Our October Round Up!

I honestly cannot believe that it is 3rd November! This year has really flown by, and October has been no exception. It seemed to just disappear in the blink of an eye.

It was a busy month for us, with birthdays, my 2 little ones stayed in ‘full time’ at school and pre school, school Harvest services and ‘Stay and Play’ mornings and lots of beautiful afternoons in the glorious Autumn sunshine. It’s been a great month, come and have a peek!

At the beginning of the month, little L started to stay in until 1130am. I have to admit it took me a good few days to adapt to this new routine. I have discovered, ever since J started pre school, and I’ve noticed that it is a bit of a trend for me, but I have discovered that I have great difficulty in ‘letting my children go’. I struggle to leave them with other people. I really, really worry about them when I am not with them –  will they be ok? Will they fall and have some terrible injury? Will they have anyone to play with? Honestly I am terrible. No matter when or where I leave them I find myself unable to completely relax. I’m a crazy cat, right?! In the meantime, I will continue to try to distract myself with moments like this…


We enjoyed some lovely days out with friends and family.

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And had a lovely Cocktail Afternoon Tea for Mum’s birthday at Ten Square in Belfast.


I had one of those mummy wobble moments this month – J lost his first tooth…he actually lost 2 teeth this month. And gosh, it stopped me in my tracks. This little man is growing up way too fast


There was a proud as punch mummy moment for me too with our little S getting “Worker of the Week” in P1. As a teacher I gave out such awards on a regular basis, but it is only now that I have some to appreciate just how much these simple little things can mean so much to a child. He was on cloud 9 for days!


This month I have also come to fully appreciate that term, “mums taxi”. I seem to spend a large percentage of my day in the car running from one thing to the next – whether it be the school run, after school activities, church organisations, play dates, appointments…


There have been lovely events to attend in my role as a ‘blogger’. Although truth be told, I don’t really see myself as a ‘blogger’ in the real sense of the word. I feel I kind of give bloggers a bad name, they spend so much time and put so much effort into their posts and blog, that I don’t feel I deserve to be given that title! But it is lovely to get to attend such occasions and ‘pretend’ for a little while at least ;)

Emma and I went along to Malmaison in Belfast for the launch of a new brand Story Horse. It was a lovely evening and they really do have some beautiful pieces at very affordable prices.


J and I went along to McDonalds at Bloomfield Shopping Centre for a rather extraordinary morning. (You can read more in an earlier post on the blog) Have you been for your Happy Meal yet?


And just last night, I know this is a little bit of a non October moment, but I really want to share it! Last night, myself and 4 friends went along to Emma’s ‘Let’s Shop’ charity event in Avoca. It really was a great night. Emma, you are a truly gifted woman. No matter what you put your hand to, you do extremely well and to such a high standard. R.E.S.P.E.C.T lady.


October is my birthday month. And this month I felt well and truly spoilt rotten. I got some gorgeous pressies and spent time with family and friends.

But I have to make a special note of my actual birth day. Ben, my darling husband, treated me to the most fabulous day, and it was a real reminder of the importance of TIME WELL SPENT.  I felt valued and indeed celebrated as a mummy and wife and friend – my husband is truly my best friend. From a lovely relaxing morning at home to a gorgeous lunch out; to walking hand in hand around the shops (child free!) to a take away dinner for 5, I had the best day. I only have 1 photo from the day – which I guess speaks volumes about how our time was spent – spent focusing and concentrating on each other – not our phones, or housework, our jobs needing done, but time with one another.


October has been quite a month. A busy month. But if I were to choose one word to sum it up – it would have to be …


A month in which lots of special memories were made. A month to be treasured.

Happy Readers Extraordinary Storyteller Tour‏

Good Morning! Quite often, when you write a blog, you get invited to many different events – some that are of great interest and some that have a mild appeal. When I got the email inviting us to go along to McDonalds at Bloomfield Shopping Centre I was genuinely very excited! Growing up Roald Dahl was my favourite author, I read all of his books and loved getting a new one to add to my collection. J and I have read a couple of his books together at bedtime and just recently J has managed to read The Twits by himself.

I’m sure many of you are aware of the latest ‘free gift’ in the ever popular Happy Meal – a little Roald Dahl book. I had been planning to take our 3 to McDonalds over half term to start our collection, so was delighted to get a chance to hear more of the story behind the venture and get a little sneaky peek at what all is involved.

So, on Saturday morning past, myself and J set off to Bangor. We decided to make it into a little mummy / son date! And, we really had a very different and very fun morning. Young at Art provided an extra ordinary storytelling of Roald Dahl’s Matilda, as a young girl I loved Matilda and was not at all surprised to hear that it is the most read book in Belfast. J loved listening to ‘Granny’ and Emily read an extract from this wonderful book!

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Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 19th October 2015 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Press Eye – Belfast – Northern Ireland – 19th October 2015 – Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Over the next 6 weeks, an incredible 14 MILLION books – which have extracts from Roald Dahl’s most popular books – will be distributed in McDonald’s Happy Meals. For me, this is one of the best McDonald collaborations ever! I love the fact that it will make the most wonderful, extraordinary world of Roald Dahl accessible to millions of children, meaning that families together can share in some of the magic of The BFG (J’s favourite!) and George and his Marvellous Medicine!

McDonald’s Happy Readers campaign was created to put more books into the hands of families. Did you know that recent research revealed that almost one in seven children don’t have a book of their own! The teacher in me finds this so upsetting and is just one of the reasons why I love this venture from our much loved ‘golden arches’.

We were very lucky on Saturday morning to receive a gorgeous little box set of the books which are available! And I have to say, they are already a treasured set in this house. To support the books there is also a fab app – the Happy Studio App, which really helps to bring the books to life through sounds and animations and games! With half term just around the corner be sure to schedule in a wee trip to your local Micky D’s ;)




Many thanks to AikenPR for the invite on Saturday morning and for providing some of the images for this post.

Autumn Bucket List for families.

Originally posted on :

It’s that time of year again when I share with you our Bucket List for the most beautiful season, (in my opinion!),  Autumn.

Crunch and jump in piles of leaves.

Plant daffodil bulbs to enjoy in Spring.

Visit a Farmers Market.

Decorate pumpkins.

Make a scarecrow – we will definitely be recreating Harry and Betty from The Scarecrows Wedding.

Go for long walks and bike rides in beautiful places.

Visit Starbucks + Costa for a seasonal favourite!

Make caramel apples.

Create a Thankful tree.

Make leaf prints.

Make apple prints.

Make apple tart and apple crumble.

Make some Autumn playdough.

Fly a kite.

Bob for apples.

Go to a ‘Light party’.

Watch some Fireworks.

Camp out in the back garden – star gazing, toasting marshmallows and telling stories around a fire.

Go on a hike in Tullymore and have a picnic.

Go on a nature / scavenger hunt.

Decorate our…

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A time for everything.

It has been almost exactly one month since I last blogged – one month, bar one day. I didn’t intend for it to be so long, life just kind of got in the way. September has been busy with so many new ‘things’ and routines; a new chapter for us as a family. And while there have been many changes for the little ones, there have been huge changes for me. Without sounding too selfish, I have found September pretty tough. As I type this, this morning, the house is empty. It is silent. Today is the first day for L to stay in preschool for the full time – I will collect her at 1130am. This week has seen S stay in for the full time also, I will collect him at 2pm and J has also started a couple of after school activities meaning that I haven’t collected him until 3pm some days.  And while I have to admit to longing for a few hours to myself in the past, I have discovered it really isn’t all it’s cracked up to be!

For 5 and a half years I have always had at least 1 little companion by my side. Every. Single. Day. There has always been someone to change and feed and read stories to and play with. At 1030am today there will be no strawberries to chop, or milk to pour or cheese to cube, there will just be a kettle to boil. My nest feels a little empty this morning.

I know I will get used to it, perhaps even come to embrace it. But for now I am going to wallow in self pity. Drinking gallons of coffee, eating ALL the chocolate digestives and Wispa’s and shed a *few* tears as I look back at these photos….September you’ve been big!

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Drink. More. Water.

A month ago today I decided to drink more water. Since then I have tried really hard to drink at least 2 litres of water per day and only have 2 cups of caffeinated drinks. And have I noticed a difference?? Absolutely!! Honestly, even I am shocked. I have to admit to be a little sceptical at first, but I can honestly say that I notice a big difference.

Now, I did take a shocker of a picture at the beginning, and I did take another one today before I got my make up on and my hair did!!

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I know, I know – not really a fair test – the lighting is completely different!

Now. Is there a – wow, girl hold the phone (!) – you look shamazing moment?? I’ll let you decided ;) I do notice that my skin doesn’t feel as tight and dry as it did. I also still weigh the exact same, I didn’t find drinking more water curbed my hunger pangs or love of snacking. Rage! Ha!

For me the biggest difference was – in my head. Oh, I know, the irony! Seriously though. My head. It is really hard to describe. It is less fuzzy or something. It feels clearer, I don’t have those annoying floaters anymore – you know what I mean the wee floaty black dots! I don’t feel as groggy. I’m sorry, this probably doesn’t make very much sense, it is so hard to put into words. But, my head just feels so much better. Less clogged. Just a whole lot clearer.

I also seem to be a little more evenly balanced – less highs and lows. I no longer have that 4pm slump – that, get me to a horizontal position now please, slump. My heart isn’t racing like it did and the palpitations have definitely eased off.

So, I honestly feel great, So much better. I have found in the last few days, now that the kids are back to school that I am reaching for the kettle more…maybe it’s the weather too. So, I need to watch – old habits could slip in so easily. But I am determined not to. I know a few of you had got in touch too, to say that you were interested to hear how I would get on. Well, all I will say is – DRINK. MORE. WATER.

Things I’m loving lately (August)

August is practically over AND Emma’s linky is nearly finished, but I’m hoping I will make it by just the skin of my teeth!! Emma, over at Life At The Little Wood is hosting a lovely little link up about things that you’ve been loving in the past month. I really love the idea behind it, in one of her posts I remember she described it as a catch up with the girls or reading one of your favourite magazines…that sounds like fun, right? So I am excited to join in.

Without further ado, here’s what we’ve been loving in August.


A few little new things for me on this front this month. First up, a new doo! Now, ok, so I did get it cut at the end of July, but it has been the month of August really that I’ve got into the swing of having it a good 6 inches shorter. It’s so much easier to wash and dry and make look semi decent in the mornings. I’m hoping there’ll be a few less ‘hair scraped back in a messy bun/ponytail moments’ this year on the school run!


I’ve also been trying out a new tanning product this month too. I do love a bit of fake tan it has to be said – takes away a little of the ‘blue’ tinge of my very Irish skin. I think it was Emma (LATLW!) herself who recommended this, so when I saw it on offer in Sainsbury the other week, I thought I’d give it a whirl. First impressions are good, nice colour and no streaks. Will see how we go as the weeks go on, could be a new fav!



I thought here I would share some of my favourite outfits that I’ve worn this month. Cue embarrassing poses!! I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves!

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These are L’s new boots for Autumn! We really wanted the pink patent ones, but they were completely sold out in her size. We got her convinced that these were just as fabulous and she hasn’t had them off since!


Mmmmmmm home….this one I don’t really have very much to say on this one! Can I loosely mention my rekindled love for reading this month?? I do that in my home mostly!! As a child and teenager and indeed a student I was a real bookworm. Once the little ones came along, it seemed I just couldn’t find the time. When I went to bed at night I was fast asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow. This summer however, I have changed that and am carving out some time in my day to do some reading. This month I have read


I feel I need to tell you that a couple of paragraphs has TMI for me!! Just incase one of you read it and are shocked!! Lol. It is a great, easy read though, kept me interested and eager to find out what happened! I think I’m a little naïve / innocent at times!!


Haven’t started this just yet, am reading another book at the moment. My sister picked this up for me as a wee surprise, am excited to get stuck in though have heard good reports!


Now food I can do. This month, (this summer, really!) we have been all about picnics and grabbing something quick when we come back in after a long day out on day trips. I have been drinking my 2-3 litres of water every day….I set myself a challenge at the beginning of the month……and drinking only 1 – 2 cups of coffee. It has been going well and I will update you on that soon.

There have been a lot of cuppa’s in bed, just one of the perks of a wonderful husband, who is a teacher!


Cuppa’s outside at sunrise on our garden bench


And cuppa’s on the run, when we wanted to get somewhere early!


There has been these AMAZING cupcakes! It was our Holiday Bible Club this month and we had a Frozen theme. I had asked some of the ladies to bake me a few top hats / rice crispie buns for the kids….1 lady showed up with these!!!!


There has been a lovely ‘last day of the holidays’ morning tea with Granny and Auntie Laura


And farrrrrrrrrrrrrr too many of these



And that’s been the things we’ve been loving in August!

How has your August been? I’m looking forward to September now. I’m ready to light candles and snuggle under blankets, bring on boots and jumpers and less of a need to shave the old pins!! Autumn is definitely up there as my favourite season – it’s a tough call between it and Winter.

#mysundayphoto – Back to school

Jonah and Seth

I have decided to join in with one of those blogland linky’s! I always love to see how others have selected their favourite picture of the week. This is mine! It’s not the best photo ever I know, but it is a very special one to me. While I look completely in control and happy and relaxed inside I was a wreck. I had hardly slept the night before, I spent the morning feeling all jittery and on the verge of tears and snapping at my husband (sorry honey xx).

On Thursday J started back to school – a big P2. He was so excited to be going back to see all his wee friends. He was excited to be a P2, to him it meant he could go on the ‘bigger bars’ in the playground, he was allowed to go on the swings. He was going to look after his little brother, show him the ropes. He was delighted at being a big P2 now. I was a little devastated!! I know as parents one of the best things we can do for our children is to let them go, encourage independence, but it’s tough, right?

That same morning S was starting P1. He was bouncing with joy, he couldn’t wait. He was going to big school with his big brother. He was going to learn to read books and play outside. He couldn’t get the time in quick enough. But this little boy of mine was only 4 in June – he is still my baby boy. Will he be ok? Will he have someone to play with? Surely I could just keep him at home a little while longer, no?

This photo will be one that I will always treasure, for I know it marks the end of a chapter and the beginning of a new ‘way’. I now have 2 children at Primary School….how did that happen? Oh time, could you please slow down, even a little…..