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Archive: October 2015

Hello lovelies! Welcome back to week #27! I honestly loved every single post from last weeks #justanotherlinky (you can see my two favourites below). It's amazing that we have people all the way from the USA linking up to this linky too! Another thing I love about this linky is how different each and every single post is, which is what makes this linky so interesting. Thanks so much for linking up with #justanotherlinky each week and I'd like to say a welcome to all the newbies!

Please read: This linky is now only live from Saturday until Monday (midnight)!
ONLY 2 POSTS PER PERSON (pretty please!)

PLEASE READ BEFORE LINKING UP
• Reviews, Giveaways & Sponsored posts allowed
Link up a post, not your blog please!
• Please take some time to comment on at least 2 other posts
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• Old and new post allowed
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You can link up to 2 posts per week
YOUR HOSTS
• Beth | Life-As-Mum | @lifeasmumblog
• Kirsty | somethingcrunchymummy | @crunchy_mummy
 
 FEATURED POST

It was really hard to choose my favourite post this week. So many fantastic reads. This week I have decided feature two of my favourite posts.

#1 Junior Doctors #notsafenotfair is written by Laura. Well worth a read about the fantastic NHS.
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#2 The Longest Eight Weeks is written by the lovely (another) Laura! Something I can relate too.

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 ** GRAB THE BADGE **




 
One thing I love to do is sit down with a cuppa and read a magazine (when the kids are in school). You can find a lot of information and learn new things from reading a magazine. There is a wide choice of topics such as health, food, crafts, cars, bikes, sports, celebrities, kids and much more. Magazines can be great as treats for kids and gifts for friends and family too for birthdays, Christmas and any other occasion. There is a great offer on at the moment over at magazine.co.uk where if you order a magazine gift subscription before November 16th, you will get a free box of chocolates!
 
magazine.co.uk offer a wide range of magazines for everyone. If you are into health, food, beauty, weight loss, cars then there are magazines there for you and everyone else. There is a wide range of kids magazines to choose from too. magazine.co.uk offer great discount prices on subscriptions and free delivery which is a bonus.
 
You may have noticed my new badge on the side bar. I am now an approved blogger for magazine.co.uk and I can not wait to start writing for them on the Bloggers Network. I will be receiving 3 magazines of my choice and I will be writing about them, for them. The magazines I have chosen are Slimming World, Gurgle and OK! It's pretty simple to why I chose them as my three choices. Slimming World is something I have been doing for the past 2 years, Gurgle because I was just really interested in it and OK! because I love reading about celebrity gossip!
 
 

My littlest little girl. My little terror. My darling daughter. Watching Elliw grow in the past few months have shocked me. It's shocked me because she really is growing up to be a child. Her speech is coming along fantastically well - which means she is talking a lot more. We are having proper little conversations now, which feels weird. Another thing I am noticing with Elliw is that she is eager to learn how to write and draw. She has always been behind in her development so to hear her asking me to write words down for her to go over, just feels a bit odd.

Elliw really is a Mammy's girl. She doesn't let me go most of the day, unless she is at school. She constantly wants me in the same room as her all day, ever day. She will cling on to me and hardly ever will she go sit on that other sofa opposite me if I am in the same room. She will need to sit next to me, right next to me. Although it can annoy the hell out of me - I try my best not to get annoyed as much anymore because I know one day I will miss it. But at this time - it is really annoying and stressful.


I am not going to lie, Elliw is really hard work. With all her screaming, demands, clinginess, tempers (throwing herself on the floor), no sense of danger and constant on the go but that is what makes her Elliw. That is my little girl. I am not used to the clinginess and constant demands through out the day because Mia is totally different but Elliw wouldn't be Elliw if she didn't have her antics all day. Every day when I go to toilet, I open the door and there she is sitting on the top step of the stairs waiting for me. Every day when she constantly asks for food between meals and snacks, every day when she screams 'mam' over and over again, every day where she is stuck by my side and every day she does not stop jabbering and chattering. Those days will come to an end eventually and I will miss it. I don't see how I will miss any of the clinginess, screaming and tempers but I know I will eventually. One day she will stop wanting cuddles with me. One day she will stop following me and sitting on top of the stairs waiting for me. One day she will stop following me - and I will miss it.

Watching Elliw grow really does make me sad some days. She may be my last baby - which makes me a little bit more sadder. But watching her develop ever so quickly in the past few months and even weeks has amazed me. She is growing to be such a funny, clever and loving little girl. Although her tempers can tell another story - as i said, Elliw wouldn't be Elliw if she didn't have those temper tantrums on a daily basis.

Elliw has so much energy it is un real. She can't sit still. Not nowhere. She can't have cuddles still, she will forever move. She wakes up 6am - 7am every single morning - 8am is a lie in which doesn't happen very often but how she has the energy through out the whole day I am not sure - not even Mia can keep up with her.

Watching Elliw grow has amazed me and making me think many things and seeing things differently. I won't be able to re-live any of these moments ever again. My little girl will be a teenager, then an adult and moved out. These things that annoy me now - I will miss them when she's gone. Time goes too fast.

XLS-Medical offer various products to help you loose weight along with a healthy eating plan. XLS-Medical helps you loose weight x3 more quicker if you take the right dosage as it says on the product box. If you want more help in loosing weight then maybe one of the XLS-Medical products that they offer may be suitable for you.

XLS-MEDICAL FAT BINDER
Fat binder includes an active ingredient Litramine which binds readily with dietry fat from food and become a large fat fibre complex. The fat-fiber complex is too large to be absorbed in the small intestine and is then eventually excreted from the body. It's clinically proben that fat binger Litramine plus fat-soluble vitamins A, D and E, XLS-Medical Fat Binger binds up to 27% dietary fats in your stomach. You can read more about how XLS-Medical Fat Binder works here.

XLS-MEDICAL CARB BLOCKER
Carb Blocker is made with PhaseLite which is a clinically proven active ingredient which helps reduce carbohydrate digestion and absorption. Carb Blocker reduces the break down of carbs meaning they are too large to be absorbed by the intestine. You can read more about how XLS-Medical Carb Blocker works here.

XLS-MEDICAL MAX STRENGTH
This is XLS-Medical's most effective product yet as it is up to 33% more effective for weight loss. This is XLS-Medical's first product to reduce calorie intake from carbs, sugar and fat. The combined sugar blocker, fat blocker and carb blocker formula results in reduced calorie intake which helps you to lose more weight than dieting and exercise alone. Another great addition to XLS-Medical's Max Strength is that it helps lower blood glucose and insulin levels which helps with food cravings and blood glucose management. You can read more about XLS-Medical Max Strength here

Every product XLS-Medical offers is safe to take. They are all clinically proven and they are gentle for your system. The boxes are for a months worth and if you would like to carry it on then you maybe XLS-Medical's 12 week weight loss challenge may be something that would interest you. You can read XLS-Medical's success stories here.


Now here is the best part for my readers. XLS-Medical are giving away TWO of their products to one lucky reader. For your chance to win an XLS-Medical Fat Binder and an XLS-Medical Carb Blocker all you have to do to enter is read the Terms and Conditions below and enter via Rafflecopter.

Terms and Conditions
1. UK entrants ONLY.
2. Must be 18+.
3. Prize is provided by XLS-Medical.
4. Prize is XLS-Medical Fat Binder and XLS-Medical Carb Blocker - NO cash.
5. Prize is sent out by XLS-Medical.
6. Winner will be sent e-mail within 48 hours of giveaway end time.
7. Giveaway ends 6th November at 11.59pm.
8. All entrants are checked.
9. Good Luck.



I've decided to start writing posts about kids fashion again. I am obsessed with shopping online for new clothes for the kids although they have more than enough in their wardrobe I still go out and buy more. Every Friday you will see this post #styleitupkids on my blog. I will either be posting what my girls have been wearing or my favourite outfits are of that week.

This weeks favourite outfit has to be Elliw's Star Wars jumper that I bought from NEXT in the sale. If I remember rightly it cost me about £9. Her jeggings are from Primark which I bought in Liverpool in August and they cost me about £4. Her yellow wellie boots are in season in NEXT for only £12 which I think is a great price for what they are.


Many people these days get looked down on because of their job. Why? I have no idea. I would love to know why. So what if someone's job is too clean toilets all day, serve fast food or fixing boilers. We are all working for one reason - that reason is to earn money and live. Just because you are a teacher it doesn't make you any better than a fast food worker and just like being a manager of a high-top shop does not make you any better than a teacher either.

My first job was a nursery assistant. I am a qualified nursery worker but not high enough to be a nursery nurse. Of course, in the nursery I was working at there was a few nursery nurses and yes I had to do things they asked me to do because at the end of the day they had higher qualifications than me and it was their job to do that but does that 'higher' qualification make them a better person than me? Does it really make them a better worker than me? No it doesn't.

I worked hard in college to get my qualification. I wish I could of gone on to get my Level 3 so I could pursue my dreams of being my own boss and one day opening my own nursery but I couldn't. Not at that time because I had Mia but I was lucky enough to be able to pass my level 2 course. I then became an after-school play worker but that didn't last long due to money.

I am now a Blogger.

A proud Blogger.

I know there are people locally and over the net that are and have spoken about me being a Blogger. Maybe taking the p*ss but if I am honest, I don't care. They can say what they want to say because I have got plans, I have made targets for myself and all I can say is - watch this space! I am working hard on something that I absolutely love doing. Although I am rubbish at spelling and not very good at explaining things - I love writing, always have and always will. And I will not let anyone make me feel small for being a Blogger just because they have that 'higher qualification'.


At the end of the day a qualification is just a piece of paper. It doesn't make you better than anyone else. Why should it? Each and every one of us has worked hard to get where we are at right now. Even if people are working in places they don't want to work in, but they do it because they have too - why should they be judged?

Your boiler doesn't work or your toilet is playing up - who you going to call? A Plumber.

Your child is starting school... You need a teacher to teach your child.

You have to go back to work after Maternity leave.. You will need a nursery assistant/nurse or child minder to look after your child (or family if you're lucky)

You fancy a takeaway? A fast food worker will have to serve you that food.

You know that school your child is attending? You want it to be clean and safe don't you? The Care taker and cleaners do that job.

You want your child to cross the road safely on their way to school yes? The lolly pop woman/man will get you across safely.

You want to buy that new top for yourself in the shop? Take it to the till and the customer sales assistant will put it through the till for you and smile ever so politely.

Is there something wrong with your car? Lets take it down to the garage and let a mechanic fix it for you.

Do you want to read something interesting? Bloggers, Journalists and Writers do that.

Do you want to go out for food? The waiter/waitress will be serving you.

There are so many jobs in this world. Why should we look down at someone just because of their job? Everybody wants to get somewhere in life. They might not be at the job they love but why should they be judged. Why should they be made to feel so small because of what they do to earn money to make a living?

Next time before you judge someone by their job - take a minute and think of yourself. What is your job? Why do you do your job? Is it to earn money and make a living? - if yes, then try and think why they are working too. Also, are you going to need them one day in your life? I am sure you will.

Top 50 Mummy Bloggers In UK
 
As you can see above in the Top 50 Mummy Bloggers in UK infographic there are 3,900,000 Mummy Bloggers in the UK. Now that is A LOT! I would be lying if I said I wasn't happy to be listed as number 4 in the Top 50 Mummy Bloggers in the UK list. Along with some other great bloggers such as Vicki, Emily, Alice, Ali, Hayley and the rest of them. It feels really good to be listed so high in a list for a change. I don't blog just because of awards, blogging lists etc but it is nice to be listed pretty high in a list with fantastic bloggers and to be known.
 
 


Halloween is coming and we are also in Half Term so I thought I would share some great Halloween crafts for kids. Kids can get pretty bored quickly through the half term week off school and it can be difficult to think of something to do every day, all day with them to keep them busy and happy. Here are 15 Halloween crafts for kids -

 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 


If you love stationery then you will love Yohoo! Mail. Yoohoo Mail is a UK monthly stationery subspcription box which is full of great paper goodies. What's better than a jam-packed box full of stationery being delivered straight to your door. What's great about this stationery subscription box is you can buy a one-off box for only £12 or you can buy a 3 month subscription for only £36. Every item in the box is designed by the lovely Gemma. Each box will be different and there is a selection of different things such as cards, art prints, colourful envelopes, recipe cards and much more.

I was given the October box to review and I couldn't wait to receive it through the post. When it arrived I was so excited to open it up and see what was in side. The items were all in an A4 sized cellophane seal then wrapped in some tissue paper. The contents inside were lovely. In Octobers box I received -

3 good quality poscards with some great front designs. 5 greeting cards with some good quality colour co-ordinating envelopes. I will be using all of these at some point during the year. They are great cards and postcards to send out to people and the envelopes are really eye-catching colours.

Also inside Octobers Yoohoo Mail box was another greeting card saying Thank You, with another great front design. There was also 2 good quality posters in this months box. The camera poster with the word 'SMILE' is my favourite because it's what I always say when I have the camera out in front of the kids or family/friends. I can not wait to put up both posters in my office once it has finished sometime early next year.

There was also 2 brilliant organising sheets on good quality cards included in this months box. A 'to-do list' and a weekly planner. I am yet to use the to-do list but I know it will come in handy and I am going to wait until my office is finished until I use it. The planner is up on my kitchen wall and already filled in and stuck up with some washi tape. The colours are bright and the boxes give you enough room to write what you want.



Delivery in the UK only costs £2 but if you buy a 3 month subsctiption then delivery is free for those whole 3 months. You can also get it delivered out of the UK for only £5. You can sign up for a box at any time during the month, until the box is out of stock. They start shipping on the 7th of each month - so get in there quickly before they all go! I would recommend Yoohoo Mail if you love your stationery! You won't be disappointed.
 
* I was given this item free of charge in return of an honest review. All words and images are my own, as always

The Benefit Of Skin To Skin Contact Between Baby And Dad

You must have heard about the skin to skin contact between the mother and the baby. They have some benefits. So what about the skin to skin contact between the baby and the dad? Are there any benefits?
Yes, there are. They are mentioned below:
Helps in brain development
When it comes to skin to skin contact, it is a different experience for both of them. Acceleration of brain maturation takes place with the development of neural pathways, when a baby is held with skin to skin contact with the dad. Studies show that the child who are kangaroo’ed spends more time sleeping quietly. This decreases the stress in baby and helps in brain development. If you are looking to keep your kids busy then you can also have some stuffs from baker ross, They have some great products for your child.

Reduces stress and calms down
When a baby is held to his dad in the kangaroo’ed manner, the amount of cortisol, which creates stress, gets lowered within 20 minutes. If the baby is in pain, then it will get reduced too. So such babies cry very less and get less nervous and irritated.

Let sleep better
The development of the brain depends on the quality of sleep that infants have. When they have skin to skin contact, they sleep well for 1 hour or more.

Improves immunity
When a baby comes in skin to skin contact with the dad, its immune system is stimulated. The immune system of dad has antibodies, which are passed to the child through skin to skin contact. Moreover, the skin of the baby gets hydrated and thus it protects baby from harmful bacteria.

Helps in digestion and weight gain
Skin to skin contact with the dad helps to improve the digestion process in babies. The body temperature of the baby rises during skin to skin contact and so for the same reason, baby’s body doesn’t burn fat to keep itself warm. This results in weight gain. There is a reduction of somatostatin and cortisol in babies due to skin to skin contact and so the brown fat of the babies remain preserved. You can also get some baby health products at discounted rate from Deals landsuk that will surely helps you to keep your healthy.

Helps to synchronize breathing and heartbeat
By coming in contact with the skin of dad, the heartbeat and breathing patterns are set in babies. It has been noted that slow heart rate and sporadic breathing is reduced, when a baby comes in skin to skin contact with the dad.
Skin to skin contact is beneficial for the babies, but apart from that, they are also beneficial to the dad. Such as:

Effects psychological health
When a dad holds a baby skin to skin, then the level of oxytocin hormone increases in the body. With the increase in oxytocin, testosterone decreases. This relaxes the dad and helps him to increase an affectionate behavior towards the baby. Once the dad understands the needs of the baby, he will be able to get in tune with the baby. Once the dad interacts with the baby, he is bound to have a strong bond for a long term.
There are two major differences between spending skin contact with the baby, by mom and dad.

Helps in milk production
Those moms who experience difficulty in milk production have been able to see the difference by practicing skin to skin with the baby for 1 hour per session at least twice a day. Now this is something that will be seen in moms only.

Body temperature regulation
When a mom holds the baby skin to skin, her breasts automatically regulate the temperature of the baby according to the need. The breast tissues of mom have the capacity to cool down or warm up the body of the baby. On the contrary, the dad’s body can only warm up the baby, which may even cause overheating. So it is recommended for the dad to hold the baby skin to skin only for 60 minutes.
So now, let’s see how a baby should be positioned for a skin to skin contact with dad
·         Dad should be in a semi-reclined position with his shirt off and baby should only be wearing a diaper.
· Make sure that the baby is properly positioned. His head should be turned on one side and his neck should be straight.  
*Guest Post

If you're a parent of a child who goes to school then I am sure you can relate to this post but parents who's children have just started school September been then you will soon be able to relate to this. Being a school parent isn't as easy as you think. It isn't just all about the getting them ready for school, dropping them off at 9 and picking them up whatever time they finish. There are other things you will experience during your child's first, second, third (& the rest) years of school.

Parties - More than likely your child will be invited to a lot of parties. I would advise you to buy a pack of birthday cards so you can put them aside just incase. Also you could buy little toys bit by bit, just incase because some parents may hand invites out last minute and the last thing you want to do is run around last minute looking for a card and present. If you can't attend a party it is always best to let the parent know!

School phone calls - When you see that you are getting a phone call from the school all kinds of things go running through your head, 'is my baby ok?' 'is she/he hurt?' 'what have they done?' etc. When most cases is they are only asking a question or telling you about something that is going on at school.

Christmas concerts - I always well up with emotions at Christmas concerts. Both my girls will be doing it this year and I can see a few tears coming down watching them. Watching your child up on stage can be a huge moment and a proud moment for both parent and child. Bring your camera because you can't get those moments back.

Money - You will be spending quite a bit of money every year towards the school. This can be for concert tickets, school trips, towards a charity, swimming lessons or anything else that the school may do through out the year.

Sports Day - Another proud moment for mother and child. Most Sports day events rely on weather so expect it to change if it rains. They can change days last minute so it may be harder for working parents to attend.

You will make new friends - More than likely you will make friends on the school yard. There are many types of parents that you will find one the school yard but you will recognise a few as you will be seeing them 5 times a week. It's always great to make friends with parents who have children in the same school as your own children.

Charity events - Your child's school may get involved with many charity events and by getting involved they may do a day where you can wear your own clothes, pyjama days, wear spots days or anything else that goes with the charity they are raising money for.

Social Media - Your child's school may have social media pages such as Twitter or Facebook and if they do then go like/follow them as you will get updates of what your child is doing during the day or week, maybe there will be photos too. It's also another great way to have updates and reminders.

Are you a parent of a school child? Can you relate?

A slow cooker is perfect for anyone - people with and without children, parents who work and parents who don't work. For most slow cooker recipes all you have to do is spend roughly half an hour to prepare the food and throw everything into the slow cooker and just let it cook for a good few hours, usually 8 - 10 hours. The slow cooker is always out for me during this time of year but I also get it out during other time through out the year too because some days I am just too busy to stand around the cooker too cook meals 2 or 3 times a day.

I've gathered some great simple slow cooker recipe meals for you -

1. Chicken Curry
2. Chicken Casserole
3. Pulled Chicken
4. Honey Ginger Chicken Thighs
5. Beef Stew
6. Bean and Sausage Stew
7. Butter Chicken
8. Chicken Jalfrezi
9. Chicken Korma
10. Beef Curry
11. Massaman Curry
12. Chicken and Mushroom Curry
13. Lamb and Sweet Potaoe Curry
14. Balti Lamb Curry
15. Creamy Coconut Chicken Curry
16. Spicy Chicken and Ham Soup
17. Lentil and Ham Shank Soup
18. French Onion Soup
19. Minty Lamb Casserole
20. Leek and Potato Soup
21. Red Veg Soup
22. Pumpkin Soup
23. Bacon and Bean Soup
24. Redwine Beef Casserole
25. Tortilla Chicken Soup
26. Red Win Beef Casserole
27. Chicken and noodle Soup
28. Cheesy Potato and Corn Soup
29. Beef Barley Soup
30. Chickpea and Ham Bone Soup
31. Chilli and Pumpkin
32. Butternut Squash Soup
33. Chilli Con Carne
34. Thai Coconut and Ginger Rice
35. Pea and Ham Soup

Do you have a favourite slow cooker dish?

On Saturday we went to our local (ish) Brewers Fayre restaurant to review their new menu. When we arrived we went to the small desk and waited to be seated. Not long after, the manager arrived and took us to our reserved table. On our way he asked us if we had been before and if we knew how everything worked and because we had been before there was no need for him to explain to us as we already knew. We were seated and told to order drinks and food at the bar and if we needed anything, just to give him or another member of staff a shout.

There was a good choice of starters for kids and adult menus. We chose nachos and cheese for Elliw and my partner and I shared a 'Combo Feast' for £8.49. You could spend and extra £2.99 for some chicken wings but we decided not too. When I went up to order the manager was helpful and told us our starter would take around 10 minutes and he brought our drinks over. I had a bottle of water, Elliw had a fruit shoot and my partner had a re-fill drink which is only £2.50 and you can fill up your decent sized glass as many times as you like.



The starters arrived less than 10 minutes. The Combo Feast which has garlic bread, onion rings, celery sticks, crispy king prawns, garlic breaded mushrooms, crispy chicken goujons and was served with garlic mayonnaise, BBQ sauce, and sweet chilli sauce. Elliw also took a few onion rings and a garlic slice too. The size is perfect for at least two or three people if you are just looking for a small starter.


After we finished our starters one of the staff came to clear our table and said the main meal will be served soon. The main was delivered within 5 minutes, which was a little too quick for me and my partner as we do like to have at least a 10 minute break, however with Elliw playing up quite a bit it was pretty handy that food was served pretty quickly.

For our mains my partner chose a siroloin steak with peppercorn sauce for £13.99 and I chose a beef lasagne which comes with a side salad and 2 garlic baguette slices for £8.49. We chose the Poppin' chicken with chips and beans for Elliw. We also ordered a bowl of chips (£2.29), garlic bread with cheese (£2.49) and a bowl of onion rings.

The beef lasagne was really tasty along with the side salad and it's dressing. The portion was much bigger than I thought and I would say it was worth the price. My partner really enjoyed his steak and it was cooked perfectly. Elliw didn't eat much of her food but that's normal because she is a really fussy eater and she was mainly eating the garlic bread with cheese that we had ordered as a side order. Elliw had spotted a balloon and shouted that she wanted one. One member of staff, a woman, came to the table and started chatting to Elliw and told her if she ate a few more chips then she would go and get one. She had been round at our table passing asking a few times if everything was ok and telling us how well behaved Elliw had been, which was lovely. A few minutes later she had gone to get Elliw her balloon and Elliw was happy and ate a few more chips before pudding.


There was many things to choose from on both menus. The kids menu was bright and colourful with pictures of the food which is really helpful for the child to choose what they want or fancy. There is a great deal with the children's menu as you can see in the above photo. The adult menu also had a big choice of main meals. There are great deals to be found on the back of the menu. Which you can see here:

 
Again the staff cleared the table and within 10 minutes our pudding was served. I really couldn't wait wait for our pudding. We chose the sharing fondue which was absoloutely delicious. On the big square plate was some waffle pieces, strawberries, mini doughnuts, mini chocolate brownies and some marshamallows with chocolate fudge and caramel sauces for dips. Elliw had a the doughnuts and sauce which she didn't eat - as she wanted to eat ours. Me and my partner weren't keen on the doughnuts but everything else was lovely and really worth the price of £5.99.
 


 
Overall: We were greeted with a warm welcome from the lovely manager, David. We had some delicious food as you can see from the photos above. We were asked a few times by staff if we were ok and if our meals were ok - which they were. One member of staff (a woman) was very friendly and welcoming with Elliw. She and the manager were very helpful if I was stuck for something such as when to order the puddings and if I needed to pay (discount code used) at the bar at time of ordering or after. The menu was fantastic with great deals through out the week and a great variety of choice. The portions were great for the prices and the wait between foods wasn't long at all which to some can be too quick and others can be great.
 
We had a great experience there and I can not wait to visit there again soon. I would deffintley recommend you to visit there if you can. The new menu is great and great value for money. You won't go from there disappointed.
 
 
I apologise for the low quality photos. There wasn't much natural light coming through where we were sitting so I was unable to get some high quality photos - plus my camera is on its way out!
 
* We were given a discount of £50 to spend at Brewers Fayre. We paid petrol there and an extra £5.63. We were given a discount code to write an honest review. All words and photos are my own, as always.


Hello! Welcome back to week 26 of #justanotherlinky. I can't believe how many people link up to this linky now! Thanks to every single one of you and thank you to our lovely co-host for helping out so much! Looking forward to reading all your posts this week!

Please read: This linky is now only live from Saturday until Monday (midnight)!

PLEASE READ BEFORE LINKING UP
• Reviews, Giveaways & Sponsored posts allowed
Link up a post, not your blog please!
• Please take some time to comment on at least 2 other posts
• Leave a badge/link somewhere on your post or blog
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You can link up to 2 posts per week
YOUR HOSTS
• Beth | Life-As-Mum | @lifeasmumblog
• Kirsty | somethingcrunchymummy | @crunchy_mummy
 
 FEATURED POST
My favourite post for this week Being A Young Mum by littleesmesblog

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 ** GRAB THE BADGE **




Having the kids in bed for 7pm means my partner and myself get the evening to ourselves. It has to be the best part of the day if I have had a very busy or stressful day because it's a time that I can un wind and just relax. My favourite part to my evenings is watching the soaps and having a conversation with my partner and no one interrupting. Although after the soaps I do go ahead and finish some blog work, I do try my best to have a couple of evenings a week where I don't go on my phone or laptop - very rare!

Every parent deserves to have their time at least once during the day. Some parent spend it to unwind and some may spend it to catch up on work, housework or anything else that needs doing. There are so many things you can do within those few hours in the evening once the kids are in bed.

Catch up on the soaps - This is what I do every single evening the minute the kids are in bed. I have Sky plus so I have soaps on record which is handy seeing as one of my favourite soaps, Hollyoaks is on at a time that I am getting the kids ready for bed. If you miss a programme then you can catch up on BBC iPlayer.

Communicate with the partner - When you have kids around you can't communicate with your partner properly. There is always going to be one little person interrupting or demanding something or some cuddles. Those few hours once the kids are in bed is a great time to catch up with each other.

Online games - Many parents go for online games to unwind in the evenings. There are many different games online these days and many parents find it helps with de-stressing and maybe just doing something sociable at home as they are not able to go out. Click here to claim your casino welcome bonus.

Invite friends over - Again, this is a great way to catch up with your social life. Catching up with friends by inviting them over for a cuppa or a glass of wine is a great way to spend an evening, especially on a weekend. A time for you to let your hair down.

Get a babysitter - You could get a babysitter and go out for a walk, a run, for a few drinks or just to a friends house for a catch up. Another great way to let your hair down and unwind.

House work - You will be able to get the house work done a lot quicker in the evening when the kids are in bed. You will also feel relieved the following morning knowing you wont have to do much housework in the morning as you had already done it the night before.

Watch films in bed - I am yet to put our TV up on the wall in our bedroom. I can't wait until we do as I know me and my partner will be watching a lot of films when it's up. A nice way to relax and watching something in the evening when kids are in bed means no interruptions!
 
How do you spend your evening?
 
 

Pea and ham soup is something I have been wanting to make for quite some time now but never got round to it. About a week ago me and my partner went to our local meat warehouse store, well saying local it's about 40 minutes away in Llangefni. We saw they had 2 gammon joints for a decent price, if I remember rightly it was about £6.99. We decided we would make our own pea and ham soup as we used to get it from his mam in the past.

I can't say it was very simple to make but we did it in the end and it tasted delicious. It's not a pretty quick one to make either. In total it takes roughly 20 hours in the slow cooker. But I have to say it was totally worth it and it will last for a few days. I thought I would share the recipe and method with you all -

What you need:
Ham joint
Dried peas
Potatoes
Onions

What to do:
Put the ham into the slow cooker with a cup full of water and leave for 8 hours.
Soak the peas in heatproof bowl and follow the box instructions (they soak for 12 hours).
Once ham is done - take it out and once cooled, shred it and remove all fat (and remember to remove fat from the water in slow cooker too!)
Leave the water in slow cooker as that is your juice for taste.
Add peas, ham, onions, potatoes and more water into slow cooker and cook on low for 10 hours.



Have you ever made pea and ham soup?
When we went to visit Thailand for 3 weeks in February I have to say that it was one of the best experiences ever. We managed to do quite a few things over the 3 weeks and one of them was having the experience to have a ride on an elephant and Mia had the amazing experience of playing football with an elephant.

When we arrived at the Elephant Hospital Charity in Thailand we decided to have a ride on one. I'd be lying to say that I was excited because in fact I was bricking it. I was so petrified. We went inside and paid, I cant remember how much it cost but it wasn't expensive. We were then led to some steps that lead up to a high platform - the same height as the elephant so we could go sit on the seat on its back. Elliw went on with my partners Dad and I went on with Mia and my partner. My partner and Mia went first and I went last, I was shaking and so scared I was going to fall! Safety is completely different in Thailand than it is here.



The elephant moved and off we went for the ride. I hadn't realised how big/tall an elephant was until I had this experience. You moved from side to side and sometimes you would feel that you would fall off the side and it was pretty scary when the elephant would walk up some little hills and back down again but the girls absolutely loved it. It was time to get off and getting off the elephant was just as bad as it was getting on! The girls had the chance to feed the elephant some fruit and shockingly Mia had no problem and she loved it. Elliw was so-and-so and wasn't 100% keen.


It was really nice seeing the girls being so confident but it was such a shock and lovely to see Mia the most confident because she is usually the shy one and usually the one who would come to me and be stuck on me but she loved the elephants. After feeding the elephants we were then led to some benches where we sat down and a Thai man brought on a baby elephant, who was beautiful.

Half Term is nearly here for school children and I can't believe how fast the past two months has gone. In fact, I cant believe how fast the whole year has gone. It's flown by hasn't it? With it being so cold in the past few weeks it can be quite hard to think what to do during the full week half term holidays. You don't have to be stuck in the house just because it's cold and rainy. There are so many things you can do indoors and outdoors. Make half term fun for you and your child/ren.

1. Bake some Halloween cakes and cupcakes
2. Host a Halloween party!
3. Make some Halloween decorations
4. Make some Halloween trick or treat bags ready for Halloween night
5. Go for a walk and pick up some leaves, branches etc then do some activities with them at home
6. Go for a winter walk, all you need is wellies, scarf, gloves and a coat!
7. Jump in autumn leaves!
8. Paint on some autumn leaves onto paper
9. Go visit an indoor play area
10. Visit a fun centre
11. Go swimming (most places usually offer free swimming classes for kids during holidays)
12. Visit a friends house
13. Invite a friend over for lunch or snack
14. Go to the park
15. Have a lazy day in your PJ's and watch some movies
16. Make some sweet cones
17. Draw and colour
18. Sort out the house
19. Have a visit to your local café and have a treat
20. Play hide and seek
21. Buy some cheap affordable activities to do at home
22. Go through some school work
23. See if there are any events on during the half term
24. Go on a bike ride
25. Visit a library
26. See if there is a local attraction you could visit
27. Have a teddy bear picnic
28. Board games
29. Put the music up and dance like nobody is watching
30. Have a duvet day

 
What will you be doing for Half Term?

Do you like Christmas? Do you like receiving surprise gifts? Then come and join in with this years Bloggers Secret Santa! I started the BloggersSecretSanta group on Facebook which you can find: here. 50 bloggers have already joined in and are already sorting out their gifts. However, because I don't like saying no and don't like seeing people being left out - I am not doing a second list. I will be closing this for good (this year) on 30th October so I can work on it over the weekend and e-mail you all late Sunday or Monday morning.

If you would like to be involved please e-mail me at bloggerssecretsanta@outlook.com

Want to know a little more about Bloggers Secret Santa?

You are not paired, but I match you with someone. You will not know who buys for you and your person wont know who is buying for them either.

You can tell them who you are when you've sent the gift but that is your choice.

Feel free to send a card.

I advise you not to spend less than £5 and no more than £15.

In the e-mail I will send you a set of questions, This will help your Secret Santa to find you the perfect surprise gift.

You can send anything such as Gift Cards, Vouchers, DVD's, CD's, Hampers, Gift Sets, Chocolate or anything else you wish.

Any more information will be included in the e-mail.

So remember, join my Facebook group Bloggers Secret Santa, e-mail me at bloggerssecretsanta@outlook.com ASAP before 30th October (midnight).

Thank You :)
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