Wednesday, 31 August 2016

A birthday mess and unbreakable Pinata. #wickedwednesdays

It was Ellie's birthday on Monday....She had a great day but with birthdays comes mess....Lots of mess....The mess that stresses you out but you are so tired from organising the best birthday you can't be bothered to clean it up.....The living room was tidied and in the kitchen all the food was put away....I just closed the door, opened the wine and ignored it until the next day.....


I have to share this too....It made me think of Wicked Wednesdays.....The best Pinata because it didn't break with one hit but the worst because it wouldn't break.....lol We had to push a hole in it....lol



In August I loved....

I thought at the end of every month I would do a little recap and tell you about the things I loved over the previous month.....August was a good month....A week of it saw us cooped up inside when Ellie was poorly but the rest of the time we have had great fun!



The Summer Holidays.
This time last month the holidays had just started....Now they are just about over and I am not looking forward to the early starts again....We have had some great fun. Most of the holidays we've spent them at home but it's nice to relax. Stu has just started his two weeks off work. It will be nice to have him around more.....

Play Dough.
I made some at the beginning of the month and the girls loved it....They had so much fun. It's such a cheap activity. 


Birthdays.
It is the birthday month here....Stu's was in the middle of August and Ellie's was on Monday....They both had fantastic days and I have a whole post coming about Ellie's. We still have Becky's to look forward too in 10 days....

The Olympics.
I loved watching them and I am still quite sad that they finished. I watched so much sport....I thought the girls would complain about not watching their shows but it got to the point where they were asking for it to be put on....I suppose there is the Paralympics to look forward too....

Our Heart Day.
In the middle of the month it was 7 years since the girls had their heart surgery....It is always a hard time for me to remember but at the same time it shows me how lucky I am to have both of my girls.


Trips To The Park.
We have had quite a few trips to the park over the last month....The girls would quite happily go every day if they got the chance....I will miss being able to visit so much when they're back at school....

Hartley’s Jelly Pots.
We were sent some of the jelly pots to try out earlier in the month and my girls have really taken a liking to them. I have since bought them and they are really great for snacks or after tea....Stu also made some awesome trifles with them!


You Tube.
Obviously I love watching YouTube videos every month but this past month I seemed to have uploaded lots of videos to my channel...Well more than I would usually upload. I have enjoyed making them and editing them (badly compared to others) but we all have to start somewhere.....I still try to keep myself out of them and just feature the kids and Stu....I feel far too shy to vlog properly....hehehe

What have you loved in August?


Tuesday, 30 August 2016

We saw the Tall Ships at Blyth.

Over the weekend a town near us called Blyth hosted the North Sea Tall Ships Regatta 2016.....Of course we had to visit....

As well as the ships there were fairground rides, live bands, food, drink and craft stalls, street theater, Romans, Vikings and so much more.....

The day didn't get off to the greatest start....We were planning on getting the 10.15am bus to Blyth but it was absolutely chucking it down....It rained and rained and we thought the day had been ruined....We were starting to think it was never going to stop....Finally it did! Phew and just after lunchtime we were on our way.....


As much as we were there to see the ships we couldn't get very close so the girls lost interest and the the shining lights and music of the fairground rides were calling them.....

They went on a few rides and we looked around some of the stalls on the quayside and moved onto Ridley Park....We walked around tasting food and drink....Sausages, cheese, gin, chilli and lots more.....We decided on a few things to buy and said we would get it on the way back.....

We stopped to talk to a Roman from the English Heritage....He was such a lovely chap and I learned more about the Romans in 10 minutes than I did in the whole time that I was at school....hehehe Ellie was fascinated by him and very chatty....


There was more stalls to look at, trampolines to jump on and the best ice creams ever to eat....


We saw the water fountains and the playground.....It isn't a park we have visited before but we will be back again....The playground is epic....As well as the normal things in a park there is zip wires and some epic climbing frames....

Next stop was the beach! It was quite a walk but it was worth it....The kids played for about 40 minutes on the sand....


While the kids were playing in the sand Stu and I went and sat on a nearby wall.....Ellie came over to see us and just as she did some Vikings walked around the corner....They came and started talking to Ellie.....They started apologising for their ancestors and then they started singing to us.....Ignoring the crowd that was forming and just focusing on us.....As funny as it was I wanted the ground to swallow me up.....I am not good at being the centre of attention....lol They gave Ellie a gold coin and a certificate....I thought it was such fun and so sweet but I would have preferred that they hadn't have singled us out....lol 

Just as they finished singing and started moving away Becky came walking up to us....She had stood at the back of the crowd creased over laughing so much so that she never even thought of videoing it on her phone....Eesh! She said why didn't I....I was scared to in case they focused on me more instead of Ellie....lol

We started heading back to the bus stop.....Stopping at the food stalls to buy some fancy sausages, fudge, cupcakes and brownies and then last but not least we had to have a go on the hook a duck! 


With the wet weather in the morning putting us a couple of hours behind we ended up just managing to catch the last bus home....It was worth the rush at the end....It was a fantastic day....We walked for miles and our legs were aching by the time we got home but all the treats we had bought eased the pain....hehehe




Monday, 29 August 2016

Our Weekly Meal Plan!! - #mealplanningmonday


Here we are...We're into the last full week of the summer holidays....I don't want the summer to be over!

We still never got to go to the beach that we have been wanting to visit for the last 3 or so weeks.....We were going to but then remembered the Tall Ships were visiting Northumberland so yesterday we spent the day there.....We had a fantastic day. I will be blogging about it soon!

Today it's Ellie's birthday and we're hopefully having a BBQ. I am writing this Sunday evening and I'm hoping for sunshine and no rain! Keep your fingers crossed for us!

During the school holidays I will still be meal planning but not setting what days we're having everything on....It never works for us....

This week on the menu we have:

Ellie's birthday BBQ....
Battered sausages, chips and beans....
Quiche and salad....
Pizza....
We're going to go out for Sunday Lunch....

What are you eating this week?

Happy Birthday to my baby!

Well she's not much of a baby anymore....My youngest Ellie is 9 today but she will always be my baby.....It's a cliche but it does not seem that long since she was born...

Over the last year she really seems to have grown up...At times she seems more like a tween or teenager....She has the attitude of one, is such a diva and keeps us on our toes but I wouldn't want her any other way....

Ellie has an answer for everything and if she can't do something she will find a way how too.....She is so sneaky. Sneaky in a cute way though. For example the other day she asked for a packet of crisps and a biscuit. I said she could have one or the other....She came out of the kitchen with her crisp packet bulging. The clever so and so stuffed the packet with biscuits....She is too clever for her own good.


Over the last year she has really done well at school....She had a change in attitude and knuckled down....It is crazy to think that she only has 2 more years left at Primary school....It scares me. I don't even want to think about her doing her SATS and going to secondary school....

She is looking forward to going back to school next week....She is going in to year 5 which seems so much more grown up than year 4.....It is on the other side of the school away from the younger children....She is determined to get her pen license this coming term....She felt hard done to when she didn't get it at the end of the school year as her writing has improved so much. Her writing is neater than mine when she puts her mind to it....


Over the last year Ellie has got so independent....She now picks most of her clothes to wear, she can cook some simple meals and actually helps with the housework when I ask her too....

She loves music and sings along to anything and everything but her favourites are Ariana Grande, Katy Perry, Little Mix, Ed Sheeran and Beyonce.....

Ellie loves watching YouTube videos, especially the Minecraft one's which drive me crazy....

She still loves medical TV shows....24 hours in A&E, Childrens hospital and anything else she can find.....She recently started watch An hour to save your life on BBC2. I have to watch them first to make sure that they are not too traumatic for her.....lol


Ellie is my little chicken....My little pudding who is always so happy and positive. She always brings a smile to my face and makes me laugh....

Happy Birthday little chicken!

Saturday, 27 August 2016

A photo everyday for a year! #Project366 - Week 34

For last weeks Project 366 post I struggled for a photo every day.....This week I have struggled to just pick one photo for every day. lol I have taken so many photos this week!


 233/366 20th August.
Hot dogs, hot diggity dogs for tea....hehehe

234/366 21st August.
The final wall in the back yard has been painted...It looks so much brighter and cleaner!

235/366 22nd August.
Arts and crafts....

236/366 23rd August.

237/366 24th August.
They decided they needed to do some writing which is a good thing....I don't think they have written anything much since the broke up from school. Eek!

238/366 25th August.
There was a bit of chocolate brownie milkshake left so we put it in the ice lolly moulds....

239/366 26th August.
She loves the chocolate brownie milkshake lollies.


Friday, 26 August 2016

Spend, spend, spend! #WotW

This week my Word of the Week is:


On Monday it's Ellie's birthday! She's having a BBQ and beach party in our back yard....I bought a new paddling pool as the old one sprung a leak so I came up with the great idea of buying some play sand and filling the leaky paddling pool with that. I have had a bit of a faff getting the sand. I ordered it from Tesco and it got stuck in a warehouse somewhere (I have no idea why) & they had to rearrange delivery. Ugh! Such a faff....The delivery driver was right, I should have just went to the beach and got some....lol

All the BBQ food is ordered, her Shopkins cake and she wants pink lemonade so that is on the list too....All that is set to arrive on Monday morning. Fingers crossed everything arrives or Stu will be running to Asda....hehehe

I bought Ellie's cards from Funky Pigeon....Stu thinks I've lost the plot because I got one from her favourite teddy, Monkey! She will love it....

I was on Twitter earlier on in the week and saw a competition from Character. com for some Emoji Pyjamas which I know Becky would love (they were only £8.95). I didn't win them so went to the website and was just going to get them but I saw quite a few things at really low prices. PJ sets from £1.95 and the Minecraft t-shirts were only £2.95. I even got Stu some Marvel & Star Wars t-shirts for £2.95 each....I must keep reminding myself about this website!


All the uniform I ordered from Asda arrived....Most of it fits. Phew. Last year Becky got size 11-12 & Ellie got 10-11 years old trousers which they've grown out of so naturally I bought them both the next size up....They came and they tried them on and with Becky's you could have got two of her in them....lol The one's I bought for Ellie in size 11-12 were huge too but they fit Becky perfectly...It makes no sense. Asda must have changed their supplier or sizing. So I still have to get Ellie some new trousers.....I will get them on Tuesday when I buy the school shoes but apart from that the school shopping is done....

On Sunday we are going to see the Tall Ships in Blyth a town near us which will involve more spending....There is a few fun fairs and lots of food stalls as well as the ships to see....I can't wait!  The weather forecast does not look good. It's set to rain but I'm not going to let it ruin our fun!

As much as I am looking forward to the next couple of weeks I will be glad when they're over so I can stop spending.....



Thursday, 25 August 2016

An afternoon at the park....

Hasn't the weather been lovely....On Tuesday we had sat around all morning being very lazy and not really doing much....By the afternoon I felt like we should be doing something and be outside enjoying the sunshine so we decided to go to the park...The girls took their scooters....Scooting is so much more fun than walking!


We have 3 parks near where we live....We ended up visiting two of them. The big one and a little one that we rarely go to....


I was quite surprised the big park wasn't busier....There were only about 10 kids there. Hooray for us! The girls didn't have to wait to get on anything and I had plenty of opportunities to take photos and record some video clips....

We had a great couple of hours.....We really should have gone earlier and taken a picnic as it was such a nice day.



Wednesday, 24 August 2016

The perfect school bag?

Most of the back to school shopping is boring for my girls but one thing they do love to choose is their new bags for the new school year.....There is so much choice out there and I think if my girls had their way they would have a different bag for every day of the week....

On the search for the perfect bag this year we have seen quite a few which they have loved....


Black Butterfly & Stamp Print Rucksack - £9.99 - Shoezone
Kids' Faux Leather Rucksack - £20.99 - M&S
Emoji Backpack - £11.99 - Amazon
Disney Minnie Mouse Rucksack- £9.99 - Asda
Button Spot Multi Pocket Backpack£45.00 - Cath Kidston
Grey Minecraft Backpack - £22.00 - Next
Nike Classic Turf Backpack - £14.39 - Argos
Mi-Pac Denim Polka Dot Backpack, Blue/Grey - £29.99 - John Lewis




All Change backpack - £25.00 - Paperchase
Call It Spring Tan 'Purdom' backpack - £38.00 - Debenhams
WHSmith Blue Large Satchel - £15.99 - WH Smith
Girls black and white backpack - £22.00 - River Island



Joules Pink Cat Backpack - £33.00 - Next
Lilley Beige Multi Coloured Glitter Butterfly Bag - £12.99 - Shoezone
Umbro Titus Black/Grey/Purple Rucksack - £6.00 - Tesco
New Look Badge Backpack - £19.99 - ASOS
Messenger Bag - Grey - £7.00 - Tesco
Suedette Side Panel Tote Bag - £20.00 - Matalan
Ditsy Flower Print Satchel Bag - £14.00 - Accessorize
Kids’ Photographic Dog & Cat Print Rucksack - £18.00 - M&S

Are you all ready for the kids going back to school?

The Tall Ships are coming to Northumberland!

This coming weekend will see up to 30 of the largest and amazing Tall Ships in the words arrive in Blyth....

Blyth is a bustling port town near me and it is hosting the North Sea Tall Ships Regatta this year and the event runs from Friday all the way through until Monday evening. 

This maritime celebration takes place during the 60th anniversary of The Tall Ships Races and the event will end with a race from the Northumberland coast to Gothenburg, Sweden.

We will be visiting sometime over the weekend.....


As well as seeing the ships we are hoping to get on one as some of them are opening their decks to the public!

There is entertainment is spread over 1.5 miles throughout the town and quay all weekend:

A fun fair, activities at Blyth battery, sand sculptures, canoeing and paintballing on South Beach.

A fun fair, observation ride, food and drink, Best of Blyth with Blyth Enterprise Trust, RAF displays and Sea Cadets at the Quayside and Port.

A fun fair, pony rides, catering, Gin and Prosecco bar, and deckchairs at The Bandstand.

Northumberland Village showing the best of what Northumberland has to offer, a fun fair and children’s play area and water park at Ridley Park. There will also be more than 40 stalls selling some of Northumberland’s finest food, drink, fresh produce, sweets, crafts and gifts.

A fun fair and Best of Blyth with Blyth Development Trust at Blyth Market Place.

Throughout Blyth there will be street theatre and local buskers dotted around the site as well as local bands performing live on stage.....

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening there will also be fireworks at 9.30pm.

Entry into the North Sea Tall Ships Regatta in Blyth is free but there will be costs for some of the activities and attractions.

Event opening times
Friday 26 August 10.00am - 10.00pm
Saturday 27 August 10.00am - 10.00pm
Sunday 28 August 10.00am - 10.00pm
Monday 29 August 10.00am - 5.00pm

Thousands of people are expected to come to the Port of Blyth for the event which means parking will be limited in the town and that the special park and ride facilities are likely to be busy on all four days so it advised if possible to travel by public transport.

I wasn't asked to write this.....I just wanted to share what looks and sounds like a fantastic event.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

HUE HD Pro Camera - Review!

Last year we reviewed the HUE Animation Studio and we loved it....Recently the lovely people from HUE got back in touch and asked if we wanted to review the HUE HD Pro Camera....Of course we said yes and have had a great time trying it out.

The HUE HD Pro Camera is a lightweight, portable document camera and visualiser.....


I loved the look of the camera as soon as we opened the  box....It looks fancier and sleeker than the old HUE camera.....

The length of the neck is longer which makes it easier to move about and there is built-in LED lights which helps  help illuminate whatever you are capturing...

Even though the HD Pro camera is bigger than the older camera they both actually weigh about the same....

The HUE HD Pro camera also comes with specially designed software HUE Intuition which allows you to master the full functionality of the camera with ease.

HUE Intuition allows you to:

Record video and sound and save movies locally, email or upload to YouTube.
Annotate images and save as JPG/BMP/PNG/GIF.
Take snapshots.
Take multiple images over time.

Setting the camera up and installing the HUE Intuition programme was simple and within minutes we were taking photos of random things that I had to hand. A jaffa cake, an orange, a ring and Stu's fingers....lol 

The detail it captured was amazing....


My favourite part of the HUE Intuition programme was the image capture setting....You can set it to take a photo at set intervals....


We decided to use it to make a time lapse video of a candle burning....It was only a birthday candle so I set it to take a picture at every 15 seconds....I just clicked the button and let it run until the candle was nearly burnt right down to the base....


Becky also had a play about with the camera and the different features and here is what she made. It was her first ever real vlog. I think she did so well. She now has more respect for the vloggers she watches on YouTube. hehehe

Again I thought it was brilliant....The camera is fab and it picks up Becky speaking well....



You can use the HUE HD Pro camera to project video or pictures onto a whiteboard if you have a projector....This would be perfect if you home school....

We did try to use the camera with the HUE Animation studio programme and it wasn't up to the same quality that we had when we used to old camera last year....I think we are going to have to have more of a play about with it and see where we are going wrong because we must be somewhere....The HUE website says the new camera and the Animation studio programme are compatible....We have came up with a lot of new stop motion ideas which we want to create so we will figure it out soon.



You can also use this camera to chat on Skype and you are able to take the camera off the stand and connect it straight into a USB slot on say a laptop....

I think I will be using this camera a lot in the future for various things and I can't wait to take some more time lapse videos....

The HUE HD Pro camera will work on all computers which have a USB port and support UVC ‘plug and play’ cameras, including Windows (XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10), Mac OS X 10.4.3 and later and most Linux distributions.

The HUE HD Pro camera costs £44.95 + VAT.

We were sent this free of charge....This is our review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

Monday, 22 August 2016

Our Weekly Meal Plan!! - #mealplanningmonday


Ellie was poorly last week so wasn't eating much and for Stu's birthday we just had some party food. Sausage rolls, sandwiches, mini pizzas and lots of cakes instead of the planned takeaway.....If we get a takeaway I want us all to enjoy it not just 3 of us.....So we'll be having one on Saturday when the new series of X-Factor starts. We always get one on the first episode of the series.

We didn't go to the beach on Friday as it was raining so didn't have something from the chip shop...Ugh! Next week we will try again to go to the beach. Third time lucky!

Everything else on our meal plan was eaten. Hooray!

During the school holidays I will still be meal planning but not setting what days we're having everything on....It never works for us....

This week on the menu we have:

Chicken curry, rice and naan bread....
A takeaway. On Saturday celebrating the start of X-Factor....
Something from the chip shop at the beach....
Ham and mushroom omelette....
Salmon and broccoli risotto....
Corned beef pie, chips and beans....
A fry up. Sausages, bacon, eggs, mushrooms, hash browns, beans, tomatoes and toast....

What are you eating this week?

Saturday, 20 August 2016

A photo everyday for a year! #Project366 - Week 33

This has been one of those weeks where I have really struggled with taking photos. Ellie has been poorly and we've all been tired. Taking photos was the last thing on my mind but somehow I have managed a photo everyday. Ellie is better now and things are getting back to normal. Hooray!


226/366 13th August.
A sweet moment from my girls....Becky trying to cheer up her poorly sister.

227/366 14th August.
Playing the Sims...Again!

228/366 15th August.
I can never eat just one Jaffa Cake!

229/366 16th August.
Stu's birthday....Yes it's Christmas wrapping paper. lol

230/366 17th August.
So much washing to put away. Ugh!

231/366 18th August.
After a week of being ill she was finally up and about!

232/366 19th August.
We were trying out the new HUE HD Pro camera! There will be a blog post soon.