Choosing new sofas and accessories

Written by Emma. Posted in Home design, Uncategorized

Oh how I admire those who seamlessly put a room together. Those whose home interiors look like they have fallen out of a glossy magazine and landed perfectly in someone else’s living room. I wrote recently about my fear of decorating and making mistakes I am the kind of person who is much better if I just find everything together in one store and it is already a set that complements each other. I could then just purchase the lot and recreate someone else’s vision in my home.

I am currently redecorating the lounge, well when I say redecorating dad will do the wallpapering I just do the purchasing!  I have ordered new sofas and spent hours looking for accessories.  I knew what I wanted and knew the colours, I wanted a pale yellow and teal palette to go with the grey in the sofas.  I’m fussy with cushions too but knew they needed to be good quality.  They are going to be well used, they need to last the test of time. Zazzle won out for choice. I have never been in such cushion heaven, it actually took me two whole evenings to finally decide and order four cushions. I also bought myself some coasters, if I’m going to be comfy on my new sofa I will want a good mug of coffee whilst relaxing and reading!



The Zazzle website is huge and has the added bonus that you can personalise products with ease.  The site is a place where many different artists and crafters showcase their products.  This means that there is bound to be something perfect for you.  One word of warning though is that the postage is a little pricier than normal in my opinion.  Therefore do just keep an eye on that. In addition to cushions you can purchase bags, business cards, home accessories and more.

The products arrived promptly and look fab.  You will see the full reveal when the sofas have arrived but I can’t wait now to get the wallpapering done and put the room together.

I would love to know how others find inspiration for decorating, can you put it all together or do you buy a complete range?



Disclosure:  I was given credit to use some items for the purpose of the review.

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What our teenagers want to learn at school

Written by Emma. Posted in Education

As I mentioned last week I am doing a little supply teaching this week which gave me reason to reflect on how teaching has changed. Today I was teaching a lovely group of year 10’s (so 14/15 yr olds) about the functions of the family and it led to a really interesting discussion.  We had watched a documentary about feral children previously, these are children raised by animals and children that have been so badly neglected that it has had a profound impact on their ability to develop language and empathy.

The purpose of the lesson was to understand that primary socialisation and emotional gratification are paramount to becoming a member of society.  We then went on to explore which functions the state has taken over.  Naturally we discussed health and education.  I used the example of how the Education Department has introduced free school dinners for all KS1 children.  I said that it suggested that parents were not not being left responsible for ensuring their children were fed a balanced diet I also discussed that schools weigh children in reception and told them how I had revoked permission to have my daughter weighed at school.  What was discussed next surprised me somewhat as we started talking about what they learn at school.

The young people in that class told me that they wished they had more cookery lessons, not sewing (they were quite adamant on that one) but they wanted to know how to cook nutritious cheap meals.  I suggested that there parents should be covering this with them at home.  Many of them replied that there parents were too busy because they work shifts or long hours. The class shared that often they are expected to feed themselves and this often equates to a pot noodle as they didn’t know what else to cook.

Other suggestions were that they should be taught how to budget and use coupons (it seems the American TV programmes on extreme couponing was a hit with this age group).  The class also suggested that they wanted to understand tax and how it works and how much you pay.

Now, I have a daughter in the same year group and it really resonated with me what they wanted to know.  I do have conversations with Chloe about tax and things, she also knows quite a bit about money saving – afterall we also blog over at Mums savvy savings where we look at how to make our money go further and also how to spend less but live well.  But i do concede she doesn’t do much cooking apart from poached eggs, bacon and bowls of pasta.

However whilst I think all their suggestions are important things to learn I don’t believe that schools should be leading on all of that.  It left me wondering just what exactly are the functions of the family.  Maybe we have gone to far, I do think the state has too much influence and interference in some areas.  The family has had it’s functions reduced by the state and maybe this is why those students of mine thought it was the schools responsibility to teach them to budget and cook.

Therefore today’s question is – what do you think the  functions of the family are?  Do you think there is too much state intervention now that has reduced the family’s functions causing us to be even more reliant on the state?


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Making Memories and win a canvas

Written by Emma. Posted in competitions

Last summer we had the most amazing holiday to Florida, it was 18 months in the planning and lots of saving but we went and had the best time. I bought myself a big Disney photo album that I promised myself I would fill with the photos. It was pretty near the top of my to do list. Considering I was leaving teaching I thought that I would have plenty of time. Yet time is something that still whizzes by me and I still have that job (plus a few others) to do.

Although the memories are imprinted in the brain it is great to have pictures to look fondly back on. Therefore when Wallcreate asked if I had a picture that I would like to turn into a canvas I knew exactly which image to use.  I decided to have one created for my mum as her birthday is approaching.  The picture is one of mum, dad and brother Sam outside the iconic castle.

Yesterday the canvas arrived only a few days after I had ordered it.  The quality of the image is really good and it wraps around the frame.  In the past some of my canvasses have arrived without the wall fixings, thankfully this one has them included.  The depth of the canvas I received is quite thin at 2cm but you can have a 4cm depth which I would prefer.  There is not much in the price difference of that either.  The canvas have a good discount at the moment with a 30cm by 40cm canvas costing £18.97. That is the size I recieved.  I can better that discount aswell as I have been given a further 15% off for my readers.  Just use the code emmaand3 and that code is going to work for the rest of 2015!

photo (16)


In addition to the discount I have a rafflecopter competition to win a canvas of your own.  Just enter your details to win.  T&C’s UK only, over 18’s and the prize is provided by Wallcreate.  Closing date Friday 6th Feb.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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How teaching has changed.

Written by Emma. Posted in Education, Uncategorized

My alarm has been waking me from slumber a whole hour earlier this week.  The children too have been woken artifically rather than nature running its course.  The reason being that I have been back to school.  A collegue has been on jury service and I was asked to come back to my old school for two weeks.  It was a chance for me to see how it would make me feel.  I adore working with young people and I know that I am a very good classroom teacher.  I like the sound of my own voice and having an audience is always fun.

I wrote last week about how happy I am and that is certainly true. The past few days I have had the best parts of teaching without the paper trail. It has been good.

I have taught my subject Sociology which I am still passionate about. I enjoy the conversation with teenagers and listening to their thoughts. I have been thrilled to see some of my previous students. I have felt satisfaction after teaching a good lesson. It has made yet again see just how much has changed and helped me see why I was so tired last year. I also haven’t escaped the phone call from the children’s school.  Regular readers will know this is one of the driving reasons that I made the decision to retire from teaching.

Monday started well, yet by breaktime I had already taken a call from Erin’s classroom. She had a dodgy spot and there was a worry it was chicken pox. She neeeded collecting. My heart sank and I couldn’t believe that after six months of being at home I was taking this call. Thankfully grandad was quickly dispatched and I was able to continue teaching. Working as suppy means that I have no additional responsibility of marking and planning. Marking is always going to be a huge part of a teachers workload and I don’t mind marking it is the additional paperwork that became too consuming.  Tonight for example is open evening where teachers have to stand and convince students and parents alike to pick their subject.  I never signed up to be a salesperson.  This marketisation of subjects was never on my teaching course.

When I started teaching just some 12 years ago I was able to teach and mark and plan my lessons. I was liked and respected by my students and thought I had found the career that would see me to retirement. Becoming Head of Sociology was a great achievement. However something changed, it wasn’t so much the studets that changed it was the system. Ofsted now don’t seem to be happy with good classroom teachers. That isn’t enough and nor is being liked and respected by your students. I know which students in a class are finding things difficult, I know which of my students need pushing on, as I said I am good at my job. I know my subject inside out and I know how to teach it. However the constant data analysis and telling a computer what I’m going to do about the child struggling takes up too much time. Rather than writing it up, let me get on with it.

This week has been good, I have been exhausted, I crawled into bed at 8.45pm last night. Yet it reinforced that I am not sad to leave the profession. I have enjoyed moonlighting and enjoyed catching up with my past students. I love teaching, you know the proper stuff, the big stuff. I don’t like the data drops, the constant reporting on students. I just hope that a new government comes in soon and lets good teachers do what they do best. I hope the currriculum is left alone for a few years, there have been so many changes over the past few years.

I have enjoyed my week but I am looking forward tomorrow and putting my feet up.  I am looking forward to drinking a hot cup of coffee rather than a lukewarm one.  I am looking forward to a lunchbreak rather than eating on the go.


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