Review: Alternative Father’s Day Gifts….no more socks!

With just over two weeks to go until Father’s Day, we have decided to put together some of the best and most unusual gifts we have found from one of our favourite sites notonthehighstreet.com¬† because let’s face it, not only is your father sick of receiving socks every year, but you are tired of buying them ūüėČ My dad is a keen gardener and he also loves to cook, so when I saw this gift I was rather excited. ¬†I really do think he will love it and it is on order as we speak. ¬†Everything you need to grow five funky vegetables in one kit box.

A fantastic gift for any keen or intrigued gardener and/or cook, they will be able to grow purple carrots, red brussel sprouts, stripy tomatoes, yellow courgettes and multi coloured swiss chard. ¬†At ¬£13.50 I think this is a great and affordable gift. ¬†I’m just looking forward to my invite for tea!

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With the Tour de France passing through parts of the UK what better year than 2014 to purchase some silver ‘cylist’ cufflinks, they are a little bit more pricey but this is only likely to happen once in your life time, so give your father something to remember-he will certainly be able to recall the year you bought him these! ¬£90

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Looking for something a little more useful? ¬†Check out these fab alarm clocks. ¬†Just click your fingers, clap your hands or gently tap your bedside table and the time, date & temperature will alternately appear for you in red LED colour. It automatically switches off when the room is quiet, lighting up again when the alarm goes off or as a response to your clicked fingers or clapped hands. The numbers seem to float on the lovely wooden block, but that’s just half the magic of this cubiod with a conscience. ¬†At ¬£28.50 we think these are a bargain.

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We all know how our dad’s love to be the King of the BBQ, so with Summer just around the corner, keep him happy with this stylish BBQ, at ¬£34.95 we think it is a steal.

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¬† Okay…we apologise now….we could not help ourselves, and had to sly some socks in somewhere. ¬†But here is the difference, they are Dad and child matching socks, at ¬£11 for the two pairs, we think they are pretty awesome

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Fancy a splurge or you ve just won the lottery…We have three gifts just for you: 1. ¬†Our favourite of the three. ¬†A Heinsberg Retro Suitcase ¬£390

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Rare! Not to be messed with, as brutal as it is beautiful, the Heisenberg Retro Suitcase Speaker!  One of the original members of the trunkie family that has it all; the looks, the sound and the attitude. Incredibly lightweight for its size, this speaker packs a real punch.

Complete with two port holes for extra bass reflex.

Audio specifications: 2 x 6 inch pioneer woofer, 1 x 4 inch pioneer midrange, 2 x 2 inch pioneer tweeter, 6 hours battery life, 200 watt built in amplifier, 3.5mm aux lead

2. ¬†We love this tent that looks just like a book, perfect for any book worm father, and what’s more, it will be perfect for those family camping trips or festivals. ¬£395

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3. ¬†Finally, a very stylish champagne or wine cooler, though if you are willing to spend ¬£2650 (yes that is the price) then you may as well fill it with champagne have n’t you! We just love the natural look, hand raised and finished with a hammer texture this sterling silver cooler will last forever. ¬†By far the piece we love the most….we just wish we could afford it!

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Happy shopping and do not forget…..Father’s Day 15th June 2014

Related Articles: Mother’s Day (blogizing.wordpress.com) Valentine’s Day (blogizing.wordpress.com)

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Booming Bank Holiday Entertainment for all the Family

Boomerang Jam Festival, Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK

If you are anything like me you will love a good festival!  I attend them throughout the Summer with friends leaving my children with my fabulous parents! I enjoy the break but think the kids enjoy a break from me too if I am really honest with myself!  However, now and again my children, boy aged 15, and girls aged 7 and 6 often are on my case about them going to festivals.  As they are getting older I can understand why they want to get  involved especially when they see how excited I get!  My son has attended Bingley Music Live with friends from school and we have attended the Aire Do!, a festival in Keighley, West Yorkshire, which in the past has showcased the likes of Rudimental and Jake Bugg.

Last year when entering the gates at the Aire Do Festival I was surprised to see how excited my two girls were just at the fact they were getting a festival wristband! They are definately likely to follow in my footsteps as they were dancing around in front of the main stage whilst listening to Black Sabbath play Agadoo and zipping in and out of the little dance tent.

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This year, as soon as they found out I had booked my first festival ticket, they were on my case. “muuuuuummmmmmmm, when can we go to a festival?” Although the Aire Do is a great little boutique festival it is not until August, so there is a little while to wait. ¬†It also got me thinking about which festivals were actually family friendly. I have been to many, who claim to be family friendly, but in all honesty just do not have the facilities to keep your children entertained whilst you can go off and party….it is not realistic is it ūüėÄ

I began to delve into the world wide web, do a little research and see what I could come up with. ¬†There seems to be a real lack of festivals marketed at families, which is such a shame. ¬†The ones that are, do appear to be aimed more at older children. ¬†For me, I have two age groups to contend with, and the teenager is the more difficult of the two! ¬†I did however, come across a festival which is local to me, called Boomerang Jam. ¬†It is to take place on Sunday 25th and Monday 26th May 2014 at The Old Brewery, in Leeds. ¬†Conveniently located some 7 minutes away from the train station it is easy to reach, or alternatively if you are travelling by car there is a large car park so no need to worry about the travel arrangements, which can often be a big stress for a family day out. ¬†The highlights seem to be appearances by Peppa Pig, Fireman Sam, Bob The Builder and Ben 10 amongst others….thats the little ones sorted out then….but what about the teenager? ¬†There promises to be stunts by bmx bikers and skaters as well as the dance tent and lots of workshops to keep them entertained. ¬†My teenager is also a particular lover of food…any food, but he also appreciates food.

Half Pipe and Pro Performers¬†‚󏬆Main Stage¬†‚󏬆Arena¬†‚󏬆Dance Tent‚󏬆Food Demonstrations¬†‚󏬆Mini Farm¬†‚󏬆Rock¬†‚󏬆Climbing¬†‚óŹInflatables¬†‚󏬆Fair Ground¬†‚󏬆Graffiti Artists¬†‚󏬆Arts and Crafts¬†‚óŹStalls¬†‚󏬆Competitions¬†‚󏬆Breakdancing¬†‚󏬆Beat Boxing performances¬†‚󏬆and much much more.

Boomerang Jam is also part of The Leeds Food and Drink Festival 2014 and will deliver some of the finest cooking displays and tastiest treats Leeds has to offer! 

I have decided there definately seems to be enough here to keep a 6 year old princess, a 7 year old skater girl and a football crazy, x-box mad, foody teenager entertained.  Therefore, I for one shall be giving it a try, and I will of course report back!  It is important in these difficult times that the quality time we so desperately seek with our families is time which we feel is well spent and of course value for money.  I will be visiting to see if this is what we will be getting.  From the face of it, it looks promising so lets keep our fingers and toes crossed and pray to the universe that finally there may just be a family festival which not only promises to deliver a great day out for all the family, but actually does.

Boomerang Jam Music Festival, Leeds, West Yorkshire.  25th & 26th May 2014

Tickets from: £10

Chris Martin & Gwyneth Paltrow: Consciously Uncoupled

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/news/gwyneth-paltrow-and-chris-martin-to-split-after-more-than-10-years-of-marriage-9215633.html

After ten years of marriage, Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow have announced they are to bring their marriage to an end.  They have stated that over the past year they have been working hard to live some of it together and some of it apart.  They have now worked out that they are not to be together as a couple but they will remain as a family.  They go on to say that they still love each other and in some respects are closer than ever.

What do you think of this statement? I personally think if they do manage to get along and still spend time as a family with their children then this is admirable.  Many people may argue that if this arrangement was for the sake of their children then maybe they should have stayed together for the sake of them.  I disagree with this stance.  Children know when their parents are happy.  Children benefit much more from two happy parents than spending time in one miserable and unhappy home.

I hope this arrangement works out for them.  I would have given anything for things to have been amicable between my ex (father to my children) and I.  It was never a possibility for me as my ex did not even wish to communicate with me for the sake of my children, never mind spend time as a family.

Good luck to them, I say! ¬†And for those that say ‘what a shame’ and ‘no one seems to last long these days’ I would respond with this: Ten years of marriage is admirable, it is a long time in anyone’s life, around one eighth or so. ¬†To commit to a person for this amount of time is in itself an¬†achievement. ¬†Not much lasts forever, it is not the way of life, everything changes and evolves. ¬†People also change, we are not immune to this. ¬†If one changes and becomes so different to the other, it is¬†unusual¬†for them to break away and find a place they feel they fit, with another or others they feel at home with and where they belong.¬†¬† Life is too short to be unhappy. ¬†To be happy is not a selfish act. ¬†To remain in a unhealthy relationship or situation is a¬†tragedy¬†and a waste of the life you have been given.

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Talking Pants: NSPCC Campaign to help educate younger children about inappropriate sexual behaviour by adults

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2577342/Ron-touched-Mothers-horror-casual-conversation-three-year-old-daughter-revealed-sexually-abused-family-friend.html

NSPCC Campaign puts abuser  in jail.  A mother spoke to her 3 year old daughter about the pants rule, to which her three year old daughter disclosed to her that a family friend had touched her inappropriately. This just shows that education is key.  You can educate younger children as well as the older ones, and when done in the right way it shows that it can be very successful.  It is likely this campaign has saved this little girl from a long period of abuse.  Read the full article by clicking on the link above.

It is good to talk - parents urged to talk about the underwear rule with their children

It is good to talk – parents urged to talk about the underwear rule with their children

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How wiser words can come from children than from some adults: Indigo Children?

I am beginning to think my youngest child is actually an angel from heaven, you know the type ‘cheeky’ angel with a bit of slight devilment which keeps everyone on their toes, but are actually truly amazing. ¬†If you have heard of the term ‘indigo-child’ I think I am somewhere near. ¬†From here on in, I will call her Indigo.

She has done two things since Sunday which make me incredible proud. ¬†Sunday was her birthday, she was 6. ¬†I treated her to a day trip out and of course lots of presents, including her nails done at the nail salon-she was adamant!! (Me: Are you sure darling, you are¬†only 6. Indigo: But mummy I want my nails doing just like you) How could I say no?! ¬†Anyway, as I tucked her up in bed on Sunday evening she threw her arms around my neck and said “Mummy this has been the best birthday ever, thank you so much for what you have done today!” She released my neck grabbed my cheeks with her tiny hands and planted a kiss on my lips, let go and gave me the biggest grin. ¬†My heart melted. ¬†It is not every day a ‘just gone’ 6 year old is able to show such gratitude.

The second thing came just last night, two days since her birthday. ¬†She knows I have been having a bit of a tough time recently. ¬†I treated her to homemade pancakes, it was Pancake Tuesday after all.. I let her smear on the nutella and rolling it up she said “mummy you are the best mummy in the world!” She then began to sing to me whilst eating her pancake “lean on me…..when you’re not strong, I’ll be your friend……I’ll help you carry on…” ¬†We are know the song by Al Green I am sure, even if you did not know it was Al Green that sang it, you will know the song trust me…. I do not even know where she has learnt this song. ¬†And when asked, she does not know either!

At this point I could have cried. ¬†How I have managed to raise such an emotionally aware child I will never know! ¬†She flashed me a big smile and said “Mummy I lean on you all the time don’t I? ¬†You can lean on me today.”

I love this girl, I am proud she is my daughter, she is like my little shadow, she will follow me to the end of the earth if that is where I am going.  I wake up in a morning and there she is in bed next to me, after she has sneaked in, in the middle of the night.

No matter how hard life gets, there is one person who can always put a smile on your face. ¬†For me it is my youngest daughter. ¬†We have such a connection, that we do not even have to speak to each other and we know what we are thinking. ¬†I believe she is a soul mate of mine (yes relatives, friends etc can be soul mates too…..)

Indigo, you are truly amazing and always an inspiration to me.  You never fail to amaze me with your wise words, too wise for such a young girl.  I love you xxxxx

Related:

http://www.sophiagubb.com/how-to-tell-if-you-are-indigo/

Going Backwards? It is not possible, time will never allow it

I had my first child at 17, needless to say I was nt married and the relationship did not last. By 28 I had given birth to my second and third children. ¬†I still was not married, nor did the fella ever intend to propose, mainly as he knew he had some sort of control in this matter, and all I ever wanted was the happily ever after. ¬†So I planned the wedding, and when our third child was 6 months old, we got married. ¬†I was never proposed to, and he never said he wanted to marry me, but he did. I am now divorced. Single again and have been for two years. ¬†I am dating, for the first time in my life. ¬†I meet men, go on dates and if I want to see them again I do, if I¬†don’t¬† then I¬†don’t. ¬†For the first time in my life, I realised I actually had a choice in relationships.¬†¬†My children are older now. ¬†I go out with friends, I go on holiday with them, weekends away to festivals and allow myself that time to let my hair down. ¬†I am truly living a single life. ¬†With three older children in tow. ¬†They of course also get my time, but as I am sole carer, with not much of a break I allow myself some freedom now and again. ¬†I benefit, but so do they.

I had a career at 21, working in a law firm, receiving a large pay check at the end of each month and a decent annual bonus to boot. ¬†At 30, I left, I’d had enough of the rat race and returned to university. ¬†I am a student. I also work, part time.

I had a house at 21, albeit with a mortgage but it was mine.  After a failed engagement and then a failed marriage and all the financial implications that came with that (thanks ex-husband for eternally lumbering me with your debt) I now live in rented.  Although it is not all bad, as in actual fact this is the first house that actually feels like home to me, since leaving my parents home some 15 years ago.

At 21, despite having a child, I had savings. ¬†Maybe this was because it was before the recession hit us, I do not know. ¬†But I now no longer have savings. ¬†Another way I have gone backwards…..?

I felt at one point I had it all.  Husband, children, career, money. But I did not.  I did not have my freedom, nor my happiness. I was sad, and despite being surrounded by my husband and children I felt lonely.  Nothing fulfilled me.  I felt like a shell, an outline of a person with nothing inside. Empty.

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I used to be very creative, but all of this had fallen by the way side to make time for my career and my children. ¬†I was desperately trying to hold everything together and it worked for a couple of years, but once the cracks began to show, no matter how much I tried to plaster of them, it was just a temporary fix. ¬†I had to strip back to basics, and reassess my life. ¬†At first I thought I had thrown everything away, until I realised I had in fact just began to clear everything away. ¬†The things which I no longer needed in my life as they served no purpose, and in fact made me very unhappy. ¬†However, I am happier now than I have ever been. ¬†I still have problems in my life I have to deal with, but I do not ‘struggle’ to deal with them. ¬†I am not constantly stressed out and have managed to develop a ‘whatever will be, will be’ attitude. ¬†I believe sometimes we are so conditioned by society that we believe the house, car, husband, children, career blahdy blah is what is going to keep us happy. Having lived that live, it did not work for me, and I know plenty others that it has not worked for either.

If you feel unhappy, it is time to assess your life.  Do not be frightened, as you have to do this, for yourself. You have a duty to live life in the most happiest, fulfilling way that you can.

I had difficulty allowing myself time. ¬†I felt guilty, feeling as though I had to be there for my children 24/7. ¬†So I not only felt guilty when I went out for dinner with friends, or for a weekend away at a spa, I felt guilty when I went to work! ¬†Working 10 hours a day in a law firm, meant most days I did not see my children for more than an hour a day-combined from before and after work. ¬†It made it more difficult for me to accept as when I tried to explain it to my husband, he was so money driven (mainly as I paid his bills) that he failed to even consider a reduction in my hours. ¬†So when I was finally brave enough to take a look at my life, and after my now ex-husband had left, I know the next thing on my list was my work. ¬†I had always been interested in people and what made them tick, so I chose to do Psychology. ¬†I left my work, which had always served as a security blanket and I took the giant step of becoming a student. This freed up a lot of my time, and now I can take my children to school every morning and collect them from school three days a week. ¬†The guilt of not being a ‘proper’ mother (this way my ideal of the type of mother I wanted to be) to my children has gone. ¬†Which now means I can also take time out some weekends, guilt-free.

Your steps do not have to be as life changing as mine, I am in no way advocating that every one packs in their jobs and gets divorced.  This worked for me, and I am still in transition after two years, but every day I am a step closer to where I want to be.  So even though I looked as though I was going backwards, (and believe me, many people questioned me, and some thought I was in mid-life crisis) I actually just cleared the decks so I could move forwards. I AM HAPPY.

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Monsters making Monsters (High)

With such horrible weather to contend with it is sometimes difficult to know what to do to keep my rugrats busy.  That is until I remembered all the presents they had been given at Christmas.  So we had a look through and found this.  I can honestly say it has kept us all busy, pretty much all morning.  I now understand why the recommended age is 8+ years.  I am 33 and I struggled! But once we worked out all the diagram instructions we were off.  The instructions resembled those a lot like Ikea.  Not much writing, just lots of diagrams and the key is making sure you have the right bits with the right dots in the right places (the Ikea version holes representing the screw or nail holes, you get the picture)

 

I have to say though my 7 year old thoroughly enjoyed this activity.  It did took us just over one hour and there were nt any tears so that in itself was a bonus!

Any here are our finished key rings. ¬†My 7 year olds is Draculaura on the right, and mine is Frankie Stein on the left. ¬†They look quite impressive, but I do not think they will last long as the stickers keep falling off!!! That is probably where the tears will come in, when my 7 year old attaches the keyring to her school bag and upon returning home Draculaura has lost her face! ¬†***Sounds like life*** ūüôā As for my 5 year old she totally struggled but it was a great opportunity for team work

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