Friday, 29 December 2017

Setting SMART intentions for 2018.

I have said pretty much every January since the birth of my blog how much I do not like resolutions. Resolutions are usually broken by the 10th of January and are usually wildly unobtainable or just so vague that you don't ever stick to them.

In my day job I work in project management, and quite a lot of those techniques can be carried forward into your day to day life, making measurable and smart goals or intentions being one. By smart I don't just mean well thought out or intelligent. I mean SMART > specific, measurable, agreed upon, realistic and time-based.

With this in mind I decided to set myself shorter goals, monthly or bi monthly intentions that are achievable, measurable and realistic. So I will check in every once in a while and see where I am at and reflect and refocus.


Monday, 25 December 2017

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone.

However you spend the festive season, I hope it is filled with joy and happiness
And a lot of yummy food and drink.


Monday, 11 December 2017

Meal Plan Like a Boss - 11th December

Yet another frugal meal plan this week, December is the actual worst. I am so close to just cancelling Christmas and hibernating until January. Anyway I am boring myself with my money whinging now so I'll shush and get on with the meal planning...

I am doing a lot of making from scratch with pie and soups in the slow cooker to last us a couple of days, with leftovers for lunches.


Thursday, 7 December 2017

Now you are Three.

Dear my darling Zoe Jean, I can hardly believe I am writing this on the eve of your third birthday. How these first three years have flown by, but at the same time I cannot even picture what my life was like without you in it; what did I even do with all my time?!

You have come on so much this past 12 months, not just with important developmental things like potty training and speech acquisition but so strongly in your personality. We are starting to see glimpses of the person you are turning into, and I am not going to lie, you are pretty rad.

You are hugely into films, which is kind of weird for someone so young, but you have this incredible attention span and love nothing more than snuggling with us and watching a good film. Recent favourites include; Night at the Museum (1,2&3), Hotel Transylvania (I love how you pronounce Dracula as Draclear) and Coraline. You remember the words to songs really well, and your latest favourite film is Ballerina; you love to stand and dance along with Felicie - we really must get you to a ballet class soon.

You love playing with dolls and plaiting hair, you are so caring to your toys and often like to pretend they are in hospital and you are the doctor making them well again, or that it is bedtime and you tuck them up ready for sleep. You love drawing and colouring and your pictures are starting to resemble actual things now, your people have arms and legs and faces and look like people!

You have finally got the hang with your scooter steering and you really fly along now! You are so brave and strong at the park, tackling the big kids frames and climbing so high with little fear. You are not scared of anything, which is so strange for me as I was a really frightened kid. You watch movies with monsters and like the dark and talking about ghosts. You climb high and slide down the highest slide at soft play all by yourself - I am in awe of you.

You are such a sociable little person and will speak to anyone and everyone, whether it is a lady walking her dog who get a 'good morning lady, good morning doggy' as we pass, or waiters in restaurants who you chat away to like old friends. People are drawn to you, not just for your amazing hair, but because of your infectious smile and open heart - I hope you never lose that.

You see the very best in people and help me to see it too, you notice everything and point it out, making me stop and really take in the little details of the world around us. You force me to stop and think and smile and that is an amazing gift.

This year hasn't been without its fair share of challenges though, you are a very strong minded little girl and once you set your mind to something it can't be easily changed. You get frustrated very easily if something proves difficult and I try very hard to encourage you to push through and try again. I can see a little perfectionist streak coming through especially with your drawing, you want to draw a horse but when it doesn't look like a horse you are upset, but I hope with time you will see that practise and perseverance are important and not all things will come as easily.

I cannot wait to see what is next for you, Seeing you grow and blossom into an amazing person is just simply amazing and I want the next 12 months to go a bit slower so we can really enjoy this time with you before we start to think about school and everything that goes along with that.

Happy 3rd Birthday Zoe Chops.


Monday, 4 December 2017

Meal Plan Like a Boss - 4th December

December is a weird old month for meal planning as it feels like you are on countdown to the big day; the big meal... when actually you need to still eat on the 23rd, 24th, 26th, 27th... Its awkward. You can't just live off the cheeseboard. Well I mean I could, but I have a child to feed too.

We are attempting to be as frugal as possible, as December always seems to be an impossibly long month, there is always a bit too much month at the end of the money.

It is Zoe's birthday on Friday, I have yet to decide what we are doing on the day, so if anyone has any ideas, let me know. *disorganised mum alert*


Friday, 1 December 2017

Gift Guide for the Threenager in Your Life

It's December everybody! Which means Christmas shopping is in full swing. I have been fairly organised this year and have most of my presents bought and hidden away. However, I know not everyone is like me so you may be panicking over what to buy the people in your life. So, with that in mind, I am going to be sharing a few gift guides over the coming week.

To start us off, here is a gift guide for any threenager's in your life; or more specifically if you have a kid a bit like mine who despite my best intentions is very into pink and dolls and disney...

1. Dressing Up Outfits

We managed to get a bundle of great Disney dress up outfits second hand from a friend on Facebook, we have Anna, Rapunzel and Jesse. Zoe loves to dress up so I cannot wait to see her face on Christmas morning, and then have all the costume changes throughout the day. I paid £15 for all three, and they are like new.

2. My First Bike

My wonderful in laws are getting Zoe her first ever bike! I am pretty excited, she has seen a few friends out and about on their bikes and I know she is going to loose her tiny mind over it. This particular bike is a Townsend Bella Girls Pneumatic Tyre Bike from Halfords - £102.99.

3. Illustrated Harry Potter Book

I am a HUGE Harry Potter fan, and I have spent most of Zoe's young life trying to get her on board with the obsession. I have partially succeeded in that she knows what HP is and has watched the first two films and we have read the first book as a bedtime story, so this is probably more a gift for me, but I can't wait to sit and read it together. I got this Illustrated Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. on Amazon for £14.

4. Lottie Doll and Accessories

Zoe is a huge doll fan, she has a couple of disney barbie-esque ones which she loves dressing and undressing. So we shopped around looking for the perfect doll, as I am not a huge fan of barbie, with her unrealistic body image. We found Lottie Doll and I loved their ethos. The dolls are a little smaller than barbie, but have more childlike body shapes and more relatable to children in their clothes and accessories. We picked up the Muddy Puddles doll with a couple of outfits, a dog, and a horse to go with it.

5. Playmobil Advent

We decided to get a toy advent calendar this year, I did plan to find a re-useable one and fill it myself, but then I stumbled onto the Playmobil ones and was totally sold! I used to love Playmobil as a kid and I think Zoe will love it too. I picked this one up reduced in Mothercare for £15.

6. Wooden Dolls House and Furniture

We really struggled to come up with a 'main' present for Zoe for Christmas, with her Birthday so close to Christmas too it was even harder. Then I saw the great range of wooden toys in Asda and we decided to go with a dolls house. We ordered this pink cottage style one, which is now sold out sadly - but they do have other styles in the range still available. The house itself was £35 and we got the bumper furniture set for £20.

7. Christmas Pyjamas

New PJs for Christmas are essential and I fell in love with these great pink festive print ones from Mothercare (they also do a Navy version if your kid isn't as into pink as mine). Although knowing me I will probably buy at least 10 different christmas themed PJs in the run up to the big day.

8. Strong Brave Smart Sweater

Last but by no means least, we absolutely LOVE this postive affirmation sweater from Mother Like No Other. I love supporting small businesses and this is one of my favourites. I love the strong powerful message on this and cannot wait to see it on Zoe.

I'd love to hear what is on your kids Christmas lists this year? What is this year's big toy?

NB This is all stuff we bought ourselves, no gifts or promotion here

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