The Cuckoo Oak Madeley – Review

If you read my post yesterday you will see that I decided to venture out on my own with all 5 children for dinner. We decided to go to The Cuckoo Oak in Madeley. The reason I chose this particular pub/restaurant is because not only is it close by in case of any urgent need to go home but it is also known for being relatively cheap and has the added bonus of a park Continue reading “The Cuckoo Oak Madeley – Review”

Venturing out on my own with all 5 kids for the first time!

Yesterday I was feeling a bit rubbish. My head has been quite bad recently but I’m sure it’s just down to stress rather than pressure. I woke up feeling a bit miserable but decided that it was going to be the day where I ventured out of the house on my own for the very first time EVER with all 5 children Continue reading “Venturing out on my own with all 5 kids for the first time!”

Escaping reality

I was sat recently thinking about how other people attempt to escape reality. Everyone at some point or another just feels like they need a short period of peace. Where they take themselves away from the world and everything else in it. Whether it’s taking part in a hobby, joining a club of some sort, running. There is always something.

Continue reading “Escaping reality”

#SPARbecue – Food & Family fun even with the rain!

When I was offered the opportunity to work alongside SPAR and host a #Sparbecue I jumped at the chance, especially when it was requested that we hold the barbecue on the weekend that coincided with Annabelle‘s birthday. Continue reading “#SPARbecue – Food & Family fun even with the rain!”

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How To Manage A Long Plane Journey Whilst Pregnant: 5 Tips

A long plane journey is never something you look forward to, especially if you’re pregnant.

But they don’t have to be bad. Some simple considerations can make all the difference and ensure your trip is as comfortable as possible. Follow our five tips and you’ll be well on your way to managing a long plane journey whilst pregnant.

1. Book an aisle seat

Don’t leave your seat selection till the last minute — reserve one as soon as you’re able to. An aisle seat means you’ll be able to stretch, move around and go to the toilet whenever you need to, without getting in anyone’s way or needing to climb past your fellow passengers.

2. Wear layers

Will it be stuffy in the cabin? Or will they have the air con on high? You never know until you get there, so prepare accordingly and wear layers. You’ll be able to adjust as you need to, staying cool and comfortable throughout the flight.

3. Put on flight socks

Deep vein thrombosis (i.e. blood clots in deep veins) is a risk for everyone on long flights, with pregnant women slightly more likely to be affected.

Fortunately, it’s easy to reduce the swelling associated with DVT by wearing flight socks, which are also good at dealing with varicose veins. Put them on before you board the plane and keep them on for as long as you’re comfortable, remembering to take them off when you go to bed in your destination.

4. Stand up and stretch at regular intervals

It’s important to keep the blood flowing (another way to reduce the risk of DVT). Stand up every half an hour or so to stretch your out your body and take a gentle walk. You can also do feet and leg exercises while sitting down.

5. Drink plenty of water

The air in the cabin is extremely dry, with humidity of 10-20%. (In comparison, most people are used to humidity of 30-60%, which is a big difference.) One way to combat this is by drinking water throughout the flight.

The recommended amount of water a pregnant woman should drink is different depending on what stage of pregnancy you’re in. Those in the first and second trimesters need the equivalent of eight 200ml glasses per day, while those in the third trimester should aim for more. You will also need more if you’re be travelling to a hot country.

The flight is never the exciting part of a trip, but follow these tips and it won’t be a nuisance, either. Happy holidays!


** This is a collaborative post


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It’s time – Dating and Moving on!

If you are a regular reader of my blog or a follower on my Instagram/Twitter or Facebook then you will know that I’ve been through a pretty tough period in my life recently when I thought the world would be a much better place without me in it.  After receiving intensive CBT I am now ready to talk you about moving on!


Whilst it may seem very fast to some what people don’t realise is I have actually been single on and off since November last year and even the in between bits have been what we will call strained.

I found myself missing company, not even anything within a sexual way but someone to talk about my day to or to snuggle down and watch a film with. It’s a lonely world when you’re single with 5 children, there is only so much you can discuss with your children.

So I signed myself up to a few well-known dating apps, not entirely sure what I was looking for but looking for something. Well what an experience that is, From guys dressed in pink latex like a pig to someone offering me £100 for an hour of ‘my time’ It certainly didn’t take too long to realise that maybe I was out of my depth.

Call me old-fashioned but I like to get to know somebody, laugh , joke, chat not just sit and text about the sex that will never happen. Apparently these days guys seem to think that if they send you a picture of their manhood it’s going to make you fall in love with them.


After spending a while and chatting to a few fairly normal people it came to a point where they were beginning to discuss meeting up with me. Something inside me was holding me back, I knew these guys were just taking the next natural step but for some reason I just couldn’t do it.

After politely declining invitations and having a chat to Gareth about my thoughts and fears ( yes Gareth, I know shocking huh?! but he’s actually very good at giving me a males perspective on things and we’ve turned a huge corner but I’ll get to that in a bit) I sat alone in the quiet and thought about what I really want in life.

As I was thinking I knew that the dating sites was not what I wanted, I didn’t think it would be fair on the people I was speaking to if I built up something that I genuinely wasn’t interested in.

I could accept the dates and meet new people and build friendships but that is all I would be looking for after all what did I have to lose? One of those dates could turn out to be what I’ve been searching for , for a very long time.  A best friend, a soul mate, a partner & lover but the truth is as much as I thought that’s what I have been searching for it isn’t.

What I’ve actually been searching for is the real me, not the one that’s been ground down by other people, not the one who was made to feel worthless and insignificant by other people but the real me and who I want to be. I realised that it’s now time for me to focus on myself for once instead of trying to make everyone else happy.

I have aspirations and I want to do things with my life. I don’t want to be a stereotype single mother of 5 children living on benefits. I want to make something of myself, go back  to work and to the gym, lose weight, learn how to love myself again because let’s face it how can I expect anyone else to love me when I don’t even love myself.

Gareth and I

As you all know we split and I am in a position where I know that I did  absolutely everything I could to save my relationship, I was supportive, caring, did the little things that matter but at the end of the day relationships will only work if it is coming from both sides and in our circumstance that wasn’t the case.

For quite a while after we split things were very bad, we couldn’t even look at each other without it turning into an all guns blazing argument, we spent periods of time where we just had to spend a few days with no contact to cool things down a bit. Words were being thrown around both ways that were extremely hurtful.

I was very angry, hurt and upset that despite everything I had done I still wasn’t good enough and Gareth was frustrated that his responses towards me weren’t sinking in.

One day after a particularly bad argument I went out to visit his mum and whilst I was gone I had a bit of time to think, I returned to the house where calmly we sat and spoke like adults for the first time ever. I explained my thoughts and feelings and Gareth told me his. That night we decided enough was enough, the fighting wasn’t doing anybody any good, not him, me or the children. We stood in the back garden and had a long hug and this is where we turned a corner.

As much as I didn’t like the situation, as much as I didn’t think it was right, as much as I felt like I had been left struggling through no fault of my own and my family had been torn apart I had to accept that it is what it is and move forward. You can’t force somebody to love you and as the saying goes if you love somebody then let them go and that is exactly what I have had to do.

Turning the corner

Once we removed all of the pressure of ‘us’ and talking about the past we realised that we actually like each others company, we could be in the same room together without it turning into an argument, we even started having a laugh together.

We went from never discussing other people to openly talking to each other about potential dates and who we each were talking to. One day whilst listening to Gareth talking about a lady he was talking to I noticed something, It didn’t hurt anymore. I never felt that horrible pang in my stomach, In actual fact I found myself curious and excited to see what would happen next for him.

Don’t get me wrong I will love him forever, he is the father of my children and I genuinely 100% believed that he was my soulmate, I didn’t believe that we had gone through everything we had for nothing but I do now feel like the decision to split was right. It would never have worked when one of us felt so much more than the other.

Now we are pretty much best friends, he comes round almost everyday to see the kids. I can not fault him in anyway when it comes to being a Dad, He also has grown a lot and started to see the world a little differently after being admitted to hospital.

I am actually enjoying watching him transform from someone who was so lost into the person he wants to be. I am so proud of him for picking himself back up from the worst possible place he could be and I hope that one day he finds the person he does really click with and has that special connection with, most importantly I wish him happiness because at the end of the day is happiness not what we all truly want?

Moving on

I have now deleted all dating apps, I realise I don’t actually need or want a man in my life. Don’t get me wrong I still get lonely and I do miss cuddles on the sofa but I never ever want to put myself or the kids through this again. I am focusing on myself and my children. I am going to work extremely hard to make sure that we gain a nice home by decorating it instead of being embarrassed about it.

I’ve rejoined a gym and started eating healthier. Every morning I now take vitamins to try to improve certain parts of me that were making me feel self-conscious such as my hair thinning.

I am at the moment struggling to decide what to do when it comes to going back to work or throwing myself into studying to become something more when Bethie starts full-time.

Right now my world revolves around me, my children and our happiness. I no longer want to listen to negativity, I am no longer going to take other people’s opinions so personally because one thing I learnt during my CBT sessions was that they are exactly that, just opinions, they aren’t facts and quite frankly you can’t please everyone and not everybody is going to like you.

More importantly than anything else I’ve written today, I WANT TO LIVE!

Thanks for reading






When trips out don’t go to plan

We’ve all been there, planned a day trip out with the kids and as much as you want it picture perfect like everyone else’s trips seem to go something goes wrong and the day ends in a completely different way to the one that you expected. Continue reading “When trips out don’t go to plan”

Our 6 weeks adventure list – Fun, Cheap Days out for the summer

It’s the school summer holidays and every single year we end up just sitting around the house barely doing anything so this year I sat everybody down and asked them places they would all like to go to. Obviously we have a large range of ages so finding things to suit everybody can be quite tricky but between us we managed to come up with a list of places to visit. As we visit each place I will pop a review of them up on my blog so you can see if you would like to visit them yourself. Continue reading “Our 6 weeks adventure list – Fun, Cheap Days out for the summer”

Summer Holidays Days Out – Exotic Zoo Telford – Review

As we enter the summer holidays I decided that this year wouldn’t be like all of the others where we sit in the house and do nothing. We sat together and wrote a list of places that we would like to go to visit for days out that were either very cheap or free. each one I will add a review for as we go so that you can see for yourselves what the places are like. I will point out at this point that every place that we visit we are paying for ourselves, none have been gifted and non are advertisements or paid for. Today we visited the Exotic Zoo in Telford Continue reading “Summer Holidays Days Out – Exotic Zoo Telford – Review”

*** Trigger warning *** Depression & Anxiety : I never thought it would happen to me

Anyone who knows me personally will tell you I’m very outgoing and very bubbly. I love being surrounded by people and having fun. When bad things happen I brush them off and start again. So nobody could have been more shocked than I was when depression and anxiety entered my life.

Panic Attacks

I went away with friends, I usually go a couple of times a year. It’s my respite from the world, my chance to be Chez , not mum. I count down the months, weeks and days until I’m going. Only this time I wasn’t excited, I was scared. I must have gone through every ridiculous scenario possible just for the journey there let alone when I actually got there. I got in my car and I wasn’t in my usual bubble where I rush to get there. Don’t get me wrong I couldn’t wait to see my friends but I just couldn’t shift this nervous feeling.

On the Saturday afternoon we were all laughing and joking in the bar and all of a sudden I got this overwhelming feeling that I had to leave. I left the group and headed back to the chalet. As I was walking my chest got tighter and tighter, I couldn’t breathe and could feel myself panicking. I’ve never had a panic attack before but I knew enough about them to know that this was one. I would then go on to have a few more before I went home.

The weekend was good but I just couldn’t switch off from the stresses of the world and fully enjoy it. I even packed my bags at 6am to leave and go home until my sister-in-law spoke to me and convinced me to stay where I was.

So scared

I’d been home a few days when I woke up one morning and didn’t want to get out of bed. More than that I didn’t even want to talk to anyone at all. The thought of going to do the school runs gave me palpitations. I lay in my bed and ignored everyone, I didn’t change my clothes so wore the same clothes day and night for a week. I couldn’t eat, didn’t bathe, didn’t want to be alive. People were messaging me but I didn’t reply. I didn’t want anyone to feel sorry for me I just wanted to die.

Brain in overdrive

My brain would not shut off, from every single conversation I had recently had to the things that had been said to me recently, everything was constantly going round in my head. I was a failure, I was a rubbish mum, Nobody cared if I was here or not. Everyone’s lives would be better without me in them. I even thought about how easy it would be to take some tablets , just go to sleep and never wake up again or crash my car, everyone would just think it was an accident.

Mums grave

I must have visited mums grave more at that time than I had since she had passed away. I sat there for hours away from the world and the people in it. I felt it was the only place I could go where people wouldn’t think I was attention seeking or being dramatic.

I wanted to die and one day I decided that it was the day to do it. I set off to my mums grave and had absolutely no intention of returning home, as I sat beside mums headstone I said ” I’ll be with you soon mum”

I was going to die, I was finally going to be free from my thoughts, this horrible disgusting body, free from the nasty words of people and feeling like I was nothing. I would be free.

Someone did care

Whilst I was at the grave my ex partners mother was constantly texting me, talking to me, making sure I was ok, Telling me that I was important and that people cared and she invited me to go for a coffee. Initially I ignored her text then I figured I could go and see her one last time. I genuinely believe her inviting me for that coffee and just sitting and listening to me that day is the reason I’m still alive.

The crisis team were called

Now I have spoken to the crisis team many times but never for myself. This time they were called for my own safety, After a lengthy phone call I was reassured that they would take care of me and help me to feel better. The explained how I was highly stressed with no support and everything that had happened not only in the last year but since I was a lot younger had finally take their toll on me and I had just had a mental breakdown.


I was called by another member of the team who took me through a thorough and proper assessment, they asked me lots of questions where I had to give things a rating, they asked me about my suicidal thoughts, asked me about how I felt as a mother. I was completely honest and told them how I felt like I had done nothing but let my children down, I couldn’t give them the happy family I always wished for them. I felt like I was a worthless mother and they would be better with somebody else.

The lovely guy on the phone listened carefully to everything I said and then told me why I was feeling the way I was and how my thoughts were exactly that, my thoughts and not a reflection on what everyone else thought.

I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression.

so where am I now?

I no longer want to die, don’t get me wrong if I fell asleep tonight and didn’t wake up I still think people would be relieved and their lives would be better without me. But I don’t want to die. I am having weekly therapy, they are teaching me to retrain my thoughts. Mainly about myself because I can not put into words how I feel about myself. I feel disgusting. But I’m sure the picture I have added as the feature picture on here will give you some idea.

I want to get better, I want to become a role model for my children. I want a career and to use the brain that I have that is being wasted. I want to meet somebody who will love me and my children unconditionally , who wont ever make me feel like a waste of time.

But for now I’m working on loving myself again , finding the positives and trying to get out of my house a little more.


Hopefully this post will explain my sudden absence from my blog. I wasn’t be rude or ignorant I got very sick, very quickly and literally overnight went from ok to in a really bad way and you know what made it worse? I couldn’t even pick up the phone and talk to my mum to help to make it better…..

I would like to advise EVERYBODY male or female if you ever find yourself in the position I was, if you ever feel the way I did please get help. You are worth it and you know what? So am I!

There are a number of helplines that can help you  please click here for a list of helpful numbers

Also please remember you can google your local mental health crisis team, they WILL listen, they WILL understand and the WILL help.