Saturday, 24 August 2019

Week 34 of #Project365 - A photo every day for a year!

What a week we have had. Decorating, shopping and the highlight was getting my teen's GCSE results. We had to wait for them to be posted out but it was worth it! We don't have any plans for the weekend. We have jobs we could be doing but we're going to have a lazy weekend.

Now for a photo every day!

227/365 - 17th August
The decorating of Ellie's bedroom started. It took a couple of coats of paint once the wallpaper had been stripped and the wallpaper was a nightmare to put up because of the pattern but it's done and Ellie loves it!

228/365 - 18th August
While we had the paint out I gave the back door a fresh coat of paint. I absolutely love this door. It's like a stable door where you can leave the bottom half shut and the top open. It lets a lovely breeze in without it getting too breezy!

229/365 - 19th August
My teen loves tinkering with her bike.

230/365 - 20th August
Becky and I went shopping to get the last of Ellie's presents for her birthday! It was crazy to see some of the Christmas things in the shops already! 

231/365 - 21st August
Some colouring in that Becky did.

232/365 - 22nd August
I am back into watching Glee. Such a fab show.

233/365 - 23rd August
We had to wait a day longer than most for Becky to get her GCSE results with moving house.  She did so well, better than we could ever have dreamed of. It turns out her predicted grades meant nothing, she did way better than all of them. All her hard work payed off. I am so proud of her.

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Friday, 23 August 2019

This week my Word of the Week is: Anticipate!

This week my Word of the Week is:

We have had a week of waiting and looking forward to things!

The week started with Ellie's bedroom being decorated! She couldn't wait for it to be done. It took Stu a couple of days and a lot of cursing at Ellie's choice of wallpaper but it's done and she loves it! We are waiting until after all the birthdays to finish it off buying some accessories. She has a list of things that she wants. A fancy lampshade, a pink ottoman and some more prints for the walls.

Becky's bedroom is next to be decorated. We were going to do it this weekend but I think we're going to have a weekend off and not do much. We seem to have had busy weekends since we moved so I think we're due a break.

Ellie is at the point now where the excitement for her birthday is building. There's only 6 more days to go. Becky and I went shopping on Tuesday for the last of her presents. For the last 10 years I have done all of the birthday online but this year I have shopped more in real shops, in person. There is a Primark and B&M twenty minutes away so it would be daft not to. I got some great bargains and while Becky was with me she gave me some fab ideas what she wants for her birthday too. I have also told my fella to get in Primark and start shopping for my birthday in November. All the Harry Potter stuff is amazing!

The biggest thing we are waiting for this week is Becky's GCSE results. They are being sent out by post and we are hoping they arrive today. I am thinking it's more likely to be Monday but there's hope. We weren't that bothered about the wait until Thursday came around and saw the excitement with everyone else getting their results. I hope they arrive by Thursday because Becky has to go to college for her enrolment, take her results, get her I.D, bus pass and things like that.

I had a little stress this week. I filled in the forms to join our new doctors when we first moved and got a "new patient" appointment which we had yesterday which I was nervous about. I hate going to the doctors and really worked myself up over it. There was no need. The nurse we saw was lovely and really put me at ease. She didn't nag me about being probably more overweight than I should be, she answered all my questions and didn't pressure me into giving a blood sample or anything nasty. Phew! She has made us an appointment to see a doctor to discuss the kids hearts and their check ups which we have at the hospital every year. Our old hospital in Newcastle is keen to have us to still go there but it's such a distance away. We need to know what our options are regarding the check ups. Ideally Scunthorpe would be great for us but I have a feeling we're going to be sent to Goole hospital which is a couple of hours away by bus. We used to travel a couple of hours so that's no hardship. I'm going to try not to stress about it but can't promise anything. 

**UPDATE** Becky's GCSE results came today and I couldn't be any prouder. She did way better than her predicted grades and totally smashed Health & Social care, she got the equivalent to two A's! She can now go onto the higher health & social care course at college! I'm so happy with her!

Thursday, 22 August 2019

It's GCSE result day but not for my teenager.

Up and down the country thousands of teenagers will be picking up their GCSE results today but not us. We moved house over 150 miles away from where Becky went to school. As much as I'd have liked her to have the experience of picking up her results from school, it just isn't practical. She's not too fussed. I'm glad she is a patient person, she will have to wait for them to be posted out. Eek!

It really doesn't seem that long ago that Becky chose her GCSE options. They were a sore subject for us. Becky only got half of the subjects she wanted to do. Geography and Health and Social Care were the one's she wanted and Statistics and Computer Science were the one's she didn't. 

Computer Science didn't last long as the teacher went on the sick and it was turned into iMedia and a new teacher took over which I wasn't to fond of. He didn't know Becky's name at parents evening despite teaching her for a good few months. It became a bit of a joke with Becky and I. I said I'd love her to get a decent grade but I wasn't too bothered if she didn't. She spent most of year 10 and the first few months of year 11 completing homework for other lessons and revising other subjects in her iMedia lessons. It was only towards the back end of year 11 the teacher started teaching.

I'm glad to say she seems to have done really well with Statistics. Her teacher was optimistic about Becky getting a decent pass. Fingers crossed she will, she worked hard!

Becky worked so hard revising for all of her subjects. I am so proud of her. She went into all of her exams feeling positive and came out feeling like she tried her hardest and that's all I can ask.

Next week she has her enrolment session at college to take her GCSE results in, get her security pass, bus pass and sort out all the things like that. When we went for a look around a few weeks ago we were surprised to find out Becky would be entitled to financial help. The college she goes to has a big budget and apparently most of the students get some sort of help with stationary or free meals which she is looking forward to and I am too. 

She is really looking forward to starting college but is slightly worried about getting the bus each day. She should be fine. There is a bus going from our village and drops her off right at college door. It's the last stop so she'll have to get off the bus. lol I am going to go with her a couple of times just to make sure she feels confident doing the journey. She's never got a bus by herself, she's always had someone with her whether it was a family member or a friend. It's going to be a big deal for her but I'm sure she'll be fine.

Becky has had a fab summer. She has found herself some part time work gardening and helping out in a shop. She seems to have really grown up since she left school. She is looking forward to the next stage of life and that envelope coming through the door telling her if all her hard work payed off.

I hope all the teenagers get the GCSE results that they want!

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

(Ad - Gifted) Keep track of keys, bags & anything else by attaching a Tile!

As a family we are forever losing things. My fella his phone, Ellie school things, Becky Xbox controllers and me, the remote control for the TV. As a whole family we are always losing the back door keys too which have the key for the garage, garden gate and the little outhouse on. We waste so much time looking for these things but we have been sent something to help us out a little.

The Tile Mate is a small bluetooth tracker and easy to use app that finds everyday items in seconds. You can attach it to keys, wallets and anything else you can't live without and using the app on your phone you can track where your missing item is. 

It comes with a replaceable battery, has a range of up to 150 feet and a high volume which is easy to hear as well as smart home integration.

I opened the box and had it set up within minutes. I simply downloaded the app via the Google Play Store (you can use it with Apple products too) and linked the Tile and my phone together! I'm not good with technology so if I can do it anyone can.

For now the Tile is going on the back door keys. The kids are on their summer holidays still and I think we have more chance of losing the keys than anything else at the moment.

When you have lost your item that the Tile is attached to you go to the app and press the find keys or whatever you have named the item.  It then connects with it and plays a little tune to help you hear where your lost item is. When you walk towards your lost item there is a little circles on the screen which let you know if you're getting closer.

Not only does the app let you find say your keys, if you have lost your phone you can double press the button on the Tile gadget and it will make your phone ring too!

If you keep your Tile app running in the background it will remember the last place and time you had your item to help you find it too.

Here's a video from Tile which explains things probably better than I did.

Supported Devices include Google Pixel, Samsung Galaxy, Samsung Note, Nexus and most other Android devices equipped with Android 6.0 or newer. I have a Samsung S5 which is quite old now and it works perfectly with that.

As well as using them for house keys I think the Tile will come in handy especially for Ellie and her school things. I am tempted to put it onto her school bag so she can use her phone to keep track of it. 

Back to School can be a daunting prospect for kids and I am all for making the whole process easier! iPad’s, laptops, gym bags and even lunch boxes can be kept safe with the Tile Bluetooth tracking device. PE kits, book bags and musical instruments can be kept tack of too.

I think it will also be fantastic for the morning rush as we will be able to quickly find Ellie's school bag. Even if she's left it at school we can check where it was last seen on a map.

I think this is a fab little gadget. It's something I didn't know I needed until I got one. I think it's going to come in really useful and I know it's going to get plenty of use.

The Tile Mate has a RRP of £20 and is available from their websiteAmazon, John Lewis and Argos.

I was sent this free of charge in exchange for this blog post.

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

The birthday I nearly forgot.

It was my fella's birthday on Friday and to be honest I nearly forgot! I thought it was actually the middle of this week and not last. lol Stu's birthday was put at the back of our minds. We've had a lot going on here. Sorting the kids for going back to school and college, having days out and spending time with family. 

It got to Monday and I realised I needed to buy some presents. Truffle Shuffle was where I went. I do love that website and have used them plenty in the past. I got some great bargains and even got a couple of presents for Becky's birthday at the beginning of September.

The wrapping had to wait until Stu's actual birthday to be done because I forgot the wrapping paper when we were in town on Monday and had to wait for it to come with the food shopping delivery.

When Stu got up we convinced him to go to town and pick up a few things that we needed like inner tubes for the bikes, rollers to decorate and a few other bits. It gave me the chance to get the food shop delivered and get his presents wrapped. 

The kids had decided that Stu was going to have a party tea so I made a start on cooking that while Becky wrapped his presents!

Stu got back just as I had finished cooking the food and then he finally got to open his presents. Money is tight at the moment so there wasn't many for him to open but what we did get him he loved. Some Wookie slippers, a Star Wars mug, Star Wars Pj's, some chocolate and a new Walking Dead t-shirt. He was very pleased with what he received. Phew!

When tea time came around I warmed up all the party food and put it out on the table. We all dug in and stuffed ourselves. There was loads left which we snacked on all day Saturday too.

We have a running joke about the caterpillar cakes. Either Stu or I have to have one for our birthdays each year. They're a bit of fun and are very tasty too. He rolled his eyes at it but secretly loves it. hehehe

For a birthday I almost forgot I don't think I did too bad at organising things. Stu had a great day and we had lots of smiles and giggles.