Chloe was let loose behind the wheels

Written by Emma. Posted in family, Uncategorized

I have stood at the funeral of young men, boys becoming men.  I have wept as I watched their coffins carried by their friends.  As a teacher I have heard countless tales of my students taking risks and engaging in risky behaviour in the misconstrued belief that tragedy and death will not become them.

I have cried great big sobbing tears as I have watched parents battle with an overwhelming grief when they are laying their children to rest.  It goes against the grain, parents should not be burying their children.

These deaths have been the result of a mistake, a reckless act, a boy that drowned after attempting to swim the Thames whilst under the influence of alcohol and another as a result of getting in a car with a drunk driver.  Then there are countless others who have not paid the ultimate price but have been hurt or crashed their car after driving too fast, to late or just without enough care.  Therefore I was really interested in the Goodyear Driving  Academy who contacted me tohelp raise awareness and improve road safety of young drivers.

There are three parts to the programme firstly online games and theory quiz for everyone, the second part is a parent pack which informs parents of how to keep children safe. the final part is a practical driving lesson for 11-17 year olds to teach them the basics and have them safety aware from a young age.

We have reviewed the course and found it really worthwhile, the first two parts are important as parents are their child’s educator and role model.  Driving is a skill and children will copy their parents.  The final part included Chloe having an off road lesson at one of the locations.

Chloe was really excited but the nerves hit her just before her lesson however she did exceptionally well.  Her instructor was fantastic with her and he soon had her travelling around the course.  Chloe drove for an hour and by the end was changing gears (she even got into third gear), had reversed and experienced the concept of roundabouts and stopping for other cars.  Chloe was surprised that she was so near other young people having their lesson!


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What the experience taught Chloe is that driving is a privilege and that responsibility comes with it.  She is really keen to start learning to drive and its only a little over two years that she will be legally able to take to the road.  It has made me realise that chloe is impressionable now and that she is already watching Lee and I in the car.  We need to ensure we are setting the best example and that we discuss road safety with all three of the children from a young age.  Teenagers will take risks and communication and being a role model may just make the difference and that is something as a parent I aim to do.  Teens will still make mistakes but the better equipped and knowledgeable they are should have an impact.

Do consider looking at the programme I really think it can make a difference.  check out all the information here.


Disclosure:  Goodyear Young Driver enabled this experience for which we thank them.

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Day trips and lunchboxes

Written by Emma. Posted in family, Uncategorized

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CapriSunSchool #CollectiveBias

Yesterday we made a last attempt at a family day out before school starts for us all again next week.  I get an extra week with Erin as unlike the older two she doesn’t start reception until the following week, Chloe is back in on Thursday and Dylan on the Wednesday.  However the alarm’s will commence at 6.05 on Monday morning as Lee heads back to school.  He gets two days before the students are back but he always leaves before 7am anyway.

We decided to head out to Bourton on the Water which is a picturesque village with lots of space to sit by the river and feed the hungry ducks.  We packed a picnic lunch to take with us which was intended to get the children back into the routine of healthy lunchboxes.  We are getting more adventurous with lunch boxes as the children get fed up with sandwiches (I don’t blame them) I am now doing more little tasters, including ham and cheese but not necessarily in bread.  For the carbs we have breadsticks or crackers instead or even a wrap, anything to change it up a bit. I am also making sure we are eating fresher and healthier.  I will also be looking out for special offers now that I am cutting back on spending.  This week Tesco had an offer on the new Capri-Sun fruit crush juice drink which is a healthy choice as every pouch of Capri-Sun fruit crush is one of your five a day therefore I stocked up!  Thankfully I won’t need to worry about doing lunchboxes for Erin as she will be fed a hot dinner as part of the new schools programme.  Yet I will be needing lunchbox ideas for the older two and of course the husband!

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When we arrived Erin was enchanted by the river that runs through the village, she especially liked the old stone bridges that you walk over and she kept walking back and forth.  We are trying not to use the buggy with her and yesterday she did really well and walked the whole time we were out.

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 I think it was because there was some much to observe and distract her that she didn’t have time to think about whether her legs were aching.  She had great fun feeding the ducks of which there are loads.  They were literally taking the bread from her hands!  We spent a leisurely time sitting by the river and let Erin just wander about.  All to soon we were heading back home and considering how our lazy, calm days are about to be replaced with the madness of September and school and the afterschool clubs that will soon resume.

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Working from home

Written by Emma. Posted in Uncategorized

As the summer holidays draw to an end I have been getting more organised for this freelance work I am now doing.  I have claimed some space in our study / office.  I attempting to work from this area rather than just sitting on the sofa with the laptop.  I was really fortunate as Canon recently got in touch to invite me to review on of the their printers, the Canon Pixma MG7150.  we seem to be using a printer more and more especially with the children’s homework or if I print off an activity for Erin to do.  Also now that schools email letters you often need to print off your own permission replies.

The printer was really easy to set up and I had a chat with one of the team who talked me through the functions.  One thing that is awesome with newer style printers is that they are wireless but also that you can do far more than just print.  I have already needed to copy a letter for some medical stuff and I was able to do that quickly at home.

To help me utilise my printer Canon are setting me a number of challenges and you will be able to follow my progress on getting to grips with the machine.  The first challenge was to take a photo of the children on my phone and then print it out.  Therefore armed with my mobile (not that I’m ever without it!) I went about my usual day.  Now I am forever snapping away on my phone but usually that is where the photos stay.  I’m all about social media pasting them on facebook, twitter and instagram but rarely they are in my hands as actual photos.

We recently went to Lollibop and Erin had the chance to meet some of her favourite Cbeebies stars, Erin was able to get up close with Mr Bloom so of course I snapped the occasion.  Once home I used my mobile to send the photo to print.  I wandered into my office to see the photo coming out. The quality is good although it took a fair while to dry which I hadn’t realised.  I actually smudged the corner as I did not realise it would be wet.  After leaving to dry the photo is good and Erin was happy to have an actual copy that she can have on her noticeboard in her bedroom.

Canon will be setting me a new challenge now so do look out for the update of all the different ways I’m maximising the printer.


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Finishing touches from Vertbaudet

Written by Emma. Posted in Home design

I love being at home with the children, I really do.  I don’t want term time to resume but I do want some time to tidy and sort.  I look around and just see stuff everywhere.  The house is clean but it is so untidy!  I seem to have a sweep up and tidy only to look in another room and find stuff in there instead!

However one room which is pretty picture perfect is actually Erin’s bedroom.  She doesn’t play in her room much unless I am pottering upstairs too and she is really very good at tidying up her room.  She seems to like it quite ordered (unlike her brother and sister).  It wasn’t that long ago we decorated and she loves the room. Therefore when the lovely people at Vertbaudet invited us to review something from the children’s bedroom range I thought that a photo montage frame and a mirror would be the ideal finishing touches. I was right, they both co-ordinate with the butterfly pink theme we were already coveting. The photo frame is an ideal place to clip those little pictures from nursery or to show off her latest achievements.

clipboard from vertbaudet


The mirror though is my favourite, it is different and unique which I like.  Several of Erin’s friends have commented on it and want it in their rooms!  It was a little fiddly to attach to the wall as the wall attachments are tight.  This is obviously to ensure once its on the wall in a child’s room that it is very safe and totally sturdy – however this makes for a fiddly job for whoever is putting it up!!

mirror vertbaudet

The mirror is priced at £39.99 and adds a really elegant touch to her pretty bedroom.  I like that the colour is a subtle pink and although girly it is not in your face.  It is really well made and looks brilliant above her library of books.

Erin also received a cute denim skort with a butterfly motif – well a girl needs to match her room!


Disclosure:  Vertbaudet gifted the items for the review, thoughts and opinions all my own.

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