The Midlands and surrounding areas are packed full of fun family days out and the summer holiday is a great time to get out and explore, whether you're travelling from further afield or are a local. And one fantastic place to visit is Warwick Castle.

* gifted tickets

We went on Sunday to see the new spectacular show line up, and we had such a great day out. We all love a bit of history and a good day out for us is where there's plenty to see and do, whilst having the option to take along your own food and drink and to build the day into what you want it to be. And this really is the case as Warwick Castle.

Nestled in the centre of this county town, Warwick Castle can be explored inside and out, and has the feel of a 'working' castle because of the care put into maintaining it and the real life experiences the attraction offers. The dungeons are great for older people in the group, and I'm told not for the faint of heart, but there's plenty for families to enjoy and this summer, the action is indeed packed.

One of my favourite things to do is to eat out but we don't always get the chance, especially to try somewhere new, with two children now. It sometimes can be difficult to find somewhere that is family friendly but also the kind of place that we would like to go, if it were just the two of us. But Bill's restaurants are different - and our local one in the Bullring, Birmingham, has just been reopened having received a fresh new look inside and out.

* Review #gifted



Being a parent comes with a never-ending list of worries. One of the biggest changes is to our financial situations. Here's some tips to help save money in the longer term, looking towards the future.

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Ah, summer. Sun filled days, floaty maxi dresses and maybe a Pimms or two. What's not to love? My birthday is at the start of July and it's always been a great excuse to treat myself, so I thought I'd share a few things I am loving right now when it comes to style and beauty.
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I do love my make up and there's only a few items in my make up bag that are true staples or products that I will buy again. I like to experiment and enjoy finding and trying new things and one of those bits of make up I'm always changing is my mascara.


I love bold colours and I do my best to find different kinds of prints and clothes options for my baby boy as sometimes, the offering for boys can be, well, a bit bland. It's often dominated by baby blue and grey, and cars are the print of the day. I like both, don't get me wrong, but I want a choice of clothes for Sullivan, and think boys should be able to have just as much fun with their outfits as girls (I appreciate that girls clothes are often taken over by a sea of pink and florals, but the wardrobe options are far greater in variety, don't you think?).

* Collaborative post

 If you’ve got kids, you’ll know that the decor of their rooms can be a bit of a challenge! You’ll naturally want everything to look nice for them, but this can be somewhat tricky when they often make such a mess. Our environments have such an impact on our wellbeing and positivity, that’s why it's worth persevering to create a space that your kids can relax and enjoy. Here come some super easy decor ideas and hacks to revamp your kid’s room. 

There's a lot of great things about maternity leave - one of them being the chance to pop out for a coffee whenever I fancy it. Earlier today, I met my Mother-in-Law for a catch up over some delicious cakes, at Patisserie Valerie, at Resorts World Birmingham.


Hubs and I have been together for over 14 years now. In that time, we have rented an apartment, got engaged, bought our first house which is still our home almost 13 years later, we had our eldest, then our youngest, so you could say a lot has happened in that time.

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I love Birmingham and I love food - and luckily, the two go very well together in Birmingham. I have lived here for almost 17 years but there's still plenty I don't know and there's always something new to try. Whatever the cuisine, you're bound to find it in our fair city, and you can even leave the bustling streets behind and be taken somewhere exotic.


On my birthday last week, we were transported to the Lebanon when we visited Comptoir Libanais, which means 'Lebanese counter', located in Grand Central (kindly invited along to review our experience). We had never been before but I have always admired the bright and colourful look of the restaurant, so I was looking forward to trying it at last.
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I have lived in Birmingham for almost 17 years now, which is almost as long as when I lived at home, so I think I can probably call myself an honorary Brummie now. I do love this city and everything it has to offer - because it really does have everything you could possibly want. Shopping is amazing, there's a lot of cultural sights to enjoy, it's famed for its food, from high street restaurants to fantastic independents, and for families there's a great deal to enjoy too, both in the city centre and a little further afield too.

There's a great selection too of hotels in Birmingham, so if you aren't a native, you can bag a bargain room and be right at the heart of the action (I recommend Malmaison for a great central location and an affordable but stylish retreat - we stayed in the penthouse on the day after our wedding and it was incredible).


As there's always something new to discover, so I headed into the city to spend my idea of a perfect day, exploring and seeing what fun I could have, Birmingham style, and all within walking distance of New Street Station...

This summer, I will be on maternity leave still for the first two thirds, so to make the most of my time, I am already starting to plan ahead and think about what we would like to do, come rain or shine.


The school holidays can feel like such a long time, can't they? If the weather is good, you want to get out and about to make the most of it, but the costs can add up and even a simple trip to the cinema can cost you an arm and a leg.

During the Easter holidays last year, we packed a lot in and I researched lots of new places and cheaper days out so we could have fun but also not spend a fortune in the process. And last summer, I put together a list of simple ideas for things to do over the holidays - one being to keep a scrapbook of what we got up to, including tickets and leaflets from those places we did go to.

I'd like to revisit some of the places we've been before on days out, but with two boys to look after for four weeks, I would like to try new things - and the more cost effective, the better, especially being on SMP for a little while longer!

A throwback post this Thursday to something I wrote three years ago, about trusting your instincts and realising that in all the madness of parenting, there is a method in the way you choose to be a mum...

This parenting malarkey is a funny old business. When you think you've worked your little one out, they go and throw a spanner in the works.

Refusing to clean their teeth in the morning, and kicking off big style, then running to the bathroom in the evening to brush their teeth with glee, asking for more toothpaste. Eating the meal you've lovingly made for them, sprinkled with cheese and made just the way they like it, to exclaims of 'this is delicious Mummy!' only to be told the next time you serve it, 'I don't like this. It tastes horrible'.

It's a never ending see-saw of getting things right and seemingly getting things wrong, and keeping the balance is a hard thing to do.

That's parenting all over; balancing.

This blog started as a record of my journey 'to become mum' but as time has gone on (coming up for four years now), I've realised it's a journey I will always be on.

And it's got me thinking that to be a parent, you have to be a little mad. Or succumb to the madness.

Kids can be very astute but they can also be completely crazy and unfathomable. It's amazing how much Ethan seems to know, understand and articualte at the moment but, come one of his sudden mood swings, where asking him to show us his drawing like above, and his reaction makes no sense and you can't reason with him. It's like arguing with a drunk - they don't understand logic! So, the best course I've found is to ride it out, leave him to it and then he snaps out of it almost as quickly as his bad mood started in the first place, with as much clue as I have as to why he had a meltdown.

All the time, I hear other parents talking about the judgement they feel they have had - see Charlotte's 'Mums, Sticks & Stones' post - and how we all should just accept that everyone does things differently. In their own way, in their own time.

And we should realise and accept this.

Sure, there's expert advice and studies and lots of information out there about having a child and how to deal with the different stages. And for the most part, it's useful and can be reassuring. But with so much information at our fingertips - literally, on our smartphones, in the dark of the night, googling 'why won't my baby go to sleep?!' - it can actually make things worse.

We hear too many opinions, too many conflicting 'facts' and come to the mistaken conclusion that that inner voice that sometimes says 'you don't know what you're doing' is actually right.

We all know our little ones better than any expert, other parent, relative or complete stranger and we have to trust our own instincts.

Work out what works best for ourselves and our children. It's trial and error, but we should take comfort in the fact that there is no definitive answer, no magic solution - and that it's ok to get things wrong.

Try and try again.

Find your own method in the mumness.


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