A Day in a Parenting Blogger’s Life – The Mum Reviews

Welcome back to my blog series “A Day in a Parenting Blogger’s Life”. We are in week SEVEN already. Madness. I can’t believe how sucessful this series has become over the last few weeks. I have never created anything sucessful and my little blog is still trying to be seen out there, so this is a big thing for me

Today we have Nicole from The Mum Reviews. She will tell us all about her now life in the UK. She is originally from the USA. Here she comes:

First of all, tell me a bit about yourself.

I live in Surrey with my husband, two little boys (4 and 1) and a black & white cat. I’m originally from Seattle, USA, but have lived in the UK for 15 years and am now a British citizen. Before you ask, I like the UK better than the USA, and have since my first day here! I work 4 days a week as an editor at an academic publisher. I split my work time between the office in London and working from home. I’ve got a PhD in English and in my free time I like to drink and play board games.

How many times were you woken last night?

About 4 I think. My little one has just moved into a big bed and wakes up loads lately. And the big one wakes up and needs his covers re-adjusting, or help wiping his bum after the toilet!

Do you co-sleep?

I have nothing against it, but I’ve never been able to get comfortable co-sleeping. Sometimes I snuggle with them until they fall asleep, and then I quietly extricate myself.

What time do you normally wake up?

We all get up at 7am most days, but on my London work days I get up at 6 and go for a run.

How much average sleep do you get a night?

If you ignore the middle-of-the-night waking, about 6-7 hours.

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?

Change the little one’s nappy.

Tell me about your typical morning routine.

It depends what day it is! If I’m working in London, I get up, go for a run, have a shower and run out the door. This getting ready time will be interspersed with finding things the kids need for their nursery/school bags, and lots of cuddles. On my home days, I feed them breakfast, we get dressed, and then we all chill watching CBeebies until it’s time for the school run.

When and how often do you prepare the family dinners? Give us a few examples what you would cook.

My husband is the cook in the house. I usually just prepare leftovers and easy fish finger style meals a few nights a week! I do try to cook something proper on Wednesday. It will be spag bol, lasagne, or chicken with various sauce permutations.

What’s on the menu for lunch?

Peanut butter and jam sandwiches. It’s an American thing. I serve with cheese, salami, pepper, cucumber & tomato, and fruit for afters. Other days I serve beans on toast or Heinz pasta shapes with grated Red Leicester on top. Oh yes, I am a fab cook.

What activities have you got planned for the day for the kids?

We keep it simple if we’re having a day at home, just playing with toys. We have some swings and a slide in our back garden that are great in most types of weather. If I’m feeling energetic, it’s the park or soft play. On very special days, I love taking the kids to exciting attractions in London, such as museums or the aquarium.

Do you generally eat dinner together as a family or get the kids fed first?

It depends on the day. We always eat together at the weekend, but during the week the kids usually get fed first, or along with only one parent, because each night either mum or dad will be home past bedtime.

What do you do after dinner?

I’m going to sound like the worst parent! I usually sit on the sofa and play with my phone whilst watching the kids play in the lounge!

What is your bedtime routine?

The boys sit on the potty/toilet, brush their teeth, and then have a bath together. If I’m on my own, I get both boys out of the bath and then do stories and songs for the youngest first. Once he’s in bed, I do stories for the older one. My youngest likes to have 3 stories and the big boy has 4!

Most importantly, when and where do you normally blog in those 24 hours? Do you have a schedule?

I usually blog on the sofa in front of the TV after the kids are in bed. I do a lot of social media/blog commenting work on the train or during my lunch break at work.

Thanks a mill Nicole. I can relate a lot to your daily routine. I am glad I am not the only one who doesn’t cook and serve a 4 star meal like most super mums. But I am in a position where my hubby doesn’t cook either.

My blog is at http://themumreviews.co.uk 


Everyone loves a follower more. What social media platforms can we find you on?

I’m @themumreviews on everything!

Twitter: https://twitter.com/themumreviews
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/themumreviews/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/themumreviews/
Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/themumreviews/

If you would like to feature in my new blog series, you can do so by sending me an email to schnurri87@msn.com. I’d love to have you on board.

8 Disney Inspired Halloween Crafts


With preparation for Halloween truely under way for most people, I thought I share with you some craft ideas. A craft idea with a twist. Recently I was browsing my Facebook timeline, as you do. I came across a cool craft idea from the Disney page. This gave me the idea to do some research online for Disney inspired Halloween crafts. I grew up with Disney. My mum brought me to Disneyland when I was about eight years of age. I had a lot of Disney clothing. She even knitted a jumper for me with Donald Duck on it. I still have that now. Chloe is yet too small for it.

1. Pumpkin Tsum Tsums


I know we are busy mad with the house move and all but in case I do get a minute to myself the coming weekend or even the week ahead I would l really love to try out making one of these pumpkin tsum tsums. Has to be Minnie and Mickey though so both kids are not left out. Chloe loves her Tsum Tsums and her collection is growing. We have actually started buying the bigger Tsum Tsums that make a sound when you press their belly. You can follow the instructions on how to make this pumpkin here.

2. Mickey Mouse Bats


Check out these cute Mickey Mouse Halloween bats. And they are so easy to make. I can see my four year old enjoy doing these and hanging them all around the house. Find the instructions here.

3.  Ghost Leaves


Matthew loves collecting leaves. Each morning before he has heading to creche, he has to pick up a leaf outside our house or outside the creche. He will not go into his class until he got one. He must have a huge collection of leaves in his box at this stage. Because he loves leaves so much, these cute leaves that look like ghost would be make the perfect craft idea for him the coming weekend. Instructions and what you will need here.

4. Halloween Banner


Every year we have the same banner hanging over the door. As we are moving house, I think this is the perfect opportunity to mix things up a bit. I really like this “The Night Before Christmas” inspired Halloween banner. The fact that it’s  black and white makes it extra spooky. You don’t need much. Instructions can be found here.

5. Minnie’s Witch Hat


Check out this cool witch hat in Minnie Mouse style. Achievable with simple black card board and the help of an adult of course. Super cute with the bow on it. Can be found here.

6. Mickey’s Pumpkin Patch


This one is a bit more difficult to achieve and involves a bit of baking. When I saw this it reminded me of my childhood. I used to lick the salty dough. I am sure I am not the only. It was so much fun decorating it. I used to go to this place in town which was something like a camp but you can go in in anytime during your holidays and they had arts and crafts on the whole day. It was brilliant. If you want to try out these these cute Mickey Mouse pumpkins, follow the link here.

7. Mickey & Friends Trick or Treat Bag


Whether your child needs a trick or treat bag when he is going out knocking on people’s door, you want a cute idea for a Halloween Party or even fill these bags with sweets and give it out to the kids when they knock on your door. Easy peasy made here. Two Halloweens ago I made small little boxes for all the neigbourhood kids. That way they all get the same amount and nobody is fighting.

8. Disney Mini Pumpkins


Why not purchase a few mini pumpkins and decorate them as Tinkerbell, Pluto, Mickey Mouse or 101 Dalmations. It makes beautiful decoration out the front door and will surely get attention from neighbours walking by. If you want to know how to make these, simply follow this link.

Are you planning to do any Halloween orientated arts & crafts with your kids this season?

Siblings in October

The last month has been quite a busy month for us in terms of Chloe’s mobility. She has been trying to walk for a good while now but only with the walker. She is a later walker but I don’t mind that at all. I read somewhere that it’s better for them to walk later rather than earlier. It’s supposed to be better for the feet. This was also our last month of taking sibling photos together in our house neighbourhood as we will moving house and town in just five days. I can’t believe how quickly the time came in the end.

The last few weeks we developed this new habit to bring them to the play centre every Sunday morning.  I started coming the first time but daddy decided to bring them on their own then while I was at home cleaning or boxing up items for our move. We are off from this week coming anyway to start on it but it always better to get a head start.



Now that Chloe was a bit more mobile the last four weeks, Matthew seems to be getting on even better with her. It’s so funny seeing them racing together around the house.  They like chasing each other round and round or playing hide and seek. Two weeks ago I finally got out the smart trike. It’s from 10 months onwards. Never mind that she is 20 months already but I suppose better later than never. So off we went for a stroll around the estate. Matthew still loves his Little Tikes ride on even though he is bit big too for it now. He doesn’t get the hang of the scooter and doesn’t want to cycle on the bike too long so this is the best option.


Not too long ago I reviewed one of thew Kiddy Smartfix car seats which is a group 2-3. Matthew loved it so much that he didn’t want to sit in his old one in daddy’s car. It meant we had to buy a second one for daddy’s car. A different colour of course. He was so happy. A massive box was left over. We decorated it with a few wheels on the sides and a steering wheel inside the box. The two of them were using it as a car as well as an airplane. I did have to interfered once or twice to make sure Matthew is not too rough on Chloe.


Last weekend Chloe finally started off walking and there is no stopping her now. We already had a few accidents and bumps but that’s all part of the experience. The cutest thing ever is when we are going off to creche each morning. They both sit on the first step of the stairs to have their coats and shoes put on. Chloe has never worn shoes before. I bought her two pairs   of Bobux but  she always hated them.  There is a pair that still fits her now which sits in the hallway with all the other shoes. She picked them three days and wanted them on her. Ever since she goes out to the hallway and picks them up herself when we go out. She even goes out of her way and picks up Matthew’s shoes. She adores her big brother.

The Me and Mine Project

My Dear Work Colleagues…

Yesterday was my last day at work. I did not quit work and I wasn’t let go. No, we are moving location. It kind of makes me sad. We have discussed this big move for nearly two years now and I am 100% that we have made the right decision. As mentioned before hubby is working away three days every single week. Sometimes he has to end up going another day up and down in one day. He has been doing this for almost two years now. You’ll get fed up.

Luckily both my hubby and I work in the same company. This company was setup by him in June 2004. Such a long time ago and it is remarkable how far Socrates has come. Hubby worked so hard for the first four to five years. There wasn’t many people employed, only a few friends he was in college with.

In June 2009 I started working as a helpdesk operator. Back in the day we had our office in the Sligo IT complex. Great memories. There was only a few of us on the helpdesk then. We used to go down for tea or a bite to eat in the canteen downstairs. Grabbing a sandwich or a scone. Our phone system wasn’t as good as it is now. I remember the times where you received call after call and our logging system was packed with open calls. How times have changed.

December 2010 I attended one of many work Christmas party in the Glasshouse in Sligo town. I remember it like it was only yesterday. Me and Dermot actually stayed overnight in the hotel even though we only lived down the road. The view was amazing. That winter we actually got a good bit of snow as well. At that point we were only around 20 people who attended the party. Still a small business.


The following year we moved office. We actually moved into an office that is located right beside the estate we live in. What are the chances. Unfortunately there was fencing around it, so you still had to drive around it. But overtime we figured out there was a shortcut through the estate next door. Now you can actually literally walk into the door from our estate. About a year ago someone from the estate drove into a fence bit and they haven’t replaced the fence since. Slowly everyone became wind that you can walk through it. If I wouldn’t have to drop the kids off to creche each morning, it would take me basically 3 minute to get work and that’s walking.

We first had a few offices in the building upstairs. Again, so many memories. From playing on the mini pool table at Christmas, stuffing our face with Butlers chocolate, working on the American helpdesk for a few weeks which meant late hours, spending a couple of weeks in New York supporting our American product back then, a work colleague and great friend and I wobbling around the office because we were both pregnant at the same, fighting on toilet trips, drinking tea and eating biscuits ’till we drop, creating a million custom forms, playing Xbox in the lunch area, having a chat between calls when we were clearly too loud (apologies to my helpdesk manager at this end), that air con (I have  no words for it other than it ruined my neck facing it with my back), playing one and the only tag rugby game, having the craic in the afters of tag rugby,  Summer BBQ’s in our house, to keeping track of hardware orders. I am sure I am missing a whole lot more but it is hard to list every little thing.

We dropped in employee size and the office was too big for us. We moved downstairs at the end of January last year and so did our lovely air con. It hasn’t worked since and we’re all sweating through the summer, windows wide open, all doors open, every fan possible turned on. Those were the days. The reason why I remember the move so well, is because I actually went in labour one day later with Chloe.

We started making more memories. We had our first employee appreciation day last summer. What a lot of fun it was, drinking alcohol during working hours, having a table tennis tournament and of course not to forget singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Thomas the Tank Engine with helium. For Halloween we had a party in our office too. My great work colleague and friend Sandra and I dressed up as Mario and Luigi. We even won a prize.  An amazing job was done with the decoration and organisation those two days. For Christmas we went all out. I actually stayed in the office until late in the evening time to get it decorated with a few other work colleagues. If I remember right we even got pizza. Cracking evening after a busy day on the helpdesk anyway.


I will actually miss my little desk in the corner. My computer which crashes at least once a day due to a problem with the connector of my monitor cable. I need a bit of drama everyday. I am going to miss looking at the phone system on the wall, knowing who is going to call next. I will definitely miss all the random conversations we had. Again not to forget the huge consumption of biscuits and cake. How I haven’t put on two stone is beyond me. The afternoon is our low, this is where the sweets and chocolate comes out.


What I will probably miss most, is ask questions in the round to solve the issue when I might not know the answer. In the other office they support a different patient management software, so only option is going to be Lync. I know Louise will love me for messaging her all the time. At least she will appreciate me not flicking the finger at her anymore. She got into the habit of doing it now. (HAHA) I have to dedicate a line to our small kitchen. It might be small but we can make tea, toast, porridge and coffee in it. We even have a sit down area in it. A lot of events happened in it with one being my leaving cake ceremony. This was a complete surprise to me. My dearest friend Sandra was so nice and baked us all not just one but TWO tasty apple pies for yesterday afternoon. It was all gone within minutes.  Everyone started disappearing and logging off their phones… I didn’t know what was going on. They presented me with a card and the cake. What a touching idea.

Yesterday evening we all went for a last meal together. I was quite surprised how many people were able to make it considering it was only organised a week ago. People do have busy lives. In total we were 12 for the dinner but there were more for the drinks after. I didn’t last too long. I had so much food that the drink didn’t really mix well with it. I only had two drinks and I didn’t like my cocktail at all. I ended up going home at 00.30am. (I didn’t “fire the drinks into me” unfortunately, John) I had to get up early anyway with the kids jumping up and down from anytime after 7am.

I have been working in this company for over seven years now and I will continue doing so but in a different office and with different people. Every single person I met over the last seven years in the Sligo office have been more than just work colleagues to me. We have all developed a friendship. The office is like a big family. We have such a nice atmosphere to work in. A new girl started on the helpdesk around six or seven month ago. Her grandparents are German. I only started getting to know her now which is a shame really. I am sure I will adjust to the new place quite quickly too but it won’t be the same that’s for sure.

Guys, we will definitely meet again… whether that’s at the house warming party (shhh, hubby is not aware of a house warming party whatoever but we will have to have some sort) or at the Christmas party. I know some of you work in the Dublin office a few days a week anyway. It has been lovely working with you all over the last seven years. Don’t miss me too much. haha

A Day in a Parenting Blogger’s Life – Mum Amie

Welcome back to “A Day in a Parenting Blogger’s Life”.  I am so stunned by the responses I got for this blog series, I can’t actually believe it. The places are filling up nicely and I have new people on board each week now. Keep them coming guys. We all love a good daily life story.

This week I have Aimee with me who blogs on Mum Amie.  As well as having her blog, she is also a co-founder of a mum friendship website. You are able to find this via her blog, too. Now onto Aimee.

First of all, tell me a bit about yourself.

I’m a full-time mum to two children aged 7 and 2. I co-run mum friendship website Mum Amie and my main task is managing the blog, where I write about parenting, baby loss and well-being. I also volunteer for children’s heart charity Tiny Tickers as a social media coordinator. We lost our second daughter to a heart defect when she was one day old and I’m passionate about helping Tiny Tickers with their mission to improve the early detection rates and care of babies with heart problems. I’m a bookworm, love writing, going for long walks and swimming.

How many times were you woken last night?

Once. My two year old son still often wakes at night.

Do you co-sleep?

No, unless you count my daughter crawling into bed with us when she has a bad dream!

What time do you normally wake up?

I normally try and wake up before the kids at about 5am so I can have a few hours to write blog posts. I’m a morning person and am most productive at this time.

How much average sleep do you get a night?

Seven to eight but it’s often quite broken.

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?

Make a coffee and switch on my laptop.

Tell me about your typical morning routine.

I wake at 5am and work until about 6.30am. I then have a shower and my son gets up about 7am. My daughter normally wakes up around 6.30am and she gets herself dressed and plays downstairs or watches TV while I get ready. We have breakfast and need to leave the house just after 8.30am to make it to school on time.

When and how often do you prepare the family dinners? Give us a few examples what you would cook.

I normally cook dinner after I pick up my daughter from school, while the kids play together. My husband cooks quite often too. Both kids are pretty fussy eaters so I cook them pasta with hidden vegetable sauce, spaghetti bolognaise, noodles and vegetables, cous-cous or roast chicken.

What’s on the menu for lunch?

My daughter has lunch at school and my son likes to have hummus and cheese sandwiches, pasta or cous-cous. I also make a smoothie every day for us both as this is the only way to get fruit into him!

What activities have you got planned for the day for the kids?

After dropping my daughter at school, my son and I normally head to a toddler group or to the beach. We then come home, have lunch and play together until it’s time to pick my daughter up from school.

Do you generally eat dinner together as a family or get the kids fed first?

I always eat with the kids. My husband works shifts so he isn’t around much at dinner time. When he’s home, we’ll all eat together. Because he works weekends and bank holidays, it’s difficult to stick to normal family routines. You’ll often find us having our Sunday lunch on a Tuesday afternoon and that kind of thing!

What do you do after dinner?

Bath the kids, then they watch a bit of TV, we read some stories and they go to bed. Once they’re in bed I get the laptop out again and continue working.

What is your bedtime routine?

We don’t really have a routine as such. They have a bath and stories and then go to bed. My daughter often sits in bed and reads before she falls asleep.

Most importantly, when and where do you normally blog in those 24 hours? Do you have a schedule?

I’m a big fan of to-do lists and so I write all my tasks in my planner. I write blog posts in the mornings and then all the other admin, promotion and social media scheduling plus my work for Tiny Tickers is carried out in the evenings.

Blog URL: http://mumamie.com/blog


Thanks for sharing the insights of your daily life with us, Aimee.  To me it looks like you are a well organised person being able to handle two websites and taking care of your two kids.

Everyone loves a follower more. What social media platforms can we find you on?


If you would like to feature in my new blog series, you can do so by sending me an email to schnurri87@msn.com. I’d love to have you on board.