Oh We Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside.........

Half of the half-term was spent nursing a poorly little monkey but by the end of the week he was feeling so much better and the weather was being kind. So on the Friday I decided to take the monkeys to Southend On Sea for the afternoon. 
On the way we stopped for a quick lunch at MacDonalds, when we drove a little further down to the seafront at Leigh On Sea/Southend. It's so lovely there and there is so much to do! The houses that look out over the coast are huge! They must be worth a fortune!
We parked along the front in one of the car parks there and as soon as we got out of the car, we realised how chilly and windy it was! Oops! The sun had tricked me into thinking it would be lovely, and it was, but oh so cold! Little monkey asked to sit in his buggy, something he rarely asks to do! He wanted shade from the wind bless him!
Still, we made the most of the outing. I took some photo's, big monkey wandered along trying to stand up straight in the wind and little monkey held onto his taggy for dear life! 
There were plenty of people about, all with the same idea as us. The monkeys asked for an ice cream and although I was initially weary of getting them one, I relented and on the walk back to the car I got them one each!
We had a lovely afternoon, wandering through Adventure Island, watching people on the rides. I've promised to take the monkeys there in the summer. We saw the Pier train, which little monkey was very excited about. Again, another promise for the summer! The front has been given a real make over in the time I have lived in Essex and it really is a great place to take the monkeys during the day. We even spotted the historic Cliff lift which I would have taken them on, but alas it was closed. Our walk was certainly one to blow the cobwebs away, but it was fun and we shall definitely be returning time and time again. Maybe next time, we'll take daddy and have fish n chips on the seafront! You have to don't you?!

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Serenata Flowers Review & Giveaway

I don't know about you but I love flowers. My favourites are iris' and freesias. Purple flowers look so elegant. My Wedding bouquet included iris', yellow roses, ivory roses and freesias amongst a few others and I loved it. 
Recently I was delighted to review for Serenata Flowers and was asked to chose which arrangement I liked. Instantly the new Spring Chicken arrangement caught my eye. I gave Alexander a few other choices too and suggested he pick one himself to send me. He chose the new Spring Chicken flowers! The arrangement comes in 3 different sizes.
Newly un-packaged
With Mothers Day coming up and Spring too, now is a great time to treat someone and add a little sunshine to their day. These beautiful flowers certainly did that for me.
Being unpacked
I was informed the flowers would arrive the next day once the order was placed and they did. They arrived via courier all boxed up and were sat in a small box containing water and mulch to keep them fresh. A sachet of flower food was attached, along with a 'with compliments' card. I have to say I was delighted. They were gorgeous. Currently priced at £29.99 for the standard size with free standard delivery, I would say they are great value for money and the service was spot on. Only after 4 days did the flowers start to show signs of age. 

Taken on days 2-4 with phone camera
Serenata Flowers do a fairly extensive range of flowers starting from just £9.99. Some are even delivered same day. 
The freesias smelled lovely and really added a touch of spring to my lounge. Only now are they needing a sort through on day 6. Take a look at the website and I defy you not to want them all. I know I do! Why not buy some for Mothers Day and better still hint at the kids to buy you some!
Photo's via Digital SLR
Like what you see? You can Win Flowers to the value of £30 thanks to Serenata Flowers. The giveaway is open worldwide but the recipient of the chosen flowers must live in mainland UK. So will you be ordering for yourself if you win or for someone special? Mum perhaps? After all, Mothers Day is coming up on March 30th. To enter please complete the rafflecopter form below. The winner will be drawn randomly after the closing date Midnight 21/03. Good Luck everyone.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
*We were sent these flowers for review purposes*
Win prizes with theprizefinder.com 


Big Monkey Gets Designing!

During the half-term holiday last week big monkey decided it would be a good idea to design a pictogram of transport for some transport stickers we have recently received. I think he had a great idea!
How cool is this?! He asked how to spell a few of the words but it was otherwise all his own work! Then he stuck the stickers on. I think my monkey who isn't yet 6yrs old, is a genius but then I would do hey!
Do your little ones surprise you with their creations? I know mine do.

Mini Creations


The Mummy Tag

I have recently been tagged in a Meme called The Mummy Tag, by the lovely Ruth at Rock n Roller Baby, Donna from Redhead Babyled and Rachael from L-Plate Mummy. Wow, how popular am I?! Ha ha!
So lets get the ball rolling and let you lovely lot find out a bit more about me!

1. Are you a stay-at-home-mum or a working mum?
Both really! I gave up full time work after having big monkey and only returned after maternity leave to work on a relief basis. I currently go out to work just 10-16hrs a week. Working at home as a Mum is far harder!

2. Would you have it any other way? 
No! I do often say to hubby that he can stay at home and run the house, raise the boys and do all the other stuff involved in being a wife and mother but that's only when the monkeys have driven me to distraction and I want to let off steam! My full time work was well paid and we've taken a huge drop in salary for me to raise the monkeys myself but we've managed and I was determined not to miss their formative years. I would hate for someone else to look after my children so I could work with other peoples!

3. Do you co-sleep? 
No, its not for us! I was too paranoid when they were young babies, that I would roll over and squash them! I've not really ever been able to sleep if they are in our bed too! only recently have we had either of them in with us and that's only when they've been poorly or when little monkey went through a faze of refusing to sleep in his own bed. Even then, as a rule, we would carry him back to his own bed when we went to bed.

4. What is your must-have item for your baby? 
I had to have a baby monitor in the room and still use one if the monkeys are ill! We sleep on the floor above them in our loft conversion, so sometimes I use it for extra peace of mind. Another must have for me was muslins! I used them loads and not just for burping the monkeys or for mopping up baby sick.

5. How many kids do you plan on having?
We always said two but ultimately I assumed we would have one of each sex! I have been very broody to try for a girl but being an older mum and finding the monkeys hard work at times, I have come to the realisation that having another is just not going to be. If money were no object, we had a bigger car and house and I was a year or two younger, I would definitely go for it! Hubby is more than happy to stick with the two. 

6. Date nights – how many a month?
What are they?! it's something we should do and really need to do but we struggle for babysitters and the motivation to get ready and go out once the monkeys are in bed! We do go out but generally for birthday, anniversary's etc.

7. Your child’s favourite show? 
Currently big monkey loves watching sports on TV, his favourite being football! He can be found engrossed in Ben and Holly too. Little monkey loves Peppa Pig and Monster University on DVD.

8. Name one thing you bought before you had your baby and never ended up using? 
I really can't think of anything except clothes for big monkey! We had far too many. Some may have been used for little monkey or I gave them away/sold them.

9. Your child’s favourite food? 
Big monkey loves a roast dinner but alas little monkey does not! He adores anything pasta! They both love crisps too much to daddy's annoyance! Marmite features high on the list also!

10. How many cars does your family have?
Thanks to my parents we have two. They live on a boat, so their car was left at ours and has become ours! They just borrow it very occasionally. Our family car was bought brand new before the monkeys came along. Hubby traded in his sports car to help fund it.

11. Weight gain before pregnancy during and after and now?
I started off at the same weight with boy monkeys and put on exactly the same carrying them both. 3.5st to be exact! Far too much. Sadly as I'm not a natural exerciser and because I love my food too much I still have at least 2st left to lose. Not good hey when little monkey is now 3.
12. Dream holiday with your kids? 
My dream holiday with the family would be at least a fortnight in Disneyland Florida. I've been twice before and loved everything about it. I really want to take the monkeys when they are a bit older and can go on the rides and more importantly have memories of going! I want us to do the works!!

13. Dream Holiday without your kids?
My dream holiday with the Mr would be in Italy or a trip back to New York. We went soon after we met back in 2005 and loved it! I'd been once before and would love to go back again. It's an awesome place! We had a dream holiday in Kenya for our honeymoon. That would be lovely again.

14. How has your life changed since your baby has been born?
In more ways than I can say! I wouldn't have it any other way despite the fact I'm driven to distraction at times! The only thing I miss at times, is just being able to pop off out at the drop of a hat, without thinking of taking anyone or anything with me. I guess that comes of spending a good fifteen years of adult life doing my own thing!

15. Finish the sentence: ‘It makes my heart melt to see…’
How strong the bond is between the monkeys. They really do love one and other dearly! I really hope their strong bond remains throughout life.

16. Where do you shop for your kids?
I love to shop in Next for them and usually try to in the sales. Otherwise it's George at Asda and sometimes Debenhams or M&S.

17. Favourite makeup and skincare products?
I love Clinique skincare and also Dermalogica but can rarely afford them these days! I only tend to wear make up when I go out, so not often! I currently have a fab selection of Soap & Glory makeup though, which I have been using a little.  

18. Huggies or Pampers?
We used Pampers before we discovered Just4bums from Kiddicare. They are just as good as Pampers, if not better and get delivered to your door monthly. I highly recommend them.

19. Have you always wanted kids?
Yes absolutely! to be honest I wanted three, then one, then none and hubby and I decided two would be good. Having said that, three would be nice! Unfortunately not now though. 

20. Best part about being a mum? 
Reliving my childhood through them, seeing them develop and grow and having such a lot of fun.
The unconditional love you have for your children is second to none! 
WOW, that was hard! Now it's someone else's turn! 
I tag Victoria at Verily Victoria Vocalises, AK at My Buggy Junction and Emma at Crazy With Twins
I look forward to reading girls, if you'd like to join in!


Our CanvasDesignUK Canvas

CanvasDesignUK are a family run business that aim to provide every person the chance to own a bespoke photo canvas that does not cost a fortune. Based in Lancashire CanvasDesignUK offer a no quibble sales promise along with a price match promise. Their canvas' come in a number of different sizes ranging from 6"x 6" to 40"x 40". All canvas' are made using 100% cotton and 100% pine frames. Free 48hr delivery is included along with the hanging kit needed to hang your canvas where ever you choose.

We have been sent a fabulous 20" x 12" canvas of a photo Mr monkey took of little monkey and I last year on a family day out. The quality of the finish is fantastic, the colours vibrant and the overall look is fabulous. I'm really impressed that all the detail from the original photo, which I emailed CanvasDesignUK, has not been lost in the process. The clarity is fantastic. It looks great, and I can't wait to get it up on the wall in our bedroom. It arrived very well packaged and promptly via courier within a one hour time slot that I had received via text. I now think I need to order a canvas of our favourite photo's for each of our rooms!
The photo doesn't do the canvas any justice
CanvasDesignUK have very kindly offered to run a GIVEAWAY for you, my lovely readers. You can win a Photo Canvas of your choosing in any size from those listed here, using a good quality image (500kb) of your desire. Giveaway open to UK residents only. 

If you can't wait to find out if you are the winner, you can use the code BLOG15 to get 15% off your order, which includes free delivery.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
*We were sent this canvas for review purposes*
Win prizes with theprizefinder.com
We're going on an adventure


Week 8 Round Up - #Project365

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky
How quickly is this year going! This week started off really well but took a dip and will hopefully end up being OK. The Mr took the weekend off so we all enjoyed family time, which was lovely. We squeezed a lot in, especially as the sun shone all day Sunday. I even managed to get half an hour out on my new bike. Sunday teatime through to Wednesday night was mainly spent mopping up vomit and changing mucky pull ups! Little monkey was rather poorly. Thankfully he seems to be back to his usual self give or take the odd toilet issue. We've no idea what he had but luckily the rest of us have avoided getting it too. Another fine sunny day Friday, so the monkeys and I went to Southend for a few hours. We had a great time but it was much windier than expected and a tad chilly too! Little monkey did make me laugh. He asked to use his buggy and kept asking me to close the window's! (Assuming he meant hood).
Here are our photo's for Week 8 (16th-22nd
Day 47. A rare photo of me with the monkeys (I'm usually behind the camera)
Day 48. Belated gift from hubby as there was an error with the original order!
Day 49. Daddy and big monkey 'hiding' from us looking at them from the window! 
Day 50. Poorly monkey spend the day either on my lap or in my bed! Meanwhile daddy had to hire a carpet cleaner for the lounge!!
Day 51. Almost better but still chilling out. Watching Monster University with Daddy.
Day 52. That's better. The sun is shining and we went to Southend! They wanted ice cream, not that LM ate it all.
Day 53. Yay, another sunny day. This time we went to a local museum and park, where there are two near play area's! Twas a bit muddy and wet under foot though!


Embracing A Sunny Winters Day - #CountryKids

How fantastic was the weather last Sunday? It was just what we needed after the days of rain we have seen. Our plan was to go for breakfast and take the monkeys bowling but I felt we had to make the most of the weather! 
So our day started with daddy going for a run, then we went to Frankie & Benny's for breakfast, as I'd won a voucher for breakfast for four. By the time we'd eaten the monkeys were keen to get bowling but I suggested we went to Hylands Park first for a run about and some fresh air. Ultimately I really wanted to be outside and embrace the somewhat elusive sun that had decided to grace us with it's presence. We all had a fab time playing on the wooden fort and I took the opportunity to get more pictures of the monkeys having fun.
We left there before 1pm to take the monkeys as promised, ten pin bowling. A great time was had, before I declared we were popping to Tesco for a few bits and returning to the fort at Hylands. This time, it was rather more crowed than earlier but non the less, a great place to be on such a lovely day. It was so mild and the wood chip under foot was mainly dry with the odd boggy patch. We bumped into a few people we know, who were also taking advantage of the glorious weather.

Our day wasn't yet over, as on driving home we past the duck pond, we like to visit in the summer months, and I rode my new bike around the village on our return home. I was determined to stay outside in that sun and fresh air for as long as I possibly could!

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Ravensburger Puzzle Review

When big monkey was younger he loved nothing more than sitting down and doing jigsaws. He was and still is very good at them. Little monkey has no interest in them at the moment, but I knew big monkey would love the 'Disney The Muppets' Ravensburger puzzle.
Every Ravensburger puzzle is produced with the highest quality and care. This 100 XXL piece jigsaw comes in a sturdy box, with the 'perfect age fit' size, image and number of pieces. For over 100 years Ravensburger have been producing puzzles children love. Ideal for big monkey, this one is aimed at ages 6+.
It took him a little longer than usual doing this but only because it's one of the first 100 piece jigsaws he has completed. With a little help he mastered it and was very happy with the finished result. The quality of the pieces is great. Made from premium grade card. The colours of the image on the jigsaw and the box are bright and vibrant and depict the entire cast of the Muppet's from the movie, when they find themselves overseas and unwittingly caught up in an international crime caper! Once completed the jigsaw measures 49 x 36cm.
Both big monkey and I would recommend this jigsaw to any jigsaw and or Muppet fans.You can buy it from here.

*This puzzle was sent to use for review purposes. All thoughts and opinions are my own*


Feeling Let Down

You may remember I've written in the past about how impressed I've been with the NHS and the local health authority where we live. Since having the monkeys, this has been especially so. Until now that is!
Little monkey has been under the weather and not himself since the day he turned 3 at the end of January. We are still baffled as to what's wrong. He first saw our GP for severe stomach cramps on his birthday, then a day or so later he developed a cough, cold and temperature. All of which have only just gone. Approximately ten days or so ago he vomited twice rather randomly and then again this past weekend he started vomiting. This has continued and he has had loose stools also. The surgery have been good in that they've seen him but have been unable to offer any explanation, except for a possible Rotavirus. We've been asked to provide a stool sample.
In the meantime we have watched him slowly going off his food, lose weight, and generally change from the usual happy, lively little monkey that he is. Tonight I took him back to the GP and he asked me what I wanted him to do! Surely I should be asking him that! The health authority have told us to keep him hydrated and ride it out but surely every parent would want to know why their child has been ill on and off for almost three weeks now, with no apparent let up in sight.
Tonight, I've finally been told the GP will arrange for little monkey to be seen tomorrow at the hospital by a pediatrician, so that they can check him over and run some tests if necessary. I don't like the fact that this needs to be done but of course I need to get to the bottom of the problem and will do whatever it takes to get my monkey back to his forma self!
This is a photo of the poor mite today.
I hope to give you a positive update as soon as possible.

We've Been Bowling!

Typical that we chose the one sunny day we've had recently to take the monkeys Tenpin Bowling. But we had promised them and could not go back on our word! Big monkey has bowled before but little monkey has only ever watched, so he was very pleased to be joining in this time! We chose to go about 1pm Sunday. It was fairly quiet seeing as the weather was so good, (more on that another time!). Not cheap at over £22 for the four of us to play one game with shoe hire, but well worth the money for the fun the monkeys had and the joy on their faces.
Oh those shoes you have to wear! They're so glamorous aren't they! Luckily they had some in little monkey's size and he didn't hesitate having them put on. Our names were put into the scoring screen for our lane and away we went. Big monkey, little monkey, me then daddy. The monkeys used the ramp to roll their balls down the alley and daddy got two strikes, which saw high fives all round! Even little monkey was impressed! Until then daddy had admitted to being poor at the game but somehow luck prevailed! Damn those strikes! I wanted to beat him! ;)
Little monkeys face was such a picture each time he took his go. A fun way to spend some family time and get a little competitive amongst friends. We had a great time.


Getting About On Two Wheels

This past week has featured bikes a fair bit. Monday saw little monkey trying out his brothers 'old' balance bike.
Tuesday Daddy, little monkey and I went into a local bike shop to look at buying me a new bike. Saturday my new bike was collected by Daddy and big monkey. Big monkey was very keen and eager to sit on it from the car to the front of the house, to 'present' it to me. Later he rode his bike, wearing his new helmet and I rode my new bike around our road. And Sunday I went for a bike ride to get used to it and to see how unfit I am.
It's lovely to have a bike again and big monkey is keen for us all to go out riding together. Maybe once daddy gets his serviced and little monkey masters the balance bike, this could be something to do as a family on a Sunday afternoon once we get a few more dry days!
It was great to see him so proud to 'ride' my new bike to me and watch me have a go on it!
Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


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