Saturday, 31 December 2016

Top 9 Instagram Pics 2016

You've probably seen everybody finding out their top 9 pictures on Instagram for 2016. I decided to see what my most popular one's were and I have to say I was quite surprised which one's came out on top. I've written this post to give a bit of a background to each pic.

1) This picture is actually one of my favourites from the year. I adore my selfish mother tee. This pic was taken when we decided to head out for an impromptu meal at a pub and we had a fab time. I need to get this one printed and framed.

2) This was taken at Barry Island. It's hard to believe it's one of our local beaches. I loved the colours in this. 

3) This was taken on our holiday to Turkey. It just sums up motherhood for me. The baby in the carrier and Eva in the stroller. They are such life saving products for parents. You can read my reviews of them here, BabyBjorn Carrier and Cosatto Stroller.

4) This pic of Ophelia and I was from our recent trip to Disneyland Paris. I love how natural it is. We are a huge Disney loving family and this just epitomises our trip. It was full of laughter and happiness. 

5) This pic is of Ophelia in soft play. It was when she finally started to enjoy herself there. I must admit I hate soft play at the best of times but to have to go with two children, when one of them couldn't do anything was a nightmare. Now she can actually have a play it's not so bad.

6) This flatlay features the gorgeous Jord watch I was sent to review. It's fab. It matches everything and is so unique. You can read more about it here, Jord Watch.

7) This picture was taken at a blogging event at Ken Picton Salon. We were invited to have a pamper night out where we had our hair and nails done. It was great. I was taught how to give myself a bouncy/curly hair style that is shown in the picture. You can read more about the evening here, A pamper evening at Ken Picton.

8) This picture was a surprise for me. I do adore the picture but I was surprised to see it was one of my most popular this year. It's one of the doors at the stunning Dewsall Court. I'd love to have a door like this to my house. It's rustic but homely. You can read more about Dewsall Court here, Dewsall Court.

9) This was a special day. This was Ophelia's first birthday. I love this capture. Hubby and I made the cake so to see how happy she was when she saw it, is amazing. I can't believe she is 1 already. That year went very quickly.

So there you have it. I'll try and do a post with my personal favourite images but these were the most popular. Which one is your favourite?

Friday, 30 December 2016

Dewsall Court - An Introduction

I was recently invited to spend the day at the beautiful Dewsall Court which is set in stunning Herefordshire countryside. Dewsall Court is now an exclusive venue for any of your events or family stays. 

The house is steeped in history with it being built in 1644 by Richard Pearle who stayed there with his family for over 100 years. It was then owned by Guys hospital for over 300 years. After the war the house changed hands a couple of times but was left is despair. The current owners, The Robinson family bought the house in 1989 and spent a decade restoring it to a lovely family home. In 2009 the family moved out and decided to make the house the exclusive venue that it is today.

I drove from Cardiff and it took me just over an hour. The drive was very scenic but nothing compared to the spectacular views I was treated to as soon as I drove through the gate into Dewsall Court. The house is surrounded by gardens, a barn, out buildings, a lake and a church. 

There was a gorgeous wreath on the door which I had to capture. Upon entering I immediately felt at home. Amongst the grandeur of the house there is a cosy, welcoming vibe in which you instantly feel relaxed. Perhaps it was the rustic smell of the wood fire or the sweet scent of the home made chocolate cookies (which were divine by the way). We sat down in the kitchen for a fresh cup of tea and introductions. I was pleased to see familiar faces in my blogging friends Mel from and Laura from

Next up we had a tour of the house. I couldn't wait to explore it. The grand dining room is the perfect place for large parties whilst the smaller dining room provides a more intimate setting. The study was spectacular. It reminded me of how my grandad had his study decorated. The lounge area was big with plenty of seating areas. 

We then headed up the grand staircase to an open games room. You could envisage lots of fun to be had on that floor. 

We were then shown around all of the unique yet in keeping with the house, bedrooms. They were all stunning. With every room I entered I declared that as my favourite. I would want to sleep in all of them. They all had bathrooms that were equally exquisite with bathtubs that I just would not want to jump out of. The views were all breathtaking, no matter what room you were in.

We were also given a tour of the Wainhouse barn which is used for events and weddings. It was magical. It had a rustic feel to it and I can only imagine how beautiful it would look decorated. 

Picture Taken from Dewsall Court Website

After the tour of the house we sat down to enjoy their 'Fire and Ice' menu. The menu was seasonal, showcasing the best of local winter ingredients. To start we had a beetroot Borsch which was served in a teacup. 

Next was smoked trout, brown shrimps, rye crisps and pickled rainbow vegetables. I found this course very refreshing and light.

Our main meal was my favourite from the menu. It was lamb, blackened potatoes, confit onions and kale. Kale is one of my favourite things to eat so I was very pleased to see this on the menu.

Last up was the dessert which was very special and right up my street. It was a hot chocolate and sloe gin pudding. I love sloe gin this time of year but this was the first time i'd had it in a dessert and I was not disappointed. It was incredibly rich but super delicious.

I had the most wonderful day at Dewsall Court and I didn't want to leave. It is truly an enchanting place. It is perfect for a wedding. It makes me want to renew my wedding vows. Dewsall Court is the ideal place to celebrate a momentous occasion or simply for a family get together. It sleeps up to 27 people so there is plenty of space. The house has the ability to make you feel at home but is also magical, unique and extra special.

Keep your eyes peeled on their events section as they have dinner parties and other unique events.


Tuesday, 27 December 2016

The Disorganised Mother at Christmas

I've decided to be a bit honest about Christmas. I'd love to tell you that it was the most fantastic time of the year and that I enjoyed it 100% but honestly it was pretty stressful. Every year I tell myself I will be more organised but it never happens and it all ends up being a mad rush and I don't get to enjoy half of it.

Last Christmas I said the same thing. Next year I will start my shopping early. We didn't have a very good Christmas last year as my mother in law had died about 4 weeks before so my husband's heart just wasn't in it. It was a crap Christmas in fact.

I desperately wanted this year to be different but September came and went and I hadn't made any lists. Then my husband got made redundant so that put a bit of a dampener on this time of year and that I had to return to work. This meant that I wasn't free to keep the house in shape and of course start the Christmas shopping.

My mum and family also decided to come back for a holiday from Australia for 3 weeks and were landing on 23rd December. I couldn't wait but there were home improvements that needed to be completed by the time they came back and we also had to buy new beds for them to sleep on as our spare room became Ophelia's room when she was born.

My husband is extremely easy going. He's so laid back, he's horizontal. He's always late for everything and seems to do everything very last minute. You can imagine how much stress this caused me over the Christmas period when we needed to get everything done.

So let me take you to December 22nd. I was still Christmas shopping in town, buying anything. I was gutted as I knew I hadn't thought about gifts properly and was just getting whatever was left at this point. I got home at 10pm, exhausted.

Then it was December 23rd, the day I had to pick my mum and sisters up from Heathrow. Instead of doing nice things with Eva and Ophelia I was ironing, cleaning and wrapping presents. My husband was in IKEA buying any beds he could find. It was a nightmare. He was then moving furniture around and in general causing chaos. I left to pick my family up from the airport and got back after midnight and didn't go to bed until 1.30am. 

I was then up at 6am to look after the kids. I was one tired, stressed out mummy. Christmas eve should be a day to be enjoyed but what was I doing, manically wrapping all the presents in a very haphazard manner. We did manage to pop to our local winter wonderland for a couple of hours which was lovely. I threw together a Christmas eve box with anything I could find in the local supermarket. This really upset me as this was a tradition I started on Eva's first Christmas and all i'd put in this basket was a load of crap and she knew it. She didn't like it at all. That was the start of the mum guilt.

We finally got Eva to sleep and I realised that we hadn't put anything out for Santa. She'd made bags of reindeer food and I felt awful. So what did I do? I woke her up. Bad mum alert. She loved putting the plate out for him but again the mum guilt started as not only had I woken her up but it was once again a half hearted attempt at something that should be so special to a child.

Christmas morning started early (after a very late night to bed the night before). Eva was happy but then I heard the words that Santa didn't bring me what I wanted. My heart sank. Hubby also upset me but i won't go into that. I managed to keep it together for a while but then had to take myself off to bed for a nap where I just cried. Silly I know but I sobbed for a good hour. 

Mum guilt can be such a bitch (excuse my language) and don't our kids have the ability to make us feel like heroes once second and the worst parents on the earth the next. I knew this year was mostly my fault for being so disorganised. I really wanted it to be stress free, easy and enjoyable as it was Eva's first year of really understanding and she was so excited. 

I've put all this in a blog post so that next year I can remember just how horrible it was and hopefully get my shit together. Christmas should be a time for family enjoyment and special moments not rushing around trying to make everything perfect but missing out on all the excitement.

How was your Christmas? Were you a disorganised parent or did you manage to get it all sorted with plenty of time to spare?


Saturday, 24 December 2016

The Christmas Blogger Interview - Twinderelmo

Next on my Christmas blogger interview is one of my blogging besties, Beth who writes at

1 Do you have any family Christmas traditions?

We kick off Christmas with putting the tree up just before Charlie's birthday and a trip to the pantomime has become part of the build up. Everyone usually comes to ours on Christmas Eve for a takeaway and everyone goes to bed in new pjs.

2 What’s your ultimate Christmas movie?

I love Home Alone and Charlie too has fallen in love with them. It reminds me of being young and my sister watching them on loop thanks to her crush on Macauley Culkin!

3 What 3 songs would be top of your festive playlist?

A Fairytale of New York as it always reminds me of my Dad belting it out in the car as kids! I also love Do They Know It's Christmas and Slades Merry Christmas. I love the old ones

4 Are you an online shopper or do you go to the actual stores?

Online all the way for me but my sister and I always have an annual trip at the start of November as she's old school and likes to go to the actual shops so that's the only time I really go.

5 Do you make shopping lists or buy things when you see something nice? 

I never make a list, totally just wing it and buy as I spot stuff.

6 Do you send Christmas cards?

Oh definitely. This year I've sent some from the girls to their nursery classmates too.

7 Do you have an elf on the shelf? What do you do with it?

No luckily we've got away with it but I've friends who do it and it sounds far too stressful!

8 Do you have chocolate advent calendars or something else?

We still have chocolate advent calendars but they've not seemed that bothered this year so I might not bother next year.

9 Do you do a Christmas eve box? If so what’s in it?

No I don't do them. I like to save all the gifts for Christmas Day as we once let Charlie open a present on Christmas Eve and it occupied his complete attention so his attention was diverted on Christmas Day!!

10 Do you make any gifts?

I am the worst crafter EVER so for everyone's sake I don't embarrass myself.

11 Do you do any Christmas crafts?

Assembling a gingerbread house was about as crafty as I can muster

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12 If you could only eat 3 things from your Christmas dinner, what would they be?

Pigs in blankets, turkey and (controversially) Yorkshire puddings. I could have Yorkshire puds with any/everything

13 What’s your favourite festive tipple?

Not very festive but I'm all for prosecco by the bucket full at Christmas!

14 Where are you spending Christmas this year?

At home. My Dad, Gran, sister and brother in law are coming for lunch at ours and I'm sure other relatives will pop in on the day too. My husband absolutely loves cooking for everyone (genuinely- crazy fool!)

15 If you could go to any Christmas market in the world where would you go?

My Dad always raves about the German markets but can I say Disney just so we can go back?! 

Thanks for taking part Beth. You can keep up to date with her blog by clicking on the following social media:


Friday, 23 December 2016

Peppa Pig Christmas

As part of our ambassador role for Peppa Pig, we were sent a fantastic bundle of goodies for Christmas. The girls were ecstatic. Even Ophelia loves Peppa Pig now (especially the theme tune).

To my surprise, Eva's favourite product has been Peppa Pig Monopoly Junior by Winning Moves. The RRP is £19.99. It was always one of my favourite games as a child and I have lots of fond memories of playing it after a Sunday roast with family, so that's exactly how I wanted Eva to play it.

We took it to our cousin's house and we all sat down to enjoy it. The principles are the same as adult monopoly but with all of the much loved characters from Peppa Pig. Eva is able to understand the concept of the game. The money only comes in 1's and therefore is great for Eva. The game actually helps her with her numbers and counting.

She adores it. She asks to play it all the time. We are taking it to our family's house on Christmas Day so that we can all play it together. It's ideal for family time.

Next up is a Peppa Pig Winter Wonderland duvet from Character World . This was so handy as we were hoping to get Eva a Christmas themed one. It features Peppa and George decorating the Christmas tree and a lovely letter to Santa themed pillow. We'll be getting a lot of use out of this as I'm sure Ophelia will also want to use it in years to come.

One of Ophelia's favourite from our bundle is the Peppa Pig Skittles set by Milly and Flyn which is available from JoJo Maman Bebe for £20. They are wooden and therefore well made. Personally I prefer wooden toys to the plastic ones because they look a lot nicer. We have wood flooring in our house so the girls enjoy plenty of games of skittles together. The packaging is lovely on this toy. It would make a lovely gift.

We were also sent Peppa Pig Guess Who by Winning Moves. The RRP is £15.99. I thought this would be Eva's favourite but she struggles a little bit with the concept of the game. She gets too excited and distracted opening all the pictures. I'm sure with a bit of practice she'll start to understand it more.

Eva loves the Peppa Pig Jump and Squeak by BladeZ Toyz. It has an RRP of £19.99. She bounces around the house on it. I'm glad there was an active toy for her to enjoy in this bundle as she has a lot of energy to burn off!! I'm sure anyone with a 4 year old will feel the same.

One of my favourites from our bundle is the Peppa Pig Double Sided Magnet set . It's been perfect for popping in my change bag for the girls to play with whenever we are at a restaurant or a friends house. We also packed it to use on our Eurostar journey to Disneyland Paris. 

Peppa's Christmas Post is a book we all love. We've already got Peppa's post which Eva enjoys reading so she was very excited to see the Christmas version. The book is about Peppa and George taking over Christmas because mummy and daddy pig are unwell. There are 6 envelopes to open full of surprises.

Another one of Ophelia's favourites is the Alphaphonics Campervan which is available from all good retailers. She's worked out that the big button plays the Peppa Pig theme tune so she presses is all the time. Eva likes to use it in the car. It's a fantastic learning tool but is lots of fun.

All summer long Eva loved playing ring a ring a roses so you can imagine her delight to receive the Singing Princess Peppa plush which sings the song when you hold her hands. When you let go of her hands she stops singing. 

Lastly we were sent some Christmas themed Peppa Pig stationary which included sticker books and colouring sets. You can actually get these in places such as Poundland so they are a bargain. We used them on our journey to Paris. They are great for boredom busters when out and about or travelling.

Which item is your favourite?

*We were gifted all of these items but as always our opinion is our own*

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