Monday, 30 June 2014

Peanut Hottie - Review

Oh I do love peanut butter related items, you can't beat crunchy peanut butter on toast to comfort a bit of a wine head on a morning or a kitkit chunky peanut butter to satisfy some cravings so when I heard about a drink called peanut hottie I knew had to try it. 

I was kindly sent a few samples to test and although I think that it's more of a winter warming drink as soon as it arrived I was looking forward to trying it out. It's as simple as it looks, simply boil the kettle, allow the water to cool for a few minutes and add to the powder for a delicious, instant hot peanut butter flavoured drink. 

The aroma that came from the mug while I was stirring was incredible, the most beautiful, warm peanut butter scent was just enticing me in to wrap my hands around my mug, relax and drink the peanut loveliness. 


These sachets provide a decent amount of the powder but I think my personal preference would to be to add a few more spoonfuls as I felt that it was a little bit watery, I have also read that adding some hot chocolate adds a whole other dimension to this drink also! It tastes lovely, you get the classic nutty taste with a background sweetness which satisfies any sweet cravings that you may be having and at only 83 calories a mug it's relatively guilt free. 



I'm looking forward to drinking these when the nights become darker and more gloomy, they are a real warming and indulgent treat. You can purchase the Peanut Hottie drink from most leading supermarkets for around £2.99.

Have you tried Peanut Hottie?
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* Please note I was kindly sent these samples free of charge for an honest review, all the thoughts and opinions are that of my own.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Silent Sunday - 29/06/14


 

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Thursday, 26 June 2014

Guest Post - Easy Strawberry Cheesecake

Here is a gorgeous recipe from Mel who blogs over at Diary of a Jewellery Lover. This easy to make cheesecake is simple and perfect for a dinner party or just to treat the family. Light and creamy, use low fat spread, Elmlea double light and low fat cream cheese to cut the calories.

Ingredients

Filling
250g milk chocolate digestive biscuits

100g Flora Buttery melted (or butter)

600g low fat soft cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

100g icing sugar, sieved

1/2 284ml pot Elmlea double light  (or double cream)

Topping
sliced strawberries 
icing sugar



Method




Line the bottom of an 8 inch loose bottom tin with greaseproof paper.



Put the biscuits in a food bag and bash with a rolling pin until they are crumbs

Mix the biscuits with the melted butter until all the crumbs are coated by the butter, and press into the tin, making sure there are no gaps in the base.

Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Empty the cream cheese into a bowl and add the vanilla essence.

Slowly add the sieved icing sugar until well combined.

Add 1/2 pot (approx 140ml) of Elmea or double cream and mix well.

Tip the mixture onto the biscuit base and smooth down so there are no gaps or bubbles.

Leave to set overnight.

Top with sliced strawberries and for the finishing touch sieve a dusting of icing sugar over the top.

Serve with cream and a strawberry sauce.

Enjoy!
Mellissa Williams



The Diary Of A Jewellery Lover Blog 

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Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Tips & Ideas for Decorating a Neutral Nursery

When we were deciding how we wanted to decorate Alfie's nursery I knew that I always wanted a relatively neutral colour scheme, even though I found out that I was expecting a boy I still wanted something that was relatively simple and easy to change when we need to in the future. This article features some great tips and hints for doing just this.

Tips and Ideas for Decorating a Neutral Nursery Room
When it comes to decorating a nursery for your awaited arrival, it can feel a little more difficult if you don’t know the gender of the baby. However, opting for a more gender neutral nursery scheme is growing ever more popular than the traditional (and perhaps a little dated) ‘blue for a boy, pink for a girl’ options. Therefore there are lots of resources out there to help get you inspired to create a beautiful, neutral space.
We’ve taken a look and some of these and have compiled a list of a few tips and ideas for decorating baby’s neutral nursery room so that it’s a space you’ll all fall in love with.



Use a carefully selected variety of patterns and textures
Think about prints rather than colours that will achieve a beautiful, gentle yet playful feel, such as gingham, polka dot, chevron and stripes. Opt for soft furnishings in these prints, such as curtains, rugs and bedding so it’s not too strong, as the softness of the fabric will keep it subtle.
For example, we love the polka dot curtains from the Style Furnishings curtains collection which would add a really soft touch. Using a few different textures such as a wooden crib with a metal statement light also works really well if you want a rustic feel to the room.

Keep things bright and airy
A nursery room should never feel cramped, dull or dark. Make the most of the room’s natural light and keep the colour scheme bright and airy, too. All white nurseries are really popular, and if done right, can create a really beautiful charm that’s surprisingly cosy.
We love these examples found on Pinterest. You could then build on this simplicity with subtle pops of fun colour, such as yellow or mint, which are great for a more modern taste (or pink or blue if you really can’t resist!).


Add interest to the walls
Adding things to the walls is a great way to make a nursery feel more personal and sweet without cluttering the floor. Go for things with the baby’s name on, such as named prints with their date of birth on after they’ve arrived.
Or, if you do want the room to be 100% sorted before they make their appearance, you could always just choose pretty baby-style prints or wall decals for the room. There are some beautiful ones available on NotOnTheHighStreet.com that is well worth checking out.

Think about the little details that make a big difference

Adding other details to the nursery can be a lovely way to make the room feel more playful and sweet. They could be anything from mini rocking horses to life sized cuddly toys! John Lewis has some really lovely accessories for the nursery which are sure to help you add those few finishing touches that will make all the difference to the feel of the room. We especially love the night lights which are a great idea when it comes to night time feeds, too!  

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Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Exciting Things to Do with the Kids in Wales this Summer!

I've always wanted to visit Wales and my parents are always telling how beautiful it is and a nice get away , this article features 10 great things to do with the kids this summer in Wales. When we do eventually visit Wales I will definitely be bearing some of these in mind! 

10 Exciting things to do with the Kids in Wales this summer
If you’re looking for ideas for when planning your summer staycation, we’ve headed to the beautiful country of Wales to have a look at some of the best things they have to offer for families. We’ve put together a list of 10 activities that are sure to delight the kids on your break in Wales.

1. Great Orme Ancient Mines
Uncovered in 1987 during a scheme to landscape an area of the Great Orme, the copper mines discovered below the ground represent one of the most astounding archaeological discoveries of recent time.

2. Portmeirion
Portmeirion is located on a private peninsula overlooking Cardigan Bay on the coast of Snowdonia, surrounded by woodlands and sandy beaches. The village was built from 1925 to 1976 by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis, who wanted to show how development could enhance the natural landscape. There are several cafes, restaurants, children’s play areas and eight shops. Take a look at the website.

3. Caernarfon Castle
Visit one of the most iconic castles in the UK, as most castles are happy with round towers, but not Caernarfon! Polygonal towers were the order of the day, with the Eagle Tower being the most impressive of these.


4. Zipworld
Zipworld has the longest zip wire in Europe and is now open at Penrhyn Quarry, Bethesda: The nearest thing to flying! There is also the Little Zipper for training purposes, a smaller version for practice, plus tandem rides are available so you can accompany the kids. With speeds of 75 mph, travelling 700ft above the mountain lake, be ready for a ride of a lifetime!

5. Museum of Welsh Life
The Museum of Welsh Life in Cardiff is one of Europe’s biggest and most exciting open-air museums. Wales' journey from rural tradition to industrial powerhouse is traced throughout extensive galleries and 100 acres of beautiful parkland. You can click here to find some great deals on hotels and short breaks to Cardiff and the rest of Wales, too.

6. Cardiff Spy Mission Treasure Trail
Whilst following the step by step directions you will discover ships and shipwrecks, fish and fishy tales, water and wetlands with its own unique habitat. Follow the Trail, solve the clues and see the sights! Check out their website.

7. Doctor Who Experience
Step through a crack in time and help the Doctor, armed with his Sonic Screwdriver to escape from his foes, fly the TARDIS and come face-to-face with some of the scariest monsters seen on screen. Featuring exclusive filmed sequences with Matt Smith and packed with amazing special effects, this multi-sensory experience in Cardiff is fun for the family and Doctor Who fans alike.

8. Anglesey Sea Zoo
Dazzle the kids with the Wolf Fish Lair, and Europe's Biggest Shark! And now you can dive without getting wet in the Virtual Scuba Simulator. There are daily feeds and interactive talk sessions, so check out their website for more info.

9. Snowdon Mountain Railway
Travel on Britain’s only rack and pinion railway to Hafod Eryri, the stunning new visitor centre at the Summit of Snowdon. From mid-March to May trains will terminate at Clogwyn which is three quarters of the distance up Snowdon. From May to October trains will run to the Summit (subject to daily weather conditions)

10. Llangorse Multi-Activity Centre

Llangorse Multi Activity Centre is the home of the largest indoor Climbing and Riding Centre in Wales. The Riding Centre offers Pony Rides for little ones (4-7 yrs), Trekking for the beginner or novice rider and riding for those with some experience.  



Guest Post - Tips for being a Beauty Junkie Mummy

Today we have a great guest post from Laura who blogs at Petitmoi-bigworld. Thanks for a great post Laura!

Hi, I'm Laura and I blog over at http://www.petitmoi-bigworld.co.uk where I write a whole range of things which, as you may have guessed from the title, includes parenting and beauty. I've been meaning to write a light hearted, tongue in cheek post about tips for balancing Mummy-hood with a Beauty Junkie status for a while so when Helen had me thinking of topics for this guest post it came to mind!

Although this post is very much a bit of fun and the 'tips' aren't really going to change your life, the root of what I want to share is the idea that you need to be yourself as much as you need to be a Mummy. So often parents end up losing their own identity when they delve into the depths of parenthood and I'm a great believer of finding ways to keep hold of who you are and what you enjoy outside of parenting. Beauty, for me, is a fun way to express myself and have some creativity, very soothing and therapeutic, which is why I thought up some ways in which I make being a Mummy and being a beauty obsessive work hand in hand!


Make sure your child gets used to you looking like this! (And whilst you're at it, the post man and neighbours too as you're sure to give them a fright!) If you're anything like me, any time you want to do a facemask in the evening it just doesn't happen - Maybe you've got housework to do, maybe you've got a good book to read, maybe you're just too exhausted to even smear facemasky goodness on your face, whatever the reason, it just never ends up happening! The answer is, of course, to do it in the day time! I really wish I'd started doing this earlier as Ethan really doesn't like it, I thought he'd think it was funny but he just keeps asking me to wash it off now because I don't look right, oops! 


My son cries every time we go in to Boots or Superdrug, we don't go very often but he knows that when we do go 'Mummy takes aaaaages'. I didn't think of this particular way of making parenting and beauty work together, this one was all down to my fiance - Whenever I'm browsing cosmetics, Ethan now ends up like this, whilst I'm off swatching the latest neutral shadows and coral lipstick, they're off having their own fun; Azii finds the brightest colours he can to put on Ethan's hands (and, yes, sometimes his face) and turns him in to a rainbow child. Obviously this only only Really works if you have someone else to keep them occupied but I can't see why, if it's just you and your child, you can't compromise with a 'swatch for me, swatch for you' rota!

Lastly, it's all about time saving! As all parents know, time is your enemy, it sneaks away and leaves you whenever it gets the chance. As such I try to fit little 'me' things in to a normal day, one of which is keeping myself busy whilst Ethan plays in the bath. Obviously I don't want to leave him to it so it needs to be something I can do whilst paying him attention but also keeping my busy - My best one is taking off my nail varnish so, more often than not, when the boy is in the bath, you'll find me perched on the (closed) toilet seat with cotton wool in hand, scrubbing at my nails - Now if that's not multi-tasking I don't know what is!

Again, not the most serious way to address is, but if you find yourself feeling a bit 'lost' as a parent and feel like you aren't getting the chance to be 'you' it's worth taking some time to re-discover something that makes you happy, and makes you smile, and sometimes it's even possible to make it work at the same time as being a parent!


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Sunday, 22 June 2014

Silent Sunday - 22/06/14




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Thursday, 19 June 2014

Children Sharing 1 Room? Ideas to help!

Here is a great article about ideas for options on room sharing ideas if you have multiple children. This is one of the things that I think about should we be fortunate to have another child and that it be a girl. Personally I always liked the bunk bed option!



Ideas for a Boy and Girl’s Shared Bedroom
When it comes to decorating a child’s shared bedroom, it can be a little difficult as they may have different needs, tastes and hobbies. This can be a lot more difficult if the room you’re decorating is for both a boy and a girl.
Giving each child their own space and details is important but if you do want to break away from the whole ‘pink corner’ and ‘blue corner’, it may take a little imagination and know-how. Therefore we’ve put together a few tips for helping to create a beautiful room that they’ll both love, without using the gender stereotypes too much.

Use softer, more creative ways to divide the room
Rather than walls, use softer things to add a sense of division in the room. Things like curtains can do this really well and the cost of the fabrics will be a lot cheaper than installing a new wall! You can even get children’s curtains online, too.

Avoid opting for a theme if possible
Going for a princess or batman theme from floor to ceiling is sure to put a smile on their faces initially, but chances are, it won’t last very long. The problem with themed bedrooms is that they can become very dated very quickly, and this is sped up even more when there are two personalities that have to live in the room. Instead, opt for more general themes or neutral colours, with splashes of colour pops for liveliness and personality.

Bunk beds can be a great space saver
If you’re a little strapped on space, then bunk beds are a great solution. However, if you automatically picture the cheap looking metal ones when you think of bunk beds but want to avoid this look completely, opt for wooden ones or white ones which are far more classic and elegant. There is some lovely wooden bunk beds here that your kids are bound to love – just make sure they take turns on the top bunk to avoid arguments!

Make the room feel fun but functional
A child’s room should never feel like a ‘museum’, but should always have a fun element to it. However, when it comes to sharing, this can often signal the idea of ‘mess’ in a parent’s mind. Invest in some good storage solutions to eliminate clutter, like toy boxes and shelves, but do keep some of their most prized possessions on show. Go bold with things like big wall prints and mounted photos on the wall to add personality and to make the room more personal to them.

Give each child their own bit of space

Whether it’s in the form of a pin board on the wall to showcase their artistic masterpieces, or a private draw to hide all their treasures, ensure that each child has their own bit of space to truly make theirs and where they feel they can explore their personalities. They could be private or public but should always be up to them.  

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Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Elderly Care Options - Life After Retirement

There comes a time in everyone's life when you need to start making a decision about life after retirement, in this post it explores some of the available options. 

Choosing an elder care option
There comes a time in many people’s lives where they require some form of elder care. It might not be something that people want to accept or think about, but it’s important that everyone knows the options available to them should that time come. Here are the main elder care options available to you so you’re as fully informed as possible…

Care at home (family)
Some elderly folk are lucky enough to have enough family and friends around them who can provide enough care for them to get by. This is usually only suitable for those who need a relatively small amount of care, such as only in the evenings, as it’s not often family members will be able to provide significant care throughout every day. Some family members do become full-time carers but this is a somewhat rare occurrence.
If care at home from family is possible then it’s a good idea to draw up a rota amongst various family members so that everyone knows what they’re doing and is clear about who should be providing the care and when.
Another option is to move in with family members. This will pretty much ensure that someone is on hand almost every day to provide care.




Care at home (professional)
For those who need a little more care but still feel they’re able to stay at home, then professional home care may be suitable. There are all sorts of options available depending on the level of care needed. For example, there are ‘meals on wheels’-type services available for those unable to cook, whilst there are also constant daytime care options for those who aren’t comfortable being left on their own for too long.
People who receive care at home may find that they need to adapt their home to help them live more comfortably. For more information on that, AGE UK has some really helpful advice.

Care homes
Sometimes care at home just is possible or practical and therefore a care home or retirement home is the best option. Those in care homes have access to round-the-clock care so there’s never need to worry about them being on their own. There are also a number of other added benefits to retirement homes, including an array of activities that can help keep mind and body active. Take the Extra Care care homes, for instance. They have activities such as arts & crafts, gardening, IT classes, dance classes, and more.

Alternative housing options
There are a number of alternative housing options that fall somewhere in between a retirement home and having care provided at home. Sheltered housing, or retirement housing, is a possible option for those who want to live in a smaller home that’s easier to manage whilst still having support in the form of on-site wardens who can be alerted through an alarm.
You can find more about alternative housing options here, including AGE UK’s Gifted Housing service whereby you donate your house to the charity and they ensure you can stay in your home as long as possible.

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Monday, 16 June 2014

Guest Post - Living with Anxiety.

Angela who blogs over at http://angelahamilton2014.blogspot.co.uk has kindly written a blog post about suffering from anxiety. Anxiety is not something to be ashamed of nor something that should be taboo, here she openly talks about her anxiety and how in actual fact makes her a completely normal individual.

Anxiety is hard to live with at the best of times. Not knowing when that next panic attack will appear, not knowing how you will react, will you run away or will you stand strong. Imagine all that plus worrying about how your two young children will react if they see mummy having a "weird moment" in the middle of the street.

I am that woman. I'm married to a wonderful man and we have two young children aged 4 and 2. There are days my anxiety is that bad I can't even walk my son to nursery, luckily my husband takes him. The guilt I feel is unreal. Deep down I know this is not my fault. I never asked to be like this, no-one who has a mental health condition wants to be that way but at the same time we are not the condition, we are still the same person we have always been.

Let me give you a little insight to what a panic attack is like. Your heart rate increases, you feel like you can't catch a breath, your eyesight sharpens, you start to sweat, you feel sick, dizzy and you get chest pains. Your brain is working overtime, fighting with itself, trying to convince you that you are in a dangerous situation and it's time to run, the other part of your brain knows there is no danger and is telling you to stay (this is your fight or flight function). It is such a hard and tiring thing to have.

These symptoms are harmless but at the time they are very real and when they happen at the one time they are scary!!

My husband has to do so much. The days that I can't face going out he will do the shopping, take our son to nursery while I stay at home with our daughter, do the house work and deal with bills. He will also take our little girl out to go pick up our son. Days out are hard. I force myself to go. Sometimes it works and we have a great day and sometimes I freak out and want to be at home.

Some days I can be out the house for hours others I just want to hide away and pretend I do not exist.

At this moment I take antidepressants and I am on the waiting list for various types of counselling and self help groups.

I have had anxiety since 2006. For 7 years, 2007-2014, it seemed to have vanished. So this flare up has taken me by surprise.

Anxiety is not going to beat me. I will get better.


Remember if you have anxiety or any other mental health condition you are not alone! 

Thanks Angela for a great post and trust me you're not alone with the anxiety!

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Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Candle Ring - A review

A few months ago I reviewed a jewel candle, for those who read my blog you may or may not remember I did not rate these highly, you can read the review here. When I was contacted by candle ring to review one of their soy candles at first I admit I was dubious, however on speaking to other bloggers they only had good words to say about this company so I agreed to be sent one.


When I received the candle I have to admit I was a little surprised by the similarity between the designs in the two candles, however that being said with the candle ring I prefer the design on the front of the jar, it's so cute and the information printed on the jar itself looked more professional and the scent was amazing. I was sent a pink (yey!) candle in vanilla cupcake fragrance and I could not stop smelling it, it's a very sweet smell but oh so nice.







The concept is as the title suggests, hidden beneath the soy wax will be a ring ranging from £10.00 up to £1,000.00, the suggestion is to burn the candle for about 10-15 hours before you dig out the ring but if you are impatient (as I often am!) you can carefully remove the little packet after a couple of hours of burning. I love the fact that the ring has been carefully placed within the candle to fit inside the ring 'window' printed on the jar, it adds to the excitement of finding out what you have received!





I burnt the candle for around 3 hours before I did become impatient and started to gently dig the ring out! I did this using a knife and eventually some tweezers to remove the packet. The ring is carefully packaged within a protective foil parcel to ensure no damage comes to the ring and when I'd removed the packet I was both excited and yet a little apprehensive to see what I'd received. What I did receive I was quite pleased with. 



I received a very pretty and sparkly solitaire ring with gems on the shoulders of the ring, if I'd received this as an actual engagement ring I'd be one very happy lady!! It's a very beautiful ring and had a price tag of £25.00 which in my opinion is probably what it would cost should you buy it from a shop. I assume the stones might be cubic zirconia but can't be too sure as there is no information provided, however it is such a pretty ring that I will definitely wear it on an evening out, all of the stones in the ring are intact and catches the light beautifully. 

Retailing at £24.99 I still feel that the price is perhaps a little on the steep side for these type of candles, I am also not sure how to go light my candle now it's burnt 1/2 way down the jar, I guess a really long match would be useful! That being said after the awful experience I had with the jewel candles I'm pleased that this candle has been a much more positive experience!

Has anyone had any experiences with these candles before?

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Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Like, Love, Loathe (Link Up)


I'm sure every week I say where has the week gone but really where has the last week gone?! It's link up time again!

Here are my likes, loves and loathes for this week. 

Liking: The weather!! It's been so nice to see some proper sun, all be it briefly as I only had the weekend to truly appreciate it and really it was only Sunday as Saturday was a weird weather day. Sunshine really does do wonders for the soul. 

Loving: Only 3 more working days left, wahoooo!!! Cannot wait to have some much needed R&R, it feels like so long since we had a holiday, it hasn't been if I'm being honest but I'm really looking forward to a break.

Loathing: Packing! My husband seems to have it in his head that I like packing but I don't, I find it a real chore and even more so having to pack for a little person too, I find the whole thing far too stressful and I generally pack and repack and sometimes repack, nightmare! The picture below shows a small snapshot of some of the packing, I'm no where no organised yet!



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Sunday, 8 June 2014

Silent Sunday - 08/06/14




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Thursday, 5 June 2014

Bathtime Buddies Song (in association with H&A)

The latest task for the Bathtime Buddies Squad was to listen to the new Bathtime Buddies song and have a splashy fun time in the bath which for Alfie was an easy task! Unfortunately I can't figure out how to get it to play from Google Drive but the words are below: 

Verse 1
Hey. Hey! The day is over
and it is time for bed.
First you must have a bath,
before you can rest your head.

Pre-Chorus
All of your friends are here to help you
wash all the days dirt and grime away.
Play with the ducks, “SQUIRT!”
Or Soapy Foam shapes, “SHAPES!”
Let’s see what else you can create, “YAY!”

Chorus
Hey. Hey! Let’s go and play.
Let’s go and play with The
Bathtime Buddies.
Hey. Hey! You can learn too,
Learning is fun when it’s
me (or ‘them’)-and-you!
(x4)


Alfie had such good fun listening to the song in the bath and causing havoc playing with some new bath accessories that we were kindly sent. The foam alphabet letters are going down a storm and Alfie is now becoming really good at recognising letters and being able to say them, the soapy foam is also loads of fun and the squirty ducks are some of the best that we've used in the bath! 







The alphabet letters are by far Alfie's favourite thing at the moment, he loves asking for 'more aaaaaa' and more ooooooo', he is beginning to be able to tell us what letter is what and becoming much better at recognising sounds. 

It's such a privilege to be part of the Bathtime Fun Squad, Alfie's favourite time of day is definitely bath time, I swear he would stay in the bath all night if he could!


We eagerly await the next task!
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Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Like, Love, Loathe (Link Up)


It's Tuesday again which means it's time to Link Up with my latest likes, loves and loathes of the week. 

Liking: This week I discovered a new American TV series that I haven't watched before, Devious Maids (produced by Eva Longoria of Desperate Housewives fame and the written by Marc Cherry who also wrote Desperate Housewives). It's so brilliant, I would describe at it very similar to Desperate Housewives in that it's full of great story lines but with added humour, it's right up my street! I am half way through the first season and really am enjoying it. 

Loving: This week Alfie has been learning so many new words, he is managing to make a few short sentences and is becoming really good at learning his alphabet and picking out colours, he still has his own words for some things but it's adorable to see him learn! 

Loathing: Too  much to do and so little time, I have got to pack for holiday, tidy the house, work, write some blog posts and all sorts of rubbish little jobs that niggle away for ages and ages until they can be put off no longer. Admittedly I'm probably getting more stressed about them than I should but I'm loathing the lack of time to do things at the moment!

What are you liking, loving and loathing this week?
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