Sunday, 4 December 2016

My Sunday Photo - 04/12/16


I took this picture on the school run the other day, it was a freezing and frosty morning, I love the way the sun is so bright and the trees are shadowy. That morning really was beautiful, but blooming cold! 

Photalife

Friday, 2 December 2016

Kinetic Sand - Review

I'm sure that anyone who is anyone knows the advert for 'Kinetic Sand', it's catchy and gets stuck in your head right? Well it does mine and I often find myself singing it, ha! We've recently been reviewing the Kinetic Sand sandcastle set and I say 'we' as I've been  partial to having a bit of fun with it too! 

If you don't know what Kinetic Sand is where on earth have you been?! Basically it's a 3 dimensional building toy that mimics wet sand without it actually being wet and getting everywhere. If you've never felt it before it kind of feels like sand but in a putty type format, it's hard to describe if you've never touched it. It's soft, almost fluffy yet mouldable and it's oh so therapeutic. I have spent absolutely ages letting it run through my fingers, it's quite addictive. You can pick it up, mould it into a shape but then it kind of turns to a fluidy sand as you let it drop through your hand, quite amazing, almost mesmerising to watch.


We were sent the sandcastle kit which consists 1 pack of sand, 3 moulds and a little spade implement and a sand box to make the creations in. Disappointingly the picture on the box shows alot more sand than is actually included so if you're considering purchasing one, definitely add another bag of sand to your basket. We had green coloured sand which considering that's Alfie's favourite colour we were onto a winner. There are a variety of other colours and sets available and retail around £19.99, some are slightly less. 



We've had things similar to Kinetic Sand in the past but this seemed a slightly better quality and was easier to mould and play with. Alfie really enjoys playing with it, he'll happily sit at the table and entertain himself with it, he finds using the moulds the best thing and is pretty proud when he successfully manages to create a shape out of the sand.


Kinetic Sand is not only a fun toy but it's also fab for developing creativity and imagination, it can also be useful for fine motor skills and learning to be gentle and experimental. 


We've all thoroughly enjoyed playing with Kinetic Sand, it's absolutely great and a must for any child. It would be nice if the kit came with a lid or a box or just some way of having something to put over the box when it's not been played with. The sand won't dry out but it would be easier to store if it could be covered. Kinetic Sand is available from most well known retailers and as mentioned above is in a wide range of colours and themes. 

Have you ever used Kinetic Sand? Do you like it?

* Please note I was kindly sent the item free of charge in exchange for an honest review, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Festive Films!!

On this very frosty November (nearly December) day it got me thinking....... I could really fancy curling up on the sofa and watching some proper festive films to get me in the mood for Christmas. I have so many films I love to watch around this time of year and thought I'd share them with you. So these are my festive film choices that either put smile on my face or make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. 


The Holiday - Ohh ohh this is probably my most favourite film that I watch each year. I just adore it,  it makes me smile, it makes me cry and it just is a lovely, lovely film. In a nutshell it's all about 2 women who do a house swap and unexpectedly find romance. If you haven't seen it go watch it!


Image result for the holiday
Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Miracle on 34th Street - This is one of my childhood Christmas films. This films screams festive, if you don't believe in Santa Claus after watching this film you never will.


Image result for miracle on 34th street 1994
Image courtesy of bluray.com



Harry Potter - If Christmas isn't a good opportunity to watch any of the Harry Potter films I don't know when is. I've been a big fan of Potter for years now and I can't wait to introduce the kids to the books and films when they are a bit older, I love seeing the wintry Hogwarts with all the snow!


Image result for harry potter

Home Alone - I'm fairly sure that anyone who is anyone will have watched Home Alone around December time. It never fails to make me smile and definitely one to watch each year. 


Image result for home alone
Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Bad Santa! - This film is hilarious!! I remember watching it a few years ago late one night and it was so refreshing to see a 'black comedy' type film over during Christmas and it's worth a watch if you fancy a giggle. I won't give anything away so go watch it!!!




Related image

Of course there are so many other Christmas films to watch and these are a handful of my choices, I have lots more. There truly is nothing better than getting the family together and watching a film in front of the TV and what's even better is watching a film on one of the new Panasonic 4K televisions to ensure your festive films are crystal clear and in ultra high definition. 

So what do you like to watch over the festive period? I can't wait to hear your suggestions!

* Collaborative Post. 

Best and Worst Linky #76

Beautiful Things


Run, Jump, Scrap!

Hi everyone and a huge welcome to the best and worst linky run by my lovely friend Sarah who blogs over at Run Jump Scrap and co-hosted by myself. If you're new to the linky we're delighted for you to join in, please do have a read of the rules. If you're a regular then thanks as always for the support. Sarah and I split the commenting now, it is working well doing it like that. You should have received a comment from one of us so if you are missing one please do drop us a tweet or email. We've had some great posts over the last few weeks!

This is the linky where you can tell us about the best or worst things that have happened in the last week or even the last year, this could in the form of a blog post, a photo or even a video. It can be an old post or a new post, we don't mind we just want you to share it with us. We want you to share your babies firsts, the crappy day at work you've had or a makeup disaster basically the good, the bad or the downright ugly! We want to share your excitement and tears, highs and lows no matter what it is.

Each week we will both choose our favourite posts from the week before and feature you on the next weeks Best and Worst, we will also feature you on our Twitter feed. 

So as always, on with the linky........please have a little read of the rules and we look forward to reading this weeks posts.

We are continuing to notice that some people aren't getting the comments they deserve, linkys only work if people spend time to read other blogs and comment on them.

On with this weeks featured posts!! My featured post come from the hilarious Dawn who blogs over at Rhyming with Wine this post had me howling, go have a read!


Sarah's featured post is from The Little Book of Sick and this pretty much sums up any mums night out, go have a read!


Rules
  • The linky will open at 6.30am on a Wednesday and close at 23.55pm on a Friday
  • You can link up one or two posts each week
  • Please comment on the 2 posts before yours and have a nosey at the host's too. We've noticed that some people have just been link dropping and not commenting on the 2 in front, please do return the favour so everyone gets some comments and linky love, thankyou.
  • ***Please add the badge to the bottom of your page so everyone knows where you have linked up***
  • Tweet your hosts @helsy_1983 and @RunJumpScrap once linked up so we can retweet you. When tweeting and commenting use the hashtag #bestandworst so everyone knows where you have come from
Best of Worst




    

Monday, 28 November 2016

A Little Yorkshire Break!

We've recently returned from a lovely half term away in North Yorkshire. The week was a packed, we knew there were several things that we wanted to do so it was a busy few days. The time seemed to fly! You perhaps might have read in my recent post that it wasn't the most well of times and sadly there was quite alot of snuffles and illness which then to led so sleepless nights but we had a great time. North Yorkshire holds so many wonderful memories for me, many childhood holidays were spent here. 

We used to stay on a farm, I remember collecting the milk from the farmhouse, the sounds of the farm animals early in the morning, the mist across the fields, watching piglets being born, feeding chickens, messing about on the river....paddling from one side to the other in jelly shoes but most of all I remember happy times and memories aplenty. My Dad turned 70 on the 24th this month and when I was trying to think what he would like to do or receive as a gift I suggested to my Mum that perhaps he would like a week away to Yorkshire just like we used to and after discussion with them it was agreed that we would go away together just like the old times. 

I was so looking forward to going away and we were going to staying right in the middle of my favourite little market town, Helmsley which was even better. We stayed in a fabulous house on Bondgate which is pretty much in the centre, although Helmsley isn't that big so to describe it in the centre is not really that accurate! The house really was great, a 3 storey town house which was immaculate and so well equipped. I wouldn't hesitate staying there again. Sadly I didn't take any photos but you can have a nose by clicking the link above. 



We were so lucky with the weather for the week, we had mainly dry days and it wasn't hugely cold. As we were fortunate with the weather it meant we were able to do lots of outdoor activities, walking and enjoy the scenery. There are a couple of days out that I'll be expanding on in the next few weeks as they were great days out but otherwise I'll give you a quick overview of our week with pictures and a few sentences. 

So we arrived on Saturday afternoon after a really good journey, it only took 2 1/2 hours so a very acceptable journey time. We arrived in time to dump our stuff and quickly scoot to the shops to stock up on a few things.  The evening was going to be a quiet one just chilling out. It was a lovely Saturday evening. 

On Sunday we went to visit the National Centre for Birds of Prey at the beautiful Duncombe Park. Just the walk up to the centre is absolutely beautiful and the views are simply stunning. I took alot of photos! The bird of prey centre is an excellent afternoon out and well worth the visit. Do you know what else was amazing here, the peace. Walking up to the park and walking around centre was just so peaceful, it was a great way to start the week. 



Monday we'd arranged a little family get together for Dad, when we used to come years ago we always used it as opportunity to meet up with some close family and friends and it's kind of a halfway point for our all northern relatives. We'd kept it quiet from Dad so he had a surprise when he saw some familiar faces in the market square! We had fish n chips, cake and a good catch up with everyone, it was lovely!

We had decided that Tuesday would be 'train day'. Over in York there is the National Rail Museum which for any train buff like our Alfie was the perfect place to visit. The great thing about this is it actually free to get in (well they ask for a donation so we purchased a kids activity book as our donation) but otherwise no charge. This place is mental, there is trains and train related items every where you look. Alfie didn't really know what to do with himself, from the Eurostar to the Japanese Bullet train to the royal collection to an ambulance train, there is so much to see. Personally, for me I got a bit bored after about 90 minutes, there is only so many trains that I can look at it before being a bit look 'ohh look another train' and I was on my own as Adi was chasing Alfie around and my parents were looking around at their own pace so it kind of left Elarna and I wandering around aimlessly! We eventually managed to leave after a good 3 1/2 hours (or more!) with a trip to the gift shop and one very happy little boy with his very own wooded 'Virgin Pendolino' train! Even though I was a little bit bored towards the end, seeing Alfie happy did make me happy. We ended the day having a lovely little family meal back at Helmsley at the cute Italian restaurant that we always used to go to. A great day and a fab end. 


On Wednesday it was Flamingo Land day! My parents very nicely agreed to look after Elarna so we could dedicate our attention to Alfie for the day. I have to admit to quite looking forward to a day at Flamingo Land, and what I knew that Alfie would love was that it was both a theme park and zoo. We had alot of fun, we went on loads of rides, Alfie discovered that roller coasters were great and we walked miles looking at the animals (well the ones that were out and we could see!). Although it was a pricey day out, we all had a good time and it was finished with a fab 10 minute firework display to music which we all really enjoyed. I think we'd visit again if we get another opportunity. 




As we'd had a few busy days on Thursday we decided to take it easy. Neither myself or Adi felt like driving anywhere and since we were all knackered from disrupted nights we thought we'd just stay around in Helmsley and take a walk later in the day. We spent the morning in the house and then took another lovely walk to Duncombe Park and let the kids let off a bit of steam, I managed to snap a few more pictures and we then finished the afternoon off with a drink in the local brewery pub. My parents had decided to go to Whitby for the day and in the evening we all had a gorgeous steak dinner cooked by the chef (aka my husband). 







On Friday (our last day, booo!) we all went over to Scarborough for the day. First stop was the absolutely brilliant Sealife Centre it was great!! We all split up again as Alfie was racing off so I walked around with Elarna (occasionally catching a fleeting glance of Alfie!), I spent an age watching the sea lions they were so cute to watch and Elarna was fascinated by them. After Sealife Centre we headed over to the South Bay (I think) and spent a couple of hours walking up and down the seafront, having some chips and letting Alfie have a paddle in the (freezing) sea. We then sat and watched the sun setting and I tell you something I've never seen such a stunning sky in the UK for a very, very long time. We sat for quite some time just taking in the beauty and letting Alfie have an ice cream before heading home. 










We had such a fantastic week regardless of the illness and lack of sleep. It was so good to be back in Yorkshire again and enjoyed every minute. I was going to spend sometime editing my photos but I get terribly bored of taking ages to edit each one individually so I apologise that several of these are 'au naturel'. I'm already hoping that we'll be returning to Yorkshire at somepoint soon but for the moment we have made some wonderful memories from this week away and lots of lovely photos to look back on. 


Sunday, 27 November 2016

My Sunday Photo - 27/11/16


We're not quite ready to put our tree up but I loved the Christmas trees in Bury St Edmunds yesterday, how gorgeous are the baubles and lights! They were also so tall that I couldn't fit the whole tree on my camera! I'm so ready to get into the festive spirit.

Photalife

Friday, 25 November 2016

Our Week!

Well it has been rather a lovely week. A varied, mixed and happy week I am pleased to report. After leaving work last Wednesday I took the Thursday and Friday off before starting me job on Monday. I had a quiet couple of days as which was needed. It did feel all a bit weird to be off technically unemployed for a couple of days! 

On Saturday we were off to meet our fab friends Sarah from RunJumpScrap Chris, the grem and little peewee, I was just a little excited for baby snuggles! It's been a while since we'd seen them all so I was looking forward to spending the day with them at The National Space Centre in Leicester which is an hour away for both of us so it worked out perfectly! Alfie and the grem are very much into space and the planets so it was a fab place for them to visit. We were also luck enough to get a free annual pass, which is a good job really as Sarah and I didn't see half of it through the youngest ones keeping us busy and us nattering away. From what I did see though it was really interesting and very interactive so for the kiddies was great. There was alot of information to take in so I'm sure that if we go over again there will be lots more to see and learn.

After we'd parted ways Adi and I decided to grab some dinner, we were initially going to pop to a chain restaurant and then thought why don't we stop at one of our local country pubs......so we did just that and it was delicious! The kids were pretty well behaved up till the last 0 minutes but otherwise they were fab. I tell you what we all slept well after that!


On Sunday we saw friends in the morning which was great to have a catch up, sometimes it's just nice to have a coffee and chat while the kids entertain each other!

On Monday I had the start of my new job, cue first day nerves and all that. It went ok, appeared to be very different to my past surgery but too early to tell how much I'll enjoy it. I was thrown in at the deep end with a clinic at the end of the day. I got home and was a bit deflated about things though, not too sure why but I was a bit worried that I'd made the wrong choice. Tuesday went better, although I kind of just got on with things and didn't really see many people but did have a few patients to see which was nice. 

I've had Wednesday and Thursday off which has been lovely. On Wednesday I went over to Rockingham and the big Joules sales. I love the brand Joules so was looking forward to picking up some bargains. I had to drop Alfie off at school and the sale opened at 11am so I aimed to leave the house not long after dropping Alfie off. I got there for bang on 11 and there was already quite a big queue. After 90 minutes of waiting in the freezing cold with Elarna I did get in. It was ok, perhaps not as great as I was hoping as there wasn't a huge amount of sizes for Alfie and Elarna's ages but I did manage to grab a few things. 

Thursday was my Dads 70th birthday, I couldn't quite believe it, a few years ago I didn't think we'd see him at this age so I had a lovely couple of hours with him, Elarna and Lenny before heading back home for the rest of the afternoon. The rest of the day I was on a bit of a cleaning mission, I hoovered, steamed, sorted out our tip of a study, cleaned the toilets and did a whole load of filing! Fairly productive day I'd say! I'm exhausted just writing about it. 

So this is what I've been up to, what have you been up to? 

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Clever Storage with Phil Spencer!

I have long been a fan of Phil Spencer, Location, Location, Location is a total guilty pleasure of mine and I always like to tune in to see how he envisages properties to be and how you can maximise a property making small but effective changes. When it comes to doing up your home getting advice on how you can make the most of your property can be difficult to find. 

Recently Phil has been working alongside British Gas on some short videos surrounding a variety of home related subjects. These videos are short bursts of information, tips and tricks to help you achieve amazing looks but for a fraction of the price and clever tricks of the trade which will help you maximise on space and storage. 

The video below is all about creating the perfect bathroom with clever storage ideas. As we're currently redoing our ensuite these videos couldn't be more perfect. I've already nabbed a few ideas to help us in our quest to the perfect bathroom, we are going to be adding under sink storage to maximise on the space and try and keep things clutter free and in one of his other videos he suggests using larger tiles in the bathroom to give the illusion of space which we are also doing. 

Also featured in the video is this brilliant kids storage ladder, it looks super simple to make and it is such a good idea as somewhere to store the toys but to be functional at the same time. 

So if you're redoing your bathroom or doing odd jobs around the house please do have a nose at the videos over on You Tube.






* Collaborative Post.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Best and Worst Linky #75

Beautiful Things


Run, Jump, Scrap!

Hi everyone and a huge welcome to the best and worst linky run by my lovely friend Sarah who blogs over at Run Jump Scrap and co-hosted by myself. If you're new to the linky we're delighted for you to join in, please do have a read of the rules. If you're a regular then thanks as always for the support. Sarah and I split the commenting now, it is working well doing it like that. You should have received a comment from one of us so if you are missing one please do drop us a tweet or email. We've had some great posts over the last few weeks!

This is the linky where you can tell us about the best or worst things that have happened in the last week or even the last year, this could in the form of a blog post, a photo or even a video. It can be an old post or a new post, we don't mind we just want you to share it with us. We want you to share your babies firsts, the crappy day at work you've had or a makeup disaster basically the good, the bad or the downright ugly! We want to share your excitement and tears, highs and lows no matter what it is.

Each week we will both choose our favourite posts from the week before and feature you on the next weeks Best and Worst, we will also feature you on our Twitter feed. 

So as always, on with the linky........please have a little read of the rules and we look forward to reading this weeks posts.

We are continuing to notice that some people aren't getting the comments they deserve, linkys only work if people spend time to read other blogs and comment on them.

My featured post from last weeks linky comes from Caroline who blogs at Becoming Stay at Home Mum our lads are pretty much the same age so I'm loving seeing how he is getting on too. Like Caroline I'm amazed at how well they seem to be progressing! It's such a lovely post, please do go read. 


Sarah has chosen the fab Jeremy from Thirsty Daddy which talks about his fearless daughter! This is a great post and it had me smiling so please do have a nose. 

Musings of a Thirsty Daddy

Rules
  • The linky will open at 6.30am on a Wednesday and close at 23.55pm on a Friday
  • You can link up one or two posts each week
  • Please comment on the 2 posts before yours and have a nosey at the host's too. We've noticed that some people have just been link dropping and not commenting on the 2 in front, please do return the favour so everyone gets some comments and linky love, thankyou.
  • ***Please add the badge to the bottom of your page so everyone knows where you have linked up***
  • Tweet your hosts @helsy_1983 and @RunJumpScrap once linked up so we can retweet you. When tweeting and commenting use the hashtag #bestandworst so everyone knows where you have come from
Best of Worst




    

Monday, 21 November 2016

Freya, Bras for Bigger Boobs!

Having bigger boobs can be both a blessing and curse. In my case, mostly a curse! However you have to try love what you got and over the years I've kind of learned to just get used to them, they are after all here to stay! One thing though that bugs the hell out of me is finding decent underwear and stuff that actually looks pretty and fits well, not something that looks like your Granny would wear. Once upon a time I remember that all I could find was grotty white or black bras that didn't exactly make you feel good or look nice!

Fast forward a good few years and thank goodness things have moved on alot. Now there are companies that specifically cater for the bigger boobed among us and you know what it's now a pleasure to wear bras and not depressing! The bras that are available are gorgeous - girly, feminine, structured and sexy but at the same time remembering that there is a whole load of boob to support so functional at the same time.



The brand Freya has been a long time staple in my undie draw, I remember buying a couple of bikinis from the brand (pre kids I may add) and they were the only ones that I felt fully comfortable wearing. Yes you pay a premium for the brand (and similar) but it's well worth the money for well fitting underwear and swimwear. 

The brand Freya has been going from strength to strength since 1998 and over the years has steadily grown the brand into catering for the bustier woman with a huge amount of items to choose from, think bras, swimming cossies and active ranges. The brand continues to grow and regularly updates collections with a wonderful choice. Currently, Freya goes up to a size K so it really appeals to a range of women which is fab. 

I was recently sent this beautiful pulse semi sheer plunge balcony bra to review and it is gorgeous. On first impression I was a bit worried that it might not offer me enough coverage but it was a full cup, incredibly supportive and looked lovely when on. I loved the design, the sheer look of the bra makes it quite sexy but it's also pretty, I love the royal blue bows featured adding a little pop of colour. It really is gorgeous and retails at £34.00 ( I always do feel a little bit hard done by having to pay a bit more for bras that cater for big boobs but I just suck it up!).



So if you're struggling to find a nice bra for bigger boobs then I can't recommend Freya highly enough, I love the brand, love the products and love the fit. 

Have you ever tried Freya products before?

* Please note I was kindly sent the bra free of charge in exchange for an honest and unbiased post, all thoughts and opinions are that of my own.