Friday, 20 September 2019

Win a complete bundle of Epaderm skincare so you can #OneTwoFreeYourSkin this National Eczema Week and beyond #AD

Did you know that around 15 million people in the UK have eczema? And that it’s a condition which affects one in five children? It may be a relatively common condition, but that doesn’t make it any easier for those who suffer with it day in and day out. That’s why occasions such as National Eczema Week (15th to 23rd September 2019) are so important… and why I have a special competition to share with you.


#AD - brand ambassador

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Real Life Parenting - panel event at Town Hall Birmingham, 12th October 2019

Sometimes, becoming a parent can leave you bewildered and as if you are alone. Sure, you know that plenty of people have come before you, but it can feel like you're isolated and that you're the only one going through the tougher times. It can be hard to find where to turn for help or an understanding face to talk to, and it's for this reason I began my blog and why I started following other bloggers and parents on Instagram and the like.

To know it's not just me.

There's a great event coming up at Town Hall Symphony Hall Birmingham which brings these people you may already follow, right out of your phone and into the very same room as you.

I will be there myself to review the show, as an ambassador for THSH (#gifted tickets), but I wanted to share the information with you in advance in case it's up your street too, so you can nab some tickets yourself...


You have a baby, maybe you have two. Why not, it’ll all be ok. That’s what social media tell us. It’ll all be fine… So who is this person who now has baby sick on their t-shirt even when it’s clean on? Who always forgets something as they leave the house, or frequently turns up to work with their toddler’s toys in their bag? And why is the phrase “put your shoes on” so hard to understand?!


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Do you worry about your finances? Ultimate guide to mortgages for mums

I’m sure you will all agree with me that two of the biggest challenges for any family today are having enough living space and making ends meet financially.

* Sponsored post

How is it that the smallest people in your home take up the most space with all their toys and belongings?! The balance between spending quality family time at home with our children versus returning to work to pay all the bills is a tricky one to strike.

But what if there was a way to carve out more time and space for you and your family without having to cripple yourselves financially?
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Thursday, 19 September 2019

Day of the Dead at Umberslade Farm this Halloween - bonfire, fireworks and a lot of spooky goings on!

Something wicked this way comes... and it promise to be a lot of fun, for the whole family. If you love all things Halloween and your little ones are fans of a trick or treat or two, Umberslade Farm has a really unique event coming up that you won't want to miss.



I was sent the following information and will be attending the event to review it on the night (#gifted tickets), but wanted to share with you all the details as I haven't heard of such an all inclusive event for Halloween and think it'll be one not to miss.

It sounds like Disney's Coco come to life and I can not wait!

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Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Deliciously Healthy Homemade Snack Ideas


Finding yourself hungry between meals can be challenging, considering the most popular snacking options are generally drenched with calories. However, there are several delicious healthy options out there that you will simply love. Rather than arguing the worth of a slice of cake or forcing yourself away from a bag of crisps, you should consider trying these decidedly decadent healthy snacks that are also incredibly easy to prepare.

* Sponsored post

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Friday, 6 September 2019

Date for your diary: Mama Meet & Market at The Custard Factory, 22nd September 2019

There's nothing I love more than finding beautiful things for my family and my home and I have always loved a good craft fair. You can imagine my excitement when I came across the Mama Meet & Market events, which are coming to The Custard Factory, Birmingham, later this month.

With over 80 stalls, this market promises to be THE fun and stylish parenting event of the season, so I wanted to share with you the information in case you're like me and you love cake, crafts and things for families...

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Friday, 30 August 2019

Ideas to make mornings easier as a working mum

I like to think I’m organised but in reality, I can easily fall out of good habits and find myself thinking about planning but never really carrying through with my plans.

I’ve got myself into a bit of a mental block at the moment when it comes to organising our daily lives. A rut of buying things on the cuff and getting behind on chores. I have good intentions and maybe it’s just because of maternity leave, but I do need to get my butt into gear. Life is going to be busy when I’m back at work and handling two drop offs and picks ups every day. I need to be on the ball with Ethan and what he needs for school, and making sure we eat well and don’t make bad habits a, well, habit!

I know I can do it if I have a plan of action. I actually get a kick out of planning things out as it makes me feel good to map out what we need, what’s in the budget and how to help things run like clockwork.

I feel that having sorted out our house these past few months has made things a lot easier as everything has its place, so now it’s about getting a system and routine in place so that each morning can run a bit smoother and each evening is a little easier, so I make the most of my time and actually have some left over too each day. 

I tell you now, our mornings are going to be like military precision! *crossed fingers*

The two main times where I need things to run smoothly are in the morning when we all head out, together, on time, and when we get home and everyone is hungry.

With this in mind, and with some advice shared by you guys, I’m going to introduce the following:
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Thursday, 29 August 2019

Reflections of a mum of two - what's it really like having another baby?

For over eight months now, I have been a mum of two. In many ways, it feels like no time at all, and in others, it feels like our second son, Sullivan, has always been with us.

What does being a mum of two feel like?


Well, if you have a child yourself, do you remember thinking about what it would be like to have a child, before they were born? And do you remember how you felt afterwards, as life adjusted to being a parent? Second time around, it's almost exactly the same. For me, anyway.

Trying to picture myself with one child was really hard, so when we had Ethan and then tried to picture a second child, it was so hard to do. I remember this time last year, when I was around 25 weeks pregnant, finding it so difficult to believe we were having another baby and trying to think what it would be like, what it would feel like, how life would change.

And now, on the other side, I can't really remember what it was like before!

Until you become a parent, the first time or the second or any number of times after that, you don't really know what it'll be like. I think it's fair to say you have more of an idea of what to expect. You have been there and done it before, and you may even have the t-shirt or jumper to prove it (courtesy of Selfish Mother or Ada and Alfred), but that doesn't mean the next time around it'll be the same. Happen in the same way. Make you feel the same way.

In my experience, I've found motherhood to be a series of adjustments. Some are unavoidable, others are negotiable, and many are unpredictable.

Deciding to have a baby is often a decision you make on assessing the information, facts and your emotions and choosing that it's the right thing for you. You might have a good feeling, but I don't think you're ever sure it's the right time, you just know you're going for it and that, well, you have to prepare for the unexpected.

The second time around, the same applies. Yes, you know what pregnancy, birth and the first child has brought you, and on that basis you are more informed than the first time, but there's still a lot of unknowns and you can't know them fully until you've taken the plunge.



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Tuesday, 27 August 2019

Ethan's Dream Horse

My eldest son, Ethan, is a real creative type. Rarely a day goes by without a drawing from Ethan, either from memory of his favourite animals or characters from TV shows, or even made up characters from his imagination. He loves to sketch and to colour and shows off his creations with such pride.

One such work of art created this summer holiday is his dream horse.

When we went to Center Parcs a couple of years' ago, Ethan saw a horse there called Magic and it was love at first sight. He thought she was beautiful and her handler let Ethan try out sitting on her to see if he liked it, before we booked him a pony trek for the next day. All this time later, he still talk s about Magic and ever since, he has really had a love for horses.

So one wet summer's day, I gave Ethan the challenge to draw a picture of his dream horse. What would he want it to look like? What features would it have? Anything could be possible, all he had to do was let his imagination run wild.

He set to work in designing his perfect horse, starting with the outline and then spending a good deal of time colouring in each part. He may be six years old, but he put together a very good, well-proportioned horse outline before experimenting with some, let's say, unusual features compared to your typical horse.

And here it is:


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SnOw much fun at Snowdome, Tamworth

Can you believe, none of us have ever been to the Snowdome in Tamworth, despite living just 30 minutes away and it being a really popular West Midlands attraction? Having visited last week, I can't believe that we haven't visited before as it's fabulous family fun.

* Review - gifted tickets
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Monday, 26 August 2019

5 Essential Items For Your Baby's Nursery



Source
* Collaborative post

Nine months flies by when you are expecting a baby! And between all those antenatal check-ups, scans, painting the nursery and reading up on babycare, it can feel like there's precious little time to buy all the essentials you're going to need. 


It's best to get yourself prepared early though, as you never know when the little bundle will arrive, and last minute panics when you're heavily pregnancy, aren't much fun! 


So, here, in order of importance, are our picks for the five most important items every baby’s nursery should have:


1. Somewhere For Your Baby To Sleep



First and foremost, you need a place for your new arrival to sleep. There are plenty of places to look but rather than trudging around getting swollen ankles, why not look for a cot in an online store like Small Smart. Shopping online means less hassle, and less expense too as you can compare all the prices and get the best deals, in your own time without any pressure from pushy sales assistants. 


2. Bedding To Keep Your Baby Snug and Safe



Don’t forget the bedding for your new cot. You’ll need a baby sleeping bag, and blankets but no pillows until baby is at least one. Cot bumpers are a nice touch too; just make sure you get one that's designed for a newborn and is sleep-safe.


3. A Secure Place To Change Your Baby



For many new parents, a changing table seems like an unnecessary luxury, but it really is essential if you want an easier life. Not only is it a much better on your back because you don't have to lean over or twist uncomfortably to change nappies in inconvenient places. But most changing tables have in-built storage so that everything you need is where you can reach it. 


Source

4. Muslin Squares



Muslin squares are another essential that are so often overlooked by people before they have a baby, but which become a firm 'how did I live without them?' item after your baby arrives. Great for everything from mopping baby's mouth during feeding, to catching spillages when burping, as well as swaddling, and using as comfort rags. Invest in organic cotton or bamboo ones for added softness on baby's skin.

5. A Mobile to Help Your Baby Sleep



Finally, ensure there is a mobile over your baby’s cot. They are wonderful ways to help soothe your baby to sleep or for distracting little one they're upset and crying. However, before you jump into buying one that plays the same few nursery rhymes over and over again, shop around and look for alternatives. Many mobiles now come with the soothing sounds of nature as well as white and pink noise that can calm even the most hard-to-settle baby, which makes them well worth the investment.

Wrapping Everything Up



There are, of course, plenty of other items for baby's nursery and you'll no doubt find your own favourites. But get the essentials in place early, and you're all ready for baby whenever he or she chooses to make an entrance!

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Enchanted Prince Slot

It is quite common for modern slots to be based on age-old fairy tales, and Enchanted Prince is no exception.


* Sponsored guest post



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Friday, 23 August 2019

Giovanna Fletcher's Happy Mum, Happy Baby UK tour is coming to Town Hall, Birmingham

When you're a new mum, you need all the support you can get, be it from fellow mums in your area, from websites and blogs, the Instagram community or even experts. It can be hard to know who to listen to but if you're anything like me, you'll seek out real mums who you feel you can relate to.

One such mum for me is Giovanna Fletcher. Tom McFly's wife, mum of three and superstar author and influencer, Mrs G may be well-known but her currency is how darn relatable she is. She gets it. She's been there. And she's not afraid to share the good, the bad and the ugly moments of motherhood.


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How to Create a Cosy Autumn Living Room for on a Budget


As much as we don’t like to admit, the summer is running into its final few weeks and autumn is firmly on the horizon. But while the temperature outside might drop, you can still enjoy cosy nights in blocking out the colder autumn nights without having to spend a fortune.

* Sponsored post
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Thursday, 22 August 2019

The Three-Month Sleep Transition

Moses baskets can be a massive help during the first months of any baby’s life. For one, they allow you to put your little one beside you no matter where you are. And, of course, the confined interior of baskets like these helps to encourage positive sleep routines. * Collaborative post





At around three months, though, you may find that your youngster starts to outgrow this sleeping arrangement. Though you might be reluctant to admit it, babies grow fast. By the time they reach this age, they’re not even classified as newborns anymore, and moses baskets are definitely a newborn game. If you notice they’re lifting themselves already, sticking with a basket is actually dangerous. That’s why you should be sure to consider the dreaded cot. 

As with any change, suddenly dumping your baby in a cot will never work. All you’ll get out of such hasty action is more sleepless nights. Instead, you should transition your baby from one to the other, and we’ve got a few pointers to help you do it.

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Monday, 19 August 2019

Be a big kid again at Inflata Nation West Bromwich - now open!

What better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than bouncing our way around the brand new Inflata Nation attraction at Astle Park, West Bromwich! That's exactly what we did at the weekend, ahead of its official opening today - and there were even some celebrity stars in attendance (Tom Walker from Love Island 2019 - the one you made THAT comment about Maura, and Samia Longchambon, from Corrie and Dancing On Ice).

* Gifted - press launch


Hubs, Ethan, myself and my brother-in-law and his wife all headed to the special preview to see what the 30,000ft inflatable theme park had to offer (Sullivan came too, but slept through the excitement, whilst we took turns!).

In a word, it was fantastic. No matter what your age, you're bound to find bouncing around this inflatable fun world brilliant. It's a boredom and blues buster and in next to no time at all, you're grinning from ear to ear. You can let off steam and your kids can run wild, all within a safe and family-friendly environment.
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Win tickets to The Festive Gift Fair, 14-17th November 2019, NEC - 10 pairs to giveaway!

I don’t care if it’s summer – I am going to mention the ‘C’ word. Christmas is coming! Well, in a few months, and I for one can’t wait as it’ll be our first with Sullivan and hopefully we will be in our new house by then too so it will be extra special.

If you like to look forward to the festive season and plan ahead, for shopping and the festivities, then I have a competition for you.

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Why Vaping Vitamins is the Latest Health Trend

* Sponsored post
If you have not heard the term “vaping” by now, it is consuming e-cigarettes fused with various flavours using vape devices. Vaping has become very popular in recent times, especially for the millennial generation. Its popularity can be attributed to scientific reports citing that vaping is a better alternative to smoking regular cigarettes.

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Thursday, 8 August 2019

Parenting 101: 6 Ways To Prepare Your Kids For The Upcoming Move

A long distance move can be so overwhelming on your kids. That’s because they lack more control and choice in the decision to relocate. Aside from the anxiety and fear that comes with moving, they may also find it harder to say goodbye to those people they’ll leave behind. Before tackling some moving tasks, it’s essential to help your children prepare for the move.

* Sponsored post

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Tuesday, 6 August 2019

Baby essentials - what do you really need and things I wouldn’t be without

When you’re having a baby, if you’re anything like me, you look up and read up on everything there is for your incoming bundle of joy. There’s so much to take in and understand and learn, and so to there’s a ton of things you can buy to help with every little stage and aspect of bringing a newborn into the world.

But what do you really need? Like, really?!

Two babies in, and I can tell you that you don’t need as much as you think. Although from my experience, the only way that you can work this out is actually trying things out when baby is here and seeing what works for you.

Speaking with friends and family is a great first stop to see what they found to be useful, then read as many blogs and websites as you can to see what’s out there. Create lists, if that’s your thing, and plan what you think you’ll need then see if you can try before you buy, like at a show or visiting a store, and finesse your wish list. 

Focus on the core areas of feeding, sleeping, wearing and travelling - possibly playing too, if you want to be prepared for the months ahead - and pick things that suit your style, the way you think you’ll handle things and of course, your budget.

The first time around, I was led a bit more by my heart, and we certainly didn’t need all the bits and pieces we had. This time with Sullivan, we’ve reused some things and rethought others.

Here’s a few things that over the past six months, we have found to be oh so useful...

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Thursday, 1 August 2019

#TBT - The catch 22 of always being busy

An old post, re-shared for #TBT: I like to keep busy and always have something going on or coming up to keep me occupied. Since I was young, I've been able to entertain myself, as I'm an only child and became comfortable in my own company. I like organising and planning and love looking ahead at what's to come.

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How To Lower Your Heating Bills And Save Money On Energy

Don't we all like saving money? There's always something new to buy or to save up for, and I find that the best ways to save money, regularly and consistently, is to think small. The small differences you can afford to make, here and there, will add up to a big difference and a nice sum of money over time.
* In collaboration with BOXT

One way you can do this is to think smarter about how you use energy and heat your home.

Here are five quick ideas for you, which could help you to lower your heating bills and save energy...

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Wednesday, 31 July 2019

5 Tips Before You Start Looking Up Divorce Online

When life gets hard, “calling it quits” is the first escape mechanism people can cling on to. Since nothing’s working out, why bother hanging on right? Why would you subject yourself to the agony of trying to fight for something that is long gone or ruined? All these questions, hesitations, doubts, and unresolved conflicts I can understand. And I’m not claiming to understand all these emotions half-heartedly.
* Sponsored post
We have all been in some pretty bad places in life. Everyone has experienced situations that we never think we will recover from. Marriages can be tested - but bear in mind:
It gets better.
I know that sounds totally cliché. It sounds like something a complete pacifist would say. But hey, it’s the truth. I may sound naïve, inexperienced, wishy-washy, and whatnot but I have seen things get better with patience. There is definitely a silver lining in what you’re going through right now, maybe you just haven’t seen it yet. Here’s to give you a little bit of inspiration: https://thoughtcatalog.com/leena-sanders/2018/12/this-is-your-reminder-that-everything-will-get-better/.
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Monday, 29 July 2019

#SummerOfSpectacularShows at Warwick Castle - our fantastic family day out! #review

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.

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Block Paving Vs. Tarmac- Which One To Choose?


People often ask as to which type of driveway is most suitable for a property. Well, there is no hard and fast rule but there are pros and cons of both block paving and tarmac. To know the difference between the two, read below...


* Advertorial feature
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Sunday, 28 July 2019

When is the Best Time to Start Your Garden?


Starting a garden serves to be one of the most rewarding experiences. Whether you plan for flowers or a vegetable garden, you can have a beautiful abode. But it may be a little difficult to start if you don’t know the basics. 

* Advertorial feature

The tips I'm sharing here will ease your gardening experience and will reward you with delicious flavours, colourful flowers and more. You can even take advice or help from landscape gardeners Essex to know the best time to start your garden.

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Friday, 19 July 2019

A taste of summer at new look Bill's restaurant and bar at Bullring, Birmingham #review

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


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Four of my faves for this summer

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.
#ad - gifted

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Thursday, 18 July 2019

Selecting A New Family Car With Safety In Mind

If you are in the market for a new car and are hoping to find a vehicle that meets the needs of your family without compromising your budget, there are several ways that you can opt for a safe family-friendly vehicle without feeling compelled to spend a fortune. 

* Sponsored post

Realistically, it can be daunting to hunt for the most appropriate vehicle and consider the insurance costs while restricted by a budget. However, with these safety first tips, you will be able to rest assured that your family and your finances are taken care of. 

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Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Long-Term Money Saving Tips


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.

* Sponsored post
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Monday, 15 July 2019

Win 1 of 100 Maybelline Colossal Mascaras with Wow Free Stuff

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.


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Bold prints for babies from Bonds #review

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?).

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Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Easy Decor Ideas & Hacks For Kids Rooms

* 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. 

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Ladies that brunch - new Patisserie Valerie menu review

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.


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Monday, 8 July 2019

Taking control

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.

* Advertorial feature

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Comptoir Libanais - escape the usual and try something exotic #review

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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Monday, 1 July 2019

A big, beautiful day out in Birmingham

* Campaign collaboration   

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...

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Thursday, 27 June 2019

Planning ahead - our summer holiday wishlist

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!

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#TBT - The Method in my Mumness

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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Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Six going on 16 - parenting books that are helping me understand my child better

Whilst the arrival of Sullivan hasn't caused any issues with our eldest, Ethan - he loves his baby brother to pieces and has never complained once about the divided attention - the past couple of months have been a bit more challenging. Ethan turned six years old at the start of May and the occasional mood or grumpy outburst has been a more frequent occurrence.
* Review - gifted

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Monday, 24 June 2019

Saving for your child's future

With two children now, growing up fast before our eyes, it really isn't too soon to be thinking about the future. I've always been one to plan ahead and now that we have two little ones to think of and plan for, we want to be prepared for their future and help give them a good start in life.

* Collaborative post
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Friday, 21 June 2019

Creating a comfortable work space - #WorkplacePosture

Despite having practiced yoga a few times since I was a teenager, and most recently throughout pregnancy, you’d think that I’d have better posture. Especially as when you have children you are always bending and lifting and carrying extra weight around - so having a strong posture is all the more important. Alas, in my case, my posture is appalling and even though I know the principles of sitting and lifting well, I’m just so bad at following them.

* Collaborative post

Anyone who works or had worked at a desk for their job will know how it can take its toll on your back and neck in particular, if you don’t set things up correctly and sit well. (As I'm sat here typing this, I am acutely aware of all the wrong things I am doing...!).

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Thursday, 20 June 2019

Good fun at BBC Good Food Show Summer and BBC Gardeners' World Live at NEC, Birmingham

I love food, I love summer and I don't mind a lovely garden either... so you can imagine how much fun I had at the BBC Good Food Show Summer and BBC Gardeners' World Live shows at Birmingham's NEC last weekend.

* Gifted - press tickets

Despite the weather being less than summery, there was plenty to brighten up my day. The floral displays and garden companies out at the show were wonderful to see and walk around (the scents were amazing) and the show was vast, spreading outside and with a beautiful floral marquee to enjoy too.

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Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Types of loft conversions


In case you did not know, homes in the United Kingdom come with at least four main types of loft conversions. Through loft conversion, an area can be transformed into a guest bedroom, home office, playroom, or study room, among many others. The idea is to not only add additional floorspace but to also increase the value of your property.

* Advertorial feature

Before you worry about the overall loft conversion cost, you need to know first these types of loft conversions. That way, you will have a better understanding of the best design that can be applied to your home. Of course, your final decision will always be based on the number of different criteria. This includes, but not limited to, budget, shape or line of the roof, and permitted development rights. To get the best result, it is imperative that you work with a skilled architect.

These are the four main types of loft conversions. Make sure to keep them in mind!
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Thursday, 13 June 2019

American adventures - 3 places I would love to visit

I have only ever been to America once. Once! It took me until I was 26 years old to cross the Atlantic and I did so with my then new husband, for our honeymoon in New York. Stephen has been plenty of times before, with his family, but we both hold out hope to adventure to America again. In fact, there's a whole lot of America we would love to adventure to.

For starters, here are the top three places in America if I were to plan a trip tomorrow:

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Monday, 10 June 2019

Summer comes early: BBC Good Food Show Summer and BBC Gardeners’ World Live at NEC, Birmingham, 13th to 16th June 2019

Despite what the weather forecast seems to be suggesting for this week, a ray of summer is heading our way as two super summery shows are arriving at Birmingham's NEC and I can not wait to spend the day at them!

Here's all the information about what you can expect from BBC Good Food Show Summer and BBC Gardeners’ World Live and be sure to follow my Instagram feed and stories for updates on the opening day (Thursday) as we've been kindly given press tickets and will be posting throughout the day...


The BBC Good Food Show Summer and BBC Gardeners’ World Live return to the NEC in Birmingham from Thursday 13 – Sunday 16 June for four fabulous days, packed with the latest products and trends, inspirational tips and advice topped with a host of famous faces.

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