Birthday · Children · Choccywoccydodah · family time · January · London · London Eye · Parenting · Uncategorized

Just a little birthday trip to London!

So for T’s birthday present we decided to take her to London. We went just the two of us last year to see Matilda and we had a great time so we decided to do the same this year. All our family give her spending money for her birthday with it being so close to Christmas she never needs anything so she takes it to London. 

This year Scott came too and we decided to visit the science museum. It really was fantastic, there is so much to see and do and T was in awe of the huge rockets suspended from the ceiling at the entrance to the space zone! 

We looked at everything from how energy is made to the first airplanes and trains.

It really was so interesting looking at all the different levels and T even got excited about how many materials we use in the home when she saw this massive piece of artwork! 

I can’t recommend it enough for FREE And something really different to do for a few hours, we even took our own lunch and ate it there! Of course we spent a little time in the souvenir shop afterwards but I was even impressed with how reasonable that was when T only spent  £4 on 2 items!

Our next stop was the London Eye! We did have to queue for this but it moved really quickly and it was nowhere near as busy as it can be. It was T’s first time on the Eye and she loved it! She took lots of photos on her new camera and enjoyed going so high up! 

From here we went to Hamleys toy store. This has been a favourite place of T’s since we first visited last year and Scott had never experienced it before so we had to go. It is honestly like another world in there, it’s like a cross with a bustling London market with stall traders all competing to sell their wares and the biggest most wonderful toy store you have ever been in! Of the 7 floors we spent the longest on the Build a bear level as T decided she wanted to make her own bear.

It really is such a cute process, You chose your bear then a sound for inside, name it, stuff it and put a little heart inside then it’s off to the outfit section before finally creating a birth certificate and buying a little travel bag for your new companion!

The rest of the shop really is worth a look even if you aren’t buying just to see the giant Lego structures and of course the star wars floor 😂

Carl the camel will set you back a cool £1500!
From here we popped into Choccywoccydodah, a quirky little chocolate shop and cafe that I visited for my birthday in November and T really wanted to see.

This is something I spotted on the underground which really made me smile and our day ended up living up to.

The final place T wanted to go was Platform 9 3/4 so we went and the queue was crazy! There was no way we were going to make it to the front before our train came so I had a word with a lad who worked there and said we were there for T’s 8th Birthday is there any way we could get a bit closer as she would be so sad if we didn’t get a photo. He came back and whisked us away into the Harry Potter shop right to the front of the queue and announced to the photographer that she was a VIP and should go next! 

We couldn’t believe our luck and it made T’s day 😊

And so our happy little Gryffindor caught the train home with two exhausted parents after a wonderful day in London 😊

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A child's perspective · ambition · body confidence · Changes · Children · Cockapoo · exercise · family time · fitness · Healthy eating · healthy parenting · January · kids activities · scafell pike · Uncategorized · walking

New Year Fitness Goals 

So the new year means new fitness goals, December saw a lot of slacking in the excercise department and as is customary an over indulgence in Christmas food. The result is a body I know can improve on and don’t feel completely confident about, Thank goodness for cold weather so hoodies and jumpers can cover the Christmas excess!

So we have a holiday in 6 months and this is every reason to start the fitness regime again now! That and the fact that I want to climb a mountain this year, hopefully Scafell Pike which I’ve written about before here. I really ramped up my walking last year and walked more miles every month until my finale in August where I walked over 80 miles in one month!

I plan to start walking more again and also tracking my miles again weekly. The only issue with this is I can only fit so much walking in before work and on my days off so as soon as the days start getting longer and I’m no longer coming home from work in the dark I will ramp up the walking and Poppy and me will start getting out for longer walks again!

I’m also going to restart my kettle bell ab workouts again twice a week. I follow a great DVD which gives me a 25 minute workout that focuses solely on your core and the excercises really do work, I used the same DVD for my holiday last year and also my honeymoon and I’ve never felt fitter so I just need to focus on completing this twice a week for now and will step it up in a few weeks.

T and I have also set ourselves a little fitness plan, now T has a little belly which she has always had and it doesn’t bother us and hasn’t bothered her much either until now. She eats well, has ballet and horse riding as her hobbies and is very active at school and with her friends but we have never been able to shake this little belly. About a week ago she got upset when it was just me and her because it was more visible in the top she was wearing than usual, I told her she was beautiful and no one would notice or even care but it was clear she needed more than that and so the fitness jar was born!
In this jar we have a a selection of excercises some more high intensity and others are more toning based excercises, There is everything from burpees to lunges from star jumps to over head press. We have colour coded them red for the harder ones and green for the easier. So the idea is we take out two red excercises and two green excercises every day we are together, usually 5 days a week, and complete each one for 30 seconds with a 30 second rest inbetween then repeat twice more.
Now I know this is no advanced HIIT workout but it is getting us out of breath and we are making small steps to making us both feel better about ourselves.

We have also limited our chocolate intake to just two days a week again. This is our usual routine after any big chocolate event, Easter, Christmas, Halloween, just so us and T don’t eat it every single day. T has decided chocolate days are Tuesday and Saturday this week so every other day we will ignore the piles of selection boxes and goodies that have arrived over Christmas and treat ourselves on Saturday!

Our diet will also involve less buffet food, cheese and crackers and Pringles now Christmas is over so I am planning to post some photos of the healthy recipes we try out too!

So all this said I’m ready to kick start my fitness back into action and make these changes!

Thanks for reading

Lou x

Children · Christmas · Cockapoo · craft · December · family time · fun activities · homemade · making memories · Parenting · Party Planning · Thankful · Uncategorized · Willy Wonka

Happy New year,so the festive season is over!

Happy New year to you all! It’s sad to think that in a couple of days it will be back to normal, back to routine, school runs, dog walking, chores and general adulting! 
It’s been a wonderful festive period in our house, we had a great Christmas day at home starting at 6am when the little person ran in excited that the big man had been! What followed was a couple of days of presents, followed by food and repeat! We really did have a great time and as always T had the best of both worlds with her time split between home and her Dad’s. It’s not always easy to let her go this time of year but I have to remember she deserves her time there just as much as here and so does he.

Here are just a few of my favourite pictures.


Christmas was quickly followed by T’s birthday  party, those of you that follow my posts will know I’ve been planning this for some time and I’m pleased to say it all went without a hitch! It was a Charlie and the chocolate factory themed party with myself as an oompa loompa and T’s Godmother as Voilet! We played burst the balloons on violet to find the golden ticket, make your own sweet necklace, pass the parcel, sort the good nuts from the bad, the balloon game, along with a Willy Wonka wordsearch, musical statues and eating doughnuts with no hands! It was a fab party and I’m so pleased we pulled it off. 


This New Years Eve was to be the first one we didn’t have T home since we have been together so we decided to make the most of it and went out. We went to a pub/restaurant not far from us and had a beautiful meal and drinks followed by a disco and the customary linking of arms with complete strangers at midnight 😁🥂


I’d just like to wish you all a wonderful 2018, I hope you all continue to have lots of adventures whether big or small, enjoy time with your families, learn valuable life lessons and make many happy memories and keep blogging about it all!

Happy New year and Thank you for your support in 2017,

Lou x

Children · Christmas · December · family time · health · horse riding · Parenting · Uncategorized

Christmas Eve Eve and one crazy week!

So it’s Christmas Eve eve and we have made it through this mad week! T finished school Tuesday and had a sleepover at her friends house until Wednesday. They had a really fun day all day Wednesday making Christmas crafts and playing at an indoor play. 
I finished work Wednesday after a really funny secret Santa and Christmas buffet where I must have eaten my own body weight in sugary foods! (Cue workouts beginning again soon)  I left work with a chalk board mug and gave out a novelty apron of a speedo clad man to a friend which they didn’t take off all day 😂

Thursday was all great, me and T had done the Christmas food shopping and had a friend round for coffee, presents and mince pies with their two children. We had a great afternoon catching up and entertaining little Kaleb who is into everything! 

The evening was not so great. T is very funny about blood, injections and anything else like that. When she had her booster injection before starting school she fainted and had to be laid down in the nurses room for a little while, when her first few teeth came out she would almost faint with the blood and when she saw me have a blood test when I was in hospital last year she nearly fainted. This is said it’s been over a year since anything like this happened so I thought we were over it. Then Thursday evening she comes to me with a little cut on her finger, I go to get a plaster and by the time I come back she is hyperventilating, I try to calm her down but she goes pale and collapses on me in the kitchen. She is only out a couple of seconds but it’s the most scary thing seeing your childs eyes roll and watching them struggle not to choke on their tongue. So she came round and we got up off the kitchen floor and moved to the sofa where she fainted again and then was sick. After this it was like she was back in the room suddenly she was with it and everything was fine. Poor T had a bad headache and was very tired for the rest of the evening falling asleep on me watching The Grinch, something she’s not done in a long time. 

I now know I shouldn’t have moved her from the kitchen floor so quickly after she fainted the first time so this is probably why she went again. I just thought get off the floor and away from the bin she had knocked over but moving too quickly can cause fainting again I now know.

It’s clear she has no control over this and no amount of me saying ‘You’re ok, come on, you’re alright’ will help once she is like this I just need to try and find out the best thing to do when it happens.

Yesterday she woke up much better, she was just hungry! 😊 She spent the day with her Dad and we met again at her last riding lesson of the year where she tried really hard even though she was on her own! Today I can’t wait to get her back home because then I know she is home for Christmas. One more person and our little family will all be here- Scott is on 12 hour days until tomorrow when he gets home at 
6 for Christmas!

I’d just like to say thank you to each and every one of you for reading this year, I appreciate every comment, like and view of my posts and really enjoy reading yours. I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful new year and heres to lots more blogging next year!
Lou x 

Christmas · Christmas Traditions · date night · December · Family · family time · Friendship · making memories · Parenting · Uncategorized

Christmas Update!

So I’ve been a little quiet but it’s been all go around here full of Christmas activities, catch ups and just generally getting ready for the big day! 

Here’s a little update on what I’ve been up to;

Christmas date night- this time of year gets a little crazy with friends, family and Scott’s work being really full on so I decided a month or so ago we needed to make time for ourselves just to save the Christmas stress from getting too much. With a meal in and some Bailey’s hot chocolates along with the film Collateral Beauty we had a really relaxing evening by the fire. 

Christmas jumper day at school- T had her Christmas dinner and was able to wear her Christmas jumper in, she loves this year’s jumper and I’m sure you can see why!

Thursday was the last ballet lesson before Christmas so we decided to jazz up the ballet bun a little with some Christmas hair accessories!

Friday was a day for cake! Firstly Scott and I took advantage of a couple of hours before he left for work and grabbed a Christmas coffee at Starbucks with a glittery Christmas tree brownie on the side.

Then it was time for a catch up with two friends with tea, Christmas jumpers and mince pies! 

The evening saw a Christmas carol concert from T’s school choir at a local farm, although very cold it was so lovely to see them singing all the songs they had been practising 😊 I was very proud of T and the effort she put in, you could see she was really enjoying herself.

When we got home I got a little creative with my advent candle and made us a little table display. I’m planning to add some holly to it in a couple of days but for now I think it looks great.

Today was our first family get together this Christmas, we travelled to my Mums as a few weeks back she unfortunately broke her ankle and so has been unable to drive! With presents, food and a walk for my Mums dog Xena it was a lovely few hours. 

This week promises to be just as busy with T finishing school and me work and a few more catch ups scheduled along with wrapping the final few presents ready for a nice relaxing weekend before the madness starts 😊

Have a great week and thanks for reading 

Lou x

Cockapoo · cockerpoo · December · dogs · Family · family time · Snow day · Uncategorized · Winter

Snow day fun!

So yesterday we had snow for the first time in years! Not a tiny bit, not an icing sugar style dusting but real snow that you can actually make a snowman from! 

We were staying at a friend’s so driving home in the morning was a little treacherous but once we got home we were super excited to get T back and get outside! Within an hour the snowman was made and T had her first experience ever of sledding which she loved!! It’s harder than it looks pulling a 7 year old along though 😄

Poppy had her first experience in the snow and the cold seemed not to bother her with her playing around in it and often laying down to rest for a minute! 

Here is a little video of her playing with our friends dog Monty in the snow, they are both the same breed and a similar age so had a lot of fun.

Here are a few pictures of our snow adventures! 

Childhood · Christmas · Christmas Traditions · December · Family · family time · making memories · Uncategorized

Christmas Traditions 

Lighting an Advent candle– I’ve had one every year since I was expecting T, she was due on Christmas day so I wasn’t only counting down to Christmas that year but also to meeting her too! It just happened she was 8 days late so I kept counting beyond Christmas but I’ve had a candle every year since.

Christmas films– every year we have a few must watch films that we simply have to find time to fit in before the big day, The Snowman and The Polar Express are just a couple of them and there is nothing we love more than to cosy up with a fire and put one of these classics on.

Christmas playdate- This will be the third year in a row that T has spent a day at my friends house with her little girl right before Christmas. They are two girls the same age that both love horses, barbies, arts and crafts, dolls, JoJo bows and anything else girly! This playdate is usually for creating all things Christmassy and just generally for having fun together for the last time before Christmas. This year T is sleeping at their house the night before so she is extra excited! Here they are on their first Christmas playdate 3 years ago!

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Visiting Father Christmas- as you might have already seen we love to visit our local Winter Wonderland every year and will do until the day T says she doesn’t want to go any more!(that day I will cry big Mummy tears that my baby has grown up, but until then the magic is alive and it’s something that has to be done very early in the Christmas season!)

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Reindeer food- Christmas eve we sprinkle porridge oats mixed with lentils, raisins and a little bit of glitter to light the lawn for Santa’s reindeer so they know where to land. T leaves no blade of grass untouched in the sprinkling of this food and knows undoubtedly that it is the reindeer that eat this during the night!

Christmas eve is for chilling and Christmas day is for family- even before T I’ve never once been out drinking on Christmas eve. For me Christmas eve is for watching films with the heating on and for getting excited for the morning. Christmas day is also one for being excited about, for getting up early to open presents and talk to family, I’ve never spent it with a hangover and don’t intend to any time soon. I’m not saying people who go out with their friends on Christmas eve are wrong it’s just not for me.

Christmas morning walk- Ok so last year was the first time we did this because it was our first with Poppy here but I have a feeling we will be doing it every year now. Once the presents are all opened and the dinner is in the oven there is no reason we can’t all go out for a 15-20 minute walk, weather permitting of course, and then get into some pretty clothes when we get back. Last year we wished a Merry Christmas to everyone we met and it was a really nice experience.

Christmas dinner at home– I have made my own Christmas dinner on and off since I left home at 16. There have been the odd years where I have been at someone else’s but for the last 5 years consecutively it’s been at home. Some people dread it but for me it’s a meal I look forward to cooking and start to plan in early December! This for me is the best meal I will feed my family all year round and their faces when they see the plates is all I need to keep wanting to cook this meal for them every year.

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Christmas dinner last year

Father Christmas Traditions – So I know its different for everyone but here is how we do it; we leave a mince pie, a glass of milk, a couple of chocolates and a carrot for the reindeer on a tray on the coffee table. T leaves her stocking on the end of her bed and all her presents from Santa come in that, sometimes its too heavy to stay on the bed and ends up on the floor next to her bed, it all depends on how starfished she is in bed that Christmas Eve! I’ve heard of people leaving a bottle of beer or a glass of whiskey for Santa, the stockings being under the tree or a magic key being left out for Santa so he can unlock your door, we all have our own Christmas Traditions and that’s what makes this time of year magical for everyone.

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I’m looking forward to my Christmas Traditions growing and changing as my family does.

I would love to hear your Christmas Traditions, what is it that makes Christmas special for you? Maybe there is something we could start this year that you couldn’t imagine not doing? 

 

 

 

charity · Children · Christmas · December · family time · Parenting · Uncategorized

Our trip to Father Christmas and our gift back.

You might think it’s a little early to visit a grotto yet but unfortunately with my husband’s work we don’t get a lot of free time together in December so we have to make the most of the time we do get as a family. 
We have been to the same Winter Wonderland every year since T was tiny and it’s perfect. There are moving and talking displays, singing reindeer, a ride, a wishing Well, flying reindeer aswell as real reindeer and the all important REAL Father Christmas 😊

So it’s easy to see why T was counting down the days until we could go and ran home from school to get changed, grab her letter to Santa and the carrots for the reindeer and off we went! It was fantastic as always. Father Christmas had a real laugh and joke with T this year and as usual took the Christmas list and read it with interest, I can safely say the magic is still alive for another year! 


So something we are have decided to do this year is the Gift Tree in our local shopping centre. This tree is full of gift tags each with a child’s name and age on. These children will not receive Christmas presents as their family cannot afford to buy them so the idea is you take a tag and buy a present for them to open on Christmas day.

We picked a girl called Hayley aged 8 and T is really excited to buy her a present and drop it off back at the shopping centre soon. I think it’s a great idea to show T that not everyone is as lucky as her and how giving to others who aren’t as fortunate can make you feel just as good as if you were to receive a present yourself.

Today has finished off with the school Christmas fair which is always chaos but really fun at the same time! T had a friend round for tea so I herded them both round the packed school corridors until they had spent all their money and won lots of prizes to take home. Even though it was busier than a London tube station at rush hour we weren’t there too long and all enjoyed ourselves, I even won a bottle of wine so I can’t complain! The girls have been playing and giggling ever since we got home which is really great to hear. Not long until they both get picked up which just leaves me to pop on some Buble, pour a glass of wine and put the Christmas tree up! 🎅🎄🎁
Happy 1st of December everyone!

Thanks for reading

Lou x

Birthday · Choccywoccydodah · Dream Girls · family time · friends · making memories · November · Uncategorized

Dream Girls, London & lots of cake!

Sunday I turned 33 and what an awesome weekend I’ve had, so here goes I’m going to share my weekend with you all.

Thursday-

Two friends and I went for a drink at a local pub to celebrate all three of our birthdays in November. We each got each other a little present and card and had such a giggle catching up for a couple of hours.

Friday

After a busy day at the opticians, getting my nails done for the weekend, watching T ride and getting Poppy groomed I had two friends over for fajitas. My best friend bought me a beautiful bunch of flowers and a bottle of pink prosecco so we of course drank that and had a really fun evening. Nothing wrong with a few filters to get the giggles going!

 

Saturday-

Today Scott and I were off to London! The last time I went to London was January for T’s birthday so I was super excited to go back. We were also going to visit a few places neither of us had been before which was great. We started off in Carnaby Street. This eclectic mix of shops and restaurants was draped in the Carnaby Christmas Carnival decorations! It looked great with its vibrant colours and shapes!

Next we visited Choccywoccydodah! This is a chocolate shop and restaurant which fits right in on Carnaby Street, with its bright red walls and 3 foot high made entirely of chocolate statues and cakes in the entrance way its definitely one to remember! We went straight upstairs and I was really excited to get a table right away as I’d seen online you have to take a ticket and come back at busy times.

After looking at the menu I decided on a melted chocolate hot chocolate and a piece of chocolate cake, I know it sounds a lot but we were in a chocolate shop! Wow it was delicious, totally scrumptious but I have to say it beat me! Even so this place is well worth a visit for somewhere different to go in London and it wasn’t even too over priced.

Little tip if you do visit take a trip to the bathrooms, they are decorated like a secret garden and it really is something else once you shut that door!

 

23472720_10215159941971312_6443019816105680307_nNext we visited Liberty of London. This shop is 140 years old and the building is quite impressive on its own. You could spend hours there as they stock the high end of everything from clothes to homeware to makeup and Christmas decorations. As we were on a schedule I wanted to look at the Christmas displays so after walking up the 4 flights of stairs as the lift was busy, well we had to work off that cake somehow, we made it and they had some beautiful decorations! We bought a small Christmas present and a little present for T, she loved her little nutcracker and said she will always remember it came from Liberty bless her.

23376401_10215159942451324_4343892963367431247_nThen we went for lunch at Fire & Stone in Covent Garden, neither of us were very hungry but as lunch was already paid for I managed to eat some of this pizza topped with spicy beef, sour cream and guacamole.

 

 

 

Next it was on to our main event, Dream Girls at the Savoy Theatre! I have been so excited to see this show for such a long time and couldn’t contain my excitement even just arriving at the theatre! We had great seats and the show was epic! The performance of “I am telling you” was so emotional that by the end the crowd were all on their feet and cheering and crying! By the time the interval came I felt emotionally exhausted from the show in the best way possible! It really was one of those shows where you felt that all the actors gave 100% all of the time and I can’t recommend it enough! It really was the perfect end to my birthday day out.

Sunday-

Sunday I turned 33! My little T came back at 9.30 and I was treated to breakfast in bed before opening my presents, I got so many lovely things from family and friends I really did feel very lucky. Afterwards we went for hot chocolate and cake, marked the two minute silence for remembrance Sunday and had a lovely sunny, if a bit windy walk with Poppy. In the afternoon we played board games and stayed in the warm while Scott cooked dinner. It was a great day with my little family.

I have had such an amazing birthday weekend and feel very lucky to have spent it with those that actually wanted to be there. For some reason I let it bother me that only 1 person I work with out of about 12 I am friends with online wished me a happy birthday. Its not like I am new to the company having been there 6 and a half years and I always take the time to wish everyone a happy birthday if  see it come up but does it matter? no! I had a wonderful weekend with family and friends and have been treated, if not spoilt so I really am very lucky! I think the lesson here is focus on what you have got not what you haven’t!

The closer I get to my mid thirties the more lessons I am learning so if you are approaching your thirties or just starting them out, its great but there are a lot lessons to learn!

Thanks for reading everyone,

Lou x

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The Poppy at Kings Cross Station London.
Birthday · Charlie and the Chocolate Factory · Cockapoo · dogs · Family · family time · homemade · love on the rocks · November · Party Planning · step parenting · Uncategorized

Weekend round-up – a family affair!

This weekend my Nan came to stay for a few days which really was great as she lives a couple of hours away we don’t get to see her as often as we would like. We made the most of having her here and took her to lots of places she doesn’t normally get to go, even a trip to a huge pet store with her dog Baker was an experience for her as they do not have anything like it in her sleepy seaside town!

I baked an apple and blackberry crumble and some cinnamon swirls for her visit and it was all so good!

Friday we went shopping for my birthday gifts and ended up getting really ahead in the Christmas shopping too, we stopped for a caramel latte which was delicious! In the evening we all went out for dinner and had a really great evening. It was just nice to get dressed up, eat good food and be out with family. 

Saturday we took the dogs for a walk and Nanny played Love on the Rocks with us as we kept finding rocks to hide everywhere we went so had a bumper hiding session which Nanny and T loved 😊

We also got ahead of the game in planning for T’s birthday party, It’s a Charlie and the chocolate factory party at the end of December but I feel good we have already bought plates, cups, banners, balloons and hooters and made a start on the decoration making! 

Last night we celebrated bonfire night by eating hotdogs and chips outside and having some sparklers, T loved it and it was a fun evening for all of us.

Today Scott had a race so we took both the dogs to go and watch him run, it was a beautiful day but very cold! We took the dogs on the dog agility course at our local park while we waited for him to race and they had a great time. I can see why they call this season of racing the frostbite series, I’m just glad I wasn’t out there running in shorts!

Today we spent the afternoon choosing a bike for Scott’s son Louis Christmas present, he is nearly 18 so family never know what to buy him but this was a really straightforward shopping trip and he came away with a very smart bike ordered! He has his driving test tomorrow so fingers crossed for him passing that! After we all went to Scott’s parents house with all the family for a nice roast dinner then off to watch some fireworks. 

Now T is at her Dad’s until tomorrow evening, Scott is asleep and so are the dogs so it’s just me and some Blue Planet 2, well after such a busy few days who needs a rock and roll Sunday night hey! 

Thanks for reading 

Lou x