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.


Saturday, 7 January 2017

(Window)Sill Saturday

It's looking pretty full on the windowsill at the moment. Opening and closing the curtains is becoming a high risk activity. 

I have 2 amaryllis from Christmas 2015. They've never flowered and have grown quietly on the windowsill for over a year now. Both have now grown baby plants so I'm looking forward to seeing what will happen in the next few weeks. Will they finally bloom? Will the baby plants? Will both? 

On the left is a little pot of leftover spring bulbs from the planter I made. I thought they'd be a little ahead of the bulbs outside but they are actually pretty close in size. 
The centre pot is the amaryllis I was gifted this Christmas. There is already a bud on the plant and you can almost watch it grow it going to fast. 
The metal tin is full of narcissus. It's the tin I bought for £2 a few years back in a garden centre clearance. Every year it's been a delight to watch bloom. 

Finally I have my mystery plant. It was a gift from my parents but I've quite forgotten what it's called. I love the frilly edge of the leaves. 
 Inside the various soda bottle greenhouses are chilli plants. I'm growing them from the free seeds we were given at the New Forest Show last year.
I'm hoping most of them grow and I can use them for trades on freegle and Facebook. Possibly even for sale.

What's growing on your windowsill?


Thursday, 5 January 2017

Thrifty Thursday

I picked up some lovely bargains this morning in town. The pound shop had all there Christmas bits down to 25p each. I took the opportunity to pick up some cheap toiletries, just the right size for going on holiday. I thought the globe bubble bath was to cute to pass up. They will be stashed for next Christmas.

Clintons have a good sale on at the moment. I picked up a birthday card for Boo with unicorns on it. £4.50 reduced to 99p! 
Waitrose had bags of mixed nuts reduced to clear. I snapped one up for 47p thinking it would be good fun to try cracking them with the girls.

G-man was fascinated by them. I popped them into an empty biscuit tin for him to examine.

For most of the morning they have been tipped in and out of containers, rattled in the tin, lined up and peered at carefully. 
 I feel like I've had my 47p worth from them already and not one has been eaten yet!
I might even invest in some more.

X X X 

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Try it Tuesday

It was freezing cold this morning on the school run. The girls were fascinated by the iced over puddles and they weren't alone. I spotted a lot of shoes with soggy toes going in from the playground. 

I spent the afternoon planting garlic. I spotted a packet in Wilco yesterday and thought it would be perfect for Try it Tuesday. If they all survive I should get 29 bulbs! I think the entire street will be safe from vampire attacks for the summer.

I also finished off these little fellas. My parents kindly gifted me the tinsel wool and pattern for Christmas. They knit up in a jiffy, but I struggled a little bit with the faces. It took several attempts to get the eyes in the right place, but I'm happy with them now.

X X X 

Monday, 2 January 2017

Down by the sea.

We've spent a wonderful afternoon on Hayling Island's seafront. We were playing a family walk to the local duck pond but instead we were invited to join my parents for a nice family walk along the tide line. 

It was a wonderful way to spend a bright winters day. Lots of seashells and treasure were found.
After all our exploring we popped into a local cafe for a bite to eat and a hot cup of tea to warm us up. 

We ended our lovely day with a visit to the arcade. It's just not a visit to Hayling Island without a dabble on the 2p machines.
Tomorrow the girls are back at school, which means it's time to start spring cleaning and pottering in the garden.


Sunday, 1 January 2017

Happy New Year 2017

Happy New Year everyone!  
We've started our year with by making a bit pot of Death soup. It's made from all the loitering veggies in the fridge from the festive period. The odd escapee Brussels sprout, the 3 parsnips that didn't fit in the oven dish,  and the carrots everyone forgot we'd bought etc.
It should really be called New Year soup but Hubby made a comment a few years back that it signified the death of Christmas for him, and naturally the name stuck.

These three little monkeys will make short work of it, whatever it's called. 
I'm looking forward to seeing what each of them have in store for me this year.

We're all tired from seeing the new year in.  This was the first year both of the girls stayed awake to see it. Usually the conk out long before the celebrations.
Our activity for the afternoon is turning our little stash of Christmas cards into next Christmas's gift tags. It's a nice lazy activity to do in front of a movie.

Happy New Year folks.
x x x