My Family

My Family

Tuesday, 15 September 2020

Wedding Update: Adding those Final Touches!

Wedding Update: Adding those Final Touches! 

There's now just over two weeks left until our Wedding Day and I'm finally starting to get excited. Now that we have our beautiful venue all lined up, it's time to start finishing off those final touches, those little things that are going to help make our big day, a little extra special.

The Dress is all fitted and currently being steam cleaned, the suits are all bought and hanging up. The bridesmaid dresses are nearly sorted, there's just one daughter left to dress and the best man is all prepped and ready for his role. I'm still trying to confirm my room decor details which is proving a bit difficult when vendors are taking a long time to get in touch but I'm confident that it'll all come together in time. Or so, I hope it does - eek.

I had my makeup trial this week but it didn't quite go to the plan so I've now decided that I will be doing my own makeup on the day. Being a small family wedding, this isn't a problem at all. My family and partner love me with or without makeup so I'm not too worried really.

Next on my list of 'Things to Do' was finding the perfect favours and I think I found the most gorgeous ones. I wanted to treat my guests now that there wasn't going to be so many of them, to something they could keep and savour or enjoy on the day, to remind them of our special day. How special are these Mini Prosecco Personalised Bottles from Say It With Champers, they're perfect for my guests. There's 13 designs to choose from, all lovely but I choose the gorgeous Wedding Couple design and I'm so pleased with how they turned out.

Now that I have the perfect wedding favours, I feel like I can now relax a little more and get ready to enjoy the most perfect day. My Mum is baking lots lately as she's practising her cake making skills before she bakes the final masterpiece. We're having a three tier cake, one traditional fruit, a lemon sponge and a chocolate cake all covered in delicate icing with beautiful flowers and our golden cake topper. I know she's going to do an amazing job.

Thinking about what's left to do now, there's isn't that much. I have one bridesmaid dress to find for my eldest daughter, the wedding breakfast taster meal which is happening this Thursday and then it's just planning the final day running details like timings really. I can't believe that it's all starting to come together now and may actually finally happen. All being well, that Birmingham doesn't change the rules again. We just need to get through the next few weeks and we'll be married. I will finally be Mrs Christine Churchley, how exciting!

This might be my final update before the big day but if any big changes happen, I will let you know with another update. I bet you'll all be glad when there's no more wedding updates.

Disclosure: I received a small discount off the cost of my Mini Prosecco Personalised Bottles. This fact didn't influence my thoughts on the final product though. 

Thursday, 3 September 2020

Wedding Update - Just One Month to Go now.

Wedding Update - Just One Month to Go now.

I can't believe that exactly one month from today, I will be getting married!

It's been a bit of a crazy ride these past few months but we're finally going to tie the knot. It may not be the BIG White Wedding that I'd hoped for but it will be wonderful no matter what. Our local Register Office in Birmingham is allowing us a total of 22 guests, the bride and groom, plus the 2 witnesses so that's a total of 26 in all. They are letting us have a photographer as an extra as long as they stand on their X marks the spot the entire time.

Originally we'd only planned for 40 people to be there with us at our ceremony anyway so it's not been that bad reducing those numbers. We've literally just cut out anyone who's not immediate family. There's a few sad parts about our ceremony though as my bridesmaids won't get to walk down the aisle with me, but nor will my Dad which has been a tough one to take in. It's taken me quite a long time to get used to the idea as we're so close normally.

Our original Wedding Reception Venue is cancelled as our original contract was a special offer that couldn't be fulfilled due to the new restrictions. I wasn't going to re book anything else after this but then Receptions for 30 are allowed to go ahead in only Licensed Venues so I was then desperate to find us something else. Which I am super to say that I have.

One month today we shall enjoy a lovely sit down meal together with all our closest family members at the beautiful Castle Bromwich Hall Hotel which isn't too far from where we live. We may not be allowed dancing but we are allowed background music so it won't be all bad.

We're determined to make the best of this bad situation and enjoy our special day.

Now that we have our new plans in place, there's so much to sort out and so little time to do it all in so it's going to get a bit manice around here. Hopefully as we get closer to the date, I'll be able to get more excited about it all because right now, I'm just full of nerves and worries about what is going to happen, what could happen and what might happen. Eeek.

Love is Not Cancelled.

Watch this space ...... and ....... Wish us luck x

How to save money on your Back to School shopping.

How to save money on your Back to School shopping.

For some parents, the last few months may have felt like the longest summer break ever, with millions of children across the UK unable to attend school due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, the government is planning for all pupils to return to the classroom as normal in September, which is welcomed news for all those mums and dads who have had to add ‘part time teacher’ to their list of skills over the recent weeks. 

But the impending return to school brings with it challenges of a different nature. In these uncertain times, it’s more important than ever to look after your financial situation, costs of uniforms, textbooks and stationery can soon mount up ahead of the new term. With that in mind, here are a few things you can do to ensure your back to school shopping doesn’t cost you a small fortune. It's expensive enough with one child and we have three - eek.

Take an inventory:

Before you begin, it’s worth taking stock of what you already have. Will the uniforms last another year? Do they still fit? Do you have plenty of books, pens and paper still in the cupboards that you can still use? By making a note of everything you need, and crossing off those items that you already have, you’ll find your shopping list suddenly gets a lot shorter!

Leave it late if you can:

Some people may see this as a risky approach that adds an unnecessary level of stress to your shopping, but you might find that you can get great deals on certain things by leaving it until a few days before term starts. By that point, vendors might be happy to be rid of their stock and be willing to sell at a reduced price meaning you can save a pound or two.

Bargain hunt:

Think outside of the box a little bit when it comes to picking up some of the more generic items. For example, local pound shops and charity shops are great places to find things like stationery and reading books for your kids’ English classes. If you’re prepared to scour the shelves, you might find that you can make some significant savings which is great.

Be inventive:

Uniforms are usually the largest of the back to school expenses, and purchasing direct from the school can prove pricey. But, if you’re talented with a needle and thread or know someone who is, you can always buy plain garments and sew the school logo on yourself, at a fraction of the cost. It may be worth contacting other parents to see if they have any hand me downs that can be passed on, another great way to ensure that sending your kids back to school doesn’t break the bank. Being Inventive will help you out a lot.

Disclosure: This is a Collaborative Post.

#WIN Cadbury Halloween Chocolate Treats

WIN Cadbury Halloween Chocolate Treats 

Happy September everyone! I hope you're all well? It's been a whirlwind of a Summer this year, so I for one, is so glad it's over. My kids went back to school quite happily yesterday which was so lovely. We're all just looking forward to getting a bit of routine back into our daily lives and seeing our friends in the flesh again. It's so nice to have other people to talk to again. And now that it's September, that means, October and Halloween is on it's way!

One lucky winner is going to win some fantastic Cadbury Halloween Chocolate Treats. Inside the gift box you will find lots of spooky Halloween treats to enjoy with family or friends. There's Cadbury treat size chocolates with a Cadbury Goo Heads Egg box and Goo Heads Minis Eggs bag. Cadbury Goo eggs and Goo Head Minis are individually wrapped foiled milk chocolate eggs with fondant filling. They sound very very yummy. Oooh.

To WIN - Simply use the Rafflecopter Form below to complete as many or as few of the entry options as you like. It's completely up to you how many you do but remember, the more entries you do, the more chances you have to win. 1 lucky winner will be chosen at random after it closes on Thursday September 1st  - Open to the UK Only - Good Luck xox

This is not a sponsored Giveaway - The Prize is supplied by myself.

Terms and Conditions: One winner will be drawn at random using the Rafflecopter App. 
This Giveaway is only open to the UK. The giveaways ends on Thursday September 1st x

Advent Calendars - Which will You choose this Year?

Advent Calendars - Which will You choose this Year? 

I know it's only just turned September but Christmas is on it's way whether we're ready for it or not. Normally I would leave all my Christmas shopping until the last minute and buy my gifts early December but then I find myself spending money that I may not have. That's why, this year I've decided, I'm getting more organised and starting much earlier, like now. Because budgeting for Christmas early helps reduce debts in the new year. And I don't want any of those. 2020 has been a tough year for all of us without the extra stress and worry over debts going into next year. 2021 is going to be a new start, and a better year hopefully.

Each year, I buy my children a different style of Advent Calendar to help build up the excitement in December of the big countdown to Christmas. We've had all sorts of calendars over the years, we've had everything from stationery gifts to socks and toy collectibles but this year I'm thinking of opting for a personalised advent calendar, it's back to delicious chocolate treats for us and making it personalised is a great way to stop the arguments over which one belongs to who in our house. Last year my children wrote their names on their calendars with a felt tip pen so this year, they won't need to do that.

My two would love this cute Polar Bear Advent Calendar. It's very attractive to look at and the chocolate treats look very exciting too. It's so cute, I'd even get one for myself too. 

Whichever Advent calendar you choose this year, I'm sure it'll be wonderful. There's so many to choose from this year though so it's going to be a tough choice for all of us but chocolate seems to be the way forward for us. We're going back to traditional, simple, yet delicious chocolate treats every day. What Advent Calendar will You be having this year?

Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.

Sunday, 30 August 2020

It's Back to Hogwarts Time! #Review

It's Back to Hogwarts Time! 

The 1st of September is a momentous day in the wizarding world calendar: this is the day the Hogwarts students return for a new term. Catch the Hogwarts Express, while the first years discover the castle for the first time. Though this year may look a bit different than in the past, the time has arrived to pack your trunk, ready your school supplies and prepare to go Back to Hogwarts - virtually! You can enjoy their collection of features and activities to help make your celebrations as special as can be. It's all very exciting for Harry Potter fans.

We're all huge Harry Potter fans in this house. We've read all the books and watched all the movies, several times over. We have lots of the toys, wands and merchandise and love playing Magical make believe, so when we heard about going Back to Hogwarts, we just had to join in as we'll be going back to school ourselves next week. It's all very exciting, and a little scary too if we're honest but that's a whole different story for another time.

This week we've been checking out the Back to Hogwarts, Back to School range from Asda which is all so awesome! There's the cute Chibi print lunch bag featuring Harry, Hermione and Ron which also has a matching Water Bottle. They're both really cool, Ryan loves them!

And, then there's the gorgeous Harry Potter Shield logo backpacks which are available in all four houses. We have the Gryffindor backpack of course as that's our house team of choice.

Ryan loves the leather straps and the funky red colouring of his new bag. He's so excited and can't wait to show it off to all of his classmates next week. It is a really beautiful bag!

And last but not least, there's The Harry Potter Stationery Set which includes everything you need to get Back To Hogwarts: a pen, pencil, eraser, pencil sharpener and ruler – all with classic Harry Potter decoration. Nothing beats the feeling of getting brand new stationery. 

Inside our Magic Box of treats we found this awesome LEGO Harry Potter Hedwig which Ryan is looking forward to building soon. Harry Potter Gryffindor Robes for both adults and children which you can see Ryan wearing quite happily in the first picture. Also inside our box was the super exciting, Harry Potter Magic Capsules from YuMe Toys and Kap Toys.

You need to open the Hogwarts inspired crest and find the packages to discover the magic. Use colour coded, heat and water to reveal the clues you'll need to unlock the surprise within. There's 10 characters to collect in Series 1, including 1 rare character and 1 ultra rare. Each capsule contains, 1 Hogwarts Character, 1 Fantastic Beast pets, 1 wands and a surprise accessories. Ryan loves surprise element toys so he loved this. Mixing harry Potter with an unboxing style toy makes for a huge hit with my kids, they absolutely love them. 

Want to see what we found inside our Harry Potter Magical Capsule?

We got the very lovely and very talented, Hermione. And, she's so cute!

Ryan is super excited about going back to school next week just like all those brand new students heading Back To Hogwarts. He's going to wear his new bag, fll his lunchbox and water bottle, pack his pencil case full of treats and bound into the school, bursting with excitement. Like every new or returning student this September, it's an exciting time of year.

Disclosure: We received our Harry Potter Products in Return for an Honest Review.

Monday, 10 August 2020

Days Out: Go Ape Coventry #Review

Days Out: Go Ape Coventry Review

We are so excited to be finally going on local West Midlands, days out again, we've missed them so much. All work and no play makes for a really boring lifestyle and not one that we want to live in. We try to plan a family day out every month, even if it's just one as getting out and having some good old family fun is when all the important memories are made. 

After being closed for months due to current situation, we were so happy to hear that Go Ape was back open. We headed to our nearest centre which is Go Ape Coventry and signed up for their Treetop Adventure + course which is the highest one we could do with their height restrictions. Ryan is 10 years old but a little short for his age which often causes issues for us on our days out because he's often too small to ride or take part on everything.

The Treetop Adventure + course combines all the fun and excitement of their smaller Treetop Adventure course, with more extreme and tricky obstacles, perfect for families with older children. It's suitable for children over 1.2 meters and 6 years of age which was perfect for us as Ryan is currently 1.25 meters tall. Rock Walls, Prison Bars, and Tank Traps are just some of the extra crossings you’ll have to master, all culminating in an extra zip wire.

We had the most wonderful time on Sunday up in the trees, the weather was beautiful and the whole place was just so much fun. The staff were all kitted out in full face visors and the was hand sanitizer bottles everywhere so it all felt nice and safe throughout. There were cones on the floor to mark out their social distancing plans which again was all great stuff.

Days out like these are the highlights of our month. Just doing these activities together is a real treat. We all took part in the activities, although some did more than others but overall we all had a very enjoyable time. Lily and I did 2 of the 4 courses and then decided to sit the rest out as that was more than enough for us but Daddy and Ryan carried on and managed to complete all 4 of the courses within their set hour time slot. They made it look so easy.

The good thing about Go Ape is that there's a course suitable for all ages, as there's the Treetop Adventure Course for children of all ages over 1 meter tall which lasts for 1 hour. Then there's the Treetop Adventure + Course that we did for children aged over 6 and taller than 2 meters which was perfect for our family group. And last but not least, there's the Treetop Challenge which is for children and adults of all ages who are taller than 1.4 meters. This one lasts between 2 to 3 hours and isn't for the faint hearted as it's made up of adventurous zip wires and so much more. For the adults and everyone over 16, there's a rather awesome Axe Throwing activity available too, that did look pretty cool as we passed.

We all had so much fun on Sunday and would go back again in a heartbeat. Go Ape is definitely high up on our list of favourite days out as it's so adventurous, just like us!

Disclosure: We were gifted out tickets for free in return for an honest review.