Friday, 30 August 2013

The Summer Holidays are nearly over!!

Now that the holidays are drawing to a close, I thought it would be a good time to round up on the many adventures myself and my 2 amigos have gotten up to:

 We enjoyed a day at the beach at Wells Next The Sea; Erin enjoyed reviewing her Post Office; Catching little froggies; Rocking the Geek Look.

Erin and I enjoyed many girly lunches together; Along with Movie Nights too; Spotting butterflies; We loved our spontaneous trip to London; Playing with Baby Mason; Trip to the park.

Face painting; Riding on Charlie the Donkey; I love spending time with this girl, I can only hope that we continue spending this quality time together as she gets older, it's my favourite thing to do.

Now that the Holidays are almost over, I've got a few things in my planner to look forward to; I have my cousin's wedding this weekend; a shopping trip to Northampton next weekend; A girly weekend away to Leeds in October then the ultimate fancy dress party for my dear sweet friend Lisa's Birthday in November.

I'm sure there will be many more things to do and look forward to, but these are the highlights. My social calendar has never been so busy as it is right now and I'm totally loving it.

The next few days will involve winding things down and getting the kids used to going to bed at a reasonable hour then getting up early in preparation for going back to school on Thursday 5th September. Damian will be going into Year 6, his final year of Primary School (which also means I'll be on the hunt for a suitable Secondary School for him) and Erin will be going into Year 1, her Primary School years are just beginning.

Friday, 23 August 2013

High Five For Friday

1. I love my nephew Mason, he's only 5 months old and the most placid, laid-back baby I know and super cute to boot.

2. Days out at the park with these 2 are the best way to spend a nice summer day.

3. Lounging on the deck chairs, watching the world go by.

4. We love donkeys, Erin made a new friend this week. His name is Charlie.

5. Face painting. Erin loved it!! I think I may have to learn how to do it, she'd have her face painted every day if she could.

I'm linking up with Lauren Elizabeth for another fabulous High Five For Friday. Please pop along and share your highlights of the week or read up on what others have been doing this week.

Friday, 16 August 2013

High five for Friday Link Up

What a week this has been!

I'm missing my boy like crazy (he's gone camping and wont be back til Monday) but I'm enjoying spending some one-to-one time with Erin. I'm linking up for the very first time with Lauren Elizabeth for High five for Friday, which is a round-up of the 5 best things about the previous week or 5 things I'm grateful for. Please go and check her out, her blog is just fabulous.

1. I'm such a bookworm and heart Tess Gerritsen, so as soon as I saw this book in the shop, I had to have it. I'm 3/4 of the way through and can't wait to finish it.

2. Erin and her friends went frog-hunting and came back with these cute little froggies, have you ever seen anything so sweet. We made sure they were returned safely to their home again.

3. I love lunch dates with my girl, she is definitely her mothers daughter and loves spending time with me as much as I love spending time with her. After a girly shopping trip, we stopped off at our fave cafe and had milkshakes and pannini's.

4. We love Movie Nights just as much as lunch dates, this week we decided to buy lots of munchies, close the curtains and have a cosy movie night watching Tremors. It is one of our favourite films and we have it recorded on our Sky Box to watch as many times as we like.

5. The London Eye at night. I was lucky enough to be whisked off to London this week, I Heart London during the day but seeing it at night and being right in the middle of it was unbelievable. It was such a surreal night that I woke up in my own bed the next morning thinking it was all a dream.

I've loved taking part in this link up; summing up the best parts of my week in 5 steps, I'm going to take part every single Friday. So tune in next Friday for my H54F or why not pop along to Lauren Elizabeth and join in for yourself.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Joining the dating scene as a single parent

As I mentioned in my previous posting, I've been single for nearly 5 years. During the early years I was more concerned with making sure my children weren't hugely affected by their dad no longer living at home, of course there were tears and tantrums, but we worked together and came through it. I know they are still upset about their dad no longer being involved in their lives but they are happy, confident kids. We have been living in our new house for 3.5 years and they have settled fantastically.

About a year ago, I decided that I'd like to join the dating scene, but had no clue where to start. I began filling up my diary with nights out with my friends in the hope of meeting someone, but I mostly found there are 2 types of men you meet on a night out: Mr-One-Night-Stand or Mr-Married-But-Pretending-To-Be-Single. Unfortunately I met both of them and I came out the other side feeling used and upset.

Being a single parent, I don't get the opportunity to get out and about to meet people as often as I like, after a few dating disasters a friend suggested online dating. Of course, my first reaction was very much like the vast majority of the British nation, it would be full of weird and desperate men, would people judge me on having to resort to meeting guys online? Why is there such a stigma attached to online dating? Why is it such a taboo?

My curiosity got the better of me and with much reluctance, I signed up to a dating site. I took the time to write a nice profile and include a recent picture of myself smiling and happy, just as they suggest...then I sat and waited. Within the next few hours I was inundated with messages, some were basic 'Hi' others were a bit more in depth, some were a bit on the vulgar side. I got to grips with weeding out Mr-One-Night-Stand and after a few days of messaging back and forth with a guy, I arranged to meet them. In the past few months, I've had some great dates with some fantastic guys but for one reason or another it hasn't worked out. No spark, I like him but he doesn't like me, He likes me but I don't like him.

Just recently, I went on a great date with a lovely guy, we are very alike, only time will tell if that's a good or bad thing, we laugh about the same thing and are both big geeks, it's only very early days yet but I'd like to see where this takes me.

My verdict with online dating: it's a great way of meeting guys, you can chat via messaging from the comfort of your own home, you can be upfront and honest about what you're looking for before even thinking about meeting them, most of the men I met were in a similar position to me; single parents with not much time for a social life. However, I would always advise to exercise caution when giving information or arranging to meet someone online, we hear horror stories about how easy it is to create fake profiles and lure people in with a fake persona. My advice would be:

  • Meet somewhere public, like a restaurant or a pub.
  • Do not upload pictures or send pictures which include your children (for obvious reasons).
  • Tell a trusted friend what you are doing, where you are going and who you are meeting. You can contact them or have them check in with you to make sure everything is going ok.
Dating as a single parent is hard, but there are a lot of genuine guys out there, who are happy to work around children and commitments. Do any of you have dating horror stories or dating successes? I'd love to hear them.

Friday, 2 August 2013

Pretend & Play Post Office Set Review

Erin returned from her camping holiday and the first thing she saw was the Post Office Set, she couldn't wait to play with it. Damian has been raring to play with it all week while she was away, so while I'd say it's aimed at 3-7 years, Erin and her friends are in the 5-7 age bracket, it certainly appeals to children of all ages.

We were very impressed with the quality of the 'Post Office' and the accessories, they were made by the highest standard and is definitely a step above any other role play toys we've had in the past. There are lots of forms to fill out which Erin loved, she also enjoyed stamping the envelopes before popping them into the post bag ready for delivery. She liked how real the money looked (even I had to look twice at the £2 coins).

Her favourite activity was writing notes to her friends, pretending to be a customer at the Post Office while I had to play the Postal Worker, Erin used her maths skills by counting out her money to pay for the stamp. Then we pretended to be Postman Pat and delivered the letter to her friends.

We've had her friends come to play and all of them have been super impressed with our Post Office Shop and wanted to play too. We have it set up on our kitchen table and it hasn't been packed away all week.

I asked her to sum up how she felt about it and she replied: 'I love my Post Office, it's the best toy ever, I'm a very lucky girl'.

As a parent, I do like my children to have toys which also have educational value, and this Set did not dissapoint. Role play in itself promotes communication, problem solving and self confidence, this set also promotes Maths Skills and Writing Skills. I would thoroughly recommend this wonderful toy, not only for all these benefits, but also for the excellent quality and the quantity of activities to do, Erin and her friends played happily for hours.

*We received a Pretend & Play Post Office Set for this review, but this has not influenced my views in any way