Friday, 19 May 2017

Bank Holiday On A Budget




I have been asked to work with Provident on their ‘don’t break the bank holiday’ campaign to advise families across the UK on what they can do but on a budget.

If your anything like us then it's essential that bank holidays and half terms are done on a budget. We try to fit so much in that the cost soon mounts up. So I have come up with a few ideas to get you started. Maybe you could set yourself a challenge to see how many things you can do for free? You'll be surprised by just how many there are. With the bank holiday also being the start of the next half term for most children, every parent could do with a few more ideas to keep the kids occupied!





So number one is to get your children to become nature detectives. On the Woodlands Trust Website you will find a whole range of free printable activity sheets varying in age range. We printed three of the animal tick lists off and headed to our local woods. I was surprised by just how much the children enjoyed this and we shall definitely be doing it again.




Now I don't know about you but we still have a few eater eggs hanging around and this next activity is the perfect way to use them up. Chocolate bark is quick and easy to make and the kids can get involved too. Simply melt some chocolate in a bowl, pour into a lined baking tray, top with your favourites sweets and pop into the fridge to set. Once set break into pieces and enjoy!




Finally we have dino ice excavation, this was definitely the kids favourite out of the three activities. I popped some toy dinosaurs into an ice cram tub, filled it with water and put it into the freezer for six hours. We then headed outside and it was time for the kids to see what they could find in the ice. It kept them busy for a lot longer than I had expected and they were over the moon when they managed to get the dinosaurs out. 


Let me know if you give any of these ideas a try and I hope you have a lovely bank holiday weekend!



Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Fussy eating is not fun!





I can't lie, I hate this phase of having a toddler. It causes so much worry and stress that I'm over the moon when it passes. I remember going through it with my first child and I would be so concerned that she wasn't eating enough. Of course she was but not exactly the foods that I would of liked her to eat.

I think most toddlers go through the stage of just wanting to eat potato smiles,yogurt,crisps etc. All while us parents worry that there not getting enough nutrients. I have very much learnt though as long as they are eating something that's all that matters.



At tea time if it's not beige coloured Charlie will now refuse to eat it. His favourite was spag bol and now he won't even eat it, he just pushes the plate away. When you have made a meal from scratch and he won't eat it, it's so frustrating. I have tried hiding veg in his food and I have even tried feeding him myself but he just pushes the fork away. I find myself saying the classic phrases like -

'Here comes the choo choo train'
'Just try a little bit for mummy'
'It's so yummy, look how yummy it is'
'Do you want pudding, you have to try it if you want pudding?'
Oh and definitely don't say if you don't eat it it's going in the bin because that is totally fine with him. 




These pictures are from the start of the year when he would eat anything. As I mentioned Isabelle went through this stage like most toddlers do and she now eats pretty much anything. She has even encouraged Charlie to eat by saying 'look I'm eating it' but it hasn't worked. It's not like he's going to waste away but when toddlers refuse to eat fruit, veg or anything nutritious it is worrying. I'm not going to give up though, I will keep encouraging him to eat even if it gets put in the bin. 

If you have any tips for me or your going through the same thing then please leave me a comment below!



Sunday, 14 May 2017

An old unwanted friend is back again




I have sat here for ten minutes thinking of how to start this post. My mind is just full of so many different thoughts all wanting to be written down at the same time.

This week my world came crashing down again. Anxiety is back.

Over the past few weeks it's been buzzing in the background like an annoying fruit fly but I have pushed it further and further down. I will not let you back in. It had other ideas. The past few weeks have been full of over worrying and waking up in the morning feeling more tired than when I went to bed. I knew it was coming and that it would hit me hard. And sure enough it did. On Wednesday morning I proceeded to have a three hour panic attack as soon as I woke up at 6am. It gets worse, this was all happening while still trying to act like everything was ok while getting the children ready for the school run. 

I was out of my body, my words muddled, the room spinning, I was hot, sweaty, my legs were like jelly, I felt like I was drowning and I thought I was going to collapse. I managed to get Isabelle to school purely by hanging onto Charlie's buggy for dear life and then getting home as quickly as I could. 

When it had passed I was angry. Angry that it was back, angry that I had let it back in. The best way to describe my anxiety is that I am fine for a few months then I will have a flare up. This flare up is the worst I have had in years. The type were you don't ever see your life being back to normal again. Anxiety is something that I live with, I have done so for most of my life but it doesn't stop it hurting when it returns.

What hasn't helped is that I have had two episodes of Labyrinthitis in the past months (confirmed by my GP) and anyone that has had this knows how truly awful it is. It's setting off panic attacks where there wouldn't normally be any. 

I feel consumed by panic, fear and the realisation that I have to fight this again. Everyday I wake up and wait for it to kick in. That uneasy, soul destroying feeling of anxiety. I want to scream from the roof tops that I want it to leave me now, leave me for good for that matter. But I know that isn't possible. 





And why will I not give up? Because I will win this fight again. Before my children I would let anxiety win, I would let the panic attacks control me. Not this time, I will get through this again for them. If you see me smiling or laughing it's because I will never let them know how much I am struggling. I am there Mummy, it's my job to look after them but they have no idea how much they look after me. They keep me going, they are my remedy. 

It is mental health awareness week at the moment and I hope this post helps someone to feel like there not alone. I am not my mental health illness. I am Laura. A mother, wife and most importantly I will come out the other side of this.








Thursday, 11 May 2017

So Sassy!




Does anyone else get the flashes of what your child will be like as a teenager? That's exactly what I'm having at the moment. She is growing so unbelievably fast at the moment and I'm sure she added a few inches to her height just over the Easter half term. 

Now this girl is a force to be reckoned with when she is over tired and Monday to Friday after school is when this really shows. The attitude! I have to remember that she is only four because of the things shes comes out with. 'I don't care!' or 'whatever' are the particular favourites at the moment. Oh and don't forget about the eye rolls too. I also think that she forgets her name half the time, normally when you are asking her to stop doing something naughty!





It's times like this when I think, was I this difficult when I was her age? The answer is probably yes! She is very demanding and does try to wrap both of us round her little finger. The latest game is to ask me a question and if she doesn't like an answer she will go and ask her Dad. What I am finding hard at the moment is if she doesn't like the answer she will continue to go on about it for hours. For example she was out on her bike on the weekend and it was time to come in for lunch. She refused and pushed her bike over onto the road therefore she was told she wasn't going on it again that day. She would then ask to go on her bike repeatedly for the rest of the afternoon. I have to say this really wares me down.




She acts fiercely independent but secretly she loves it if you offer help. I know the years of primary school will go like a flash and before we know it, it will be time for secondary school. In a few weeks time my sassy little miss will turn five and I honestly can't say I like how fast time is going. How did I have my first baby five years ago? I will take her sassy attitude any day of the week, it's part of growing up at the end of the day. I also need to remember that she is still growing and that it's all apart of pushing those boundaries. Remind me of this when I am next pulling my hair out! 


'She is small but mighty'

Monday, 8 May 2017

Why I'm fundraising for Scotty's Little Soldiers





I was made aware of Scotty's little soldiers some time ago now. My Father works for a company that has been a long time supporter of the charity. I have wanted to fundraise for them but it was finding something that fitted in with the children. The May Marathon was perfect. The challenge is to run or walk 26.2 miles by the end of May. Now I am by no means a runner but I normally walk around 3 miles a day so I thought why not be sponsored for it?

Even though there is no one in my family who serves in the armed forces, their mission is one that just cannot be ignored. To lose someone as an adult is hard enough but a child should never have to go through such a thing. The men and woman of our armed forces sacrifice themselves for our country but it is important to remember that they are leaving a family behind 

Scotty's little soldiers provides support and guidance to children who have lost a parent with the ultimate aim being just to make them smile again. They offer activities, special days out and group events where children can meet others who have also experienced loss. The also have access to qualified councillors and can help with a child's personal development too.

For me what Scotty's little soldiers does is just amazing and that's why I am taking part in May Marathon. Now I appreciate more than most just how tight things can be financially, but if you can spare a £1 to sponsor me and to support this brilliant charity I would be so grateful.




Please click here to sponsor me, thank you!


Saturday, 6 May 2017

The best words




The words all parents wait to hear. You can try and get them to say it (or try and bribe them with chocolate, who? me? never!) but the moment it does finally happen, the world just stops for a moment.

What are those you ask? I love you. Today Charlie said I love you Mama for the first time. I told him I loved him and out of no where he said it back. Those simple words just fill my heart with such joy. 

During the Easter half term his speech came on so much, we had so many wow moments and the classic 'he's definitely not a baby anymore' (I said sobbing). But these words being said was the last thing I was expecting. We all know they will say it one day but when it happens the moment is just the best.

For me my children were apart of me from the second I found out I was pregnant. The connection is something that I cannot explain. The over whelming feeling of love and protection.

When they say I love you back it's one of those moments that stays with you forever. If it's possible it makes the bond even stronger. I found myself getting him to say it again to make sure it hadn't been a fluke. Every time he said it the biggest smile would come on both of our faces. 

Being a Mum is the hardest job in the world, I hope that's common knowledge anyway. But when they say three words that they don't know has the most important meaning imaginable, it makes it all worth while. 


Thursday, 4 May 2017

April Favourites 2017






First up this month is the most amazing smelling shower gel going. All hail Imperial Leather's shower gel in cherry bake well. Trust me, you need this in your life. This shower gel is super duper thick and the smell is like you are eating a cherry bake well while having a shower. There's not many things that the husband steals from me but this is definitely one of them. 



Next is a new favourite combo of mine. The Maybelline Colossal Waterproof Mascara in Black* is the first followed by this amazing eyelash curler from Wilkos. Yes you heard me right from Wilkos. I have always had an issue with my eyelashes, they just will not curl. This mascara is a long time favourite of mine as waterproof mascaras hold a better curl. I have tried so many eyelash curlers but they just don't do anything for me. This one from Wilkos is amazing and is only a few pounds, I'm so surprised by the results. 




And lastly is a favourite product that I have enjoyed using on the children. The Vosene Kids 3in1 Conditioning Shampoo with Head Lice Repellent* Back in February we experienced our first case of head lice which I had been waiting for considering Isabelle had started school last year. After the lice had vacated the premises I was on the look out for something that contained tea tree. Now while I don't think that this product repels lice, I do love how clean it leaves her hair and the tea tree fragrance is very nice. Isabelle suffers with eczema on her scalp and this seems to have really soothed it too.


That's it for this month, leave me a comment with your favourite items and have a fabulous May!




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