Hello first day of December. I still can’t quite get over that it is the first day of December already. With the first day of December arrives our house guests the Elves. This will be the fourth Christmas SnowAngel has stayed with us and the second year for her brother Chippy.
We woke up this morning and the temperature had dropped significantly. I tiptoed to the boiler and turned on the heating. The roads, pavements and cars were covered in ice. Jack Frost had spread his magic during the night. Winter is well and truly here ready to make the month of December cold and magical.
I love the winter, minus the rain. The hats , scarves and gloves are out. The heating is on and the hot chocolate is being made – marshmallows and cream are a must.
With the Elves arrival also brings the first day of advent. I don’t by the chocolate calendars from the supermarket. They just aren’t what they used to be. The chocolates are smaller and are a bit naff to say the least. Each year out comes our fabric calendar that my parents used for me and my sisters when I was younger. I fill it with chocolate coins and chocolate santas.
In our house the Elves are not as naughty as some of the scout Elves I know. They don’t like too much mess, they do however like to bring small gifts throughout December like Christmas story books, colouring books, socks and mugs.
On our way to school this morning we wrapped up warm and tread carefully, making sure we did not slip on the icy ground. Everything was was with frost.
LM has another cough – his fourth since September, so we are spending the day on the sofa with a large pile of Christmas movies to make our way through.
I even managed to open my new slow cooker and have an oxtail stew bubbling away for tea tonight. The perfect comfort food for the start of December.
We won’t be putting our decorations up until after LM’s birthday next week however tomorrow we will be getting festive with Christmas songs and helping Nanny put her tree up.
You can find out what we are upto this December here
Were has November gone! What happened, did I sleep through the entire month because I don’t have a clue how we got to December so fast! One minute I was writing about October and Halloween and now Christmas is just a few weeks away. November has been a blur and nothing much has gotten done that includes housework, blog posts and goals.
I wish these months would go slower but since returning to work at the end of September the months are flying by and I am struggling to keep up with what day and month it is.
Reach 2000 twitter followers. It may be a push but I think I can do it. I said it would be a push and it really was. My Twitter is currently sat just over 1.5K followers and it hasn’t moved much all month. Probably because I really need a kick up the A***e and start engaging a bit more. I did join in with a twitter party this month which was a first for me. I had stayed clear from them because I wasn’t sure what it involved,however I was really intrigued by the subject so gave it ago. It was lovely when I found out I had won a £25 gift voucher so was well worth joining in.
Reach 250 likes on facebook. Maybe. So close yet so far, I reached 220 likes this month so I am not too dissappinted.
BOOK THE PANTO!!! Yay!!! I finally completed one!!! We are booked in for the panto a few days before Christmas, we have our favourite seats and can’t wait.
Make a Christmas decoration on the sewing machine. I didn’t make any decorations on the sewing machine this month, I did however start making paper origami decorations and PomPoms ready to make a Christmas garland so that’s a start. I just hope the get finished in time for Christmas.
December 2016 bucket list – Christmas
Make mince pie muffins. Last year I made around 100 muffins for family. I don’t need that many this year but I do have seven jars of mincemeat to use up.
Wrap the Christmas presents before Christmas Eve. Each year the hubby and I would sit down on Christmas Eve wrapping the kids presents. Last year we were up until half past one wrapping! Not this year, we have an extra child to wrap for this year, I will be wrapping before Christmas Eve.
Bake Christmas biscuits & Mince pies with the kids
Make Paper chains and Paper Christmas hats with the kids
Go Walking around the town looking at Christmas lights.
Deliver Christmas gifts.
Read Christmas stories to the kids
Watch Christmas movies
Have fun with the Scout Elves that stay at our house each year. (Yes we do Elf on the shelf)
Celebrate the Hubby’s 30th Birthday
Put the Christmas decorations up after LM’s Birthday
Long list this month, but it’s Christmas it’s always a busy time of year. What’s on your Christmas Bucket list?
SO as most of you know, I limit the amount I show of my kids. Whether it be of their feet, hands, shoulders below or side profile. I agreed with my partner that I wouldn’t show their full for face as he wasn’t comfortable with it. I have been taking more and more picture’s from the back of the head. It seems to be working and actually I have quite a few images now that I like.
This weeks Sunday photo – week 18 is a Picture of LM at Exmoor Zoo walking the trail in the Autumn.
As I sit here writing this it is my week off. BG2 was Ill in the night and was awake from 1am until 4am and I was up again at 7am to get the kids ready for school. Today I have two loads of washing to do and two loads to put away. BG2 needs a bath and the living room needs hoovering. Will it get done? Probably not. I’m tired and have sat down which has sealed its fate from the moment my bum hit the sofa – it’s staying there.
I returned to work at the end of September. I work part time for a holiday company, answering phones, writing emails and arranging UK stays for people. It’s a busy company and we have a lot to do when at our desks. My shifts are every other week so every second week I get an entire week off which is great but it goes far too quickly. The weekend at the beginning of my week off is spent with the kids and catching up on some house work. Once Monday hits and the school run takes over, it takes a day or two to actually return to normal and recover from the previous week at work. By which time we half way through the week and I spend the rest of the week dreading the time getting closer to returning to work. It’s a viscous cycle.
My week at work starts on a Saturday at 8am and I don’t return home until 5pm. Sunday is much the same except I return home at 4pm. Then during weekdays I awake at 7am get the kids ready for school, complete the school run and return home. I tidy the house a little, do some washing and play with BG2. Weather permitting we go for a walk before picking the kids up from school. As soon as the kids get home from school that’s when the rushing starts. I start to make dinner, get the kids in the shower and get myself ready for work.
The hubby returns home and I hastily eat what I have made for dinner before heading to work. In the evenings I work at 5pm and return home by 9.30pm Monday to Friday. Since returning from maternity leave I have decided to cut Tuesday out of my work schedule which was agreed with my manager.
By the end of my work week I am exhausted. Before I had BG2 I loved my job, I enjoyed working and it was easy. Maybe it was because the kids were older and less dependant on me as BG2 is now maybe its because we were living with my parents and had extra hands helping out.
After having BG1 I made the decision to be a stay at home mum and I loved my time with her and cooking and crafting. Once LM came along I knew it was time for me to return to work, I was more than ready to take that step. Now having BG2 although I want need to keep working I just can’t get out of this foggy funk that has taken over when it is time to head to work.
Having three children is exhausting in its self and then having a busy job on top of that my weeks at work seem to be a haze, a flash moment that disappear.
Since returning back to work the past few month have disappeared and I feel like I have accomplished nothing. I have gotten nothing done. I haven’t baked which I used to do weekly or even cooked a proper homemade meal which I did daily. My blogging has reduced significantly – which is fine I think it was only a matter of time that blogging every day would burn out, blogging two or three times a week is more than enough.
Although some of you reading this may think ‘but she works evenings she has more than enough time to do all of these other things’. Partially you would be right I do have the time to do them however, have you ever had a dentist appointment at the end of the day and you have spent the whole day just anticipating that moment. That’s how I feel about working in the evenings, I anticipate it’s arrival all day everyday and seem to get nothing done.
I feel it is time for a change. I still want to work, I enjoy working. However I need something a little less brain crushing, remove myself from the computer and return to retail. I used to love working in a shop. I used to work in a lingerie shop and you would meet some lovely people. And at the end of the day you could go home and forget about work and focus on the kids.
So this post is a little more rambling than I thought it would be.
Since I returned to work I have felt a little lost and in a haze. It has not been easy going back to work. Maybe with time it will get better. I hope it gets better Maybe with time I will find a new job that fits my change in lifestyle.
How did you feel when you returned to work? Did you make the decision not to return to work? Did you change careers? Where you as exhausted as I am?
A couple weekends ago we headed to Exmoor Zoo for the day. I have said before when we spent the day at Paignton zoo how much I love going to the zoo. Exmoor Zoo is a little closer to home and a much smaller zoo than Paignton.
It doesn’t have Elephants, Giraffes, Gorillas, Zebras, Tigers, Lions or Rhino’s. None of the big animals you come to expect from the larger zoos. Its a smaller zoo but a fascinating one.
It had been around four years since we last visited the zoo and much has changed. Exmoor zoo is constantly being updated and improved. I was greatly impressed with the work that had been done to new enclosures since I had last visited.
Exmoor zoo might be small but it houses a huge range of animals. Sometimes smaller zoos are better than the bigger ones. In bigger zoos you can get lost, miss animals and get trampled on by other guests. Smaller zoos are quieter, and follow an easier route so you don’t miss animals.
Housing Monkeys, Meerkats, Pumas, singing dogs and the famous Exmoor Beast there are plenty of beautiful and unusual animals to take a look at.
The Meerkats were on the look out and were gorgeous to look at. I took charge of the camera on this trip as the husband took the pictures at Paignton Zoo.
We stopped at the playground for the kids to burn me energy. BG2 loved her ride on the swings. It was very cold on our trip but it didn’t rain which made the day more enjoyable. We don’t mind the cold.
The animals were so active on our visit. We spent more time watching the animals at our visit to Exmoor Zoo than we did at Paignton Zoo as we were able to watch the animals easier and they were fascinating to watch.
The wild dogs were one of the first larger enclosures we seen. They were just as intrigued by us as we were by them.
The monkeys looked very grumpy in their trees. This is what the Hubby looks like when I ask him to do housework!!
BG1 loved her time spent at the zoo, her favourite animal is the Exmoor beast.
The Pumas were the most active of the day, I could have spent hours watching them.
The wolves didn’t keep still either, it took me quite a few shots to get a descent picture, they were keeping a close eye on the wild dogs that they had clear view of from their enclosure.
LM couldn’t wait to touch a snake, BG1 chickened out at the last minute.
At the end of the day we were exhausted from our amazing trip at Exmoor zoo and won’t be leaving it so long until our next visit.
It’s that time of year when Christmas24 is on Sky, John Lewis get’s their adverts on the television and we eagerly wait to spot the CocaCola truck light up our screens and fill our ears with “Holidays are coming”. The shop windows are f of temptation and Nickelodeon has more toy adverts than actual cartoons.
It’s also the time when most of us start thinking about what we are going to gift to people. I start very early on in the year to get some bargains but it’s around now that my kids write their letters to Santa and I pick up their main present.
This is my first Christmas Gift ideas for kids post on my blog and that makes me smile. I love Christmas so much and have been waiting for these posts to come about. This post has items that we have been lucky enough to be sent for inclusion to this post as well as items that have made there way onto the kids Christmas list.
Christmas gift ideas for kids
Every child loves to role play. Whether it’s being a teacher, a waiter or a Doctor. This pack from Wannabees is a must for any budding teacher. It has copies of the register, lunch menu, report cards and lesson plans . Every thing your child needs to play schools. They are printed on quality paper. We were sent the Teacher pack and the kids argue over who gets to be the first. This pack also comes in Doctor and café options. The café pack is on their Christmas list to Santa.
My kids love puzzles, they are always on the floor surrounded by puzzle pieces. We discovered 3d puzzles last year at Christmas and the kids love them. The problem with regular puzzles is that you can’t move them. 3D puzzles don’t have that problem and now once you have made the puzzle you can use them too. I love this 3d puzzle vase from Ravensburger.
LM loves collecting rocks and gems, he now has a lovely collection coming along. National Geographic have introduced the break your own Geodes. This pack comes with 10 geodes, 3 or 4 large rocks a couple medium size and the rest small geodes. You break them open to reveal the crystals that have formed inside. They are tough to break open so will keep the children busy.
Kids love pirates, boys or girls there is something about pirates that never seem to go out of fashion. Whether you have your own little Peter Pan, Captain Hook or Anne Bonny kids love to play pirates. And what are pirates best known for but their treasure of course. Now you can create your very own treasure hunt for your child whether its at home or on the go these handy Gotrovo mini cards make the perfect stocking filler. It also comes in a little carry bag making it ideal for on the go fun. (easy fit for your handbag too). Have the kids searching around the house and in the garden going from clue to clue using these easy to read clue cards/picture cards.
In our house role player is a big deal. We love to dress up as fairies, princesses and superheroes. We also love to play restaurants, teachers, doctors and post offices. This post office comes with all your child needs to deliver letters and learn while playing. The Post office is a big hit in our house.
Izzy whizzy let’s get busy. Who doesn’t love a bit of magic, Im sure we all had a magic set growing up. Now the magic continues with our favourite bear Sooty. This set is a Sooty hand puppet and a few naughty tricks. If your kids are like mine they will be entertained for ages making fart noises with the whoopee cushion.
Not just for kids, the find it games are a great little toy to keep kids entertained and dare I say even quiet. But be warned you will find yourself alone on the sofa with a cup of tea trying to find all 48 items. And the fun doesn’t stop there, it also comes with 27 playing cards for more ways to keep playing. It also comes in a variety of themes including the xmas, Dinosaur, wildlife, find it.
Orchard Toys are known for their easy and educational games for kids. We have so many of them now and always get a new one each year. This year it’s Pizza, Pizza. The aim of the game is to make a pizza but look out for the creepy crawlies trying to eat it.
**Disclaimer: We were sent some items for inclusion in this Christmas gift ideas for kids post. All opinions and words are my own. This post contains affiliate link. That means if you purchase something through these links I will be compensated a few pennies at no extra cost to yourself.
We were recently sent a glow in the dark Mythical Monster Map from maps international. Maps International are leading online wall map retailers supplying an extensive range of products to the world. They not only have a glow in the dark map but also a large laminated wall map and a colour in map also.
The map itself shows forty five fascinating mythical creatures from around the world. The map shows a brief description of the monster along with the country of origin around the edge of the map. From the Makara’s in Thailand to Scandinavian Trolls to the Banshees of Ireland. This map takes you around the world with countries local folklore.
The Map themselves are beautiful. I wasn’t sure what to expect before we received the map. But they were printed on high quality paper and all the monsters were beautifully hand drawn.
I love Mythical creatures I always have. It’s not something I had really introduced to my children properly. However with more and more movies, books and television programmes surrounding Mythical creatures they had come across Mythical monsters on their own.
With the likes of Harry Potter, Lord of the rings, The Chronicles of Narnia and Pan’s Labyrinth Mythical creatures make there way into our children’s imagination.
Did you know?
A Banshee is a female spirit seen as an omen of death. It wails at someone in the community who is about to die.
We unrolled the map and set it on the table. The map was printed on thick paper. Each monster had a glow in the dark edge which gave it a slight texture. The glow in the dark edge did detract from the detail of the monster illustration slightly. However it did not lessen LM’s interest.
He was excited about learning about new monsters and asked what each monster was called, even the cat joined in.
He couldn’t wait to get it on his bedroom wall and wait for nightfall to see if it really did glow in the dark. It did. He was so excited. He spent the afternoon in his bedroom talking to the monsters and creating little stories with them.
We really enjoyed looking at this map and it gave us some time to sit down together and discuss about monsters and learn a little more.
LM is almost 5 however this map would make a great addition to any child/adults wall.
Maps international are offering 10%of their products from the website using the coupon code MONSTERS10
Disclaimer * This product was sent to us for the purpose of the review. All words and opinions are my own.
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BooHoo have now introduced a new children’s range to their website. We all know that kids can grow at an incredible rate and my older two seem to grow out of there clothes in a blink of an eye.
We checked out the Boohoo website on their kids pages. I was going to get a few bits for both kids however there wasn’t really anything available in LM’s size. So we decided to just kit BG1 out. Her one request was she wanted a snowman dress.
We opted for the next day delivery, the package arrived the next day well packaged.
We headed to the zoo at the weekend and I couldn’t wait to get BG1 in one of her new outfits. She wore the stripe turtleneck and red blazer. She looked so grown up and adorable. I was a little bit jealous if I am honest I wanted her outfit! The top fitted very well and is a 7-8. BG1 is very petite for her age so may not fit aswell on children at the top of this age range.
On the Sunday, the day after the zoo BG1 tried on her other outfits from Boohoo and did a little twirl in each one.
The stripe turtleneck was lovely, the material was a little thin but paired with the red blazer it would be warm enough.
The Red blazer was a deep red colour and flowed at the front, it was slightly thicker than the stripe top.
The rusty red top had a looser fit than the stripe top and is made from that material that wrinkles easily but paired with jeans was a lovely casual look.
BG1 loved her new dresses. She loved to spin in them and watch the skirt whirl around.
The snowman dress was the one she requested and will be perfect for all the Christmas events we go to during the festive period. It material is a little thin but add a pair of tights and a jacket it will be fine for indoor events.
The skull dress was amazing, and was most definitely my favourite item. It was short sleeve so would need a jacket for the winter, we paired it with the red blazer and it looked stunning. The dress was also thicker than the snowman dress.
Boohoo is a great website and now caters for the whole family, there are some irregularities in the size and quality but at Boohoo prices its affordable.
Disclosure: We were given store credit to spend at Boohoo.com kids for the purpose of this review. All words and opinions are my own.
We had an amazing trip to our local Exmoor Zoo this weekend. The weather was cold but lovely and the animals were very active, I got some great pictures of the animals. I thought I would share with you today the picture I took of the plump Meerkat on guard.
Winter is closing in, the nights are getting darker earlier and the air is bitterly cold. The perfect time of year to curl up on the sofa in your jimjams and blankets with a mug of hot chocolate and your wooly socks straight after the school run.
To add to the wintery, relaxing and cosy atmosphere a few candles scattered around is the final touch. Its that time of year. I love candles, scented and un scented it just adds that extra something to the room. Of course they only get lit once the kids are in bed, until then I use the fake candles which I am also a huge fan of.
Halloween has passed and Christmas will soon be upon us. My last blogging good reads I gave you 5 Halloween posts from blogs I have read. Over the next few weeks in the blog world it will all be about Christmas. Many of the next upcoming blogging good reads will follow in the festive spirit and be based around Christmas.
Sarah over at mumzilla has posted her Christmas gift guide in which she includes a few items that add that personal touch we are all looking for in our gifts.
Speaking of unique gifts Emma from Emma plus three also wrote a post about unique gifts to give to people this year in her post the alternative Christmas gift guide.
Laura from mummy lala has also been writing a Christmas gift guide and has recently posted her gift guide for 2016. It includes some lovely and unique handmade gifts. It’s nice to find something a little different to gift to people.
Lauren is a girl after my own heart. I love Christmas in fact I am a bit of a Christmas nut and Lauren is also a big Christmas person and she lets you know about it in her post I’m a Christmas kind of person.
Let’s close our eyes for a moment and imagine. You have a vacuum in your hand, a babies nappy to change, potatoes boiling on the hob (water over flowing) you quite literally want to pull your hair out. Then the door bell rings or a loud knock. Stood at your door is a delivery man with a large box in his arms. On that box reads ‘Prestige flowers’.
Somebody has sent you flowers. ‘Is it your birthday? Anniversary? Valentines day? Are they from your mum? Work place? or Husband?
Flowers can say so much to a person. Especially a woman. Take note men, women love flowers. They say I’m thinking about you, I love you, your special, I care.
Well I had that knock on the door this past week. I was sent a stunning bouquet of coloured roses by the lovely people at prestige flowers to review.
The flowers arrived in a large upright box. I eagerly opened the box to reveal an array of colourful roses. The flowers were very well packaged. Held in place by cardboard they were not going to move about in the box. They were wrapped well along with a moisture pack wrapped around the stem of the flowers and a flower food sachet. I was also sent a vase to put them in which was wrapped in bubble wrap.
I love flowers, they can brighten your mood and your room. These flowers certainly did that.
The flowers were arranged beautifully and had some beautiful colours in them. From cream, red, pink yellow and coral. Yellow roses are my favourite however the yellow roses that bled into an orange tone at the petal tips were just stunning.
The entire bouquet was stunning and a joy to look at, I love my new flowers. They have been in my living room for nearly three days now and are in full bloom.
The flowers also came with a flower care guide which is also handy.
What a beautiful gift to send to family, friends and colleagues over the Christmas period. Prestige flowers have a beautiful luxury range of flowers available here.
*These flowers were sent to me via prestige flowers for the purpose of this review. All words and opinions are my own*