3 Year Restructure

It's been 3 years (and 3 days) since our family structure changed. There are still times when it is tough and where I still feel like we (the boys and me) are learning how to be. 
Sometimes it feels settled, sometimes it still feels a bit messy and new. I don't know whether or not that is due to how our relationships are with each other, boundaries, moving house, or due to my mental health sometimes, or just how we are. 

I put a lot of pressure on all of us sometimes, when we go out or if we are around other people. I worry so much about what other people think and it not only affects how I parent but also affects how they behave, their personality, and their enjoyment. 

The summer holidays are hard for me because I don't get to see them as much as I used to when I didn't work. But then I have to work to give them a home, food, and a life. But I do feel I let them down by not being able to do much with them, or to take them on a proper holiday. 
We have had little days out this summer and enjoyed 3 days in Somerset where we visited our favourite places and they even came with me when I got a couple of tattoos. 

I've said before, I know I don't mother to the best of my abilities, and that's not me putting myself down, it is a fact. However, I am really proud of my children and of how they are as people. They are kind, funny, intelligent, confident and they know what love is. They also know and are not afraid to be themselves. 
And for me that is important. 



Canna House and Gardens

Although we walked past a few times a day whilst on the island, on the last day we decided to go through the gate to look at Canna House. We weren't too sure if it was open or if public were allowed up so took the risk anyway.

The house wasn't open, but there was a sign saying it was currently being renovated so is closed for Summer 2018. However it usually houses archives of the previous owner of the island, John Lorne Campbell and his wife, Margaret Fay Shaw. During their lifetime they collected an enormous amount of information of historical importance, particularly in regards to the Scottish Gaelic Culture.

Whilst my boyfriend looked around the gardens I sat on the bench just outside and did some writing. It was absolutely beautiful. So quiet with beautiful views being surrounded by the perfect gardens, with the sea visable in the distance.
If we had more time I could have sat here for hours.



Galmisdale Bay Cafe and Bar

The Galmisdale Bay Cafe and Bar is at the Harbour area on the Isle of Eigg. 
We were quite good with not wanting to spend money unnecessarily on meals out and tried to cook and eat at the tent when we could. 
We treated ourselves to a meal when we were on the Isle of Canna, and so decided to do the same on the Isle of Eigg. We'd already visited twice for breakfast, having a black pudding and sausage bap both times (which I cut and repositioned on the plate to almost be like black pudding and sausage "on toast" so I could make the most of every delicious bite!) we knew the dinner menu and food must be just as good.

We had to book a table as it's only a small cafe and we'd booked for 7pm. We walked up and walked around a bit first. The weather was a little drizzly, windy and grey but it was still a lovely place to walk around. You know those places where it's beautiful no matter what the weather? This is just like that.

I went for a pint of Guinness, mackerel salad to start, and then mussels for the main. 
OH MY GOODNESS! There were so many mussels and the homemade chips were incredible. 
It was one of the best meals I have ever had. Which was good because really they don't have to try that hard and be that good as they have no competition.

We didn't go for dessert had we had cake in the tent, and were both really full, so we paid and then went for another little walk, with our Eigg resident tour guide with us. It was such a lovely evening. G

If you ever visit Eigg it is definitely worth treating yourself to breakfast and an evening meal at the Galmisdale Bay Cafe and Bar



A Dog on Eigg

When I think back to my highlights from the Isle of Eigg, not only do I think of the amazing food in the restaurant (black pudding and sausage bap for breakfast is missed everyday!) and the views, especially the view from our tent, this little dog features high.

We first met her at the harbour area and after noticing she was friendly we gave her a fuss. I soon felt like she had become our best friend as she walked with us to the end of the harbour, and one day walked back to our tent with us. Which was slightly awkward as I did wonder if we had accidentally stolen a dog.

She eventually made her way back to the harbour and we saw her there later that evening, where I also met her owner and did mention her coming over to our tent (paranoid that someone might have seen her walking with us and thinking we were stealing her.
Thankfully he was fine, and later on we spent a little more time with her outside.

I have to say, I felt really sad leaving her on the island, and did feel a little jealous coming back and seeing that we aren't the only people who fall for her and who she entices with her charms.

If I ever visit return to the island, I hope to see her again.



Massacre Caves Isle of Eigg

Believed to have happened around 1577, 400 islanders, members of the Macdonald clan, were murdered from a family from the nearby Isle of Skye.

Hiding from the Macleods from the Isle of Skye, the Macdonalds hid for three days in the cave, before being discovered.
The Macleods blocked the entrance of the cave using vegetation which was then set alight.
Suffocated by smoke, the bodies of the Macdonalds were left in the cave. Although it is said there was one survivor, but this may have been because they were hiding in a separate cave.

The cave is reasonably easy to access, although is quite a walk so make sure you have plenty of fluids (something I think we failed on during any of our walks during our holiday) and as with any walking holiday, decent walking shoes. We walked from our tent to the main harbour area to have breakfast and then walked the journey to the cave. Although not signposted from the main road we managed to find the caves, mainly thanks to directions from the lady at the gift and craft shop at the harbour.

The area around the caves was beautiful. Rocky, and of course with sheep poo dotted everywhere (which after even an hour in Scotland you get used to).
Getting into the caves was relatively easy. However, due to the wet ground it was a little slippy so you need to be careful with your footing. We were able to get through the entrance without getting wet knees or a bumped head.

Although a little bit of light coming in through the entrance you could just about make out the inside of the cave. We came across a sheep skull which was placed on a higher rock.
With just my boyfriends mobile phone torch for light, and the slippy floor, I didn't go too far in but he did.

Whether or not the facts about the massacre, and the story behind it, are true, its a beautiful cave to visit.


The Ultimate Guide to Getting Free Pet Items

Owning a pet is among the greatest pleasures in life. However, it isn’t cheap!

Getting pet items for free is an excellent way to try new products out and save some of your hard-earned cash. Free things are not only for humans and it is possible to claim many free treats for your furry friends.

Keep reading this article to figure out why, where, and how you can get all kinds of free things for your beloved pets.

Why do businesses give free pet stuff away?

It is for the same reasons businesses have free sampling campaigns: it is to generate added interest in the products that they are selling, hoping that if consumers like their products, then they will buy them later on.

Every day WOW FreeStuff gets updated with all of the latest freebies that we have found, so be sure to visit there page on Free Stuff for Pets often to find all of the newest pet offers and frees and sign up to receive newsletter directly into your inbox to find out about all of the latest freebies.

Feed your pets free of charge...

The pet freebies that are the most popular of all are pet food samples.

That is because pet food companies understand that one pet food will not fit the needs of all dogs. Pets are all different, just like humans, and have their own preferences of taste and texture as well as dietary needs.

The best way to discover the right pet food for your animals is to trial free samples from various companies.

Would you like a pet freebie today? Claim 100% cashback on Perfect Fit Pet Food's full-size bag. Just buy a qualifying bag, then go online and upload your receipt details and money will be transferred into your account, which makes it totally free!

Top tips

Compared to other freebies, pet food freebies have a tendency to be much more personal. Usually you will need to give some information about your pet, which includes breed, size, weight, and age. That is just to ensure that your pet will love the food and will be properly suited for them.

Get pet freebies from product testing trials

When purchasing a new product, most of us check out the reviews first. Positive, detailed reviews from actual customers will make it a lot more likely you will want to try out the product yourself.

Companies like BzzAgent, Trnd, and The Insiders have product testing campaigns that they run for all kinds of things, including pet food, which comes up on a regular basis. When an application is successful, the product is given to the pet owner to test and keep completely for free, in exchanging for writing an honest review. Some of the previous companies who have run these campaigns include:


Contact companies to get free pet items

There are many ways that you can get free pet stuff. Some of the most effective ways are directly contacting companies and asking for free samples. That works particularly well with those companies that are mainly online, since without free samples customers will be unable to see what their products look like, or how well they like products.

Targeting the company's unique selling point is the best way to approach contacting companies. For example, for a company that specialises in making organic pet food be sure to tell them that you are interested in providing your pet with an organic lifestyle. Or if you have a pet that has any special requirements that is what the company caters to, be sure to mention this!

Most important of all, be polite when you email - companies are not obligated to send free samples out. Be sure to show that you are interested in their products and they will reward you!

Keep an eye out for discounts and coupons

Watch for money off coupons that you can use on pet stuff. Go to the social media channels of your favourite pet brands to stay current with all the latest deals and discounts.

50p off might not seem like a lot. However, everything does add up!

Pets At Home offers free pet consultations

Pets At Home is dedicated to ensuring that pet owners are equipped as best as they can be.

Pets At Home is not only one of the top places to find your new fluffy family member, they also run various in-store sessions to assist you with taking care of your pets in the best way possible.

1. Free cat and dog nutrition consultation

If you are having a hard time finding the ideal food for your picky cat or dog, make sure you visit the store for your free nutrition consultation. They have pet food nutrition experts who can advise you on what the best food is to give your dog or cat.

Your consultation comes with a free pet food sample bag and a 25% off voucher for any of their advanced nutrition foods. Get yourself an appointment booked online today.

2. Free pet workshops for children

If you have children in addition to pets, then you will want them to learn about the responsibilities that are involved in owning pets (and the rewards that come along with it).

Pets At Home, over the school holidays, has various workshops that it holds at stores all across the country. The workshops are full of hands-on and fun activities that are an excellent way to keep your kids entertained over the holiday season.

Would you like to do more free activities with your children? Check out our page on Free Days. We update it on a regular basis with all of latest information on free days all over the UK.

3. Go to Super Breed Sundays to learn more about your breed

Pets At Home has come up with the ideal meet place to meet with like-minded owners and get to know more about your dog's breed.

Every dog breed is different, and has its own exercise and dietary requirements, behavioural traits, and individual characteristics. Super Breed Sundays give you the opportunity to learn how to best take care of your breed and are perfect for first-time down owners. It provides them with the entire run-down of all of the basics of introducing a new pet to your home.

4. Free checks on fish tanks

Check to make sure that your fish tank water is well-suited with this in-store free service. Just brig a sample of water from your fish tank into the store and an expert will assist you.

Win free pet items from entering company giveaways

Pet companies also do free giveaway. These giveaways and contest are an excellent way to get prospective customers interested in their products and help to raise brand awareness.

Whether it is a new toy or lead or bag of treats for your pet, there will always be plenty of great giveaways and competitions for you to sign up for.

Pet ownership

It doesn't have to be as expensive as you might think! When you apply for pet freebies you will save a few pennies and feel the excitement of having even more free items coming through the door.


Behind The Curtain

There is a stage. The lights shine bright onto it. The spotlights directed on them. 
The star of the show. 
The person of the moment. 

There is applause. Cheers. Praise.
For them.

She stands. Behind the curtain.
Proud of them.
Proud of their efforts. 
But with tears in her eyes.

What about her?
The support on the side.
The one they need. 
But the one who doesn't get mentioned.

Sometimes it's nice to be noticed too. 
To be shown off.
Instead of feeling like a secret. Instead of your achievements being hidden.
Behind the curtain. 

She stands. 
With those tears in her eyes.
Wondering why they won't acknowledge her.
What is it about her?

The way she looks? 
Her importance? 
Or her lack of importance?
Is she an embarrassment? 
Not worth being proud of?
Not worth bragging about. 

Lets keep her there. 
Let's praise her secretly. 
Let's not give her too much.
Keep her quiet.

Let her stand there.
Behind the curtain.
Where she belongs.



Isle of Canna | Day Two [Part Two]

Canna Day One
Canna Day Two-Part One

Walking back from dinner we loved looking over the still water at the boats.
We stopped again at the Chapel. We'd already looked in here briefly before when we first arrived on the island. Despite being small it was so beautiful. I have a thing for stained glass windows and these were absolutely stunning.
We had a quick look at the nearby farm square area where we were advised the showers were. We had a quick look at that, and then carried on our walk to the Canna Campsite.
Rather than going to the tent to then have our shower, we instead decided to make the most of the light evening and nice weather and carried on our walk a little. My boyfriend had explored this area the night before when I had gone to bed early, and knowing that seeing a Highland Cow was on my Scotland Bucket List, he suggested we go for a walk so I can see them.

It was so worth it. Walking along the lane we saw sheep...which there was a lot of anyway...Highland Cows which were utterly beautiful, if a little intimidating. Walking along the beach and coast we again found bones and skulls, and as I walked along I was grateful for looking up at one point as I came across a dead dolphin. It wasn't disturbing or sad, and the dolphin was pretty much in one piece.
We also found some kind of rocket which I was not so excited about. My boyfriend of course was!

We walked back to the tent, grabbed our change of clothes and went for a shower. I have to say, I think we both felt like it was the best shower we'd ever had at that point.
For £1 you get 3 minutes of water which was more than enough. Afterwards we had a little walk to the shop again and then went back to the tent for our final night on the island.

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