Every couple of months or so I like to take a little break from my blog. I find disconnecting for a while and removing myself from the blogosphere does me the world of good. By taking a step back from blogging I am able to give more of my time and attention to my family and also indulge in my other hobbies, as well as enjoying some much needed ‘me time’.
Do you have bad eye sight? Are you like me and really struggle when it comes to buying new frames? I have been wearing glasses ever since I was a baby so glasses shopping has been part of my life for as long as I can remember. When I was growing up glasses were not cool, you got picked on for being s ‘four eyes’. These days though there are so many beautiful frames to choose from, people with perfectly good vision are choosing to wear glasses just as a fashion accessory. Glasses shopping has changed a lot since I was little too, gone are the days of spending hours in an opticians hunting through frame after frame trying to find the perfect pair, now you can do it all from the comfort of your home on your laptop. I was recently contacted by GlassesShop to see if I would like to review their service and some frames, always on the hunt for gorgeous glasses, I obviously said yes.
Who doesn’t love Instagram? Thousands of tiny squares full of gorgeous images, providing you with inspiration, motivation and a sneak peak into the lives of others. The whole world from every perspective is there for us to see, all we have to do is pick up our smart phone and look. I am no exception of course, I love Instagram., being a blogger as well I find it a really useful tool for connecting with other bloggers.
Recently, my sister bought Oli and I a National Trust membership as a belated birthday present, this is my idea of a perfect gift. There are so many National Trust properties in the Hampshire area, so many places to explore and thanks to my sister, lots of free family days out for us to enjoy. I am going to make it my mission for us to visit as many as we can before our membership runs out next March. On Saturday we decided to see what this National Trust thing was all about and headed off to The Vyne in Basingstoke for an adventure.
Ever since I have been able to use a camera, I have loved taking photos. I love capturing photographs of people, places and whatever pretty thing catches my eye. It wouldn’t be difficult to describe me as snap happy and I am more often found behind the camera than posing in front of one. Since becoming a Mum I have got literally thousands of photographs stored on my phone and laptop, I am sure lots of you parents out there can relate. When the lovely team at Wall Snaps contacted me asking if I wanted to review some of their products obviously I said yes, what a perfect excuse to finally get some of my photos off my phone and out on display.
Wall Snaps are an online photo printing service that help you create beautiful personalised wall art. You can get all your beautiful shots in canvas form or you can choose a customisable frame option or have a large poster-like print out to frame yourself at a later date.
The brand new seires of Game of Thrones starts on Monday and it is safe to say that I am more than a bit excited. Although I am still reeling from the end of series 5, #forthewatch #heartbroken, I can’t wait to see what this series has in store. My favourite thing about Game of Thrones is not the violence, the sex or the creepy White Walkers, it is following all the different characters and their messed up little lives. Most of my favourites have now fallen victim to the cruel writing of George R R Martin and been brutally killed off (sob) but one person who is still going strong is the woman of too many names to list, Daenerys Targaryen.
As I watch Daenerys conquer city after city I can’t help but think motherhood would be a lot easier if I was the Mother of Dragons. Confused? Let me explain.. View Post
I found out I was pregnant this time around when I was already 5 weeks gone, I probably knew I was pregnant from about 3 weeks though. I don’t know if it is because this is my second pregnancy or because Oli and I were very much trying to make a baby but I knew I was pregnant at least a week before ever reliable Aunt Flo decided not to show up. When I sat on the loo and took a test on that Wednesday afternoon in February, I was positive it was going to be..well..positive!
At one point or another, we have all had a secret we have kept from everyone else. A little bit of information we have held on to tightly and guarded as if it were gold. If and when we decide to disclose this precious truth, great thought is given to who can be trusted with it. View Post
I have been vlogging for a couple of months now and I would hardly describe my YouTube account as buzzing with activity. Actually, I am surprised that I don’t see a tumble weed rolling across the screen every time I log in to check my channel. This month I have decided to take part in the Vlog Stars linky hosted by the lovely Aby (You Baby Me Mummy) and Amy (Mr and Mrs T plus three), it seemed like a good excuse to get another vlog uploaded and I have been following the linky for a while now. I have been wanting to get involved myself but confidence has held me back, until now!
Very rarely do I get excited by something I have received via my home’s letterbox. Bills? Yay, another thing to worry about. Junk mail? I don’t care that you have the best double glazed windows for sale in town, please leave me alone. An appointment for a lady check up at the doctors? Important, yes. Exciting? Not so much.
Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I get nice packages through the post when I have been on an online shopping spree but more often than not I end up missing the delivery and having to reschedule or take a trip to the post office to pick it up. So, when Baker Days, the personalised celebration cake specialists, asked if I wanted to receive a cake through my letterbox I couldn’t write back and say yes quick enough. Who wouldn’t want a cake sat waiting for them when they went to grab the post in the morning?
Baker Days letterbox cake review View Post
I have some exciting news.
Today, Oli and I celebrate our 3rd wedding anniversary.
3 years since my Dad walked me down the aisle.
3 years since we said “I do”.
3 years since I became a wife to the man of my dreams.
I know it is a cheesy thing to say but I really do believe Oli is The One. My perfect match and my soul mate. I was 18 when Oli and I got together and 21 when we got married, with a tiny baby Leo squirming around in my belly, hidden away under my wedding dress. Some may think I was too young, I settled down too soon but to those people I will simply say this, you’re wrong.
So what if I was still a teenager when I met my future husband? All this means is I get to have him in my life for longer, I get to be his wife for longer. I don’t regret for a second settling down and getting married in my early twenties, I feel lucky to have met the love of my life so young. The complicated world of online dating, Tinder, that terrifying ticking of my metaphorical biological clock will always be a mystery to me. Instead of spending years searching for Mr Right, I already have him, curled up with me on the sofa perfectly happy in each others company. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, do you?
Don’t get me wrong, we argue sometimes. I highly doubt there is a marred couple out there who can swear, hand on heart, that they never disagree with each other, We argue about big things and small things and everything in between but we always make up eventually, we always know we love each other even when we are fighting.
You might be wondering, how do I know Oli is definitely the one? What makes me so sure I have chosen the right person to spend the rest of my life with? Well, here is how I know…
* I can’t think about a future where he isn’t around without nearly crying.
* I don’t care that I spent my university years cuddled up in a little flat with him instead of going out partying every night and living in a student house like everyone else.
* I suck at talking about feelings but he persevered and helped me open up. Now I can tell him anything,
* If I am being a bit dull he will tell me and I like that he’s not scared to correct me when I’m wrong.
* Even when he has been a bit of a crappy guy I can’t stay mad at him for long. I hate it when we’re not friends,
* Although he’s not that great on the compliments front, I know he still fancies me.
* 7 years on and we still say “I love you” every single day.
* I love to listen to him talk, he knows loads of stuff and I feel like he teaches me so much..
* He makes me laugh a lot. Even when I’m mad at him, which is so annoying.
* I can’t stand arguing with him, Not just because arguing is horrible but because I just want us to be happy,
* He knows when I’m not fine, even when I say I am.
* We kick ass at board games, full marks on Mr&Mrs every time.
* We are a great team.
* I still can’t help peeking at him when he’s getting changed, even though that body is not new to my eyes,
* No one has ever made me feel as special as he does.
* He gives me the push I need to be more confident and will always support me in the decisions I make,
* If I am down he always cheers me up, he never wants to see me sad.
* He works hard every day so I can stay home and look after our boy,
* All those years where we were really skint we always said it was OK as long as we were together. I would rather be living in a box with him than be a millionaire and alone,
* There is no other man in the whole world I would want as the father of my child,
* I’m pretty sure I have always known.
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My boy is such a bookworm. It may seem a strange way to describe someone who can’t read a single word but it is true, Leo absolutely loves books. Toys are great and everything but, when it comes to entertainment, nothing can compete with a good book in my toddler’s eyes.
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The Old Bear story by Jane Hissey is a firm bedtime favourite in this house. Lots of talking cuddly toys go on adventure to save their friend Old Bear from the loft. Think Toy Story, but with cuter, cuddlier toys.
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The tale of a not so scary dragon, witch and giant. This book is both exciting and funny and Leo just can’t get enough of it.
3. Room on the broom
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Julia Donaldson is a fantastic children’s author, if you haven’t heard of her then you must have been hiding under a rock in the deep dark wood. This story of a friendly witch, lots of animals and a rickety old broom is sure to ignite the imagination of any toddler.
4. Dear Zoo
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The classic lift the flap book full of animal fun. This interactive book is great fun, your toddler will love discovering what animal the zoo have sent next.
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Something strange is going on in Edward’s house at night, a mystery only his alter ego Detective Ted can solve. An exciting, rhyming tale of a crime fighting teddy and his hamster sidekick.
There are so many A B C books on Leo’s bookshelf but his favourite has to be this Pepa Pig one, of course! Each page has a letter, picture and the corresponding word (A is for apple etc), Leo can recognise nearly all the pctures/letters now.
How could I write a list about books and not include this one? The well known story of a little mouse and his adventure through The Deep Dark Word is a must for every toddler’s bookshelf.
Spot books are the original lift the flap books and this one is definitely one of Leo’s favourites. Join Spot on his first ever trip to the beach, build sandcastles, go swimming and maybe even make some new friends too.
A book full of sleepy monsters all in for a big surprise when they are woken up by a mysterious noise. This book is bright, fun and perfect for any monster fanatics out there.
Yet another Julia Donaldson book here, she is just brilliant. Meet Zog, a young dragon who desperately wants to get a golden star from his teacher at dragon school. Can he do it? You’ll have to read it to find out.
This is another story from the Old Bear collection. Little Beat has lost his favourite red trousers, help him and the other toys find them before they are lost forever.
I am pretty sure we have the whole collection of Peppa Pig books but this is the one Leo always asks for. Peppa and her family are off to spend the day at the fun fair, expect disasters for Daddy Pig on the helter skelter, lots of prizes for Peppa and lots of snorting from your toddler.
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A colourfully illustrated book of the popular children’s nursery rhyme. Leo loves singing along and it is a book that requires very little concentration from me, win win!
14. Not now Bernard
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This story is about the day Bernard finds a monster in his garden. His parent’s ignore his fears of being eaten, with disastrous consequences. It sounds horrible, but Leo loves monsters so he finds this story very entertaining.
15. Peppa Pig: Stomp and roar!
This is a noisy book all about Peppa and her friends trip to Grampy Rabbit’s Dinosaur Park. There are buttons to press to make snorts, roars and even a song at the end. Your toddler will love this book but it might give you a headache after a while.
Just one of the many Mr Men books available. Mr Daydream takes Jack away from his boring history lesson and they travel all over the world, having adventures and getting into trouble.
Jane Hissey’s Old Bear collection really is perfect bedtime reading material. Ruff is the story of a little dog who has never had a birthday, that is until he comes bounding into Old Bears house and the toys decide to give him a whole week of birthday parties. A lovely story full of just as lovely illustrations.
Dulcie finds a shark in the bath but her parent’s don’t believe her when she tells them. The story sees Dulcie try and out smart the shark before he and his family eat her up for breakfast,
A simple little book about a boy Ben and his new penguin. Your toddler will find Ben’s efforts to get his penguin to talk really funny, will they ever be best friends? You will have to wait until the very last page to find that one out.
This is one of four books all about different family members (Mum, Dad, Grandpa and Granny). Leo loves My Grandpa is amazing best because, well, they are aren’t they? To a child, grandparents are just the best thing ever.
I know, it’s another Julia Donaldson book but she is definitely Leo’s favourite author. This story has a fun little song, a friendly giant and lots of talking animals as well. Brightly illustrated by Axel Scheffler, Donaldson’s tales are easily recognisable in any book shop.
This may have a seasonal theme but if your child loves dinosaurs then this book can be enjoyed all year round. When a little boy gets too greedy, Father Christmas decides to send him a dinosaur to teach him what Christmas is really about, a lesson with very smelly consequences!
Does your toddler love a good book too? Have you got any of these books? I would love to know what your little ones favourite book is.
It has been a whole year since I sat down with my tablet, on yet another lonely afternoon while Leo was sleeping away the hours, and set up this very blog. Little did I know back then where I would be in a years time. I had no idea that something that was just meant to fill the hour or two in the afternoon while Leo had his nap would become such a big part of my life.
What cheers you up and makes you happy? When you are feeling low or need a little boost, what do you do? For me, if I need to get motivated or want to get into a better mood I stick the radio on. A sing and dance to some music can really help if you are feeling a bit down. Sometimes the beats or an amazing voice singing at you are enough to do the trick but, more often than not, it is the lyrics that help make the real difference.
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It has been a whole six months since we moved to Hampshire. That is half a year since we said goodbye to Swansea and headed across the border, walking away from our old life and towards something new and exciting.
If I am honest, I still don’t feel settled here. I miss my friends and miss my parents only being 90 minutes away up the road. I miss the beach and the toddler groups Leo and I used to go to. I even miss my bar maid job in the theatre and I never thought I would ever say that.
Life here is different to what we have been used to. Oli is working longer hours, his job is stressful and even when he is home his mind is often still in work. All things we were expecting when he got a job as a care home manager, but nothing can quite prepare you for how that added responsibility at work can impact on your family life. Living in a bungalow around the back of Oli’s work has often added to the feeling that he is never off call. Staff come tapping on the door all hours of the day and Oli disappears to sort out something at work, this happens on the weekends too. Once we are out of this house and in a place that actually feels like home I am hoping I might start to feel a bit more content here.
I also can’t get used to having no money I can call my own, my job in Swansea wasn’t amazing but at least I had one. Settling back in to being a full time stay at home Mum has been easy, although I often still crave those few child free evenings a week I used to spend at work. I did spend the first few months here applying for jobs but there are only so many rejection emails you can get before you need to take a break and scrape your self esteem back up off the floor.
I am finding it difficult to make friends too, this makes me feel miserable and a bit pathetic. There are a few mums I chat to at various toddler groups but they are more acquaintances than actual mates. Six whole months and not one person has suggested we go for coffee or take the kids to soft play or something. I am not going to get too upset about it, I do have lots of friends, they are just scattered all over the country and I don’t see them very often. I am sure I will meet some lovely people here, I just need put myself out there a bit more I guess.
It has not all been doom and gloom for the past half a year though. I have loved exploring our new area with Leo and Oli. We have been on lots of days out and made lots of fun memories exploring new and exciting places. Ignoring the lack of money, friends and general contentment, life in Hampshire isn’t so bad. With Spring and the promise of sunny weather just around the corner, who knows what we will be up to over the next half of our first year in Hampshire.
Here are some of the things we have been up to since we moved in September. These are the happy memories and the positives to living here I am going to force myself to remember everytime my heart pines for the life I loved so much in Swansea.
We have had lots of fun exploring all the local woods and forests..
Family have come to stay and we always take them on the train for a browse around the impressive shopping centre in Southampton..
We have been on adventures to exciting castles in Basingstoke and Titchfield
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The Lie by C.L.Taylor, well what can I say? I read this book in 3 days and this is not something I have been able to do since becoming a parent. The opportunities to sit and completely submerge yourself in the pages of a book for hours on end are lost once you have an actual human to look after. However, for The Lie I made the time, picking it up whenever I had a spare minute or 2 and spending whole evenings devouring chapter after chapter. If you are looking for a fast paced, gripping read then you need not look any further.
Nothing beats a nice, long family walk, don’t you agree? There is just something about exploring the great outdoors, soaking up nature’s beauty and enjoying the peace and freedom of the countryside that I absolutely love. Put Leo in a forest or on the beach and he is in his element, his curiosity free to run wild and his inner explorer unleashed. If you follow me on InstaGram you will know that Leo and I are always off on little outdoor adventures, splashing in puddles and navigating our way through various local woodland. Being a family that loves the outdoors, I was so excited when Trespass, one of the most successful outdoor clothing companies in the UK, asked me if I would like to review one of their products.
It was so hard to decide what to review as there is so much amazing choice for outdoor clothing on the Trespass website. Eventually, I decided this would be a great opportunity to get Leo a new rain suit. His old one has got too small and, with the amount of time this boy spends in puddles, it seemed only logical to get him a new one. The Dripdrop navy waterproof suit is £26.99 and is available from age 2 up to age 8. Leo is small for his age so the age 2/3 suit was a bit long on the arms and legs but apart from that it fits him perfectly,
To give his new suit a proper test run we spent Saturday afternoon exploring a forest 10 minutes away, one we have not visited before. I was very impressed with how easy the suit was to get on, sometimes getting a toddlers wiggly limbs into all in one clothes can be difficult but I had no trouble zipping Leo in. As it was quite a chilly day Leo had a jumper and jeans on under his suit, he said he was ‘very cosy’ and the suit slid on easily over his bulky clothes. The fleece lining helped keep Leo nice and snug and the suit is also windproof. There was a chilly wind, rattling through the trees and rustling the leaves but Leo was happy exploring, the cold not bothering him at all.
Leo sure put the rain suit through it’s paces. He was climbing over tree trunks and running down steep slopes with his Daddy. Even though the suit was a bit too big Leo had no trouble moving around in it and running through the trees. The elasticated waist means the suit fits like a dream, not too tight and not too loose, making it easy for your little one to explore in comfort.
Unfortunately, the weather has been uncharacteristically dry for the UK so we were unable to discover the full potential of the Dripdrop rain suit, We had hoped to find a stream or something in the woods but no such luck. Just by looking at the rain suit I am very confident in it’s waterproofing abilities; the elasticated wrist and ankle cuffs will effectively keep little arms and legs dry and the hood is a good size. The polyester outer coating is waterproof up to 2000mm, perfect for keeping your little one dry in a rain shower, or if they get a bit enthusiastic with their puddle jumping!
The rain suit also has reflective piping along the back, a great little feature to make sure your child is always visible even on the dreariest, rainiest walks you go on. It is really easy to roll up the rain suit and pop it in your bag if the sun starts shining and your toddler gets too warm. The Trespass Logo is stylishly placed on the front and the suit looks great, just look how cute Leo looks in it.
Leo loves his new ‘splash suit’ and I am actually looking forward to a bit of rain so we can see how it holds up during a toddler puddle splashing marathon. Even with Spring tantalisingly close, a rain suit is a must when you live somewhere with unpredictable, often rubbish weather like we have here in the UK. This boy’s rain suit makes a cosy alternative to a traditional rain coat or jacket and knowing your little one will be nice and dry, hopefully you will be encouraged to get out exploring, whatever the weather may be,
What do you think of the Dripdrop rain suit?Would you consider buying one for your little one?Do you like exploring the countryside too? It is our favourite way to pass the time 🙂
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It is that time of year again. The supermarket aisles have been taken over by chocolate eggs, Spring is in the air and parents across the country are gearing themselves up for a 2 week half term. Yes, Easter is almost here, or eat-chocolate-for-breakfast day as I like to call it. Although most of us enjoy just stuffing ourselves silly with the obligatory chocolate egg or five on the big day, a bit of Easter inspired baking is always fun too. I have my nieces and nephews coming over for tea this evening and I thought I would make them a cake as an early Easter treat.
I like to call this cake the Peek a boo bunny cake and, although it may look like your average sponge cake, it is stuffed full of Mini Eggs and Minstrels. This cake is very easy to make as it is just a traditional sponge recipe with a bit of fancy decoration.
It is time for another Leo update. I don’t know how these months keep passing by so quickly. Time really needs to slow down a bit otherwise Leo will be off at university and I will be an old lady before I know it!
I love writing my monthly Leo updates as it is a way of recording and remembering everything we have been up to and sharing any milestones he has reached during the month. Although writing everything down is a good way to cherish the memories, words can never truly capture what someone is really like. Video is the perfect way to make sure I never forget the sound of Leo’s cute little voice or his high pitched giggle, his little facial expressions and mannerisms are all there for me to see and look back on. When he is a grumpy teenager I can show him these videos, he will be embarrassed probably but they will show that he was a little cutie (once upon a time!).
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It has been 2 years and 6 months since I first began my journey through this crazy thing called motherhood. There are some days where I feel like I am totally nailing this mum gig, days where I feel like being a Mum is what I was put on this planet to do. There are also the bad days though. The days where nothing is going right, the tears won’t stop and the tantrums are relentless. Those awful days that make me feel like a complete and utter failure and not worthy of the prestigious title that is ‘Mummy’.
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Leo started play school today. I can’t believe the time has come for my baby boy to fly the nest. Well, not really, but that’s how it feels! Oli and I have been debating the idea of Leo starting play school for a few months now and as he is now two and half, we decided now is as good a time as any. Leo has been asking to go to school for quite a while, he has older cousins who go and every time we stroll past the local primary school he always asks excitedly if he can go in.
|Ready to go!|
I love Bridget Jones. I am a big fan of the films as well as the original books by Helen Fielding. When I sat down and opened up Mad About the Boy, I was so excited to find out what was next for our beloved Bridget, after finally marrying her Prince Charming Mark Darcy. The plot of the book was not what I was expecting but I still really enjoyed it and found myself laughing out loud on several occasions. If you are a fan of the Bridget Jones’s Diary books and films you are definitely going to love the third and final instalment, Mad About the Boy.
I love Helen Fielding’s witty and snappy writing style and even though I am not a fifty something, single Mum, I really related to Bridget. I found her rants about social media, fashion, parenthood and relationships very refreshing and funny to read. I had tears in my eyes on more than one occasion, sometimes due to laughter and others were a result of Bridget’s bitter sweet approach to starting a new relationship.
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Today I just wanted to write a little post dedicated to all of my fellow Mums.