Category Archives: Family

Is this hell, or is this a holiday camp? – my happy hellish holiday

Is this hell, or is this a holiday camp? Welcome to my happy hellish holiday. I love great british holidays. It’s all I’ve ever really known aside from a med cruise we took to celebrate getting my first job. I’m about to share with you my warped and twisted view of my surroundings at a british holiday camp. On this occasion we visited Haven, and it was amazing. They all pretty much follow the same script though. Enjoy.

It’s like something out of any sane person’s nightmares. Kids running at you from different directions as if running from an incoming asteroid. Taking it in turns to scream and cry. Or so it seems on face value. You can’t hear them as their screams are drowned out by the sound of cheesy pop tunes from the 90’s. All the classics are their. Steps, Busted, Cotton eye Joe and 5ive. Ah gotta love the dance move era. It’s a total cheese fest.

happy hellish holiday

The kids have been on the go all day. Like greyhounds in the race trap, that caravan door bursts open at 9am and they are off. Park, swimming, beach, amusements, repeat on a loop until one by one they flake out.

But what are they running on? Never you fear, here in hell they have an endless supply of fruit shoots, slushies, chips and nuggets, all washed down with a bucket of candy floss and a bag of sweets. Your kids will be on the most epic sugar rush and you’ll be there to take the tantrums and meltdowns as the rush wears off.

happy hellish holiday

But what about you, poor naive parents? Who innocently booked this ticket to hell thinking it would be fun. Heck they sold it to you as a holiday! Never fear, after spending a restless night sleeping in a freezing caravan on a mattress filled with rubble, you will be feeling on top of your game…..no? This is where your resistance to alcohol disables and you suddenly feel the urge to down pints of cider and glasses of wine. After watching the kids eat their body weight in nuggets, burgers and chips, you can’t bear the sight of anymore. So your food sustenance shall be Sahara nuts and krax snax crisps.

Joking aside, we’ve just spent a blissful week in a prestige Caravan at Haven Doniford Bay in Somerset. It was incredibly amazing to say the least and my satirical observations were made whilst slightly tipsy.

happy hellish holiday

What are your experiences of holiday camps? We all know there’s a little bit of hell in there somewhere. Don’t we?

Checkout the haven site now. We booked using The Daily Mail £15 holidays and upgraded to a prestige on arrival. Vouchers can also collected for cheaper holidays from The Sun on the £9.50 deal. Both tend to be term time though. Haven, Doniford Bay

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

It’s only a phase – the parenting guide to phases your child will go through

Parenting, in a nutshell it’s only one phase after another. I’m going to give you a little satirical guide to the phases your little one will go through.

So you’ve got that magical positive result on the pregnancy test. You feel excited, overwhelmed, in denial, emotional, elated. Little do you know, you have just signed up to at least an 18 year sequence of phases.
I will now describe to you the phases I myself have been through with George. We are only at the two and half year mark. No doubt this is a post that will eventually become a long standing series.

Phase

For ease of writing I will refer to your little one as he. Let’s face it, as much as we thank the men in our lives for this magical event, with the amazing joy comes occasional annoyance. Pretty much sums up the male species from my perspective (winks coyly with her tongue in her cheek). So “he” it is.

Congratulations. You are pregnant with a baby boy or girl. Or both but let’s just assume everything I say and double it, triple it, depending on your brood. I’m sure I’m being naive and there’s more to it than that. I only have the one so can’t comment.

Phase
Third trimester. That incredible yet surreal feeling you get when your baby is moving inside of you. Something which you can often see as well as feel now. You love it, you’re thankful for it, then comes being woken up at night with the kicking and fidgeting. You’ve just settled back into bed, surrounded yourself with 6 pillows after your tenth wee, and now the little darling decides it’s time to start practicing his gangnam style. Welcome to the “get me out of your belly” phase. Towards the end (I’m talking around the 36 week mark), the head can engage and the “get me out of your belly” phase progresses to “fuck it I’ll make my own way out” as you can almost feel the head pushing down there trying to eeek his way out. Uncomfortable isn’t the word.

Phase

Let’s cut to the birth. It happens however it happens. Don’t beat yourself up about it. He has to come out somehow so as long as you are both safe and well at the end of it, you are a hero. You’ve grown this little boy. Give yourself credit where it’s due.

You’re first night together. Poor little darling is stressed. He cries on and off all night; “It’s cold out here, and I’m hungry. What happened to that hose with all my scrummy food. I’m scared. I don’t know what’s going on. I want to go back in the tummy please”. Welcome to the “indecisive charades phase”. He won’t quite know what he wants but he will make small movements and random incoherent noises. You must learn to decipher this code, get the correct answer, then apply this answer to little darling and see if he is satisfied. Keep trying this for 6 months.

Congratulations! You made it six months! You thought the charades phase was tough. Wow you really have no idea what’s in store. The last six months has seen you become a master. A master of dangling things in front of your little darling. Master of bouncing him, rocking him, feeding him, changing him. The washing machine has become a multitasking part time babysitter. And it’s worked right? He’s been happy and content for the majority. You are both learning each other ways but overall you are managing to not annoy each other too much. But all good things must come to an end.

Phase

Welcome to the fidget arse phase. By now your little one will likely be rolling over, shuffling, maybe even attempting a backwards crawl. Suddenly dangling things in front of his face or bouncing him gently is unsatisfactory. No. He’s had his eye on that DVD cabinet for 6 months now and he wants to know what exactly is in all those little cases. What does that red glowing button do? That fluffy long thing at the end of the cat looks fun.

You suddenly need eyes in your arse. How do I see using eyes in my arse you wonder. Well let me tell you, you won’t be sitting on it. You’ll be up and down and up and down and up and down. Rescuing little darling before he delves into something else. Rearranging your house slowly day by day.

 

Phase

Never fear. You will soon tire of the fidget arse phase and will begin willing your little darling to take their first steps. We are homo sapiens after all. It’s instinctive. You eagerly encourage him until one day, hurrah, those teeny tiny steps are taken without your assistance. A triumph in your naive eyes. At last he can walk. The end of the days of you carrying them around is in sight.

But what’s this….he is climbing the stairs! Darling little can suddenly get from one end of the lounge to the kitchen in the time it takes you to sip your cold cup of tea. He’s had more bumps, trips and falls than an accident insurers handbook. What have you created you absolute plonker!

Phase

And then the day arrives. Little one’s first birthday. A milestone. A day to celebrate. But what are you doing? Sobbing, and updating your Facebook status mourning your little one is no longer a baby. They are “all grown up”, “where did the time go” “time to think about having another”.
And so the cycle begins again. (Faceplants).

Phase
Ps. Honestly I’m not as cynical as I sound. From the moment I got that positive result, I have thanked my lucky stars for being given this opportunity. Something many would give anything for. Doesn’t hurt to tell it how it is sometimes. We all have our own experiences. This is mine.
To be continued…….

Until next time………

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

‘Good Bubble’ Bathtime range – a poetic review

The Georgeous has reached that age, the grand old age of two and half. The age at which playing with his toys is everything. Not a moment can be spared for anything else. Eating, bathing, getting ready to go out to his favourite phonics class. It’s all a distraction in his mind, to drive him away from his precious toys.

We have found a way to draw him away for a  few vital minutes to allow us to occasionally leave the house and to stop for mealtimes. Bath time however is a struggle. He actually loves a bath. It’s a place where he has another array of toys which he can only play with at bath time. Once he is in there he loves it and needs convincing to get out. So when I was invited to review some fun and friendly bathtime products by https://www.goodbubble.co.uk/ I couldn’t resist.

 

A bath said mum with a tired old sigh,

A bath for whom? Said mini Sir, not I!

Indeed mini sir, a bath for you,

To rid you of smells like sweat and like poo.

But I don’t want a bath, said mini Sir.

I want to play with my cars first.

But this is a new bath, explained mama dear,

With bubbles of cloudberry to clean out those ears.

And magical hair wash containing fruits of the dragon

To clean and detangle, what’s the worst that could happen?

And as surely was promised, the cloud bubbles grew,

Mama scooped them all up and gently she blew.

The cloud bubbles floated, as soft as they are,

Whilst mini Sir squealed in delight, forgetting all about cars.

His hair was then washed with the fruits of the dragon,

As mama reached for the comb, would you believe what had happened!

The tangles were gone and good fun had been had.

With “Good Bubble” products, bath time isn’t so bad.

Silicone, paraben and PEG free,

No artificial colours or nasties you see.

With ingredients sourced from mostly natural sources,

It’s not tested on creatures likes rabbits, or horses.

Vegan friendly and  great value too.

Pop down to your local store and buy a few.

We’d like to thank Good Bubble for letting us try and review,

So we could share their fabulousness with all of you.

All opinions included are simply our own.

They make mini Sir happy to bathe instead of to moan.

Until next time…….

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

The blogger recognition award

The blogger recognition award. An award by bloggers for bloggers. As hubby asks why I’m sat at my laptop smirking, I sit here relishing in the fact that a fellow blogger has nominated little old me for this recognition award. I post these thought outbursts hoping that someone, anyone read them and feels a little smirk too. So to know that this has happened at least once pleases me.

So here’s thanking you, My Real Fairy. Thanks for the appreciation , the recognition and the nomination.

Now for rules.

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  2. Write a post to show your award.
  3. Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  4. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  5. Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to. (if 15 is pushing it a bit for you then do 10;)
  6. Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them and provide the link to the post you created.

♥ How my blog started ♥

Officially my blog started in August 2015. I’ve loved writing since I can remember. My stories written at a very young age were very vivid and imaginative. With a massive creative streak in me coupled with a ridiculously  overactive imagination and several vivid dreams each night (All of which I can usually remember in great detail.) Add a need to share my crazy, overthinking thoughts with the world, (I don’t seem capable of a full on non fiction novel.) I’ve tried dozens of times and given up. Then blogging was brought to my attention. Don’t ask me where from but I knew it was for me.

I could write, whatever I wanted (within reason) and it didn’t need anyone’s approval to hit publish. As I delved deeper into the world of blogging, researching every aspect, I discovered that blogging and photography go hand in hand. I love photography. I had several professional books to take inspiration from when I was younger. I’ve never got round to taking a photography course or even investing in a ‘proper’ camera. Armed with an iphone 6 and a host of editing apps, I’ve found I can produce my own photos to make my blogging experience that more personal.

Cut to November 2016 and I knew I wanted to go self hosted to fully benefit and feel in control of my blog so I purchased my own domain name and delved into the world of html code and a other things that I’m still not sure what they are called. But I get myself through with the support of google, my web domain support team, plugin support and most importantly help and advice from fellow bloggers I know or can chat to in facebook blogging groups.

I often saw people saying the key was to find your niche and work from there. I almost drove myself crazy and gave up on blogging altogether whilst I was trying to work out my niche. Then I realised I can only be me. I’ll write what I want, when I want to and if it’s not good enough for some it will be for others.

Blogging helped me through the tough transition of giving up being a working woman with a career, to be a stay at home first time mum. It was and still is an outlet. I’m always at my most creative when I feel slightly overwhelmed or stressed out. This is my therapy, my happiness and my sole aim is to people please. I love knowing I’m made someone smile or feel like they are not alone in how they feel.

I’ve never looked back. I have my doubts here and there about sharing information so publicly. I try to set limits for myself and not show or give out any information that may embarrass George or put him at risk at any age.

♥ My advice to new bloggers ♥

  • Set yourself up with business acccounts/pages for Facebook, twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, You tube (If you intend to Vlog), stumbleupon and some people use LinkedIn. Promote, promote, promote.
  • Don’t expect the world on a plate, in a day. It takes time, effort and more time.
  • Share the love. Read other people’s blogs, join in linkies, comment on other people’s blogs and social media profiles.
  • Go self hosted from the start to make your own life easier. I use WordPress plugin and I get on ok with it.
  • Share the love some more. Bloggers are on the whole a friendly bunch and your love will usually be reciprocated.
  • Enjoy it. If you enjoy writing it, the chances are people will enjoy reading it.

Best of luck

My nominations in no specific order are as follows. I’ll tweet you to let you know too.

A Moment With Franca

Odd Hogg

One Frazzled Mum

Wingin It

Diary of a Little Peach

Along Came Poppy

Mind Your Mamma

Suburban Mum

Burnished Chaos

Me and B make Tea

Mrs Morgan Plus 3

Ordinary Hopes

Mums the Word

The Less-Refined Mind

Five Little Doves

Until next time…….

Guilty as charged – Mum guilt and how to stop it.

Are you a Mum? Guilty as charged! Do you constantly guilt trip yourself? Can’t win in your own high expectations competition?

Are you a Dad? Do Dads do this too or is this just a mama thing? Does any of this resonant with you?

Here’s a typical week inside my psyche. A guilt trip diary if you will. As great as I am feeling when I edit and publish this post, this was written at a time when these feelings overpower me.  Any tips of how NOT to make yourself feel like you’re constantly failing would be much appreciated. Share the love and we all might be that bit more carefree.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not permanently beating myself up mentally but I do have at least one thought of guilt each day. I’m pretty sure it was a good friend that once said to me;

“Guilt is literally the most useless emotion”

Here is a typical week in the life of moi, with my guilty thoughts thrown in. Any of it sound familiar?

Monday – Take George to a morning messy play session. George had fun. Mostly he was wanting me to follow him closely so I couldn’t maintain a full conversation with any of the other mums. He always seemed to call me when it was the other mums chance to speak too.

I came away feeling guilty that I make come across as a self centred type. Disinterested in what others have to say. When in reality the kid dragged me away and if I didn’t follow him he would cry and I’d feel like a non attentive mother. Crap listener award or crap mother award guilty as charged.

Tuesday – We have been invited to meet up with friends who live some distance from us. I struggle to drive very far due to ongoing vertigo which has potentially resulted in confidence issues. This makes me feel like the plans have to revolve around me and being located somewhere I can get to by public transport. I’d like to point out this isn’t the case, it’s just my guilt. (Can hear my girlfriends shouting at the screen.) I would also love to say, to quote Charlie Puth;

“I’m only one call away, I’ll be there to save the day, Superman got nothing on me, I’m only one call away.”

But I won’t! Because unless I can burden someone else by giving me a lift then by the time public transport gets me there, the emergency will be over. Crap friend award, guilty as charged.

Wednesday – George attends nursery to allow me to get intensive jobs done at home that are easier to do without him around. Work like a maniac getting things done until I’m almost crippled by pain. Spend rest of the day suffering and unable to do much else. Crap body award – guilty as charged.

On occasions I drop George at nursery but I’m already suffering with some ailment and not good for much else but sat on the sofa watching TV. Total waste of my George free time.

Mum guilt and wasted money guilt.

Thursday – spend an epic day with George doing all his favourite activities. Farm or zoo, park or play centre. Followed by painting and playdoh at home. Making puzzles, reading books, playing cars. Finished with a bath with bubbles and more games.

Hubbies returns home from work, hoping for some loving. I feel so exhausted from plowing all my time and energy into giving George an epic day. All I want to do is curl up in front of the tele and then go to bed. Not to mention I am feeling all touched out from George.

Crap wife award – guilty as charged.

Friday – realise I’ve not seen any family this week. Try to make plans but most people have their own agendas and there simply isn’t time to fit everyone in.

Crap daughter, sister, auntie award – guilty as charged.

Saturday – hubs and I go to our regular football match. We usually try to cram in visiting relatives and some shopping and other tasks that have been put off all week. We end up eating a lot of convenience food and drink as opposed to healthy home made alternatives.

Crap eater,never gonna lose weight and stay trim award – guilty as charged.

Sunday – hubs goes to play football. Feeling lazy I park George in front of the tele with his toys and spend the morning chilling but not really being very active.

Lazy mum, lazy girl award – guilty as charged.

So you see I can’t win. As varied as my weeks are, there is always something else I could have been doing. Something I’m guilty of not doing. And therefore I stand before you as an over thinker, guilty as charged.

So how can we stop this cycle of useless guilt? The most pointless emotion that serves no purpose than to go round in a vicious circle.

  • For starters you need to promote your self worth. You aren’t superman, no one is. We all have our own capabilities and you can only achieve what you are physically and mentally able to. I’m all for pushing your boundaries but do it sensibly and within reach.
  • Give yourself mental rewards. If you can beat yourself up mentally, you can big yourself up mentally. Try to recognise something positive that you have achieved each day, each hour if you are feeling powerful! Ok that’s not realistic.
  • Write things down, bad thoughts on paper are less prevalent in your head. Good thoughts on paper can be a boost to look back on during guilty times. Even better, right the good thoughts down on post its and place them in areas you are likely to see them.
  • This article perfectly sums it up; Get off your guilt trip and gain self esteem

Please share with us your guilty thoughts and how you deal with them.

Until next time…….

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Illumibowl Motion activated toilet night light review

*This post is our honest review of the Illumibowl toilet night light. I was provided with this product in return for this review. All opinions are my own.*

Those that know me, know that I like to be nothing if not unique. Add to this the fact that I am most definitely a lover of toilet talk, and you get the perfect accompaniment between product and reviewer. I’ve grown up with Dad’s farting at the dinner table and somehow the conversation always turns to poo. At my last job, I was well known throughout the department for choosing poo as my favourite topic of conversation.

I came across the Illumibowl on Facebook after seeing an advert. The pictures showed me everything I needed to know. When I saw the opportunity come up to review this fabulous item, I couldn’t wait to get started.

Illumibowl

Having a 2.5 year old, I’m still woken at least once in the night to comfort him. This in turn usually awakens my bladder also. Up until now, I’ve always just peed in the dark to try and avoid waking myself up too much. Well not anymore!

Now when I make my night time visit to the loo, I am greeted by an array of eight colours. Glowing warmly from my toilet bowl, it feels little strange when I take a seat and still have a glow coming out from the seat edges. It’s a welcome glow, a “you didn’t just walk in here blind” glow.

My cat’s litter tray is also on the entrance to bathroom. One of my cats has issues with his poos and can sometimes carry them out of the tray. I have been known to step in these in the dark and get back into bed with my foot carrying some cat poop. Hopefully this is the end to this yukky practice.

The illumibowl fits easily onto the edge of your toilet bowl in much the same way as a toilet freshener. The only difference being that the box part stays on the outside. With the slim arm sitting on the inside holding the light, and lighting up your toilet bowl when you enter the room. The Illumibowl is sensor activated so you have to fit it facing the bathroom entrance to get the best from it. The arm is adequate at holding the device securely to the toilet bowl. The light will only activate when it is dark. It is powered by three AAA batteries.

Unfortunately for us, our toilet faces the bathroom door. This means I’ve had to fit it at the front of the toilet. Not a problem for me. My husband worries that it will quickly get pee on the light. You can easily clean the Illumibowl with a damp cloth, as per the instructions.

The light settings can be easily set to one favourite colour or rotate between red, orange, blue, green, a lighter shade of blue,purple, dark pink and light pink. I think my favourites are the pinks, blues and green. 

Illumibowl

Now for the company themselves. Any company that makes a product to prettify your toilet bowl has got to be pretty cool right?! It appears from there website that they are also working on a complementing product in America called the Illumisink. You guessed it, Illumisink lights up the tap where the water comes out. After all, we all know it’s good hygiene to wash our hands after using the loo. What a fab duo.

If you would like to order an Illumibowl motion-activated toilet night light, visit their website here https://illumibowl.co.uk/ Whilst visiting their website, I’d recommend also checking out their fab potty training tips and my personal favourite, potty humour. There are some great jokes on toilet humour. The potty training tips are very timely as we just entering that stage with George.

Our overall household opinion is;

Me: This is such a fabulous product that I have to try and stop myself getting so excited that I wake up too much. It’s like a mini gentle disco whilst I pee.

Hubbie: He’s just worried he’s gonna piss on it. But it’s not the company’s fault our toilet is located where it is (his words).

George: (He’s not likely to see it until winter as he is sound asleep by the time it gets dark due to the time of year.) But I know this will be invaluable once he starts properly potty training and getting up in the night to use the loo. Hubs may actually find me and George hosting our own bathroom disco in the middle of the night.

Cats: They are probably thinking what the f***, but it lights up their bathroom experience too, so it’s win win.

My advice. Buy one. You won’t regret it. Give your friends and family toilet envy.

Everyone soooo knows what they are getting for Christmas from me now

Until next time…..

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

The boy who cried Mummy – Parenting annoyances

Welcome to another crazy insight into my world, my mind, my life with the boy who cried Mummy.

Without meaning to sound ridiculously selfish and ungrateful, I am so tired of hearing my name called, “Mummy” that is.  There are women that long to be called mummy. I know, ok, I’m sorry, I feel terrible complaining. But honestly those of you in the mummy club, please tell me you can relate. I love my child to pieces. I can’t even explain the love. That said, I really wish he would just stop saying “mummy” for five minutes, one minute even! Literally it’s non stop.

If you don’t have a child that does this or indeed a child at all, let me give you an insight into my current world.

Imagine you are called Sarah and you work in an office. Your boss is called David and is a little needy and over zealous. You are in the office trying to get things done. You are even just sitting at your desk on your break trying to get five minutes peace and this is what you experience;

Boss: “Sarah, look, I’m going to build a train track”

Sarah: “Oh cool”

Boss: “Sarah, I’ve put the first piece together”

Sarah: “Good job David, keep going”

Boss: “Sarah, can you see my train track?”

Sarah: Yes, I’m right here. It’s looking good. Don’t worry, I’m watching you. I can see everything.”

Boss: “Sarah?”

Sarah: “Yes?” (becoming exasperated)

Boss: “Sarah?”

Sarah: “Yes David, I already answered you, what is it”

Boss: “Sarah, I’m building a train track and putting all the pieces together”

Sarah: (not sure whether to cry or laugh) “Great David, that’s great”

You get my jist!? It’s relentless. Gosh I know I shouldn’t moan but sometimes I hear myself saying “can you just stop saying Mummy for five minutes?”

To which I hear “why?” Arrrgh!

I love to talk. I even love to talk nonsense. But sometimes even I get fed up of conversation.

Quite often throughout the day, at least 20 of the 100+ “Mummy’s” I hear are just for the sake of saying it. He literally goes about his day just habitually repeating the word Mummy. I have explained that this is dangerous as one day I may not respond to him when he really needs me to. Being so used to him calling my name for no apparent reason.

As heartless as this post sounds, I genuinely understand that he is two and half years old. He doesn’t understand why it would be annoying to keep saying Mummy. I’ve read that toddlers often say “why” and “what”, not for annoyance but to actually initiate conversation. I believe George’s repetition of the word “Mummy” may also be the same.

He is a very emotionally dependant on me and is never more than a few feet away. Perhaps he is also feeling a verbally emotional dependence as he is often quite shy around other people and doesn’t talk half as much. I have to add that I am a stay at home mum and spend almost 24/7 with George, including spending half our nights co-sleeping. He certainly isn’t saying it because he lacks my attention.

Or maybe he has just inherited my dislike of silence when in other peoples company. I would rather chat complete shit uninteresting nonsense when in the presence of others, than have to endure an awkward silence. Something that has found me digging a hole for myself on quite a few occasions. heck, you’ve only got to read my posts to realise what a rambler I am.

So before I ramble off topic much longer let’s return to the subject in hand. How do you feel about hearing “Mummy” or “Daddy” called a million times a day? Does every time you hear it fill you with elation or frustration? Do you believe there is another reason behind why children do this?

Until next time….

Easter 2017 – what’s all the fuss about? 

So here we are, Easter 2017, but what is the fuss all about? And clearly this year there is a fuss!

We all know the true meaning of Easter right? For some of us it’s the biblical meaning behind Easter. The rising of Christ. I’m not going to claim to know the details as I’m a non religious person. For others is all about the chocolate. Elaborate eggs or other shapes made from chocolate to indulge ourselves with. These are still a representation on Christianity. Symbolising new life in the same way as Jesus’s resurrection. 
My childhood memories of Easter are getting Easter eggs from relatives. We also used to make Easter bonnets. These would be worn in a parade around the school hall before a winner was announced. 
There were rumours of the Easter Bunny but it was vague and not such a feasible tale such as Father Christmas. 

Easter also prompts people to give up something they love for lent. A challenge again, with religious connotations but something I’ve been happily taking part in over the years. If nothing but to test my own will power and maybe lose a few pounds. 

Then there’s Easter 2017. The year we all went mad? Now I’m new to this “having a kid at Easter stuff”. Yes, George is two and half now but realistically he hasn’t been knowledgable about the whole Easter thing in previous years. But this year he gets it. 

The problem is that I don’t get it. I see Pinterest mums making Easter crafts for weeks prior to Easter. But I just couldn’t  muster the enthusiasm to take part. 
George has seen the eggs in the shops. Ionically just in time for him to become obsessed with chocolate. Relatives have brought him round eggs and he’s happily munched them. Hubs and I both bought him an egg. I bought him a simple £1 egg in a Paw patrol box which I knew would be gladly received. Hubs saw a chocolate train shaped “egg” and got him that too. 

Easter
George made an Easter card at nursery to bring home for us. We also got involved in painting with egg, bunny and chick stencils at our regular messy play session. We also visited our local farm and took part in an Easter egg hunt which was quite fun but again there wasn’t much explanation given as to why we all do this. 

Easter
However, my social media pals have had other ideas this year. I’ve seen pic after pic of parents having laid out a display of eggs, new toys, new clothes, Easter balloons and alike. All arranged in a Christmas or birthday style pile. Typically with a “can’t wait ’til little man/miss see’s their Easter treats”. Videos of children waking up and going downstairs to be surprised with their small mountain of Easter gifts. 
Did I miss the memo? Has this been the norm for years and I just never knew as I was childless? When did Easter become celebrated the same as Christmas? I even got a happy Easter card from my Dad! 

I haven’t returned this generosity. I have a grand total of 13 nieces and nephews and I don’t know how many friends children. I decided after buying Easter treats for them all last year that this just wasn’t sustainable. 

I’m by no means knocking people for doing this. Although I do find it a little unnecessary. Do what you like, if you can afford to. Mainly I don’t understand why?! Christmas has become a gift giving holiday for years now amongst a huge majority across the world. But aside from the giving of chocolate eggs and Easter egg hunts, when did the rest all start? 

We have woken up on Easter Sunday like it is any other day. We actually visited family and no one said Happy Easter to each other. 

You wouldn’t dream of seeing someone on Christmas Day and not saying Merry Christmas so I’m clearly not alone. 

What do you think? Has the commercialism got even more powerful this year? Did you buy your child lots of gifts for Easter? 

To all our readers, Christian or otherwise, wishing you a wonderful Easter and a Happy New Year (winks sarcastically). 

Signed the Easter Grinch. 

Until next time…….

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Ponies, Pub friends and Peppa Pig – A New Forest Holiday.

We have recently returned from a 4 night holiday to the New Forest. If I were to summarise our experience in short then ponies, pub friends and Peppa Pig are just a few of the things that made our stay there wonderful.

I’m sure some of you are thinking, “Oh great! Another mummy review about a holiday I couldn’t give a shit about!” But after regularly updating my personal Facebook page and also posting photos on instagram, I had lots of questions coming from people. They wanted to know what I thought of places we visited, where we were, so even if there is a small minority want to read this crap, then my possibly arthritic fingers have ached for nothing. (Big cheesy grin and a thumbs up from me.)

Our decision to book a break in the New Forest stemmed from a desire to take George (now 2 and half years) to Peppa Pig world before he completely lost interest in it altogether. If I’m honest I was feeling pretty hyperactive about it myself.

The New Forest really doesn’t describe itself very well. It’s actually a really, really old forest, decades in fact. But what it isn’t telling you is that it is one of the largest unenclosed pasture lands in the south east. Largest what what of a where now? Well basically it means that once you cross that cattle grid, it’s hello free roaming animals! Nothing can prepare you for the surreal beauty of this place!

Being my typical research freak self, I began looking for places to stay late last year and stumbled across an adventure packed holiday camp called Sandyballs. I checked that this wasn’t some sort of swingers camp, (have I ever told you about the time my 18 year old self and hubs accidentally found ourselves on the nudist beach at Brighton!)After confirming that everyone would be fully clothed and no car keys would be swapped, I subscribed to their mailing list.

Sidenote: I have no problem with swinging if that’s your chocolate cake. Each to their own. I just wouldn’t book that type of resort for a toddler friendly holiday. Let’s still be friends yeah.

new forest ponies

Just before New Years, they had a flash sale offering 15% off of the booking price. As a result, I managed to book us a comfort caravan on the site for £207 for 4 nights. When looking at hotels in the local area that offer 2 nights at Peppa Pig world (Paultons Park) and one night in their hotel, it equated to almost the same price and you would still be 18-30 miles away from the theme park!

Although the Sandyballs booking didn’t include the Peppa Pig tickets, these are £27.25 if purchased in advance online. Saving £4.50 per person the day and once purchased the ticket is open ended so can be used once on almost any date until the end of October 2017.

Our booking included a 4 night stay in a two bed caravan, sleeping 4 people. The caravan came equipped with central heating in all rooms, microwave and a decent size lounge television with built in DVD player.  It had other things but these are the things that are important to me and the night time milk monster. For a full inventory, check the Sandyballs website. (Link further down, cheeky way to force you to keep reading methinks).

In my own opinion and with relatively high expectations I found the accommodation clean and comfortable, aside from the mattresses on the beds! These were very soft if i’m being polite, completely knackered and in need of an update if I’m being honest. On one of the singles you had to fight not to roll off one side.  Outside you have a single parking space directly next to your caravan, some were a very short walk to a small parking area. If you have ever been to Centreparcs though then this is a luxury you will possibly appreciate. You also have a picnic table and barbeque. All service charges and linen are included in the price. As well as use of the leisure facilities. I’m not going to waffle on about everything in lots of detail because their website does that all for me.

All you need to know is, I loved it, hubs loved it, George said he loved it. Although at the time he was going through some weird “I can’t believe you’ve driven me 2 hours up the road and called it a holiday anxiety”. He spent the week insisting hubs carried him everywhere like some sort of Egyptian ruler and told me to “go away, I don’t want you”. To be fair though, when we took a walk through the forest it had random strange headstones and felt eerie. So perhaps it was haunted and George was in fact possessed for the week.

new forest comfort caravan

My overall opinion is that is was clean, friendly, welcoming and somewhere we would most definitely recommend.

Onsite you have a convenience store. The prices are relatively reasonable and not massively increased. Genuinely! I’d say everything was marked up by about 50p more than the supermarkets but that’s to be expected. There are a few local supermarkets such as Tesco express and Waitrose just a short drive away though.

There is an amusements arcade with a good selection of old and new style arcade games and penny drop machines. Next door to this is an unsupervised soft play area for younger children and toddlers. We didn’t get around to trying this unfortunately, but it looked pretty cool. As did the huge park play area which again we sadly didn’t get around to trying. But there wouldn’t be a reason to go back if we had exhausted everything so every cloud and all that.

sandyballs amusement arcade

Across the road from our caravan we had an access path to the forest. This was an active walk up and down hills and with access to the river. A toddler could manage it though. Sandyballs appear to own this part of the forest as there are many signs for their activities such as clay shooting and pond dipping. They have such a huge array of activities. We didn’t actually book any except cycle hire. There really is so much to do for every age. Checkout their website here, Sandyballs to see all they have to offer. It has our seal of approval.

Anyone that knows me, knows I believe that life is too short and the world is too vast to return to the same place twice. But on  rare occasions I will. I believe Sandyballs has so much to offer that we would both love to return for maybe a 7 day stay and hire a lodge with a hot tub.

It’s also worth noting that we went just out of season in the last week of March so there is more on offer during peak times. There wasn’t much in the way of evening entertainment. Onsite there is a restaurant, The Forest table, offering Italian cuisine. We had a fry up breakfast here one morning and it was delicious. This restaurant appeared calmer of an evening and less suitable for the likes of a noisy toddler and his Blaze and the Monster machines car tearing it up and down the table.

We chose to dine at the Woodside Inn one night and stopped by a second night for dessert and drinks. The Woodside Inn is both dog and child friendly. This reminded me of the scene in the film Titanic. Whilst the more refined classes were enjoying fine dining in the upper decks or in this case The Forest Table. We were herded together, dogs and rowdy children into the pub the Woodside Inn, to do some irish dancing on the tables. Clearly this is just a figment of my imagination but it did make me chuckle.

We absolutely loved it at the Woodside inn. The food was lush and portion sizes were sufficient. We attended the pub quiz curry night on the wednesday and there was a good mix of pensioners, 50 somethings and thirty something families in attendance. The banter was good and the quiz was very well organised. Needless to say our confidence wasn’t much help as we came close to bottom.

The staff everywhere were very friendly and always made an effort to interact with George, who was at times struggling to adjust to the excitement of being on holiday and was being very clingy and temperamental.

The swimming pool area was nice but it wasn’t all singing and dancing, no slides or alike. There are two small triangular splash pools for toddlers, either side of the steps to the main pool. As it was March, we couldn’t try the outside pool as it is closed off peak. I absolutely loved having some much needed chill time in the Jacuzzi and Spa, pummelling my sore muscles after a crazy bike ride. Whilst still being able to seeing hibs and little one play together in the splash pool.

new forest mountain biking

Ah yes, the bike ride. Hubs and I haven’t ridden bikes in just over two years. Having hired from  the onsite cycle centre, who provided us with a route map of varying difficulties, we set off. It was George’s first time on the back of a bike in a special childs seat. We were apprehensive as to whether he would enjoy it, but he really did.

Our chosen cycle route took us down the road before entering the forest. Once in the forest, we encountered many ponies. You are advised not to approach or touch them, but they approached us so it seemed rude not to. They simply wanted a little scratch and then they were on their way again, munching through the forest. At one point a grey pony crossed the path ahead, specifically to stand in my way. I asked him if he was trying to tell me not to continue that route and he simply looked at me and walked off. Leaving me dumbfounded. Needless to say he wasn’t wasn’t warning me about any dangers ahead. Maybe about the small stream we had to ride across that I ended up getting a sodden foot in, but I’m here to tell the tale.

The ponies were just totally surreal. As soon as you cross the cattle grid there are ponies galore, with the odd cow and donkey. It was just awe-inspiring.

Until next time…..

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
Flying With A Baby

A tubthumping Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day in our household was seeming like an ordinary day. Hubs was having a lie in and I was going about my normal motherly , housewife duties when this just hit me.

Seeing fellow mummies share posts of breakfast in bed and showered with gifts (shame on me for having my birthday 6 days prior) I felt compelled to start writing.

And so a tubthumping Mother’s Day was born. Read this to the tune of Tubthumping by Chumbawamba. A hit with anyone old enough to remember the 90’s. Even better, pop the tune on in the background whilst you read my ‘alternative’ lyrics. I hope it brings a smile to your face.

Tubthumping – Chumbawamba

 A Tubthumping Mother’s Day


We’ll be singing, coz we’re women, we’ll be singing.

I get no sleep, I get up in the night, I’ve got a toddler who’s screaming “Milk!”
I get no sleep, but I get up at dawn, I ain’t never gonna lie in late!
I get him milk, but he won’t go to sleep, he wants to come and sleep in my bed.
I bring him in, but he won’t go to sleep, he wants the television on instead!

Wishing my life away…..tomorrows another day.

I change a wet nappy
I change a pooey nappy
I feed the toddler
I feed the pussy cats
I check my Facebook reminds me of the good times
I check my Instagram reminds me of the better times.

Ohhh…mummy I…mummy I..want my Paw Patrolllllll!!!!!!

I get back up and I sit down again….you won’t ever let me stay sat down!
I get your yoghurt….and then I get your drink
I’m feeling like some sort of waitress now
I get no tips
I get more whining
And Daddy is god knows where right now!
I’m thinking tea and something nice to eat
But I’ll just have to make my own in this house!

Putting the toys awayyyy
Putting the toys awayyyy

I clean the litter tray
I clean the bottles
I put the laundry on
I get the hoover out
I check my Facebook reminds me of the good times
I check my Instagram reminds me of the better times.

Don’t cry for me, it will soon be Fathers Day 😜

I get back up, and I sit down again….you won’t ever let me stay sat down.
I get some food
The cats done a poo
Will I ever get to finish my mouth
I sip my drink
And it’s gone cold again
I may just as well be nil by mouth
I get no break and then I hear hubs say,
Wish Mummy Happy Mothers Day!

Until next time…..

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday