Being a bank holiday Morrisons mum….


A few weeks ago I received an email from the lovely ladies at  Britmums asking if I would like to be involved in a new campaign they were running with Morrisons supermarket for the May Bank Holiday weekend. I’ve been looking for some new inspiration to get my bum back into writing and updating this blog and this sounded like the perfect opportunity! I registered straight away and soon received £80 worth of vouchers to get our shopping in for the bank holiday. I was thinking of all the amazing barbecue food, salads and drinks we could get in to celebrate – unfortunately the lovely Scottish weather didn’t agree (at all!)  but we still got a trolley full of amazing (slimming world friendly!)  food!

Now, I’ll admit to being an avid Asda shopper. I always find them significantly cheaper than most of the other supermarkets, and when you’re buying for a family of 4 – price matters! I had seen the recent Morrisons “I’m Cheaper” campaign adverts and I was intrigued as to whether they really were going to match my usual prices and manage to keep the high quality they’re known for.


This is the start of a new cheaper Morrisons.

We’ve cut the prices on over a thousand of your favourite products. Not temporary reductions or supermarket smoke and mirrors, these are new every day low prices on the things you buy every week. So you’ll notice the difference with every shop.

And although we’re cutting prices, we’re not cutting corners.

You’ll still get award-winning meat and fish, still get trained butchers and bakers, still get the best of fresh on Market Street and still get friendly Morrisons service.

Look out for the yellow markers when you shop in store and online at
If it says I’m cheaper you know it’s staying cheaper.


I was excited! We decided to head out on the bank holiday Monday, as Paul was working all weekend before hand and I wanted to head to a bigger Morrisons store about 15 minutes by car from our house.  We got to Morrisons Anchor Mills store at about lunch time and my first worry was that because it was a bank holiday Monday, we would be getting the dregs of the weekend stock. I was wrong. Every shelf was full with fresh produce which was a big tick for me!





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I was so impressed with everything on offer at Morrisons. The fresh produce department was absolutely massive! Along with the huge selection on the deli counters, fish counters, bakery section…it’s a foodies heaven! I noticed a massive change in the cost of their fruit and vegetables! 99p strawberries and raspberries were a massive win in this house! I also picked up a portion of smoked cod loin for only £2.66 which was an absolute bargain!


We had to do a massive shop as we have not long returned from holidays and my fridge and freezer had turned itself off (grrrrrr!) and everything had to be thrown out. I was expecting to have to pay out around £180 to refill everything.

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Our final bill came to £113.81. And I have a full fridge, freezer and cupboards. I was amazed! I’ve done shops at Morrisons several years ago and found it really expensive, but I couldn’t believe the difference!




Here’s a wee selection of some of the meals we had this week and the prices per person:



Baked smoked cod loin with steamed rice and Mediterranean vegetables.


Cost per person (served 3) –  £1.70








Mushroom, Bacon and cheese pasta bake with salad 20140507_171000


Cost per person (served 3) – 88p!









And an amazing wee find for anyone following Slimming World – Morrisons Fresh Eats Sweet Chilli Chicken with noodles is only 2.5syns and tastes AMAZING! It’s also included in the 2 for £5 deal!


Overall, I was seriously impressed with Morrisons. The produce was amazing and stayed fresh for most of the week. The selection of meats and fruit/vegetables is great and the bakery selection is amazing for anyone with a sweet tooth (although not so great if you’re on a diet!) I was so impressed, in fact, that I returned today for my weekly shop and I will be doing so for every big shop I do in future.


Well done, Morrisons! You definitely made a Morrisons Mum out of me!


*I was sent £80 worth of vouchers to spend instore at Morrisons. This post continues to contain my own honest thoughts and opinions as always.









Saying Goodbye…

“A heart break isn’t always as loud as a bomb exploding. Sometimes, it could be as quiet as a feather falling and the most painful thing is, nobody hears it except you – Anon

On Wednesday the 2nd of January 2013, our lives changed in the most difficult and heart breaking way ever. I have spoken about this in previous blogs although not in detail, because I didn’t feel ready to share that part of our lives with the world.

But here we are a year later, and we are ok. We are living each day as it comes. We got through it. We are coping. And so I now feel strong enough to be able to share our story with you in the hope of helping someone else who may be feeling or going through the same thing, and to let you know that you can, and will, get through it.

On the 2nd of January 2013 , Paul and I lost our baby. 

I remember settling down to watch the new series of One Born Every Minute with a cuppa and some leftover Christmas chocolates. I felt awful, and had done all day, but put it down to an over indulgent Christmas and New Year.  Paul had just taken the boys up to bed and we were all looking forward to getting back to normal after the New Year break.

The theme music started. And after that,  everything is a blur.

Paul found me collapsed in the toilet about 20 minutes later. I was as white as a sheet, my clothes were soaked in sweat and I was drifting in and out of consciousness. I had lost so much blood. Too much blood. We both knew what had happened, but neither of us said it.

I remember the paramedics rushing up the stairs to me, being hooked up to drips and monitors and taken in an ambulance to A&E. I remember being so embarrassed by the mess I was in and constantly apologising to the paramedic, who couldn’t have been nicer, or more understanding. But the sympathetic glances, and the gentle “It’ll be ok” told me straight away that nothing was going to be alright.

I remember not crying. I just felt completely numb. It was as if I was watching this happening to someone else.

I remember lying in the cubicle in A&E, with Paul trying to make me  laugh (as we always do in the most awful situations) and just having a feeling of complete emptiness come over me. Helplessness. Guilt. Sadness.

And then the doctor came. And the tears came. And they didn’t stop for a long time.

We had lost our baby at a little over 12 weeks gestation.

We had no scans. No medical notes. Nothing, physically, to remember the fact our baby actually existed. But the loss of our baby broke our hearts. There was no reason. It wasn’t anyone or anything’s fault. But a part of us will never fully recover from it.

January, February and March came and went. I wasn’t living my life. I was simply getting through each day as best I could. I was dragging myself out of bed for the sake of my boys and Paul and getting to the end of the day before breaking down in tears again. The guilt was unbearable. You feel you should been able to protect your own baby from everything and anything. And I couldn’t. I didn’t.

In April, I started this blog with the hope of sharing our story and giving and receiving help and support from others who were going through the same thing. I have a post drafted from that first blog day that I have never been able to publish. I just wasn’t ready. I wasn’t coping.

But here we are, a year later. We’re stronger than we have ever been as a family. We got through it. And I feel I can finally post about this. About our loss. There are still days where the pain just hits you all over again.  We struggled at Aiden’s nursery concert in June seeing all the newborn babies. We struggled at the beginning of July around our due date. I have still never been able to watch One Born Every Minute. Maybe one day.

As for our family plans, we’re lucky to have our two beautiful boys. And we appreciate them every single day, and hug them even harder now.  But we will always remember our third baby. The little one who was there, but who never got to stay.


Little Snowdrop

The world may never notice if a Snowdrop doesn’t bloom,
Or even pause to wonder if the petals fall too soon,
But every life that ever forms or even comes to be,
Touches the world in some small way for all eternity.
The little one we longed for was swiftly here and gone,
But the love that was then planted is a light that still shines on,
And though our arms are empty our hearts know what to do,
Every beating of our hearts says that we love you.


Saying Goodbye is a charity offering support and services for anyone who has lost a baby in pregnancy, at birth, or in the early years. Saying Goodbye is for all parents who carried a child, but did not get to meet them. For those who held their baby, but did not take them home, & for those who did take their little ones home, but they did not stay. 

Saying Goodbye has brought to the UK the first national set of services – all services take place in cathedrals and are held by ministers. These are a fitting tribute to all babies who have been lost.

Please LIKE the page


Twitter @SayinggoodbyeUK


My best friend has decided to run the 10k on the 11th May 2014 and raise money for this amazing charity! If I can start my training soon I will hopefully be joining her! Every small donation helps and will go towards providing help and support for other families out there who are going through the devastating effects of baby loss. Please help her to reach her fundraising target by donating here, and a massive thank you if you do:

If you have been affected by baby loss, in any way at all or at any stage of pregnancy, and just want someone to speak to, cry with or vent at, then please feel free to email me at or get in touch with the amazing people at Saying Goodbye. The help and support they offer is incredible.

Goodbye 2013 … Hello 2014!!

As always, I’m ever so slightly late to the party with this one! I had the best of intentions to blog over Christmas and New Year but, to be honest, I had so much going on that I completely forgot!



So, Happy New Year one and all! For me, 2013 was definitely a mixed bag. It started off in the worst way possible for us, with the 2nd of January spent in the A&E of the local hospital with what felt like my whole world falling down around me. But from then on in, I felt like I finally found an inner strength to sort my life out and get back on the right track.

On April 25th 2013, I joined Slimming World. By far, this was the best decision I have made in a long time! Here I am now, 3 stone lighter and with a new found confidence that I don’t think I have ever had!

With this confidence, has come a fair few other positive changes in my life. I started this blog for one, and it reminded me how much I love writing. It has brought me so many fantastic opportunities and I can’t thank you all enough for continuing to read it! I’ve let it fall by the wayside over the past few months but I am hoping in 2014 I will be able to get back on track and build this blog into something I can be proud of and that you can all continue to enjoy reading!

 I have also (finally) returned to work and am absolutely loving it so far. It is not an amazingly paid job. It doesn’t have incredible prospects. But I look forward to going in every day and it doesn’t feel like a chore. Well, not yet anyway!  As much as I loved being at home with the boys, It is great to be back in an environment where I feel like I play an important professional part and have REAL LIFE ADULT CONVERSATIONS! It’s the small things.

I have also decided to return to study part time. I’m currently studying for my TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) certificate with the hopes of at some point in the future going back to University and doing my teacher training. Until then, I am hoping to help out with a local charity who works with the children of European Immigrants, with the majority being Romanian, and helping them learn English and settle in to their new surroundings. Fingers crossed for that plan anyway!

What do I want in 2014? To have a happy year. To spend it watching my two boys grow and become even more mental. To have a “date night” with the hubby at least once a month. To laugh with my family as much as possible. To meet up with my friends more often. To get over my anxiety and live each day without constantly worrying about something silly (I’m a terrible worrier! I’ve constantly got that sick, anxious feeling in my stomach!)

Resolutions? Well, I’ve never been very good at sticking to these things. Or to anything, actually. But I do have a few:

  • To continue with my Slimming World journey and lose another 2.5 stone to get to target.
  • To complete my TEFL course and get my certificate.
  • To restart my driving lessons – that’s been a long 10 years coming!
  • To take part in my first ever 5k or 10k – even if I have to walk it!
  • To enjoy every minute of our first ever family holiday abroad in April!
  • To blog more often. At least twice a week. And write what I want to write. Not what I feel I HAVE to. Back to basics blogging.
  • On that note – to keep on top of my social media! I’ll pop all my links at the end of this post.
  • To get my YouTube set up and keep it going – any requests for videos or vlogs please feel free to comment below or email me! I will be uploading at least once a week (a Tuesday or Wednesday) with a Slimming World update.
  • To get my finances in order and start saving so we have some money behind us.

Overall, I just want to enjoy this year. I have so much to look forward to whether it be birthdays, holidays and one of my closest friends is getting married! It’s so exciting! It has all the makings of a great year! We’ve just got to smile and enjoy.

I hope your 2014 is filled with love, good health and happiness! I would love to know your plans for this year! What are your resolutions?


My social media:
Twitter : Follow me @Southsidegirl26
Facebook: Like The Southside Girl page

The Southside Girl x

Aiden – First 3 months at school!


My gorgeous boy has been in Primary one for 3 months now. Three whole months. I have no idea what has happened this year but the time is flying by and I don’t know how to feel about it!

Aiden has absolutely amazed us. We always knew he would have no problems settling in at school. He was more than ready for the last few months of nursery and did nothing but talk about school for months! But I never expected him to be as settled and to pick things up as quickly as he has!

I know every parent sings their child’s praises but I have never been prouder of him. He has been getting certificate after certificate, awards from the head teacher and his report on his first ever parents night (which I managed not to cry through…yay!) was incredible! He is already showing particular strengths with his mathematics and the speed in which he has picked up his reading is amazing. He really is a wee star.

Of course, his favourite parts of school are gym class and play time – typical boy!

We had real worries with what school we were going to send Aiden to. We had two choices – the local school or the school both myself and Paul went to and is in the area we grew up in. The latter, I think, was more of a comfortable choice, as we knew what to expect from it.  I’ll admit we don’t live in the best area – so the local school was always going to be a risk. However, it is a brand new school building (opened in 2009) and has all the latest technology, IT equipment and facilities. It is a small school, with an extremely caring, understanding and skilled teaching staff, a strict but open head teacher and fantastic extra curricular activities and groups. One of the perks of being in a “deprived” area.

Sending Aiden to that school has been the best decision we have ever made. He is thriving, has made a new group of friends and is surprising us every day.

Yes. I’m one of those over bearing, embarrassing, ridiculously proud mummies. Don’t worry, I even cringe at myself. But for any parent with children going to school next year, I just wanted them to know that the worst part is the lead up to it. You will worry every single day. You will doubt yourself numerous times. You will send them to school with a suitcase full of food so they don’t starve. You will be tempted to turn up at play time just to make sure they’re ok.

But they’ll be fine. More than fine. They’ll surprise you every single day. Appreciate every moment of it – because this is the time you really notice them starting to grow up.

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And this was Aiden with his first reading book – two weeks after he first started school. Like I said – overly proud mummy.

The Southside Girl x

Being on the other side of the lens….

Yesterday, I posted a picture on my Facebook page. This isn’t an unusual occurrence in itself – my timeline is jam packed full of pictures of the boys, Paul.. and food (shock horror!) What was unusual, for me, was the … Continue reading

Missing in Action…..

Okay, so I do actually have an excuse for my rather lengthy sabbatical from the world of blogging… my laptop caught a horrible wee virus and died on me. Along with all my photos/videos/pre-written blogs (and no, I don’t have the common sense to back anything up. Uuuuurgh what a tool!)

Anyway, on the plus side, the break away from my blog has given me a chance to refresh and get back to looking forward to writing. I have to admit, I was starting to find writing this slightly tedious and lost my mojo. But not to worry, it’s back with a vengeance! So, it’s back to writing what I want to write about, when I want to write about it,  and remembering the reason I started this blog in the first place. Product reviews, events, book reviews and all the opportunities are lovely. But that’s not why I started this blog…

I wanted a way of remembering every little aspect of my life. I wanted a written note of every funny little thing my boys say and do, their ups and downs and of their first days at nursery and school. I wanted to share with all of you the days where I feel close to emotional breakdown because it happens to everyone and sometimes, it helps to know you’re not alone. I wanted to put my slightly chaotic life out there in the hope that I might find I’m not the only mental, caffeine addicted, overly emotional mum/woman/psycho out there. I wanted to make you laugh, nod your head in agreement and sometimes maybe even shed a tear (see above…I’m overly emotional so expect you all to be as well ;))

I’m back to doing what I love and hope you stick around with me. I’ve got a few wee things in the pipeline, including a new YouTube channel (hahaha GOD SHIELD YOUR EYES!) and a list as long as my arm of posts to write, as well as hopefully, at some point, moving this wee blog to it’s own self hosted website.

So, I’ll leave you with this. The past month my life has went through some big changes. My baby started school. I fitted into clothes I haven’t worn since before I had Aiden. I finally got my eyebrows under control and looking semi normal, (well, as normal as my inherited bushy monobrow ever will be. Thanks DAD!) and I realised that I have a bloody incredible family who, no matter how often you see them, or where they live in the world, support you 100% in doing something that you love. I can’t thank you enough for that, for the encouragement and for the confidence to continue this. And for the laptop. That made me cry. You git.

I’ll leave you with some pictures of my Aiden’s first day at school. Proudest day of my life – well, so far anyway. Here’s hoping there’s plenty more.







Another thank you has to be given to Actually Mummy who included my wee blog in her Newbie round up over on the Britmums website recently. Chuffed doesn’t cover it 🙂 Thank you. You can read that post here.

The Southside Girl x


Swimming Saturday – Week 6


It was our second from last swimming lesson yesterday morning. Cant believe that’s the boys nearly at the end of the first block.

We got Aiden and Logan’s Block 1 assessment yesterday. It’s fantastic to get something on paper because as much as I harp on about how they’re improving – I don’t really have a clue. So to get written feedback from the instructors is great.


Once the boys have completed each step (below) they can then move up to the next level. Currently, Logan has completed the first step and Aiden has completed the first two. In Aiden’s assessment, it’s also noted that he is able to swim a short distance, which is fantastic!


With both of the boys, the main thing we need to work on is their confidence. With Aiden, during yesterday’s lesson, he realised that when he was swimming under water, he was able to stand up on his own without waiting for his teacher Ali to get him up. His wee face was a picture. So proud of himself and was telling us on the way home that means he can do anything by himself now (within reason obviously) There are so many transferable skills gained from doing the swimming lessons at this age. They learn discipline, confidence, waiting to take their turn etc. It’s led to a massive improvement in their overall behaviour. Well, sometimes. Boys will be boys!

The next course of swimming lessons begins on Wednesday 14th August. There is a 9 week course covering classes on a Wednesday – Sunday (£81) and an 8 week course covering Monday and Tuesday classes (£72). They are also now taking bookings for crash courses during the Summer and details can be found on the Making Waves Website.

Also, head over and give their Facebook page a like here and you can keep up to date with whats happening.

The Southside Girl x

Swimming Saturday – Week 5


Week 5 of the boys swimming lessons today. I can’t believe how quickly this block has went – only 2 weeks left!

We’ve been out enjoying the amazing sunshine this week, and after a long day out yesterday I knew the boys wouldn’t be in the best of moods when I woke them up for swimming this morning. Aiden was fine. Logan, on the other hand, hadn’t even opened an eye and he was already moaning and saying he wasn’t going. Joy.

We got to the pool and Logan was still determined he wasn’t getting in and was actually getting quite upset. So much so that I was quite close to just putting his clothes back on and letting him sit it out.

Tom noticed how upset he had gotten and took Logan to one side and had a wee talk with him that really calmed him down. Off he trotted into the pool afterwards quite the thing right enough! Wee chancer.

The boys progress this week is still on the same level as last week I would say. Aiden’s being taught how to use his arms to move him through the water now and I think when he has the hang of that it’ll make a massive improvement.

I still find it unbelievable just how far they have come. Aiden is absolutely loving Making Waves – after every lesson he can’t wait to tell everyone about his lesson and how well he is doing. Logan, well, I’m still unsure whether he is enjoying it or not. He is only 3 and I’m sure in a couple of years when he’s Aiden’s age he will be alot more excited by it. I think the best thing for us to do is to keep him at it because, in my opinion,  the boys being able to swim confidently, at a young age, will be a massive advantage to them.

If you are looking to get your children involved in swimming lessons, don’t hesitate in getting in touch with Making Waves Swimming Lessons. They are a fantastic team! Visit their website at

The Southside Girl x

Room for Improvement – A MoneySupermarket Challenge!

I was amazed last week, when I received an email from Moneysupermarket asking me if I would like to take part in their latest campaign, the Room for Improvement Challenge.

Home improvements don’t have to cost the earth; for a very affordable sum, you can make changes that totally transform the look and feel of a room!

To prove this, we’re  launching our ‘Room for Improvement’ competition, in which we will be asking site owners to get creative and show us how they can improve a room in their home for just £50. Whether it’s a lick of paint on a wall, creating a centre piece or recovering an old chair, we want to hear all about it!

Well, never one to shy away from a challenge, I accepted straight away and was sent £50 to go about improving a room of our choice. We were torn between doing the bathroom (as my husband’s failed attempt at laying a floor is driving me insane!) or doing the downstairs hall (as it hasn’t been in touched in 5 years, since we first moved in!) We finally decided on the hall, as we were more likely to stick to budget, and set off in search of some inspiration.

Now £50, to us anyway, isn’t necessarily a low budget. When we first moved into our own house, we were barely out of our teens and had very little money between us. We still managed to make our house livable and made it our own. I’m not ashamed to admit I love a browse in B&M stores, Home Bargains and the odd charity shop. There are plenty of deals to be had if you know where to look.

So we managed to get some wallpaper from B&M (warning : we like bold prints. Not to everyone’s taste but we love it) as well as some other bits and pieces and a unit from IKEA. Luckily for me, my father-in-law is a painter and decorator so he set about transforming my hall for me (thanks Pat!) Obviously I still got to do all the fun, pretty stuff at the end. Yay!

So here are our before, during and after pictures… please don’t judge the before pictures! I never realised how atrocious the hall was until I looked at these!



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The BIG Reveal…..

After 1



I am completely over the moon with the results! It feels so much cosier and homely! And all this was just over the £50 budget!! Honestly!

We managed to find the wallpaper in the “bargain bin” part of B&M. There were a few marks on the rolls but you can’t notice them when the wallpaper is up. We managed to get 4 rolls for £15.96!


We also managed to get two of these “Magic Rugs” from B&M. They were on deal at 2 for £5 and are machine washable which is great! Another bargain to be had!


The unit, we got from IKEA and cost £20. We already had the lamp in the bedroom upstairs, and the box inserts I was using in my wardrobe but they fit perfectly!


I picked up this wee frame in B&M stores aswell. They always have a massive selection of frames in there for really good prices! This one was a snip at £2.99!


We already have these lampshades in our living room so decided to pick up another one for the hall. This is another B&M number and costs £3.99.


It’s really difficult to see in this picture but I managed to pick up a fantastic mirror that looks amazing up! It’s massive, and since it had a wee chip in the corner I managed to get it for £4.99 down from £7.99, again in B&M stores!


Overall Cost Breakdown

Wallpaper x4 rolls = £15.96

Rug x2 = £5

Mirror = £4.99

Frame = £2.99

Unit = £20

Lampshade = £3.99

TOTAL PRICE = £52.93

I love it! It just shows that you can make major differences without spending a fortune!

How about you try your own “Room for Improvement” challenge?

The Southside Girl x

*disclaimerI was sent £50 by to take part in their Room for Improvement challenge. Money spent over the £50 budget was my own. I have also been entered into a competition run by to win £500 vouchers for B&Q for doing this post.

Swimming Saturday – Week 4


My dad decided to tag along to the boys’ swimming lesson today. He’s a great swimmer himself and has always loved swimming. My brother and I are severe let downs in the swimming department (I can swim although there is no stroke/skill involved, more a “throw myself in and hope for the best” ethos… Michael can barely float) so I think he’s secretly hoping for at least a doggy paddle from his grandsons.

I was actually really looking forward to him seeing their progress, particularly Aiden. So the boys were in the pool and Aiden took his turn. Again, he was under the water and attempting to swim towards the instructor on his own. I turned to ask my dad what he thought, and the poor guy was an emotional wreck (sorry to broadcast this dad, but you were) Obviously, this then made me well up like a bit of an idiot. What a picture. It is just a case of absolute pride in how quickly they have progressed. I can’t reinforce it enough that 4 weeks ago, I couldn’t get Aiden in a shower as it was “too wet”. Watching him in the water now is like watching a completely different child. Amazing.

Logan, on the other hand, was being his usual overly stubborn self. He’s been a bit of a tantrum queen this week. He’s taken a severe dislike to the goggles he has to wear to the lessons and every two minutes was moaning and trying to get them off. I don’t know if it’s the fact that they’re steaming up, or if they’re too tight or if he’s just being his usual pernickety self but he was just not up for it today at all.

Step in Tom, who again was fantastic with Logan and dealt with the situation. If i had been with Logan on my own, I probably would have given up and let him out of the pool. But if I had done that the likelihood of him wanting to come back would have been zero. Tom clearly knows what he’s doing and I have no problems at all putting complete trust in him and what he says when it comes to the boys and their swimming.

The amazing thing was, that Logan did get back in the pool. And was even starting to kick his legs and move himself across the pool. He is the most stubborn child I’ve ever met, so that is a huge deal! He is still using his float which I am happy with –  the instructors are taking his confidence and ability levels into account.

We are hoping this week we will be able to take the boys to the swimming ourselves as Paul is off work. He works so much and misses out on getting to see them and they are more than excited at the prospect of getting to show off! I’m hoping to be able to get some video/photos of them doing that as long as the pool is quiet enough.

Making Waves Swimming have just released the timetables for their crash courses over the summer holidays. I’ve heard from my friends that these are fantastic and you can really notice a massive improvement in just a short space of time. I’m definitely getting the boys booked up! You can find the timetable of the crash courses on their website, here.

The Southside Girl x