First day back

Despite Little Legs not being keen to return to school over the last week, this morning she went in, armed with her homework as if school was the best thing ever. This makes me happy. I loved school too. Her school made it easy this morning. We arrived and there was striped “incident” tape over the door, the classroom had been trashed and the kids were, of course, buzzing. After school she explained, excitedly, that someone had been in their classroom and they had to solve clues to find out who it was….. it was a trio of superheros apparently! They’d been there defending the school from the baddies! Spiderman had left webs everywhere! Crazy!

Painting

Her homework was to produce a winter picture – this could be anything. A collage, photo, painting, drawing, whatever she fancied. As always with Little Legs, she fancied paint. So paint she did. I really hope she continues to enjoy school, she’s definitely getting the best start and I am so pleased that my third choice school was the one I was offered!

Christmas and New Year

Christmas 2015

I’d love to write a post here about how wonderful and glorious Christmas and New Year have been but I’d be lying. We did have a nice time. We chilled a lot. But it was all a little bit fraught as my baby girl was poorly pretty much the whole time and we weren’t at home. Thankfully, she woke up feeling OK so was able to enjoy Christmas morning, but things then went down hill. She put herself to bed at 3pm on quite a few occasions, and then woke at 11pm. Exhausting for us all.

On top of all that, it took us eight hours to get home due to horrendous traffic. Normally it takes less than 5. When we finally did get home, it was a huge relief for us all. A five year old and a one year old in a car for that long isn’t good. At all.

Once home and after a good nights sleep, things began to pick up. Little Legs started feeling better and we were able to get out. Just the four of us. It’s been blissful. No stress. Just chilling. We have been out every day since we have been home, just keeping it simple, parks, woods, bike rides, but all good.

2015 is going to be an odd year for us. Phil isn’t going to be here much so it’s me and the kids. He’s back at work on Monday, home for the week, and then sails off for five weeks. That’s going to be pretty much the pattern until he deploys in the summer apart from a block of 6 weeks he’s at home.

There’s a few things I want to achieve this year. Things I am not ready to talk about yet as there’s a few phone calls and discussions I need to have on Monday, but all being well it’s going to be a step in the direction of something that I have been toying with for a very long time. Phil thinks it’s perfect for me. My girlfriends all totally agree. I’m saying no more just yet but it’s nice to know I have their support!

I wish you all a very happy, healthy and successful new year.

Save The Children Christmas Jumpers at George at ASDA

Christmas Jumper Day

Tomorrow is Christmas Jumper Day, a fundraising event from Save The Children. It’s now in its third year and they’ve raised more than £1.6 million to date! Brilliant. Fun. Easy to get involved with. Winner. The little kids love it as do the big kids! Hence why all these photos are a little silly. I tried to get some lovely posed ones but there was just too much excitement from the little one!

We all have Christmas Jumpers, from the Save The Children range at ASDA. They’re great. Phil’s rocking a snowman jumper – complete with scarf – which he’s happy with. He has a Christmas Jumper night out with the lads so will be wearing it in the mean streets of Portsmouth. Mine is a little more subtle, a Polar bear one with one little reindeer-bear which Little Legs adores. She really did a little laugh out loud when she spotted it. Talking of Little Legs, she’s sporting the white thick knit complete with a little bling, but quite understated. She loves it because the icicles are like Elsa. Obviously. She’s 5.

 

The Boy has a super-cute Christmas Snowman Fairisle Jumper one which is the most complimented of all of us. The reason he’s not featured is because he’s poorly at the moment (again) and there’s not a hope in hell I will be able to get him posing for photos (it’s why he’s missing from my IG feed generally at the moment, poor poppet).

Christmas Jumper Day

The jumpers are pocket-friendly. The kids ones start at just £7 and adult ones are £14. They fit really well. Phil will not do baggy jumpers – a fashion thing he says, I say because he has such a fit body he likes slim fit clothes, either which way, he is really impressed with the fit on his.

The thing I was most surprised about is how soft these jumpers are. Obviously for that price you’re not going to get lambswool, but what you do get is a super-soft jumper that fits well. So if you’re not yet ready for Christmas Jumper Day, hot foot it over to your local ASDA and see the range. They’re open ’til late, else you can order online.

This is a review post.
You can read more about that on my disclosure page.

3 ways to keep a house warm!

I am cold. I am quite often cold to be honest. Especially when I am sitting on my Mac working away. My feet freeze and my hands turn to ice. Problem is my house is quite crap, cheaply built (it’s MOD housing after all) and drafty. There’s a few things I can do to improve the situation, and I have been doing my research. Here’s some of my favourite ways to warm a home up. Some which are never going to work for my situation (the MOD would go crazy if I went down the hay route) but that’s not to say they’re not clever…

Hay – I could use hay insulation. All the fancy-ass green builds on Grand Designs do it. Cheap and green. What’s not to like? One day peeps. One day.

Hay House

Draft Excluders - An oldie but a goodie. I think I really need to invest in one of these, especially in the kitchen! This will stop the drafts that freeze the feet! Actually, I could have a stab at making one. After-all, I do have a sewing machine gathering dust!

Modern draft Excluder

Decent Blinds – I know a given. These ones from Duette are stylish and prevent heat loss through windows. I have no blinds in the kitchen or the room I spend most of my working time in. I need to invest! I really like the look of these and the fact they can reduce energy bills by 25% makes them even more of a no brainer!

dining room

So for me, it’s going to have to be the blinds. I think they’ll make the biggest impact plus a draft excluder for the kitchen door! And while I am at it. I should invest in one of those lambswool blah blah blah blankets from Donna Wilson which I have been eyeballing forever.

Image Sources // Eco House Agent / Bee Yourself Designs / Duette Energy Saving Blinds

And he’s off….

me and philPhil’s away at the moment. Pretty standard when you’re married to a Sailor. He’s been away for a few weeks but managed to pop home so we could get to the Christmas Ball. When i say pop home, I am being flippant. His 151 metres long, 8,000 tonne Royal Navy Air Defence Destroyer ship was in dock for the weekend. Lucky for us. We had a great night. Funny.

I don’t like Phil being away. It’s harder now then before because having a crazy-active 16 month old is hard work. I deal with it because you have to. There’s no option. I’m not going to sit and wallow that my husband is away, bleating my heart out. I am going to get on with my life and make sure my kids have lots of fun. I do moan, of course, we all moan. And on that note I am going to have a moan right now…

Phil’s home on Christmas leave next week and we will have three weeks with him home every night. But come January 5th, when he’s back at work and the Christmas decorations are down, he’ll be on his way again. Standard. That’s what happens. BUT, and what I am really moaning about, is in the next 18 months, if we total up the time Phil is going to be at home. It’s just four months. That’s crap. Really effing crap.

His ship is being deployed for nine months. So for nine months I may not see him at all, and if I do, it will be for two weeks. Leading up to that period they’re always at sea preparing for the big deployment. People think we can Skype but we can’t unless he’s docked somewhere and can get on someone’s wifi. You’re not allowed any unofficial comms on ship. Security. We can email. We can talk on the ship’s phone. But we can’t see each other. And even if we could, it’s not the same.

He’s going to miss Christmas next year. I am really gutted about that. It wont be the same without him. So I am going to do something positive. I am going to take my babies on Holiday. Just me and them, somewhere sunny with lovely sandy beaches. Somewhere easy. No hassle. But where? That’s the question…

I may be getting old but this has made me happy… #BTYL

I have been crazy busy of late. I mean crazy-crazy-busy. First there was BG School, and now we have launched Shop Bambino Goodies, plus I have the lovely people I work for, and then there’s the new work stuff and on top of that, Phil’s been away and Christmas is looming and I have two kids to juggle……and breathe. My To Do list is doing my head in and my organised 3-things-a-day approach has been failing miserably.

I keep starting all the things I need to sort but haven’t, like getting the sofas and carpets cleaned and before I know it, the quotes are two months old and my sofas have more spillages and ink marks on them than before. So when I got a lovely email from moneysupermarket.com who wanted to Balance Transfer My Life, I was all over it. They wanted to help me out. They wanted to tackle one of my tasks that keep getting put on the back-burner, even though I know there’s a great outcome from doing it. Hallel-friggin-ujah

They told me they would arrange for those sofas and carpets to be sorted for me. And that they did. They asked me when I was free and then I sat back and waited for a knock on the door. Between 10 and 10.30 they said, at 10.16 there was a knock at the door and in came two chaps ready to give me a deep clean……. I have never been so excited about having my sofas and carpets cleaned. I am now smiling as I walk past them. I am getting a little Hitler like to the kids, you know the drill, “SHOES” and “NOT ON THE SOFA”. I think I am getting old! I must be getting old…

The reason why moneysupermarket.com started the ‘Balance Transfer Your Life’ activity was because people end up paying high interest rates on their credit card debts. Although there are offers available which let you transfer your outstanding balance to a zero per cent balance transfer card, leaving you interest free on your debt until the deal expires, it’s something which is easy to put off. Even if you’re quite hot on money-saving, the process of sorting it is one of those little tasks that we put on the back burner… much like carpet cleaning! Now my carpets and sofas are clean I am all over it. I really didn’t realise exactly how much moneysupermarket.com offers. They cover everything from shopping to vouchers to holidays and a really active forum. One to bookmark for sure.

Next on my list is the car. Delegation is just like Balance Transferring my Life, right?!

This is a sponsored post.
Find out more about posts like this in my disclosure policy.

 

The Gallery: Pets

Bert

My baby Bert way back when. My first born. Poor fella is really suffering with his arthritis at the moment. He’s going to move in with the in-laws in a few weeks. Breaks my heart he’s going, but go he must. Still, he’s not really gone gone, we will see him all the time. But he’ll be more relaxed with them. And much more spoiled!

Me and the #earlybirdchallenge

I am awake early a lot. My 15 month old likes an early start. 6am in a lay in for him. I may be awake early but I don’t get up. I tend to spend the next hour trying to get him back to sleep – normally it’s a fail. So although I am awake, it’s all wasted time. The Boy rarely goes back to sleep.

So when Free Office Finder asked me to get involved with their #earlybirdchallenge I agreed for a few reasons. The first being I needed to break the morning cycle we were in, secondly because there are loads of benefits in getting up early and thirdly, because the emphasis of the challenge is on doing something for you.  I like the thought of having some me time. Who doesn’t?!

Early Bird Challenge

So on Wednesday morning, The Boy woke up, I got him some milk, settled him in bed with Phil and got up properly. It was about 5.45, so I knew I had over an hour before Phil had to start thinking about leaving for work.

So I had a shower, uninterrupted.
Then I made a coffee and headed to my computer and started writing.
I wrote a lot. I enjoyed writing.
I had time when I had energy to just crack on.
And I felt so accomplished.

I did think about getting up and going for a run. But I thought, actually, right now, it would be more beneficial for me to spend some time writing. The running needs to start happening, but to be honest, I live on the beach and its cold, windy and scary being out so early alone when it’s so dark out there. Excuses I know.

I am going to keep getting up when The Boy wakes me up though. Even if its doing mundane things like the housework or prepping things for school. At least it’s not wasted time which actually is quite stressful!

Next challenge is to get to bed at a reasonable time. I am going to start aiming for lights out by 10.30 and going up to bed about 10. I should start getting my recommended 8 hours, rather than the 5ish I currently get. Wish me luck!

The Gallery: Talent

SwimmingThis week I received an email from Little Leg’s swim school saying they want to move her up to level 2 after half term because she’s progressing so well. She’s only been having lessons since the beginning of September so I am thrilled for her.

The thing about Little Legs is she is very determined and very competitive. VERY competitive. She always wants to win and she always wants to go first. She’s super-confident. She has a winner’s mentality. I see it in her already.

Now that reason I am telling you both of these things is because they’re related. Little Legs swims with her pal, who didn’t get moved up. No drama there. But I found myself wondering why just Little Legs had been moved up. I started thinking that it was to do with external factors – maybe they needed her spot in the beginners class, maybe it’s because she’s 5 now. I had no evidence to support this, in fact, I had evidence telling me exactly why she has been moved up:

I am very pleased to be contacting you with regards to L’s swimming lessons, it has been brought to our attention that L is progressing very well and her teacher would like her to move up to group 2, Well done L!

So I gave myself a slap. She’s been moved up because she’s progressing well and her desire to be the best means she digs deep and goes for it. There’s no external factors but here I am, her mother, taking her accomplishment away from her. What is that about?

I read a post recently (see here) and it really resonated with me for lots of reasons, which I wont go in to now, but I realised by playing down Little Leg’s achievements (although never to her) I am actually, subconsciously, teaching her not outshine others. What kind of life lesson is that? I also realise that I’ll start feeding her self-limiting beliefs. I feel totally ashamed. So ashamed I went out with her a let her have a bloody Disney click-click doll (or whatever they’re called) as a treat for working so hard at swimming and at school.

I will no longer be apologising for Little Legs wanting to win. I won’t apologise for her super-confident-wanting-to-go-first ways. After all, it’s not like she has a problem with taking it in turns or anything like that. I have tried really hard to make her confident, self-assured and to have a voice. I want her to be able to take a compliment, love herself, know that saying no is OK.  Doubting her abilities and holding her back goes against everything I want for her.

Little Legs has got talent. I can’t tell you exactly what that is at the moment, but I know when she finds her thing, with her determination she will succeed.

As for the photo. That was taken when she was just three in Florida. She loves the water and really has no fear.

Linking up with The Gallery: Talent

 

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