Manchester chocolate boutique

Last weekend we decided to head to Manchester for lunch to break up the dull job of trying to hunt for a new car.

Now the kids are getting older we have found our car is too small and has no room for bikes and scooters.

I find cars so dull. They are expensive and I don’t particularly like driving. But one thing I’m all for is anything that is practical and makes day-to-day life easier.

So it looks like we need a bigger family car. When we stopped for food at the lovely Earth cafe in the northern quarter (a vegan shop that caters for my newly discovered intolerances – I will bore you with those findings another day as I am currently half asleep in bed), we came across a gorgeous chocolate shop.

Bonbon Chocolate Boutique is heaven. It is tiny and full of character. It has two tiny tables outside and two inside. The boutique was decorated with Tim Burton’s The Nightmare before Christmas characters and flowery skulls.

It was fascinating looking at all the handmade chocolates and the copper machine the lady used to make hot chocolate. Her style was vintage with a gothic twist. Leopard print skirt with a large vintage hairband and dark red roses stuffed in her hair. Her outfit was amazing.

The girls were loving all the Halloween decorations and the smell in the shop was making my mouth water. I will mention one of my food intolerances as it is relevant to this post – cows milk. That means no chocolate for me. Torture. Pure torture.

I mentioned this torture in the boutique and to my complete surprise the lady behind the counter said a lot of their products were vegan friendly and dairy free. The utter rush of excitement filled my body.

I had a hot chocolate with peeled orange and the girls had salted caramel chocolates. Heaven heaven heaven.

I only took one picture in the shop, which I really regret as everywhere you looked had something fascinating to look at. Ok, ok I’m a huge chocolate fan. But if you do get to go, you will not be disappointed.


Autumn sniffles

As the summer temperatures cool and the autumn breeze blows in, we are welcomed with….snot. And lots of it.

The twins have loved being back at school and making new friends. But as always at the start of term the girls have caught a tickly cough, ear infections and colds.

They have had a few days off from school already, but I have to say I do enjoy them being at home. I have missed them since they have started going to school five days a week.

I miss their noises around the house, it seems so quiet with only me and Jacob. I can tell he misses them too, although I do think he likes having me all to himself for a few hours. 

He does make me laugh. His new favourite thing is blowing raspberries on my tummy, he has fits of giggles when he does it. That, and telling me ‘no!’ to everything I ask him.

To distract us from our coughs and sniffles, we decided to toast marshmallows in the back garden. We are currently having an extension and new garden so it seemed a good idea to build a fire!

Obviously the kids loved it. 


First day of school

So the day has arrived. My baby twins are going to school full time.

I really will miss my little shadows but they are certainly ready for school. Taking a trip to Tesco just doesn’t cut it for them anymore!

So now it’s just me and Jacob. That’s a doddle. Maybe time for another baby Sam?!


First time on a plane

The summer holidays have now come to an end and it has gone by in a blink of an eye.

Sam and I decided that after almost four years we should try going on a holiday abroad with all three kids. 

This meant going on a plane with three kids three and under.

Oh. god.

I started to sweat just the thought of it. I threw a penny in the weird dolphin fountain at the Trafford Centre and made a wish that Jacob would sleep all the way and the girls would be entertained with colouring and stickers.

However, I had a last minute wobble. I discussed with Sam that I didn’t think colouring books and stickers were enough. My friend told me about the Amazon Fire Kids Edition tablet.

Sam and I have always been against letting the children play on tablets and iPhones. Mainly because it always ends in arguing and tears. But I thought the Amazon Fire was a good back up.

We explained to the girls that they were to use for flying and long car journeys only for now. As they get bigger, we will slowly introduce them more for educational purposes but they certainly won’t be lying around the house to use when they want.

So far so good. We did use them on the plane and they really thought they were getting a big treat. They didn’t complain when they had to put them away and since we have been back home they have forgotten about them completely. Oh, and Jacob slept most of the way on the flights. That made the flights A LOT easier.

We went to Greece with Sam’s family and Malta with my family. Two fab holidays with lots of fun on the beach. The girls also turned four whilst in Malta and enjoyed a surprise Hello Kitty birthday cake organised by lovely Anna.

Next stop, going to school full time. Oh how I’m going to miss my little shadows…


Keeping busy with twins

Now summer is here I find it so much easier with the girls and Jacob. They really enjoy being outside and playing in our new garden.

It has been very hot for two weeks and now we have had some flash floods. Not that the kids mind, they enjoy splashing in the huge puddles.

The girls got a wooden playhouse from their great grandparents Poppa and Gigi. My dad put it together for them and they were so excited about the sink, hob, mobile phone and doorbell! Costco have succeeded in a brilliant children’s toy once again.

In the holidays we went to Alton Towers to CBeebies Land, which turned out to be a scorching hot day so the kids loved it. Slightly annoying that when I got home I noticed me and Sam could have gone free with a token on two cereal boxes that were in the cupboard (I haven’t told him yet). 

We also went to Delamere Forest to hunt for Stick Man, which involved bark rubbing and ticking off things you found along the way in a booklet. I highly recommend it.

Most of the days have involved factor 50 sun cream and Easter bonet hats (I only found some straw hats I liked last week). Plenty of ice cream, which probably explains why I’m finding it so hard now I am back at the gym. Definitely the most sweaty (and red) chick in there, not to mention the wobble off the treadmill I have to disguise every time. I’m just waiting for the day I fall arse over tit and tell myself I can’t go to the gym EVER again. Here’s hoping anyway.

Back onto my wonderful children, we have just booked two holidays to Greece with Sam’s family and Malta with my family. We have never dared go on a plane with the kids and now we are going twice in the space of three weeks. 


Any tips welcomed. I suggested getting the girls a Kindle Fire but Sam isn’t keen as whenever they play on phones the twins turn into devils. So we don’t let them on any device at all at the moment. They do have an iPad at school however so we will introduce it at home at some point. Maybe when they stop hysterically crying and rolling round the floor when our ‘battery has died’.

Anyway, check out their passport pictures. It’s pictures like these that I look at them and think it’s so weird I have three children (I still think I’m 20, raving in Ibiza during the summer season). Then I get a wave of feeling extremely lucky. 

Enjoy the pics!

Ice pop break after helping build their playhouse. They even used the drill!
Stick Man TrailFound a great buttercup grass area on the trailSea Life in Mutuny Bay, Alton TowersWe took a wrong turn and ended up in the Haunted Hollow. Tamsin was not impressed!Ice Age 4D Show was amazing, we got snowed on!Phoebe asking poppa how to use a camera. She took 73 pics in literally 10 seconds!Another ice cream break!A heavy down pour then back to hot!

Phoebe deep in thought

Jacob’s new fav toy (with Phoebe)Trying to exercise at home with toddlers is pointless. Don’t let any personal trainer tell you different!


English summer

The English summer is here! Thank god for that. The winter has been grim. 

The twins have caught every illness going at nursery, which has resulted in me catching every single one. Tonsillitis twice, a chest infection, three sickness bugs and endless colds. And that was just me.

The girls and Jacob seem to handle being ill much better than me and Sam never seems to catch anything. Maybe I’m just wet or find it harder as I can’t lie on the sofa feeling sorry for myself.

However we have soldiered on and come through the other side feeling excited about the summer.

The weather has been fab and I was talking about the simple things in life on my Instagram @katehadfield1 recently. For the first time ever I have my very own washing line and I just love it.

Some people may think I’m strange but there is something so satisfying about putting washing on the line to dry in the fresh air. My mum did say “Give it a few weeks” but for now I’m enjoying it.

The children are enjoying the new garden as there is so much more space to explore. Today we made flower garlands and perfume from the flowers in the garden. 



New Year calmness

Christmas is hectic for every family and our family was no different. My one year old son Jacob pulled all the decorations off the Christmas tree and the twins moved the decorations higher and higher so he couldn’t reach them.

This ended up with our Christmas tree being decorated at the top and not the bottom. We also bought our Christmas tree on December 1st, which wasn’t a wise idea. 

We still haven’t figured out how to work our heating and the lounge has bursts of being extremely hot. This resulted in our Christmas tree being pretty much dead a week before Christmas.

By the time we had our Hadfield family party on the 28th it had well and truly kiffed it. Not that many people noticed by the amount of wine that was drunk.

The girls helped me put the Christmas decorations away and Phoebe thought we were going out to buy another one the same day. Tamsin was upset that our Elf on the Shelf Bobby had left and didn’t say goodbye. Jacob was unwrapping the kitchen roll I had wrapped around the decorations to put into storage and ripped it into tiny pieces. And yes this happened all at once.

Now the New Year is here and after a great time away in Derbyshire with friends it’s now back to normal. Well apart from the gherkins, pickles and crackers still left on our kitchen table. Oh and the tub of quality streets (the rubbish toffee ones are the only ones left).

Happy New Year!

The girls first nativity. They were cows!

Peepo Bobby!

The game Buttheads went down well on Christmas Day

Santa’s workshop. The twins are making reindeer food here

Putting food in the buckets for the reindeers

Phoebe decorating our gingerbread house

A bar in Manchester getting in the festive spirit

Jacob was head of the table on Christmas Day

The gingerbread house didn’t last for long!