Thursday, 31 December 2015

Goodbye 2015

I know that everyone says this but I can not believe that today is the very last day of 2015, it really seems to have flown over so quickly. I still remember writing about saying goodbye to 2014 last year and looking back on what an amazing year we had experienced in 2014, with the birth of our youngest child. 2015 has been a nice year, I would not say that anything remarkable has happened, in fact, I would go as far as describing it as quiet, as nothing major happened, nothing bad happened either which is always good though. 

So what was 2015 like for me and my family? I love how I have this blog which records all the special moments in our family life and helps me remember the year gone by. 

January was a really quiet month for us as we were adjusting to life with Jacob who was four months old and still crying and unsettled with colic. Life was manic with two under twos so I did not blog much as I was always exhausted. We did not do much as a family either if I am honest, that is always the way in January though isn't it as every one's bank balance is looking a bit bleak after Christmas. 

white and blue train christening cake
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Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Merry Christmas

Well tomorrow is Christmas Eve, does anyone else think that Christmas has come around so quickly this year? It really seems to have crept up as I can still vividly remember last Christmas. All my children' presents are in and wrapped, the food shop has been done, we are ready to wave goodbye to Buddy the elf  (even though I forgot to move him half the time) and I just have a few last minute bits to do tomorrow and then we are all ready for the big day. 

I am so excited to spend Christmas with my not so little family, tomorrow shall be spent watching Christmas films, eating a Chinese takeaway and wearing new PJ's. I am so looking forward to seeing my children's faces on Christmas morning when they realise "He has been". I think Sophia will be so excited this year now that she is two, and Jacob will be old enough to open his own gifts this year. We will be visiting our local Indian restaurant with family again for Christmas lunch, as we do every year. I know that sounds a bit strange but we have done it for the last five or so years now, we eat curry too in case you were wondering. 

elf on the shelf on christmas tree
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Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Winter Beauty Tips From Emma Willis And Gillette Venus

Finding time to spend on a beauty regime is practically non-existent now I am a mum of three, long gone are the days I use to spend hours pampering myself for nights out. Even though I am short on time I do still like to make a little bit of an effort with my appearance, but like most women, I find that I make less effort than normal in the winter. As let's face it we are all nice and cosy in warm jumpers and too busy eating our own body weight in chocolates and mince pies at this time of year to worry things like shaving our legs and spending time on beauty treatments (or maybe that is just me). 

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Monday, 21 December 2015

Win Tickets To The North East Wedding Show

It is no secret that me and the other half often talk about getting married. We both know it is something that we want but we have never actually gotten around to planning things yet, plus we have yet to make things official with a ring or proposal yet. To be honest I can not really see it happening anytime soon. For those of you lucky enough to have received a proposal over the festive period, or who are already engaged or planning a wedding then I have details about the North Easts best wedding show, plus a giveaway where you could win a pair of tickets to the event.

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Friday, 18 December 2015

Sylvanian Families Gift Guide

Regular readers will know that we are Friends of Sylvanian Families, my two girls love Sylvanians and I do too as they are such a timeless toy that reminds me of my own childhood. Now that Christmas is just a week away I thought that I would share with you a few of my favourite Sylvanian products, just in case you still have some shopping to do.

Sylvanians make such a lovely Christmas gift that will bring hours of fun. My eldest was Sylvanian mad a few years ago and we have so many families and sets all ready for her younger sister to play with, they last so well and still look brand new. No matter what your budget you are sure to find something in the range that would make a fantastic gift as prices start at just £4.99.

 So here is a quick look at my favourite Sylvanian Families items.

sylvanian

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Thursday, 17 December 2015

Stay Hydrated This Winter With Robinsons

In the summer I drink so much water to keep me feeling cool and refreshed on warm summer days, however in the winter I am guilty of rarely drinking any. Now that the weather is colder the idea of a cold glass of water does not appeal to me and I much prefer to drink a hot cup of tea or coffee instead, along with a huge 62% of people questioned in a recent survey carried out by Robinsons who also prefer to drink hot drinks over water in the winter months. 

We need to remember that drinking enough water is important in winter as tea and coffee is a diuretic and if we do not drink enough water we can easily become dehydrated. Robinsons have come up with lots of recipes for hot and cold drinks using their delicious fruit cordial drinks, to help inspire us to start drinking more water and staying hydrated this winter. 

robinsons juice
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Monday, 14 December 2015

Hornby Santa's Express Train Set Review

When I was a small child one of my uncles used to have a train set going around his Christmas tree, I use to think that it was the most magical thing ever. I always wanted a one of my own and when I had my own children I vowed to get a one, although I have never actually got around to getting a one yet. Last week that changed when Hornby kindly sent us their Santa's Express train set to review. 

My brother used to have a Hornby train set when he was younger which he spent hours playing with, so I knew that they were a great brand who make quality train sets to last. When the set arrived everything we needed was included in the box, it contained a three-piece train, lots of track, a control and even a mat that you can use to place your train on if you prefer. 

Santa Express Train set box
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Sunday, 13 December 2015

Last Minute Christmas Celebration Ideas In The North East

Christmas is just under two week's away and everyone is getting into the festive spirit and getting excited for the big man in red arriving on Christmas morning. This time of year is the perfect time to celebrate with family, friends and work colleagues and have some fun in the lead up to the big day itself. However if like me you have left organising a Christmas celebration to the last minute then fear not as I have come up with some ideas suitable for all kinds of people that will certainly get you in the festive mood. 

If you are looking for a work, family, friend or couple night out then Durham County Cricket club have some great party nights on the 18th and 19th December. The 18th of December sees a host of amazing sounding tribute acts take to the stage followed by a two-course meal and a night of dancing the night away. If  Bond is more your thing then 'A Bond night in Monte Carlo' will be just the thing to get you in the mood on the 19th when the black-tie casino night hits the club. This night sounds right up my partners street as it includes casino tables, a formula one simulator and a disco as well as plenty of martinis at the bar. These sound like great night outs that I would enjoy going on with my friends or partner and are priced at only £39.95 per person, which is incredible value.


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Disney Princess Royal Boutique Cash Register Review

My two-year-old Sophia is really into Disney Princesses and role-play at the moment, like most little girls her age she loves watching Disney films and playing with the shop and till at pre-school. So when she was recently sent the Disney Princess Royal Boutique Cash Register to review I knew that this would be something she would love.

As soon as Sophia seen the cash register her little face lit up and she could not wait to get it open and start playing with it. Opening the cash register was really quick and easy and I was pleased to see that it already had batteries included (it uses 3 AAA). The till reminds me of old-fashioned style cash registers which I think gave it that princess feel to it, it is a beautiful pink and gold colour decorated with popular princesses Belle, Aurora, Snow White and Ariel. 

Disney Princess Royal Boutique Cash Register
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Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Buddy The Elf's Adventures Week One

Last week we welcomed Elf on the shelf to are home for the first year, as I mentioned in last weeks post I brought the Elf back in the summer as I thought it would be a nice tradition to have in our household. Last week our Elf arrived with the children's advent calendars and a storybook about who he was. My eldest decided to call him Buddy and my two-year-old toddler adores him and is always blowing him kissing and shouting his name, which is very cute.

The first week with Buddy the Elf has been a success as it is fun setting him up the night before (thank you Pinterest for the inspiration) and I love seeing my toddler Sophia look for Buddy each morning. I have not planned anything elaborate and have kept things fairly simple a toddler-friendly, I thought I would share with you what Buddy has been up to in his first week at our house just in case you are after some ideas for your own Elf.

elf on the shelf
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Monday, 7 December 2015

Stocking Filler's From Snapfish

Christmas is fast approaching with less then three weeks until the big man in red visits and I, like many other people am busy buying and wrapping gifts. When I am buying gifts I like to buy thoughtful gifts that I know will be loved and appreciated, I am a big fan of personalised gifts and I especially love photo gifts. 

In this day and age, I am guilty of taking photos on my phone, uploading them to social media and then totally forgetting all about them. I always forget to print them out. So when Snapfish got in touch to see if I would like to create a range of photo-based stocking fillers I knew that I had to get creative and see what I could come up with. 

photo bear gift idea
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Saturday, 5 December 2015

Family Festive Basket

Today we have had a really lazy family day at home, we are currently watching Christmas DVDs whilst munching on tasty festive treats. The weather is awful at the moment in the North East with strong winds and lots of rain, making it impossible to be able to get out and about with the little ones - as I don't fancy pushing a buggy in this weather. So we have taken full advantage of our family festive basket and I thought I would share it with you all as they are quick, easy and inexpensive to create and they are perfect for lazy family days at home. 

basket full of family treats
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Friday, 4 December 2015

Christmas Books From Parragon

Regular readers will know that we are Parragon book buddies, this means that we are lucky enough to be sent a book for Sophia and Jacob to review each month. I adore reading and always have done since I was a small child and I am really hoping that my love of books gets passed down to my own children. I love nothing more than snuggling up with them on the sofa and reading a story with them both, it is something we enjoy doing most days. 

Now that it is December and Christmas is fast approaching it is the perfect time to start reading Christmas stories to get us in the festive spirit. This month Parragon have helped us achieve this by sending us two Christmas themed books to review, we were sent The Night Before Christmas and Jingle, Jingle Little Reindeer. 

christmas books for toddlers
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Thursday, 3 December 2015

Lylia Rose Review & Wishlist

Recently I was asked if I would like to review an item from Lylia Rose an online ladies fashion and accessories store, set up by mum of two Victoria who is also a blogger. It took me ages to decide what I wanted as there are so many gorgeous items (seriously go have a look) from purses and makeup bags to scarves and brooches and earrings to bracelets. Every item is gorgeous and best of all affordable, with free UK delivery on all orders too. 

I eventually decided on a gorgeous pink love bird make-up bag as I loved the simple design, they also do the purse to match. The makeup bag arrived quickly via 1st class Royal mail delivery and was well packaged, I was impressed as soon as I saw the bag as it was even nicer in real life. It is made of super soft PU material that you can wipe clean with a damp cloth if you spill makeup on it. It has a zip fastening and has so much room inside which I was pleased about as I can fit my everyday make up in and it is still the perfect size to easily fit inside a handbag or in my case changing bag, as I always have little people in tow. 

make up bag
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Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Welcoming Elf On The Shelf

This time last year I heard lots of people mentioning Elf on the shelf and photos and blog posts popped up all over the Internet with what each families scout elf were up to. I had no idea what Elf on the shelf was so I was intrigued to see what it was all about. 

I soon learnt that the Elf on the shelf is sent from Father Christmas on the 1st December to live with a family in the run-up to Christmas day. Each night the elf will fly back to the north pole and tell Father Christmas what the children in the household have been up to. In the morning when the Elf returns to the family home he will have moved position and the children will have to find him, they can not touch the Elf though or he will lose his magic powers. 

Elf on the shelf
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November 2015

Can you believe that is now December? This whole year seems to have totally flown over and I can not believe that we are now almost at the end of the year. I am so looking forward to Christmas this year as my little two are that little bit older now, even though they still will not fully understand what is going on I know their little faces along with their big sisters will be full of amazement when they see 'Santa has been'. 

I am also looking forward to putting our Christmas tree up, visiting Santa and Fenwick's window and watching lots of Christmas films whilst drinking hot chocolate all snug and cosy at home. 

Anyway enough of me babbling away, here is a look back at what we got up to in November. I love doing these monthly round-up posts as a way to look back on what we have been up to, it really does not seem like a whole month since I wrote last month's.

bridge over tyne
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Monday, 30 November 2015

Fisher Price Charisma 3-in-1 Trike Review

Recently my youngest was really lucky to be sent a Fisher Price Charisma 3-in-1 trike to review and I was so excited for it to arrive, as I just knew that he was going to love it. When the box arrived it was fairly small and lightweight (perfect for wrapping up for Christmas) and I was dreading building it as I thought it would be in loads of tiny bits and take ages. I was wrong as it was super quick and simple to build with easy to follow instructions and an allen key provided, although you do need a screwdriver to fit the wheels.

Building the Fisher-Price Trike  only took 15 minutes and as soon as I saw it I was impressed with just how great it looked. We were sent the trike in green and the colour is really nice and perfect for either a boy or a girl. The quality of the trike is fantastic with a lightweight metal frame, secure plastic seat unit, rubber wheels and lots of fantastic storage space. This trike has lots of little extra features that I loved too such as padded harness straps and seat covers (which are washable), footrests for younger children who can not reach the peddles yet and soft easy grip handlebars and adjustable canopy. As well as a reclining seat, built in suspension and the option to easily swap from parent steering to child steering. 

fisher price Charisma 3-in-1 green trike review
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Friday, 27 November 2015

Starting To Feel Festive

Now that November is drawing to a close I think that it is totally acceptable to start getting excited about the most wonderful time of year that is Christmas. Oh yes the big man is red is busy checking his list and finding out who is naughty or nice, the elves are busy wrapping up the presents and children up and down the country are counting down the sleeps.

Yep, that is right 'the holidays are coming' yes I totally stole that line of the coke advert, talking of which the iconic coca cola advert has been on TV so it totally is acceptable to start talking about Christmas now, right?


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A Family Movie Night

Saturday nights are family night's in our household, we always watch a film have some yummy snacks and enjoy spending some quality time together after a busy week at work and school. My youngest two get tired and want to go bed by 7pm, so we normally have are family night in the late afternoon so they can enjoy a film after dinner. Sometimes when they are in bed we will watch the T.V or a film with the eldest.

It is such a easy and inexpensive way to spend some quality time together as a family, and we know that we have it to look forward to each weekend. I think the children look forward to the snacks and treats more than the movie or spending time with us, to be honest, but myself and the other half love to just sit and relax and spend time together as a family unit.

dvd

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Thursday, 26 November 2015

Lunch At Blackfriars Newcastle

It was my birthday a few weeks ago and to celebrate the other half treated me to lunch out and a shopping trip. It was just the two of us and it made a nice change going out without little people in tow, we could relax, chat and enjoy eating a hot meal in peace which was utter bliss. 

We decided to visit Blackfriars in Newcastle city centre for lunch, tucked away between the gate complex and china town sits Blackfriars, an award-winning restaurant located in the 13th century former medieval friary that now serves lots of local produce. 

The restaurant is decorated in keeping with the medieval background with bare stone walls, wooden carved chairs and lots of candles dotted around the room. You could tell that lots of attention to detail has gone into the feel of the place with unique carved stone salt and pepper pots on the tables and placemats showing where the local food they serve is produced. 

glass of fizz
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Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Win A Bratz Snowkissed Doll

This Saturday the 28th November 2015 the Bratz Snowkissed photobooth will be arriving at Gateshead Intu Metrocentre for one day only. Visiting the photobooth is free and there is no need to book, simply turn up and have fun with your family or friends dressing up with the props and getting your photo taken in the Bratz snow-kissed winter-themed photo booth, which will be filled with props such as fur hats, skis and festive accessories. Everyone who gets a photo taken in the booth will be given a copy of their photograph to take home with them. 

Once you have visited the booth make sure to then log onto Facebook and visit Facebook.com/BratzUK and tag yourself in your photo to be entered into a prize draw where you could win some amazing Bratz products, including a hamper full of snow-kissed goodies. 

bratz dolls

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A Tasty Taco Treat For Tea

Having three children and a partner that works full-time shifts I am always looking for quick and easy meals to make for tea each night, as I simply don't have the time to spend ages cooking in the kitchen. I like my children to have a home cooked meal each day and they all enjoy a variety of meals from around the world. One of our all-time favourite cuisines is Mexican food, we often go for Mexican meals out and fajitas, enchiladas and Chill's are regular dishes on our midweek menu. 

So when we were recently sent some Old El Paso stand 'n' stuff soft taco kits in mouthwatering smokey BBQ flavour I knew that they would be a big hit in our household, I could not wait to try them out. We have tried tacos before but never these soft smokey BBQ ones and I was eager to see what they would taste like. Each pack comes with 8 Stand 'n' Stuff soft flour tortillas, a sachet of BBQ seasoning and some Taco salsa. 

home made tacos

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Monday, 23 November 2015

My New Look Blog

When I started blogging back in 2014 my blog looked terrible, I am not just saying that either as it truly was horrendous. I did not have a clue what I was doing when I signed up to blogger and had no idea that you could buy templates so I had a basic free blogger template that I kept trying and failing to look nice, as I had no idea what on earth I was doing. 

I did not mind that my blog looked a mess though as I had no idea that people would actually read my blog as it was set up to simply record my pregnancy with baby number three and document my girl's childhood. I never knew that bloggers were paid to write posts or that brands would send you things to review or send you on trips. I had no idea how many blogs were out there and that you could change the look of your blog without being a technical wizard. 

newcastle family life blog logo
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Sunday, 22 November 2015

The Pampers Baby Dry Challenge

Regular readers will probably already know that I am a huge Pampers fan, I have used Pampers nappies on all three of my children. I have tried other brands now and then but I always come back to Pampers, as I personally find them the best around. They offer unbeatable dryness, look great, are great quality and most important of all my children seem to be happy with them as they keep their little bottoms dry and they have never suffered from nappy rash. 

Pampers recently launched some Baby Dry pants which are a pull-up pant style nappy that offer up to 12 hours of dryness and are designed to make nappy changing easier for mobile babies who are still too young for potty training. I always thought that pull up pants were for potty training but these ones are just as absorbent as a regular nappy but they are designed to be like pants, so they are easier to put onto a wriggling baby and you can just pull the sides to remove them, genius! 

pack of pampers baby dry pants
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Saturday, 21 November 2015

Lick My Dip Hot Sauce Subscription Box Review

Lick My Dip is a subscription box service with a difference, as each month you will be sent a selection of hot sauces to try out and enjoy at home. As with any subscription box service you sign up, pay a small monthly fee and then each month you receive a box through the mail full of surprise items. Lick My dip send out a selection of hot sauces and snacks for you to try out and enjoy at home, making them the perfect gift idea or treat for a spicy food fan. 

I love subscription boxes as I think that it is a brilliant way of trying out and discovering new products that you may not have tried or heard of before. I also love the surprise element of them as you never know what you will be receiving in your package each month. 

lick my dip box
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Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Vital Baby Weaning Range Review

A few months ago we were selected to be part of Vital Baby's #WeaningWarriors team, as part of the team we were sent a brilliant selection of Vital Baby weaning products to help us with Jacob's weaning journey. We have been using these products for a few months now and have been able to really put them to the test. 

In the weaning bundle we were sent 

weaning products, spoons, pots, cups

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Sunday, 15 November 2015

Slimming World October Update

I have not posted a Slimming World update for a few weeks now as I was starting to find them a bit boring now that my weight loss has slowed down. I have decided that I am going to start writing monthly weight loss updates instead now, hopefully, these will be more interesting.

 October was a rubbish month for me Slimming World wise, I don't know what is wrong but I just seem to be losing and gaining the same couple of pounds each week. I just feel like my heart is not really into things at the moment and I admit I have not stuck to plan 100 % over the last few weeks. I have also missed a few classes due to my eldest having surgery and mine and Chloe's birthday celebrations.

slimming world meals

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Saturday, 14 November 2015

Disney Mickey Mouse Library Book Set

As you may already know we are Parragon Book Buddies which means that my little two are lucky enough to get sent a Parragon book to review each month. Last month we reviewed a great Halloween book and this month we were sent a gorgeous Disney Mickey Mouse book library set. The library consists of six brightly coloured board books starring Mickey and his friends, making them perfect for babies and toddlers to enjoy. 

set of child mickey mouse books

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Tuesday, 10 November 2015

My Favourite TV Show's

Now that it is November and the weather is miserable we have been spending a lot more time indoors, all nice and cosy with the heating on. Like most families we spend a lot of time watching our TV, a 50 inch 3D Panasonic one, but I bet it won't be long until we upgrade to the amazing sounding Panasonic Viera 4K TV as my partner likes his gadgets.  Most afternoons we snuggle up and watch a Disney film with the children and on a night time, we will normally watch a show we have recorded on our planner.

I will be honest and say that I do not watch a lot of TV, as during the day I have two little toddlers running around. I often resort to putting Disney Junior on for five minutes peace as they are huge Curious George, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, Doc Mcstuffins and Sofia the first fans. My teen flicks through the music channels non-stop and my other half is always watching sports, documentaries and films. So when I do get the chance to watch the TV it is a real treat to watch what I like and I normally catch up on my favourite show I have saved on the planner. 

dont tell the bride on tv screen
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Sunday, 8 November 2015

LED Dog Mood Night Light Review

A little while ago we were offered a LED mood night light to review from PK Green Shop, an online store selling a range of LED and solar items. The night lights come in a range of different designs such as cats, bears, dogs and even a snowman. We were sent a rather cute little dog night light which I thought would be perfect for my one-year-old, as he does not like the dark and we always leave the landing light on for him. 

The night light arrived quickly and was bigger then I thought it would be as it was 20cm which is a great size, all the night lights we have seen in the past have been a lot smaller. The dog is made from soft plastic so you don't need to worry about little ones dropping it and breaking it and it is very lightweight.

child nightlight
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Friday, 6 November 2015

Halfords Black Friday Competition

Now it is November it is only a matter of weeks until Christmas and every ones thoughts are turning to Christmas shopping, which let's face it can end up being rather expensive. I know that a lot of people like to wait to do their Christmas shopping, so they can take advantage of the amazing deals that can be had on Black Friday weekend. One retailer who has already announced that they plan on making Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2015 even bigger and better than last year is Halfords. 

Halfords will be kicking off their Black Friday deals in-store and online on Friday 27th November, with lots of great offers throughout the store. Last year they had amazing offers on TomTom, Garmin, JD bug scooters and Apollo bikes to name just a few. This Black Friday and Cyber Monday (Monday 30th November) they are sure to have a deal to suit you. 

halfords black friday deal logo
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Children's Winter Boots

Now that it is November and Christmas is fast approaching I have been busy getting my children's wardrobes winter ready with lots of warm jumpers, woollen hats and cosy winter coats to keep them nice and snug. One thing that I still need to buy for both my children is some winter boots to keep their feet nice and warm on cold winter days. 

I have been looking around for boots for my two toddlers and my teen and whilst browsing online I came across Jones Bootmaker, who stock a fantastic range of children's shoes and boots in a great range of styles, colours and sizes for both boys and girls. I discovered so many cute styles that I thought I would share with you a few of my favourite one's today.

Firstly I came across these Jones Bootmaker star strap ankle boots priced at £36,  these would be great for my toddler Sophia as they would go with just about any outfit. They look cute and stylish and very practical, perfect for a little girl.



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Wednesday, 4 November 2015

My Must Have Newborn Product's

Now that my youngest is one year old we have started packing away and getting rid of all of the baby items that he no longer needs. As a mum of three, I have brought and tested a lot of baby products over the years and this got me thinking about which products we found invaluable when dealing with a newborn baby. I thought that I would share with you all of the things that I personally found made life so much easier and that I recommend to anyone. I often find the best products we discover are those that get recommended to us. 

I have so many baby products that I love so I thought that I would just share with you all today my favourite newborn products. 

baby monitors, colic drops, baby bottle, baby bouncer and baby sleeping bag


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Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Friends Of Sylvanian Families

A little while ago we were contacted to see if we would like to become Friends of Sylvanian Families, of course, I had to say yes as who doesn't love Sylvanian Families? I remember playing with them myself as a child and my eldest daughter used to love them and has so many sets packed away for her little sister to enjoy. We have houses, cars, fish shop, village shop and a cake shop to name just a few along with lots of adorable families. 

If I am honest I think that I love them more then my two girls do as they bring back so many happy memories from my own childhood, this year Sylvanian Families celebrate their 30th birthday which just goes to show how loved they are. They originated in Japan all the way back in 1985 and now they are much loved worldwide. 

Sylvanian families in car

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Monday, 2 November 2015

A Teenage Birthday

Last week my eldest daughter turned into an actual teenager as she celebrated her thirteenth birthday. One thing that I have noticed over the last few years is that as she has got older organising a birthday celebration has got so much harder. When she was younger I use to get so excited for her birthdays as it was magical seeing her face light up when she saw her gifts and watching the joy on her face as she enjoyed her party.

When she was younger planning a birthday was easy as I just rang up the local soft play booked a party and then turned up on the day with a cake. Soft play is a fail-safe child's birthday venue in my eyes as it is so stress-free, no worrying about making food, entertainment or mess as everything is taken care of. I was able to just sit and relax with a coffee with the other mams while the children ran around burning off energy, and I happily handed over £10 per child for the pleasure.

Fast forward a few years to the tween and teenage years and a soft play party really is not an option any more, so what do you do? The idea of a sleepover fills me with dread, plus is not possible having a baby who still does not sleep all night (who knew sleepless nights would come in handy one day). I struggled thinking what to do I suggested lots of things such as getting her nails painted with a few friends, going to the cinema with friends (apparently nothing was on), going bowling, everything I suggested was met with a no.

Kaspas icecream


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Sunday, 1 November 2015

Newcastle's Hidden Gems

I have lived on the outskirts of Newcastle my whole life and I have been visiting the city centre most weeks since I was a child. Now as a 31-year-old mam I visit Newcastle with my own children, long gone are the days of leisurely shopping trips and wild nights out on the lash in toon with my friends getting mortal (drinking in Newcastle and getting drunk) most weekends. 

I like to think that I know my way around Newcastle well as I have visited that often, but I think when you live somewhere you kind of take the city you live in for granted and stick to places you know and don't appreciate all the wonderful things around you. So when Travelodge got in touch to ask about hidden gems in Newcastle I was unsure of what to say. Newcastle has a bit of a reputation as a party city full of hen and stag parties and the cast of Geordie shore getting mortal, along with football fans in black and white strips. Yes, Newcastle is like that it has an amazing nightlife with so many bars and clubs and a very loyal football team following with a city centre stadium.

Newcastle Quayside bridges

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October 2015

Today is the 1st of November and it really does not seem like five minutes since I posted about what we had been up to in September. This year seems to have flown by so quickly and now it is November I can safely say I am on the countdown to Christmas and I have started my Christmas shopping. I love November as it is my birthday on the 11th (remembrance day) but I am not doing anything exciting as I will be 32, gosh I feel old typing that. November is also the month that this little blog of mine gets redesigned, which I am so excited about.

Anyway enough of my babbling on, I want to talk about last month and have a little recap of what we have all been up to. I like doing this as a way to remember what we have been up to each month and for my children to look back on someday. 

Personal Life 

October was the month that my eldest turned into an actual teenager as she celebrated her 13th birthday, she will always be my baby though. She celebrated by going out for a family meal and then having a meal and shopping trip out with her friends a few days later. Her birthday is always just before half term (all three children have half term birthdays) so she has enjoyed having a week off school being lazy and being a typical teenager by staying in bed each day until lunchtime. 

make up bag birthday cake

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Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Always Discreet - Breaking The Last Female Taboo

Having children changes your body forever, as your body grows in pregnancy to grow your child and then you have to give birth, we often assume that everything just goes back to normal but any mum will tell you that this is not always the case. Mum's often mention how they have now gained their 'tiger stripes' (stretch marks) or how they will never have a flat tummy again, how they have bags under their eyes due to lack of sleep and they shed hair for months after having a baby.

One thing that you rarely hear mentioned though is bladder sensitivity, this seems to be a bit of a taboo subject that no-one talks about.

Always Discreet want to empower women to break this female health taboo, to realise that they are not alone as 1 in 3 women over 18 actually suffer from incontinence at some point in their lives. They want women to stop suffering in silence and to talk about it and seek help and advice, so they no longer feel held back from this condition. That is why today Always discreet has released new research that shows millions of British women are suffering from this condition and they are sharing lots of advice from GP Dr Sarah Jarvis for women with sensitive bladders.

always discreet logo

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Tuesday, 27 October 2015

A Better Man By Leah McLaren Book Review

Regular readers will know that I love reading and that even as a child I adored nothing more than getting lost in a good book. Since becoming a mum I rarely have the time to read, so when I recently heard about the Britmums book club I swiftly joined up in the hope of discovering some new books and reigniting my passion for reading. 

I was sent a book called 'A Better Man' by Leah McLaren, an author and book I had not heard of before. However the blurb on the back of the book seemed intriguing, it read

" Maya wants Nick to be less of a workaholic, to come home earlier, to spend some time with his children." 

" Nick wants a divorce." 

copy of paperback book A better Man by Leah Mclaren

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Monday, 26 October 2015

A Teenage Girl Gift Basket

My eldest daughter Chloe turned 13 a few days ago and is now a teenager, although to be fair she has been acting like a typical teen for the last year anyway. Over the last few year's I have really struggled with gift idea's for her as she no longer plays with toys, anyone who knows a teen will know just how tricky they can be to buy for. I don't like buying her clothes in case she does not like them and she has all the latest gadgets like a laptop, tablet, TV and an iPhone. 

After much deliberating she decided that she would like a Jack Wills hoodie, a Pandora charm and an outfit. Even though we had spent a lot of money on her it did not look like she had much at all as she only had four things to wrap up that were not very big at all. So I decided that I would make her a little gift basket with inexpensive things that she would (hopefully) like. 

gift basket filled with gifts for a teenage girl

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Sunday, 25 October 2015

Sunday Photo 25/10/15

This week my eldest daughter turned 13 and is a teenager. She is at an age now where she is getting into make-up, so we decided to get her a make-up bag birthday cake from Marks and Spencers to celebrate her special day. The cake tasted as good as it looked.

pink make up bag 13th birthday cake from Marks and Spencers


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Thursday, 22 October 2015

Chloe You Are A Teenager

Dear Chloe

Today is your birthday and you are thirteen, that seems so grown up to me as you are eventually a teenager. You may be a teenager but you will always be my baby girl no matter what and I still remember the day you were born like it was yesterday. 

I have so many happy memories of your childhood and I wanted to create a collage of pictures of you every year from being a baby to how you are now. As you know we have been busy decorating and the house is a bit upside down, so I have been unable to get to the photo albums (there was no iPhones or social media back when you were born). 


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Tuesday, 20 October 2015

A Budget Bedroom Makeover

I have wanted to move for a while now as since having our third child our home is way to small and we need somewhere bigger. Knowing that we will be moving in the near future has meant that my current home is getting rather neglected, as I don't see the point spending lots of time and money doing it all up if we won't be around long enough to enjoy it.

I did, however, decorate most of our home two and a half years ago when I was pregnant with Sophia and we managed to decorate everywhere apart from our bedroom. At the time I cleared the room out, stripped it and then never got around to getting it decorated. After Sophia arrived I was busy with a newborn before falling pregnant again just five months later, resulting in the undecorated bedroom getting left undecorated.

before and after bedroom makeover
Budget bedroom makeover before and after photo.
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Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Christmas Flowers From Prestige

I love having fresh flowers in the house, although it rarely happens as my partner never buys me any. As a child my mum always had fresh flowers in the house as she adored them, every Christmas Eve my dad would get a huge bouquet delivered which I thought was a lovely idea. Flowers make such a lovely gift especially at Christmas so I was delighted last week when the most gorgeous Christmas Flowers bouquet arrived at my door from Prestige Flowers. 

red roses Christmas flowers delivered

Prestige flowers are one of the UK's leading online florists and are currently voted number one on review centre and are editors choice for the best online florist on reviewflorist. They sell a range of fresh flowers, plants and hampers throughout the UK with bouquets arranged by highly skilled British florists. Standard delivery on flowers is free but you can pay extra for next day delivery if you order before 9pm. Something that I love is that orders come with a 100 % satisfaction guarantee giving you that little bit extra peace of mind that you will be sending a high-quality bouquet.
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Sunday, 11 October 2015

Disney On Ice

Yesterday we were lucky enough to go and watch Disney on Ice at Newcastle's Metro radio arena. I love Disney on Ice, I use to take my eldest every year until a few years ago when she lost interest in princesses. However now my toddler Sophia is two she has taken an interest in Disney and adores the movies and characters, Minnie Mouse and Toy Sory are firm favourites. So when we were given the chance to go and see the show I knew Sophia would love it, of course, my eldest decided she still liked Disney so she came too along with my partner and my three-year-old niece Heidi, as we thought Jacob (aged 13 months) would be too young to join us.

Disney on Ice at Newcastle 2015

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Saturday, 10 October 2015

Life Without A Gallbladder

Two year's ago today I was in surgery getting my gallbladder removed, I was terrified about having the operation but now two years later I am so glad that I had it done. When I was 32 week's pregnant with Sophia I was struck down with my first gallstone attack, no-one knew what was wrong and I was admitted to hospital for almost a week while they ran tests to see what was making me so ill. Eventually, they discovered I had gallstones and there was nothing they could do whilst I was pregnant, I wrote about gallstones in pregnancy when I first started my blog. 

When Sophia was two week's old I was struck down with another gallstone attack, that lasted a week. I could not eat anything without being in pain and lived on painkillers which ended up making me ill, I begged the doctor to do something and I was referred to the hospital where it was agreed that my gallbladder needed to be removed. Six weeks after meeting with the doctor I had my gallbladder removed. 

Apart from the two attacks I had I never actually had any other bother from my gallbladder due to being very strict with my diet and sticking to a low-fat gallbladder diet. I was so miserable though as I could not eat much and could no longer eat out, every time I ate I always had the worry in the back of my mind that I would be struck down by that awful pain again. If you are unsure of what a gallstone attack is like the only way I can describe it is like one big long contraction type pain around your ribs that lasts for five to eight hours. It is awful, I have had three children two of which were painful inductions and gallstone pain is 100 % worse than childbirth without a doubt.

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Friday, 9 October 2015

Pumpkins Pumpkins Everywhere : Book Review

Last month I brought you my first Parragon book buddies review of a beautiful collection of 
Nursery rhymes. As a Parragon book buddy, we get sent a book each month to review, as it is now October what better type of book than a Halloween one! We were sent a lovely picture book called "Pumpkins Pumpkins Everywhere" which is perfect for getting young children into the Halloween spirit. 

halloween child pumpkin book and trick or treat bucket

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Wednesday, 7 October 2015

My First Thomas & Friends Rail Rollers Spiral Station - Review

We were recently sent a My First Thomas & Friends Rail Rollers Spiral Station toy for Jacob to review. I just knew that Jacob and his sister would love this toy as they both like Thomas and this toy was unlike anything that they already have. I was right because as soon as they both saw it they made a beeline for it and have not stopped playing with it since. 

When I opened the box I was a bit nervous as it is all in bits and I am totally useless at building toys, as I don't have the patience. I need not have been worried though as there was no screws, batteries or anything to build as the whole toy just clips together easily with super simple diagram instructions included. It only took me around five minutes to build the toy which I was impressed by, as there is nothing worse than trying to build toys for eager little ones to play with.

Thomas baby toy review

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Slimming World Week 22 & 23

It has been a couple of week's since I posted a Slimming World update as I did not attend the group last week as we had been away on a review trip and I was busy redecorating. I was so busy but also I was a bit scared of facing the scales after a weekend of overindulging, so I was a chicken and missed group. This week I faced the scales though expecting a gain, but I know now that the only way that I will lose all of this baby weight is if I go to group each week and stick to the plan. 

I started last week off well as I knew we were going away for a weekend and I knew I was going to enjoy some meals out. I was on plan all week, we even went out for a pub lunch and I ordered plain grilled chicken breast with a plain jacket potato and salad, which is unlike me as I always use eating out as an excuse to cheat and eat whatever I like. We were also out shopping at the Metrocentre and instead of going for a Mexican or to Pizza hut like we normally would I was good and went to Subway for a salad. I am a bit addicted to Subway salads at the moment they are so yummy with low syn sweet onion sauce on, they are only £2.29 for a salad of the day and really filling. 

three subway salads
I ate a lot of Subway salads this week.

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Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Creating A Calming Bedroom For National Wallpaper Week

This week the 5th-11th October is national wallpaper week, I love how there are national days and weeks for things like this. As part of national wallpaper week, Graham & Brown will be celebrating the week with their seven feelings of wallpaper, these are 'feelings' that decorating your home can evoke. The week kicked off on Monday the 5th with 'Date night' Tuesday the 6th (today) is 'Calm', Wednesday the 8th 'Inspired', Thursday 9th 'Nostalgic', Friday 9th 'Funky', Saturday 10th 'Glamourous' and Sunday 11th 'Social'.

As part of national wallpaper week, I was invited by Graham & Brown to choose a wallpaper from their truly amazing and vast range and recreate a feeling. I decided that I wanted to re-create a feeling of calm to my bedroom, as it was in dire need of being redecorated and I wanted somewhere calm and relaxing to help me get a good nights sleep. 

creating a calm bedroom

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Saturday, 3 October 2015

The Marriott Hotel Gateshead Metrocentre : Review

Last week we stayed at the Marriott hotel Newcastle, Gateshead Metrocentre as part of the Beamish Package that they offer. I wrote about the package as a whole earlier in the week but thought that I would do a proper review of the hotel. The hotel is located near the A1 right opposite Europe's largest leisure and shopping complex the Metrocentre and just a short ten-minute journey away from Newcastle city centre. The hotel is rated 4 star and is perfect for both business and leisure purposes. 

Marriott Hotel Gateshead

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