Thursday, 24 March 2016

Squidge's Second Birthday Party

So this year we had a delayed second birthday party for Squidge as Dink was due to arrive on her actual birthday so we moved everything back a month!

With everything being all up in the air with Dink's arrival we thought it would be nice to do something special just for Squidge.

So we pulled up our sleeves and had a Hartbeeps party at the local village hall.

Squidge used to love going to Hartbeeps when she was little so it was an easy choice for us! 

Hartbeeps is an interactive play session from newborn to five years run across a couple of different classes (So you haven't got four year olds jumping over babies!!) and it uses music to run themed sessions with multi-sensory play.

It really brought Squidge on and Miranda doesn't even mind when your little one has a good old chew on the props which Squidge used to do ALL the time!! 

Squidge loved her classes from six months and the only reason we still don't go is because their currently isn't a class very close by.

Miranda is full of energy and genuinely loves what she does which is so nice to see and the kids love her! 

Squidge full immersed herself in what it really feels like to be a dinosaur....completely with rubber gloves 

From my perspective it was the easiest birthday party to run as Miranda who runs the classes in Lincolnshire took on fifteen toddlers and their parents (Oh yes my dears parent participation is required!!) while I sat with Dink and DH and his dad cooked the food!

Although, I did have to keep the Parent Participation bit quiet as one friend put it...."there is alcohol right?" and "I'll remember this when it's my turn" 

Squidge thoroughly enjoyed her day with only one or two diva moments towards the end but you know the saying...."it's my party...."

Nat xx

If you're in the Lincoln area and want to give Hartbeeps a try check out Miranda's page here

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

What are you Reading this week? The Visitors Book

So time is short at the moment with the arrival of Splodge but weirdly I've found I have a lot of time for reading!! (All those late night feeds I guess!!)

I'm hoovering through books later but I haven't been putting my reviews up (I know, but I've been feeling lazy!)

So here's this weeks. The Visitor Book by Sophie Hannah

I've not read anything by Sophie Hannah before and this book is well written and intelligent

I'm not normally one for ghost stories my house is old and lends itself well to creepy stories!!

But This one is a lovely little quality hardback book. The cover is eye catching and the inside cover is designed to look like a visitor book

The book contains four short stories all with a supernatural slant, but I found the stories a bit hit and miss. I thought two were great while two were a bit predictable

I'm not sure I'd class them as scary stories but this makes them more accessible to those that don't like really scary stories like me!! 

It was easy to read and a quick win on the 50 book challenge!! 

Disclosure: I received this book for free.  All opinions and photographs are my own

Sunday, 21 February 2016

#CheckYourChaps With Orchid

For their Male Cancer awareness month Orchid, the Male Cancer Charity are trying to get you men to Check your Chaps!! 

Now, I know from experience that men (yes you DH) are notoriously difficult creatures when it comes to their health.  They refuse to go to the Docs despite hours of wasted nagging but ladies armed with the information in this post you might just encourage the men in your life to check themselves for the signs of testicular cancer.

It's not embarrassing and not knowing how to do it is so not an excuse because....With the help of Orchid I'm going to tell you how!!

The charity have just completed surveying the British public, revealing that on average only 32% of men are regularly checking themselves. Young men are even less likely to check themselves (only 1 in 4 do!) which is worrying as testicular cancer most commonly affects those aged between 15 and 45.

The charity is also asking women to help encourage their partners or family members to put their hands down their pants a little more often – at least once a month anyway. Whether that’s a partner, mum, grandparent, sister, aunty or friend – everyone has a part to play.

Each year, around 2,200 men will be diagnosed with testicular cancer and 60 young men will die of the disease. But that doesn’t need to be the case. If it is caught early, the cure rate is over 98%, so the best way to fight testicular cancer is simply to check regularly.

So how do you #CheckYourChaps?

It's easy peasy

1.             Check the entire surface of each testicle separately, and carefully. After a shower is best, when everything is relaxed

2.             Roll each testicle between the thumb and forefinger to check that the surface is free of lumps or bumps. Do not squeeze!

3.             Get to know your balls; their size, texture, anatomy, magnificence. Identify the epididymis or sperm collecting tube, often mistaken for an abnormal lump that runs behind each testicle

4.             Having your partner check too is always a good thing as they may be more likely to notice any problems and help give you the support to get you to do something about it

If you feel any abnormality on the testicle, you should go to your doctor and get it checked at the earliest opportunity.

And do get it checked!!! There's no I'll go tomorrow and then never go!!

Still not sure how to do it? Here's a video

How you can support Orchid during Male Cancer Awareness Month?

You can show your support for Orchid by buying the ‘The Meaning of Husbands’ book, a new addition to the popular ‘The Meaning of Everything’ series. £1 from each sale goes straight to Orchid and the entertaining quotes and many valuable life lessons have been inspired by husbands (and wives) all over the world.

For further information on testicular cancer, visit

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Do we make life harder for ourselves?

She's here!! Splodge has finally made her appearance into the world!

In a whirl of activity she arrived on the 1st of Feb at 4:11am in the morning

A much calmer experience than with Squidge and a much less worried Mum arrived home the same day but instantly the thoughts about how much harder life is going to be with an extra person to look after began.

After a million questions like How will Squidge take to her, How will Ted feel.  How will I manage when DH goes back to work and even...will I ever be able to shower when DH's not around!!

 I had to stop the spiral of questions and after a few days being at home I thought to myself...

Is it really going to be that much harder? Am I just making things harder for myself?

I found myself answering Yes, I was making life more complicated than it needed to be.

Splodge would slot in to our little family just like Squidge did, Ted did and Coconut did before that!

I would learn new and imaginative ways of keeping everyone entertained while I grabbed a shower and would stop beating myself up about the fact that Squidge can recite large parts of Frozen after two weeks of it on repeat while we got back on our feet and took tentative steps into this new family dynamic.

I won't worry about how I am going to get everyone up and out the door by 9am for nursery because I know I'll find away to do it

Or how I'll work bedtimes when DH is away

Because I know I have to do it so it will get done

I think sometimes we overcomplicate things with all the questions we ask ourselves in our internal monologue

The lovely folk at sent me the most apt sign for this post today.

You can check it out here

It's true.....when you get right down to it, Life really is simple.....We make it so much more complicated than it needs to be.

But it's not easy....I know the hard work with two kids, a husband, a dog and a cat is just beginning, but the hard work has to be done so it will get done....The questioning myself just makes it more complex than it needs to be

We'll get there and for the days that we don't quite make it to the toddler group or nursery on time or Squidge is on tantrum number 4 over a pair of spotty socks instead of stripy ones, there's always Gin!!

Nat xx 

Disclosure: I received the sign from free of charge for inclusion in this post

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

How do you celebrate Valentines Day?

Photo by Julie

Oooo possibly one of the most divisive holidays is coming up next week.

It's a tricky one.  Do you think it's a commercial cash cow that guilts us into "showing we care" for out significant other once a year or a great way to spoil out other halves?

I think me and DH are somewhere in the middle.  We understand that we're probably being conned into spending our hard earned pennies on something the other one doesn't really need but also it's nice to remember to spoil each other every once in a while!!

Now, we've been together for six years it's getting harder and harder to think of amazing heart felt I love you gifts and we tend to go for the more soppy but happy tagline!

So, what's my offering to my darling DH this year I hear you ask....


The lovely folk at Snapfish asked me what product of theirs would I produce for Valentines Day this year and I chose their Photo Cushion!

I chose the larger size cushion that comes in at £24.99 and has a faux suede back and is great quality.

Now I know what you're thinking....not the most romantic image...but you know what I think Valentines should be about what makes you smile about your relationship not just the mushy stuff.

And after six years what makes me smile is the fact that we still make each other laugh and what better way to wake up in the morning than seeing this photo on the bedroom chair

Whatever you decide to make of this day....I hope you enjoy it

Nat xx

Disclosure: I received this product free of charge for inclusion in this post. All opinions are my own  

Monday, 8 February 2016

GIVEAWAY! The Playground Mafia

Well last week before all the commotion that was Splodge's arrival I shared with you a review of The Playground Mafia.  A funny read about playground politics!

And here's your chance to win one of two copies of The Playground Mafia by Clare Christian and Elisabeth Kent

If you missed can check out the review here

It was a great little handbag read and I thoroughly recommend it!! 

The Playground Mafia Book Giveaway! 

1. The competition is open to residents of the UK only.
2. There is no cash alternative offered.
3. To enter, please use the rafflecopter widget above. Please ensure you leave some contact details or I will not be able to contact you if you win.
4. One winner will be selected at random and all entries will be verified. The winner will receive a copy of the book A Better Man by Leah McLaren
5. The competition will close on February 15th 2016 at 11:59:59pm
6. The winner will be asked to provide a full UK postal address with postcode for delivery purposes.
7. . I cannot be held responsible for prizes being lost in the post
8. Typically Ted's decision is final in all matters relating to this competition.

Competition Listed on and Loquax

Thursday, 4 February 2016

A House is not a Home

Dogs are a tie....they are a massive responsibility but the rewards they give you....the unfaltering loyalty and unconditional love they give you make it so worth it! 

I've always grown up with a dog in the house and when I eventually branched out on my own I couldn't have a dog of my own as I knew I couldn't give one a good life...I travelled a lot with work and spent my weekends out with friends.

It would never be fair to a dog but it didn't stop we wanting one....I would day dream of ways to make it work, with doggy baby sitters and walkers....even roping my parents in!!

I always missed having a dog, I always felt like something was missing and I think unless you are a doggy person you don't really understand that.

Fast forward to four years ago. Me and DH had just got married and had moved away to his work....I was still working in the same job but now there were two of us and DH could take a dog into his office.

And so arrived Ted....

He's our little Border Terrorist.... AKA Sick Note

We researched loads of different breeds before we picked a Border Terrier, a hardier breed we were told with few medical problems....

They'd never come across Ted

He's got hip displasya, allergies and once managed to poison himself...he's the calamity Jane of the border terrier world!! 

But we love him, would never be without him a do whatever we have to to keep him safe and well

And when sent me this sign recently I knew this was the perfect tribute to our monster....A home without a dog is definitely just a house in our eyes...Ted completes our little family and although sometimes drives my up the wall I would never be without him 

What do you think? How does having a dog enhance your home life? 

Nat xx