Thursday, 31 August 2017

What I loved in August....

I think August has flown over....It was like I blinked and it's gone! In a few days my girls will be going back to school and our fun will be over.....Becky will be starting her GCSE's and Ellie will be starting work towards her SATs. Eek!

Game of Thrones.

I only started watching Game of Thrones in July! I watched it all and was all caught up by the time the 2nd episode of the latest series was shown....Wow! I totally get all the hype over it now! I am still loving Tyrion. Why does no one listen to him and Bronn....He is so funny! I hope he gets his castle one day. He deserves it. The final episode was brilliant. I watched it twice. hehehe

I have been watching all the videos on You Tube. The theories, funny moments and came across this, the Westerosi Rhapsody and needed to share. hehehe Genius!

The kids playing out!

This is the first year where the kids have played out, out. They have left the confines of the back yard and been to the park themselves, playing on their scooters and even down to the main high street. They have had a fab time and I know they are getting older but it is ruddy hard to let them go out into the wide world themselves....

Being in top 100 in Tots100.

A few years ago I was in the Tots 100 for a few months and it was great. I'd only been blogging a year or so but I eventually dropped out and have been hanging around in the top 200 ever since. I know fine well it's only a glitch and it's something to do with Tots moving to something else that works out the score and those who have been around longer end up higher in the chart but I don't I will take my place of 66th and be proud of it....hehehe I don't think it's bad for someone who uses the free blogspot address. I am proud of my blog no matter what the score is....

Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes.

At the beginning of the month we made Ice cream cone cupcakes and I was so chuffed with them....I see things on Pinterest and make them and they never look like they are supposed to but these were pretty good.....I even made Ellie some for her birthday on Tuesday. She asked for them again so therefor they must have been good. hehehe

Getting ready for back to school.

I love shopping for back to school things....Well as long as I can do it online....We always seem to have a mishap and this year it was Ellie's coat. She's just turned 10 and I thought I would buy her a school coat in size 11 to 12. It was tiny. Sports Direct really need to sort their sizing out. Last year I bought things for Becky in size 13 to 14 and some of it would have fitted me. lol 

I have had everything bought for a week or so now and I'm feeling pretty organised....Ellie has her new stationery from I just Love it and Becky has everything she needs....We are all ready for the first day of school on Tuesday!


Two down one to go....My fella Stu had his birthday a couple of weeks ago and had a fab day, Ellie had her's on Tuesday and also had an amazing day and Becky's is next week. I love shopping and preparing for their birthdays and it can be a little stressful with them all having birthdays so close but it's fun. For 3 weeks we eat so much cake. 

School holidays.

The school holidays are almost over and looking back we haven't really done much or had many days out. My girls have been happy doing their own thing, playing on computers and amusing themselves.

We have made a point of going for a walk around the market every Tuesday and getting the most amazing chips and curry. I think I might carry the tradition when the kids are back at school. hehehe

It has been a quiet month but a good one....

What did you love in August?

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Fantastic gifts and toys from what2buy4kids...

This month has all been about buying birthday presents for my girls. It was Ellie's birthday yesterday and Becky's is in about 11 days so I have spent a lot of time looking for bargains and things perfect for my girls.....Just as I finished the shopping for their birthdays I was contacted by what2buy4kids and asked if I would like to be sent some of their gifts/toys.

I had heard of what2buy4kids before and had seen them on social media but had never really looked at their website. I'm feeling pretty silly now. I wished I had found them sooner!

what2buy4kids has been around since 2010 and was set up by a mother who realised how hard it is to find good presents for children....All of the toys and gifts have been tried and tested by the founders children and friends so you can be be sure children like them.....

The website is full of great gift ideas that kids will love and you can search by age, type of toy, gifts, gender or brand....

There is so much choice even for older children like my two who are 10 and nearly 15. When you search by age it only goes up to age 12 but almost all of the gifts are suitable for teenagers and some of the toys are too.....

I decided to get a couple of gifts for Becky and a couple of things for my girls to share.....

Make Your Own Chocolate Pizza Kit.

Becky loves pizza and she loves chocolate so this is perfect for her....I have seen these over the years and have never got around to getting one....I think this will be a lot of fun and very tasty. I just hope Becky shares!

The pizza kit contains everything kids need to make a delicious 7-inch pizza made from chocolate, including a pizza mould and top quality ingredients.

Simply melt the chocolate in the microwave, then decorate with yummy sweetie treats and white chocolate curls, and pop in the fridge.

Cupcake Bath Bomb Gift Set.

Becky loves bath bombs....In fact if she has a bath without one it is a rubbish bath. hehehe 

This gorgeous Cupcake Bath Bomb Gift Set makes the perfect present for girls whatever the occasion. The set of six bath bombs and creamers is beautifully decorated with lovely flower and petal details.

To use, simply drop your chosen bath bomb into the bath, watch it melt and allow the sweet smelling aromas to flood out and it's great to know that none of the bath gifts have been tested on animals!

Set includes : Chic & Cheerful, Love Buds, Kiss Me Quick, Rosebud Buttercup, Feel The Love, Urban Rose

Cup Stack Challenge.

It may sound simple but speed stacking has become an Internet phenomenon as people compete to stack cups as quickly as possible. Competitive kids will love this game. The Cup Stack Challenge is tougher than it looks, but kids will have fun trying to beat their friends.

Each set contains 12 hard plastic cups that are especially designed for competitive cup stacking. There is also a set of instructions with handy hints on mastering the art of quick stacking.

Fab Lab Bath Bombs Kit.

My girls have been wanting to make their own bath bombs forever so a kit with everything we need sounds like a fantastic idea.

With this cool kit kids can tailor-make their own bath bombs choosing their favourite colours and fragrances to make personalised bombs for their bath.

Inside the box you'll find everything needed to make up to 12 bath bombs. There's also a bath bomb mould to make the iconic bomb shape plus all the accessories needed to create your own bath bomb mini factory.

Everything came to just under £50...

what2buy4kids offers a gift wrapping service which would be perfect if you are sending a present to someone you won't see on their special day......They even have the option to use their free gift wrap where your present will come in turquoise tissue paper. As well as that you can add a free gift card. Fantastic!

They offer a 24-hour dispatch service which means all deliveries go out immediately and are sent out via Royal Mail. There is also a no quibble returns policy....So if for any reason you need to return any gifts, provided it is unused they will replace it, exchange it or refund it.

I love finding new sites like what2buy4kids. I will definitely be using them in the future....

Do pop back! Over the next few weeks I will be writing blog posts about how we got on with the Bath bomb kit and the Chocolate Pizza and I am sure there will be videos of my girls playing the cup game on my YouTube channel. 

We were sent these products free of charge in exchange for this blog post.

A birthday meal disaster at Brewers Fayre.

In the past I have reviewed our local Brewers Fayre which I will come to in a moment.....Yesterday we visited for Ellie's 10th birthday.....The kids loves Brewers Fayre. Ours has an outside play area and an indoor soft play area too which is free. Stu and I love it because the kids go off and play and we can have a chat and a catch up.

I asked Ellie what she wanted to eat on her birthday and she said pancakes for breakfast and Brewers Fayre for dinner/tea. We went at about half past 1. We thought we would have a late lunch and an early dinner....We picked what we wanted off the menu and we were really looking forward to it.....

Last time we were there on a lunchtime we did not have a good time....My prown cocktail wasn't good, there was dirty glasses, mixed up meals and not enough staff....We went and reviewed Brewers Fayre a couple of years ago on an evening and it was brilliant. The food, service and everything. We had a fantastic time. I don't know whether that was because they knew I was coming to review or it was because we visited on an evening. I have a feeling now it was because it was an evening when we visited! 

I really don't want to come across as a moaning cow....If there was one, two or even three things to ruin our visit I wouldn't have been writing this post but our whole visit was a disaster.....

We arrived and the outdoor play area was closed for safety reasons (I don't know why) It was fine because it was quite chilly anyway.....We got in and were told there was a 30 minute wait for food which surprised me because there was hardly anyone there compared to what there usually is.....On the way to our seats we were also told there was no sausages? Well that messed Stu's plans up he was wanting the Ultimate Filled Yorkshire Sausage &

We looked through the menu and ordered our starters and main courses. Starters were a prawn cocktail for me, Garlic bread and cucumber for Ellie and a Combo Feast for Becky and Stu to share which looked amazing! 

The kids and Stu's starters were brought out and the waitress assumed that was it....I asked where the prawn cocktail was and she said it would be brought out soon as it wasn't on our order. It ruddy was! Stu had ordered it! Hmmf. It was brought along after about 20 minutes.

I tucked straight in....Got through one layer of prawns and hit lettuce....Eh? Every time I have eaten here the prawn cocktail has always been my favourite thing. It was about 90% lettuce and the lettuce wasn't even chopped. It felt like a handful of lettuce leaves was just stuffed into the glass.....There was also a lot less sauce than usual.

I let it go....There was a mistake and I had the main course to look forward too....Becky ordered Lasagne for her main, Ellie wanted a hot dog and I ordered scampi, chips and peas....Stu went for the mixed grill with an extra chicken breast instead of the sausages. Great!

The mains were brought out and we were asked if we wanted sauces. We all said yes and were given 4 sachets of tomato ketchup. I rolled my eyes. Yay one each. Enough for a couple of chips.

After a couple of minutes there was grumbles.....Becky said she didn't think her lasagne was cooked properly. After glancing up and looking it wasn't....It was missing cheese from half of it and feeling it the sheet of lasagne wasn't cooked on the right hand side. 

Ellie's hot dog was fine thankfully.....My meal was not. The chips were awful. On my plate half were under cooked, some overcooked, there was a few scabby rotten one's thrown in for good measure. Everyone else's chips were under cooked too. Ugh! 

It really put me off my meal. Years ago I had food poisoning from under cooked scampi. If the chips were under cooked the scampi could be too? So far I feel fine so I am guessing it was OK.

Stu is a big eater.....He will fill himself until he feels sick just to clear his plate and was really looking forward to the mixed grill. This is what he left which is not like him at all.....

The gammon was really, really salty, the chicken was really dry, the peas were cold and the steak was very, very chewy and of course he had under cooked chips too. They might look cooked but there was near enough raw potato in the middle which really puts you off eating. The only right part of the meal was the fried egg and onion rings. Ugh! 

The waitress was lovely when we complained and said she would pass our complaints on to the chef. She offered free desserts but we decided to skip it as I couldn't be bothered with another disappointment. We were not charged for our drinks or my starter as compensation.

We left way sooner than we would have if we had, had a nice meal.....I worked it out. I spent longer waiting for food than actually eating it. I put on a happy face for Ellie as it was her birthday treat but I ended up feeling angry about feeling angry about the messed up food....

It will be a long time before we go back to Brewers Fayre on a lunchtime.....

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

My baby girl is 10!

For about 6 months if anyone asked Ellie how old she was she would say she is 10.....She has been so desperate to be in double figures but she doesn't have to wait any longer....My baby is 10!!

Every day with Ellie is an experience....She makes me nearly pee myself laughing, cry, amazes me with the things she knows, makes me feel like banging my head against the wall and then sometimes I want to hug her and never let her go.....

Every year I say she has grown up and matured so much in  a year but this year she really has.....Again!

Over the past year Ellie has had a lot going on in her life.....She started Year 5 at school which is a bit of a nothing year....Obviously every year at school is important but in year 5 nothing exciting happens....

What was exciting at school was the school choir! Ellie joined.....She really loves singing and even though she is shy she likes to be part of something and performing....Lots of schools were brought together to put on a performance of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat! It was such a good show and I couldn't have been any prouder!

Ellie has became obsessed with Unicorns over the past year and I mean really obsessed....She even has a unicorn walk that she does. I will try and catch it on video one day....It is hilarious but ever so cute!

In September Ellie's day/week/year was made when I won tickets to see Disney on Ice with VIP treatment....It was such an amazing evening. She had the best time....We all did! 

Ellie discovered Playmobil....She was a little late to it age wise but loves it. In fact today she is getting a few more sets. It is one of those toys which is kept out because putting it away would be pointless as she plays with it so much! 

Ellie still loves playing with dolls and her toy kitchen that she got for her last birthday.....I am so glad that she hasn't grown out of real toys yet....She has such a great imagination and can play for hours making up her own games...

In February Ellie was a bit naughty....OK well a lot naughty and decided to have a go at online shopping! She spent £155 on the Smiggle website. Stu had left himself logged into PayPal and Ellie went wild.....Thankfully Smiggle were amazing and we got a full refund....

Ellie has became quite handy in the kitchen....She can cook simple meals and she is a fantastic baker...Give her a one of those cupcake kits that you get from supermarkets and she has no problems in making them. She is also quite an expert at making scones too!

We have had bullies to deal with over the past year.....Girls bullying my girl made me cry.....Thankfully Ellie's amazing teacher dealt with it and towards the back end of the school years things were so different....Ellie was best friends with one of the cool kids which made her cool....

Ellie is one of the most stylish people I know....She now picks her own clothes out and no matter what she wears she looks so trendy....She still hates wearing jeans but like me has found a love for jeggings....hehehe She loves to wear a dress but isn't the most lady like person. 

Ellie doesn't excel when it comes to written work at school....She is more of a practical hands on person so when they had a project to do something at home she got well into it....Out of the many options she chose to find a World War 2 recipe and make it which we did.....We made some World War 2 biscuits and she got many house points and Learner of the Week in her class for her effort!

In May Ellie started to walk home from school after choir practice with her friend and it was a big step for me and her....I have started to give her a little more freedom. Eek! Over the summer holidays she has played out with friends and over the last couple of weeks she has walked with Becky to meet their dad from work. Town is only 10 minutes from me but it does make me nervous!

So we're just a week away from going back to school....We still have the suspected ADHD diagnosis hanging over us but that is nothing....My girl has had problems with her eyes, open heart surgery and is deaf in one ear....Having ADHD just means she will get extra help at school. It won't change anything about her...

Ellie is my little chicken.....My crazy, stampy, smiley girl.
Happy birthday lovely.....

Monday, 28 August 2017

Things my girls have said. #ftmob

It has been far too long since I have joined in with From the mouths of babes with the lovely Louise at Little Hearts Big Love. It's all about the things our children have said....Funny, embarrassing or something else....

Ellie made me want to write this blog post.....On Saturday my two girls Ellie and Becky and myself went to meet my fella from work and while we were waiting for him I said to my girls they could have a pound each to spend in the pound shop....Ellie said "Becky can have mine". I asked why and she said "it's my birthday on Tuesday Becky can treat herself because she won't get anything".....

Ahh! My heart nearly melted. Ellie is a diva and a drama queen and then she goes and says something like this which is so thoughtful and kind....She really didn't want to spend anything but I made her. hehehe I said to her if you don't spend your pound Becky won't be getting one either.....She bought a mermaid. 

At the start of the summer holidays Becky wore a size 4 shoes.....For her birthday in just under 2 weeks I have bought her some expensive trainers in size 5. We went school shoe shopping last week and she is in a size 6. I may have said a few swear words in the shoe shop....Ellie turned and told me off big style. Something along the lines of "Mam, we're in public you can't say words like that". Washing my mouth out with soap was mentioned. Oops. I am really hoping it is just the fit of the shoes and the socks she had on and the new trainers do fit Becky! 

While the girls have been on their holidays Becky my teen has realised I am cool. Well sort of. She loves the You Tuber Logan Paul? I didn't know who he was at the start of the summer holidays but obviously after watching many of his videos I know him now.....Anyway he had some drama with his brother Jake and made a "Diss Track"....My teen has been listening to it on repeat or it seems like it....She played it last week and I sung along almost word for word.....

Becky looked at me....Mouth open wide in amazement and said "Mother, really! Really! I don't know whether to cringe or be think you are brilliant. You are nearly cool".....hahaha I will take nearly being cool as a compliment.

Our Weekly Meal Plan!! - #mealplanningmonday

Last weeks meal plan went really well....The only meal we missed was the roast dinner yesterday. I didn't do the shopping so didn't have everything for it. We just had chicken dippers, chips and beans....

This week is an exciting week. It's Ellie's birthday tomorrow and she is so excited about going into double figures and being 10 my fella is also off work so we're planning on having a couple of days out. Fingers crossed for good weather so we can get to the beach....

This week on the menu we have:

Monday - Chicken casserole & dumplings with mash & veg....
Tuesday - Birthday cake! hehehe We will be having a late lunch out so I'm not expecting we'll want much for tea....
Wednesday - We're going to make our own pizza's....
Thursday - Hot dog spaghetti....
Friday - Fish & chips. Hopefully at the beach....
Saturday - Chicken curry with rice & naan bread....
Sunday - Sausage casserole, mash & veg...

What are you eating this week?

Saturday, 26 August 2017

A photo everyday for a year - Week 34 #Project365

Another week, another Project 365 post. A photo every day for a year....This week I seem to have taken more photos for things I am reviewing than real life photos....Eek!

217/365 - 19th August
We reviewed some personalised children's stationery this week and Ellie my youngest is very impressed. She is all excited for going back to school.

218/365 -  20th August
Cereal for tea! We had a roast dinner and were actually still full so didn't need much to eat.

219/365 - 21st August
Playing with water again...They both came in soaked to the skin.

220/365 - 22nd August
A little something I have been sent to review.

221/365 - 23rd August
We had a leak under the bath (it's all fixed now) and as the water had been switched off the landlords husband kindly brought us some bottled water for a cuppa. 

222/365 - 24th August
It feels like Christmas. I was sent some wine to review.

223/365 - 25th August
Becky went for a wander into town and came back with a lolly the size of her head. lol

Win a Hugzzie! A children's microwavable wheatbag!

Have you heard of Hugzzies? Probably not as they are brand new! 

 Hugzzies are a super soft teddy bear with a microwavable lavender infused wheat bag inside that hugs around the waist giving the feeling of a warm hug, for use at home or on the go.

There are 5 Hugzzies to choose from:

Dexter the Dog.
Pauley the Panda.
Carly the Cat.
Mikey the Monkey.
Betty the Bunny.

Hugzzies could be used for a warm hug by fastening around the child’s waist with a velcro band on those cold nights or can be used without the wheat bag to carry children's toys (like a bum bag).

My girls are sadly a little too big for them but I think they are such a lovely idea which is why I am giving one of you chance to win one for your little one.....You can find out more about Hugzzies by visiting their website.

Use the Rafflecopter thingamabob below to enter.....
(Give it a few seconds to load as it can be a bit slow at busy times)

Rules...We have to have them!

The Giveaway ends at 12am on the 16th of September..... 
One winner will win a Hugzzie of their choosing....
Entrants must log in via Rafflecopter and answer the question in the widget. This is the only mandatory task...You can gain extra entries by following on social media, tweeting, etc....
There will be one winner picked at random via Rafflecopter.... 
This giveaway is open to all UK residents only.... 
I will contact the winner within 48 hours of the competition ending via email or social media....The winner must respond within 28 days of the notification e-mail or a new winner will be redrawn.
It is the responsibility of the company to dispatch the prize directly to the winner. I will however try to help with any issues you have!

Friday, 25 August 2017

Trying to find one word to describe my week was tough. #WotW

This week my Word of the Week could have been broken, leak, fixed, bored, deliveries or excited....Trying to find one word to describe my week was tough and all I could come up with was:

After the highs of celebrating last week, this week seemed a bit of a strange week. We haven't really been anywhere or done much but at the same time it has felt like we have had a lot going on...

On Monday Becky had her last appointment at the orthodontist to get her retainer. She has to wear it every night for the next few years to keep her straight teeth in place and it is taking some getting used to.

She talks with a lisp with it in and is spitting when she talks. Think of Sylvester the cat off Looney Tunes saying "sufferin succotash" and that is Becky....hehehe

For the first time during the school holidays the kids have complained about being bored....Earlier on in the week Becky said she was bored so I gave her some jobs to do like hanging the washing out....She soon found herself something to do....hehehe I have been letting the girls find something to cure their boredom themselves. I could give them things to do but I think it's good for them to be bored. They were never bored for long. They went outside and played, got the Lego out which has been rather neglected for a while and played together. I expected them just to go on their computers but they didn't.....

We have had a few exciting deliveries for things to review here on the blog....Ellie is all set for going back to school with some personalised stationery from I just Love It. It has got her really excited for going back to school.....

I am excited for the weekend as I've been sent some sparkling wine to try out from Premier Estates Wine and the kids don't know yet but we have some toys and gifts from what2buy4kids to try out.

At about 11pm on Tuesday night we realised there was a leak under the bath. There was about an inch of water and it wasn't stopping. We messaged the landlord, we could have rang but it was late and there wasn't much she could have done anyway.....We managed to switch the water off but it was still coming. It turns out it was the hot water pipe and after a call to our local waterboard they suggested letting the hot taps run dry....It was still leaking but not as much. We filled under the bath with towels and sheets and left it.....

The landlords husband arrived at about half past seven the next morning....There was talk about having to dig up the bathroom to get to the pipe but thankfully that wasn't needed.....

After a few hours it was fixed and I mentioned about the toilet not flushing properly....He said he would fix that too while he was here. It was a small job he thought....Nope. It took him nearly as long to fix the flush as it did the leak under the bath. Me and my big mouth. hehehe

We are counting down the days until Ellie's birthday (4 days to go)....She is so excited. I still have her presents to wrap, a cake and cards to buy...Eek!