time flies when you're being a mum

19 Jun, 2014

One of the biggest changes in Mike and my relationship once Reuben came along, was date night. We both worked in the city and so deciding that night we would go for dinner, get a drink or catch a movie was run of the mill for us! Then all of a sudden that stopped. I don’t know about you but I think we’re still getting used to that change.

I’ve mentioned a few times previously that we’re making an effort to eat dinner together at the table but that’s as far as date nights go. So, I’ve been trawling the internet for ideas to turn an evening at home into a Date Night but first…

Prep for date night

Tidy up the house, set the dining room table if necessary, turn off your phone/computer/TV, dim the lights, light the candles and switch on the music. You might also want to get dolled up (big knickers are banned!) or at least get rid of the baby sick. And, send your partner a text to let them know your plans, if they don’t know (or allude to them if you don’t want to be explicit – see points 10 and 11!), so they aren’t disappointed when they can’t watch the football/play on their phone/etc.

I have gathered ideas from the Happy Wives ClubAsk Men as well as the places I link to below.

11 Stay-at-Home Date Night Ideas!

1. Candle lit dinner – kind of obvious but get dolled up and have a 3 course dinner with complimenting wines and a nice playlist! (To make it a bit kinkier you could make dinner in some nice lingerie but make sure you wear an apron so you don’t get burnt/go up in flames!)

2. Movie night with a theme – after a hard day at work/with kids, the chances are you won’t get past the first one! But if you can, you can theme the films around whatever really; a favourite actor, a group of actors, a decade, a country, etc. Keep it light and get in the popcorn!

3. Make something new together – fancy trying something a bit more complex? Pop open the wine and follow the recipe together, chatting as you go along.

4. Double date – you might not be able to go out, but your friends could come to you for dinner and drinks.

5. Make a playlist – for each other or do one together for your next road trip/holiday, whatever. I hardly ever listen to music anymore, so this would be a good excuse to rekindle my love for it while having fun with Mike.

6. Alfresco Dining – with warmer, lighter evenings take dinner outside. Even in the smallest of gardens this is doable! Make it extra special with some tea lights in jars dotted around.

alfresco dining - stay-at-home date night! #marriage #relationship #wedding #datenight http://www.mumsdays.com/stay-home-date-night/

Our yard is a lot nicer now so this will be even better! Phones down for date night though.

7. Holiday planning – decide where you’re going to go, book flights, hotel, villa, whatever or just plan some of the lovely things you can do while you’re there. If you’re fella is anything like mine, you might not want to make a big deal of this one, just start doing it after a lovely meal inspired by your destination!

8. Themed night – this has the potential to sound a bit lame/corny but it’s up to you how far you go…here are some examples:

Japan – wear your favourite kimono (you know you have one just lying around!), make sushi together, drink Sake and watch Lost in Translation or your favourite Ghibli film!


Italy – Get your finest 50’s Italia inspired outfit on, make pizzas (or perhaps something a little more upmarket!), drink Chianti and watch The Talented Mr Ripley.

Spain – make little bites of tapas (like you’d see in a bar in Spain, not like the Tapas restaurants here!) and set it out on your dinning room table, get a few bottles of wine, dim the lights, light the candles, put on your spanish music and sit at the same side of the table – There, you’re at wine bar in Spain!

Other places that would work nicely would be France or Brazil (!).

9. Adult slumber party – bring loads of cushions, duvets, blankets, etc into the living room and snuggle up for the evening with a DVD box set or film. You’d probably be better off in your birthday suit too.

With that last idea in mind, the chances are that on your date night a certain amount of hanky-panky will be expected but in case you want to skip the formalities and get to it, here are a bonus 2 ideas!

10. Board games – make some cocktails (or Dutch Courage as I like to think of it), enjoy your dinner then get out the board games. I’m not a massive fan of board games, I’m way too competitive, but I can see how a game of Nookii, or perhaps this game, could be fun (but remember to keep it well hidden when you’re not playing! *Mortification alert*).

11. Fantasy Room Service – (click the link for explanation and the free printables). I’m not completely sure I get what you have to do for each category so I suppose some thought will need to go into it, but the premise is your partner chooses something from the ‘menu’ and you have 24 hours to deliver. Having to wait certainly builds the tension, so that could be fun!

What do you think? Any of those sound like fun for you and your partner? Or do you have a better idea for a stay-at-home date night?! Do share in the comments below…

There’s also a shed-load more date ideas over on Six Sisters Stuff to get you thinking and loving (and canoodling)!

AllAboutYou - 11 date night ideas


14 Apr, 2014

Following on from the half a dozen Easter Activities Post, I’ve been working on my Family Tree Egg Hunt today! Lots of cutting and sticking but since it was sunny I sat outside to do it while Reuben played with the Easter Sensory Box (as inspired by No Time for Flash Cards)…

Toddler Easter Sensory box - Egg hunt

I know people say that toddlers love this kind of thing but I was dubious as to whether Reuben would. Well, he absolutely loved it! Played for ages really concentrating on filling the pots or the eggs, and using each of the garden tools. There was a moment that he tried to tip the whole thing up but I was close at hand to save the day. Also, to stop him putting anything in his mouth/retrieving the things he did put in his mouth. He didn’t do it often but definitely bare in mind that you want to keep an eye on little ones.

I did a bit of a rampage at Sainsbury’s and the whole thing cost just over £6.  It was really easy to do and this is what I used to make it:

  • Tub (that everything goes into) – £1
  • Plant pots – £1 for 10
  • Fillable eggs – £2 for 8
  • Pinto beans – £1.10
  • Farfalle (bow tie pasta!) Tricolour – £0.95

I also put in some dried green lentils but they were lost so don’t bother! I was meant to add some little insects and sequins but I forgot. Next time!

Toddler Easter Sensory box - Egg hunt

The Family Tree Egg Hunt

Anyway, on to the main affair… The Family Tree Egg Hunt! Reuben LOVES chocolate and cake and all sweet things so the option of having an egg hunt with real chocolate ain’t on the cards. I figured this would be a nice alternative!

My theory behind this is that I wasn’t sure if I could get Reuben excited about collecting just eggs, so with the added dimension of there being people he knows on the back might make it more interesting for him.

Turns out, all I needed to do was dot them about, give him a bucket and tell him to pick them up! He did also enjoy turning them over to see who was there, so I think we’re going to enjoy playing with these over the next few days (months!).

Toddler Easter Egg Hunt - Easter Activities

All you need is:

  • A bunch of old Birthday cards;
  • Some photos of your nearest and dearest;
  • Some scissors; and
  • Pritstick
Toddler Easter Egg Hunt - Easter Activities

1. Cut your bunch of cards in to egg shapes (don’t worry too much, some of mine are very dubious eggs! I did consider using cookie cutters but they were a bit small)

Toddler Easter Egg Hunt - Easter Activities

2. Stick them onto your photos – I held them up to the sun to make sure they were in the right place, then cut the paper to size.

Toddler Easter Egg Hunt - Easter Activities

3. “Hide” them – you could probably hide them in more imaginative places than I did but I was mainly just gauging his interest! I’ll try more challenging places tomorrow.

Toddler Easter Egg Hunt - Easter Activities

That’s it!

What do you think? Do you fancy giving the Family Tree Egg Hunt or the Easter Sensory Box a go?!


13 Dec, 2013

Yesterday I took Reuben, my baby, toddler, the little man, whatever you want to call a 16 month old…to the theatre. And, this wasn’t to go to a baby-friendly interactive show where he could crawl all over. Or some kind of panto with terrifying adult-sized children’s TV characters with a few song strung together and very little storyline. This was a fully fledged Northern Stage Production of the Tallest Tales from the Furthest Forest. And, we only had ONE tantrum because we wouldn’t let him get on the stage.

Now, I wasn’t going to write a post about this, I found this review of the Tallest Tales by Leanne at Tiny Magpie and thought I should just send you there because my short-term memory had already shut out half of what happened (…there was a bun?!  I remember now! There was a bun. A running bun and it was literally one of the funniest things I’d seen in years!) and Leanne’s description was really lovely. But the performance was so good and enchanting and magical, and Reuben was so enthralled, I felt I just had to blog it up. (more…)

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25 Nov, 2013

Since I wrote the What to Wear post a week ago, I’ve been emptying my wardrobe and drawers. That was the easy bit. Now I’ve given myself permission to, getting rid of all the things I don’t like was a piece of cake. Perhaps a little too easy as I now have virtually nothing to wear that fits my mummy lifestyle (which accounts for about 70% of my time). Now I need to know what my style is, to be able to resolutely say “That’s my style!” when I look at something, so I buy clothes that I do like! Sounds obvious but I thought I was doing that when I was buying all those other clothes I hated.

The main area in my life that requires attention in the wardrobe department is the day to day basics for work and play whilst being out and about. These are interchangeable clothes that are casual, comfortable but still look nice, make me feel good and they can be dressed up with heels for when I’m working.

But before I could think about hitting the shops, I needed to think about what I like. To say that’s my style from a day-to-day point of view. So, I’ve looked to pinterest for inspiration and started a board called “that’s my style” because in all honesty I’m not sure what it is. I started with people I thought might have a similar (if significantly smaller!) figure to me and ended up just pinning things I like the look of. These are the kinds of looks I particularly like…

Ha! Apparently I pinned 27 weeks ago…not quite what I’m in need of now!

That’s my style – Daytime casual

Sweater, Skinny jeans and ankle boots

Sweater, scarf, leather jacket, skinny jeans, ankle boots

That’s my style – Dressing up the Daytime casual

 Vest, leather jacket, skinny cropped jeans, dressed up with heels

That's my style - daytime casual work

Vest, jacket, skinny jeans and heels

That’s my style so far…The common clothes throughout are pretty obvious – skinny jeans and vests or sweater. So this is the basis of my style and wardrobe and what I need more of!

What I’m going to have to take some time over is getting a jacket I like, leather or not. A nice, cropped jacket can look lovely whatever the time of year but the good ones are EXPENSIVE! I tried a lush one on today at Ted Baker…£350. I’d also like some ankle boots.

Dear Santa…

What’s on your fashion wish/Christmas list?!


21 Nov, 2013

Is there anything better than a clean baby, fresh pyjamas, cosy cuddles and bedtime stories? I’ll tell you, not a lot!

So, you remember me saying in my post, if you could be anything…, that I wanted to be a blogger? Well, in my mum’s eyes, the fact that the publisher, Salariya, had been in touch to see if I would like to review two books and keep them, meant I had made it. When I told her, she was literally thrilled.

As was I, to be fair, because the books in question were Old Bear related. Do you remember Old Bear? – I loved the stories and used to have an Old Bear journal, which for the purpose of this blog, I wish I had kept! There’s something extra special about the diary of a 7 year old… Today I went to scool, it was gud but I am not frends wif sara enymor…

Bedtime stories with Old Bear and Friends

The bedtime stories we were sent were “Jolly Snow”, which is a Limited Collectors Edition of an Old Bear classic, no less, and “Ruby, Blue and Blanket” both written and illustrated by Jane Hissey. They arrived in the post all packaged up in extra special Ruby paper. Ruby is the mouse from Ruby, Blue and Blanket.

Gabby didn’t know what was in the package, so she was very excited to rip open the paper to find out what present was awaiting her! And we had a quick read before it really was bedtime!

Bedtime stories - Old Bear


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