My partner and teen are always playing games on their iPhones and are always telling me to download the latest games they are playing. I never do as I am not normally a fan of games on my phone as in the past I have been put off by the price of them, or the fact they can be stressful and so competitive as you race against the clock to complete a level. But there is a new game on the block called Crater Craft which is ideal for busy mums like myself who just want a gentle game to play to pass time whilst waiting to pick the kids up from school or the washer to finish.
Wednesday, 20 December 2017
Monday, 18 December 2017
With just a week to go until Christmas day, my children are so very excited and my son is even more excited after visiting Whitehouse Farms Winter Wonderland on Friday afternoon. If you are yet to see Santa or you are just looking for a fun festive day out that the whole family will enjoy in the days before Christmas then Whitehouse Farm is the place to visit.
As a family, we love Whitehouse Farm, I used to take my eldest when she was younger and now I take my younger two children. We visited a few times earlier this year, which you can read about here as it is just a ten-minute drive up the road from where we live and is somewhere that my children adore visiting. We have never visited at Christmas time before but have heard how great the Winter Wonderland is from friends who have visited in previous years.
Sunday, 17 December 2017
Last year my 4-year-old daughter Sophia went to the cinema to watch Trolls and she loved it, as soon as the film came out we bought it and she watched it non-stop. A year later she is still Trolls crazy and so are most of her friends, Trolls mania is still very much here. As Trolls was so popular a new DVD has been realised just in time for Christmas called Trolls Holiday, which is available to buy now for just £4.99. To celebrate we were sent a copy of the DVD and some great Trolls gifts that any fan will be sure to love.
We were sent
Last Friday we headed to the iconic Tyne Theatre and Opera House in the centre of Newcastle to watch this years pantomime production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. I love visiting the Tyne Theatre and Opera House as it is such a grand, beautiful, old building steeped in history and it is a joy to watch shows there. I have watched so many shows there over the years from shows when I was a child, to Fifi and the Flowertots when my eldest was little and more recently Ben & Holly Live with my younger children. I have not visited for a pantomime though I and was looking forward to the show after hearing great things about previous pantos. Unfortunately, my little two were unwell as they had a sickness bug so I attended the show with my teen and her friend instead.
Friday, 15 December 2017
As a woman in her mid-thirties (I am now 34) and a mum of three my body has changed so much over the years. In my mind, I still somehow think that I am in my mid-twenties and when I remind myself that actually, I am now 34 I feel a bit surprised as it sounds so grown up! Obviously, I know I am grown-up, I am a mum of three and my eldest is now 15-years-old, I have a house and bills to pay, I run my own business and I am planning my wedding. But sometimes I think we forget we are getting older, we might find the odd grey hair or realise we are going to bed earlier and no longer know all the songs in the charts but we brush these things off.
Sunday, 10 December 2017
We moved into our home exactly one year ago and when we moved I just stuck with the gas and electricity supplier that the old lady who lived here before us had. I always thought it would be a hassle to change so I just stuck with the current provider but over the past year, I have realised we spend a lot on our energy bill each month. We are spending £120 a month for gas and electric for our three-bed semi, which is a big expense. We do try and save energy wherever we can, we have energy saving light bulbs in every room and we turn things off when we are not using them but could I save money by switching providers?
Friday, 8 December 2017
You can't beat a family visit to the pantomime at this time of year and on Saturday we headed to Whitley Bay Playhouse to see this years production of Cinderella. As a family we love Whitley Bay Playhouse, it is not far from where we live and even though it is one of the smaller theatres in the region it is modern with comfortable seats and great views wherever you sit in the audience. We really enjoyed last years production of Aladdin and I did not think they would be able to top it, but they most definitely did.
Sunday, 3 December 2017
I love shopping for my teenage daughter, but as she is getting older I am finding it harder to buy for her as she is asking for less. This year she has asked for new clothes and trainers and an HP Sprokitt printer for photos off her phone. In my latest gift guide, I have a list of some gift ideas that teenage girls are sure to like this Christmas.
1.) Chip Mug
You can never be too old for Disney and Beauty and the Beast is such a classic that teens will adore, especially after the release of the live action version of the film earlier this year. This Chip mug is perfect for any Beauty and the Beast fan as he is adorable. Priced at £12.99 he is available to buy from Find Me A Gift.
Saturday, 2 December 2017
I always find shopping for the men in my family so hard, whenever I ask them what they want they always say they don't know. This year I am prepared and have decided to share with you all a few gifts for him that I think the men in my life will love this Christmas.
1.) Braun Electric Shaver
My other half has been asking for an electric razor and this Braun Series 3 electric razor will make the perfect gift. Designed to be tough on beards but smooth on skin. It has a five minute quick charge time which is suitable for one shave. It is priced at just £29.99 from Argos.
Friday, 1 December 2017
Now that it is the 1st of December and advent calendars are being opened, it really is starting to feel like Christmas. Everyone is planning festivities for themselves and their family, from decorating the tree, wrapping gifts, visiting family and friends and eating lots of yummy treats. But one thing that is often overlooked at this time of year when everyone is busy in the lead-up to the big day is keeping our four-legged friends happy too. Pets, especially dogs are such an important part of the family and it is good to keep their comfort in mind and prepare them so they can enjoy this magical time of year too.
Thursday, 30 November 2017
Today I am featuring a range of gifts for young boys in my latest Christmas gift guide. My little boy is three-years-old and every gift in this guide is suitable for children of a similar age to him. As he is only three all that he has asked for this year for Christmas is Pop out Pig game, so we have had to buy him gifts that we think he will like. I think that he will like every item in this gift guide and it includes a mix of toys, keepsakes and practical gifts.
1.) Personalised Bauble
This snowman Christmas bauble makes a lovely keepsake and the fact they are personalised makes them a lovely gift idea too. It is made from bone china and feels quite heavy and you can tell it is a quality item. They cost just £8.99 making them a really affordable gift too, you can buy this beautiful snowman bauble from www.giftpup.com
Monday, 27 November 2017
On Thursday we had such a busy morning, we had people around to discuss our upcoming renovation work, we had errands to run and some more Christmas shopping to get done. As we had been so busy we had totally forgotten about lunch and we were starving, I really did not feel like cooking so we decided to head to Toby Carvery as I was craving a roast dinner. We are big fans of Toby carvery, when I was pregnant with Sophia I used to visit weekly. We visit less often now we have the nursery and school routines to stick too, it has been a few months since we last visited so we were long overdue a visit.
Labels: Dining Out
Sunday, 26 November 2017
It has been exactly a year since we moved home now and the past year has flown over so quickly that it doesn't seem so long ago since we moved. We all love our current home and moving was the best thing that we have done, we have a much bigger home, in a nicer area and it is really close to the local primary school the children attend. Even though we have been here a year now and still have so much to do in our new home we felt settled and 'at home' within days of moving here. I truly feel that this is our forever, family home that our children will grow up in.
As we only moved a year ago the whole moving experience is still fresh in my mind and it was such a stressful time as we faced so many problems and setbacks along the way. One thing that you can do though to minimise stress and make things more straightforward is to get your home ready to sell before you start the moving process. Getting your home ready will make it much more appealing to prospective buyers and will hopefully mean you might sell a lot quicker and using an online estate agent such as hatched could also save you a lot of money too.
Friday, 24 November 2017
I find buying for the women in the family so easy as I normally just buy things that I like the look of myself. I would personally be happy with any of the products on this list myself (take note family!). Featuring a range of different products their should (hopefully) be a gift suitable for everyone in my Gifts For Her Gift Guide.
1.) Braun Silk Epil 9 Wet & Dry Epilator
This 4-in-1 epilation, exfoliation and skin care system is sure to leave her feeling pampered this festive season. With a wet and dry epilator to leave skin fuzz-free, a message pad to improve skin tone and exfoliation brush to leave skin silky smooth. It has an RRP of £165 but it is currently on offer at lots of retailers in the run-up to Christmas.
Thursday, 23 November 2017
This year my little girl Sophia is four and she is so very excited for Christmas, she decided what she wanted back in the summer and has asked for Toilet Trouble board Game, My Little Pony toys, Hatchimal collectables and a fingerling. I know lots of people - especially our family have struggled with what to buy for her this year though so I thought this gift guide might give those of you struggling with what to buy a young girl some ideas.
1.) Personalised Cuddle Buddy Teddy
This personalised Cuddle Buddy Teddy Bear is so soft and cuddly and makes a great gift for any child, no matter what their age. Available from www.giftpup.com he is sure to become my daughter's new bedtime companion. They have a range of different soft toys available with prices starting at just £12.99 and items are personalised and dispatched in just 24 hours.
Wednesday, 22 November 2017
This week I am joined by Naomi who blogs at Me Becoming Mum on Other Bloggers Family Lives. Naomi has a family blog all about life with her two little girls and family lifestyle topics. So let's find out more about the family behind Me Becoming Mum.
Tuesday, 21 November 2017
This year I am so excited for Christmas as it is the first year my little two (aged 3 & 4) have properly understood what Christmas is all about. They have already written their Christmas lists for Santa, they keep asking when we can put the Christmas tree up and they are amazed by the twinkling lights from the shopping centre decorations. They are so excited and each day they race downstairs in the morning asking if today is the day we can put our tree up. They truly believe in Father Christmas and the magic of Christmas and it is heartwarming to watch.
Monday, 20 November 2017
One of my favourite bloggers Hayley from Sparkles and Stretchmarks has just returned from a family cruise and after reading about her experience I really want to go on a family cruise myself. I have never been on a cruise before, to be honest, I always thought they were for older people and not for young families like mine. Over the past few years I have heard just how family friendly a cruise can be and as my partner is desperate to go on a cruising holiday I have been looking into them lately.
Saturday, 18 November 2017
Last year Newcastle's Eldon Square opened its new Grey's Quater which is home to a great variety of place's to eat and drink. Tucked away on the ground floor near the escalators is Crepe Affaire, a small and very modern looking Creperie serving a selection of sweet and savoury French crepes. This week Crepe Affaire is celebrating its first birthday in Eldon Square and to celebrate they will randomly be handing out vouchers for a free crepe to ten purchasing customers per day during its Birthday week (this week). They will also be handing out a free glass of prosecco to all customers who place a crepe order after 5pm this Thursday (23rd November) too.
Friday, 17 November 2017
Now that it is winter and the mornings are cold and frosty we have been starting the day with a nice warming bowl of Ready Brek each morning. I fondly remember having Ready Brek for breakfast when I was a child and now my own children enjoy it for breakfast too, especially my four-year-old daughter Sophia. Packed full of vitamins and minerals and only containing natural ingredients it is the perfect way to start the day before school. Plus it is super quick and easy for us parents to whip up in the morning too, bonus!
Thursday, 16 November 2017
Last week I was invited to McDonald's Silverlink to go behind the scenes and see what new changes they are making to the restaurants, and also to make my very own Big Mac! We were greeted at the store by franchisee Bill who was the 6th McDonald's franchise owner here in the UK and now has several branches here in the North East, including the Silverlink branch which has the busiest drive-thru in the North East. Bill employs over 600 people here in the North East, and funnily enough my partner actually worked for Bill and the store manager Simon many years ago when he was a teenager at the Silverlink branch.
Wednesday, 15 November 2017
This week on Other Bloggers Family Lives I am featuring Debbie who blogs at My Chaotically Eclectic Life. Debbie blogs about family life with an older child and two younger ones, just like me and she features days out in Yorkshire, reviews and crafts. So let's find out more about the family behind My Chaotically Eclectic Life.
Tuesday, 14 November 2017
A couple of weeks ago Cote Brasserie opened a new branch here in Newcastle, I was invited to the press night but unfortunately could not attend and luckily I was booked in for an evening meal a week later instead. Located in the former Barclays bank building on Grainger street you will find Cote Brasserie, and what a transformation it has been under. The building has been transformed with rustic, yet luxurious decor that almost makes you feel you are at a Parisian bistro and not in cold Newcastle.
|Photo via Cote Brasserie|
Monday, 13 November 2017
My little girl Sophia is 4-years-old and she loves playing with her dolls and pushing them around in her doll's pram. Now that she is getting older her current dolls pram is getting a bit small for her and we were thinking of buying her a new one for Christmas this year, then just like magic Play Like Mum got in touch and asked if we would like to review a Silver Cross Pioneer 5-in-1 doll's pram (perfect timing).
Sunday, 12 November 2017
In May we are off on our very first family holiday abroad as a family of five, my eldest daughter has been abroad lots of times (and has recently returned from another holiday) but my little two have never left the UK before. Now that they are getting a little older (3 and 4) and easier to manage we are really looking forward to taking them on lots of holidays to create some magical family memories. As a child I was really lucky that I used to go abroad twice a year, a two week family holiday in March and then a week last minute holiday every October. As we often holidayed out of season we often visited the Spanish Canary Islands as they have all year sunshine. I spent most of my teenage years holidaying in the Canaries and I have visited the main four islands numerous times.
Friday, 10 November 2017
Christmas is just around the corner and I don't know about you but sometimes I really struggle when looking for gift ideas for family and friends. One group of people I find especially hard to buy for is the grown-ups in our families, whenever we ask what they would like for Christmas they never ask for anything (especially my dad). Normally when I am unsure of what to buy people I will resort to food and drink gifts, as let's face it everyone enjoys a tasty treat at Christmas time. So here is a list of some great quality food and drink items that would make a great Christmas gift for the foodies in your life.
1.) Guylian Chocolates
I am a huge fan of Guylian chocolates, they are so yummy and feel like such a luxurious treat, making them perfect for a Christmas gift. The temptation bags are great as they come with lots of different flavours of wrapped seahorse-shaped Belgian chocolates and they are ideal for sharing. RRP £10.00
Wednesday, 8 November 2017
As a mum one thing that I love is buying clothes for my children, I think children clothes are just so cute. I love creating little outfits for my children and seeing them looking all smart, they are so much better dressed then I am. I am not a fan of shopping on the high-street for clothes for them as I much prefer shopping online, luckily my children wear clothes true to their age so this makes things easier.
Whilst browsing online recently for new winter outfits for my daughter Sophia (I am finding it so hard to find her a nice winter coat this year) I discovered Chocolate clothing. Founded in 2007 it is a luxury children clothing designer retailer selling top named brands. I don't normally buy designer clothing for my children but I do splash out on them from time to time for special occasions.
This week on Other Bloggers Family Lives I am featuring Trini who blogs at Trinimamabebe, which is a family lifestyle blog about life as a first-time mum, money saving and reviews. So let's find out more about the family behind Trinimamabebe.
Tuesday, 7 November 2017
Now that it is November everyone is starting to get ready for Christmas, I know I certainly am. I have started my Christmas shopping and I am hoping that I can get it finished by the end of this month (maybe that is wishful thinking) so that I can relax and enjoy the festivities that December brings. I like to try and be organised for Christmas but I often find myself holding out buying a lot of gifts until the end of November, to see if I can grab myself some Black Friday deals.
Monday, 6 November 2017
Now that it is November everywhere seems to be in full Christmas spirit, there are Christmas adverts on TV (Asda is my favourite so far), the shops are full of Christmas gifts and festive decorations are appearing in shops. My children are starting to get really excited, especially as it is the first year my little two properly understand what Christmas is about. All three of my children have already written their lists for Santa and we have some festive activities planned to get them in the festive spirit and I have about half of my Christmas shopping already done.
Saturday, 4 November 2017
I do love Christmas and now that it is November I am starting to think about gifts and getting organised for the big day. Every single year my partner mentions getting a Christmas hamper delivered as he remembers them from his childhood, I never end up getting a one as I always thought they would be expensive and full of items we would never use. So when Prestige Hampers got in touch and offered to send me a hamper I was keen to see if they were worth the money or not.
Friday, 3 November 2017
Last year Eldon Squares new grey's quarter opened which is home to a great range of dining options, one of these is Chaophraya Thai restaurant. Chaophraya is located on the top floor with wonderful views of the city below, I had heard great reviews but had never actually visited myself although I have visited sister restaurant Thaikhun in nearby Metrocenter many times. While Thaikhun has a very family-friendly, street-food type vibe to it Chaophraya has a more elegant and upmarket vibe, making it perfect for date night or a meal out with friends.
Thursday, 2 November 2017
I am so happy to see the back of October as it was an awful month for us, it was a month full of job uncertainty, money worries and yet more broken appliances. The other month our fridge died and this month our very expensive TV died (fingers crossed it can be fixed). It has also been a month full of illness, poor Sophia had a chest infection and was on antibiotics and then we all had the most horrific sickness bug over half-term, I am still recovering from it now a week later!
Even though the month was pretty rubbish compared to last month I still like to try and see the positive so let's have a look at some of the things that I loved in October.
Wednesday, 1 November 2017
This week on Other Bloggers Family Lives I am featuring Emma who blogs at The Money Whisperer. Emma blogs about a host of ways to make and save money and her blog is full of really useful tips on how to easily save money - something I really need to get better at as I am terrible at wasting money! So let's find out more about the family behind The Money Whisperer.
Tuesday, 31 October 2017
The last few days have been a bit of a disaster in our household, first we all started coming down with a sickness bug one by one making us housebound for half-term and then our TV broke! A broken TV is not what you need when you stuck at home with two young children to entertain while you are poorly, luckily we have managed to use one of the TV's from the bedroom for now until ours get fixed (fingers crossed).
Friday, 27 October 2017
Now that October is coming to an end the weather is getting colder and the nights darker it is really starting to feel like winter is coming. I love winter time as it means that Christmas is on its way! I am actually feeling rather organised this year for Christmas as we have about half of the children's gifts in and we have also made a start on our families gifts too. We have some festive family outings planned and we have even ordered our turkey from the local butchers for Christmas day lunch.
Now that my thoughts are turning to Christmas I also want to get our house in order for Christmas as I need to de-clutter and get organised for the fast-approaching holiday season. As you can imagine having three children means that we have a lot of stuff, mainly toys and I desperately need to sort and organise these before Santa delivers even more toys on Christmas day.
My three-year-old son Jacob and 4-year-old daughter Sophia are huge Nick Jr fans and one shows that they both adore watching on there is Blaze and the Monster Machines. They have been watching this show for about a year now and they watch it every, single day as they love it that much. If you are not familiar with the show it is about a boy called AJ who rides in a monster truck - Blaze who talks and goes on quests with AJ and his friends (who are also Monster trucks). On their adventures, they solve lots of problems which they encourage the children watching to get involved with (such as basic maths) and it is a fun way for them to learn. My children can often be heard shouting out the answers at the TV whilst watching Blaze.
We already have a few of the small Blaze and the Monster Machine trucks which the children got in their stockings last Christmas and they play with the little trucks all of the time. So when we were recently asked if we would like to review the new Fisher-Price Blaze and the Monster Machines Animal Island Stunts Speedway set I knew this would be a huge hit with both of them.
Thursday, 26 October 2017
Now that October is coming to an end the shops are starting to fill with Christmas items as everyone's thoughts turn to Christmas time. Christmas can be such an expensive time of year and some gifts can be so expensive, so when I was set a challenge by Sports Direct to find gifts for people for just £5 I wondered if this was even possible.
When I think of Sports Direct I never think of it being somewhere that you can buy gifts, I always thought it was somewhere to buy sportswear and trainers and is somewhere my partner buys football things from. I thought that I would have to buy gifts of sports socks and footballs but I was very wrong. Sports Direct actually sell a range of gifts for the whole family and even pets, which I was not expecting at all.
Wednesday, 25 October 2017
Welcome to another week of Other Bloggers Family Lives, this week I am featuring mum of three Kira who blogs at Unconventional Kira. Kira blogs and vlogs about family life with a teen, a primary school aged child and a baby. So let's find out more about the family behind Unconventional Kira.
Monday, 23 October 2017
My little girl Sophia is a typical little four-year-old girl and she is really into dolls and babies, she has a collection of dolls that she loves to play with. She also really, really likes water play so when we were recently sent a Baby Born Musical Foaming Bathtub to review I knew that this would be a toy she would love.
Friday, 20 October 2017
Every year Sunderland have an illuminations event (from the 5th October to 5th November), where Roker Park is transformed into an illuminated wonderland that both adults and children will enjoy. Every single year we say that we will take the children but we never get around to it as we keep hearing how bad the traffic and parking is. So when I was recently invited to enjoy a family day out on the Tyne & Wear Metro I knew that a trip to Sunderland Illuminations would be the perfect day out that the whole family would enjoy.
Wednesday, 18 October 2017
This week on Other Bloggers Family Lives I am featuring Emma who lives in the Middle East and writes about all of the travels her globetrotting family go on. So let's find out more about the family behind Wanderlust and Wet Wipes.
Tuesday, 17 October 2017
My little boy Jacob recently turned three and he adores trains, he loves travelling on trains and the Metro (which we have in Tyneside) and playing with toy trains. We have a plastic Thomas train set and a few Thomas trains which he adores but we don't have any wooden sets. So when Brio got in touch and asked if we would like to review the Brio Metro railway set I thought this might be something he would enjoy playing with.
Monday, 16 October 2017
Back in May, we went on a little mini-break to Haven Berwick caravan site in Northumberland, about an hour away from Newcastle. We were not going to have a holiday this year as we moved late last year and we knew we would not be able to afford a holiday so we booked a little UK min break instead. We booked about six weeks in advance on the Haven website and for a four-night mid-week break in an upgraded three bedroom deluxe caravan, it was only around £160 for the five of us.
Wednesday, 11 October 2017
Welcome to this week's Other Bloggers Family Lives, this week I am featuring Ross who is a first-time dad who blogs about life with a baby and offers lots of advice to fellow dads. So let's find out more about the family behind Isablog.
Tuesday, 10 October 2017
When I was a child my Mam was always baking and cooking up a storm in the kitchen, she came from a family of bakers and she made everything from scratch. I used to love helping her cook when I was a child, I would help prepare meals and she would always let us make jam tarts with the leftover pasty if she had been making pies and quiches. Some of the happiest memories I have of my mum and my childhood are of baking with her, I used to love helping out and creating yummy treats.
Sunday, 8 October 2017
It seem's like such a long time ago since I wrote August's update, as so much has happened in the last few weeks. Life has been so busy with lots of changes to our routine and family life, mainly as the little two started school and nursery school. September was also a busy month with lots of adventures and family time so let's have a look at what we got up to.
This week has been a total disaster in our household, everything that could go wrong pretty much has gone wrong and I have never felt so stressed out before, as we have received some bad news. As someone who suffers from anxiety, I have been so worried and not sleeping or eating and just not myself at all. Typically when we are having a bad week the children become unwell, first Sophia became ill and is off school and on antibiotics and inhalers for a chest infection, then Jacob came down with a cold and sore throat. Both children being unwell has meant that I have got no work done and even less sleep than normal, as I have been sharing a bed with a poorly Sophia for most of the week.
Saturday, 7 October 2017
My 4-year-old daughter Sophia is My Little Pony crazy at the moment, she watches it non-stop on TV and she has asked for My Little Pony everything for Christmas. We recently reviewed the My Little Pony Canterlot & Seaquestria Castle playset, which Sophia adores and we were also very lucky to also be sent a My Magical Princess Twilight Sparkle pony to review too. Both of these toys have been brought out to coincide with the My Little Pony Movie which is due in cinemas for October half term, which we can not wait to go and see.
Friday, 6 October 2017
My little girl Sophia love's playing doctors and playing with baby dolls, we were sent a Cicciobello Love n Care doll recently that combines both of these things, much to Sophia's delight. Cicciobello Love n Care is a lifelike doll that children will love caring for, he cries and his cheek's flush and it is up to children to find out what is wrong with him and help him feel better with the help of the range of accessories that he comes with.