30/09/2013

Fort We Had Fun!

Yesterday saw our Sunday start off with jobs around the house, whilst the monkeys played. It's the only day of the week Mr Monkey doesn't work, so we try and spend the day as a family, doing the things around the house that need doing, having some sort of outing and then preparing for the new week ahead.
After the jobs had been done, little monkey had a nap and I took big monkey to a classmates 6th Birthday party. It was at a local sports center where he joined in with the fun and games, which are right up his street. He had a great time and it was nice for me to spend some time alone with him, chat to the other mums and have a break from the tidying and stuff I had been doing back at home!
A quick dash home afterwards, to grab a bite to eat prepare the nights dinner then we all set off to one of our favourite parks!
It has a giant Fort in it, which the council consulted the users of the park over, adults and children alike. The construction started with a high bit, suited to older children, then earlier this year the whole thing was added to, for younger children. The monkeys love it and I'm so impressed wheelchair users can access the newest bit, as can parents with pushchairs!
I took the photo's and let daddy do the climbing with the monkeys but to be honest they manged most of it themselves! Daddy just needed to lift little monkey up onto the higher bits. The other great thing about the fort play area is that it's fenced off for safety and dogs are not allowed, which makes play so much easier in such a vast place, with two monkeys who are pretty terrified of dogs.
The monkeys loved the slides and we even had time in the cool windy Autumn afternoon visit to find and collect conkers. As you can see from the top photo, little monkey was very excited by that!
We really do have some great places for families to visit locally to us and our outing yesterday was another great way to spend some quality family time together.


Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

29/09/2013

Silent Sunday


OneDad3Girls

26/09/2013

My Room 101

Carrying on the Meme from Helen at Stickers Stars and Smiles and the tag from the lovely Kate at Family Fever. I have some pets hates, too many to name......else I might be considered a miserable old woman! But to be honest there are several things I would put into Room 101 and these 3 top the list.

Non disabled drivers who park in bays for disabled drivers
I have always worked with children with disabilities and cannot abide drivers who consider it OK to park in the parking bays for disabled badge holders, especially annoying when trying to park a mini bus or vehicle full of children who need to use the space!
Personally I could never use one myself as a non disabled driver and I don't see why others should too!

Dog owners who don't clear up their dog's poop!
Twice in two days last week I stepping in dog poo whilst doing the school run......it's disgusting! Please clean up after your dog and use the bins provided!!! How are children expected to play on grassland or walk and scoot about, if there is dog mess everywhere?
People who don't have manners!
Whilst from time to time people need reminding to have manners it is common curtiousy to say please and thank you. A prime example of when people don't do this is when you hold a door open for them or give way to them in the car. Manners cost nothing and how are we to teach our children good manners if we adults don't use them!

Now bog off into Room 101! I really would love to see the back of these 3 pet hates!

I'm tagging Fiona at Mamas Little Baby Loves, Carly at Mummy And The Chunks and Rachael at L- Plate Mummy.
Why not see what they would put into Room 101 and let me know if you too would put in there what I have!


Stickers, Stars and Smiles

24/09/2013

My 'Golden Ticket' Night out!

As you may know, I've only been blogging since the end of March this year and last Friday night I was lucky enough to attend the amazing 2013 Mad Blog Awards at the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington. 
I wasn't there as a finalist but as a 'golden ticket' winner. One of 12 people who had submitted a 'mad' photo and been chosen to attend the awards.......how cool is that? What a fab opportunity! To say I was pleased and excited is an understatement. 
I knew I had won a ticket just one week before the event, and with nothing suitable to wear I set about finding a dress to buy and getting sorted for my big night out. On the day, my good friend and hairdresser styled my hair for me and at teatime I set off on the train into the City.

On arriving, rather hot and on sore feet (from heels, I never wear heels), I was met by friendly bloggers, who said hello and made me feel welcome. One of them, Lucy from Capture By Lucy went on to win in her category. 
During the drinks reception I met Fiona from Coombe Mill, spoke to Kip from Kiphakes, said hello to the lovely girls from My Two Mums and had my photo taken with the evenings compare and presenter Dr Ranj from Cbeebies 'Get Well Soon'.
Then it was time to be seated for the silver service meal, and what a meal it was! The food was delicious, wine plentiful and company exceptional. I was honoured and privileged to be sat at the same table as Jennie from Edspire (whom I had chatted to online a fair amount but not met). She is an inspiration and I was so pleased to be there to see her win her award for Outstanding Blogger. I don't think there was a dry eye in the house!
Sat on my right was the very sweet Emma from Crazy with Twins, who won Best Baby Blog. I also met, (and happened to be sat next to another golden ticket winner) Steph from Steph's Two Girls.
Everyone was friendly, delighted to be there and so happy for the finalists and winners!
After the awards the After Party started with Mr Mozzarella from Just Eat, one of the sponsors. He was mad and rather entertaining! There was a Surf Board simulator (which I did not have a go on!) and of course music and more alcohol, but sadly I didn't stay late into the night as I had to get back across London and home to Essex, to be up early the next day for the monkeys.

I'd like to say a huge well done to all the winners and a huge thank you to Sally from Tots100 and The Mad Blog Awards for the opportunity to attend such an fabulous occasion. Also thanks to Parentdish who helped to make the whole awards happen.
I really hope I get to meet some of the amazing bloggers again and wish them every success. You can see the full list of winners here.


Post Comment Love

23/09/2013

A Good Week for #Magic Moments

Last week was full of Magic Moments for us! Big Monkey continued to do well at school and got his spellings right for the 2nd week in a row, insisting on doing them in joined up writing too. Well done monkey, what a superstar.
Little monkey has settled into Preschool so much better now that he has done six sessions. He relies less on his dummy and taggie blanket (which I had hoped to keep hidden for emergencies in his rucksack), whilst there and is spreading his wings, doing more and more different activities there. There were no tears at all on Friday......I'm so proud of him!
I went to London twice and had a fab time both times. Wednesday evening saw me attending a Kiddicare blogger Focus group in a posh hotel in Victoria and on Friday night I was honoured to win a ticket to the MADs and privileged to be amongst some wonderful, inspirational bloggers. More to follow on the awards.

And Daddy enjoyed continuing on with his #Septfest challenge to do daily press ups, increasing with one per day throughout the whole of September. He is he up to 56 today and 1081 for the month so far!

I wonder if this will be such a good week for us?!



21/09/2013

Making The Most Of The Last Of The Summer Sun!

Last Sunday morning was so nice I decided to take the monkeys out for a while, something I tend not to do when I'm off to work in the afternoon, but Daddy was working for a while and the weather was too good to stay indoors!
We headed to Maldon as there is lots to entertain the monkeys there. It's one of our favourite places to visit, locally. The monkeys played in the park to begin with, and little monkey decided a little lie down at the bottom of the slide was called for after each go. It was quite amusing to watch!
After the park, we headed down to the River front for a wander alone by the boats. The tide was out but with the sun shining I managed to get some pretty cool photo's.
Finally, after having an ice cream the monkeys went onto the galleon and played for a while. Little monkey is a bit small for it really but he insisted on having a go, helped by me and his big brother!! Just as we were heading back to the car we caught sight of a man on a penny farthing but alas, I did not manage to get a photo of him. The monkeys thought it was fascinating to watch though. The clouds also started to blow over, so our whistle stop there was well timed.
Where is your favourite place to visit?
  Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

14/09/2013

Monkey Trouble

I really did not know what we had let ourselves in for when we decided to have children! Silly, I know as I've always worked with children....but when you have a baby of your own and they start growing up, there are no warnings about how tough things can be at times!!
We have those times! Little monkey is now 2 years and 7 months old and once he turned 1, he was generally a troublesome tot, who then settled for a while. Big monkey, on the other hand was a little love until way after he turned 2 and we didn't then, ever have any real trouble until after he turned 4. Boy has that changed now! He is 5 years and 4 months old and acts like a teenager.
We have attitude, back chat, he lashes out, shouts and screams and generally insists on getting his own way a lot of the time! Only at home though!....He is an angel in school and largely everywhere else we go! 
So, where did we go wrong? And what have we done to deserve such a terror at times?!
As the saying goes....'when he's good, he's very good and when he's bad'........
He is loving, bright, caring towards others, active, into sports, and keen to learn but it seems at home with us, he thinks he knows best, is lord of the manner and can do what he pleases! He seems to have little or no respect for us.

Is this normal?

How long will it last?!

I'm really hoping that we will soon start to see a change in his behaviour at home, (which inccidently started well into foundation stage at school). However, I'm now seeking help, support and advice from school, as we are really struggling. Little monkey is beginning to copy his behaviour and I can't and won't have that!

Please tell me, we are not alone in this, and big monkeys behaviour is not uncommon! Surely it's just a phase???

13/09/2013

I'm going to The #MADS :)

MAD Blog Awards
Just sitting here minding my own business when I get a notification from a friend on Facebook that I've won a Golden Ticket to the #MADBlogawards!! To say I'm excited and stunned is an understatement!! Scared also, who will I know? what will I wear? Eek.........how awesome is this!

Little me who has only been blogging since March is going to the awards! I'm really looking forward to meeting some great bloggers, and new friends, inspirational people who deserve their nominations and a fab night out to celebrate. Good luck to them all! 

Watch this space for all the details after my big night out and please do say hello to the 40 something, goggled eyed, short one if you are there also! ;-)
Why not let me know below if you are going!

10/09/2013

Eco2life Cleaning Products-Review & Givaway

Eco2life cleaning products are made in the UK and proven to perform. They are "21st century products with a 21st century eco-conscience. Four household cleaning products each specially formulated from naturally derived, eco-friendly ingredients to deliver high class cleaning performance…but with a smaller carbon footprint."
Containing no nasty parabens, petroleum solvents, and chlorine free, I was interested to see just how well their products perform so put them to the test!

We were sent a kit to try out for review purposes. 
The kit we received includes: One of each 500ml REUSABLE spray bottle of the eco2life multi-surface cleaner, bath and shower cleaner, glass cleaner and floor cleaner. 
One of each 50ml REFILLS.

The refills are used mixed with cold tap water in the spray bottles, following the simple instructions on the bottle and then you're ready to go! I used all four products for general cleaning and to clean our family bathroom. They all smell quite sweet and left the room smelling clean and fresh after I had finished. The bathroom was left very clean and it took no effort at all to do the room. You just spray and wipe! I'm really pleased with the results!
The refill bottles are all you need to buy to replace what you've used. Just add water to the spray bottle, so much easier than carrying home large hazardous cleaning products from the supermarket! They are all available to buy on the website.

Eco2life can also be found on Twitter and Facebook.

So that our readers can try Eco2life too we have a great giveaway to win a set. 

The prize comprises of a Special Eco2life cleaning box, containing 
One of each 500ml REUSABLE spray bottle of the eco2life multi-surface, bathroom, glass and floor eco friendly high performance cleaning products.

Two of each 50ml REFILLS, one to get your started and the other to keep you green cleaning.


Four different colour high quality micro-fibre cloths.

Everything you need to get you eco cleaning.

Eco2life - the brilliantly simple refill system
All you have to do to enter to win this fab prize, is complete the Rafflecopter form below. Open to UK residents only.
'Open to UK only. The blog owner will choose the winner through the rafflecopter form (which uses random.org) Competition ends on 18/09/13 at Midnight. The winner will be notified by email and displayed on the widget. The winner will then have 10 days to claim their prize. If the winner hasn't claimed their prize after 10 days another winner will be drawn.'
Good Luck!
  a Rafflecopter giveaway

09/09/2013

Usquibble-Review

U what? I here you ask! "Kids supporting kids" 
Usquibble is a new company that sell 100% certified organic cotton tee shirts, using designs by kids with water based inks. They donate at least 25% of the profits from the sale of each tee to less fortunate children, working with charities such as that below. The idea is that children design the tee shirts and help other children with the sale proceeds! How cool is that?!
We were recently asked if we would like to review a tee or two and Usquibble asked for the monkey's names and ages. They have tee's fitting children aged 3-8yrs. So I decided to ask big monkey if he would like one and we asked Usquibble to choose one for us.
A short while later a package addressed to big monkey arrived through the door and he was very keen to get it open and take a look! I have to say, I was immediately impressed. The eco friendly packaging was personalised to monkey and very well gift wrappedwith a hand written note to him and gift tag, also with his name on. I think he felt very special opening it.
The shirt we received was a great choice for a five year old monkey! A green 'Go Green' one. The size (aged 5) is a perfect fit on him. It is of very good quality and washed and ironed well. Big monkey has put it through it's paces doing his various Olympic champion poses in it, as you can see!
He seems to like it a lot and I have to say, he is fussy! Now, one of the other aspects of Usquibble is that they encourage the kids to design a tee using the tee shirt template enclosed in the box, and hold regular contests where people can vote for the best design that will then be sold online and in their other selected retail outlets.....a very cool idea that I know big monkey would like to get involved in, as he loves drawing. We've not yet designed a tee but it's on the list of things to do. You can get involved in this on their website.
In conclusion I have to say I'm very impressed with Usquibble, the personal touch and quality of garment is fabulous. I know big monkey will get lots of wear out of his tee and he gives it the thumbs up too! 
If you would like to find out more, design a tee or purchase one do take a look at their twitter account and facebook page.

*We were sent a tee for review purposes. All opinions and thoughts are my own*

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