Sunday, 14 September 2014

Trying to cope with my boys first week at school

Jacob's first week at full time school, reception class, and I have not coped very well. Being my youngest son, you would think I was better at this, but no, it does not get any easier.

Miserable, moody, snappy, pining and a general feeling of being lost. Hubby and my older two boys, are calling me grumpy rather than mum at the moment. " god mum you need an early night " The thing is I have been having early nights, I haven't been able to stay-up past 10 , my emotions are zapping everything out of me, so sleep deprived is not what is causing me to be grumpy.

I wasn't expecting these emotions, I had been excited for Jacob, slightly nervous, and I have done this twice already with my older two, but the first day, the emotions flooded in, and it knocked me for six. Then there is Lewis, who is also starting a new school, secondary school and with me worrying about him making the transition from primary to "big" school, it has been a double whammy. 

Clock watching, and having to constantly remind myself that I don't have to pick Jacob up mid-day, I simply haven't been able to relax. 

The first day dropping him off, he told me I wasn't allowed to kiss him "promise mum" yes of course son *sob*, however as he went to walk in the classroom and turns to me with slight panic in his eyes, are you going to kiss me then mum - I respond by giving him the biggest kiss and cuddle, to which he smiles and trots in. He now makes me promise each day that I will walk him to his class and give him a kiss. 

Lunch time came and I found myself worrying how he would get on with sitting in the hall with the other children eating his packed lunch, he doesn't want school dinners, which is good as he is an extremely fussy eater, I would be fraught with worry that he wouldn't eat it and then go hungry, so I feel much better knowing I can make him something in his packed lunch that he will eat. 

Finish time I pick him up, he comes out with the biggest smile, and he is jolly, which reassures me that he is happy.

When we get home from picking Jacob up from school, just in time for the older two to walk home, I am door watching, waiting for my boys to come home, anxious to see how Lewis has got on, his first week in secondary school, which has been fine, good in fact.

The days have felt long, very long.

How long will I feel like this? Is it because Jacob is my baby boy, my last child as such? So why all the worry? because I love and miss them all, that much, and there is a certain element of not being in control of what happens during school time, or not being there to protect him of any upset? Or is it because it is a new era, my boys are growing-up, getting older, becoming more independent?

I secretly don't want them to grow-up, but then I also enjoy watching them grow-up, turning in to bright young lads. The future is exciting, the future is bright - unfortunately not all milestones are easy at first, but then after the initial shock you can look back and smile.

Silent Sunday

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Mini Nibs

IntroductionYorkshire made Mini Nib Nibs have created a buttery cheese straw with a difference, with a flavourish cheesiness, and they are available in two sizes: standard straws, and crunchy Mini Nibs. N
ib Nibs personally source all their ingredients and always ensure they are the finest quality and wherever possible most definitely British. 

Packed in handy re-sealable 65g. tubs, the perfect size to carry around, which would be great for picnics, perfect for a party snack, or even a snack to take along to work to share with your colleagues. 


  • Sea Salt & Cracked Black Pepper - these are peanuts
  • West Country Cheddar 
  • West Country Cheddar and Cheeky Onion
  • West Country Cheddar & Spicy Chilli

Conclusion: We enjoyed all the flavours, my favourite was the west country cheddar, and hubby loved the chilli version, he appreciated the slight spicy kick. We found all flavours were moreish and enjoyable to eat - be warned, once you start you won't stop until the tub is empty.  

The sea salt & cracked black pepper peanuts were delicious, full of flavour with a nice hint of cracked black pepper. They have Jacob's approval and he is a peanut lover and loved these.  

These would go down a treat at any dinner party, great for Halloween and Christmas.

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For your chance to win a Nib Nibs set please follow the instructions in the rafflecopter below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, 12 September 2014

Month in review - August

Some quick facts for August:is the eighth month of the year and one of seven months with a length of 31 days. In the southern hemisphere, August is the seasonal equivalent of February in the northern hemisphere.
In common years no other month starts on the same day of the week as August, though in leap years February starts on the same day. August ends on the same day of the week as November every year.

August's birthstones are the peridot and sardonyx. The birth flower is the gladiolus or poppy, meaning beauty, strength of character, love, marriage and family. And finally the zodiac signs for the month of August are Leo (until August 22) and Virgo (from August 23 onwards).

We had a fantastic summer holiday, we had loads of day's out, kept the kids busy and spent valuable time with the family. We also had a few birthday's: Summers, my brother-in law, my best friend, Paul's cousin (50th), and one of my niece's.

Below is some of the stuff we got up to:

Lollibop 2014! Yay we were really looking forward to it as we had a brilliant time last year. This year we took Jacob, Summer and my niece Ruby. We went on a Friday this year, but last year we went on a Saturday which was really busy, however we found visiting on a Friday, was a bit more quiet and we were able to visit and experience more things around the festival- we will definitely do a Friday next year.

We did the BRITA London Wasp's coachclass.  We got up mega early on Monday morning jumped in the car and headed to Bicester.  Lewis and Taylor had an amazing two days learning different skills for rugby, they also got to meet a Wasp player. 

Paul took two weeks off last two weeks in Aug, which was very nice, and the kids love him being home, especially when they wake-up, as he is normally gone to work, but when he is off, they run down stairs to see DADDYYYYY!

Summer's 2nd birthday, my little princess is growing up fast - she had a fantastic day, with all our family and friends around. We had a BBQ and loads of fun.

We went to High Lodge, Thetford, my parents came and they brought my niece and nephews, we rented a BBQ there and cooked up sausages and corn on the cobs. We then ventured through the the Gruffalo trail, which was a long stroll through the wood -it was fantastic I would recommend it to anyone visiting Thetford.

Thrigby zoo, just the two youngest wanted to go, and both Summer and Jacob loved it.  This is a small but great zoo, it allows you to get close to the animals (tigers, panther, crocodiles and many more) - they have walk over bridges and tunnels, all sorts of fun ways to get up close to the animals. 

Final week we started to get ready for school brought they kids uniforms and shoes etc.. (£300 bloody quid!!!) The cost was high due to Jacob starting school and Lewis moving up to secondary school, and Liam, well he had grown a lot over the holidays and needed new everything. 

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Halloween at BeWILDerwood - Competition to win a book bundle

What are you plans this October half term? October half term is one of the most exciting times of the year at BeWILDerwood, a truly visual and sensory celebration of the beauty and mystery of the BeWILDerwood story. A full day experience the whole family can enjoy, The Glorious Glowing Lantern Parade is even bigger and even better this year.

The Glorious Glowing Lantern Parade Thursday 23rd October - Sunday 2nd November

Enjoy daily performances of the BeWILDerbats story, stay snug and warm by the fires and spend quality time creating luminous lanterns in the 'Big Hat'. As dusk settles over the wood prepare to experience the park in a spectacular new light. Join together at the bonfire and begin the Glorious Glowing Lantern Parade, weaving majestically through the light and laser-lit woodland, dropping in to sneak a peek at familiar BeWILDerwood characters in their storybook setting.

Don't forget to visit the fantastic new Sky Maze set high in the treetop canopy. Stretching nearly half a kilometre and reaching over 8 metres in height, the newest addition to the park takes adventure and playtime to magnificent new heights. 

Why not visit BeWILDerwood in October half term and spend endless hours with family and friends, climbing and sliding, exploring and building, in a world with more than a little sprinkling of magic. 

For further information, opening times and prices visit

I also have for one lucky reader to win the below BeWILDerwood book bundle, all you need to do to enter is follow the instructions below via the Rafflecopter.  Good luck!

Surcare sensitive laundry range + details to become a Surcare tester

Introduction: Surcare the champions of sensitive skin, promise to get your clothes outstandingly clean each and every-time you wash and they will never put anything unnecessary into their products that will irritate your sensitive skin.

The Surcare range:

  • Surcare powder 2.4kg (30 washes)
  • Surcare sensitive non-bio gel 630ml (18 washes)
  • Surcare sensitive non-bio capsules 10s
  • Surcare sensitive liquid detergent (18 washes)
  • Surcare sensitive fabric conditioner (28 washes)
  • Surcare sensitive washing-up liquid 450ml

Features the brand offers

  • Fragrance free - no perfumes at all
  • Non-biological
  • No acids, no dyes and no enzymes
  • Dermatologically tested
  • Dermatologist approved
  • Suitable for sensitive skin, including eczema sufferers.
  • Effective cleaning at 30ºC

Experience:  I have written about my eczema and sensitive skin a few times, and for me choosing the right type of laundry product is a must, a product that will take care of my condition, I have to be careful with which detergents that will not irritate my eczema - it is known that chemicals can trigger a reaction, thus flaring up eczema. Many detergents can be potent; their selling point is that they remove stains and dirt at low temperature washes, but it is these added extras on the Biological products that contain strong chemicals and enzymes - which I have to avoid to protect my skin, and the Surcare range offer detergents that are not potent, and therefore they do not irritate my skin.

Tip: In the past I've found cleaning the washing machine with Dr Beckmans, washing machine cleaner, running a 90 degree wash every two weeks keeps away any build-up of bacteria, which that bacteria is also known to trigger eczema.

Conclusion: At first it was hard to get used to absence of any scent on the laundry, but I find if you hang the laundry out on the line, nothing beats the fresh air scent. The cleaning results are great, but for me the true value is that it really cares for sensitive skin and it gives me confidence to use the Surcare products knowing that they are caring towards my skin.

Surcare are also searching for people to become part of their testing panel. Testers will be sent Surcare products to test and to review, as well as asking for your feedback on new product development.  If you would like to be part of the panel please apply by sending an email to:

For this review we were sent a pack of Surcare items, and we were also sent some goodies for a girly night in: A gorgeous Yankee Candle and a Aromantic lip balm kit (make your own 100% natural lip balm kit).

We had great fun making the lip balms, rather messy, though we were super pleased with the finished product - it was very easy to do, I wouldn't mind making them again. You are supplied with all the ingredients, which you put all in a pot and melt down together, then once melted, you pour into the small supplied empty tubs, you leave them for 24 hours to cool down and set, and after that you have 9 pots of great lip balms.   And with the Yankee Candle, clean cotton scent it is just simply gorgeous and relaxing, a real treat.

Setting the tone with this gorgeous candle
The gorgeous Yankee Candle

Melting down all the ingredients, to then pour in each little tin pot.
My very own made lip balm, using only natural products

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Travelodge Thame - Inspiring Britain to Get Up and Go

6am we headed off on our road trip to Bicester for a two day rugby coachclass, and we were lucky enough to be offered a free room in a newly refurbished Travel Lodge, in Thame. We booked a family of four room, two adults and two 11 year old kids (son and niece), and after a fantastic day of rugby ( I also managed to squeeze an hour of shopping in Bicester shopping village), we drove to Thame. The kids were quite excited about staying in the Travelodge - they have never stayed in one before.

When we arrived we rang the bell on reception and within seconds the receptionist appeared, she greeted us with a big smile and a very welcoming, warm greeting - she built a rapport with us, asking what we had been up to and what we planned for the following day - we were given some print-outs of listed local restaurants, and listed nearby tourist spots.

We headed to our room, and first thing I did was to stick the kettle - so nice to have a kettle available.  We switched on the TV and decided between us where we were going to eat -Prezzo's - kids love pizza and well quite frankly, Prezzo's is my favourite place to eat.

After a lovely meal, we headed back to the Travelodge, grabbed a bottle of wine in the next door petrol garage, jumped in our PJ's and chilled in the room - which was nice.   

We all had a great night sleep, and in the morning we had to pull the two tweens out of bed; they would have quite happily stayed in bed, but we didn't want to miss breakfast which we had in the Little Chef just next door. As a Travelodge customer we were given a 10% discount - we just had to show our room key.  We then headed back to Bicester to have another fantastic day with the Rugby coachclass.


  • Free wi-fi for the first 30 minutes, thereafter just £3 for 24 hours.
  • in-room complementary toiletries
  • Iron available - after my terrible packing we needed this.
  • Travelodge's dreamer bed
  • Tea and coffee facilities
  • Fresh and clean room.

This year Travelodge have embarked on their biggest advertising campaign ever: inspiring Britain to Get Up and Go - aimed to complement and spread the word about their fantastic new and improved rooms.  By autumn 2014, over 80% of UK Travelodge hotels will have been modernised and feature the new look Travelodge.  

Conclusion: Our Travelodge experience was just right - it had everything we needed to make us comfortable; the bed was to die for, it was just perfect for me, not too soft, not too hard, I soon fell asleep and had a great night sleep. I was a little worried about the pillows as I am particular about using my own pillow (which I forgot to take), but in the end I found it okay and was able to get comfy quite quickly.

The shower was okay, though it wasn't quite a power shower, and with my mop of hair, it took a lot longer to clean it then I would want. 

Overall a positive experience, it was very clean and well maintained, and we will definitely be choosing Travelodge again in the near future.

It's a bit ruffled as the kids dived on it.
I really appreciated the tea facilities in the room - especially after the long day we had, the first thing I did when I got in the room, was to turn the kettle on.
My son jumping in the shower after a full day of rugby coaching.