lifestyle

First blog post- We’ve been hiding.

 

We’ve been hiding

Why the hell have we been hiding?

We think we are flipping awesome when it comes to all things parenting! If you don’t believe us ask our kids… actually don’t ask mine, she tells me I’m the worst mum in the world at least once a day.

Anyway we’ve been hiding ourselves away and not sharing our wonderfulness. This stops now!

We will be sharing all of our tips on all things parenting on a budget. We will give tips and info on our days out, dinners, affordable holidays outside of term time, weekend & after school fun. How to maximise your time with your kids, fun days in, rainy days, educational fun, Learning through play – cooking, cleaning, Goals setting with our kids ensuring they are confident and achieve everything they put their young minds to …oh and how to make slime! (vlog coming very soon).

We hope to you share all your awesomeness with us too! We love connecting with other parents and like minded folk.

Ayallah x

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Ear Piercing-What is the right age? 

My 7 yr old asked to have her ears pierced last week.

I always said she could have them done when she asked. She initially asked when she was almost 5 so we got them done then. Trying to be responsible I took them out after 6 weeks when she went back to school after the summer holidays and then I forgot to put them in that evening. They closed up and she didn’t want to get them done again. I asked her several times in between whether she would like it done again she point blank refused. Then out of the blue she asked and we got it done with minimal fuss. Her ears her choice.

She will have to go to school with big plasters on her ears due to health and safety and  it got me thinking. Had I done the right thing? What is the right age?

I must admit I think it’s abhorrent to get a baby’s ears pierced. I don’t think a parent/guardian or anyone has the right to poke holes in a child without consent. If it was medical I’d have a different opinion but it’s purely vanity.  On the flip side If a child chooses to have them pierced what age is too young? Personally my issue is solely about consent so as soon as a child can communicate the fact they would like it done then fine.

If an adult was to pierce another adult without their consent it would be classed as assault so why can we do it to a nonconsensual child?   I have made it very clear to my daughter from a very young age that her body is hers  and hers alone. No one touches her or makes decisions about her body. Not even me! I don’t want to be a hypocrite.


Disclaimer: I will go all out Incredible Hulk mode if she tried to tattoo or pierce her face. The face belongs to ME!


I hear arguments that it hurts less if you pierce a baby ears than an older child.

“How the **** would you know?” is my reply ( in my head). 


I had my ears pierced several times in several parts of my ear  from the age of 10- 16. It stings a bit it’s hardly root canal surgery. So that is not a good enough reason at all. On the flip side lots of the mums in my daughters school would not let their child get their ears pierced at all, after a few discussions I know they would think I was being irresponsible. Which I don’t have an issue with.

In England and Wales there are actually no age restrictions on any piercing and many piercers have imposed their own rules and guidelines. Until something concrete is put in place the debate will rumble on as no one is breaking any laws. So each to their own.

I would love to hear your opinions and comments.

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Christmas the not so broke way 

I used to despise Christmas before I had my daughter. I didn’t want to join in. I could have quite happily deleted the whole month of December. I would ignore the fact it was happening then guilt would get me and I’d run around on Christmas eve buying presents for people with January’s pay then be broke from 1st of Jan until the 31st. Oh how things have changed.


Now I love it! One year the tree was up at Halloween! (Don’t judge me it was my baby’s first Christmas). I don’t go ott with gifts. I have a plan of who I’m buying for and stick to it. When you come from a massive family like mine you have to make choices. I can’t buy for everyone. I’d need the GDP of a small nation. I do buy some contingency gifts too because you always forget someone and then the pressure is off. I don’t have that guilt, I don’t overspend and there is no rushing about. It’s just chilled and relaxed. I then drink mulled wine in peace throughout the whole festive period (October- January).

How do I do it?

Well a few years ago the other broke mum Andrea had these vouchers come through the post for various different shops. Christmas, down to the food was a paid for just like that. She was able to shop freely and not have to worry about it. She was saving through Park. I’d heard of them but never really paid much interest. I immediately had a look and signed up. The first year I did it was a lifesaver I began to struggling financially as my business wasn’t doing very well. Had I not saved, Christmas would have been miserable. I had been putting aside around £40 per month. Come the end of September the vouchers arrived all £450 worth. All my shopping was done on the one day and then the presents were put away safely until December. It was great. After a truly crappy year that was the best thing I did. I even had enough to treat myself to a Fitbit.

The following year I revised how much I was saving and realised I was saving way too much. I’d end up with vouchers just for the sake of it so revised the amount in the June and realised I’d already hit my new target. The website is easy to use and very flexible. You can change you budget at any time up until around August.

This year we’ve planned to have a Christmas day in September where we do our whole shopping have a Prosecco lunch then wrap all the gifts with Xmas songs and mulled wine and put them away until it’s time to get the tree down.

We can’t wait x

www.getpark.co.uk

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My kids having to see their dad every weekend just isn’t fair! 

My break up journey 

A women’s journey break up, court and shared care. 
Part 1 The Initial Break up! 

The lead up to the break up 

9 years into our relationship and it just wasn’t the same. We’d had a great positive relationship and partnership and this was fading away. We’d always had a mostly great relationship. We did things as a couple and as a family we have many fond memories. The key was we worked together and we’re always on the same page. Looking back the change began when I decided that my teaching career was no longer for me. We just weren’t on the same page. I soon realised this was not what I wanted…I’d become a teacher to have a better lifestyle for my children. I wasn’t, I was tired, felt restricted and lived for weekends and school holidays.
Communication had broken down and our lack of positive communication lead to disagreements and arguments
Everything began to dwindle, our home, our family time and our relationship. Things didn’t improve, I made the decision that I did not want to continue. We both deserved to be happy and we weren’t. My children deserved their parents to be happy…after all happy people make happy parents.
After a 10 year relationship and sharing the responsibility and care of our children it was now time decide how much time we should have.
I’ll be honest, separating my feelings towards him and my boys was the hardest thing initially. The thought of not seeing them for a day (or even more was heartbreaking)
Naively I thought we’d be able to amicably sort arrangements for the children between us. Why wouldn’t we? We’d had a great positive relationship and always put our boys first.   After a break up though things change you see a different side to them and yourself.
Unfortunately we were unable to agree.

lifestyle

Summer hols are nearly here!

I don’t know who gets more excited about the summer holidays me or the kids.

I absolutely love planning trips and activities with my children. I count down to the holidays so we can plan some fun days out.
This year I want to explore some of the wonderful and beautiful places in England. You can’t beat a good little road trip and a packed lunch of course! My children love travelling, it’s a great fun and educational as they learn so much exploring different places.

My top 10 Places I want to visit with the children this summer
I love planning trips with my kids, so with the summer holidays just around the corner I thought I’d make a list as it’s nice to tick them off.

1. We had a fab time exploring Cambridge and the university, so I thought we should go to Oxford too. I visited a few times when I was a child so really want to take my children. There will be plenty to see and do. Around 78 miles away just an hour and a half drive or just over an hour by train. Fun things to do with the kids in oxford.

2. Malvern hills – such a pretty place, we love the outdoors.
3. Clent hills is so local to us but I don’t visit there at all, looking forward to taking a ball and taking in the views. Enjoy more benefits and become a member of the National Trust and explore a breadth of beautiful places across the country.
4. When we get another scorcher of a day I’m going to pack my picnic basket and visit Sutton Park
5. I love Stratford upon Avon, we usually catch the train and make a great day of, beautiful and lots to do and see. Why not visit…..The Butterfly Farm and Shakesphere’s House while you are there.
6. Windsor castle is one of the beautiful castles in England I still haven’t visited
7. Essington farm is great for fruit picking and the kids love that.
8. Severn Valley Railway always have different activities on, once I see one the children like I shall book it and go.
9. Trentham gardens lovely and picturesque it’s a must see plus you can go and see the beautiful monkeys at the Monkey Forest.
10. Cotswolds is somewhere I keep hearing about and have seen some stunning pictures of…so why not see what it’s like.
Stay posted to see how we enjoyed our adventures.

summer hols pic

Andrea x

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Our lovely holiday at BQ Belvedere, Majorca

I’ve recently returned from a week’s holiday in Majorca (half term) with my two boys aged 12 and 5.

Thought I’d share our experience as BQ Belvedere was a great place to stay and would recommend it to families travelling with kids.

Day 1

We arrived…..The rooms were fine for what we needed, sleeping & showers…….

TV 3 beds, bathroom and quite a spacious sunny balcony…what more do you need.
Breakfast, Continental, full English or nice healthy fruit…. There was something for everyone.

After breakfast the kids found the pool and I found the sun loungers…..ah and relax! After about half an hour I heard lots of Spanish salsa music. To be honest I just wanted to sleep at this point… but after a while I thought I’d check it out as it sounded quite fun…..
Bailando con mama (dancing with mom) is what is was. Moms working out whilst dancing with their little ones…I grabbed my Baby Kane and we enjoyed a little dance which was fun. There was salsa during the afternoon too which anyone could get involved in…. one of the many activities. We spent much of the afternoon lounging though (the boys in and out of the pool and running around like lunatics as they do)…well that’s what holidays are for aren’t they?

Day 2
More lounging and the boys have made some friends which is great I might be able to get engrossed into one of my books or I could just get into a deep sleep lol. After lots of persuasion…Kane finally checked out the kid’s club for a while (about 20 mins) said he’d had enough and raided my bag for wipes so he could wipe the paint off his freshly painted clown face…not impressed was an understatement.
Kane did get social during the evening at the mini disco which was great fun. Followed by a Robbie Williams tribute.
Malakie spent much of the day ping pong in and playing football wherever he could (the universal sport of any language)

Day 3
It was a cloudy and overcast and much cooler than previous days. I decided to take the boys on the free bus to Palma nova. We looked in a few shops and visited a local park.
Kane and I played snap and watched Spanish cartoons when we got back. Mally made use of the indoor arcade whilst it chucked it down.
The sun finally came out Mally found the pool and water guns and Kane played in the park and then footy with some more new amigos.

Day 4 & 5

Started the day with a Pilates class  Yoga – The morning started well with a yoga class.
Followed by lots of sunbathing of course…. plenty to do otherwise if you wanted to join the activities.
Treasure hunt Kane went on a treasure hunt as it was a pirate themed day
We walked down to the local shops.
Kane’s been enjoying kids club.
The boys have spent much of the rest of the day playing football, swimming and table tennis.
This afternoon I spent an hour in a Spanish class revising my Spanish and learning some more of the lingo.

Day 6 & 7
We visited Magaluf (before 7pm of course)!
Beautiful beach with a very calm sea which is great when you’re travelling with little ones.
On Day 7 we caught the bus to the beautiful town of Palma. Just 20 minutes from the hotel and a nice contrast to the seaside. If you like shopping and sightseeing, it’s definitely worth a visit.

Overall a fantastic hotel packed full of entertainment which is great for families.

Top 5 things about this hotel 

Free bus to Palma Nova – Close to the beach.

Very clean hotel and rooms, cleaned every day.

Friendly staff & excellent entertainment team.

Great choice of food and drinks throughout the whole day.

Very family friendly – Numerous activities/entertainment day and night including a great kids club for kids 4 and over.

Check these sites out if your looking for a good deal

www.onthebeach.co.uk

www.travelrepublic.co.uk

Remember…you don’t always have to book a package.. find cheap flights and book direct with BQ Belvedere. 

Enjoy

Andrea x

 

lifestyle

Pocket Money! How much and how often?

 

Pocket Money?

How do you give your child their pocket money? Do you have any conditions to it such as they must clean their room etc? Do you give pocket money as a reward or to teach money management? There doesn’t seem to be a definitive answer to these questions as it seems pocket money means something different to each parent I ask.

I had no clue what the pocket money going rate was for my 6 year old daughter. After speaking to other parents I realised I was being screwed over (self inflicted I set a figure and rolled with it). On average the parents I spoke to were giving their children £2- £2.50 per week.

After a bit of research I found an amazing app called GO Henry it’s for children from as young as 6 years old upwards. Most bank accounts which are free for kids start when they are around 11.

I’m not a financial expert far from it, I’m not a broke mum for no reason, therefore I am in no way qualified to say if this is the best app on the market it just works for us.

My daughter has a contactless bank card with her name on it. You can customise them at an extra cost but I didn’t opt for that. Parents can top up as and when they want to. I currently have a set amount going into the card each week via direct debit so that I don’t have to think about it. The card can be used as a debit card in shops and online to purchase all the fun exciting things that a child could want. In other words my daughter is able to buy all the crap I refuse to buy for her.

I must say she’s a lot more selective about the stuff she “really really needs” now she has her own money.

Savings

You can set up several saving goals specifying and amount and the date you want to achieve the figure. The money is then taken every week and becomes unavailable from the spending balance.

Incentives

You can set incentives too where the child can earn extra money. I set up that if my daughter tries a new food she will get £2.00. It’s been 3 months and she’s not tried one new food yet. 😐

Statement

All purchases are tracked and you get notified every time the child uses their card, this is especially good for older children to keep an eye on their spending.

Limits

You can set spending limits too broken down into a weekly spend, a single spend limit and a cash machine limit.

The app costs £2.50 per month but the fact my daughter can manage her own money like this is invaluable to me. She has already vowed to save money for a trip to Disney World we have planned, which is great as I didn’t have that kind of discipline at 26 years old let alone 6.

Here’s a referral code where you get the card free and 1 months subscription https://goo.gl/Dm8HY9

Yalls