Me and Mine (March 2018)

Saturday, March 31, 2018

This month has been another really busy month and has flown by. It started off with lots of snow which was really exciting as it has been the first time we have managed to get out playing in the snow since Gracie was a baby. Both Zach and Elsie have never had that experience and so we really did make the most of it. 

The kids have had lots of dress up days at school so we have had fun putting together costumes for Pirate Day, World Book Day, Sport Relief and towards the end of the month I had to help build an Easter Bonnet. It has certainly been a month for creativity. We also had Parent's evening where we were told how amazing each of the children were in their own ways and I couldn't be prouder of them. Gracie received two headteacher awards in one fortnight which was a huge confidence boost for her! 

Me and Sam got to finally go and watch Black Panther together at the cinema which we had waited so long for! We had Mother's Day the following day, where I was treated to breakfast in bed and some beautiful handmade cards from each of the children. The following weekend we were dog-sitting for our favourite pooches. We had Logan for the weekend too so the six of us made home-made pizzas which the kids decorated themselves and another delivery of snow meant the kids got to run around in the garden with the dogs in the snow. 

Last weekend we were pleased to see some signs of Spring approaching and had a lovely few hours sitting in the sunshine at our favourite park and eating ice-creams together. This made me so excited for spring/summer and being able to spend a lot more time outdoors though it has been followed by some miserable weather towards the end of this week.

The kids have just broken up for the Easter Holidays now and we are so excited for all of the fun things we have planned this month. 

The Me + Mine Project - Dear Beautiful

Review: Baby Born Bed

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Elsie loves roleplaying especially anything to do with families, babies or dogs! She has a few baby dolls and accessories that she loves to play with but until now she didn't have a baby bed or cot. She was sent the Baby Born bed to review and I thought she might just love it!

It does require assembly but it doesn't take long at all and doesn't need any tools. I simply clicked everything into place and added the stickers and it was ready to play with. Elsie was so pleased with it. It comes with a little reversible pillow and blanket so immediately she was tucking her baba into bed to say goodnight. Shouting 'ABRACADABRA'  then uncovering the blanket to reveal the baby like a magic trick.

Since she received the bed, she has played with it daily. It hasn't been left to the side ignored after a few days like many toys are. It really seems to bring out her nurturing side. It is lovely watching her playing so nicely. She has even been reading bedtime stories to her baby which is so cute! By the time her siblings were her age they had experienced having a real baby around with their new brother/sister. Elsie is the only one that hasn't had that, which is probably why she loves the idea so much. 

With how much Elsie has been playing with the bed, and how rough she can be when playing, I can honestly say I haven't felt worried about it being broken at any point. The pillow and blanket are great and I can't really think of any negative points or ways I would possibly suggest to improve the item. It is great quality and seems built to last. The sides can be taken off so it can be used as a bed for 'older dolls' like the Baby Born Interactive Sister.

The Baby Born bed can be bought from Amazon

Review: Frantics Playstation 4

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Frantics is a Playstation game which enables you to play using your smartphone or tablet instead of the Playstation controllers. It includes 15 mini-games for up to four players. The game challenges players to win crowns through a variety of tasks. There are three different play modes. Fox's Party, Mini Games and Custom session. We like to play Fox's Party because you don't know which games to expect or how it will end. The Fox will also give some players secret missions in a bid to sabotage rivals. However you can play the mini games separately or you can put together your own selection to challenge your friends.

Setting up the game is really easy. Simply download the Frantics App onto your device and follow the instructions on screen and on your device. You can take a picture of yourself using your phone for your player profile and choose which Frantics animal character you want to be. If there are just two of you playing the fox will add in two of his friends to play against you. The mini-games are so much fun. I am not very good at most of them but have found it really funny playing. We have a few devices at home so could easily have four players at once if we all wanted to play together but we tend to play just two people at once. 

Each mini-game is completely different to the last with lots of different concepts and ideas and different ways to play. Some require tilting or shaking your device, others you need to swipe or press buttons on the phone but each one tells you how to play before you start. I love the sabotage aspect to the game which adds a little extra fun. Whether it be a secret mission to try and ensure a particular person loses or passing your rivals bombs. If you lose your life in a game you can choose which of the other players to sabotage to stop them winning. If you are like us and have lots of very competitive people in the house, it can be really funny sabotaging them so they can't beat you. The aim is to collect crowns by winning min-games to help you at the end so you can stop whoever has the most crowns so far etc.

Me and Sam have played against each other and really enjoyed it and have both said we will play again. I think it is a great game for families or just couples. It is lighthearted and silly which is just what you want sometimes. We will definitely play both with the kids and on our own and will probably pull it out if we have friends or family over to challenge them!

Frantics is available to download now on the Playstation Store or you can buy a physical copy at a range of different Playstation game stockists.

Guest Post: Giving Back- Acts of Kindness That Go A Long Way

Monday, March 26, 2018


Giving Back – Acts of Kindness That Go a Long Way
Life, for many of us, can become incredibly stressful, often leaving us feeling deflated - and it is because of this that we often seek to do things that make us happy; be it by making a change to our routine or going out of our way to do something special. Today, more and more people are looking to give back in their spare time, whether it’s by working alongside a charity to help raise awareness for a good cause or simply by helping a stranger on the street. Either way, there are many great ways in which we can give back; ways that can often leave us with a sense of pride and fulfilment afterwards.
Of course, every individual has their own issues that can often leave them with a new outlook on the way they live their life, but more often than not, this can be the stepping stone to could give them the motivation they need in order to realise and give back to those who need it.
You, yourself, may have been through something that has inspired you to give back to others - whether it was a change in health or a memorable event that took place in your life. 
What we often don’t realise is that there are so many different ways and causes that we can help support in this day and age that it’s often difficult to decide where to start and who to assist first. 
Volunteer With a Charity
First of all, you could look to volunteer for a charity that resonates with you and help to raise funds towards a good cause.  It may be a local charity that you opt for or a charity that goes further afield to help those currently suffering from world conflict and disaster. 
The benefits of volunteering for a good cause are endless; supporting your local community, doing something that makes you feel good, restoring faith in humanity - you could even organise a fundraising event to raise funds which will result in raising awareness for the actual campaign itself, too. 
Give a Hand to a Stranger
Amongst the many millions who are suffering from poverty in developing countries, it’s important to remember that there are many people on our very own doorstep who are suffering from homelessness, poverty and starvation, too. Should you ever find yourself walking past someone who is sleeping rough or looks like they could do with a hand, our wealth certainly won’t lessen if we shared a little out of the goodwill of our heart. Sometimes, the most spontaneous and random act of kindness can leave us with the nicest feeling. 

Donate to a Good Cause
However, if you would prefer to give back to a specific cause, then why not look to donate to a charity that resonates with you? There are countless charities that accept donations over the phone, online and in person; and it’s not always money that you can donate, it can be in the form of food, warm clothing, basic amenities and even your time. Some countries in particular could really do with your support right now; countries that have been affected by world disaster or even as a result of world conflict. Donate to a charity to support those in Burma or set up a regular donation if you wish to commit to a specific campaign. 
There are many things we can do, whether we have the convenience of time or not; whatever you decide, just know that your support can go a very long way and could inevitably mean the difference between life and death for some. 

*This post contains sponsored links.

Happy 1st Anniversary

Monday, March 26, 2018

What a difference a year makes. One year ago today I was feeling sick with nerves as I had agreed to go on a date with a man I had never met. We had been speaking for a few weeks and seemed to have a lot in common but speaking through messages is so much easier than speaking in real life. I was terrified that my anxiety would kick in and I would be super awkward and unable to make conversation. We had planned a pretty long date, I didn't fancy eating on a first date and so he planned something a little different and he picked me up from my house, we went for a nice long walk around Coombe Abbey Country Park where thankfully it turned out we had lots to talk about and the sun was shining so it was really nice. He then drove us to Stratford-Upon-Avon where we watched Antony & Cleopatra at the RSC Theatre before dropping me off home. It was a lovely first date. 

We then decided to see each other again and for a while would just see each other every few weeks when I was child free but it didn't take long for us to feel comfortable enough for him to meet the kids. The kids instantly thought Sam was amazing and we could then see more of each other rather than waiting until I had a free day. 4 months after we met we decided it made sense for him to move in as he was staying so often and not long after that we had our first family holiday. After 8 months we went on a child-free holiday to Iceland where he proposed. We have celebrated Christmas with both of our families and our children have developed an amazing sibling bond together with no problems!

Things have definitely happened really fast between us but I think as we are both parents and have so many responsibilities, we have had to consider so many things since the very start of our relationship. We have been so lucky with how the children have adapted and how great both of our families are for helping out with childcare so we can spend time together occasionally. 

We have done so much in the past 12 months. Meeting, dating, introducing to the kids, meeting the families, moving in, we have been to music festivals and so many gigs. In fact we even both ended up working at V Festival, him on security and me blogging which was interesting! A family holiday with the children and an amazing trip to Iceland, we got engaged, celebrated Christmas together, attended a wedding fayre and have recently bought a house! We don't do things by halves!

He is silly, he is annoying, he is grumpy, he is messy and a PITA a lot of the time but he can also be lovely and thoughtful, he makes me laugh and smile even when I don't want him to. He is a pretty damn good cook and puts on one hell of a cookery show when he wants to. He works incredibly hard to earn money for our future and tells me he loves me and that I am beautiful at least 30 times a day. He pushes me to go out of my comfort zone and do things that scare me in order to succeed at whatever I want to do. We have so many plans for our future and I couldn't have asked for a better person to spend the rest of my life with. 

Happy 1st Anniversary Sam. I love you! 

Guest Post: Is Your Garden Ready for Summer?

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Well after the horrendous weather we have had in the UK recently, everybody is longing for the summer and some warmer weather. However, with the weather having been so bad all those little jobs we had lined up to get the garden sorted or buy some new outdoor furniture seem to have been put on hold. So over the next few weeks, weather permitting we have a chance to get the garden ready for the kids to enjoy safely in the summer. Here are some ideas for some quick garden wins:

Plastic sheds/storage – If you need somewhere to store bikes, gardening tools, paddling pools etc. but don’t want to spend a fortune then there are some great plastic storage options available from places like Argos. If you already have a shed but not enough room to easily take things in and out of it then now is the time to get it sorted. Have a clear out and get rid of those things that the kids have grown out of or old garden furniture that are more like a safety hazard.

Gardening – If you have a low maintenance garden then you might already be set up for safe games of football, hide and seek and whatever else. However, if you have plants, bushes, hedges and trees that you didn’t cut back last year then you might find you have a bit of a jungle to contend with! As well as looking tidier, there will be fewer injuries and less lost balls if you tackle the jungle before summer. You might even have trees or bushes that haven’t made it through the winter that you need to remove. And you might need to take control of any crawling ivy that has decided to invade various places before it starts damaging brickwork, annoying your neighbours or causing any other chaos.

If you are looking for ways to make your garden less high maintenance then replacing grass with artificial grass is becoming an increasingly popular option. See here for some solutions that will remove the need to mow the grass every few weeks!

Wood treating – Throughout the bad weather, your paintwork and the general outdoor area will no doubt have taken a bit of a battering. From damaged paintwork on your doorstep, to fences that need a coat of weatherproof paint to protect it, again this is the best time to get started with these kinds of jobs. If you have wooden decking that needs treating then you might need to pencil a weekend in for that one, or invite friends round for a decking painting party! If you have wooden seating or tables then you might find that they are in good need of a cleanup and a lick of paint before you try using them.

Bike MOTs – If the bikes haven’t been used since last summer then they may also need a bit of attention. Rusty chains and flat tyres are common casualties of the winter months, so make sure you give them a check over before you plan any bike trips. Lots of bike shops offer check-ups where they will check your tyres, brakes, lights etc. and make sure that the family is already for any bike days you have planned.

With the weather being so unpredictable, we never know when we might get a nice sunny day to enjoy in the garden, so make sure that yours is ready for spontaneous BBQs, mini football tournaments or even a bit of relaxing sunbathing if we’re lucky!

*This post contains sponsored links.

The Great Oreo Cookie Quest

Monday, March 19, 2018

We were set a challenge by Britmums called the #OreoCookieQuest challenge. As an Oreo loving family we had to show you readers our wonder-filled moments with Oreo's. So with a few packets of Oreo's and a rough challenge, I needed to come up with an idea that suited us as a family. Therefore I looked at why we as a family, love Oreo's? The answer is easy. Although they are yummy and chocolatey, they are also dairy free. (They do have a 'May Contain Milk' notice on the packaging but that is ok for us as long as there are no milk ingredients). 

I enjoy baking and the family enjoy eating my baked goods so I made homemade chocolate brownies with Oreo's baked inside. I did small cupcake sizes for the children and a big baked brownie for us adults to slice up. I used an easy brownie recipe and then broke up some Oreo's and popped a bit on top of the brownie batter. To make it more of a quest though, not every piece of brownie contained Oreo's so the ones that did were special. Oreo's are a special treat in our house to be enjoyed as a family and what better way than to find them hidden in some deliciously dairy free brownies?

I would love to know what you would do with yours?

The challenge coincides with The Great Oreo Cookie Quest promotion on packs right now which means anyone can pick up a pack and have a chance of winning some seriously amazing prizes including a trip to California. I tried with both of my packets but unfortunately didn't win! 

This post is an entry for Britmums #OreoCookieQuest, sponsored by Oreo.

Siblings (March 2018)

Thursday, March 15, 2018

This last month has been a very busy one for the kids. It started with them enjoying half-term together. They had friends come over to play and also had Logan here for the week. Though it seems I didn't get any photo's of the four of them together this time! They played in the woods one day with my friends two children who we looked after for the day. Six kids playing hide and seek in the woods was lots of fun and they played for hours! They also requested a trip to the Coventry Transport Museum, so I took the four of them on the bus into town to see all the cars and we had a really fun day out. 

The three of them were also invited to a birthday party at Studio Megastar which is a venue where they get to make music videos in a cool little studio. They danced around to some of their favourite songs and it was made into a DVD for each child to bring home. They then went into a soft play room complete with photo booth so they really enjoyed that. Everyone loves a photo booth!

Of course one of the most exciting things that happened to them this month was the snow! Coventry usually misses the snow. Even this month when some places across the country were at a standstill for days, we only had the one day of settled snow! Of course they made the most of it, it was Zach's and Elsie's first ever experience of playing in the snow so it was really special. We through snowballs at each other and ran around our local field. All three of them found it really fun and hopefully it will be a memory that always stays with them! I did an Instagram live and shared the video on Facebook so we can watch back each year!

I love the snow pictures! It is lovely watching them have fun together. Despite the age difference and Gracie getting more and more grown up, something as simple as playing out in the snow really brings them together. I look forward to seeing what April has to bring!

The Siblings Project - Dear Beautiful

Who is Mummy and the Chunks? Blogger Q&A

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

I was tagged by Colette at We're Going On An Adventure to answer a series of questions about myself. I tend to write a lot about what I am doing on my blog but I very rarely get to write about the little things that make me, well me! So here we go

When was the last time you cried?

Last week. I actually don't cry often. I am awful for bottling up my feelings and emotions until they all explode at once. I got all overwhelmed and cried and couldn't even pinpoint what had made me cry!

If you were another person, would you be a friend of yourself?

Definitely. I would say I am a good friend. I am always there for my friends and would do anything for them as would they for me. Therefore I would definitely want to be my friend!

Do you use sarcasm a lot?

Probably too much. It is a quality I seem to have acquired from my Dad. The sad thing though is that most of my sarcastic comments are lost on my children who do not get it at all!

What’s the first thing you notice about people?

I think the first thing I notice is whether they seem friendly or not. I am not much of a people person and hate approaching people. If they are really friendly though I can sometimes brave it and speak first! I find loud people quite intimidating on first meetings.

Scary movie or happy endings?

Happy Endings. Sam keeps making me watch scary films and shows and I am learning to deal with them but I do feel anxious and on edge afterwards. I do much prefer sitting watching a nice film and feeling all happy and relaxed afterwards.

Favourite smells?

I love the smell of fresh flowers and home cooked food (not together). I am a homely person and I love my home comforts. 

What’s the furthest you’ve ever been from home?

The furthest I have travelled is to the Dominican Republic. I had just turned 18 and me and a friend went on a girly holiday. It was a beautiful country and I learnt a lot of life lessons. I don't think I would go back though. 

Do you have any special talents?

Unfortunately not haha! I have never really found anything that I am particularly good at.

Where were you born?

Coventry, West Midlands.

What are your hobbies?

I wouldn't say I have many hobbies. It is hard when you have no time to find things you enjoy. I like going to music gigs and festivals when I can though. I also really enjoy taking photos of my family if that would be classed as a hobby!

What did you want to be when you grew up?

Over the years I have had many answers to this question. When I was small I wanted to be a pop star, of course. Then when I was a teenager I wanted to work with children until I did work experience in a school and saw the paperwork involved and how limited they were with time to actually enjoy teaching the children. Then I wanted to be a Psychologist but failed my A Level. I then wanted to be a holiday rep and studied Travel and Tourism at College. Then I became a Mum and my direction completely changed again. I am now 26 and still don't know what I want to do when I grow up.

How many countries have you been to?

Well the answer to this is less than I thought! Turns out I have only visited seven different countries. I have visited a fair few of the Greek Islands though and different parts of Spain. I thought I was well travelled but it seems I have travelled the same countries. I obviously need to write myself a travel bucket list and get working on increasing that number.

What was your favourite/worst subject in School?

My favourite subject was Art. I was never particularly talented at art, I was definitely an average student but I really enjoyed spending hours creating something and watching it transform I find it so relaxing. I was really good at Maths until I attempted A Level Maths which scarred me for life. My worst subject was PE. There were certain activities I enjoyed but I hated being forced to do the less fun ones.

What is your Favourite drink?

I am really bad and drink far too much fizzy pop. I don't drink alcohol often but when I do I usually drink Rose wine or Gin. 

What would you (or have you) named your children?

The only one I found easy was Gracie. I had heard the name once when I was a teen and fell in love with it. I knew that if I ever had a little girl that is what I would call her. Her middle name (Amelia) was the name of one of my great grandparents. I struggle with boys names and I can't remember how I decided on his name. His middle name (Adam) was decided as a friend of mine died around the time I found out I was pregnant and I wanted to name him in his memory. Elsie was almost 2 weeks old when I finally named her. I really wanted to call her Luna Daisy but ended up with Elsie Luna instead.

Who are some of your favourite YouTubers?

I honestly don't watch much Youtube. If I am planning on buying something or trying to learn to do something it is my first port of call but I don't tend to watch any Youtuber's.

How many Boyfriends have you had?

Just two. I am lucky to have found the perfect guy on the second try!

Favourite memory from childhood?

One of my favourite childhood memories was from a holiday to Corfu with my Dad and Step Mum. We were walking back to our villa in this secluded part of Corfu when we found ourselves surrounded by fireflies and it was magical. I am sure they have a photo somewhere of a Firefly cupped in my hands. 

How would you describe your fashion sense?

It is definitely different! I just wear what I enjoy wearing. Nice clothes make me happy and I love long skirts and pretty dresses. Sometimes I love a vintage look but my taste really does vary. I also love doing different things with my hair. 

Tell us one of your bad habits!

My worst habit is picking faults with myself. I am so harsh and judge myself all the time and I know I do but it is so hard to be kind to yourself!

I am tagging Amy at Writing Into The Ether and Emily at Drained Beauty ,