One Mum, Lots of Children, A Business and Lots of Chaos

Author: mumunderpressure

Single Parent Holiday – Melon Holidays Review

Single Parent Holiday – Melon Holidays Review

When you are a single parent you get into your groove. I have got used to the daily routine of parenting solo. But changes from the norm can sometimes bring chaos. Planning a single parent holiday can be daunting and stressful. But I like most single […]

17 Years of Motherhood

17 Years of Motherhood

Last week, it was my eldest daughter’s 17th birthday. As well as being an exciting celebration for her, as she is desperate to learn to drive. Also, she is edging even closer to officially being an adult in a years time. But for me, it is […]

Mardles – The Egg Who Couldn’t Wait – Review

Mardles – The Egg Who Couldn’t Wait – Review

Recently the kids checked out the Mardles – The Egg Who Couldn’t Wait book and Mardles Cutie Stickers. 

Mardles bring characters to life with their augmented app. The app is quick and easy to download on Apple Store, Google Play and Amazon Apps.

Mardles Egg Book

Once you have downloaded the free app, you point your phone or tablet at the wand on the book and it brings the book to life. Then children can control the Mardles characters with the onscreen joystick.

The Mardles characters have very realistic sounds and movements, which kept the kids engaged. The kids enjoyed taking pictures with the mardles in. Especially taking selfies with the chicken!

Our household loves books and technology, so mardles was a real hit. They could read a bit and then pay with the book characters on the app.

Mardles 4D book

Mardles also have a great range of stickers, that can mean it is easy to take the fun with you where you adventure. As once that the app is downloaded you don’t need internet connections to use it. We tried out the cutie pack, which the girls loved as they are unicorn crazy. So they loved seeing unicorns jumping around the house. The stickers are a great treat for little one, that keeps giving, the stickers are reusable. 

We had lots of laughs trying out the book and stickers with the app. Definitely, one to brighten up a rainy afternoon.

Disclaimer: We received a Mardles book and stickers in return for an honest review, all words and pictures are my own.

School Holidays Are Getting Harder

School Holidays Are Getting Harder

I work for myself and I have to say that I love it. For years I have found the flexibility to work around the kids a godsend. Before all of them went to school fulltime in September. I managed to work with a preschooler buzzing […]

How much Pocket Money should I be giving?

How much Pocket Money should I be giving?

When I was growing up, I can’t really remember being given pocket money. But I do remember many treat days out. Plus the odd packet of sweeties or cake on a shopping trip. Lately, however, I have been thinking about it as I think it […]

Being Brunel – SS Great Britain

Being Brunel – SS Great Britain

On 23rd March the brand new museum ‘Being Brunel’ opened at SS Great Britain. The museum has the harbour on one side and the impressive SS Great Britain ship on the other. 

SS Great Britain

As a family, we love to visit new and exciting places. Until a few months ago I had never been to SS Great Britain myself, but my 6-year-old’s topic for the last term was Isambard Kingdom Brunel. So every day he would return home with more facts about the Engineer himself, plus the iconic Boats, Tunnels, Railways and Bridges. Which got the whole family talking and interested in finding out more. I joined his school trip to the SS Great Britain and was wowed by it straight away. So much to explore to keep Little Nippers entertained.

But my 8-year-old was mighty jealous of the visit as she loves all things history.  So when we got an invitation to the opening of Being Brunel, by Bristol Bloggers, we were excited to be going along. The new visitor attraction consists of six galleries housing around 150 personal artefacts of Brunel. The project cost £7.2 million to bring to life, which included over 5 million from The National Lottery Fund.

Being Brunel Exhibition

The museum is interactive and for children of all ages. With drawers to open and a rickety train carriage stimulator on which you can try to draw a perfect circle, as Brunel did, plus top hats of all sizes to try on and screens with tasks to carry out. When you first walk into the main exhibition area you are wowed by a huge mobile of I K Brunel’s face. As you head up the stairs to the top of the gallery there is a timeline of his works, then you can overlook the main exhibition space.  We then headed through to Brunel’s Mind, I enjoyed it but have to say it isn’t really suitable for younger children, as my 8-year-old jumped a few times. So would take a miss on this when I visit with my younger children.

Being Brunel interactive

Once we had been through Brunel’s Mind it was into his London office, check out these pigeonholes below slightly different from today’s email sent folder.

Being Brunel Office

Including his original office where he in fact designed and built the SS Great Britain. The attention to detail in there was great, with his iconic hat hanging on the coat hook, plus his dog curled up under his desk. The office was reconstructed based on a watercolour painted by his niece. 

brunels office

Once we had explored everything on offer in the Being Brunel Museum we then went down into the dry dock, and then on board the ship itself to see and smell all the different cabins and classes. We had a great morning and definitely could have stayed longer. We will definitely return, with tickets to SS Great Britain you can return unlimited times throughout the year. Adults £16.50, Children 5-16 £9.50 and Little Nippers under 4 are free, also they do Senior and Student concessions plus family tickets. 

Brunel

Disclaimer : We were given a free family ticket to SS Great Britain in return for an honest review of the Being Brunel Museum. All thoughts and pictures are my own.

Our Favourite Merlin Days Out

Our Favourite Merlin Days Out

Our Favourite Merlin Days Out If you follow our family on Instagram you will see we love our Merlin Annual Passes. Brought on a whim in their sale in 2016 I wasn’t sure how much we would use them but we have got our monies […]

18 goals for 2018

18 goals for 2018

18 Goals for 2018 We are now a few days into the new year and before the full-on routine kicks back in. I thought I would take a little bit of time out to make some goals for the year ahead. No big new year […]

Our 2017 plans and wishes review

Our 2017 plans and wishes review

Wow, where did the year go? As the year draws to a close, it is time to look back at our 2017 plans and wishes and review it. Did we tick them all off, what will be carried forward to 2018? So read on for our 2017 review. 

Here’s Our List we made in January 2017

2017 review

  • Firstly to make the most of the last 6 months of our Merlin Annual Passes. We brought them on a whim last June and have had fab days out in Weymouth, at Chessington, Blackpool and Alton Towers. But there is still so much to explore we will be visiting London a couple of times. Where we will visit all of the attractions included there especially The Shrek Adventure and The London Eye. The teen also wants a grown up day out to Thorpe Park to enjoy the rollercoasters, not sure how keen I am but heyho best keep the eldest happy. Review – We did make the most of the last six month of our Merlin passes. With trips to Legoland and Chessington. Plus an amazing day out to London, with my eldest 2 girls. 
  • A personal one for me would be to grow my blog following. Regularly post weekly or more and also gain confidence in vlogging too. Review – oops this certainly didn’t happen! I blogged but not in a regular pattern. I have however read listened and learnt lots about how to establish a cracking blog. So I have made some tweaks in the recent weeks. I have planned and already written several posts for the new year, so I’m on track.
  • Our first and maybe one and only camping adventure. The eldest it 16 this year and asked to go to a festival for her birthday special treat. So we have booked for the whole family to go to Camp Bestival in July. I’m really not sure where to start. So any camping tips gratefully received. Some of the line up has been announced and looks like so much fun. Review – We did it! We camped even if we opted for the easier option and booked Pitch Village. They offer pre-pitched tents, with sleeping bags. Plus they have separate toilets, showers, plus a constant supply of hot drinks. It was, however, the wettest Camp Bestival ever I think. But once you’re wet, your wet! And we still had the most amazing time and we may well head back in 2018. family-trip-camp-bestival
  • It is GCSE year so a biggy, so we are all hoping that the pressure of exams doesn’t make the house a too dull place. She will shine I’m sure, good luck gorgeous. Review – Even though I was worried sick come August. She completely stormed it. I was so very proud that she is now the proud owner of 9 A-C GCSEs. So she got onto her desired course at college. And seems to have grown into a little adult in the last few months.
  • My business goals have been set and they will be achieved (positive thinking at it’s best). I will keep to them this year and see some growth enabling (us) me as the only adult in the house to not worry so much about making ends meet each month. Review – Business has been steady throughout the year. But some targets have been missed but life threw me some curve balls I got distracted by. So I have returned to the drawing board and 2018 plan is mapped out. Now to action it and not let anything get in my way! (words of a determined lady)
  • We absolutely loved getting away to Disneyland Paris just before Christmas this year. A getaway was much needed after the long school term, but as completely amazing as it was it was bloody knackering too. So it got me thinking, dreaming and wishing for another holiday next Christmas, but I would love for us to chill in the sunshine and let the kids swim/splash about it a pool (as I would love to see the benefit in heavy investment into swimming lessons). So I will be in contacting my travel agent soon to pick her brains for ideas of where to go. Review – We didn’t venture overseas for any of our holidays in 2017. However, we did take some amazing breaks. February Half Term saw us head to an old favourite, Trecco Bay, Porthcawl. Easter we stayed at home as it was J and A birthdays, so it was party galore. Plus T went on a trip of a lifetime to New York with her school in April. In July we had the most amazing bargain holiday to Cornwall. Booked last minute, we managed to blag the hottest week of the year. We could have been in the Carribean, we returned sunkissed and totally refreshed. We then finished off the year with a festive visit to Bluestone
  • Our house is busy and very well used by our big family. I’m first to admit it isn’t as tidy as I would like but seriously I can’t keep up with it and running a business and looking after the kids. So a cleaner would be a dream but until I can afford one, I think it’s time for a freshen up, so we plan to get the paint out! Review – oops this one so didn’t happen, we still live in a little bit of chaos. I did get the paint out early in December, but the hallway isn’t finished yet. So this one will be carried over to 2018!
  • I’m sure we will add tons more adventures along the way this year but this gives up a good start. What have you got planned? Review – Looking back we made too many amazing memories to list them all. Some favourites, all three of the youngest going to the same primary school. T and I going on BBC 5 Live. A lush weekend away with some amazing ladies and no kids, so much laughter. Seeing Take That in concert. Welcoming our new family member, Topsy the Tortoise. Dancing to Craig David in concert with T, 15. Who wasn’t even born when I was garage mad!

Phew what a year, the good times certainly outweighed the tough times. Now onto the new year, with excitement for what awaits.

3 Little Buttons

 

Tips for a Family New Year Celebration

Tips for a Family New Year Celebration

I have never overly been a New Year’s Eve party-er. All my adult years I have been a parent. So I can count on one hand the nights I have had out partying for New Years Eve. Over the past 10 years or so I have […]