Friday, 24 November 2017

I felt very loved and special on my birthday. #WotW

This week my Word of the Week is:

On Tuesday it was my birthday and I had the best day....
Before kids birthdays were all about having fantastic nights out now with kids they are so different but I think I like birthdays better now....Kids really do make them special.

On My Sunday Photo post I showed the two bags of presents that the kids and my fella Stu had bought and lovingly wrapped. Ellie has a thing about doing birthdays properly and was determined that I wasn't opening the presents until my actual birthday....I got told off so many times for trying to sneak a peek. hehehe

On Monday Ellie was off school sick again....She got up, dressed and complained of feeling sick but I made her eat breakfast....We got as far as just before the school gates and she threw up. Back home we went. (She was fine by the next day). While chatting to her she came to the conclusion that she didn't really like the idea of getting up earlier on Tuesday morning for me to open my presents so I was allowed to open them on Monday evening. Hooray! I felt very spoilt!

I had a lovely day on Tuesday....I went out for lunch and had my first Christmas dinner of the year, I got myself some new pj's and had a special delivery from Jayne who blogs at Sticky Mud & Belly Laughs

Jayne had read my birthday wishlist blog post and bought me something off that! A slow cooker!!! I have spent the last couple of days finding recipes and getting very excited about what we are going to be eating....I have half my meal plan for next week planned already. lol

Stu had managed to change his shift at work so instead of starting at 4pm he started at 6pm which gave us a couple of hours together as a family.....It was perfect! The kids were being lovely and very helpful around the house....

 By the time Stu got in from work just after 10pm I was starving. I had only had toast for tea because I was still full from lunch. The last treat for my birthday was a takeaway. We got pizza!

I felt very loved and special on my birthday. Thank you to everyone who wished me happy birthday.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Randomise game: Draw, act or describe your way to victory!

On a Saturday evening we like to have a bit of family time away from the computers and tablets....I was asked if my family would like to try out the game Randomise and it sounded perfect!

Randomise was born on a cold winter commute from Brighton to London, when they creator Hazel Reynolds decided to set herself the challenge of creating a game that it would lure her 12-year-old sister away from her beloved iPad.

Randomise is a mash-up of classic games like Charades, Articulate and Pictionary with a huge dollop of randomness on top!

Teams compete to act, draw or describe the random identities which are on the cards which might sound easy but can be quite challenging....Describing a confused octopus eating spaghetti or a disguised giraffe playing air guitar is quite hilarious!

To play you need at least 4 players which was perfect for us! I teamed up with my teen Becky and my fella teamed up with Ellie my youngest....

When it is your turn you decide whether you are going for an easy or hard challenge and whether you are going to Describe, Act or Draw....

Then you select a card from each of the three piles of cards A, B and C. The opposing team will then give you three random numbers from 1 to 3 (eg. ‘3,1,2’). Look at the words on the cards that match these numbers to discover your new identity.

Card A will always describe you (eg. Happy, Hairy, Vain), card B will tell you what you are (eg. Octopus, Astronaut, Lion) and card C will tell you what you are doing (eg. Eating spaghetti, Playing football, Baking a cake).

It sounds a little complicated....I tried to explain it to my family without even getting the game out of the box and they were confused....It makes much more sense when you have the cards in front of you! lol I got called an idiot for trying to over complicate

There is 110 cards in the box and every game is different as there is more than a million combinations possible....Some of the combinations are so funny! Just looking at the cards above. A shocked snail, reading a book....hehehe

When you have picked what you are you will have 30, 60 or 90 seconds to reveal yourself:

DESCRIBE – You have 30 seconds to use your voice to communicate your identity. You can’t say any of the words on your cards or use rhyming words or letters to give clues.

ACT – You have 60 seconds to use your body to communicate your identity. You can’t make any noises, point or use any props.

DRAW – You have 90 seconds to use your artistic skills to communicate the phrase. You can’t draw any letters or numbers.

We played that you got a point for every correct card guessed and the winning team is the first to get to 30 points. The rules are quite flexible and you can change them to make it work for whoever you are playing with. As Ellie is only 10 we gave her a couple of minutes to describe, act or draw the choices on her cards....

Randomise is suitable for ages 8 and above but I think if you bend the rules a little younger children can join in the fun too!

Randomise comes in a box which is perfect for storing the cards and it is small enough to take to other people's houses to play! I think this would be a fab game for over Christmas when you have a house full of guests!

It is available to buy now on Amazon for £11.99. I think it is worth every penny.....It is a game we will be getting out again and again. 

The girls have even tried playing it together which doesn't really work as like I said you need at least 4 people to play properly but they have had fun acting out the different combination of things and seeing who can draw the best pictures of random things....

We loved this game and can highly recommend it! We played for over an hour and had some real family fun! It's great to play with the kids and I imagine hilarious to play with other adults too!

Usually I would take photos of us playing something like this but I didn't....As it was on an evening the lighting was rubbish for photos and to be honest we were just having too much fun! 

We were sent this game free of charge in exchange for this blog post.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

40 Before 40....

Yesterday was my birthday....I'm now 38 years old. Eek! I don't feel 38 most of the time.....A few weeks ago I tried to buy alcohol from a shop and got asked for I.D. I laughed at them but they still wouldn't serve me because I didn't have any I.D. lol I felt like a child....The young lass serving me was only a few years older than my teen. hahaha

Anyway I have decided to write a list of things that I want to do before I hit the big 4-0! Heading towards 40 doesn't bother me at all....Age is just a number after all.

Get a passport.
Have a proper afternoon tea somewhere fancy.
Change my hair colour drastically. Something bright and loud!
Get a tattoo.
Have a proper holiday.
Get over my fear of hospitals and doctors.
Learn how to master smokey eyes from YouTube tutorials.
Go to the cinema alone to see something I want to see.
Start driving lessons and maybe pass my test.
Wear fake eyelashes.
Get up the first time the alarm goes off. Just once.
Lose some more weight.
Buy something expensive for myself.
Make bread from scratch.
Get served alcohol in a shop without being asked for I.D.
Watch all of the Star Wars films. 
Go camping.
Sing karaoke.
Get a pet.
Learn to crochet.
Boil an egg properly, so it's still dippy.
Eat at a very fancy restaurant.
Meet at least one of my blogging best friends.
Go to a blog conference.
Stay up and watch a WWE Pay per View. I used to stay up years ago...Before kids.
Wake up in time to see a sunrise.
Visit London.
Read more books.
Go horse riding again.
Have a night away with my fella.
Have my eyebrows professionally done. Waxed or plucked or whatever they do. 
Get a proper camera.
Go to the gym.
Visit my dad. I have never seen where he lives and the business he runs.
Say no more! I say yes to too many people when I don't want to do things.
Host a dinner party.
Learn to sew.
Grow something edible like a tomato or strawberry.
Stop caring what people think.

What do you want to do before you hit a big milestone age?

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Pimp your drinks with PopaBall.

Have you heard of PopaBall? I hadn't until last week! They produce products that are aimed to ‘pimp your drinks’ with and they also have some lovely gift sets....Perfect for this time of year!

I was sent two products to have a look at and was very excited. I had never seen or tried anything like this before.

Each pack of bubbles serves 3-6 drinks.

Add a spoonful of bubbles to your G&T, suck them & your drink up through the straw provided and bite to release their fruity flavour!

These add flavour, texture and fun to your drink! The bubbles keep their shape and flavour until they burst and it is such a strange feeling when they do. They are a lot of fun and taste delicious!

The shell is made from seaweed extract and is therefore suitable for vegans and coeliacs.

Blue Pearl Shimmer for Gin - £7.49
Each jar contains 21 servings.

Fill 1/2 glass with ice. Add 25ml gin and top with tonic water. Slowly sprinkle in 1/3 of a teaspoon of the shimmer powder. Watch your gin bubble up and then clear to reveal a magical blue pearl shimmer! Sip away and enjoy your amazing, blueberry flavoured, sparkling gin!

I loved this! It made my drink look magical! It made me think of unicorns. hehehe It tasted so good and it made me feel so fancy drinking this! I will be saving the rest for Christmas to make the drinks extra special...

These products are not just for gin though! You could use them in prosecco, vodka and anything else fizzy! Even lemonade. They could make drinks extra special over the festive season!

Popaball also have some great gift sets. I love the look of the The Ultimate Gin gift set with Bubbles for £22.79 which I think is a fantastic price for a Blueberry flavour blue pearl shimmer powder, 120g, Blueberry & Lemon Flavour Bubbles for Gin, 1 chunky telescopic straw, 5cl bottle of gin, 200ml tonic water of your choice, 100g dry gin fizz gummies and a beautiful Popaball gold foiled gift bag!

Do you drink gin? Does any of this take your fancy?

I was sent the products mentioned free of charge in exchange for this blog post.

Monday, 20 November 2017

Our Weekly Meal Plan!! - #mealplanningmonday

Last weeks meal plan didn't go that well. We missed a couple of meals....Ellie was sent home sick from school & no one felt like eating much so we had cereal and then with her not eating properly the only thing for it was to offer her a McDonalds. It worked and she wolfed it down. Phew! 

This week on the menu we have:

Monday - Chicken fajitas....
Tuesday - It's my birthday so I'm not cooking. I'm planning to go out for lunch for a Christmas dinner and for tea we'll just have sandwiches and of course cake....
Wednesday - Fry up. Sausages, bacon, egg, black pudding, mushrooms, beans and tomatoes....
Friday - Pizza....
Saturday - Sloppy joe's....
Sunday - Roast chicken dinner....

What are you eating this week?

Sunday, 19 November 2017

I am being tortured. hehehe. #MySundayPhoto

It's my birthday next week and my fella and the kids have wrapped my pressies already. They are right in front of me, torturing me....I really want to have a feel and a peek but the kids won't let me. If I even walk towards the bags the girls give me a telling off. I hate waiting for surprises!

Saturday, 18 November 2017

A photo everyday for a year - Week 46 #Project365

This has been a rubbish week for photos...I'm sorry. I don't like putting the heating on when it's just me in the house so I have been mostly hiding under a blanket trying to keep warm this week! 

I still managed a photo every day though...

294/365 - 11th November
At 5pm it was a tough choice.....Open the wine or have a glass of pop. hehehe I went for the pop.

295/365 - 12th November
I bought some selection boxes to put away for Christmas and put them on the fridge out the way of the kids. I shouldn't have left them where I could see them. I may have dipped into one. Oops.

296/365 - 13th November
Monkey is ready for Christmas. 

297/365 - 14th November
Ellie got sent home from school after being sick. She is fine now. An afternoon on the sofa made her feel better.

298/365 - 15th November
A day of school for Ellie due to her being sick....She had a ton of toys scattered around the dining room. I asked her to tidy them up and she piled everything on the table. Ugh! 

299/365 - 16th November
Thursday was my blogs birthday! 5 years has flown over.

300/365 - 17th November
She had nothing spotty to wear for the non-uniform day at school so she made do with her Children in Need headband.

Slip a taste of Yorkshire into stockings this Christmas...

I love Christmas. It is a time to enjoy good food and drinks....Over the festive season I always seem to buy things I wouldn't over the rest of the year. Fancy cheeses, Bailey's, nuts and  Advocaat to make Snowballs. 

I am always on the lookout for new drinks and when someone offered me some Brontë Liqueur I was keen to give it a try....

Brontë Liqueur combines blackberry and sloe with wildflower honey, a hint of jasmine, black pepper and cinnamon and is named after the county's famous writing sisters.  

It is an exciting new alcoholic drink from ‘God’s Own Country’ and the perfect present for a literary fan or those seeking a taste of Yorkshire....

I drank it over ice and it was delicious. It is warming and drinking felt like such a treat. I am quite fancying trying the cocktails especially the Brontë Barista!

Brontë Liqueur retails at £17.50 for six 5cl bottles, £23.50 for a 50cl bottle and £29.50 for a 70cl bottle. Charlotte’s reserve retails at £19.99 (RRP) and is presented in an exclusive faux 19th century leather bound book, making it a perfect present for Brontë aficionados. Both drinks are available via the website

A percentage of all sales of Brontë Liqueur will be donated to the Brontë Society to help ensure the enduring legacy of the Brontë family which I think is just a lovely idea.

I was sent a sample of Brontë Liqueur in exchange for this blog post.

Friday, 17 November 2017

Nothing seems to have gone to plan this week. #WotW

This week my Word of the Week is:

Nothing seems to have gone to plan this week....It hasn't been a bad week though. The plans we have had just changed....

I had a unplanned day and a half with Ellie my youngest. She was sent home from school on Tuesday after being sick in the playground at lunchtime. I would have said it was something she ate at school but the teacher says she ate nothing for lunch. She was sick a little more and slept all afternoon.....For tea she had toast and I didn't feel like eating after holding the sick bowl so Becky and I just had cereal. On Wednesday she was just about back to normal but still off her food....I went through all the food in the house to tempt her and for lunch she picked at a jam sandwich so I offered McDonalds for tea and she wolfed it down! Phew! There was 2 meals missed off the meal plan. Oops.

I'm glad to say there has been a change at school with Ellie. I wrote about how she had been feeling a bit left out but it seems after the head teacher has had a chat the girls have been a bit kinder and more thoughtful. Ellie is happier. The girls aren't her best friends and probably will never be but they are thinking about their actions more.

I had planned on getting the kids main Christmas presents on or around Black Friday with them being electrical things but over the past week I have seen everything I wanted for them at really low prices and I can't imagine getting them any cheaper even in any sales. I'm not going to say what they are in case the girls read here but my poor bank account is empty but it will be worth it on Christmas day as I think the girls will be very happy!

The main presents are getting delivered today and I am really hoping that I can fit them where I'm planning to hide them....If not I have no idea where they will

I had planned on finishing the Christmas shopping by the end of the month....At the time I thought it was wishful thinking but I think I'm going to do it, maybe by this time next week! There are a few things in my Amazon, Sports Direct and Tesco baskets that I want to get and then I'm done! Well apart from the sweets, food and wine. 

It's my birthday next week and I had planned on going to Brewers Fayre and using a voucher I was given after Ellie's rubbish birthday meal but I have noticed that Weatherspoon's have started with their Christmas meals so I'm fancying that and doing a bit of shopping afterwards. Weatherspoon's is near the shops & Brewers Fayre is a couple mile or so in the opposite direction.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

My blog is 5 years old today!

Today is my blogs birthday! It is crazy to think I have been blogging daily for 5 years....I am so proud of my little space on the internet. 

When I started blogging I just assumed that everyone blogged daily and that's what I did. I have a routine which works for me. I always spend a Friday evening writing up blog posts. Project 365, My Sunday photo, our meal plan for the week, any review posts I have to do and posts for the coming Wednesday and Thursday....On a Thursday I write my Word of the Week post and that's it. That's how I work. 

My first blog post still makes me chuckle and I love it. I think over the years my writing hasn't changed but the photos have. I cringe when I look back on my early posts. I didn't know you could edit photos. Oops....I have learned a lot. 

In the past year I have posted over 400 blog posts. Eek! That seems like so many. I have chosen one of my favourites from each month to mention....

November 2016 

Way, way back in 2014 I wrote a blog post called I have never....All about the things that I have never done that a lot of people have....It wasn't out of the ordinary things like swimming with sharks or bungee jumping it was things like eating a having Nando's or Domino's. I wrote an updated version. 

December 2016

We did just that....My girls love doing things like this and I love watching them. We will probably making them again this year too. lol

January 2017

I forgot to buy the muffins and the pineapple for the muffin pizzas so we had to improvise and came up with Bread Bun Pizzas which was nearly the same thing.....Sort of. Becky made them and they were so good. They are a quick meal and my girls love them.

February 2017

I can laugh about this now....Ellie did a bit of online shopping at Smiggle and cleared out my fella's PayPal account and half the money in his bank account....Smiggle were amazing and we had our money refunded when the items were returned.

March 2017

Ellie's toy monkey is her favourite thing ever....He goes everywhere with her and is a big part of the family. I had to write a blog post about him....I can't imagine that day where Ellie doesn't want him anymore....I think he will be a toy that is still around when she has children....

April 2017

I think Becky's room is the best looking room in all our house....This post was all about how we decorated it and it didn't cost us that much. She loves it just as much as I do. I just wish she'd keep it tidy!

May 2017

It's not often that we all get to get all dressed up and go out as a family on an evening....This time we did and had a fantastic evening...Of course I had to write about it. The girls seemed so grown up and it was nice to catch up with family.

June 2017

My girls argue a lot....They will argue about anything and everything....Even stupid things like who gets to walk through a door first or who get's their tea first....Eesh! This is the top 10 things they argue about...

July 2017

Sometimes we are sent things to review and we just love them....This was one of those things. Ellie had a great time with her newest Lottie Doll....It was a pleasure to review this! I am also very proud of the post. 

August 2017

Becky finally got her braces off after nearly 2 years with them....It is amazing to see how much her teeth changed. It was all worth it....They have given her a whole new smile and a ton of confidence.

September 2017

I wrote all about our summer holidays....We had a fantastic summer....It was nice to relax and unwind....It was the start of a new way of life for me....Where my girls need me a little less and a new life for them where they have gained some independence and grew up a little more.

October 2017

I wrote about all the reasons why that Becky my teen hates me....She's sometimes such a drama queen. lol I was very much like her when I was her age. In fact I think I was worse. lol

I want to say thank you to all everyone who reads my blog and comments. It really does mean the world to me that you take a few minutes out of your day to read about me and my life....

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Feeling left out at school....

A couple of weeks ago at school Ellie and her class were doing an activity. The had to write on a paper hand how they felt about school and Ellie wrote "I don't belong at this school" or something very similar. Someone saw this and showed the head teacher. 

The head teacher had a chat with Ellie and she just clammed up like she does. She wouldn't say anything. As soon as I found out what had happened I had a chat with Ellie....It was honestly like pulling teeth to get anything out of her but the gist of it is that she sometimes feels left out at school....

A girl in Ellie's class is having a birthday party. All of the girls out of the class were invited apart from Ellie and another girl....There is a trip to somewhere and a sleepover. I don't want to say Ellie is being excluded because of her suspected Autism but it really feels like it as the other girl not invited has additional needs too...Why just exclude two of the girls. It's just cruel!

Ellie is in Year 6. The children are 10 and 11 years old. Friendship groups are made....I get at this age that not everyone is friends with everyone. Not everyone gets an invite to the party...Ellie understands this but all the girls apart from her and the other girl have been talking about the party and it has left Ellie feeling a little left out. I know I would feel the same too. 

Then when we were at soft play a couple of weeks ago we saw Ellie's old best friend. She moved schools when she moved house and she was telling Ellie all about how wonderful her new school was and how she made lots of fab friends....

I think these two things have came together and made Ellie feel like this about school. Ellie doesn't have a best friend that is a girl and she really want's one. As much as the girls talk to her they don't involve her fully in things....

Up until about year 4 Ellie played with the boys....They accepted her then they all got to an age where the boys and girls separate and then Ellie was left out in the cold. The boys didn't want her and the girls were already the best of friends. Ellie is struggling to fit in.....

I have told Ellie to just wait until she goes to the secondary school.....She will meet a lot of new people and find real friends. It happened with Becky....Out of about 30 people in year 6 she only speaks to a couple of them now but has a whole heap of new friends....

We went and had a chat with the head teacher who was worried about Ellie....The head is all about everyone being included and it's breaking her heart to think Ellie feels left out. She mentioned that she got Ellie to choose the hymn a few weeks ago in the assembly and saw how her face lit up and how happy she was to feel included....

The head said she's going to do some little things around school to make Ellie feel needed and appreciated. I did stress to her that I didn't want any of the other kids to notice the "special treatment" Ellie may get....Ellie hates being the centre of attention and is even reluctant to put her hand up to ask to go to the toilet in case people look at her....

Due to Ellie having suspected Autism a lovely lady comes once a week and works with Ellie helping with her emotional needs at school and has had a chat to her about the party and the feelings about not being included....Ellie doesn't like speaking about her emotions to most people but has really opened up to this woman so fingers crossed she can help....

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Christmas Crisps from Tesco....

I love this time of year....The supermarkets always try to outdo each other with Christmas themed food and snacks which are a little different.....I was browsing the Tesco grocery site like I usually do on Thursday evening, doing the weekly shop when I spotted the Tesco Finest Candy Cane Crisps....I needed to try them so I added them to my shopping basket along with a packet of Tesco Finest Pigs In Blankets Crisps...

I really didn't know how I felt about sweet crisps but I was intrigued....The Candy Cane Crisps are seasoned and dusted with a sweet peppermint flavouring for a sweet and salty taste experience.....

There is a peppermint taste there, quite a strong one and they do taste like candy canes but after eating nearly a packet I can't decide whether I like them or not....I couldn't stop eating them and they are not unpleasant but there is something that seems strange about them.... 

The kids tried them and Ellie hated them. Her exact words were "Eww, why would you eat these? They are wrong" but Becky loved 

These were OK but I they are just a novelty thing. I don't think I will be buying them again.

The Pigs In Blankets Crisps were a little more normal with them being bacon and sausage flavoured....

These did sort of taste like pigs in blankets. One second they tasted like bacon the next like sausage....My taste buds were slightly confused but these were good...They really reminded me of the Brannigans smoked ham & pickle crisps. The kids loved them and ate more of them then I did. Hmmf! These will be added to my shopping list again!

From the same range there is also Stilton & truffle crinkle cut crisps, Massaman curry crinkle cut crisps and Brie & cranberry crisps....

All of these cost £1 for 150g and are on sale until the 23rd of December.

I was not asked by anyone to write this blog post. I bought and paid for the crisps my self.