A Mothers Ramblings: June 2015

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Kinivo BTX270 Wireless Bluetooth Portable Speaker #Review

A few months back, I was asked if I would like to review the Kinivo BTX270 Wireless Bluetooth Portable Speaker. I said yes, mainly because the one thing I am missing from my Primary arsenal (at Church) is a good quality speaker that can link up to my phone and allow me to play music if the music leader isn't around and also because I want to be the annoying Mum who has a portable speaker on her picnic blanket this Summer.

Kinivo BTX270 Wireless Bluetooth Portable Speaker #Review

When it arrived, it was perfectly timed. It was the day of the Primary Talent show and so I thought I'd take it with me, just in case. It was actually needed, needed that is until a friend came with a bigger portable speaker that was louder and when we're backing up children in a sports hall, louder is what we need! Since the BTX270 arrived, I haven't been able to make use of the speaker in Primary, as our lovely Primary Music Leader has been with us each week, so I can't say how good it is in the Primary setting.

The children and I have started using the speaker to play music when we're eating dinner each night in the garden. It's been fun, creating Youtube playlists together of various songs we like (or don't like!) and singing together whilst we eat our meals and spend time together.

Top Ender and Big Boy have a singalong

The speaker itself is designed to work with smartphones, tablets and PC's and if there isn't a bluetooth function on the smartphone, tablet or PC, there is a 3.5mm input (cable comes in the box, although I used my own as it's longer!) to connect the two together.

Kinivo BTX270 Wireless Bluetooth Portable Speaker #Review

The BTX270 also uses a rechargeable battery and with my useage it's lasted a little over ten hours, before I've felt the need to recharge it and saw the little light. I figured that it would be better to recharge it before it died on me mid song! I've used the micro USB cable to charge it a few times, it takes a couple of hours, but I do it whilst I'm on the PC doing something else, but it would have been nice if it came with a charger. At least that way I wouldn't have to have the PC on, or hunt my phone charger out to make use of that.

Kinivo BTX270 Wireless Bluetooth Portable Speaker #Review

As you can see from the pictures, the speaker is about the size of a ruler, and quite thick. It is cased in rubber, which I guess is more for protection as it is portable rather than being some fashion statement. Saying that however, the speaker, in my humble opinion, looks good and doesn't look cheap.

Something I didn't realise until I received a call is that there is a hidden microphone in the speaker, I think it's under the control buttons (Volume Up, Volume down and a third one I have no idea what it does really!) and this meant I could have a conversation with my husband without having to disconnect my phone from the speaker.

Kinivo BTX270 Wireless Bluetooth Portable Speaker #Review

The Kinivo BTX270 is a great speaker, it's brilliant for what I need and for it's size is surprisingly loud.

I was provided with the Speaker in order to produce this review.

Sunday, 28 June 2015

The Summer Menu at Beefeater #Review

Every week, my Mum and I go out for a walk. Well, actually it started as us going out for a walk, but soon turned into us going to the local shopping centre and going shopping! The point is, we get a bit of exercise together, we spend some time together and then after School and picking up the Children we disappear off to a restaurant and share a meal together. This week, I was asked if I'd like to review the new Summer menu at our local Beefeater, so my Mum, the Children and I descended upon our local branch, ready to taste, nibble and slurp!

The Barn Beefeater Milton Keynes

I am normally terrible at picking what I'm going to have at a Restaurant, so I may have spent several hours looking at the menu in advance. Somehow I forgot this when I got to the Restaurant and spent a good ten minutes staring blankly at all the dish names! In the end I decided to go with the Prawns as a starter, whilst my Mum picked the Ribs and Top Ender the Nachos for one from the daytime menu. Big Boy picked Nachos too, but off the Kids menu.

It has to be said, that from all the starters it was mine that was the best. Honestly, they were delicious, and the ribs were a little too sweet and light on seasoning and Top Ender's Nachos were just too big. They were more a sharing platter size! If you ask Big Boy however, his starter was the best but he's seven don't ask him!

Beefeater Starters #Review

The main meals soon arrived. I had gone for the Salmon, Top Ender the classic Fish and Chips (again from the day menu) and my Mum had decided to try the lamb special, a sort of stew thing. Big Boy of course picked Pizza from the Kids menu, but it was a close run thing as he nearly asked for the Chicken Poppers. Again by some fluke of fate, I had picked the best dish, my Mum's lamb just didn't taste great. It was a little burnt and my Mum and I worked out that it was the way that the dish had had it's sauce made. You know when you deglaze a pan, and if you aren't careful you burn the sauce? That's what had happened. The server did ask if we wanted to return the dish, but my Mum declined because by the time a new dish was cooked, the rest of us would have finished our meal and my Mum is already the worlds slowest eater!

Beefeater Mains #Review

The other dishes, were nice don't get me wrong, but the Salmon was by far the best!

We decided that we would have puddings, I mean why not?! My Mum decided to go for a French Coffee (she isn't LDS like I am), Top Ender a Toffee Popcorn Sundae and I had a Melt in the Middle Chocolate Pudding. Big Boy picked a Caramel Ice Cream from the Kids menu but wished he could have had Top Ender's Sundae because it was so BIG!

Beefeater Puddings #Review

The meal, along with a J2O for Top Ender, two 7up Free's for my Mum and I and a free Orange Squash for Big Boy came to £70.55.

I was actually a bit shocked, I didn't expect it to be that much, especially because the last time we had gone it had only cost just over £50 and from what I remember the meal the last time was a lot better. Still, it didn't matter. We had a great time and we were well fed and our server couldn't have been more helpful or apologetic over the parts of our meal that were disappointing to our discerning palettes!

We received part of our meal for free, in order to provide this review.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

The Fourth Week of June

Hello Friends! I feel like this week, I spent most of my time eating, although I'm sure I didn't as I have lost weight (Wahoo!) and more importantly there are as many pictures of Kittens and my children on my phone as there are items of food. Oh, I take pictures of everything I eat as a way of making myself accountable and also making sure that I keep an accurate record! So, here was my week.

The Fourth Week of June

The week started with Daddy, Top Ender, Big Boy and I heading off to Ikea to buy a sofa after the cancellation of our sofa delivery at the end of the week before.

Sofa from Ikea

As we had the hire can for a couple of hours more than we needed, we decided (thank to one of Daddy's co-workers who pointed out the possibility) to clear the driveway of junk and take it to the tip. Our driveway has been covered in junk for AGES and so it was brilliant to clear it and such a relief! I physically felt two tonne lighter after the driveway was cleared and we've got plans of how to get rid of the bricks as we can't take them to our local tip and we don't really want to take them in the car as we like having a car with a working suspension!

A cleared driveway (well apart from the bricks!)

Sunday was of course Father's Day. Daddy and I woke up early, as is normal, and waited for the children to join us. Eventually they did and they presented Daddy with their gifts and cards.

Happy Father's Day Dad!

After Daddy nearly cutting the tip of his finger off we set about the rest of the day with a trip to see Daddy's Dad to hand over his card and gift and then for a family walk, where Big Boy found a Ten pound note in the undergrowth! After Top Ender, Big Boy and I went to Church we came home to share an evening meal with Daddy. It was so delightful to eat in the garden together in the evening sun and just enjoy each others company.

Top Ender and Big Boy

The School week started with plenty of fun, the Children and I have stuck with our choice to eat breakfast outside every morning (kind of helps having the new sofa as we're sticking to the rules of not eating on the sofa!) and to be honest we've been having such brilliant conversations, enjoying the fresh air and it's just nice being together in the morning before the children go off to School!

The week ended with Daddy going to work a bit later than normal, as he had to go to Cambridge. This meant he got to be with us for Breakfast and see our new morning routine... although he didn't want to follow our rules of being ready for breakfast at 8am! Luckily, he did follow along and we all sat together eating breakfast and having a great chat together.

Breakfast in the Garden

I had a plumber out on Friday afternoon, after he apparently went home sick on Wednesday (and nobody bothered to call me to let me know) and he quoted us for fixing our shower (which mainly involves changing the taps over as the angle it is at is incredibly awkward and we can't do it ourselves without special expensive bendy tools), which was completely acceptable, seeing as how we'd spent half the amount of money on a sofa than we were expecting to. I can't wait to have a shower back, although I think our water bill might go up with all four of us showering twice a day!

And that really is just about it for this week. We've had a good one but I still want to know about your week! How has your week been and what have you been up to that you'd like to share with me?

Friday, 26 June 2015

Minions, Minions Everywhere!

Big Boy loves the Minions, not quite as much as one of my friends, but enough that he has two Minion teddies and an unhealthy obsession with saying Bottom and giggling just like Stuart the Minion (yes, I know the names of the Minions, that is how obsessed my son is). So when Tesco asked if we'd like a box of great fun Minion themed items I knew that BB would go nuts and I'd get Mother of the Year award again.

A Big Box of Minion Goodies from Tesco for BB

I had told BB to expect the parcel, I knew there was going to be bed linen in the box, so he asked if I'd wash the new linen and put it on his bed ready for when he got home. I agreed, not only because I was excited, but because BB very rarely likes to changes his bedlinen from something other than Mario!

Minion Bedlinen from Tesco - Cute huh?

When BB got home, he rushed upstairs to see his new bed linen and then came back down stairs ready to film an unboxing of the rest of the goodies! My son has been watching way too many youtube videos as you'll be able to tell from his introduction.

This weekend, Tesco have many events on at Stores across the country, and having visited Tesco whilst they have held other events I know that there will be some free sweets as well as the Minions favourite Bananas!

PS We're going to see the film this weekend, how about you?

We were sent the box of Minion goodies by Tesco.

My Christmas Swagbucks Fund

It's a well known fact that I love Swagbucks. I love spending a short amount of time each day reaching my target (personal if not the one Swagbucks has set for me) and then every so often cashing in my swagbucks for vouchers for either Amazon or Paypal. The original plan had been that I'd save the vouchers up for Christmas, and basically have a "free" Christmas.

Plans change however.

The first thing that happened were our youngest Cats kept trying to get into our swing-lid bins. It was a game to them, they were (and still are) well fed but they were foraging for more food and causing a bit of a mess spilling the contents of the not only the main bin but also the recycling bin all over the kitchen. We decided that we needed lockable bin lids and the only bins we liked that we could find wiped out half of my savings.

We decided to spend some of the savings on buying Big Boy's Birthday gift. It was easier to use these funds because that way we didn't have to dip into our household funds and it just meant that we might maybe stay in the black a little longer than the red in the eyes of our bank.

Big Boy loves his Computer Games

And suddenly the Christmas fund was wiped clean.

I didn't mind, because that is kind of what the whole point of the fund was. Yes, I know it was for Christmas, but it was "free" money and I used it for things that we as a household needed or would give someone a treat that they deserved for a special day.

So I started again.

And here we are just two months later and I have refilled my fund, thanks my own hard work and to the extra points I get from people reaching their own targets and having signed up to Swagbucks through me.

I've started buying small things for Christmas, and this week I've made my list of food items that I want to stock up on so I can add an item or two to my shopping list each week.

How do you save up and prepare for Christmas?

Yes, I get points when you get points but you don't have to sign up through me if you don't want to. It's just nice to share right? Also, if you sign up let me know and I'll give you all my top tips for making target each day!

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Golden Nuggets Of Advice

One thing I will always be eternally grateful to my parents for is that they installed a strong work ethic into me. It wasn't a case of them forcing me to go and get a job, but they encouraged me to get a paper round when I was 13, that I shared with my sister and that soon developed into a Saturday job at the shop, and then an after school, before school (during school oops) job and eventually a part time job at the local city centre, which along with my regular babysitting gigs gave me a lot of cash.

This is where the financial advice started from my parents.

A Wallet of Money

My parents advised me to not spend all my money. I know, good advice right?

Actually, it was and the way they went about it made even more sense to me and I think is the way that I will hopefully teach the children in the future.

They requested that I give them some of my wages, it wasn't rent exactly more a case of paying my way. Helping me to know the value of the money that I was earning and of course spending on various items of junk (CD's, Clothes, Make Up, Lunch at M&S and everything else) that I no longer own! My current account saw a lot of action in those days.

Of course, even with giving my parents some of my wages, I also had to save for things I wanted and needed. Train tickets for work, my University course, a Car, my Wedding. It taught me quickly that the most important thing was having a place to live, having enough money to go to work, paying for bettering myself, for important events to me. Even now, Daddy and I use the same way to deal with our finances. We pay the important things, the mortgage, the utilities, we set aside money for the food shop, for petrol, for new clothes, School trips, vet bills and everything else that we want and need.

Actually, thinking on it, the children are already being taught this.

They each get pocket money each week, and they know that they have to save up for big purchases. They voluntarily save money up for family outings in our money jar. They put their change into the change jar, they know that if they want something that I've already purchased them (such as a fashion raincoat, when I'd got them a perfectly good one just a couple of weeks before) then they have to buy it, but only after they've paid for everything else!

A Piggy Bank full of Money

And I think it's working. I think the advice to not spend all their money, to save up for the important things, the things that they need and want is sticking with them and maybe one day when they grow up they'll pass this down to their children and before we know it every person in the world will pay for the important things first and save for the rest.

I was given vouchers from TSB for this post. Which will be spent on School Uniform. See practical to the end.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Exercise Buddies Needed!

Whenever my husband is home, we go out for a walk during the day. If the children are at School, we go without them and then go again when the children are back from School. If the children aren't at School, we all go for at least one walk during the day, but normally two. My husband, whilst not exactly sporty is actually the one person who seems to be able to motivate me to go and do more.

On a Family Walk

The problem is of course, my husband isn't here every day. My husband doesn't work from home, and so he can't be here to motivate me to do more. I wish I could motivate myself more, but to be honest I can barely motivate myself to do the minimum, I'm lazy at heart.

And that's a big problem.

A couple of weeks back, I was messing around with the CCTV Cameras with Big Boy and I caught sight of myself from behind.

Talk about a big problem.

And right there, I swore I was going to exercise more. I was going to eat less.

And life got in the way, looking after Big Boy whilst he was sick. Looking after the Kittens. Taking my Mum to hospital. Cooking dinner. Doing housework. Hearing the Children read.

And then it was a week later. I swear, all I did was blink and a week had passed.

I started thinking on the issue and decided that what I really need is to find myself an exercise buddy. One who'll help me to be motivated. One who doesn't have to go to work. Then I realised that this isn't actually true. What I really need is to have someone who knows how to motivate me, someone I don't want to let down and someone who isn't me to check I've exercised.

So I asked Daddy to check up on me. To make sure that I had exercised each day and so far it's working... I just hope I don't get all annoyed at him checking up on me even though I've asked him to!

How do you motivate yourself and hold yourself accountable?

11 Day Old Kittens - Wordless Wednesday

Mario Jr The Kitten 11 days old

Harry The Kitten 11 days old

Mario Jr and Harry are 11 days old in these pictures, aren't they adorable?!

Monday, 22 June 2015

Justin's Of The World

When the Children and I were eating our evening meal, a few nights ago we were having a chat about various different things. The Children wanted to play a game that Daddy and I often play, but they forgot part of it and so instead of playing Brian's of Britain, they started playing Justin's of the World.

Top Ender and Big Boy

"Justin Bieber"  said Big Boy
"Justin Timberlake" said Top Ender
"Justin Fletcher" said Big Boy
"Justin Chambers" I said
"Justin... Time?!" said Top Ender

I'm not saying a word, but Top Ender and I are becoming more and more alike!

Saturday, 20 June 2015

The Third Week Of June

Have you been having a good week? Despite some rubbish happening this week, I've been having a fairly good week, as have the children and I think that the sweetness has been made all the sweeter for the rubbish! I'm sure there is a lesson in there somewhere that I need to learn!

The Third Week Of June

The week started with the Primary Talent show, it was a great day and I loved being able to see the talents of the Primary Children and hanging out with two of my favourite grown ups... well four if you include my Mum and Husband!

Top Ender and Big Boy at the Primary Talent Show

Sunday was great, I'd not been at Church for ages because of being ill and conference and other things and just being able to partake in Sacrament and be part of the fellowship of the others in the ward (local congregation) and then after Primary, I was able to socialise even more with everyone as we had a Munch and Mingle!

Monday, BB woke up complaining of a headache. A bit of calpol and his breakfast saw him off to School and me to the Hospital with my Mum. It was at this point, that the School called and I needed to go and pick up BB because he was poorly, problem was I'd turned my phone off because of being in the hospital. Luckily my Mum hadn't turned hers off so Daddy was able to contact me via her! BB spent the next couple of hours just looking poorly and it was only just before Top Ender got home that he got really sick.

Big Boy went to bed and Top Ender and I decided that what we really wanted was a Chinese, especially as Daddy was out for the night. So we splurged a bit and got some dishes that we liked to share. We may have gone a little overboard, as we discovered that we had more than enough to serve us for that night and the next day.

BB spent most of Tuesday sleeping and not eating. I spent most of the day trying to move the sofa from our living room into the Garage, ready for our new Sofa being delivered on Thursday... well get to Thursday before you find out about that.

Wednesday had BB feeling better, but still not up for eating that much and still really tired (probably because of the not eating!). Until that evening when suddenly his appetite came back with aplomb!

Big Boy took a Sickie Selfie

Thursday my sofa wasn't delivered. They discovered there was a hole in the sofa, but they wouldn't repair it and in the end we just told them to cancel the delivery and we'd like a full refund. There was of course a bit more to it than that, but a nutshell summary is what you get in the weekly roundup!

Friday passed quickly, it was a day filled with playing with Kittens, crafting and hoping it didn't rain so we could eat outside as I didn't want to clear the dining table!

So that was my week! What has your week been like?

Thursday, 18 June 2015

The Primary Talent Show

At Church, I get to be with the Children after the main Sacrament meeting (the bit with the bread and water and sermon) as someone somewhere thinks I'm sensible and a good influence on children... Anyway. The Primary Presidency (which I'm a part of) for our Ward (local congregation) thought that it would be fun to have a Primary Talent Show, for the children to show us and each other their talents. We arranged it to be on a Saturday afternoon and the Children started practicing their talents, ready to perform.

Primary Talent Show

All the Children were fantastic, we had a child reading rhymes, some told jokes, a few danced, some sang and there were other acts but as I'm only related to two of the children and therefore permission to plaster their pictures all over the internet I only have pictures of my two performing!

Big Boy and Top Ender decided to play their Violins as their Talent. I know I've spoken about this several times over on Facebook and Twitter, but honestly Top Ender has greatly improved in the last year, to the point where I thought it was a tape playing a few months back! Anyway, Top Ender and Big Boy decided to play the pieces they played at their recent Summer Concert.

Big Boy playing the Violin

Whilst Big Boy played, Top Ender looked on and I could see the pride in her face over her brothers performance. BB's performance was met with rapturous applause, mainly because everyone loves BB and also because he performed really well.

Top Ender watching Big Boy playing the Violin

The plan had originally been for Big Boy and Top Ender to play a piece together, but Big Boy was feeling a little insecure and so Top Ender decided it would be better to skip the piece they were going to play together and move straight into her performance.

As we've come to expect from Top Ender under the pressure of a live performance she played beautifully and again the end of her performance was met with enthusiastic applause.

Top Ender playing the Violin

They might not be Britain's Got Talent standards, but they enjoyed sharing their talents. Supporting their fellow Primary members as they performed and I think the thing I was most proud about, was watching Big Boy as each act got up to perform.

Big Boy had moved from where he had originally been sitting and found an empty seat at the front and every time a new act came on to stage, he gave them a brilliant grin and a thumbs up. Then if at any point they looked over to him during their performance he repeated the gesture, and again as the applause died down at the end of their act. BB has such a big heart and I'm so lucky to get to call him my son.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

A Missed Night At Spamalot

For months I've been excited about going to see Spamalot at Milton Keynes Theatre. There have been billboards about it in the Shopping Centre and every time I've walked past one I've squealed a bit and jumped up and down a bit, which is a bit embarrassing for an apparently middle aged woman to do, according to my husband at least. So, when School called just after lunch on the day I was supposed to go to the Theatre to see the show to let me know that Big Boy was poorly and I needed to go collect him I knew that I had no hope of going to the Theatre that night.

Monty Python's Spamalot #Review

There is one thing I know about Spamalot, apart from how fantastic it is, and that is as an adaptation of Monty Python and the Holy Grail not everyone will enjoy it. I know, some people actively dislike Monty Python.

I prefer not to socialise with these people.

There were a couple of people that came to mind however. People that I knew would love Monty Python comedy. A couple of Top Ender's favourite teachers. It pained one of them to turn down my offer of the tickets, but the other? The one I really liked because he banned the swear words "Justin Bieber" and "One Direction" from his classroom? Well, he was really up for attending the theatre in my place... and I don't think the offer of a glass of wine had anything to do with it!

So, he went to the Theatre to watch the show and the next day let me know what he thought of it, his review follows and I have tried really hard not to be jealous.

Described as '(lovingly) ripped off from the classic Monty Python and the Holy Grail', this musical had a lot to live up to for me, a massive fan of the original film. Thankfully, it ticks all the boxes. Spamalot is terrifically funny, wonderfully camp and has just the right amount of utterly ridiculous.

A thoroughly entertaining marriage of nostalgia-laden Python sketches, tongue-in-cheek songs and hilarious dance routines had the audience smiling the whole way through the two hour performance. The multi-talented cast switched seamlessly between characters and costumes, impressing with both their singing voices and hammed-up dance moves. 

The performers, especially Earnshaw as the Lady of the Lake - whose pitch and range was flabbergasting - ended up making Pasquale (King Arthur)'s singing voice sound decidedly average. However, Pasquale made up for this with a wonderfully silly performance and impeccable comedic timing, especially in partnership with Tracani as his faithful manservant Patsy. I didn't realise it at the time of viewing, but Tracani is actually Pasquale's son, which may explain the fantastic chemistry that the pair shared on stage. In fact, for me, Tracani stole the show and was by far my favourite character. His timing and facial expressions were utterly hilarious. Patsy could easily - were it physically possible -  be the illegitimate love-child of Baldrick - from Blackadder - and Lee Evans. 

Pasquale also had the audience and fellow cast members in stitches with his hilarious and bemusing ad-libbed rant about Mel B, a beaver and a caramel egg. Only for his fellow cast members to have their revenge later on in a scene involving the Knights who formerly said 'Ni', who now recite lines from '2 become 1' by the Spice Girls.

All your favourite scenes from 'Holy Grail' were there, including the Knights who say 'Ni', the killer rabbit, the Black Knight, the Frenchmen who 'fart in your general direction' and of course the eternal debate of whether a swallow (European or African) could indeed carry a coconut from its native tropical climbs to the temperate forests of Arthur's Britain.

All of this was held together by a technically brilliant performance by the ensemble, the unsung heroes of the production. I couldn't quite believe that all the music for the show was created by that small group of very talented individuals.

All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable production which would be popular with anyone from the most die-hard Python fan to someone who had never even heard of Idle, Cleese, Palin, Gilliam and Chapman. The thing I loved is that at no point does the musical come close to taking itself seriously which was a great reminder to always look on the bright side of life...

The Cast of Spamalot

So as you can see he had had a blast and I can't be jealous any more, as I think he may have enjoyed the show even more than I would have and who knows, maybe I'll make it one night whilst the show is still at Milton Keynes. And if not then, maybe I'll just watch the film again and remind Top Ender's teacher that I like to drink Dr Pepper and Top Ender would really appreciate not having a ball thrown at her head next PE Lesson...

We were given two tickets and as I didn't want to cancel at the last minute I gave them to a friend and he didn't throw the ball at Top Ender, he just saw it happen and hopefully fell about laughing like I did when she told me about the incident!

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

I'm Finally A Grown Up

For months now, the sofa in our living (as opposed to the one in the den) has had a hole in one side. We're not sure how it happened, and we've tried to fix it, but it didn't work and again that was fine. It was an old sofa and not to put too fine a point on it, we hadn't paid for the sofa, we inherited it from my Sister. And then Peach decided to give birth to her kittens inside the sofa and we had to cut the back in order to check on her (you have to count the placentas that are born to ensure none are left inside as that is bad) and then she discovered that the arms of the sofa are a great place to hide the kittens and we had to cut it again, just to ensure that the kittens were safe.

A rip in the Sofa

So we decided that after being married for 3 months short of 14 years, we should do something that grown ups do and buy our first sofa.

So we got the children up early on Saturday morning and planned to head to our furniture shop of choice. Ikea. Mainly because almost everything else we own in our house was purchased there and because the prices are in the range of our budget. The problem was, Ikea wasn't open for another hour, so we headed off to what we jokingly call The Furniture District, where there are four or five Sofa shops all next to each other. Daddy had found a sofa that he liked online, it was a reasonable price and we aren't the sort of people who just buy a sofa without sitting on it first!

When we got to the first Sofa Store, the sofa Daddy had found online was just inside the shop door (handy!) and so we sat on it. It was horrid. A salesman popped his head up, he was nice enough and encouraged us to look round the store and if we needed him to come find him.

So we looked at all the other Sofa's in the store and tried really, really hard not to pick the ones with drink holders, phone chargers and Bluetooth speakers built in and of course to keep our children from sitting on the spinning round ones and seeing if they could launch themselves into space.

Eventually the Salesman came and found us again. Not to escort us from the store, but to offer a friendly hand. He was nice and wasn't putting any pressure on us, he half listened to what we said we wanted, offered a few suggestions that were more than likely in his interests rather than ours (Seriously, you want me to consider that sofa? I have children, that would be destroyed in two seconds. Err, that Sofa is hideous and whilst I might not look 36 right now I most definitely do not look 76 which is how old I'd need to be to consider that sofa as I'm assuming that is at what age my eyesight will fail) and then Daddy found a sofa that he really liked.

To be fair, the sofa was nice. It was comfy, it had a high back and a high seat (both important for me and were on my list of things I wanted in a sofa) and Daddy liked it because it had an electric leg thingy bit. You know, the bit that you raise to make yourself sit back with your legs up. It was sorta perfect for our family.

It was at this point that the salesman made us an offer we couldn't refuse, that made it even more affordable and perfect for our family. Sitting in the warehouse was the very sofa we were after and actually in the colour we were after too. Another customer had purchased it, but had returned it the same day of his delivery as it didn't fit in his living room along with his wheelchair.

However we didn't accept his offer and we left the store.

There are plenty of sofas in the sea...

We went to Ikea and again we found a sofa that was perfect for us. A plain ordinary sofa. It was comfy to sit on. It was in our budget and cheap enough that if it needed replacing in the next couple of years, we could afford to do that.

We thought about it.

We thought some more.

In the end we decided to go with the first sofa we had seen, the one with the very generous discount.

And then the real fun started.

The guy talking to Daddy and I about payment ignored me completely, this wasn't the first sales guy who'd listened to us both, this was just a money guy. The guy didn't seem to care that I was paying for half of it, that I was the one who'd be accepting delivery. That I was half of this partnership buying this Sofa. All questions were directed to Daddy.

I was rather annoyed to put it simply and politely. 

I muttered a few comments under my breath, but even when Daddy deferred to me over costs that hadn't been discussed or mentioned previously (Delivery Costs, which he eventually dropped to a smaller amount) the guy still directed the questions to Daddy.

I was a little more annoyed at this point. 

Actually I stormed off out the store and the salesman didn't even notice I'd gone.

Still. I do have a new sofa, my first brand new sofa (well apart from the five minutes it spent at someone else's house) that's being delivered Thursday.

I'm finally a grown up.

Saturday, 13 June 2015

The Last Week Of May And The First Two of June

I was pretty sure I had posted more recently than apparently I had... but I think because I was ill and erm there was stuff that happened and erm you know life!

So here is a quick recap!

The Last Week Of May

The week started great when Top Ender and I went out shopping with my Mum (as is normal on a Saturday) and Big Boy decided that what he really wanted to do was bake cakes. So that's what Daddy and he did.

Big Boy made Cupcakes

They were blinking lush.

Sunday morning I woke up, helped BB get his breakfast and then went back to bed as I wasn't able to sit up, let alone stand up. Luckily my lovely husband understood that I really was feeling rubbish and so let me stay in bed attempting to sleep it off and gave me lunch in bed (Salad and Sandwiches) as well as keeping me hydrated with as much water as I could manage.

Lunch in Bed

Tuesday night, Top Ender and I were off to the Theatre, but due to a timing issue Big Boy had to get on the train with Daddy in order to make sure Tops and I were on time. I wrote about it because it was such a big thing and BB was so pleased with himself! 

Big Boy on the Train

Wednesday we spent the day with my Mum, we even had an impromptu picnic at one of my favourite places.

Top Ender and Big Boy on a Picnic

Thursday, Daddy, Top Ender, Big Boy and I went off on an adventure and did a little Geocaching. It was a great day and we had plenty of exercise together, it's amazing that whenever Daddy is around we seem to exercise more without any effort... who knew he was the sporty one?!

My Family On A Walk

Friday, Big Boy finally spent his Birthday Money. He took us to the City Centre and spent a small fortune in Game, buying some Skylanders and Splatoon. He was given a free hat, which he loved so much, he didn't take off for another week!

Big Boy at Game

The First Week Of June

The first week of June had us heading off to LEGOLAND for the day. Again, I've written about it already, but it was a lush day and everyone had such a blast just being together.

Family Fun at LEGOLAND

Unfortunately for me, I wasn't quite better when we went to Legoland and so when I was awoken by this face, it wasn't long before I was back in bed again!

Big Boy loves his Splatoon Hat

Most of the week passed without incident, then Thursday we had another picnic before Top Ender and Big Boy went to their out of School clubs, (Beavers and Guides). I managed to spend the entire time reading, which was a welcome break.

A Reading Picnic

Friday morning it was raining, and this led to me make a cooked breakfast for the children. Who knows why! The Children were really pleased and made me out to be some kinds of super Mum, which was totally welcome on such a grey day!

A Cooked Breakfast

The Second Week Of June

On the Saturday Tops and I took some friends to the Capital FM Summertime Ball, thanks to Vodafone who gave us four tickets. It was a complete blast, even the bits where we had to listen to a certain Boyband who were the opening act...

A Fun Day Out

Sunday, Tops and I travelled to Northampton to listen to talks that were a Multi-Stake Broadcast. We got to listen to Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, who I have to admit to absolutely adoring, and one of our lovely friends plaited Top's hair at the end.

Top Ender with Plaits

Monday, was so far the best day of the week. It started off with Top Ender going on her residential. Whilst she was busy getting on the coach and waving to Big Boy and I, we didn't know of the drama that was unfolding at home...

Top Ender off on her Residential

Peach, the family cat was having her Kittens! Annoyingly it was on the Kitchen mat... Sort of luckily, Peach moved from the Kitchen mat...

Peach having a Kitten

And straight into the Sofa!

Peach having Five Kittens!

The first couple of days were great, apart from Strawberry unexpectedly died on Wednesday afternoon.

RIP Strawberry

Thursday morning, Panda joined his brother and I cried so much. I still can't read the comments people have left on Facebook, so please know that if you have left a comment, I appreciate it but I can't read it just yet.

Thursday night, Big Boy and I had Pasta for dinner, then whilst he was at Beavers, I ate the most wonderful Almond Magnum in the world (it was all melty) whilst watching some rather hunky chaps play Cricket.

Almond Magnum - best treat in the world!

And that brings us to yesterday! Friday morning started off well with Daddy and I hunting for missing kittens (they were in the Sofa), Big Boy and I having a giggle, reading a book together and eating breakfast in the back garden in the sunshine.

Breakfast in the Garden with Big Boy

Friday night had Top Ender coming home from her residential and meeting the kittens for the first time. She was of course devastated that two had died, but she was just as happy knowing that three were alive and healthy and growing bigger each day and between telling Peach what a great Mummy she was and telling us what happened on her residential we had a pretty great evening!

So that is my really long update... I promise to keep more up to date from now on!!!