Tiosebon Footwear

Tiosebon recently sent us some of their footwear and we are SO impressed! They have been so comfortable! These knitted walking shoes are like walking on air!

KONHILL Lightweight Casual Walking Knitted Shoes
About sneakers These walking shoes are perfect for indoor or outdoor any casual leisure assemble. Ultra-light upper vamp with Synthetic design provides maximum breathability and durability. Let these comfortable fashion sneakers be your new favorite casual shoes! They also make the perfect holiday gift.Your feet can breathe easy in the latest iteration of fabric upperHigh elastic MD outsole, slip-resistant, easy to manage any areaFit for various occasions, perfect for casual, walking, running, sportsPerfect accord with human body engineering, green, healthy concept design. Selection of good material, breathable, lightweight, comfortable shoes. Fashion unique durable, safe environmental protection material. 10 
colours to choose from.

These shoes have been such a good wear. They have been on the beach, to the mall, in the town, in the countryside and at home in the garden. I can honestly say I’ve never worn a pair of shoes so comfy yet they look great too!

We would definitely recommend them!

City Challenge Birmingham

We were recently gifted some spending money by Hotels.com to explore the area of Birmingham. Please note all views are my own.

We have loved exploring Birmingham and hope to explore a little more before August is out and maybe delve a little deeper into the bustling town on a less busy day for my 8yo. Maybe we could even stay overnight with Birmingham airport hotel? Now THAT would be another great little adventure! But for now we’ll share our first one!

It’s the summer here, but a different kind for my boys; we have left the UK education system to begin a home education journey. So this summer is about finding our feet and relaxing. My 8yo is on the autism spectrum so we asked where he would like to go as new places can be quite traumatic; A movie, a park and an icecream. And mummy decided a little visit to Brindley place central square would be a nice little snack spot too at some point during the day or the following day.

We have only lived near Birmingham for four months so we haven’t done much exploring. We decided today to check out Reel Cinema Birmingham to watch Horrible Histories. My boys love this show. It’s a cinema we haven’t used before so were a little skeptical to try it out. But it was great, even my 8yo was on board with it. It was much quieter than other cinemas in the vicinity which is a bonus to us as an additional needs family. The prices are fab too! A family ticket starts from just £16.50!

Our next port of call was Woodgate Valley Country Park on the way into the main centre of Birmingham. My boys love the outdoors and it was a perfect afternoon for it! The play area is great and there are a few little trails to follow plus a little visitors centre. They also have a little urban farm there which runs solely on donations. They suggest £1 per person upon entrance. They had goats, cows, rabbits, ducks and free-roaming chickens. It was a nice little wander for the kids. A wonderful hidden gem!

Next up was a late lunch stop. Autism can cause havoc with new places. But I explained all of the possible places and my boy chose TGI Fridays. He’s never been so it was a big deal! And he fell in love! As did I! We haven’t been for SO long! But we enjoyed it! And he got his icecream!

The following day we had a sneaky visit to the Lego Discovery Centre which my boys love! Our friend gifted us some tickets which we were so thankful for! We then had that cheeky little coffee and a potter around Brindley Place!

We loved exploring Birmingham!

Monster Jam Live 2019

We recently had an exciting invitation to go and watch Monster Jam Live! And my boys couldn’t have been more excited!

Monster Jam is one big monster truck competition full of mud, excitement, stunts and noise! (You’ll definitely need some ear defenders for the younger fans!)

We got to see some of the monster trucks up close and personal at the Pit Party, even in the pouring rain. My boys loved it and were amazed they could get so close.

The weather didn’t ruin anything for us. There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing! And as you can see we were all waterproofed up.

Once in the stadium we were able to watch the track and ramps be built. The boys were transfixed, as were we! It was such a great experience!

The show began bang on time and was captivating from the get go! You could even download an app to score the monster trucks which was fab! There was never a dull moment, or a quiet one!

We had a great time and would highly recommended Monster Jam Live on their tour!

Getting Rid Of Crap People In Your Life

No matter what walk of life we’ve come from we all have one thing in common and that’s people. We all have people in our lives; colleagues, kids, partners, husbands, wives, family members, acquaintances, friends. The list is endless. But some of these relationships are relentless in the impact they have on our lives. And let’s face it some people are just crappy human beings. So why do we put up with it? I literally have no idea!

I’v spent more of my life wanting to please others and begging people to love me than I have not. I look back now and think NEVER AGAIN! But in the midst of all these relationships and encounters I was blinded by their deafening roars. I believed I was not worth loving. I believed I was not good enough. I believed the world would be better without me.

In the last few years I’ve realised a lot of this was because of my untreated depression and anxiety BUT these shitty people, who by the law of DNA should have treated me better, much better, should have stepped up their game. But you can’t change people. As agonising as that is. It’s taken me a good thirty plus years to understand this.

Life is far too precious to waste it by letting toxic people ruin it and take away your happiness. Don’t let them. I know it’s not that simple but it really is that simple.

I had one major toxicity in my life. He hurt me over and over and over. Sometimes he had verbal remorse once or twice over 21 years. But nothing says sorry like changed actions, and nothing ever changed. He almost ruined my life. Almost. But he didn’t. He hasn’t. And now he’s a distant memory. A memory that will no doubt always come to haunt me but it’s something I have to bear. Because he will NOT ever ruin anything else for me. After 21 years I cut him from my life. It was an horrific time. It was hard. He made it harder. I let go of him and snatched back my worth. I realised it was not me who was the problem. I made a promise to myself that from now on I was in charge of my life.

It was THE BEST decision I’ve ever made. It was the start of freedom.

I lost a lot of people when I cut loose from this burden BUT it was still worth all I lost. The whatifs nearly stopped me but I couldn’t live in the toxic cloud of darkness anymore.

The last 34 years has taught me to accept all or accept nothing. There’s no fence for me. This had led other people to leave our lives too, but it’s been a mighty good riddance. I will never let people make me question my worth. Never. They have no right. And I most certainly will never let my children wonder about their worth. They are loved outloud. I’m fiercely passionate about that. I don’t want them to spend their adult life recovering from their childhood like I’ve had to.

I’m a big believer in second chances, but not third chances. My door will shut. Yours should too. Your happiness and peace should be your priority. You matter! You’re worthwhile. Don’t settle for a life of pleasing others or keeping the peace only for your own peace to be destroyed.

It’s never too late to change the direction of your life.

 

 

Easter Biscuits – Bunny Backs

We love a little treat over at Swords and Snoodles, especially a festive one so we decided to make some Easter biscuits!

Our Easter biscuits were Bunny Backs and they were so delicious.

They were real easy to make so I thought I’d share the recipe with you.

You will need:

  • 250g butter
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 300g plain flour
  • 1 medium/large packet of white chocolate buttons
  • Sprinkles
  • Bunny shaped cookie cutter

Method:

Pre-heat oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas mark 6. Mix 250g softened butter &140g caster sugar into a bowl using a wooden spoon. Add 1 egg yolk & 2 tsp vanilla extract. Beat to combine. Sift in 300g plain flour. Mix in using your fingers. Once you have a good dough chill in the fridge for 20 minutes. Once chilled roll out to 5mm thick onto a floured surface. cut out your biscuit shapes using your cutter and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake for 12 – 15 minutes until a light golden colour. Once cool, melt to white chocolate buttons but keep aside one button for each biscuit you have made. Using a small spoon cover the bunny ears in white chocolate and cover in sprinkles. Using the melted chocolate as edible glue stick a chocolate button onto each bunny biscuit as its tail. Shake off excess sprinkles and serve.

Healthy Living Corner: Quitting Smoking

  1. This is another one of our Healthy Living Corner pieces we are taking part in. This one is aimed at tips to help people who are thinking about quitting smoking. I doubt it will be as easy as some of you may expect, so these tips may come in very handy.

Ask yourself why  you want to stop smoking? Write down a list of reasons and keep them with you at all times. If you’re tempted to light up a cigarette, you need to refer to your list before you allow yourself to light up.

Set a date when to stop completely. Although most people prefer quitting gradually by smoking fewer cigarettes each day you might end up getting the same level of nicotine since you’re smoking more of each cigarette. The best idea to quit smoking is by setting a date and stopping altogether.

Tell everyone around you that you’re quitting. Family and friends will give you the support you need. Of course, if you’re living with other people who still smoke, quitting might be harder. Therefore, try to get other people in your circle who smoke to give it up as well. That way, you can make it a team effort and quit together rather than failing at doing it alone.

Prepare yourself for some withdrawal symptoms. Once you quit smoking, you will probably experience some withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, irritability, cravings, headaches, nausea or a general ill feeling. These symptoms present themselves because of the lack of nicotine in your body, especially in the levels that it’s used to. Be prepared for these. They may last up to 4 weeks but will definitely subside.

Avoid getting in situations that may tempt you as an individual to smoke such as drinking alcohol. In the first few weeks after you quit smoking, you should stay away from alcohol and change your normal routine as well. If you’re tempted to smoke after drinking tea or coffee, you should consider switching to water or fruit juice instead.

Don’t rush the whole process, rather you should take it one day at a time. Every day you have gone without smoking, mark it off on a calendar and look back when you feel tempted and get the motivation you need to stop smoking altogether.

Always try and maintain a positive attitude throughout the whole process. Start telling people that you don’t smoke and you will feel better about it. Even better, you will start smelling better, cough less and taste your food more. Don’t forget about the amount of money you will save once you stop buying cigarettes.

You should watch your diet once you quit smoking because your appetite is bound to increase. Stay away from fatty or sugary foods and maintain your weight.

Don’t become disheartened if you can’t stop smoking. Most people can’t quite after the first attempt. However, don’t give up completely but examine the reasons why you failed in the first place and find ways to correct the mistakes. You should know that people who have actually quite have tried doing it a few times.

If you can’t stop smoking on your own, you can always visit any Stop Smoking Clinics available on NHS since they have proven successful at helping people quit smoking. Find the nearest one and join any program that allows you to stop smoking as soon as possible.

Alternatively, you can always try a Vape AYR , a new brand of modern vaporiser. It lets you see the levels remaining and also recharges and refills itself.

There’s are 10 flavours to choose from including Apple strudel.

Whatever your method of quitting I wish you good luck in your journey of self-care.

Don’t forget to be a wife too!

This is a post to all of the wives out there, but it isn’t exclusive to them, I just happen to be one, hopefully anybody in a relationship can take something away from this.

When you fall in love you forget the world around you. Your every waking thought is consumed with this exciting, butterflies-in-tummy, love. Your world is a bright place, with kites and bunnies, sunshine and lollipops. You feel madly in love! The reality though is that this is not love, not real love anyway. Real love is not always pretty.

Some days my husband comes home to Mary Poppins; the kids have behaved, the house is clean, the kids are fed and bathed and already in their pyjamas, I have clean hair, my makeup is still intact, dinner is in the slow cooker, and there’s a smile on my face. Other days my husband walks into the lair of Cruella De’ville; the kids have misbehaved since morning, they don’t know how to share, they fight, they cry, they refuse food, they shout, every task has been a battle, there’s been wee on the floor, food on the floor, four million poops, sand all over my kitchen floor, chalk on the walls, paint in their mouths, things have been thrown, things have been smashed, inedible items have entered the digestive system, mommas had no time for breakfast or lunch, everything’s gone wrong, mummy wants to cry, mummy’s mentally packing her suitcase, mummy feels not up to the job, mummy didn’t have time to shower, mummy’s got greasy hair, and there is no food in for dinner. Whatever the mood, my husband gets the brunt of it both good and bad!

Some days I am madly in love, and can’t wait to see my husband, other days I feel so exhausted and just want to go to bed at 7pm to recharge, but this will not help my marriage.

Relationships are hard work. They require maintenance, and without it they end up being scrapped. They die, yet all they needed was a drop of water, something to revive it. I make a point of telling my husband several times a day I love him, I write him little notes to leave in his lunch bag, I send him silly pins on Pinterest. He deserves my best, not just my derailed self first thing in the morning with huge hair and mascara stained eyes, or end of the day stressed-out me. I want him to see me at my greatest even though he loves me regardless.

Being a mummy subconsciously robs you of some of your identity as a wife – not in a negative way, your children become your priority, and makeup etc seem less significant because time is precious and totally used up. This is why you have to consciously make an effort; wear makeup, wash your hair, look good, feel good – YOU still matter!

I’m a nightmare for going to sleep at 6:30 with our boys. Some days are hard, and tiring, and all I want to do is sleep (& sometimes I do), but I force myself to get up and spend some time with my husband, and our relationship gets invested in, and ultimately grows stronger.

When weeks are busy I get so grotty and unbearable, I snap at my husband, even his breathing irritates me, yet I always discover it’s because we’ve not spent any time together for a few days – I’m a weird one! The quote “Leave me alone, I’m lonely” describes me to a tee. Once we spend time together I feel so much better, united, revived, and loved. Even five minutes together makes all the difference.

Anyway, enough rambling, go love your husband, relationships don’t come with a lifetime guarantee, you have to keep renewing it.

Go be a good momma, but remember you’re a wife too!

X

A Video For The Mothers With A Different Story

What is a mother? A mother is a million things, all different, but all just as important!

Take a look…

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow

Whatever your story, you matter!

Share with somebody who you think needs reminding.

The Works Christmas Shop

Illusions Of A Parent And Car Safety

We all have dreams and ideas for our lives, our homes, our marriages,  our children. We dream of winning the Lotto or landing a big promotion. We dream of living in Mauritius with a Butler. We think big ideas regarding our future. We dream, we dream alot.

Then there’s the everyday type of dreaming; you promise yourself that tomorrow is the day you’ll have this parenting malarkey sussed and you map out your day, and even throw in a new creative activity you recently saw on Pinterest. Then real life shows up. It’s not even 9.30am and you need a double vodka, a big slice of chocolate fudge cake, and possibly a Strepsil to soothe your throat from all the yelling you’d promised yourself you weren’t going to do today, again.

Here are four dreams and romantic ideas of mine. They lull me into a false sense of dreaminess and make me think things are a good idea – when, in reality, if they don’t involve unwashed hair, pj’s, and not having to socialise with any other human beings, then it’s safe to say it’ll be a bad idea.

Lets go for a lovely drive

The dream – Let’s all hop into the family car and go for a lovely, autumnal drive. Let’s marvel at the scenery and sing along to our favourite songs. Let’s find a layby to stop and drink hot chocolate and enjoy each other’s company.

Reality – Nobody wants to go for a drive except momma. The kids karate chop each other across the seats. Momma thinks about car safety and quickly does a mental checklist; Are the coolant/water levels ok? Is the tyre pressure going to be ok and when did we last check it? Is the oil level ok? Do we have enough windscreen wash? Do all of our lights work? Is the boot free of unnecessary weight? Is everybody strapped into their seats properly without thick coats? Do we know where we are going? Right, all checked, meanwhile everybody argues over which music should be played. The car steams up and blocks everybody’s view of the scenery. The smell of the countryside makes the 5yo hurl. The hurl makes the 7yo cry. They both make momma cry. Daddy then cries after he feels a tyre blow! Forget the countryside we now need to find Kwikfit and something stronger than hot chocolate

Babycino dates with my handsome boys and my husband

The dream – We get dressed with minor fuss. Mummys hair looks great. Everyone is happy. We leave the house on time and remember everything. The journey is smooth and tearless. We order and take our seats. The boys eat the cake they chose without moaning or swapping. They sit lovely and use their manners. They drink their babycinos. We have a relaxing coffee with our lovely little boys.

Reality – The boys moan their way through waking up. Mummy is exhausted from being woken up every 45 minutes from midnight til 5am by a dehydrating three year old. The lounge floor is a Coco Pop assault course. Nobody likes milk this morning; it’s “poo poo!” Nobody wants a bath. Mummy has to karate chop pj’s off two flailing baby dragons. The bath is apparently boiling hot. Mummy slings two boys into the lava-temperature bath. Two boys get washed while doing a tantrum dance. Mummy is soaked. And mad. Nobody wants to get dressed but no choice is given. Have you tried dressing a wild coyote? Mummy gets ready in 10 minutes whilst playing referee. Daddy takes a bit longer. We leave the house 45 minutes later than planned. Mummys face sweats. Mummy forgets the changing bag. The journey is not moan free; it’s hot, the sun hurts, it’s cold, etc etc. We pull up at the coffee shop. Let’s start afresh. We order. We sit. D1 doesn’t like his chair. D2 will not swap. D1 now likes his chair. D2 now wants to swap. D1 wants Daddys cake. So does D2. No one sits still. Two dragons roar loud. D1 hits D2. A brawl occurs with a latte being piggy in the middle. People judge us. We quickly drink our coffee. We exit quick. The end.

The toystore visit

The dream – We promise our children a special treat from the big toy store for their good behaviour. We are all excited to visit the store, and feel a sense of magic. It will feel just like the Toys R Us advert. Our two children will be so excited and so grateful to us. They will hold our hand and dance down the aisle in amazement at all the wonderful toys on show.

Reality – There was no good behaviour yet we are still going to the toystore. The boys are excited. We arrive. D2 makes a getaway on the car park and runs fast. Good start. We go into the store. D1 wants the Lego aisle. D2 wants the dollies aisle. D2 lays on the floor and refuses to walk. We drag him to another aisle. We walk down the music aisle. D2 plays the keyboard. D1 pushes D2 off the stool for his turn. D2 bites D1. Timeout in a toystore is always a joyous time. Apologies are made. Fresh start. The bike aisle. D1 tests out a bike. D2 has climbed the shelf and is head first in a tractor. He screams when he is pulled out. Cue lying on the floor. After 45 minutes of pure stress we decide to leave. But not empty handed because we’re crazy like that! Anyone else? The end.

Let’s eat out for dinner

The dream – You want to spend some quality time with your family so decide to go out for dinner. You choose a child friendly restaurant and imagine the four of you enjoying a lovely meal as a family. The kids eat well and wait patiently for their pudding. You leave feeling full and proud.

Reality – You end up at Pizza hut because you know the icecream factory will be the perfect bribe for your children to behave well and eat their meal. It all starts well. D2 eats a crayon but that’s nothing abnormal. They choose their food. It takes 365 days to arrive. They get hangry. Crayons are thrown. Legs are jerked. Snarls are exchanged. The pizza arrives. Cue a break down because I won’t let my children eat molten lava pizza. It cools. They eat. They eat well. Mummy and daddys food arrives. Mid pizza the icecream tantrum begins. Everyone stares. We cave. The boys have dessert. Pizza hut call in Environmental Health to de-toddler the sprinkles and syrups counter. They have a second helping. We use four hundred baby wipes, 20 napkins, and we leave. The end.

But would we have it any other way? Yes! Yes we would ?