Monday, January 26, 2015

What's the Story - Dinosaur Egg

I take a lot of photos, quite often of not much at all. Some evenings, when the kids are in bed, I review the new additions on my camera, and wonder 'why did I take a photo of that?'. I never delete them though, and it's funny because those pictures can bring back memories of totally normal, and probably otherwise forgotten days.

On this particular day, we had taken a trip to Newry to go to B&Q. It was one of those days when the heat was just too much to bear, one of those hot and sticky days, when the heat makes everyone a bit grumpy. We had been in B&Q for what felt like a lifetime, and we were all starting to get a bit snappy. Caitlin had stood on my new sandals and broke a lot of the beads off, so I wasn't in the best of moods. 

Kids being kids, Neil & Caitlin were running around the shop like lunatics. Caitlin climbed in to one of the shelves, when she found this bundle of brown paper. The kids decided that this paper bundle was a dinosaur egg that they had to take care of, and walked calmly around the rest of the shop clutching the egg. It was very sweet to watch, the were very careful with it!

When they got out of the shop, they sat down to open the egg and were very disappointed to find it wasn't an egg, but just a bundle of paper after all.

On any normal day I wouldn't have had my camera with me in B&Q but I had recently got a new point and shoot camera and was keen to try it out, otherwise the little heart warming moment of the kids becoming parents to a little dino egg would have been forever forgotten.

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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Design a Dream bed with Silentnight

When I was a child I always wanted a cabin bed, or a high sleeper bed, with some kind of secret area underneath. It was my absolute dream, and I can remember walking around the department store looking at fancy beds and thinking of ways I could change them to make them more fun. I never did get the bed I wanted so badly, but it never stopped me dreaming.

These days, I often find myself browsing through Pinterest, and there are some amazing bed creations... Tree house beds, pirate ships, princess castles, lego beds, you name it, I'm sure there is a bed designed like it. I think if you had shown me these beds as a child I would have died in excitement!

Silentnight are asking children to design their ultimate dream bed, and I thought it would be a fun thing to do with the kids. Earlier in the week, ( after a lot of thought about what they would like) armed with a pack of crayons, some blank paper and a lot of imagination, we sat down and started creating!

Caitlin's Dream Bed Includes:

  • A slide
  • Some swings
  • A special room for the cats
  • A place where she could keep all of her toys

Neil's Dream Bed Includes:
  • A gaming area
  • A cat bed
  • A ladder to climb up to space, with a wall around the sun so he doesn't get burned
  • A stove to keep him warm

The kids were very happy with what they had come up with and were quite disappointed to find out that we were not actually creating the beds they had designed. They came up with some fabulous ideas, who wouldn't want a ladder to space on their bed?! I thought it was very cute that both of them wanted to include a little area for the cats in their bed, I'm sure that cats would have loved that since I always find them snuggled up on the kids bunks!
I've made a little vlog where you can find out all about the children's ideas, watch them turn their thoughts in to designs and give us a walk through of their dream beds...
Think your children could design something even more wonderful? The Silentnight design a bed competition is open to all bloggers, and you can win kids mattress worth £269! Ten runners up will also receive the iconic Silentnight hippo. Head over to the design a bed page for more information on how to enter. We have had a lot of fun designing our dream beds, and I'm sure your kids will too!
Not a blogger? Fear not! You can enter my fabulous competition in conjunction with Silentnight to win a £50 M&S gift card and a special silent night hippo of your own, simply follow the instructions bellow to be in with a chance.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blogger Mummy Lauren



Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Confessions of a foul mouthed mummy...

In photos I look like butter wouldn't melt. If you speak to me on the telephone I sound like a nice polite young lady. But scratch the surface a bit and you will find that behind the nice image lies a dirty foul mouthed mummy.
Ok, so I swear, a lot. It's awful, and it has to stop..... but it's like a compulsion, I can't help it. I have a knack for taking a perfectly nice sentence and turning it in to something utterly awful.

Rewind a few years... I have always had a bit of a mouth on me. I used to swear a lot as a teenager. I swore in front of my mam and didn't think much of it (although I didn't like to swear at my mam, because that's disrespectful!). I lived in an area where swearing was almost just part of the language. I do remember one incident walking through my estate and hearing a little girl, maybe 4 years old, telling someone to f-off. I was shocked, and remember thinking 'what a disgrace of a mother letting her child talk like that, my children will never swear'. Oh, to be young and naive again.

By the time I'd given birth to my lovely little angels, I'd decided I should probably try and tone my language down a but, after all I didn't want my children to sound like the girl I'd heard in the street years earlier. I started trying to say things like 'holy guacamole' and 'oh fudge', but as good as my intentions were, I often let not so nice words slip through.

My husband often reminds me not to swear around the kids, but sometimes I just don't realise I'm doing it, or to what extent.

I got a bit of a wake up call last week. My children were out with their dad and granda, when granda overheard the following:

Neil: Caitlin what are you having for lunch? Caitlin: sausage rolls. Neil: you unlucky bastard!*

When granda asked why he had said that he replied, 'because mum says it a lot'. I was mortified when they told me the story! It made me realise that I was cursing so much that my children were picking up on it and thinking it was ok to use that kind of language. I'm just glad it wasn't one of their school friends, or a teacher... Can you imagine that?! 'Hey teacher.... F#*! off', I would have looked like mother of the year!

Luckily, I've managed to explain to Neil that it's not ok for children to use those kinds of words, and that mummy is naughty for saying them too. Now, whenever he hears me say 'a bad word' he shouts at me!

So here I am, making a vow to cut out the foul mouthed antics around the kids. I know I'm never going to have the mouth of a saint, but I want to be less Roy Chubby Brown and more like the well spoken responsible mother I should be....

....until the kids have gone to bed, of course!

*please pardon my language, the whole exchange doesn't dound anywhere near as bad with little asterix and hash tags!

What do you think about children swearing? Have your children ever picked up some words they really shouldn't be saying?

Super Busy Mum

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House of Fraser Children's Clothing Review

It's a simple fact of parenting, children need new clothes... All of the time!

When I was pregnant with Neil I used to walk around kids clothing departments and dream about a little boy running around in stylish clothes. I had my eye on a lovely Burberry shirt that I said I was definitely going to buy when he was a toddler, back when I was a little bit naive and knew nothing about children.

The reality is, kids grow quickly, and so need new clothes quite often. Kids are also a bit messy and tend to ruin their nice outfits, and so need new clothes quite often. Can you see a pattern here? The idea of buying fancy clothes totally went out of the window when I realised how much it was going to cost. Now, my only concern is finding nice clothes on a low budget!

There are certain shops I would usually go to, because I know that they offer good value for money. Similarly, there are shops I go to when my children need a 'good outfit' for a party or something.House of Fraser has always been one of those shops, a place to buy special occasion things. I know that they sell high end brands, and so often don't even look there for the children's every day clothes. When I was given the opportunity to try some clothing from the children's range, I didn't think I was going to find much within budget, but I was very pleasantly surprised!

I found that they had a huge range of items, with t-shirts starting at £3! They had so much to choose from I could barely decide, but after a lot of deliberation I chose a 'name it' fox top for Neil (I quite like foxy things at the moment!) for £5.

For Caitlin I chose a nice pair of 'name it'lace detail denim shorts for £9.12 in the sale, and a beautiful 'mango' jumper for £9.99 (which is now £6.99, bargain!).

The clothes arrived by courier a few days after ordering, much quicker than I imagined (things tend to be slower here in Northern Ireland). Of course as soon as they arrived, I had to get the kids dressed in the outfits and give them a test run, which was a great excuse for a mini photo shoot!

I'm totally in love with Caitlin's little outfit. The mango jumper is super soft and comfortable, and she looks so stylish in it. I wouldn't mind one for myself!
The shorts have an adjustable waist which is great because caitlin is very slim, and I like that they can grow with her a little bit.

Neil's t-shirt feels nice and soft. It feels really good quality, and is nice and thick. I'm happy with the length too, as I often find it difficult to get a t-shirt that fits him properly.

Overall I'm very pleased with the quality and price of clothing from House of Fraser. I sometimes find when we buy clothes that the cheaper things don't feel so good a quality, and you just know they are not going to last, but these feel top notch. They have such a big selection, and at the moment a lot of their stock is on sale you can pick up a real bargain. I already have my eye on a few more bits and pieces for the kids, and will certainly be coming back to House of Fraser next time they need some new clothes.

Family Fever
I was sent these items free of charge for the purpose of this review. As always, I have given my full and honest opinion.

Blogger Mummy Lauren

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Black & White Photography Project 18-01-15

I've been experimenting with the effects of sunlight in my photos. In this shot, the sun was directly behind the kids, making them a little dark. I quite like the effect of the bright sunlight illuminating them from behind.

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