30/01/2016

Project 366 - Week 4

I've some exciting news this week! I've gone and got myself another job and start next week. I'm delighted as only thought about getting something else the week last week! It was my first interview in 10yrs too. 
It's a pretty awesome week all round as little monkey turns 5 yrs old this weekend, so we've a party planned and of course he cannot wait. It's nice to have his birthday to look forward to in January! 
Here's our week 4.
Day 24. My gorgeous handsome monkeys all set for an evening meal out.
Day 25. Lunch care of hubby.....build up bagel after a tough boxing class.
Day 26. Brunch with the girls at the local premier Inn!
Day 27. How can these daffodils already be in bloom?!
Day 28. At A Next Lingerie event at Bluewater.....mmm cake!
Day 29. I guinea pig hiding but the other two keen to feed.
Day 30. A friend made these cakes for little monkey! Aren't they cool!

Winter months are so much better when there are things to look forward to! How has your week been?!  
TheBoyandMe's 366 Linky



29/01/2016

Fun For The Family At Brewers Fayre

Brewers Fayre, the family favourite pub restaurant, is celebrating February Half Term with great value dishes and a range of activities to keep every member of the family thoroughly entertained!
Brewers Fayre will be offering value and fun over the February Half Term period so that there's smiles all round. Mum and Dad can enjoy a well deserved rest while the little ones tire themselves out on a soft play adventure at one of their Play at Brewers Fayre* sites, the recently refurbished Beano themed soft play areas. 
When they do arrive back at the table, watch them get creative, solving puzzles and colouring characters, with the special half term Beano activity sheets. If that wasn't enough to ensure happy campers, each child will leave with a Beano balloon. 
For extra entertainment during Half Term, Brewers Fayre will be featuring fun discos on both Friday 19th and Saturday 20th February at selected Brewers Fayres. The Toddlers disco will run from 9.30am – 3pm while the Kids will run from 3.30- 7.30pm at a cost of £3 per child.* 
When it comes to value, Brewers Fayre is hard to beat. The daytime value offer runs from 12 - 6pm Monday to Friday and means guests can enjoy two starters for £2.50, two mains for just £10.99* and two desserts for £2.50, so eating out doesn't have to be limited to special occasions.

As variety is the spice of life, at Brewers Fayre you can enjoy a different feast every night of the week from 5- 8pm at the Chef's Counter. Kids and adults alike love Pizza Parlour on a Monday or Burgers & Hotdogs on a Wednesday. For something with a bit more spice, why not take a trip around the world with a visit to Viva Mexico on Tuesday or Curry Night on a Thursday.


We recently visited on a Sunday evening which pleased big monkey no end as he loves a roast! He chose a children's roast carvery from the Chef Counter for £4.49 and even went back for more!
The monkeys enjoyed playing in the soft play whilst waiting for their food, whilst hubby and I chatted. It was nice and relaxed and our food was tasty and very reasonably priced. Hubby went for his favourite giant yorkshire with sausages and mash! 

Why not pop along during the holidays. Fun, inexpensive and a great way to keep the family happy. Win win for everyone!

*We were gifted a code for dining up to the value of £50 for the purpose of this post.




 

25/01/2016

Qualifications vs Experience: What Social Care Recruiters are Looking for

Having been to college to gain a Preliminary Social Care qualification and then two Level 3 NVQ's in Caring for Children & Young people. As well as having over 25yrs of experience working in Social Care I agree working in social care is one of the most rewarding careers you can go into. Every day brings a different challenge and you can revel in the fact that you are making a real difference in the lives of children, families and vulnerable groups. Completing your qualifications and training is a cause for celebration as you edge one step closer to your first job. When newly qualified, however, many social work professionals express real concern that they have lots of qualifications but little or no concrete experience to call upon when applying for social work jobs. Others would love to work in the field but don't have the formal exams or can't afford to put themselves through a 3-year degree course. Here's a guide to what social care recruiters are really looking for from potential applicants.

Work experience counts!

If you've completed a social work degree you will have had to have some work experience before being accepted onto the course. You may not think that work experience counts for anything, but it really is a great way to gain a thorough understanding of the field of social work. Relevant experience could include volunteering at a youth group or food bank, helping out at a local special needs school or doing a stint for a telephone advice service such as Crisis or Childline. Do bring this experience up in interviews and on your application form and try if you can to link it into answers. If you are asked the question, "how did you solve a problem in a social care setting?", for instance, you may not have had a formal job but you can certainly talk about how you resolved an issue when you were volunteering. For more details about the importance of relevant work experience, have a look at this Target Jobs article:
Formal qualifications not always necessary.

To work as a social worker in the UK you will need to complete a degree in the subject, however there are many social care jobs for which formal qualifications are not necessarily required. Working as a social worker assistant, for instance, is a job where employers will look more closely at experience than how many exams you passed. You will need to be adaptable and practical, as well as have empathy and plenty of understanding. Supporting the professional team, working as a social worker assistant is a rewarding job where your personality can shine through. The National Careers Service has more details on their website.


Working as a care assistant is another job where you can make a real difference to people's lives without having formal qualifications. Your work could range from helping the elderly to dress and wash to supporting a child with physical difficulties at school. A friendly manner and a great deal of understanding is required. For more details, click on the National Careers Service care assistant page here.

Photo creidt: National careers service
I love what I do on the whole, working with children and young people with disabilities....it's what I've always done! An often difficult job that many enjoy with lots of highs and lows. I went into it with my eyes open and have never looked back.



Collaborative post
 


24/01/2016

Cardoo Cards - Giveaway

With little monkeys 5th Birthday right around the corner I thought now would be a great time to introduce Cardooo cards.
 
Cardooo are a new card company specifically designed to keep kids entertained! Each card contains a mini activity book featuring games, puzzles, stickers, colouring in and more.
 
Cardooo are fun-filled and funky activity cards that kids will love – they even fold out into beautiful pull out scenes to decorate with stickers.
 
Not only do the activities mean that Cardooo cards can be enjoyed for longer than a traditional birthday card, but they make them ideal for entertaining kids on the go or on rainy days.

Cardooo are due to extend their available ranges soon and will be offering these gorgeous fairytale story cards. These cards have been purposely designed to help children with their literacy skills and provide a novel way of introducing youngsters to traditional children’s stories.
 GIVEAWAY
To celebrate the new extended range available soon I'm giving one reader the opportunity to win a bundle of 10 Cardooo cards (worth £30), just like these below! Just complete the rafflecopter form before Midnight Feb 8th 2016. T&C's apply. Open to UK residents only. Good Luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Win prizes with theprizefinder.com


SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky

My Sunday Photo #3

OneDad3Girls





23/01/2016

Project 366 #3

This week I've been nursing a poorly foot which means I missed a whole week of exercise! Not ideal but hey ho! The weather has been mixed and I've been working so my photo's are not particularly exciting I'm afraid! 
Day 17. We took the monkeys for a stroll and hot chocolate Sunday afternoon.
Day 18. Hubby made me an open omlette for lunch.
Day 19. A pre-bruch with girlfriends selfie!
Day 20. New trainers sent for a blog post....I didn't loose my feet all day!
Day 21. Big monkey is delighted he solved his rubix snake! Proud mummy.
Day 22. What a stunning sunset sky!
Day 23. Ha ha, Daddy was roped into having his photo taken for a new toy review as the monkeys wouldn't play ball!

How has your week been? Only a week left of January. How can that be?! It's like Christmas never happened.

TheBoyandMe's 366 Linky





20/01/2016

Time to Think Holidays!

As soon as Christmas is over many of us turn to thinking about booking holidays, and of course, the travel companies advertise galore! This got me thinking about the ideal holiday for us all as a family. We have actually booked a UK based holiday for this summer (which we booked last year) but one day we want to take the monkeys abroad. I think Spain would be one of my first choice destinations for their first holiday overseas! 
It's not too far away, the weather is generally better than in the UK but not too hot. None of us have ever been there before and it's somewhere I've always wanted to go! I've had a taste or two of traditional Spanish food and it's delicious. Another great reason to holiday there! I'd actually love to learn Spanish but don't have the confidence to do so! So, with the right accommodation, facilities, weather and of course the company, Spain sounds like the perfect place for us.
Holiday Villages sound just perfect for us! Free Kids places, outdoor activities, theme days, all-inclusive holidays, evening entertainment, kids clubs and more. Everything to suit everyone in the family! I found the video above which shows just some of the things on offer at a holiday village such as those in Spain.
photo credit:first choice holidays
Everything is on site and there's so much to keep the kids occupied (including the big kids!) I'm thinking a week would be the right length for us to start with then maybe in the future year we could go for longer. 10 days maybe?

Of course having a football mad big monkey he would love to visit The Nou Camp stadium, Barcelona and Barcelona is somewhere I've also wanted to visit for sometime. I've heard great things about the architecture and shopping, so this would be a great place to factor a visit to when planning a holiday in Spain

Where would you recommend in Spain? Ideal time to go? Must go places to visit? I'd love to hear. We must get the monkeys passports and then we'll be one step closer to planning a great first family holiday abroad.


19/01/2016

Funding A New Car!

Looking to buy a new car, how would you fund it?

We were fortunate enough to pay cash for our last car but over 9yrs down the line we've had to replace it and of course we had to weigh up our buying options. 
 
Stoneacre finance have a great infographic 'on the road to good credit'. Lets face it unless you are very well off or indeed have a company car most of us need credit of some description to get a new car. Its a big purchase and one that needs some planning before taking the plunge!
The graphic above shows the simple steps you can follow to ensure you have a good credit rating for when applying for car finance. It suggests things you can do to help. Like not moving house too often or changing jobs frequently. Never miss a payment and never use pay day loans! Hopefully if you follow these simple idea's along with all of those above, when it comes to getting finance for a new car, you'll be well on your way to getting those new wheels before you know it! Exciting hey. 

We love our new car and are delighted we took the time to research our options before taking on the challenge of finding the right car for us. 

Collaborative post.

 

18/01/2016

Taken back to the best day!

My Wedding Day over 8yrs ago. One of THE best ever days of my life! I cried the day after as I was so sad the day was over and I wanted to do it all again! I really would not have changed a single thing! Ever since I've dreamt of wearing my gorgeous Wedding dress again and fitting into it even! I soon fell pregnant with big monkey after our honeymoon and until now I assumed the dress wouldn't fit. I'd been thinking of getting it down from it's box and trying it on but something held me back. Worry that it still wouldn't fit I suppose.
Yesterday I took the plunge! I asked Hubby to get the box down from the top of the wardrobe and excitedly opened the dress box I'd bought and had it wrapped into after it had been cleaned.
As soon as I saw my dress I was transported back to our big day. It's still so beautiful. Completely different to the style of dress I thought I wanted but when I tried it on in the bridal stop during a personal appointment I just knew it was THE ONE. Much like I knew Hubby was THE ONE! It made me feel like a million dollars and still does.
So, taking the plunge last night I took the dress out of its box, admired how gorgeous it still is and climbed into it. Hubby did it up and I asked him to take these photo's. I really didn't want to take it off again....so for a while I didn't! I sat (carefully) on the sofa watching TV in it and dreaming of wearing it for real again! I've not ever thought about having our marriage vowels renewed and neither would I BUT I'd love to have my Wedding day as was over again! 



 

16/01/2016

Project 366 #2

WOW, how cold has it turned? I think we've been spoilt until now. This week has flown by and I can't believe that in just a few weeks my baby will be 5! Oh how quickly that time has gone.
This weeks photo's are quite a mix. Here goes!
Day 10. Hubby and I have been trying some of the Lean in 15 meals. This was delicious!
Day 11. Hello Miss Guinea Pig! Waves at Sarah!
Day 12. Well hello new boots. Lush and very comfortable, I could not resist these in the sale.
Day 13. The monkeys and daddy arrived home with these flowers for me the other day. Still looking great.
Day 14. Very early morning spin class done!
Day 15. Awe, this is my Wedding dress which now fits again! A little too big in fact but oh so good to try on. I adore it!
Day 16. Football was much more bearable today with the sun shinning and the pitch being a bit secluded. So different from last week.

We're linking up with TheBoyandMe this year.


TheBoyandMe's 366 Linky




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