Monday, 29 July 2013

Our Holiday in the Lakes

With having the babies so close together, we've sort of decided not to go abroad until they are a bit older. We still want to get away, but we think maybe an abroad holiday might be too much like hard work. So, we were looking at holidays in Britain for us to enjoy with the kids - just a short weekend away to break up the summer holidays - and that was when we decided to book a lodge in the Lake District at Limefitt Park. We stayed a long weekend, and crammed in as much as we could. 

Limefitt Park

The park itself is a lovely little 'village.' It is so relaxing with breathtaking views of the hills. We were away from the hustle and bustle of town life - it was lovely to just sit in the lodge at night with a  glass of wine, and listen to the river running, or the sheep in the nearby field baa-ing away.  




Badger's Way

This was the lodge that we stayed in. It was absolutely perfect 5* accommodation. It had everything we needed, it was modern, clean, spacious and had a gorgeous veranda where we fed the badgers peanut butter butties each night!


What we did

We went to Lakeside Visitor's Centre - walked around everywhere with the kids. We took a picnic and walked around the lake, stopped in the kids soft play area, had a brew and wandered around the shop.

Lakes Aquarium - This was great for the kids. Piranhas, otters, tiny field mice - loads to see. Alice was laughing her head off all the way round but didn't really like the fish...'Don't LIKE it' she kept shouting at the pike in the fish tunnel.

We went out for tea each night. There are plenty of pubs and things to do - the food was all home-cooked, reasonably priced. I've probably put a couple of pounds on but it is my holiday after all.

We went to the park in Limefitt a few times - the kids really enjoyed that. Even Rosie loved it - her eyes seemed to be wide open everywhere we went, little arms and legs kicking everywhere.

Night time was great. We left food out for the badgers, who came each night right up through the gate we left open, onto the veranda for their treats - right up to the patio doors. It was great watching them - they are HUGE.




The area itself outside the park is quite hilly. We took two single buggies instead of the double, and even then we preferred to take the car - it was just quite difficult pushing the babies on the road, and the paths were just too rocky or grassy. If we had gone alone then we would have walked everywhere, but as it was, the car was the best option.

I would definitely recommend Limefitt Park, and 26 Badger's Way. Truly a lovely relaxing break.

Here is a short video of our little hols:

video


*I am in no way affiliated with Badger's Way, Limefitt Park, or anything else on this post*

A218 Exam Results

This was my last comment on the final essay of the module A218 Medicine and Society:


"So put nicely, there's not a cat in hell's chance of me getting a decent exam mark here. I'm hoping for a pass, and worrying myself stupid about the exam."


It was entirely genuine, and if you've been following the student posts then you'll know that I went from a really decent essay mark, to average across the course, following being pregnant and the birth of Rosie. (No excuses)

So I got my result yesterday, and it's a 'Distinction.'

They don't feed back on exams, they give you a breakdown by knowledge, etc. I ticked most of the 'excellent' boxes.

This is not a bragging post. I don't do those, I am honest and just me. I just wanted to say that if you've been following the A218 blog posts, then you'll know that I went through highs, lows, pregnancy, birth, manic revision, three kids, and then hoping to settle for a Pass. I even kept my revision notes on the premise that I may just have failed.

My overall average essay score was just below the Distinction banding (85). I thought that because I hadn't hit the 85 that the high grade was impossible to achieve. Apparently it changes every year with the exam moderation, and I managed it. I still have 2 modules left, and a tough ride, but I'm determined and dedicated. If I fuck mess it up then I'm all cool. I just want my BA Hons, and that GRADUATION HAT BABY!!

So, the story is - set your targets and aim to achieve them. It doesn't matter if they are distinctions, passes, highs, average, whatever. Set your goals and aim for them. And aim high. If you don't hit them, the only person to piss hack you off is yourself. And you've got to live with yourself forever, so I'm fairly sure you'll let it go.

As for me, I'm on me holidees. I'm in the Lakes, drinking wine, watching Alan Partridge and typing this up as our internet has sped up fast enough for me to type this, I'll post it when I get back.

So that's it.


"WHO INVENTED THE SKIP?"

Friday, 26 July 2013

My 99p Stores £10 Summer Fun

You know what's like having the kids to entertain EVERY DAY for 6 weeks in the school holidays. It's great fun, but it can also be tiring, and expensive. So how chuffed was I when the 99p store challenged me to spend £10 in their shop on FUN STUFF for us. I obviously accepted the challenge with open arms and went on to the 99p shop in Liverpool. I let Emily pick most of the stuff, bearing in mind Alice, and of course I just HAD to spend £1 on myself. You know, us Mum's should treat ourselves too, you know. Can you guess which item is mine?




So, for our £9.90, we bought the following:

* 'Colours' - A Baby's First Words Book
* Crayon Carousel
* Vimto Bon Bons
* Pencil Case
* Glo-Stick Glasses
* Avengers Assemble Skateboards
* 6 Erasable Highlighters
* Wizzy Bug
* Gun Bubbles
* 2 pack of Easy Bleach (Whaaat???)

And here is the evidence of our fun-filled afternoon. The kids drive me BONKERS.


And what of the bleach? Well, I had my own summer fun cleaning the toilet with it...LIVING THE DREAM.


Disclosure: 99p Stores gave us a £10 voucher to spend in store as part of their summer fun campaign. I spent £9.90 on the items - the kids picked it all apart from the bleach. The bleach was my Mum treat. Cake might have been better, I'll get cake next time.


Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Home Improvement Hero?

So as you probably know, we have three kids (no more for us thanks!) and while we are grateful for each of them there was a time when Emily was just a poor sad lonely child, a bit like Billy Casper out of Kes, but without Judd to bully her about.

This was World Book Day 2012


Emily had her own bedroom, we had ours, and we had a spare room stuffed with crap i.e, books, records, all the usual.

Then along came crazy ginger Alice

She is bonkers



And Em wanted to share her room with her new sister, so we did this:




And we were grateful that we got to keep our spare room full of crap. We couldn't imagine where would put this stuff if Emily had wanted the room.

But then the stork paid us a surprise visit and brought us Rosie!




Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek!

So, with Emily and Alice sharing, and Rosie in with us for the time being, we knew that it was time to clear out the crap room. The aim was to make Emily a new room, and eventually the two babies would share. We did this quickly, as time was tight and so were the purse strings. Up until last night, Emily's room was cluttered, dingy white walls, old bedding and just perfunctory really. Not what I'd call a nice kids' bedroom. 



I picked a particularly messy day!



So when Money Supermarket.com invited us to take part in the Home Improvement Hero challenge - we absolutely grabbed it with both hands. They gave us £50 to do up any room of our choosing - and naturally we thought of poor Emily shoved out in the cold in the rubbish room. Like Billy again...


This is worth another post - we won 1st prize with this


What we bought:

* Paint in Lilac £14
* White Gloss £4
* Bedding £8
* Wall Art £2
* Photo Frame £5
* Cork Pin Board £3
* Curtains £7
* Lamp Shade £6

£49 all together.

The Results


New bedding - nothing expensive, just clean and simple

Pin Board - She can put what she likes on here and has made a start already


Wall art stickers

Lovely purple walls


And all clean!



Emily was over the moon. Purple is her favourite colour, and she was chuffed with the transformation. The real hero in this of course was Warren. I can't paint, or hang pictures, or anything DIY. So the holy ginger one gets the credit. Although I did make him a cup of tea - but he dropped paint in it and had to bin it.

What about all the crap?

Well, that just found it's sweet little way downstairs on to shelves, in the drawers, under the couch...

I would also like to take this opportunity to show what I found down the back of Emily's bed


So when I said, 'tidy your room' - this is where it all went...


We've told her if she ever does that again then we may well do some damage to that kestrel of hers and bury it in the back field.


This post was sponsored. We were given £50 and genuinely spent it all on Emily's room. All writing is my own and if you didn't get the 'Kes' references, go and watch the film, it's ace I promise.


Product Review: InkThistle Stationery


So, here it is, the end of the academic year. If you're a parent or a student, or both like me then you will probably have reached the end of your academic diary and will be in need of a new one. After all, life isn't just going to stop because the kids have finished school, or because you've finished university for summer.

So, with my academic diary due for the bin, and a new university course on the horizon, you can imagine I was chuffed to bits when Debbie from InkThistle Stationery Boutique sent me two of their lovely products to review on my blog. This is the first blog review for me, and I was very excited to be asked to look at these products, especially with my lifestyle - notebooks and organisers are essential.

My lovely package!
My two new best mates - Notebook (left) Organiser (Right)


Notebook
The first is the Earth Message Notebook. It is A4 (20cm x 28cm) sized, eco-friendly and a truly classy notebook.

The Facts It is made from recycled paper and contains 80 lined and 40 plain pages. There is a handy index system at the side of each page - perfect for separating different parts of your life - either as a student or as a parent or whatever it is you have going on, see my personal example below!
The cover is made of soft board and has an eco earth design on the front. This particular item costs £7.50.

The front cover


My Verdict
I love this notebook. From someone who uses cheap notebooks on the go, this notebook is a real treat. The quality and eco-friendliness of the product is clear, and actually makes me want to keep clean, clear notes for my life. Below is my example of my to-do lists. I would also use this notebook for my university tutorial notes, be great to have somewhere safe for them, without detaching the rest of my life!



Close-up of my highly organised mundane activities!
Easy to separate jobs/lists with the tabs on the right



  
Organiser
The next item is the Compat Large Notebook/Organiser.  I'll be honest I was a little sceptical when I first opened the cover. "No dates, no dates!" I heard myself thinking over and over. But the more I have looked at and organised my life with this product,I have actually realised that the 'no dates' worry is actually my friend!

The front cover




I can just pop any date in I want - note the hourly times




Super organised!



The Facts
The organiser has 96 pages of by the hour, any date journal sheets. It is 28.5 x 20 cm and costs £9.95.

My Verdict
I adore this product. My original fears were completely quashed when I realised that I wasn't confined to having an academic year in front of me. I will use the handy hourly slots to organise my blog posts, my university deadlines, and life with the kids. There is also room at the bottom after the 9pm slot (no one should be busy after 9pm!) so that I can add in any extras that I may need. This organiser compliments the notepad perfectly, and both would fit easily into my satchel for taking with me.

If you like these two products and are in need of some lovely classy stationery, visit inkthistle.co.uk and have a look at the products that they have to offer. Treat yourself, or treat someone else, they really are lovely products. 

Here is a short video just so you can see the dimensions and get a feel for what the products are like.

video
 



I hope this review is enjoyable and informative! Let me know what you think in the comments below.


Disclosure: I was sent the two items above free of charge to review on my blog. All views are my own.



Monday, 22 July 2013

Easy Social Media Icons...

Because I know that you're not meant to start a sentence with 'because' OH HANG ON...

Erm..Right because I know that everyone is so busy these days and that most of us spend a good chunk of our day on social media sites. I have decided to do this post. Let's face it, if it's not on Facebook, or Twitter or Instagram then it didn't happen. I'm also aware that these things take time, so I've done my best to come up with some pictorial solutions. Instead of having to type out Facebook statuses or Twitter Tweets you just simply click on these icons and the the picture is worth a thousand words, right. Good idea, eh?

Now, I reckon I could quite possibly end up on Dragon's Den with these, (once I've coded the friggers up) so let's just brace ourselves for FAME, and remember, you saw them here first.

Also, if any websites or TV thingies want to get in touch for me to design them some logo material or widget buttons or something, just ask I'll do mates rates and that :)

So, without further ado, here are tour Easy Social Media Icons. Just a click away, and they'll save you SECONDS!!!

Number 1: The Feeling Sorry For Yourself Post


We've all done it. Broken up with a boyfriend/sat in alone/had a really crap day. Have a glass of wine and just hint to your social media mates that you're a bit sad. Surely some sympathy should come our way, we DESERVE it.

'Saturday night and I'm stuck in again :(((

Here you go:


Yep, tears are blue

 

TIME SAVED = 4 SECONDS
COST = £0

JUST CLICK AND CRY!


Number 2: The 'I'm Pregnant' Post


A necessary evil. A joyous moment. Remember, if it's not on Facebook then it's not happening. DO IT.

'Me and John would like to announce that we are going to be proud parents of a beautiful baby xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo LOL'

Here you go:

Vomit and farts. Farts and vomit.




Time Saved: 2 minutes (you'd be uploading a grey ultrasound photo you had to re-photo and then upload)
Cost: LOADS. Kids cost LOADS.



Number 3: The Proud Parent. 


You know the type. The amount of kids that must be at the top of the class, there's literally no such thing as bottom of the class anymore. Kids are so damn talented these days, and oh my, we're all so fricking proud.


'Got our Sammy's report today. She's achieving Level 6 in everything and is going in for her GCSEs 9 years early. OMG. ROFL. Such a proud mummy moment right now.'

Here you go:

Hmmm. My middle child appears to have a beard



Time Saved: 5 Seconds
Cost: LOADS. Kids cost LOADS. Even imaginary genius ones.


Number 4: The Getting Drunk and Love You one


This one saves you lots of embarrassing tweets, Facebook updates and not forgetting the damn text messages. Don't do it. Just click on the icon. All will be cool.

'OMG I just LUV U so much. NO I MEAN it, you are THE BEST m8 ever...'

Here you go:

OK I cheated with this one

Time Saved: AGES. You'd end up apologising to everyone for being so drunk, so really I am doing you a massive favour here. Embrace it and thank me later.

Cost: £000FREE. But you may have a headache the next day.


Number 5: The Thank You one.


You know, thanks for all the birthday messages, thanks for coming to the birthday party, the christening, the Christmas party. Whatever.

'Thanks to every1 4 coming yesterday we were so proud to have you witness our special day. Thx for all the gifts we couldn't have done it without you.'

Here you go:

Oh just click the damn thing you know you want to!!!



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