Thursday, 24 December 2015

You are Not Alone This Christmas:

Christmas can be a hard time for a lot of people. Some people are all alone, some may be surrounded by loved ones but feel so very lonely. Some people are struggling with money problems which cause them great stress, anxiety and even depression. There really is a hundred reasons why someone may feel lonely, isolated, depressed or even suicidal which can feel more intense at this time of year.

I want to let you know, that no matter how low you feel you are not alone. There is always somewhere to turn, please don't isolate yourself, please don't give in to overwhelming thoughts and feelings. Below there is a list of numbers that I will be leaving up over the festive period. Please, please use these numbers and websites to contact someone if you feel you need to.

All m love this Christmas and always,

Hannah

(Cupcake Mumma x)

MIND

Website www.mind.org.uk

Tel No 0300 123 3393


Samaritans

Website www.samaritans.org

Tel No 116 123


Alcoholics Anonymous

Tel No 0800 9177650



Stonewall


Website www.stonewall.org.uk

Info line 08000 50 20 20




London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard
Tel No 0207 837 7324




SANELine
Website www.sane.org.uk

Tel No 0300 304 7000




Papyrus, Prevention of young suicide
Website www.papyrus-uk.org




National self-help body for the Transgender community 
Beaumont Society

Website http://www.beaumontsociety.org.uk

Information Line 01582 412220




Childline
Website www.childline.org.uk

0800 1111




Depression Alliance
Website www.depressionalliance.org



Refuge
Website www.refuge.org.uk

Tel No 0808 2000 247




Beat
Beating eating disorders.

Website https://www.b-eat.co.uk

Help line 0345 634 1414
Youth Line 0345 634 7650




Shelter
Website www.shelter.org.uk
Tel No 0808 800 4444




NHS Direct
1111




No Panic
Website http://www.nopanic.org.uk

Tel No 0844 967 4848
youth helpline 01753 840393


Cry-Sis (support to parents with excessive crying, demanding and sleepless babies)
Website http://www.cry-sis.org.uk/
08451 228 669


Monday, 21 December 2015

Hogwarts in the Snow & The Hogwarts Express

A few weeks ago I took Midge with me to make the long journey to London with my mum. We stayed at The Jury Inn in Watford, a good place to stay as it's near the studios and near the town for dinner and shopping if you're there earlier. We met up with my sister and her boyfriend and went for dinner, then after a nice warm bath each we settled down for the night.

We all woke early for breakfast which although at £10 seems pricey it's all you can eat and I knew we wouldn't be eating at all during the day because the tour is as long as you like (long!) and cafe prices there are unsurprisingly high. Fully fuelled we headed to the Warnerbros Studio Tour. You can check in bags and coats, have something to eat and drink, use the loos, order Starbucks coffee and also dive straight into the shop (warning! this is definitely not budget friendly! Cheapest item is a postcard at 95p..I'm not sure I want to know the highest!) we did look around the shop however but didn't purchase anything at this point. We did marvel at the beautifully huge Christmas tree in the center of the waiting area and I measured my hands up to the 3 main stars prints, the one pictured is Daniel Radcliff's hand print.





We started queueing for our 12.30 tour, got our tickets checked and Midge got a passport to fill in, a great activity for the children (big and small!) the queue looks massive (because it is) but you get filed into a fairly large space so the line goes down very quick indeed. Make sure you don't miss the cupboard under the stairs and the 'flying' car!


I won't detail the next part, I know many have but it was the most magical part for me and I'd hate to tell you what happens before you enter the Great Hall. From this point on though it's spoilers all the way...

Midge with Aunty Issy

Beautiful wreath

Once inside the hall we were greeted with a huge feast which would've been in the films. The hall was decorated with trees, wreaths and looked amazing. The next section is full of props from the make up and dressing department, the portraits, Hogwarts gates, the Gryffindor common room, manikins dressed up in the actual clothes used in the films, dark arts props and so much more.

A huge spread

Chocolate table from the Yule Ball

The Philospher's Stone

Prison number from Azkaban

Fleur's hat and shoes 

Lord Voldemort and Harry's clothes at the start of the film on left// On right, the clothes by the end of filming

Gryffindor common room all festive
The newest installment is The Hogwarts Express. You can explore the carriages from the films (keep your eyes peeled on the carriage windows!) there is a shop specifically for the express with keyrings, mugs, jumpers and much more available here. There are luggage bags and of course, you can get a photo of yourself on platform 9 and 3/4:


Luna's trolly

Harry and Ron's first meeting

Me!
From there we saw more new props and then went on to outside. The Night Bus, Private Drive and Potters Cottage are all out here. There is also the bridge to Hogwarts and the famous East Anglia for you to snap a photo of or you can climb in for a selfie! Next you can see the special effects/mechanical props and more. There's plenty of amazing masks, animals and creatures to look at here. If you didn't appreciate the work that went into the amazing films before you certainly will over the last few sections.



Buckbeak is an amazing piece of art

The miniature dragons from the Goblet of Fire
Going into Diagon Ally is great fun! Look out for Gringots, Weaslys Joke Shop, Quiditch Supplies and more! As it was Hogwarts in the snow we got to see how they made the footprints on the snow (and earlier the different types of fake snow) that appear when Harry uses his cloak. Next stop is where you can view more truly amazing work. All the drawings and artwork and plans from the filming.






Once through the art and design you'll see many built up designs of the most well known houses such as Luna Lovegood's house, the Durmstrang ship and the Beauxbattons carriage plus much more. Brace yourself for around the corner though, the best bit is yet to come. No photo of Hogwarts castle could take away from the experience you will have at the Harry Potter studios; it's a piece of art in my opinion and can really only be seen in the flesh, so to speak. Below you can see the photos I took but believe me, they don't do it justice!



One you have dragged yourself away you can look for the names of all the cast, crew and actors/actresses on the thousands of wand boxes before heading into the shop where I bought a bunch of postcards and a chocolate wand for Little A. Midge had £10 pocket money which got her a chocolate frog and a couple of postcards.

It was such an amazing trip and I can't recommend it enough. Ticket entry is reasonably priced, the real cost is getting to and staying in London but Late Rooms was my handy tool for the latter! Now I've done the tour twice I feel happy, I don't need to go again (but if a friend needs accompanying I'm not going say no ha!)


Cupcake Mumma

Friday, 18 December 2015

Tsum Tsum Squishies Review!


I'm pretty sure everyone has now heard of Tsum Tsums. I first came across them as little plush collectable toys in a store, I had no idea how big they were until I saw my sister in laws huge collection. Now, I have a few collections on the go so plush toys, no matter how small, were not going to be something for me. However, I've been sent some Tsum Tsum Squishies for this review which are the perfect size for my collecting addiction! 

I really love these Tsum Tsums, they are perfect stocking fillers or even perfect pocket money gifts. A 2 pack will cost you £3 and a 4 pack £5, you can also buy a 5 pack set for 10 which includes a bag clip carrier so you can attatch your favourite Tsum Tsum and carry them around with you.

What we love about the new Tsum Tsum collection is stacking them up and having fun. Tsum Tsum comes from the Japanese word tsumu which means 'to stack'. It's good fun stacking your Tsum Tsum Squishies in different ways or seeing how high they can go before toppling over. If you have the same squishie you can even do swaps with your friends so everyone's happy!

I like that while these may be called 'squashy' they are not too soft, so whilst they are indeed soft and yes, squishey, they are still hard enough for their purpose (to stack) and because they are not too soft they will not damage and rip easily.


Fun Facts About Tsum Tsum!
  • Did you know that you would need 5,852 Tsum Tsums to reach the top of Blackpool Tower?
  • It would take a whopping 217,452,301 Tsum Tsums to fill up Big Ben.
  • If you wanted to create a line of Squishies reaching horizontally around the earth, you would need an incredible 1,113,194,444 of them!

Tsum Tsum Squishies are exclusive to The Entertainer stores and can be purchased right now! All your favourite characters from Aristocats, Toy Story and Micky Mouse to the recent films including Frozen are waiting in store now!

Are you a Tsum Tsum collector or planning on buying any soon? Let me know!

A Cornish Mum

Monday, 14 December 2015

Bargains and Freebies Week 1

I'm really getting back into charity shop hunting and signing up for free stuff, it's been years since I collected free stuff online and it's great fun. I'm also starting to do comping as a bit of fun and hope to win something next year at least once! You never know after all. I've had 1 freebie this week but it's because I've just started collecting them again which means with any luck in a few weeks time I'll have some more land on my doorstep! This weeks freebie was a new design Pull Up pant plus a £1 off coupon!


So this week I'm showing off some great finds that I've got for an absolute bargain. First is this phone case for Mr B's Christmas gift. I thought it was very him and although you can get these cases in Poundland they are much softer, I picked this up from eBay for £4.99 it'll be perfect for Mr B, it's a harder case and has 2 little card inserts which he's wanted for ages.

I picked up a onesie for Midges Christmas Eve box. Since One D took a break I've noticed a huge increase not only in the obvious merchandise that has the original 5 on but the other bits and pieces that don't. This onesie was only 50p and all it will need is a wash to freshen it up. I love charity shops and so do my children, no shame here!

I recently visited Hogwarts in the snow and wanted to pick up a booklet which contains all the information on all the sets and props. These are priced at £9.99 so I decided against it. When I got home I went onto eBay and grabbed myself one in mint condition for only £1.50. Score!

Below is a selection of goodies I picked up cheap too. Poundland have some wonderful story books for children, I picked up Thomas for Little A and a Pooh Bear one for Midge, these are for their Christmas boxes. A woody doll which still works but is missing his cord (which doesn't bother me at all!) was all of 99p; happy Hannah! I've always wanted to buy one but at £30 plus I could never afford one. I got some Tsum Tsum Squashies this week too which are for a review coming soon. I don't consider these freebies though because it takes time and effort to write good reviews for companies!


I'd love to hear about your bargain hunting, charity shop finds and any freebies you've found lately!

Cupcake Mumma

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Bedroom Make Over Plans 2016

Earlier in the year I surprised Midge with a bedroom make over. We got rid of a little damp, she got new curtains and fresh paint plus some lovely bits and bobs from a local home decor shop; she loved it. Next year I need to focus on Little A's room and our room.


Little A has kindly drawn over a few walls, so a fresh lick of paint is desperately needed. He'll be getting funky curtains and some posters for his walls, probably Marvel or whatever he's into next year! I really want to do our room too. It doesn't need much, okay it needs more than I think..

Our current set up is a blanket for a blind! It's pretty chilly in here!

A new bed, because ours is broken! (You can't tell because Mr B is such a good bodge jobber but this bed is on its last legs, I'm terrified it'll crush the Christmas presents!) At least this will be cheap because we have a new mattress. I want to add some more photos to the room, I do like a bright room, it's a bit girly bit Mr B is fine with that. Because it's an attic room it's really cold so I'm hoping to look into VELUX Blinds which will help to keep us warmer, I'll see if I can get pink but that might be too far...I suppose black would be better but it's worth a try! New bedding will be needed too, we've had the same duvet sets for years!

I'm going to be on a mission next year with our house, I know it's rented but we should be able to stay here quite some time. We've made the lounge look lovely and downstairs only needs a few canvas pictures to complete it. Upstairs is where it's at and I'm itching to get going, Christmas and a few birthdays first though!

Do any of you have any plans for the home in 2016? Whether it's renovations or a touch of paint, I want to know!


Cupcake Mumma

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

My Week That Was Week 39

Last week was a slow sort of week. One moment I was bored stiff the next the time flew, then it seemed to stand still again. I have no idea what that's about, just me? Probably. I enjoyed some healthier meals, some comforting meals and some damn right junk food snacks (mainly chocolate) whilst moaning about my ever expanding waistline (but I did lose 2lb, must have been the extra walking efforts. I've been taking longer to get home as more active exercises are making my heart palpitations worse but I've found new ways to go, or walked slower to window shop or take more hills for my legs (and butt) I'm at a very low level sit up wise but it'll improve!

Trying to do some sit ups with the dog sat next to me//  Toad in the hole//  New stationery//  English breakfast

Spending time with my boy// Hot chocolate// Starting to decorate// Stocking for the pooch// Writing up recipes// Decorating the dog!

I moved some furniture around in the house on Wednesday which has opened up the landing and although my rooms a little crowded, when it comes to putting out the charity bags and all the presents are either sent or under the tree I will get some space back!

On Thursday Mum gave me a lift to the new fire station to meet the school reception class for their trip. We learnt about staying safe, saw all their equipment (not that equipment!) all the children got to sit in a fire truck and then use the hose outside! They had a wonderful time and I really enjoyed helping out. I can't wait to sort my provisional and help in the school next year.

Tomato soup// School trip// Bargain Harry Potter book// Happy photo// With my girl

I wrapped some gifts this week, they need to be posted as they are for good friends and a blogger Christmas gift swap. I'm not super organised don't worry. Hubby took photos of me wrapping, I gave him a big smile to shut him up and it's my favourite photo of myself for a long time!

I was pleased with my bargains this week. T shirts, some Christmas gifts and letter writing sets were just some of my bargains. I've snuggled with my boy and enjoyed new novels with my girl.

At the weekend I took about 2 hours to make a Battenburg cake for Dad as its one of his favourites.
I called him early on Friday to say happy birthday but we couldn't visit until Sunday. We went to my Grans house and had a lovely roast with cake for pudding. My Gran has a new dog who fits right in to the family, she's bonkers and we love her already so much. Sadly Little A came down poorly so I've started the week with a very run down, tired and upset little boy.

Battenburg// At dinner with my Midge// Grans new dog Milly// Pops!// Delicious roast potatoes

I hope you all had a great week and be sure to check back in to see how my week 40 has gone!

Cupcake Mumma
Mummascribbles

Monday, 30 November 2015

All Signed off From The S.E.N. Department


Another milestone has come about for our Little A, not only has he started reception far better than we thought but he has been doing so well he no longer needs the input of the special educational needs department. This week he has most probably his last paediatric appointment and I'm waiting to hear about his most recent speech therapy results to see if he still needs that in school or not.

Getting the letter from the council made me smile. It's been quite a journey with Little A. We've gone from a very upset little boy who couldn't communicate and threw himself around, became completely hysterical with multiple sensory issues and would bang his head throughout the night causing us all much stress and many sleepless nights.

Now A has a pretty good vocabulary and will repeat most words put to him and only struggles with words that a lot of children his age often do. He can count over 10, is tackling phonics well at school and role plays amazingly well. It was said he probably has a sensory processing disorder, you can't get a diagnosis of this on its own so much, it's more common with other behavioural difficulties which A doesn't have. We used a lot of online tools, books and help from friends who have children who do have other diagnosis's which SPD is also a part of. Over time we have managed to figure out what really upsets A, that he's not just fussy, that we all have sensory preferences but when you lack the ability to communicate it looks nothing more than tantrums and stubbornness, how wrong we were!

We are very aware now that our boy is a sensory seeker, that he won't wear short sleeves, that he hates tooth brushing but now he's older knows it's essential. He has come through a phase where loud noises upset him greatly for a while, I think it's come with growing up and seeing fun in things like discos with friends and seeing fireworks. He hates his hair cut but now tolerates it being brushed and I still can't get him into jeans because they're too stiff.

When we were meeting nursery staff and signed on to the special needs list at school we went through speech therapy, paediatricians, occupational therapists, SPD groups, there's been a lot! At the start they felt he was at least nearly 2 years behind in his speech, emotional and social development. Well now he still forms close bonds to pupils who don't quite feel the same (cue heart break!) but we have conversations, he's learning at school, he's making friends, he's sharing, he's not so obsessed with one thing all the time. He's being imaginative, role playing, he's happier and even his sleep has improved which was sadly the only area we never got any help with.


I'm very proud of my little boy who has come so very far in just a year or so. He has been lucky (I shouldn't need that word but I've a friend going through a horrendous time trying to get help with her child so I do feel lucky) he has had wonderful support. Our bond is stronger than ever, I think I probably overindulge him a little now because we've shared the bulk of this hard time together, sometimes both tangled up as one crying together through sheer frustration and tiredness.

So yes, slowly but surly a space has become free for another child who needs the help and support more than my Little A. I hope they find their journey has a positive outcome too.

Cupcake Mumma




Thursday, 26 November 2015

My Week That Was ~ Week 38

Week 39 went from the daily chores to a trip to London with family to see Hogwarts in the Snow, I won't get another week like this for a long time! On Monday it was a long day of nothing much, then in the afternoon I collected the children and we went to a local restaurant to celebrate my sister in laws birthday. I had a really nice gammon, egg and chips which is one of my favourite meals. We went home late but full of food. The children enjoyed spending time together but it was good to settle in my bed at the end of the night!

Mr B and his niece T// Midge// Yummy dinner// Mummy and son moment

We had a lot of rain and wind for the school run this week and I'm very aware that it's just the beginning. Little A managed to give me a smile before setting off on Tuesday which always lifts my spirits in this damp weather. I put my name down for several upcoming school trips (one to see Santa and the local cinema/theatre and today's trip to the fire station.)

Big smiles// Happy mask making// Charity shop success

I made a start on the camel costume for Little A. They've made him a camel for the nativity play and given him a line, which should be interesting! On Thursday I dropped the children off then went and popped into town to look in the charity shops. I ended up with a nice big bag of bits, always good!

At the weekend we made our way up to London to see the studio tour. I took Midge with me last year to see the studios at Halloween and on this occasion we saw it all decorated for Christmas which was totally breath taking. We liked the new Hogwarts Express installation and it really is fantastic, I think it completes the tour. I thought it was good to see new props and I saw a few things I had missed when I came the first time. I took so many photos, as expected and even Midge had an old phone of mine so she could take photos from her perspective.

Car journey smiles (not for long!)// Overhead planes!// Beautiful lights in Watford// Huge meringues and lovely pasta dish in Capriccios

Not keen on the plants life!// Puking Pastels!// In front of Hogwarts// Off on the Express!

We stayed in a hotel in Watford, which was really nice and we met my sister and her boyfriend (who we haven't seen in months) at the hotel. We all went for dinner at Capriccios, I had a lovely gluten free pasta dish and huge meringues. It was nice to all meet up again even if it wasn't for very long, Christmas is around the corner. We headed back to my Mums late on Saturday and stayed over before heading back on Sunday to see the boys.

We had a great time and overall I had a good week. Hope you all did too.

Cupcake Mumma

Thursday, 19 November 2015

My Week That Was ~ Weeks 36 & 37

I'm finding with both children in school I take less photos as I'm doing less. More of my day is about doing the housework and reading my books these days than anything else. I have decided to stop feeling bad at my stay at home role and try to enjoy my time before getting into the world of work which with anxiety, quite frankly terrifies me. Anyway, that's my explanation for lack of photos on these posts these days. Perhaps I should get a hobby!

Week 36
This week was a good week. I had some quality time with my parents, they took me shopping for a new coat as a belated birthday gift. We enjoyed mooching around and getting a costa whilst having a browse in the book store at the same time. I found lots of books I could've purchased but have decided to put them on my Christmas list. I bought a new hat whilst I was out shopping, nice and glittery and Christmassy!

Dog having cuddles// New hat!// Harry Potter tickets arrived// New Tsum Tusm for my sister in law

It was so cold this week, the weather is plummeting fast down here! I had to wrap up really warm this week. I had some nice happy mail from penpals and I bought a Tsum Tsum which I gave to my sister in law at the weekend as she is a big collector. The weekend was lovely actually, we had a big roast with Mr B's sisters and the little ones, I was left quite a washing up pile which was okay because I didn't cook!

Wrapping up warm// Wellies on!// Enjoying sparklers// New book

Purple buscuits// Homemade tomato soup//Nice dinner, not so nice washing up pile!// Relaxing at Mums

Week 37
Last week I had more doctor appointments. This time I had my ECG which was all clear. I had my doctors appointment later in the week where I was told all tests were clear but I will go for one more to rule out anything for good. We reviewed some great books from The Book People last week, both posts are live here and here. Little A loves his poetry books and Midge is really enjoying the world of Enid Blyton.

Cheeky Costa with the children// Lovely bed ready to climb into// Enid Blyton// Poems for Little A

I baked more biscuits at my Mums on Saturday. I made the hearts and coloured them yellow. I needed something to make me feel brighter after the horrific events in Paris the night before. I also had my hair cut shorter which feels so much better. It was nice to see both my parents at their house and spend the afternoon with them. We headed home and went to the soft play center to celebrate my sister in laws 30th birthday. That was a lot of fun. Children and adults having the run of the place without any other people there, it was good fun!

More biscuits// Sister in laws cake// Little T at the party// Mr B and I in the ball pool!

Hopefully I will be a bit more on the ball with my catch up posts but it's getting pretty at school with plays, trips and all the other things that are speeding towards us at this time of year! Hope everyone has had a good week, do let me know in the comments below what you've all been up to!
Cupcake Mumma