It’s nearly New Year – where did Christmas go?

I don’t know about you but I spent weeks steeling myself for Christmas only to find I blinked and it’s nearly 2014!

I didn’t have much to report over Christmas, both of the kids were with their Dads as we have an alternate Christmas arrangement.  I always get a little sad on Christmas morning, especially as this was the first year Harry has gone off to his Dad as we were still together last Christmas.

Anyway, it’s been and gone and both children were thoroughly spoilt so I think they were happy.  I bought Harry a Toot Toot train set, which he loves and some pop-up books he has barely noticed! He received so many toys from everyone I wanted to keep it simple and he seems really happy with his train set, though he enjoyed destroying the track more than actually playing with it!

Sophie’s at that age where toys don’t really cut it so I got her a Nintendo 3DS, an iPod dock (God help me), a rather grown up leather jacket and some smellies. She’s been so busy she’s barely stopped to enjoy her presents here but she’s on her way home today so I’m sure she’ll get stuck in.

I definitely didn’t do too badly. My boyfriend got me these cute polka dot Superdry pants and this super soft pink jumper, a gorgeous Swarovski necklace, a gym top (I can never have enough gym stuff!) underwear and Marc Jacobs Honey perfume.  I was a very spoilt girl and had a fab day with his family. It was nice not having to cook, though I did miss the kids.

I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas and a very Happy New Year!

 

Image,

It’s about time I made a new post…

So I’ve been gone a while, I wonder if any of you missed me?

I didn’t have anything positive to blog about so I’ve steered well clear of blogging for the last few weeks. I hadn’t mentioned before but I started this blog following the break up of my relationship with Harry’s Dad. At a time when I wanted to be constantly busy, I found the evenings a little lacking and had always wanted a blog so here it is. Tada!

The break up has been hard on both children, Harry was only 18 months so it was more about his routine being changed, than him really understanding what was going on, though he had been incredibly grumpy and whingey for weeks.  A few months on he now enjoys plenty of time with his Dad and he’s settled down, which is a relief.

The introduction of my new Boyfriend was a little challenging as Harry can’t stand to share me with anyone.  There’s been plenty of tantrums but he’s really fond of the boyfriend now and favours rolling around playing with him to me now!

So that’s Harry all ok.  Sophie is another matter completely, I think she had expected a lot of attention following the break up but instead I have been working harder partly to keep busy and because I found myself paying all of the bills on my own – scary!  She’s made the decision to live with her Dad for the time being and come to me every other weekend and one day in the week. I thought I was ok with this, in fact I encouraged her Dad to talk to her to see why she was so miserable all of the time.  It’s week two of her living with her Dad and I miss her ALOT. We have always split her time fairly evenly between us so I am used to her being here and then not for a few days at a time.

The stupid thing is, when she’s here I am always working or cooking or running round after Harry and we don’t spend huge amounts of time together but I am finding this really horrible.  Hence no blogs for a while. I’m only blogging today in the hope that getting some of this off my chest might make me feel better. I know she is a lot happier at her Dads as I get regular updates, she has 3 brothers there and friends in the street, we have no children in our street and she goes to school on the other side of town so I can see the appeal of her Dad’s.  That and he and his wife ensure there’s always someone at home after school, I’m here but always too busy.

Which has made me question the whole working Mum business, I love to work, I certainly enjoy the money.  Will I wake up one day in a few years and realise both my children have grown up and I missed it all? I really hope not…

sop

My new favourite snacks!

I have just re-discovered the Graze snack box and I was really rather impressed. I signed up for Graze (the healthy snack box delivered direct to your home/work) a couple of years ago but I found I was devouring all 4 snacks in one hit, which wasn’t so healthy after all!

Anyway, when I have the time I really love to go to the gym.  It’s one of my favourite things to do. I can run a bad mood off, I always feel much happier after I’ve been and I am getting to that age where I have to watch what I eat and keep active. In my 20s I seemed to eat what I liked and near enough always stayed the same size, these days I’m not so lucky.  I also have a new boyfriend who happens to be a personal trainer so I’ve had to up my game somewhat!

The more I train, the more hungry I find myself and I am quite lazy when it comes to making myself food.  I’ll cook for the kids, I’ll make them a healthy snack but when I’m busy working, I just don’t want to stop to make something so signing up for Graze again made good sense.

My boxes come on a Friday, you can choose what day you get yours and how many you want to receive a week so you could get a couple but I warn you – you might end up scoffing the lot like I used to!

In my box I got fruit and seed flapjacks, pear tatin, my Thai and jaffa cake.  The flapjacks were gorgeous.  I planned on eating them with a cup of coffee but actually ate all 3 whilst the kettle boiled – oops! -The pear tatin was also quite yummy, dried pear, raspberry infused cranberries, yoghurt coated sunflower seeds and almonds combined to trick you into thinking you’ve got a mouthful of pear tatin.  Not bad.  Jaffa cake was really good, roasted hazels, orange infused raisins and dark chocolate buttons.  Scrummy!  I haven’t tried the my Thai yet but from the looks of it, it’s baked soy bits and a sweet chilli sauce, that will be devoured at some point no doubt.

Each Graze box is less than £4 and the snacks are healthy and delicious and what’s more they come to you.  I was most impressed to get in from a rainy school run to find a box on the mat.  I’m sure I’m not the only one who gets excited by the site of the little brown box.

Graze aren’t silly, they’ve added lots of new lines since they originally started up.  There’s something to for everyone and there’s even a new kids section!  I like the idea of this for Sophie’s lunchbox, though I can imagine the school banning the seeds and nuts as a choking hazard.  I might still sign her up, I’d much rather her nibble on fruit and nuts than NikNaks and Haribo. The boxes also contain fun and games or so they say so might be a good purchase for a long journey!

Graze box

Stocking Fillers

Due to the dreaded chicken pox, I have Harry at home all week as he can’t go to the childminder.  He’s just gone to sleep so I’m having a look for stocking fillers for the kids.  I prefer shopping for these than buying the actual Christmas presents, is this normal?

I tend to buy chocolate and little trinkets for the stockings, in fact I’d say Sophie prefers her stocking to the presents but she does have a sweet tooth!  Thorntons have some fab choccie gifts for Christmas and you can personalise them for free, that’s always a winner for me.  I’m umming and aahing about the Snowman and Snow Dog and the good old fashioned reindeer and Father Christmas.  The Snowman reminds me of being a child and I love it but I’m not so sure my kids do, so maybe I’ll just get myself one of those!

Thorntons

Cadburys Gifts is another great site for chocolate gifts and their family hamper looks pretty good, not sure I’d want to spend £55 on it but I guess it depends on how much you love chocolate.

chocolate hamper

I also came across a ‘Grow your own Christmas Sprouts’ kit on the Asda gifts site.  I am definitely buying one of these for Sophie, it’s only £3.99 and she hates sprouts but I’m sure she’ll see the funny side.  Whether or not she wants to grow them is another matter! I’m also loving the personalised baubles though they wouldn’t get much use if I stuck them in the stocking, would they?

sprouts

I also LOVE this owl crochet hat and matching gloves from Accessorize.  I might be hard pushed to squeeze these into her stocking but I’m going to give it a go!  I suffer with dry lips so I am always buying lipbalms, which Sophie has clearly picked up on, as she’s forever slavering something on her lips so this cute owl lip balm is going in the stocking too!

owl

When it comes to Harry I’m a bit stumped.  He absolutely loves cars but he has so many, I don’t really want to buy more just for the sake of filling his stocking up and I definitely don’t want to fill it with chocs.  Any ideas would be gratefully received!

You can get 20% off everything at Thorntons using the code LEHC.  Code is valid until 9am on 11th November.

thorntons

Half Term Part 2 – Chicken Pox!!!

I had thought I might be able to write about some of the fun things the kids and I got up to in half term but by mid-week Harry had chicken pox and that sort of scuppered my plans.

Harry goes to a childminder every Wednesday and Thursday, which gives me a full day to work and get anything else done that I can’t do with Harry in tow. So I was in the gym a couple of hours after dropping him off when the childminder rang and told me Harry had chicken pox! Admittedly, I had noticed a couple of whitehead type spots around his nappy area and had told her that morning that I thought he had some strange nappy related rash.  Anyway, by the time she had taken him and his little buddies out to the park for a picnic, he was sprouting spots behind his ears and on his tummy and I had to go and get him.

To be fair chicken pox hasn’t been the nightmare I’d anticipated, Sophie didn’t have it so this is my first time! Apart from being a little cuddly and scratching himself like crazy, Harry’s been fairly happy.  He’s been playing as usual the only difference is he stops to have a good scratch every now and then.

Medicine wise, I have been using paracetamol, children’s piriton to help with the itching and VirSoothe a spray that eases the itching and helps the scabs heal.  The ViraSoothe is amazing, it instantly stops Harry scratching, though he doesn’t much like being squirted with it! I would definitely recommend the spray to anyone, I can’t imagine a child sitting still while you rub camomile lotion into their skin.

Because I can’t send Harry to the childminder, working can be a little tricky.  He plays nicely most of the time but I still find myself stopping for nappy changes, juice refills and lunch every 5 minutes or so.  Well not quite but it feels like it!

Fortunately Sophie was staying with her Dad for a couple days so by the time she came back on Friday I had sort of got myself up straight with work and we went out shopping, leaving Harry with Nanny.  We were gone 2 hours and she came home with 3 full bags of clothes and new pair of Converse. More than Mummy got!

 

chicken pox               icken

Half Term Part 1

I don’t know about you but I always plan on doing interesting things in the half term holidays, then they arrive and it just doesn’t happen. Then I spend the next fortnight feeling bad that we didn’t do anything. I didn’t have Sophie at the weekend, she was with her Dad but she has been back for 2 whole days now and we haven’t left the house.

She has written stories, played on her ipod, watched TV and told me several hundred times that she’s not bored as she huffs and sighs away on the sofa.  I’d forgotten it was half term week and didn’t get ahead with my work so I couldn’t take time off.  SO the kids are pretty much fending for themselves whilst I occasionally look up from the laptop to offer a drink or some lunch.

Tonight though, Soph asked me if I would play Monopoly as I’d worked all day and we’d managed to get her brother off to bed before 7. I’m not the most patient of people so the prospect of an evening hunched over the Monopoly board wasn’t really doing it for me but I must admit it was fun. I had forgotten most of the rules so we played by ‘Mummy’ rules and I still didn’t win! Anyway, we spent maybe an hour and a half playing and she told me it was the most fun she’d had in ages and then I found this on her chest of drawers….

Mum letter

First week back at work…boo!!!

This week has flown by and I have only written one post.  I feel bad about this as I had wanted to write daily, which in hindsight, may have been a little over-ambitious!

So back to work for me this week after a much needed week off (I’d not had any time off for 2 years if you exclude the 2 weeks I took for maternity leave).  On Monday and Tuesday I sat down for 7 solid hours working without stopping for a coffee.  If you knew me, you would know this is unusual.  I get very easily distracted working from home, it’s usually household chores that lure me away from my laptop and I can’t get by without a coffee or 4 during the day.  I’ve started doing something new at work which is hard to get my head around, I get really annoyed with myself when I can’t do things first time round so I have been a little tetchy this week. I’m sure the kids would confirm this!

It’s turned a little colder and we’ve been given a severe weather warning for next week. Lovely! For some reason I keep thinking about hot chocolate and comfy pjs.  I have neither at the moment so I need to rectify the situation just incase I end up cooped up indoors for any length of time.  I quite fancy the pink and black check pjs from Boux Avenue and all of their pjs are buy one get one free at the moment so I might well stock up!!!

Soph has spent the week at her Dad’s and has come back a different child, a well behaved non-cheeky type!  It’s always nice to have her back and handy too, as she keeps her brother entertained. He’s at that age where he is interested in everything, he will quite happily empty the contents of the kitchen cupboards onto the floor, he’s just worked out how the child locks work…

Have I mentioned yet that I will not leave the house without make up? I don’t remember the last time I ventured out without a full face on.  I know some of you will say it’s a waste of time but I apply mine whilst the kids eat their breakfast so I’d only be sitting there pestering them to eat up anyway.  My all time favourite beauty buy is the Urban Decay Naked 2 palette, I’ve had it a year and use it daily.  I bought it from HQ Hair, which is always cheaper than the high street.  There’s a great range of natural colours and I sometimes use the darker browns and black with a wet brush for a liquid liner.   Anyway, if you love make up or you’re trying to think up a special Christmas gift for your BFF, this should go on your list!

 

Urban Decay Naked