Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Favouritism in schools....It's so unfair!

This post is really hard to write without coming across as a bitter parent....I am slightly but I more angry about the situation that keeps happening again and again.....

Ellie my youngest put her name forward to be a house captain at school. She wrote a speech and read it out in front of the whole school...I was very proud of her. There were 5 kids up for the job but the boy who won the position of house captain was a boy who is already a peer mentor, librarian and milk monitor.....I am really happy for the boy in question as he's a lovely lad but it did make angry at the school and think it's always the same kids getting picked for the big/special things....

This has been going on for years. It's not a new thing. When I was a kid the same thing happened....Those who had parents who worked at the school or who were trouble makers got the special treatment....

When Becky was in primary school there was about 4 or 5 kids who would always get the speaking parts in plays, picked to go on special trips, picked for jobs and awards....They used to say Becky needed more confidence. Maybe if she was given speaking parts or responsibility she would have gained some confidence....

There was a time with Becky when there was something at school (I can't remember what) but Becky turned around and said she didn't want to take part because so and so will get picked....They obviously did win and proved Becky right. 

You can guarantee that if there is say 5 kids picked out for something from Ellie's class it's always the same one's....Those who shout the loudest and have the most confidence....

The peer mentors were picked in the first week back at school....They were voted for by the children. Of course they are the same kids that had the job last year and the year before. It is just a popularity contest and it is not fair for other kids who are a little quieter and may do just as well as the popular kids....

Maybe if the quieter kids were given the chance they would flourish....How are they supposed to gain the confidence if the louder kids are getting all the opportunities....

I get that the quieter kids have to learn to speak up to get what they want but when they are getting pushed down again and again when they are young it knocks what little confidence they have. How is that supposed to set them up for life?

Thankfully Ellie was not too upset that she didn't get the role of the house captain....She took it really well, way better than I expected....When I asked her who got the job she said so and so, Obviously!!! At 10 years old even she can see there is favouritism in the school....It's a shame. 

I am going to have a word with the teacher. I will ask why the same kids get picked for everything and what Ellie can do to be picked for things too. 

I have already made my predictions for who will be awarded learner of the year at the end of the school year in July....hahaha! Now that is me "that bitter parent"

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

We have tried out the Betty Box - Review!

Periods are rubbish but they are part of growing up....Becky my teen has said I am not allowed to talk about her periods but at that time of the month she can get a little grumpy so anything to cheer her up and put a smile on her face is very welcome.....

We were offered a Betty Box to review and I jumped at the chance and saved it for "that time of the month".....

The Betty Box is a monthly subscription service which provides tampons and pads, alongside a beauty and pamper box which consists of a fab selection of products. Anything from makeup to jewellery and cute trinkets. The Betty box is aimed at girls in their teens and the idea is just to make that time of the month a little bit more pleasant!

For £12.99 a month (with free postage) you get everything you need. You can choose from Tampons, pads or have a mixed box. You can choose what brand of sanitary product you want to use. They have Always, Tampax, Lil-lets, Kotex, Bodyform and they come in different absorbency levels which is perfect....

The box comes with 3 boxes inside. One full of treats that I will come to in a moment, one to use at night time and one for later....The pretty bag is to use straight away. They all contain the sanitary products you ordered....

The "For You" box was packed full of treats which included:

3 Monty Bojangles truffles.
Joe & Sephs Popcorn.
A Minifelts iron-on patch.
Trust Fund nail polish.
Bubble T lip balm.
A Stabilo highlighter.
La La Land sticky notes.
2 T-Zone Charcole & Bamboo pore strips.
Chirp hair mask.

When you look at the contents of the "For You" box the £12.99 you pay for a Betty Box looks like a real bargain. The nail polish has a rrp of £12.00, the Minifelt patch is sold for £6.95 and the Bubble T lip balm is sold for £3.00. I think it is a real bargain.

This box is not aimed at me though.....It is aimed at teenagers. So what did my teen think of it? 

She absolutely loved it.....She loved everything about the box. She thought the separate boxes were a good idea and the little bag to keep sanitary products in was great to keep them hidden. She is still at the stage in her life about being embarrassed about her periods.

The box of treats really did cheer her up and make her smile....She thought there was a good mix of things and they were all things she would use too.

I think this will be something we will subscribe to. It is well worth the money and is perfect for my girl.

We were sent The Betty Box free of charge in exchange for out review. This is it!

Monday, 18 September 2017

Our Weekly Meal Plan!! - #mealplanningmonday

Last weeks meal plan went OK until we got to the back end of the week....On Thursday it was chilly so we fancied something warming and went with sausage, mash and beans. So simple but so good....On Friday we had a cheats tea. I bought ready made sandwiches and some cakes and on Saturday we made our own pizza's again....Next time my fella is making mine....His looked amazing! It had chicken, sweetcorn, mushrooms, onions, chilli sauce, spinach & pepperoni and tomatoes on.

The weather has changed so much and summer is well and truly over so we're going to be eating a lot of warming, hearty meals. I love this time of year!

This week on the menu we have:

Tuesday - Lasagne and garlic bread....
Wednesday - A Big baked breakfast I will be adding black pudding too....
Thursday - Beans on toast....
Friday - Pizza....
Saturday - Curry, rice & naan bread.
Sunday - Sausage casserole....

What are you eating this week?

Saturday, 16 September 2017

A photo everyday for a year - Week 37 #Project365

This week we seem to have got back into a routine with school and my fella going back to work...The weather has taken a turn for the worse and it is really starting to feel like Autumn which has got me thinking about Christmas. So exciting!

Now for a photo every day!

238/365 - 9th September
I wrapped Becky's birthday presents and left them in the corner of the room....She thought I was torturing her. hehehe

239/365 - 10th September
Becky had a wonderful birthday....I love this jumper. I wish it came in my size. hehehe

240/365 - 11th September
Ellie had great fun marking off what she wanted from the Smyths catalogue....She want's everything. lol

241/365 - 12th September
Porridge for breakfast....She is obsessed with it at the moment.

242/365 - 13th September
Just in from school....She loves having P.E last lesson. She gets to come home in her kit.

243/365 - 14th September
I washed my slippers they were stinking....I don't think they're going to last much longer. A new pair is needed.

244/365 - 15th September
She loves these big bows. I hate them but all the girls at school are wearing them....

Friday, 15 September 2017

Working hard. #WotW

This week my Word of the Week could have easily have been School again but I have decided to go with:

The kids have really settled back into school now and have been working hard...We are in more of a routine and on Monday my fella went back to work after having two weeks off for his holidays....It has been really strange being home alone but it means I have been able to catch up on the housework.

Becky is loving school....Really loving it. She is finding the subjects so interesting. Since choosing her GCSE's she has dropped things like cooking, art, drama, history and music which she hated. Now she is just focusing on subjects she enjoys she seems to have really knuckled down....

She brought home two pieces of homework on Tuesday. I made her do it straight away. It was a bit of a shock to her. All the way through year 8 & 9 she hasn't had much at all. Maybe one piece a month at the most....I hope this is the start of her getting more homework. It at least gives me an idea of what she is learning at school....Her Geography homework was about Earthquakes and tectonic plates! Google came in very handy....She was stuck on one question and I didn't have a clue....Eek!

Ellie is doing great too.....As she is in year 6 children in her class get to be peer mentors, house captains and have other little jobs. On Wednesday Ellie stood up in front of the whole school and read a speech that she had written herself about why she wanted to be a house captain....I never heard or saw her do this but she did tell me all about it....I am so ruddy proud of her. Today we find out who will be the house captains. I am keeping my fingers crossed for her but even if she doesn't get the job it is still such a great achievement.

Ellie is going to be busy this term. Over the past week she has joined 2 clubs. The recorder club. She gets her own recorder to bring home. Oh, joy! I suppose it can't be any worse than the trombone she played last year and she signed up to the choir again which she has done for a while and loves....She has also put her name down for Football club. She has never really been interested in football. I think she just likes after school I don't know if she will get into that as it's open to a few year groups and there is only 35 places and it seems all the boys have put their names down.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

My teenagers 15th birthday.

It was Becky's birthday on Sunday....Weekend birthdays are the best and Becky made the most of being off school for her special day.....

She had a wonderful day.....

Her and Ellie came into my room to wake Stu and I up just before 7am. Eesh! We told them to go back to bed for an hour and they did....Phew! I couldn't hold her off for long by 8am the girls were back and we all got up so Becky could open her pressies....

She got everything she wanted and more....I bought her a few surprises that she didn't ask for or know about and she was over the moon with them. I am glad to say the trainers fit her....I was worried. When we had gone school shoe shopping I had to buy her size 6. The trainers were size 5. I think it was just the fit of the school shoes. Phew!

She picked out some of her new clothes and we got ready to go out for breakfast! We had planned on going to McDonalds but then came up with the idea of going to Weatherspoons....The food is nicer and you get more for your money!

The only disappointment was that our Weatherspoons has stopped selling hot chocolate. Becky had her heart set on one....She had to make do with Pepsi. hehehe We all had full English breakfast's....They were so good and just what we needed on a Sunday morning!

Becky spent the rest of the day playing with her birthday pressies, reading and of course playing on her tablet.

She had a soak in the bath of course with a bath bomb and all the fancy bath products she got....Put her new pj's on and then it was time for tea and cake....She chose pizza from our favourite pizza shop and we had a couple of cakes for her.....I chose the emoji one and Ellie of course choose the Monkey one. hehehe

Becky had a fantastic day....Best birthday ever was mentioned a few times. I am so pleased. She has said that next year she doesn't want to choose the majority of her presents....She want's more surprises because the surprises I bought her were so good. hehehe


Wednesday, 13 September 2017

We love Roald Dahl here....Do you? #RoaldDahlDay

Roald Dahl has always been in my life....As a child, watching the films before kids and then my girls enjoying his books too....

Even before I could read Roald Dahl's books to myself I remember having the audio book on cassette tape of Charlie and the Chocolate factory.....I remember sitting on the kitchen table listening to it over and over again....I knew it word for word.

When I learned to read I adored his books....I think I had all of them and would read them over and over....It is hard to pick my favourite but it would have to be between Matilda, George's Marvellous Medicine, The Witches and Boy. 

When I was at school for a whole term we did a project about The Witches.....The term ended with us watching the film which was brilliant....I'll never forget the gasps when the Grand high witch removes her mask for the first time...I can remember being terrified...It was scary stuff when you're only about 11 years old....

When you think about it a lot of Roald Dahl's books are terrifying....The Witches for the obvious reasons, a child feeding his grandmother antifreeze in George's Marvelous Medicine, parents being killed by a rhinoceros in James and the Giant Peach, a teacher torturing children in Matilda and also parents who neglect their children, and giants eating people in the BFG.....

I have gone on to love all the Roald Dahl films too....Well apart from the Johnny Depp Charlie and the Chocolate Factory remake....That was just wrong. Gene Wilder will always be my Willy Wonka. I think my favourite book that was made into a film is Fantastic Mr Fox...

Roald Dahl has given me so many memories.....Now the wonderful writer is making memories for my girls too. They love his books. Over the years my girls have read a lot of his them at home and and school....Now Ellie has discovered the audio books on YouTube and she is working her way through them....She loves to read but also thinks if she listens to it she can do something else with her time as

What is your favourite Roald Dahl book?

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

FabLab Bath Bombs Kit - Review!

Recently we were send a few products when I wrote a blog post about the website what2buy4kids. My girls love bath bombs so the FabLab Bath Bombs Kit seemed perfect for them. Making bath bombs was something on our bucket list for the summer and we managed to squeeze it in just before they went back to school....

Kids love bath bombs and what could be more fun than making your own? With this cool kit, kids can tailor-make their own bath bombs, choosing their favourite colours and fragrances to make personalised bombs for their bath. Inside the box you'll find everything needed to make up to 12 bath bombs. The kit includes the fizzy component that makes bath bombs so exciting plus fragrance and colouring. There's also a bath bomb mould to make the iconic bomb shape plus all the accessories needed to create your own bath bomb mini factory. The kit also includes wrapping paper, ribbons and gift tags so kids can give away their creations as gifts for friends and family and comes complete with a step by step guide on how to make the bath bombs. 

We opened the kit and everything looked great....I realised there was no fragrance. That is not included even though on the what2buy4kids website it says it is but on the upside there is 2 bath bomb moulds...I expected there to be only one.

 I read the instructions and to add the fragrance you use liquid soap (shower gel or washing up liquid). We have some fab shower gels at the moment. Ellie decided to use banana flavour and Becky used Bakewell Tart.

There was 2 colours to choose from when it came to making the bath bombs...Blue or Red.

Ellie decided to go first making the first bath bomb. We followed the instructions, added the Sodium Bicarbonate, Ciric Acid and a tiny drop of shower gel and gave it a mix....It bubbled up but we thought we would carry on trying to get it into the mould.

The hole to put the mixture in is quite small and the spoon is quite big compared to the hole...Ellie struggled I could see there was no way this was going to work as we had made the mixture too sloppy. Ellie gave up and let Becky take over....

Becky had more success making the mixture and it was the correct consistency....Hooray. She got on with filling the mould. She found it a bit of a faff too. Well a lot of a faff. She was on a good 10 minutes, probably longer filling it. 

We then open the mould and this happened. It came in two halves....We read the instructions and realised we had packed it in too tightly. We tried 3 times and the same thing happened.

I tried again myself and I tried using washing up liquid and it made no difference....We could just not get a whole bath bomb....

It is such a shame that this didn't work out because we love bath bombs so much. Getting the exact consistency and filling the mould exactly right just takes the fun out of what could have been a great activity.

I would say save your money and just buy some ready made bath bombs.

Since trying this kit I have read some reviews on Amazon and it seems a lot of people have had problems with this kit too.

We were sent this free of charge for our honest review. This is it.

Monday, 11 September 2017

Our Weekly Meal Plan!! - #mealplanningmonday

Last weeks meal plan went pretty well we only changed one meal. Instead of the sausage rolls, chips and beans on Friday Stu cooked Corned Beef Hash.....It was delicious and very nice not having to cook....In fact I didn't cook much last week as Stu helped a lot with being off work for his holidays.....He is back to work today so all the cooking will be down to me again but I am feeling enthusiastic about it and have found some recipes on Pinterest.

Yesterday was Becky's birthday and we had a fab day of food....We had breakfast out, takeaway pizza for tea and of course birthday cake. Yum, yum!

This week on the menu we have:

Monday - Hot dogs in buns with corn on the cob....
Wednesday - Tomato ketchup chicken skewers and rice....
Thursday - Tuna & sweetcorn slice....
Friday - Pizza....
Saturday - A picky tea....Sandwiches, crisps, chicken dippers, sausage rolls, onion rings, cheese, cake.
Sunday - A roast dinner....

What are you eating this week?

Sunday, 10 September 2017

I have been a mother for 15 years!

Today is Becky's 15th birthday....I really can't believe I have been a mother for 15 years. I remember crying my eyes out in a panic waiting to go for the c-section worrying about stupid things like what if Becky didn't like me. How was I supposed to be a mother when I couldn't even keep plants alive...I was terrified. It turns out she did like me and I have done a good job of keeping her alive....hehehe

Becky is fab! I know I would say that but she really is....She has her moments but what teenager doesn't....I keep telling myself it is just the hormones. 

Becky and I like a lot of the same things like YouTube. A lot of her favourite Youtubers are now my favourites and vice versa....She now watches Brummy Mummy, Louise Pentland & The Michalaks who I love and I have started watching Logan Paul, Lucy & Lydia and Dodie Clark who she loves....

We also like the same sort of TV programmes....There is some I still won't let her watch though. She is desperate to watch Game of Thrones but I won't let her....Eek!

We don't share the same taste in music though....I feel so old saying this but some of what she listens to is just noise to me....She knows so much about popular music where I don't have a clue.....hehehe

Becky has became an expert at sleeping over the past year and when she isn't sleeping she spends a lot of time in her bedroom.....I blame myself. Earlier in the year Stu & I decorated her bedroom in a graffiti style and she loves it. It seems to have really helped with encouraging her to keep her room tidy.

Since her last birthday Becky has chosen her GCSE's and started studying the subjects last week....We had a little drama which meant she couldn't take R.E and French instead she is taking Computer Science and Statistics. I was not very happy about this at all at first but she is loving these subjects so far...She has had a lesson or two of each in the week she has been back at school and she thinks she will understand everything and enjoy them too! 

Becky had her braces taken off last month and it has given her so much confidence. When she was wearing her braces she smiled but kept her mouth closed now it's all about showing off the perfectly straight teeth.

This is the first year where Becky has chosen the majority of her birthday presents....She is getting plenty of clothes. Over the last year she has somewhat changed her style. She used to be all about tracksuits and t-shirts. Now she's preferring jeggings/leggings and tighter tops.....Ellie said to her a few weeks ago "there you go Becky, you look like a real girl now" I am happy with whatever she wears as long as she is.

There is also a few presents she doesn't know about....hehehe She is obsessed with the colour green so I have brought her some joke presents....Pop, sweets, socks, knickers and pens. They are all green. I think I'm funny she will probably think not....

Becky has decided that instead of going out for one big meal she wants to have breakfast out....It was going to be McDonalds but she has decided she wants a pub breakfast instead. A full English breakfast. She then wants pizza for tea....That's fine with me. Becky is just happy not to spend her day at school....

Happy birthday Becky Boo! (she hates me calling her that. lol)

Back to school. #MySundayPhoto

Saturday, 9 September 2017

A photo everyday for a year - Week 36 #Project365

This was the week when the girls returned to school....We have had a great start to the new school year. I hope the rest of the year continues so well.

Now for a photo every day!

231/365 - 2nd September
I bought some treats for Saturday night....Ellie made kebabs out of the doughnuts, marshmallows and strawberries....

232/365 - 3rd September
Just messing around while I was sorting things to make bath bombs....

233/365 - 4th September
I put a film on...Ellie didn't want to watch it but didn't move from that spot for nearly the whole film. lol

234/365 - 5th September
The kids went back to school and my fella & I went out for breakfast...A treat for surviving the school holidays!

235/365 - 6th September
Ellie has been so keen to do her spellings and reading after school....I hope this continues. 

236/365 - 7th September
Candyfloss in a tub....It looks nicer than it tasted. The yellow section tasted like washing up liquid. Eww! The kids loved it.

237/365 - 8th September
My teen faffs around so much.....I wanted her uniform to wash she was up and down the stairs about 15 times just faffing about. lol

Friday, 8 September 2017

The return to school. #WotW

This week my Word of the Week is:

Both my girls returned to school on Tuesday and they have had a great week.....Becky went into year 10, starting her GCSE's and Ellie went into year 6, her last at primary school....

Becky was so excited to go to school....She was starting her new subjects Health & Social care, Statistics, Computer Science and Geography which she will be studying for her GCSE's.....

For the last 3 years Becky's year group was split into 2 so she always had her lessons with the same people, now the whole year group is mixed and on Tuesday she realised this and it dawned on her that she might be in classes with people she didn't want to be with and her prediction was right....She is with one of the girls who bullied her through primary school, she's sat next to someone in another class who bullied her last year and another boy who she had a falling out with in another class. Awkward. The school have been told about the issues in the past and dealt with them so if any trouble does start I won't hesitate to contact them again....

In Health & social care there is only one boy in the class and when it comes to Statistics there is a lot more boys than girls....She says it's because all the other girls in her year choose Hair & Beauty or Art. She is finding it so strange but because she doesn't have her friends with her I think she will knuckle down and do some work....

Ellie was also very excited to get back to school too....She has the same teacher as last year so she knows that Ellie is deaf in one ear and about her suspected ADHD so there was no worrying and having to explain things...

We're only a few days in to the new term but Ellie is working hard. This year there is a science teacher coming in to teach them and a French teacher too. She is very positive about school which has never happened before. She is coming home and is wanting to read and learn her spellings....I just hope it lasts....

At Ellie's school we have a new head teacher....She's not new to the school though, in fact she taught Becky when she was in year 5 so has been here a while....I was very excited when it was announced that she was going to be head.

The new head has made some changes about how things work at school....I am liking the changes. Instead of just the head coming out to bring the children in on a morning all the class teachers come out now....At lunchtime they are not kept in their classes in the dinner hall they get to sit with other people from other years which is great. Ellie has friends in other classes and is now able to sit with them. There is attendance awards starting too but we'll see how they go. Ellie has a couple of hospital appointments coming up so if she is penalised for being away from school there will be trouble. 

It has been a great week and a great start to the new school year....It is good to be back into a routine although the early mornings are taking some getting used to again....