Thursday, 30 June 2016

In June I have been.....

I thought at the end of every month I would do a little recap of the month. Tell you about the things that I have been loving, hating, watching and so on....


Reading.
Blogs. Lots of blogs. It's the only reading I do now a days. At the moment I seem to be reading a lot of Angela's blog Days In Bed. She is such a lovely person, an inspiration and blogs about a bit of everything. Do go and have read.

Listening to.
100% Clubland. It's not usually the music I would listen to now but I did used to love it years ago. A lot of it is so cheesy but there are a lot of songs which hold great memories for me.

Watching.
Euro 2016. I have seen nearly every match. The only one's I've missed are were the one's where they were on at the same time. I'm gutted England were knocked out but they deserved it. They were hopeless. Now I want Wales or Iceland to win and yes I will continue to watch all the matches.

Learning.
How to Double my Blog’s Traffic....I read a blog post from Love from Mim and it got me thinking and working on my blog. It's all about spring cleaning your older posts. It feels like it's going to take me forever as I have just under 1500 blog posts but I will get there eventually.

Visiting.
The Life Science Centre in Newcastle. We went to see the Animal Inside Out exhibition and had such an amazing and interesting day.


Eating and Drinking.

At the beginning of the month we made the Coconutty Chicken Strips which we loved. I need to slot them into our meal plan again soon. I am loving the Nestle Pick And Mix which includes Smarties, Aero bubbles, Toffee Crisp bite size and Rolo's and I am drinking a lot of the Orange Mango Passion Fruit Smoothie from Tesco. It is so refreshing, especially with lots of ice in.


Wearing.
The new clothes I got from Everything Five Pounds. I was in desperate need of some new tops so bought quite a few.

Discovering.
Game of Thrones.....In May I watched it because there was nothing else on TV. By June I loved it. I have tried to watch it from the beginning and just couldn't get into it but this series has got me hooked....Wow! I love the title of last weeks episode "Battle of the B******ds...hehehe It really did make me chuckle and the finale. I think I might have to give it a try from the beginning again....

Loving.
The warmer weather (apart from this week)....I would say I have have disliked the rain but sometimes it has been nice to have a bit to clear the air.

Disliking.
The nastiness that the EU Referendum caused....We are all entitled to our own opinion. We need to respect that not everyone has the same views.

Looking forward to.
The six weeks summer holidays. 20 days and counting. We are ready for the break.

How did your month go?


Wednesday, 29 June 2016

HARIBO Starmix - Join Your Team.

We of course love HARIBO. Who doesn't? We are particularly fond on the Starmix bags.

For a limited time you are being invited to choose your favourite piece within the Haribo Starmix and join their team for a chance to win prizes inspired by their chosen piece.


There are over 4000 prizes to be won including mugs, towels, sunglasses, keyrings and shopper bags. There are giving away 25 prizes per day.

Make sure you join your team at Team Starmix!

I was asked to choose my favourite piece within HARIBO Starmix. It was a really hard choice. I love everything but I decided to go for the Fried egg and a special treat was sent out to me.....

It really was a treat. We were sent a selection of the prizes you could win!


Ellie has claimed the sunglasses, Becky the mug and Stu the shopping bag so it was only fair that all the HARIBO eggs were mine....hehehe

Which is your favourite? Is it the Heart or the Egg? Or do the Rings make you feel like a princess? Or maybe it’s the Cola Bottle or Bear?

We were sent a box of Haribo goodies in exchange for writing this blog post.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

New clothes for me!

I don't buy a lot of clothes for myself.....I only get new clothes when I really need them. Like when my tops are getting holes in or fading so much that I look like a tramp....lol Last month and at the beginning of this month I had a couple of shopping sprees. I couldn't hide under my winter coat no longer and was in desperate need of some tops for the summer. 

I had didn't have a lot of spare money so was looking for low prices....I tried the supermarket websites but could only see tops for about £10 each then I stumbled across the website Everything 5 Pounds

Everything on their site really is £5! Tops, jeans, shoes, bags, skirts, dresses and even jackets and coats. From what I can see they go right up to UK size 22. They also sell men's and children's clothes too.

On my first order I just ordered tops.


A-Line Cropped Sleeve Top
Black Multi Floral Top
Printed Logo T-Shirt
Short Sleeve A-Line Tunic pink
Anchor Print Top
Beige Striped Tunic

All of the tops were true to the size I ordered and I loved them all...I have worn each one several times since I bought them. The only issue I had was the Anchor Print Top seemed more like a PJ top so I have just been wearing it around the house.....The short sleeve A-line pink tunic is gorgeous. It is my favourite. It has little parrots on and is so summery.

Everything I ordered came to £30 and the delivery was £5.85.

With my second order I became a bit more adventurous and ordered a couple of dresses, some shoes and some sunglasses.


Contrast Waist Sport Leggings
Navy Printed Shift Dress
Extra Thick Leggings
Contrast Basic Sunglasses
Mono Leaf Print Tunic
Twist Knot Flats
Jersey Striped Maxi Dress

Everything I ordered came to £35 in this order and the delivery was £8.22. Even though there was only one extra item compared to the first order delivery cost more due to the weight. I blame the shoes. lol

The tops and dresses were perfect...I love the maxi dress even though Stu says I look like a bumble bee....Grr! lol When I usually buy maxi dresses they are far too long but this was just the right size.

I had sizing issues with the Sport Leggings....They were huge. I'm a size 18 so I ordered size 18 to 20. They nearly drop off me. lol I should have went with size 16 to 18. It was my mistake. They'll be fine for wearing around the house in the summer though.

The shoes were too small. I am a size 6 and a half so I ordered a size 7 but they feel like they are a size 6. They need stretching....At least they were only £5 and I know in future to order bigger. I did have the option to return them but couldn't be bothered with the faff.

There are some great bargains and there is new stock daily....I keep looking and adding things to my basket in the hope when I have another shopping spree they're still in stock. I doubt it though. Everything sells so fast.

I was not asked or influenced to write this blog post. I just wanted to share the bargains I got.

Monday, 27 June 2016

Our Weekly Meal Plan!! - #mealplanningmonday


Another week....Another meal plan.
Last weeks meal plan all went to plan but I did struggle to pie and sausage casserole....They weren't the best meals to cook on hot days but they were eaten. This week I have mostly gone for meals which don't take much time for me in the kitchen.

This week on the menu we have:

TuesdayHamburger Bun Pizzas....
WednesdayTuna and tomato pasta....
Thursday - Ham salad....
FridayGreggs Sausage and Bean Melts from Iceland with chips....
Saturday - Spaghetti bolognese and garlic bread....
Sunday - Leftover bolognese in the Old El Paso Stand And Stuff Tortillas covered with cheese....

What are you eating this week?

Saturday, 25 June 2016

A photo everyday for a year! #Project366 - Week 25

It's not been a bad week here....The kids have been testing my patience with their behaviour but we have had some lovely moments.


170/366 18th June.
We made Wookie Cookies for Fathers day. This was them before they went into the oven.

171/366 19th June.
Stu's Fathers day cards....

172/366 20th June.
The best meal of the week....Pork and pepper kebabs.

173/366 21th June.
Ellie on her way to school for her sports day.

174/366 22th June.
Ellie has been in a bit of trouble this week so she's been banned from her laptop and tablet. She had to find something else to do. Reading!

175/366 23th June.
Messing around with Snapchat. I never actually post to Snapchat I just like the filters. lol

176/366 24th June.
She got soaked on her way home from school. Crazy rain!


Friday, 24 June 2016

They've been in trouble... #WotW

This week my Word of the Week is:


This week has seen both my girls in trouble....I have found myself counting to ten and taking deep breaths a lot!

It's that time of the year again....Last year I realised that at this time every year Ellie misbehaves. Usually her bad behavior is saved for school. Not this time. At school she is perfect but at home it's a different story....I know it's the end of term and lack of routine which causes it even though we have tried to keep the same routine at home.....

This week she ruined my make up, tipped a tub of gel in the bath, mixed it with cotton wool balls and water, hidden her sisters belongings, been moody, refused to stay in bed, lied about stupid little things, stolen sweets and eaten them in bed, threw all her clothes around her bedroom, ruined toys, refused to tidy her mess up and lots more I can't even think of....

Her reason for everything she has done is because she wanted to.....She just doesn't care! Last year we were referred to a clinic at the hospital because of her behaviour at school....By the time we had the appointment she'd got over the end of term blues and was fine again. So I guess we will just have to ride it out....

Becky who is usually a little angel has had her moments this week too.....I had decided to let her got to the park with her friends on Friday after school but it was raining so the outing was cancelled....Her and her friends were chatting on Facebook and rearranged for Saturday she said....Then she started asking for money. Not just a couple of pound. She wanted £20! Hmmm! So I looked at her Facebook and saw they were arranging to go to The Hoppings Funfair in Newcastle....No! No way! It's not the sort of place I want her going to without an adult....She had no intention of telling me she was planning to go to the fair. So now she has ruined the chance of going out with her friends for the time being...

It all hasn't been bad though.....

Ellie had her sports day....She didn't win any races but did have a great time. 

Becky had her HPV vaccine. The one to protect against cervical cancer.....She did make me laugh saying it's so hard to be female....I did tell her one injection is just the tip of the iceberg. hehehe

I am still enjoying the football....What a match between Portugal and Hungary on Wednesday! Wow! So much action and England is playing Iceland next! Eek! So much for Iceland being the underdogs. 


Thursday, 23 June 2016

Behind the Scenes Blogging Tag.

I saw the Behind the Scenes Blogging Tag over on Baby a Fi....I do love a tag and I thought this one was interesting so I thought I would give it a go....


1. Where Do You Blog?

I blog from my armchair in the living room with my laptop on my knee.....I would love a desk but I just don't have the room and I'm a little too comfy here....I have everything I need, I can see the TV and what the kids are getting up to....

2. Where Do You Find Inspiration For Your Blog Posts?

I tend to write about our family life, there's the food we're eating with my meal planning posts and Ellie is naughty enough to give me photos for a Wicked Wednesday post most weeks...hehehe I also find inspiration from other bloggers, for example this blog post.

3. How Long Does It Take You To Write a Blog Post?

It really depends on what the post is. My Sunday photo post takes a few minutes, at the most 10 but reviews and days out can take well over a two hours when you count the time it takes to edit photos/videos. 

4. Do You Plan Your Blog Posts? How?

If I know we're going somewhere or doing something special....Yes, I plan them in my head but other than that not really....I just get on with them....I have set days where I post the same type of posts every week so there isn't too much planning needed. I do have to make sure I take at least one photo every day for my Project 366 posts. A photo everyday for a year.

5. What Kind of Camera Do You Use? What Editing Program?

I use the camera off my phone. A Samsung S5. It's handy. I think if I did have a proper camera I'd hardly use it...I edit photos using Picmonkey and videos using the Windows Movie Maker...Nothing fancy and flash here.

6. Do You Use a Notebook To Track Your Ideas?

No....If I have an idea I make up a new draft in my blog posts and put the idea there.....Hence the reason I have 47 posts in my drafts...

7. How Do You Take Your Pictures?

Point and click....lol I usually have to take about a lot of photos to get the right one...

8. What's Your Favourite Type of Blog Post to Write?

My Word of the Week posts....It is good to look back on the week and see what we have done....It is also lovely to look back on them to see the normal everyday things we got up to in certain weeks....

9. Who Knows About Your Blog?

Everyone I think....I don't keep it a secret now. I did at first from my friends and family but I think they all know now. My dad and great Aunt don't understand it though....hehehe

10. Are You an Organised or a Messy Blogger?

I like to think I am quite organised. I have my posts scheduled in advance usually, I keep track of what needs to be done, I am on top of my emails and always manage to comment on linkies which I join in with...

11. Biggest Blogging Pet Peeve?

Pop-ups! There seems to be more and more of them appearing on blogs lately. Some of them are so hard to close down especially if I am on my mobile phone. I just tend to click away without even reading the blog post. Such a shame.

Do feel free to do this tag yourself!


Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Sit still and smile. #wickedwednesdays

All I wanted was one nice photo of my girls and their dad. All they had to do was sit still and smile....22 photos and I got one decent one. lol



Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Wookie Cookie's and Superhero Cupcakes.

When it was Mother's day Ellie and Stu baked me a cake.....I think it has started a tradition. Ellie decided we needed to bake something for Stu for Fathers day....Cake is good but I wanted something different so I had a look on the Tesco grocery website while I was ordering the weekly shop and they had a few great kits perfect for Fathers Day.



First up we make the Wookie Cookies....These were the one's I was most excited about....Such a fun idea. You get a Chewbacca cookie cutter and nearly everything you need in the kit to make them. All you need extra is a little butter and water....


I really should read the instructions properly.....They clearly said "Dust a clean, smooth surface with plain flour. With a rolling pin, roll out the dough so that it is 5mm in thickness" I am the idiot who uses self raising flour.....lol

They went into the oven looking great and came out looking not so great....hahaha If you squint and look carefully you can still tell what they were meant to be....The thought was there....lol and they tasted absolutely amazing!


Then we made the Superhero cupcakes....Nearly everything was in the kit apart from the butter and an egg.

Usually when I make cupcakes I either overfill the cases or underfill them.....This time I got it just right. Out of the 10 cupcakes there was only one that ended up a bit wonky. 


We will just not talk about the m&m Cookies.....I over baked them. The kids wolfed those down and said they were good but I like my cookies soft and chewy. hehehe

Stu was very pleased with what we baked and I was quite chuffed with my girls and myself for doing such a great job.

Monday, 20 June 2016

Our Weekly Meal Plan!! - #mealplanningmonday


Last week we ate everything on the meal plan but we did switch a couple of days around due to the weather. We didn't fancy eating chicken casserole when the sun was shining but it was so good when it had been raining and cold all day...

Ellie has been helping with this weeks meal plan and has given me a few ideas. Becky did offer a few suggestions but they consisted of something and chips everyday. lol

This week on the menu we have:

Monday - Pork and pepper kebabs and rice....
TuesdayChicken And Ham Lattice pie thing, mash & veg....
Wednesday - Fishcakes and chips....
Thursday - Chicken salad wraps....
Friday - Salmon and broccoli risotto....
Saturday - Curry, rice and naan bread....
Sunday - Sausage casserole, mash and veg....

What are you eating this week?

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Some thoughts about dads....

It's Fathers day soon and I am sat here with a post whizzing around my head...Words I just needed to get out! In my head and life there are three types of Fathers....Those who are amazing dads, those who take on the role of a father who are also amazing and those who are a waste of space.

I am not speaking for other people....This is just my experience!

Obviously I have the AMAZING dad.....hehehe He has been there through me through thick and thin. My mother left just after Becky was born and I don't speak to her anymore. I have blogged about why in the past and I'm not going over it again....Since then my dad has stepped up and he is everything to me....He lives down south and I don't see him often. He works. Too much in my opinion but he is happy when he is busy....I speak to him a few times a week and I love our chats....After my girls he is everything to me!

I would insert a fabulous photo of him here but he runs when he see's me with a camera....These are from years ago....Two I pinched from Facebook....lol


Then there is those who take on the role of a father....This is Stu....When I met Stu he didn't plan on being a dad to Becky....She had her own father but things changed which I will come to later but he has stepped up and treats her like his own.....Obviously Stu and I went on to have Ellie but he treats Becky and Ellie no different. To him Becky is his daughter as much as Ellie is....


Ahh! And then there those who are a waste of space. Without going into too much detail Becky's biological father doesn't have contact with her....

He does not want to see Becky in person. He just wants her to write him letters, send him presents on his birthday, Christmas and fathers day....He has recently started paying less than £7 a week maintenance and because of this he thinks he is entitled to something.



So....There we go. I will go and duck and cover and expect some backlash from this post.....My dad from posting photos of him and my ex.

A photo everyday for a year! #Project366 - Week 24

It's been a wet and cold week up here in Northumberland. I have spent a lot of my time watching Euro 2016 so I haven't really being up to much....I did manage a photo everyday. They're not the most exciting. They're just real life.


163/366 11th June.
We were sent the Dotty Detective to review...I had to wrestle it off Ellie to take some photos....Lesson learned. Take photos before you give your children the item.

164/366 12th June.
The teddies are taking over the living room.

165/366 13th June.
Football and blogging....That's how I have spent most of my afternoons this week. hehehe

166/366 14th June.
She is not a morning person.

167/366 15th June.
A sneak peak of a couple of my Stu's Fathers day pressies.

168/366 16th June.
After a few days of bad weather my washing pile is starting to build up again.

169/366 17th June.
Ellie has been helping with the meal planning for last week. I think I might fit a few of her meals in.


Friday, 17 June 2016

All I've done this week is watch TV. #WotW

This week my Word of the Week is:


I have watched so much TV this past week.....

Euro 2016 - I have seen most of every match. I don't like football usually.....I would never choose to watch football but things change when it is the Euro's or the World cup. Housework and meal times have been slotted in between matches.

I've been rooting for the underdogs like Iceland. I didn't even know they had a team until earlier in the week! lol The kids have not been amused. There has been a lot of groans and moans saying "not football again"....

Yesterday when England were playing I left for the school run just as Wales scored. Practically ran to get Ellie and made it on time. Just. Then practically ran all the way home to find that England had scored again. Hooray! The running was worth it. It's my exercise for the week done. lol

The Oscar Pistorius sentencing - I have followed the whole court case so I used to watch it all live on the South African news channel when Sky had it but they don't have it anymore so I have had to make do with Sky News....

Reeva Steenkamp's father took to the stand and it was utterly heartbreaking. He is a broken man and I was in tears watching.....He asked for the court to release photos of his daughter for the world to see the pain Oscar Pistorius had inflicted on their daughter.....They are horrific but it just goes to show the damage that guns can do....

I also welled up when Oscar Pistorius took off his prosthetic legs and walked around the courtroom showing how unstable he was. I know he killed someone but you can't help but feel sad for someone so vulnerable but on the other hand it looked like it was just done to gain sympathy. He wouldn't stand up in court to defend himself in the sentencing but quite happily did a TV interview recently which will be shown sometime over the next couple of weeks....He took a life. He deserves to pay more than a year in prison that he's already served for his crime. I guess we will find out on July the 6th.

I do hope Reeva Steenkamp's family will get closure soon, this as dragged on since February 2013 which is far too long. They have grieved in the public eye which is no good for anyone.

Big Brother - Usually I go to bed at about 10pm. I've not been in bed before 11pm since Big Brother started. I'm loving it. I can't stand Marco, the lass he slept with and Chelsea but I'm loving Hughie, Ryan and Lateysha which I never thought I would say. She was all boobs and mouth on the first night but I'm warming to her....

The News - Yesterday I had Sky news on and it was sharing the news about the poor woman Jo Cox who was murdered. Ellie must have been listening more than I thought she was.....She said "why can't people just stop hurting each other"? I couldn't answer....There is too much hurt and violence going on in the world.


Thursday, 16 June 2016

Celebrating 10 years together....


This month Stu and I have been together for 10 years....We don't have an exact date....We met on a Friday which was somewhere in the middle of June so it was either the 9th, 16th or 23rd....We have really tried to work out what date it was but can't. Oopsie. It was definitely in 2006 though.

We are proof that internet dating works....I met Stu on one of those free dating websites....We can't remember who messaged who first....I think I gave him a little tick or whatever it was on his profile and he messaged me.....We got chatting online and then it progressed to texting and then actually speaking on the phone.....I remember saying to him he was so "geordie". He didn't live in Newcastle just closer than I did....hehehe

We chatted online and on the phone for a few weeks then he travelled to meet me. At the time I lived in Thornaby near Middlesbrough. He was planning to stay in a B&B but the day we met we went to my friends house who was having a party and he never actually made it to the B&B. Oopsie.

We actually nearly never made it through the 2nd weekend together....We went out around the town for a few drinks went to a takeaway on the way home. I ordered a chicken burger and chips and he got something too....When we got home I ate the chips and left the chicken burger. Stu said are you not going to eat that and was planning to himself....I was like no, that's mine. Have you seen the episode of Friends where Joey doesn't share food....That was me. I like to save my chicken burgers for the morning....lol


He eventually met Becky and they got on great.....He would come and stay with me whenever he could and I went to stay at his when I could....Becky spent most weekends with her biological father so we had that time to get to know each other properly....

I think it was in October when I finally decided to move closer to Stu....Another date I can't actually remember. It turns out his brother had a few properties and was good enough to rent me of them....That is when I became a Northumberland Mam....hehehe

I know a lot of people were against me moving closer to Stu and us being together. It was "too soon"....It didn't feel too soon to us though. It felt like we were meant to be together....It turns out we actually were as we're still together now....

I fell pregnant with Ellie late December in the year we met....Again it was too soon for some people but who cares because Stu and I don't and as they say the rest is history!



We're still as strong as ever and I can see us being together when we're old and grayer....hehehe. We have been through so much....Ex partners being difficult, the girls having heart surgery, Stu losing both his parents, house moves, redundancies and much more....

We're together forever.... 

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Dotty Detective - Book Review.

Ellie has been kept busy the last few days reading a new book called Dotty Detective.


Dotty Detective focuses on the adventures of a curious schoolgirl sleuth called Dot, and her faithful hound McClusky. 

This book is aimed at 5 to 8 year old's and is perfect for Ellie who is 8 and loves to read.

"Meet Dorothy Constance Mae Louise, or Dot as she prefers to be called! Dot loves super-sour apple sherberts, running fast and puzzles – especially if they’re fiendishly tricky. And with the help of trusty sidekick, Beans and TOP DOG, McClusky, she is always ready to sniff out a mystery. So when mean girl Laura seems set on sabotaging the school talent show, Dot is determined to find out how, and save the day…”

Dotty Detective is written in the form of a diary and reminded me of the Diary of a Wimpy kid books.....It is just the sort of book which Ellie loves....It has fantastic illustrations and kept Ellie interested as it wasn't just lots of text....


Ellie has been reading this all weekend and is more than halfway through so she obviously likes it....If she wasn't keen on a book she would just lose interest and not bother with it. She said it's funny and will read it to the end then read it again....

This book can be bought from Amazon for £5.99

Family Fever
We were sent this book free of charge to review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.