Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Our Half Term Holiday!

Most people in the UK with children are currently enjoying half term this week, however in Leicestershire we seem to have different term times to most of the country; our half term was last week. We spent the week away in Hopton, Norfolk. Unfortunately Phil was unable to take any time off work to come with us, so my mum, sister and brother stepped in.

I always find it hard trying to decide on somewhere to stay; I remembered as a child going on many Haven holidays and enjoying some quality family time, so within a few clicks of the mouse I had booked to stay at Haven's Hopton Site.

I was daunted at the prospect of travelling to Norfolk with both girls on my own as the drive turned out to be 4 hours with a couple of stops, and I have never driven for this amount of time before - I tend to let Phil do all of the driving as he does a lot of driving with his work so is more used to it than me. 

On arrival at Haven all I wanted to do was to sit down and have a cup of tea; I was happy that our caravan was available as soon as we checked in. Unfortunately we had numerous problems with the caravan allocated to us, and when we raised our concerns the majority of staff were not very helpful at all! The accommodation was disgustingly dirty, and an accident waiting to happen; my mum caught her foot on one of the metal strips between the laminate floor and carpet, I was really not happy that nails were exposed, Ruby or Lottie could have easily have hurt themselves and this is totally unacceptable.
Eventually we spoke to Charley and Sammy, the accommodation manager, who stepped in and arranged for us to have a different caravan, which was in a much better condition.

Once we moved caravans and where settled in we had no further problems until the gas fire could not light one evening; we were told that reception had gone home and that we had to speak to the out of hours team, who told me they would be unlikely to get the fire going. I was not happy with this response, it was a really cold evening and I had my daughters complaining of being cold; fortunately a lovely man called Victor went to a local shop to collect some bits needed and he managed to get the fire going.

Haven's Hopton site is well placed between Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft. The site was incredibly clean and I often saw people waking around collecting rubbish and tidying the gardens.My girls and I loved the swimming pool, which featured a younger child's area where children could paddle and splash in jets of water, and the main pool also contained a flume which Ruby absolutely loved, but Lottie was a little unsure about!

As with most holiday sites there is live entertainment on during the day and evening, Ruby loved going to the children's club and meeting DJ Ned and taking part in the disco. There were also a lot of gaming machines, I was surprised at how many different types there were but Ruby enjoyed having a little go on the 2p machines!

We didn't get up to much on the site apart from to come back each evening for dinner and to go to bed; we ventured out to four local national trust properties in four days! We loved each and every single one of them and I can't wait to blog about them to show you how amazing they really are.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Splashing in Puddles!

Sometimes I wonder if my daughter should have had a different name, something that suited her better; last week she would have been called Peppa Pig! Lottie is a massive Peppa Pig fan, she visited Peppa Pig world on her birthday and she has so many different items of clothing that she is now probably able to wear a Peppa Pig outfit every day for a month, yes she really does have that many. If I try and put her in an item that does not have said Pig on, Littie becomes Miss Stroppy Lottie. Most of Ruby's school mums knows of Lottie's love for Peppa and we often end up with new Peppa things their children have outgrown.

Lottie otherwise known as Peppa, loves Peppa's favourite game, jumping in muddy puddles!

I am not sure how long Lottie will love Peppa for and I will certainly be sad of the day when she no longer wants Peppa things as I love seeing her have a hobby and favourite toys. If I remember rightly from Ruby the next phase will be Disney Princesses!

Thursday, 16 October 2014

National Arthitis Week and an Update on Me!

This weeks marks national arthritis week, a cause very close to my heart. Arthritis research are running a survey which I would encourage anyone suffering from Arthritis to complete.

As any of my regular readers will be aware, I suffer with several issues with my knees; I have maltracking of my knee that's causing my joint to wear out, as well as having a rare condition called PVNS that I wrote about here

Last week I met with my latest specialist consultant who by all accounts is one of the best and leading surgeons for people suffering from the conditions I have. However the appointment didn't quite go as planned; the consultant was 40 minutes late, which I understand was because he was in theatre; I have no problems with this at all but an apology from him would have been nice!. My consultant also seemed to get out of bed on the wrong side as his bedside manner was somewhat none existent, at a time when he should be putting my mind at rest, he's actually made me more nervous. 

I have agreed with my consultant to have two operations and possibly more to hopefully help me; unfortunately I couldn't ask all the questions I wanted as I felt uneasy in his company. We did however discuss the day of surgery and how I want a spinal anaesthetic and under no circumstances do I wish to have a general anaesthetic; he wasn't too happy about this mainly because he's never performed an operation on someone who is wide awake. I told him about my previous operation where I was awake and how I am not squeamish at all. I have more questions about the recovery, how I will cope looking after two children, being unable to drive etc. I will be sending a letter to my consultant to ask the questions I didn't ask at the appointment. I just hope my consultant has better skills in theatre he does bedside manner! 

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Review: Braun 'No Touch + Forehead' Thermometer

For the last couple of weeks life has been some what quiet, this is mainly due to the fact that we have all picked up some form of illness. Ruby bounced back from a bug that she picked up from school, but Lottie is very different; I had to resort to taking her to the doctors where she was diagnosed as being on the brink of tonsillitis; if that was not bad enough, she also stubbed her toe on a door which ended up becoming infected.

Prior to Ruby and Lottie being poorly, I was approached to review the latest Braun thermometer and after reading all the press information I decided it would be a good opportunity to try it out. The latest Braun NTF 3000 "No touch + forehead" is very different to any other thermometer I have ever seen before. 

What impressed me the most with the thermometer is that you can take an accurate temperature without having to place the thermometer into your child's ear, which can be a battle as Lottie absolutely hates having anything put into her ear! You can take a reading simply by placing the thermometer onto  or near your child's head.

This really suited Lottie and Ruby as they liked looking at the traffic light readout; we didn't have any tears or battles over trying to take their temperature. We were even able to take the girls temperatures whilst they were asleep without waking them up! Oh and I forgot to mention the thermometer is able to record a temperature in 2 seconds!

After the temperature is taken, it is digitally displayed on the screen with the relevant background colour, red means the child has a fever, Amber means keep an eye on the child and green means all is OK.

The thermometer retails at £52.99, and can be purchased from places such as boots and Asda. I believe that the price is really good value, I think it's definitely an essential piece of equipment that every parent should own.

You can also find further information on the Braun Thermometers website -

Ruby + Lottie Rating: 9.5/10

Disclaimer: I was kindly given the thermometer to try at no cost, however all opinions and thoughts are my own.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Review: Little Big Songs

We were recently asked to review a children's music CD by 'Jerry & Co', and after reading the information they sent through, the girls and I couldn't wait to get started.

Photo from
If you have children, I'm sure you will agree that there are so many nursery rhymes around, and if your children are like mine, they love to sing them and dance along. Ruby is 5 now and is starting to go off nursery rhymes, preferring to listen to music instead. This CD is entitled 'Little Big Songs' and bridges the gap between nursery rhymes and more grown up music. There are 11 original songs featured on the CD, each telling a story about an every day situation, there are songs about topics such as moving home and even picking your Christmas tree! The CD comes with a lovely booklet containing beautifully drawn images to complement each song, as well as a full set of lyrics to help you sing along.

I decided to put the CD on whilst driving Ruby to school, and it was an instant hit. Ruby loved the catchy tunes and lyrics, and within a couple of days was singing along to the songs. Ruby's favourite songs are "in the family", a catchy song that sings about all the different dynamics in a family, and "what's the time Mr wolf", which is about a daily routine and what happens at each time every day, for example breakfast, going to school, playtime etc. Lottie, not wanting to be left out, loves the 'ladybird song', and when Ruby has been dropped off at school, Lottie can be heard shouting "ladybird, ladybird....!". She may not be able to sing along to the entire song yet, but she likes to give it a go! 

I think it's very easy to say that this CD has been a massive hit in our house and it is constantly being played in the car; I even found myself singing along to the CD when there were no children in the car, the songs are just so catchy!

At 32mins 20secs long and recorded with a full band and singers, Little Big Songs is a bargain at only £8.50, I would highly recommend that anyone with young children go and check it out.

Ruby + Lottie Rating:    10 / 10

Disclaimer: This CD was given to us to review for free, however all thoughts and opinions are our own.