A Videogames Day in Nottingham

Living in a house full of gamers means that my life is filled with gaming, from console games on the Xbox, Wii U, and Playstation to retro games like Manic Miner and Jumpy Jack, and everything in between.

When I found out there was a Videogames Arcade in Nottingham I knew I would end up taking the boys at some point and I thought half-term would be the perfect time.

As it was a lovely day on Saturday we decided to park near the canal at Castle Marina and walk into Nottingham. It was nice to be walking along the canal and enjoying the sun. We decided not to tell the boys where we were going, it's always nice to surprise them if we can. 

We wandered through the city centre, noting that the market square was being prepared for the Archery Championships, and decided it would be better to have lunch before venturing to the Arcade. Every time we're in Nottingham deciding what to eat is always a struggle, there are so many options! We settled on Pret sandwiches for me, the Hubby and LP, and BP said he wanted McDonalds. 

The sandwiches in Pret are really tasty, I love the selection and the fact that every sandwich is made fresh. They were so nice that LP had ham sandwiches with brown bread and wolfed it down. I was very impressed.

After lunch we headed up to Lace Market where the National Videogames Arcade is located and ventured inside. 

Proud & Co Silhouette Oven Gloves Review

Now oven gloves aren't the most exciting thing to be talking about but we all use them every day. My oven gloves have been through a lot, they're old, stained, discoloured, and battered. They're the kind of gloves that don't really do the job they're meant for any more, when I'm using them I have to be pretty quick to put things down before I burn my hands. Not a great thing for oven gloves.

I've been meaning to buy new ones but every time I looked in Tesco they were the kind that are connected together and I hate them, they don't do the job any better than the ones I already have.

But then I spotted Proud & Co oven gloves, they're beautiful to look at and they're not connected together. I was pretty much won over straight away, even before I'd tried them out.

What I Read 49

I can't believe I've done nearly 50 of these, I do love sharing the posts I've read and am so pleased that some of the posts I share get to people who haven't seen them yet.

I'm starting this week with a great post full of information written in an entertaining way. Brain power is something we'd all like to increase I'm sure (unless you're a genius!) but we often struggle to know how. I love the post 107 ways to Increase Brain Power, it has plenty of amusing photos.


My boys are gamers, it was pretty much a given they were going to be because of what their dad does for a job. They love their games, from kids shooters to racing games and building games, they're never happier than when they're sat in front of the TV engrossed in the latest game. Catie's boys are gamers too and I enjoyed reading her post Gamer Zone: Top Ten Favourite Games. In it she shares both her sons' favourite games, it's a post my boys enjoyed reading too. It's lovely for them to see they're not the only ones that like gaming!


Siblings have a special bond from the moment they are born, they instinctively know they are siblings and love one another. As they grow the older one takes care of the younger one, makes allowances for them and watches out for them. But when the younger one starts to grow up what happens? I loved Laura's post Besties Forever, in which her daughters have been going through just these changes lately. As usual this post brought tears to my eyes, it's a lovely post - especially if you have siblings.


There has been a big uproar about the Transgender laws in the US lately. Having a cousin who is transgender it makes me angry that this even happens these days. That's just why I loved Jeremy's post True Bathroom Fears in which he discusses his worries about his daughter, and it's got nothing to do with transgender people. Please do pop over and read.

Having a child who loves reading is no bad thing, or at least that's what Debbie thought. That is until her daughter decided she wanted to read George Orwell's Animal Farm. It's not the fact that she wanted to read it, but why, that scares Debbie - be sure to check out We've Created a Monster!. I have to say I loved this post, and I think Debbie's daughter is brilliant. Do pop over to and read the post and let Debbie know what you think.

Finally I'm sharing a post from Karen; I got my P45. I can't help myself when I read a post about how wonderful being a stay-at-home mum is I have to share it. I think it's brilliant that Karen is now looking forward to being a stay-at-home mum and I'm sure she will have a lovely time watching Robot grow, and being there for him whenever he needs her.

Post Comment Love 27th - 29th May

Welcome to another week of Post Comment Love - I hope you've all had a brilliant week.

I'm feeling pretty good this week, after lovely chats with friends there's a glimmer of hope with my weight loss, and I'm actually looking forward to the kids being off school next week. LP is off today, Inset Day, so we'll be having some fun while BP is at school.

I've managed to get into a good routine with blogging too, I really hope it continues because it's done wonders for my organisation!

But as usual my super organisation has happened just before a school holiday. This always happens and by the time the kids are back at school I'll be back to my unorganised self. I'm clinging to the organised me for all it's worth, typing as fast as I can, in the hope that I can keep hold of it!!

Do you have anything fun planned for half term or is it routine as usual?

Cancer Research UK Kids & Teens meets My Doodles

Every day 10 young people in the UK are diagnosed with Cancer. 


Cancer is the leading cause of death in children, teenagers, and young adults despite advances in technology and treatments.

That's quite shocking isn't it?

The word "cancer" is shocking enough but when it's to do with children it somehow has a whole new level of scary. 

A Glimmer of Hope

More often that not I feel lazy and don't want to exercise or diet. The weight is piling on and I end up feeling worse about it all.

Today is different...

Not the weight thing, that's still the same. But I'm different. Or at least I feel different today. The sun is shining in my head, I feel more positive. Don't get me wrong, I'm still lazy and it's going to take a lot of effort to do some exercise but I'm going to do it.

These two things are going to feature heavily in my future.

This morning I woke up with this determination, a switch had been flicked inside and I suddenly feel like I can do this. I've done it before, I know exactly what I need to do, so why haven't I been doing it?

What Does Your Jewellery Mean to You?

You say jewellery and I imagine sparkling diamonds, twinkling sapphires, and shining rubies. If it sparkles I'm automatically interested, and especially if it happens to be jewellery.

I have lots of jewellery but there are a few pieces that mean a lot more to me than others. The obvious one is my engagement and wedding rings, they're my prized possessions and I never take them off. I have a small diamond cross necklace, it's the first piece of jewellery the Hubby bought me, and my Thomas Sabo necklace and charms which the boys bought for me last year.

Expanding My Knowledge

When I was a teenager and going through a lot after my parents' divorce I decided to go to college to study Psychology GCSE. I'd always been interested in how the mind works and had no clue what I wanted to do for a job so I took a year to decide.

I loved studying Psychology, I have an inquisitive mind and love to learn about why people do the things they do. The psychology GCSE just opened up that world to me and I was hooked. Unfortunately I couldn't continue with my studies and life took over.

Years later when I started writing my novel I used some of my knowledge of psychology, but to be honest I didn't study to an advanced level so my knowledge was somewhat limited. Trying to write a crime novel, when having no understanding of how a criminal's mind works is very hard. I tried to go to the dark places in my head, I learned about sinful characters, and in the process learned a lot about myself. 

What I Read 48

It's Sunday again and that means I've got six more brilliant blog posts for you to read.

As parents we spend all of our time trying to protect our children. Protect them from the people, from injuries, and from disease. But sometimes the choices are taken out of our hands and we learn that something is wrong with our child. It must be tough hearing that there's something wrong with your child, being told which specific thing they have. But what about those people that don't get a diagnosis? The children that aren't told what they could do to help their situation, or are told that the doctors just don't know. When I read On how life is one big uncertainty. Which isn't always ok... my heart went out to the writer. I didn't realise this was a thing until I read the post and I think @Asalexgrowsup is doing a brilliant job by raising awareness.

Being a SAHM is tough, you're at home, with the kids, on your own all day. You're the one they turn to when they hurt themselves, need feeding, want to play, and sometimes that gets you down, wears you out, or even puts you in a bad mood (on particularly trying days). Your partner is the one that has to come home to said bad mood and deal with the aftermath of that trying day. He/she is the one that bears the brunt of your anger. In Dear Husband: I'm Sorry, Becky writes a letter to her husband in which she apologises for all the times she'd been angry, upset, annoyed. It's a beautiful letter and one I think we can all relate to. 

If you're a working mum, who's partner stays at home and looks after the children occasionally I think you might like 10 Signs that it's Daddy Day. Dawn's poem about "Daddy Day" was brilliant. And before you think it, no it's not a Daddy bashing post, it's actually a really lovely poem. So go on, pop over and read. 

As I said, being a SAHM is difficult sometimes and there are days when you just want to throttle the little tykes. You don't of course (your not that mum) but if you're looking for tips on How to Avoid Throttling Your Child then @PoopRainbowMama has got just the post for you. She lists the best ways to avoid throttling your little one with some humour thrown in there too. A great read.

If you read my blog regularly you'll know that I'm trying (nor not) to lose weight. It's a constant battle that I'm really tiring of. Another thing I'm tiring of is celebrities and the media and their body shaming antics. So it seems is Charlie and she wrote a great post: Why Body-Shamers Can Kiss My (Squidgy) Butt! In it she talks about her own body issues and the hope that she can help her daughter beat the body issues before they start.

Finally, someone who always manages to write inspiring posts in one form or another is Vicki, aka Honest Mum. From posts about being yourself to how to be your own publicist Vicki is always offering her readers a way to feel motivated or inspired. She's like a blogging celebrity and I marvel at her ability to write such amazing posts. Ones like 10 Tips on being Successful in Business and in Life, in which Vicki gives tips (obvs!) and advice for anyone trying to be successful, whatever form that takes for you. I loved this post because Vicki has drawn on her own experiences to offer her tips, she's "been there done that".  

Read With Me

Post Comment Love 20th - 22nd May

Welcome back to another week of Post Comment Love, I hope you've had a brilliant week.

It's been another busy week, I didn't manage to do any blogging on Monday because I spent the morning at the hospital with the Hubby. We didn't get there on Friday so went Monday morning instead, and ended up being there all morning. The good news is that the Hubby's foot is just badly bruised and should get better on its own.

I feel like I've been rushed off my feet again, but of course I haven't. I think sometimes you just get like that don't you?

Other than lots of blogging I don't have much else to report so let's get on with the linking shall we?

Healthier Meals but no Weight Loss

After last week's slight loss I'd been feeling brighter again, it's always nice when that happens because you feel like you're not wasting your time. 

There's no more loss this week, but like I've been saying for weeks I'm being careful about the things I'm eating. I'm reducing my portion sizes (which means I'm hungry all the time!) and am cooking fresh meals more often. 

In the last few weeks I've been cooking things in a bag, and I think they're a lot healthier than having fried chicken or chips. I do cook the occasional treat though, usually in the form of pasta bake or spaghetti bolognese. 

The Hubby and I have started enjoying fresh salsa with Ciabatta bread for lunch too. It's super tasty and I can't believe that we're eating it most of the time. I think it's healthy, at least healthier than popping to our local KFC!

I'm really not sure what difference, if any, this kind of monitoring our food will make but I certainly feel better about the food I'm eating. And today I'm trying out my new slow cooker. I've seen so many people say they're brilliant so I took the plunge and bought one. Our dinner is cooking right now, beef and tomato casserole - I wonder how it will come out?

What to wear to a Summer Wedding


Long, sunny days, the smell of barbecue fills the air, and people can be seen walking outdoors. Everyone is smiling as they enjoy the fact that the sun has made a rare appearance, the flowers are out and the birds are chirping.

Then there's the Summer weddings, lots of them. People across the land are getting hitched and if you happen to be one of their friends you'll be invited to the 'do'.

If you're anything like me you'll instantly begin worrying about what to wear. It's Summer, that means dresses and there's light nights that may get chilly but a coat is out of the question. I've always struggled to plan for Summer weddings but this year I've got you sorted.

Spicy Chicken (Cooked in a Bag)

I've been experimenting with cooking things in a bag lately, whenever I cook chicken in a bag it always comes out lovely. It's soft, tender, and juicy, definitely my favourite way to cook chicken at the moment.

Our favourite meal right now is a spicy chicken concoction. The recipe is complete guess work and is all my own.

What You'll Need:

Roasting bag and tie
Baking tray
A large bowl.
Sea Salt
Ground Pepper
1 large red onion
400g cherry tomatoes
3 large potatoes (we love Maris Piper)
500g chicken (mini fillets work best)
Nandos Peri-Peri Spice Rub (Medium)

What I Read 47

Welcome to another week of What I Read, I have six more fantastic posts for you.

LP lost his first tooth on Wednesday and I promptly set a reminder on my phone so I wouldn't forget to play "tooth fairy" later that night. I have not always been this organised though and on many occasions have forgotten to do it for BP. That's why I loved Prabs' post 5 reasons why the tooth fairy never came. This entertaining and funny post had me nodding along and laughing as I read.

With a diagnosis of depression or anxiety comes not only the stigma attached but also the fact that people then treat you differently. Ruebi wrote a brilliant post, Diagnosis Ruebi, in which she discusses how people treat her and how frustrating it can be. A diagnosis does not define who you are, says Ruebi.

As a mum of two boys I often find I can relate to other mums with boys, they understand, they know the frustrations and annoyances. And as a mum of boys I recently connected with @mumswithsons. She shared one of her posts with me and I knew as soon as I read it that I wanted to share. Brothers... a cameraderie that cannot be broken was a lovely post about the relationship between siblings and how she wanted her boys to be close when they grew up. I think this not only relates to boys, but girls too. Do you have siblings? Are you close now? Check out the post and let @mumswithsons know what you think.

Giving birth can be a wonderful experience, when you meet your child for the very first time and know instantly that you will love them forever it is an amazing thing. But giving birth can also be a traumatic experience and leave you feeling upset and alone. A post that touched my heart was Jenny's entitled Trauma, Guilt, and Time: How I finally came to terms with my c-section. In this post Jenny tells the story of her baby's birth and how she struggled with many things afterwards. I was glued to this post and felt so sorry for Jenny when I'd finished reading. Giving birth takes so much from us and we need to learn to take time to look after ourselves afterwards.

Breast vs Bottle. A never-ending battle between the views of mothers and fathers around the world. Which is best? Are you a bad mum for not breast-feeding? I've always thought that this kind of disagreement between mums and dads the world over is ridiculous. You are a mum, a dad, who cares how you feed your child as long as they are being fed? Well it seems I am not alone in my opinion and I was happy to read Collette's post: Breast-feeding VS Bottle-feeding. The Debate... and why it really doesn't matter. I'm glad that some people think we should forget about this and just get on with raising our children.

When I was a teenager the last thing I wanted was to become a mum. I thought mums were uncool, stupid, and did nothing but sit on their bums all day. It turns out that the coolest thing you can do with your life is become a mum (or dad) and that mums certainly aren't stupid. In fact they're probably the smartest people you know. Not only did they go to school, university, and have a job, but now they corral toddlers or tackle teens into submission. They're a super-race. Okay, so I may be overdoing it a bit but really, mums are awesome aren't they? One of the many reasons I loved Sarah's post, Belonging to the Motherhood, is because she agrees with me. The whole post is brilliant and it makes me proud to belong.

Post Comment Love 13th - 15th May

Hello Linkers! How are you guys doing? Welcome back to another week of Post Comment Love with Stephanie and me.

Who's loving the weather?

And just so you know, if there are any complaints about the heat you'll be banned from Post Comment Love for life!!

Okay... not really - I wouldn't do that to you!

I am loving the weather, it's great to see the sun out and I really do enjoy going on the school run without a big, heavy coat.

The Difference 1lb Can Make

Okay so 1lb is really not much weight loss, but it's a start. 

I've been feeling rather down about the whole weight loss thing which of course meant over-eating. It's that vicious circle again. But...

This week I've lost some weight!! I couldn't be happier.

Like I said, it's a start and I'm feeling more positive about the whole thing. Over-eating and munching on lots of chocolate was stopping me from losing weight (shocking huh?) but this past week or so I've been trying to cut down. 

Eating healthier meals must be making a difference and I'm trying to cut down the amount of food I'm eating too. I know it's a slow process and losing 1lb doesn't mean I'll be 10st again by the end of the month (I wish!!) but it does mean I'm making progress. That's something.

10 Things I've Learned From Parenting

When you become a parent not only are you giving life to another human being but you're starting on a journey that will take you on some of the most exciting and terrifying rides you'll ever have.

I was 23 when I became a mum and I was scared, I had no experience of looking after a baby. The Hubby worked full-time so I was at home with the baby, alone, all day. I was the one he looked to for all his needs.

That little bundle of joy is now 11 years old, and he has a younger brother who is 7. For more than 11 years I've been a mum to boys, they've driven me mad, hugged me to death, and made me so proud. In that time I've learned a lot, it turns out that parenting has quite the learning curve, and it seems the learning never ends. Even with an 11 year old child, a boy on the brink of Teenage-dom, I still have learning to do, as I found out recently after checking his phone.

But there are some things that will always be true about parenting, and so with that in mind below you'll find 10 things that I've learned from parenting. I think these are things that will NEVER change.

Building Lego Tower Bridge 10214

Being a huge fan of Lego you can imagine my excitement when the Hubby bought me the fantastic Lego Tower Bridge set for Christmas.

I was excited to get started on this one, I couldn't wait to find out what building the set would be like.

Opening up the box was brilliant, but then I saw the bags of lego. Usually, in the lego sets, the bags are numbered to coincide with stages of the build but with the Tower Bridge that wasn't the case.

The bags weren't numbered and this meant we had to empty all of the bags at once.  I could see that this was going to be an epic build. The bricks covered the entire table and we ended up having to put them in a large plastic container so that we had somewhere to actually build the bridge.

The great thing about building the Tower Bridge is that there are obviously two towers which meant that the Hubby and I could build one tower each.

Helping your children cope with divorce

I was 14 years old when my parents divorced. 

When websites talk about helping your children cope with divorce they're usually talking about children aged 0-12. I am writing this post because if you are going through a divorce or separation you need to be thinking about your tweens and teens too. 

Your tweens/teens may tell you they're fine, they may not seem any different at first glance, but believe me they are hurting.

The break up of a family is traumatic for everyone involved.

The lead up to my parents divorce was clear for everyone to see. They argued constantly. I would hear them yelling at each other. I'd hear the names they would call one another and I felt the tension when everything went quiet. 

I remember them trying to hide it from my younger sisters but it got so bad at one point that my middle sister ended up crying in the corner of the room while covering her ears with her hands. It was a time I don't particularly like to remember.

And that is exactly why I am writing this.

Tweens and teens may be affected by your divorce more than you'd imagine. 

As the parent you think they can cope better than your younger children. 
You think they are old enough to understand the complexities of your relationship. 
You might even believe that they don't need your support.


I cannot express this more strongly.


Think about it. 

Are there some days when you just want to scream?
Are you unable to control your emotions?
Are you hurting?

If you answered yes to those questions, and you're an adult, how do you think a tween or teen is feeling?

Imagine your pain combined with the raging hormones of adolescence.

Tweens and teens do not have the capacity to understand the complexities of an adult relationship. They can't see why you're both unhappy, they can't see that it isn't working anymore, and they can't understand why you can't just work it out.

When my father left the family home I became his replacement. My biological mum turned to me for support. She asked me to take care of my sisters while she went out at night drinking. She screamed and shouted about my father. She called him names, she told me he was an awful dad, she tried to turn me against him. 

My father lived more than 90 miles away and I didn't get to see him for months on end. 

When people asked me how I felt about what was going on I put up a facade and pretended that I didn't care. I spouted the usual nonsense about having two Christmases and getting more presents on birthdays. 

Truth be told I was deeply hurt.

I felt like not only had I lost my dad but I had lost my family and myself.

I had to grow up fast. My mum would come home after a night of drinking and I'd have to take care of her when she ended up in the bathroom all night. I had to be the strong one. I had to prove to everyone that I could do it.

I was 14.

No one talked to me about how I felt.
No one offered to help.
No one could see my pain.

At 14 my grades started to dip.
At 14 I started to skip school.
At 14 I got involved with the wrong crowd.
At 14 I started drinking alcohol.
At 14 I lost myself.

My mum wasn't interested in talking to me about it. My father lived miles away. I was alone.

My life took a turn after my parents divorce and it took many years for me to truly recover.

If my mum had talked to me openly about the divorce things may have been different.
If my mum had told me she still loved me I may not have needed validation from others.
If my mum had BEEN THERE, I may not have turned to alcohol.

To be honest I don't know what may have been, but what I do know is that I wasn't given the chance to find out. 

Below I'm listing a few tips on how to help your children (tweens and teens) cope with your divorce. The tips come from me, they're what I wish I'd had when my parents were going through their divorce. 

If I can stop one child going through what I did then I'll be happy.

Listen to your children

Answer any questions your children may have and be honest. Allow them to discuss their pain, their disappointment, or even their anger. Be there, with a listening ear, whenever they need it.

Tell your kids you love them

This is SUPER important. 

Your children need to be reassured. They need to know you still love them even though your family is not together anymore. They need to see that you haven't changed how you think of them. They need to KNOW that you will love them no matter what. 

That might sound like a silly thing to say but many adults, when going through divorce, tend to forget this very simple thing. They become swept up in their own pain and suffering that they forget the children are suffering too.

Reassure your children.

Talk honestly and openly about your divorce

Tweens and teens feel like they understand what is happening so you need to be honest. Don't patronise them, don't try to make them think "it's all going to be okay" - they won't listen. Be honest about your feelings... but don't use them as a crutch. 

Don't unload all of your deepest darkest secrets onto your children, seek other adults for that.

Keep routines and boundaries

After a divorce things are thrown into turmoil and it's easy to forget about routines and to let your rules slide a little. Whatever you do DO NOT let this happen. Your tween/teen is already experiencing changes that are difficult to cope with and if you allow them to push boundaries they will keep pushing. Your children need to know that you have not changed. You need to let them know what you will and won't stand for. 

Protect your children from adult worries

Do not add to the stress of divorce by discussing money worries or partner issues with your children. Talk to family, friends or other adults.

Don't argue with/talk about your ex-husband/wife in front of your children

Your children love BOTH OF YOU. You may have fallen out of love with your husband/wife but they are still the child's father/mother. You need to try and hide your hostile feelings for your partner from your children.

If you feel the need to vent do it out of earshot of your children.

Lastly, do not forget about yourself.

Don't bottle up your own feelings. 
Don't drown your sorrows in alcohol. 


Talk to friends.
Talk to family.
Talk to whoever will listen, as long as they're an adult. 

If you can cope you'll be able to help your children cope with your divorce.

What I Read April Roundup

I can't believe I'm writing the What I Read April Roundup already, these months are flying by! We celebrated LP's 7th birthday this month and before I know it BP will be turning 12, 12!! That means he's only 1 year away from being a teenager. Do you think it's too late to turn back the clock?


I read some fantastic posts during April, some made me laugh, some made me cry and some inspired. In What I Read 44 I enjoyed a great poem by Leigh entitled Confusion, @Squirmypopple shared a post about what it means to be a mother, and I was envious when I read Lake Como's gorgeous Villa Balbianello over on Seize the Day Project.