How to make mischief with your kids #MAOAMmischief #AD



#AD I’m working in a paid relationship with MAOAM promoting its Mischief Hub that’s filled with mischievous fun to keep you entertained at home. Get ideas at

The boys and I love getting up to mischief, so when I was asked to review the MAOAM Mischief Hub and come up with some ideas of my own, I was really excited to get involved. We enjoy playing pranks on each other (always kind-natured ones of course) and just being a little silly. One of my favourite quotes is: "Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional".

In my house, I really encourage imagination and keeping an open mind even when it's a bit far-fetched. My children know many facts about life, nature and the world, but we also like to keep the door open to the fantastical and unexpected. With it nearly being summer and so much changing in our garden, we are growing many of our own veggies and herbs. There is a sense of magic in the air watching our garden come to life. The only downfall is my kids constantly pranking me with their very realistic slimy slugs. I love being outdoors but I'm not that keen on slugs to say the least! They realised long ago that fake spiders don't work as I'm not scared of spiders in the slightest but with slugs, that's another story.

pumpkin seed

During these strange times having a sense of humour has been a must, luckily I am a big child at heart so that comes pretty easy and I always try and join in with the fun when we make dens, you can bet you will find me diving straight into den and fort making too. Of course like I said we keep everything light-hearted, doing nothing that makes another person feel bad or is unkind in any way.

As the boys are both very keen gardeners and are looking forward to the summer solstice I thought I'd see what they thought of planting a Donught sweet plant, a rare mysterious plant that grows doughnuts and sweets because as well all know you can only plant a doughnut plant the week before summer and on odd years only, so with it being 2020 now was the time *wink wink*

Of course, they were both a little sceptical with my eldest half thinking it was a joke while the other half of him was definitely hoping to wake up to doughnuts in the morning, while my youngest was very excited at the prospect of growing doughnuts and eating them of course

sweet tree


So I got a pot and soil ready for them and I had two giant pumpkin seeds which they sowed in the pot before heading up to bed, not sure what to expect in the morning. When they came down in the morning of course, they were very happy to find small plant adorned with mini doughnuts and their favourite MAOAM Stripes and Pinballs, which are just the chewiest fruit-flavoured treats out there in my opinion! Needless to say, whether they thought it was real or not, joke or not, I was winning with the breakfast fun because every now and then we need to break from routine and just have a bit of silliness. This may even become a bit of a family tradition as it certainly went down well.

If you're feeling like you’d like some inspiration, do check out the MAOAM Mischief Hub filled with tons of ideas on keeping the laughs coming. They are also running a competition to win some MAOAM goodies by sharing your pranks on social media using #MAOAMmischief.

Maoam sweets

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Learning about Wines from around the world with The Wine List



Wine course

*I was kindly provided my first Wine List box in exchange for an honest review 

Having grown up in the Western Cape, South Africa, know for its wine and beautiful wine farms, I naturally have an interest in Wine and it's something I am trying to slowly expand my knowledge on, in fact before COVID changed our travel plans I was hoping to do a small road trip around France and Italy this year with the hope of stopping off at a wine farm or two.

So when The Wine List got in touch to try out their new subscription box - the first wine box focused on learning, I knew I wanted to hear more about it. Firstly I want to say that my approach to drinking wine is that it should be accessible to everyone, I know everyone has their own drinking preference but Wine shouldn't be off the list and if you're unsure where to start The Wine Folly has a great beginners guide to Wine which is worth reading.

Back to The Wine List which is set to make learning about Wine a breeze and also fun by trying out two different types of Wine a month while helping you to develop your knowledge and skills. Each month the box contains two bottles imported directly from small produces and are sustainably made and are worth around £15-£20 each, along with an introduction to Wine tasting, interactive tasting cards and learning plan.

The Wine List

My box contained a bottle of Petite Fugue, an organic French white wine from the Bergerac region made from Sauvignon Gris & sauvignon blanc. What I really liked about the tasting cards was learning more about how this particular wine was made by (aged on the lees for over 10 months) and why this process is done and how it affects the overall appearance and taste of the wine. The tasting cards also give in-depth suggestions of food pairings, including local French food pairings if you feel like going all out on a special night in.

My second bottle was La Zerba, an organic Italian red from the Piedmont region and made from Barbera grapes. I really enjoyed this smooth Red and found the history of this winemaker as La Zerba was an abandoned vineyard which the Volpi family bought in 2003 and have restored the 60-year old Barbara vines to their former glory. It's stories like this that add to the tasting experience and I'd never had known about without the tasting cards.

With each month you also get additional insight into a part of the winemaking process, this month was all about Vessels -  Vessels are used during both fermentation and maturation of the wine and can have a profound effect on the overall taste of a wine and I have to say it's something I've never really thought too much about but found learning more about it really interesting.

white wine

So how much does this all cost?

The Wine List, unlike other subscription boxes, fuses a Wine course and Wine tasting into one.

Each monthly box contains two high-end bottles of Wine (mine were both organic this month)
Interactive tasting cards and a learning plan for £39 per month - which is also flexible and you can skip a month or cancel at any time

If you're interested in giving the it a go I have a 30% discount off your first Wine List box by using the code SIDESTREET30 via this link - The Wine List 

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7 Actions sports you can try at any age


girl skateboarding

*This post contains affiliate links 

Learning new skills, gaining new hobbies and trying something different that takes you out of your comfort zone, can be really fun and fulfilling and it's certainly not just for kids. As adults, we sometimes forget that we too are curious and deserve some fun and you never know you might fall in love with a new sport and past time. I am passionate about making the most of my days and wanted to share a few adventure activities I have been enjoying the past few years and encourage others to also give them a go, of course in the post-lock down world we live in you need to do your research before you do anything to make sure your equipment is safe if you're having lessons that they are socially distanced.

1. Stand Up Paddleboarding

I've done a fair bit of Stand Up Paddleboarding over the years and the first time I ever did a taster day the guide said he taught people of all ages from 5yrs to 85yrs and that it was one of most fast-growing sports and I can see why. SUP is much easier than it looks, the boards are very buoyant and all you need is basic balance and a sense of adventure. I've been able to see Bath from the River Avon and Cardiff from the Taff River and I've enjoyed it all so much that I know have a Bluefin SUP board and can't wait to take it out as much as possible. SUP is a great way to explore rivers, lakes and the UK coastline but do take a taster or beginners course to get to grips with things before going out unsupervised.

Stand up paddle boarding

2. Surfing

I love to surf, it's something I started when I was growing up in South Africa but after moving to the UK I struggled to find the time but I've picked it up again in the past few years and it's fantastic seeing so many women and men of all ages in the water giving it a go. Surfing is an amazing sport that is great for both physical and mental wellbeing and is fairly low impact as well. Again taking a taster day to see how you get on is best and don't be surprised if you're hooked from the first time you ride a wave. There are some great Women run weekends to help get you started, I recommend Women and Waves.

Surfing wales

3. Skateboarding

Skateboarding is one of those sports that carries a bit more risk as failing over is fairly common but can be avoided by focusing on a cruise board or longboard when you start. There is something really fun about cruising down a hill on a skateboard and it's great to see both men and women picking up this sport later on in life as it really is for everyone. If you're looking to connect with women who skate in the UK or just want more information about the growing scene then do check out Girl Skate UK.

skater girl

4. Hiking

What I love about hiking is that you don't really need any specialist equipment to start, just a decent pair of walking shoes, a sense of adventure and your good to go. With so many free apps likes the Ordnance Survey app, which shares local walks and hikes, there is no reason to not get outside and the more you do the more energised you will feel. Of course always tell someone where you are going before embarking on a hike and if your unsure do research your walk beforehand.

women hiking

5. Cycling

Cycling is another great activity to help improve mental and physical wellbeing and it's something you can start out slowly with and build-up in your own time. Cycling is also perfect for the whole family to get into and is the most sustainable form of transport. Despite what you may think, you really don't need to spend a fortune on expensive bike equipment. I bought a second-hand bike from Cardiff pedal-power a few years back and it's still going strong.

get on your bike

6. Snowboarding

Yes this is a bit more on the expensive side but saying that you can still get the basics at your local dry Slope in the UK with most places being around £20/25 for a 1hr lesson. There are also some indoor "real snow" centres such as the Snow Dome in Tamworth if you can't get to the real slopes anytime soon. The last time I went proper snowboarding was as part of a University trip (so cheaper than usual) but I would love to rent a luxury chalet in Courchevel and take the kids skiing and snowboarding as it's a great family activity.

Wouldn't it be great to own a piece of Courchevel real estate so you could snowboard every winter?

7. Bouldering

What I love about bouldering is unlike rock-climbing you don't need any special equipment to get started and no ropes are involved. Of course, you do need to do a taster and health and safety session at your local bouldering centre but for those who don't like heights but love being active, this is also suitable as you don't climb very high. Both my boys and I love it and it's a great way to stay fit, problem solve and challenge yourself.

rock climbing

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Gardening ideas for a stay at home summer



*Contains affiliate links 

This has been a difficult year for many of us, but it seems like there is finally light at the end of the tunnel. As we slowly move out of lockdown procedures, it is time to start embracing some elements normal life again while others may take time, such as quick weekend breaks aways, meaning many of us are staying at home more than ever. While my boys and I love to travel we have also really been enjoying looking after our garden and growing our own veg this year and it's been a great learning experience for all of us.

During this transitional period between lockdown and navigating a new normal which includes social distancing, wearing a mask it, it's still the perfect time to put some energy into your outdoor spaces if you have any so check out these glorious ideas that you can use to make your garden shine this year.

Grow Your Own Food

One of the key things you are going to need to get right is focusing on growing your own food in the garden. If there is one thing this global pandemic has taught us, it’s the value of being self-sufficient, and your garden can go a long way toward helping with this. It is so important to be able to grow your own fruit and veg, and if you have space, you can make the most of this right now. Try to make sure you do as much as possible to make the most of this right now.

Family-Friendly Garden

It is so important to take steps right now to try to create a garden that is more family-friendly and aimed at helping entertain your kids as well. There are plenty of different types of family-friendly gardens for you to use as inspirations, and you can create your own unique twist to yours. Trying to develop a garden that will cater to the whole family can prove to be a challenge, but it might also be something that you can achieve very comfortably this year even if it's with temporary things like a tent or den for children to play in or putting up a swing and sandpit which are sure to be a hit with kids.  

Consider Revamping the Lawn

The lawn is probably the key area of the home, and there are a lot of things that you need to work on getting right as much as possible. This is something that plays a massive part in the process of getting an impressive and memorable garden, and this is why you need to work on improving it. One of the best ways of doing this is to look at where to buy artificial grass samples so that you can test these out and

Add Features

Adding features to your garden is important, and there are a lot of things that will play a part in this moving forward. Try to consider the features that you feel would be best for the garden, and consider things like decking, or a patio, or even installing your own pool. Making the right additions will make your garden shine as much as possible.

Make sure you understand what it takes to improve this and take it to the next level and try to think about what this means. There are a lot of elements that play a part in this, and it is crucial that you take steps to help make the most of it right now. Having the best possible garden is something you should look to make the most of right now.
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