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30.1.15

#littleloves | 30/01/2015

Read

Despite selling my early bird ticket I have been looking at the Speakers for this years Britmums Live conference. It looks amazing and really exciting. Carol Smilie as a speaker on the Friday is super exciting. I have such fond memories of watching her on Changing Rooms when I was a teen. In fact that show was one of the last times I can remember us being a happy family until my dad left so it's quite special.
And, how good does she look?!

Watched

I stayed at my mums on Friday whilst my brother was home. It's become a little tradition now that I go and stay over and the 3 of us will watch a film when he is back. We chose Let's Be Cops, which was ok. It made me laugh in parts but was probably a little bit long.
I also watched a film called Little Children on Saturday. Kate Winslet is in it, and I LOVE her. The film was ok, again a bit long and could have been a bit more...I don't know...exciting or something. It had two storylines going on and I didn't feel like they merged well enough together to warrant being in the same film.
I've also been watching a lot of Impractical Jokers. The US version because the UK version was awful. I know I've mentioned it before but I am OBSESSED with it. It's one of the only programmes that has me laughing out loud....VERY loud.


Wore

 I bought some new boots and a new scarf this week. I am yet to wear them but I'm rather excited about them. The scarf is from Warehouse and is a big blanket scarf in a coral and grey leopard print. Soooo lovely. And the boots were from TKMaxx and are a kind of biker/cowboy style.

Heard

I am obsessively listening to Sam Smith at the moment. I have his album on in the car constantly and his songs playing on my phone via Spotify. My favourite at the moment being Life Support, closely followed my Leave Your Lover.

Made

Purchases. See "wore" above. (Ok, totally cheating there)

And Lastly...

Yuk, it snowed here a bit yesterday. Not for long but enough to lay a little and to make it super icy. I hate it but Harry hasn't seen snow properly before....well enough to remember as he was just a baby when it last snowed, so it was nice to see his reaction.
Charles had the class mascot for 3 days so it was a great excuse to take a photo of him with the snow (although not outside of course) and to add a Frozen theme to the photo for the diary, which I'm sure Charles' class friends appreciated.

butwhymummywhy

27.1.15

Waking Up and Knowing

Being woken up by the boys at 6am this morning wasn't wonderful. I was still really tired and it felt like it was just 3am. I tried to get them to go back to sleep but something in me told me to get up and start my day.
We went downstairs, the boys had breakfast, I had coffee and wrote a blog post whilst they watched Mr Men on Channel 5 and Charles went to get ready for school.
I would usually rush up after him but instead I spent 10 minutes having a play fight with Harry. When I say play fight it was more me running away from him whilst he tried to pull my pyjama trousers down!

We eventually headed upstairs, I sent my later than usual morning message to a friend and got ready for the school run.
I'm not sure what it was, but something felt good. I had this feeling that today was going to be a good day.
I decided to keep myself away from the laptop in the morning and instead played a card game with Harry (he cheated!), we cuddled watching Netflix (or Fletnix as we renamed it) and he helped me sort through the washing and clothes for the tumble dryer.
Since his behaviour switch at Christmas I have enjoyed being with him so much. I feel a little obsessed with him, and although I have this fear of him turning into the angry child he was I also am desperate to play catch up and want to create so many fun and happy memories to paint over the not so happy ones from last year.

We eventually got him to preschool...I say eventually because we keep having so much fun that we lose track of time! And I went to Morrisons. Because that's another thing, this morning I decided that today was a good day to by myself some flowers. I just had this feeling that today I deserved a treat, not to cheer myself up, I didn't need them for that.
I think it was more to say "I'm proud of you". Because, it's ok to feel like that. And it is ok to pat yourself on the back and to say "you are awesome".
I so often tell myself how awful I am, how I am bad at everything. How I am lazy, don't put in enough effort, unaware and so on. But we all need that push, and why not give that push to ourselves? If we rely on others to notice the good things we do then we could be waiting a while! Because a lot of things go unnoticed, our everyday tasks and so on. But why not keep a mental list of everything you do well? I've learnt to do that and although I'm not in the habit of doing it I am trying.
So, I bought myself some flowers to say "Hey. You are quite brilliant (sometimes)".

I got back in the car, after paying for the flowers and accidentally buying a pack of 3 Ferrero Rocher (because I didn't eat enough of them at Christmas and am ashamed of myself for that) and just sat for a little bit. The sun was quite warm, it was bright and sunny. You'd be forgiven for thinking it was April and not January.
I turned the engine on and turned up the volume as my Sam Smith album played.
I sat there and just felt happy. And that is quite an odd emotional for me, and sometimes I struggle with feeling that. I find it quite overwhelming. But I embraced it and let it take over. And I realised I was smiling. To myself. Looking a bit bizarre to the people sat in the cafe by the window I expect.

I drove home, singing along probably louder than I should have been to my Sam Smith album (wow he hits some high notes...and wow, I clearly don't!) and I realised I was still smiling. And I was still feeling good.
And when I got home I looked at my phone and had the confirmation that something good was going to happen today. Oh, here comes the annoying vague bit of "can't mention it yet" style news. But, I not only had a feeling of acceptance and self worth, but also that feeling of pride and that realisation that although there are many cracks to this shell, inside there is someone who is strong, who has courage and is willing to put herself out there and to say "hey. I want to do this, can we make that happen?".
To open yourself up like that requires some kind of ego...in a positive way. And, there's that thing of 'if you don't ask, you won't get' or 'how will you know if you never try' or 'what's the worst that can happen?'.

Next Tuesday I have a meeting for something else which excites me and makes me nervous. But again it's that confirmation that I can do these things and that opportunities happen, you just sometimes have to chase them yourself.

My motto for 2015:


5 Winter Home Emergencies You Can Avoid Right Now | Guest Post

Winter can be a magical time of the year, but it can also cause havoc for your home. Unless you are adequately prepared, there are all kinds of winter home emergencies that can crop up. Below you’ll discover the top five emergencies you can avoid right now.
1. Broken down boiler
While the British weather may be known for its unpredictability, for several months of the year you can usually get away without using a lot of heating. While this saves you a lot of money, unfortunately it can cause problems when you start to use the boiler more in the colder weather. Many homeowners don’t discover until it’s too late that their boiler has packed up.
Winter is the most common time for boilers to break down. To avoid this it is important that you have the boiler serviced by a qualified engineer before winter kicks in. It is really important you check that the engineer has become gas safe registered with Options Skills or any other respected training company.  
2. Frozen pipes
The cold weather can cause the water pipes in the home to freeze and eventually burst if they aren’t treated. Keeping the home as warm as possible will help to prevent this problem. As featured on the CDC website, it is worth weather-stripping doors and windows. If you are going away it is also helpful to have the heating set to low so that it keeps the house warm while you are gone.
3. Cold radiators
Cold radiators are another common home winter emergency. If your house isn’t warming up despite the heating being on, it could be down to a problem with the radiators. The good news is this is usually a very simple problem to fix. You will need to bleed the radiators to ensure any trapped air is released. If this doesn’t work, clean the radiators thoroughly.
4. Blocked drains
Another problem the cold weather brings is blocked drains. This can lead to bigger problems if not sorted out right away. It is often caused by pouring fats and grease down the drain. The cold weather causes the liquids to solidify and cause a blockage which can be difficult to get rid of. To prevent it all you need to do is ensure you don’t pour anything you shouldn’t down the drain.
5. Dripping taps
Dripping taps may seem like a mere sign of annoyance rather than an emergency. However, if they aren’t fixed in winter they could lead to more serious problems. As mentioned on the South Staffs Water website, dripping taps can lead to frozen and burst pipes. Be sure to get them fixed as soon as you can to prevent the problem.
Overall there are many home emergencies that can crop up in winter. The above are the most common problems you could be facing if you aren’t properly prepared. If you follow the advice given, you should be able to avoid and quickly treat any emergencies that do crop up.    



26.1.15

Living Arrows 2015 | 4/52

This weeks photo is awful. I hold my hands up and admit that. Last week was tough with Charles being sent home from school poorly and Harry had his preschool vaccinations which went well until he got a temperature and felt poorly towards the end of the week.
However, I'm not going to fail at this project and despite it being a pants photo it actually means a lot.
We went out for a meal last week, and a lot of the time I do kind of dread going out for a meal with the boys as they do get bored and might play up if they have been waiting around for a long time, and they also don't tend to eat much of their food!
We decided to just order Harry a bowl of rice. That was all he wanted and rather than force him to eat chicken and vegetables as well we followed his lead.
He was so well behaved. Ate so much of the rice. And was generally just wonderful wonderful company.
So, pants photo, but knowing that whenever I look at it I will have this happy memory of a lovely lunch with him is worth it.



Living Arrows

The Ultimate Girls Night In | Giveaway

In a couple of months time I will be sat in a barn in Somerset, hopefully with the boys in bed and with my mum for company. We've recently started to really make the effort to have evenings together and to have quality time together. 
Our nights in usually consist of a home cooked dinner, some sweets or a fruit salad if we are being good, a bottle of wine and a film.It's lovely to just sit there and enjoy each others company, have a heart to heart and make plans for the future.

I have a prize bundle to giveaway for the ultimate girls night in (although of course men can enjoy this too).

This fantastic prize includes:

Brand new copies of Blended and the Other Woman on DVD from Cash Generator

A 7” gourmet chocolate pizza from Qwerkity, yes you read that right, a CHOCOLATE pizza!

A bingo board game, 4 x face masks and a £15 supermarket voucher for a shop of your choice (so you can buy a bottle and some snacks) from http://bingo.paddypower.com

To be in with a chance of winning just fill in the Rafflecopter form below! Good luck.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

25.1.15

This Week in 5 | 18.1-24.1

Last year I started a little project called 'Happy Sunday'. Every Sunday I wrote about things that had made me happy that week.
This year I wanted to try something different and just basically want to look back at 5 things in the week that meant something to me, that happened, that I want to remember.

Last Sunday we decided to take the boys out on their bikes. Charles can now ride without his stabilisers and he is so quick and confident. Harry on the other hand, hasn't even attempted to ride the bike we bought him for his birthday last July. We went to a lovely big park in Norwich but it was so cold that we didn't last very long and instead decided to just go for some lunch in the city. We went to Wagamamas as the boys and my husband haven't been before. The service was a bit poor and we weren't that impressed by the "your food comes when it's ready" as opposed to all the food coming at once. We all had our food way before Charles had his which I think upset him. My husband wasn't totally impressed by the food, instead preferring Yo Sushi's Chicken Katsu, however Charles, Harry and I enjoyed ours.

I got two new sweatshirts this week. When we go on holiday in April I want to make sure I'm prepared incase it is cold, I'm not sure what the heating is like in the barn that we are in for the week and also, our car isn't the warmest. I couldn't resist the 'More Issues Than Vogue' sweatshirt from In The Style. Even the cat liked that one and within 10 minutes of it arriving had decided it would be her bed! It's a good job she is cute...although for some reason she always looks so angry when I take a photo of her.
It's not the smartest of tops, or the best of qualities but it will do the job and provide some LOLs.
I bought a knitted jumper from H&M but wasn't so keen on the quality of it so will be returning that, and as an alternative bought the "My Weekend Sweatshirt" from Boohoo. I didn't think I would ever be able to buy from Boohoo so I'm high five-ing my weight loss again! I bought this in Large and although it is slightly on the big side (I will get used to buying a Medium soon) it will be nice and cosy I'm sure.

 Harry has this bizarre obsession with Blue Tac. We are trying to wean him off it because he is THAT obsessed. I came home from the school run on Friday to be greeted by Harry with horns on, made by my husband. Once my husband went to work Harry told me I had to wear the horns. The things we do for our children.....

 I've been trying to make an effort to watch more films. I want to make use of our Sky On Demand and also of Netflix. This week we watched Hunger Games and Catching Fire. I was always so anti-watching them. I don't like to follow things other people do as I think it can all just be a fad (50 Shades of Grey style) however, I bought my husband the Hunger Games books for Christmas and after finishing the first book he wanted to watch the film immediately. It was AMAZING. I told him to hurry up and read the second book but on Tuesday he couldn't wait any longer so we watched it that night. Although it was good I didn't think it was as good as the first. And.....how does she manage to keep getting new arrows?!
Also, I think Katniss Everdeen may well be my idol.
I also watched Little Children with Kate Winslet. It was a little tooooo long I think but was a good film, I do love Kate Winslet so may have given up if it was someone else playing that role.
I watched Let's Be Cops which was funny. I watched this with my mum and my brother. We were torn between that and Before I Go To Sleep, deciding we didn't want to concentrate on Before I Go To Sleep we chose Let's Be Cops instead.
After watching the trailer for Before I Go to Sleep I decided to get the book on my Kindle.

On Friday I decided to go for a little walk down the beach after dropping Harry off at preschool. It was lovely to have a bit of fresh air but I felt so out of place not having a dog!
The beach was so beautiful though, and I loved just standing by the water listening to it crash onto the shore. I would have stayed longer if I didn't feel so odd....and if I'd taken my gloves.
Linking up to:
The Ordinary Moments: Mummy Daddy Me
My Week That Was: Make, Do and Push

23.1.15

Hearty winter salads ready for the January cleanse | Guest Post

Keep a check on your waistline but don’t miss out on the warm filling food we all long for during the frosty months ahead. These hearty salads will satisfy your cravings but pack a nutrient-rich punch and are an ideal way to make up for all those festive indulgences.
Brussels Sprout Salad with Apples and Candied Walnuts
Let’s end the hate on brussels – especially the warm, pan-roasted kind that contrast perfectly against tart apples and sweet candied nuts in this unusual side dish from DietHood that can also be made in bigger quantities and served as a main.
Ingredients:
2 tbp butter
2 tbp olive oil
1 pound brussels sprouts, quartered
1 big tart apple, sliced
salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
1 tsp fresh rosemary
1 tbp butter
1 tbp sugar
1 tbp brown sugar
30g chopped walnuts


Method:


  1. Heat butter and olive oil in a large pan over medium-low heat
  2. Add brussels and apples; season
  3. Add rosemary and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until tender
  4. Prepare walnuts by melting butter in saucepan
  5. Add sugars and stir until incorporated; add walnuts and continue to stir around for about 2 minutes
  6. Remove from heat and set aside
  7. Remove brussels and apples from heat and let cool for 2 minutes
  8. Spoon salad onto plate and garnish with candied walnuts


Warm chicken, farro and hazelnut salad
Farro is nutritious and filling, and paired with some bright fresh ingredients it comes to life and this recipe is adapted from a dish published in The Guardian.
Ingredients:
2 large chicken thighs, on the bone but skinned
200g farro
2 carrots, topped, tailed and peeled
1 small onion, peeled
1 small head broccoli
2 tbp sherry vinegar
5 tbp extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
Juice of half a lemon
Large handful of rocket
Handful of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
Large handful of hazelnuts (skin off), crushed roughly 
Salt and black pepper


Method:
  1. Put chicken, farro, carrots and onion into a pan and cover with water, plus 2-3cm. Cover and bring to the boil, then simmer for 40 minutes
  2. Meanwhile, chop broccoli into small florets and add to farro, turning heat to high
  3. After 2-3 minutes strain everything. Pick out chicken thighs, carrot and onion. Discard onion
  4. Tear chicken into bite-size pieces, discarding the bone, and cut the carrot into similar-size chunks
  5. In a small bowl whisk together the vinegar with the oil, garlic, lemon juice and seasoning
  6. Roughly chop rocket
  7. Tip drained ingredients into a big mixing bowl and season well. Add parsley, rocket and most of the hazelnuts, then pour over dressing. Serve up with remaining hazelnuts scattered on top


It’s important to keep happy and healthy whatever your age; why not use your retirement to expand your culinary repertoire? Retirement homes often provide meal options for their homeowners as well as state-of-the-art kitchens for those who prefer to cook their own meals so there’s no excuse not to give it a try.
If you love to get in the kitchen then you might also want to check out this great Pinterest competition from retirement homes specialists McCarthy & Stone. They’re giving budding bakers and chefs the chance to win a Kitchenaid mixer and a copy of Mary Berry’s Baking Bible so why not have a go? You could find yourself with a whole new list of things to make in the kitchen!

#littleloves | 23/01/2015

Read

This week I read a really eye opening post, which is so honest. 'The Reason She's a Slut' is written by Laura Jane Williams. I follow Laura's other blog, Superlatively Rude, but she also posts on Thought Catalog. Her posts are simply amazing and well word a read.

Watched

I bought my husband the Hunger Games Book Trilogy for Christmas after a friend told me how good the films are. He finished Hunger Games on Friday so on Saturday he was desperate to watch the film. We absolutely LOVED it, so much so that I begged him to get started on the second book and to hurry and finish it so we can watch Catching Fire.
However, on Tuesday night despite only being a third of the way through the book he said he couldn't wait any longer and so we sat and watched the film (thanks to Netflix!). Again, we loved it. Not as much as Hunger Games, but still it is a very very good film.

Wore

I wanted a new foundation and popped into Boots on Saturday, initially to buy a new mascara and was going to leave the foundation until another day when the boys weren't with me so I could have a proper look. However, I saw a Collection promotional stand with a matt finish for just £2.50. I tried it on my hand and my goodness, never before has a shade matched mine so perfectly. It feels so lovely on the skin, looks natural and blends really well.

Heard

I managed to get Spotify on a 3 month promotion for 99p. I'm going to make a playlist for our car journey to Somerset in April. Latch by Disclosure is always one of the first songs I listen to when I head over to Spotify and will definitely be top of my playlist.

Made

Despite it being 9 weeks away I've been obsessively making plans for when we go on holiday. I'll be driving the whole time which is exciting but also slightly nerve-wracking. Due to my anxiety I like to plan where I'm going to be, what time we'll be there, a route and an alternative route, or a plan B day out and so on.
At the moment our plans have changed and we are seeing where we want to go and working out a logical plan. I'm hoping to visit Clevedon as Broadchurch is filmed there. If we didn't have the boys with us I would see about going on the tour. We're also going to be visiting Wookey Hole one day which is excited because we used to visit there almost every year as a child, so I'm looking forward to taking my boys along and reliving the memories.

And Lastly...

We've hit a bit of a low with the boat this week. My husband had found some rot on the boat, which was fine as we would just have to replace the planks which is a potentially easy job to do. However, after more investigating my husband has now found a lot more rot and the job is now a lot bigger than we thought, meaning my husband won't be able to do it by himself. We knew we would have maintenance to keep up with, and that it wouldn't be cheap, but we are feeling a bit deflated after all this work. Especially as we had a survey done on the boat before we purchased her, and this should have been picked up.
Anyway, hopefully the boat shed will get her back to perfect sailing quality ready for April.
There is something quite sad knowing she is now sat in the cold shed with holes in her, and not in her usual beautiful state.
butwhymummywhy

22.1.15

5 life-changing decisions to help you become healthy | Guest post

Trying to keep fit and healthy can be a daunting thought, but once you have decided to start living life to the full and get yourself fit, you will be amazed how simple a few small changes can make a big difference to your wellbeing. A healthy body can lead to a healthier mind.

1. Changing your smoking habits

An article in The Guardian explains that the number of people who smoke has dropped to its lowest levels since the 1940s, but there are still an estimated 80,000 deaths a year connected to cigarette smoking. The article also quotes, 'The rapid increase in the use of (e-cigs), has coincided with a consistent steady decline in smoking.' It seems that smokers are turning to devices from the likes of Phoenix Electronic Cigarettes as an alternative.

2. Reducing your weight

The rise in obesity around the world is constantly increasing and figures quoted here show that the UK has the highest number of overweight adults in Western Europe. You may think that your diet is full of nutrition and not full of fats that are going to damage your health, but there are many misconceptions when it comes to eating the right foods. One of the best ways to lose weight is to start gradually, eating smaller portions at set times of the day and slowly changing the types of foods you eat. Cut out takeaway meals and use semi-skimmed milk and low fat spreads and eat more fruit instead of snacking and things like biscuits and chocolate.

3. Starting an exercise regime

If you are wary of going to the gym for a workout then just start gradually by walking for 20 minutes a day, slowly to start off with but gradually increasing your speed and distance. If you start to get out of breath it means your lungs and heart are working harder, but don’t make yourself ill. You don’t even have to leave the house, if you work from home and are stuck on a computer every day, then stop and walk up and down the stairs or try doing some press-ups. It won’t take you long to get into a routine and start losing a few pounds.

4. Keeping your mind healthy

Many people concentrate on getting their bodies fit but forget about keeping their minds healthy. Staying physically fit is still very important when it comes to keeping your mind alert, but there are many other ways to improve your mental agility. Taking up a new hobby or learning a new language can be a good way to start, or reading something completely different to your usual type of reading material.

5. Growing your own vegetables and herbs

Taking up gardening can not only keep you physically healthy, it’s also good for your general well being. There’s nothing better than going into the garden and picking your own herbs or vegetables. It not only saves you money it also gives you something to plan. Watching the shoots come up in the spring after spending the winter preparing the garden can be very rewarding.

21.1.15

A Mummy-Charlie Date at the Zoo

Harry returned to preschool two days before Charles returned to school, so whilst he was there I really wanted to make the most of my time with Charles. On the Tuesday we dropped Harry off at preschool and headed off to the zoo. We have an annual pass which makes it worthwhile to just go for an hour or two.
The zoo has a stamp system, at various places around the zoo there are stamp stations and you collect all of these to then be rewarded with a medal at the end. We don't always do this but I had already decided that I would follow Charles' lead and let him do whatever he wanted (other than visit the playground there, I had a strict rule that we must see the animals).
We visited the majority of the animals, collected all the stamps, as well as a ridiculous amount of mud on Charles' shoes!

Since Harry was born I have always felt it was really important to have some one on one time with Charles. We've always called this 'Mummy-Charlie time' (despite the fact I don't actually call him Charlie) and he loves it and gets so excited about it. After two hours we had to leave to collect Harry, which was just as well seeing as it had started to rain.

One of my favourite things about Charles is how soppy and sensitive he is. And on the drive home he kept telling me what a wonderful time he had and how he loved having that time together.
And I did too.

We attempted making a video as this is something I want to start doing more of, inspired by other bloggers of course. I've added the video to the bottom here. Be kind please.




19.1.15

Living Arrows 2015 | 3/52

I'm not usually one to use photos taken on my phone for projects like this. I like to feel all official by using my DSLR. However, after looking at photos taken on my phone during a beach trip last week I actually realised that the quality isn't too bad. And it seemed silly to not include this photo of Charles.
Sometimes I wish I was a child, and playful and carefree enough to lay on the sand and make sand angels like this. I'm far too aware of the places the sand could go, which completely puts me off.



Living Arrows

Exploring the World Without Flying

Aviophobia



noun

fear of flying in an airplane or other aircraft.

The thought of travelling, waiting around at an airport, delayed flights, barely any leg room is enough to put anyone off flying and exploring the world. Then of course there are those who have no choice, and simply can't fly around the world because of fear.
However, there are alternatives, and a fear of flying or just the feeling of not wanting to deal with the hassle, can easily be avoided.

By Train

After travelling to Eurodisney, and back again by train in 2013, I can see the attraction of travelling to Europe, and exploring Europe by train.
Quite naively I didn't realise, until recently researching, just how is it is to visit Europe by train, or the various trains you can travel by.
High speed trains, night trains, regional trains and scenic trains.
Of course, if you decide to travel by train you need to really research before booking your trip. You need to thoroughly check timetables, taking into account passport checks, possible delays and in some cases where a short bus journey may be necessary.

By Car

Quite an adventure but a fun one at that. Thanks to ferries and the eurotunnel driving to other countries is simple.Of course you need to be confident, and make sure you are aware of driving rules and regulations so that you don't get caught out.
The advantage to driving to another country is that you get to experience other places too.
In 2013 we visited a Centre Parcs in Holland, and to get there we had to drive through France, Belguim and some of Holland. On the journey home we decided to stop off at Bruges to have some lunch. It was fantastic to take advantage of the time we had to be able to visit Bruges, especially as it was such a beautiful place and is somewhere we will visit again so we can spend longer there.

By Ship

Now, for something a little more luxurious you could consider a cruise. Cruises from the UK are an ideal way to be able to have that on board experience without having to fly to meet your ship in another country.
Fred Olsen have ten regional departure ports to choose from, so all you have to do is find which one is most suitable for you, choose your itinerary, get to the ship and as soon as you are on board your holiday starts. No waiting around in an airport, having to then find your luggage at the other end, then find your coach, and make your way to the ship.
And just because the cruises are from the UK it doesn't make them any less special than those departing in Majorca or Corfu. You can still cruise around the Mediterranean, or the Baltic, Norway, Scandinavia or even the UK and Ireland.
Cruises from the UK, due to their convenience, are the perfect option with those who are travelling with children. Baggage allowance doesn't usually tend to be an issue on cruises so you don't have to restrict your items, as much as you would if flying at least.
What could be better than exploring the world by ship? With entertainment on board, amazing cuisine and the most beautiful views, sunrises and sunsets you will ever see?




18.1.15

This Week in 5 | 11.1-17.1

Last year I started a little project called 'Happy Sunday'. Every Sunday I wrote about things that had made me happy that week.
This year I wanted to try something different and just basically want to look back at 5 things in the week that meant something to me, that happened, that I want to remember.

Charles had a new teacher this year after his previous teacher left at the end of December. I was a little nervous about how Charles would adjust to having a new teacher, however, his teacher is WONDERFUL. In a week he has done so much with the children, introducing new programmes, a set share morning for each child, and also a weekly trip to the library (which his previous teacher didn't do once, which we were rather surprised about). One of the things which is really lovely is that he focusses on praising good behaviour. The teacher before had a grey cloud, sun and superstar. The children would be put on the grey cloud for bad behaviour. This didn't really work at all, and for the most part made the children extremely upset (Charles was on there twice, once for thinking and another time because a girl kissed him when he fell over).
Charles' new teacher uses something called a Class Dojo. There is an app that goes with it so parents can keep up with how many points their child is getting. They can get points for good listening, hard work, team work and so on. His teacher also runs his own reward system alongside it, with the children getting to choose a prize once they get to 15 points! Charles is already on 18 and this week got to choose a prize.....and he chose a pair of scissors, which of course I am loving...*achem* (they are now hidden).
It's amazing what a big change one teacher can do. Charles has always loved school but now he comes out telling me what he did that day whereas before he would always say "I don't know" "I can't remember".
Below is his Dojo. The children are able to personalise their Dojo via the app, which is brilliant.

Last Sunday we went for a walk to Wells-Next-The-Sea. It was so cold down on the beach so we headed into the woods and just had such a lovely lovely walk. Harry can be quite lazy and won't walk very far yet today walked for a long time and didn't moan once. We saw a deer in the woods which was so cute, and enjoyed lunch at a little cafe near the beach. Although, the wind was rather strong and ended up blowing my nachos onto the floor #nachosfail.

It was a big week for Charles. He got to pick up his glasses on Saturday. For 5 years he has gone to the hospital for eye tests and so on because his eyes drift a lot due to some of his muscles not being strong enough. He has finally been prescribed glasses in the hope that they will help to strengthen the weaker muscles.
He looks so cute and grown up in his glasses, and really suits them. The style is lovely too, he has good taste.

My healthy eating/lifestyle plan is back on track after a long time of being lazy and playing with fire really as slowly some weight has made it's way back and I'm not happy. This week I have remembered how wonderful it is to make up my own meals. To open the fridge and grab what I have to make some kind of low calorie meal.
I'm reducing my milk and bread intake again which worked wonders last year. I'm determined to get down to a size 12 at least, and to be under 11 stone by my birthday in September. So at the moment my goal is to lose a stone in 9 months, which should hopefully be quite easy to do.

Harry has been amazing recently. Last year was really tough with his behaviour, and I constantly feel guilty if I talk about it but it was that terrible twos and threenager stage. I think around now children struggle to work out their place within a family, and Harry has kind of always been the boss and we needed to let him know that this isn't really the case. I think it was a learning journey for us too as we probably did let him get his own way a lot due to his behaviour.
But since Christmas it is like something has switched in him. He has always been a soppy and cuddly boy, which in a ridiculous way was hard for me as he would be quite...aggressive with me too. But as I say, since Christmas the soppiness and cuddles have increased, he does as he is told, he is no longer aggressive and I really enjoy our time together. In fact this week we have been late for preschool twice (only by 5 minutes which they don't mind) because we were having so much fun together.
 
Linking up to:
The Ordinary Moments: Mummy Daddy Me
My Week That Was: Make, Do and Push

17.1.15

Creative Christmas Tshirts

Over Christmas we were challenged by buytshirtsonline to design and create our own tshirts.
With a couple of weeks off school, and unpredictable weather, I thought this would make a great activity for the boys. I always plan to do crafty things with them and then get all stressed and panicky at the thought of the mess....well, my husbands reaction due to the mess I should say, so will instead make an excuse to not do it.

However, now they are older I'm hoping they will understand the need and ease of keeping things as neat as possible when crafting so we can do it more often.

Making the tshirts was a lot of fun. We (I) added the iron on transfers, Charles choosing a Minion and Harry choosing Olaf. I then let them loose with the paints, pens, glitter and confetti to do as they please. The results were.....interesting. It's obviously not a tshirt I will let them wear everyday of course but it's nice to wear around the house.
We made a tshirt for me too, and although I decorated the boys helped me decide on what to put on there. We added things I love, and my roles. So, mummy, blogger, twin, wife, a sailboat, a camera and a computer.


The boys actually made me a pyjama top with their nanny for Christmas. She let them get creative and it has their hand prints on as well as writing and drawings, and it's so special. I think it's such a wonderful idea and would definitely suggest this as a present for family members too....in fact it's an idea I might steal for my other family members!

We were sent some tshirts and craft items from buytshirtsonline for the purpose of this post