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!

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.

No more babies…

So we came to the decision together a while back that Matt and I don’t want anymore babies. Surprisingly it wasn’t a hard decision. After having Marnie and quickly realising she wasn’t going to be an easy baby, we were 100% positive we didn’t want anymore! We always said if we had Marnie first, she’d be an only child! So today is the day that Matt has taken the plunge to get ‘the snip’. The girls and I have stopped at the local Costa to indulge in a hot chocolate while we wait for him to be done.

He was playing it cool earlier, but I could tell he was nervous about it.

Roll on the next few days.

On a separate note. We’re going to a 1st birthday party later today. Matt won’t come because of… well… you know… βœ‚οΈ

Where did photos go?

So if you’re a parent or relative of a child you will probably have the same issue as me. What to do with all the random photos of the children on your phone? I will sometimes just delete the random blurry photo, but most of the time I just keep it in the album on my phone, that is until my phone gets angry at me for having only .2 of a GB left and I can’t do anything but watch Pinterest videos of Calligraphy (I actually did do this tonight, it’s a new thing I’m going to try for this year!). What happened to having a camera? You’d fill the film, take it to the printers and within a week they’d be ready for you to pick up and leave in a drawer somewhere around the house! With all the intentions of putting them in a lovely album. Obviously. So every time my phone gets mad at me. I take my photos off my phone put them on my Mac and double back them up on a memory stick. But now I’m thinking to myself – I’d really love to make some albums. Get a few photos printed for the girls to look back on rather than scrolling through thousands. Yes. Literally thousands of bloody photos and videos! They’ll get bored looking through them. I know I do. I should do a dvd of all the videos I’ve filmed too. Oh the possibilities are endless. Or maybe they just end at albums and dvd? I’m not sure. I do have random photos like this one that I would send to Ali with the caption ‘I’m going to make her bankrupt!!’ and forget to delete it. What do I say to Darcey about this one? Oh yes. I remember that day. It was the time you got Junior Monopoly Christmas 2017 and….. Blah Blah Blah. What a boring story! She won’t care if she got a board game one year. She’ll just want to see lovely, funny, mad photos of herself. I’m going to do it. I’m going to get photos printed. Actually printed so I can hold them and flick through all those memories of the girls when they were small for a short time and put them in an album. I’ll report back once this mission is complete!