Post Comment Love 31st March - 2nd April

Welcome back to Post Comment Love, link up your favourite/best post of the week and Stephanie and I will head over to read and share. Not to mention the other lovely linkers will do too. Extra exposure for your posts and lots of great posts for you to read too, what more could you ask for?



This week has been a fairly quiet one, I've managed to catch up on all my reading (including your posts - yay!) and have even got to schedule one or two posts. Of course that's just the usual routine, the boys finish school today and they're off school for two weeks so I'm super organised. Typical. 







  • I accept chaos, I'm not sure whether it accepts me.


Bob Dylan







Holidaying with Teens - Hotel or Villa?

In August BP turns 13 which makes him officially a teenager (although he's been acting like a teenager for a long time!), while we're not venturing to Orlando, Florida this year that means he'll be turning 14 if we were to go next year. It will be our first experience of holidaying with teens and we're not quite sure what to expect, he could be completely fine or the dreaded teen hormones could give us a hard time. One of the things we're having to consider is where to stay while we're on holiday, do we choose a hotel or a villa?
animal-kingdom-lodge-orlando-savannah-view



Hotel



Animal-Kingdom-Lodge-Orlando-Florida-savannah-view


We have visited Florida many times and ever since our first trip, when it was just the Hubby and I, we have stayed in the Animal Kingdom Lodge. The Disney hotel is amazing, our favourite by far and whenever we visit it's like coming home. Walking into the lobby my stresses slip away, I smile, and I feel like I can finally enjoy our holiday.

10 things to do during the Easter Holidays

On Friday my boys break up from school for the Easter Holidays and I always get stressed wondering what on earth we're going to do for two whole weeks. This time though I'm getting prepared, I'm making lists of things we could do during the holidays and I thought I'd share some of my ideas with you.




Family Attractions


Alton Towers is a great place to visit during the holidays, a day out at a theme park. This year we've bought Merlin Annual Passes again, we've had them before and really enjoyed visiting the attractions. With the boys that little bit older we decided to get them again, while they're expensive there are loads of attractions around the country and it makes our days out much more interesting if we can visit a different attraction without extra cost. 

Post Comment Love 24th - 26th March

Post Comment Love is back for another week and we welcome any post, any topic, as long as it was written in the last week. I'm still playing catch up on the reading but I'll get there eventually, I'm enjoying all the reading though, there are some great posts.

Wednesday and yesterday I was feeling rubbish, I thought I was getting a bug the Hubby had a few weeks ago but it turns out I'm not because I'm feeling better. Yay! Plenty of fluids, plenty of paracetamol and rest and I'm back to myself within a couple of days, that's awesome.


Making cards with Stampin' Up! UK - Oh Happy Day!

It's pouring rain outside and I have been feeling terrible. My throat hurts, my body aches. I've filled myself full of cold and flu remedies in the hope that I'll feel better soon but I'm not holding up much hope it'll work. The bug has hit me and I'm afraid I won't last much longer without a nap. But out of the corner of my eye I spy something cheery, something that might just lift my spirits. Card-making has become a new hobby of mine and I was kindly set a card-making kit from Stampin' Up! UK.




About the kit


The Oh Happy Day card kit is sold with everything you need to make some gorgeous and cheerful cards for someone you love. From bright and colourful cards to sparkly embellishments and embossed sheets this kit is awesome. 

My fantasy loft conversion

When I'm feeling low or ideas just aren't coming for new blog posts I step into the world of fantasy. I pretend that money is no object and I plan a room make-over. One of my fantasy room make-overs is for our loft, it always seems like there's so much wasted space up there. To lift my spirits and in an attempt to reignite my creativity here is what I would do in my fantasy loft conversion.



  • Collect things you love, that are authentic to you, and your house becomes your story.

Erin Flett


First of all it wouldn't be a bedroom, it would be a games room. Games of all types. 


Arcade


When I was a little girl I used to love the arcade machines, Pac-man in particular. I remember a holiday to Corfu when I was 11 years old and there was a Ms Pac-man machine right outside our villa. I spent the whole holiday trying to get my initials on that machine, it was awesome. 

Why it's important to have 10 minutes to yourself

As a busy mum to two school-aged boys I find it difficult to find just 10 minutes per day just for me. It might sound ridiculous but when I think about my day it mainly consists of doing things for others or working and just when I think I may get 10 minutes to enjoy a coffee and read a magazine the boys are causing havoc and I have to intervene.

But those 10 minutes to yourself are so important, you really must try to have at least that.
tea in a flowery mug, cupped in a pair of hands. A flowery dress in the background.

After chatting to Michelle Reeves a couple of weeks ago I decided to get up 30 minutes earlier than usual. My usual waking time is 6:30am but I thought I would get up at 6am instead so that I could enjoy a hot coffee and watch the news without interruptions or arguments from the boys. 

My alarm went off at 6am and I hit the button quickly so as to not wake the Hubby. I crept out of bed and into the bathroom where I tried to go through my morning routine as quietly as possible. I then crept downstairs, avoiding the one creaky step, and went into the kitchen, closing the door behind me. Closing the door I hoped would keep the noise of the boiling kettle from waking the boys. So I boiled the kettle and made myself a coffee and with my coffee in hand I opened the kitchen door.

Post Comment Love 17th - 19th March

It's Friday again and that means it's Post Comment Love time again. Link up your best or favourite post of the week, read fab posts from other bloggers, and maybe even make new friends. If you're new here, welcome! It's lovely to see new people linking. And if you're a regular it is so great to see you linking week after week, Stephanie and I really appreciate it. 
shower head with water

So how is it Friday again already?! 

The weeks are flying by, before you know it the kids will be on their Easter holidays and I'll be shrieking because there's no time for anything! I've got LP's 8th birthday coming up at the beginning of April and he's making requests, which is good in a way because then we don't have to come up with ideas ourselves and not know if he'll like it. 

Why mums of school-aged children are so tired

Come 9pm most days I am tired, the day has taken its toll and I'm ready for sleep. I am a mum of school-aged boys and I always wonder why I'm so tired, it's not like I'm chasing after toddlers all day or changing 20 nappies per hour. After thinking about it for a while I realised why most mums of school-aged children are so tired.


Using my own routine as an example here's how our days tend to go...



Wake up, get up


Waking at 6:30am I go into the bathroom and go through my morning routine. By 6:45am I'm heading downstairs, closely followed by my youngest, LP.





Being a mom has made me so tired. And so happy. 

Tina Fey





First things first, breakfast. I make breakfast for LP, usually cereal, and while I'm doing that BP and the Hubby rise too. So it's their breakfast time and I put bread in the toaster. While the bread is toasting I'll make drinks for everyone (not myself) and take them through to the lounge where the boys are waiting.

Back to the kitchen to sort out the toast and hand to the hungry people. Now I get a 10 minute (or so) break to have breakfast myself, but I always forget to do myself a drink and just get on with eating my breakfast.

By the time I've finished my breakfast the boys are sitting around so I have to tell them to go through their morning routines; brush teeth, wash face, brush hair etc. Of course it's not just once I have to tell them, it takes many times to get them to actually move.

Once they've done that they have to get school uniform on and make sure they have everything ready for a day at school, this usually results in homework being printed or panic about unfinished homework, rushing to find school shoes/PE kit, or just grumpiness because it's a school day.

While the boys get ready for school (or fight over who needs to be in the bathroom) I get to tidying the kitchen. The dishwasher goes on, the washing machine is filled and turned on. I keep my ironing board in the kitchen (it's a big kitchen) and do 10-20 minutes of ironing to tackle the mountain of ironing I always seem to have. After that I take the clean, ironed clothes and put them away or lay them on the kids' beds so they can be put away.

After all this it is usually school run time and I rush out the door to take LP to school.






Morning school run over


Phew!

Well, no, un-phew. On a Monday I head straight to the supermarket from the school run to do the weekly shop. It can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 1½ hours depending on what I have to buy.

After the school run (or shopping) I get home and have my first drink of the day (tea, coffee, or water, depending on how I'm feeling). Sometimes I'll sit for a minute or two just so I can chill after the hectic morning, sometimes not.

By now it's usually 9:05am and I head into my office for a day of work. I spend the morning planning my work for the day, begin writing posts, respond to emails, and get my head in "work" mode. In the few hours I have before lunch time I can get lots done, or I can get little done, depending on what kind of morning I've had.



Lunchtime


At around 11:45am I begin lunch, I make a hot lunch for both the Hubby (he works at home) and I and while the lunch is cooking (if I'm lucky) I'll tidy the kitchen a little more. I'll empty the dishwasher and refill if necessary, I'll put the washing machine back on and turn the dryer on if I need to.

Once lunch is ready I take about an hour off to watch the news with the Hubby and talk about the day's news or just rant at the TV.



Back to the office


Taking 1½ hours for lunch on most days I return to my office in the afternoon and get straight on with the tasks I'd planned during the morning. I watch the clock all afternoon because I know the timer is on and I only have a few short hours before the afternoon school run.





School run


At 3:15pm I leave my office and head to school, again, to pick up LP. It can take him 5 minutes or 15 minutes to get out of school. Luckily I live 5 minutes drive from school.



Back home


We walk through the door and the boys (BP is usually home after catching the bus from school) get changed out of their uniforms while I get to cleaning the kitchen. I wipe down the kitchen sides, clean the cooker top, put dishes away and wash dirty pans if I haven't already.

The boys have to be nagged to do homework or chores, either one takes lots of nagging and monitoring to make sure they get done. If I think I can get away with being disappearing for a minute I put the washing machine on again.

Once all the chores are done, the bedrooms are tidy, and homework is finished the boys entertain themselves and I sit down with a drink.



Dinner time


I can spend between 30 minutes to 2 hours in the kitchen preparing and cooking a family meal that we can all enjoy. Sometimes this works, others it doesn't (the boys will say they don't like whatever I've cooked). 

We all sit at our dining table to eat together most days, it's the first chance we all have to talk about the day we've had.



Chill time?



There is no point at which you can say, ‘Well, I’m successful now. I might as well take a nap. 

Carrie Fisher





Nope. While the kids and Hubby play their games I read blogs. Reading, commenting, sharing, I love it but it occupies my mind space and is tiring.



Real chill time


By 9pm both boys are in bed and the games are off, it's finally time to relax. An episode of our current favourite show and I'm ready for sleep but I refuse to go to bed until at least 10:30pm. It is so nice to sit with the Hubby and relax for an hour or so after the kids are in bed, it's our quiet time.

When it actually comes to sleep time I am so tired I usually fall asleep within 5 minutes of my head hitting the pillow.


This is just a typical day, add in child illnesses, a bout of the flu, or a household problem like a broken shower and everything changes. 




Even if your children are at school all day and you're at home with "nothing to do" you're entitled to be tired. You work hard, every day, and try to make your home a wonderful place for your children and husband/partner to relax.

Be sure to take a little time for yourself every day, even if it's just a few minutes. You need to relax at least some of the time!



How do you spend your days?




Taking the annoyances out of online shopping with Octer

Being a busy mum I don't often (okay almost never) get a day out to go shopping. I used to love shopping, especially with my bestie, carrying bags around town as I almost ran into another shop to make another purchase. Online shopping is different, the excitement of leaving a shop with a bag full of goodies isn't there, going to different websites to find what you're looking for feels more like a chore. But I have recently found a website that takes the annoyances out of online shopping, and it's called Octer.




About Octer


Octer is an online shopping website that consolidates listed items from lots of retailers and hosts them in one place for you to browse. You can spend hours browsing and when you've decided on a purchase you simply click on the item and you'll be taken to the retailer's website. You cannot buy directly from Octer.

Post Comment Love 10th - 12th March

Welcome to another Post Comment Love, link up your best/favourite post of the week and give it a little boost. If you're a regular, thanks for returning it is always lovely to see you, and if you're a newbie, welcome! Great to have you here.




It has been lovely to see the sun more often this week, it brightened my mood no end. The flowers are starting to bloom, the birds are singing first thing in a morning and when I wake at 6am it's no longer pitch black!

The honesty of women

Today is International Women's day and as a result I saw a BBC News broadcast this morning as they hosted Gillian Anderson chatting about her new book. This post is not about the book or about what they said. While they chatted they happened to mention Emma Watson and the recent photo she posed for in Vanity Fair. She (Emma Watson) was portrayed as doing something wrong, and that set me off on a rant to the Hubby about the honesty (or dishonesty) of women.



Why the rant began


The Hubby pointed out that Emma Watson would've been paid for the photograph, she did it to promote both Vanity Fair and herself. Now before you start to bash on me about being proud of other women I am not saying what she did was wrong, what I am saying is she needs to be honest about why she did. To say she posed for the pictures to help women realise they can do whatever they like is simply dishonest, or at least that's how it seems. Posing in that way just adds to the objectification of women. If she said she posed for the photograph because she was paid and it was what she wanted to do I would respect that much more. Because it was her CHOICE.

Post Comment Love 3rd - 5th March

Welcome back to another week of Post Comment Love, where, despite the weather outside, the sun is always shining. Stephanie and I look forward to reading the different blog posts every week and it is lovely to see some of you coming back again and again. We have built a lovely little community here and it's great to see it thriving. If you're new here, welcome! Link up your best post of the week and Stephanie and I will comment and share, giving your blog a little boost.

This week has been a weird one, our route to school has been disrupted meaning that I've had to spend almost an hour in the car twice a day. I'm so not used to that and driving in rush hour traffic sends me nuts! There's road works going on just around the corner from us and they've closed the road, the only problem is that it's the only road that leads from our house to LP's school. My usual route to school is just over 2 miles but with the detour it's almost 6! And of course because of rush hour traffic and having to join the main road it takes a lot longer to make the journey. 

What to get your mum for Mother's Day

It is Mother's Day at towards the end of this month and I'm sure we're all stressing about what to get for our mums. It can be a struggle to find gifts for Christmas and birthdays, never mind Mother's Day and anniversaries too. Well I'm here to help, I've scoured the internet and come up with ideas of what to get your mum for Mother's Day.



Luxury Hampers



Hampers are a lovely gift, lots of things presented in a cute basket for you to give to your mum. Prices range from fairly cheap to super expensive, below are just a few choices.

New handbags for Spring

I have always had a thing for handbags, I have a number of them in my wardrobe and would love to have more. When the sun comes out and the new season begins I can't help scanning women's handbags and noting the ones I particularly like. 

I love luxury handbags in particular, from Louis Vuitton to Fendi, but I can't justify paying the prices they charge, unfortunately. If we were rich I would have a room just for handbags and wouldn't worry about buying another one for the collection, but at the moment I have to stick with the cheaper ones.