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 Ā£8/Ā£9 each from tk max, the polly pocket was around Ā£3.50 (in the Sainsbury’s sale) and the little bus was Ā£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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Alright pet?!…

When is the best time to introduce a pet into the family? We have a goldfish called Matilda but seeing as the kids can’t stroke her and she’s not very good at catch, my eldest child has been pestering me for a pet. 

She adores cats. We used to have a cat called Stanley when she was younger but he went out one day & didn’t come back. She used to tell everyone that he went to sainsburys šŸ™ˆ (do you think I shop there too much?!) but as its been 4 years – I don’t think he’s coming home. 


(Stanley šŸ˜») 

We were recently offered a little kitten by a friend of mine who just wanted her to have a good home. I was keen, but my other half wasn’t so sure. Our youngest is 19 months and may be a bit too ‘hands on’ with a kitten. 

As well as cats and dogs – I love tortoises. I don’t know why, maybe it’s their little wrinkly faces or the fact they’re like little living dinosaurs šŸ˜ I saw a picture recently on Gina Martin’s Twitter (if you don’t know who she is you should check her out – she’s awesome, she launched the campaign to make ‘upskirting’ illegal) she has a gorgeous rescue tortoise called Gary Tortellini (amazing name right?!). It was Gary’s birthday and she made her a birthday hat – I literally can’t even deal with the cuteness – LOOK šŸ‘€


Do you have pets? If so what do you have? And what ages were your children when your new addition came along? I’m pet broody…proody if you will! Is that a thing? šŸ˜‚ if not it should be x 

The name game…

Would you be brave enough to let your child name their new brother or sister? I’m all for unusual names but when Lulu suggested we call her baby brother YouTube…I had to draw the line! 

Apparently Hillary Duff’s son wants to call his new sibling Cofant Croissant – which sounds like the name of an excellent Bond villain or an evil step mother haha. I’d love to know how their little minds work to come up with some of these ideas. 

I do know someone who let their son name his new baby brother…luckily for them he picked the name Jack.

Some families have said they at least consider the suggestions made by their older children as they want them to feel more connected and not pushed out by the impending new arrival. With many of them going on to use the suggested names as middle names. Scary spice allegedly let her daughter Phoenix name her little sister, going for something a lot less unusual than her name, Maddison. 

When I was at school, I was the only student with my name. I loved it and now my daughter is the only one at her school with her name. 

Personally I think it’s nice to be different with your name choices and pretty much anything goes nowadays…but I definitely won’t be bringing a YouTube or Cofant into the world anytime soon.

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 Ā£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. 

Here ear…

The past three weeks have been a little bit of a nightmare. 

My daughter was booked in to have her ears pinned back, her first ever operation. She handled it wonderfully…no tears…no drama…mummy on the other hand had a full on Kim K cry face sob when she went under the anesetic. I wondered if I was doing the right thing, hoping everything would go to plan and I could have her back with me soon. 

Once she was under I was handed a little buzzer…you know the ones you get in the harvester?…I was told when she was awake the buzzer would go off and I could retrieve my child, which made me feel like I was waiting for a table not my baby lol! 

The operation is classed as a day case, so once she was awake, eating and drinking again she was allowed to go home.

After taking the bandages off, one ear looked more sore and redder than the other one – but that was the one that was more prominent so we thought nothing of it. She had no temperature, no pain, nothing so we just cleaned it everyday and hoped it was getting better.

When we went for her one week post op check up – we were told that they were not happy with the redder ear and she would have to be operated on again right there and then. I had the baby with me, no clothes or anything for Lulu and I was a bit shocked that my little girl was about to have her second anesetic & operation within a week. 

When she awoke the second time, she was sore and sad and that made my heart sink. I was also told that she would be kept in for a few days on strong iv antibiotics as the ear is a hard place for antibiotics to get too. The baby was not allowed to stay at the hospital so luckily we had lots of great family members on board to take it in turns with me as to who would stay what nights. I wanted to be with her all the time but also didn’t want to leave the baby for too long so it was difficult, the more children you have the harder it is to split yourself in these sorts of situations.

Anyway Lulu felt fab in herself following the op and I think started to get cabin fever stuck in the hospital with the lovely weather outside. It was almost one week after the second op, her ear looked great, she was doing really well and I was expecting them to say we could go home but they dropped another bombshell…they wanted her fasted from that evening to possibly have a third surgery in the morning. 

I lost it by this point. The thought of her having to have a third surgery in two weeks when she was making great progress really really upset me. Thankfully the next morning the surgeon came round and said her ears looked great and we could *finally* go home! Which was great timing as we had a holiday to Devon booked for the following day and she so needed the sea air and change of scenery. We’ve still got two weeks of oral antibiotics to get through and we’re not necessarily out of the woods yet but we’re on holiday…her ears look fantastic…her confidence has grown and she’s so happy with them…although I’ve been told I need to learn how to do plaits now haha! X 

To all of the wonderful nhs staff that looked after my baby and helped to calm my nerves…thank you šŸ’—

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.

Christmas past…

I miss the Christmas of the past. Selection boxes were a proper present and the only thing I wanted most in the whole world was a Furby (which I got). You’d have family members coming out of your ear holes there were so many. I remember sitting round that table looking up in awe of everyone being together, merry, full of love – or baileys (or both). 

Year after year of grandads war stories & him falling asleep after dinner clutching my new teddy, uncle stu telling us funny anecdotes or stories about who he was dating at the time, my lovely step dad laughing and drinking a JD and coke, mum and nan pottering around in the kitchen and dancing, my little brother playing with his toys and when she finally came into the world (when I was 16) my little sister being handed around the table like pass the parcel. 

Those days were my happy place. The thing I looked forward to every year. Fast forward the last 10 years and we’ve lost a lot. Grandad went first, followed by nan a year later. Mum and her brother subsequently had a falling out, each year our table decreasing by one. For a few years it was just us; Mum, Mark (my step dad) me, Little bro and sis and that was fine. Then my daughter came along 6 years ago, a brand new addition and another (high) chair around the table. 

Two years ago we were dealt the biggest blow yet. My stepdad Mark passed away after a long battle with MS. He was 52. The following Christmas was the hardest. I lost my Christmas spirit and I don’t think I’ve fully regained it yet. I know I’m lucky to still have my mum, brother, sister, daughter and now my partner and baby boy at the table, but I can’t help but feel a pang of sadness because the ones we’ve lost aren’t there. 

Christmas is not the same. It never will be, but now I get to see it through my beautiful babies eyes. Their nans, grandads, aunties, uncles, sisters, brothers, mums and dads. They’ll have those moments, hear those stories and I hope they cherish them because one day those people won’t be at the table, but your memories will stay with you always. Take lots of pictures, listen to every story, laugh and tell them you love them. Merry Christmas everyone x 


My brother and I in the 90’s šŸ˜±šŸ˜‚