Friday, 7 April 2017

Sweet treats

The Easter sensory box worked a treat. In fact I found myself twiddling my thumbs so I decided to have a try at sweetmaking.
I wanted to attampt one of the recipes from my vintage housekeeping book and make a batch of Chocolate fondant creams.

 However the Base recipe for the fondant made a lot more than I'd anticipated so I split the batch, and made Almond fondants too.
  They are currently drying out in the airing cupboard overnight. Not that they seem to be lasting to long. Several are suspiciously missing from the lowest shelf.

 X x x

Easter Sensory Box

The Easter holidays have begun. Hurrah.
Entry 1 into my Easter challenge is a sweet and simple sensory box. With a bonus note from the Easter bunny of course!

The children all enjoyed hatching the chicks, making little flower gardens with the cutouts and burying things.
I've left it on the dining table for the day as there have been several repeat visits already.

X x X

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Last day of term.

The girls were very excited to show off their Easter bonnets today. There is some serious completion each year to make the biggest and best hat. 

We prefer to focus on the fun aspect of the whole thing. Getting sticky and covered in cotton wool, glitter and shouting curse words at the parts that just won't stick! It's all part of the fun of Easter.

At the end of the school day the PTA had arranged an Easter bunny hunt. We had to find all the rabbits (one for each letter of the alphabet) and write down their names. 
The reward was a sweetie cones filled with easter theme goodies like mini eggs and bunny marshmallows. 
The girls throughly enjoyed it! 

Tomorrow my Easter challenge officially begins. Watch this space to see if I can entertain 3 children with just 2 preselected items for 2 weeks! Am I mad? Quite possibly!

X x X

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Poor DD2

My poor little lady took a tumble in the playground yesterday. She came home sporting an egg on her forehead and a rather puffy looking left eye. 
DD2 doesn't fall well. Her reaction time can be quite poor and so often doesn't put her hands out in time. DD2 is often referred to as the school medical rooms best customer. I've gotten to know the school first aiders quite well. 
This afternoon, just over 24 hours later, her eye is starting to take on  that familiar slightly blue tinge. 
This will be her second black eye this term. Everything is of course documented as an accident, but that won't stop people nudging each other on  the bus and tutting.

Stupid Dyspraxia!

X x X

Monday, 3 April 2017

A nice day

First my day started with a lovely surprise from my Hubby. We had a random discussion a few days ago where we both agreed some of the photos on display in the house were getting outdated. It's always nice to have fresh pictures to look at.
He updated this frame yesterday evening.

My parents popped in to say hello shortly after the school run. We ended up walking to the local garden centre and enjoying a delicious cream tea.
Gman really enjoyed spreading all the toppings on his piece of scone.

Just before the afternoon school run we popped into the church charity shop for a quick browse. I found this gorgeous old housekeeping book for 50p.
Once I got home I decided that this was the sort of book one reads drinking tea from a cup and saucer.

I'm looking forward to being the perfect letter writting housewife at the next dance to show off my homemade confectionery.

Toodle Pip


Sunday, 2 April 2017

Life with Dyspraxia (Epic post alert)

Life with dyspraxia sucks. 
For those who haven't heard of it before dyspraxia or DCD (Developmental Coordination Disorder) is a Developmental disorder of the brain in childhood causing difficulty in activities requiring Coordination and movement.
Although we don't officially have that diagnosis yet (age is a big factor) we have come to the conclusion that if it walks, flys and clucks like a chicken then it's a chicken. DD2 checks all the dyspraxia boxes.

Today has been a beautiful sunny day so I attempted a trip to the park with the children. 
First we have to get ready. That's problem one. DD2 is desperate to get her own shoes on and it's a process that takes quite a while. First we need to get everything done in the right order. Both shoes undone, right foot in right shoe, left foot in left shoe and both shoes done up. 
Eventually we get there but then DD2 has a small tantrum because while I was talking her through the process, DD1 has put on Gmans shoes to be helpful and DD2 wanted to do it. 
Thankfully the nice weather means we don't need the inside/outside/arms in coat/zip fiasco.
Once outside DD2 takes her spot holding onto the buggy. DD2 very rarely stands or walks independently. She is unsteady on her feet and likes to walk or stand holding/touching something in case she needs the support.
Everytime we cross the road she has to switch sides because she has a fear of falling in the road. This prompts arguments from DD1 because "that was my side first!" Although DD1 has matured a lot about that sort of thing lately. 
Even though DD2 is holding onto the buggy she still stumbles and trips very often. Walking with out falling takes a lot of concentration for DD2, loud noises, birds flying nearby, interesting flowers etc all end with lapses in concentration. Today by the time we reach the park, a 12 minute walk, DD2 has two fresh grazed knees and possibly a few shin bruises. 
For the first 5 minutes we do well. Gman comes out of his buggy and everyone plays on the slide together nicely. DD1 takes a tumble and grazes her knee. DD2 is asked to play in the sand pit as it's the safest place for lone play, gman goes back in the buggy and I give DD1 some first aid and comfort.
DD1 doesn't like the slide anymore and we all head over the swings. The park is busy but there is one swing free, it's a baby swing so DD2 goes first as Gman is still safely in the buggy. After a few minutes DD2 swaps with Gman and the two girls push him gently between them. All is going great. 
A 'big girl' swing opens up and DD1 runs off to play on it. DD2 wants to go back to the sand pit so off she runs stumbling on route but saving herself. Phew!
For a moment or two longer peace reigns.
But then DD2 comes back, she's had a bathroom accident. DD2 can have bathroom accidents without warning, it's the biggest on going problem we're currently tackling. As this park has no bathroom facilities, (always a risk to visit!) We have to head home to get DD2 sorted out. I pull off my hoody and put it over her so she isn't sat in wet clothes for the journey home. This is the reason that I wear two top layers no matter the weather. 
 DD2 is feeling embarrassed and spends most of the walk home riding on the bar handle of Gmans buggy and clutching my neck. She repeatedly asks if I'm angry or mad at her. I reassure her that I'm not and I love her lots and lots. She walks the final 50 metres of the journey home and manages one more trip before falling through the front door and bumping her head on the doorframe.

The entire trip has taken about 45 minutes. Gman has had a few goes on the slide and some time on the swing, hardly any exercise at all.
DD1 is frustrated because she wasn't finished at the park yet and thinks her grazed knee might be a mortal wound.
DD2 is semi-nude with 2 grazed knees and bumped head.

Dyspraxia sucks. And I need Gin!


Sunday, 12 March 2017

An Easter Challenge

 I was moaned about recently on Facebook. My crime was sharing pictures 'all the time' of the things I do with the children. 
I was told it was easy to entertain kids if you throw money at them.
Apparently they don't read this blog, lol.

However it led onto an interesting conversation and long story short my budget for Easter half term activities is now £2. Which I've already spent!
My challenge is now to entertain the kids over Easter with 10 plastic eggs and 12 neon colored chicks. 
The rules are to create at least 1 activity per day using the eggs and/or chicks. And I can only use basic supplies to supplement them (for example pens,paper, scissors etc) but nothing you might need to buy in (feathers, beads, pipe cleaners).

 This is going to take some thinking about but I'm confident. Watch this space!

Friday, 10 March 2017

London Art Display

I've spent the afternoon upsetting the husband. It wasn't intentional, I just seem to turn into some OCD monster when arranging things.
It all started with the trip to London. Hubby kindly bought me a set of 12 postcards featuring paintings from the exhibition. 
But we couldn't find any reasonably priced frames to display 12 cards. Or a set of 3 frames each displaying 4 cards, that we could agree on.
In the end we bought a frame to feature 9 cards and agreed to argue later about which 3 postcards we wouldn't include.
we forgot to factor in that some of the cards were landscape and some were portrait. D'oh.
After much huffing and rearranging, a few threats of bodily harm and gallons of tea, we decided to use all the portrait postcards and fill the last two spots with photographs of us from the trip.
Cue a second round of bickering about which photos to use....more tea, more threats.
Hubby wisely left me alone at this point to choose how to arrange everything in the frame. 

I'm really pleased with how it's turned out, Hubby has banned me from ever making another one. Poor fella.

X x X

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Spring Flowers

I love Daffodils, they are my favourite flower. So I was thrilled this morning to find clever Hubby had picked up 5, yes 5 bunches after work last night. He spotted them being reduced down  to 20p a bunch and decided to treat me. (Those bacon pastries must of been good!)
I look forward to watching then bloom over the next few days.

My spring planter by the front door is also bursting into life at the moment. The grape hyacinth and crocus have started to bloom, the daffodils should hopefully join them shortly. 
Spring is here and Easter is just around the corner. I can't wait.

X x X

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Homemade Bacon and Cheese wraps

My three little monsters have become scarily addicted to Greggs Cheese and Bacon wraps. It's their preferred breakfast at the moment which is leading to several arguments each morning as we traipse to school and back.
The blooming things cost £1.65 a time!

Today I attempted to make a home made version using Aldi's ready rolled puff pastry (99p a box - I used 2) and a packet of Asda's cooking bacon (57p)
I managed to make 16 good sized wraps for just £2.55! That's an enormous saving of £23.85! 
I'm definitely going to be whipping up a few batches of these to pop in the freezer.

X x X 

Monday, 6 March 2017

London Baby!

My wonderful Hubby surprised me recently with tickets to an art exhibition.
I really wanted to see American Gothic when it came to London, as it's the first time it has been allowed to travel outside of America and Canada. 
The painting has been something of a favourite of mine since childhood. It's one of those iconic paintings that most people seem to know. Like Van Gogh's Sunflowers or Dali's Melting clocks (The persistance of memory)

It's beautiful in real life, the detail of it is mind blowing. I really recommend a trip to see it if you have to chance. Who knows when, if ever it'll return to see us!
 We also took the opportunity to do a little shopping. Only in the best stores you understand. Like treats for the children from Fortnum and Mason.

And the sweetest hedgehog coffee mug I think I have ever seen!
I do love the fun of some of Cath Kidstons prints. 

What have you been surprised with recently?


Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Project of the week

I'm getting super fed up with the amount of laundry this household produces. I understand of course that 5 people (3 small!) are going to make a substantial pile over the course of the week, but it's gotten to ridiculous levels.
So I'm focusing this week on making the job an easier one.
Job 1 is blitzing everyone's wardrobes.
The photo above is Gmans entire wardrobe!

Once I'd taken out all the outgrown bits, anything I didn't really like, anything marked or tatty, we actually had a lot less.
A handful of things have gone back into storage under his bed to be grown into, and a friend of a fiend will be gifted the decent looking cast offs. 

  As a reward for my hard work I visited my favourite clearance aisle!  I found curtains, bedding and decorative cushions to stash away for when we decorate the shared bedroom next month. £55 worth of stuff for just £8.98! I do love a bargain!

 X x x

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Decorating for Valentine's Day

 Our living room is looking very romantic.
After a fortnight of making various decorations we have almost run out of room for any new ones.
 It's been really fun watching the display strings filling up with creations though.

Now Valentines is almost here, we need to start thinking about our next project. 
Mummy needs to get planning!

X x x 

Friday, 3 February 2017

All the latest

It's been hectic in our household. Everything seems to happen at once doesn't it? Car break downs, extra hours at work, tummy bugs and much more besides.
However we have survived through and have returned back to you. 
So a family update.
G-man is happy and healthy. Currently working on teething his last few gnashers. 

DD2 is enjoying our home learning theme of celebrations this year. Chinese New Year went down well and we are currently working hard on Valentine's Day decorations.

DD has become obsessed with eating everything with chopsticks. It's proving both hilarious and annoying in equal measure. 
She also just lost her second tooth!

Hubby is still my biggest child and requires the most supervision of them all lol.
He's currently up for premotion at work so fingers crossed for that! 

And finally me!  I am recovering from the bug mentioned earlier but otherwise I'm doing okay. I'm currently working through the Beautiful Creatures book series when I get a few minutes spare from running around after everyone.

How are you all?


Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Paper Chain Dragons

We started working on our Chinese New Year decorations yesterday. 
We put up some paper lanterns my parents kindly bought in Chinatown. I love the bright colours, they make the room really cheerful.

We made our dragons from scrap card, gold, silver and red metallic paper, and Chinese newspapers. The girls really enjoyed making them and it was a nice easy craft I could pretty much leave them do independently.
Tonight we will practising our chopstick skills ready for Saturday, using giant marshmallows!


Saturday, 21 January 2017

Daddies taking us to the zoo

Yesterday the girls had a bonus day off school. As the teacher training day coincided with payday we thought we'd go all out. 
We woke the children and bundled them up layers of clothes, hats and gloves. 

Being a chilly morning and early in the year, we practically had the zoo to ourselves. It was lovely to stroll at our own pace, use the bathrooms with queuing first and we had several chats with different keepers who were going about their daily chores.
I'd like to apologise to the Okapi keeper though  who was bombarded with questions about poop.
To be fair though one of them had just pooped right in front of us. The Okapi that is, not the keeper.

It was a really lovely day out.  Everyone arrived home tired out and bedtime was one of the easiest I have ever known! 


Thursday, 19 January 2017

Busy day

Today has been a really odd sort of a day. 
First we found a beautiful peacock butterfly on the way to school with our friends. 
The girls were fascinated with it and both gently held it on their gloved fingers. I wonder what it was doing over here in the middle of winter.

After the school we popped in to see my parents while our car was checked over. All of our internal lights aren't working, which is a huge pain in the darker months. Car seats are not easy to plug in without good lighting! My brother the mechanic thinks it's probably just a fuse so finger's crossed it's solved quickly.
We arrived back home just in time to get a phone call from the school about DD2. At some point during lunchtime she fell and hit her face on something in the playground.  She insists it was a fat red chair, we think she means a bench but there aren't any red benches in the playground. Because it was a head injury we had to pick her up. 
I'm really hoping she doesn't wake up with a shiner tomorrow.

Seeing as DD2 and Gman were at home with Daddy, I took the opportunity to surprise Dd1 with a mummy-daughter date. We had a lovely hot chocolate in a local cafe. It was nice to give her my full 1:1 attention for a little bit. 

Once home DD1 was in the mood for some home learning. We tried an idea I'd spotted on Pinterest for learning new spellings and it went down a storm. We'll definitely be trying this method again. It's so much fun.

Quite a day! I think I will spend the evening sitting quietly with my current book and some chocolates.


Tuesday, 17 January 2017

School again :(

DD1 came home upset this  afternoon. She said she'd failed her weekly spelling test. She cried on the bus journey home.
Knowing that the test was on the 19th I had planned a few activities for this evening and tomorrow to help her learn her current words. Things like window writing with foam,  wordsearches, letter hunting games etc. Tried and tested methods that had helped her learn difficult words before.
But instead they did it today. Two days ahead of schedule. 
She's upset, I'm upset and you can bet your derrière the school will equally upset tomorrow once I've been there and had words!!! 


Monday, 16 January 2017

Family Sunday

We spent a wonderful day with my parents on Sunday. 
Nanny had made a tray of cupcakes the day before for the girls to decorate. It was lovely to watch them carefully arranging sprinkles and marshmallows while I enjoyed a hot cup of tea.

DD1 was very proud of her decorated cakes and spent most of afternoon trying to force feed them to Grandad. Not that I noticed him complain much lol.

Today was Majorettes practice. The girls are improving well and their routines are really starting to take shape. Bedtime is a doddle after 2 hours of practice so Hubby and I have started watching a movie once the girls are tucked in. 
It's a lovely way to start the week.


Saturday, 14 January 2017

Angry shopping

Thank you for the kind comments everyone. It's helped me put things a little more in perspective and really appreciate what I have.
I took a walk this afternoon. A stompy clearing my headaughter sort of a walk. Hubby kindly took charge of the children to give me the peace and space I needed.
Trusting that my feet knew where to take me I ended up at the local garden centre so decided to have a little mooch round. 
The post Christmas sale was pretty poor, but the plant clearance was wonderful! I picked up three potted herbs. Sage, Lemon Balm and Thyme. They have joined the Mint and Chives already growing on my kitchen windowsill. 
It certainly made me feel a bit better :)
I'm hoping they may even make me a little extra cash later on from cuttings.  Another little project for the summer months.


School Report Sadness

Yesterday the school reports arrived home. The school is using a new system this year and I found them really disappointing.  
DD1 is not reaching her targets on time, but she never has since the day she started. I've always known it takes her a little longer to have that magical light bulb moment but when she does, she then races ahead. She learns something new slowly and thoroughly but then knows it so well that she can apply it anywhere.
DD2 is turning out to be something of a maths whiz. She has always been one for order and patterns so u can't say we are shocked at the revelation. As a toddler she loved to line things up in size order or straight lines. 
The thing I hates about the reports though, was the complete lack of personalisation. There was no personal statement, no score for effort or improvement. Nothing but numbers and statistics.
It didn't tell me that DD1 is the first child on the scene of a playground accident, helping people up and checking they are okay. It didn't tell me that DD2 is a bit of a perfecrionist in the classroom and gets upset if things are put in the wrong places. She is actually given the nickname "Librarian" in class as she likes all the books to be neat on the shelf together arranged in their bookband colours.
It doesn't tell me that when DD1 reads aloud she gives every character their own voice and acts out all the parts. It doesn't tell me that DD2 much prefers non-fiction to fiction and likes 'real' things far more than imaginary things.
It didn't tell me they have bright sunny personalities or that they are liked in their classes.
It told me nothing but where they ranked in a room of 30 other children with reading, writing and maths. My children are more than that and I'm very annoyed the reports don't show it.
I will bemail speaking to the teachers about it on Monday.


Thursday, 12 January 2017

Thrifty Thursday

I was going to treat myself to some hat kits in a local wool shop today. I'd been thinking about purchasing them for a while but £5.50 was a little to expensive as I wanted 3 kits so the children had a hat each. 
This week the store had a sale on with the hat kits reduced to £3.30 each. I decided to treat myself finally.
When I went to the shop to get them there was already another customer in the shop with a pushchair. It's only a small shop, no way would I get my pushchair in there as well. Luckily I was with a friend who offered to stand  outside  with the buggy while I nipped in. Problem solved. 
 Or not.
The other customers buggy was pushed up against the entrance, the door opened inwards against the buggy so I carefully tried to nudge the buggy back so I could slip into the shop. But the brakes were applied and the door barely opened half an Inch.
So I stood by the window waving to catch the attention of either the customer or the owner. Both looked at me several times as I pointed to the door and the buggy, and promptly ignored me. 
After a few minutes of standing outside the shop feeling a bit miffed another customer arrived, they were also ignored. We both waited a little longer before the newly arrived customer said the owner obviously didn't want our custom and she'd go elsewhere. 
So I followed. Instead of spending  £9.90 in the Yarn shop, I went to pound world and bought 3 balls of their yarn instead. Even better it was 3 for 2. 
Since then Ive found a  free pattern on Ravelry and splurged £1.50 on a pompom maker on Ebay.
Overall I've saved £6.40 and learnt were NOT to shop in future.
Definitely a thrifty Thursday.


Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Try it Tuesday

I read an interesting blog post a few days ago by Sammy Skint about a new frugal laundry liquid.
When I spotted some in our local branch of Savers I decided to take Sammies advice and give it a try.
It really is just as good as she said! I really like both of the scents, rose being a huge favourite of mine and the peach is a lovely fresh fragrance.  They left everything clean, soft and lightly scented even on a 30° wash. Even Hubbies grubby shirt collars were defeated :)
At just £1 per bottle (currently with 20% extra free) I will certainly be stocking up on these fellas.

 If you are near a Tesco or Savers I recommend you give it a go.


Sunday, 8 January 2017

Movie Night with the Tribe

Last night I had a wonderful evening out with my girl pals. We call ourselves a Tribe as we always in touch with each other and support each other in pretty much everything.
As you can probably guess we all had the time of our lives lol.
It's quite funny how a film can change as you get older. We all agreed we still liked the movie Dirty Dancing but also that it's actually quite a dark film with some of its themes. 
It was a great night our though with far to many sweet and tempting treats.