Monday, 18 December 2017

Making paper snowflakes and Vileda review

Wow, life has been utterly hectic lately!

I always find this time of year manic, not just from the usual Christmas lead up with school performances and extra activities, but from it being 4 out of 5 of our birthdays within 3 weeks. We gave the boys a party each, which for me means more cake making because I never just make things easy for myself. But if all that wasn't enough this year we also had a nasty sickness bug which wiped out at least one of us for over a week (James was the only one to escape!) and also a friend's wedding too!

The snow day just about tipped me over the edge when I thought either Sam's party would have to be cancelled or no one would turn up...thankfully though we carried on and enough could make it!

So after all those very busy weeks, I was quite glad when the Monday came around and the boys school although not fully shut (they'd said if it was too dangerous to come in not to worry...I didn't fancy a 50min round trip with the buggy in the snow) we took advantage of a possible lazy day in the warmth.

We were all shattered, especially Sam who was still getting over the lurgy and his birthday. By mid morning I'd actually had enough of them and thought we should at least try and do something festive...I'd been in full on birthday mode up until then!

I decided it had to be something very quick and easy. So we made good old fashioned snowflakes from white paper.

It's something I used to love doing as a kid, and still fun to do now as you never quite know how it will turn out.

Simply get a square piece of paper, fold into a triangle, and fold again to a smaller triangle, and then for a third time.

Open up the third fold.

Bring both side of the triangle to the middle fold and cut off the excess paper.



Now the fun part, cut your design.

Alex had free reign and did his own thing, Sam was more frustrated (due to tiredness) and needed more help so I drew some simple triangle shapes for him to cut. With his snowflake I made less folds too, for ease of him being able to cut it.






Look online if you want a more challenging design too.

Once they'd finished we layered them in so much glue they went soggy lightly put some PVA glue on them and sprinkled with some glitter. We couldn't find silver glitter so made do with some bronze coloured one.



Most people would cringe doing this sort of thing at home with the glitter, but it's super easy to tidy with the right tools.

We had a Vileda 3 Action Broom to try out, now normally I'm not a great lover of brooms as I find they don't pick up the small bits of leave a bit of a trail behind them.


Once the boys had finished and there was the mess of the paper, glitter, and their snack all over our kitchen floor (which is a horrible vinyl...) I was thinking that the broom wouldn't be great if I'm honest as I never have much luck with brooms.

But this one was different, because of the 3 different brushes within the broom head it picked up everything really well and with ease. Even most of the glitter moved with it, and we all know how hard it is to get rid of glitter!




So if you're in need of a cleaning aid this Christmas this broom is brilliant for the quick jobs after crafting, baking, or when you get that call from an unexpected visitor saying they will be round in 5!

This is especially handy for us at the moment with Zachary crawling, I don't always have time to grab the hoover so can do a quick clean of our kitchen and hallway if need be (which quite frankly with 3 boys and a husband in the trade it's always needed)!




The broom was given to us to review but all thoughts and opinions are true and our own words
Blogger Tricks

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Time

Oops, it seems I failed to keep it going with blogtober!

I've decided linkys aren't really for me anymore as I just do not have the time, and any time I may have I am often too tired to think straight let alone type anything readable.

Time is definitely something I which I could have more of right now.

I have so many tasks I would like to do.

And never get around to finishing them off properly, or even starting in some cases.

Some things that I'd like to get done are:

A photo wall

We have a lovely big plain wall on our stairs that is crying out for some artwork.

I've pinned many photos of them on pinterest, and James obviously must have remembered.

It was our 10 year anniversary (of being together not married) back in Sept and James did a bit of a treasure hunt around the house to the end present of lots of frames, and a 'let's fill them with the last 10 years' note.

After returning the original frames he bought (not because I didn't like them but because I thought Ikea ones would be easier to match year after year as we add to them) came the task of slowly trying to work through the thousands of photos on our Onedrive.

This is why the whole thing has been halted as we really do have so many photos, and we really haven't kept on top of them, probably since having Sam!

 I have literally spent hours deleting the rubbish ones, and putting them into folders so that it loads quicker, as much as I just like them all chronologically ordered year by year rather than by event!

I think I've got to about 2013/14 fully done...but it's so easy to be distracted and go down memory lane!!

DIY

We've been in this house for nearly 3 years and even areas we have done are crying out for a freshen up.

That said the lounge is a priority as we have ordered some new sofas from DFS.



 Although our current one isn't old it is just too small for us now, we bought it in our old home and it's never really fit our look or our growing family in the new house.

It will be so nice to have a bit more space when snuggling to watch a film together, rather than one of us ending up on the bean bag!

Also when we have visitors we will actually have some seating!

There's not much to do decor wise thankfully, just a freshen up and possibly paint the gloss, we have ordered new carpet from carpet right, and want some new radiators, and James being an electrician wants to change the lights as we aren't happy with what we have now.

The other room that needs doing is Zachary's, we planned on doing it before he was born but ran out of time, then thought we'd wait until we knew whether it was a boy or a girl.

Now nearly 6 months later, the room is more of a dumping ground than a babies room! I've so many boxes of baby things ready for the loft or to pass onto friends.

We've a patchy wall from tester pots and furniture than needs tweaking!

Zachary is growing out of this next to me crib soon for sure so this is something that needs doing NOW really!

Declutter

I've made headway on this already as I've sold most of my maternity clothes this past week.

I just wish the rest of the family could tidy up and sort through their bits a bit more as there's only so much I can sort through!

James has so many wires and cables for random bits of technology so I am hoping he has a good sort through it all soon!

Time to create

I've actually had a few crafting chances this past week as Zachary has slept longer.

But I do need to create more time so that I have enough stock for the 2 school Christmas markets I'm doing in Nov.



Time to write

My blog has slipped, I know that!

I feel I've missed out so many moments to record, the little things I know I'll forget.

The boys have completed a term at school and Zachary is nearly half a year old already!

Sometimes I wish I could just pause time, get all the boring house jobs sorted and enjoy our family time together!

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Blogtober: Date

Date

I'm sure that's word I used to know the meaning of

My mind's a little hazy as it's been so long!

It's funny, people say you should still date when you have kids, and yes, whilst I agree, it's not always as easy as that. 

Since we have 3 kids, one of which still feeds off me, and parent's who still work full time, baby sitters isn't something I feel we can ask for regularly, I always feel guilty. 

Guilty I'm leaving the kids (despite ALWAYS wanting some more 'me' time, and guilty for whoever is looking after the kids for us as it is taking up their time!

We can never win as parents can we!

I think the closest thing to a date recently, is when James and I escaped the house one evening for a meal with some of his family, but we took Zachary with us. It was nice to dress up a bit for a change though. Nice to be out of jeans and t-shirt which are probably stained in something baby related!! It was also the first time I'd worn heals in a VERY long time.



Looking back 10 years ago, our relationship had just started, as we were 17 it mainly consisted of somewhere our parents could take us, or we could walk to, and of course afford!

I think we basically went to the cinema and then a few months later when we turned 18 the pub for a sizzling meal, a pint or in my case a southern comfort and lemonade (a drink I've not had in ages)!

We did used to hop on the train to London or Cardiff for something a bit more extravagant if we had a good pay cheque! 

We've never really done anything too extravagant as never had the money too. In fact the only nights we've spent away from the kids are nights we've stayed after a wedding or our mini moon!

The most 'out there' thing we did when Alex was little was a night on the dry slopes learning to ski, we didn't learn much but it was a good laugh. 

In the coming years I can't wait to hopefully go on more dates. 

I am hoping that having children young means that we can enjoy our early 40's and catch up on some of the fun we missed in our early 20's. I look at my parent's who had me at 22 and my brothers 3 and 6 years later and look at where they travelled to kid free the past 10-15 years, and I hope that James and I can be the same. 

I'd love to travel more of the world, and who better to do it with than my favourite date (I know pass the sick bucket).  


Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Blogtober: Car

As you may have read in my 1st Blogtober post, I don't drive. 

So although technically I own the car (well lease) I actually don't drive at all. 

I NEED to start lessons again, I had them when I was 17 and then just stopped, no real reason in particular, I just paused to take me AS levels and then never went back. 

Probably the biggest mistake really as I am kicking my self in the foot with it now. 

As much as I love walking as I think it really is good for the fresh air an obvious health benefits, it also has the obvious downsides such as walking in all weathers and everything taking so much longer. 

As the boys grow up I am also finding weekends to be a bit of a pain, the calendar fills up with parties, and football matches/training and then James throws a curve-ball and says he has to work the weekend! 

Then I have to rely on the help of others, which I always feel a little awkward about. 

So before I am 30 (which gives me just over 2 years) I will re-apply for a provisional license, I will get behind the steering wheel, conquer my fear and lack of confidence and driving!! 

Only problem is I have to learn in our beast of a car, when I'd much rather be driving something a lot smaller!!


My husband on the other hand has had plenty of cars in the 9 years he's been driving, a Corsa (sporty and drank fuel £££ on insurance so got a ...), Aygo (cheap to run, traded for...), Focus (mint condition, got written off by an old lady just days after owning it), Astra (was cheap when we needed a car after months of not having one, died shortly after but practically rolled into the car shop where we bought...), Citroen C5 (lovely car but had loads of mileage...), Insignia estate (did well for while but like all vauxhalls seemed to die with age...), old Scenic (from our friends that moved to France, temporary car to get to the hospital in when Zac was due, and thereafter a work car whilst the insignia wouldn't start)! We now have 2 cars the same, one black and one sliver and automatic  Hyundai i40 estates(which is what I am supposed to learn to drive in)!



#Blogtober17

Monday, 2 October 2017

Blogtober: Babies



Babies.

That word might but the fear of God into some people, but for my husband and I we knew it was something that we wanted.

Admittedly at 19 when we found out I would be expecting on my 20th birthday it was a bit of a shock to the system, we were scared, I was panicked, I was wondering what everybody would be thinking of me, dreading the bump and the looks off of strangers. Most of all I was dreading telling my parents, so much so I made James do it!!

But once the idea had all settled and everyone else had started to get excited about it, and we had our home then I relaxed.

On the 20th November, 6 days early Alex was born at 7lb 10oz.

Two and a bit years later we got very broody again, and after a rocky few months where I felt dreadfully sick my bump grew and grew and Sam was born on the 9th December, 8 days early (thankfully as was dreading going late and over Christmas) at 7lb 14oz.

Sadly last year I suffered an early miscarriage. It shock me up a great deal, we've been so lucky and fallen pregnant first time so I just thought that my body would be great as it had been previously.

When we came around to the idea of having another baby I was so nervous, nervous and more aware of what could go wrong. I don't think that feeling ever left me during the whole Zac's pregnancy. Zac kept us waiting until his due date, 6th May at weighed in at 7lb 12oz.

I don't know where I'd be without my boys! They drive me mad, but they all give so much love!
#Blogtober17

Blogtober: All about me

I've been off the ball with blogging of late so thought this little challenge would be good!

I'm doing an A-Z of me.



A Alex

He's our eldest son, and nearly 8 years old. He's almost catching me up height-wise (up to my chin), a lively soul and very much into cars, football and computer games. He's challenging at times and we do clash, but he has a heart of gold under all the tough exterior.

B Boys

I'm surrounded by them! I have 3 sons with my husband, James, who can sometimes act like the 4th boy at times. I also have 2 brothers, and James has 4 brothers with only one sister, so you could say that I am rather outnumbered. It's a good job I'm not a 'girly girl'!

C Cars

I'm nearly 28 but alas I don't drive, James recently bought a car that is automatic, in a hope that I will renew my provisional (from when I had about 20 lessons at 17!) and have a bit more confidence in at least starting to learn again! Confidence is something that I severely lack in many ways!

D Danielle

That's me! And also the name behind my business Danielle Louise Designs. I'm on maternity leave at the moment but will be using a couple of my 'keeping in touch days' for a few Christmas markets. I love creating, it's my little bit of me time and escapism from every day life. I can't wait to have a little more time to start up again, I know that it's never going to be anything big, unless anything drastically changes but love creating art and keepsakes for people.

E Energy

Something I am very much craving right now, with 3 kids who seem to not know how to put things away in right places, cause havoc around the house, a husband who works lots and creates more mess than the kids, a baby that still doesn't like sleeping through night energy is something I rarely have these days!

F Family

Although they drive me mad at times, family is really everything to be, I don't know what I'd be or do without them. They are my life, I couldn't bare to be apart from them for long. Most our immediate family live close by, siblings starting to stray further afield now (James' brother in USA) but that makes moments together so much more special!

G Greed

I hate to admit it, but I always want more. Whether that's more me time, more money, more time as a family, more clothes, a bigger house. As much as I want to enjoy everything right now it's so hard to switch off the greed and hunger for more, as much as I am also so grateful for everything that we do have and what we have achieved in 10 years. 

H Hunger

At the moment I cannot stop eating, I think I got into bad habits from when the morning sickness stopped in pregnancy, and then breastfeeding just seems to make me hungry 24/7! I am known for getting very hangry (just like my father haha), feed me and my mood will change, especially if it's freshly baked cake!

I Ice cream

The perfect addition to any freshly baked cake! Also one reason I am slightly larger than I should be right now as I have been known to eat a fair amount of Ben and Jerry's since I was pregnant with Zachary!! 

J James

My husband of just over 3 years, and this September my partner for 10. We started dating when we were 17 and for a couple of our age have certainly crammed in a lot! 2 Houses, 3 children, 1 wedding, and lots of happy memories and stressful times in-between! James really is my rock, I do not know where I would be without him, he is such a hardworking and kind man, I feel funny writing man as he really is a big kid! But I love him so much, if only he would pick up after himself a little more ;)

K Kids

I always knew I wanted kids, and well that dream has come true and we have 3 beautiful boys!

L Love

Some other things that I love: chocolate, baked goodies, fresh sunny mornings, crunching through leaves, cold side of the pillow, being hugged to sleep, having my head stroked, craft shop.

M Mother

That is me now as much as I love it sometimes at home I wish I was called something else so I don't constantly hear MUM, MUMMY, MUM, where are you  MUM haha. Deep down I wouldn't have it any other way though.

N Nonsense

With 3 boys and James there is a lot of nonsense in our house, and well, if I'm honest I have to join in too sometimes...I'm not going to be seen as cool for long I fear so might as well give them a few laughs whilst I can get away with it!

O October

October is the time of year my mind has to go into overdrive. It's the month I HAVE to start planning (at least in my head) the upcoming 4 birthdays before Christmas, and also start stocking up on Christmas presents too.

P Popular

I've never really been the 'popular' one, I've always been pretty shy and hide behind other peoples personas. I would crave to have a friendly relationship (other than James) with someone that I can call no matter what time, about anything at all. Although I''ve had best friends etc, and I do have friends, but I'm such an introvert that I've not helped myself throughout the years

Q Queen

A band that the older two keep asking to play on Alexa. It's quite funny as now they are recognising the songs and singing along. Although Alex often asks for King instead!!

R Roast

Mum's home cooked roast is the best. I still can't manage to time a roast right when I cook it, no matter how hard I try I just get it right! I can never beat Mum's roast potatoes!

S Sam

Is our middle son who will be 5 in December, he's a funny little boy with such an infectious laugh! He loves snuggling under a blanket and watching a Disney movie or TV. just like Alex he is hot wheels mad too!

T Tentative

I am far to tentative! I always overthink, worry, and am hesitant to change. It's something I need to work on for the future!!

U Undecided

James would say that one of my bad traits is my indecision with so much!

V Voice

I need to find my voice more, not only to be more outgoing and vocal, but to speak out and get passionate about something and not worry so much on other people's opinions of what I am saying

W Work

I've only had one job, the one I started when I was 17 (I think), it was working in the stockroom at Next. To some extent I enjoyed it, and in some ways I would love to get back into some sort of work, but I've been out of work since 2012 as I didn't go back after having Sam so it will be a huge hurdle if and when it does happen!

X ray

I've had one X-ray before, I really busted my hand playing netball once. I took a tumble and landed on the tips of my fingers, my hand the next few days was very swollen! Thankfully it wasn't broken (somehow) I miss not playing netball, but with the 3 boys and out weekends already being taken up by football and parties I don't think it would be fair just now to take a few hours out on a Saturday.

Y Yes

Yes is a word I should say more rather than 'maybe', 'in a minute' 'after this job', I need to be more positive and take more opportunities.

Z Zachary

Last but by no means least. Zachary is our newest addition to the family, and he has slotted in very nicely. Although he doesn't like sleeping through the night (much to my disappointment) he really is such an easy baby otherwise, he's already got the Spencer cheeky grin like the rest of the family and everyone loves him so. Can't wait to see what he turns out like in the years to come, his personality is shining through already.

Behaviour charts vs jars

I can't believe that it's been 21 weeks since Zachary entered the world!

It's been crazy, fun, at times a little hard to juggle everything but I wouldn't change it for the world.

You may have read my last post  about our challenging behaviour from the older two, in particular Alex.

We first tried a type of tick chart, with really quite basic things on such as routine tasks etc, with Alex I added 'go into school well and Sam 'eat my vegetables'. Alongside that we had Pom Pom jars which they could put a Pom Pom in if they'd had a good day or did something nice, friendly, helpful without being asked. With these things in place I am pleased to say that things have improved. The last few weeks of term were still tricky getting Alex happy about school but the difference was we didn't have to physically drag him trough the classroom door!

I will admit I was dreading the start of the summer holidays.

At the end of term, I awaited nervously as I collected Alex from the classroom as I just didn't know which Alex I would be picking up, the happy, chatty chappy or the angry, aggressive and short tempered one.

I was worried we'd have a lot of the latter over the summer holidays, especially more worried about the weeks my parents were sunning themselves in Greek islands.

It turns out James had a week off before we went camping for a week, this broke up the holiday loads, and gave me a huge extra hand with the boys over the time where I had no one else to help me!

Of course over the holidays, routine and bedtimes seem to have gone out the window, so we stopped the behaviour charts we had started for the boys, but have kept the jars that they each fill with pom poms when they have done some good.

These jars have helped massively, obviously there are still times we want to pull our hair out with the kids not listening, Alex still has the odd anger blow out, but on the whole the outbursts are much shorter (thankfully).

The jars are a simple concept, Alex and Sam each have their own jar. When they do something good, especially something without being asked, they can pop a pom, pom (or in our boy's case a cotton ball as they figured they were bigger!) in their jar. For example, Sam got one the other day as he actually got dressed and brushed his teeth without being asked, this is a HUGE deal for us at the moment as he NEVER does this.



Once the jar is full they can get a small treat, in our case that is often choosing a hot wheel car, despite having over 200 in the house already!

I am hoping with the start of school and routine we won't have to go back to the tick charts we'd had, that sort of thing isn't really me, I am too forgetful but if the behaviour slips I will have to start it up again, if they get so many ticks a day they get a pom pom. Ideally I'd love to just have the pom pom jars and keep it simple.

I'd originally written this before school went back when we were busy finishing school projects, but here we are a month in already and the holidays seem like a distant memory!

Gadget

This content isn't available over encrypted connections yet.