Daddy P has been rather left out on the blog recently. As regular readers are aware, he runs his own business, works ridiculously long hours and is often running between cold rooms and the yard receiving deliveries from across the country in the early hours of the morning. So he really needs a coat that works on both a comfort and warmth level as we face the winter months. The Scruffs Expedition Tech Jacket coat seemed to be just the ticket.
Scruffs have a wide range of workwear and safety footwear, making them an ideal brand for Daddy P. Daddy P is 6′ 2″ and weighs over 17 stone. He really needs XXL sized coats to give him ease of movement and comfort. Luckily Scruffs were able to assist and we were impressed with the speed of delivery.
The Scruffs Expedition Tech Jacket has many features and even comes with its own torch (1xAA battery required). It’s the little things that please this gadget man. It’s fully waterproof and has taped seams.
There are plenty of pockets, adjustable wrist straps and a zipper and popper closing. The hood isn’t detachable, but can be adjusted. The jacket has a thick 3M Thinsulate lining and fits Daddy P well.
As I’m not inclined to be working in the cold and wet at 3am, I’ll take his word that the jacket is working well for him in a work environment. I have got to see him wearing it on Sunday trips out. We went to see the lights at Waddesdon Manor last Sunday and it was the perfect time to see this jacket at its best. On a cold late afternoon we wandered around the Christmas market and walked through the grounds as the sun began to set.
Daddy P gives his new Scruffs Expedition Tech Jacket a big thumbs up. Priced at £84.95, you can find our more about this jacket and the rest of the Scruffs range on their website.
Disclaimer: we were sent this item in exchange for an honest review.
As you all know, my Monkey son does everything at his own pace. Although he loves books and will happily sit with me for hours, literally, and let me read to him, it’s been a bit of a battle to get him to take the lead. But since starting in Year One we’ve seen so many changes in Monkey. He has decided that actually he might like to read himself, and he’s started to really try with his reading at school. His confidence is growing in all areas and he’s more willing to show others what he is truly capable of. I know it’s all there, in his head, he understands, it’s just been difficult to convince him to share his knowledge with the rest of us. We are seeing reading progression and it’s just wonderful.
Slowing he is starting to take an interest in helping me to read the books we have at home. Ok, its slow progress, we pick a word and he has to say it out loud every time it’s mentioned in the story but it’s a start. Sometimes he needs more convincing than others to join in, sometimes he sees it as a big game and sometimes he actually volunteers other words to read as well. He can read, it’s there, he gets phonics, gives me lessons in CVC words and connectives. Now it’s just putting all that into practice and getting him to a point where he willingly opens up a book to read himself.
He loved the Jelly and Bean books, he blows hot and cold with Biff, Chip and Kipper (what daft names for children – a view we both share), but we’ve been stuck on Red banded books forever. I’ve learnt that Monkey is quite happy not to be challenged. He’d happily be reading red banded books for the rest of Year One. But it’s become obvious that he is capable of more, and I’ve left a few comments in his reading book. It’s time for a challenge. He’s ready. Luckily they are seeing it in class too and on Monday afternoon Monkey came bounding out of school. Mummy I’m on yellow! Yellow? Yes Miss P says I can read Yellow books. Oh wow! That’s fab. Well done Monkey. Mummy I might need help, but I can try can’t I? Yes Monkey, trying something new is good.
So we got home. What does a Yellow banded book entail? Well we’ve gone up to 20 plus pages. So the first challenge will be to keep him focussed through the whole book. Some of the words are longer – chocolate! Well that’s should grab him! There’s more language, but actually yesterday morning he read the first 12 pages straight off. He needed help with ‘know’ and looked at the length of ‘chocolate’ and almost gave up without trying, but with help, sounding out, he got it. So on the first read, he read over half the book by himself and the smile was there for all to see.
He’s taking things at his own pace, I worry that he’s getting left behind and that this could be a recurring theme through school, but he’s trying, and I’m proud of him. The enthusiasm is finally there, and hopefully that’s something we can build on. He loves books and I’m so excited for him of the world that awaits for an independent reader.
We’ve had our Sofa and Armchair for a couple of years now and the cushions I bought to go with it are starting to look a bit tired and well-loved. I’ve been thinking of freshening them up or changing them for a while now. So a perfectly timed email arrived recently asking me if I’d be interested in looking at some Scatter cushions from Sofa Sofa.
Sofa Sofa supply a wide range of sofas armchairs, and also make matching scatter cushions in over 50 different fabric designs, in many different colour options.
I set to work looking through the various options. With an oatmeal coloured sofa, I was looking for something to match that obviously, but also with a duck egg element in the pattern to match our existing accessories.
If I could make one comment about the website, it would be great if you could click into the different colour options and zoom in on the image, to get a better feel of the item selected.
But I took a chance and went for the Sandringham Scatter cushions in Duck Egg, priced at £20 per cushion. You can also add fabric protection for a further £5 per item if required.
Delivery was prompt and the cushions work really well with the decor.
Our scatter cushions from Sofa Sofa are a standard 40cm square, with a piped edging and hidden zip detailing, and they look fab.
Our only issue with them, is the filling. We’re used to feather filled cushions which ‘give’, I’m not sure what filling has been used in these cushions, but there is no ‘give’ in them. It’s a personal preference thing I’m sure, but we prefer a cushion that ‘moulds’ as we sit against it.
To see the full range available, sizing and pricing pop over to Sofa Sofa.
disclaimer: we were sent the items mentioned in exchange for an honest review
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CollectiveBias
As most of you know, Monkey turns 6 in a few weeks time which means I need to start preparing for a birthday and all that that entails. I’ve already arranged his party invitations but needed to start thinking about party bags, and I like to plan ahead with thank you cards and some baking ideas. Since our local Sainsburys store opened a couple of years ago I’ve become a big fan. The store has a great baking accessories selection on the ground floor of the store and a handy arts and craft section on the mezzanine.
I wanted to get some craft kit supplies for Monkey’s party bags, but sadly I think others had had the same idea. There are normally lots of different craft sets in this area, ranging from foam boats and bags to dinosaur magnets to make. But never mind, there is always something else to tempt me. I decided to stock up on some glitter glue pens, coloured stars, glitter card, and paint brushes along with a pack of blank cards and envelopes so that we can make our own thank you cards and include a coloured glitter glue pen in our party bags. I also found a few ideas for party bag fillers.
I also wanted to stock up on some baking accessories for another idea I’ve got in mind for Monkey’s birthday, so I headed back to the ground floor and made my way to the baking aisle.
We’ve been to a few parties where children have either decorated t-shirts with fabric paints or decorated cupcakes. I thought we might try something too for Monkey’s birthday. I’ve been experimenting with some 3D dinosaur cookie cutters recently and thought they’d be great for children to decorate at the party. To minimise on mess, as we’re not holding the party at home I decided that the Sainsburys colour icing pens would be a great idea.
So I’m preparing for a birthday, with a little help from Sainsburys.
We have lots of goodies for our party bags, and plenty of craft accessories to help Monkey make his own thank you cards. But I think the highlight of the day, might just be the decorate your own dinosaurs.
So with a few weeks to go, I think I’m ready! Do your children make their own thank you cards after birthdays and Christmas? How about party ideas, I’d love to hear about any creative ideas you’ve tried to keep children entertained at a birthday party.
Ahoy me hearties! Who loves a storybook involving pirates? Well, Monkey certainly does, and we’ve got a cracker to share with you today from Sterling Books. A Pirate’s Twelve Days of Christmas is written by Philip Yates and was released through GMC Distribution in the UK earlier this month.
If you are looking for a fun book to give the kids this Christmas, then I can thoroughly recommend A Pirate’s Twelve Days of Christmas. The story is based on the famous rhyme of ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas but with a pirate themed twist.
The Cabin Boy is left on board the pirate ship Sark, whilst the rest of the crew go off in search of shipwrecked treasure. Whilst they are away, all sorts of amazing gifts arrive onboard the ship for the Cabin Boy.
Sebastià Serra provides colourful illustrations for this lovely picture book which really add to the tale. From Swinging Monkeys to Chests of Gold and Mermaids Singing, A Pirate’s Twelve Days of Christmas will have you wanting to sing your way through the story.
But who has been sending all these presents? The ship is certainly looking a little cramped by the time the other pirates return.
Priced at £5.99 any pirate loving book-worm is going to enjoy this book and we will certainly be reading it a lot! I’ve included my Amazon Affiliate link for your convenience.
disclaimer: we were sent this item in exchange for an honest review
I’d love to share A Pirate’s Twelve Days of Christmas with you and I have three copies to give away! Just complete the Gleam form below for your chance to win. Good luck.
Terms and conditions:
(Please note that all entries will be checked against comments for validation).
Only the first step of this form is mandatory, all other steps are optional. Only one entry per person is allowed.
This giveaway is for UK residents only.
Once a winner is randomly picked, I will check if the winner has done what was requested and I will contact them, if they do not reply within one week, the prize will be allocated to another person.
The giveaway will close on 14th December 2015 at midnight.
I can remember when The Snowman™ animation was first shown on TV back in 1982, based on the Raymond Briggs book published in 1978. It was magical, and has been a part of Christmas for me ever since. The Snowman™ and The Snowdog will be shown on Channel 4 again this Christmas! and Monkey and I will be watching avidly.
To celebrate this fact, I’m taking part in the The Snowman and The Snowdog Great Festive Bake Off Blog Tour which I’m kicking off today, it runs until 5th December and will move from blog to blog. We will each be making our own The Snowman™ and The Snowdog cookies! I can bake, but my decorating skills (lack of them) have come to the forefront on this challenge! I was set some clear instructions by my Monkey son, so I’m totally blaming him for the end results!
Before I set to baking it was time to enjoy this deluxe edition of The Snowman, a hardback version of this beautifully illustrated book, where no words are needed.
The Snowman, published through Puffin Books is a magical tale, told solely with pictures and it’s a book every home should have. Monkey and I love adding our own little twists to the tale and wondering where Monkey would go if he could fly away with his own snowman one day. Priced at £12.99, I should expect that this book will be flying into a few Christmas stockings this year.
You may recall that a couple of years ago I reviewed some Christmas baubles from Ravensburger. Well this year, to stick with our theme we’ve been sent the Ravensburger The Snowman and the Snowdog 3D puzzle bauble.
The 54 puzzle pieces of this jigsaw are numbered on the inside so it’s easy to form into a bauble. This puzzle comes with stand for display purposes or you can attach the string provided to be able to hang your bauble from your Christmas Tree.
Monkey has already decided the bauble is going to be on display in his bedroom this Christmas. The puzzle is available from John Lewis and Toys R Us for £4.99.
Now on to the serious stuff, we were sent these lovely cookie cutters which are available to buy from Party Delights for £4.75.
The cutter set includes a cookie recipe, but as I didn’t have any golden syrup in the cupboards I used my own version.
Once the cookies were baked it was time to decorate them. I did look at a great video from the Biscuiteers team, but knew our’s would never look that professional and, as I’ve said previously, Monkey had firm ideas of what I was allowed to decorate our Snowman and Snowdog cookies with.
So once I’d iced the cookies, we used Dr Oetker Writing Icing pens and Cake Angels decorations to complete the look. Monkey was thrilled with the results and that’s all that matters.
Neither of us will be entering GBBO any time soon, but we’ve had lots of fun with this challenge and getting to eat the end results is not to be sniffed at.
Why not follow the blog tour and see what the rest of the team achieve in the days ahead. Pop over to see Rachel tomorrow for the next installment.
disclaimer: we were sent the products mentioned to take part in this challenge.
The B&W Photography Project Week 72 with PODCast and today I’m looking back on Bonfire night and our local display held a few days after Guy Fawkes night.
I love fireworks, I get just as excited as Monkey if I’m totally honest. They amaze me, I join the crowds, look up and just enjoy the spectacle. I took a lot of photos, I wasn’t sure of the best camera setting so some were better than others. This one might not be the best firework photo but I love the overall effect. The glow, the smoke, silence when in fact there was none. Is it all about to begin? Or has it just finished?
Monkey has been doing a lot of role-playing lately. It’s all been about school, either teaching me to read, write and do sums with his School Set, or he’s been serving school dinners. I did think he might use his pretend food to present me with a delicious lunch, but no.
Apparently Marbles and Plus Plus provide a well-rounded, nutritionally meal for Mummy’s these days!
I’ve been joining in with Project 365 since the start of 2014, and been inspired by The Boy and Me to make sure I take a Photo A Day, Every Day, For A Year! Project 365 2015 Week 46-47 Days 311-324.
Sunday 8th November – Day 311
Remembrance Sunday, we decided to watch the service on TV and I’m so glad we did as the BBC One coverage featured the cemetery in France where my Great Uncle is remembered.
We had lots of job that needed doing around the house and Monkey kept himself amused playing games. I love this smile, I wonder how many months it will remain looking like this before a gap appears in those teeth?
Monday 9th November – Day 312
Our spare room has been my nemesis and it was time to open the door and tackle the chaos that lay beyond. I got all of Monkey’s birthday and Christmas presents wrapped and sorted, organised 4 bags for charity collection and went through Monkey’s toys. It was time to be ruthless and let go of some of his older toys. It’s the horrible dilemma of knowing he’ll be gutted when he realises his Bob the Builder collection has gone, but knowing what’s coming next month to replace it all.
Anyway, the spare room looks a little less like a bomb has hit it and it was good to clear some clutter. Monkey had a good day at school and I caught up with a bit of cross stitch in the evening. The Blue Tit is appearing.
Tuesday 10th November – Day 313
Time for a quick geography lesson before school. It’s beginning to look like Monkey is going to share my love of maps. I spent the writing, and trying to plan ahead a little as we have a busy weekend coming up.
Monkey was thrilled to meet the latest member of the family as we have a Zoomer Chomplingz to review. It’s a dinosaur, it burps – Monkey loves it, need I say more.
Wednesday 11th November – Day 314
I’ve been in a grump all week, I really don’t like dark, wet, gloomy days. I’m a Spring Aries and I need that glimmer of sunshine to keep my spirits up. Anyway, I decided I’d had enough of my hair so instructed my hairdresser friend to give me a short back and side. This is bound to mean that we are going to have a frost in the morning and the weather will turn arctic!
Monkey appeared to share my mood, he came home and had the biggest meltdown I’ve witnessed in months. He certainly has his fathers explosive temper. Hard to believe that an hour later my cheeky Monkey was back and we both wondered what all the fuss was about.
Thursday 12th November – Day 315
We started the day by leaving a Happy Birthday message for Gramps on his answer phone. Monkey decided that 73 claps were too many, 6 would suffice.
I was going to London to see the Jacques Vert Group SS16 preview when I bumped into a friend I haven’t seen in ages at the train station. It was lovely to have a good catch up on the way into London. I then headed off to the event, the venue was well disguised and I bumped into a journalist who was also slightly confused. We got there in the end and it was certainly worth it. Lots of great designs and a colour palette made for me.
Home in time to pick Monkey up from school and he wanted to go to the park with his friends. The clouds were looking really ominous but the rain stayed at bay and the kids enjoyed an hour out in the fresh air, before we all started to feel a bit cold.
Friday 13th November – Day 316
Children in Need day and the school theme is Superheroes/Heroes. I mentioned this to Monkey when the newsletter came out, he doesn’t own any superheroes outfits, not his sort of thing. But Monkey, you could go to school as a Policeman or a Pilot if you wanted to. I was fully expecting him to go in school uniform as normal, but no, Mummy I’m a Policeman! Wow. He did decide to leave his cap at home but off he went and what a smile.
I caught up with some blog admin before heading out to lunch with a few NCT friends.
Saturday 14th November – Day 317
Iona from Redpeffer, and her family were down for the weekend. Our boys have become firm friends and although they and Iona’s daughter needed a little persuading to venture out on a dull, damp day, we got them out in the fresh air eventually. Which way shall we go?
We headed off to our local Pizza Express for tea and I can thoroughly recommend their Christmas Menu – The Spiced Lamb Romana pizza and Salted Caramel Profiteroles were scrumptious!
Sunday 15th November – Day 318
We loved the Winchester Science Centre so much when we visited in the summer, we went back today with Iona and her family. It was a big hit all round and Monkey spent time totally engrossed in a film about seahorses and cuttlefish. After a full day of fun with all the interactive displays we all headed home and said goodbye to our Redpeffer friends.
Monday 16th November – Day 319
A rather tired Monkey headed off to school and I got cracking with some baking. I’m taking part in the Great Festive Bake Blog Tour which start on 23rd and needed to make some Snowman and Snowdog cookies. I’ve been meaning to make some 3D dinosaur biscuits for ages so used some of the dough to really please Monkey after school.
Tuesday 17th November – Day 320
Once I’d walked Monkey to school I headed out for a much-needed back, neck and shoulder massage and then popped into Waitrose to see what Christmas items they had in store. Home to catch up with some work before picking Monkey up from school and a Skype catch up with Granny and Gramps.
Then it was time to line up for school dinners – today we are serving Plus Plus and Marbles – yum!
Wednesday 18th November – Day 321
I’d missed Jado Chi for 3 weeks so it was time to get back on it and try to remember the moves. Afterwards it was back home for a quick sandwich before heading into school to listen to some of the children reading.
After school it was time for The Snowman and a bit of Snowdog love with one of the biscuits we’d decorated.
Thursday 19th November – Day 322
So I had my day all planned out as I wanted to have some me time tomorrow and visit Waddesdon Manor. The idea was to crack on with a number of posts that needed writing up, and then the phone went. It was school, Monkey had the runs, could I pick him up from school? It’s at moments like these that I’m so grateful we literally live a few minutes walk away. Of course, it was pouring with rain. Picked one rather forlorn little boy up and we came home and got him sorted out. Plans for the next couple of days cancelled.
It’s all rather bizarre though, he was fine before school and was certainly feeling much better by bedtime. We will see what tomorrow brings, it won’t be Waddesdon Manor though!
Friday 20th November – Day 323
After being sick first thing, Monkey soon perked up and spent the rest of the day begging me to having some food. To take his mind of things we tipped the Lego all over the carpet and had a ‘build off’. It was lots of fun and lovely to watch Monkey’s ever resourceful imagination as he built all manner of vehicles, we even had a submarine at one point.
Saturday 21st November – Day 324
Someone is definitely feeling better. We spent the morning crafting ready for Christmas, got his homework done and eating! I’ve treated myself to a Lego Ferrari F1 set that arrived today. I’m now waiting until Monkey’s in bed to look at it!
Back in tail end of August you may remember that we had spent a long weekend in York. Monkey has been fascinated by the North Yorkshire Moors Railway since watching Yorkshire Steam on Tav with Daddy P. We’d promised to take him on a train journey and as luck would have it we’d timed our trip perfectly, as we’d get to ride on our beloved A4 class loco – Sir Nigel Gresley.
We caught the train at Pickering and decided to stay on the train all the way to Whitby. SNG left us at Grosmont, but we carried on our way. Our initial plan was to have lunch in Whitby, and catch the next steam train back down the line. But it was a gloriously sunny day and it seemed daft to not maximise on our time.
The only downside to this being that the whole of the North East seemed to have the same idea. I don’t think I’ve ever seen this lovely coastal fishing town ever so busy.
We timed our arrival for lunch perfectly, fish and chips was the obviously choice. We were the first to be seated in Terry’s, but within 20 minutes the place was full. We had a wonderful view looking at the cobbled alleyways and looking up towards the Abbey.
After lunch we popped into the local Lifeboat Museum, which was full of interesting facts and old photographs.
We all agreed that as we were English Heritage members we really should climb up the 199 steps and visit Whitby Abbey.
The last time Daddy P and I were in Whitby I was heavily pregnant and struggling with it all. The walk then was beyond me. But this time around we all easily made our way up to the cliff top and enjoyed the views looking down on the people having fun on the beach. A decent Bank Holiday Sunday in August -.who would have thought.
After a little breather outside St Mary Church we headed on to Whitby Abbey to visit the ruins and museum complex. You enter the site via a Mansion house, once belonging to the Cholmley family, which now houses the museum and visitor centre.
Whitby Abbey is steeped in history and is connected to Bram Stoker and the Dracula legend. As luck would have it, a theatre company were performing during our visit, but Monkey was not for standing still for more than two seconds!
Monkey was happy running around the grounds with Daddy P in hot pursuit whilst I enjoyed the marvelous stone work.
It’s a wonderful place to explore and look back down across the harbour to the beach beyond. We even spotted a ‘shipwrecked’ pirate ship abandoned on the high fields!
We headed back down to the harbour to look at the boats coming and going, before heading back to the train station to catch our train back to Pickering.
It had been a lovely day exploring Whitby and I’m sure we’ll be back again many times in the years ahead.