Thursday, 19 April 2018

How To Survive Your First Family Holiday Abroad



It’s safe to say that every year is a busy year. Even when you think that you’re going to slow down a little, it never seems to happen - especially when you have small children. So, you’re always going to want to be able to enjoy a break away from the stresses of everyday life.

* Sponsored post

When your kids are very small, you often want to stay in the UK, just to test the waters with holidaying, to begin with. But before long, you’ll want to travel a little more, explore different locations, and generally get out and chase the sun! 

When you’ve not been abroad together as a family before, you can often get a little weary. You’ll wonder if taking the little ones abroad is every a good idea! And it always is, because it’s nice to enjoy family holidays together. So if you’re starting to think about going on yours, here’s what you need to do.
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Monday, 16 April 2018

An Aldi haul from their Baby and Toddler event

Spring has sprung, the weather is getting better and there seems to be babies springing up everywhere. So it must mean that it's time for Aldi's hugely popular Baby and Toddler Specialbuy event!


* Post in collaboration with Aldi


Online TODAY and in store from Thursday (19th April 2018), now is a great time to stock up and grab a bargain for the babies and toddlers in your life. Aldi got in touch to give me the lowdown on the latest special buys you can expect to see, and I have a few things to share with you, especially as I have a couple of friends and family members looking forward to welcoming their bundles of joy soon.

Here's a few things I have found that I just LOVE and think you will too (especially the prices)...

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Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Snack time for avocado addicts

Hands up, who is an avocado addict? * ME! ME! * It's the favoured food of Millennials apparently and the humble avocado has become much loved by many a food lover and I simply can't get enough of it. I like it on toast, in a salad and LOVE it as guacamole - I've even blended it in smoothies for a creamy and healthy drink.



So, imagine my joy when I learned of a new avocado based snack. 

Snackamolé is a new avocado based snack that delivers you one of your five a day in a convenient pack that you can enjoy at your desk, on a picnic or on the go. In two varieties, you can choose between a Chunky Avocado Dip or a smoother, zingier Guacamole Dip, both of which come with popped paprika flavour chips.

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Monday, 9 April 2018

500 pairs of tickets to give away to Grand Designs Live!

I absolutely love interiors and can spend hours on Pinterest, Instagram and flicking through home improvement magazines for inspiration for our own home. I love seeing what's new for the season and every year or two we plan a bigger home renovation project, so we're always looking out for what's new and expert advice.

If you're like me, I have something very exciting to share with you today...


To Become Mum has teamed up with Grand Designs Live to give you the chance to claim one of  500 - yes 500! - free pairs of tickets, worth up to £34 each, to the UK’s leading contemporary home show – Grand Designs Live at the ExCeL, proudly sponsored by Anglian Home Improvements. 

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Sunday, 8 April 2018

#MySundayPhoto - star of the holidays

We've done lots of things together during the Easter holidays so far, with my week off with Ethan, and I've managed to get lots of snaps of my little guy out and about and exploring.

I've picked this one for My Sunday Photo because I like the detail picked up in the starfish, when we visited the National Sea Life Centre Birmingham, and how Ethan is in the background. I also loved some of the photos from our visit to Becketts Farm, but decided to stick to the one this time.

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Friday, 6 April 2018

#LifeLately - Our Easter holidays so far... and our plans for next week

Ste and I have split the Easter holidays between us so we can both have some quality time with Ethan and make our annual leave go that little bit further to cover as much as we have to throughout the year. This has been my week and here is what we have got up to, and what we are planning for the second week of half term (you can read my top 5 tips for the Midlands here on the Free Radio website)...



Good Friday
We had a slow start then went into Birmingham to Town Hall to see Tiddler and Other Terrific Tales - another fun family show, really worth checking out their what's on list as there's always something different to enjoy.

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Thursday, 5 April 2018

Baby animals at Becketts Farm

Today, I took Ethan to visit Becketts Farm - in Wythall, south of Birmingham City Centre - as they have a marquee for the Easter holidays full of farm animals, including baby chicks, lambs and goats. What better way to spend a morning or afternoon this half term?


I have passed Becketts Farm Shop and Restaurant a few times but had never been. I saw they were offering the chance to meet new additions to their farm animal family for just £1 entry per person (under 1's free) and knew this was something to add to the list for our Easter activities.

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Our love of TV and films, and of Alexa!

Stephen and I first met when we were at uni and both started working at Blockbuster (remember them?!). We 'clicked' over our love for film and it quickly became one of our favourite pastimes; going to the cinema to see the latest release and building a pretty huge DVD collection. Between us, and using our Blockbuster discount in the beginning, we amassed around 700 DVD's. Then came the Blu-rays. Then the 4K HD discs.


* Sponsored post

We're quite a techy family, with various consoles (it's hubs' main passion, don't ask me to tell you which ones we have!) and subscriptions to Netflix, Now and Amazon Prime. Oh, and we welcomed Alexa to our home with our Google Dot over a year ago, and she even helps control our Philips Hue lights around the house.

Talk about living in the future!

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Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Spring cleaning

Around this time every year, we have some kind of DIY project on our hands, be it our big lounge makeover, refreshing our hallway or making some updates to our bedroom, or at least a big clean. Well, it's a good time to get some housework done, right?! 

Clear the clutter, sweep away the cobwebs and welcome in the lighter, brighter days. Hear hear!

Whilst we have no DIY plans at the moment, it would be good to use some of the time we have off at home to sort a few things out (our spare room comes to mind...) and I do enjoy stocking up on my cleaning bits and bobs. Might be a bit sad to admit it, but I do love having a stocked cupboard with all the things we need to keep the house spic and span.



Thanks to Marigold, we have everything we need to put some elbow grease into our home and get things sparkling clean.

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Friday, 30 March 2018

Enjoy being an Ice Age explorer at West Midlands Safari Park this Easter

We are big animal lovers in our family and a lot of our days out involve going to see animals, either at attractions or just going out and about in the great outdoors. It's been a little while since we last went to West Midlands Safari Park (we go to the fireworks there every year), and even longer since we attended the launch of the Land of Living Dinosaurs, and I am really keen to go back soon as Ethan gets really excited and would gain so much more from the experience now he's older too.

We have the perfect excuse to go this Easter holidays as the UK’s largest Ice Age exhibit is opening at West Midland Safari Park TODAY!


Here's what I have found out about this latest attraction...

Ice Age is an immersive, multi-sensory experience, allowing guests to step back in time and walk amongst the magnificent creatures that roamed the Earth millions of years ago. An investment of £1.25 million has been put into this project and the WMSP team has created three distinct and interactive time zones, plus there's an enormous rumbling volcano and huge atmospheric ice cave installations, both of which can be walked through by intrepid explorers.

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Thursday, 29 March 2018

Enchanted by Disney - Disney On Ice, Worlds of Enchantment Show Review

Not sure if I have mentioned this before, but we LOVE Disney as a family (ok, so maybe it's slipped in once or twice - be it DisneyLife, Oh My Disney, Disneyland Paris or many other posts that make a mention of it!). We all have our favourite stories, from classics to the new Disney Pixar films, and Mickey Mouse is just the greatest character. So, you can probably imagine just how much fun we had at Disney On Ice: Worlds of Enchantment, which has just come to Genting Arena Birmingham.


On until 1st April in Birmingham, before heading off around the country to Nottingham, Liverpool, Cardiff, London and Aberdeen, this is a fantastic awe-inspiring show to go and see.

We went to the last Disney on Ice show last year, Passport to Adventure, and it is a bi-annual event that tours the UK with a cast of your favourite characters.

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Jelly Invaders and choctastic fun with Cadbury

Just as the Easter weekend is about to start, I have a few more events to share with you that you might enjoy (links to all my other posts at the bottom too!).


Take part in the Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt, and help the National Trust, or hop to Cadbury World to see some special guests


If you have some young explorers in your family, the Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt, 30th March to 2nd April, offers an really different kind of eggsperience.

Families can take part in egg hunts through muddy woodlands, heathland, along nature trails and through spring gardens blooming with life, with six different Cadbury Easter Egg Hunts to choose from – in the region, choose from Charlecote Park, Moseley Old Hall and Packwood House.

Plus, every time you take part in a Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt, you’ll be helping the National Trust fund vital conservation work to protect our special places across the U.K.
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Tuesday, 27 March 2018

5 modern interior design ideas to give your home a lift

Our home is our castle and any king or queen knows that a castle needs to look its best. The trouble is, life can take its toll on any home and over time, leave it looking tired. Rather than just accept that your home is past its best, why not see if interior design can help you to transform it? 
There are a surprising amount of ways that you can make sure that your home is not only perfectly designed but modern and stylish too. 

 Written in association with Balustrade Components

For a truly modern approach to design in your home, you can’t go far wrong with a Frameless Glass Balustrade. They are not only stylish, but they give your home a truly modern look too. 
Want to find other ways to give your home a lift? To help you, we have put together 5 of the best modern interior design ideas that you can try in your home. 
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Food fiesta - trying the new menu at Chiquito

I absolutely LOVE Mexican food. The salsa, the guacamole, the melted cheese - what's not to love?! Seriously, if there's cheese, avocado and / or lime involved, I am there; this is my idea of food and drink heaven.


So, you can imagine how excited I was to hear about the new menu at Chiquito and how quick we headed down to one of our local restaurants, in Walsall, to try it for ourselves.

WARNING! THIS POST CONTAINS IMAGES THAT WILL MAKE YOUR MOUTH WATER...

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Monday, 26 March 2018

Easter shopping, egg hunts and an indoor nature trail

Because I am looking for things to do over the Easter holidays, I have been looking at different events going on in and around the Birmingham and Midlands area and wanted to carry on sharing some ideas with you.


In Mell Square, Solihull, there will be an egg hunt and to launch it, on Saturday 31st March, the Easter bunny will be on-site from 10:30am to 12:30pm to give the first 50 families an exclusive goodie bag. Then, from 31st March to 15th April, children and their families will be able to take part in the egg hunt for free, where you will be tasked with finding the colourful egg stickers that are hiding in store windows, before ending the trail in Poplar Way to guess how may eggs are in the box.

Shoppers can pick up their entry card from across Mell Square, and once complete, the card can be returned to the post-box – found at Virgin Holidays in House of Fraser, Drury Arcade – to be in with a chance of winning a prize bundle from selected retailers.
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Friday, 23 March 2018

Top tips and what's on at Drayton Manor this Easter

You can't beat a theme park for a fun family day out really, can you? We love going to them as they offer so much to do, not just rides, and had a great time for Ethan's birthday last year at Chessington World of Adventures as well as at least one trip a year to Thomas Land at Drayton Manor.

If possible, I'd love to go again at some point over the Easter holidays and thought as it's a popular attraction in the Midlands area, I'd share my top tips for a tip top visit to Drayton Manor - as well as some information about their exciting Easter celebrations too...


Ethan, like many boys and girls, has loved Thomas the Tank Engine since a young age and having the chance to see the characters comes to life never fails to put a big smile on his face.

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Thursday, 22 March 2018

How to make a quick and easy Easter bonnet

No doubt if your child is at nursery, preschool or primary school, they will have been tasked with making an Easter bonnet or hat.

That is, they need one and you'll have to make it (if they're particularly little), unless you've been super prepared and your local supermarket is well stocked.


I never had to make something like this myself until a couple of years ago and at the time, I wasn't sure where to start. When I looked in Asda for inspiration, they didn't have any of the cool items I've since seen to make a bonnet, including hat bases and all the trimmings (all really cheap too, so worth checking out if you're stuck), so I had a go at making something using an ordinary hat.


It worked well and we will probably do the same again this year, so I thought I'd share my idea again in case it helps any other mums or dads panicing that they can't find a bonnet for love nor money...



We picked up a straw trilby hat for £4. Ethan loves hats and I figured that with careful decoration, we'd easily be able to revert the hat back after Easter so he can use this as a summer hat.

We had some tissue paper at home and I also had a few Easter egg paper shapes cut out plus feathers, so I figured there was enough to give this bonnet thing a go.

Ethan coloured in a polystyrene egg for means I fixed this with some elastic at the front of the hat, looping it through the holes. I then wrapped the tissue paper around the top and fixed with some sticky dots.


I added a banner to the front, Easter egg shapes to the sides and themed washi tape all the way round the circumference. I then topped if off with some coloured feathers and an Easter chick.


It's definitely looks home-made and it's bright and cheery - hopefully it will do the job!


I wanted to make an effort but also not worry too much as I know it will probably be a wreck by the end of the day.



Little man seems pleased with it too and I can't wait to see what fun they have doing their parade this week.

***

What do you think of this hat we made a couple of years ago? We did the same again last year and it was really practical for school too!

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Easter Fun Day at Symphony Hall, Birmingham Repertory Theatre and Birmingham Library

As I mentioned earlier this week, I am REALLY looking forward to the Easter holidays and having a bit of a break and some quality time with Ethan, and some time together as a family. I am looking at things we can do during our week together, then Ste's week with Ethan, and sharing a few ideas on here over these couple of weeks (see my post about National Trust property Baddesley Clinton).

If the Easter hols start for you next week and your local to Birmingham, then you might want to head to Symphony Hall, Birmingham Repertory Theatre and Birmingham Library as they are opening their doors to host a free Easter Family Fun Day on Thursday 29th March.



You can bounce your way through pop up performances, crafts and interactive storytelling sessions, plus there will be family friendly backstage tours to go on, so lots of exciting things to fill the day with, starting from 10am and running until 4pm. 

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Wednesday, 21 March 2018

From red to rose gold - home hair colour change tutorial

I’m pretty well known for changing my hair frequently and I’m quite brave when it comes to trying new looks, particularly new colours, and will dye my hair at home even when it’s a dramatic change, but do visit the hairdressers once or twice a year too for something completely different.

I like bright or bold colours and I really like blended hair tones too - why be just one hair colour when you can be a few?!

Ombré hair do is quite practical as it can help with root regrowth, and a couple of years ago I first tried this at home myself and shared a tutorial of the end result.

Having updated my hair colour at the weekend, taking my deep red locks to a brighter palette of rose gold / peach, I thought I’d share how I did it in case you’re brave enough to change your colour at home.


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Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Clearing up some common home heating oil misconceptions


If you’re moving house and your new place has an oil-fired central heating system, then you’ll almost certainly hear all manner of horror stories from friends and family about how expensive, dirty and unreliable oil is.

* Collaborative post


Don’t panic, just nod and smile at the naysayers and then remind yourself of these busted myths.
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A little bit of Lush - a haul from my first proper visit

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.

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Monday, 19 March 2018

Midlands days out and places to visit this Easter - Baddesley Clinton

I am counting down the days until the Easter holidays and when Ethan has a break from school so we can spend some quality time together. I will have one week of the break off and hubs the other, and I want to plan lots of nice things to do together - including places to visit, so thought I would share some of the attractions and locations we have visited across the Midlands before as well as any other new ideas we have, in a series of posts over the next couple of weeks.

Today, I'm sharing a past post of mine, from when we visited National Trust location, Baddesley Clinton...

I've always been interested in getting a National Trust membership as I love the great outdoors and have always been fascinated with history, so the idea of having a pass to visit so many great locations whenever the fancy takes us is one I rather like.

It's amazing how many things are just around the corner when you look for them and, at the weekend, we discovered another new place to spend a lovely day out.

National Trust property Baddesley Clinton, in the Midlands - To Become Mum

We visited Baddesley Clinton, a National Trust moated manor house built in the 1500's. Steeped in history and with acres of gardens and land to explore, we were looking to spend a nice day in the sunshine as a family.

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How To Get An Emotional Support Animal Letter From Doctor

The social nature of man is known to all. In fact, the emotional aspect of the human personality needs as much care as the entire physical and mental aspect. It is because if a person is emotionally strong, he may sail through all situations of life in an easy and assured manner. Unfortunately, numbers of people worldwide suffer from certain emotional problems. These may get reflected in the form of disorders related to the mental as well as emotional aspect of the human personality. Such people certainly need a companion that may help in offering emotional support and let the concerned person overcome the mental disorder or disturbances. 


* Collaborative post


Emotional support animals are the best option in this regard. In fact, the trend of keeping emotional support animals is increasing day-by-day as pets prove to be as caring and supportive as human beings. In order to keep an emotional support animal, you definitely need to get an emotional support animal letter from the mental health care experts. Now one may wonder how to ask doctor for emotional support animal letter. Let us try to get an apt answer to this question in current article. 

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Friday, 16 March 2018

8 Frugal Kids’ Birthday Party Ideas


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.
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Thursday, 15 March 2018

5 ways to speed-clean your kitchen

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:

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Want a bright future for your kids? Get them excited with STEM subjects


There are no guarantees of what will happen in the future - when our children or grandchildren reach adulthood, who knows what their lives will be like?

* Collaborative post

Perhaps no one will have to work, and everything is done by robots? Maybe everything from food to houses will be created by 3D printing machines? Or maybe with the increasing population rates, jobs will be scarce - and times could be tough.

But one thing we can say with certainty is that there will be certain skills that will always be in demand - those of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math - or the STEM subjects, as they are now referred to.

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Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Mother’s Day reminds us that we are the perfect mum, in our own special way

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.
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Tuesday, 6 March 2018

5 ways to treat yourself – and not a wine glass in sight!


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


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Why did I wait so long to try these?!

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.


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Monday, 5 March 2018

A Mother's Day wishlist

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...



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Sunday, 4 March 2018

Snow day fun - #MeandMine / #MySundayPhoto

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.

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Friday, 2 March 2018

Be Brave in Bandages and wrap up for Big Bandage day 2018


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!
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Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Beauty bits - what I'm using right now

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.


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Monday, 26 February 2018

Happy half term memories

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.

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Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Harry Potter haul from Primark

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...
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Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Five faves from February - #FiveFaves

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:


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Monday, 19 February 2018

Oh My Disney haul

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.

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Sunday, 18 February 2018

#MySundayPhoto - superheroes and suits

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.


Photalife
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Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Suited and booted - Roco Clothing review, formal wear for children

I love dressing Ethan up and trying out different clothes and looks with him. Sometimes, it can feel like boys clothes are more limiting, but it's worth looking a little further afield for something different, with personality, or indeed for something smarter.

When we had two weddings in one summer, the year before last, we did wonder what we would get for Ethan and found it hard to find smarter clothes for young boys - beyond basic options from high street stores.

Recently, Roco Clothing got in touch to see if there was anything that little bit special we would like to pick for Ethan and I had great fun looking through their formal and occasionwear collections.


We'd been trying to find a black leather belt for Ethan's school uniform (he has no hips whatsoever, and needs a belt to hold his school trousers up!), but we found one from Roco Clothing. I was keen to find some nice brogue style shoes, so this blue suede pair (from £19.99) were perfect.

I also wanted to see if I could find a mix-and-match suit for him that could be combined in different ways to make it more versatile and to get plenty of wear out of it. This four piece suit (jacket, waistcoat, shirt and trousers, between £49.99 and £59.99 depending on size) was ideal; the light grey tweed style is smart but quite adaptable too, and I think that this will be just as nice in sunnier months as it will in winter.

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Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Dining at Disneyland Paris - Planet Hollywood review

I'm still in denial that our Disneyland Paris adventure is over as we had such a fantastic time as a family and who wouldn't rather be at Disney than at home in this freezing weather?! I promise I will share more about our trip at the start of the year, and our top tips for travelling there as a family and making the most of your visit (and money), but to start, I want to share a review of the delicious meal we enjoyed at Planet Hollywood.


We stayed in a Disney hotel (and have done on our previous two, child-free, visits) so we were familiar with Disney Village and Planet Hollywood is one of the main restaurants here, and one that we would want to go to. We like American and Mexican influenced food, enjoy a cocktail (of course!) and say bring on the big puddings (who doesn't like an all singing all dancing ice cream?!). So naturally, Planet Hollywood is our kind of restaurant, and when you throw in the movie memorabilia that adorns the walls, it really is a great choice for us as we love our films and it makes for a really fun dining experience.

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Thursday, 25 January 2018

Soft play, catch ups and baking cakes with Baking Mad

Ethan loved his time at preschool and was lucky to form some strong friendships. Towards the end of his time there, some of the mums got to know each other a bit better and since they all started school, we have arranged a few meet-ups so the kids could run around and play and we could let off some steam too.


Last weekend, quite a few of us met up again to see how everyone was getting on. I was sent a Party Cake Kit from online suppliers Baking Mad, who offer all you need from the cake and cupcake ingredients and decorations through to the table bits and pieces too, to suit your chosen theme. I thought that if I was going to get baking, then it would be the perfect excuse to get together with the other mums and children.

What's not to love about soft play and cake?!

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Easy Ways to Try Out a New Look for Your Home

We all love our homes, which is why we are so keen to keep them looking nice. Many people love redecorating (*hands up!*). They have a feel for it and know, almost instinctively, what looks good and what will not work.



Unfortunately, not everyone has an eye for design. For those who do not, redecorating a room is a daunting task. In many cases, they will have remodelled a room only to discover, too late, that they really do not like it. In many cases, these people will have ended up having to live with their mistake for several years because they do not have the cash to redecorate a second time.

If that has happened to you, do not worry because there are ways to avoid finding yourself in this 
situation, again. One approach is to try out a new look before you invest a lot of money in actually redecorating or remodelling a room. Here are a few ways you can do so:
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Monday, 22 January 2018

Coping with my psoriasis - Philips BlueControl progress update #ad

Since my first post and video a couple of months ago, I have carried on using the Philips BlueControl at-home treatment for psoriasis and have documented my journey as greater improvements in the condition of my skin have been seen.

* Sponsored trial

In the video below - my second in collaboration with Philips - I talk about how psoriasis affects me day-to-day and show you the progress I have seen since my first trial began. Below the video, I have included some important information about this innovative device, in case you want to find out more.
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Friday, 19 January 2018

My mama style - the graphic tee

If I was to pick a go-to staple in my wardrobe, a particular item that I love for relaxed mama style it would be the graphic t-shirt. I love a good tee (who doesn't?) and I love typography and quotes so the current trend for saying what's on your mind through fashion is one that I personally love.

* Collaborative post

Come the weekend, or on a relaxed weekday, you can throw on a statement t-shirt with a bold design or a fab quote, pair it with some jeans and Converse, and you're good to go. It's a casual look that works for soft play, coffee dates or get-togethers with friends, but it can be dressed up a little too if you add a leather jacket and swap the trainers for some pumps, heels or ankle boots.

It all centres around the tee.

Having a look through my wardrobe, and some of my selfies over the past few months, two things stick out: 1) how many times my hair colour has changed, and 2) my love for bright t-shirts is apparent for all to see.

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