How’s Your Quarantine Life?

COVID-19 has thrown all of us into a new way of life. With that, I want to know what you have done with this ‘new life’? Have you completed Netflix? Did you learn a new language? Did you boastfully show off your basic banana bread on Facebook? Did you play salon and cut/dye your own hair? Did you throat-punch your way to the last toilet roll in Tesco? No? Just me? Okay! Whatever you did, I want to hear about it, see pictures and/or police reports about it. You can share in the comments below or on any of my social medias.

“But Charlotte, did you really throat-punch someone in Tesco?” Of course not. I’ve avoided shops like the plague and instead sent out the human I love the most (Steven) to go for me. That’s true love. It’s the same type of love that means I feel safer in bed with him laying next to me because I can use him as a human shield. Sounds selfish but it’s actually proof of how much I love him. Anyway, what have I been up to during quarantine? Well, owning a human that is 100% dependant on me takes up a lot of my time (and no, I don’t just mean Steven). Since he has been home, he’s helped me out a lot, allowing me to have some time to do other things like…

Cooking

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I cannot tell you how much more enjoyable cooking is when you aren’t tied to a schedule or have a kid hanging off of your leg. Before Lock Down, I was racing around from 5 pm prepping and cooking dinner to be on the table for 6 pm (when Steven gets home from work) while simultaneously entertaining a toddler, making sure she’s safe (not climbing on the dog) and listening out for the dog destroying something. That sound is absolute silence, by the way, so that means every 5 minutes I run into the living room expecting some sort of baby toy, bib or cushion in his gob that I would then have to prise out from between his teeth. Now? Now, I offload the gremlins, I mean, adorable daughter and pooch, to Steven and can just concentrate on the cooking and enjoy it. Sometimes, I even put some music on and pour myself a glass of wine. I know, quarantine has turned me into a party animal. I just find cooking so therapeutic and I always feel like I’ve done my family a service after making them a meal. I’ve put a bit of love into that meal for them and if they eat it and don’t contract horrendous food poisoning, then that’s a pat on the back for me!

Cleaning

One thing I am thankful for in Lock Down is the fact my laundry hamper has returned to a normal level. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not empty. It’s never empty, but seeing it at an acceptable level (i.e. not spilling out onto the floor) has made me feel a little more relaxed. Normally, I can see the wash pile in the corner of the room while I lay in bed, anxious. It’s like an unwelcome spirit at the end of my bed, haunting me, reminding me. You didn’t do the laundry today. You said you were going to do it yesterday and you never did. Feel like a failure? You should! And as it gets larger and larger, I worry it gets closer and closer until one night it might be standing over me, glaring, breathing on my face. Until one night, a pair of dirty Christmas socks wrap around my neck and suffocate me in my sleep. Now THAT’S a horror story for you. But, thanks to Lock Down (and the amazing weather), I have managed to sleep at night, looking into the corner of the room and seeing, well, just a laundry basket. Ah, peace at last.
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Disney and Day Drinking

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Haven’t we all?

A beer with lunch, a bottle of wine with dinner (on a Tuesday?!), Jack Daniels for breakfast? Why not?! There are no rules in Lock Down. I will stress for ‘those people‘ amongst you, that I do not drink alcohol for breakfast. My headaches in the morning are a result of caffeine withdrawals due to my coffee addiction, not a hangover. Having said that, my coffee intake has gone up since Lock Down.

Upon the news that Steven would be home for a month, we invested in Disney+. Oh boy (as Mickey would say), is it worth it! I am a huge Disney fan anyway, but it also has all of my childhood TV shows on it. So you can bet your ‘sweet nibblets’ (if you get it, you get it) that I’m going to binge those cheesey 00’s Disney Channel shows! Not to mention, it allowed me to do a little bit of Homeschooling myself. Giving Olivia an education in Disney Classics. Everything from the princesses to the more recent Pixar movies. Is she too young? Never! Does she understand it or even watch it properly? No! But I do!

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Anyway, I’m sure there are much cooler things other people are doing with their time than I am. Please share them with me so I can live a cool life through you? Maybe you have some amazing tinder stories? Did you text your ex out of boredom? Did you stalk that girl from high school that called you fat and bullied you and you found out she’s working for her Mum as an estate agent single and alone? No? Me neither…
Maybe you did something less dramatic, like take up gardening? Maybe you became an online quiz master? Meditate? Take up Yoga? Ate everything in sight? Painted that wall you kept meaning to? Literally anything. Tell me in the comments!

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How To Go Out But Stay In

Lock Down has cancelled a lot of our plans for 2020 but does that mean we still can’t do them? Well, sure you can’t go on your all inclusive holiday to Lanzarote but don’t let Lock Down tie you to your sofa!

I have thought of 4 ways you can go out without actually going out!

1. Coffee With Friends

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I love nothing more than catching up with friends over a coffee. It instantly lifts my spirits and sets my mood for the day. Before Lock Down, I would meet with one of my mummy friends every week for a walk and a coffee and have a good ol’ chit chat. We had organised a girl’s night out for a huge group of us but that got cancelled (thanks Corona) so we, instead, had a zoom chat. It was like meeting up in a cafe with the girls. We all sat at our laptops with cups of tea and coffee and giggled together. It made me so thankful for modern technology allowing us to actually see each other and talk in a big group. I left that zoom chat feeling my usual uplifted and refreshed self after seeing the girls.

2. Date Night

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I don’t know about other Mums, but I love having a date night every now and again. A little break from the little one, a chance to reconnect with my partner and, more importantly, eat something I didn’t have to cook or worry about the washing up! Well, that’s just another thing Corona has mucked up for me! So, instead, we put the baby to bed early and tried to have a date night at home!


We ordered a take away (so that took care of the cooking problem) but I didn’t want it to feel like another night on the sofa. So, we got dressed up like we would on a normal date night. I put make up on and Steven even put on after shave! I lit candles, switched on the fairy lights, laid out a blanket on the floor and dished out the take away into fancy dishes (like we were in a real restaurant) to set the scene. I even put the wine on a fancy tray. Simple, yet effective. We then sat down, watched TV and had our fancy Chinese take away picnic!

3. Boozey Lunch

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If Lock Down isn’t an excuse to day drink, then I don’t know what is! Steve and I love going to the pub at lunch time when the weather is gorgeous. Sitting outside in the sun with a cold beer and nibbles, bliss. So, when Olivia was down for her nap, I laid out some nibbles (all fancy like, so it felt like we weren’t at home) and opened up a couple of cold ones. We turned on some music and sat under our pear tree and I swear, it felt like we were on holiday!

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Even Cody wanted to join us.
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4. Trip To The Cinema


Wanted to go to the cinema with the kids? Now you’re stuck at home and the weather is horrible? 3 words: At, home, cinema. And, no I don’t mean stick a film on and sit on your sofa. What do kids love to do? Build a sofa fort! Grab bed sheets, sofa cushions, chairs, anything you can find and make a fort with your kids. Add blankets, pillows, fairy lights and snacks! Movie snacks are essential. Turn off the lights, turn on the fairy lights, sit on the floor in the fort and watch a movie with your kids. Doesn’t sound like much but you’ll be surprised how much they love it. My little girl is only 18 months and she absolutely loved it!

You could go a step further and set up a projector (you can even buy projectors for your phone). This would be so fun to do outside, too. Like a sundown cinema experience!


So, what have you done to make this Lock Down experience more bearable? Share your experiences in the comments below!

 

Life of a Beagle Bum Mum

It was brought to my attention recently that this April is National Pet Month. I couldn’t let this pass by without introducing you to my pet, or what I sometimes like to call him, my other toddler in a fur suit, Cody!

Cody is a Beagle. Now, anyone who has ever owned a Beagle is now laughing at me and/or thinking “you poor sod”. You’d think I’d know better, growing up with two Beagles from a young age, but no. I thought, the first dog I owned should be a breed I’m familiar with and, I mean, how much harm could this little ball of fur really do?

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Turns out, the answer to that is, a fair amount! I’d forgotten about my childhood dogs destroying felt tips (resulting in multi-coloured poos) or one particular Beagle eating batteries, chainsaw oil, a whole Christmas loaf (tin foil included) and a whole hedgehog of cheese and pineapple (yes, with the cocktail sticks). Not to mention that same beagle getting hit by a bus and electrocuted AND SURVIVED! He had issues. One scenario after another, vet visit after vet visit, he was still healthy. He passed away at the age of 12, which is pretty good going! His sister, who was sensible and, well, normal, passed away less than a year later. I think that’s what made me forget all the drama we went through. Now they’re just funny stories and happy memories.

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I knew I wanted that again. Sorry? When was the first time I regretted that? Um, probably, yep, 2 weeks after we got him. I came home from work and from about 5 weeks old, Cody had been crate trained (he was about 14 weeks old at this point). So we attached a run to his crate for when we were out so that he still had somewhere to play and do number 1s and 2s. Well, didn’t he take advantage of that? He had pushed the side of the run towards the curtains, pulled the curtains down into his run, gathered all of his toys and bedding on top and did a massive shit over the lot. So I came home to my darling puppy covered in his own shit, my curtains covered in shit, all of his toys and bedding covered in shit and my carpet ruined.
Despite this, he was still so happy to see me as I came through the door. He had an air of “Look at me Mum. Look what I achieved today!” as he wagged his tail vigorously. That, ladies and gentleman, was the first time my Beagle had me speechless and having to sit down for a little weep. First time of many.

That was just the beginning of our journey. Since then he has: destroyed books, ran after Muntjac deer, gotten beaten up by a cat and slurped up a whole packet of bacon like it was spaghetti. However, we have also spent many an evening on the sofa snuggling under a blanket together, he’s cuddled my pregnant belly, he’s been so calm and patient with Olivia and now (secretly) loves her, he dances in the kitchen with me, he’s my drive thru food buddy, he’s my hot water dog when I’m sick and he even helped us announce our pregnancy to the world! Now he’ll be Olivia’s memories of trouble and laughter and comfort.

That’s the funny things about pets though. No matter how much they put you through, how much they push your buttons, how many times they strike panic in your heart, they’re worth it. They bring back memories that you can laugh at or memories like when you were sick and they slept with you on the sofa and it instantly warms your heart. I look back at my childhood dogs and think “Life wouldn’t have been half as colourful as it was without them.” and I hope I can create that for Olivia, too.

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At the end of the day, from the moment we saw him (and couldn’t sign the forms quick enough) to now (which is him snoozing on the sofa) he has been one of the best adventures in our lives and there’s still so much more trouble for him to do!IMG_7591

Please share your stories of your beloved pets in the comments below. I really do love reading them! Oh, and Happy National Pet Month!

After reading this post, the lovely people at Marcy Dog would like to offer you a discount code on their beautiful dog (and human) products!

Head to https://www.macrydog.com/ and use the discount code: MACRY20 for 20% off your purchase!


Movies Made For Comfort

During this time, I want to help keep people’s spirits up as much as possible. Since we’re all stuck inside with more time on our hands, it’s easy to get wrapped up in this COVID-19 chaos, doom and gloom. We could all use a little mental escape and what better way than curling up on the sofa with a hot cuppa and a good movie. The type of movie that doesn’t require thought. The type of movie that transports you to a simpler time. Something that makes you smile, laugh a little and brings a little bit of light in the darkness.

I was born in the late 90s so most films I find comforting are from the 00s. They just take me back to a simpler time of watching movies on the sofa during rainy days or cinema trips with my Mum. Back when my world was a little smaller. So here are my top 10 comforting films.

1. Legally Blonde

I know, I know, super girly but this film was a constant favourite of mine as a child. Not only is the soundtrack upbeat and fun but the message is empowering. You can do anything you work hard at, despite what people say or think about you. If you keep going through all the struggles and backlash of other people, it will pay off even if no one is on your side. It’s also a good reminder to help people along your way. Elle Woods has lapses in confidence and sense of direction in her life but ,throughout it all, she is kind. She is nice to people who are continually cruel and helps anyone. I think we could all use this reminder right now.

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2. Cheaper By The Dozen

This is another one of my ‘regularly viewed’ from my childhood. I know Steve Martin can be a crowd divider but I just can’t help but love this movie. This also has an awesome soundtrack (can you tell I’m a sucker for musical montages?) and is upbeat and easy to watch. A family of 12 kids and their parents go on holiday together. What could go wrong? It’s filled with typical PG physical comedy (and some adorable kids) it will definitely give your mind a break.

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3. Bridesmaids

A CLASSIC! This film holds so many memories for me. I remember watching it in the cinema with Mum for the first time. We shared many a cinema date just us two and they were so special to me. We’d go while other kids were at school so the cinema was practically empty. It was those times it felt like we were the only people in the whole world. On our drives home we would reminisce about our favourite moments and laugh together all over again. 
I also remember watching this film after my first (and last) night out clubbing. My friends and I collapsed on my sofa and put this movie on. We kicked off our heels, got under blankets and giggled together. I’d take that over clubbing any day!

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4. Practical Magic

Another one of mine and my Mum’s favourites. I can’t remember the first time I watched this but I remember being about 7 or 8 and trying to get my spoon to stir in my cup or trying to get flower petals to fly in the wind. Maybe it was this movie that made me so wary of men? It definitely made me suspicious of a beetle’s squeak. It has everything I love wrapped up in one movie: witches, love stories, revenge, sisterhood and family. This is not just a Halloween movie. 

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5. Hocus Pocus

Staying on the witch theme. This movie is one I normally save for Halloween season but desperate times call for desperate measures. It is an absolute classic and I think I know this movie word for word. It’s one for the whole family and really puts me in a cosy mood. And, yes you guessed it, it has a musical number that I recreated in my bedroom when I was 8. As a kid, I wanted to be Sarah. The funny one, the one who wore purple and the one who all the boys liked, lol! Not sure that happened for me. Sorry 8 year old me!

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6. Christmas With The Coopers

From one holiday to the next. Yes! A Christmas film. Even though it’s spring, I see no harm in recreating the ambience of Christmas. Christmas just seems to be a happier time for me, a cosy time and I can’t help but feel safe in a way. I know that’s not the case for some but it’s a time I really treasure. This film in particular is humbling and beautiful. Not to mention it has an incredibly cute dog. It’s just one happy reminder to love your family, even if they drive you mental or aren’t perfect themselves. So if you’re in quarantine with your family and need a little convincing to love them, this is the movie for you.
P.S in other countries this movie is called ‘Love the Coopers’

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7. The Mask

My friends and I used to watch this round my house all the time. Jim Carrey is a true talent. This was the first movie I saw that combined live filming with animation. I think  this was my first Jim Carrey movie too and it sparked my love for his work. Like all good movies, it has an excellent dog in it too! Oh, and a musical dance number or two!

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8. Bad Moms

This is a perfect time for every Mother in isolation with their kids to watch this. This movie always reminds me that it is okay to not be the perfect parent. The most important things you can give to your kids are love and happy memories. Spend time with them, listen to them, teach them things they will need in life like how to apologise or take care of their mental health. Show them how to unwind, be a good person and just be kids. This movie also highlights the different types of Mothers out there and that it’s okay if you don’t iron your kids underwear like Becky down the road or have 15 million colour coded worksheets. If you’re a good person, you’re a good Mum.

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9. Wine Country

This is more of a recent discovery of mine. It’s about a group of friends going on a weekend break together for one of them is turning 50. They go on a girls trip and tour vineyards but it gets a little messy. They show getting older as something to look forward to and true friendship as something to treasure. I can only hope that my life looks a little like this when I turn 50.

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So there we go, they are the top 9 films I find comforting. I hope they give you some comfort too. Now, please remember this is personal opinion. You may not agree but please feel free to share some of your favourite and comforting movies!

Stay safe. Be kind.

 

 

Keyboard Warrior or Keyboard Worrier?

This week was the first time I rage quit Facebook. I actually got so angry at people on Facebook that I closed the whole app and wanted to completely abandon it. Now, people on Facebook can be annoying and small-minded and, yes, I’ve rolled my eyes and left the app but never felt rage from it. It takes a lot for me to get angry at people. I either can see it from their point of view or dismiss them for being stupid not letting it bother me but this week was completely different.

I saw people getting angry with strangers for taking their toddlers out for walks, for trying to enjoy the sunshine while staying safe and trying to do small things to keep their heads in this chaotic time. Accusing each other of being ‘stupid’, ‘selfish’ and ‘killing 100s of people’ just by stepping out their front door.

Yes, I agree with the government that we should only be going out for essential reasons. Exercise and mental health are essentials. Just being outside for 30 minutes a day has been proven to massively improve mental health. As long as you’re smart about it, it’s okay. Wash your hands, distance yourself from others and try not to touch things if you can help it and stay home completely if you have symptoms or in a high risk category.

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Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

God bless NHS workers but, how are we helping them if we tell people information that isn’t correct or we don’t know? I’ve seen people spreading information like “Corona Virus is airborne” and “breathing in air from your hair dryer protects you” which is all wrong! I’ve seen people defend these claims like their life depends on it.

During these times, people’s businesses, families and lives are being torn apart. People are struggling financially, losing family or isolating from family, some people are stuck inside alone. However this virus is affecting people, one thing that will definitely affect all of us is our mental health. As someone who has suffered with anxiety and depression for 7 years, I am fortunate in that I can detect signs of my mental health getting worse and I have learnt methods to cope with this but some people can’t.

Now, we’re being told that we should only contact our GP if absolutely necessary. Due to the stigma of mental health people will think “I’m not ill-ill. I don’t have symptoms of Corona Virus or anything serious. The doctors are probably too busy”. If you feel this way, please, please, PLEASE, reach out anyway. You won’t be the only one. You’re mental health is just as important as your physical health.

With all this in mind, I urge you to consider what you’re putting online. Are you being a keyboard warrior or a keyboard worrier? During this time we should really be pulling together and lifting each other up. This is one of the most devastating events of this generation and it is affecting everyone. I’m also urging you to only listen to advice from health professionals and rely on the NHS website, WHO (World Health Organisation) website and Government website for the latest information. NOT Social Media.

Use it for good. Post things you think will lift people’s mood or things that you think might be helpful to people during this time. Passive aggressive statuses saying things like “People are such morons!!! *angry face*” aren’t helping anyone. I understand people use social media as an outlet to complain and vent but I cannot tell you the amount of people I have muted because of content like that. I don’t need to be exposed to negativity like that. I may love them, I may consider them a dear friend of mine but my mental health comes first. I know seeing that post is going to make me feel down and then seeing another one and then seeing people complain about bulk buying and calling each other idiots and I’m going to feel worse and worse and worse.
This is the last thing we all need.

So #BeKind and (to quote High School Musical) we’re all in this together.
This is a rubbish situation so don’t make it worse, make it brighter!

Lock Down Daily Routine For Toddlers

Here in the UK, we have been told that, as of this week, we are on lock down. This means we are to stay in our homes as much as possible and only leave for essential reasons. The introvert in me wants to celebrate but the mother in me dreads this time. How do people cope with their kids at home all day, every day. I can’t be the only one that is filled with the anxiety of the thought. Maybe this is the time we’ll be sympathetic to people who commit family massacres. Well, have no fear! I’m here too share our daily routine to make things a little more bearable during these hard times.

I always find routines (especially with children) make the day go faster, more fun and far more peaceful. Children thrive in a routine as they know what to expect to happen when (and let’s be honest, we could all use that in the uncertainty that we’re all living in now). It also ensure you can fit everything you want to into the day and be productive. I always find that being productive really helps my anxiety as my mind is distracted and it’s something small I can control during a situation that is totally out of my control.

So, here is our daily routine. My daughter is nearly 18 months old (just for reference). I hope this is helpful to you mummas right now, feel free to tweak the schedule any which way you like.

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If you don’t have a dog, you can use this time for a walk around your neighbourhood or outside play in your garden. Either way, I think it’s really important our little ones get some fresh air.

Also, you may think that is a lot of time for ‘Free Play’ but we break up this time with: singing songs, reading stories, imaginative play and I let my daughter do her own thing while I watch her and drink my morning coffee.

I hope this was helpful to you! For ideas for “Planned Activity” you can read my blog post At Home Activities For Toddlers. You could also check out Easy Easter Brownies as something else to do with your slightly older children.

Stay safe and watch this space for more content during this tough time. Stay strong mummas, click this link if you need some Mum-tivation!

Thank you for reading!


Follow me on:
Instagram: @charlotterose293
Twitter: @Cook293

GRL PWR

Hello Readers,

This Sunday is International Women’s Day and I thought I would express my appreciation for some of the women in my life and share some of my role models.

What is International Women’s Day? It is a global day celebrating the economic, social, political and cultural successes of women. What’s the point of it? The International Women’s Day website have launched a campaign called #EachforEqual to encourage us to collectively create change for a gender equal world. What can I do? The campaign runs all year long not just on International Women’s Day and you can help spread awareness. Post a picture of you with your arms out in an ‘equal’ shape and share your #EachforEqual pledges and messages.
Visit https://www.internationalwomensday.com/ for more information.

I am a feminist. I know, I know, that’s a scary word. You probably get an image of an angry woman with hairy armpits, protesting for women’s rights and hating men. This is not true. A feminist is anyone who supports equality of the sexes. So really, we should all be feminists regardless of gender, race or religion. It’s not about women wanting to conquer men because they are the superior sex. It’s about equality for all. The best visual representation I have seen of ‘double standards’ is in the music video for ‘The Man’ by Taylor Swift.

This brings me onto my first role model, Taylor Swift. Most of you reading this will probably be thinking “Really? A pop star?” and yes, she is a ‘pop star’ but through her art she raises awareness. In her most recent music video, ‘The Man’, she portrays many gender inequalities. Swift herself is ‘the man’ and we can see ‘Tyler’ getting praised for: doing the bare minimum of parenting, manspreading on public transport, urinating on ‘women’s work’ on a brick wall, throwing a hissy fit when he loses at tennis and doing the ‘walk of celebration’ after sex as opposed to the ‘walk of shame’ women experience. It was really eye-opening to see the parallels but also it felt reassuring and that, finally, someone gets it! She raises awareness through her music while also being an amazing girl boss herself. She fights for the right to own her music and create things that are completely hers, which is something I can only aspire to do. Not to mention, I love her music and think she’s absolutely gorgeous in everything she does (totally girl crushing).

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Role Model #2 is Zoe Sugg. I know “first a pop star now a YouTuber, ugh, grow up”. No. I have watched her videos for 8 years (wow!) and just admire what she has made for herself. She started with a blog, then did YouTube videos and now runs her own brand, has written fiction and non fiction books, released multiple beauty and life style ranges, worked with companies I can only dream of and even went on celebrity bake off! Through it all, she has the best smiley, positive attitude and kind-hearted approach to things. I just find her creativity inspirational and makes me want to continue doing things that I love. She also (like me) struggles with anxiety so I love the fact she’s so honest with her audience about anxiety and can still pick herself up and have a good mood. She encourages me to do the same.

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Role Model #3 is Melissa McCarthy. I have watched films with Melissa McCarthy in ever since I went to see Bridesmaids in the cinema with my Mum. I swear this woman has a direct line to my funny bone. Through her comedic roles, my Mum and I bonded in my teenage years and I will never forget watching Bridesmaids and Spy with her. Especially the moment my Mum (who is quite an introvert) forgot where she was and shouted “THERE’S A MOUSE ON HER TITS!” in the middle of a full cinema. I’m not even joking when I say, I nearly wet myself laughing. Not only are her movie roles genius but I love hearing her talk about her home life. The way I have heard her talk about her two daughters and two dogs on Ellen has me in stitches and I just love her outlook on life, even the everyday things. I like to remind myself to look at things through ‘McCarthy eyes’ sometimes and see the funny side of things.

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Role Model #4 is a personal one. It’s my Aunty Sandra. Since becoming a Mum myself, she has become a sort of ‘baby guru’ to me. My Aunty Sandra has had 4 children and since having her first, she has been a stay at home Mum and a great one at that. I guess she’s a role model of mine because she is always on the go and always doing things for others. Everywhere she goes, she’s a Mum (in a good way). I recently went to lunch with her and in the restaurant she was asking the waitress how she was, getting her life story and offering advice and someone to cuddle. When I was struggling being a first time Mum, she came to see me and helped me with my mood and struggles with breastfeeding. She was always at the other end of the phone when I was having a meltdown with Olivia (even while she’s getting her hair done). Every time I see her, she reassures me that I’m a good Mum and I’m doing the right thing which means the world because as a Mum you never know if you’re doing what’s best for your little ones. She also never lets me forget that this time with Olivia goes so quick and reminds me to soak up every moment. She’s just constantly putting her kids first and I seriously don’t know how she juggles everything and holds it altogether. I can only hope I can pull off motherhood like she does!

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Now that I’ve snotted everywhere, I hope you all take part in the #EachforEqual campaign or even just reach out to a loved one this Sunday and let them know you appreciate them.


Thanks for reading!

Some pictures were taken from Google Images.

Follow me on:
Instagram: @charlotterose293
Twitter: @Cook2903

Save Time and Money

Hello Readers,

I don’t know about you but I found this last winter very taxing on the bank account. Especially being a Mum, we are scrimping and making savings wherever we can. One huge saving we have made is on our energy bills. Saving even just a bit of money on gas and electric has made such a difference to our bank accounts and I don’t have to tell you how much that means when you have kids!

I had a very exciting email sent to me this week from the people at Look After My Bills, asking if I would like to join their Affiliate Programme. This name may ring a bell to you. You may have seen them on Dragon’s Den (BBC) in 2018 where they won over all 5 Dragons with their collective energy switching service website that they set up in University together. Since then, they have fully immersed themselves into helping people save money on their energy bills.

How? A really simple and easy website. Unlike other price comparison websites, Look After My Bills do all the tedious work for you. Instead of having to use the site regularly every year to look for a better deal, Look After My Bills do it for you and automatically sign you up to the energy deal that will save you the most money based on your circumstances.LAMB

Too good to be true? Not at all. Using the link below, you can get this service for free. No joke. All you need to do is fill out some information about your energy, what you use, what kind of tariff you’re currently on, etc. It takes about 2 minutes (the only form you’ll ever have to fill in) and they will help to find you a different energy deal that will save you money on your gas and electricity bills.

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Fluffy Bunny Pancakes

Tomorrow is Pancake Day! It’s the perfect excuse to have a fun dinner or a sweet treat.

Since this is the first Pancake Day Olivia can take part in, I was trying to think of ways to make it fun. I always love pictures of people making animal pancakes for their kids. There are no rules. You can make teddy bears, butterflies and everyone remembers the pancake art trend. Olivia is still too young to appreciate full blown pancake art but I wanted to practice a simple design that I can make her on Sunday mornings or a grey day to cheer her up and I thought one of the most simple (and cute) designs would be a bunny!

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Although I had a lot of fun making these, I can’t wait until she’s a tad older and can decorate her bunny how she likes. Whipped cream tail? Chocolate whiskers? Strawberry teeth? Banana eyes and blueberry nose? If you do make these, please share your designs with me! I would love to see how you (or your children) decorate them.

Not only is this adorable, but they actually taste so good. I had some left over batter, after making these, and decided to have some for breakfast (as it was just there, and honestly, they’re so delicious!). I topped mine with strawberries and honey (how grown up am I?) but I kind of wanted to cover it in Nutella, whipped cream and sprinkles. Not gonna lie.

The recipe is perfect and you don’t need to run to the shops to get anything ‘special’. Chances are you’ll already have everything you need in the cupboard. So, without further adieu…


Fluffy Pancake Recipe

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Ingredients

  • 135g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 130ml milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Method

  1. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar into a large bowl.
  2. Lightly whisk the milk and egg together in a seperate bowl, then add the olive oil.
  3. Pour the milk mixture into the large bowl with the flour and whisk with a fork until completely combined.
  4. Leave batter to rest for a few minutes.
  5. Heat up a frying pan with 1 tbsp of oil to stop the pancakes sticking (you’ll need to add oil as you go).
  6. Add a ladle of batter to the heated pan. For the bunny you will need 1 large (body), 1 medium (head), two small (feet) and two ear-shaped pancakes. You’ll want to make several of each so you can practice and pick the best ones.
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  7. Once the top of the batter begins to bubble, flip the pancake over and cook until golden brown on both sides.
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  8. Arrange into a bunny shape and decorate!!!
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And that’s it! It’s literally that simple! These are perfect for a spur of the moment pancake craving or a spontaneous weekend breakfast.

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Thank you for taking the time to read. I hope you all have a very yummy Pancake Day!

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