Monday, 21 July 2014

All change! (again)

In February I returned to work after 10 years of raising the children, mostly because of a financial need.

Today I made the difficult decision to hand my notice in, with no solid plans for the future. "You did what?!" I hear you cry.

Yes, I quit my job. A job that I rather liked and enjoyed.

It wasn't a decision I took lightly as I know that the money has been really useful but in my mind it's for the best.

Many an evening I have been sitting on the driveway waiting for hubby's bus to turn up so that I can go to work. I've told the children "I can't do that with you because I have to get ready for work" far too many times. I've heard "Do you really have to go to work Mum?" more times than I can count. I've stressed over how I can get to work when hubby's working away without having to pay a fortune in childcare and work for nothing. His office is moving soon meaning that he'll be even later home from work. When I get home from work I go straight to bed so we rarely have time for a full conversation.

The moment of clarity came on Saturday evening. One of my clients is in hospital so most of my shifts that day had been cancelled and I wasn't needed to work until 7.30pm so we had an unexpected day together. My husband was really pleased. We popped to a local park for 1/2 an hour, had lunch out to celebrate the childrens' great school reports…...and then I spent the rest of the day asleep on the sofa, exhausted from a busy week. After hearing hubby moaning to the children about our wasted day I realised that we couldn't go on like this.

Yes, we need some money coming in. Yes, it has been great working again and meeting some lovely people, knowing I'm making a difference to their lives but my family need me and they come first. The children are still young and they are growing up too fast as it is.

I could have stayed in my current job until I found something during school term times but I didn't want to waste any more time so I announced to hubby that enough was enough, I was quitting. He took it surprisingly well.

My manager was very understanding too and has said that the door is always open for me should I decide in the future that the time is right to return.

So, right now I have nothing planned except spending time with my children and husband. If I find one of those elusive term-time jobs then so be it but until then we'll cope somehow! My children need me more than we need the money.

This quote sums it up well for me.

Summer crafts with Yellow Moon ~review~

Our latest parcel of crafty treats from Yellow Moon arrived recently and although us parents are thinking of trips to the beach, park or zoo it's very handy to have some rainy day activities planned because, let's face it, a typical British summer always involves a few rainy days and children complaining that they're bored!

We were sent the following;
Flip Flop Ceramic Trinket boxes (4pk)
Castle Card Shapes (10pk)
Design your Own Clocks (6pk)
Animal Print cars (6pk)
Football keyring/bag dangler kits (4pk)

We've had numerous thunderstorms over the last few days so we got out the craft box and started creating.

Firstly the children made the football keyrings. As always with Yellow Moon craft kits the instructions were very easy to understand. The keyrings were made in a matter of minutes. I was only needed to tie a knot in the string at the end. Charlie was very impressed to find a yellow and green one as he now supports Norwich (Daddy, a lifelong ITFC fan wasn't happy!)

Molly had been itching to decorate a flip flop trinket box so we got out the glitter glue and metallic decor pens from one of our previous boxes.

I'm always a little concerned when they have anything ceramic, especially with Harry being so clumsy and reckless but these trinket boxes are solid and well-made.

Molly is going to make some loom bracelets and give them to her cousin in the trinket box. I think it will make a cute gift.
L-R Harry's, Molly's and Charlie's trinket boxes
Harry got the castle cards out next. There are 5 each of two designs. Harry loved decorating these with felt tips and glitter glue. Unfortunately they haven't come out very clearly in the photograph. They would make a great alternative to a shop-bought greetings card. These ones are going to Nanny apparently :-)

Harry soon nabbed the animal print cars and has hidden them from me and told me that I'm not allowed to take a photo! They, and the football keyring kits, would make great little stocking fillers or party bag fillers.

We haven't yet made the clocks but I'm going to sit down with Harry for that activity as I think it'll help with his numbers in the run up to starting school and the eldest two could also do with a little more practise with telling the time on analogue clocks. By decorating their own clocks it might encourage them to practise. Both the clocks and castles are made from strong white card which has a bit of a sheen to it so pens and stickers would work better than pencils.

Take a look at the Yellow Moon website and stock up for those rainy summer days! 

*We were not paid for this post. We were sent the products to review as part of the Yellow Moon Bloggers Network. All opinion is honest and based upon our own experiences.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

*Review* Ravensburger 3D puzzle-Empire State Building

In our house completing puzzles is usually a family affair but when the 3D Empire State building arrived I decided to nab it for myself! 

We haven't made a 3D puzzle before so I expected it to be really complicated and fiddly and thought that doing it alone would make it easier to construct. Too many cooks and all that…..

Each plastic piece is numbered and has directional arrows on so you can't go wrong with construction and the instructions are simple and easy to follow. Each piece is sturdy and fits together perfectly with EasyClick technology. The corner pieces are easily bent into shape and there are locking tabs so no glue is required.

From start to finish the puzzle took about 1 hour to make, going at a steady pace and that included sorting the pieces into number order.

I was really impressed with the end result and so were the children when they spotted it on the mantelpiece. They couldn't believe that I had made it all by myself!! 

The height of the completed puzzle is approx 46.5cm

There are a range of 3D puzzles available from Ravensburger; the Eiffel Tower, a Medieval house, Tower Bridge, Taj Mahal and more. Click here for more details. There are also some stunning '….by Night' 3D puzzles which include a colour changing LED light in the base. 

I think this would make a great gift for any puzzle lover.


Saturday, 10 May 2014

The People's Tower

While I was at work today hubby took the children into the city to run a few errands and they came across The People's Tower being built outside The Forum.

People of all walks and ages could take part in decorating the boxes and constructing the tower, a reflection of St Peter Mancroft Church opposite The Forum.

Molly, Charlie and Harry each decorated a box.

Some people were creative, some people used the chance to spread a passionate message….

others made a romantic declaration….

 ….and Molly……wrote her name in big letters!

When they left the tower was this high…

…..and this was impressive spectacle when we returned just before 6pm.

We were able to go inside and we were all gobsmacked by such an amazing structure made from just cardboard boxes and parcel tape. The children hunted for their boxes but Molly's was the only one we could see.

Inside the tower with St Peter Mancroft church in the background

Just after 6pm the crowds were led away to safety to watch the tower being pulled down….and afterwards there was a massive bundle to jump on the boxes to flatten them.

As people of all ages had helped with construction, people of all ages bounced up and down on the boxes! It was a truly amazing sight, and not one I'd have expected to see in this day of Health & Safety overkill.

Molly said it was "Epic and the best time ever!", Charlie kept exclaiming "Awesome!" and Harry said it was "Nice" :-)

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