Monday, 9 March 2020

A little birthday adventure {The Ordinary Moments}

It's been a while since I joined in with a linky, well over a year now. I have been looking for one or two that I think I'd like to join in with and one of those is The Ordinary Moments with What the Redhead Said. Each week I hope to share some our own ordinary moments as a family. 

We starting off on a big week with it having been Dylan's birthday. We don't tend to do birthday parties to celebrate, instead we let them decide on a day out they'd like to enjoy together and this year Dylan wanted to go see Sonic The Hedgehog. We set off with the intention to see Sonic and have a browse in the toy shop for some birthday shopping. 


As we got to the cinema Dylan noticed a small play area that had been set up with a lovely spring theme inside Victoria Square. Immediately after the film ended both Dylan and Scarlet wanted to go explore the play area which featured this beautiful round door with it's own knocker. Both children enjoyed trying the knocker and guessing who might be hiding behind the door that doesn't open!



There was several areas for playing but the one they seemed to enjoy the most was a small track laid into the fake grass with ride on cars to play on. Dylan and Scarlet took turns driving around the track and Dylan even pushed Scarlet a little when she struggled to go faster. 


Dylan much preferred to run around the track, inspired by Sonic's ultra speed! 


When it came time to leave neither was happy about the idea but the unplanned element in of the day has been talked about much of the weekend now, epically that big mysterious door! 

The Ordinary Moments
Sunday, 1 March 2020

Learning with the Chu Chu TV Peek & Play Surprise Eggs range from Character Options {Review}

*AD (not paid)- The products featured have been sent to us for review*
*All thoughts and opinions expressed are entirely my own*


We all know that YouTube is very popular, especially for children with so many great nursery rhymes and song channels like Chu Chu TV. Scarlet has always loved listening to the little songs and is regularly found dancing around to them which is why I was so excited to hear Chu Chu TV have brought out a range of surprise egg toys with Character Options to go along with their YouTube channel! A firm favourite in our house from Chu Chu TV is Johnny Johnny,Yes Papa song which gets sung at all hours of the day by one of the children. Even Simon walks around singing the catchy tune so it really is no wonder their videos have been seen over three billion times! Chu Chu TV are most definitely popular with children since they also have over 5 million subscribers on their channel. I really think their new Peek and Play Surprise Eggs range will be a big hit too.


We got sent two of the toys in the new Chu Chu TV Peek & Play Surprise Eggs range. Firstly is the Chu Chu TV Train and we also recieved the ABC Starter Set of Peek and Play Surprise Eggs. They are perfect for Scarlet since they have no small parts and are designed to be played with by children as young as 18 months.
Scarlet was immediately interested in the eggs and ran to me shouting "eggs, eggs!" when she found the boxes sitting on the floor for her. As you can see she was very excited to open up the boxes and see just what the new Chu Chu TV Surprise Eggs range could do. 

Chu Chu TV Peek & Play Surprise Eggs - Chu Chu TV Train - £14.99


It didn't take her long to notice the second box and everything was about the Chu Chu TV Train! We opened it up to explore it further,the train has three separate carriages with the first being the train front and conductor seat. This first front carriage has the trains spout which plays sounds and the Yes Johnny, Yes Papa song from Chu Chu TV when pressed. Scarlet was so impressed that it would sing her the song and was happy to join in with the singing! The Peek & Play Surprise Eggs Chu Chu TV Train also comes with a special egg character to be the conductor of the train. If you watch Chu Chu TV you'll easily recognise him as Mr. Harloo the mascot of the YouTube channel.

Chu Chu TV Peek & Play Surprise Eggs - ABC Starter Set - £12.99

The biggest excitement for Scarlet was definitely the Peek & Play Surprise Eggs  ABC Starter Set. The set contains 5 eggs which are all individually wrapped to add a special unboxing experience for toddlers. 


Each Peek & Play Surprise Egg has a special character inside which will match the letter on the back of each egg. The ABC Starter Set contains the letters A through E with other Peek & Play Surprise Eggs available individually (£2.99) to add to the set over time. 


Scarlet's favourite animal from the Chu Chu TV Peek & Play Surprise Eggs ABC Starter Set is the cute little dog who she always ensures has a seat on the Chu Chu TV Train! 


The who Chu Chu TV Peek & Play Surprise range is bright, colourful and it's very engaging, Scarlet has been playing with the set several times every day for over half an hour each time. Which for her is a pretty long time! She loves playing with the characters and creating different places for the train to visit. I personally love that we can use the Chu Chu TV Peek & play Surprise Eggs to work on phonics, spelling, letter recognition and so much more as she prepares to start nursery next year. We already have some more Peek & Play Surprise Eggs on her birthday list for later this year.

You can purchase the Chu Chu TV Peek & Play Surprise Eggs range from Character Options or Amazon.
Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Finding Time for Yourself in 2020


Making time for yourself is always important. Being able to recharge and breathe every now and again does wonders for your metal health which in turn has a lasting effect on other parts of your life. That is certainly not to say that it is easy to slow down and do something for yourself on a regular basis. If your anything like me you will probably push that much needed 'me time' down the list of priorities more times than you actually take time for yourself. I am really hopeful that this is going to change and I thought it would be nice to share some ideas on how to find a little time for yourself throughout this year.

Take a walk alone




I know that going out for an hour long walk on your own isn't always possible especially as a parent. Usually getting out for any period of time on my own is hard. However if you think about it in a way that will work well for you then you might find a little time in your day for a short walk.

Instead of trying to get out in the evening to take a walk I changed my usual daily routine and take the opportunity to do the school run alone. I don't always do it alone but when I can I enjoy the short walk and wait for Dylan to get out. I try not to use my phone and take the time to clear my mind.

If you look at things from a different perspective you might find you already do get a little time alone that you don't take advantage of. Leave the car behind and walk to the shop or take a few minutes to walk around the park when your nearby.

Use a face mask or beauty treatment

Taking time to pamper yourself is definitely something many of us see as a luxury. I know I for one am guilty for putting off any kind of pampering for myself or even worse to pop on a treatment like a face mask and then get on with housework or another task in order to fit it in to the day.

I'm hoping to change my perspective on how I use that time. I think changing things up from always trying to do these things in the evening will be a good start. I have a few face mask treatments in the bathroom cabinet along with hair treatments, nail polishes and various other beauty treatments which can be used at any time. I slowly picked a few up with our shopping and other have been Christmas gifts. When there's a little down time with everyone at home can be the perfect time to put on a face mask and sit down. Why not pop the kettle on at the same time and enjoy a hot coffee, tea or even hot chocolate. If you've got children make them up a hot chocolate and you'll probably have a bit of extra free time too! 

Enjoy a bubble bath

It seems a little cliche but for many of us grabbing a quick shower has become the go to for daily life .Try setting aside some time to enjoy a long soak in the bath. I really enjoy a long soak in the late evening when all the children have gone to sleep. 

Decide on a time that will fit in for you, grab your favourite products and run your bath. You won't regret it! Why not pick yourself up a bath bomb or bubble bath, hell go crazy and get both! run your bath and have everything you need to relax. I enjoy having a bubble bath with music playing and candles in the evening. It really helps me to wind down.

Snuggle up in your favourite spot with a good book



Taking time to read a book can be very low on the priority list when life gets busy. I know for me that's usually the case. It's was quite some time between the current book I'm reading and the last, almost two years! This year I am changing that and giving myself a reading challenge of 12 books, one every month. 

Getting to snuggle up on the sofa in the evening with a book is something I used to really love. If your anything like me you have a whole pile of books waiting to be read that you've not found the time for.

Enjoy some coffee



It seems so simple when you write it down but in reality just finding time to sit down and enjoy a coffee isn't that easy. Especially when you contend with the need to be multi tasking, climbing children, babies to feed and cuddle it all adds up and pretty soon your nice hot coffee is freezing cold and headed for the sink. Having a nice hot drink in a relaxing atmosphere can do real wonders for the soul. So set aside a date and time in your diary and have a coffee date with yourself, head to your favourite coffee shop and take some time to sit and enjoy it!


Finding time for you doesn't have to mean spa days or nothing, find a way to make more time for you in 2020.

Is there something you love doing just for you that I haven't mentioned?
Let me know below as I am really trying to find more time for me this year too.



Wednesday, 5 February 2020

What We're Reading - The Little Raindrop (with Giveaway)


It's National Storytelling Week and it just feels right that I share our What We're Reading post for the month since we love storytelling! 


This month Scarlet has been really enjoying The Little Raindrop by Joanna Gray, it's the perfect storytelling book for toddler and children starting to read on their own. The story follow The Little Raindrop through the entire water cycle from falling out of the cloud right through finding it's way to the ground and beyond. 


You can follow along on the adventure of The Little Raindrop as he travels through the various waterways in the river on his long journey. You can see all the animals and environments The Little Raindrop must travel in order to complete the water cycle. The book brings a big learning aspect of understanding where rain comes from and what the water cycle really is.


I love the art style in the book, it has the feel of a pencil drawing. There are no harsh outlines with colouring pencil completing the whole image giving a softer, more natural look to the whole book. This style really helps to give life to the water and the nature in the book. 

You can purchase The Little Raindrop from £4.80.

To Celebrate National Storytelling Week I have decided to hold a few giveaways over the next 4 days which will round out the end of the week. The first and biggest giveaway being for a copy of The Little Raindrop, a copy of Zoom, a wheely good book of colours from the My Little World range, an A5 colouring book, an A5 dot-to-dot book and a packet of 12 small colouring pencils. A lovely little prize that would be perfect for toddlers and preschoolers.


For your chance to win enter using the Gleam widget below and keep up with our social media pages on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the other giveaways in the coming days.

Good Luck! 


Terms and conditions:
  • Entrants must be aged 18 years or over.
  • Competition is open to UK residents only.
  • Entry into this competition confirms your acceptance of these Terms and Conditions
  • The winners will be selected at random from all the correct entries received before the closing date and time.
  • The giveaway will run for 1 calendar month from 00:00 on 5th February 2020 and will end at 23:59 on 5th March 2020
  • All prizes must be accepted as offered. There can be no alternative awards, cash or otherwise.  
  • There will be one winner who will receive a copy of The Little Raindrop, a copy of Zoom, a wheely good book of colours from the My Little World range, an A5 colouring book, an A5 dot-to-dot book and a packet of 12 small colouring pencils.

Tuesday, 4 February 2020

Photo of the week 05/52



January has ended! Usually I find that I get a lot done through January and kind of stay on top of things but honestly this year I've struggled to keep up. The past week hasn't been much different, finding our way back to a routine has been hard since Christmas and New Year. Not that it's been helped with all 3 children picking up a heavy cold this week which has now lovingly been passed on to me. I do think I'm getting there in terms of getting on top of the ever growing to do list and it might have even stopped growing (for now).

This past week has been pretty busy for all of us with the usual day to day and weekly routine of shopping, cleaning, playing, school clubs and dinners all going at full pace. There are honestly full days where we go and go.

We managed to get a nice break mid week at our mums and tots group where Scarlet and Avery enjoyed some really fun sensory play with lights and tents. They both enjoyed exploring and it's where I got this week's photo. It's not perfect and Avery has on odd socks but the moment I captured between them was a very small moment they took together to explore lights inside a tiny tent and it made my heart grow even more.

This week also involved me cutting off half my hair and visiting family who I haven't been to see in almost 7 years but I'm determined to change that!


How has your week/ January been?


Monday, 13 January 2020

Photo of the week (02/52)


It was the first week back to school last week. A lot happened in the day to day for us all but it mostly happened at home. I got up to date with most of the housework, did a good bit of blog work and plenty of planning. We also got started on the de-cluttering so we mostly stayed home, which is whyI decided to go with this photo for the week. It sums up the week pretty well with Scarlet carrying around my book for most of the week while we cleaned and sorted as much as we could.

How was your first full week of the year?
Wednesday, 8 January 2020

My hopes for 2020


I said before that I am not one to make resolutions and that still stands. I suck at making resolutions that will fade away before January is even over. Which is why I have hopes of things I want achieve throughout the year. Some of these are things I have already been working on since 2019. I'm good with the idea that I can carry on with some of the goals I had last year or ones I started towards the end of the year since I can start to change things at any time of the year. 


Start a family game night

Having family time is always important for me and while we do try to get out when we can there are plenty of days where that just isn't possible between school, after school clubs, dinner and homework which can mean we go several days without real quality time spent together without it being a walking to this activity kind of time. I want to change that in 2020 and add a weekly or even bi-weekly game night into our routine. We have lots of fun games that are perfect to play together so this year we will make good use of them! I'm actually pretty excited to make this a part of our routine. 

Spend time doing something one on one with the children more

As I said above it's easy during the week to find we are in a routine of getting everything done and not spending time together. In trying to juggle three children, housework, blogging, getting outdoors, school, clubs and homework we leave less time for each child to have time one on one and I think it's very important for them to have that. 
Life is certainly busy so I know I need to be realistic in that we really can't have an hour of one on one time everyday with everyone so I think once a week having time where Dylan and Scarlet can have time with each of us one on one doing an activity of their choice could be an idea. I will also make up a little activity jar for days when they can't decide what they want to do. Avery does tend to have a bit more one to one time as Dylan and Scarlet go off and play alone or together every day.

Keep on top of the housework

So I'm not great at keeping everything on the to-do list going at the same time. There's usually a massive pile of washing that needs sorted out (still got one of those right now!), an area of the house I completely neglected (usually the shoe boxes in the hall) or the washing machine needs a good scrub on the inside. The jobs everyone seems to neglect every now and then are somehow always needing done. This year I want to try to make a routine of doing the housework for every day. If I do the general stuff everyday including the washing and shoe sorting I hope that it won't take as long and I will find time for the less often but equally import jobs like cleaning the washing machine. 
If you've got any tips let me know in the comments.

Declutter the house and organise

As a bit of an addition to the point above I want to try to continue with de-cluttering. We have quite a bit and as time moves I am slowly getting through more and more but there is still a fair bit to go. This is one of those things that has carried through several years now and each year I have got more and more clutter out. The problem is we are a big family and our needs are changing often. Through regular sorting and de-cluttering we can probably get the whole house to be more organised, at least I hope so!

Try new meals and recipes


We can get stuck in a rut when it comes to dinner meals. We tend to do meal planning and buy what we need, however I have found that through doing that we just have the same meals every two weeks rather than changing it up. It can be hard to change up our eating habits too, Dylan can be quite picky to what he will try. Despite that this year I hope to work a little more on getting new recipes we can all try. We have a slow cooker now too so there should be plenty of delicious winter recipes I can whip up in there first thing in the morning on busy days.

What's your families favourite recipe?

Blog regularly and Stay on top of my emails 


So you may have noticed I suck at regularly blogging for long periods of time, life gets busy and sometimes blogging has to take a back seat. I'm not saying that won't happen this year but I want to work harder at being regular and getting some blogging done in advance. I will be getting myself a diary soon and when I have done I will work on filling in my regular blogging posts. I plan to keep up with being organised and having other posts bullet pointed into a notebook which I have already started. 

Redecorate the hall and bathroom

Okay so this final one also comes with a bit of a confession, We've never redecorated these rooms, we moved in 4 years ago now. When we first moved the bathroom was painted with one coat, it was rushed on the night before we had to move in and it was never finished, the top cutting in was never done and we have since found out we used the wrong pot of paint anyway! I'm currently considering using a paint remover and starting from scratch as well as giving all the walls a good wipe down before we repaint. 

The hall is another project we started four years ago (after we'd moved in) discovered a few issues and have never finished. It originally had wall paper which was dated and already coming off. Back when my brother lived with us we spent a few days pulling off a lot of the paper by hand and with the wall steamer but there had been several layers and eventually I just gave up. It has since stayed unfinished and it is firmly on the list of things to do. Hopefully it will be done this year!

That is it, these are the things I want to try to achieve this year when I can, some will be started now,some have began and others will take a back seat for another time in the year. There may even be some I don't get to but I want to try. 

You might have noticed that there isn't any hopes for changing me this year, last year I shared a little about taking a body positive journey and how it has changed me so far. I plan to continue with being more positive and happy in myself so I won't be making plans to change anything other than how I view myself. I hope that by 2020 I will be more confident and maybe there will be fewer bad days too.

Have you got any hopes you want to try to achieve in 2020?
Tuesday, 7 January 2020

All about my year 2019

The last two years I have shared my All about my year 2017 and All about my year 2018. I quite enjoy writing these posts and it's a really nice way to reflect back on the year

I do hope that everyone had a lovely Christmas and New Year even if that now feels like it was a million years ago. 



1. What did you do for your birthday this year? 

I had the most boring birthday ever this year, we went out and did our big Christmas food shopping and I rushed around trying to post out our Secret Santa gifts! There's always next year right?


2. Whats the biggest thing to happen to you this year? 


It would definitely be giving birth to Avery in May this year! He was the last little piece of us we didn't even know was missing. I haven't yet shared my Birth story with Avery but that is something I hope to do in 2020. 


3. What was the biggest thing to happen for your child/children this year? 


The biggest thing to happen for both Dylan and Scarlet in 2019 was becoming big brother and Sister to Avery. Dylan has been super excited to now have his own brother and not just be a brother. Scarlet has become an amazing big sister and throughout 2019 was so excited about having another baby then helping look after Avery. 

I think another really big thing that happened for Dylan this year was that he attended a summer scheme for the first time. He went to one with his friends from his usual after school club so he had plenty of friends to enjoy time with over the summer! He is already talking about going back next year too.

For Scarlet I think another big thing that has happened during 2019 was turning two! For Scarlet this is the first birthday she has kind of understood that it isn't just a normal day, she knew there would cake, presents, balloons and lots of fun. She loved being the centre of attention for the whole day.

Avery on the other hand was born and started to have solid foods at 6 months old in 2019. He loves food and exploring through his weaning journey so far.

4. Could you pick a favourite week of the year? 

I honestly don't think I could. There have been many weeks I have loved this year, when Avery was born, Several weeks over the summer where we met friends, had days out and enjoyed time together. I hope that 2020 will hold some great weeks too. 



5. Do you have a favourite photograph of yourself from 2019? 


I do, this one above of me and Scarlet together, we'd spent the day out at the Botanical Gardens and I asked Simon to take some photographs of just me. In the end there are several with both Dylan and Scarlet as well as with each of them alone. I think these mean more to me than the ones where I am alone and this one in particular is actually when I thought Simon had finished and we started walking to get off the grass. I love it, it's natural and was just the capturing of a moment together. 


6. What was your best day out? 


The best day out we had this year was for me when we took a trip in the afternoon to see C.S.Lewis square before heading on to the new Stormont estate park that opened in the summer.It was way after bedtime before we had even started the journey home but it was so nice to spend the evening having fun and being carefree. It was a day where we used the bus so it was just me and all three children on my own. It certainly didn't deter me and was the first time I took everyone out without help!

7. What is the best film you have seen this year? 


Toy Story 4! We all loved it and enjoyed having time together out at the cinema. It's still a favourite now.

8. Is there anything you wish didn't happen this year? 


I do wish that I hadn't lost two grandparents in the space of a week over the end of October and beginning of November. It was a hard way to end 2019 and something I think I am still coming to terms with now. 


9. What would you like to achieve or improve for 2020? 

I do have a few hope for 2020 but the only thing I really want to 'achieve' is to finally finish decorating the hall and bathroom! I will be sharing more on what I hope to do throughout 2020, some had already started last year too.


10. How will you be celebrating/did you celebrate New Years Eve?

We celebrated how we always do, sat on the sofa together with at least one sleeping child between us ringing in the new year with Big Ben fireworks on TV and singing Old lang syne out of tune and  completely out of time.In fact Simon doesn't even know the words. It was perfect!
Monday, 6 January 2020

Photo of the week 1/52


Happy New Year! 
I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas and enjoyed some time with their friends and family. We've enjoyed our time together while Dylan was off school and have managed a day out as well as a cinema trip. I have chosen a photo I took on the first day of the year before we headed out to see Frozen 2. Definitely worth a watch if you haven't seen it! We all loved it, even Simon which is really saying something.

Today marks the beginning of a new term, the end of the Christmas holidays and the start of getting a routine back in place. 

How has the Christmas break and New Year been for you?

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