Wednesday, 23 October 2019

Blogtober Day Twenty Three

Today the prompt I am using is "Weather"

So as most people know I live in the North East of England and the weather here is at the moment so cold! I know its only October but the temperatures have really dropped drastically and its now only getting to about 13 degrees during the day!

The boys are already wearing hats, scarfs and gloves to school some days. Our winters have definitely got colder over the last few years. Especially February and March, thats the months that the North East has had its snow! 

When James was in Year One the snow was so bad around us that the head teacher closed the school for two days as it was unsafe not only for the staff to drive to the school, but it was unsafe for the pupils and their families to walk to the school. We only live five minutes walk from the school front gates and it was so bad to walk. Freddie was only two so was still using a pushchair to get to and from his playgroup and we literally couldn't push it. I had to try and carry Freddie to playgroup on the Wednesday morning, then on the lunch time we got a message that the school was letting the kids go from 2pm so I had to go up and get James. Then I had to go round to the playgroup to pick up Freddie. 

I am really hoping we do not get as bad a winter this year as we had then, as having two boys off school will be a nightmare as they both love school and really miss it when they are not there!

So please keep your fingers crossed that winter 19/20 is not too bad for us!

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Blogtober Day Twenty Two

Day Twenty Two! We are nine days from the end of the month, which means nine days from completing Blogtober 2019!

Today the prompt I am using is "Day Tripping"

The last time we actually went on any sort of day trip was last year when we were in Majorca and we spent the day in Palma Aquarium.

It was absolutely amazing. We must have spent at least 45 minutes sitting in front of the eight meter deep shark tank! James was totally memorised by the sharks, some which were actually bigger than him! In fact some of the fish that were in the tanks were bigger than Freddie!

I really hope we can go back to Majorca in the next couple of years and hopefully go back to the aquarium. We missed out on doing the glass bottomed boat on the shark tank as Freddie was too young. 

They have something new there now called Aquadome, which is a 3D show about the humpbacked whale!

These are two of my favourite images from our Day Trip to Palma Aquarium!

Freddie staring into the tank

The Jelly Fish Tank

Monday, 21 October 2019

Living Arrows 2019 42/52 - Blogtober Day Twenty One

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's post is also the day twenty one post for Blogtober 2019.

This week James has has his school residential trip to Hawkhirst at Kielder. He had an absolutely brilliant time!! When it came to leaving I had to go in via Key Stage Two door with him and Freddie.Then take him into the hall and hand over his spending money and medications to his teachers. Then I had to nip via other hall and the office to drop Freddie into the foundation unit then I had to go back into the hall to wait with James for his bus. I ended up helping James and half his friends attach the labels to their bags that the school had for them. I ended up carrying James and his pals bags for them to the bus lol!

Freddie has had another brilliant week at nursery. He is so settled now and comes out every day telling me what he has done and who he has played with. His favourite activities are playing in the water try and painting. He tells me that Freddie played painting or Freddie played in water. 

The boys also had their school photographs taken. The first one of them both in the same uniform is adorable! If you have me on Instagram you will have seen me post them! 

Living Arrows

Sunday, 20 October 2019

Blogtober Day Twenty

Well we have reached Day Twenty! We have twelve days to go to complete Blogtober and I am now so hopeful I can actually do it!

Today I am the prompt I am going to write about is "Family is..."

To me my family is very important. I am very close to both my parents and I will speak to them on the phone a couple of times a day! They live around 40 minutes drive from us and we see them normally once or twice a week. They will often come down and collect James from school so they can spend some time with him after school. They will also sometimes go and pick up Freddie from nursery. 

My little family of Andy, James and Freddie is my whole world. We spend most weekends just us, normally chilling at home after busy weeks in school/nursery and work.

So yes family is my everything!

Saturday, 19 October 2019

Blogtober Day Nineteen

Today I am going to show a Throw Back Image. 

This photograph of the boys was taken just over a year ago when we were on holiday in Majorca. This was taken on the first night we were at Club Mac. We had gone for a wander around the complex and we had found the children's bar over in the Jupiter building. James had asked for ice cream and since Freddie is allergic to dairy he got a slush.

Both boys look so young and it was only just over a year ago this photograph was taken! Although to be fair Freddie was not even three when it was taken and James had just turned six. Now they are seven and almost four!

Freddie seems to have grown up so much since he started his fifteen preschool hours back in January. His speech has definitely exploded!

Friday, 18 October 2019

How To Get You And Your Child Ready For University

**Collaborative Post**

Starting University is an exciting, but nerve wracking time for you and your child. You’ll both be out of your comfort zone, as you have to let go enough to send them out into the world, and they have to learn to look after themselves. There are a few great ways to help get you both ready for this big change.

Image - free for commercial use

Teach Them To Fend For Themselves
University will be a lot easier on your child if they already have some idea of how to fend
for themselves. Living in student accommodation can be a steep learning curve if they’re
not used to cooking, cleaning or laundry. 

During their last summer at home, set them the challenge of looking after themselves.
Give them a budget, and ask them to cook dinner for the family one night a week, so they
get used to shopping on a budget and cooking some actual meals instead of relying
on the takeaway. Help them to learn some cheap to make recipes or bulk meals like
casseroles or lasagna. 

Stop doing their laundry and put them in charge of it, so you know they know how
to use a washing machine without your help. Ask them to do the grocery shop for the
family occasionally, and stop helping them to organise their life. No more shouting
up the stairs to check they’re up for college. They’ll need to learn to get by without you. 

Teach Them To Budget
University isn’t cheap. Even setting aside the cost of the fees, your child will need to
learn to live on their student loan and budget throughout the term. If they’re not used to
budgeting, it can be easy for them to overspend at the beginning of term and end up
short later on. Encourage them to learn to meal plan to save money on food. 

Sit down and have a chat about money. Set some rules about when you’ll be willing to
bail them out if they’ve overspent. You need them to feel like they can tell you if they
have got into a mess, but you don’t want them to fritter their money away because they
know they can always ask you more. They need to learn to live on their own money
and be responsible with their finances. 

Help With Homesickness
It’s natural for students to feel a bit homesick when they first get to University. They will
miss their old friends, and the family, and may be a bit scared of making new friends and
learning to live alone. If they’re struggling, they might ask you to come home to visit a lot
in their first few weeks. As you much as you might miss them, encourage them to wait
before they come home. If they come in the first weeks, they’ll miss out on a lot of
important socialising and chances to make friends. 

If your child is homesick and is asking to come home, that’s going to be rough on you too.
Try to be tough, and push them to rough it out for at least the first month before you let
them come back for a visit. Instead, stay in touch over the phone, or start up a family
Whatsapp chat so everybody still feels involved with each others day to day life. 

Encourage Good Study Habits
Going from college to university can be quite a culture shock and the workload expected
may be a struggle at first. If you have always been a big help to them for homework and
revision, now is the time to step back and let them learn how to work alone.

Help them to find a revision method that works for them, but after that, don’t get involved.
At University, they will need to motivate themselves without you. Instead, make sure they
know that they should approach their tutors for help if they’re finding it hard to keep up.
You can be a listening ear, but they need to learn to study without your intervention. 

Teach Them To Be Safe
It’s not all that nice to think about, but it is important to send them off to university with
some idea of how to keep safe. For many students, they won’t be used to the freedom,
the drinking and the temptation that can be a normal part of student life. 

Have a frank chat about safe sex. You might prefer to assume they won’t be having sex
at university, but you need to give them the tools to stay safe. Make sure they know they
need to always use a condom, and where they can get birth control. 

Gently remind them about getting home safely from a night out. They should never try to
drive home or accept a lift from anyone who has been drinking. They should also know
how to spot a licensed taxi, and that getting an unlicensed on is a risk. Many parents now
give their children an Uber account, but add their own card to pay for it, so they know that
their child can always get home safely. 

Boys and girls should be reminded not to ever leave a drink unattended, and not to let
someone wander off alone on a night out. Make sure they know how to spot the signs of
someone who has had a drink spiked and how they should help them. 

Sit down and have a conversation about mental wellbeing. University is a big life change
and it’s natural to feel stressed occasionally. If they are getting overwhelmed and feel
unable to cope, it’s important to give them the tools to manage. Universities offer support
for students who need it, so encourage them to use those services and talk to you whenever
they feel they need to. 

University can be overwhelming and scary for both of you, but it is also an amazing
opportunity. Once the first difficult weeks are over and they start to make friends,
your child is sure to love student life. Give them the tools to look after themselves,
and they can use university as a chance to learn about themselves and lay the foundations
for growing into a self-sufficient, independent grown up that you can be proud of after they

Blogtober Day Eighteen

Today I am going to tell you all about my favourite apps on my phone!

So as I mentioned in a previous post. I have an android phone, which is a Sony Xperia L3.

The apps I tend to use the most are: Facebook, Instagram, Amazon Kindle, Spotify and Uber Social.

My favourite app definitely has to be the Amazon Kindle app. I have a subscription to Amazon Unlimited so I can read as many books as I would like each month. I think reading when I go to bed definitely helps me to sleep better and my brain is much calmer than when I would be messing around on social media before going to bed.

I have found that I sleep longer if I have been reading than I do if I have been on social media. Having the Kindle App means I will actually sit down and read. I found if I had to actually pick up a book I wouldn't read it as I would be too scared that the kids would get a hold of it and wreck it!

So over all my favourite app is 100% the Amazon Kindle App!

Thursday, 17 October 2019

Blogtober Day Seventeen

And its day 17 of Blogtober and the prompt I am using is "Quotes" 
So I am going to share a few of my favourite quotes my one of my favourite photographers Ansel Adams.

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Blogtober Day Sixteen

Welcome to day 16 of Blogtober! We are around half way through a post everyday in October! Today the prompt I am using is "Five Facts!" So I am going to give you five random facts about me!

Fact One!
I have met both Eric Cantona and Peter Schmeichel! - When I was around 11, The Manchester United squad were staying at a hotel near where my parents live before they played Newcastle. So my dad took me up to the hotel early on the Sunday Morning to see if we could see any of the players. As we were driving up the hotel driveway, these two figures stepped out into the road. My dad had to drive around them. When they turned around it was Cantona and Schmeichel. I have photographs with them and I had the biggest smile on my face for weeks to come as they are both Legends!

Fact Two!
When I was at university I did work experience with MUTV. It was between September 2007 and February 2008 and it was literally the best experience of my life! I was working on the documentary they made to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Munich 1958 air disaster where eight players sadly lost their lives. I got my name in the credits which I was so proud of!

Fact Three!
I worked in a holiday park bar the summer I turned 18. 

Fact Four!
I absolutely love boy bands especially from the 90s/00s. My favourites are Westlife and D-Side!!

and Finally Fact Five!
Me and Andy went on our honeymoon to Orlando. 

Theses are all pretty random but yep five facts about me!

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Siblings October Blogtober Day Fifteen

Welcome to the October edition of The Siblings Project!
I really cannot believe we are into October already! The last few weeks have been so busy with Freddie starting Nursery and James starting Year Three!

This months post is also part of 2019 Blogtober - A blog post every day in October!

This month James has been loving:
* His walkie talkies
* Beavers
* His Tablet

Freddie has been loving:
* His Moo
* Being at Nursery
* Balloons 

Monday, 14 October 2019

Living Arrows 2019 41/52 Blogtober Day 14

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 week 41 already and today's post is also part of Blogtober 2019 - a blog post for every day in October!

This week James had to have some teeth out at the Dental hospital, so poor kid has not had a very nice end to the week. He is also in a phase where he does not want nice photographs taken of him either!

Freddie has had a great week at school! He has settled into the school nursery so well and is making lots of new little friends. I think that it helps having his best pal from playgroup there with him who's big sister is actually one of James classmates. The pair of them are so cute together. They are quiet often found chasing James around before school roaring like dinosaurs at him! 

Living Arrows

Sunday, 13 October 2019

Blogtober Day Thirteen

The prompt I am using today is Movies!

The last movie that I actually saw in the cinema was Peter Rabbit! I haven't been to the cinema to see a proper adults non kids movie since I saw The Kings Speech years ago. I always see things advertised on the side of buses or on the TV and think oh I would love to see that but then life and kids take hold and by the time we have a child free night the film is out of the cinema and there is nothing else left to go and see!

Christmas however I love all the movies that come on TV. My favourite Christmas film is Santa Claus the movie. I have great memories of it being on TV every Christmas Eve and I would be curled up on an arm chair or the sofa at my Nannies house watching it. 

Now having two boys I love passing on the traditions of watching Christmas movies together! Last year James was all about The Gruffalo and The Stickman. I cannot wait to see what movies are going to be shown on BBC and ITV this year!!

James has really got into Harry Potter this last year so I am hoping we can watch some of the films over the school Christmas holidays! 

Anyone have any good movie suggestions for a seven year old and almost 4 year old? Comment your favourites below!

Saturday, 12 October 2019

Blogtober Day Twelve!

Day twelve has arrived and I am still posting! I am still here and actually doing ok on this whole posting every day!

Today I am going to talk about my two boys and how they got their names!

First we have James. His full name is James Ian Michael and he was born on 26th August 2012 at 1634 in Wansbeck General Hospital in Ashington, Northumberland.

His first name of James comes from my granddad - my mums dad, who died long before I was born. If I had been born a boy then James was the name my parents would have used, so I always said if I had a little boy I would call him James. 

His first middle name Ian comes from my dad. I always said James Ian went well together and so we used it as his first middle name. 

His last middle name comes from Andy's dad Micheal. We loved the choice and had it settled long before we even thought of kids. And I love the fact his initials spell out JIM as my granddad was known to everyone as Jimmy!

Then we have Freddie! or to give him his full name, Freddie Andrew Tinline! He was born on 25th November 2015 at 1219pm at The RVI in Newcastle upon Tyne.

His first name of Freddie comes from Andy's granddad on his mums side who was called Frederick. We felt this was a bit of a long name for a little boy so we went with the shorter version of Freddie. 

His first middle name of Andrew comes from daddy of course. We loved how the two names went with each other.

We knew that with James having two middle names we wanted Freddie to have the same and that was when we decided to use Tinline. That was my granddads middle name and I believe it was his mums maiden name. It felt right to use the name as it then meant both the boys had a name linking them to my mums dad. The poor boy has ended up with the initials of FAT which is quite funny and it really was him when he was a baby as he was quite chunky!

So this is how the boys were named. Has anyone got any interesting reasons behind their kids names? Leave a comment if you have below!

Friday, 11 October 2019

Blogtober Day Eleven

Today's prompt is "Lets Go Outside"

Both my boys love being outside! They love puddles, They love mud, They love water! They just love being in the the outdoors! Freddie especially will jump in every puddle he finds on the way to school whether he is wearing his wellies or not! He jumped wearing his trainers last week and got a shock when he got home and realised he had soggy socks and soggy shoes!

So for the rest of this post its going to be a collection of photographs of the boys enjoying themselves outside over the summer holidays whether it was in Nana and Gaga's garden, or at the beach or just out walking!

Thursday, 10 October 2019

Blogtober Day Ten!

Its day ten already and I am feeling so prepared this year with Blogtober posts! Today I am writing about my most played songs on my Spotify account. 

When I was a student at university I would always have music on when I was working in my room, or if I was traveling between home and university on the train I would have my iPod on. These days I use Spotify on my phone if I am listening to music when I am out or traveling back from mums on the bus sans kids! But my main time for listening to music is when I am blogging during the day or when I am cooking in the kitchen. We have one of the Spotify family accounts where we pay £14.99 a month and both Andy and myself can use it. We have Spotify hooked up to our Google Home Mini Speakers which are in our kitchen and in our bedroom. We may get another one to put into the boys room once its finished but its more likely to be a chrome cast we get for them. 

So when I am in the kitchen I tend to either play a playlist of songs I have put together. At the moment I am really liking the music of Shawn Mendes, so after listening to all three of his albums on Spotify I put together a playlist of some of his songs that I really like. I really love his early stuff from Handwritten and Illuminate like Life of the Party, Something Big and Nothing Holding Me Back. I also love Fallin All In You and If I Can't Have You which are both amazing!

I have also been playing the Jonas Brothers Sucker a lot and Freddie is totally obsessed with the song and he will actually run into the kitchen and shout "Hey Google Play Sucker!" We even have a playlist which is just Sucker on repeat five times! Its so funny when it starts again Freddie shouts "oh its another Sucker!" He gets so excited and dances round the kitchen when we have it on before school!

After these two playlists my next most played list is the Bedtime list. This is where I have saved the Disney Lullaby album that we play at bedtime for Freddie. Normally we don't even get halfway through the playlist before he is asleep.

I am always looking out for new music to listen to, even thought I tend to always revert back to my old favourites of Westlife and D-Side!

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Blogtober Day Nine

Today's prompt is "A day in the life!" I am literally going to write this as a timeline as it is easier! This was my day last Friday the 4th October.

Both the kids were up by 6am and it was straight downstairs to get them both dressed for school and give them some breakfast. While the kids were eating both Andy and myself got ourselves showered and dressed for the day. Andy was working a 9-5 shift so he didnt need to leave the house till around twenty to eight.

The alarm on my phone goes off at 0825. This is to tell the boys they need to go to the toilet, get their shoes on and get their coats on. A second alarm goes off at 0830. This is the one that tells us we need to be leaving the house in the next five or ten minutes.

0840 we are at the school gate waiting for the caretaker to open it. Once the gate is open we cross the car park to the side gate and once that open we are into the back yard. Both the boys go off to play leaving mummy with two school bags, two water bottles and a pack lunch bag! 

0845 the staff open the main door at the back and James comes and says goodbye and grabs his stuff. I update his TA on how he is as his asthma has been flaring up with the drop in temperatures.

0850 and we are at the foundation unit gates as they are opened and its into the foundation playground for Freddie and his little friends. The reception class kids go straight in and just before 9am the nursery kids go in. 

Once Freddie is dropped off I have three hours to get stuff done! First I walk across to Tesco at Kingston Park so I can get the Free From Biscuits for Freddie, and the Bear Yoyo's and Fruit peelers for James pack lunch. I also grabbed two bits for Freddie for his birthday!

Since it was raining I decided to get the free bus home at 10am, I literally came in the house, put Freddie's free from pizza in freezer, unpacked rest of bags onto top of freezer and then went down to Aldi to get some more bits there. By the time I got home it was 11am and I had 40 minutes to have a cuppa before it was time to pick up Freddie at 1155.

1205 and we were back in the nice warm house and I had got Freddie out of his wet trousers and wet shoes. We have our lunch and spend the afternoon curled up on the sofa watching Hey Duggee. 

1500 we go out to pick up James from school and get home around 1545 as we had to go to local shop and mummy then started cooking up the Pizzas we had for tea. By the time all the pizzas cooked it was around quarter to five and daddy had sent a message to say he was on his way home!

The boys had their tea and watched some Cbeebies and played with the wooden train tracks. Freddie came and sat on sofa to watch bedtime hour and as soon as iggle piggle finished he was asking for bed. Mummy took him up and he was fast asleep by half past seven.

Mummy then came downstairs and booted up the laptop and got the blog work all up to date. 
9pm and it was bedtime for mummy!

So this is what last Friday looked like. Friday always seems to be the busiest day!

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Blogtober Day Eight

Woo Hoo I have actually completed the first week of Blogtober 2019! 

Today I am going to talk about where I grew up and where we live now!

I was born in Northumberland and I actually grew up on the coast in a small fishing town called Amble. The town has changed so much since I was a child and I love going back with the boys, especially in the Summer when the weather is nice so we can go to the beaches that I used to play on when I was their ages. I lived there right up until I went to university, coming home for all my holidays! Although when I used to come home, I would find that the quiet used to drive me crazy as by then I was used to all the noise that came from living in Salford on the outskirts of Manchester city centre! I had only been out of university for four months when I first met Andy and I spent the next four and a half months commuting from Northumberland to Surrey to visit him for a week or long weekend at a time before I made the permanent move in the January!

For the next two years and six months I lived in Surrey with Andy, first of all in Walton-on-Thames where he is originally from and later in Woking. During this time we also got married up in Northumberland!

We moved back up north at the end of July 2011 and have been up here ever since. We first stayed in Amble with my family while we were looking for our own place, we eventually found somewhere in Morpeth and moved in not long after we found out I was pregnant with James. We stayed in this lovely little flat until April 2014 when we moved into a three bedroom house in Gosforth. We only stayed there a year as by the January of 2015 we had decided we were ready to buy a house and put in an offer on the house we are living in now!

We have been living in our house since June 2015, moving in when I was around 4 months pregnant with Freddie. The community we live is in brilliant. We have a fantastic school five minutes walk away which James is in year 3 and Freddie is now in the nursery. The school really pulls together when events occur like we had recently. I'm not going to go into what happened on the blog but if you follow me on social media you will had seen.

So this is all where I have lived and currently live. I know we will definitely stay in this area as well I cant hack the quietness of the coast and countryside any more! I'm definitely a city girl!