Tuesday, 30 June 2015

What's In My Changing Bag

When I had my oldest daughter I had a changing bag that came with her pram and it was useless, I could hardly fit anything in as it was so small and it had no storage pockets or anywhere to keep her bottles. It was also made of fabric so if it rained everything got soaking wet inside. When I had my second daughter, two years ago top of my list of must buy items was a decent changing bag. I had my partner demented as I searched online and in shops for hours looking for the perfect bag.

 One bag I kept coming back to was the iconic Pink Lining Yummy Mummy bag, as not only was it practical but it also looked amazing too. So, of course, I had to buy it and I opted for the purple bow one from John Lewis. I even used it for baby's hospital bag as it was so roomy it fitted all her tiny baby clothes and toiletries in. When I fell pregnant again, just five months after having Sophia I had my heart set on another Pink Lining bag as I loved my first one so much and was still using it. As I was having a boy this time I opted for the Blooming Gorgeous woodlands bag.


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Friday, 26 June 2015

Losing My Diet Motivation

I have been following the Slimming World diet plan in a bid to lose my baby weight and things were going well, I had lost one stone in weight. I was feeling happier about myself as my clothes were fitting better, I was eating better and I had more energy. I really thought that I had broken my bad eating habits. And then last week it kind of all fell apart.

I had a holiday put in for last weeks class as I was I was in London attending Britmums, and I think that knowing I was not going to class that week threw me off track. I had stuck to the plan all week but the night before I went away I went out for a meal to Frankie and Benny's and I ordered burger and chips. Then I went to London for the weekend and I drank wine, ate pizzas, chips, baguettes and had a Chinese takeaway when I returned home. 

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Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Slimming World Mushy Pea Curry Recipe

I have been on the Slimming World diet plan for a while now and I have found that I have been making the same meals all the time and getting bored of them. So when I heard people talking about mushy pea curry and saying how easy it is to make and delicious it tasted I thought I would give it a try. I will admit when I heard people talking about it I thought it sounded horrible but it really is tasty and very filling, it works well with rice or as a jacket potato topping. So here is the recipe I used.

Ingredients - Serves 4

  • 2 Tins of Mushy Peas.
  • 1 Tin of baked beans
  • 1 Tin of Chopped Tomatoes
  • Diced chicken ( optional )
  • 1 large sliced onion
  • Few sliced mushrooms ( optional )
  • 2 crushed cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 2 tablespoons of medium curry powder
mushy pea curry recipe

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The Queen Of Hearts Cookie Company : Review

Sometimes, when I need to buy a gift for someone for a special occasion I have no idea at all what to buy them and I spend hours searching the shops or looking online for the perfect gift. Half the time I end up opting for a box of chocolates, which is not very original and a bit boring if I am honest. I love giving people thoughtful gifts that are a bit different, and something that hopefully no-one else has given them. 

So imagine my delight when I discovered The Queen Of Hearts Cookie Company, an online store that is full of the most beautiful handmade cookies. There are so many gorgeous designs to choose from such as Weddings, Christenings, Birthdays and all other celebrations such as Christmas and Easter. There is even the option to create your very own design, each batch is baked to order in Lancashire using the finest locally produced ingredients, and are made by hand with loving care and attention. 

hand decorated cookies

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Thursday, 18 June 2015

The Summer Solstice

This Sunday the 21st June 2015 many people will be aware that it is Fathers Day here in the UK and people will be celebrating and spending time with loved ones and letting all those fathers out there enjoy a well deserved day off. Sunday the 21st June 2015 is not only Fathers Day this year but it is also the Summer Solstice, something not many people may be aware of. 

The Summer Solstice is basically the longest day of the year, when the sun is at it's highest point in the northern hemisphere. Many people class it as the start of summertime as it is the day that we have the longest period of sunlight in the calendar year. It is the day that you normally hear of people descending on Stonehenge to worship or celebrate and it is celebrated across the world as many people see this day as a day of positive change, to celebrate the change of the season and be at one with nature.

When I think of nature I always think of the beach as I am lucky that I live near the wonderful, rugged, North East coastline full of grassy sand dunes, sandy beaches and the crashing waves of the icy north sea. Many people retreat to the coast on the Summer Solstice to spend time relaxing and unwinding by the sea as they find this spiritual, and what better way to spend the start of summer and the longest day of the year than at the beach, especially if like me you live a long way from Stonehenge. 

Image from FreeDigitalPhotos.net By Evgeni Dinev

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Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Blog Business Cards From StressFreePrint

As you may know, I am off to Britmums Live on Friday which is a two-day blogging and social media event held in London thanks to my wonderful sponsor MAM UK. As I will be meeting lots of brands and bloggers at the event it came to my attention that I would need business cards to hand out to people I had chatted to, so they knew who I was and could connect with me after the event if they wished.

I had no idea where to start with business cards as I have never had to make any before and when I had a brief look online I was overwhelmed by the number of different companies out there and I had no idea how to design my own as I am useless with anything like that. Luckily I noticed that the really talented and lovely Zoe Corkhill  was designing bloggers business cards for the event and I contacted her to see if she could design me some to match my blog. Zoe quickly got to work designing my cards which have my blog header on and the fonts, colour scheme and social media icons from my blog making them easily identifiable to my blog. She also included my Britmums sponsor and their logo and I was really happy with the finished result.

blog business cards

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Sunday, 14 June 2015

MamaBabyBliss : A Perfect Fathers Day Gift For A New Dad

Fathers day is just one week away and I have found the perfect gift for a new dad or a dad-to-be, the Daddy's magic bag of bathtime bliss from MamaBabyBliss. This is a cute little bag full of everything daddy and baby will need for a special bathtime bonding experience. 

They say " Research has shown that new dads can feel alienated from the whole parenting experience in those first few months. Bath and Bedtime is a special time where daddy can really get involved and enjoy some special bonding with their baby, which is why MamaBabyBliss has launched the " Daddy's magic bag of bathtime bliss". 

I totally agree with this as every night my partner baths and puts our baby and toddler to bed and he has done since birth, it is his special time with the children that he loves as he does not see them during the day when he is at work. The children love it as they know it is their special daddy time and he loves it as he gets time alone with them and it is their special routine that they all look forward to. 

mamababy bliss gift set

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Saturday, 13 June 2015

Slimming World Week Nine

I am now nine weeks into my Slimming World weight loss journey and I am amazed at myself that I have actually managed to stick at it for this long, as I normally give up on diets within a few days or sometimes even hours. This just goes to show that the Slimming World plan is easy to stick to and incorporate into everyday family life. I eat the same meals as my family and don't ever feel like I am on a diet.

This week I have been fairly good, I have had no takeaways or meals out and have eaten all healthy home-cooked meals. However, I did go for afternoon tea on Sunday and had a few glasses of wine and a cake. I also have not been writing down what I have been eating and have not been keeping any kind of track on my syns so I have probably gone over them. 

Anyway, on Thursday morning I went to class feeling unsure if I would have lost any weight and was expecting a small gain as I was feeling bloated and rubbish thanks to it being a star week. However I had lost 1 lb, I know it is just a pound but I'm actually happy with that this week as it is still a loss and at least I am losing and not gaining any weight. This brings my total to 1 stone 1lb weight loss in nine weeks.

slimming world certificate for 1 stone loss

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Friday, 12 June 2015

My Finances As A Mum

Three years ago I was working full time in a job that I enjoyed in social care and I earned a fairly good wage and had a lot of disposable income each month. I would always go on shopping trips on payday with my oldest daughter for new clothes and toys, we would eat out at least twice a week and we had weekends away and lots of days out. I never really thought about saving or planning for my future as I just presumed that I would always have a steady income. 

Fast forward three years and things are very different. I have had two lots of maternity leave back to back and have actually not been to work in just over two years now, and as any new mum will tell you maternity pay is really rubbish and is way less than half of my normal wages. I am now on the unpaid part of maternity leave which means that I have no income at all coming in. I am not planning on returning to work any time soon as I am planning on being a stay at home mum for the next year or two whilst my children are so young, as nursery fees would cost more then I would earn.

Image by Ambro from Free digital photos

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Thursday, 11 June 2015

Afternoon Tea & Cupcake Decorating

On Sunday I was lucky enough to attend a rather lovely blogging event #ToastOfTheTown at the Copthorne hotel in Newcastle, organised by Joe Blogs for an afternoon of cupcake decorating and afternoon tea. It was only my second event and I was feeling rather nervous as I did not really know anyone attending but my nerves were soon quashed when I arrived at the hotel.

decorated cupcakes
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Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Dreaming Of A Full Night's Sleep

I have not had a full night of uninterrupted sleep in over two years now, to say that I am exhausted would be an understatement as I constantly feel tired and grumpy every single day. If you read my blog regularly you will know the reason for my lack of sleep is having two children so close together in age. I fell pregnant with my son when my daughter was only five months old and by the time she was sleeping through the night, I was too heavily pregnant to sleep myself. 


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Sunday, 7 June 2015

Slimming World Week Eight

You may have noticed that I did not do a Slimming World update last week as I had taken a week's holiday to celebrate my daughter's 2nd birthday. With it being her birthday I did have a few treats such as birthday cake and a tea party tea we also had a takeaway and meal out, although I tried to be good and stuck to a carvery when we were out with lots of vegetables and I ordered a chicken kebab with salad when we had a take-away.

I have tried sticking to plan the rest of the time although I have not been as strict with the plan as I was at the start and I need to start writing down what I am eating and keeping count of my daily syns as I fear I am going over them every day now. All of my meals have been on plan though during the last two weeks and I have eaten salads, roast dinners, chilli's, salt and pepper chicken with noodles and I even tried the mushy pea curry recipe which was surprisingly nice.

chicken salad with rice, coleslaw, beetroot and pot

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Saturday, 6 June 2015

Introducing My Britmums Live 2015 Sponsor

If you follow me on social media or read my blog you will know that in just two weeks time I will be off to London to attend Britmums Live which is a two-day blogging and social media event. It will be my very first time attending any kind of blogging event and I am both excited and nervous all rolled into one. But I know that I will learn a lot, which will hopefully, in turn, help me to improve and grow my blog. I am also really looking forward to meeting the lovely bloggers I talk to online and hopefully making some new friends along the way.

And it is thanks to my amazing sponsor that I am able to attend this event and improve and grow this little space of mine on the Internet. I have been dying to tell everyone who my sponsor is for over a week now and you may have already spotted the lovely new badge on my blog saying who my sponsor is, but if you have not then I am so pleased to announce that my sponsor is MAM UK. A brand that I am sure will need no introduction as I bet all parents and parents to be are aware of the brilliant baby and toddler products they make and recognise the blue and white logo.

MAM baby blue and white logo

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Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Signs You're A Parent To A Toddler

Every parent will tell you that they can not believe how fast time goes when you have children, one minute you have a tiny newborn baby in your arms and then the next thing you know you have a demanding, walking, talking toddler with a mind of there own. I often look at my two-year-old daughter and think that it does not seem five minutes since she was a baby, but now she is a proper little girl with a big personality. This got me thinking about signs that you're a parent to a toddler.


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Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Sophia's Second Birthday

Last week my middle child Sophia turned two, you may have seen the letter I wrote to her on her birthday. We were unsure what to do to celebrate her birthday as originally we were planning on having a family BBQ on her birthday and then visiting Edinburgh zoo a couple of days later. We had planned to get the train to Edinburgh as it is only around an hour from Newcastle and Sophia loves trains so this would have been something she would have enjoyed, she also loves animals especially monkeys thanks to Curious George. 

However, as it got closer to her birthday we realised that actually Edinburgh Zoo probably was not such a good idea after all as our baby boy Jacob is now at the age where he wants to be on the floor crawling around non-stop. The train journey would have been a nightmare with him and he would have gotten bored and restless being in his buggy at the zoo all day. We decided to cancel the zoo and we are planning on going for Sophia's third birthday next year instead. 

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Monday, 1 June 2015

Fathers Day Gifts With #TruprintDads

Fathers day is fast approaching and I am normally terrible at buying gifts for my other half, I never know what to buy him. The shops are full of gift ideas but he has the obligatory Daddy mug and pint glass and he has more than enough socks and would not appreciate a box of chocolates. And with his birthday being just a few days before Fathers day I wanted to get him something special for Fathers day, something a bit different that he can keep for years to come. 

Step forward Truprint a company I am sure you will have heard of as they are an online photo printing and gift company. They have a huge selection of great Fathers Day gift ideas such as mugs, photo books and wall art to name just a few of the lovely products they produce. What I love about these gifts is that you can choose any photo to add to the gift with a message of your choice making each gift unique and personal, perfect for fathers day.


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