Spring is coming. Can you feel it? Little daffodils are beginning to peek up from the grass and trees are starting to blossom. It’s enough to make anyone excited because, after the dreadfully long Winter we all had, we need us some Spring-ness! I notice that my jumpers are coming out less & less and I am starting to look at my neglected tops, you know the ones you can wear without a coat, hat & scarf? I’ve even had a cheeky nosy online at what womenswear is out there because I can feel a little Mummy shopping spree in my future!

 

Relaxed spring outfit

Skinny jeans // Unicorn Top // Rectangle split strip watch // Converse trainers // Skull earrings // Jammy Dodger Biscuit Bag // Sunglasses //
Casual spring wear
Shirt dress // Trainers // Multiwrap star bracelet // Aviator Sunglasses // Camera shaped bag 
Going out spring look

Taliana Dress // Mary Janes // Caiman cross body bag // Curved toggle bracelet // Onyx heart drop earrings //

Those are my three ‘Spring looks’ – what do you think? I’ve never been blessed with any kind of fashionista capabilities and have that constant look of I’ve-just-fallen-out-of-my-wardrobe look perfected! But I reckon I have chosen three solid choices and all very….me. I’ve surprised myself and I am putting that camera bag on my birthday wish list and maybe add on the jammy dodger one too. You know, for choice!

Which outfit that I put together is your favourite?

*This is a collaborative post.

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March has been a really hard month so far. It started off with the husband being poorly, the littlest lady getting sick {the other two at home always miss the bugs – thankfully} and then lastly, I got it. Whatever bug was going rounds hits you straight on and it hits you hard. I’m usually quite resilient however not in this case. In this case, I was out of action for about a fortnight and good to no one. Queue the Mum guilt. 

However, some things we just cannot help and I guess our March has just got off to quite a late start. Although, one thing I can say is lately the weather has been bloody lovely. Sure, it’s still been a little chilly but some of those afternoons, not even a coat was needed. It’s been so incredibly long since we’ve been able to go out without a coat here or even felt the heat of the sun on our faces. It’s been quite lovely.

My eldest girl has is back to walking to school, thanks to the lighter mornings and god bless her, I love that she gives me a little text to let me know she got there safely. She’s grown up so fast since starting high school and she comes across as must older than eleven most days. Which is a scary revelation but there you go.

The relationship between her little Brother and her is going through ‘one of those periods’ where they just cannot stand each other. As soon as they walk into each others breathing space the snide comments back and forth start. It’s mentally draining! But it’s just something siblings go through & hopefully, they’ll be back to being best mates again soon.

Siblings in March
The littlest lady of the house is obsessed with drawing {above is her doodle of a ‘scary-crow’} and I can do nothing but embrace it. I absolutely love that she loves to draw and I have to say, her little people are looking less and less like potatoes every time! 

Siblings in March
Siblings in March
Annabelle has also been enjoying playing Minecraft on the Xbox one and building all kinds of creations with her Minecraft lego collection. She’s quite creative and I have to say she is more and more like her older Sister with every day that passes.

Siblings in March
For my two youngest children, they could not be any cuter lately. Jacob can be such a sweet, tender and darling Big Brother and he really does dote on his little Sister. These two can also fight like cat & dog and wow….can Annabelle be bossy. But above it all, he will still put whatever he wants aside to make her happy. I think it’s safe to say that my Siblings this month are testing all kinds of boundaries with each other but that’s just a part of growing up.

Siblings project

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As a family who loves to travel the more fun the places we stay in, the better {in my opinion}. I love going to a new holiday destination every year and if I’m going to see the world and I want to see it with my family. I also have this incredible urge to buy a globe to pin each place we’ve seen and explored together on its surface.

As places to stay, go, I have seen time and time again tree house hotels when searching for fun & unique places to stay. We’ve not done it before now because our youngest daughter was still too young {in our minds} but now? Now I reckon we could do it!  There would be something quite magical about staying in a tree house, don’t you think? It would be the epitome of adventure and being surrounded by nature and epic views would be a wonderous experience.

Check out this map with some of the world’s best tree house hotels to stay in;

I checked out a few of the tree house hotel websites and all I can say is, whoa! If you were ever going to stay in a tree house hotel it would have to be in forest canopy in Western Australia, or a tree house nestled in among some tamarind trees next to the sea on a tropical Chinese island, or if those weren’t enticing enough, how about staying in a huge treetop hotel in the Amazon rainforest. The Amazon Rainforest!!

The Skyhouse retreat, based on Weedon Hill in Western Australia is situated amongst ancient karri trees, with floor to ceiling walls of glass {think of that natural light alone!}. Each tree house has a true craftsmanship design with a real whimsical feel. Curved ceilings, wooden panels, remember those floor to ceiling glass walls? Think of the panoramic views!

The Sanya Nanshan Treehouse resort on the tropical Chinese island of Hainan however, offers a no-frills style of accommodation because I think your surroundings will speak for themselves. With your treehouse nestled amongst tamarind trees by the sea, giving you outstanding views of the South China Sea and there is even a secluded beach just a short walk away.

Lastly, and I think my daughter would opt for this one in a heartbeat {in fairness, so would I!}. The Ariau Amazon Towers in the Amazon Rainforest, right on the banks of the Negro River. The Treehouse hotels are built to canopy level and connected by four miles {four miles!} of elevated walkways. Allowing you to venture around the canopy of the Amazon Rainforest and allowing you an experience to view wildlife up close.

Has that got you thinking of some tree house holidays now? Of the three I’ve mentioned, which one would you go to? 

*This is a collaborative post

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As soon as I wrote that title I thought to myself “a spa day?”, {just a day?} Could I milk it a little and perhaps stretch it out to a weekend? Invite a friend along too. Ha! Who am I kidding! This Mama can dream but the idea of that sounds wonderous doesn’t it?  Being able to venture out into the world {kid free!} and being able to relax, unwind, eat glorious food {without little thieving hands} and maybe indulge in a cocktail or three. Let’s not forget about the sleep!

I guess us woman {including you spa-loving men too!} dream of a spa day every now and again. It’s only normal, right? So, with that said what would I do at the spa? What can you have done at a spa?

spa-day
I hear you can have massages, facials, sit in the sauna or you can relax in a jacuzzi. As well as facials there are a selection of wholesale beauty supplies used in a range treatments, such as hair removal {brows}, tanning, eyelash tinting, although if I am honest, none of these is for me. However, a little exfoliation, body wrap, mud bath, anything to lift, nourish and replenish my tired and quite haggard looking Mummy-ness would be amazing. Lord knows I need it!

If you could go on a spa break, who would you go with & what would you have done?

*This is a collaborative post

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There are two things in life that can make me happy. A dish that makes everyone smile & a challenge. Britmums have teamed up with Dolmio & challenged us to make a delicious and nutritious mid-week family meal with their #ThankGoodness campaign. It’s the second half of the week that the children’s after school activities start to kick in. From football, cubs & scouts; Wednesdays & Thursdays are by far the busiest days of the week. So it helps to be able to make a wholesome, delicious meal for everyone in between the madness.

It’s the second half of the week that the children’s after school activities start to kick in. From football, cubs & scouts; Wednesdays & Thursdays are by far the busiest days of the week. So it helps to be able to make a wholesome, delicious meal for everyone in between the madness.

Britmums & Dolmio kindly sent us out a package of food {which I shared on my facebook page} to help us with our mid-week family favourite challenge. The dish I decided to make is a true family favourite – Spaghetti bolognese. This dish would go down a storm with all but one family member, my son. He’s the fussiest eater that I have ever encountered but thankfully it’s just the pasta he isn’t a fan of. However, with the baking potatoes we were sent out I decided to rustle him up some Hasselback potatoes drizzled with bolognese as an alternative. So everyone’s tummy wins!

My spaghetti bolognese recipe I use is super easy and seriously tasty. Here’s how I did it;

Dolmio #ThankGoodness campaign
First I fill a saucepan two-thirds with water and bring it to the boil. I then place my mince beef into a frying pan to brown. Once those two pans are doing their jobs I chop up some small onions and mushrooms {super small so they go undetected by the children!} and place them to one side. As the water comes to the boil I add my whole wheat spaghetti pasta and stir my mincemeat.

Once the mince has browned I drain off any excess juices, place it back onto the hob and add my Dolmio sauce, chopped up onions and mushrooms. I let that simmer until everything else is ready.

As for my Hasselback potatoes {for my ultimate fussy eater}, I cut my baking potatoes with thin slices, drizzled in oil {butter can be used} and sprinkled a little garlic seasoning on top, then placed them into a preheated oven at 180 degrees celsius for 45mins.

Once everything was ready, I dished it up and served. Everything this is served up as dinner the table is always quiet {which is a rarity!}. But it’s reassuring to know they are enjoying their food.

Dolmio #ThankGoodness campaign
Dolmio #ThankGoodness campaign
Dolmio #ThankGoodness campaign
Dolmio #ThankGoodness campaign
Dolmio #ThankGoodness campaign
The Hasselback potatoes looked super scrumptious when done, especially when a little bolognese was poured over the top. Yum! 

Dolmio #ThankGoodness campaign
Dolmio #ThankGoodness campaign
I am not one of these Mums who makes her own bolognese sauce, no no no! Are you mad? I have no time for that! However, using the Dolmio jars it’s reassuring to know that they have no artificial colours, flavours, preservatives or sweeteners.

In each 500g jar of Dolmio Bolognese Original, you can find at least 10 diced tomatoes, a dollop of tomato puree, half an onion, a tablespoon of sunflower oil, a couple of cloves of garlic, a handful of herbs {including basil}, a teaspoon of cornflour, a teaspoon of salt, two teaspoons of beet sugar for taste, a squeeze of lemon juice, a splash of water and nothing more.

Dolmio #ThankGoodness campaign
Naturally, plates were cleared and bellies were full. The kids always love this kind of meal and I have to admit, I do too! It nice to have a little calm in between the busy family days.

“This post is an entry for the #Dolmio #ThankGoodness Challenge, sponsored by Dolmio. www.dolmio.co.uk/thankgoodness

 

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London, since becoming a blogger, has become a place that I’m quite accustomed too. I’m even quite the pro when it comes to tackling the underground tube trains. However, the hustle and bustle of the City is still something I find hard to get used too. Everyone in London is always rushing and I guess that’s how you can spot the non-Londoners. The ‘tourists’. They’re the ones who are dawdling through the streets rather than speed walking and the ones who are stopping to take photos of all the cool sights.

This weekend my eldest daughter and I are travelling to London for a super cool opportunity with the Disney channel – I’ll share more soon! The event itself is quite short leaving us the entire afternoon to explore London. We’ve been to London a few times together {you can see those here & here} and both times we visited the National History Museum. I’ve also been to London a few times on my own and would love her to see some of the wondrous sights that I have. However, it’s all about timing and tube trains and will we be able to fit X, Y & Z into our day trip? Hence the planning!

After our event, which is in Piccadilly I think we’re going stay in the general area and hop on a short tube train to Waterloo and venture around the Queens Walk by the Thames. It’s a part of London that neither of us have been too before and I guess I’m keen to finally get a glimpse of the infamous London eye.

London-eye
My daughter is a huge Lego fan so a trip to the Lego Store in Leicester Square is a must! Getting her out will be another thing. Maybe I can entice her with the M&M store? She adores those crispy M&Ms {weirdo!}.

Lego-store-London
We would also love to find a quaint & quirky place to eat {any suggestions?} and we’re just looking forward to enjoying a day out together. We don’t do it much and she is just growing up so insanely fast that it would be pretty amazing to spend some actual one on one time with her. And I think a girly afternoon in London would be perfect.

So…Roll on London!

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Over the years I have had my fair share of vacuum cleaners and there hasn’t been a single one that I’ve loved when it’s come to hoovering the stairs. Having to lug it up each step as you go? Nightmare. Vax recently got in touch and offered me the chance to review their Vax Upright SlimVac cordless vacuum cleaner and I have to say; it makes cleaning up after the family much easier. That’s all us parents want in life right? For things to be a little easier and dare I say it even makes doing the stairs slightly enjoyable {which are words I never thought I would say!}.

Vax SlimVac Vacuum cleaner review
It’s really slim, surprisingly lightweight {weighing 2.1kg} and this could be just the gamer in me talking, but I just love the trigger style ‘on’ button on the handle. There is also a ‘power latch’ you can flick to lock the ‘on’ button to stay on, rather than having to hold it in while in use. Now, we’ve never used a cordless vacuum cleaner before so I was interested to see how long it would last. The Vax Slimvac has a LithiumLife TM battery and for every charge, {which takes around 5hrs} you get 24 minutes of long-lasting cleaning power. Which, I know, may not sound like much; but I’ve found it’s enough time for me to get what I need to be done.

Vax SlimVac Vacuum cleaner review
The head of the vacuum is quite small; smaller than any previous vacuum cleaner that I have ever owned. But being smaller doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not as up to the job as it’s slightly bigger counterparts. The suction on the Vax Slimvac was surprising and the amount of dirt that it lifted compared to our previous vacuum cleaner was an eye opener. In fact, I recall having a jaw drop moment as I shared the evidence with my husband. We were both equally terrified by what was lifted and impressed by the power of this very slim and clearly, quite mighty vacuum cleaner. The powered floorhead is also a great feature, especially when there are girls in the house who shed hair like there is no tomorrow! 

Vax SlimVac Vacuum cleaner review
Vax SlimVac Vacuum cleaner review
Our home is 85% hard floors and 15% carpet which make cleaning both surfaces nice and easy. I also love that the main attachment can be removed and a smaller attachment fitted {with ease} to allow me to do the stairs and upholstery cleaning.

As well as cleaning the floors I love that due to the design of this vacuum cleaner, that I can tackle those hard to reach places with the advanced cleaning reach wand. Those few ceiling cobwebs that have been taunting me are gone and as a short woman, I feel quite victorious being able to reach them with this vacuum cleaner. On top of that emptying out the dust, grim and goodness-knows-what-else the cleaner has collected, is so easy to dispose of.

Vax SlimVac Vacuum cleaner review
You are also supplied with a connector to fit onto a wall allowing you to hang your vacuum cleaner up when not in use. Having this also makes it easier to charge in my opinion. A charger is also supplied.

Overall, this Vax Upright Cordless SlimVac cleaner has been a bit of a game changer for me when doing the housework. It has made cleaning the floors, whether laminate flooring or carpet a real treat for me and I no longer cry a little inside when it comes to vacuuming the stairs. RRP £139.99.

Disclosure: This product was sent out to me for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, photos and opinions are entirely my own. 

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One of this years ‘goals’ was to be in front of the camera lens more. It’s something that I am horribly guilty of not doing because I’m always the one taking the picture. However, the more I thought about it, the more it dawned on me that my children need photos with their Mum actually in the photos. Otherwise, the photos {in many years to come} won’t hold any sentimentality to them.

My Mum sadly passed away a few years ago and as I was going through her things {as you do with a family member after they’ve passed} I came across her hundreds of photos. Do you know what I found very little of? Photos of my Mum with my Brother and me.

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Protecting my children when they go online is of utmost importance to me. The online world is not only a wonderful place, full of photos from around the world, answers to whatever questions you may have, games and so much more. But it’s also a very dark & dangerous place too and certainly no place for a child to be let loose to roam around alone, without protection.

At home we do have lots of parental controls etc on our home computers, however having an actual piece of software to help protect our children further would be great. And as parents, having something to allow us to monitor their web usage also would be really helpful.

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Music is such a wonderful thing, isn’t it? Ok, granted, maybe not-so-much when it’s a young child banging on a keyboard. But, you know these things need encouraging, right? As you know {or may not if you’re a new reader} I’ve been working with Chad Valley for the last lot of months and on my final review of their Chad Valley Play campaign, I bring you their Chad Valley Music Station.

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Well, February went by a bit fast didn’t it! It’s crazy to think we’re into the third month of 2017 already. But if there is anything to get excited about it’s the little signs of Spring that are popping up everywhere.

The trees are slowly starting to bud, the sunshine is attempting to come out more {regardless of the skin-shearing winds} and we’ve even spotted a few daffodil sprouts lately! That’s a true sign that Spring is on its way, isn’t it? Those glorious yellow Daffodils.

February has been a bit of bug-fueled month for us as a family because someone at some point, has been poorly. Annabelle seems to be hit the most because you know…preschool! Or soft play {which was also a culprit this month!}. Then the husband got sick, the two older kids thankfully dodged it and then finally it hit me. Like a brick. Which left me pretty much useless for the last week.

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