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.


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?

If you're interested in being featured in our Newbie Showcase, and your blog is under 1 year old, please do get in touch. You could be featured in the next few weeks!!


Newbie Showcase Rebecca from Taylor Made Ramblings



New to the world of blogging Rebecca is loving the journey so far. Rebecca blogs about all kinds of topics including life, parenting, fitness, and more. Find out more about Rebecca over on Stephanie's blog.

You can find Rebecca on:

Twitter
Instagram
Facebook


Pocolo

Each week you'll be able to link up from either of our sites and between us Stephanie and I will comment on every post linked. 

Please do pop over and say hi to this week's Newbie, you remember what it was like being a new blogger right? 
It's always nice to get a comment or two. 

If you'd like to be featured in our Newbie Showcase please do email us at PostCommentLove@gmail.com.

Thank you for popping by.


Post Comment Love
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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. 


How common are children's cancers?


Around 1,600 children (under 15) are diagnosed with cancer every year, compared to 320,500 diagnoses overall in the UK. Children's cancer is rare. 

More than 8 out of 10 children diagnosed with cancer will live for more than 5 years, most of the children will be cured.



Types of children's cancers


The list of Cancers that affect young children is long and looking through it really makes you think. 

Acute leukaemias, (1 in 3 children with cancer are diagnosed with this)
Cancers of the brain and spinal cord, (1 in 4 children with cancer are diagnosed)

There are rarer types of children's cancers, and these include:

Retinoblastoma (a type of eye cancer)
Neuroblastoma (cancer of nerve cells)
Wilm’s tumours (a type of kidney cancer)
Osteosarcomarhabdomyosarcoma, and Ewings sarcoma (muscle or bone cancers)
Lymphoma (cancer that starts in the lymphatic system)



Treatments


Although children often develop different types of cancer to adults they receive the same types of treatments.

These treatments can have debilitating side-effects on children that can last into adult life. Cancer Research UK Kids & Teens are working tirelessly to find kinder treatments.



To raise awareness and to try and raise funds Cancer Research UK Kids & Teens have teamed up with My Doodles for their current campaign.



My Doodles


My Doodles create characters and accessories to brighten your day. They're "all about making every day things more exciting". 

my-doodles-cancer-research-uk-unicorn-dragon


In order to help raise funds My Doodles have created two special characters for the Cancer Research UK Kids & Teens campaign; a dragon and a unicorn. These characters are available across a number of products including headphones, tablet cases and watches.

There are also new products designed by Bella, a young girl diagnosed with lymphoblastic leukaemia. Bella was asked to come up with some designs and My Doodles were so impressed that they decided to use them.

bellas-design-my-doodles-cancer-research-uk

Bella's finished design in the My Doodles products:

bellas-design-my-doodles-cancer-research-uk



The My Doodles team have been getting active to support Cancer Research UK Kids & Teens too. Here are a few photos from their fundraising challenges. They recently did the Three Peaks challenge and managed to raise £1500!

my-doodles-team-fundraising-cancer-research-uk


50p from all purchases will go directly to Cancer Research UK Kids & Teens.

Let's help tackle children's cancer and spread the word about the My Doodles collaboration with Cancer Research UK Kids & Teens.

You can also donate here.

Diary of an imperfect mum

Post Comment Love

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.


thomas-sabo-necklace-and-charms


My jewellery means something special to me, but did you know that jewellery can hold a different meaning around the world, that there's a whole side to jewellery you had no idea about?

The infographic below has been put together by House of Fraser, it's a really interesting read.










I enjoy learning about different customs around the world and I think it's really interesting to learn about the cultural differences. I love that the way we wear our wedding rings is because of Egyptians' beliefs - how awesome is that!?

Do you have a special piece of jewellery and if so what does it mean to you?

Collaborative Post

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. 

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?

Newbie Showcase Sophie from Mama Mei



I'm Sophie Mei Lan, a multi-platform journalist & a multi-tasking mum-of-two who loves to bellydance!

I started my MamaMei.co.uk blog as a way of combining all of my loves - my kids, my family, my work & my life. It's also been a positive way of expressing myself amongst my mad life through blogs and vlogs. I'm enjoying exploring mental health, parenting, juggling business/life, learning & fitness. 



Mama Mei blog is my place to say what I think and feel and, interact with loads of other like-minded bloggers.

My 5 favourite posts are:
Attachment parenting: I never thought I’d parent this way | Mama Mei

My Autistic Brother: Oscar steps up to the challenge | Mama Mei

Being brought up mixed race: I feel mixed up | Mama Mei

Eating Disorders: A letter to the bully inside me | Mama Mei

There’s one born every minute – but can giving birth be enjoyable? | Mama Mei

You can find Sophie here:


Pocolo


Each week you'll be able to link up from either of our sites and between us Stephanie and I will comment on every post linked. The rules are still the same; your post needs to have been written in the last week and we'd like you to comment on at least two other linked posts, help us spread the #PoCoLo word on Twitter and include the badge on your post.

Please do pop over and say hi to this week's Newbie, you remember what it was like being a new blogger right? It's always nice to get a comment or two.



Stephanie is going to be pedalling along the banks of the Loire in June so if you'd like to guest co-host with me on Friday 10th June please do get in touch

If your blog is under a year old and you'd like to feature in our Newbie Showcase please do contact us - we'd love to have you!

Thank you for popping by.


Post Comment Love
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What to wear to a Summer Wedding

Summer.

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)

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.

We've had a few 'events' at home this week, first of all LP lost his first tooth! He's been talking about his wobbly tooth for months and yesterday it finally came out. He looks so weird with a gap though and I have to admit to feeling a bit weepy at the thought of him growing up.

Today I'm going to be taking the Hubby to the hospital. We visited Beeston Castle in Chester last weekend and after messing about climbing the Hubby fell over and bashed his foot. He's been hobbling around the house all week and I've had enough so I'm taking him to have it checked. I'm hoping it's just a bump and he doesn't have to have a cast or something. That could be annoying!

My boys having a rest at Beeston Castle


BP is growing up. Okay so I know this is happening anyway but yesterday he came to me before he went to school and asked me to style his hair. He's always had the same style since he was a baby, his hair just kind of sits there on the top of his head. But now he wants it styled, he's even said he might want to grow it on top so that it's kind of 'floppy'. I think I'm going to have to have a look on Pinterest to see if I can find some styles he might like. This is just another sign that my oldest boy is growing up, becoming a young man.

Ah parenting, you have to deal with so many things at once don't you?

I hope you have had a wonderful week. Tell me, what did you do to enjoy the weather?



Newbie Showcase Polly from Right Royal Mother




Polly started writing Right Royal Mother at the start of this year and she's already been nominated for 10 awards! Find out more about Polly, and what those awards are over on Stephanie's blog.

You can connect with Polly here:




Pocolo


Each week you'll be able to link up from either of our sites and between us Stephanie and I will comment on every post linked. The rules are still the same; your post needs to have been written in the last week and we'd like you to comment on at least two other linked posts, help us spread the #PoCoLo word on Twitter and include the badge on your post.

The Newbie Showcase is continuing and you'll find it alternating between us. Over the last few months we've had the odd issue with finding replacements for our Newbie Showcase when people have dropped out. As a result Stephanie and I have decided to change the rules slightly. 

Now when you get in touch we'll ask you for your information before we give you a date when you'll be featured. Once we have your information we add you to our list and tell you when you'll be featured as our Newbie. 

So far this is working much better than before and Stephanie's and my stress levels are significantly lower!

Please do pop over and say hi to this week's Newbie, you remember what it was like being a new blogger right? It's always nice to get a comment or two. 

If you'd like to be featured in our Newbie Showcase please do email us at PostCommentLove@gmail.com

Thank you for popping by. 


Post Comment Love
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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.


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.



The first part of the build was the bridge itself, it took no time at all to get it put together and the bridge actually lifts up!

lego-tower-bridge-10214 just the bridge


After putting the built bridge to one side you can get on with building the towers. As there are two towers that are exactly the same you should build them both at the same time. See, the Hubby comes in handy sometimes!


The base of the tower is sturdy, it has to be, it's going to be holding a lot of weight.

When the base is finished you can start building the towers themselves.


This is where you get to enjoy the building. Lego used so many tiny pieces for the Tower Bridge kit and you make slow progress but when a part is finished it looks brilliant. I said in my post about Lego Taj Mahal that they have great attention to detail and that's no different for Tower Bridge.

The columns at each corner of the tower are added separately, each one it's own work of art.


Almost every section of the build uses the tiny pieces and it all goes together elegantly.

It took a long time to build the Towers because they use all the smallest pieces. I loved building it though and the little details made it worth the effort.

One of the most satisfying moments during the build (apart from finishing) was when we connected the functioning bridge to the towers. It really began to look like the Tower Bridge.


There was still plenty of building to do after the bridge was connected and we got straight on with it. Next came the decoration that connects the towers at the top.


But we still weren't finished, the Towers still needed their roof.


Once the roof was on I thought that maybe we were finished but no, Lego had a genius idea. The Towers needed cars too!!

I love the black cab and the red bus!!

After adding the rest of the road to the side of the towers we were finished and our Lego Tower Bridge has pride of place in our lounge at the moment.



Here's a little video for you too...



My Kid Doesn't Poop Rainbows

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.

YOU ARE WRONG.


I cannot express this more strongly.

STOP RIGHT NOW.

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. 

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.