Butterfly Farm

Our Mother's Day Fun

Monday, March 31, 2014

Well I was pleasantly surprised by Mother's Day this year it was just lovely! Andy came home from work at 10am the kids were playing happily in Zach's bedroom and I was lying in bed relaxing and listening to the little ones playing nicely together with Gracie singing and reading stories to her little brother. I was expecting to be up and downstairs at around 7am so just the lie in was treat enough for me. 

When Andy arrived home he made me breakfast, yummy bacon rolls with a glass of fruit juice, and him and the kids delivered it upstairs to me in bed along with my cards off each the kids who had written me little messages/drawn pictures  inside for me. As well as my cards I got a beautiful bunch of flowers and the new Hunger Games Bluray! 

After a visit from my Dad and Stepmum it was still early, the sun was shining and so we decided to go out and do something nice for the day. I decided to take the kids to the Butterfly Farm in Stratford I haven't been since I was little and I thought they would both love it. How wrong I was! Gracie was terrified, she may be scarred for life but there is definitely something comical about a little girl who hates butterflies! She ended up hiding away in the pushchair while me and Zach were running around (well me running after him) he was chasing and trying to play with the butterflies, trying to jump in any available pool of water. It was extremely warm in there and although it seemed to be going disastrously wrong as a 'nice day out' we laughed so much that we all somehow came out feeling like we'd had so much fun. The Butterfly Farm is a great place to visit just maybe not for a child who seems to be scared of just about anything, maybe we will try again one day. 

After the Butterfly Farm we walked over to the river and sat by the water letting the kids play in the sunshine. Luckily I had bought Zach's Scuttlebug (by far the best toddler toy EVER!) it was folded up under the pushchair so I could pop it out for him to play with to avoid him just running away. They had lots of fun playing and watching the boats go past. Then after a quick lunch it was time to go home.

Andy had bought all the bits to cook me a roast dinner as an extra treat so I took the kids out for an hour to give him some peace and was really looking forward to my Mother's Day dinner. We got back at around the time dinner should be ready to find Andy asleep on the sofa and no dinner to be seen we had obviously tired him out too much! 

So while I'm writing this Andy is preparing the belated Mother's Day dinner and I'm reflecting on what has been THE best Mother's Day yet! I'm so lucky to have my little family and have to say the best gift of all was to spend a whole day with just the four of us I wouldn't have changed a thing. 

I hope you all had a lovely day? How did you spend your day?

family fun

#TheOuttakes 'A Brother and Sister Photo'

Friday, March 28, 2014

I love the idea of this linky from Mama Geek. Everyone who takes pictures of their kids will relate to the fail photo. I usually go through my phone every few days deleting any that are out of focus or really unflattering but I'm now going to make a conscious effort to keep them and post them in an outtakes post as they are always good for a giggle!

This is the first time I've joined and I love this photo. Every time I try to get a 'nice' smart photo of the kids together especially when they are dressed up ready to go out, at least one of them runs away/cries/pulls funny faces and my latest attempt was no exception to the rule. So here it is:

I don't think this one will make the wall anytime soon!

I'm linking with Mama Geeks 'the outtakes' linky you can join in or have a laugh at the other entries by clicking the badge below

the outtakes


The Children's Air Ambulance

Friday, March 28, 2014

Last Friday, I was invited to a press day at the base for The Children's Air Ambulance charity. Up until then I didn't know much about the charity. I course I knew what an air ambulance was but that was the extent of my knowledge.

The day involved finding out more about the charity itself as well as a once in a lifetime chance to take a ride in the Children's Air Ambulance itself!


What I would love this Mother's Day

Sunday, March 23, 2014

After seeing lots of gift guides for Mother's Day it had me thinking about what I would love for Mother's Day. After all it is only a week away! Whilst thinking about it I realised that what I would like most would be a nice day out with Andy and the kids. 

Some of my favourite past Mother's Day presents have been my home made cards they have made me and my Pandora charms for my bracelet. I love anything like that which I can keep and treasure forever.

This year I would love to drive out to somewhere a bit different like Stratford, which is quite close to us, or to visit somewhere fun like the Zoo and spend a day having fun and making memories with my little ones. Of course that day out would also have to include cake and treats for us all!

Now I would love to know... what would your perfect Mother's Day be?


Magic Moments

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Today I had a very small but very magical moment. I went to wake Andy up after his night shift with Zach closely following me and while I sat on the bed talking to Andy, Zach climbed up and curled on my lap asleep.

Andy went downstairs to look after Gracie and I lay down in bed while my little boy cuddled up to me just like he did  when he was a baby. It was then I realised that I have just a few months left of Zach being my 'baby'. In Aug/Sept he will suddenly become the middle child and he will seem huge and grown up the same way Gracie did back when Zach was born almost 18 months ago. 

I'm now determined to make the most of all these small precious moments that I wouldn't usually give a second thought and I can't help but keep thinking just how lucky I am to have such an amazing little family!

Review: Parragon Books 'Around the World We Go!'

Friday, March 21, 2014

Last months book from the Parragon Book Buddies club was 'Around the World We Go!' by Margaret Wise Brown. The book was a lovely refreshing change to story time as it is quite different to our usual bedtime books. The book doesn't have many words but the pictures speak a thousand words and it draws children into other cultures and traditions.

The phrase 'Around the world we go, to learn what we don't know...' Is repeated in the book and is very catchy. Gracie was joining in by the end of the first read. My favourite part of the book is the 'But we'll talk too, say how do you do' page as it has illustrations of famous landmarks from around the world on the page as well as the phrase 'how do you do' in many different languages which I thought was very clever and learning another language is something I would love Gracie to take an interest in!


we were sent the item featured free of charge for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.


An exciting announcement!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

So... I've been keeping a huge secret since December. It hasn't been the easiest of starts but I will leave all the details to another post. Anyway after three months and two scans I'm pleased I can now announce that we are expecting our Chunk No 3!

                                                     Chunk No3 Due 3rd Sept 2014!

I really couldn't be happier! The four of us are very excited to soon be a family of FIVE! This will be my third C-Section and my last baby so I'm determined to make this pregnancy as enjoyable as possible and will be starting my pregnancy diary very soon!

Thanks for all your support!

about me

Mummy Meme

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

I've been tagged by We're Going On An Adventure in 'The Mummy Meme' so if you'd like to get to know a little more about me then read on..

1. Are you a Stay as Home Mum, or a Working Mum?
Both. I work part-time 16 hours a week and the rest of my time is spent looking after the kids. When I'm working Daddy does the childcare and vice versa. 

2. Would you have it any other way? 
I would prefer for us to be able to spend more quality family time together as it is pretty rare as one of us is always at work but this is the only way that we can afford to live at the moment. It does make us appreciate the times we do have though.

3. Do you co-sleep?
I never did with Gracie and never planned to with Zach but it just happened. I had the choice of being up with him all night and risking being too tired to stay awake in the day when looking after both of them or having him in bed with me where he used to cuddle up and sleep with me. I used to sleep so lightly though the slightest movement would wake me. He went into his cot fine at six months though and we've never looked back I certainly wouldn't regret the choice to co-sleep.

4. What is your one must-have item for you baby?
A bouncy chair. Keeps them safe from siblings running around, the bouncing function is great when they are upset or tired to calm them and help them drift off to sleep. It's also great when you need to wash-up, have a bath etc. they are so compact you can move them around to whichever room you are going to so they can see you and you can keep an eye on them. 

5. How many kids do you plan on having? 
I've always said two or three would be perfect for me.

6. Date night? How many nights per month?
None. If we are lucky one a year. If we are both at home together on an evening you can guarantee to find Andy fast asleep on the sofa. 

7. Your child's favourite show?
Gracie is more interested in films at the moment and LOVES all the Marvel films, Avengers Assemble and Iron Man being her favourites. She's not your typical girl! Zach has only just taken an interest in the TV and loves Waybuloo and anything from Despicable Me. They are the two things guaranteed to have him sit still for longer than a second!

8. Name one thing you bought before you had your baby and never ended up using?
Changing Mat! They were always out of reach so I would opt for a blanket or on the rug. I bought a new one both times but never bothered with them really. 

9.  Your child's favourite food? 
They both love good old home made hotpot! They love their veg so my slowcooker is my most used household gadget.

10. How many cars does your family have? 
Just the one. I can drive but my instructor retired weeks before my test so I cancelled and never found another one. It is a pain really as we can't get to many places on the bus so can only go to REALLY fun places with Daddy too. It's something I will get round to one day!

11. Weight gain before pregnancy, during and after and now? 
Now this is depressing! I was a size 8 before my first pregnancy and weighed around 9 stone. I loved being tall and slim! I was wearing size 14 during late pregnancy and actually managed to get down to a 10 and back to my pre-pregnancy weight less than a year later. Just in time to find out I was pregnant again! Now that I have two kids I find I'm not so fussed on my weight, I have a perfectly good reason to not look how I used to and wouldn't change it for the world. I'm not fat but I enjoy my food and I won't be joining any fad diets to slim down. 

12. Dream holiday with your kids?
Disneyland! Gracie would love it! We will take them in a few years when they both understand what's going on.

13. Dream holiday without your kids? 
New Zealand or Italy. Both look beautiful in totally different ways and there are so many parts I'd love to visit. I'd love to taste real Italian food.

14. How has your life changed since your baby has been born? 
I have finally realised what is important in life. Those who love you unconditionally and don't point out all your faults but appreciate you for who you are. I realised I needed to be surrounded by those who don't bring drama or negativity and instead those who are there for you when you need them and who you would do the same for. It was a hard decision but I let go of a few people who made me feel bad about myself the last few years. I've also now got two little people who are worth working hard for and they have pushed me to work hard and save money so we now own our own house giving them security. I am now finally happy with everything I've got and would do absolutely anything to make my little people happy.

15. Finish the sentence: It makes my heart melt to see . . . 
my kids cuddling each other or playing together. Also their happy faces first thing in the morning when they look at you like you've been apart for so long and they are so excited to see you! Oh and Gracie and Zach both love to dance it really does my melt my heart seeing them holding hands dancing while Gracie sings princess songs to him :)

16. Where do you shop for your kids? 
H&M or Tesco. The kids both have a silly amount of clothes but you can get them so cheap these days and as long as you wash and rotate well enough they last forever!

17. Favourite make up and skin care products? 
Honestly I'm awful and don't use many skin care products. I shampoo and condition my hair using Lush shampoo and conditioner bars as they really make my hair feel and smell clean and last ages! I don't wear make up often either but find the more money you spend the better quality you get I love Benefit make up. I'm also partial to expensive perfume which I thankfully tend to get every Christmas and try to choose a new one each year for a nice change.

18. Huggies or Pampers? 
I actually use Boots own brand nappies which I find much better than both Pampers and Huggies and are much cheaper with more nappies per packet. It helps me save up my advantage card points too as you get 12 points per pound in the parenting club. I managed to get a baby walker and a high-chair free using my saved up points last year! I also use Tesco Value wet wipes where I can get around 5 packs for the price of one pack of pampers and they are just as good!

19. Have you always wanted kids?
I think I have. I first heard the name Gracie when I was 13 years old and from then decided my first girl would have to be called Gracie and know name ever challenged it. However I did think I would be a few years older when I started a family but you never know what life has planned for you do you?

20. Best part about being a mum? 
The unconditional love. From the second my children were born I loved them more than I could ever imagine and I couldn't imagine being without them. They are both such loving children and it is so cute! I also love fuelling their imaginations, we love dressing-up games and building things and it is amazing watching them just using their imagination and creating stories from the smallest of ideas.

I'm tagging Jen at MymummyspenniesKaren at Adventures of a monkey footed mummyClare at Emmysmummy and Liz at Hart of the Munchkin Patch.


Review & Competition: Canvas Design

Sunday, March 09, 2014

You may have seen my review of the Tinkerbell picture from custom cartoon bakery. Well I definitely regretted not having it in Canvas form and so when I was given the chance to review a canvas from Canvas Design I knew exactly what picture to go for! After seeing reviews from other blogger's I could see that they were all positive when talking about the canvases and that the general opinion was that they are fantastic quality.

My canvas arrived just two days after sending through my picture and it was exactly what I had asked for! I was a bit awkward with what I wanted only asking for it to 'not be too big as it's for a child's bedroom' I expected them to give me some different options for sizes but instead they had a good guess and got it perfect. I'm guessing they get silly non specific requests a lot and know exactly what to do! The canvas was packaged very well to avoid damage in the delivery process thankfully as I had to have mine delivered through a window (don't ask). 

As the picture is a firm favourite of Gracie's already, she was very pleased to see the big version ready to go on her bedroom wall! Unfortunately with a poorly Zach it took longer than planned to get it up in place! It was really easy to put up with the hooks and screws that came with it. This I was very impressed with as I have never bought a picture and had everything I needed included to attach to the wall. 

I think it looks great doesn't it?

Well the lovely guys at Canvas Designs have offered us a canvas as a competition prize for one of our lucky winners. Of course it will be personalised with a photo of the winners choice and  even better you can choose the size you would like to win, from 6" x 6" to 40" x 40"!

For your chance to win please fill in the rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and conditions
Open to UK only. The competition will end 31/03/2014 at 12am.  All entrants must complete the mandatory entry on the rafflecopter form. Those who don't will have all entries removed. The blog owner will choose the winner through the rafflecopter form (which uses random.org) The winner will be notified by email and displayed on the widgetOne winner will receive a canvas with their choice of photo and size. No alternative prize will be offered. Please allow up to 28 days for delivery of prize.

#lasting change

A Digital Postcard From #TeamHonk #lastingchange

Saturday, March 08, 2014

If you are a regular reader of parent blogs you will probably have heard of Team Honk. The Team Honk Relay is in full force at the moment with bloggers carrying the Team Honk Baton from Lands End to John O'Groats.

It's not the relay I'm here to talk about today though. The founders of Team Honk; Tanya (Mummy Barrow), Annie (Mammasaurus) and Penny (AResidence) are currently in Tanzania for International Women's Day to see what last years Sport Relief donations have done to help women become entrepreneurs and create #lastingchange in their communities.

Here is a digital postcard I was sent from Team Honk to share with you:

This is Bertha. She is a food producer in Dar es Salaam who has received support from the Gatsby Trust. Bertha makes three different types of wine, garlic paste and a flour used to make porridge.  In addition to making products she is also now training other women to do the
same. Bertha works from a processing plant that she built herself at the back of her property, with room dedicated to each part of her business.

As you can see, Bertha, along with many other women has been helped enormously by the Gatsby Trust funded by your donations.

How can you help?

5 MINS  Please RT, share and support any updates you see with the
#lastingchange hashtag.

DONATE You can help create #lastingchange by
http://my.sportrelief.com/sponsor/team-honk-relay sponsoring
#teamhonkrelay for Sport Relief

GET INVOLVED Join up for your local Sport Relief event
http://www.sportrelief.com/event-info here.

Thanks for helping to create #lastingchange