A Week on Instagram #3

Another week come and gone! We haven’t got out much at all – we wanted to wait until Ben’s nasty cough had gone before heading out too far, but then I came down with a rotten cold. This week so far has been spent building a new cabin bed for Harrison and new wardrobes for us. Hopefully, we will get out at some point though and get some much needed fresh air and exercise!

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Real Advice for First Time Parents

Just before Christmas, my youngest brother Tom and his long-term girlfriend announced they were expecting their first baby. My very first niece or nephew is due in July –  I am SO excited.

I’m sure Kim and Tom are going to receive lots of little gems of advice, and will probably turn to books, internet forums and the like for advice and ideas. I thought I would offer them, and any other first time parents to be some real advice, from someone who has done it three times over and has survived. Just about anyway.

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How I Became a Morning Person

I’m not naturally a morning person. In fact, I’m not naturally an evening person. I like sleep and I need lots of it. I would quite happily go to bed early and get up late.

However, with kids, that’s just not really practical. We are really lucky that ours aren’t particularly early risers, waking up at 7.30/8am if left to it. They’re not too bad at night time either.  But if we want some time to ourselves, or I want to work in peace and quiet, I have to use that time when they are asleep. I used to regularly sit up until 2am in the morning watching the TV or working, but would feel dog rough the next day, so over the past few months, I’ve trained myself to become a morning person.

How I Became a Morning Person

 

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Signs of Sepsis

Back when Benjamin was three weeks old, he contracted a severe water infection which led to sepsis. He was really really poorly for a while – his body had started to go into septic shock – and if it hadn’t been for the wonderful efforts of the NHS, he wouldn’t be bouncing around the house like the little fruitloop that he is.

Lots of people haven’t heard of it, or don’t recognise any of the symptoms. I know I didn’t before Ben was ill. It’s had a lot of coverage in the media in recent months which I am so glad about and people are beginning to understand just how serious it can be.

The Signs of Sepsis

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Siblings | January 2017

Every month I will be sharing some photos of the boys altogether and talking a little bit about how they have been getting along. Having three boys so close in age (they’re five, four and two now) is incredibly difficult sometimes, especially with the older two, who have recently discovered play wrestling, but at the same time they usually play really nicely together and are the best of friends.

Siblings 2017

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Meal Planning Monday #3

Last week we again managed to mostly stick to the plan. We should have had a pork roast dinner on Monday, which we originally should have had on Sunday. However, Ben was poorly and was kept in the hospital Sunday night. When it came to starting dinner on Monday, we were both knackered and neither of us felt up to either cooking or eating a roast dinner. We ended up ordering a Chinese takeaway instead. I think that was pretty justified, though! I’ve made it pretty easy on myself for next week as well, by cooking some of the meals and the mashed potatoes already and sticking them in the freezer – like homemade ready meals!

Meal Planning Monday

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Diggers in the Sand | My Sunday Photo

We haven’t gone out much this week with Benjamin being poorly, so this was one from last Saturday. We had a few hours to kill before collecting our new kitten, Ellie from the RSPCA centre. We put our wellies on and headed to the beach with diggers and boats to play on the sand and in the rockpools.

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The Girl On The Train, Ed Sheeran and Exciting News #LittleLoves

Well, we’ve had an interesting week! On Saturday evening, Benjamin started sounding a bit wheezy, so I made a mental note to keep an eye on him and make a doctors appointment for first thing Monday morning. By Sunday afternoon he couldn’t stop coughing and was really poorly so Graham took him to the A&E department at our local hospital. A few hours later when they decided they were probably keeping him in for the night, I went there in a taxi so we could swap – after all the crap he went through when he was a newborn, I couldn’t bear the thought of him being in the hospital without me. It turns out he had a ‘viral wheeze’ and just needed an inhaler every few hours. They kept us in to keep an eye on him but we came home first thing in the morning and he was back to his usual self. Our first experience at Glan Clwyd hospital was very good, though – the staff were amazing!

The Girl on the Train, Ed Sheeran and Exciting News

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Food Diary of a Vegan

I’ll start by saying that I’m not a vegan – as you can see from my meal plans I’m not even a vegetarian, and the chances of me becoming either are pretty much zero. That’s a whole different discussion, though, and one I won’t get into. However, saying that, I understand why people make that choice, and I do respect and admire their decision. I can’t imagine veganism to be easy as so many things we eat and drink contain animal products or by-products. I do think sometimes that we could reduce the amount of meat in our diet for all sorts of reasons – I often choose veggie sausages or a veggie option if I’m eating out, and I try to do the odd meat-free meal, but generally, in our house, we do eat meat and dairy products.

Food Diary of a Vegan

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Cynefin | Where We Belong

This word popped up on my Pinterest feed one evening and as soon as I saw it, I knew it was a word that I  had subconsciously been looking for. I have no idea how to pronounce it, but it is a word that sums up how we feel about where we are at the moment.

It’s a Welsh word to describe a habitat where someone feels they ought to live – where nature around you feels right and welcoming.

That’s exactly how we feel about North Wales. It’s where we feel we ought to live. It feels like our forever home.

Cynefin - Where We Belong

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Meal Planning Monday #2

We managed to stick to last week’s meal plan pretty well. We swapped a couple of days meals around because it fitted better with Graham’s shifts, and had chips instead of mash with the beef casserole but all in all, we had what we said we were going to have, except for Sunday when we were out for longer than expected so didn’t get round to having a roast dinner. Because I’d taken the pork out of the freezer, we decided to add that to this week’s plan. Planning our meals really did make life a lot easier, and by using my slow cooker and halogen oven I’ve managed to save time. I bung what I can in the slow cooker in the morning and finish off the rest in the halogen.

Meal Planning Monday

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A Week on Instagram

A while back, before all the upheaval of moving, I started doing a little round up of my week on Instagram. I really enjoyed looking back at the photos I had posted, and I want to start doing this again.  I won’t share every photo with you – I post three times a day on there so this would be soooo long, but here are some of my favourites:

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Meal Planning Monday #1

Ok, so I meant to post this yesterday and completely forgot – good start to my year of organisation! I’m going to TRY to do this every week, both in real life and posting it on the blog. We have meal planned on and off for a few years, and when we’ve done it properly, it’s saved a lot of time, stress and money. With Graham back at work and doing 12-hour shifts, it’s down to me to do the vast majority of cooking which is a challenge within itself! I can’t face the thought of getting to 5pm (aka the witching hour here!) and staring into the freezer trying to work ou what to do for tea whilst the kids run riot. Hopefully, by planning meals ahead we can avoid that!

Meal Planning Monday

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The Best of 2016

I’m not going to look back or dwell on 2016 very much. For the most part, it was a horrific year for us personally, with lots of upheaval and uncertainty. The last three months, after we moved to Wales, was pretty amazing, but as a whole, it’s a year I’d rather not look back too much on. However, I  wanted to look back at the good things that happened.

The best of 2016

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December 2016 Degustabox | Vlog Review

Happy New Year!

Just before Christmas, we received our Degustabox, which is a monthly food and drink subscription box costing just £12.99 a month. Instead of taking photos and writing about each product, I thought I would vlog it this time and I really enjoyed doing it. I’ll definitely be vlogging a lot more throughout 2017!

Degustabox December 2016 Review

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Christmas in Photos 2016

All that hype, build up and expense, and Christmas has come and gone in a flash as always. I can’t believe that this time last week it was Christmas Eve and we were rushing about trying to do all the last bits and pieces. We were particularly lucky to have two Christmases this year – one just us lot on Christmas Day, and then my parents, my brother, my sister-in-law and the three dogs came up the day after Boxing Day for a couple of nights. It was manic, it was chaotic, it was noisy but it was lots of fun!

Christmas in Photos 2016

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My Blogger Secret Santa Gift

For about 18 months or so, I’ve been in a very small (seven of us) blogger group on Whatsapp. It started off as a bit of a support network, but as time has gone on we have gotten to know each other really well and have become firm friends. We are scattered all over the UK, with one living in New York. It’s lovely that we can literally pop onto Whatsapp any time of the day and someone is there to chat to. We’ve supported each other with our blogging, networking, but most important in our personal lives. When we were going through all the crap of trying to sort out a new home in Wales, they were the first people I spoke to. They’re now probably my best friends – I know I can talk to all of them about anything.

Last year we all sent each other Christmas cards, and this year decided we were going to do a Secret Santa. We did it all online, using a website to draw names, create wishlists etc. Mine came today, and I thought I would share it with you.

Blogger Secret Santa

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A Hot Chocolate Picnic

As much as I love the beach in the summer, I love it even more in the winter. It just seems even more beautiful and apart from the occasional dog walker, it’s pretty much deserted so we get it to ourselves. It doesn’t matter how cold it gets, as long as it is dry, we go down to the beach most days.

I had promised to take the kids down to our local beach for a hot chocolate picnic one day, and what better day to do it than the first day of the Christmas holidays? The sun was shining and it wasn’t too cold. We made up a flask of hot chocolate, popped some marshmallows into a tub, and packed a can of squirty cream and our favourite mugs into a bag.

A Hot Chocolate picnic on the beach

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CLC World Free Competition – Win £25 Worth of Vouchers to Spend at the Bullring in Birmingham

I don’t know about you, but I very very rarely get the chance to spend any money on myself. Whenever we have a spare few quid lying about (not very often!) it usually goes on the kids or the house. In fact, the only time I usually end up treating myself is with my birthday money in October, or the January sales with any money I’ve had for Christmas. This year, I fancy treating myself to some jewellery if I get any money for Christmas.

I don’t live in Birmingham any more, but when I did, the iconic Bullring shopping centre was my to go place for shopping, especially after Christmas. Whatever I wanted, be it make up, jewellery or clothes, I could get it from there.

Win £25 to spend at the Bullring Birmingham with CLC World Competition | www.coffeecakekids.com

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