Keep Trying

On Monday I wrote about Big Prince trying out for the Swimming Gala at school and on Wednesday I was so nervous for him. He was really looking forward to it and couldn’t wait to get to school, he wanted to leave the house at 8am so that he could be at school on time. Not that he has ever been late but this shows how excited he was.

When he left me with the biggest smile on his face I hoped that he wouldn’t be leaving school disappointed. Unfortunately this wasn’t to be and as he walked towards me at the end of school I knew straight away that he hadn’t made it into the Gala. As we walked to the car I put my arms around him and told him not to worry, he could always try out again next year. He told me he would but he needed to get lots of practice in between now and then because he wasn’t fast enough. Normally I don’t go in for the competition stuff but hearing him say that made me so proud. 

Big Prince has never been one to take on a challenge, or at least if he did and failed he wouldn’t try again. If he can’t do something he generally gives up. Swimming is different - he loves to be in the water. His stroke isn’t great and we’ve been working on that but he keeps trying and now he has a reason to push himself harder. I really believe that he will try and I’m sure he’ll spend the entire summer in the pool. 

For me it’s not the fact that he wants to win that’s important, it’s that he wants to try. He is striving to be better and I think this is awesome, I’ve been struggling for years to find something he could be passionate about and I’m hoping this is it. It’s something he enjoys doing but can also be competitive in and it keeps him active which is another bonus given his tendency to spend days on the Xbox.

So I’m expecting to be nagged constantly to take them to the pool and I’m sure he’ll spend as much time as possible working on his speed and stroke. I can’t wait to see how much progress he can make in a year, it’s going to be awesome to watch.

How do your children deal with disappointment? Do you have special tricks to push them or encourage them to try?

Post Comment Love

Gut Instinct

I’ve been struggling with my creative writing lately and have decided to take a break from the novel, instead using my time to concentrate on the blog for a while. However, I still need that creative outlet so here I am for Prose for Thursday again. I thought I would test out parts of my original novel on you all and you can let me know what you think, maybe that way I might get the motivation to sort out the story!

Maria trudged across the green field, her legs feeling heavier by the minute. Would it really be so bad to transport home? Yes, it would. The rules were there for a reason and she was the one to come up with them after all. How would it look if she broke them? She forced her legs to move beneath her body. The training session had taken it out of her this time and she wasn’t sure how much longer she could take his power. He was growing so fast and she was so proud but she was very tired.

The thought of a hot steaming bath carried her home and as she pushed on the large oak door and wandered into the lobby she heard the trickle of water and smiled. A flash before her eyes and she blinked, her brows pulled together and her heart ached. Shaking her head she walked to the bottom of the stairs, planted her hand on the banister and pulled herself up. The training was weighing heavy on her now and she struggled to get up the stairs but as she stepped onto the first floor landing she smelled lavender and took a deep breath. Another flash. She placed her hands on the banister and closed her eyes. Not now, please.

She breathed in deeply and drifted towards her bedroom door, she thought about the hot water and how it would ease the aches in her muscles but in the back of her mind she could feel the tension growing. She tried to imagine sinking into the water and closing her eyes and just letting the pain go but she couldn’t shake that doubt. Maria stood in front of her bedroom door and gripped the handle but paused when a mumble inside got her attention. She grinned. Victor was inside waiting and the thought of him suddenly wiped her pain away. She turned the handle, pushed on the door and sauntered into the room.

She only got a second to look at the bed before the freight train ploughed into her and she fell back against the wall. She gripped her chest and tried to catch her breath as she stared. The aches from training were gone but another, stronger pain sunk its claws into her. Victor stood, topless, by the side of the bed staring at Maria with his mouth open and eyes wide. On the bed Elizabeth, the maid, had curled into a ball near the headboard. The bed sheets were in a pile at the foot of the bed, with Elizabeth’s clothes. As tears blurred her vision Maria tried to say something but only squeaked. She took a deep breath, pushed away from the wall and glared at her husband. She foresaw a fight…

This is just a short piece of one chapter and lots more happened but I didn’t want to put the whole thing on here, it would take forever to read!

Prose for Thought

Blog Customisation Tips

My very first post on this blog was way back at the end of Dec 2011 and if I’m honest I can’t believe it’s been going for that long. I haven’t posted nearly as much as I could have. Back then Little Prince was still not at nursery and I was a very busy mum who wasn’t really sure how to organise herself, fast forward to now and I have a lot more time to myself. This means I can concentrate on me for a while, well a few hours in the day at least.

The style of my blog hasn’t changed that much if I’m honest, it’s always been one of the simpler templates that Blogger give you and I haven’t really messed about with it too much. Until now this hasn’t bothered me, I figured that having a simple blog wouldn’t matter. Since spending a lot more time blogging and sharing and visiting others’ blogs I’ve noticed that mine looks very… dull. There is so much that I don’t like about it and I intend to change things. That is once I learn how.

My problem here is that I know nothing about proper customisation of my blog. I know there are tons of pages out there explaining how to use PicMonkey to change photographs and others to explain how to create a badge. These are probably things that I am going to do at some point but it may take a while, I don’t really want to go ahead and change things for the worse. Hence the reason for this post… Do any of you have any tips?

Is there anything you did to customise your blog that you would recommend to others? Can you help out a complete blog-dunce and let me know how you made your blog look amazing?

Tips on About You pages, privacy policies, cookie stuff - anything you can think of would be greatly appreciated.


Cross-stitch Progress Week 1

This is what the finished thing ought to look like.
I started this project one week ago and I’m not quite as far along as I’d hoped. As you can see from the picture there’s only a tiny bit done but in my defence I had to spend a few hours sorting out threads and weaving along the edge of the aida to make sure that it doesn’t fray. 

My tiny progress
This is something I forgot about, when starting a cross-stitch you have to weave along the edge to prevent fraying otherwise your aida will fray and you’ll end up with half of it disappearing. When I first started my cross-stitching I didn’t do that and on a few occasions I ended up with a problem. With the larger designs this is more important because you’re always going to be messing with the edges and moving the aida around to be able to get to the area you’re stitching.

Valentine's Day Plans

When I was growing up I remember my mum watched a lot of soaps, Eastenders, Coronation Street, Neighbours, all of them. I enjoyed the Australian ones like Neighbours and Home and Away. I spent hours every week in front of the TV at particular times of the day and loved every minute of it. As I’ve grown my love of soaps has faded and I don’t watch any of them anymore. No Neighbours, No Home and Away and definitely no Coronation Street. I don’t know why this is the case I guess I just drifted away and didn’t want to be pulled back in. 

I know that a lot of women watch these soaps, every day. They arrange their lives around being able to sit down and watch said soap. I’m not about to launch into a rant about how they shouldn’t do this, I think everyone is entitled to their down-time and how they spend it is up to them. This is about me. I don’t have an organised enough life to be able to watch these things on a daily basis and follow every storyline, there’s always some reason to be keeping the kids up late or sending them to bed early. I guess this must be why I gave up on the soaps, it was never possible to catch my shows when they were on. Now, don’t get me wrong I love watching TV. I’ve said recently that I love movies but I also love various TV series.

I have loads of boxed sets of DVDs including Desperate Housewives, The Wire, Breaking Bad and Las Vegas and I love every single one of them. The hubby and I go through the sets at different times of the year and we must’ve watched them all a few times by now. We’re currently working our way through Desperate Housewives Season 4 and Las Vegas Season 3, both of which are awesome.

Last year we started a Netflix subscription, mainly for the children because they had lots of programmes the kids would love. It's only £5.99 a month and compared to the cost for Sky we thought it was a much better deal. What we didn’t realise was how much we would love it. Since starting the subscription we’ve come across lots of series that we didn’t have on DVD but love and a couple that are original. The thing we love most about having a series on DVD or Netflix is that you don’t have to wait for a week to see what happens next. If you have the time you can simply select the next episode and watch. No nonsense waiting for the broadcast, no having to record it because you’re going to be out.

An original series we caught on Netflix last year was House of Cards, a series about politics in America. I know that doesn’t sound very interesting but it’s just the kind of thing me and the hubby love, it has scandal and intrigue and some fantastic actors. The first series was so good that we were eager to see the next but when we finished watching there were no signs of another one coming anytime soon. Then they announced series 2 and I squealed with excitement. Since the announcement we’ve been waiting for February 14th, our eyes on that date not because it’s Valentines Day but because we’ll be able to watch series 2 of House of Cards. The best bit about this announcement is that the whole series will be available immediately. No waiting for a week between episodes. 

As far as me and the hubby are concerned this is how all TV should work, if there’s a series you like you ought to be able to watch the whole thing as fast or as slow as you choose. If you want to wait a week between episodes you can but you can also watch it back to back until you’re finished. So this is advanced warning that on February 14th I may not be around… I’ll probably be downstairs watching the TV until we’ve finished the series. If I’m honest we’ll probably have finished the whole thing by Monday!

Do you love the soaps or, like me, do you like to watch a whole series at once?

This is not a sponsored post - it is just my opinion on a great service.

Mama and More

Ladies Only Blog Share

Swimming Anyone?

In this little space I like to call my own I often talk about my eldest boy and my youngest boy and have never called them by name. However, constantly referring to them as ‘my eldest’ or ‘my youngest’ seems a little odd so from now on ‘my eldest’ will now be called Big Prince and ‘my youngest’ will be Little Prince. 

So onto my magic moment and this week Big Prince decided it would be a good idea to surprise me. Before I get to my moment I want to explain that Big Prince is not an athletic child, he doesn’t like to be outside unless pushed and he has never taken a proper interest in any sport. He is a quiet boy who likes to sit and read or draw, plays on the Xbox a lot more than he should and has a few close friends who are mostly girls. He hates football. He doesn’t like playing out when it’s muddy and he has no interest in bugs or any creepy-crawlies. I think this is partly our fault because he was our first and we didn’t want him being outside messing with mud or hurting himself. We were so worried that something bad might happen that we may have influenced him and now it is really tough to get him outside.

Big Prince’s school runs various after-school clubs including football, cricket and tennis but Big Prince has never wanted to be involved in any of them. He much prefers the art club and any time the opportunity comes up for him to attend, he does. So, after nine years of this I never imagined that he would change. I was mistaken. 

This morning on the way to school he mentioned that there was going to be a swimming gala and that he’d been chosen to be involved. To say that I was surprised was an understatement.  He told me that he’d put up his hand when the class had been asked if anyone wanted to be included and he wanted to make sure that I would have his swimming kit ready for him on Wednesday. This is the first time that he has ever mentioned an interest in taking part in something like this but I have to admit that I was very proud of him. For a start Big Prince is a very quiet and shy child and has never volunteered for anything like this before but also I’m pleased that he wants to be included in something active. 

If I’m honest the swimming is a great fit for him, it’s not something where he needs to be communicating with team mates but he can still be competitive. He has been swimming without armbands since he was five and he really does enjoy being in the water, preferring to be below the surface rather than above! Whenever he gets in the water he transforms from the quiet, shy boy into a merman, he glides through the water and really pushes himself. Thinking about him in the water always makes me smile. 

So, whilst at the supermarket this morning I wandered upstairs in the hope that they would’ve brought out their new season of clothing. Big Prince is in need of new swimming trunks and they’re not allowed to wear shorts when swimming at school. As I held the trolley on the escalator I eyed the swimwear and smiled - I was in luck. On Wednesday Big Prince will be taking part in the trials for the swimming gala, they’ll be checking which stroke he is best at and assigning one to him. After talking to the school I think that there’s a chance he won’t be picked because it’s popular but I really hope he does. It would be great for his confidence and it’s something that he’s good at.

I have his swimming bag all packed and ready and I’m going to have my fingers crossed all week for my Big Prince.

My Week in Review

Oh my it’s Friday again, I can’t believe how fast this month has flown by. It seems like two minutes ago I was pledging to blog every day and was wondering what on earth I would write about and now I’m at the end of week three and haven’t really struggled yet. I’m so proud of myself so far and I’m sure that my enthusiasm will continue because I’ve started to enjoy this blogging lark a lot more than writing that novel! I never thought that would happen, I can tell you.

I think part of the reason I seem to be falling in love with blogging is the absolutely wonderful community of people out there that offer encouragement and support when you need it most. People who give you a 140 character boost and make you smile when the kids are driving you crazy and you think you may have no hair left by the end of the day. This week I’ve realised how nice and welcoming people can be and I’m so grateful for that.

Aside from this personal journey my week has been a bit of a bumpy one, what with the hubby getting some bad news on the games front, the little one getting the sniffles and a cough that is worsening by the day and the eldest becoming more ‘tween’ every day, I’ve felt like I'm fighting a losing battle. Yet I’ve been sat at the computer screen every day, blogging, venting and receiving such lovely comments and tweets that the week hasn’t seemed so bad. 

My hopes for next week are that the little one gets over his sniffles this weekend, the hubby gets some good news after a trip to London and well, I’m not sure about my tween? Maybe I’ll catch a glimpse of my boy at some point this weekend instead of the grumpy tween that skulks about the house. 

A few mentions here, just to thank these lovely ladies for stopping by my little blog and offering up some love.

Claire, a blogger who's also from Nottingham and has a brilliant creative streak. You should definitely check out her Up-cycled Shoes post.

Kim Carberry over at Northumberland Mam where there was a hair incident this week. Believe me I can relate to this one!

Blue Beret Mum who has some very entertaining cartoons and some fantastic poetry to entertain you.

Tas over at Not my year off where she lists all the places she’d like to visit around the world. There’s some on there that I have visited and definitely some I would love to go.

Thank you ladies and I hope you all have a great weekend. See you Monday!

Chocolate Biscuits with Soft Chocolate Centre Recipe

Yesterday after a trip to the supermarket I decided to bake some cookies for my boys. This is something I haven’t done for years and I thought it would be a huge disaster but went ahead and did it anyway. I got the recipe from Jamie Oliver’s Happy Days with the Naked Chef recipe book, one which I’ve had for years but not really used.

My finished biscuits
The recipe is really easy and doesn’t take long so I thought I’d let you all know how the process went. 


140g/5oz butter
140g/5oz sugar
2 egg yolks
255g/9oz self-raising flour
30g/1oz cocoa powder
30 squares of chocolate (milk, white or plain)

I used Dairy Milk chocolate and Tesco’s own brand cocoa powder and self-raising flour.


Another week zooming by and I’m back again for #Prose4T. I only started writing daily 3 weeks ago but since joining in with Prose for Thought I’ve learned how much I love writing these short pieces of fiction. Victoria Welton over at Verily Victoria Vocalises set this link up and I’d like to thank her for being so nice and welcoming. I’d definitely recommend joining in with this link if you enjoy writing, it’s a chance to let out that creative side and maybe tap into some of those buried feelings. So, on with this week’s #Prose4T…

I Dream.

I dream of you sitting at our dinner table, joining the family.
I dream of you in our lounge, smiling.
I dream of you playing in the garden with my boys as the sun shines.

I dream of my children knowing who you are.
I dream of shopping days and coffee mornings.
I dream of seeing your smiling face every day.

I dream of not feeling this void in my heart and wondering what I did wrong.
I dream of the day I don’t hurt anymore, when I can just accept you aren’t going to change.
I dream of you explaining what I did wrong and why you just can’t be here.

I dream of being involved in your life and you in ours.
I dream of not having to hide my pain.
I dream of being loved by you, unconditionally.

That ache in my heart will never be eased.
It grows when I hear you’re visiting my sisters.
I dream of the day you understand my pain and know what you did.
But most of all I dream of the day you say you’re sorry.

I hope you liked it and have a great week!

Prose for Thought


Music's Effect on Mood

My alarm went off four times this morning before I could drag my aching body out of bed. The dark morning laid heavy on me and getting out of my lovely, cosy bed and feeling the chill of the day wasn’t really the best start to the day. If you didn’t know already, I HATE mornings. It is very rare that I wake up and feel happy or enthusiastic for the day and I don’t really function very well before my morning coffee. This morning was no different.

I stumbled downstairs with little one in tow and didn’t feel like doing anything, I just wanted to crawl back into my comfortable bed and blank out everything. However, being a mum of two school-aged children this is not possible. Instead I made breakfast for everyone, made sure they had a drink and then set about having my coffee. As the sun came up I saw the bleak outlook of the day, the damp drive and gloomy clouds didn’t brighten my mood any. 

I hurried the boys out of the house and got them to school on time, listening to their bickering in the car on the way. Again, not something that made me feel any better. I was beginning to wonder if I should just go back to bed. I walked back to my car after the kids had gone into school and sat there for a moment, hoping that something would make me smile. I breathed in slowly, started the car and headed for Tesco.

The music system in the car randomly chose a song I don’t usually like, Zombie by The Cranberries. Whenever this song comes on I skip it but this morning I just left it, couldn’t be bothered to press the skip button. As I listened to the lyrics something magical happened, I smiled. I know it’s not the best uplifting song but I think what happened was the lyrics spurred my determination and I sang along as I pulled up in the car park of Tesco. I wandered into the supermarket and decided that I would bake the kids some cookies. This is something I haven’t done for years.

So here we are. It’s 10:20am, I’ve been to Tesco and bought cookie ingredients and this afternoon I’ll be doing some baking, all because of a song. If I’m honest I kind of liked it. I like being able to listen to music and have it lift my mood so completely that not even the gloomy winter can bring me down again. Right now the sun is shining outside and I feel great. How’s that for a turnaround?

Do you have a song or album that you listen to lift your mood? Is there something that you do to cheer yourself up when you’re feeling down?


Moments that Mattered

In the summer of 2013 me, the hubby and my boys took the holiday of a lifetime - 6 weeks in Orlando, Florida. We’ve been before on numerous occasions and always love it but this time was different. You see, every other time we’ve been on holiday over there the hubby has had to work part of the time and constantly carried a Blackberry around with him in order to respond to emails. We have never had a time when our holiday wasn’t interrupted by his work. Well that is until summer 2013.

Cinderella's Castle - Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World

My 4 yr old's favourite ride - Busch Gardens
We are a Disney loving family and obviously this is the main reason for visiting Orlando but there is also Universal Studios, Busch Gardens and the Kennedy Space Centre nearby. We’d been planning this holiday for a few years but when the day finally arrived I couldn’t believe we were actually doing it. The kids were ridiculously excited and I was trying not to throw up when I thought of that plane journey. Nine hours on and the plane landed in Orlando. When those wheels touched down and I felt myself thrust forward as the plane slowed down I could finally breath easy. I looked out of the window and saw that awesome sun shining into the plane and my boys smiles matched it. They lit up. 

There were so many things that we experienced while over there and my four-year-old now has some fantastic memories, like meeting Mickey Mouse, that hopefully he’ll never forget. And you know what - we never got interrupted. The whole family were together all the time and we enjoyed every second. The hubby wants to go again and I may just have to agree with him. 

The little one enjoying the new Simpsons area at Universal Studios.

Disclaimer: This is my post for entry into the Moments that Mattered competition to win an iPad Mini in association with Lloyds Bank

A New Project

This was my Everest.
A later project.
When I became a stay-at-home mum more than nine years ago I wondered what on earth I would do with all my free time. I didn’t know how to use up all the time I would’ve been at work. I panicked that I would be stuck with loads of time and nothing to do. Yeh, I know - deluded! Anyway, back then I figured I’d need a new hobby to use up the spare time. A friend who did cross-stitches in her spare time said maybe I should try that. I did and after a few botched jobs I enjoyed it.

I only have a few projects under my belt, the one of Winnie the Pooh and Eeyore being the first (that was finished and not ruined). In 2006 I went to Disney World, Florida and fell in love with one of the kits they had there. I insisted the hubby buy it for me and he did which meant I had a huge project to begin. Unfortunately as time went on I lost interest in cross-stitch and the huge project got left half-finished for a while. It wasn’t until I fell pregnant with the little one that I started up again. I looked at my half-finished project and promised I would finish it. One day.

One I did for my little one.
In the end I did finish it, about 3 months ago! That's it, at the top, and I think you can see why it took so long. This project was the biggest I’d tried so far and it was very hard. I’d never done any beading before so this was really challenging and all the intricate details with the sparkly thread was quite annoying due to the thread being delicate. But I finished it.

Now, after that taking so long you wouldn’t think I’d get another one would you, but I did. Again I was in Florida and happened to be scanning the shelves of kits again, the hubby should probably keep me away from them. This time I wanted a girly one, one for me, so I got Beauty and the Beast. I think it is really beautiful and although it will take a while I’m up for the challenge. The difference this time is that I’m blogging about it too and that means that I don’t have any excuses to give up on it. I’m planning on posting regular updates on how this project is going and hopefully this one will not take seven years to finish. I opened the pack last night and as you can see there’s lots to it but I’m going to be making a start tonight. I’ll post pictures of my progress every Tuesday and I’m hoping it all goes well. 

Wish me luck!

Oh boy this looks complicated!

Have you started any new crafty projects? 

Maybe it’s something you’ve never tried before or something you’re well trained at, let me know how you’re getting on.

Mama and More

The Revelation Returns

Way back in April I blogged about cleaning the kitchen, yep riveting eh? As a stay-at-home mum it was one of the things that I found myself doing constantly and I was always battling with the children to put their plates away when they were finished eating. My revelation in April was that if I did a little tidying everyday then I could keep my house looking tidy without much effort. Well that is almost true.

These days my kitchen is tidy. Tidy - not sparkling. What I’ve found is that it is easy to keep it tidy but with the constant coffee and tea making, lunch and dinner and sticky fingers, there is no way to keep my counter tops sparkling unless I keep everyone out of the kitchen. This isn’t practical but I have come to terms with the fact that tidy is okay. I don’t mind it actually. My kitchen doesn’t ‘need’ to be sparkling all of the time and as long as there’s not food going mouldy on the tops and plates piled high above the dishwasher then I think I’m doing a good job. 

I have a routine, just like I did back in April but now my routine involves more writing and more housework. The thing is that somehow I’m managing to stay on top of everything, nothing is getting out of hand and I feel loads better for it. Usually with the housework there is one part, like the clothes washing, that I let pile up and then have to have a whole weekend of washing and ironing before the kids run out of clothes. This is annoying and I only have myself to blame. But since the new year I seem to have a better routine. I spend a little more than half an hour in a morning going round the house picking up after the kids, putting the dishwasher on and making sure that the clothes are in the washing machine. This new routine means that I have a small basket of ironing to do that can be finished in half an hour, the kitchen is tidy all day and I don’t have the kids nagging me about not having jeans or jumpers to wear when they want them. 

Maybe this is just a consequence of being older or maybe it’s the realisation that these things do matter to me. Perhaps I’ve been lying to myself all these years and trying to convince myself that I don’t really care if there’s tons of washing to do. The fact is I do. I hate not having a tidy house, it makes me grumpy. I hate to see piles of clothes all over the place waiting to be washed. These days I can wander into any room in my house, look around and be satisfied that it doesn’t look terrible. There may be washing in the basket but the basket is not overflowing. There may be toys out and jigsaw pieces on the floor but I can still see the carpet. A family lives here and I’m not about to tell my children not to get toys out because I want it to be tidy all the time. Just a little work from me while they’re at school and my house is tidy, and I don’t need to spend hours to get it that way. That, for me, is good enough.

How about you, are you constantly fighting with your children or hubby to tidy up after themselves? Do you let things pile up into a huge job rather than doing it little and often? Or, like me, have you found a new routine which you are proud of?

The Bright Side

Although I linked up with #PoCoLo over at Verily Victoria Vocalises again this week I also wanted to write a post too so this one is linking up with Reasons to be Cheerful hosted by Lakes Single Mum this week.

The doubts festered in my mind this week and the black hole of writers block stopped me from getting any writing done on the novel. It happens from time to time and can be a real pain in the… well you know. Anyway, instead of lingering on the bad I thought I would try and get myself inspired. I spent three hours on Wednesday night doing research and as I read through facts and wrote notes I suddenly got inspired. Yay!

So, my reasons to be cheerful are:

1. No matter how long that void stays in my head there’s always going to be something that comes along and fills it. Whether that be hours of research like Wednesday night or a simple stroll through the woods with my kids. I am a creative soul and if the void lingers for long I know to change it up and move away from that blank screen. Although the weekend is here I have plans for my writing next week and can’t wait to get started on them.

2. While writing I have a whole library of music I can play. From Meatloaf to Lady Gaga, Classical to Jazz. I get inspired by it all and as long as something is playing the words tend to flow from my fingers into the computer without much effort. And sometimes just the right piece of music can come along and present a whole host of new ideas. That’s the best.

The view from my window :)

3.  With a view like this I don’t need to go anywhere else to dream. I can look out of my ‘office’ window and watch the trees dance as the breeze blows. What more could I ask for?

When weeks are tough and you begin to sense those doubts rolling in take a moment to remember those reasons you are cheerful. It can brighten your day no end.

What are your reasons to be cheerful this week? 

Why not hop over to Lakes Single Mum And join in with the rest of us.

Reasons to be Cheerful

Home At Last

It’s Thursday again and time for Prose for Thought. Last week when I posted My Muse I never thought it would feel good to have other people read my work and I was really surprised by the great comments I got. Thank you to all of you who commented last week, you were so kind and have given me the confidence to continue. So here we are, my #Prose4T number two.

Her paws pounded the ground and her lungs burned as she raced across the field towards the dense forest. The dark night hid her black athletic body from sight but her yellow eyes glowed. She pushed through the brush and entered the cover of the trees, branches and leaves scraped her skin as she stole a glance behind her. Nothing. He wasn’t following. Images of that awful dungeon still lived in her head and she shuddered when she thought of what she'd been about to do. Unable to stop herself, screaming while trapped in her own mind. Watching as someone controlled her body, using her like a machine, in order to harm others. If it hadn’t been for the lion she may never have escaped.

As Emily hurried through the forest, twigs snapping under her paws, she went over what had just happened. The lion… He must’ve been a ‘Cooler’, there was no other explanation. Because of him she’d managed to transport herself away, save her own life and those she was threatening. She’d never wanted to harm Samuel and Anna, they were her friends, but Patrick’s gift - that necklace, stole her body. She wished she’d seen it coming, she wished she had been able to stop but most of all she hoped that Anna survived.

Emily reached the crest of a hill and looked down into the valley. She stopped and stared. A small cottage with cobblestone walls and a rickety roof covered in moss stood next to the glorious deep waters of the lake. She padded down the hill, seeming to glide over the grass. Reaching the water’s edge a blue mist encircled her and she sighed. As she breathed out her slender panther body disappeared and Emily stood naked, in human form, with her feet touching the damp rocks just beneath the surface of the water. She inched forward and smiled as the water eased the burning in her legs. She sank down, laid back and looked up. The clouds had cleared and the stars twinkled for her.

Emily blinked and as she dove under the water her tail flipped up and the moon bounced off her golden scales. Her black hair flowed behind her as she pumped her tail and sped through the water towards an orange glow ahead. A shoal of small silver fish joined her race and she grinned as they danced around her, welcoming her home. A moment later she floated before it, the small glowing ‘hole’ in the base of the lake that she called home. She was safe, at last.

I was going over the very first novel I wrote a few years ago (it’s hidden away in a file on the computer) and was inspired by one of the characters. In the book I didn’t write her perspective but I thought for a short piece it would be great. Again I’d love to hear your comments.

Prose for Thought

Wii U Review

First of all I have not been paid for this review, it is simply my opinion on these products. We spent our own money buying the products after months of wondering whether we should.

I’ve said before that I live in a house of gamers, the hubby has worked in the industry for a long time and both my boys love their computer games, be it on the iPad, Xbox, Wii or computer. Up until the recent consoles our household had the newest consoles on day one, as soon as they were available we would have them and plenty of games to play on them too. However in recent years we’ve seen less games that we want to play and our Xbox 360 is on its last legs but we still refuse to buy the Xbox One. Why? Various reasons, one of which is backwards compatibility but this isn't about my irks with the Xbox One. This is about the Wii U.

When the Wii U came out I read a review over on Stressy Mummy’s blog about how great it was for the children and how they could all play together. At the time I convinced the hubby to have a look at it but he said there weren’t enough games out that he wanted to play so it wouldn’t make it worth spending the money. He was right of course, if we’d bought the Wii U back then it would’ve sat on the shelf just like the Wii did, unused.

Before Christmas we decided to give it another look and find out what games were available. We were amazed to see that there were now plenty of games we wanted to get and you could buy the Wii U in a pack that included games too! In the end we caved and bought it for Christmas, we were so excited (me and the hubby) that we almost opened it before Christmas! 

On Christmas morning the boys opened the Wii U and thought it was fantastic, then they piled up the games. Here’s what we got:

A favourite in our house!

Wii U that came with NintendoLand and Lego City Undercover
Wii U Party that came with an extra controller
Super Mario 3D World
Super Mario Brothers U
Pikmin 3
Super Luigi U
Zelda The WindWaker
Rayman Legends
Game & Wario

Ok, so we may have gone a tad overboard!

The first game to get opened was Super Mario 3D World and to our surprise this is a game that is great to play together. All four of us have played this game on a few occasions, the hubby and I have worked our way through the whole game and are now on Crown World which is immensely difficult. I have given up now but the hubby keeps trying. Super Mario 3D World is one of those games that you don’t need to think about twice, there’s no profanity and no chance of your children seeing something inappropriate. It’s a great game for all the family.

Pikmin 3 is one of my hubby’s favourites, he played both previous games and really enjoyed them so when he found out there was going to be a third it gave him a reason to buy the Wii U. I haven’t played this game and I think it is too complicated for my four-year-old but the hubby and my eldest love it. They have both spent a lot of hours working their way through the game and it is one that my eldest continues to ask to play. This in itself is a great feat because he often gives up on games.

NintendoLand is another great game for the whole family. My youngest loves this game because there are lots of mini games and he can join in with most of them. He particularly likes ‘Mario Chase’ where you run around and hide from the rest of the group and they have to come and find you. You, as Mario, have the added advantage of their new controller with screen - you can see your team mates on the maze as they get closer and you can run and hide elsewhere. 

The boys have played Super Mario Brothers U briefly but I haven’t seen much of it yet so I can’t comment. The same goes for Lego City Undercover, the hubby started playing but we’ve only seen the very start so far. As for the other games? They’re still in their cellophane and we’re hoping that we can make them last. The boys are still enjoy the games that are open and we’re trying to encourage that. I don’t like it when they’re spoilt for choice because then they can’t choose.

Although my boys have Skylanders Swap Force and Disney Infinity for the Xbox 360 these games haven’t been touched for a while. Also since the Wii U has been such a big hit with the boys I think my next purchase of Skylanders or Disney Infinity (because let’s face it, there will be another one.) will be for the Wii U. At least the Wii U is backwards compatible which means you can play old Wii games on it. You aren’t able to do that with the Xbox One.

So far I’d say that the Wii U was their favourite Christmas present and it’s getting used almost every day. My youngest already knows there’s going to be a new MarioKart coming out soon and he’s saying he wants that for his birthday. In this household the Wii U is a definite hit.

Did your children get any Christmas presents they really loved? Any surprise hits?


My Love of Movies

Mama and More

First of all I want to thank Luci over at MotherWifeMe for making my post last week a feature on her #AllAboutYou post this morning. Luci you have made my day!

When I was a little girl I dreamed of the day a prince would come and save me from my boring life. I watched movies like Cinderella, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves and The Little Mermaid, sang along to the songs and wondered why my life wasn’t like that. Why didn’t I get the boy I liked? I was a bit of a geek if I’m honest but I still imagined that one day ‘my prince would come’.

This isn’t a ‘happy ever after’ post where I tell you he did and we’re married and have a fabulous life, blah, blah. I want to tell you that all those years ago is when my love of movies began. All the girly ones are great and get better as you grow up, I remember watching Jerry Macguire about one hundred times. Those movies that have two people falling in love are fantastic and you always feel good when they’re finished. I think rom-coms are my favourite with Love Actually at all time number one movie. Moulin Rouge and The Holiday are up there too. It’s no surprise that I enjoy these movies, after all I am well-and-truly in their target market but these aren’t the only movies I like.

Fracture starring Ryan Gosling and one of my all-time favourite actors Anthony Hopkins is dark and compelling. The story is fantastic and the acting - brilliant. I love the ending but I don’t want to tell you about it - Go watch it! I promise you won’t regret it. Another ‘dark’ movie I think is fantastic is Seven with Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Spacey. A serial killer is loose and the detectives try their very best to find him. Kevin Spacey plays a brilliant part in this movie and is very convincing. Another movie that I suggest you see if you haven’t already.

On a lighter note Simon Pegg is amusing in Shaun of the Dead and Paul but my favourite movie starring him and Nick Frost has to be Hot Fuzz. Me and the hubby know the script to this movie and have watched it so many times that I think the DVD may be broken! It’s funny and has a great story - another must see.

Most of the movies I have mentioned above are fairly old now and having two children and a busy life we don’t get much opportunity to go to the cinema anymore. We do, however, get to rent the movies on the Apple TV, which is better than nothing. A movie we did manage to see at the cinema was The Great Gatsby which was directed by Baz Lurhman. There’s a talented man. We love most of his movies including Moulin Rouge, Romeo & Juliet and The Great Gatsby - all of which are on our favourites list. The Great Gatsby is an amazing movie which draws you in from the moment it starts. If you do see it try to pay attention to the music too because the soundtrack for this movie is awesome, I have it playing most of the time while I’m working. Now You See Me was another movie from last year but this one we rented and then later bought on DVD. A great movie that is a little different.

My favourite movie of last year?


This movie is unlike anything else I’ve ever watched and we’ve seen it twice at the cinema. The second time was just as good as the first even though I knew what was coming and although the cast is minimal it is a fantastic movie. If you wanted a recommendation Gravity would be it. There is no way to describe this movie other than to say it’s about space. If I said anymore I would give away the story. If you are bored of all other movie types give this one a try - it is completely different, a breath of fresh air.

So there you have it. I LOVE movies and when I’m not taking care of the children, doing housework, cooking meals or writing then I’m watching movies. I like being able to escape into another world while I watch people’s lives unfold in front of me. Maybe it’s the writer in me that thrives on this stuff or maybe it’s just the escapist, either way I enjoy myself (as long as the movie isn’t terrible). This year I’m looking forward to seeing The Lego Movie in February. 

I’m linking up this post to #AllAboutYou Link & Pin Party, you all know me a little better now and I got to give recommendations for some great movies. Win, win I say! :)

Do you have any favourite movies you’d like to recommend? Tell me below and I’ll give them a try if I haven’t seen them. Have a great day everyone.

Our Entertainer is Back

Good Morning all, I trust you had a fabulous weekend and are looking forward to this week’s antics, I know I am. It’s week two of my posting every day and I can’t wait to get started, I guess that’s a good sign?

Anyway as it’s Monday I’m linking this post up to #MagicMoments over at The Oliver’s Madhouse, Jaime is a lovely person and the group that get involved in this link are kind and friendly. Why not hop over there and take a look?

When my youngest was a baby he was so cheerful, he’d spend most of the day smiling and laughing and very rarely you would see him crying. Then we went on holiday and while there we lost his comfort blanket and with it our cheerful boy seemed to disappear. He suddenly turned into a screaming, angry child who wouldn’t let anyone comfort him. We tried to buy him a new blanket, it was identical to the old one but he knew it was different and it didn’t get accepted. For three years I’ve felt the guilt of losing that blanket, it’s eaten away at me because I wonder if we’d just looked after it better we wouldn’t have lost our cheerful boy. The annoying thing about the blanket incident was that it wasn’t even me that lost it but it was a long time ago and there’s no point assigning blame now. 

On Friday night the hubby and I were talking as we went up to bed it was 1am. As we got to the top of the stairs the little one came scurrying out of his bedroom, the biggest smile on his face, and looked at us. Before I could say anything he grinned and gave us a little wave then turned around and went back to bed. We burst out laughing! He just wanted to come and say hello and then go back to bed but seeing his little smiling face and that energetic wave before he disappeared was amazing. It made me realise that my cheerful boy didn’t disappear the day of the blanket incident, he just went away for a while. I realised we have him back now, our little one is always the one to make people laugh, he’s an entertainer. The rush of love (and relief) that swept through me that night was indescribable but I’m sure all you parents out there know just what I’m talking about. 

We have our smiler back and I couldn’t be happier!