Goals For Rest Of 2018

How the hell is it already July, I swear this year is going on double time. It’s is going that quickly that I am going to have a 3-year-old in just a couple of months which is scary she was only born like two moments. I am one of those people who always have to have goals which I can achieve because to me it then feels like I can progress and how much I have improved and come in a period of time.

Today I am going to set myself some goals to have achieved in the in the six months up until then. I am. It going to make all blog related some are going to be easier than others due to the fact I don’t want to feel like a failure if I do not achieve anything

The first one is something which I hope will look achieve soon is moving into our first family house. I can not wait till we have our own space because it going to be perfect not having to think about where we are going to be staying where is easier. Along with when I have to stay at home because Joe is away meaning that I don’t stay with him.

As you might have read I didn’t get on to my masters this year. This means that I am applying for jobs having a job in the sports or Heath industries is something which may help actually achieve my goal of getting on my masters in the future. Been unemployed is not something I want long term it is something which I didn’t exactly enjoy when I had a year off following having Jess.

Of course, something else which I really want to achieve is to complete trailwalker which is the 100km challenge which I undertake in less than 2 weeks time. Even if I do not actually complete the whole distance I am so proud that I have managed to raise at least £600 for charity if you would like to donate you can here.  Every single pound is going to help ease my blisters which I am going to obtain.  It is a crazy challenge which I am sure I am going to enjoy as well as hate at certain points regret my decision.

I would love to work with some more brands this year I do have a list of brands which I would love to work with this for the rest of the year. This is not something which I am going to share for now. I have managed to work with some amazing brands already and I would love to collaborate with them again and some new brands in the rest of the year.

I would love to be able to grow my social media at the moment I have 147 followers on my facebook. This is something which I would love to grow to up to 175 this would mean that I have to work more on my page as at the moment I would say it is the social which I neglect the most.  Twitter is one which I used to love and have close to 1500 followers I am @cupsofcharlotte  over there I would love to gain 1750 if this is possible. So if you do not already follow me I would love if you come over and follow me. Instagram is the one which I am growing on the most at the moment I currently have around 925 followers and would love maybe to have 1250 by the end of the year I am also @cupsofcharlotte over there.

What are your goals for the end of the year?

 

Charlotte xxx

Life Update- June 2018

 

It seems like a long time since I did a personal kind of post. I thought today seemed like one of those times I should update you in the things which have been happening in our lives. For sure there had been some big changes.

The first change is that I have actually completed my degree. It is scary because it’s had taken me 5 years and now I don’t have uni work. I currently don’t know my grade it has to be confirmed because it is on the border line of two grade barriers. It has been amazing to finish I can’t wait to actually graduate now so I can have the pictures but this doesn’t happen till November for me.

So since I finished university as some of you know I wanted to do a physio masters. This is something which I have not got on to this year I think I am going to try and get some more experience and then possible apply in a couple more years. When Jess is older and maybe we will do less solo parenting.

Solo parenting is something which I will be doing more very soon. As you may know I get a lot of support of my family when Joe goes away however, WE BOUGHT A HOUSE. Yes this is something which has happened in the past month or so at the moment we are looking to complete mid August and hope to move in at the end. Our house is actually an hour away from my parents. So this is why I am going to be alone more when Joe is away but I am going to throw myself into work and my blog. You can expect more lifestyle and homey posts coming up in the next few months.

In only a couple of weeks I have trailwalker which I did mention way back at the start of the year. I have been walking miles in order to get some fitness and used to actually walking distance. Most week days now I have been hitting between 8-10 miles which soon adds up more so in this heat. I would love it if you had any spare money to donate to me in order to raiser as much as I can for Oxfam and the Gurkhas welfare trust. As I write this I am close to hitting £550 which is amazing. If you would like to donate to me I’m sure it would help the blisters which I know are going to happen you can here

There also has been some personal things going on which I may share in the future but at the moment this does not feel right. And also i am not ready to share yet.

What have you been up to lately?

Charlotte xxx

18 Summers Wishlist

It’s true when they are that time goes so much faster when you become a parent. I know for sure I can not believe how quick the last 3 years have gone. 3 Years ago I was pregnant with Jess and it is hard to believe that in less than 3 months she is going to be 3.

I was tagged in the #18summerswishlist post by Yammymommy which is a pledge list for yourself and your children, of things you want to achieve before their 18th birthday. Because you actually only get 18 summers before they turn 18 and if you are unlucky and have a teen who is too cool to hang out with their parents even less.  I loved the idea of this tag and maybe if I am actually blogging still when Jess turns 18 we can see if we achieved the things on this list.

  1. We have not actually managed to make a holiday abroad yet, this is something which we want to change. Travelling abroad is something which I have done a lot when I was a child and something Joe has managed to do in the past few years. Exploring different countries is something I want to be able to do with Jess.

2. Disneyland is somewhere which I would love to be able to take Jess. I was never massively into Disney as a child however, since they purchase Marvel it is a place I would love to visit. I really want to go when Jess is old enough to enjoy it and watch the movie however, I do still want her to be young enough to believe in the magic of the place. I do not think this is going to be a place we visit for several years to be honest.

3.  Learn new skills if Jess wants to do something for example like one summer learn to ride a horse. If this is something which she wants to make a hobby I will help her by taking her places which enhance her learning because I want her to learn skills which she loves this could be playing an instrument, cooking or even playing sport.

4.To spend a lot of time to together because summer at the moment is a time when we all get a bit off and it can be used as quality family time.Some of the best memories which we have already created as a family have been as a result of the summer time because this is when we are more likely to be out exploring. This is something I want to continue as the summers go on that is not to say we do not have fun at other times of the the year as well.

5.  To make memories and laugh as much as we can. I want the summers of Jess’s childhood to be special which may mean that when we look back when she is older these are the things which she remembers they do not have to cost the earth. They could be cheap days out or even fun in the garden when we do silly things like have water pistol fights.

I tag anyone who wants to do this to share what they want to achieve with there children before their eighteenth summer

What do you want to achieve before your child turns 18 in the summer.

 

Charlotte xx

Day’s Out- PYO Strawberries

Strawberry picking is something which I have wanted to do with Jess since last year. However, if some of you might remember Joe was actually away for all of the summer last year and this was not a task which I fancied doing on my own with her. This year I knew it was something that we had to do because Strawberries are one of her favourite fruits. Plus we knew that she would love to do it because who doesn’t want to have some amazing memories.

We actually managed to go to one near Grantham this year because we decided to go and see her grandparents. We invited them to come along to strawberry pick and shockingly this is the first time her Nanny had actually been. However, she had that much fun I am sure she might go again I know for sure we will be taking Jess back next year if we do not manage to get to the strawberry fields before the end of the picking season.

We managed to go strawberry picking the first weekend that it was open this did make me wonder whether there would be many for us to pick. As you can see by the picture above we did not struggle to get some big red juicy strawberries at all. Do not worry we actually only had to boxes of them the rest where the grandparents we did spend £20 on the ones we picked but they were so tasty. I actually miss the freshness of these and cream or yogurt for breakfast. I am almost talking myself into going back strawberry picking before the end of July.

The farm we visited was great  all you had to do was grab your baskets where signs which pointed you in the direction of the picking fields. It only took 5 minutes walk to find the rows of strawberries which is great because we had been in the car for over 2 hours due to travelling to the grandparents. Jess was keen to get her hands on the strawberries and off she went to pick them with her little basket. It was pretty quite when we was out in the fields which means she could roam around. With the instruction on only picking the red ones because they were the ones which were ready.

Thinking back to when I went strawberry picking as a child I thought the juicy ones used to be on the outside. However, when we visited it was the middle this could have been due to going to a different part of the season to be honest. But of course we had to test a couple of them to make sure that they were of good quality before we actually paid for them.

If you have never been strawberry picking it is something I would recommend. We for sure had some great fun and the different in the taste is unreal a tip I would say is go either in the morning or late afternoon so it is not too hot and make sure you have comfortable shoes on due to the fact you may get a attacked by the lane of strawberries and the fact that you could be walking a fair distance.

Have you been strawberry picking yet this year, I know they are still open if the answer is no.

 

Charlotte xx

See A Different Side of Tenerife- Virgin of Candelaria

When we think of the island of Tenerife most of us think about the beautiful beaches, hot weather and resorts.  However, there is a huge cultural festival which takes place when millions of us Brits have flocked to the island ready to worship the sun.

Virgin of Candelaria festival takes place every single 14-15th August in the peak of the tourist season. This festival actually celebrates the lady of Candelaria, otherwise known as the Patron Saint of the Canary Islands. People visit from all of the Canary Islands visit the city of Candelaria to participate in processions. This is only 50 minutes’ drive from the popular resort of Playas de la Americas meaning you could actually take in some of the celebrations should you choose to hire a car.

During this festival due to the fact it is celebratory the patron saint of the land it is taken very seriously with mass, religious processions. However, if you are looking or a more party element this also takes place with hundreds of kiosks and bars which are selling a variety of food including local specialties along side chips and burgers.

The atmosphere at this festival is reported as buzzing even before the start of the main show occurs which is when the Black Madonna is paraded around the Plaza de la Patrona de Canarias. The feast day  (15th August) is the assumption of the Virgin into Heaven, it is customary for college students and families to spend a day or two hiking to their Mother. They are rewarded by great processions and festivities reenacting the legend of the Black Madonna before attending the festival.

There is a reenactment of the Guanches and the Black Madonna meeting each other for the first time which is send to be very impressive. This occurs at dusk time following on from this there fireworks which are lit exploding into the night sky. On the 15th August which is classed as the big day there his Mass which is taken with very important people including a representative of the King of Spain and the President of the Goverment of the Canary Islands. After this there is the spreading of the image of the Virgin of Candelaria around the Plaza de la Patron of the Canary Islands .

If you like the sound of this festival and want to attend this year www.holidaygems.co.uk have some really cheap deals on currently in order to be at the event. I have found a weeks holiday in Tenerife including both days of Virgin of Candelaria. For as low as £240 per person this may depend of course were you fly from. I only looked at the North East why not combine some culture with a trip to the sun?

Have you ever been to the Virgin of Candelaria festival.

 

Charlotte xx

This post is in collbration with Holiday Gems

Book Review- Wilde Like Me

Recently when I was feeling under the weather and browsing Morrison’s I remembered that Louise Pentland’s book was now available in paperback, I managed to be able to get in store there and then because I had only heard good things about it from those who had read it include Emily who states it is her favourite book at the moment. I was skeptical about this book as it is a youtuber book but to be honest I forgot about that when I was reading the book and my review is on the book not Louise.

Blurb

Meet Robin Wilde! You’ll make a friend for life and she’ll take you on a journey you’ll never forget …

Single mum Robin Wilde adores her six-year-old daughter and loves her job as a make up artist’s assistant. She has a wonderful best friend and an auntie who is bonkers, yes, but loves her to the moon and back.

But Robin has a secret. Behind the mask she carefully applies every day, things just feel … grey. And lonely. She struggles to fit in with the school mum crew. Online dating is totally despair-inducing, and she worries every day about raising her little girl with self-confidence, courage and joy.

What Robin longs for is someone (over the age of six) to share with – someone who’s always on her team.

After 4 years (2 months, and 15 days!) of single-mum-dom, it’s time for Robin Wilde to Change. Her. Life.

Exciting new opportunities are about to come Robin’s way … Perhaps a man, perhaps the chance of a lifetime …

What will Robin do with the possibilities she creates for herself? And what potential will she unlock if she takes the leap?

My Thoughts 

Well I managed to read all of this book in three days which I think says something that I could not put this book down. I was hooked I needed to know what happened to Robin and Lyla along with the rest of the characters.

This story really showed all the ups and downs in life. It didn’t sugar coat anything. Sometimes life sucks and you let it get you down for a bit, but then you have to get back up and move on. I should know because times at the moment have not been amazing.  I loved Robin’s journey through this whole book, how in the beginning she was on the look out for someone else to come in and fix things and how through out the book she found herself and found out that she was and will always be able to fix shit for herself. This is something which I know I have to do and this is for sure something which I could relate to.

I loved the characters. I loved Robin and her little girl Lyla. I loved how female driven this book was there was not a knight in shining amour needed at all in this book. We have so many wonderful and different woman in this book. I love the different relationships Robin has with all of them. Women supporting each other through all the ups and downs in ones life. I LOVED IT.

The book had a really good ending and would have been fine as a stand alone. But knowing, that there will be a second book, I can’t wait to get back to these characters again. I am glad I have waited to read it as I only have about  6 weeks to wait till I can read the second  Cause even though, Robin and Lyla are a amazing team on their own, I kinda wanna see how things turn out with the man who she is interested in at the end of the book.

Conclusion

Just because this is a youtuber book does not mean that it is going to be poor for me it was a page turner I lost hours within this book. I could not put it down always wanting more from the characters that much that within 10 minutes of finishing this book I had preordered the second book. I think that we all could take something from the book whether it is how amazing single mums are, how friends are always there for us and also how we feel like we don’t belong somewhere when we actually do.

Have you read this book if so what are you thoughts?

Charlotte x

 

Tips For Dealing With Cradle Cap

Younger Jess

 

Cradle cap is something which we all think of when having newborns and those who are usually under a year old. However, this is something which Jess still even at two and a half still can struggle with. For those of you who are reading this post who may not be parents and do not know what cradle cap is it is. Cradle cap is a very common condition, which affects the scalp of recently born babies, causing a patchy, greasy, scaly and crusty skin rash. Do not worry about it is rare that it is causing the baby any discomfort at all.

Seen as this is something which we have been battling this long I thought I would share with you my tips for dealing with cradle cap. I will admit it was harder when Jess was just born due to the fact she had this an not much hair which made the cradle cap visible to me at least however, you cannot see it as much now unless you are looking for it. This is due to her hair growing however, now must babies are actually born with hair. Anyway that is enough rambling on to the actual tips.

Wash their hair in mild baby shampoo

Cradle cap is not caused because of poor hygiene according to the doctors but one thing which we have found to be super helpful is making sure that we do not over wash Jess’s hair. As when you wash your hair you strip it of the oils. We found that if we wash it 3-4 days apart the oils were not striped as much. Also we did found that more larger chunks was coming out when we rubbed in the shampoo or brushed her slightly damp hair.

Don’t pick at it

I know there is a a high level of temptation to do so however, this can make it very sore for your child.  As well as increase the risk of an infection which is something that of course you want to avoid. If your child has it when they are a little bit older you do need to make sure that they do not pick at as well. This is is not something which we have luckily struggled with Jess.

Coconut Oil

Another tip which we have found is to melt a little amount of coconut oil and then massage this on to the affected area.. We applied this for 15 minutes which allowed it to help break down it meaning that it is going to be able to easier to remove. What we did to remove this in the bath/shower. In the case of Jess this allowed chunks to come out and coconut oil is not expensive and something most parents have to hand anyway.

Avoid spraying close to the child

If you do like to put perfume on your chest and your child likes to lay on this area you might want to avoid doing this. This can be the same for air fresheners which you might want to spray to make the room smell better. This may actually get into the child and be harmful which could cause the cradle cap worse which is something of course we all want to avoid.

Massage their head when it is damp

If you give your baby a massage while there hair is still damp gently using your fingers this can cause chunks of the cradle cap to come away from their hair. Only do this when it is damp as then you are not forcing it to come away instead you are just assisting the cradle cap to come away faster that it normally would. This is something which Jess manages to allow me to do for a couple of moments this is the only time I ever really get to give her a head massage.

Have you struggled with cradle cap if so what are your tips for dealing with it?

Charlotte xx

Keeping The Cost Of Days Out Down

Going on days out are something which we love to do as a family, however, they can come with a huge cost.  We try to make sure that we have as many days out as we can because this is where we feel like the memories are created for Jess.  Since the turn of the year, we have had visits to the circus, zoo trips, farms visits and of course trips to soft play. There have been other days out which I may have not fully remembered.

I have a few tips which we do in order to reduce the cost of the days out. Today I am going to share with you some of them in order to save the pennies for your family this summer. Instead of watching the pounds you can actually enjoy and watch the memories being created.

Check if they do student/military discount

I know that this is not going to be something which applies to everyone. However, with me being a student and a Joe in the forces, it can see us been able to get to get some money off. I know for example when we got to the cinema we can get money off and places like Twycross Zoo did do student discount which was handy as having money off it always a bonus. If you have teenagers who are at college don’t forget the majority of them get student prices which can always help.

Check the attractions facebook page

We have managed to save some money by me checking the attractions Facebook page before we actually visited.  I found that some of the attractions do money off or mum goes free on Mother’s day and I think that some of them are actually doing it for Father’s day.  I know for sure Pink Pig Farm did it.  Places such as the local soft play place which we enjoy taking Jess to have an offer on which I saw on their site which is 10 sessions over the summer holidays for £40. Some places are cheaper as well to visit during the term time which if like us you are not dictated by school holidays is a great way to be able to save some pennies.

Use sites like Groupon

Going out for meals after a long day out because you can get amazing deals on a number of restaurants. Alongside this, you can also find amazing deals on attractions and things to do for example trampoline parks, nerf gun session and paintballing all things which you could do with your children or friends this summer. Just browsing groupon made me realise how much  fun things there is in my area and also areas which we are looking at visiting in the future.

For example we have a trip in August to Manchester and I have been looking at things to do without breaking the bank in either Manchester or Liverpool. There are things like bus tours which you may want to do if you are visiting a different city in order to be able to see everything which you may not have been able to if you was walking.  For example the bus tour in Liverpool has a massive 55% off which is a huge saving of around £15 per person.

Take your own food if possible

Food at places can be very expensive for what you get due to the fact that they have the monopoly on you when at the attraction. For example we found that at the zoo two coffee’s was around the £6 mark however, we decided to save money on this trip. We decided to do this due to the weather been nice which meant that we could eat outside if we wanted to and have a wider selection of food than the fast food usually on offer at attractions. Make sure that you check if you can take your own food and drink because some places I know you can not consume products which you have not purchased on the premises.

Do your research

There are many days out which can be free or cost very littl, for example,e I know the majority of the museums in Hull are free, along with the National Railway Museum in York. It is worth checking the area which you live or are looking to do a day out in and see what you can do for free. Sometimes some of the best days out we have had have been in parks or places which have not cost the earth to actually visit. Another element to check is to see if your ticket means that you can have access back to the attraction for the next year for free at the moment we have annual passes for Eureka which was included in the price of our original ticket. I know this is something which The Deep also do and I am sure a number of other attractions.

 

Do you have any tips to save money on days out?

 

Charlotte xx

This post is in collaboration with Groupon

 

Book Review- When I Fall In Love, Miranda Dickinson

 

Recently I read a book again I hope to be able to read more now I have finished studying for a while. I want to be able to read for pleasure again because I will have a lot more fun. The first book which I choose to read is one which has been on my to-read pile for a while is When I fall in Love by Miranda Dickinson. This is an author who I have read in the past I think it was Fairytale Of New York so I knew I wanted to be able to read more from her in the future.

The Blurb

What happens when your happy ever after is suddenly and painfully taken away from you? Elsie Maynard has a whole new life she never expected to have.

From inadvertently founding a choir like no other with former 80s rock star Woody Jensen, to daring to date again, Elsie steps out into an unknown future – a future that could include gorgeous designer Olly Hogarth, a man who seems intent on winning her heart. Overcoming problems, challenges and the occasional frustration – namely overconfident Torin Stewart who seems to be everywhere – Elsie believes she is making the most of her life.

But then a heartfelt request brings her to Paris – and the last item on a very important List. Can Elsie take the final step and lay her past to rest? Join Elsie as she battles to start again, with the help of a disastrous, newly-formed singing group and her father and sister armed with dating hopefuls.

My Thoughts

I just loved this book so much, It tugged at my heartstrings so much and left me in floods of tears by the end, I loved the flow of writing and how Miranda gets you sucked in the book so much as though you feel like you’ve known the characters all your life. It was a fantastic read and with all the mix of characters they all just mixed nicely together and you never get confused with which character is who. It was that good that I wanted to stop what I wa\s doing any read this book at any chance I got.

I would say Elsie Maynard would have to be my favourite character indeed, she came across as such a lovely woman who is clearly had a tough eighteen months of losing her husband to Cancer and then having to rebuild her life which is what her husband Lucas’ wishes were. I felt at times I just needed to give her a big hug and make everything okay. It was great to see a chick lit not just have all the good times or the man have left the man character due to cheating or something.

This book had a number of funny parts which made me want to sing the songs along with the choir and giggle out loud. I loved all the flavours of ice cream from Cher’s Sundae & Cher business, she did make some weird ones like Horseradish (Ewww!) but then also some rather gorgeous tempting ones too hehe!(Donuts oh yum yum). It does make me wonder how they made so much money maybe it was the novelty of the shop.

I liked that at the end of the story, Miranda included ‘The List’ that Elsie and Lucas created together, it was cute but also funny to imagine some of the things being done on the list.

Conclusion

If you want an easy read this for sure is the book for you this is one which you want to get your hands on.  This is one which will have you gripped and not want to put it down for sure. This is not your typical chick lit so why not give this book a chance.

Have you read this book? If so what did you think?

Charlotte xx

Days Out – Pink Pig Farm

A few months ago now we decided that we were going to visit pink pig farm which is in Holme near Scunthorpe. I had heard several people who had visited the farm due to the fact that it is only about 40 minutes away from Hull.  I think they have changed the prices since we visited, however, as I write the post for April to November for full access to the farm adults are £6.99, Children over 2 £4.50 and free for under 2’s.

Pink Pig Farm is a local organic farm with shop and restaurant as well as a farm trail and play areas for children.  We thought that it was going to be something which Jess would have loved because she has been showing an interest in animals however,  we can not always take her to zoos.  But I would say I am unsure if you could really class this as a farm yes you do have the opportunity to go on a tractor ride but they were ever hour when we visited and Jess was not too bothered about pigs.  There are not many animals around the farm maybe around 20 maximum and you are unable to interact or feed them. The poor guinea pigs and rabbits are kept in a metal container which is the same as if you visited a store like pets at home.

Jess, when we visited, was not too bothered by the animals this could have been due to the fact that the animals did not seem to be that bothered by her and they were in the middle.  Most of the animals looked very fed up this could have been because it was not very warm when we did actually visit for sure you still needed your coats on.

There is a lot of outdoor play areas within pink pig farm which is great when you have a child like Jess. Who loves to be indoors as you can see you could ride the tractors which she loved even though she was a little bit too small to ride it she gave it a really good go.  She loved this because tractors are not something which you manage to drive a lot.  There is a number of large sandpits which you can play in as part of your admission it may be worth taking your own bucket and spade if you have them thought due to we found a lot of them in the sand pit where actually broken.

There is also a large soft play area which when we visited found that there was a lot of bigger children in there which was not actually fun for us. As it meant that Jess did not want to go in alone and one of us had to be with us at all times. Never good when your not as small as them and can struggle to do certain elements, however, this may have just been an issue when we visited and due to having a child who can be very shy.  We did struggle to find a table to sit at when we went to the soft play area for a drink again this could have been due to the weather not been that great.  The prices for a drink are around those which you would pay for a normal soft play place so this is worth taking into account. This is something to consider if you are going to be visiting at a time when the weather it not amazing and people do want to be inside.

We did manage to eat at the restaurant however, this there was a long wait for food when we went I think it was over 45 minutes. The food was actually expensive but this is something which you do expect from a farm shop restaurant. The quality of the food was good however, I am unsure if it was worth the time we waited. I kind of wish we had found a local pub and gone to eat somewhere like this instead. We would have been looking around the same price as from what I can remember a meal cost us around the £40 mark.

Conclusion

I am unsure if pink pig is a place which we would revisit in the future due to the fact that even though we managed to spend 4 hours there we had actually done it all. I feel like the only reason why we spent so much time there was due to Jess wanting to play in the sand pit so much however, this is something which we could have done for free at the beach. She could have run around as much at the park, to be honest I do not think that this was worth the money we paid to visit again.

 

Have you visted pink pig farm if so what did you think?

 

Charlotte xx