Friday, 28 August 2015

When You Wish Upon a Star

disney on ice manchester frozen
Disney on Ice in Manchester

Starting my little blog has given me so many amazing opportunities which I am very grateful for.

Now I am a fully-fledged parent blogger, I get to take my little guy to some amazing blogger events, plus, my two other favourite little people; Alice and the Monkey too.

To celebrate the first time Frozen has been included in the Manchester Disney on Ice tour we enjoyed a magical ‘Build a Snowman’ tea party in the Library of Great John Street Hotel and got to build snowmen on the terrace.

Our snowman looked very grumpy, he probably knew what was coming; total annihilation by a three year old boy. 

It was such a great afternoon with an amazing array of sandwiches and fancies, but the most magical part of the day for me was watching Arturo’s face as he touched snow for the very first time.

I'd like to add here just how amazing Great John Street Hotel is; all dark little rooms full of mystery and magic. The roof terrace was wonderful and I can just see myself lounging up there with a cocktail in hand (I also spied a hot tub). I really hope the hubby will treat me to a romantic night away there or failing that, drinks with the girls is going to happen!

I'm so excited for the show!!!

disney on ice manchester frozen

disney on ice manchester frozen
disney on ice manchester frozen


disney on ice manchester frozen

disney on ice manchester frozen


You can read all my BABY updates HERE
You can read all my PREGNANCY updates HERE
You can read all my BEAUTY updates HERE
You can read all my HEALTHY updates HERE

On Instagram - find me HERE Or Facebook or Twitter

Friday, 21 August 2015

Bone Broth Beauty Experiment

bone broth, marrow bone, boiling bone, bone stock


Welcome to my bone broth beauty experiment!

Inspired by the Hemsley sisters I have been busy boiling bones to produce my very own bone broth in the name of health and beauty. I’ve used a variety of bones to make the bone broth, but marrow bones seem to be the nicest tasting to me anyway. 

I was so excited to pop down to Selfridges in the Trafford centre the other day to see the Hemsley Sisters performing a demo of their spiralizer and talk about their book The Art of Eating Well. I am really excited to have these new health gurus in my life, and it just feels right to me to avoid trendy fads like expensive superfoods and go back to the classics – grandmas have been boiling bones for for decades and the art of nose to tail eating is ancient.


I must admit that I’m a carnivore but not really a big fan of meat on the bone so this experiment wasn’t that easy for me.


Watch the experiment HERE




You can read all my BABY updates HERE
You can read all my PREGNANCY updates HERE
You can read all my BEAUTY updates HERE
You can read all my HEALTHY updates HERE

On Instagram - find me HERE Or Facebook or Twitter

Monday, 17 August 2015

Irresistible Me Hair Extensions

messy bun using hair extensions fishtail plait

I review Irresistible Me Hair Extensions

I am really loving all the Elsa inspired braided hairstyles at the moment but I have a problem – I’m not that good at braiding my own hair.

Also, I find that braids use up a lot of hair, and mine has thinned quite significantly since having a baby. Damn hormones.

I was tremendously excited to have the opportunity to try out Irresistible Me hair extensions from the US. After watching a video on the colours, I chose the Royal Remy real hair clip-in at 22" in light brown and chose the top weight; I wanted my extensions to be long and luscious.

messy bun using hair extensions fishtail plait

messy bun using hair extensions fishtail plait

messy bun using hair extensions fishtail plait

Choosing Colour

I have highlights on the bottom of my hair and therefore nearly ordered the light brown with blonde highlights, however, I found out in time that the two colours you chose are put together in a 50%-50% proportion in alternating stripes. So, we're not talking about a base colour and a highlight colour - the two colours will have almost equal proportions in the set and each of the wefts.

If you are planning on dying your extensions yourself to match your hair colour, then choose a lighter shade as it is much easier and kinder on the hair to darken light hair than to lighten dark hair.

Choosing Length

I found this picture very helpful:

messy bun using hair extensions fishtail plait

My extensions arrived quickly nicely packaged in a black box. There was a smaller compartment containing a sample of the hair to try out first before opening the rest of the hair (as it is then non-returnable). If you don’t like the colour match of the sample then you can return/exchange them for free, which I think is brilliant.

The colour match for me was fantastic so I didn’t need to add more highlights.

I received 10 pieces of hair: one massive 7.5" wide 4 clip double weft, two 3 clip 6" wide pieces, five 2 clip 4" wide pieces, and two 1.2" wide.

You get a LOT of hair!

The quality is fantastic, and I am very impressed with the texture and weight of the hair.

Wearing the extensions down made me feel like a Princess! I’ve never had hair so long!

messy bun using hair extensions fishtail plait


I found braiding the extensions before I clipped them in was so much easier, and I created this messy fishtail braid:

I used the extensions to add more volume to a messy bun and I think the fishtail headband looks really cute.

I’ll be experimenting with more complicated braids and sharing them with you.

messy bun using hair extensions fishtail plait
messy bun using hair extensions fishtail plait
messy bun using hair extensions fishtail plait


You can read all my BABY updates HERE
You can read all my PREGNANCY updates HERE
You can read all my BEAUTY updates HERE
You can read all my HEALTHY updates HERE

On Instagram - find me HERE Or Facebook or Twitter

Friday, 14 August 2015

Walls



I took a deep breath and turned the key in the door.

The sound of the vestibule door dragging along the carpet was so familiar to me.

For the first time in forever the customary greeting didn’t come out of my mouth:

“Hiyaaaa Grandma”

The silence was deafening.

A baby squirmed on my hip. I kissed his fat cheek and the weight in my heart lifted. I set him down on the carpet and watched him roll about for a while, wondering how often I’d wriggled and rolled in that exact spot 30 years ago.

I looked at the wall and saw my own baby-faced portrait staring back, the same age as Arturo. Then one of my sister, then one of us both, flanked by our graduation photos.

I felt the empty plastic bag in my right hand weighing heavy.

This was the worst job.

20 minutes previous I had been in a great mood. Arturo had had a lovely afternoon with his Grandad; Dad had even treated us to lunch.  

As we were leaving Dad paused at the door;

“If you’re going past your Grandma’s would you mind taking the photos down”.

He handed me a bright green bag for life.

“Course not”.

I did mind.

I wanted to scream and shout, that I didn’t want to take pictures down, I didn’t want to take knackered furniture to the tip, I didn’t want to paint the walls magnolia, I didn’t want to remove every last trace of a lifetime lived in that home and sell the thing to strangers who had no idea how much happiness and love was contained in the bricks, mortar and very foundations of the place.

My childhood.

My memories.

But I knew why he had asked me.

No matter how much it tore my heart in bits to make that first step, I could do it for Dad because it was his Mum and Dads home.

His memories.

His childhood.

It was even worse for him.

I began my task.

The family photos filled the bag quickly and I headed into the kitchen to find more carriers.

A Canadian butterfly bit the dust next.

The next ones were tough. Two Masai warriors, one male and one female, stared stonily back as if challenging me to take them down. All I knew was that my father had painted them a long time ago and they had hung on the wall in that exact spot my entire life. I removed the women and turned her gently over in my hands ‘1964’.

50 years old.

Arturo babbled and rolled and I smiled. Thank God he was with me; I couldn’t do it alone.

I had two bulging bags of memories but I wasn’t done yet.

I headed into the kitchen and my eyes burned.

I had saved the worst for last.

Next to the fridge, blue-tacked to the wall, were two time-faded certificates I had made with our very first PC and a programme called Print Artist in 1997.

The first was a very pink and flowery ‘Certificate of Appreciation’ to the ‘World’s Best Grandma’.

The second was a slightly more masculine cream coloured one, awarded to Grandad for being (on his strict instruction) the ‘Best Kitchen Floor Mopper in the North of England’.

I peeled them off and sobbed.

One thing was left.

I didn’t want to take it down.

Oh, God, I wanted to keep it there forever.

A postcard.

Zippy, Bungle and George, from the kids TV programme Rainbow waving their furry arms in a great big HELLO.

In 1989, five year old me acquired a Rainbow magazine from the newsagent and the little waving postcard came as a sweet freebie.

I loved that postcard, it was my absolute prized possession and I was thrilled to bits with it. I can’t remember much about being five but I can clearly remember how much I loved that postcard.

My Grandparents were going away on holiday and being five, two weeks seemed like a lifetime to me. I was so upset they were leaving me. We had a last dinner together then Mum and Dad came to collect us.

As we said goodbye and started to get in the car to leave, I dashed back in the house, chin wobbling trying not to cry, and thrust the postcard into my Grandma’s hands without saying a word, before dashing back out again.

The fact that I loved my Grandma so much that I gave her my most treasured possession really touched her so she kept the postcard on the wall ever since and recounted the story often.

Now it was time to take down the only solid real thing I could grasp that showed how much we loved one another.

And it broke my battered heart.

Nothing lasts forever. Nothing.

I had been saying that a lot to myself recently.

I gingerly took down Bungle and friends, their furry arms raised high, and placed them with the others; a lifetime of memories.

My chin wobbled as it did all those years ago as I realised something.

Zippy, Bungle and George weren’t waving hello at all.

They were waving goodbye.


Inedible Italia



Arturo is at that age where it’s pretty awkward taking him out for a meal; you know, wriggly and shrieky.

We had a tiny bit of money left over from shopping so decided to go out for a family meal to Frankie and Benny’s in Ashton because A) it’s cheap with a Vouchercloud discount, B) it’s baby friendly and Arturo would not be the loudest child by far, and C) the food is real nice.

We didn’t go Frankie and Bennies and that was our big mistake.

Bella Italia had opened a new restaurant and it looked so shiny and new that I forgot the food is never that great when I’ve been before.

It started well with Peroni Red (my favourite lager ever) and the garlic bread was very nice.
However, my Pollo Limone Siciliana was inedible.

The whole dish was just insipid looking and tasteless. There was a massive pasta-sauce imbalance so the first mouthful was dry pasta which was actually a blessing in disguise because the sauce was dish-water disgusting.

How hard is it to make a creamy lemon sauce? It’s cream and lemon. I do it all the time for a quick tea.

The chicken breast was low quality and dry; I’m guessing it’s straight out of a packet and mass-produced processed crap (because it certainly tasted like that).

I was promised tarragon but instead got a sprinkling of parsley!

The final nail in the coffin was two soggy water-logged slices of courgette. Would it be too much trouble to griddle the veg first in olive oil?

The staff were great in all honesty and the manager offered me another meal but by then my Hubby would have finished eating and I just didn’t trust the chefs by this point.

Pete ate a baked bolognaise thing and he said it was alright but he wasn’t really impressed.

The bill came to £27 even with my meal removed.

Paying for food when you have a rumbling tummy from hunger is pretty annoying.

It wasn’t all bad; I ended up going Five Guys next door which was a real experience!


Sorry Bella Italia we won’t be back.


You can read all my BABY updates HERE
You can read all my PREGNANCY updates HERE
You can read all my BEAUTY updates HERE
You can read all my HEALTHY updates HERE

On Instagram - find me HERE Or Facebook or Twitter

Monday, 10 August 2015

Sing the Song of the Sea | Staithes

staithes salty dog blog

Haul away, Haul away
Sing the song of the sea
Hoist the sail, I’ll tell you a tale
of Salty Dog and Me

Old Jack’s Boat is a firm favourite in our house so when I discovered that the old fishing Port where it is filmed is called Staithes and is located on the North East coast of Yorkshire I got a little bit excited.

Only 3 hours from Manchester.

It was midweek before the school holidays so we took the long way round allowing us to take in a few villages along the way such as the charming Osmotherley just at the edge of the National Park.

The sun was beating down as we arrived in Staithes and I was beyond excited. From the car park down into the village proper there is a very, very steep hill, lined with beautiful gardens, so we took it nice and slowly, periodically pausing to take in the views.

Seagull’s flying up in the blue
There’s always a cuppa tea waiting for you

The cobbled streets twist and turn around the charming cottages, each with a more fabulous front door than the next. Tiny alleyways form a rabbit-warren of nooks and crannies to explore, which is easier said than done with a pram, so we stayed on the beaten track this time.

Oh, Staithes was stunning.

staithes salty dog blog
staithes salty dog blog
staithes salty dog blog
staithes salty dog blog
staithes salty dog blog


In addition to the beautiful village the scenery just got better and better as high over the cottages tower rugged cliffs. The harbour didn’t disappoint either.

I was on a mission to find Old Jack’s House, the one on the hill with the dark blue door.  We found the hill but it was another steep one so Pete stayed with the pram whilst I trudged up with the big camera. I was so excited when I instantly recognised Jack’s place. The front door was open so I assumed it was a kind of open house museum thing and a started up the front steps to read a sign pinned on the wall. It read “Please take photos but do not climb the steps or sit on the bench”. Just then, an enormous black dog appeared on the porch and barked so loud in my face I almost fell over backwards trying to scuttle away. I thought I was having a heart attack! I’m not a fan of dogs. So we discovered Old Jack’s House isn’t open to the public and sweet little Salty Dog definitely doesn’t live there either.

I was so frightened that I forgot to carry on up the hill to get the classic shot of Staithes down into the key, which I really wanted to get. Never mind.

staithes salty dog blog
staithes salty dog blog
staithes salty dog blog
staithes salty dog blog


We ate in the Cod and Lobster before heading, very slowly, back up the hill to the car.

I was sad to leave.

Staithes is small but perfectly formed and I think that it would make a perfect get-away for a few nights for recharging those batteries.

I’d like to try out the North Lea cottage but there are plenty to choose from here.


staithes salty dog blog
staithes salty dog blog
staithes salty dog blog
staithes salty dog blog
staithes salty dog blog
staithes salty dog blog


On the way home we stopped off at Whitby which was also lovely in a very different way, but a cloud was cast over the whole day when we got in trouble with the council (read about that here).


We had a wonderful time in Staithes and I am longing to return…..


You can read all my BABY updates HERE
You can read all my PREGNANCY updates HERE
You can read all my BEAUTY updates HERE
You can read all my HEALTHY updates HERE

On Instagram - find me HERE Or Facebook or Twitter


Mummascribbles
Red Rose Mummy

Friday, 7 August 2015

Mint from My Garden

My mint is growing like wildfire this year so I do not  feel guilty picking tons of the stuff.

I added some to the handfuls of freshly picked wildflowers from my garden to add greenery and a gorgeous smell to the house.