Thursday, 21 March 2019

Things I have always wanted in my home.

We rent so we are limited to what we can do in our home. We can't really add things that take a lot of work and to be honest we don't want to when it isn't our forever home. We live in a 3 bedroom terraced house so it isn't huge and there are a lot of things that we don't have space for and then there is also the case that we can't afford some of the luxury items that we want. There is always something more important to buy!

A dishwasher!
It is shocking how many arguments we have as a family about who's turn it is to wash the dishes. Yes there would still be arguments about who loads and unloads it but a dishwasher seems easier. hehehe There would be no dirty dishes on the worktops, it would save on water and I imagine the dishes would be a lot cleaner. We don't have room for a dishwasher in our home, we barely have room for the washing machine in our kitchen. lol 

A stable style door!

I have always wanted one of these for my back door. When I was a child and lived on a farm we had one and I have fond memories of it. It gives fresh air flowing through your home, whilst still making sure nobody could just walk in.

A utility room!
I would love one room where all the cleaning products are kept and that is home to the washing machine and the tumble dryer that I would buy! We used to have a tumble dryer but it was one of those faulty one's. We never got around to replacing it. There would be room to fold and sort all the clothes and then I can just shut the door on the piles of washing.

A proper hallway!
When you come in our front door there is a little square at the bottom of the stairs then you go through the door to the living room. I would love room to have somewhere to hang coats, bags and somewhere to store shoes.

An open fire!

I could just imagine an open fire being so warm and cosy in the winter. My dad used to have one in his old house and he spent hardly any money heating his home.

Floor to ceiling shelves!
We have the room at the sides of the fireplace to put shelving up but because we rent we don't really want to. We have a lot of wasted space which could be used to store books, DVD's, toys and things like that!

Somewhere to plant things!
As an adult I have never had a proper garden. I have always have concrete back yards so somewhere with a little grass and somewhere where I could plant things would be amazing!

A wine rack! 

I only drink a couple of bottles a week at the most but I do have other bottles which are at the moment in the cupboard under the stairs. At the moment we don't have the room to store them anywhere else but I would like to have them out on display!

What would you like in your house that you don't have now?

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Mother's Day gifts from Baylis & Harding!

I am a big fan of Baylis and Harding products and gifts and over the years I have reviewed their Christmas, Valentines day and Father's day gifts but this year I think they have outdone themselves with the gifts for Mother's day range.

I was sent a couple of products from the fun new Beauticology range to have a look at. The Super Mum Box of Treats Set and the Super Mum Trio of Candles Set.

Indulge in a little bath time fun with Beauticology from Baylis & Harding. Whether you want to escape to a tropical paradise, be transported to a magical unicorn world or to treat yourself to a frosted sprinkle donut without a calorie in sight - there is something for everyone with this fabulous collection!

Baylis & Harding Beauticology Super Mum Trio of Candles Set

Add an air of luxury with these simple yet good fragranced one wick candles. 

The scents are: Unicorn Candy, Frosted Sprinkles and Tropical Cocktail. They smell amazing! I think my favourite is the flamingo/tropical one. It smells so fruity.

This is such a cute and fun set of candles and would make a lovely gift for a mother but there is nothing on them that screams mothers day so they could be a gift for any other time of the year too.

The candle set costs £20 and I would say it is well worth it. The candles are a good size and they're so pretty.

Baylis & Harding Beauticology Super Mum Box of Treats Set.

A stunning gift box full of luxurious treats. Inside you will find an indulgent 100ml Unicorn Candy Body Wash, 50ml Tropical Cocktail Body Butter and 50ml of Frosted Sprinkles bath crystals to soak and relax with.

This is a fab set. The rosette on the front of the box is removable which is a sweet idea. I would happily wear that all of mother's day to remind my girls that they have to be nice to me. hehehe

I don't have a mother to give these too so I am keeping these for myself. hehehe If I did have a mother I would be very happy to give her these sets.

These sets can both be bought from the Baylis and Harding Amazon Store and the usual supermarkets where they sell things like this.

I was sent these gift sets free of charge in exchange for this blog post.

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

There is a lot that I don't share.

I blog a lot, every day and I have for over 6 years. I share a lot of mine and my families life online. I obviously share the good. The days out, the proud parenting moments and fun things we get up to and sometimes I share the bad. The times my girls are total brats, when they are in trouble and some of the rubbish days.

People seem to think that because I am sharing the good and the bad I am sharing everything but that just isn't true.

As much as I do share there is lots in my life that I don't. I seem to share more of my thoughts on here and more of every day things which are happening in my life on Twitter and Instagram but there is still so much that I keep to myself.

Recently on Twitter someone said to me that Ellie keeps me on my toes more than Becky does as far as school is concerned but to be honest I don't share much about Becky's school life. Becky does have her moments at school but I am very careful about what I share. She has had issues with bullies in the past and I don't want anything I write on here to be used against her. She only has a few months left at school and I want them to be hassle free.

 Ellie has been a little diva lately at school when it comes to doing homework. She "forgot" about some maths homework a couple of weekends ago and sat on Monday morning rushing through it, guessing for most of the answers. Her teacher obviously realised this and gave her a detention and another sheet of homework to do. She objected at the extra homework and didn't do it so she got another detention which she totally deserved. Time will tell if she gets more of the extra homework to do and whether she does it? When she says that she's done the homework and handed it in there isn't much I can do but I will make sure she goes to every detention she gets.

For every photo that I put up of my girls there is at least 20 that I don't. I ask my girls permission to take photos of them and they always approve or decline the photos. Even the one's where Ellie has been in a mood or Becky has screwed her face up has been ran past them first.

This photo below is a prime example of a moody child. lol We visited Alnwick Castle last year and Ellie was in a mood. At the time she wouldn't have agreed to let me post it but now she laughs about it. 

In fact every blog post I write including the girls is ran by them first. It's not often they ask for me not to mention something but if they did object to anything I write I wouldn't hesitate to remove it.

My dad has had health issues over the last couple of years. He had a stroke which I didn't talk about at the time and then he had a serious accident which resulted in a rush to the hospital. I was all set to jump on a train to be with him because it sounded so bad but thankfully he was fine. He was poorly at the start of the month with a sickness bug and it was a big worry. I keep his personal life quiet. It is hard because my dad is a huge part of my life even though he lives nearly 200 miles from me. I am sure if I lived closer he would be more a part of my blog.

People who read my blog think this is my life in words. It is to an extent but there is so much that I don't say on here. Just remember, everything I say on here is true but sometimes I will just tell half a story to respect my families privacy and sometimes there is a story which I won't tell at all.

Monday, 18 March 2019

Our weekly meal plan. 18th - 24th March! #MealPlanningMonday

Last weeks meal plan went well. Everything was eaten until we got to yesterday. I decided to cook a chicken instead of having a the lasagne. We had chicken and chips. Such a simple meals but so good especially when I do fried chips instead of oven one's. The lasagne is still in the freezer so it's not gone to waste.

My fella has another week off work. He's using the last of his holidays up before the new working year starts in April. I am sure he will be helping with the cooking which will be a nice break for me. 

This week on the menu we have:

Monday - Roast chicken, parsnips, potatoes, stuffing and lots more veg.
Wednesday - Burgers in buns.
 Thursday - Fish fingers, chips and spaghetti hoops.
Friday - Pizza.
Sunday - Pie, mash & veg.

What are you eating this week?

Sunday, 17 March 2019

Revision, revision and more revision! #MySundaySnapshot

After getting the results for her mock GCSE's it's given Becky the boost she needed to really knuckle down and do some proper revision. On some of her subjects she was only a few points off getting the next grade up so with a bit of extra learning she is bound to do so well. 

Yesterday she was revising for Statistics which was a new subject to us both a couple of years ago. It's all about numbers, graphs and problem solving. It's way over my head but she understands it. Phew! 

Saturday, 16 March 2019

Week 11 of #Project365 - A photo every day for a year!

This week has flown over and I don't really know where it went. We had parents evening for Becky and got her mock GCSE results. She is doing great and if she does as well in her real GCSE exams I will be very happy and she shouldn't have any trouble getting onto the higher health and social care course.

Now for a photo every day.

68/365 - 9th March
I do love a soak in the bath and Saturday afternoon is usually my chosen time for one. I always add too many bubbles and can easily spend a good hour soaking.

69/365 - 10th March
She spent some time banned off electronics and spent her time playing.

70/365 - 11th March
Ellie drew this at school. I liked it.

71/365 - 12th March
Fried eggs on toast for lunch. 

72/365 - 13th March
I am very proud of Becky and her mock GCSE results. This was taken just before we went to parents evening. She was rather nervous at the time.

73/365 - 14th March
Instead of playing on her phone she's using it as a timer more. She is revising in 20 minute blocks. 20 minute works and then 10 minutes playing on her phone. It seems to be working well.

74/365 - 15th March
I saw this non-alcoholic Butterscotch Beer in a shop a few months ago for about £5 a bottle. It was a Harry Potter shop so they were playing on that fact. I spotted it in Tesco for £1.80 and needed to try it. It's quite nice, a lot like cream soday but very sweet.

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Friday, 15 March 2019

This week my Word of the Week is: Budgeting! #WotW

This week my Word of the Week is:

This past week has seen us tightening our belts a little when it comes to money. Stu has been paid weekly for the last 7 years or so but at the end of this month he goes on to monthly pay.

I know that getting paid monthly is the norm for some people but we have never had to deal with it. We've always had money coming in each week to cover the bills when they are due. Now we're going to have to budget a bit more.

It all started last week when it came to paying the water bill. We usually pay it twice yearly but this time they sent us a bill for the full amount due on the 1st of April. We could have paid it but it would have been a struggle with the change on to monthly pay. We gave them a ring and they were very helpful. We are now paying quarterly. So instead of paying the nearly £400 by they 1st of April we are only paying £90 something.

The second part of budgeting was when it came to doing the shopping. I cut out buying all the snacky food for the kids. Dairylea dunkers, cocktail sausages, chicken bits and sweet things. The reason I initially did this was to stop the kids just eating for the sake of eating but then I realised it cut over £20 off the shopping bill. I think I am going to be carrying this on. There is still fruit, yoghurts and crisps if they really need something to eat but this past week they haven't bothered and they have eaten all of their meals!

I was on a roll so had a look at the gas & electric tariffs and realised we were not on the best one. So I changed to one that won't save us a fortune but a few pounds a year is better in my pocket than theirs. hehehe

We have also been looking at the Sky packages. We were sent a letter a few weeks ago how the prices are going up. Ugh. We're in a contract at the moment but once it is finished we're planning on getting rid, getting a freeview box which records and faster internet for less than we are paying now.

We had parents evening on Wednesday and got to chat to all of Becky's teachers. They all said she is doing so well and basically said keep doing what she's doing and she'll do great in her exams. We also got the results for her mock GCSE's and for most of her subjects she got 4, 5's and 6's which are the new C and B grades. I am so proud of her and said if she did well I would buy her some of those airpod things that she's been raving about. They're just headphones without wires but they're the new in thing. Now I have to budget for them. lol

Thursday, 14 March 2019

The A to Z of me.

I saw this on Stressed Rach absolutely ages ago and I have been meaning to do it as you know I love a tag.

A - Age: 39

B - Biggest fear: Something bad happening to my kids or my family.

C - Current time: 21:18

D – Drink you last had: A glass of Rose wine.

E – Everyday need: Coffee.

F – Favorite song: Bon Jovi - Always.

G - Ghosts, are they real?: Yes, but I've never seen one.

H - Hometown: Stockton On Tees.

I - In love with?: My fella, Stu!

J - Jealous of?: People who have the money to go on lots of holidays.

K - Killed someone? Not yet! There has been times I have wanted to though.

L – Last time you cried?: As of writing this Neighbours last week when Sonya died.

M - Middle name: I don't have one.

N - Number of siblings: 1. I have a brother.

O - One wish: That my kids and family live a long, healthy and happy life

P - Person whom you last called: My Dad.

Q - Question you’re always asked: Are you having anymore kids? No, I'm not!

R - Reasons to smile: My girls, blogging, my friends and family.

S - Song last sang: Baby Shark to annoy my teen!

T - Time you woke up: 6:30am

U - Underwear colour: I just had to check. lol Black.

V - Vacation destination: I’d like to go to America.

W - Worst habit: Swearing. I say all the bad words.

X -  X-Rays you’ve had: Far too many to count. I wrote about them last year.

Y - Your favourite food: Roast Dinner with all the trimmings!

Z - Zodiac sign: Scorpio!

Feel free to copy and join in yourself!

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Footner Exfoliating Socks - Review!

After wearing boots and trainers all winter my feet are in need of some TLC. I was given the chance to try out Footner Exfoliating Socks which are a fast and easy solution for getting rid of hard, dry and cracked skin on feet! They sounded like just what I need.

Footner Exfoliating Socks contain Alpha Hydroxy acids (AHA) which loosen the “glue” between the skin cells, promoting the natural process of peeling. This results in a shedding of the hard, dead skin on your feet without harm to healthy skin cells. Moisturisers in the sock leave the skin softer and smoother after the application. Footner Exfoliating Socks are free from parabens, perfume and allergens and are dermatologically tested. The ingredients used in Footner are gentle on the skin, targeting only unwanted dead skins cells, not the healthy ones.

How to use:

Using scissors, cut the plastic sock along the indicated line.
Slip the plastic Footner Exfoliating Socks over your feet and close it with the adhesive strap to close it.
Keep the socks on for 60 minutes.
Rinse your feet.

These were easy enough to put on. The liquid inside of the socks really smelled of nail polish remover but once you have them on your feet and your own socks holding them in place you can't smell it.

It did feel so strange having the exfoliating socks on for an hour but it was a great excuse to sit my armchair and have an hour on my laptop.

When the hour was up I took myself off to the bathroom adn rinsed my feet in the shower. They didn't really feel any different than they did before but I knew it took time to work.

It may take five to seven days, depending on the skin texture before exfoliating process starts and the results vary depending on the person, but it usually takes around 7-10 days from the time you’ve “applied” the socks. After the peeling stage has stopped you will begin to see the impact as beneath the dead skin, soft, smooth and beautiful skin is revealed.

Over the next few days when I put my socks or slippers my feet felt different, they felt scratchy and rough. The skin was coming away like it should.

On day 6 I was laid in bed and I reached down to scratch my foot and there was a big sheet of skin hanging. It sounds gross and I couldn't help but pull it off and it was so satisfying. The next day the dead skin was coming off lots. I felt like a snake shedding it's skin! I was tempted to take a photo of all the dead skin that came off my feet but thought that was too disgusting!

It is now 12 days since I used the Footner Exfoliating Socks and my feet are in a better condition than they ever were before. All the dead skin has gone and my feet do feel baby soft. These are something that in the future I will buy myself and use again.

If you are pregnant, diabetic, suffer from poor circulation or are a nursing mother, it is recommend that you consult your doctor or midwife before trying new foot care products.

Footner Exfoliating Socks can be found in Boots, Superdrug from selected pharmacies and have a recommended retail price of £19.99.

I was sent these Footner Exfoliating Socks free of charge in exchange for this blog post.

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Hydrate Your Way to Happiness!

Being hydrated can improve your mood, increase levels of concentration and reduce headaches. It also indicates that dehydration can have a negative effect on productivity and when hydrated we perceive activities to be less difficult. 

I admit am not the greatest at drinking water. I do try. I always add a little flavoured juice to it. Usually orange or blackcurrant. I am not a fan of plain water, it makes me feel sick. The only time I can drink plain water is if I'm really, really thirsty and it has to be tap water. I can't stand bottled water!

Top 10 tips to hydrate your way to happiness!

Start early by trying to sip a glass or two of water before having breakfast, this will help you to feel more satiated and less hungry after a night’s sleep.

Sip regularly throughout the day by getting into a pattern of drinking little and often.

Flavour your water to make it more exciting to taste and to look at, by adding fresh cucumber, mint, lemon or other fresh fruit.

Keep a reusable bottle nearby so that you know how much you have sipped and how much more you should be drinking to achieve your daily target.

Drink then sweat to hydrate well before training and maximize your performance and focus.

Drink water with every meal to remind you to enjoy water during your three meals of the day.

Create a new habit to help you to remember to keep drinking water such as having a glass after you’ve been to the bathroom or whilst preparing a meal each day.

Drink filtered water to maximize the taste.

Drink then think by preparing a bottle or glass of filtered water on your desk before you sit down to work, because staying hydrated helps to improve concentration and our perception of how difficult an activity can be.

Chill your H20 by popping it in the freezer briefly as chilled water can feel more invigorating and refreshing.

Do you drink plenty of water?

Monday, 11 March 2019

Our weekly meal plan. 11th - 17th March! #MealPlanningMonday

Last weeks meal plan was a success. The Chilli con carne went down well even though the kids said they weren't going to try it before even tasting it. They loved it. hahaha

When I ordered the shopping on Friday I decided to stop with all the snacky food. The Dairylea dunkers, cocktail sausages, chicken bits, sweet things and stuff like that! The kids were getting too used to going to the fridge and filling up on rubbish then not eating their main meals. It really saved on the shopping bill too. If I hadn't have had to get cleaning stuff and loo rolls I guess it would have been under £80 instead of just under £100.

This week on the menu we have:

Tuesday - Tuna, sweetcorn and pasta. 
Wednesday - Chip shop. We have Becky's parents evening which drags on.
 Thursday - Mushroom Risotto Bakes with carrots, peas and sweetcorn.
Friday - Sandwiches, cakes and crisps.
Saturday - Home made pizza.
Sunday - Lasagne and garlic bread.

What are you eating this week?

Sunday, 10 March 2019

A perfect washing day! #MySundaySnapshot

The washer was broken a few weeks ago when we had glorious weather. Since the washing machine has been fixed it's been grey, wet and damp so I haven't been able to get any on the line to dry until yesterday! It was dry, sunny and very windy. Perfect for drying clothes! It made me so happy to see everything out on the line!

Saturday, 9 March 2019

Week 10 of #Project365 - A photo every day for a year!

I don't actually remember what I've done with myself this past week. The normal housework, Stu and I went shopping for paint to freshen up the living room when he's off work in a few weeks and I have started re-watching Game of Thrones again! I have watched 2 series in the past week and even though I know what's coming I am still enjoying it.

Now for a photo every day!

61/365 - 2nd March
Mermaid tails for the mermaid cupcakes we made.

62/365 - 3rd March
Ellie took over the dining room table with her toys.

63/365 - 4th March
I won some fancy chocolate from Tin & Thyme and it arrived on Monday and was swiftly hidden from the kids. I still have a little left but it is so tasty.

64/365 - 5th March

65/365 - 6th March
I went to the loo before bed, looked up and saw this. It was the fastest wee I've ever had. lol

66/365 - 7th March
I gave myself a hi-5 for getting the food shop order under £100. It would have actually have been less if we hadn't have needed washing powder and loo rolls.

67/365 - 8th March
One of the cute candles that I was sent to review.

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Friday, 8 March 2019

This week my Word of the Week is: Exams! #WotW

This week my Word of the Week is:

Becky my teen is nearing the end of her mock exams. She has her last one today and she is so glad. 

She started the exams a couple of weeks ago feeling positive and raring to go but now she's had enough. Not because they are too hard but because she's worn out with them.

Becky is still going to revision classes at school and is still revising at home. These mock exams are just practice for the real GCSE's in May and June. Even though she has taken the exams she is still having to revise. At least in the summer once she has taken the exam she will be able to stop revising for that subject.

She feels that she has done well in most of the subjects. She had a maths paper she struggled with the other day but from what I can gather everyone did. It was algebra and other random things that she will never use in her real life. She really enjoyed one of the Science exams (she's had 4). I think it was biology as it was mostly multiple choice. She seems to do well at them. She would much rather tick boxes than write essays. hehehe

We have parents evening next week where we will find out how she has done and get feedback. I think this might actually be the last one we have for her. I still can't get my head around the fact that she is just about finished with secondary school.

We have had a slow week this past week. We haven't really got up to much. We baked over the weekend and made mermaid cupcakes and llama biscuits. We still have a lot of baking supplies so I think we will be making more cakes over the weekend. Of course we had pancakes too. The girls didn't bother with savoury ones and went straight for the sweet one's. Yum!