Monday, 28 May 2018

Win a Pair of Tickets to The Celebrity Cup at The Celtic Manor 2018

The Celebrity Cup sponsored by Bulmers will make a welcome return to the Celtic Manor Resort this summer, and you could be in with a chance of winning a pair of tickets for you and a friend to attend the star-studded golfing event!


Mixing golf with glamour, stars from the worlds of sports and showbiz will once again tee up for a weekend of fun and frolics when the Celebrity Cup returns this year.

Some of biggest athletes and celebrities will swap paparazzi for putters and battle it out in teams representing Wales, England, Scotland and Ireland.

Famous faces taking to the course at this year’s tournament include rugby legend Scott Quinnell and TV presnter Gethin Jones hoping to hit a hole in one on home turf for Wales; Mrs Browns Boys’ Brendan O’Carroll and singing superstars Ronan Keating, Keith Duffy and Brian McFadden aiming to score an ace for Ireland; rugby superstars Rory Lawson,Greig Laidlaw, Thom Evans and Max Evans teeing up for Scotland; and TV personalities Denise Van Outen, Peter Jones and Bradley Walsh pitching in for England.

This year I am attending with my husband and we can't wait. The Celtic Manor is a beautiful hotel and every time we visit we always feel like we've been away on holiday. 

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the https://www.celtic-manor.com/whats-on/the-celebrity-cup/about-the-celebrity-cup or call the reservations team on 01633 410 262.

To be in with a chance of winning the tickets, simply enter via Rafflecopter below.



















a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms & Conditions 
  • The prize is 2 tickets to the Celebrity Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort 30th June-1st July
  • Any additional costs incurred during your visit, such as transport to and from the event, overnight accommodation or food and refreshments, are not included within the prize and are at the winner’s expense
  • Only food and beverage purchased on site will be permitted to be consumed at the event
  • Tickets include complimentary car parking at the event
  • Competition tickets are not redeemable for their monetary value
  • UK entrants only
  • Competition ends on 18th June

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Friday, 25 May 2018

A Gift for the Imagination: Prezzies for Toddlers’ Minds

That special little chap or lady have started walking about and causing all sorts of mischief. They climb up and down the furniture, they cry like it’s the end of the world when you ask them not to lick their fingers and put them in the plug sockets, they throw wobblies in public and food at the walls. They’re great and don’t they just know it. Now it’s their birthday, and you’re not quite sure what to get them.

In the eyes of toddlers, designer clothes are for rolling in muddy puddles, jewellery is a percussion instrument, electronic devices are for smashing open and seeing what’s inside. Rightly so. But the question remains, what to give the little person that has it all?

We once heard a rumour that no child can have too many toys? Maybe so, maybe not, but whatever the truth, it can’t be denied that the best toy in town is the imagination. Let’s check out some gifts for the imagination here:

1. Soft toys

There are many toys. Many little plastic trucks, many little wooden people, many little houses, pets, beasts and more. Some toys glow alight, others speak your name, others sing their ABC, others will even shed a tear. So why soft toys?


Soft toys in the UK, USA, UAE, from Brazil to Bhutan, from Samoa to Senegal – everywhere, in fact – beat so many of their plastic, wooden and tin counterparts because of their intrinsic cuddlebility. This means that not only are they fantastic for playing out the fantastical stories of our children’s minds, but also those of their dreams. Nothing beats a toy you can spend the day with then cosy up to at night. Those most special of soft toys will be more than toys; they will be best friends.

2. Picture books

No matter how young or old you are, books activate the mind. Classic children’s stories such as The Wind in the Willows, Swallows and Amazons, The Railway Children and The Tale of Peter Rabbit ignite children’s imaginations today as much as when they were first published. But probably your toddler isn’t quite ready for a classic story just yet. Pop-up books can be beautifully made and utterly delightful to explore, but they are also delicate things, and toddlers are set on discovering the world around them as much with their hands as their eyes and ears. So if you want to gift a book – and why wouldn’t you? – choose something that’s full of bright colour and engaging imagery, one with simple yet fun storylines, one with rhymes, one with characters that your toddler will  love (mischievous personalities are popular, we hear).



3. Sketch book and crayons

It’s sad that us grownups ever stopped drawing stuff – we used to love it so! If you managed not to give up colouring in, sketching, painting, drawing, then good for you. Toddlers may be unpredictable, but they’re nobody’s fool, so present them with a sensible gift like some colouring pens and pencils and let them get on with the important matter of articulating their thoughts and feelings on paper.


*This is a collaborative post*
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3 Things That Help With My Anxiety

For the last 2.5 years I have suffered with Postnatal Depression (PND) and also anxiety. Whilst I am now medicated to help with this, I also use other techniques to help such as mindfulness to aid the medication. There are 3 things that really help with my anxiety. If I feel an attack or an episode coming along then one or all of these 3 things help to relax me.

1) Essential Oils
Before I suffered with a mental health problem I had never used Essential Oils. I didn't really understand their uses or benefits. Inhaling essential oils can help with your mood and physical wellbeing. I now use them regularly. The following scents are suggested to use for anxiety (I find Lavender works the best for me):

  • Lavender
  • Rose
  • Ylang ylang
  • Chamomile
  • Frankincense
  • Cedarwood
  • Peppermint
  • Geranium
  • Valerian


2) Breathing Techniques
The only time I had practised breathing techniques was when I was in labour. Controlling your breathing can really help reduce anxiety. I now take at least 5 minutes a day (usually in the morning) to relax, get into a comfortable position (usually a yoga mat) and focus on taking deep breaths. I let my mind and body relax into the floor.



3) Exercise 
Whenever I started feeling anxious I try and let it all out through exercise. Exercise has been so effective at helping me release any tensions or stresses. I try to exercise at least 3-5 times a week now and it has definitely improved my mood. The endorphins I get from a good workout are addictive. I either do an exercise class such as body pump or I do some weights in the gym. I would like to try outdoor running but i've never been very good at it.


Have you got any tips for coping with anxiety?

*This is a collaborative post*


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Be in the Picture Weekly Favourites - 5

Welcome back to the Be in the Picture weekly roundup. Once again there were lots of wonderful pictures shared on instagram and I struggled to pick just a few favourites. I could have featured so many. If you missed the last roundup you can catch up with it here, Be in the Picture 4.


For those of you that haven't heard of #beinthepicture, it is an instagram hashtag that myself and Alana from Baby Holiday created. It is designed to encourage you to get in-front of the camera as opposed to behind it. I used to always be the one taking the pictures and I was never in them myself. 

You can use the hashtag on any pictures that feature you whether that be fashion, parenting, travel, with your partner etc. You name it, we want to see it.


It has been so lovely to see so many spring/summer pictures on the hashtag lately. There have been plenty of beach pictures and lots of flowers. For this feature I have chosen 6 pictures instead of 4 as I just couldn't leave them all out. 

My favourite picture recently has been from Corneliusblog. Her and her daughter decided to have a tea party for the Royal Wedding. I just love everything about the photo. The lighting is perfect and their outfits are a pastel dream. I just want to join in the cuteness.



A post shared by Parenting Blogger - Leanne (@corneliusblog) on

The next picture comes from hotpinkwellingtons. it's a stunning shot capturing the love between her and her boys amongst the bluebells.



I have been desperately trying to find a Rapeseed field in my area (with no success) so I can get some gorgeous summer photos such as this adorable one from littleladiesbigworld.

I know I know, another rapeseed photo 🀷🏼‍♀️ I promise I’ll stop sharing them soon and maybe just put them in a blog post as soon as I actually get around to it but today there is reason. I’ve just uploaded a video on my YouTube channel of my 10 tips for managing hayfever in adventurous children. A lot of people don’t know Eva has hayfever as bad as she does because yes, we are always in a field of flowers, or chasing leaves, or just general adventuring and that is exactly why I have so many tips. I don’t want to quash her spirit, her thirst for nature, and the world so I take it upon myself to do as much as I can to make sure she can run in the rapeseed fields and crunch in leaves to her hearts content. I’m not saying it’s easy (any allergy Mum will agree it is like being on high alert every single day) but goodness this girl has enough to contend with in her life missing out on food and other things and I’ll be damned if I don’t work my butt off to help in any way I can. Which I must say over the years I’ve gotten pretty good at, even if I do say so myself! So I’m sharing my wisdom with the world and a photo which is the most horrendous thing to look at when she walked on freshly cut grass at just 3 years old. If I ever have any doubt on whether I am going the right thing in being so strict with the things I ensure she doesn’t do, this photo makes me know it is absolutely right. #hayfeversucks #hayfeverinchildren #letthembechildren #letthembefree
A post shared by Laura πŸ‚ (@littleladiesbigworld) on

Another picture which melted my heart came from emilyandindiana. The beautiful Emily looks so naturally happy and you can't help but smile when you look at the photo.


This picture from ourfairytaleadventure has got couple goals written all over it. They bravely set off to travel the world recently with their 2 young children and I loved following their journey. 




The last picture I have chosen for this roundup comes from goingonanadventureblog. It's such a beautiful moment and the words she had written were heartwarming. 




My own personal favourite picture that I shared over on my instagram was taken in my happy place which is Disney. We are off there again next week (can't wait) and no matter how many times you look at the castle, it still feels like you're seeing it for the first time.



Make sure you join in with #beinthepicture over on instagram and also follow it to see everyone's pictures. 



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Wednesday, 23 May 2018

5 Recipes Using Red Wine

Red Wine is by far one of my favourite drinks. I love nothing more than enjoying a glass whilst eating a cheeseboard. However, it is also great to use in cooking. Wine that has been opened for a few days and perhaps passed its prime dinking time is ideal for cooking with. I'm a strong believer that throwing wine away should be illegal. If I ever have any leftover I often use it for marinades, sauces or within a dish to add some flavour. 

Here are some of my favourite recipes using Red Wine:

1) Baked Chorizo and Asparagus Risotto by Charlotte's Lively Kitchen

Chorizo and Red Wine are a match made in heaven. We love Chorizo in our house and we are always trying to find speedy, delicious recipes for our suppers. 



You can read the full recipe and method at Baked Chorizo and Asparagus Risotto 

2) Slow Cooker Bolognese by Frugal Family

In a busy household a slow cooker is a must. I always find cooking something slowly really brings out the flavour and the smell will have your mouth watering for hours.



You can read the full recipe and method at Slow Cooker Bolognese

3) Vegetarian Bourguignon by Mummy in a Tutu


Whenever I think of Red Wine being used in recipes, Bourguignon always springs to mind. This one is actually Slimming World friendly too. 



You can read the full recipe and method at Vegetarian Beef Bourguignon

4) Beef Cobbler by Munchies and Munchkins

A cobbler is the ultimate in comfort food. This one is ideal for those cold, winter days.



You can read the full recipe and method at Beef Cobbler

5) Chorizo Tapas by Mark Sergeant 

During the summer months we love to have Tapas feasts in the garden. As i've already said Chorizo is a firm favourite with hubby and I.


You can read the full recipe and method at Chorizo Tapas

Have you ever cooked with Wine before? What are your favourite recipes?

*This is a a collaborative post*


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Monday, 21 May 2018

Mickey Mouse DisneyBound

I regularly wear Disney clothes whether it be at a Disney park or at home but surprisingly I had never given Disneybounding a go. Now that i'm an annual pass holder at Disneyland Paris I knew it was time for me to join in with the dressing up fun.


As adults you aren't allowed to wear Disney costumes around the parks so Disneybounding was invented. Disneybounding is basically an outfit influenced by a Disney character. it's a great way of bringing your style into an outfit.

On our last trip to Disneyland Paris it was their 26th anniversary so I wanted to dress up as my all time favourite character.....Mickey Mouse. Princess Jasmine is a very close second but no character will ever beat Mickey in my eyes.



Blazer - Next
Shirt - Next
Trousers - Next
Shoes - Next
Ears - Disney Parks


I searched the internet for Mickey coloured clothes and found a lot of my outfit from Next. I knew I wanted a black blazer (which I already had), a white shirt (which I already had), red trousers and yellow shoes. I also didn't want to buy anything that I knew I wouldn't wear again.

Next are always great for having fashionable basics in multiple colours. They had a couple of pairs of red jeans and also quite a few pairs of yellow shoes.


You can change up this Mickey Mouse Disneybound very easily by swapping the jeans to a skirt or shorts etc which would be ideal for the summer months.

I absolutely loved Disneybounding. I was worried at first that I would get lots of funny looks but it was quite the opposite. I had lots of lovely comments and the cast members all made an effort to compliment my outfit.






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Friday, 18 May 2018

Tyre Safety - Learning My Lesson the Hard Way

I'll be the first to admit that when it comes to checking my tyres (or anything on my car) I am useless. It's one of those things that through stubbornness, I seem to leave worrying about until it's too late. I always expect someone else to do it for me (aka my husband).


Tyre blowouts are one of the major causes of car accidents which is why it is essential that they are regularly checked to ensure they are safe to use. You can get an extensive variety of tyres in London at Iverson's. 

I recently almost had an issue with one of my own tyres. It seemed to be dropping in pressure all the time. My husband would put air in it but it would drop very low. We took it to a garage and soon realised there was a nail stuck in it. I drive on a busy motorway to work every day so I am very lucky I didn't have an accident. It was a wake up call for me to brush up on my tyre safety, after all, I am driving precious cargo around (my children) and I would never forgive myself if something happened.

Tyre blowouts are different to a puncture (which is what I had). Blowouts are caused by a sudden loss of pressure and the tyre is destroyed. They can also cause damage to the wheel itself. They are most commonly caused by under inflation. Other causes are overloading the car, potholes and hitting curbs.


To avoid a blowout you should:

  • Check your tyre pressures weekly
  • Always check your tyres before any long journeys 
  • Check tyres everyday with a visual check for any damage 
  • Check tyre pressures more often during heatwaves
  • Check your cars handbook to ensure you have the correct tyre pressure when carrying different loads
I must admit, I have never done any of the above which is shameful. If i'd quickly checked my tyres everyday, I may have spotted the nail. 

I also didn't realise that the tyres would need different pressures depending on the load. We often drive to France and our car is jam packed with bags, strollers etc so I will be checking the tyre pressure is safe from now on. 

Have you ever had a tyre blowout? Do you check your tyres?

*This is a collaborative post*






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Wednesday, 16 May 2018

The Day I Was Mum Shamed

If you follow me on Facebook then you may have seen that I was recently mum shamed and judged by the new mum police. These new mums really went for me, however, out of their surprise (and my own), they picked on the wrong mama as I left them with jaws to the floor and my head held high.



Here's what happened...


Whilst walking the girls to feed the ducks after school, Ophelia (who's 2.5) decided to throw one of her epic terrible two’s tantrums (about the 7th of the day) which involved lying on the floor kicking and screaming. You know the type of tantrum where they fling themselves back and nothing you can do or say will console them?! It was one of those.


Eva (who's 5 going on 15) decided to keep going ahead of me. I could still see her, she wasn’t far. We were near no roads as along a path by a field. I shouted to Eva to wait ahead. 

This is where the new mums appeared. I could feel their daggers through my back, stabbing me multiple times. They strolled passed with their prams and glared. Not content with just glaring they then decided to stop and turn around and look at me in disgust. One of them decided to take it when step further and said to me confidently "your child is in distress are you going to actually help her or just keep standing there'? 

My blood was boiling. First off what the hell is with Mum judgement?! The three of them were clearly in newborn bubble stage and there they were judging me, stressed out Mum of two young children. My response went like this:

"Are you first time parents? (they said yes)". I explained this was a toddler tantrum and my child was in no means in distress but thanked them for their expert parenting opinion which I had not asked for. Not content with my answer they then criticised the fact that Eva was ahead of me on her own. They really wanted to make me feel useless. Not today lovelies, this mama wasn't having any of it.

This is where I took a deep breath and instead of getting into an argument (believe you me and me, I had to really restrain myself from telling them to fuck off), I decided to tell them how hurtful they were being by judging me. How disrespectful they were. How they can’t make assumptions about situations they know nothing about. I told them, had I not been on anti depressants for postnatal depression (PND) that their judgement would have had me crying all evening and shutting myself away in the bathroom and locking the door. I told them that I would have cried so much to the point where I would have been sick and that would have caused me to have a panic attack. I then explained that my anxiety would’ve meant I wouldn’t have left the house with the girls for a good few days for fear of being JUDGED for my bad parenting and being a shit mum. I then responded that luckily for them I’ve been on anti depressants for a few months now and I am a stronger, more confident Mum who couldn't give a shit what they thought about my parenting. I explained that I hope no one ever does to them what they’ve done to me today and that in future they want to take a long hard look in the mirror before judging other people’s behaviours. I then wished them a lovely day and told them to enjoy the sunshine. 

I walked away from that encounter feeling incredible. Their mum judgement and shaming hadn't had the effect they'd desired. Instead of making me feel like shit, it made me feel fantastic. It made me feel like me again. It was such a pivotal moment in my PND journey as I finally felt like a strong, confident mum again. 



I was literally skipping down the path singing 'THIS IS ME' from 'The Greatest Showman'. I felt powerful, happy and in control. Most of all I was starting to recognise myself again.

To sum up don't judge other mama's (or dad's for that matter), stick together, show some love and support and we can all sing 'This is me' together. 




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Different Ways to Get Your Children Exercising in the Summer

Let’s face it, getting the kids away from technology these days can be pretty difficult! However, it’s necessary to limit screen time in order to ensure they develop into healthy, happy adults. With the summer holidays fast approaching, now’s a great time to come up with ways to ensure your kids stay active this summer.
If you need a little inspiration to get your kids active during the holidays, below you’ll discover some great ideas.

Roller skating


The key to getting your kids more active, is to make it fun to be out of the house. What could be more fun to a kid than roller skating? Now, roller skates have changed a lot over the years. These days, you can find awesome convertible style roller skates which kids absolutely love.
Heely’s do fantastic convertible roller skates which you can pick up from stores such as SkateHut. These quickly, turn from standard trainers into trainer-skates. So, you could combine skating with walking, giving your child a 2-in-1 workout.
Country walks
Speaking of walking, another great idea is to head off on long country walks. Walking is renowned for its awesome health benefits. Not only is fresh air and nature important for adults, but it’s also vital to your kids too.
Research shows that approximately 38% of children spend less than one hour outdoors. When you consider that kids also need at least an hour’s exercise every day, you soon see why getting out for a long walk is a great idea. You’ll also be surprised just how much kids actually love getting out in the countryside. The best thing about this activity idea is the fact that it’s absolutely free. So, even if you’re on a budget, there’s no excuse to stay active during the summer holidays.

Sports

You could also sign you and the kids up to local sports classes. Think badminton, tennis or swimming. All of these sports are great to practice in the summer. It’s something new too so it’s sure to keep your kids interested. As the whole family will be involved, it’s also a fantastic bonding experience. 
These are just three great ideas to keep the kids active this summer. There’s something to suit everyone and you could even use all three of the ideas above given that there’s six weeks of holidays to fill up!

*This is a collaborative post*

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Friday, 11 May 2018

Me and Mine Project - April 2018

I seem to always start these posts with this...It's been ages since my last update. Guess what?! It has been ages since my last update. My last Me and Mine post was in January where I shared pictures from our holiday in Australia.

April was a busy month for us as a family. We had Easter, half term, a trip to Disneyland Paris, my birthday, Disney on Ice and mine and Arwyn's wedding vow renewal anniversary. Oh and I also decided to return to work. 

Our half term was low key other than our trip to Disneyland Paris. This year we decided to buy annual passes there and so far we have been twice with another trip planned in June. Both of the girls loved every minute of their trip. This time we stayed in a gite which was a lovely way of winding down after a busy day. We had fab character meets and hubby and I actually managed to get on some of the thrill rides.


We also went to see Disney on Ice Worlds of Enchantment. You can read about it here, my review. We all really enjoyed it especially the Toy Story section. 


On the 28th April hubby and I went our for my birthday. We're both trying to eat healthier so we had a meal at Saray restaurant to eat lots of meat and salad. I also had a cookery class there which you can read about here, Turkish cooking class. We then went to watch the Avengers film which was great. We didn't realise until we were at the meal that it was our one year anniversary of our wedding vow renewal, so we both felt guilty that we'd forgotten but we were happy we were out to celebrate regardless.


The next day it was my birthday. Eva loved giving ( sorry opening) my presents and Arwyn did amazingly well this year by surprising me with a Princess Jasmine bag from Loungefly. I am so in love with it and I wasn't expecting at all. 

I also decided to return to work. I haven't had an official contract since Ophelia was born. I was doing bank work at a couple of hospitals but I felt like a big part of my life was missing. I have returned to work for 20 hours a week over 2 days which is a starting point to then hopefully increase my hours in a year or so when both of the girls are in school.

Together this month we have loved:
Disneyland
Disney clothes
Popcorn
Warmer weather
Toy Story
Family walks







The Me + Mine Project - Dear Beautiful
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