I started the new job last week, it’s brilliant and I am totally LOVING it, I’ll talk all about it in a separate post because I wanted to tell you about a song I’ve been humming along to in the car to and from work. I have embedded it above and if you click play you will most likely recognise it too. I like this song. It’s very catchy and has a good tune, it’s the lyrics that have been prompting me to write this post …

As the song is sang you quickly realise ‘your man’ is going to be locked up in jail pretty soon and he’s asking you to stay by his side. Now whilst I like the tune and I sing along, as he asks me the questions I find myself replying, ‘No.’ A lot.

It made me realise that the years have taught me and where, maybe as a starry eyed teenager, I may very well have replied, ‘Of course I’ll stay by your side, I will always love you. Don’t worry about everything we’ve lost, we can rebuild our lives.’ and all sorts of other naive nonsense.

This got me thinking about the twins and how they are smitten at the thought of finding their prince. It made me think of how innocent we can be. So Mum needs to put ’em right on a few things and what better opportunity than a pop song which they will remember?

lovehearts, street art dope

If I got locked away and we lost it all today

Tell me honestly would you still love me the same

Girls. If your man gets locked away and you lose everything you have, it means he hasn’t been honest with you. He has been doing things behind your back and putting your welfare at risk. This is not a man who will look out for you and it is the opposite of caring for you. A successful relationship is built on trust and friendship. If those two elements are missing move on, this man isn’t worth your time and I don’t care how good looking he is. There are BETTER fish in the sea.

If I showed you my flaws if I couldn’t be strong

Tell me honestly would you still love me the same

Being transparent with the one you love is also a vital ingredient to finding your soulmate. You and he will have to show your flaws. Don’t worry, nobody is perfect. We all have flaws but if his are petty crime or worse, that end him in jail or a courtroom then no, he’s not worth it. That is the truth and relationships demand 100% truth at all times.

Right about now

If I judge for life

Would you stay by my side

Or is ya going to say good-bye


Did he say he was being judged for life? Get your sweet ass out of there now and don’t ever look back. I don’t even want to know what he’s done but a life sentence is Bad.

Can you tell me right now

If I couldn’t buy you the fancy things in life

Shawty would it be alright

C’mon show me that you do

Earning money is what we do as adults. We go out to work in order to have the money to live and enjoy life, homes, holidays, evenings out and pretty things to wear. We are also bombarded by advertising, girls showing gorgeous designer gear that costs a month’s wages, sometimes more. It’s about being realistic and investing your money on the things that make you both happy. A relationship is all about give and take and trying to find a balance.

london street art love will tear us apart again

Now tell me would you really ride for me (would you really ride for me)

Baby tell me would you die for me (would you die for me)

DIE?? No, never. Your life is the most precious thing you have. Nobody should ever ask you to give it up for them.

Would you spend your whole life with me (wassup)

Would you be there to always hold me down (uh huh uh huh)

Tell me would you really cry for me (would you really cry for me)

Baby don’t lie to me (Baby don’t lie to me)

If I didn’t have anything (wassup)

I want to know would you stick around

If you are lucky enough to meet your soulmate first time round then you most likely will spend your life with them and it won’t be a hardship as you’ll be with the person you love most in the world. There will be moments that you will cry, that’s a huge part of love and you will see there is no need for lying, friends don’t lie to one another.

All I want is somebody real who don’t need much

You will find that there are some things you really do want out of life, one may be a future with children in it. If that is the case you will most likely want a place of your own. You may like the idea of an annual holiday, an occasional meal out in a fancy restaurant. You might like the idea of a family Christmas. I think it’s important to make sure both partners in a relationship are reading from the same page. If the above mentioned things are of no interest to your man then I can see problems ahead.

london street art tour this is not what you think it is

I gotta know that I can trust

To be here when money low

If I did not have nothing else to give but love

Would that even be enough

Yeah we need to know


Cuz I need a girl to hold me down for life

Would you still love me the same

‘Hold me down for life’ – You will find that if someone loves you as much as you love them, you will both happily stay together and enjoy every moment.

We have a lot of time ahead to talk through relationships and life but this song triggered these thoughts that I wanted to share with you both; basically girls, if he’s going to jail then let him go.

The official music video features three different scenes: a soldier leaving his family to return to service, a man and a woman fighting to make ends meet, and a father and daughter torn apart by her arrest. R. City did it this way because they wanted everybody to connect to the song’s message of perseverance through hardship.

Maleficent party food table

I took the girls to watch Maleficent at the cinema when it came out and all three of us loved it, we were totally taken with the story and I knew we would enjoy watching it again and again.

When Sky Movies got in touch and asked us to throw a party, one glance at the list and my eyes fell on Maleficent I knew that would be our chosen theme.

sky movies

We returned from our holiday to an enormous box waiting from them and inside we found everything we would need to throw a Maleficent themed party, so I spent some time on Pinterest looking for good ideas.

Follow Marianne’s board Maleficent party ideas on Pinterest.

I wasn’t disappointed and soon I had a long list of way too many ideas, now all we needed was a date and some guests. Maleficent party costumes We enjoyed great food found on the supermarket shelves saving valuable time to chat with the mums rather than being busy in the kitchen. We played games with prizes to win and we sat and watched the film. The party was called a success by all attendees and you can find all of my top tips below but first a chance to win a fabulous prize – 

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Our Maleficent Party ideas


Kindly supplied by Sky Movies, beautiful black wings and long black cloaks. As it’s all set in the Land of Make Believe we decided that any costume would work which allowed each child to dress up as they wish.

Maleficent party food


I didn’t have the time to prepare home made food as ours was a last minute party thanks to a wet weather day so I whizzed around the local supermarket and picked up some children’s favourites, once plated up I dreamt up some new names for the food to make the children smile.

Ham and cheese sandwiches – Roasted raven sandwiches
Berry and apple juice – Dragon’s blood
Orio biscuits – Coins from the Land of Make Believe
Sponge fingers with sultanas – Prick your Finger Surprise
Assorted mini cakes – Bites from Far, Far Away
Maleficent’s Chocolate Fudge Cake with custard or squirty cream


Silent Warriors aka Musical Statues – to represent the fight between the warriors and and the King’s men.

pass the raven game

Pass the Raven. Sky Movies had kindly sent us a couple of decorative ravens and we used one as a pass the parcel, whoever was holding him when the music stopped was out. The above photo is when we were down to the last two contestants.

Watching the film

Of course this was the excuse for our get together and the girls settled down quickly to watch the film. They all enjoyed it and I must point out our afternoon started with watching the film to set the theme and then moved on to party food and games.

Party Bags

Black balloons, pink sparkly bouncy balls and a selection of sweets were given in purple and white striped paper bags.

festival fun in a tent

Once upon a time husband and I used to attend festivals, the last one we attended was in Chelmsford Essex at the V Festival and it was fantastic. I got to see so many of my favourite bands and solo artists and just being part of V Festival, the camping, the food, the atmosphere is something I have never forgotten.

Nowadays, the only music I get to listen to is kiddy music and I am enormously grateful we have moved on from the ELC nursery rhymes and at least are now enjoying Now that’s what I call music CD’s.

Last year we had a small taste of Camp Bestival which was superb, I’d thoroughly recommend it to anyone thinking of going as the perfect festival to take children to.

This year we didn’t manage to attend so we decided to make our own mini festival in the back garden with a little help from Tesco who sent over some festival essentials to make it more real.

teepee festival

What do you need to make your own mini festival?

A tent

One of the best parts of attending a festival is the sleeping arrangements, from pop up tents to last year’s accommodation in our caravan at Camp Bestival, anything goes. Tesco sent us this fabulous Teepee which was perfect, even Baxter moved in much to the delight of the girls.


Wellington boots of course! There is an awful lot of walking at festivals from one tent to the next to see your favourite musicians, Britain doesn’t have  the best weather records promising wall to wall sunshine and it has been known on many occasion to get very muddy so wellies are the best footwear. The girls loved their flowery wellies as they had a heel on them. There is nothing like a heel to make them feel more grown up!

Festival accessories

Hats, sunglasses, flowers for your hair. Anything goes and the beauty of being at a festival is playing with what’s available to you. Usually there is a lot of carting back and forth with gear from the car to the tent so the less to carry the better. A great look can be made even better with a couple of well thought out accessories.


Layers, layers, layers. That is how festival dressing works best, you can strip off layers as it gets hot and put them back on as it gets cold.


It’s a great idea to pack some snacks in your bag, raisins, nuts that are good energy and won’t give you a sugar slump later. As for festival food, well look at my Camp Bestival food post EVERYTHING on offer from the perfect burger to South American favourites. Take cash and prepare to try lots of interesting street food from around the world.

Chinese Lantern Fairy Lights

Are they necessary? Absolutely not but aren’t they just the prettiest lights you ever did see? Plus they charge using the sunlight. The girls loved them so much they took them down to the caravan last weekend and were delighted to see them lit up when we returned late from the beach in the evening.

caravan fairy lights

Disclosure: I am working with Tesco and they have sent the above mentioned products for the purpose of this post. See more Tesco festival essentials.

last day of infant school

Yep, today (24th July) was the girl’s last day at Riverview Infant school and it seems the time has shot by since our first day in reception. I have two very different girls now to back then and I couldn’t be prouder of them as they walk out of the infant school with top marks in all areas.

If you are wondering why they aren’t in uniform it’s because we are celebrating the 50 year anniversary of our school today.

First day of big school

When we first started in reception they barely knew the alphabet and could just about hold a pencil, by Christmas they were reading words and phrases and now I am constantly on the hunt for new books. Current favourites are Dorky Diaries, Wimpy Kid and Tom Gates.

When they started back in reception they knew their numbers 1 – 10 and maybe to 20 (Is it bad that I have forgotten what they knew back then?) Now we are learning times tables and tackling division, fractions, the time and money.

Thanks to school they have made firm friendships with a number of girls in their class and I hope these friendships continue through junior school even if they are all being split up into different classes. Good friends are so important in life.

christmas elves in school play

Thanks to school they now have a greater understanding of the world around them and how to interact with people, play with the nice kids.

They have learnt to play recorders, speak Spanish, make puppets in art club. They have acted fantastic productions on stage in front of hundreds of parents remembering their lines and what they have to do.

fallen teeth

We lost a LOT of teeth this year

I can only say great things about Riverview infant school and thank the teachers for the dedication they put into their work, without you I wouldn’t be looking at these two little rounded people today, thank you.

I want to thank the wonderful TA’s we have been lucky to have who with their careful assistance have completed the circle of learning in each year, thank you.

easter bonnets

I want to thank the dinner ladies who sent them home with ‘I bumped my head’ stickers and rubbed away the soreness in my absence, thank you.

I want to thank the secretaries who phoned me when they are poorly and looked after them whilst I ran to collect them.

Fairies in school play

Fairy Liquid (left – Alice) Fairy Sajollygoodfellow (right – Bessie) Cinderella and Rockerfella Leaver’s Concert

I’m going to miss the innocence of infant school, I’m going to miss the unity I felt with the class mums and dads as we all go our separate ways. I’m going to miss the fact they are, sorry were, so small… my babies.

Growing up.

We’re moving up to junior school in September, in Mr Harris’s class (a male teacher – interesting) who will be teaching them about the Stone Age and the Romans and Sexual Education, WHAT?

Really UK? Do we have to start Sexual Education now?

I’m really not sure I am ready for this, are you?

Back to school

Back to School image via Shutterstock

This year’s Back to School in September is a biggy for us as we’re going up. Yes, the girls will be moving on to Year 3 and junior school and although the school is only next door and has the same name we had to reapply.

It means not only a change of teacher but of school uniform, school times and much more that I am finding out as the time draws closer.

We’re going to have to teach the girls to put a tie on and tie up shoe laces. We’re going to have our larger school bags to contend with, satchel or rucksack? Pencil cases are needed with named products inside. So as you can imagine there’s quite a lot of preparation already taking place.

Back to school tips and tricks

Marks and Spencer asked me to share some of my top tips for making sure our Back to School is worry free and painless.


Think ahead – I have already been to the local shop and bought the school cardigans with logos on, I’ve sent in money for the school ties and the compulsory PE bag too as last year some students had to go without at the beginning of term. Also by thinking ahead you can take advantage of the sales and pick up quality uniform at a fraction of the initial price.

Getting dressed – It’s important to get the girls into a habit of dressing themselves and I find if I have laid out the uniform with them the night before so they have to think of what they need for the following day it makes them more responsible (she says with fingers crossed)


School dinners or packed lunch? I must admit after a whole year of not having to worry about making a packed lunch every day I’m tempted to pay for them to continue with school dinners. If we do find ourselves reverting to packed lunches then they will be prepared the night before and once again I shall rope the twins in to sorting out their lunch boxes with me

Pencil case

I shall be taking them shopping over the school holidays and choosing a school bag and a new pencil case. I have invested in a Stamptastic stamp which allows me to stamp EVERYTHING they own.

Keeping the knowledge

It’s important to keep their knowledge ticking over on the summer break and by that I don’t mean over doing it with homework but little games for the times tables, at least the 2s 5s and 10s plus lots of reading good books. Visit the local library or start a book swap with other school mums.

School bags

Always get prepared the night before. Only last minute addition could be a lunch box out of the fridge.

Walk to school

We are just down the road from our school so we walk every day unless it’s tipping it down in which case we jump in the car. We have a checklist we all say before we leave the house so we all remember what to take: – Book bags, water bottles, keys and so on. We’ll often talk about things we see on our walk to school or use the time for conversation.

First day back

An exciting day and a worrying one too for some? On our first day back parents will accompany the children to the junior school hall form that day onwards the children will have to enter via the school gate on their own and in past years I have noticed this can be quite daunting for some children. We shall be organising with the other school mums to meet at the gate from the second day onwards so the children can go in together.

Reaching half term

I always think the first term back is the hardest especially when it’s a new school, new teacher and lots of new information to take on board. I like to get homework done over the weekend in the morning so the day is clear and we haven’t to worry about it anymore. I think weekends should have something to look forward to, this can be playing in a local park or baking some brownies, anything that for the children is a fun task.

Marks and Spencer got in touch and asked me to share some of my top tips with them, have you got any to add? How do you make your Back to School smoother?

Disclosure: This post is in collaboration with Marks and Spencer they have a 20% off promo that runs until the 14th of July