Saturday 31 July 2021

Week 30 of #Project365. 24th - 30th July. A photo every day for a year!

We have had a nice easy week. It has been quite chilled and quite lovely. We really haven't done much apart from play Minecraft, the Sims and Fortnite. 

We were supposed to be going to town yesterday to get some of Ellie's school uniform but the rain put us off. It was lashing down all morning the sun cam out at midday and lasted about half an hour before it rained again. We are now planning to go on Monday, depending on the weather of course.

Now for a photo every day!

Cross trainer and Stu putting a bird feeder together
Hay bales
Home grown tomatoes
A frog hat and my eldest
The flowers in the garden wrecked by the rain

205/365 - 24th July
I didn't get what I had planned to buy from our local auction but did buy a cross trainer for £15. I have been on it 4 times over the past week and I would like to say I am feeling fitter but at the moment I'm just aching so it must be doing something.

206/365 - 25th July
Stu put together the bird feeder that we were sent to review. The birds are loving it, there must have been about 20 in the back garden yesterday at one point.

207/365 - 26th July
The farmers were busy again and came and baled their hay. I missed them and just saw the bales in the field. I'm glad I took the photo because a couple of hours later they were all gone and the field was empty.

208/365 - 27th July
I picked some of the tomatoes which I have grown. I am becoming quite an expert at growing them from a seed. This is the 2nd year running I've managed it. They taste amazing!

209/365 - 28th July
Ellie's new hat! She has seen people with it on YouTube and TikTok and had to have one. It has been put away for her birthday.

210/365 - 29th July
We went for a wander yesterday and ended up going to see my dad. We stopped to take some photos on the way.

211/365 - 30th July
The wind and rain have wrecked my flowers and have blown them all down. Hmmf.

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Friday 30 July 2021

This week my Word of the Week is: Chilled! #WotW

This week my Word of the Week is:


We have eased ourselves gently into the summer holidays and have had quite a chilled week. It has been lovely just relaxing and not having to get up with the alarm clock. We have had lie ins each morning and we've not been up before 9am. It's been nice to have a chilled morning and eat breakfast together.

We went to the local auction on Saturday and I didn't get anything that I had planned to and instead bought a cross trainer for £15. It is harder work than it looks and on the first day that I used it I didn't last 10 minutes now I am just about hitting 10 minutes. I have been on it 4 times this week and I'd like to say I'm feeling better for it but I'm not there yet. I am still in the achy stage which I'm sure will pass soon. I will get fit!

We haven't done much with our week. Just pottered about the house and probably spent too much time on electronics. The kids have got along well so I wasn't going to push for them to do something different. It was the easy option but we have another 6 weeks to be busy.

We have spent a lot of time watching the birds thanks to the new bird feeder in the back garden. They are feasting well. There seemed to be a whole family of birds there one day until a couple of pigeons came and chased them away. Ellie wasn't having it, she chased the pigeons off saying they were too heavy to be swinging on the bird feeder. That's them told. lol

The weather hasn't been that great this week and has been quite chilled too. What a storm we had on Wednesday. I don't usually like storms but this was something else. There was one long continuous rumble of thunder, flashes of lightning and hailstones! Not quite the weather you expect at the end of July. Yesterday was chilly and we got the jumpers back out, it was windy too.

I have made a start on the back to school shopping so far I've ordered a school bag and socks for Ellie and we're going into town to get Ellie's blazer and tie today from the uniform shop. I want to get it ordered in case it sells out and we have to wait for it to be delivered. 

Last summer the school introduced a new uniform, a blazer, shirt and tie along with trousers or a skirt which the new starters have to wear and for the rest of the school it was optional. We were just going to keep Ellie in the old uniform of the polo shirt and cardigan but she's grown out of what we have and it works out cheaper to buy a blazer and a couple of ties, a spare in case we lose one rather than the cardigans and polo shirts. A lot of Ellie's friends have the blazer, I think their parents bought it when they grew out of the old uniform. I will be buying the blazer big so it lasts 2 years. Fingers crossed that it does and that she doesn't lose it.

I hope you have all had a good week?

Word of the week linky

Thursday 29 July 2021

Skills for children starting nursery & school to practice over the Summer.

Children starting nursery and school this September have spent most of their short lives in lockdown. They have been surrounded by adults wearing masks, have had very little experience of being left with people which aren't family members and probably haven't been able to enjoy play dates and many classes with children of their own age.

Kids confidence, social skills and self esteem have suffered over the last 18 months and they might not be as independent as they generally should be by this age.

These are the four skills that parents should aim to work on with their children over the summer.

A box of coloured pencils


The most important skill to practise is independence. Over the summer you could look for ways to support your child and help them work towards greater independence. For example how to put on their own jackets. One teacher faced with thirty children and their coats is no fun. By the time each child is zipped up and wrapped up, playtime is over.

Make things easier for your kids. Use Velcro-style shoe fastenings, trousers with elastic waist bands and tops that pull easily over their head. Let them choose their clothes during the summer and encouraging getting undressed and dressed in preparation for PE lessons will really help. 

If your child has packed lunches let them practice eating out of a lunchbox and putting things in bin. Remind your child what should go in the bin and what should be kept in their lunchbox and brought home. I lost so many spoons in the first few weeks of school due to my girls putting them in the bins. If they are eating school lunches make sure they know how to use a knife and fork.

Encourage your child to begin taking toilet trips without you will build up their confidence. Remind them that hand washing is part of the visit too. Beginning school toilet training now will mean fewer accidents in September.. 

Lead by example showing the child how to do things for themselves, giving clear step by step instructions, which can be repeated as often as necessary. Saying things like “I know you can do this by yourself” will lead your child to say “I can do it.”


Children have spent so much time with us parents over the last 18 months and for young children who know no different. Going to school and being away from family could be a massive thing for them.

Separation needs needs practising and parents could start with having someone come to the house to play with the child. Once the child is comfortable with them the parents could make a short trip to run errands, being sure to tell the child they are leaving, even if the child is sad about this. They will learn that parents always come back. Parents can build up longer periods apart until the child is used to being away from them for the same amount of time as they will be at school.


Practicing activities which encourage concentration can be helpful. During the lockdowns children haven’t been able to attend classes and their home life has often been busy with adults and siblings working from home meaning some children have problems concentrating even for short periods of time.

One way to encourage concentration is for parents to sit with their child and read to them. Encouraging the child to listen without getting distracted, asking them questions to ensure they are listening well and concentrating.

You can train and strengthen a child’s ability to concentrate and focus by playing concentration games that require thinking, planning and the use of memory. Jigsaws, spot the difference, tongue twisters or even just making a game out of just sitting without fidgeting.

If your child is able to count up to 20 and count back from 10, this will give them a really good head start. Use some of their favourite toys or foods to make counting fun. Lay out 10 grapes and get them to eat them one by one, counting as they go. It will give them confidence and help them see learning as fun. Plus it’s a great way to get one of their 5 a day down them!

Social Skills!

We all need to learn social skills and we learn this from a young age. At the playground, parents can help translate for children so they learn to use appropriate words and they can be guided to think of others and if needed to stand up for themselves.

Sharing is a difficult lesson for any child to learn especially if they only start learning it at school but it’s a vital lesson if you want your child to settle in and make friends easily. No one wants to play with the child who refuses to take turns and share. Start to make a point of praising your child for sharing their toys or their last few sweets.

It’s important your child understands what’s expected of them when they arrive at school. They need to know hitting, kicking, biting and hair pulling will not be tolerated. Not only will it bring your child to the attention of the head teacher for all the wrong reasons, but it will make your child unpopular with their classmates. Reputations earned in the early days of school tend to stick and can be hard to shake off.

Take a walk to school if you will be doing the school run by foot. It will give you and them chance to get used to the walk and show them the building while it's empty and not surrounded by people. Point out the gates, playground and where they'll be going in on their first day.

What advice would you give to parents with young children starting nursery or school in September?

Wednesday 28 July 2021

(Ad - Gifted) The Four Arm Complete Feeding Station from Henry Bell.

This time last year we started feeding the birds with a pre-filled bird feeder from Henry Bell. I have really enjoyed seeing the birds in the garden although at some points I thought I was feeding all of the birds in North Lincolnshire. They can be greedy things. Recently I was asked if we would like another bird feeder to try out from Henry Bell.

The Four Arm Complete Feeding Station from Henry Bell

Henry Bell is the family-owned, British animal feed producer. The Henry Bell Wild Bird Care range comprises over 140 products catering for every type of garden bird. Products are available nationwide in 400 garden centres and online (such as Blue Diamond Garden Centres and Dobbies Garden Centres), pet shops and retailers.

The Essentials Range Four Arm Complete Feeding Station includes everything you need to attract a range of birds to your garden. At 228cm height when assembled, with push button connections this makes a great contemporary feeding solution in cool grey and will look good in any garden. It includes four feeders on hooks, a seed tray and a water bath.

Bird feeding station

It was easy to put together, it was a bit like a jigsaw, everything has it's place and it is just a case of figuring out where the bits slot. I got Stu to help because he enjoys doing things like this and plus it gave me a chance to make a little video. hehehe It took about 10 minutes to put together and that included the time it took putting the pole together and then realising that it was easier to knock into the ground when it wasn't a 2m pole. lol.

As well as it being good for the birds it looks so pretty too. It is a great addition to my garden. When we were putting it up I could hear the birds tweeting and squawking. I am sure they were spreading the word. hehehe

Empty bird feeder

I used to think that birds only needed to be fed in the winter but I was wrong. They still need help in the summer months to ensure they have energy enough to survive leaner times ahead. Nesting parents will have to work twice as hard to feed their young while maintaining their own energy levels. We have a nest of young birds in the eaves of our roof, right above my bedroom. I know this because I have heard them squawking at silly o'clock in the morning.

We filled the bird feeders with the No Mess Mix which is a nourishing blend of seeds, sunflower hearts and suet that is rich in nutrients to best meet the dietary and health requirements of wild birds and the PeanutsPeanuts are a powerhouse of energy, very nutrient rich and are loved by a wide variety of birds. I also got some fat balls from a local pet food shop. 

Bird feeder full

As of writing this I keep peeking through the kitchen window to see if the birds are enjoying their feast! I am sure it won't be long before the bird feeders are empty.

Do you feed the birds?

I was sent the The Four Arm Complete Feeding Station from Henry Bell free of charge in exchange for this blog post.

Tuesday 27 July 2021

Some random thoughts that I've had lately.

I have a lot of random thoughts that don't fit into other blog posts so thought I would share. This might become a regular thing, I will write them down as they come up instead of trying to think of them off the top of my head.

Question marks

The government are idiots. I could probably write a whole blog post about things they have done that has wound me up but I don't have the patience and what is the point when most people already think the same.

Every time I have a bad whack of hay fever I convince myself that I have Covid. I know I don't, it's just hay fever but I stress myself out and take a lateral flow test just to be sure and obviously after I've worked myself into a state, took the test my symptoms disappear. It is just hay fever.

I have been rewatching The Walking Dead and there is so much I forgot about. Look at the flowers Lizzie, Carl's eye, how much Carol has changed and the little boy Sam from Alexandria was so annoying! It also reminded me that Rick's group did start all the drama with Negan so technically he wasn't the only bad guy. Rick's group killed way more Saviours than Negan killed of Rick's group.

I have too many ornaments and nicknacks in the living room. On the windowsill and fireplace. I love all of them so don't want to pack them away but it does look so cluttered in here. I can't help myself but keep buying more too. The kids always say not another one. lol

It surprised me how many people kept their kids off for the last week of school just so they could go on holiday in the first week of the summer holidays. I am guessing they wanted to make sure their kids didn't get told to isolate. Someone I know personally has done this. Grr!

Family friendly YouTubers should not be writing erotic stories and sharing them on their Instagram. My girls used to watch this Irish vlogging family but thankfully stopped a couple of years ago.

I want to get fit. I have piled on the weight over the last year and need to do something about it. I have been using the Leg Master but I need to do more. I bought myself a cross trainer from the local auction over the weekend so we'll see how that goes. I think cutting out more of the snacks and eating a bit better will help too.

I hate that I have been brought up as a woman and it has been taught to me body hair is ugly and not natural. I am only complaining about this because I have been wearing shorts and it's such a chore to shave my legs every couple of days.

I don't want to admit it but I learn so much useless information from TikTok. In the last week I have learned that Penguin biscuits are just Bourbon biscuits dipped in chocolate. How did I not know that? I learned how to multiply anything by 11, One Directions What Makes You Beautiful & Grease's Summer nights have the same intro and that KFC follow just 11 people on Twitter. The Spice girls and 6 people called Herb. 11 Herbs and spices - the secret recipe for KFC chicken. lol

People who we know get really upset when we bid against them at the local auction. It should be everyone for themselves but it seems it's not. If I want to buy something I am not going to stop bidding just because someone I know is.

I hate the heat that we've been having but today when writing this it is overcast, damp and quite cooler than it has been. I want the heat back or at least the sunshine. I have photos that I need to take for a blog post and in this light it is impossible.

I always forget how many countries take part in the Olympics until I watch the opening ceremony and see them all coming out with their flags and this time there isn't as much coverage on the BBC. It all seems to be on paid subscription services. Hmmf. 

What random thoughts have you had lately?

Monday 26 July 2021

Our weekly meal plan! 26th July - 1st August. #MealPlanningMonday

Our Weekly Meal Plan

We made it to the summer holidays without any more bubbles bursting. Hooray. Ellie had a fab last day at school. The last of year 9. It was a non-uniform day, they had an ice cream van in the playground over lunchtime and no lessons all afternoon. We had a lovely weekend too. Becky was away at her girlfriends so Stu, Ellie and me went to the local auction where I didn't end up getting anything that I planned to buy and instead bought a cross trainer for £15 which has been cleaned and is now in the garage. The unplanned buys are always the best. I am now on a mission to get fit.

Cross trainer

Last weeks meal plan went well. We ate everything! I think the lighter, more summery food helped although it has cooled down compared to what it was. As of writing this yesterday we are still waiting for the rain that has been promised. It has looked like rain for 3 days but nothing has appeared yet. It's supposed to be sunny and dry today but the rest of the week is forecast rain, again.

We don't have much planned for this week. I think we're just going to ease ourselves into the summer holidays gently without planning anything. When it comes to the meal planning I usually plan what day we're eating what but during the holidays I just list the meals and decide on the day what we're eating.

On the menu this week we have:

Jacket potatoes with beans and cheese.
Sandwiches, crisps and cakes that we bake.
Sausages, chips and baked beans.

What are you eating this week?

Meal planning linky

Sunday 25 July 2021

A busy time for farmers. #MySundayPhoto

It is a busy time for farmers. For the last week or so I have seen them whizzing about in their tractors. I've heard them going past early on a morning and not coming back until gone midnight. Going past my house with empty trailers and coming back with them stacked with bales of hay or straw. I do love this time of year. It reminds me of being a kid when I lived on a farm. It was always a fun time of the year. My brother and I got to stay up late and there was always a takeaway when all the work was done.

There was much excitement during the week when we saw the farmer in the field behind us cutting whatever he had been growing. I am expecting that by now he's already been back to put it into bales and the field will be empty and the whole process will start again. The ploughing, planting, growing and harvesting.

A field which had been combined

My Sunday Photo Linky

Saturday 24 July 2021

Week 29 of #Project365. 17th - 23rd July. A photo every day for a year!

It has been a scorcher of a week and I have felt like I was melting most days. The weather turned yesterday and it was grey, cloudy and damp. It was still warm though. We made it to the end of term without any more self isolating and Ellie had a great last day at school. They had lessons on the morning and then lunchtime until it was time to go home at 2pm.

We don't have much planned for the weekend or next week. I am fancying going to our local auction today as there are a few things I am interested in. There's a gorgeous desk and chair which I would love but I have nowhere to put it. Even if Stu got rid of his desk it would still be too big. I want to see how much it goes for.

Now for a photo every day!

A trip to Costa and a white moth
Harry Potter bedding
Japanese candy and a school report
The farmer cutting his field
Little Moons ice cream

198/365 - 17th July
We had a shopping trip to Hull and it was red hot so we made sure we were drinking plenty. It was a good excuse to go into Costa and get some strawberry lemonade, Stu had a mixed berry drink. We ended up having 2 each. It did the trick of cooling us down.

199/365 - 18th July
I spotted a white moth in the garden. I've never seen one like this before.

200/365 - 19th July
New bedding. For years I have wanted Harry Potter bedding but any I've seen Stu hasn't been a fan of but I finally found this one that he likes. It's not too much in your face with Harry Potter. I got it from Primark on Saturday.

201/365 - 20th July
Another one of Ellie's birthday presents arrived. A box of Japanese candy and snacks. She loves everything Japanese and asked for more, she got some last year for her birthday too. 

202/365 - 21st July
The end of the school year means report time. I used to dread these for Ellie but now she is doing me proud. She did so well in all of the tests throughout the year and I can see the improvement. She is where she needs to be or is better in every subject apart from History. It makes me so glad she didn't pick it for her GCSE's. Her strongest subject surprised me, maths. I thought she was struggling but in the tests she's been getting over 70% which is amazing!

203/365 - 22nd July
The farmer came to cut his field and we sat and watched him. It is fascinating. I have seen the tractors driving past our house all week. Going off with empty trailers and coming back with bales of hay or straw. I do love this time of year.

204/365 - 23rd July
We finally got some Little Moons ice cream things. The kids have been asking for them for ages, I think they were a big thing on TikTok or YouTube. Tesco have sold them for months but have always been out of stock. I spotted them in Morrisons so had to get some. It was just the one box, at £4.50 for 6 small balls they're expensive but they are actually worth it. The coconut one's are amazing!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

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Friday 23 July 2021

This week my Word of the Week is: Melting! #WotW

This week my Word of the Week is:


I love the sunshine but what I am not too keen on is the heat and the fact there has been no air! Well of course there has been air but it's just been hot and there has been no breeze at all. Where we live we usually get a good breeze in the back garden, off the farmers fields which comes in through the back door and right through the house. It's been non-existent. Ugh!

Most days over the past week I have felt like I am melting. Having leather sofas and wearing shorts hasn't helped either because as well as feeling like I melting I am sticking. lol

On Saturday we went shopping in Hull. I was dreading the heat but it wasn't actually that bad. The bus had all of the windows open and we sat at the back so got the full effect and the shops all had air conditioning. We all went. Stu, myself, the girls and Becky's girlfriend "A". Those two went off to do their own shopping. When we met back up "A" had bought shorts and a light coloured t-shirt because she was melting in her black jeans. She had got changed in some toilets. lol It was a lovely day out and we finished Ellie's birthday shopping.

I missed a parcel being delivered on Saturday while we were out and had a feeling it was the Japanese candy hamper that I had ordered for Ellie's birthday. I did worry how it had fared in the heat over the weekend. It was delivered on Tuesday and thankfully it all survived without melting. There was a few things which looked a bit sticky and out of shape but I don't think Ellie will notice.

Japanese candy

Obviously the hottest week of the year was the one I forgot to buy ice lollies. I have had to pay stupid prices for one's at the local shops. They only have the proper Cornetto's, Calippo's and Fab ice creams and lollies not the cheaper, imitation one's. This week I have already done the shopping order and I have made sure to stock up. hehehe

Apparently lots of people had a storm and rain during the week. The little thing on my computer said it was raining here but it wasn't. The sky was still blue and there wasn't a single cloud. I was fuming. I am not a fan of storms but wanted one just to clear the air and give my garden a good water.

I don't function well in the heat. I just want to stay inside, which is probably quite sensible and move as little as possible. It has been fine this week, I haven't had much to do apart from the usual housework. I think next week will be different because Ellie will finally have started her summer holidays and will want to do stuff. She has plans and they involve taking me on walks. Eek! 

It's Ellie's last day of school today and she's happy that it's a non-uniform day so she can wear shorts and a t-shirt. The school have also organised an ice cream van to come into the playground at lunch time. I don't need to guess what Ellie will be having for lunch. hehehe

Word of the week linky

Thursday 22 July 2021

How to motivate yourself today and every day!

It is tough sometimes to be motivated and stay motivated, whether it be in your work life or professional life. I often feel meh when it comes to doing the housework or blogging especially if the weather isn't great. It sometimes feel hard to keep going but there are ways to keep yourself motivated.

Make this day great

Create a to-do list for yourself!
I don’t know about you but making a list and ticking things off makes me happy. Sometimes I put things on my to-do list that are so easy to achieve just so I can have the pleasure of ticking them off. Seeing the list and ticking things off does motivate me to keep going until I have ticked everything.

Do your favourite things!
When you lack self motivation to carry out chore which you don't really want to do why not try doing things that make you happy instead. It might not feel productive to do something like soaking in the bath, eating a cream cake, having a coffee or going for a walk but afterwards you will feel like doing something which is productive just to feel like you have done something. Just don't get sucked into binge watching a TV show. 

Be neat!
Living in clutter can be very unmotivating. Declutter! Less mess and clutter equals more motivation.

Did you realise that making yourself smile will fool your bring into imagining that you are happy. When you are happy you will feel more motivated.

Find inspiration!
When you are having a tough time staying motivated one way to get back on track is to find inspiration. For some that may mean reading inspirational quotes or reminding yourself of your own past successes.

Get enough sleep!
If you are tired you will lack motivation. Try and get enough sleep each night and setting an alarm each morning will give you the motivation not to stay in bed.

30 minutes of exercise is all you need to revive your body. Exercise helps your body release endorphins, the feel-good hormones. It will increases blood circulation and will allow you to remain motivated for the entire day.

Get motivation from the people in your life!
Spend less time with negative people and spend more of the time with enthusiastic or motivated people and let their energy flow over to you.

Eat well!
I know when I eat rubbish I feel rubbish. If I miss a meal I get hangry and don't feel like doing much at all. When I make an effort and eat breakfast it always motivates me on a morning to get stuff done. If I fill the slow cooker on a morning it makes me feel like that I have a big meal coming so will work hard and I will be active throughout the day.

Try something New!
Life or work sometimes gets monotonous and it can be hard to stay motivated. Maybe it’s time to try something new. Find a new hobby, learn a new language or bake something new. New and exciting things going on in your life will help you stay motivated.

Play music!
A great playlist will help you along with any task that you are not keen on doing. 

Wear your best clothes!
You don't need to be going out anywhere special to wear your best clothes. If you look great you will feel great.

Create a support network!
Have a support network on standby for when your motivation runs out and you feel overwhelmed. Choose people you feel comfortable talking to and who can help provide encouragement!

How do you keep yourself motivated?

Wednesday 21 July 2021

(Ad - Gifted) The Tony Hawk SS 540 Wasteland Complete Skateboard - Review!

Ellie loves the idea of skateboarding, all the cool boys skateboard and she has always wanted a skate board of her own but it's one of those things that we have never got around to buying. She's had a go on her friends skate boards and loved them. It was something we had thought about getting her for Christmas until the lovely people from got in touch. is the UK's specialist wheeled sports shop! They have all of the top brands, products, parts, protection, and accessories for Stunt Scooters, Mini BMX Bikes, Skateboards, Longboards, Roller Quad Skates, Inline Skates, Ice Skates alongside the helmets, production pads, and bags.

The Tony Hawk SS 540 Wasteland Complete Skateboard

I think the only thing I know about skateboarding is that Tony Hawk is one and a good one at that. Now you can follow in his footsteps with the Tony Hawk Skateboard range. Moderately priced to be affordable for beginners, the Tony Hawk skateboards are stylish with their unique designs and are proving to be very popular with his legions of fans worldwide.

Base of the Tony Hawk Skateboard
End of the Tony Hawk Skateboard

The Tony Hawk SS 540 Wasteland Complete Skateboard - 31.5" x 8" is part of the 540 series from Tony Hawk and is considered the next step in skateboarding once you've started learning tricks. Once you're ready for the next challenge step up to the plate with the awesome 540 series from the main man himself, Tony Hawk!


Deck : 7 ply 100% Hardrock maple with full OS780 griptape
Truck : 5.25” Heavy duty aluminium truck with PU 95a bushing
Wheel : 54mm 99A PUC wheel
Bearing : Abec 5
Length: 31.5" x 8"

Like I said I know nothing about skateboards so I don't know if the features are amazing but from what we've seen of it we love it. This skateboard is perfect for Ellie to learn on, she has been watching YouTube videos of basic tricks and can flip it while stood on it and other basic things and has slowly got the hang of pushing herself along on it.

Youngest holding a skateboard

Considering the size of it, it is quite light and Ellie has no problem picking it up and using it. It is made well, it's solid but at the same time bends to be able to turn and we love the design on the bottom. Ellie hasn't been brave enough to go out of the garden yet but she is getting there, building her confidence. In my opinion this is a great skate board for beginners.

Youngest on skateboard
Youngest on skateboard - Feet

We are lucky to have a couple of little slopes on the paths in our garden which she has been doing up and down. I've said she can go to the skate park when she has learned to brake properly. We should get there during the summer holidays. I will be going with her to make sure she doesn't get over confident. Eek!

Ellie has spent more time outside in the back garden over the past week than she has in the the past 3 months thanks to the skateboard. She's been having great fun and is getting some exercise too.

Of course Ellie usually does wear knee pads, elbow pads, wrist guards and a helmet when she is on the skateboard. She didn't just for these photos.

At the moment this skateboard is on sale for £44.95 down from £54.94 and can be bought from the website.

We were sent the The Tony Hawk SS 540 Wasteland Complete Skateboard free of charge in exchange for this blog post.

Tuesday 20 July 2021

The end of year 9 and 2nd year at college.

We're almost at the end of the school year and it has been the strangest one yet. There has been so many changes for the kids to deal with but thankfully my two have taken all the uncertainty in their stride. Ellie has a few more days at school and then it's out for summer!

My girls on their laptops home learning

Becky hasn't had much change in her college life from the summer term of last year. She has done most of her learning online and has only being going into college one day a week. I have really enjoyed those Wednesday's that I was home alone. hehehe Becky has been great learning at home, getting all of her assignments handed in well before they needed to be and got a message a couple of weeks ago saying all of her work had been marked and she's passed the first year of the Level 3 health & social care. Becky ended up being in a different class to her girlfriend which was a good thing, they would have only distracted each other from their work.

In November the girls had their first unplanned break from school. My dad caught Covid and we had to self isolate because we had been in contact with him. Thankfully we were all fine and my dad too. It was back to the home learning and then in December someone in Becky's class tested positive so she missed a day at college.

In December Ellie had been having the end of term tests and it turns out she is cleverer than the school thought she was and needed to be moved up a class into the middle set. We thought it was great but she wasn't so keen, none of her friends were in the new class. She needn't have worried because she never actually spent any time with them until the March. January and February was all home learning.

School books and more home learning

I thought the home learning last year for Ellie was hard work but it has been nothing compared to this years. The school really got their act together, we had to go to the school and pick up Ellie's exercise books and there were Zoom lessons for every lesson apart from PE, PHSE and RE. Some of the online lessons only lasted as long as the teacher needed to take the register and explain the independent work but most lessons lasted a full hour.

Ellie's new classmates have big personalities and she was quite intimidated by them in January and refused to put the camera on. Thankfully the woman we have contact with about Ellie's hearing loss was very understanding and let all the teachers know not to nag Ellie about having her camera on.

Ellie has struggled with some of the work in her new class. A lot what the class had already learned she hadn't with her moving up from the lower class. She really tried her hardest and thank goodness Becky was here to help with some of it. At one point in maths it took 5 of us to finish some work. Stu, Becky, Ellie, myself and Becky's girlfriend on video chat. lol

French was ridiculous. Ellie had done French in her old school in year 7, none in year 8 and the basics in the first half of year 9 in the lower class. There's nothing like being flung in the deep end. She had no clue what most of the lessons were about and neither did I. She tried her best but it was a chore, thankfully Google Translate helped us out. The French lessons were fun though, the kids always seemed to mess about in that lesson. I shouldn't laugh but I did. The teacher was super strict but the kids didn't care they just messed about. One lesson the teacher had made the head, deputy head and head of year 9 into the Zoom call. Kids were earning detentions for when they returned to school. lol It was the only teacher that the kids messed about for, I did start to feel sorry for her but the teacher treat the kids like 5 year olds which isn't going to work with teenagers. Respect works both ways.

Ellie's favourite part of the home learning were the lessons where she got to be creative. She made an eco house out of Lego for Science, storyboards about a poem in English and in Design and Technology she had to create a festival. She got stuck into it creating food menus, costumes, planning who would sing and building a stage. She did it all herself apart from cutting the box. Her D&T work earned her an award when she went back to school. I couldn't have been prouder.

Home made festival stage

The return to school and college in January went well for the girls. Lateral flow testing was introduced and despite my worries they soon got the hang of testing themselves with my supervision. Ellie loved school when they had to wear masks all day long because they got extra breaks after each lesson to get some fresh air and lunchtime was extended.

Late in March Ellie made her GCSE options and chose Geography, Business Studies and engineering. The school realised that the subjects were in blocks and engineering would clash with Geography so she changed to history then the history teacher decided that history was a lot of hard work and was worried Ellie wouldn't cope with it so suggested dropping business studies to do Geography and taking a different subject in the block where History was. There wasn't much choice but Ellie has decided to go with Photography. She is very excited about it now and is already asking for her own camera. I have said she can start off using the one on her mobile phone until she decides if she really likes it.

Becky finished college a few weeks ago for the year. All her work was done so the teachers didn't think there was any point in going in to college which was sensible with Covid cases rising. Ellie went back to school last week after a week of isolation because the school was full of cases of Covid. It was easier to isolate everyone instead of trying to figure out who had been in contact with who. Fingers crossed we get to the end of this week without any more isolating!

Both have my girls have done so well over the past year despite all the home learning. I am so proud of them both.

Monday 19 July 2021

Our weekly meal plan! 19th - 25th July. #MealPlanningMonday

Our Weekly meal plan

Last weeks meal plan went OK, we swapped a couple of meals around but nothing was wasted. I think this week we will be eating salads and proper summer food as the weather is suppose to be hot again. It's nice to see the sun shining but I am not so keen on the heat.

We had a lovely weekend with lots of treats. We went shopping in Hull on Saturday and visited McDonalds, got Krispy Kreme doughnuts and stopped off in Costa for a strawberry lemonade my 2nd of the day, I also got one from Mcdonalds. Ellie also got some noodles from a place we found, Wok & Go. She saved them to eat at home as we were getting the bus and they were still too hot to eat. She said they were so good.

We're now into the last week of school. Hooray! We are so ready for the summer holidays which start at 2pm on Friday. We don't have any plans at all. I think we will be spending some time with my dad and that's about it.

On the menu this week we have:

Monday - Burgers in buns. I might even cook them on the BBQ.
Wednesday - Quiche and salad. 
Friday - Fish finger sandwiches.
Saturday - Pizza.
Sunday - Chicken and chips.

What are you eating this week?

meal planning linky