Update


Another update! Is it just me or are these becoming increasingly more frequent? It's not out of choice though, we've had a lot going on (mainly illness) over the last few weeks or so.

Let's go back a few weeks to 18th April. During the school holidays and the only shift I worked (it was lovely). Until I went to pick Tim up from work. It started with what I can only describe as a strange zig zag wobbly line that appeared to the side on my one eye. Once that disappeared a headache quickly set in as did nausea. I had to ask Tim to drive back to Shrewsbury. Once back in Shrewsbury I was promptly sick and spent the rest of the night in bed throwing up every hour or so. After a trip to Shropdoc & an anti-sickness injection, I crawled back into bed for the night and actually managed to sleep. The following day I felt 100%. As if I had never been poorly! 

Fast forward one week, back at work for my morning shift and this zig zag line appears again. Gradually as the morning goes on the pain in my head is increasing and I started feeling sick. I was sent home with instruction to call the GP. I got an appointment and went in an hour later. I spent a total of 3 hours in the GP surgery before being sent to the Acute Medical Centre at the hospital for tests. I've been diagnosed with migraines and prescribed anti-sickness medication, and was told to take one of those along with some paracetamol and to head straight to bed in a dark room the second that wobbly line appears. That was the end of that and I was back at work the following day.

Fast forward again another week. Back at work after the bank holiday but this time Alex had started being sick. He'd picked up the gastroenteritis virus that had been going round. I stayed home with him and went back to work on the Wednesday. Then on to Thursday. My turn to have gastroenteritis! What fun that was! My appetite is still not back to normal. And then Thursday night through Friday, Tim had the bug. So it has now made its way through my household. Fingers crossed its gone and won't come back!

Since then and now my life feels like it's been hectic. We've been to the Shrewsbury Kids Festival, we've had not one, but two flat tyres, I'm back at CBT and working at it harder than ever (I'll do a separate post on that soon) and I'm now honestly looking forward to next week as it's half term and a Bank holiday weekend.

I'm also looking forward to the content I have planned for the next few weeks and getting back into writing up our Five Favourite Friday posts again!

What have you guys been up to over the last few weeks? I feel like I've missed so much!

Five Favourite Friday | Disney Villains


Once again we are back for another favourite five! My turn to choose the topic for this week means it's a Disney one! But I'm going for villains this week. Very often the villains are underrated and often go unmentioned after the movie is over.

You know a villain is a good one when they make you so angry that they even exist. Let's take Harry Potter for example. Everyone remember the horrid woman who took over from Albus Dumbledore as Headmistress of Hogwarts? Professor Umbridge? Loves cats a bit too much? I had a genuine hatred for her. She's not even a real character! That's what makes a good villain!

On to my top 5 Disney Villains then! We are going for villains from Walt Disney Studios films rather than including Pixar films. We'll save those for another day!

5. Kaa (The Jungle Book, 1967). I love and hate this character. I love Kaa because I happen to have a bit of a soft spot for reptiles, and find that people find them scary when there is no need to. But I hate him because he's such a good villain. It's the love/hate relationship I have with Kaa that puts this slippery snake on this lisssst instead of Shere Khan.

4. Captain Hook (Peter Pan, 1953). Another love/hate relationship with Captain James Hook. I hate him because he's a grown man out to get a young boy! How insecure must he be that he feels that is necessary? However, since the character appeared in the ABC show Once Upon A Time, I have a huge soft spot for him. The character in OUAT is a real smooth talker and I am actually extremely fond of Colin O'Donoghue's portrayal of the character.

3. Ursula (The Little Mermaid, 1989). She steals a young girls voice to steal her beauty. She collects seafolk. She's one weird sea witch.

2. Scar (The Lion King, 1994). He kills his own brother out of pure jealousy and drives his nephew away so he can take over as King. Wow. Jealous much?

1. Mother Gothel (Tangled, 2010). Need I say much about her? She's so insecure that she kidnaps the King & Queen's daughter and raises her as her own, all because she wants to use the girls magic hair to remain young? I think underneath it all she's a bit misunderstood, but that doesn't change the fact that she comes across as pure evil. In this case, mother does not know best.

And that's it. Do you agree with my list? Who would be on yours?

Head on over to Tim's post on Broken Thoughts to see his top 5 and to see what the topic is for next week!

Five Favourite Friday | Animals at Dudley Zoo!


Last week for Alex's birthday we ventured out to Dudley Zoological Gardens as he loves animals. We had a wonderful time and as a result Tim was inspired for this weeks top 5 to choose animals that we saw around the zoo.

I'm really looking forward to this one so let's get into it!




5. Meerkats. These were just super cute and extremely playful! It was very difficult not to enjoy watching them!


4. Lynx. Since moving in with Tim and getting our beautiful fluff ball Munchkin, I've become a big lover of cats - and the Lynx are no exception. They are Tim's favourite animal and I can see why. They are stunning, simply beautiful.


3. Giraffe. I'm going to be totally honest and admit these are here simply because of how much Alex loves them. I think we could have spent all day in the Giraffe house just watching them.



2. Tiger. Wow. The tigers were stunning. Another big cat I know, but the one was the biggest poser ever and the other we were lucky enough to see up close further around the enclosure where there were 2 large glass windows lower down at ground level.




1. Orangutan. I'm super biased on this one as Orangutans are my favourite animal anyway, I love them. But the ones we saw were so playful and extremely active! The mum and baby were being super playful together while the bigger male Orangutan was playing up to his crowd. I think they just so beautiful and so intelligent and I love them so much!

Have you ever been to Dudley Zoo? What animals would be on your list?

Next week we'll be looking at Disney Villains! I don't think we've covered this topic before, we are hitting a point now where topics could be duplicated so apologies in advance if that does ever happen!

Never the Bridesmaid, Never the Bride


First things first, as yesterday was my son's 2nd Birthday (Happy Birthday baby boy!) I decided not to do a top 5. I suggested the topic of Bond themes but I have chosen not to post this week.

With that out of the way, I've also made the decision to write a really personal post. I'm not even sure as I type this whether I'll post it or not. I'm not even sure whether it's a good idea to write about this. A lot of how I feel on this contributes to my depression, hence why I feel like writing about it. But at the same time, I know that how I feel is a bit silly and almost unnecessary.

At some point in their lives every girl dreams about their wedding day. The day when they commit to spending the rest of their lives with the love of their life. I'm no exception. Although I actually had 2 different weddings in mind - a dream, idealistic wedding and a more realistic, affordable wedding. My dream wedding was in Cinderella's castle in DisneyWorld, followed by a reception with Mickey & Minnie in attendance (I know I know, I literally was living in dreamland though!). My more realistic wedding is one I still want to this day. A small church wedding, in the countryside, with a small disco reception with a hog roast or something.

Throughout my life I have only ever been a Bridesmaid once, and that was for my parents wedding so I'm not sure that even counts - never the bridesmaid, never the bride. I'm also not married and never have been. I've been with my partner for 10 years now so some might expect us to be, especially since we have a son together. But, sadly not. It's not completely his fault. I do remember one time just before my 21st birthday, I was asked if I wanted to get married on my 21st, and I said no because I wanted my 21st to be just that, my 21st. Since then, we've had very little money after buying our own house and the topic, quite frankly, seems to terrify him. So basically, I'm now thinking that I will never be the bride, I will never be a wife, and this makes me feel sad. Very sad. While everyone else in school was dreaming about their careers, I was dreaming about being a wife and having a family of my own. I know how I feel seems completely ridiculous, after all I do have my family and I know marriage isn't everything. But that doesn't stop it making me feel the way I do.

We have a wedding reception to go to this evening for Tim's 2nd cousin and I'm sort of dreading it. I like to try to avoid weddings & wedding receptions at all costs because of how they make me feel. There's a line from a recent episode of Pretty Little Liars that sums it up perfectly - 'even if you're happy for the person there's just, like, this dull ache'.

I'll leave this post on that and hopefully tonight will go OK. And who knows, maybe one day I will get to be the bride bridesmaid... Wishful thinking, I know

Getting Crafty | No Borax Slime


It's the school holidays! Woo hoo! For me it doesn't make too much difference as Alex isn't yet at school, but working at an after school kids club it does mean I get some extra time to myself and to spend with Alex during the half term break. I feel like there's only so much you can do during the holidays without breaking the bank or repeating activities over and over again! And so, I decided I would have a go at making some slime with Alex! A fun activity with only a few simple ingredients - what could go wrong!

But oh boy did it go wrong! I originally picked up my recipe from a YouTube channel I started watching while I was pregnant called WhatsUpMoms. The lovely Brooke had done a video on slime made without Borax, and so I thought it would be cool to give it a try! Tim looked up the ingredients on their blog - here - and we set about pulling all the different things we needed together.

So, the recipes says that you need PVA glue, Baking Soda, Contact Solution, food/soap colouring and optional bits of fragrance oil, glitter and baby oil (I highly recommend the baby oil but I'll explain why fully later).

Attempt #1. Went terribly. It started off ok, we measured out 1/2 cup of glue, 1/2 a teaspoon of baking powder and a drop of colouring. Mix them together before adding the saline solution. Nothing. It literally was just a really runny, gluey, blue mixture. Cue major disappointment and feelings of failure.

Attempt #2. Identical to the first. I thought maybe I hadn't added enough baking powder or maybe I'd added the saline solution too quickly. But nope. Epic fail number 2!

Attempt #3. We Tim realised that I had interpreted the UK equivalent of baking soda to be baking powder. Wrong. The UK equivalent is Bicarbonate of Soda. So we tried one more time, this time with bicarbonate of soda. The only difference this made was that the solution fizzed before settling into a runny, gluey, blue mixture. Cue fail number 3.

At this point I was starting to feel bitterly disappointed and wondered how I could get it so wrong. So we spent the best part of an hour and a half watching YouTube videos by various different people on how to make slime. After a while I started to realise something - if I had got the baking powder ingredient wrong, what if there was something else I had wrong too? I did some googling and came across a blog post on Montessori Soul (read it here) which says that the contact solution must contain something called Boric Acid for the recipe to work. The only thing she does differently is to add shaving foam in at the end to make 'fluffy slime' (you don't have to do that part).

On to day 2. After dropping Alex at nursery for the afternoon, Tim and I headed off to Telford Town Centre to have a look for some more PVA glue, some more Bicarbonate of Soda and most importantly, some contact solution containing the elusive Boric Acid. We got the Glue and Bicarbonate of Soda from Hobbycraft and the contact solution from boots. Contact solution is a lot more expensive than saline solution but as you only need a small amount, the travel size was more than enough.

Here's how we got on this time around (please excuse the poor quality of photo, I was taking these at the time of day for really poor lighting):






First, measure out 60ml of PVA glue into a container or bowl (clear works best in my opinion but white works just as well, it just comes out a different colour), then add a quarter of a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda and mix well. Now add your food/soap colouring and any glitter you may want and mix again.


Now for the fun bit! Add a few drops of contact solution to the mixture and it will start to react and gloop together (gloop is a technical term and it's what I'm sticking with!), then gradually add more until the mixture is not sticking to the sides of your container. Take out the mixture and place onto a clean surface. If the mixture is sticking to your hands, add a few more drops of contact solution to the mixture and knead in gently.






We had some small tupperware containers to store our slime in, and by adding a drop of baby oil to the container it stops the mixture from drying out. And, my favourite reason for using baby oil, it keeps your hands super soft after playing with it!


As you can see the colour differences between using clear PVA and white PVA is mad! I personally prefer the look of the clear glue but it is quite a bit more expensive than using the white!

I'm so pleased with how this turned out in the end. All it took was some research into the right ingredients!

Have you made slime? How did yours turn out? Let me know in the comments!

Five Favourite Friday | Current Children's TV Shows


Friday again! Well, actually as I write this it's already been Friday and we are already on to Saturday. I'm a tad behind but I'm here and that, in theory, is what should count.

Tim's chosen current kids TV as this weeks topic, and I believe we are trying to leave nostalgia out of our decision so I'll be trying to chose shows that are new to the last decade or so.



5. OctonautsJoin Captain Barnacles and crew on their animated underwater adventures. I actually really enjoy watching this one with Alex. The stories follow Captain Barnacles and the Octonauts crew as they save aquatic creatures far and wide.



4. Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. How could I not have Mickey Mouse? I know we said we wouldn't let nostalgia influence our decision, and this is one of the reasons Mickey isn't at number 1! Having Alex has definitely been a good excuse to pop this one on the telly!



3. Sarah & Duck. This one follows Sarah and her pet friend Duck on their many weird and wonderful adventures! Me and Tim actually had a conversation about this program earlier as we had both noticed that no parents are present at all during the entirety of the series... There is however a talking umbrella!



2. Doc McStuffins. With a very catchy theme tune and a wide variety of characters, I love watching this with Alex. And we both love Stuffy, a blue stuffed dragon.



1. Bing. Along with his carer, Flop, Bing has many different adventures, learning the difference between right and wrong along the way with his many friends including Sula, Pando & Coco.

And there's my top 5! What would be on your list? 

Next week we'll be talking Bond Theme Songs! I'm actually quite excited about this one! 



*(Images taken from the BBC & Disney Junior)

March Review, April Goals


Did you read my March Goals post? If not, it might be worth a read before reading this one!

Firstly, let's look at my goals for March and how I did!

Social Media
Twitter - My goal for March was to hit 500 followers, and I didn't quite hit this one. But then my depression has really got it the way of regular posting.
Instagram - I didn't hit my goal of 200 followers on here either.
YouTube - I bottled this one. Big style.

Education & Work
NVQ - I've done more work on this and it's ticking away nicely. I've now got a bunch more bits to do for next week.
Learn a new language - I've made a decision regarding what language and I am trying to find somewhere that has classes. Otherwise I might have to settle for online learning.

Health
Lose 5lb - Nope.
Stop Snacking - Again. Nope.
Exercise - Do I really have to say it? Nope.
Improve my Mood - I'm actually getting there with this one. I have lapses but I never expected this one to be easy or straight forward!

Well... I didn't do that great did I? Hopefully April will be different. I'm going to keep April's goals the same as March's with the following additions:

Entertainment

  • Watch more films. I tend to binge watch TV Shows on Netflix and then rewatch them again and again! There are so many film releases that I say to myself that I really want to see it, and then never do. So I'd like to watch more films.
Family
  • Get engaged. Ok, so this one is sort of out of my hands. But it's something I would like to happen. Me & Tim will have been together 10 years this year - 10 years! And although I'd like to be proposed to on a special occasion or when we visit the happiest place on earth (Disneyland for those of you who were unaware where that is) I'd just be happy for it to finally happen.
  • Declutter the house. Not really a family one but as it's something we'd do together I think it belong in this category. Our house is a tip at the moment. I'm a bit of a hoarder and it needs to change. But first we need to get rid of the stuff I've hoarded up until now.
And that's pretty much it! Fingers crossed I complete more of my goals this month! 

Wish me luck!