Tuesday, 31 December 2013

End of the year

"It can't be New Year tomorrow. That's in February."

Despite what Alyssa thinks,  tomorrow will be the start of 2014 and I wanted to get a head start on the "Great De-clutter" that I'm planning.

Bye bye baubles ~ see you next year.

"Oh, it must change every year then."

No, it's always the 1st January. The day most people will come up with resolutions they are bound to have forgotten by 1st February. 

All I hope for in 2014 is that all my friends and family have a happy, healthy and lucky year. Think positively and anything can be achieved. Even pretend swimming indoors in December. 

I'll be avoiding the washing up and seeing in the New Year as I always do. Falling asleep in front of the TV and waking up at 1am to realise I've missed it. Again.


Friday, 27 December 2013


That's Christmas done and dusted for another year then I guess. Roll on 2014. As Harvey commented Boxing Day evening...

"Mummy, I NEED a bath. I have to relax."

It must have got all too much for Chunky as it can sometimes be a challenge to get him in there. It could also have been due to him getting some Octonauts toys that can go in water. Certainly one of his top gifts he had this year.

My children loved the video that Santa text me this year. Father Christmas is definitely embracing modern technology. A great FREE app called "Santa visited me" helped to keep the smiles on their faces Christmas morning. The man in red is seen to be in your own house leaving presents and then dancing to 'Gangnam Style'. Hilarious and they loved it.

Santa left Harvey a painting set so immediately he had to go and get changed. Yes, apparently there is such a thing as a "painting hat". You mean you don't have one? Make sure you put it on your Christmas list for next year.

This year Alyssa's favourite present was Crayola Mosaics. Good choice their Uncle Tom & family! Alyssa even said that...

"Uncle Tom is the best boy in our family."

She started on it the moment that we got home and I now have 5 lovely pieces of art to display. I like to put their drawings up around my home ~ they are only little once so it seems a shame to hide it away. It is slowly turning into an art gallery and will never be a show home. Absolutely love it.

I don't have much money so throughout the year I will buy little bits and pieces for my children for their Christmas presents. This has worked well so far but, as they get older, they will possibly want for a particular toy or present. I will do the same in 2014 I think too but will focus on completing surveys and writing reviews just for that little extra in Amazon vouchers.

avoiding the washing up can also help with the finances then ~ that's my excuse and I'm sticking with it. Anyone else a member on dooyoo or ciao? If not, now is certainly the time to give it a go as you will have lots of things about to review.

Hope you all had a lovely Christmas.

Monday, 16 December 2013

A handbag?!

Alyssa is very into arts and crafts so was bought a "Make your own handbag" kit for her birthday one year. She has just got round to doing it and the instructions had been left out. Harvey is very observant and obviously had been perusing over his breakfast.

"I would like my own handbag and then give it to you as you don't have one." 

This comment came from Chunky. Growing up in a household full of women it isn't surprising that he can have quite a feminine side to him so I'm surprised that he wouldn't want to keep a handbag to himself. His statement isn't entirely true though. I do own a handbag, several in fact, just often I don't want the hassle of lugging around a bag.

After the kind gesture from Harvey of letting me have 2 pieces of gravel he found this morning, it got me thinking of all the other things he has given to me and have ended up in my various bags and pockets.

Purse ~ very important as contains my debit cards, personalised of course with their photographs and credit cards. Also random pieces of change and a few money-off coupons. I rarely carry any kind of cash in note form as if I have it, then I'll spend it. Plenty of loyalty cards are then rammed in for good measure.

Phone ~ I love my phone and will always have it with me usually in a pocket though as it's quicker to get to if it starts ringing.

Wet Wipes ~ always handy no matter what age your children seem to get or if you spill something etc. It also was put in my bag to avoid the 'Mummy lick and wipe'. Didn't work. I still do it. What parent hasn't noticed a mark on their children's face and just licked their finger to wipe it off?

Mirror ~ goodness knows why that is in there as it's not left the pocket of my bag since the moment it was put in.

Notebook and a few pens ~ rarely used to make notes for myself and I'm not even sure all the pens work anymore. *testing* ...... nope! (Why on earth do I keep them? It's not a case of making my bag heavier for weight-lifting exercises!)  Notebook and pens are more commonly used as a distraction technique when out with the children. It's full with games of hangman and random doodling.

Keys ~ I have to have the biggest key-ring ever as I would lose it if not.

The summer time sees the addition of sunlotion, bottles of water, and a small bottle of talc. (Talc is good for putting over the children's feet when they've been on the beach as it removes the sand easily. I'm all for a quick getaway when they've finally consented to leaving the seaside in case of them changing their mind.)

Then comes the best bit............

Twig collection ~ Courtesy of Harvey, I now have a few twigs in my bag that I MUST keep. He seems to collect one every time we go anywhere. Perhaps he's a St. Bernard or Husky disguised as a boy. 

So come on, try avoiding the washing up and let me know what random things your bags contain?

Saturday, 14 December 2013


There are very few photographs of me around as I attempt to hide at every opportunity but I do love to take photographs of my children. Let me point out straight away that I am nowhere near talented in producing a good photograph but for me it is all about capturing a moment to trigger that memory. My children on the other hand are completely different.

Alyssa will gladly pose and is now learning to 'photobomb'. Goodness knows where she has picked that up from but needless to say, a small head has started to crop up in a few photographs.

These are some of my favourite photographs that I have ever taken of Alyssa when she was 2 years old. She was colouring in a crown that we had made together out of an old Jiffy bag and she just happened to turn around whilst I was taking it. Completely spur of the moment photographs. It's truly amazing how one photograph can spark a memory and bring back how you felt at that time.



I have recently discovered that Harvey has taken a liking to producing 'selfies'. I believe that is the correct terminology ~ it seems he has taken endless pictures of himself on my phone and filled up the entire memory. The joys of having an iPhone where he can switch the camera around so he can see himself. I am ashamed to admit that I actually had to ask him (yes, a 3 year old) how to operate that function.

All his photographs aren't necessarily in focus or particularly 'good' but they make me smile and remember the day when he knew more about my phone than I did. A fact still true to this day.

I really enjoyed looking through my photographs on my phone and tonight I've ensured that this batch is all backed up. I'll also then get prints done of my favourites as I like having them displayed. Photographs should stir the memory and create conversations and I think we should all take plenty more whilst avoiding the washing up.

Friday, 13 December 2013

The fun doesn't end when you finish the roll

I'm quite organised when it comes to buying presents and find that I start wrapping them up as soon as December rolls round. This usually gives me ample enough time to actually 'forget' what I've bought so it makes it even more of a surprise on Christmas Day.

Most people come to the end of their giftwrap and the tube gets immediately thrown away right? Not in my house and definitely not when Chunky is around. He has some ingenious ideas for them.

Let me explain.

1. Didgeridoo

I would love my children to be able to play a musical instrument to a good level one day but please don't let it be a didgeridoo at 6am. This isn't the wake-up call I usually expect. Marginally better than a violin though I expect.

2. Golf club

We don't live in a mansion and our garden is smaller than a postage stamp so when it comes to playing golf it has to be of the crazy variety and INSIDE. Oh yes, there were beakers as holes and tunnels built from wooden blocks. It was looking good until Mummy interfered and broke the course they had set up. (Sorry Sweetpeas for falling over it and messing it all up but I didn't expect such a maze to appear on my landing!)

3. Periscope

Harvey is very keen on Octonauts and as such most of his imaginary role-play is submarine / water themed. A little bend at the end of the roll and voila! A periscope.

It just goes to show that, with a little imagination , a lot of fun can be had with something that would usually be thrown away immediately.

In the summer we used kitchen roll tubes taped together to make binoculars and went 'on safari'. Who knew lions, elephants and zebras roamed the uncut lawns of Cambridgeshire?

Long live cardboard tubes and avoiding the washing up!

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Christmas Cards

My first blog post so I will quickly give you a bit of background about 'The Sweetpeas'.

Alyssa is 6, going on 26. She takes notice of her surroundings and needs to know answers to all of her questions. 'Petal' is her nickname.

Harvey is 3, very nearly 4 and comes out with some of the funniest things I have ever heard at times. At other times, he would test the patience of a Saint. Ok, maybe 2 Saints. In reality, EVERY Saint there has ever or could ever be. Harvey is Harvey though and i wouldn't change him ~  fondly known as 'Chunky'.

My blog will comment on some of the things that these 2 Sweetpeas come out with from time to time. No more time to talk about background as it's coming up to last posting day for 2nd class stamps don't forget.

Have you started yet?

Most people are sitting down,pen in hand and a pile of Christmas cards are starting to be written. I have some colour-in Christmas cards this year from Phoenix Trading so 'The Sweetpeas' are more than happy to get involved with this tradition.

 "we need to send Christmas cards to everyone in the entire world...including badgers."

This is what Chunky reliably informed me at 7am this morning. I didn't know whether I was still dreaming or we were actually going to start a debate about badgers and Christmas cards this early.

Not only do you have to send cards to long lost relations, friends from school and neighbours but apparently also badgers. Yes, badgers. I'm not sure what card they would like to receive. Do I send a religiously themed card or do I go with one including a picture of Santa? Would they prefer a more wildlife-orientated card or perhaps something more modern?

As if there wasn't enough to do at this time of the year, I had completely forgotten about badgers.

Anyway, off we go to finish off our cards and get them in the post.