Saturday 28 June 2014


We moved into our house just over two months ago and have finally made a start on the garden. The garden does need a lot of work but today we cut back the overgrown herb garden which was full of weeds. Sadly we haven't been able salvage any of the herbs as the rosemary bush was so overgrown it had basically killed the rest.

This was the garden a few weeks ago before we had cut the grass for first time.

And this is a work in progress from today.

As you can we have started to remove the bushes on the right hand side. This bed is hopefully going to become our new herb garden and the bed to the left by the tree will be our new vegetable patch.

We have a tiny bed by the back door which I have spent all afternoon pruning back ready to dig out the dead bushes tomorrow.

I will keep you all updated on our work in progress garden and house! 

Friday 27 June 2014

My boy the poser!

So James can be quite the little poser when he wants to be. Although sometimes you do have to offer him bribes of food to get him to look at the camera. These are just a few of his poses over the last few weeks!
This one was waiting for the Metro back from Tesco to our New House after we had been to do our weekly shop.

This one is in our new back garden a few days after we moved in. James was at that stage not liking the grass and would only run around on the paving areas.

This one was waiting to go to Tesco on the Metro platform. He was showing off his new shoes

This has to be my favorite at the moment. This was taken last weekend at our friends birthday part in Aberdeen. James was running round chasing the dog and balloons! 

He really can be such a poser at times, more so now he has more teeth to show off!

Totseat by Hippychick

Being out and about with James can sometimes be a total nightmare especially if there is no highchair available in the place we are trying to eat. Most places do have highchairs available but you often get the odd place that doesn't have them or they have none free when you are trying to eat (TGI Friday Aberdeen for one!) 

This happened to us a few of months ago, fathers day in fact. We went out for lunch with my parents and the place we went to didn't have high chairs. If we had had the Totseat then, all our problems would have been solved.

James absolutely loves the totseat, so much so it's now used on a daily basis at my parents house since James decided he was no longer interested in his highchair and he now wants to eat at the table like a big boy. 

James at nanas 

James in debenhams 

**we were sent the totseat free of charge for the testing for mother and baby magazine 2014 awards** 

Yondi by Trunki

When you hear the word Trunki you automatically think of the amazing suitcases on wheels that you see parents pulling their children along on in airports or train stations. And yes that was their first and probably their best known product.

For part of the 2014 Mother and Baby magazine awards, one if the products we have been asked to review the "Yondi".

"Yondi is a specially designed travel pillow that connects under the chin with hidden magnets to form a soft and supportive cushion. This stops your child's head rolling forward so they can snooze in comfort. It also comes with the unique Trunki Grip so your little one can attach their favourite comforter or blanket. Suitable for ages 2+" (

The Yondi comes in 7 different designs and we were sent the leeroy lion, a bright yellow cushion with a lions face and marine on it. 

When I first showed it to James his face lit up and he wanted to put it on straight away. In fact he actually did! 

We were going to be traveling home by bus later on and I knew from past experience that James would fall asleep sitting up in his pushchair and there would not be enough space to recline him without moving the pushchair and therefore causing an obstruction to the aisle.

When James started to get sleepy I put the Yondi around his neck and he fell asleep virtually instantly and slept for a good chunk of the journey. He didn't have the magnets closed, but it did keep him comfortable and he wasn't actually grumpy when he woke up like he normally is after he has fallen asleep in his pushchair on the bus.

We have now used the Yondi a few times on the bus and we both love it to bits. For me I find it stops James head rolling forwards and it keeps him comfy while he sleeps. For James he loves the magnets and he keeps opening and closing the Yondi totally fascinated at how it stays closed.

This is actually a product I was looking at in Boots just a few months ago saying how good it would be for James for both on the bus and in the car and I was thrilled it was one of the products we got to review!

**We were sent the Yondi free of charge for the purpose of reviewing it for Mother and Baby Magazine Awards 2014**

Tuesday 24 June 2014

The Hoppings

So those of you from the north east will know what I'm talking about but for those of you from further away the hoppings is Europe's largest travelling fair which spends eight days every last week in June on the town moor in Newcastle.

Its been going for over 120 years and for me it has become a family tradition of going. I have missed a few years due to injury and of course when I was pregnant with James, but other than that I have bee  every year since I was just over a year old.

Now I was a bit worried about taking James after his bad experience at morpeth fair day so had already decided on two rides to go on.

The first was the big heltascelter which I loved whwn I was a kid and still love it now! My dad had the pleasure of sliding down with James with me following.

The second ride was the giant wheel which I have been going on with my parents so this was the first time Andy got to experience it along with James.

James absolutely loved the two rides he went on and actually did a lot of walking on the moor too. 

This year we have had brilliant weather for the rides compared to last time when we had nothing but rain and the whole 8 days was ruined.

Can't wait till they come back next year! 

Sunday 22 June 2014

Weekend Away with a toddler

So this weekend myself Andy and James went up to Aberdeen to stay with our friends for the weekend. It was our friend Richards 30th birthday so we had a bit of a party at his and Michelle's flat on the Saturday night.

We traveled up early on the Friday morning and came back late morning on the Sunday.

We arrived about lunchtime on the Friday and went back to our friends flat to chill for a bit before I went with Michelle to set up for a fair the next morning (she makes amazing jewellery and soaps). 

We then went to Michelle's parents house to see them and their dog Bracken. We then went down to the each to go to TGI Fridays for a meal. Well I'm surprised we were not thrown out due to James and his bad behaviour. Although to be fair we were sat in a booth with him between us as there we're no highchair tables free.

We then went next door to codonas leisure where we were all trying to win teddies for James and no one managed. 

After that we went back to the flat where Andy did bed time with James and then we watched World Cup football.

Saturday at around 4am I woke to find James planking in his travel bed oops! 

Me and Michelle went to do the stall leaving Andy and Richard at the flat with James and olly the dog for a couple of hours before we went to Wynford Farm soft play which was brilliant. We had lunch then we took James into the 3 and under part which he enjoyed especially when mummy and daddy both went down the slide after him. We also had the run for it James when we were about to leave which ended with James and me going down a big slide in the over 3 part! 

We then took James and olly for a walk in hazel head park where James decided he wanted to walk olly! 

Saturday night was the party night and James was keeping everyone entertained till mummy decided at 9pm a certain little man needed to go to bed. Mummy then went to bed around elevenish and daddy about two am. Then James decided four am was perfect starfish time in our bed.

Sunday was breakfast dressed and back onto the 1147 train. 

Brilliant weekend with brilliant friends.

Travelling with a toddler part two

Well part two began with a case of pass the toddler before the train had even left the station.

James was much better behaved on the return leg from Aberdeen than he had been on the way too Aberdeen. I think this was because the trip up was quite early and the return leg was late morning so he got to have a nap around midday which is when he normally tends to sleep.

He was really good until about the last 45 minutes when I think the novelty of being stuck on the train was starting to wear off and he started to lose patients.

Drastic action was needed so I spent the last 45 minutes of the trip standing in the vestibule between our carriage and the next carriage with James in his pushchair. He seemed to calm down once he was on his wheels.

The train got into Newcastle at 4pm and including our stop at the shop for milk it took us an hour to get home via the metro as we had to change due to a fault developing with our train.

Next time we travel long distance by train I will definitely be searching other mummy blogs for train travel with toddler.

Silent Sunday

Friday 20 June 2014

Traveling with a toddler part one

So Friday we travelled up to Aberdeen to spend the weekend with our friends.

I was so scared about travelling up on the train with James as it was his first long train trip since August last year when he was literally just a year old.

We had a few cases of pass the toddler over the table before James finally passed out for about half an hour then he had some food. Changing a nappy on a moving train with a wriggling toddler was an experience to say the least. At least the toilet was small enough for me to stop James letting himself out while mummy was using the loo!

Andy spent the majority of the first leg trying to stop James annoying other passengers. Poor boy is so used to being on the go all the time and never sitting still that being so restricted on the train really seemed to upset him and of course tire out mummy and daddy.

That was only part one we still have to do the return leg in a few days at a different time of day.

Stay tuned for part two coming in a few days!!!

Saturday 14 June 2014

Mother and Baby Magazine

I'm so excited to say we have been chosen as testers for this years Mother and Baby Magazine awards!

We have our id and have been sent the list of products we will be testing.

Our category is travel items under £25.

Stay tuned to hear more on what we are testing! 

Wednesday 11 June 2014

Toddlers and funerals

For those of you that don't follow me on twitter (@mrshockallz), it's been a really tough start to 2014 for my family. 

At the end of January my lovely great aunt died two months after she was rushed to hospital with paralysis, which turned out to have been a spinal stroke (unlike a normal stroke where blood clot goes to the brain this went to her spinal cord). It was a long two months for my parents having to do hospital visits 3 times a week.

Then two weeks past Monday my 93 year old nannie died after suddenly feeling ill while in hospital after a fall. I was extremely close to my nannie as I grew up living just a short walk from her house. In 2007 she fell and broke her hip, so my parents gave up everything and sold their house to move in with her to look after her. It's hit us all hard especially my mum and me.

So that brings me to the present day.... Would you take a toddler to a funeral?? In my case I did. James has been to both my aunt and my nannies. Now I'm guessing people are thinking I'm crazy taking a 21 month old to a church service and cremation but James was brilliant. He was climbing between Andy and my mum at my nannies church service but other than that he never screamed, cried, ran around or anything.

Even at the age of 18 months which he was at my great aunts cremation service he was as good as good. 

I'm guessing I just have a well behaved child at events as he didn't winge once when he went to a wedding at 10 months old n ate a 3 course meal!

Sunday 8 June 2014

Fair Day

Today was Morpeth fair day. It's held every year on the second Sunday in June. 

Me and Andy first went the year I was pregnant with James, then last year we took James and he fell asleep in his pram so we didn't get onto any rides. So this year I was hopeful he wouldn't sleep through it and yey he didn't!!

I took him on a spinning tea cups ride which he seemed to love but when he went on a kids swinging chairs ride oh boy. At first he seemed to love it but when it got faster the tears came and by the time the ride was over he was bawling his eyes out. I felt like such a bad mummy :(

Still he has forgiven me. Next fair we are off to is the hoppings on Newcastle town moor in a few weeks. I'm so excited as I haven't been for a few years and this will be first one for James and Andy. We will be going to this with my parents like I always did as a kid.

Silent Sunday

Saturday 7 June 2014

Chill out day

This week is going to be pretty manic as we have the funeral on Tuesday morning then the photographer is at toddlers on Thursday, so fingers crossed we can get a nice picture or James lol! 

Yesterday (Friday) we went out with my parents. We went down to the quayside in Newcastle to see how James would react to sand on the beach they have built and as I predicted he screamed blue murder when he was put on the sand. He was fine on the decking and quite enjoyed running on it but once he ran onto the sand and he realised he was on it he basically freaked out! 

We then decided to go to the red house for lunch. One of my website clients - the amble butcher supplies all the pies so of course we all had a different pie and as normal they were brilliant! 

After that we went into town as we all needed to get a few bits. I got a models own hyper gel nail varnish to try so will be reviewing that later in the week.

We still need to do our weeks shopping but James has woken from his nap in a bad mood so at the moment shopping is a no go! Shopping with a toddler in tantrum mode is not good or easy! 

Thursday 5 June 2014

Back to routine

This week has been trying to get James back into some sort of a normal routine.

For the last week since we lost nannie he's not really been napping much. He's been very clingy to his nana and mummy

So today being Thursday we are back at our toddler group. Its a relief to see James running around with his little friends and playing with the toys rather than being glued to my side all the time.

For me its also good being back as its a bit of normality back in our lives before we have the funeral to face on Tuesday morning. 

James has been into his jigsaws and puzzles.

He also loves playing with his train set at his nanas. He got it for Christmas.

After toddlers we went to the metro centre with my parents to try and get me a pair of shoes to wear on Tuesday. We were probably in every shoe shop and department store and had zero luck. We then went across to asda and again no luck but James did get a new shirt. I finally found a pair at tesco! 

Sunday 1 June 2014

Quiet day

Today has been pretty quiet as I didn't really feel like doing much.

Andy spent time in the garden with James while I tried to sleep off a horrible headache. James refused his nap today twice so he's been pretty grumpy all afternoon. 

I made some of the banana and oat bars from the red one, a Cook book by Ella's Kitchen. James seemed to like them which was good. 

We went for a walk upto our local small asda and got a few bits we needed then came home and slobbed out watching the women's fa cup final between Arsenal and Everton which Arsenal won.

Soon be bed time for James and mummy too as I haven't slept that we'll over the last week.

We have also bought a digital copy of the yellow one which is another cookbook by Ella's Kitchen. We are looking forward to trying out some of the cake recipes this week. 

Silent Sunday