Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Living In The Moment

For January I decided to challenge myself to come off of Facebook for a month as I felt I was spending far too much time on there and it was a place to procrastinate. 

And I did it, yay!!

How I am not entirely sure as I am the first one to admit that I am a social media obsessor and it is basically my job to be on social media! But I have to be honest and say it was pretty refreshing, even if a little bit frustrating at times when people around me were talking about things they had seen on Facebook and I didn't have the first clue what they were on about.

The other thing I did was not start over my photo a day challenge that I was doing on Instagram. I wanted to start living in the moment and not feel like I had to be taking a photo to document as my photo of the day. I found in 2016 I was finding myself forcing activities onto us so that my photo would be good for that day, and that isn't what I want to do. 

Since doing these two things I have found that I haven't taken so many photos, which I feel bad about in a way, but I have been in that moment and I have been present. I'm not saying that those who take lots of pictures and document them aren't living in the moment as we are all different, but I wasn't. I was living behind the camera trying to make our lives more exciting, when in fact they didn't need to be but I was trying to do something that wasn't us.

I have found myself sitting on the floor playing board games with the boys and not having to stop the game to take a photo. We have been on walks where I have been present the whole time and not been distracted with 'when will be the best photo opportunity'. We have been to a cafe and had hot chocolates with no phones in sight, just the boys and I, talking about the random stuff a 3 & 5 year old talk about.

This may sound all a bit dramatic but my approach on life has changed a little bit, I am starting to go with the flow a bit more and I really like it. I am trying not to plan too much stuff to do and trying to just chill out a bit more. I was finding myself trying to prove myself to other people with photos, trying to show everyone that I am a good mum and that I do all these things with the boys. But I didn't need to. No one else matters but these two boys and what THEY think of me. And they love me whatever we do, even if it is just making them a hot chocolate at home as the praise and love I get from them is phenomenal. 

Photos are lovely but lets me honest, in 10 years time who is going to look at a ton of photos of the boys sitting watching a film, and that is the kind of thing I was finding myself taking a photo of rather than sitting with them and enjoying their hands in mine and sharing their sweets. I am also more present in the evenings, I am watching programmes and actually knowing what is going on and not having to ask Mr C what just happened. My evenings are now a bit more chilled with me catching up on some tv without me on my phone ALL night, as that is what I was doing.

Now with it being the 1st February I am back on Facebook, as lets be honest a month is enough to be out of the social media loop, but I am going to try and curb my time on it and try not to get back into old habits.


Friday, 20 January 2017

Minion Mania In Our House

From the very moment that the boys watched the Minion movies they loved them and everything about them. They are funny little yellow characters which act silly and this is what they found so funny. I have lost count the amount of times that we have watched the films but they are still going strong in our house and I can't see a time in the near future when they will be getting old or boring.

When I was asked if we would like to review some Minion products I of course had to say yes, knowing how much the boys would love them. When a big box arrived I didn't have a clue what it was as I had forgotten that I had said we would like to review them. On opening the box I was gobsmacked with how much was in there and couldn't wait for the boys to get home to open them up and start playing.


The toys which we were sent to review were Fireman Lucy, Minion Kevin, Bob, Minion Dave, a teddy Minion and a Dancing Bob. 

Dave and Kevin both had a launcher which was so easy to use and because they both had one the boys had a ball firing them at each other. They are such sturdy toys that have been well made so they can take a lot of playing with by a 3 and 5 year old.


Fireman Lucy was also a brilliant hit as you could change her outfits, and it was very simple to do for little hands. You could have her bun on, or you could change it to a head piece that you see some of the minions wearing in the films. As we have watched the films so much all the toys that we received the boys could relate to and were easy to play with.

Bob and the minion cuddly toy have also been played with many a times, even though they don't do anything they get added into the play with other toys. With Bob you can take his royal cloak off and one his arms, the cloak fits on the other Minions so it has been on all the other characters since we received them.

I have to say that the biggest hit had to be the dancing Bob! He interacts with the boys by dancing and talking when they talk to him which when you are 3 & 5, even for myself and my husband, this is brilliant. He then sings and dances around the room when has been great fun to play with from all by all the family. You start him off by pressing a button on his foot and from there he will dance and sing 3 different songs, which he does on the request of the boys as he will respond to their voices.

These toys are firmly in our toy box and are played with on a daily basis and as you can see from the picture above, they bring a lot of happiness to the boys!

* We were kindly sent these to review. All opinions are 100% my own. *

Thursday, 12 January 2017

The Stunning JORD Wood Watch


I have had the same watch now for over 6 years and it has been on my wrist nearly everyday, apart from a few weeks when the boys were newborns as I thought I would scratch them with it. If I don't have a watch on my wrist I feel naked and a little bit lost, I think this may be a little bit of a control thing and the fact I need to know the time. 

All of the time.

When I was contacted by JORD wood watches and asked if I would like to review a watch I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to update my watch after so many years. While looking through their website at the women's watches they had so many beautiful ones to choose from but in the end I went for the FRANKIE 35 series, Zebrawood & Navy. The combination of the colour of the wood and the navy looked beautiful so couldn't wait for it to arrive.

When it arrived it came in the most stunning wooden box with the watch secured around a pillow. The packaging makes such an impact that it would make a beautiful gift for someone special. The watch was everything I thought it would look like, it was even more beautiful in real life. Upon getting it out of the box I couldn't get over just how light the watch was, considering it was made from wood. It is that light that you would even forget that it was on your wrist at all, but that wasn't going to happen to me as all I kept doing was staring at it! And flashing the beauty of it around.




I have had so many comments on the watch since wearing it as it is such a unique watch and not one you would see everyday. It goes with any outfit, be it on the school run or if I am going on a night out with friends. It really does fit so perfectly on my wrist and even with the face being a dark navy, it is still so clear and at a swift glance I get to see the time.



I am really excited to be able to offer you a chance to WIN a $75 voucher to spend on a Luxury Wood Watch and everyone who enters (excluding the winner) will receive a $20 voucher. All you have to do is click here to enter - Good luck!

Term & Conditions

- There will only be one winner of the $75 voucher
- The competition runs until 22/01/2017
- The $75 winners voucher and the $20 vouchers will be said until 15/05/2017
- Winners will be chosen at random

* This post was sponsored by JORD Wood Watches. All opinions are 100% my own. *

Monday, 9 January 2017

Cosy Pyjamas from Sense Organics

The boys are very much like me and love their pyjamas, they would happily stay in them all day if they were allowed. And some days we do! So with this being said I am always on the look out for cosy and snuggly pyjamas that are soft on their skin and comfortable, as thats what everyone wants from pyjamas right?!

I was contacted by Sense Organics and asked if we would like to review some of their products and on looking at their website the boys organic cotton pyjamas were the best fit for us. We chose the Grey Stripe Peter Pan pyjama set for Noah and the Reindeer Print Teal, Long John for Finley. The sizes I chose were 3-4 and 5-6 with Noah being 3 and Finley being 5.


They arrived not long after I had let them know our choices and they were everything you could ask for in pyjamas, soft and roomie so that during the night they weren't restricted.  The sizes I had gone for were perfect for the boys. The fabric is 100% organic cotton so this explains the softness of the pyjamas. The designs were gorgeous and I couldn't wait to get the boys in them to try them out.



That night after the bath they put them on and were in love with them as much as I was, they even sat nicely to have their photos taken which is a first, along with some silly playing too!



They have been the boys favourite pyjama sets to go to when asked to chose their pyjamas of a night and they wash brilliantly, which is a good thing as they have been worn so much!


* We were kindly sent the pyjamas to review. All opinions are 100% my own.*

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Expectations

Expectations are the one thing that is sure to ruin a day out or a planned event, why is this? Because nothing will ever live up to our expectations. Our expectations are full of smiles and giggles, throughout the whole day and do not involve tears, tantrums and tired children. These things seem to get forgotten when we are thinking about plans.

I love my boys to bits and I wouldn't change them for the world, but days out with them never live up to my expectations because they will cry, they will tantrum and they will be stroppy - but that is children for you and this is something that I need to factor into my expectations because once I do I will stop feeling as I do right now.

I won't go into details but we had a family evening out last night and as lovely as it was, it wasn't how I expected or wanted it to go. Finley was extremely tired as this term at school has taken it out of him and as much as he wanted to skate, he didn't want to actually skate. And the photo I wanted to get with Father Christmas didn't happen so I came away feeling a little deflated and a little guilty for feeling that way as we had really had a lovely evening. It just didn't live up to my expectations, which were fairy lights, laughter ALL the time and no tantrums. But I need to remember we had a good time despite this and the boys loved time with Mummy and Daddy.

This is something I tend to do a lot of the time and I put myself under a lot of pressure to make things perfect. Well my perfect isn't what the boys would call perfect, they would be happy with a McDonalds and a slightly late night. But I try and go for everything which in all honesty they are not at the age to appreciate, and I'm not saying that in a bad way because I don't want them to expect lots of expensive things, I just set myself up for a fall trying to make things perfect.

I think I need to take a step back and just go with it, stop making so many plans and really stop worrying about what others think of me. I'm not saying that I don't appreciate the time we have as a family, as I really do and love every second, I am saying that I put a shadow over my own experience as I think of the expectations I had. That shadow isn't anywhere near the boys as they would have had a brilliant time and will forget the tears on the ice rink next week and just remember seeing Father Christmas and skating round with a blue seal!

Advice to myself - chill out!!


Monday, 5 December 2016

The Shack - American Inspired Meals Review

We love to try new food in our house and when it is something that we don't have to cook ourselves it is even better. When I was asked if we would like to try some products from the new The Shack range at Iceland I accepted and was excited to give them a try. A parcel arrived a few days later and to my surprise they were the meals, all 9 of them! This would keep us going for a while.


The all looked really tasty and as it happened that evening I was going to a girl friends house for some food and wine. I suggested that I took some of the food round for us all to try so that I could get a few opinions on what the food was like. That evening we tried the Chicken, Waffle & Buffalo sauce, Smokey House Beef Burrito, Chilli Beef Wedges and the Chicken Fajita. They are really easy to cook, you can either chose to oven cook them or use the microwave, depending on how speedy you want your meal. We chose to oven cook them which took out 45 minutes for all of them to be cooked at the same time. My favourite of that night had to be the Chicken, Waffle & Buffalo Sauce as I have quite a sweet tooth and it was nice to try something a little bit different. The chicken and waffle went together really well and the sauce just added some sweetness to the meal. The girls also agreed this was their favourite too. We all tried the others and liked them but they all do have a little bit of a kick to them with the spiciness of them.

I loved really enjoyed the Smokey House Beef Burrito but I think if I had had a bit of our cream with it, it would have taken away the kick of the spice in it. The other meals we have been trying over the last few weeks and we really like them for convince as, with the above meal, they are simple and easy to cook when you want proper meal but don't fancy cooking something. I really liked the Mac & Jack and it was so cheesy, but again with a little bit of a kick. The Ultimate Burger was a bit hit as it has the pulled pork and the brioche bun with I think just make a burger amazing!

We really enjoyed all the meals that we were sent, if a little bit on the spice side. I would recommend these meals to anyone that wants a taste of America at home, but if you aren't a fan of spice I don't think these meals would be for you. The instructions on the packaging is very straight forward so they are very easy to follow.

It was really nice to try something different for our teas over the last few weeks as we tend to eat the same foods every week, so the change was nice.

* We were kindly sent The Shack meals through to review. All opinions are 100% my own.*


Saturday, 3 December 2016

The Saviours - Mummy Friends

These people are your saviours as a parent. They are the people you can moan to and be met with a 'me too' which can make your whole day that much better. They are the ones who will silently sit there while you child has the biggest tantrum in the biggest shop and not judge you, they will laugh with you about it later or put their arm around you when the tears start to flow.

Without my mummy friends I really don't know what I would have done with myself the last 5 years. They have been there in my darkest hour as a parent and they have also been there on my brightest days when parenting isn't all that bad. They don't judge me when I am having to tell off the boys for the whole day when they aren't listening or when one of the boys has done something to upset their child. They know exactly what to say when I need it and they also know when to say nothing. They will stand by my side and hold my hand when melt downs are happening and they will hug when me when I have tears of joy.

We moan together, we cry together, we shout at our children together and we drink a hell of a lot of tea together, maybe even some wine once the kidlets are in bed. The ones that you can tell how horrible your children are being and how infact you don't like them at that moment and don't judge, are the awesome ones. And the ones that tell you the same back are just friends for life!

I have mummy friends who I see almost everyday and I call them my family, and I have mummy friends who I see once in a blue moon but nothing changes. We are all each others rocks and we all understand each other. I have lost track of the amount of times that I have said sorry for the boys behaviour and my outburst, and we still get together next time, and most of the time laugh about the last time.

We have an understanding of each other and know when we can tell the others children off. Not in the sense of a real telling off but the 'um, don't think you should be doing that.' My mummy friends are there when I need a babysitter for that parents evening or that doctors appointment. I had one friend once organise for her husband to pick up her daughters from school so that she could sit with the boy so that I could go to the doctors with the most awful ear ache.

I have had some mummy friends since Finley was born and then there are the ones that I have met along the way. My very best friend is someone I met 3 years ago when Noah and her little one were very tiny. We met and hit it off instantly and now we are inseparable and she is my sane. We do things with the kids and without the kids and all I can say is, if you get in our way then goodness help you!

There are mummy's that I would now class as friends that I only met 7 weeks ago on the school playground. We talk about the kids and there isn't much else we have ventured into just yet but we have had the 'me too' conversation so they are one like me, a mummy just trying to do their best. Mummy friends are awesome and you know the true ones as they are there through the bad parenting days as well as the good.



Thursday, 1 December 2016

December Running Streak

I may be mad but I am going to be taking on a challenge in December along with a few others from my running group - a December running streak!

Now I accepted this challenge a week or so ago before the weather turned ultra cold so I may be regretting it a little but I will do this. My thought behind accepting it was that it would give me motivation to run throughout December, even when it gets cold and I just can't really be bothered to get out there. This will make sure that I do.

I have a half marathon in February and I am also toying with the idea of booking a marathon in April so I need to up my running anti and not let my fitness slip during the festive period. Thankfully there are a few others that will be doing it with me so that I have the motivation and support from them to get me up and out the door. Also it will mean that I can have the one more mince pie and that extra glass of milled wine!

Already I am wondering how I am going to fit in a run some days but the minimum to run is 1 mile so it may have to be some early morning runs with the alarm being set at 6am and some late night runs once the boys are in bed.

Lets do this!!


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