Category Archives: Lifestyle

Manners, the forgotten art of – how NOT to thank someone for a gift.

I’m noticing more and more that manners are becoming a forgotten art. Just watching an episode of Eastenders the other night it was even apparent. Michelle pulled up in a black taxi and said “wait here while I get your money”! What! This is not how I would speak to anyone! I would have said “please could you wait here a moment whilst I grab my money from inside. Sorry about this”.

I’m not even going to ask if anyone thinks I’m wrong because I I’m a believer of manners and I’m disliking this world that has not only forgotten them but doesn’t seem to be teaching them to our children. 

This leads me to my biggest and longstanding bug bear. Thanking people for gifts. When I was growing up, after each Birthday and Christmas, I would, along with my sister, write thank you notes and send them out to everyone that had sent me a gift or card or money. This wasn’t under duress. I actually enjoyed writing a thoughtful letter to each person that had sent me a gift or money. I would explain how much I liked that gift and why or what I was intending on spending the money on.

As I’ve aged and technology has advanced, I have on occasions switched to the same routine but sending it via text message, email, whatsapp and alike or phoning the individual. A personal thank you to let them know that the thought and effort they placed into ensuring I received something for my birthday or christmas had not gone unnoticed.

I took a leaf from my sister, as a fellow list lover and would have a running list next to me as I opened the gifts. Documenting who the present was from and brief description of what it was. At my baby shower my sister ran the list for me. I just find it helps later on in remembering who gave what. Especially if you receive a lot of gifts.

As George is now in our lives, I quickly jot down presents as he opens them also. I try to ensure this doesn’t take away from me watching him open the gifts. In between making a list and taking photos of him, gift opening is somewhat of a military operation in my world. It’s still fun though I promise. It encourages him to take his time and appreciate each gift. I’m not sure how practical this will be at christmas if we have more than one child but I’m sure we’ll manage.We usually open gifts over the course of several days so as not to overwhelm him and also to encourage appreciation. We have a relatively large family so he receives quite a lot of gifts.

Here’s my list of acceptable and unacceptable ways to thank people for a gift.

Totally acceptable and I will love and respect you forever

  • Bespoke postcards – mass ordered but with a handwritten note thanking me for noted gift
  • Text message/Whatsapp to me personally, thanking me for the specifically identified gift. (Bonus points if you include a picture of you wearing the gift, of it in your home, your child playing with it etc).
  • Handwritten letter or card
  • Creative art from the child who received the gift. (A scribble, a scrawl, a handprint in paint, it’s the thought that counts.)
  • A verbal thanks at the time of opening

Pretty unacceptable methods of thanks leaving me unlikely to give you any more gifts , or at least no longer put much thought or effort into them.

  • no thank you at all
  • A verbal thank you on being handed the gift but nothing after you have opened it and actually discovered what it is.
  • A “one message fits all” Facebook status, thanking “everyone” for their gifts. No! I want to know you personally received and liked MY gift not everyone’s.

I try to treat people the way I wish to be treated. Unfortunately this sets my expectations of people far too high, often leaving me disappointed. I’m making a stand though. No longer shall I spend hours of my time putting together well thought out gifts for those that cannot find the time to thank me properly.

Here’s a fab post I found with some great tips on how to thank people for gifts for many occasions;

12 ways to say Thanks and mean it

What’s your idea of good manners when it comes to thanking people for gifts? Do you think I expect too much? Do you get annoyed by people’s apparent ungratefulness in this day and age?

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

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

‘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

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

A review of Everyman cinema – Beauty and the Beast 2017 #KCACOLS

This post is a review of  Everyman cinema, detailing the experience we had watching Beauty and the Beast, 2017. Please note there will be NO spoilers from the film, so please feel free to read on without hesitation.

Visiting the cinema is something I haven’t done in several years.  To celebrate my birthday, (I totally believe in Birthdays by the way!) I thought it was ideal to try out our new Everyman cinema. I know so many people who claim birthdays are ” just another day”. Not so in my books! Each birthday is a celebration of making it through another year. So many people don’t make it through no choice of their own. To my mind, life is a gift to be celebrated. So I asked my darling mum to have George for several hours. Allowing myself and hubs to have some quality time together.

Our local area has recently received the marvellous addition of an Everyman cinema. If you haven’t heard of Everyman , they are a cinema chain offering a luxury cinema experience. For our film of choice I decided a romantic rendezvous with the hubs wouldn’t be complete without a romantic fairytale ala Beauty and the Beast.

On arrival we approached the desk and informed the lone girl at the counter that we had booked to see the 13:45 viewing online. After determining we were there to see Beauty and the Beast, her interaction with us ceased. I had to ask her for guidance, explaining that we hadn’t been before. It would have been helpful to have been asked if we had visited before and explain how things work.

As we made our way to the main atrium, a selection of boutique styled seating and tables confronted us, along with a bar and several people sitting eating. A quick stop off at the loo revealed all the soap dispensers had ran out. The member of staff I informed was very apologetic and this was rectified when I visited the loos again before we left the cinema. We took a seat in the atrium and began to peruse the menu.

Having done my research, (I’m a stickler for research!) I knew you could order food to have brought to your seat in the screening. Again though, being a total newbie I didn’t know how you went about arranging this.

The barman simply asked for our order so I asked how we arrange for the food to be delivered to our seats. He said he would give us our drinks now and the food would be delivered to our seats. (The film wasn’t due to start for half an hour so in hindsight we should’ve asked for the food there and then). The menu has a choice of pizza, garlic bread, nachos, chips, burgers and hotdogs. With sundaes, brownies and then typical sweets and popcorn for afters. Drinks were varied with upmarket soft drinks, wines, beers, cocktails, coke floats and milkshakes.

We ordered an orange and ginger fentimans for hubs and a chambord royale cocktail for me. We ordered fries with cheese each. Then I ordered a sundae and hubs ordered a brownie. After moseying about for a while with our drinks, we saw ourself to the screening room. You don’t need your tickets checking, unless you want assistance to your seat.

everyman cinema review

After settling down in our comfy, spacious two seater sofa, complete with cuddle cushions, we waited for our food. As we waited for the the trailers to begin, a waitress appeared with my ice cream sun

The Friday Bruce Almighty helped me out – That Friday Linky

Friday has arrived. The first thing to recognise about today is that it is my eldest sister’s birthday so shout out to her. She really is the most kind and caring person there is and has always mothered me. Yesterday also marked the birthday of my step sister who is the same age as me. We are 18 days apart. I feel more like we are non biological, Irish twins rather than step sisters. Hate the term step. She’s my sister.
So today has been one of those Fridays where you feel like some kind of superhero. Do you have those days? I think it’s really important to recognise days when you exceed expectations of yourself.
This particular Friday morning I had rather foolishly booked a fringe trim for 9am. George is 2 years old and an only child, whilst I’m a stay at home mum.  So I’m not used to early starts and being out of the door before 9. The person in charge of my
Book of life also decided this morning that my alarm would fail and that I would wake at 7:57am!
With under an hour to get myself and a procrastinating toddler ready, I saw he was a sweaty sticky mess and realised it was my hair washing day and the dry shampoo was something I’d foolishly left off the shopping list. (In truth I read a article a while back about it causing bald patches and I’ve not bought it since, despite loving the magic of the stuff!).
Despite all this. I somehow managed to wash and blow dry my hair. Slap on some minimalist make up. Dress and shower both myself and George. Layer us both up, with a quick kiss sending hubby on his way to work, also unblocking  the driveway for my car to leave.
I’m not sure if some Jim Carrey God type, ala Bruce Almighty, froze time for us this morning but somehow we made it on time. George even forgot to throw his routine tantrum over something ridiculous on the way out of the door.
Arriving at the hairdressers at 9.05am with a dinosaur dangled in front of George’s face to encourage him to run faster, I began to explain my morning. The staff there congratulated me on my achievement.
Big fucking deal I hear you say. Well as I explained at the start, for me, it is. So I subconsciously gave myself a little “you’re fabulous” award before settling down for a quick fringe trim.
Feeling tidy and perfected, I headed to McDonald’s for a breakfast of champions. George got some rather satisfying puddle jumping in and we enjoyed a naughty breakfast treat together. Looking at the clock I realised we had a Hartbeeps class scheduled for 10am.
Pulling up at the village hall for our regular Friday Hartbeeps sesh, I was perfecting my reverse parking manoeuvre when I heard a loud crunch. Those vertical paving slabs that were at the back of the parking bay were closer than I had realised. Again, upon looking, I found no damage. Bruce Almighty must have been at work again.
Hartbeeps was its usual crazy dancing and singing self and we got to spend time with some friends. It’s a franchise that offers classes nationwide. I can fully recommend you try it. It starts as young as a babe in arms.
We finished our crazy morning with a play session at a friends house. I had crazily decided to make some avocado chocolate brownies the night before for us mummies to enjoy. The recipe was in the free Asda magazine. They contain a lot of peanut butter and to be honest it’s hard to taste much else. My friend seemed to enjoy them. I don’t like avocado but I know it has great health benefits so this is a great way for me to sneak it into my diet.
I’m don’t practice any religion or believe in a particular holy being. I actually read an article yesterday that suggests I might be a humanist. The jury is still out on that one. But I can’t help feeling like everything was on our side this Friday morning. It may sound ridiculous but if I do have a guardian angel, they definitely gave me a helping hand this morning.
Wishing you all a fabulous Friday and a wonderful weekend. Achieve what you can and give yourself credit where credit is due.
Until next time……
 This post was taking part in #ThatFridayLinky . Organised by Twin Mummy and Daddy
Twin Mummy and Daddy
Friday, Bruce Almighty, Breakfast, Brownies and Hartbeeps.