Christmas shopping and kids who have the nerve to grow up.

Christmas shopping, its one of those things that you either love or hate.

It’s something you look forward to with either excited anticipation or pure horror.

Personally I switch between both feelings.

I actually love buying gifts but I hate the crowds of people that seem to appear from anywhere and  everywhere.

Last year I actually got bruises from one shopping trip.

My Christmas shopping experiences have really changed over the years.

Ten years ago I could pretty much guarantee the girls would love everything I chose for them.

Now as they have got older its seriously like walking a tightrope and I promise i have fallen off many times.

One of the things I used to really love to do was shopping for the christmas outfits.

Dressing the girls up in pretty sparkly outfits brought new for this special day.

I think if I tried to dress my girls this year there may be war.

Even though i try to email my girls photos of nice dresses or outfits I get a reply that normally says “REALLY” or the lest polite “DREAM ON”.

Seems where my older two are concerned I am best handing over the cash as they hit town with their friends or just pressing checkout on the baskets they send me via email links.

Seriously why do our children have to grow up, how inconsiderate of them.

Anyway thank goodness for my youngest who is still willing to humour me and sit beside me as we surf the web for an Christmas outfit.

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30 minutes and one Christmas outfit later I am a happy mommy again thank you Esprit

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ideas are my own

 

 

My #Morrisonsmum shopping trip

I was super excited when I found out that I had been picked as a #Morrisonsmum.

£80 in vouchers to do a shop for the bank holiday. Wow this couldn’t have come at a better time as on Bank Holiday Monday we were hosting an event for over 60 children and their families and I was making the buffet.

Now I often use our local Morrisons but with the current financial climate we have had to shop around. So after hearing about the “I’m cheaper” price cuts I was looking forward to seeing if they would make an impact on our weekly costs.

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So how did my shopping trip go?

Pretty great.

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The I’m cheaper price cuts were on a lot of items that i normally buy.

We noticed a real difference in the price of our fruit which is always a big expense in this home. Bananas especially. I love to make a banana loaf but they disappear so quick that I’ve never had any left over. Due to the reductions I got to take home a few extra so hopefully in a few days a banana loaf will be in the making.

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I was catering for about 90 people and that involves a lot of sandwiches so I was super impressed by the reductions on their sandwich meats.

I was happy to see that the reductions was not on the super cheap or super expensive meats which is what we like to buy. My youngest wants you to know the Morrisons ham is the best ever.

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When hosted a gathering such as we were we had to cover so many things and thankfully from fruit to sweets Morrisons “I’m cheaper “ prices really made an impact to my budget.

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I was exhausted at the end of my shop but the difference in my estimated bill and my actual bill was really surprising and really welcome.

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Honestly if you are not a Morrisons shopper usually or haven’t been for a while I would recommend you giving them a try again.

I was really impressed and by the way the food disappeared on Monday I’m not alone in this view.

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Good quality food for great prices what more could I ask for?

 

* Whilst I was gifted £80 in vouchers to do a shop all opinions stated here are my own.

Keeping on top of it.

One fantastic thing about being the mom to teens and pre teens is shopping. The joy I get from being dragged around shop after shop for hours and hours at a time.

Do you detect a hint of sarcasm there?

I am not a fan of shopping at the best of times. Don’t get me wrong I do have a new found love of fashion but prefer to order from the comfort of my sofa.

Add to this dislike the adorable (annoying) different styles of my three girls I seriously dread the changing of the seasons and the need for appropriate clothes.

I love the changing of the leaves and the coming of the colder months but I hate the chore of finding new coats for my tribe.

Different tastes, different styles, annoying children leaves one frustrated mom.

With fashion changing and new trends emerging its important to in the words of my daughters “to keep on top it”. It seems its a cardinal sin to be seen in last years coat.

So the search was on.

One wanted one of the new tartan coats that seem to be everywhere. Tartan is the new trend it seems.

Another wanted a parka, something long enough to go over her blazer and hide the fact that she has too, in her words “ wear the dorky thing” and the little one well she had no clue ( helpful right).

The last four weeks have drove me insane. I honestly believed starting early would make it easier for me but no it seems the more time you give teens to look the more times they change their minds.

We have had numerous trips to town and hours spent pouring over the internet and finally I have a slight victory. Well the two teens have coats woo hoo.

I still have the little one (can i call a 12 year old that) to find a coat for but compared to the older two she is a breeze. (Please don’t let me be eating my words in a few weeks time).

Tartan didn’t happen but the parkas did, we have two very different but equally attractive coats and I have for the moment two happy teenagers.

Long may it last.

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* this is a sponsored post

Learning to love myself.

Lets be honest there aren’t many women who look in the mirror and likes what they see.

We all want to change a little about ourselves.

Me I have a love hate relationship with my body.

I love to hate it.

Thanks to medication and not being able to properly exercise due to this wonderful (sarcasm) illness I am
a lot larger than what I wish to be.

For the last 8 years I have pretty much hated the mirror and avoided at all costs. Convinced that nothing looks good or would look good.

The last few months I have finally started to get over myself.

Thanks to fashion plus size bloggers and the growing range of plus size clothing I am realising that I can look good.

Reading the beauty blogs and learning more about make up and being more adventurous

I am trying to move forward from the jeans and black Tshirt that has pretty much been my daily uniform.

In fact the other day I went shopping and actually tried on clothes that I would have normally shied away from.

And guess what I brought pink shoes. Yes that’s right pink shoes.

I know this sounds crazy but this is big for me.

The journey to loving my body starts here.

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Sweet Seventeen

I cannot believe that today you my baby are old enough to drive.

Where has those 17 years gone?

How quick does it seem since you were like this.

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You have faced so many things in your 17 years. Things no child should face, yet you has done so with such grace.

The last year hasn’t been easy for us. You fighting for your independence me holding on scared to let you grow, go.

You are an inspiration to me.

Your determination, your drive are all things are admire so much.

I love the way you sing everywhere, the shower, eating your dinner even shopping. I did say everywhere.

The next year is going to be one of many changes, A levels, university placement choosing.

Big changes.

Wherever and whatever the next year brings I will always be in your corner.

Love you lady to the moon, stars and back again.

Happy 17th birthday

My beautiful big girl.

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Excited by new technology.

I spent yesterday at the headquarters of Panasonic as part of Intelligent Living Mums Blogger group. As I have mentioned before on here I really admire the philosophy behind this brand and their real desire to design products that make a difference to daily life. Its not all about what looks good but what saves you time. What serves its purpose.

Anyway while I was there yesterday we were shown a number of products that to be honest I was impressed with but one of the technologies that really caught my eye was the new fridge freezers.

At first I thought what could be so exciting about a fridge freezer. I mean it keeps produce cold, simply thats it. But I was so wrong.

Now you may think i’m crazy and yes that is debatable but to have fresh fruit and vegetables in my home it requires me visiting the supermarket at least three times a week. If I was to buy the amount I require on a Monday I can guarantee by the end of the week some of my stored food would have started to turn, started to brown and generally be not suitable for eating. So I either go shopping three times a week or I waste a load of food and still end up back at the shops.

So why am I excited well simply because of the new technology Panasonic have in their fridge freezers, Vitamin Safe.

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Take a look

I personally think this is genius and with statistics showing that we throw away 7.2 million tones of food and drink from our homes every year I do believe this technology could be one that could be so beneficial for us all.

And with every fridge freezer having the Inverter technology they not only perform better they are more energy efficient which helps the environment and saves you money too.

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Now can you see why I’m excited?

 

* Disclosure – I am part of the Panasonic Intelligent Living Mums blogger group. I attended workshops at Panasonic with my travel expenses paid.

 

 

I really shouldn’t start looking.

As the weather starts to change and the days become longer I start feeling the need to refresh my home, my wardrobe and to get out and about more.

So when I find myself browsing on the John Lewis site i found it very easy to create myself a wish list.

One of the first jobs I have planned is decorating my foster son’s bedroom, but its hard choosing a range which is suitable for his age range which isn’t about cartoon characters that he has no interest in.

So I was excited to come across the Happy Landings Range, this is so stunning. It has colours which are bright but not in your face.

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I love this duvet.

I have also just recently finished decorating my living room and was searching for some nice accessories just to add to it and maybe just add an air of light to the room.

I came across this butterfly cushion and it is simply beautiful, I think it would look fantastic on my sofa.

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Add these curtains and i think I may actually have the perfect room.000082371alt1

Though maybe this may be needed as well it is so cute

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But seriously I could go crazy, too much choice, I mean look at all these cutes vases. I wasn’t aware that you could have such a selection, maybe its the year the old glass jug gets retired.

As you all know I have recently started to enjoy baking and of course this led me to actually enjoy experimenting with food a lot more. But every good chef, ok any novice chef needs good tools so I think I have actually decided that I have a absolute need for this set of saucepans. Not sure the hubby agrees though. What do you think, it is a need right?

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Seriously it was dangerous for me to start looking over this website. So far I have found a new bathroom range I like including new towels, I have lusted over the clothes for all my family and have added to my dream make-up kit greatly.

But this I’ve emailed over to my husband just in case he has forgotten Sunday is ‘Mothers Day’ and he is feeling super generous. Isn’t it just beautiful, I think I am in love.

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Seriously I have spent ages just dreaming and choosing things I would like and all online or under one roof that’s my kind of shopping, thank you John Lewis.

 

 

 

* This is a sponsored post but all choices are my own.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ok it’s bugging me!

I have to share something that is really bugging me. The parent and child reward clubs that you find offered by main street stores.You know the ones, you buy an item for your baby get points rewarded to your card. Receive a monthly magazine with vouchers enclosed for money off future purchases.

Now don’t get me wrong I think the concept of these schemes is great, most new parents need any help they can towards the financial aspect of raising a child. My moan is the fact that around the age of two the offers stop.

Yes of course most children are out of nappies and are not using as much baby stuff by then. But for me this hasn’t been the case.

Each week I buy a baby shampoo, a baby lotion, a baby body wash, a pack of night time nappies and at least two packs of baby wipes.

My child is 10 years old but has special needs.

Maybe it’s not a big enough market, maybe our children are not as picture perfect as cute, adorable newborns for advertising campaigns(I totally disagree). But I tell you after being a parent of a disabled child for the last twelve years there is a need.

A voucher of wipes would be welcome, rewards on nappies fantastic. Anything that can help offset the cost of raising a child with extra needs.

I don’t think it would be hard to implement such a scheme. I know many parents of disabled children would appreciate such a scheme and stores would find themselves with loyal customers.

Nobody planned to still be changing nappies on their ten year old child. Life is far from easy. It would be nice to get a little help and acknowledgement from the shops we spend our money in.

Time with my baby

Yesterday was one of those days I am truly grateful for. With one child at contact, two teenagers doing their own thing. I got to spend some quality time with my baby.

Maybe I shouldn’t be calling her my baby anymore, next month she will be in double figures. Something she is ready for but I am certainly not. She is growing up so quick and I really want to slow time down. Regardless of her age Brodie will always be my baby.

It may have only been Sunday lunch out but for me and her daddy it was special.

We got to hear about school, she isn’t to happy there at times as she has such a loving heart and gets upset when people aren’t nice. We are just trying to help her realise that we can not really change others but we can set an incredible example.

She was in giggles over valentines day. Bless her she has a different boyfriend every week but at nine it’s still cute and innocent. She asked me what daddy and I were doing, if we had brought cards etc. I explained that we don’t really celebrate it we tend to focus more on our wedding anniversary. She told us she was going to make her husband do both.

Then we did some stationary shopping. My girlie is just like me for getting excited over pretty pens and notebooks.

It wasn’t an exciting day but for me it was perfect.

I love having a large family but one to one time with each off my kids is so special.

Sometimes the most extraordinary is found in the ordinary.