Naughty or Nice?…

Do you do Christmas Eve boxes? It’s a tradition I started a few years ago in our house.

We use them as a ‘farewell’ present from the elves and if they get a box…they know they have been put on father Christmas’ nice list.

I used to put a Christmas movie in them but now with all the festive films you could wish to see readily available on Netflix, amazon and now tv (to name a few) I haven’t put one in.

This years boxes are made up of a new pair of pyjamas, a selection box, a few festive themed colouring books and pencils, a small present and a cuddly toy! My children are 7 and 1 and this works for both of their ages only with a small few changes like the baby has crayons instead of pencils.

I then wrapped everything individually in brown paper, drew a reindeer face on the front and then stuck on Pom poms for noses. A simple yet very effective decorating technique.

Once all the presents are in the box it looks like they have a lot, so it’s more exciting for them…but in reality everything in the box (apart from the pyjamas) was relatively inexpensive.

The colouring & activity books were from Poundland, the pencils & crayons were 50p each packet from wilko’s, the selection packs were 75p each from wilko’s, the cuddly toys were around £8/£9 each from tk max, the polly pocket was around £3.50 (in the Sainsbury’s sale) and the little bus was £1 from Poundland. Both pairs of pj’s were from gap.

If you do boxes – let me know what you put in yours. I can’t wait to see their faces when they open these, Christmas really is the most wonderful time of the year, especially when you have children x

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Playroom of dreams…

Our dining room never actually was a dining room. As soon as we moved in my daughter declared it as the ‘playroom’ and that is what it’s been ever since. We had a toy kitchen in there and loads of toy bins, buckets and boxes which took up all the room and stopped them actually playing in there. 

The other week I had had enough, I popped to Ikea & came out with three shelving units, 6 storage boxes and two hotdogs (one was for my other half haha!) I wanted to create a practical place that toys could be stored in but also a stylish area to play and entertain the children. With a one year old and a seven year old you have to find the balance between babyish and that bit more grown up…this is what the result was;

I (and they) absolutely adore their new space. I find them sitting together reading a book or emptying out all the drawers I’ve just filled! I have removed the toy kitchen and am hoping to put that in a playhouse in the garden for Christmas so I’ll have to have a word with Santa and see what he can do on that front. 

I keep jigging it around and adding different bits like some prints on the wall from Desenio, some lights from primark, photo frames and some bigger book storage drawers from sainsburys…I don’t know if it’ll ever be fully ‘finished’ but I love it & I wish I had had somewhere similar to play when I was younger x 

A week away to Lynton, Devon…

We left the Friday of a bank holiday weekend (big mistake) it took us about just over SIX hours to get to our destination. We arrived at our hotel – valley of rocks hotel tired, hungry and with a car full of cases and children. The first hurdle…there were no ramps or access for buggies/suitcases/wheelchairs? So after carrying up 4 cases and a baby in a buggy – I was knackered! To then be told that we had missed dinner and were offered just a ham sandwich instead, I was not happy. 


After finding a lift to take us up a few floors and navigating corridors, further random steps with a baby in a buggy, a child and two cases (my mum and sister had taken theirs) we arrived at our ‘family room.’ There was just two single beds and no cot. 

I picked up the phone to call reception to request a cot…only to find the phone in my room did not work. Leading to a trip back down the stairs with the children (minus the cases) to inquire about said cot. 

Back at the room, I was trying to settle the very tired little travellers down. The cot finally arrived and after a bit of faffing by the handyman the cot was up! It was time to make the baby a bottle and a cup of tea for a very frazzled mummy, I filled the kettle, turned on the switch and you guessed it…the kettle didn’t work. You couldn’t make it up. I couldn’t call down to reception…so I gathered up the children and went down again to request a working kettle. 

Kettle arrived. Milk was made. Tea was drunk, mummy felt defeated but nothing a good sleep wouldn’t sort out I thought. 

In the morning we went down for breakfast, ravenous from the lack of dinner the night before. The cooked breakfast was nice but I feel they would benefit from adding some pastries, fruit and yoghurt to the menu as by the end of the week – I was sick of the sight of sausages. 

Overall the hotel looks lovely from the outside, and has undergone some modernisation inside, but is tired in other areas like where one of our windows was stuffed with tissue paper instead of being repaired. I would not have classed our room as a ‘family room.’ There was only a shower, no bath so there was nowhere to wash the baby, there was no fridge, there was also no option of a zed bed…so unless your baby is of cot size you couldn’t of shared a room?! Also you could only get wifi in the main hall of the hotel – not in your rooms. In this day and age wifi should be available in your room. 

I think the hotel is mainly geared up for the older generation and I did get some frowning looks from the other guests if the baby moaned at the dinner table. If they want to become more family friendly – they would benefit from a children’s menu as my daughter rarely liked anything from the set menu and ended up eating a lot of chips (she’s not even my fussy eater!).

The hotel itself is in a lovely location and Lynton was very beautiful. A short drive away is woody bay railway & steam train which was a nice way to spend the morning. I think we got a family ticket and that cost around £18 which was worth it, as although the journey in itself is not a long one – you can go on as many times in a day as you’d like to. The staff were also very lovely and played their parts well. It was our first time on a steam train and I would reccomend it as we all enjoyed it. 

Overall we enjoyed our week away. If the hotel made a few changes I’m sure it would be lovely and I’m glad to report the drive home only took 4 hours – although we won’t be making any journeys that far again until the baby is a lot older. If you do go to Lynton and you have a baby – make sure you bring enough baby milk as the shops do not stock milk powder nearby. We loved Devon and would like to go again someday but maybe somewhere with a few more shops nearby. 

Should’ve gone to specsavers…

My daughter was due her eye check so I made an appointment over the phone and popped along after school to specsavers. 

She was ‘star of the week’ at school this week which means we get to take this delightfully grubby little bunny teddy called Raggles everywhere we go…affectionately renamed by us as snot rag! 

Anyway, Lulu, snot rag and I arrived in good time for her appointment and perused the endless amount of glasses on display while waiting to be seen.


All the staff are friendly and accommodating and it’s not long before we’re seen. 

We were taken into one of the rooms where Lulu’s eyes were checked by using a mixture of little lights and a big machine that made the letters clearer or blurrier to get a good overall view on what she could see. 


I’m glad to report that both human and stuffed bunny both got glowing results in their eye tests and will not be needing glasses. The optometrist was lovely and really made Lulu feel at ease with all the checks & we will get another appointment for next year just to make sure everything is as it should be. 

If you’re thinking of getting an eye test for your child, look up specsavers online for your nearest store and booking info. I can’t recommend them highly enough! 🤓

What’s your emergency?…

Recently I’ve been teaching my six year old about what to do in an emergency. You hear these stories about the wonderful and brave children that have saved a parents, siblings or a friends life and although I hope she’s never in a situation where she has to do that – I want her to have an understanding of what to do if she is.

Firstly, I started off with 999 and told her if there was a fire, a burglar, someone was choking or hurt to call that number. She asked ‘How will I know who I need out of an ambulance, fire engine or a police officer?’ I said that someone would answer the phone and if you were unsure who you needed to just tell the operator what’s happened and they will send out whoever they think is most appropriate to deal with the situation you describe to them.

As many of us do, I have a password lock on my mobile phone and if I was unable or incapable of making the call she would have to do it. She knows my password but in a stressful situation she might forget it so I showed her how you can still make an emergency call on a locked I-phone.

Incase you were unaware, when you swipe to unlock your phone two options come up at the bottom corners, cancel or emergency. I told her to press on emergency and then (in an emergency) call 999. You can also set up your ‘Medical ID’ so if something had happened to you, a doctor or nurse etc would be able to contact whoever you had put as your emergency contact numbers and tell them where you were and if you were okay. You can also put down if you take any medications or are allergic to anything so they don’t give you any medication that could potentially do more harm than good.

I don’t know if six is too young to teach her this, I think you can gage for yourself whether you think your child is mature enough to know what you’re telling them and only use it in a life or death situation or whether they’ll start calling 999 every time you refuse to buy them a kinder egg while out shopping! But, in all seriousness I was trying to equip her with some potentially life saving knowledge as I know she can handle it.

I read recently that St John Ambulance are trying to get first aid taught to school children and I definitely think that should happen. You never know what’s around the corner and I think we should all be a bit more clued up on how to help people in any medical or emergency situation…You never know – it could just be your life they help save! x

All I ever wanted…

Have you seen the gorgeous Melimelo bags? There’s one that resonated with me so much. The slogan on it was ‘All I ever wanted was everything’ and I am so guilty of this. But what do you class as everything? Is anyone ever truly happy and satisfied with what they have? It’s human nature – we always want more.

When I was younger I used to think when I have the perfect house, car, clothes,figure and designer handbags coming out of my ears…that’s when i’ll have ‘made it.’ Approaching 30, renting, covering my lumps and bumps in primark leggings and barely being able to afford a gingerbread house – let alone the dream house on rightmove, I see now that that, in fact was not ‘everything.’

Seeing people I love, fighting just to stay alive, to have one more sniff of a loved ones head. To get oxygen into their lungs. To hear I love you one more time. You realise that however lovely it would be to have the materialistic items – none of it means anything really. You wont want to hug your designer shoes when the end comes, you wont be flicking through photo albums of your top spec cars, reminiscing about how much money you’ve spent over the years. It will be the people that you shared your life with, the ones you gave life too and the friends along the way…that’s who you’ll want there, that is what matters. Money may be able to buy you a certain amount of happiness but it cant buy you life.

I am very lucky to have been able to of had two beautiful children that I love with every atom of my being, I have a wonderful partner, mother, siblings and friends. My children have their health and I have mine to be able to look after them and watch them grow – and that, to me…is in fact – MY EVERYTHING.

Anxiety about my children’s safety…

I’ve not told anyone. I don’t quite fully understand it myself yet – but for the last few months I’ve been suffering with anxiety and panic attacks.I keep having feelings that something awful will happen to my children, like someone taking them, hurting them or hurting me when I’m with them on my own and I won’t be able to protect them. I’m not sure whether it’s because I have two of them now so I can’t give both my 100% attention at the exact same time? If you have eyes on one you’re not watching the other one and visa versa. It’s really annoying me, I know I’m being irrational but I don’t know what to do?! I’m fine with them on the school run but if we go shopping or (heavens forbid) the park I start to panic and get all flushed. Some days I’m absolutely fine & I’m okay if another adult is with us (my partner or my mum etc) but some days I can’t sleep properly and can’t get those thoughts out of my head no matter how hard I try. 

It seems to get worse at certain times of the month, I looked it up and it’s actually a thing. PMS anxiety. Apparently we get a rapid increase in the hormone Cortisol when our periods are due, which is linked to anxiety. There are the usual tips online about keeping a stable, healthy diet, taking relaxing time for yourself and doing excercise to help but to be honest – I like eating cake, it’s raining outside (any excuse not to excercise) and who has time to relax with two young kids?! I know – I’m not helping myself. 

I just feel like I want to wrap the children up safe, make indoors like Fort Knox and maybe get them gps micro chipped?! (I don’t think that’s a thing…but it should be!) 

Has anyone else experienced this sort of anxiety and if so what did you do about it? You probably dealt with it in a much more adult way then me *gathers children and goes to play in the den under the dinner table until further notice* 

I’m hoping these feelings will pass as quickly as they came but I’m not holding out much hope. X