Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Spring & Summer Home Inspiration with Fishpools*




I love nothing more than browsing online stores and making a 'wish list' of all the gorgeous pieces id love to put in my home. Since renovating our bungalow a few years ago now its been so nice to put our own stamp on the place when spend the most time in.

Although if i had it my way id probably switch up each room seasonly, Graham on the other hand likes things as they are, but i still enjoy bringing the odd 'spring' like ornament in to the home from time to time.

I wanted to share with you some Spring & Summer items I've found recently that i adore. 





1- I spotted the gorgeous Sofa from Fishpools. I love anything retro and this extra large 'Poppy' sofa is definitely something id have in my living room. I love he chic shape, velour fabric and i fins grey is nice and neutral so will go with anything. Fishpools definitely have a lot of gorgeous sofas if your in need of one!

2- I don't actually even have a rug in our living room however this one really caught my eye, the flamingos on it bring a summery feel with out them being a harsh bright pink. John Lewis.

3- I have a friend with a similar Pouffe. Although it doesn't seem to look comfy it truly is! These are super handy for the extra seat and also resting the tea tray! Again i love the grey and knitted effect.

4- I do love a good vase, and have many, i spotted these pretty ones in NEXT i think they add a really lovely of colour and its handy to have some different sizes also.


5- The one thing i do enjoy switching up in my home each season is cushions, i love this retro print cushion from NEXT. Super colourful and they have a few other matching ones also.


6- Everyone needs a floor lamp. This very chic and sophisticated grey lamp is from John lewis its so thin to so doesn't take up much space.

7- Lastly again with the cushions, pictures can really help with sprucing up a room and changing a theme without spending a small fortune. I love this Coastal canvas from Matalan the colours are beautiful and subtle.

I really hope you've enjoyed this post and it may have given you some ideas if your bringing in some colour to a room or renovating!






In collaboration with Fishpools*




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Imaginative Play | Climbing Frames





I don't know about you, but as a child i did nothing more then play outdoors, my whole childhood was based around being outside and getting dirty and creative! I have very vivid memories of building dens and making 'potions' with my older siblings.

Climbing frames are great for creative play you can practically come up with any idea to turn your climbing equipment into something out this world with just your imagination. My children very much enjoy the freedom of exploring nature and getting their hands messy.



Do your children like to play outside and what do they enjoy doing the most?

Alister and Violet both enjoying making tents and dens around the climbing equipment, imagining they are both trapped on a desert island surrounded by sharks, or if Alister is taking on Violet role of creative play he does like to pretend he's the knight climbing to save princess Violet in the tower which is quite amusing!

They both also love nothing more then helping me plant every year, they are very hands on with the beginning of planting the little seedings inside and watering them and now were just about ready to find the plants new homes and continue to grow them into vegetables. Its so great for the children to know exactly where their food comes from and i find this the best way. For them both to actually do it hands on themselves.


Why do you think its important for children to spend more time outside?

I think its so important for children to get as much fresh air as possible not only is it good for them, the vitamin D on their skin but also it really wears them out to which can be useful if its evening time, sometimes just letting them run free in a field for 5-10mins can really help settle them before bedtime, at least thats what really helps my two.

Also getting away from the 21st century of technology is great for everybody not just the children. Turning off the tablets and TV can help with family bonding time, pulling out the bat and ball set or just taking a trip to the park to play on the swings or climbing equipment.

I must admit my two children are probably the most behaved when outside theres no bickering over who's got what. I do notice a great bond between them when they both have their imaginative heads on creating a new game to play together.

Do you think Tablets and TV are stopping children from socialising and being outside more?

I personally think that as long as there is a time limit and the tablets/ tv aren't used excessively. Everything in moderation is fine as long as there is boundaries. There are some great learning apps available on tablets these days so they can also learn a lot from the odd usage.

My son Alister enjoys his Nintendo DS but he is only allowed on it for 30mins /1 hour after school once his homework is complete, id say its kind of a reward to him which is a good way of looking at it.




Don't forget to check out my video on Imaginative Play





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Friday, 20 May 2016

Meal Plan For the Week 16th-22nd May



Back for another meal plan, i haven't felt too inspired this week, kind of sticking to what we really like and had available. Sometimes simple dinners are the best!




MONDAY- Pies from the farmers market with steam veg.


TUESDAY- Graham made beef burgers with homemade potato wedges and a little side salad.


WEDNESDAY- Baked Camembert with crusty baguette, olives/ grapes.


THURSDAY- Homemade Pizza with corn on the cob.


FRIDAY- OUT


SATURDAY- Mussels with Homemade Chips , steamed broccoli and birthday cake since its Alisters Birthday!


SUNDAY - Roast Dinner.


Don't forget to check out my grocery haul.
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Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Mr Kipling Cake Stand Review | CASDON






We were recently sent this lovely cake stand by Casdon. This Mr Kipling cake stand is so much fun and very realistic! Not only is it a pretty little cake stand but its also great for learning and matching the shapes for where the cakes specifically go. Violet has really enjoyed using her imagination and creating a fun afternoon tea with her dolls and me of course!

The set itself was very simple to build and does come with instructions, each piece is plastic i love that its easy wipe clean. Violet also found the cakes recognisable with Casdon using Kiplings own specific cakes, so she really liked handing out our certain favourite cakes, mine being the battenberg!

Its a great little set, colourful inviting and a decent realistic size to. This retails at £14.99 and is for ages 3-8 years.

We highly recommend this for little people who love all things role play its a great added kitchen/ playhouse accessory that everyone needs!








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Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Puppy in my Pocket Review





Hey everyone one i wanted to share a really lovely set the children have been playing with, something quite close to my heart when i was a kid actually and its great to see my two enjoy it to!

Puppy in my Pocket have been out since the 90's they've revamped and brought out some very cool new accessories and equipment for the puppies.

Puppy in my pocket have brought out 100 new and very cute pups and park set for your little puppies to play in. Violet and Alister have really been enjoying playing this awesome new set, the puppy park comes with a little play house for the pups to play in, a slide/ swing and an agility course for added fun.

This set really brings out the children's imagination with creating fun names for each puppy and making them come alive using the puppy play set.

I was actually surprised Alister was so up for playing with the set and they both have played together so well with it.

The puppy in my pocket play set retails at £19.99, its already built and seems very sturdy and comes with the added accessories. The bright colours are very inviting and the kids have played with it a lot so far.

Not only have they brought out new puppies they have also came up with the cute idea of the clip on pouch for your puppy to go in. Violet has had her puppies attached to her top the last few days which has been rather sweet. These retail at £9.99 and comes with the pouch and 5 puppies.

If your child is looking to start collecting the 100 new pups available they can also be brought in 'blind bags' from most toy stores for £2.49.

Look out for the Kitten in my Pocket which will be available later on in the year for all those kitten lovers!






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Friday, 13 May 2016

Meal Plan For the Week 11th-17th May




Hey!

I haven't done a meal plan in what feels like forever! Ive been recently just asking the kids a lot lately on what they fancy since they both have a great idea of what they like and consists of all things as a family we eat which is good!

It is good to know though exactly what were eating and not running out of anything. Ive been away also which hasn't helped with food and knowing what to buy when!



WEDNESDAY- Smoked Cod, mash and broccoli with a homemade parsley sauce.


THURSDAY- Chicken and black bean stir fry with Quinoa Fried Rice.


FRIDAY- Steak with


SATURDAY- OUT


SUNDAY- Roast Beef


MONDAY- Prawns in a home-made tomato/ garlic/ spinach sauce with wholewheat pasta.


TUESDAY- Mussels with Homemade Chips and broccoli.
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Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Top 4 Favourite Smoothie Bowl Recipes



I've recently jumped on the band wagon of smoothie bowls. I love a smoothie and since purchasing my Nutri Ninja IQ back in January I've been making them none stop. I think the whole smoothie bowl thing intend of just a smoothie makes it feel like its more of a meal and less of just a drink. Lots of people enjoy smoothies for breakfast but i personally don't enjoy just having a drink i actually need to eat if that makes sense!

I wanted to share some smoothie bowl recipes I've been loving recently and with the warmer weather coming i think these would be great for anytime of day and so healthy even the kids love them!

The quantity is based on yourself and the size of the jug your using and how many people you'd like it for.




Banana Berry>
Frozen bananas.
Frozen berries ( any really i use a mixed bag which has blackberries, blueberries and raspberries)
I also like to add in some frozen cherries.
top up with a small amount of water remember the smoothie bowls need less water and becomes more of a ice cream / sorbet consistency.

Toppings>
Slice kiwi or banana
Blueberries
chia seeds
Hemp seeds.



Mango Sunshine-
Frozen mangos ( i get mine from costco)
Frozen bananas
Vita Coco & pineapple water.

Toppings-
Sliced fresh mango
Sliced honeydew melon
chia seeds
unsweetened shredded coconut.


Chocolate & Peanut Treat-
Frozen bananas
1-2 TBSP Cacao powder
Milk
1 TSP Peanut butter

Toppings- 
Peanut butter
Sliced banana 
Cacao powder
Crushed mixed nuts.


Banana & Strawberry bowl-
Frozen Bananas
Frozen Strawberries 
TBSP Yogurt ( i use plain )
Milk ( i use skimmed ) 

Toppings-
Strawberries
Bananas 
Coconut
Flaxseed
Chia Seeds.


I hope you enjoyed this post let me know if you give any of these recipes ago!



Claire x


                                         





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Sunday, 1 May 2016

Baby Number 3?? | Thoughts & Feelings..






I get asked lots almost weekly whether we will ever consider baby 3 or if i ever get broody since my two are no longer babies or toddlers. To be perfectly honest since having Violet i felt so content and happy having her and just enjoyed her as a baby and toddler and so on.. I've never really got the urge to feel broody or want another.

I knew straight away.. well probably around the 6 months + age of having Alister i wanted another and for him to have a sibling. Quite surprising when i look back though because he wasn't the easiest of babies and cried lots! 

Lots of my friends just recently have given birth to their 3rd or expecting their 3rd in the next few months. Its a very exciting and daunting time for them. Some knew for sure they wanted a 3rd and others were uncertain for ages and also worried about the age gaps ETC.

Alister will be 7 in May and Violet will soon be approaching her 5th Birthday in October and going to school. 

This year has probably been my 'broodiest' year in forever! maybe its because lots of people are pregnant around me? or maybe because my two are growing up and blossoming into their own beautiful people. I know for sure I'm struggling to come to terms with Violet going to school in September. 

I have days where i sit and think about being at home on my own 5 days a week.. and wonder where will my place lie? What will i do with myself? Ive been so used to being a Stay at home mum for so long and house wife.. who will need me?

Im not sure whether to venture out and find myself again, a part time job maybe.

Violet is my little sidekick, my little 'mini me' and enjoys lots of things i like to do to. I am gutted to lose her in September for sure.

I have moments of should we have another? And oh id love to be pregnant again .. and to have a newborn would be amazing, i also loved breastfeeding my two aswell.

However i always have the feeling of could i do it again? With such a big gap would it just be too much for me to start all over? I also literally have nothing! I sold practically everything baby related apart from the sentimental bits i couldn't get rid of. So the expense of buying it all again would also add pressure i think. 

Also the balance of how we do things.. like when we go out, Graham holds one hand i hold the other.. or when i take them out anywhere i can keep my eyes on both, sit in the middle when were in the cinema. Sounds ridiculous but the process of it all I've been through is intense ha!

But again in another mind i would love to do it all again, feels like a lifetime ago since Violet was a babe. Ive always been so maternal and wanted a bigger family, I'm 1 of four siblings and loved having older brothers and sisters.

I think this is a dilemma i will continue to sit on for a while till i know its the 'right time' to have another,  I know theres never really a 'right time' but i think people know when they do or don't.

Im also such a 'planner' i was pretty instant with falling pregnant with Alister, but for some reason i think i might of stressed myself out a bit with calculating cycles etc it took about 5-6 months to fall with Violet.

My time might never come and i may sit on this forever and it will pass who knows!

I know for sure Graham is happy and would settle with two, since he does like to say ' we have a boy & girl' what more do we need.. and i get that, but i think its a different feeling for a woman, carrying the baby, breastfeeding the whole newborn baby thing for me is just amazing.

Who knows what will happen in the future but for now I'm so happy with my two and enjoying them as they grow its so rewarding and they both give back so much now.

Alisters 20 week scan.

I would love to hear your thoughts if your considering another baby or if you have 3 or more children.. did i really make much difference??


Claire x




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