Valentines 2016 Mr Valentine our family tradition

Happy Valentines Day.

Another year to celebrate Mr Valentine with my smalls, 
Mr.H & I don't really celebrate Valentines day as our wedding anniversary is in a few weeks. It's our five year wedding anniversary too so lovely! 
I've spoken about Mr Valentine before. 
Here & Here

This year E got her as she calls him her (husband) boyfriend a chocolate rose & a home made card. It's so sweet... She ran over to him on Friday morning to give him the chocolate rose & he then handed her a chocolate rose & home made card too. Totally adorable. He's such a lovely little boy & they've known each other since they were two and a half. 

Anyways back to our Valentines day ... So who is Mr Valentine I hear you say? Have you really never heard of him? 
I grew up with Mr Valentine in my life ever since I can remember we've always had Mr valentine in our life. 
I think it's wonderful to involve the children in Valentines day seeing as I think for adults its all about shops making money out of the soppy loved up couples.  *Vomit*
Also restaurant chains banking in on the profits of the soppy loved up couples. 
Ha I sound like such a valentines scrooge. Honestly I'm not I just don't like the smushy overly loved up thing.... Mr.H & I are very happy & we don't need Valentines day to remind us of that...
Mr Valentine is all I know, each valentines there will be a knock at the door & a bag left outside. 
Each bag will have a small gift in. 
Nothing crazily expensive, socks, chocolates, crafty stuff. You get it, stocking filler type stuff. 
I think its a lovely tradition & hope my children follow it through for their children. 
This year i popped into our local town & just went to Tiger, Monsoon *SALE* & Primark.
I probably spent £15 each on them & I got them some really cute things.

I love how much Emilyn (now 6 years old) gets excited about Mr Valentine coming.
We spent the year before last in Norfolk at my Grans (Mr Valentine actually originates from Norfolk I explained that in my post two years ago)

This was Emilyn having her very first visit from Mr Valentine. 

It's also VERY interesting what we all think Mr Valentine looks like... My sister & I had this conversation a few years ago. I oddly think of him as a man dressed in black (to blend in with the darkness) with a top hat on like a spy. Where as my sister thinks of him as a little elf *emphasis on his elf ears*
quite creepy really....

So my question to you all is: Have you heard of Mr Valentine before?
Do you do Mr Valentine for your children?
Perhaps you'll start now?

Remember it doesn't need to be expensive either... but it is great fun & something for your smalls to look forwards to. Especially with them going into half term. 

Coco my Cavapoo - Her first hydrotherapy swimming lesson. 13/02/16

If you follow my blog on a regular basis you may of seen my blog post last week about my darling doggy Coco & we had just found out she had luxating patellas on both knees but graded as a 1 only. 
My vets had wanted me to started doggy physio & wanted me to take her to a rather over priced hydrotherapy pool.

Thankfully I have some wonderful friends around me & I managed to get a second opinion.
We decided Coco just needs to strengthen her legs & muscles - swimming in a normal pool locally should do the trick. 
As well as starting her on joint supplements & see how she goes.

Coco with her doggy lifeguard jacket on

Coco has never really swam before apart from jumping in a doggy lake around 6 months ago. 
She looked quite excited by the pool & luckily the two other dogs we shared the pool with were lovely & actually encouraged her to get into the pool.

This is Coco swimming for the second time... she got better and better the more she swam. 

We will take her swimming weekly & may even try twice weekly once baby has been born.
I had an overwhelming proudness whilst watching her swim. She is my fur baby it was quite emotional to watch. 
So proud of my Coco

She's now back home & exhausted, we were told she could well sleep for the next 12 -24 hours as she's used muscles she's never used before. 
She's booked in for next Saturday again. 

I'll try to keep you updated on her progress.

Half-term can cost you less than you think

The cost of raising children from birth to the age of 11, has risen significantly in recent years by 4% to the figure of £87,000*, according to the annual Halifax Cost of Childcare research. Unsurprisingly, childcare is the largest and most costly element of raising a child, accounting for nearly half of the monthly outlay for each child (**£320).
The cost of childcare can vary, depending on the child's age and needs. Many parents will not need childcare after their children start school, other than for school holidays. With holiday clubs, play schemes, activity camps, child minders and nannies, there are a variety of options to choose from, however, these can be costly.
There is a way to help parents save money on childcare costs this half-term: through using Childcare Vouchers. Childcare Vouchers are available through employers to pay for any registered childcare for children up to the age of 16, and can provide savings of up to £933** per year. Simple to use, a chosen amount is deducted from your wages in return for the same amount of Childcare Vouchers before tax and National Insurance. They are then placed into an online account for parents to use to pay their childcare provider(s).
Vouchers can be deducted each month or as and when they are required. They can be saved up in the online account for when they are needed – perfect for those who only need them to pay for sporadic or school holiday childcare. Both parents can join their employer's Childcare Voucher scheme, potentially doubling savings – making childcare more affordable.
The Government were planning to launch their new Tax-free Childcare scheme in autumn 2015, but this has now been delayed till 2017. Currently, Childcare Vouchers are the only option for working parents who want to save on their childcare costs. Furthermore, they will be many parents who will be better off continuing to use Childcare Vouchers as the savings they provide will be more than they would get through Tax-free Childcare. Under the new scheme, many parents will be worse off, including middle-low earning parents, families with only one working parent, families using childcare for only a few days a week and those who have children in childcare over the age of 12. Childcare Vouchers are therefore the answer.
Speak to your employer today about Childcare Vouchers – they will save money too.  Alternatively, contact Busy Bees Benefits at or on 0330 333 9100 and they will discuss the scheme with employers on your behalf.

BOTH ADM boots are BROKEN.... Talipes

A few weeks ago H broke both his ADM boots....
I just can't believe it. What a set back. 
Both boots are broken... We had only just got him back into wearing them again & then this happens.
Totally unwearable. It will take weeks to get new ones ordered then I will have the battle I seem to constantly have to actually get him to wear the new ones. 
I rang our hospital & they told me to contact C-Pro Direct directly through email or phone. 
I managed to phone them & got his new boots on order straight away. Perfect. 
I just wish that didn't break so easily....
H kept asking to wear his boots * I know totally unlike him...
I think it was more that he knew he couldn't wear them so then he wanted to wear them? 

*Update so we had them delivered just days after contacting C-Pro Direct H was so excited to get new boots. 
But we seem to be back in square one again, they're a stronger degree on each foot & he just can't cope with it. Back to no sleep. Yay pass me the coffee....

5 Top Spots for Families in Sicily

If it’s not the beaches or the ruins, then it’s possibly the charm of age-old Baroque towns that attract people to visit Sicily. As a matter of fact, Sicily boasts a wide array of attractions for all kinds of travelers and they are all worth a visit, indeed. For those who are bringing their families for a holiday in the magical Mediterranean island, then here are some of the best spots to include in your agenda. 
  1. Taormina – First of all, it would be ideal to book into one of the charming apartments in Taormina in Sicily that will provide you all the comfort during your stay. Many of them have  Picture-perfect Taormina will give you an authentic Sicilian experience as it is full of things to see. Drop by the ancient Greco-Roman theatre that is still used for entertainment events and where the annual Taormina Film Festival is held. You will love the jaw-dropping views of Mt. Etna! It is also a place where you can see fine examples of Baroque architecture in the form of churches and palaces. Moreover, it is the perfect base to visit other nearby places such as the Isola Bella, Alcantara Gorge and Giardini Naxos. 

  1. Mt. Etna – A trip to the most active volcano in all of Europe is sure to be a unique experience for both adults and kids. You can take the cable car to gaze over mounds of lava. You can also continue to the summit with the help of professional guides in a special minibus jeep. The thrill of the adventure will be all worth it especially once you reach the crater areas and marvel at the scenery around. 

  1. Scala dei Turchi – This is a special place just 15 minutes away from the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento. With the waves that carved out step-like formations on the white rocks through time, the place is absolutely interesting. The whole family can play on the beach, sunbathe on the rocks, or take a dip in the warm, crystal-clear waters. 

  1. The Salt Pans – Located between Marsala and Trapani, this can provide another adventurous and fun-filled experience for everyone. Huge piles of salt drying in the sun plus the numerous windmills erected around will surely make for a marvelous trip. Then, you can have a picnic in the nearby island of Motya. Just take a boat ride and once there, stroll through the remains of an ancient Phoenician town or visit the museum that houses the “Youth of Motya,” the most tantalizing marble sculpture in the entire world. 

  1. Modica – One of the UNESCO-listed Baroque towns in southeastern Sicily, this is an appealing destination for a lot of visitors, not only for the architectural wonders, but also for its cuisine and for its unique chocolate-making culture. This would literally be chocolate heaven where kids and parents alike can have fun peering into chocolate shops and tasting the wonderful confections of chocolate that come in different flavours!

Why we love Pancake day

Happy Shrove Tuesday lovely people. 
I hope you are all stuffing your face with pancakes. 
Pancake day for us is a special day. We got married almost 5 years ago on pancake day! 
We had pancakes for pudding. Then spent two weeks in Tunisia & indulged in pancakes every day whilst there. 
Luckily both my smalls have grown up to also love pancakes. 
Baby bump is enjoying them this year too. 

This is my smalls this afternoon, (after they've been at school all day) with their pancakes. 
I love how you can have sweet or savoury pancakes. 
We love princes fruit fillings in our pancakes with maple syrup & cream. 

I'm enjoying classic lemon pancakes this year.

So what pancakes will you be having? 
Happy Pancake day!!

Barkbeats dog subscription box review *Plus 50% off Discount

Barkbeats box 

- Spunky Pup Gem 
- Georplast bowl
- Pupbake cookies
- Coaches Training Treats 
- Stanford Biscuits 

You can take a look at previous boxes HERE


What do we think?

Well we love it. What a great concept. A monthly dog box that you can cancel any time.
Free shipping to your doorstep
Excellent Value. BB say "We ensure the BB box value exceeds the price you pay"
& with doing a brief bit of investigating
I roughly added the whole box to be about £22.00+ & you get free shipping!
Bargain when the monthly box starts from just £13.50.

What better way to treat your fur baby than this? 
Also remember with Coco50 you can get 50% off your first BB box 

I absolutely LOVE this idea 
& LOVE this box.   

If all of this doesn't tempt you then perhaps I will also tell you about The Barkbeats Hearts 


What is the Hearts Programme?
At Barkbeats we're dedicated to promoting the health and happiness of dogs everywhere. Through various campaigns and promotions, we donate at least 10% of our profit to animal charity organizations. 
Want to know more about the Hearts Programme?
If you represent a shelter, rescue or other animal welfare organization, please email us at and we'll contact you. "

Coco loves her new bowl.

Coco loves her treats too of course.

Like them on
& Follow them on Twitter
You can contact them Here

Bump Monday | 31 weeks Pregnant |


|| 31 weeks Pregnant ||

How am I feeling?

31 Weeks today 
Life is a bit shitty if I'm honest. I'm exhausted & life is mental. 
I blogged yesterday about the devastating news about Coco my fur baby.... you can catch up here
It's totally knocked me for six. 
Also pregnancy insomnia has hit big time & all I want to do in the daytime is sleep. 
I'm coping though, not really sure how I'm coping but house is clean, food is in the slow cooker, children showered & gone to school in clean clothes. 
It's amazing how you function when you just have to. 

Baby weighs about as much as a coconut.


The past two nights I have woken up to make a sandwich. 
Silly cravings. 
It's Pancake day this week - I am so excited Pancakes make me happy
Stupid stupid sweet craving....

On a positive :
My SPD has improved greatly this week. On the single digit countdown... 9 weeks to go. 

Coco my Cavapoo dog has luxating patellas - Heart broken

Coco is my fur baby. All non animal lovers might as well just top reading now, I doubt you'll understand why I am as upset as I well and truly am. 
I had the dreaded phone call  from my groomer on Thursday; now Coco is a pampered pooch & she goes to the groomers fortnightly to have a bath, groom and a slight trim to keep her curly hair from matting. It's a small price to pay to keep her looking beautiful in my eyes. 
The groomer sounded panicked so I panicked, she asked if I had noticed anything about Coco's knees recently? No I hadn't I walk her three times a day & she is a happy & healthy 18 month old puppy. 
The groomer had noticed her left knee kept dislocating but it was popping back into place easily, Coco was showing no signs of pain either. 
I went to collect her straight away & the groomer showed me her knee & what to look out for. 
I got Coco in the car & just burst into tears. I started to drive home but pulled into the first lay-by I could see, then phoned our vets up as the pain & agony of the unknown was ripping me apart. 
The receptionist was lovely & managed to fit us in the following day. 
The next day dragged till 3pm & it was time to visit the vets, annoyingly I had to take H with me we then had to wait over an hour to be seen & H was losing patience. Coco was very well behaved. I felt sick with anxiety & was in complete panic. 

The vet was lovely & really good with Coco she explained that yes Coco has both knees with luxating patellas she graded them a 1 (thank goodness) they grade them between a 1 - 4 & 4 being the worse.... Other names of the condition are trick kneesubluxation of patellafloating patella, or floating kneecap this is a condition in which the patella, or kneecap, dislocates or moves out of its normal location.
I thought that would be it, she has a knee condition but it's manageable. Then she talked about physio & hydrotherapy for Coco, obviously being 31 weeks pregnant myself we haven't got much time. So Coco has her first doggy physio appointment this Wednesday. 

I have no idea if Coco will need her knees operated on in the future or what... I have no idea how long she will need physio for. 
I feel numb with stress. Stress that my fur baby has these problems, stress that she will need lots of extra vet appointments, stress that this could be a life long problem. 
Stress that the timing couldn't physically be any worse than it is. 
Stress of the unknown.
Stress that I've got such shitty pet insurance *accidentally* that will barely cover any treatment. 
Stress that I'm due my third baby in a matter of weeks & my own health isn't great. 
I've spent the last three days just bursting into tears. I love my dog so much.

The vet also described her knees & paws as disabled of course with my own son having Talipes I feel strongly about this & this broke my heart even more. 

The positives are that Coco isn't in any pain at the moment & I'm really hoping that Physio massage & hydrotherapy will help her a lot. I'm happy to try anything. Just wish the timing was better 

It's the whole unknown thing thats worrying me the most too. I just don't understand it enough to know what her quality of life will be like. 

Coco & bump 

Hello Pregnancy Insomnia...Help I can't sleep.

Currently - Sat on the sofa scoffing a cheese & ham sandwich.... Why? Because it's 01:35am & I've been awake the past hour and a half. Laying in bed, moving from my right to my left side. Getting up to pee over three times tonight already. Also I appear to be hungry. 
Also craving squash. Like mouth watering needing squash craving. 
I'm 31 weeks pregnant on Monday, I am exhausted. SO WHY CAN'T I SLEEP?
I had put my insomnia down to caffeine late in the day however this week I've cut caffeine out after 10am. I have had one hellish week that I will explain further in my blog about but It's all a bit too fresh to talk about just yet. *Baby & myself are ok* It's to do with my fur baby. 
So tonight I woke up needing to pee then my eyes just went *ping* you're awake now. 
You know tomorrow I'm going to just feel even more exhausted though don't you? 
Urgh third trimester pregnancy insomnia how I had totally forgotten all about you. 
If I had stayed in bed I would of craved my ham & cheese sandwich although I'm totally craving Philadelphia garlic & herb with cucumbers & we have none. *Sad face*
It was much better to make a sandwich & sit up for an hour or so - Hey I do get to catch up on Stella whilst the household sleep. Silver lining to every cloud & all that jazz. 
This is when people will start saying "now you really must nap in the day....." like hell I've got a chance of that happening. 
I'll just suck it up & carry on, that's what us mums do isn't it?
pregnancy insomnia *Source

Stokke Tripp Trapp - The chair that grows with the child. From birth. *Now in more colours than ever.

Now in more colours than ever.

Stokke® introduces three new colours to the Tripp Trapp® chair collection - with new accessories too.

This has really excited me as baby number threes birth is getting closer I've been thinking a lot about highchairs & I really love how the Stokke Tripp Trapp looks & it's great how it grows with said child.

Created in 1972 by Norwegian designer Peter Opsvik, the Tripp Trapp® chair has never been bettered. Back then no one had seen anything like it. More than 40 years later, Tripp Trapp® is still unique, and now available in more colours and with more stylish accessories than ever before.

Stokke trip trap

Soft Pink
We listen to our customers and, by popular demand, we welcome sweet Soft Pink to the collection. Soft Pink will give a pop of colour to any interior.

Wheat Yellow
Quirky and on trend, Wheat Yellow is a warm neutral, suitable for kitchen interiors and boys and girls alike. Offering several styling possibilities, it is ideal for those that want to make a unique statement.

Hazy Grey
For those that prefer a modern neutral, we also introduce Hazy Grey. Inspired by our
Scandinavian appreciation for the natural beauty of wood, Hazy Grey allows the rich structure of the wood to shine through for a visual texture.

Also new for Tripp Trapp® are 10 new cushions. All in versatile patterns that offer options to create a truly custom look and complement the Tripp Trapp® chair in its wide variety of colors. The cushion provides additional comfort for your baby, and can be used in conjunction with the Baby Set or on the chair alone.

As a final touch we have also added two new reversible textile set covers for the Tripp Trapp® Newborn Set in playful patterns featuring cars, stars and butterflies. The textile set includes a coordinating reversible bib to complete the look.

NEW Bugaboo Hoods in Grey Melange for Cameleon3, Buffalo, & Donkey Buggies!

I am so excited to share with you the long awaited GREY Melange hoods for the Bugaboo *Buffalo... I am most excited about. 
For baby number three I've just bought the All Black Buffalo* The Grey melange hood will look so gorgeous on it now we know it will be released! 
The Bugaboo Bee3 has had the Grey melange hood since it was released but the other buggies missed out... until now of course. 

The Bugaboo Cameleon3 Grey Melange Tailored Fabric set includes the canopy and bassinet apron – I've heard it will retail at - £119.95.

For the Donkey stroller, you can either purchase the Donkey Grey Melange Fabric Set RRP £119.95 or just a Donkey Grey Melange canopy RRP - £79.95.

The Bugaboo Buffalo Grey Melange Fabric Set will be available as well – includes the canopy and bassinet apron. I've heard it'll retail for £119.95.

The new fabrics and blankets are expected to ship in March 2016 just in time for Baby H to make her April appearance.


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