The only "#PrayFor" hashtag I'll use

The 'prayfor hashtags' are becoming all too regular these days. It's almost beginning to lose it's meaning, a little like RIP being used to signify death and heartache. It's just a common turn of phrase don't you think?

Let me give an example, you see a much-loved celeb has died and you use the term RIP. Do you really mean those words; rest in peace? Come on now, no. What you mean is wow, how sad, I can't believe they've gone, tragic news, you'll never be forgotten, what a legend.

Whenever I see the #prayfor<insert cruelly damaged area here> hashtag I think the same kind of thing, but let me make it clear - I'm not heartless. Just as those using RIP most certainly don't mean to be. I sit here now, typing, admitting, that I give up praying for a particular country or covering my facebook profile image with a temporary flag.

I pray for human beings collectively and hope, so much, that my children will not have to experience or witness anything as horrific as in recent times. I guess, when a child myself, I was lucky in that I had no social media to learn of tragedies, just as I would rather be playing outside with my friends than sit and watch the 6 o'clock news with the 'rents on the only tv in the house... Ignorance is bliss hey.

Let's say I am asked to pop on a blindfold on the bus ride home from work, would I know the colour of skin of the person I'm happily chatting away to next to me? It doesn't matter, they're just another person trying to get home.

Listening to music down my ears, keeping myself to myself, I see two postmen sat on a wall chatting away. Would I know that it was actually sweet nothings being uttered between the two? It doesn't matter, they're also keeping themselves to themselves. Imagine if one was to stop and tell me that my music choice was intolerable... I'm sure I'd feel it was none of their business. Swings and Roundabouts springs to mind.

Why does it matter if an individual believes in God, be it a different one to you, or even any at all?

When can we learn to accept each other for who we are, the wonderful spectrum of colours we are, the people we love, or the things we do or do not believe in?

Until we all realise that everyone is different, and that it's perfectly OK, we're all in danger. 

Doesn't it make sense to #PrayForHumanity?

My Top 5 Foodie Instagram Snaps

I recently wrote a post about how I don't use Instagram as much as other bloggers so thought I'd start a series showcasing my favourites. The last in the series were my Top 5 Family Instagram Pictures - be sure to check them out too.

Here are my Top 5 Foodie Instagram Snaps...

Number 1.


Not a lot of you will realise this but back when I was 18, I actually lived with Tracey from One Frazzled Mum for around a year. We worked together at a local off licence and hit it off as mates straight away. Many a late shift together ended by buying Carling & Quavers for our tea back at the flat. It takes me right back to our heyday when I see the two together!

Number 2.


A photo posted by Carsonsmummy (@carsonsmummy) on

I'm never going to be a fancy shmancy baker but this is one project to be proud of as far as I'm concerned! A wonky but perfectly edible jam and cream sponge cake decorated to look like one of the TMNT (Michaelangelo I think?) for Carson's birthday. The first birthday cake I ever tried my hands at and, although far from perfevct, he absolutely loved it. Yesss!!

Number 3.


Cooking that perfect steak really is so hard to do. When we reviewed the Tefal Optigrill, our lives were changed forever. Ok, maybe not our actual lives, but definitely the way we view and cook foods. It's use possibilities are endless, with perfect results every time. A good steak is something to shout about I think.

Number 4.


Having had the opportunity to review SoulmateFood a couple of years back, I still to this day make variants of some of the meals I was sent to try. These avacado chocolate cookies where, and still are, like nothing else I've ever had and that chicken fajita pizza - my God! Check out the meals I had in the review here.

Number 5.


Ok, so not strictly food - but it still passes the lips, no? This, my friends, is a Tom and Cherry cocktail from Revolution. I cannot begin to explain the perfection within that tin can! Described on their site as "Cherry and Cola flavoured vodkas with cherry syrup, lime juice and Coca-Cola, garnished with cherries and a bag of cola bottles. " I have to tell you that it's also frozen, truly the most satisfying slushy of all time!


So there are my Top 5 Foodie Instagram Snaps! I'm not sure what topic to choose for the next installment. Any suggestions?

Summer Holidays and Chores For The Kids

Oh I remember, fondly, the excitement at the prospect of 6 weeks off playing in the park every day, weather permitting. Actually what am I talking about, weather permitting? Us 80's/90's kids were out come rain or shine!

Summer picnics to the park
To earn that privilege though we had to do our chores around the house which is fair enough. Having 2 sisters and a brother it was like serious teamwork to get it done as fast as we could, just to get out quicker. We'd take it in turns and swap the type of chore each day but it went something like this... one to vacuum up and downstairs, one to polish the living room and dry the dishes, one to put the dishes away and take up the clean clothes, popping the relevant piles onto each persons bed ready for them to put it away. Easy peasy when you worked together!

The pleasure of receiving receive a Mother's Pride bread bag full of cucumber butties, a 2l bottle of Kwik Save's NoFrills lemo to share, and a tennis or football, was a good enough reward for us as it was literally all we needed for a 9am - 5pm sesh. You'd make friends with the other familiar faces in the park and before the end of the 6 weeks are up, you've got so many in the gang that the whole middle field will be taken up with our one single rounders game!

Carson and Finley with 2 of his cousins in the summer holidays.
These days there's no way I could let a digitally uncontactable Carson go to the park for the entire day, out of my sight. Woah no. My heart pounds at the sheer thought. Mind you, the children of today couldn't be as content with what we had as children. They're used to so much more in every day life. How times have changed hey.

We'll be spending the summer holidays having picnics at weekends as a family and spending the odd few days out in Gulliver's World, Blackpool, Chester Zoo etc. however these things cost so much money so will not be as regular an occurrence as we'd all like. But... just because there's no daily excursion for him, doesn't mean Carson can't do daily chores and take responsibility for the home he lives in with us all.

We've sat and talked about this together, which means not only do I think they're fair, he also believes they're reasonable and achievable. For every chore he does successfully each day, he earns 50p towards his spending money on our day trips. This can add up to quite a lot (needed!!) but it ensures he understands the value of money on our outings.


We also have weekly chores which allow him to earn something like tv in bed (later than usual) or an ice cream from the annoying old van that has a habit of parking right in front of our living room window, teasing us... and deafening us all. How cruel! Typical weekly chores are:
> Empty my washing basket and take all laundry downstairs
> Clean my shoes
> Empty my bin from my room

Do you set your children chores throughout the summer holidays?  

I wonder if it's similar to our set-up. Do let me know because I'm always looking to give him more work to do to  shake it up for him! 

My Top 5 Family Instagram Pictures

I still feel like a newbie when it comes to Instagram. I don't use it as much as I should so was looking through last night to see what I have actually shared with you guys. I thought I'd give a bit more detail as to why I love some of these pictures...

Number 1...

A photo posted by Carsonsmummy (@carsonsmummy) on


Yup, as the caption says, this was our very first family photo with all 4 of us. Finley was 3 months old and not at all aware with what was going on, as you can tell! 

Number 2...


Fast forward 2 years and we have our second family photo as a foursome. It's a pretty poor show when you only have 2 family pictures in the first 2 years of a babies life isn't it. I have to improve! On the plus side, Finley looks more engaged than the first and Carson is continuing with his normal wacky faces.

Number 3...


Finley rarely offers affection or eye contact so this was absolutely massive for him (and me, as a selfish mum craving some sort of bondy moment!)

Number 4...

A photo posted by Carsonsmummy (@carsonsmummy) on

What a lovely grown up pose from Carson, caught on camera by his Ninny. I absolutely adore this shot.

Number 5...


It's the small things like this, coming home from work to home made brownies , love hearts and sealed envelopes filled with written blessings, that make me realise how lucky I am to have my husband.


What would your top 5 be? Why not blog them and tag me so I check them out, I love being nosey!!

3 Steps To Transform Your Bathroom For Under £60.

You may remember I once wrote a post about ways to spruce up your kitchen - quickly, easily and cheaply. It was one of my most popular posts for quite some time, which goes to show how Joe Public is always open to frugal ways and means of refreshing our homes. Clever Joe!

Today, I want to show you how I managed to completely transform my bathroom for less than £100. In fact, I do an injustice to myself - it was actually less than £65, and that's including delivery costs as well!! All in three simple steps and proven in just 15 seconds of video. Check it out...



First things first - change your colour scheme. Anything different to the norm is bound to make a refreshing change and any room at all, and don't be afraid to go for something you wouldn't normally go for. In my case, we originally had white, black and purple but, for the refresh, we decided to opt for grey and white. Quite boring and washed out you might think (or at least I did when I was starting to piece it all together!). 

Makeover on a budget, transform bathroom, budget bathrooms
Comparisons

This brings me to the second important part of any transformation - accessories that will enhance or compliment your chosen colour scheme. For a grey and white theme I had two ways to take this: go for a 'pop' of colour or simply change texture. I went for the latter and sought out smashed glass effect items and spangly diamante encrusted wooden letters. Think outside the box too, my sister picked up a trinket box and lid from Wilkos and suggested I use it as a flower pot - great idea Nicky, thanks.

Before

Thirdly, remember not to neglect the tiling. You don't have to rip them all down and get your grout out to make a real difference. I opted for something I never have done before - tiles vinyls. At pennies a pop, what did I have to lose? If I didn't like them I could simply take them down and chuck 'em. 

I've broken down the cost of these 3 simple steps: Colour, Accessories, Tiling... 

ARGOS
ColourMatch Toilet Seat (Flint Grey) £9.99
ColourMatch Bath Mat and Pedastal Set (Flint Grey) £6.99
ColourMatch Shower Curtain (Flint Grey) £6.99
ColourMatch Bin and Toilet Brush Set (Flint Grey) £6.99
B&M
Soak Lettering £3.99
Toothbrush holder £2.99
Face cloths £1.99
Hand Towel £3.99
WILKOS
Smashed Glass Trinket box *Used as a Plant pot!* £5
Small Indoor plant £2
AMAZON
88 Light Grey Bubbles (Amazon) £1.99
Soak, Relax, Enjoy (Amazon) £4.99

Total: £57.90 
(excl delivery costs)


Bathroom makeover, transform on a budget
After

I was challenged by Ocean Finance to refresh my bathroom on a budget of £100 for this post and I absolutely nailed it, if I say so myself! 



My bathroom looks brand new, completely refreshed and updated. I really am chuffed to bits with it. Had I have realised it would be so cheap to do, I'd have done it a long time ago. There's truly no excuse in being fed up of a dark, dingy, unfashionable room. You just need to have an idea and roll with it! I now have a light, bright, relaxing haven to enjoy a soak in (kids permitting!)  

For more interior design ideas please visit their own blog here.

How would you transform your bathroom on a budget?

Welcome!

Welcome!