Lifestyle news and stories.

It’s official I’ve hit burnout mode. You know the one you seem to work all of the time with limited sleep and even more limited exercise.

November is my birthday month and traditionally I go away with H2B for it but this year myself and my wonderfully fabulous best friend Nicola are spending some much needed quality time together. You see despite being best friends it’s a rarity that we actually see each other. It’s often fleeting moments and we always say we need to make the time but the time does just disappear.

Something that came up in my Facebook feed was entitled ‘Dear Friend, I’m sorry for being so rubbish’ and it resonates a lot and apart from the reference of the cat I could have written this.

Dear Friend Nicola),

I am sorry for being so bloody rubbish.

But you see, life moves really – REALLY – fast.

From the minute I open my eyes there are two small people, several big people and even some animals (hamsters) who are relying on me for many different reasons. Some of them involve eating and basic survival.

I am spinning plates and dropping plenty. You, my dear friend are one of those plates.

But I love you very much.

I wish that every text message I wrote to you in my head made it into the virtual space and into your phone to let you know you’re in my heart and on my mind.

I wish I could carry through with all the plans we make, knowing we never will. I go there in my mind – it’s loads of fun.

When I drop, frazzled, into bed at night, I remember I haven’t rung you, again.

Then I remember I haven’t locked the back door or brought the cat in and just like that, it’s happened again and I have forgotten, again.

I am very hopeful that one day life will be easier and we will be blessed with plenty of time for laughing, drinking and sharing.

Stick with me,

I promise I will be worth it – when we are old and grey and you need someone to laugh with in the nursing home.

I’m there.

Yours Loyally,

Your bloody rubbish friend

(Written by Donna Ashworth and shared on Facebook via Ladies Pass It On

I simply can’t wait to recharge my batteries and get to spend time, drinking, eating, sleeping and being me, with a lady who doesn’t judge me and will always be their for me come what may.

Thank goodness for friendship, loyalty and love and while it may forever be tested the 18 years of threads we’ve woven together are strong.

Move over The Greatest Showman now it’s back to The Great Yorkshire Show.

This iconic show is celebrating it’s 160th year on the lead up to this epic show is the tour of a magnificent galvanised steel sculpture of the Craven Heifer .

Show organisers the Yorkshire Agricultural Society commissioned renowned Whitby-based sculptor Emma Stothard to recreate the Craven Heifer who became a national phenomenon in the 1800s. People would pay to see the heifer who was put on show on her way to Smithfield Market, London, and remains the largest heifer ever shown in England and lived in the same era as the first show.

Weighing more than half a tonne and standing at 6 ft tall, the GYSheifer sculpture left for its tour from the Craven Heifer’s birthplace at the Bolton Abbey Estate.

The GYSheifer has travelled nearly 50 miles aboard a specially designed truck to Fulford, York where she was met by police motorcyclists and escorted into Imphal Barracks, adjacent to where the very first Great Yorkshire Show was held in the Barrack Yard of the 5th Dragoons in 1838.

Charles Mills, Show Director, said

The Craven Heifer was an iconic animal born and bred in the same era as the first Great Yorkshire Show and was the wonder of farmers across England. We want to take the GYSheifer on tour, just as the Craven Heifer did, come and see her yourself at the Great Yorkshire Show where she will be put in prime position on the President’s Lawn.”

The sculpture project has been months in the planning and involved research with experts at Bolton Abbey Estate and the Great Yorkshire’s Chief Cattle Steward Margaret Chapman, whose family have been part of the show for more than 100 years, to ensure the sculpture’s authenticity.

Emma Stothard, sculptor, said: “This has been one of my most ambitious projects to date, requiring hours of research with the help of Margaret Chapman – an expert in cattle. We’ve poured over many paintings and different documents charting the Craven Heifer’s size. We wanted the GYSheifer to be as lifelike as possible and it’s been exciting to bring the Craven Heifer back to life for everyone to get an idea of how big she really was.”

The GYSheifer popped up at locations across Yorkshire to promote England’s biggest and best agricultural show before taking up position at the Great Yorkshire Showground ready for the event. The public are encouraged to post their selfies with #GYSheifer  but remember to #Yorkshire on Twitter too.

Enjoy your visit and I look forward to seeing your tweets.

The trend for unicorn love doesn’t appear to be diminishing at all. Every shop appears to at least a nod to this mythical creature.

Unicorns first made an appearance in our household back in 2015 where Emily’s big sister pressie was the biggest unicorn you can imagine which lays proudly in Emily’s bed and is named Una (you can see Una on a Little Live Pets review)

Now it’s time for something a little more manageable and this comes in the form of  My Fairy ‘Unicorn’ Garden.

The Unicorn Garden is what it says on the box. A garden fit for a fairy, her unicorn and a magical wishing well.

Included: bunting, wishing well, arbor (garden arch), flowers, mouse, unicorn, fairy princess, multi-coloured stones, grass seed and bowl.

Excluded: One of the items not supplied is compost, we had a massive bag that we’d bought from Aldi for a plant potting exercise.

Assembly: Only the arbor and bunting need assembling. The arbor was simple, the bunting was a little fiddly but manageable.

Now to begin. Get the bowl (I tried to get Emily to use one of our pretty bowls but she was having none of it and opted for the one supplied) and fill with soil to just over half.

Emily decided she wanted it EXACTLY the way it was on the box and she placed the arbor and wishing well at opposite ends and started to lay the path which was made from brightly coloured stones.

Next for the sprinkling of the seeds. This doesn’t need to be accurate or even just make sure there is a good coverage and the seeds are watered. Within two days the seeds seemed to shoot away and this continued. I wish the grass in my garden grew as well.


Time to put together: 60 minutes (we didn’t rush and spent the time talking about the growing process)

Played with as a garden: only a couple of times

Played with in general: Emily plays with the unicorn, mouse and fairy often within other imaginary play games rather then the garden.

Maintenance: It requires watering and cutting, if this isn’t done it  will die off.

Would I buy it?: Yes but it does fall into the ‘considered purchase’ category as on average it is over £20, however I have seen it for as low as £14.99

Top tip: Once established move this outside and create a perfect outdoor toy that can’t really be ruined unless there is torrential rain.





Disclaimer: This item was provided for review purposes only. All opinions are mine or my family's own.

Hello everyone,

recently I’ve spent more time sleeping on the sofa then it being my go to place to write, chat and be.

Like everyone from time to time I needed to consolidate and learn to love my content again and in the background I have been writing some excellent stuff. A lot of it is quite personal and writing it down has been cathartic and I’m almost ready to share.

On May 1 I will be starting to publish and here’s a few things what you can look out for;

Learning to love, in my case my tummy and many more things.

Learning to let go and forgive myself.

A 40 plus view of New York including a blast from the past Sex and The City Tour

House renovation (when plans need to be fluid but ideas set in stone)

The A-Z of my life

and so much more.


Happy reading…

There was a little kitten who needed a home and a little girl and boy who were ready to show their love. The brother and sister waited patiently for days and days. The little girl, Emily hoped she didn’t have to wait as long as she did for her little brother, Luke aka Mr. Fox or Mr. Moo Moo to arrive. The kitten’s sleeping basket was prepared, nothing was too good for this new addition.

After school one night Emily asked her mummy,

Has my, I mean our, kitten arrived yet?

And the mummy replied,

It has and we’ve been waiting all day to share her with you.

The glee on the little girls face melted her mummy’s heart. Instant love appeared as Emily nuzzled her cheek to little kitten and the little kitten purred in a much louder voice then expected.

Mummy can we call her Snowy?

Of course Emily that’s a lovely name.

Welcome Snowy, our newly adopted Little Live Pets Kitten.

Snowy was aptly named as she’s white and soft and it’s the lead up to Christmas was sent for us to review. A lovely little bundle of fun without the need to feed or clean up after. Snowy has been tried and tested by my seven year old and also secretly tried out by my two year old (I know this is below the recommended age but I was with him when he was loving the kitten).

Snowy loves to be handled and is robust enough to be thrown around by a toddler (and carried around by her neck). Snowy cuddles into the cheek and responds quickly to changes in position and depth of touch. She likes her tummy tickled and I’m so envious as to how quickly she can fall asleep too.

Overall, Snowy has six different play modes and 20 kitten sounds, plenty to keep the little ones entertained but, for how long?

I’m so glad you can’t overfeed this kitten as both children are a little eager to provide food and water (Luke can often be found sharing his snacks). It comes with a little bowl but don’t worry if it goes a miss as it’s the positioning of the kitten that makes the lapping sound rather than any connectivity between bowl and cat.

I’ve found both Emily and Luke sitting cuddling Snowy without her being turned on and it’s so nice to see. Also Mr. Fox is calmed down during the night by stroking Snowy previously he’d often want our dwarf hamsters out and with a sleep deprived mummy and a lively but sleepy toddler this wasn’t a great combo.

Would I buy this toy? Prior to the review the price would have put me off but because of the opportunity and living with the kitten I would buy it, sorry adopt a Little Live Pets Cuddles My Dream Kitten for my niece and nephew to share.

Pros of the toy:
Easy to fall in love with, children can play with it independently.

Great for allergy sufferers.

Lots of variety.

Cons of the toy:

The price may be restrictive to some.

This cat moults lots.

The mechanism is very loud indeed which the two year old didn’t mind but annoyed the seven year old a little.

Little Live Pets My Dream Kitten Cuddles is available from many toy shops including Smyths Toys. RRP £54.99