Monday, 16 September 2019

Living Arrows 2019 37/52

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!

So Freddie had his first proper day at the school nursery last week and he went running in! He took his Moo with him which I was a bit shocked at as he never took Moo to playgroup with him! He had a few tears in the classroom when he realised he was not going to see James and then cried on the way home as he wanted to stay!

James has been having a lovely week at school and is really enjoying himself in Year Three! He had his first swimming class and also his first meeting back at Beavers! Its been so hard to get photos of James on his own now he's back to school!








Living Arrows

Sunday, 15 September 2019

Siblings September

Welcome to the Siblings project for September!
Its the ninth month of the year and we now only have three more months of siblings posts for 2019!

This months photograph was taken just a few days ago on Freddie's first day of nursery at James school foundation unit!

I cannot believe Freddie is in nursery already as James was in this nursery with the same staff when Freddie was born!

I cannot believe how tall Freddie is compared to James! There is three years between them and Freddie is catching up James in height fast!




Thursday, 12 September 2019

To Freddie On Your First Day Of Nursery

Our Darling little Freddie Bear

Today is 12th of September 2019 and it is your first proper day of Nursery at the local primary school. You had an hours visit before the summer holidays and you loved it! You then had a home visit last week from your new teacher and then just a few days ago you had another one hour visit. 

Today is the start of your formal education in the school we hope you will attend till you are eleven!

You are one of the first children to start and for that mummy and daddy are so glad as James was one of the last to start so he went into a big class, where as you will be there when it is small and gets bigger. Your class is actually quite a small one, so more children may join as the year goes on. When we visited the other day you actually told me to go away!

I hope you will be ok making the change from playgroup into the school, you are pretty lucky as a few of your little friends from playgroup are making the move with you so there will be some familiar faces for you in the classroom.

Unlike James you are very used to being away from mummy as you have been going to playgroup since just after turning two for 6 hours a week then once you turned three you did 15 hours a week at the playgroup to get you ready for going into the school.

We hope you have a fantastic first day our little bear

love

Mummy, Daddy and James
xxxx


Monday, 9 September 2019

Living Arrows 2019 36/52

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!

So James is officially back to school! He had a great first four days of year three including a trip! He is so loving his pack lunches! 

Freddie had a successful home visit with his nursery teacher. He was telling her what music he likes which for a three year old is pretty funny as it's things like Jonas Brothers, Westlife, Shawn Mendes, Camila Cabello and everything mama listens too!





Living Arrows

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

To James on your first day of Year Three.

James as this goes live you will be an hour into your first day of Year Three.

Its so hard to believe this is your fourth year of full time school and your fifth year at the primary school if you include nursery. 

It seems so crazy that you are now in key stage two! It really only seems five minutes since you started nursery and now you are in the senior part of the school!

You have so much to look forward to this year starting with a trip on Friday and then your trip to Kielder next month! I know you will have a fantastic time on your Kielder trip and I know you will be OK as you have done nights away with Beavers!

Have a fantastic first day off school and I can't wait to hear all about it tonight! 

Love
Mummy
xxx


Monday, 2 September 2019

Living Arrows 2019 35/52

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!

Today is the last day of the school holidays! James goes back to school tomorrow. Freddie does not have his first day at nursery till next week but he also has his home visit from his nursery teacher and his nursery TA tomorrow!

Yesterday was James birthday party! We had some of his friends over to our house and we did a Be My Bear party kit where each of the kids got their own blue bear to stuff and name!! We chose to do this as it gave the kids an activity to do and worked out cheaper than making party bags! Each child left with their own bear along with some cake and sweets. 

Last week mummy, daddy and Freddie came home on Tuesday, while James had a few extra days at nana and gaga's house. He came home on Wednesday so we could take the boys to buy their shoes for school on Thursday morning ! James also needed PE shoes, trainers and wellies plus Freddie needed wellies as he is going to be starting forest school sessions at nursery!

We also did some hunting for Elmer which was so much fun!






Monday, 26 August 2019

Living Arrows 2019 34/52

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! 

Today is actually James 7th Birthday!!

Last week was so much fun! We started the week off by going to watch our family friends son compete in the World Transplant Games in Newcastle! We were so proud to cheer on Luke!! James went running off ahead with Luke's dad to get a spot on the bridge while I came up at the rear with Freddie in the stroller! We also went to Build a Bear so James could do count my candles for his birthday bear!

Freddie has done so well with his potty training! He now asks to go when he needs to go and we have successfully been out and about with him for days and he has been dry when we got home! He was so good when we were in town to watch the cycling. He did have his moments of being grumpy, but he had a great time!

We had so much fun at nana and gaga's including a trip to the beach to look in the rock pools, building sandcastles, a trip to Warkworth Castle, a trip to the dairy farm for ice cream or sorbet in Freddie's case! 

Hard to believe its the last week of the holidays and James goes back to school next week!







Living Arrows

James You Are Seven!

Happy 7th birthday our darling boy. 

It really only feels like yesterday that you were born yet here we are celebrating your seventh birthday! 

You have grown up so much this last year, and I'm putting it down to all the confidence that you have gained since you joined our local Beavers colony. In the last year you have learned so much and done so many exciting things including an over night sleepover and an eight mile hike! You get so excited for your weekly meetings and the only one you missed was when we were on holiday! You have really been missing all your Beaver friends this summer and you cannot wait to go back next week once school starts back up!

You have such a lovely group of friends at school, but on a whole your class is basically one large friendship group. You all have such a strong bond with each other and most of you have been together since nursery, but you all pull newcomers in and befriend them. 

You are so tall compared to your short mummy and it won't be long before you are taller than me! You have had such a massive growth spurt lately that you have outgrown your school trousers! 

You absolutely adore your little brother now that he's older and the pair of you play so well together. This year he joins you at your school with him joining the foundation unit.

Happy birthday again my darling
Love always
Mummy
xxx


Thursday, 22 August 2019

(AD) Review of Who hides here? Footprints in the Farm

Back in 2017, we reviewed a lovely book called Who hides here? Footprints in the garden by Rachel Coverdale, so imagine how excited we were to get an email from Rachel the other week asking if the boys would like to review her new book, Who hides here? Footprints in the Farm!


Mummy didn't tell James the book was coming as I wanted to surprise him! When we reviewed the first book, James was a very reluctant reader, but in the last few months he has suddenly come on so much and most nights you can hear him reading aloud to himself in his bed! 

The book has beautiful illustrations by Shelly Oyston, James absolutley loves the book and I have heard him reading it aloud to himself on many nights.

James still loves being outdoors and looking at nature and he has done so much in the last few months especially since he started at Beavers! He has really enjoyed his forest school sessions this year in year two and is already looking forward to them starting again in year three!!


When I asked James his favourite part in the book he said "The hairy cow" and his favourite animal in the book was "The hairy cow"

We have also been reading this book with Freddie who is almost 4 and he loves it just as much as James!

**We were sent this book free of charge in exchange for this review. All pictures are our own!**


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

Thursday, 15 August 2019

Siblings August

And so it is August and time for our Siblings post! The school summer holidays are now over half way done and we are on the count down to returning to school and Freddie starting the school foundation unit!

This month our photos were again taken on a visit to Dippy the diplodocus at Great North Museum in Newcastle. 




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. 


The End of Playgroup

Its Friday the 19th of July 2019 and today was Freddie's last day at his playgroup before he moves into the school nursery in September.

There is so much I want to say to all the staff, but the biggest is Thank You!

Thank you for looking after my little boy,
Thank you for taking his allergies seriously,
Thank you for comforting him,
and Thank you for helping him become the little boy is he today!