Hello, for the benefit of you very lovely people on my blog/Wordpress I thought I’d introduce myself. The face behind my blog and life with the Hazelwoods! My name is Charlie-Jane and I am 24, I live in Suffolk with my little family. My son Elijah and his dad, my husband James. I’ve worked in healthcare and community care for many years and learnt a lot of things. I like to think one of those things is to try and be a good human being no mater how hard that may be. I’ve recently decided (with James wanting it too) to become a stay at home mum. James has very kindly decided he will be the working parent while I raise our son at home. While I miss working and the excitement my job brought me sometimes I do truly love being a stay at home mum and house wife. Since staying at home I’ve really been able to find my hobby which is blogging and I am really starting to enjoy it. My blog is about anything that pops into my head really from recipes to being completely honest with how parenting has changed my life and things like my mental health. I feel things shouldn’t be filtered and people should be able to see more of the real life that other mums and people go through too. From my struggle with some of my illnesses too things we get up to everyday I’ll be blogging and I hope you’ll be joining, reading and getting involved as I’d love to meet other like minded individuals like me that have had enough of these blogs that have one specific genre and only show the perfect side of life. So stay tuned and click the follow button for more!
For years i wanted a zoo pass but have always thought, will i go enough? The answer has always been yes! I go at least twice a year and in those two trips i could of saved money having a pass. Since having a little one we have wanted to go and more but is such a expense so we bit the bullet and i brought them with my last paycheck. Since having the zoo pass we have been as a family 3 times. We have been with our friends 2 times and have saved lots of money on food, gift shops and even get a discount for friends and family. I even made my best friend get one and she goes all the time now!
Colchester zoo is the nearest zoo to us and we love it. It’s a short journey and there are so many animals and its so big! We never get bored and there is always plenty to do which is free. There is face painting, train journeys, enclosure walk throughs, shows and talks aswell as feeding of animals you can watch all in your visit. There’s plenty to eat and different places to go so there are lots of options from a restaurant to fast food places which we save 20% on! The gift shop is absolutely huge and we save 10% on everything! The soft play is pretty good and also free so if you wanted to take your child to soft play with a pass its essentially free!
My little guy is obsessed with big cats so he loves seeing the lions, baby tiger cubs and the cheetahs. He loves the big animals like elephants and giraffes and when hes older we will let him feed them! we love going on the train to walk around the lemur enclosure and running through the sea lion tunnel. We love letting him run round and burn all his energy and choose where he wants to go and its such a fun day out always.
It’s something i would recommend to everyone that goes to zoo at least once a year as it’s something that can be enjoyed all year long especially with toddler.It may be expensive at first but it saves so much in the long one and is cheaper than trips to various other places you would end up going instead.
First of all I want to say a big thankyou for each and everyone of you who have took the time to look a my blog! I’ve hit over 1000 views and I couldn’t be any prouder that people actually want to read things I have to say!
This whole experience for me has just been a fun way to express myself and sort of relax in the form of blogging. I have always just blogged about anything that pops into my head no matter if I think I’ll get any likes or views on it! It’s been a bit daunting at times thinking “should I have written that?!” But then I remind myself this is my blog and my safe space. I’m a normal 24 year old stay at home mum and wife just trying to enjoy life as much as I can and blog a bit when I’m there! I want others to feel safe here too and know they are not alone in their feelings and can come here for both positive and negative things they may experience. I want to give people ideas on things to do and to eat aswell! With that I’m back to my cup of tea and kindle to enjoy some free time while Elijah is playing round his nans. So thank you again and stay tuned for more!
I was in primary school when I was hit by a car walking to school. I remember being flung into the air like a food wrapper in a gust of wind. I remember the thud as I came down and the shock. I remember people scrambling round me and crying for my mum. My bag had been ripped to shreds and my Lisa Simpson pencil case and lunchbox had possibly saved my life by the dents to the front of their tin cases.
I was okay of course I’m still standing today but I did break a finger, severely sprain my legs and possibly this is the cause for my back pain all my teenage an dying adult life being knocked to the side by a car can mess you up in ways you don’t see. The trauma it caused me remembering one what it was like to be me and two the poor young woman who hit me screaming in tears praying I was ok and clearly shaken up. Thirdly my thoughts where with her poor bunny that was going to the vets it had knocked into the windscreen as she’d stopped. When the ambulance came I remember being so scared I’d be in a accident on the way and didn’t trust cars for a long time. When I’m a passenger I’m over cautious and worry at any closeness to another car especially now I’m a mother with a car seat to worry about.
So why don’t I drive? Exactly this reason. I’ve taken around 8 driving lessons where I absolutely hated them. I had a panic attack every time I sat behind the wheel and every time a car came near or someone crossed the road or walked in the street. I worry I will hit them and it’ll be my fault. I worry I’m going to get hurt by another car and it all gets too much. I have a lot of people in my family telling me just to drive but unless you’ve been hit by a car as a child I don’t think you can really understand the trauma. It’s not as easy as just drive as I physically cannot trust myself behind a wheel if I was to have a panic attack so I jacked it in. It doesn’t effect me too much. I enjoy walking with Elijah to places and going on the bus sometimes. I only go to town which is fifteen mins from my house on a good day so it’s quicker than driving and parking and cheeper then paying fuel. If I go out with friends I normally bus to them or meet them or take turns coming to mine. My husband drives so at weekends or if errands or day trips are further a field we just drive then and we have two car seats one for me to take out with friends and one for our car. It’s all about making the best out of a bad situation and I’m yet to have a big problem yet.
In a bid to try and relax I went to catch up with a old friend and ended up splurging a little too much in town but who cares. Retail therapy is good for the soul sometimes! There’s nothing better than looking around shops choosing what you like and don’t and trying something new.
So today I brought my usual indulgement which is my shampoo and conditioner from the body shop. I love this range and it REALLY has made a difference to my hair it’s thicker and less greasy and smells great. It’s also softer and I could even say perhaps even a little less frizzy! I also buy the garnier ultimate blends masks in banana and coconut and shear and mix them up so I don’t get bored and hair feels so clean and bouncy when I have used it. It’s a little more pricey than a bottle of Asda’s own head and shoulders but I love the stuff! While in body shop I got carried away and brought a strawberry gift set on sale for myself and have already used 3 of the items and smell glorious!
A trip to boots where I probably should be banned from was next. I always end up buying a ridiculous amount of make up or skincare from there and guess what today was the skincare day. My most recent buy of some natural face scrub had been scratching my skin so I needed to buy something a bit better. I brought an old favourite I hadn’t used since perhaps high school so I thought I’d give the range ago again so I brought their grapefruit daily face scrub and their face wash from the same range. I also got their spot defence toner for when my toner runs out which is imminent (not really it’s full). I also saw two face peel masks on sale so I obviously had too buy two. Obviously.
After I’d come home we popped to shops to collect Elijahs Halloween costume we’d ordered in so required me buying chocolate and some new pjs. They’re very cosy and required me to pamper myself in bath using my new products and use some body lotion I found at the back of my cupboard that I’d cleared to make way for more crap I really didn’t need.
It definitely makes me feel better when I’ve brought new things and I get excited to try them so whenever I feel down I buy myself a little something. From a Fredo at the corner shop to a new outfit it can make you feel good and excited to use what you’ve brought!
As a mother I love talking to other mothers and getting advice on things, one of the most important things for me is what do you feed your fussy child? Every child eats different of course but sometimes you can pick up on what others eat and try and change it around to fit you and your child.
I try not to put to much pressure on meals as if he doesn’t eat or isn’t hungry I don’t want him to associate food with negativity when I want him to be a foody like his mummy and daddy! So today’s lunch was a dunker box. Breadsticks or crackers with spreadable cheese is always a favourite as he loves to dip! A cheese string. For little mouths cut up! A yogurt which is good for dairy needs! Hand full of raspberries and chopped mango. A glass of water to teach him we drink at meal times to get more fluid intake! And a slice of teddy bear ham he gobbled up earlier!
Some things I give at lunch time he enjoys.
- Wrap pizza (outing tomato paste and cheese on a wrap and putting in over for three minuites to melt the cheese).
- Cous cous.
- Shredded chicken.
- Food that looks like things.
- Cheese crackers.
- Cheese straws.
- Beans on toast or spaghetti.
- Jam sandwiches.
We try to change it up everyday so he doesn’t get bored of what he’s eating which he seems to enjoy we do same for dinner times too!
As much as social media is a gift to our generation it can also be a curse. I’m going through quite a bad bout of anxiety recently and a lot of self doubt in myself my image and judging myself on how good a wife and mother I am. I’ve noticed a lot recently the amount of people who post fake life’s online and how I’ve seen the other side of that image they put up and the fact seeing other peoples fake images make me feel down and low.
After watching odd one out on bbc I player I’ve really stated to notice all the hurtful things strangers say to each other online and how they hide behind a computer screen to say the most disgusting things. I being someone who has been bullied both in person and cyber bullied know first hand how comments can hurt. And I can’t help but feel the negativity and somewhat when I see people bullying people online. People writing on Instagram posts people look ugly or say for example news papers and public ripping apart the royal family and Meghan Markle. The people comment like they know her and can actually form an opinion on someone they don’t even know or ever will! I’ve also been reading a notes on a nervous planner. From the first page I related this to my anxiety. I.e segueing with strangers, staring at my phone and wasting my life and comparing my life and everything to others. When you’re feeling down you already are feeling pretty negative and looking on twitter and Facebook basically just shows more negativity and bad things that affect how we live.
I have more time. I have only gone one day without social media and I have already spotless cleaned my house and kept it clean. I have done all house work and not been exhausted by it. I’ve spent more time playing with my son and had more time do things with him I wouldn’t always do. I cooked home cook meals today from scratch and wasn’t distracted I enjoyed listening to music and hearing it and watched a sunset. I had the house tidy and Elijah bathed and in bed for 7 and I was bathed and ready to relax by 8. I’m currently catching up on Kuwtk and then I’ll be in bed for 9 to either sleep or read till I’m ready and it’s something I’d never do as I’d waste hours on my phone for no reason!
I’m less stressed. I’m not anxious about reading arguements or getting involved in them. Seeing talk about brexit and politicians. Not seeing news story’s where something horrible is happening when I can barely relax myself let alone the anxiety on the worrying about them.
So who knows how long this will last but if you’re stressed just try a day without social media.
Something everyone in my family loves is a bolognese so if we’re cooking for just us three or quite a few it’s a sure crowd pleaser. I make everything from scratch that goes into it so I can have it for little babies that done round ours and my son loved when weaning!
What goes in it?
- Peppers 3 different colours a yellow, green and red.
- 2 garlic cloves.
- Tinned tomato’s.
- 2 tablespoons of tomato purée.
- Oregano a table spoon.
- Basil a tablespoon.
- Sprinkle of chilli flakes or more if you like spicy.
- Chives a sprinkle or one diced stick.
- Mince 250 grams for saucy or 500 for little sauce or quorn.
- Garlic granules a sprinkle.
- Vegetable oil or 1 cal spray which I use.
Cut all your veg, the smaller the better especially the mushroom if you dice it picky eaters who don’t eat mushroom (but aren’t allergic).Shove everything in pan then oil or spray on top and mix in. Add your mince ( I use 5% as it’s healthier and tastes so much better). Stir and heat on high till browned then drain juices. When juices are drained shove in your tinned tomato’s. Add purée and seasoning. Stir around until fully spread and keep on high stirring every few minutes. If you’re making pasta with this the time to do is now and when then pastas done the mince is too! The mince and sauce will combine and everything will mix nicely and it should be done in ten minutes. Simply serve and anything you don’t eat can be frozen and defrosted and reheated later! Perfect way to get toddlers to eat there vegetables as they can’t see the coloured veg as well covered in a tomatoey sauce! The meal is quite cheep and all veg and mince can be brought for about a fiver in aldi except the spices but they’re cheep enough and last many different meals!
We’re quite lucky to leave in a countryside town. They’re no shortages of beautiful countryside walks, farms and animals if you have a look about nature. We’re also very lucky to live quite near by (ten minute drive) to Jimmy’s farm! If you live in the uk it’s probably one of the most famous little farms there is. Jimmy the owner is friends with Jamie Oliver and has had a few tv shows.
It’s a lovely little farm that’s spread out. The animals all seem as happy as they can be at a farm and there is plenty to see and do. I would rate this probably one of the most toddler friendly places to go as there is so much for them and children to do. It’s not overly expensive either and there’s plenty of homey shops and cafes. The restaurant sells the best sausage and mash I have ever had! The pens are quite spaced out so lots of room to run around and no crowding on busy days. There’s lots of different pens with different animals. You can tell the farmers really look after their animals and clean up constantly as it doesn’t have that horrible farm smell you get when you go to a farm and you’re not having to watch your feet for animal poop!
The play areas are quite nice there’s a sandpit with a pirateship, sandcastle equipment, tires and a massive bouncy pillow for kids to jump on aswell as little slides. There’s also a really big play frame for kids too and more play equipment. There’s a little snack shed next door to play bits so can buy little bits for sitting round watching kiddos play. There’s also a little animal trail where you look for statues of animals and make dens with sticks. There’s a hobbit house complete with toy utensils perfect for little ones. The place is very inclusive aswell and has BSL signs for each animal to teach children the signs too aswell as hell those who are deaf! Plenty of space to run round too! There’s a little picnic area with pretend cars and tractors kids can get in and pretend to drive.
Some of the animals that we could see!
- Butterfly house
Overall a lovely day out and somewhere we go again and again. If you’re ever in Suffolk and want to see a farm this is for you!
Sitting here in bed with you watching hey duggee for the millionth time I feel so lucky to be able to spend my mornings with you. I love that you insist on cuddling close or putting a foot or hand on me to let me know that you are still there when your lost in the tv world. I love how kind you are becoming, I love that you love to spend time with friends and family and share your toys without any prompt. I love that you are so eager to share your knowledge and show other children and people what you have found and learnt yourself. I so love watching how your mind grows everyday, how everyday you say new words and I am so proud of you for even trying. You’re favourite thing to do is play with yours jungle animals and include mummy and daddy in the play. I love how you throw your head back and shout roar and we have a animal noise shout off even at 6 am when you’ve just woken up (not even sorry neighbours).
I love that you tell me if you’d like to go out and tell me you would like to go in a car or a bus which means go out. I love that when we go out you’re always so happy just to if left the house even if just to go to the shops. You tell me what you can see and get so excited even by the fat ginger cat that try’s to steal your buggy when we walk. You’re totally crazy and full of energy when we go soft okay or the park but you never want to be too far from me and I watch you look for me and happily shout mummy and run for me smiling when you get lonely.
Watching films and tv series something I’ve always do with my own finally happens. You will let me cuddle you for more than a second and my heart feels full once more while we watch the lion king AGAIN or something else. I enjoy how you play with toys differently. We used to just hold and look at cars but now we race them and push them and their buttons. We colour together now and use stickers and different colours now too! We play with okay dough and you will make shapes and play with the tools and not get bored and want to run around holding a blue ball for a hour screaming if taken off you. We use your toy kitchen and make fake food together and then you share with your guests when the come over and show them how to cook too. Animals are now given voices and people and not just something to run and hold now.
Even now as I lay here planning you and your best friends joint birthday party for two months time I’m still in shock you will be two. You may be already exhibiting the signs of the terrible twos but even when you have rolled around screaming all day over a toy, I will always miss you the second I put you to bed and check on you several times just to watch you sleep and kiss your sleepy head. How I wish time would slow down so I could enjoy you a little more.