Let’s go Fly a Kite…

So we had a spontaneous trip out to the local “Great Park” over the weekend. We had bought Darcey a kite last year. Just a beginners one. It’s a butterfly with a super long tail. She loves it. We stepped out of the car and almost was taken down by the wind! It was so strong! Walked a bit from the car park to the top of the hill and got the kite ready to fly. It’s a great feeling being outside with the girls. They love being outdoors and doing cool stuff like this. I recently downloaded the Geocache App and we’ve been out looking around for them in the town we live in. We’ve found one out of five so far. We’re not the best at looking for them. Darcey always needs the toilet at random times and Marnie moans when we’re standing around in one place for a length of time.

Anyway, back to the kite flying. We spent about 45 minutes flying a kite in the cold windy spring we’re having here at the moment. Marnie grew tired of looking at a kite flying, so we went to look for trains floating across the countryside landscape. “TRAIN TRAIN MAMA”. It’s there somewhere. πŸ€·πŸ½β€β™€οΈ

Darcey just runs around with the handle in her hand in the hope to flick it up and it’ll fly. “Darcey you won’t need to run around. It’s so windy, it’ll just pick it up” – she carries on running. Cue ‘slap on the face’ emoji.

That’s her, running.

“Mummy. I’m really cold, can we go to the park now?”

“Yeah, I think daddy is going to buy you a hot chocolate on the way”

“I want an ice cream”

Yeah that’ll help with being cold.

*rolls eyes*

What is it with children and eating/drink random things. I caught Marnie dipping her fish fingers in her water the other day. I would love to see the look on people’s faces if adults were to eat like children. Especially two year olds! πŸ˜‚

Darcey was grumpy, so couldn’t smile for any photo. Marnie just wanted to be picked up and was moaning. Standard procedure. Then there’s me. Pretending to be a mum with no dramas. πŸ€”

Moo turns 2!

Yesterday was Marnie’s 2nd birthday. She woke up in my bed with Darcey singing ‘Happy Birthday’. Darcey was welcomed with the response “NO!” And a slap. πŸ™„. Great start to the day.

She opened her presents from the three of us and we got ready for the school run. After taking Darcey to school, we headed out for some party supplies. I’d already been to Costco’s for a couple of pizzas the day before, so yesterday was cups, plates and banners. A few other things were purchased too. New hula hoops and a couple of teddies for both girls.

To make it clear. I’m not “one of those parents” who give the non-birthday child a gift on the birthday child’s actual birthday. The things I got Darcey are hidden and I will give them to her on another day.

So, anyway. I prepped the party food during the day. The party was starting after Darcey had finished school. Everyone came over and filled the house pretty quickly, but I love the madness! We played some games, filled up all the children with sweets, cake and pizza and sent them on their way. Marnie did well for presents. Clothes, toys, soft animals and puzzles! She loved opening them all (with the help of the older children).

I got to the end of the day and thought “How on earth is she 2 already?!” It feels like I’ve blinked and she turning into a little girl. She’s just not a baby anymore. She’s talking up to five word sentences and just becoming more bearable to be around, which is always a nice feeling. Roll on Darcey’s birthday in October.

Also, I’ve come to the realisation that I’m turning into a ‘Pinterest Mum’ and do you know what? I’m fine with that.

It’s my birthday… well yesterday it was

So the 28th March is my birthday. This year I turned 33… I think! Matt was working an early shift, but because he is thoughtful, he had pre-made my breakfast, all I had to do was turn the oven on and 10 minutes later, I had pancakes with Nutella, berries and a cupcake! Delicious.

The girls (mainly Darcey) were excited to give me my presents and I had Matt on FaceTime to watch me open them. I got Friends Top Trumps. Monopoly – Cheaters Edition and Matt has glass fitted in a frame that we used for our wedding and put a ton of photos of the four of us inside it. Best. Present. Ever. And I also got the ‘Star is born’ soundtrack. I’ve not seen the film yet, but I just adore the song ‘shallow’ so I already know that I’m going to love the film and Lady Gaga is my all time favourite singer! Also, little known fact we share the same birthday and born the same year! So that’s that.

I went to the Waffle House in St Albans for lunch and TGI’s for dinner with the girls and Matt. Dinner was soooo good! Jack Daniels gaze chicken and fries. Cheeseburger tacos and mozzarella sticks. Dreamy. Oh and brownie and ice cream for pudding. If you’re not salivating now, what’s wrong with you?!

I’m off out with Ali tonight for dinner. Not sure what the plans are, but I know we’ll end up laughing at something.

Matt made the best Red Velvet cake for my birthday. Darcey did the most important bit. The candles. She was so proud to show off her handy work.

New ventures…

So I’m one of those people that have great ideas, but never really fully achieve them. Or strive to achieve them. I think that’s mainly to lack of funds to start anything up. But I want to make a good life for us and the girls. I want them to have things that I never had. I want to give them opportunities that I never got the chance to do. I grew up in a single parent family. Me, my mother and my brother. She worked in a fast food place during the night so we didn’t really see her during the daylight hours. We’d either be at school or she would be sleeping. This probably didn’t happen all the time, but you know when memories just “stick”. Those are the memories that I just remember. We were on Free School Meals. So had our hot dinner at lunch time and didn’t really eat when we were home. Mum never had enough money to buy a fridge full of food. So you can see why I want more for Darcey and Marnie. So this new venture at the moment is still for Bear&Moo, but it’s more than a blog now. I’m making Mickey Mouse magnets. Apparently it’s a thing you buy when you go a Disney Cruise. I had no idea these existed! I would love to take the girls on the Disney Cruise. It’s the top thing on my “if I won the lottery” list. Here’s a preview of what I’m talking about…

These took me about five hours to make. I still need to do the finishing touches on the back. But I’m super happy with the way they turned out. I can’t wait to order more templates and get all other characters done. I’m starting small but by the end. I’m thinking big things! Watch this space…

Money Saving Hacks…

So after being a mum for over five years. I’ve managed to do things on the cheap side. Here’s a few I’ve done so far.

  1. Going out for dinner with a toddler. Don’t pay for their own food. They hardly eat anything anyway. With Marnie I buy something for me and feed her off my plate. Going out for dinner is expensive anyway and restaurants expect a two year old to eat the same as a five year old. It doesn’t always work like that. Not saying all toddlers are the same as Marnie, who is a grazer. But this is a good money saving hack. And if we can. We take a picnic out with us.
  2. Save money on nappies. Try using shops own brands. Tesco have 52 nappies for Β£2.99! Pampers are more than twice the price. This money saver depends on your child’s need for wee and depends on your preference I guess. But Tesco own brand is great for us and mega cheap. We did use re-useable nappies for the first year of Marnie’s life, which I highly recommend! You spend a lot to get the nappies started and getting the liners and detergent, but that’s it. It’s definitely worth doing if you’re short on cash or care about land fill sites! I just couldn’t use them when Marnie got so big. You know….. Big poopsπŸ’©
  3. Try shops own brand food. Fresh fruit and veg is so expensive. Especially if your children are like mine and will eat fruit all day everyday if I let them! Tinned fruit is just as good, just find the ones in their own juice not the syrup.
  4. Our four weekly food planner is a lifesaver sometimes. I found meal ideas on ‘Pinterest’ and in ‘Ella’s Kitchen’ cookbooks. It’s all healthy and easy to do. Don’t get me wrong. We don’t always eat healthy, but I do try and have the girls eat veg in most of their dinners. And it’s good for when you’re shopping you won’t impulse buy. You’ll only buy what you need. Unfortunately we’re not lucky enough to have the ability to ‘Extreme Coupon’ buy here in the U.K., but I would be SO one of those mums!
  5. I’m not afraid to say that I buy some of the girls clothes and shoes secondhand. I use ‘eBay’ and ‘Vinted’ to buy really nice secondhand stuff for both girls. Mainly Darcey because Marnie gets all of Darcey’s Hand-Me-Downs. What I do buy is always in great condition and they are just happy to have something new.
    I buy Birthday presents/Christmas presents throughout the year. So when it comes to the big day. I’m not struggling financially. And I don’t “over buy”. I try and get what Darcey asks for. At the moment she’s just happy to have a few things. Marnie is just happy with an empty box! Why does a two year old need loads of stuff?! I don’t understand parents that just buy Β£100’s of stuff for them. I have a budget for each occasion and stick to it. Children don’t need all the stuff! I also make the girls birthday cakes too. I’m not paying someone else to do it when I know I can do just as well. Now I know some parents won’t even attempt to bake. But it’s not hard. Give it a go. You might surprise yourself! Cake below is from 2017.

Once I think of others along the way. I’ll note them down. I guess what I’m saying is love within your means. If you can afford all the nice, expensive stuff. Good for you! I guess if I was still working full time, I would probably spend more. Fact is, I’m not and I had to make major changes. Maybe when I can get a full time job, once Marnie has started full time school. I’ll be able to work more hours, but for now our situation works for us and we still do nice things with the girls and make memories that I didn’t really have as a child. So already the girls have a better childhood than what I did and that’s I wanted to do for them.

Half term is over…!

This week has been full of fun stuff! We kicked the week off with trip to the park in the next town, as their children didn’t have a half term this week we knew it would be quiet. So we made the most of it. Also popped into The Range to get some bits to craft during the week.

Tuesday saw us go to MK Gymnastics Centre for the playgym they run every week. Both girls loved it. Marnie just walked around everywhere saying “what’s that?”…. This stage is fun… said no mother ever! πŸ™„

Wednesday, we ventured out to a lake about a ten minute drive from our house. Darcey and Matt rode their bikes round and I walked/jogged round with them. Marnie was in a seat on the back of Matt’s bike. It was such a lovely day. The sun was shining and temperature was OK. Once we got all the way round we had Ice Creams and Hot Chocolates. Not in that order.

Thursday we packed up some snacks and headed over to the local Safari Park to see the animals! Once you drive in. There’s a bit where you can drive round and be super close to the animals. We had arrived just as it was opening. So all the animals were getting up and really active! Especially the monkeys! The baby ones jumped on our car and were playing together. It was so funny to watch! One monkey also thought it was appropriate to play with his bits on my bonnet. In front of us. πŸ˜‚ We saw all the giraffes being let out of their house too. I’ve never seen a giraffe run. It was fascinating to watch. It’s like they’re running in slow motion. Once the drive Safari was done. We walked around the rest of the Park. We saw meerkats, porcupines, otters, emu’s, wallaby’s, pigs, goats, penguins, lemurs, red pandas, elephants, rhinos, birds, sea lions and probably more. They have a bird house where you can go in and feed them some nectar. Darcey and Marnie FREAKED OUT! As soon as we went in the birds came flocking over to us and started fighting on who was going to get the small pot of nectar first! The noise they made was like they were being murdered! We weren’t doing that. Just for the record.

Friday we had Darcey’s friend and her little brother over for lunch. Their mum is pregnant with her third child (she’s mental and I’ve told her that on a regular basis!). So I offered to have them over for a few hours to give her a break. I’m nice like that. They played and made their own pizzas for lunch. It’s the best way to get a child to eat. Let them help you make their own food. πŸ˜‰. Well. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it’s a flop.

Over the weekend Matt was back at work. So I caught up on Teen Mom 2 and did Marnie’s birthday card to send into her favourite channel – CBeebies. The first programme she really watched was ‘Sarah & Duck’. So I based her birthday card on that. I think I’ve done a really good job.

It just needs her photo on the top of Sarah’s head and I can then send it in. I did Darcey’s back in October, but it wasn’t shown. So hopefully Marnie’s will be.

So that was our Half Term! Busy and lots of memories made. I was back at work today and I missed being there. It was busy today which is how I like it.

Adios for now. I’ll be back over the weekend. We have my cousin and his boys coming over on Friday for the weekend.

That will be a fun read!

Last week of term

Darcey was very excited on Friday. Because this week is half term for her! A week off school, but don’t let that fool you. It’s not a week off getting up early. Oh no, Marnie is teething (big bottom teeth) and the amber beads are not doing their job this time. They’re usually very trustworthy, but they can’t help the pain of the nasty back teeth! She’s got temperatures of 39 and struggling to sleep due to a nasty cough too. Poor girl is powering through though! Still giving smiles and annoying Darcey! Over the weekend we had the usual swimming class in the morning and Darcey impressed me so much this week! She can swim not only without a float, but can swim using her arms too. She stops a few times for the width of the pool, but she’s doing it! She’s doing so well and it’s amazing to see her progress each week. She had a birthday party and sleepover to attend that day too. So I dropped her off at her former childminders house for her daughters 8th birthday. The theme was MineCraft. Darcey has no idea what that is. But apparently she had the best time and ended up going to bed at 10pm. Almost four hours later than normal! We picked her up on Sunday morning ready to drive to London to see Matt’s Nan, Dad and step mum. “So what did you do at the sleepover then Darcey?” Her reply “I don’t know, I maybe did some dancing and I had pancakes for breakfast”. Great. I’m glad you had no clue what you did! πŸ™„πŸ€¦πŸ½β€β™€οΈ. The drive to London was easy, Blackwall tunnel was clear and we got there in an hour and 20 minutes! Amazing! Our first stop was to Nanna Nina, who has recently moved into a home and she loves it. She does seem so much happier, although gets annoyed at other residents who have no idea what they’re doing. She told us a story of a woman who puts her finger in the sugar bowl, licks it and puts her finger back in. DOUBLE DIPPING! 🀒. Nina is almost 100 and doesn’t look it or acts like it! She’s still got her wits about her. It was lovely seeing her.

We then went over to visit Dave, Jen and the cutest puppy dog, Jasper. Jasper was super excited to see more people at his house and it showed! He was trying to jump out of Jen’s arms when we got to the door. They call him ‘the 100 MPH dog’ he is just mad! But the girls have learnt to love him and there was a completely different atmosphere around him yesterday. Darcey couldn’t stop holding him and wanting to be near him! Now previously, if any dog went near her. She would freak out! To the point where she would scream and try and get to a high place (mainly us having to pick her up). This time. She had already said in the car “I’m going to be brave with jasper today”. She was great with him and so was Marnie. She did freak out at first when Jasper jumped up at her and tried licking her face (he is the same height as her when on his back legs). So she didn’t trust him for a while, but when she saw Darcey playing with him, she was able to give him cuddles. It was lovely to see the girls playing with him.

We took Jasper out for a walk over the common across the road from their house. It had been raining on and off all day, but that doesn’t stop British people going out! Winter coats on. Marnie in her buggy. Raincover on and off we went. It. Was. Flipping. Freezing! It may as well have been snowing. All the “moody clouds” were over head and forced us to walk back home at a quicker pace than when we started!

Around five pm we made the trip back home. This time the Blackwall Tunnel was heaving. We’ve made the same trip many times and every time it shocks me how people drive around that area. Cars pushing in the queue, driving over hatched lines and slip roads they’re not meant to drive down. It’s so bloody annoying and I’m glad Matt drives because I think I would get mega road rage if I were to drive around that part of London.

But we got home at around 7:15pm. Good driving Matt! High five! We put the girls to bed and sat down to watch SAS: Who Dares Wins. If you haven’t watched it. It’s basically some random civilians who have applied to take on the challenge of the tough process in becoming apart of the SAS. They don’t actually get into the SAS in real life, but it’s the last standing who are told they could do it! It’s great, but sometimes a hard watch! Watch it. See if you could do it. I couldn’t! I think I’d cry at the first challenge.

I’ve started doing my own projects this week too. Photos to follow. I get my inspiration from Pinterest. I ❀️ Pinterest. I look for craft projects and ideas for dinners mainly. We have a 4 weekly food planner for dinner at home and it’s primarily recipes from Pinterest. So thanks Pinterest bloggers for your great ideas! my calligraphy needs some work, but I think my first attempts are pretty awesome!

We love UNO in our house! Darcey picked up the rules pretty quickly. So we have evenings where we just play games. The girls love playing with PlayDoh”-doh-doh-doh” too!

Now it’s half term. A week with both girls and no work. It’s going to be great… She says. 😬🀫

Busy weekend!

Hi everyone,

Just to keep things light and breezy, my blog today is really a diary entry. Almost. My weekend started off with getting up early (well. All my days consist of getting up early!) and getting the girls ready for an outing to a TaeKwon-Do competition. If you didn’t know already, my best friends husband is my boss. He’s a 7th Dan Black Belt and has his own full time club! Round of applause please! πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌ. I work for him doing his admin. I love my job! So he asked me to make cakes for the UTA fundraiser. Which will help get competitors to competitions around the world! I was in charge of making some cakes and selling them to parents and children at the competition. I took this role very seriously… most of the time. I’m lying! Ali was with me and I think he made a point of splitting us up at one point! πŸ˜³πŸ˜‚. She was sent to the judges table. And I was left to my own devises. Anyway. It was my first experience of a competition and any form of Martial Arts really. It was interesting to watch and Darcey loved watching the sparring. It certainly stuck with her when we got home, she was showing Matt some punches and kicks as best she could replicate! Glenn gave her a medal because in her words “Glenny, can I have a medal for being amazing?”. At the end of the day we made almost Β£300, just selling cakes and drinks. I’m sure it was my wit, charm and dry sense of humour that brought the customers to me! So that was Saturday.

Sunday, was a day of uncertainty once I woke up. Ali had randomly mentioned yesterday that she was running the 10K London Winter Run and asked if I would go with her. When I woke up. I wasn’t going, but I went downstairs and saw that Matt had remembered to take the buggy out of the car. “Darcey, do you want to go to London to watch Ali do her race?”

“Erm… yes mummy! I’ll get dressed right now!” This was at 7am! Quickly we got dressed, breakfast was eaten, teeth brushed, hair done and coats on! We were ready for when Ali drove up on the driveway at 8:15am and she was all shocked that we would come with her (she came to our house first because we live near the train station). So we walked down to the station, got on the train and set off to St Pancras. Once at Nelsons Column, there was 1,000’s upon 1,000’s of people there! Some cheering on their loved ones, wrapped up so tight because it was -4!! MINUS FOUR!! Good ole English weather. But we’re British, we can handle anything! Except Snow, if it snows here. The whole country needs help! It’s madness! Anyway, back to the race. We saw it all, penguin hats, brightly coloured wigs, super heroes, the odd buggy with a small child inside it being pushed by a parent AND an almost naked man! He literally had nothing on that wouldn’t leave anything to the imagination! It was hilarious seeing him try to run with this mankini on! Darcey was utterly disgusted by the whole experience, which made it all the more funnier!

Ali finished in an awesome time of 51 minutes! Which was cause for celebration and re fuelling of a Nandos. We πŸ’™ Nandos! It’s one of those places when you have the same thing every time you go in. You look at the menu and think – I’ll have something different this time. Then you say to yourself, but what if I don’t like it as much as my normal choice?! It’ll be a wasted trip! So I always go for a lemon and herb chicken wrap with cheese and pineapple and the side of spicy rice. You can’t go wrong. It’s so tasty. And on my next trip, I’ll get a free starter. Life goals! Marnie decided that chicken wasn’t as tasty as just having ketchup on its own. And frozen yogurt is her favourite. We headed home from there. Got the tube back to St Pancras and the train back home. It was an eventful day and busy weekend.

Also.

To add.

Happy Chinese New Year! 🐷🧧

I’ll be making my own sweet and sour chicken balls and egg fried rice tonight!

Have a fabulous week!

That is all.

Bullies can do one…

So in the news recently there have been more and more cases of bullying online and teens especially committing suicide, it’s horrendous and so incredibly sad for those unfortunate enough to have to go through such an awful time in their lives! I was bullied in school. But not enough for me to want to end me life. I self harmed, but never had any suicidal thoughts, but being in school before social media (yes there was a time before social media, and we survived a day without looking at a mobile), it was probably a whole different ball game. I’ve always said to friends that I’d hate to be a child/teen now. It just seems too hard, what with all the pressure to be a certain size, not being the right ethnicity, penalised for being the wrong gender, having a different faith. Children these days seem to have it all thrown at them. What can we do to change it? Change the way “celebrities” post on social media, change who we see on reality tv, (I mean not just choosing the slimmest woman, the man with a six pack or even just an able bodied person) or just change views of the individual?? Whatever the answer, something needs to be done! We were told this morning that social media would be shut down if they don’t do anything about someone searching ‘suicide’. I think that’s a great idea, better still, should we get rid of social media altogether. πŸ€·πŸ½β€β™€οΈ

I wouldn’t have a clue what I would do to someone if they were the reason my girls were sad or even thinking they’re worthless and don’t deserve all good things in life! No child, or grown adult actually should think they’re better than someone else. They may be the most intelligent or the most popular, but that doesn’t give them the right to make someone else’s life a misery. Simple as that.

If you don’t like someone. That’s fine. You don’t have to like everyone and not everyone will like you. I’ve said that to Darcey ever since she came home sad from school saying a girl in her class said to her “I don’t like you, Darcey”. Explaining to a five year old that it’s ok not to like everyone, but you just have to be kind was surprisingly easy. She totally understood. I’d like to think she’s nice all the time. She isn’t. She can be grumpy towards her friends, but at five, she’s still learning how to manage her emotions. I just have to keep telling her to be kind even if you don’t like someone. Always be kind. You have no idea what their life is like outside of school.

That’s me done for today. Netball night and I’m ready to win. πŸ’ͺ🏼🏐πŸ₯‡

What a weekend!

So the weekend started with Darcey swimming. Saturday morning. Nine am! She’s doing so well and managed to swim without a float again this weekend! Super proud. Hopefully she’ll be going up to the next hat fairly soon, which she’s super excited about!

The afternoon was lovely, with a party for my friends little girl and catching up with a couple of the girls I used to work with at the school. After having a chat about being mums, it seems to me that I’m not the only one who struggled with a baby. I always knew I wasn’t the only one, but it’s comforting to know I’m not alone when it comes to the emotions that comes after having a baby. One of the girls I spoke to said that she was in complete shock when she had her first child. She wanted to have her old life back, wanted to just be her own person and not have to wake up in the night and deal with a vomiting, crying baby. The freedom she had before her first child was greatly missed! I loved having Darcey. But it was after having Marnie all those same feelings came about. If anyone is struggling with a first baby, second or if you’re crazy, third baby+. Just know. You’re not alone!

Anyway. Back to the rest of my weekend. So today was a day in London Town with Matt, the girls, sister and brother in law, their boys and matts mum and step dad! It’s started off heading to the train station for ten o’clock. Went to the platform the screen told us to go to. I quickly noticed that there was no way a train could get to the platform we were on. There was a huge STOP sign on the track. So after asking the guard at the top of the stairs. “Yeah it’s been changing all morning. It’s platform 3”. So over the bridge we go. With a coffee, two babychinos and a buggy! Only to be told that no, in fact the train will come along on the 1st platform. So back over we go. Still unsure that was the right decision. Announcement over the tannoy “the train now approaching platform 3 is the 10:00 service to St Pancras”. πŸ€¦πŸ½β€β™€οΈ “Right. Run Darcey!” I pick the buggy up. Run up the stairs with Darcey and rush her back down whilst the train is just about approaching the platform. The doors open and we’re half way down the stairs! “Hurry up, Darcey!” We made it! The children sat down and played a game of Harry Potter Top Trumps (the best Top Trumps!) and the surprisingly quick journey to London began.

Once we got to London, it was a slow walk down to the underground to catch a train to Knightsbridge to spend the day at the Science Museum. Darcey liked parts of it, but she managed to spend most of her time acting like she was a pre teen. “Ow I’m bored, I already know that, pick me up, I know”, but she loved the interactive parts. My nephews were well into it all though. Which was great to watch! I’m not quite sure what Darcey will be interested in yet. There’s nothing really that I can think of that’s she’s desperate to want to learn. When does that happen? How does that happen? I’ve tried to get her excited about things like Netball, dance, drawing. Nothing really captures her attention. πŸ€·πŸ½β€β™€οΈ

My Sister in Law and I played a great game of “bogies”. If you don’t know the game. It’s great. You walk around a public place (normally a library or supermarket) anywhere works. And take it in turns to say “bogies” until you’re actually shouting it. The person who can say it the loudest, wins. Simple, yet hilarious game! I won every game we played. Obviously. 😏

14k steps later. We got home and the girls are going to bed at 7:30pm. I’m knackered. Matt is sore and the girls are still bouncing around! Why?! How?!

Goodnight! 😴