Afternoon Tea



As part of my Birthday present from my Sister on Friday we both went to a local hotel for a spot of afternoon tea. I was really looking forward to some ‘me time’ having time to eat something at a nice leisurely pace, without the worry of taking a small child to the toilet or trying to keep them entertained from getting bored!

We arrived just after two and we were shown to our table in the conservatory. We had lovely views and best of all the Bournemouth Airshow was on that afternoon so we had perfect seats to sit and watch the Red Arrows.

The service we received was perfect – we had the choice of tea or coffee and we were bought a selection of sandwiches and cakes. We were left to our own devices and to get stuck in but we were occasionally asked if we were ok and if we needed anymore hot drinks. Nothing seemed to be a problem if we asked for anything. We didn’t feel rushed at all.

We sat and chatted, enjoyed some peace and quiet and like I said loved being able to sit and enjoy the Red Arrows as they performed their show.

We had such a lovely afternoon we said we would have to try and do something like this maybe once a month and to see what other hotels have to offer with their afternoon tea packages.










































It’s My Birthday …..

……. and i’ll blog if I want to!



The 18th August has been an iconic date my entire life. As a child I would be waiting patiently and excitedly leading up to this date – the weeks and days beforehand would drag. It felt like it would never arrive the day beforehand! Time went so slow.

I would wake up on the 18th, full of beans and excitement for the day ahead. We would always go somewhere on my Birthday as a child and I would always have a party on the day itself if not a few days later.

I would wake up to (in my eyes) loads of presents and my mantle piece would be adorned with cards from family and friends from far and wide. The phone would start ringing from early morning until late into the evening with well wishers ringing to wish me a Happy Birthday – no on ever bothered to answer the phone on my Birthday because it would always be for me anyway.

We had lots of family living away from us when I was little but someone would always make the journey down to stay with us a couple of days beforehand and somehow it felt like my Birthday was extended, especially if I had a party a few days later.

Fast forward to today … it’s still my Birthday but these days they feel so very different. As a busy parent the days certainly don’t drag in the lead up to today (there’s always something keeping my busy) and I don’t get those ‘excited’ moments knowing my Birthday is approaching.

When the day arrives I get up to my presents, flowers and chocolates from the kids and the hubby and their cards – I love opening their cards to see their messages & bright colouring in or pictures they’ve drawn for me.

But this is where it’s different …. Birthdays as no longer as they used to be, they’re not like how I remember they were.

I have presents and cards from my Mum & Sister (obviously my Step-Dad & Brother in Law too) but that’s is ….. I don’t have any other family left. It’s really quite sad actually and today I was sat reflecting, looking over at the mantle piece at the handful of cards I had received. I have no-one left to receive cards from. The phone doesn’t ring apart from my Mum …. there’s no-one else to call me. These days I have to be the one to make the calls to the handful of people to say ‘Thank you for my card” ….. It used to be the other way around. I would get the ‘Happy Birthday’ phone call where I would then thank them for sending me a card.

The day almost passes without much of a different feeling to all the other days in my week. As a child the day would be all about me but these days I have my children still to think about – they still need looking after and they still need their dinner cooked. Being a child you could just do what you want, play with your new toys or whatever and not worry about doing mundane things.

Today will be the first time in 34 years i’ve not seen my Mum on my Birthday too. That feels like somewhat a big achievement to get to this age and to have seen her for every single one of my Birthdays yet today that has been broken.

Aside from all of the above a big difference from then to now is social network …. Every year on facebook/twitter/instagram I am showered with messages and love. Something you definitely didn’t get when I was younger. I get messages from people i’ve never even met before and from people who i’ve not seen in years, so that is really lovely.

Anyway i’m off to make my phone calls thanking people for my cards. Sad that I don’t get to speak to people who are no longer with me … people who I miss calling me up on my Birthday wishing me a lovely day – just to hear their voices again would be a present in itself.

That said I do get all that excitement like I did all those years ago as it approaches either L or C’s Birthdays.

The Liebster Award


I have recently been tagged by the lovely Gemma over at The McAllen’s Blog for this award. Thanks Gemma!

If you haven’t heard of the Liebster award before, it’s  basically an award that is by bloggers, for bloggers. It’s passed from person to person to encourage connection and support within our writing community, and to aid in the discovery of new and upcoming bloggers. (Taken from Google)

The rules for taking part are as simple as this:

1.  Acknowledge, link back and thank the person that nominated you.
2.  Use the Liebster Award image to add to the post.
3.  Answer 11 questions given to you
4.  Nominate up to 11 bloggers.
5.  Don’t forget to let these bloggers know!
6.  Give them 11 questions to answer

  Here are the questions Gemma asked me & my answers in response 🙂

1) Where did you last go on holiday?
Well we did visit family back home whilst we were living in Ireland for the past two years but I never really classed that as a holiday. So i’m going to say Disney in Florida was our last holiday.
2) If you won the lottery what would you spend the money on?
I presume you mean winning big? If so I would made sure I was mortgage free – not to have to worry about paying for a roof over our heads forever would be just amazing. I would also like to give a nice chunk to very close family members so they could choose to pay it off their mortgages too. I don’t think I would go over the top with spending it all on luxury items either – I would update the car but I would still stick with a family car, not a Ferrari or the equivalent, I would have a holiday .. again just your average family holiday, why waste thousands on fancy hotels, but of course it would be Disneyworld though! I would most definitely like to have a nest egg in the bank as well as back up and security for life.
3) If you could have any super power which would it be?
Oooh tough one ….. to be able to go back in time I think. To things I want to re-live or to see people who are no longer with us just to have a quick chat. I’m not on about going back in time and staying there but popping back to various events for a day maybe.
4) If you could change anything about your life what would it be?
Not to have moved abroad.
5) What was your first job?
Oh gosh … aside from babysitting when I was much younger I think my first ever job was in a hair salon on a Saturday helping out.
6) What’s your favourite TV programme?
Can I be cheeky and say 3??  Eastenders (sad I know) One Born Every Minute & The Great British Bake Off. Love them!
7) If you had to give up something forever what would it be?
Oooh hard one …. but I think i’m going to say meat! So pleased I don’t have to though lol
8) If you could invent anything what would it be?
A cure for cancer! Too many people are crushed with this either themselves or through friends/family.
9) Where do you see yourself in 10yrs?
Gosh I don’t know – where I would like to see myself in 10 years though ….. obviously the ‘being healthy and happy along with the rest of the family’ but I would like to see myself working in medicine somewhere. Either Children’s Nursing or Midwifery.
10) Do you have any hobbies (other than blogging!)?
Obviously blogging & vlogging (when I get the chance!) But if i’m honest I don’t really have any.
11) How long have you been blogging?
From today (3rd August) I have been blogging for 7 months exactly! It’s my Blogs 7th Month Birthday today 🙂
I thoroughly enjoyed answering these questions Thanks Gem.
I would now like to nominate:
Claire over at – The Witt Family
Kerry over at – Lived With Love
Laura over at – Laura Summers
Alice over at – New Young Mum
Amy over at – Everything Mummy
Tanita over at – Just Motherhood
Rebecca over at – Mrs Meldrum
My Questions for you are:
1) What Countries have you visited?
2) Describe parenting in three words?
3) Are you a sweet or savoury person?
4) What is your earliest memory?
5) If I had a genie lamp and granted you three wishes, what would they be?
6) Can you speak any other languages other than English?
7) What has blogging brought to you?
8) What is your favourite season?
9) What is your favourite Christmas Movie?
10) If you could be someone else for the day, who would it be?
11) If you could sit on a bench with someone (past or present) for an hour, who would it be?
 I’m looking forward to reading all of your answers 🙂



Goodbye July …


I honestly can’t believe we’re into August already. This year seems to be flying by. It doesn’t seem like five minutes ago we had Christmas.

For us in July it saw L complete her time in year 7, although she only joined the school in May she’s all done in year 7. July also bought my Mum & Step-Dad to us, they have just returned home after being with us for 10 days, they actually only left yesterday. We absolutely loved having them to stay and we had a brilliant week. Both kids adored having them and they were throughly spoilt. They bought them a huuuuge trampoline for the garden and they bought C a slide and goal post as an early Birthday present.



August is a month for Birthdays …. it’s Hubby’s this week and it’ll be mine in a few weeks too. It’s also still the summer holidays so hopefully we’ll have lots more sun and lots more days out 🙂

Pass Around The World

Having lived in Ireland for the best part of 10 years, the area we lived in was the home of Munster Rugby. The City’s celebrations for the sport and their profound proudness for their team was regularly demonstrated across the city. Giant decorations of Munster Rugby shirts hung across the streets on occasions akin to how festive christmas decorations adorn city’s around the world.

The team’s stars were regularly seen in public going about their day to day business or supporting local events, then the next minute were being seen on screen’s internationally as they competed on the world stage.

Whenever Munster Rugby played there wasn’t a pub or house in town that wasn’t roaring with fierce support from every man, woman and child that belonged to the city, screaming at their TV’s for a win.

In turn, the stars of the team were just as loyal to their supporters and were never too busy or too famous to pose for a photo or sign a shirt or Rugby Ball.

Here is a picture of me with Team Captain Paul O’Connell:


There is something that inspires and warms you when you see such a passionate bond between people created for a love of sport and in particular a team. This is particularly demonstrated in A Pass Around the World…

In honour of the 2015 Rugby World Cup, Allianz are celebrating their partnership with Saracens RFC by creating an online initiative to bring people from all walks of life and all around the world through Rugby.

Saracens and Allianz are calling all sports fans, enthusiast and anyone who wants to have some fun to upload their rugby pass to the Pass Around The World Website – www.passaroundtheworld.com

You can win great prizes if you upload your pass online from a £150 Tickermaster voucher to exclusive Saracen prizes, such as tickets to see them play, signed rugby balls and their top prize of lunch with the team after attending a training session.

Here is a link to the video to find out more about Pass Around The World:

It’s easy to participate:

1) Get mobile ready: Remember to turn your phone side ways to film your pass.

2) Film your pass: The ball must come in in from the left and out through the right. What you do inbetween is up to you.

3) Upload: Make sure your video is no more than 10 seconds long and is under 30MBs. Upload it on our website and share it with your friends.

4) WIN: All entries will be submitted into a prize draw (terms and conditions apply, please visit www.passaroundtheworld.com for more information)

Good Luck.

This post is a collaborative post. This blog is only promoting this campaign. Please refer to the website mentioned above for all terms and conditions. All prizes are provided from Pass Around The World. All videos are to be uploaded to the above address and not to this blog post.



The Goodbyes Never Get Any Easier …

As some of you may know we moved back to England in May of this year leaving My Mum & Step-Dad behind. Saying goodbye on the day we left was just awful, I still think back and remember those feelings & sadness like it was yesterday.

Today we’ve just had to do it all again. We have had them over to stay with us for the past 10 days and a few hours ago we stood at the bottom of the drive and waved them off …. they won’t both be back over together until Christmas now. That seems like ages away. So much time will have passed between now and then. My 2 year old will become 3, he will have grown up so so much and the difference in him will be huge. He changes and develops so much over a few days let alone months. My 12 year old will be almost a teenager and again more grown up than she is now.

I have loved having the company as well. They weren’t in with us all day everyday because they were out most days making the most of their break over but i’ll miss the company first thing in the morning when I get up with C. Mum has been getting up with us and we would sit and enjoy a cuppa & have a chat before the rest of the house showed signs of life. We would all then sit down and have breakfast together. I’ll miss the company in the evenings too.

C has been loving the attention of having his grandparents here. He’s had lots of giggles and he’s had someone giving him attention or playing with him almost constantly.

I just feel a bit empty I guess and the house feels very quiet. I doubt the goodbyes will ever get easier. I’ve always lived near to Mum so having her so far away isn’t something i’m used to.

We’ve had such fun these past 10 days and i’m sad it’s all over.

A Well Needed Smile



I was feeling a bit sad today, I was a bit emotional and just generally down in the dumps. For a good while now I’ve been trying C in pants whilst we’ve been at home but it’s not been going too well. He’s really not been very interested in trying to go to the toilet either on the toilet or the potty – we just kept having accident after accident. I did a post on it here recently.

Fast forward to today and we’ve been at home all day so I asked him if he wanted to try his pants again … he must have been in the mood because up he jumped and went to his drawer to decide what pair to wear … all very exciting stuff when you have an array of characters and colours to choose from.

Throughout the afternoon I kept asking him if he needed to go and he would say no then all of a sudden I would hear “Oh no” or “Nappy on” and I would find a wet patch where he was sitting! I tried to sit him on the toilet afterwards just incase there was a chance he still needed to go …. but nothing!

Something at some point must have just clicked though – he ran out to me in the garden saying ‘Come Here’ whilst holding himself – I sensed the urgency and seeing as I was by the garage I spotted a potty grabbed it and sat him down. At first we just had a few dribbles, he would then get up and say all done. I still praised the bit he did produce because up until now he’s never done anything. Over the next 5 minutes he kept running over saying “oh no” and again we would sit on the potty – this time though I tried to take his mind off it – luckily there was bird tweeting in the garden … “Listen” I said … “Can you hear that” and BINGO we had a wee – those few seconds he took his mind off what he was doing nature took it’s course and he let it go! (Sorry if you are now singing ‘Frozen’s Let it go’)

He was SO chuffed with himself, we did the whole lets go and show daddy routine, and then he had the fun of being able to flush his wee away in the toilet. Lots of praise, high fives and a very excited, happy little boy.

So there we have it one dull day was instantly brightened by another milestone – who knew wee could cheer you up so much.

After that he didn’t have to need to go again before it was time for pyjamas and nappy. He went to bed however really eager to get into pants again tomorrow morning …… only thing is … I have the food shop to do Haha! That could be interesting.

Growing Confidence In the Water

Up until recently C hasn’t been keen on getting water on his face, wether it’s in the bath/shower or the swimming pool.

A few weeks ago I noticed my local swimming pool have session on a Wednesday or Thursday for Parents/Carers and toddlers. They only have 12 adults and toddlers in each group and the class only lasts for half an hour.

I wasn’t really sure what to expect when we went along to our first lesson. I have to say though I was very impressed. There was a class instructor and throughout the half an hour we covered lots of different activities. We did some singling, we taught them to ‘walk’ along the wall holding onto the hand rail like Monkeys, she had them jumping in, blowing bubbles, blowing balls along in the water, swimming with noodles, learning how to push off from the side, swimming on both their front and backs …. I was exhausted by the end of the lesson Haha.

We’ve now been to three of these classes and already I am seeing a huge improvement in C’s confidence in the water. He doesn’t mind now if he gets water on his face, he jumps into my arms from the side of the pool, he’s kicking himself along whilst ‘digging’ with his hand and he’s slowly allowing his ears to get wet when he swims on his back.

Today was the last class for the next 6 weeks because of the summer holidays. I will be looking forward to taking him in September again though.

My New Year Goals … how am I doing 6 months in?

Seeing as we are 6 months in (well just a little bit over) I thought I would update on how i’m getting on with my 2015 Goals. You can see my Goals for 2015 in a post here.

1) – Savings Tin – Back in January I bought myself a little tin and begun adding at least €1 a day – I was only using €1 & €2 coins so it soon added up and started to feel heavy. Ideally I would have liked to have filled the tin but as we moved in April, I obviously had to open it because we would no longer be living in a Country using Euros. I was really surprised at how much I had saved in such a short space of time & I never really noticed the odd few coins coming out of my purse each day. I haven’t started another one as yet but I do plan on starting a new tin now we’re back using £1 & £2 coins instead.

2) 365 Project – I had planned on taking photos every day of the children and uploading them to the 365 project so I could to see how much they changed over the year. I was doing really well but when C was taken into hospital, getting the camera out and snapping a photo of him was the last thing on my mind. Plus L was staying with my Mum so I wasn’t able to take many of her either. So the 365 project did fail but I have been making sure I take lots of photos of them both, especially since we’ve moved back here. I’m making lots of memories of the things we get up to.

3) Memory Jar – Again this got off to a good start but once the jar got packed away for the big move it’s kind of not really come back out yet 🙁 I have been documenting special moments and milestones on the blog though, so does that count?

4) Drink more water/fluids – I have been doing much better with this – I have been making an effort to drink more – some days I could still do better but I have improved!

5) Stop stressing and worrying so much – Ahhhh well yes, this is a tough one .. moving house (and Country) certainly had a lot of stresses and so did registering our car for UK registration but on the whole I have stopped worrying about certain things I guess.

6) Have some earlier nights – Hmmmm …. lol could be doing more of this!

7) Make new friends – This is ongoing – we’ve not been here long! Hopefully though I will do.

8) Make more time for me – No, this hasn’t really happened at all – must try and do this.

9) Cupboard and house organisation – Working progress – I still have some of this to do – unpacking boxes takes time doesn’t it?

10) Try and reduce waste – I think i’ve improved on this actually – for a start our wheelie bins are smaller here and we’ve been doing ok so that’s a good sign.

11) Get the house finished – Well yes we finally did get it all finished and decorated – only to move out and rent it out to tenants. Ahh well at least it’s a completed goal eh?

12) Making memories – As I said above I have been doing that by taking lots of photos, videos and uploading special key dates to my blog 🙂

13) Have a family holiday booked by the end of 2015 – This hasn’t happened as yet – we’ve still got 6 months though!

So there you go – not doing too bad and i’ve still got 6 months left to continue and improve on certain areas.


How are you doing with your 2015 goals/resolutions?


Arts and Crafts Fun!

I had a few forms that needed filling out this afternoon so I thought what better time to set up and little Arts & Crafts activity for C on the table next to me.

I went to Home Bargains this morning and quite literally picked up some bargains. I bought a few items for a sticking activity.

I also used some items that you would normally in the kitchen cupboard to make things a little different, using different textures and shapes. He loved it and I got my forms filled out!