Our Favourite Books This Week – Week 1 

I love reading a fun book to the girls. Although we don’t read every night before bed we read most days. Eva now reads independantly quite a lot of the time but still likes to read out loud to anyone willing to listen. Izzy loves to be read to and is able to ‘read’ a book to us looking at the pictures.

The girls having such a passion for reading is something I’m extremely proud of to be honest. I think it’s brilliant for children to fall in love with reading and get lost in the magic of a good book. I try to keep their bookshelf filled with a variety of books and try to take the girls to the library too when I’m feeling up to it so we decided to start sharing some of our favourite books each week starting with this post!

So here are Eva’s favourite books this week:

Eva chose 2 books from ber bookshelf this week. She really enjoyed reading Disney’s The Aristocats and Bambi Grows up.

Eva says she loves the end of The Aristocats when Duchess & O’Malley get to live together, she really likes the pictures throughout the book too especially all the cute kittens! What’s your favourite part of The Aristocats?

 

Bambi being born was Eva’s favourite part of Bambi Grows up. She thinks he looks cute all curled up when all the animals come to see him.

Izzy’s Favourite books this week:

Izzy chose 2 books she borrowed from the Library. Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom – Magic School and Mr Men & Little Miss – Shapes

Izzy loves the Jelly flood in Magic school and giggles her head off! She asked Eva to read it several times this week. The girls have loved sitting up at the table reading this together and it’s lovely to watch and listen to.

 

Her absolute favourite was the Shapes book though as she learnt all the names of the Mr Men & Little Miss aswell as learning to recognise shapes well enough to ‘read’ the book to someone herself. She also gets up at the end to dance and sings the ‘I am a shape’ song from Mister Maker haha!

Our favourite book overall to read together this week:

Tinga Tinga Tales Why Monkeys Swing in The Trees is a bo0ok .y girls absolutely love! The Tinga Tinga Tales books are always fun and colourful and both girls love to read along shouting excitedly when the crocodile goes ‘SNAP!’. I will definitely be looking for more in the series to read to the girls as we all enjoy them.

Reading can be so much fun for kids with such a huge variety of books available. What are your kids favourite books to read? Do you like any of the books the girls have chosen this week?

My Sunday Photo – Harley Davidson 

Harley Davidson
Anyone that know’s me well knows I would absolutely LOVE a Harley Davidson, in purple of course! This Harley the Mr spotted is pretty cool too and owned by a guy who served in the para regiment and was enjoying a pint at the same pub as him.

I love the sound of a Harley engine and love wandering past the lakeside store and seeing them all outside… I’ll have to see if I can snap my dream bike for a #MySundayPhoto soon! Do you have a dream bike too?

 

Photalife

A Crazy Few Weeks

It’s been a crazy few weeks after I discovered last Wednesday I was entitled to PIP when I woke up and checked my bank account. A letter followed that afternoon. I didn’t quite know how to feel to be honest so I’ve been a bit quiet on the blog. I was quite relieved to have the back payment and be able to sort a few thing’s we needed but at the same time it made me feel quite low. My Anxiety & Depression have spiralled our of control because of Chronic Pain at the moment that I need this just to help me do simple things and make life a little less stressful!

I’ve found it hard to write or join in properly on twitter again which is quite frustrating but I’m feeling a little bit better about everything now and trying to focus on the positives.

It’s been a struggle to get out and about for month’s thanks to anxiety and pain making my life hell. I’ve been able to get taxi’s over the last week or so, something I usually avoid because of the cost. It’s been quite nice to go out and not hurt instantly from walking there or panicking about missing a bus or train. I have a lot of different appointments coming up with CBT, Psychology etc. It’s difficult having to go alone as the Mr has to look after the girls. Now I know it won’t be half as stressful going alone as I can take a taxi and not be late or stood waiting in the cold for up to 30 minutes!

I’ve been able to sort storage for the girls room so they have no excuse for it to be too messy. Hopefully saving my back from hours of tidying. Something I stress about regularly. I feel a bit guilty as I should have a quick tidy in there every day but I struggle to keep up with it all, hopefully now the girls will know where to put everything and keep it cleaner.

I decided to treat myself a little to try and make me feel a bit better about myself. I had my hair cut last week and then the Mr dyed it for me with my usual Schwarzkopf XXL Live Mystic Purple dye! He even did my brothers hair too which made Alex happy. It’s definitely made me feel a little less-self conscious being purple again.

a crazy few weeks

I bought a dinner table so we can eat properly at a table as a family, great for Family dinner’s! My brother Alex has found our family dinner’s give him a sense of normality and family life he missed out on growing up and he loves that. It’s nice for me too as I rarely see anyone these day’s, now it will be much easier so we can do it more often.

Although our day out this half term didn’t quite go as planned as 360 Play in Basildon were full and had to turn us away, the girls had fun in the arcades at Hollywood Bowl. I was a bit gutted but also quite grateful as the noise in the arcades was bad enough! I felt pretty anxious but with my brother there I managed to stick it out long enough for the girls to have fun.

Martyn & the boys came over this week too for a Greek day, it turned into a not so Greek day with only shields and swords being completed.. me playing with bubble wrap and paint may not have helped haha! It was a rather noisy busy day all round but it was nice to have a catch up and the girls obviously had lots of fun.

Eva/Elsa

Today Eva is off at a Disney Princesses and Princes workshop at the Thameside Theatre run by Creative blast. I surprised her and kept the day a secret right up until the last minute when I pulled her Elsa dress out and explained what she would be doing. She was a little confused at first bless her as she thought I had something important to do haha! The lady at the desk explained what would happen across the day and Eva got excited, even more so when she had her dress on! At the end of the day they are putting on a show which we will go and watch 20 minutes before the end of the day at 4pm. The day only cost £22.50 and it was a fairly small group of kids so I’m sure Eva will have lots of fun getting involved with the others!

 

#VicksTricks & Our Tips To Help Beat Colds

#vickstricksThis post is an entry for the #VicksTricks campaign. I was sent a lovely package to help us out including Vicks First Defence. Very comforting to have on standby in this cold weather!

 

My girls are regularly coming down with some nasty cold or bug especially with Eva at school, it’s completely unavoidable! We’ve all felt a bit rough over the last week so our #VicksTricks package couldn’t have come at a better time. We usually know they are coming down with something when they get a temperature, something 60% of parents agree on according to research carried out by Vicks.  We use infant Paracetamol to help bring down a temperature. When the girls are ill we spend a lot of time snuggled up on the sofa having cuddles.

50% of parents agree irritability & tantrums are another one of the first signs their children are coming down with a cold. My girls do get irritable and rather emotional, it can be difficult to soothe them with just cuddles and other distractions are needed.

Here’s a few ways we keep them amused:

  1. Read books – My girls love being read to when they are poorly and occasionally fall asleep.
  2. Watch films – New or old favourites keep them occupied for an hour or so at a time. (If you’re lucky they’ll fall asleep haha!)
  3. Colouring in – I tend to find their favourite colouring book.

Almost half of parents agree another sign their little one is coming down with something is loss of appetite. It is most definitely a tell-tale sign with my girls as they LOVE food! It can be difficult to get them to eat but we do have a few tricks.

We offer these

  1. A small snack buffet – Kids are even fussier when ill so we keep it small and simple cucumber, cheese, breadsticks/crackers & fruit.
  2. Yoghurt! – No matter how ill my girls are they never turn down a yoghurt.
  3. Fruit smoothies – Tasty and filling!
  4. Warm Chocolate milk – Helps soothe them off to sleep.

We use Vicks vapour rub to help the girls breathe easier and to clear up any nasty coughs. We find tying a muslin square with Vicks on to the bed post helps them sleep much easier too! Did you know it’s great for kids aged two years and older, but it’s proven to work just as well for adults too.

The Mr cooks up his delicious magic soup in the slow cooker for dinner with meat, potatoes, stock, pearl barley, lots of onion & garlic and any other veg we fancy throwing in! It is a magically warming soup which has helped us get through soo many colds over the years. It can be kept over a few days too, it just needs to be warmed by the bowl.

Talking of magic, have you seen this magic #VicksTricks video?

What tips & tricks do you use?

I Thought Being Around Would Make You Feel Worse

I thought being around would make you feel worse. Actual words I never thought I’d hear from a friend. It’s funny what people assume when you have chronic pain. How could having a long time friend message me or visit me make me feel worse than being pretty much ignored for 3 years?

It got me thinking though, is that what people really think when you have chronic pain or any kind of debilitating illness? Do they really think we just literally want to sit alone all day not talking to anyone at all? Do they really believe we will feel worse chatting to someone? As I told my friend, I am still able to chat and have a cuppa. Isn’t that what friends do?

It would be lovely to have a friend round occasionally to distract me from the pain. I live 5 minutes away from our nearest town. I can (slowly) walk to a café or Subway for lunch and a chat. How even sending me messages would make me feel so awful. I’m in pain, not dead!

Yes, I struggle with going out both physically and mentally but it’s a bit different meeting a friend you have known for over 10 years, why on earth wouldn’t I want to at least chat on Facebook or meet up? I chat on twitter a fair bit, admittedly there are day’s I’ll just like everything but even then it’s nice to be included.

To think someone would think it would make me feel ‘angry’ that I couldn’t do stuff like before simply by seeing a friend is honestly ridiculous! If I was in hospital with a broken bone or an infection people would come to check I’m ok so why because I live with this pain day in day out would someone honestly think it was best to just ignore me completely!?

I actually felt worse after that text in all honesty. It came across very much as now she’s hurt herself and lonely I should forget the fact she’s ignored me. Now she’s struggling and needs a friend. Normally I’d be sympathetic but in this situation I simply can’t be. I haven’t been anywhere, I’m always reachable and she regularly drives past and pops up as nearby on Facebook.

If you have a friend with any kind of chronic pain or disability please STAY IN TOUCH!

Go see them, yes it’s hard adjusting but it’s much easier with extra support and a friend by your side. They may cancel plans like going out because they feel rough, that fine. Go buy a ton of yummy junk food or order in a takeaway and sit with them. Watch a film, chat absolute rubbish with them, I guarantee you’ll be making them feel much better and more able to cope with their pain.

 

An Update On My Brother

I figured my readers deserved an update on my brother since a lot of them read about my worries last week when my brother ended up in A&E with a lung infection and suspected Lupus last Saturday.

Once he was home I carried on worrying about him and checking up on him regularly. I told him off for walking to town and ordered him to wear extra layers when he had no choice but to go (WE NEED A CAR!) for electric. Luckily by the 3rd day of antibiotics he was beginning so breathe easier and walk a little further but still felt very drained.

I went to see him and check he was really Ok on Friday and was so pleased to see he was looking and sounding a bit healthier! I dragged him out for some lunch before we went on our mission.

We have been trying to register him at a GP for well over a year but each one wants his previous GP address which he honestly can’t remember. His social worker gave him the wrong address in the Summer when she signed him off so we were a little stuck. With a whole heap of other stuff going on it was something we kept forgetting to chase up again.

Having been told in A&E they suspected Alex has Lupus and he urgently needed to get a referral to a Dermatologist it was the kick up the arse we both needed to finally get it done. Alex mentioned in A&E he has been struggling to get registered with a GP so they gave him his NHS number.. at last!

So on Friday our main mission was to get him registered and we FINALLY managed it! It’s literally just across the road from him and open later than most which is perfect for him. We both walled out of that surgery high-fiving each other and cheering! At last mission successful!!

He has to call back Wednesday to ensure he’s added to the system properly. After that he will be booked in for a new patient check. Then he can book an appointment with a GP and get a referral to dermatology. It will take a few weeks but he’s literally been without a GP for years now so a few weeks aren’t too sad!

When we got back to Alex’s I showed him my previous post, I admitted he’s mentioned a fair bit on my blog but nothing too personal which he didn’t mind at all and the photo’s of us he absolutely loved! Especially when I explained why I chose the ones I did. He decided we needed to start taking more of us together, another little tradition to add to the list, so I thought I’d share them with you all!

Check out that smile! (How similar do we look too!? haha!)

We chatted as we usually do about our past, the present and the future. It was lovely to see he is finally feeling positive and making plans. He’s come such a long way over the last year! A lot has gone on that I haven’t mentioned because I believe that’s his personal business but I am so proud of him!

He is coping so much better, he realises now he is far from dumb although he struggles with things. He realises now it’s due to not being taught the basics. Things like how to clean, how to cash a cheque etc. have always been stressful for him. He asks for help when he needs it instead of just getting frustrated with himself now. It’s lovely to see!

The last week he’s felt very depressed but he’s dealt with it well, popping to his neighbours for a chat & inviting a few friends round. Normally he would shut himself away and end up feeling a lot worse. I’m so proud to hear he had realised he felt low and did something about it before it got worse.

Alex has always struggled with sleep and fell out of routine over the last few weeks. I gave him the Philips Alarm I was sent for #BlueMonday from PowWowNow to help him keep it up. As I explained to Alex, I have children who make sure I’m awake each day no matter how I feel. I’m sure the Alarm will benefit him much more than me! (Thank you PowWowNow)

Alex suggested writing review the Alarm for me which I think is a brilliant idea. It would be great for other’s to see how he gets on and what a difference it makes. Maybe it will help someone else out too! So keep an eye out for his guest post at some point over the next month or so. Since his stay in hospital he’s waking up early and has been waking before the alarm starts. So hasn’t had a chance to test it out yet. Typical 😉 haha!

All in all Alex is doing much better, his lung infection seems to have cleared up well. Thank you for all the support I’ve had from my readers. It’s been lovely to get comments checking how he’s doing and suggestions to help him.

New Ozeri Frying Pan & Pepper Grinder? This Call’s for Steak!

Steak is the first thing I wanted when we recieved an Ozeri 26 cm Green Earth Frying Pan with Textured Ceramic Non-Stick Coating from Germany (100% PTFE and PFOA Free) and the Ozeri Graviti Pro Electric Pepper Grinder, in exchange for an Amazon review. As soon as they arrived all I could think about was steak so I sent the Mr off to the shops.

Whilst he was gone I looked over the details of the products and took a few pictures.

Utilizes GREBLON ceramic – an ultra-safe ceramic coating from Germany which is 100% PTFE and PFOA free (no heavy metals or chemicals).

  • Innovative textured pan surface delivers unprecedented non-stick performance without releasing harmful fumes or toxins at high temperatures.

  • Features a scratch-resistant 100 percent ceramic coating that is super easy to clean.

  • Made out of durable heavy-gauge pure aluminum with no heavy metals or harmful chemicals.

  • Boasts a comfortable heat resistant silicon coated handle, and a magnetized induction stove safe base for rapid heat transfer.

I couldn’t wait to see how the Mr got on with using the pan. Compared to our iron ridged pan the steaks came out AMAZINGLY! I like my steak really well done and it didn’t take anywhere near as long as usual. The steaks didn’t stick to the pan at all during cooking and came out lovely and juicy on the inside. I loved how easy cleaning the pan was too it’s a job I HATE but the pan wipes clean nicely.

Steak!

The Mr used the Graviti Pro Electric Peppermill to season the steaks as they cooked. It was lovely being able to have the pepper ground so finely and done so simply. It looks pretty stylish too!

Gravity Operated. Simply flip or invert to activate for effortless one-handed dispensing of your seasonings.

  • Durable eco-friendly ceramic mechanism easily grinds peppercorns, salt, and spices.

  • Seasons accurately with adjustable ceramic grinding mechanism that adjusts from fine to coarse.

  • Features a top-mounted grind adjustor that never leaves a trail or mess, and an ultra soft textured non-slip grip.

  • See-through container makes monitoring pepper level easy and reveals the grinding action. Satisfaction Guaranteed.

We’ve used these quite a bit a tested the pan out with eggs, veg, chicken etc and it’s absolutely brilliant!

 

 

A blog post wasn’t required for the reviews but I love them so much I couldn’t not share with my lovely readers.. I’m sure you’ll all agree a well cooked steak is important news to share.. even if most of you will disagree with how well cooked I have mine haha!