Tuesday, 15 December 2020

Top 10 | Christmas Movie Picks

It really is the most wonderful time of the year isn't it? I absolutely love this time of year. The Christmas playlist comes out as soon as Halloween and Bonfire Night are over and the spooky deccies are soon replaced with Christmas ones all whilst the girls are telling me it's "too early!"  I really am just a big kid at heart. Now the nights are dark and cold and we're all in Lockdown 2.0 : The Tier Months and can't go out for festive bevs (how I miss my annual Gingle Bevs email to the team); it's time to get on the couch with a Bailey's hot chocolate and watch Christmas movies to get you in the mood, so I've ranked my top 10 Christmas movies which was way way harder than it sounds: 

10.  T H E  P O L A R  E X P R E S S 

The Polar Express is an unreal movie and massively underrated. It's about kids who have stopped believing in Santa and are taken aboard a magical train ride to the North Pole on the Polar Express and a must watch! 

9.  E D W A R D  S C I S S O R  H A N D S

The story of the first snow might not be the most festive of movies and you probably wouldn't necessarily call it a Christmas movie but it's cute and sweet and dark all of which are my favourite things and as a massive Tim Burton fan it had to make the list.

8.  H O W  T H E  G R I N C H  S T O L E  C H R I S T M A S ( 2 0 0 0 )

My dad took me and my brother to see this in the cinema and it started off our annual, festive cinema trips. I love Jim Carrey as The Grinch and I know a lot of people hate this movie but I love it and The Grinch has some of the most relatable quotes ever. Love. Him.

7. H O M E  A L O N E

The McAllisters didn't get done for neglect which just goes to show if you're rich you can get away with just about anything. What list is complete without Home Alone though? It's a Christmas classic after all. It's not really a Christmas movie (fight me) but it's just tradition am I right?

6.  A R T H U R  C H R I S T M A S

This film is incredible and had to make my top 10! I force the kids to watch this every year and they definitely don't enjoy it as much as I do. Arthur is the son of Father Christmas and wants to deliver a bike to Gwen, the child who got missed, whilst his controlling brother, tries to stop him. BOSS.

5.  T H E  N I G H T M A R E  B E F O R E  C H R I S T M A S

Is it a Halloween movie or is it a Christmas movie? The most asked question from October through December. Well I have the only answer for you and it's BOTH. In fact I watch it all year round but that's just because I'm a massive goth. 

4.  M I R A C L E  O N  3 4 T H  S T R E E T

Before Mara Wilson was old enough to start spouting drivel on Twitter she was this really cute child actor who starred in Miracle on 34th Street - the part where Santa signs to the deaf child gets me all teary eyed every single time.

                                                                3. T H E  H O L I D A Y 

The Holiday > Love Actually. I said what I said. Two women with boy probs agree to swap homes for the holiday season where they each meet a local fella and fall in love. Jude Law is dreamy in this BUT Jack Black is the real MVP here (slightly biased because I love him! ) 

2.  E L F 

This is one of my absolute faves and I know so many people who hate it because of Will Ferrell but those people have no taste - it is fantastic and I won't hear another word! 

1.   T H E  S A N T A  C L A U S E 

Taking the top spot is the one and only The Santa Clause - I wanted to list the entire trilogy tbqhwy but I thought that would be cheating. I love Tim Allen so much even though my mate told me recently he is a massive Tory and ruined the illusion a bit. Scott Calvin takes Santa's place and turns from a crappy dad man to the world's best dad ever. This entire trilogy get watched every single year in our house without fail because I love it so much.

What's your favourite Christmas movie? 

Rachael xo

Friday, 9 October 2020

Top 10 | Ways to Survive Cold and Flu Season


Ahhh (chu) flu season is upon us and I'm not talking just your avergae cold here. Flu can be so nasty and leave you achey and unable to move from your bed. I have only caught flu twice in my life and twice I have been left absolutely wiped out. Now a new virus is amongst us which presents with very similar symptoms leaving us with the question cold or flu or Coronavirus? This is why if you do expereince any symptoms you should get yourself tested and stay the fuck home. However, if you're lucky enough to avoid Miss Rona but have been struck with flu, here are my top ten tips on how to survive: 

1. D R I N K  P L E N T Y  O F  F L U I D S

Water helps keep headaches at bay - the last thing you need when you're feeling lousy is to be dehyrdrated as well. Warm drinks also helo loosen mucus in your chest so get your fella to bring you all the cuppas to bed while you rest. 

2. C O L D  F L U  S A C H E T S  /  T A B L E T S

These are a godsend, trust me and the blackcurrant ones taste like warm Ribena and soothe the throat nicely. Don't forget though, they do contain paracetemol so remember you're actually drinking medicine and check the labels on anything you're taking because afterall, I'm no doctor! 

3. C A L P O L  P L U G I N

No this is not an ad but I am obsessed with my Calpol plugin. It's menthol of course so it's really good for those stuffed noses but it has lavender in as well so it's perfect for night time so you can relax and get some sleep. If you're lucky you might be able to find one at the mo in the middle aisle of Aldi.

4. E X T R A  P I L L O W S

Chesty coughs are nasty business and they get worse when you're lying down. This is because mucus is more likely to collect in the back of your throat. Prop yourself up as much as you comfortably can to get yourself that much needed rest your body needs.

5. P A I N  R E L I E F

Keeping on top of pain relief is important for any aches and pains and of course bringing down a high temperature. Don't forget to check those labels though ;)

6. R E S T 

This is one thing I think we are all guilty of neglecting but your body needs time to recover. If you can nap during the day then do it. Sleep is the best thing for poorly bodies. Those dishes can wait just concentrate on getting yourself better/ 

7. B A L S A L M  T I S S U E S

Another absolute gem of a creation. These are perfect for delicate noses. Who needs to deal with a sore, chapped nose on top of everything else? 

8. D I S I N F E C T

Clean your surfaces. Your door handles. And make sure you bin those snotty tissues as soon as you've used them to prevent the spread or reinfectio and of course don't forget to wash those hands. For 20 seconds. Whilst singing happy birthday or something. 

9. T A K E  A  M U L T I V I T A M I N 

Anything containing vitamin C, vitamin D and zinc is boss. Humans cannot produce vitamin C so we need a constant intake of it and of course we live in the UK and don't get that much sun especially in winter so get that vitamn D down your neck as well. Zinc also plays an important part in immunity so get boosting! 

10. S W E A T  I T  O U T

When you've got a high temperature it is your body's way of fighting something off so get the heating on, jump in a hot, steamy bath and sweat it all out. You might need a shower afterwards but it'll be worth it. 

So there you have it, my top 10 tips for surviving cold and flu season and I've got my fingers crossed you all stay healthier than I have because I've felt rough as toast this week with a nasty cold. 

Stay Safe

Rachael xo

Tuesday, 6 October 2020

Things to Do This Halloween in Merseyside

Spooky Season is just around the corner and it is my time to shine. Pass me the pumpkin spiced lattes, the cosy knits and a pair of boots, yes I'm that basic autumn bitch. I am so excited for Halloween this year even if Corona is trying to ruin our lives so I've put together a list of things you can enjoy with the whole fam despite Miss Rona. 

G E T  C R A F T Y

I'm awful at carving pumpkins so last year I bought some foam shapes from Aldi (seriously their special buys are the one!) and we stuck them on our pumpkins instead. Plus you don't have to deal with the stinky pumpkin mush. Winner. The kids also get to do this themselves as well which is a massive bonus. Anything you can get your hands on is a good way to keep the kids occupied on a rainy day and let's face it, our Autumn months have plenty of those. 

W A T C H  M O V I E S

Grab a blanket, light some candles, a bowl of popcorn and a toffee apple if you're feeling fancy and get cosy for a movie night. Autumn nights are a perfect opportunity to stay in and make the most of your Netflix subscription. If you're stuck for ideas on kid friendly movies, check out my list of kid friendly Halloween movies the whole family can enjoy here

P I C K  Y O U R  O W N  P U M P K I N

Pumpkin patches were all the rage last year and where better to get some pics for the Gram with the ultimate Autumnal aesthetic? We never did it last year and I had serious FOMO so hit up your local farm and get picking!

C H U R C H  F A R M  F A M I L Y  F R I G H T  F E S T I V A L

The Family Fright Festival is back at Church Farm this year albeit some restrictions due to current circumstances. You do have to prebook but surely I don't need to tell you that? As well as a PYO pumpkin patch there's a scarecrow trail with a prize for successful completion. Just note that the PYO pumpkin patch isn't included in the admission price but you can kill two birds with one stone here! 

W O O D S I D E  D R I V E  I N  C I N E M A

Hocus Pocus and Coraline are both showing this Halloween at Woodside Drive in Cinema so get dressed up in your spookiest gear, grab your toffee apples and do the cinema from the comfort of your own car. Just don't forget to restart your engine midway so you don't need a jumpstart from Winne the Witch like I did last year!

So there you have it, a list of things you can still do this Halloween without going to a party or trick or treating. In your face covid-19 - you're not gonna stop the festivities for any of us despite your best efforts! 

Rachael xo

Monday, 5 October 2020

Mum Steez | Hello Autumn

Autumn is finally here - it's finally boots season! If I could wear Docs all year, I would and I usually do. Give me boots and cold weather over sandals and sunshine any day. Midi dresses are so in this season and I love throwing on a dress because it makes it look like I've made an effort when the reality is I'm actually just really lazy and it requires no thought. Midi dresses are so comfy and can be dressed up or down which is what a girl wants, versatility right? I invested in two from Primark which will look so cute with Docs or even a little pair of heeled chelsea boots. Darker nights mean darker colours and for the innrer goth in me this is perfect, think rich burgundys and earthy tones like khaki and mustard and of course all of the black. This outfit is giving me serious witchy vibes and I am obsessed! 

What are your go to Autumn must haves?

Rachael xo

Friday, 19 June 2020

Family | The Struggle With Co-Parenting

Co-parenting is something often talked about to describe how two people parent after they have split up but we all know the reality is, everybody is co-parenting even if the couple are still together. You're never going to see eye to eye on everything and like most things in life, it's all about compromise. I've talked about co-parenting at Christmas time and how P and I split our time with the boys fairly through the week since we separated 18 months ago but the struggle with co-parenting in any situation can be difficult. 

P and I always had diferent views on how to parent from the very start because he wanted to do everything by the book, which of course there's nothing wrong with that but we weren't even allowed to have music on in the house as it was "too much of a distraction when he's playing." In fact, I remember a girl coming to our house and commenting how quiet it was. I wasn't even allowed to put a Christmas movie on Christmas morning which caused murder on our very first Christmas as a three. 

One thing that has always been a struggle is getting the boys into a bedtime routine. I touched lucky with George in the fact he was a good sleeper from the start, a taboo subject to talk about, I know, but he was brilliant. He started sleeping through from 8 weeks old and you really do feel like a knew person after weeks of broken sleep. On the otherhand, Henry was not a good sleeper because nobody is that lucky and even to this day he doesn't sleep through the night. I wanted to introduce a proper bed time routine for George when he was around 9 months which coincided with the time I returned to work after maternity leave, however, P wasn't supportive of this. I got my way and things were going well until I went away for a few days for a friend's hen do and all my hard work had swiftly been undone. The sleep thing has always been an issue for us. 

When I moved out last year, I moved into a little two up two down with the boys, got their bedroom kitted out with bunks and new things to make it exciting for them. I was determined to stop them sleeping in my bed and to stop staying in their rooms until they fell asleep. For weeks I grafted, staying in their room until they were used to it, to sitting on the landing outside their door, moving to my bedroom until eventually they were okay with me putting them to bed and going downstairs. If they woke up and came into my bedroom, I would take them back into bed. Bedtime was strictly pyjamas, milk, story and teeth starting at 7 pm reading for them to be in bed by 7.30 pm. Their dad on the otherhand, again refused to support me on this and to this day he still refuses. 

Whilst they've been off school he said he "doesn't care that they're up late" when in actual reality it's affecting their day to day behaviour. They're tired, they're grumpy and they have no routine whatsoever. Co-parenting is actually really really difficult especially when you're being undermined all the time and you've worked hard to get something to work and sometimes I really do wonder if I'd be better off doing it alone. Of course I'd never punish P or the boys and stop them seeing each other but at the moment I think they need to spend more time with someone who will give them some structure.

It makes it really difficult to set boundaries for the boys when they're between houses where two people just do not make a good team whatsoever but I guess I have just go to persevere and hope that something sinks in for them. 

The struggle with co-parenting is real and I feel for all of you who are doing it whether together or separated. Stay strong, you're doing amazing! 

Rachael xo

Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Family | Protecting the Cubs

I wasn't going to write this post because it still angers me to this day what happened but a wise woman once told me "writing is therapy" so here we are. 

On September 11th 2017, the day after George's third birthday, we packed up the boys and the car and headed the 180 miles to Butlins in Skegness for their Just For Tots Week. I was already dreading another family with the in-laws, let alone with a stroppy threenager and nine month old in tow, however, I'd already survived the previous holiday without killing anyone whilst I was pregnant so it wouldn't be too bad right?

On our second day there we were in the main pavillion where they had a section gated off and inside was full of Little Tikes toys, cars, castles, you know that kind of stuff, with plenty of seats so the growns ups could sit back and supervise. George was off playing, Henry was in his pram asleep and I noticed George hit another child. With that I got up out my seat to go deal with himas any normal mother would but the next thing I knew some bitch of a woman was telling him off, very aggressively, pointing in his face and then she smacked him! No word of a lie, this fully grown woman smacked my child on the shoulder. 

Nothing ever prepares you for that kind of rage you know? I flew at this woman, heels ablazing and screaming "what are you doing? Don't touch my kid!" Actually, there was a lot more swearing than that as you can imagine. And you know what she said? "He's just hit him!" As if that defended her actions! Genuinely thought I was going to be inprisoned for battering a pensioner that day and if she hadn't picked her grandson up I think I might have caused some actual harm to her. 

I had to leave the pavillion because I was so mad and somewhat embarrassed of how I'd reacted but when someone hurts your child your natural instinct is to protect, just like a lioness protecting her cubs. Would the in laws think differently of me? Would the other parents in the pavillion think I was some common scouse woman causing a fight?  I rang my mum to let her know and started crying on the phone because I cry when I'm angry She told me to report it but I was worried I was going to be arrested for hitting a bitch so I left it and to this day I'm pissed off that I never. On my return, another mum asked me if I was okay, told me to report it and said I'd handled it well so I don't think I did too badly looking back. 

Kids are kids and they lash out at each other, it happens. And it's horrible when you see another child  hurt yours, it really is but it doesn't give anyone the right to slap your child, in fact, I'm pretty sure it's illegal. I have no probelm with someone telling my two off if they've misbehaved but there's no need to be aggressive in any way at all. Nothing excuses that woman's actions that day and perhaps nothing really excuses mine. I still maintain she deserved it and she was lucky she left when she did though.  

We did see that family a day or two later in the playground and she swiftly left when she saw us, leaving her full pint of Stella (yes, Stella) on the table so I think justice was served that day. 

Just don't touch my kids yeah?

Rachael xo

Monday, 15 June 2020

Life | Lockdown Diary #003

When I started this series my intention was to blog weekly about our life in lockdown but to be completely honest with you, I haven't really wanted to document it. The truth is I have really struggled with being on my own in the house with the boys. I occasionally see my neighbours once a week when they take my bins out for me, the boys dad when he drops them off but he's a loner and getting conversation out of him is like drawing blood from a stone, and my parents when they've done socially distanced door drop offs. I used to consider myself quite antisocial, but I'm not really. I don't really like the general public or strangers (unless I've had a bevvy then I'm everyones mate) but it turns out in fact, I actually need people around me. I guess it's one of those things isn't it? Being left alone with nothing but your kids and your own thoughts can be hard and it's been hard for me. 

I've kept myself busy with projects around the house because I'm due to move house soon so I've given everywhere a much needed freshen up and upcycled some furniture ready for when I move in to the house. I've kept away from people I love, kept away from my friends, my family for 12 or 13 weeks or however long it is now and kept me and my boys (and the old fella who stands that little bit too close behind me in the supermarket) safe. 

When lockdown rules were lifted and we were allowed to see people from another household in a public space, I met up with my friend and her two boys which I'm not going to talk about too much because I wrote about it here but when I posted a photo I was scrutinised by people for it. Just this weekend I spent a few hours in the park with the girls were we all sat apart from each other and yet again people are quick to comment on how far or how close we're sitting. The same people are sharing cars with people from another househould to go for fast food or don't even actually live in mainland UK and are no longer socially distancing at all. One person on Twitter even called me vile and selfish. Everyone thinks they're the lockdown police at the minute. I've socially distanced, I've stuck by the rules and I now have one family in my bubble.

I thought that when the rules were lifted and I could see my friends and now I can even hug my mum, I'd feel great but instead I'm being made to feel like shit by people who can't just mind their own business. I guess there's no real reason for this post other than just needing a rant. Soical media is toxic and it's full of people with too much to say because they can hide behind a screen. People hate seeing others happy don't they? So that's why I've made the decision to come off Facebook and I'll be no longer sharing what I do on social media, so I guess I'm taking a hiatus from it all. 

Stay safe

Rachael xo