Saturday 30 September 2017

A photo everyday for a year - Week 39 #Project365

Good afternoon....We've had a quiet week here but a nice one....We haven't been up to much but I have managed a photo every day. I did nearly forget on Monday but got one before I went to bed. Phew!

Here's a photo for every day...

252/365 - 23rd September
These two are not so keen on Strictly so were glued to their tablets....Ellie and I love it.

253/365 - 24th September
Becky doing one of the jigsaws she got for her birthday.

254/365 - 25th September
I'm taking part in Blogtober and got busy scheduling posts for the month...

255/365 - 26th September
Ellie brought all her teddies downstairs and gave me strict instructions not to move them until she got home from school. I didn't.

256/365 - 27th September
On Wednesday Ellie was all about her doggie teddies...

257/365 - 28th September
We were sent a recipe box to try out....This months theme is Japan.

258/365 - 29th September
I cheated and bought cakes for the coffee afternoon at school.

I'm joining in with #blogtober17 are you?

Last October I took part in Blogtober16 and this year it's back!! Finding out it was returning made me so happy....I found so many new blogs to read last year and enjoyed the whole community spirit of it....

 The lovely Mandi at Hex Mum Plus 1 is running things again and I can't wait for October to begin!....

If you haven't heard of Blogtober before the way things work is there is 31 prompts....One for each day in October. That means a new blog post every day if you want....You can link up old blog posts if you want to though! 

Each day Mandi posts her blog post for the day and there is a linky to link your blog post for the day....Use the hashtag #blogtober17 on Twitter and they will be found and there is also a Facebook group....

I will still be posting my normal blog posts which I do every week like Meal planning Monday, Word of the Week and My Sunday Photo and anything important which crops up so there might be a few days per week where you are seeing two blog posts a day from me.....Eek!

You can read all about Blogtober17 on Mandi's blog. 

Friday 29 September 2017

A much needed quiet week! #WotW

This week my Word of the Week is:

This is one of those weeks where nothing much has happened which isn't a bad thing. I think I needed a calm, and quiet week....

The past month has been a busy, exciting and stressful one for us....We had Becky's birthday, the kids went back to school, had new things to deal with and get used too, drama to do with my teens school, Ellie's appointment with the school nurse and builders in next door for about 3 weeks making a huge racket with their drills!

The builders were back early in the week were scraping wallpaper but they've gone again and I have been enjoying the peace. It has been nice to hear myself think again....

Ellie signed up to two after school clubs. She stays an hour and a half for football and 45 minutes for choir after school and I have found it so strange not doing the school run as she walks home with her friend....I am enjoying the extra hour of quiet until Becky my teen gets in from school....I actually signed the permission slip to let Ellie walk home from school on a normal day where she doesn't have an after school club. Yesterday was the first day where I didn't do the school run and she walked home....She was great and very sensible so her little friend says. hehehe

Stu worked some overtime this week. Instead of getting paid for the extra hours he gets to take the time off his normal shifts....On Tuesday he didn't get home until after 10pm which I found very strange....I did get to watch the Great British Bake off in peace. 

I can't see us having a quiet Saturday....We have a couple of things planned....We got sent a Galleoneers box to try out. It's a monthly recipe subscription box for kids. Hopefully tomorrow we will be making some sushi! We have never made it before but my girls love it so it should be fun.

I am also planning on making a party tea for Saturday night. I really want to try out the corndogs from Tesco and some more of their party food....We do love a picky party tea here.

Thursday 28 September 2017

What I loved in September....

I say it every month but the weeks are flying over....This year is going way too quickly! It will be Christmas before we know it!

Getting cosy.

The heating has been on a few times with it getting colder and I love shutting the blinds and curtains and getting cosy! The blankets are out, fleecy pj's are being worn and lots of hot chocolate is being drunk! Ellie got her favourite onesie out and we discovered how much she has grown since earlier in the year....The legs are so short on her and it's getting tight. She is gutted. I will have to find another one for her for Christmas.....

Watching so much TV.

All the good TV shows are back and are in full swing....I am liking the Great British Bake off on Ch4. I will probably get lynched for this but I'm not missing Mary Berry at all....Doctor Foster has been fantastic! It's the last episode next week and I can't wait to see how it finishes. Saturday nights are fabulous again with Strictly. I think I love everyone on it this year and I am wanting Gemma Atkinson to win as she's such a lovely lass....I've also been loving Educating Greater Manchester & The Undateables too.

Becky's Birthday.

My teen turned 15 in September and had a fantastic day! She got everything she wanted and more....I still can't believe I have been a mother for 15 years!

Christmas things in the shops.

I love Christmas and things have slowly started to creep into the shops....The big tubs of chocolates, party food and I have been trying them all out. hehehe I squealed at my laptop when I saw that Tesco are selling mini corndogs in their frozen party food section. I have started buying some presents....I am aiming to do all the shopping online this year and want to get it done as soon as I can....

The kids going back to school.

I love them to bits but after the nearly 7 weeks of having the girls home I was glad when they went back to school at the beginning of the month. They have settled in well and are actually enjoying it so far. Ellie is loving being in Year 6 and Becky is enjoying studying for her GCSE's...

What have you loved in September?

Wednesday 27 September 2017

It's not ADHD but maybe some sort of Autism....

Just before the summer holidays her teacher mentioned that Ellie is struggling in school. She lacks concentration and focus and has to be prompted a lot to complete her work....Her teacher suspected something like ADHD.

We got an appointment through during the summer holidays but as the school nurses only work term time we had to wait until last week to be seen....

On Wednesday Stu, Ellie and myself went off to the hospital where they are based and had a chat with a lovely lady....It was the same lady we saw a couple of years ago about Ellie wetting her self.....She read through the notes and remembers Ellie as she had seen her in school. It made me feel a bit easier about the experience....

Instead of asking us the questions about Ellie she asked Ellie them which was good in one way because she was getting a feel for what Ellie is like, what she likes and dislikes straight from her mouth but at the same time there were some awkward questions which Ellie didn't want to answer like "do you get angry?, what do you do when you get angry?, why do you always want to eat the same foods?. That sort of thing. I think Ellie thought she was going to get into trouble. We did explain she wouldn't and the lady did but I think I would feel the same way if someone was asking me personal and probing questions......

We talked about how Ellie still wets herself (not as much as she used to) and the school nurse thinks everything is connected.....

Ellie went back to play with the toys and the school nurse said there is something there. Something is not quite right with her. That sounds awful to say but it's the easiest way to say what I mean. It is maybe some sort of Autism.....The school nurse and so many other people since have told me that the signs are so hard to spot in girls. They seem to hide it well. 

They would send someone into school. Another team member who Ellie doesn't recognise to observe her in the classroom and refer us to other people for help.

On Friday I got a phone call from the school nurse. They had been in to watch her at school and what they told me upset me. 

The school nurse said yes she's very distracted in class...She's in her own little world sometimes just staring into space with a blank expression. She does work but needs prompting a lot. She's not confident, not understanding when the teacher is cracking a joke and she doesn't talk to anyone unless they talk to her first and then sometimes it's just a nod of the head.....It really knocked me to hear how sad my girl seems at school but deep down I know she loves school. She comes out smiling and talks about what she has done most days so I'm not too worried. We have been referred to people to look into things more....

When I picked her up on Friday I had a quick chat with her teacher who said she doesn't really talk in class but in the playground she will and plays with other children....Phew! On the way home from school I asked Ellie if she chats to people in class and she said no, she likes to get on with her work which I suppose is fair enough.....I will be mentioning that to the people we see next....Maybe she does like to focus on her work and then loses concentration instead of

Ellie did mention there was someone in her classroom watching the kids. She thinks it is something to do with puberty because it was the same woman who came into school and did the puberty chat with the class in year 5. She might not be able for focus on her school work but she never forgets a face. lol

After waiting about 8 weeks to actually get the first appointment I didn't expect things to move so quickly....It's fantastic that so many people are there to help my girl. 

If she has Autism, ASD or whatever. (I have stopped Googling things. I was starting to drive myself mad) Whatever she has it won't change her. She is still my girl, my little chicken.....

I hope Jeannette from Autism Mumma doesn't mind me quoting her but she said to me "Any "label" won't change your relationship but it may mean that she gets support as and when needed.....

She is exactly right....A label won't change anything. Ellie is already labeled as the deaf kid and the kid with the dodgy heart another lable won't change her but it will help her.

Tuesday 26 September 2017

A Beauty Hatbox from Prestige Flowers - Review!

I love having fresh flowers in my house....They really make me smile and feel happy. Usually I just buy supermarket one's nothing fancy but last week I was very lucky to receive some luxury flowers from Prestige Flowers.

Prestige Flowers have an amazing range of flowers for all occasions I was sent one of their Haute Florist Hatboxes from their luxury range to enjoy.....

The flowers arrived in a box which was slightly battered and out of shape but the flowers were well protected in bubble wrap. A couple had moved out of place but it was nothing I couldn't fix....

I was sent the Beauty Hatbox which is usually sold for £69.99 but as of writing this it is £54.99

When choosing that perfect floral display, you want one that will leave a lasting impression. Beauty is a stylish presentation of a whopping 55 beautiful Labelle roses! These are incredibly exquisite roses with tonal pink shades framed with peach and white. These roses have an excellent life span to ensure it is enjoyed. Prepare for your recipient to say WOW!

This really is a beautiful display of flowers and they look beautiful sat on my fireplace.....They are elegant and look very fancy.

They are so easy to look after. There is no faffing around having to arrange them in a separate vase. I simply have to add 10ml of water every other day to the sponge the flowers are stuck in to. They are lasting well and think they will last longer than the 7 days which is guaranteed.....

I have also been looking at the Christmas Flowers from Prestige Flowers. They have a beautiful range and just scream Christmas to me....

I always send my great aunt a bunch of flowers at Christmas and I think something from this range would be perfect. The prices start at £19.99 for their Christmas Star bouquet which comes with a free box of Belgian Chocolates. I think that is quite a bargain....

Prestige Flowers deliver 7 days a week and next day delivery is possible when you order flowers before 9pm.

We were sent these flowers free of charge in exchange for this blog post.....

Monday 25 September 2017

Our Weekly Meal Plan!! - #mealplanningmonday

Last weeks meal plan went well considering I wasn't feeling too great. As of writing this yesterday we all seem to have shaken off the colds we had and are ready for a new week.

This week on the menu we have:

Monday - Chicken casserole mash & veg....
Tuesday - Cottage Pie Bites and baked beans
Wednesday - Pork stir fry....
Thursday - Bacon and tomato sandwiches....
Friday - Pizza....
Saturday - Burgers in buns with fries.
Sunday - Roast chicken dinner....

What are you eating this week?

Saturday 23 September 2017

A photo everyday for a year - Week 38 #Project365

This hasn't been the best week for taking photos....I've had a lot going on which I mentioned in my Word of the Week blog post. Yesterday was a better day....No more dramas. Hooray!

I have managed a photo every day though...

245/365 - 16th September
She's a unicorn. hehehe

246/365 - 17th September
My teen had a pamper session. She loves a face mask.

247/365 - 18th September
She loves playing the recorder....Loudly!

248/365 - 19th September
Tissues. My teen is full of cold and shared with me.

249/365 - 20th September
I had a lovely delivery of flowers to review.

250/365 - 21st September
Tidying up Ellie's toys. At least one of them has a helmet on. hehehe

251/365 - 22nd September
Off to school. She loves a non-uniform day.

Friday 22 September 2017

This week has drained me. #WotW

This week my Word of the Week is:

This week has really drained me mentally and physically....I am so ready for it to be the weekend....Sorry for the moan.

Becky came down with a cold. Not a bad one but enough to pass around. I haven't got a full on cold but enough of it to know it's there and to make me feel tired and achy.

On Monday Ellie started at the football after school club....She absolutely loves it! We did have a mix up on Monday though. I didn't know football club was on and she had got a place. There had been no letters about it so I went to pick her up at 3pm only to be told she was playing football. lol There was another school run later on....

The builders have been back working next door.....Drilling, hammering and some more drilling.....I know work has to be done but it has really done my head in. I haven't been able to concentrate on anything and have had a couple of days with a sore head. I am blaming them and not my cold...

On Wednesday we had a visit to the hospital to see whether Ellie has ADHD or not.....It doesn't look like she does but some sort of Autism was mentioned. There was so much to take in but we are being referred to other people and there is someone coming into her school to observe her in the classroom and at playtime....Her teacher has already got some learning support in for her so things are moving forward in a positive way. Her teacher is amazing. She has been such a great support.

Then yesterday was a new day with a new drama which I'm not going to talk about yet. It's no big secret. I spoke about it on a blogging group on Facebook but at the moment it isn't the right time to speak about it on here. Sorry to be all cryptic but when I do tell the story you will understand why....We're all OK so there's nothing to worry about.

So there's my big moan.....This week has been rubbish but it has shown me there is a lot of people there to support me and my family in different ways.....

Thursday 21 September 2017

Early Christmas treats from Tesco....

I know it is early to be talking about Christmas but I don't care....I love it when the shops get their Christmas things in and a couple of weeks ago I was doing my normal online grocery shop and noticed that Tesco have started offering their Christmas goodies and it made me so happy.....

I always love the Christmas party food....These are a few of the things I haven't seen before. I actually bought some of the Cottage pie bites and they are in my freezer. I can't wait to give them a try....Usually by November they go on to the 3 for £5 offer. 

Black Forest Profiteroles - £2.00
12 Cottage Pie Bites - £2.00
Chicken Christmas Trees With A Bbq Dip - £2.00
10 Mini Chilli Beef Jacket P/Toe - £2.00
Thai Inspired Prawn Lollipops - £2.00
9 Mini Chocolate Melt In Middle Puddings - £2.00

They are already adding gifts to the health and beauty section too....Usually closer to Christmas. November time if I remember rightly everything goes down to half price or better.

Disney Beauty And The Beast Chip Nail Set - £5.25
Trolls Bathtime Buddies Set - £7.00
Star Wars Water Cannon Gift Set - £7.00
Thomas The Tank Timer Trainer Gift Set - £7.50
The Gentlemens Grooming Society Box Of Tricks - £13.50
Baylis And Harding Fig And Pomegranate Tray Set - £25.00
Calcot Manor Luxury Spa Treat - £6.00
Nivea Men Routine Gift Pack - £9.00

I have my eye on some of the alcoholic gifts....The Prosecco And Flute Gift Set seems a bargain at £10.00 and the wine glass is so pretty! 

 Mad About World Lager Gift Set - £7.00
Craft Gin Selection Gift Set - £12.00
Prosecco And Flute Gift Set - £10.00
Malt Whisky Appreciation Gift Set - £12.00
Vino Chic Wine Glass And Semillon Wine Gift Set - £6.00
Ale Trug And Bottle Opener Gift Set - £12.00
Red Wine And Stemless Glasses Gift Set - £12.00

I have already taken advantage of the offer they have on the tubs of chocolate.... 2 tubs for £7. At that price it would have been stupid not to....They have Quality Street, Celebrations as well as the Roses and Heroes which I bought.

Do you start shopping for Christmas early?

Wednesday 20 September 2017

Favouritism in schools....It's so unfair!

This post is really hard to write without coming across as a bitter parent....I am slightly but I more angry about the situation that keeps happening again and again.....

Ellie my youngest put her name forward to be a house captain at school. She wrote a speech and read it out in front of the whole school...I was very proud of her. There were 5 kids up for the job but the boy who won the position of house captain was a boy who is already a peer mentor, librarian and milk monitor.....I am really happy for the boy in question as he's a lovely lad but it did make angry at the school and think it's always the same kids getting picked for the big/special things....

This has been going on for years. It's not a new thing. When I was a kid the same thing happened....Those who had parents who worked at the school or who were trouble makers got the special treatment....

When Becky was in primary school there was about 4 or 5 kids who would always get the speaking parts in plays, picked to go on special trips, picked for jobs and awards....They used to say Becky needed more confidence. Maybe if she was given speaking parts or responsibility she would have gained some confidence....

There was a time with Becky when there was something at school (I can't remember what) but Becky turned around and said she didn't want to take part because so and so will get picked....They obviously did win and proved Becky right. 

You can guarantee that if there is say 5 kids picked out for something from Ellie's class it's always the same one's....Those who shout the loudest and have the most confidence....

The peer mentors were picked in the first week back at school....They were voted for by the children. Of course they are the same kids that had the job last year and the year before. It is just a popularity contest and it is not fair for other kids who are a little quieter and may do just as well as the popular kids....

Maybe if the quieter kids were given the chance they would flourish....How are they supposed to gain the confidence if the louder kids are getting all the opportunities....

I get that the quieter kids have to learn to speak up to get what they want but when they are getting pushed down again and again when they are young it knocks what little confidence they have. How is that supposed to set them up for life?

Thankfully Ellie was not too upset that she didn't get the role of the house captain....She took it really well, way better than I expected....When I asked her who got the job she said so and so, Obviously!!! At 10 years old even she can see there is favouritism in the school....It's a shame. 

I am going to have a word with the teacher. I will ask why the same kids get picked for everything and what Ellie can do to be picked for things too. 

I have already made my predictions for who will be awarded learner of the year at the end of the school year in July....hahaha! Now that is me "that bitter parent"

Tuesday 19 September 2017

We have tried out the Betty Box - Review!

Periods are rubbish but they are part of growing up....Becky my teen has said I am not allowed to talk about her periods but at that time of the month she can get a little grumpy so anything to cheer her up and put a smile on her face is very welcome.....

We were offered a Betty Box to review and I jumped at the chance and saved it for "that time of the month".....

The Betty Box is a monthly subscription service which provides tampons and pads, alongside a beauty and pamper box which consists of a fab selection of products. Anything from makeup to jewellery and cute trinkets. The Betty box is aimed at girls in their teens and the idea is just to make that time of the month a little bit more pleasant!

For £12.99 a month (with free postage) you get everything you need. You can choose from Tampons, pads or have a mixed box. You can choose what brand of sanitary product you want to use. They have Always, Tampax, Lil-lets, Kotex, Bodyform and they come in different absorbency levels which is perfect....

The box comes with 3 boxes inside. One full of treats that I will come to in a moment, one to use at night time and one for later....The pretty bag is to use straight away. They all contain the sanitary products you ordered....

The "For You" box was packed full of treats which included:

3 Monty Bojangles truffles.
Joe & Sephs Popcorn.
A Minifelts iron-on patch.
Trust Fund nail polish.
Bubble T lip balm.
A Stabilo highlighter.
La La Land sticky notes.
2 T-Zone Charcole & Bamboo pore strips.
Chirp hair mask.

When you look at the contents of the "For You" box the £12.99 you pay for a Betty Box looks like a real bargain. The nail polish has a rrp of £12.00, the Minifelt patch is sold for £6.95 and the Bubble T lip balm is sold for £3.00. I think it is a real bargain.

This box is not aimed at me though.....It is aimed at teenagers. So what did my teen think of it? 

She absolutely loved it.....She loved everything about the box. She thought the separate boxes were a good idea and the little bag to keep sanitary products in was great to keep them hidden. She is still at the stage in her life about being embarrassed about her periods.

The box of treats really did cheer her up and make her smile....She thought there was a good mix of things and they were all things she would use too.

I think this will be something we will subscribe to. It is well worth the money and is perfect for my girl.

We were sent The Betty Box free of charge in exchange for out review. This is it!

Monday 18 September 2017

Our Weekly Meal Plan!! - #mealplanningmonday

Last weeks meal plan went OK until we got to the back end of the week....On Thursday it was chilly so we fancied something warming and went with sausage, mash and beans. So simple but so good....On Friday we had a cheats tea. I bought ready made sandwiches and some cakes and on Saturday we made our own pizza's again....Next time my fella is making mine....His looked amazing! It had chicken, sweetcorn, mushrooms, onions, chilli sauce, spinach & pepperoni and tomatoes on.

The weather has changed so much and summer is well and truly over so we're going to be eating a lot of warming, hearty meals. I love this time of year!

This week on the menu we have:

Tuesday - Lasagne and garlic bread....
Wednesday - A Big baked breakfast I will be adding black pudding too....
Thursday - Beans on toast....
Friday - Pizza....
Saturday - Curry, rice & naan bread.
Sunday - Sausage casserole....

What are you eating this week?

Saturday 16 September 2017

A photo everyday for a year - Week 37 #Project365

This week we seem to have got back into a routine with school and my fella going back to work...The weather has taken a turn for the worse and it is really starting to feel like Autumn which has got me thinking about Christmas. So exciting!

Now for a photo every day!

238/365 - 9th September
I wrapped Becky's birthday presents and left them in the corner of the room....She thought I was torturing her. hehehe

239/365 - 10th September
Becky had a wonderful birthday....I love this jumper. I wish it came in my size. hehehe

240/365 - 11th September
Ellie had great fun marking off what she wanted from the Smyths catalogue....She want's everything. lol

241/365 - 12th September
Porridge for breakfast....She is obsessed with it at the moment.

242/365 - 13th September
Just in from school....She loves having P.E last lesson. She gets to come home in her kit.

243/365 - 14th September
I washed my slippers they were stinking....I don't think they're going to last much longer. A new pair is needed.

244/365 - 15th September
She loves these big bows. I hate them but all the girls at school are wearing them....