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March 2018

Ella’s Easter Weekend

Ella’s Easter weekend has been organised by her by big sister, Kellyann and her partner, Ian. They’ve whisked her and Ian’s mum off for a packed weekend visiting Liverpool, Chester zoo and Wales.
Kellyann and Ian spoil the girls all the time! They buy them new clothes, take them on holidays and meals out when they go to stay. KayCee and Ella are so very lucky to have them 🙂

Talking of KayCee, she’s currently on an aeroplane flying to Crete with her best friend. Aiden’s gone to his dad’s for the holidays so Ant and I have a kid-free weekend 🙂

Ella’s Easter Weekend Liverpool Photos


Ella's Easter Weekend - Ella eating out


Ella's Easter Weekend - Ella at the Liverpool FC shop


Ella's Easter Weekend - Ella, Kellyann and Margaret


Ella's Easter Weekend - Ella, Kellyann and Margaret in front of a Cilla Black statue


Ella's Easter Weekend - Ella at the famous Carvern Club


Ella's Easter Weekend - Ella in Liverpool



Ella's Easter Weekend - Ella eating out


Ella's Easter Weekend - doughnut topped milkshake


Ella's Easter Weekend - Ella drinking a doughnut topped milkshake


Ella's Easter Weekend - Kellyann and Ella


Ella's Easter Weekend - mocktails


Ella's Easter Weekend - street food diner


Ella's Easter Weekend - Ella out for lunch


Migraines Have Been Getting Me Down

I’ve been getting migraines and headaches since I was about 15. They used to come about 1 or 2 times a month until I had my first child in my 20s.
After having Aiden they started happening more often, but still only around 5-6 each month. My mum would sometimes have to come and look after him for me because I couldn’t stand the light or any noise.

My headaches are very painful, but a migraine is a whole other level of pain. If I have a migraine I can’t do anything for most of the day. I have to wear an eye mask and just stay as still as I can.
At the end of the day, I feel totally drained of all energy.

With a headache, I still have the light sensitivity, my eyes really hurt but I’m still able to function. I can do my normal routines, I’ve learnt to ignore the pain in a way. It’s always there but I don’t have to dwell on it like I do with a migraine.

Migraines & Headaches Getting Worse

This year they’ve both been the worst I’ve ever had them. I started tracking them on an app in February after having a headache for 4 days straight that then went into a full-blown migraine on the fifth day.
The weight I’ve kept off for so long started creeping back on because I was in pain all the time and I didn’t have the energy most days to worry about sticking to Slimming World.

I made a doctors appointment for 6 weeks after I started tracking. I wanted to be able to show him how many I was getting and how they varied in intensity.

Sensitive To Smell

One of the main symptoms I’ve suffered from this year that I didn’t use to suffer from is sensitivity to smell. Poor KayCee and Ella can’t spray any perfumes or body sprays without checking with me first. There are some perfumes they had for Christmas that they’re just not allowed to use. They make my headaches much worse and if I haven’t got a headache they make me feel sick and can bring on a headache.

I was starting to get quite depressed. I felt guilty about the smells, I felt guilty about always answering with, “I’ve got a headache” when people asked me what was wrong. The headaches were happening so often I started not saying anything when I had one. I was worried everyone was getting sick of hearing it.

Pain Medication

These past few months have been a nightmare. I had about 16 migraines in February and while doing some research I read that taking painkiller medication can actually cause migraines/headaches.

I’d always used Ibuprofen when I got an attack but they’d stopped working so I tried combining codein with ibuprofen, Anadin Extra and just about all the other over-the-counter medication you can buy.
Nothing was helping.
When I read that they could actually be the cause of the headaches, I decided to stop using them.

migraine pills

Back Pain

After about 3 weeks of suffering from the headaches and not taking any pain meds, they were still happening. There were more days between attacks since stopping the meds, but they were still hard to deal with when they did arrive.

I figured they weren’t being caused by the medication after all. Then I suddenly realized that I hadn’t stopped taking all pain medications.

Every night, before bed, I take a Naproxen, 2 co-dydramol and 2 Ibuprofen for my back pain. I’ve been taking them for a couple of years to help me get more sleep.
I decided to stop taking them to see if that would make any difference to my headaches.
I’m now a bit worried about not being able to get enough sleep, though, because when I don’t get enough sleep, I get headaches. It’s like a vicious cycle.
I’ve read that CBD oils can help with sleep problems so I’m going to ask my doctor for more information on it.

It’s Working, I Think!

I’ve now been off all pain medication for over a week and in that week I had 5 full days with no headaches!

I saw my doctor yesterday and told him all the above. He said I was doing exactly what he would have suggested if I’d have seen him earlier.
He said I need to stay off all meds for at least 6 weeks because it can take that long for it all to leave my system.

I have to keep using the app to track the headaches so he can see how I’m getting on.

During the last 3 weeks of March, I’ve been back on Slimming World and have lost 13.5lbs of the 1.5 stones that I put back on 🙂


I can cope with not taking pills for my headaches. I know they don’t work anyway, but I’m a bit worried about my back pain flaring up.
Most of the time it’s fine, but every now and then it does and I have trouble moving for a few days.

I’m not going to dwell on it, though. It will probably be ok for the next 6 weeks and if not, I’ll deal with it at the time.

I really hope that not taking any pain meds will work. I’ve tried so many things to stop the headaches and it was so frustrating because nothing worked.
We spent a fortune on new pillows when I thought that was the problem and the same with different pills.

Update In 6 Weeks

I’m keeping my fingers well and truly crossed that in 6 weeks I can come and post an update saying I’m headache/migraine free 🙂



3 Weeks And Still On Plan At Slimming World

I’ve survived a few tempting meals this week. KayCee and Ella had some friends for a sleepover on Saturday so we had a takeaway. I was very tempted to have cheese and coleslaw on my jacket potato but instead, I had beans.

The next day KayCee had even more friends over for a murder mystery lunch to raise money for Macmillan. She served warm sausage rolls, chicken dippers, dips, cheesy Doritos, breadsticks and other goodies. When it came to clearing up afterwards, I didn’t touch a crumb of anything! Usually, I’d have finished off the leftovers but I really wanted to lose another 3lb.

I didn’t manage to lose 3lb at my Slimming World weigh in but I did lose 2lb and I was very happy with that. It’s been a long time since I’ve lost weight for 3 weeks in a row 🙂

2 pound loss slimming world


5 tips for hosting the perfect dinner party

With a busy and fast-paced lifestyle, kids to look after and work commitments getting in the way; it can be difficult to fit in spending time with your friends on a regular basis. A dinner party is a perfect way to spend some time with other adults without breaking the bank. There is no need to fork out for a babysitter, or an expensive meal in a fancy restaurant. You can get all your friends together and host a fabulous dinner party in your own home. Hosting a dinner party can seem overwhelming to some people, but really there is no need to shy away from the challenge. I’ve come up with my top 5 tips to hosting a perfect dinner party:

dinner party

  1. Don’t be over ambitious

It can seem exciting to try out a brand-new recipe to wow your guests, but it is always best to stick to something familiar. Cook dishes that you have made before, or if you do really want to try something new, practice beforehand by making it for your family one evening. Choose a recipe that is easy and not too time-consuming, you want to be able to enjoy your guest’s company, not spending the entire evening in the kitchen. Check out these 10 easy recipe ideas for entertaining guests for some inspiration.

  1. Be fully prepared

Before your guests arrive, have as much of the meal prep done as possible. It is also always good to make sure the dishwasher is completely empty before the dinner party starts; that way all the dirty dishes can go straight in without cluttering up the sides. It is also beneficial to empty your bins before the guests arrive, it seems like a simple step, but there is nothing worse than having to take the bins out in the middle of a party.

  1. Pair your wine with your food

Once you have decided on the perfect meal to cook for your guests, find the perfect wine to pair with it. Perfectly matched wine will effortlessly complement your cooking, and if you choose the wrong wine, it can make a big impact on the taste of your food. Find out how to perfectly pair your wine with this handy guide.

Wine being poured into a glass at a dinner party

  1. Choose your tableware wisely

Tableware can be pricey but there are plenty of areas where you can save a bit of cash, and others where it is worth spending a bit more. Save on linen napkins by quickly and easily making your own with this easy DIY guide. Another great area to save on is plates and dishes, you can pick up simple white plates from Ikea for a bargain price, that is still great quality. It is a good idea to splurge on wine glasses, especially after spending time choosing a wine that perfectly complements the food. LSA Glasses offer a huge range of styles and designs, to find the perfect tableware for your dinner party.

  1. Accept help from your guests

If you are inviting your friends over for the evening and they offer a helping hand, there is no shame in accepting it. Whether they offer to bring the dessert so there is one less thing for you to cook, or they ask if they can help you clear the table after the meal, there is no reason why you shouldn’t let them chip in. It will most likely make them feel better, being able to take some of the pressure off of you as the host.

Most importantly, make sure you enjoy yourself! You don’t want to stress yourself out and spend all evening cooking and cleaning instead of joining in the fun with your guests.


This is a collaborative post.

More Tales Of The Unexpected Roald Dahl Book Review #12

I remember watching a few episodes of Tales Of The Unexpected when I was younger. I’m not sure how old I was but I suspect it wasn’t really supposed to watch it!

I can only remember one of the stories and I was happy to find that it was one that is in this book.

More Tales Of The Unexpected

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

– Poison
– The Sound Machine
– Georgy Porgy
– Genesis and Catastrophe
– The Hitch-hiker
– The Umbrella Man
– Mr Botibol
– Vengeance Is Mine Inc.
– The Butler

Roald Dahl’s Tales of the Unexpected is a delightfully dark collection of sixteen stories, each with a startling end. Among the unforgettable characters lurk the homicidal wife and her deadly leg of lamb, a conniving and lecherous wine connoisseur and the one-eyed brain at the mercy of his vengeful spouse. Tales of the Unexpected is an astonishing assortment of twisted treats from the master storyteller.

My Thoughts

Although the stories are very dated, I found myself enjoying most of them. I’ve always been a fan of Roald Dahl since as long as I can remember.

The one story I remember watching on the TV series is The Sound Machine. It’s about a man who invents a machine that records sounds we wouldn’t normally be able to hear. For example, he takes it out of his workshop and into the garden where his next door neighbour is busy cutting roses and putting them in a basket.

He puts on the earphones and hears a terrible scream like sound. At first, he doesn’t know where the sound is coming from but he soon works out that it’s the noise the roses are making as they’re being cut.

I remember watching the program and feeling incredibly guilty for picking daffodils from the roadside for my mum for Mother’s Day!

A couple of days after reading More Tales Of The Unexpected, I saw the first book in the charity shop and bought it. I figured even if I didn’t get around to reading it, it’s nice to have both books!

More tales of the unexpected by Roald Dahl

Goodreads reading challenge 2018 - 12 books read


For more book-related posts, click here

Macmillan Whodunnit? Murder Mystery Fund Raising

Kaycee’s the fundraiser in our family. She loves organising fundraising events so when she saw Macmillan Cancer wanted people to host a murder mystery event, she couldn’t wait!

MacMillan Whodunnit?

To play you have to order the Macmillan Whodunnit murder mystery pack. You need 8 people and they’re each given a character.
The scripts are in the pack and each person has to stay in character for the whole game. If you break any of the rules you have to pay a fine.
KayCee, the host, told me she had to pay the most fines!!

She served crisps, dip, breadsticks, sausage rolls, chicken dippers and Toffifee. She also found some recipes for mocktails which everyone seemed to enjoy 🙂

Dress Up

Her friends did a great job with their costumes and they all seemed to have a good time.

Macmillan whodunnit

macmillan whodunnit

KayCee and Emma

Between the 8 of these 12-year-olds, they raised the grand total of £65. I’d like to thank all the parents for their support 🙂

House Full Of Girls- What Have We Done?!

Ella asked last week if her friend could come for a sleepover tonight. Last night KayCee spent the night at her friend’s who had organised a charity event today and KayCee spent the day helping out. Their other friend also spent the day with them, helping with the event.
Tomorrow KayCee’s doing her own charity event so she asked if both her friends could stay over tonight so they can help in the morning.
We now have a house full of 5 extremely noisy girls. They’ve been eating pizza and trying to decide what film to watch.

House Full Of Noisy Girls – They’re Never Going To Agree!

There’s a gap of 2 years between KayCee and Ella. Picking a film everyone wants to watch is turning out to be a bit tricky.
KayCee and her friends all want to watch movies that are rated 12. Ella’s not allowed to watch 12 rated movies because she’s only 10. They’re just never going to agree and I’m getting a bit stressed trying to keep the peace.

Probably Not Going To Sleep

Ella and her friend spent the morning at the charity event. I fear they’ve all eaten far too many sugary treats for them to even get to sleep tonight!

I’m not counting on getting much sleep tonight and tomorrow I have another 5 girls arriving before lunch to take part in KayCee’s murder mystery lunch.
I have a feeling it’s going to be a very long day.

It’s lovely for them to have their friends over, but I’m really looking forward to them breaking up for Easter next week!

house full of girls

5 Tips to using community resources that are close to campus

Community resources provide great tools for most students, enabling them to interact with the community around their campuses and grow both on a personal level while helping the community grow. The right community resources normally impact positively on the community, improving the lives of both the residents within the area around the campus and the students.

Community resources include health organizations and groups, recreational parks, business centers, among others that provide students with opportunities to serve the community. They also give students a chance to learn more and expand on their experience levels through opportunities to engage with local experts. Through the interaction between the campuses and the community resources, students can also access facilities where they can broaden their learning experiences. Here are five tips to using community resources located close to campus.

Drug Rehab and Alcohol Treatment Programs

Programs that provide substance abuse and treatment services are great community resources that give the affected person guidance on how to combat the addiction. The programs can either be government funded or private organizations and certified to provide the services.

Rehab centers in Colorado like the Recovery Village are among some of the community resources that provide tools for the community and students. Students that have been affected by drug abuse can join the center and receive guidance on the various approaches to living a drug-free life. They can also use the program as a learning tool to put what they have learned in the lectures into practice, while at the same time serve the community and those affected facilitating in their recovery.

Religious and Cultural Organizations

Community resources like churches, ethnic associations, among others play a role in the growth, functioning, and health of both the community and students. Students from different religious backgrounds can come together and share their connection and ideas with fellow members of the community.

church - community resources

Mental Health Services

People with mental disorders can receive support and treatment from community mental health services. Self-help groups and individual or group therapy that allows people to share their experiences provide a smooth journey for people with mental health conditions. Therapy can also help students with psychological issues and stress, know how to respond to stressful situations while on campus.

Health Care Organizations

Health facilities which include community clinics and hospitals among other centres providing medical care are essential community resources that can be found close to campuses. They provide medical services to students and community individuals with disabilities and illnesses and some even offer free medical services for some conditions. Find out which medical services are provided and their cost.

doctor - community resources

Science Centers

Students in the research field can plan a visit to science centres and use the trip to implement what they have learned. Resources available in the centres and learning activities can be used as a platform to demonstrate skills and knowledge acquired during lectures. You can plan a visit with your teacher and other students to a science centre to demonstrate firsthand what you have been taught.

Utilizing community resources close to campus advances a students’ learning experience, enabling them to develop a focused approach to their studies. It also broadens their mind, improving their approach to different life situations, preparing them for life after school.


This is a collaborative post

3.5lb Loss – Happy To Be Back On Track

I started back on Slimming World last week and was really happy with my 8lb weight loss. As you may know, I’ve been struggling with Slimming World for a few years. I’ve had plenty of new starts and always get a great result the first week.
The second week, even though I don’t do anything different, I usually end having a weight gain. It gets me down when I’ve tried hard all week and don’t get the results. I expected the same to happen this week but I was so happy when I had a 3.5lb loss 🙂

Back On Track

I feel like I’m properly back on track now, especially as Aiden’s doing it with me again, like on my proper first week. We were delighted with his first weigh in which resulted in a 12lb loss!!

3.5lb loss this week 🙂

3.5lb loss

For more weight loss results, click here

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