Saturday, 30 June 2018

Football, Sick days and Dungarees - Week 26. #Project365

I am so over the heat we have had this week....Thankfully yesterday was a bit cooler. We have busyish weekend planned....I was watching This Morning during the week and they had the CBeebies presenter Maddie Moate on showing fun science experiments. We have started making a bouncy egg. We have it soaking in vinegar now....hehehe Then on Sunday it's our towns street fair which is always a good week out....


173/365 - 23rd June
Football! I am loving the World Cup!

174/365 - 24th June
A lazy Sunday....

175/365 - 25th June
Ellie made spaghetti bolognese at school....

176/365 - 26th June
I think Ellie had a bit of heat stroke. We ended up getting halfway to school before she puked. It was a day at home on the sofa for her....She is fine now.

177/365 - 27th June
We have been trying out YAZOO!

178/365 - 28th June
My favourite ice lollies at the moment. Orange and lemon from Iceland....

179/365 - 29th June
Ellie's dungarees arrived. She loves them. I can see her living in them over the summer!


Minecraft: The Crash - A fantastic summer read for the kids!

My girls love Minecraft.....They watch the videos on YouTube, play it on the PC and on the Xbox and up until recently I thought they had all the books. I remember reading something I think last year about the first Minecraft novel but it seemed to pass my girls by. Not this time though. We were lucky to be sent a copy of the new Minecraft novel to have a look at before it is officially released!


Bianca has never been good at following the plan. She's more of an act-now, deal-with-the-consequences-later kind of person. But consequences can’t be put off forever, as Bianca learns when she and her best friend, Lonnie, are in a terrible car crash.

Waking up in the hospital, almost paralyzed by her injuries, Bianca is faced with questions she’s not equipped to answer. She chooses instead to try a new virtual-reality version of Minecraft that responds to her every wish, giving her control over a world at the very moment she thought she’d lost it. As she explores this new realm, she encounters Esme and Anton, two kids who are also playing on the hospital server. The trio teams up to play through to the End, and hopefully to find Lonnie along the way.

But the road to recovery isn’t without its own dangers. The kids are swarmed by mobs seemingly generated by their fears and insecurities, and now Bianca must deal with the uncertainties that have been plaguing her: Is Lonnie really in the game? And can Bianca help him to return to reality with her?

Becky has started reading it already and she's well over half way through....She is really enjoying it. Ellie who is a bit of a reluctant reader is itching to get her hands on it after Becky has finished with it....

Becky who loves her tablet and laptop has actually been leaving them alone to read this book. It would make a fab read for youngsters over the summer to keep them off technology!

Minecraft: The Crash written by Tracey Baptiste and published by Penguin Random House is available to buy or pre-order on Amazon. It is released on the 12th of July.


We were sent this book free of charge in exchange for this blog post....

Friday, 29 June 2018

Feeling hot, hot, hot! #WotW

This week my Word of the Week is:


I love the sunshine....It is great for getting the washing dried and it puts everyone in such a good mood. What I don't like is the heat that comes with it.....

On Friday Ellie spent most of the day outside at school for sports day....She had a fab time and I had a fab time watching her. There was a nice breeze but half an hour after getting home I realised how much we had caught the sun. My arms were burnt....Eek! On Friday night/Saturday morning Ellie wasn't well. She had a sore head and was sick a couple of times. I am putting it down to heat stroke. I made her drink plenty of water and stay inside out of the sun and she was fine by Monday....

I knew Ellie hadn't drank enough at school on Monday and by Tuesday morning she wasn't feeling well again. I thought she was putting it on and we got halfway to school then she was sick so we came back home and she spent the day on the sofa, having cuddles off Monkey with me nagging at her to drink water....


I think I have said "have a drink" more this week than any other. Ellie seems to sweat more than the average child and in turn needs to drink more. The doctors have said it's down to the issues with her heart. 

Even Becky who always feels cold has been coming in from school without her blazer on....She has been having cold showers to cool down and the screeches coming from the bathroom are hilarious....lol

As long as I can stay in the house with the blinds shut I am happy....lol It's taken me 38 years to realise that keeping the doors and windows shut when it's hot outside keeps it cooler inside....Doh! 

I did have to go out in the heat earlier this week. We had an end of year review with Ellie's teacher and it was interesting and reassuring. She said how proud she is of Ellie and how she has tried her hardest over the last term. Ellie is feeling so positive about school at the moment and it is all down to a fantastic teacher! I hope it continues when she goes up to the secondary school in September. We received a letter from the SEND people at the secondary school this week and confirmed that Ellie will be having extra support given to her. They said they will be in touch soon to arrange a meeting.


Thursday, 28 June 2018

The best £25 I have spent in years!!

In March I had a John Lewis voucher to use and I was stumped to what to spend it on....The kids didn't need anything and we needed nothing for the house so I was going to treat us and buy something for us all to enjoy.

I bought the Breville Blend-Active Blender Family Pack for £25 from John Lewis but they don't seem to sell it any more. Breville still do though and other stores like Argos, Debenhams and AO.

Stu turned his nose up at it and said it's a waste of money and will never be used....The kids weren't too impressed either. Hmmf.


The Blend-Active is a personal blender from Breville that is designed for those on the go, who want to enjoy quick, easy and nutritious shakes, smoothies, slushies and protein drinks with no hassle simply blend and go.

The Breville Blend Active Family Pack includes:
Motorised base
2 x 600ml bottles
2 x 300ml bottles
A Recipe ideas booklet.


You simply put your favourite ingredients in the bottle, attach the blade unit, pop it onto the base unit, blend to your liking then replace the blades with the leak proof lid and go.

With one touch operation making blending fast and simple, the Blend-Active can be useful for milk and protein shakes for the health-conscious, slushies for the fun-lovers and smoothies for the fruity ones amongst us. 

I used it as soon as it arrived and it was simple and straightforward to use. Put whatever you want in the bottle and blend. 


In the past we have only ever had a jug blender which meant everyone had to drink the same or wash it out after making every drink which was a bit of a faff. With this you don't have to. Everyone gets what they want without any hassle. 



It took a bit of practice to get the right amount of fruit and milk/juice in. Sometimes it would end up too milky or too thick but I have just about perfected it now!

We haven't really followed any recipes we just add a bit of what we fancy. I have been buying the bags of frozen fruit from Tesco and as it's frozen it saves adding ice. I usually get the 500g bags of fruit which are on offer at the moment for 3 for £5 which I don't think is too expensive. 

I was feeling brave and tried the Spinach, Kiwi, Kale And Mango Superfood Smoothie using a pack from Tesco....It wasn't amazing but it wasn't as bad as I was expecting. lol I hate spinach and didn't like the idea of Kale but couldn't really taste them....I have had a couple since so it's a new way to get extra greens into me....

My favourite smoothie is just frozen strawberries, fresh banana and milk. It is so simple but so good. Stu uses it most mornings....He likes fruit, milk and Belvita biscuits in it and that will fill him up until lunchtime.

The kids will drink anything if it is blended....lol A few weeks after I got it my friend let me into the secret about ice cream, sweet smoothies and they are such a treat. Ellie loves vanilla ice cream a drop of milk and Skittles and Becky loves vanilla ice cream a drop of milk and Mint Aero.....

Considering no one else in the family wanted this blender they have all used it a lot....hehehe I think it's the best £25 I have spent in years! We are all getting extra fruit and veg into us and it is fab for blending ice. We have been making lots of slushies which is perfect for the weather we have been having!


Wednesday, 27 June 2018

The first of the lasts: Sports Day.

Last week was Ellie's last proper sports day.....She will have sports day's at the secondary school but parent's are not invited to watch....Hmmf!


It had been raining off and on for some of the week. It always seems to rain for sports day and then it gets cancelled. I think over the past 10 years we have had more rained off than we've actually had.

This year we seemed to have it earlier....Usually we have it in July so there was always the chance to reschedule. I needn't have worried as it was a glorious day.....So nice that I actually got sun burnt on my arms. Oops.

This year the school did things differently and it was fantastic! 

In past years the kids were at one side of the field and the parents at the other. Each child would run one race (the sprint) and one novelty race (the egg & spoon race or something like that). It was pretty boring for the parents unless you have lots of kids in different classes....There was usually a lot of waiting.

This time the kids were sat in year groups and you sat near the year group you wanted to watch and the kids ran their races and things like bean bags, sacks, eggs & spoons & hurdles were moved between the groups. There wasn't much waiting to see your child race....Ellie ran about 8 (probably more) races. I lost count. It was fun. 


There was bouncing a ball on a tennis racket and running race, the hurdles, balancing a bean bag on your head & running race, running backwards race, the three legged race and random other one's....


Ellie got a couple of first places and 2nd places and some third places too! I was so proud of her. She isn't great at running but does put 100% effort in and loves every second of it....


It was a proper primary school sports day and I loved it.....There was even a parents race but I chickened out. lol

I am really gutted that from now on there will be no more sports days for me....I hope Ellie enjoys them in the future without me....Wah, wah, wah. I feel like such a cry baby but it's the end of an era and one that I am not ready to be done with....

Have your children had their sports day? 

I hope they had fun!

Run Jump Scrap

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Elizabeth Shaw Luxury Chocolates - Teacher gifts!

Now is the time of year where all of us with children are thinking about the end of term and buying gifts for the wonderful teachers who have taught our children over the past year...

Chocolate always makes such a great gift and Elizabeth Shaw has a fantastic range to choose from....


I was lucky enough to be sent a selection of Elizabeth Shaw products to have a look at and of course a try....When it arrived even the postman was curious to what it was as it came in the pretty white bag pictured above. 

Milk Orange Crisp - £3.50


Enjoy the tempting taste of refreshingly moreish Orange Crisp, with zesty orange oil blended into creamy milk chocolate and melt in the mouth honeycomb crisp.

I have tried the mint one's of these before and loved them so it was no surprise that I loved these too....They are delicious. Very orangey and crispy. Once the kids spotted them they didn't last long at all....

Amaretto Flutes - £2.50


Smooth milk chocolate flavoured with bitter-sweet amaretto.

Presented in the ideal box for sharing with friends, these Flutes are the best secret weapon to bring out when entertaining. They also make a decadently different decoration to edge a celebration cake....

The kids sniffed these and decided they were not for them. Hooray! hehehe I am not a fan of amaretto to drink but I do like it in things like cakes or chocolate. These felt like a very indulgent treat.

Raisin & Cocoa biscuits - £1.79


Sink your teeth into the crisp biscuit, covered in chewy caramel and topped with raisins and crunchy decadent cocoa nibs and smothered in rich dark chocolate.

Out of all the things I tried these were my favourite. The kids didn't get a look in. I hid them away for myself. Over the past week I have enjoyed a couple each afternoon with a cup of tea....They are such a treat. I was sad when I ate the last one but I will be finding more to hide in my treat cupboard.

All of these things would make fantastic gifts for teachers. I know if I was a teacher I would be more than happy to receive them!

Elizabeth Shaw products are available in the supermarkets so easy to pick up during the weekly shop. I have already added some of the biscuits to my online shop. You can buy these tasty treats from Tesco, Sainsbury's, Asda, Morrisons, Waitrose, Lidl, Wilkinson, Booths and other independent stores.


I was sent these Elizabeth Shaw products free of charge in exchange for this blog post....

Monday, 25 June 2018

This is what we will be eating this week! #mealplanningmonday


How is it Monday already! The weekend has flown over....We didn't really get up to much...Ellie had too much sun at sports day on Friday so we thought it was best to stay at home instead of going to the fair, then of course we stayed in and watched the England match yesterday. Didn't we do well! 

There are rumours of a heatwave this week so I will be keeping things simple in the kitchen....We have a chicken to eat that we didn't eat yesterday....It was too hot to be stood in the kitchen cooking a roast dinner. We had a BBQ instead.....

This week on the menu we have:

Monday - Chicken and stuffing sandwiches.....
Tuesday - Chicken salad....
Wednesday - Muffin pizzas....
Thursday - Sticky apple, sausage & bacon with new potatoes....
Friday - Fish & chips....
Saturday - Mango & prawn stir fry....
Sunday - We're going to have lunch out so will probably just have sandwiches for tea....

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

Katykicker

Saturday, 23 June 2018

Father's Day, Curry & Sports Day - Week 25. #Project365

I was so glad when Friday evening came around....This week has been crazy. I need a break from all the adulting. The kids especially Ellie, my youngest has had so much going on at school. We have been getting letters most days about all the end of term trips, events and meetings at the moment I feel like I'm bound to forget something. The weekend seems a nice break from all the responsibilities. There is no homework or reading to do either so that is a nice treat. 

Now for a photo every day....


166/365 - 16th June
The kids wrapped their dad's father's day presents.

167/365 - 17th June
My fella was very happy with his gifts and have great fun opening them. (The kids helped) and I managed to get a nice photo of the three of them. Usually they mess about and pull faces....

168/365 - 18th June
Ellie has a cookery lesson at school and cooked a curry. It really smelled better than it looked. 

169/365 - 19th June
Becky on the big computer....She was actually doing homework.

170/365 - 20th June
I buy mini muffins from the pound shop and in each tub you randomly get one of these pastry/biscuit things and they are delicious. I always get to them before the kids. They have no idea they exist.

171/365 - 21st June
We were sent a Minecraft novel to review....Becky got to it first and has started reading it. Ellie is itching to get her hands on it.

172/365 - 22nd June
It was Ellie's last sports day and she did well....She came first in a couple of races and had a fab time.


Say 'Thanks' before school is out with Aldi...

I love Aldi but hadn't thought about getting teachers gifts from them until they contacted me recently....It looks like they have a fantastic new range!


Aldi have a new range available featuring a selection of great presents from mugs for the tea lover to weekly planners for the super-organised. You can now show your appreciation in style. 

Organisation is key and Aldi’s beautifully designed A5 Diary or Notebook for (£2.99) available in on-trend spots and colourful stripes. It is the perfect gift for helping teachers keep up with their busy schedules.


I know my youngest girls teacher would appreciate one of these. They are so pretty and cute and such a bargain price. I might have to buy one for myself. I do like notebook....


Team these with great-value Weekly Planners (£2.99) to help give them a colourful and structured week. Choose from a pad of weekly sheets, or a sticky note and paper pad folder, complete with a pencil.

I was sent one of the weekly planners and I think it's fab! I am going to use it for planning blog posts. I could see a teacher getting a lot of use from one of these too....


Brighten up their mid-morning coffee with Aldi’s trendy Gift Mugs (£2.99). Available in a range of designs such as Kissing Flamingo, You Are a Star, Tropical Pink and Black.


Along with these great gifts Aldi also has a range of everyday greetings cards & Wrap (from £0.89) which comes in a range of sizes and designs to suit all from traditional to humorous and contemporary to fun.

I know if I bought any of these gifts for a teacher I would be buying myself the same too! It looks a fantastic range

Aldi’s Say Thank You range is available to pre-order online from Sunday 1st July and to buy in stores from Thursday 5th July....As with all Specialbuys, shoppers will have to be quick though as once they’re gone, they’re gone!!

I was sent products in exchange for this blog post.

Friday, 22 June 2018

We're all loving the football. #WotW

This week my Word of the Week is:


This week seems to have flown over despite the fact that we haven't really done much. We have had a fair bit of rain so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Ellie's sports day isn't cancelled today...

We have spent most of the week watching the football....The whole week has revolved around it. When I was planning the meals for this week I went for easy meals which could be cooked in the slow cooker or made quickly. I have been dishing the food up during half time. lol

I have seen most of every match. I did end up turning the Iran v Spain one off Wednesday because of the noise the Vuvuzelas were making. They were giving me a headache!

The kids are even getting into the football. I would say Becky more than Ellie. The news came on between the matches the other day and Ellie turned around and said "finally some normal TV". lol She decided at the beginning of the World Cup that Japan was going to win and so far so good....lol In the last World Cup she choose Germany and they won so she thinks if she chooses someone, they win! lol

Becky has chosen Portugal to win....I'm sure it is just to annoy me because she knows how much I hate Ronaldo. She has been getting rather shouty at the TV. Telling people to get up and stop being a wimp after they've been fouled and she was fuming with the referee in the England match.

The only thing we can all agree on that we love is the Hey Duggee, World Cup song.....hehehe We actually heard it on the radio the other day and it made is laugh so much....




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.