Friday 31 May 2019

Dippy the Diplodocus at Great North Museum

Dippy the Diplodocus has gone on tour! Having been a focal feature at the National History Museum in London for many years he is now on the road visiting museums all over the United Kingdom, he's already visited Dorset County MuseumBirmingham Museum and Art GalleryUlster Museum and Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow and he has recently taken up residence at Great North Museum in Newcastle!

When we first heard Dippy was going to be visiting Newcastle we got really excited as we had never managed to get to see him at his home of the National History Museum before and with two boys who are crazy about dinosaur's we knew we had to visit!

Great North Museum knew that Dippy coming would be a huge attraction for the museum, so for safety they decided to issue free tickets for time slots to prevent over crowding. Tickets were released at the end of January and we booked ours the day they were released! We managed to get tickets for the weekend after he arrived!!

In the days leading up to our visit, James was very excited! He was asking us some really funny questions such as "How did Dippy actually die?" and "Is Dippy a boy dinosaur or a girl dinosaur?"

Our time slot was booked for 1045, so we had to be up pretty early to get the bus into town to meet Nana and Gaga before walking up to the Museum. We actually ended up leaving for town much earlier than planned as both boys were up by six am and very excited!

When we got to the museum, the first place we went was to see the T-Rex, James always wants to go to see the T-Rex as soon as we get into the museum. Then it was off upstairs to have a quick look around before we went into see Dippy.

When we first walked into the room, it was amazing! Dippy was so much bigger than I thought he was going to be. James was totally entranced and couldn't believe how big Dippy was!! Mummy got very snap happy with the camera as you can see below!

Dippy is on show till Sunday 6th October 2019 and there are still many tickets available for the summer holidays! We already have our second set booked for the start of August and that was even before we had our first visit! 

After Dippy leaves Newcastle in October he will visit: National Museum Cardiff, 19 October 2019 - 26 January 2020, Number One Riverside, Rochdale, 10 February - 28 June 2020 and Norwich Cathedral, 11 July - 31 October 2020

**We were not asked to write this post, We just decided to document Dippy so the boys would always have the memories and photos**

Wednesday 29 May 2019

What Does Freddie Take To Playgroup

Last year I wrote a post about what Freddie would take to playgroup with him for two 3 hour sessions a week and now a year on, he is doing more hours so I am doing an update!

The first thing Freddie takes is his bag! This is his new Estarer backpack that we recently reviewed! We decided to use this for Freddie due to the fact it has plenty of space inside, plus it has a bottle pocket and a chest clip for then the bag is on his back! Not that the bag is actually ever on Freddie's back! Its either clipped onto the pram with our hook or mummy is carrying it!!

Inside we have two separate bags. One contains full sets of spare clothes (vest, socks, t-shirt, trousers or shorts & a long sleeved top)and the second contains his changing kit of 4 or 5 pull ups, baby wipes and nappy bags.

On a Monday as he is only there for the morning he will also have a bottle of water in the bottle pocket of his bag!

On a Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday Freddie has his lunch at playgroup so he will take his Blaze and the Monster Machines lunch bag. 

For his lunch he will normally have some gluten free crackers, some vegan cheese, some oat cakes, an oat bar, a flapjack, a fruit bar and some ready salted crisps or some snack a jack rice cakes. He will also take a bottle of water.

Come September he will be in the school nursery so won't need to take as much with him, i.e he wont need to take lunch with him as he will only be there 9-12, but he will still be taking a spare set of clothes and his water bottle!

Monday 27 May 2019

Living Arrows 2019 21/52

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 last weekend has been so exciting for the boys as it was the first weekend of the school half term holiday and we got to go see Dippy the Diplodocus who is currently at Great North Museum on his tour of the UK! The boys, especially James, has been counting down the days till our visit for the last couple of weeks and he'd been looking at photographs on mummy's instagram that friends had posted of their visits before ours! James also finally finished his Year Two SATs and the class had a party to celebrate.

Freddie has had a great week at playgroup! He literally runs in as soon as they open the gate! A few times he has actually gone running straight into the classroom totally forgetting to say goodbye to mummy. 

Living Arrows

Thursday 23 May 2019

How Can You Afford Everything As A Full Time Mum

Being a full time mum is one of the best things in the world, but sometimes it can feel as
though everything is against you and affording all the things you need becomes a challenge.
But, it doesn’t have to be this way and in this article we are going to show you how to do this.
There are ways to take a lot of the stress out of this situation and if you are interested in
finding out more on this topic, keep reading on down below!

Budgeting Is Key
Credit Link

We know that you have likely already tried it and thrown it out the window, but
budgeting really is the best way to make sure that you can afford everything. So,
how would you go about budgeting the right way? Well, there are a number of
guides that you can find online that will be useful, but the simple version is as follows.
Write down a list of everything that comes into your home finance wise and then add
up the total. Once you have done this, go through everything that you have to spend
such as rent, food, bills and so on then work out the total cost of this. When you are
doing this, if you don’t know the exact cost, you will find that overestimating is always
going to be better for you than underestimating. After you have got both lists, take
the total cost of what goes out away from the amount that comes in, and then you’ve
got your leftovers to spend on whatever you want.

Sticking to the budget is a lot harder than creating it, and we are well aware of this,
but you need to learn to be strict on yourself if you want to be able to afford everything.
Do your best to work out what you are going to spend your spare money on in advanced
to avoid dipping into other money.

Don’t Overspend

It happens to the best of us, we overspend in certain areas and leave ourselves short
in others. This is similar to what we were just talking about above, and it is very important
that you manage to not do this. If you know that your kids need something that wasn’t in
the budget, then you need to work this out beforehand and take it out of what is left at the
end of the month. Or, work out if you can take it from somewhere else and replace it before
it is missed. This is a dangerous game to be playing with your finances, though, and if you
can avoid it, we would highly recommend that you do.

Consider Second Hand

Something else that we suggest is that you buy some of your stuff second hand if
possible. The good thing about this is that it is cheaper, which saves you money, and
a lot of the time the quality is not bad either. This will help a lot when it comes to trying
to save money and still get everything that you need. When you have kids, trying to get
everything can be a nightmare, but you don’t have to tell them that some of the items are
second hand if you don’t want to because it is likely that no one will notice. There are
plenty of stores out there that can provide you with the items that you need, at a price
you are going to love.

Get A Little Help

Have you ever thought about getting a little bit of help if you are struggling to afford
some of the things that you need? The first option that you could consider is asking
your friends and family for help. As these are the people who are closest to you, if
they can help, they likely will. It is a lot less pressure on you to borrow or receive
money from those who love you, as they might not demand it back in a set amount of
time, rather giving you the aid that you need until you are fully on your feet.

However, for some people, this is not an option, and they need to look at other methods
such as securing a loan. There are many different methods of doing this, you can go to
your bank, use an online source, or whatever you think is best for you. Something that
you should consider, and you will come across quite often when looking at this is
guarantor loans. This means that someone will sign the contract with you, agreeing
to pay back the loan should you fail to do so. The only issue with these is that a lot of
people are not willing to be a guarantor so you might find it tricky to find someone who
has the correct credit, and who will sign on with you.

Just make sure that if you do choose to get a loan, you read the full terms and
conditions, so you are fully aware of what you are getting into. You don’t want any
surprises coming back to bite you in the future.


The final thing that we are going to look at is learning to prioritize certain things over others.
So, if you have a whole list of things that you need to buy, but some are slightly more pressing
than others, you need to get these first. Work out what is essential, or at least what is going to
be more beneficial, and put these items above purchasing those that can wait. You will find
this makes a big difference to the way you spend money, and significantly reduce the
amount of stress you experience.

We hope that you have found this article helpful, and now see that there are ways that
you can afford everything as a full-time mum. If you take the advice that we have set out
above, you are going to be able to afford everything that you need, without racking your
brain for new ideas every month!

*Collaborative Post*

(AD) Swimfin - First impressions

We are absolutely thrilled to be working with the fantastic swim aid company Swimfin in our quest to get the boys swimming!

Last year when we went on holiday, the boys loved being in the pool either at the hotel or at the water park next door to our hotel! We used either armbands or flotation jackets last year but neither James or Freddie got on with them very well. 

As James will be in year three next year at school (eek when did he get so grown up), he will be starting to go swimming weekly with his class. So between now and September we are on a quest for James to learn the basics so once he starts going with the school he is confident in the water

The parcel arrived not long after we got home from the school run and both boys were really excited to open it! 

James got so excited and he cannot wait to go swimming next week in the school holidays! Now all we need to do is find a pool we can go to as the one we were going to visit is currently closed for refurbishment!

Check back soon to see how our first time using the Swimfin goes!

Monday 20 May 2019

Living Arrows 2019 20/52

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 has been good for the boys. James got to hold a Hen at Beavers, when a group came in to help them with their Disability awareness badge. He also had to make his own bed as part of his skills badge!

Freddie had his appointment at the hospital last week where he was diagnosed with non Ige allergies to Dairy, Soya, Wheat and Banana. He's also reacted to something in baked beans so its now try and avoid them or give him a small amount and see if it happens again. We are also trying to source an allergy bracelet for him to wear that he won't try and take off or that another child can't get off him. 

This is the last week of the school half term before we go into the last few weeks of year two for James and the last few weeks of playgroup for Freddie before he moves into the school nursery in September. 

Living Arrows

Wednesday 15 May 2019

Siblings Project 2019 - May

Welcome to the May 2019 edition of The Siblings Project!
How can it be May already! It really does not seem five minutes since we were celebrating New Year and now its the fifth month of the year!

This month James has been loving:
* Beavers. He went on a trip to a local Sikh Temple for part of their Faith Badge and also took part in JOTT 2019. He walked from Newburn Leisure Centre to Baltic Square in Gateshead along the river Tyne. 
* Dreamworks Dragon. James found this show on Netflix and has been watching it on repeat! 
*Pipe art. James was playing this game on my phone when we were sat in a&e waiting to get his hand looked at the other week.

Freddie has been loving:
*Playgroup. He has been really enjoying his 15 hours a week and he has a lovely little group of friends.
*Moo. He is still totally obsessed with his cuddly cow and will not go to bed without him!
*Megabloks. Freddie is still crazy about his block and building lots of towers!

This months photos were taken in the Rugby fan zone on Newcastle Quayside after James finished JOTT 2019

Tuesday 14 May 2019

Living Arrows 2019 19/52

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 last week has been pretty good for the boys. James had a brilliant week at school and ended it by doing an 8 mile hike with Beavers for Jamboree On The Trail or JOTT as it was known. If you check the hashtag JOTT on instagram you will see photos of Beaver, Cubs and Scouts all over the world taking part in JOTT!

Freddie had a great week at playgroup. He's a totally different child to the lite boy that started a year past January. Even since he started his 15 hours in January hes come on so much! He is going to love the school nursery in September!

Living Arrows

Monday 6 May 2019

Living Arrows 2019 18/52

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.

It was the first full week of term and both boys went bouncing into school and playgroup, excited to see all their friends!

James came home from school on the Monday with the Star of the Week sticker on his jumper. He was so thrilled to be awarded it and told me he got it for being brave on his school trip around the bee's as he is terrified of them.  He also had a trip with Beavers this week to a local Temple as part of the Faith badge they are doing this term. 

Freddie had a great week at playgroup! He is literally running in now and not looking back to see where mummy is! He has come on so much since he started there when he was two! I think he will really miss the place when he moves across into the school nursery in September. We also finally got Freddie's appointment through for the allergy clinic!

Living Arrows