Friday, 31 July 2015

Me & Mine 2015 - July

July. The Summer should be in full force and yet, every day, it rains. Where is the Summer?

We took our pictures in the garden on an evening when the sun made a rare appearance.

I've been enjoying the time off with the kids, getting in to a little routine of getting up, playing, doing a bit of homework and then going on bike rides or walks. We've enjoyed the occasional day out to the park when the weather has been decent and we took a trip to the cinema to see Inside Out. It was really good although we didn't think it was as good as Big Hero 6. I think I'm going to struggle getting back in to the swings of things at college when I go back at the beginning of September.

Husband has been getting back in to the gym and catching up on his TV. He came to the rescue a few weekends ago when the guttering collapsed from the back of the house. It was just hanging there but it wasn't going to be long in falling off completely. He worked hard all day and managed to replace it all by himself. We're so lucky he's so handy at these things!

Z has been enjoying his time off school but is definitely missing his friends. He hasn't managed to catch up with any of them during the holidays because they've all been away. He loved his week at football camp and has a karate camp to look forward to next week. Z has been reading a lot over the holidays, so much so, he has ran out of books to read. A trip to the library meant he was able to stock up on lots of new books to read.

Miss C enjoyed a sleepover at her best friend's house last weekend. She told me she had a brilliant time. Her best friend's mum had done her hair for her in the morning in gorgeous plaits. The kind that I can't do, despite watching numerous YouTube videos and having my hairdresser give me a one on one tutorial. She looked so cute! In fact, she managed to keep them in for our photos.

We only have a few more weeks before the routine of school and college starts again so we're going to make the most of our time together.

dear beautiful

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Grabbing a Bargain at the Next Sale

As you may know, I am a huge fan of the Next sale. I adore their children's clothing, especially for Miss C, and I always stock up on as much as I can in the Summer and Winter sales.

A few weekends ago, despite the rain and wind, I was up at 4am and raring to get to my local store. I arrived around 4.15am and I was pretty much at the door. I'm glad I arrived when I did as shortly after and right up until 5am, the queue had grown substantially. In fact, when I was in store, grabbing my bargains, they stopped letting people in as the shop would have been too congested.

Not only did I get up early and head to my local store, I went to a bigger store in the afternoon with Miss C. It wasn't as successful as my first trip. Actually, this is one of my least successful trips to a Next sale ever. Usually I get quite a lot for both of the kids but there just wasn't a lot of things in Z's age.

Never mind, better luck at Christmas!

I made a video of everything I picked up which you can watch below.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Most Determined Player

Z has always enjoyed practising his football skills in the garden and has a real passion for watching and playing football. When we took him to see his first football match, he had a brilliant day.

The opportunity came up for Z to attend a football camp for half the regular price so we decided to book him in and not tell him until a few days before. When we told him, he was so excited. His face lit up and he ran outside to start practising.

On his first day, he was feeling nervous but excited. Z has always been good at talking to other children and making new friends so I wasn't worried about him going somewhere where he probably wouldn't know anyone. 

When we arrived at the venue, Z stared at the pitches and kept saying he couldn't wait to get on to one and start practising and playing. 

The camp started at 10am and finished at 3pm, so it was a long day for him. We picked him up after his first day and he was shattered but he was in great spirits and couldn't wait to get back the following day. 

Every day for the rest of the week, he was enthusiastic and worked hard to improve his skills. A lot of the boys there play for the young players team so they were really good but that didn't phase Z. He saw it as an opportunity to learn from them and whenever we arrived early to watch the last 10 minutes of a match, he was running around, trying to tackle and score a goal. He would shout over to us to tell us how many goals he had managed to score that day! His biggest score was 7!

On the last day, they had a small award ceremony. All of the children received a certificate for something different and Z received his for Most Determined Player of the Week. He was really chuffed and so were we. It's great to see that he has the determination to keep trying even with there being children there with greater skill and more experience than him. It didn't phase him. He didn't give up when it got to hard. He kept going and this had clearly been seen by his coaches. 

Sunday, 26 July 2015

The Week That Was #30

Last Sunday, we were up early for horse riding. Miss C decided she wanted to ride Jock again after being off him for awhile. I noticed she started to regress a bit though so, whilst I think it's great she's trying lots of different horses, I think she needs to pick one and stick with it until she perfects the skills she has learnt. I'm thinking about going back to riding in a few weeks time...I just need to get the confidence to do it. After lunch, Z headed to a birthday party at a dry ski slope. He had a brilliant time and I think he was really happy to catch up with friends from school.

On Monday, we were up early as Z was going to his first day of football camp. He was feeling really nervous but quite excited. We dropped him off and then headed home so I could clean the car. Part way through it started raining but I carried on to finish it off. After lunch, because it was miserable outside, we watched Brave. We picked Z up from football camp and he told us all about his day. He managed to score 7 goals!

On Tuesday, after dropping Z off at football camp, Miss C and I headed in to town to meet up with GG for lunch. We headed to a really nice restaurant in town that serve up a great express lunch menu. Miss C ordered chicken goujons with fries and beans and GG and I had the Cajun chicken with rice and vegetables. The food was amazing. Miss C and I had sticky toffee pudding for dessert which was also really, really good. After lunch, we picked Z up and he was shattered from another hard day of training.

On Wednesday, we dropped Z off at football camp and then came home so Miss C could paint. She got a plastic horse for her birthday with paints and stickers and she couldn't wait to get started. It took her about 30 minutes to finish it. We read some books, did some drawing and had lunch. The sun came out after lunch so we took the opportunity to go out and sweep the garden and decking after I'd washed it all on Monday. Miss C helped with the dustpan and brush and did a very good job. Z was knackered when we picked him up so he lay in his bed and read a book before dinner. He is almost out of books as he has been reading so much in the holidays!

On Thursday, Miss C and I popped in to see Miss C's best friend and her mum for a catch up. The girls were super excited to see each other and went to play straight away. We had a cup of tea and a slice of cake which was yummy! We headed home for lunch and I did my ironing whilst Miss C played with her dolls. Z had another fun and tiring day at football camp and I think he'll be sad to finish the camp.

On Friday, Miss C and I dropped Z off for his last day of football camp and we headed to Asda for our weekly shop. When we got home, Miss C wanted to play with her dolls and I got her case ready for going to her best friend's house for a sleepover. We went to football camp a bit earlier as they were having an award presentation and Z got the award for most determined player. He was really chuffed. After dinner, Miss C headed off to her best friend's house and Z settled down with Husband to watch Lord of the Rings.

On Saturday, we got up and headed over to collect Miss C from her best friend's house. She had a great time. We headed in to town to buy the school shoes. An expensive yet necessary task. Miss C picked out black Lelli Kelly shoes and Z picked out some football themed black Startrite shoes. We headed to our favourite Italian for lunch which was delicious. The sun was splitting the sky so I got a washing hung out before we headed to the cinema to see Inside Out. I was sent some of this Comfort Intense fabric softener to try and it smells amazing. It also last ages as it is ultra concentrated so you only need a little bit. The film was really good but we didn't enjoy it as much as Big Hero 6.

365 Project 2015 Days 200 - 206

Day 200 - Miss C sitting on Murphy, one of the biggest horses at her riding school
Day 201 - Z all ready for his first day at football camp
Day 202 - We rescued a little bee who was a bit drunk on pollen
Day 203 - Miss C enjoying some painting
Day 204 - Miss C wearing some stick on earrings her best friend put on for her
Day 205 - Miss C all packed and raring to go to her best friend's house for a sleepover
Day 206 - There were 4 of us in room for Daddy!

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Life and Wondering Why?

Sometimes things in life are sent to try you. To test you. To see how strong you really are. Nine years ago, on this very day, one of the hardest things was sent to try Husband and I. It was the day we lost our baby.

Finding out you are pregnant is one of the most amazing feelings in the world. It was a month before we were due to get married, maybe even a bit less, and I had been feeling awful. I'd just finished a course of medicine to help with what the Doctor thought was gut colic but it hadn't helped. I still felt ill. I had pain in my bladder area and I ended up having to be seen by the Doctor on call. She asked me if I could be pregnant. I had stopped taking my pill 3 months before we were due to get married but the thought had never crossed my mind that I would be pregnant so soon. I'd been on the pill for almost 5 years so I thought it would take awhile for everything to go back to normal. I took a pregnancy test and there it was; the faint line of a positive pregnancy test.

I had to give a sample in to my Doctor's surgery and they confirmed the result. We were going to be parents and there's nothing like that feeling of finding out you are going to be parents, especially for the first time. We guessed we must be around 8 - 10 weeks pregnant.

We got married, having only told very close friends the news. One of them slipped up in our wedding guest book and as my in-laws took all of our presents and cards home with them after the wedding, they found out. They were really excited.

We went off on honeymoon to Portugal and it was wonderful. We relaxed by the pool and enjoyed lots of delicious food by the marina.

Then, on 26th July 2006, as we walked to dinner, I felt something strange. We went to a bar to go to the toilet and I was bleeding. We had to take a taxi to the nearest hospital which was about an hour away. It seemed to take forever as we sat in silence in the car. I think we were both hoping it was just a scare but I also think we knew. We knew I was losing our baby.

When we arrived at the hospital, I started bleeding heavily. The poor male porter was traumatised. He didn't speak English but he knew what was happening. I was taken to a ward, with people either side of me and we had to wait. We waited for ages because the hospital wouldn't do anything until either Husband paid the medical bill or they heard from the insurance. Initially they wouldn't even let him use the phone but we didn't have mobiles with us. Finally, he got in contact with the insurance who paid out straight away and I was taken to theatre to have a dilation and curettage procedure. I was under general anaesthetic in a foreign country and Husband had no idea what was going on because of the language barrier. He had to sign my consent form as I had lost so much blood, I was almost passed out. A few days after, I had to return to the hospital for a scan. The Doctor confirmed the baby was around 10 weeks and had I been 14 weeks or more, I may have had to go through the pain of giving birth.

Losing a baby is something really difficult to go through, no matter where you are in the world but for it to happen on our honeymoon was just horrific. However, it cemented our relationship and made us closer, stronger and more supportive of one another.

We've had hard times happen throughout our relationship from really small things like a bump to our brand new car to the big things like redundancy and consoling our children when we had to put the cats to sleep after they were poisoned. I often wonder, why do these things happen in life? But I'm a firm believer in only being sent the things you are meant to learn from, grow from and become stronger from.

Sometimes I wonder...was the baby a boy or a girl? What would it have been like? Would it have looked like Husband or I? But then I think of my children, who are here and are the most important people in our lives.  It may sounds horrid but, I came to realise very quickly that we lost our first baby so we could have Z and I can't imagine a world without Z in it. And would Miss C have been born if our first baby had?

I'm a firm believer in things also happening for a reason and whilst sometimes I question the reasons things happen to us, especially not so good things, I know that nothing will break us. We have each other and in life, so long as we've got each other, we've got everything we will ever need.

The Black and White Photo Project #54

My Sunday Photo 2015 #30


Saturday, 25 July 2015

The Moments They'll Remember

We're half way through our summer holidays and they have been wonderful. I'm enjoying the time off with the kids and not having to rush to get to school or college.

Sadly, the weather hasn't improved much and we're only getting a day of sunshine here and there. We took a trip to the park on one of those "rare" days. The kids decided they wanted to ride their bikes to the park which meant I would have to run beside them. Not that I minded. It was a good way to tick exercise for that day off my list of things to do.

We are lucky to live near quite a few parks and greenery and the kids love to go to the park. At home, if they could get away with it, they'd sit and play the Xbox or their tablets all day and show little enthusiasm for anything else. That's until I mention going to the park. I used to go all the time when they were little but with them being at school, we don't get to go very often. The novelty of a swing or a slide or feeding the ducks hasn't worn off for my two.

The park was surprisingly quiet for it being such a nice day but we didn't mind. It meant they could get on everything they wanted to without waiting. They decided to ride their bikes around the little course. Miss C is so confident on her bike now, she was quite happy to cycle up and down the hills.

After the bike course, they headed over to the swings. Z used to hate the swings but he's back to enjoying them again. They both shout for me to push them higher and higher.

I love Miss C's outfit. It's all from Next and the peach coloured skinny jeans are so summery and cheery. I think the colour really suits her skin tone and hair colour.

After the swings, it was on to the see-saw, which didn't do much seeing or sawing. Z decided to stand up and jump (boys will be boys) to get it to go up and down for Miss C. Eventually they asked me to sit on one end so it would go down...cheeky monkeys!

Miss C loves the zip slide. Apart from the swings, it is her favourite part of the park. She loves it even more now she can jump on to the seat herself. 

These are the days that I'm sure they'll remember when they are older with fondness. I know I remember our days outdoors, running through the fields, climbing the hay bales and playing at the beach. I hope the weather improves a bit before they go back to school so we can enjoy more days like these. 

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Surania Swimwear - Review

We were recently asked if we'd like to design our very own swimwear from Surania to review. As Husband was in need of some swimming shorts for our holiday to Florida, we decided to take them up on the offer.

Surania is a Spanish company that sells swimwear online via their website. The company started 3 years ago and offers customers the opportunity to create their own individual style of swimwear whether this is an all in one suit or a bikini. They cater for women, men and children and prices start at around £30 for kids swimwear and around £45 for adult swimwear although they charge in Euro.

The website is pretty easy to navigate. You can choose from their collection of swimwear if you don't want to create your own style however we decided we wanted to make Husband his own pair of swim shorts. For men, there are 4 different styles of short to choose from; slip, boxer, short and classic. We decided to go with the classic short. We then chose the style of waistband we wanted. To keep things simple, we went with the classic waist.

For the design, we decided to go with a block colour for the shorts and a print for the waistband and pocket on the back of the shorts. There were quite a few different colours and patterns to choose from and they can all be combined together to make something completely unique to you. Husband liked the deep red colour and we chose the "Victoria" print for the waistband. The website gives you a preview of what your swimwear will look like so you can change it about until it's just what you want.

After choosing the colour and pattern, we moved on to the sizing. There are two options for choosing your size; simplified and detailed. With the simplified option, you just need to input your height in cms and choose from small, medium, large and so on. In the detailed option, which takes around 3 minutes to complete, you can input more information, such as height, waist and hip measurement, so you get the perfect fitting swimwear.

We placed our order and the price came to £49.60 once it was converted from Euro. A bit more than we would normally pay for swimwear however we were hoping that the quality and fit would match up to the price.

I placed the order on June 8th and the order arrived around July 11th so it did take some time to come. It does say on their website that orders should be received within 15 working days from your order date so I'm not sure if it took longer because we were using a review code to order the swimwear.

When the package arrived, it was really well presented; almost like a little gift. The shorts were wrapped in tissue paper too.

Husband tried them on and for his waist, they fit perfect. They do have drawstrings so he can tighten them if he feels he needs to. Had he bought a regular pair of swim shorts from a high street store, he would have bought a medium and probably would have needed to tighten the waist. The only criticism he has of the shorts is he feels they are a bit tight on the thigh and maybe this is a measurement that could be included when ordering.

The quality and feel of the shorts is excellent. They feel quite light but well made and I love the colour and print. I think they work really well together and they are completely different from anything I've seen on the high street. I decided to hand wash the shorts as I thought a bit of the colour might run which it did but they still feel as good after a wash and line dry.

I'd be reluctant to pay the prices myself for Surania swimwear however I do feel the quality matches up to the price tag and for the fact that you can design your very own style of swimwear.

We received a voucher to use on the Surania website in return for a fair and honest review. The opinions expressed are my own.  

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Home Comforts #TheGallery

My biggest home comfort is a good cup of tea and a croissants for elevenses.

Sometimes the pastry will change but the tea never does. A good brand of tea bag (I use Scottish Blend), placed in a mug with one teaspoon of sugar, boiling hot water poured over and left to brew for around a minute, maybe a bit more. The tea bag is removed and milk is added. A good stir and we're good to go.

Sticky Fingers Photo Gallery

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Really Good, Really Easy Chili con Carne - Recipe

Chili con Carne is one of my favourite mince dishes to eat. I love it with kidney beans and with a real kick to it and, up until a few years ago, I used to just buy a jar of pre-made Chili sauce. But the kids and Husband hated it with kidney beans so I decided to try and make it myself, completely from scratch and minus the dreaded beans, and it is now one of their favourite dishes too.

I still can't get over how easy it is to make Chili con Carne from scratch. It doesn't take too long and it must be healthier than buying the pre-made jars of sauce. It definitely tastes a lot better! So I thought I'd share my really good, really easy Chili con Carne recipe. You can add a tin of kidney beans in this recipe if you like them in your Chili.


500g of lean beef mince
1 onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 red pepper, chopped
2 bay leaves
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp oregano
2 tsp light muscavado sugar
2 tsp chili powder (I use mild for the kids)
A good glug of Worcester sauce
2 cans of chopped tomatoes
Salt and pepper, to taste

Let's Cook It

Add a little olive oil to a large pot and gently fry the onion until soft. Add in the garlic and fry it for a minute. Add in the spices, the sugar, the bay leaves and the mince and fry until the mince is brown, constantly stirring and moving it around the pot. Add in the red pepper, the canned tomatoes and the Worcester sauce. You can add a bit of water to the pot if you feel it needs it but I never do. Give the Chili a good stir and add in salt and pepper to taste. Let the Chili simmer for about an hour. Serve it with rice or fill pitta breads with Chili and eat them with your hands.

If you can make this the day before you want to have it, it will taste even better!

Monday, 20 July 2015

Storage Solutions for Kids Rooms

As soon as you have a baby, you need an abundance of stuff. Nappies, baby clothes, muslin cloths, a changing mat, a crib, a baby chair or swing...the list seems never ending. You'd think as your baby grows in to a toddler and then in to a child, you'd need less stuff but the reality is, the bigger they grow, the bigger the pile of stuff gets. In the blink of an eye, your house has been overtaken by toys, books, clothes and games. Not only is the amount of stuff overwhelming, creating order and containing the stuff can be pretty hard too. Toys seem to appear in the corners of rooms you often forget to hoover. Lego pieces seem to be strategically placed in the hall after you go to bed for you to step on in the night on route to the toilet. Bits of jigsaw or games seem to vanish and reappear in the most random of places, after you've declared the jigsaw or game unusable because a piece or two has gone missing.

I like to keep my living room free from stuff that belongs to the kids. I still want it to be a room we can all enjoy as a family but we agreed that once we had decorated the kids rooms how we wanted them, all toys and games would make a permanent move to their bedrooms.

In order to contain their things and keep some order about their rooms, we had to look at different types of storage for kids rooms and Tesco online was one of the first places I looked. They have a great selection of practical and affordable storage solutions whether it's plastic containers, under the bed storage boxes or the plastic flexi tubs with handles. These are all fantastic ways to store toys, books, games, shoes or clothes in the kids rooms.

Miss C has 3 plastic storage boxes which are around 45L. They come with lids but for her soft toys, I kept the lid off as it meant she could store even more of them in there and free up her bed space. Her dolls and animal toys are stored across the other two boxes with lids. They can easily be lifted out of her double wardrobe for her to play with in her room as and when she wants and then put back when she has finished with them.

Z also has a few plastic storage boxes which house his massive Lego collection and his Star Wars toys. They are stacked away in his wardrobe until he wants to play with them He also has under the bed storage in the form of three drawers. These slot under his bed and are easily pulled out using the handles. He keeps his games and Xbox 360 stuff in them.

Storage solutions aren't just great space savers, they are also great for keeping their rooms tidy and their toys in a place so they don't have to shout after me to find things for them!

Collins Big Cat Reading Lions - Book Review

We were asked if we'd like to review the Collins Big Cat Reading Lions books and the Collins Picture Atlas which is aimed at children aged 4 - 8 years. The Big Cat books appealed as these are books that are used throughout schools in the UK and they are carefully levelled by educational experts to support your child's reading development.

I made a video of our review which you can watch below:

The Big Cat Reading Lions books are available in packs of 6 books; 3 fiction and 3 non-fiction. There are 6 levels to choose from based upon your child's reading stage.

The Picture Atlas is a really fun and colourful book which can be brought to life via the Collins website. It has lots of interesting facts about the different parts of the world and the pictures to represent the different cities are really cool. This really is a fun atlas that makes learning easy for children.

You can find out more about the Collins book range by visiting their website.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

The Week That Was #29

Last Sunday, Husband got up with the kids and brought me a cup of tea in bed, even though he'd been out the night before and didn't get in until after 1am! We had a quick lunch and then headed to the local shopping centre to but new trainers for Z and Miss C to wear in Florida and to treat them to something after doing so well on their end of school year reports. Miss C chose a very cute elephant from Build-a-Bear and Z chose a remote controlled Lamborghini. We managed to pick up two pairs of Nike Runners for under £40 which was a real bargain!

On Monday, we had an early lunch and then walked down to the leisure centre to go swimming. The rain was spitting but we still walked down as we're trying to prepare the kids for the amount of walking we will be doing in Florida. I've heard people have clocked up over 30000 steps in a day there! They wore their new trainers so they can break them in and I'm pleased to report that their feet weren't sore or blistered from the walk. We had a lot of fun at swimming as the fun swim was on. Husband came along too before he left to go back to bed for his night shift. We walked home and changed in to our jammies to watch a film; Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Wererabbit.

On Tuesday, Husband was home before I woke up so he took the kids down for breakfast to give me a lie in. After lunch, we did some homework and then headed out for a bike ride. We did some colouring in and the kids played on the trampoline before dinner. More fun was had outside after dinner until bedtime. We had to rescue a bee from the swimming pool! His wings were soaking so he took some time to dry off!

On Wednesday, it was our anniversary. We didn't buy each other gifts this year as we want to treat ourselves to something special whilst on holiday in Florida which includes a really good steak dinner, cocktails and maybe a special piece of jewellery. We'll have a special dinner at the weekend to celebrate too. The kids spent most of the day outside, playing on their bikes and playing with my neighbour's grandson. I watched from my window whilst I did the ironing. It was a really lovely day and they were definitely ready for bed come bedtime.

On Thursday, the kids and I headed to the leisure centre to go swimming again. They are really enjoying the fun swim although it does get really busy and we don't really get the chance to do any proper swimming. Z loves the "wipeout" style assault course though and goes on and off it himself. When we got home, we were knackered as we walked to and from the leisure centre. We watched Toy Story before dinner and then had an early night as we were all shattered.

On Friday, the kids and I headed to Asda to get our shopping and they helped me put it away when we got home. After lunch, the kids played a little bit of Minecraft and we took my neighbour's dog out for a walk. We had pizza for dinner and enjoyed Ben & Jerry's Cookie Dough ice cream for pudding. Miss C lost her second tooth!

On Saturday, I was up at 4am to head to the Next sale to pick up some bargains. When I got home, I had to wake Husband as the guttering along the back of the house had collapsed. The wind had caught it and pulled it off. Husband spent the day replacing all the wood underneath, cleaning all the guttering and PVC facings and refitting them to the house. He did a great job! It's so handy having a handy Husband who knows how to do these things. Miss C and I went to the local shopping centre to have one of her Build-a-Bears stitched back up and we treated ourselves to some cupcakes for after dinner.

The Black and White Photo Project #53

My Sunday Photo 2015 #29


Saturday, 18 July 2015

365 Project 2015 Days 193 - 199

Day 193 - Miss C chose a new friend from Build-a-Bear. She called him Elephant.
Day 194 - Walking to swimming in the drizzle.
Day 195 - Doing a bit of "school work" before lunch.
Day 196 - Miss C enjoying being out on her bike.
Day 197 - A nice, healthy lunch of bagel and cucumber.
Day 198 - Miss C lost another tooth!
Day 199 - Up at the crazy hour of 4am to get to the Next sale!

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Keeping Our Minds Active During the Holidays

Seven weeks is a long time away from the classroom. It's great to have a break and by June, the kids (and teachers!) really do need the break but that doesn't mean that we have to stop learning.

I really do believe it is important to keep up with things like sums, reading and writing during the holidays because it means it is less of a shock when the kids go back to school. I know they ease them in gently but if they do a little bit of work every day, it doesn't seem as daunting when they go back.

Z has always enjoyed doing workbooks, especially Math, and I've picked up quite a few over the years from WHSmith and some we received from Parragon to review. Z is a level 2 secure which means he'd be moving on to level 3 in school. That's Key Stage 3 down south so he finds these books quite easy but it's good for him to keep up practise.  He'll work through a few pages every day. He reads a lot and often reads a book out loud to Miss C at bed time.

Miss C has been using the Lexia workbooks we were sent to review earlier this year. These are set over different levels so Miss C is working through level 1 which is a basic introduction to phonics, letters and simple three letter words, including CVC words. She's enjoying doing them as she's finding them quite easy. Miss C isn't as motivated to learn as her brother is so it's about finding something she enjoys doing that she can learn from in the process.

Do you think it's important to keep up some form of school related work whilst the kids are on holiday?

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Sibling Moments #19

The holidays are proving great for these two and their relationship. They are really enjoying each others company...well most of the time anyway. They have their moments and I've heard them shouting at each other from my bedroom which works better than any alarm clock does at getting me out of bed.

I also hear Miss C opening her door, creeping out in to the hall, clutching her pillow and her favourite teddy, Ted, and opening Z's door to see if he's awake. Usually he is still sleeping as he tends to stay up a bit later than Miss C does, reading his books. She walks over to his bed, climbs in and they cuddle up together. This is how I found them at the weekend.

dear beautiful

Time #TheGallery

The date was 15th July 2006.

The time was (around) 3.15pm.

We said I do.

Today we celebrate 9 years of marriage.

There have been hard times but mostly there have been really, really good times.

Sticky Fingers Photo Gallery

Monday, 13 July 2015

What Miss C's Been Wearing #11

I love the spring/summer clothing ranges for children. They are always so bright and colourful and I especially love Miss C's summer wardrobe. There are so many different clothing styles and items for girls to choose from!

Here's what she wore on a recent trip to the shops:

I love the colour of her skinny jeans from next. I got these last year from their spring/summer collection in the next sale for around £6.00 which is a real bargain for such good quality, well wearing jeans. They have a lovely soft feel to them too and Miss C loves wearing these. 

Her vest top has a cute little handbag on it with lace and bow detail and a diamante strap. It's from Mayoral and this is the first time she wore it. 

A denim jacket is a staple piece in any wardrobe as it goes with anything and everything. I also got this denim jacket from next in their sale last year. It's still a bit long in the arms for Miss C but it looks lovely on and has diamante details on the pockets. 

Lelli Kelly canvas shoes are a big hit in our house. For a pair of pretty shoes, they are not cheap. These cost 10p shy of £50 but they have removable insoles which means Miss C gets a lot of wear out of them. They can go in the washing machine and come out like new. The little diamantes, crystals and beads are pretty securely glued on and, whilst we have lost beads off previous pairs, it hasn't been masses and they've always, always lasted ages. And they go with everything. The Fiore Di Pesco have proven to be really popular this season and were completely out of stock in our local shoe shop within a few days. I love how well they go with her skinny jeans! 

Sunday, 12 July 2015

The Week That Was #28

Last Sunday, we went to horse riding and Miss C decided she wanted to ride a newish horse called Lulu. Lulu is only a baby at just 3 years old so she's still learning her paces but Miss C was feeling brave and wanted to try her. She did really well although Lulu was quite forward and was raring to go once she started cantering. After lunch, we spent the afternoon indoors because it was pouring with rain. Quite the contrast to the weather we had been enjoying but you could feel it in the air and I'm surprised we didn't have any thunder or lightning. After dinner, the kids watched The Lego Movie. The perks of being on school holidays!

On Monday, we went to the fun swim at our local swimming pool and the kids had a brilliant time playing on the inflatables. It was a bit like a Wipeout challenge for them. We walked to and from the pool so by the time we got home, we were shattered. After dinner of enchiladas, the kids watched a movie and I was in bed by 9pm, completely shattered.

On Tuesday, the kids decided they were going to have a Lego day which, literally, took over the whole house. The Sylvanian Family house that is. I'm a bit OCD when it comes to toys and the sets they belong in but the kids were having fun and they promised to put everything in the right place when they were done so I left them to it. After lunch we went for a bike ride and the kids had fun "rescuing" lots of ladybirds.

On Wednesday, the kids enjoyed not one but two bike rides. It was another beautiful day. Miss C is doing so well on her bike now without her stabilisers, I think it is fair to say she's cracked it. Husband took the kids down to the local park after dinner where there is an area for the kids to ride their scooters or bikes. By the time they got home, they were hot and sweaty and ready for a shower.

On Thursday, we had a quiet day in the house. The kids wanted to play more games so they had the City Alarm game from LEGO out. It's great that they can play these games together now Miss C is old enough to understand the rules.

On Friday, I wasn't feeling too great. Hayfever is really affecting me just now. Husband came home from work and took the kids swimming so I could have some peace to rest. They looked shattered when they got home. We had pizza for tea and then watched the Tarzan movie. It was good but I think the Disney version is better!

On Saturday, I decided to strip all the beds and take down the curtains and make the most of a good drying day as it was pretty windy! My friend popped over with her daughter so the kids played and went for a bike ride and we had a good catch up. After dinner, Husband headed out to a friend's house which meant I had the night to myself once the kids went to bed. I enjoy these kind of nights every now and again cause I can put my music on and catch up on blog reading.

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