Friday, 28 November 2014

Thankful Thursday.

It has been one heck of a week. Again. It's been full of sickness and poorly children, which has sucked. I need to remind myself that there ARE reasons to be thankful because this week has been super chaotic and a bit blah if I'm honest.

So here are my reasons to be thankful this week.

Ups and downs, smiles and frowns.

1) I am thankful that we are slowly all getting better. I just can not wait until we are all better. Poor Harry has a horrendous cough and is just not himself at all. Thankfully the school are understanding and they know he is genuinely ill because he never, ever has time off school. He loves school!

2) I am thankful that I live in a house with heating. We take these small things in life for granted. Before we moved into this house (almost three years ago), our house had no heating and it was absolutely bitter cold during the winter. I used electric heaters which were very expensive to run and as soon as they had been turned off, it would freezing cold again. I am SO thankful for central heating.

3) I've finally made a (small) start on my Christmas shopping. I am thankful I am able to do this. I don't have a lot of money but at least I am able to buy a few bits here and there. So many people can't and so many people will go without this Christmas and that saddens me so much! I will be donating to the local food bank and donating some of the little's old toys that they longer play with, to a local charity.

We are seriously so lucky. I'm feeling very grateful and blessed :)

Sarah xXx

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PetshopBowl Black Friday Offers.

Petshopbowl sell a wide range of petfood and products for your fur babies all reasonably priced! A few months ago, my kitty was lucky enough to be sent some cat food to review.

Petshopbowl have some fabulous offers on this Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Why not treat your fur babies and make the most of these fantastic offers! Perhaps by them something to put underneath the Christmas tree and enjoy a special Christmas treat.

PetshopBowl black Friday offers @ ups and downs, smiles and frowns.

 Spend £50 or more on the petshopbowl website and you'll get a free £5 voucher if you spend £100 or more, you'll get a free £10 voucher.


There's also an extra 5% off Royal Canin (excludes vets diets) using the code: ROYAL
You can get an extra 5% off Selected Hills (excludes vet diets & nature's best) using the code: HILLSOFFER
As well as 20% off Selected Almo Nature dog & cat food. 

Black Friday offers from betshopbowl @ Ups and downs, smiles and frowns.

What will you be treating your fur babies to this Christmas? 

Sarah xXx 

I was given a voucher to spend on the petshopbowl website to buy some treats for my cat in exchange for this blog post. 

Thursday, 27 November 2014

OXO 3 Piece Large Bowl & Colander Set {Review}


OXO 3 Piece Large Bowl & Colander Set review @ ups and downs, smiles and frowns

One thing I really love more than anything else is kitchenware. I have a small kitchen and storage is a bit poor, so when I was asked if I'd like to review the 3 piece large bowl and colander set, I of course said I would be delighted to try it out.

The 3 piece large bowl and colander set is very compact and easy to store, it takes up less room in the cupboard because the colander fits perfectly into a bowl! It also comes with a lid which fits onto the bowl, making it a really nice storage container for food.

OXO 3 Piece Large Bowl & Colander Set review @ ups and downs, smiles and frowns

I've used the bowl (and colander) a few times for family dinners, it holds salad perfectly! The lid fits perfectly onto the bowl and keeps the food fresh in the fridge. When it isn't being used as storage though, the bowl can be used as a container to collect the water from the colander when draining food or rinsing food. The bowl itself holds 7.5L which is a very good size in my opinion.

The bottom of the bowl features a non slip bottom for stability, so that it doesn't slip while draining/rinsing food. The bowl is ever so easy to clean or mix because it doesn't any corners.

The colander has an elevated ring around the bottom which keeps it stable when it's sitting in the sink or counter top, which I think is great. Again, its easy to clean and dry. The colander is comfortable to hold, the handle is just the right size and it it's quite light, too. The colander features longer holes which makes it easier and faster for the food to drain. It's also easy to store because it fits nicely into the bowl.

OXO 3 Piece Large Bowl & Colander Set review @ ups and downs, smiles and frowns

The bowl, colander and lid are all dishwasher safe.

In my honest opinion, I love this product, I think it's great! I like the fact it's easy to store & it's good quality, too. It's also reasonably priced and I think this product will last quite a while.

Oxo sell a wide range of kitchen products and have some really great food storage solutions.

Sarah xXx

I was sent this product for the purpose of the review. I was not paid to write this review. All opinions are my own, honest, personal opinions.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

30 day shred - Level 3! #WWDISL

We Will Do It! Support Linky on The Purple Pumpkin Blog

As many of you already know, I am trying to loose weight! On 2nd November I started Jillian Michaeal's 30 day shred along with an online friend. We are now on level three! I never, ever thought I would get this far, but I have! I'm not sure if I've lost weight because I haven't weighed myself and nor do I intend to until I have finished the 30 day shred. I do know this though, my clothes are fitting me a lot better. My leggins are too big around my knees, they sag!! I've also lost a bit of weight off my back I think. Whoa. So whether I'm loosing weight or inches I do not know (yet) but I'm going to keep going with this because it's working! Once I've finished the 30 day shred, I am going to start it all over again - yup, I'm crazy, haha.
It certainly helps having someone doing this with me, she's encouraging and supportive! I'm not sure if I would have even got this far if she wasn't doing this with me. 

I have alos been eating healthy, too. Allowing myself a treat once a week. I eat a lot of fruit and salads. Chicken, fish and the liking is also low in fat and calories so I eat a lot of that, too! I try not to over do it on the carbs though. Everything is ok in moderation.

I've cut out all fizzy drink and crisps (both my down falls) and I am really proud of myself! I feel a lot better in myself for sticking with healthy eating and working out. I feel physically fitter and stronger already if I'm honest.

Yes, it is hard but it's so much easier than it was when I first started. It's hard when the kids are eating chocolate and nicer food than what I'm eating but then I remind myself that I want to be skinny again. I will get there. 

I'm intrigued to see how much I weigh next week, when I've finished the 30 day shred. I don't feel like sharing my weight -before I started- with the world right now but I was close to fitting into a size 14 but I'm quite short so I guess I was considered over weight.


Sarah xXx

The one where sickness strikes (again)

It has been a mad 10 days or so. Everyone has been ill and it has really sucked. Badly.
First last week, I had such a bad headache for a few days. I think I need another lumbar puncture to drain the fluid from around my brain but honestly, I want to avoid that if I can so I am trying other (natural) things instead. Like laying flat at night, without a pillow, loosing weight and so on. Harry was next to come down with an illness, the dreaded sickness bug that's going around (noro virus possibly), he was really ill for three days. Then I came down with earache and a sinus thing, which I am stil not over (almost a week later!). Harry was getting better and then Charlie caught Harry's bug, although he seemed to be over it after twelve hours, which was good! And now Harry has this sinus thing and it has hit him so hard. He's really not himself at all! I took him to the doctors today, although his ear is a little pink and he does have an annoying (dry) cough, he doesn't need antibiotics (unless he gets worse), which I'm glad about but I do really hope he's better soon. I feel so helpless and sorry for him.
It's just that time of year, there is so much going around. The ladies in the office at school have said so many kids have had bad colds, coughs and the tummy bug that seems to linger. Lets hope it all passes asap!

Needless to say, I haven't really had much time for anything and when I have had time - in-between tending to sick children and cleaning like a crazy woman - I've needed to rest because I am still not 100% myself! I have gone through a lot of Zoflora, Detol, anti bacterial sprays and what ever else, trying to prevent germs from spreading... If I never see another bottle of bleach again, it'll be too soon, haha. Or until tomorrow at least.

Apart from all of that though and onto better things, I attended Ellie's parents evening last week. I am really pleased to report she is right where she should be in all subjects, her reading has come along wonderfully and her hand writing is ever so neat, especially as she is only seven years old. I'm super proud of her! She does have her moments where she looses focus and concentration but overall she's doing splendid. I love those proud mummy moments.
Harry's not been at school hardly at all the last week so I don't have much to report on him when it comes to school, we've been reading together though and practicing spellings when he's felt like it.
Charlie is doing great at school! He impressed with his fractions homework, I was never very good at maths (I'm still not good at it) so it's refreshing to see him doing so well with it! He actually was teaching ME about fractions last week, bless him. I'm really pleased and proud of my little's :-)

So that's our lives lately!

We are very much looking forward to Christmas. Although, I haven't bought very many gifts yet or thought about the food side of things (mainly due to a past chaotic couple of weeks) yet, I am starting to get organised, I've at least bought the kids a couple of stocking fillers and wrapped them, a small start but better than none at all! I think once Harry is back at school and we're over our illnesses, I'll get stuck right into the Christmas spirit!

Sarah xXx