Wednesday, 30 November 2016

MOTHERHOOD | Those precious moments.

Photo source: instagram.com/nickikinickie

There are lots of parts of being a mother that you know you cherish; the first time baby walks and talks, grows a tooth, loses a tooth too. Those are given.

Lately, Savannah and me have accidently developed a 'thing' that we do together. A routine, a ritual, something that is ours. Hopefully a memory that she too will cherish. I didn't even realise it was a thing until she mentioned it. Every Friday after she finishes school at 1pm we go into town for cake. Simple as it sounds, I now treasure it.

The reason I did it first off was because I dropped her at her new school and had to leave her, I wanted to give her something to look forward to when I picked her up and an incentive to stay. She was absolutely fine playing with her new friends and looking at what toys were on offer but seemed to want me there as her comfort blanket. A little whisper of reassurance and the promise of cake later, she planted a kiss on my lips and I was able to leave.

1pm came around and she didn't want to leave. She showed me where she had been playing and her new friend Skye (who now comes up to her every week when she arrives to say hello! *heart melts*) she was so happy and content with her new school even I had forgotten we were going for cake after. She didn't though of course.

'Mum, are we getting cake?'

'Of course we are darling, let's go!'

And it has kind of become our thing on a Friday after school now. I promised it again the following week, again as an incentive and now we are four weeks in and she remembers. So we go.

I just love it. The place we go to is in our new town which is a lovely market town. All of the cakes are home made and the service is lovely. The place itself is lovely too. There are toys for the kids and sometimes there has even been another child Savannah can play with. I have a coffee and Savannah has a big slice of cake. She tells me about school, asks if I had a nice morning and then lists all the colours she knows (bwoo, owinge, lellow....)  and all of the people she knows (mumma, daddy, nanny, gaandad.....) Tells me I'm Anna and she is Elsa and then, half way through her cake she gives her tummy a break and goes to play with the toys on offer. I have even managed to read half a newspaper on one of our jaunts there.

It is so simple but so perfect. Especially as while she is at school I have most likely been rushing around doing the things that are easier to do alone like food shopping, which is a nightmare with a two year old who now wants everything she sees. Or housework because I can get it done much more thoroughly and feel less guilty having a good ol' clean because she isn't there. Then, come the afternoon we have our relaxing little mother  - daughter date.

I know that this little routine will be something I will treasure forever. Even if we still do it long after she starts proper school because I will remember how small she was when we first started our little cake and coffee rendezvous and why we started it. As much as it is lovely taking her to the park or on play dates or to soft play, you can't beat sitting at a table eating cake and talking about all of the colours your daughter knows.


Wednesday, 23 November 2016

SHOPPING | My Top 5 Black Friday Sale Tips.

cash, money, reds, black friday, sales, 2016, sterling

In case you hadn't heard this Friday (25th November) is Black Friday, a relatively new shopping experience in the UK that has only really been 'acknowledged' here over probably the last five years. Well it was three years ago that I noticed it being advertised and took advantage of some big discounts anyway, since then it has been getting bigger and bigger.

For those who don't know, Black Friday stems from America originally and is always on the Friday after Thanksgiving. It is called 'Black Friday' because it is said to be the day that retailers slash prices in order for profits to come out of the red and into the black. It is fast becoming one of the biggest selling events.

If you have never taken part in the Black Friday sales and fancy trying to grab yourself a bargain or two then I have some tips to help you (based on what I am / will be doing anyway). I am not talking elbowing people in the face to get a new TV or stampeding shop assistants, that's just stupid behaviour. There are plenty of ways to ensure that you can get some bargains without causing injury and spoiling it for everybody else.

Here are my top tips!

1) Think about what you want and where you want to buy it from.

Once you have an idea, visit those retailers websites because those that are partaking in Black Friday may already have offers on or may have an option for you to either 'show interest' or be emailed a reminder when the Black Friday sale starts. Curry's for example are doing this.

2) Only buy what you really want.

So many retailers appear to be partaking in this event now that it is easy to get swept up in everything and maybe spend a bit too much on things you may not actually need or want. Don't get me wrong, I will be browsing my favourite clothing retailers to see what I can get as have had my eye on a couple of clothing items for a while however if the discount isn't anything amazing I probably won't bother. My aim is to nab us a new TV for our new living room and I won't stop until I succeed!

3) Get online first thing.

Most of the retailers are advertising that their sales start at either 5am or 6am (some maybe earlier) so check the times advertised with the retailers you are interested in purchasing from. If you are organised and brave you could go to the shop itself but it might be a bit safer to go online! I have even found that leaving it until late evening (online) means still being able to nab some great deals without the aggro of queues or the website crashing (I can't guarantee that this year though, it does keep getting bigger! Leave at your own risk)

4) Shop the pre deals.

As I previously mentioned, a lot of retailers already have offers on and while it might be tempting to wait and see what will happen on Friday, the wait may not end up being worth it. Think realistically about how much you are willing to spend, what the product is, read some reviews online, compare prices online and if it already seems like a brilliant deal, I say grab it now! Yes OK there is a chance that it may have an even better offer on Friday but there is also a chance there won't or that it may be sold out because of other people happy to pay the new discounted pre sale price. Either way, you have still got a good deal if you buy a £700 TV for £400 so who cares?

5) Do your research.

This point stems from the last one a bit, make sure you have a really good idea on the prices of your products beforehand and how much they are being sold for elsewhere. Sometimes you can think you are getting an amazing deal but see an even better one somewhere else shortly after. Google that vacuum cleaner / fridge freezer / TV / laptop and have a really good idea in your head of what you would be paying full price before you start to shop the sales. See what else you get for your money too such as guarantees and how long for or some retailers do good bundle offers such as a TV and sound bar - again do your research though, don't be tempted into buying the bundle because it looks like a good deal, it might not be as good as it looks and of course, ask yourself, do you really need it?

My last 'bonus' tip is Google discount codes for that retailer and see if you can find anyway. This is great to do all the time all year around actually but if there are any that are valid that you are able to use in conjunction with the Black Friday discount that would be a touch wouldn't it?!

I hope my advice may have been of some use and I hope that  you find whatever you are looking for in the Black Friday sales, everyone shop nicely please!



*Image Source: publicdomain.net

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Lately | Life Update November 2016

Yep, I am back once again after another hiatus to say that I am sorry I haven't blogged for so long! This time, it wasn't actually my fault though as we haven't had any internet for nearly TWO MONTHS! Never before have I realised just HOW much we use or rely on the internet.

I have missed browsing online at news stories or random, pointless stories and I have missed annoying my husband when we are watching TV or a film by googling actors I recognise to see what else I could have seen them in. I have missed not being able to use catch up on Sky.(and there has been loads on TV I have missed - sulk, huff!) and I have missed not being able to write.

While I was taking a break and not in the frame of mind to write, I didn't miss it at all which was really sad. I knew it was because of my depression but that didn't make me feel any better. I knew that I needed to break the cycle by getting back into writing and fighting against those feelings and luckily I have been doing that, writing ideas and articles and saving them to my laptop so my mind isn't going stale.

Finally though, we have the internet again! Yay! Now we have plenty of TV for us to catch up on when there's bugger all else to watch (although I am really into I'm A Celeb right now, who's with me?!).There is also plenty of writing I can be doing too, I have tons to catch you all up on.

In a nutshell, we moved into our new house at the end of September and absolutely love it. It is a new build that we exchanged on back in May and have been waiting for it to be built. We have moved from Essex to Norfolk so it is quite a big change! We love living here but it is weird not knowing where anywhere is and having to use a Sat Nav everywhere I go. That's all part of the fun of moving to somewhere new though isn't it? Exploring and finding new favourite places to go.

We have frequented our local a few times now and like it in there (food is nice and it is a walkable distance - win win) We have also found a lovely little coffee shop in town that we enjoy going to (it serves amazing home made cake) as well as some great family places that are great for Savannah.

All in all, we are settling in here nicely.

I am so pleased with how the house is coming along, there is still a lot that I want to do with it but so far so good! Like a lot of people I have been turning to Pinterest for inspiration. I am obsessed with the idea of having shelves in the living room full of trinkets, framed prints and fairy lights. It will happen but I am just trying to figure out how I want the shelves to go and how big I need them to be.

We also need to start doing up the back garden which is currently mud!

Apart from all of that, we are also really excited because we are taking Savannah to Disneyland Paris the week before Christmas but she doesn't know it yet. We are going to surprise her! Because her nanny lives in Holland and we travel there on the ferry we will tell her that is where we are going. When an advert for Disneyland comes on the TV she gets really excited so I can't wait to see her little face when she realises where we are.

I will keep you posted with interior updates (whether you like it or not) and I will also keep up with the blogging again. I am still wanting to talk about mental health and well-being too so plenty to be cracking on with.

Until then, here are some photos of the house. Have a lovely week! X


Kitchen
Living Room
Living Room
Bedroom.