A Mothers Ramblings: September 2014

Friday, 26 September 2014

Friday Night Treats

I've spoken before about how I see September as the start of the year and a time for making School related resolutions, and I've even followed up and made sure that I follow through with the promises I make to both the children, the school and myself. I'm pretty sure that making resolutions in the Autumn is engrained from years of British Schooling and I'm sure that even when the children have long left School that I'll still think about making promises (after all that is what resolutions are) in September when I buy myself a new notepad or seven.

New Notepads and sticky notes - review coming up!

The latest resolution that I've made with the children is to do with our weekly routine. 

  • Monday night we have Top Ender at Brownies, so Big Boy and I play computer games together.
  • Tuesday night we occasionally have Faith in God or we catch up on chores.
  • Wednesday night we have Family Home Evening (it's basically a study, prayer and then a few other activities that we do together session).
  • Thursday night we have Big Boy at Beavers, so Top Ender and I go for a walk and play in the park or read.
  • Friday night... well Friday night is treat night.

My first idea, was that one week we'd do something simple like go for a walk in the woods, or round one of the many lakes in Milton Keynes. The next week we might go to a local soft play or a farm or something. The next week we might have a bite to eat out or I might take the children to a bakery and let them pick a treat. The next week we might watch a movie at home with popcorn or nachos and then the next week we'd either start all over again or do something else that we've come up with.

On a Walk in the Woods

I even asked on my Facebook page for suggestions of things to do and got a lot of replies. I didn't specify that it was for a Friday treat, instead I asked "What great fun activities can you think of for children to do after School that are either free or have a low cost?"

Bug hunting at a beauty spot, if it's been rainy make it a muddy bug hunt
Paul

Board games - check out boardgamegeek website for lots you have never heard of
Debbie

Making cup cakes, invest in all the ingredients sprinklings and decorations and they will last for ages x A trampoline is great, again is cost money initially but then great fun, I have all my daughters friends round who live in flats.
Sandra

Yesterday I popped into my local fabric shop and found a piece of thin patterned material in their bargain bin. It's currently being used as a den, draped over a few bits of furniture in the living room. Might make it into something for dress ups when that novelty wears off (though probably just a poncho as I can't sew for toffee.
Also - save every magazine, leaflet, all sorts. Go to Poundland and stock up on junk and glue, and they can either make a collage or a model. When I was a kid my mum had a special cupboard just for "rainy day" activities where she stored things anyone else would have called junk!
Single Mother Ahoy


the local park for an hour, a long walk (making up games on route, (board games night, Cooking night let them "cook" dinner. Craft Night, Give them a pile of "rubbish" empty cereal boxes, toilet rolls, junk mail etc, a tube of pritt/stapler and challenge them to make a monster. Give them a night off, and just let them play on their own. It's ok.
Sarah

library visit. Games & activities focused around favourite books.
Sandra

So I'm still thinking about some great ideas for Friday night treats. What would you most like to do with your family on a Friday?

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Bedtime Stories

Recently I've changed our bedtime routine. Just a few small changes, but enough to make our evenings run a little smoother and hopefully encourage both Top Ender and Big Boy to a more peaceful and rejuvenating nights sleep.

Bedtime in my favourite bed linen

Part of the new routine is after they have finished watching a cartoon in bed, or reading a chapter or two of their book, or writing in their journals, or what ever it is that they want to do before I tell them to turn off their bedroom light is that now after saying their prayers with them I tell them each a story. Big Boy likes this because he knows it is putting off the inevitable actual going to sleep part of the routine but his request for stories that he'd never heard before and that I've made up each night is getting a little hard to keep up with.

So I've started to get a little more creative with my story telling. I've started telling stories that aren't technically mine. Basically, I've started telling him plot lines of various films I've seen over the years and just cleaning them up so that they're suitable for a six year old boy at bedtime.

And it's working.

Two nights ago, I told him the love story about a glittery vampire and a girl. He told me he thought it sounded like a silly story, but that he bet girls would love it.

Last night I told him the story of a robot boy who wanted to be human. He didn't really get the Alien ending, but then again I don't think anyone who has seen the film AI did either.

Tonight I told him the story of two young men who travel through time trying to learn enough to pass their History report for the sake of the future.

Tomorrow I'm thinking that I'll tell him the story of a grown man who tries to track down his one love from high school, who there is just something about.

Now, I need your help.

What other films can I edit into suitable bedtime stories for a six year old and please tell me I'm not the only one that does this! Tell me, that you've at least borrowed plot lines from a movie or two to make your own bedtime stories have that wow factor that the blockbuster movies have.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Appreciating The Ordinary

WARNING. Reading this post may spoil the illusion that my family and I are perfect.

I had big plans for the start of last week. Flyfour/Daddy was home as he'd been working over the weekend and as it was unusual to have him home I decided that we needed to do something to mark it. Maybe we could go out for a meal as a family, making use of an early bird special to make the most of our limited funds. Or maybe we could go to one of our favourite lakes for a walk and a picnic and ensure that we were back home early enough to send Top Ender off out on her usual After School activities.

In the end we did nothing on Monday night.

I could handle that we did nothing on the Monday as along with Top Ender going to Brownies, I had a Governors meeting and by the time it was all over and done with and I was back ensconced in my home I couldn't be bothered to go out again.

A Mocktail for me

Tuesday was going to be different though. I had spent all day Monday suggesting various ideas of things we could do to and even though he had dismissed each and every single one of them, I attempted again on the Tuesday. Come pick up time however he still hadn't found a single idea from the things I suggested interesting enough to be something we could do together that evening.

I was mildly annoyed.

Okay, I take that back, I was more than mildly annoyed I was pretty peeved at the whole thing and to put it politely I was thinking some rather detailed "poor me" things in between some slightly more  detailed and colourful "blinking husband" things. After one of my barbed comments, about how doing things at home was what I did EVERY SINGLE DAY, Flyfour/Daddy replied that it was the ordinary things like being at home after School that he missed and wanted to do.

All the air went out of me like a deflated balloon. Seriously how stupid was I?

Every single night, I get to talk to the children about School, about their friends, their lessons, funny things the Teacher said, who's fallen out with who. I get to listen to their prayers, listen to them read, help them with their spellings and times tables, listen to them practice the Violin. I get to wipe away the tears and set alarms for the amount of console time. I get to get the compliments on meals that I've cooked, puddings that I've arranged and crafts I've made for them.

When Daddy calls to say good night and good morning to the children, they give him maybe a minute of their time. All I hear is their end of the conversation and it normally goes something like;

Uh Huh.

Yeah.

Good.

Nah.

No that's on a Wednesday!

Bye. Love you.

There is me feeling jealous of Flyfour's/Daddy's nightly restaurant trips, his walks around the Canals and Shopping Centres, his trips to the Cinema, his "freedom" to do what he wants when he wants and all he wants is the ordinary sights, smells and sounds of home.

So this week I'm making an effort to appreciate the ordinary, because ordinary doesn't mean boring or not special. Ordinary means those moments of time that one day I'd do anything to get back and because they are fleeting I'd better make damn sure I appreciate them now.

Top Ender, Big Boy and I (PippaD) enjoying a sunset

Monday, 22 September 2014

When Daddy Got Jealous

Daddy had a couple of days off last week and this meant that instead of me hanging around the house on my own I've been busy trying to cram a million memories into a couple of days. What I didn't realise however was that Daddy was trying to get in on my act.

I know, I know. I've already admitted that Daddy makes a better me than me, but this was different. Daddy asked me where my fabric stash was. For a start, how does he know I have a fabric stash?! Then after selecting a suitable piece of fabric, he started work on a craft project, and one that seemed familiar to me...

Fabric Milkman's Wallet with Cash

He only went and made a much better milkman's wallet than the one I'd made!

Okay, so he did use my blog post in order to work out how to do it, but he also moaned that my instructions made no sense and it was a wonder that anyone ever read my blog with the number of spelling mistakes and grammatical errors (they're all there on purpose I swear).

I think it was because standing in the playground with me, made him realise how cool and hip I am.

Stop laughing.

I am cool and hip. I'm a role model don't you know!

See, what I think happened was that Daddy got jealous over how Top Ender's School friends swarmed to me. It's an unusual occurrence if I'm perfectly honest, and had only happened as Top Ender had taken one of the Milkman Wallets to School, and upon showing her School friends the magic powers that she had acquired along with this wallet they all wanted one and knew that I was the key to getting them one.

Still, Daddy's Milkman Wallet is currently sitting on the Fireplace with Big Boy's small fortune in it (he's saving up for Super Smash Bros for the Wii U, which we're guessing is out this November) and none of you must tell him that I'm quite jealous of this marvellous craft!

Oh and Daddy used the very lovely fabric glue that we were sent as part of the Bostik Family Craft Bloggers Network.

A Fabric Milkman's Wallet being made using Bostik's Sew Simple

Apparently he found the glue very useful.

Bostik Family Craft Bloggers Network

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

An Evening Ramble

The children and I were back to our normal routine this week, with Thursday coming round and a return to Beavers for Big Boy. As I may have mentioned once or twice (hehehe), because of Big Boy being a Type 1 Diabetic I hang around outside of Beavers in case of an emergency. The lovely ladies that run Beavers are aware of what BB's hypo signs are etc, and it's just an extra "layer" of security for them and me. Luckily there is a lovely park outside the centre where Beavers is held, a cricket ground just opposite and a lovely lane to walk down which leads to a Canal, so Top Ender and I have plenty to do if we get bored of reading in the car, whilst we wait for BB to finish at Beavers.

This particular week, Top Ender and I decided to walk down the lane to the canal. She wore her new jacket from Muddy Puddles, which was rather handy as it was blinking cold! Luckily unlike Top Ender I have a layer of natural protection against the cold aka Fat.

Top Ender jumping around in the trees

As we were walking down the lane, we were stopping at various plants and shrubs and looking at their berries whilst Top Ender told me how they had used similar berries found on the grounds of the School earlier in the week to make Cave Man type paintings. I surprised myself by actually knowing the names of most of the plants, even doing a quick google to prove some of them! As we carried on down the lane we found a rather large supply of Blackberries and so we decided to help ourselves... after all they were for personal use and so it was all nice and legal.

A picked blackberryTop Ender picking Blackberrys

The blackberries were delicious and Top Ender may have helped herself to a few more than was strictly necessary, but I couldn't blame her. They really did taste great.

Eventually we made it down to the Canal and Top Ender went off to explore under the bridge, leaving me up top to keep an eye out for... well I'm not sure really what I was supposed to be looking out for!

Top Ender bounding up the Canal Towpath in her Muddy Puddles jacket

At this point, my natural protection was starting to not work, so we quickly took a couple of pictures of Top Ender (who was lovely and warm) and headed back to the car for me to warm up. There is a much more detailed review on Top Ender's blog, but from a Parent's point of view the jacket is warm, well made and the cut is excellent.


Top Ender sitting at the Canal in her Muddy Puddles jacket

After Beavers, one of the other Mums mentioned how much she loves Muddy Puddles clothing because it lasts well and most importantly washes well in low temperatures. We've not had to wash the jacket yet, but this bodes well for when I finally do.

We were sent the jacket to review. I'm quite jealous, I want one.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Being A Role Model

This week, it was pointed out to me by a very lovely young lady (that I'm not related to), that I was her favourite adult. She likes that I can laugh at myself, that I'm caring and funny, that I say prayers and that if she needs me she knows I'll be there. She ended the conversation, by letting me know that when she grows up she wants to be just like me.

Top Ender and PippaD selfie

So apparently I'm now a role model. Who would have thunk it?

I never thought it would be something I'd have to worry about, I mean my kids know not to have me as a role model because they live with me and so see that I occasionally do stupid things like trip up the stairs, talk to myself, pour drinks down my T-shirt instead of into my mouth, burn my mouth by eating food that is too hot, fall over despite their being nothing to trip on and maybe once I've locked myself out of the house...

I'm not the sort of person that other people would have as a role model. Who wants to be an overweight, sometimes amusing, scatter brain, always asking questions on facebook, spends far too much time on the internet in general, self-righteous weirdo?

Be quiet, you at the back.

The point is that nobody ever says to their teacher/career guidance counsellor/diary/parent they want to be the above, they say normal things like a Vet, a Journalist, an Author, a Priest, Harry Potter, a Chef, an Animator, a Fashion Designer, a Fire Engine, a Doctor, a Nurse, an Archaeologist, a Food Taster, a DJ, Doctor Who, an Actor, a Singer, an Accountant, a Teacher.

You know, Normal things.

And yet somehow by being myself I've managed to get myself in the position where I'm being looked up at and emulated.

You'd all better start praying, because I honestly don't know what the world is coming to.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Being Normal

Big Boy wants to be normal.

Big Boy scooting outside

I know this, because he told me. He even explained to me what normal is. According to him, normal is going to your friends house without your Mum also going. Just like when his friends come to his house, or his sisters friends come to our house or just like when his sister goes to her friends houses.

And I cried.

Right now it just isn't possible, I mean sure when he was popping in and out of our neighbours house and playing with the boys that lived there it was fine, because in an emergency I was ten seconds away, but his friends from School and Beavers live a few miles away and in an emergency I'm a car ride away.

That's just too far for me to know he's safe.

BB is unable to take care of his own blood testing and administering of insulin at the moment. He's tried, goodness knows how much he has tried. He just hasn't the strength to prick his own finger and get the right amount of blood on to the little testing strip. Heck, when I try to do my own blood sugar tests, I get in a pickle. I hesitate to prick my finger knowing it's going to hurt (even if just for a second), I don't squeeze enough blood out and so I have to do it again or I squeeze too much and end up covering the testing strip, the monitor and myself in blood.

Luckily I don't pass out anymore at the sight of blood.

If there is one thing the struggle with School over the last year has taught me it's that people see this as serious (which of course it is) and worry about the consequences. Too much insulin and BB is seriously ill and could die. Too little insulin and BB is seriously ill and could die. I don't think it's fair to put that responsibility on to a parent of BB's friends (And yet Yes, I do believe that the School should have that responsibility!).

But today I bit the bullet and explained to the parent of BB's best friend (who moved back hooray!) that BB wanted to stay at their house on his own.

Without me.

And you know what? BB's best friends Mum understood perfectly and together we worked out a plan for BB to have the best of both worlds. Now we just have to keep our fingers crossed that it works.

5 Things To Do Before Bed For A Better Morning

When Daddy and I first talked about him staying in Birmingham during the week and coming home on a Friday night there were a lot of things that I didn't think about, that I now realise my wonderful husband took care of so that I didn't have to. Now, several months later it's got to the point where I'm thinking of doing the small things during the week so that when Daddy is home, he doesn't have to worry about them and can just get on with spending time with the family.

Daddy spending time with the family (He isn't running away honest!)

It was because of this and because I'm a naturally lazy person that I decided that what I really needed to do was share my five things to do before bed for a better morning, as that way I have no excuse for not doing them in the future as you can all hold me accountable.

1) Pick up the Living room/Kitchen/Den/Room you use most.


When I used to head to bed, Daddy would head up about ten minutes after me. In those ten minutes he'd put the throw cushions back on the sofa and put the TV remotes near the TV, put glasses or plates that had been missed during the day into the sink and generally just tidy up after the rest of the family.

Now it's my job and I've grown to love making the living room and kitchen just look tidy ready for the new day ahead. Plus it means when I come stumbling down in the middle of the night that I'm not tripping up over all the mess in the dark.

2) Check the Calendar for tomorrow.


Yup, so simple and yet how many of us actually check the calender for the next day before bed? For me it's a lifesaver because even though I know that I have a hospital appointment for BB coming up this week and the Missionaries coming round for dinner or a school meeting and the friend who can't eat fish coming for lunch or even the agreement that I'll babysit my Niece and feed my MIL's Cat whilst she's away I may forget what day this is exactly supposed to be happening. Checking the calendar just helps me get a better start in the morning and helps me make sure I'm wearing something appropriate.

Oh and whilst you are checking the calendar for you, do the same for the children and if needs be write a note in the childrens home contact book or homework diary or even a note to the teacher if needed. Teachers appreciate a heads up when you're stealing away a child for a medical appointment!

3) Write a list.


I work so much better from checklists and I love that I can print one off my printer without even having to turn the PC on, but that's beside the point. Yes, I do put on things such as get breakfast, get dressed, take the children to School and only because I like to be able to tick things off but it also helps me focus on what I should be doing instead of what I am doing, which is normally turning on the PC to see what has happened in the world overnight.

Plus you know how you always remember something right at the last minute and think I'll remember that tomorrow? I never do remember, so my list saves me!

4) Lay it out.


For some this may mean actually putting knives and forks and things on the table ready for a cooked breakfast (which it does for us a couple of times a week) but it could also be projects for work that are needed the next day, school bags, PE Kits and musical instruments, lunchboxes and water bottles and something we always have laid out is our clothes for the next day... it sure makes it a lot easier getting dressed if everything is in a nice neat pile!

5) Pray/Meditate/Give Thanks/Write in your Journal


I actually do all four, but that's because I'm me, You're you and you'll do it differently because you are you; and that's why I like you. I pray thanks to my Heavenly Father because I believe that it is because of him that I have everything in my life. I meditate after prayer because I find it a good way to normally hear the answers to my prayers and it's a great way to mentally switch off from the day (especially if I've written my list) and be ready for bed. I then write in my gratitude journal what I'm thankful for and write in my normal journal.

Then with the lights being switched off I slip down the bed under the duvet and am in the land of nod in minutes. Which is useful when you get up several times a night to do blood tests on your youngest child.

Anyway those are my 5 things to do before bed for a better morning. What are your top tips for smooth running in the morning?

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

A Summer of GoPro Adventures #GoProAdventures

As you may have guessed from our daily Summer Holiday posts we didn't actually go away anywhere this Summer, but we managed to squeeze a lot of fun in doing the things that we love to do as a family and yes that does include a day where we didn't do anything other than lay in bed! The thing was we'd been challenged, along with some other lovely bloggers, to have a summer of adventures by GoPro. Yes, that's right those of the fantastic little go anywhere camera fame.

GoPro Accessories and camera

To help us, they sent a parcel of the GoPro Hero3+ video camera along with a lot of mounts and a couple of cases and a memory card and then they gave us ten themes or suggestions for our challenges and let us get on with it! Only there was one thing, an incentive of sorts, the "best" video gets a trip to the GoPro Mountain Games in Colorado next Summer... I know right?!

Now, since we got the GoPro's the bloggers working on this project have been chatting what seems like daily, swapping tips and giving each other support and ideas for future projects and we've all been sitting waiting for today (the deadline to publish our posts is today!) and waiting for someone else to press publish first!

Now that someone else has, I present to you... The A Mother's Ramblings Go Pro Adventures!


So what did you think? I personally think that you're going to see a lot of GoPro adventures from us, and there will be a proper review post coming up soon. Oh and just in case you couldn't see from BB's angle, this is a panorama from the top of the trees, just click it to make it bigger.

Panorama from the top of the trees

We were given the GoPro for the purpose of this competition and a review, which as I said is coming up soon!

Lego Lunch Set from Store #Review

This School year is an exciting one for both Top Ender and Big Boy. Both children will be taking their SATS this year and Top Ender gets to visit various Schools that she likes in the local area so she can decide which Schools she would like to apply to. Of course it also means that with the start of a new School year, there is even more opportunities for me to creatively make a pack lunch for the children and hopefully get some more brownie points from the Dietician we see every six months or so, as part of BB's Diabetes team. With all the new things, it makes sense that the children get a new lunch set and Store have kindly sent BB a Lego Lunch Set.

Lego Lunch Set from Store #Review

Big Boy was thrilled as he loves The Lego Movie. The pot is quite large ( 6.5cm high x 16cm x 14cm) and easily fits in all of his lunch, an example of which is below (that's two quarters of a sandwich stacked on top of each other, so you can see how deep it is) the only thing missing was the pot of fruit, which BB was filling as I took this photo! The 350ml bottle is a screw cap, which is useful as I'm always sure that the sports cap bottles leak in the lunchboxes, although I've never been able to prove it!

Lego Lunch Set from Store #Review

What I didn't realise, but Big Boy let me in on the secret of is that the bottom of the bottle comes off, and can be used as a cup for the contents of the bottle. It's little design extras like this that make me realise my children are far smarter than I ever was at their age.

Lego Lunch Set Bottle from Store #Review

I really loved the set, and have even borrowed it, when I needed a lunchbox for a meeting I went to the other day, but was reminded by Big Boy that this wasn't to become a regular thing!

The set is £14 and really cute.

We were sent the set to review.

Monday, 8 September 2014

The Milkman's Wallet

On Sunday, I was lucky enough to be able to teach my old Church Primary Class and I didn't realise how much I had missed it! Somehow Sharing Time just doesn't have the same feel for me, even though I always try to make that fun too. Anyway back to this past Sunday. As the lesson was on Tithing (we LDS members pay 10% of our increase as a tithe) I thought that something I could do with the children that they would enjoy was making a Milkman's wallet, so called because Milkman use them. At least that is what my Dad told me.

Milkman's Wallet

So what is a Milkman's wallet? Well, take a look at this video, ignore that I say this is how to make one, I swear I meant work one and hopefully you'll understand.


Magic right?! The children at Church (and of course my children) thought so too. So how can you make one? Well, follow the steps below!

For this craft you will need.

Two strips of card measuring 18cm by 9cm (you'll get three out of a piece of A4).

Four strips of card measuring 14cm by 2cm (you should have enough left from the A4 piece of card).

You can of course play with different sizes etc, but these are the ones that work best for British currency. If you had four wider strips for example, you could keep a coin or two secure, but that's best only if you're a practiced magician!

And this is how you do it.

Lay your two pieces of card side by side. Why? Cos it looks cool.

How to make a Milkman's Wallet

Glue two of the four strips to one side of one of the longer pieces of card.

How to make a Milkman's Wallet

Put the other long strip of card over the top of the little strips, and as close to the other piece of long card as you can.

How to make a Milkman's Wallet

Fold the thin strips over the second piece of card and again secure with glue. It would make sense to put them down a little further than I did as my £5 didn't really fit into this as it was too short!

How to make a Milkman's Wallet

Place the other two strips of card in a cross underneath the long piece of card on the left. Secure the ends as below. The ends on the left go on to the back of the card the cross is on and the strips on the right are secured to the back of the card on the right.
 
How to make a Milkman's Wallet

Then you simply fold the piece in two where the two long cards are side by side. That's it, one Milkman Wallet now complete. If you were being posh you can use different coloured card to make it look all pretty and if you do, leave a link below to a picture or blog post so I can see as I'm nosey like that!

The Week Apart

When I woke up this morning my husband and I were holding hands.

It's not that unusual for us, I often wake up to find us holding hands in our sleep, but this morning it seemed more fortuitous than normal. Today marked the day when because of work, we (the children and I) wouldn't see him for another seven days. We've been aware of this period coming up and we've both thought back over our nearly 13 years of marriage (end of this month marks our anniversary) and agreed that being apart for 7 days was actually the longest that we've ever been apart whilst being married. Although his trip to Chile a few years back was his furthest, his planned excursion from Birmingham to Amsterdam makes this trip seem almost local.

The thought of him being away makes me sad.

The Husband aka Flyfour aka Daddy at the Seaside

I mean the reason my husband and I got married was because we were (and still are) best friends (seriously, I know that makes some people gag but we really are). There is almost nothing that he doesn't know about me (He still doesn't know where I hide his Christmas gifts) and there is almost nothing that I don't know about him (well at least I believe there isn't!).

It's no different to any normal week really. Every week on a Monday morning Daddy goes to work on the train and comes home on a Friday night, we don't see him unless we arrange a quick Skype or Facetime call but he sends messages and texts and emails and the space in our bed is quickly filled by me laying in the middle of the bed...

My lovely Bed

The children and I will still get up each morning and do our normal routine of getting ready for School. I'll still come home and slowly work through my chore list and jump on to Facebook and Twitter more times in a day than one really should, all whilst watching some dodgy films on the TV or listening to some of our plethora of CD's to drown out the tinnitus that plagues me.

The children and I will still eat our meals and bounce off to various out of School clubs. We'll do our daily prayers together, read our scriptures and have our family home evening (We do it on a Wednesday instead of a Monday because of our schedules). We'll play computer games and do our homework and scoot down the street on our scooters (well the children will, I've not got a scooter) and we'll expect a phone call in the evening so we can catch up with Daddy on where he's having dinner tonight, or what we did that day that was exciting.

Just this week, instead of picking Daddy up from the Train Station on a Friday night we'll not see him until Sunday night.

Even saying it outloud (What? I speak out loud as I type blog posts, how else would you hear me?!) seems wrong, but I'll pretend that it's no different. That it's my normal and just get on with life this week. Still I know that in all my dark selfish moments I can think of the lunch date that we have planned for a week today, an early Wedding Anniversary celebration and maybe that'll bring a smile to my lips.

The obligatory signing the register photograph from our wedding

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Let The #100daysofplay Carry On

As the Summer Holidays are drawing to a close, it makes me think about all the fun that the children and I have had together. We made a deal at the start of the holidays that we would eat in the garden as much as possible and that we would do at least one thing a day. It might have been a small thing, like the time we had a car picnic, or it might have been a bigger thing like going and watching the sunset, but as long as we did one "special" thing a day, then we knew that the whole holidays had been spent wisely, well you know we'd made the most of everyday.

Summer Activities

And yet as I said this is nearly over and when the children go back to School and we get back into our normal routine we'll stop eating in the garden (mainly because of the expected cold weather and rain that the UK is famous for in Autumn and Winter). We will stop doing a special thing a day because homework and housework and after school clubs will move back into focus. I don't want to lose this sense of fun, this laid back feeling, this make the most of everyday attitude however so I'm going to try to make sure that the 100 Days of Play campaign that Chad Valley has been focusing on doesn't end for us.

So whilst Top Ender will continue playing with her Doll and Big Boy will no doubt continue to drive me crazy bouncing all over the living room, I like 45% of parents surveyed will continue to scour the internet for fun ideas and inspiration of what fun things we can do.

Chad Valley DollChad Valley Hopper

Playtime to me isn't just a few minutes a day at School, it isn't just a few minutes of time to be squeezed in around homework and after School chores. Playtime to me is going to be a way of life.

We were sent some toys from Chad Valley.

Monday, 1 September 2014

Cracker Drinks #Review

Do you remember the review I did the other week about Little Crackers Fruit juice drinks for children? Well, it wasn't until a few days later, when I received some more drinks to review that I realised why the brand Cracker seemed to familiar to me. A few weeks before this had all happened, whilst I'd been perusing the drinks aisle in my local Supermarket I had come across a Still and Cloudy Lemonade drink that I thought would be a nice change and so I picked up a bottle... you guessed it it was The Cracker Drinks Company. Then I realised I'd even mentioned the drink in a blog post about another picnic!

The Cracker Drinks Co Trio

The lemonade drink that BB had tried was the very same Cracker Lemonade pictured above. Well, not the same bottle as we'd drunk all that weeks ago, but you know what I mean!

The other flavours are just as lovely as the lemonade and lovely over ice (hehehe, my new fridge is so fantastic) and I think that all three are my favourite drinks to have at any time of day... but especially at the end with my feet up and a cocktail umbrella stuck in.

The Cracker Drinks Co Pineapple, Coconut & Lime Drink in a glass

The drinks have a RRP of £1.99 and I was sent the three in the picture to drink all by myself. At least that's what I told my children.