Tuesday, 20 August 2019

How I Use Mockups?

**Collaborative Post**

Being a blogger, I know to get attention the site needs to have brilliant graphics. I admit 
first hand I am not the best graphic designer, in fact I have never been very good at art, 
but I do love to mess around in Photoshop or other design software that I have on my 
laptop to make graphics for my blog posts or to use on my blog Facebook page.

One of the ways I to this is to do mock-ups of my header. I normally will do a redesign 
at least once a year, but quite often I will mess around in my graphic software to see if
I can create something better than what I had done previously. 

This is the latest design that I did for my blog header, but I think I will be changing it again 
pretty soon as the photograph I used was taken at the end of June before the boys finished 
school and playgroup for the summer and already, they have both grown up so much! 
James is so much taller!









When I look back at the old cover designs, I have used I can see exactly how basic the 
design was when I first started blogging. Especially once I set up the Facebook page. 
The first graphic I used on there was very basic and cartoon like. Now I prefer to add 
in photographs of us or the kids.









Bloggers are not the old people who use mock-ups, designers also do mock-ups for their 
products. My parents actually have a sublimation set up, so I have seen how mock-ups 
work first-hand. In the past they have made mugs, t shirts and hats, all with their business 
information on. This is such a good idea as it means when they go to networking events such 
as north east expo, they can hand out things like magnets with their information on and 
not just business cards. I think this is a brilliant idea!

I would love to do a sweatshirt mockup for the boys as I find it so hard to find sweatshirts 
and hoody’s I like for them. Especially as most places do not do matching in their sizes! 
James is about to turn 7 and he is starting to go into age eight to nine tops and Freddie is 
3 and he is starting to wear four to five. Plus, most of the things on the sweatshirts in 
James size are not things that interest him. The same with Freddie, he loves dinosaurs 
but trying to find sweatshirts or hoody’s for him with them on in his size is near on impossible!

Normally I do not dress the boys in matching clothes, but if we are traveling or on a big day 
out, I do like them to be wearing either the same t shirts or the same sweatshirts so I can 
spot them easily!

For example when we flew to Majorca last year both boys were wearing the same style of
camouflage tracksuit trousers and the same colour t shirts, but the only difference was the 
colour of their hoody’s as I couldn’t get one in Freddie’s size that was black like the one 
James had and I couldn’t get a blue one in James size like the one Freddie ended up wearing!

This is a recent idea I came up with for the boys! I think the design would go down really 
well with both of them! They are both crazy about the Diplodocus since we went to 
see Dippy at Great North Museum!


















I hope they will like it!




Monday, 19 August 2019

Living Arrows 2019 33/52

Welcome to Living Arrows post 2019! If you haven't heard of the linky before, This was set up by Donna at What the Redhead Said and the name comes from the poem by Kahlil Gibran "You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth" Each week I post one photo of James and one photo of Freddie and share what they have been up to that week!

This week was another quiet week at home, with a couple off trips to the supermarket annd of course James had two days of play scheme at the sports centre which he has loved!

Freddie has been so great with his potty training. Four weeks in and we can confidently take him out for a couple of hours with his potty!







Living Arrows

Monday, 12 August 2019

Living Arrows 2019 32/52

Welcome to Living Arrows 2019! If you haven't heard of the linky before, This was set up by Donna at What the Redhead Said and the name comes from the poem by Kahlil Gibran "You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth" Each week I post one photo of James and one photo of Freddie and share what they have been up to that week!

The boys had a great week staying with nana and gaga, just a shame the weather was pretty bad.

We ended the week with another visit to see Dippy the diplodocus at Great North Museum, where James got to try on a Dippy replica head! 








Living Arrows

Monday, 5 August 2019

Living Arrows 2019 31/52

Welcome to Living Arrows 2019! If you haven't heard of the linky before, This was set up by Donna at What the Redhead Said and the name comes from the poem by Kahlil Gibran "You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth" Each week I post one photo of James and one photo of Freddie and share what they have been up to that week!

This week started with a chilled day at home. Freddie has been doing so well with potty training that we ventured out twice in the first week, so mummy decided the furthest we would go would be aldi.

Tuesday saw us going to the library so James could get some new books on his summer reading challenge. 

Once the weekend came mummy and James went into town to collect his new glasses and also so mummy could go for her eye test. Then we checked out the local community fun day.






Living Arrows

Monday, 29 July 2019

Living Arrows 2019 30/52

Welcome to Living Arrows post 2019! If you haven't heard of the linky before, This was set up by Donna at What the Redhead Said and the name comes from the poem by Kahlil Gibran "You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth" Each week I post one photo of James and one photo of Freddie and share what they have been up to that week!

We started this week off with a dietitian appointment for Freddie. He's been seeing them since November last year for his allergies and we are only a tiny bit further forward. We've put the milk ladder on hold indefinitely or at least until he has been potty trained for a good few months. The last thing I want to do is have him reacting and missing out on nursery.

James had a fantastic week up at nana and gaga's house! The weather was fantastic so we had two days playing outside in the garden and being in the paddling pool! James's finished the week with a opticians appointment and we pick up his new glasses this coming weekend! 

The best news is Freddie seems to have finally cracked potty training! By Sunday he had worn the same pair of pants all day! He is still having the odd poo accident but he has done so well, he has also been reaction free from his allergies for a week! 





Living Arrows

Monday, 22 July 2019

Living Arrows 2019 29/52

Welcome to Living Arrows post 2019! If you haven't heard of the linky before, This was set up by Donna at What the Redhead Said and the name comes from the poem by Kahlil Gibran "You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth" Each week I post one photo of James and one photo of Freddie and share what they have been up to that week! 

Its the summer holidays! At last!

Both boys had a lovely last week at school and playgroup. We had fantastic weather on Tuesday so the Key Stage One sports day actually went ahead! James had a fantastic time competing for his house, which is named after Alnwick Castle!

We got Freddie's learning journal from playgroup this week and it was so lovely to look back at all he has achieved since he started a year past January when he was just two. Freddie also had a party on the very last day. Its so strange to think he has now finished in the playgroup and moved on to his next chapter aka the school foundation unit. 





Living Arrows

Friday, 19 July 2019

How To Manage Your Money With A Family

**Collaborative Post**


It can be a challenge keeping your finances on track with a young family. There always
seems to be something that crops up and before you know it, you have spent a couple
of hundred pounds that you had not planned to be spending when pay day rolled around.
It can be painful! So today we want to share with you a few tips on how to manage your
money with a family. 



Whether it be Mercedes Servicing or a broken down washing machine, something always seems to come up every month, doesn’t it? This is why it’s so important when you are planning your monthly budget to look at your annual expenses rather than just note down those monthly direct debits. 

Take into account every single expense

Along with your normal monthly bills, you should also take into account birthdays and Christmas spending, holidays, emergencies, and then those things that you know will crop up from time to time such as buying school uniform and shoes, swimming lesson fees, car servicing and so on. It can be hard to think of everything, so don’t rush this process, do take a look back over around a year’s worth of bank statements as they will remind you of all that you need to spend.



Work with a weekly figure 

The next step is one that people rarely take, but trust us, as it is well worth doing. Get yourself a weekly budget figure. 

You need to work out a weekly amount of money that you have available after all of the necessities have been paid. Weekly is a lot easier to work with and stick to than monthly. Weekly might only allow you to make one or two purchases, which will make you stop and think before you pop to the shops and buy a few bits and bobs. Monthly will be a greater amount and you are more likely to ignore it as one spend in a month’s worth of spending can easily get swallowed up and ignored. 

Spread out the cost

Now that you are getting used to looking at your finances across the year, then the month and then weekly, it’s time to start working on spreading the cost.

You should now be taking typically expensive times into account, such as Christmas and holidays. We would suggest that as well we putting money aside monthly for everything like this you also shop throughout the year for them.

Buy clothes for the next size up when the sales are on, avoid paying full price wherever possible. If you see a great deal on a toy that you know your little one would love, but Christmas isn't for another three months, buy it and put it away ready for them. Similarly, buy bargain toys and gifts that you spot ready for those birthday parties that you just know your children are going to be going to. This way you won’t be caught on the hop at any point and you will have bought a lovely gift without breaking the bank.