Family Photos // Tesco Photo Review

I love photos.
I love going into peoples homes and seeing walls of pictures. 
You get to see the past and present and all those adventures people have been on.

So when Tesco Photo offered the chance to have a canvas printed I jumped at the opportunity (and if you haven’t guessed already they have kindly gifted us a canvas print in exchange for this review) 

The irony is at the moment we have no photos on the walls; or shelves for that matter. We are about to begin a massive renovation which has been ten years in the waiting.

2 years ago my partner captured one of my favourites images. Our boy stood on his Grumpa’s paddleboard in Devon. 

In this image is one of my favourite memories. A very last minute and late night trip to the beach. My dad had one home after a full day out and said the surf was perfect and so the FunBus (my dads VW Caravelle) was packed up with haste and to Westward Ho! we went.


Photo of our son stood on his Grumpa's Paddleboard at Westward Ho! 

In the 2 years since we just never got round to printing it, that picture has been living in my mind and my phone ever since it was taken. it’s always just seemed like a lot of bother (and we are always the eternal procrastinators!)

So back to Tesco Photo. They offer a next day Collect in Store service for no additional charge (which is always a bonus in my eyes). You head to the website and select your product; choosing from picture books, canvas' or even a cushion cover. Then you upload your image and check that everything looks good before you head to pay. As with other photo printing companies, it’s easy to navigate and you have plenty of opportunity to make sure you are happy with your final version before you confirm and pay.

12 hours later and I received the text to say our canvas was ready to collect….we dashed over (because we are too impatient) and collect our print. The quality of the finish is great (even down to the folding of the canvas at the back) and the boy is over the moon he has a giant picture of him at the beach. 

For now, the canvas remains under bubble wrap (once we snapped this quick picture of course) as we demolish the house, but I can assure you it will be the first picture we hang once all the chaos is over. 


Tesco Photo kindly gifted us the canvas for an honest review of their site. As ever all words and opinions are all mine

AndSoWeSaw// Mischief And Mystery In Moomin Valley

I love the Moomins
The kid loves the Moomins

So last Saturday we headed to MAC to watch Mischief and Mystery in Moomin Valley (produced by Get Lost & Found)

Getting Lost in Moomin Valley 
We headed upstairs to one of the performance spaces and whilst we were waiting the boy spotted Snufkin hiding behind some cases.

‘Why is he hiding?’
‘I think he’s waiting for all of us to go in a sit down’
‘Oh’

As we went into the room we were greeted by Stuff & Nonsense; our storytellers for the performance. The children were encouraged to sit on the floor so they could get closer to the magic. I too had to sit on the floor as the boy decided that he wanted some company (I was so happy to get the old pins and needles in my toes for the next 40 minutes or perhaps not!)

The show started without anyone even realising. The children were asked if they had bought their imaginations as it was very important, which led into a very important discussion around what ‘magic’ sounded like.

Stuff & Nonsense helped to tell the tale of the changing of the seasons and how Moomintroll feels when his best friend Snufkin goes away for the winter.

With appearances from Little My (ever the pessimist) and Thingummy and Bob causing mischief along the way the story is told through a mix of 2d and 3d puppetry along with the children using their imaginations as each season changed.



The thing that I love about children’s performances is the interaction of them. Instead of being told to sit and be quiet, they are encouraged to get involved and share their ideas.

Mischief and Mystery in Moomin Valley continues to tour until the end of the year, so do check it out if they come your way.

With Moomins returning to our screens next year I cannot wait to sit and watch it as a family.


MAC kindly offered us tickets to the performance to review the show. As ever our views are entirely our own. 

AndSoWe // Summer Holiday Week 2 Round Up


Hello week 2 and another mixed bag.

With no plans of time away I sent a desperate email to HR to ask how much annual leave I had remaining.
Success! 5 hidden days I had somehow forgotten about. So whilst we survive the next 3 weeks, I am hopeful the last week before school will be one to remember.

Anyway, let’s look at the success rates of week 2

Monday: Same as last week (and the same as next!) Boy gets to spend some quality time with his dad as it’s a set day off from work. This week they watched films and ate all the spaghetti hoops!
Success rate: 8/10

Tuesday: I had an all staff meeting at work, with no set time for it to finish. Frantic checking of phones and crossed fingers. Hoping that I could dash back home so the fella wouldn’t be late for work.
Made it with 2 mins to spare!
As it was payday the boy and I decided to head out for tea and we dined on delicious pasta and the garlic bread of dreams!
Success rating: 8/10






Wednesday: Stuck on the M6. Late for child handover. Not bad for the first time in 10 days (I had assumed this would have already happened at least twice by now!)
The afternoon was a trip to one of our local libraries to get involved in Heathlands Festival. 3 of the neighbouring libraries have come together to put on 4 weeks of free activities for all ages. It was such a lovely afternoon getting messy and seeking out new books
Boy made a Gargoyle (called Clocky) and got to create a story. Clocky can stop time. He stops the hands moving as he does not like the ticking sound (a little bit dark for me, I do love his imagination though)

Success rate: 7/10 (would have been higher if I wasn’t late!)

Thursday: Handover a success and the boy and I stayed at home watching Inside Out (again) and was also introduced to The Nightmare Before Christmas (yes he’s 4 and yes he loved it!)
Success rate: 8/10

Friday: With the ability to complete my admin tasks during any time slot (all hail #flexappeal), I got up super early to get them done so I could spend more of the day with the boy. We headed into town for a long overdue trip on the tram. We had our first visit to Saints Kitchen where he ate a slice of toast and jam that was bigger than his head (and I had a delicious coffee!)
A flying visit to see Dippy (4th time now), and time spent in the children’s activity room where he quickly made friends with another boy (Johan you were an absolute delight and a gent) and they happily played together for 20mins while me (and Johan’s grandma) got to sit and chill
Burgers for tea
Cake before home
Success rate: 10/10

Saturday: Swimming lessons completed, we all headed into town for some birthday shopping for the sister in law. Successful shopping was celebrated with coffee and brunch at Waylands Yard.
Took the boy down to Eastside to play in the water fountains where he was living his best life until he wanted to join in with some older kids playing football. It was his first ever experience of being told ‘no’ by other kids and it absolutely broke his heart (head here to read more about it)
Sucess rate: 4/10 (we were doing so well until the park)






Sunday: Family admin day. Oven cleaning trips to the tip and sweaty naps in the car. All rounded off with Beauty and the Beast and leftover Chilli.
Success rate: 7/10 (no kid cares about cleaning the oven)
The start of week 3 sees the boy heading off to WaterWorld, so the rest of the week will just be downhill from Tuesday, so I’d just expect updates about the kid moaning

Good Luck for week 3
May the odds be forever in your favour!


Instagram // When Influencers fall short

When Influencers Fall Short - Head in the Basket

I joined Instagram because I wanted somewhere to document our chaos.
Really quickly I found myself in an echo chamber. Following squares, because they were ‘famous’.
I was bored
Same old photos
Different names
And everyone had the same bloody rug

Oh what a lovely bandwagon

In real life I had started to widen my circle, learning more about my city and stepping outside of my comfortable bubble.
Changing up my squares to reflect my life, following people who speak to me, who are passionate for change (across the board)

I don’t shout about it on my Instagram, because quite frankly it doesn’t mean anything.
I see the changes in my real life
However, more recently there seems to be a growing trend for people to declare:

‘I’m inclusive’
‘I’ve struggled’
‘I’m just like you’

Everyone has their story.
Some stories are hard to read.
Some perspectives are hard to understand.
And some completely miss the mark.

Numerous people have posted numerous things declaring all of the above and rather than being drowned in a sea of admiration they have managed to alienate their followers with a single hashtag.
What is even more frustrating and disheartening to see is that when people are challenged on their perspective, rather than open up the forum to debate, discuss and learn they go into shut down mode.

Ignore
Block
Delete

If you hit delete then it never happened. You haven’t offended people and you can just carry on as before.
Occasionally you may see a fleeting story with a half-baked apology, but mostly it just disappears into the Instagram trenches.
What baffles me, as much as the original post, is that grown ass (mostly) women are behaving in a manner that is incomprehensible in the comments section.

Judgey, one might say.

We talk about the sisterhood.
How It takes a village.
But.
People can be pretty damn nasty at times.
And if your opinion doesn’t fit?

Ignore
Block
Delete

There is absolutely a space to discuss and learn, but when someone types hurtful comments
Well.
It hurts.
If your child wrote something hurtful, what would you say?

Jeez, you don’t even need to be a parent to know being cruel is not ok.
Talk, listen, be educated. Have open and frank conversations
Challenge an opinion, but be respectful

We are living in one very messy and confused society right now and we could all do with opening our eyes and ears a little wider.

AndSoWeWatch // Top 5 Netflix Faves

Oh Netflix I love you so


I am most excellent at binge watching so I thought I’d share some of my latest views in case you are ever stuck and need to waste away your evenings and weekends. I’m going to stick with 5 for now, otherwise, I may just end up listing the whole catalogue (such is my binge habit!)

Oh Look It's my Netflix Log In Screen! 


I started watching this after I had finished consuming ALL OF THE GILMORE GIRLS and was feeling a little lost. This is an over the top telenovela about Jane, her family and how they cope with some very far-fetched plot lines. This show pokes fun at itself and you can’t help but fall in love with Rogelio De La Vega who is everything you want in a character.  

My latest consumed product and should be mandatory viewing for any parent. You will identify with at least one character and may also feel a little empathy for your ever-suffering partner. An Australian show following the stresses of parenthood and how a bunch of strangers are thrown together at a new mums group.

Period pieces are not my bag. However, this is sublime. I have learnt more about the British monarchy watching this show than I ever did at school. And Matt Smith is perfection as Prince Philip.

Where do we really go when we die?
Ted Danson, is everything you would ever want from a character. No other reason needed. I refuse to give anything away about this show, you just need to watch it

Orange is the New Black
I have just finished season 6 and as ever am left wanting more. Following the inmates of Litchfield Penitentiary, we get to see the ever shifting dynamics as the characters navigate life on the inside. Each character is rich in story and a personal favourite of mine is Lori Petty's role as Lolly (you only have to wait until the end of season 2 for her to appear).

What are your favourites? 
I think I may have to put together a top 5 part 2! 

AndSoWeWore// Fashion Round Up

This year has seen me finally get into my groove when it comes to feeling comfortable in my choice of clothes.

I have worn:

Paperbag trousers
Jumpsuits
Dungarees
Sandals
And heaven forbid…..leggings!

If you know me in real life, I have a problem with wearing leggings as an actual clothing item for the bottom half. Even more so if your top does not cover your bottom.
I digress

As someone who is classed as plus sized, I have finally discovered (mostly through the joys of Instagram) that I can wear whatever makes me happy.

So with that in mind, I thought I’d share some of my finds.

Fast Fashion is easy to get sucked into and so I am making far more considered purchases these days. Striving to buy smarter and my wardrobe is a mixture of budget and investment pieces and all are only purchased when older clothes have been passed on to a new owner.  

Pink Clove
Pink Clove
Monki


Monki – The cut of dreams along with fabulous sales to boot. This brand has helped me embrace my love of colour again.

PinkClove – A brand new to me*; budget-friendly and focusing in plus size clothing, I had high expectations on the cuts and was not disappointed.  For the first time in a long time I have been able to wear a wrap dress that covers my top half with no need for extra safety pins or vest tops to save some modesty.

Asos – With their Klarna payment options I have been able to pick some items that I wouldn’t have tried in the past which led me back to the joys of wide legged trousers

People – To be able to know the people behind the business that make your clothes is epic. Christian makes clothes that fit and flatter for every shape and size. And Allison is a tour de force in all things Style (the capital S is deliberate). Even better, 99% of all the designs come with those all-important pockets! Their pieces are investments and are staples in my wardrobe 

Never a fashion blogger I shall be, but I am always happy to share new finds and things that make me happy in my skin.

What are your go-to brands?

Any independents I need to check out?



*PinkClove were very generous and gifted me the featured pieces in exchange for an honest review. If I didn't like them, I would have sent them back!  

AndSoWe// How to Survive the Summer Holidays

There are so many posts around how to plan for the summer, I thought I’d try and put together a weekly update of how we are surviving. Like many families the summer holidays are tough. We don’t have family close by, and it has taken us 12 months to get out of the pit of Nursey Debt and so we are trying our best to wing it.

We are only able to do this with the most understanding of employers and a 4.5year old who goes with the flow (most days)

So here we go. 
Week 1…

Monday: Easy win: spent the day in the car driving back from Devon
Success rate 10/10

Tuesday: I leave at the arse crack of dawn to get in a days work so I I can tap in at 1pm when the fella has to go to work I can take over childcare duties.
Handover a success, kid requests a trip to town so we dine on 99p baguettes and cash in the coffee loyalty cards. Minor meltdown on where to grab babychinos, but all forgiven after spending an hour in TK Maxx looking at ALL the Tupperware
Success rate 9/10

 


Wednesday: Arse crack of dawn again, handover success, afternoon at home doing fun-filled life admin things
Success rate 8/10
Fun rate 2/10

Thursday: See Tues/ Weds handover. An afternoon spent seeing school friend and fixing the world while kids pick blackberries in the garden
Success rate 9/10

Friday: Another successful handover. Afternoon at home painting and just shooting the breeze. Then early evening we headed to our favourite establishment for food galore in the shape of Bretzels, Bratwurst and Spaetzle
Success rate 10/10



Saturday: NOPE. The first day as a full family unit since Monday and we all got on each other's nerves. I shouted. I went for a 2-hour nap and then I went out for a coffee whilst they watched Star Wars
Success rate 3/10








Sunday: Coffees, shopping and birthday parties galore. The boy even gave away his balloon to another kid when their balloon went pop
Heart Melted
Success rate 10/10

We crash into week 2 with no solid plans for the week so wish us luck!
How do you surviving?
Any advice/ tips will be greatly received!

Bargain Hunters// Latest Deals

Way back when, when CheekiMummy was alive and kicking I had the absolute pleasure of meeting Tom from Latest Deals just as it was launching to the Great British Public (head here for a cheesy flashback of our Facebook Live).

Fast forward 2 years and Latest Deals is the go-to website for absolute bargains across the internet.

From mega price glitches to secret codes, Latest Deals is the place to head to if you love a bargain (I know I certainly do)

The 2 biggest deals I managed to snap up were super price glitches. The first one was a mega Burt's Bees bargain; I spent the grand total of £5 to receive over £55 of Burt’s Bees products along with an Amazon beauty box filled with samples of top named products. Now never the beauty blogger I will be, but you can’t turn your nose up at a deal like that. Plus, there were so many products not only was I able to treat myself, I was able to gift out the rest to friends and family (hooray for bonus birthday presents!)

My 2nd win was pretty impressive: an Oculus VR headset. Retailing at £100 and we got our hands on one for free. And all thanks for having the notifications turned on for Facebook. If we had been just 5 minutes later the glitch would have been repaired and we would have missed out.

The key to snapping up the deals is to follow the Facebook page. Mega glitches go quickly so you have to be on the ball, and it saves you trawling the web to find your own.

Tom and the team pride themselves that all the deals are found by people that use the site. There are no tie-ins to big brands, just the best deals out there so that we can save ourselves as much time and money as possible. Users of the site are actively encouraged to get involved and share their finds amongst the community. What is even better is that you are rewarded via their points system (points are earnt as people click through and purchase any offer that you post). And what do points make?

Amazon Vouchers! To go and spend on even more deals

From VR headsets to Beauty Subscription Boxes, Latest Deals is a personal favourite to mooch around and find some absolute steals.
What has been your best online find?

Oh, and if anyone has a mega price glitch for a new vacuum then send it my way. I’ve got Amazon vouchers waiting to be spent! 

AndSoWeWent// GERONIMOFEST 2018

When I first told the other half that we were going to spend a weekend at a children’s festival I thought he might leave us!

.
Who on earth would want to do such a thing?
Anyway he had a few months to come around to the idea and before you knew it, we were in the car and heading off to GeronimoFest set within the glorious Arley Hall in Cheshire
Over the years I have been to many a festival and was prepared for a 3-mile walk to the campsite from the car, muddy fields, terrible toilets and a diet of soggy chips for the next 3 days
Well, I couldn’t have been more wrong if I tried.

Over the 3 days, we did so much so I’m going to split things down to make it all a little more digestible.

The Camping
An executive decision was made early on that we were going to splash out for the Glamping. After looking at the number of options on offer we went with The Canvas Co*. Not only were we able to arrive and find our Bell Tent pitched; we had inflatable beds, clean sheets and as a bonus offer for booking with them we received 2 free passes to Bathing Under The Sky (more on that later).
After spending too many years in tents that were too small, we had plenty of space in the tent and also we were able to sneak in a phone charge or 2, so we could carry on taking all the pictures.
With a designated BBQ area, hot showers and the cleanest portaloos I ever have seen; the whole campsite had such a chilled vibe and seeing children of all ages running around and enjoying the space it really was a sight to see.
There was the option of paying to charge your phones if needed, a mini supermarket for those forgotten items (loo roll and biscuits!) along with the most lovely people from The Farmers Wife serving all the food you could need from breakfast till supper time: all locally sourced produce along with a kids menu so you weren’t wasting money on larger portions of food that wouldn’t be eaten.  
The biggest unexpected bonus of camping was the face that Dorset Cereals had set up a breakfast tent. And so for the 3 mornings, we were all treated to #BreakfastOnTheSlow with all the cereal, yoghurt, preserves and juice you would ever need. Along with Yoga for the kids and grown-ups, live acoustic sessions and the daily papers. It really was a most wonderful way to start off the day.

Tents, Transport and Breakfast Fun

The Food
After being spoilt with options in the camping fields, it was refreshing to see a number of food options available in the main areas. Long gone are the terrible grey burgers and here to stay are freshly cooked pizzas, fresh fruit smoothies, gin cocktails and vegan nacho bowls.
Whilst there was enough to choose from, it would have been nice to see some children’s portions on offer in the main event space. I appreciate vendors have to make money, but perhaps parents would be more inclined to purchase food that wouldn’t be wasted.
I also think some serious money could have been made would perhaps have been a speciality coffee kiosk. At other events, I have seen the guy with the proper coffee machine have a far bigger queue than the beer tent, and as everyone knows I am always in need an of decent, well made fancy coffee.
Moving on…

The Entertainment
Included in the price of camping for 3 days, all campers were given unlimited access to the fun fair. And on Friday night the main festival site was open to just those few of us that had dared the earlier rain to set up for the next 2 days of mayhem.
For 2 hours we just wandered around, got our bearings and went on as many rides as possible. This was the first time the boy has really been to the fun fair and it was quickly apparent he is a bit of a thrill seeker, with the Big Wheel, Bumpy Cars (he has renamed them!) and the Helta Skelter a firm favourite.
Saturday and Sunday bring the main acts with Cook and Line, Justin Fletcher, Mr Bloom and Andy and the Odd Socks being the main draws over the weekend, with Ben Cajee as the compare for Saturday and Alex Winters on the Sunday. An absolute personal highlight was being called out by Ben when he was on stage for managing to tweet him when the field had very little 4G signal!
Our family favourite was Cook and Line……they had all the audience engaged, were genuinely funny and looked like they were having fun too. The biggest crowd (of course) was for Justin, but unlucky for us, there was a bit of aggravation between some of the grownups which dulled the mood a little for some; everyone is asked to sit down so that all the children can see no matter where you are, and some people took umbrage that their darlings were not deemed to be more important as every other child there.
Personally, not a fan of Justin, and after about 10 minutes, the kid decided he wasn’t interested either and so we headed off to find other things to try out.
One of our memory making moments for us was watching the live music around 8pm on Saturday evening and the boy just got lost in the sounds. He found his groove and was dancing and jiving and running around along with a few other kids who were all partying way past any usual bedtime routine.
Along with the funfair, camping and the artists were an array of activities for a wide range of ages. Including:
Archery
Rock Climbing
Military Assault Course
Tumble Tots
Pauline Quirk Stage Academy
Animal shows
Big Fish Little Fish Family Rave
Circus performances (there were 2 Big Tops to choose from)
Woodland Tribe (where children were actively encouraged to pick up a saw and hammer and help to build a variety of things in the forest)
Storytelling sessions
Medieval games

And so so much more


We were there for 3 days and still didn’t do everything there was on offer but the highlight for us as grown-ups was Bathing Under The Sky
Never did I think in the middle of a festival that myself and the other half would have the chance to drop the kid off at the children’s Creche tent and head off for 2 hours of bliss

Side note; the kid still hasn’t forgiven us for leaving him even though he had fun and made a friend!.

So off we went and sat in traditional wood-burning saunas at a toasty 36 degrees (I had a constant battle with the hosts to not make any hotter!), chatted with other parents about the joys of rabid children and kids clubs (there were 6 to a tub, and we all had one common ground of conversation), got to  jump/ wince into the ‘cool’ pool, melt even more in the sauna and all topped off with a refreshing cold shower.

It was perfection

We deliberately booked our slot for Sunday evening, knowing that we would probably all need a break (the child included) and it was the perfect way to start winding down.



This post is already long enough and I think you get the idea that we thoroughly enjoyed our experience. We were beyond lucky with the weather (we were on thunder watch for 24 hours, but it never arrived) and the fella even said he’d consider doing it again. So for me, that counts as a success.

The question now is, where to next?




*The Canvas Co kindly offered us a 20% discount on our Bell Tent in exchange for an honest review

*Our weekend passes to GeronimoFest were gifted to us in exchange for a donation to their chosen charity which is Marie Curie; a charity close to our hearts as they looked after my mother when she was in Palliative Care 

AndSoWeSaw: The Owl and the PussyCat

One thing I never expected to happen when I became a parent was that as a family we would find a love for performance arts.

With Half Term in full swing again, we headed off to the wonderful Old Rep Theatre to catch Full House and their interpretation of the Children’s Classic, The Owl and the PussyCat.
As we headed into our seats we were met with Owly-Cat having a wander around the theatre and settling into her basket.

Then the show began

With the first 5 minutes watching Jumblie and Quangle Wangle Quee packing their suitcase with not a word spoken (a personal highlight of the show, I just love being drawn into the sounds and actions) it is apparent that this is not the Owl and the Pussycat you remember as a child.

We are taken along as they journey to the land where the bong trees grow as Owly-Cat learns her family history, and her friends worry if their family of Three will remain.

With music and antics, the show moves swiftly, and whilst a different take on the classic, you totally follow the story as you remember the words of Edward Lear, and the message around family stands front and centre throughout.

Of course, I asked the kid what his favourite part was:

‘The Pea Green Boat Mummy. They looked so happy’



The show continues to tour until late June so head over to their website and see if they are hitting your local theatre.


*The Old Rep invited us along to see the show, and as with everything we put out here, our views are entirely our own.

Maternal Mental Health

This week is all about Maternal Mental Health with people sharing their stories and places of support.

My story as a new mum is my own, and I thought I would share how I supported my mental health over the past few years.

We never planned on having children, and when I found out I was pregnant (and then got over the shock of this discovery;) I was very pragmatic in my approach to the impending arrival.

I was going to take 6 months off, the other half would take the last 3 months and baby would just fit into our lives.

(Oh how wrong could I be)

I never nested (my best friend did that for me!)

Once our boy finally arrived (on valentines no less) I fundamentally changed as a human being.

The first few weeks were a blur and if I had my time again, I would say ‘no’ a lot more often. 

I felt like I had to please everyone around me when I just wanted to sit on the sofa and have another cuddle (and biscuit).

I had never been in hospital as a patient: ended up with an emergency C-section.

During my labour, I lost myself. I didn’t question what was going on and I trusted every person around me.

I was treated with respect the entire time.

But

Because I was so consumed by what was happening I never spoke up

I never got to see my boy as a freshly arrived wrinkly naked baby

I never had skin to skin

It remains one of my biggest regrets

Then we took him home

I had never changed a nappy

I didn’t even have bottles in the house (the midwife went ape at me upon that discovery at our first home visit!)

I was completely and utterly consumed by motherhood for all 10 months of my maternity leave.

Yup, I took 10 months

When I went back to work I took on a new managerial role thinking I was ready for a change.

Small went into full-time nursery

We were stuck in a hard place between not eligible for any government support and not earning enough to cover all our costs.

We just kept going

10 months into being back at work.

I quit

A toxic combination of not having the scope to perform my role along with the crushing realisation of missing my child’s formative years was too much for me.

I struck lucky.

My employer offered me a part-time role, where I was only responsible for myself

And from there everything fell into place for our family

Once I dropped to part-time, I suddenly noticed that I hadn’t stopped and taken anytime for myself for nearly 2 years!

Through meeting some wonderful humans at a networking event, I was encouraged to jot down my thoughts

And from this?

I found time to be me.

I found a community of loveliness both online and in real life.

Not all are parents.

In fact. Most are not.

Doesn’t matter

Being a new mum in the digital world is a whole new experience.

Just being a good human in a digital world can be tough some days

I have been fortunate enough to not suffer from PND or any other mental health diagnoses, but I did stop looking after (and acknowledging) my own sense of self.

We cannot solely function for others. It is not good for our physical or mental wellbeing.

For me, blogging (albeit infrequently) has given me something which is all mine. It got me out of the family bubble and made me realise how important it is to be ‘me’ again.

I am back to dressing like it’s 1999 (and I have no shame in being a 38 year old in dungarees)

Both myself and the other half make time to do things for ourselves (and occasionally spend time together!)

And as we hit the 4-year mark of parenthood, I have realised how important it is to take a moment and acknowledge those times where it all feels like I’m getting lost.


If you ever need to seek advice please do contact Maternal Health Awareness Alliance where you can find information on groups within your area. 



AndSoWeSaw// Paulos Circus

What do you do after you have all consumed your body weight in Easter chocolate?

Of course, you get out of the house for a couple of hours and head to the circus. Paulos Circus has been in Coleshill for a couple of weeks and we grabbed one of their last shows before they move up to York.

We headed over to Melbicks (which lucky for us was a mere 10mins away) and upon arrival couldn't help but spot the Big Top; from that second the Small kept asking us when the show would be starting.

Once we had collected our tickets, found some seats and settled in we were ready for the off. 

And what a way to start the show with the Wheel of Death! I don't think anyone blinked for the entire act in case we missed something. Whilst the Small was already wanting to jump on in and have a go, I must admit it made me feel a bit wobbly! Also extra bonus points from me for their Día de Muertos Makeup along with the flannel shirts and ripped jeans (for I will always be a grunge girl!)    




In between each act, we had Mr.N to entertain us, and with some traditional comedy and a little audience participation, it kept everyone engaged for the duration.

From knife throwing, laser wizardry and a stunning ariel performance; the show runs for 1 hour and 10mins and it flew by, with the finale having everyone gripped to the edge of their seats (literally in some cases!)

I really enjoyed the intimate size of the Big Top, it created a fab atmosphere as every seat was full of ages young and old. 

Paulos is only in our nect of the woods until tomorrow (April 2nd) and then they move onwards to York (check their Facebook for all the dates). With all tickets £7, it is most certainly value for money all around. 

We were super lucky to have been invited along by Paulos Circus to check out the show in exchange for this review. Which is, as always. entirely our own opinions (and the Small's who now wants to be a TightRope walker!)