Friday, 31 July 2015

Our 5th Wedding Anniversary

On 31st July it will be our 5th wedding anniversary. We had a very small wedding on a budget so I thought I would share our happy day with you.
We got married on Saturday 31st July 2010 at 2pm in our local registry office. The weather was perfect, sunny and warm. I had my 3 bestest friends come from London and the rest of our guests were close friends. The night before I had stayed at the same hotel as my friends, they helped me get ready and then I travelled in style to the registry office in a Mercedes-Benz. I was half expecting to get to the registry office and Chris stand me up but he was ready and waiting.


Reception venue
I walked down the aisle on my own to 'Because you loved me' by Celine Dion. The ceremony went really quick and in a bit of a blur. We made our way outside with all of our guests to have some pictures taken and then it was time to go to the reception venue. The day after we got married we went on our honeymoon to Turkey, our first holiday abroad as a couple. 

We've packed a lot in in 5 years, highs and lows but best of all we've now got a gorgeous son. 

Happy Anniversary Chris. Here's to another 5 years.


Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Making the most of food in your fridge #wastelessjourney

I think we're all guilty of buying food we hope to put to use but in actual fact we end up throwing away because its gone passed it's use by date. I'm definitely guilty of this but I think over the past few months I've become better at using up ingredients before they go off.

I like cooking, I'm not amazing but I can throw together a good meal. As a northerner I think we know how to make a meal out of the most random ingredients whether it be a pie, bake or casserole. I quite like making fish pie and corned beef hash. Corned beef hash is probably my favourite as you can throw pretty much anything in it.

Corned Beef Hash

Ingredients
1 tin of corned beef
3/4 large baking potatoes
3 carrots
1 onion
Pepper
Worcester Sauce
Beef Stock cube
Optional: Shortcrust Pastry or Cheese
Method

  • Peel and chop the potatoes into small chunks and place in a pan of boiling water. Cook until soft.
  • Peel the carrots and then slice. Put into a separate pan and boil until soft.
  • While the potatoes and carrots are boiling, chop the onion.
  • Spray some cooking oil into a pan and saute until soft.
  • Open the can of corned beef and crumble up into a bowl.
  • Once the potatoes and carrots are cooked drain and then mash up separetly.
  • Option: If you want a mash topping then leave some mash to top with OR you could top with pastry if you have any.
  • Once the potatoes and carrots are mashed you can then mix together and then add the onions and corned beef into an oven proof dish.
  • Once everything is mixed together you can choose to add a bit of beef stock,  Worcester Sauce and pepper to taste.
  • If you have saved some mash for the topping spread it evenly and maybe add some cheese to the top. Alternatively use puff pastry and brush with some egg.
  • Place in the oven for 30 mins at 180 degrees until the top is golden.
  • Serve with beetroot, salad or some vegetables.
Joey's portion
I love making this dish as Joey can have some too and he likes it. Also if you make too much its good to keep for lunch the next day or maybe freeze.

What meals do you like cooking with fridge leftovers?

*This is my entry for the #wastelessjourney campaign.


The Waste-less Journey has been created by AO.com

Monday, 27 July 2015

Car seat shopping at Mothercare

You may have seen recently on my instagram that we have been looking for Joey's new car seat. The car seat he has used from birth was part of the Mothercare Xpedior travelsystem which he has been in pretty much everyday but he's now grown out of it. So it was time to start looking for the next stage car seat.

So 2 weeks ago I went into a new Mothercare store (which has opened inside of a Tesco) just to get some advice and suggestions on what I should be looking for. The senior sales advisor that I spoke to was very helpful and recommended for my price range the Britax Prince or Britax Eclipse. I wasn't going to buy there and then as I wanted to do some research on those 2 seats. The Prince had quite a few negative reviews so I discounted that straightaway, the Eclipse seemed to be a better option. While I've been researching car seats a day asking advice on parenting forums I've come across a bit of negativity over cheaper car seats or about rear/forward facing. Obviously having a secure and safe car seat is the most important thing but I can't quite understand the negativity I experienced when I said my budget was £70 and I wanted a forward facing seat. Surely if you're buying a car seat from a reputable retailer like Mothercare surely their products are safe no matter whether you spend £50 or £300. Yes I do understand that rear facing for as long as the child can is the best but kids have to face forward at somepoint.

I then finally decided to get the Britax Eclipse so I went back to Mothercare with the idea of walking out with his new car seat. When I went into the store I was expecting to be advised by a qualified seat fitter but the experience I got was not what I was hoping for. The first assistant that I encountered didn't seem like she knew anything about car seats, and she didn't even ask what car the seat was going to be used in. I asked for a demonstration of the seat on the instore bench, she had no problems fitting the seat but when I asked about how to losen the harness she had no idea. She then called over a colleague and she didn't know either despite going on car seat  training recently. In the end it took 4 members of staff to answer my question. By the time they'd all faffed around to help me Joey started being grissly because of his teeth and taking the seat outside to fit was not going to happen.

To make things even more frustrating they didn't have the car seat in stock so I had to order it online in store. While leaving the shop I was very unsure as to whether I had made the right decision 1) buying from Mothercare and 2) ordering that particular seat. When your making a purchase like a car seat for your child you want to be satisfied that you've been advised on a safe product. The car seat knowledge of the sales assistants was terrible and I probably won't be returning to that store.

We've been using the Britax Eclipse for about 4 days now and Joey is so much more comfy and loves facing forward and watching me drive. Because I have a 3 door car it does get rather difficult trying to strap it in. Once we've used it a bit more I'll do a full revoew. Mainly what I wanted this post to do is make people aware of the dissapointing experience I had.

My advice for anybody going car seat shopping...
- make sure you get the service and advice that you deserve.
- Don't walk out of the shop confused, address any issues or concerns before you leave the store
- make sure you feel confident about fitting the seat yourself
- is the seat suitable for your make/model of car?

This issue has been reported to Mothercare and the store involved have also been notified. Hopefully we won't have any problems to report in the review of the seat.

Thanks for reading



Sunday, 26 July 2015

Joey's 13 month update

Joey is now 13 months old, it feels like his 1st birthday was ages ago! This month has seen so many changes in Joey it's unbelieveable.

Teething
I'm not exactly sure how many teeth Joey has but I'm guessing it's 9 or 10 now. This past week Joey's teeth have been bothering him and he hardly let's me near his mouth. Two back teeth are coming through and his hand is constantly in his mouth.

Sleeping
Because of his teething Joey's sleep at night is somewhat all over the place and also because of the hot weather he's been going to get later. So recently we've only been taking him upstairs at 8pm and sometimes doesn't settle until gone 9pm. He then might wake up once or twice during the night and then wakes up at about 7am.

Feeding
He's now completely on cows milk, and has been on it for about 3 weeks. I think he can tell the difference as sometimes he pushes it away. He's still having 3 5oz bottles a day and then 3oz bottle at bedtime. I know he should be on just 2 beakers of milk a day but with his teething I'll just stick to what he's on at the moment. In terms of food he pretty much eats anything we give him, recently he has started to like tomatoes, peppers and strawberries.

Milestones
Since last months update Joey has come on leaps and bounds. He pulls himself up and cruising around the front room, he's so fast it's scary. His crawling is very weird, it's more like a bum shuffle but he still gets to where he wants to go. I'm hoping he'll be walking way before Christmas. He also chatters to himself quite a lot which is funny, it sounds like he's actually saying things. 

Joey has really changed over the past month, he's a lot more independent and doesn't need me as much which is sad. I can't wait for the next few months.

Thanks for reading
  

Friday, 24 July 2015

Weekend Mini Style #18

Seems like ages since we last did a #Weekendministyle post but we just didn't have time to do one last week.

Wednesday
On Wednesday we drove 100 miles all the way to Catterick Racecourse for the day. The weather was amazing and we all had a really good day.
Top: Ralph Lauren|Shorts: George at Asda

Thursday
I was meant to have a job interview but it was cancelled so we decided to go out for lunch at one of our favourite reataurants, Miller & Carter. 
Top: H&M|Jeggings: H&M|Shoes: Nike


Monday
We didn't go out as I've had the worst cold. At the weekend I had a mooch in the Tesco sale and found this Tigger romper, it was only £4.50...what a bargain! Joey has had quite a lot of Tigger clothes since he was born. 
Romper: F&F at Tesco


Tuesday
We popped out to go and look at Joey's new car seat and then nipped to Asda. 
Top: George at Asda|Leggings: Fred & Noah|Shoes: Nike

Friday
Today I had to take my car for it's MOT which meant Joey got to go on a bus for the first time.

Bib: Fred & Noah|Top: H&M|Leggings: Fred & Noah |Shoes: Nike

Sorry to bombard you all with so many outfits. Don't forget to link up with Sarah at Knott Bump & Us.

Until next time


The Knott Bump & Us

Monday, 20 July 2015

Much needed family time

Sorry I've been rather quiet over the last week or so. Things have been busy recently, especially last week Chris took a couple of days off from work so we made the most of his time off.

On Wednesday we drove all the way to Catterick Racecourse which is 117miles away from where we live. It was a lovely day, the sun was shining and all 3 of us were together. Even though it was so far away, and I did all the driving we really had a great day. We ended up getting home at 8pm and ordered a pizza and some chicken from Dominos.

On Thursday I was meant to have a job interview, but as I was getting ready I had an email to say it had been cancelled. So we decided to just go to one of our favourite reataurants, Miller & Carter for a lovely steak. Joey came with us and threw everything we gave him on the floor and was pretty unsettled because he's teething. In the afternoon I went to upgrade my phone, I love phones and always like getting the newest handset. I've had Samsungs for the past 3 years and in my opinion are the best phones ever so I upgraded to the S6. I'm so happy with my new phone!

The rest of the weekend was pretty chilled out as I've had a cold so I've been sneezing and bunged up for a few days. Having a cold in the summer is so much worse than having one in winter. Aswell as a cold I've also had some problems with my eyes over the past 2 weeks, I generally have really good eyesight but recently I've not been able to focus my eyes properly and it's made driving an absolute nightmare as I can't really concentrate on traffic. I've been to the doctor but I haven't been given a diagnosis yet and referred for an MRI scan.

So that's what we've been up to. Hopefully normal service will resume with the blog now.

Thanks for reading


Monday, 13 July 2015

Our 1st family holiday

It's been 2 years since Chris and I have been on holiday, for the past 4 years we've gone to Marmaris, Turkey every summer. We're now planning our first family holiday for next year!
In an ideal world we would have loved to have gone away this year with Joey but me not having a job means we can't afford it at the moment. But now that Joey is 1 and he can move around, I think it's now time to put him in nursery and me get a job so that we can afford a holiday. When we go away next September Joey will be 2 years old, so i'm hoping he'll be walking by then. We've chose to stick with Marmaris because we know the area well, we know where are the best places to eat and trips to go on. Also, Chris and I have had some great times in Marmaris that we'd love to continue now with Joey. The restaurants in Marmaris do some great food and we always love doing a bit of shopping while we're their too. Their is a great waterpark in Marmaris that we've always wanted to go to, so now we have an excuse. 

Even though we haven't booked anything yet, I've been thinking about the logistics of going away with a toddler.
- Do we book him his own seat?
- Getting his passport
- buying a stroller
- Private or package transfer
- Getting to and from Manchester airport
- flight times
I'm a control freak when it comes to going away, I need to get everything organised and known how everything is going to work. Because we've been to Marmaris every year, we know the resort pretty well so i'm not stressing about things when we get their. I'm just worrying more about the actual flight and then the 2 hour coach transfer to Marmaris. I don't even know why I'm worrying, Joey will be 2 so he could be a completely different kid to what he is now. I think he should be ok though, he's so laid back it's unreal and hopefully he'll enjoy flying.

My parents started taking me abroad when I was only a few months old, even though I didn't have the most normal of childhood holidays after my mum died, I'm determined to make Joey's holidays as good as possible. We're looking at staying at a family friendly hotel/apartments where we'll no doubt be self catering which is fine. I can't wait to get Joey involved in the kids clubs and making friends on holiday. I also can't wait to get him into a pool or sea, he loves the bath and splashing around so I'm sure he'd love it.
2012
2013
So hopefully over the next 12 months we'll be organising our first family holiday. If anybody has any tips or advice for travelling with a 2 year old please let me know.

Thanks for reading

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Weekend Mini Style #17

Another week means another weekend style post. We didn't do a post last week as the hot weather meant he was mostly knocking around in a vest.

Top: F&F|Shorts: H&M|Shoes: Nike
Thought this was a cute little outfit, we were only nipping out to do the food shop. The top is from F&F but is actually from the girls section, it was a present for his birthday that came with denim dungarees but you can't tell it's meant to be for a girl. The shorts are part of a different set from H&M.

Top: Matalan|Shorts: H&M|Shoes: Nike
We went to a car boot sale on Sunday and it was lovely weather. I think Joey suits green quite a lot, it's a cooling colour in the summer.

Top: George at Asda|Shorts: H&M|Shoes : Nike
I bought Joey's top ages ago from Asda it says "Mummy's perfect handsome little man " and has a camera on it. I thought it was lovely as we call him little man and i'm always taking pictures of him.

Top & Bottoms: George at Asda|Shoes: Nike
I bought this Tigger set from ASDA last week, I absolutely loved the colours and Joey loves Tigger. Even though it's a matching set you don't have to buy them together.

Don't forget to link up with Sarah at Knott Bump & Us 


The Knott Bump & Us

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Joey's Bathtime

From when Joey was a newborn he has always loved his bathtime. It's the most important part of his day and now that he's 1 it's getting difficult to lure him out of the bath before he shrivels up like a prune.

Before Joey gets in the bath I always get his towel, Pj's, vest, nappy, nappy cream, moisturiser, toothbrush/paste. Making sure I have everything to hand makes everything easier and I don't have to leave Joey unattended to nip downstairs to get something.
Bathing a newborn can be quite daunting but if you find that they love the bath it makes everything so much easier. Joey's bathtime has always been at night before he goes to bed,  usually he splashes about so much it tires him out. We try and limit his bath to 10mins or less because of his eczema, longer than that can cause the skin to become more dry. We've only very recently started to give him his bath in the big bath, up until he was 10months he was still using his baby bath. I'd been looking for ages for bath seats and I'd never seen one that looked good or safe, but then I came across the Safety First swivel Bath seat on the Kiddicare website and it seemed a good choice. Having to carry his baby bath from the kitchen to front room full of water was a nightmare and also killed my back so something had to give.

I ordered the swivel seat from Kiddicare, they have a choice of 2 colours and tbh I prefered the pink option. I couldn't wait for it to be delivered so that Joey could enjoy his bathtime more. In the bath we have a Munchkin Toy basket which holds most his small toys. He has these little cups with holes in the bottom which he loves to play with. He recently got some bath drums which he likes to play with aswell.  Most of the time though he does enough splashing to keep himself occupied.
Bath Products
Since Joey got diagnosed with eczema we hadn't been using any body wash, shampoo or bubble bath. About a month ago though I bought Childs Farm hair & body wash from Boots. Childs Farm products are made for children with eczema prone skin and can be used from birth. We also use a bath emollient in the bath that he was prescribed from the doctor. Along with all the other lotions and potions he's been prescribed, his skin looks amazing.

Do your little ones love their bathtime?


Tuesday, 7 July 2015

What to watch on Netflix in July

Last month saw some new TV show releases that are not to be missed!

For the adults...
Orange is the New Black - season 3 was released on Netflix on 12th June. I've already watched the latest season and caught up with the ladies of Litchfield have been up to. I hear a rumour that Season 4 is currently being filmed.

Grace & Frankie - a Netflix original series starring Jane Fonda & Lily Tomlin, their husbands of 20 years realise that they are gay and both families lives are changed forever. I've watched a few episodes already and it is really funny. Watching two families come to terms with such a big change and also Fonda & Tomlin becoming friends.

For the Kids...
Dragons: Race to the edge Season 1 - brought to you by Dreamworks, Dragons Race to the edge is a new Netflix original series from the creators of 'How to train your Dragon'. Starring Jay Baruchel and America Ferrera as Hiccup and Toothless lead the dragon riders soar beyond the boarders of Berk and discover the mysterious Dragon Eye, which is filled with ancient secrets that lead them to new lands filled with undiscovered Dragons. But the heroes find themselves persued by marauding dragon hunters who will stop at nothing to seize the power. This looks like a great new animated show for little ones.

Old school cartoons - Netflix has an amazing selection of kids cartoons, the modern animated shows are amazingly good but you can't beat a classic cartoon. Last month, Netflix did some research and found that parents are introducing classic cartoons to their children that they enjoyed growing up. Some of my fave cartoons growing up were Rugrats, Teletubies, Barney etc. I've already introduced Joey to a few Disney cartoons and he seems to like them. 

There are lots of new great film and TV show releases on Netflix, don't forget to check them out.



Disclaimer: As part of the Netflix Stream Team I have been given 12 months subscription and an Apple TV in return for writing regular posts about the service. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Orange is the New Black Season 3

On 12th June season 3 of Orange is the New Black returned, as a Netflix Stream Team member I did get invited to the private screening in London but unfortunately couldn't attend.
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After reading great things from my stream members I obvs couldn't wait to get stuck in to the new season, I'd waited ages since finishing season 2 last year. After I watched the first 2 episodes of the new season I got really bored and didn't get back into it for a week or so. This season is just not as exciting as the first two, does this mean their won't be a Season 4?

Just to recap the end of season 2, Alex Vause is back at Litchfield because of Chapman (how awkward). Despite what Chapman did, her and Vause are shown getting on with each other. Red was attacked by Vee. Bennett tells Caputo that he is the father of Daya's baby. Larry (Pipers fiance) and Poppy start an affair and they tell Piper about it. Season 2 ends with Vee escaping via Reds contraband hole. once out the other side she then gets hit by Miss Rosa, (who recently found out her cancer was terminal) in the prison van she stole. 

I don't want to spoil the new season on anyone that hasn't watched it yet but this season explores some of the main characters background and the reason they're in prison. They have touched on this in the other seasons but it also shows Officer Healey and Caputo's past.
Litchfield is threatened with closure but saved and new changes shake up all inmates and the officers.
People start to think that Norma can make miracles happen. Piper starts an illegal business and employs a few of the inmates as staff. Sophia is the victim of a hate crime and gets badly injured. A lot more happens but i won't give anything else away. 
  
The end of season finale sees a lot of uncertainty for Litchfield. Big changes are coming, lives are at risk as well as some friendships. The overall message of the finale is "Trust no bitch", if you've watched every season of OITNB then you'll realise that nobody can be trusted in Lichfield. The season finale just didn't feel like a finale at all. There are some unanswered questions:
  • Where's Officer Bennett? 
  • What happens to Dayas baby? 
  • Does Sophia get out of the schu?
  • What happens to Vause? 
  • Does anybody escape after the fence break?
So because of all the unanswered questions, I'm pretty sure there's going to be a Season 4. If there is a season 4 then I hope it's a lot more exciting than this season. Their wasn't really anything that shocked me, apart from when the new prison guard looked like he was going to kill Vause at the end. If you have watched both of the previous seasons of OITNB then definitely give the latest season a watch. 

What did you think of OITNB season 3???


Seasons 1,2 & 3 are mow streaming on Netflix.

                   
Disclaimer: As part of the Netflix Stream Team I have been given 12 months subscription and an Apple TV in return for writing regular posts about the service. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.