Friday, October 2, 2015

Your Youtube #42

Welcome back to Your Youtube and this week sees an exciting announcement! But first, a big thank you to everyone who's joining in each week, Sian and I are loving watching all your videos and enjoying discovering new channels every week. This week's video of the week is from Victoria at VeViVo's who has linked up video of her reciting a beautiful poem dedicated to her daughter.

So, onto our announcement! After the success of the linky we have decided to host a twitter chat for our fellow linkers and anyone else who wants to join in. The chat will be about all things vlogging and we will cover many different topics each week. Hopefully it will be a fantastic way to connect with each other, learn something new and share our own knowledge. The chat will be at 8pm every Sunday so be sure to follow the hashtag #YourYoutube to join us!

Over to the linky, as always please link no more than two videos, make sure you like and comment on the host video and the video before your own so that way we all get some likes and comments.

Off you go!

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Friday, September 25, 2015

Home Decor: Updating Our Bedroom

For the last few years our bedroom has been a pretty bland box. Apart from a touch of purple in the Next bedding and curtains, the rest of it remained magnolia and cream. Not exactly exciting. Eventually we plan on having fitted wardrobes across one wall to try and make up for the lack of storage space, however in the meantime I wanted to add a few touches that would bring it to life whilst we save up for the full makeover.

The bland, and messy, before

Next bedding with some fun pillowcases

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Starting School - Two Weeks In

We are now two weeks into Miss H starting Reception so I thought I'd share an update on how we are doing. And I say we, as starting school is such a big change and it definitely affects the whole household - new routines, mood swings and homework being just a few.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Ribby Hall Village in Lancashire ...Part Two

Here is the second part of our weekend away at Ribby Hall in Lancashire, for part one click here.


The next day saw an early start for me thanks to two little people, so after entertaining the children until nine am, I had to return to bed for an hour whilst daddy took over. He took them for a walk around the site, back to the play area and to feed the ducks which tend to congregate around the boating lake and where you can buy duck food to feed the rafts of them. 


Once I'd recovered from my early start, we returned to The Restaurant for lunch, before hitting the bike hire, determined to have a go at cycling around the site. Myself and Mr H hired a bike each, with the Mr pulling the children along in a trailer behind him. I wasn't sure whether the children would soon get bored in the trailer, but they absolutely adored it. 

The Woodland Trail is full of bumps and hills and they screamed in delight as they went down each one. As much as these activities take it out of me, I try my best to join in one every now and again as the joy I see on the children' faces more than makes up for the fatigue afterwards. It was so much fun whizzing around the off-road track, pointing out the wood carvings, bird houses and then the horses as we passed the equestrian centre.

After cycling around most of the track we stopped off at The Village Garden, a gorgeous little area that has been recently opened which houses the site's fruit, vegetable and flowers that are then used in the restaurants and displays. It's such a peaceful area and it was lovely to sit in one of the seating areas whilst the children and Mr H ran around playing in the grass and tree trunks or spotting fish in the pond.

Our last activity during our stay was balance bikes, which once again took place in the sports hall with the same instructor, which instantly put my two at ease. They were yet again the only two in this activity, so received one on one instruction and had such a great time. 

First of all they rode around the track set up for them, getting used to the idea of bikes without pedals. Then they had a couple of races, which of course my super competitive daughter won, the concept of letting her little brother win not even entering her mind. No idea where she gets that from. 

Finally it was a bit of a free for all where they could chose where to ride, but ended up ditching the bikes and zooming around the track, bumping into each other and then knocking down the nicely lined up cones in their wake. Sigh.

After all the fun of the weekend, we were all absolutely exhausted, so we packed up the car and returned home ready for the start of a new week. However Mr H and I both agreed at the time, and still feel on reflection, Ribby Hall is one of the best holiday villages we have visited. There is so much to do on the site, yet it feels open and peaceful, not crammed with holiday makers. There are plenty of places to eat and the accommodation is as good as, if not better, than the likes of Centerparcs and Bluestone.

We have already said we would love to return, and hopefully introduce friends to the site. Being located so close to us, it is also extremely convenient that we don't have a two to five hour commute before we can unload our bags and relax. Whilst I wouldn't say it is cheap - our long weekend in the Poppy Cottage costs £509 - it does compare to other similar places (£529 at both Centerparcs and Bluestone for a three night night weekend stay), and wouldn't put us off returning. I can definitely recommend Ribby Hall as a fantastic place to stay if you are looking for a break in the UK. 

If you are looking for a stay with a difference, Ribby Hall is hosting Halloween and Christmas breaks in the next few months, so head over to their site for more information!

*We were provided with a stay FOC however all opinions are my own.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

A Mess, A Fall-Out & A Broken TV

All an in-direct result of me having a night away in London.

A mess that is never-ending.

A fall out that is just one in a long line.

And a marble thrown at the TV, rendering it lifeless.

Life is not easy with chronic fatigue, Mr H and I are well, well aware of this. In the last two years since my diagnosis the tiredness, the rows and the frustration has all become a part of daily life. Being a wife with chronic fatigue is hard, being a parent with chronic fatigue is hard and being a husband supporting someone with chronic fatigue is almost impossible. And sometimes I feel like it's breaking us.

I am tired. He is tired. Yet there are two small children to look after, still a house to run and still work to be done and bills to pay. How do you carry on as normal with so much on your shoulders and no time for yourself? We tell ourselves over and over, in a few weeks, months, years, it will all be different. Better. Yet here we are and the end of this tunnel is nowhere in sight.

I want us to be a team, to bind together as a strong unit against this stupid illness. To show it that come what may, it cannot break us and we will battle through and come out the other side stronger. I feel for the most part we do. But on the inside, behind closed doors, those battles often rage between us and leave us a wreck.

Who did the most this week? Who had the least rest? Who managed to get out and have some form of a social life? Who deserves a lie in tomorrow? For most parents these are common battle, through in chronic fatigue and they become the crux of your life. Day after day, minute after minute, counting down until bedtime when it can be over and you can get that much needed sleep you crave. And then the day is gone. Wasted on wishing, not doing.

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Friday, September 18, 2015

Ribby Hall Village in Lancashire ...Part One

This summer has been a busy one - trips away, days out and lots of activities planned. Last weekend saw the last of our trips for the time being, as we spent three days at Ribby Hall Village in Lancashire.

Your Youtube #40

Hello and welcome back to Your Youtube! I'm loving getting back into all your videos again, although I have to say I'm not quite into the habit of keeping up as quickly as I should! I'm also really enjoying co-hosting the linky with the lovely Sian. This week's video of the week is from My Petit Canard who has shared her second ever video - a gorgeous Boden clothing haul!

Over with the linky, you should all know what you're doing by now but if you're new to it all, we ask that you watch, like and comment on the host video and at least one other. Try and watch the video before your own that way everyone gets some comments, and we can share each other's hard work. Have fun!

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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Autumn Crafts For The Home

I can't believe I'm saying this, but it seems autumn is upon us. After a non-show summer, it's time to dig out the jumper, boots and winter coats in preparation for rustling winds that billow our hair around our heads and have us battling the elements as soon as we stop out of the house. Last year I really enjoyed bringing the outdoors into the home and adding some fun and cosy elements to recognise the changing of the season. With falling leaves, conkering and the harvest festival to look forward to, not to mention the C-word just around the corner, why not enjoy the season from the comfort of your home?

Monday, September 14, 2015

Parents' Night Off That Don't Break The Bank

I don't know about you, but nights off are few and far between. Even if Mr H and I agree he'll get up with the kids in the morning, I'm still the one to rise through the night if one of them wakes, as he sleeps like a log. So when either one of us of both get the opportunity to take some time off, it is massively appreciated and jumped at. Sometimes, though, it can be hard to decide what to do with this spare time - is it worth going out and having a load to drink, only to be be hungover whilst your toddler jumps on you at 6am? Not to mention the £100's it can cost between food, drinks, taxi's and accommodation.

So I thought I'd put together some ideas of what you can do when you get that rare moment to yourselves to make the best out of it without feeling it in your head and your pocket.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Why I'll Be Glad When My Daughter Goes To School Full Time

Like many parents, last week I dressed my four year old in her new school uniform, tied her hair in matching bobbles, took the obligatory photos whilst she stood and posed for me and then nervously dropped her off with a group of strangers in a new environment to start the next journey in her life. I waited outside the school gates, holding her little hand, I reassured her as I left her in a room full of strangers and I walked back home alone to an empty house.

Yet inside I was praying for the next week to come, when she would be in school from nine until three, instead of returning home before lunchtime.

Let me get this straight, I adore my children and I work hard to be the best parent I can be. But they exhaust me, completely and utterly. From the minute they scream mummy at me at anything from 6am until the moment the lay their heads in the pillow after fighting with me at bedtime, I am worn out.

I play with them as much as I can, I take them for days out, I educate them, I cuddle them, I help them to grow. But as I do this my energy drains away and often my sanity and by the end of the day I can often be left just a shell, desperate for a moment to myself. I have headaches, I have memory loss, I have to drag myself out of bed almost literally. I struggle to feed myself due to low energy, a shower can make me dizzy and the house is a tip around me.

The reason behind all this? I have chronic fatigue. I have had it for two years now and whilst I manage it a lot better than I used to, I still find most days a struggle.

It has been an uphill battle to try and manage the every day symptoms and I have had many a setback. It is emotionally devastating realising how limited you are and how little you can do now. When once I climbed mountains, now the stairs wipe me out. Throw two young and demanding children into the mix and the days can seem endless and my parenting skills hopeless. The guilt is never-ending.

So if you see me at the school gates, hair slung back, make up loaded on to cover the bags under my eyes and not a tear to be shed, please don't judge me. I love my children more than anything, I am just living in the haze of an illness that is impossible to see but is debilitating at times. After I drop off my little girl and walk home to an empty house, it is with a guilty but lighter heart as it means I can lay down and rest. And maybe when I wake up I may have a little more energy to run around the park with her after school, rather than sitting on the sidelines as I often do. A little more energy to be the mum I want to be.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Starting School With Stuck on You

Third in the starting school series comes to you a few days into the schooldays, where the first day jitters have subsided and we're steadily getting into a routine. Today I wanted to share my experiences with name label company, Stuck On You.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Your Youtube # 38

Welcome back!! After a hectic summer Your Youtube is back and with a little change - the lovely Sian from Helpful Mum who has kindly hosted the linky over the summer is coming on board as my co-host. This means we will host alternate weeks and hopefully that way the linky will grow even more and we can open up the community to more fantastic vloggers!

So, on with the linky, you should all know what you're doing by now but if you're new to it all, we ask that you watch, like and comment on the host video and at least one other. Try and watch the video before your own that way everyone gets some comments, and we can share each other's hard work.

Have fun!

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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Cost Of Tying The Knot - For Your Guests

It has been nine years since Mr H and I said 'I Do' and whilst some things in the wedding industry have changed a lot, style in particular, some things haven't and one of those is the cost. I won't disclose what we spent ourselves but the average cost of a wedding today is £24000, which is an enormous amount when you consider it's just one day.

Mr H and I on our big day

Monday, August 31, 2015

Time Gone By

Four years, eight months ago our lives changed. At the time we were living in a foreign country, just the two of us, in our little bubble taking on the world together. We planned and we prepared and we dreamt of what to expect, of course we couldn't comprehend without experience how different things would be.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Home Decor On A Budget

Ever since we moved into our new house nearly three years ago,  have been on a mission to transfer it from bland box to a home styled to our tastes. Once we'd spent all our money on carpets, landscaping and wardrobes, though, the coppers were pretty empty and we've had to do everything bit by bit with money being set aside on the odd occasion we haven't spent it over the month. Because of this I've become used to budgeting when it comes to home decor and not going overboard on my spending - a pretty home is not worth being in debt for!


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