Friday 31 August 2018

This week has all been about family... #WotW

This week my Word of the Week is:

This week has all been about family...I have had contact with all of my side of the family and it has been lovely.

On Monday my dad, his girlfriend Sarah and my great aunt came to visit....They decided to come up to start the girls birthday celebrations early. 

I don't see my dad very often. Last time I did was just before Christmas last year. He runs his own business and struggles to get away. He always calls in on his way up to us and picks my great aunt up....She is my dad's aunt so that makes her my great aunt. 

My great aunt was kind enough to bring some of what she had been baking....Fruit scones, cheese scones, banana muffins and chocolate chip muffins.....She is the best baker and everything is long gone...hehehe

The girls were spoilt rotten and we had a lovely time catching up....I speak to my dad most days on the phone but seeing him in person is better.... 

We received a card from my nephews mother on Tuesday....There was a few words inside about my nephew passing his driving test....I swear I still think of him as a 6 year old but he turned 17 earlier this year. It makes me feel so old....Why do kids have to grow up so quickly!

Speaking of kids growing up Ellie turned 11 this week....My baby isn't much of a baby anymore....She had a wonderful day.....We spent it together just the four of us and it couldn't have been better. The sun shined all day and we had the BBQ, she loved all of her presents and was overjoyed with her unicorn cake! 

Thank you for all the birthday wishes on social media....Ellie read everyone's then I had to go through and explain who everyone

Yesterday we had a day out to Alnwick Castle.....I am going to have to write a whole blog post about it as there is so much to say (All good things). It is a fab day out and now we have paid once we are able to go again anytime over the next year for free! We saw wizards, dragons, amazing views and the fanciest looking furniture and decorations in the state rooms....

We were going to have another day out today but I feel like we all need a day of doing not much. It has been non-stop since Monday. I think we have earned a pj day plus there is a ton of housework to catch up on which we will be doing as a family....hehehe

Thursday 30 August 2018

What I loved in August....

We have just a few days of the summer holidays left....This month has flown over. I really love having my girls at home despite their bickering and eating about 15 meals a day....This is what I loved in August....

It was my fella's birthday in the middle of August. We didn't do much. We had a takeaway and we baked him a cake which tasted so good.....It may even be the best cake we have ever made! Ellie's birthday was yesterday and she had a lovely day.

Getting out and about!
Most weeks during the holidays we ventured out to the market just for a mooch about and the girls have been to town a few times by themselves to spend their pocket money....Ellie has played out a lot with her friends just in the streets near where we live and both her and Becky have been to the park a few times.

We had an afternoon out at the Queen Elizabeth II Country Park and today we are off to Alnwick Castle. The kids have been on school trips before but Stu and I have never been. We're very excited to visit as a family....

It has been a month of computers.....Ellie got herself a new one. My fella made her one which is now on the dining room table....He did it for the sole reason of getting his computer back to himself so he could play the game World of Warcraft which had a big new expansion out to play this month....

Becky has been struggling to budget her computer time of 3 hours per day and has found herself doing plenty of jobs around the house to earn extra time. Pairing socks, hanging the washing on the line and sorting it....I have loved having a break from some of the jobs which I usually have to do daily. hehehe

Tesco Ploughmans Plum Chutney! 
Usually on my ham sandwiches I just have Branston Pickle or mustard but I saw this in Tesco and thought I would give it a try....

I have ended up having ham sandwiches for lunch most days so I can have this....It is so tasty and I am going to have to order a new jar at the weekend as it is almost all gone.

9 years since heart surgery!
This month we celebrated that it was 9 years since my girls went into hospital to have open heart surgery. It was the worst time of our lives but we got through it and each year we like to remember how far we have came...

KSI v Logan Paul!
My teen and I have been following the build up to the big fight between KSI v Logan Paul and their brothers Deji & Jake Paul for the last month....We watched the press conferences, the weigh in's and listened to all the diss tracks. On Saturday night we spent a few hours watching the live stream and watched them boxing.....Even my fella who had no interest was watching and shouting at it. lol The main event ended in a draw. Ugh! Obviously there will be a rematch. I can help but think they planned it to end this way though.....

Baby Shark!
I should like this song but I do....It is so annoying but it really makes me smile....

What have you loved in August?

Wednesday 29 August 2018

Today my youngest, my baby turns 11 years old....

Eleven seems so much older than ten years old and today my youngest, my baby turns 11.....Every year I say that Ellie seems to have grown up so much over the past 365 days but this time she really has.....

This time last year Ellie was so far behind her peers and it had us all worried....I really shouldn't have stressed about it. Again and again over the past year Ellie has proved everyone wrong, me included! 

Ellie was the youngest in her year at primary school and probably will still be the youngest when she starts year 7 at secondary school in just a few days....I had a planned c-section with her and should have planned things better and made them wait a couple of days....If I had she would just be starting year 6 in primary school in a few days....

Last summer her teacher suspected Ellie may have Autism or something like that....The school was really worried that Ellie wouldn't complete the year 6 SATs....I was worried too. The mock SATs came around and Ellie got top of the class in the English tests and proved everyone wrong....When the real SATs came around the school had the support worker sit with Ellie to give her a nudge when she became distracted but it turns out she wasn't really needed! Ellie had her head down working the whole of the tests and she smashed them! Ellie is at the expected standard for English, Reading & Science. She is behind with maths but I don't really care....She did better than anyone ever expected of her and she made me very proud. 

I have came around to the idea of Ellie starting secondary school....It scares the life out of me but deep down I know she will be fine....The teachers in primary school were worried about the transition to secondary school but so far so good. Ellie is excited about school for the first time in a long time. She is excited to start after school clubs, meet new people and do the different lessons....The teachers she has are some of the best one's and the special educational needs woman will be supporting her as long as she needs her...

This time last year I didn't really trust Ellie to walk home every day after school with her friends but again I needn't have worried....She walked home most days with her friends. The only time I picked her up was when I needed to see the teachers at school. There was only a couple of times when she came in late. I was so close to ringing the school asking where she was. lol Once when they were let out late and once when she had just been on a go slow with her friends. Her being 10 minutes late in seems like forever. I still wasn't keen on her walking to school and most mornings I took her. Towards the end of the school year she did start walking alone and she always got into school on time. Phew!

Ellie had trouble with bullies for most of her school life but over the last school year it was mostly stopped....One of her main bullies was finally caught out bullying someone else and then everything changed for Ellie. She was happier at school and gained so much more confidence. She is still quiet when she is around people but not as much as she used to be...

Ellie still loves playing with her dolls and is still obsessed with playing with water.....She loves to watch videos on YouTube and prefers it to normal TV....She has taken over the dining room table with the computer that her dad built for her and it gives her space to play to her hearts content. Monkey is still by far her favourite toy and she is showing no signs of not wanting him close by....

Ellie will always be my baby but she is growing up so fast....She is funny, sweet and I really hope she has the best birthday today......

Ellie has decided that instead of going out for a meal she wants a BBQ....I am keeping my fingers crossed that the weather is OK. I'm not even bothered if it's grey and the sun doesn't shine....I just want it to be dry and not too windy! Eek!

Tuesday 28 August 2018

The Project MC2 Perfume Science Kit - Review!

Over the past few months we have tried some fab sets from Project MC2 including the Ultimate Spy Bag, the Ultimate Lab Kit and the Ultimate Makeover Bag.....We have been sent another kit to try and Ellie was very excited about this one....She does love perfume.

The scent of sweet success making your own perfume is here with Project MC2 helping you formulate your own perfumes using cosmetic chemistry! Add fragrant household ingredients such as rosewater, flower petals, vanilla and citrus and blend with the science behind perfumery to make your very own personal perfumes.

The Perfume Science Kit includes the perfume station with pump and tubes, beaker, 3 perfume spritzers, 2 scents, 2 pipettes and recipe booklet....

The kit arrived and it obviously needed putting together.....That was no problem at all for Ellie....I read her the instructions and she put everything in place....She could have quite easily managed herself without my instruction. It looked very fancy and professional when it was all put together....Like something that a real scientist would use....

Ellie was keen to get started and make her own perfume....The kit was so simple to use.

You add water to the two containers on each side of the kit....Add food colouring if desired, put a couple of drops of the scent into each container then mix. You then close the containers put the tubes in and use the buttons on the front to pump the liquid into the beaker....When you have enough in the beaker you transfer it to the spray bottle and you then have your perfume....

It took a bit of pumping to get the mixture into the beaker at first....We soon realised that we didn't have one of the containers connected properly. After that it worked perfectly.

Ellie loved it....She thought is was fantastic fun and after making 3 tubes of perfume she wanted to instantly make more....My house is very fragrant at the moment. lol She is planning on making more and more perfume. I read that you can use essential oils when you have used the scents which come with the set....I can see Ellie using this again and again.

I had read reviews about this kit and there were complaints about water leaking out but we didn't have that problem....It is a bit of a nightmare to clean when you have finished using it though. You have to take it all apart and clean the containers and then put it back together and pump clean water through....

The The Project MC2 Perfume Science Kit is available from Smyths, Argos and all good independent toy retailers for £34.99.

We were sent the The Project MC2 Perfume Science Kit free of charge in exchange for this blog post....

Monday 27 August 2018

This weeks meal plan! Lots of treats & a BBQ. #MealPlanningMonday

Last weeks meal plan went great.....We ate everything! My youngest did tell me off and said I wasn't sticking to the plan because we had chicken dippers instead of chicken nuggets.....They're the same thing just shaped differently. Eesh! lol

I have been looking forward to this coming week for so long.....Stu, my fella is still off work on his holidays and the kids still have a full week off school and we are going to make the most of it! We have family visiting, it's Ellie's birthday and we are going to have at least one day out!

I don't usually plan the days we are eating things during the summer holidays but this week I am because we have set things we are doing each day. I think the only days that I might swap are the pasta on Tuesday and the stir fry on Saturday....

This week on the menu we have:

Monday - Sandwiches and whatever treats my great Aunt brings....My Aunt is a fantastic baker and has promised to bring us some of her treats when she comes to visit today. Her fruit scones are the best.

Tuesday - Chorizo and Red Pepper Pasta Bake....I found this recipe over on the blog One Yummy Mummy.

Wednesday - A BBQ for Ellie's birthday (on Wednesday).....She wants sausages, burgers, chicken kebabs and sweet kebabs with marshmallows, strawberries, chocolate brownies and mini doughnuts. Yum!

Thursday - Something from the chip shop on the way home from a day out. I will probably go for fish & chips. Our local chippy has the biggest fish. I usually share it with one of the kids.

Friday - Pizza....It usually always our Friday night meal. I torture the kids....They always think we're getting takeaway and are really disappointed when I go to the freezer. hehehe

Saturday - A noodle stir fry (Either chicken or pork).....Stu makes the best stir fry's and we will be having it with vegetable spring rolls and prawn crackers.

Sunday - Cottage pie and baked beans....I am cheating and buying a ready made frozen one. We have a busy week so I am all about the easy meals this week.

What are you eating this week?

I am joining in with the linky hosted by The Organised Life Project and Katykicker. They love to meal plan too!

Saturday 25 August 2018

Lunches, School shoes & Perfume! Week 34 of #Project365

This week seems to have been a bit rubbish for photos.....We have had a bit of a Meh! week with nothing much going on....I know it's only because we are looking forward to next week so much....We have family visiting, Ellie's birthday and a day out planned....

Here's a photo for every day....

230/365 - 18th August.
Stu was making us all lunch....Nothing fancy, just crisp sandwiches because he brought a ton home from work as they were at their use by date....

231/365 - 19th August.
Ellie loves to make her own lunch....She is quite an expert at making scrambled eggs and ham with toast....

232/365 - 20th August.
The school shoes were bought....We had been a few weeks ago and picked the shoes the girls wanted. I'm so glad we didn't buy them weeks ago as Becky has moved up into a size 6 now....

233/365 - 21st August.
She has spent far too much time doing not much on her laptop over the summer holidays but on Tuesday she was actually doing something productive. Some revision!

234/365 - 22nd August.
Becky was bored and she had used all of her computer time so she went to clean and tidy her room....Mainly under her bed. She brought 2 bin bags full of rubbish down....Her room looked lovely....It would have looked even better if her bed was made.

235/365 - 23rd August.
Ellie started playing with all her cuddly toys on Thursday evening and brought this one down to show me....It's "Hipster Dog". lol

236/365 - 24th August.
Ellie had fun making perfume with a kit we were sent to review....

Friday 24 August 2018

Meh! Is how I've felt about this past week. #WotW

This week my Word of the Week is:

Meh! Is how I've felt about this past week....

The weather hasn't been great....It has felt more like Autumn than summer. It has rained most days and it's just been gloomy & grey.....It's Ellie's birthday next week and she has her heart set on having a BBQ which is not going to happen if the weather is like how it's been this past week....I have tried to come up with something different to do but she is having none of it....It is stressing me out a little so keep your fingers crossed for a dry Wednesday

We have got to the point in the holidays where the kids think they are bored....They say they are bored but they are really not. A fine example of this is Ellie said she was bored so I suggested going to the park and she said it was boring....10 minutes later her friend called for her and she went to the park & had a great time. Becky was bored because she had used all her electronics time up and I wouldn't give her a job to earn more time so she went and tidied her room properly....Even under her bed. lol 

The girls have been rotten to each other....I now understand why my mother used to lose her temper with my brother and I when we would fight.....My most overused phrases this week have been. Be nice to your sister, Stop it, Do you want to lose time off your computer?

I double checked all the uniform during the week and I realised we needed another school jumper for Ellie....Ugh! I wished I'd realised a few weeks ago when I ordered all the stuff with the school logo on. I ended up paying £17.49 for one jumper....The price was bumped up by having to pay the £4.50 delivery. The kids are all ready to go back to school now though....Phew!

I know the only reason I have felt Meh! about this week is because we have so much going on next week which we are looking forward too....

I paid for the live stream for You Tubers boxing match tomorrow for Becky which I will probably watch too....She has no interest in boxing but does like some of the people taking part....On Monday my dad, his girlfriend and my great aunt are coming for a visit.....The kids are so excited to see them and so I am.....We haven't seen them since just before Christmas last year....It's Ellie's birthday on Wednesday and on Thursday we are going to Alnwick Castle.

Thursday 23 August 2018

Brilliant back to school gift ideas from Gift Pup!

I have worked with Gift Pup a couple of times in the past. For their Mother's day gift ideas and Father's day....This time I am back to share some brilliant back to school gift ideas!

I know I always buy my girls new bags, stationery and water bottles for the return to school....Personalising these can make them a little bit more special and exciting. There is also the practical side of personalised items too....The items with your child's name on is less like to be taken by other children. 

We were sent a Born to Ride Unicorns White Water Bottle to try out....Of course it is for Ellie. My unicorn crazy girl.

The best-selling ‘Born to Ride Unicorns’ design features a lovely unicorn silhouette with bold writing and a rainbow banner. You’re little (or big!) girl is sure to fall in love with this lovely yet practical gift. 

Made from top quality aluminium and featuring a screw top, secure drinking cap and hand carabiner clip this water bottle has a generous 600ml capacity which is more than enough to last through the school day.

Ellie of course loves this....She loves anything with unicorns on and with it having her name on it seems extra special.

There is a choice of lid to use. One with drinking cap and a basic one which is just a stopper....I have put the basic one away for safe keeping....I love that there is the carabiner clip on it which can and will clip onto Ellie's school bag. It is a good size and should keep Ellie watered at school. 

Gift Pup have a fantastic range of back to school items which would make great gifts for little one's starting school, those going into secondary school, their last year and anyone inbetween!

Gift pup has some fantastic notebooks all priced at £7.99 and they can be personalised. 

I am loving the pens and pencils....The Purple Glitter Personalised Pencils Set (£11.99), the Rainbow Notebook and Pencils Set (£14.99) is so pretty and I think the Roller Pen with Crystals £36.99 would make a wonderful gift for a teen taking their exams or even finishing them....

The rucksacks (£14.99) sound wonderful and fantastic for little ones....These rucksacks have been created to fit little shoulders and will sit comfortably on your child's back. Made from durable, hard wearing material they are sure to stand up to the every day rigours of school life.  

Are you all ready for your children going back to school?

We were sent the Born to Ride Unicorns White Water Bottle free of charge in exchange for this blog post....

Wednesday 22 August 2018

The things you only learn when you’re a parent....

A nationwide survey of new parents has revealed some of the pearls of wisdom we ONLY become aware of after having our first child....I found myself nodding along in agreement to the results....

Leaving the house becomes a military operation: 
It's not to bad now that my girls are older but in the early days yes! It used to take me an hour just to collect everything we needed. Nappies, a bottle, a change of clothes and then find the nappy bag...Get my girl dressed, myself dressed and then finally leave the house to find I have forgotten something!

Baby wipes are not just for baby’s bums:
My girls are not babies but I still buy baby wipes and I can't see myself stopping buying them anything soon. They have so many more uses than just for bums....They can clean anything and everything and I have put that to the test over the years.

You will always be tired:
Yep! Even now I am...The kids sleep all night but I stay up late trying to get things done that I can't when they are awake and then I end up tired.

Going to the bathroom in peace will be a thing of the past: 
The only time I get to pee and poo in peace is when the kids are at When they are home they want to know where I am going and as soon as I shut the bathroom door they will start to bicker or have a very important question that needs answering.

Quiet isn’t always good sign: 

This made me chuckle.....Over the years I have naively thought that when Ellie was quiet playing in her room, she was actually playing. There was times when she would go wild with my make up, nail polish and hand cream....Lets not forget the time she cut her fringe Kids being quiet means they are getting into trouble!!!

Your child’s skin is the best smell ever:
Yes!! I still love to sniff my youngest when she has been in the bath....My teen won't let me. lol She calls me a weirdo!

Your carpets and sofas will have permanent stains:
I refuse to have carpets downstairs because the kids are always spilling random things. We have laminate flooring. We have never had a new sofa because the kids will ruin it.....When they leave home I will treat myself to a new one.

Worrying will become your new hobby:
Yep! I can't think of a day where I haven't worried about my girls since they were born....There is always something to worry about even when they get older...

Your baby will have better cosmetics and clothes than you do:
I say this all the time.....My girls have way more clothes than I do and they are always getting new one's....I would rather buy for them than myself now. I never thought that would happen before I had kids.

Nothing compares to the pain of standing on Lego with bare feet:
The offensive words that have came out of my mouth when I have stood on Lego would shock some. The phrase swearing like a trooper comes to mind. It ruddy hurts! 

You end up Googling EVERYTHING:
Google wasn't a big thing when my teen was younger but now I do....It is a fantastic help when it comes to homework!

You will regularly be embarrassed in public.
Ellie has a habit of saying what she thinks out loud and is sometimes brutally honest which can be so embarrassing. Yes, that man does smell but not everyone needs to know it.....She said a couple of weeks ago "That begger has Nike trainers on, they are better than mine". I tried to explain to her he may have had them given to him which made her say "when I grow up I am going to be a begger"

You have to rely on catch-up TV:
I record a lot of things and I am always running behind with TV shows....The pause button is a wonderful thing!

You ring your mum before a doctor:
No my mum but my great Aunt....She is the font of all knowledge....

A strong coffee will get you though most things:
I rely on coffee especially when the kids are at school....It helps with the tiredness and there is nothing like drinking coffee and eating cake to calm myself down when something is stressing me out.

Sometimes a glass of wine is the only answer: 

Hangovers get worse:

Shots are never a good idea! I am sure that is the only reason I am ever When I was young I could drink and then sleep the hangover off....Now I can't drink as much and if I drink more than usual the next morning the kids will be up early and be ever so needy....I can't just nip out to McDonalds and eat the hangover away without taking the kids which adds to the headache....

Your Instagram feed will be 90 percent pictures of your child:
Yep...Only because I don't like my ugly mug on there....The kids are way more interesting than my face or house.

Does any of this ring true for you?

Tuesday 21 August 2018

100% Natural Frozen Smoothies from Fraw!

I do love a smoothie and since getting our Breville blender I have one most days....I am always on the look out for new recipes and tastes. Banana, strawberries and milk does get a bit boring after a while.....

Up until a couple of weeks ago I had never heard of Fraw. They have came up with an idea which is new to me.....A smoothie subscription service!!

Fraw freeze the ingredients to their smoothies at peak ripeness within hours of being picked at the farm to lock in all the nutrients and flavour.....They then send the frozen fruit and everything else to you need to make the tastiest smoothies....

The package was delivered with clear instructions on the outside that frozen produce was contained....The bags of frozen fruit were wrapped and had an ice pack which kept everything frozen. I was quite surprised at how frozen!

For each smoothie there is a paper cup, a straw, a bag of frozen fruit and a superfood sachet...All of the packaging is recyclable including the straws. Hooray!

The fruit bags come with the exact portion so there is no wastage....To make them you simply pour a liquid of your choice up to the cup fill line and add to a blender along with the fruit/vegetables and superfood sachet contents. There are clear instructions and options about what can mix with your smoothie...Different milks, juices or water...

These are so simple to make which makes it really handy if you are in a rush in a morning....

Each cup is crammed with up to 10 super ingredients per cup. Every blend is high in fibre, a source of omega 3 and 2 of your 5 a day. 

There are three flavours....Cleanse, Energise and Immunity! I do love their names. It gives you such a clear idea of what you are getting from the drinks.

Pineapple, Mango, Spinach, Kale, Avocado, Ginger and boosted with seeds and superfoods containing Flax Seed, Moringa, Wheatgrass & Spirulina .... 

Swap your morning coffee for this detoxifying ginger and avocado smoothie that leaves your mind and skin glowing. This nutrient loaded smoothie is a perfect balance of sweet pineapple, fiery ginger and creamy avocado that masterfully hides the taste of the greener veggies!!

I mixed this with water....To be honest I didn't want to waste juice or any sort of milk on it. I have never tried a drink with Kale in which I have liked....To be honest when pouring it into the blender it looked rank and didn't hold out much hope for it.....It turns out looks can be deceiving! It was drinkable. In fact it was more than just drinkable it was very nice to drink! It was refreshing and I could imagine and want to drink this again.....The kids even liked it! I did have the lid on the cup, I have a feeling that if they saw the colour they would have been put off.....

Strawberry, Banana, Pomegranate, Blueberry,  Acai and boosted with seeds and superfoods containing Flax Seed, Cacao, Maca, Guarana...

They've squeezed three of the world’s finest antioxidant-rich superfruits into this mouthwatering mix. Guaranteed to kick start your day, this berry blend provides a natural energy boost from a powerful and delicious combo of Guarana, Maca & Cacao. You’ll be slurping down this smoothie in record time!

This was the smoothie I was most excited about....I mixed this with orange juice and blended it up....It smelled amazing and tasted amazing until I got to the seeds...I am not a fan of seeds in bits in my drinks but that is just me. The smoothie tasted so good and the only thing that put me off was the bits....All of the flavours work so well together and there isn't one that overpowers the others. Without the bits in it would have been my favourite out of the three.....

Mango, Peach, Banana, Carrot, Sweet Potato & Coconut and boosted with seeds and superfoods including Flax Seed, Baobab, Turmeric & Ginger.....

Our body is a temple and Fraw are here to keep it that way. Boosted with turmeric & ginger, this flu-fighting smoothie naturally contains vitamin C and A to help keep your immune system in check. So while you enjoy the delicious taste of ripe mango and creamy coconut, those germs better find another temple!

I love, love. love this!! This one was by far my favourite....The flavours were so good. I like sweet potato but I have never tried it in a smoothie and I will be tempted to try it again...

I would have liked to have seen an option of buying just the frozen fruit bags and the superfood sachets....With the blender I have you mix whatever you are mixing in the bottles so the cups, lids and straws were a bit wasted on us....They are a good idea if you have a different type of blender though.....

I love the ideas of getting smoothies sent to you through the post but you buy six cups for £18 which works out at £3 a cup.....If you were making these instead of buying a coffee on the run it would be worth it for the goodness you get from these smoothies but to be honest I would not pay these prices when I can buy fresh fruit/veg, freeze it myself and the ingredients for a lot less per portion....

I was sent these free of charge to try in exchange for a couple of Instagram photos and this blog post....