he had been snacking doing lots of short feeds instead of long ones & it all paid off and his insides worked – phew. Never have I been so pleased to see a wee in my life. I am pretty sure they don’t put this pressure on everyone – some friends seem to have been in hospital literally hours, or not at all.

I took up the offer of help again at 6 days. My milk came in late – it often does with c-sections. This basically means you get an instant boob job. You get large, and the baby often can’t feed as they can’t latch on. A miracle breastfeeding councillor came and helped me or else I would probably have given up. Hot showers, massage and patience and he fed again – phew. Another reason for making sure you stop the engorgement is to help prevent mastitis – if you don’t know what it is it’s flu like symptoms and you can get seriously ill with it very quickly. I was lucky to never get it- friends have been hospitalised & very poorly.

The next hurdle was how to position him. I could only feed lying down due to my sore stomach & so I rarely got out of the house. He fed well though and put on loads of weight. The main problem was I had to express in order to go out anywhere – I couldn’t exactly lie down willy nilly could I. So at around 6 weeks I started expressing. Then I got nipple confusion. For those who say it doesn’t exist – it bloody does. And it bloody hurts. A lot. To the point where I was in tears every single feed. It was so sore and painful. As I could only feed lying down, I only plucked up enough courage to go out at around 8 weeks to a breast feeding support group a few minutes from my house, when I felt I was able to feed sitting up if I had to. They helped a lot – I made friends through the group and I missed being able to go to one with my second baby (it was miles away and I couldn’t drive and had a good feeder so no point really).

Another painful experience was blocked ducts. Another thing which if left can lead to mastitis. A needle, hot shower & massage and that was dealt with. A few times. Ouch.

I fed for 13.5 months – in the end only for night feeds and water in the night soon made him sleep through. For me, this was long enough – my aim had been to avoid formula* and I had done it, I felt proud that I had with so many obstacles.

I went into motherhood second time round geared with loads of knowledge. A similar birth later and my second boy was feeding within the hour. He was a shorter, quicker feeder within a few days – a snacker. I was also able to feed sitting up – I think just from experience I could hold him more confidently. The feeding did hurt though for the first few days – I remember crying every time he latched on, and that was while being on painkillers. The after pains were pretty fierce too – I had luckily been warned that second time they are like mild contractions and they were – but it did, of course, mean it was doing my uterus some good as it was popping back in to shape. No 1 (nearly 2 years by this point) quickly got the hang of No 2 having mummy milk & nothing else & wasn’t jealous, which some kids can be.

I had no nipple confusion either, only a couple of blocked ducts, no mastitis and by expressing occasionally, he took a bottle to let me get a teeny bit of freedom again – just to Zumba but it was a start. The main problem I had was his frequency of feeding. No 1 had always gone around 4-5 hours in the night in between feds, if not longer. No 2 started off ok but at the 4 month sleep regression, he was up every 2 hours. We ended up co-sleeping, something which I never did first time around but made my life bearable for months on end. We managed slowly to get to point where he sleeps in his own room and the frequency of feeding decreased to every 4, not 2 hours in a row, and now at 15.5 months old he has slept through for a handful of times -yipee! A lot of patience has gone in to him being able to self settle, and I’ve had to stay awake to put him back in his cot instead of dozing off with him suckling. We didn’t do controlled crying – for me this seems unnatural & slightly cruel – I know it works for some people but not for me. I’m glad I didn’t – No 1 sleeps well now (unless ill or has a nightmare like most kids) & No 2 has slept 12 hours once which is a small miracle. It was a one off I think, but I now know it’s possible.

I will miss the closeness and the feeling of feeding my baby. I won’t miss the night feeds. And I look forward to wearing normal clothes again. I was glad that it sort of filtered out this time – he just slept through the time he’d normally feed – such a shock. I will miss being bitten, clawed at, smiled at and even the uncontrollable spraying of milk everywhere.

For me, I have achieved what I set out to do – yes I could have fed for longer but I’ve finished my journey. Almost 28 months is enough feeding for me. It’s helped me lose weight, save money & hopefully put some goodness in to my boys. My mum, grandparents and mother in law & other members of my family all breastfed. I think it helps if you have the support and I’m glad they gave me it. I hope, if I have daughters in law, they will be able to, and want to breastfeed too – it just felt right and I’m very glad I was able to succeed & give help & advice & encouragement to some friends who have needed it.

I have fed in Disneyland, Ikea, cafes, shoe shops, planes, museums and more. I have never had a negative comment though I’ve always been pretty discreet. It takes confidence to feed in public. A baby deserves to eat just as much as anyone else. I always smile when I see a nursing baby as I’m glad their mother isn’t hiding at home or in a toilet – they deserve to get out and about & feed their baby as they wish.

Thanks for listening & thanks to my boys for eating their mummy milk.


* I was surprised to learn, after having my baby, that you can’t give a baby cow’s milk until they are 12 months old. I had presumed, that when they weaned at around 6 months you could introduce it then but you aren’t able to. Therefore, my first aim of 6 months soon became 12 months and both boys had cows milk on their first birthdays, mixed in with some expressed. I won’t mention formula advertising now – but there is no need to give formula if you are breastfeeding and certainly no need after 12 months (unless your baby has a milk allergy or other medical need) – something i was clueless about despite having done a bit of research pre-baby.

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As I said before, I’m useless at updating my blog at the moment. I think I’m a bit overwhelmed by Christmas and trying to do work and everyone being ill. I will add a few links to sites which I’ve been working on.

The first is my organic skincare website – I have been doing some Christmas Markets to mixed success around where I live. I find I’m not a natural seller – I’m good at the design, buying the products etc, but just not at face to face selling.

Anyway, I have lots more organic products on Natural Boutique than I used to have – lots of lovely organic baby skincare products including from brands such as Weleda and Green People - both who have won awards for their products being suitable for eczema sufferers and dry skin.

What I have noticed is that most people expect organic products to be expensive. They aren’t, in fact, much more expensive than many other brands.

For instance, this gorgeous Green People Vita Min Fix Moisturiser is only £15.95 – it is anti-ageing, stops skin from drying and flaking in this dry weather (I tested it against another brand and it was far better – my skin on the side of my face using this felt gorgeous while the other side continued to flake). Compare that to prices in Boots and you’ll see, it doesn’t cost much to give your skin some organic lovin’!

Another product I want to rave about is Green People Organic Fake Tan – not only does it not contain those weird smelling ingredients that other fake tans do, so it smells lovely, it has won awards such as ‘winner of best fake tan in the Natural Health magazine beauty awards 2011‘. I have a friend who is a makeup artist and she swears by it over other brands. Again, at £18.95 it’s comparable to other brands (if not cheaper) and comes in a big bottle.



If you are a fan of any of the products I sell I’d appreciate it if you could tell friends and family about me and leave a review of products you love!

Posted in Annoyances, Online stuff, Organic skincare | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

I have been quiet recently. Partly I just didn’t feel that inspired but partly I’ve been busy. I’ve been setting up a site with a friend selling cheap e-cigarettes and e-juice, doing stalls and promoting my organic skincare website and looking after the children through various infections – tonsilitis, chest, ear and we’ve all had stomach bugs. Let’s hope it means we’ll be bug free by Christmas. I hate the change of seasons. If only it was like a change of bed sheets – bringing that feeling of freshness but nope, we all end up feeling crappy and run down catching illness after illness.

I will be back with a long post soon – I am writing one as I speak. It will be about breastfeeding :)

Oh and a headsup on Amazon’s Black Friday deals – they are on for the next couple of days and some products are over 70% off – I’ve had some right bargains!

Posted in General musings | Comments Off

Such a bargain – a cheap Fisher-Price Rainforest Jumperoo on Amazon delivered for £51.33. One of my best baby buys – both my boys loved bouncing in it. They go second hand for up to £50 so this really is a Jumperoo bargain! It may not be there too long so jump to it!

Posted in Shopping, Things what I like | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off

I have a business online (soon to be businesses but more on that another day – if you like cheap ghds or want to give up smoking you may be interested).

It’s called Natural Boutique and I set it up with my friend, who hasn’t had much time for it recently, like me. I’ve decided to try to get it up and running again – partly due to some friends encouraging me and one booking me in to a Christmas shopping fair to try to sell some of my items. We sell natural, organic skincare from lovely organic brands such as Green People, Weleda & tigi love peace and the planet.

I am actually wondering about adding other products apart from organic skincare and organic haircare on there. I would like to find other brands which fit in with the idea – let me know if you know of any – maybe some handmade goodies and I’m especially interested in kids stuff.

Posted in Organic skincare | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off