Mums’ List #5

Time to join in with the fabulous Hannah over at Mums’ Days and her linky, which allows us to share the highlights of our week.  From our personal lives and also from our blogs.
Mums list Mums List #5



Baby and I were invited to meet the stars of Ice Age, so we took our friends and had a lovely day out.  We have basically spent the week shopping, but some of the purchases have been using vouchers, which aren’t real money!  We have Baby’s Aunty and Uncle coming for Easter, so it will be lovely to have some family time.

Ice Age Mums List #5


  • So the April Tots100 rankings are out and I am very pleased that I have risen again, to 341.  So up approx 1400 places in the four months I have been listed.  I know rankings don’t mean much to some people, but for me they are a sort of acknowledgement of the effort I put into my blog.  So hopefully onward and upward!
  • I have been doing a post about garden transformation, so Mr Hubby has been squished into Baby’s playhouse painting.
  • As mentioned we were treated to £50 of shopping vouchers to attend an event, which was a lovely treat.
  • We are doing our first restaurant review today!
  • I have found a few useful websites to help with creating text images for blogs, Recite, Pinwords, and Pinstamatic.  I am enjoying playing around with these sites.  I am still using Twuffer everyday to schedule my Tweets, love it!



Our landlord is changing the heating system in our house, so the horrible coal fire and broken tiled fireplace is on the way out!  This means we will have a whopping hole in our wooden floor and bare plaster, so we need a makeover pronto.  I will need to make some decisions on the colours scheme, so I have created a Pinterest board to help me get my act together.

mums List Linky 6sml1 Mums List #5

Why not pop over and have a read of some other Mums’ lists.


Saturday is Caption Day #13

Saturday is ‘Caption Day’.   Here is my picture for this week and all you have to do is caption it!  It’s as easy as that!

 sat cap Saturday is Caption Day #13

Why not pop over and have a go at some others.

satca.fw  Saturday is Caption Day #13

Word of the week #14

It’s Friday, so it’s time to link up with the lovely Jocelyn from The Reading Residence and decide on my Word of the Week #WotW.

There are a few words that could describe our week.  However, I think the one which sums things up best is;

Shopping Word of the week #14Baby modelling her new H&M dress £2.99, Primark Blazer £6, Next Hi tops £8.50

Doing some shopping for our DIY project (on the blog soon)

As regular readers will know I have a weakness.  Well actually I have a few, but the one in question is shopping for Baby clothes.  I love finding cute outfits for her, much more than for myself.  If there happens to be a sale on, then God help me!  This week Baby has done VERY well for new threads.

Our week began with a trip into town with our friends K & TB.  We popped into H&M (all K’s fault!) and I couldn’t help myself, such fabulous clothes in there.  Amazingly good value, even without a sale.  So I came out with a few bits for her.  Later that day I received a lovely email offering us £50 of shopping vouchers to attend an event the next day.  So on Tuesday myself, Baby and our friends went to the Oracle in Reading.  I was so grateful for the Oracle vouchers, which allowed me to feed my Baby clothing addition again!  As well as some other shops, I made my first visit to Baby Zara…..  Let’s just say it won’t be my last.

Yesterday a package arrived from my mum with another new outfit in for Baby.  I literally have no room left in her wardrobe.

On a serious note I think I may have a slight issue with shopping.  As I seem to shop for Baby clothes when I am happy, when I am sad, anytime really.  We haven’t got the funds to sustain my buying long term.  I do realise that children don’t actually need a lot of clothes, they certainly don’t need a new outfit everyday… They grow so quickly, but this knowledge only makes me buy a bigger size and roll the sleeves up!

Do you buy unnecessary clothes for your children?

Which word sums up your week?

 wotw Word of the week #14

My previous words of the week have been Organised , Overwhelmed,  Blessed,  Active , Cuddles , Play-Date/Illness, Change,

Horrible, Indecision,  Achievement,  Preparation,  Lunch and Change

I am also linking with #PoCoLo over at Verily Victoria Vocialises

4e4a1bf6 07cb 494b b06e f959b1fe1311 zps654d027a Word of the week #14

Baby’s Easter treats

Baby was born on Easter weekend last year.  However, any celebrations passed us by in our newborn, sleep deprived, paranoid state.  Although we are not religious (maybe rather hypocritically) I would like to get involved in lots of Easter events and put together some little treats for Baby to enjoy.  So far we have made chocolate nests and I have shared our Easter tree with you all.  I wanted Baby to have some little keepsakes and things to enjoy, so I put together a little gift basket.

Easter treat basket

As Baby won’t really be eating that much chocolate, I had to pick lots of non food goodies.  The things I selected are mainly soft toys and keepsakes.

easter basket goodies Babys Easter treats

Although I forgot to photograph her bunny ears!  Compulsory for an Easter picture.

Rabbit Bubbles £1 Tesco / Bunny ears £1 Poundland / Metal Chick Keepsake £2.95 Haskins Garden Centre / Henrietta Hens Egg Hunt £1.95 Tesco / White bunny Sainsburys £1.50  / Grey bunny £2  Tesco / Bunny with chocolate Tesco £2.95 / Ceramic White Bunny keepsake £1.99 Haskins Garden Centre / Spotty Egg £2.50 Charity shop / Happy Easter plaque £2.95 Haskins Garden Centre


I filled the basket (£1 from Tesco) with Easter coloured shredded paper (also £1 from Tesco) and popped a little bow on the handle (ribbon 3 strips £1 Hobby Craft).  Then I arranged all the goodies in the basket.

Easter basket Babys Easter treatsI hid the little white bunny (who say’s “aww somebody loves you”) inside the egg as a little surprise for her.

So here is Baby’s first Easter basket.  Will you be making your kids an Easter basket this year?



Share Your Wedding #12

Welcome to Share Your Wedding.  The feature that gives you the opportunity to re-live your wedding day and perhaps give some inspiration to the soon-to-be-weds.

This week we are attending Ting’s wedding.  Ting blogs over at My Travel Monkey and can be found on Twitter @my_travelmonkey

Hi Ting,  Introduce us to your family

There’s three of us, Steve, my husband who runs a loft conversion company; me – I’m a Deputy Chief Sub Editor on three weekly TV titles; and our little monkey Dexter, who is nearly 2 1/2.  We used to live in London, but have moved back to Surrey/surburbia to be nearer my parents.

Let’s set the scene..

How did you two meet?

Steve and I met while travelling on a year out back in 2001.  He was with his brother and three friends, and I was with three friends.  We actually met on a beach in Palolem, Goa.  I was immediately struck by his cheeky nature, but was actually in a relationship with someone.  So I didn’t pursue him at the time!

I kept in touch with Steve’s brother and we kept bumping into each other throughout our travels in Thailand.  Eventually I moved in with the group while we lived/worked in Sydney, Australia.  It’s there our relationship changed – and once we all got back to the UK, we had to do a long-distance relationship London/Manchester for a year or so before Steve moved permanently to London.  What a lovely story.

How long have you known each other?

13 years

How did he propose?

It was a week before Christmas 2008, and I was in a long meeting at work.  When I returned to my desk, I saw there had been six missed calls from Steve.

I called him straight-away and in a very sombre voice, he’d told me that we had been burgled and everything had been taken, including jewellery and Christmas presents.  They had smashed down the door and ransacked our flat.

He requested that I come home immediately (I had made arrangements to meet a friend for dinner).  So, in a state, I went home, ringing my parents and best friend, telling them what had happened.  I was crying the whole way home and had to walk through the pouring rain before getting to my front door, which was intact.  I actually waited outside in the rain, for Steve to come down and let me in, as I just assumed a locksmith had been and gone.  After 10 minutes, I began to get suspicious and let myself in, shocked my keys worked. 

As I entered our door, there were tea lights all the way up the stairs, and rose petals.  I found Steve on bended knee in our living room, and he proposed.  My first words were; ‘So, we haven’t been burgled??’ Steve thought in his warped mind that the only way to get me to cancel my friend was to get me home on false pretences!  I just asked why he didn’t ring ‘said’ friend and get him to cancel!  He didn’t think of that… oh well!  Wow! That sounds like some proposal!

How long were you engaged before you were married?

One year

Share Your Wedding

When did you get married?

We got married on 24 April 2009

Ting 4 Share Your Wedding #12You look beautiful!

How many guests, bridesmaids etc did you have?

We had 50 guests in total, 4 bridesmaids (all my best friends from school), my brother-in-law as best man and one usher.

Tell us about the venue’s

We got married in the Town Hall gardens in Ravello, on the Amalfi Coast in Italy.  We were married by the town’s mayor and had a translator. 

We then had champagne drinks in the town square and had minstrel musicians accompanying us as we walked to the reception venue called Villa Eva – a beautiful liberty-style villa overlooking the Amalfi coast.  We had the whole venue to ourselves.

We had a 7-course dinner including fresh ravioli, and seabass. Then danced the night away until 6am!  That really sounds amazing.

Did your wedding have a certain style?

Yes the theme was simple elegance and we wanted to have influences of my Chinese heritage – hence the red for good luck and we had Chinese-red packet favours and Chinese lanterns.

Describe your Wedding

It was a simple civil ceremony, and we had two readings.  Then the walk towards our reception was special.  What was amazing was the fact we were the first wedding of the season, so locals came out and cheered.  We felt like movie stars.  Steve and I are real foodies, and love wine.  So we really wanted to treat the guests to divine meal.  In fact there was far too much food and we were all stuffed.  Everything was grown in the local gardens and organic.  And we had a huge 3-tiered chocolate wedding cake adorned with red petals.  The dinner went on for so long, that the music didn’t get going until past midnight.  We had a brilliant speech by my brother-in-law who set up a show reel of really silly/embarrassing pictures of us both.

Our usher was so drunk, he took an heirloom teapot and poured his drink into it.  He got in big trouble!  It really was a big party.  I remember at one point the men were all stood outside smoking big cigars and the ladies were on the dance floor shaking their booties!

Ting 1 Share Your Wedding #12That looks like a good night!

What was your favourite part of your Wedding?
All of it – it was intimate and fun and I was able to talk to everyone properly.

What extra touches made it special for you both?

The whole experience, getting married in Ravello.  We went there on holiday a few years prior, and we knew it was a special place.  It was unlike any wedding I had been to.  Magical and fairytale spring to mind.  It certainly looks magical.

Did anything not go as planned?  Any funny stories?

The weather leading up to the big day was awful.  It was raining and cold, and we were worried sick that it would be a washout as everything was going to be outside and I didn’t want to walk through the streets slipping on the cobbles.  Thankfully, the sun shone, so we were very lucky.

Ting 2 Share Your Wedding #12Stunning!

Also, because most of the wedding party arrived in Italy the night before, we had a big pizza/limoncello party and everyone went a bit overboard on the booze.  Uh oh!

Our wedding ceremony wasn’t until 4pm, and thankfully my dad, and the best man and our friend Richard (who was going a reading) managed to sort their severe hangovers at in time.  My dad was so sick, my mum feared he wouldn’t be able to make it and walk me down the aisle!

Would you do anything differently with hindsight?

I just wish we could have invited more people and more people came.  The only problem of having a wedding abroad is it’s a big expense for a lot of people.

What song did you walk into and what was your first dance song?

I walked down the aisle to traditional Italian music.  Our first dance was to Paul Weller, ‘You Do Something To Me’

Do you have any advice for the soon to be married?

If you get just 10 mins during the reception, sneak off with your new hubby/wife and talk about the day and how you are feeling.  It was really great when we went upstairs and watched all our family and friends having a good time.  That made it really special for us.

Where did you go on honeymoon?

We went to the Maldives for 10 days and chilled out on a beach.  It was amazing.  And we both needed the rest!

Ting 3 Share Your Wedding #12What a beautiful picture!

Thanks again to Ting for allowing us access to her wonderful wedding.

If you want to Share Your Wedding just drop me a line

share your wedding button Share Your Wedding #12

Sloths, Sun and Shopping

Yesterday Baby and I were invited to meet Sid, Scrat and Diego from the Ice Age movies, when they dropped into The Oracle Shopping Centre in Reading.  We invited our friends T-B and K to join us for the day.  First stop for us was a quick wizz round Pri-marni, to snap up a few bargains then it was back to The Oracle to have lunch.  The Oracle have done really well in providing children’s activities for half term and ‘Golf Goes Jurassic’ looks great fun.

golf Sloths, Sun and Shopping

activities Sloths, Sun and Shopping

The waterside was packed with inflatable slides, water orbs and lots more.  I do hope they carry on doing things like this, so we can make the most of it when the girls are a little older.

Then it was time for the main event.  We made our way across to the roped off marquee where Sid, Scrat and Diego were resting.  We went to join the queue, but instead the staff ushered us through the rope to prime position at the head of the queue.  We took some pictures in the sun until they were ready to come out.  Baby was so full of cold, poor little thing, so we didn’t have our usual smiles.

Selfies Sloths, Sun and Shopping

I’m not sure the girls knew what to make of Sid, Scrat and Diego, but they did seem quite keen.  We posed for photographs and The Oracle staff were so friendly, taking pictures for us and even giving me a car parking pass.

characters Sloths, Sun and Shopping

The Oracle’s kindness was extended further when they gave Baby and I a fifty pound voucher that could be used in any shop in The Oracle.  I think The Oracle debit card is an amazing idea, especially as a present.  I am so grateful for this generous gift.  So after the meet and greet we tootled round The Oracle shopping for Baby.  I got some lovely things in H&M (one of my favourite shops for Baby shopping) and also bought Baby’s friend a little outfit.  Then we ventured to Zara.  I have never bought Baby anything from Zara, but wow, the clothes in there are amazing!  Baby now has a lovely Zara outfit and I could have spent a fortune if I had one.

So that was our day in the sun, with the stars of Ice Age and plenty of shopping bags.  Our two beautiful girls were so well behaved all day, until we got caught up in stationary crash traffic on the M4, when they both went mental!.  It was just the end of a long day for them both.

I would like to thank The Oracle for the opportunity to attend this meet and greet and for their generous gift of Oracle vouchers.


Disclaimer: We were gifted £50 of Oracle vouchers, but all opinions are 100% my own.

 ice age Sloths, Sun and Shopping

I am linking this post up with Jaime from Oliver’s Madhouse for Magic Moments, Charly from Podcast Dove for What’s The Story and Katie from MummyDaddyMe for Ordinary Moments.

magicmoments150x150 zps58f60c40 Sloths, Sun and Shoppingwhats the story Sloths, Sun and Shopping

ordinary moment link Sloths, Sun and Shopping

Our Easter tree

This will be Baby’s first proper Easter and so I want to do a few things to make it special for her.  So far I have put together her Easter Basket ( which I will share tomorrow) and we have done some Easter baking using our Salter goodies.  We have a few Easter activities planned for this week so I thought I would put some decorations up in our house.  I love the idea of using branches as a tree and decorating them according to the season.  I have seen many pre-made trees being sold for this purpose, but there is something more charming about using branches you have found and arranged.  Well I think so anyway!

There is nothing difficult about creating an Easter tree it is pretty self explanatory, but I liked how ours came together so I thought I would share it with you.

Easter tree Our Easter tree

First of all I grabbed some branches from just outside the front door.  I broke off any really crazy bits and then tied some Easter coloured ribbon round the bunch to give them extra stability.  I popped them in a vase (but a Masons jar would also work) and stuffed some shredded paper around the branches.  Then just decorate.  I added little fluffy chicks, felt rabbits and chickens, and sparkly eggs.

I decided to put ours in the kitchen and added some Easter bunting to our blind.  That way everyone who walks past our house can enjoy it too.

Do you have any Easter decorations up in your house?

Chocolate Easter Nest Challenge

Challenge header Chocolate Easter Nest Challenge

A few days ago Baby and I decided to bake.  We wanted to bake something along an Easter theme, so we decided to take part in the Chocolate Easter Nest Challenge.  We were sent some lovely goodies to help us with our baking.

Salter 1 Chocolate Easter Nest Challenge Salter Chocolate Easter Nest Challenge

First of all I made sure Baby had on her cute Cath Kidston apron, an absolute must to look good whilst baking!  Then I positioned her in the middle of the kitchen to prevent her from helping herself to any ‘toys’ she might find in our drawers.  Finally we were ready to bake;  to be fair Baby was more of a cheerleader, but she did sample the cornflakes.

I just made up a recipe along these lines;

50g butter

2 tbs golden syrup

90g chocolate chips

1 tbs cocoa

75g cornflakes

I lined a cupcake tray with 12 cupcake cases.  Then I weighed out all the ingredients using our Salter Geo Electronic Kitchen Scales.  These scales are really easy to use, have a clear digital display and you can reset them back to zero, so you can measure lots of things one after another in the same bowl.

Process Chocolate Easter Nest Challenge

I then popped everything, apart from the cornflakes, in a bain marie stiring occasionally with the Heston Blumenthal Precision Multipurpose Spatulas.  These spatulas can be used at high heat and are cleverly shaped to allow access to all the nooks and crannies.   Then, when all ingredients were melted and scrummy,  I poured the chocolate mix onto the cornflakes and mixed well.  The Precision spatulas were great for this as they let me mix well, but they didn’t crush and break the cornflakes.  After a thorough mixing to ensure all cornflakes were coated, I divided the mixture into the cupcake cases, popped 3 mini eggs on the top of each and put them in the fridge for 60 minutes to chill.  I set the Salter electronic kitchen timer and we went to have a little sit down.

Then they were ready for eating!

easter nest Chocolate Easter Nest Challenge

The kitchen equipment proved to be really good quality.  The spatulas range from £13-£18 and although I would think twice about spending this much on a spatula, they were far and away the best I have ever used.  Therefore, if you bake and cook a lot it may be worth it.  The scales have been reduced to £49.99 at the moment on Amazon and the Timer was £10.  I genuinely could not find fault with any of the products I was sent.

Disclaimer : I was sent the above items for the purpose of this review.  All opinions are my own and are 100% honest.


Living Arrows / The 52 Project 15/52

Monday for me means it is time to link up with ‘The 52 Project’ (Practising Simplicity) and the Living Arrows (I Heart Snapping).  The aim is to take a picture that captures the beauty and magic of childhood in our eyes.

‘You are the bows from your children as living arrows are sent forth’ Kahul Gibran.

This week I have struggled.  I have taken lots of pictures and have been lucky that I love quite a lot of them.  I couldn’t narrow it down to just one portrait, so for this week I have two pictures.  I love that they are completely opposite in expression and emotion.


Living arrows 15 Living Arrows / The 52 Project 15/52

91 Living Arrows / The 52 Project 15/52

living arrows Living Arrows / The 52 Project 15/52

practising simplicity Living Arrows / The 52 Project 15/52

Our ‘Classic Day Out’

We love weekends!  Waking up on a Saturday morning with Mr Hubby and Baby, having the whole day ahead of us, just perfect.  A day ready for an adventure.  We have been known to just get in the car and head off, with no destination in mind and just see where the road takes us.  We tend to go out for the day every weekend, to make the most of our special and cherished family time.

So far this year we have visited a few stunning National Trust properties, headed off to the beach, visited the animals (especially the Red Pandas for Mr Hubby, don’t ask!) at the Zoo and simply explored the various country walks around our home.

The next destination for us to visit would be the Safari park (Longleat is our nearest).  It is a great day out and combines all the things Baby loves and has experienced so far.

Meeting the animals

20130811 120807 Our Classic Day Out


Admiring the views

beach 20 Our Classic Day Out

Sampling the local cuisine with Mummy & Daddy

lunch Our Classic Day Out

Doing animal impersonations

20140406 134823 Our Classic Day Out

Obligatory swinging (MUST be done EVERYWHERE)

swing Our Classic Day Out

Chilling out in the car

baby sleeping1 Our Classic Day Out

Exploring the wildlife

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Stopping for a snack

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Occasionally though it all gets a bit too much for Baby

Sleepy Baby Our Classic Day Out

For this day out Baby would need comfy footwear, as she has tentatively started walking (only two steps so far but she is on her way!).  So she would wear these great little boots (Bailey Bow Children’s Uggs £100).  Her outfit would depend on the weather, but you can guarantee it would be cute!

bailey row petunia Our Classic Day Out

and I would pop on a pair of Bailey Button Bombers (£170), probably with some comfy jeans, ideal for walking around and exploring.

Casual button bomber chocolate natural Our Classic Day Out

There is nothing I hate more than sore feet (ok maybe I hate Tuna more than sore feet, but it is very close), so these would be perfect for me.

We would wake up early (because, let’s face it, there is no lie-in in the land of parenthood).  After packing the car with enough stuff to see us through a weeks holiday (obsessive over packer!), we would set off.  On the drive there Baby would probably have a little nap, as she likes to arrive fresh and ready to explore.

Our first stop would be the maze, so Baby could get out of the car.  The last time we were in a Maze Mr Hubby and I almost couldn’t get out.  So if we managed to exit the Maze, we might head to Postman Pat Village (how cool!).  I have heard that you can hand feed the Giraffes at Longleat, which would be a wonderful experience for all of us.  I imagine that our tummys would be rumbling by now and so we would head for lunch.  After Baby had thrown most of her lunch on floor, we would pile back in the car to go on the safari drive.  Making sure the central locking is firmly locked when passing through the monkey enclosure, as I feel Baby could feel a little too at home.  We would stop frequently to take LOTS of pictures.

So this would be a classic day out for our family.  What would be your classic day out?

This post is an entry for the Uggs Australia competition.  Why not pop over to either Annie’s blog or Alice’s blog to see what day’s out are rated by other families.