The Top 7 Tag

I was recently tagged in this by my lovely friend Amy from Amy Georgia, someone who I met through blogging but is now an IRL friend too! The tag asks us to share our 7 favourite blog posts from last year, 7 things we loved in 2018 and 7 things I am looking forward to doing in 2019. I tag anyone who wants to complete this to give it a go! Here goes…

7 favourite blog posts from 2018

Visiting Paradise Wildlife Park Over The Half Term – Paradise Wildlife Park is one our favourite places to go as a family but we hadn’t been since the dinosaur section had been added. It was such a lovely day out as a whole family!

Seven – I can hardly believe my boy is seven now. Here’s a little post I wrote for him for his birthday.

Happy Birthday, Olivia – I wrote this post to celebrate Olivia’s first birthday – such a milestone!

A Day Out At Diggerland, Kent – I’ve got a few of our days out on this list, I love spending time together as a family.

Enjoy Some Halloween Fun At Freaky Funfest At Mead Open Farm – This was my first time visiting Mead Open Farm and it was such a lovely experience, especially with the Halloween activities. I’ll definitely be going back again.

Christmas Crafting With Baker Ross – I loved doing these crafting activities with the kids.

Why You Should Go and Get Your Smear Test – This was a post I really felt the need to write – smear tests are so important and we shouldn’t put them off.

7 things I loved in 2018

1 Celebrating Olivia’s first birthday – it was so much fun!

2 Likewise, Jack’s seventh birthday was a lot of fun – we headed to the cinema with some of his friends.

3 I adored all of our days out together, we did so many different things and had so much fun!

4 I got to see Jack’s learning grow – he is telling me new things every single day.

5 I got to attend a fantastic restaurant launch in Harpenden, the food was delicious.

6 I got to spend some fun times with friends

7 Seeing Olivia grow so much in just a short space of time

7 things to look forward to this year

1 Hopefully paying off most – if not, all – of our debt.

2. Lots more fantastic days out as a family.

3. We are hoping to go on holiday somewhere nice this year.

4. Hopefully building upon my business and growing.

5. More days/nights out with friends

6. Do amazing things in the summer holidays

7. Try something new

So here are my answers for the top 7 tag, what would yours be?

Finding Out About My Past

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I don’t know about you but ancestry is something that has always fascinated me, ever since we researched our family trees in primary school. I also have a slightly bizarre set up in my family – my dad and his sister were born to my grandad and nan then my grandparents broke up, my nan had four more children with my step grandad and my grandad married twice more but had no other biological children, only stepchildren.

My grandad didn’t really talk about his ancestry so I am left with only a little information about my family and now that my dad has passed away and my aunt is elderly, I don’t really know much about where I came from on that side. I know about my nan’s side as they can be traced back in my village for many years and I know quite a lot about both grandparents family trees on my maternal side, however I’d love to know more about my paternal grandfather’s side.

For a while now I’ve been considering taking a DNA testing kit for ancestry, see if there are any distant family members out there. One such company that offers this is CRI Genetics. There are three simple steps and you can do the test in the comfort of your own home. You simply order it, swab it and post it and then you receive an email 6-8 weeks later with a detailed report.

My Dad believed we have some Romany in our heritage and I’d love to see if this was true. I’d also like to know where else I may hail from. I know on my maternal grandfather’s side there is Australian and Scottish but that’s it. It would be nice to find out what other places my family may have originally come from.

I’m seriously considering doing this in 2019 and discover more about me and my heritage. Steve has previously done a similar test and had interesting results. I am intrigued to see what results I may come up with. Would you consider doing a DNA ancestry test? Do you know much about your heritage?

 

 

Do You Believe In Lucky Numbers?

Do You Believe In Lucky Numbers?

Do you have a lucky number?

You may not realise it right away, but you probably have a lucky number. It’s surprising how many times numbers appear in our daily lives and how often we use them without realising it. Whether it’s calculating the cost of our morning coffee or checking how many unread emails we have.    

Are you choosing the right lucky number?

Having a lucky number isn’t always a conscious decision, sometimes we have subconsciously decided what our lucky numbers are.This can be influenced by myths or legends we’ve learned from our culture and from stories as children.

The guys over at Betway recently took a look at some of the world’s luckiest and unluckiest numbers and explored the reasons why these superstitions existed. Take a look at the infographic below and see if your lucky number has a good reputation in other parts of the world!  

I’m one of the 25% who counts 7 as a lucky number. What’s yours? I must admit I do have a few lucky numbers that I always tend to veer towards when needing to pick a number for something. Some of mine don’t feature on this list but some do – 7 has always been lucky for me but so have 11 and 20!

67% of people having luck because of believing in the number 3 is really interesting to me because everyone knows the saying that bad things come in threes – and in my case, they certainly do! Everyone I know always seems to experience bad luck in threes so I’d love to believe in the number and get some good luck for a change! My dad always used to opt for 3 though and had good luck from it – so who knows?

I also find it really interesting that many people have specific lucky numbers because of certain superstitions such as skipping the 13th floor in US tower blocks because of superstitious beliefs and the Chinese superstition of four as the Chinese word for death is similar to the Chinese word for four.

What is your lucky number?

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The Joy Of True Friendship

The Joy Of True Friendship

One of the most important relationships in your life will be with your best friend. Some people have that one special person, others have a small group of close confidants, but however it works for you, the value of friendship is immense. A good friend will be there to support you no matter what, to share all of life’s ups and downs and be ready with a hug, a box of tissues or a glass of celebratory bubbly. True friends can make a huge difference to the quality of your life, and their presence can have positive effects on your mental wellbeing.

What is a true friend?

You may have a lot of people in your life you think of as friends, but how many of them would you be sure would have your back no matter what the situation? A true friend doesn’t judge, or give their affection with strings attached. They won’t ditch you for a better prospect or limit the extent of their support and understanding. You and your best friend will have a very special bond, and if you feel like you would walk over a bed of hot coals to aid your friend then you know they are special. If you have a look online, you will find thousands of sayings and quotes about the meaning of true friendship, and if you feel that these sayings sum up your relationship, then you know you have a true friend.

What true friends will do for you

They’ll be honest! Your broader circle of friends and acquaintances are more likely to tell you what you what they think you want to hear – yes, you look lovely in that dress, or no, it won’t matter if you miss the gym today. A true friend will have your best interests at heart and will tell you what they genuinely believe – the dress doesn’t really flatter your shape, or will you feel better for missing the gym? One of the facets of true friendship is the ability to say no, as well. You may feel obliged to do something you don’t really want to for your acquaintances, but with your friend you can feel comfortable saying you don’t want to do it. They won’t be offended, they will understand you and respect your feelings. They will know that if it were an emergency, you would drop everything for them, as they would for you, so being honest with each other day to day doesn’t feel so hard.

What you can do as a true friend

Know your friend and understand their desires. Do what you know they will want rather than what you think would be best. If you’re throwing a hen party for your best friend, think about what kind of thing they would like to do. If they are shy and like a quiet life, don’t force them to have a wild, drunken night out just because you think they should let their hair down before getting married. On the other hand, if they love letting their wild side out, don’t book a weekend at a country retreat because it’s the sensible thing to do as mature adults. Of course, you also need to look out for your friend, and don’t let them get into trouble. If they’ve had a few drinks, don’t get so inebriated yourself that you’re incapable of making sure they’re ok!

Being there through good times and bad

There have been clinical studies undertaken that demonstrate the value of friendship in supporting people’s wellbeing. Having someone to whom you can confide anything and everything is an important release valve for stress and anxiety, and talking things through with someone who is sympathetic, trustworthy and non-judgmental is a wonderful form of therapy. A true friend will be partying with you at your wedding and be there to celebrate your achievements with you, but they will also stand by you when times are tough. A true friend will support you when you are ill, take you in when you’re in need, and be there to help you get through difficult experiences and situations like bereavement or drug addiction treatment. Not all friends are made equal, and some people you consider to be friends are fine for a chat and a laugh, but couldn’t be relied upon to be there for you come what may.

Don’t take your friend for granted

If you do have a close friend with whom you have this special relationship, there is a danger you may slip into the habit of becoming over-reliant on them. You may not mean to, but if you know they will always help out, you may call on them a little too much, because you feel they are the one person who won’t let you down. Friendship is about give and take, an equal measure of support and respect for each other, so don’t start putting too much on your friend and taking their love and desire to help you for granted. If they start taking advantage of you, you need to be honest and say you don’t feel the situation is fair. A true friend will understand, and very likely be horrified when they realise they’ve been asking a bit much of you.

Treasure your friendship

If you have a special friend, make the most of your time together and don’t slip out of touch because life gets in the way. You may have to move away from your friend, but staying in touch is pretty easy with modern communication systems, so emails and texts and having some video chats are simple ways to stay in contact. It’s a wonderful experience having a special friend, and so valuable to your wellbeing and the quality of your life.

Amongst all your friends and acquaintances, the special one or few who are your true friends will enrich your life, make you happy and can be relied upon to believe your happiness and welfare are as important as their own. Be joyful in your celebration of friendship, and you and your friend will maintain that special bond for life.

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Our #OreoCookieQuest Adventure

Our #OreoCookieQuest Adventure

This post is an entry for BritMums #OreoCookieQuest, sponsored by Oreo

Have you seen the recent promotion from Oreo? Their on pack promotion is The Great Oreo Cookie Quest and anyone can pick up a pack and have the chance to win some awesome prizes. These include a once in a lifetime trip to California and the Googleplex. We were sent a couple of packs from Oreo so we could spend time together as a family and have our very own Cookie Quest adventure.

With The Beast From The East constantly battering us in the UK, we got out and about in the snow for some family fun. Steve and Jack had plenty of fun building snowmen and throwing snowballs at each other whilst Olivia wasn’t too sure on the whole shebang.

Playing in the snow can be awfully tiring work so we decided to have a pick me up – a quick snack. What did we pick? Some Oreo’s – the perfect serving is 2 so that is exactly what Jack gobbled up to get some energy back after exhausting himself in the snow.

After a while, it got a little too cold to stay outside so we came in and had a quick cookie hunt round the house – Jack is very good at sniffing out Oreo’s apparently – before sitting down together as a family to watch a film together – which then transpired into a couple of films. I introduced Jack to the classic that is Bedknobs and Broomsticks, I have never seen him so quiet!

Why not have your own go at the Great Oreo Cookie Quest? It is a fun and exciting way to win some great family prizes – if you like to treat yourself occasionally, then Oreos are the perfect treat for this, they are a fun and tasty occasional treat for the whole family.

How would you spend time together as a family – what would be your perfect Cookie Quest? What joyful family moments have you been enjoying recently?