Alphablocks reading programme

There is no better pleasure than getting lost in a good book. S is just as much of a book-worm as I am, which pleases me no end, and little O is following closely behind with her love of ‘reading’ us a story at bedtime memorised from her favourite Maisy books.

When it came to teaching S to read I was at a complete loss. I was all fired up to start with the flash cards my own mother used with me, thinking learning by sight-reading was still the way to go, when her pre-school teacher stepped in and advised that the teaching of letters and sounds was something best left to their reception teacher with all their phonics training. Being a first timer in all this school and learning malarkey I nodded and went along with what she said like that true teachers pet I am!

After S being in school for a month or so I have the phonics down, and felt confident that when it came to little O starting to read we could get a head start on the phonics at home.

A few months back, just as O turned three, we were offered the Alphablocks reading programme to review for the blog. Perfect timing if you ask me. We had already started working on a few basic Read More →

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‘One more drink….come on, lets just stay a bit longer’. Those words defined my early twenties. Going home was a painful reminder of how unhappy I was in life, how I felt like I didn’t belong anywhere. I had a mask, an alter ego, when I was out, but behind closed doors, when the mask came off and the insecurities flooded back in, I had nothing but the emptiness of my room.

The thought of spending a night in on my own would just fill me with dread. By 3pm I’d be sat at work desperately trying to find someone to go out with that night, every minute ticking by my level of acceptable evening company  dropping. So what if he dumped me by text and then slept with one of my friends, he was free for dinner and I wouldn’t have to be alone. Just looking at the words now make me shudder, it honestly feels like that life happened to someone else.

These days home is my happy place. My heart aches if I have Read More →

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I come from what may be described as a blended family.

Growing up it all seemed quite straightforward.  There was me, my mother and grandparents. Simple.  Then, in my teens, I met me father and with him came two grown-up half sisters, a step-mother and four step-siblings. It was quite a shock to say the least.

Our new-found relationship was turbulent. Partly down to teenage angst, partly down to family drama and in a large part down my my fathers drinking. Oh, and the small fact that he lived in America!

It wasn’t untill I became a mother in my early twenties, and he began to spend more time in England, that I really started to get to know him.  It’s funny what being a parent yourself does to you, but somehow Read More →

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About this time six years ago I had my friends round for a pre-baby girls night in (this was before baby showers were really a ‘thing’ over here) and I asked them if they had any advice.  However, being only 24 at the time, not many of the friends in the room had children, but a few of my family members all come up with the same advice.

‘Enjoy every moment of them being small – it’ll be over in the blink of an eye’

Now, due to the fact I already felt like I had been pregnant for about five years and still had at least six weeks left to go, I found this very hard to believe. I smileed, inwardly rolled my eyes, and carried on eating cake!

Yet here I am, six years later, with my biggest girl about to turn six.  She has thoughts and opinions of her own, she can Read More →

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Sometimes life gets in the way of, well, life. You have plans, lists, hopes, dreams…..but then the day comes to an end, and you realise that while you managed to keep all the plates spinning, you didn’t actually achieve anything meaningful with your time.

That was me for most of last year. Being self-employed I always felt like I should be working, and that if I wasn’t people would think I wasn’t trying hard enough. I never switched off. I never made time to sit back and relax. I didn’t take care of myself.

Then I had a stark reminder of how short life can be. How one day there will be no tomorrow, and that day may arrive without warning, leaving many jobs undone.

I needed to prioritise my happiness. I needed to look after number one. If I wasn’t functioning properly then neither would my business or my family.

When I first decided to do the #52adventures project it was to take time back for me. Recapture the adventurous spirit hidden deep down beneath to-do lists and ironing piles. One of the things I was most excited to do was reignite my love for reading.  Losing myself in book, letting the day fall away and my stresses evaporate while I spent time in another world for a while. Sinking into bed, for half hour alone time, and truly switching off.

Well I’ve managed it. In fact, over the past Read More →

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It’s been a busy weekend.

I’m currently laying on the sofa catching up on some blog bits while S and her Daddy make a Lego lifeboat ready for bath time and little O feeds her current addiction to toy review videos in YouTube. It’s some well earned down time.

Friday evening we had friends over to watch the mighty O’s play Preston on Sky (huge deal in our world). I love having my house filled with our besties, epically when they bring with them their newborn baby for cuddles. Saturday came around before we knew it and, after an impromptu visit from my mother, we had more friend over for an afternoon watching football before heading over for an evening with ‘the Southend lot’ that the Essex husband went to school with. Read More →

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The more I have tried to find one thing a week to be thankful for, the more I realise I have about 100 moments a day to be thankful for. Life itself is such a precious gift, it’s a shame that’s it’s all to easy to take it for granted.

I live a very simple life really. Our house is a modest one (but one we are incredibly lucky to own) and you wouldn’t look twice at my car, we wear high street brands and most of our holidays are taken within the UK but, thanks to this very blog, it’s a like that has its perks.

We have had days out, new toys and even some wonderful holidays thanks to this little blog, and thats something I am very thankful for. I may not be the best writer in the land, and I know my proofing skills leave A LOT to be desired, but I hope that through my words you can see that I love my family, and that this little blog will allowed them able to see all the fun we had, even during the years they may not remember. Read More →

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The #52Adventures Project

I’ m making a new beginning, a fresh start. Nothing life changing, not even newsworthy really, and certainly not a change that may be noticed by anyone other than myself, but a new start nonetheless.

I’ve always doubted myself. My self-confidence has never been what it could. While on the outside I am an outgoing, happy person, I will always have the inner fear and anxiety left, like an unwelcome hangover, from a childhood of bullying and never really fitting in.

I fit in now. I know what makes me ‘me’ is actually something to celebrate. My need to plan, learn, worry, analyse….it may not have made for a happy teenager, but I have learnt how to make these traits work as an adult.

My twenties left me last year, and after a brief period of mourning, I have embraced the new era upon me.

In the last ten years I met a man who would chance my life forever, bought a house, got a new ring for my left hand, had two beautiful babies, got to know and love my father, lost loved ones that will always leave gaps in my heart, had a wonderful career only to leave it all behind to raise babies, made many new friends and cut loose ones who  Read More →

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December was a strange month. I thought I was OK, but looking back now I realise I was walking around in a grief induced haze most of the time. For some it must be hard to understand why losing my mother-in-law caused so much pain, but she was my friend, a second mother really…..and my heart is broken and life has changed forever with her passing. So December was hard. Very hard.

The thing about the bad times though is you realise who your friends are, the people who, no matter how infrequently you may see them, show they are thinking if you in the most kindest of ways.

AEW Visits…Cranleigh Golf & Country Club

Mid December, just a few days before the funeral, I put a pin in real life for a while and met up with my wonderful friend (and amazing blogger) Katy for a spa day at Cranleigh Golf & Country Club. I met Katy just 18 moths ago, but in that time Read More →

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2015.

Does one day really make a difference? Will waking up today on January 1st with a plan really ensure that all my dreams come true? Can this year really be ‘my year’ just because I say it will?

Probably not. But what’s the harm in hoping?

2014 had some amazing highs, but a crashing low that I’m not sure I’ll ever fully bounce back from.

Anyone who has lived through having a loved one with a terminal illness will know all too well the limbo it causes. You say it won’t control you, you say it won’t beat you…but inevitably it does. It takes hold, little by little, and starts to control decisions without you realising. Going abroad is out in case ‘the call’ comes and you are needed, birthdays and Christmases become bittersweet, as the true reality Read More →

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