Crafting with Epson & Disney

So the summer holidays are officially upon us and like many parents I’m keen to make sure we have lots to do. Yesterday whilst big bro was at gym club me and my mini me did baking for the first time with our gorgeous personalised baking set, you can check out some pics of that on my instagram, it all went surprisingly well!

As Florence is turning 3 in October I thought it was time we went to our first blogger event together so a couple of weeks ago we trotted off to the Disney Store in London for a meet up with Epson in conjunction with the new film out this summer Finding Dory. We were met by Elsa and her a lovely crew who had put on a lovely breakfast and then spoken to by Bobbie from Disney who explained they were always keen to make sure parents had a great new film to look forward to. Disney had hooked up with Epson for this to offer even more great ideas for things to do with the kids over the summer period. (Did you know most parents run out of ideas after 3 weeks and on average spent £1500 during the summer holidays?!?) Neil from Epson then took the stand to explain how the world of print had declined in recent years but Epson had come up with an innovative package to ensure users didn’t have to worry about how much they printed, how colourful the subject was or how often they printed. Introducing the Ecotank printer….

 

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The best thing about this printer is it comes supplied with ink to run it for 2 years and when one bottle needs replacing they are only £8… In comparison a normal printer would consume 70 cartridges over this period!

The lovely Alice from More than Toast then stepped up to demonstrate how to make some ‘dorygami’ 🙂 and explain that with the new printer safely installed at her home it was a great tool for the kids to find pictures to print and colour in and how she didn’t have to worry about printing pages that were full colours or other such worries that we all had with our old printers. She also found that whilst sitting and doing these crafting things with her little ones that they tended to just chat and reveal lots more about their lives than if asked specifically about one thing. This resonated a lot for me especially trying to tap into Zachys feelings about mine and his dad’s separation so this is definitely on the agenda…

Once Alice (and Neil from Epson) had created their wonderful origami whales the rest of us bloggers were set to work on making some great crafts. There really was some truly fab creations (most bloggers had no kids with them btw..) Flo and I on the other hand set to work on the 0-3yr market and she did a fab job of making some great pictures that she was super proud of 🙂

We had such a fab day and I can’t wait to try out this fab new printer and go to watch Finding Dory so keep your eyes peeled for all that exciting stuff to come 🙂

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Running fake??

Prior to the birth of my second child in October 2013 I would generally just run a 5k Race For Life once a year but after having Flo and deciding I needed to shift my baby (and pre-baby!) fat I decided running would be the answer. Cheap, easy to fit in and the ability to do it at the drop of a hat.

2 1/2 years later and I still manage at least one run a week of between 5 and 10k so I’m pretty chuffed. I’ve managed to loose a lot of weight and I feel good about my body and health.

So why do I still feel like a fraud??

You know what I mean, I don’t class myself as a ‘runner’. Why do we, as mums/women always put ourselves down? Anyhoo that is a point for a completely different post that will come soon enough.

Luckily I was contacted by the lovely Trespass who could see through my insecurities and see me for the runner that I am and I need to thank them for that, because by having a ‘real’ brand get in touch and have belief in me I have actually realised i have belief in myself! Is that hollow? I don’t think so. It’s purely support. Support for me, mums and all of us who are trying to better ourselves and get back to who we were before children (YOU KNOW THE ONES THAT WE LOVE DEARLY – OBVIOUSLY!!) but who take up all our time!

To the point in hand! I had been thinking for ages that I needed a running jacket, I would often go out with a fleece cardigan or a hoodie on, only to get too hot 10 minutes in to my run but because of my earlier discussed insecurities of not being a ‘runner’ I couldn’t warrant the need for a ‘running’ jacket.

WELL!!!! Can I just say! If you run 1k or if you run 20k you NEED a running jacket! The weather is up and down as we know and the thing I didn’t know about these said ‘running jackets’ is that they love and protect you whatever the weather! If it’s cold they will keep you warm, if it’s warm but a bit nippy they take the edge off and even though you get hot and sweaty whilst you run you won’t feel it with one of these bad boys on!

PLUS who can deny you a HOT PINK jacket?! ( apologies for the cheesy picture LOL! )

To purchase my beautiful jacket click here

 

 

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Give me a break at Xmas

Happy new Year!

So I’ve been on the missing list and taking a break from my blog, hope you all had as fab a xmas as I did. At the age of 5 and 2 Xmas is turning into a very exciting time in my house and for the forseeable I can only hope that will get even better.

One of the main reasons for me taking a break in December was the amount of pressure put on us parent/blog writers to do arts, crafts, magic elves, xmas eve boxes, santa visits etc etc and as much as admire you all for all your hard work I felt the need not to be judged over the holiday period with how much (or little!) I actually did.!

I’m not saying we didn’t do anything festive but as you may of read in my earlier post I just can’t abide the elf on the shelf. Now I get it if it’s fun etc but all these people picturing their elf drinking wine, making a mess etc well I won’t go on…

So whilst I put my grinch mask down…

We had an elf door for the first time this year. Z loved the fact that their letters to Santa were whizzed off with his ‘lease’ agreement.

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We went to our local Xmas lights turn on and supported the local scouts, schools etc with all their stalls.

We visited our schools xmas fair and meet Santa and went snow boarding. Luckily we saw the big man there as we got chicken pox on the day of our official visit 😦

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We were very proud of Zachary being the kind InnKeeper in his Xmas play.

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We enjoyed dressing up and being silly with lots of Xmassy props.

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We left our stockings and treats for Santa out.

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Mummy even had some fun at her Xmas party and with friends.

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Then Xmas day was the best!

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Lets see what 2016 can bring!

1st Anniversary, Awards & a Giveaway !

So I have been writing on my blog for ONE year this month! How time has flown. Looking back over the year it surprises me how much my babies have grown and is lovely catching up on all the things we have got up to over the past year.

To top it all off, this month I won Working Parent Blogger of the Year with the Mum And Working Awards! What a surprise and an honour! In this category were truly some brilliant bloggers and as this was a voted for by the public award I was lolloping in my chair not giving a win a second thought so I was blown away when my name was read out!

It was a great day celebrating some truly inspirational working mums who set up their own businesses and franchises and the day filled me with respect and awe for all these amazing people. The day had keynotes from Annabel Karmel and Caprice who explained how they ended up with their amazing businesses and it was so refreshing to hear that really they are just women like you and I that worked hard and had overcame adversity to get where they are today.

In addition to my first award it turned out I won another category for Flexible Employee of the Year with my current company RIG Healthcare. Without the support of this business I wouldn’t be where I am today. In 2010 I gave birth to my first child, on return to work it was clear that I couldn’t put in the time needed to be a successful sales person due to nursery pick up times etc and instead of putting me on the scrap heap they asked if I would like to retrain and manage the companies social media presence and general marketing. I was so chuffed that they felt I was worth retraining and after attending some insightful training days at different venues and with different companies I embarked on a Digital Marketing Diploma with the Chartered Institute of Marketing which I ended up completing after the birth of my second child!

With all this new knowledge I had the confidence to start this very blog which has seen me going on some fab days out, trialing some brilliant products and having an outlet for my thoughts and feelings.

So one year in and 2 awards under my belt I felt it was time to say Thank You to you all! As I luckily won two winner bags I have TWO brilliant books to give away.

No.1 – A signed copy of Annabel Karmel : Mumpreneur. The complete guide to starting and running a successful business.

No. 2 – Caprice : My Boys, My Body, My Business.

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So all you have to do is as much or as little of the below rafflecopter, I seem to be having some issues placing the widget so please follow the link for now! Good Luck!
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School Transition

So most of our little ones are all now safely deposited in school and are on their full time hours and weeks. What an emotional rollercoaster that’s been!?! I don’t know about you but I had a few tears leading up to the big day and then on the day was super proud of myself for keeping it together and just having tears in my eyes!

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I’ve seen several posts on Twitter already ‘Do we have to go back tomorrow?’ from Helen @CasaCostello  ‘What are we doing today Mummy?’ from Katie @mummydaddyme and today I had the first ‘But I don’t waaaant to go to school today Mummy’ I get the feeling the emotions are quiet finished with yet…

So what can we do to help our children transition in to school better?

A report from the British Psychological Society gives us this advice:

Positive child outcomes depend upon a combination of parental qualities. That is, children require both warmth and high-quality instruction from caregivers and teachers (Mashburn & Pianta, 2006). High-quality instruction (also known as ‘scaffolding’) includes at least three dimensions (Hughes et al., 2014):
I    Cognitive support: This involves making the task simpler – for example, by breaking it down into manageable stages (e.g. for a jigsaw, finding the corner pieces, then connecting all the edge pieces, etc.).
I    Emotional support (e.g. praise, encouragement, playful interactions): This motivates the child to persist even when the task is challenging.
I    Autonomy support: This involves a process of ‘contingent shifting’ – providing extra help if the child is struggling or demoralised and then reducing this support when the child begins to master the task.

So basically, love, support and encouragement. This chapter in our little ones and our lives is a huge change and great news – we have to do it all again with the next one! Phew Im exhausted!.

What gems have you had from your little pickles so far?

Read the full report here: (https://thepsychologist.bps.org.uk/volume-28/september-2015/transition-school)

 

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Mum & Working Finalist!

The judges have spoken! Celebrated, expert business-mums including Jacqueline Gold, Chief Executive of Ann Summers and Knickerbox have revealed their finalists in the prestigious mumandworking 2015 Awards as supported by babyworld.co.uk – and I’m amongst them!

This exciting awards programme celebrates the champions of flexible working – showcasing those businesses, associations and individuals (mums and dads!) who are demonstrating how a fulfilling career can be balanced with modern-day family life – enjoying and managing parenting and working – together.

The awards will be held at RBS, 280 Bishopsgate – in the business hub in the City of London – today and are judged both by public vote and by an impressive panel of judges – leading business women and mums who understand all too well the challenges and the rewards of juggling work and being there for your family.

VIP speakers also include Annabel Karmel MBE and Caprice Bourret.

My first category is ‘Flexible Employee of the Year’ and this category is here to ‘demonstrate how flexible employment can bring out the best in individuals for the benefit of their employers, families and customers’. Many working mums already know that we give 110% through our work as many of us feel we have more to prove than others to retain our jobs.

I’m super thankful that I work for such a great company, RIG Healthcare, who have supported me since becoming a mum and enabled me to change my career direction from a sales person to a marketing executive. They ensured I got the right training by sending me on insightful courses and then sponsored me to achieve my Diploma in Digital Marketing from the prestigious Chartered Institute of Marketing.

Many Mum’s choose different paths but for me I couldn’t not work, don’t get me wrong I take my hat off to all you SAHM’s but for me that’s even more hard work than holding down a job! It might be a mad rush in our house, it might not always be sparkling and I might not do as much crafts and outings with my kids as others do but I appreciate the time I have with my them and also feel that I retain some of my own identity outside of being a mum.

I had no idea that I was in a second category ‘Working Parent Blogger of the Year’, I’m up against stiff competition here inc the lovely and gorgeous Vicky from Honest Mum plus many more!

So wish me luck and Good Luck to all my fellow nominees today! I’ll fill you in on what promises to be a fab afternoon soon!

http://www.mumandworking.co.uk/2015/awardsfinalists

 

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