Thursday, 21 June 2018

A fantastic father's day....

At the weekend it was father's day and the girls were just as excited as their dad....hehehe


Stu had been complaining that his slippers were falling to bits so we took pity on him and he ended getting his new slippers on Friday which was a surprise for him and me because Ellie is usually a real stickler for sticking to the rules and people having their presents only on the day they should....It was good that she just let go and bent the rules that are in her head a little....

On Saturday when Stu went to work the girls got the wrapping paper, scissors and tape and got busy wrapping his presents....They had fantastic fun! The presents weren't perfectly wrapped but they were from them so it really didn't matter!


They then wrote the cards out...I went a bit over the top with the cards. One from each of them, one from both of them and one from Monkey because he is part of the family too! I think they spent longer writing the cards out than wrapping the presents....They wanted to write the perfect thing inside! Even Monkey wrote his own card out. hehehe


On Sunday morning we were up bright an early and it didn't take long for the girls to give their dad with his presents....



He was very happy with everything he received. His favourite was the men's leather bracelet from Gift Pup. He had no idea he was getting it so it came as such a surprise.....When I had mentioned reviewing things from Gift Pup he was convinced that I would choose the sweet tree. He was all set to have to share with the kids. lol

For the rest of the day we didn't do much....Just the normal Sunday things like the girls finishing their homework, tidying their rooms which they hadn't done on the Saturday and relaxing....

We had planned to have a BBQ but the weather hadn't been great so we decided on a takeaway and somehow the kids managed to convince their dad to get McDonalds....He actually went to pick it up too. The day when they deliver to us can't come soon enough. The local one isn't that far away but when you're comfy in the house it does seem a long way away....

Stu said he had a lovely day....The girls were on their best behaviour all day which was probably the best gift they could give him....

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Stay safe around water - Drowning Prevention Week....

Did you know that from the 15th until the 25th is Drowning Prevention WeekAs a parent I have always tried to keep my girls safe around water. With summer approaching it is important to remind yourself how careful you need to be with little one's....


Thousands of people are hospitalised due to near drowning experiences in the UK every year and hundreds more lose their lives. Latest stats show that 56 children under the age of 11 years old drowned in the UK in the last 5 years with more than 300 people accidentally drowning every year. And for every drowning death that occurs there are more than 10 near drownings, with many of these leading to life changing injuries.


There are a number of things you can do to help keep your family safe this summer:

At home....


Always use gates, fences and locks to prevent children from gaining access to pools of water. Think ponds and paddling pools and even things like buckets which have collected rain water....

Securely cover all water storage tanks and drains & Keep aquariums and fishbowls out of reach of small children.... 

Empty paddling pools and buckets as soon as they have been used and always turn paddling pools upside down once empty....They could refill with rain water without you realising....

Some children have a fascination with toilets. Always keep the seat down if you have a toddler in the house and consider buying a childproof safety catch for the toilet lid....

Always supervise bath time.....

On Holiday....


When researching your holiday, or arriving at your destination check the safety arrangements of any water based activities....

Check the safest places to swim and always read the signs....Find out what local warning signs and flags mean....They could be in different languages.

Take time to check the depth, water flow and layout of pools....

Swim with any children in your care it’s more fun and you can keep them close and safe....

Don't assume that a child who knows how to swim isn't at risk for drowning. All kids need to be supervised in the water, no matter what their swimming skills.

On beaches check when the tide will be high and low, make sure that you won’t be cut off from the beach exit by the rising tide and be aware of dangerous rip-currents....

Inflatable dinghies or lilos are a well known hazards. Each year plenty of people on inflatables are blown out to sea. Do not use them in open water....

Do not swim near to or dive from rocks, piers, breakwater or coral...

Swim parallel to the beach and close to the shore....

If you're not a swimmer yourself, it's a good idea to take lessons to learn how to swim. 

What to Do in an Emergency


Whenever a child is missing always check the pool first. Survival depends on a quick rescue and restarting breathing as soon as possible....

If you find a child in the water immediately get the child out while calling loudly for help. If someone else is available, have them call the emergency services....

Check to make sure the child's air passages are clear....

If the child is not breathing start CPR....

When the emergency number is called follow the instructions the emergency operators provide....

The majority of drowning incidents can be prevented, especially with children....Making sure everyone is aware of the basic principles of water safety helps to keep families safe and still enjoy the water. 

To get involved, get free resources and find out what your local leisure centre is doing visit the campaign website.

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Let the fairies take your worries away with The 'No More Worries' Kit!

In about 5 weeks Ellie will be leaving the safe bubble that is primary school to start secondary school in September. The school have been great to support the emotional needs of the year sixes and Ellie has woman come in to help her with her emotions as well due to us suspecting that she may have some sort of Autism. They do a lot of talking about thoughts and feelings and we have had plenty of tips and tricks to use at home but there has always been something missing to keep Ellie's attention.....Until now!

Ellie is crazy about fairies and magic so when I had the chance to review The 'No More Worries' Kit from The Irish Fairy Door Company I jumped at the chance....


The 'No More Worries' Kit is the perfect way to express your feelings and give your worries away.

Ellie was very excited about this kit....When she first saw the box she thought it was so pretty and magical.



The kit includes:

A 'No More Worries' Mini Plaque

Place your thumb on the included 'No More Worries' Mini Plaque and think of your worry. When it glows red, the fairies are listening. When it turns green, you know they have taken your worry away! The Mini Plaque has an extendable cord and clip so you can bring it with you and use it anywhere!


I think this is a fantastic idea....To start with Ellie was just pressing the button to see the light change but over the last couple of days she has pressed it and looked like she was thinking her worry or thought away....There are batteries included in the plaque and it is a great tool to take the worry away....

Conversation Cards

The child can bring them to you to open a conversation or you can pick one to start a conversation.... 


These are great selection of prompts to start a conversation. There I things I wouldn't have thought of to say to Ellie to get her talking. When I bring a card out Ellie is more willing to answer it than if I just asked her without the card....

A Feelings Journal

Where your child can express themselves and their emotions freely....


The journal is so sweet....It has everything that Ellie loves. Fairies, unicorns and butterflies. She has been writing her feelings in it. So far all the feelings have been positive but even if all the memories and thoughts are positive she can go back and read them when she isn't feeling as positive.....

I really think this is a fab kit! It is great for getting reluctant talkers to open up a bit...The next time I see the emotional support worker which comes out to see Ellie at school I will be mentioning it to her and how good it is....

I think this is going to make a real difference to how Ellie expresses her feelings to us and it is just what we need at the moment with her going up to secondary school.....

You can buy the The 'No More Worries' Kit costs £17.99 from The Irish Fairy Door Company and I would say it is worth every penny if you have a child which is a worrier....


We were sent this kit free of charge from The Irish Fairy Door Company in exchange for this blog post.

Monday, 18 June 2018

Quick and easy meals so I can watch the football. hehehe #mealplanningmonday


Last weeks meal plan went pretty well.....We didn't have the BBQ yesterday. We didn't want to risk it after the rubbish weather we had during the week (the wind) and then the storm on Saturday. I say storm but it was literally 40 minutes of rain with a bit of thunder and lightening. Eek! I am not a fan!

I have realised over the last few days that I am obsessed with the World Cup. I am not a football fan but I do love tournaments like this. The next couple of weeks are going to have to revolve around the football which means meals cooked in the slow cooker which can be dished up quickly or quick to prepare meals....

This week on the menu we have:

Monday - Sausages, mash & baked beans.....
Tuesday - Hamwiches & corn on the cob. Hamwiches are processed goodness from Bernard Matthews. Turkey ham and cheese coated in crispy golden breadcrumbs. The kids love them!
Thursday - Tomato soup & ham sandwiches to dip in....
Friday - Pizza....
Saturday - We're having a day out to the big fair so we will probably be full enough from chips, candy floss and hot dogs to bother with a proper tea....Snacks all around.
Sunday - A roast dinner of some sort....

If you want to see what other people are eating The Organised Life Project and Katykicker have a linky!

Katykicker

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Science, washing and flower power. Week 24. #Project365

Another week over....They seem to be going so quickly in the run up to summer. We seem to have all the weather this week. Sunshine, rain and the wind which was determined to ruin my back yard by blowing the plants everywhere.

Now for a photo every day....


159/365 - 9th June
Ellie was trying out a fab science kit....

160/365 - 10th June
Working on his computer again....

161/365 - 11th June
On Monday I had all this washing to fold and put away....

162/365 - 12th June
I printed the vouchers ready for the fair next weekend....

163/365 - 13th June
I organised the cupboards and made use of the tubs that the muffins came in.

164/365 - 14th June
The school was selling the kids artwork. We of course bought Ellie's...

165/365 - 15th June
Flower power....hehehe


A Thank You Teacher Gift from Divine Chocolate.

This time of year I always think about saying thank you to the teachers who have taught my girls over the past year. This year is going to be an extra special end of term because my youngest Ellie is leaving Primary school so I have to make sure to get the teachers some fab presents.

Chocolate is always a winner with teachers and recently someone from Divine Chocolate got in touch asking if I would like to feature their "Thank You Teacher Gift". I jumped at the chance. It is something very special....


Trading Visions (a charity set up by Divine Chocolate) has this year developed a very special gift for all those amazing teachers. 

The “Thank You Teacher” gift consists of Divine Chocolate’s best-selling Tasting Set, a Thank You teacher card and a £1 donation to Trading Visions.


Divine Chocolate Tasting Set.
The Divine Taster Set contains 12 bars of luxurious Fairtrade certified chocolate from Divine in six flavours. The set includes smooth milks, rich dark and creamy white chocolate flavoured bars and the box opens like a book offering tasting notes and guides along with information about the Divine
story. The set includes twelve 15g bars.

Thank You Teacher Card
The A6 card has a fun design and space inside for a personal message. Inside the card tells the story of Ayaasu Kuapa Primary School and how the donation will be spent. There is also information about Pa Pa Paa, Trading Vision's education resources all about cocoa farming in Ghana.

Donation
This gift comes with a £1 donation to Trading Visions. The money will help support the Ayaasu School in Ghana. The school was set up by a local cocoa farmer who was concerned by his village not having a local school. Donations will help to provide Mr Asare with a salary and provide education materials for the school.


Did you know that Divine is the only chocolate company in the world which is 100% Fairtrade and owned by cocoa farmers. I didn't and I think it is fantastic! By supporting Divine you are helping to improve the livelihoods of small-holder Ghanaian cocoa farmers in the Kuapa Kokoo Co-operative.

I think this is fantastic. The chocolate is amazing. Even the smell of it is something special. It really is divine!

This is such a thoughtful gift. I think a gift that supports a charity is a brilliant idea and the theme supporting a school is something that I think teachers would love. 

The Thank you Teacher gift is available to buy online from Divine Chocolate for £7.50 plus postage and packaging. 


I was sent the Divine Chocolate Tasting Set free of charge in exchange for this blog post.

Friday, 15 June 2018

We have a lot to look forward to. #WotW

This week my Word of the Week is:



This week has been a boring one.....Nothing much has been happening here. I could have chosen bored or dull but would be a boring read...I think I know why it has seemed so dull....We have a lot going on over the next few weeks and we are looking forward to that. This week was what we had to get through to get to the fun times.....

The World Cup started yesterday and I have been really looking forward to that....I am not a big football fan usually but I do like tournaments like this. I will watch as many matches as I can....I started with the Russia match yesterday. I did not expect the 5 - 0 win in the first match. The kids will be sick of football by the end of the month. hehehe

Sunday is Father's day and I have spent the week sorting my dad's card and pressie and Stu's. I realised the other day that Card Factory are just like Funky Pigeon where you can personalise their cards and send them to who you need to but they are so much cheaper....For Valentines day I got Stu a hammer with a few words engraved and I have got my dad one for Father's day....He is into DIY so I'm sure he'll love it.


Next week is Ellie's last Sports day at Primary school....All these lasts are happening and I don't like it one bit. I went to an art exhibition at school yesterday and bought some of her art work for £6.50 which was a total rip off. It was just in a cheap frame but I am cherishing every last thing the school have to give to us.... 

We will be going to Newcastle as a family next weekend as the big fair "The Hoppings" is in town....We have been twice over the last 10 years. Once when I was pregnant with Ellie and then again in 2011 when Ellie was about 4 years old. Now the girls can go on more rides and I predict us spending a small fortune....


During the week we got the letter about transition week, where Ellie goes up to the secondary school for a few days. Most years the kids visit after the parents have been for a visit but that evening was planned when "The Beast from the East" was here so they rescheduled and it is after Ellie has spent some time with her new teachers. I think it's a better way to do things as we can hear how she has settled in....I am so excited but at the same time so worried for her....She is eager to go. Some teachers have been coming from the big school to speak to the year 6's and they've been telling them about things like lunchtime and after school clubs. In Ellie's head she's already signed up for trampoline, Lego & computer clubs. lol


Thursday, 14 June 2018

Last minute Father's Day gifts....

There is only a few days left until Father's Day....I am feeling pretty organised and have have everything posted for my dad and ready for my fella but there has been many a year where I have still been running around at the last minute on the high street and at the supermarket....They are life savers.

Here are a few things from the high street/supermarket which you can still pick up.....


Dad's Storage Tray - £3.99 - Card Factory
Father's Day Dad Frame - £1.00 - Poundland
Batman Nightwear Set - £7.99 - Aldi


Dad's Tool Station - £3.99 - Card Factory 
Chocolate Tool Kit - £4.00 - Tesco
Father's Day Warning Cone - £1.00 - Poundland

Are you all set for Father's Day?

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

25 Ways to keep kids entertained this Summer!

My girls spend weeks looking forward to the summer holidays but it's a fact that the average child will utter their first ‘I’m bored just ten days into the summer holidays!

I plan things to do with the kids during the holidays....I plan an activity one day and then nothing the next day. They like to spend time playing on their electronics and doing their own thing....I don't want to overload them with things. I sometimes think that I actually want them to get bored so they can find their own things to do....


I do like to spend as little money as possible as the summer months are expensive for us with uniforms to buy, both my girls birthdays and the normal bills to pay....

Here are 25 ideas to keep the kids entertained this summer!

1. Make Moon SandIt takes just 2 ingredients to make and is a lot of fun. It really is a cheap activity and it kept my girls amused for a long while. When they had finished playing I covered it in cling film and it lasted a few days....


2. Go on a picnic. It doesn't have to be anywhere fancy. To a local park or the beach. My youngest is crazy about picnics. A few sandwiches, biscuits and a drink and she's happy.

3. Watch a movie. Shut the curtains, get some popcorn and make it fun. Perfect for a rainy day! 

4. Build a den. If the weather is OK you could even risk doing this outside! All you need is some boxes or sofa cushions, a few blankets, and a bit of imagination.

5. Make Play dough. We made some last year and the year before and probably will again this year too! I use the simplest recipe from The Imagination Tree...


6. Visit a museum. There are lots of free one's up and down the country. Last year we had a great day out at the Great North Museum: Hancock in Newcastle.

7. Play Minecraft. My girls will go onto a flat world and each build themselves a big square and then I will give them a theme to build something and they do. It can keep them busy for hours. If you are a Minecraft fan think of "Building time" that Stampy & Squiddy used to do...

8. Visit the library and borrow some books. Most libraries will run the summer reading challenge. My girls are a bit old for this now but we used to join in every year.

9. Play Board games.

10. Make Ice-Cream in a bag. The girls had great fun doing this a couple of years ago. I think we might try again this year.


11. Play with Bubbles! You can buy the mix from the pound shops or you can make your own. My girls love blowing bubbles even my teen. hehehe

12. Make your own games. Get the craft things out and make some fun games. Hoopla, Pin the Tail on the Donkey or Snakes and Ladders can all be easily made.

13. Go on a bike ride. I don't think this will be us this year as Ellie is still getting the hang of riding a bike but next year we will be off on an adventure or two!

14. Go charity shop shopping. I give my girls a few pounds each and they love mooching around the charity shops for a bargain. They have got some of there most treasured belongings from a charity shop.

15. Make Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes.


16. Create a Summer Diary. Encourage your darlings to keep a Summer Diary or scrapbook. They can take photos of special days and write about them. It will become a lovely memory book for them in the future and keep them writing during the holidays.

17. Play with chalk. My girls love to decorate the back yard walls and ground.

18. Have a water fight. If the weather is nice my girls love nothing more than getting the paddling pool out and it always ends in a fun water fight.

19. Go on a nature walk. Let them take photos as you go and hunt for bugs.

20. Bake cakes. You can buy themed cake mixes for about £1 and they are fun and easy for little one's to make.


21. Write Letters. Reconnect with relatives or friends that you don't see very often. Introduce them to the idea of writing a letter in lieu of a quick text message or phone call. They they may be rewarded with a letter of their own in the post later on.

22. Go to the cinema. There are always some great kids films out over the summer but it doesn’t need to cost and arm and a leg for a family trip to the cinema. The large cinema chains will have offers running throughout the summer holidays.

23. Pick your own...whatever. Find a farm with blueberries, strawberries, tomatoes, flowers, etc and get picking

24. Paint some rocks. The Inspiration Edit has some fab ideas!

25. Make Ice Lollies. All you need is Lolly moulds, Lemonade and Haribo bear's.


What do you have planned for the summer?

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Project Mc2 Ultimate Lab Kit - Review!

Ellie loves doing science experiments at home and recently we were sent the Project Mc2 Ultimate Lab Kit to have a look at.... 

As seen in the Emmy nominated Netflix original series Project Mc2, McKeyla McAlister's Ultimate Lab Kit includes numerous science tools to investigate on their next mission. Conduct your own experiments at home or on the go, just like the girls from Project Mc2. 


The oversized lab bag but unzips to reveal the ultimate collection of science apparatus and fun....I was quite surprised to how much was actually in this set....


There are 30+ pieces including a real working microscope, 3 glass slides, 2 test tubes with stand, funnel, beaker jar, 3 lab flasks, 15 pH strips, pipette dropper, petri dish, safety goggles, Project Mc2 ring and 2 sticker sheets.....



I like once you have opened everything up it can all be put back into the case and stored neatly....Everything has it's place so it is so easy to tidy up...


Ellie first wanted to use the microscope...You need 3 LR44 batteries (the little watch type batteries) but we first used it without and it is pretty good considering it is meant for children....It is a great introduction to what a microscope is and does....


There is a booklet included with about 15 experiments to start you off and they all need things from around the home. There were a couple of random things we didn't have like corn starch and red cabbage but it didn't stop us experimenting.

We then tried to change the colour of a flower....It turns out my baking cupboard wasn't as well stocked as I thought it was and I only had red food colouring instead of the 4 different colours needed...


You fill the conical flask with water and add food colouring. The flower sucks up the mixture and it should change colour....We tried it with a rose and it slightly changed colour to a very pale pink. It was very interesting.



We have so much more to do with this set....It has already given Ellie hours of fun. She has had fun mixing random things in the test tubes and looking at so much under the microscope....

The Project Mc2 Ultimate Lab Kit costs £19.99 from Smyths and I would say it is well worth the price....You get so much in this kit, it's educational and a lot of fun!


We were sent the Project Mc2 Ultimate Lab Kit free of charge in exchange for this blog post.