Driving On Snowy Days

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Being able to drive gives you a great sense of freedom, but also puts a lot of responsibility upon your shoulders. You’re not only responsible for yourself but for the vehicle you’re in, your passengers, pedestrians and other drivers to a certain extent too.

Cars are pretty easy to maintain during nicer weather but during those cold, snowy, icy days your car becomes a bigger responsibility. So I thought I’d share some cold weather tips with you from The RAC about driving in snowy conditions:

  • Wear comfortable and dry footwear
  • Accelerate gently, use low revs and change up to a higher gear as quickly as possible
  • Move off in second gear as this will help reduce wheel slip – some cars have a winter mode, which does the same job – so to check whether your car has this function in the vehicle’s handbook
  • Get your speed right and maintain safe stopping distances between you and the car in front, leaving as much as 10 times the normal recommended gap
  • Prepare for an uphill by leaving plenty of room in front so you can maintain a constant speed without the need for changing gear
  • Use a low gear for going downhill and try to avoid braking unless necessary, make sure you leave plenty of space between you and the car in front
  • When approaching a bend, brake before you actually start to turn the steering wheel. If your car does lose grip try not to panic; the key thing is to take your foot off the accelerator and make sure that your wheels are pointing in the direction you want to go in
  • If you do encounter a skid, steer gently into it – for example, if the rear of the car is sliding to the right, steer to the right. Do not take your hands off the steering wheel or stamp your foot on the brakes
  • When driving in heavy snow, make sure that you use your dipped headlights. Relying on daytime running lights is not enough, because they don’t always put lights on the back of your car.
  • If visibility drops below a 100m, put your fog lights on. But remember to turn them off when the visibility improves.
  • If the road has not been gritted, be wary of driving in the wheeltracks or other vehicles as compressed snow is likely to be more icy than fresh snow
  • Controls such as the brakes, as well as the steering, accelerator and even gear changing should be operated smoothly and slowly
  • Sunglasses can help to reduce the glare of low winter sun on the snow
  • Keep your speed down and allow more time to stop and steer
  • Finally, it’s important to think about the environment that you’re driving in, especially microclimates that might appear on the road. These are areas that perhaps the sun hasn’t got to, which could stay icy when the rest of the road has thawed. Bridges are a good example. They’re normally the first to freeze and the last to thaw. So be aware of that when you’re driving in open spaces.

It’s also a good idea to pack some emergency blankets in your boot and may some water and durable food. It’s always better to be over prepared when driving in snowy conditions. And don’t forget a snow shovel and some gloves!

The weather here at the moment is so cold, snowy, icy and windy. There are amber and red alerts throughout the country so if you’re in the UK please be careful and listen to the above advice.

Do you have any top tips for driving in the snow? We’d love to hear them!




Seen On The Screen

The UK and Northern Ireland have so many wonderful places, rich in character and wonder, so much so that many films and tv series use it as their scene setters. From wonderful castles to cloud laden mountains, the views are stunning. And in particular Northern Ireland which has become such a popular location with film producers in recent years. It has stunning, varied landscapes and surroundings, some of which may look very familiar if you are a fan of certain movies and series.

If you’re interested in looking into where your hometown has been featured in films and on TV shows then you can find out here as part of the PCA Predict #SeenOnTheScreen campaign. You’ll be surprised at the results! I was!

Game of Thrones has used Northern Ireland for various scenes, some of which may surprise you. Locations range from River Quoile, County Down which is Old Valyria Canal, Essos, Pollnagollum Cave, County Fermanagh which features as the Brotherhood Without Banners’ Hideout, Ballintoy Harbour stars as The Iron Islands and Murlough Bay, County Antrim features as the Coast of Essos. Also, Belfast’s Titanic Studios is the scene setting of some of the interior shoots including The Eyrie and Throne Room.

I absolutely love GOT, and even more so that alot of it is filmed within the beautiful setting of Northern Ireland.

The fabulous Line of Duty Series 3 is also set in Northern Ireland, with series 2 having been filmed in Belfast.

The Fall is currently having it’s third series filmed within Northern Ireland too.

Aswell as tv series scene setters, Northern Ireland has featured in a lot of movies both big screen and local; Cupcake, Keith Lemon The Movie, Killing Bono, Highrise.

It’s easy to see why Northern Ireland is used for so many feature productions, it’s so beautiful.



Kate Middleton, How Dare You Be So Beautiful!

The Royal Baby has arrived in the UK, and I’m guessing the majority of people (worldwide) have heard about it, read about it, or watched some related news regarding it. It’s big news whether you like it or not!

I’m not really a Royal fanatic, but I don’t dislike the Royals either. I can take them or leave them. BUT I’ve found myself feeling very protective about Kate Middleton, the future Queen, in the last 48 hours.

Hundreds of thousands of people have eagerly awaited the young girl going into labour with her second child. Will it be a boy? Will it be a girl? When will it be? The day finally came, and you can’t help but be a little bit happy for them. The TV and newspapers were filled with congratulations. A new baby, regardless of status, is always something to celebrate. Good news is hard to come by these days so it was a joyous occasion.

Kate Middleton looked effortlessly beautiful as she showed their new daughter to the rest of the world.

Their precious baby girl. It was a picture perfect moment. And a moment is all it was. People then decided to let the green eyed monster invade it.

The newspapers, the TV channels, the magazines, and social media all started questioning irrelevant details:

How does she look so beautiful so soon after giving birth?

Why doesn’t she look tired and worn out?

Why isn’t her hair greasy?

Who cares about the baby?

How is it possible to be standing their like that a few hours after labour?

And so on.

I’ve even read about surrogate conspiracy theories and even the birth date has been questioned.

Get a flaming grip will you people!!

The girl looked beautiful because she IS beautiful. All the make-up that Mac has to offer can’t fix ugly! Of course she had a make-up artist, but so what – wouldn’t you? I sure as heck would!

Of course she had a blow-dry – why not? I wash my hair and roll out the ‘good’ make-up just for family reading sessions at my son’s school and at his parents evening, let alone facing the whole world and being photographed by every Tom, Dick, and Harry.

Don’t hate on the girl for looking so good. Green doesn’t suit you! 😉

Why can’t we just say congratulations and well done, and leave it at that? People are allowed to look good, it isn’t a crime!

Who cares about the real birth date? Or how Kate managed to look so dam good? The fact remains that she looked beautiful, and gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Charlotte.

As the saying goes “Haterz gon’ hate!” – but we all know why!

Come on fellow mommas and daddas – let’s not be a part of all this pettiness. Credit where credits due – and she needs credit for looking so good! I sure as heck didn’t!!

Congratulations Kate and William!

New Year’s Resolutions as a Parent

Twelve months is a very long time in the world of parenting. You cannot possibly count the tantrums, the bogeys, the amount of times you are vomited on, the tears you wipe, the hugs you give, the food you prepare, the chocolate consumed, the vegetables refused, the battles you won, the battles you lost, the times you’ve yelled, the times you were patient, the baths you gave, the cuddles you received, the car journeys you took, the holidays you went on, the food shops you waded through, the break downs you had, the bad dreams you banished,the budgets you didn’t stick to, the sacrifices you made, the butts you wiped, the rooms you cleaned, the idiots you’ve encountered, or the coffees you consume.

As the end of the year approaches you find yourself, as a parent, reflecting on the year you’re leaving behind and making your new year resolutions as a parent (whether verbally or somewhere in your subconscious). Were you a good parent? Were your children happy? Did you feed them healthy food? Did you yell just enough as to not cross the border into scarring them for life? Did you make fun memories? Did you laugh enough?

When I look back on my year I see a lot of things, both good and bad. I see a momma who yelled, but a also a momma who fiercely loved. I see a momma who wanted to curl up in to a ball and cry for a week solid, but I also see a momma who carried on regardless and made life fun.

We had treasure hunts, spontaneous tea parties, cinema trips, and outings to feed the ducks. We went crabbing, to the fair, on train rides, to theme parks, to the beach, to the forest, to firework parties, to birthday parties. We celebrated our babies birthdays in VIP style, and left no detail to chance. We made Christmas magical. We (my husband and I) poured every ounce of ourselves into making life an adventure for our little people.

The happiness will always outweigh the crappiness.

When I look back I see we had an amazing year, we had low points, sometimes very low points, but the happiness outweighs the crappiness, and always will.

The year ahead is set to be amazing, and by amazing (I am under no illusion believe me!) I mean it will be full of laughter, fun, tears, snot, poop, cheeky four year old’s, terrible two year old’s, birthday parties, wrestling, (a bit of) yelling, time-outs, family holidays, things getting broken, grazed knees, grazed hearts, cleaning, lots and lots of cleaning, meeting new people, saying goodbye to toxic people, not putting up with peoples crap, making fun memories, and making life a fun, secure adventure for my two little boys.

My New Year’s Resolutions

We all know a new year’s post would not be the same without adding some of my new year’s resolutions as a parent, so here they are:

  1. When one of my darling children hand me a huge bogey to dispose of I will not gag loud enough for someone on the next continent to hear. I will work on my gag-reflex
  2. When my name is called for the four hundredth time that hour I will not get irritated; I will smile and respond accordingly
  3. I will try not to yell at all ( or maybe limiting myself to 3 times a day seems a more attainable goal)
  4. I will wash my hair 3 times a week, even if it means showering with a 4yo, a 2yo, Nemo, the whole cast of Monsters Inc, and two squirting penguins. Dry shampoo should not be an everyday essential.
  5. I will brave potty training my little rascal of a 2yo
  6. I will discover a way to get my children to sleep in until 9am every single day. I will. I most definitely will!
  7. I will stay awake past 8.30pm at least on Fridays and Saturdays
  8. I will spring clean the house from top to bottom at least once a week (maybe once a month, or maybe bi-monthly sounds more achievable?)
  9. I won’t run away from the geese when we go to feed the ducks
  10. I will be more sociable. In fact I will be sociable full-stop.
  11. I will assume people like me instead of always assuming they don’t, unless they tell me otherwise.
  12. I will eat healthy. I’m laughing already at this one! Great start, great start, ugh!
  13. I will be more of  a ‘Yes Parent’!
  14. My husband and I will go on at least two date nights a month, and on one out of the two he may get lucky! (As in he may get to choose where we go! Come on! What were you thinking?!!)
  15. I will be less grumpy, even when I am grumpy
  16. I will learn to like wine. Wine always sounds so grown-up and sophisticated. Most taste like paint stripper to me. (I am currently gagging my way through a bottle – resolution completion in full swing!)
  17. I will learn to like watching a movie. Husband this is for you!
  18. I won’t bear a grudge against whoever interrupts my morning coffee!
  19. I will learn to love Lego. And quickly. I will be a Master Builder because everything is awesome!
  20. I will cry less
  21. I’ll love more
  22. I’ll conquer my fears. All of them! (Except spiders, roller-coasters, and wasps!)
  23. I will blog more

And there we have it, my new year’s resolutions a parent! What are yours?

Follow me on Facebook and share your new year’s resolutions as a parent with me!

A little insight into Swords and Snoodles

I’ve wanted to blog for a very long time, even pre-children. I’ve often started a blog, and then lost enthusiasm. That was until May 2014.

For some reason it felt the right time. I was passionate from the start. I love writing, always have. Even as a little girl I’d write stories, and poems constantly.

I think writing is a sort of therapy to me. It keeps me sane lol.

I’m now into month fourteen of blogging and  my passion is only growing. It’s hard to lose passion about sharing your daily experiences; the good,  the bad, the ugly. It’s lovely reaching out to people, and knowing they feel the same.

I pride myself in being honest, sometimes brutally honest, and those who know me will know that’s always been the case 🙂

It took a while to come up with a name for my blog. I wanted it to be personal and to stand out. After much brainstorming with my marketing mastermind husband we came up with Swords and Snoodles.

Swords is obviously self explanatory. My boys love being pirates. They’re typical boys.

Snoodles, however, isn’t very self explanatory unless you know us. Snoodle is the name we gave my first borns comforter bear blanket he had at 2 months old. From that moment it’s not left his side (it has but we replaced it undetected!) His brother also loved Snoodle, so we purchased a few more. They adore them.

We now own four Snoodles. My boys won’t sleep without them. My 4yo has one. My 2yo insists on three! They carry them mostly everywhere. Snoodle is a big part of our family and so are his three siblings 😉

Now you know who Snoodle is and where the name Swords and Snoodles came from 🙂

Does your child have any special names for their comforters? 

Becci of Swords and Snoodles

In the beginning

May 2014…

Once upon a time I had a blog, or two, and then life got in the way.

Almost four years into motherhood, and here’s to a fresh writing start; the highs, the lows, the joys, the tears, the worries, the fun, the happy memories, and the heartaches.

I’m looking forward to sharing my journey with you all.