Top 5 Attractions For Kids In Northern Ireland

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Hi everyone hope you all had a lovely weekend and enjoying the start of your week. Today I want to share with you my top 5 attractions to visit with the kids in Northern Ireland. I love reading posts like these for different activities and ideas so thought I would share some of my families favourites with you all. In no particular order:

1.W5 - W5 is Ireland's award winning science and discovery centre based at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast. It has over 250 exhibits and will suit families of all ages. We love to go here every now and again as it's a great day out with loads of things to keep the little ones entertained. There is an area specifically designed for under 8s which my boys absolutely love. It has a shop, play house, train tracks, water activities and much more.

2. Lagan Valley Leisure Complex - The newly refurbished swimming complex is fantastic. Both our boys love the swimming pool and the specially designed kids area, 'Aqualand' is perfect for keeping them entertained with various slides, swings, see saws and waterfalls. The Lazy River is also great with different currents pushing you around. Be careful to look out for some of those waterfalls over head tho!

3. Streamvale Open Farm - For all the farm lovers out there Sreamvale Open Farm is where you need to be. We where here over the summer when the farm re opened after getting a face lift and what can I say, we where definitely not disappointed. It was one of the best farms we have been to. There was so much for the kids to do including barrel rides, horse rides, tractor rides, pedal tractors, animal feeding, cuddle area to pet and hold some of the animals. There is also a great nature trail, play area and cafe. Definitely recommend a visit when it opens again at the end of march after their break for the winter.

4. Tannaghmore Gardens - Tannaghmore Gardens, based in Lurgan, is the perfect free family day out. Yes FREE! The Georgian farm house is home to a selection of rare bread animals including Irish Moiled and Dexter cattle, Galway and Jacob Sheep, Saddle-back, Tamworth and Gloucester Old Spot pigs, goats and a few others. It also has a fantastic play park and picnic areas to BBQ at. During the summer months there is an ice cream van as well and its so lovely to go to the park, see the animals and then chill out with an ice cream while the boys have a go sitting on the Massey Ferguson Tractor.

5. Belfast Zoo - Last but not least my next favourite place to visit with the kids is of course the zoo. Everyone loves a day at the zoo right? Belfast Zoo is situated on the outskirts of Belfast city centre sitting on a 55 acre site at Cave Hill and home to more than 1,000 animals. As the Zoo is based on Cave Hill it is quite hilly so comfortable shoes are a must! Over all it is a great Zoo and a lovely place to take your little, or not so little rangers!

So there you have it 5 must see attractions for you and your little ones. Have any of you been to any of these places or is there any others that you would recommend visiting? I would love to hear in the comments!

Laura xx

Liz Earle Strengthening Nail Colour - Review

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Hi everyone hope you are all having a happy hump day! Only two more days to go until you can relax for the weekend. With the weekend in mind I decided to give a review on the Liz Earle Strengthening Nail Colour which would be a great addition to your weekend attire.

Liz Earle launched their signature blue shade for their 20th Anniversary, which I got for Christmas, and what can I say only I love it. I have a love hate relationship with nail polish. Maybe for the reason that I'm a busy mum and I don't have time to wait to let the polish dry fully and in a matter of hours they are chipped and ready to come off again. But not with the Liz Earle polishes. I was pleasantly surprised to get full nail colour coverage with only one coat, great for when I'm in a rush, and also quick drying which is exactly what I hope for in nail polishes, as like I said I don't always have time to wait for the polish to dry between coats. I always like to apply two coats of polish for extra durability and strength but you could definitely get away with just one coat of the strengthening nail colour.

The strengthening polish is enriched with avocado and borage oils to help aid strengthening during wear, which is exactly what my brittle nails need at the moment during these cold winter months. The easy applied colour glides on to leave a glossy sheen finish and its chip resistant formula lasts up to 12 days.

Overall I am very happy with the Liz Earle Strengthening Nail Colour in the shade Signature Blue and will definitely be purchasing more in the near future.

The polishes come in a range of 15 colours and can be bought from

Laura xx

Summer at your fingertips

*All opinions are 100% my own and I was not compensated in anyway for this review*

Tips for Planning A Stress Free Birthday Party

Thursday, 7 January 2016


With Harry's 4th birthday party this weekend I thought I would share some tips with you on how to host a stress free birthday party! Yes they don't always have to be stressful and with the right preparation and planning you can expect a smooth sailing birthday that your kids will love!

First up is budget. One of the things that stress a lot of parents out about hosting a party for their little ones is about how much it is all going to cost. If you have a rough idea of how much you want to spend and stick to it you will be less likely to over spend and you will be able to see what you can realistically afford on things like the venue/food/entertainment/supplies etc.

The next thing I would say to think about and start planning is the venue. If you are planning on only having a few people round, your own home is the perfect place to have your party. Also if you have a child who's birthday party falls in the warmer summer months you could have an outdoor party which means you may be able to ask a few more people as you will have more room with everything not being confined to indoors. If you are planning on having a lot of kids over you may consider the hire of a local hall. This is what we will be doing for Harry's birthday this year as we have 10 children invited and we only live in a small 2 bedroom house at the moment, so if you take 10 kids and their parents there isn't much room for anything else. The hall will give us a lot more space and the kids will have more room to run about (and not mess up the house. its a win/win!).

Personally I think its lovely to have a theme for your child's party. It makes it more personal and that extra bit special for your child. If your struggling to think of a theme try going with your child's favourite TV character or if they are of age take them with you when buying supplies and let them choose the theme, after all it is their party!

Party Supplies
After you, or your child, has decided on a theme its time to think about what you will need in terms of supplies. A lot of of places now do party packs, usually starting in a packs of 8, which include plates, cups, napkins, banners, party bags and balloons which is great if you are working on a budget. The likes of Argos, Tesco and Asda do these and a lot of places online as well such as amazon.

Think carefully about time. If its your child 1st or 2nd birthday plan around their nap schedule, if your still luck enough that they take naps during the day!, so that they are in good form for their guests. If you are planning on serving hot food aim to have your party at 12/1pm or 4/5pm. Party's don't have to last all day, unless you want to of course, but I would suggest that two hours is plenty especially for younger children. We are having Harry's party from 12-2pm and will aim to serve hot food after 1pm.

Food and drinks
That brings us onto food. You may wish to only serve sandwiches, sweets and cake or you may prefer to serve hot food such as chicken nuggets and cocktail sausages. The food you serve will depend on what time you have your party at. For example if you are having a party from 2-4pm a few sandwiches and nibbles will be plenty as people will have already had their lunch and will be going home to prepare for their tea.

You may wish to have entertainment at your party if your budget allows for it. Entertainment that you may consider could be a bouncy castle, face painter, balloon modeler or magician. For Harry's 3rd birthday we had Jo Jingles do our entertainment as we had been going to the classes and I knew Harry along with all the other kids would love it and with just having a new baby a few months prior it took a lot of the stress away for having to keep everyone amused and entertained. I would highly recommend Jo Jingles for a party and their classes in general. they are fantastic!

So there you have it a few tips to help you plan a stress free party for your little one.

Anyone else have any tips they would like to share??

Laura xx

My Bucket List of things to do with the kids 2016

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

So 2016 has arrived and I have decided to make the most out of this year and live it to the full. With that in mind I have written up a bucket list of 20 things that I want to achieve with the kids this year.

1. Take a trip to the zoo
2. Take a trip away on a plane/boat
3. Go on a holiday
4. Spend time at the seaside
5. Go to a water park
6. Go for a drive in a tractor
7. Feed the ducks
8. Ride a pony
9. Milk a cow
10. Go to 5 different National parks
11. Bake a cake
12. Draw chalk pictures outside on the pavement
13. Make a den
14. Go for a picnic
15. Have a Disney movie marathon
16. Visit a petting farm
17. Water balloon fight
18. Plant flowers
19. Make snow angles
20. Have a campfire

By the end of the year we will have every one of these completed! I'm determined to make it happen and of course I will capture all the memories and share with you!

Have you anything that you would like to tick of the list with the kids this year? Be on the look out for my 'Adult' bucket list coming soon!!


Laura xx

New Year, New Me!

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Am i the only one who is still getting used to the fact that we are in 2016! i mean where did that year go? I know I say that every year, but I honestly cannot believe where the past year has gone. It makes you realise how quick time passes and how time isn't waiting for no one. 2015 was jam packed with a lot of ups and a lot of downs which, as a person, has made me so much more stronger and has made me realise what is important in life and accept that things really do happen for a reason.

2015 started out with our gorgeous little boy Harry turning 3 and in a few days time we will be celebrating his 4th birthday. Harry has grown so much in this past year and has surprised me in so many ways with what he has achieved in the past few months. In October Harry met the criteria for an autism diagnosis which, as a family, was hard to take in and come to terms with even tho we had known for a long time that something just wasn't quite 'right'. On the other hand I also felt a great sense of relief and like a weight had been lifted as we can finally start a new chapter in Harry's life and get all the help and support that he needs to flourish and help unleash his true potential. I hope 2016 brings us many more 'little' milestones to celebrate, because with Harry you really do cherish every little achievement, weather it be putting his own socks on, being able to ask for juice, have a proper first conversation, being able to talk to his brother, knowing the correct time to say please or thank you. You may not think of that as being a major achievement but for us its like winning the lottery. Harry never really talked or used words until he passed the age of 3 so every little sentence he comes out with, even if it is using echollalia (autism mums you know what i mean!) is so special. So here is hoping that he keeps improving and that he gets all the help, love and support he needs!

Our other equally gorgeous boy James turned 1 in September. There is never a dull moment with James about. He is the cutest, loudest, cheeky chappy about. hes constantly getting up to mischief and keeping us on our toes. Harry is James hero! Everywhere Harry goes, James has to go to and when he is not there he goes about the whole house shouting 'haaaarrrrryyy' over and over! James has really come on with his talking this past few months and is picking up on everything. Its so strange to see as like I said before Harry has only really started saying words this past year so its so funny seeing James at 16 month old talking and knowing the right time to use the words, such as hello, goodbye, calling Maisie our dog etc. I cant wait to see him grow this year and see how his language develops along side Harrys. He will also be a lot more fun together with Harry this summer as he is now walking and will be able to run along side him outside and get up to many of an adventure!

I don't really make new years resolutions, as it usually involved quitting a much loved food like chocolate and lets face it that's impossible, but this year I'm determined to make it as positive and fulfilling as possible.
I'm going to relax more, make more time for 'me', not rush the time away, move at a slower pace in life, take in the world around me, laugh harder and more often, cherish the moments with the kids and not wish their lives away, they are only this small once so make every moment count. I also vow to make more time for the special man in my life, my hubby, who makes it possible for me to be a stay at home mum to our wildlings and works harder than anyone I know. All the late nights and hard work will be worth it in the end.

So 2016...Come at me, because I couldn't be anymore ready for a fresh start and a positive new chapter in that 365 page book of 2016.

Wishing you all a great 2016.

Much love,

Laura xx