3 Things Parenthood Makes You Realise About Your Own Parents


Once upon a time your parents were the gatekeepers. The people that stopped you having fun, or at least tried to control it! Admittedly, every child goes through a phase (or five) where they think their parents are deliberately trying to sabotage their pleasure. The world is full of rules and to a child's mind they're just not fair.

A little boy laying on the grass with his arms folded

As we grow up we begin to realise that our parents were just doing what was right for us. The reasons and methods behind the rules become clearer, even though you hated them as a child. The biggest biggest change to your memory and perception of your childhood comes when you become a mum for the first time and you suddenly see the world through your parents' eyes.

This can cause you to see your parents in an entirely new light and this realisations may change your relationship with them.

Here's a look at how this can happen.......

Your connection
Some worry that when they have kids they will lose their connection to their parents. In most cases though it is the opposite and your connection will strengthen, with you reliant on them more and more. You will also have the joy of seeing their delight in being a grandparent, which is guaranteed to put a smile on your face and theirs, as it draws the family closer together. 

Time is of the essence 
As a new mum the early days are hard work but they can also be the most blissful. You can spend hour after hour with your baby in your little newborn bubble. How I miss those days!!  As the years pass the amount of time you have with your children reduces, with school, play dates, after school clubs and the like filling up the days. This is all the norm of course and helps raise well rounded, happy kids but it does make you miss those newborn days.

A newborn baby sleeping in a baby glider

Experiencing this makes you realise that your parents likely miss you as well, even now your're an adult with a family of your own. For most of us this encourages to spend more time with them and visit them more regularly, whether that be nearby, the next town or retirement communities like Porthaven. You begin to appreciate family time and the time with your parents.

You realise the rules that didn't make sense
On a less emotional note parenthood also brings the realisation that your child self was right and some of the rules your parent put in place didn't make much sense.  You'll begin to notice the rules that were generally for your safety compared with the rules that were more about parents' personal preference.  Your childhood irritation though will be long gone and it's likely that the realisation will simply bring a smile to your face.

Mummy Snowy Owl
xx
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Our Favourite Book - Katie & the Dinosaurs


Welcome back to our favourite book feature! This month we're loving Katie and the Dinosaurs

A copy of the book with dinosaur costume and toy dinosaur

There are quite a few books in the Katie range, with each see her go on an amazing adventure.

Katie and the Dinosaurs sees her visit the Natural History Museum with her Gran. Now, Grandma is partial to the odd nap and as she has a rest, Katie wanders off around the museum. Finding a door marked 'ABSOLUTELY NO ADMITTANCE WHATSOEVER', she can't help but open it and see what's on the other side.

Behind it she finds a jungle and some real life dinosaurs! Katie befriends a Hadrosaurus who's lost his family and helps to reunite them, meeting lots other dinosaurs along the way. But a troublesome T-Rex is lurking and chases them back through the jungle.

Pages of the book showing the dinosaurs and Katie

A quick thinking Katie subdues the T-Rex with a meat pie, enabling her and her new dinosaur friends to make their escape!

We are big fans of this book and feel its one of those that appeals to boys and girls. It's wonderfully illustrated and engaging.

I personally love that the book also gives you phonetic pronunciations for the dinosaur types so you know your pronouncing them correctly! 

If you have a dinosaur lover in your house they will love Katie and the Dinosaurs. Click here to add it to your collection.

To see the vlog of this month's favourite book click here.

Happy reading!

Mummy Snowy Owl
xx 
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Our Home Improvement Adventures


For those that follow me on Instagram, you'll know that we've been having some work done to our house.

Recently, our full large drafty windows are gone and our home is more cosy as a result, but that cosy feeling has been a long time coming! We'd originally planned to have the work done when we moved into the house seven years ago! The arrival of a certain little boy, a lack of funds and a need for a new car put that on the back burner. Then after a few too many evenings of sitting under more than one blanket and nights of our three year old waking up and saying he was cold it was time to get our finger out and have the work done.

It was messy. It was cold. It was slightly ridiculous to have new windows fitted in February. Oh, and I know I've said it already but THE MESS! There was so much mess!!!

Yet, I can't help but let my mind wander to our next project! Yes, I think I must be mad! Now, as much as my attentions should turn to our bedroom or the smaller bedroom, which I'll be using for office space, my mind wanders to our kitchen and conservatory. 

They've both had a lick of paint over the last few years but I feel they're starting to look like they need a little more than that. I expect its the updated living room, which we partially decorated and moved around after the new windows, making it look like much worse than it does. 

Still, I can't help but feel it's a bit tired and a bit tatty. We painted the walls white recently, with them all being different shades of yellow before. I do like the units and their layout but I'd very much like to change their colour but it seems like such a huge job! A new worktop is a must, as is a new sink after the Granny melting incident.

My biggest bugbear though is the double doors between the kitchen and conservatory. Not only are they like a magnet for dirt, the just don't seem to to fit in with the rest of the house anymore. With our smarter windows it's no surprise, and as we were unsure what our plans would be for the rear of the house, we didn't include them on our batch of work, which I now regret!  

So, instead of procrastinating looking at bedroom decor as planned, I find myself getting carried away with the thoughts of new conservatories, extensions and bi-fold doors. 

(Conservatory goals!)

I found though that Bifold door prices can be a little bit confusing and I've seen their prices vary massively. When I came across one feature in a well known home magazine it actually made my eyes water! 

One site I've come across though is this one, Direct Bifold Doors. The prices are easy to see and, unlike many window and door companies, there's no need to give all your personal details for an idea of price. The information is readily available and you'll only need to give your details if you want a more definite price.  

Now, I should really stop looking at them and go back to looking at bedrooms! Or should I? I'm struggling when they look as nice as this!






Mummy Snowy Owl
xx

This is a collaborative post with Direct Bifold Doors
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Could Being A Mum Be The Skill That Builds Your Career?


The idea of getting back to work as a mummy is always framed as a challenge. I can tell you from experience that it's difficult to get back into the swing of things you haven't done for some time. Not to mention the new family and work balance that you'll need to find. 

Instead of looking at motherhood as an obstacle though, can you look at it as a resource? 

There's a selection of careers where being a mum can lift you into a new role. Here's a few ideas that could shape your career.

A woman reading a book with a baby


Mums with skills

Do you have teaching experience or a history within a certain industry or craft? Well, you could make use of it by helping those who need it the most.  Becoming a tutor opens up the opportunity of working from home, which is ideal for those with young children. An alternative, depending on what you teach, is to provide workshops, tutorials, and classes in your local community centre. With so much online now, there's also the ability to create online courses for free, which others will then pay for. These courses can be focused on many different things but are mostly focused on teaching career skills. 

A little girl sniffing flowers


Mumming for all

So you love looking after your own kids but what if you feel you could spread that attention and care? There are plenty of professional parents just like the rest of us that are looking for a way to maintain the balance they need. Maybe you could be the person they need to maintain that balance by becoming a childminder. You can also contact childcare brokers, and look at getting a ready made business for your development. Providing childcare and looking after other people's children isn't easy, but it can be incredibly rewarding, all whilst providing a service to the community and making a profit. 

A woman sitting at a laptop

Use your organisational skills

As parents we really need to stay on top of things. As the years pass and there's more play dates, parties and after school clubs we find ourselves developing organisation skills that would make a project manager jealous! If you're looking for a flexible job that allows you to work from home, then becoming a virtual assistant could be the perfect role for you.  Virtual assistants work with business owners and managers across the globe, taking care of basic admin duties, like setting calendars, responding to emails and taking calls. Just be sure to chose a VA position that best fits your working situation. For example, if your child is still young or doesn't nap, you might not want to take a role that has you answering the phone during the day.

There are plenty of flexible careers where you can utilise your skills as a mother. The experience and skills you develop not only change you as a person but they may just lead you to a career that you love.

Mummy Snowy Owl
xx


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Ooooo Craft Chocolate



As a craft blogger I know that the word ‘craft’ can mean a lot of things. It can mean getting sticky with glue and glitter but it can also be related to food and drink. Craft all comes down to creativity and what the creator want to have at the end of it.

You might want to brew your own beer at home, with the possibility of opening a micropub if you have the knack for it. You might want to make birthday cards or wedding invites, with a view to starting your own online shop. Maybe you want to simply bake a few show stopping cakes to share with your friends.

A rise in craft beers and craft coffee came from people being passionate about what they were creating. This passion is spreading and recently I’ve discovered that craft in the food world is spreading over to chocolate! Yes! Chocolate!! Craft Chocolate! Obviously this has made me very excited! Chocolate is one of my fave things. EVER.

Pieces of broken up chocolate

If some of you are wondering what craft chocolate, or craft anything for that matter is, it is when food or drink is created in a traditional, non-mechanical way. Think less mass produced factory chocolate and more of a small business owner with a wooden spoon and apron.

With more and more small and creative businesses popping, bespoke craft chocolate is definitely something you are going to see more of. Whether it be a pop up shop in your town centre or on a stall at your local farmers market craft chocolatiers are on the rise.

But how does it differ to normal chocolate and what is there to offer? Is it just craft chocolate bars up against a whole range of chocolatey treats? Well, no. It has so much more to offer than that!

Individual chocolates, hot chocolate, chocolate cake, muffins. There is so much to try.

Do you want to be creative with chocolate and join the craft chocolate scene?

Well, if you want to start from scratch you’ll need coco beans. Do plenty of research before buying them and buy from a trusted source or company. The beans will need to be cleaned and roasted. This is quickly followed by shelling and grinding, with the beans then being mixed with sugar. The now chocolatey paste is moulded, with temperature playing a key part in the appearance of the chocolate.

If this sounds a little much for you the other option is to buy bars of craft chocolate and go from there.

What can you create? Well, if you fancy melting the chocolate there’s always dipped fruit, or you could make a fruit Pavlova and drizzle the melted chocolate over it! Both are my personal faves!

You could smash up the chocolate and us it for cookies. Eat them warm for a lovely gooey centre!

Then there’s also one of my specialities, Rocky Road!

Rocky Road

Oh and did you know that some of the tastiest chilli recipes also say to include a square of chocolate! It sounds crazy but it really does give it an amazing taste!

What will you create?

Mummy Snowy Owl
xx

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3 Ideas For A Very British Holiday By The Water



More often than not, when you think of British summer holidays, it’s likely that you picture a sandy beach in Wales but drenched by the rain! Where holidaymakers dressed in waterproofs and wellington boots watch the horizon while eating fish and chips, huddled together under an umbrella.

There’s a form of grey, cold, damp misery that we repeatedly associate with the British weather, and of course British summer holidays, but it doesn't have to be like that at all!

If being by the sea is a key element of your holiday and you want to avoid the disappointing rain and dampness, here are three places for you to try! So if you're still planning your summer break add these to your list! Both abroad and in the UK they are all quintessentially British but bring you fun by the water!

Union Jack flying

Panama - The place that united Great Britain
This adventure will take you overseas but to a place that played a part in uniting the kingdom, and essentially Scotland and England. The two have found it difficult to unite over the years and across history the King and Queens of both sides have been against each other, with invasions and war a regular occurrence. After Queen Elizabeth I died King James VI of Scotland became King James of England but the two nations remained politically separate until interests in Panama caused them to unite under the Acts of Union in 1707. So why not visit the place that led Britain to become the United Kingdom? Stay in the amazing Marriott Executive Apartments in Panama City and be in the best location for exploring. Start with the most well know attraction the Panama canal, before heading to the Panama Viejo. 

Fall in love with the British canal and river system
If you like the ideal of a canal but don't fancy going all the way to South America why not hire a canal boat and explore the British routes and countryside. Most families choose the Cheshire Ring as a starting spot, with boating fans call in it one of the finest canal rings. You can choose routes from Bristol to the Thames, or even the South Midlands. Travelling by boat can be one of the best ways to visit historic sites, enjoying the peacefulness of the water without getting wet, and if it does rain you'll be tucked up and warm, enjoying a cuppa as you go.

A canal boat on the water

Take the family to the Lake District
The Lakes are a place that thrives equally in the sun and rain. There is so much to explore, with glorious views and paths to discover but there's also plenty that's indoors should the weather turn. This makes it the ideal holiday location for families who want to have adventures but also want somewhere to visit on the cold, wetter, summer days. One of our favourite places is the mock-gothic property, Wray Castle. Like a Disney castle on the outside, it's a completely family orientated inside with soft play and areas full of a very famous rabbit!

A Gothic style castle


Whether it be a sunny break overseas discovering a key part of British history, exploring the water ways and countryside of the UK or following Peter Rabbit with a hop, skip and a jump around the Lakes, there's a British water themed holiday for you.

The only question is.......are your ready and packed for a glorious British summer break?

Mummy Snowy Owl
xx 
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Easter Leftover Rocky Road


Easter's been and gone, but if your home is anything like ours there's still signs of it everywhere. Mostly in the form of huge amounts of chocolate and bunny themed treats!

If you want to combine them and streamline your chocolate stockpile this little bake is ideal!


Rocky Road with glasses of milk

To make Easter Leftover Rocky Road you will need

  • 100g baking spread
  • 400g chocolate
  • 100g marshmallows
  • 100g mini chocolate eggs
  • 125g digestive biscuits
  • Spoon
  • Lined baking tray
  • Rolling pin
  • Saucepan 
  • Sharp knife
Ingredients

Start by breaking up the digestive biscuits and mini eggs with the rolling pin. I always put ingredients in a sandwich bag before giving them a good whack, though some people wrap them in a tea towel.


Biscuits and mini eggs smashed up

Then cut up the marshmallows in half. This will help them melt quicker.


Marshmallows


Next, melt the spread and chocolate in the pan on a low heat until smooth. 


Melting butter and chocolate in a pan

Add the marshmallows, biscuits and mini eggs to the pan and stir thoroughly until the marshmallows are melted. 


Ingredients added to the melted chocolate and butter


Rocky Road mixture

Smooth out into the baking tray and place in the fridge for two hours to set.


Rocky Road mixture in a baking tray

Then remove from the tray, place on a chopping board and cut into portions and you're finished! 


Rocky Road on a chopping board with a sharp knife


Finished Rocky Road

Finished Rocky Road


Sit back and enjoy a piece with a cup of tea or a glass of milk.


Rocky Road with glasses of milk


Mummy Snowy Owl
x

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Living with Fibromyalgia


Today has been a crappy day. I've had to go back to my GP and am on another course of antibiotics. 


Pile of different coloured tablets

The last two were for mastitis but this time they are for tonsillitis. My husband has had to take the day off to care for both our 3 year old and I. 

I'm run down and I'm sick of being sick. 

I really thought I had my Fibromyalgia under control but it has really worsened over the last few weeks and now seems to be having a dire effect on my immune system. My GP has told me to avoid stress but that's easier said then done for many reasons.

I've recently shared my Fibro story with the lovely Bethany at Young, Sick and Invisible

If you'd like an insight into my diagnosis and battle with Fibromyalgia you can read it here

Mummy Snowy Owl
x
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Eggcellent Easter Cake!!


So, you have your Easter all planned out. Perhaps you've planned to have friends or family round and you want an eye catching bake!

Well, how about this easy and quick Eggcellent Easter Cake!


A cake covered in frosting, mini chocolate eggs and chocolate bunnies

Fancy giving it a go?

You will need -


  • Sponge packet mix - 22p @ Asda
  • 1 egg - 89p for half a dozen @ Asda
  • Water
  • Jug
  • Mixing bowl
  • Baking tins
  • Greaseproof paper 
  • A small bit of butter for greasing
  • Jam - 28p @ Asda
  • Vanilla frosting - £1.75 @ Asda
  • Malteaser bunnies - £1.00 @ Asda
  • Chocolate mini eggs - Large £1.00 @ Poundland, micro eggs 60p @ Asda 
A picture showing ingredients and equipment to make a cake

Start by making the packet mix as per the instructions. For this one I had to add the water and egg. Mix well until smooth.


Cake mixture in a bowl with a whisk

Lightly grease the tins and line the bottoms with greaseproof paper. 


Pair of sandwich tins, lined and greased

Pour the mixture into the tins, separating it evenly between the two.


Cake mixture in the tins

Place in the oven and bake until golden brown. Ours took around 20 minutes.


Pair of baked sponges on a wire tray

Leave to cool. Next, evenly spread a layer of jam on to the sponges and sandwich together. 


A layer of sponge cake covered in jam

Cover in the vanilla frosting.


Sponge cake being covered in vanilla frosting

Cake covered in frosting

Decorate with the bunnies and chocolate eggs. Little helpers may want to join in but expect a few chocolate eggs to be stolen! 


A cake covered in frosting being decorated by a child

When you've finished decorating you are done! Sit back and enjoy a slice of your Easter bake! 


A cake covered in frosting, chocolate eggs and bunnies

A cake covered in frosting, mini eggs and chocolate bunnies

A cake covered in frosting, mini eggs and chocolate bunnies

A cake covered in frosting, mini eggs and chocolate bunnies


Mummy Snowy Owl
xx

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Our Easter Buys!


If you've been into any high street shops recently you'll see that they've really upped their game when it comes to Easter. More chocolate treats, more food and more decorations!

Prices vary dependent on where you shop but there are great things to be found! Normally I'm all about the homemade and handmade, like the Easter Wreath and Bunting that we made last Easter but this year I have treated us a little and picked up a few things. Probably too many! 

I thought I'd share with you what we've picked up and what we have planned for the long weekend!

First, decorations!! These are what really sucked me in when out shopping and made me go a little Easter crazy! 

Easter wreath, bunny tablecloth, and a wooden bunny sign

The wreath and the tablecloth are the two most expensive of my Easter buys but possibly my faves! They are both from Homesense, with the wreath priced at £9.99 and the tablecloth at £14.99. I'm actually going to use the wreath as a centerpiece and have added a toy bunny into the mix! 

Pale pink tablecloth with gold bunnies printed on it, with candlesticks either side of an easter wreath with pastel coloured eggs

Pale pink tablecloth with gold bunnies printed on it, with candlesticks either side of an easter wreath with pastel coloured eggs with a cuddly bunny sitting in its centre

Pale pink tablecloth with gold bunnies printed on it, with an easter wreath with pastel coloured eggs

I also picked up two of these Easter bunnies, which is similar to a Santa stop here sign. Due to Mummy brain I can't remember if they were 99p or £1.99, but either way they are excellent quality and sit perfectly on either side of our door. 

Wooden easter bunny sign in a plant pot

I've also picked up this super cute bunny bunting for £1.00 from Poundland. The cake cases set was £1.29 from Home Bargains and I prefer these to the others I've seen as they have cute toppers with them! The hanging egg decorations were also Home Bargains and a similar price. 

Bunny bunting, hanging egg decorations, cupcake cases with toppers

They look great in the garden. I just hope the weather stays nice so we get to actually see them! 

Hanging egg decorations hanging from a tree

I picked up these large vases/candle holders from Sostrene Green at Christmas and filled them full of baubles then. Now they are full of decorative eggs from Poundland and are accompanied by our little chick! 

Large easter jars, filled with eggs with a yellow chick sitting between them

Next, I'm going to share the bits I picked up for our Easter egg hunt. The eggs, which I'm going to fill with sweets, and the signs are from Home Bargains and were around the £1.00 mark.

Easter egg hunt signs and two boxes of plastic eggs

The goodies are all Lidl and Poundland and again were all around the £1.00. 

Jelly Baby Chicks, chocolate eggs, haribos, marshmallows, chocolate lollies


All of these great little buys are really going to brighten our Easter and I'm hoping will bring some excitement to our three year old and our friends children, who will join us on Good Friday for an Easter hunt. 

I hope you've enjoyed a sneak peek at our Easter, and also hope that with some of our cheaper buys have shown you can also make some Easter plans if you're on a budget.

Whatever you do this Easter, have a wonderful weekend.

Mummy Snowy Owl
x

P.S.

I also got these cute Easter plates from Poundland! Some are last years left over and some are this years! 

Easter bunny paper plates and cups with carrot napkins


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