Thursday, 9 August 2018

Taking Part In The Free Pets At Home My Pet Pals Workshop

My 5-year-old daughter Sophia is animal crazy, she adores any kind of animal and has been asking us non-stop for the past three years for a pet mouse or hamster. As she was so young we did not want to get her a small furry pet just yet as we wanted to wait until she was old enough to care for the pet and to understand to be gentle with animals and to handle and treat them correctly. So when I heard about the FREE My Pet Pals summer workshops being held at Pets at Home stores across the country this summer I thought this was the perfect opportunity for Sophia to learn about looking after a small furry animal. 

a My Pet Pals Workshop at Pets at home store

The My Pet Pals summer challenge is an hour-long workshop held in Pets at Home stores across the country, you simply visit  www.petsathome.com to book onto a workshop which is completely free of charge. When you attend the workshop you will also be given an activity booklet which has ten challenges for children to complete during the summer, my daughter has had great fun completing her booklet this past week as it encourages her to get active and also teaches her about caring for small pets. 

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Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Date Night At Aphrodite Greek Restaurant Cramlington

Aphrodite Greek restaurant is located at the Brockwell Centre in Cramlington and is somewhere I have always wanted to visit but never got around to. I don't know why I put off visiting for so long as we visited last week for a rare date night and it was delicious and I am kicking myself for not visiting sooner. I actually grew up a 2-minute walk from the Brockwell Centre and I used to go to the school there, my dad still lives in the house I grew up in. 

After seeing lots of friends and family comment on how nice Aphrodite was we decided to book a table when my dad offered to babysit for us. We visited on a Thursday evening and the restaurant had a real mix of customers, groups of families, couples and friends all enjoy a meal together in the relaxed restaurant which had a very holiday type vide to it.  

chicken main meal
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Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Disney Vampirina Bootastic Backpack & Spooky Scooter Toy Review

Vampirina is a children's TV show on the Disney Jr channel and my children love it, my little girl Sophia has been a big fan of the show since it launched. Earlier this year we reviewed some Vampirina toys and we were lucky enough to be sent some more Vampirina items to review, perfect for keeping my children entertained throughout the summer holidays. 

We were sent the Vampirina Bootastic Backpack set (RRP £24.99) this set includes a purple hard case backpack, just like the one that Vampirina herself wears in the show. The set also includes some funky spider sunglasses, some bat shaped hairclips, a keyring, a necklace with phrases from the show and some stickers. Great items for any Vampirina fan to enjoy dressing up with. 

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Friday, 3 August 2018

Things I Loved July 2018

It is now August, the summer holidays are in full swing and we are enjoying lots of family days out and lazy days at home. We have lots to look forward to in August as Jacob will be turning four and we have a few nice things planned to celebrate. I have hardly done any blogging lately as I have been enjoying spending time with all three children, but as it is now August I thought it was time I wrote about some of the things I have loved from July. 


1.) Summer Holidays 

I love the summer holidays, it is always lovely having all three children at home and having a break from the usual school routine. We have had some lovely days out so far and we have lots more planned as well as some lazy days at home playing in the garden or watching Disney films. 
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Thursday, 2 August 2018

The Wizard Of Oz At Whitley Bay Playhouse

As a family we do love a good pantomime, oh yes we do! (sorry I couldn't resist) so when we heard that The Wizard of Oz was heading to the Whitley Bay Playhouse this August we were looking forward to going to see the show. Reece Sibbald productions present the classic tale of The Wizard of Oz with a few minor adaptions and a whole heap of laughs, it is a show the whole family will enjoy and we left wishing we could see it again. 

Starring Dani Harmer (from Tracey Beaker and Strictly Come Dancing fame) as the wicked witch, Cal Halbert (from Britain's Got Talent) as the Wizard, Steve Arnott as the Lion, Pippa Smith as Dorothy, Alex Smith as the Tin Man, Lily Grundy as Glinda the good witch and producer and writer of the show Reece Sibbald as the hilarious Scarecrow. It was a cast that worked well together and really brought the show to life. 

wizard of oz cast
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Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Crate Creatures Surprise Toy Review

My little boy Jacob is almost 4-years-old and he is really into monsters, surprise toys and anything he thinks is disgusting and funny. So when we were recently sent a Crate Creature Surprise toy I knew this would be something he would enjoy. Crate Creatures Surprise are new interactive monster toys that come in a crate locked with a plastic chain and padlock that you have to open with the crowbar fixed to the side of the crate. 

The crate instantly appealed to Jacob and he could not wait to crack open the padlock and unleash the creature inside.

Crate Creatures Surprise box

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Friday, 20 July 2018

Are You Saving For Your Child's Future?

Are you saving for your child's future? is something that I was asked recently and I will be honest and say that as a Mam of three I haven't been as children are expensive and we have had a lot going on the past few years, moving house, saving for a wedding and I also gave up my full-time job when my youngest was born almost 4-years-ago. So saving has been the last thing on my mind as we did think of it as a luxury we could not afford over the past few years, as money was tight as a one income family.

However lately we are in a much better financial position and as the children get older it is something that I have been thinking of. My eldest is turning 16 in just a few months, before we know it she will be starting driving lessons and wanting a car of her own. Maybe she will be off to university or want to buy her own home in a few years time and as a Mam, I obviously want to be able to help her with these costs.

money and clock
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Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Places To Visit In Majorca With Children

In May we went on holiday to the beautiful island of Majorca, somewhere I visited myself when I was younger and enjoyed re-visiting with my own family. We had a wonderful week in the sun and I know that we will definitely return again one day as it is the perfect destination for a holiday with children. It has a short flight time of just two and a half hours from the UK with daily flights and lots of hotels and resorts to choose from. I have been to the popular resorts of Alcudia and more recently to Santa Ponsa and have also visited Magaluf and Palma Nova for days out. It is somewhere that I don't think I will ever get bored of visiting as there is so much to see and do. 

So what are the must-see sights in Majorca? 

santa ponsa beach Majorca 2018
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Sunday, 15 July 2018

Fun To Learn Friends Art Magazine

With the summer holidays looming I have started to think of things to do to keep my children entertained, we have a few days out planned and probably lots of park and soft play visits as well as some time at home. My youngest two are three and five years old so they do often get bored easily and like to be entertained when at home, their favourite thing is crafting and getting creative. However, I am the least crafty person ever so when I heard of Fun to Learn Friends Art magazine I thought this sounded ideal for keeping my children entertained. 

Fun to Learn Friends Art is a 36-page magazine packed with inspirational ideas to make, design, colour, stick and cut-out. Each issue comes with a craft-kit attached that will help children make the ideas from the magazine. Perfect for an uncrafty parent like myself! 

 friends art magazine review
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Saturday, 14 July 2018

How We Are Saving For Our Wedding Next Year

In June we are getting married and we haven't even started saving yet, I really should as our original budget has almost doubled as I keep seeing things that I want for the big day. Thanks, Pinterest and Royal Wedding fever. I had a bit of a panic last week as I realised we haven't saved anything, other than paying deposits for suppliers and my dad paying for my venue hire. We have just under a year now to save and plan for our wedding day so I have been thinking of ways we can save some money whilst still enjoying family life.

Whenever I read tips or advice on saving money for your wedding it always mentions getting married on a weekday or out of season to save money, I booked a Saturday in June - prime wedding season. We also don't know anyone who bakes or does photography or make-up so we have had to pay for all of our suppliers. None of the tips in the magazines on saving money for your wedding worked for us so I have been thinking of ways we can save.

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Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Robots Then & Now Exhibition At Life Science Centre Newcastle

The Life Science Centre in Newcastle always has interesting exhibits on, a couple of years ago we visited the Animal Inside Out exhibition and this summer it is the turn of the robots. Robots - then and now tells the 500-year work in progress story of the building of automated machines. You will discover 16th-century mechanical automations to the latest humanoids and everything in between. 

robots then and now

Robots are not really anything that I have ever shown any interest in but my other half and little boy love anything like this so we decided to visit the Life Science Centre to see what the robots were like. 
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Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Things I Loved June 2018

Summer is well and truly here as we have been enjoying lots of lovely sunshine (I hope I don't jinx things by saying that) and it is almost time for the long-awaited summer holidays. Now it is July it is time for me to write about some of the things that I have loved from the month gone by, a sort of happy list. June was an okay month for us, it was not as amazing as May had been but it was not a bad month either. 

So here are some of the things that I have loved in June 2018. 

hook the duck at the fair
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Monday, 2 July 2018

A Year To Go Before I Say I Do

In just under a year I will be getting married! Last June we got engaged and booked our venue and it felt like it was ages away, I can't believe how fast the past year has flown by and I bet in no time at all it will soon be June 2019 and my big day will be here. Now that it is less than a year to go I have most definitely had an 'Oh my gosh this just got real' moment. 

When we got engaged last year we quickly booked the venue and registrar and then kind of sat back and though we have ages to plan everything. I am kind of regretting that laid-back attitude now if I am honest. We do have a lot of the 'big' things booked like the venue, the registrar, a photographer, DJ, cake maker and hairdresser. However, we still have so much to still book, organise and save for.

 
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Friday, 29 June 2018

Is The Nissan Leaf Electric Car A Good Family Car?

In recent years electric cars have become really popular with charge points popping up in local towns and cities all around the country.

 I will be completely honest and say that I didn't know a lot about electric cars and I honestly thought they weren't for families like my own, who like to go on day trips and use a car fairly often. So when we were set a challenge of taking an electric car on a family day out by Lookers I was curious to see what it would be like and how it performed as a family car. I don't actually drive so I was the passenger on this outing. 

On Saturday we were invited along to our local Lookers Nissan dealership in Newcastle to collect the car we would be test driving, the Nissan Leaf. The staff were friendly and helpful as they demonstrated how the car worked and explained all the extra tech and features that the car has, it has a lot! We also learned a little about the Lookers Electric Charge in aid of Ben group challenge, which Lookers is supporting by taking a 6-month long road trip across its dealerships from Ireland, over to Scotland and down to Surrey. BEN group is a not for profit organisation that helps people in the automotive industry and their families. So, with my own dad working in the industry for 40 years, I was interested to learn about this fantastic campaign. 

White Nissan Leaf car at the coast
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Sunday, 24 June 2018

Cirque Berserk Review

The circus has come to town and not just any old circus but the must-see Cirque Berserk, Zippos Circus have created a real circus just for theatre. Billed as Britains biggest theatre circus spectacular it has received rave reviews from the press and we were invited along to join in the fun at Newcastle's legendary Tyne Theater and Opera House.

Showcasing the finest in traditional circus thrills and skills, Cirque Berserk! celebrates the 250th anniversary of the invention of circus by bringing this treasured form of live entertainment bang up-to-date in a jaw-dropping spectacular created especially for the theatre. Combing contemporary cirque-style artistry with adrenaline-fuelled stunt action, this astoundingly talented international troupe includes over thirty jugglers, acrobats, aerialists, dancers, drummers and daredevil stuntmen. featuring the world's most hair-raising circus act - the legendary motorcycle 'Globe of Death'. 

Cirque Berserk review
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Thursday, 21 June 2018

All Inclusive Food At The Pirates Village Hotel Santa Ponsa Majorca

On our recent family holiday to Majorca, we stayed at the Pirates Village Hotel located in Santa Ponsa, Majorca. Travelling with our three children we decided to go all inclusive as it only worked out about £500 more than self-catering and we thought it would be best for the children. Before we went I tried looking online to see what the food was like, but there was not much information available and I was a bit worried as my daughter is a very fussy eater (so am I). So I thought I would write this post in case anyone is else is visiting and is wondering what the food and drink are like on the all-inclusive package.

six meals from holiday at Pirates Village hotel Santa Ponsa Majorca

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Monday, 18 June 2018

Flying With Jet2 To Majorca

Over the past few years, Jet2.com and Jet2 Holidays have become really popular, especially here in Newcastle where they have a base with quite a few aircrafts. So when we were looking to book a holiday last year my brother recommended that we book via Jet2 Holidays, as he had recently been on a Jet2 holiday and he has also worked in travel all of his working life and travelled the world - so he knows what he is talking about. Jet2 market themselves as being a friendly low-cost airline, as I had not travelled with a 'budget' airline before I was not sure what to expect, spoiler it was a lot better than I expected. 

boarding a Jet2 plane at Palma airport Majorca
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Monday, 11 June 2018

Wedding Outfits From Roco Clothing

Next June I am getting married and now it is just a year away I am starting to get organised and get everything sorted for the big day. We booked the venue last year and have most of the main suppliers booked, so I am starting to look for outfits for us all. I am going wedding dress shopping at the end of the year (once I have hopefully lost some weight), the other half is going suit shopping early next year so that just leaves the children. I am having all three of my children as bridesmaids and page boy and also my two nieces as flower girls and I had no idea where to start looking for outfits. 

I had heard a few people mention Roco Clothing in some of the wedding groups I am in and comment on what lovely children's formal outfits they sell at great prices. A quick peek at their website and I knew this was where I would be getting my flower girl dresses and page boy suit from. Roco Clothing has so much choice at really affordable prices and I really struggled with what outfit to select as they had so much choice, especially for little boys suits.


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Saturday, 9 June 2018

World Doll Day With Tiny Tears

Did you know that today, the 9th June is world doll day? Nope me either. Dolls are so loved around the world though that I am not surprised that they have their own day. To help celebrate World Doll Day, my recently turned 5-year-old daughter, Sophia was sent a Tiny Tears Interactive Doll. Sophia adores dolls, she plays with her 'babies' as she calls them all of the time, dressing them up, pushing them around in the buggy and playing games. She has lots of dolls and even reviewed a Tiny Tears Doll when she was three, which she still plays with now. 

The interactive Tiny Tears doll was a lot different though and Sophia was so excited when it arrived, she could not wait to get it out the box. This doll is different to the classic doll in that it still drinks from a bottle and 'wee's but it also cries and talks, unlike the classic doll. It also looks like a baby with baby-like features and clothing and comes with accessories such as a bottle, potty, bib and nappy. She comes with batteries already included so she is ready to play with as soon as you open the box. 

tiny tear interactive doll and accessories
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A Spanish Villa For Our Honeymoon

Last month we visited the beautiful Spanish island of Majorca and it has reignited my passion for travel. Every day since we returned I have been browsing travel sites looking for where to go on our next adventure. As our children are still young we have decided to stick with Europe for now, due to the short flight times and we will probably return to Spain or the lovely Spanish Balearic Islands. I really adore Spain, the sunshine, beautiful beaches, bustling markets and the super tasty tapas to eat. Plus there is so much to do for families, with waterparks, boat trips, theme parks and plenty of amazing places to visit like the caves of drac to name just a few. 

The only problem is I want to book somewhere a bit more luxurious and special next year as we are getting married next June and I want somewhere amazing for our family honeymoon. There are a few nice hotels but hardly any of them sleep families of five and I don't want to book two separate rooms and be sleeping apart from my new husband on our honeymoon. Then I discovered Luxury Retreats who offer an impressive range of luxury Spanish villa holidays and I knew instantly that this is the kind of holiday I want to book for our honeymoon, I have now been looking for houses to rent in Spain

Majorca, sea, cliffs and boats in the sea
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Friday, 8 June 2018

Fathers Day Gift Ideas

Next Sunday the 17th June 2018 is Fathers Day and I don't know about you but I always struggle with buying gifts for my partner from the children. This year will be extra tricky for me as not only is the 17th June Fathers Day but it is also my other halfs birthday, meaning I have to get him two lots of presents and make the day extra special for him. The pressure is on! 

The shops seem to be full of Dad mugs, glasses, socks and t-shirts which we have already brought in past years. So I have been looking for something different, something that he will enjoy and that is not too expensive as I have to buy birthday gifts as well as fathers day gifts this year. 

Flavourly Craft Beer Box £25

10 bottled of craft beers unopened on lawn
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Thursday, 7 June 2018

BRIO Fire Station Review

My three-year-old son Jacob is a huge fan of BRIO toys, he has a Metro railway track, train track set and police station and he loves joining them together and making big playsets he sits and plays with for hours. So when we were recently sent a BRIO Fire Station set I knew this would be a great addition to his ever-growing collection. The BRIO Fire Station is part of the 'rescue' range and is ideal for playing with his police station set

BRIO Fire Station playset set up
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Wednesday, 6 June 2018

May 2018

I haven't sat down and written a post about the month that has gone by in what feels like ages, I enjoy writing these posts as someday I think they will be nice for us as a family to look back on. May was a brilliant month for us as a family, without a doubt the best month we have had in a long time. We had so much family time together, we went on holiday and celebrated Sophia's birthday and the other half also started a new job which is so much better for us as a family. So let's have a look at what May was like for us. 

Santa Ponsa beach at sunset
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Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Things I Loved May 2018

May is now coming to an end and it is time for me to write about the things that I have loved from the month gone by again. It doesn't seem long ago since I was writing about the things I loved in April, this month really has gone by so fast as we have had an amazing month. May used to be a month I dreaded as it is the anniversary of my mam's death, now May is a happy month as both myself and my brother have daughters born in May and this May was filled with lots of extra lovely things. 

So here are some of the things I have loved and that have made me happy this month. 

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Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Simply Beach - Holiday Essentials

At the start of the month, we went on a family holiday to the beautiful island of Majorca for some much-needed sunshine and relaxing (well as relaxing as can be with three children). We had the most amazing holiday and even though we have only been home a couple of weeks I am already planning next years holiday and have my eye on a luxury resort in Greece. I have a serious case of the holiday blues right now, I am longing to feel the golden sand between my toes again, feel the waves splashing over my feet and feel the warm sun on my skin. 

If I didn't have my wedding to save up for next year then I would most definitely have already booked another holiday for later on this year. Luckily we live near the Northumberland coast so I think I will just have to try and enjoy a few beach days at home instead this summer, fingers crossed for sunshine. I am certainly ready for the beach as I bought lots of lovely summer clothing for our holiday and I was also gifted some super lovely items from Simply Beach to take with us on our holiday.

Beach towel, silver flip flops and large beach bag on a beach in Majorca

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Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Win A £100 Voucher To Spend At Frederick Thomas This Father's Day

Father's Day is on the 17th of June this year, which is also my partners birthday so I will have to get him something extra special this year. I don't know about you but I always struggle buying Father's Day gifts as the shops just seem to be full of mugs, pint glasses and socks and there is only so many of those that one person needs. If you too are struggling with what to buy your dad or partner this Father's Day then I have just the giveaway for you. 

To celebrate Father's Day on Sunday the 17th June 2018, one lucky reader can win a £100 voucher to spend online at www.frederickthomas.co.uk

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Monday, 21 May 2018

Our First Family Holiday To Majorca, Pirates Village Santa Ponsa

At the start of May, we went on our very first family holiday abroad as a family of five and we had a brilliant time. As it was the little twos first time on a plane and going abroad we wanted somewhere that was a short flight away and where the weather would be sunny but not too hot, so we decided to go to the beautiful island of Majorca which is just a two and a half hour flight and would not be too hot at this time of year. We booked Pirates Village hotel on an all-inclusive basis with Jet2 Holidays, as we had read so many great reviews on TripAdvisor and it looked like a really family-friendly hotel that was ideal for young children. 

Pirate themed hotel Majorca
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Friday, 18 May 2018

Smyths Toys Is Hosting A Free Party

Next weekend is a bank holiday weekend and it is also the start of the May half-term holidays, if you don't have any plans yet then why not head to your local Smyths toy store. Smyths will be hosting free parties at all of their stores next Saturday the 26th May 2018 from 9am to 2pm, there is no need to book either as you just turn up on the day and there will be lots going on to keep children entertained. 

Smyths toys party
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Thursday, 17 May 2018

Disney Emoji Toy Review

My little girl Sophia is a huge fan of Disney and she also loves any kind of collectable, so when I heard about the new series two range of Disney Emoji products I knew these would be right up her street. Based on the popular Disney Emoji Blitz smartphone game and 'As Told By' stories on YouTube there are 28 much-loved Disney Characters to collect. The range includes collectable, Chatties plushes and Swapsies large plushes. 

To celebrate the recent release of the Disney Emoji series two range we were sent a selection of products from the range to see what Sophia thought of them. 

Disney Emoji products
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Wednesday, 16 May 2018

SwimFin Review

We have recently returned from our first family holiday abroad to the beautiful island of Majorca. We stayed at Pirates Village which is a brilliant hotel for children as it has a fantastic pool area with slides, splash buckets and pools of varying depths. When we booked I knew my youngest son Jacob, aged 3 would want to be in the pools all of the time, however, at just 3 years old he can't quite swim yet. So I began searching for pool aids to keep him safe and to help him feel confident in the water, as he finds armbands and rubber rings restrictive. 

So when we were recently offered a SwimFin to review this seemed like the perfect swimming aid to help Jacob build water confidence and enjoy himself in the swimming pools. The SwimFin comes in a range of different colours, we got an orange one which is his favourite colour. As you can guess from the name it is shaped like a fin and you attach it to your children's back with the velcro straps provided, meaning that it does not get in the way when they are swimming. 

orange swimfin

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Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Things I Loved April 2018

I am super late in writing this post as I normally write about things that I have loved at the end of each month. However, at the very end of April we jetted off on our first family holiday abroad, it was so nice to relax in the sunshine, spend quality family time together and have a break from normal everyday life. We had such an amazing holiday and the children are already begging us to return to Majorca, they loved it that much!

I have also really enjoyed my break from social media and blogging too but now I am feeling refreshed and ready to get back into the swing of things. I will be writing some blog posts about our holiday as we took so many photos and videos of our stay and so many people have asked us what the hotel was like. But for now, I thought I would write about some of the things that I loved in April 2018. 

Santa Ponsa Bay In Majorca, cliffs, sea, boats
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Saturday, 28 April 2018

We Are Off On Holiday

Next week we are off on holiday, our first family holiday abroad and we are all super excited. We are all so ready for a break for the past few weeks/ months have been tough with non-stop illnesses and plenty of worry and stress. I think we are all more than ready for a break from normal, everyday life we are looking forward to a chance to relax, unwind and spend quality time together as a family. 

pink beach towel, passport, sunglasses and sun lotion
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Wednesday, 25 April 2018

L.O.L Surprise! Pearl Surprise Review

My little girl Sophia is almost 5 years old and she is L.O.L crazy! All the little girls in her class seem to be collecting them and Sophia is no different, she already has a sister doll, baby sister and a pet and she is eager to build up her collection and has asked for some for her upcoming birthday. So when we were recently sent a limited edition L.O.L Pearl Surprise to review it was like her birthday had come early! As soon as she seen the L.O.L Pearl she picked it up and hugged it - cute!

L.O.L Pearl Surprise box
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Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Little Tikes Anchors Away Pirate Ship Water Table Review

Now that the weather is starting to get warmer my children love being outdoors playing and having fun. One thing that my three-year-old son has been eager for us to get was a water table to play with in the garden, as he adores playing with the water table at nursery. Luckily we were sent a Little Tikes Anchors Away Pirate Ship Water table to review last week, just in time for the lovely sunny weather we had over the weekend. 

When the water table arrived it was in a huge box and needed to be put together and screws fitted to keep things in place. The instructions did say you need a drill but we managed just fine with a star shaped screwdriver. The other half built the water table in about half an hour and he is normally useless at putting toys together but he found it really easy to construct this. Once built it looks really impressive and is big enough for my 3 and 4 year olds to play with it together, it is also really sturdy and comes with lots of accessories for children to play with. 

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Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Other Bloggers Family Lives Featuring Mimi Rose And Me

This week on Other Bloggers Family Lives I am joined by Kelly-Anne who blogs at Mimi Rose and Me, which is a UK based family lifestyle blog based in Norfolk. Kelly-Anne blogs about life as a mum, days out, beauty, reviews and food among other things. So let's find out more about the family behind Mimi Rose And Me.

  Mimi Rose And Me Blogger with her daughter

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Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Saving For Our Family Holiday

In just two weeks time we will be off on our very first family holiday abroad as a family of five, I can not wait! I am longing to feel the warm sun on my skin, see the delight on my children's faces as they splash about in the pool and to spend quality family time together. I am officially counting down the sleeps until we jet off for some sun (fingers crossed the sun is shining).

As a family of five, holidays abroad cost a lot of money, so many hotels don't have rooms big enough and paying for an extra room or a larger room often makes the cost mount up. My eldest is 15 now so we have to pay adult price for her, and three adults and two children is not cheap. We were being quoted over £5000 just for one week in an average hotel during the summer holidays in Europe. Crazy!

trees and sea
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Monday, 16 April 2018

National Citizen Service For Teenagers

My eldest daughter is turning 16 in a few months, she is studying for her GCSE's and is seriously thinking about what she wants to do when she leaves school, she is currently torn between two options. She will soon be venturing into the world of college and work and I often wonder if she is ready for it. So when I heard of National Citizen Service (NCS) I thought that this sounded like a brilliant programme to help equip and ready our teens for life after school. 

teenagers doing first aid

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Friday, 13 April 2018

March 2018

March was such a strange month wasn't it? I can not believe that it snowed for most of the month, crazy! March was basically a sick month in our household, every single day in March I had a sick child. First Jacob came down with a bad case of tonsillitis and was on antibiotics for ten days, then Sophia came down with chicken pox and was off school for over a week, my teen had cold sores in her eyes and ended up in the eye hospital twice, then Jacob got chicken pox. I feel like I have spent the whole month stuck at home with an ill or housebound child and I definitely have a case of cabin fever. 

As we have been stuck at home with chicken pox everything has kind of been a disaster this month if I am honest. I have not been able to attend my Slimming World groups as I have been housebound with sick kids, I have rarely had time to blog and my house is a mess. I feel a bit bad saying this but I actually can not wait for the children to return to school on Monday and to resume some kind of normality. 

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Thursday, 12 April 2018

Decorating The Children's Bedroom On A Budget

Seventeen months ago we moved into our forever, family home and we have done a lot of work to the house in that time. However, it still needs a lot more work done to make it how we want, we have not done anything to the house since late last year but now spring is here I feel like I want to start getting the house finished. Renovating a house costs a lot of money and honestly, at the moment we don't have a lot of spare cash as we are off on holiday in a few weeks and we are also busy saving for our wedding next summer too. So I have been planning on decorating on a budget, starting with my children's bedrooms. So here is how I am going to do it. 

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Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Other Bloggers Family Lives Featuring Joanne's World

This week on Other Bloggers Family Lives I am featuring Joanne who blogs at Joanne's World. Joanne blogs about being a mum to two young boys, beauty and lifestyle. So let's find out more about the family behind Joanne's World.

Joanne's World blog logo


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Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Baby Alive Sweet Spoonfuls Doll Review

My 4-year-old daughter Sophia is doll and baby crazy at the moment, she currently has her heart set on being a babysitter when she is older and she spends hours playing with her baby dolls. Sophia has a lot of baby dolls but she has never had a Baby Alive doll before, although she has been after a one since her cousin got a one for Christmas. However, Hasbro recently sent her a Baby Alive Sweet Spoonful doll to review and this is what we thought.


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Monday, 9 April 2018

Barburrito Metrocentre Review & Giveaway

As a family we love dining out, however with two under 5s when we dine out as a family these days we normally opt for somewhere that is quick and serves food we know the children will enjoy. So when we were recently holiday shopping in the Metrocentre (we are now on countdown to our family holiday to Majorca in just a few short weeks) we decided to visit Barburrito, situated in the Cube dining area. We had never visited Barburrito before but it is quick and filling food - making it perfect for a shopping trip lunch stop. 

Barburrito Metrocentre exterior
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Friday, 6 April 2018

Things I Loved March 2018

March has been a bit of a disaster month for us, I have had an ill child every single day this month! Jacob started the month with a bad case of tonsillitis which totally wiped him out and resulted in him being on antibiotics five times a day for ten days, the day he got better and went back to nursery Sophia came down with chicken pox and was off school for just over a week. The day she went back to school my teen Chloe was sent home from school with sore eyes and ended up in the eye hospital due to an infection and was on antibiotics, antiviral medication and creams and drops. Then yep you guessed it the day she started to get better and went back to school Jacob came down with chicken pox! 

As a result, I have spent most of this month housebound or stuck in doctor/hospital waiting rooms. We have had to cancel so many plans and have had a very quiet Easter but we have still managed to enjoy some things this month. So here are some of the things I have been loving in March. 

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Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Other Bloggers Family Lives Featuring Brummie Gal In Cardiff

This week on Other Bloggers Family Lives I am featuring Kim who blogs at Brummie Gal In Cardiff and is also the Mam of Kelly Allen Writer who I featured last year. Kim blogs about life in Wales, art and whatever else takes her fancy. So let's find out more about the blogger behind Brummie Gal In Cardiff.



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Sunday, 1 April 2018

Beauty And The Beast Easter Panto At Tyne Theatre & Opera House

Yesterday afternoon we headed into Newcastle to enjoy an Easter pantomime production of Beauty and the Beast at the Tyne Theatre and Opera House, in the city centre. We had planned on going to the show as a family but my youngest currently has chicken pox so just myself and my two girls (aged 4 and 15) went along to watch the show. The show is from the team behind last years Snow White pantomime at the Tyne Theatre and was starring Bobby Davro at Silly Billy and Dani Harmer (Tracy Beaker) as Belle. We were really looking forward to the show as Beauty and the Beast is both my girl's favourite fairytale. 

Beauty & the Beast panto poster
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Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Things To Do This Easter In & Around Newcastle

Schools will be breaking up for the Easter holidays tomorrow (some have already broken up) and I have been thinking of what to do with my children during the time of school. I had great plans to go on egg hunts, enjoy an Easter pantomime, visit the beach for fish and chips and see Peter Rabbit at the cinema. However, my little boy woke up yesterday morning covered in chicken pox, so it looks like most of our plans sadly won't be happening now. 

Whitehouse farm feeding a white goat at Easter

If you are still looking for some ideas of what to do this Easter in and around Newcastle then read on to see some of the things we had planned. 

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Other Bloggers Family Lives Featuring Money Saving Journeys

This week on Other Bloggers Family Lives I am featuring Kerry who blogs at Money Saving Journeys. Kerry blogs about saving money, making money, meal planning and budget travel, so let's find out more about the family behind Money Saving Journeys. 

Money Saving Journeys Blog Logo, name in pink

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Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Easter Gift Guide

My children get so many chocolate eggs at Easter, mainly from family so this year I have been looking for gifts that are a bit different for them. So I decided to do a quick Easter gift guide featuring some gifts and sweet treats that are perfect for Easter but make a nice change from a regular chocolate egg. 

peter rabbit the movie giant floor puzzle jigsaw in box

1.) Peter Rabbit Movie Giant Floor Puzzle

We are planning on visiting the cinema to see the new Peter Rabbit Movie this Easter half-term as it looks like the perfect Easter family film. This Peter Rabbit the movie Giant floor puzzle looks great fun and makes a nice change from chocolate this Easter. My younger children are aged 3 and 4 and they are big Peter Rabbit fans so they are sure to like this puzzle. It is recommended for children aged 4+ and is from Jumbo Games. You can buy it online from Amazon for £9.99. 
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Monday, 26 March 2018

Smyths New Baby Catalogue

When I was pregnant with my children I would spend hours browsing catalogues and magazines to see what equipment I wanted to buy. I loved looking through an actual catalogue rather than looking online as I could look at things with my partner and circle anything that caught my eye. So when the new Smyths baby catalogue popped through my letterbox last week I was eager to have a read. I am not pregnant and I don't have a baby anymore but I do have a three-year-old who is in need of a new car seat and I had heard Smyths fit your car seats in store for you - perfect. 

Smyths baby catalogue
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Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Other Bloggers Family Lives Featuring The Helpful Hiker

This week on Other Boggers Family Lives I am featuring Lauren who blogs at The Helpful Hiker. Lauren blogs about the great outdoors, walks, camping and family days out feature regularly on her blog. So let's find out more about the family behind The Helpful Hiker. 

Photo of the Helpful Hiker Bloggers family photo by a lake

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