Wednesday 26 September 2018

My Fondest Memory of Alfie

Growing up I always had a dog by my side. At the age of 5, I got my first Pet, a puppy called Rocky. As an only child he was my best friend. We did everything together. Later on we got him a girlfriend, a staffy cross called Tia. After Rocky died Tia remained my faithful companion and she was with my husband and I when we bought our very first home. Sadly after a few years she became very ill and we were advised to have her put to sleep. Even though we had Petplan Pet Insurance, it was nothing that she would ever survive, no matter what we did. She would suffer. It was heartbreaking. 

I was completely stricken with grief. Coming back home from work and not having a dog to greet me was unfamiliar. I was actually pregnant at the time but still a hole was left that I needed to fill. After a month we decided to get a puppy. 

When we went to visit the puppies for the first time and choose one, we decided on the one that came over to my belly. He climbed on my lap and snuggled into my bump. We knew he was the one. We later called him Alfie.

Alfie was by my side morning and night and he always wanted to rest his head on my belly. My fondest memory of him so far was when I went into labour with my first child. The one who he had been protecting. He was incredible. He was pacing up and down the landing, clearly concerned. But what amazed me the most is that he almost sensed when a contraction was coming and he'd come over to me and either cuddle into my side or rest his head on my belly. He was a great support.

When I was pregnant with my second child, he was interested in my belly but not as much as he was with Eva. I think it's because he's grown up with Eva. There are 5 months between them in age so they have always been together. She is his best friend and it's adorable to see. It reminds me of the relationship I had with my first dog Rocky. he of course loves Ophelia too but he's definitely Eva's dog. 

Having a dog in our family has bought us so many happy memories already and he's only 6 so hopefully there'll be many more to come. Now all I have to do is convince my husband to let us get another puppy for Alfie to play with.

Petplan want to hear your Pet Stories too, so whether it is a recovery from illness or just their day to day mischief share your story on Petplan’s Facebook or Instagram using PethoodStories

*This post is in conjunction with Petplan but all thoughts are my own*

Monday 24 September 2018

Breakfast at the Earl of Sandwich in Disneyland Paris

As annual pass holders at Disneyland Paris, we quite often don't book a package break which includes meals. We tend to just book a hotel and sort out food when we are there. We  are entitled to extra magic hours at the park which is early in the morning and therefore we like to try and have a quick breakfast to be able to take full advantage of the short ride queues etc.

The Earl of Sandwich  at Disneyland Paris is a hidden gem and is located in the Disney Village next to the lake. We have previously eaten lunch there and we were big fans of the dining experience when we were in Walt Disney World last year. We didn't even realise they served breakfast so when we were asked if we would like to come and try their offerings, we couldn't resist. 

We arrived for breakfast at 9am and it was quiet which was nice. There were no long queues and there were plenty of tables.

Breakfast is served everyday until 11am and is freshly prepared and made straight after you place your order. You are given a buzzer to take to your table to alert you when your food is ready to collect. We had about a 5 minute wait for ours. All ingredients are high quality and the bread is baked in house using a secret recipe. 

The restaurant itself is large, covering 2 floors. Upstairs also offers indoor and outdoor dining with one of the best views in Disney Village. 

You can get a French breakfast, American breakfast or an English breakfast, all at very reasonable prices.

Important to note is that The Earl of Sandwich is the only restaurant offering an English breakfast. For 9.95 euros you can have eggs, bacon, sausage, baked beans, toast and a hot drink. It is served in a box if you wish to take it away to eat. 

There are also muffins, cookies, fruit and soft drinks to choose from if you would prefer something lighter.

The kids chose to share an English breakfast and they also chose fruit and a cookie. They absolutely loved it especially our youngest. She likes to eat a bit of everything so an English breakfast is a perfect choice. There wasn't an option for a kids sized breakfast which is something I would like to see them introduce. It was too big for them to eat for themselves so a child sized portion would have been ideal. 

My husband and I chose an American breakfast which came with a hot drink. This costs just 6.95 euros. We had a ham and egg sandwich and a bacon and egg sandwich. We both really enjoyed these. My 15 year old cousin also had the American breakfast and he said it was filling. My hubby particularly enjoyed his coffee. If you've been to Disneyland Paris then you may have tasted the coffee in the park and realised it is not very nice to say the least. He was delighted to finally have a good, tasting coffee.

Overall, we really enjoyed our breakfast. It was fresh, tasty and certainly filled us all up until lunchtime. The menu has something suitable for all the family. We found it fantastic value for money. If you haven't got a meal package as part of your Disneyland Paris holiday then the Earl of Sandwich is perfect. It's quick and you can either eat in or grab it to go to enjoy on your walk to the park. We will definitely be returning on our next visit. 

*We were invited to the Earl of Sandwich in return for this blog post. All thoughts, opinions and words are my own*


Wednesday 19 September 2018

Be in the Picture Weekly Favourites - 6

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 5.

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.

I've loved seeing lots of fashion style picture's recently and I'm especially loving all the autumn/winter trends all over the gram so for this roundup I've included some outfit pics. 

My favourite outfit has come from Lamb and Bear because I'm insanely jealous of her Leopard print boots. 

Oh hello Monday! I’ve been a little bit giddy about today. My first full week back to my working routine and hopefully getting my emotions back on track 🤪 I’m also starting my short course with @selfishmother. I’m so excited to learn something (anything!) to get @adaandalfredshop off the ground. A lot of passion, emotion, sweat, tears goes into what I do, I just need a little helping hand to help me grow. So here’s to a new week, new goals, new achievements. ✌🏻 I’ve got this 💪🏻 • • • • • #Momstyle #mumstyle #fashionover30 #styleover30 #whatmamawore #whatiworetoday #mamastyle #dresslikeamum #instamum #lifecloseup #thismamaloves #thisparentlife #ohmamamoment #ohheymama #mumlifeisthebestlife #acupofmotherhood #whatmamaworetoday #girlboss #investinwomen #bossbabe #ahappyboss #startup #beinthepicture #mumsthatslay #lionessmama #blondehair #whatmamaworemonday #beglamorous
A post shared by Lamb & Bear (@lambandbear) on

Next to feature is memeandharri. This outfit has autumn written all over it. It's making me cosy just looking at the picture. You can't beat a dress with an oversized knit.

This outfit by lifeafterblue is just gaols. The colours are lovely and I'm rather envious of her hair. She's been through lots of life changes lately and she still remains positive. Go and give her a follow.

If anyone has been following my stories or posts to date, they may have noticed that a lot has changed in our lives – we have moved cross-country, we have left/changed jobs, we are now the gracious roomies of my parents (for money saving reasons), Lola has started ‘big’ school and Sadie has… well, let’s just say found her voice. I also had a scare two weeks ago, whereby, what started off as blurred vision and a blind spot in one of my eyes led to a few days of querying a tumor. Luckily, after some tests and scans, we were told this was not the case. The whole experience definitely changed my outlook on things and certainly made me more grateful for, well, today. Although we are not sure if the central vision will come back, it is definitely something I can adapt too (except the injections 👁 ... I’ll need a drink on ice after the next one of those!) ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I have realised just how quickly life can change. It is not enough to live in today but being grateful is the key. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I went to see a movie with my four old last night staring the always insightful, Mr Winnie the Pooh, who in fact lay this lesson down with a fully-grown Christopher Robin - “Today, my favourite day.” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ *full post in blog, click link in bio if you want to read more . . . . . . . . . . #today #todaywasagoodday #todayful #gratitude #gratitudejournal #gratitudeattitude #themommydiary #me #beinthepicture #love #family #begrateful #documentyourdays #thingsiwanttoremember #thehappynow #thehappycapture #quotes #quotestoliveby #quoteoftheday #liveauthentic #livefortoday #inspirationalquotes #positivemind #mindfulness #mindful #inthemoment #picoftheday #winniethepooh #winniethepoohquotes
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Last up from my favourite picks is leanmeanmomma. Cliona always looks great. Her holiday snaps have been making me wish I was away. 

The skies over Marbella quite literally opened up & unleashed a torrent of H2O down on top of us this weekend. Never mind we said, we’ll grab a taxi to town. Oh no you won’t they replied as there is a 2 hour wait on the taxis and ye are no 5 in the que. Right so scratch that! Instead we strolled to @beachhousemarbella and I had the BEST cauliflower vegan salad ever. And wine... pleanty of fruit & veg then huh? 🤗 Eventually we managed to nab a cab and went for .... well more food. And more fruit 🤭🤷‍♀️ 🍷 in the fabulous @casatuamarbella. I highly recommend it!! A weekend away that was good for the soul - feeling so grateful to be able to do it. Feeling ready for the winter now! Time to knuckle down!! . . #familyholiday #familypic #familyday #igersworldwide #picoftheweek #instalove #instatravel #instatrip #realmum #realmomstyle #realmumstyle #momsofinstagram #momlifeisthebestlife #mommylife #mommyproblems #parenthood #parentlife #mumstyle #dresslikeamum #irishblogger #mamarazzi_square #mumswithhustle #dailyparenting #pbloggers #mamalife #acupofmotherhood #beinthepicture #vsco_mom #raisingragamuffins
A post shared by Cliona O'Connor (@leanmeanmomma) on

My own personal favourite outfit pic that I have shared over on my instagram is one from my holiday to Turkey. I wore a Next dress which isn't something I'd normally wear but I loved it nonetheless. 

Good morning. Happy Monday. For what mama wore Monday I’m wearing a dress that I was kindly sent by @nextofficial for our recent holiday. To see more pics etc, you can head over to my blog (link in bio) and read my What I Wore On Holiday Post. The night I wore this Eva shattered my princess dreams. As you probably know I am Disney obsessed and Jasmine is my fave. I decided to attempt a Mum bun as I couldn’t be bothered to do my hair. Eva decided to tell me I look just like Mulan 😫. If you’ve seen the film you’ll know this is when she cuts her hair to make herself look like a man. Cheers Eva 👍 You can always count on a child for some brutal honesty 😂 #whatmamaworemonday #mumdresscode #mamastyle #kerrylouisenorrisfashion #sharewithnext #fbloggers #ootd #wiwt #stylediary #stylediaries #mumsthatslay #mumsthatshop #thismamawears #beinthepicture #motherhoodunplugged #honestmotherhood #lifewithkids #review
A post shared by Kerry Norris (@kerrylouisenorris) on

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


Monday 10 September 2018

Is It Ever OK For A Family Member To Call You Fat?

Fat! It's the word we love to hate. In fact it's rarely used these days having been replaced by the likes of wobbly, round, overweight, big, bubbly, the list goes on. Therefore, you can imagine my shock and hurt when I heard the word 'FAT' being used to describe my belly. Not only was I shocked at the use of the word but I was dumbfounded at the fact that it had been hurled at me by a close family member. 

I know she didn't intentionally mean to hurt me but the word cut through me like a knife. How can someone I know, love and respect be so cutting?

After wallowing in self pity for what felt like days, I started to question why I was so upset over the whole thing. After all, I've only ever wanted my nearest and dearest to be honest with me. You'll quite often find me asking my husband for reassurance of an outfit I'm wearing. 'Does this make me look big?, Is my belly too big in this? Do I look pregnant?'. these are questions that I ask on a daily basis and everyday I don't believe him when he answers me. So how can I be so upset when someone is finally being honest with me, when it's the one thing I always ask my family to be?

It's not the first time this family member has offered their thoughts on my weight, in fact it's quite a regular thing. Looking back on our shopping trips or when I wear something knew, this person always feels the need to offer me some well-meaning advice whether I want it or not. 'Why don't you wear something black, it's very slimming? Darken your hair, it makes your face thinner. Don't wear your hair up as it makes your face look chunkier. Your belly is way too big in that, buy something looser around the waist.'

I know I am not fat and I'm not plus size. I'd say I'm your average Joe. I'm not happy with how I look but I think that's more down to my own mental health and the insecurities that brings me. This person knows I have suffered with my mental health for years and that positivity, in particular, body positivity, doesn't come naturally to me. 

So it brings me to the original question, Is it ever ok for a family member to call you fat? I would say no. Nobody deserves that treatment especially if it is very far from the truth. No one deserves the well-intentioned, ill mannered bullying from family members who will insist they are acting out of concern for you. You shouldn't feel shamed or condescended at.

For days I've been thinking of why this family member speaks to me in this way and I've come to reason that it's because they are from a generation where there were no body positive movements. They had similar unhealthy images and ideas of how their bodies should look but there was no one to enforce that you are beautiful inside and out, no matter what you look like. 

I've come to realise that they are not criticising me on purpose they are simply trying to get me to live the life they believe is still the best. In their mind, being beautiful means you will live a vibrant life, full of love which is so inconceivable. They think that by wearing beautiful clothes, you will be confident and happy and that is the main thing to be. They come from a generation where looks, money and status are important and nothing else really matters. 

I was honestly so upset about this for days but after thinking it through I am fine and I've come to realise the next time I hear one of those comments I am going to stand up for myself. 

Have you ever experienced anything like this from family members?


Saturday 8 September 2018

Enjoying Splash Landings with Konfidence

As part of our Swimologist role with Konfidence, we were invited to stay at Alton Towers to test out some of their products in the Splash Landings water park. None of us had ever been to the water park before so we couldn't wait to try it out. We were also allowed the whole park to ourselves for a short while which was pretty epic.

Both of my girls are water babies although both still can't swim confidently. Whenever we are away they always ask to go swimming and we have a battle to get them out of the pool. It's always very difficult to keep an eye on both of them and I often worry about their safety which is why I was over the moon to be able to collaborate with Konfidence this year. 

We were sent lots of wonderful things to aid them on their learning to swim journey. For the Splash Landings weekend we took the Original Konfidene Swim JacketsWarma Wetsuits and the Flashing Blinkies to put through their paces. 

We arrived at Splash Landings and Eva couldn't believe we had the park to ourselves, talk about a dream come true. She was amazed. 

Eager to get in the water, Eva popped her Konfidence swim jacket on herself and she was also able to zip it up on her own. We had to help Ophelia with hers. They immediately headed for the shallower children's pool. Ophelia went straight to the slide whilst Eva splashed about. The jackets had clearly made them feel safe and secure as they were more than happy to play on their own (under our careful observation in the same pool). 

The Original Konfidence Swim Jackets are designed to last from the start of your child's swimming journey until the end, when they are able to swim. As your child becomes more confident you can remove the floats from inside the jacket in pairs which therefore reduce the buoyancy. 

The girls were much happier wearing their jackets than armbands. Ophelia often cries when we put armbands on her as they are uncomfortable and restrictive. With the jackets both of the girls have the ability to move their arms and therefore learn to swim.

They are available in a few different patterns which all have a bright yellow back which is ideal for us parents as it makes the kiddies clearly visible and easy to spot in a busy pool. 

We spent quite a few hours at Splash Landings and we were amazed that the girls didn't moan about being cold. Usually when we go swimming, after about half and hour they are asking to get out because they are freezing. This must be down to their Warma Wetsuits. 

The wetsuits are made with 2.5mm flexible neoprene which makes them ideal for providing warmth when in or out of the water. The girls were able to run, walk, jump, splash and use the slides whilst wearing them.

The largest pool area at Splash Landings is Lagoona Bay which Ophelia seemed reluctant to go in for a while. I knew the Konfidence Blinkies would entice her in so we played with them in the shallow end, amongst the rocks until she was confident and relaxed enough to go deeper into the water. Be warned though, the Blinkies attracted the attention of all the other kids in the pool who were eager to play with them.

When it was time to leave we were all gutted. We had such a fantastic time and we are already looking to return. It's perfect for an all year round family getaway.

*Thank you to Konfidence for sending us to Splash Landings to try out our products. All our options are own honest views.*

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