Garden fun – Ordinary Moments

Since the kids started back at school last week {Yippeeee!} it’s just been Miss Belle and me at home to occupy ourselves. We had a few meltdowns during the first few days as I don’t think Annabelle was coping well without the extra ‘on-hand’ entertainment, but she’s slowly coming round to having Mummy has her best-ever play buddy again – to my delight!

The weather has also been kind, a little grey at times but it’s dry and that’s the main thing. We’ve been able to just leave open the front door and just have some seriously fun garden play. Also, bonus feature! My Dad finished off making our garden fence & gate last week so the toddler is well and truly contained! It’s such a wonderous thing being able to let her play in the garden, knowing she is safe and sound, and unable to escape! Even though the bolt on the gate intrigues her immensely.

ord1ord2ord3It’s been glorious having that one on one time with her in the mornings. Us both sitting in the garden, playing whatever game she has in mind {which at the moment, is throwing the ball over the wall into the neighbours garden and watching Mummy hopping over to retrieve it – apparently this humors her! lol}. I also love being able to her all to myself for those few hours, is that selfish? She is usually so wrapped up in being entertained by her siblings in the afternoons and then Daddy come home in the early evening and by that point…I’ve been blew out since pre-naptime!

ord4So yeah, this little bubble of time I get with her sweet face and deviously cheeky little nature in the mornings is something I cherish, and something I would not give up for anything else in the world.

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Making memories with Granny B.

When I was growing up my Grandparents meant the world to me, and even though all of them are no longer here, I cherish those memories with them so much.  I remember the smells, the laughs and so much more – and I cherish them all. I would like my children to experience that same amount of love and contentment with their Grandparents.

I love my memories of when I was little, of sitting round a pasting table, draped with a table cloth and eating fish and chips from a newspaper at my Granda P’s house. It was our Sunday thing. For me it was the best day of my week when I was young. I would sit on his knee and squish his finger, it almost became a comfort for me. He used to tell me the story of getting it crushed by an iron spring of a train, back in his working days – and it was a story that I never tired of hearing. I remember his ears being so big, and so long that they forever made me giggle, and that laugh of his….whoa….that sound stays with you. It just eminated happiness.

I remember popping round to my Granny T’s every Saturday to walk her dog when I got a little older, and doing her dusting and other odd jobs that she could no longer manage herself. She’d always have a massive pot of vegetable soup or stew on the go and Saturdays also become a highlight of my week. Spending it at Granny T’s, with my cousins, playing bingo as a family. The laughs you’d hear were so infectious. Great times. My Granny T had the most glorious smile, which my mother inherited. It was a beautiful sight, seeing them smile. Not leaving out my Granda T who was truly the life and soul of those four walls, that man had a heart of pure gold – I was convinced. Together for 53 years the day after my Granda T died. Impressive. Respected. And I wished I would have a marriage like there’s one day.

Now my Dad pops by whenever he can, and he is amazing when it comes too making time to spend with his Grandchildren, and for that alone makes him just the best man on this earth. Yes I’m biased, but it’s true. Also, my own Mummy is no longer here – God rest her soul. So on the Grandparent front my children don’t really have many left – sadly. But with Annabelle, her Granny, the Darling mans Mummy is here, and I want Annabelle to have at least some sort of relationship with her, even though we don’t get to see her as much as we’d like.

But at the weekend just passed, we popped over to spend some time with Granny B. Annabelle is so little that she’ll not remember these times, but if I capture them for her to one day look back on, then that’s just as good, right?

GrannyAnnabelle and Granny B hung out by the patio window for a good wee while, just chittering and hanging out. It was a really sweet thing to see.

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A Night to Remember

I’ve mentioned before that the darling man and I set two nights, or at least ‘try’ to set two nights a week to spend together. No gaming, just chilling out as a couple and rekindling whatever we lose throughout the other days of the week. Like our sanity!

However, on a date night last week things took a bit of an unexpected twist. The darling man had been acting strange all week about Fridays date night and he was borderline puppy with a new squeaky toy excited, and it all became clear as to why once he got home.

There I was playing in the garden with Annabelle and he’s carrying a pack of diet coke. We don’t drink the stuff, but I knew who did. Next thing he’s telling me to go get ready as the babysitter will be arriving shortly. Sat what? We never get out! The last time we got out as a couple was back at the start of May and before that was pre-Annabelle! He wasn’t giving anything else away, and I was under strict instructions to leave my purse at home!

Of course, me being me though I freaked out, as I had a pile of dishes that needed doing and the first thing I go to do was to go and sort them – haha! There I am with a night out laid before me and I clean. Mad woman right? But after the cleaning craze, I got ready and Belle was tucked up into bed {the other sprouts where staying at their Daddies} we ordered our taxi. The babysitter was the darling mans Sister, Aunty Gem. I was so excited to go out but man once we were out – CHILDLESS, it felt so damn weird!

Even sitting in the taxi the whole way there it felt so surreal and bizarre. I’m usually wrangling with a wriggly toddler during a cab ride, telling the others to make sure they’re all belted in OK and to just be able to just sit there, looking out the window as I held the hand of my darling man was just lovely. Something so simple, like holding his hand is something we rarely get to do anymore.

On the way to wherever we were going, the sun was setting over Cavehill was just a joy to watch. Even as we arrived at our destination, the sun was still going down so grabbing a photo of us in the last light of day was a must!

Date nightIt turns out my sneaky darling man booked us some VIP tickets to go and see Guardians of the Galaxy – OMG! I had been raving about going to see this, but as we never get out I was OK with waiting until it was on Sky movies or something – but this was WAY better and a real treat.

10660805_668641276554700_596782301_nWe even squeezed in a wee tipple in the sports bar before heading up to our super cosy, mega comfy leather recliner chairs before the movie started.

moviesThe movie was AWESOME and to tie off a pretty perfect date night, we decided to have a munch at a wee takeaway in the city centre. A place we used to eat at, and chat until the wee hours of the morning, when we first started dating. Bit of nostaglia to give a sweet glowy feel to the end of a great evening with my darling man.

It’s certainly given us an urge to get out so much more than we currently do!

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Our week in photos!

So ok, I’ve been a little A.W.O.L lately, but now I am back in full force and I have that much to write about I’ve been getting myself all jumbled up. So I am loving this little break of being able to share our week in photos with you guys. This week has seen me bring out my big girl {DSLR} for the first time in what felt like forever, and mostly {as per!} my phone has been the sole snapper catcher.

We’ve been doing our part for the ALS Ice Bucket challenge and donating to a very worth while cause. I’ve started up my crochet afghan project again which was started almost two years ago, so I think it’s long over due to be finished, right? We’ve been planting our very own beginnings of a fairy garden and we have sproutlings – this is all very exciting as growing plants is not my fortay! Ellies had a hair makeover by my Brothers lovely girlfriend as they are over from Oz for a few weeks and Annabelle has been declaring tantrum WAR due to the kids being back at school – she doesn’t agree and hates them not being at home to entertain her.

Week1 Week2Silent Sunday CutieWe’ve had quite a nice week, from going out for hot chocolates and cake to Belle having some trampoline fun and of course, the children going back to school. Normality & routine can resume! That excites me more than anything!

How was your week?

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Munchkin Adjustable Booster Seat Review

A few weeks ago Annabelle decided that sitting in her high chair was for ‘babies’ and due to her being far from a baby anymore, she wanted to sit on a proper dining room chair, like her older siblings.

She is quite the independant little muffin I have to admit. Aren’t all little girls? She loved the freedom that sitting at the table gave her and I’ll be honest, a little too much freedom for my nerves to handle! So when Munchkin sent us out this fabulous adjustable booster seat {Suitable from 12mths to 3yrs} to review, I was thrilled. Booster1This stylish and sleek looking booster seat is just a wee magic gem in my eyes. It comes with arm rests, back support, it’s lightweight and can be strapped to virtually any dining room chair. It also has two adjustable seating positions, two adjustable tray positions plus a secure 3-point harness to keep your little bird in place.Booster4Booster3I was a little worried if the straps to hold it onto the dining chair would be supportive enough, but it turns out they are more than that. They are fully secure, even for a super wriggly toddler. booster2Booster6I am in love with this seat, and so is Annabelle. She looks so grown up when she sits at the table with us and I’m sure she feels grown up sitting in it too.

booster5This booster seat is super easy to clean {big bonus!}, and it’s clearly very comfortable to Miss Belle {another important requirement}. I love how easily adjusted the straps are to tighten up or loosen. The tray can need a little persuading to get off, but once you get a technique to do it, you’re flying! I find pulling one side away from the clips, tilting it up helps the other side to just come away with a wiggle.

To say we love this product would be an understatement. We love how lightweight it is to take with us when we pop out for dinner and how it folds down to be easily stored. Also, even though we think a selection of other colours would be nice to see, we do love the lime green!

Disclaimer: I was sent this product for the purpose of my review. All thoughts, photos and opinions are my own.

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A little Dinosaur love

Lately Annabelle has fallen in love with a multitude of new things. Shows like Sheriff Callie, the movie Toy Story {this was bound to happen sooner or later!}, and she’s even grown to love chow mein style noodles {which she did nothing but play with during previous attempts}.
But her biggest love {currently} has to be, dinosaurs. I don’t know how this came about, but I’m personally a bit of a Dinosaur nerd {ssshh…} and had some figures splashed about.

Seeing a little one throw her whole attention span into these little figures, to then pick one up stare it straight in the face and growl. Yes she growls! Cutest.thing.EVER! She loves chilling out at the table or just a chair and growling, moving and playing with these prehistoric creatures and I have to admit, it’s glorious to watch her. DinoBelleNow, she doesn’t have many, just a little bucket of figures, so I thought I’d do a spot of window shopping to gather up a few bits to put away for the big C that’s coming round. Here’s what I found that would be perfect for any little Dinosaur fan…Dinobuys1. Dinosaurs Love Underpants – How fun does this book sound! Annabelle is loving her books at the moment and I am sure once I get passed her obsession of me reading ‘A Noisy Way to Bed’, then she can enjoy this one too.

2. Dotty Dinosaurs from our beloved Orchard Toys. I know this game is for 3+yrs and up, but I really think Annabelle will love adding the little dots to the cute Dinosaurs, which I’ve no doubt she’ll growl at and play with too, haha.

3. The Dinosaur that pooped a planet which is another fun sounding book! Who doesn’t want to read about a dinosaur pooping out a planet!

4. Melissa and Doug Dinosaurs chunky puzzle – This looks so cute and it just has to be put into the pressie box for Miss Belle. We’ve never had any Melissa and Doug products before, so I would be excited to be able to experience them with my toddler.

5. That’s not my Dinosaur! Another fun book to add to her collection. Can you tell we’re keen on getting her books this year? Haha. She loves them, so why not!

6. Little Diplodocus from Orchard Toys, a cute and fun double sided puzzle. I can see plenty a morning chilling out together doing this as a wee team.

7. Melissa and Doug Dinosaur Stamp set – Annabelle is really getting to know her crafty side {and not just her cheeky one!}. She loves colouring in, not too hot on painting {yet!} I don’t think she likes the feel of paint. Her older Brother Ethan was funny about having gooey things on his hands too. But I thought this stamp set would be perfect to add to her crafting sessions.

8. An Inflatable Dinosaur – I can see him now on Christmas morning, rocking a tinsel scarf and proudly wearing a Santa hat! Has to be done! But I think this will make a great addition to her Dinosaur collection.

Loads of fun stuff right? I cannot wait! She’s becoming more and more aware of things and how they should work and using her imagination and it is just WONDEFUL to share with her. No doubt her next love will be along shortly, but for now…she’s a little prehistoric nut and I’m happy with that!

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Z-Line Review

Ok, so we love the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, who doesn’t! So when we were sent out a very cool BBillboard Breakout Z-Line kit from Flair to review, I’ll not lie, we all got a little excited.10656676_666935360058625_2104431224_nI’ve never seen a product quite like this before and even when I opened the box, aside from being a little daunted by the pieces & strings, and the slightly complicated looking instructions {mainly because of the positioning required for the product to work} I was a little ooo-eerr about it all. 

You do need like a nook, hallway could be used, alcove type area for this to work best, but we don’t have any of those in our home {I didn’t want to use the hallway!} and I really wanted the product to go in my sons room, as lets face it, that’s where he plays most! So with wanting to put it in his room I was faced with a challenge. Thankfully he has a spacious box room so I was hoping it would work in our favor. 

We started with the main piece, the very cool billboard with collapsing platform and worked our way around that.20140820_111734_LLS20140820_111722_LLSThe smaller pieces for this section were easy to clip together, and it stuck to the wall pretty well using the stickers supplied. I was a little worried it wouldn’t hold, but it holds grand. No worries whatsoever. Next part to position was the Gargoyle starting point. 20140820_111809_LLSI positioned the gargoyle up and angled from the billboard, again with the aid of clips and stickers, stuck to the wall very well. Even after being reapplied a few times! We had to run a few test runs on this section to make sure the turtle would gain enough speed to activiate the platform to collapse and therefore kick-start the next zip line escape. This took a few tries but we got there in the end.

How the Gargoyle bit works is the turtle is held in position by pulling on the toggle, the claws close and lock into place, then to release him you just pull on the toggle again and away he goes. There is also a tension toggle to tighten or loosen the zip line to your requirement.

So now you have the starting point set up, with a zip line down to the billboard, what you need now it so position your c-clip. The c-clip is a really cool addition to this kit as it enables a hero to zip line down from the billboard, swoop round the bend and down another zip line. Pretty tubular huh? 20140819_112815[1]Positioning the c-clip was tricky, and I say that because Jacob has a mid sleeper bed and beyond that in the corner he has a wooden unit. So adding the c-clip at the perfect angle meant a section of his bed would stop the turtle from zipping down, if we put it higher, they didn’t gain enough speed to go round the bend. See our dilemma? Although we managed to ‘sort-of’ find a way round that and that was to position the turtle like this…20140820_112712…as he zipped down! haha! Curling his legs up helped him scoot over the edge of Jacobs bed {just about} to make it to the c-clip and swoop round.

So once he was sent zipping down the line, zooming round the c-clip, where would he go from there? With Jacobs room, there was only one place he could go and that was to close his door, stretch out that Z-line and have one of the kids hold it. We did hook it onto a playbox but when the turtle slide down, the weight of him made the hook detach, so holding it was the best idea in this case.

This is a wee video clip of our set up.

Once we had this all set up, you can only imagine the excitement of us all to give it a whirl. So here it is in action..
There are a whole collection of these Z-line products and they all click and connect together for you to make one HUGE amazing Z-line experience. This really is a fun product, but you do need to make sure you have the space {big requirement} and if you do, then your little Turtle fans will have hours of fun with this. My kids love it!

Disclaimer: I was sent this product for the purpose of my review. All thoughts, opinions and photos are my own.

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The Big Switch!

For months I toyed with the idea of going self hosted – dun dun duuuuun! Every time I would get the itch or urge to do it, I’d never get farther than just looking into it, nothing more would ever come of it. As me being typically me, I’ll forget, get distracted until it pops up into my fore view again.

Which is exactly what happened one evening last week…bloggerI can’t quite remember what I saw to reactivate my urge to make the leap, but it started an avalanche! Before I knew it I was signing up to TSOHost, and getting that ball rolling. I was officially in a state bloggy-limbo. My blog slipped into ‘down-time’ as it began it’s migration from Blogger over to the new lands of WordPress.

In total it took 3 working days, but with a bank holiday Monday in the way it took mine until the Tuesday morning to be live. There were a few ‘glitches’ but nothing that couldn’t be fixed. However without the help/advice & guidance from the fabulous Zoe from Mama Geek, Hannah from Hannah Says… ,also Kate from Family Fever & Kelly from More than Just a Mummy – I would be up sh*t creek without a paddle!

WordPress is so so different from Blogger. It’s shocking how different! You feel like such a duck out of water and without those ladies above, I would’ve sunk and my blog wouldn’t be looking fabulous again – so a BIG thanks again girls!10572157_666862066732621_1460801252_nI’ll admit, WordPress and I have had our differences, and it’s taken us a while to get onto the same page with eachother. But slowly and surely, we’re getting there. I have to hand it to WordPress though….she’s a lot prettier!

Am I glad I made the big switch? After a few hiccups, yes I am.

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Bye Bye Down-Time!

I’m back!

Man it feels good to be back. Lately, blogging for me has been very hard. It was placed on a pretty big back burner for a while and just as I make that decision to go self hosted, my wee blog goes on down-time, this blogger gets a tsunami sized urge to blog! Sods law right?

I have so much to catch up on with you guys, I feel so disconnected! I also feel out of sorts as I have not linked up to a linky in what feels like forEVER! Also my to-do list for my blog has reached an all time OMG sized list. I have some serious, serious catching up to do and do you know what? I cannot wait to do it!

Also lately, well…over the last month I didn’t touch my DSLR once. That for me, is like…a greek tragedy! Almost unheard of. But over this last week I picked her up, fiddled with those manual settings and clicked happily. Here’s a few recent snaps…

Snap1snap3snap2snap4snap5I look forward to bringing you guys up to speed on everything that’s been going on in the world of Super Busy Mum lately!! Stay tuned…

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