The A to Z of me

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I have been tagged by the lovely Lyn who blogs at twoteenagerstwocats to write an A-Z post all about me. Be warned I am writing this after a few glasses of Prosecco, so the answers might be a little fuzzy !

A) I am an Administration Assistant in a children’s nursery and work 10 hours a week

B) I started blogging in September 2013 to write about our holidays and days out

C) I LOVE Centerparcs. I have been to Whinfell 12 times, and I was lucky to visit Woburn last May before it opened.

D) My favourite Disney park is The Magic Kingdom in Florida

E) Esher is my best friend and we have been friends for 33 years, since we were 8

F) Florida is one of our favourite holiday destinations. We visited in 2011, 2012 and 2013. We WILL return one day

G) I am lucky to have had some fantastic girlie weekends away, and look forward to September for our next one

H) I am married to Hywel and he has been my husband for 14 years

I) I am good at pretending to do the ironing, when instead I am having a sneaky nap

J) Jack Daniels and Coke is my favourite drink, closely followed by Gin and Prosecco

K) Katie is my gorgeous daughter who is 9 going on 19

L) I have a huge phobia of lightning, especially when it strikes in the middle of the night

M) Morgan is my handsome son who is very nearly a teenager. I have built a shed in the garden to live in during the teenage years !

N) Neatness, everything has to be neat and tidy otherwise I break into a cold sweat

O) I have a fascination with anything that has owls on it

P) I got on the property ladder at the age of 20, buying a new build one bedroom flat for £31,000

Q) Peace and Quiet, I love it but don’t get enough of it having 2 kids

R) I love Radley bags and have a large small collection

S) I was a stay at home mum for 7 years after having Katie. I loved every second of it

T) I love Twitter, its my favourite social media

U) I am usually on time, apart from when I am getting ready to go out with the hubby

V) The Vamps was the last concert I went to

W) I can’t whistle. No matter how hard I try I just can’t do it *stamps feet*

X) I hate the XFactor but Katie makes us watch it every year

Y) I am 41 years old

Z) zzzzzzzzz is my favourite time of the day

Would Lorraine who blogs at the uncheshirewife fancy a go ?

The tweens toe operation

Zhu Zhu hamster

The innocent looking culprit

Zhu Zhu hamsters are the devil. Not because they fail to turn off, but because one of them was the reason my son had to have his first operation. 4 years ago my son dropped a Zhu Zhu hamster on his foot. At the time I remember him crying and me soothing him with a cuddle and some chocolate no doubt. His nail broke and I assured him that it would grow back in a few short weeks.

Fast forward 4 years. Son has half a nail on his toe but he was forever knocking it and it kept bleeding LOTS (mainly over the bathroom carpet… joy). It was time to visit the doctors who referred us to a consultant at the local hospital.  He took one look at his toe and advised he would need an operation to repair the nail. Eek an operation. I have been parenting for nearly 13 years and avoided any ops and broken bones. I would now have to deal with my son being put to sleep, and wear my brave Mummy face.

The operation was yesterday. We had to arrive at the hospital for 11.30am as he was on the afternoon list. I felt victorious after finding a car park space in only 10 minutes. Believe me I have driven round for a good 30 minutes on previous visits. We were shown to his bed on the ward and he was quickly immersed in his PS Vita. We waited over 3 hours until he was called up to theatre. I must admit the time went fairly quickly thanks to Loose Women, OK magazine and social media.

We walked up to theatre and my stomach was churning, so god knows how he was feeling. All the nurses and doctors in the anaesthetic room were so lovely. They did a great job of distracting him whilst they hooked him up to various machines. The ‘magic medicine’ went in and within a few seconds he was asleep. And that is when my brave mummy mask crumbled, and I filled up with tears as I kissed him and saw him being wheeled into theatre.

The logical part of my brain knew he was in safe hands. It was a minor operation and it would only take 30 minutes. But its just the vision of your baby being put to sleep. I know some parents have the pain of watching tiny babies go through this, and that must be even worse. I walked down to the café and cradled a coffee, and twitter and text messages saw me through. My husband had offered to come to the hospital, but I knew that my brave mummy mask would have crumbled long before it did, as I would have passed the ‘brave parent’ baton to him.

I walked back up to the theatre and 5 minutes later I heard the words ‘Morgan’s Mum’. The nurse was smiling and assured me everything had gone fine and he was asking for me in recovery. He was understandably groggy, and I gave him the biggest hug. He was wheeled back down to the ward, and soon he was eating toast like there was no tomorrow. A few hours later and we went home, armed with a bag of drugs and a rather fetching sandal he has to wear.

The whole day had been long and exhausting, but hearing the nurse say what a fantastic patient he had been was lovely. She was right. He never moaned or complained once. He seemed so calm in those minutes before his op, and I was so proud of the way he handled his first ever operation. My son is growing up, and it was lovely to see this in difficult circumstances. He definitely deserved the McDonalds and the Film and Comic Convention tickets he got when we returned home.

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I am linking this post up to Talk about it Tuesday run by the lovely Lorraine at uncheshirewife

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14th Wedding Anniversary

12th May 2001

12th May 2001

*Warning – may contain soppiness*

Tomorrow is mine and the husbands 14th wedding anniversary. 14 years that have gone in the blink of an eye. Time has gone so quick, and in those 14 years we have laughed, cried, shouted and supported each other through the good times and the bad. We both met in our twenties and we are now in our forties. We have grown together over the years, but we also make time for the close friendships we have. We met on the 15th May 1999 amid a haze of Jack Daniels, and the rest is history as you can see below.

15th May 1999

One drunken night out in my home town we meet. Numbers are exchanged at the end of the night. This is life before mobile phones and social media ! He rang the following day and we went on a date a few days later.

September 1999

We went on our first holiday to Benidorm. Having only been together for 4 months, this was definitely a make or break holiday. Thankfully we had the time of our life, which is mainly down to the copious amounts of vodka we drank at the all inclusive hotel.

1st January 2000

As the clocks struck midnight as we welcomed in a whole new century, my then boyfriend got down on bended knee and proposed. We had only been together for 7 months but I knew he was the one.

15th January 2000

On my 26th birthday we booked our wedding for the following May.

December 2000

We moved into our house which we are still in. I love our house, even though every Spring I get a tiny urge to move. But then my sensible husband reminds me of the small mortgage we have, which allows us to have our fantastic holidays. We live in a small close and we have great neighbours. My mum is also round the corner for those all important babysitting duties, and the tween can walk to High School. Pretty perfect really.

12th May 2001

We got married at 4pm, nearly 2 years to the date we met. It was in the same hotel where we had got engaged. Our wedding day was filled with family, friends, naked balloon dancers and eating take away pizza and drinking champagne at one in the morning…. Keeping it classy. I loved every single minute of that amazing day.

12th November 2001

Our 6 months wedding anniversary was spent celebrating the fact we were going to be parents. Eek our world was going to change.

13th August 2002

2 weeks overdue, our son eventually came into the world. We were a family. He spent a few days in the neonatal unit, but then it was time for us to go home and for the parenting to begin. We had this little person to look after now.

18th January 2006

Unlike her brother, child number 2 arrived 2 weeks early by section as she was breech. I couldn’t wait for her older brother to meet her. He ran into the hospital, tripped over my catheter and pulled it out (and yes it does hurt like hell), glanced at his sister and demanded cbeebies on the hospital TV. Welcome to family life……

1st April 2011

To celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary, and the hubby turning 40 we went on our ‘trip of a lifetime’ to Disneyworld in Florida. We loved it that much we returned in 2012 and 2013

So that is just a tiny snapshot of where the last 14 years of marriage has gone. I couldn’t wish for a better husband. We still laugh together, cry together and occasionally shout at each other. But I know he is my soul mate and will always be there for me. Happy 14th wedding anniversary darling.

New Years Eve 2014

New Years Eve 2014

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The Crocky Trail Chester

The Crocky Trail in Chester

The Crocky Trail in Chester

On Sunday we made our very first visit to The Crocky Trail, which is in Waverton in Chester. Over the years I have heard many good things about it, and we were really looking forward to trying it out for ourselves. As I knew there would be mud involved, I packed a change of clothes and some towels, along with a bin bag to put the muddy clothes in.

We parked easily and the children couldn’t wait to get out of the car and head to the activities on offer. Now with having a nearly teen boy and a 9 year old girl, I really struggle to find days out that they both enjoy. But this certainly ticked all the boxes. They both wanted to try out the slides first, and this kept them both amused for about 30 minutes. In fact they spent a good few hours on all of the activities and challenges before we even got to the trail. The Titanic is hilarious. Its basically a slide which goes higher and higher until you admit defeat and slide to the bottom. Hubby was rubbish at this and blamed his ‘slippy’ jeans !

Which slide to go on first ?

Which slide to go on first ?

Braving the slide for the first time

Braving the slide for the first time

On the Titantic. Hubby and his slippy jeans !

On the Titantic. Hubby and his slippy jeans !

There is also The Dungeon which hubby and the tween went in. This is not for the faint hearted, and hubby said it was better than a scary attraction he had paid to go in at Alton Towers. Us girls waited outside and we could hear lots of screams. Daughter had a go at the skipping challenge, as well as the seesaw and various spinning rides.

Anyone up for time travel ?

Anyone up for time travel ?

Concentrating on the balance beam

Concentrating on the balance beam

It was then time to head to the trail which is around a mile long. You walk along by a stream and there are lots of activities that you can have a go at, such as rope swings, bridges and logs. Yes there was mud involved but kids are kids and it was great to see them having so much fun. At the side of the stream there is also a path which avoids the obstacles, and would be great if you have a buggy.

Having fun on the trail

Having fun on the trail

Swinging over streams

Swinging over streams

The whole Crocky Trail pushes your boundaries, and its a great place to have fun as a family. I heard so much laughter from other like minded people, and equally muddy kids. It has a rustic and simplistic charm about the place. Its definitely all about getting into the outdoors and enjoying back to basics fun. What’s not to love about that in this media world we live in.

Failing on the hamster wheel

Failing on the hamster wheel

Among other things that impressed me were the amount of picnic benches, the friendly staff and the place was clean and tidy. If you don’t bring a picnic though there is Crocky Bites for a well deserved cold/hot drink and snack.

I am a Blogging Ambassador for The Crocky Trail and I have been supplied with an annual pass for a year. Annual passes are now available on their website and are great value. The Williams family can’t wait to return. Thank you Crocky Trail for the laughter, mud and memories.

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My first blogging conference – Blog on MOSI

The fantastic Blog on cake

The fantastic Blog on cake

Yesterday I attended my very first blogging conference at the Museum of Science and Industry (or MOSI for short) in Manchester city centre. The conference is organised by the very talented Laura Seaton who blogs over at www.tiredmummyoftwo.co.uk . In the run up to the conference I spent my days on the Blog on MOSI Facebook page. I learnt that an empty wheeled suitcase was a must (for the amazing goody bags), everyone would be super friendly, and most importantly there would be Prosecco and cake.

Cookies for breakfast

Cookies for breakfast

I took the train into Manchester with my empty suitcase for company. I was a mixture of nerves and excitement (or nervexcited as it is now known), knowing deep down I would have a great day. I was signed in by the lovely Nikki (@stressymummy) who I have chatted to on twitter since I started blogging. I then met the equally lovely Lorraine @nortonmum who did a fantastic job of looking after me for the day (and her husband for giving me a lift home). There was a chance to grab a coffee, cookie or chocolate pastry before heading for the opening talk. It was then onto the various sessions throughout the day which included photography, vlogging, beginners blogging and travel.

Meeting the PR brands and MORE cakes

Meeting the PR brands and MORE cakes

Browsing some of the amazing Villas at the James Villa stand

Browsing some of the amazing Villas at the James Villa stand

In between the sessions there was plenty of opportunities to speak to the many brands and PR companies that were there. And the chance to meet some of the wonderful ladies who have been my ‘virtual blogging friends’ since I began 18 months ago. I also met new friends who I had not come across yet in the blogging world.  You see Laura was so right when she did her closing speech. We should be proud of the community we belong to, and after today I could not be prouder.

Cheers from Blog on MOSI

Cheers from Blog on MOSI

I have come away inspired to improve my photography, work harder at my blog and to not be scared to approach companies. The one thing I will not be doing though is vlogging. Definitely not one for me !

A huge thank you to Laura who works SO hard in putting the conference together, and not forgetting the AMAZING goody bags. On the day I could see how hard she works, ensuring everything is running on time, and making sure no one is left out. She is simply Superwoman. Thank you everyone at Blog on MOSI for making me feel so welcome. I WILL be back next year.

A definite for a blogging conference. A little gadget to keep those phones charged

A definite for a blogging conference. A little gadget to keep those phones charged

10 reasons why April was awesome

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Another month gone and time to look back at what we have been up to. With Easter and the school holidays I can certainly say it was a busy month.

1) We had a fantastic 5 days away in Majorca, and we stayed at a gorgeous all inclusive hotel in Santa Ponsa.  We met up lots with my dad and step mum who live over there. We ate, drank, had lots of fun, and we all made some fantastic friends.

2) I took Katie to her very first concert a few days ago. We went and saw The Vamps at Liverpool Echo Arena and it was such a great night. Fantastic first experience of a concert for her.

3) The husband and tween enjoyed a day out at the Gadget Show Live in Birmingham (Thanks to Joe Blogs). The husband especially enjoyed showing the tween the computer games through the ages. Who remembers Ping Pong ?

4) The husband and I managed 2 nights out this month. We had a great night out in Chester at Chez Jules, and then a drunken night out in Frodsham with friends. Nights out are definitely good for the soul.

5) The husband did me proud and transformed Katie’s bedroom over the Easter weekend. I am so pleased with it and ever so slightly jealous.

New bedroom for Katie

New bedroom for Katie

6) Husband received a nice bonus from work, plus a pay rise this month. Its currently tucked away in our savings account until we decide what to spend it on. I am thinking Radley bags and Pandora bracelets.

7) I had a lovely catch up with friends over the Easter holidays. We headed to a local Tapas restaurant and enjoyed their fantastic offer of Tapas and a bottle of wine. The following day we headed to the park (kids in tow this time) and basked in the sunshine.

8) I took the kids to Liverpool on the train, and enjoyed the Craft Mine event which was at St Georges Hall.

9) I visited my nan at her nursing home in Stafford. I had a lovely few hours with her, and at 91 I  know these moments are precious for her and myself.

10) Whilst we were in Majorca we visited The Pirates Show (Review here). It was a truly awesome show which saw us all mesmerized from start to finish.

I am looking forward to what May has in store. I am heading to my very first blogging event, we celebrate our wedding anniversary and its half term AGAIN.

You can catch up on previous months here

10 reasons why January was awesome

10 reasons why February was awesome

10 reasons why March was awesome

The Pirates Show in Majorca

Pirates Show in Majorca

Pirates Show in Majorca

On our recent holiday to Majorca, we spent the evening at The Pirates Show in Magaluf. The show is now in its 29th year which is just incredible, and promises an evening of acrobatics, comedy and dance. My Dad who has lived in Majorca for over 20 years, raved about how amazing the show was, so I knew we were in for a good evening.

We got to the indoor theatre before the doors opened, and there were pirates outside interacting with guests. There was the chance to have your photo taken with a large bright parrot, and on the way into the indoor theatre we were handed a small bottle of cava each. Kids got some treasure in the shape of chocolate coins. We were then shown to our table by one of the stars of the show. I thought this was a great idea, and certainly reinforced what a great interactive show Pirates is.

We were seated on the Quarter Deck, and had a great view of the stage. To be honest I think every table would have a good view. We had a jug of Sangria on the table, together with a large bottle of coke. We were quickly served our meal which was chicken and chips, coleslaw, bread roll and a sausage. For afters there was ice cream. There were plenty of staff serving extra drinks to your table, and we ordered some more bottles of small cava which were 5 euros. Whilst we were waiting for everyone to finish their meal, there was plenty of interaction between the children and pirates. This certainly helps with the ‘when is it going to start mum’

Food at The Pirates Show

Food at The Pirates Show

Hubby helping himself to the Jug of Sangria on the table

Hubby helping himself to the Jug of Sangria on the table

Soon it was time for the show to start. I won’t say too much about it as I really don’t want to spoil it for you. But WOW what a truly amazing show. We were all mesmerized from start to finish, even the tween (and we all know how hard it is to get a nearly 13 year old mesmerized). The acrobatics were dynamic, the host of the show hilarious and the music fantastic. Afterwards there is the chance to meet the stars of the show and have pictures with them.

Meeting the stars of the show

Meeting the stars of the show

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Katie in a pirate headlock

 

Trying to make the tween smile !

Trying to make the tween smile !

My dad got us complimentary tickets, and I have to say a huge thank you to The Pirates Show for providing them. It truly is an amazing show, and I would not hesitate to return when we are next in Majorca. Thank you to all the acrobats, pirates, staff and all the stars of the show for providing us with a fun filled evening on our holiday.

The lovely Captain Scarlett. This was husbands favourite. I can't think why !

The lovely Captain Scarlett. This was husbands favourite. I can’t think why !