Where have I been I hear you wonder (not really hah) and frankly these few weeks have been mad, so I feel the need to update you on what has been going on in the life of Mummy Cat and her kittens.

Firstly we have all been under the weather, on Friday 13th I woke up absolutely full of cold, I was so ill that I even got Mr S to do the afternoon school run, I wanted to basically sleep and do nothing else and thankfully the children when they came home helped big time with everything but nothing could prepare us for what was going to happen on the Tuesday 16th, everyone went to bed as planned and all seemed happy to get to bed, no fuss and no arguments however about an hour into sleep there was this coughing and wet sound coming from our bedroom.. Robin threw up and my god it was gross as she had a full bottle of milk before going to bed so it was just horrible, which began a full week of sick children and naturally sick mummy and daddy followed suit and we all spent a lot of time that week hiding inside and feeling very VERY sorry for ourselves.

On the Saturday 14th however, despite the cold I was suffering with there was a plan in motion to get all of us over to Birmingham to meet up with the wonderful BC April babies once again, it was the one year anniversary meet up that I have been so excited for since it was booked up! the plan was to meet at the same place as we met before the ThinkTank, have some lunch and let the babies explore and go wild, this time however we went by car so my anxiety over the train was not even there and I felt so much better going in the car, Mr S drove us and I think it took us a good hour and a half to get there but it honestly was such a nice smooth drive up on the motorway.

Once we arrived we got to paying and then it was the hunt to find some of my BC April girls, there wasn’t as many as there was the last time we did this, which was sad but I think it was a lot better, I felt like I could talk to those who had turned up and it felt a lot more relaxed but the children had a blast running around and playing in the water, and I really loved catching up with the ladies and just seeing them enjoy their time in the water and all the wonderful interactive parts that are all over the ThinkTank, I still highly recommend you go to it at some point in the future as its so much fun for all the ages and there is a lovely area for the younger children to play with fake food and learn things about their surroundings.

Here’s a couple of photos that I took of the day –

I had planned to vlog the day but I got so caught up into the fun that the only footage I have is of us going up the M1 and some clips of windmills, I don’t think I am cut out for vlogging just yet haha, I enjoy taking photos more and I guess getting them into Lightroom and editing them up to look clear and pretty, and as I said before, if you ever get a chance to go to Birmingham I highly recommend you give the ThinkTank a go, it was such a fun day for everyone and with the water, no one really got to hot.

I have some more adventures to share with you shortly of our first family holiday but that will have to wait for another post, for now its lovely to be back into blogging after having such a long time off either being sick or being away.

How has the start of the summer holiday been for you?

until next time

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Keeping the Kids Busy Outdoors in the Summer

When school’s out, all the kids want to do is stay indoors and play with their gadgets. It’s hard not to think of this as a waste though, because summer is the perfect time to enjoy the outdoors. You can make this season more fun for them by introducing activities that they can only enjoy when they’re out in the sun.

Outdoor Picnics

Picnics are a great opportunity for children to get some much needed fresh air and learn more about nature. They can also give the entire family a chance to bond.

You can opt to have a picnic in your own garden, but why not take things a step further and plan a picnic in one of England’s beautiful nature spots? The Telegraph’s list of the best UK picnic spots include places like the Quarry Bank in Cheshire and the Beningbrough’s gardens in York, in case you need ideas.

To help get the kids excited for the trip, you can promise to serve them their favourite deserts at the picnic or encourage them to help out with making the picnic.

Water Fight

If you don’t own an inflatable pool, you can host a water fight instead! It’s a fun outdoor activity to keep the family cool on a hot day. Use your garden hoses or sprinklers as playful weapons, or give the kids water guns for them to defend themselves. For a cheaper alternative, you can buy some water balloons. You can even use the games as a creative method for watering your lawn. To ensure that no water goes to waste (and to keep your water bill down), be sure to set a time limit.

Gardening

There are several ways to turn your garden into an interesting area for the kids. For one, you can introduce them to gardening by assigning a space for them to grow their own plants. Kids are naturally curious, so they may love the idea. My children were fascinated by the tomato plants we once attempted to grow. Not only is gardening a great way to try your hand at growing your own food, it’s also a fun summer hobby that can teach children the value of responsibility.

Garden Playground

Why not transform your garden into a playground? If you have logs lying around, you can arrange them as stepping logs for the kids. It’s a simple activity that can teach them balance and coordination. You can also invest in a little playhouse, so that kids can have their own “home” away from home. Screwfix notes the significance of garden playhouses, stating that they can allow a child’s imagination to run wild. You can empower them with their own space, which they can even use as storage for their outdoor toys.

A Scavenger Hunt

Here’s yet another fun game that allows kids to learn about the outdoors. Prepare a treasure hunt for the kids with a promise of a prize afterwards. You can either prepare the list by writing down descriptions of the items, or drawing images of them. The items themselves can be a variety of things and do not have to be nature-related. For instance, The Spruce’s guide on a scavenger hunt includes clues for household items like the garden gnome, grill, and the post box.

These activities can help the kids appreciate the outdoors more. Additionally, they can create lasting childhood memories. Go now and prepare your summer itinerary so that the family can have a summer blast, and a season to remember.

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July at last!! This month has been nothing but warmth and hay fever so expect a lot of complaining from me in this post, also I know I usually post these at the end of the previous month but life got ahead of me and there is nothing worse than sitting up a computer while its hot.. Motivation hasn’t been my strong point this month that’s for sure!

Once again I will be doing a ‘Mummy’ favorites, lots of lovely things that I have loved that have helped me through this wonderful journey of motherhood and beyond and this usually is bath products and toys ha!

Daewoo Floor Fan (it says its sold out but always check the stores)– we got this a couple of days ago from Home Bargains and it’s swiftly become the favorite thing ever! England has been hit by a heatwave (or summer to the rest of us). It cost £29 but it’s so worth it! Cools the room down so quickly and I am honestly tempted to go back and get another one! It’s my biggest fan 😉 haha!

Treacle Moon Pear Bon Bon– I grabbed this in Tesco’s and oh my goodness it’s amazing, it reminds me of the amazing and limited edition Snow Fairy from lush and you know me and my hunt for good dupes of that scent! this is a limited edition scent from Treacle Moon so grab it when you can!

Burts Bees Lip Balm – Last year Burts Bee’s did a Bring back the bees campaign which if you purchased one of their special edition lip balms they will plant 3000 wild flowers, they have done it again this year but with a lovely scented strawberry lip balm and it’s amazing! Because of the fans my lips have been so dry so this has been used obsessively (along with other lip balms) To pick up your own and help Burts Bee’s plant more wild followers here is a handy little link for you 🙂

Seksy Embrace* – I got this perfume to be a part of a gift guide which you can have a read here but it has swiftly become my favorite, the scent it self is a gentle and sweet scent which reminds me of another perfume that I cannot put my finger on, it also came with a cute little swarovski crystal on the bottle but as it fell off, I now have it on my Pandora and its beautiful in this summer sun we’ve been having.

Micro Trike* – This was sent out to bloggers a while ago and I was fortunate to get one too, it looks a little wobbly but surprisingly it’s not bad, it did take a lot of getting use to for both me and Robin but I think she loves it, it’s made our school runs a lot quicker and Robin will literally rush to get herself ready if she knows she’s going to get on it, the only issue I have with it is that the handle bar is far to short for me, and i am not exactly the tallest human (I am a hobbit) so my arm has ended up being sore, but I do love how it turns and how tiny it is!

I did a fun bout of YouTube wandering one day and came across Sia, now I knew of her before but I had no idea just how talented she was and I found a live version of Chandelier which swiftly became my favorite song, so much so its stuck in my head and it wont come out, so I am going to share it with you so you can enjoy it too! I am am aware that I am extremely late to the party but no matter.

and that is my monthly favorites for June! next month I will continue with the theme but I am going to let my children choose the things that they have loved about July!

until next time

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Disclaimer - Items marked with a * have been sent to me for review purposes only, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Us mums really do not get pampered enough, and its sad how much work we do and how little we are appreciated for doing it, I understand that we have Mothers Day but that shouldn’t mean we cannot treat these amazing ladies with extra little gifts throughout the year as a way to say, take time out, relax and we love you.

I decided to get together a collection of affordable gift ideas and treats that you could grab up for your wonderful mum, friend or even simply just for yourself as we all know how important it is to take time out and self care once in a while.

Seksy Embrace £35 – This was such an impulse, I am of course super duper picky when it comes to perfumes but this was stunning, the description of it is that its elegant and it honestly is Embrace is a perfect evening perfume to wear out or to family parties but I have worn it daily and have had many compliments from others, The bottle is beautiful with a little Swarovski crystal that sits on the rim of the bottle.

Olverum Bath Oil £29 – Once in a while you get the chance to have a nice hot bath, and why not add this amazingly scented bath oil into it, all you need is one teaspoon into a hot bath and sit back and relax, when this came through my door I could smell it before I had even opened it and that is when I knew it was wonderful, I have only used it the once because I dont want to ‘over use’ but its amazing and has left my sore and tired skin smooth and happy, everyone should have this wonderful thing in their bathroom cupboard.

Hot Rocks Massage Stones (gift set) £14.99 (sale price £9.19) – This set speaks to my inner hippy, it reminds of a time sitting with my step mum with her incense sticks burning and Madonna’s Ray of Light album in the background, sore backs will want this more often than you expect, it comes with a little book to show you how to warm them up, a candle, the stones themselves and some incense sticks, need a pamper evening with your friends? then this one needs to be grabbed, and its on sale too so that’s an added bonus!

Stemless Wine Glasses £14.99 – These are stunning, they are so pretty, my husband has been using them a lot more than I have while drinking cider, he noticed that because of them being made of metal the condensation freezes on the outside and keeps the liquid in the glass themselves nice and cool for longer, they are just so different from your usual glasses, given that they aren’t actually made from glass, you can get the ones with the stems on them but I got these ones so they can be used for more than just a nice cold bevvy at the end of the day.

What fun things in this little gift guide would you go for?

Until next time

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Disclaimer - All items in this guide had been sent to me for review purpose only, all thoughts are my own 

I have a problem, We go food shopping every Thursday but my biggest problem is going shopping on empty stomach so the usual drill is that our trolley ends up being full of junk that we don’t usually end up eating so for the past week I have been attempting to shop on a budget, which usually goes well until we reach the isle with the Krispy Kremes and then we are in danger zone so I wanted to get it into my head how important it is to work on a budget and meal plan for a family of five (plus cat)

Deals deals deals! one of the best things to stick to a budget is sometimes buy bulk and look for the best deals that you can find in the shops, shopping around and doing some research is also a must when it comes to saving the pennies at the checkout, be of course aware of sneaky supermarket tactics for getting you to part with your money, items at the checkout themselves and even putting ‘deals’ at the end of the rows are a way of tricking you into buying more than you need, always look in the right sections for the best deals.

We do this a lot, now that I have organised the cupboards a bit more, its helped make sure we don’t over buy in the baked beans, the day before food shop look around the house to see what items you need and what things you don’t, check dates on things and note down anything that will be going empty soon.

Same as above, writing down what you need, keeping and sticking to a list is a great way of preventing over spending, going off the top of your head will only end up causing silly purchases, make sure that you take note of what you have eaten during the previous week and do not deviate.

Better said than done, the other week when we went to Home Bargains I found the handiest item in my kitchen, a meal planner, I update it weekly of whats going to be cooked that week, lazy food for days when we are going out (food shop night is pizza night got an example) mark what has been the favorite of that week so you know what can be repeated and reordered and the children love running into the kitchen to see whats on the menu for the week coming.

A big must! Husband and I went shopping one Sunday afternoon, we had planned to get something fun for dinner, rarely happens but we also went when hungry.. which means our trolley was full of junk food and gross things that we wouldn’t normally buy, it was fun but we overspent and didn’t plan at all and it only ended up being a bit wasted because we let our stomachs do the shopping, make sure you have something light before you go so you wont be tempted by the nice smells from the hot food counter or the bakery!

I asked some other lovely bloggers what they’re top tips are for working with a budget while food planning and here is what they said.

Make lists of meals each day! And before you go shopping, check what you already have, so you don’t buy what you don’t need! – Becca from My Girls and Me

Plan out exactly what you are going to have to eat for the week, make a shopping list of those items and then order online so you are not tempted by non essentials instore – Mandi from Big Family Organised Chaos

 Find out when the supermarkets reduce their ‘nearing sell by date’ items. Try and buy items that you can freeze for future meals while they are reduced. – Nikki from Family Travel with Ellie

Bulk batch cook meals into portions and label well, a “ready meal” ready to go and fit in with the meal plan – Emma from Ready Freddie Go

Don’t restrict yourself to shopping in the supermarkets. Poundshops and bargain shops such as b&m/home bargains sell food/toiletries often at a fraction of the price the supermarkets charge, meaning you can save so much money and stick to your budget. – Beth from Twinderelmo

We make a list of meals for the week and often bulk meal prep on Sundays. It saves us time and money, that way when we are having a lazy/ or busy day we have meals prepared in the freezer. – Karina from Mums The Nerd

I plan ahead so leftovers can be used the next day for lunch/dinner; as pie, soup, with baked potato or with salad.  – Amy from Eps and Amy

What are your tip tips on meal planning with a budget?

Until next time..

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