Wednesday 31 August 2022

(Ad - Gifted) The Kikkerland Galileo Thermometer - Review!

I love having interesting and unusual things in my home. Recently I received the Kikkerland Bear Organizer which I thought was something a bit different and at the same time I also received something that I had never seen or heard of before, the Kikkerland Galileo Thermometer. I thought it was so unusual.

The Kikkerland Galileo Thermometer

When it comes to thermometers we are spoiled for choice nowadays with everything from the tried and true mercury thermometers to cutting edge digital sensors. Italian astronomer and physicist Galileomade a number of significant discoveries, one of which was that temperature variations have an effect on how much a liquid expands and shrinks or its density. The Galileo thermometer, usually a glass tube or ball filled with liquid and glass baubles filled with liquid and each with a specific temperature medallion was developed in response to what he discovered.

The water inside the Galileo thermometer changes temperature along with the atmospheric temperature which causes the water to either expand or contract and alter its density. Some of the spheres will float when the water density changes, while others will sink.

Galileo Thermometer

The medallions are calibrated counterweights that are imprinted with a temperature reading. They are responsible for the spheres' rising and falling. The weight of sinking spheres is more than the temperature, whereas the weight of floating spheres is less than the temperature. Depending on how the spheres are responding several techniques are used to determine the temperature. One sphere has the correct temperature reading on its medallion if it floats roughly in the middle of the floating and sinking sphere groups. If there isn't a sphere floating in the middle of the top group of spheres and the bottom group of spheres the temperature can be calculated by averaging the readings from the lowest sphere in the top group and the highest sphere in the bottom group. When all the spheres float the temperature is below the lowest sphere. If all the spheres sink, the temperature is above 28°C or 84 degrees Fahrenheit.

Top view of Galileo Thermometer

Easy to understand? lol I was so confused when I read the instructions and am not going to pretend to understand fully how to tell the temperature using the Galileo Thermometer but the guesses that I have made after looking at it are pretty close. 

It is easy to see why Galileo Thermometers are still so popular. They are not just beautiful to use as ornaments but the movement of the glass globes inside the water makes them fascinating to watch.

The Kikkerland Galileo Thermometer is a great conversation starter and I love it. I would say it is the size of a very large orange and sits beautifully in it's wood base. It is available to buy from Amazon for around £17.87 but prices do often change on there. This would make a great gift for someone who is hard to buy for. It certainly is something a little different.

Have you ever heard of a Galileo Thermometer?

I was sent the Kikkerland Galileo Thermometer free of charge in exchange for this blog post.

Tuesday 30 August 2022

Tales from the bus.

After having yet another drama on the bus last week it made me think that I should write a blog post about some of the dramas that we've had on the buses lately.


Last week the bus driver didn't stop at the stop when I pinged the bell. He still didn't stop when a man got up and asked him to stop, the man wanted to be off at the same stop as us. The driver carried on and stopped at the next bus stop which was a good 7 minute walk from the previous stop. Grr! When I got off the bus I said to him thanks for not stopping and the driver then had the cheek to say you should have got up and asked and he would have which was a blatant lie because he wouldn't stop the bus for the man, what difference would me getting up make. I got off the bus ranting to Ellie.

We had a really good bus driver recently. We were getting the bus to Scunthorpe and I said one and a half return to town and he said "no, I can't give you that". I thought he was not letting us onto the bus for a second but it turns out that if we got something called a duo return where you pay for an adult and then the 2nd adult gets half price works out cheaper than an adult and a child. It's only a pound cheaper but every penny does count at the moment.

On the way home I was all set to have an argument with a man. I don't know what it is about our bus stop at the bus station which makes people think queueing up is not needed despite the majority of people obviously queuing. My girls and I were the first one's at the bus stop and then there were people behind us and a guy and his children stood away from the bus stop. When the bus driver opened the doors to the bus I stood up and went to wait until he had sorted himself out (it was a new driver). The guy was trying to edge his way into the queue and telling his kids that nobody actually has to queue as there is no law about queuing it is just good manners. I said out loud to my girls, loud enough for him to hear go on, try and push in front of me and we will see what happens to good manners. I know it was petty of me but I seem to feel irrationally anger when it comes to queuing for the bus. He took himself off the the back of the queue. A woman said to me good girl, some people need telling. 

Ellie and I were on the bus and a man sat on the seats on the left of us was sat there eating a full size birthday cake. We were watching in amazement, he wasn't slicing it, he had it in both hands and was just taking bites. What made us even more shocked was the fact he ate the whole cake without having a drink, it looked such a dry cake once he'd got through the icing. Only when he had finished he brought a bottle of water out and drank. lol Ellie and I were sat there trying not to laugh but the more we tried not to laugh the more we laughed. From what we heard from the conversation he was having with his friend on the bus he just fancied cake before he went to work. There's nothing stranger than folk. lol

As much as I moan about getting the bus sometimes I do like getting the bus really! It's always going to be better than getting the train. Getting the train makes people angry, especially over Christmas. lol

Have you had any funny or stressful incidents on a bus lately?

Monday 29 August 2022

15 Today!

My baby Ellie is 15 today! She will not appreciate me calling her a baby but she will always be my baby. hehehe Every day she makes me proud and I give it 6 months until she is as tall as me.

I am trying to think back over the last year of Ellie's life and was going to say nothing major has happened but then remembered that she started studying her GCSE subjects and we had a few appointments at the hospital.

My youngest girls 14th birthday

In September Ellie was back at school starting year 10 and her GCSE subjects. She has done amazingly well so far and I am so proud of her. When she started her old school in year 7 they had practically written her off. If only they could see her now. She is predicted good GCSE grades for next year, it's something we could only have dreamed off. It just goes to show what a great school can do for a child. Ellie works hard at school but the same can't be said when it comes to homework. She still gets in trouble about once a month for not handing homework in. There's only so much I can do, if she doesn't write in her planner how can I tell her to do the homework that I don't know about. 

My youngest

Ellie had a pretty eventful start to this year. She had a routine appointment with a doctor to check her good ear was still good and he said that he could refer her for a hearing aid if that is what she wanted. We of course said yes and she had the MRI scan like a star and then we saw another doctor who said he found old bleeds on her brain and little else. We were referred to a different hospital for a chat with their neurosurgeon. I was besides myself. That was in the February and we are still waiting to see or hear from the neuro people and for the hearing aids. lol In March Ellie had a check up on her heart and the doctor was amazing and reassured us that her brain bleeds were most likely caused by her heart problems either before she had open heart surgery or during it. I am guessing that the letter he put in Ellie's notes has been read by the neuro people and they have just left it at that. It would be nice for them to let us know though.

My youngest in hats

I have featured Ellie less on my blog and social media. As much as I write about her there has been less photos. She is fine with the words but not the photos and even then 99% of the time she reads what I am sharing, well apart from the Tweets when I am moaning about her. hehehe 

For the last couple of years Ellie was crazy about all things Anime but this year she has drifted away from that. She is of course back into Stranger Things and has started watching Chicago Med and Greys Anatomy. The biggest hit of the last year with her was the Heartstopper Netflix show and she is so into it she requested the books for her birthday which of course she has got.

My youngest daughter

Ellie has a good bunch of friends and has had a great summer being off out on adventures with them. I had to chuckle a few weeks ago. We have lived here a few years but her and the boy next door have never bothered with each other until a week before he moved house. lol Now that he's moved he has started to hand out with her and her friends. There has been a couple of her friends that I have encouraged her to distance herself from and thankfully she has. There always seemed to be trouble and drama when she hung out with them. I am glad she can see when people are not right for her.

My daughter

We don't have much planned for today with it being a bank holiday the buses are rubbish here so it's not worth going far. She is quite happy to have just a chilled day at home with a takeaway and birthday cake. I am planning to treat her to a trip to the cinema this week to see Where the Crawdads Sing. She has been dying to see it and I have said no as it's a 15 age rating and up until now she has been too young!

Our weekly meal plan! 29th August - 4th September. #MealPlanningMonday

Our weekly meal plan

Last weeks meal plan went pretty well. We ate everything apart from the pie and mash yesterday. I ended up making a chicken casserole instead. I had some veg that needed using up before the shopping was delivered so it made sense. 

This week is going to be a good one. It is Ellie's birthday today and we have lots of yummy treats and of course cake to have. We don't have much planned for today apart from nipping to my dad's. Stu is going to have a look at his computer, there's something not working and Ellie and I are going to go bramble picking. We are also going to have another trip to the cinema sometime this week as now that Ellie is 15 she can watch 15 rated films. She has been dying to see Where the Crawdads Sing so we're going to book ourselves in for that.

It is also sadly the last week of the summer holidays. They have really flown over. I know we lost almost a couple of weeks to Covid but where did the rest of the days go? I am dreading the start of the new term, no more lazy mornings but I think we are ready for a bit of routine again. It will certainly make sticking to the meal plan easier! It reminds me that I need to find out if Ellie is having school lunches or packed lunches so I can start planning the next food shop. 

On the menu this week we have:

Monday - Chinese takeaway and birthday cake of course! Yum, yum!
Tuesday - Red onion and bacon tart with potato salad.
Wednesday - Sandwiches, cakes, crisps. A lazy tea.
Friday - Pizza. Maybe home made if we can be bothered.
Saturday - Nachos Supreme! Nachos with a ton of toppings.
Sunday - Sausages, mash and baked beans.

What are you eating this week?

Sunday 28 August 2022

The best seat in the cinema. #MySundaySnapshot

We have been to the cinema twice in the past week. Once just to buy the Tango Ice Blasts and once to see the new Railway Children film. It was a good film but really sad.

The last time I was there before this week I went to see the Thor film and treated myself to one of the VIP seats and it was awful. Uncomfortable and yes you got a bigger arm rest but less room in front for your legs. Grr.

During the week I seem to have stumbled across the best seat in the cinema. The row we usually sit on had people already booked so I picked the row behind the VIP seats and I am glad I did. There seemed to be extra leg room and I know I shouldn't but I could put my feet up as there is such a huge gap between the VIP seats. I think from now on we will be booking the one behind the VIP seats.

Best seat in the cinema

My Sunday Snapshot linky

Saturday 27 August 2022

Week 34 of #Project365 20th - 26th August. A photo every day for a year!

 It has been good to feel back to normal after Covid and have a bit of freedom back to go and see who we please. We have had a good mix of days out and days at home over the past week. I was glad of a rainy day on Thursday to keep us home as we had a few things to catch up on, mainly housework. Becky has been pleased that she's had a few days off after working quite a few shifts. She's back to the grindstone now though, she did 2 day shifts and then is back on nights for the next week or so.

Now for a photo every day!

Fabulosa and a Jammy Dodger
Eastenders on the TV
Popcorn and my youngest
Crocs and pretty things

232/365 - 20th August
My new favourite flavour of Fabulosa, if I have to clean I want to clean with something that smells nice.

233/365 - 21st August
A few weeks ago my fella got some Banana flavoured Jammy Dodgers from Home Bargains. When we were in there we found some cola flavoured one's. I am not a fan but the kids love them. It doesn't seem right dipping something cola flavoured in a cup of tea.

234/365 - 22nd August
I finally caught up with watching Eastenders. I leave it weeks and then binge the episodes off the BBC iPlayer. I didn't realise until Monday that on a Monday they put that weeks episodes on so you can watch them before they're shown on TV. I almost spoiled it for everyone who watches it at the proper time by saying I was gutted to see Stewart leaving.

235/365 - 23rd August
I sent the kids off to the shop for something and they came home with extras. Microwave popcorn. It was nice for the first handful of pieces but then it started to taste waxy. We are not fans of it.

236/365 - 24th August
Ellie looking moody waiting to go into the cinema. I wish she wouldn't wear all black but she's at an age no where she chooses her own clothes. 

237/365 - 25th August
I always said to myself that I would NEVER wear Crocs but I ended up getting some for my youngest instead of wellies which she needed for a school trip. Anyway, they're very handy for popping on to put the rubbish out or going to our little shed if its wet out. It saves soaking my slippers.

238/365 - 26th August
I got something to review and this is one of the photos which won't be making it into the blog post about it but it does make an interesting picture.

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Friday 26 August 2022

(Ad - Gifted) The Kikkerland Bear Organizer - Review!

I have a fireplace that runs nearly the full length of the living room and it's great to have photos, ornaments and pretty things on but quite often things get put on it which don't belong. Usually little things like hair bobbles, money, pieces of paper and letters. I would like to say that it's just the kids to blame but it's all of us.

I hadn't thought of getting anything to keep the paper and letters organised until I was offered the Kikkerland Bear Organizer to have a look at. I think it's a great idea!

The Kikkerland Bear Organizer box

Made of durable baked enamel steel with a black finish this bear organizer is the perfect stylish animal companion for your home.

You can put it on a shelf, a table, desk or fireplace and it also comes with screws so you could mount it to the wall. With the back being mesh you can put the screws anywhere you please.

Kikkerland Bear Organizer
Bear letter holder

We have never had a home for those random letters, pieces of paper or leaflets and they always looked so untidy. Now we do and I love it. It looks very modern but the bear goes with the decor in the rest of my home and it is a great addition. It looks good and is practical too. It well made and is very sturdy, there will be no bending or bashing it out of shape if it's dropped. As well as the bear holding letters or papers you can also pop a set of keys on the ear for safe keeping! I will be getting Becky to put hers on it as she is forever losing her set of house keys.

You can buy the The Kikkerland Bear Organizer from Amazon and prices do change depending on the mood of Amazon, lol but can be as low as £14.60.

I was sent the Kikkerland Bear Organizer free of charge in exchange for this blog post.

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

This week my Word of the Week is:


We have had a great week and have made the most of feeling well again after Covid, Becky having some time off work and it still being the school holidays. It feels so good having some freedom.

We went into town to get Ellie the last of her birthday presents. I had already bought her main one's but she wanted some new clothes too. I gave her the freedom to choose what she wanted and probably spent more than I should of but to be fair Ellie has grown and did need some new clothes. She probably didn't need the denim jacket but that was an extra treat. hehehe We had a lovely time. It was nice to get out after spending over a week in the house. 

I blew the kids mind treating them to a Tango Ice Blast from the cinema. If you don't know what a Tango Ice Blast is it's a slushy made from the pop tango. The kids thought you could only buy them from the cinema if you were going to see a film so it was quite a shock for them when we went in, bought them and came straight back out. I think I may have started something though as Becky said she is going to go with her friends and just get ice blasts and popcorn. lol

Ellie has been out playing with her friends. They went out on their bikes and right around our little town. She went out just after lunch and didn't come back home until tea time one day. They went to the woods going up and down the ramps that people have made there and ended up at the skate park meeting up with other friends. It has been good for her to get out and have some fun and we realised she should really make the most of it as we have noticed it getting darker earlier and earlier. When the darker nights come she won't have that freedom of going out with friends. As much as we live in a quiet town with not much trouble I still don't like her out when it's dark.

On Wednesday we were back at the cinema to watch the new Railway Children film. It was really good but really sad too. I thought it was a kids film, although it is suitable for children, I would say older children. My two loved it although Becky hadn't realised what it was about. lol She thought it was a modern film about kids who hung about a railway station.

Yesterday was a grey and gloomy day and I think we needed it to keep us inside to catch up on what needed doing. We have been off gallivanting a lot over the past week, making the most of our freedom.

I hope you have all had a good week!

Word of the week linky

Thursday 25 August 2022

12 ways you can teach your children about online privacy!

Our kids have been spending more time on the internet with with it being the summer holidays, I know my youngest has especially. The internet is a fantastic place where kids can learn many things but curiosity can lead to dangers too. That’s why parents should educate their children about internet safety and privacy online.

12 ways you can teach your children about online privacy:

1. Set an example and become digital literate yourself, try out the apps and websites that your children are using but try not to push your opinion.

2. Start talking to your child early and do it often. They must know they are always welcome to come to you in case of any worries or doubts.

3. Talk to them about cyberbullying. Show how to block unwanted people or report their inappropriate actions online. Most of all help them understand they are not alone, they can always come and talk to you.

4. Talk about social media and messaging. Discuss what your child should and should not share on social media platforms. They must understand that what goes on the internet, stays on the internet. Nothing is ever 100% private.

5. Explain why privacy matters especially when talking to strangers. Talk about what kind of information is shareable online. Predators can use their address, school location, and other information against them.

6. Create strong passwords together. Advise your child to choose strong passwords which are different for each account. It might be challenging to come up with and memorise a vast number of logins but it's better to be safe than sorry.

7. Manage privacy settings. Most social media or messaging services allow their users to manage their privacy settings. Sit down with your child and adjust those settings to make sure your kid’s profile is as safe and private as possible.

8. Explain why free public Wi-Fi is dangerous. Everybody loves free Wi-Fi, and children are not an exception but public places may have unsecured Wi-Fi networks which may be monitored by third parties.

9. Talk about ads and online offers. Nothing is ever totally free. Advise your child to be careful about deals that may look too good to be true. Some offers may be scams designed to extract private information.

10. Install games and apps together. Make sure you download all games and apps from secure sources. Also, check that both the app and its provider are reputable. Fake pop ups often prompt kids to install various applications for free but that may result in malware infecting the device or the whole home network.

11. Discuss viral news, some of these might turn out to be fake. In the future it will get harder to tell fabrications from reality. Talk about fact checking and trustworthy websites.

12. Use safety solutions. First of all make sure that the search engine your kids use has a search filtering option enabled and make sure to update your antivirus regularly in case your child does download an infected file.

What do you do to keep your children safe online?

Wednesday 24 August 2022

A trifle with a twist: Tiramisu Trifle - Recipe!

Want a trifle but also want something different from the classic type? Try this Tiramisu Trifle from the Easy Peasy Baking Campaign instead! Using only 9 ingredients to make layers of chocolate custard, coffee soaked sponge and mascarpone custard anyone can layer up this luxurious dessert to impress over the summer for a decadent alternative to one of the nation's favourites.

Tiramisu Trifle

Makes 1 x 20cm / 3.5 litre trifle.
Prep time: 10 mins to mix sponge, 20-25 to bake, 15 mins to assemble.


175g of caster sugar + extra for sweetening cream and coffee.
175g of unsalted butter, softened.
3 eggs.
175g of self raising flour.
45ml/3 tablespoons of milk.
500g of mascarpone cheese.
600ml of double cream.
2 tbsp instant coffee / 2 double espressos + 8 tablespoons of boiling water.
1 litre of chocolate custard.


20cm x 30cm traybake/roasting tin, lined with parchment.
Large mixing bowl.
Electric hand mixer.
Trifle dish.


Preheat the oven to 160°c (fan).

In the mixing bowl, cream together the butter and 175g caster sugar, add the eggs, followed by the flour and milk and mix until just combined.

Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and springy to touch. Allow to cool completely.

Once cooled, remove the sponge from the tray, trim the edges and cut into 32 squares. Prepare the coffee and sweeten to taste.

Whisk together the mascarpone and double cream with the extra caster sugar until thick/soft peaks. Be careful not to over whip.

Place a layer of sponge squares in the base of the trifle dish and pour over half of the coffee, allowing it to soak into the sponge. Then, pour half of the custard on top, followed by half of the cream, spreading to the edges.

Repeat the three layers again and dust with cocoa powder to finish.

This recipe is from the Easy Peasy Baking campaign, launched by UK Flour Millers, making baking simple.

Tuesday 23 August 2022

Thoughts about having Covid.

A few weeks ago we all caught Covid. Stu tested positive for on the Saturday, Becky and I the Tuesday morning and Ellie the Tuesday afternoon! I have had so many emotions and thoughts while we've all been testing positive and thought I would write some of them down.

Question marks

When Stu said he felt unwell I was worried as he is never ill, I knew it was Covid and the lines on the test just confirmed it. He slept on and off for 24 hours which again isn't like him.

If it wasn't for Stu being so ill we might have just put it down to a normal summer cold. The symptoms were the same.

Stu isolated as much as he could, I cleaned everything that I could and tried my best to keep us safe but it wasn't enough. I felt like I had let us all down but it was inevitable and I suppose it's better that we all caught it at the same time instead of dragging it out.

When I tested and saw the two lines I couldn't believe it as I didn't feel that unwell but it was expected. It was more of a shocker for Becky as she had no symptoms at all. A couple of years ago I didn't believe that lateral flow tests worked that well but now I have so much faith in them.

It feels like we are the last people to get Covid.

I am glad Becky's work took her seriously and her word that she had a positive test as before Christmas when Covid was in full swing and she had all the symptoms she was made to go in to work while she was ill, thankfully she was negative then but did get sent home anyway. Now they have just taken her word she is positive, although she would have been happy to go into work to take a test.

Day one of having Covid I felt tired but didn't want to go to bed because it felt like I was just running on adrenaline and I thought if I slept I would wake up feeling rotten but thankfully that didn't happen. 

I kept thinking is this it? I kept expecting us to all feel worse but we never did. Ellie has had worse bouts of hayfever!

Getting my period on day 2 of Covid was just an added extra pain to deal with.

I feel like I have missed out on my share of having to isolate, I would have quite liked to hide out in my bedroom, snoozing a little, sitting in bed with my laptop and being served food and drinks.

I did enjoy staying in my pj's for a few days.

I had to have an upsetting chat with Ellie. A couple of years ago one of her friends lost her mum to Covid and I think Ellie was really worried about Stu and I. I said that we have all been vaccinated and boosted since then, we have some protection from it and we are not as ill as her friends mum was. It was heart breaking.

I have been drinking plenty which is great but coughing, sneezing and needing a wee all at the same time is not fun.

Stu lost his sense of taste and smell for a couple of days, I thought I had too but then realised I couldn't smell because my nose was so blocked up.

I thought everyone with Covid lost their appetite? I didn't, if I wasn't eating I was thinking about my next meal which I suppose was a good thing, it meant that my body had enough energy to fight off the virus.

It turns out we can live on cereal, toast and ready meals. After a week we were craving proper home cooked food though.

Even though I wasn't that ill the exhaustion afterwards is real.

We didn't have to isolate, there is no rule saying we should now but we did! I wouldn't want to pass the virus on to anyone who was vulnerable.

I was the last to test negative and never thought I would just get that one line again. It did seem to drag on.

I am very grateful for the vaccinations and boosters that we had! I feel we got off so lightly with Covid.

Have you had Covid? How were you with it?

Monday 22 August 2022

Our weekly meal plan! 22nd - 28th August. #MealPlanningMonday

Our weekly meal plan

Last weeks meal plan was a bit hit and miss. We ate just about everything but instead of sandwiches, cakes and crisps on Wednesday I made a chicken and ham hock pie with a creamy sauce. It was so good and so different from the gravy type filling we usually have. I seem to have lost my appetite since I have had Covid which is odd because when I was feeling ill I couldn't fill myself and wanted to eat everything. I am hoping to get my appetite back this week with some tasty meals. I am already looking forward to quite a few that I have planned. It seems ages since we've had a beef roast dinner, pulled pork and a curry.

Stu had a lovely birthday and we all really enjoyed the takeaway. Getting 20% off Just Eat with the Cheeky Tuesday discount was a real bonus. We still have a meal out to have with a voucher but I think we're going to wait until Ellie goes back to school and we can make a day of it. 

We have a few of plans this week. Ellie has a check up at the dentist, Becky has to return her college laptop and we're planning a trip to the cinema finally. We seem to have been on about going to the cinema for weeks and haven't got around to it. This week we will. 

On the menu this week we have:

Monday - The roast dinner we didn't have yesterday. Beef, roast potatoes, roast parsnips, carrots, broccoli and Yorkshire puddings.
Tuesday - Pulled pork in wraps.
Wednesday - Sandwiches, cakes, crisps. A lazy tea.
Thursday - The Thai-Style coconut chicken with sweet potato fries that we didn't have a couple of weeks ago.
Friday - Pizza.
Saturday - Curry, rice, naan bread, poppadoms and mango chutney.
Sunday - Pie, mash and veg.

What are you eating this week?

Sunday 21 August 2022

A tomatoey surprise. #MySundaySnapshot

Over the past couple of weeks I have neglected my garden. Having Covid and the heat put me off going outside and I have just left it alone, Stu did water it a few times but that's it. I went out there during the week to have a look what had survived the latest heatwave and had a surprise that there was some tomatoes growing. I thought they had all died off a long while ago but there is at least 30 little tomatoes growing. Hooray!

Tomatoes growing in the garden

My Sunday Snapshot linky

Saturday 20 August 2022

Week 33 of #Project365 13th - 19th August. A photo every day for a year!

We are all over Covid, well we're testing negative, feeling a bit better but we're still tired all of the time. Everything feels like a chore at the moment and despite eating loads when I was ill I have totally lost my appetite and interest in food at the moment which is not like me at all.

We haven't had a bad week, it was Stu's birthday and he had a great few days. We celebrated on his day off because he had to work his birthday. Hmmf. He was so happy with all of his cards and presents, he better not expect that many presents next year. hehehe

Now for a photo every day!

50 presents
A slicer and clock
Birthday cake and jam tarts
Opal fruits and Starburst

225/365 - 13th August
I got Stu 50 presents for his 50th birthday and Saturday was the day that I wrapped them. We did have a couple of mishaps with missing presents. Ellie had put a smaller one in a bigger box for safe keeping and it took a while until she remembered about it. Oops.

226/365 - 14th August
This week I missed taking a photo on Sunday. I don't know what I was doing with my day, nothing much from what I remember so you're not missing much.

227/365 - 15th August
Another random thing that Becky has seen online and bought herself. She only bought it for the grater part but to be fair she does eat a lot of cheese.

228/365 - 16th August
After about 15 years the living room clock broke so I bought a new one off ebay and it arrived. I love the colours on it and it matches the rest of the decor in the living room.

229/365 - 17th August
Stu's birthday cake. We had it a day late as we were too full from pizza on Tuesday.

230/365 - 18th August
I had leftover pastry from a pie I made so made some jam tarts and they went a bit wrong, the jam overflowed and made such a mess.

231/365 - 19th August
Starburst and fake Starburst according to Ellie. lol I had to explain to her that Opal Fruits were Starbursts until the late 90's when they changed the name. lol

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Friday 19 August 2022

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

This week my Word of the Week is:


The last time I used the word Better was the week after my dad tested positive for Covid way back in 2020. Here we are again a little over a week and a half since my family tested positive for Covid and we're all feeling better, mostly.

I got my first negative test yesterday, the last in my family to get it. Stu got his 4 days after being positive, Becky and Ellie 6 days and I had to wait 9 days for mine! Seeing just one line has made me feel so much happier, I thought it would never come.

The kids and Stu are feeling just about back to normal apart from feeling tired and I am still feeling snotty and have the only way I can explain it, a fuzzy head. I've realised if I move my head too quickly I feel dizzy. Dr Google says it's just a side effect from Covid. I am also feeling so tired too, exhausted from doing normal things. I think it's going to take some time to feel 100%.

Thankfully the latest heatwave seems to be over and we all feel so much better for it. We got to the point where we didn't know if Covid or the heat was making us feel rotten. I think it was a mixture of both. We got the rain on Tuesday night and it came down heavy, so much so there was a puddle in the bedroom because I forgot to shut the window. Oops. It has rained a bit since then and my garden is looking better for it. Phew!

Stu had a better birthday than we expected, not as good as I had planned because of us all not feeling 100% but he loved all of his presents, his takeaway and cake! We still have a meal out to have and are hopefully having that next week when we go and do some birthday shopping for the girls. I have got their main presents but still need a few extra bits.

I have told the girls that they better get thinking about what they want to do on their birthdays as I have no idea. Ellie's is on a bank holiday which limits what we can do as the buses are rubbish here using their Sunday service and Becky's is on a Saturday which is great especially since Stu has the day off work.

I hope you have all had a good week?

Word of the Week linky

Thursday 18 August 2022

The biggest challenges parents face during the summer holidays.

We're halfway through the summer holidays. I think we are anyway, I seem to have lost track with losing a week to Covid. A study of 1,000 mums and dads of school aged children found two thirds struggle to find ways to occupy their youngsters during the break.

As a parent I used to feel such a huge pressure during the summer holidays, planning activities, covering the costs and keep the kids entertained. Six weeks seems such a long time. I would have loved the summer holidays to be shorter and have an extra week at Christmas and throughout the year.

Blue sky

These are the biggest challenges that parents face during the summer holidays:

The bad weather keeping them indoors.
This summer hasn't been that bad, usually we complain about the rain and what is keeping us inside is the extreme heat.

Stretching budget over the full length of the summer.
If my two had their way they would be having days out every day but our budget does not stretch that far. I try to keep it to one trip out a week either with me or with their friends. Thankfully now Becky is working she pays to amuse herself but the rule still applies to Ellie.

Trying to think of fun things to do at home.
I used to be quite good at things like this. Making things like Moon Sand, play dough, painting, baking, rainy days are great for movie days and playing board games are all fun. I did write 25 Ways to keep kids entertained this Summer with some more ideas.

Struggling to think of suitable day trips.
When my girls were younger we used to struggle with this, there was only so many times going to the park or beach would keep them happy but going further afield cost more.

Struggling to think of enough different meals to eat.
Evening meals are fine but lunches we struggle with. Sandwiches get boring and of course the kids don't want to spend time in the kitchen making something so we just usually eat picky bits out of the fridge.

Losing inspiration for activities.
I used to think up something really good to do with the kids and then they would be interested for 5 minutes and leave me thinking why do I bother or they would do something and leave all the tidying and cleaning up for me and again I would think why do I bother.

The days going slow.
This still happens, just the other day I said "how is it only 3pm". It felt like it should have been much later.

Lack of sleep.
Now my girls are teenagers we don't have this issue, it's the opposite, I struggle to get them out of bed. lol but when they were little it was a struggle. They would be up at the crack of dawn and of course didn't want to go to bed early.

All the extra laundry.
Oh yes, I don't know why but there does seem more laundry to do during the summer holidays. At least the weather has been OK so I can get it out on the line to dry.

Not having enough help with childcare.
This hasn't bothered us as I have been lucky enough to stay home but I can imagine this is such a stress for parents who work.

What is your biggest challenge during the summer holidays?