Monday, 18 March 2019


Aldi's well known for it's special buys that come around each Thursday along with being that place where you go in for the norm loaf of bread, a bag of spuds and a tin of beans but leave with things like a 4 man tent, a trumpet and some ski boots totally forgetting everything you actually went in for.
One special buy that's always bound to get me getting a little jog on after the morning school run is the Baby Event along side the Home or general kids special buys, Something I've always found very reasonably priced with a wide variety available is the children's books.
A lot of Lottie's book collection is made up with books purchased in Aldi and none of them have cost me more than £2.99 her firm favourites are the musical ones. which I've picked up for just £1.79 each and spotted sold elsewhere for £3+!
We've got the usual nursery rhyme versions and I even managed to get my hands on some Christmas carol ones when Christmas was on the horizon last year.

How cool are the reversible sequin books? each page has a different shape and coloured sequins which change colour when brushed up or down, these provide endless fun while being good for sensory, the only problem with these ones is it took some rooting to find ones that hadn't come away exposing the sequins at the edges which ended up happening anyway which obviously isn't great if they get to a point where the sequins become detachable but they do come with a recommended age of -- but will of course be a supervised read with Lottie only being 1 anyway.

Not only can you find fun, musical, puzzle, hand puppet and bedtimes stories in Aldi they also have a range if educational books, I recently purchased my daughters a times table pull the tab book where you pull down a slider that reveals the answers for times tables from two to eleven for £1.99. They also had phonic and addition versions of these books for Key stage one children.

Two of Daisie's favourite books that we read every night since I bought them were also purchased from Aldi for just 99p each.
With prices like this Aldi make it easy to build a book collection and help children fall in love with books without breaking the bank trying to do so.

Sunday, 3 March 2019


Last May my eldest daughter was diagnosed with ASD after a two year wait on the ASD pathway.
I went along to the appointment sure I would be apologising for taking up their time and leaving the appointment without a diagnosis of Autism and if they went by the Questionnaires sent to me and her school alone we would have done because she doesn't fit the criteria for ASD at all by paperwork and the questions asked.
Luckily through out the appointment she was sat with a Speech and Language therapist while I spoke to the Paediatrician, If she wasn't sat with this lady we would have been none the wiser to her world and would have left this appointment being told she doesn't have ASD.

The thing with Autism is you hear the word Autism and instantly think Rain man, the girl in Hollyoaks or Pablo from Cbeebies but that isn't always necessarily the case. 
She isn't your 'typical' autistic person she isn't sensitive to light and sounds, She isn't clued up on one particular subject that she can throw numerous facts at you about, She doesn't flap her hands around or anything that stands out as Autism if you don't know a great deal about it.
She is very sociable, She will only wear leggings because jeans and even jeggings are to structured around the crotch and waist for her liking, She won't wear patterned socks because she doesn't  like the feel of the bobbles, off the shoulder tops/jumpers or shoes that don't go right up the front of her foot or flip flops that go in between her toes, she can't tolerate layering up and refuses to wear a scarf and a lot of the time even a coat and god forbid don't suggest any kind of bra that has a clasp, she will only wear her hair in two styles a ponytail or plait and her leggings so high they could be an all in one.
Each of these things don't stand out  to others but are a really big deal to her and any attempt to try and change these things cause a great deal of upset.

With a diagnosis taking so long a lot of what she does is just her to us it's only now after completing a Level 2 in Understanding Autism course that I see a lot of what is her ASD and not a pre-teen trying her luck a much as she can.
During my course a lot of what I was learning about was like someone had sat and observed Daisie while making notes, we'd been going through some challenges with her for a little while which stepped up a notch when her baby sister was born, Yeah I hear you middle child syndrome right?
At least that's what was suggested to me by a number of people so I shrugged it off a little more, questioning my parenting until her birthday came around and the day seemed really over whelming for her and this really stood out to me, it stood out to me so much once she was tucked up in bed I cried seeing how much a day of her being spoilt with presents, visits from family and a trip out that she requested had become so much she asked to go to her room and be left alone twice through out the day. 
Fast forward almost a year and we're starting the waiting game for the ASD pathway again, She ranked just a point out for fitting the criteria for an Autism diagnosis through the questionnaires we had been sent.  Daisie is the polar opposite to Issy she decided against coming bowling to celebrate her sisters birthday and instead opted to stay at home with my friend because she doesn't like the noise despite us successfully going before with the photo right over there as evidence, Can't tolerate busy shopping centres which on one occasion we thought was because she wasn't being bought the toy she had requested after her having a melt down in front of her school friend who was with us and everyone else in the shopping centre (how awful do I feel now) she's known in the past to tuck herself away under displays in shops while I've been waiting to pay for my purchases,  For awhile she described the bones in her head were dodging and would often have violent outbursts which she had said on occasions she feels better once shes had her outburst or confided in me that she had had a bad day at school, What I thought was her being hyper seems like it may be her stimming she will rock,bounce and often flap her hands quite a lot be it during dinner, watching tele etc, she's extremely anxious, noise bothers her I opened a can of coke beside her and got quite the telling off because of how loud it was, we've recently purchased some ear defenders to see how we get on and have started melatonin to help her get to sleep or shes awake until silly hours.
Which are working a treat for settling to bed and our evenings are no longer a what feels like a battlefield.

Our autism journey is fairly new to us so any suggestions/help would be great if you have any.
Since Issy was diagnosed in May 2018 I've completed a level 2 in Understanding Autism, Recently enrolled on my local BEAMS Cygnet course and trying to do all that I can to try and understand their world that much more. 

Tuesday, 26 February 2019


Every half term parent's everywhere have the task of finding something to keep the kids busy that doesn't leave them eating bread and butter for the remainder of the holiday.
Which really isn't an easy thing to do now days especially if you have more than one child!
Each half term John Lawson's comes to our local garden centre and at only £6 a ticket for both adults and children with under 2's going free we'd be silly not to snap the offer up.

We've attended John Lawson's circus each time its returned local to us for a number of years now and it's something I plan to do for years to come, Lottie first went as a bump and again as a tiddly in her sling and we returned again this February half term when she was 18 months, it dawned on me as we chose our places just how difficult it might be to keep her entertained and how many people we would disrupt trying to make an exit with her if she was to become unsettled as we were sat in the middle of the very back row.

I was proven very wrong! as the show started she was mesmerised getting involved with the cheering and clapping until half way through when the excitement became to much and as you can see from our photo with ring master Attila Endresz and Pip the clown she fell asleep and stayed that way until we returned home.
John Lawson's circus is brilliant for the younger ones with it only lasting 45 minutes it's not to long for them to have to sit still and is a great starter circus but also provides enough entertainment for the older ones too. 
Daisie is 7 and Issy is 11 and each of them have enjoyed each show we've attended so far,
Each show comes with a selection of new acts so no show is the same although similar in style not performed by the same people we saw before, each show also comes with a theme this terms was a winter theme with Boris the dancing polar bear and their very own Elsa on the aerial rope. 

There's a number goodies available to buy at each show such as popcorn, slush puppies and candy floss as well as flashy toys all at a reasonable price but you will need to make sure you have cash on you, something we ran out of time to get before we scrambled to the circus tent and our garden centre doesn't have a cash machine or offer cash back, so Andy had to run to the local petrol garage and didn't manage to make it back in time before they closed ready to get the show started. 
Much to Issy's dismay because eating it afterwards just isn't the same.

There's a couple of other circus' on my hit list with acts aimed at the slightly older children with a lot more danger involved which are Issy's favourite acts but John Lawson's will always be one we return to until Lottie is of an age she requests she no longer wishes to go. 

Saturday, 2 February 2019


Growing up I was a big Wizard of Oz fan, I watched it so many times I drove my mum to completely despise it.
It goes without saying that I'd want to go and watch Wicked the musical although I'm not a great lover of musicals now days, It was as if this would be a final chapter to my childhood,
I'd wanted to go for years and promised myself I would so I finally bit the bullet asked my friend if she would mind looking after the girls for me and booked myself tickets for my 27th birthday last year.

I booked directly with The Apollo theatre and was pleasantly surprised by the ticket prices, the main reason I held back on booking tickets for so long was because needing to book 2 tickets was sure to end up pricey and not something I could just decide to do randomly.
I was surprised at two tickets only costing £52 with booking fee, I did find ticket prices varied with which day of the week you go we could have had central tickets for the price of our dress circle ones if we went in the week. That being said although our seats weren't the greatest it was all about being there for me and we still got to see the show perfectly minus some fidgety head bobbing in front of us but even that was minimal. 

While waiting for the show to start I was sure it had been hyped up so much and being such a Wizard of Oz fan it wouldn't live up to my expectations and I'd be disappointed, Would it actually follow the stories of the witches of Oz? Would I get any answers to their back grounds? Would it trail off onto its own thing entirely? 
Oh how wrong was I!
I loved every minute and cried twice to the point I was actually sobbing much to Andy's amusement.
It was so much better than I'd expected it to be, covering stories of characters I didn't think could be linked into the story line as well as they did,  I got all the answers I needed and more.
 From the minute I left I was set on going again with a friend and again to take my daughters with possibly closer seats so I could see the detail of the make-up slightly better.

Sunday, 7 October 2018


Friends Fest is a MUST event for any friends fan! 
Last year was the first ever Friends Fest and if I remember rightly it was supposed to be a one off because I sulked like a toddler in a sweet isle that's just been told no because tickets were snapped up within minutes and I wasn't one of the ticker owners. 
I got over it but pined over the photos going up all over social media, So as soon as I saw it was back this year and tickets were live I sulked some more because I had done the sensible thing the day before and paid some bills (f*ck you adulthood) 
After some more sulking I realised I did have enough for two tickets and managed to snap them up for the day of my birthday GET IN! *Strong arm emoji*
I'd be getting to sit on the set of not only Monica, Joey and Chandler's apartments but new and exclusive to this year Ross' too!

 Not only do you get a tour of the apartment sets, You get the chance to recreate the opening credits AND the famous 'PIVOT' scene, Sit in Phoebes taxi, Photo oppurtunites in Ross and Rachael's chapel of love and the 80's high school prom photo area, Grab a coffee in Central Perk, Have a slice of the Joey Special, drink character cocktails I went for 'seven' which was interesting. There was also the chance to take part in a quiz for your chance to win some goodies. 
Lets not forget the gift shop!
BUT make sure you have your bank card handy, you'll find some fairly good priced bits and some good deals but it isn't until you get to the till that you'll find a sign saying it's card only.

Other than the guided tours you book a time slot while booking your tickets everything else is open for you to return to as much as you like and for as long as you wish to, You can sit and watch some of the best bits on a huge screen.
We had really good weather on the day we went, so good that you had to get yourself one of the really good seats to actually be able to see the screen through the sun and shadows of the metal frame work of the stage and with it being so warm that day we would have been guaranteed to burn with it being out in the open. 

Saturday, 8 September 2018


Well that's that, Another six weeks summer holiday down!
Six solid weeks of keeping your little cherubs busy while trying to keep costs down as much as possible because bills still need paying and the food shop almost doubles having the kids home. 
There's a few companies that lend a helping hand in making the holidays fun, getting the children out of the house all while not breaking the bank to much, Here's a few of the things we've got up to this and past school holidays.

Pets at Home - My Pet Pals Workshops

Pets at home hold daily workshops for children to get up close to some of their little furies while learning how best to care for them, Once each child has had a snuggle of some of the pets they get taken on a tour of the shop getting a look at all the other animals up for adoption and for sale. Each child also receives a little workbook and a poster once the workshops over.
It's perfect for getting them out the house for half an hour especially if like me you don't have any small furies at home.

ODEON - Bargain Mondays

On Mondays tickets cost £7.50 for both adults and children, This offer runs through out the year not just the school holidays! Perfect for an after school treat.
 Once you've got your tickets and your in they even have a great deal on snacks, Odeon offer a Family Mix which gets you a Regular popcorn, Two regular drinks and 2 Kids mixes which include popcorn, a choice of sweets and a drink all for £10.99!  

Hobbycraft - Craft Workshops 

Hobbycraft hold a number of different craft workshops through out the year for a small fee which ranges dependant on what it is you will be doing, The girls got to make and bring home their own jar of slime for £2 each.

Local Fun days

Though out the summer holidays our local parks and family friendly pubs hold family fun days. Where a number of local businesses come together and get involved. Some things within the events  involve a small cost if you wish to have food from the BBQ, face painting etc.
We got to hold a selection of reptiles at our local park for a small fee of £2 per child, We even had huge sticks of candyfloss in a range of amazing flavours. 

Nature Trails

Sadly we never made it to any of the nature trails this holiday but there were loads going on near by, These were either free or included a small fee to take part. Alot were held at local castles or country parks so you could take a picnic and make a day of it once the trail was over.

A lot of local events I came across on Facebook after clicking interested events of similar kinds nearby popped up almost daily.
 Making small work of finding things to do this summer

Thursday, 10 May 2018


There's nothing I love more than a good book, Each of my girls have their own book collections so when we had the chance to share our thoughts on Benjy Bunn's Busy Day, I grabbed the chance with both hands.
Benjy Bunn's busy day is part of the Benjy Bunn series, he's been on many other adventures such as going to the shops and even the fun fair, The Benjy Bunn series is the perfect collection for new little readers with a large clear font and full of colour to keep younger ones focused. 

The first of Benjy Bunn's adventures was written by Bev Scott Prior back in 1973!  
written for her children, One story became two and Benjy Bunn's been on a number of adventures.
Benjy Bunn has since been illustrated by Bev's grandchildren and it continues to grow and be loved by her great grand-children and many other young readers.

With the school run over, girls in their jammies and dinner had, I grabbed my chance to see what Doo's thoughts were on our new book. 
I let her read Benjy Bunn's busy day as part of her school reading, Doo's had a little giggle at what Benjy had got up to on his busy day and loved his little friend that joined him on each thing he got up to and noticed when he was missing panicking he may have got himself into some trouble, she was relived to see his return on the next page. She struggled with a few words but not very many compared to some other books, over all she enjoyed the book for it's silliness and loved Benjy's creativity with things. 

With L only being 9 months she can't quite tell me what she thinks but as soon as I sat down with the post and opened our delivery of Benjy Bunn's busy day, She grabbed at it straight away and was mesmerised by the bright colours, cooing away happily at the pictures in the book, I had to wrestle it off her and bribe her with another book before she would let me have it in case she ripped any pages.

Doo's overall thoughts 
aged 6

3 words to describe Benjy Bunn's busy day 
GOOD, Funny, Silly.

Favourite part 
When he was making a cake for his mama.

Would you like to read anymore of Benjy Bunn's adventures?

How many stars would you give Benjy Bunn's busy day?
5 Stars because it's really funny!

* We were sent a copy of Benjy Bunn's Busy Day in return for an honest review