Sunday, 28 February 2016

Things I Loved In February

I know that everyone says this but I can not believe that February is almost over! As you all may know I have been suffering from depression and anxiety since I had my little man a year and a half ago and I am slowly starting to feel more like me again. However I know that in order to start feeling happier in myself I need to start making some time for myself instead of always focusing on my children, this blog and housework. So I have decided that at the end of each month I will write a little post of all the things that I have loved that month.

So here is a few things that I have been loving in February 2016.

1.) Reading, before I had my little two children I adored reading and would read at least one new book per week. Every evening I would relax with a bubble bath and a good book which I would devour in a few days. Ever since I was a young child I have loved reading, I love nothing more then getting lost in a new book and find it the perfect way to relax. As I want to have more 'me' time this year I knew that I wanted to start reading again and I have been reading this amazing book from Mumsnet book club called The Forgetting Time (full review coming soon), which I read in an evening as I just could not put it down.


Friday, 26 February 2016

Thinking About Hiring A Car

I will hold my hands up and admit that when it comes to car's I am completely and utterly useless and don't know the first thing about them. I am lucky that my dad use to be an AA patrol man before retiring last year so anything car related I can just turn to him to sort out. 

However one thing that I do know is that finding the right car can be hard work at times, I have heard countless times of friends buying cars they regret as they have realised that it is not big enough for their needs or they just don't enjoy driving it. I have also heard of so many friends who have brought from independent sellers and then been faced with countless faults and been left with high fees to fix things. 

Bedtime Tips Plus Your Chance To Win A Hamper

Regular readers will know that my 18 month old son is not the best sleeper and has only recently started sleeping all night. I have been very sleep deprived this last year and know oh so well that a bad nights sleep makes me a very grumpy mummy. We really have tried every sleep tip and trick out there with are little man and soon realised that what works for one baby won't necessarily work for another, as everyone is different.

This is a sentiment shared by Bed Guru an online bed retailer who understand that no two people share the same sleep requirements and that a good nights sleep means a happier, healthier and more focused you. This is all well and good but as many parent knows sleep when you have young children can become something we sorely lack. I bet if you asked a group of parents what they miss most since having children quiet a few would say sleep.


Thursday, 25 February 2016

Decorating And Organising A School Locker

My eldest daughter is in secondary school and has her own school locker that she uses to store her coat and bag in during the school day. I think this is a great idea as I never had lockers when I was in high school and I use to have to carry my coat and bags around every lesson with me. I remember watching American high school TV shows like 'Saved By The Bell' and 'Sabrina The Teenage Witch' and always feeling a little envious they had really cool decorated school lockers. 

Aches And Pains After Having Children

This time three years ago I was six months pregnant with my middle child and had just been signed off work on the sick due to mobility problems. I was suffering from pelvic girdle pain which was made worse by the fact that I am hypermobile, I could barely walk and was in constant pain as I was also suffering from sciatica. I was referred for physio which did not help at all and was basically just told to cope with the pain until my baby was born, as it would disappear after birth. 

Do You Ever Want To Pause Time ?

Every single parent that I know always says they can not believe how quick their children grow up, that time seems to speed up when you are a parent. I know this all to well as my eldest is thirteen! An actual fully fledged teenager with a mind of her own. To me she is still my baby though as I still think of her as my little girl. My little two children are grown up too and I no longer have a baby in the house but now have two very strong willed little toddlers, who will be off to school and teenagers themselves before I know it no doubt.

My children are grown up and changing right before my very eyes and whilst it is so lovely watching them grown, learn, develop new skills and discover the world around them I sometimes just want to pause time, right now this second. I want to keep them this age forever, still young and innocent with emerging personalities which is a joy to watch each day. 


Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Exercising At Home

Regular readers will be aware by now that I have been trying to eat healthy in a bid to lose my baby weight once and for all. I have actually managed to lose some weight but I am not losing it as quickly as I would like to. Although I do hold my hands up and admit that I do sometimes still eat the odd take-away or bar of chocolate now and then, but lets face it life is too short to deprive yourself of yummy foods all the time. 

I have been thinking even though I eat healthy the majority of the time, I really do need to start doing some regular exercise to build my fitness up and to help me in my bid to lose weight. I know that if I want to improve my overall health and well being then exercising is key. Exercise will not only help with my weight loss mission but it will also help to lower my risk of certain illness and disease and help me build stronger muscles.


Other Bloggers Family Lives Featuring Wonderfully Average

Welcome to week two of my new guest post series Other Bloggers Family Lives. After the success of last weeks post featuring the lovely Sam from North East Family Fun I am delighted to introduce another blog that I enjoy reading which is Wonderfully Average. I only discovered this blog written by Helen a few months ago but I love reading about her little boy T and all about her pregnancy with baby number two. 

So lets find out more about the family behind Wonderfully Average.


Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Run-Along Twirlywoos Review

Having two toddles I am very aware of pre-school TV shows and my children certainly have their favourites. Jacob is a huge Mr Tumble fan and Sophia has recently became rather fond of the Twirlywoos, who I first heard of last June when I attended Britmums live. The Twirlywoos have their own show on Cbeebies and are made up of Great BigHoo, Toodloo, Chickedy and Chick. It is such a fun show that captivates my little twos imagination and makes them laugh out loud whenever it is on. 

Since launching last year the show has became a huge success and Golden Bear toys have recently brought out some new Twirlywoo toys, Sophia (aged 2) was lucky enough to be sent a one to see what she thought. We were sent a Run-Along Chickedy toy and from the moment Sophia seen it she was in love and could not wait to get it out the box and play with it. 

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Slimming World Update

I started this year off full of good intentions of finally losing weight once and for all. I had been following the Slimming World diet last year and had managed to lose almost two stone (1 stone 13lbs ) and then Christmas got in the way and of course I ate way to many chocolates and treats and inevitability gained weight. I decided that as it was a new year I would start a fresh with Slimming world and rejoined with a clean slate, with the promise of blogging my weight loss journey every week. 

I got off to a good start with an impressive 5.5lb weight loss in my first week which I was overjoyed at. However the next week I gained 1lb thanks to 'star week' aka that time of the month when I gorge on carbs and chocolate, I was expecting it though and was not at all bothered. I left my group feeling full of determination that I would stick to plan 100 % and have a fantastic weight loss the following week. 

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Other Bloggers Family Lives Featuring North East Family Fun

Welcome to the first post in my new blog series called Other Bloggers Family Lives. I mentioned last week that I was starting this series and I have had an amazing response so far, thank you to everyone who has agreed to take part. Each Wednesday I am hoping to feature a blogger who will answer a few questions about their family and where they live, a way to find out more about some of my favourite bloggers and also to hopefully help you find some new blogs to read. 

I am pleased to have Sam from North East Family Fun as my first blogger featured in this series as she is one of the reasons I actually started blogging in the first place. I have known Sam for years and she is just as nice and friendly in real life as she comes across on her blog, we actually use to sit together in high school and we grew up in the same town. It was through Sam's blog that I discovered pregnancy blogs and decided to start my own blog when I was pregnant myself. 

North East family Fun is a really popular blog that is full of loads of great ideas for family days out here in the North East and beyond. Sam is always on social media where she is always happy to help others out and she has even started her own social media management business, as well as running two blogs and being a mum to three children. I honestly don't know how she manages to do it all!

 Here is a little more about the family behind North East Family Fun. 

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Hug Olaf Finger Puppet Book Review

This month as part of the Parragon book buddies scheme we were sent an Olaf finger puppet book called Hug Olaf! Like most young children my one and two year old adore Frozen, so when this book arrived they were thrilled with it and could not wait to get their hands on it.

The book is called Hug Olaf and it a is a small hard backed book with card pages, making it perfect for little ones. It is just the right size for little hands to hold and it has a really cute and soft padded Olaf finger puppet built into it, which my children instantly fell in love with, let's face it who doesn't love Olaf ? 


Sunday, 14 February 2016

To The Parent Whose Baby Does Not Sleep.

To the parent who's baby does not sleep. 

I bet if you are reading this you are exhausted from yet another sleepless night, I bet you have bags under your eyes and are surviving on caffeine to get you through the day. I bet you are wondering when you will ever get a full nights sleep again and are busy counting down the hours until bedtime and keeping your fingers and toes tightly crossed that tonight might be the night that your baby actually sleeps all night.


Saturday, 13 February 2016

The Fog Is Lifting

As bloggers we share so much of are lives online, we share are hopes and dreams and are feelings. However something that I have not really shared on this blog, or in fact very much in real life was that after the birth of my son seventeen months ago I have suffered from PND. I hid the fact that I was suffering for so long and just got on with things, I had no other option but to just carry on as I have three children to care for. I didn't want people to know about it to be honest as it was something I did not want to face up to and talk about.

I was in denial for a long time that anything was wrong, it took months and months for me to open up and admit that actually I was not coping and that I was so unhappy. Looking back now I think that I started feeling depressed pretty much straight away after Jacob's birth, I felt out of my depth with three children especially with my youngest two only being 14 months apart. Jacob was such a demanding baby screaming non stop from the moment he woke until the moment he slept due to colic and reflux, he also use to wake every hour during the night. I was exhausted and I felt isolated and alone stuck at home all day every day with two small children.

Friday, 12 February 2016

Lunch At The Northside Diner Fenwicks

Once a month I always make sure that I spend at least one day with each of my three children, my teen loves having one on one time with me. I think she sometimes gets a bit sick of having her little brother and sister around and she likes having my undivided attention. Now that she is thirteen she likes to chose what we do on are days together, they mainly consist of either a trip to the cinema or music concert or a day shopping in Newcastle with lunch somewhere she picks. 

One place that we have visited a few times now over the years, that my teen loves is the Northside diner located in Fenwicks. The Northside Diner is a 1950's style American diner serving typical American style diner foods of burgers, hotdogs and milkshakes. It is located on the third floor, in the toy department of Fenwicks right in the heart of the city centre. 

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

The Class Book Review & Giveaway

Regular readers will know that I am a real bookworm and adore reading, it is something that I have loved ever since I was a small child. I am hoping that my little two children inherit my love of books as my eldest has no interest at all, I have been making such an effort to read to them often and buy them lots of books which they both love. Every afternoon we snuggle up on the sofa and read a book together, my one year old loves the pictures and my two and a half year old loves anything that rhymes.

So when I was recently sent a copy of 'The Class', a wonderfully illustrated children's book that teaches the alphabet whilst also being a rhyming book, I knew my children would love it. My one year old loves the illustrations and also seemed to enjoy the rhyming story as he sat still and listened to the story, instead of wriggling and constantly trying to grab the book. My two year old also loved this book as she goes to nursery and this book is set in a classroom so she enjoyed looking at the pictures.


Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Mens Trespass Braxton Jacket Review

The weather here in Newcastle is always cold and wet at this time of year and we always have to wrap up very warm to venture outdoors. So when Trespass got in contact recently and asked if we would like to review an item from their website I thought that it was perfect timing, as it seems to have rained non stop for weeks. 

After browsing the men's Trespass Jackets, which I have to mention is super easy to navigate and stocks an impressive range of products for the whole family. I finally decided on a winter jacket for my other half as he often leaves for work at 5am and was in need of a new waterproof jacket. After much debating I finally settled on the Braxton Men's waterproof jacket in black, it also comes in blue or green and in a range of sizes ranging from xxs to xxl.


Monday, 8 February 2016

My New Guest Series

For a long time now I have wanted to start a guest series on my blog, basically where I make up some questions and then another bloggers answers them and I share the answers on this little blog of mine. I thought that it would be a great way for my readers to find new blogs to read and also lets face it we are all a little bit noisy and it would be a great way at finding out more about people. 

Ages ago I had the idea of setting up a feature all about others bloggers family lives, a way to find out where they live and what their family life is like. I thought that it would work as my blog is obviously called Newcastle Family Life and it would be nice too see what other bloggers lives around the country are like too. I have been putting off setting this series up for ages as

1.) I was not sure what questions to ask. 
2.) I don't have a little logo/badge like most series do and 
3.) I was terrified nobody would take part. 

Learning New Skills With NCC Home Learning

Since having my youngest two children I have became a stay at home parent, something I know I am lucky to be able to do. However I really miss working, I miss learning and earning and making a difference, as I use to work in adult mental health and special needs social care. I spent years studying towards a degree in social care and mental health before getting my job and even whilst I was working I was always having to learn and go on courses for safeguarding, first aid and health and safety as legislation's were constantly changing. I also completed an NVQ and learnt makaton, I loved learning and always found great satisfaction in completing courses and getting qualifications. 

I would love to return to work but having two young children and a partner who works shifts means that I simply can not return to my old role as the hours were long, I was often working 14 hour shifts and getting called in on my days off. I even got called into work on Christmas day a few years ago which is not great when you have children. I have also found that full time childcare for two children under three would be so expensive and really not worth my while returning to work. 

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

HIPP #MilkMoments Plus Win A HiPP Organic Follow-On Milk Hamper

This time last year I was starting to wean my son who was six months old, it honestly feels like it was yesterday and not a whole year ago! I remember being so nervous about weaning him as his older sister had been really difficult to wean and point blank refused everything we gave her, she is still a fussy eater now and she is almost three. Weaning my baby boy was a whole new experience as he loved it and took to it like a duck to water, which was no surprise as he had loved his milk and was a bit of hungry horris at times and food was something he eagerly took too.

When HiPP got in contact recently to ask me about my memories of  weaning my son Jacob I knew I had to share my experience as it was such a pleasant one. Now that my babies are no longer babies and are little toddlers thinking back to a year ago makes me feel incredibly broody, I wish I had of cherished those baby days a bit more.


Monday, 1 February 2016

January 2016

I love when I sit down each month to write a monthly round-up of the month gone by, a way to record what are life was like and something to look back on in years to come. I know I say this every single month but it really does not seem so long ago that I sat down and wrote about what December had been like for us. Most people seem to dislike January but I actually quite like it, sure it is cold and the weather is miserable and everyones bank balance is looking a little bleak after the excess of Christmas. I on the other hand love January! it is the start of a new year and it is generally a quiet and relaxing month, which I think is needed after the craziness that is Christmas. 

Anyway lets have a little look at what January was like for myself and my family. I have hardly taken any photos at all this month so excuse the lack of pictures.