Where I Come From

newcastle1

Where you come from is important. Where do you come from?

I come from Newcastle. That’s the simple answer.

But there’s so much more to it than geography. Who you are is a jigsaw puzzle of early experiences.

So where do I come from?

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Five life lessons I want my children to know

life-lessons

 

What five big lessons do you want to teach your kids, to take them through their lives?

I have been challenged by the lovely Anya to consider this and take part in a blogging link-up started by Michelle over at Mummy From The Heart.

It’s been hard to narrow it down to five. There are so many things I want my boys to learn, in order to become the men I so hope they will be.

But here’s my list:

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Five Good Reasons To Laminate Your Life

carpet-stain

Five years ago we bought our family home.

It was in a bit of a state – although purely cosmetic – so we had it painted throughout and fresh carpets laid before we moved in.

While some of the walls still look as clean and fresh as when they were first painted, the carpets are another story.

They’re frayed, stained, threadbare, tatty, and generally yucky. But that’s what you get when you bring a one-year-old and three-year-old into a newly carpeted place, and let them inflict five years of muddy boots, dropped food, poo (well, I did potty train Blake in this house) and general wear and tear.

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Review: Dino Tales

dinotalescollage

At the age of 2 and a half, Brodie discovered dinosaurs.

All of a sudden, his toy trains didn’t matter any more. His imagination was sparked by Triceratops and Spinosaurus, by T-Rex and Diplodocus.

We themed his birthday parties on them, we booked tickets to see shows about them, we visited attractions which had them.

They’ve taught him a lot. These prehistoric creatures have widened his vocabulary, improved his spelling, and sparked his imagination.

So when the lovely folks at Netmums invited us to review the Dino Tales game, promising it would be educational, I had no doubt.

But now that he’s 8, Brodie is fairly knowledgable about dinosaurs, so I wondered if there was anything new this game could teach him about his favourite creatures.

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What Parenting Really Looks Like (and it ain’t pretty)

perfectfamily

I clearly remember the rose-tinted spectacles of optimism I wore when pregnant with my eldest boy.

Of course, I knew parenting would be nothing like the white-picket fence images of the TV commercials – where the mum is radiant in her pure white dress, smiling down at her cherubic infant who gurgles adorably as she changes his nappy (which no doubt smells of raindrops and roses).

But ignorance is bliss, and I still managed to kid myself that becoming a parent would somehow turn me into Mary Poppins, so filled with joy by the arrival of my little miracle that I’d laugh away his tears, wipe up his mess cheerfully, and brush off the sleep deprivation with a strong coffee and a smile.

But that’s because we rarely capture images of what parenting really looks like.

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Where’s Wally? At the Team Honk Danceathon

Wally

 

The lovely blogger Helen, of The Princess and The Pickle, is my guest on the blog today, to share a little info with you on a very special fundraising event……

 

As I write this, I am recovering from an hour’s Zumba session dressed as Wally, complete with woolly hat and legwarmers. Why, you ask?

Well, I needed a little dress rehearsal for the imminent Comic Relief Danceathon, just to make sure the costume was comfy enough for 6 hours of dancing!  This wasn’t a public exercise class by the way, I’m not quite that brave yet and I’ve got well over a week to pluck up enough courage to leave the house dressed like this!

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Save cash with Oony and win a £50 Amazon voucher

Save-Money-When-Buying-Online

Ever heard of Oony?

If you haven’t already, and you’re interested in saving money, then you should.

Oony started in 2010 with the aim of helping every person spend less on each purchase they make.

From bank discounts to coupons, daily deals and moneysaving resources. All angles were explored, until the people at Oony realised the best way to save money was to combine all these things on one site.

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Competition: Win a canvas print from Wallcreate

canvascollage

There’s no denying that living a fair distance from your family has its advantages.

No pesky relatives dropping in on you at a moment’s notice.

No getting embroiled in family arguments.

And no fights over who you go to for holidays, or who comes to you (if you live so far away, they have to take their turns).

But then you have children, and start to realise those with helpful grandparents just around the corner are the luckiest parents in the world.

Not only are we coming up short when we need to find babysitters, but we also celebrate some special events without our loved ones there to see it.

Which is why I like to send gifts that make them feel part of those milestones they may have missed.

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Win £200 of Sainsbury’s Vouchers with Active Kids

ActiveKids1

 

If your kids are sports crazy, you’re pretty much sorted when it comes to keeping them active.

In our town the majority of the local lads are either part of the junior football squad, or else they’re constantly kicking a ball around the local park or the school playground.

But what do you do when your boys aren’t at all interested in football – in fact, they’re not particularly sporty at all?

This is my quandary. When being active isn’t something which naturally occurs for your children in the school playground, or as part of a sports team, you’ve got to create opportunities for them to stay fit and healthy. Especially in this day and age when, left to their own devices, children like mine would happily sit staring all day at a computer screen.

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My Saver Story

Money-saving

 

Money and me. We’ve had a relationship full of ups and downs.

I’ve always respected those pennies and pounds. Being raised by a single mum, I appreciated that they wouldn’t always be in plentiful supply.

Which is why, when I was taken to open my first bank account at the age of 9, I relished the chance to stockpile my pocket money so I could buy things all by myself. Just small things at first. But it meant a lot when I could go to town and buy an outfit for the school disco, or I had my own spending money to take with me on family holidays.

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