Disney World | plan with me

Friday, 29 January 2016

To say I'm excited about this year is a spectacular understatement. After a couple of years of hinting begging, my husband has finally given in and agreed to a holiday in Florida.

It's our tenth wedding anniversary this year, so we'd always intended to go on a special holiday in 2016. I think Dan was leaning more towards a fortnight all inclusive in the Maldives... which, don't get me wrong, would be incredible... hmmm is it too late to change my mind!?

We got married in America and haven't been back since, so it'll be lovely to go this year to celebrate our anniversary. Plus, Dylan and Meryn are the perfect age now to really get the most out of a holiday to Orlando. Ayden will be three, which is a little young to remember everything and go on all the rides, but I know he'll have the most wonderful time too.

So, I'm milking this for all it's worth to get every last second of excitement and build-up before we go. Any excuse to research, plan and work myself up into an over-excited mess! I've read blogs, subscribed to YouTube channels, made lists, bought myself a notebook. It's on!

If you're planning a trip to Disney World, I hope you'll enjoy my videos and find them useful for your own trip. If you've been before and have some tips to share, please do leave them in the comments section below. I really would love to hear them. 

I hope you enjoy the first of my Disney World plan with me videos. If there are any particular subjects you would like me to look into, please let me know.

Baking helpers | The Ordinary Moments

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

These two little beauties are the best of friends. Wherever Meryn goes, Ayden follows close behind.

Most of the time, this is adorable. But ever so often, it leads to chaos. Baking is one of those times.

Flour everywhere. Dog 'hoovering' sugar off the floor. Ayden determined to help by removing a spoonful of flour off the measuring scales every time Meryn puts one on. You get the gist.

Experience has taught me, when it comes to baking with kids, my inner control freak will try to intervene. This never ends well. Just try to ignore the chaos, surrender all hopes of a perfectly frosted cupcake, remember that it only takes a minute to hoover the floor afterwards, take a deep breath and.... bake!

After this particular bake-off we ended up with a dozen pretty damn tasty welsh cakes. They're the perfect kid-friendly cake to make. Everything can be done by hand and it's not too complex. It also helps that they're not the most exciting cake to look at even when made perfectly, so we stood a fighting chance of ending up with something that half resembled an actual welsh cake.

I dread the day they don't want to stand in the kitchen and make a bloody mess bake cakes with me. So I treasure these little moments of chaos. After I've hoovered of course.

Me and Mine | January 2016

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

I'm ashamed to say that this is the only photograph I have of the five of us together. Isn't that awful? 

I have tens of thousands of photos of the kids, a fair few of my husband with the kids, a handful with me in them too, but absolutely none of the whole family. 

This madness must stop. 

I've seen some of my favourite bloggers take part in a photography project called 'Me and Mine', where they take a family portrait each month for a year. This is it. The perfect motivation for me to capture my favourite faces in one place for a whole year. 

I've cheated ever so slightly with the first photo, as it was taken on new year's eve... almost January. But as it's our first and only family portrait to date, I really wanted to include it. Plus, I love it. 

The kids had dressed up in their new Star Wars costumes for our little family NYE party, we'd just finished an awesome lightsaber battle and kitchen dance-off, complete with disco lights, and were about to send them all off on a very exciting treasure hunt (more to come on that).

Amazingly all three of them managed to stay up long enough to see in the new year; even if Dan and I were flagging and ready for bed. You'd think they'd all have slept late the following day wouldn't you? You'd be wrong.

This little group of people are my absolute world and I can't wait to look back at the end of 2016 at a full year of family photos. With all five of us in them.

A healthy chocolate and cherry smoothie recipe

Friday, 15 January 2016

I'll be the first to admit that my plans for a dry and healthy January are not going well. In fact, It's a bloody disaster.

January is way too depressing a month not to drink, if you ask me. We tried, along with the rest of the country. It lasted about two days.

I have however, been diligent about one of my new year resolutions. To make sure I eat breakfast each day. The idea of this is to prevent me from snaffling the entire contents of the biscuit cupboard by 11am.

So far so good.

I'm a big porridge fan in the colder months, but I'm also partial to a good smoothie. I have one fail-safe recipe that both Ayden and I love and I can hide a decent amount of spinach in it without him noticing.

Plus, it involves chocolate. For breakfast. No brainer.

What are your favourite healthy breakfasts? I'd love to hear. I need all the inspiration I can get.

My man | The Ordinary Moments

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

It's not often I dedicate a whole blog post to this one. But he's pretty damn special, so I really should.

The other night after putting the kids to bed, instead of sitting in silence watching rubbish on TV, we poured a glass of wine and went on a Spotify journey. Listening to all our favourite songs; songs with memories, our teenage soundtrack, tracks which made us laugh. Just an eclectic mix of music we love. 

We do this from time to time. Usually in the summer, when we can sit in the garden until the early hours and chat away without any distraction. But we don't do it enough. 

Life is busy and sometimes all you need is a few hours reminiscing and a good chat to feel refreshed and like 'you' again. We talk all the time of course, but usually about the kids. We go out for dinner, chat about everyday bits and pieces and, no more than half an hour later, we're talking about the kids again and how wonderful they are. 

That's the other thing. I always feel as though we need to plan a 'date night' to enjoy our time as a couple. Go out somewhere and spend money on a lovely dinner. Or go to the cinema... and sit in silence, then go home. But evenings like this remind me that we only need each other. And Spotify. 

Horizons are bright | The Ordinary Moments

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

My mind is an absolute blur at the moment. I'm finding it so difficult to drag myself out of Christmas limbo and back to normality and structure. So much so, we all slept through our alarms yesterday and the kids were late back for their first day of school. The shame!

Not a great start, I know; but what I'm lacking in motivation at the moment, I'll make up for in determination. 2016 is going to be a great year. As a family, we have lots to look forward to. And I'm excited to work hard to grow my blog and YouTube channel this year.

As for the whole 'healthier me' tradition that I enter into this time every year... yep, I'm pretty much there again. I won't be embarking on any crazy diets or gym memberships any time soon, but I will get myself back on track with eating a clean and healthy diet. Plus, I may haul my ass out of bed a couple of times a week for an early morning run. I feel way better inside and out when I make the effort, so I just have to remind myself that at 6:30am and I'm halfway there.

I think, when life is so hectic, it can be almost impossible to focus. At least, for me. Sometimes it takes a moment of quiet to make sense of everything. As I walked with Ayden this morning to get some fresh air, things started to feel less chaotic and more organised. 

I'm determined to take more of those little moments every day. To enjoy quiet time with Ayden and my own thoughts (if he happens to fall asleep).

Actually, Headspace sent me an email offer this morning for three months free subscription. I'm considering that a sign! Has anyone else tried Headspace, or any other meditation app? I'd love to hear your experiences.