Spooky Encounters

I strongly believe in an afterlife and I also believe in the existence of ghosts. I'm going to share with you my story of some spooky encounters we've had.



When I was a young girl I'd wake in the night and see an old lady with curly white hair who wore a navy dress with white polka dots. She would be standing at my bedroom door and sometimes there would be a man with her. When I saw them I didn't  feel scared of them exactly but they definitely made feel spooked. My parents had often said as a baby that I would be smiling and giggling as if I could see someone who wasn't there.




I remember whenever I'd get up to go to the toilet which was downstairs I'd dash back up and into my bed and under the covers as I felt that was the way to protect me when I was feeling spooked. There was one occasion when I went to the toilet in the night and a radio that wasn't plugged in or had any batteries in all of a suddenly just turned on. I don't think I ever ran so fast in all my life back up those stairs. 





As i've got older I didn't see the ghosts anymore. But I still often wondered if they were there but I just could no longer see them. 




At the age of 18 a few months before I turned 19 my Dad passed away. It had a huge impact on me especially mentally.  My sister not long after his passing had a spooky experience of the radio turning on all of a sudden and the clock hands spinning. As for me I've had moments where I know my Dad is there with me. Stuart and I have lived in various flats over the years and I've definitely had moments when I just knew my Dad was there which is a lovely feeling.




After having Blake I definitely have known my Dad has visited us in the flat we were previously lived in. I'd feel a cold chill next to me and even though I couldn't see anything and nothing spooky has happened I just knew. I've had it when I've been poorly and sleeping and I'd feel someone sit on the bed and open my eyes to see if Stuart had popped in and no one was there. My Dad would when I was poorly before he died come in and sit on the bed to check on me so on them occasions it must have been him. 




Blake has even had moments when he would smile and giggle when no one is there just like I did as a baby. I do believe in them moments that it's my Dad he could see. Last year Stuart's Dad sadly passed away and Blake has definitely been communicating with him. At the flat we had moments where Blake would do the usual giggling and smiling but I didn't have the strong feeling of it being my Dad. There was one occasion when Blake was doing this before preschool and Stuart had asked him who he was talking to and Blake had said Grandad. 

There wasn't  any prompting for him to say that. Especially as you may know Blake has a speech delay and autism and at the point he wasn't as verbal as he is now.



We've not had anything yet since moving to this house though. 




Have any of you had any similar experiences? 

How to Start Planning & Saving for Christmas Now

Christmas is just under 2 months away. Which means if counting October there are only 2 pay days left!  My main rule when it comes to Christmas is to not get into debt. This is why it's important to plan for Christmas NOW.


I love the run up to Christmas and definitely enjoy it more when we are organised. If you follow me you will probably be aware by now that we also have to factor in Blake's Birthday in December too as it's on the 16th.

Planning in advance means we can relax with a mince pie, mulled wine and enjoy visits to santa, seeing the lights, panto's and not have stress of crowds at shopping centres and supermarkets grabbing gifts etc last minute.





Book Tickets

It's a good idea to start planning days out and events and booking tickets as from experience places tend to sell out quickly. I'm planning to set time aside to see what events are on in our local area and find suitable santa grottos and pantos to see. 

As well as booking tickets for events and days out it's a good idea to book travel now as last minute will cost more and also you risk having to leave at the worst times or catch unnecessary connections. Luckily this year we are spending Christmas on our own as it's our first Christmas since relocating.


Spending

Whilst in planning mode I like to grab a pen and notebook and start planning for gifts. This way I know who we need to buy for and set a budget for each person. It gives me an idea then on how much money is needed.I'm definitely going to start looking into ways we can cut back on our spending such as:

1. Start a Christmas Fund
I tend to do this via the chip app as it automatically takes money from my account and I don't really notice. We also like to start putting loose change away each day into a tin. 

2.  Set a spending limit
Once I've got a figure in mind it gives me an idea of how much I need to out aside. I personally work out how much to put aside weekly and four weekly but it's whatever works out best for you.

3. Start buying now
I've actually finished all of Blake's gifts and some other family members ones too. Make sure you track what you spend so that you  stay within budget. 

4. Do it cheaply
Look for offers available. Especially on items such as toys. I also like to look at places such as Ebay and local selling sites. As for stocking fillers poundshop are great for this kind of thing.

5. Get creative
Why not start thinking of ideas for inexpensive and meaningful gifts. I'm definitely looking more into homemade gift ideas, this year.



I'm looking forward to sharing more Christmas related posts between now and Christmas Eve. This includes gift guides, money saving, events/daysout, adverts and much more.

Book Tour| Ghoster by Jason Arnopp

Ad – review. I was sent a copy of this book for review purposes and all thoughts are my own]

Today I'm involved in the book tour for Jason Arnopp's new novel Ghoster (Released October 24th). Jason is a British author and scriptwriter with a background in journalism.  Ghoster is his second novel with his first novel being The last days of Jack Sparks.   



About the book:


Kate Collins has been ghosted.

She was supposed to be moving in with her new boyfriend Scott, but all she finds after relocating to Brighton is an empty flat. Scott has vanished. His possessions have all disappeared.

Except for his mobile phone.

Kate knows she shouldn't hack into Scott's phone. She shouldn't look at his Tinder, his calls, his social media. But she can't quite help herself.

That's when the trouble starts. Strange, whispering phone calls from numbers she doesn't recognise. Scratch marks on the walls that she can't explain.

And the growing feeling that she's being watched . .


I love how thrilling, twisty and creepy Ghoster is. Those that know me will know that thrillers are my favourite genre and this one was such a delight to read. Jason's writing kept me gripped throughout and made it hard to put down.

I loved the characters Kate and her relationship with her best friend Izzy. I found their text messages in the book hilarious to read. I love that there is a bit of light humour included in this horror story.

The more you get into the story though the bonkers it gets that's all I'm going to say without reveling the ending. 

#LittleLoves October


What a month October has been! Stuart ended up in hospital within the first week of the month with heart problems which was such a worrying time. Luckily he was only in for around 36 hours before he was allowed home.  On the plus side this month we found an extra storage room in our attic after being intrigued in what was behind a wooden panel. We are also currently on half term til Tuesday so Stuart's mum and her husband were up for a few days. Our favourite day out together  was when we headed to Farmer Copleys in Pontefract for their pumpkin festival.


Let's move onto my #littleloves for October.




READ

Another quiet reading month. This is mainly as I was struggling to get through one of my reads before giving up so I've left that one out of this post.

The House Across The Street by Lesley Pearse 

I've been a fan of Lesley's books for awhile now. This story is based in Britain in the 60s with 23 year old Katy Speed as the main character who is intrigued with what's going on at the house across the street. Then one night the house burns down killing 2 people inside and Katy's Dad gets the blame. Katy is determined to prove her fathers innocence . Can Katy find the truth before it's too late?

Ghoster by Jason Arnopp

I was gifted this book for a book tour which you can read about tomorrow and it's such a thrilling and twisty read. Definitely perfect spooky read for this time of year.

Blood Orange by Harriet Tyce

This is my current read which is a debut thriller. A disturbing, toxic and compelling novel that explores the power of fear and desire, jealousy and betrayal, love and hate.



WATCHED

I've been watching a good few films this month.

I'll start with Netflix:

In the Tall Grass
A brother and sister enter a field of tall grass to rescue a boy, but they soon realize they cannot escape and something evil lurks in the grass.

Fractured
After his wife and injured daughter disappear from the emergency room, a man becomes convinced the hospital is hiding something.

Eli
A boy becomes trapped in a haunted house while undergoing treatment for a rare disease.

Veronica 
During a solar eclipse, young VerĂ³nica and her friends want to summon the spirit of VerĂ³nica's father using an Ouija board. However, during the session she loses consciousness and soon it becomes clear that evil demons have arrived.

DVDs:

Toy Story  4
Absolutely loved the fourth film fully reccomend  seeing it if you haven't yet.

Hocus Pocus 
My all time favourite Halloween film. I watched this as a child and still love it now.

Other:
As Halloween is next week I'll be making my through my list of Halloween and horror films.


Heard

Not really been listening to any new music this month.


WORE

New Boots - These ankle boots are from Yours clothing and are so comfortable.

Cute Hedgehog socks - These are from Tesco and don't just look cute they definitely keep my feet warm.






MADE

Apple crumble - It's a must for this time of year.

Autumn wreath/ scarecrow - Blake and I did these together they were such fun to make and very simple to do.





And lASTLY...
We took part in a tweet-along for the release of Toy Story 4 on DVD and Blueray. You can check out my review and giveaway here.


Toy Story 4 | Review & Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Toy Story 4 on DVD and Blueray we took part in a fun tweet-along yesterday evening. 

I loved the first two films and didn't really like the third installment so I was unsure what I'd think of the fourth one. 

It's been 24 years since the first film and the franchise could've stopped there. After the third film though, some people were worried that a fourth would spoil the legacy.  However I can reassure you that this isn't the case and Toy Story 4 is pixar gold.


As part of the tweet-along we were sent the film on DVD along with some other goodies to prepare us for a family movie night.

The antique shop set features figures of 3 toy story favourites Buzz, Woody and Bo along with fun figures of new characters: Gabby, Gabby, Duke Caboom, Forky and 2 of the combat Carl's.

We also recieved 3 masks of film favourites: Woody, Bo and Forky along with some delicious popcorn to enjoy whilst watching the film.




Toy Story 4 is definitely special with emotional and funny moments throughout. I'll try not to include too many spoilers in my review.

The film starts  ¹¹with going back to the emotional moment when the toys are still living with Andy  and Woody's emotional goodbye to Bo peep (who was last seen in toy story 2). It then goes forward in time to when Buzz, Woody and the gang are with their new kid Bonnie on a road trip along with her handmade toy Forky. The innocent and funny sporks antics launch Woody on a quest meeting new characters and a long lost friend.

Toy story 4 features several new characters:
Forky, Ducky and Bunny, Giggle McDimples, Duke Caboom and if course Gabby Gabby and her freaky ventriloquist dolls. They are all a wonderful blend of new characters.

The ending was emotional so make sure you have tissues. Also don't get off your seat to soon after the film finishes as there are some hilarious post credit scenes.


Fancy getting your hands on a copy of the film on Blueray? Then you are in luck as I have one copy to giveaway.


To enter all you have to do is  complete the rafflecopter below.

Terms and conditions
-To enter you must be 16 and over
- This competition will close on 1st November 2019  at 12.00am GMT
- The winner will be chosen at random and notified via email, twitter or facebook
- If the winner doesn't reply within 30 days another winner will be drawn


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Halloween Costumes: Back in the day

Halloween costumes have definitely come along way since when I was a child. My sister and I would dress up each Halloween and pop over to see my nan and grandad. 

These days you can buy such wonderful costumes in the shops which are ideal for busy parents or for parents that just don't have the skills to make their own costumes.



When I was younger my sister and I dressed up as a witch every year. Out came the black bin bags to make the dress and cape over our clothing.  Then we would wear a witch  mask which I hated wearing as they made me feel so hot and sweaty. The hair was attached to these masks as well so you didn't need to add a wig. The only accessories we need were a pointed witches hat and a broom stick. Then we would head out the door first of all knocking to show our next door neighbor who my mum is still good friends with then in to visiting my nan and Grandad to show off how we looked.

I must admit looking at this photo cracks me up as it reminds me of the time we had trick or treaters and I answered the door scaring them. Not going to lie I think some if the costumes you see today are definitely less scary.

Did you enjoy dressing up as a child for Halloween?

My Thoughts on Trick Or Treating

In over a weeks time it's Halloween. When it comes to holidays/events my favourite is Christmas followed by Easter. However Halloween isn't one we really celebrate.

I'm all for visiting pumpkin patches, dressing Blake up, eating and drinking everything pumpkin related,  watching films and I'll even be dress up our fireplace with pumpkins. However one thing we wont be doing is trick or treating. 


I don't like trick or treating as it goes against every lesson that every parent teaches their children. Eating junk in excess, frightening people, issuing threats and the one that really gets to me talking to and taking things from strangers.

Blake being autistic means he doesn't always understand these things anyway. So to be trying to implement that throughout the year and then on this one evening doing the opposite, would be completely confusing for a child without autisim let alone with. 

There is a bit of guilt though as I know lots of children his age do go trick or treating which is totally up to their parents. For us though it's a line we just wouldn't want to cross.

What are your thoughts? 


Farmer Copleys Pumpkin Festival

Pumpkins, pumpkins everywhere. Today we had our first experience of visiting a pumpkin patch. We headed to Farmer Copleys in Pontefract, West Yorkshire with family. 

I've always wanted to visit one but when we were living down in Bedfordshire there wasn't any nearby us to get to. Now we live in Lincolnshire there are places nearby that have them. Pontefract is about an hour drive from us and Farmer Copleys is definitely worth a visit if you can get there.


You wont be seeing any photos in the pumpkin patch here as it was so muddy it gives the childhood game stuck in the mud a run for its money. When visiting I'd fully reccomend that you all wear wellies and if possible a puddle suit for children.

Farmer Copleys has long held the UK’s biggest pumpkin festival. They grow a huge variety of different size and coloured pumpkins. Going out onto the fields to pick your own pumpkin is a fun activity for children and if you want to pick quite a few than wheelbarrow's are provided at a cost. Pumpkins start at £3 for a small and go up to I think was £12 for a jumbo.



Whilst there you do have the option of being able to carve it. We have chosen to take ours home to do instead another day.  Entry to the festival was £2 per person and there are also paid activities you can do such as the tea cups. There is also a story time, shows, tractor rides and more.


There are lots of photo opportunities at Farmer Copleys for the Pumpkin festival event. There are even a few people dressed up such as the pumpkin princess who we managed to get Blake to have a photo with. 








As for food and drink there are many different stalls around. I opted for a sausage sandwich, Stuart and Jim opted for hog roast, Val opted for pumpkin soup and a role whilst Blake had chips. I also got to finally try pumpkin spiced latte for the first time and loved it. I definitely need to find a good recipe to make some at home. 

There is also a wonderful shop where you can buy many different things such as home decor, biscuits, meat, jam, candles, toys and so much more. We came out with some fresh meat which we are looking forward to such as a leg of lamb.  


Overall we really enjoyed Farmer Copleys Pumpkin festival and definitely would go again. 

6 things an avid reader needs

I'm a bookworm and that's nothing new to anyone. A single book is enough to occupy me for hours. However there are some things that every avid reader should own. The great thing is that they make great gifts too.



Here are some items that an avid reader would love :

Bookmarks
Plenty of pretty bookmarks are essential. I'm always loosing them too as my son seems to get hold of them. There are so many pretty designs and ones made from different materials.

Good shelves 
If you are anything like me you will have more books then shelving. Honestly its the most random item for a gift but if you have space than a great quality bookshelf is a must. 

Somewhere comfortable to read
It's important to have a comfortable area at home for reading. I'd absolutely love a little reading corner with my own  little seat, comfy pillows, throws and soft lighting.


An LED book light
If like me you read at night an LED light is worthwhile getting hold of. They are great when you need extra lightening and are cheap too.

A huge mug
I love nothing more than having a mug of coffee or hot chocolate whilst I am reading. 
This means big mugs are best and you can get many fun bookish inspired ones.

Kindle and case
I didn't like the idea of a kindle to start with but I'm now considering getting one and a pretty case to go with it. As kindles are expensive a case is definitely important.

Tips for car journeys with children

The October half term is finally here or at least approaching depending where you live. This means it's time for jumping in the car and going on fun family adventures. We may not drive but we have family coming over and will be heading off out with them spending time together.

Before planning your adventures it's important to check your Toyota or other vehicle to make sure everything is working ok. You can find spare parts for the japanese car brand Toyota easily with BESTpartstore.co.uk

 Once your car is ready then all you need to think about is how to keep your child/ren entertained for the journeys you have planned. 



Below are some handy tips for car journeys with children:

Know your route/where to stop 
This is important as it will get you there quicker if you know the way but also it's a good idea to know where the nearest service stations are and plan to stop every hour. 

Time it well
If your child still naps than it's perfect time to travel. If you travel in the evening there is a chance they will drop off and you can transfer them straight to bed. Just make sure you pop them in your pjs before you set off. 

Always carry snacks and drinks 
Seriously it's important as it keeps them quite for awhile. Opt for easy to eat snacks that aren't messy or sticky. Pack loads too as kids will always want more and the cost of snacks at service stations are ridiculously expensive.

Keep things handy
Wipes and tissues are an essential along with spare clothing for any accidents or sickness. If you have a child that is still in nappies keep them close by too.

Screentime
If going on a long journey a tablet device such as the kindle fire for kids will be a lifesaver, as they are preloaded with games and videos. Another option if your child doesn't have a tablet device then buying a portable DVD player is another option so children can watch their favourite shows.

CDs
Popping a kid friendly CD on really helps pass the time, especially if you love a good sing along.

I spy
A great game for keeping children of all ages entertained. With younger children you can just point out what you can see such as animals in a field,  diggers, river, caravans etc.


Results of using the Silk'n Infinity

For a good while now I've been using the Silk'n Infinity laser hair removal device as a way to permanently remove body hair. In my first post I explained how the device works. Just to recape a little The typical treatment plan is as follows:
Treatments 1-4  plan 2 weeks apart 
Treatments 5-7  plan 4 weeks apart
Treatments  8 + treat as needed.

I also shared an update on how the device works and what it feels like to use. I also shared that I was definitely noticing a difference after the 4th use.


Excess body hair and also the fact my body hair grows quicker due to having PCOS has always made me feel self conscious and so sharing the photos in this post is already making me cringe. Luckily though I've had good results with the Silk'n Infinity as you will see.

Before I go into the results I first of all want to recape on how the Silk'n Infinity actually works.

Silk'n build on the world-renowned HPL technology with Galvanic Energy and Optical Energy. These energies combine to give you a more efficient hair removal solution. Working together with 5 different energy levels, they open the skin pores and allow the light to reach the hair follicles without pain, irritation or ingrown hairs.


The results:

I'll start with underarm hair. I tend to shave my under arms alot more often than my legs usually every few days. For the purpose of my review I chose to leave shaving for  a week. 

The first photo shows the hair growth over a week befre I started using the Silk'n Infinity. In the second photo I left shaving my underarms for a week to show you the difference in growth. This was taken just before I shaved and done my 6th treatment. 



Onto my legs I left shaving my legs for 2 weeks and the first photo shows how much hair my legs had prior to shaving and using the Silk'n Infinity. The second photo again is after 2 weeks of not shaving and taken just before I shaved and did my 6th treatment. 

As you can see the hair growth has certainly slowed down. As I've said I usually shave my under arms every few days but I can now get away with leaving a few more days.

As for shaving my legs I use to shave once a week and now instead I'm shaving every two weeks.  

The typical full hair growth cycle may take 18 to 24 months. Because of this I'm going to definitely keep continuing using the Silk'n Infinity. It's 4 weeks until I do the 7th treatment and after that further treatments are as and when needed.
Advice:
- Make sure you read the instructions and use on shaved, clean and dry skin.

- Avoid any areas that have cuts, moles, Mark's or tattoos

- If it's your first time having laser treatment definitely start with the lowest intensity and build up to what is comfortable.

- Stick to the advised treatment plan for beat results.



Silk'n Infinity hair removal device is available at Currentbody for £229

* I've been gifted the Silk'n Infinity in exchange for trialling and reviewing. However all thoughts and opinions expressed are our own

I wont Grieve for my autistic son & Never Will

Earlier this year after quite a wait, tests and assessments Blake got an autistic diagnosis.
We were not surprised at all and had thought he was autistic and would have been more surprised if he wasn't.



Enter the world of groups and pages on Facebook as a way of getting advice surrounding autisim and one thing that struck me is that alot of people have asked if we have grieved? Grieved for what? It turns out some of these people believe that once you have an autistic diagnosis you can grieve. I apparently should be grieving for the child he could've been and grieve for the life we had dreamed for him.



I wont be grieving because of my son being autistic and never will. Blake is Blake he is perfect how he is. What would bring me to my knees would be a life without him in it. Blake has always been who he is and to us a diagnosis doesn't change anything for us apart being able to get the help and support he needs in place.



Blake didn't suddenly change overnight because we got a diagnosis. He is still a boy who loves trains, pj masks and chocolate chip cookies. He still is a fussy eater and very strong willed and we get hard days some which make me grab the wine bottle but no I wont be grieving. 


Why Engineered Wooden Flooring is a great option for your home

*In collaboration with Flooring365


When Stuart and I brought our home earlier this year, we were lucky that we don't have to deal with flooring in the main areas of our house. 

We do have an attic room which we eventually plan to do up. One of the big jobs up there though is the flooring as it needs fixing up. The flooring will definitely be our number one job before we do any decorating. I've been looking through different flooring options and have come across engineered wood flooring 



What is engineered wood flooring?
Engineered wood flooring is made up of a top layer made up of solid wood and an engineered base made out of layers of plywood. Sometimes it's available with a click and lock installation for easy installation.

Where can I install it?
Most areas of the home. Living rooms, dining rooms and bedrooms are the ideal places. As it needs a bit if care and maintenance it's recommended not to be used in high traffic areas such as the hall way. Other areas advised not to use are in areas where there is alot of humidity. Stairs are also areas that you may want to avoid due to being tricky to lay. These are just recommendations though and it's your choice where in the home you want to install it. 



Why engineered wood flooring?
It's a cheaper option for those considering solid wood flooring. It's also durable as solid wood, sometimes more so.

We feel that engineered wood flooring is the best option for the attic room with it being at the top of the house. It would definitely work better for us cost wise but also opt for it over laminate like the majority of the house due to it being a much thicker material even though costs more. 

What type of flooring do you have in your home? 

Halloween 2019 Tag

Halloween a time of year for fun and all things spooky. I was tagged by Karen at Breathe Life UK to join in with the Halloween tag. 


1. What’s your favourite non scary Halloween film?
It has to be Hocus Pocus it's a film I loved watching this time of year growing up. There are many others I love too though such as Casper.

2. And your favourite scary film to watch is?
I can't just pick one. I love nightmare on Elm Street but also the hubby and I love the Saw films as well.

3. Do you have any Halloween traditions?
Not really we tend to have a low key Halloween and mainly just watch films. We do dress Blake up sometimes if there is an event on and this year I'm doing a small display on our fireplace.


 4. What is your favorite season of American Horror Story?
I've  never watched it! I keep meaning to though.

5. Favourite thing about Halloween?
The excuse to binge watch Halloween/horror films. Also I do love the decor you can get.

6. What Halloween costume will you or your children be wearing this year?
I've not dressed up since I was a child. However I've got hold of a skeleton costume for Blake that should last him a few years as I sized up and it's a bit baggy.

7.Has anything spooky ever happened to you?
As a child I use to be able to see ghosts in my parents house. I could see a lady in a spotted dress who would come and sit at the end of my bed and I'd sometimes see a man too. When I described them to my parents I did find out that it was most likely the ghosts of the previous owners as the lady would wear a spotty dress exactly as I described.

8. Who is your favorite fictional serial killer?
This is such a tough one I'll have to have a think and maybe answer another time .

9. What’s on your Halloween playlist?
We don't usually listen to Halloween music.
I don't mind the monster mash though.

10. Would you spend a full night inside of a haunted house if someone paid you?
Yes but I'd have to have Stuart with me no way I'd go on my own.

If you fancy being tagged message me and I'll add your blog below.

Tagging: Natalie at The spoonie mummy