Friday, 28 November 2014
The children have written their letters to Santa. Mister A has a list as long as the Bayeux Tapestry - Lego Minecraft, XBox games and the likes. Little E has a list of toys from across 4 consecutive pages of the Argos catalogue - she got bored so Mister A just made a complete list of everything across the Frozen and Doc McStuffin pages for her. I'm sure they'll get lots of goodies from Santa - where we'll store them is a worry though! The house is already brimming with millions of toys that 'we still use' 'you cant throw those away!' - there's a never ending sea of unloved toys. Even so I've just doubled up my Clubcard vouchers to £80 and bought a load of new toys top add to the collection.
The biggest issue for me is the hubster. It was his 40th birthday in October so I took him on a surprise trip to Monza to see the F1.
It was amazing but I feel like Christmas will be a total let down for him now. Last year I got him one of those coffee makers from Tesco Direct - you know the ones with the pods. I think he managed two cups of coffee before I broke a piece off it by accident and it's never worked since. I was thinking about a watch but it's a bit 'meh' that isn't it - I mean I cant afford an expensive designer watch and I'm sure he wont want to wear an 80s style Casio digital. So what do I get him? More clothes? The cupboards are full! An over priced experience day? Grrrr I just don't know!!
Then there's my mum and dad - they have everything already! So I'll end up buying my Dad some CDs and my mum a new make up bag full of here favourite bits.... BORING!! There's nothing original out there these days - I'm well and truly stuck!!
I'm not sure I'm creative enough to go home-made but I'm lost for inspiration! Can anyone help?! Link to any helpful posts in the comments!
Monday, 20 October 2014
These got a lot of giggles in our house. These juggling balls groan as you catch them...or drop them as we found to be much more realistic. We've discovered we're all pretty rubbish jugglers so we've been plying hot potato with them instead as a fun Halloween game
Little E loves this little ghost. It's not too scary and unlike some flashing toys it isn't so bright that it gives you a headache. She has been playing catch with this while Mister A has been practising his zombie juggling!
Serving Bowl £2 - Sainsburys
If you're having a little party then you're going to need a serving bowl for your ghoulish treats. It's large enough to cater for a party and cheap enough to be able to buy a couple that will last years!
Light Up Pumpkin £2 - Sainsburys
Thursday, 16 October 2014
Freezing cold winds and endless, fine rain, all topped off with an eternally grey, overcast sky. There’s no wonder why so many people bemoan the season of autumn; after all, summer is such a lovely, fun loving time- who in their right mind would want to swap sun bleached frolicking for hundreds of layers and a resolutely high heating bill? Though autumn can be a very depressing time for even the most chipper among us, there are ways you can add a little excitement and happiness into your days, brightening up the dull months.
Delicious Hot Drinks
Having a lovely, warming cup of tea or coffee during a cold day is a luxury many of us like to enjoy, but buying endless litres of that sweet, somewhat tedious creation, the pumpkin spice latte, is an act that can really put a dent in the bank account, right at the moment we’re feeling a little low. Save money, feel happy and simultaneously cease to be a slave of Starbucks by making your own! Surprisingly, there’s actually no pumpkin in the fall fad, the taste coming from sugar, cinnamon, allspice, clove and nutmeg. No need to ever run to the coffee shop again! If you’re not a fan of the sweet latte but still love a coffee, try popping your coffee grounds into the freezer; they’ll stay fresh for weeks longer than if they were in the cupboard!
Cosy-fy Your Bedroom
The bedroom is our sanctuary, a place where we can escape, calm down and have some time to ourselves. Such is true; if not more true; in the autumnal months, but with summer trends likely still taking up space in the bedroom, hardly looking inviting, making your bedroom warm and cosy is a must. When it comes to beds, warm red, orange, burgundy- even patchwork- covers will make your room look great, and if you’re in need of a new bed, dark woods will make your bedroom all the more inviting; there’s lots of beds available at discounted online sites like bedstar, and you don’t need to fork out that much money for a great look. Candles and fairy lights are also must haves!
Warm Winter Cooking
With all that time you’ll be spending indoors out of the reach of the weather, autumn is a great time to indulge in a little cooking. Just today I have made a delicious, in season, Butternut Squash and Ricotta lasagne (recipe to follow)...
Pumpkin or sweet potato soup is also a great choice for lunches, served with crusty bread, and a spiced apple cake will go down well with all members of the family. Autumn is a great time to cook hearty, warming dishes such as chilli con carne, beef stew, and that quintessential warmer, the roast dinner!
Posted by Leanne Nash at 17:49
Tuesday, 30 September 2014
They sent us a link to their Amazing Ice Cream Recipes for inspiration and asked us to come up with some ideas with the children to create our own unique dream ice cream!
I was first up Now I LOVE raspberry ripple and I LOVE biscuits so I wanted to create something perfect for me. I poured some delicious Rowse Raspberry Coulis on to a plate as a base and using Waitrose Cornish Ice Cream as a base I used cookie cutters to serve two heart shaped ice creams on to the plate.
To finish I crushed some digestive biscuits and sprinkled them over the top.
It was absolutely delicious and would make a nice simple dessert after a romantic dinner.
Little E's loves animals so she decided to create a frog using grapes and chocolate chips. This is a great way of getting fruit in to fussy little ones as it involves them in making the dessert and they often try new things.
Chris went for a Winter inspired desert making a snowflake Vanilla and Chocolate Crumble ice cream with warm chocolate and gold fondant. He used Waitrose Gold Sparkle Dust mixed with melted chocolate which tasted amazing. He did steal my crushed biscuit idea though!
Finally Mister A got involved, although he was more interested in getting back to Minecraft so he just plonked a dollop of ice cream in to his bowl with some raspberry sauce. When I asked if he was going to decorate it he shook some gold dust on to it and ran off. It's spectacular isn't it!!
Why don't you head over to Waitrose and get some inspiration of your own. I think we'll be trying out Heston's Ice Cream Sandwich with fresh raspberry dipping sauce next!
We'd love you to share your ice cream dreams with us!
Disclosure: We were given Waitrose vouchers to buy the products used in this feature.
Monday, 29 September 2014
Kylie did not disappoint!! Here's a few pics from the concert and the set list too...
In My Arms
Step Back in Time
Your Disco Needs You
On a Night Like This
Hand on Your Heart / Never Too Late / Got to Be Certain / I Should Be So Lucky
Need You Tonight (INXS cover)
Can't Get You Out of My Head
Kids (unfortunately Robbie did not make an appearance)
Kiss Me Once
Get Outta My Way
Love at First Sight
Especially for You
All the Lovers
Encore: Into the Blue
Tuesday, 23 September 2014
Join the celebration as more than 60 of Disney’s unforgettable characters from 18 beloved stories come to life in Disney On Ice celebrates 100 Years Of Magic! You’ll be captivated by the one and only Mickey Mouse, the irresistible Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Donald Duck, Jiminy Cricket, Pinocchio and many Disney Princesses. Be thrilled by exciting moments from The Lion King; Mulan; and Disney/Pixar’s Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, and Toy Story films; in a skating spectacular filled with magical Disney moments you’ll remember forever as Disney On Ice celebrates 100 Years Of Magic comes to Manchester!
Second Time Mummy has teamed up with Disney On Ice to offer one lucky person the chance to win a family ticket* (*admits 4 people), to see the show at Phones 4u Arena Manchester on Thursday 16th October.
To be in with a chance of winning all you have to do is answer the following question as a blog comment...
What is the name of Buzz and Woody’s cowgirl friend?.... and confirm your entry on rafflecopter form. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disney On Ice celebrates 100 Years Of Magic is at Phones 4u Arena Manchester
15th – 19th October 2014
Tickets are priced between £14 - £39
For further ticket information telephone 0844 847 8000 or visit www.phones4uarena.co.uk or www.disneyonice.co.uk
The prize is a family ticket (admitting 4 people) to go and see the Manchester showing of Disney On Ice - 100 Years of Magic at the Phones 4 U Arena on Thursday 16th October 2014. Travel and accomodation are not included.
Saturday, 13 September 2014
Little E was four years old just 3 weeks ago and now she's already a week in to the school year. It feels like only yesterday I was holding her and Mister A in my arms, cuddling them for the first time, staring in to their eyes as I fed them. But it feels like a lifetime ago...
So many children these days grow up too fast for the wrong reasons... because they're watching things they shouldn't on TV or playing 18 rated video games. In our house we have a motto....
The time really does go so fast when you have little ones so make the most of every single minute. Dance with them, sing with them and make memories that will last a lifetime.
My top tip for any new parents out there would be to blog if you can or keep a memory book or diary for you to look back on in future years when they are flying the nest... because before you know it you'll be waving them off to uni or travelling and memories of those little people you once knew will be the only thing you have.
I'll leave you with this video that will have you in tears!
Disclosure: I received some Fairy Non Bio products and payment in return for my memories.
Posted by Leanne Nash at 23:45
Tuesday, 2 September 2014
Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway
We set off on Saturday morning (after some unexpected car troubles) and headed to Porthmadog - the home of the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways. Parking at the station is limited so we headed to a larger public car park - near Wilko's - not far from the station. After collecting our tickets we jumped on board the steam train and set off from Porthmadog on the 13.35. The journey took us up through the hills through Minfford and Tan y Bwlch finally arriving at Blaenau Ffestiniog at 14.45.
The train has a number of carriages including a couple of first class cabins if you fancy a little luxury on your trip.
TOP TIP: There are 2 and 4 seat tables so try and board as early as possible to get some extra space.
We started the trip on 2 small 2 seater tables but as quite a few passengers left the train at Tan y Bwlch we were able to sit as a family eventually.
The time absolutely flew by and if I'm honest I was surprised how the sights along the journey managed to keep the children entertained for so long. We spotted sheep, waving walkers and please look out for the beautiful waterfall just before you reach Tan y Bwlch - it's stunning!
We took a picnic to save on pennies but a refreshment service is available on the train where you can order soft drinks, tea or coffee and even a selection of licenced drinks from spirits through to Welsh cider. After a short stop and a stretch of the legs at Ffestiniog, we boarded the train again ready for the 13½-mile journey back to the harbour of Porthmadog.We all really enjoyed our trip up to the mountains and we would highly recommend it to anyone that wants to take in the sights of Snowdonia in a truly relaxing way.
A guidebook is available to purchase on board for £5 where you can find out more about the Ffestiniog Railway. In it you can read about how Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways is the oldest independent railway company in the world - founded by an Act of Parliament in 1832 believe it or not. In fact, the company introduced the world's first narrow gauge steam locomotives in 1863 and four of the original locos still remain!
Once back at Porthmadog we took a quick trip to the harbour before heading to the hotel for the evening.
The Celtic Royal
We spent the night in the beautiful Celtic Royal Hotel in Caernarfon, around a 30 minute hour drive from Porthmadog.
We were booked in to a family room, consisting of a double and 2 single beds. After unpacking we called down to reception to reserve a table for our evening meal.We were really disappointed not to have been able to get a later table in the restaurant (we wanted an 8 o'clock setting but we were forced to take 7.15 as the restaurant was fully booked - rather annoyingly though it wasn't full at all even when we left at 9pm and we could only watch what looked to have been a beautiful sunset from the window rather than over at the quay.)
The food at Brasserie Draco more than made up for it though - was absolutely delicious -and my risotto was the best fish dish Ive had in years!
We retired for the night but being all in the same room meant that we were restricted in what time we could go to bed ourselves so we got an early night ready for tomorrow's adventures.
King Arthur's Labyrinth
We arrived at King Arthur's Labyrinth just before 1pm. We were booked on to the 1.30 trip so we took a wander round the centre. There are lots of little craft shops to explore - a chocolate shop where you can make your own bar, a wooden toy store and a candle shop where you can dip candles. If you book ahead you can even build a piece of rustic furniture! With little time to play with, the children immediately headed to the adventure playground and worked off some energy.
We arroved at King Arthur's Labyrinth store a little early so we were shown in to a video area while we waited. At 1.30 sharp, a lady came to take us in to a small seating area where we were told about the adventure ahead. After receiving our hard hats we took the short walk round to the entrance of the cavern.
TOP TIP: Wrap up warm and wear wellies if you can as it's very cold and damp inside the mountain.
We walked through to the dark passage to be greeted by a mysterious boatman who ushered us on board. We sailed along, through a waterfall (don't worry you won't get that wet!) and disembarked from our boat. We walked from cave to cave to see and hear the wonderful tales of King Arthur and his men including King Arthur’s final battle - the Battle of Camlan. It was really interesting and we loved walking through the tunnels.
There is lots more to do on the site including an another attraction - Lost Legends of The Stone Circle where you can follow the snaking paths and navigate the maze to find mythical stories and The Stone Circle but we had to move quickly to reach our next destination so we ate our packed lunch and headed on.
Llechwedd Slate Caverns
The journey from the Labyrinth to Llechwedd took around 50 minutes. When we arrived on site there were 3 people flying overhead across the Quarry on the 'longest zip line course in the World' - it looked fantastic. The children are too young for that yet so Chris and I have talked about returning next Summer with Grandparents in tow so that we can have a go too! Anyway, I digress, we were there to visit the slate caverns.
After getting our tickets we walked to the mine area and, for the second time that day, donned our hard hats. We took a ride down to the mine on the steepest cable railway in Britain taking us hundreds of feet underground.
Our guide was fantastic, he told us about how the miners and their families lived during Victorian times. As you walk the half mile journey through the caverns you hear the voice of Sion Dolgarregddu - a young miner that went to work in the mine at just 12 years old. It was unbelievable to think how they must have worked the mines in such dark and dangerous conditions. The caverns were lit beautifully. Part of the tour sees you head down around 60 steps and as we moved through the lower caverns we came to a beautiful, natural underground lake - it was absolutely stunning. As we reached the end of the walk through, our guide gave us a demonstration of how the Victorian miners used their tools. We made our ascent up a further staircase and then back up top in the cable car. We finished the tour with a visit to the Mill where we were shown the ancient skill of slate splitting - Little E and Mister A were even given small pieces of slate to take away as a memento.
There is so much to do on site here from the zip wire and the mine tour to Bounce - the world’s first subterranean playground! Huge trampoline like nets are hung within two vast chambers at varying levels, linked together by walkways and slides, the biggest of which is a 60 foot slide! We would have loved to have a try but unfortunaley it was closed by the time we finished our tour. If all that wasnt enough then high up on 'Cribau', behind the historic headquarters of Llechwedd, there are four world beating downhill mountain bike tracks - not for the fainted hearted I would imagine but there are tracks for novices as well as more experienced riders. Finally on the way out we discovered a beatiful waterfall...
Seeing it was the perfect end to a fantastic weekend. Wales is such a beautiful country and we saw some breathtaking views on our 330 mile round trip. I'll leave you with some of the amazing Snowdonian scenery...
What's the Verdict?
We had the perfect weekend away and would highly recommend a visit to Snowdonia. To find out more about the huge amount of attractions that Snowdonia has to offer then visit www.attractionsofsnowdonia.com - go on - do it now!!
In exchange for this review we received a Deri cuddly toy, complimentary admission to the attractions reviewed and an overnight hotel stay.
Monday, 25 August 2014
He took about abhor to decide (I am not kidding!) and finally selected his ideal uniform from the selection of boys wear at Debenhams. These were his final choices...
Mantaray Long Sleeve Bear Top from £10
RJR John Rocha Turquoise Trousers from £18
Sketchers 'Yoke' High Tops £40
He loves the outfit so much that he decided to draw himself wearing it...
Here he is explaining why he choose his outfit...
Little E had a go too - although since she's only starting school in September the novelty of wearing a uniform hasn't yet worn off! She choose a Summer dress with a winter hat and scarf and some rainbow coloured Sketchers...
She did draw a picture too but she made me promise not to post it because she accidentally made her hair in to a beard!
So there you have it - our entry in the the #DebsDreamUniform Comp!
Your little ones can enter too over at www.mellowmummy.co.uk or www.brummymummyof2.co.uk
Friday, 22 August 2014
Friday, 25 July 2014
But what is The Color Run? (Spelt the American way!) It is a 5k race also known as the Happiest 5k on the Planet! At every kilometre there is an amazing colour station where organisers pelt you with coloured powder paint. Sounded interesting!
On the morning of the run I headed to Manchester on the train wearing my compulsory white tee. I was a little nervous but excited about meeting the other bloggers. When I arrived I tweeted using the #LVLoveLife hashtag and subsequently met up with the lovely Danielle from Miss Danielle and Sonya from Once Upon a Glam
This is us looking all 'white' before we set off...
After the run there was a huge party with some top tunes...
We stayed to party for over an hour before I headed home on the train. I got a few looks from people on the train who quite clearly hadn't a clue why I was in such a state! It was a fantastic experience and I'd love to do it again with the children. Huge thanks to LV who provided me with a ticket for this event. You should check out their post about the Top 5 Fun Runs!
Posted by Leanne Nash at 10:59
Monday, 30 June 2014
What to wear...
My capris were from Lidl - although I need to invest in a new pair since I fell at the start of the Mersey Tunnel 10k and scuffed them.
My trainers have been with me for a year and will soon need replacing. They are lightweight New Balance that I got in the John Lewis sale - I ran with them for 10 months before I started using the orthopedic insoles.
Other than clothing here are some great additions to your kit...
Since my Yurbuds arrived I've never looked back. I pop them in my ears and forget them. You don't feel them, they don't move, they stay were they are meant to be- they are AMAZING!
Next time you need new headphones (runner or not) I can highly recommend Yurbuds - and I do recommend them - ALL the time!
A bit about Yurbuds:
yurbuds sports earphones are designed to contour to the human ear so they never hurt and they never fall out. Designed by athletes for athletes, yurbuds provide premium sound quality, even while in motion. With exclusive TwistLock Technology - they never hurt, never fall out. Sweat and water resistant design FlexSoft comfort fit Ambient noise awareness Available in two ranges: Inspire for Women (pictured above) available in aqua, orange, yellow, green, pink and purple. Designed for women to fit smaller ears, two sizes in the box. Inspire Pro features a 3-button sweat and water resistant microphone that gives you full track, call, and volume control on your iPhone and iPod and a lifetime guarantee.
About 6 weeks ago I was sent a pair of SOLE orthopaedic footbeds to trial. They basically mould to your feet and give you added support when you run. Until then I had always just ran with the standard trainer insoles. You basically pop them in the oven on a tray for a couple of minutes than pop them in your running shoes (once the existing soles have been taken out). You have to stand in them for a minute or so to allow the moulding to begin, then after that everytime you run you're shaping them to your natural stride. The first few runs felt a little odd and it felt like I was working new muscles in my legs but since then they've been great and I love the added support.
A bit about SOLE footbeds:
SOLE orthopaedic footbeds give you unique support just where you need it by equalising pressure distribution, reducing plantar fascia strain, increasing balance and feel and providing natural heel cushioning. The moisture-wicking top sheet helps to keep your feet dry while the 1.6mm of Softec cushioning eases the pressure on your feet. You can achieve custom support from SOLE in minutes: simply heat the footbeds, place them in your shoes and step into them. The footbeds will mould to the shape of your feet as they cool to give you a unique, customised fit. SOLE Softec Response Footbeds cost £38 from www.yoursole.co.uk
A bit about SOLE dual layer socks:
SOLE Dual Layer Socks have two layers of blended Tactel, Coolmax and Lycra to reduce friction on the skin and prevent blisters from developing. They have a TensorFit arch band that ensures the socks stay in place and provide additional support. The seamless technology gives added comfort, the super soft materials wick away moisture and the mesh panels in the socks ensure feet stay cool and dry. Available in different lengths from www.yoursole.co.uk.
You just attach the device where the pain is and turn it on. You can wear it overnight or all day long - and the best thing is it REALLY works!
A bit about ActiPatch®:ActiPatch is a perfect solution for people, who suffer from any pain (especially after exercise) including sore muscles. ActiPatch® is an award-winning drug-free micro medical device which uses Electromagnetic Pulse Therapy to reduce pain and inflammation and accelerate healing. Its effectiveness has been clinically proven in eight medically published trials and has been shown to treat back and musculoskeletal pain on the body 5x better and 100% safer than over-the-counter drugs.
So there you have it - my must-have kit. It won't stop there either - Ive just treated myself to a Garmin Forerunner 220. I'm just getting to grips with that and I'll post a little review on here too!
Disclosure: I recieved the SOLE insoles and socks, the YurBuds and the ActiPatch to review for this post.