Saturday, 31 August 2013

#MeAndMine - A Family Portrait (August)

August has passed by in a blur. I really can't believe how quick the summer holidays have gone.

It's gone that fast that even though we've had so many opportunities on days out to capture a special family photograph, sadly we haven't.

Big mummy fail.

Anyway, I've been taking a bit of a blogging/Twitter/Facebook break lately and today I realised it was the end of the month and I didn't have a photograph for Me and Mine. I thought I may skip this month but that's just crazy. Why let a whole month pass without a family photo when it's something I could get easily if I wanted to? So, armed with my iPhone and its reverse camera I took the photo below at 5.30pm.

We are all absolutely knackered but it was the first and only photo I took and it sums up the day for us.

You see, today was a special day.

Matt and I took Mini Cheddar to the cinema for her first time, out to lunch afterwards and then treated her to some Lego Friends. Yes, the day was just under £100 but it was totally worth it. MC starts full-time school on Wednesday and I will miss her terribly. It was lovely to get out and spoil her on her own as we don't get to do that. In fact, although I've been out with MC and Matt has separately, we've never been out with her on our own together since before the end of last March when Tiny Ched was born.

It did feel so strange being without TC though and the day has left me feeling somewhat emotionally exhausted. I kept thinking of others who have lost their children and it filled me with even more sadness than it usually does. The thought of not having TC in our lives just doesn't bear thinking about and I began to miss him so much. Judging by how clingy he's being with me this evening, I think he missed me too.

So this evening is a mix of emotions for me but I think you can tell from this photo that MC has had the best day ever.

And that's what matters most.

dear beautiful

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Back To School With F&F At Tesco

I don't do a huge amount of reviews on my blog, but those I do tend to benefit the kids or the house more than me. In actual fact, I can't remember the last time I had something that was just for me - if at all.

So, imagine how excited I am to be able to review something for little old me?

Okay, okay, so the thing for me was more of a treat for reviewing school uniforms from F&F (available exclusively at Tesco) but, so what?

I was able to spend £50 on school uniform and choose a 'school run' outfit for me for £50 too. Whoop!

So much excitement when the
uniform delivery arrived
I was excited for Mini Cheddar and I was excited for me! MC was beside herself...

MC starts reception class 4th September. She's been going to the nursery class at the school since last September and although they aren't required to wear uniform in nursery they all did. It was only 2.5 hours each morning so we didn't require much in the way of uniform but this year will be different. 5 days a week - 8.30am to 3.10pm. Eek.

'Big school' has been great for MC, she's been one of the top in her nursery class all year and, even though I'll miss her terribly each day, I'm excited for what the forthcoming years hold for her.

I'd been looking around at uniforms for a couple of weeks - pretty much as soon as the school holidays started - and the F&F range at Tesco looked like superb value for money.

I was right.

As soon as the items arrived I knew I'd made a great choice and I couldn't believe how much I managed to buy. In fact, I was struggling to spend the £50. I should have known when I saw the words 'Complete school uniforms from £10' on the website. Ordering online was really easy and the size charts were helpful too. MC will be 5 in March so I ordered everything aged 5-6 (apart from one pinafore and a pair of joggers) and they fit great with plenty of room to grow too. The plain white P.E. t-shirts are a tiny bit large but I think that's a good thing for P.E. as they don't want them too tight.

So here's what £50 (well, £51* actually) bought MC:

1 kilt school skirt (£4)
1 v-neck knitted school cardigan (£3)
1 ribbed waistband school joggers (£3)
2 belted flared school skirts (£5 each)
2 jersey school pinafores (£6 each)
2 pack of pique polo shirts (£2)
2 pack of school t-shirts (£2)
2 pack of cycling shorts (£3)
3 pack of super soft tights (£4)
5 pairs of pelerine knee high socks (£4)
5 pairs of trainer socks (£4)

Pretty impressive, right?

Struggling to hold the uniform haul
Well, yes.

I am impressed not only by the price but also the quality for the price. Obviously the uniform is yet to be tested by a 4 year olds full days at school but it certainly looks like it will put up a good fight so it will be really interesting to see how long everything lasts. I have heard pretty good things about the F&F uniforms though so I'm hopeful.

It's a dress so it got a big smile!
MC was really happy. She absolutely loved the pinafores but then she's obsessed with dresses!

I know she's wearing the pinafore without a polo shirt or jumper in the photo but I don't want to advertise her school colours on my blog (just my personal choice to protect her a little).

I would include a photo of her in her P.E. kit (plain colours) but she refused to be photographed in it. I'm sure she's 4 going on 14 sometimes!

Adjustable waistbands
I loved the skirts too. Not only are they super soft material and hang lovely, they have adjustable waistbands. Last year I bought MC a couple of school skirts from another well known supermarket and they didn't have adjustable waists to these really gets the thumbs up.

The only thing I was a little disappointed with was MC's school colours couldn't be found in certain places such as sock trims and dresses. It looks like I may have to rely on somewhere else to source these which is a shame.

But, the uniforms get the thumbs up from me and, more importantly, the thumbs up from MC!

I can't believe in a couple of weeks my baby girl is going to be in full time school. I also can't believe I'll have to face the school run at the two busiest times of the day.


Good job that Tesco Clothing wanted me to choose a new school run outfit then, eh?

I've been making a conscious effort over the Summer to steer myself away from wearing jeans and t-shirts. I've even been sporting a few dresses - go me - so I thought I may treat myself to a dress or tunic for the school run. F&F had a huge range and I was spoilt for choice. After almost picking a red dress I saw a navy and cream lacy tunic that I fell in love with and the reviews looked fab. I teamed it up with a pair of blue leggings, some silver ballet pumps and also managed to get myself a lovely cardigan and a sequin scarf all for under £50.

Not many places you could get a full outfit, including shoes for under £50, especially one that looks this good.

Here's the exact run down on what I bought (total price £49*) with prices:

Two tone lace tunic (£20)
Plain leggings (£6)
Edge to edge ribbed cardigan (£12)
Sequin scarf (£4)
Metallic ballet pumps (£7)

Nothing but love for the tunic
The tunic is so lovely. I can wear it with jeans if I want to dress it down a bit or can even put it with a pair of heels for a night out but it will look so smart on the school run. It really is as lovely and as flattering as all the reviews say it is. I ordered a size 12 but I think I'm going to take it back and exchange it for a 10 as I think it will look even better a little more fitted.

The ballet pumps have already had plenty of use and the cardigan has on a couple of chilly evenings. I'm sure it won't be long and the scarf will be well used too.

Again, I'm impressed with the quality and value of the outfit. It looks like it cost a lot more than £49, that's for sure.

I know you're probably wishing I posted a photo of myself modelling the clothes but it's really not me and besides, my hair needs doing and it will just ruin the outfit. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!

Delivery with Tesco Clothing online is free if you spend £50 or more which is great and it gets delivered in 2-5 working days. We ordered our items Tuesday and they arrived Friday morning. If you prefer you can have everything delivered to store for free and go and collect. You can also return items bought online to store which is really handy so I'll be taking my tunic back to exchange it for a different size.

We were sent 4 x £25 voucher codes to spend online
but all photographs (apart from Back To School logo), 
words, views and opinions are entirely my own.

*prices correct at time of writing

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Blogging Confessions And Tiny Ched

My name is Heather and it's been two weeks since I last blogged.

Yes, this feels very much like I need to join some sort of blogging confessions therapy group. I don't know what's wrong with me but I'm not feeling the love right now.

I don't know if it's to do with the summer holidays, the house move, my new life in a new home and neighbourhood, lack of time, lack of motivation or what but I can't seem to get my head into blogging much right now. I've stepped back from Twitter too. That's generally a lovely place to be but, quite frankly, I've heard about some bad stuff on there of late.

I'm also trying to decide where I should go with my blog. I need more time. It is desperately due an overhaul. I haven't got time in the evening as Matt works hard all day so we like to spend time together at night.

Perhaps the blogging mojo will come back after September when Mini Cheddar starts full time school. Who knows?

At the moment we are middle of the school holidays. MC has made lots of little friends in our new neighbourhood and so, when we are at home, she's playing out most of the day. I could be throwing myself into my blog a bit during the day but I'm trying to spend time enjoying my little man (and when he's napping I'm just enjoying time on my own - or cleaning the house!).

Tiny Ched is growing up so fast it's scary. Doesn't seem like a minute since he was born (although it also feels like he's always been here in a strange way) and yet, here he is, almost 17 months old.

TC is my last baby. I said I'd like either 2 or 4 children and, although our new house could more than easily accommodate 2 more, Matt and I feel like we should quit while we are ahead in a way. We have been truly blessed with two very bright, very happy and, thankfully, very healthy children. Plus, I turn 40 next year *screams and runs for the wrinkle cream*

So 2 it is.

2 is more than enough though.

TC is a spirited little man. He's full of smiles and cuddles, has THE cutest waddle and grin but at the same time he is the biggest drama queen when he can't get what he wants. If you tell him no or even just look at him and shake your head he'll act like it's the end of the world.

He's also a climber.
Sir Edmund Hillary scales another chair mountain

I don't remember MC being this bad. Perhaps it's a girl / boy difference or perhaps it comes from the fact the second one always wants to do more to be like their older sibling. It can be exhausting.

Seriously exhausting.

Some days I feel like I'm constantly telling him not to do something. I seem to spend my time plucking him down from cabinets he's trying to scale like Edmund Hillary. Or I'll be trying to grab something from him that he shouldn't have and he knows it. He'll look at me with a cheeky expression, show me what's in his hand and then run off at full speed laughing as he knows I'll take chase. I swear he's going to be a serious contender to Usain Bolt's records soon. The boy is fast.

But I'm enjoying it.

I'm enjoying watching him explore his new and exciting world. I'm enjoying the fun he brings to our lives. I'm enjoying the fact he absolutely loves his sleep. I'm enjoying his cuddles when he's tired. I'm enjoying his loving and incredible bond with his big sister - we will both miss her on a daily basis in September - the kids generally play so lovely together.

Yes, I'm enjoying my kids and I'm enjoying my life.

Each and every day (even when it's not a particularly good day) I am so thankful that both my children are here with us and happy and healthy.

I feel truly blessed.

Blessed with a beautiful family, supportive parents and Sister, amazing friends (both near and far) and a wonderful home.

What more could a girl (I can still call myself a girl at almost 40, can't I?) possibly want?

I guess I want my blogging mojo to return for the sake of these two as I love having somewhere to look back on a record of their lives and I want them to have it to read when they're older.

I am hopeful it will return in full force but, for now, I'm sure they will understand mummy has taken a little break.


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