Wednesday 31 October 2018

My rules for Trick or Treating! #Blogtober18

When I was a child we only went trick or treating a few times. My dad only took us to people's houses that we knew and wouldn't dream of knocking on a strangers door.

I think that's why I am not so keen on taking my girls out trick or treating but times have changed and it is more popular now than it was 30 odd years ago. 

Gone are the carved turnips that I had when I was a child and pumpkins are the done thing now. The costumes are fancier. I remember going out one year as a child with a witches hat and a black bin bag with a head hole cut out. My brother was a ghost with eye holes cut out of a sheet. lol

I do have a set of rules that we stick to while we are out trick or treating.

We tend to go out just as it's coming in dark. The street lights are not great where I live and when it is dark I use the flashlight on my mobile phone to avoid all the dog poo.

We respect other people and their property. We don't trample through flower beds and gardens. I make sure that my girls are polite and say "thank you". They sometimes do forget especially if they get a nice treat and the excitement takes over.

We only visit houses which are lit up and have Halloween decorations up.

We always have comfy shoes on. My girls can easily be out for a couple of hours, walking miles.

We always stick together. I don't want either of them wandering off. They won't get lost but there are always a lot of people out and some could be trouble.

We throw away sweets which are unwrapped or have loose wrappings. I know a lot of people mean no harm but you don't know where the sweets have been. I don't let it eat them until they get home just so I can check everything.

I have a set time when we will come back home. I know if I don't set a time the kids would be out there all night.

Are you going out trick or treating?

Tuesday 30 October 2018

SnoBall Battle Pack, Gelli Baff and Slime Baff - Review!

Ellie loves anything that is slimy, gooey and jelly like so when I was asked if we would like to try some things out from Zimpli Kids I didn't have to think twice! 

We were sent SnoBall Play, Gelli Baff and Slime Baff!

Ellie couldn't wait to try everything.

Snoball Battle Pack

The Snoball Battle Pack is sure to provide hours of endless fun! You can create your own snowballs all year round whether it is snowing outside or not.

You empty the sachet contents in a bucket or container of your choice, add small amounts of water while mixing it with your hand and then when it starts to stick together and you can make snowballs it's done! 

SnoBall is 100% degradable, is a non irritant and is stain free. It is suitable for ages 3+. 100g of this will make 60+ snowballs (there are 4 x 25g packs and each will make approximately 15 snowballs).

This was really strange. It felt like snow but wasn't as cold. I think this would be fab to play with in the summer when you feel so far away from the cold and the snow that winter brings. Ellie loved it and as well as making snowballs she made a snowman. 

Gelli Baff

Gelli Baff turns your bath water into a jelly like substance and once you've had enough of it you turn it back to liquid!

Fill the bath with approximately 40 litres of warm water, sprinkle the Gelli Baff formula over the surface and leave it for a couple of minutes. Then watch the boring bath water turn into a fun, thick, jelly/goo right in front of your eyes. When the water has gone cold simply add the dissolver sachet and as if by magic it turns back into water.

This stuff was amazing! Within minutes the bath had turned to jelly! Ellie jumped straight in and had the time of her life. She didn't want to get out even after she'd been in for more than half an hour. lol

When she had finished I sprinkled the 2nd packet in and the jelly turned back into liquid! It amazed me again!

This was our favourite product of the three we tried. It's going to be something I buy again for Ellie.

Slime Baff

Slime Baff is a powder that turns bath water into a gooey slime. 

We have reviewed this in the past and didn't get on great with it and it's a shame to say we didn't enjoy it this time around either.

I think after trying the Gelli Baff we were expecting too much. There was a little slime but it just didn't seem that slimy.

By just adding more water, the slime can be diluted into coloured water that can be safely drained away. Ellie did struggle to get out of the bath as it was so slippy even after showering her down.

I think if we every tried it again we would try it in a bowl or tub and use a lot less water.

These would make great stocking fillers, pranks, sensory trays and so much more.

Each pack costs only £4.99 and can be bought from The Entertainer, Smyths Toys, Amazon and many more shops online and offline.

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

These are my favourite blogs to read! #Blogtober18

Throughout October I will be joining in with Big Family Organised Chaos and her linky for Blogtober18. Today's prompt is: Favourite blogs you love!

I read a lot of blogs. I stopped reading books because I read blogs. lol There is so many blogs out there now, way more than when I started blogging nearly six years ago or it could be that I notice them more when I am scrolling through Twitter or blogging groups on Facebook.

Please don't be offended if I don't mention you, like I said I do read a lot of blogs. I could have easily listed 100 blogs that I love but I am going to stick with 5.

Mum of three world banner

I have been reading Mum of Three WorldSarah's blog for years. Her's was one of the first I came across when I started blogging, in fact I think I read it before I even started blogging myself. She has three children a little older than my girls. I can relate to a lot of what she writes about. She shares the highs, the lows, the laughs and the bickering.

Sticky mud & belly laughs banner

The lovely Jayne blogs at Sticky Mud and Belly Laughs. (My girls actually call her beautiful Jayne) and she is. She is such a lovely person and helps me out a lot when it comes to blogging and she's always there for a chat. I don't have many real friends in the blogging world but I know I can call Jayne one.

Jayne is the host of Monday Morning Blog Club. It is a fab linky where you just link up your blog and people choose which post to comment on. Jayne blogs about a bit of everything. Lifestyle, crafts, family life and review posts....Her boys are the cutest and she has a cracking sense of humour!

Little hearts, big love banner

Louise blogs at Little Hearts, Big Love. I have read her blog for many years. She was the first blogger I found who wrote about heart defects. She gave me the confidence to share mine and my girls heart story. Her little heart warrior Jessica was born with a condition called hypoplastic left heart syndrome but sadly passed away earlier this year aged 6. My heart breaks for her but she has blogged through all the grief and she is amazing for that!

Louise writes about family life with her two beautiful children Sophie & Thomas and of course still about Jessica. She also writes about everyday moments, crafts and days out.. She is also one of the hosts for the Country Kids linky.

Katy Kicker is written by Katy who is so real and honest. I have only been religiously reading Katy's blog for a few months but she has been around for longer. She blogs about parenting, products, family life, personal finance and much, much more. 

I really like her foodie posts. She is the host of the Weekly meal planning linky I join in with. She has some fantastic recipes on her blog and is amazing with her slow cookers!

I also love watching her on Insta-Stories. She is real! She shows the ups and downs of being a work at home parent and she's funny with it!

A few years ago I used to read Rebecca's blog, Clearly Bex  but then she had a break but she is back now! She has been taking part in Blogtober18 and I have really enjoyed reading her blog posts.

Which are your favourite blogs to read?

Monday 29 October 2018

Our weekly meal plan. 29th Oct - 4th Nov! #MealPlanningMonday

Last weeks meal plan went pretty well. We ate everything and I ended up having two all day breakfasts in one day. My fella and I went out for breakfast on Wednesday. I'd forgotten I had planned the same for the evening meal. The kids hadn't forgotten and I had the same again. hehehe Oops. 

This week is half term week and we have a few things planned, most of it involves staying at home so the meal plan should go to plan. Fingers crossed!

This week on the menu we have:

Monday - Chicken casserole with mash.
Tuesday - Home made pizza.
Wednesday - Hot dogs in buns, fries and corn on the cob.
Friday - Pizza.
Saturday - Sushi. We made it last year & I think we should again!
Sunday - A roast dinner of some sort. 

Saturday 27 October 2018

A photo every day for a year! Week 43 of #Project365

It's finally half term! Our half term started yesterday and we just pottered about the house and went for a walk to meet my fella to work. It was lovely!

Now for a photo every day.

my family sat around a table playing a board game
My youngest sat playing on her tablet and the film Moana on the TV
my teen on the computer and a smashed tablet screen
My youngest with the pumpkin she carved at school & more pumpkins for us to carve

293/365 - 20th October
We had a evening of playing the game What's that smell? It was a lot of fun!

294/365 - 21st October
We had a lazy morning wrapped in our dressing gowns and playing on electronics.

295/365 - 22nd October
Ellie was off school poorly and we watched a couple of films. Moana was one of them.

296/365 - 23rd October
Becky on the computer.

297/365 - 24th October
Ellie left her tablet on the floor under a blanket and my fella ended up standing on it. Oops.

298/365 - 25th October
Ellie carved a pumpkin at school in the lunch club and she brought it home. She did a great job.

299/365 - 26th October
Our pumpkins arrived. We will be carving them today. I only ordered 6 but 7 arrived. Hooray! 

Half term is here. #Blogtober18

Throughout October I will be joining in with Big Family Organised Chaos and her linky for Blogtober18. Today's prompt is: Did you survive the October half term!

We broke up for the half term holidays on Thursday and to say we are ready for them is an understatement! I wrote about in my Word of the Week post about how Ellie is run down and Becky is full of cold. We need a break.

We have a few things planned for this next week but mostly we are going to be relaxing. The kids will probably spend too much time playing on electronics but that's fine.

It is of course Halloween next week and we will be carving pumpkins! It's something we do every year and we always have a lot of fun. They were delivered yesterday with the grocery order so we will be busy doing them today. 

The kids want to go trick or treating! I hate taking them out but no doubt they will go on and on and wear me down.

Stu has a couple of days off during the week and we are hoping to have at least one day out even if it's just to the park or if the weather is nice a walk around the lake like we did during the summer. I imagine the scenery has changed a little now that it is Autumn. I am hoping it's not too late to find some conkers.

Of course we will do a bit of baking! Ellie has seen a Unicorn fairy cake kit that she wanted to try out from Tesco which came with the shopping yesterday. She doesn't know I got it so it will be a lovely surprise. hehehe

We are also going to have a big clear out. We do it at this time every year. Ellie is usually reluctant to throw out or donate anything of hers but when it's coming up to Christmas she understands that she needs to make room for new toys.

Considering we were hoping to have a lazy week we do seem to have a lot planned. 

What have you got planned for half term or have you already had yours?

Friday 26 October 2018

This week my Word of the Week is: Unwell. #WotW

This week my Word of the Week is:

a text version of the word unwell

It has been a long week! Both of my girls have been poorly. Ugh!

Ellie hasn't been right for a few weeks. She had a tummy bug a couple of weeks ago and then ate something which didn't agree with her last week and was sent home from school and over the weekend I thought she had tonsillitis but it was just a really sore throat. She ended up having Monday off school. I knew she was poorly because she stayed on the sofa all day just watching films. There was no asking to play with her toys or on her tablet. It was only at tea time where she started to feel better. She's still not at 100% but she's so much better than she was.

Becky has also been poorly this past week. She has came down with a rotten cold. She's has had it all. Aching bones, sneezing, a blocked nose, a runny noes, a headache and just generally feeling rubbish. She has managed school every day but yesterday was a struggle.

Today is the first day of the half term holidays! Hooray! It means we can all relax and recharge a little. I think it is just what we need. This first term at school is the hardest with the colder weather and the darker mornings.

Ellie's tablet is looking pretty sorry for it's self too. I have told her a million times not to leave it laid around and especially not to leave it on the floor. Well she did on Wednesday evening under a fleece blanket. The worst happened and my fella stood on it. 

a tablet with a cracked screen

The screen is smashed and it will switch on but it doesn't work. Eek! Stu put off telling her until she finished school last night. She wasn't happy and of course it was all Stu's fault but she took it reasonably well. She has a new one for Christmas but until then she will have to either use the really old one or do without. 

I have Zero tolerance for bullies....

Throughout October I will be joining in with Big Family Organised Chaos and her linky for Blogtober18. Today's prompt is: Zero tolerance for.

I asked the kids what do they have zero tolerance for and they both said the same as me. Bullies!!! This was such an easy post to come up with a topic for but it's a hard post to write because I have to be careful about what I say because my girls school bullies do read my blog.

I have Zero tolerance for bullies text

I was bullied as a child. There was no reason, the bullies just picked up on the fact that I was quiet and they went for that. It was mostly verbal bullying and threats but there was a few times where a girl would throw a punch and then get such a shock when I fought back. I might be quiet but I won't have anyone hit me. I hated school because of the bullies. My parents did try to get it stopped but the school was never that bothered about stopping it completely. Bullying is a bigger thing now a days. Children are crueler now and schools do take it more seriously.

Both of my girls have been bullied off and on all throughout school and we have a zero tolerance for it now. As soon as I hear about it I will put a stop to it or they will.

Ellie has been bullied off and on throughout school. When she was in nursery she hung around with the boys which was fine when they were 3, 4, 5 and 6 year old's but then the boys decided that girls were not cool so Ellie was left. Not having the boys to play with and not being part of the girl group she was the odd one out.

It all came to a head when she was in year 5. The teacher sent the nice kids out of the class room and came down like a ton of bricks on the nasty kids. She shouted and ended up crying because she had been bullied at school and it brought back awful memories for her. It did the trick mostly. Everyone was a lot nicer to everyone, Ellie included.

Now Ellie is at secondary school her primary school bullies have left her alone and Ellie has a new group of friends. I was proud of my girl a few weeks ago. Her friend was being bullied and she made sure it was stopped by reporting it to a teacher.

Sometimes kids torment others because that's the way they've been treated. They may think their behaviour is normal because they come from families where everyone regularly gets angry and shouts or calls each other names. They might have low self esteem, they might have been bullied themselves, they could be jealous, they like to show off and have a big ego but it is no excuse!

To make someone upset, feel bad about themselves is the cruelest thing you can do. I just can't understand why bullies bully. 

Sometimes kids will be kids and they will argue and do a bit of name calling but when a bully repeatedly does it the punishment needs to be harsher. A telling off from school, a detention or a letter home to the parents just isn't going to cut it!

If an adult was to push and shove another adult they could be arrested for assault. If they were to constantly shout things at someone in the street or make up rumours the police can be involved so why not younger people too. I am not talking about 6 year old's I mean secondary school age children. They should know better.

I watch ITV's This Morning and I have seen parents on there of children who have killed themselves because of school bullies. It is sickening and so, so sad.

I really think that the bullies should be charged with manslaughter! When you decide to make it your personal goal to make another human being as frightened and miserable as possible and that person turns to death as their only escape you are guilty! 

Thursday 25 October 2018

Years gone by. #Blogtober18

Throughout October I will be joining in with Big Family Organised Chaos and her linky for Blogtober18. Today's prompt is: Years gone by. 

I didn't know what to blog about for this prompt but then decided to share some photos and the stories about them. All of these photos are from October of years gone by.

Halloween 2008.

This was the day that Ellie decided to walk! She was about 14 months old and took her first steps on Halloween. She was hindered by the fancy dress she was wearing but it didn't stop her. Once she had walked once she was off!

It was also the last year the school allowed the kids to go in dressed up. They decided afterwards that they didn't like to celebrate Halloween anymore. Hmmf. Stu had great fun doing Becky's make up. hehehe

Halloween 2010

This was the first year where we carved pumpkins! I hadn't even done one before never mind the kids. The kids had great fun and it is a tradition that we have carried on. We carve pumpkins every year now.

It was also the start of the Halloween party teas. I am not usually a fan of Halloween but party teas are a lot of fun. I would much rather do a party tea than take the kids out trick or treating.

Halloween 2012.

Two little witches!

Halloween 2016

Halloween 2017.

This was the year we went all out. The kids had new costumes. Well Ellie did, Becky said she was too old for dressing up so she just got a t-shirt. 

We decorated, did crafts and some baking too.

This year I haven't a clue what we are doing for Halloween. It should be a fun one because the kids are off school for their half term holidays.

What do you have planned for Halloween?

Wednesday 24 October 2018

X-rays and broken bones. #Blogtober18

Throughout October I will be joining in with Big Family Organised Chaos and her linky for Blogtober18. Today's prompt is: X-rays and broken bones.

I have had way more x-rays than broken bones but I have had my fair share of them too. I was a clumsy child who used to fall off horses a lot. lol

The first time I broke my arm. I fell down the stairs when I was about 3 years old. I don't remember doing it but I remember sitting on the sofa eating cereal waiting for my parents to come in from work to take me from the hospital. My grandad got a telling off from my aunt for letting me eat in case I needed surgery. Oops. 

A few years later just fell over when walking and fractured my other arm. I remember that I didn't make a big deal out of it and wanted to play at the park and did. It was only later that evening I complained about my arm being sore and my dad took me to A&E.

Between the ages of about 9 and 15 I could quite easily be at the hospital at least once every 6 months or so. I was good at horse riding but would often get too cocky while on a horse. Going too fast around corners, jumping jumps which were too high, riding naughty horses I shouldn't really have been riding. I was sent on my way usually after having an x-ray.

The worst fall I had was off a horse who decided he'd had enough of me on his back and went galloping off while bucking and kicking. I fell and got my foot stuck in the stirrup and was dragged for a few metres. My leg ended up being fine but I broke a rib due to the horse kicking me. There is no quick fix like a plaster for a broken rib. I just had to grin and bear it and not laugh too much.

I ended up breaking my nose when I was a teenager. I ran into some face high scaffolding. An x-ray showed a broken nose but there was nothing which could be done. I just had to grin and bear it. Two black eyes meant that I had a couple of days off school so it wasn't all bad.

The kids have had quite a few x-rays too. Ellie had plenty when she broke her fingers after getting them jammed in a door and then both of the girls had chest x-rays when they had their heart surgeries. Becky has also had a couple more after falling off her scooter on the way home from school and landing on her face and when she fell over at school  a good few years ago and they thought she had broke a bone in her hand. She hadn't. I knew she hadn't because she was not in any pain. She just has bony hands. lol We of course took her to hospital to get checked out.

It's been a long time since we've had any x-rays and I hope it stays like that. Have you had many x-rays or broken bones?

Tuesday 23 October 2018

What’s That Smell game - Review!

Every now and again we will have an evening of playing games. Some times board games, sometimes games on the Wii and sometimes something a little different. Over the weekend we tried out a brand new game called What's That Smell.

The unique new game from WowWee where taking a sniff makes you a winner. Eagerly anticipated and already gaining fans, it’s the new the scratch & sniff party game that stinks! What's that Smell is the first ever hilarious fragrant guessing party game that opens up to a world of interesting whiffs. Guess the scents correctly to win or suffer the stinky consequences!

Included in the box is 48 Mystery Whiff Cards, 4 Stank Cards & scent-barrier bags, 6 cardholders, Whiff Strips, score pad and instructions

There is an app associated with the game available from the App Store or Google Play but you don't need it to play. As long as you have a nose, you’re pretty much good to go. 

We didn't bother downloading and using the app because we were trying to have an evening off electronics. 

The app comes with a timer and a ReekCam so that you can record the Whiff of Shame in all of its slow motion glory.

The basics of playing: To play this game you need two to six players. Start the timer, pick a mystery whiff card, brush it gently with a Whiff Strip and try to guess the scent! When the time is up pass it on to the next player and do it all over again until the smell round is over. The best sniffer wins! 

To stop anyone cheating you unfold the first panel and inserts the card in their cardholder so that the smell zone is visible but the answer isn't.

You can earn bonus points by picking the correct smell category. Is it Tutti Fruity, Sweet stuff, Spice it up, Bloomin fresh, Smoke factor, All things chemical or Just plain stinky?

You can also think of the funniest memory or image that the smell triggers for your chance to earn bonus points. The funnier the better!

When the round has finished the person running the game reveals the correct answers for each.

Top smell guess: 5 points.
2nd and 3rd best guesses: 3 points.
Correct category: 1 point.
Funniest association: 2 bonus points.

The person with the highest score is crowned the "Nose-It-All" and gets to pick the player of their choice to smell 1 of the 4 outrageously stinky Stank Cards. They really do stink!

These are truly awful. If you sniff too hard the smell will hit the back of your throat and you will gag! My fella thought he was so clever and had a good whiff of the Diaper Blowout! He regretted it. He could taste it. lol It is the perfect forfeit!

This game is aimed at people over the ages of 14 but Ellie who is 11 wanted to play too and did under close supervision. She was surprisingly good at it. She has a better sense of smell than Becky my teen and my fella. hehehe

This game is such fun! I cried with laughter several times throughout the game. We could have played it all night, the only reason we stopped was because our noses were getting overloaded with scents and everything was starting to smell the same. We did play for over an hour so I think our noses did well.

The smells come across really well and some are easy to guess others are not so easy. I thought one was coconut but it was sunscreen? I was really surprised that both of my girls got cinnamon. One that baffled me was peach! I knew it was a fruit but just couldn't put my finger on what it was. Ellie guessed popcorn correctly I went with nachos and Stu with oat biscuits. All of the smell cards are different. The one's we used were anyway.

You can store the Stank Cards in the plastic bags provided so they don't leave a stink. I don't know how long the scents on the cards will last but I think if they are stored correctly they will be good to play with again and again. 

This would be a perfect game to play for family get together's over Christmas and the New Year. 

What's That Smell? is available to buy for around £24.99 from Smyths, Argos, Amazon.

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

Forty before 40! #Blogtober18

Throughout October I will be joining in with Big Family Organised Chaos and her linky for Blogtober18. Today's prompt is: Wishlist for the future!

Next year I am 40! When I turned 30 it didn't bother me and I don't think turning 40 will. I am OK with that. Age is just a number after all.

I have came up with 40 things that I want to do before I am 40. Some of them are simple things which I have never done before but others are going to be a little harder to complete.

1. Learn to drive.
2. Get a passport or some sort of official I.D.
3. Drink proper Champagne.
4. Buy something from Starbucks.
5. Have a proper hair cut and dye at a hairdressers.
6. Go to the cinema alone.
7. Have my nails done professionally.
8. Print out photos & put them into albums so they can be looked at and enjoyed.
9. Get a Tattoo.
10. Have an afternoon tea.
11. Go to a concert.
12. Feed a wild animal (at a Safari park/zoo).
13. Dye my hair a wild colour.
14. Ride a bike again.
15. Go 24 hours without technology.
16. Get a proper camera so I don't have to rely on my phone.
17. Get a new phone.
18. Go on a family holiday.
19. Trace my family tree.
20. Ride a horse again.
21. Go to a blogging conference.
22. Spend more time with my dad.
23. Have a real Christmas tree.
24. Stay out all night partying.
25. Ride the dodgems.
26. Try caviar.
27. Host a dinner party.
28. Go camping.
29. Wear high heel shoes again.
30. Move house.
31. Sing karaoke in public.
32. Get a brand new sofa.
33. Bake my own bread.
34. Plant something which will live longer than a month.
35. Go out for a meal and not worry about how much it costs.
36. Walk along a pier.
37. Read at least 10 books.
38. Have someone else cook my Christmas dinner.
39. Lose some weight.
40. Be spontaneous for a whole day.

What do you want to do over the next year or so?