Word of the Week – Overwhelm

After a bit of a downbeat word last week I really wanted to choose a lighter, happier word this week but in the spirit of keeping it real I’m choosing the word overwhelm. I have a terrible habit of taking on far too much both in my personal and professional life, sometimes I forget that there are only so many hours in a day and I end up squeezing so many things in that I get overwhelmed and come to a total standstill.

Unexpectedkindness is themost powerful,least costly, andmost underratedagent of humanchange (1)

This week my brain has been racing at a hundred miles an hour with to-do lists, when this happens I get to a point where I burn out which means a few days spent doing the absolute minimum and feeling terribly guilty about it.

Over the past few years I have noticed a pattern that always seem to emerge around the Summer, I usually become so overwhelmed that I stop everything I’m doing and take a total break even abandoning my blog which I certainly don’t want to do that this time. I’ve decided to spend this weekend breaking everything down and being totally ruthless about eliminating the things that take too much time and energy for the return I get from them.

I think I need to learn that once I’ve eliminated some of the tasks I find overwhelming that they stay eliminated as I have a tendency to let little things creep back in and build up to the same point again. I feel that writing this down and sharing it holds me accountable to make changes once and for all.

Daisy finishes school next Thursday for the Summer and I’m giving myself until then to work on reducing unnecessary work, tasks and stress to a point where I can enjoy and make the most of the time we all have together before school starts again in September.

Overwhelmed also describes how I feel about all the lovely supportive comments I had on last weeks post, I appreciate every single person who takes the time to read my posts and taking a little time out of your day to leave me a comment means the world to me.

I’m linking up with Jocelyn at The Reading Residence for Word of the Week, do pop across and check out all the other lovely blog posts that link up each week.

The Reading Residence

 

Angela xx

 

Professional Child Wrangler

I don’t know what it’s like in your house in the morning but in ours it’s lively, rowdy and frustrating. I’m quite an organised person and I always leave plenty of time to get us all ready and out of the door on time for the day ahead but no matter how organised I am we are always rushing at the last minute.

A few weeks ago I realised that every morning trying to get both children in the bathroom at the same time to brush their teeth and have a wash was becoming increasingly farcical, once I had one of the little monkeys within my grasp the other one had fled, I would give chase with one child under my arm (to avoid further escape) and both toothbrushes balanced precariously between my teeth. It was at that point that I decided instead of getting stressed I would turn it into a game of skill, I imagined myself a cowboy with unruly young bulls to wrangle back into the pen, no way were two tiny people going to out run me Benny Hill style every single morning.

Changing my attitude towards this task has made it feel so much easier and a lot more fun, I approach the morning routine with the dedication of a professional and therefore have granted myself the title of professional child wrangler, I won’t be hiring my services out just yet as I’ve a lot to learn and many more hours of practice to put in yet.

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Sword fight before breakfast anyone ? 

Do you ever use your imagination to diffuse a frustrating child related incident ? leave me a comment below I love hearing from you.

Angela xx

Look In My Letterbox

It’s been a pretty good week this week, I’ve had freebies, prizes and some purchases arrive so I’ve got lots to show you so lets get on and look in my letterbox.

*Apologies for the quality of the photo’s*

Freebies

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The Weetabix on the go was a SoPost freebie from Twitter, I’ve left the leaflet in the picture incase anyone would like to enter the competition. My advice with the SoPost freebies is to team up with a like minded friend on Twitter and Facebook and send each other one as soon as they pop up.

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I spotted this toothpaste freebie on one of the couponing pages I follow on Facebook, I thought they would run out quickly as it’s quite a generous size so I got in fast and ordered mine.

Prizes

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I should have took a picture of this boxes contents as it’s much more exciting than the outside, I won £15 credit for Stampin Up! from a blog competition and I chose this Project Life set, the cards inside are lovely and I will use them in my happy mail.

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Daisy won this awesome book from Toppsta, if you have little ones make sure you pop across and enter the competitions for them this is the second book we have won from them and they always have a fantastic selection to choose from.

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Another lovely book for the children, this time from a blog competition.

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Finally a book for Mummy and it looks a little racy, I applied to review it for the Mumsnet book club, I had a book from them last month which I really enjoyed so I’m looking forward to reading this one.

Purchases

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Jake is getting to the point where he doesn’t like being in his buggy anymore but he runs away from me when I let him out to walk so I’ve compromised by buying this toddler backpack that has a reign attached, so far so good.

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We bought this fire stick in the Amazon Prime day sale, we have being debating buying one for a while and the time and price seemed right.

I’m linking up with Alice Megan for Look In My Letterbox, make sure you pop across and check out the other lovely bloggers taking part.

LIML

Angela xx

Word of the Week – Sad

I thought really hard about what to write for this weeks word of the week, should I gloss over the fact that I’m having a hard time at the moment and just share something light or should I just write about how I feel and be honest.

Unexpectedkindness is themost powerful,least costly, andmost underratedagent of humanchange

Writing about real personal stuff on a blog is always a gamble, as well as putting yourself out there for strangers to read you are always aware that people who know you personally will read it and judge you or snipe behind your back but this is my blog and I want to write and share with you the bad times as well as the good.

I struggled to find a word to properly sum up how I am feeling and after reading about the horrific events in France last night the word sad immediately sprung to mind. I always try to put on a brave front to force myself into positive thoughts, I try to look for the good in a situation but this past week I’m really struggling to feel anything but sad.

Reasons I Feel Sad

  • 18 months ago I walked away from a life long relationship with a toxic person, I cut all ties, and had got to the stage where I didn’t even think about them anymore, I celebrated a whole year of freedom before they started seeping back in little by little. A few weeks ago something happened that means there is a real threat to one of my relationships because of this toxic person, I can’t say much more other than being estranged from a person is much much harder than it sounds as you can never truly escape from them whilst they still exist.
  • Someone I love is being treated horribly by people who are meant to love them, I feel helpless I want to take away their pain I want to scream and shout at these people who can’t see how wonderful, loving and caring person this person is.
  • I’m struggling with my diabetes diagnosis, I’m at the anger stage of not wanting this horrible disease and fighting against the very changes I need to make to get well.
  • Waking up every day to see more and more bad news for our country, our economy and our future is really getting me down, to avoid all forms of news means having to also avoid every single form of social media which is difficult as I use it for finding work.
  • I worry for the choices and decisions that my two eldest children are making, they don’t live with me but I still worry about them every single day.

I know that these things are nothing compared to what some people have to face but at the same time these are my battles that I have to live with and face daily, writing them down means that they are out of my head and I can start to try and deal with them one by one.

I’m linking up with Jocelyn from The Reading Residence for Word of the Week.

 

The Reading Residence
Angela xx

Look In My Letterbox

I’m back again to share with you all the goodies that have arrived in this weeks post, it’s so much nicer to receive little surprises though the letterbox rather than a load of bills and junk mail. I’ve noticed that the amount of freebies to apply for is increasing again and I was gutted to miss out on two fantastic SoPost freebies this week they went so fast which proves that this hobby is becoming more popular this doesn’t deter me it just makes me more determined to try even harder.

Freebies

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Eat Natural do the best freebies, their bars are delicious and I have the perfect spot in the garden to plant the wildflower leaves in Autumn.

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Post-it are another generous company for giving away freebies, I love this new range as an avid maker of lists the ruled sticky pages are ideal for me.

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This sample came last week but I had managed to bury it at the bottom of a pile of paperwork so I didn’t include it, I love these free samples much better than buying a full size product only to find it doesn’t suit you.

Prizes

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I entered every competition I could find to win tickets to the Foodies Festival at Tatton Park, although I won’t be able to sample as many of the sweet goodies on offer it’s still a great day out for us all.

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If you read my Toy Collecting post last week you will know that Daisy loves these little surprise toys, the envelope was addressed to her and she was so excited to open it and find a Finding Dory Squishy Pop inside, don’t forget I have a giveaway running for some collectable toys so make sure you click the link above.

Happy Mail

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This lovely letter arrived from one of my pen pals, I can’t tell you how happy these letters make me it’s so nice connecting with people by handwritten word. I think I’m going to look for some more pen pals soon as I have loved writing and receiving happy mail so much.

I’m linking up with Alice Megan for Look In My Letterbox, do stop and by and check out all the other great bloggers who link up.

LIML

Have you had anything nice arrive in the post this week, leave me a comment below I love to hear from you.

Angela xx

Word of the Week – School

This weeks word of the week is school, with less than 3 weeks to go before Daisy finishes for the Summer school has been on my mind a lot, it feels like there are lots of things to cram in before the term ends starting with sports day which was on Monday.

Tips onThrowing aBunny ThemedBaptism Luncheon

Daisy missed out on sports day last year due to having tonsillitis so she was really excited to take part in her first one this week, she loves being active so she had no worries about taking part. I was really impressed with how the school organised the morning with just enough events to keep the children stimulated but not tire them out too much, I loved watching the concentration and determination on Daisy’s face as she took part. Daisy came first in the quoits race and is the proud owner of lots of stickers for taking part, Jake even got to run the toddler race with Daisy holding his hand (he had already sprinted across the field during one of the events but that’s another story!) .

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Yesterday we got Daisy’s end of school year report, reading the comments from her teacher and seeing the photo’s of her school life made us immensely proud of her, she is such a confident and friendly little girl and she loves to learn what more could we ask for.

Next week Daisy will start the transition from nursery to reception class, she will spend more and more time in her new classroom over the final few weeks. There is a meeting to attend to find out what her school day will be like and we get to have a school dinner together which Daisy is very excited about.

I’m sure the next few weeks will fly by and then we will have the Summer to relax, play, plan and prepare for Daisy’s full time school life, it all feels so exciting.

Angela xx

 

#GDAYUK Smiggle Store Event

A few weeks ago an email invitation from Smiggle arrived in my inbox, for those of you who have never heard of Smiggle they are an Australian stationery brand who sell original, fun, colourful and affordable products. Smiggle (where a smile meets a giggle) opened it’s first UK store in 2014 and I was so excited to be invited to their Manchester Arndale branch to see the new G’day UK collection.

Both Daisy and I are stationery addicts, we regularly have little journalling and craft sessions together where the washi tape, coloured pens and stickers all come out, I’m always looking for new products that will spark her creativity and be lots of fun at the same time so I knew we would love Smiggle.

We arrived at the store to be greeted by the friendly team who work at Smiggle, you can tell they are passionate about their products as they are all super knowledgeable about the ranges. The G’day UK display at the front of the store entices you in with fun Australian themed stationery it really is a delight for the senses with colour, textures and even scents to enjoy.

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Daisy’s favourite G’day UK product is this ausie scented eraser tub with these delightful kangaroo and koala scented puzzle erasers inside.

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My favourite product is this fluffy cuteness, it’s the ausie kangaroo & joey journal set I’m not sure how I resisted temptation and left it in the store, it’s definitely going on my wishlist.

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If you were a fan of scented erasers when you were a kid like me then Smiggle is the perfect place to re-live your childhood, I was in awe at this shelf full of amazing scented stationery.

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Daisy had so much fun looking round the store, sniffing all the scented products and trying out the range of fun toys and gadgets, she enjoyed a cupcake and coloured in a boomerang getting into the ausie spirit.

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As a self confessed bargain hunter I was delighted to find a huge sale section, the products are already affordable so to find a sale section was a huge bonus.

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We were even treated to an exclusive sneak peak of a brand new range of back to school collection called Camo which will available in stores at the end of July.

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We left the store with a gorgeous goodie bag and I also bought some things for Daisy, she chose the scented pencils and the duo spy pen that she hasn’t put down since we got home I think every kid should own one they are awesome.

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We are so lucky that a Smiggle store has recently opened in our local town centre, Daisy and I will definitely be regular visitors.

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If you are passing a store don’t forget to pop in and enter this competition.

Thanks Smiggle for inviting us to your wonderful Manchester Arndale store we had so much fun.

Have you been to a Smiggle store ? what did you think ? leave me a comment below I love to hear from you.

Angela xx

 

Frugal, Financial & Home Goals For July 2016

For the first time since I started posting our goals we didn’t meet a single one of them for June, I’m not going to dwell on it we can’t be perfect all of the time and I’m more motivated than ever to work hard towards getting back on track and smashing our frugal, financial and home goals for July.

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The lists for this month are not very long, I thought it would be best to concentrate on just a few goals this month I’m going back to basics starting off slow as I know from experience that small changes everyday really do make all the difference.

Frugal & Financial Goals

  • Line dry as much as possible
  • Meal plan & use up stock
  • Check online earning opportunities every day
  • Free days out
  • Put £100 in Christmas savings account
  • Buy only what we need

Home Goals

  • Keep on top of clutter creep
  • Deep clean kitchen & bathroom
  • Keep up weeding & mowing in the garden

I’m going to add in two personal goals for myself this month, I had an appointment with my diabetic nurse who has advised me to try and lose 2 pounds a month so that’s what I’m aiming for.

  • Lose 2 pounds
  • Read 3 books

I’m feeling very motivated for the month ahead and I’m also feeling positive about meeting all the goals we have set for ourselves.

What are your goals for July ? leave me a comment below I love hearing from you.

Angela xx

Look In My Letterbox

I took a little break from look in my letterbox last week, I only had one little freebie arrive and the rest of my post was just junk mail, I really do need to put more of an effort in to get that postie visiting more often.

Although I’m not winning much at the moment I had a prize arrive this week that made me so happy and I loved every single part of it.

Freebies

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I think I applied for this freebie through one of the freebie sites but I’m not sure which one, that’s really not helpful is it.

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This Compeed pack is my latest campaign from Bzz Agent, I had nothing from them for ages but it seems to be picking up again now.

Prizes

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I won this awesome bundle of stationery goodies from a blog competition, it’s not often I win something that’s totally just for me so I’m delighted with this prize.

Happy Mail

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I think of all the things that arrive in the post pen pal post is my favourite, getting a letter from someone is brilliant much better than a text or email, I have four pen pals at the moment and I’m on the waiting list for post circle.

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I took part in a book swap last month, I was paired up with a lady in Texas and she sent me this book, I’m really happy with her choice for me as I’ve been meaning to read James Patterson for years and never gotten around to it and now I have no excuse not to.

I’m linking up with Alice Megan for Look In My Letterbox.

LIML

Have you had anything nice in the post this week ? leave me a comment below I love to hear from you.

Angela xx

 

Toy Collecting & Giveaway

Like most children I used to love collecting toys, I had My Little Pony, He-man figures and Strawberry Shortcake dolls to name a few, although I didn’t keep any of my collections I’ve always felt nostalgic when I thought of them so I was more than a little excited when Daisy began to show a real interest in toys especially My Little Pony.

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I began collecting Pop Funko figures earlier this year and through searching for information about them I came across a whole new world of toy collectors on YouTube, Daisy and I began watching blind bag and surprise toy videos (trust me they are addictive). The videos have really sparked Daisy’s imagination and she has been spending her pocket money (and maybe some of mine) buying blind bags and small collectables.

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I thought it would be nice to offer you my lovely readers a chance to start or add to your own toy collection, you can win two My Little Pony figures and a collectable Disney Wikkeez tin by entering using the gleam app below, the first task is mandatory but all the other tasks are optional, you can also come back every day for a bonus entry.

Here’s what you could win .

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A sneak peak inside the Disney Wikkeez tin (the prize one will still be sealed)

Terms & Conditions:

UK Only

The prize is My Little Pony Fluttershy, My Little Pony Rarity and a Disney Wikkeez collectable tin as pictured above.

The winner will be notified by email/twitter and has 28 days to respond.

The closing date of this giveaway is 31st July 2016 11.59pm.
My Little Pony & Disney Wikkeez Giveaway

Good Luck !

Angela xx