Rain….yay!!

Rain rain, don’t go away!

When we were tidying up the garden to get it ready for my birthday party, we accidently pulled the hosepipe out of the waterfall on the pond. We lost a lot of water before Ant noticed and emptied the water from the rain barrel into the pond. It didn’t fill it to where it had been but it looked a bit better.
Ever since then, we’ve been wishing the hot summer sun away in favour of rain!

The hot weather hasn’t helped the water level and we switched the waterfall pump off to try and save as much water as possible.

pond before the rain

pond before the rain

Finally, rain!

Today we had 2 really good downpours, so much so that I was excited enough to text Ant (who was in Sheffield, dropping Kaycee off at her sister’s) to let him know it was raining!

It stopped for a while then came back with a vengeance. I’m pleased to say the pond is now fully topped up and there’s even some water left in the rain barrel :)

All the plants are going to need a little while to recover I think. There doesn’t seem to be as many as before.
We couldn’t add tap water because it’s a wildlife pond and we didn’t want the water to upset the balance.
It’s got an excellent variety of pond life such as dragonfly larvae, tadpoles (still!) and baby frogs amongst others so tap water wasn’t an option.

pond after the rain

Waterfall

We’ve been able to switch the waterfall back on today. I didn’t realise how much I’d missed it until I heard the running water again.
I just hope our wish for rain doesn’t mean we’ve seen the last of the summer sun. It would be a shame if we don’t get the chance to sit out and enjoy the pond now it’s back to its former glory!

Bostik Bloggers Challenge – Sport

Bostik tabletop basketball tutorial

Tabletop basketball tutorial I’m a bit late with my Bostik craft post this month. It’s been a bit manic what with all the end of year activities and the start of the summer holidays. I finally managed to get it done … Continue reading

Weekly weigh in – Lost 2lb

Weigh in

I’ve been in control all week and was very happy with my 2lb loss at weigh in today.

It was Kaycee’s birthday party in the week. I had a big piece of chocolate cake, a small piece of pizza, some doner kebab and onion rings. I adjusted my menu for the rest of the week so I didn’t overeat. It worked because I still managed to lose :)

Not counting the week I booked as a holiday (which certainly would have been a huge gain if I’d have been weighed!), I’ve had 4 losses in a row.
It’s my best streak for a very long time! I’ve had a good day again today which will set me up for another good result next week.

I’m happy losing 2lb a week from now on. I’m not going to stress about losing big amounts, I just want to keep losing every week.
I’ve set up an excel spreadsheet to help me work out how long it will take me to get out of the 20s and by losing 2lb a week, I can be out of them by the start of February next year. I really want this and I am going to work hard to get it :)

I’ve lost 7 stone 3.5lb and can’t wait to get my 7.5 stone award back!

It feels great to be back in control again. I’ve been feeling really down and depressed about my weight loss for a really long time and started feeling like I’d never get to target.
I’m now feeling confident again that I can do it.

Sparkly Shell sigtag

We’ve made a start on the new kitchen flooring!

.New flooring, finally!

If you’ve read my bucket list posts this year you’ll have seen me saying, (every month since April!) that I want to get the new flooring down in the kitchen.
We finally made a start today but I have to confess to not only getting the flooring down, I’ve decided to decorate the kitchen as well!

I started emptying the shelf unit in preparation for the floor and thought that seeing I was emptying the kitchen anyway, it would be the best time to get the paint out and freshen it up.

I’ve only washed, sanded and painted the skirting board and door so far but already it’s starting to feel all nice and fresh.

Changes afoot

Ant wants to make some changes to the kitchen; he wants to make a built in unit with a cupboard at the bottom, some shelves above the counter and a proving cupboard above the shelves, in the place where we currently have an open shelving unit.

open shelf unit in kitchen

It makes sense because even though I LOVE the shelf unit, we need more storage space in the kitchen.

He’s also wanting to put in a breakfast bar, (like the one we took out because I didn’t like it!) in the same place as the one we took out!

Breakfast bar we removed

Before

kitchen_after_03

After

I compromised and said I wouldn’t mind having an island in the middle instead of the table and chairs. The more I think about it, the more I can see his point of view.  It will give us so much extra counter and storage space.

I must admit, I won’t be sorry to see the back of the space saving table. The chairs are not comfy for me and it’s gone very wobbly. It probably just needs tightening but the space it takes up can be put to much better use.

Whatever we decide, the kitchen is going through changes. The most important one, that I can’t wait to see is that new flooring, finally in place!

Summer Bucket List Time!

summer-bucket-list-shell-louise-banner

It’s that time of year again!

The girls love making a summer bucket list and have been looking forward to making this one for ages.

This summer we would like to:

  • Have ice cream for breakfast
  • Have an Eskimoo
  • Go to Hubbard’s Hill
  • Make smores
  • Go swimming at NK
  • Go to Mablethorpe and eat fish and chips and warm doughnuts and ice cream and fresh prawns
  • Have a movie night with popcorn
  • Have traditional meals from different countries
  • Make campfire twists
  • Make apple and cherryade floats
  • Play Come Dine With Me
  • Make paper dolls
  • Lie on the grass at night and look at the stars
  • Have a family games night
  • Go to Daisy Made

This last one is copied from the lovely Kim over at Northumberland Mam.

Make ice cream in a bag

I get Kim’s blog posts delivered to my email every day and I’m always amazed how alike we seem to be. I’m often nodding along when she’s describing something her youngest has done and thinking to myself that it sounds just like something Ella would do!

I’m really looking forward to the summer holidays. I just have to wait for the girls to get back from the various places they’re visiting for the first 2 weeks….. I have 2 child-free weeks ahead, whatever shall I do with myself?!

Questions for Kaycee – last day at junior school

Kaycee

I started asking Kaycee and Ella some questions at the end of the school year in 2012. I love being able to look back at the changes :)
2012
2013
2014
2015 

It doesn’t seem two minutes ago that I was asking Kaycee questions at the end of year 2 and writing about her being sad because she had to leave the infants school. Now I’m writing about how sad she is to be leaving junior school and I can’t believe she’s going to be in secondary school in September.

She has had an absolutely wonderful teacher for her final year in junior school.

I know Kaycee is going to be really emotional when she has to say her final goodbyes today.
She’s made a lovely cushion with her best friend, Emma, to give to Miss B. Last night she wanted to make something that was just from her.

She made a thank you card with a large B on the front and decorated the letter with buttons and gems. She also made a frame with the following inside:

Miss B

I may not remember everything you have said but I will remember how special you made me feel.

Thank you

She bought some Thornton’s chocolates for the office staff.
She gave a bottle of wine to one of the teachers she had in a different year and gave a bottle of salted caramel liqueur to the headteacher.

She’s going to miss this school but I think she’s going to love her new school and all the opportunities she’s going to get to there :)

I am really good at  Writing stories
I like to  film videos
My favourite thing to learn at school:  PSHE
1 person who makes me laugh:  Dad
One word that describes me:  Loud
I am really happy when:  I’m with my friends
I am really sad when:  I have a fallout with my friends
My favourite book:  Harry Potter
My favourite TV show:  The next step
My favourite vacation:  Mablethorpe
I like school when:  we go on trips
I don’t like school when:  we do SATS
My favourite season:  Winter
My favourite toy:  Ducky
My worst nightmare:
Things that make me mad:  Ella
Favourite sport:  Capture the flag
I like my Dad because  he makes me laugh
I like my Mum because  she cooks nice stuff
I like my family because  they’re nice to me (most of the time!)

 

Questions for Ella at the end of year 4

Questions for Ella 2016

I started asking the girls some questions at the end of the school year in 2012. I love being able to look back at the changes :)
I am really good at: Cartwheels and handstands
I like to: going in the pool
My favourite thing to learn at school: Maths
1 person who makes me laugh: Daddy
One word that describes me: Unique
I am really happy when: I go on holiday
I am really sad when: I have a fallout with my friends
My favourite book: The Gruffalo
My favourite TV show: Love your garden with Alan Titchmarsh
My favourite vacation: Cornwall
I like school when: we have Eskimoos (flavoured milkshake) at the end of the year
I don’t like school when: we do literacy
My favourite season: Summer
My favourite toy: Rabbit and Tigger
My worst nightmare: When I dreamed Jeff got stabbed in the back
Things that make me mad: When Daddy tells me too many jokes
Favourite sport: Cricket
I like my Dad because: He’s funny and he makes me laugh
I like my Mum because: She’s kind and she says we can’t do something, we beg her and she then says yes!
I like my family because: They buy me presents when they go on holiday

Ella’s questions from 20122013 2014 2015

Questions for Ella 2016

Weekly weigh in – Lost 1.5lb

You may remember last week that I didn’t get weighed at Slimming World as I’d booked a holiday. I did, however, weigh myself at home.

I didn’t put my weight on the blog though because I didn’t want to dwell on the number on the scale.

I followed a calorie counted diet all week, sticking to under 1300 calories and because of the drastic reduction in calories, I managed to lose the amount I’d put on over my birthday celebrations :)

When I last weighed at Slimming World I weighed 24 stone, 1 pound. When I weighed at home last Wednesday morning, I weighed 25 stone exactly.

When I weighed at home this morning, I weighed 24 stone exactly meaning I’d lost the whole stone I gained :)

I went to Slimming World this morning and weighed in at 23 stone, 13 and a half pounds. I was delighted to be back in the 23 stone category!

I’ve decided to stick to a low-calorie diet again this week because I need to be strict with myself and get this weight moving again.
I keep sticking to Slimming World and being disappointed with my results so for now I’m calorie counting but still going to the group because I need the support of everyone there :)

shell

Stabilo Cappi Pens Review

I’ve written before about the girls loving stationery and Stabilo in particular so they were very happy with the new pack of  Stabilo Cappi pens we received today (well, Ella’s happy, Kaycee’s not seen them yet as she’s away at a friend’s house, working on an end of year present for their teacher but she loves pens and I know she’s going to love these!).

Stabilo Cappi Pens

Stabilo Cappi Pens

We love the flattened ends

The ends are flat which stops them rolling off the table, something that’s a constant source of annoyment when we’re crafting together. It makes you wonder why no one has thought of this design before?!

Stabilo Cappi Pens

The caps thread on to the cap ring which keeps them all together and stops them getting lost. I’m sure you know if you’ve got kids who colour, how many times the lids get lost! I’m always chucking old pens away because they’ve dried out when the lids have been lost.

Talking of the pens drying out without the caps on, if these pens aren’t put back on the caps for some reason, they don’t dry out for 24 hours.
How brilliant is that? :o)

Stabilo Cappi Pens

They’ve got nice fine nibs which are great for the adult colouring book the girls bought me for Christmas! I can see me stealing these for myself!

The pens have an ergonomic grip zone specially designed for children and because they’re looped together, you can attach them to the car headrest while on journeys and encourage the kids to draw and create instead of playing on tablets!

Stabilo cappi pens on car headrest

We’re giving these Stabilo Cappi Pens 10/10. We think the design of them, being kept together, not rolling everywhere and not drying out, is excellent. The colours are lovely and bright :)

 

Please note: We were sent a pack of Stabilo Cappi Pens in return for an honest review.