Review – Yucoco Chocolate Bars

What could be nicer than receiving chocolate in the post?  Honestly?  Not a lot!  When this little beauty was popped through the letterbox last week, I couldn’t stop smiling… and it wasn’t even for me!

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Made with love by Yucoco, it came presented in a personalised wrapper.  I chose a card to go with it as well:

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Bars can be made to order via the Yucoco website.  The site itself is really easy to use and there are so many options to choose from; white, milk or dark chocolate and up to five toppings.  I chose hubby’s favourites and we were both chuffed at the result.  I love that the wrapper can be personalised too.  I chose to name ours the Love bar, but you could use a name or a special word.

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Yucoco bars would make a wonderful birthday, Valentine’s or Mother’s Day gift.  Better still, why not surprise your bestie and send some happy in the post today?  Generally speaking, they cost under £10 including delivery (some toppings are more expensive than others), which is such a great value, I think.  Delivery takes 3-5 days, so there’s still plenty of time to order for Valentine’s Day!

Hubby was so pleased with his bar.  The flavour of the chocolate (he had dark), he said was delicious – creamy rather than bitter – and the diversity of textures that the array of toppings provided added an extra dimension.  Overall, we were both very happy with the service and thoroughly recommend Yucoco for all your chocolate needs!

Aldi’s Mother and Baby Event

Pregnant?  Have a newborn, or know someone who does?  Looking for something to buy as a baby shower gift?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, look no further; Aldi’s Mother and Baby Event has landed!

With heaps of essentials, from socks (£2.49) and vests (£2.99) to muslins (£3.29) and the all-important baby monitor (£19.99), Aldi is your one-stop place to stock up on the little things.

HOODED BABY TOWEL (5)These totally adorable character tops would make a lovely gift and are incredible value at just £3.99 for a pack of two!


Or there are the wonderful Very Hungry Caterpillar gift sets (£14.99); perfect to welcome a newborn, to send as a 1st Christmas present or even suitable as a Christening gift.


Aldi’s Mother and Baby Event arrived in-store yesterday, but don’t delay because once it’s gone, it’s gone!


Blog Your Heart Out

Having now been able to proudly call myself a blogger for almost four years, I should think regular readers probably know a fair bit about me.  However, there is always room for improvement!  I have been tagged by Mel at My Days NI to complete the Blog Your Heart Out meme; answering five questions and giving you, dear reader, the chance to brush up on your knowledge of yours truly.  You never know, there may be a test one day!

Who or what encouraged you to start blogging?

An easy one to start with – my children inspired me to want to start a blog, and my husband encouraged me to give it a go.  I read up on it; I regularly devoured other people’s parenting blogs.  One evening, having spent hours going through the archives of one blog in particular, I knew that I could not put it off any more.  I was going to start a blog!  My husband came up with the name and it existed for more than two years on my previous domain.  Since August 2013, I have been found here, in my very own little self-hosted corner of the internet.  And I don’t just blog about the children these days. I blog about travel, days out, our allotment, recipes, some of the thoughts that hang around in my head…  I even get paid for some posts, which is a dream come true.  I have always loved writing but never believed I would be paid to do it.  I have even secured a proper job from off the back of my blog.  I am so pleased I took that first step and started Smiles and Trials and so proud of how far we have come.  There have been some amazing experiences along the way and I have a wonderful record to look back on with the children as they grow.

How do you choose which topics to blog about?

I blog about whatever feels natural, whatever is in my head.  It could be a recipe post one day, a rant about something the next; even an update on my daughter’s swimming progress… anything is possible with a blog.  As long as you are writing posts that you are happy with, nothing else matters.  People will read them, or they won’t.  If they don’t, then at least you know you will enjoy reading it back one day.

What is something most people don’t know about you?

Hmmm, tricky one!  I was studying towards a degree in social work when my children were both babies.  In 2011, we came very close to adopting one of my cousins and the whole experience put me off.   I still don’t have a degree, or any other qualifications.  What I’ve learnt recently is that it really doesn’t matter!  I’ve gained experience in a field I love working in and have been given two jobs in the last few weeks.

What three words best describe your style?

Non-existent, really.

What do you like to do when you’re not blogging?

I love to travel and see new places, I love being outdoors.  I love turning over the soil at our allotment and planning what to plant.  I love walks by the sea (we live a five minute walk away).  I love to climb the South Downs (again, not far away).  I love to read, I love to cook, and I love to watch old episodes of Corrie.  Mostly, I just love spending time with my precious little family.

There, I hope you were taking notes!  You never know when that test is going to come…


Chic Geek Diary


Dear Jennie, Two Years On

Dear Jennie,

I remember where I was when I heard.  When I learned the news.  Matilda Mae has died.  I was at my computer, trawling Facebook for something worthwhile, as the children slept and my husband was in China.

The words sat alongside a photograph.  Yet the two did not match.  The photograph showed a happy, cheeky baby with eyes that sparkled.  You know the one.

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How could she have died?

I did not know who Matilda Mae was at the time.  I did not know what a beautiful person her mother was.  I did not know that she was the youngest of three much-loved children.  I did not know any of you.

All I knew was that the words did not fit the picture.

How could that little squishy bundle of legs and arms and shining eyes have left her family so soon after her arrival?

I know now that this is a question that haunts you every day.  A question that, no matter how often it is asked, can never be answered.

And then there is the other one; the why?

Why you?  Why Matilda?  Why any baby?

Just bloody why?

Oh, I wish I had the answer!  I wish I could give you something to cling on to in the darkest moments.

There is hope.  There is the wonderful Beatrice Hope.  Yet I know that goes hand in hand with fear.

And that is not fair.

None of this is fair.

Two years on and I see that photograph of wonderful, brilliant, sweet Baby Tilda.

I see it and I see those words alongside it.

Matilda Mae has died.

I see them and I still don’t see how they could ever match.

I still don’t understand any of this.

The more hours and days and weeks and months that pass…

The less any of it makes sense.

The fewer words I have to express myself.

The more I wish I could turn back the clock for you.


All that has changed is that I now know you, Jennie.

I know you and am inspired by you and hold you so highly.

I am honoured to call you a friend.

If that is ok?

With my words, I try to squeeze you so tightly.

To hold you near and show you that you are not alone.

Matilda brought me to you.

Dear, darling Matilda Mae.

I am so grateful I found you through her.

I am just so sorry that it had to be because of those words.

Those words that will never make any sense.

Matilda Mae has died.

I am so sorry.

All my love, Jennie xxx

Aldi’s New Men’s Range

New clothes.  They’re essential, we all know that, but they can also be expensive.  Sure, there are budget lines, but there’s a fine line between good value downright cheap.  This is where Aldi comes in, with a view to bridge that gap, offering high quality clothes at reasonable prices.  Their new men’s range, which went on sale last week, boasts classic wardrobe staples at rock bottom prices.  But just how good are they?  We were sent the pure cotton V-neck tank (£6.99) and the thermal lined chinos (£14.99) to find out for ourselves.


I’ll admit, I really was not sure about the tank top, but it actually looks quite cute on my husband.  He was also not overly keen on the idea, but absolutely cannot fault the item for quality and warmth.  He often wears it as an extra layer, in favour of a jumper.  The chinos are really nice, they look very good quality, feel really thick are apparently great to wear.  My husband often cycles to work and said he would have no worries about getting cold on his early morning journeys in these trousers.  I love the practicality of the thermal lining alongside the lovely smart look of them.  Such good value for the price, too!  We would definitely buy more of these.

If you would like to try the Aldi Men’s Range for yourself (or would like to stock up on essentials for the man in your life), the products will be available as part of Aldi Specialbuys.  These will be in-store on Thursdays and Sundays but you will have to be quick – once they’re gone, they really are gone!