Thornwick Bay, Yorkshire

Its been a while since I wrote a blog and this has been for several reasons. All things craft came to a standstill once Easter arrives as it gets far too close for to the summer exams for me to focus on anything creative, but also the stress of the exams extracts any creative mojo I may have.
As a Principal examiner I have a big responsibility to ensure the processes for each exam season is followed along with the quality assurance so the results have some validity. This completely saps any energy I have so no crafts. 
So we are on our second summer getaway. We are in Bridlington and lovely town in Yorkshire not far from Scarborough and Whitby.

1. First thing I noted. The boys could not get their heads round an open plan kitchen/lounge and dining room. They screamed for over an hour running up and down the 12 foot of the caravan. My poor neighbours must have thought … ‘Here come the chavs’ they must have only heard us shouting at the boys to be quiet. I did feel for the elderly couple that were on one side who clearly own their caravan and probably thought they would have a quiet weekend away.

2. The rain. We woke up to rain at home and it followed us here. Good job I packed the boys wellies. Well done me.

3. While we bought our shopping in the local supermarket there was an offer on trucks and tractors. I bought them as the boys are mad on all types of transport at the moment. Good job I did they have not stopped playing with theirs or their cousins since we got here. Well done me.

4. Smacking each and every button in a lift causing the singleton eye rolls which I can very much relate to.

5. The indoor pool entertained them for ages! They did not and would not come out of it! 

A long weekend was enjoyed by all and was enough for some serious amount of family time! Perfect!

Holiday in Ayr, Scotland

We spent 7 glorious rain free days (yes your read that correctly) in Ayr. It was fun, busy and with most holidays we now have included a night in hospital with one of the boys.

We took the whole family to Ayr and when I say whole family I mean, my mother, and my parents in law. My sister also manged to come directly from Portugal where she was enjoying her first anniversary with her husband. 

My mums cousin lives there and its a beautiful place and we went last year and felt we needed to go again and take in its real beauty. So we packed up the cars and arrived ready to take in Ayr in all its finest.

We had plenty of cousins and the cousins had children so there was plenty of distraction for everyone.

We spent a day in Stirling at a Safari Park which we all loved.  There was plenty to do for all the family from the ferris wheel to adventure playgrounds to setting up your own private bbq. 

We had a cultural visit to the sikh temple that my parents wanted to do whilst we visited Glasgow so we went and saw the beautiful buildings as well as a dedicated museum to sikh history whilst we were there.

Ayr also has its own beach with an enormous adventure playground that the children wore themselves out in. The views were stunning and it felt good to smell the sea air. The tide was out so lots of fun was had making muddy sand castles and plenty of tantrums when we had to pack up and return. 

Finally we ate. And did we eat. The family in Scotland live a good get together so it was bbqs, meals out, takeaway and huge meals for all and sundry.  All in all minor minus the overnight in a hospital for a bug that the little one had caught everyone had fun and returned feeling that they had had a change of scenery and were refreshed. 

UKPA Big Meet 2016


Its been a very eventful weekend for an autumn Saturday at the start of the term for me. You remember a few months ago I wrote about my excitement of being able to get a ticket for the Big Meet well the day soon arrived and it absolutely blew everyone away.


Earlier this year the UKPA team arranged for over 80 of us to meet up and enjoy our planners with similar minded people. As the planning of the day went ahead there was what can only be described as a snowball effect. The businesses that sell us the stickers, planners and ephemera started to show interest. More and more people wanted to be involved and by the time I arrived with my table 4 groupies the good bag was enormous. From brands such as Filofax (I ❤️ filofax) to Mrs Brimbles – my ever faithful monthly subscription box the bags were loaded to the brim.


We were all given table numbers and seating guides weeks ahead so most tables exchange numbers and got to know each other beforehand. I was on table 4 and it was a great table, we laughed at each other, with each other and ate plenty of chocolate too!


The day started off with a talk from Kristina Karlasson owner of Kikki K. She imparted her 11 rules which simply inspired me and the room full of women with their planners. There were lots of stalls set up who had heaps of planner related goodies for us all. It was just heavenly. The atmosphere around the whole event was just fun. It was the first time you felt you could go over and ask ‘can I see your planner’ without feeling like you are intruding into someones diary!

There were UKPA awards where one of our very own Dani won the filthiest minds award. Very well won given it is very true. And lets not forget the raffle, there were so many prizes that had been donated that they raffles off names until they ran out of prizes. I ought to add here that I won an A5 Purple Finsbury I could not wait to come home and talk planner to my husband.  And just like any other planner meet up there was the ultimate planner pile that everyone enjoyed.


Whilst driving home I reflected on the day. Somehow a group of women who had mostly been online friends managed to meet up, have fun and begun real life friends. That in itself is an achievement for UKPA but also for every woman who was there. It was fun. It was relaxing and most of all you could feel the electricity of people just enjoying each others company and talking to one another as if they had known each other for many years.

I also got to meet Steph who organises the group which was fab. I met Daisy Martin off mygreencow who I follow on YT and the wonderful Anna Brimbles to thank her for my stationary box that arrives each month. It was good to put names to faces and to see the real them.


If you are a planner nerd and love anything to do with planner goodies UKPA has it all.

As for next year a bigger venue is most certainly on the cards … here’s to 2017!

Relaxing

Whilst on a short break to the Yorkshire coast I was trying to plan a day to the beach, a few hours at the indoor pool and slides located on the park we were staying in that my husband said ‘Ranj do you ever relax?’ You fretted over the packing, what time we left to go on holiday, the time it took to get here and then every activity we have done. You are on holiday. SLOW DOWN.’

My initial reaction was to roll my eyes and think thats easy as I am the one the does all the ‘logistics’ but then the more I thought about it the more I thought there is actually alot of truth to this statement, more than I care to admit. 

It is the summer holidays and I am trying my hardest and damnest to get all the odd jobs done, almost regimental. And I am shattered. Then I get ratty and then emotional. Why is it then a surprise I cannot relax?

Is it a mum thing I was thinking? Is because you multi task so much that it makes you ‘switched on’ all the time?

Is it because the boys are very similar ages and therefore by default there is always something to do?

Whatever the reason or reasons, I need to slow down, and enjoy the fruits of my labour more.

UKPA Big Meet Up

It has been a very busy and exciting week. It was the schools data entry which meant there was a meeting with the Principal. Then there was all the coursework that needed preparing for external verification so work had been hectic but it is that time of year when the summer holiday is nearly with in sniffing distance as my very good friend Nicola used to say. 

Whilst work has been hectic. The excitement has been mouting on a facebook group called UK Planner Addicts. The admins have arranged for a meet up in Birmingham and the tickets went up for sale at 1pm on Friday ehich posed a real dilemma. As my class finishes at 13.10! After alot of multi tasking and a great class room activity I managed to bag a ticket! I am so very excited! It is very local, there will be plenty of You Tube personalities will be doing workshops and giving support on how they use various craft supplies so a real coup. Apparently they sold in 4mins!
Personally I am hoping to meet some locals whom would like to meet on a regular basis so I can meet like minded planner addicts! There seem to be lots of teachers who also are in the group and it would be nice to catch up with some. ( stationary and teachers so go together!).

Since purchasing my ticket I have ordered some countdown stickers and a Lifedesigner Planner which had a spring bank holiday special offer.
Good times ahead I feel!!

Express Errands 2

So a week or so ago I wrote about Express Errands, whilst jusggling nursery, work and shopping the last few days I felt the need ti wrote another blog.

It all started this Thursday evening, I completed my after school revision session in which I had three people from within the school catch me for various things whilst trying to install the importance of profit & loss accounts to the students who have suddenly realised that the exam is not far away. As soon as I had finished I rushed to the nursery and picked up the 3 year old. I then shot back and picked up my shopping as I do a click and collect order and it works for me and I needed to get it during my allocated slot. Then I had to pick up my youngest from my mother in law who kindly looks after him during the week. We had a quick dinner and then I rushed back and got the bags ready for the following day as Friday both boys go to nursery. Then I attempted to get them both to bed and by 10pm – they were down!

Friday morning, I managed on my own as my husband was working away to get them both to nursery by 7.30am. Then got to work ready to deliver a short talk to the teaching staff of my inspirational teaching methods (ha) and then onto lessons for the rest of the day. I left work at 4pm again back to nursery for the pick dodging the rain, popped into Morrisons for some last minute additions to dinner and made it home for bathtime at 6pm, which we managed and had them ready for pizza night at 7pm. By 9pm I was done, they were fed and whilst putting the youngest to bed fell asleep next to him.

A whirl wind to the end of the week not to mention a sober one … Now thats Express Errands.
Anyone who does this on a regular basis gets my appaluse, I take my hat off to you!

Spring is here, & it’s GIVEAWAY time!!!

Wonderful bog

not your average crochet

And it’s bigger than my last Thanksgiving giveaway, too.  Ooooh, I’ve been waiting to be able to do this one!  Lets jump right into what you could win!  You could win ALL THE THINGS:

Not Your Average Crochet Spring Giveaway! photos from http://www.knitpicks.com

Let’s go into details, shall we?

What you’ll win:

Item #1: Frozen Lake Wool of the Andes Sport Sampler

Not Your Average Crochet Spring Giveaway! photo from http://www.knitpicks.com

  • 100% Peruvian Highland Wool
  • 2 full size balls each of 3 colors: Sapphire Heather, Midnight Heather, & Thirst Heather.
  • Total yardage: 822 (752 m)

Item #2: Llamarama Tall Mug

Not Your Average Crochet Spring Giveaway! photo from http://www.knitpicks.com

  • 14 oz (about 3/4 of a pint)
  • Porcelain
  • ADORABLE

Item #3: Llamarama Steel Pencil Case

Not Your Average Crochet Spring Giveaway! photo from http://www.knitpicks.com

  • 8″ long x 3″ wide x 2″ deep (20 cm long x 8 cm wide x 5 cm deep)
  • Can hold small tools, crochet hooks, etc.
  • Also ADORABLE

Item #4: Inspiring Mandalas Coloring Book

Not Your Average Crochet Spring Giveaway! photo from http://www.knitpicks.com

  • Mandalas in crochet…

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Express Errands

busy mum

So lets talk about efficiency of the person who looks after the child (children).

This morning we awoke at 6.30am. Neithet boys wanted to get up. The youngest was in nursery so I had them up and dressed along with some temper tantrums in the car by 7.30am. We dropped off the little one and raced home for a quick breakfast as we both had our dentist appointments at 9.30am. This has been the log awaited first visit from the eldest and so far he doesn’t do well with first experiences. So both my husband and I have been introducing him to the idea on a daily basis since Easter so he knew it was coming. He managed just fine and was given a Thomas sticker for being so good. So out of there by 10am and that was both of us so on a roll. I had managed to get display for school ordered from a local company which I had been meaning to pick up for weeks so we shot over to pick that up. By 10.30am I was sitting in the beauticians chair waiting for my waxing to be completed. I am now at the hairdressers and its 12.00 ready for a long awaited hair cut. My eldest has shown superb behaviour although I can see he is ready for a nap. I feel like I have done a days work but know that this is what many parents who are the childcare do everyday. Whilst this is definately not me I totally support anyone who says its a job. I am shattered and My eldest has eaten all his fruit snacks, and even some chocolate that he totally deserved. Never mind him needing a nap I most certainly do! Express Errands indeed!
(I’ve even managed writing this blog post while waiting for my hair dye to take effect!)

Image taken from Google images

Spring is here!

summer quote

The clocks have changed, its lighter, its brighter and the April showers are most definitely here. The summer is most definitely on its way to us and its been a really busy Easter. Lots of sickness from my eldest son, lots of work that has come to fruitition at school so lots of visits back to school to plan before last push before the examination begins. I have been lucky that the grandparents have the boys so all the chores can be done along with a little bit of me time.

Since leaving my job at a college last December I had acquired a nice set of vouchers that I have been meaning to spend. John Lewis was the main voucher bearer so the Bare Minerals stand benefited from the vouchers and I benefited from a complete make over haul. And they are right. It is light on my skin, doesn’t feel caked on and doesn’t seem to irritate me. I really can’t remember the last time I bought make up so it was a complete spring clean of the make up and replaced by fresh make up that will make me look not so drained and hide the odd wrinkle or so. The main test will be when I am using it when in full swing of the term and the different jobs that have to be done before I leave the house in the morning. I have never been a make up wearer but I hit 40 and realised I cannot be the makeup less mum of two that looks so worn out so succumbed to social pressures and hit the make up counters at John Lewis!

I was also lucky enough to get Paperchase vouchers and I have been longing to spend them. So while they still had their sale I attacked the planner section, and yes another planner joined the family of planners that are making their statement in my craft space in the house. I just need to make sure I have the time to plan occasionally!

I also subscribed to Pipsticks a sticker subscription pack which I am very excited about as I just don’t have the time to buy them but I will do a separate blog post about these, they will complement my Brimbles Box subscription that I absolutely adore.

So the final term in almost upon us, the start of my second term at school where the daily mantra becomes the summer holidays are coming….

 

Constant Rollercoaster

So we’ve spent a few days in Derby on a somber occasion. Its coincided with my eldest who was getting better from strep throat had some kind of relapse and I ended up in the local walk in centre for urgent care.  Being in a strange place that I am not used to meant I’d have to pay special attention to where I’d have to park remember doctors name etc as my husband was busy with the rest of the family. So I ended up parking on a road where there was an hour free … Well they said it was a 45 minute wait and they normally exagerate the time so I’d be ok right?? Nope 20 minutes of waiting I knew I’d be here longer so I’d have to move the car.

I tell the receptionist, she was fine, it felt like forever moving the car and I ended up having to park in the hospital and then working my way back to the walk in centre with a 3 year old who was getting tired and irritable. So never the less we made in back. I pass the receptionist and ask ‘have we been called?’ ”No’ she replied and so we made ourselves comfortable and waited … for another hour!  By now my son was very irritable and people who had come in after us were being seen by the triage team … So I politely ask again ‘have we been forgotten?’ This time the response was very different.

Yes, an hour ago!!  I remained calm and asked to be seen very quickly. So we then got boosted to the top of the list and triaged, and to the doctor who said Mason was fine. Infact he was happy with him and that on the back end of the strep throat which was healing fine he’d picked up a bug. Given the rubbish weather we’d experienced over the Easter Bank Holiday I’d agree. So off we went back home feeling calmer than when I had set off.

By later afternoon Mason again had a fever was passed out asleep and felt like his fever was sky high … Again alsorts of thoughts went through my head. He awoke mid evening and seemed really off and wasnt particulary sociable. So again I wondered if he was actually well. He then suddenly perked up and wanted to watch his favourite ‘Mothergoose Club’ which was fine with me.

My parents in law agreed to babysit for two days so I could finish off some marking and take my car for a service so I was leaving both behind which I had been looking forward to but after the day I had it was a bittersweet thought.  I am now en route back home and feel like I have been on one hell of a roller coaster and my stomach definately feels like alot of butterflies are fluttering away causing me to feel very anxious. So there. Two days of a rollercoaster. Exhausted, anxious and in desperate need of a night out is how I feel!

I imagine plenty of working mums feel this way and we constantly live in fear of babysitters letting us down, children too sick for nursery etc etc but do we ever feel that we are in control of our lives at any point? Or just living on a daily roller coaster ride or on sort or another?

The Family