20 Wishes

20 wishes 2017

20 Wishes 

Boy are we glad to see the back of 2016, it started off good but then dreams came crashing down. We have 20 wishes for 2017 – forgetting the bad of 2016 and moving forward thinking positive with a huge sigh of relief it’s finally over. Here’s to a new year and new start.

We was kindly tagged by Vicky from Being Tilly’s Mummy to write down our 20 wishes for the year.

Five wishes for our family

  1. Being a full-time working family time together is precious, we hardly get time together where we are all here. Spending more family time together just us is going to be our main aim for the year which we have all agreed to…..yes even the teens.
  2. As much as time together as a family is perfect we would also like to spend time together as a couple. Time together in the DIY store or at the kitchen sink doing the dishes isn’t quite quality time. We aim to get our once a month date night back in the diary and go out for a nice meal – swap those cleaning rags for glad rags.
  3. Looking back at our photo’s and there are hardly any of all 5 of us. This is something we would love to change this year and get these photo’s updated.
  4. Getting our foot on the property ladder and investing in our family future was our dream for last year – sadly this didn’t happen but we are hopeful it will this year.
  5. Making our new house a home. This is something that we know will take time but together we will make this happen.

Our five wishes for our blog

  1. We plan to get back to blogging again, our blog was quiet for a while whilst we was busy moving house. We have moved now and are finally starting to find our feet again…..Moving is such hard work.
  2. Work on promoting our blog more, such as guest post, join in linkies and be more active.
  3. Get more active on social media, join in with twitter chats and chat more with fellow bloggers.
  4. Continue to attend blog conferences, meet fellow bloggers and learn as much as we can to help our blog grow.
  5. To mainly be organised, keep on top of things and enjoy our blog.

Five personal wishes

  1. Confidence is something I seriously need to work on.
  2. To go on the hunt for this thing called “Me Time” – do you know what that is? no, same here. Apparently it does exist so keep looking.
  3. Get back on track with my weight-loss is a HUGE must.
  4. Be more organised, this is something I keep saying I will be/do but it never happens so let’s try more harder this year.
  5. I want to worry less and learn what will be will be.

Our family hopes and wishes for 2017

  1. We hope for this year to be less of an emotional roller-coaster.
  2. We plan to have more family fun day’s out together.
  3. Not everything has to be planned, live spur of the moment more – its way more fun.
  4. To be happy, healthy and not let anything stand in the way of our dreams.
  5. To try our best to make all of the above happen.

Fun family day in the woods 😀

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Wishing you all the best for 2017.


10 Reasons why I’m #RockingMotherhood

10 reasons why in #RockingMotherhood

10 Reasons why I’m #RockingMotherhood

10 reasons why I’m #RockingMotherhood is a post I have been tagged in by Hannah it is where I give 10 reasons I believe makes me rock motherhood. If I’m completely honest I am just winging it, but here goes….

These are my 10 reasons I think I’m #RockingMotherhood.

  1. Parenthood is oh so magical, you learn to run purely on cold coffee and very little sleep. With my boy’s now being teenagers I have this learnt to a T.
  2. In my years of being a mum I have learnt there isn’t a book that has all the answers in for being a perfect parent. I have had to learn along the way, yes making mistakes, accepting help, advice and also support. I may not have all the right answers but what I do have is three beautiful teenage boy’s that I love with all my heart and would do anything for. We make the perfect team.
  3. I have also learnt over the years Not to ask Google when I need to know something – silly me, why would I want to do that when I have teens who claim to know everything!!…I have raised my boy’s to be strong and confident in all they do.
  4. I am not just a mum I am also a cook, cleaner, referee, mum’s taxi, walking cash machine, cheerleader and so on but I wouldn’t want it any other way. My teens are not just my boy’s they are my world, my everything and most of all my best friends, no one or nothing comes close.

Sunday selfies with my boys at my birthday meal. 😍 #ukparentbloggers

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5. Meal planning is something I learnt fast, planning ahead and being as organised as we can be. Being a full-time working mum this is a must, especially if we want to eat at a reasonable hour. My slow cooker has become our family best friend as none of us like cooking when we get home of an evening.

6. I have managed to keep my kid’s safe and well. My first-aid training as come into action on more than one occasion….boy’s will be boy’s. I soon learnt the trick of when looking for them to look up high as I’ve more chance of finding them up in a tree than with their feet on the ground.

7. I get let out once in a while on good behavior…I even come back home on time too (get me).

8. I am learning a new skill, yes a new language called teen texts. Have you experienced it yet? some I figured out and some I own up to and admit I had to text back saying “can you re-send in a way I understand”. I mean if someone text you saying “HAND” what would you reply? or “HAK”? “IKR”? “JIC”? there are so many to learn but I’m getting there slowly.

9. I support and encourage my kid’s in all they choose to do. They may not always listen to me or make the right choice’s but we all learn by our mistakes and I am always here for them the best I can be.

10. I always have time for my boy’s, always have and always will. Making memories that will last a lifetime.

So these are my 10 reasons why I’m #RockingMotherhood, over to you now ladies.

Marie from Marie’s Beauties

Lucie from Our world and autism

Nikki from Keeping strong and moving forward


If you do decide to take part then the rules are:

  1. Thank the blogger that tagged you and link to their blog.
  2. List 10 things that you believe makes you a good mother. (10 is just a guideline, it can be more or less).
  3. Tag 3-5 other bloggers to take part in the #RockingMotherhood tag.
  4. Grab the #RockingMotherhood badge and add to your sidebar or blog post.
  5. You can also tag in your tweet @whitecamellias for her to have a read if you wish.




New Year New Dreams

new year new dreams

New Year New Dreams

Wow, where did that year go? – last we knew it was early summer and we was in the process of buying our much-loved home and dreams finally were coming true.

You may or may not had noticed but our family blog has been on the quiet side for the past few months – this has been because we have been busy trying or hardest to buy our much-loved family home that our children had grown up in. Sadly this didn’t happen for the reason below.

We have needed time to adjust and come to terms with our dreams sadly NOT happening.

Some dreams are just NOT meant to be

How things have changed and time certainly don’t stop. We was happily putting our plans into action and preparing to become first time buyers. The forms needed was filled out and the necessary fee’s was paid.

All was going so well and was accepted by our housing association following all the necessary checks – eek it was all so exciting, we was so excited to be getting our foot on the property ladder and investing in our children’s future.

Word’s can’t describe how happy we all was.

The all important appointment was then made with our bank along with a few others just to make sure we got a good idea of mortgage rates on offer at the time. We found there wasn’t much of a difference in the rates so had chosen to stay with our own bank and keep everything in the one place.

Credit checks was done once we gave the go ahead, these went through no problem and the dotted line was then signed.

The surveyor appointment was then made.

It was all so exciting….

This is a moment we had dreamed of and worked towards for so long and it was finally happening.


Bad News Then Struck

The surveyor arrived as planned to check the property – this being our home of 13yrs, he arrived and broke our hearts. Our home was made of prefabricated concrete and sadly no mortgage lender will lend on these properties…..Our application was then rejected by our bank for this reason.

Giving up was something we didn’t do easily, we went on to apply elsewhere and get second opinions but all the surveyors was saying the same and pre fab properties are not something to lend on.

Heartbroken and not knowing where to turn or what to-do, we even went as far as chatting with a broker where we didn’t want to give up on our dream – sadly a BIG NO came back there too!

new year new dreams

What Now?

So we have been living in a housing association rented property, living there for 13yrs – 13 happy years in hope of one day being financially able to buy the property. It came to the point of having to have that horrid chat about what-to-do now?

It was then agreed that we was paying out dead-end money, something that was agreed that we didn’t want to do. The time had come to be realistic and start making other plans for our future, our dreams of owning the house we had lived in for 13yrs had sadly come to an end.

New plans was then made

A phone call to our housing officer was had to see what our options was from here. It was then advised if we was wanting to still use The Right To Buy Scheme to get our foot on the property ladder that we look for what is known as a home swap/tenancy swap. This is where two tenants swap houses.

We then signed up to a website called HomeSwapper and the hunt then began. We knew we didn’t want to move too far away from where we was in North London as we had all settled here and our day-to-day commitments was here.

It was a heartbreaking decision, we all had mixed emotions about moving but we pulled together as a family and knew it was something we had to do.

new year new dreams

The packing began

The packing then began and the tears began to flow. We had a meeting the day before moving, this was to sign all the home swapping paperwork – signing over of the tenancy to our much-loved home and then signing to take on the tenancy to the new home.

On our way back home from signing the paperwork we stopped off and collected one of the removal vans….Deep breaths was being taken all day and tears was being held back, it was now time to let go, get loaded up and say our goodbyes to our home and neighbors.

Our last night was spent in our much-loved home, we sat reminiscing before saying our goodbyes to our neighbors.

The big day had now arrived 

The moving day soon arrived, we hired two Luton vans, one we picked up on the Friday which we loaded on the Friday evening to make the move a little less stressful, mainly to get a bit of a break from the heavy lifting.

On the moving day itself it decided to rain…..Yes rain ALL day!

We are now in our new home and starting a new year with new dreams. We are still in North London close to all our day-to-day commitments. We found a house 2.5 miles from where we was which is good. We have had amazing support from friends and family for which we can’t thank enough.

We needed time to find ourselves again. We are now gradually getting back on top of things again, we know it will take time so for now we are thinking positive and taking things day-by-day. We moved back in November and it’s been hectic ever since. The last of the boxes are slowly being un-packed and routines are now taking place again.

Do we miss our old house? – yes, it goes without saying but we are now looking forward to the future.

We are starting our new year with new dreams and thinking positive!


Comparison – HP Envy Vs Epson Ecotank

Comparison – HP Envy Vs Epson Ecotank

The printer in our house is a highly used product, it is used by ourselves as well as our teens on a daily basis. It is used to print our teens school/college work. We use it ourselves to print off our work files, tickets, recipes, photos, contracts etc so high quality printing is highly needed.

Here are both the printers..

This is the HP Envy 5540.

Comparison - HP Envy Vs Epson Ecotank

And this is the Epson Ecotank L355.

Comparison - HP Envy Vs Epson Ecotank

Setting up

We found the set up for both rather straight forward. Both printers came with instructions which was easy to follow. Setting up of both printers was rather stress/hassle-free, didn’t take long at all.

Price comparison

Epson Ecotank L355 is currently priced at £199.99. This is a 3-in-1 inkjet printer.

HP Envy – 5540 is currently priced at £74.99. This is an e-All-in-one printer.

Feature comparison

HP Envy 5540 is wireless. Prints, scans and copies. The printer also features a 2.2 inch display screen. There is an option to subscribe to Instant Ink and utilise paying for your ink with a choice of different ink subscription packages. Packages start from £1.99.

Instant Ink is where the HP original ink is ordered from your printer via Wi-Fi when your running low on ink (never run out again) and then delivered to you before running out.

Comparison – HP Envy Vs Epson Ecotank

The Epson L355 can also print, scan and copy. This printer comes with a 2 year supply of ink. The ink for this printer is designed to do away with the need for cartridges and has an integrated ultra-high-capacity ink tank system, there are NO ink cartridges to replace with this printer. In the box with the printer was four 70 ml Epson genuine ink bottles, you simply keep the ink tanks topped up using the ink drip-free bottles. With the ink you can print up to 4,000 pages in black and 6,500 in colour. With this printer you can print from mobile devices, making life that bit more easier when at home.

Comparison - HP Envy Vs Epson Ecotank


HP Envy is wireless and compatible with these operating systems:

Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 7, Windows Vista OS X v 10.8 Mountain Lion, OS X v 10.9 Mavericks and  OS X v 10.10 Yosemite.

With the HP Envy we can print, scan and copy with lab quality borderless photo printing from our PC and also from our mobile device, making our life that little easier by managing printing tasks directly from our mobile device by using the free HP app.

We can also connect our mobile device directly to the printer and print without accessing a network. We can also print from any room without causing any disruptions, we simply use the quiet mode option. We have been printing when at home and when away from home, we simply emailed the printer and had our print-outs printed and ready for our return home, reducing the to-do-list/work load.

Comparison - HP Envy Vs Epson Ecotank

Comparison - HP Envy Vs Epson Ecotank

The Epson L355 is also wireless and is compatible with Mac OS 10.8.5 or later, Mac OS 10.6+, Mac OS 10.7.x, Windows 7, Windows 7 x64, Windows 8, (32/64 bit), Windows Vista, Windows Vista x64, Windows XP, Windows XP, Windows XP x64.

With the Epson we found that Wi-Fi connectivity helped us print with ease using wireless printing around the home from our laptop and mobile device. The wireless printing made it easy to position and print from many places around our home. The free Epson iPrint app made life even easier for printing from our mobile devices from within our home.

Comparison - HP Envy Vs Epson Ecotank


We have been using both printers now for a while, whilst using them both we have run a few basic tests.

Water test:

Don’t know about you but in our house there is always someone with a drink near important files, and yes drinks have been accidentally spilt so we thought we’d put these printers on a water test and see how well the ink survives once wet.

HP Envy 5540

Comparison - HP Envy Vs Epson Ecotank

Epson L355

Comparison - HP Envy Vs Epson Ecotank

Both smudged slightly but once dried they was still readable.

Smudge test:

Our teens are always printing off last-minute work…..If i’m honest so are we so we thought a smudge test would be a good test to do. This is how well/fast the ink dried. This test was carried out straight from each printer. We found that neither printer photos smeared when wiped with dry cotton wool pads.

Comparison - HP Envy Vs Epson Ecotank

Print quality comparison 

Print quality is something we highly need from our printer. Here is a print comparison of the two printers.

HP Envy 5540 

Comparison - HP Envy Vs Epson Ecotank

Epson L355 

Comparison - HP Envy Vs Epson Ecotank

We asked our followers their thoughts on the two photos. Their thoughts can be found on our Instagram here.

Speed test

When in a hurry some printers can seem to take forever to print. Whilst using the above two printers we found HP was slightly quicker for printing documents and photographs but we found the quality of the photographs better from the Epson.

Final thoughts

HP looks tidier, the paper is nicely stored away, there are two separate compartments for the different papers, photo/A4 which was great and saved time. We have had the printers now for roughly four months and have changed the HP cartridges to our second lot of ink that was sent to us before we run out and was changed hassle free.

With the Epson we have not had to top the ink up as yet. We have found the printing speed to be faster with the HP, with the Epson we had to manually change the paper when wanting to print a photo which can be annoying at times.

Ink levels can both be checked which we found great, with the Epson you can physically see how much ink you have and with the HP you can log in and see on your account how many pages you have left.

The HP is bigger in size compared to the Epson but it is more tidier to look at and have in our home.

We found the HP printer to be more suited to us. It is quicker, compact and the printer ordering the ink for us saves us from a huge worry of running out of ink. Giving us peace of mind and worry-free printing.

Disclaimer: we was provided both printers for the purpose of this post. All thoughts are our own.
General post

Girly Day In London – Finding Dory

A girly day in London - Finding Dory

Girly Day In London – Finding Dory

A girly day in London – finding Dory was enjoyed not that long ago. We very often have our nieces come for a sleepover, when they do we always like to make sure we have something fun planned.

We had our youngest niece Lexi come and stay. Lexi has made good friends with Tilly from Being Tilly’s Mummy blog. We have met up before in the past and the girls get along brilliantly together and have become good friends. We planned to meet with Vicky and Tilly at Disney HQ and have a girly day, being a mum of three teen boy’s I really enjoyed having some girly time.

Girls day out

It was mine and Lexi’s first time at Disney HQ, admittedly I was rather excited, are you ever too old for Disney? We was there to have a private screening of this summers must-see kid’s movie – the new Finding Dory movie. Lexi is a huge fan of Dory so she was rather excited.

Specsavers – Finding Dory Frames

Whilst we waited to be seated for the movie Lexi enjoyed trying on Specsavers new kid’s frame range. They have introduced four new frames – Finding Dory frames. These frames are exclusive to Specsavers and will be launched in the £64 range.

Children’s eye care is very important, Bradley has had to wear glasses now for many years. At first he would refuse to wear his glasses but we soon found that if we let him choose a frame that he liked and wanted then he would happily wear them.

Finding Dory Frames

These new frames are available now in Specsavers stores perfect for children between three and eight years. Eye tests are free on the NHS for under 16s and all the glasses in the kid’s range include UV filter, a scratch resistant treatment, case and cloth. The range cater for different sized frames and fittings, catering for active children as well as the older child.

Finding Dory Frames

Children also get to choose a second pair in the kid’s get two pairs offer. With kid’s glasses it is always safer to have that spare pair handy, Bradley’s glasses was always getting misplaced or damaged when he was younger. Thankfully he has got much better at looking after his glasses now.

These lovely four new frames have the characters of Finding Dory on the arms with a choice of colours to suit every style.

Lexi had great fun trying on the different frames.

Finding Dory Frames

She loved seeing what her frames looked like on.

Finding Dory Frames

Finding Dory Frames

The movie itself…

Finding Dory Movie in 3D

Finding Dory movie

Once I managed to get Lexi to put the glasses back she had her arm painted before we was then seated to watch the Finding Dory movie in 3D.

Finding Dory Movie 3D

We enjoyed being taken back to the wonderful underwater world from Finding Nemo. We really enjoyed welcoming back our favorite, friendly-but-forgetful blue tang – Dory. Lexi was glued to watching Dory’s determination to return home to her forgotten parents, cheering her along her journey.

finding dory 3d movie

This animated sequel will have a wide audience glued, cheering Dory along on her journey to find her parents. This heartwarming movie is this summers must-see movie and is out now. Lexi couldn’t wait to return home herself to tell her older sisters and anyone who would listen about the movie.

We had a fantastic girly day. Every girl loves a new bag, look at the smile on this girls face.

Dory bag



Epilepsy – Taking Charge

Epilepsy - taking charge

Epilepsy – Taking charge

Life as a teenage boy can be hard, your noticing hormone changes and your also making important choices. You’ve life choices to make at school and you’re preparing and taking charge of your life with GCSE also taking place.

Lee was busy with all of this going on, he was happy and taking each day as it came, getting up and going to school meeting with friends along the way – after school doing any homework he had and then going out to play football with friends just like many other teenage boy’s.

This was soon to change….

One Sunday morning I had noticed Lee to be having a seizure, luckily with my job I’d had training in epilepsy awareness and noticed the signs. I took Lee straight to the hospital where they run some tests and it was confirmed Lee has had his first witnessed seizure.

Lee was referred to the epilepsy specialist where more test was run over a course of time, MRI, ECG, EEG, sleep deprived test and light tests. Lee was so brave especially with the MRI test as this really scared him, he hated the loud sounds and small space but with us in the room with him 2nd time round (we wasn’t allowed in first time) he was brave and braved it out, we couldn’t have been more prouder.

We awaited Lee’s results which was given at a follow-up consultants appointment where it was confirmed and Lee was diagnosed with Tonic-Clonic and Absence seizures.

Our poor boy…

When Lee was diagnosed he went withdrawn, we noticed a loss in his appetite and he hardly went out with friends anymore. He was put on medication (Lamotrigine) but he’d refuse to take them, he didn’t want anybody knowing about his diagnosis, he would close any conversation down quickly if we was to try and talk to him about his diagnosis, and we also noticed a change in his behavior at home and at school.

It was so upsetting to see our poor boy change before our eyes, we knew this was not Lee.

We set out to get him the help needed..

Lee found it really hard to open up so with specialist help from his epilepsy nurse we sat down with Lee and explained that he IS NOT the only teenager to be diagnosed with epilepsy and he IS NOT this alien he had pictured himself to be in his head.

Lee felt different, he felt embarrassed, he just wanted to hide away but at the same time not be on his own because he was scared. He wanted to talk about it but at the same time didn’t because he was scared and didn’t want to hear or accept the answers. He would look so drained and tired, it was so upsetting.

Lee finds it hard to accept…

Lee’s Tonic-Clonic Seizures would mainly happen at night while he was sleeping so in his eye’s he’s not seeing or witnessing anything because he’s not aware that they have happened, he just notices the side effects the next day – side effects being, loss of appetite, headache, feeling sick, aches and pains along with extreme tiredness and on some occasions unexplained bruising.

When Lee has had a seizure we would keep a close eye on him for a good few hours after, meaning we keep him home from school if it’s a school day (school being fully aware) as he needs to rest and sleep it off as it wears him out – plus for his own safety.

Putting a care plan in place…

We have had a care plan in place at his school informing his teacher’s of what to do if he was to have a seizure whilst at school. When Lee was at school it was noticed he was having absences on many occasions, this is where he blanks out for anything from a few seconds to a few minutes – side effects, headache, sudden tiredness, confusion, confusion to loss of time and to why people are asking him why is he not listening to them.

Lee has just finished his GCSES but whilst he was taking them his seizures got more frequent resulting in a visit to the hospital where we was informed stress can bring the seizures on more frequently. This put us in a very tricky situation as you can imagine. Lee was needing to take his exams but at the same time he was suffering, he did take his GCSES but we kept a very close eye on him and he would rest and unwind that bit more.

During his exams he was given extra time, this was to help with the pressure a bit, this really helped him, we worked very closely with the school and I must say the school have been fantastic with helping support Lee during his time with them.

Lee is still coming to terms with his diagnosis, he still finds some things hard to accept as changes have had to be made but he is more open and willing to talk about it now which is a huge help. He now takes his medication 150 mg twice daily with reminding but he does take them. It has been a very tough time for us all and still is but we are working through it together as a family. Lee is on the right path now to taking charge and not letting it beat him, we couldn’t be any more prouder of him.

epilepsy - taking charge

***Posted to help raise awareness***

Collaborative post

Making Your House Feel Cosy

making your house feel cosy

Making Your House Feel Cosy


Making your house feel cosy is the easiest and best way to make your property feel like home, whether your motivation is the winter months setting in, a new house or maybe just a desire to do something new to your decor.  To create a cosy and homely feel does not necessarily have to cost you too much or take up too much time, in fact you might find you already have everything you need to make your property just that little bit cosier than before. Here are some of the many ways you can revitalise your room with a cosy decor, which or how many of these you choose to use is completely up to you:

9 Ways Of Revitalising Your Home:

  1. Buy some throws and blankets and place these around your home, you could place them over the back of sofas or chairs or you could even hang them on display. If you do use this idea, think about the current fabric trends of 2016, we are seeing the return of tie dyed fabrics, textured fabrics and bold colours are also popular this year.
  2. Re-light your fire. Nothing is cosier than a nice warm fire with its soothing glow and comforting heat, most fires now can be turned on without actually heating up, creating the cosy feel without making you too hot, use this feature whenever you are home and want to cosy-up with the family.
  3. Re-paint walls to a darker colour, something like chocolate-brown or a charcoal grey would be perfect, use lighter colours such as white and cream to break-up the dark colours and lighten the room, otherwise it may be too dark.
  4. Add plenty of family photographs and portraits to the room, hang these on walls and add frames to mantle pieces, even consider adding some black and white or sepia effect photographs, i.e. pictures with an old feel.
  5. Add rugs, even consider putting rugs on top of rugs. Layering like this instantly creates a cosy feel, as does rolling a rug out onto the floor, this is especially perfect for anyone with hard-wood or laminated flooring.
  6. Plants and nature are always a good way to make a home feel cosier. Consider adding some potted plants or even fill some glass bowls with some soil and plants to create a ‘nature terrarium’.
  7. Transform one wall by covering it completely with a curtain instead of painting or wallpapering it, this will make the room instantly warmer and cosier. This works perfectly in bedrooms.
  8. Add a comfortable chair in the bedroom, this will bring the sitting room into the bedroom and tempt you to curl up in the chair and make the most of the room. For the icing on the cake, think of adding a warm and comfortable looking blanket over the back of the chair.
  9. Include hanging fairy lights into your interior design, even if it is not Christmas. These usually work the best in a bedroom however, if you place them right hanging fairy lights can be used all year round in any room to make it feel a little bit cosier.

You do not need to do all of these things, just start by implementing one and keep going until you feel like your house is finally as cosy as you’d like it to be.


*** This is a collaborative post ***

Collaborative post

7 Summer Party Ideas For Kids

7 summer party ideas

7 Summer Party Ideas For Kids

Summer – for all its joyous warmth and opportunities to finally get outside and make the most of being alive – presents something of a challenge for parents. With the kids off school for a significant chunk of the season, keeping them amused isn’t always that straightforward.


When the temperature rises, the desire to party increases, and this could actually be the key to keeping your kids busy and out of trouble this summer. Thankfully, there are a tonne of themes and ideas you can choose from.


In this post, we’ve picked out 7 brilliant summer party ideas for kids.


A great British bake-off

The UK is gripped with baking fever and what better way to take advantage of this than to host a bake-off themed party for the kids? They’ll love getting their hands dirty and by introducing a competitive element (best cupcake, tallest cookie tower, for example), you can keep them engaged with the promise of prizes.

There are plenty of recipes for kids to choose from online and in most baking books, so grab the ingredients and let them take over the kitchen!



No matter how many Playstation or iPad games they have to hand, kids still love good, old-fashioned party fun and there are few ways to get them more excited than by throwing a pirate bash.

Pirate hats, eye patches, plastic hooks and parrots can all be purchased relatively cheaply from costume shops and the addition of a scavenger hunt for sweets and other goodies will have them amused for hours.


Real-life Angry Birds

The incredibly popular Angry Birds game centres around the process of flinging small objects at large obstacles, breaking them down in stages. Kids love it on-screen, but we think you can go one further than that this summer.

You can hold your own Angry Birds-themed party by using mini bean bags as the birds (or Angry Birds toys, if you have them to hand) and old cardboard boxes, magazines and empty bottles for the obstacles. Kids will love playing a real-life version of their favourite video game.


Make a splash

If it gets particularly hot, a brilliant kids party theme involves two very simple ingredients: balloons and water.

Simply fill a bunch of balloons with water and tell the kids to take turns in bashing them with a plastic bat or cardboard tube, piñata-style. It’ll provide endless entertainment as they all desperately avoid trying to get soaked (even though we all know they’ll love it when it happens).


Painting party

Give your mini Picasso’s the opportunity to demonstrate their creative side by placing large canvases or sheets of paper in the back garden and giving them a bunch of colourful paints. Better still, introduce a summery theme to really get their creative juices flowing.


Tough little mudder

Kids love getting muddy, and when the weather is nice, there’s no better time to allow them to indulge in this messy past time. Better still, you can make an event out of it by setting up a muddy obstacle course at the local park.

A string maze, oversized cardboard boxes as tunnels and treasure hunt finale will tap into their primeval sense of fun.


Slip and slide

Another water-themed summer party idea bound to get the kids excited is a DIY slip and slide in the back garden. All you need is a long, heavy-duty drop cloth staked to the ground, a few buckets and plenty of water. You can then watch – and, probably join in – the slippery wet fun that unfolds.


We’ve attempted to keep the party ideas above low-cost (or free) and simple to set up, but, most importantly, they should be easy to clean up afterwards! Make the most of the summer this year by treating the kids to a few of these brilliant summer party ideas.


Do you have any fun summer party ideas that you would like to share?




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Home Improvements

Home improvements

Home Improvements

Some of you may already be aware but we are currently on an exciting journey, that journey being a first time buyer’s journey. Lot’s of fun home improvements are to be made. You can read more about our journey so far on a guest post over on Being Tilly’s Mummy.  We have so many home improvements that we would love to make and get started on. We have some exciting plans but there are also areas where we are needing help and advice. Where better to head off to for this help and advice other than the Ideal Home Show.

Myself and Bradley headed off there for a day out together, we went there with a few ideas in mind but came away with so many more, some ideas we would never had thought of. Bradley came away with some new ideas for his bedroom and I must admit I love what he has in mind.

Whilst there we even had a chat with Martin Lewis.

Home improvements


On our day at the Ideal Home Show some fantastic renovation advice was given to us, we was told that planning as much as we can and keeping things simple is the key to any succesful project. Any rushed and unplanned projects will most probably end in mistakes being made. Plan as much as we can in as much detail as possible, get colour samples and always double-check measurements.

We found the Ideal Home Show so inspirational, there are so many ideas under one roof it was amazing, we had so much fun looking at the gadgets and trends. There are so many different sections such as food, technology, home furnishing, garden and so many more. We had such a fun day out and will defiantly be going again next time. Our exciting plans are going to be put into action very soon.

Have you ever visited the Ideal Home Show?

Slimming World

Slimming World Weight loss Continues

slimming world weight loss continues

Slimming World Weight loss Continues

It has been a while since we’ve had a Slimming World update, we can confirm our Slimming World weight loss continues. We are still attending Slimming World every week, we lost our way for a while but have slowly been getting back to where we was a while back.

Our weight has been going up and down by a few lbs, we would love to get fully back on track so we recently had a chat and have both decided to go back to basics. We have recently had a food shop and have stocked up with fruit and vegetables for healthy meals we have planned.

We are now meal planning and batch cooking in advance so when we’ve had long working days we’ve a nice healthy meal waiting for us on our return home. We have both admitted to skipping meals so this is also going to change. Healthy snacks are now ready for us to grab as we go so there are no excuses.

Our problems have been 1) skipping meals and not eating three meals a day, 2) on most days eating the wrong foods when we have been eating as we have not meal planned in advance. We both need to make sure three healthy meals are eaten every day along with topping up our water intake.

Fast forwarding a week or so and…..

The past few weeks have seen us both really getting back on track and getting back into the swing of it all again, weighing our food again, cutting/removing fat from our meat, drinking more water, meal planning and most of all enjoying three meals a day along with cutting down on sweet treats and alcohol……our weakness!

With both of us working full-time jobs we find that preparation is key to helping us a great deal.

We have also been topping all this up with exercise and have been enjoying the great outdoors by having fun family days out, walking in the countryside with Buddy. Exercise doesn’t have to be taken inside a gym, it can also be enjoyed outdoors.

We lost our way throughout the winter months but we are now slowly getting back on track and back on plan. The past few weeks weigh-ins have shown great results, one week showed a whooping -4.5lb and another -3lb loss which we’re more than happy with. We are looking forward to more fab losses to come.

We now hope our Slimming World weight loss continues.


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Luxury Kitchen Design

Luxury kitchen design

Luxury Kitchen Design

Many people believe that having a luxury kitchen design is out of their budget, but it doesn’t need to be expensive; with the right planning and execution you too can create a luxury space that the whole family can enjoy while adding value to your home in the process.

The kitchen design team at Mayfair Granite have put together their top considerations for planning and designing the perfect kitchen:

Luxury kitchen design

Kitchen Layout:

The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in the house, a place where great food is prepared, a space for entertaining friends and family and somewhere to relax in at the end of a hard day, so creating a space that is both functional and comfortable is key.

The L-shaped kitchen is one of the most popular layouts for kitchens because of its adaptability, and when combined with an island can create a great space for entertaining. An island bench can create a dramatic focal point in the room whilst providing extra storage space and a social hub for the whole family to gather round.

Luxury kitchen design

An L-shaped kitchen design is a great option for open plan kitchens where the room opens out into a dining room or living room; it also maximise’s the floor space for families and couples to cook together without getting into each other’s way.

If space is an issue, try opting for a U-shaped kitchen design; this type of design can maximise the cabinet and work top space in the room without compromising on design or style. U-shaped kitchen designs usually feature integrated appliances which are great for keeping a uniform style, but standalone appliances can be used to provide a stand out feature or touch of colour to the design.

Material Choice:

With a vast array of exciting and exotic materials to choose from when designing a kitchen, it can be a bit daunting when planning the perfect space. The classic combination of natural stone and traditional timber cabinetry is still seen as the pinnacle of luxury by many, but with the advances in technology pushing the boundaries of design there is now a range of metallic materials to choose from including brass, copper and zinc to provide that extra wow factor.

For work tops, Mayfair Granite recommends traditional materials such as granite, quartz and marble, which provide a durable and low maintenance option that will last a lifetime. These materials can be cut into an array of shapes and sizes providing a perfect fit in any room.

Luxury kitchen design

Cabinetry is the most important investment in any kitchen design, so choosing the right materials is key to creating a kitchen that will stand the test of time. Luxury kitchen cabinets often feature high quality woods such as cherry, mahogany or walnut which are stained with rich, dark colours to bring out the natural beauty of the wood grain. However, specialty painted and glazed finishes can also make for a luxurious kitchen.

Appliances can make or break a kitchen so it is important that these are taken into consideration at the same time as the rest of the design. Choose products that match the style you are going for and always shop around for the best prices.


Lighting is also an important consideration for creating the right balance of ambience and function in the kitchen. Natural light makes the space look bigger and brings the outside in, but having large windows and doors isn’t suitable for every kitchen. However, if the kitchen lacks natural light there are lots of options out there.

Pendant lights can add that wow factor to the kitchen and can create a relaxing ambience, whereas under cabinet lighting is perfect for food preparation in low light situations. For something a bit different, LED light strips are a good choice for creating dynamic lighting effects in the kitchen.

Luxury kitchen design

Creating the perfect kitchen is all about planning, putting together a luxury kitchen design will really help, if done right you’ll have a functional and comfortable space that will last for many years and can also add thousands to the value of your home.


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Fighting Bad Habit’s

fighting bad habit's

Fighting Bad Habit’s

Ian has been a smoker for many years now, he started smoking at a young age and it has been a part of his everyday life ever since. He has tried giving up smoking and fighting bad habit’s but sadly he is finding it very difficult.

He has tried patches, they did help but only for a short while. Ian found it hard when he was out socialising, he is used to heading off outside with everyone for a cigarette but the cigarettes was no longer there. Not having a cigarette to hold is what he found hard about giving up, all of a sudden the cigarette was no longer there.

When out shopping in our local town Ian came across a stall where e-cigarettes was being demonstrated and he was drawn in by them and was willing to give them a try. Ian liked the idea of giving up smoking but still being able to hold a cigarette and have the feeling of a real cigarette.

The e-cigarette still allows Ian to go out with everyone to the smokers area when out socialising, he is still able to have his old routine but without the cigarette and actually smoking. Going out for a cigarette has been part of Ian’s everyday life for many years and is more of a habit for him.

Fighting bad habits is something Ian is currently finding hard but is something he is working on. He has recently been looking at Vapelux to help him give up smoking. Giving up smoking has many good advantages, Ian is making a few self-help changes to help him resist any temptation he might have.

Ian’s self-help list to help with fighting bad habit’s

  1. Thinking positive – remembering from previous attempts to quit smoking and where the temptations was, trying his best to avoid those situations.
  2. Making a promise to himself – he has made the choice to try his best to quit and will be trying his hardest to stick with it.
  3. Thinking ahead – planning ahead to parties, days out etc where situations may prove difficult for him and preparing for them.
  4. Getting the right support – support is important, he will be explaining to people that he is wanting to quit and would like their support.    
  5. Keeping busy – Ian plans to keep busy so he doesn’t get the time to think about cigarettes and if he does then the cigarette will be replaced with an e-cigarette.       


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Attending BritMums 2016

Attending BritMums 2016

Attending BritMums 2016

It is getting close to that time of year, that time of year for attending BritMums 2016. This is where many bloggers will be heading off to, it will be held at the Brewery in London on the 25th June.

For anyone who doesn’t know about BritMums, it is the Uk’s buzziest social media conference and blogger event. This year will be our second year attending and we are still rather nervous but not as half as nervous as we was last year, we are more relaxed this year.

We cant wait to introduce you to our lovely sponsor, are you a thrill-seeker? if so you will love our BritMums sponsor. Without further a-do our BritMums sponsor is, the lovely Thames Rockets. Thames Rockets offer sight-seeing adventures from the River Thames.

Attending BritMums 2016

If you love London and enjoy sight-seeing just like we do then we highly recommend Thames Rockets, they are always ready to welcome you on board for your fastest, funniest and craziest trip ever. They offer sight-seeing from the Thames and have very friendly guides on board who are more than happy to share their knowledge of London with everyone.

Thames Rockets can be found at the millennium Pier London and welcome guest from a young age. They are open 7 days a week. They are open come rain or shine as wet weather kits are provided, along with safety wear.

We have experienced The Ultimate London Adventure with Thames Rockets and had a blast, in Brads words “it was awesome”.

Would you love to speed down the iconic river and do some sight-seeing from a different angle?

Thames Rockets take you speeding through Canary Wharf listening to a medley of feel-good music whilst you’re waving goodbye to the other boats left bobbing on the Thames.

There is a choice of trips to choose from, you can choose family trips to a trip that includes a helicopter, yes a helicopter as they even offer sight-seeing by air.

Also rated number #1 on Tripadvisor.

Attending britmums 2016

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Exciting Times Throughout March

Exciting times throughout March

Exciting Times Throughout March

Looking back over our  exciting times throughout March we can safely say that we had a busy and fun month, a month full of fun and excitement. Here is a little of what we got up to.

Our month started off with a meeting, not just any meeting but a meeting to start a very exciting journey – Buying our first house. Eeek it is really happening….Exciting times!

A very relaxing mothers day took place, I was told to put my feet up and relax for the whole day so I did, it proved costly as this happened. A little shopping took place…Whoops.

Exciting times throughout march

A fun quiz took place, Lee really enjoys football so we tested his knowledge and had a fun family afternoon.

Exciting times throughout march

We had our youngest niece come and stay with us, she came along to watch Lee play in his football match – it looks like Lee has a little fan by what was caught on video….so cute.

Lee's little football fan. #cousinlove

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We had a fun and exciting stay at Chessington. We spent the night in the hotel and had a fantastic time.

Exciting times throughout march

Myself and Bradley attended the Ideal Home Show, Brad had been asking prior to our visit if we could teach him how to use our camera as he wants to learn more about photography. After a quick how-to-use talk he was our photographer for the day.

Exciting times throughout march

Good Friday was spent in the best place – That place being where we call our happy place – Clacton beach. This is why it is called our happy place.

                        Of course some beach rules had to be made – What do you think?

Seaside rules 👌

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A lovely Easter cake was made, one even the Easter Bunny would agree on – Carrot cake.

Exciting times throughout march

How did you spend your Bank holiday Monday? ours went a little like this – wine, snacks, candles, duvet and movies…..Perfect!

Exciting times throughout march


This is a little of our exciting times throughout March, did you get up to much?

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Planning School Holidays Early

Home lifestyle

Planning School Holidays Early

As a full-time working mother to three children, every moment we spend together as a family is precious. So when half-term holidays come around and Ian manages to get some time off work too – we have to make the most of it. So with a good few weeks to go we have started planning school holidays early and drawing up the inevitable what to do list including another camping getaway or a repeat visit to Clacton, since the kids love the arcades, we love the penny casino and spread betting games and it’s been a long-standing family favourite.

So we jumped on the computer and with what we found, decided to draw up a list of the best ones we found so we could make a decision later. Last year was a bit manic around March/April with the kids doing different things and Bradley getting sunburned but this year we were determined to think of something to do that we could do as a family and here’s what we came up with:

1)  Another camping adventure like the one we are planning to do in Europe. While this has plenty of positives, the reason we had planned to do this in Summer was that it would give us more time to explore so this may not be the best option for now owing to the long drive.

2)  A theme park seems to be a common choice but since we have just been to Chessington and last Easter Lee went to Thorpe Park – this seems a bit repetitive

3)  Cinema seems to be a popular choice as well but that doesn’t really take up too much of our holidays and leaves a lot of extra time so maybe that’s good for a filler but not really an entire vacation

4)  London tends to be a popular choice for most and there are a quite a few suggestions as to what people can do over the half-term break when they’re there. A trip to the aquarium in the day followed by a visit to the Shard where Bradley can take some photos is on our list already and there’s plenty more to do should we go.

As you can tell from the list above we have a lot of thinking to do as while London seems like the most opportune one for now, there’s probably a ton more out there that the kids and us can come up with. Just keep checking back on our blog to find out what we’re actually going to go with and maybe offer some of your own suggestions if you have some good ones to share.

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