We want to give our kids the best. We want their birthday parties to be elaborate get-togethers that they will remember for years to come. This means only the best decorations, food, and entertainment.

Well, that’s the dream anyways. However, our wallets don’t always agree with the grandiose of our dreams. That doesn’t mean that we need to give up our dreams of the perfect party, though. 

* Collaborative post

It's not long until Ethan's birthday, and the party we are planning, and in this post, I'm going to share some ideas as to how you can throw your kid a great party without breaking the bank.
Up until a few weeks ago, I had never been to a Lush store before. I'll let that sink in for a minute. I seem to be the only person I know or follow that hadn't experienced this brand firsthand before and perhaps even more shockingly, I had never EVER enjoyed a Lush bath bomb.

What the?!

All that has changed now and I have enjoyed several Lush baths, trying out different bombs and melts, and picked up a good haul of things to try out...

I picked up Angels on Bare Skin (£7.50 for 100g) as a soft cleanser, as I have some psoriasis on my face now and need something that will be gentle. I thought that trying some Lush products would be a good idea for my sensitive skin, as they may be less harsh and aggravating. I really like Angels on Bare Skin - you mix a small amount in the palm of your hand with some water and it becomes like a paste that you rub onto our face, leaving it feel really clean.

The family is round for dinner and everyone has just about finished tucking into their Sunday roast. All eyes are now on you to take on the challenge of washing up. No one likes cleaning at the best of times - even less so after a big dinner - so, finding ways to clean up as quickly as possible will make the task much more bearable.

Here are just five ways you can speed-clean your kitchen, to get back to the fun:

Mother’s Day May be another occasion where card companies and retailers all see pound signs and try to convince us that the more we buy, the more we show we care, but it shouldn’t mean it’s another day to shrug off.

Ever since Ethan was a bump, Mother’s Day has been an exciting date for me. It may be just another Sunday, and another day being me and being Ethan’s mum, but it is a special day to enjoy together. It’s a chance to step back and appreciate what you have in each other. How far you have come. The love that you have. The effort you put in. 

It’s a time to really think about the most important relationship you have, and how with each year, it changes.

We all know that life can sometimes be a little difficult, and as parents and carers it can be easy to neglect yourself in the busy world we find ourselves in. You need to take care of yourself. But finding the time – or even knowing where to begin, can be difficult.

Well, while we’re on the subject sit back, relax, get yourself a cup of tea (or something cold and fruity) and check out these ways to treat yourself, right now!

* Collaborative post

You know sometimes, you hear about something or somebody recommends something to you, but you just never seem to get around to trying it for yourself?

Recently, I have discovered three beauty tools which were just that; things I had seen somewhere or had been recommended but for some reason, I never actually thought about giving them a go.

Until now.

Using some Christmas money, I decided to pick up three new things to try out and I am really glad I did.

Sunday will be my fourth Mother's Day, although when Ethan was a bump in my tummy, he managed to still send me some flowers, a teddy and card so really it'll be like my fifth. And to me it may just be another day, another Sunday with my bubs, but is means so much. It sounds silly, but I sometimes still can't believe that I am a mama and having Mother's Day is just a lovely excuse to remember the most important role I have, and enjoy celebrating the special ocassion with my little family.

And, of course, to celebrate the two other mums in my life - my mum, who says she never wants anything for Mother's Day, and my mother-in-law, who says she already has what she needs. Gift buying for others can be tricky, right?!

I've always got my eye on a few things (I can't help it, I love window shopping!) so I thought I'd share a few things on my wishlist right now, as they might inspire a gift idea for you for Mother's Day...

Perhaps like everyone else in this week's link up, I've chosen a snowy photo for #MySundayPhoto. It snowed on and off this week but it was only towards the end that it made any real impact in the Midlands and it led to us having a snow day or two in the end.

We bought a sled, took Ethan up and down the hill we live on and ventured to the shops too for supplies. Ethan and Daddy also built Ethan's first snowman, so it's been a weekend of firsts.

I am not a very brave person. I am scared of spiders, not that good with heights, get spooked in the dark, often have dreams where I am falling or trapped and I have never had a leg or bikini wax. Fact.

If I think about the scariest or hardest times in my life, like child-birth or miscarriage, I guess I have had to be brave - either put on a brave face or just get myself through it any way I could - but overall, I'm not one to take risks or do something that scares me.

Brave is a label best saved for those who really do have challenges and do their best to face them head on.

Like the children at Birmingham Children's Hospital.

Now I can't read a story about the great work the hospital charity does or the case studies of the children they help without getting teary. Ethan is my world and I cannot imagine every having to go through what some families have to. It's the reason why I got so behind The Big Sleuth last year (a trail of bear statues across Birmingham to raise important funds) and the reason I am sharing this post, as it is a brilliant cause, close to home and I know the people who work in the fundraising team, so wanted to do my bit to support their latest appeal...

One of Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity’s largest annual fundraising events, Big Bandage is back and the charity is looking for it to be BIGGER, braver and better than ever with its Big Bandage Day on Friday 9 March!
I am a real hoarder when it comes to skincare, make up and hair products (but I am trying to get better!) and enjoy trying out new things. Over the past few weeks, I've been enjoying some new buys and wanted to share them with you in case you might like them too.

This half term was only the second we've had during Ethan's time at school, and again, I had to work so Ste and Ethan had lots of daddy and son time together. It's only just struck me that now Ethan is in school, we only can have two days together at a time - sometimes one or two more due to Bank Holidays - until the next half term rolls around, and even then, hubs and I have to split these between us to cover as much as we can from both our annual leave allowances.

I know this shouldn't really have been a surprise, but it was more the sense that I felt really sad when leaving them in the morning, hearing about their plans for the day, and thinking to myself how much I can't wait to have a week of the Easter holidays with my little man, just us two, doing whatever we fancy.

I can't wait.

Last week, Ste and Ethan played games, did his homework, watched films and on Thursday, they went to The Old Rep theatre in Birmingham to see a family show and take part in a puppet workshop.

I love unique events such as this and it was a great excuse for them to get out of the house and to do something different together.

If you've never read my blog or followed me on Instagram before now, you'd be forgiven for not knowing how much of a Harry Potter fan I am. I'm not completely obsessed (although I do have the deathly hallows symbol as part of one of my tattoos), but I am a fan of the books and films, and the whole magic of it all, and seem to have amassed quite the collection of HP related artefacts and accessories.

It all started on my birthday last year, with tickets to visit the studios again and a print from the Pottermore store, and, well, it went from there...

We had a lounge update last year (see part 1 and part 2) with a distinct Harry Potter vibe and I've been picking up bits and pieces here and there from Primark to add to my home and my wardrobe.

Accio more HP goodies please!

I thought I'd share a Harry Potter haul from Primark, as they have been bringing out some great pieces so you can wear a Hogwarts uniform every day or add some finishing magical touches to your home.

I've seen many of these items still in store, so if you jump on your hippogriff, you might find them for yourself...
Spring is almost in sight, don't you think? Maybe it's wishful thinking, but when February rolls around, I start to get excited for the first signs of spring and feel desperate to freshen things up - at home, in my routine and with the things I wear.

In the hopes of some brighter days ahead, here are #FiveFaves from me for the month of February:

I don't think it will come as any surprise that we are BIG Disney fans in the house (our DisneyLife posts / subscription and our Planet Hollywood Disneyland Paris reviews are just two examples) and it's great how being a Disney fan when you're not eight years old isn't frowned upon at all. In fact, it's pretty cool for us grown ups to embrace our inner child and celebrate the characters and stories of our childhood long after we outgrew the costumes. Just look on the high street, and there's a huge range of Disney related items that aren't just for little ones to enjoy. Hurrah!

In the words of Peter Pan, lets 'never grow up'!.

That's why I let out a shriek of delight during our last trip to the Disney Store. They've just introduced the Oh My Disney collection over here and there's plenty of stationery, homeware and accessories to enjoy for us older fans.

I've shared a post already of my smart little mister wearing his new suit, but had to share this particular photo for #MySundayPhoto as it's captured the cheeky side of Ethan's character and I like the perspective, with his superhero toys in frame too.

It's been really fun playing with my camera again, and capturing just an average Sunday but in such a nice way.

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