Sunday Funday!

Sunday funday! Today we went for a lovely carvery dinner together as a family. It's not something we often get to do, all together, as the hubby works most weekends, so this was a really nice change for us all and the weather was just stunning which meant we could go for a lovely long walk near the prom too.

We went to a local restaurant in New Brighton, where my sister actually used to be a chef and the hubby used to be a waiter around 6 years ago - some little interesting facts for you there. You know what they say, it's a small world we live in. Aside from slower table service than normal (due to being so busy on such a lovely afternoon!) we had a beautiful roast dinner and the kids had some ice cream too! 

I've blogged before about how lucky we are to live in New Brighton, the views are stunning and the regeneration over the past few years has seen a previously run-down, has-been, seaside town into the place to be come rain or shine.

Carson took his ipod to keep him calm in case there was any music and sat next to me. (You can read here as to why that's important, in case you're unaware of his situation.) Finley was happy to let me sing that he stinks of poo to keep him amused - and onlookers confused, I'm certain of it!

Finley was so well behaved in his booster seat, until he decided that sitting up was too much hard work and so flung himself across to the next seat, into hubby's lap. This child has no sense of danger whatsoever, it's a good job he was on the ball because he could have ended up nutting the floor otherwise! 

All in all, we've had a really wonderful day with no tantrums from the hubby and the kids, some unexpected beautiful weather, decent grub and brisk walking in the fresh air. That's what I call some quality family time. Oh, and I'll SO sleep tonight! 

Winning at life right now.

How was your Sunday?

Lottoland - the way to play for millions!

I can't be the only one who always associate mega-money amounts with Chris Tarrant, thanks to that ITV quiz show back in our school days! So, I find it rather apt that he's the face of Lottoland on the tv adverts at the moment. Great career choice Chris. I wonder if he needed to phone a friend... I'll stop now, honest.

Lottoland is a platform based on lotto betting and at first, I was scratching my head thinking "a lottery ticket is a lottery ticket isn't it?" but it seems that they're a bit different than just a company selling lottery tickets.

Lottoland's model enables you to bet on the outcomes of lotteries all over the world, rather on the lottery draw itself - you can even bet on the world famous American Powerball, which had a mind blowing, staggering, £1billion jackpot earlier this year. If international lotteries aren't your thing, you can stick to those you may be more familiar with such as the Euromillions or the Irish lottery if you prefer. 

 Take me to Lottoland

I was given some free credit to have a dabble for myself, for the purpose of this post, and I found it really straightforward. I chose to bet on a couple of Irish and Euromillions draws, both of which failed to turn me into a millionaire but at least I was in it to win it to begin with!  

If, after all reading all that, lotteries aren't your thing, Lottoland offer a range of scratchcards and slots to entertain you too. Again, I was pretty unlucky in having a go at Raid the Piggy Bank (10 games for £2.25), but it was fun and didn't break the bank either. 

So, if you fancy a change to the normal lotteries available to you, Lottoland is where you need to be heading. Additionally, when I googled them I found that if you sign up now (at the time of publishing), you can get your 1st line for FREE betting on international lotteries like EuroMillions, MegaMillions, PowerBall, Irish Lotto and Oz Lotto so head over and good luck!

Are you tempted to try other, international, draws?

Reigniting 'date nights'

Together for 9 years, the majority of the hubby and I's 'togetherness' has been in the role of a parent or the house cleaning tag team! Aside from our anniversary back in July when we managed to get a night away in The Village Hotel together, I honestly can't remember the last time my hubby and I went on a date together. 

Night out for my best friend's mum's 60th birthday

If my memory serves me right, our dates have also been pretty casual. None of this glamming up in dresses and suits , but more a jeans and tee affair. Cinema going or having a couple of drinks in the local Wetherspoons is pleasant enough but sometimes we deserve a little more.

I'm sure a lot of you guys will know that I do love to enter a good competition or two when I get the chance and I've made it my mission to find the ultimate additions to make us feel great enough, and confident enough, to go somewhere really romantic.

The last time we got proper-glammed up was around 3 years ago!

An uber glam dress, for me - something long, elegant and slightly glitzy will do just fine! A couple of suits for him, preferably a 3 piece, because the hubby does love a good waistcoat or jumper himself. In fact, men's suits are a must for an Autumn wardrobe, I think. Easy to dress both up and down with perfect layering opportunities for the changeable autumn weather. Yes that's right, men do layers too, you know!

A win for a night away somewhere would be lovely too. It saves all the messing around with taxi's getting home and, instead, we can chill out exactly when and however which way we fancy. Not to mention worrying that the postman will knock and wake us up in the morning way too early on the day that we have no kids to wake us up - why does that always happen?! 

The little things are the biggest sometimes.

Whilst winning these things aren't guaranteed and with Christmas creeping into sight there are ways we can ensure that date nights can happen indoors at low cost, for the times we have no one to sit for the kids. I remember once, I came home from work to a home made dinner, surrounded by haribo hearts, with flowers and oil burners lit, and it was just the sweetest thing. The kids were already sorted and in bed so we could eat in peace with a glass of wine then watch a movie together. It's things like this that make someone swoon!

I do still want the opportunity to totally get dressed up and get out. I think everyone would like that once in a while though wouldn't they, not just me being high maintenance for once?!

*This is a collaborative post in partnership with

Why Autumn is my favourite fashion season.

That heatwave ended pretty dramatically didn't it? Some of those storms were absolutely incredible, if a little terrifying I must admit. So summer is drawing to an end and it's nearing my favourite time of year - Autumn.

Breathing in the crisp , fresh morning air whilst crunching the fallen auburn shaded leaves underfoot. Oh, and layers!

This time last year, blouse and jumper time!

Ahh yes, layers, my absolute favourite way to dress. There's no need for the winter coats yet, people. Unless, of course, the flushed and melted make-up face is the look you're aiming for? You see for me, autumn isn't necessarily cold, but definitely changable. More winds, more rain, but definitely still pretty decent mid-teen temparatures.

Layering is the ultimate in practical versality, keeping you warmer when those winds are blowing a gale but giving the freedom to cool down discreetly and stylishly when required.

One of my favourite ways to do this is by investing in one or two staple knits and pairing them with vests or a tee underneath. Opt for a blouse for a more professional outfit at the office. Choosing high quality knitwear will last throughout the season without bubbling or stretching. *Hint* if choose single coloured styles they're super easy to accessorise and for dressing both up and down.

All the layers! Vest, net knit and scarf

Dress scarves are also incredibly handy when it comes to layering. Drape around the neck, un-fastened for a cool accessory-like feel, or loop around for some extra warmth around the neck and chest areas.

Another of my favourites is something I've blogged about before - Wingz. If you can't bear to part with your summer wardrobe just yet, then wingz add sleeves to any top, instantly. There's so many styles to choose from that you will never have a problem matching them to your favourite dress or swing vest.

So many options!! I'm looking forward to the cooler days now, I really am. I can't be the only one either, surely? Tell me how you feel about losing the warm weather.

Do you have any tips of your own to get through Autumn that you'd like to share?

*A collaborative post, in partnership with David Nieper

Never too old for hugging: From a blogger's child.

At the weekend, just gone, Carson asked me to delete a photo I took of him whilst playing with his Spongebob sets in the living room. His words were "Mum, please delete that. I don't want to be on Instagram or blog or whatever. I don't want likes, I want to play." 

I had only taken the photo because I thought it was really cute, watching him playing and pretending to be Patrick Star or Squidward and Gary (meow!), and was going to whatsapp it over to the hubby. 

My initial feeling was wow. I was so sad he thought I'd take a photo 'just for likes' or to parade him online. There's no denying that he's a blogger's child that's for sure. How utterly devastating to hear words like this from an 8 year old's mouth. I suddenly felt incredibly guilty. And sad, did I mention I was sad? Really upsetting to hear.

From Reception to Year 4 - how do we not notice them growing?!

I smiled, said OK, then literally launched my phone to one side and we played Spongebob together whilst Finley was upstairs napping. Doing our best at the character's voices, we laughed so much that he was doubled over, crying, teeth chattering, hardly breathing! It was absolutely brilliant and I cherished every moment of that mad hour we spent together.  

Fast forward to today and I've just come home from work. He's told me all about his first day back at school and is being really clingy, showering me with lots of hugs and kisses. I asked him why he was hugging me so much - it's pretty out of character for him, he's normally glued to his ipod watching crappy YouTube videos about Minecraft or hot sauce or farts or, I dunno, something like that. Typical boy stuff, you get what I mean. 

His response? "I'm making the most of it whilst I'm small" Seriously? *heart melting* Profound much?

He then suggests he could write his own blog piece based around hugs. I asked him if he was sure because I really don't want to pop him on the internet if he doesn't want it but he was more than excited about doing this that he was halfway up the stairs looking for his pad and a pen before I'd finished my sentence! 

So, here it is...

He then typed it up and added his own little extra piece, freehand. His copied and pasted version is as follows:

Never too old for hugging
Hello my name is Carson I'm 8 years old . Normally I just don't have time for hugging until on 6th September I realized I can still hug my mummy and daddy. I have been recently hugging my mum and dad because being young doesn't last forever because when I grow up I wont have time to give hugs so I guess I have to make the most of it. I love my mum and dad so much that I still kiss my mum and dad. I am Carson aged 8, everyone - if you feel sad hug your mum and dad.

I am so emotional over his 'post' - what a lovely, warm piece of writing, from the heart of an 8 year old boy. I've decided to introduce a tab on the blog called "Carson's Corner". If ever he wants to write his own thing, he is more than welcome to contribute to this site. 

He knows now that life isn't about likes or over-sharing. It's about doing what you enjoy, as long as you respect those around you. He is on cloud nine right now at being 'published' and I'm so proud of the little man we've brought in to this world. Go Carson!!


Little Hearts, Big Love, pub-8301510335931825, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0