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General post

Girly Day In London – Finding Dory

A girly day in London - Finding Dory

Girly Day In London – Finding Dory

A girly day in London – finding Dory was enjoyed not that long ago. We very often have our nieces come for a sleepover, when they do we always like to make sure we have something fun planned.

We had our youngest niece Lexi come and stay. Lexi has made good friends with Tilly from Being Tilly’s Mummy blog. We have met up before in the past and the girls get along brilliantly together and have become good friends. We planned to meet with Vicky and Tilly at Disney HQ and have a girly day, being a mum of three teen boy’s I really enjoyed having some girly time.

Girls day out

It was mine and Lexi’s first time at Disney HQ, admittedly I was rather excited, are you ever too old for Disney? We was there to have a private screening of this summers must-see kid’s movie – the new Finding Dory movie. Lexi is a huge fan of Dory so she was rather excited.

Specsavers – Finding Dory Frames

Whilst we waited to be seated for the movie Lexi enjoyed trying on Specsavers new kid’s frame range. They have introduced four new frames – Finding Dory frames. These frames are exclusive to Specsavers and will be launched in the £64 range.

Children’s eye care is very important, Bradley has had to wear glasses now for many years. At first he would refuse to wear his glasses but we soon found that if we let him choose a frame that he liked and wanted then he would happily wear them.

Finding Dory Frames

These new frames are available now in Specsavers stores perfect for children between three and eight years. Eye tests are free on the NHS for under 16s and all the glasses in the kid’s range include UV filter, a scratch resistant treatment, case and cloth. The range cater for different sized frames and fittings, catering for active children as well as the older child.

Finding Dory Frames

Children also get to choose a second pair in the kid’s get two pairs offer. With kid’s glasses it is always safer to have that spare pair handy, Bradley’s glasses was always getting misplaced or damaged when he was younger. Thankfully he has got much better at looking after his glasses now.

These lovely four new frames have the characters of Finding Dory on the arms with a choice of colours to suit every style.

Lexi had great fun trying on the different frames.

Finding Dory Frames

She loved seeing what her frames looked like on.

Finding Dory Frames

Finding Dory Frames

The movie itself…

Finding Dory Movie in 3D

Finding Dory movie

Once I managed to get Lexi to put the glasses back she had her arm painted before we was then seated to watch the Finding Dory movie in 3D.

Finding Dory Movie 3D

We enjoyed being taken back to the wonderful underwater world from Finding Nemo. We really enjoyed welcoming back our favorite, friendly-but-forgetful blue tang – Dory. Lexi was glued to watching Dory’s determination to return home to her forgotten parents, cheering her along her journey.

finding dory 3d movie

This animated sequel will have a wide audience glued, cheering Dory along on her journey to find her parents. This heartwarming movie is this summers must-see movie and is out now. Lexi couldn’t wait to return home herself to tell her older sisters and anyone who would listen about the movie.

We had a fantastic girly day. Every girl loves a new bag, look at the smile on this girls face.

Dory bag

 

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Home Improvements

Home improvements

Home Improvements

Some of you may already be aware but we are currently on an exciting journey, that journey being a first time buyer’s journey. Lot’s of fun home improvements are to be made. You can read more about our journey so far on a guest post over on Being Tilly’s Mummy.  We have so many home improvements that we would love to make and get started on. We have some exciting plans but there are also areas where we are needing help and advice. Where better to head off to for this help and advice other than the Ideal Home Show.

Myself and Bradley headed off there for a day out together, we went there with a few ideas in mind but came away with so many more, some ideas we would never had thought of. Bradley came away with some new ideas for his bedroom and I must admit I love what he has in mind.

Whilst there we even had a chat with Martin Lewis.

Home improvements

 

On our day at the Ideal Home Show some fantastic renovation advice was given to us, we was told that planning as much as we can and keeping things simple is the key to any succesful project. Any rushed and unplanned projects will most probably end in mistakes being made. Plan as much as we can in as much detail as possible, get colour samples and always double-check measurements.

We found the Ideal Home Show so inspirational, there are so many ideas under one roof it was amazing, we had so much fun looking at the gadgets and trends. There are so many different sections such as food, technology, home furnishing, garden and so many more. We had such a fun day out and will defiantly be going again next time. Our exciting plans are going to be put into action very soon.

Have you ever visited the Ideal Home Show?

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Exciting Times Throughout March

Exciting times throughout March

Exciting Times Throughout March

Looking back over our  exciting times throughout March we can safely say that we had a busy and fun month, a month full of fun and excitement. Here is a little of what we got up to.

Our month started off with a meeting, not just any meeting but a meeting to start a very exciting journey – Buying our first house. Eeek it is really happening….Exciting times!

A very relaxing mothers day took place, I was told to put my feet up and relax for the whole day so I did, it proved costly as this happened. A little shopping took place…Whoops.

Exciting times throughout march

A fun quiz took place, Lee really enjoys football so we tested his knowledge and had a fun family afternoon.

Exciting times throughout march

We had our youngest niece come and stay with us, she came along to watch Lee play in his football match – it looks like Lee has a little fan by what was caught on video….so cute.

Lee's little football fan. #cousinlove

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We had a fun and exciting stay at Chessington. We spent the night in the hotel and had a fantastic time.

Exciting times throughout march

Myself and Bradley attended the Ideal Home Show, Brad had been asking prior to our visit if we could teach him how to use our camera as he wants to learn more about photography. After a quick how-to-use talk he was our photographer for the day.

Exciting times throughout march

Good Friday was spent in the best place – That place being where we call our happy place – Clacton beach. This is why it is called our happy place.

                        Of course some beach rules had to be made – What do you think?

Seaside rules 👌

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A lovely Easter cake was made, one even the Easter Bunny would agree on – Carrot cake.

Exciting times throughout march

How did you spend your Bank holiday Monday? ours went a little like this – wine, snacks, candles, duvet and movies…..Perfect!

Exciting times throughout march

 

This is a little of our exciting times throughout March, did you get up to much?

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Clacton

Clacton

Clacton

For many years now we have found ourselves heading off to Clacton a few times a year. We have grandparents who retired there 16 years ago so we regularly head there to visit them. Clacton seafront has a beautiful beach and we have had many of fun days there with the boys right from when they was a young age. We regularly visit and the boys still love to spend the day out on the pier enjoying the rides and heading off to the arcades, we enjoy a lovely stroll along the seafront with our grandparents whatever the weather, even enjoying a nice meal whilst down there, on our last visit we enjoyed a lovely meal in the Broadwalk bar & grill. As you can imagine Clacton is a special place for us to head as a family and always will be.

Clacton
Clacton-On-Sea

We’ve had celebrations in Clacton, we celebrated our grandparent’s 60th wedding anniversary not so long ago and we’ve even seen the new year in with them there. Clacton is safe to say a very happy place for us to visit, creating new memories at each visit.

Clacton

We have always found something to fun to do. Clacton offers loads of indoor and outdoor fun, we’ve had fun on the beach, fun in the arcades, enjoyed the rides (indoor & out) been out on the pier. Did you know Clacton even has a SeaQuarium? It does, in there you will be able to see all marine life species found from in and around the shores up close and personal, so a trip to Clacton beach can even be educational, the boys love visiting to see what we can see in there.

ClactonIf the weather is bad we often head to the indoor rides or for a game of bowling, it makes a great competitive game and the teens do like to challenge us older ones.

clacton The arcades are where we more often than not find the boys, Clacton has a great family amusements arcade it offers a wide range of different machines to suit all ages even our young-at-heart grandparents. You will find driving games, shooting games, casino games for us oldies, 2p machines, novelty games, fruit machines and many more fun machines. We have spent many of fun hours in the arcades, hours of endless family fun, let’s face it no trip to the seaside is the same without having a trip to the arcades.

Or is that just us being big kids?

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Travel Hacks

Travel Hacks

Travel Hacks

There is an art to budget travelling, especially if you’re traveling with kid’s – this creativity is most evident in the resourceful and ingenious ways that parents and travelers make the most of whatever they can fit into their luggage, this is where travel hacks come in very handy.

Below you will find a short video which demonstrates the most innovative travel hacks for hassle-free hosteling.

This is travel inspiration without the perspiration. So whether you’re looking to cut back on costs and add more efficiencies to your packing strategy, look no further as the YHA have it covered in their top 12 hosteling hacks. This is a master class in staying in hostels from those who have it down to a fine art.

Who would have thought you could create a bunk bed cinema or create a speaker out of a mug.

some great ideas there!

We are loving the look of the multi charger and the fab idea for stopping headphones getting tangled. Some great tips in the video some of which we will be putting in to practice when on our travels next.

I will be the first to admit that I ALWAYS overpack when we go off on our travels, after watching the video I will certainly be taking on board  some of those hacks, what brilliant ideas.

What are you like when you go off on your travels, are you like me and always over-pack or do you travel light?

*Posted in partnership with YHA*

 

General post

February

February

February

How was your February? ours was rather busy but fun with some big changes that had taken place.

Our month started with a party – Lee turned sweet sixteen so we had a small family celebration at home, we had 15 people come to dinner. We are celebrating Lee’s birthday with a trip to Barcelona so kept it small as celebrations will be taking place over in Barcelona.

Cake anyone 🎉

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We have been having a bit of a bedroom makeover, not just in Lee’s room but ours too!

Lee created a unique bedroom, he took full control of his bedroom makeover, he chose the furniture, colour and even decorating it himself. He is now hunting for soft furnishing to help style it.

Our bedroom also saw big changes too, it is not just a bedroom anymore – it is also an office too!

We needed somewhere we could escape to where we can get our work done in peace, minus distractions. Having somewhere quiet to escape to saves us from working late into the evenings and we can also get more work done too, meeting those all important deadlines.

Our home also saw the arrival of lovely new carpet. The carpet was for Lee’s bedroom and our bedroom/office. We are yet to still carpet Bradley’s room but work is still needing to bed done in there yet.

Bradley got creative with his stickbots and made this short valentines video with them. Full review can be found >>>HERE<<<

We enjoyed another date-night for valentines night, we made a lovely paella and enjoyed a lovely bottle of Prosecco. It was a lovely evening, we was going to go out but we was both too tired so opted to stay home instead and cook.

Perfect night in 👌

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Half term week we got creative and Bradley made a tin can robot and an air power engine car these can be seen here >> On the blog <<

We attended open day at our local college for Lee to chat with tutors about the courses best for his career choices. He is busy with exams and studying hard trying to get the best GCSE results in hope to get on his chosen course.

I was fancying a change in hairstyle/colour… what do you think?

Last night this happened. I fancied a change of hair colour. What do you think?

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We celebrated chinese new year and made a lovely homemade chinese sweet and sour pork.

We are currently busy getting our gardens ready for spring, they was a little neglected.

Busy morning in the front garden. Trying to get the gardens ready for spring.

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A busy but fun February – How was yours?

 

 

 

General post, Monthly updates

Looking Back As January Passes

looking back as january passes

Looking Back As January Passes

We love January as it’s the start of a whole new year, it’s a month where our new diary’s start being filled with lots of fun and adventures to look forward too throughout the year. We are now looking back as January passes, looking back at fun already had so far!

Our January started pretty much the same as everyone else’s, it started with lots of Christmas goodies still needing to be eaten, the decorations being taken down and packed away for another year. Our home always feels bigger once the decs have been packed away, it’s silly really as it’s no different in size.

The kids returned back to school and Lee is now preparing for his GCSEs. Lee is busy studying hard with lots of revision needing to be done for his GCSEs. To help him with this we have a preparing for exams chat rather regularly to make sure he is ok and not struggling.

Passports are being renewed and plans are well underway  to celebrate Lee’s 16th, we are celebrating with a trip to Barcelona, Lee is a huge football fan and has always wanted to visit Barcelona stadium……Eeek our boy turns 16 tomorrow (update to follow).

Phone calls home from school are always lovely to receive, so far this year we have had 4 and also a letter home saying how well Bradley is doing, lets hope he keeps it up for the rest of the year!

We have been busy decorating Lee’s bedroom, Lee had great fun decorating and styling his bedroom. His carpet is due to be laid this week (post to follow).

looking back as january passes

Looking back as january passes

We also made a bucket list of our goals that we wish to complete this year. We have already made a start on working our way through.

Bradley has had another growth spurt, he has now shot up another 4 inches and is now in need of some new clothes. A shopping trip is now needed.

We have made a good start on our Christmas savings – this year we are determined to make this Christmas easier. Have a read here >>> to see how.

We attended the toy fair at London’s Olympia and met with some lovely PRs. It was a very long day and we was both exhausted but it was brilliant to see some of the fabulous new games/toy’s being released later this year.

Bradley has settled back into performing arts college nicely after the Christmas break. He is now busy learning new lines as he will be performing in London’s West End in July. He will be performing in a musical to over 1,200 people.

We have also added some beautiful radiator covers to our hall and conservatory. We love how much bigger they make the conservatory look, we have also gained a nice shelf as we are making use of the top of them. What do you think?

Looking back as January passes

We now wave goodbye to January with an exciting new month to look forward to – February hopefully holds some exciting news for us….fingers crossed. We now have the paper work needed to apply to buy our house under a pilot scheme for housing association tenants. We now have the horrid wait to find out if our house will be one of the properties chosen to be sold off.

How was your January?

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Skills Children Can Gain From Looking After A Family Pet

Skills Children Can Gain From Looking After A Family Pet

Skills Children Can Gain From Looking After A Family Pet

Pets are a source of much love and joy for families. Children especially enjoy and respond to the warmth and friendship they provide. A pet can be a furry best friend, partner-in-crime, companion, someone to cuddle with and much more for your child. Pets also make great teachers. They improve a child’s social, emotional, physical and cognitive development while imparting a few valuable life skills as your child interacts with them. If you are considering adding a pet to your brood, here are some of the potential skills children can gain from looking after a family pet:

  • Unconditional love. Pets are non-judgemental and can be quite therapeutic for lonely children or those with emotional distress. A pet can give support and comfort as well as play with your child. This can help them learn the importance of friendship.
  • Responsibility and confidence. Giving your children age-appropriate chores such as feeding, grooming and cleaning up after the family pet helps them learn what it means to be responsible. In turn, the responsibility of caring for the pet can inspire confidence. Children as young as four can help with simple tasks such as filling water and food bowls. Bathing, grooming, walking, giving cats or dogs flea treatment etc., can be the responsibility of older children.
  • Empathy and compassion. As your child cares for a pet that is dependent on him, he learns empathy and compassion. Your child learns to read and recognize the pet’s needs and how to best fulfil them, especially if the animal becomes scared, falls ill or grows old.
  • Patience. Children can learn patience from housebreaking a kitten or puppy or by teaching their pets new tricks. These young animals don’t learn all they need to know overnight while other pets might be slow to learn. Dealing with these situations and other instances of animal training will teach your child that patience and consistency are vital ingredients in attaining success.
  • Coping with loss. Although you probably don’t want to think about this, the lifespan of most pets is considerably shorter than those of their owners. Commonly, your child’s first experience with the death of a loved one is the loss of a beloved family pet. If this is managed in a respectful way that pays tribute to the pet and acknowledges the pain and grief felt, the experience can be invaluable to children as they grow up.

Before selecting a family pet, you should make sure you inform all family members, especially children, of your decision. You should also pay attention to the type of pet you’d like to have. Some, such as cats and dogs, require almost constant care and are well suited to families. Others such as fish, birds and guinea pigs might not provide as much interaction. Remember that just like people, animals have different personalities and traits. Understand the different breeds available and get recommendations from a vet before making your final decision.

Pets can teach children plenty of skills that will help them grow to become well-adjusted adults. Add in the pure joy that pets bring and it seems unthinkable to let your child grow up in a house without one.

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Our Top Ten Winter Activities

our top ten winter activities

Our Top Ten Winter Activities

The wet miserable dark days are now sadly here, that horrible saying of “I’m bored”  will soon drive us all crazy. We have put together a list of our top ten winter activities that we enjoy during the winter months. These activities can be enjoyed by a wide age group.

Our boys are teenagers and bore very easily so we have to think of things that will grab their attention for that bit longer. Our teens have always got lots of energy like most kids and they always enjoy a challenge. Here is a list of our top ten winter activities.

 

Movies days – Something we all really enjoy. We let the kids all pick a movie each and we work our way through them all. We all bring our duvet downstairs, the pj’s stay on and we all snuggle up and enjoy a real lazy day together. Movie days are perfect for horrible wet stormy days.

our top ten winter activities

 

Indoor skiing – These days are perfect for days that the kids have lots of energy to burn, we enjoyed a sports holiday back in August and skiing was one of the sports the boys tried and I must say they very much enjoyed. We will be looking up our most local dry slope, this will be something we will be treating the boys to this winter in a bid to burn some energy and have fun doing so.

Our top ten winter activities
Lee and Bradley on our skiing/sports holiday back in August 2015

Swimming – Some winter fun for all the family to enjoy together. We normally have races up and down the pool, we have little challenges such as who can tread water the longest. We drop something to the bottom of the pool and see who can get it first/the quickest, the kids love games in the pool, especially if we visit during fun swim when the floats are out.

 

Fun on the Wii – We all enjoy playing on the Wii, we have dancing competitions, bowling competitions and very much enjoy the carnival games. This is something we enjoy doing as a family, it can get very competitive when playing the carnival games, before we know it hours have passed.

 

Fake-away – We all have our favourite takeaway so instead of ordering it we create our very own fakeaway. We had a vote at what we was going to have and chicken shish kebab won the vote. We have also made homemade pizzas, KFC, burgers and so on. The kids really enjoy getting stuck into learning how to make their own takeaway, they even wanted seconds.

Our top ten winter activities

 

Sleepover fun – On the odd weekend if homework is complete and up to date we let the boys take turns on having friends sleepover. Being teenagers not much sleep is had. They watch movies, listen to music, play competitive games, the consoles are high up on their to-do list along with home carnival games, board games and a fakeaway.

 

Challenging fun – We enjoy having a good old family challenge, this is where we all compete against each other. We have catchphrase on record and love to challenge each other on the answers. We also enjoy family board games, cards, charades, homemade carnival games and many more challenging games.

our top ten winter activities

 

Indoor skating – This is somewhere we go to show off our skills to each other, in my case to get laughed at……Yes I spend most of my time on my bottom! We go just to spend quality time together and have a laugh, we go on the odd Friday night.

our top ten winter activities

keep fit – We are currently in the process of setting up our very own home gym in our conservatory, we all enjoy working out together and challenging each others times. The boys find it rather comical that I tire out before they do, what can I say I’m beginning to show my age now.

our top ten winter activities

 

Homemade carnival games – We have a love of our carnival games and enjoy playing them on the Wii. Instead of just enjoying them on the Wii we also enjoy making our very own homemade ones.

our top ten winter activities

What winter fun do you enjoy?

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Tears Of Joy

Tears Of Joy

Tears Of Joy

What a weekend – we really struggled to hold back our tears last weekend – tears of joy that is.

Bradley wrote a post a while back about his confidence and how he’s had to overcome some hurdles to get him to this moment, that special moment of stepping out onto the stage and performing to an audience. He done just that on Saturday, he performed the same show/musical twice on Saturday, the musical was called 1989 Remember the 80s and boy did the tears flow. I just couldn’t hold the tears back because I was so proud and I knew how hard he’s had to work to get on that stage. This was his very first performance and it was held at The Wyllyotts Theatre.

Friends have laughed at him and his career choice, made jokes about him and really knocked his confidence. This was awful to see and hear but Brad acted in the best way, he chose to find new friends, supportive ones and has ignored the nasty friends and carried on with what it is that he has chosen to do.

He woke up Saturday morning extremely excited, happy and very keen to get going. Brad couldn’t wait  to get to the theatre, we had to have him dropped off by 10am and then we had our tickets at the ready for his first performance of the day at 3pm along with his Nan and granddad – he had a second showing of the musical at 6.30pm.

We excitedly arrived at 2.30pm……Yikes our boy was behind the big red curtains….Our boy was on stage.

Tears Of Joy

Words can’t describe how myself and Ian was feeling for him, we was mixed emotions of nervousness and excited. We knew he was OK as he was texting us from behind the stage to let us know he was excited and couldn’t wait to show us all his hard work.

When he stepped onto the stage my heart skipped a beat, I was so proud of him, he has dreamed of this moment for so long and had worked so hard at PQA (Pauline Quirke Academy), the tears started to stream down my face…Tears of joy!

Sadly we was not allowed to take photos during the performance, they did have a filming crew there filming the musical so we have requested a copy for Brad so he will having something to look back on.

On the Sunday Bradley had to be at our local leisure centre for 9.45am, we really felt for him as he was so tired from all his hard work performing on the Saturday. Alarms was set for 8am, he did get up with a huge struggle. He had to be there as he was being presented his official black sash and certificate, his black sash with his name on. He went for grading earlier in the year and passed.

Tears Of Joy

 

Yes more tears was flowing on the Sunday, I think I can safely say I was an emotional wreck this weekend. I am a very proud mum, a proud mum of all three of my boys.

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Feeling Good

Feeling Good

Feeling Good

As you may already know I am currently on a Slimming World journey in a bid to lose five stone, I have so far managed to lose just over three stone. I hit the three stone loss a while back now and have comfortably sat at this loss now for the past few months. Lately I’ve been wanting to push myself to lose the other two stone and start feeling good about myself.

I am due to attend an awards evening, this is a carer’s awards night for work. It is a Champagne four course dinner, with a formal dress code…..yikes!

I am not really a dress wearing person, due to my previous size before my slimming world journey I’d often be found in baggy trousers with a big baggy cardigan for comfort, all of which will be dark colours.

I have recently been on panic overdrive about what to wear to the awards night. I looked online at different outfits and saw this dress that I fell in love with straight away and knew that it was the dress for me. With the dress ordered – I ordered a size smaller than previously bought in the past, I done this in a bid to help keep me motivated and on track.

Due to my previous size, dresses never seemed to hang right on me, I like dresses that give you a shape and feel comfortable to wear. Unfortunately in the past this hasn’t happened. Since losing three stone my confidence has started to shine through and I now feel like I want to try different styles and actually go out in nice bright colours cardigan free.

The dress has been ordered – And has arrived……Yikes!

The table is booked, time and place to meet with colleagues is sorted…….Double yikes!

Now to find a nice bag, shoes and some accessories to go with my outfit – No backing out now.

I am really looking forward to the awards night but for me this is a BIG step out of my comfort zone. This will hopefully be a big step to a new me – One that is also back on plan and ready to lose the rest of the weight I so desperately want to shift.

 

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My Gift This Christmas

My Gift This Christmas

My Gift This Christmas

In our house at Christmas it’s not the kid’s getting over excited about Christmas it’s myself. Don’t get me wrong the boy’s do get excited but nowhere near as much as I do, I admit I am a big kid at Christmas.

I just can’t help but get excited about Christmas, it is just a time of year I LOVE – Not for the gifts but for the feel of Christmas, the quality time spent together, family making time for each other, the fun and laughter just warms my heart.

Christmas morning I am so excited to get the day started  I just can’t sleep, I am always awake from 4.30am onwards, crazy I know but this has just continued from when the boys was younger. Now the boys are teens we can safely say that early mornings on non – School days are not popular in our house with them and they sadly don’t join me on my early Christmas morning rise.

I am now up and downstairs on my own at silly – o clock on Christmas morning, excited and can’t wait for everyone else to wake up. While I’m waiting I prep the dinner, lay the table for breakfast, I then sit and wait listening to Christmas music, I excitedly wait until about 8am and then I start singing, dancing and shouting “it’s Christmas” hey let’s face it it’s Christmas and I have the presents so they won’t get the hump with me…..crafty a.

This year will be Christmas with a difference for my family. I am a support worker that works out in our local community with the elderly and their families, I provide help/support and company to those who need/want it. It is a job I have had for years now and I really enjoy and love what I do. So my kids and Ian get the Christmas Day lie-in that they will most likely very much enjoy I have volunteered my services to work on Christmas morning. I will be off out spreading/sharing my Christmas cheer and visiting the elderly who are at the disadvantage of NOT having family close by to share Christmas with.

I will be out singing, dancing and making sure I put a smile on faces this Christmas morning. This Christmas I am giving the gift of my time to the elderly in my local area. I have been a support worker for many years now and have witnessed first hand what a difference just popping in to see them, having a cup of tea and chat with them and just generally asking how their day has been can make. No one should be alone at Christmas.

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Perfect movie night

perfect movie night

Perfect movie night

Long gone are the day’s for weekend’s being spent partying and friends being round until all hours, our idea of a perfect friday & saturday night is snuggle-up and spend the night in front of the TV watching movies, more often than not the boy’s have chosen the movies for the night, I get told “mum this is the perfect movie for the night” and guess what? yes you got it, it’s a scary movie……I hate scary movies!

Our most favorite movie day’s are ones where we stay in our pajamas all day, we call it “our cosy day”, we do no cooking, no cleaning, the door don’t get answered, our phones get switched off and we spend the day under our duvet in the lounge……..It’s bliss.

Of course you can’t have a movie without popcorn, I always get moaned at for burning the popcorn in the microwave so have been looking at other options to save my ears from a bashing in future. How cool is this retro popcorn machine, I saw it over on Amazon, it can make popcorn in minutes, it even comes with popcorn boxes so you get that cinema feel when watching your movie and eating your popcorn.

perfect movie nights

With the boys picking the film we always like to watch a trailer of it on our IMDb app to check it is age appropriate before watching it. Check this 4K ultra HD Panasonic TV out, it fits four times as many pixels into the screen than even a full HD, leaving you with much more ultra fine detail giving you a crisper, clearer and sharper image, how cool would that be when snuggling up to watch a good film.

perfect movie nights

Myself and Ian like to enjoy a nice quiet evening watching a good film, we enjoy a take-away, nice bottle of wine or we’d lay out a nice spread of nibbles, light a few candles then sit back and relax.

perfect movie nights

 

What’s your idea of a perfect movie night?

***this is a collaborative post***

General post, health

Coping with peer pressure

coping with peer pressure

Coping with peer pressure

Kid’s unfortunately don’t come with an instruction manual, we are all learning the best we can along the way. Peer pressure is a horrible thing that has probably effected us all when we was growing up, it can have a positive effect on our life’s and it can also have a negative effect, it all comes down to choice and whether we let it have that negative effect. How can we best help and guide our children when coping with peer pressure at school?

Peer pressure can lead our kid’s to act out of character and do things that us parents know is not how our kid’s would not normally act. Coping with peer pressure can be a major worry for us parents.

I remember my days as a teenager and that feeling of wanting to be accepted and to feel like I belonged, I also remember being dared to do things and then doing them even though I knew in my head that it was wrong but still doing it just to be noticed and feel like I belonged…Stupid I know but that’s how it was!

When the boy’s started school I noticed a change of character, this soon settled down and then progressed again once they started secondary school, I then asked myself “is this just their character coming out or is it due to peer pressure”? it was hard to tell.

Signs of peer pressure:

  • Behaviour changes, suddenly becoming more rude, aggressive or even becoming more withdrawn or secretive.
  • Sudden changes in school grades or skipping classes.
  • Changes in different friends.
  • Changes of habits and going out at different times or suddenly returning home late.
  • Spending time doing things you know are odd for your child such as things that you know do not interest your child.
  • Change of style, such as hair and clothes.

As parents it’s our job to protect them and we are the most important influence in our children’s lives, all we can do is guide our children and hope they take our advice and the right path in life.

How would you guide and protect your children from peer pressure? would you intervene or would you wait for them to open up to you?

We have been guiding our boy’s by:

  • We have let our boys have their chosen friends round for dinner so we can get to know them better and so we can see who they are spending time with.
  • We talk to our boy’s about their day and explain to them that they can ALWAYS talk to us about anything.
  • We also get to know their friends parents and keep in touch regularly, we look out for each others kid’s where we can.
  • We have regular contact with the school to keep an eye on the boy’s behaviour within the school…..We have even asked for our boy’s to be seated somewhere different, before now they have been seated next to a child who is known to the school to be disruptive and this had a bad effect on our child and his grades was dropping so action had to be taken, having our child seated somewhere else seemed to be the best option. With working together with the school on this problem made things easier and more effective.
  • We make sure that the boy’s are aware that we have noticed good behaviour, good decision-making, good grades at school, good time-keeping etc and then reward them in some way.
  • We have always told our boy’s that it is ok to say NO to anything that they don’t feel comfortable with.
  • We’ve also told our boy’s and made it very clear “there is always someone who they can talk to about anything if they don’t feel comfortable talking to us, there is always a family member, friend, teacher or anyone else that they feel comfortable talking to”.
  • We have told our boy’s to “think about the consequences of what it is they are about to do before they do it” THINK will this get me into trouble? if the answer is yes or I’m not sure then don’t do it!

The effects of peer pressure are horrible, it can get our children in some awful states and situations, sometimes in a lot of trouble.

It can:

  • Cause depression
  • Effect grades
  • Loss of good friends
  • Add pressure on relationships with family
  • Cause our children to lie to us
  • Risky behaviours such as drug and/or alcohol abuse
  • Truancy from school
  • Smoking
  • Under age sex
  • Become aggressive
  • Vandalism
  • Stealing
  • Criminal record
  • Effect eating habits

These are just some of the effects of peer pressure and I am sure there are many more.

Way’s to help our kid’s through this:

  • Help build their self-esteem back up, this will help them feel more confident in themselves again.
  • Help them with way’s of saying no to bad situations.
  • Perhaps see if they would like to join a self-defence class, it may help them feel safer.
  • Tell them they can always ring or text if they feel they are in a tricky situation.
  • Let your child have friends home after school if they wish, that way you are nearby for tricky situations.
  • Book an appointment to see the teacher with your child to discuss the situation so your child is aware the school are also keeping an eye out too. The more eye’s keeping a look out the better.
  • Try and get them involved in out of school activities that way they can mix with other children away from school and form other friendships.

We have recently helped one of our boy’s through coping with peer pressure, it was an awful time for us all, it was hard, the hardest part was seeing our child doing things we knew he was not comfortable with doing, he was in tears and felt controlled by these children. We saw the signs and alerted the school, we worked together with the school, with the support in place and our child knowing the support was there to help he then felt safe enough to break away from them. We knew it was not something that was going to happen overnight, we knew we had to sit back and wait for him to do it in his own time in his way but we got him through.

Have you ever had to deal with peer pressure?

General post

Our joys of June

our joys of june

Our Joys of June

Wow July already, where is this year going. We have had some pretty exciting moments, here are some of our favourite joys of June.

June started off with Danny moving into his own home about 3.5 miles from us, this was a very busy couple of days moving him and getting him settled, he is now a very happy chappie! one happy chappie = happy parents.

Next up we have Bradley who has now started performing arts college.  He attends on a Saturday afternoon and is thoroughly enjoying himself. Bradley is busy practicing as he will be performing in a 80’s performance in November and is really looking forward to performing.

We had an awesome weekend away camping in the new forest, it was our very first time going camping and certainly will not be the last. It was a bloggers weekend away, we met some lovely bloggers and their families it was lovely meeting them all.

our joys of june

I came home from work to a beautiful surprise. Ian surprised me with a bouquet of flowers……the reason being “just because”.

Buddy turned 9, we have had him since he was a pup and have celebrated every birthday with him.

We attended our very first blogging conference called BritMums. This was a two-day event meaning an overnight stay in London. We met up with some blogging friends made whilst camping the weekend before and we all had a great time, it was all of our first time at BritMums so we all felt the same…..nervous but excited. Everyone at BritMums was so friendly and we met and made even more lovely blogging friends.

our joys of june

Ian enjoyed a nice relaxing Father’s Day, he enjoyed having full control of the TV remote for the whole day (the boy’s had to give in as it’s fathers day).

Guess what?….. I only went and got my 3 stone award at Slimming World. I was so shocked, I lost a whooping 4 lb in one week and that took me to my 3 stone…….Yes there was tears, I cried, but they was happy tears. I am now two stone away from my target.

We had a lovely meal out and got photo bombed. We went for a nice meal at our favourite family pub/restaurant it has a lovely garden that overlooks the river and it’s very kid friendly.

Do you hate cooking in the hot wether? I do, we looked into making some summer meals and have been enjoying homemade chicken shish kebabs.

our joys of june

I booked our daring/exciting crystal anniversary gift. Ian is unaware of what it is, I will not be telling him what it is until the day……Those that know me know this will be extremely hard for me. All will be revealed in August.

We had a very happy proud parent moment. There was a football presentation and Lee received an award for his performance throughout the season. Lee was very happy and we was extremely proud.

our joys of june

We are ending our month with Lee busy packing to head to Kingswood with the school for his field trip on Wednesday. The trip is to help him gain 25% of his geography GCSE. This week will be a strange week, it will only be myself and Bradley as Ian will be on night shift and Lee will be away on his trip.

How was June for you? did you have any fun/cherished moments?