Happy Easter!

What a lovely bank holiday weekend we have had! The weather has been so gorgeous and warm which means we haven’t just been stuck in the house all weekend for a change! We’ve been able to walk all up the fields with dog every morning, we’ve had the paddling pool out for Kory and we have been playing out in the garden in the sunshine every day!

I love that Rory has been off work and home with us for a few days because a lot of the time it’s just me and Kory and we miss spending time with him so more than anything I’ve really enjoyed spending time with my family this weekend.

Yesterday we decorated Easter bonnets together. I promised Kory the night before that in the morning he could decorate his Easter bonnet and he did not forget (I swear this kid doesn’t forget a thing!) and he took what I said quite literally too and first thing Saturday morning we was up out of bed and Easter bonnet decorating!

Check out that bed head!

Today is Easter Sunday and the Easter bunny has been to our house! This morning we had our yearly Easter egg hunt that has become a sort of tradition of ours, ever year I leave little notes around the house telling Kory where to find his next Easter egg and this year he was so excited to join in and he did so with very little help from us too!

And of course after finding all of the eggs we had chocolate for breakfast because well… It is Easter after all!

And that’s not all… I have made us a buffet for dinner and plan to do some baking with Kory this afternoon before we head out this evening for our friend’s birthday meal.

So that’s been our weekend so far, we’ve been busy busy busy! I hope you have all had a nice weekend and a lovely day today also. Happy Easter, Everyone!

The Lonsdales, xo

DIY Play-Doh

This morning me and Kory made our own Play-Doh together!

I don’t know about any of you but I have bought so much Play-Doh over the years as Kory just mixes the different colours together and after a while they dry out and then I have to buy even more and store bought Play-Doh is not exactly ‘cheap’ to buy either, especially when you’re having to keep buying it all the time.

Truth be told, I was getting tired of buying the stuff just to throw it away again after a short amount of time but I knew that we’d have to have some in the house because Kory loves to play with Play-Doh. I knew that Kory’s nursery made their own so after asking them how do they make it, I was so glad when they kindly shared with me their recipe to make our own Play-Doh at home and I couldn’t believe how easy it was to make and how inexpensive too!

Kory did most of the making himself and I just observed – that’s really how easy it is! I found that it was also pretty fun to make together too and I love all of the different types of Play-Doh you can create yourself;

Scented, glittered, coloured, themed, ect! The possibilities are endless!

I don’t think I’ll buy Play-Doh from the shop again now that I know how to make my own. And it really is easy to make.

If you’d like to know how to make your own Play-Doh yourself at home, keep reading on because I am going to share with you how we made our own. You probably have all of the ingredients you will need already at home and it takes just 10 minutes to make!

So, without further ado. Here goes:

You will need:

  • 8 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tbsp table salt
  • 60ml warm water
  • Food colouring or flavouring
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

1.) Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl mix together the water, a few drops of food colouring or flavouring and the oil.

2.) Pour the coloured water into the flour mix and bring together with a spoon.

3.) Dust a work surface with a little flour and turn out the dough. Knead together for a few minutes to form a smooth, pliable dough. If you want a more intense colour or smell you can work in a few extra drops of food colouring or flavouring.

4.) Store in a plastic sandwich bag in the fridge to keep it fresh. (Squeeze out the air first.)

And that’s really all it takes!

Do you make your own Play-Doh already? If you haven’t made it before and you decide to, please let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading…

Eggcited for Easter!

I am so excited for Easter!

I love Easter because for me, it means spending time with my family because Rory has a rare, long weekend at home with us and we usually have lots of nice things for us to do planned but I’m even more excited for Easter this year because Kory is that bit older and he is looking forward to Easter as well. He has been asking me for weeks now when is the Easter bunny coming and will he bring him chocolate eggs if he’s a good boy!

And obviously there’s chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate…

This year, like every year, we plan to have an Easter egg hunt at home for Kory. I’m also going to put on a little buffet for him and we’re going to decorate Easter bonnets together. On Easter Sunday I would usually cook a roast dinner for us but this year, it happens to land on our friend’s birthday so we’re actually going to be going out for a birthday meal instead that evening so that will be a nice change. (No washing up for me at least anyway!) On the Saturday, we are taking Kory to an outdoor Easter egg hunt, it’s the same one we’ve taken him to for the past two years in a row but the grounds where the Easter egg hunt takes place are lovely so it’s a nice walk around for us and Kory really enjoys taking part and he loves being outside too.

We still needs plans for Good Friday and bank holiday Monday but I’m sure we’ll be able to sort something out!

So that’s our plan for the Easter weekend so far. What do you like most about Easter and how will you be celebrating?

Mama Tag

I have been asked to take part in the Mama Tag by the lovely Rebecca over at With My Love & Courage. She was inspired to create this tag after watching the new mum/new mom tag videos on YouTube that were originally created by Emily Norris.

So, let’s get started!

1.) Favourite mum hack?

I don’t really have a favourite mum hack or even a mum hack at all. I like to think that I’m quite an organised person but the truth is when it comes to parenting I’m honestly just winging this whole thing and hoping for the best. Every day is a different challenge. Maybe that could be something for me to think about, what mum hack could make things easier for me?

2.) Most embarrassing mum moment?

My most embarrassing mum moment would be every time Kory acts up in public and I have to try and keep calm and stop his temper tantrum all whilst feeling everyones eyes watching and judging.

3.) My favourite part of the day?

My favourite part of the day is definitely tea time when Rory gets home from work. After a busy day it’s nice to see him walk through the door and it’s also nice when we all sit down as a family to have our tea and to watch tv together.

4.) My worst part of the day?

The worst part of the day for me is definitely morning. I have never been a morning person and that’s not about to change now that I’m a parent. It’s not that I hate mornings it’s just not fun being woke up really early every day when you still feel tired from the day before and hearing ‘mum mum mum’ whilst your eyeballs are only half open. I’m usually okay once that first cup of coffee hits my soul though.

5.) Worst thing someone said to you when you were pregnant?

Where do I begin! Well there was this one woman that asked me to lift up my top so that I could show her my belly so that she could see ‘how big I was’ – that made me feel really good about myself!

6.) A baby name you disagreed on?

There was loads of names that I really liked when we were choosing baby names and out of all of them my partner narrowed it down to just one so I would say we disagreed quite a lot but I suppose at the same time it did make deciding on a baby name a lot easier as well!

7.) Do you co-sleep?

We never co-slept with Kory when he was a small baby but if you class a toddler coming into your room in the middle of the night and climbing into your bed then yes we co-sleep.

8.) Baby products you never used?

I can’t think of any off the top of my head, we used lots of great products with Kory when he was a baby.

9.) Name 3 hospital bag must haves:

There are lots of useful things that you can pack in your hospital bag but my top 3 would be sanitary towels, trust me – you’re going to need them. Nickers, big comfy ones and lots of them and pyjamas, because that’s all you’re gonna want to wear for a while.

10.) Are you a go-with-the-flo or routine mum?

I guess I’m a bit of both really. I’m quite strict about some things, the things that I consider important such as bedtime because Kory can be a real grouch if he goes to bed too late which isn’t fun for anyone, making sure I keep his behaviour in check and I like to make sure he’s ate his dinner before he has any sweets and that sort of thing but I’m pretty easy going when it comes to everything else like screen time and what clothes he wears.

11.) What sort of labour and pain relief did you have?

I had a pretty straight forward labour considering Kory was born premature, I gave birth to him naturally and had gas and air for pain relief.

12.) Have you ever been mum shamed?

Yes on quite a few occasions actually. Once by a health visitor when Kory was around 4/5 months old because I gave him rusk with his milk which was my decision, another time when he was a bit older, I’d took him to the weigh-in clinic and because he’d had a sick bug which was the main reason for me taking him, it was pointed out to me rather rudely that he hadn’t put much weight on, I’ve been mum shamed online for giving my child ice cream, I’ve been mum shamed for giving him an iPad and I’ve been mum shamed for letting him climb into bed with us. It used to bother me a lot when I first had Kory but as he’s grown older and I can see that he’s happy and healthy and that he’s obviously not come to any harm from any of those things it bothers me a lot less. It’s so easy for other mums to have their say on how you parent when they’re sat behind a screen, or for people who aren’t parents themselves to judge because they haven’t a clue what they’re talking about. When you’re a young, new, first time mum these can all seem like big, important things but they’re really not. You just have to do what works for you and your baby, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.

13.) What have been the biggest challenges?

My biggest challenge as a parent has been trying to be the best mum that I can be even though I never believe in myself. It’s hard enough raising a child but when you constantly doubt yourself and think that you must be doing something wrong or that someone else other than you would be able to do a better job it’s a lot harder. A lot lot harder. I’m constantly in a battle with myself and I’m my own worst enemy but I do like to think that I have come a long way from the young, naive, first time mum that I was and that I am growing into a more confident person and giving myself a bit more credit where it’s due when it comes to being a parent.

14.) What is the best advice that you’ve had or been given?

The best advice that I have been given is simply just being reminded that I am Kory’s mum and that I know him best. A lot of judgement comes with parenting and when it comes to making decisions for your children, it can be easy to doubt yourself even when you know deep down in your gut that it’s what’s best. Many times I have made a decision regarding Kory and then changed my mind about it through other people voicing their opinions and having their say just for it to turn out that I was right and should have just listened to myself to begin with. This is something that does get a little easier the older your child gets. Being a parent to a new baby is scary!

15.) Who is your mum crush?

I know so many amazing mums in real life and follow so many fabulous mums on Instagram that I would feel a little unfair just choosing one, I think we’re all doing a fantastic job!

So that’s all from me. Thank you for reading my answers to the questions asked! I hope you enjoyed reading them. I would like to ask Megan over at www.withabandme.wordpress.com to take part in this tag. I look forward to reading her answers!

Happy Mother’s Day

I have been well and truly spoilt by my boys today. I am so lucky and beyond blessed to have both of them in my life. My partner because without him I wouldn’t have my son and my son, Kory, because without him I wouldn’t be mum.

I woke up this morning and was instructed to stay in bed so I started the day by watching tv in bed, I had breakfast made and brought up to me and I was given some lovely gifts to open too which was really nice. When I did eventually come downstairs, the house had all been cleaned and tidied and there wasn’t a single thing that I needed to do so I literally haven’t moved all day. But get this, it gets even better than that, I’m also being taken out for my tea later as well!

I am definitely feeling the love today!

From the minute I get up out of bed, every day I usually run around like a headless chicken trying to make sure that everything is done and taken care of; that Kory is fed, watered, cleaned and dressed which is a challenge in itself when he doesn’t want to have a wash or brush his teeth or when he would rather kick me than put on pants. Making sure that the house is cleaned and tidied, not that that’s majorly important but I just hate the mess and would rather get it out of the way which is easier said than done when you have a toddler that just wants to play, then the mum guilt sets in… Even the pets need feeding, brushing and walking. So where do I come into all of this? Well the truth is I don’t! It’s actually quite difficult trying to juggle everything on your own whilst still trying to be the best parent that you can be. There isn’t time for anything else. Being a mum is by far the hardest thing that I have ever had to do but it’s also the best and most important thing too but that doesn’t make it any easier. So it’s nice to be appreciated and to not have to worry about all of that stuff for just one day.

So today in honour of all mums; working mums, stay at home mums, our own mums, those that are with us and those that have sadly passed, step mums, foster mums, nans or anyone who has just stepped in and been a mum. Today is for you. Today is for us.

Let’s celebrate being mums by putting our feet up with a brew and letting someone else look after us for a change! I think we’ve earned it.

I’m tired today

I’m tired today but not because of Kory waking for once, or because I got up to use the bathroom or because I was just generally unable to sleep. I’m tired today but for a totally different reason…

Why does inspiration for my blog have to come to me at 4:30am?

Last night I lay awake in bed in the early hours for around an hour and a half just tapping away on my phone like a mad woman, noting down all of the ideas for my blog that had suddenly just popped into my head before I forgot them! After weeks of feeling uninspired, having no motivation to blog regularly and having no idea what to write about on my blog, i’m glad that the inspiration to write and the different ideas came into my head but did it have to be at that time in a morning?!

I’m tired today and I have to say I’m kinda glad that Kory is in nursery this morning just so that I can enjoy a coffee in silence and try to unfrazzle my brain.

When I’m not lay awake in the early hours jotting down blog content ideas, I like to stay inspired in other less, tiring ways. Such as:

  • Reading other blogs
  • Working on my blog on the go from my phone
  • Writing down in a note pad ideas that i’ve had/got
  • Writing about what’s currently happening in my life right now
  • Thinking about where I want my blog to go and what I want to achieve from blogging
  • Reading my previous blog posts from the past and seeing how far I’ve come
  • Sharing my honest experiences with you and asking for advice

All bloggers go through spouts of finding it hard to think of new and different things to write about regularly. So those are just some of the ways that I keep myself feeling inspired and motivated.

Do you ever find yourself feeling uninspired and struggle to think of things to write about when it comes to your blog? What inspires you to continue writing?

P.S. I don’t know why my coffee looks so strange on this picture but I can assure you that it tastes nice!

Meal planning

Usually I would struggle every day to come up with different meal ideas and lacked inspiration as to what to cook for my family which is a shame really because I actually really enjoy cooking for myself and for others but I started to get bored of it and the meals I was cooking. I don’t know about some of you but I felt like I was making the same meals every day and I was getting fed up of cooking them and even eating them which is one of the reasons why I decided to start meal planning. Meal planning is something that I have only very recently started to do and now I’m asking myself why has it taken me so long to start doing this?! Already I have found that it has helped me to come up with and make it easy for me to plan what meals I am going to cook for my family and because of this I’ve started to really enjoy cooking again as well.

By writing down what foods need to be eaten and what meals I can make with them each week has really helped with that, it has also helped to keep the cost of our weekly food shop down and to cut down on the amount of food that was being thrown out and just going to waste! We tend to bulk buy a whole lot of meat once a month which costs around £60 as we found that this saves us money. We then freeze it all and then just defrost what food we are going to use every other day or so and then each week when we go food shopping just buy foods to go with it but because I didn’t have a clue what to cook, I was just throwing all sorts into my trolley and still spending £70+ a week on food and that was without even buying meat and we was still throwing so much food away! Compared to now where I’m spending around £40-£50 a week on food and there’s hardly any going to waste.

So far this week I have cooked homemade lasagne with garlic bread, chicken casserole with vegetables, sausage casserole with mashed potatoes and shepherds pie and it’s cost next to nothing! I’m really enjoying experimenting with different recipes, cooking and trying them and best of all – eating them!

Does anyone else plan what meals they are going to make throughout the week? What meals do you like to cook for you and your family?

Parenting

After weeks of Kory constantly being ‘naughty’ and driving me up the wall, I feel like we have really turned a corner with his behaviour. (Thank god!) I feel like this past week or so he’s sort of calmed down a bit. There hasn’t been half as many temper tantrums, screaming matches or meltdowns and I can’t tell you how happy that has made me!

I don’t know what happened, whether it was a phase of some sort that Kory was going through but I feel like I said nothing but ‘no, don’t do that’ ‘no, kory, stop that’ or ‘no that’s naughty’ every day for around 3 horrible weeks just to be screamed and shouted back at. During that time I found it really hard to parent, I wasn’t enjoying being a mum and I wasn’t enjoying Kory’s company like I normally would have. I would wake up dreading the day and go to bed exhausted and upset every night. I honestly had no idea what I was doing or how to handle it all which didn’t help with my anxiety or my feelings of guilt that I was already burdened with but I knew that I had to do something and as difficult as it was, it must have paid off.

I have no doubt that this dreaded ‘phase’ or whatever it was will return again at some point but right now i’m just gonna enjoy feeling like I’m in control of the situation again and not having to tell Kory off all the time. I know that as Kory’s mum I will always be his parent first and friend second because as his mum it is my job to make sure that as much as I have to allow him to learn and grow by himself, it’s also my job to keep him in line too.

It’s just nice to have my best friend back.

A new day

The next day was a new day and I was hoping (more like praying!) that it was going to be a better day than Monday. I suppose anything was going to be an improvement compared to the day before but i’m happy to say that Tuesday actually got off to a really good start. If you read my previous blog post What a day you will know that I had a pretty horrific day with Kory on Monday.

He behaved quite badly and afterwards I disciplined him the best way that I knew how which was to take his things away from him and totally ignore him for the rest of the day and it was hard to say the least but I stuck to it and I’m glad I didn’t give in because it must have worked somehow. I’m not saying that Kory is never going to throw another tantrum because let’s be realistic but since our ordeal, Kory has been more like his usual, happy self, he’s been listening to me and there has been zero screaming and shouting so I would say that’s an improvement.

I’m actually quite proud of myself for the way that I handled and dealt with the whole situation. I very easily could have lost my sh!t and screamed right back at Kory but instead I tried to remain as calm as I could considering. I feel like Kory’s bad behaviour had been leading up to that day, it started off with a little answering back and shouting here and there and I probably should have been stricter from the start but for me, he crossed the line on Monday and that was the last straw. I knew that something needed to be done and I feel like his punishment was necessary.

I’m really hoping that this good behaviour continues but for now, I’m going to put my feet up with a cup of coffee and flick through the tv. I think I’ve earned it.

When your children act up in public, how do you deal with the situation? How do you discipline your young children? It’s a hard one isn’t it and it’s something that I’m still figuring out.

What a day

What a day Monday was. I woke up and started the day with every intention of having a nice day with Kory. Despite having a late night the night before, he actually woke up in a pretty good mood. We had breakfast, we got ready and I took Kory to football like I do every Monday and my mum and grandad decided to join as well so that they could see Kory play as they hadn’t been before, which I thought – well that’s going to be nice for everyone!

And it was, for the first 20 minutes or so until Kory started to behave like a complete and total brat. He was shouting, screaming, pushing, he wouldn’t listen and he was smacking me too. It got that bad that I ended up leaving early and making Kory leave too which he didn’t want but I also wasn’t going to stand for that sort of behaviour. I can honestly say, in his whole two and a half years of being here he has never behaved so badly and I wasn’t paying for him to go to football for him to ignore everything anyone was saying to him and I certainly wasn’t rewarding that sort of behaviour or allowing it.

Humiliated, angry and upset, there was lots of tears from both Kory and from me! Kory had pushed every single one of my buttons and I just wanted to go home. My partner rang me just to ask if we were both okay and I broke down on the phone. It was awful. Who knew a two year old could make you feel so frustrated!

I’d like to say that things improved once we got home but they did not. I don’t believe in smacking Kory, that’s just not my way of disciplining him. Instead, his punishment was to have his iPad taken away, he wasn’t allowed any sweets, chocolates or treats and he was to stay in his bedroom but that didn’t stop him from asking for them or for throwing yet another tantrum when I refused. I don’t enjoy disciplining Kory, I’m sure no one else enjoys disciplining their kids either but I suppose it’s a part of parenting. It’s just a part of parenting that I don’t find fun and find really hard to do but if Monday taught me anything, it’s that I needed to stick to my guns if I wanted to nip this behaviour in the bud right away.

I don’t think I’ll be able to show my face at football next week. When Kory was behaving like he was, I felt like everyone was looking over and judging me as well as Kory. He was the only one misbehaving! Why did it have to be my child that couldn’t just behave?!

So that was our Monday. I hope you all had a better Monday than I did!