Thursday, 22 October 2020

Ace Ultra for Whites Laundry Bleach / Review.

When the boys started their new school, I knew instantly that their bright white polo shirts would come home looking like they'd spent the day being dragged through a muddy field and back again for good measure.....and they certainly didn't let me down!

After their first day, it looked like they had spent a week camping at a muddy festival rather than actually sitting in a classroom learning.

The boys just seem to look at dirt and it automatically jumps upon them, so when I was asked to try out Ace Ultra it was a no brainer and of course agreed, anything to help battle this never-ending mission I currently am on.

Ace Ultra for Whites aims to bring your dull and faded whites back to life.
It surely didn't disappoint, I was half expecting to have to put the polos all back in and try a few times, but after the first wash all the stains were gone and they were all looking bright and white, just like new!

My usual weapon for tackling stains really wouldn't have had such a good result the first time around, so I was really impressed. 
Ace Ultra also didn't smell to bleach like thanks to the floral blossom scent.

The shirts did come out feeling slightly stiff compared to normal, but once they had been in the tumble dryer they were back to feeling soft.

How I used it;
I pour the Ace in my softener compartment up to the fill line,
Ran on a cycle of 40 degrees for an hour.
There are full instructions on the bottle for you to follow.

Afterwards, I did run a drum clean cycle on the washing machine as I was worried the bleach may affect the dark load I was about to run, but after using Ace Ultra for a few weeks now I know that that isn't something I need to worry about and none of my dark loads has been bothered by the fact the washing machine had just used bleach in a previous load.

I have seen Ace products in my local Morrisons but have never really paid them much notice, but now Ace for whites is definitely a product that I shall be reaching for in the future when my bottle finally runs out.

Just like new!

You can buy Ace Ultra for Whites in your local Morrisons, to find out more about Ace and their products why not pop over to their website and have a look.

Wednesday, 14 October 2020

Evening beach trips, Mushroom Hunting and general goings on.

Thought I'd do a quick life update, rather than just a baby update.

I havent done one in a while and again I have been putting the blog to one side, with the boys all back at school and life becoming a little more of the new normal I start sharing more on the blog.

The younger three all started a brand new school at the start of September, which I was a little worried about but they have all settled in really quickly and it's like they have always been there. We received their report cards last Friday and we were both very impressed with them!

Noah has settled back into life at secondary school and is even getting the bus their and back by himself without any moaning!

Each of the boys has also gone up a belt in martial arts and now Noah is only two belts away from going for his black belt!

After Martial arts, we occasionally pop to the beach to watch the sunsets.
You really can't beat a beautiful sunset to end the day, the boys all love running around and we can just sit back and take it all in. It really is perfect if you've had a stressful day, as the sea can just wash it all away!

In a bid to cut down on our plastic I have been buying the boys fewer snacks for after school and baking treats myself!
The boys seem to enjoy this more and it gives me something to do during the day when I'm not doing my uni work or tidying up after the wild ones.
Also, our plastic waste has been reduced with fewer snacks in the house and the boys aren't missing their sweet shop bought treats.
I will probably share a whole blog post on all the backs that I have been making.

A firm favourite - Chocolate chip cookies!

With the boys back at school, we have been trying to make the most of the free time we have and the other week we popped to Norwich to try out a restaurant that I have been lusting after for months over on Instagram.

The Tipsy Vegan 

Jon told me has wasn't expecting much, but was actually blown away with how amazing everything tasted.

Watching him eat I could see all the emotions going on and it really was quite amusing! I haven't had a meal as good as that in ages, so I really enjoyed every bite and cannot wait to revisit!

The baby girl shopping has well and truly started and I can already see it becoming a bit out of hand!
Everything is so pretty!

After popping out to a local cafe with my mum and trying an awesome pumpkin spiced cake I decided to try my hand at making my very own pumpkin cake!
It was even if I say so myself, one of the best cakes I've ever made!!
It tastes a lot like carrot cake, so even the boys were impressed, I couldn't find any sugar pumpkins for decoration so I had to make do with sugar carrots.

As I'm not going to the gym at the moment, due to corona and not wanting to pick up any germs I am trying to get out and walk more in a bid to hopefully not put on too much weight this pregnancy. Over lockdown, I like most people did pack on a few extra pounds but I since walking every other day I have managed to lose them and feel like I look a little better .... even with the baby bump.

Whilst on our walks I love seeing all the cows wandering around and being able to get close enough to get some good snaps of them.

Also, a new favourite thing of mine is mushroom hunting!!
I cannot get enough of these beautiful looking fungi!

I have also started my third year at the Open University - this technically is the start of my second year! I am doing it part-time so only studying one module a year making a brick uni year last two.

I am currently reading Far From The Maddening Crowd for my first unit and to say it's a bit of a challange would be to undersell it, I usually have my head stuck in a thriller novel so it is a little out of my comfort zone but none the less I am enjoying it so far.


Our homegrown produce has dwindled slightly due to the growing season, but we recently picked all our homegrown pumpkins ready for the boys to carve come Halloween!
We are all very pleased with their outcomes, we have also been give extra pumpkins from Jon's parents garden that I am hoping to use in a few autumn based recipes.


Saturday, 3 October 2020

...It's a GIRL...

 Soooooo yesterday we had our 20-week scan...

Everything is looking great with the baby, measurements are all spot on and looking healthy...and we found out we are having a little girl. 

Completely changing our boy dynamic!

We were expecting to find out we were going to be having another boy join our clan, so we were totally thrown when we were told it was a girl. Jon pretty much cried and I was just in a state of shock.
We had come to the conclusion in our heads that I just couldn't carry a girl, due to the miscarriages.

Safe to say everyone was over the moon when we told them, and most were in the same shock we were.

I decided to buy a gender reveal balloon for the boys to pop, as they were all eager to know the gender, they said they werent too bothered by what it was going to be, though they did say they'd prefer a boy. Ru was dead set on me giving birth to a 5yr old named billy - I had to let him down gently and say that would never happen!

The balloon was a bit hard for them to pop, Noah was sticking the pin in and nothing was happening but eventually, with a big jab, the balloon popped and out flew the pink confetti ...... which of course you'd automatically guess it was a girl, but no not my boys they looked at me and asked 'so what is it?'

After finding out it was a girl, they all asked are you sure?
Then they all left as though nothing had happened and logged onto their game consoles!
Ru had made a bet with his martial arts teachers, so now he owes her sweets - something he isn't very pleased about!

My pregnancy so far;

I have finally stopped being sick, which has been a godsend as I just couldn't do anything before, now my energy levels are back and I can venture away from the bathroom. I am being seen by a consultant as well as my midwife due to being 'high risk' thanks to having a set of premature twins and a c-sections, along with my previous miscarriages, so I am getting scans every four weeks, to keep an eye on her. At my last consultant appointment which was at 16 weeks, he agree I could be allowed a home birth as everything was looking fine and I have already had a VBAC at home without any complications.

Which is great as I really have my heart set on a water birth at home. 
I've never had a water birth, I did plan one for Noah's but the pool never got put up in time due to the football being on (one of the cons of having a home birth when the footie is on)
My mum has a pool, so I won't need to rent one or buy one which is really handy.

Placenta smoothies and pills are back on the agenda, as I did this with both the twins and Ru and It's something I more than likely do again.

I'm starting to feel slight movements which I love as it keeps my mind happy that she's still alive and her heart is beating, I am still constantly worried something bad is going to happen but with every week target I hit I am put at ease. I won't be truly at ease until she is here in my arms.

Now we finally know the gender, we are able to start buying her cute little girly outfits and baby accessories and even more importantly find the perfect name for her!!

19 week bump.

Thursday, 17 September 2020

Review // Catipilla Scratcher


For those of you that aren't aware, I have three cats, Indie who is 8, Link who is 2 and Odin our newest member is also 2 and we rescued him last year from the Cats Protection.

I adore all three and love nothing more than spoiling them to new treats, one thing that I don't quite adore is them scratching at the carpets or the sofa legs, so I am always on the hunt for new scratching poles or mats, so when I came across Catipilla I was very interested in their wall-mounted scratching poles.
They very kindly sent me a wall mounted post for my three fur babies to try out.

Odin checking out the new post.

The Catipilla scratcher is wall mounted and prices range from £20 to £70 depending on which size you go for, they also offer replacement post to buy for when yours is starting to look a bit worse for wear.

The post comes with everything you need to mount it up and if needed you can buy additional fittings for £3 a pair plus shipping costs.

Materials used;

South American sisal rope. 

They source the highest quality, ‘whitest’, natural sisal rope they can find and they never bleach it as this is not good for cats. 

Being a natural product, there will always be slight colour variations and imperfections in the sisal.

Anodised Aluminium.

The inner core of ABS plastic that will not dampen/warp.

Keeping his mini Pantha claws in check!

All three of the cats have enjoyed stretching out on the new post .... trying to get a picture of all three was beyond difficult, every time the camera came out they ran away only to return once I was heading back down the stairs!

I've found Odin enjoys it the most and will always have a good scratch before heading down for his breakfast.

Link protecting the post from the others!

Link our biggest cat weighs around 7kg, so we went for a bigger option rather than a smaller one, so when he was using it he could get a good stretch.
We went for the 75cm post which is priced at a reasonable £42.00.

It was really easy to install and we decided the best place for it was at the top of the stairs and thankfully it is being used much more than the sofa legs!
So it is definitely a big win! 

Not only do Catipilla sell scratching posts they also have a great range of cat climbers, resting points and accessories. 

Tuesday, 25 August 2020

Review // Mål Paper Daily Goal Setter Planner.

I have kindly been sent a daily goal setter from Mål Paper, a stylish planner to help me achieve me to stick to my daily/weekly and monthly goals and make sure I stick to them!

I'm always trying to be more organised, and now with the new school year just around the corner, my second year of uni about to beginning and a baby on the way now is probably the best time to get myself organised and on the ball.

The word Mål, pronounced 'mo-l', means goal in Swedish.

This 271 paged planner is simply set out and really easy to use and its main aim is to help you become more productive.

Instead of jumping straight into the monthly view pages, this planner has a few notes/instructions at the start to help aid you in the best way to put this planner to use.

It has a cheat sheet at the very beginning which has lots of guidance on how to set effective goals and tips and tricks on affirmations and even tells you about the A, B, C, D, E method which helps you prioritise your lists of to-dos helping make your daily tasks more manageable.

Then on to the actual planner, you have a two-page spread for each of your long-term goals, medium-term goals and then your short-termed goals. 
Then you get the monthly review pages that you can write out from whenever you purchase the planner. 
Then you have your weekly review pages, which is where you can jot down your weekly tasks starting with the most important to additional tasks that will need completing that week.

Then you have your daily planner page, where you have space to write three things you are grateful for, the planner suggests you write these down first thing in the morning.

Your daily affirmations, if this is something you feel you may struggle with at first there are some suggestions at the start of the planner and then you have space to write down your daily tasks and goals that need to be achieved that day.
Then at the end of the day, you can go back and jot down something great that happened.

Then at the back like all good planners, you have space to write important or quick notes on.

I really love how the planner is set out and all the useful tips it suggests to help make sure you get the most out of the planner.
I've set mine up to start from September so that when the new term starts I am ready for it.

Handy little pocket 

The planner costs £21.95 with free shipping for the UK
You can purchase one here.

The lovely guys over at Mål Paper have given me a 15% discount code for my readers, so if you guys do fancy buying one of these for yourself make sure to pop in


at the checkout!

Friday, 21 August 2020

Baby Number Five Is On Its way

Baby number 5 will be joining the mini beast clan in February 2021!!

After all our miscarriages a couple of years ago we decided that would be the end of trying for another little one to join our family, so when we found out that I was pregnant it was a complete shock.

The day I actually took my test was when my best friend texts me to tell me there was a rainbow even though it hadn't been raining, and that was a sign. So I popped to Tesco to grab a test and low and behold it showed a positive result. 

I didn't really believe it at first and continued to take a few more tests over the following week, half expecting my period to come and the tests to come back negative.
Two weeks went by and it was finally starting to sink in, the sickness also made it harder not to believe.

I held off telling anyone other than my best friend and Jon, not even our parents had been told.
I was still waiting to bleed, due to our miscarriages I just didn't expect this pregnancy to go any differently.

By 7 weeks the sickness was not letting me leave the bathroom I finally gave in and told my mum, we were due to be heading down to London to have a post lockdown visit but there was no way I'd be able to make it without being sick in the car.
 My mum and I decided not to tell anyone else just yet, so we just told my dad I was sick, which led him to get all concerned I had caught corona and he started telling me I needed to quarantine myself and the boys.

10 weeks came and I was past the stage of my previous miscarriages and slowly starting to get a little bit excited about being pregnant, my parents came to visit and we finally told my dad who got a little annoyed that mum knew and he didn't.

11 weeks came and we gave in and told the boys as I was still being really sick and they were sure I was dying of corona and wanted me to go to the doctor. Oscars reaction was the best, he came out with '5 children...are you MAD?' 
Noah pipped in with I bet it's going to be annoying and Rupert wanted to know how big it was, what it ate when it would be big and if it could look like his friend Billy from school!

I'm now in my 13th week and I'm still suffering from morning sickness through out the day but my anti-sickness tablets are helping, we've had our first scan and everything is good with the baby. It was lovely seeing the baby jumping around it really put my mind at ease, but it still hasn't stopped the worry of seeing blood every time I go to the toilet. I am hoping that dread will eventually go as the pregnancy progresses.

We're still holding back from buying things, but that doesnt stop us browsing the internet looking at all the beautiful baby items you can buy.

I'm hoping the sickness wears off soon and I can finally start getting my energy levels back.


Saturday, 15 August 2020

Book Review // Meee in a family minute: 60 Ways To Improve Your Family Life In 60 Secs.

'Sid Madge is a brand strategist and founder of The Meee Programme. 
His first book ‘Meee in a Minute - 60 ways to improve your life in 60 seconds’ became a best-seller and celebrates the work of the Meee Programme. 
It draws on his knowledge of branding and expertise from neuroscience, psychology, education, business and sociology.'

Family time can sometimes be overlooked or put to the bottom of the to-do list thanks to our busy lives, our hectic schedules and the pull of those damn games consoles that are easier to give into than argue against, so when I was asked if I would like a copy of Sid Madge's 60 ways to improve your family life in 60 secs I was definitely more than willing to give it a read.   

Lockdown started off great as we did so much together as a family but as the weeks went on and the stress of it got to us all, we all kind of slipped into a lazy routine of not doing much and only really coming together on the odd walk in the woods or at mealtimes, so I needed to get back on track and reconnect our clan.

Taking breaths when the boys get too much, has really helped me tackle situations much better.

The 60 mini-chapters only take a minute to read and you can flip through the book and read it how you like, it covers everything from learning how to say sorry to creating family traditions.
Sid also covers how to bring a blended family together - which includes those who foster.

I love that you can flip through the book and will always end up finding something that relates to your family or something that you can do together that will bring you closer and help you bring back the fun in being a family.

Lockdown has forced us to spend more time together and even with that in place we still managed to slightly drift apart.
After reading 60 ways to improve your family life in 60 secs I have now clamped down on screen time and make more of an effort to enjoy time as a family, we are talking more, sharing more and the mood in the house is 100 x better.

One thing we all really enjoy has been bringing back family movie night, the last film we watched was Jaws and even Noah was happy to sit down and watch it with us.
The boys are all into sharks at the moment thanks to Fortnites floods, so it was a winner all around.
I did half expect the younger boys to get frightened but they all loved it and now want to watch Jaws 2.

 With Noah months away from becoming a fully-fledged smelly teenager we are in constant battles with him to do simple tasks like brushing his teeth, taking a shower, stepping out of his room to grace us with his presence that I do often snap at him for no reason and have let him go to bed without me apologising to him then wondering why he's always moody with me. 
So after reading the Learn how to Say Sorry chapter, I make a conscious effort to say sorry after I've blown up at him, he's hormonal I'm hormonal but getting angry at silly is pointless. Gentle reminders about his hygiene work much better than shouting at him.
He is much happier after I've said my sorries, he then also apologises back and the awful mood is broken.

simples really!

The mini-chapters are simple and are something families all set out to do, but along the way occasionally forget so it's nice to have the book around for that little kick up the bum when we have lost our way!

Sid's other books are: