We are MOVING!

It has been playing on my mind for a while now and I have toyed with the idea and read up on it repeatedly. But this week I took the plunge and I have moved my free WordPress.com blog to and self hosted WordPress.org.

I am thrilled, intrigued and scared all at the same time. Mainly because i am still figuring everything out and I really don’t want to lose my blog if something goes wrong. (Here’s hoping nothing goes wrong!)

So far everything has gone ok but only time will tell. 

You can now find me at my brand spanking new domain.

http://keepingstrongandmovingforward.co.uk

Come take a look and I hope you will follow me. My Twitter, Instagram and Facebook will still be the same.

Hope you stay in touch 🙂 

Nikki x 

50 Things that Make me Happy!

When I first realised that I was tagged by the lovely Pennies Add Up I was completely thrilled. But when I thought about and I  wondered could I think of 50 different things that make me happy? 

So I put my mind to work and tried to come up with as many things as I could.  

 So here we go:

  1. My family – My hubby and my kids. They completely drive me around the bend most of the time but I know deep down that with them in my life I wouldn’t be as happy as I am now! 
  2. Sunshine – I love sitting in the sun and I adore watching the sun rise and set. 
  3. This smile – I can’t look at her smile without feeling all warm and fuzzy.  
  4. Wine – a nice big glass of red wine to relax with when the kids are in bed.
  5. The Disney film The Little Mermaid – I put this film on when ever I am ill or I’m feeling pants because it’s one of my favourite and I love it.
  6. My best friends Maggi and Kate – I call them my wives because I love them to pieces and they always make be feel better or talk sense into me when I’m feeling down!
  7. Listening to rain tapping on the window, car roof or when you in a tent.
  8. My kids telling me they love me
  9. Flowers  
  10. I love relaxing in a bubble bath, so bubble baths make me happy
  11. The Outdoors – that feeling you get after a long walk, or when your stood and the edge of a hill or cliff looking out are the view in front of you. It’s beautiful.
  12. Going swimming
  13. Chocolate – but that speaks for itself 
  14. Dancing – nothing makes me happier then blaring out music and dancing around like a crazy person. I even have a Happy Dance.
  15. Trying new things – figuring out and knowing I can do something new really makes me happy.
  16. Come Dine With Me – it’s one if my favourite TV shows and I love wTching it even if it does make me hungry.
  17. My house when it’s freshly decorated, decluttered and clean.
  18. Cuddles   
  19. The song Happy by Pharrell Williams
  20. My pyjamas – I love nothing more then buying myself a new set and I could live in them all day, every day. If it was possible.
  21. My mum and dad – my mum drives me round the bend and some days I want to scream at her because she isn’t listening or still treats me like a child but she can be lovely, helpful and there if I need her.
  22. Shopping – going in a shopping spree and spending money in a new pair of shoes or and outfit for myself. Even when I go shopping for the kids I love it because I can plan it all out and normally I try to go when I’m “kid free!” That makes it a real treat.
  23. Date night – my home and I try to have a date night steady once a month because we need time for us as well as time as a family. 
  24. Clouds – nothing better then lay on the grass on a warm summers day making shapes out of the clouds.  
  25. Kisses – whether it’s a smooch off my kids or a sneaky snog off my hubby kisses always leave me smiling. 
  26. Presents – come on who doesn’t like been given a gift.
  27. Seeing my kids happy!
  28. A cold beer, fresh from the fridge at the end of a hot day.
  29. Daffodils – every year I love see the daffodils because it means the start of spring.
  30. Halloween – I always try to go all out at Halloween. I decorate my garden, my house and sometimes myself. 
  31. Reading a story to my kids at bedtime and me seeing them read for themselves.  
  32. My bed – I love curling up in bed even though I find it hard to fall asleep sometimes.
  33. Being pregnant – although there were moments I completely loathed being pregnant, through out each and everyone pregnancy I alway had a feeling of contentment and happiness.
  34. Finding a bargain or getting a great deal on something.
  35. Bubbles – I love watching and blowing bubbles in garden with the kids.
  36. Hearing my kids say “I love you, mum!”.
  37. Watching E eat watermelon – she loves the stuff and always eat a slice that is almost as big as her head. It very amusing to watch.
  38. Listening to P!nk – she is one of my favourite artist and I just love her music.
  39. Sunday Morning snuggles with kids when they climb in my bed
  40. Coffee   
  41. Looking at stars – it fills my with a sense of amazement and happiness to stare up at a beautiful sight as the stars.
  42. When someone likes my blog posts or when I break my most views in a day record.
  43. When I think about the day I got married.
  44. Making new friends.
  45. When I try a new recipe and it works out well.
  46. Watching my kids sleep – it’s just so peaceful. 
  47. Seeing my kids learn something new.
  48. Climbing into freshly changed bedding.
  49. Sitting my candle light in winter.
  50. Being told “I’m the worlds best mum” or “the best mum ever”

I want to say a massive thank you for tagging me and even though my post is little bit late. It’s only because it’s take me so long to thing about what to  put and what makes me happy.

I will pass on the joy and tag:

@Brummymummyof2

@zenas_suitcase

@liquoriceuk

@IcklePicklex

What 50 Things Make you Happy? 

Nikki x

    Fab lunch boxes from Monbento

    T and A don’t have school dinners, which means that every school morning the hubby or I have to make packed lunches for the 2 eldest kids. 

    Now we don’t mind doing this because it means we can choose what they eat and we know it nutritious. The problem is the fact that the kids are always breaking their sandwich boxes, lunch bags or losing the little containers. So when I got the chance to review the lunch boxes from Monbento I was thrilled that I would a have a lunch box to replace A’s missing sandwich box as well as the chance to review the fab looking products. 

    The website, I must say is ace and I love and want loads of the items on there. 

    They asked me what item I would like to review and because I was thinking in a practical mind I chose the bright pink kids MBTresor lunch box. (which can be found in the kids section on website)

      

    So a few days later when the box arrived I was thrilled at how bright the pink was. (I loved it)

    With utter excitement I instantly started inspecting the lunch box and opening all the different compartments, to see what was inside. The lunch box consisted of;  

     

    • 1 main compartment
    • A divider tray
    • 2 smaller container
    • A lid, that once closed makes the whole box air tight.

    It also had a little twist off circle in the lid where you could place a personalised picture, note or you could choose from 1 of the 5 pictures provided to make the lunch box your own.  

      

    I must say I really loved this little feature because it gave the box that extra added touch that is prefect for kids (and adults!).

    The plastic that the box is made of is really good quality and feels really strong. Which again is prefect for kids because it means it’s not going to break easily when the drop it or throw it in their bags etc.

    I decided that I needed to test out this rather amazing looking lunch box before I let the kids get hold of it. Luckily enough I had a 3 day training course that I had sign myself up for and I would need a lunch box.  

     

    It was the prefect opportunity. So each morning I made my lunch in the lunch box. I would go to my training and I would have the people there asking me about it. 

    They too shared my thoughts on how great this lunch box looked. They were shocked when I explained that it was a child’s lunch box and not an adults one. 

    One of my fellow trainees asked my for the website address and told me she was going to look into buying one herself. 

    It has loads of great points such as:

    • Lightweight
    • Versatile 
    • Colourful 
    • Compact 
    • Airtight (to lock on freshness)
    • Good quality

    I can honestly hand on heart tell you I love this product. The only down side is they are rather expensive at £16.00 for the kids lunch box and £24.00 for the adults. 

    But for a product this good quality and I would pay that price because the lunch box will last and give you many uses.

    Plus it is microwave, freezer and dishwasher friendly. It is airtight, food grade and BPA free. 

    I love this product so much that instead of letting the kids have it like, I intended. I decided to keep it for myself.

    I may look into buying the kids some when they stop losing everything. Although the good things is you can buy replace ment items off the website as well as complete personalising your very own Monbento lunchbox.

    Nikki x 

    Disclaimer…
    I was sent the lunch box to review in exchange for the product, but the thoughts and opinions are my own. 

    My outfit for #BlogCamp2015

    As most people on Twitter will tell you, I have been going on all week about what I’m going to wear to the event held by Tots100 called BlogCamp.

    I have dug through my wardrobe and though of all the outfits and clothes I own. And even though I do have some lovely thing that would have looked lovely on the day, I really wanted to treat myself to a new outfit for my First Ever Blogger Event.

    This is because I know that if I like what I’m wearing and I feel I look good, I will also feel good about myself and I will be able to be my confident and bubbly self because I won’t have the silly little self doubts niggling away at my about what I am wearing.

    So here is my outfit I’m going to be wearing tomorrow:

      
    I’m going to be wearing a black day dress with lace trim and a white butterfly print for South that I ordered from Littlewoods for £32.00, with black, lace trim leggings from New look £14.00, the wedge sandals I got from George Asda £14.00 and the buttfly necklace is from avon. (I can’t remember how much that cost because I have had it years)

    I must say I am really excited for BlogCamp tomorrow, even more so now I have my outfit sorted. 

    Tonight I am going to be thinking about what to do with my hair and probably painting my nails 🙂 before I have and early night as its a 5 am start because I have to catch the train from Bradford to Birmingham.

    Are you going to BlogCamp?

    Do you know what your wearing?

    Have you been before?

    Hurry up and make tomorrow, today please 😄

    Nikki x 

    Entertaining the Kids, thanks to Twinkl

    I always stress out when the kids start their half term holidays, mainly because I am always at a loss at what to do to help keep all the kids entertained. Having the age range of 18 months to 10 years old doesn’t help either. This is because normally the activities I have planned for the older kids are too hard for E and baby to take part in and vice a versa.

    That was until I told about the great website Twinkl  

     It is and amazing education resource site that can be use for home education or by teachers and parents that what to help their children learn and get the best they can out of education. The site is aimed at children under the age of 10 and is full of great ideas and activities for all children of all ages and levels of education and ability. 

    I really enjoyed taking a look around the website to see everything it had to offer. I love the fact that it had resource for the EYFS, KS1, KS2, KS3, EAL and best of all SEN. Because it meant that I could look at and print off resource to help all my children (including Baby) with their education and that there were activities for older kids and print out flash cards to help Baby.   

       

    I also enjoyed the new feature that means you can create your own learning resources on Twinkl create based around thinking you and your family enjoy or for any upcoming projects you may want to work on together.

    There are 3 levels of subscription on the website, such as:

    • Free Membership – this allows you access to a majority of the resources 
    • Gold  Membership – this is the low cost high quality option and cost £29.95 a year
    • Platinum Membership – this allows you access to all the resources and cost £44.94 a year

    Plus they have a forum in which you can talk to professionals or fellow parents and home educators to support each other and swap ideas as a community.

    My boys were super excited when they saw all they even had a MineCraft activity and resource section and begged me to start printing them out!  

     

    They were very eager to start building their own little MineCraft world. 

    I was just happy with how easy it was to navigate throught such an brilliant site that has an abundance of ideas, activities and study aids that you are bound to find something to keep the whole family happy and also make learning a easier and more fun experience for everyone. 

    And thanks to Twinkl I was able to make it through another half term with some happy and entertained children.

    I really suggest you take a look and see for yourself just how great the site truly is.

    Nikki x 

     

    Disclaimer… For this review I was compensated with a Platinum Membership, but all opinions are my own.  

    #Project365 – Week 15

    This week has been the start of half term and although I have tired to stay busy with the kids. I haven’t always remembered to take snaps of what we have been up to.

    But here is my week minus a few really awesome pictures I wish I had taken. 

    Day 96 

     Here is Baby, enjoying the sun and her first time on a trampoline. She isn’t normally in just a vest but in the midday sun it was really warm. I must say I love his the static has affected her hair, she looks so cute!

    Day 97 

    This was my attempt at a healthy breakfast after to chocolate fest that was Easter Sunday. I know it’s not really healthy but it has fruit in it. 

    Day 98 

    Tuesday I thought I would share how amazed I was that baby could sleep in such I weird positions on a regular basis. I know this is all part and parcel on her low muscle tone, which cause hypermobility, which is part of her Down syndrome but it’s still amazing watching her do the splits or sleep hugging her legs etc. 

    What do you think? 

    Day 99 

    I love flowers and I buy myself a bunch every week when I do the shopping, just because they make me happy  and my house smell lovely. Plus they are amazing to snap a quick photo of, if I’m in a pinch and need a bit of inspiration. 

    Day 100 

    The boys wanted to go camping but because it was short notice, I don’t drive and it was after 6pm, they had to settle for a night of sleeping with me in a tent in the garden. 

    I only agreed because I thought they would give up and say they wanted to go inside after a hour or so. But they didn’t and they adored the whole night and slept outside on the hard ground, much to my dismay. I coped by dreaming of my bed.

    Day 101 

     I realise I take far too many pictures of food but this one was actually for #snaphappybritmums and it’s #betterwithcake prompt. I know it’s not cake but it had to do.

    Day 102 

    Here is Baby enjoying her first trip out on her sisters hand me down smart trike. I would have brought her, her own but E is much happier with her peddle bike which means I can save money and they both can enjoy the fun.

    So that’s my week, how was yours? 

    Nikki x 

    TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

    We went on a bear hunt!

    After being inspired by the children’s new favourite book.  

    I decided that this half term we would go on our own little bear hunt. This meant us going on a walk down into the wood near my house while reciting the story repeatedly and while I tried to snap as many picture as I could. Plus it meant I got to final test out the back sling I brought to carry Baby in.

    The weather has been very bloody beautiful this week and has been a welcomed changed because it meant that our walk wouldn’t be put on hold. I arranged a day out with a friend and her children, but the original plan was changed and we instead decide to packed a picnic and go on a adventure. 

    OUR HUNTERS!   

    We were all really excited to go for a hike around the woods. Even Baby was excited and was loving her new carrier. So off we set, with our picnic packed the kids raring to go and everyone excited for the fun.

    “We’re Going On A Bear Hunt.” 

     

    “We’re Going To Catch A BIG One.”   

     “What A Beautiful Day!”

     “We’re Not Scared.” 

     

    We had great fun and we ticked most of the books adventures, like mud, forest, a little beck (almost a river). Lucky for us there wasn’t a snowstorm or any dark caves. 

    Sadly we didn’t find any bears but we saw sheep, cows, horses and a cute family of donkeys. 

     

    We managed to get round our walk and at end we worked out that we had all managed to do about 4 miles and were completely exhausted. But like kids do they some how managed to find loads of energy just as we got home to sit down. 

    It was then that the boys asked if they could have a camp out. I thought why not the weather is lovely and I knew our tents needed to be aired out soon. (It had been a few years) 

    So we got out a tent and put it up in the garden.

     

    The boys wanted a camp fire to roast marshmallows but that wasn’t possible, instead we managed to talk them into a BBQ for tea.

    They seemed happy with them. 

    Soon it was time for my friend and her girls to leave, Hubby and our girls went to bed. Which left me and the boys to try to snuggle down and get comfy in the tent in the garden. 

     

    As you can tell they were very happy and really excited. 

    When I first agreed to the idea of camping in the garden I had seriously thought that they would have been happy to sit in tent, tell ghost stories and then realise it was cold, uncomfy (my air bed bust a few years back, so we were sleeping on just hard ground) and that they would want to crawl back into their own beds in time for me to curl up on sofa and watch Scandal.

    I was very wrong and we stayed out there all night. They even stayed out there this morning when I had finally decided I could pretend to sleep anymore an I needed the loo and then a coffee!

    I was happy to see they loved camping as much as I normally do. Hopefully next year when baby is a little older we can look into booking a family camping holiday.

    Do you ever acted out your kids books?

    Have you ever camped in the garden?

    Nikki x

    Ps, sorry it’s such a photo heavy post but I hope you enjoyed it.

    country kids
    Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

    Yes, they’re all mine!

    As a mother to 4 and a step mum to 2, my family is classed as a “large family” and because of this people I know, strangers on the bus, in shops or on the street and even sometime professionals feel they have a right or needs to pass comments or judgements over me and my family.
    Saying stuff like “You have your hands full”, “Don’t you own a TV?” or “Haven’t you got enough!”. These are normally quickly followed by the question “Are you having anymore?”. (This is normally said as they pull a face like they have smelt or tasted something terrible!) 

    Most of time I can easily ignore these comments and just right them off as people trying to be funny or ignorant. Even if it does really worry me when random strangers or people that I barely know insinuate that my hubby and I are baby making machines!

    The worst I have had is when people I thought were my friends make annoying accusations that I only have “so many children” so that I don’t have to work and I can sponge off benefits or my husband! (Who works full time I might add)

    Those types of comments tend to take a little more to forgive or forget. Instead I choose to ignore them because I don’t feel the need to live my life or raise my family the way other people think I should. 

    My family and I don’t want to fit into the norm because we want to be ourselves!  And I love them for that.

    In all honesty I never thought I would have a big family. As a teenager I didn’t even want children but at the crazy age of 16 I found myself pregnant. It wasn’t planned and at the time I thought my life was over. Luckily as my bump grew, so did I and by the time I was 17 I gave birth to my eldest son T. It was then that I feel in love with motherhood and I realised I wanted more then just 1 child. 

    That been said I never dreamed I would give birth 4 times and have added children to make my family whole.

    But just because a family is larger then most doesn’t mean that the parents have a larger, unsatifiable appetite then everyone else. It just means they have been blessed with hearts and arms to be filled buy all their beautiful children. 

    It’s not for other people to make them feel bad or pass unwanted comments about someone’s about parenthood because every family is different and special! 

    I don’t go around judging people because they chose not to have more then 1, 2 or even 3 children because that is a personal choice that is completely up to them. 

    So why do people feel the need to pass comments on my choices?

      

    Nikki x 

    Parenthood is the best rollercoaster!

    Parenthood is a amazing, exhilarating, stressful and terrifying experience and one that I didn’t truly understand the gravity of whe I took on the job of being a mother at the young age of 17.  

     

    It is full of  high speeds decisions as you try to multi task nappy changes, bottle making and house cleaning, while trying to enjoy the thrills as you ride out the good times of cuddles, kisses and learning new things.

    Most parenthood journeys start out slowly as you enjoy the excitement of your pregnancy, new bump and eventually your baby. The joy and adrenaline builds  as you watch your children learn an grow, and they climb the milestone track reaching the peak as they learn to smile, crawl, sit, walk and eventually fall!

    It is then that the tears, scream and terror starts as you plunge down into the tantrums, the endless sleepless nights and the dreaded teenage years!  

     

    As you whizz along your daily lives, bending round the different curves and challenges as you try to figure out which parenting path to take. Knowing you will make mistake along the way as you try to figure out what is best you and your family.

    The fast paced loop de loops of life leaving your head spinning and you confused as youtry to figure out what your 2 year old is trying to say to you and when you fly through the water pit and your hand go up to protect yourselves from the onslaught of unknown bodily fluid the mini person will try to share with you on a regular basis. 

      

     

    There will be times of total elation and you feel an overwhelming rush of love and happiness as you hold your little bundle wrapped up in your arms and all you can think is how awesome you must be for being able to help create this truly estounding and beautiful human being in front of you.

    As the round the last few corners and you reach the end of the being a full time parent. You will think back over the wild ride your children have taken you on, the scary and stressful bits long forgotten and the happy memories remain. You will then look at your children and realise they made you into the best thing you could be a mother, a father, a parent!

    And that’s the scariest rollercoaster ride ever!  

    Nikki x

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