Friday, 31 October 2014

The First Halloween #FlashbackFriday

It wasn't their first Halloween ever but it was the first Halloween where Miss C could dress up as she wasn't a baby anymore. She was a fully fledged toddler.

Miss C wore a pink fairy costume. The only scary thing about her costume was how cute she looked in it.

Z decided he wanted to be a Policeman. Again, nothing really scary about this apart from him arresting Miss C with a fairy wand. Charges for offences in cuteness!

Husband decided he was going to dress up though. That was pretty darn scary!

What are you dressing up as this Halloween?

mummy mishaps

Me & Mine #10

I have over 10000 photos (on my PC, not printed!) of the kids but I only have a few photos of all of us together. That's what I love about this photo project. It was this time last year that I first joined in with Me & Mine. From joining in, I now have lots of family photographs that I can look back on and cherish forever. We've been so busy with every day life this month that these photos are quick selfies before bed.

This month, I celebrated my birthday. It was a lovely day spent shopping with Husband and then having dinner with the kids after school. We went out with friends for birthday drinks which ended in disaster when my Sister was sick...everywhere! I'm loving college even though I've reports coming out of my ears.

Husband has been working hard as always. He's been getting to the gym when he can but I know he's also enjoying being able to play more of his PS4.

Z enjoyed attending Karate Camp over the October holidays. He loves going to Karate and he has improved so much since he started when he was 4. He has a competition in November that he is looking forward to.

Miss C is loving horse riding however, she had a moment where she wanted to go back to Karate after seeing how much fun they had at Karate Camp. She changed her mind fairly quickly when I told her she'd have to stop horse riding. Miss C had her first sleepover with her best friend. She came to stay and they had a great time going to Build a Bear and having Frankie & Bennys for tea. It was so much fun having 2 girls for the day.

I can't believe we only have two more photos to take for this year!

dear beautiful

Thursday, 30 October 2014

LEGO City Coast Guard - Christmas Gift Idea

With less than 60 days until Christmas Day, I'm on the hunt for Christmas present bargains for the family and our friends. I received this LEGO City Coast Guard set which is available through for just £7.98 instead of £14.99, a saving of £7.01. A great deal!

Z is a huge LEGO fan and in particular he loves the LEGO City sets. This set would make an excellent stocking filler gift and it's one that Z will love putting together and then letting his LEGO minifigures take over. I can just see his Darth Vader sitting in the boat in the bath (as the boat floats!)

The Coast Guard set is aimed at ages 5-12 but because it doesn't take long to put together and for the simplicity, I think it is better suited to the younger end of the recommended age range.

Are your children after any LEGO sets from Santa this year?

We received this LEGO set for the purposes of this post. The opinions expressed are my own. 

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Light #TheGallery

I love the light in this photo. It kind of looks like a beaming light from above or a glowing halo of light on Miss C's head.

An Angel she is not but the light in this photo does remind me of the glorious Summer we had. I always look forward to Autumn starting but now it is here and the clocks have gone back, I'm counting down the days until Summer returns.

Sticky Fingers Photo Gallery

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Funny Things My Kids Say #34

We were out in town recently when Miss C found a coin on the ground. She picked it up, quick as a flash, before her brother found it.

"Wow, look, I found five pounds!" 

"No C, that's five pence you have found," I said to her. She looked a bit disappointed and then said, "Can I buy a pony with this?" 

I explained that she needed quite a few more pennies to buy a horse and suggested she put the 5p in her bank for her Florida pennies.

"No, I'm going to start a pony fund so I can buy my own pony!"

Monday, 27 October 2014

The Importance of Loyalty and Fairness #HelloRBS

One of the things I found from working in finance for over 10 years is that people really appreciate loyalty and being made to feel like they matter. They also liked to be treated fairly. These were things that I tried to promote to every customer I dealt with; no matter what their query was, I felt I always made them feel valued and important. Now that I've moved on from finance in to education, I hope that the children and families I work with will feel the same.

RBS have just launched their Hello/Goodbye campaign and I thought their video for the campaign shows just how important treating your customers fairly is.

These are qualities that I feel every business should have. If a business looks after me and my family, makes me feel important and offers me great service and deals, then I'll keep my business with them. I'll tell my friends and family which, in turn, helps that business to grow. Loyalty and fairness are very important when it comes to business.

Loyalty and fairness are also very important qualities that I want to instill in my children. I encourage them to remain loyal to their friends and support them, when they are doing well or if they fall out or have an argument. I tell them how important it is to be kind and to say sorry to friends if this happens. Of course, at the same time, I want to teach them that that loyalty should be returned and that friends and family should respect one another.

Being kind and helping each other

I encourage my children to have good manners and treat everyone with respect. They are encouraged to say thank you, to hold open doors for people and to wait their turn. My encouragement recently paid off when Z approached his Karate instructor at Karate camp, unprompted by me and said thank you to him for organising such a great camp. I was super proud of him.

How do you encourage loyalty and fairness with your children?

I’m working with BritMums and RBS on this project and have been compensated. All opinions are my own.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

The Week That Was #41

Last Sunday, we got up and had breakfast and enjoyed a lazy morning with nothing to do. My FIL popped in for a coffee then my friend came over with her daughter and we had a good catch up. I took the kids to their swimming lessons whilst Husband went to the gym. We came home, starving, and enjoyed homemade chili con carne and chips.

On Monday, it was back to college for me. The kids were still off so Husband took the day off work and took them swimming. I had a busy day at college, preparing for my first presentation on Children's Rights.

On Tuesday, I dropped the kids off at school and headed for my half day at college. It was a horrid day but thankfully the rain held off as I walked to and from college. I walked to school as it was dry but by the time I got there, hailstones were falling from the sky. They went off by the time the kids came out and we managed to walk home in the sunshine but I was soaking!

On Wednesday, it was an early rise for placement. I dropped the kids off at school and had a very busy day myself. My friend picked the kids up and they were playing Xbox when I got home. We spent what was left of the day playing and catching up on school.

On Thursday, we were up early again for my second day of placement. When I got home, the kids were in their jammies playing. We had dinner, a shower and a story before bed. I was knackered!

On Friday, it was my day off which was very welcome. I dropped the kids off at school and headed to the shops to get my food shopping. I got the car washed, put the shopping away and then collapsed on the couch for the day. After school, Miss C and Z played and then Z headed off to his Friday club with his best friend. Miss C and I watched Tangled.

On Saturday, we got up for karate. After lunch, we went to view a house we were interested in however, it needed far too much work done to it. Husband and I enjoyed an afternoon of relaxation and pampering with a massage and a facial for me. The lady comes to the house which is so much easier than going out somewhere. We had a yummy roast pork dinner and then settled down to watch Xfactor.

My Sunday Photo / The Black and White Photo Project #15

Linking this up to PODcast Black and White Photo Project.


Saturday, 25 October 2014

365 Project 2014 Days 292 - 298

Day 292 - Miss C was Scooby Doo for the morning
Day 293 - Beautiful roses from Husband
Day 294 - Hard at work on their homework
Day 295 - A very sleepy Z
Day 296 - Playing with the Disney Princess Secret Book
Day 297 - Miss C with her baby comforter she used to use
Day 298 - Counting down until Florida

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Flying High #CountryKids

Flying high in the sky
Flying high just you and I

Up and down we go
Bouncing to and fro

Higher than we've ever been
On a huge trampoline

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Friday, 24 October 2014

First Bunches #FlashbackFriday

When we found out we were having a girl, I was super excited to start buying lots of lovely dresses and outfits. I loved helping my youngest sister pick out clothes when she was little. I also loved doing her hair for her and I couldn't wait to be able to do my daughter's hair.

Miss C didn't have lots of hair when she was born. Her hair took ages to grow and it wasn't until she was almost 17 months old that I was finally able to put bunches in her hair.

They weren't very long but they were so cute!

mummy mishaps

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Moving Our Child up a Year - The First Parent's Evening

We had Z's first parent's evening of the year a few weeks ago. I wasn't worried about the meeting as I had already met his teacher on two previous occasions and was told he was settling in well and coping with skipping a year just fine.

At parent's evening, his teacher told me again that Z had settled in well to the class; like he was always meant to be there. She told me that when she found out about Z, she didn't know how it would work and was a bit apprehensive but Z continues to amaze her and she said he is one of the most mature children in her class. A class where Z is the youngest by minimum 4 months and maximum 1 year and 4 months.

One of the concerns the school had when we had discussions about Z moving up a year was that he would become an average or below average Primary 4 instead of an amazing, top of the year group Primary 3. I'm sure they still worry that he will level out at some point which, of course, is a worry of ours. Moving him up a year required a leap of faith and still leaves many questions unanswered.

I can't deny then that I was beaming and almost tearing up when his teacher told me that he is performing top of the Primary 4 year group. It may only be October but it was the confidence boost I needed to hear to know that we had made the right decision for Z.

His teacher told me he loves Math and loves to write stories, which is Z all over! She told me that, during free play, Z would still quite happily work through a textbook but will also play and socialise with all of his class. Z is a popular boy and has lots of friends.

The next steps for Z are to ensure he is challenged more. His teacher spoke with him and they both agreed that this was something Z needed and wanted. It was a huge comfort to me to know that his teacher had actually taken the time to get to know Z and could tell me all of his interests.

I'm delighted with how well Z is doing and so glad that he has a teacher who is willing to work with Z and not just let him get on with his work because he can.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Talent #TheGallery

Since the Lego Movie came out, Z and his friend who love Lego refer to one another as "Master Builders".

Z loves Lego. He's had quite a few sets and builds them with ease before breaking it all up and using the bricks for his own creations.

Z doesn't really build what I would think of as being normal things you'd build with Lego. He doesn't build houses or towers or cars or weapons. That's what is great about Lego though; you can be as creative and imaginative as you like.

He builds things like this...

It took him about an hour to build and he was very pleased with it.

What a talent! A Lego talent.

Sticky Fingers Photo Gallery

Autumn Fashion from Vertbaudet - Review

As much as I love Summer and I never want it to end, one of the exciting things about a change of season is buying new clothes for the kids. I love shopping for clothes for them and I'm always nosing at the latest trends and getting inspiration for their wardrobes.

Vertbaudet very kindly allowed me to choose some items from their new Autumn range to review. We love Vertbaudet clothing as, not only are the products all really well made, they are versatile and practical.

Miss C received:

Butterfly Jumper, age 6 and available in navy stripe and khaki stripe.
Standard Fit Skinny Jeans, age 6 and available in untreated or grey denim.
Lined Twill Dress, age 6.
Girl's Reversible Scarf, one size.

Z received:

Boy's Hoody & Joggers in stripe navy, age 8 and available in grey and grey marl.
Long Sleeved T-Shirts pack of 3, age 8 and available in assorted colours.
Teal and Navy Check Scarf, one size and also available in an orange check.

Vertbaudet kids' jeans are some of my favourite jeans on the market. They fit so well and the quality is fantastic. The jeans Miss C received are a "standard" hip size however, you can also get them in "slim" and "full" so children have the best fitting jeans possible. Miss C is short for her age (5 years) and generally still wears an age 4 in most of her clothing however, these age 6 jeans fit her perfectly.

The butterfly jumper is lovely and soft. At first look, I thought the material would itch Miss C's skin but it really is very soft and silky. The glittery butterfly is a nice touch and means it can be worn as party-wear with a pretty skirt too.

The cute dress can be worn on its own or with a roll neck top and tights or leggings, making it a very versatile item. It zips up at the back so it isn't the easiest of dress for Miss C to get off or on herself however, what girl doesn't need a hand with a zip up dress? The zip is easily done up too. It looks really sweet on and Miss C teamed it with white leggings and her green Converse. A mini fashionista for sure!

I love the scarf Miss C received because it's reversible. One side is navy with white butterflies and the other is a check of different blues and mustard; gorgeous Autumn colours.

Z loves wearing his "comfies" so he was delighted to wear the jogging suit. This is an age 8 and fits him perfect. It's lovely and soft, just as comfies should be. The cuffed bottoms means he can easily wear this jogging suit with a pair of wellies, keeping the trousers securely tucked in to his wellies.

The long sleeve tops are great for wearing with jeans to keep warm on the colder Autumn days. These come as a pack of 3 which represents great value for money. Vertbaudet have lots of packs like these with tops, trousers and jumpers being just some of the items you can buy in multi-packs.

I love the scarf Z received too. It isn't reversible like Miss C's but it does have a great check pattern. I think I might pinch it for myself as, size wise, it is very generous and would definitely fit me or Husband.

All of the items washed really well at a low temperature and everything survived the tumble dryer although, the butterfly jumper cannot be tumble dried. It dried quite quickly on the air-dryer though because of the material.

You can order online with Vertbaudet or through their catalogue. They always have some sort of special offer on if you order with them and some great sales throughout the year. If you do order from them, in my experience, I've always found their clothing to be small made for the age so you may want to keep that in mind when ordering.

We received these items of clothing for the purposes of a review. The opinions expressed are my own. 

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Kindest of Stranger - My Vlog #ThankyouStranger

The Anthony Nolan Charity is a blood cancer charity and they started a campaign to raise awareness of the charity on October 10th by asking people to share times when a stranger had been kind to them or when they had been kind to a stranger. They called it Kindest of Stranger.

I made a vlog to share my act of kindness and an act of kindness a stranger did for me.

Have you done anything kind for a stranger recently? Or has a stranger done anything kind for you? Share your Kindest of Stranger act on twitter with the #ThankyouStranger

You can find out more about the Anthony Nolan Charity by following them on twitter or visiting their website.

This post is to raise awareness for the Anthony Nolan Charity Campaign, Kindest of Stranger. 

Miss C's First Parent's Evening

A few weeks ago, it was that time in the school year where us parents head to the school to have our meeting with the teacher. A time to find out how the kids are settling in and how they are finding school life.

Having been to a few meetings in school, I wasn't too worried about going to meet Miss C's teacher for the first time. I was looking forward to hearing how Miss C was getting on as Miss C doesn't really tell us much about school.

I had a look through her workbooks and saw lots of lovely drawings and written work. Miss C really isn't interested in reading or writing at home so it was good to see her written work. She's really coming on!

Her teacher called me up and we had a quick chat about how Miss C was finding learning her phonics and recognising the letters. Her teacher called her "a real live wire!" and said that Miss C keeps her right and Miss C would have no problem running the class if her teacher was ever off work.

Thankfully, Husband wasn't there to hear the next thing her teacher told me as he'd have fallen off his chair..."C really likes the boys!"

Oh dear. She's going to be one to watch.

Overall, our first experience with Miss C's teacher was good. She's doing well in class and she likes playing with the boys. I'm more than happy with that.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Kindest of Stranger - Anthony Nolan Charity Campaign

What's the kindest thing a stranger has ever done for you?

We all lead such busy lives, it may be hard to think of a time where someone helped you or you helped someone you didn't know, just through kindness. I bet most days, like me, you don't have enough hours in the day to get everything you need done, never mind helping a random person.

Just take a look at this video...

The Anthony Nolan Charity is a blood cancer charity and a charity that encourages people to sign up to the bone marrow register. On October 10th, they launched their "Kindest of Stranger" campaign in a bid to raise awareness for the charity and contribute to the fight against blood cancer.

This got me to thinking about an act of kindness a stranger did for me. When I was around 36 weeks pregnant with Z, I was in the supermarket, doing my shopping and I started to feel very faint. The checkout operator noticed and commented that I looked a bit pale and asked if I felt OK. They got me some water, packed up all my shopping and arranged for someone to take my shopping to my car and pack it all in for me. They didn't need to do that but their act of kindness meant that whenever I see them now, I always say hello and ask how they are.

What's the kindest thing you have ever done for a stranger?

We probably do kind things for our friends and family all the time but to be kind to someone we don't know; that can be hard. Being kind to others is something I want to instill in my children and it is a golden rule at their school. If I see someone struggling with a door or bags, I'll offer to help. Through these simple acts of kindness, I'm teaching and instilling these values for my children to carry with them as they grow up.

Another way I try to promote being kind and helping others is through charity. Around about this time of year, where Christmas planning starts, we will have a huge clear-out of toys, books and clothing and I'll encourage the children to pack things in to boxes or bags so we can donate them to the local shelter. We also collect our pennies and silver in a huge whiskey bottle and donate the money at Christmas time to a charity of our choice.

Kindness is such a positive and lovely attribute to have as a person. People always remember a negative experience but give someone a positive experience and you could really make a huge difference in their life.

So, what's the kindest thing a stranger has ever done for you? What's the kindest thing you've ever done for a stranger?

Follow the Anthony Nolan charity on twitter and the campaign with #ThankyouStranger

Me & You #10

This month, Husband and I have been together for 11 years. It's really hard to believe in a way. It doesn't feel like 11 years at all; it feels like an a good way!

Of course we've had our ups and our downs. There were times when we wondered if we'd see our next anniversary but, we got through those difficult times because we believe in each other and our relationship. It's passion. It's commitment. It's True Love.

I remember, all those years ago, when I first met Husband. I have to say, I wasn't immediately attracted to him but that was because I was kind of seeing someone else so I was obviously blinkered by lust for another.

Husband was, and still is, a bit of a charmer. He can be cocky but in a good way. It's endearing. He's confident, friendly and would do anything for anyone. He'll often put others before fact, he always does. Those were the qualities that made me notice him. Those and the fact that he did a killer rendition of The Lion Sleeps Tonight on the karaoke.

We started seeing each other after a few months of knowing each other. It was just after my 18th birthday...Husband was 25. I don't think my Dad approved, but, being the girl I am, I didn't really take much interest in what anyone else thought. I never have. All I knew was, he made (and still does) me smile and made me happy.

Fast forward 11 years and this is us now...

Driving each other crazy, still madly in love and totally in it for the long haul.

dear beautiful

Sunday, 19 October 2014

The Week That Was #40

Last Sunday, the sleepover party woke at 7am. They played a few games and watched some TV until I rolled out of bed at 8am. Once Miss C's friend was picked up, we got ready to go to horse riding. Miss C had a brilliant lesson and went canter all by herself! In the afternoon, I took the kids to their swimming lessons and I almost fell asleep watching them...I was tired not bored!

On Monday, it was the first day of half term here so we all got a long lie til 8am! We got up, had breakfast and then took Z to his first day of Karate camp. Karate camp runs all week for 2 hours a day and Z loves it. Miss C and I took a trip to the park but everything was soaking, so we didn't stay long. In the afternoon, we sat at the table and coloured in for ages. I was determined to finish my picture!

On Tuesday, we headed to Karate camp. It was sunny but really cold so Miss C and I stayed in the seating area and did some colouring. When that got boring, we headed outside for a quick walk. After Karate camp and lunch, the kids headed outside to play. They went out to the front garden where we have a huge grassy area with no car access at all, so they can run around and play safely. I watched them for a little while and then came in the house to give them a little more freedom. I watched from the living room window but they were fine and had a great time playing with the other children in the neighbourhood. They were very sleepy by tea time.

On Wednesday, we headed to Karate camp, ready for day 3 of training. Miss C and I stayed to watch. After camp, Z and his best friend got changed and we all headed in to town to meet GG and my Dad's partner for lunch. We went to our favourite Chinese restaurant. We were pretty stuffed afterwards. I took the kids to the park to play for an hour and then we took Z's best friend home. When we got home, we didn't really want any dinner so we had a bowl of cereal, a bath and a book before bedtime.

On Thursday, Miss C and I went for a walk whilst Z was at Karate camp. We decided to go to Pizza Hut for lunch and then went to visit a friend and her son. The kids had a great time playing together. We were so stuffed after our pizza lunch that we had cereal again for dinner. I was ready for bed by 9pm as I was so tired.

On Friday, it was the last day of Karate camp. Miss C and I went for a walk and picked up a sausage roll from the local bakers because we were feeling a bit hungry. Z won the free space at the Winter Karate camp and was very excited about that. After lunch, we watched a movie whilst I did my ironing. In the evening, Z's best friend picked him up for another Karate session and brought Miss C some lovely gifts from their trip to Disneyworld. She was delighted with her new Stitch.

On Saturday, we were up early for Karate. After lunch, I headed out to meet some of my friends for a coffee and cake. It was great to catch up. The kids went to the park with Daddy and they climbed a huge tree. After dinner, Z enjoyed playing a few card games including "around the clock" and Solitaire.

My Sunday Photo / The Black and White Photo Project #15

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


Saturday, 18 October 2014

365 Project 2014 Days 285 - 291

Day 285 - A new recipe of spicy pork and rice for dinner
Day 286 - Our "bin spider" - it lives on our bin
Day 287 - Felix all snuggled for a snooze
Day 288 - It's all swings and roundabouts with Miss C
Day 289 - Walking through Autumn
Day 290 - Wee cutie Miss C
Day 291 - Solitaire

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

The Zip-Slide #CountryKids

At first she was afraid
She was petrified
Never thought I'd see the day
She'd enjoy the zip-slide

But one day she realised
That it is in fact quite fun
Especially when she could jump on
Without the help of anyone

And now she's off
Like a shot
She runs to the zip-slide
As soon as someone is getting off

She flies up and down at speed
And then she's back up to the top
Sometimes I'm scared to look
And I want to yell out stop

She has no fear
She likes going fast
She holds on tight as she can
So she doesn't fall on to the grass

Thankfully she's not quite ready
To do as her brother does
Standing up on the zip-slide 
And sometimes just jumping off

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Friday, 17 October 2014

Disneyland Paris Last Year #FlashbackFriday

This time last year, we were spending our last day at Disneyland Paris. It was an amazing trip and we really enjoyed our family holiday.

I really can't believe it has been a whole year since we were there. The kids still talk about the trip and how much fun they had.

Miss C loved meeting lots of characters, including Pluto and Goofy...

Her face was an absolute picture when she met her favourite Princess, Ariel...

We had so much fun there; it was a truly magical experience...

The trip was so magical and amazing and because of that, this time next year, we'll be spending our last full day in Disney again...

Except this time we'll be going to Disneyworld, Florida!

I can't wait! 

The countdown is on and here's hoping the months go as quickly as they have done this year.

You can read our review of Disneyland Paris if you are considering booking a trip there. 

mummy mishaps

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Siblings in October

I took a trip down memory lane with my Sibling Moments post this month however, I couldn't not have a current picture or two of Z and Miss C together in October.

These two, like any siblings, have their moments. Moments where they really do look like they might want to seriously hurt one another. Z really knows how to push Miss C's buttons and, the worst part of it...he knows that he knows. Miss C will give as good as she gets though, and most recently, she walloped him with her Playmobil Campervan...because Z told her not to sing when he was singing.

Petty stuff, right? Well, clearly, it is important to them and it has me running up the stairs, separating them and using good old Magic 1, 2, 3 to sort them out.

Then they have moments like this...

...moments where they'll have each other in fits of giggles, cuddling and being the best brother and sister in the world. 

These moments happen quite a lot. They have a really close relationship. Miss C will watch for her brother coming out of his class and run up to greet him. They'll hold hands walking to school. If Miss C has a sneaky sweetie, she goes and tells Z to make sure he gets one too. 

If someone disagrees with Z or Miss C, the other is there, straightaway, backing their sibling up. If they do well at school, the other is there congratulating them with big hugs. 

They can be so cute together.

These moments make me completely forget their bickering. They just melt my heart and make me so proud to be their Mum. 

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