Sunday, 29 March 2015

New at Warwick Castle - The Time Tower

Last weekend we had the pleasure of visiting Warwick Castle again. We always love being invited to special events especially when they take place at one of our favourite places. This month brings an exciting new addition to the castle in the form of the Time Tower.
 
In place of the old Merlin tower which visitors used to have to pay to explore there is a new experience that is free to enter. "The Time Tower knits together compelling verbal stories from the Middle Ages, War of The Roses, The Tudors and the Victorian era into a time-travelling narrative brought vividly to life by the very latest visual technologies."

When we arrived at Warwick Castle we were treated to a special lunch in the new Conservatory Tea House which is in the old orangery. We have visited so many times and commented on how nice it would be to have tea in there and hey presto! Tea House!
 
 
We enjoyed delicious cakes while being entertained by two 'peasants' from the Horrible Histories show. They were very funny and really got everyone in the mood with a historical quiz. I was even roped in to rapping along to a song for them alongside ET Speaks From Home's Mr C. We were very good at it!

 
 

We then had our tour of the new Time Tower. It really interesting and the special effects were fantastic. A little video about the history of Warwick Castle from the Dark Ages leads the way to a 3D model of the castle with projections showing how the castle has changed over the years. Narrated by the castles owners over the years I really felt like history was coming to life before my eyes.


We then went into a gallery where all of the images were interactive, it was like something from Harry Potter. The castles inhabitants recalled all of its bloody history and there was plenty of humour thrown in for good measure.


I probably wouldn't pay extra for this experience as it was only 5-10 minutes long and we did feel it was a little rushed as the next showing happened just after ours so no time to dawdle. However, for a free exhibit it was brilliant and I was amazed by all the work that had gone into the shows and displays. There was even a puff of smoke as the castle 'set fire'!




After the Time Tower we explored the rest of the grounds and watched the Birds of Prey show which was great. I managed to get some awesome photo's of the birds too!

 
 

We had some lunch and ended our day by entering the Dungeons! EEK! They were so scary, I haven't been in them before but we thought we would brave it. I haven't been that scared in a long time. At one point all the lights in the room go out and when they came back on again a man was standing right in front of my face that hadn't been there before...then his mother 'the witch' gets in on the action...lets just say I held on to my 14 year old sister very tight!

Here are some more snaps from the day...




 
    

We even saw Mike The Knight and picked up some goodies from the gift shop. Another great day at Warwick Castle!

The Time Tower is now open so why not book your next visit today!

Our Bedroom Makeover - Grey and Pastels

I have mentioned a couple of times on the blog how much I dislike our house, it doesn't feel like a home no matter how long we have been here. After having discussions with my parents I realised I needed to try and make the most of it for now and gradually we have been trying to put our stamp on the place. 

We were gifted some home wares for Christmas and our Kitchen and Bathroom have begun to look more lived in. I also rearranged our living room back in November and am feeling a lot happier with the layout so the next step were the bedrooms. 

Ted's new big boy room is coming along nicely and once it is finished I will be sharing it here so keep an eye out for that. For now though I wanted to show you around our bedroom!

We have had so many colour schemes over the past few years from charcoal grey to beige and dusky pink and I finally settled on light grey and pastels for our new bedroom. Our walls are currently still magnolia with a latte coloured feature wall but we don't have time at the moment to paint it. Ideally I would go for a completely white room which I can just add accent colours to but that will come soon so for now just ignore the walls!

The reason this is a budget makeover it mainly due to the walls not being painted and us still having God awful carpets but as it is a rental house we can't change that.

Ok who is ready for the tour?


Our bedroom is a funny shape, it has this main bit and then a little alcove next to the airing cupboard. I have set up my desk in the alcove alongside our wardrobe. As you can see it is quite small but we have done the best we can with the space. 

The radiator colour wasn't our doing..as I am sure you can imagine there are not many people in the world who would paint a radiator that hideous colour but we can't change that one either. 

From left to right then...

The grey curtains are from Ikea, they used to be in our kitchen/diner but I liked the colour. They help to cover up the gross office style blinds (thanks Landlord!) and are actually tied back with grey and white striped ribbons. 

Our chest of drawers was actually mine when I was little and is solid pine. I love pine furniture, I know it isn't 'in' at the moment but that doesn't deter me! The bed is also pine and was picked up for £90 from a local recycling center. It is really chunky and as with the chest of drawers I know it will stand the test of time. 

The bedside table on Joe's side is one of two but we could only fit one in. I don't like it but it was given to us when we moved in together and we are yet to replace it. 



Moving closer in, this is our bargain bedding from Ikea. I think this set is about £5 or something ridiculous and since buying it I have seen it on numerous TV shows! It isn't perfect and we actually picked up another set which is pictured below which I think works better with the room.

I adore this cushion from H&M which was £3 in the sale. A good inspirational quote goes a long way and the pink ties the pastels in nicely.



The painting on the wall is a silhouette I painted of us a few years back. It is far from perfect but I painted it and I couldn't think of a better place to display it! 
 
The lights and garland are both featured in my January Sales Haul with the bedding above. It is so nice to have fairy lights in a bedroom at night time, although being cheap lights these aren't quite bright enough so I need to get some more. I do recommend battery powered lights though as they are safer for night time. 
 
After taking this shot I decided to move the fairy lights to around the headboard and added my gorgeous new Really Really Designs garland. Sausage, Chips and Sandy Feet is a phrase that evokes so many memories of the night Joe proposed to me. Very few people in our lives understand the reference but it is perfect. Read the proposal story if you haven't already and you will 'get it' too!
 
 
The garland was made by the very lovely Hayley from Really Really. She actually lives about 20 minutes from me and her Etsy shop is full of the quirkiest gifts an homewares. I have always wanted one of these letter garlands and am so grateful she made us one for our new room.
 

This is my area of the room, my little blogging nook! I have had this desk for years, another Ikea bargain along with the bookcase which actually lived in our bathroom before I stole it and moved it in here. I added some paper bunting I had from my Paperthemes wedding samples and all of my favourite ornaments are there including my £3 bargain handpainted bear from TKMaxx.


 
I have embraced my blog/crafting space and used the shelf to store all of my favourite books. Laterella my Makie doll has a home here too, she may creep some people out but I am still in awe of 3D printing and am fascinated by how she was made.



My wedding planner, notepads, diaries and business cards are finally all in one place ready for when I need them and of course Ted's baby scan picture and sparkly weight from his 2nd Birthday party balloons are in pride of place!

I never had my own room for long growing up, being the eldest of 4 I always ended up sharing my space so having my own chill out zone really means a lot to me and I am so relieved to have finally got rid of some of the household clutter to have a relaxation space.



Before I forget...this is our new bedding. We picked it up yesterday from Aldi for £9.99. It is double sided and I think it works fantastically with our colour scheme.

I have so many idea's for adding to the bedroom and my Pinterest board is overflowing with pastel loveliness so hopefully there will be more additions to come!

Friday, 27 March 2015

Nominate Late For Reality - The BritMums Brilliance in Blogging Awards are back!

Hey you! Yes you...you gorgeous bundles of loveliness that are my readers. Enjoy reading the blog? Love hearing what we get up to as a family? Why not nominate us for an award? 

Click Here to Nominate! --------------------------------------------------------------------------------->


Nominate because of this cheeky smile...





Nominate because you love big warm hugs too...




Nominate because you want to see more of this...





Nominate because...well just because we love you and hope you love us too! 

Details: URL - www.lateforreality.co.uk
Email - jpirard@hotmail.co.uk
Twitter - @JadePirard



Monday, 23 March 2015

Could you be my BritMums Live Sponsor?

Those of you that haven't seen my Sponsor Me page, I am on the look out for a special company to work with on an exciting opportunity...

Since starting up my blog in 2010 the internet has opened up a new world to me of great new companies, amazing products and really friendly people. 

As a blogger I have been given the opportunity to talk to these companies and people and it is brilliant. There are so many event's across the country and one in particular has got me feeling very excited - BritMums Live! I attended in summer 2014 and had such an incredible time, learnt lots of new skills and met some outstanding bloggers who truly inspired me.


I really hope to be able to attend BritMums Live 2015 where I can network, learn more about blogging and most importantly work on those relationships.

Who I Am...

Regular readers will know me well but for those of you that don't. I am a mid-twenties Mum to a cheeky toddler called Ted, he is my life and my single greatest creation. I am engaged to Joe, the boy I had a crush on when I was 5, and we hope to get married in the next couple of years. Late For Reality is my outlet, it is where I share my life, my loves and my slightly quirky view on all manner of topics.

I am a big part of the online community taking part in weekly linky's and blog hops. I always try to make sure I am online daily to keep building positive relationships with my current readers and fellow bloggers.

I tweet daily and avidly use Facebook , Instagram and am a confessed Pinterest addict. I am a member of Britmums, Netmums, Tots100 and PBloggers. I have also recently ventured into the world of YouTube which utilises some skills I learnt at BritMums Live 2014 and hope to build on in the future.

Why Choose Me?


I appreciate that you may be approached by lots of bloggers in the run up to this event so I want to explain why you should choose me...

I have worked with a number of big brands and always receive positive feedback from my product reviews. I am passionate about my blog and committed to providing honest good quality posts and building great relationships with the companies I work with.

I am true to myself and only work with companies that I love and want to share with my 
readers. I want other people to know how great the companies are that I work with and always show that in my posts.

What I can offer my sponsor


  • Your companies badge/logo on my blog for a whole year
  • A post to tell everyone you are my sponsor
  • Including your brand name in my BritMum's Live posts
  • Letting people know across social media that you are my sponsor and including you in my online commentary on the day - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
  • Wearing your item or using your product throughout the day at Britmums Live
  • To possibly review your products on the blog or host a competition in the run up to the event
  • Writing reviews of your product on your website or sites used to sell your products.
  • Hosting competitions or promoting giveaways from your brand

What I Need From A Sponsor

I am hoping to attend for the whole weekend so will require accommodation, my ticket for the event and transport. If you would like to work with me and sponsor my weekend 
(some or all of it ) please feel free to email me to discuss further. I am more than happy to discuss possible options 
Email - jpirard@hotmail.co.uk

I really look forward to working with you!


Tuesday, 17 March 2015

We Buy Any Car Meme Competition

I have been having a bit of fun this morning putting car-related memes together for the We Buy Any Car competition. All you need to do is upload a car related picture with a funny meme and you could win up to £200 of Ticketmaster vouchers!

More details here.

Here are my baby and toddler takes on the car theme!




Thursday, 5 March 2015

10 Tips for Healthy Eating and Weightloss

When it comes to healthy eating and dieting it can be quite daunting. Trying to find motivation and keep on track. Since being on my low cal diet I have had to face my demons and battle the cravings big time. 

There are some rules I live by when dieting so I wanted to share some tips with the help of some fellow bloggers for keeping up the hard work and making your new healthy eating a life change rather than a faddy diet.

1. Always go Light - When it comes to picking ingredients for recipe's most state 'butter' or 'milk' but by opting for light spreads and skimmed or semi-skimmed milk you are cutting lots of calories off but still getting the flavour. 

Light , reduced salt and sugar, low fat or reduced fat options are always a good choice and are always a staple in my kitchen. I can barely notice the difference between the full fat products and the light ones but they definitely help cut the calories!

2. Think Outside The Box - A lot of products are packaged into the recommended portion size by the manufacturer but just because there are 3 in a pack doesn't mean you have too eat all of them. With snacks like the Go Ahead style biscuits I unbox them all and put them in a airtight container and portion them myself.

3. My Fitness Pal - You will begin to think I am endorsing this app but it really has helped me a lot to track my eating. When you are noting down how much you are eating it makes you think about calories differently. Be careful though as sometimes it can become addictive and you might find yourself trying to beat yesterdays low score (not a good step, always eat what you need to stay healthy). Thanks to Mrs Bishop for recommending MFP to me!
Remember there are no magic beans for weightloss!
4. Don't Trick Yourself - If you aren't honest about what you eat then you aren't tricking anyone but yourself. If you slip up and eat something you shouldn't have that is ok, just log it and move on. Just remind yourself of why you are dieting in the first place.

5. Exercise is Key - So many people think it is all about the food but being healthy and losing weight means keeping active (something I need to work on myself). Louise from LouiseBunnyHop suggests having a snack of banana/apple with a nut butter as a healthy pre-workout snack, remember to keep energy levels up.

6. Keep Hydrated - Emma from Life According to Mrs Shilts reminded me that sometimes thirst can be mistaken for hunger pangs. Try having a glass of water when you feel hungry, wait half an hour and see if you are still hungry.



7. Find a Balance - This means making sure that you eat all of the right things and all in proportion. Check out portion size charts online for meals and remember to treat yourself too. As long as you are eating a balanced diet it is ok to have a treat once in a while, Jess from Our Baby Blog makes great treats (recipes on the blog) and still manages to stay in shape! 

8. Embrace Meal Planning - Think about your meals before you go shopping, this will stop the panic in the aisles and allow you to stick to your goals. I always decide on 4-5 meals for the week plus a few lazy meals like soups, jacket potatoes or frozen stuff for the boys. I'm not strict about which days I have those meals but know that's what we have for the week. 
Kate from Family Fever pointed out to never shop on an empty stomach as you will gravitate for the junk food and also don't shop after just eating as you will not even want to look at more food! 

9. Trust Your Body - If you feel unwell at any point in your diet always consult a doctor. Low blood sugar and dizziness are common when reducing food intake but take care to eat balanced meals and have healthy snacks in between too reduce risk of sugar crashes. Faddy diets are always plastered across the internet but are not always good for your health so consult your GP if you are unsure about a drastic diet. 

10. Love Yourself - Dieting should always be about making yourself healthier. Whether you are looking to lose weight or gain it your sole goal should be to be a weight that is healthy and where you are happy in yourself. Sandra from Thinking Slimmer Blog has some great suggestions - Take time for yourself when you are losing weight. Relax and de-stress yourself as much as possible. Then you will be able to hear the inner voice that tells you to eat when you are hungry, and ignore the signals to eat when you are bored, tired, angry or upset.

These are just tips that I think will help you to make the right choices when considering weight loss but my opinion has always been to do what is best for you, take care of yourself and always aim to be a healthy, happy you!



What Ted Said - Icecubes, Nursery and PiePads!


We have been out for a few family meals lately. Ted has been quite a handful and has enjoyed stealing other peoples food but when he steals an ice cube, stuffs it in his mouth and shouts "Delicious!" it is so tough to tell him off!

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Wandering in to Nana's living room Ted announced he wanted to play on the 

PiePad!


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With him starting at a new nursery there have been daily questions like What did you do at nursery? Did you have fun? What did you have for Lunch? To which Ted responds quite clearly "Played Friends, Good Fun, Cheese!" 

Suspecting this was just Ted humouring me, I asked the nursery leader who told me he has been talking to the other children, playing nicely and eating Cauliflower Cheese! He was 100% telling me what he had been up to and I am so proud!



What have your little chatterboxes been saying this week?