My Sunday Photo

My Sunday Photo

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The End of Term

I love this photo, so have chosen it as My Sunday Photo, as this week saw the end of another term at school.

If you look very closely, you will see a tractor working the fields as we were walking by on our way home.

It means I have the children, all four of them home with me for the week ahead, so much to do, so much to see, so much to sort and fun to be had, what the week ahead will hold, who knows, as everyday is a brand new adventure.

I have to say I love that we are lucky enough to live in the countryside, a friend from Spain who came to visit, has said just how beautiful our country is, it is so very green, and indeed it is, we have rolling hills, known as the Downs and you can see for miles and miles, farm land, the odd house, cottage and even village and town around, sometimes it takes someone else commentating to remind us of how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful area.

We live within easy distance of The Downs, The Chiltern Hills and The Vale of white horse, so many areas of outstanding natural beauty.

Joining in with this weeks My Sunday Photo by photalife

Photalife

Mongewell

W. Blake Atkinson

There’s a quiet place where I often go
When the sun is in the west,
And the evening breezes, as they blow
O’er the trees above and the lake below,
Seem sighing themselves to rest;

Where under the bank beneath the feet
There lies a hidden well;
Where the hanging boughs the waters meet,
And the moor-hen finds a safe retreat,
And the white swan loves to dwell.

For there have I heard the cuckoo’s call,
And the lay of the nightingale,
The cooing of doves in the tree-tops tall,
And the distant sound of the waterfall
Come creeping up the vale.

And in the far-off haze I have seen
The slopes of the circling hill,
And, the arching boughs of the trees between,
The broad expanse of the meadows green
Lie peacefully and still.

I have seen the water smooth as glass,
Or the ripples o’er it fleet,
When the winds that move it as they pass
Bear the scent of dew-besprinkled grass
And the odour of flowers sweet.

I have watched the shades of twilight glide
Over the peaceful scene,
Till the stars stole forth on the heavens wide,
And the moonbeams fell on the tranquil tide
In floods of silver sheen.

O, there is no vale that ever I knew
That has such charms for me,
Where the earth assumes a brighter hue,
And the sky seems tinged with a deeper blue,
And the flowers more fair to see.

And still contented shall be my lot,
Whether I laugh or weep,
If, the busy cares of the world forgot,
I may visit that sweet, secluded spot,
Where the woods and waters sleep.

 

The Mummy Tag – Getting to know me

I have been tagged for ‘The Mummy Tag’ by the lovely Laura from Dear Bear and Beany – Thank you!

  1. Are you a Stay at Home Mum or a Working Mum?

I am a part time working Mummy to four mess monsters, I have Max 12, Isabella 8, Anna 7 & Edward 5. I work part time to fit around the children and school times, currently I am self employed, offering domestic services to my local community.

familyselfie

 

2. Would you have it any other way?

I would be lying if I said no, yes I might change things, I would love to go to work and come home at the end of the day, often though I have work at home and from home and I would change that if I could, as sometimes I would like to be home and switch off, not see there is still a lot of work to get through. In time as the children grow older, I am sure it will become easier and I will not be needed so much.

3. Do you co-sleep?

Yes, much to everyone’s surprise I am sure. Having four children and being on my own with them, I found it much easier for my youngest to share my bed, it means I get some sleep. Even though Edward has turned 5, and that was my cut off point, he has a lovely new bed, but still he prefers to sleep in mine, he will always find me in the middle of the night, if he falls asleep elsewhere. I look at it as, when he is a teenager, he will not want to be sharing a bed with his old mum. My girls too sometimes have bad dreams or just need a cuddle in bed and end up staying, so it can be a bit cramped.

#kidsofig #sleeping #son going to bonfire fireworks in an hour he needs to wake up bless him #kidsofinstagram
#kidsofig #sleeping #son

4. What is your one must-have item for your baby?

Now it is a Trampoline, it covers all ages, yes even I have been known to enjoy a bounce. When they were babies then it has to be muslin squares, multi uses for one piece of cloth, I used them when out and about to lay baby on, to change nappies on and to clean the babies up, in fact I still use them around my home now, even though my youngest is 5, but they work well as spillage mops or wiping the sides dry after washing them.

5. How many kids do you plan on having?

My family is complete, I am very lucky in that I was blessed with 4 children.

6. Date nights? How often do you have them?

Gosh, what are those? Seriously as I am not in a relationship, I guess I do not have them, but I do sometimes get out for a ‘Mummy break away’ an evening out with my sister or friends, not often, so when I do it is very special to me.

Got to #love the #filter on #snapchat
Got to #love the #filter on #snapchat

7. Your child’s favourite show?

Paw Patrol is Edward’s,

Anna loves Green Rider,

Isabella enjoys any crafting programs, like Mr Maker.

Max enjoys the James Bond films now he is older and we all like Harry Potter

8. Name one thing you bought before you had the baby and never ended up using?

A top and tail bowl

9. Your child’s favourite food?

Edward likes Pizza,

Anna loves cereals, seriously she would eat is morning, noon and night,

Isabella likes Spagetti bolognese with garlic bread,

Max likes chicken noodles, I kid you not, he has always loved them.

10. How many cars does your family have?

One, a great big people carrier

11. Weight gain, before pregnancy, during, after and now?

With my first baby I put on about 1 stone, then consequently got bigger with each child, I am still struggling to get the weight down even now 5 years later.

12. Dream holiday with your kids?

It would have to be Disney Land, be it Paris or in the USA.

13. Dream holiday without your kids?

Seychelles

14. How has your life changed since having kids?

My world revolves around my children so much, that it has totally changed, I come last and they must come first.

15. Finish the sentence “It makes my heart melt when…”

When at bedtime they still want a kiss and cuddle good night (sadly my 12yr old does not do this anymore)

16. Where do you shop for your kids?

I shop in a variety of places, Next is a favourite as seems to fit well, Jacadi, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Tesco, John Lewis, Debenhams and Primark

17. Favourite make-up and skincare products?

Vaseline for moisturiser, I will one day learn more about make-up but at 45 have rarely worn any

18. Huggies or Pampers?

Pampers, but then switched to Aldi a Winning brand half the price of the other two and never leaked.

19. Have you always wanted kids?

Yes

20. Best part of being a mum?

Having someone to love, spoil, adore and know that somehow, by some miracle they are mine.

September 2015 081

I am tagging these lovely mummies…

Mummy and the Chunks

Joanna Victoria

Adventures in Websterland

sonotluxe

I look forward to reading your responses ladies…

Teenage Turtles Puzzle review

We were asked if we would like to try the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Puzzle

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Having a 5 year old son Edward who loves everything TMNT, we said yes we would be happy to test it out.

On opening the box, all four different puzzles and there different sized pieces were all mixed together.

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I tried to sort out as best I could into four piles, so Edward could start putting them together.

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Soon Edward was joined by his sister Anna, who wanted to help make the puzzles too, Anna is very keen on watching the Movie with the TMNT in, so Edward said she could help by doing just one of the puzzles and that he would do the rest by himself.

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Edward managed the first one very well, as they got slightly more difficult, it challenged him, he got frustrated, yet was determined to complete it, I did have to whisper hints, like try turning a piece around, but I was one very proud Mummy when finally they were all completed, without me touching any of the pieces or doing it for them.

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The look on Edward’s face when they were all complete, was just a magical moment, I could tell he was so very happy and proud of himself. just as I was of him.

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Edward is looking forward to coming home after school today and having another go.

If you like the look of this puzzle, then you can find it on Amazon. TMNT Puzzle by Ravensburger-Teenage-Turtles-Puzzles

I personally think this is a great idea for rainy days, for quiet times, also as a gift for another child. The fact that it is characters Edward loves, made him enjoy doing this puzzle, if it had been just a picture of something like animals, Edward would perhaps not of been so eager to complete the puzzle.

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Top Tips for using the puzzles

  • Open The puzzle before you give it to your child
  • Sort out which pieces go with which picture and on the back put numbers to make it easier to identify the pieces.

 

 

 

We were sent this puzzle to review, but we give our honest opinions and in our own words talk about this puzzle.

 

 

Competition £20 Amazon Voucher

Competition to Win a £20 Amazon Voucher

Who would like to Win this Competition of a £20 Amazon Voucher?

I thought as it is Friday, well as I am typing this it is, then let us have a celebration of the weekend.

I have a busy weekend coming up, running around after my four mess monsters, but this evening I still have work to finish.

If I could choose to do something different, it would be catching a flight to a lovely destination, perhaps to Paris for the weekend, or to Prague as I have never been there. I would have my bags packed lightly and someone else would be minding my children, I would enjoy sipping a cool refreshing drink, perhaps a Pimms, or a glass of Prosecco. the hotel would be luxurious and the food devine, also a friend along to share the experience would be the icing on the cake.

To enter this Competition, let me know where and what you would like to be doing for a weekend.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy weekend

Competition ends 5th June 2016

She Walks in Beauty

By Lord George Byron

She walks in Beauty, like the night 
Of cloudless climes and starry skies; 
And all that's best of dark and bright 
Meet in her aspect and her eyes: 
Thus mellowed to that tender light 
Which Heaven to gaudy day denies.
 

One shade the more, one ray the less, 
Had half impaired the nameless grace 
Which waves in every raven tress, 
Or softly lightens o'er her face; 
Where thoughts serenely sweet express, 
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.
 

And on that cheek, and o'er that brow, 
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent, 
The smiles that win, the tints that glow, 
But tell of days in goodness spent, 
A mind at peace with all below, 
A heart whose love is innocent!

by George (Lord) Byron

Harry Potter and the Opening of No.4 Privet Drive

Harry Potter and the Opening of No.4 Privet Drive

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Harry Potter, Privet Drive

 

Warner Brothers Studio Tours, very kindly sent an invitation to an exclusive preview of the opening of Harry Potter’s Aunt and Uncle’s home The Dursleys’ at, No.4 Privet Drive.

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Privet Drive, Studio Tour, Harry Potter

Warner Brother Studio’s tour are opening up No.4 Privet Drive for a limited time only, Friday 27th May until Monday 6th June, especially for the Studio Tour’s celebrations of the anniversary of the First Harry Potter film being released, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, in 2001

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I had heard from friends who have been lucky enough to visit The Warner Brother Studio Tours before, how amazing it was, so as a total newbie, I was nervous and yet so very excited to be attending the grand opening, getting to see so much from the making of the Harry Potter films, which my family and I have really enjoyed watching.

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As we drove into the entrance of Warner Brother Studios Leavesden, Studio Tour Drive, my heart started to race, seeing the signs, then the building as we got closer, I couldn’t believe very shortly I would be seeing so much from the making of Harry Potter. I did not go alone, but took my son Max 12, my Niece Amy, who very kindly did the driving and my lovely nephew Morgan aged 9, who is a huge fan of Harry Potter

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Warner Brothers Studio Tour Harry Potter

On entering the building, we were shown to a waiting area, where we were offered lots of different drinks, as I was not driving, I enjoyed some prosecco, then we were offered some rather mystical looking drinks, for the boys, they enjoyed apple and orange juice, Amy too. Liquid nitrogen sticks, were placed in individual drinks, to give it the effervescent look.

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Then we were shown through a room, and we all piled into a kind of cinema room, where we were delighted to be shown all of the Harry Potter movies in a matter of minutes, it really helped to bring to life and back to our memories, what we were about to experience.

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These giant doors opened after the showing, and the tour began, we seemed to go straight into Hogwarts’ Great Hall, all laid out ready for the pupils of Hogwarts to appear it seemed, the magic was starting…

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Harry Potter Sorting Hat

I could describe in detail so much, but then it might ruin your chance of enjoying it all, I will say it was wonderful to see up close the sorting hat, if only we could of all had a go and found out which house we belonged in, though Max decided he was Slithering, Morgan was Griffindor and I love the name Hufflepuff.

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Harry Potter dormitory

We could see so many rooms, artifacts and objects, all belonging in one movie/ book or another in the Harry Potter series. It truly was amazing to see the detail that had gone into everything, including the huge statues and down to the tiniest things, like the amazing golden snitch. The costumes were set out, that you could just imagine the character that belonged in them.

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Harry Potter no.4 Privet Drive opening

We were struck by the wonderful Steam Train, the Hogwarts express, it was amazing and beautiful in all it’s glory, we were even allowed to walk inside it. Then after seeing so much, we ended up in a the Backlot Cafe, where we were able to try Butterbeer and the new Butterbeer ice-cream, my goodness it was so creamy and delicious, I would heartedley recommend trying the Butterbeer ice-cream, it is being served in only four places around the world we were told. The great thing about the ice-cream is, you are able to keep the container, so do not forget to pop it in your bag as a souvenir of your visit. We were also given wonderful canapes to enjoy, with some rather delicious cocktails too.

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Hogwarts Express Harry Potter

As were were busy sampling and enjoying all the edible and liquid refreshments on offer, there was a hush about the room, the time had arrived that the Grand Opening of No.4 Privet Drive was about to happen, to our delight there was indeed a very special guest to open the home, who other than the lady of the house Petunia Dursley, or rather the enchanting actress who played the part Fiona Shaw. How lucky were we to be part of this special occasion.

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Once the formality of Fiona Shaw opening the house, we were able to go through the home, and walk in the hallway and peek into the lounge, where it all began, with Harry Potter being inundated with so many letters inviting him to Hogwarts School.

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We were also shown on another area, just how the letters shot through the letterbox, and if you go and visit, then you will get the opportunity to experience it for yourselves, and even get to take home and keep a momento letter that shoots through the letter box. We did not get this opportunity, due to them using some of the original letters, as was used in the film.

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Just before the house no.4 Privet Drive, we saw the amazing triple decker bus known as the Knight Bus, it was huge and imposing, I could just picture it zooming us off in it.

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There is so much to see and do, my guests and I had an amazing time, it is a tour that you could go on again and again, discovering something new each time, now I totally understand friends that have been more than once or twice, as it goes just so quickly the time, I would of loved to of spent more time exploring and discovering, I mean did I mention we walked down Diagon Alley, also at the very end is the gift shop, so much to choose from, so many items to purchase and take home to enjoy, including the chocolate Frog the children of the film seem to thoroughly enjoy.

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no.4 Privet Drive Harry Potter

We had an amazing time, thanks so much go to WBStudioTour for inviting us.

If you would like to visit The Warner Brother Studio Tour, then follow this link to learn more and purchase tickets

wbstudiotour Tickets

Butter Beer ice cream
Butter Beer Ice-cream

Top Tips for your visit –

  • take your time going round, as you can only go forward, not backward to look at it all
  • keep your ice-cream container if you enjoy Butterbeer ice-cream
  • look out for the letters whizzing through the letterbox, you will be able to take one and keep it
  • take lots of money, a wand costs £25, chocolate frog £9.95
  • photographs cost £14 for the first one, then any others half price, so if with friends share in one group, to help reduce costs
  • Video’s of your flying lessons, cost about £25 but last for such a short time

 

Dear Pain, get lost…..

Dear Pain, Get Lost…

I know I am so lucky, I count my blessings often.

But, here is the thing, it is totally minor compared to so many, I know I should not voice it, I hate to complain, but today, I have had enough!

If you do not like a moaner, then turn off NOW, as I am going to let lose and document my journey so far.

Last year I went through a few weeks of being totally, mind blowingly exhausted, as a Mum I have always on and off been tired, but this was extreme, there is one word to describe it fatigue.

I struggled to move much, I fell asleep at the drop of a hat, collecting the children from school I would be so tired, that on getting in I would fall asleep sat up on the sofa and sleep like that so easily too. I was also needing a nap before collecting the children, it was the oddest feeling being so completely lack luster, having no energy, it made me realise how others suffered with fatigue, I mean I still had to continue, to try to work, that was very hard, to carry on caring for my children, feeding them, collecting and dropping them off, I was worried, so off to the doctors I went.

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My Doctor is lovely, she was so understanding, at first listening to my woes, she wondered if I had fibromyalgia, I was sent for lots of tests, my inflammatory markers were up, I realised I had a tooth that was also playing up, so I booked straight away the dentist to get it sorted, by actually having it removed, I was that desperate to feel better, I wondered if the abscess was poisoning my system, maybe clutching at straws, but do you know something, after the tooth was removed, I started to feel better, but not 100%  good news no more falling asleep at the drop of a hat. I had to go back for repeat blood tests, though I felt better, my inflammatory markers kept rising.

I was having an aching shoulders, neck and upper back, so I let the doctor know, then I realised my upper body just had no strength, I put it down to getting older, but actually 45 is not that old, and why would I suddenly lose the strength I had previously had. I also mentioned my arms started shaking if I held a weight for any time, my left arm worse than my right, but not good, so I was sent for a chest X-ray, luckily all came back clear. But still my markers were not coming down, so my Doctor decided to send my to a rheumotologist, who has also done lots of blood tests and on Monday this week I went for a MRI, never been for one before, was a very weird experience.

MRI van

MRI is a scan for the whole body, it is a confined tubular space, I luckily read a little about others experiences before I went for mine, people warn you of the noise and having to stay still for so long. You do get headphones to wear to listen to music, but let me tell you, that is does not drown out all the noises, which reminded me of a old noisy tumble dryer, also some drilling type noises too, it would move my body up and down, I guess to get different pictures of my spine and pelvis I believe they took, you also got a very warm feeling, at some point I could feel my heart racing. I kept my eyes closed the whole time, I am so pleased I did, as after it was finished and I opened them, before being pulled out of the tunnel, it was incredibly white but enclosing, the top was just about above my nose.

I will get the results next week hopefully, my Doctor has said it could be one of three things, the start of Osteoarthritis in my neck, spondylitis, or digenerative tissue disorder, or maybe, here I say hopefully none of the above. she also pointed out I have a murmur, presumably of the heart, I need to question my Doctor properly about that piece of news.

I need to have physio, as have limited movements in my neck area, I hadn’t really noticed much, but knew it is a real effort to turn my neck sideways. Also dependent on if they can find a cause for my pain and stiffness will determine if I need to take any medicines.

Well today I went to the Doctors. because I am feeling so low, it is not a sharp killing type of pain, but a constant ache, in my shoulders and neck, it wakes me up sometimes, I am not sleeping well, looking at my fitbit, my average is 5.5 hours a night, sometimes 6 but rarely 7 hours sleep do I get.

Constant tiredness, lack of energy, lack of wanting to do anything right now, a kind of depression that is coming with the pain, the constant ache dragging me down. My doctor was brilliant again, went over it all and has prescribed me some anti inflammatory called Naproxen, usually I rarely take any medication, but this time, I am determined to feel better, stronger and healthier. I have also been booked in to see my doctor in 2 weeks.

I feel silly, I am not suffering terribly with this, there are so many, so much worse off than me, but I need help to feel better, for myself and to be here for my children, to be stronger, physically as well as mentally.

So time will tell, who knows what is wrong with me, but I know this time next year I want to feel so much better, with a full zest for life, in fact for the summer, not to have to wait until next year.

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To Blog or not to Blog, that is the question….

To Blog or not to Blog, that is the Question….

The answer is

Complicated!

I went away for the weekend last week, on a Bank Holiday too, without my children.

blogonmsi museum

It was AMAZING, I went all the way to Manchester for the first time ever and although I did not really get a chance to see the real city, I loved what I saw and the people were so friendly.

The reason for my weekend visit to Manchester, was to attend a Conference for Bloggers. a Blogging Conference and a very well run one too, known as  http://www.blogonconference.com/ it was trending on twitter as #blogonmsi and held in the wonderful location, of the Museum of Science and Industry http://msimanchester.org.uk/

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This weekend was going to be crunch time, time to make up my mind, to blog or not to blog.

In all honesty, I felt like I do not have time to give to my blog, I take my 5 yr old to bed and 9 times out of 10 I fall fast asleep, such a lightweight, compared to the night owl I have always been. I truly felt, this conference would be the last I would be attending, as what was the point in keep going, meeting up with some wonderful friends, making new friends, meeting people in person after feeling I know them, from reading their blogs. Let alone attending sessions, to learn, to better my knowledge, of the ever changing, fast moving world that is the blogoshpere.

I went to say ‘Goodbye, one last time’ instead, it gave me time, time to realise I need to adjust my life, finally sort my cards in order, and make time for the things in life I enjoy.

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I am a working lone parent to four, cheeky, adorable, sometimes, right royal pains in the derriere, but my mess monsters, a term I have noticed I use more and more, then this weekend, realisation struck I am the one who created these mess monsters, only I can turn it all around!

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Why did I start blogging, going back to basics and the reason it all started, some 6 years ago now, was for me to record our journey through life, to be able to look back, to document for the children, so they can see what we have been up too.

The biggest question should be, do I enjoy Blogging and the answer is YES, so why give up something that I enjoy, why not start to make time for the things I want to do, make time to continue this journey.

Thank you to Blog On I have finally come to the decision to try to sort my life, my priorities out and aim to accomplish good things, positive moves and be organised, I do believe that is going to be key, to be organised.

When in Manchester, I travelled up with a fellow blogger, the lovely AK from http://www.mybuggyjunction.co.uk/ we had previously attended another conference together, along with attending many others and meeting up.

blogonmsi AK

Laura who started http://www.blogonconference.com/ who blogs over on http://www.tiredmummyoftwo.co.uk/  arranged for a lot of us to meet up and go out for dinner.

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Well I was not sure what to expect, but she had booked us http://redhotworldbuffet.com/ in the center of Manchester and my word, it was a little taste of what ever you fancied, from Sushi to Curries, to freshly prepared pizzas, cooked fish, mini steaks, seriously it was a foodies heaven, well to me it seemed that way, loving food the way I do.

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There were ladies attending who were either very restrained, been before or just very good, but not me, no I was delighted and decided to try as much as possible, so loaded it all on my plate…..twice, then I went back for desserts and wow, it was a little taste of heaven, have I mentioned the cocktails, well now they were the icing on the cake so to speak. I heartily recommend, if you enjoy food and food from around the world, then do visit this establishment, but do not blame me if the scales go up slightly the next week.

blogonmsi cocktail

Sunday arrived all too quickly and so the conference began, there was a lot to choose from, different speakers, filling in different niches, a huge variety on offer, from photography, to hosting competitions, to Instagram and Youtube sessions, all aimed to help bloggers understand more and learn about the latest in social media influencing.

There was also many brands attending, from http://www.swizzels-matlow.com/ to http://www.hotter.com/gb/en to http://www.interplayuk.com/ to so many more, where as bloggers you can learn more about these products, the latest campaigns and the newest items coming out soon. It was not all about talking, eating, sometimes, there was an element of fun too, take a game we played to fill a suitcase or the Giant adult sized ballpool, so much fun was had.

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It really was a whirlwind of a day and again, I did not find time to attend a crafting workshop, it looked amazing.

So yes I got a lot from attending, even though it has now taken me until the end of the week to make this post, it is a post I was determined to write, for I want to continue and stop making excuses, as I am sure there are many more bloggers out there who fit it in with their busy lives.

What I have mentioned before, I am sure on another post I did about attending a blogging conference, is the goody bags, I have to say, this surpassed any previous goody bags, it was amazing, so much to try, sample, share and enjoy. I was also incredibly lucky to win on the Raffle and Tombola, which raised over £1000 for Childhood Cancer Charity.

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So Watch out for more blogging posts coming soon….

http://www.photosnack.com/SadieQuinton/blogonmsi.html click the link to see more photos of my weekend away.

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Mother’s Day 2016

Mothers Day 2016

Mother’s day came around, different date every year, same day though on a Sunday!

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Not everyone has a Mother, not everyone can become a mother, so for some this day can be just another Sunday, a day for reflection, a day for memories and a day for wishes.

Mother’s come in all shapes and sizes, they do not need to have children, they can be Mummies to fur babies and to step children, to little Angel’s, a Mother can be someone who nurtures others.

My Mother’s Day started with a coffee in bed, along with some soggy toast, I was not sure if Max was in a mood with me, wanted to make it quickly so didn’t toast it properly or doesn’t know I like my toast, well toasted, I found it was not toasted for the speed to deliver it before I got up, bless him. I put on the delighted to be woken face and really did appreciate the coffee as Max makes an excellent cup after years of practice.

The children all gave me cards, Isabella, Anna and Edward had made me cards at school, which I love, as children grow older, homemade becomes shop bought, still appreciated though. My gifts were just what I wanted/needed, I knew I would love them, as in all fairness I bought them when out shopping and let the children give them to me, a new flask, it is gorgeous and I found it when shopping in Waitrose, it is a Alan Titchmarsh design and then a candle, my love of candles has never deminished, I love candles whilst relaxing in the bath, also a new mug, how lucky am I!

Mothers day cards & gifts

I am very lucky to still have my Mother around, so we try to make the most of it, as much as it is a day for me with my four children, it is also a day to spend with my Mum, in her 70th year.

We decided to take mum out for dinner, well really it was an excuse for both of us to not have to cook and then do all the clearing up of the dishes, sadly alas, my children are still not trained to a good standard in the clean up stakes.

We went to Henley, to The Catherine Wheel, run by JD Wetherspoon

It is child friendly and affordable.

We collected my mum from her home, delivering the customary flowers, card, bag of allsorts(one of her favourite’s), a Mum plaque along with a bottle of wine.

We had a lovely meal all of us, the children had grown up meals, as I could not find a child menu but they are all growing up and so I let them choose for themselves.

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It was very busy, but was to be expected as was Mothering Sunday, I felt relaxed if my children made a noise as there were a lot of other children about, making noises, mostly happy noises too, which helps.

My children were all well behaved and ate most of their meals, so were able to order dessert, oh my goodness, it is the first time, they were defeated by chocolate pudding, it was funny to see, the portion sizes were enormous.

mothers day 2016 2 mothers day 2016 3 mothers day 2016 5

That was my Mother’s day in 2016 and it was wonderful, I spent it not only with my mum, but with the four most important people in the world to me, my gorgeous, cheeky children.

I am blessed so much to have them, Max, Isabella, Anna and Edward, they made me a Mum and the happiest Mummy in the world too, thank you and roll on future Mother’s days, where could I have a cooked breakfast in bed next please, along with orange juice, coffee and flowers, just saying!

Valentines Day, gone for another year!

Valentine’s Day

What does Valentines Day mean to me?

Love, a day for showing those we love and care about, with a little extra VavaVoom.

We went to visit my mother on Valentine’s evening, we took her some flowers, had to be done on Valentine’s day, one of her favourites too, Lillies, so fragrant and beautiful when open.

familyselfie

I also bought myself some beautiful tulips, full of colour, and promise, not sure what of, but it cheered me up, I would sometimes say that they are from my children, but nope, not this time, I bought them for me, just because I love flowers too and as I have no significant other to buy them for me, then being the independent strong female I am I purchased them.

valentines flowers

I bought my four cheeky children, a kinder egg each, as a token of my love to them, not sure my 12 year old was that impressed, but my three younger children were very happy with their token gifts, as normally I will not buy them Kinder eggs.

valentines giggles 2016

 

 

 

 

valentines telling jokes 2016

I think Valentine’s is a lovely day and whole heartedly embrace it.

What would be my dream Valentine’s Day?

If I had partner, boyfriend, then I would hope they had a little bit of romance in them, yes I have lots inside me, this tough exterior hides a squishy lovable character inside but shh.

Is it just a female thing I wonder, I hope not, I would love flowers bought, chocolates and sparkling bubbles too, maybe a pandora charm, and a meal out, if not a weekend away just the two of us.

I think I am beginning to sound like a slushy romantic novel, but as a girl who grew up reading far too many novels of the squishy, romantic kind, then I am allowed to go off into my little dream world and dream of what could be one day, nothing wrong with a little dreaming in my book.

Love, is a complicated emotion, I love my children, my family and my friends too, I also tell people I love them, I really do at times, not often, but I feel like we should be able to express ourselves and say it as it is.

Loving my new #pandora charm from my sister :)
Loving my new #pandora charm from my sister :)

National Childhood Measurement Programme, Just say NO!

Today I received an email from my children’s primary school, telling us the date about the National Childhood Measurement Programme.

I was not surprised, as knew it would be coming up, as have three older children that were put through it.

I have not hesitated to send a email straight back, informing the school that I wish to opt out for my son to be put through this, I mean I do not need a letter telling me just how perfect my child is, I already know this as his mother. I do not think they gain anything from doing this, come on we can see if certain children are a little more padded or in fact on the slender side, each child, in fact each human is unique, surely they would be better spending the time and money on those that need the help.

Why am I so frustrated by this, well my daughter was classed as OVERWEIGHT at 5yrs old, this is my daughter who is extremely tall and on the slender side, I was upset, but also found it worrying to think, some parents might just take this piece of paper and put their children on a diet, seriously it is so outdated and could in my opinion be dangerous, can you imagine a child hearing that they are over weight, or a parent telling them what the letter says, we need to build up our children’s self esteem, not knock them back and then put them on a downward spiral of self loathing, worrying about appearances and not feeling good enough, one simple word can have a devastating effect, you know saying ‘you are fat!’

Izzy school aged 5

So I say think about this seriously, do the government really need to be wasting time and money on outdated, charts, that do not represent the huge differences that make up our children.

I would personally get someone to help the select few, use the money spent on school nurses, making their presence known in schools, let them become like we used to have the nit nurses, for that is still spreading across whole age groups and now after so many rules brought into place, saying you can not touch a child’s head, you can not tell a parent your child has headlice, oh please stop with all the political mumble jumble, bring back authority, caring where it is needed and encouragement to all our children, in fact bring in lessons about healthy eating, what type of problems people can face as they grow older, through smoking, eating the wrong foods and partaking in illegal substances, educate our children do not send out ridiculous national statistical measurements!

Also Take note of all the information that they are saying that will be kept on our children’s health record, keeping personal details, it is not on!

Is the NCMP compulsory for children?

Participation in the programme is not compulsory, but non-participation is on an opt-out basis only.

http://www.hscic.gov.uk/ncmp

 

Dear Parent/Carer,

National Childhood Measuring Programme (NCMP)

Height and weight checks for children in Reception and Year 6 on 11.03.16

Every year in England, children in Reception and Year 6 have their height and weight measured as part of the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP). Your child’s class will take part in this year’s measurement programme.

The NCMP provides information to help build an understanding of national and local trends in child weight. It is important to have a good understanding of how children are growing, so that the best possible advice and support can be provided for them and their families.

The measurements will be supervised by trained school nursing staff from the School Health Nurse team at school in a private space away from other pupils. Children who take part will be measured fully clothed except for their coats and shoes. Routine data such as your child’s name, date of birth, sex, address, postcode and ethnicity will also be collected.

The data from all schools in the area will be gathered together and held securely by our local authority public health team. Please note that we may store your child’s information on their health record. No individual measurements will be given to school staff or other children, and all information will be treated confidentially.

The programme’s data are used within the local authority and NHS to help plan the provision of services and advice to support healthy weight and lifestyles in the area. The information is also submitted for national analysis and publication in a way that means individual children cannot be identified.

We will send you your child’s results within six weeks of measurement, to your home address. Please do not hesitate to contact the school health team if you have any concerns; we may also contact you to discuss your child’s results.

If you are happy for your child to be weighed and measured, you do not need to do anything. If you do not want your child to take part, please contact us as soon as possible to discuss your concerns.  with the School Health Team.

Yours faithfully

—–

The National Child Measurement Programme

Measuring height and weight in schools

Every year, throughout England, more than a million children in Reception and Year 6 have their height and weight measured as part of the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP). If your child is in Reception or Year 6, you should receive a letter with more information about the programme in your child’s school.

Trained staff will measure your child’s height and weight, in their clothes, at school. They will take care to ensure that the measurements are done sensitively and in private, and your child’s results will not be shared with teachers or other children. Your child does not have to participate, but we urge you to encourage your child to take part.

Why is it important that my child takes part?

Almost one in three children in England is overweight or obese by age 11. With so many children being overweight, an overweight child may not look different from their friends. Therefore, we tend not to notice when a child is overweight and are becoming accustomed to heavier children as the norm. That is why an objective measurement of how a child is growing is useful.

Collectively, information about children’s weight helps to build a national and local picture on how children are growing. The more children that take part, the clearer that picture will be. The information collected is used to help plan and provide better health and leisure services for the children in your area.

Will I find out my child’s result and what will the result tell me?

How you get your child’s result will depend on how the programme is run in your area. Most areas will send all parents a letter with their child’s result after the

measurement. In other areas, parents can ask for their child’s result. The letter telling you about the programme in your child’s school will advise you of this.

The result will tell you your child’s height and weight when they were measured and whether this means they are underweight, a healthy weight or overweight for their age, sex and height.

The letter will also include details for getting further advice and support to help your family lead a healthy lifestyle.

What happens to the results?

Results from all the schools in your area will be gathered together and held securely by your local public health team. Some of the information will be sent to the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC). The HSCIC collects and holds health data on behalf of the NHS and social care. This information is used to produce reports and information to assist the development of services to help families lead healthy lifestyles.

Why is a healthy weight important?

Research shows that modern living makes it more difficult to be a healthy weight. If we carry on as we are, many children may grow up with dangerous amounts of fat in their bodies, putting them at a greater risk of developing cancer, type 2 diabetes and heart disease in later life.

Because it is not easy to tell just by looking if a child is overweight, the results can help parents make decisions about their child’s lifestyle and make simple changes if necessary.

To help your child achieve and maintain a healthy weight, encourage the whole family to enjoy eating healthily and being active. Children who see their parents, grandparents and carers following a healthy and active lifestyle tend to join in and learn by example. These habits become a normal part of everyday life for the whole family.