Sunday, 31 August 2014

My Sunday Photo / The Black and White Photo Project #8

We found this rather jaggy looking plant in a bush near our school. Miss C looked at all the tiny acorns and asked if we could pick them. I told her no because, clearly, they are not ready!

Linking this photo up to the PODcast Black and White Photo Project.


The Week That Was #33

Last Sunday, I decided to have a bit of a lazy day. I cleaned the house, got showered and put a fresh pair of jammies on. The kids went swimming with Husband before they went to their swimming lessons.

On Monday, I dropped the kids off at school and went to college for my induction morning. My letter said it would take about an hour to an hour and a half so I knew I'd be finished in time for collecting Miss C. I ended up having to leave before it had finished so I could collect Miss C at 12pm! The induction ended up finishing at 1.10pm so it lasted 3 hours! After picking Z up from school, we had dinner and then I had to do my Ice Bucket Challenge. It was really cold!

On Tuesday, I dropped the kids off at school and came home to an empty house. Usually I crave some peace and quiet but I was so bored. I watched Hollyoaks, caught up on some blogging and had a coffee. Thankfully, I had Miss C to pick up at 12pm and we spent the afternoon playing and practising her letters and numbers. After dinner, Husband took Z and Miss C for a bike/scooter ride around the block.

On Wednesday, I had a visit to the school to find out about what Miss C would be learning in Primary 1 and I got to sample a school lunch. Miss C was excited to have me there as were the other children with their parents. It was a lot of fun. On the way back to her classroom, we peeked in to see Z in his classroom. His best friend spotted us and started waving which obviously caught his teacher's attention and Z's. She opened the door and said hello as Z came running out to say hi to us. His teacher was really lovely and spoke to Miss C. She also reassured me, quietly, that Z was doing brilliantly in his class and fit right in with the older children, which was nice to hear.

On Thursday, I took a walk myself to the shops, got some bits and then collected Miss C from school. We came home and had lunch and then watched Ice Age 3. It's become a bit of a routine to come home and have some quiet time after her morning at school. It was lovely and sunny when we picked Z up from school. We had a dentist appointment and we all got good reports from our dentist. Z already has some of his adult molars in!

On Friday, Miss C was exhausted after a week of school. It was a horrible day so we stayed in and chilled out. We picked Z up, had dinner and then Z went to his Friday club. We were all ready for an early night!

On Saturday, Z went to karate and Miss C had fun playing in the corridors whilst we waited. After karate, we came home for lunch and Miss C got ready to go to a Frozen themed party. She went as Olaf. Husband and Z went to the cinema to watch Guardians of the Galaxy. We enjoyed a Chinese takeaway for dinner as a treat.

Me & Mine #8

August saw the first day of school arrive for Miss C. She was really excited. Husband was a bit teary, I was OK and Z was indifferent. He was more excited to be in the same class as his best friend again.

This month also saw me take a big step in my work life and leave my job. I'd been there for 10 years and it wasn't an easy decision but it was the right thing to do. In September, I start college to train to be a nursery teacher. I can't wait!

Husband has been trying hard to stop smoking. It's a struggle for him as he has smoked for a long time but he's trying and that's a good start. He can't wait to get back in to the gym now Miss C has started school and he'll have more time to sleep and train.

Z really enjoyed the last few weeks of the Summer holidays, having play dates with his friends. He's really in to the Beano annuals at the moment. He's also enjoyed being back at Karate and can't wait for Karate Camp in October.

Miss C has enjoyed play dates with her best friend a lot this month. They've been out for tea and played at each others house. It's lovely to see her having a friendship she made on her own instead of one through her brother.

dear beautiful

Saturday, 30 August 2014

365 Project 2014 Days 236 - 242

Day 236 - Cats with their toys
Day 237 - Simple dinners are the best
Day 238 - Walking home from school
Day 239 - Hanging around
Day 240 - Enjoying some lunch 
Day 241 - A week of school has worn her out
Day 242 - Time for a Frozen party

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Friday, 29 August 2014

Flashback Friday - Starting School

With Miss C starting school last week, it got me thinking about when I started school. The first four or five years of my life were spent living in Spain. My first memory of being at school is from my school in Spain.

I was different from all the other children, of course. I looked different and I spoke a different language from them. I had learned some Spanish but not enough to be able to converse with these children or my teachers. Yet, they tried to talk to me and we played together with lots of pointing at stuff.

My first memory of my school in Spain was being in the classroom the day after I had fallen from my top bunk on to the bedroom floor. A tiled bedroom floor. I remember the teacher asking me "Qué pasó?!" and thinking to myself, I know what she is asking me but I've no idea how to tell her I fell out my bed in Spanish. I told her in English anyways and I can remember thinking, I hope she doesn't think my parents did it to odd thought at the age of 4, but I did!

My next memory of school was being in the toilets with the other kids. The toilets were all open, no cubicles, and they were unisex too. I think this was the first time I'd ever seen boy bits...they didn't bother me; I spent most of my time at home running around in the buff cause I refused to get dressed.

My last memory of my school in Spain was when I fell asleep at my desk. I remember waking up as all the kids came in from playtime. I had had an accident in my sleep but I don't remember what happened after that.

I don't have any pictures of my time at school in Spain, at least to hand that I can look out, but it's fun to think back to that time. I'm amazed I can still remember these things so clearly. I wonder if Miss C will have the same memories (well not exactly the same!) of starting school?

mummy mishaps

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Styling Husband with House of Fraser

We're reviewing this shirt which is available from House of Fraser. Husband chose the Howick Branford Oxford Stripe Long Sleeve Shirt in the cornflour colour which is a light blue with white stripe colour. I love this colour on Husband.

The shirt arrived quite quickly and was packaged well. I had to sign for the delivery which is always reassuring when you order something online.

This is a regular fit shirt and Husband wears a Medium size. It is available to buy from a small right through to XXL. The shirt is 100% cotton so it feels lovely and soft. It is machine washable at 40°C, however it can not be tumble-dried. It has a classic shaped collar and pocket detail on the front, left hand side.

It's a versatile shirt; it looks great with a pair of jeans with the sleeves rolled up, unbuttoned to the chest and a white vest or t-shirt underneath. It can also be worn with a smart trouser suit or with a pair of smart trousers and a blazer. I don't think a tie would work with this style of shirt.

The shirt fits Husband really well. It isn't too tight, which is good given it's a regular fit shirt, but it isn't baggy at the sides or arms either which would have given it a more casual look and taken away from the versatility of the shirt.

I thought the addition of a QR code on the tag which you can scan and view the rest of the Howick range is a great idea. This is really handy if you are shopping online with House of Fraser or even in store if you wanted to check if there was something available online that wasn't in stock in-store.

Overall, Husband really liked the Howick shirt and would definitely consider buying from the range. We don't travel in to the city centre often so I'd definitely use the House of Fraser website to order from since we had such a positive experience with this delivery.

This review is brought to you in partnership with House of Fraser. All opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Miss C's First Week of School

Miss C was so excited about starting school last week. She was up early, eager to get her uniform on and to have breakfast so we could leave to get to school on time.

We took lots of photos with family and friends, old and new. We went to visit her old nursery before she started and then we headed in to the school office so Miss C and the rest of her class could meet their teacher and head to their classroom.

We weren't upset. Miss C was so happy to be going to school, there was no reason for us to be upset. She took her teacher's hand and off she went, waving goodbye to us.

I picked her up at lunch time and she seemed happy enough. She was tired though which meant she would be getting grumpy. We headed home to have lunch and watch a film.

Miss C had brought home a picture of Kipper from the books they will be learning to read. She also told me they had been practising the letter S and showed me how to make the S sound.

The next day, Miss C wasn't too keen on going to school. The novelty had already worn off. Nevertheless, we went to school and she had a good time.

The rest of the week, Miss C grew more confident going in to school and was always happy to see me at pick up time. She told me about who she played with, what they did in class and what her teacher was like. All were positive.

Miss C has spent the first week of school learning the letters S, A, T and I. She is familiar with letters and numbers already but she can't read herself. It will be so interesting to watch her learn to read. Z could already read and write when he went to school so we never got to see him gradually getting better with his reading and writing.

Miss C has another week of finishing at lunch time and then it's on to full days at school. I can't wait to see what the next week holds for Miss C.

What's Happened? What's Happening?

So That Was Summer

Summer is almost over.

In fact for us, it is already over. We're back at school already. Back to the routine of school runs and packed lunches.

The Summer seems like a distant memory now.

But what fun we had.

I couldn't possibly choose just one photo to represent our Summer so here is a collection. The story of our Summer.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays CornwallSticky Fingers Photo Gallery

innocent Alphabet Champion - Letter A

innocent have invited us to take part in their Alphabet Champion challenge. We were assigned the letter A.

We had to come up with something that related to going back to school or fruit and take a picture of it.

I could have gone with the obvious choice of Apple, but we decided to go with Appetite!

Working hard at school is hungry work for little ones and they definitely work up an appetite. It's really important for them to have a good lunch and snack to enjoy. Something that will give them lots of energy and brain power.

Z loves his packed lunch. I make him a cheese sandwich on 50/50 bread as he isn't keen on brown bread. Occasionally, he'll have a roll or a wrap. He also has a snack item such as cocktail sausages or chicken tikka bites, a yoghurt and a piece of fruit...there's that Apple! He also has a piece of fruit for his morning snack and a full bottle of water which he refills at school.

You can join in with the Alphabet Champion Challenge. All you need to do is look out for the letter prompt (on Wednesday it's the letter A) and take a photo of something relating to that letter and back to school. Post your photo on twitter or instagram using #alphabetchampions and #innocent and you could be in with the chance of winning a full set of the innocent alphabet magnets. A bit of fun to get you all ready for going back to school; unless you are already back like us! 

You can also collect promotional innocent packs and once you have 6 or more barcodes, you can send them in to innocent Towers and they will send you out three names in innocent alphabet magnets. Lastly, there is a fun competition where you can design your own innocent alphabet. For more information, visit the innocent website

You'll find Innocent on twitter, instagram and Facebook.  

Thank you to Innocent who have provided us with some vouchers and the alphabet magnets for taking part. 

Monday, 25 August 2014

My Goldfish Becomes an Angelfish

Last week, Z was awarded his final Goldfish badge at swimming lessons. I couldn't be more proud of Z and he was really pleased with himself.

He now moves on to a new class to achieve his Angelfish badges. What this also means is, he'll be swimming the full length of the big pool. He'll probably average around 15 lengths of the pool, maybe more, in a lesson. I get tired after doing 8!

I'm sure Z will manage just fine. He's such an excellent swimmer and his fitness levels are improving every week between swimming and all the Karate he does.

It's great to see him enjoying exercise and seeing the rewards for all his efforts.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

The Week That Was #32

Last Sunday, we were up early for horse riding. Miss C did really well but she still needs some help with guiding her horse and to build up more confidence to trot without holding on to her saddle. One of the girls fell off her horse when she did a straight beam jump but Miss C wasn't phased by it, thankfully. After lunch, we went to a birthday party. Miss C had a sore tummy and didn't want to join in with the dancing or games but she did join in at party food time! We headed to swimming lessons from the party and both kids did really well.

On Monday, it was the first day back to school and Miss C's first day of school. She was very excited and was up really early to get ready. I picked her up at lunchtime and she told me she'd had a lot of fun but wasn't up for going back tomorrow! Z had a great first day back and enjoyed being in a class with his best friend again.

On Tuesday, I dropped the kids off at school, went to the shops with my Stepdad and then came home to enjoy a cup of coffee and toast before I had to pick Miss C up. She came out of school in a better mood than the one she had gone in. We came home to have lunch and then snuggled on the couch to watch my favourite Disney film; The Little Mermaid.

On Wednesday, I dropped Z and Miss C off at school and came home with every intention to clean my car. Sadly, the extension cable wasn't in the hut so I couldn't hoover the car. Instead I drank coffee and watched Hollyoaks. I picked Miss C up from school and she was in a good mood. We came home and had lunch then had a little rest on the couch, watching Lady and the Tramp.

On Thursday, it was a really miserable morning. I got soaked on the school run! After picking Miss C up, we had lunch and watched Pingu together. My Sister and I used to love watching Pingu when we were little. The sun was out when it was time to pick up Z so we walked to school. When we got home, the kids played on the trampoline until tea time and then played some card games before bed.

On Friday, I dropped the kids off at school and headed to Asda to get my food shopping. It makes the process a whole lot easier when you don't have kids with you! I picked Miss C up from school and we had lunch before snuggling on the couch to watch a film. We picked Z up when he finished and had a yummy pizza for dinner. Z had his karate class after dinner and Miss C stayed at home with Daddy and watched Ratatouille.

On Saturday, we were up early for karate. Miss C had fun playing with a little boy whilst Z was training. Z is getting really good at karate and loves going. After lunch, he headed back to karate for an afternoon of "fun" competition training. Husband, Miss C and I went to the shops to stock up on some goodies for our movie night.

My Sunday Photo / The Black and White Photo Project #7

I love a baby bump photo in black and white. I also love that I was wearing zebra print jammies. I pretty much lived in those jammies towards the end of my pregnancy with Miss C.

I'm linking this photo up to PODcast's Black and White Photo Project.


Saturday, 23 August 2014

365 Project Days 229 - 235

Day 229 - All dressed up for a party
Day 230 - First day of school for Miss C
Day 231 - Scooby Doo joined us for some drawing
Day 232 - Walking to school whilst eating some cheese
Day 233 - Practising her writing
Day 234 - Running through the "forest"
Day 235 - Pretending to be a bunny

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Back to School #CountryKids

We're back at school
The Summer is over
Our outdoor fun
Is a little bit slower

 We walk to school every day
To get some fresh air
Plenty of exercise
The wind blowing through our hair

Lots of things to look for
Lots of things to talk about
Where to spot the squirrels
Counting leaves on the ground

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Friday, 22 August 2014

Algy's Amazing Adventures in the Jungle - Book Review

Algy's Amazing Adventures in the Jungle is an Early Reader book we were sent to review from Orion Books. This story is written by Kate Umansky and illustrated by Richard Watson. This is a red Early Reader book so it aimed at children who are moving on from picture books and assisted reading, to reading the books themselves.

Algy is a boy who doesn't like a lot of things, including his own name. He also hates girls, spiders, the dark and having adventures. He also hates his new house he has moved to with his mum and dad.

When Algy is outside in his new garden, he comes across a garden shed which is locked. He manages to break the door down and, through the back of the shed, he finds a jungle. His new neighbour, a girl called Cherry, comes along with him and they set off on an adventure, encountering dangers and monkeys among other things. Algy hates adventures but he doesn't want Cherry to giggle and whisper about him so they explore the jungle together and try to find their way home.

Z read this book himself confidently. Miss C and I read the book together and I pointed to easy three letter words for her to try and recognise. The story is split across six chapters, which aren't too long making them very manageable for a child reading themselves.

Algy's Amazing Adventures in the Jungle is available to buy from Amazon.

Flashback Friday - Miss C Walks

It was around about this time 4 years ago that Miss C started walking. She was 15 months old when she took her first steps herself. We weren't in any hurry for her to start walking. Once your baby starts walking, a whole new world of fun begins.

I love watching babies just starting to walk. It's so funny how they hold their hands up above their heads to keep their balance. You can tell how confident they are getting by how high their hands go too.

Miss C was fairly quick to get going once she started walking. She loved having more freedom to explore herself. Of course, this meant more stress for us as we had to follow her everywhere to make sure she didn't hurt herself.

mummy mishaps

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Me & You #8

In September, I start my place at college where I'm training to become a nursery teacher. It's something I've wanted to do for a long time and, now that Miss C has started school, I have the time to commit to the course. 

In three years time, I will (hopefully) have a degree. And it's all thanks to this wonderful man I'm lucky enough to call my Husband. He encouraged me to pursue my dream and is fully prepared to support us as a family until I am qualified and working a job I know I'll love. 

It's amazing to have a Husband who completely supports me, encourages me and believes in me. 

dear beautiful

My World Photo Day #TheGallery

Yesterday was World Photo Day and so, to celebrate the love of photography, Tara set the task of taking a photo on World Photo Day for The Gallery theme this week.

I took this photo on my phone. We were walking home from school, passing through the forest and I noticed that the leaves were starting to turn, ever so slightly, from green to orange/brown.

On World Photo Day, there were signs that Summer is coming to an end and one of my favourite seasons is on its way; Autumn.

Sticky Fingers Photo Gallery

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

The First Day of School

It's hard to believe that we now have two children in school!

Yesterday, after a brilliant Summer holiday, the kids went back to school. Well, Z went back to school. It was Miss C's first day at school.

She was excited and happy that the time had finally arrived for her to go to school. Miss C's class was the first P1 class to start at 9.15am. We took her in to school and met her teacher, who took her to her classroom.

There were no tears. Miss C was happy and so we were happy.

She looks so grown up in her uniform, which is still a bit too big for her. But, one of the biggest lessons having children has taught me is, it won't be long until it is too small for her!

Monday, 18 August 2014

Moving Our Child Up A Year - Part Four

You can read Part One, Part Two and Part Three if you wish to catch up.

After Husband spoke with the Chief of Education, he felt a lot better and that made me feel better about our decision to ask to move Z up a year. The CoE had told Husband that they would get back to him but it wouldn't be before the end of the week and if not, it may be the following week. School was finishing in three days and, whilst their offices would still be open over the holidays and there was still time for a decision to be made, we really wanted to finalise everything before the end of term.

You can imagine my surprise, on the day after Husband's phone conversation, when I had an email from the CoE telling me that they had spoken with the Senior Education Officer, the person we initially met with who said no to moving Z, and the SEO had come up with what they felt might be a good compromise for us. I wasn't sure what to make of this and I was feeling a bit underwhelmed and anxious that they had decided to put Z in the composite class even after the school had told us there was no way Z could go in to the composite class this year because he was far too ahead of the children going in to that class.

I called the SEO but they weren't in their office. They called me back about an hour later. It was an interesting conversation and one that definitely surprised me. The SEO suggested that we move Z in to a Primary 4 class and arrange for him to be monitored by the Educational Psychologist for the first term of school. The other option was to put him in Primary 3 and have him assessed however, they felt this would be a pointless move if they were then going to move Z up to P4 after being assessed.

I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I was delighted, of course, but I kept thinking, "what's the catch?" There was no catch. Z was going to be moved to Primary 4 as we wanted.

I had a phone call from the school the next day and they confirmed that Z would be moved in to the P4 class with all of his friends. Z was delighted as were his friends.

Our child is skipping a year at school.

This wasn't an easy decision for us to make. It is still a huge decision that weighs heavily on our shoulders. We do feel it is the right decision for Z however, it is also a decision that can't give definitive outcomes. We don't know what will happen with Z in five years or ten years time.

He will start high school a year early. He will be the youngest in his year instead of being one of the oldest children in his year. He won't be able to leave school when the rest of his friends can. He won't be able to learn to drive at the same time as his friends. He will sit his exams a year early.

However, he may thrive and continue to excel and maybe mainstream education won't be suitable for Z. Maybe he'll need to go to a specialist school. Maybe he'll be sitting his exams and getting a degree before he's 18. A crystal ball would be fabulous right now.

What I do know is, we fought for what we believe is the right decision for Z and we made it happen.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

The Week That Was #31

Last Sunday, I woke up feeling a bit...delicate. I got up just before lunch but only because I realised I had lost my engagement ring. Cue lots of frantic searching, texting and Facebooking to try and find it. The kids had a TV day because it was pouring with rain. By swimming lesson time, I had given up on ever finding my engagement ring when my friend text me to say it had been found on the mini bus we'd been on coming home from the Races. What a relief!

On Monday, it was back to work for me and back to club for the kids. It was pouring with rain all day. We came home after I picked the kids up and watched TV and played Leappad until tea time.

On Tuesday, the weather wasn't much better. The kids had a great time playing badminton at their club. When we got home, we had another chilled out day as I wasn't feeling too good.

On Wednesday, I woke up still feeling rotten but I powered on and got ready for work. The kids had a fun day at their club, doing crafts and playing on the bouncy castle. When they came home, they wanted to play with their wooden train set.

On Thursday, it was a rather big day for me at work. It was my last day! I got some lovely flowers, chocolates and a few bottles of wine from my colleagues which was really nice of them. The kids were at their club until 4pm so I had the chance to come home and have some peace before I had to pick them up. The heavens opened just as we got home so we spent the rest of the day playing Xbox.

On Friday, after going for our food shopping, we caught the train to the city centre to meet up with GG. We went for lunch at a Chinese restaurant and then had a wonder around the shops, including the Disney shop. I was hoping to get an Elsa dress-up costume but I think I had more chance of winning the lottery! They did have some Anna costumes but none in Miss C's size. We also stopped at the LEGO shop to have a play. By the time we got home, we were all ready for bed.

On Saturday, Husband took Z to karate whilst I got Miss C ready for a play date at her best friend's house. She got picked up just after lunch and Z's best friend came over to play with him. They watched a movie and read lots of Beano annuals. We picked Miss C up after we dropped Z's friend home and she had had a great time. The girls had already planned their next play date: a sleepover!

My Sunday Photo / The Black and White Photo Project #6

I love being at the beach and whilst a colour photo of the beach is my favourite, there's something about the ocean in black and white.

It's really serene.



I'm linking this up to the PODcast Black and White Photo Project.


Saturday, 16 August 2014

365 Project 2014 Days 215 - 228

Day 215 - A fun game of Orchard Toys "Pop to the Shops"
Day 216 - Chicken curry for tea 
Day 217 - Miss C doing some drawing
Day 218 - A trip to the park
Day 219 - Frozen tattoos
Day 220 - A spot of magic
Day 221 - An afternoon of champagne

Day 222 - Lounging around
Day 223 - Miss C wrote out her numbers by herself
Day 224 - Playing with trains
Day 225 - Hiding in the den
Day 226 - My last day at work
Day 227 - On the train
Day 228 - My Bible for the next 9 months

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

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