Making A Splash At Turtle Tots

I feel sad that Matilda's Turtle Tots swimming lessons have come to an end for 2014.

Matilda and I have had so much fun on Friday mornings. I don't think we ever stopped smiling and giggling in a lesson. After three days at work and not spending much quality time with Matilda, having a swimming class to go to really brightens my week up and the guilt of not being with my gorgeous girl goes away.

I suppose I could just take Matilda to a local pool on my day off, but to be honest I would always find an excuse to do something else. The booked lessons make us go regularly and we learn lots of different skills in the pool that I would never do or know how to do on my own.

Matilda has improved so much in her Turtle Tots lessons since she started at 8 weeks old.  I cant believe it. She has such a good time and loves the water. She loves swimming and is so confident in the pool. From holding onto the bar at the side of the pool and moving down the side of the pool herself, to jumping off the side and swimming under the water. It really is the highlight of my week.

I have paid for my lessons,  which was £105 for the term so this isn't a paid review. It is worth every penny and you really do get a lot from it for the money.

I have recently had to seek more help for my anxiety but the one time that I feel close to my baby girl and relaxed is when I'm doing the swimming class. Honestly. These are memories that I'm going to treasure for a very long time.

Turtle Tots often do a free taster session, so take a look on their website and facebook page for news about these and give it a go.

(Thank you to Kara at chelseamamma.co.uk and her hubby for the photographs!)

You can also read an earlier post I wrote back in March about swimming and PND over here.


Some Creative Favourites

Recycle a jar!

Free downloadable Printables!

Make your own Christmas card!

Free downloadable papers!

Get sewing!

A button wreath that the kids can make!

Make your own Christmas decoration in minutes!

All from www.docrafts.com 


The Christmas Tag

I have been nominated by Poolemamma to answer 10 set questions and to get #Christmastag trending!

1.What is your favourite thing about Christmas?
Oooooh it has to be the chaos! Honestly Christmas would not be the same without the noise, lack of routine and the cereal game box game!

2.What is your favourite make-up look for the festive season?
I love wearing make-up, and my festive season look means extra eye liner and sparkle. This year a new red lipstick will be worn!

3.Real or fake tree?
My childhood memory is of Dad bringing home a real tree every year! It was so exciting. For the past 10 years or so we have stuck to a fake tree. I have asked for a real tree this year but i have a feeling i have lost and a fake tree shall be used again.

4.Giving or receiving presents?
    Receiving from my hubby as he is really good with getting me fab gifts but I love giving to my kids. For me, it's the children that make Christmas and i get to live all my childhood excitement through them again.

5.Do you open your presents in the morning or evening?

6.Handmade or shop bought Christmas cards?
Handmade - when i have the time

7.Favourite Christmas film?
Love Actually and Home Alone.

8.Favourite Christmas food?
The Christmas roast for me - the selection of meats and veggies. For me, it's all about the main course.

9.Favourite Christmas gift?
I'm not sure i have a favourite that stands out. I always get super gifts.

10.What tops your tree?
It's different each year! I would love for my girls to make something together and so it becomes a family thing.

I`d love it if you would answer these questions too. Let`s all learn more about each other and get twitter buzzing with #ChristmasTag 

Leave me your blog URL below so I can read your answers.


Next Christmas Wish List

When Next challenged me to create a Christmas Wish  list, I couldn't resist the opportunity to do some window shopping.

I was window shopping for ages. There are so many pretty things in Next right now.

I already have a shopping list. This was created in September...

1. PJ's
2. Slippers
3. Dressing Gown
4. Handbag that doesn't shout baby!
5. Kettle - mine is currently so loud when boiling!
6. A warm throw for snuggling on the sofa on these cold nights
7. An Actifry
8. A soup maker
9. A Garmin
10. New running clothes
11. A purse
12. New swim suit for taking Matilda swimming - mine is worn and pre-baby now!

Here is what I found in Next (some extra items for the wish list!)



When my husband and I first bought our house 7 years ago it was very exciting. We actually lost each other in the house when viewing it. The amount of space we had was so exciting. From going from a one bedroom house to a three bedroom felt like we had won the lottery and we were buying a mansion.

We viewed a few houses before the one we finally chose. I wasn't keen on the look of it when looking through the internet so we didn't consider it. One day, running out of options and having sold our house we decided to go and view the house i wasn't keen on the look of.

Don't judge a book by its cover!

One spare room was my craft room, where my kittens would sit on the windowsill and watch the world go by whilst i worked on scrapbooking for hours. another spare room was a guest room.

Now the house is filled with children and toys our house feels small and crammed. there's now no room to swing a cat as they say! As soon as the kids get their toys out we are dodging toys to make our way through a room.

With the new year ahead we have decided to make it a new goal to move house. This may not be possible or we may only get the ball rolling but we shall be making that step.

When we house hunt we would like a spacious three or four bedroom detached house with a conservatory, dining room and a toy room. A drive way is a must, with a large garden and a big entrance hall. Each room needs to be spacious - I dream of having a kitchen for entertaining with a huge oven and a big wine rack.

I want this next house to be our forever home.


Hotter Shoes Have A Secret ...

Have you heard of Hotter shoes? I hadn't until their PR emailed me with an invitation to attend a bloggers night at their shop in Bournemouth Town Centre.

Every couple of years I invest in a ruddy good pair of leather boots from Next. I get really excited about boot shopping but I'm incredibly fussy. Boots are my favourite footwear and I wear them almost every day until the Summer.

Of course I couldn't make the shoe event! With three children and a hubby working late it was impossible to make this event. However as I had researched the company before hand and learnt about their secret ingredient; air bubble filled soles, super soft leather creating breathable, pliable and indulgent treat for feet I was not going to miss the opportunity to put them to the test. The PR team kindly let me chose a pair of boots to take on my adventures.

Now this is a review but when it comes to my reviews I will always give an honest opinion. As boots are an incredibly big part of my life being a mummy on the run, on adventures and always in a hurry they need to be uber comfy!

Hotter started making slippers but then they moved into making shoes as comfortable as slippers. These aren't fuddy duddy shoes either. I was pleasantly surprised that comfortable shoes and boots were also trendy and marketed to a wide audience. They make ladies shoes in sizes 3 to 9 with some extra fit options.

In February 2010 there were 5 Hotter stores but now there are 65. I'm genuinely not surprised by this as I am totally in love with my boots and they are so incredibly comfortable. I wear them running the kids around and for work. My boots go with everything.

I have looked through their AW14 brochure and I have got my eye on 5 different style of shoes already! I am really loving that the 60's look is back! I love wearing short dresses with thick tights and boots and dainty shoes. The ones from Hotter are gorgeous, and what gets me really excited about them is the Hotter secret into making their shoes. My feet are feeling loved *insert happy face*

Donna heels in purple and black are gorgeous. See here.

Lauren shoes are also on my wish list. See here.

Lavish shoes for work? yes please! See here.

There's also a few pairs of my boots on my list.

Don't let the price put you off. Put comfort and quality before anything else.

A Few Of My Favourite Things - Craft

All of these can be found over on docrafts.com


Pictures Of My Weight Loss in Three Months

Three months down the line and I'm 1 stone lighter and able to run 12k. I feel really good. I'm feeling really focused. I'm feeling much fitter.

Only another 20lbs to go!


Making a Papercraft Christmas Tree

This is really sweet. I bet the kids would enjoy making this too.

The Clingy Stage. A Sad Post about depression.

I'm not sure if anyone will understand this post.

Recently I went to Fiona, from Childcare Is Fun for help. A backlog of issues all built up. From Matilda being unable to drink milk, to not eating, to not sleeping and so a simple message I wrote with tears in my eyes and a sinking feeling in my belly made me feel so much better...

"Gorgeous, lovely Fi I wonder if you could just offer me any tips? Matilda just looks so unhappy on the two days off work I'm with her on my own. She is so clingy, always demands her dummy, moans and cries a lot. I give her lots of attention but walked away from toddler playgroup as she moaned and cried all the time and I was embarrassed. I literally dread my days off with tilda. I dread waking up because I know that I have to look after a unhappy 18 month old for the next 12 hours... She seems happy at nursery and I find it a relief when she goes. I'm drained from working and looking after three kids whilst hubby works 13 hours of the day and falls asleep on the sofa in the evening. I remain upbeat and try not to show my frustration to the kids but deep down in side i'm happiest at work! This is a really personal matter which i am really embarrassed and ashamed about."

Fiona told me that this is a common thing to happen. The Clingon stage.

This has been happening since I returned to work in January. Do you know how rubbish this has been for me? My two days on my own to bond with her and she spends those days upset and unhappy. The guilt of being a working mummy had hit me AGAIN. Not a choice I have and I felt that I was being punished for going to work.

Recently I was told from a friend that I made that friend unhappy. Awful words to hear. Words that were the truth. From that moment I knew I had lost. I realised at that point that I had had enough. I felt that I couldn't do anything right. Depression had struck once more. 

It was time to simplify my life as much as possible and walk away from negativity and distractions...and hide!

A bad friend, a bad mummy. Juggling work, three school runs a day, sometimes four. On my own spinning plates until the kids bed time when my husband walks through the door. All on little sleep and awful anxiety. I really wanted a wine cellar installed and a good friend to cry to.

It was then that I waved my white flag and gave up. I'm not a perfect mum, i'm not super mum. I'm not super or perfect at anything.

I have learnt that things will only change if I become selfish. So I have.

I decided to give up on wasted friendships, toddler groups, freelance work and just focus on bonding with Matilda. Yes depression really did hit me.

Those small lifestyle changes have helped us all and Matilda changed a corner recently. A few changes made and we have turned a corner. Keen to eat everything, full of smiles and laughter. Trying to talk and communicate much more, happily playing on her own. Lots of kisses and cuddles. Sleeping better. I am so, so happy. I am bonding with her again and oh wow it feels so great!

So now, I can just look ahead to the New Year with positivity and less clutter and a happier toddler. 

Apologies for the honest dreary post xx