Why this Christmas Is a special one!

It’s been just over a year since I was admitted into hospital to have a tumour removed. I spent a lengthy 8 weeks in hospital, not knowing when I would be home or if I would ever get better. The weight dropped off of me -For many reasons; I was nil by mouth, I was sick every day, I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t drink and I was depressed. I was sick of seeing the same four walls around me, I spent hours and days crying and feeling sorry for myself. I got into such a rut that I felt that there was no need for me to be here anymore. The doctors had no answers as to why I was so ill, the surgery went well but the after effect was not so good. I was being fed by TPN, a tube that entered into the main artery giving me the nutrition that the body was missing. My weight plummeted to 4 and a half stone.

My Christmas day was spent waking up on a ward to having my blood taken and my blood pressure checked. There was no waking up to the sound of my children running around all excited because they had seen that Santa had been in the night and left them some presents to open. I had no morning hugs or kisses. Instead I heard the noise from the squeaky wheels of the breakfast trolley being wheeled through the wards. The Nurses drawing the curtains and wishing everyone a Merry Christmas. How could it possibly be merry if I didn’t have my loved ones around me?

I had been promised by my surgeon that I could have day release from the hospital to go home and see my children, but it didn’t go to plan. There were different doctors on call and they refused to let me go home because I was too weak.

My Family visited later in the day and I tried hard to hide my disappointment from them. I was crying inside. The pain inside was far worse than any I had ever felt. Tears stung my eyes as I watched my boys walk out of the ward.


This year is different.

I have come so far in the past year. I have gained all of the weight back and the muscles in my legs are slowly returning. I have been back at work full time since April and I treasure every second I have with my family.

This year It’s not about the presents and what we buy each other. It’s about us all being together, having fun and enjoying each others company. Material things are nothing compared to time and Love.

Yes, we will still have presents. How could we not? But opening them with us all together In our new home will be extra special.

I have asked my boys what they want for Christmas and all I get in return Is ‘You Mum’


So this year that is what they will get!

Mummy at home with them.

I am looking forward to waking up to three very excited children and hearing their voices as they run around the house searching for signs that Santa has been. I’m looking forward to drawing the curtains myself and looking out of the window. I’m looking forward to sitting down amongst the mayhem and thanking my lucky stars that I have been given more time to spend with my family.



*Promotional Giveaway* Win Paw Patrol Sea Patroller

Calling all Paw Patrol fans…

Nick Jr.Uk have released a new PAW Patrol Pawsome Missions game where children can embark on adventures with their favourite PAW Patrol characters. In the game, children can create their own avatar as themselves as they look in the real world and get to work alongside Ryder, choosing their physical appearance and outfits. Children explore Adventure Bay by walking around, completing missions, meeting characters, collecting paw points and roleplaying a day in the life of PAW Patrol. The gamers also use the Pup Pad just like Ryder in an immersive 3D digital world, collaborating with different pups for specific quests.

Children  can develop their problem-solving skills in an exciting and playful manner while exploring Adventure Bay Nickjr.co.uk/PAWsome

Nick Jr.Uk is also airing a new PAW Patrol Festive Special on 11th December at 5pm. In the must-see festive special titled “The Pups Winter Wonder Show”, Cap’n Turbot’s performing penguins are set to star in the Adventure Bay Snow Show until Mayor Humdinger penguin-naps them! Now Tracker and the PAW Patrol must make sure the show goes on.PAW_Patrol_322_Scene_17

To celebrate this brand new PAW Patrol festive special AND recently released adventure game, Nick Jr.UK is offering one of my readers a chance to win A PAWsome Paw Patrol Sea Patroller, which has been voted as one of the 12 ‘must-have’ toys for Christmas by a range of UK newspapers.


The Sea Patroller uses drop-down wheels to transform from ship to land vehicle, to take pups on new and exciting missions!

  • Moveable crane and attachable cage
  • Use flashing lights and sounds to keep the Adventure Beach safe, and the life ring launcher to rescue anyone in distress!
  • There’s room for all Sea Patrol Light Up Pups aboard the Sea Patroller (additional figures sold separately)
  • For compatible Sea Patrol Pups and vehicles search 160948 (Each sold separately)
  • Contents: Sea Patroller, Ryder’s Rescue ATV Vehicle, Ryder Figure, Exploration Platform, Octopus, 2 Life Rings, Anchor.
  • Batteries required: 3 x LR44

To be able to win this PAWsome prize enter the rafflecopter below

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Conditions

  • UK entries only
  • Winner will be drawn at random from Rafflecopter
  • Entrants must be 18 or over at time of entry
  • There will be one winner who will receive a PAW Patrol Sea Patroller worth £55.99
  • The winner will be contacted via email
  • Winners are required to make contact within 28 days, if a winner fails to respond a new winner will be selected
  • There is no cash alternative to the prize stated, the prize is not transferable and no part or parts of the prize may be substituted for other benefits, items or additions
  • Contact details will be passed on to PR
  • The giveaway will close at midnight on Monday 11th December 2017
  • Invalid or incomplete entries will be disqualified
  • Mumofthreemusketeers accepts no responsibility for the delivery of this prize
  • Prize will be delivered within 30 days following notification of win

Visit www.nickjr.co.uk to play the PAWsome game.

This is a promotional giveaway. No payment has been received


Pass the Pigs for Xmas Competition

Pass the Pigs logo

Christmas is coming! It’s that time of year when family get together and enjoy each others company. A time for fun and probably a game or two!

You’ll be snorting with laughter if you play with these piggy games for Christmas.  The original party animals, Pass the Pigs, use hilarious pigs for dice. Weird but fun. Will you roll a sider or start makin’ bacon? Having fun with friends, on the road entertainment, or just chilling out – the game is on for every pig in the parlour!

Pass the Pigs points
Fantastic fun for the whole family, Pass the Pigs is so easy to play. Simply throw the 2 piggies up in the air and see how they land. Compare the pigs landing positions with your scorecard and earn points, the first to 100 wins.

Pass The Pig Party_cards

Pass the Pigs comes in a handy travel case, pop into your bag and you are ready for a game anytime, so if you are traveling to see family it’s the perfect entertainment on the go.

Pass The Pig_lid

  • Hours of fun are guaranteed with this exciting Pass the Pigs game. Perfect for taking on the road, the Pass the Pigs game comes in a handy travel case, so there’s never a dull moment to be had!
  • Pass the Pigs is a game of skill for 2-6 players, it comes with a handy carry case, 2 pencils, 2 pigs and a pocket-sized score card.
  • Suitable for ages 3+ and available for £9.99rrp.

Pass the Pigs Party is ideal for when you want to play with family and friends at Christmas.

Pass The Pig Party_master

  • The version for party animals! Now there are EIGHT pigs in the game to play with. Roll your piggies to try and be first to match the position on your card, get bonus points if you do it on your first go! Be the first to rack up 100 points.
    • 8 small plastic piggies (four pairs)
    • Deck of 30 cards
    • Carry case
    • £14.99rrp.


One lucky winner can win both games ready for Christmas. Enter via Rafflecopter

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and conditions

  1. Competition closes on 8th December
  2. Winner will be notified by email and given 1 day to reply
  3. Prize is sent out by PR
  4. Contact details will be passed on to the PR before 10th December in order for the prize to be sent out
  5. Winner will be chosen randomly by rafflecopter
  6. UK entries only

Social Media Tags:

Instagram: @passthepigsofficial,

Facebook: www.facebook.com/passthepigs,

Twitter: @PassThePigsGame,

Website: www.passthepigsofficial.com


Thomas and Friends MINIS Motorised Raceway review

Calling all Thomas and Friends little engineers… Thomas and James need help to choose which track to take down the from the mountain.
My little boy loves Thomas and Friends and loves to set up his vast amount of track in the garden and play away for hours at an end, sending trains around the track and helping them on their way. So you could imagine his excitement when he notices A Thomas and Friends toy had been delivered for him to play and test out.
He has quite a few MINIS in his collection as he went through a stage of buying the little collectible bags, which he normally carries around in his little rucksack or put into his pockets when we are going out somewhere. Because of their size, they are ideal for children to collect and carry about with them.
He couldn’t wait to test it out and was soon begging me to open it for him.
We found the instructions easy to follow, although assembling it was a little tricky for him to do.
He followed the step by step colourful picture instructions and found the parts with no problems.
I then helped him to put it together, some parts had to be pushed in until they clicked and needed a bit of a firm push. To be fair they was pointed out on the instructions sheet by marking it with a little yellow star, these parts can not be taken apart once fitted together. The whole process of labeling the stickers, fixing the track together and placing the batteries in took us about 15 minutes.
The set comes with two Mini trains; Thomas and James and as we quickly worked out that the other Minis all fit on too.
The raceway is great fun. The adventure starts when you send the trains up the steep vertical lift, which the minis climb up automatically. The bottom of the train attaches to a small little black hook on the motorised track.
Once they reach the top, you then need to choose which track to send them back down on, using the hand switch at the top.
The minis can go in three directions.
The first track is the waterfall, as the mini travels down it heads straight into a 360 degree loop
The next track is a free-fall, it seems that the track is broken, but have no fear as the minis jump the gap and land safely on the bottom track.
Use Cranky the crane to safe the minis by swiveling him around and swooping him down to catch them before they fall
The trains have hooks and eyes on either end so they can hook together or on to Cranky
The last track seems to be heading no where, as soon as the minis arrive at the top of the lift they roll off of the edge, defying gravity and rolling upside down along the track. The track is  T-shaped which, when aligns with the bottom of the mini, keeps the mini securely on so it doesn’t fall off.
I’m not sure that my son has a favourite track to send the minis down on as they are all fast and thrilling. 20171109_195231
He certainly enjoys being the engineer and changing the choice of track each time a mini arrives at the top, but you have to be fast as they travel along them tracks as fast as lightening. It definitely is full steam ahead with these minis.
At the bottom of the raceway are two sheds where you can store two minis when not playing with it.
The only downside to this toy is that when switched on it can be a little noisy and the track direction changer is a little stiff to turn, but that could be a good thing as then it doesn’t slip around when you don’t want it to. Also, it doesn’t pack away back into the box -it has to stay erected.
The raceway requires 3AA batteries, we used rechargeable ones and have been playing with it for just over a  week now and they have showed no signs of running out yet. The first day my son played with it for hours and has kept on playing with it daily.
The raceway is bright and colourful to attract the eye of a young child. It is sturdy and easy to move around from room to room. We found the Minis raceway to be fun and entertaining.
The raceway is suitable for ages 3+
RRP £44.99
We was sent this toy for the purpose of this review. 

Top beaches (hidden gems) to visit in Malta

Malta is a great place to explore and travel to, the coasts around the island is rugged and has lots of caves and cliffs. There are not many sandy beaches but swimming from the rocks can be just as fun. The island basks In about 299 days of sunshine a year, with the summer months reaching up to 35c, its an ideal country to catch some rays any time of the year.

Malta along with its sister islands, Gozo and Comino has many popular sandy beaches but these can become very busy during peak times.

I suggest going off of the beaten track and explore the island and it’s many hidden gems.

Here are a few that we have visited

Imgiebah Bay / Selmun Beach


Found on the North of the Island, this bay is a sandy and secluded beach. The road down to it is very small and uneven (pretty much a dirt track) there is just about enough space for one car to drive along. Once you’ve parked the car you need to walk down a hill, which can be slippy under the foot on very dry days, to the bay. Because it is untouched, there are no amenities –  just a few bins. Make sure you take plenty to drink and food to eat. The beach is small, so no space to kick a ball a round and you can get plagued with wasps, as they fly around the bins. That said, it is quiet and doesn’t attract many tourists.

St Peters Pool


One of our favourite places to visit when in Malta, the boys love to dive into the cool, crystal clear water at this natural swimming pool. St Peters Pool is close to Marsaxlokk on the south of the Island. There are flat rocks that surround the pool, which offer shade and a place to sunbathe. Although, it is advertised as a place to relax and sunbathe, everyone that visits here to dive off of the high rocks. It can get very busy here with the younger visitors and groups of adults. So i would advice to visit earlier on in the day to get a spot, especially if you have children.

Not only is St Peters Pool a pretty natural swimming pool, with it’s crystal clear blue-green waters and beautiful to look at, it also has something rather cool going on the rocks surrounding it. People have carved names of singers, bands, groups and famous people into the rock.

Slugs Bay


This place really is an amazing little find. It is one of the most secluded little bays that we visited, we pretty much had the place to ourselves, apart from the odd couple. It is situated on the south of the Island, over looking Mellieha bay. The path down to it is winding and uneven, but definitely worth the climb down. 20170825_142138

There was a tiny amount of fine sand but enough for the children to play in. Lots of rocks to search for crabs in and the shallow water was ideal to look at the fish. 20170825_124240

Again, there are no amenities around so go prepared. We found a little cave at the bottom which we took shelter in, it was big enough to fit our bags in and a chair to sit on and take shelter from the glaring sun

Fomm Ir-rih


Is a small bay on the west side of the Island of Malta. It is surrounded by vertical cliffs and has a pebble beach. It is not easily accessible, making it quite secluded. It’s a popular bay to reach by boat. The only way down is via a tricky, steep and slippery pathway which takes about 15-20 minutes. The climb down is worth the views over the bay. I would advice not to do the journey wearing sandals or any type of footwear that can aid your feet in slipping, as there are many rocks and boulders to climb over. Once down, the beach is full of pebbles and the water is calm and clear. My boys found a huge flat rock in the water by the shoreline, which made a great slide. They spent their time sliding down it into the water, there were lots of squeals of laughter and fun. Again, like many of the bays that i have mentioned, there are no amenities. As the climb down is steep and tiring, carrying lots of extra baggage can be exhausting.


Kalanka Bay


This bay is next to St Peters Pool and is very similar, but is more family friendly. The water is crystal blue and is not as deep. There is still a height to the surrounding rocks, so jumping in can still be fun however, there is more of a variety for those not as confident in jumping in. The water is calm and there is an overhang which is fun to swim under.

Mistra Bay



Is based on the North side, close to Mellieha bay. It is of shallow waters, that makes it ideal for young children to paddle in. We like to visit here and spend time to relax, it is a quiet bay, with not many visitors. Take a walk up to the battery and walk down to rocks towards the waters edge for a more of a secluded swim. Ideal for jumping in and sunbathing.



Xlendi bay


Is a popular swimming and diving spot, with a small beach that is surrounded by lots of fish restaurants. As the beach was small we took a walk further along and found an ideal place to jump into the water from a diving board.

Wied il-Ghasri

20170822_104737 20170822_105500

Based North Gozo, this inlet is very small which means it can become quite busy. This beautiful, secluded inlet is wedged between two cliffs. The view down from the top of the valley is stunning.  Take the steep staircase down to the beach, which is tiny and full of pebbles. Rock shoes are advised. When the water is calm, it is a lovely place for a swim but when the sea is rough it can become quite dangerous. The waves start crashing against the valley.


Although the sea looks calm in the photo, the waves were thrashing against the cliff rocks and making a large banging noise. The boys managed a little swim down the inlet, before heading back.

Inland Sea at Dwejra


This small salt water lake is next door to where the Azure Window once stood proudly, before the structure fell down.  It is connected to the Mediterranean sea by a tunnel that goes through the cliffs. You can get a boat trip through the cave or just sit and chill by the water. The water is calm and many people swim over to the caves and climb up the cliff surface to jump into the sea.

Like anywhere around Malta and Gozo, the sea is made easily accessible by ladders, they have been placed around the rocks so that swimmers can get in and out with ease. Malta is an ideal holiday destination for divers and snorkelers, there are dive sites situated all around the islands.

If the weather is rough I wouldn’t advise a trip to any of these beaches as they can become dangerous. We visited Malta during August and we only had a few rough days where we wasn’t sure about the sea currents, so we visited the sandy bays instead. What this island lacks in sand makes up for it in cliffs, rocks and shorelines.

Although the island is small, every time we go (We have been 5 times) we always find somewhere new to explore.

Do you know of anymore secret hidden gems that the island has to offer?


A Kitchen is What Makes a Home: New Kitchen Transformation

A Kitchen is the hub of the family. It is where we cook, eat, socialize and entertain. As a bust family of five we were looking to expand the old kitchen and replace it with something that fitted into our lifestyle, something that was more modern and sleek.

We had moved into our new home back in March 2017 and the Kitchen didn’t quite fit in with the decor of the rest of the house. Although it was a nice size, it was dated and there wasn’t enough cupboard space. We wanted to give the room a fresh new look, that no only was functional but also utilise the space that we had.

We found that the cupboards didn’t have much depth to them, so items took up lots of the shelf space. The Kitchen also had a peninsula that had an overhang, to be used as a breakfast bar, where the cupboard doors were-which didn’t make sense! So if you wanted to use the cupboards you had to get down low to see what was in them and also no-one could sit there if you wanted to use the cupboard.

We visited Kitchen showrooms and scoured the internet looking for ideas as to what particular style we wanted, the colour and how big we wanted the kitchen to be.

With something in mind the next thing we needed to do was book in with a kitchen designer to plan it all for us. The designer visited us at home, took measurements and advised us on where to place the units. He listened to our requirements. We had a lot in  ind but after listening to our ideas, the designer then helped us plan it so it would be more convenient to our use. Once the designer got a good idea of how we would use the new kitchen and what we required, the next was to consider the layout. We really wanted a kitchen with an island but it just wasn’t feasible, the room wasn’t big enough to fit it in. So we was advised to keep with the peninsula and just move it further into the dining area, which would then open up the working kitchen area.

The Old Kitchen

The Old kitchen was a U shaped kitchen with the sink on one wall, the oven on another and space for the fridge on the other. At the other side of the working kitchen was the peninsula, all by itself.

Before we had a design in mind we had chosen our cooker, I had wanted a range for a long time and as the eldest boy had an interest in cooking we wanted to buy a double oven. We found one that was sleek and big enough for our needs. It wasn’t a range but a similar design by Smeg. Once we had oven we then went on to order the fridge freezer, again we wanted a double one. The colour scheme seemed to be heading towards grey.

Once the designer had visited us at home we made an appointment to see them in the showroom where we would get to see the final design in 3D format.

To make the best use of the available space, we thought of the following:

  • How much storage do we need?
  • What exactly will we be using your kitchen space for?
  • How much time will we be spending in there?
  • What type of storage cupboards will we need?
  • What type of oven will we be using?

We wanted to accentuate the feeling of space in the kitchen so we chose a light-reflecting surface and colour that would give a fresh and airy feel. It would also give the kitchen an ultramodern look.

We chose the Sofia Range in Pewter. An iconic, minimalist design that offers supreme versatility and features the sleek lines of integrated handles in a high gloss, lacquered finish. As for the work surface we went for a dark oak as thought that it would emphasize the colour of the cupboards and walls. It also gives the kitchen a warm glow.

We wanted a peninsula that would double up as a breakfast bar, to achieve this the worktop would overhang the unit which would create a seating area. We decided to move the oven over to where the peninsula would be, so this would be the cooking zone, giving this area an L shape.

The colour scheme we settled on was Pewter cupboards, red wall tiles and dark oak worktop.

So, first thing we had to do was get the old kitchen ripped out and prepare the room ready for the new kitchen to be fitted. We had a date set for delivery of the new kitchen. It was to be delivered at the beginning of July, hoping it would be all built and installed ready for the summer holidays. There were lots of boxes, that we stored in our dining area ready for when we was ready to rip out the old kitchen

Once the boxes were being emptied we quickly realised that we had missing items: the larder panels were missing, the worktop was the wrong colour, the drawer unit was missing, the peninsula back board and worktop were missing too. Our hopes of having it fitted before our summer holiday was quickly fading. The company we ordered it from couldn’t deliver the missing items for another 2 weeks. This put out our builder and extended the length of the job. We had no kitchen to cook in, no oven and the place was a mess! In total we had waited 3 weeks for items that had been missed off of our original order with the showroom. If you are ever buying a kitchen, I would advice you to check all reference codes on the delivery note against what was ordered and what the boxes say.

The New Kitchen

We chose to tile the floor and as the rest of downstairs has wooden floor, I really wanted to carry on with the effect and found a tile that had a wood effect in grey. We also placed down some under floor heating (Hubby is an electrician, by trade, so he fitted it himself)


And I wanted the grout to be the same on the wall as on the floor, so chose a dark grey. I think it worked well and really contrasted against the red tiles on the wall.

Once the floor was down and the cupboards were all in, all that was left to do was tile the wall. The previous kitchen had tiles from floor to ceiling but we decided against this and only tiled in between the top and bottom units and above the oven


The New Kitchen

To finish off the look we added in some chrome USB plug sockets


 We cut down our cost by doing the electric, the rewiring and plumbing by ourselves.
I am really happy with the finished look. I now have a Kitchen that suits the family, somewhere we can entertain and just spend time in.
My favourite part is the peninsula, as when I am cooking the boys sit at the other side and I can help them with their homework. It is now a room in the house that everyone enjoys. The youngest loves the under floor heating and lays on it in the morning to warm himself up.
I think that it all come together really well and love the colour combination of the red and grey, they are both classic and sophisticated.
What do you think?