Wednesday, 28 January 2015

It's A Ducks Life With H&A Bathtime Buddies

We are H & A bathtime buddies squirting ducks. We are four brightly coloured ducks who have been dreaming of fun bubble baths with a child who loves us ever since we were created. As we are bathtime buddies who's mission is to make bath times fun and educational for children. And this is are story.


One day last week we were packed in a box , it was dark and we had no idea where we were going or what was happening. Then we arrived in Newcastle Upon Tyne we know this because it was cold and we seen the angel of the north and the Tyne bridge through the gap in are box, but we were a bit confused that no one says whey aye man. Are box was opened and we heard giggles and laughter and we seen three children. A little girl came running over to us and picked us up and hugged us and started shouting 'bath' 'bath'. We were so happy as we had found someone who loved us and wanted to play with us!

We found out the little girl is called Sophia and she is one and a half years old, she is always laughing and playing. She has a big sister called Chloe , but she is twelve and says she is too big for bath toys. She still seems really nice though as she helped Sophia pick us some names, we have never had names before so this was so nice. Sunshine is the yellow duck, Jade is the green duck, Violet is the purple duck and Amber is the orange duck. We love are new names as they match are colours and are perfect for us.


Sophia also has a baby brother he is only a few months old and he sleeps a lot. But he can still play with us too as we are suitable from birth. So even tiny little baby's can chew and play with us as we are fully safety tested.

When it was bathtime Sophia got ready for her bath and she picked us up to take with her, we were so excited. We were even more excited when we seen she even has H & A Doc McStuffins bubble bath as we know it makes fantastic bubbles and smells nice and keeps us clean. We went in the bubble bath with Sophia and we had so much fun floating in the warm water and playing in the bubbles. We were dunked and chewed but we did not mind as we were having so much fun,


Sophia and her parents were squirting her with water from us , as that is what we do as we are squirting ducks. There was so much laughter. Her parents were even using us to teach her colours and numbers which was great as we love learning fun. Bathtime was even better then we had dreamed it would be. We really love are new home especially as are new owner loves us too.

We are so excited for bathtime every night , but there is still lots more of are friends who would love a fun owner to play with too so if you know someone who would love some new bathtime buddies you can buy H & A bathtime squirting ducks from Asda, Sainsbury's, Tesco and Wilko priced only £2.00. We even overheard Sophia's mummy say that she is going to buy a few packets to put in goody bags for Sophia's birthday party which we think is a brilliant idea.

Thank you Sophia for making four squirting ducks dreams come true of becoming four ducks in the tub having fun. You can view the full range of brilliant H & A bathtime products for yourself on there website www.handa-uk.com go on you know you want to.







Monday, 26 January 2015

Review : Gro Hush

Anyone who follows me on social media or reads my blog will know that Jacob has not been the easiest of baby's. He cried a lot. From being two weeks old until he was three months old he cried from the moment he woke up in the morning until the moment her went to bed at night. We had no idea what was wrong with him as the doctors could find nothing at all wrong with him and it was just put down to colic. We were exhausted and if I'm honest it ruined those first few precious weeks with are baby boy as we had no time to enjoy him as we spent all the time trying to soothe him.


I wish that back then we had of owned a gro hush baby calmer, You might be wondering what on earth a gro hush is and how it could of helped baby Jacob stop screaming all day long. Well the gro hush is a recently released product made by the rather fantastic nursery brand The gro Company, home to the must have grobags and clever gro clock. The gro hush is a portable white noise baby calmer, as we all know white noise is meant to help soothe newborn baby's. And we were sent a one to review and here is what we thought.

What we thought

When the gro hush arrived it was in a small box and inside the box there was a small case with the gro hush in. It was a lot smaller then i thought that it would be and it is very lightweight. In the box you get the actual gro hush device plus a clear storage case and a padded cover with a strap on so you can easily hold the device near your baby. The device is battery operated and they are not included so be sure to buy some or you will end up not being able to use the device until you remember to go out and buy some like me.


I found the gro hush so easy to set up and use you just put the battery's in and push a button and that's it. There is three different white noises there is the sound of a heartbeat which just reminds me of listening to baby's heartbeat when you are pregnant at the midwife's. There is also the sound of the ocean and the sound of rain falling on a tin roof. The great thing about this little device is that when it is turned on you can not actually hear the white noise, the baby can hear it but no one else can unless you put it right up against your ear that is. This is what i love the most about the gro hush as with a lot of white noise products everyone can hear the white noise and it gets really irritating after a while but with this you hear nothing at all.


The best way to use the gro hush is to put the padded cover on then turn the gro hush on by pushing one of the buttons and then the buttons will light up blue you then select which white noise you want to play. There is three buttons one for each noise and they have pictures on so you know which is which. Then you slip your hand through the strap and hold the gro hush up to baby's ear so they hear the white noise. It is so simple to use and it is really comfortable to use too as it is so lightweight.


When we first used this product Jacob was almost four months old and he did not like it and he was trying to turn his head to look where the noise was coming from. But after a few attempts he settled down and it did help to calm him down when he was getting irritated and crying when he was tired and it helped him settle down to go to sleep. And it also helps settle him when he is having naps during the day if we place it next to him in his cot. I think that if we had of used this from birth as it is recommend then we would have seen better results faster and i really wish we had of owned this when he was going through the terrible crying all day stage as i am sure it would have helped him a lot as i had tried a white noise app on my phone at the time and that use to settle him but it drove me mad.

Good points
  • Soothing white noise for baby that only they will hear and it wont drive everyone else mad.
  • Three different sound options to choose from
  • Noise is pre set to a safe level
  • Automatically switches off after 10 minutes
  • Very lightweight and easy to use
  • Suitable from birth
  • Portable so it is great for popping in your changing bag when going out.
  • Comes with a protective case 
  • Padded cover which makes it easy to hold and gentle and soft on baby's skin
  • The cover is washable. 

Bad points
  • It does not come with batteries

My verdict

I think that this is a clever little device that will help sooth newborn baby's. I really do think that this would have helped us settle Jacob when he was going through his unsettled and constant crying stage. We did have success with the gro hush and it settles him now and helps him drift back to sleep if he is stirring during his daytime naps. But i think that i would defiantly recommend this to parents of newborn baby's as i feel that you would get more use from it and it would be more effective if used from birth. I love the fact that it does not emit a lot of noise and that you can not hear the white noise when you are using it. I also love how easy it is to use and how lightweight and portable it is too.

Would i recommend the gro hush baby calmer ? yes i would if you have a newborn or are expecting a baby as they do help to calm young baby's.

The gro hush is priced at £34.99 and is available to buy online from the www.gro-store.com or from many baby stockist.



We're going on an adventure


Sunday, 25 January 2015

2015 Bucket List

I have seen a few bloggers do bucket lists for the year ahead with things that they would like to do during the year. I think this is a great idea as i always have ideas of things i would love to do but i never write them down and always forget what my ideas are. After spending the last two years either pregnant or looking after a newborn i have decided that this year i want to do more as a family. So i decided to write up a bucket list of things to do this year. I had the idea of writing fifty two different things on my list , one for each week of the year. Some of the things are little things that wont cost anything at all such as jumping in puddles others are things such as going to a concert or going out for a nice meal. I have just wrote down things that are achievable and hopefully fun. So here is my fifty two things bucket list for 2015.



1.) Have a family photo shoot.
2.) Have a weekend away
3.) Attend BritMums
4.) Take Chloe to Alton Towers
5.) Go for afternoon tea.
6.) Take Jacob swimming for the first time
7.) Move house and have fun decorating
8.) Visit Blackfriars restaurant
9.) Teach Sophia to jump in puddles.
10.) Have an adventure
11.) Go to see a fortune teller
12.) Visit a seafood restaurant as the other half loves it but i don't
13.) Do something special to remember my mum on the 10th anniversary of her death.
14.) Go pottery painting with Chloe
15.) Visit Edinburgh zoo
16.) Go strawberry picking
17.) Go to the races.
18.) Take Sophia to the cinema for the first time
19.) Visit York again
20.) Book a family holiday for 2016
21.) Go to a farm
22.) Have a meal at are favourite restaurant Hotel Du Vin
23.) Have an Easter egg hunt.
24.) Go to the theatre as have not been in years.
25.) Have a water fight
26.) Go to a fair.
27.) Take Sophia to see Disney on ice.
28.) Have a pamper day
29.) Take Sophia on a train
30.) Cook a nice romantic meal
31.) Have a picnic in the park.
32.) Go for a family Sunday lunch somewhere 'nice'.
33.) Get my nails done.
34.) Go for a family walk in the woods
35.) Bake with the girls
36.) Day at the beach
37.) Go on a proper date with the other half.
38.) Go to a concert , as have not been in years.
39.) Visit a proper ice cream parlour
40.) Go to a circus
41.) Go on a shopping spree with Chloe
42.) Take the children trick or treating
43.) Make photo albums
44.) Go to a firework display
45.) Embrace messy play
46.) Bake a Christmas cake
47.) Visit a Christmas market
48.) Go ice skating with Chloe
49.) Go to a pantomime
50.) Go for breakfast with Santa.
51.) Have a magical Christmas.
52.) Celebrate New Year.

I will be looking back on this list at the end of the year to see how many of these things we have actually achieved, hopefully it will be most if not all of them. Do you write a yearly bucket list?

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Review : Oxo Tot Sippy Cup

I think that most parents who have a young child will know how hard it is finding a cup for your toddler that does not leak. I have brought numerous toddler cups and beakers over the last year for Sophia that all claim to be 'non spill' and 'leak proof' but every single one of them has leaked! I was forever finding little puddles of juice on the tray on her highchair and Sophia was constantly getting spilt juice down her front and i would end up having to change her clothes a few times each day. I gave up on ever finding a cup that did not leak as every other parent i spoke to also seemed to have this problem too.


So when Oxo Tot got in touch to ask if i wanted to review a one of there cups i was expecting it to do the same as i have never tried any Oxo Tot products before. We were sent the Sippy cup set which is recommended for children aged six months plus  . It is an ideal first cup for baby's as it has large easy to grasp handles which are perfect for little hands. The handles are removable so when they get a little older they can learn to grasp the cup without the handles on. It also comes with two lids so that when your child is old enough to start learning to drink from a normal cup you can change the beaker lid for a training lid. The training lid will allow the child to drink from the cup without spilling the contents everywhere as it has an insert which will control the flow of liquid when the cup is tipped up. Then once they have mastered that you can take the training lid off and it becomes a regular cup for toddlers to drink from. So it is a cup that will last your child ages as it grows with them from babyhood to childhood.

We were sent the Raspberry coloured cup which is a lovely bright colour and perfect for a girly girl like Sophia. It is also available in Aqua and Green which are lovely bright colours too.

We have been using the cup with Sophia for a few weeks now and even though she is 19 months she is not quiet ready for the training cup yet as she loves to make a mess and tip things upside down , so we have been using the sippy cup lid on it. Sophia loves this cup , it is so easy for her to hold the handles and she finds it so easy to drink from. And i love it too as no matter how hard she bashes the cup upside down it really does not leak at all! No more puddles on her highchair or wet clothes thanks to its leak proof valve. I am amazed that it has not leaked and have been telling everyone how great it is.


The cup is so well made and it has been dropped and bashed so many times and it still looks brand new. It is so easy to take apart and wash too and can even go in the dishwasher. It is BPA, Phthalate and PVC free too, which is always good when it comes to baby products.

I highly recommend this cup if you are looking for a baby cup that will not leak. You can buy them online from www.oxototuk.com and you can also check to see where they are stocked locally on there too and they are priced at £10.21 . This is more then i would normally pay for a baby/toddler cup but the fact that it really does not leak makes me think that it is worth paying that little bit extra for.

* Disclosure: I was kindly sent this cup from Oxo Tot free of charge for the purpose of this review, however all opinions are my own. 





Monday, 19 January 2015

Slow Cooker Slimming World Campfire Stew Recipe

One of my new year's resolutions is to lose weight. I say i will lose weight every single year and i stick to a diet for a while then fall off the diet waggon and end up putting all the weight i have lost back on. But this year i am determined that i will lose weight as i am the heaviest i have ever been after gaining lots of extra weight while pregnant.

The only diet i have ever been able to stick to is Slimming World. However due to the other half working shifts and having two very young children i can not attend a slimming world group and have decided to go it alone diet wise, but i will be cooking Slimming world friendly meals.


A recipe i came across recently was for Campfire stew , a quick and easy meal you cook in the slow cooker. We have a slow cooker that we very rarely use and i keep saying i will use it more so when i seen this recipe i just had to try it out , although i added a few extra ingredients to make it slimming world friendly.

You will need

  • One gammon Joint. 
  • Two tins of baked beans
  • Two onions
  • Two cloves of garlic (crushed)
  • One red pepper
  • Three potatoes
  • A few sliced mushrooms
  • One tin/packet chopped tomatoes
  • Two teaspoons of tomatoes puree
  • One or two teaspoons of mild chilli powder
  • One or two teaspoons of mixed herbs
To make

I placed the gammon joint in the middle of the slow cooker, i then added the beans ,chopped tomatoes and tomato puree around the gammon joint. I then peeled and diced all my vegetables into small chunks and then added them to the slow cooker and then added the crushed garlic and herbs. Add then give it a stir and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Then it should be ready to eat. I shredded the gammon with a fork and it just fell apart when it was ready to serve. 



To Serve

We had the campfire stew with basmati rice and it was nice but i think it would have been even nicer served with tortilla chips as a nacho topping instead of chilli or on a jacket potatoes. You could even serve it in a baguette. 


This was a really quick and simple meal to prepare and it was really tasty and had a nice smoky taste and did not taste at all like 'diet' food as it was really filling. I will defiantly be experimenting with my slow cooker more in future as it makes meal times so much simpler as it took about five minutes to prepare this meal and i am no longer standing in the kitchen for ages making a meal while trying to look after three children. 

So if you have any slow cooker recipes then please let me know as i am on the look out for more things to make. 






Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Attipas Toddler Shoes Review And Giveaway * Closed *

I know that i keep mentioning all the time that since i started my blog and joined Twitter i have discovered so many amazing new products and brands, well i have found yet another great new one. Attipas. If you have never heard of them then don't worry as nor had i until fairly recently , but i am so glad that i have discovered them now. You are probably wondering what Attipas is well it is a toddler shoe, but not just any old shoe its a cross between a shoe and a sock. It sounds weird but it actually really works they look like really trendy socks but they have soft flexible rubber soles and are super lightweight. Making them perfect for toddlers as they keep little feet nice and safe and they wont slip over when wearing them like they often do wearing socks.

This is what Attipas have to say about there toddler shoes.

Attipas Functional shoes are a world first in toddler shoes. As light as a sock but more supportive than a pre walker, these functional shoes ergonomically support toddlers first steps and thereafter.

- Convenience: Strong, Smooth, Non-Slip,Machine Washable,Fast Drying.

-Breathable: Superior,Breathable fine holes that release heat

-Big Toe Box: Free toe movement to improve cognitive and motor development

- Safety: Non use of hazardous materials and adhesives, no use of Formaldehyde

-Lightweight & Flexible : Super lightweight, just like wearing socks.

Attipas have just launched there new look website which is really nice and you can view it yourself at  www.attipas.co.uk .They have a lot of oh so pretty girly shoes and some super trendy little boy ones too. There really is so many lovely ones to choose from there is pretty pastel corsage ones to bright spots and stripes and little sneakers to nautical ones. There really is a pair to suit any child and any outfit. My favourites from the new collections are theses pink corsage and the anchor ones as i think they are super cute. And i will defiantly be buying baby Jacob some when he starts walking later this year.


Love these new designs
We were sent a pair of Attipas for Sophia who is 19 months old to review and this is what we thought of them. First of all i would just like to apologise for the lack of proper photos of Sophia but she is impossible to get a photo of these days as she wont stay still and looks away whenever you try and take her photo, we went for a family photo shoot at Christmas and she just would not stay still so we have no photos of her just of the other two children.

When the shoes arrived i was surprised at just how light they felt. The sock part is really nice and soft and the rubber sole is really bendy. Sophia has a bit of an obsession with shoes and she wanted to wear them as soon as she seen them, they were really easy to put on just like putting on a sock. The sock part is stretchy and did not dig in or leave any kind of imprint on her skin. The rubber sole part had a lot of room and she looked really comfortable in them. She had no problems at all walking in the shoes like she sometimes does with new shoes. We were sent the lovely white rainbow ones and they went with most of Sophia's outfits she even wore them over her tights.


What i liked about the shoes was that they offer protection to her delicate little feet as i am always worried in case she stubs her toe or something but with these on i know her feet are safer. They are also non slip so they are much better for her walking on the wood flooring we have throughout are house as she sometimes slips wearing just her socks. They also keep her feet warm against the wood flooring. I also found that she could not take these off easily herself which she will normally do with socks and shoes, although i found taking them off her very easy. They are perfect for wearing in the house or the garden in the summer and for when you just want to quickly pop to the shop and you are taking your child in the car or buggy as there feet are protected and warm.

I think that these shoes would be perfect for that stage where your baby is starting to stand up and walk around but is not quiet ready for shoes yet as they will protect without being restrictive like other shoes can be.They are also ideal for toddlers like Sophia who takes there socks off in the house and for wearing in the car or buggy as they are so comfy looking. I will defiantly be buying my son these when he gets to the cruising stage as they will keep his feet protected until he is ready for shoes. 

Grips on the bottom 
You can buy your own Attipas shoes from there website and they have a range of designs that come in three sizes small, medium or large. We were sent the medium ones for Sophia they are meant to be up to size 4.5 and Sophia is a size 5 with wide feet but they fit her perfectly.They are priced at £15.99 which i think is a good price for such a well made clever product and they come nicely packaged.


Attipas have very kindly offered one of my readers to win a pair of Attipas toddler shoes in any size or style they wish from the  website. So to be in with a chance of winning just enter the Rafflecopter below and you might be lucky enough to see for yourself just how great these shoes are. 



a Rafflecopter giveaway

One winner will be chosen at random to win one pair of Attipas toddler shoes in any size and design they wish from the Attipas website. Winners will be notified via e-mail, winners will have two weeks to claim the prize before another winner will be chosen. UK entrants only.


Win competitions at ThePrizeFinder.com - See more at: http://www.theprizefinder.com/content/one-pair-attipas-toddler-shoes#sthash.kKSHihxc.dpuf

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Blog Goal's For 2015


Last week i wrote about my personal goals for 2015, with it being the new year and all that. You can read about my personal goals for the year ahead here if you wish, yes there are cliches like losing weight on there. Anyway as it is a new year and i made personal goals for the year ahead, i thought that i would also make myself some blog goals for the year ahead too. 

I have only been blogging for less then a year and only blogging properly for the last few months and i still have so much to learn so i thought a set of goals that i can work towards in the year ahead was a good way to focus more on my blog. So here is my blog goals for 2015.

1.) Post more often on my blog. I blog very much as and when i get the chance and there is no consistency with my blogging, one week i may post five days in a row and another week not at all. I know carrying on like this is not so great as my readers will have no idea when to expect a post of me. I had planned on blogging every day this year but we are already almost two weeks into the year and i have failed at that. I would love to blog every day but realistically with three children , two of whom are very young i don't think that will happen. I also don't want to be a one of those blogs who blog everyday just for the sake of it. So i aim to blog more, hopefully everyday but realistically probably 3-5 days per week. 

2.) Take better photographs and learn to edit them properly. One thing that i am really rubbish at and always have been is photography. I have never taken nice photos . Since starting blogging i have realised that photos are a huge part of blogging, they draw the reader in and really make a blog look beautiful. Most of my photos are quick snaps off my iphone that i do not even edit, my photos are shockingly bad. So i plan on using my camera more often, once i have learnt how to use it properly that is. I also need to learn to edit photos better , i see so many blogs with clever edits on the photos and i don't even know how to do half the edits people do. So i plan on taking lots of photos, learning to use my camera and how to edit properly. I may even look into doing a beginners photography course to brush up on my skills as i am totally clueless when it comes to this.

3.) Comment on other blogs more. I read a lot of blogs but i very rarely comment on them. I really must start commenting more, as a blogger i know that there is nothing better then someone taking the time to read your post and leave a little comment, as it shows that someone has actually read what you have wrote. So i have started using Bloglovin more to keep up to date with my favourite blogs and will be commenting on every post i read from now on. 

4.) Take part in more linkys. I enjoy taking part in linkys but i keep forgetting they are on. There is a few i try to take part in when i remember that is. I want to take part in more though as not only do i receive more page views and get more comments when i take part but also because i think it is a great way to find other blogs to read , i love discovering new blogs to read. I will be catching up with one of my favourite blogs You Baby Me Mummy's amazing linky list guide which tells you all the linkys available, when they on and who hosts them , you can view it yourself here. 

5.) Get organised. One of the things i have struggled with blog wise in the last few months is organisations. Since having Jacob four months ago i have had so many ideas for blog posts and i have never got around to writing them as i have them wrote down all over the place. I also had so many reviews and i had no idea in what order i had received products so some reviews were going out in the wrong order and i had a few chase up emails off Pr's asking where there review was. I also have so many half finished or finished blog posts waiting for me to publish that have just been lost in my draft pile as i had over fifty draft posts, which is crazy. So i have went out and brought a planner and i have spent the last few days getting organised i have a list of posts to write, a few review posts that need written and i have also tidied up my draft files and got rid of most of the unfinished blog posts just to bring some sort of order over my blog. I will also log when i receive a review and have the review post written up within a week or so of receiving it from now on.. Hopefully organisation will improve my blog and stop me getting stressed out. 

6.) Grow my social media. I have a pretty good Twitter following ( almost 2000 followers since April) which is grown every single day and is the social media channel i use the most blog wise. I also use Instagram and have 360 followers since august. But my Facebook page is rather neglected with only 56 followers. I want to grow my Facebook page more this year and use it more often as i don't really use it much. I also want to continue to grow my Twitter and Instagram following. 

7.) Learn how to use Pinterest and Google + . I have got as far as setting up a google + and a pinterest account and that's it. I have not set my profiles up on the sites and i have no idea at all how they work. I have heard they are brilliant social media sites for bloggers though . So this year i plan on setting my profiles up on them properly and actually figuring out how they work and start using them and grow a following on them. 

8.) A new blog design and go self hosted. When i started this blog i had no idea what i was doing i just set it up on a whim. All the names i wanted were taken and i came up with this one and used it without thinking. I also opted for blogger platform to host my blog on as its free and easy to use. I brought my blog template off etsy and went for something bright and different to other blogs. However now i have been blogging for a few months i have realised that i want a change. I have been thinking of changing the name of my blog, but I'm unsure what to. I have also been thinking of going self hosted as i have heard there is lots of great features you can have on your blog doing this. I also really want a blog redesign , i think my blog is too pink and bright and i would love a custom made design. But i think i will wait and see how blogging goes and then think about going self hosted and have a redesign and maybe a name change once i have learnt more about blogging. 

9.) Go to BritMums Live. I have my ticket all booked and paid for, but i still have to find the courage to actually go. Britmums is a two day blogging conference in London in June. I really want to go as i will learn so much and will be nice to see some bloggers who i talk to and read there blogs. However a lot of bloggers seem to have sponsors and i don't think i would feel comfortable asking a company for money and i don't think my blog is established enough to ask for it if I'm honest.Without a sponsor it will cost me a lot of money to go, train fares Newcastle to London are not cheap and nor or London hotels and i have been thinking do i want to spend all that money on myself going to a conference or should i spend the money taking my children somewhere for the weekend instead. I also don't have any close blogging friends , i talk to some other bloggers but not so much since having Jacob as i just don't have time and i wouldn't want to go to an event on my own. I do want to go and i am sure i would have fun, but I'm in two minds at the moment and i also don't know if i could leave my babies for two days as i would miss them far to much. 

10.) Have fun with my blog. I started this blog as a hobby as somewhere to record my pregnancy and are family life. Yes i have been lucky to have some amazing opportunities through this blog but I'm not in it for the freebies and the stats and all that. Blogging will always be a hobby to me, i don't care about rankings and SEO and any of that, its all alien to me. So i want to just carry on having fun with my blog and i don't ever want to be worrying about stats and rankings or any of that stuff because then i feel blogging will stop being fun and more like a chore or a job and i don't want that, i want to blog because i enjoy it not because i have too. 

So those are my blog goals for this year. Have you got any blog goals this year ? 



The List

Sunday, 4 January 2015

My Ten Personal Resolution's For 2015

Every single year i vow to make new year resolutions and every single year i get as far as thinking about changing stuff and never actually do anything to change. Normal resolutions for me are 1.) To lose weight and i can normally still be found eating my own body weight in selection packs on new years day 2.) To join a gym, realistically this is probably never actually going to happen 3.) To be some kind of super organised, amazing mummy , domestic goddess with an immaculate home. That is never going to happen as my house is a mess as it is lived in rather then a show home. I will never be the kind of mum who prepares organic wholesome foods , I'm a rubbish cook. And i will never spend hours each day doing fun educational activities , my children like playing and watching TV and visiting the local soft play to much.

But this year i have decided that i am going to make some resolutions as now i am a mum of three i do need to change some things in my life. I thought that by writing my resolutions down in a blog posts rather then just thinking them in my head might actually give me the nudge i need to do something about changing my life, or that's probably just wishful thinking. So here is my personal resolutions for 2015.

1.) Lose weight. I say this every single year, and every single year nothing changes. I often start of with good intentions and join slimming world , which normally lasts a few weeks. I lose weight then have a takeaway , think i have ruined my diet so pig out on crisps and rubbish and then avoid going back to group as i know i will have gained weight. I have actually lost weight twice in my life though. A few years ago i lost three stone in three months by going to the gym and not eating as much. And also after Sophia was born i lost two stone as i had gallstones so could not eat anything with fat in, if i had of kept my gallbladder i would so be super skinny by now. I have never been a size 8 and nor would i want to be. But i do need to lose my baby weight as i gained a lot in my last pregnancy and have about four or five stone to lose ( I'm avoiding the scales) So starting on Monday i am going to start healthy eating. No diets, no gyms, no slimming groups. Just plain old simple healthy eating. I will still allow my self treats but in moderation, i aim to eat healthier and move more as simple as that , as that's what i find works best for me.

2.) Be more adventurous in the kitchen. As i am planning on losing weight i thought that it was about time i learnt to cook more. I am so boring when it comes to meal times and normally stick to a few trusted meals mainly lasagna, spaghetti bolognese, roast dinners, fajitas, pasta bakes and curry. And the other half often comments that he is bored of eating the same meals. I also want the children to grow up to not be fussy eaters and to eat anything we serve. So as i am planning on losing some weight and eating healthy i thought it was about time i started experimenting a bit more in the kitchen. If you have any recipes especially slow cooker ones i would love to see them as i have no idea what to cook in the slow cooker.

3.) Get organised and Decluter the house. I am really disorganised, like shockingly bad. I am getting much worse since having my third child. I aim to be a lot more organised this year, i am going to start using a diary and calender to record when appointments etc are. I also plan on making meal plans each week. I also need to make a blog planner and get more organised with my blogging. And i massively need to declutter. Having three children has meant we have acquired a lot of stuff over the years and are house is full of stuff. Some we need and some we quiet frankly don't. So aim to have a massive declutter and reorganisation of the house this year and plan on buying lots of storage and get the house all organised as well as my life.

4.) Move house. As i have just mentioned are house is full with children's things And we have no room at all. We only have a two bedroom very old terraced house. And we need to move as we have no room. Are house has damp and is surrounded by farmers fields so we often get mice in the garden , thankfully not in the house as we have a cat. So this year we will hopefully find a bigger house and move.We are a bit limited as to where we move to as we cant move to far for Chloe's school and the other half's work, so i think we will be staying in the same area. I can not wait to move and start decorating a new house and turn it into are family home.

5.) Think about a new job. In a few months my maternity leave will be coming to an end and i will have to think about returning to work. I don't have to return to work as i we could manage on the other half's wages. But i want to work, i have always had my own money and i don't think i could cope with not earning my own money and just staying at home all day. I wont be returning to my old job as i was working full time sometimes up to sixty hours per week doing fourteen hour shifts and i missed seeing Chloe, i rarely picked her up from school as she was always at the childminders or with my family. I think i will look for agency work so i can just work once or twice a week and fit it around lee's job. Then i am still working and earning money but get lots of time with my children too.

6.) Make more time for Lee. This is something i really want to work on. Before we had Sophia me and Lee done so much together we had weekly date nights, we ate out often, had weekends away and just had a brilliant relationship. Since having Sophia and then Jacob we have had no proper couple time. We have been out about twice on a date in nineteen months. We rarely even get time just to spend alone at home together anymore since Jacob arrived. We are going to make sure once a week we have a date night at home just us having a nice meal and watching a film or something, and when we can get a babysitter having a date night out somewhere.

7.) Have more fun as a family. We always use to have brilliant family days out. On my days off from work we aways use to take Chloe out somewhere nice such as the cinema, meals out or a day trip. Even when Sophia was born we still had nice days out as a family often going for meals and days out. However since having Jacob we have rarely had any family days out or meals out. Jacob suffered so badly with colic and we could not really go anywhere due to his constant crying. Now he is getting better so we plan on going out more as a family. I also plan on doing something with each child on there own once a month , so they are all getting some much needed one on one time with mum and dad.

8.) Make more time for me. I am hoping i can get more time for myself , even if it just having an hour in a bubble bath with a magazine every night. Since having Jacob four months ago i have not seen my friends at all. I need to start meeting up with them again every once in a while, without children in tow. When i do get the odd hour to myself here and there i find myself either doing housework or blogging.I need to stop this and maybe read a book, paint my nails or watch a film or the TV. Just something for me as i feel a more relaxed happy mum will make happier children as i wont be so stressed out and tired all the time.

9.) No more baby's. This might sound like a crazy resolution but i had Sophia in 2013 and then Jacob in 2014. So i don't want another baby in 2015. Sophia was only six months old when i fell pregnant with Jacob and my body has been through so much in the last two years i have had two baby's and i also had surgery in between my two pregnancies. I think are family is complete now , i also don't think i could cope with another baby. I want to enjoy the children we have and give them the best childhood possible. If anyone hears me say i am broody then please slap me and tell me i am crazy.

10.) Have fun. Since losing my mum almost ten years ago in an accident i have realised that life is to short. We could go at any moment just like that. I want to make sure i have fun, i want to look back on 2015 and be able to say i had a great year and i want my partner and children to say the same. So i plan on having lots of laughs, lots of adventures and lots of family time to make 2015 a great year for myself and my family.

Hopefully i will stick to my resolutions this year, it will be interesting to look back on them at the end of the year and see how many i have actually stuck to. Have you made any resolutions this year?




The List

Saturday, 3 January 2015

My Top Ten Blog Post's Of 2014

Yesterday i blogged about looking back on the past year , saying as it is new year and everyone reflects on the year gone by and all that. I really enjoyed writing the post and i think it will be lovely for us as a family to look back on in years to come. And you can read it yourself here if you missed it.

Anyway as i have been reflecting on the year, i thought that i would document my top ten blog posts from 2014. As i have seen a few other bloggers do this and thought it was such a good idea. As you all know i only started this blog last year and have been blogging for less then a year. But looking back on old blog posts while deciding which posts to include i am amazed at how my posts have improved over the last few months.

The posts that i have included are not all my most viewed or commented on posts , they are simply the ten blog posts that i like the best out of the hundred posts i wrote last year. So here is my ten favourite posts i published last year on this blog.

* My Mothercare re-opening event post.Back in November i was contacted by Mothercare to ask if i would like to go to there Team Valley store's re-opening event as a one of there VIP bloggers. Of course i jumped at the chance as we are huge Mothercare fans in are house and we always shop there for baby products.The event was great and the store is amazing, seriously if you live local go check it out. You can read the post here. This post amazed me with the views it was getting , it received thousands of views and is my most read post and ranks pretty well on google if you search Mothercare Team Valley. And i know nothing at all about SEO. I thought that it only done so well as it had a competition included in the post to win some cute festive Tommee Tippee bottles, as i met the lovely Sarah from Tommee Tippee at the event and wrote about the event for them too. But even since the competition closed it is still getting lots of views every single day.

* Myleene Klass interview post. Yes i got to interview Myleene Klass the celebrity! When i attended the Mothercare event i was also offered the chance to interview Myleene and how could i say no. I had free rein to ask her anything i wanted and she was so lovely and just a normal working mum like the rest of us. You can read my exclusive interview with her here. It is not every day that you can say you met and interviewed a celebrity. Well unless your a journalist or TV presenter of course. But you know what i mean. This has to be my blogging high of 2014.

* Sophia's first birthday cake smash. I love this post as it is mainly just gorgeous photographs of Sophia on her first birthday cake smash photo shoot, you can view the post here. We paid to get these photos done on her first birthday as we thought it was a fun and cute way to celebrate her first birthday. I love these photos and i still look back on them now. It was a nightmare getting the photos done as she just kept toddling off all over the place, but i am glad we had them done as they are something nice to look back on.

* My letter to Sophia on her first birthday . The reason i started my blog was to record family memories. I hope that one day my children will look back on this blog and be able to see how much i loved them and to remember there childhood. I plan on writing them all a letter each on there birthdays that they can look back on and see how loved they are and what they were like at that age. So this post means a lot to me as it is a post i really want Sophia to read when she is older, you can have a look at it here.

* Following on from my letter to Sophia i also wrote a letter to Chloe on her twelfth birthday which you can read here. I do not mention Chloe as much as i mention my youngest two children, simply because she is twelve and she is at an age where she is on social media and i don't want to say anything that may embarrass her or that her friends may see. But as it was her birthday in October i had to write a letter to say how much i loved her and what she was like. I hope she reads it one day soon to see how loved she is.

* Introducing baby Jacob. I wrote this post when Jacob was a few days old, as a way of letting my readers know that Jacob had been born as i had been silent on my blog. The post is rather short and it was quickly typed up on my mobile, seriously i don't know how people can blog on there phone i find it awful. But this post means something to me as it is welcoming my little boy into the world. You can read it yourself here.

* One of the very first reviews i did was for Puddle ducks swimming lessons. We were invited to try out a lesson with Sophia, as i was heavily pregnant at the time her daddy took her and they both loved it! we planned on booking lessons but due to having Jacob and the other half working shifts booking her on some lessons was impossible, But it is something that we will defiantly be looking into once Jacob is a bit bigger. I love this review as it was something fun, it was my first proper review and it was a great company. 

* Another review i loved writing was a book review The Skeleton Cupboard by Dr Tanya Byron which you can read here. I loved this book and could not put it down. It was written by Dr Tanya Byron off the TV and it was about her time as a trainee clinical psychologist. The book is fiction but the characters are so real. As i have worked in mental health and social care and studied it as a degree this is something that i was really interested in. This book was amazing , i loved it and i recommend it to anyone as it such a good read. I have included this post as i love reading, i always have but i rarely get time to read these days. As a book worm there is nothing better then reading an amazing book that stays with you for years and this is one of those books for me.

* Ten signs you are a parent to a newborn was a blog post that i quickly wrote on a whim in about fifteen minutes.You can view it here  .But this post received lots of views and lots of people commented on it as they related to it. It was basically just a quick post mentioning things that you may recognise if you have a newborn. Such as eating your meals with a fork in one hand and a baby in the other, come on we have all been there. I am sure baby's have some kind of built in radar that makes them cry when its time for parents to eat. I loved this post as so many other parents related to it , which was great as i realised i was not alone and not the only one going out covered in baby sick as they could not be bothered to go and get changed. Yes i know i am disgusting.

* My last post is in fact my very first post Why write a blog. When i had the crazy idea of starting a blog back in march i had no idea what i was doing or where to start. So i wrote my first post, why write a blog which you can read here. It is not very good , but writing that post set me off on my blogging journey and if i had never wrote that post i would not have my blog and the amazing opportunities it has gave me with it. I am so glad i wrote that post. If anyone out there is thinking of writing there own blog, just do it . You wont regret it.

So those were my top ten blog posts of 2014. Hopefully i will be sitting down this time next year to write my top ten blog posts of 2015. I can not wait to see what this year has in store. If you have a blog what were your top posts you wrote in 2014? I would love to know , I'm nosey like that.


Friday, 2 January 2015

Goodbye 2014 Thanks For A Brilliant Year

As it is now the second day of 2015 i have been spending the last week or so reflecting on 2014. And looking back on 2014 it was a pretty amazing year for myself and my family. Now that the craziness that is Christmas has passed and life is starting to resume some form of normality, i thought that i would take this chance while both babies are in bed to have a proper look back on 2014. So we can look back in years to come and see what an amazing year we had.

2014 started off rather amazing for us, we had just celebrated Sophia's very first Christmas and it was are first proper family Christmas. As it was the first one that i had actually had off work in years ,thanks to being on maternity leave. Sophia was seven months old, Chloe was eleven years old and my maternity leave was coming to an end and i was dreading returning to work. However in the middle of January i found out i was pregnant! I should have actually found out i was pregnant in the December but as i had no pregnancy symptoms it never even crossed my mind i might be pregnant.  We were both over the moon to be having another baby as we had always planned on having two babies close in age. So i decided that i would not be returning to work as it actually worked out that i would still be entitled to maternity pay as i was classed as employed when i fell pregnant.

February i had my first ultrasound scan when i was 13 weeks pregnant and it was so nice and reassuring to find out everything was OK with the baby. I had been a bit worried as my pregnancy was so soon after having Sophia ( six months) and was just weeks after i had surgery to remove my gallbladder. But everything was perfect and we could finally tell everyone are good news.

Jacob's 13 week scan
March was the month that i decided to start this blog. I had been reading my old school friends Samantha's blog www.northeastfamilyfun.co.uk and from there i had discovered parenting blogs , and as i had recently found out i was pregnant i thought that i would start a one too.Simply to record my pregnancy. I never thought anyone would read it , but this blog has grown so much which i am amazed by. Starting a blog was defiantly one of the best things i have ever done as i have discovered so many amazing blogs to read, i have made some lovely blogging friends and had some amazing opportunities through blogging. If anyone is thinking of starting a blog then do it!

Swimming Sophia
April we celebrated Easter and had a lovely weekend as a family visiting the fair and seaside for fish and chips on good Friday. Then having a roast and spending time as a family eating chocolate on the Sunday. Sophia had started taking a few steps when she was nine months old and by April she was walking all over which was so nice to watch her grow from my little baby to an actual toddler.I also had my twenty week baby scan and everything was great with baby although we were unable to find out the gender as baby had its legs crossed, a hand in the way and the cord between its legs.Typical.

Jacob bump
May was a busy month Sophia turned one at the end of the  month and we celebrated her first birthday. She had a Sofia the first themed birthday party at the local soft play and was spoilt and had a great day. We also had a professional cake smash photo shoot done to celebrate her first birthday, i still love these photos now. And Chloe went to Marbella in Spain for a week with my dad , which she totally loved.
Sophia's 1st Birthday Cake Smash
June started well as we had a baby scan ( i had to have them every month due to high blood pressure) and we found out that we were having a baby boy! I was gobsmacked when i found this out as i was so sure we were having another girl. We were all over the moon as we agreed that this was are last baby and we both really wanted a little boy. We also celebrated Lee's birthday and fathers day. Chloe went away with the school to high borrans in the lake district on an adventure weekend which she thoroughly enjoyed.

We found out we were having a boy!
July seen Chloe leave primary school. There was tears at the leavers assembly, by Chloe not me . Although i did have a tear in my eye when they had photos of the children in nursery and reception looking so small and then they had recreated the photos as year 6's. It also marked the start of the summer holidays , as i was so heavily pregnant by now we did not have as many days out as we normally would. But we still had a few nice days out as a family of four.

Day out at the park
August was by far the best month of the year as baby Jacob was born. I was induced at 39 weeks and i was expecting induction to be long and painful , but after finally going into labour after my waters were broken i was only in labour for 40 minutes! The labour was so quick i didn't even have time for pain relief. But i had my baby boy and he was perfect. Although i was rather shocked that after being told throughout my pregnancy that i was having a small baby he arrived weighing a huge 8lb 6 oz. Finally are family was complete.

Newborn Jacob
September seen us start to adjust to being a family of five, the other half returned to work after four weeks off. Chloe started high school, which so far thankfully she loves and has settled into fine and made lots of friends. We had Jacobs newborn photo shoot and i adore the photos. I also become a Babies R Us Babyologist tester which was a great opportunity. However September was hard as Jacob had colic and cried all day long , it was so hard trying to look after him and Sophia who was still just a baby herself as she was only 14 months old when Jacob was born. There was lots of tears from me as well as Jacob.
Newborn photo shoot
October was similar to September in that Jacob was still suffering from colic and cried a lot. Some days were really hard. But it was not all bad as October seen us celebrate Chloe's 12th birthday, I still can't believe she is 12 , she will always be my baby girl. My blog had been rather neglected since having Jacob and i hardly posted as i just did not have the time . But October really saw my blog start to take off i was getting offers to review some great products and my page views were rising all the time, it was crazy to think people other then just me were reading my blog.

Chloe turned 12
November was a brilliant month. Jacobs colic started to go away and he was like a different baby he stopped crying he was smiling and laughing and was such an easy baby to look after. I celebrated my 31st birthday with a nice meal at Prezzo and got lots of nice presents. We had a lucky month with Lee winning £1000 and then the same day i got an e-mail from Mumsnet to say that i had won £1300 worth of kitchen appliances! Blog wise November was a truly amazing month , i got to review more amazing products, i done my first sponsored post and was approached to be a Berry Clever partner and have started making money from my blog. I could also reveal that i had been a mother and baby magazine award tester this year. But the best thing was i got invited by Mothercare to be a one of there VIP bloggers at there Team Valley store re-opening, oh and i got to interview Myleene Klass for my blog , how amazing is that!

Jacob is getting big
December has been great too we celebrated Jacobs very first Christmas which was such a lovely family day and all three children were truly spoilt. It has been so nice to spend time with all three children while Chloe has been on holiday from school. My blog has gone from strength to strength and as it has grown so much lately and i have realised that I'm not the only one reading it! I have decided that i am now going to take my blogging more seriously and i am busy planning a whole new redesigned blog for this year and aim to actually post more often.

Sophia is now a proper little girl 
So 2014 was amazing i started the year pregnant and we welcomed baby Jacob into are family. We watched Sophia grow from a baby to a toddler. Chloe started high school and had an amazing holiday in Spain. I started this blog and have had some amazing oportunities through it.

Now i am excited to see what the new year brings for my blog and also for my family.This year will see my children continue to grow , Chloe will become a teenager. Sophia will turn two and potty training and nursery will begin for her. Jacob will turn one and i can not wait to watch him grow and we will be celebrating his christening next month. My maternity leave ends in march so i will be returning to work at some point this year. Hopefully my blog will grow and i am excited to attend Britmums live this year too. 2014 you were an amazing year and i am sad to see the back of you, but here is hoping that 2015 is just as brilliant. Happy new year everyone i hope 2015 is a good year for you all too.