Saturday, 5 July 2014

My little ballerina

Five weeks ago, just one day before little lady turned 3 she started ballet lessons. Her first lesson and the first time we had ever left her with a stranger she went in through the door alone, she looked like a lost lamb. Her daddy and I peered through the window nervously. She was joining in but still looked like we had abandoned her, left her alone with these dancing strangers who were asking her to do things that she had no understanding of like '1st  position' or 'good toes, naughty toes'. Her first lesson tears were released in giant sobs all because they asked her to carry a pretend balloon across the room. The lesson did not end so badly though, I went in to comfort her and show her that ballet could be fun, no I did not put on a tutu and join in I just sat and supported her. The lesson ended with her sat beside me, as far away from the strange children and strange teachers as she possibly could get but she did join in, she did enjoy it. So next week we tried again.
Week 2 of ballet, driving up to to the dance studio made little lady decide she didn't want to do ballet school anymore she wanted to go to school instead, she cried on her first induction day to nursery just 2 days previous so why she wanted to return there instead I don't know. We asked if we could just go inside and look, she agreed and joined in with the lesson. Well I say joined in she sat next to her dad the whole time but she did take part and learnt new skills. She came away with no tears this time, if we have to sit in every lesson till she is comfortable we will.
Week 3 I could not attend as I was at Britmumslive in London so Daddy2five did this one alone. He told me she did play up a little when it came to the group activity because she was still glued to his side, not quite ready to join the circle of children. She also forgot Timothy(her stuffed Donkey), at the end of each lesson they dance with their teddies then place a loving kiss on their head before laying them gently down on the floor.
Week 4 she told us she was going to go in alone, she soon changed her mind at the studio door but we did have a break through. Half way through the lesson she joined the circle, I wanted to shout to every mum and dad in the room that she had joined the circle but they might have just thought I was totally bonkers and mud sticks, I am totally bonkers but they don't need to know that do they! This lesson she was also wearing her ballet outfit, she had her pink skirted leotard, her pink crossover cardigan her seamless ballet tights and the adorable tiny ballet shoes. She looked absolutely adorable, I wanted to squeeze her. She is getting more confident, she will now happily get up on her tip toes and walk her pretend balloon across the room to one of her teachers. One good thing about one of us having to go in the room with her means we know what she has been learning and can practice at home, my husband doing some funny ballet moves to encourage our daughter is an hilarious sight to witness, I love that he will do anything to make her feel more comfortable at ballet school.
Week 5 is now, right this second as I am writing this, she went through the door with Daddy but joined the circle. She did not immediately stick to his side. Again I wanted to tell everyone that she had indeed joined that circle, she is making friends with her teachers who are all really friendly. It is sad that she will only have one more lesson before breaking up for the summer, I hope in September she still feels comfortable. I am certain that over the holidays we will be sat on our rug doing 'good toes, naughty toes'.
I am so happy that we did encourage her, you can see she loves it, if the day comes when she no longer enjoys it then she can stop. At this moment in time she loves being a ballerina.

Friday, 4 July 2014

Avengers Dulux Bedroom in a box

Big T has been begging me for ages to draw him a mural on his walls like I did the Peter Pan Mural. He wanted a Captain America wall mural but I know what my son is like, he has a terrible habit of pulling wallpaper off the wall so I was not ready to spend weeks doing a lovely mural for him to destroy it in one night so I put him off, I kept telling him that I will do a mural for him when he shows me that he won't ruin his walls. With him having special needs I can't blame him too much, he gets lots of sensory stimulation from picking at wallpaper, I just hope he leaves his Avengers mural well alone.

No, I never spent weeks killing my wrist drawing on walls, I found something much simpler. The Dulux Bedroom in a box, it is a genius idea and so easy to use. You get everything you need, the paint for your walls which is a matt, a mid sheen Satinwood paint for your woodwork which surprisingly covers quite a lot for a small tin, a brilliant wall mural and the paste to apply it to your wall. All the colours compliment each other and it honestly is all you need to make your childs a bedroom of their dreams.

Below is a video review of the Avengers Dulux Bedroom in a Box & the big reveal. I honestly had no idea how Big T would react as he is so unpredictable, thankfully he thinks is room is awesome and so do we.

He did make us laugh at bedtime on the first night in his newly decorated room. Daddy2five told him to take his top off because it was warm and he squealed "I can't take my top off dad Black Widow will see my boobs". He also keeps telling me that hulk is his best mate so it is safe to say he thinks his room is the best. 

From start to finish it was really simple to do, I can not believe the results. Just follow the instructions and you can not go wrong. I only have to line my walls with lining paper because they are dreadful dry walls without a skim of plaster, if your walls a plastered you should be fine to apply it direct to the walls. 

You can buy 5 different designs of Wall murals in the Dulux bedroom in a box range, the Avengers one is priced at £75 which I think is excellent value for money. The mural is 8ft by 10 ft and you get enough paint for a room that is 3.5m by 3.5m, if your room is bigger you can add more paint to your box.

We would happily use Dulux Bedroom in a box again in the future.

We were provided with a Bedroom in a Box for the purposes of this review by Dulux and Tots100. You can find out more about the Bedroom in a Box range on FacebookTwitterYouTube and Pinterest.

My Britmumslive experience 2014

If you are a regular reader you would have read my post before attending Britmumslive , in this post I introduced my sponsor C&G Baby Club, I told you a little about who they are and what they do, thanks to them I was able to attend Britmumslive this year, without them I would have been sat at home following all the fun I was missing on Twitter.
C&G Baby Club I can not thank you enough for being my sponsor

So I bet you all want to know what I got up to don't you? Well I sipped Lindeman's wine, I ate delicious food, I spoke to some friendly brands, I learnt new skills but most of all I laughed with my blogging friends, one being a school friend who is so funny she was a keynotes speaker, you can see her keynotes here. One of the main things I learnt was about You Tube, some of you may already subscribe to my youtube channel if not feel free to click subscribe. I learnt how to add links to my videos whilst in editing. It seems so simple now but before I knew nothing about it. The session was with Greg Brand and he was rather surprised the majority of us knew hardly anything other that upload and subscribe on You Tube.
Now I know a little more than I did before!

An interesting stand for me was the Aveeno stand, I have suffered with eczema all of my life, I was talking to the specialist there and she gave me some top tips for managing my eczema. I recently followed some of those tips & bought some moisturising gloves and I will be trying this out. I will be using my hands lots when I start college this September so I need them in top condition, every little helps when it comes to managing painful eczema.
Another stand was the A2 Milk stand, I never knew that once upon a time all cows were A2 cows producing A2 milk but us humans domesticated them and made them produce A1. Some people struggle to consume cows milk for a variety of reasons, some of those who do struggle are able to consume A2 milk without a problem. This fascinated me, I had a latte with A2 milk and it was no different in taste to the milk I drink at home. I would like to research the a1 to a2 milk a little more but that post will be on my animal related blog Dreaming of a Smallholding .
After dressing up for a rather shocking photo of me holding onto my coconuts I was handed a useful card, a UV safe card. UV rays are something many people worry about, I was very pleased to pick up a UV safe card from Wyndham vacation rental stand & this I will carry everywhere with me so I can monitor when the UV rays are at the most harmful levels.

The BiBS were great fun as usual, free wine helps lots when you know you don't quite meet the standard to win awards but who needs awards hey when you have Laithwaite's wine. 
The winners at their categories were;
Food-Super Golden Bakes
Inspire-Who The Hell Does He Think He Is
Social-One Dad 3 Girls
Writer-Older Mum(In A Muddle)
Photo-Capture By Lucy
Travel-Mums Do Travel
Family-Mummy Daddy Me
Style-Love Chic Living
Laugh-Just A Normal Mummy
Crafts-Along Came Cherry 
Health-My Daughter Won't Sleep
Innovate-Love All Dad's Podcast
Campaigns & Commentary-Team Honk
Fresh Voice-Katy Hill
Outstanding-The English Can Cook

Last but by no means least Livescribe, I spent almost an hour at their stand mesmerized by their Smartpens. I came home talking about these wonderful pens that will help me out at college and knew I needed one in my life. My husband looked at me like I was bonkers, my teen almost disowned me at being excited about a pen but I did not care. I then received an amazing email, I had only gone and won the Livescribe 3

I of course had a little play and I know it will come in very handy for college so thank you Livescribe.

So that is it, my whole trip went perfectly, well I say perfectly, I did have one slight hiccup. I got on the wrong train home, I visited lots of stations that look the same along the way but eventually made it home safe and well 90 minutes later than planned. I only realised once I reached Wolverhampton too! The moral of the story is do not follow me onto a train thinking I know what I am doing because clearly I don't, the tube however I can navigate.

Once again thank you to my sponsors C&g Baby Club. If you are expecting a child or looking for advice please do pop over to their website and see how they can help you. 

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Cirque Du Hilarious ticket giveaway

Do you like to laugh? Silly question right, everyone loves a good laugh and that is what you will find at Cirque De Hilarious. Throughout July & August they will be putting on their hilarious show at Blackpools central pier. 

I have tickets for a family of four to go and watch Clive and Danny who are a Father and Son duo this summer. To be in with a chance to win just enter just fill in the rafflecoptor form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

I'm Going to BritMums Live 2014

For the third year running I will be attending BritMums Live, the two day blogging event that gives me the opportunity to learn new skills and socialize with other bloggers. Being a mum to five children life can be hectic, most of my time is given to them so it is nice to have time to be just me. I am also thrilled to be able to go and support my school friend & fellow blogger Kerrie who blogs at Wife, mum, student bum, she is in the running for an award for being funny, funny in a humorous way not a weird way, go check her out.

I think we all need a little support throughout our lives and this is where I introduce my wonderful sponsor C&G Baby Club. Whether you have just discovered that you are going to become a parent or you are dealing with a toddler issue, C&G Baby Club are there to help. 

As an experienced parent I find C&G baby club useful too so it is not only for those who are starting out on their parenting journey. I remember bringing my 4th child home and having a mild panic because I could not remember how many blankets to put on him, I found comfort in pregnancy and parenting forums. It is amazing how much support you can get from people on forums, they are just parents like you who give advice and occasionally need advice, they also have professionals at C&G Baby Club for those burning questions that only a professional can answer. 

I love that C&G Baby Club have a 24/7 careline that you can contact should you need it, you can contact by phone, email or live chat. I think many pregnant ladies or their partners can become overwhelmed when they have a question that needs answering but don't know who to call, on many occasions I have found that many pregnant ladies don't want to bother their midwife with every worry so the Careline is brilliant to get those question answered or even just for a bit of reassurance. The same applies for when your precious child is here. After 5 children I still don't know the answers, the weaning age has changed over the years so I rely on the wealth of information that baby clubs such as C&G Baby Club has to offer. It is free to register so why not become a member of their friendly community.

So thanks to my wonderful sponsor I am off to London this weekend, I call it a blogging event my husband calls it a jolly. Either way I know I will learn new skills and laugh, lots. 

Monday, 2 June 2014

May flew by

What happened to the month of May? It seemed to have flown by. It has been not stop since we got back of holiday at the end of April and I don't seem to have had much chance to update. I will be writing up about what we got up to in Devon and Cornwall very soon but the holiday was fabulous and the children all were very surprised at the surprise holiday in Devon.
The beach at Hayle in Cornwall

Recently I made the decision to move all my animal related posts over to my new blog Dreaming of a Small Holding. I start a new animal management course this September so I am sure I will be post lots of animal related post so it made sense to move it away from this blog.  We recently hatched some of these.

If you want to keep updated on the new chicks head over and follow on the new blog too, you also can keep updated on our facebook page and twitter.

Little lady turns 3 next week and she also starts ballet, I hope the weather in going to be nice for this weekend, the college are having a family fun day and also hosting a sheep shearing contest that I would like to see and I am hoping to celebrate her birthday on the beach like last year but the forecast does not look great, lets hope it changes and heats up.

She also starts her settling in days at nursery towards the end of this month. Uniform shopping will be interesting because she is still super tiny. She seems very excited to be going to school in September and I hope she is ok because she really does not like strangers. I can see them bringing her big brother down from his class a lot to calm her down but I am hoping I am wrong!

Big T recently fractured his elbow at school playing on the bars, thankfully it did not need a cast as he would have freaked at the noise when it comes to taking it off. He has had physio on it and is doing really well. We have an orthopaedic appointment for him this week to check it has fully healed.

C is at the orthodontist tomorrow to have the lower arch of her braces fitted, I've never known a teenager to be excited at getting braces. She is having way to much fun changing the colours of the elastics too. She has only had the top arch in a few months and already I can see a huge difference. Her teeth are now forming lovely straight lines which I know will be worth all of endless appointments we seem to have.

M is obsessed with Minecraft, so much so we have had to ban it on quite a few occasions. It works though, on the times we have banned it she plays out with her friends like I would has a kid. 
We need to find her a hobby, maybe it is about time I taught her how to knit as she keeps telling me she wants to knit. 

Little T had a pretty awesome month, he played football at Anfield! When we went for a family day out at Anfield we were not allowed to touch the pitch so the fact that he got to play on the pitch was amazing. What was also amazing is that he wore his Dads football boots that he had as a child, they were the only boots that would fit him. I think those boots will be even more cherished now.

I have lots more to update on so will be writing again soon.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Bring the world to your garden

Featuring the very most beautiful plants and flowers from around the world, festivals and events like the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2014 are sure to inspire the green-fingered nature-lover within. Make this the year you finally spruce up the garden with a few more exotic touches and discover the horticulture of the most picture-perfect springtime destinations on the planet!

Colourful Classics from The Netherlands
Beautifully bright and cheap to plant, tulips are already a firm favourite in gardens up and down the country. The Dutch however have tulip-growing down to a fine art – entire fields of the flowers prove that the best way to impress with these gorgeous plants is to go plentiful. The most striking patterns in Dutch gardens are multi-coloured, with tulips of all shades making up incredibly vast rainbows made just from flowers.
This has to be one of the worst kept secrets in gardening – visitors to Amsterdam have long been taking amazing tours of the tulip fields that surround the vibrant Dutch capital. For a truly memorable garden however, look no further than Keukenhof – a short distance south of Amsterdam, its 32 hectares make it the world’s second largest garden. A team of gardeners plant 7 million bulbs a year at Keukenhof, and The Garden of Europe is full to bursting with dazzling tulips, hyacinths and daffodils during the spring months; if that doesn’t inspire you to give your flowerbeds a makeover this year, nothing will!

The Lush Hills and Long Fields of Italy
Easily one of the most beautiful holiday destinations in the springtime, central Italy has rolling green hills and plush vegetation peppering its rich, terracotta earth. Between the grape vines of the Chianti region, the olive groves and the distinctive cypress trees, Tuscany is simply picture-perfect come May, and remains that way for much of the summer. The hardy cypress tree – also a permanent feature in many of the UK’s stately gardens – is the perfect addition to your garden this season.
If you’ve ever visited divine Florence or pretty Pisa, Tuscany’s premier destinations, you’ll have spotted the brilliant and creative topiary that the humble cypress tree can be transformed into. To see a more simple Italian influence in your garden this spring, why not look to the similarly spectacular Umbria region just a short distance away. Whole fields of dark orange poppies give the surrounding landscape its unique colour; what’s more, they’re exceedingly easy to grow back at home too!

Spring in Washington, Autumn in New York
New York City is a magical city and an exciting holiday destination at any time of year, but there’s one place that really trumps it in the springtime; Washington DC looks utterly breath-taking during the months of April and May. Cherry Blossom trees, a gift from Japan in the early part of the 20th century, are celebrated in the joyous National Cherry Blossom Festival each spring, and they look stunning. A flurry of pretty pink petals, swirling in the breeze against the backdrop of the capitol’s pristine marble monuments, make for the ideal photo opportunity.
Handily, these spectacular trees can be planted anytime during the year given the right care and attention – plant one now, and enjoy the splendour of Washington’s gorgeous trees year after year. New York, a mere two hour train journey from DC, is great for a show in any season but is best seen in Autumn, when the leaves in Central Park have turned golden and the city’s lights can illuminate the city in the early evenings.

Conquering the Post-Spring Blues
If the thought of autumn in New York doesn’t sound appealing, just remember that spring is always right around the corner somewhere in the world! Whether it’s the astounding beauty of the wildflowers in Namaqualand near Cape Town in South Africa, or the ornately pretty orchids that grow in Western Australia, you can always find inspiration in the gardens of the world the whole year round!
Michael Middleton is a travel writer and enthusiast. Having blogged his way around Europe, North America, South-East Asia and Australia, Michael has a special expertise in seeking out the best cuisine, sights and cinemas around the world. His next trip this summer is to 2016’s European City of Culture, San Sebastian in the Spanish Basque Country.

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