Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Me & Mine 2015 - June

June. The month our eldest celebrated his 8th birthday.

It seems like ages ago because this month has really flown in but Z turned 8 at the beginning of the month.

This month also saw me finishing my first year (well 9 months really!) at college. It was a hard time but it was worth it to be able to say I am now a qualified Early Years Practitioner. I can still go on and complete another year to gain a higher qualification which I am going to do and then I can go on and get my BA in Childhood Practice. It's going to open so many doors for me career wise including going in to the NHS and working with babies and young children in the wider community which is something I would really enjoy but thought I would need a nursing qualification for. In fact, through the job I would gain a qualification that would enable me to carry out immunisations and help support parents of newborn babies with things like feeding, milestones and taking care of a newborn which I would love. I'm excited!

Husband has continued to work hard at work but has enjoyed getting back in to the gym again and watching Game of Thrones. He can't believe the series has finished until next year!

Z turned 8 this month and celebrated his birthday with a sleepover with a few of his friends. This month we got the end of year reports and Z continues to meet every challenge thrown at him and exceed expectations. He excels in school and has coped amazingly well with being moved up year groups. We still have wars to win but knowing that the move hasn't impacted on Z negatively has instilled even more confidence in us as his parents who made the decision to have him moved.

Miss C is delighted that school has finished for the summer holidays. She isn't as keen on school as her brother however she too got an excellent end of year report and we couldn't be more proud of her after her first year (10 months really!) at school. She can't wait to go to Primary 2 as she adores her new teacher and I've heard amazing things about her. She's excited to go to pony days in the summer holidays and ride her new favourite, Bobbie.

Another thing I did this month was to create a YouTube trailer for my channel. I thought about doing some quirky and cheeky, a bit like my blog name, but I decided that I wanted to go with something more personal. It's about our family and our story. I hope you like it as I'm quite chuffed with it being a bit of a video virgin and all.

I can't believe that tomorrow is July which means we'll be more than half way through the year. July is a special month for us as it's the month we celebrate our anniversary!

dear beautiful

Monday, 29 June 2015

The First Tooth

On June 28th 2015, Miss C lost her first tooth. 

Well, it got knocked out really. It was a trampoline incident. 

The tooth was already pretty wobbly and it probably would have come out this week at some point. 

Miss C is thrilled to have lost a tooth. Isn't it funny how these things make them really happy?

Sunday, 28 June 2015

The Week That Was #26

Last Sunday was Father's Day. We let Husband have a lie in although he was awake by 9.15am as Miss C wanted to take him his card. It was strange not having Z there for breakfast. We got ready to go to horse riding where Miss C rode Bobbie and did her first canter without holding on to her saddle. After lunch, we picked up Z and went to visit my Father-in-law. The kids played with their Uncle's old toys whilst we had a cup of tea and some biscuits. For dinner, I made steak with potatoes and veg and some scallops which was really yummy.

On Monday, I dropped the kids off at school for the last week of term. We break up for summer holidays on Friday and the kids can't wait. I came home, did my workout and then went out to clean my front and back garden. After finishing off some work for the magazine I write in, I sat down and did something I haven't done in awhile...I read a book. I just never have the time to sit and read anything other than college textbooks or blogs these days. After school, the kids wanted to do some drawing and play outside.

On Tuesday, after a workout, a shower and some work, I headed in to town to meet up with some of the girls from college to have lunch. It was such a gorgeous day and it was really nice to break out some of my summer wardrobe. We had lunch at my favourite Italian restaurant. They had a lunch menu deal where you could get 3 courses for £13.95 so we all went with that. I had salmon and sweet potato fishcakes, spaghetti with clams, chili and asparagus and finished the meal off with an Eton mess. It was so good. After school, my friend and I took the kids to the park and they had lots of fun whilst we enjoyed some sunshine. I was a bit red when I got home!

On Wednesday, I had another chilled out day. I'm making the most of having a few days to myself before the kids finish up for their summer holidays. I did a workout, had a shower and did some work. After lunch I caught up with Hollyoaks and read some of my book. I picked the kids up from school and we spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing and having dinner. Sadly the rain came on after dinner so they couldn't get to play outside for long.

On Thursday, Husband took the kids to school on his way to the gym so I got on with my housework and workout. I spent the rest of the day editing a video for my YouTube channel that I'm really proud of. The rain was pouring all day until it was time to get the kids from school. We found a snail on the way home that Miss C decided to adopt and call Gary. She put him in one of my plant pots which she declared would be Gary's home.

On Friday, it was the last day of school! I dropped the kids off, who were both hyper and headed to the shops. Husband and I picked the kids up when school finished at 1pm. We came home and just had a chilled out day as it was pouring with rain outside. We had pizza for dinner and then watched Mulan for our Friday night film.

On Saturday, there was no Karate for Z as they are on holiday for a few weeks so we didn't have to get up too early. After breakfast, we headed outside to clean both gardens. It took awhile and I was sweating by the end but it was a great feeling to see it all looking lovely. After lunch, Miss C and Z were back outside, riding their bikes and enjoying the sunshine and fresh air. They also took our neighbours' dogs for a walk. We were all pretty much ready for sleep by bedtime.

Learning to Ride A Bike

Miss C. The girl who gets on a horse and has no qualms about cantering on the beast without holding on to her saddle has always had a bit of a love/hate relationship with her bike. Every year since she was 3, Husband has taken her stabilisers off her bike, like she asked, and tried to get her to ride her bike herself. She would try and then give up cause she just wasn't ready.

Yesterday, whilst out playing on her bike, a little girl asked her how old she was. She replied six. The little girl then said to her "why do you still have stabilisers on your bike then?" 

When she told me I thought that was a bit rude but then again, children just ask what's on their mind sometimes and they don't mean anything by it other than to question something. It hit a nerve with Miss C though as she immediately asked me to take her stabilisers off. I told her she'd have to wait until her Daddy got back from the gym as I had no idea what tools to use to get the stabilisers off. 

After lunch, she went outside with her bike and her Daddy and they practised on the grass. It's harder to learn on the grass but it's safer than the pavement. At first she couldn't get the hang of it and came in to the house upset. I told her to keep trying as she would soon get the hang of it. Practise makes perfect!

She decided to give it another go and, well I made a little video of her. 

She was so pleased with herself that she managed to pedal for as long. She still has to get the hang of riding whilst steering but I think she's taken a big step given that she wouldn't even entertain doing this last year or the year before. 

Every child is different. They do things in their own time. But just because it takes them a little longer than others doesn't mean that the moment is any less special. 

The Black and White Photo Project #50

My Sunday Photo 2015 #26


Saturday, 27 June 2015

365 Project 2015 Days 172 - 178

Day 172 - Enjoying some carrot cake after lunch
Day 173 - Z has been practising drawing his Mario characters
Day 174 - I caught the sun today when we went out for lunch
Day 175 - Miss C with a branch that's taller than her!
Day 176 - Just swinging from the trees after school
Day 177 - Movie night and Felix was all tucked in for the DVD
Day 178 - After a busy day I enjoyed a little treat

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Friday, 26 June 2015

Pirates Don't Drive Diggers - Book Review

The last book for us to review from Maverick Books is called Pirates Don't Drive Diggers and is written by Alex English and illustrated by Duncan Beedie. Alex English also wrote the book Yuck! said the Yak which we reviewed awhile ago. This book is written in rhyme which is one of our favourite kind of books to read.

This is the story of a young pirate called Brad. He drives of working in construction and getting to use a digger all day. His pirate dad, however, has other plans and wants him to follow in his path and join the pirate crew.

In order to join the crew, Brad has to take part in a few challenges all of which he fails at miserably. When steering the ship, he mixes up his East and West and he manages to drop a cannonball. The captain decides to give Brad one last chance to become a member of the crew but if he fails, he will have to walk the plank.

Brad sets off to find some buried treasure. He finds the X that marks the spot but his spade breaks meaning he can't dig up the ground. Brad spots a construction site nearby and realises that his dream of using a digger could just become a reality.

This is a really fun book which we really enjoyed reading. It has really fun, lively illustrations and it is easy to follow. The rhymes all flow really well.

For more information on this book or where to purchase, visit the Maverick Books website.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

A Box of Socks - Book Review

The third book we chose to review from the books we recently received from Maverick Books is called A Box of Socks. It is written by Amanda Brandon and illustrated by Catalina Echeverri. This is the follow up to A Scarf and A Half and the second book in the Granny Mutton Yarn series.

Another animal story book so this was going to be popular with Miss C as soon as she saw it. I'm also really liking that Maverick Books are publishing book series as we like having a collection of books with our favourite characters in.

This is the story of Lionel lamb and his Granny Mutton who loves to knit. She has been knitting socks for all of Lionel's friends and he can't wait to take them to his friends. Granny Mutton has placed them all in a cardboard box with a lid and gives them to Lionel to deliver. All of the socks have been neatly paired and labelled so Lionel knows which pair belongs to who.

On the way to deliver the socks, Lionel crashes in to Rocky the sheep dog and the box bursts open. All of the socks fly out of the box and become mixed up as the labels blow away. Lionel has to try and find out which sock belongs to who.

This is another great picture book which we really enjoyed. The pictures are bright, colourful and fun and the book is really easy to read. Lionel is a bit of cheeky but lovable character.

For more information on this book or where to purchase, visit the Maverick Books website.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Cake #TheGallery

I do love a good piece of cake. I actually love a full cake but I'm trying to be civilised here and trying to convince myself that one piece of cake is doable. You know that saying, "have your cake and eat it"? Well I do. I could eat a full cake to myself. I love me some cake.

Most recently, we celebrated birthdays. Z had a cake which I'm not showing off  because it was a cake dedicated to our local football team and I try to keep some sort of anonymity around the blog. It was really good though. A beautifully moist chocolate sponge with chocolate buttercream. Normally I'm not a fan of chocolate cake (I know I'm crazy!) but this was so good.

Miss C also had a cake and it was so pretty. Again, trying to keep some anonymity I can't show you the full cake as it had her name on it but I asked the baker to do something around horses and with the colours pink and purple and she did an amazing job of making my vision a cake reality!

I loved all the little flowers on the cake and Miss C was blown away with the unicorns on top of her cake. She gave one to her best friend and ate the other one herself. It was a really yummy cake. We chose vanilla sponge with jam and vanilla buttercream for hers. Having their birthdays so close together, it's nice we can order two different kinds and get a real cake fix! 

Sticky Fingers Photo Gallery

A Gold Star for George - Book Review

The second book we chose to review from Maverick Books is called A Gold Star for George and is the follow up to the Black and White Club written by Alice Hemming and illustrated by Kimberley Scott and is the second book the George the giraffe and friends series.

This was another hit with Miss C because it is a story about animals. She recognised the book immediately as being similar to the Black and White Club and remembered the lemurs and penguins who were featured in the first book.

In this book, George the giraffe and all of the other animals in the zoo are very excited that the Heavenly Hippo Gold Star Awards are going to be given out and George wonders if he'll win one of the prestigious titles. There are lots of different categories and George hopes that he will get a gold star to display in his home for one of them. When he doesn't win as the awards are announced, George congratulates his friends and even helps his best friend, Seymour the lemur, to win the tidiest animal award.

George goes to sleep after all the awards have been given out feeling a bit sad that he didn't win anything but when he wakes in the morning, there is a big surprise for him.

This is a great story to encourage being kind towards others and being happy for friends even if you really wanted that something for yourself. The book is really easy to read and follow and is really colourful and fun.

For more information on this book and where to purchase it from, visit the Maverick Books website.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Hedgehugs Horace and Hattiepillar - Book Review

Over the next few days I'm going to publish reviews of some of the children's books we received from Maverick Books. The books have all been published in May 2015 so they are pretty new and hopefully they'll be books that you can add to your collection.

The first book we chose to review is called Hedgehugs Horace and Hattiepillar. It is written and illustrated by husband and wife Steve Wilson and Lucy Tapper. This is the second book in their Hedgehugs series and it is just as adorable as the first.

Miss C really loves animal stories so this book is right up her street. It's beautifully illustrated; very soft and calm making it the perfect story if you want to have some chill out time with your children.

In this book, Horace and Hattie are playing together, just as best friends always do when they suddenly come across a very strange thing on a leaf. They don't know what it is but it starts to open and out pops a little green creature. The creature starts to eat and eat and eat some more. Horace and Hattie watch the little green creature until it goes back on to a leaf and makes itself a silky bed. They watch it for awhile until one day it bursts out of the silky bed and it has changed in to something very beautiful.

Horace and Hattie want to be beautiful just like this creature so they eat and eat and eat some more and then head off to a bed of flowers and leaves and have a nap. When they wake up, they are just as beautiful.

We really enjoyed reading this story and I think the series could be one that we will want to add and add to. Horace and Hattie are such lovely characters. The book is really easy to read and makes an ideal bedtime story for any child.

For more information on the book and where to purchase, visit the Maverick Books website.

Monday, 22 June 2015

Going with no Hands

Something amazing happened this weekend...

Miss C went for her first canter without holding on to her saddle!

Yes this is another horse riding related achievement and what an achievement it was.

A few weeks ago, Miss C tried a new horse called Bobbie. He is 16 years old and was born at the riding school so he's a pure bred riding school pony. Having said that, he is spooked by poles, blocks and jumps. Who'd have thought it?!

Bobbie has recently returned to work after being lame for around 6 months. He has problem with his feet which means he can get really sore and it got so bad, he had to be taken out of the riding school as no one could ride him. Now he's back working, he has a little excess weight to get off and he can only take very small people, like Miss C, until he's back in business.

Miss C absolutely loved riding Bobbie for the first time. Unlike Jocky, who is a wonderful riding school pony but can be a bit cheeky, Bobbie never puts a foot wrong. He does as he's told and isn't cheeky or unpredictable. He does spook outside but then there's no way Miss C would take him on a hack with the little experience she has. She asked for him again yesterday and I could see her confidence grow with each stride.

It came to cantering time and Bobbie wouldn't go in to canter at first. He'd already worked an hour before Miss C's lesson and her instructor thought he might be feeling a bit sore. They tried a few more and just before it was Miss C's turn to go, she shouted over to me that she was going to try letting go of her saddle and hold her reins. Ever since she started cantering last year, she's always held on to her saddle as it was safer for her. She doesn't have the strength to control the bounce you naturally get when you are in canter. You really need to sit on your bum so the horse doesn't think you want to go rising trot. I didn't know whether she'd manage it but I told her to go for it. There's no point telling her no if she's got the confidence to try.

And she did it. Not once but twice. Bobbie went in to canter beautifully and Miss C took her reins and pushed her little bottom in to her seat as much as she could. Of course, she did still bounce a bit but all in all, she did a fantastic job. We were all so impressed.

Bobbie is clearly the new favourite.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

The Week That Was #25

Last Sunday, the kids woke up at 7.45am and asked if they could watch Tarzan. We were staying over at a friend's house so we said OK so they wouldn't wake anyone up...and so we could sleep on a bit. Eventually we all got up just before 10am. We had cups of tea and bacon rolls for breakfast. We headed home around lunch time and we had a pretty lazy afternoon. I had a bath and sorted out some of the holiday clothes we've bought. The kids and I headed to swimming lessons however only Miss C had a lesson as Z's were off due to a swimming gala. He managed to join in with Miss C's fun swim which was good fun for him.

On Monday, I dropped the kids off at school and then came home to do a workout. Once I finished, I had a shower and as I hadn't been feeling too well, I went back to bed for a rest. Two hours later, I felt worse. I had some lunch and tried to keep going but I felt shattered. I picked the kids up from school, came home and did the homework. We had fajitas for dinner which were yummy and made me feel a bit better.

On Tuesday, I dropped the kids off at school and headed home to do my workout. I was pretty sore from doing a workout on Monday but I do try and do a workout four times a week at home plus plenty of walking whenever I can. After lunch, I walked down to college for the last time this academic year to have a party with the rest of my class to celebrate qualifying and passing our course. I couldn't stay long as I had to get the kids from school. After dinner, the kids played in the garden whilst I cleaned the inside of my car.

On Wednesday, it was move up day at school. I wrote a post about how I was feeling about it all. I spent the day at home, just chilling and tidying up bits and bobs, I don't know how I'll cope with 11 weeks of this! I picked the kids up from school to find Miss C was really excited about her new teacher and Z was happy that he was going to be in a class with his friends. Given the amount of moving and stress we've had with Z the last few years, to find out he's still in the same class as his friends is a relief. I'm just happy he's happy. We came home, had dinner and then the kids played outside until bedtime.

On Thursday, I dropped the kids off at school and headed home to do some housework. I cleaned the bathrooms and put on a few washings. After lunch, I walked in to town to pick an order from M&S. Nothing terribly exciting, just some polo shirts for Z for school. I had a meeting with the school to check on Z's progress over the last year and he's done so well. I'm really pleased and proud of him. I picked the kids up and we headed home to have some snack and read some books. It was miserable outside so they didn't get the chance to play in the garden after dinner.

On Friday, after doing my food shop and putting it away, I caught up with Hollyoaks and managed to, finally, upload my shopping vlog which you can watch on my YouTube channel. I love watching vlogs where people show off what they've bought...I think because I love to go shopping and I'm nosey like that. The kids came home with their end of year report cards and they've both done well. We are really proud of them. We had pizza for dinner and then Z headed off to his Friday club whilst Miss C and I watched The Gruffalo followed by The Gruffalo's Child.

On Saturday, Husband took Z to Karate and then his best friend picked him up to head out for the day and for a sleepover. Z was super excited. Husband, Miss C and I headed in to town to pick up some bits and to Morrisons to get some steak for Father's Day dinner. We spent the rest of the day tidying up the house and garden and just relaxing.

What it Means to be A Father

I can't tell you what it means to be a father from a father's perspective because I am a mother...and I'm not a male. However I can tell you what it means to be a father from watching my children with their dad.

It's a beautiful relationship to watch. The bonds they share with their dad are just as strong as the bond they share with me, their mummy, who carried them for 9 months and felt those first flutters that turned in to kicks. The bond is just different.

For Z, his dad is someone to look up to. He loves sharing his interests with his dad and gets excited when his dad shows an interest in what he is doing. That can be hard sometimes if it is Minecraft related as he talks about it constantly. Yet his dad is there, listening and nodding along even though he's going insane. His dad taught him how to swim, how to kick a ball, how to ride his bike...how to do his hair! Z shares a love of Karate with his dad and he really enjoys going over the katas with Husband. I'm surprised Husband remembers them all but he does and he takes his time showing Z the correct moves and encouraging him to be stronger or quicker or slicker.

Miss C has her dad wrapped around her finger. Their relationship is amazing. She loves to give him cuddles and kisses which he gladly accepts. They giggle a lot together. Miss C is still a Mummy's girl but there are certain times when only Daddy will do and she lets him know. She also has cottoned on that she can probably get away with more when her Daddy is around than when I'm around but I guess that's the prerogative of every daughter/daddy relationship. He helps her do her hair and nails...all the really unmanly tasks involved with being a father are taken on without complaint. I think he quite enjoys them actually.

My husband is a great father. Of course, like myself and every parent out there, sometimes his patience is pushed to the limit but the care, love and attention he dedicates to his children every single day completely out-numbers those times.

I see him with the kids and the love just oozes from him. He is a proud father. He is a happy father. He is a completely and utterly in love with his children unconditionally father.

And I am so proud of the father he is.

The Black and White Photo Project #49

My Sunday Photo 2015 #25


Saturday, 20 June 2015

365 Project 2015 Days 165 - 171

Day 165 - A nice, relaxing bubble bath
Day 166 - Z decided to climb this tree and got quite high
Day 167 - A healthy dinner of baked potato and veg
Day 168 - The trees are in full bloom
Day 169 - Look at sleepy Felix under my duvet
Day 170 - Felix wondering if Miss C will give him some pizza - not likely
Day 171 - Cuddles on the couch

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Thursday, 18 June 2015

The New Classes and Feeling Happy

Yesterday I was feeling pretty nervous as the kids headed in to school to find out which class they would be going in to next term. The kids were excited however I think Z may have been feeling a bit anxious about whether he'd be staying with his friends or not. Over his school life so far, Z has faced some times where he's been separated from his friends and, although he saw them in the playground and they maintained very strong friendships, there is something about having your best friends in the same class as you. You have that ally, someone you can always turn to and don't have to try and find in a sea of children at break or lunch time.

I picked the children up at 3pm. Miss C came out first and looked really pleased. She told me she loved her new teacher and couldn't wait to go to her new class. Her teacher is really nice; I've met her once before and other parents rave about her so I was delighted. She's staying with her current class which I think is lovely. Back in our day, you pretty much stayed with your class throughout primary school and it was only when we got to high school that we were separated a bit.

Z came out with his best friends. He didn't look too pleased and I was expecting the worst. He came up to me and he told me he was in the same class as his friends but they were going to the composite class.

Composite classes...I have quite a bit of experience with them, I think, given that Z has done two composite classes in his three years at school. The first one, a P1/2 was by choice; I asked for him to go there and his nursery teacher also agreed that he should go in to that class so he could work with the P2s. Towards the end of that year, with Z doing incredibly well academically and having built really strong friendships, I asked if they would consider moving him to P3 with his friends. They wouldn't entertain it so we compromised and he went to a P2/3 so he could continue to work at the level he'd been working at for his first year in school. Sadly, his friends weren't going to the same class but he did see them at play time and made some new friends as well.

Two years of composite classes and I'd had enough. I felt his P2/3 class was a real hindrance for Z in that he was finishing his work too quickly, he wasn't being challenged and therefore he got bored and started to become disruptive. He wasn't a badly behaved child, just a chatty child so he would distract others from doing their work. I didn't think that was fair to Z or to the other children.

Composite classes, although not this way today, I think have a bit of a stigma. When parents hear their child is going in at the lower end of the composite (so the younger children) they perceive this as, "my child must be really bright if they are going in to work with the older children!" I've also heard that parents of the children in the higher end of the composite (the older children) believe their children must be the poorer performing children in their year group. Of course, not all parents believe that and they'd be right not to. Having spoken to so many professionals involved with Z, I know this isn't the case at all.

Composite classes, in fact, are pretty much seen in all classes as children will work in set groups. You'll have the top group, the middle group and the bottom group. They take in to account each individual child's learning abilities and group them to work with children at a similar stage. The difference with composite classes is sometimes they'll look at the older children as role models to the younger children and a way to bring the younger children out of their shells. Sometimes the younger and older children will all be working at a similar level. Sometimes the children who need to be challenged or need additional support will be put in to composite classes because the classes are smaller and with smaller classes comes more time for the teacher to support each child.There are some cons, of course, but the pros seem to out-number them.

I'm not delighted that Z is in a composite class however he is happy and to be honest, when it's all said and done and whilst I feel like we'll be fighting a war throughout his education, if he's happy then I'm happy for him. It's the first time in three years he can say, "I'm in a class with my best friends!" and we haven't had to fight someone to get it that way.

Until next year...

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

It's Move Up Day

I'm feeling a bit nervous this morning as today is move up day at school. What this means is the kids move to their new class for the day and spend it with their new teacher and, potentially, new classmates. I've sent the kids off to school, wishing them good luck for when they find out where they'll be going for the next academic year.

This is an exciting time for the children but as they get older, I think they start to feel nervous about it in case they get separated from their friends. Miss C is really excited and I know she's hoping she's in the same class as her best friend but I don't think she'll be too upset if she isn't as she sees her in the playground and they have regular play dates.

Z doesn't seem to bothered about where he goes so long as he's with his best friend. They are in the same class just now and they are in the same groups for literacy and maths so if they look at the children and the classes based on ability, they should be together. Fingers crossed.

I'm feeling really nervous for Z though. After the battle of having him moved up a year last year, I dread what they might decide to do with him. Academically, Z is top of the year group despite being a full year younger than most of the children in his class. I'm hoping they don't place him in a composite class again. Firstly, he's already done two composite classes and I have seen such a huge growth in him since he's done a straight class this year. Secondly, I've found that the composite classes don't get the same opportunities as the straight classes. For example, when it comes to topics. The composite classes generally don't get a huge topic whilst the straight classes do. The composite classes don't tend to do languages and they are often split up to go to different classes to do things like Maths. I don't want Z to miss out especially since he's been doing so well this year.

I'll find out at 3pm when I pick the kids up. It's a nervous and anxious wait. I just hope they are both happy with their new class and I'll be glad it's all over until next year!

Sport #TheGallery

Z has always enjoyed kicking a football around the garden but it is only within the last few years that he has become really interested in the sport and declared that he wants to become a professional footballer when he grows up. 

He is constantly practising and improving his skills. He loves playing football at school during break and lunch time. He always asks to go outside after dinner to play with his collection of footballs. I think he has around 7 in the garden just now. 

As well as loving playing football, he also loves to watch football and he had a brilliant time when we took him to see his first football match, even though the team lost. You can watch my vlog of the trip on my YouTube channel.

Whether he will become a professional footballer or not is not yet known but it's great to see him being passionate and enjoying a sport. 

Sticky Fingers Photo Gallery

Monday, 15 June 2015

Sibling Moments #18

Firstly, I must clarify that this isn't a pregnancy announcement photo as it just dawned on me it might look that way because Miss C is holding a baby book. In fact that is her baby book and there is no new baby on the way; she just wanted to take a photo with it.

Sometimes I think Miss C likes to remind us that she is the baby of the family and that isn't going to change any time soon. However Husband did comment that Miss C seemed so much bigger now and maybe we should have another. I made a quick escape from the kitchen.

Z is a great big brother to Miss C. Don't get me wrong, quite often they bicker and fight but it doesn't ever last long and they are soon back to being best of friends. They love playing Minecraft together or playing on the trampoline together. I love how he's placed his arm around Miss C in this photo and brought his head down to be closer to her. They have a really strong bond as siblings. I watched them at swimming lessons yesterday and Z joined in with Miss C's fun swim as his lesson had been cancelled due to a swimming gala. They played together with the swimming mats and cheered for each other as they took turns going down the slide. It's so nice to watch them and their sibling bond. 

dear beautiful

Sunday, 14 June 2015

The Week That Was #24

Last Sunday, we were up early for Miss C's horse riding lesson. She chose to ride a different horse today called Bobbie. He's been out on the field for a while as he was lame but he's building back up to working now and so he was a great horse for Miss C to try. He's really good and does as he should unlike Jocky who can be a bit cheeky! She loved riding him even though he's a few hands higher than Jocky. After lunch we headed down to a local shopping centre to pick up a few more bits for our holiday. The kids went to swimming lessons afterwards for their penultimate swimming lesson as we've decided to take them out of lessons from next week.

On Monday, I dropped the kids off at school and came home to enjoy a few hours peace before I went to college. Then I got a message saying I had to come in as we all had to fix a report. I quickly got ready and walked down to college, fixed the report and was signed off all of my classes by 12pm. College is done. I picked the kids up from school, we did the homework and then they went off to play.

On Tuesday, I dropped the kids off at school and came home to film a vlog. I popped to Asda to pick up some bits and then caught up with Hollyoaks. The washing was out on the line to dry as it was a beautiful day. Here's hoping the summer is finally here to stay! I picked the kids up from school and they played outside until bedtime.

On Wednesday, we woke up to another beautiful day. Summer must be here now! I took the kids to school and headed to placement. It was such a good day we were able to spend quite a bit of time in the playground. I caught a bit of sun! After school, Miss C wasn't feeling too well and lay on the couch with her teddy. She felt a bit better after some dinner and a bath.

On Thursday, I spent my last day at placement. It was sad to leave but I'm looking forward to the summer break. I also went to watch the school show starring the upper school. Z wasn't actually in the show; he was part of the scenery group which suited him as he doesn't really like being on stage. The show was very good but it was roasting in the hall so my head was pounding when I came out. When we got home, the kids played outside and I did some housework. It was also a great day for hanging out the washing!

On Friday, I dropped the kids off at school, did my food shop and came home to chill out for the rest of the day. I think this is what it is going to be like for the next 2 weeks until the kids break up for their Summer holidays. I picked the kids up from school and we headed home to enjoy burgers and sweet potato wedges for dinner.

On Saturday, Z went to Karate with Husband whilst Miss C and I got ready to go for a sleepover at our friend's house. We nipped in to town after lunch to pick up some bits for the holiday, mainly lots of toiletries and then headed over to a friend's house for dinner. We took pizza over with us and had a bit of a pizza party in the living room. We then headed over to another friend's house, where we were spending the night, and enjoyed a few drinks and a chat.

The Black and White Photo Project #48

My Sunday Photo 2015 #24


Saturday, 13 June 2015

365 Project 2015 Days 158 - 164

Day 158 - Miss C tried out a new horse at horse riding called Bobbie
Day 159 - How she can sleep in there with all those teddies I don't know!
Day 160 - Z all set for the World Picnic at school
Day 161 - Walking to school in the sunshine
Day 162 - Fun on the trampoline
Day 163 - Salad, burger and sweet potato wedges for tea - yummy!
Day 164 - Flowers from the children at my placement

Thursday, 11 June 2015

House of Fraser Kids Clothing - Review

I love finding new brands of kids clothing for Z and Miss C to wear. Price wise, I don't want to spend lots and lots of money on their clothes however I also don't mind paying a bit extra to ensure what they wear is good quality and durable.

House of Fraser asked me if I'd like to choose some items from their kids clothing range to review and I said yes please! I chose a couple of items for Z and a couple for Miss C with the theme: travelling long haul and feeling comfortable. The website was really easy to navigate and search for what I wanted because everything is categorised. I made a vlog of our review which you can watch on my YouTube channel.

For Miss C I chose a lovely t-shirt from the Mango Kids Basics range. It cost £4.99. It has a really pretty dragonfly motif on the front with patches of glitter and it's a t-shirt that Miss C would pick out for herself in a shop. I love the colour; a sort of lilac-blue colour. It's 100% cotton so it feels nice and soft. To go with the t-shirt I chose a pair of grey jogging trousers, also from the Mango Kids Basics range. These were priced at £7.99. I love that they have cuffed bottoms so they easily tuck in to wellies and stop a draft going up the leg. These will be great for days at the horses too. These are 92% cotton and feel really comfortable.

Both of Miss C's items are in an age 5-6 and they fit her pretty well but she still has some give, especially with the trousers so these will definitely last her awhile.

For Z I chose a t-shirt with an American flag print from the Mango Kids range. It cost £5.99 and is also 100% cotton. Z loves t-shirts with a print on them and he can't wait to wear it on the plane to Florida. To go with the t-shirt I chose a navy pair of jogging trousers from the Little Criminals range. These were in the clearance section and were reduced from £24.00 to £9.00. These are a polyester/cotton mix but they feel really soft and are a fleecy material inside the trouser leg. Again, the cuffed bottoms are ideal for winter as it saves us trying to tuck trousers in to socks before putting wellies on.

Z's trousers needed to be rolled up at the waist because they were a bit loose on him at the waist. Z is tall and slim so he needs trousers that are a bit bigger in the leg but adjustable at the waist. The t-shirt fits him really well. Both of these items are an age 7-8.

All of these items washed well at 30°C and, because it is too nice to tumble dry, I didn't check how they fair in there but they can all be tumble dried if needed.

Overall I'm really happy with the clothing we received and I would definitely look at ordering more items from the Mango Kids range as Mango was one of my favourite shops as a teen.

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

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