#MySundayPhoto – Identical Twins

twins twin boys identical twins

My boys.

I love this photo of my beautiful identical twins! O’s two front teeth missing… H has a gap too but he has one new big tooth that’s already come down! They’re changing all the time. I love their cute little freckly faces in this pic and their lovely blue eyes! I love them so so so much I could eat them up 😉



Sip N Sound Straws

My children love straws, especially my daughter. She always wants one with her drink! Her favourite drink is tea though so some of the curly straws I’ve bought in the past I end up throwing away because if they’re not rinsed out immediately, I find they don’t clean easily and I worry about the bacteria!

These new Sip n Sound Straws by Flair are absolutely fantastic! Not only do they come with a cute farmyard animal attached that bursts into life, making animal noises as your drink passes through, but they are rather wide, which I love… meaning they are super easy to rinse and wash out!

sip n sound straws

We were recently sent four of the different animal straws to review at home… there was a pig, a sheep, a cow and a horse! My children were so excited to open them and try them out!

sip n sound straws

We made the drinks and they got stuck in! My 7 year old twin boys opted for juice and my daughter went for milk!

The cute little animal sound.. either a moo, a baa, an oink or a neigh comes out as they suck the drink up the straw! I mean… how fun is that? What child isn’t going to be impressed with this? There’s also a little button on the back of the animal which you can press to hear the animal sound, even when you’re not drinking, which is great because my kids just love listening to it randomly! The button also means you can switch off the sounds if they become annoying… which I have to say they don’t because they’re not THAT loud, which is a good thing!

sip n sound

The animals are made of a sturdy material, meaning they can be played with separately too and can be easily removed from the straws for thorough washing.

sip n sound straws

My children absolutely love the Sip n Sound Straws, as do their friends who have all used one whilst over at our house on a play date. I’m pretty sure they’ve gone home and asked for one immediately after their visit! They would make a fun addition to any children’s party too, where kids could create their own snack time tune!

Using the straws I think is a fantastic, sneaky way to encourage kids to drink more healthy drinks, which is so important… especially now we have the summer months approaching! Straws also have other health benefits for the mouth, including less tooth cavities and less stains!

The recommended age for the straws is 3+ but a child of any age would find these fun! My 11 yr old loves them and uses one every single time she has a drink now! Even my older teenager has had a go and passed them around to his friends.. and he’s 18! 🙂

Sip n Sound straws are priced at around £5.99 and are available at all the good toy retailers as well as other selected stores.


Easter holidays 2017 and Tatton Park

So all the kids are back at school this week after the Easter holidays! Mine went back last week actually but most areas in the UK went back today.

Are you glad to get back into some sort of routine? The majority of parents are in agreement I think that they adore having the kids at home, but equally adore regaining a bit of structure to the day and getting their sanity back!! It also means we can get on with the things that we really can’t do when kids are around all the time!

I LOVE having my children home with me though. I could happily wallow in a bubble of just me and them for ever! I just like them being around.. they’re good kids… and I LOVE not having to rush out of the door in the morning on the school run! I say this after every holidays I know. I just wish I could have my children home more.. childhood goes so fast and in the blink of an eye they’re all grown up!

We had a relaxing couple of weeks off. We didn’t do THAT much. I had to work Monday and Tuesday the first week. But on the Wednesday we babysat for my friends baby. He has Down Syndrome and he is the most gorgeous boy ever! We adore him, especially my daughter… she is absolutely obsessed with him and I’ll be lucky to get near him when she’s around! She loves him to bits! He’s so well behaved and happy!

Here he is…… He’d just had his lunch in this photo and he ate it all up… such a good boy!

On Thursday I took the kids over to a friends house! They played with her children in their swimming pool in the garden most of the day which was wonderful! Even if it was a bit chilly outside… they didn’t care at all! It was a lovely day, always nice to catch up with friends and we stayed quite late so really made the most of it!

swimming pool garden fun

pool garden

At the weekend I drove up to Lancashire to my Dad’s house. It always seems like a mammoth task packing the car for myself and the three kids and driving around 200 miles to get there, fighting traffic and roadworks, but it’s exciting too and feels like a mini holiday! I love being with my Dad and staying at his house. It’s quite strange now that I don’t always take Teen. He ALWAYS loved going to my Dad’s (used to be my Mum there too until she sadly passed away almost 9 years ago now) but because he’s 18 now and has a part time job, he’s often working, as is my OH so they stay at home together! Teen also likes to stay behind because of friends. Hopefully though he will come with us next time!

We made the most of the lovely weather (while it lasted) and visited the gorgeous Tatton Park in Cheshire whilst at my Dads! It’s part of the National Trust and is a great day out… lots to see and do and the best thing is, it doesn’t cost a fortune!

You could really spend all day here, it’s absolutely a wonderful place, we didn’t even get round to seeing everything after arriving at just before lunch, so if you go, get there early is all I can say!

There’s a cute little farm to walk around which has the most fascinating outbuildings. Some of them are miniature museums showing how people used to live there last century! There’s a fairground and adventure playground where the kids can go crazy for a while, there are the beautiful, huge gardens… my children loved exploring these, there’s parkland where you can spot deer, there’s shops and a lovely restaurant too! Then of course there’s the mansion itself that you can go inside of and look around.

tatton park days out cheshire

tatton park days out cheshire easter holidays

tatton park days out cheshire easter holidays

tatton park days out cheshire easter holidays

tatton park days out cheshire easter holidays

tatton park days out cheshire easter holidays flowers pretty

tatton park days out cheshire easter holidays

Just some of the lovely grounds and gardens there at Tatton Park! Even though it was a lovely day, it’s still very early Spring and most of the flowers hadn’t bloomed, but you can imagine how pretty it’s all going to look once that happens? We hope to make another visit here in the Summer!

Another day we had a trip to the cinema to see Moana! The kids had been wanting to see it for a while but we hadn’t got round to it, so I checked to see if it was on the Kids AM deal at Vue cinemas and it was! Bonus! Nice and cheap tickets for us 🙂 Have you been to the Kids AM at Vue before? At weekends and school holidays you can take the kids (it’s only families that are allowed this deal) to see a film for £2.50! When you have a big family like mine, a trip to the cinema for everyone can be costly…. if you can wait (the films showing are usually those that have been out for a while) it’s definitely worth it!

We LOVED Moana… such a good film! We even bought some Moana cupcakes to make at home during that second week of the holidays when the weather was pretty dire, in Lancashire anyway!

moana cakes

We spent the rest of the time at my Dad’s just chillin’ (perfect) and being together and catching up with family members.

We had a lovely time! I really didn’t want to come home and back to the daily grind but hey ho…. that’s life I guess…. until I win the lottery that is 😉

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter…. roll on half term!

Boss Baby Movie Previews – Our Day from Two Perspectives

Ever since I read about new film The Boss Baby being released, from a press release I received at some point last year, I just knew it sounded and looked absolutely unmissable!

the boss baby review

We were lucky enough to be invited to a preview screening at London’s Westfield, with a visit to the fantastic Kidzania first!

Because the film explores view points from different perspectives, as in the adults v’s the children, I thought I’d write about our day from two perspectives… one from me and one from one of my twins..O.

So on the morning of the event.. having to get up early to make sure we were at the venue for 9am…

O is up nice an early encouraging me to hurry up “it’s The Boss Baby today and I’m so excited”! So he sit’s on the sofa and watches TV.

I, meanwhile am also up. But unlike O, I am running around like a headless chicken. Once I’ve jumped in the shower and tried to find something to wear, I shoot downstairs to ask the three kids what they’d like for breakfast. O’s twin, H wasn’t feeling great last night and we were all a bit worried as to whether he’d be ok to go out, but he seemed better this morning! We were all pleased. However, the three of them are staring at me blankly as I ask them the million dollor question…. what would they like for breakfast! Grrr…. “We’re in a hurry you know……”!

During breakfast the kids chat excitedly about the film, wondering what it will be like.

I am running around again choosing outfits for all three children. After breakfast I give said clothes to them and encourage them to get dressed as quickly as possible.

O take his clothes.

I continue to get ready and clear up after breakfast. I do my makeup etc then I go to check back on the kids.

O is sitting watching tv. In his Pyjamas!

I turn the TV off and remind him that if we don’t leave soon we will miss the film! This seems to spur him on.

Once at Westfield O is excited to be at Kidzania, although we have been before so he’s done a few of the activities there.

kidzania baby boss

He decides he doesn’t want to do anything and instead wants to eat some of the specially prepared breakfast treats that have been put out for us!

I take my daughter and her friend over to the Newsreaders part of Kidzania because she wants to do that.

kidzania london newsreading

I leave O eating with my friend and his twin. His twin H has informed me that he feels sick! Gosh.. ‘not now’ I’m thinking… beginning to go into panic mode!

O continues to happily stuff his face and manages to go up to the different food and drinks tables to get one of everything… bacon butty, pastries, cakes, apple juice, black current juice, oh yes and a little pot or two of fruit!

I have no time to eat anything at this point. My daughter finishes her news reading ‘job’ so we then head over to grab some last minute food ourselves, although now we’re getting called away  because it’s time for the film to start and we need to get over to the Vue cinema. H is hanging off me complaining of feeling sick which I’m now very worried about!

O skips happily through Westfield’s beautiful shopping centre to the cinema which is located inside Westfield itself. Not a care in the world!

Once in the cinema I encourage all the kids to go to the toilet. Past experience has told me this is a must. H needed a ‘wee’ right at the very end of a film once and when we got back into the auditorium, the credits were going up!

We pick some seats. I put H right on the end who keeps saying he’s ok to watch the film (he’s not going to let feeling sick get in the way!) but I’m very worried about him. I’m actually extremely stressed at this point. I give him a bottle of water to sip and hoped that the film would take his mind of it poor thing!

Meanwhile, this is O… he’s sat ready, 3D glasses on and just can’t wait for The Boss Baby to start!

I think you can see the pattern created throughout the morning…

As a Mum, I spent the entire morning flitting around like a manic woman in various stages of stress and O spent his morning completely relaxed, doing as he pleased, feeling excited and happily looking forward to the film! Two very different takes on the morning!

the boss baby movie reviews

Actually I think all the other children, apart from H spent the morning like O. All just with one thing on their minds…. the film! The girls here in the pic above eagerly awaiting for it to start… we took our seats straight away and it looks here as though the whole place was empty, it wasn’t. It was absolutely full by the time the film begun!

Kids just don’t care about anything do they? They’re usually just in their own little worlds while us Mum’s are in the background taking care of everything! But that’s as it should be. My children are very considerate of me but I wouldn’t want them to take on any of my stresses or worries. I want their childhood to be as happy and carefree as possible. There’ll be enough stress when they grow up and try to make their way in the big wide world!

So what is the film like?

Our verdict on The Baby Boss….

The movie starts off with only child Tim, narrating, telling us about his perfect happy life with his wonderfully attentive perfect parents! He has a delightfully overactive imagination and loves nothing more than inventing games to play! We then witness his whole world begin to fall apart when his parents have a new baby! Obviously highly exaggerated but absolutely hilarious to see the horror on Tim’s face and the carnage that immediately ensues when his little brother The Baby Boss (voiced by Alec Baldwin) arrives!

But this is no ordinary baby brother. This one can talk like an adult, carries a briefcase and wears a suit! This is a baby with an agenda…. he’s with Tim and his family to fulfil a mission, set by the Baby Corporation he comes from, to ensure that the baby species continues to be the most desirable thing in the world… as it’s being pushed aside by the arrival of something even cuter!

The Boss Baby (like all babies!) begins to take over the whole house, causing mayhem and taking ALL the attention. Tim tries to ‘expose’ him but without fail, until one day the two of them hook up to help each other out in a bid to make everyone happy again!

The boss baby movie

Created by Dreamworks Animation, the film offers the heart-filled message about the importance of family and is an authentic and broadly appealing original comedy of all ages.

We loved the film. The children were all suitably captivated throughout. I mean, it must’ve been good, H didn’t complain once about his tummy ache during the whole film, and was even hopping and skipping on his way out of the cinema he enjoyed it so much! We laughed out loud and I must admit to shedding a tear towards the end, but then I’m an emotional wreck when it comes to anything even remotely soppy!

A big thumbs up from us and definitely one to take the children to during the Easter holidays! The film is so unlike anything we’ve seen before in terms of storyline, that I would say you simply cannot afford to miss out. A great movie for all the family!

The Boss Baby is out now across the UK.

Here’s the trailer…..

My Sunday Photo – Spot the children!

photo the grove hotel

There should be three children hidden in this photo! Taken in the grounds of the beautiful The Grove Hotel in Hertfordshire!


Camp Bestival 2017 – More Acts Announced

Camp Bestival 2017

So carrying on from my first post introducing the Headliners for Camp Bestival 2017, some new acts have been added to the already amazing lineup!

camp bestival rock & pop stars 2017 lineup

The Sunday Headliner will be…..


In the sunset slot before LEFTFIELD & the Firework Spectacular

Plus live music from:






Set to be truly unforgettable, Camp Bestival’s tenth outing at Lulworth Castle this 27-30 July just keeps on getting better with even more glamorous Pop Stars & Rock Stars joy in store for kids of all ages at the greatest family show on earth. Joining Madness and Mark Ronson, the Sunday night headliner is true pop music royalty and there will be a whole heap of good time treats to keep you dancing throughout the weekend, too!

Rob da Bank says: “There’s been so much talk of musical icons recently and I’m very proud that we’ll be presenting one of the most legendary figures in song-writing, music production and, maybe, the ultimate anti-pop star, Brian Wilson. Having made so many incredible records with the Beach Boys, Brian Wilson’s Pet Sounds is a real solo foray into psychedelic rock, introspective lyric writing and a beautiful wall of sound concept album that still blows people away 50 years on. Whether you’re a stalwart Wilson supporter or maybe it’s the first time you’ve heard his name, I hope you’ll be there in the moment for the Sunday headliner in his full majesty”.

Hallowed as one of the all-time greats in the pantheon of pop music, and due to phenomenal public demand in the UK, Brian Wilson returns one last time to present ‘Pet Sounds’ in its entirety, plus his greatest hits. Universally hailed as one of pop music’s most important recordings, Brian will be bringing his majestic masterpiece to Camp Bestival for a headline sunset performance, captivating the crowds with intricate harmonies and breath taking melodies. An absolute must-see as part of an epic Sunday finale that will feature Leftfield bringing the main stage to a close before the fireworks spectacular, Brian Wilson’s genius and his most influential musical treasure are sure to be a historic part of Camp Bestival’s tenth anniversary celebrations.

And, as if that wasn’t enough, there will also be unmissable appearances from BBC Sound of 2017 top tip, Ray BLK, pop chanteuse Kate Nash, Camp Bestival heroes & rum-funk faves The Cuban Brothers, and chart topper and former Oliver Heldens, Wilkinson & Rudimental diva, Becky Hill. There will be more glorious commotion with Morrisey’s greatest songs getting some Mexican spice courtesy of Mexrrissey, the ultimate Mancunian tribute band The Smiths LTD making a real difference, dancefloor sluggers Dub Pistols getting their skank on, audacious turntablist DJ Yoda getting his game on, the King goes grunge with Elvana: Elvis fronted Nirvana, and new wave funk powerhouse The Blockheads giving us reasons to be cheerful.

There’s also Norman Jay MBE hitting the decks and delivering into the good times like only he can, and amazing music from Los Pacaminos featuring Paul Young, Raghu Dixit, Circus Raj, Disney Rascal, Funky Little Choir, Indian Queens, Rajasthan Heritage Brass Band, The Shellac Collective and The Ska Vengers.


With a whole host of fantastic music and amazing family fun already announced for this year’s Camp Bestival, there will also be laughs aplenty with the side-splitting Big Top Sunday evening comedy line-up. Featuring three of the best names on the circuit right now…..



Plus interactive comedy fun for the kids with:


Commenting on her third Camp Bestival appearance, Kerry Godliman said: “Once again there’s a fantastic Big Top line-up of comedy at Camp Bestival, Reginald D Hunter is easily one of the best comedians around, Gary Delaney is a non-stop gag machine and hey I’m not too shabby, myself. And with loads more comics and clowns being announced soon, you won’t be stuck for a laugh at Lulworth Castle this July!”

Frequently described as the coolest man in comedy, Reginald D Hunter has become an established headline act across the globe, so Camp Bestival are delighted that he will be headlining this year’s comedy stage. A big hitter on TV, Reginald is a regular on shows including Have I Got News for You, Live at the Apollo and QI.

There will be Mock the Week’s near the knuckle one-liner king Gary Delaney firing off cheeky schoolboy humour with infectious charm, and the compere will be the straight-talking and quick-witted Kerry Godliman, who is a Radio 4 regular, has appeared on Live at the Apollo a few times, Jack Dee’s Referendum HelpDesk, Channel 4’s Comedy Gala and was Hannah in Ricky Gervais comedy, Derek.

And, ensuring there’s plenty of laughter on the cards for the kids too, new hit show Kidocracy, an interactive theatre show for children aged 6+, presented by Keith Farnan (Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow) will be performing! Appearing as his alter ego, Brehon, an ancient Irish know-it-all, the show begins when children are told they are being given an island to rule. In just under an hour, they must elect leaders, write anthems, come up with rules that rock and deal with all sorts of crises because running the world isn’t just all fun, fun, fun, there’s stuff to be done as well!




















Camp Bestival’s festi-holiday feast of fun and frolics continues to grow with even more fantastic live acts, booty shaking sound system line-ups, and jubilant family entertainment joining the bill. Plus, news of a very special album performance, too.

Rob da Bank says: “I’ve waited a long time to see Leftfield perform Leftism in full, so Sunday night after Brian Wilson performing Pet Sounds should be pretty special! And I really don’t believe there will be another festival this year, let alone millennia, which has the following line-up as we add The Lightning Seeds, The Crumble Lady, Julian Clary, Eats Everything, Orkesta Mendoza and David Rodigan. From reggae to kids’ pop, South American tearaway music and the camp Mr Clary it’s gonna be some festi!”

With an arsenal of big-hitting pop singles including Pure, Lucky You, and Match of the Day favourite The Life of Riley, The Lightning Seeds will be heading to Lulworth Castle to rouse the Camp Bestival crowds with what is guaranteed to be a hit-packed set. The brainchild of Liverpool legend Ian Broudie, the exuberant pop brilliance of The Lightning Seeds has seen them conquer everywhere from football terraces to indie clubs and beyond, making them firm favourites for sing-along mayhem at Camp Bestivals Pop Stars & Rock Stars extravaganza.

The good news keeps on coming as the bill for The Greatest Tent on Earth will be topped by undisputed legend, comedian, entertainer and writer Julian Clary, who, along with award-winning illustrator David Roberts, will introduce you to The Bolds, a brand-new series of adventures about a family of hyenas living in an ordinary suburban street. With wildly hilarious readings in Clary’s unique style and live drawing by Roberts there will be guaranteed laughter at this unmissable appearance.

The dancefloors of Camp Bestival are destined to be jumping all weekend long with a variety of sound system rampages suitable for all ages, including Old Skool marauding courtesy of Eats Everything back to back with hardcore legend Ellis Dee. David Rodigan’s Ram Jam will vibrate with appearances from the previously announced David Rodigan and Norman Jay MBE plus Natty Congo, DJ Q and Venum Sound. Ensuring the rug cutting medley covers all bases, the sublime Greco-Roman Soundsystem will see arms aloft attitude from Joe Goddard, JeanGa and George playing live, Full Nelson and George T. While finest purveyors of family raves across the nation, Big Fish Little Fish will see a proper Old Skool action from Alter 8’s March Archer and 2 Bad Mice, with drum n bass and jungle manoeuvres from Baker & Beale, and more special guests to be announced very soon.

There will also be even more Greatest Tent on Earth shenanigans with The Crumble Lady AKA Lorraine Bowen who was David Walliams’ Golden Buzzer winner on Britain’s Got Talent 2015, fantastic theatre with the tale of a baby fire dragon, Dotty The Dragon, colourful characters, catchy songs and puppetry from the Animalphabet team, with music by Al and Sam of The Hoosiers, and patchwork entertainment with Elmer the Elephant.

Plus, there will be poems, songs, stories, games and improvisation in a special kids’ edition of Tongue Fu, interactive theatre show Kidocracy, collective musical amusements with Mrs H and the Sing-along Band, ten times Guinness World Record-breaker, master Bubble-ologist and proud holder of no less than three Blue Peter badges, Samsam Bubbleman with his Giant Bubble Show, rocked-up nursery rhymes, action songs, and kid-friendly rock and pop favourites from Boogie Monsters, workshops and three new sets of performances from long-time Camp Bestival faves, West End Kids and Dorset-based and local to Lulworth theatre company The MakeShift Ensemble presents Fox and Rabbit’s idiots guide to the Owl and the Pussycat.

Phew….. I can’t keep up and the list of appearances keeps on updating!

Keep checking www.campbestival.net and our Facebook and Twitter for all the latest info.

Ticket Info:

Camp Bestival 2017 Weekend Tickets are on sale now via: Ticketline / 0844 888 4410

Adult Weekend Ticket –  £197.50*

Student Weekend Ticket – £185* / Age 13 to 17 Weekend Ticket – £125*

Age 10 to 12 Weekend Ticket – £98.75* / Age 5 to 9 Weekend Ticket – £45*

Age 4 & Under Weekend Ticket – £15*

Babes in Arms (1 & Under) – FREE (but ticket required)*
*All tickets include camping from Thursday / Please refer to the Camp Bestival Ticket Terms & Conditions below
Car Parking – £20 in advance / Campervan Ticket (Field A) – £95

Caravan / Trailer Tent Ticket (Field A) – £105 

Please read T&Cs here before booking


The Real Cost of Motoring

I need a new car.

In fact, that’s an understatement. I am DESPERATE for a new car and have been wanting one seriously for at least a year! My current car was an executive model and in mint condition when we bought it… and it was perfect for when my twins came along. We needed a 7 seater. But fast forward 7 years and with four kids crashing in and out of it most days… it’s fair to say it’s pretty hammered now! And unfortunately, it simply costs too much to run.

Researchers found the typical driver will spend nearly seventy thousand pounds on fuel and rack up a bill of forty grand on MOTs, servicing and repairs in a lifetime! Crazy or what? 

Petrol is my big bugbear. I spend an absolute fortune each week to get the huge 3.8litre engine going, and I don’t need to! I need to downsize I think.

Parking alone sees the typical driver spend just £12.15 on parking charges, but over a driving lifetime of 64 and a half years, this will mount up to an incredible £9404.

The research, by affordable car hire company autoeurope.co.uk reveals that British motorists will drive over half a million miles in a lifetime – the equivalent of 22 times round the earth! They will also fork out £168,880, on running costs of vehicle ownership, have 1,935 rows – and 2,709 episodes of road rage in a lifetime.

Its seems that the burden of car ownership is hitting drivers hard and AutoEurope research suggests that running a car is a huge financial commitment. What motorists will spend on repairs and fuel costs alone could buy a home in most parts of the UK, not to mention tax and insurance.

A spokesman for autoeurope.co.uk said: “The burden of car ownership is hitting drivers hard and our research proves that running a car is a huge financial commitment. Renting a car instead is miles cheaper in comparison – whether that’s just for one day, or a long-term rental – we offer affordable rates on car hire without the added worry of depreciation and the additional running costs that often comes with owning your own vehicle.”

Hmm… so could this be the answer I’m looking for? I spend an absolute fortune on petrol and insurance at the moment…. would I really be paying more if I went for this option? I won’t have insurance to think about and the petrol is obviously going to be a fraction of the price, especially if I was to go for a much smaller car. It’s certainly worth looking into.

In the meantime, check out this fun infographic which shows some lighthearted driving stats!

The cost of motoring


*Collaborative post
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