Sunday, 3 May 2015

Slimming World : Week Three

Last week i got my half stone award at Slimming World and was over the moon, but this week i have not followed the plan as well as i should have and i actually gained weight. I won't lie i was a bit disappointed when i stepped on the scales and seen that i had gained 1lb as i have been feeling slimmer as my clothes are getting loser. I was tempted to go out and buy some chocolate after my class , but i resisted temptation although i did eat a bag of walkers crisps.

The last week has not been so great both my little ones have been unwell and my baby boy has been waking up every hour during the night screaming and then is wide awake at 5.30 am. I have been having lots of coffee this week with sugar in. I have ate all slimming world meals this week but with the little ones being unwell i have actually missed a few meals and just had fruit instead, i feel like i have not ate as much this week. And i may have ate toast with butter on almost every day for breakfast. 

I never wrote down what i was eating or kept track of my syns each day, so it is no surprise i gained weight really. But it is only 1 lb, its not much and i am sure that if i stick to the plan this week then i will lose the pound i gained, plus hopefully a bit extra too.

This week i am going to plan my meals in advance, write everything down and drink more water as everyone says this helps them to lose weight. And i am also going to eat more as i seem to lose the most weight on the weeks i eat a lot of fruit and more filling meals. 

Meal wise i have been eating more or less the same as previous weeks lots of salads, roast dinners, and diet coke chicken. I also tried the Slimming World meals from Iceland and i was surprised at how nice they are and they are really big portions, and best of all they are all syn free. My favourite meal i cooked is the salt and pepper chicken it is delicious and so quick and easy to make and my other half and oldest daughter even love it too, i have included the recipe below. 

Salt & Pepper Chicken.

You Need

  • 2-4 Chicken breasts
  • 1 Large onion, sliced
  • Green, red & yellow peppers, sliced.
  • Few mushrooms
  • 1/2 tsp Chinese five spice
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1-2 tbsp garlic salt
  • 1-2 tbsp chilli flakes
  • Frylight spray.
  • Spray your pan with frylight and cook the chicken
  • Add the onion, mushrooms and peppers and cook until soft
  • Add the chilli fakes, garlic salt, pepper and Chinese five spice (season to suit your taste)
  • stir it all together and then serve.
I serve this with plain boiled rice but you could have it with noodles, egg fried rice or chips. It is so quick to make it only takes around 20 minutes and it is all free and so filling and tasty. 

To find out more about Slimming World and to find your nearest class visit the website  

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Super Busy Mum

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Kids Don't Come With A Manual : Book Review & Giveaway

How many time's have you heard the phrase " I wish kid's came with a manual?" lots of times i bet, i for one know that i have uttered those very words myself on more then one occasion. Everything you buy these day's has a manual, but when you have children who are the most precious thing in the world to you, we are expected to just get on with things on are own.

Being a parent is amazing and yes we do trust are instincts and manage to look after are children just fine. But sometime it is hard. I have a teen a toddler and a baby and there behaviours can be so challenging at time's. Sometime we may snap at are child, or they may reduce us to tears or they may be able to manipulate us by playing one parent of the other one. I know my children have done all of these things on a regular occurrence. And you know what i feel rubbish about it, i feel like a bit of rubbish mum at times when my toddler is having a tantrum or my teen is refusing to do something.

And this is where Kids Don't Come With A Manual comes in. A parenting book written by Carole and Nadim Saad a couple with three daughters. They are parenting coaches who draw upon there own experience of early years education and more importantly being actual parents themselves. Being parents themselves they know how hard it can be and what a juggling act family life can be and that is what makes this book so brilliant.

I am not normally a fan of parenting books, in fact i have never actually read a one before as i always thought they would be fairly strict and tell you what to do which i did not like the sound of. But this book is not like that at all, it understands that every child and every parent is different and that certain approaches wont work for everyone.

The book is broken up into sections making it really easy to read and enabling you to just dip in and out of it whenever you want to. Each section will describe a situation such as being a good role model to your children, it will then show this situation from a more stricter parents point of view and then a more softer or " all heart" parents point of view and also the voice of a child. This really made me think about the situations more and think what kind of a parent i am, and what impact my actions could have on my children. And also how i can deal with things in a calmer and more gentler way which would be beneficial for us all as a family.

There is also a troubleshooting section in the back of the book which lists many challenges we face as parents such as tantrums and sibling fighting. The troubleshooting section offers quick and easy solutions to remedy these problems that are very useful, and i can vouch that the tantrum solutions do work with my toddler.

This book really is like some kind of manual to help us through the many parenting challenges we regularly face. You can buy your very own book from  Best Of Parenting Website and one of my readers can win there very own copy by entering the rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms & Conditions : Open to UK residents only. Giveaway closes on the 14.05.15 , one winner will be selected at random via rafflecopter  from all correct entry's. Winner will be e-mailed within 48 hours of the competition closing. Prize will be sent direct from best of parenting. 

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

What I Would Say To A New Mum

When you have a baby you are bombarded with well meaning advice from your relatives and even random people you meet in the street. Everyone will have something to say to you, no matter if it is your first or third child. My third baby is eight months old and i still get it all the time. You get so much advice, many of it conflicting and you don't know what to listen to and what not as having a baby is such an amazing and life changing, but let's face it sometimes rather difficult period in a persons life. 

With my sister in law and many of my friends about to have babies soon it got me thinking what would i say to a new mum? what words of advice would i offer? I asked some fellow parenting bloggers on my facebook page and this is what we would say to a new mum.

1.) Trust Your Instincts. 

Pippa from Red Rose Mummy has some brilliant advice she says

 " No-one knows your baby better then you do. If in doubt seek help, but you'll get lots of advice that might not sit right with you. Have the courage to nod and smile when people give you advice. " 

2.) Listen with a nod and a smile. 

Steph from Mental Parentals gives similar advice she Say's.

" Listen to everyone's advice with a nod and a smile, but only take on board and use the techniques that you think will work for you. Everyone is different as parents and every baby has their own needs."

I totally agree with this as i was told to put baby rice in Jacobs bottles when he was six weeks old so he would sleep through the night , i kid you not. Of course i totally ignored the advice as that is not recommended at all and is something i would never do. 

3.) Remember there is no such thing as a perfect mum.

I think as mum's we put far to much pressure on are self to have the perfect tidy home, to look immaculate at all times, to have well behaved and well dressed children. We see celebrities doing it and other people doing it on social media so we try to live up to these expectations are self. But there is no such thing as perfect and we need to remember that. So what if your house needs hovered and there dishes in the sink and your still in your pj's at lunchtime, nobody cares. As long as you and your baby are happy that is all that matters. The celebrities in the magazines probably have paid help and the people on social media are only shown you what they want you to see. Nobody is perfect. 

4.) Don't worry about baby number two when you have only just had number one. 

Jess from Mrs Helicopter mentions something that i myself was very guilty of

" Don't start worrying about how you will cope with two children when you've only just had one. I did this and know quiet a few others who did too and found it so overwhelming and scary that we immediately started obsessing about how there was noway we thought we could cope with another. The second time around is bliss in comparison. So just concentrate on acing the first and by the time you have your second you will be a pro."

5.) Enjoy the night feeds.

I know you will probably think i am crazy saying this, but honestly enjoy them as they really do not last long at all. I use to love when my son woke up for feeds as i would give him his bottle while he cuddled up to me and he always fell asleep in my arms. Everyone else was asleep, the house was quiet and it was just me and him. At the time night feeds were torture but i miss them now as they were special and so peaceful. 

6.) Take lots of photographs.

Seriously take millions of photos every single day. Until you have your own child you do not realise how quick they grow so take tons of photos so you remember. And don't forget to take a photo of them in all there little outfits as they grow out of them so quickly.

7.) It does get easier.

Those first few months are hard with a baby. Your hormones are all over the place, your tired, the baby will cry a lot. Someday's you will think you can not cope or wonder what on earth you have let yourself in for. But it does get easier your baby will soon sleep better, your hormones will go back to normal in a few weeks and you will get use to life with a baby. It gets easier i promise you that. 

8.) Ask for help if you need it.

You don't have to act like superwomen and do everything yourself, it is okay to ask for help if you need it. If the baby has had you up all night or your struggling with feeding your baby or you just want five minutes to have a shower in peace. Just ask for help, it is okay to ask. You don't need to do everything, remember a relaxed and happy mummy makes a relaxed and happy baby.

9.) Your doing a great job.

Andrea from Blogger Mumma gives the best advice ever

" Your doing a great job" is all she would say as she said that " sometimes those little words are the only words needed. Being a mum is an overwhelming and magical experience. Your told what to do and how to do it in 101 different ways. When sometimes just a simple compliment is the only 'advice' needed." 

So there we have it that's what us mums would say to any new mums or mums to be out there. Remember take lots of photos, ignore the advice, enjoy it, trust your instincts and above all else your doing a great job.

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Let's Talk Mommy

Mums' Days

Dreaming Of The Perfect Family Bathroom

As a mum of three i very rarely get any 'me' time but the minute i do all i want to do is relax and unwind in a nice hot bubble bath. But as soon as i sink into the warm water to relax i end up looking about and sighing as are bathroom is rather neglected and a bit of a mess if i am honest. We live in a very old house which was built back in the days when no one had an indoor bathroom, so are bathroom is actually an extension built onto the back of are kitchen. This makes it cold and damp and very small and not really somewhere that i want to spend a lot of time if i am honest.

I often dream of a nice tranquil spa-esqu (yes i made that word up) place where i can relax and unwind. Somewhere nice and warm and cosy, with a big fancy bathtub and beautifully matching decor. Somewhere that is not filled with stacks of toys and half full bottles of baby toiletries and everybody's dirty clothing scattered on the floor. I have even went as far as creating my very own pinterest board full of bathroom make-over inspiration.

Obviously if i lived alone i would have heated towel rails, dainty trinkets and glass jars filled with lush bath bombs. But of course that is not feasible with a teenager, a toddler, a baby and a very messy other half to live with. So i need something that is suitable for us all, somewhere stylish and peaceful yet practical and tidy.

First thing i would do would be to pick a suite, i would get a complete package as i know that everything would match and go well together. I love plain white as i think it looks clean and timeless.  I remember my parents had a ghastly green bathroom suite when i was grown up with a brown carpet, the joys of grown up in the 80's! I have my heart set on a freestanding bath as they looks so elegant but that's not possible with space being so tight for us. But i do love this Rax Compact suite from Bella bathrooms as it nice and simple and perfect for a family.

I would also have to have a shower, as i have such long hair i can't wash it in the bath, and the teen and other half prefer having a shower then a soak in the tub. I would love a separate shower cubicle but with space being so limited i would have to get an electric over the bath shower like we currently have. I love the Triton black pearl electric shower as it looks sleek and modern and much nicer then the plain white boring one we currently have.

I would also have a black Reina Neva double radiator radiator to keep us nice and warm as are bathroom is so cold and this one would fit into are colour scheme perfectly.

I would then have grey tiling and white walls, keeping things neutral and calming. I would have lino flooring down in a light grey colour as this is more toddler friendly then hard tiles, and also much easier for this mummy to clean. I would have silver light fittings and bathroom fittings to keep things matching, organised and tidy, as i like keeping clutter to a minimum.

And the star of the show would be a HiB Pulse Landscape Bluetooth mirror which plays music, i would score major brownie points from the teen for having this. Although it would probably encourage her to spend even more time then normal preening in front of the mirror, sigh.

I would finish things off with some grey fluffy towels, a laundry basket for everyone's clothing, some funky Munchkin duck bath toys for the little ones and a storage crate to keep there toiletries  and toys in. And  lastly a Yankee Candle for myself, as i adore Yankee candles and have them dotted around the home and the fluffy towel scent will be perfect. 

Storage box from  Not On The Highstreet. Laundry Bin from Argos. Yankee candle from Yankee Candle  Towels from John Lewis.  Ducks from Munchkin

So that is how i would have my dream bathroom, perfect for relaxing when i get the rare chance to  do so, and it is also a perfectly functional family bathroom that the whole family will love.

What would your dream bathroom look like ?

* Disclosure : This post is a competition entry to win tickets to Britmums Live and money towards a Bella Bathroom. However all words and ideas are my own and all products are sourced from the Bella Bathroom website unless otherwise stated. 

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Monday, 27 April 2015

Saving Money On Your Baby Shopping

Having a baby can be very expensive, having had three children myself i know that preparing for a new arrival can be both exciting and also rather stressful at the same time. You want everything to be perfect for your new bundle of joy and you want to make sure that you are well prepared for there arrival. But step into any baby store and you will be met with so many products all claiming to be the must have baby product. It can be so confusing trying to decide what you do and do not need, i know i have been there myself.

Image - by photostock
When i had my eldest i went totally overboard and spent a small fortune getting ready for her arrival, she had a beautiful decorated nursery with everything matching, a top of the range pram, a wardrobe full of tiny outfits and so many gadgets and toys. And you know what we did not even use most of the stuff, the clothes never got worn, she soon outgrew the nursery and i think i had brought enough baby toiletries to last her until she was six. 

By the time i had baby number three last August i knew what i did and did not actually need and it is fair to say i spent a lot less then i did the first time around. So what do you actually need for baby and how can you make having a baby a lot less expensive ? 

First make a list of what you actually need, yes you may have your heart set on gorgeous matching bedding and cot mobile but do you really need it ? the honest answer is no not really. So stick to the essentials which are 

  • Somewhere to sleep, you will need a cot or crib and remember that you will need a new mattress if it is a second hand cot.
  • Bedding, you really do not need to buy cot quits and bumpers , yes they look nice but they are not recommended for children under one. You only really need two fitted sheets and a couple of blankets or i use sleeping bags as i find them safer.
  • A carseat, you wont be able to bring baby home from hospital without a one and by law you have to have a carseat when travelling in a car with a baby. 
  • A pram so you can get out and about with your little one, it is the best feeling ever pushing your baby in there pram for the first time. Or if you are baby wearing you will need a sling or carrier for getting out and about.
  • If your bottle feeding you will need a steriliser about six bottles and a tin of formula. For breastfeeding you will need nursing bras and breast pads.
  • You will need nappies and baby wipes and baby bath products. You will also need some cotton wool balls as most midwives / hospitals will recommend you use cotton wool and water to clean baby's at first. Don't go crazy on the toiletries though you only really need bubble bath and nappy cream. 
  • Clothes this is where i spend far to much money but baby clothes are just too cute. You really only need vests, baby grows, hat, socks a jacket and plenty of bibs. Trust me everyone you know will buy you baby outfits once your baby is born. 
Then once you have all these things organised if you want you can buy all the lovely extras like nice changing bags and cute outfits and toys as i know i am guilty of this even when i had baby number three. But a great way to save money when buying your essentials and also those lovely extras is to visit websites like voucherbin which is a great website where you find many money saving vouchers on so many great baby and children products which could help you save on all those baby buys. And you never know whilst browsing the website you might also see some great offers on treats for yourself too, so what are you waiting for choose  and see how much you can save today. 

* Disclosure: This is a sponsored post , however all words and opinions are my own. 
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Sunday, 26 April 2015

My Sunday Photo 26.04.15

My eldest and other half love going in the rowing boats at the local park when it is warm.

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Saturday, 25 April 2015

The North East Baby And Toddler Show : Ticket Giveaway

On Saturday the 16th of May 2015 the North East baby and toddler show will be coming to Gateshead international stadium and it looks set to be a great event for all us parents and parents to be here in the North East. And i for one can not wait as i love discovering new products and service and this event will be a great way to find out more about products and classes available for us parents here in the North East. 

There will be lots of different exhibitors attending including Capture forever photography (formally knowing as i just love babies) who done Jacobs amazing newborn photo shoot which you see here   and also Katy from Babynatal Newcastle who we reviewed last year and who runs brilliant parenting classes here in the north east that offer practical advice on how to care for a baby, and she also runs baby first aid classes and weaning classes too. Puddleduck Swimming lessons will also be attending and we were lucky enough to attend one of there classes last year and you can read what we thought here. Along with many other services such as rugby tots, little kickers and buggyfit to name just a few. There will also be stalls selling baby and children products, with stalls catering for everything from pregnancy, birth, baby, toddlers and childhood. 

As i said the North East baby and toddler show will be held in just a few weeks time on Saturday the 16th May 2015 at Gateshead International stadium which is easy to get to via car or public transport. It starts at 10 am and will be on until 4.30 pm and there will be lots going on to entertain the whole family. Tickets cost just £6 per adult with children going free and if you are one of the first 500 people to order your ticket online you will also receive a free goody bag at the event. You can book your tickets online on the website You can find out more about the show and all the exhibitors attending on the facebook page or via twitter as they are adding to the list of exhibitors all the time. 

The North East baby and toddler show have very kindly offered five of my readers the chance to win a pair of tickets to the event, all you have to do is sign in to the rafflecopter below with your email address (don't worry you are not signing up to anything, it is just so you can be contacted if you win) you then just follow the instruction by visiting myself and the North East baby and toddler show on social media and that's it, super quick and easy. So what are you waiting for get entering and i am sure that you will have an amazing day out, and if you see me there come say hi as i would love to meet you. 

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T & C - Open to UK residents only. Five winners will be chosen at random from all valid entries by rafflecopter to win two tickets each to the North East Baby And Toddler Show, which will be held on 16.05.15 in Gateshead Tyne & Wear UK . Tickets will either be posted to the winners or if you wish picked up from the event. Tickets will be sent direct from the North East baby & toddler show, no cash or prize alternative. Good luck. 

Why not enter more competitions at ThePrizeFinder