Sparkles & Stretchmarks: A UK Parenting & Pregnancy Blog: Life Lately....

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Life Lately....


What we've been watching....



I'm such a fan of trashy "reality" tv (I'm air-quoting because I am aware that there's nothing real about most of these shows!)...in years gone by I've been hooked on shows like The Simple Life, Keeping Up With The Kardashians, Girls Of The Playboy Mansion and pretty much anything trashy and glam!

My current TV addiction is Dance Moms!

For anybody who hasn't seen it, it focuses on larger-than-life Abby Lee Miller - a dance teacher in the USA with a big brash mouth, and her group of little competitive dancer girls aged between 7-13 - The girls are super talented and fun to watch of course, but the main attraction is their crazy mothers!

The Dance Moms are always either at each others throats over whose daughter is the star, or they're grouping together to gang up on Abby over what she's making the kids wear that week...

It sounds like a load of rubbish but trust me, it is SO addictive!

I read last night that one of the Dance Moms was recently arrested for attacking Abby-Lee Miller at a Dance Competition - can't wait to see that episode!!!!

What we've been making....

This week I've been getting back into my crafting.

Christmas got kind of crazy with about 90x the number of orders I ever expected to get for my personalised items - of course the extra money was nice, but I certainly took on way too much - I was having to work until all hours of the night for the month running up to Christmas just to get everyones order finished in time - at the end of the season I counted up over 200 orders, each for more than one item!

It was insane and the stress put me off doing anything crafty for a while - I felt like never picking up a paint brush again and threatened to close down my Facebook Craft page!

But this week I've been feeling more inspired, and have got back into it again....

I've started making personalised hearts for Valentines Day....



And, just for fun, I made this for Tyne...



I have no intention of selling these as the cost is too high to make a profit on but I had a lot of fun just creating it and deciding how I wanted it to look - that's the most fun part of crafting for me and I can sometimes lose interest when I'm just churning out copy after copy of the same thing!

So it's nice to keep something back just for me!



I also made this for us...I started making them over Christmas and sold about 6 of them and really liked them but didn't have chance to make one for myself, so it's nice to finally have chance to make something for OUR house instead of always for customers!

This is now hanging on the all as you walk up the stairs...it looks a little lonely by itself so I want to get some framed photos up on that wall too.

What we've been doing....



Last week I took Tyne along to a Parent & Toddler group for the first time.

You may recall I mentioned wanting to do it in my Anxiety post, and I managed to go - although my sister came along too, but in my defence she asked if she could come - I didn't actually invite her to avoid going alone!

The group was held in a local church hall, and was a lot bigger than I expected - it had a lot of different sections for different age groups and was much busier than I thought.

I struck up a conversation with one other mother who was very nice, and I spoke to my friend (who originally invited me) who I hadn't seen for a while which was nice - but of course being there with my sister means I didn't mingle as much as I otherwise might have.

Tyne seemed to enjoy it though, especially when we joined in with the singing at the end - he loves a good sing song!

This coming week we're planning on going to Rhyme Time, and Mini Music to try them out - that way we can see which classes we enjoy most and pick a couple to do weekly.

Speaking of my sister, it's her 30th birthday in about 8 weeks time so I've been trying to think of what I can get her as a special gift that won't break the bank.

She's not really a jewellrey kind of person but I'm thinking a really nice watch could be ideal...there are some great interest free watches from DMR which would be ideal, the payment plans suit me great and it's a nice special gift for a special birthday!

What we've got planned....



We've been saying it for a while now, but we reaaaally want to get a family cruise booked.

I started looking into it this week and we'd almost decided on a 6 night cruise on our favourite ship, Royal Caribbean's Independance Of The Seas - the itinerary wasn't great calling only at France, Bilbao & Gijon but I never let the stops bother me too much as they're not really what the holiday is about for me - it's about the amazing ship!

The Independence is finishing its sailings from the UK this year, so I absolutely HAVE to sail on it once more before it stops!

The cruise was priced at just over £700 per adult which was within our budget, but when we called to book I was stunned when they told me that Tyne would cost £649!!!

They explained that this is because the charge is the same for children from 6 months-11 years old, but how ridiculous is that?! 
There's a massive difference between what a 6 month old will eat and do activity wise on board compared to an 11 yr old so surely the cost should reflect that! Imagine if you were travelling with 3 or 4 children?!

So I decided that there's no way I'm paying £649 for a 6 day holiday for a 14 month old - fair enough when he's old enough to take full advantage of the facilities I'll happily pay as there is tons for kids to do on these ships - but at 14 months when he's going to have a paddle in the pool at most - I don't think so!

So our plans have changed, and instead we will join the last UK sailing of the Independence at the end of October on a 3 night cruise - yes child prices are still extortionate but its a shorter sailing so it's only costing £700 for the three of us. Much more manageable!

We'll be going to Paris and Bruges, which will be nice as I've never been to either place before and I love visiting cities.

We would still like to have a longer holiday though, so our plan is to pick out a 3 week period in May and save our money - then book a last minute cruise longer cruise somewhere hot with a cheaper line such as Princess Cruises or P & O the week before travel - that way we should be able to bag a decent bargain!

It's actually quite exciting to not know where we'll be going, I'm looking forward to it!

How has life been treating you lately? As always, I'd love to hear from you!

8 comments:

  1. We booked our first family holiday a break near the Cotswolds in Aprol. I would love to go on a cruise, heard so many great things about them! I'd especially like to take Eliot on the Disney cruise when he's older x

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  2. Just started reading your blog hun & I love it :)
    A cruise sounds amazing- something I'd love to do.
    We have two trips planned this year, we're going up to the Isle of Arran in Scotland where my boyfriends Dad grew up - going with all the family so the boys will love exploring with them all. Planning a trip with my parents too probably just to the Channel Islands, nothing to fancy!
    Lucy x

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  3. Oh my god. How much for Tyne? I had suggested trying a cruise to Nathan but there's no way we could afford to pay £649 each for the kids lol. I'm so glad you went along to the parent and toddler group. I still haven't plucked up the courage to take Ozzy anywhere like that yet.

    Louise x

    Confessions of a Secret Shopper

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  4. A cruise!..i'm going to put that on my wish list :) x The arts and crafts pieces are actually beautiful hun..you are so gifted..you must teach me how, since i am out of work at the minute and twiddling my thumbs when faith is asleep!

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  5. Wow £649 for Tyne? That shocks me... email them x
    Beautyqueenuk xx

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  6. Wowzer that seems like a joke price for Tyne!

    Loved this post :)


    Alex
    http://www.bump-to-baby.com

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  7. That's a crazy amount of money for Tyne! Glad you got something much more reasonable sorted xx

    Quite Frankly She Said - UK Lifestyle Blog

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