Sunday, 31 January 2016

The Three Little Pigs Book Review

The three little pigs is such a classic fairy tale that I remember fondly from my own childhood, it use to be one of my favourite bedtime stories. So when I was sent a gorgeous hardback slide and see copy, as part of the Parragon book buddies scheme I was overjoyed and was really looking forward to introducing it to my little two children. 

The book itself is rather thick and hard backed making It perfect for babies and toddlers to grab a hold of. I love books like these as they survive little ones chewing on them and as the pages are made of thick card they can't be ripped either, which is always a worry when you have young children. As with all the Parragon books we have read the illustrations are gorgeous and really bring the story to life. 

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Slimming World Syn Free BBQ Slow Cooked Pulled Pork - Recipe

Every weekend I have decided to share a recipe of a meal that I have loved whilst on the Slimming World plan. When I am eating healthier I sometimes get bored of eating the same meals over and over, so I have been making sure I try out a few new recipes each week. Last week I shared my chicken fajita recipe and this week I made BBQ pulled pork in my slow cooker, it was syn free and delicious. 

sw friendly meal idea

Friday, 29 January 2016

The Boot Buying Bible

Before children I loved shoes and boots and built up quiet a collection, every pay day I would go to town and buy a new pair. Most of the ones I brought I only wore once or twice as I had that many 'going out' pairs. Each autumn I would treat myself to a nice pair of boots that would see me though the Autumn and winter and which I would wear most days to work. So when I was shown this info graphic by Jones Bookmaker, which is full of interesting facts about boots I just had to share it. 

Falling Back In Love With Blogging

I first set this blog up to simply record my third pregnancy and my children's childhood, a sort of online journal really. I wanted something I could look back on in years to come, somewhere my children could look back on and see how loved they were and the adventures we had together. I had no idea that bloggers were paid to write content, that brands sent bloggers things to review and I had no idea how blogging really worked. I just decided on a whim one day to start a blog, which if I am honest looked pretty terrible back them. I did not care though as I simply blogged for me, I never in a million years thought anyone would read about my family life as quiet frankly I am pretty boring if the truth be told. 

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Tasty Toddler Treats - Yogurt Drops

Being a mum to two toddlers I know that sometimes they can be really picky with foods and enjoy a snack most days. I am trying to lead a healthier lifestyle and I am hoping my healthy eating rubs off on my children and I am careful with what snacks I give them to eat, as lets face it crisps and sweets may well taste nice but they can be full of salt and sugar. One healthy snack that my one year old enjoys is yogurts, however he likes to feed himself and is very messy (think in his hair, over his clothes and all over his face), so the only time I let him have yogurts is before his bath. 

Monday, 25 January 2016

The Playground Mafia Book Review

I was recently sent The Playground Mafia Book by Clare Christian and Elisabeth Kent, as this months Britmums Book club book of the month. This is a small light hearted easy to read book that you can just easily dip in and out of whenever you fancy. The book is broken up into around 30 short profiles of the types of parents you may find in the school playground.

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Slimming World Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas Recipe

Regular readers will know that I am now back on my Slimming World diet in a bid to lose weight once and for all. When I have followed the Slimming World plan before I always stuck to the same meals so this time I have decided to try out lots of new recipes, so that I don't get bored and turn to unhealthy foods. This week I decided to dust off my trusty slow cooker and make some Slimming World style syn free chicken fajitas and thought I would share my recipe. 

slimming world fajita recipe

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Slimming World Weigh In Two

I originally planned on posting all my Slimming World updates on a Wednesday, but as always life got in the way and I have only just found the time to sit down and write this now. After my amazing 5.5lb first weeks weigh in last week I was full of determination to lose 1.5lb this week and get my first half stone award. I sat down and meal planned and was all set for a good week but all my good intentions went out the window this week. 

This week was star week, basically that time of the month, I know sorry for to much information. I have tried losing weight so many times before in the past and I know that whenever it is star week I put weight on before losing it the following week. I gained 1lb which although was a little disappointing was something that I was expecting as I know what my body is like. 

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

The Book Of You Review

The new year is always filled with the promise of new years resolutions as people vow to break bad habits and form new healthier or better ones instead. Now we are a few weeks into the new year most people will have given up on those resolutions already, I know that personally this is what normally happens to me. Making changes to your lifestyle is a big deal and for some people making big changes all in one go can be hard work and seem a bit daunting and this is why they fail. 

So when I heard about The Book Of You, a book that focuses on the little small things that can help improve your life rather then making big changes all in one go. 

Friday, 15 January 2016

Slimming World Weigh In One

Regular readers will Know that last year I joined Slimming World as I had gained a lot of weight (4 stone to be exact) since having my son. I have never really been the skinny type and have always been a bit overweight and my weight has yo-yoed over the years, but gaining that extra four stone really got me down as none of my clothes fitted and I just did not feel very good about myself any more.

 I knew I had to do something about my weight so I joined Slimming World, a diet plan that I had used in the past and that I knew worked without having to count calories and starve myself. I went on to lose almost 2 stone (1 stone 13lbs) over the few months I was following the plan, but I started missing groups and seemed to lose and gain the same few pounds every few weeks. I honestly think that it was just not the right time for me to lose weight as my youngest was not sleeping and after over a year of sleepless nights I was exhausted, I lost all my motivation and often found myself reaching for the chocolate and crisps for comfort.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Epson EcoTank ET-4500 Printer Review

Working from home on this blog and having a teenage daughter who is forever printing things off for her homework means that we use a printer a lot. My old printer was pretty rubbish if I am honest as it took ages to set up, having to plug cables in and we could only use it on the one laptop. We use to spend a fortune on ink cartridges as well as every couple of months we seemed to need to buy new ones. 

So when Epson got in contact to ask if I would like to review one of their Eco Tank printers, which can save you up to 70 % off your printing costs I knew this would be the perfect printer for are family. The Epson EcoTank printers come with up to two years worth of ink supplied, which is enough to print 4,000 black pages and 6,500 coloured pages. You get four bottles of ink included with the printer and you simply fill the printers refillable ink tank with them, they fit so much more ink then a regular cartridge could and their is no hidden extra costs. 

Monday, 11 January 2016

A look Back On Jacob's Weaning Journey With Vital Baby

This time last year my youngest child Jacob was almost five months old and we decided to wean him a little earlier then recommend on the advice of are health visitor, as he was suffering from colic and reflux and was such a big hungry baby. As he was only almost five months old we started off weaning him on baby rice before slowly introducing baby porridge and then fruit and vegetable purees and lastly finger food.  

Jacob loved his food and weaning him was such a lovely experience, when he was ten months old we were invited to be part of the #WeaningWarriors team by Vital baby and I wrote about the start of are weaning journey. I wrote about how we started Jacobs weaning journey and how he was at the stage where he was starting to eat family meals, I also shared some expert weaning tips from Dr Rana Conway.


Friday, 8 January 2016

December 2015

Each month I like to write a little round-up type post of the month gone by, a way to record and remember what we have been up to as a family. I love writing these posts as I hope that someday my children will read them and they will help them remember their childhoods. I normally write these posts on the 1st of the month but with Christmas and new year I am a bit out of the swing of things blogging wise and I am so behind with posts, please bear with me the next few weeks whilst I catch up. 

It seems so long ago since I wrote Novembers update which was a lovely month for myself and my family, so lets have a look at what December was like for us. Firstly sorry for the lack of photos as I took hardly any over Christmas and the ones I have taken are special ones that I want to keep just for us. 

Personal Life.

Most of December was taken up with Christmas gift shopping, wrapping presents, writing Christmas cards and the general craziness that is Christmas. We did have a few nice days out though we took Sophia and Jacob to visit Santa, it was a bit of a disaster though as poor Sophia was terrified of him. Chloe also went to see Metro radio Christmas live at the arena where she watched acts such as Olly Murs and Nathan Sykes performe. 

Christmas was magical this year, we spent Christmas eve at home watching festive films before having a Chinese take away for tea (a must on Xmas eve) followed by baths and new PJ's all round. A glass of milk and mince pie was left out for Santa, along with a carrot for Rudolph and a scattering of magic reindeer dust was left on the driveway to help the reindeer find their way. 

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Blog Goals For 2016

This time last year I wrote about my blog and personal goals for the year ahead and this year I have decided to do the same. Yesterday I blogged about my personal goals for the year ahead and today I am sharing the things that I hope to achieve on my blog this year too. 

Blog wise last year I wanted to post more often which I achieved, although not as often as I would have liked. I wanted to take better photos, this is very much a work in progress still as I have so much to learn photography wise. I also planned to comment on other blogs more, I do actually do this when I have the time. I wanted to take part in more linkys, I did this for a while but realised that I was spending so much time commenting on other blogs and hardly getting any back in return so I stopped taking part in them. I wanted to grow my social media channels which I have done as I have more then doubled all of my followers on every channel. I wanted to learn to use Pinterest which I have a little as it is now my biggest source of Traffic to my blog but I plan on working on it a lot more this year. I wanted to redesign my blog which happened in November and I wanted to go to Britmums Live which I did back in June thanks to my sponsor MAM. Lastly I wanted to have fun with my blog which I defiantly did. 

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Personal Goals For 2016

This time last year I wrote two posts about my blog and personal goals for the year ahead, this year I have decided to do the same. I have been reading though last years personal goals and I am more or less making the exact same goals again for this year, as I failed on nearly all of them.

In 2015 my personal goals were to lose weight, be a better cook, get organised, move home, get a new job, have more fun as a family, spend more time with my partner, make more time for myself, not get pregnant and have fun. Well I did join Slimming World and lost 2 stone, although I gained half a stone of that at the end of the year. I'm still not organised and we still have not moved house, work wise I did quit my job after maternity leave and I now earn a part time income from this blog, meaning I am now self employed. I did spend time with my partner but not as much as I would have liked but I totally failed on making more time for myself. We did manage to have more fun as a family now the little two are getting bigger which was nice and I did not get pregnant, yay! Most importantly of all we did actually have fun during the year. 

Monday, 4 January 2016

Teenage Girl Bedroom Ideas

Regular readers will probably know by now that we are planning on moving home this year, as are current home is just not big enough for are family. I am really excited about moving as I am so looking forward to creating a home perfect for are family. One room that I am most looking forward to transforming is a bedroom for my teenage daughter. 

At the moment her room is fairly plain and boring, after browsing online I have decided to really make her room special. Teenagers are notoriously messy so I am hoping that if we create a nice space for her she may even keep her new bedroom tidy, or maybe that is just wishful thinking ? 

I want to create somewhere that is slightly grown up but still fun and girly, with plain walls that can be easily transformed as she grows, but with lots of fun prints and girly accessories and splashes of colour. I do not want the room to be too grown up as she is only 13, but I want to create a room that will easily grow with her over the next few years.

Modern nursery/kids room by ELEMENTY—Pracownia Architektury Wnętrz
                                                              by ELEMENTY—Pracownia Architektury Wnętrz

Sunday, 3 January 2016

My 10 Most Popular Posts Of 2015

Now that it is a new year I thought that I would share my 10 most popular blog posts of the year gone by (excluding giveaways). For the last few month's I kind of feel like I have lost my way with blogging and was unsure of what direction this blog was heading in. So instead of listing my ten favourite posts of the year gone by like I did last year, I decided to see which were my most popular posts and this has helped me to decided what direction I will be taking this blog over the next few months.

I am really surprised with my ten most popular posts as some of them I honestly never expected to do as well as they have done, whilst other posts I really expected to be here are not. So let's have a look at my most popular posts from 2015.

1.) Slow Cooker Slimming World Campfire Stew Recipe. 

I never expected this post to do well at all, I was just trying out some new recipes and decided to post about slow cooker campfire stew, as I fancied featuring a recipe for a change. This post literally took me about 15 minutes to write up and I have hardly promoted it at all, but the views have went crazy. This post was on Pinterest before I had even joined Pinterest as someone else had pinned it. I still get hundreds of views every single day from Pinterest and Google for this recipe a year later, which is crazy. I only wish all of my blog posts got as many hits as this one as it gets thousands of hits each month.


A Day Out With Pampers Baby Dry Pants

Back at the end of November I wrote a post about how Pampers were sending us on a day out with Jacob to test out their baby dry pants and take part in the Pampers happiness challenge. We were offered a day out at Peppa Pig world but obviously living in Newcastle it was too far for us to travel too, so we planned a trip to visit Santa at Beamish instead.

The weather in the North East has been awful these last few weeks and every time we planned are day out it rained. So the week before Christmas we decided to just try the Pampers baby dry pants on a regular day out instead. We decided to do some Christmas shopping, visit Santa and have some lunch, a perfectly normal family day out that when you have little ones can often result in lots of nappy changes along the way.