Sunday 29 October 2017

10 Mums You'll Meet at the School Gate

I survived my first term at being a school mum. I'm not gonna lie the first day was awful after a nasty encounter with a fellow mum. People tell you about the different types of mums at the school gate and I honestly thought it was a load of bulls**t but actually they are there.

1) The Super Involved Mum
There she is, super chatty, super smily and she can make you sign up to volunteer for the next disco or fair quicker than you can run out of those school gates. She's the first one baking cakes and she's always on the school trips. She's on first term names with the teachers and of course she is on the PTA. Watch out for over use of the phrase 'for the good of the school'.

2) The Always Late Mum
I'm sure we've all been late, in fact I'm normally sprinting to the gates at least once a week. However, there's always that one mum who arrives after the bell rings looking red faced, stressed and harassed. You always see her after you've dropped your kids off and you're half way home. When it comes to picking up, she has always just 'lost track of time'.

3) The Fitness Mum
There she is in her gym gear shoving that peachy, pert bum in your face (yes we're jealous).   With a book bag in one hand and a water bottle in the other, she looks incredible and manages to make you feel like shit. How does this woman get to the gym every single day??? You're left drooling thinking 'I wish I could be her, perhaps I should go to the gym everyday!'. Haha.

4) The 4x4 Mum
Watch out for the 4x4 mum, she'll run you over if you get in her way. In fact, she's parked her car right outside the school on the double yellow, no parking zone, just because she can. She's in the wrong but no one dares to tell her.

5) The Dad Mum
Who's that I hear you say? Well it's actually a Dad. Yep there are dads there too but they'll have a whole blog post of their own.

6) The Fashionista Mum
There's always one mum who walks through the gates looking like she's on a catwalk. Not a pair of trainers in site and sunglasses glued to her forehead all year round. How does she manage to scrub up that well and still arrive on time looking so glamorous?

7) The Multiple Mum
How does this mum do it? She has a buggy, a lively toddler in tow and a few kids of various ages at the school. She is rocking motherhood whilst the rest of us can barely get one child ready.

8) The Wing It Mum
This one comes to school in her pyjama bottoms with not a care in the world. She'll have a messy bun on her head, no make up on and she couldn't give a t*ss. 

9) The Mean Girls Mum
Yep there's one bitch that still think she's in high school. She's a sour faced, nasty piece of work. Looks down on you, gossips about you and goes out of her way to make you feel like a piece of crap. Grow up!

10) The Super Mum
Oh to be the super mum. The one that looks good, has the kids' lunches ready in perfect boxes, the children look immaculate, she knits, she crafts, she works, she's super organised and man do you just want to be her. The homework is always done above and beyond expectation and she never forgets anything. She's like a walking calendar. 

Now i've written this in more of a piss take of myself as quite frankly, I could be any one of these mums depending on the mood i'm in when I wake up in the morning. I'm on the PTA, I have a 4x4, I go to the gym and quite often i'm late. The moral of the story is never judge a book by its cover. You are all mums after all and who knows you may end up having a blossoming friendship with the mum you feared the most.


Saturday 28 October 2017

Embracing the Outdoors during the Winter with JoJo Maman Bébé

One thing I didn't do enough of with Eva was to spend more time outdoors. I'm not sure why but I think it was more to do with my own personal preference than never having the time. I hated the thought of being out in the rain, both of us getting muddy or being out in the cold. I definitely regret that decision as when I now see how happy both of the girls are when they are outside in the fresh air, enjoying nature , I realise it's the normal things in life they love the most.

Fresh air is good for the soul and since the start of this school year i've been making sure we have daily walks. We've been around mountains, forests, fields and the beach. I've even made the effort to go out in the rain, which let's face it, makes an appearance frequently in our British Winter.

Both the girls seem to have had growth spurts in the last few months and they needed new outerwear for the winter. Luckily, JoJo Maman Bébé kindly sent us some items to keep them going. I've always been a big fan of Jojo Maman Bébé. I've bought their clothes since Eva was born and they have stood the test of time. So much so, Ophelia is wearing all of her hand me downs and they still look as good as knew.

My personal favourite item that we were sent was the 4-in-1 waterproof polar fleece jacket for Ophelia. You can wear it 4 different ways which means it's perfect for every weather eventuality over the winter. It's waterproof, has a fleece liner for colder weather and a detachable hood. 

Both of the girls were sent new wellies which were super handy as their feet are always growing at such a fast rate. The designs are cute. They wore them to the beach and walked around in them all day so they must be comfortable.

We also received a colour changing umbrella which both girls think is amazing. In fact they end up having a fight every time we go out with it over who gets to hold it. It's easy to grip and lightweight.

Ophelia's favourite item was the waterproof fleece lined all-in-one. I've never seen a child so happy in a snowsuit. She honestly thought she was the bees knees. Such a cutie. It's designed to keep the wind and rain out and keep her warm and snuggly. She adores it.

We've been blown away with all of our JoJo Maman Bébé outerwear and i'm sure we'll have many more adventures with them. For now i've got my eye on their adorable Christmas range. There are so many lovely dresses, cardigans, jumpers and pyjamas. Make sure you check them out.

Here are the quick links to the items the girls are wearing:

*Thank you to JoJo Mama Bébé for sending us these clothes to feature in this post*


Friday 27 October 2017

Lush Christmas Blogger Event

This week I attended the Lush Christmas blogger event at their Cardiff store. I have visited their shop since they moved to a larger unit but I hadn't visited their new spa so I was eager to attend to have a tour.

When I think of Lush, I automatically think of their bath bombs. Pre kids they are were all I used. I loved nothing more than relaxing in a bath and watching the colours swirl around me. However, now I have kids I very rarely get a peaceful bath so I hardly ever use them anymore. But, Lush sell a lot more than just bath bombs and I was gobsmacked at the amount of products they actually sell. 

The first thing I did at the event was grab my Snow Fairy inspired drink and head to their spa. 

The lift opened up into what can only be described as a British cottage/home. It wasn't what I imagined it to be like at all, but I was very pleasantly surprised and intrigued. It was very clear that this spa was truly unique. 

The consultation and relaxation rooms are like none I have encountered in a spa before. I felt as though I was in a home away from home. There were animated birds flying around the room and peaceful music and tones. I felt surprisingly calm and peaceful. The concept behind the spa is fantastic. The idea is for your mind and body to be one and to match your treatments etc depending on your mood. 

If you're a regular reader of my blog then you'll know i've suffered with postnatal depression (PND). I've been using mindfulness techniques to help cope with it so the idea behind the Lush spa really appealed to me. I love the idea of understanding your mind and body and I am desperate to revisit for an actual treatment.

All of the treatments sound amazing but the 3 that I would like to try are Tales of Bath, Karma and The Planets. Tales of Bath sounds like the perfect treatment for a busy mum like me. I'm always on the go with hardly any time to myself. You get a massage and a bath. A bath all to myself sounds incredible. What a treat that would be.

After my tour of the spa, I had a one on one chat with a lovely employee who showed me some of the skincare products they have. I tried various cleansers, toners, moisturisers, masks and eye make up removers. We also tried some of their make up.

We then headed around the shop to see all of the Christmas range. The Lush Christmas gift sets are always amazing. The packaging is fab and so eye catching. I've got my eye on 'season's greetings', 'snow fairy' and 'Rudy'.

There are some super cute bath bombs and bars in the range. 'Christmas sweater,' 'The Snowman' and 'The Magic of Christmas Wand' were my personal faves.

I was really impressed with their 'naked' range of products. These are versions of their popular products in a bar form and therefore without packaging. This is eco friendly and much better for the environment. I tried one of the naked body lotions and actually preferred the texture of it on my skin to the same equivalent in the bottle. 

It was then time to leave and I was gutted. I wanted to run up and hide in the spa for the night, haha. I decided to buy the 'Santa Baby' lip balm, 'Enchanted' eye cream, make up remover and a 'Rocket Science' bath bomb for my daughter. We were also given a lovely goody bag. All that's left to do is convince hubby to buy me a spa treatment asap if not i'll be asking Santa.


Wednesday 25 October 2017

Pinterest? More like Binterest! Mama ain't no Martha Stewart

When I first became a mum, I had visions of being a real life Mary Poppins, practically perfect in every way. I had great hopes as a family. I thought we would sing, we would craft, we would bake and basically live in a Pinterest bubble where everything is exactly as it should be.

I used Pinterest as my main form of inspiration. I imagined myself as Wales' answer to Martha Stewart. There was going to be no craft I couldn't do, no cake I couldn't bake. Turns out i'm more like Martha during her jail conviction phase rather than the epitome of Pinterest mum that I longed to be.

If you look at my Pinterest you'll realise I am the master at deception. I have endless Pinterest mum boards. There's Christmas crafts for kids, Christmas children's recipes, handprint craft, homemade gifts, party inspo, the list goes on. I'll spend hours looking for the perfect crafts to do with the kids on a rainy day or princess party ideas. On the surface I look the real deal.

If you visit the craft area in my house (yep i've got a dedicated section), you would think you'd stumbled into your local HobbyCraft. I have drawers full of creative gear. Stickers, glue, sequins, paints, pretty patterned papers (soooooo many of these), stamps, various washi tapes, scrapbooks, you name it i've got it.

How about my baking cupboard? Well there's food colouring, shapes, cutters, icing sets and endless baking tins and supplies. 

Unfortunately, no matter how much I look the part, I just don't fit in.

So what went wrong......? Truth be told, i'm shit at it. 

I always thought I was a creative person, turns out that doesn't quite transpire into any of the qualities needed be a Pinterest mum. To put it bluntly, I can't draw, I can't paint, I can't bake and I sure as hell can't make things look pretty. 

I also have a bit of a confession. Not only am I shit at it, I actually think I secretly hate it. Nothing stresses me out more than the thought of the mess that baking with the kids creates or the idea of being up to my elbow in glue. The thought of the paint all of the kids hands and feet practically sends me into a nervous breakdown. In fact, I don't just hate it, I loathe it! But yet I can't seem to let it go. 

It's my daughter's birthday soon so what did I spend last night doing? I was busy searching for the perfect Moana party ideas of course. I've got various cupcakes, decorative displays, fancy themed food and wait till you see the cakes. But i'm left wondering why I torture myself. Most of the stuff we attempt to do ends up in the bin so why do I set myself up for failure? 

It's clearly that need for perfection. The idea of being that perfect mum that can't do anything wrong. So my love/hate relationship with Pinterest will continue. I will continue to love sitting there for hours on end pinning various bits and pieces and when it comes to the crunch, I will hate taking part in the craft activity.

How about you? When it comes to Pinterest are you Martha Stewart or are you me?


Monday 23 October 2017

Halloween Half Term at Bristol Zoo Gardens

Yesterday we were invited to Bristol Zoo Gardens to see what they had for Halloween half term which runs from the 21st-29th October. Bristol Zoo Gardens always has a special place in our hearts as both hubby and I visited there many times as children so it's always wonderful to take your kids back to those places that we enjoyed. 

We arrived about 11.30am which gave us plenty of time to explore the Zoo before it closed at 5pm. We parked onsite which cost £3.

There are a few activities for children to do which are specifically Halloween themed. There is a haunted trail, spooky storytime, creepy creature encounters and a halloween parade which are all free of charge. There are also various crafts available in the craft house which cost extra. 

The first thing we decided to do was head for some lunch as we were all starving. We ate in 'The Hide' restaurant which is a table service restaurant. There was a bit of a queue to get in  and we had to wait outside which was slightly annoying as it was drizzling and cold but the queue did move quite quickly. 

The kids chose to have the kiddies lunch box and hubby and I both had sandwiches. Eva loved her box and was fascinated by what it arrived in. Overall, we were impressed with the food and service.

We then headed for the craft house which was wonderfully decorated in spooky decor. The kids enjoyed colouring in masks and then they both had their faces painted. Eva decided she didn't want a spooky face and opted for a dog. Ophelia just had some whiskers painted on. The face painting costs £3.50 per child (we didn't pay for Ophelia) and there are plenty of designs to choose from including some spooky ones for halloween.

After that we decided to have a wander around the zoo and look for our favourite animals. The Zoo seems small but it's like a tardis. There are so many animals to see.

The reptile house was a big hit with the girls and dad. They loved seeing the snakes and brightly coloured frogs (mum not so much, snakes freak me out). 

We all enjoyed the aquarium especially spotting Nemo and Dory.

Eva is 2 years older than when we last visited (she's nearly 5) and what was amazing to see was her asking lots of questions about the animals and she was wanting to read and know all of the facts, rather than just watching the animals. She was particularly fascinated in the Gorilla's and couldn't believe how much they ate in a day. She also watched a video of a baby Gorilla being born via caesarean section which she thought was very cute.

We all loved Seal and Penguin coasts. Penguins are one of my favourite animals. They are so funny to watch and they seem to have such individual characters and personalities. We managed to catch the Seal talk which was fascinating to listen to. Eva loved seeing the Seal's listening and carrying out commands.

We ended the day with the girls playing in the outdoor playground. They had a good run about to tire their legs ready for our car journey back to Wales. We were able to sit down and enjoy a hot cup of tea whilst they played.

Overall, we had a great day out. The staff are all very friendly, approachable and knowledgeable. They were fab at interacting with the girls and teaching them new things to develop their enthusiasm. I think there was just the right amount of Halloween activities so as not to distract from enjoying the rest of the zoo. The kids absolutely loved it and therefore we may return in the Welsh half term next week.

There is currently a great offer on for Halloween half term 21-29th October which is a child ticket for just £5 when you book online. 

Keep your eyes peeled on my youtube channel for a video of our day out coming very soon.

*We were gifted with a family ticket to Bristol Zoo gardens in exchange for our honest opinion*

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