Win Tickets To Crafts For Christmas At NEC

Working in the Craft Industry comes great perks, and for me it's being involved with craft shows, especially the festive themed ones! I love working these shows.

I have got 10 tickets to give away which admits 2 adults into the Crafts For Christmas show (and Hobbycrafts and Art Materials Live) 6-9th November at the NEC in Birmingham.

I'm afraid I can't cover the cost of travel BUT you will win tickets to get in and shop :-)

The popular Crafts for Christmas show offers visitors a more relaxed way of Christmas shopping! Here you can focus on enjoying the shopping experience - avoiding the hassle of the high street - and finding something a bit different for your family and friends from over 200 exhibitors.

We Don't Eat As A Family Everyday But It's Okay.

We feel blessed that we get to eat as a family two days of the week. Dinner time has become a special and exciting event on weekends. Oh and the fact Xfactor is on too! (Ooooh the drama).

My husband works about a 45 minute drive away and is away from home apx 12 hours of the day, 5 days a week. He is the main earner and so I am mum who juggles 17 hours employment as a PR with school runs, park dates, cooking dinners for the three girls, getting them to their after school activities (and home again!), homework and then bath time and bed time. Don't worry, I don't class myself as super mum! In fact, I am far from Super Mum. This is just how our family has to work.

I don't eat with my daughters. I chose to eat with my husband about 8pm and for us, it's valuable time together catching up. Not much is said on a morning as it's (almost organised) chaos as you would expect. Our meal times together feel almost like a little date. After that comes loading the dishwasher, tidying up, catching up on a programme or some emails, grabbing a bath or shower and bed. Believe me, I have beaten myself up about our crazy life and not eating together. I felt like a rubbish mum. I felt hard done by running around like a headless chicken without a helping hand but I stopped and thought about it and realised that it's silly. I actually should be proud and grateful. I guess that's why I wanted to write this blog post.

Thankfully my kids are well mannered and well trained at dinner time. I make sure I sit with them and it's my opportunity to talk to them about their day. It's our special chit chat time. They eat all of their dinner and pudding and ask to leave the table when they have finished. It's not chaos and they haven't turned into animals because daddy isn't there.

So, for those that don't eat as a family every day, it's okay. It really is okay. Oh and if you do, enjoy it. It's precious. x


Go Ape Moors Valley

This was a pretty awesome day! My daughters ROCK! No fear. Just loving their treat. Having fun.

Moors Valley is one of our favourite places to run wild and climb... This is what character building is all about. This is what family days are all about!


Dorset Book Exchange

This morning I had the chance to head to the Book Exchange in West Moors, Dorset. I'm a huge fan of shops like this and I'm a massive lover of books. I always have been. 

The couple that own this shop are lovely. They are originally from Halifax. How do I know this? Their Yorkshire twang was definatly noticeable. I have a Yorkshire mum, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. It made great conversation!

I took books in to exchange. I got £7 In credit and this works that I get 50% off the asking price for the book I want to buy and my credit is used on that. It's not £7 to spend on books. It has to work on the book exchange scheme. 

My mum and I have decided to go once a month. I literally can't wait to go again! It's just not that easy with a toddler so that's why I took my bookworm mum too! 

They take kids books too!

I could have spent the day there!! Oh my goodness I was in my happy place today. I just needed a sofa and coffee.


Running Gear Becomes Annoying. This Mumma Needs Help.

Earlier this year I started getting back into exercise by walking for an hour a few times a week increasing my speed from 12 minutes per KM to 9 minutes per KM. I then began to jog and paced myself, stopping every ten minutes or so but aiming to reach 5km in a set time.

At this point I was also addicted to tracking my steps so I knew how many calories I was burning each day. I did this with my Fitbug.

A few months ago I felt my fitness increase so I was able to run 5km in less than 36 minutes. I was so, so pleased. This then motivated me to join Slimming World (ahem I would like to add that after 4 weeks of eating well I am now 8lbs lighter which is like 4 bags of sugar or having a baby).

I even felt motivated to go for a run with Matilda in her pushchair! This was not easy even with a sports pushchair but it made me work harder. Poor Matilda was bouncing everywhere.

On Sunday morning, the day after two birthday parties and a day FULL of hyper children I decided to go for a run at 7.30am and try a new route. It was a beautiful morning. The sun was beaming onto my face. The air was crisp and the sun was warm. There were a few other runners out, a few cyclists and some dog walkers. Everyone was smiling. I felt free, alive and happy. I ran, and ran and ran. I listened to my music and forgot about how I was breathing or how fast I was going. Actually I only stopped twice to take selfies in front of certain places so I could show my kids where I ran.

When I made it home with a delightful sweat and thirst, I looked at my phone to stop the RunKeeper app and I had completed 8km. I was so pleased with this distance. It took me just under an hour but who cares? WHO CARES? I ran 8km and I enjoyed the run.

Things that annoy me on my run though - my outfit! My cropped trousers are starting to annoy me and they rise up my legs as I run, my huge knicker lines are obvious, my sports bra is no longer all that supportive which is not good for a big chest and my sports top rises up so I am forever pulling it down! My headphones tend to fall out on a run which is annoying when you're in the zone listening to a great song and I don't have a small, handy water bottle.

I'm setting a great picture in your mind right now aren't I?

Where does everyone shop?

What should I be wearing to look and feel the part? I have a mummy tummy and after three children it needs to be sucked in.

Where do you put your keys?

Does every runner have a Garmin? (I thought this was a piece of underwear at first!)


The Fastest Beauty Regime by Mum

Being a busy working mum means that I have to be super quick at getting ready in the morning. I have three girls to feed and get dressed, my husband also gets ready for work and then lastly I have 15 minutes to get ready for work so we can all get out of the door for 8.30am.

Since having my third daughter I have given up on applying foundation. At first I was embarrassed that I didn't have my mask on but I was thankful for the summer where the natural look wasn't so much of an issue.

I have to admit that I miss wearing foundation.  To be honest I wouldn't have a clue what to buy now. A powder foundation and a Kabuki brush would probably be my chosen products.

I literally brush my hair or stick it up, define my brows with a brow pencil from Avon, pop on some waterproof mascara in an attempt to have model like lashes, throw on my clothes (opting for anything that isn't creased even if it's tight or dirty!) and voila I'm ready. 

My current favourite products;


Lewis-Manning Hospice Presents An Evening of Fashion

Lewis-Manning Hospice presents an evening of fashion, entertainment, and shopping to introduce you to their Autumn Winter 2014 collections at Magna Mazda Poole.

I am super excited about this and i'm heading there with friends from work who love fashion, beauty and blogging about it!

So on the evening we will be guided through the upcoming trends and shown how we can replicate the catwalks with clothes from our local charity shops. There will be a lovely selection of Lewis-Manning stalls selling goodies too. Plus we can expect dancing and singing performances from talented local guests, on top of a fabulous raffle. Plenty to keep us girls entertained through to 10.30pm. "Oh what a night..."

We purchased our tickets today. Tickets are priced at £7. (VIP front row tickets are £10 each). 

Food and drink will be provided on the night in association with Magna Mazda.

The PR has mentioned for us to bring a bag of donations to get 10% off any Lewis-Manning clothing. I'm tempted to have a ruthless clear out this weekend!

If you would like any more information, please contact Louise Croft on louisec@lewis-manning.co.uk or on 01202 492602

Out with the old and in with the new hey?! I am so doing this with everything at the moment in order to clear the mind and make me happier. It must be an end of summer thing I'm going through.

If you are keen to have a girls night then make sure you grab your tickets asap as ticket sales close on Friday. You can get your tickets via emailing the lovely Louise at louisec@lewis-manning.co.uk or on the eventbrite link (http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/lewis-manning-aw14-fashion-show-tickets-12736895397?aff=es2&rank=1)

So... are you going?


Free Pretty Papers. I'm In Love.


A Healthy Burger Dinner

Eating burgers doesn't mean piling on the pounds and feeling guilty - simply make your own!

Take less than 5% fat mince and mix in a mixing bowl with diced onion and crushed garlic (add your desired amount). Mix well and shape into burgers with your hands (yes it's messy but good fun!).

Spray the burgers with Olive Oil Fry Light and pop them under the grill on a medium heat, turning ocassionally.

Whilst the burgers are cooking, heat up a frying pan using Fry Light and add jumbo mushrooms, runner beans and baby sweetcorn and fry on a low heat until golden brown.

Cook your fried egg.

Serve all together (mushroom, then a bed of sweetcorn, and then runner beans and your egg and then pop your burger on top for the finishing touch) and serve on your favourite plate!


(I love Slimming World!)


Snowtrax in Dorset

My gorgeous husband Dave had annual leave today to spend the day with two of our daughters (our youngest was in nursery as we don't get a holiday break from nursery and we pay £47 a day), so he took them to Snowtrax in Christchurch in Dorset, something you couldn't do with a 16 month old.

This is what he thought of the Ringos:

"There was plenty of free parking, the staff were child friendly and took the time to ensure that the kids helmets fitted perfectly. They had nice toilet facilities. The cafe was great for families, especially for looking out and watching. The cost was okay because we downloaded a voucher from their website which was buy one and get one half price. If I was to take the family with no voucher it would have been too costly for us, especially when the kids only lasted half an hour - they were ready for a change after the Ringos. We had a great time and I would love to take the girls again!"

Nevie, aged 5 said; "It was so much fun! and you get wet when you go down the slope because there was puddles on my way down. You have to sit in a rubber ring, hold onto the handles and I went down on my own. You have to have crossed legs. There's like these go karts that you can go on, but I didn't go on them because you have to be six years old but I'm not six until January. I can't wait to go again!"

Myla, aged 4 said; "I thought it was cool! I liked it when we went down the hill and you go bump! bump! bump!."

As soon as I got home from work they were all telling me about it. I now feel left out and really want to go! Apparently you can book birthday parties there so thats my job to research ready for Nevie's 6th birthday!