Friday, 15 April 2016

When your life gets turned upside down

Currently we privately rent. A few days ago, we were already having a rubbish day and we got an email that made it even worse - the landlord is selling his house! We have 2 months to find somewhere else and there really isn't much on offer around here at the moment which worries me a lot. I don't want to move away from the area - Oliver is doing really well at school currently and to have to change his school again would be really upsetting for him as well as probably set him back at bit which obviously, we really do not want to happen. Since he had his 'ears fixed' - grommets fitted, he's caught up a lot. He struggled before because he couldn't hear properly. So to change a shy little boy to another school again wouldn't be good - not only that but I've checked other schools in areas we could find somewhere and actually there isn't any space for him anyway so what then - home school?! I'd be rubbish at that, I'm not going to pretend that I would be good at that because there's no point. I am not a teacher in a school, I'm a mother and whilst I do teach my children things, I'm unable to offer that school environment that I think benefits children very much indeed.

So the hunt is on to find somewhere & quickly!

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

An inspired update - food one!

I'm finding it tricky to have time to go to the gym at the moment - it's still easter holidays for Oliver so I've got two children to find someone to look after. Also, walking back it's so dark and to be honest I don't like one bit of the walk back in the dark on my own so I don't want to do that. I have been continuing to feel inspired with my food though, they really have changed my meals already!

I wanted to keep a little update here every so often about food I have been eating.

For breakfast instead of coco pops I have changed for thing such as turkey bacon with scrambled egg or poached eggs on salmon.
For lunch I have swapped my cheese & ham or tuna mayo sandwich with a packet of crisps and a chocolate bar (or 2) for a wholemeal wrap, cooked chicken & spinach with peppers. Or a turkey stir fry with rice noodles.
For dinner I have swapped my chips for sweet potato chips, I have been having things like homemade burgers with sweet potato chips and veg or a chicken stir fry.
I'm feeling really inspired food wise, being a binge eater it's really a big deal to me to eat better and honestly feel like I've been eating completely different things AND enjoying them the last few days!

Have you got any favourite healthier options at the moment? Please share them if you do - @mummymemories on twitter or you can find me on facebook - facebook mummy memories

Another first for Oliver! He's been waiting for this one.

As soon as you get pregnant there's so many 'firsts' that happen... first scan, first kick, first labour, first baby, first smile, first laugh, first word and first steps - the amazing list goes on and on.

Today we had another first, it's been a while since we had a first and this one was a first that made me shout wow that's so cool and give Oliver a massive cuddle. I don't know why but it made me a little sad, sad because it makes it all a bit more real about the fact he is actually growing up, getting bigger and soon will no longer want to hold my hand or give me cuddles. You've probably guessed what the first was by now... He finally has his first wobbly tooth! Oliver is 6 & a half years old, some of his friends have been losing their teeth for a while and he was getting a little inpatient about it all but today when he sat down to eat his lunch, he noticed his bottom tooth was wobbly. We had to call grandma straight away to let her know the big news! He was so excited that finally a tooth is wobbly.
He was also jumping up and down at the fact that the tooth fairy will soon be making her first visit to our house! He then said to me that the tooth fairy pays about £8 per first tooth and a £1 coin for each tooth after... SAY WHAT! £8... as if. I told him, I don't think so Mr Oliver. It's £2 for the first tooth and 50p thereafter actually! (£8?! Mum where is my other £7.50?!)

I told him that the fairy gives max £2 per first tooth - it has to be in perfect condition so lots of brushing your teeth and 50p per tooth after that... He was very happy with that, he's still at that innocent age where he just thinks £1 is a lot of money. If only hey?

How much does the tooth fairy give in your house? Do you have a little box to keep their first tooth in? I will definitely be adding Oliver's to his baby box.

(I must make sure that I remember to have coins in the house now!)

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Nail polish that actually dries quickly!

Recently I've had a few nice comments about my nails and thought I'd share what nail polish I'm currently using here.

Why? Because I was so fed up of spending money on nail polish that just didn't live up to my expectations! I haven't been asked to write this post and I have no been gifted the product, I just think they're great and wanted to help others with nail dramas!

I guess I want to add a new bit into my blog that isn't just mummy mummy mummy... to go with my Fat To Fit!? Section. I know I'm a mum, I love being a mum and I feel very lucky to be a mum but sometimes I don't feel like 'me' anymore, I don't ever get my hair cut and I quickly dye my own hair every now and then when I can actually be bothered. So I thought it would be nice to start spending more time doing something for myself = nails.

I love having freshly painted nails, it's a little pick me up and having an option of different colours enables you to feel different with little effort required. It's nice to feel girly. I used to spend double if not more on a single nail varnish with one of the top brands but now I want various colours and prefer to get a bargain. Another reason I'm always going to be painting my nails now is to stop me from binge eating!

What I really want is nail polish that will dry in less than a minute - like actually dry in less than a minute and not just say it on the bottle!
So then I found the brand 'seventeen' in our local Boots and decided to give it a go. It costs £3.99 and currently they have a buy one get one half price offer on. I love that I can quickly paint my nails and not have to wait ages for them to dry so if I'm going out, I can still have my nails sorted quickly!

Have you used this brand before? What did you think? I'd love suggestions for other beauty products too. Feeling inspired for a new me!

Mary-Kate, x

Days out in Hetfordshire this Easter Holiday

This year in Hertfordshire our Easter school holidays fell weirdly so our children go back to school on 19th April having gone back to school Tuesday-Friday after Easter Sunday = weird. But on the plus side, hopefully the second week of our Easter holidays will be quieter and we'll be able to enjoy some less busy days out as a family.

I thought I'd share some of the places we have been either in Hertfordshire or locally to Herts for suggestions of days out.

Firstly, we went to Willows Farm at the weekend and although it's not the cheapest of days out, it was really good and somewhere that you can definitely spend the entire day as a family. If you book online you can save some money on entry so planning ahead is definitely important with this one! You can see what we thought about it Click here

Another great place to visit is Aldenham Country Park, there is a lot to see and do here including the farm, walking around the lake, feeding the ducks, visiting 100 acre woods if you've got winnie the pooh fans and also pony rides. There are varies charges but it isn't too expensive and it's great to get the children out doors. You can read what we got up to at Aldenham Country Park click here

RHS Wisley isn't too far away and it's a fantastic garden to get the children out and about exploring in. There's so much to see that with little people we hardly ever get around a lot of it. It's ideal for a picnic and they also have a few places you can buy food too. You can have a look at what we got up to when we went a little while back, although they won't have butterflies there currently - something to remember for next year though! Click Here

RAF Hendon is a really good day out for children and adults alike, we enjoyed the spitfire experience here not so long ago as a special treat for Oliver trying so hard at school. We have been a few times now and the children would happily go again. There's a small charge for the carpark but other than that it's a cheap day out! They have a picnic area inside which is handy if like us you like to take your own food. Click here

If you want to splash out then Kidzania in London is fab - a little further to go but it's really good. Unfortunately it's only for 4 hours though and it's not the cheapest of days out so really it's a special treat option that won't last all day! However you won't find somewhere else like this Click here 

If you like soft play areas then Gambado's is a great option you can have a look what we thought when we reviewed it Click Here 

Other ideas include; swimming, cinema, bowling, the park - my favourite is still one in Bushey called Kings Georges park.

What have you got planned for the school holidays?

Mary-Kate, x

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Travel Gro Bag from The Gro Company

The Gro company is a brand that as a family we have grown to love! They would definitely feature on my must buy for new baby feature right now if I were to post one. Now we have several products created by them and one of our favourites is definitely the Travel Gro bag which makes life so much easier when travelling with a baby/toddler. The Travel Gro has holes so that a five-point car seat harness (and pushchair straps) can fit through meaning that you can use this in the car or pushchair instead of blankets which would most probably fall off.

This product is so ideal if you're off on a long journey and want to have your baby ready to pop straight into bed once you get home! Or if you've got an early start you could quickly change their nappy and pop them in the car to (hopefully) continue their sleep. Isabelle loves to just snuggle up in hers - it's so warm and cosy that's probably why.

OR if you're one of the parents that finds themselves driving around to get baby to sleep - this product is made for you!

The bag comes in a lovely selection of bright colourful designs like all of the products by The Gro Company the material is good quality and made to last. It's super soft and washes lovely. I have been using this bag for just under 8 weeks now and it is still looking like new which is a massive thumbs up from us! We love products that are made to last and actually I have some of Oliver's gro bags from when he was a baby and although they may be blue - they are perfect still. I think they're all unisex really - what does it matter if a girl uses a boys gro bag and a boy uses a girls gro bag? At the end of the day - they're in bed.. asleep! As long as they're cosy and warm.

I know not all babies/toddlers like to sleep with a grobag on but Isabelle sleeps so much better with one, so if you're considering one because your child keeps kicking off their covers and getting cold therefore waking up and waking you up from that amazing sleep then I'd definitely suggest giving one a try.

We haven't come across any problems so far or anything that I would change about this gro bag to be honest with you. It's now the perfect part to our bedtime routine.

This one retails for - £26.99 which I wouldn't want to buy loads of but the brilliant thing is that you don't have to, this one seems to be lasting really well! Having 2 grobags means that one can be in the wash and one can be used. You can get cheaper versions but they just aren't as good. We have had several and they don't wash as well as the gro company's ones, they are not made as well and their sizes are not as generous.

I know my 2 year old would move her head if a blanket went over it now but I guess I'm in that habit where basically I don't want to take the risk. She doesn't yet have a pillow - I haven't been that brave yet. Being an anxious mum, I just love how safe this product is, it makes me feel reassured that I don't need to worry about Isabelle wearing it all night long and I used them when she was younger too - as soon as she weighed enough she moved from her swaddles to a grobag.

Now she's at a cheeky age, I'm noticing little things such as the zip being hidden behind popper fastenings to prevent her from getting out of it before I want her to!

There's plenty of room within this gro bag so she can kick her legs around and move around easily when she's fast asleep without feeling constricted whilst not being able to kick it off completely being left cold for the night = waking up. I still don't understand why everyone isn't using gro-bags it makes perfect sense to us as the child is so safe inside.  We were sent 2.5tog which is keeping her nice and warm, it's age 18-36 months so she'll be wearing it for some time yet as she's fairly small for her age.

I wouldn't hesitate in recommending this product to a friend, it's an investment for peace of mind at bedtime that also doubles up as something you can use on the go. If you go on holiday this is ideal too! *Michael, I'd love to go on holiday by the way...* Got to get the hints in somewhere huh?

Grobag's come in different togs - 2.5tog, 1tog and 0.5 tog meaning you can use grobags whatever the weather is deciding to do! Trusted multi-award winning company who are recommended by the lullaby trust, they also include a free nursery thermometer and what to wear guide in 0-6 and 6-18 months. (We have this still in Isabelle's room)

I've washed this a lot of times as I said and popped it into the tumble dryer and it's been fine!

Have you used a grobag for your baby before? The Gro Company

*please note that this product was sent to us for free but all of the views are my own*

Trainers for fat feet

I hate to admit this but I've got fat feet. 
My feet appear to have got even wider as I've got wider too so is there any chance I could get skinnier feet when I lose weight?? No.. ok.

Well that's fine because I've found some trainers that are super comfy for wide feet! I've had some before by New Balance but decided that for starting at Inspired Personal Health and Fitness that I wanted something new something bright and that I wanted something a little cooler so off I went to try on loads of trainers...... to decide actually no, they weren't comfortable and what I really wanted over all was to be comfortable. I wanted new New Balance ones. I found some I really liked the look of online on their website and decided to have a google to see if I could find them any cheaper as the were £75!! And I did find them cheaper, on Amazon! (I love amazon) They cost me £28.99 and had amazon prime so I got them the next day.

So far I haven't found any trainers that fit wide feet as well as New Balance, these ones are so much brighter than my old pair and just seem a little cooler because of the colour! I am really pleased with them (and their price too).

Have you got any amazon bargains lately? I ordered a sports bra too - no no no, not comfy and not happening. My hunt for a new sports bra continues! So suggestions very wecome!

Mary-Kate, x