Monday, 16 July 2018

Success In Online Dating

I used to think online dating was just a way to find a quick hook up. So naturally after I left my ex I signed up. You may be thinking that that was a bit of a quick move but mine and my ex's relationship had been loveless from the start, thank King Henry for divorce. I can't say I was looking for love in fact I was just looking for more of a casual thing. There were so many free dating site that it took a while to choose the right one for me.

my dating profile picture
I found creating my profile difficult and trying to find a picture that didn't scream comes with issue's. In my profile it listed a lot of hobbies that weren't actually my hobbies I had just tried them maybe once or twice, it outlined outlines what I wanted in life. Happiness, love and a guy who wasn't an asshole. No sooner had I finished my profile my inbox was getting messages and I felt giddy. Seriously it's a good boost if your feeling shitty. I opened my inbox and was welcomed with an assortment of messages.
'your eyes are like pools I want to drown in'
'your legs must be aching because you have been running through my mind all day'
'your well fit fancy a'
I don't think I need to add the end to that last one. Some I replied to just because they look pretty hot and others I deleted. I couldn't believe how rude some guys were but luckily I have thick skin and could take all the hate when I politely refused offers or ignored them.

After a week of having my profile I had a message from a guy who was younger than me. His message wasn't asking for sex or some cheesy chat up line it was simply asking how I was and what was I look for on this website. I didn't reply straight away in fact it was two days later after I had checked his profile out and to see how far away he was, I was also not too sure as he was younger than me only by 2 years but I wanted someone older to connect with. I sent a simple reply back and we instantly started messaging back and forth, we eventually swapped phone numbers.

We would spend the days texting each other and just getting know each other. At this point I felt nothing romantically, maybe it was because we hadn't actually met. After about 2 months of messaging I was getting ready to go to a pole dancing lesson and just as I set off the lesson was cancelled and I ended up outside his house. This is probably one of the most stupidest of things I have ever done, I had never met this guy and although we had spoken on the phone I had no proof he was who he said he was. His door opened and luckily he was who he said he was, he gave me an awkward hug and said 'Hiya you alright' I giggled and blurted out 'hmm your bit more northern then I thought you'd be'
That night I met his mum, dad and brother and we sat in his room playing on the Xbox. Not what I imagined it would be like when I first met him that's for sure.

One Of Our Dates
We always look back at how weird it was on the night we first actually met and how in hindsight I was really stupid in meeting him at his own house. We have been together now for seven year's we have two pretty awesome kids and we are planning a wedding. Online dating can be a real success you just have to be patient and choose the right website for what you are looking for. There are so many to choose from such as Match Me Happy.

**This is a sponsored post.

Thursday, 12 July 2018

My Ideal Home Improvement's

Currently we don't own our home, which is a shame as there is so much that I would love to do to make the most out of the space we have. We live in a semi-detached 3 bedroom house with a drive and a very spacious garden. We're actually really lucky with the amount of space we have but there is so much potential. The below is what I would love to change about our home if we could and if money wasn't an option.

The Attic
The attic is very large with half of it already being carpeted and decorated plus it has a sky light and electric sockets. This is great as we use it for storage an I often will take myself up there and use the sewing machine. The other half of the attic is how an unused attic looks with wooden beams and dark! The first thing I would do is make use of the all of the space but separate it into two sections, one for storage and one to serve as a fourth bedroom. I would replace the drop down ladder with a staircase as there is more than enough room on the landing. The storage section would also be great to use as a craft room.

The Bathroom 
The only downside to our home is the bathroom. I'm not sure what was done to the house to make the bathroom as small as is it but whatever it was I'm not a fan. We currently have a half bath, which is great for the kids but for someone like me who loves to enjoy a soak with a bath bomb I'm outta luck. I would build an extension towards the back so that we would have a larger space and could fit in a larger bath, maybe one of those nice Jacuzzi baths. As the extension would affect the downstairs I would keep the downstairs toilet and maybe use the larger area as a utility room and somewhere for the dog to have more space.

The Kitchen
So as I have mentioned the plan I have in mind for the bathroom would affect downstairs and as well as creating that space down stairs I would need a door leading into a conservatory. I think a nice conservatory with either bi-folding doors or french doors opening out on to the garden. I would like a lot of light as I would plan to use it mainly as a play and learn room for the kids Jared also has a pretty awesome telescope so lantern roofs would go really nicely. I would go for a nice laminate flooring but cover with a large rug so it didn't get destroyed by the children and dog.
The Driveway
We already have a drive-way the but it's stone's and there isn't a dropped curb. I would get it paved have a drop curbed installed then transform the front garden maybe add a nice tree and a couple of flower pots.

**Please note this is a sponsored post however all thoughts and opinions are of my own. 

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

HP Stream 14

A little while back I found myself needing a new laptop as Eryn had managed to fry my circuit board and break my charger on my much loved Acer. All of my pictures and video's of both kids as babies are still on that laptop and I need to find someone more techy than me who can get them off for me. So I was without a laptop which is no good when I have decided to up my blog game. I had a budget to stick to which wasn't very generous but I thought it would get me something that I could use to blog and save my crap on.

I shortlisted about 5 that I thought would do the job, I read the reviews and then made up my mind. The HP Stream was ordered and with me the next day and I loved how it looked. It was smaller than my Acer, lighter than my Acer plus it was purple. I love the purple colour, it wasn't a main selling point but it was nice to be able to have something other than the bog standard black.

I took to setting up the laptop and that is when I noticed it's actually more of a notebook than a laptop but I was fine with that. After a few days a prompt popped up stating there was an update so as you do you save all your stuff and wait for it to update. Error can't update! What the hell do you mean you can't update? I followed instruction's accepted what I needed why won't you update? I tried again and was again faced with ERROR. Storage full can't update. I was shocked how can storage be full when it literally had 5 pictures saved to desktop? I went through and deleted all the stuff that I didn't need like the game's and app's that were already installed. Try again. ERROR.

Delete more stuff. Try again. ERROR.

So I thought sod the update. I'll install the Office 365 which came free with the purchase. It downloaded several things then stopped, so I got in touch via the online chat I gave permission for him to control my laptop from his end. Two hours later he found that there isn't enough storage I told him to delete everything that I didn't and still not enough storage.

Now when I was comparing laptops and reading reviews most of the reviews stated it was great for uni work and for just saving a pictures and surfing the internet. Which is pretty much all I needed it for. This could not be more incorrect!!

If you are considering buying this laptop then I would urge you to think again. This laptop is only good for if you want to use the internet or stream Netflix. It will not save many picture's, word document's and certainly will not have enough space to download anything like Origin (trust me I tried). If you are thinking of buying this for your daughter or son who is off to uni again I would advise against this as they will need to purchase an external hard drive or a mountain of USB sticks.

HP you have basically made a tablet with a keyboard attached.

Monday, 9 July 2018

Top 5 TV Binge Show's

Now that I'm no longer working I have more time to watch TV, well in between the episode's of Peppa Pig that I have to suffer through. Seriously how many times does that school roof need mending? On a night I tend to watch programmes that interest Liam as well as myself, although with the world cup on it's been more his interests than mine. So during the day I try to binge watch things I love, I like to mix it up a bit so I don't catch up to the point where I have to wait for the next season which is what happened a few years ago with The Walking Dead.

No.1 Fear The Walking Dead
I'm not normally one for a spin off show but when the latest season of The Walking Dead ended I had a big empty zombie hole that I needed filling. I tried watching another zombie based show but I just couldn't get into it so I started on Fear The Walking Dead. After two episode's I was hooked and rang my mum and told her she has to watch this. I have my characters who I love and who I really hate but I'm not ready for them to die yet. I have just reached season 4 which I'm hoping isn't the last season but have a feeling it may be. If you love zombie's then I would urge you to watch this as it is basically another view of how people are coping with the zombie apocalypse.

No.2 Supernatural 
A programme I have loved for many years and the reason my son is called Jared, but with the constant channel swapping and then going to a channel I didn't have I fell behind and had no idea what was going. The solution to this was to binge from the start even though I still remember a lot of the earlier episodes they are good to watch and there is little bits that you miss or forget about. I find that this programme can be very dark and on my bedroom TV can be hard to see what is going on but if you have a good quality TV like the 4KTV Panasonic one's then you should have no problem at spotting a demon hiding in the shadows.

No.3 Game Of Throne's
Ok so I'm late to this party. When I see so many people watching the same show and bigging it up I like to avoid it, not because I don't want to be a sheep but rather I don't want to be disappointing. I have to admit that I'm finding it hard to get really gripped on it an it's more of an occasional binge rather then a oh my god I need to watch more. I have been expecting big feels for this show and so far I've not really got them but I shall carry on with the binge and maybe by the time I reach season 2 I will be hooked.

No4. Orange Is The New Black
While I feel this show has lost it's popularity, mainly due to other Netflix shows, this is one of the more serial binger binge show's. In fact my binge watching started with this, it was December and I had lots of prezzie's to wrap so I wanted something I could watch and not have to really concentrate on. Well that changed fast I was hooked and slightly shocked at how graphic it was (the shower scene!) if you have watched you will know what I mean. Although it is very full on like that it is, I mean come on how many show's actually tell it how it is without trying to dress it up and making something it isn't. If you are yet to watch this then please be advised there is a lot of naked ladies in this.

No.5 Making A Murderer 
During this show I like the other thousands of people who binge watched this, became detectives. I love crime programmes I watch so many, Lock Up, Homicide Hunter, The First 48 the list goes on, basically if it contains murder and prisons I'm watching it. Making A Murderer isn't just a binge watch it literally consumes you, it played with my emotions I got angry, hopeful and even cried. It hit me that these were real people, real lives and a real crime and I wasn't happy with what I saw. I spent hours well actually months of researching about this and I still check to see what progress there is in Brendan's case as I don't think it went the right way with him. This show also got me thinking about other people sat in jail who have a story that may have just as many unanswered questions, so I write to people in American jails. My binge watching turned it into a hobby of writing to inmates and hearing their stories against the evidence and information available to the public, but that's a post for another day.

Have you binged any of the above? I'd love to know your thought's. If not what have you watched? I'm always looking for recommendation's to add to my binge list.

Thursday, 5 July 2018

The Perfect Interview Outfit

It's that time of the year where a load of young people leave education, some will be leaving high school and looking at starting college or an apprenticeship and some may be embarking into the world of work after finish their final year in education. Which ever journey you are on you will at some point have an interview either for a job, apprenticeship or a place at your chosen education place. Below is a little guide from CT shirts, retailers of menswear and suits to give you some great advice on the perfect interview outfit. 

If you are attending an interview for a place where you will be volunteering or an internship without pay then dressing casual would be suitable. Most of the people doing these interviews won’t expect you to be dressed very formally, and will be more concerned with your personality, including your punctuality. However it’s always good to make a positive first impression, so still consider what you’re wearing. Some interview's will also include a trial run of the job so take that into consideration when choosing your outfit.

Casual wear for women can include jeans and skirts it's best to go for something that you will feel comfortable in.To ensure you still look presentable, you should avoid mini-skirts with bare legs and ripped jeans as this is too relaxed for an interview environment and can give off the wrong impression. You could wear a smart dress with tights and a cardigan or a shirt-jumper combo with a smart pair of trousers or jeans. Since it’s likely to be a relaxed vibe, you shouldn’t worry too much about footwear. Opt for a smart ankle boot or flat pump, and perhaps avoid trainers and high heels. I would say trainer's are a no go for any interview, unless you have a medical reason to need to wear them.

It can be difficult for men to find a casual look without giving off the impression of looking to relaxed. Jeans are definitely appropriate, but similar to our advice for women, steer clear of ripped jeans, you can team the jeans up with a nice long sleeved top or jumper. You should avoid wearing tracksuit bottoms or tracksuit tops, as these will not give off the best impression. For shoe's a smart pair of brogues or Chelsea books to give off a bit of a smarter look.

Business casual
For some interview they will advise you of the type of attire they expect you to wear. This may be because they have this dress code in the office or it may be for an assessment day where you are expected to be there all day and recruiters want you to feel comfortable for example if tou are working a trail at a restaurant they will want you to look the part. If you are unsure what to wear, it’s best to dress too formally rather than too casually to avoid giving off the wrong impression. You may feel a little over dressed but it gives a good impression and that you have thought it through.

When dressing business-casual there are many choices of what to wear than in a strictly professional interview. You could wear pinstripe or patterned dress, trousers with a smart shirt tucked in. Or, wear a smart shirt with a wide collar underneath a long-sleeved sweater. This look gives off a formal impression, whilst not as professional as a shirt and suit jacket. Shoe's should be smart looking but you don't have to go for a heel a nice pair of flat's works just as well.

For men smart slim fitting shirts look great teamed up with a nice pair of trouser's. Why not invest in a non-iron shirt? It stays free of creases and there’s no need to rush around with the iron the morning before the interview! Also, if you’re travelling by car or public transport to the interview, a normal shirt can become creased but this is avoided through the non-iron garment. Jean's are a no go even if they look smart, a smart pair of Chino's could work well with the right shirt and shoes. For shoe's either a nice pair of dress shoe's or brogues.

When attending a more formal interview a professional look is required. These interviews could be in front of directors of the company for a graduate job or an internship. So you want to look your best here as your appearance certainly counts, and with the high level of competition at this stage, you don’t want to fall at any hurdles.

It can be difficult for women dressing in a professional situation as a suit is the best option. For the lower half there are two option's a skirt or trouser's it's best to go for what you feel the most comfortable in. If you decide to wear a skirt, wear one with a hemline just below the knee to avoid it rising and becoming too revealing. A suit doesn’t have to be boring,  shop around and discover suits that are tailored in different ways  and find one that suits your body shape. When it comes to footwear, heels are acceptable but make sure you can walk with confidence in them. If you don’t feel happy wearing heels, opt for pumps or shoes with a smaller heel. There are some really great skirt suit's about.

For men a suit is what they should wear. You can choose to go for a tailored suit that will be a nice fit and also through the choices you can choose something that represents your style. Wear dark socks to blend in with your outfit and bring a briefcase to look professional, you can get some really trendy looking briefcases now that are a better suited to the younger generation. Brogues are a good choice of footwear they are stylish and smart without being too dull.

What to avoid
As we can see, the main thing to do is to make sure you feel comfortable in your outfit — it will show in the interview! However, there are a few things that you should avoid:
* Too much perfume or aftershave.
* Too much jewellery or makeup.
* Shoe's that are too high or dirty.

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

A Two Year Old's Wish List

At the end of this month my daughter turn's two. This past year has flown by and we have watched our daughter turn into a funny. smart and argumentative little girl. Eryn is pretty independent but also a mummies girl. With her birthday being just weeks away we have had so many people ask what to get her so I thought I would create this post because apart from anything branding Peppa Pig's face what do you get a two year old?

If my daughter needs anything at the moment then it is clothes. The problem is there is so many to choose from and some so expensive (who knew girls would cost a fortune?). I love being able to grab a bargain for her and have got some great outfits for her from Primark and TKmax but lately I have found some amazing dresses which are handmade. There are many little online boutiques who have a small but beautiful range of dresses, skirts, shorts and much more. One of my favourites is a dress that has a bee design on it and is made by That's Just Crafty there is also a skirt with the bee design too which is also gorgeous. The price of the dress is more than what I would normally pay if I bought it from the high street but I know that a lot of time has been put into making it and that the quality is a very high standard. What little girl wouldn't look adorable in these?


Eryn is really into shape sorter's and puzzle's and at this age I encourage her to play with them as often as possible. She loves trying to figure it but can become a little bored playing the board style one's. So in my search of finding something she will love and that is also that bit special I found Peek A Boo Puzzle. You can have your own images put on to the board so that when the shape is removed your image is underneath. I like these because I not only can are they personal but they can also be a keepsake, my two favourite things ever. Other puzzle's that I have been looking at are the big floor puzzles and also a huge foam Peppa Pig one.

Can a girl ever have too many shoes? In Eryn's case no because she loves shoes. She wears her own shoes, my shoes, Dad's shoes and has even tried to put other people's shoes on at softplay. I have seen some lovely pair's of Mini Melissa's which are currently on sale and I know she will love them.

Not so exciting for her but I want to make her bedroom more snuggly in the hope's that it will help her learn to fall asleep in her own room. I'm going to find a nice warm light night light, I have seen a few in the Range. Her shelves are looking slightly bare so I would like to add to her little collection of snow globes. Eryn's room is really bright which is a nightmare at any time of the year so I will be making her some blackout blinds. I have found some gorgeous patterned fabric which will be lined with the blackout blind material.

I know that she will get more toy's bought for her but I really hope that these will be appreciated just as much as a toy. As well as the above I also hope to have a little tea party in the garden with a bouncy castle and BBQ for tea. I find children are tricky to buy for so I hope this list can help inspire you to find something different from the usual toy's. 

Sunday, 1 July 2018

Go Ape: Temple Newsam Review

Go Ape has arrived in Leeds, well it arrived a few months ago but it nearly didn't arrive in Leeds at all. The site wasn't actually originally planned for Temple Newsam it was meant for Roundhay Park but we are glad we finally have a site in Leeds. For those who are reading this who have no idea what Go Ape is then let me just sum it up in a few words, sky high adventure!

We arrived bang on time for our time slot at Go Ape which was lucky as traffic had been a bit of a nightmare. When we reached The Cabin we were given safety sheets to read and hand to sign a few things. We had a few personal belongings with us which we kept in the cabin, we swapped our belongings for a wrist band with a number on. After we had signed in and got our wrist bands on we went round to the back of the cabin to get strapped into our harness. I was nominated to be the first person to get strapped in, the harness was pretty comfortable and held flabby bits firmly in place. The harness that I wore went over my shoulders and round my legs my sister's harness was slightly different and also had a whistled attached in case you needed help around the course. Everyone has to wear a harness which is fitted by an instructor to ensure that it is on correctly.

After getting fitted into the harness you are told about the trolley and the carabiner and taken to a practice area. The instructor then demonstrate's how to use them and give's a few ground rules on the do's and don'ts of the course. It was at this point I realised you don't have an instructor go round the course with you. We then got to take it in turn's to go on the practice course, up some stairs walk along a rope to the next tree then zipline down. Easy!

At Temple Newsam if you are doing level 3 like we did there are five courses to complete. We started at number 6, this was an easy course to start on. I took the lead on this followed by my 13 (Molly) and 15 (Trinity) year old sister then friend and fellow blogger Nicola. My 13 year old sister is not the best with heights and need a lot of encouragement to get round this first course but she did it and was super proud of herself as were we. On one of the part's of this course there is a section where you can go one of to ways, the difficult way or the extreme way. Molly and me went the via the difficult route where as Trinity and Nicola Go Ape and take the extreme route. To get back to the ground it's just a zipline a way.

All courses but one end via a zipline. The one that does not has what is called the plummet, the course for this is really short and simple. You climb a tower walk and in my case lose your footing across a bridge then get clipped in and jump. I didn't think Molly would do this as you are pretty high up and you are stood there looking over the edge of the platform and you have to make yourself jump, which is actually pretty difficult but what's even more difficult is landing it. I literally hit the floor like a sack of potatoes.

The most testing course is the one that starts you off by climbing a tower, watching and hearing people scream as they fall or get pushed off the ledge. They swing across into a net then have to climb the net to reach the platform. Molly opted out of doing this one whilst at the top but luckily there was a route that took her to the next stage other wise everyone has to get off as once your trolley and carabiner are on you can't get them off until the end. On the tarzan swing there is a Go Ape instructor who makes sure that you are clipped on correctly and then tells you what to do when you hit the net. If you don't feel like you can jump or slide yourself off the edge then they do offer the option of them pushing you, clearly the best job there. Trinity jumped off the edge no problem where as Nicola and myself chose to sit and shuffle off none of us required a shove though.

We ended our day on course 7 which I think is the best to end on. This course didn't require too much pulling yourself across up down and round which was great as my body was aching so much at this point and my hands were so sore, gloves are optional but I would recommend wearing some I know I will next time I go. So this course is super fun you zipline from tree to tree landing on a platform each time, at some points it looks like you won't make it across but if you don't there are so ropes so you can pull yourself across. Be careful of those ropes though as while I was flying across one got trapped under my arm and gave me a nice little rope burn, ouch! After flying from tree to tree you then reach the last zipline back down to the ground. Now at the training part you are told how to land at a zipline so you run forward if facing forward and drag your heels if facing sideways or backwards, during the whole course none of us managed a good landing we all sort of flopped into the wood chippings collecting plenty in our pants. However the final zipline I was the last to go down and I landed it, I bloody did it I landed that last zipline like a pro.

I really enjoyed this experience however there are a few things that would of made it better. There are a few rope bridges and whilst I was walking through these my harness would get caught and loosen a little meaning I then had to get an instructor to tighten it again for me. I think it would be better if they could either make the rope holes smaller's or make another elastic part on the harness so it didn't flap and get caught. We couldn't take out phone's with us, not because we weren't allowed but we just didn't have any pockets that would keep them safe while we went round. It would be great if they could add something onto the harness like a zip pocket so that people could take a phone round to take some pictures. I did mention these points while there as it isn't something you think about before you go you so if you do plan to go make sure you have zipppy pockets if you want to take a tree top selfie.

Monday, 25 June 2018

Sweet Pups Review And Giveaway

Children just love to collect thing's from pine cones, shells, toys and stickers just to name a few. If your child loves to collect thing's then they might like these collectable soft plush toys Sweet Pups. Sweet Pup's is a collection of 12 sweet pastry treats which transform into cute little puppies and if that wasn't sweet (pun intended) enough they are also scented.

We were sent a Sweet Pup to review, Eryn spotted a parcel and every time a parcel arrives the kids argue over who is opening it. As Jared was at school I thought it would be best for me to open and actually be able to get a picture of it in the packaging. The packaging is simple and clear so you can see the pastry though it. Eryn at this point was just looking at me repeating "ME" meaning she wanted to have a look and see what it was.

The Sweet Pup we received was a chocolate scented macaroon which changed into a pup called Romeo. At first I wasn't aware that it was scented it was until Eryn started licking it, which is actually pretty normal in our house. As she licked it I took it off her to tell her (for the 100th time) that we don't lick everything, that is when I could smell the chocolate.

To change from pastry to pup is really simple Eryn can even do it. You undo the velcro and flip it inside out then do the velcro back up. The macaroon is rubbery feeling whilst the pup is just soft and cuddly.

What the kids liked about Sweet Pups was that you could use it in many play roles. They had afternoon tea with a chocolate macaroon then they played vets with the pup, there was also a game which involved the pup being a superhero and defeating the crocodile in order to rescue the princess Peppa.

You can find Sweet Pup's on Amazon for £7.99 they are also in Claire's they are perfect for a little birthday gift or dare I say a stocking filler for Christmas.   Win 1x Sweet Pups

All About The Blogger: Kelly Allen Writer

Today's post is a guest post by Kelly from the blog  Kelly Allen Writer. This is part of a new Linky that I have joined, I hope to find new blogs for both you and myself to enjoy reading.

My name is Kelly and I blog at Kelly Allen Writer. I live in Cardiff with my husband, two children and labradoodle, and I write about family lifestyle, arts and culture.

Q1. How would your best friend describe you?
I asked him (my best friend is my husband Warren!) and he said...
gorgeous, sexy, smart, funny, caring, lovely, empathetic, sweet, honest, friendly, beautiful, awesome...
Awww my heart!

Q2. What is your favourite thing about blogging?
Reaching out to people and writing, of course! I love writing about different things I feel passionate about, and I also love it when people can relate to my thoughts and situation.

Q3. If you could change anything about blogging, what would it be?
I think it would be good if there was a set fee companies had to adhere to to prevent people being paid a pittance for good work.

Q4. If you were invited to a Blogger’s Cocktail Party, which three bloggers would you invite and why?
Oh I love this question! I'd invite Jess from Mrs Helicopter Writes, Laura from Side Street Style, Ayse from ArePops and I have to add a fourth, the wonderful Lianne from Anklebiters Adventures. They're all ace and so kind, and I don't see them half as much as I'd like!

Q5. What is the best blogging tip you have been given?
Write what you love.

Q6. When you aren’t blogging, where is your favourite place to visit for a day out?
The beach! It calls to me and I feel safe and sound when I'm on the sand listening to the waves crashing against the shore.

Q7. Tell us about your guilty pleasure. It could be food, drink, a TV programme or your favourite band.
Probably beer!

Q8. If you knew you were going to be marooned on a desert island and could take 3 luxury items with you, what would they be?
One of my fave questions. I'd take a photo album of my family, dry shampoo and aftershave to remind me of Warren :(

Q9. What was the last good book you read?
Probably Ruby by Cynthia Bond.

Q10. Describe your perfect date night?
Anything as long as it involves Warren. My favourite thing would probably be a meal,movie and massage night!

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Sunday, 24 June 2018

Get Fit For Free

Since being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes I have been making more of an effort to get fitter. I'm a realist so I know that I'm not going to be running marathon's anytime soon but I've got to start somewhere and running is a great way to start. Ok so maybe I walk quickly and jog more then run but it is a start and better than sat watching Jezza. I have a huge issue about being out and about on my own so my first choice was to look at joining a gym and just using a treadmill and maybe the bikes, sadly my bank balance and time doesn't stretch enough. However there are many ways to get fit for free.
Photograph by John Kees
I have started to attend Parkrun with my son on a Sunday morning. Liam attends the one for adults on a Saturday but due to the time and lack of child care I can't go to that one which in a way is a blessing as with the junior one I can jog and walk and not look like I'm completely hanging, basically my son is shielding how unfit I am. Parkrun has events up and down the country and is free to join in, you can register online for a barcode which if you take with you will be scanned and you will be emailed your time and position that you came, not that it is a race I think it's so you can keep a tally on your progress.

Another great free running group that is local to myself and I think has other's dotted about the UK is Sweatshop running group. It is run out of a the Sweatshop clothing store and there are a choice of routes to follow, what makes this different to Parkrun is that it is held on an late afternoon early evening and you don't have a way to check your time unless you use your own timer or Fitbit.

Work out at home. So this sounds a lot easier then it actually is, I have an app that has been giving me notifications and inspirations for the past month and a half. The thing is I haven't actually completed any of the routines yet. I find it difficult at home not to just give up I have nobody to watch me and make me feel guilty for giving up. I also find that I go into it to hard and fast as a lot of the apps and free work out video's that can be found on YouTube are for those people who have some level of fitness and aren't a complete potato like me.

When I first looked at how to get fit for free I came across boxing. So technically it is free but the catch is you need to raise money for charity, not that this is a bad thing to do. I signed up but then realised the fight night was on a birthday that I couldn't miss. The main reason I wanted to do this was for the free 8 weeks training that you get, it would boost motivation and fitness levels which would then make it easier to fall into a natural routine of exercise. You would also get great skills make some friends and who knows you could be the next Mike Tyson (I know nothing of boxing can you tell?). If this tickles your fancy then check out White Collar Boxing.

I would love to see the Government invest money into free to use outside Gyms. You know the onens that you see on TV next to the beaches in California. As a main topic at the moment is about the rise of obesity and obesity related health problems I feel that this would be a benefit in trying to tackle this issue. Every time I have sat speaking to my doctor I have been told to change my diet and exercise more which is great advice but when they suggest exercise it has always been in the form of a gym or an activity club.

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

My Personalised Phone Case

When I got my phone there wasn't many choices when it came to choosing a phone cover. The Google Pixel 2 came out when I was due an upgrade so I was limited to clear, black or white phone covers. I chose the clear one and vowed I would find one that better suited later.

A while later and still no phone cover that I liked, they were all to girly or one that every other person had. Which for me is no good, I like to be individual and I also like to be able to spot my phone should I ever lose it (touch wood I never do). I decided to look online and still had the same issue but also not many did them for my phone. I then got the opportunity to work with a company that make personalised phone cases.

I now had the task of choosing what I wanted on my phone case which is hard as I can barely choose what to cook for dinner. Should it be a picture of my adorable children, my dog or maybe one of my drawings? I spent a while looking through pictures and decided against the idea of having any of them and instead went along the lines of choosing something that made me feel happy. The one thing (aside from my kids) that makes me feel happy and have good memories with is the band Blink 182. Yep that's right I'm a 28 year old mother of two who loves pop punk, well actually I love all punk and rock music and my phone is usually blaring out either Blink 182 or Slipknot depending on how I feel. So back to my choice of case design I flicked through various pictures from when I went to see Blink 182 and even toyed with the idea of creating a collage so I could include the gorgeous alien hunter Tom DeLonge ( I love that man's voice). I didn't have any suitable pictures from when I saw them in Leeds but then I remembered that one of my friends bought the poster for the tour at Leeds (each tour venue has it's own poster design) and that was exactly what I wanted on my phone.

The design has lot's of colour which I thought would be good to put the test as I know some can print out with a duller shade. The process when uploading the image to the website was easy and I had a play around to get the sizing right and so that the wording was still readable and showed not just the main band name but also the amazing support acts of the night. I found the whole ordering process really easy to use and I wasn't having to enter loads of information over and over again. Once I was happy with how the case looked on screen I completed the order and just had to sit and wait for it to arrive. I had express delivery which is 2-3 days and it came within the 2 days. The packaging was great and not oversized for the product, unlike some companies who feel they need to use a ridiculous amount of bubble wrap and parcel paper. I was a little nervous to open the package as I really wanted this poster to look great, I was not disappointed. Like I mentioned the case has a lot of colour on, vibrant colour. The colour's are sharp and clear and there is no pixelation of the picture nor the wording, this is what I was most nervous about as I have ordered pictures in the past that have then ended up looking like something out of Minecraft.

Overall I'm more than happy with my phone case and the process of creating and ordering. I spent longer thinking about what to have on it then I did either writing this post or ordering it. If you are looking to make your own case then I would recommend using this website they have a wide range of phone cases they can make so whether you an Apple, Sony, Huawei a Google or something else you can find a case to fit. Price's vary depending on the phone and the type of case you choose so my case is a retail price of £12.45. As well as phone cases they also offer cases for Ipad's and power bank's.

Friday, 15 June 2018

18 Summers Wish List

Time goes far too quickly and apparently it goes that quick that we only actually get 18 summers with our children! which for me means I have 13 left with Jared and 16 left with Eryn. It wasn't until I read that that I realised how precious time is and how I need to make more memories with them before they get to the point where they don't want to anymore. Below is my list of 18 wishes of what and how I want to spend those 18 years.

Road Trip
I want to rent a camper van and take them on a road trip ideally America would be my go to place but I think it would be great for them to experience the UK more. Although we try and visit lots of place around the UK it can be exhausting travelling back and fourth so if we could take off for two weeks and start one end and work our way to the other that would be so much fun.

Try New Foods
If we get to be so lucky to travel to different countries I want them to experience different foods. So many children become fussy eaters and then as an adult become even fussier. I maybe would draw the line at them eating scorpions but if they really wanted to try it who am I to say no.

Love To Learn
In life they will need some many skills some more useful than others. I always felt pressured to learn and as a result didn't enjoy learning and rebelled. I want my kids to love it and want to learn new things. Learn to play an instrument, ride a bike, ride a horse, speak a new language or even learn archery.
Be Wild
Enjoy being able to climb a tree and make den's in bushes. Enjoy being able to forest for food's and know which are safe to eat. It may not be as useful as it once was but it's fun and still useful, we often go strawberry picking at a pick your own but how great is it when your walking through the woods and come across a blackberry bush and pick them.

Visit The World
Ok visiting the world may be a bit ambitious but I want to explore and experience new places with my children. We have spoken about this before and Jared really wants to visit Japan (apparently there is a all you can eat cookie shop). Other places include Thailand, America, Germany, Italy and Canada.

Be Responsible
My children are both really good with their manner's but one thing that they do need to learn is responsibility. Jared still thinks it is my job do to everything for him but he is slowly learning that it is his responsibility to keep his room clean and put his washing on the wash pile. I don't want to do everything for my children I want them to learn age appropriate responsibilities.

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Modibodi Review

When it comes to underwear gone are the days of me wearing a thing or some sexy french knickers. I tend to go for a mini brief now which is more for feeling comfortable than anything else.

Since having my kids a brief is more needed as well, pelvic floor muscles have certainly weakened. I find myself needing to get to the toilet quicker to avoid any accidents but not only that my period's have become a bit heavier. It's a bit of an embarrassing subject but something that many of us experience and it can make us feel awkward. I find being at the younger age I don't really need panty liners and I wouldn't feel completely comfortable wearing them.

Thankfully there are alternatives out there, one of them being ModiBodi pants. The pants I tried are classic bikini style in black with a band with their name on. The absorption part is built in and is actually really comfy, I was worried that I would feel it whilst moving but once they are on they just felt normal except slightly more comfortable. This particular style can be used without any other products on a low-medium period flow, it felt strange not using anything else a feeling you get used to. If you have heavy periods these are great as a safety measure, I'm sure we have all experienced a leak even while wearing a tampon.

There are many different styles to choose and different levels of absorption. I really like that by using these pants I'm lowering the use of pads which is not only saving me money but also helping reduce the use of single use plastic products. Having had a good look on the website I'm really happy with their prices compared to similar items I've seen on the market.

DIY Daddy
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Monday, 11 June 2018

The Harry Potter Studio Tour

On Friday I was lucky enough to attend an event at the Harry Potter Studio Tour along with fellow blogger's and vlogger's. Having never been on the tour before I was rather excited to be going to see behind the scene's and see the actually sets that the film's were filmed on as well as props and costumes. The tour have the Goblet of Fire exhibit which is running until September.

Before the tour begins you have plenty to look at while waiting, there is also a cafe so you can grab a bite to eat and something to drink. The gift shop is also there for you to have a look round and maybe grab a wand, because every wizard and witch needs one. The first part of the tour gives you a few ground rules and then you watch a short video before entering The Great Hall.

The Goblet of Fire sits at the end of The Great Hall waiting to reveal just how the Triwizard Champions' are announced by firing a piece of paper out, there are plenty of these so you can keep one as a memento of the tour. After the demonstration you have a few moments to have a look around The Great Hall before moving on and be left to look around in your own time and take in every little detail. You really appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into the sets.

The first section you come to is home to the potion room, where you can take your time in trying to read every potion bottle label, there are a lot. You can stand, sort of, at the bottom of the moving staircase, take a peep at the boy's dorm and see for the first time the tap's from the prefect's bathroom, they are so beautiful I wished my motion picture could show you just how beautiful. There are so many different props to be amazed. We got to step into Dumbledore's office and the detail is just fantastic I just wish that we could of gone up the steps and closer to the desk so we could see more closer.

As you walk around the tour there are little stamp stations to stamp a passport which you are given before the tour starts, this is great for the kids who may not be as interested in looking at every little thing. Around the tour their is many things to keep the kid's engrossed, they can call their broomstick up near the Quidditch display before heading over to go broom flying. After you have had your flight on the broomstick you can purchase the video or a photo. There is a few places where you can have a picture taken for free, if you don't fancy buying your broomstick ride.

Before entering the forbidden forest you can polish up on your wand skills, trust me you will need them. During our stroll through the Forbidden Forest we saw Buckbeak, Aragog and a Patronus. The Forest was great with more interactive treat's for you to play with, towering tree's and eerie fog rolling in.

Next stop Hogwarts! I personally think the Hogwart's Express should be the first thing you come across, before you begin your journey through the sets. This area was really fun you could take pictures of you running through the walls with your trolley, of course I had to take a silly picture who smiles when they are running at bricks! This section also had another green screen area where you can sit in the carriages. You can board the express and see the carriages (you can't sit in them on the train) or you could play out waving goodbye from the window.

We were about half way round at this point some we stopped for a quick bite to eat and a Butterbeer. I chose to have a chicken burger which I thought would could with fries or wedges but sadly not. I thought the food was rather expensive and wasn't that nice, the price of the chicken burger was £7.95. Maybe I've just lived in the north for too long but it just seemed really over priced for what it was. I opted for a Butterbeer while my sister chose to have the Ice cream. I really like the Butterbeer and even drank some of my friends it's strange as it is like a fizzy butterscotch drink with a creamy butterscotch top. The ice cream was just butterscotch flavoured but very nice.


After our pit stop we went outside and ended up on Privet Drive, you can go inside the house too. We took it in turns to get a picture with the Knight Bus, I wish all buses were like the Knight Bus. We took a walk across the Hogwart's Bridge before taking a look at The Potter Cottage.

The next section is all about the prop's and my word there are so many. In here you can have a go at moving Dobby as well which the kid's seemed to really enjoy. I know I said it at the start but in this room you just can't help but think how amazingly skilled the craft people are. When we watch anything we never fully appreciate the work that goes into what they create you really have to see it to appreciate it fully.

To get to the design/art section you need to take a short walk through Diagon Alley. I loved walking through this street what would make it better is if they made some of the shops accessible, Imagine being able to by your souvenir in the Weasley's shop or a new Wand at Ollivander's. I think this would make the tour ever more amazing. So on to the design area where you can find models and drawing's and small models of the bigger models before they become real life sets. The amount of time that must of gone into these models is unthinkable.

We exited the tour and entered the gift shop. Here I go all northern again as I found the gift shop very out of my price range, I wanted to get a gift for my sister would couldn't come due to a GCSE exam. My thinking was I will get her a nice notebook for her to use when she goes to college. In my experience of buying gift's at studio tours I was thinking maybe £10 which I would of happily paid but for the A5 sized note book it was £18 and I just couldn't get that and also something for myself.

The tour was really good and I would recommend it to everyone. There is free onsite parking and if travelling by train a shuttle bus from Watford Junction, £2.50 for a return ticket. We drove down from Yorkshire and found the drive pleasant and the studio easy to find by following sat nav.

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