Thursday, November 20, 2014


I've had three days off work in a row this week. I cold have used my time wisely, crossed some things off the little long to do list in my head, but alas that hasn't happened.

I've been a bit lazy. In fact, I've been very lazy... and I feel crap for it.

So my word of the week has to be lazy.

There is so much I could have been doing. I have a mental to-do list the length of my arm, it would have been sensible to try and cross some of the things off the list. Instead, I've sat around on my bum, thinking about the things I could be doing rather than actually doing them.

Sometimes I think I just shouldn't sit down in the morning, because when I do the rest of the day is doomed to be rubbish. I take the kids to the school bus at 8.30. Some days I come back and start doing things, and these are generally productive days. Other days I decide to reward myself with a wee coffee,you know, to reward myself for making it out of bed that morning. After the cuppa comes the TV show I have recorded on sky, and then something else comes up. All the while my wet washing sits in the machine from the night before, the breakfast bowls still sit on the kitchen table waiting to be cleared away. I add the tasks to my mental to-do list.

Why is it that one act of procrastination always leads to another? Before you know it, it's lunch time and you have spent the whole morning on the sofa...

Days like that are OK on the odd occasion. Sunday morning maybe. Certainly not three days in a row when you really have other things to be getting on with. I only have myself to blame though, I haven't been getting to bed until 1.30 most nights this week, and I'm stumbling out of bed at 6.30 each morning wondering if you can get coffee administered by drip.

I feel annoyed at myself, thinking of all the things I could have done. All of the time I've had.

So I'm declaring this week a bit of a write off. It's ok though, next week is a new week and I can start fresh. I'm going to write some of my to-do list down on to paper instead of storing it on random post-it notes floating around my head. It's so much easier to get things done when you have a physical list in front of you.

I hope you have all had a more productive week than I have.... Enjoy your weekend my lovelies!

The Reading Residence

Minecraft Christmas Gift Guide

As Christmas fast approaches, and children are busy finalising their Christmas wish lists, it's probably time to start thinking about gifts.

Top of the list for my son this year is anything Minecraft. He is completely obsessed, and I have spent weeks looking at all of the toys on offer.

Minecraft has exploded in popularity over the last year or two, and is likely to be on Santa lists across the world. With a growing number of toys and merchandise  becoming available, picking a minecraft related gift can be a bit of a minefield.

If you need a bit of inspiration, here is my Ultimate Minecraft Christmas gift guide.

  • 1 - Large Ghast Plush £35 from Very - This strange looking creature is a Ghast, which in the minecraft game can be found in the nether. The plush toy is a good size, about 33cm tall, and feels so soft. Perfect for young and old Minecraft fans alike.
  • 2 - Lego Minecraft £19.99 - £89.99 from Lego - Following on from the success of the Lego Minecraft micro worlds, Lego have released 6 new Minecraft play sets just in time for Christmas. It is sure to be a big hit, and your children will have hours of fun re-creating popular Minecraft scenes with the iconic bricks. Be quick on these because some shops have sold out already.
  •  3 - Diamond Block wrapping paper £7.99 from Amazon - At £7.99 for three sheets, this one is a little pricey, but what minecraft fan wouldn't love to break through thir very own diamond block on Christmas morning?!? Also available in Cobblestone pattern, perhaps this could be reserved for a few of the special gifts.
  • 4 - Creeper Plush with sound £19.99 from Forbidden Planet - This Creeper plush is 14 inches tall, and plays the signature hissing and explosion sound that will be familiar to all Minecraft fans. I found this on Forbidden Planet for £19.99 which is a good price as it seems to be £26-£30 else where.
  • 5 - Creeper Zip Up Hoodie 24.99 from Argos - Keep your kids looking stylish this winter with this Minecraft hoodie which zips all the way up to reveal a creeper face. Available for ages 5 - 14
  • 6 - Blockopedia £15 from Asda - The ultimate book for serious Minecraft geeks everywhere, this book contains information on every block in the game. Available for pre-order now, for release early December.
  • 7 - Creeper Beanie £9.99 from Argos - Stylish and practical, this Beanie will keep your Minecraft fans warm and toasty this winter. Available in age 7-10 & 11-14.
Hopefully you will find something in the list for your little (or big!) minecraft fan.

I have tried to find the best price on each of these items, but as with all products, prices can change at any time so please shop around for the best bargain before you buy.

Mums' Days

Monday, November 17, 2014

Pawfect Pets Linky #1

I have always been a bit of an animal lover. As a child I had many pets, hamsters, gerbils, mice, goldfish, rabbits, guinea pigs, dogs... you name it, we had it. I think the only reason we didn't have cats too is because my mam wasn't a cat person.

I knew when I became a parent that I would like my children to have pets of their own. Owning a pet as a child is a great way for children to learn about caring and responsibility, and I try to get the children involved is as many aspects of pet care as possible.

We currently have two rabbits and two cats, and we absolutely love having them around. We consider them to be a big part of our family.

It is estimated that 46% of UK households have a pet, which seems to indicate that we are a nation of pet lovers!

Those of you that follow me on instagram will probably know that I share quite a lot of photo's of my cats. I just can't help myself! Especially now the kids are at school, I have to turn to the little furry members of the family for company when I'm off work, and they never cease to amuse me.

I have been looking around for a pet related linky, but was surprised to find there wasn't one (or at least, I couldn't find one...). I thought that since pets are such a big part of family life for a lot of families, that it might be nice to have somewhere to share all of our pet photos and stories.

So... after a few weeks of dithering and deliberating, I've finally decided to have a wee go at hosting a linky. Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you 'Pawfect Pets'.

Ok, ok, I know the name is a bit cheesy, and I know not all pets have paws, but the name just kinda stuck!

So... here are the rules:

  • The linky will open every Tuesday at 7am and will remain open until the following Monday at midnight.
  • You are welcome to link up any posts, past or present, that feature your pets.
  • The post can be a story, a photo, a pet product review... basically anything pet related!
  • Try and comment on at least two of the other posts in the link up.
  • Tweet using the #PawfectPets and I will re-tweet.
  • Please add my badge to your post
I look forward to finding out all about your wonderful family pets! If you like this linky, please share the love. It would be amazing to build a little pet loving community of bloggers.

My linky goes live in the morning... Please come back and link up if you can!

Blogger Mummy Lauren

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The Black & White Photography Project 17-11-14

Linking up with The Black & White Photography Project over at PODcast

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Blogging Identity - Anonymous or Public?

I've been thinking a lot recently about blogging identity, and questioning whether I made the right decision to blog publicly rather than anonymously.

I didn't give it much thought when I started my blog, I'm not sure that I was even aware that there was such a thing as anonymous blogging. From the word go I put myself and my family out there for all to see. Names, pictures, personal (ish) information, it's all there.

I was happy enough with that. I didn't really stop to think about the implications of sharing my family with the world.

Blogging is a funny old thing. I spend most nights sitting at my laptop, carefully constructing posts. When I hit publish a range of thoughts flash through my head... does the post make sense, will anyone read it. While one of my main reasons for starting a blog is to document the kids lives so they can read it in many years and see how much mummy loved them, that is not my only reason, or I think I would have just made a scrap book for them. When I hit publish a little part of me is hoping that someone will read my writing and enjoy it.

The funny thing is though, the first time someone I know told me they loved my blog I felt a bit taken aback. Embarrassed even....

It's such a strange feeling, to know that actual real people are reading what you are writing.

And then things get awkward... how do your pour your heart on to the page knowing that someone you know may be reading. It was difficult at first, because I rarely share my personal feelings with anyone, never mind someone I hardly know. But then, if you are comfortable to share things with complete strangers on the web, why not people you know?

My main worry is my children... what happens if someone from the kids school reads my blog and use it to make fun of my them. Have I shared too much personal stuff about Neil's ASD? I wonder how the kids will feel in a few years time that I've shared things about them, essentially without their permission... Think about how you felt as a teenager when your mam brought out the photo album, well now it's not just photos. The stories and memories I share now which I think are cute... will they be totally embarrassed by it? Or are they growing up in to a world where sharing your life online is so common that they won't even care?

But how do you blog anonymously, really? The only way to truly protect your families privacy would be to use no names, no pictures, only stories. But then, because I started my blog as a site all about my family and our adventures, no pictures wouldn't really work. I know lots of people choose to change their children's names, but I don't understand this. Why is it ok to share personal photos, but not names?

 I think I made the right choice. While I do still worry about my children, if there ever comes a time when one of them tells me they don't like it there is always a delete button. And although I do still sometimes get a little embarrassed, it is nice to know that my boss enjoys my writing, or that another mum has watched my Youtube reviews and found them helpful for her family. I'm proud of my blog, and I don't want to hide it! And I sincerely hope that in 5 or 10 years time my children will read my blog, and look at our photos and feel proud of the little piece of the internet that mummy created for them.... only time will tell.

How do you feel about this? What way did you decide to go? Would you go back and change your decision if you had the chance?

I would love to hear your thoughts...

Brilliant blog posts on
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