Thursday, 30 July 2015

Summer Holiday essentials with Chemist Direct

I don't know about you, but when it comes to holiday shopping, the last thing I want to be doing is trapesing round loads of different shops either trying to get everything I need or trying to get the best value on everything I need. I would much rather spend my time planning the holiday!

This year, we are very fortunate to have 3 holidays planned. I firmly believe that Holidays are fantastic memory making opportunities for my children, and I will always work hard to ensure we have at least 1 holiday a year. 1 of our holidays this year we have already had, back in April when we went to Cornwall and I really wish I knew then what I know now. 

What I know now is that there is a fantastic online company called Chemist Direct. It's a website where you can purchase all of your holiday essentials. From Suncream to antiseptic cream, they have it all! 

I placed an order for all of our holiday essentials, for the fantastic price of £50.57p this is what arrived

It was all very well packaged and nothing was damaged or broken. What I really loved about ordering from Chemist Direct is that they do branded AND own branded things. So for me, things like paracetamol and ibroprofen (both adult and child versions) I am happy to buy non branded. The children's ibroprofen is just £1.05, which is a huge saving on what I would pay for the branded version. When it comes to vitamins I always purchase Bassetts soft and Chewy vitamins, as they are the only ones Millie will eat. They cost just £2.05 which is a great price. 

Suncream is obviously a summer holiday essential and sadly, I only have to look at the sun and I turn the shade of a tomato. So it is always top of the list of essential purchases. Chemist Direct sell this Riemann once a day sun protection. Which claims to give 10 hours sun protection and is very water resistant. It cost £11.99 and whilst that is more than I would usually pay for sun protection, if it does what it claims to, it will be worth every penny. 

I was very impressed with the selection of product available, some products are usually behind the chemist counter products so I had to answer a questionnaire to ensure that I needed those products. The website was easy to follow and even after I had ordered I was kept upto date with the order status via emails. 

I think we are now set for our summer holiday to Dorset, some things may even last us for our Autumn holiday to Paris. 

What do you think, would you order your holiday essentials online? 

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Another School and Nursery year finished!

I can't believe how quickly the School year has gone, it only seems like yesterday that Chester was beginning his journey in year 1 and Millie started Nursery School.

During that time both children have grown in so many ways. 

I will begin with Chester. 

Year 1 was always going to be a shock to the system for Chester. He absolutely loved Reception, he loved the structure and the play to work ratio. I think it took a good few weeks for him to realise that year 1 was going to be a lot more about work and a lot less about play! So in that respect it did take him a while to settle in. His teachers have got the patience of saints, I take my hat off to them, it's a boy heavy class and full of big personalities so at times it has been a bit, well, testing. 

Chester's knowledge just keeps growing and growing, he seems to pick things up so well. He starts every new project with enthusiasm which is really lovely to see. I think a highlight of the year for Chester has to be Pottery Club, he loved that so much and came home with some excellent pieces of pottery. He is a very creative person, his report even highlighted that fact only last week! My amazement comes from his reading and writing this year. He has really stepped it up a gear and has gone through several reading levels. Sadly, he is finding some of the School books a bit of a bore now as they are simply not challenging enough for him, however, he clearly gets his love of reading from me and loves to spend time at home reading stories to me. I only hope his love for books continues. 

During the last few months we have seen a massive change in Chester's personality. Not all of it I am happy about, as he seems to have lost some of his confidence and is less likely to speak up for himself or give his opinion. He has changed his friendship circles, which isn't a bad thing. As you know he is very interested in Football so he tends to hang around with the children that also really like football. I think some of his changes have been down to simply growing up, and I believe that others are more to do with his awareness of the world around him. He is definitely more concerned about what people think and likes to please people, where as before he would of pleased himself and not given a thought about the conciquences. 

He has ended the term happy to be having a break and excited for what September and year 2 hold for him! I am pleased for him and proud that he has done so well. His report gave 'Excellent and Very Good' grades so his hard work has paid off! 

Now on to cheeky Millie. 

I am simply amazed at the change in Millie since she started Nursery back in October. Whilst she has never been a particularly shy child, her confidence has grown more and more as the year has gone on. She is a happy, bubbly, easy going 3 year old. She gets on with everyone and sees everyone as her friend. A progress report that was recently sent home said that she is happy and confident to play with everyone, each day going in and picking a different friend circle to join in with. I could not be happier for her, she has really benefited from playing with people her own age. 

Nursery recently told me that they think she thinks she is age 12 and all of the children around her are 2! She loves to mother everyone, a very caring and kind child (but she will dob you in if you have been naughty!). I love this side of Millie's personality, the excitement on her face when she gets to nursery and tells me who all her friends are, she is clearly happy to play with them all. 

What has amazed me recently with Millie is that she can now write her own name! Yes it might be a little messy, but she can do it! She also recognises her name if it is written down for her! 

I can't thank Millie's Nursery teachers enough, Millie absolutely adores them all, and she talks fondly about them all the time. 

As a little end of term treat yesterday I took Chester and Millie to the Cinema to see the new Disney film, Inside Out, and then on to Frankie & Bennys for dinner. It was the perfect end to the School Year, I think they both really deserve the break now, so it's 6 weeks of fun times for us! 

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Chester's Sports Day & Millie's Ballet Recital!

When I woke up this morning I knew that, time wise, today was going to be a bit of a struggle. All because the children had events going on that almost overlapped in time. Luckily Craig has Wednesday's off, so that immediately took some pressure off of me. I can't be in two places at once, as much as I would love to.

So it was decided that Craig would go to Sports day and cheer on Chester, and I would go to Ballet and watch Millie's very first show. 

I took a half day off of work and as it turned out I was able to come and watch Chester's sports day, I presumed Millie and I would have to leave before it finished, but luckily we were able to stay until the last race. Just! It was a race against time to get to Ballet, but it was worth it! Chester was in the football dribble team race and then the relay race. He did very well in each, with his team winning the relay race. He is a very competitive boy so took the whole afternoon very seriously! It was great to cheer him and his other team mates on, and Millie even got to take part in the toddler race! 


So, on to Millie's Ballet. We arrived just in time (with Chester and Craig following 15 minutes later) and I was lucky enough to get a front row seat next to my friend. As it was Millie's first Ballet Recital I had no idea what to expect. It was super cute and all of the children behaved so well! They did a mixture of traditional ballet moves and nursery rhymes. We are not normally allowed to watch them at Ballet lessons, as understandably, it is too distracting for the Children. So it was lovely to be able to see what usually goes on behind closed doors. Miss Tina is so good with them, it's clear she has a lot of patience and knows exactly how to be firm but fun with them! 


Apologies for the lack of photos, the ones I took were amazing. But as I am sure you are aware, I really can't put pictures of other people's children on my blog without their consent! 

I am super proud of both of my children today, they both did an amazing job. I am also very happy that we all got to see both events. 

Have you ever been 'double booked' where your children are concerned? I know that personally I find it very hard to find a balance sometimes! 

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Kent Police Open Day.

Social Media is a wonderful thing, isn't it?! I mean, I am certain we would not do half the stuff we do if it wasn't for the fact I had seen it advertised on Facebook or sometimes even Twitter.

Today was no exception, I have got Facebook to thank for letting me know that there was a Kent Police Open Day at the headquarters in Maidstone. It was a free event so I thought what have we got to loose, let's go down and see what it's all about. 

Well, let me tell you, it was FANTASTIC! The police had worked really hard to make it a fantastic day, full of fun and information. 

Soon after we arrived Chester got to try out the body worn video recorder, he was asked to walk around and film what was going on, then we got to watch it all afterwards! The police officers were amazing with him and explained how great it is to see it all through a child's eyes (height). 

Millie was very impressed with the Guide dog puppies, it was great to show the children what the puppies are training for. 

There were lots of colouring in opportunities, which is always a bonus when you have children, it also meant that Craig and I could chat with the police and gain a bit of knowledge about what is new in policing and how they are moving forward thanks to technology etc. Also lots of dressing up opportunites which Chester thought was great! 

The kids thought it was hilarious when an officer locked us in a cell, albeit a little shocked at the fact the prisoners toilet was right by the bed and there was no TV! I think experiences like this are great, they have gained so much knowledge and also realised that its not much fun being locked up in prison! But above all, they have learnt that the police are very friendly and approachable people who they can trust and go to if they ever need to. 

Millie was very impressed with the ice creams too! 

All in all it was a fantastic day, I could literally go on for hours telling you about everything we saw and learnt, we spent 4 hours there and managed to do so much! So well done and a big thank you to everyone involved in making it such a fun and informative day, no doubt you have put a lot of your own time into it, and it's certainly paid off! 

Monday, 6 July 2015

Football fun come rain or shine!

A couple of weeks ago I told you that Chester's Football dreams are coming true. Well last weekend he  got to show his Nannie and Grandad some of his skills.

My parents were down for the weekend, which was the perfect opportunity to come and watch Chester's football training session. My Dad has been desperate to come and watch him from the moment I told him Chester was part of a football team! 

Sadly, aside from 10 minutes at the start, it poured down with rain the whole time! I did feel sorry for the team as they were soaked right through, but none of them complained they just got on with the training session. 

As you know, Chester is the goal keeper, and he has come on so much since his first training session. This week he did so well that he got Trainer of the week! His little face when he got it was just priceless. I was so happy for him and how nice for it to happen when Nannie and Grandad came to see his skills! 

He really is into his football in a big way right now, joining the team has not only boosted his skills but also his confidence and understanding of the game. The coaches do a fantastic job, they are so patient with them and really make sure they are challenging them every week. 

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Our mini break to Chessington!

When I started my new job, one of the things I wanted to do was make sure that our family time was quality time. I also wanted the children to see that me being at work full time means that we are able to enjoy a few more days out.

So the first thing I did when I got my first months pay was book a mini break to Chessington World of Adventures. Chester had a random baker day coming up so I thought I would make use of that, booking the break for a Sunday night stay, so that we had to full days in the park and hopefully it wouldn't be too busy.

I have to hold my hands up and admit that my expectations for The Safari Hotel were quite low. We have stayed at the Animal Kingdom hotel in Walt Disney World so I find it very hard to try and not compare! But I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised, the hotel was lovely, clearly a lot of thought has gone into making it well themed. Our room had an obstructed view on to the 'Savannah' but we were happy that we could see the giraffes, Zebras and an Ostrich from our room, even more so if we walked out to our floors lobby. The swimming pool was fab, the splash area perfect. There were so many benefits and things to do in the hotel we didn't have time to do nearly as many as I would have liked to. But for this stay, the best thing about the hotel for us was the separate sleeping area for the children. It is such a simple idea and I really wonder why more hotels don't offer this. This has to be the first hotel we have stayed at where the children stayed in their beds and actually went to sleep when we asked them! 

We had two awesome days at Chessington. One of the benefits of being a hotel guest meant that we had a different park entrance and were able to go on some rides before regular guests had even managed to walk round to those areas. This was great because although we didn't feel like we rushed about we certainly managed to go on the rides more than once. 

Chester at the age of 6 is a little thrill seeker, he went on everything he was tall enough for. The vampire ride was his favourite and on the Monday we went on it 5 times in a row! I was in no way surprised that Dragon Falls was a close second for him, as he talks about Splash Mountain at Walt Disney World all the time! 

It turns out that Millie is the opposite of her brother and hates all rides that go remotely over 1mph! The first ride we went on was Scorpian Express (think runaway train) and she hated it! She liked the flying elephants but only if we didn't press the button to make them go higher! So basically Millie spent the two days on The Bubble Works, but she didn't complain once, everything she did like, she really liked. Actually a highlight for Millie was watching the Penguins of Madagascar show, we all enjoyed it. 

What Craig and I love about Chessington is that it's not just about rides (this is a relief for us as I was starting to get a headache from all the fast rides Chester was making me go on!) we also spent lots of time looking at the animals and walking around the sea life centre. We were also lucky enough to be at the front of the que for the walk through monkey enclosure just as they were serving the monkeys lunch. That was an amazing experience, the monkeys were so close to us and we got to learn all about their likes and dislikes! 

Overall we had a fantastic couple of days, it was so nice to be able to give the kids a few more 'yes' moments, I think they were amazed when they asked for a slush drink and I said yes without hesitation!   As a family we will certainly be looking to do things like this more often now,it's been a week on and they are still just as excited when re telling the fun they had! 

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Chester's football dreams are coming true!

Over the last year or so, Chester has started liking football in a big way. You will probably remember that over the last season we have take him to a couple of Crystal Palace matches which he has really enjoyed.

But something recently has managed to increase his football enthusiasm even more, finally after being on the waiting list for ages, Chester has been given a place on a local Football team! 

The only position available was goal keeper, and whilst that would not of been his position of choice (he is a great striker) he took on the challenge without hesitation. He has been on the team for 2 maybe 3 months and already his abilities and attitude towards football have grown. I am incredibly proud of what he has learnt so far. The coaches do a great job, and some weeks even give him some one on one goal keeper coaching to help boost his confidence. 

It seems that football has taken over his life (and my weekend) he talks about it every day, and apparently he plays it every lunch time at School! 
A couple of weeks ago was the icing on the cake for Chester though... His team had their annual football presentation day. It was a fun filled day full of football, bouncy castles and BBQs! I took Chester along but warned him that as he was new to the team he probably shouldn't expect any kind of trophy, but to be happy for his team mates who had worked hard all season. Imagine his little face when they called his name up and awarded him a trophy along with the rest of his team! It has totally made his year, the trophy has yet to leave his side! 

I think it's really great that he is so pasionate about a sport, as a football loving Mum I could not be happier!