Monthly Archives:

March 2015

Remember when I said…..

No More Messy Bedroom?

Guess what?

Remember when I said No More messy Bedroom? It's messy again!


messy bedroom


messy bedroom


messy bedroom

It did stay clean for quite a long time and I have no idea how it managed to get this bad but here I am again, using my afternoon to clean up after a certain little girl!


I don’t know if anything will stop her making such a mess but I’ve been looking at different storage solutions on Pinterest and I’m thinking that when we move bedrooms (Aiden’s going to live with his dad when he’s 16 so the girls will be getting a room of their own) we’re going to need some better storage for the huge amount of stuff they’ve got, especially books!

I love these fitted cupboards and shelves and think they’d look great in the bedrooms, although they’d have to be a bit smaller!
I can’t see them being dressed as nice as these though, every available bit of space will be crammed with books and toys!

storage ideas

Ant’s mentioned changing the loft into another bedroom at some point and I love these loft room wardrobes. The different compartments speak to the part of me that adores organisation!

bedroom storage

Anyway, getting back to the room…after the Easter holidays, Ant said he’s going to get the kids into a better routine in the mornings to stop it taking so long and being so stressful before school. I think we need to include making the bed and clearing the floor a priority before they rush off to school so it doesn’t get chance to get in this state again 🙂 although we all know it will and we all know I’ll be back here in a few months complaining about it again!


Project 365 – Mar 21 – 27

March 21 – I think the tv was a distraction from the book!

March 21st - Daddy and Ella

March 22nd – Kaycee’s been inspired by the great British sewing bee and made this apron by herself, without a pattern! She still has to hem it and has asked me to show her how to use the sewing machine sometime over the Easter holidays 🙂

Kaycee's been sewing

March 23rd – Day 6 of my meal replacement plan and drinking 4 litres of water a day was quite hard!

March 23rd - New You meal replacement water bottle

March 24th – For some reason, Ella wanted to sing Christmas songs at bedtime!

March 24th - Christmas songs at bedtime

March 25th – A week on the New You plan saw me lose 11lb 🙂

March 25th - New You weight loss 11lb in one week

March 26th – I’ve had some review items from Joseph Joseph this week and I LOVE them. Review posts up soon 🙂

March 26th Joseph Joseph bowls

March 27th – Kaycee 🙂

March 27th Kaycee watching tv

Swimshop review

The girls love swimming costumes. It doesn’t matter what time of year it is or even what the weather’s doing outside, they put their swimsuits on and to them, it’s summer! They were very excited when Swimshop got in touch and asked us to do a review.

They came in the other day asking if they could have a water fight but if they could, could they use warm water because they didn’t like using cold!
I told them that water fights are brilliant in the summer; using cold water to cool down on a hot day is what water fights are all about. Using warm water on a cold day is not so good because being wet and out in the cold wind would soon chill them to the bone!

They went ahead and had a water fight then had to come in for a warm shower because somehow I’d been right and they were freezing, despite using warm water. Who knew?!

When the package arrived through the post from SwimShop I had 2 very excited girls. New swimsuits are really exciting, apparently!

Swimshop review - Kaycee and Ella wearing their new swimming costumes

Kaycee loves her new goggles. She’d been borrowing her teacher’s goggles when she went swimming with school she was really happy that she wouldn’t have to anymore 🙂

The prices at SwimShop are really excellent. Girls swimsuits start from just £3.79!

I know where we’ll be shopping for swimsuits from now on 🙂


The New You Diet Review – Weight loss result

I’ve been on a very low calorie, meal replacement diet this week, sent from the lovely people at
New You.
You can read my first post with the details about day 1, here and days 2, 3 and 4 here

Breakfast – Chocolate hazelnut bar, black coffee and 600ml flavoured water

9am – 600ml flavoured water

Lunch – Mushroom soup, black coffee and 600ml flavoured water

Afternoon – 600ml flavoured water

Dinner – Country cottage pie, black coffee and 600ml flavoured water – The cottage pie and the vegetable chili are my favourite meals. They both feel like I’m having a proper meal which helps when the family is sitting down to one!

Supper – Mint chocolate shake and 600ml flavoured water – I warmed the shake up and it was just like a hot chocolate treat at bedtime 🙂


I woke earlier than usual for a Sunday morning and for some reason, I seem to have lots of energy. Instead of slobbing on the sofa for the day in my PJs, watching tv with the kids, I have the urge to get showered and get out in the garden.
It’s only 5 past 9 and this is unheard of for me!
I’ve already had 600ml of water and I’ve just sent Kaycee to refill my bottle for me 🙂 The water flavouring has really helped me reach my water goals. I’m not sure I’d find it so easy to drink 4 litres of plain of water a day.
I plan on keeping up my water intake after this week now I know I can do it.

2.30pm – I actually did spend the morning in the garden 🙂 I took down an old fence that was rotten and sorted out loads of rubbish. There’s still lots more to do but I feel great because I went and made a start after putting it off on a daily basis!

The afternoon didn’t go as well. I started to feel hungry around 4 pm so I drank more water. I didn’t want to have my next packet until everyone else had their dinner which was going to be around 6 pm. Being hungry put me in a grumpy mood!


Breakfast – Chocolate trufa bar, black coffee and 600ml flavoured water

Mid-morning – 600ml flavoured water

Lunch – Chicken soup, black coffee and 600ml flavoured water

Afternoon – 600ml flavoured water

Dinner – Spicy noodle nosh, black coffee and 600ml flavoured water

Supper – Beautiful banana shake and 600ml flavoured water –


It’s been another good day 🙂 I’ve been on plan 100% and went over my 4 litres of water. I did wake with a headache this morning but I get them quite often and don’t think it’s anything to do with the plan. I think it’s down to my pillow as my neck hurts when I get the headaches after sleeping. I must hurry and get a new one!



Breakfast – Chocolate cream cookie bar, black coffee and 600ml flavoured water – I saved the chocolate cream cookie bar for last as I thought it was going to be the nicest but I should have saved the hazelnut one till last! It was ok and had a crumbly cookie base with the creamy bit on top but I prefer the chewy bars. It still left a slight aftertaste though.

Mid-morning – 600ml flavoured water

Lunch – Mushroom soup, black coffee and 600ml flavoured water

Afternoon – 600ml flavoured water

Dinner – Vegetable chilli, black coffee and 600ml flavoured water

Supper – Creamy chocolate shake and 600ml flavoured water 


My final day is done 😀

I’ve found the whole week much easier than I thought it was going to be. I thought I’d be craving food by day 3 but I was totally fine.
If I could afford this plan every week, I’d be extremely tempted to stick with it. From what I’ve seen from the people on the Facebook group, if you stick to the plan 100%, you can average around a stone a month weight loss.
I have 12 stone to lose and it would be wonderful to be able to get to my target by this time next year but the cost of the plan on top of the groceries I still have to buy for the rest of the family isn’t feasible for me at the moment.
If I were single I’d definitely switch from grocery shopping to New You shopping!

The Facebook group you can join when you’re on the plan really helped keep me on track this week. Everyone is extremely supportive and I think they’d all agree that being a member of the group is one of the most important factors to being successful.
There’s always someone there to give you whatever you need, be that encouragement, sympathy, a pat on the back or even a kick up the bum!

START WEIGHT – 23 stone 11.5lb
WEIGHT TODAY – 23 stone 0.5lb
I’m really happy with my loss but it’s annoying that just 1 more pound would have seen me back in the 22 stone category! Never mind, there’s always next week 🙂
I’d like to say thank you to the New You team and everyone in the group who helped me this week. If things change, you’ll be seeing me again 😉

Wicked Uncle Review

The girls got really excited when we received a parcel the other day from Wicked Uncle.

I hadn’t told them that I’d ordered an Ant farm and an Aqua Dragons set. We bought aqua dragons for their nephews for Christmas (their nephews are the same ages as the girls!) and the girls really wanted some.

Kaycee and Ella with their Ant World from Wicked Uncle


Ant World from Wicked Uncle


Ant World from Wicked Uncle


Kaycee and Ella setting up their Ant World from Wicked Uncle

I got the ant farm because Ella loves finding bugs and things in the garden so I figured she’d love seeing the tunnels they make.

We had to wait a couple of days to do the aqua dragons because we had to buy some bottled water but they got straight on with the ant farm.
Ella dug a hole in my lawn trying to find ants before I realised where she was digging!

Kaycee and Ella with their Aqua Dragons from Wicked Uncle


Aqua Dragons from Wicked Uncle


Aqua Dragons from Wicked Uncle

The girls got it all set up and kept checking to see if they could see the aqua dragons. It took about 3 days until you could see them without a magnifying glass.

Wicked Uncle made the choosing and ordering process very easy. You can choose by age or gender or just see all the toys for girls or boys in one go.
They offer gift wrapping and can send a handwritten card for birthdays, Christmas and Christenings,  along with your gift, straight to the recipient 🙂

I liked the range of products they stock, it took me ages to finally decide on the ant farm and aqua dragons!

Disclosure: We were sent a voucher to use on the site in return for an honest review.


The New You Diet Review – Mid Week Update

I’ve been on a very low calorie, meal replacement diet this week, sent from the lovely people at

You can read my first post with the details about day 1, here



Day 2 Breakfast – 600ml flavoured water. Mug of black coffee with 2 tablet sweeteners and 1 muesli bar.

New You diet review - meal replacement diet

I have to say I didn’t enjoy the muesli bar. Much like the lemon bar on day 1, it left a funny taste in my mouth and I had to use the flavoured water to take it away.
It did do the job of stopping me from feeling hungry until lunchtime, though.
I had the bar around 7.30am and didn’t start to feel hungry until just after 12.

Mid-morning – 600ml flavoured water and a black coffee

Lunch – Chicken soup, black coffee and 600ml flavoured water – As with the mushroom soup it tasted nice and wasn’t at all powdery. I ate around 12.30 and started to feel slightly hungry just before 4 pm.

Mid-afternoon – 600ml flavoured water

Dinner – Pasta broccoli followed by a hazelnut shake, black coffee and 600ml flavoured water – I’m glad I only got 1 pasta broccoli because I didn’t enjoy it. It wasn’t horrible but it wasn’t the nicest either. The hazelnut shake, however, was delicious 🙂

New You diet review - meal replacement diet

Supper – Chocolate cream wafer and 600ml flavoured water – I love love love the wafers! They were a real treat and hit the spot nicely.

New You diet review - meal replacement diet

Water intake – Around 4 litres using the water flavouring and black coffee.


I had to cook dinner for Ant, the kids and my father in law today as he comes to us every other Thursday for dinner. I found it really hard not being able to sit and eat with them. I wasn’t hungry at all but seeing big mounds of bacon and mushroom pasta was very hard to resist!

Apart from having to cook for everyone, the other downside is having to make lots of trips to the toilet! I’m not used to drinking so much water and I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve had to go!


I don’t have any more snacks now so it’s just the 4 packs each day left (you’re advised to have 2-3 snacks a week).

Breakfast – 600ml flavoured water, black coffee with sweetener and a mint chocolate shake – The shake was lovely and I don’t feel hungry at all.
I’ve got a shift at the charity shop this morning so I’m taking another 600ml of flavoured water with me and I’ll be having a coffee while I’m there. That’ll be just over a litre and a half I’ll have had by lunchtime 🙂

Lunch – Chicken soup, 600ml flavoured water and a black coffee.

Mid-afternoon – 600ml flavoured water

New You diet review - meal replacement diet

Dinner – Chicken noodle curry and 600 ml flavoured water – I was told when the order was placed that this was more like a chicken noodle soup which was fine with me. It tasted lovely 🙂

Supper – Chocolate hazelnut bar and 600ml flavoured water. Again, the bar had a nice flavour but left an aftertaste. I think it’s probably just my taste buds though because everyone in the New You Secret Slimmers Facebook group seem to love them 🙂

I went over my 4 litres of water again today 🙂


I didn’t find it as hard tonight making a pork stew for everyone. I didn’t crave any even though there’s quite a lot left.

I’ve gone over my 4 litres of water today, only by about 200ml but it surprised me that I went over the target so early in the evening.

I’m sure I’m going to the toilet more today than I did yesterday; it gets quite annoying having to go again when I only went half an hour ago!


New You diet review - meal replacement diet


Breakfast – Chocolate trufa bar, black coffee and 600ml flavoured water – I’ve decided to have the bars for my breakfast now instead of saving them for the evening because even though they taste nice while I’m eating them, I keep being left with an aftertaste that I’m not keen on.

Mid-morning – 600ml flavoured water

New You diet review - meal replacement diet

Lunch – Strawberry shake, black coffee and 600ml flavoured water – I love the strawberry shake. It smelled lovely while I was mixing it and tasted even nicer!

Mid-afternoon – Black coffee and 1200ml flavoured water

New You Diet review - meal replacement diet

Dinner – Vegetable chilli and 600ml flavoured water – The vegetable chilli was really nice and it felt like I was having a proper meal, it had a bit more substance to it than the previous products I’ve had.

Supper – Warm vanilla shake with added coffee and 600ml flavoured water – I saw that someone in the Facebook group had made a kind of latte using the vanilla shake and I thought I’d try it instead of having the plain shake. It was gorgeous!
There seem to be quite a few different ways people have found to use the products, such as mixing to a dough and baking instead of adding the full amount of water, which I’m sure helps to keep it interesting.

I went over my 4 litres of water again today 🙂


I’ve been totally fine again, I haven’t had the urge to eat and I haven’t been hungry but I do have to be careful not to eat without thinking! A couple of times I’ve gone to taste something while cooking for the family then realised I can’t and had to shout Ant to come and check instead!
It’s amazing how many times I automatically pick at foods in between meals without realising it. It’s almost like my hands are on autopilot when I’m doing anything with food, some of it always goes in my mouth, whether I’m hungry or not.

I know I’ll be conscious of this in the future now so if nothing else, this week has been good for bringing it to my attention!

3 days left to go and I’m excited to see the results on Wednesday 🙂

Project 365 – March 14th to 20th

March 14th – Kaycee – she smiled and let me take a photo, instead of running off and saying she didn’t want her photo taken!

March 15th – Mother’s Day at Rufford Abbey

March 16th – I’ve been asked to try out the New You plan for a week

March 17th – Kaycee’s parent evening

March 18th – Watching the ants she collected for the Ant World we received. Review to follow 🙂

March 19th – Ella’s had a thing for nursery rhymes this week. She’s read this book every night!

March 20th – Ella – who loves to pose when the camera comes out, unlike her brother and sister who always try to hide!

Mother’s Day at Rufford Abbey

We took a picnic to Rufford Abbey on Sunday for Mother’s Day but we had to eat it in the car because it was so cold. The girls didn’t bother about the cold at all, they loved the play areas and the large open spaces with hills to roll down and mud to get covered in!
They got red cheeks and cold fingers but hot chocolate with lashings of squirty cream soon warmed them up 🙂

I’m sure we’ll be back to visit again when the summer arrives, it’ll be nice to have a picnic in one of the picnic areas rather than in the car!

Bird display at Rufford Abbey


Kaycee at Rufford Abbey


Rufford Abbey


Ella at Rufford Abbey


Sculptures at Rufford Abbey


Sculptures at Rufford Abbey


Kaycee and Ella in front of a Sculpture of a man at Rufford Abbey


yellow flowers at Rufford Abbey


Ella climbing up the hill after rolling down it at Rufford Abbey


Ella standing on a Sculpture at Rufford Abbey


Kaycee and Ella standing in front of a Sculpture at Rufford Abbey


Ant in front of the dragon arch at Rufford Abbey


Kaycee and Ella at Rufford Abbey


Ella lying on the wet grass at Rufford Abbey


Ant, Kaycee and Ella at Rufford Abbey


Kaycee sitting next to a statue of a monk at Rufford Abbey


Ella standing behind the statue of the monk at Rufford Abbey


Ella loves her hot chocolate with squirty cream and a flake at Rufford Abbey


Kaycee with her hot chocolate and squirty cream at Rufford Abbey


A swan at Rufford Abbey


Ella rolling down the hill at Rufford Abbey


Bird display at Rufford Abbey


The New You Diet – Review

If you’ve read my blog before you’ve probably seen some of my weight loss posts.

I’ve lost 8.5 stone with Slimming World but I’ve put a stone back on and haven’t been doing very well for the last year and a half so I figured trying a very low calorie, meal replacement diet for a week could be just what I needed to give me a boost and get my head back in control of my eating.

I was sent a weeks worth of food from New You as well as a couple of snacks, some water flavouring and a mixer bottle.
I’m starting my week from today and using my weekly weigh in at Slimming World as my start weight.
I’ve told my consultant that I won’t be on plan this week so any weight loss next week doesn’t count towards any Slimming World rewards like Slimmer of the Week (turns out that won’t count anyway because I gained this week and you have to have a loss or maintain the week before!).

Right, enough of the backstory! Here I go, wish me luck 🙂

See below for the full list of everything I received.


I love this water bottle!


It has a mixing ball inside that isn’t fixed so you can clean it easily.

In the box I received:

1 Beautiful Banana TFR VLCD Shake

1 Very Nice Vanilla TFR VLCD Shake

2 Creamy Chocolate TFR VLCD Shake

1 Sensational Strawberry TFR VLCD Shake

1 Heavenly Hazelnut TFR VLCD Shake

2 Mint Chocolate Shake

3 Mushroom TFR VLCD Soup

3 Chicken TFR VLCD Soup

2 Vegetable Chili TFR VLCD Meal

2 Spicy Noodle Nosh TFR VLCD Meal (Spicy Spaghetti)

1 Country Cottage Pie TFR VLCD Meal

1 Chicken Noodle Curry TFR VLCD Meal

1 Pasta Broccoli TFR VLCD Meal

1 Chocolate Cream Cookie Flavour TFR VLCD Bar

2 Chocolate Hazelnut Flavour TFR VLCD Bar

1 Luxurious Chocolate Truffa TFR VLCD Bar

1 Luxurious Milk Chocolate Truffa TFR VLCD Bar

1 Lemon Yoghurt TFR VLCD Bar

1 Muesli TFR VLCD Bar

1 Wafer Chocolate Cream Wafer for Weight Loss

1 Cream Onion Soya Chips

1 Blender Bottle Wire Shaker Ball with Pink Lid

Drop a Jean Size E-Journal

1 Berry Blast Water Flavouring

Start Weight – 23 stones, 11.5lbs

Day 1 Breakfast – 500ml Water with Berry Blast Flavouring – I have to say, this berry flavour is really lovely. I have trouble drinking plain water and the flavouring made it really easy to drink the 500ml over a couple of hours while I was at Slimming World this morning.

New You Diet Review - berry blast water flavouring

Lunch – Mushroom soup and cream onion soya snacks – I enjoyed the soup. It has a lovely flavour and wasn’t powdery at all. I was really hungry at lunchtime and didn’t expect a small bowl of soup and a packet of crisps to do anything to stop it but surprisingly the hunger totally went.

New You Diet Review - mushroom soup and crisps

I filled my water bottle numerous times and sipped on it throughout the day. I also had 3 black coffees with 2 tablet sweeteners in each. Black tea and coffee is fine but you have to use the tablet sweeteners, not the powder.
You can also have some skimmed milk if you have to but I drink my coffee black anyway so don’t need the milk.
I had about 4 litres of water today.

Dinner – Spicy Noodle Nosh and Creamy Chocolate Shake Shake – The noodle dish was very tasty and the shake was lovely and creamy. It had a nice chocolate flavour as well and wasn’t powdery.

New You Diet Review - spicy noodle nosh and chocolate shake

Night Time Snack – Lemon Yogurt Bar – I wasn’t too keen on this one I’m afraid. It’s not too bad but I was left with an aftertaste. It is nice and chewy though. I’m hoping the chocolate ones are nicer 🙂

New You Diet Review - lemon bar

I can honestly say I’ve found it easier than I expected. I haven’t felt hungry and I’ve enjoyed all but the lemon bar but I did stare longingly at the cottage pie I had to cook for the rest of the family for dinner tonight.

I’m not dreading day 2 as much as I was day 1!

I’ll be back next Wednesday with a roundup of the rest of the food and how I’ve got on each day as well as the result of my weigh in 🙂

Please Note: I was sent the products in return for an honest review.


Budding photographers

I have 2 budding photographers – Kaycee (9) and Ella (7) were allowed to use my camera for the first time at the weekend and they decided to have a competition to see who could take the best photo.

I had to judge the photos with Ant and Nanny.

I have to admit that it really was a hard choice between Kaycee’s photo of Ella and Chi-Chi and Ella’s picture of glass grapes –

The grapes won!

Budding Photographers - Close up of glass grapes
The winner!


Ella’s photos


Spring flowers




white flowers in the garden


yellow flowers in the garden


close up of glass sweets


close up of glass sweets



Chi-Chi nanny's dog


close up of some flowers


close up of a white flower


deep red flower with yellow middle


close up of a cream and pink flower


close up of a cream and pink flower


close up of a cream and pink flower
Kaycee’s photos


yellow daffodils


yellow daffodil



Ella and Chi-Chi the dog
I love this photo of Ella and Chi-Chi



budding photographers - yellow daffodil
Excellent daffodil photo



White flower, not sure what type!


White flowers
Lovely flowers in nanny’s garden. Not sure what kind they are though.


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