Thursday, 28 August 2014

I'm having a FREE Christmas 2014

Myself and two lovely friends, Sandy and Sara, started a group on Facebook in January. The aim was to have a place where we could write about all the websites that we had found between us.

We then decided to open it up so that other people could join in and see if they could earn themselves a FREE Christmas.

I remember once sharing on our walls that we had reached the 200 members stage and we felt overwhelmed. We now have a whopping 2236 members as I write this post. It really does grow every day. I think this is because, once people join and see that it really works, they then spread that news to their friends. It has grown so big that we now also have another admin who sorts out files, answers questions and of course, accepts new members.

I did think it was quite funny when my Mum was approached by someone she works with asking if she knew about this Free Christmas group on  Facebook? Word is obviously spreading!

The best bit about our group though is how friendly it is. There isn't any shouting (if you can SHOUT ONLINE!) nor is there any moaning other than in a "wish-I-had-that-survey" tone.  It's become a great community where many people visit daily. We encourage people to ask questions rather than get stuck and just give up. We've continually shown how these sites can give you Amazon vouchers, giftcards or PayPal without having to spend any of your own money. It's also been good at showing us which sites to avoid.

No-one in life knows everything so I feel this has been a great way of sharing knowledge, tips and also wealth. We have files for each website and encourage members to post their own referral links. It's very active both throughout the day and also during the night.

I'm so proud of our little brainwave that evening when we set up the group. I love seeing all the photographs that members post up of their FREE presents that they have bought.

The only problem we now have is that the group has the wrong name for next year. So, would you like a FREE Christmas one year?

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Uniform planning

The holidays are very nearly over so we are now starting to make sure we have all the uniform ready for school. Chunky will be starting out in Reception and Petal is off to be in Year 2.

It doesn't feel 5 minutes since I was taking photos of them both in their respective uniforms on the last day of term.

As a bit of a fun challenge on this very rainy day, we had a go at designing a uniform they'd LOVE to wear instead of what they HAVE to wear.

They used the Debenhams website to browse through the "kid's" section and were debating what things they would really need. Yes, my children are all about the practicalities of clothing.

Wellies are imperative! They can both often be found wearing wellies and they thought that would be good fun for all. No more wet play times inside as everyone would have their wellies with them.

They both loved these Crocs wellies as they have handles on them too making them easy to pull on themselves. 

We had to establish what a uniform actually meant as Alyssa was adamant that she wanted to wear this dress as part of her uniform. They then agreed that Harvey wouldn't necessarily look good in that dress (I agree!). 

They then decided that their uniform would be the colour blue and spots. 

It's a good job those Crocs wellies they originally chose also come in blue too. They thought then perhaps that their school children could actually choose what colour wellies that wanted so that they weren't all completely the same.

They both agreed that jeans would be very good for school. Browsing through the pages, Alyssa found some jeans that also had braces with them. 

"Perfect for Harvey! They have braces. They are also spotty. 

I could have my spotty dress now and we will match."

I have to agree with her choice. These would be ideal for Harvey.

There uniform was coming together nicely and with no help from me. I was indeed very impressed. Perhaps this was a future career for them both. Would be different from what Harvey had informed me he wanted to be only yesterday.

"I'm going to be a pilot. No, I'm going to be a pilot of a hot air balloon. Actually, I'm going to be a mountain climber."

Alyssa then searched and found a white shirt for Harvey's uniform that incorporated a spot design. 

I had to then tempt her away from the laptop as she started to browse the bag section too.

"This is spotty. We'll have that!"

Here's the link to our mood board over on Pinterest.

I'm entering The Debenhams Back to School competition on and

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Our front door

Our front door is the divide between the utter chaos that is our home life and the world outside. As soon as that door shuts, we are in our own space where we can do whatever we want to do.

It's plain dark blue with a small little window. As soon as I open the door, the light bursts into my home and then the moment it is closed, it goes all dark again. Such a shame as I feel light certainly improves the mood in a home.

Our door is the same design as every other door on the street and many other houses share the same colour too. In fact, when I bought my house nearly 6 years ago, the seller just pointed down the street and said it was that house for sale...

"the one with the blue door"

Which one? They are all the same! If you've read any other posts on my blog, you'll know by now that me and "The Sweetpeas" are far from being the same as everyone else.

Our front door has seen many people pass through it ~ (usually opening it first!). I'm sure it could tell a lot of stories including a few arguments on the doorstep as well as plenty of screams of delight when the children have seen decorations stuck to it for their birthdays. Our front door holds an extremely important part to my life too.

The letterbox.

This is where all our cards from friends, prizes from competitions and the all important bills come through. It's our little glimpse into the vast world beyond our little terraced house.

When I painted our garden fence the way I did, my next door neighbour said she liked it but hoped I wasn't going to do that to my front door!

I wonder if Yale does a beach hut theme front door? I think it would suit our lifestyle completely.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Ice water bucket challenge

I was nominated by my friend Anna to complete the ALS Ice water bucket challenge. The idea is that you have to either complete the challenge and give a small donation or forfeit and donate something much larger, originally $100.

If you're going to do it, then do it properly!

This was then our challenge completed.

This was rain water that we used by the way that had been collected and as you can see, it will all be absorbed back into the land.

We then donated £10 to the cause as there's no point in the bit of fun if some awareness and funds are raised too.

Have you been nominated yet?

My Three and Me

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Day 21

We spent most of the morning packing our suitcases ready for holiday.

Alyssa packed enough outfits for every eventuality. She packed reading books, a few toys and some puzzles too. She is very prepared. Completely unlike me who can't even remember what day we are actually going. Yes, seriously! I have to keep going to check.

Harvey packed his pyjamas, a toothbrush and a fluffy toy.

"I'm done."

No Harvey, you aren't "done".

I later found Harvey in the garden perfecting his throwing skills. He was putting my pebble path into a bucket. Whatever makes him happy!

Spent the rest of the afternoon then with friends and they had so much fun, it was hard getting them to leave.

Another great day of the holidays.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Day 20

Today saw us all helping out on the farm by doing some mucking out of the stables.

I was so impressed with Harvey's stamina as he didn't moan once and was constantly helping.

Alyssa was a bit tired and complained that she was cold. Borrowing my hoody, she had a cuddle with a kitten which seemed to improve her mood.

It was such hard work but I'm glad that we helped out. They will certainly sleep well tonight! I will too.

Some little helpers couldn't wait to get into their beds. This is my little niece who patiently waited whilst we sorted things out.

Monday, 11 August 2014

Day 19

Alyssa had decided to stay at Grandma's so Chunky and I had the day together. We have sorted out some of the donations that didn't sell at a car boot and we put them on Facebook.

Within a few hours, the items we put up had gone!

Perhaps it was the model. Who could say no to that face?

Our "Declutter and Donate" mission is going well as we are now up to £24 for Special Care Baby Unit.

He then had some time playing on his HUDL as he had been so well behaved today.

"Have I been as good as gold today? Or just as good as silver?"

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Day 18

Harvey had a birthday party to go to today. I gave him all my cards to choose from and it took him 10 minutes to decide that in fact he did want the first card he picked after all.

It's quite handy being a Phoenix Trader but Harvey is certainly one challenging customer.

(very blurry but no chance to get a decent shot with Harvey most the time.)

We then headed off for a bit of a play at Grandad's before the party.

Bit of swimming in the evening where Alyssa negotiated a sleepover at Grandma's. 4 widths and I said she could stop a night.

"If I swim 8, can I stop 2 nights?"

Nice try Petal, nice try.

Wonderful day and not at all like yesterday. 

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Day 17

A pretty stressful day in that both "The Sweetpeas" decided to wake up in an absolutely foul mood. Alyssa wanted to do nothing but back-chat, whinge and scream that she wanted to go and live with her Dad. Harvey wanted to get all his toys out, throw them about and also go and live with his Dad.


It eventually calmed down at 5pm..(yes, ALL day!) and we headed off to meet family and friends.

Day 17 = Day never to be repeated hopefully.

An extremely short post for today as it would be a day that I'd like to forget. What happened to the happy children I usually have with me?

Next time, they need some kind of warning symbol.


Tomorrow is a new day. Roll on Day 18!

Friday, 8 August 2014

Day 16 ~ exciting!!

Absolutely miserable weather so we did a quick grocery shop and then snuggled up at home. We have played boardgames, made dens and also carried on with out #loomtothemoon chain.

As it is Friday, that means that it is's live competition. I like to watch it as lots of my friends enter and I always like to see if their name appears.

Today the theme was to put up a photograph with an American item. "The Sweetpeas" ran upstairs and put on red, white and blue clothing. I quickly made a sign and some pom-poms out of ribbons. This was all thrown together in about 20 minutes. 15 minutes of that was Harvey going....

"I can't find any shorts. Can I wear pyjamas?" 

I posted up the photo on their Facebook page and headed over to watch the live feed.

Our photograph appeared! WOW! I was gobsmacked. WOW. WOW. WOW

I called in and could feel myself trembling and unable to utter many words. "The Sweetpeas" were screaming with excitement. 

It's completely different talking to someone when you know loads of people are listening and also they are going to send you....wait for it....

a fridge!

We have to review it and then we get to keep it. I love! Oh and to top the day off, my friend also got to review something that she's been wanting for over a year.

So yes, definitely head over to Facebook page and get involved. 

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Day 15 - Helping others

Today has been a day of thinking about other people.

We have started making some long loom band chains as part of #loomtothemoon

A lovely 5 year old little boy named Skye is terminally ill. He wants to get enough chains together to be able to 'reach to the moon'. All you have to do is make a chain, take a photo of you with it with the length it is and post it on his Facebook page. #loomtothemoon You can then post it off so that it will join all the rest of the chains.

I think it's such a wonderful idea and just imagine the smile on his face once he achieves his goal.

Alyssa is concentrating hard.

I even found Alyssa had made herself a quiet little den in the garden to do it as well.

I'm even doing my share whilst working on my laptop.

My friend's daughter is also doing a challenge to raise money for St Wilfrid's Hospice. She will be doing the Bupa Great South Run.

A £20 pizza hut or Prezzo voucher will also be given to someone on the donations list which had been kindly given from another friend. Please sponsor her if you can.

I am always amazed at the generosity that people show for causes that they may not have even heard about before.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Day 14

A very simple day at home. Made a change from the days out we have been doing.

Harvey dug up some of his potatoes ready to be eaten tomorrow. He was very impressed with his efforts and enjoyed using a spoon to dig them up.

The evening ended with a bit of chick hugging, kitten cuddling, hot-air balloon watching and ukulele trampolining. What day shouldn't end like that?

"I think it's off into space." ~ Alyssa talking about the hot air balloon

Another game of "Don't let the pigeon drive the bus" and I think they'll be tired enough to fall straight asleep.

Hooray to the end of the 2nd week of the summer holidays.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Day 13

Today is the day I dread every year.

School shoe shopping.

It's usually incredibly stressful and expensive. I was talking to a friend about this ordeal and she suggested heading to Springfields at Spalding so that's what we did.

I like them to have their feet measured properly whilst their feet are still growing so we always head to Clarkes.

Harvey was measured as an 11G and Alyssa is 12.5G according to their new iPad measuring gizmo. I remember having my feet measured with a machine where you put your foot in and these big clumpy bits of metal moved onto it.

This was their starting point as they ventured round the store looking for suitable shoes.

Eventually we got out of the store after Harvey needed three fitting assistants to keep him entertained. Yes, three lovely women tried to occupy him whilst we sorted shoes that fitted and that he could walk in.

Alyssa got some lovely school shoes and then some purple patent party shoes too.

Both insisted on wearing their new shoes out of the store. They must get that from me as I always wanted to do that too.

We then headed off for a walk, a picnic and a bit more shopping.

 Pretty purple shoes

Harvey was hiding...

Alyssa would make an excellent tour guide.

"Can I go in? I can swim you know."

The answer is no Harvey, always no.

We even found a dinosaur!

Really enjoyed our visit to Springfields and will definitely go again.

They both fell asleep on the way home but that just meant that they were fully energised for an attempt at their new purchase ~ "Don't let the pigeon drive the bus game!"

I lost. I let the pigeon drive my bus. We shall have to play it again tomorrow and I will let no more birds in the driving seat.

#GetYourSkillsOn challenges

The Sweetpeas have had such fun taking part in the Robinsons Fruit Shoot #GetYourSkillsOn challenges.

My particular favourite had to be the biscuit challenge. Alyssa told her friends about it and they were also keen to try it out too. I will never forget them standing in the garden with their first attempt. Harvey was so funny and I'm glad I captured "The Biscuit Challenge" on video.

I really enjoy taking them out for walks and they do too. They were particularly keen to show me how they can zoom around on their bikes and scooters as well as other random skills they have picked up along the way. Blog post Unfortunately, I never did get to video Harvey riding straight into the metal railings. That wasn't at all planned but he tried to convince us all on the way home that it was what he had wanted to do.

"I meant to do that."

Also, the day we had a Teddy Bear picnic in the park and then tried to do loads of challenges in the afternoon. Utterly hilarious trying to do a three-legged race with Alyssa. We shall definitely try that again as it was so fun. I won't cheat at the end this time either! BLOG POST FOR THOSE CHALLENGES. In that post, it's also the limbo dancing Alyssa tried out and making up a new street dance. Frisbee throwing in the park and balancing a piece of cake on their head ~ what a fantastic time.

We do love a good den in this family I must admit. Our igloo was a triumph and provided days of play. Until it rained.   BLOG POST FOR DEN MAKING

Our hula-hoops have never seen so much action since I bought them. They are determined to be exceptional hula-hoopers. I love that this challenge and me recording their attempts has meant that they actually want to improve rather than being forced into doing it.

Rapping was also a fantastic task for them. Perhaps not so early in the morning next time but it will certainly be something they can do again. Alyssa loved coming up with the song whereas Harvey just preferred the hand gestures and wearing his hat backwards.

Looking back through my posts as we have done these challenges has brought back such wonderful times with them. I had forgotten Harvey had also been waddling around the garden like a penguin .

I have thoroughly enjoyed recording their efforts with these challenges and I thank you for reading our results.

Now run along and try out that biscuit challenge. 

You know you want to!

Monday, 4 August 2014

Day 12 - Big Sky

The Sweetpeas had a day planned at Big Sky ~ a soft play type place.

Alyssa ~ "Why doesn't Daddy just come and say sorry? He's missing out on days like this"

Harvey  (without any hesitation and before I could say anything ) ~

"Maybe he's too old. He's forgot how to say sorry."

They absolutely loved it! I was really surprised as Harvey doesn't usually cope with places like that but, with his best friend by his side, he was in his element.

I did very stupidly say that they could have food whilst we were there. Why is an adult burger the exact same size to that of a child's burger? Extremely expensive and won't be making that mistake again! (Oh,and they had no bacon. What kind of establishment advertises something as a 'special' but then doesn't actually have it? Humph.)

We did detour on the way home for a milkshake as they had been very good. I'm thinking I may need to buy shares in that place.

Very sunny day so we are now looking at the clouds trying to think what they look like....

Alyssa's photograph. I can see a giraffe in the sky with the clouds surrounding it.

Moral of today I guess came from a 4 year old. 

Never be too old to say sorry.....or you miss out on soft play.