Half term fun with Milly & Flynn  |  Review 

October half term can be so draining!! The weather is usually naff, the kids are tired after their first half term back at school and everywhere is rammed as people try to entertain their children. That’s why we always try to have some indoor activities at the ready for those days where we want to stay home in the dry but not get bored out of our brains and end up climbing the walls. Recently we were sent some brilliant rainy day 3D puzzles from Milly & Flynn and the other day we put one to the test and it didn't disappoint.

Get “revved up” for Ricky Zoom!! | Review

Note - this is a paid for review of the new Ricky Zoom TV show but all opinions are honest and my own. 

If you're anything like me then what your kids watch on TV has to fit a bit of a criteria. Firstly, I usually have to watch it too so it needs to be something that isn't mind numbingly boring or toe curlingly annoying (yeah I'm looking at you Peppa pig!!). Next, I like it if the programmes we have on has some kind of educational or moral benefit. Finally it's always great if it has a catchy theme tune as who doesn't love a good theme tune! It can be quite hard to find something that ticks all of these boxes when it comes to kids TV shows but recently I've found one that is perfect!

Ricky Zoom!! 


Things to do in Essex this Halloween! | Blog

Finding things to do during the school holidays can be difficult. Not because there isn’t enough on offer, in fact it’s quite the opposite. During the October half term it’s Halloween and it feels like everywhere is offering something Halloween themed. There is SO much to do that it can sometimes be difficult to find the really great stuff that’s worth while doing in among all of the other things so I wanted to share with you my top picks for things to do in Essex this Halloween!

NOTE - This is my own thoughts and opinions on what we have enjoyed this Halloween and during past half terms. NONE of the events/attractions featured in this post have paid me or offered entry in return for inclusion in this post BUT I have previously been gifted tickets for events and attractions in return for social media posts but this does not effect my thoughts and feelings on the below listed attractions and events.

Marsh Farm Halloween Festival - 

We were very kindly gifted entry into the Marsh Farm Halloween festival last weekend and I can honestly say that it was one of the best Halloween events we have been to before. I was amazed at how much was included in the entry ticket. The 'on the door' price for anyone over the age of 2 (under 2's are free) is £15.50, although if you book online in advance then it's only £12.50 and included in that price you get entry to the farm, access to all of the amazing Halloween themed special activities plus a free pumpkin for every child ticket holder that can be picked in the Pumpkin Village. Amazing right? The Halloween activities are super fun too! I was pulled up to join in (and won!!) a dance off during the Monsters Balls, Pickle had the best time walking through the Boo Barn and loved watching the witches make their potions in the witches show. All of that plus a chance to see all the farm animals, loads of amazing play areas to run around, bouncy pillow, in door soft play and so much more! The Marsh Farm Halloween Festival runs from October 18th until November 1st so much sure you grab your tickets now!!


Me and my Cup | Blog

If you follow me on social media then you will know that a few months ago I decided that I was going to try using a menstrual cup. I wanted to try it mainly for the eco side of things. I hated the idea of all the pads and tampons I'd used over the years contributing to our already worsening climate crisis. I also had heard that it was mean to be better for people who had bad cramping. Finally it is obviously a lot more cost effective to use a cup as they are a one time, reusable investment so as far as I could see it was a win/win situation. The only thing I wasn't sure about was the thing that most women are nervous about and that is the whole inserting and taking out business...more on that later!


Dealing with the unexpected | Blog

Did you know that 3 in 5 people wouldn’t be able to pay an unexpected bill of £300 if it ever cropped up? Think about your own situation...do you have any financial security should something unexpected happen? It can be so hard when you are a parent to juggle finances and spin all the other plates that you have. A lot of new Mums either reduce their hours once they've had a baby or they can't go back to work at all due to childcare costs which is great as they get more time with their babies but it does add some financial pressure. It feels like times are getting harder and life is getting more expensive so it's no surprise that so many people have to budget to within their last few pounds. But what do you do when the unexpected happened? Where can you go when you have that surprise bill come through the door? I've got a few tips that may make things a little easier.

1. Be smart
There are so many ways to make a little bit of extra cash, you just have to take the time to find them . Online survey websites are a great way to earn a bit extra to help out. The good thing about them is that they can be done once the kids are in bed, whilst you're watching TV. The downside is that some can be relatively low paying and payment can take a while to come through. It isn't instant, but it could help with earning a bit extra those months that you need it. You could also look at cash back websites that pay you extra for spending what you would have spent anyway. With a lot of these sites you either use a code or you access the retailers website through the cashback sit to get your rewards. The best advice I have here is to do your research and see whats out there that might suit you. Swagbucks is a great site that is filled with different ways to help you earn a little extra money online.

2. Look at all options.
Traditionally people through that a credit card was the best form of quick, short term borrowing but with the interest on some cards now, that may not be the case. On the flip side, there are many unregulated lenders now that charge extortionate interest rates in very damaging ways. Before getting into any kind of debt Id always urge you to explore all options. Research what options are out there. Talk to your bank or use a lending broker regulated by the FCA like Cashlady and make sure you always read any small print before signing up to anything. If in doubt, ask someone else to read it for you too to make sure you don't miss anything.

3. Don't suffer in silence.
If something unexpected comes up then don't suffer in silence. Talk to your family or someone you trust because, as the old saying goes, a problem shared is a problem halved and you will feel better for talking. Also don't be afraid to ask for help. Companies would much rather you speak to them if you have problems paying a bill rather than just not paying it all. Worst case, speak to someone impartial that can give you some advice such as the money advice services or step change. Ignoring a bill won't make it go away, in fact it will make it get worse so get talking and get help.

So there you have it. I hope this will help anyone out there who has had that unexpected bill land on their door mats and please remember to talk and get some help as it can be an easy fix.

Note: this is a collaborative post 


You tired hun?? |  Blog

It’s 4am, all the world is asleep. All but you, you don’t count no sheep!

Sleep is for the weak or so you seem to think, that’s why coffee has become my most needed drink.

You go to bed fine, with sleepy cuddles and a kiss and sometimes I even feel like during the night it’s you that I’ll miss.

But I don’t need to worry, I don’t need to fear for at 4am I’ll hear that scream so loud and so near.

You seem to think it’s morning, though the moon is in the sky. We leave you in your cot for a while and just let you cry.

But no, you aren’t having it, you want the day to start. We leave you for as long as we can although it slowly breaks my heart.

Eventually at 5am whilst the outside world is still, I bring you downstairs to snuggle and sleep (at least, I hope you will).

You start of lying still as I stroke your soft, blonde hair but eventually you’ve had enough and you’re climbing all over the chair.

Before I know it you are off and playing with your toys. I shush you “don’t wake your brother” I say, as you make all the noise!

You play and play only stopping when you want a mummy cuddle. You start to waiver, you get tired and things become a muddle.

You start to whinge and get annoyed at every little thing. I try to get you to snuggle up but you won’t let the need for sleep win.

Eventually it’s 7am and your brother jumps down each stair. It’s breakfast time now, the time for sleep is over, as if you care!

You eat your toast and drink your milk, maybe you don’t need sleep after all. I get the clothes and pack the bag, it’s Monday after all.

Then from your chair I hear a sound I desperately wanted to hear. But not now, not at 7.30..if it was 5am I’d cheer!

But is not, it’s morning and Pickles got school and I’ve got work you see. But you don’t care, because your asleep in highchair as peaceful as can be!!!


Settling down | Blog 

Hello??? It's me... (if you didn't read that in the style of Adele then who even are you?!)
There a few tumble weeds blowing through this blog as it’s been a while since I’ve actually written regularly on here. I’ve had a bit of a love/hate relationship with my blog recently as I’ve preferred to post on social media as it’s so much quicker and more convenient (see my last post all about that here) but then again, I’ve missed being able to let all the words tumble out of me and to catch them all on paper (or screen... you know what I mean!) So where have I been? Well life feels like it was shaken around a bit recently but it finally feel like everything has settled down, for now anyway!


Is Blogging Dead?  |  Blog

I started blogging almost 4 years ago and back then it was so different. I wrote about whatever I wanted to, whenever I wanted to with no thoughts given to SEO, page views or followers. I wrote because it gave me a creative outlet and made me feel less alone whilst I was on maternity leave. There was also a little community that I found through blogging. Like minded people who also wrote about parenting and shared their lives across social media. Sometimes you even saw those people at events and conferences and it was always strange because you’d never met them face to face before but you knew everything about each others lives as you read their blogs. There was linkies everywhere you looked. People commented on blog posts and shared them. Brands and companies wanted to work with bloggers. They wanted to send you products and pay you to write about them because your voice was valuable and relatively unique. I loved blogging and the world that it threw me into but 4 years down the line, that world is now a very different place.


Working with your partner to stay happy | Collaboration

person holding balloons

A successful relationship and a successful marriage are all about partnership. When you’re young, it’s easy.
You and your partner have your whole life ahead of you; you’re excited about the future, you’re ready to take
each day as it comes. You plan holidays, your wedding and honeymoon, your future home, your kid’s names,
and all the little things in between that make up a relationship. You support them, and they support you.