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Amelia Turns Five.

Amelia turns five! Wow, that feels so strange. It doesn't even seem possible that I actually have a five year old. It was only a moment ago that I was sitting there full of love, full of dreams as I waited for my baby to come into a world, and now in a blink of an eye she is five. FIVE! My little girl turning five feels like a such a big milestone, the last step of being a baby. Saying goodbye to those baby years of watching her grow, watching her become independent, develop and flourish in everything that she does. 

Our little princess woke up and we opened lots of presents and cards from all our family and friends. A big thank you to everyone who made an effort to send her something and get her gifts, we really do appreciate it. Our daughter is pretty lucky to have so many friends and family who love her as much as we do. Even though it's her birthday she had to go to school. Amelia did try and use the 'birthday card' to get a day off  school but it didn't work! However she had the best day at school, she was allowed to wear her birthday badges and everyone sang her happy birthday.

As it was her birthday we told her she could have anything she wanted for dinner. Her choice? An old McDonalds!!! We even gave her a choice to go out for a birthday meal, but no the birthday girl wanted a McDonalds. So while we stayed on plan for our dinner we did go and get her a happy meal and she was ecstatic when she got a Secret Life of Pets toy! We did have a little surprise planned for her after dinner.

A cake! As it was such a special birthday we decided to get a cake made for her and because we couldn't decided on a theme we went for a unicorn and mermaid theme. We had lots of visitors come over to see the birthday girl and so it only seemed fair to offer a slice of cake too. We waited for all our guests to arrive before lighting the candles and singing her happy birthday. When we came into the room with her unicorn and mermaid theme cake she was ecstatic. We ordered this from The Little Button Bakery a week or so before her birthday. It was a chocolate and hazelnut cake with white chocolate ganache. Honestly I couldn't even tell you how calorific this slice of cake was, but it was worth every single one of those calories.

We couldn't wait to carry on the celebrations at the weekend at Banham Zoo and like every year we like to involve as much family as we can so we can turn birthday celebrations into one big family adventure. So most of the grandparents tagged along as did my sister, brother-in-law and their little tribe. Our day started with a 5AM wake up call for us as we had one excited little girly.

This year the idea of going to Africa Alive came up, however our daughter really wanted to see Giraffes, Penguins and Flamingos so Banham was the better choice and it's only an hour away from us so it was pretty convenient. We have been to Banham zoo a few times, so we knew that our day was going to be full of adventures and this time we wanted to make sure that we went to see some of the shows. We arrived at the Banham around half ten, followed by some grandparents and the last car came in around eleven making plenty of time for adventures. 

As soon as we all paid our admissions, stamped our hands we all headed over Eureka! It was such a scorching day that we thought that we would go into this display first as it can get pretty hot in there. It is such a great display and one that all visitors should go and spend some time in and don't forget to keep an eye out for the sloth, he may be hiding somewhere you least expect. After we went around the display a couple of times we then headed outside for some fresh air and we were met with this loud howling noise. It was one of the new enclosures at Banham 'Casa De Howler' full of howler monkeys and wow are they loud. We all got the opportunity to stand under the monkeys whilst the were howling at one another, it was such an experience. 

The 'Amazing Animals!' presentation takes place throughout the year, where you get the opportunity to see the animals live on stage as they give you a glimpse into the world of some of the most incredible creatures. The show lasts for 30 minutes or so giving you plenty of opportunity to see so many different animals such as serveral, ring tailed lemurs, European genet, Swainson’s lorikeets, monk parakeets, kookaburra, rats, barn owl and blue & gold macaws. It’s an absolute ‘must do’ on a day out at Banham Zoo. It was a scorcher of a day at Banham this year so we all piled into the presentation and there was AIR CON! Keeping cool for 30 minutes whilst learning about some of these amazing animals was just perfect. 

Our daughter's favourite part of the display was the Red-legged Seriema as these birds will often slam the animal against the ground to kill it before ripping it to pieces with their bills, but seeing the Red-legged Seriema do this with a pretend snake made all the girls jump out of their seats and they couldn't believe how powerful the slam was. I must admit, the slam made me jump. After the display we then headed over the Lemur walk and we all couldn't believe how brave these lemurs were this time, we all got so many opportunities to get up close and personal with them. Look at our new friends? He clearly likes a close up, doesn't he?

We had the best weekend celebrating our girl turning five. After our weekend she told me that she feels so lucky to have so much family and many friends that care about her and that have all helped make her birthday special. Isn't she a complete beauty? It does feel strange to think that I have a five year old but I do need to loosen those reins a little and let her explore the world in her own way. Some of the things she does amazes me, and the things she says melts my heart. Our daughter makes us so proud because she is one amazing little human who is always kind considerate and loves with all her heart. I'm just so happy to know that we all made her birthday so special.

5 Years of Amelia Rose


Happy fifth birthday my little girl.

Amelia Rose; without you I wouldn’t be a mother. As soon as I gazed into those beautiful blue eyes of yours I realised that you were going to change my whole world and completely change me. Your patience, compassion, empathy and kindness has taught me so much. You have truly changed my life and continue to inspire me to be a better version of myself. I am forever grateful and so thankful to be your mama. Five beautiful years of you, Amelia Rose. Five years of amazing adventures, five years of moments that I will remember and cherish as if they happened a moment a go. Five wonderful years of loving you my little miracle.

You turning five feels like a such a big milestone, the last step of being a baby. Saying goodbye to those baby years of watching you grow, watching you become independent, develop and flourish in everything you do. You are such an amazing person. And even though you are my beautiful little girl and you no longer seem like my baby, let me tell you one thing little lady, you will forever be my baby. 

You made me who I am today. I’m such a stronger person because of you. I actually love the person I am becoming and that really is all down to you and the way you love beyond words. It only feels like yesterday that I was holding you in my arms picturing all the adventures and the fun times ahead. Your little toes have taken us all on some exciting adventures together. It was only the other day that I realised as each day passes by you are becoming even more independent and it’s quite scary. It’s unfair how time flies by and those wishes for the baby days again always come flooding back.

I am so proud of you my beautiful independent little lady. It’s so hard to watch you grow up so fast. I constantly go between wanting you to stay my little baby forever, and being excited about the adventures yet to come. While you have grown from a baby to an independent little treasure you are now, I have often held my breath, hoping I would know when to hold your hand and when to stand behind you with a little push. You have changed my life and you have made it more fulfilling than I could ever imagined. I love the person I am today and I will forever be thankful to you, for your love and the fact I have a best friend for life. You have brought such joy into my life. The smiles, laughter, tears and memories have been some of the best moments of my life.

However the adventures don’t stop because you’re five. You have amazing ideas, a sense of humour and brighten every room you enter. Your heart is kind, your heart is true and above all else is full of love. I know as you continue to grow up, we may not see things the way we hope each other will. And that’s okay. I know that you need to spread your own wings and find your own way in this world. Just be happy knowing that your mama will be with you every step of the way, every single step.

Please always know that no matter what, I will be there for you. Even if I don't get things right and makes lots of mistakes I am far from a perfect mama, just know that I am always trying. I'm always trying to be the best mama I can be because you, my little lady, are the best daughter that I could have ever wished for. I'm sure you will make mistakes too, but just know that at times you may fall down, you may make the wrong choice and that's ok. Just remember to dust yourself off, get up and try again. That is all I ever want from you, try your best, your best is enough. I love you more than I ever thought possible and I am so glad that you are mine. Happy birthday baby!

You’re my dream, you’re my world & you’re my everything baby girl.

Ways to Teach Children to Respect Law and Authority

Respect for the law is pivotal to life in so many ways. Of course, staying out of trouble is key, but you also want your kids to understand that laws are established to better society and keep individuals safe. Therefore, work to foster a sense of respect for the law and authority in your kids from an early age.

Model Appropriate Behaviour

One of the best approaches that you can use is to model appropriate behaviour yourself. For example, if you are regularly violating traffic laws and mocking individuals who create policies, you need to ask yourself why your children would do any differently. Make sure your children see you following the law and speaking in a manner that uplifts the legal system. When children have this type of behaviour integrated into their daily lives from a young age, they may be more influenced to naturally abide by the rules that govern them.

Explain Consequences

You want your children to be good for the sake of being good, but you also want to enlighten them as to the consequences of breaking the law. Of course, doing so in an age-appropriate manner is pivotal. For example, you can discuss smaller violations of the law with younger children. As children grow into pre-teens and begin to navigate more of the world for themselves, you can expose them to information about more serious infractions of the law and how breaking such laws can have consequences that follow them throughout their entire lives.

Familiarise Children with Laws

Children may also turn away from laws because they do not understand them. Better familiarising your children with the law can help them to feel more comfortable. For example, you may decide to browse the pages on Prime Lawyers in order to show your children information in a user friendly way. Remember that many kids tend to digest and absorb information well when presented throughout technology.

Attend Community Events

A number of communities have events that help to promote awareness of the law. For example, your community may hold an event where everyone gets together to discuss ways to make the community safer. The community may also have discussions about specific types of laws and how to better support them in the neighbourhood. You may also want to participate with your kids in neighbourhood safety programs. When you can come together as a community, you have the opportunity to show your kids the power of positive influences from other people. In other words, your children may really enjoy getting to support the community and work together with their neighbours in this way.

Following the laws is important, and this statement is true or both children and adults. As parents, you have a responsibility to teach your kids about the laws that are at play in your community and the larger world. While teaching the might seem difficult at first, you can employ some tips to bolster the experience and to foster a strong sense of respect in them.

Chilli and Tomato Basa Fillet

So this is my own little recipe that I put together, so if you fancy spicing up your fish then you should really try this one. A healthy dish full of colour, flavour and sunshine. Fish or seafood is the type of food that is by far from boring, you can cook fish in some many different ways and add what ever flavours that you want. This is a versatile dish. Fish cooked in a fresh coriander, chilli flakes and tomatoes is such a great combination to help enhance the delicate natural taste of the basa fillets. 

To make these chilli and tomato basa fillets you will need:

2 basa fillets, frozen
1 tsp of chilli flakes
5 cherry tomatoes
1 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp of corinader
2 tsp of olive oil (4 syns)
Salt and pepper to taste

To make the delicious marinade add the chilli flakes, cherry tomatoes, lime juice, fresh corinader, olive oil to a mini food processor and blitz a couple of times, then add salt and pepper to taste and give it another blitz to combine. You can keep this marinade chunky if you like and add all ingredients apart from the basa fillets into the food processor and pulse a couple of times. However. because of our daughter we prefer a smoother marindade. 

Place the basa fillets in a dish and spoon over the marinade, for extra flavour you could turn over the fillets and marinade on the other side too. Then place the basa fillets into the fridge for an hour. Once you having finished the marinading process, loosely wrap the fillets into tin foil and cook for 20 minutes at 180℃/Gas Mark 5. Unwrap the tin foil and pop back into the oven for another ten minutes so the topping goes nice and crisp. 

After those ten minutes it is time to plate up and enjoy. Now this fish dish is such a versatile food and can have any pairing you wish. We like to add a leafy green salad and a savoury rice but you could have it anyway you want. Something that you could try is adding this marinade to a chicken break or pork mince for some tasty burgers.

BIRCHBOX - June 2019 : This is the Life

It has been a little while since we have had a Birchbox review on the blog as life has been a little crazy and if I am being completely honest the last couple of boxes haven't really wowed me either. But back with a brand new box full of inspiration for June. Now with this month's box you are in for a real treat with their This is the Life beauty box that is all about the summer adventures. It is an exciting collaboration with Paperchase and for those that know me will understand the excitement. Who else gets excited about stationary? Each subscriber will receive a full sized Laritzy Lip Stix in the shades Plum or Gala as part of the monthly choice and a mini Benefit Gimme Brow. As this is in collaboration with Paperchase every subscriber will also get the chance to get 20% off in a store or online for yourself and friend.

If you're new to Birchbox they are one of the main leaders in the beauty box subscription game. Each month you will receive five deluxe samples and travel sized samples and these will be with makeup, skin care, body care or hair care. It's a great way to discover new products that you wouldn't normally come across if it wasn't for this little beauty subscription. So without further ado let's take a closer look. 

LARITZY Cosmetics. Lip Stix in Plum. RRP | £20.00

This build able formula gives off the perfect bright lip that so many of us need. This colour really compliments my complexion. I love how easily it glides on and acts as a liner and a lipstick. This Shade Stix is perfect for pretty summer looks and this is a travel bag must-have. Sometimes an important part of self-love is embracing your colours and that is exactly what I am doing with this LARITZY shade. I have tried out quite a few products by LARITZY Cosmetics and haven’t been disappointed. On the plus that it is cruelty free as well.

Benefit. Gimme Brow in Warm Gold Blonde, Shade 2. RRP | £21.50

I have to make a confession. My brows are not something that I have been making time for, literally minimal maintenance. However with the new year I made a few new beauty promises to myself and upping my brow game was at the top of my list. And I think I have finally cracked it and have my routine. My favourite step with my brow routine are adding the powders as I am able to fill in my sparse eyebrows and build them up gradually so they appear natural. I use L'Oréal Paris Brow Artist Genius Kit and it's become a faithful. But it is nice to try something different and I have to say that I was surprised to see this in my Birchbox, it is a lot smaller than a regular sample but still enough to try it. I was sent the colour warm golden blonde, and my eyebrows are nowhere near blonde. So a bit of an oversight on the Birchbox side. I did try it and it turned my eyebrows ginger, so it's a no from me with the warm golden brown. However, this product is amazing! You hardly have to do anything. I previously spent ages filling in my whole brow with pencil which takes ages and if you make a little mistake it looked bad. With this you just do one or two strokes and you're done.

Rituals. The Ritual of Karma Body Cream. RRP | £18.50

When it comes to body cream nothing can beat Soap and Glory's Righetous Butter in my opinion and I always have some stashed away in my bathroom essentials. However, its nice to change it up from time to time. This velvety body cream combines the sweet, floral scent of florals with the nourishing power of white tea. Intensely hydrating and gorgeously scented, the rich formula sinks in quickly and leaves your body feeling soft and supple all day. The body cream itself is airy and creamy and sinks almost instantly into your skin, leaving your skin feeling soft right away. The cream also does well with sensitive skin, the skin on my limbs is usually quite sensitive and didn't have any reaction to it whatsoever. The cream is packaged in Rituals' standard body cream packaging, this time in an aqua marine colour.

Wander Beauty. Baggage Claim Gold Eye Mask. RRP | £20.00

This was the product that I was most looking forward to trying, because let's face it, as a mum I am prone to awful dark circles. A set of gold foil eye masks to brighten, hydrate, and reduce the appearance of dark circles. The gold foil helps retain heat and prevents evaporation allowing the maximum amount of serum to penetrate the skin. The middle layer is elastic so the masks will not slip and the third is an exclusive cellulose fibre that condenses and delivers key ingredients efficiently, giving you all the skin-loving benefits you need for instant results. Soo soothing and nourishing!! Great for a quick wake up! I’m so amazed but how much it has helped me, super effective. Not too pricey for what it’s giving, you’ll only know once you have tried it out.

Amika. Bust Your Brass Cool Blonde Shampoo. RRP | £18

Amika Bust Your Brass Cool Blonde Shampoo is an ultra-violet shampoo that keeps blonde colour light and bright. Sea buckthorn berry, wild cherry bark extract and avocado oil help to stop brassiness in its tracks as well as as inject moisture, elasticity and shine into your lock. However, due to being a brunette I couldn't actually try this shampoo. A mishap with my box this month. 

In a nutshell, it seems like a good box. However, I am slightly disappointed with Birchbox and the fact that they send over two product that have been designed for people who have blonde locks and they are supposed to cater to your personal information that we have to update with every box. So for that reason this box I'm afraid it gets a thumbs down from me. 

So what did you think? Are you a Birchbox fan? If not, you should at least try a couple of boxes. A monthly Birchbox subscription, with no long-term commitment, costs just £10 (+ £2.95 P&P) per month. 

Don't forget to check out our previous Birchbox boxes...

My Favourite Bathroom Beauty Essentials

I don’t know about you but when it comes to a bath or a shower, it’s all about indulging in a little luxury. We all need to make more time for ourselves and to help kick start an evening routine with a gorgeous rose petal bath is the only way to start me time. When it comes to rose petal there are so many amazing qualities that this iconic flower has, you can kind of understand why many women having being using rose petals for centuries. Rosewater soothes irritated skin, brightens your complexion and tightens pores for a smooth appearance. And the petals give off a natural calming scent and a rose petal bath can completely change your mood due to its amazing qualities.

However it's not just the bath that can help kick start an indulgent evening there are so many bathroom beauty essentials that can help make you feel relaxed too. I think that we need to put more luxury into our life to help make us feel good. Over the last few months I have been trying lots of great bathroom products and have been figuring out what works for me, and more importantly what doesn't. So I thought that today I would share some of my favourite bathroom beauty essentials that I have really enjoyed using, and hopefully may inspire you to try them too.

Dove Go Fresh Revive Body Wash in Pomegrante + Lemon Verbena - £2 

This is one of my favourite body washes! It's super hydrating and creamy and always leaves my skin feeling amazingly soft and smells absolutely gorgeous. This particular body wash is pink in colour and spreads so easily on damp skin and lathers up really well whether in your hands, a scrunchie or sponge. I have really sensitive and dry skin as this really does leave my skin feeling nourished. The fragrance is amazingggg! It’s probably my most favourite of all the Dove ranges. It’s beautiful, fresh, fruity pomegranate with subtle lemony verbana and it lingers for some time.  

Caudalie Makeup Removing Cleansing Oil - £18

This Caudalie Makeup Removing Cleansing Oil is by far one of the best make up removers I have ever tried, honestly it's a complete game changer. It’s a lightweight oil that emulsifies when you add a little water which tends to be something that you get with oil based cleansers. This Caudalie cleansing oil removes make up effectively, and even though I normally double cleanse, you wouldn't necessarily need to double cleanse with this. As soon as I get in the bath or shower I run a clean flannel under running warm water and give myself a mini facial and place the flannel on my face for five minutes. Using 3 pumps of the oil and rubbing it gently into my skin, the cleansing oil easily breaks down makeup, even the most stubborn eyeliner. Once you have broken down all the makeup, apply some water to wash the product off. It is at this point I tend to remove the final bits of oil with a flannel to make sure the skin is completely clean and dash more warm water onto my face. 

St. Ives Apricot Fresh Skin Scrub - £4

I really love this scrub, it really is a good faithful scrub to have stashed away in your bathroom. It doesn't get much better than patting your face dry and feeling the smooth after you exfoliate. That's the magic of a good face scrub. There are other ways you can exfoliate your skin, but nothing beats using a good ole facial scrub to scrub away dead skin and help unclog your pores. These formulas usually have a gritty texture, and it's that grit that deep-cleans skin. St. Ives Apricot Fresh Skin Scrub is something that I tend to use two to three times a week as exfoliating everyday can strip the skin of its natural oils, which can cause breakouts.

Phillip Kingsley Elasticizer - £19

Now this is something that is pretty essential for all types of hair, and we could all give our hair something extra to ensure we get those lustrous locks. The Philip Kingsley Elasticizer is a pre-shampoo intensive moisturising treatment that aim to deliver elasticity, bounce and shine to hair. It also provides UV protection even after washing, helping prolong the life of colour treated hair. They say that visible results occur from one application and improves with continued use. I have become ever so slightly obsessed with adding this into my hair care routine. You apply in sections to damp hair and then wrap it up in a towel. Leave on for 15 minutes and it generates a heat with your scalp that activates the treatment process. Then you simply wash off with your normal shampoo and conditioner. I tend to change my shampoo and conditioner on a regular basis as my hair get use to products so quickly. This pre-treatment creates a health to your hair that makes styling easier because hair is softer, more shiny and just full of life again, so it something that I definitely needed in my life that's for sure. 

Soap + Glory The Righteous Butter - £10

If you get the chance to try the body butter, try it. It’s AMAZING!! The name itself describes how it is, it really is like butter. The smell of this cream is absolutely amazing. It will leave your skin feels smoother, softer and fresher. I normally use it after I have a shower so it absorbs better but anytime should be fine. Unlike other moisturisers out there this one is not heavy at all and is really light and delicate on skin. The Soap & Glory The Righteous Butter is something that I do use everyday, and it's great for dry skin to give it that extra moisture it craves. I have yet to come across anything like it as a beauty girl, it sinks into my skins so quickly and leaves my skin feeling super smooth, smelling great and most certainly hydrated. And it's an absolute steal at £10 for a tub that lasts ages.

So what do you think of my bathroom favourites? Are there any you use? Or is there something you'd like to try? 

A Quick and Simple Lunch

We’ve all been there staring in front of the mirror wishing our hips smaller; our waist thinner; our arms more toned. Luckily, over the past few decades, society has moved towards a new way of thinking and we should be feeling more empowered and embrace our bodies. Even though I am comfortable with who I am, there are times where I wish I was smaller, healthier and fitter. I want my whole family to be healthier, personally shedding those extra pounds may even improve our chances of conceiving. My ultimate goal is to try and shed three stones not with a crash diet or some fat burning secret. But I want to completely transform my diet, begin a fitness routine in the hopes to help become completely comfortable in my own skin. 

I have been into this new lifestyle just over six months and I have shed an impressive two stones and three pounds. By losing these extra pounds has really helped kick start my weight loss, I already feel better, stronger and feel so much more confident in my skin. In a way, eating good food, making sure I am getting in my five a day and drinking lots of water has really improved my mood, my skin and even my hair. A big part of this lifestyle is down to my food. I have had a massive shake up and haven't slipped into old ways, yes there are times where I will eat a sweet treat or have a takeaway, but nothing in comparison to how it used to be. 

Successful weight loss involves making small changes that you can stick to for a long time. And that means being more physically active during your day to day activities, you need to burn more calories than you consume. This can be achieved by eating less, moving more or, best of all, a combination of both. Now if I am being completely honest with you all, my weight loss so far is due to good food and a hell a lot of meal planning. 

Over the last few months I have been planning our evening meals like a queen. Even though I have pretty much got meal planning to a tee, when it comes to lunch prep that is a whole different story. I tend to leave my Healthy Extra B for our family evening meal or a snack and I rarely have any bread left for the standard sandwich. So my choices for lunches are limited and its normally a salad, couscous or savoury rice. So, my lunch needs to be a little more adventurous. There are so many foods that you can eat on slimming world that are really good for you that are jam packed full of vitamins and minerals to help keep you fuller for longer and a good example are of course eggs. 

Eggs are high in protein and nutritious while free of carbs and sugar. When you’re trying to eat healthy, eggs are an awesome go-to for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even as just a snack. The key is to use the eggs in a variety of different ways by adding spices or seasonings and pairing them with loads of wholesome vegetables and even grains. You really are spoiled for choice when it comes to eggs as there are so many ways that you can add them into your diet and thankfully spruce up my lunchtimes. 

My favourite egg dish is without a doubt an omelette because they really are so versatile and you can keep it simple and wholesome or be as dramatic and over the top as you dare. I prefer simplicity when it comes my omelettes but have to be jam packed full of goodness like this ham, tomato and mushroom omelette. The free foods are eggs, ham, tomatoes, mushrooms and spinach and I have used Frylight 1 cal cooking spray to cook the omelette on both sides. I have used reduced cheddar cheese and I will be using as part of my Healthy Extra A, however if you wanted to save your Healthy Extra A then you will have to syn accordingly. 

To make this omelette you will need:

Low calories cooking oil spray
20g mushrooms
2 medium eggs
1 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. smoked paprika
2 slices of lean ham, chopped
1 spring onion, chopped
25g reduced fat cheese, grated
4 cherry tomatoes, cut into halves
A handful of spinach
Salt and pepper to taste

Chop and slice the vegetables and grate the cheese, these can either be used as part your Healthy Extra A or syn accordingly. Spray a frying pan over medium heat with the Frylight and fry the mushrooms for a few minutes.

Whisk the eggs in a bowl, add a sprinkling of parsley, smoked paprika and season with some salt and pepper. It is at this stage that I would add the cooked mushrooms, ham, cheese, and spring onions to the egg mixture and stir until combined. 

Add a couple more sprays of Frylight to the frying pan over a medium heat and pour in the whisk eggs and quickly swirl it around, ensuring all the sides are covered. When the omelette has set on the bottom, add the cherry tomatoes and spinach and cook for a few more minutes. 

You can either fold the omelette in half or you could try and unleash some creative pancake skills and flip the omelette and cook on the other side. Personally, this is what I like to do to ensure the omelette is cooked on both sides. Fold in half and served with a speed worthy leafy salad. 

Are you a fan of omelettes? What is your favourite combination?

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