Thursday, 13 December 2012

Reasons to be Cheerful #R2BC

Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy from the Heart

I can't believe it's that time of the week already!  Where has the week gone!  This week the R2BC linky is taking place over at Pressies by Pebbles, so why not pop by and say hello.

This week has been a fairly good week.  We've had one or two meltdowns with Aled, but on the whole it's not been too bad.  My reasons for being cheerful this week are:

  • I got a call yesterday about the job that I went for just over a week ago.  I have been asked to attend a second interview. :-)  I am really excited about this and fingers crossed things go well for me!
  • I know I put this down last week, but I am really really looking forward to the Christmas meal on Saturday with my mummy friends!
  • I get my Ann Summers kit tonight and will be hosting my own party tomorrow night.  I'm really hoping some people turn up!  It's not looking good on the RSVP's at the moment!
Well, that's me for this week!


#SnapHappyBritMums - December 13th

BritMums - Leading the Conversation

Todays theme for Snap Happy Britmums daily photo challenge is Joy.  As soon as I saw the theme I knew the perfect picture to link up!

Jackie. x

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Reasons to be Cheerful (#R2BC)

Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy from the Heart

This week R2BC is being hosted by the lovely Kat over at KatAPillar while Michelle is in Belarus helping out with Operation Christmas Child.  Please pop by and say hello to her!

It seems every time I do a R2BC post recently, it's on the back of a bad one!  As you may have seen from my last post, it's been a bit of a bad week with Aled, resulting in one of my neighbours knocking on my door due to his tantrum!

I also haven't heard back from the job interview I attended on Wednesday, although my mum things that I am being a little impatient on that! lol.

My reasons for being cheerful this week are:
  • I should be getting my Ann Summers kit this week.  I am quite excited about this, although I've not yet got any parties booked in!
  • We made a couple of sales today at a Christmas Fair with my other business Craft EE's.  It was a very quiet event today, so we're glad we managed to get a couple of sales from it. 
  • I know this should really be kept until next weeks R2BC, but I am really excited about my Christmas meal with some 'mummy' friends of mine.  One thing I really missed with being a SAHM last year was having a Christmas do, so I was really pleased to be invited to this one.
  • Christmas is only 2 weeks away! :-)  The tree has been up a week already and I have been having fun making paper decorations from my Usborne Christmas Decorations Book. 
  • This little guy that I made this week.  How can he not make you cheerful!!

Jackie. x

Friday, 7 December 2012

And it starts...

One of my biggest worries about our move to the new place was not any of the usual worries of the actual moving i.e. packing, unpacking, moving it over etc.  Nor was it of changing over the bills etc to the new address.  No, my biggest worry was how my new neighbours would react to Aled's meltdowns.  My old neighbours had pretty much gotten used to how he is and how big a reaction he has over things.

Now that we are living in a middle floor flat, I now have to worry about upstairs and downstairs neighbours. At first I found it very hard and constantly told my boys off for stamping about on the floors.  As time has got on, I assumed that the neighbours have started to get used to us.  They don't really have nothing to do with us, but at the same time, they haven't said anything negative to us either.

One thing that I haven't really written about here on my blog (or anywhere else really) is our issues with Aled.  I guess I've held off talking about it as we have no formal diagnosis for him.  Before Aled had started nursery, I always found it difficult going out with the two boys.  I struggled to control them and would get very stressed and anxious about going out.  Quite often I would come home in tears as I found it so hard.  I thought that I was a terrible mother, who couldn't cope with her children.  I stopped going to toddler groups until we went for the meeting with the nursery teachers about him started there.  They suggested that to help him settle into nursery it would be a good idea to go to their toddler group, which is attached to the nursery.  As per their suggestion, I started going to the toddler group in around May/June time last year.  At first I felt just as bad as I did before, but as time went on, I started to gain a little more confidence in taking them.  Don't get me wrong, it was still a very stressful time for me, but it seemed to get very slightly easier.

During our sessions at toddlers, I started to notice the difference between Aled and the other kids.  I put it down to the fact that he didn't go out in social situations very often and assumed it would get better once he started nursery.  I was wrong.  Aled was very late with his potty training and when he started nursery he still wasn't fully dry.  He started there in the afternoon sessions and the policy at the nursery was that they would change them if they had wet themselves, but not if they had soiled themselves.  I was called to the school pretty much every day to come down and change them.  If my phone rang during nursery hours, I knew it would be them.  One day after a few weeks, the nursery team asked to speak to me.  They suggested that we switched to the morning sessions, as it might be habit that he would go at that time of day.  The mornings worked better, but I was still down the nursery 2-3 times a week to change him and he nearly always had wet clothes to be brought home and washed.

Not only did I have the potty training issue to deal with, but the tantrums got worse.  He wouldn't share toys or play with other children.  His social skills didn't get any better and his speech was way behind everyone else.  Again the nursery team asked to speak to me and they suggested taking him to the drop in health visitor clinic.  They also asked for my permission to refer Aled to the SENCO of the school.  I had a complete meltdown that day and ended up crying my eyes out to the teachers.  I took him the following week to the health visitor, who was an absolutely lovely lady.  Not at all like the ones you usually encounter.  She watched how Aled would play and listen to him while I explained everything that I had seen and encountered and what the nursery was reporting back to me.  For the first time I told someone all my concerns about Aled.  Instead of feeling like I was being judged, she really listened to me and it was such a relief to me.  She pretty much ordered me to go to the doctors as she thought I was suffering from depression.  She also told me of the Speech & Language drop in clinic that is run once a month and referred Aled to the Child Development Centre.  

Fast forward to now, a year and two months down the line.  We have been seen by the Child Development Centre twice, six months apart and the next appointment is due around February time.  Both times I have walked out of our appointment with the Child Development Centre and felt well and truly fobbed off.  I didn't feel as though the consultant (or registrar in the case of the second appointment) listened to a word that I had said, but instead, based the decision on a 45 min consultation, done in a 1-2-1 situation where Aled gets all the attention, so of course he's as good as gold!  The first report ended with "I said to his mother, therefore, that while there are some concerns around the possibility of autism, I think it is too soon on the basis of one assessment today to make that statement.  It may just be that he has got some immaturity in his speech and social skills rather than anything more fixed than that..."  Looking back now at that statement, it seems pretty reasonable, however, earlier in the report, some of what I had told him about had been overlooked as it was not present on the day.

The second appointment back in August was even worse.  Everything I told her about, as he didn't show it at the appointment, it was dismissed.  She stated that he showed eye contact, which afterwards I realised that no, he doesn't, he just looks in your general direction!  She assessed him against the Denver scale, on which, in her opinion, he has Speech & Language delay and some delays with his fine motor skills.  Other than a referral to Occupational Therapy (which we've still not heard from) and a follow up in another six months, she offered no other help or support. She even said to me in the appointment that she didn't think that it's autism as he had made eye contact with her!

Aled has also attended two lots of speech therapy, which have helped tremendously, but he isn't fully there yet with his speech.  Both Speech & Language reports state that Aled has difficulties with social communication, attention & listening skills and his social skills.  The second report points it out even more so, and in more detail.  As this report was done after our last assessment by the Child Development Centre, I am hoping that they will take more notice of what is being reported back to them.  The school's SENCO has also stated that she will assess Aled in school and will also write up a report to be sent to the Child Development Centre.  I really do hope that they take notice this time!

So, the reason why I have finally gotten around to writing up this post.  Tonight we had an almighty Aled meltdown.  He has been close to it for the last few days, but today seems to have tipped him over the edge.  Tonight's meltdown was due to the fact that when I said that I was going to make a start on the tea, Aled thought that meant I was taking it out of the oven, rather than putting it in.  We ended up with a major tantrum of which everytime I tried to explain to him, it got worse.  About 15 minutes into the tantrum, I had a knock at the door.  On answering, it was my upstairs neighbour, who I have never seen before, let alone speak to, coming to see if everything is ok.  

Whilst I appreciate her concern for my son, I did get quite annoyed when she started asking me questions such as 'is he sick' and asking his name and age as well as my name.  I ended up getting quite upset by the way she was to me.  The way she came across was almost like she was accusing or suspecting me of abusing my son!  I'm sat here wondering if I'm going to end up with Social Services at my door!  After commenting on Facebook about her, I do feel much better now.  Especially as a couple of the people who commented have autistic children themselves, so they know what it's like.  

With her coming down this evening, it has made me even more annoyed by the fact that I am being left in limbo waiting for someone to be able to see what I am going through and give us a diagnosis.  I don't want to 'label' my child as my husband puts it, but I do want the help and support that we need.  I want to learn how to avoid the triggers or deal with the meltdowns when they come.  If someone like my neighbour looks down on us, I want to be able to explain why my son has these almighty tantrums, but right now, I don't have that.  I have the suspicions of the Senco and speech therapist, but no formal diagnosis.  This is what annoyed me and upsets me the most. 

If you've got to this point, thank you for reading.  It really has helped me to finally write it all out!

Jackie. x

Friday, 30 November 2012

Reasons to be Cheerful #R2BC

Two posts in one day, aren't you lucky! lol.  As you can probably tell from my last post, things have been a bit crap round here recently.  Along with everything going on with PJ, my car broke on our way home on Tuesday and it's going to cost me £170 to fix.  I also managed to burn my lip while cooking the dinner last night (don't ask!!!), so I need to remind myself of the good things that are going on!

Here are my reasons for this week:
  • I have had my hair cut (lots), coloured and my unibrow and moustache waxed over the course of this week.  I have let myself go somewhat for the last few months and have decided to try to find 'me' again.  This little bit of grooming has made me feel loads better.
  • We have taken the first step to getting PJ the help he needs to get better. 
  • It's almost December, so the Christmas tree and decorations will be going up this weekend.  Always a magical time I think.
  • We are going to a Family Quiz Night tomorrow, run by our local Scout Group.  PJ will also be collecting his Chief Scout Gold Award on the night...proud mummy alert. :-)
  • Next week both Aled and Noah will be doing their Christmas concerts.  Aled has been showing us his dance moves and it looks like there will be some Gangham style moves!!
  • I have a job interview next Wednesday.  I've had so many knock backs jobwise recently that I'm trying not to get my hopes up too much, but keep your fingers crossed for me!
  • It was payday yesterday....always a good reason to be cheerful! 
Jackie. x

Keep CAMHS and carry on...

For the last few months I have noticed my eldest PJ has become depressed.  He would come home from school looking all down and say how he's feeling really depressed.  When asked why, he would say he doesn't know.  PJ does have a tendency to over exaggerate things, such as if he was to knock his ankle he would tell everyone that he's twisted it.  Because of this, I palmed it off as teenage angst and attention seeking until a few weeks ago when things got worse.  

About a year ago he deleted his dad and me from his facebook friends list and therefore, although I will log into his account every so often to check all is as it should be; most of what he puts up is between him and his friends.  About 3 weeks ago while I was at work my husband got a call from his sister asking him what PJ's status was about as she was worried.  I logged into PJ's account and he had put up a status about how he was hearing voices in his head telling him he wasn't worth it and how down he was feeling.  I read through some of the comments and the majority of people who commented were worried about him, but he did have one 'friend' tell him how he looks like he's attention seeking and if it's all a load of crap then PJ will get a beating.

After seeing this status I decided to deactivate his Facebook account.  I wasn't sure if he was just attention seeking, but even so, how far would he go to get the attention he was craving.  I explained to him that although it is best to talk to someone, putting a status up on Facebook was not the way to go.

I made an appointment to see the doctor, which PJ agreed to.  When PJ first started coming home saying he was depressed, I offered to take him to the doctors, but he always said he wasn't that bad, so the fact that he agreed to it this time was quite a big step.

We went to the doctors and PJ told him how he was feeling.  From what he told the doctor, the 'voices' that he's hearing seems to be his thoughts.  I don't know about you, but when I think, it's in my own voice, which is what PJ was hearing.  The doctor decided the best course of action would be to refer him to CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services).

We went to the CAMHS appointment on Tuesday and saw a lovely lady, who is a Family Psychotherapist  She carried out the assessment for PJ to find out the best way forward.  She spoke to us both together to build a bit of background information and then spoke with PJ alone.  We were there for about an hour.  At the end of the session she told us what she thought was the cause and how she would like to treat him.  Her diagnoses shocked me and I was so annoyed with myself for not realising it.  She has put PJ's behaviour and  his current mental state down to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Back in May PJ had been mugged for his mobile phone, which had knocked his confidence for a while.  As it was so long ago, and PJ appeared to have regained his confidence, it didn't even occur to me that this could be a factor.  How wrong was I?!

Going forward, PJ is now being referred to the Anxiety and Depression Care team and they will start him off with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.  I think being able to just get it out of his system has been a huge relief for PJ and already he seems happier.  It's going to be a tough few months for all of us I think, but hopefully, at the end of it, I will have the old PJ back.

Jackie. x

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Anti-Bullying Week

This week (19th-25th November) is Beat Bullying's anti-bullying week.  As someone who was bullied as a teenager, I feel that we should do all we can to put a stop to it.  The statistics page on the Beat Bullying website shows just how wide spread this problem is.  Almost everyone I know has either been bullied or knows someone who was bullied.

Here are just a few of the statistics given:

  • 69% of children in the UK report being bullied
  • 87% of parents report that their child had been bullied in the past 12 months
  • 20% report bullying others
  • 85% had witnessed bullying
  • (admirably, 82% of them tried to intervene).
  • It is estimated that at least 20 children and adolescents a year commit suicide because of being bullied 
  • 1 in 3 young people who experience bullying truant from school (42% of young people who have been bullied truant)
  • 20,000 young people truant everyday as a result of bullying
When you see the facts in this way it really does hit home just how much bullying affects our lives.  One of my biggest fears is that my boys will suffer in the same way that I suffered. 

I was 12 when I first got bullied.  We had not long moved from Carmarthen, which is a small town in South Wales to a village called Gorslas.  The move meant that I needed to change school.  At first all was fine.  I made new friends and life was good.  I did end up hanging out with the smokers and, at the age of 12 I had my first cigarette.  Unfortunately, this was a habit that stayed with me until just over three years ago!
I can't even remember what I was bullied for.  All I remember was that I felt my life at that school was hell.  I did have friends who stuck by me, but day to day I was scared of the girl who was doing the bullying. 
After about 4 or 5 months, my mum told me we were moving back to Carmarthen.  I was so happy.  I thought that the hell would end.  I didn't realise that it was just the beginning and things were going to get much worse.

We moved back to Carmarthen and again at first, all was good.  I was back with my old friends from primary school.  I was the type of person who got on with everyone.  I enjoyed being with the 'swatty' kids, the 'bit weird' kids and, as a smoker, of course, I hung around behind the sheds with the smokers.

The biggest turning point was at a friends party when I was 13 or 14.  I was sleeping over that night, but it was quite a big party and my friends house was huge.  I can't remember if the bullying had started before that night, but certainly it was then that things got worse.  Two of the girls in my year decided to start on me.  I don't remember why, but in them having a go, one of them started to hit me.  In trying to protect myself, I somehow managed to break the chain around the girls neck.  This of course riled them up worse.  I spent most of the night locked in the bathroom hiding away from them.  One of these girls was someone I had grown up with, someone I thought was a friend.  I didn't know who to trust or who would turn on me.  

After that the two girls got worse.  They wanted me to pay for the broken chain.  Of course, I didn't have money and my parents wouldn't give it to me.  After a few weeks of harassment another girl got involved.  This one was a year younger than me.  She took it up to the next level and beat me up after we got off the school bus.  My eye had swollen up and I had visible bruising.  I think my mum took me to the hospital or doctors, as I remember being told that I had a suspected crushed nerve around the eye.  This time my mum got involved and called the police.  They came round and took photos for evidence and I believe they charged the girl and fined her.

Of course, it didn't stop there.  Now, not only am I guilty of breaking a necklace, I am also responsible for the girl getting charged.  Now they wanted me to drop the charges.  Even if I'd wanted to, there was nothing I could do as there would be no way my mum would have dropped any charges.

For the remainder of my school life I was bullied daily.  I had things thrown at me, called names, threatened, had nasty things being said to me.  In one lesson they even tipped a fountain pen cartridge over my head.  Although I had friends, no-one intervened or stood up for me.  Some would try to comfort me when things were bad, but no-one would stand up to the girls.  In fact, most of my smoker friends were also friends with the girls, so they just didn't get involved.

I started to skip school.  In my last year at school I was probably out of school more than I was in school.  I found that I would hang around with boys more than I would with girls.  Boys were less likely to turn on me or get bitchy.  Of course, this then earnt me the reputation of being a slag, when in fact, I was actually a virgin until after I had left school! 

At one point I wanted to end my life.  I think it was after the ink incident.  I felt like I couldn't take anymore.  Luckily, at the time, I was seeing a boy who wasn't in my school and he helped me through this worst point.  

My mum had been to the school, but the school wouldn't do anything as most of it wasn't seen or took place on the bus.  I had nowhere to turn.  

Things only changed after we moved again, this time to Swansea.  I was still in the same school as I was near to taking my exams, but I no longer had to catch the same bus as them.

Even now, after 16 years, it still affects my life.  I am still wary of the type of women who remind me of those girls.  I keep my head down and only let a few people close to me.  I still get on better with guys than I do girls.  I don't complain to people or businesses (although I do come home and whinge to my hubby after! lol).  I rarely say no to anyone outside of my immediate family.  

These three girls made my life a living hell while I was at school and because of them I have grown up as a person with very little self confidence.  I often wonder if they ever regret what they did to me, or are they like many of the chavvy mothers I see at my son's school who stand around judging everyone else.  The ones who give me dirty looks when one of my boys plays up.  Somehow I think that they are probably the latter.

I also wonder how they would react if their children had to endure what they had put me through.  I wouldn't wish it on anyone, but how would they handle it?

This is just my story.  There are other children out there who have had to deal with much worse bullying than this.  No matter how bad the bullying is physically, it's the mental scars that never heal.  That is why we must make bullying unacceptable.

Please visit the Beat Bullying website and see if there is anything you can do to help.

Jackie. x

*Statistics taken from the Beat Bullying website.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Mug Swap

Last month I took part in a Mug Swap organised by the wonderful Hannah at Cupcake Mumma.  The idea is simple, Hannah pairs you up with someone and you try to get to know each other a little bit and send them a mug to (hopefully) match their personality.

I was paired up with the lovely Sarah-Jane.  Sarah-Jane doesn't write a blog, so I couldn't get any clues that way.  However, she did send me an email with her likes and dislikes.  She told me that she likes to knit and sew and loves to drink tea and hot chocolate in the colder evenings.  She also loves the colour purple and spotty things.  Through email conversation I discovered that she also likes her hot chocolate with marshmallows as do I.

With this in mind, I wondered around my town looking in different shops for mugs.  Unable to find a purple spotty one, I did find this one, which I teamed up with some sachets of hot chocolate, a little whisk and a bag of marshmallows.

About a week later my old neighbour knocked on my door with a parcel for me.  She had kindly taken it in from the postman and brought it over to me.  I had totally forgotten that when I signed up for the mug swap, I was still living at my old address!  Thank goodness for the kindness of neighbours!

Sarah-Jane had send me this gorgeous mug, teamed up with a packet of marshmallows and some craft packs.  I absolutely love it and can't wait to start making something with them!  Thank you again Sarah-Jane!

Why not check out Hannah's blog to see all the other fantastic mugs that were swapped. 

Jackie. x

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Knowing Me, Knowing you meme

I was tagged by the lovely Shay of Shay and Family in this meme.  The purpose of this meme is to bring bloggers together, to learn about the person behind the computer screen, it's a great way of making new friends.

The Rules

  • Nominate five other bloggers in your post (All must have less than 250 subscribers)
  • Post five random facts about yourself
  • Answer the five questions that the tagged has asked you, then list your own five questions to ask others
  • Let your five friends know you have tagged them by commenting on their blog/tweeting them

My Five Random Facts

  1. Although I talk with a welsh accent, I was actually born in South Africa.  That really confuses some people when they ask me when I'm from! lol.
  2. I have 6 tattoos and would love to have more. 
  3. I love teapots, but very rarely use one!  I now have three, but they stay on the kitchen windowsill for decoration purposes only. 
  4. I'm a HUGE Twilight fan and getting stupidly excited about the next film coming out in just over a week!
  5. On a Tuesday night, I play darts for a local women's team.  I'm not particuarly good at it, but it's a good night out.

Five Questions I Was Asked

Do you have a nickname? If so, what is it and how did it come about?
I'm really boring and don't have a nickname.  Even at school I never really got one.  I'm sure my hubby has a few choice names for me though! lol.

If you could eat only one thing for a whole week, what would you choose?
Ooh, that's a hard one.  I think it would have to be pizza.  I love it.  But I think I would have to change the toppings every day though!

What is your biggest 'pet peeve'?
People who just don't turn up to things you have planned.  I don't mean those who have cancelled beforehand, I mean the ones who say that they're coming and then just never show.  Unfortunately for me, I seem to have a few friends like this and it really gets on my goat!

What's your favourite item of clothing that you own and why?
I don't have many clothes.  Since putting on weight, my wardrobe has gotten smaller, so there's not much in there!  If I could get away with it, I would probably wear my pyjamas all of the time.  Failing that, it would be my jeans.  They are so versatile as they can be worn casually or dressed up with a pair of heels and a sparkly top.

You have the means to travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
That's a no brainer.  I would go to Cape Town, South Africa.  I have so much family over there, that it's like a second home to me.

Five People I'm Tagging

  1. The Mummy Returns
  2. Just a Normal Mummy
  3. Motherhood or Madness
  4. Mummy with More than Two Point Four
  5. Mama OWL

Five Questions For Them To Answer

  1. What one item could you never live without and why?
  2. If you could live in any era of time, which would it be?
  3. What would be your biggest tip to other bloggers?
  4. Tea or Coffee?
  5. What's your favourite film?
I hope you enjoyed my answers and don't forget to go visit Shay and the others I have tagged for their answers!

Jackie. x

Monday, 5 November 2012

When one door closes.....

On Saturday I worked my last shift on my weekend job.  The end of the season has now come and the theme park that I work at has now closed for the winter.  Although there have been days when I just wanted to have a lie in over the weekend, I have really enjoyed myself in this job.  I've not once dreaded going into work.  I found myself feeling quite sad that it's all over.  I am still deliberating whether I will go back next season.  It will all be down to where I am in my life next year.  As Noah is now in nursery and Aled in full time school, I do feel that it's time for me to get a 'proper' job.  This is easier said than done though, and I don't seem to be getting anywhere in my job hunt.  If I don't have a 'proper' job when the time comes to re-apply for next season, then I won't hesitate.

It's not been all sad this weekend though.  On Saturday night I gathered some of my female friends up and had an Ann Summers party.  It was a bit quiet compared to others I have been to, but we all had great fun.  Since booking my party a couple of weeks ago, I have been debating with myself as to whether I would be any good as a rep.  I spoke with the party rep who did my party for me and now, after careful thinking and speaking to hubby, I have decided to go for it!!

Hubby is worried that I will get us into debt by spending more than what I earn, but I've assured him that that shouldn't happen.  For a start, alot of the underwear don't go up to my size!  My main concern is the confidence thing.  I've been looking online and reading forums where alot of other reps have been worried about the same thing and on nearly all of them, an experienced rep has assured the poster that your confidence does grow with the more parties that you do.  I really am hoping that this is the case for me!

As the old saying goes....When one door closes, another one opens.  Hopefully this is my new door!

Jackie. x

Friday, 2 November 2012


We decided not to go Trick or Treating this year.  I was working Wednesday night, but also, Noah had a chest infection, so we thought it was best to keep him at home in the warmth.  That doesn't mean that we didn't have some Halloweeny fun though!

As I mentioned in my last post, the boys went to a Halloween party on Saturday and got to dress up then, looking very dapper in their Frankenstein costumes.

Aled very pleased with his handiwork
Over the weekend I had bought a couple of pumpkins while out doing the weekly shop, so on Monday we decided to carve them out.  During the day, I got Aled to draw a face on a piece of paper, of which he drew about 5 or 6 pumpkin faces (more or less looking the same!).  When daddy got home from work, he then cut the top of the pumpkins and it was our job to gut it.  Aled really got into this and had a great time digging all of the seeds out of the pumpkins.  Noah, on the other hand took one look and refused to help out! 

The finished pumpkins
Hubby then took Aled's picture and used it as a template for the bigger of the two pumpkins.  Aled was delighted to see the face he had drawn on the pumpkin.  As Noah had decided not to draw a picture, hubby thought of the idea to put the boys names onto the other pumpkin.  Using a marker pen, he drew out the names and then cut them out, being very careful to not just make a big hole with the rounded letters.  The overall effect was fantastic.

As we are a first floor flat, we put them out on our balcony for everyone to see.

On Wednesday, I decided that it would be fun to make some Halloween cookies.  I had bought some Halloween cutters from Avon and had also received some more in the Cake Decorating magazine that I subscribe to.

I used a very basic biscuit recipe and weighed out the ingredients for the boys.  With quite a bit some help from me, we made up the dough and then rolled it out.  I let the boys choose and cut out the shapes.  Noah thought it was great and told me it was like playdough! lol. 

Noah wanted to try out all of the shapes, however Aled decided that the bat shape was the best.  We were very pleased with the result and they also tasted yummy!

Although we didn't make a huge fuss over Halloween this year, we had our own little bit of fun.  Maybe next year we will do a bit more. 

Jackie. x

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Monsters and Bangs

This weekend we had a fantastically spooktacular time.

My little Frankensteins
Cakes made by Kate at Buckleberry Bakes & Makes
On Saturday the boys were invited to a Halloween themed fancy dress joint birthday party for my friends daughters.  Not wanting to spend a fortune on a costume for them, my mum made them both a Frankenstein mask using her embroidery machine and I teamed that up with a black top and jeans.  I thought that they made a very cute pair of Frankensteins (but of course I am rather biased).

It was great seeing all the kids dressed up.  Every child got into the spirit of the were all dressed up.

We had a great time at the party.  There was a bouncy castle and other than for a bit of food, the boys didn't want to come off it!  My friend made a bat cake and a goth princess cake for her girls, they both looked amazing!

The weekend didn't end there though.  On Sunday we went off to Legoland Windsor to watch the fireworks.  I was working, so I met up with everyone a bit later.  Hubby, my sister and the boys arrived at Legoland about 12.30pm and had no problems with getting into the park.  We were worried that the park might be full, as the fireworks are very popular there, but it wasn't too bad.  The park was suitably decked out with pumpkins and cobwebs everywhere.
We went on a few rides and watched the pirate stunt show and the puppet show at the Duplo Theatre, both of which my boys loved.  At just after 4pm we decided to get something to eat, so headed off to the Pasta & Pizza restaurant for some food.  I do have to say, this did spoil or day a little.  It was quite busy getting into the restaurant.  I'm guessing that alot of people had the same idea as us to get some food before the fireworks.  We found out that the kids eat free offer had ended the week before, but luckily for us, they are still doing the kids eat free after 4pm offer for annual pass holders, which we are.  It would have worked out a very expensive meal without that offer and it wasn't exactly cheap anyway!  The price for an adult all you can eat meal has gone up to £11.95 per person.  We went up to queue for our food and this took about 20 mins to manage to get food!  As we had to take it in turns so that someone stays at the table with the boys, it took a relatively long time for us to all get fed.  It didn't help that other guests were pushing into the queue and there was quite a few stressed looking people! 

Eventually, we were all fed and watered and we made our way to find a good spot for the fireworks.  We were told by a member of staff that it was extremely busy in Miniland, but there is a viewing point in the Driving School attraction which was much less busier as less people were aware of it.  We decided that we would go in there.  We found a nice spot and waited for the fireworks to start.  Unfortunately, the rain decided to come down then, so we did get rather soaked!  Not long after the fireworks started, Noah fell asleep in hubby's arms.  The day must have worn him out!  Aled thoroughly enjoyed it though.  I was glad that my sister bought the 3D glasses, they really made a spectacular fireworks display look amazing!  The glasses have little pixels in them, which when you look at a bright light they give the impression of lego bricks.  Looking at the fireworks with the glasses made it look like hundreds of lego bricks falling from the sky.  It really was fantastic!  PJ took some fab photo's using his iPod.

We had originally planned on staying after the fireworks for a little while, until most of the traffic had left, but as Noah had fallen asleep we decided it was best to try to get him back home to bed as soon as possible.  We made our way back to the top of the park, along with the rest of the crowd and into our cars.  I was very impressed with how easy it was to get out of the park.  It took me 10 mins to get from the car park barrier at the top to the bottom of the hill.  The car park team had installed temporary traffic lights on the roundabout, which made exiting the park the easiest I have ever found it.

All in all, we had a fantastic weekend, although Noah has now got a chest infection, which I think may be a result of being out in the cold and the rain.  I'm hoping that it doesn't spoil our half term!

Jackie. x

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Reasons to be Cheerful (#R2BC)

It's been quite a while since I've taken part in this linky.  This week it is being hosted by Becky at Lakes Single Mum while Michelle is promoting the #OneMums campaign in which she travelled over to Ethiopia and met some remarkable people.

As you can probably tell from my last couple of posts, I'm feeling pretty rubbish at the moment and struggling with the boys behaviour.  This is why I have decided to take part on R2BC this week, to remind myself of the good things that going on.

  • Next week my hubby is off work for the whole week.  Whilst this might not mean that the school runs will be much better, it does mean that I won't be tackling them on my own.
  • Next Tuesday, my sister has offered to take a day off work so that she can pick the boys up from school so that me and hubby can have a day to ourselves.  I am really looking forward to it.  We're going to take advantage of my staff pass and head off to Thorpe Park for the day, where hubby will try to persuade me to go on all of the big rides!
  • Despite Noah's tantrums getting worse, Aled's behaviour is getting much better and his meltdowns are nowhere near as bad as they were a year ago.
  • Lastly, half term is getting closer.  I can't wait for a whole week of no school runs!
Well, that's me for this week.  Why not check out the linky below for other bloggers reasons to be cheerful this week. 

Jackie. x

Monday, 15 October 2012

Product Review - Littlelife DriStore Daysacks

Inspecting the bag
We were sent a Littlelife DriStore Daysack to write up a review for The Baby Website.  I didn't tell the boys that it was coming, but when it arrived, Noah was home.  I let him help me to open the box and he was really excited to see the 'shark' bag inside.  According to the packaging and the Littlelife website, it is supposed to be a dolphin and when I suggested this to Noah he told me 'no, it's a shark mummy'!  I guess that's me told!

This is what Littlelife have to say about the bag:
Children can take an orca, crocodile or dolphin swimming with these new and practical water-resistant daysacks. They have a spacious 5 litre main compartment to store kit and towels and a secret coin pocket for after-swim snacks. These new bags are a must for trips to the pool or beach. 
Dristore Daysack Features
  • Water-resistant 5 litre main compartment
  • Adjustable shoulder straps with chest strap
  • Secret coin pocket
  • Internal name and address label
  • Top grab handle
Technical Specification
  • Weight: 185g
  • Capacity: 5 litres
  • Dimensions: 17x14x30cm
  • Suitable for Ages: 4+ years
Full change of clothes
and raincoat
I must admit, the bag looked much smaller than I was expecting.  Compared to Noah's usual school bag, it looks tiny.  I was very pleasantly surprised to find that actually, the bag could hold quite a bit.  The body of the bag kind of puffs out as it were, so you are able to fit more in.  We managed to get a full change of clothes plus a raincoat in ours, with room for more.

As it says in the information above, the bag is water resistant and on our first trip back from school with the bag, we ended up getting caught in the rain.  I can confirm that the clothes inside did stay nice and dry.  We've not yet gone swimming or had wet clothes inside the bag, but as the bag has a water resistant lining, I would be happy to have wet clothes in there.

The bag does have a chest strap, which I think is a pretty standard design of the Littlelife bags, but Noah was able to undo his pretty quickly.  The bag also have a loop for the Littlelife Daysack Reins to be attached to (not included), however, I felt that if I was to use the bag with the reins, I wouldn't feel very confident with them as my son would be able to undo the chest strap and take the bag off very easily.

All in all, the daysack has been a huge hit with Noah and when I asked him if Aled could have it, he flat out refused.  The design is very cute and it looks well made.  I don't think that I personally would pay the £20-£25 that it retails for, but I also don't think that the price range is that unreasonable.

Jackie. x

Disclaimer: We were sent this bag for the purpose of our review on The Baby Website, but all views are my own and written honestly.

Welcome to the troublesome threes!

When Noah had his birthday back in August, I thought great, we're past the terrible twos!  HA, no such luck!  In fact, the twos were a doddle compared to this!  Why don't we get warned about this?  We've all heard of the terrible two's, why didn't anyone warn us that the threes are worse?

Just this morning for instance, I go to pick up Noah from nursery and he's all happy and smiling.  We get outside and it starts off with him not holding my hand.  Fine I think, I will grab the handle on his backpack to stop him from running off.  But no, Noah doesn't like this, but he also won't hold my hand.  We carry on like this until we reach the point where we cross the road.  We stop and I ask Noah if we can cross.  To this he replies no, he wants to go to the park in the opposite direction.  Uh, no.  So now we have a sit down on the floor tantrum and let me tell you, a three year old is much more stubborn than a two year old!

I end up picking him up and carrying him over the road and further down the pavement, all with him kicking and screaming 'PUT ME DOWN MUMMY!'  Eventually I put him down and ask if he's going to walk nicely, but no, he's having another sit down protest.  We carry on like this until we reach the car park behind our block of flats, stopping a couple of times on the way.  Do you remember the days of putting the screaming kicking child in the buggy?  Well, they're all gone in the threes!  Let me tell you a three year old is pretty heavy and when kicking and squirming, it's pretty hard work to carry one!

As I said, we stop again when we reach the car park and by this time I don't have the energy or patience to carry him anymore.  So I put him on the floor and walk off a little bit.  I stop and look at him, to which his reply is 'bye mummy'!  I wait and I wait and I wait, but he still doesn't come.  I threaten to call the 'scary man' who's going to come and get him and still he doesn't come.  It starts peeing down with rain and we're both getting wet, still he doesn't come.  I give in and go to pick him up.  I carry him across the car park and to the block.  I open the door and wait for him to come in.  No 'bye mummy' is what I get.  To serve him right, I let the block door close, but other than screaming that he doesn't have the keys, he still refuses to come in.  I go to get him and he still refuses to come in.  In the end I pick him up again and carry him up the stairs.  I open our front door and carry him to his bed.

Well, this is where he really kicks in now!  We had a 1/2 hour screaming fit at the top of his lungs.  By this time, I'm pretty darn wound up and lock myself into the bathroom to calm down.  He comes banging on the bathroom door screaming.  I come out and he doesn't want me, he just wants to scream at me some more.  I end up going in the kitchen to make his lunch, so without speaking to him, I put his sandwich together, put a plum, packet of crisps and drink on his table and go back in the kitchen to make mine.  Yet another tantrums ensues.  This time over the plum, he doesn't want a plum.  Now I've got the neighbours banging on the ceiling at us, great!  I tell him fine, put the flaming plum in the bin, I don't care anymore.  To which of course he replies 'no, not in the bin'.  So I tell him to give it to me, I will eat the plum.  'No, Noah wants the plum.'  Well then flipping eat it!!!

Now, he is sitting at his table, having eaten his plum and the rest of his dinner and it's like the last hour never happened!  Aaarrrrgggghhhh!!  But still, I have at least an hour and a half now until the afternoon school run and it all starts over again!!

Jackie. x

Thursday, 11 October 2012

School Run

I used to enjoy the school run, it gave us the chance to chat about what Aled has been up to at nursery or about the world around us, but these days I dread it.

The morning school run is always a rush.  No matter what time we get up, we always end up rushing down to the school in the mornings to make it on time.  Usually the boys are not too much trouble getting to school, although I'm sure Noah knows the mornings we are running really late as these are the mornings he decides to play up the most.

Picking up time with Noah is normally pretty good as well, although occasionally Noah can play up on this walk home.  Like I used to with Aled, I ask Noah how his day has been and what he has been up to.  When we've crossed all the roads we need to and get to our road Noah is allowed to go off onto the grassy bit and is allowed to run home.  Normally he jumps and plays about.  On sunny days he might pick the daisies or hide behind cars.  It's all a game to him.  This is fine with me, we're in no rush to get home other than for lunch, so I let him get on with it.  This is the only place that he does have 'free reign' as it were, as he can't be trusted to walk without holding hands at any other time as he tends to run off or, on one occasion, run over the road (and nearly causing me a heart attack as I try to catch up with him!!)

When I get home with Noah from morning nursery, we take off his uniform to keep it clean for the day.  As Noah is something of a nudist, he refuses to wear a change of clothes until I make him for the afternoon school run.

The three o'clock school run to pick up Aled is a completely different kettle of fish and the one that I dread on a daily basis.  At about 2.30pm I attempt to get Noah dressed for the school run.  This normally ends up in a fight with Noah refusing to put on clothes.  As I get one trouser leg in, he's taking off the other one and it's a real battle to dress him.  Of course this starts us off on a bad footing and the rest of the school run is rarely any better.  Once he's dressed we then have the battle to get on his coat and actually get out of the door.  Half of the time I end up having to practically drag him down the school, sometimes kicking and screaming.  The other days I am having to bribe him with the promise of biscuits or sweets on our return if he's good.  I think I have now earned the sympathy of the lollypop lady who sees my afternoon struggles daily.

Of course, Noah's behaviour attracts the attentions of the other parents and I can feel their eyes boring into me.  This is nothing new to me anymore, Aled's social developmental issues and meltdowns have already got me well practised in attempting to ignore the looks and stares, the tuts and whispers, although it doesn't make it any easier.

By the time we get to Aled's class it normally goes one of four ways.

  1. Noah has calmed down and is his usually bubbly, hyper self, Aled comes out of school in a good mood and we set off for home with no further issues. 
  2. Noah has calmed down, but something has triggered off an Aled meltdown, so I end up having to try to console/calm down Aled while trying to control the bubbly hyper Noah.  Sometimes ended up with Aled screaming all the way home.
  3. Noah hasn't calmed down, so having to drag/carry him home, while trying to have a 'how's your day been' conversation with Aled.  We have also started to adopt the stand still until he's finished his tantrum method as well, or even walking off and telling him I'm going without him.  Unfortunately, this has backfired and Noah thinks that this is a game and will then stop every 5 minutes on the way home and tell me to go.
  4. Noah hasn't calmed down and Aled is having a meltdown, cue taking home two screaming pre-schoolers!
No matter what type of day we have had, I am exhausted by the end of the school run!  Some days are better than others.  Some days I feel like it's not too bad and I can cope, other days (like today) I feel like I'm the worst mother in the world and wonder why I can't control my children!  I look at the other mums and dads with their children walking nicely and wonder why can't I have that, what have I done wrong?

Please excuse the self pitying post, I normally try not to write them, but I just needed to get it out of my system!

Jackie. x

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Twilight Race for Life 2012 - Done!

Back at the beginning of August I wrote about the fact that I have signed up to Cancer Research's Twilight Race for Life.  This year was the first year that CRUK has put on the Twilight version of the Race for Life and it was only held in four different towns, Norwich, Southampton, Windsor and Swansea.  Being the closest to me, I had entered the Windsor one.

I had planned on upping my game this year and jogging the 5km course, however, the nearest I got to do any training was downloading the C25K app!!  Time flew away with me and somehow the Race for Life was here before I knew it!

My race number and back sign
Over the last few weeks I have been having problems with my feet, as I suffer from flat feet, meaning that I find it very painful to walk.  This is something that I have suffered with for a number of years, but normally the pain is manageable.  The last few weeks however, I have found that the pain has intensified when I walk. Nevertheless, I wasn't going to let this stop me (although I did think about it a couple of times!) and off I went with my sisters to Windsor Racecourse.

We arrived at about 7pm and after we parked up we made our way to the main area.  On our walk over the bridge we were met with a few of the volunteers giving out free glo-sticks, which I thought was a nice touch. Once we made it into the main area, the first stall we came across was one which you filled out a paper lantern bag with your message and lit a candle for them.  As well as the usual burger and hot drinks stalls, there was also a couple of stalls selling Race for Life and Cancer Research merchandise.  The were both reasonably priced, with a hoodie costing between £25 and £30 and a t-shirt with all of the participants names on only costing £15.
Me and my sister before the Race

I did find that the crowd wasn't as large as previous Race for Life's that I have attended, but I think that made it all the more special.  As well as the volunteers that we had seen on the bridge, there were loads of others going through the crowds handing out the free glo-sticks and bracelets.

At about 7.30pm the compère came on to spur on the crowd and then there was a speech from a CRUK representative about how the money we raise helps in the fight against cancer.  Then, at about 7.50pm a couple of local aerobics instructors came on for the warm up and then, before we knew it, we were lining up to start.

I found the first km the worst as my feet had already started to hurt after the warm up, but I persevered and soon the pain in my calves started to ease.  The course was lined with glo-sticks and it all looked very pretty.    I took it pretty steady and just kept to my own pace.  My sister had power walked off as I told her not to wait for me.  I felt pretty pleased with myself when I saw the 1km marker!  All along the course there were marshalls cheering everyone on.  Just before the 2km mark the route doubled back on itself and I saw the runners and joggers on their way back to the finish line.  It had only been about 20 minutes at that point and hats off to those ladies!

By the 3km mark I felt my toes on my right foot going numb.  I still didn't let this stop me and carried on, but by the 4km mark my whole foot felt swollen and numb, so I thought that it was best that I stopped for a few moments.  I circled my ankle and felt the blood rushing back to my foot.  Once it felt more 'normal' I then carried on.  At first it was a little painful, but not too bad.  I carried on and found that actually I was managing to walk at a slightly faster pace for that last km.  In around an hour I completed the 5km walk.  My sister had completed hers in about 45-50 minutes, so I wasn't actually that far behind her.  I was really pleased to get past that finish line though and collect my medal and goodie bag.  I was also pleased to see that I wasn't the last one to finish! lol.

After stopping with my sisters to pose for a finished photo all of a sudden my right foot filled with pain.  I assumed it was cramp at first and hobbled over to the car.  My other sister had very kindly agreed to be our driver of the night as she wasn't taking part with us.  When the pain didn't subside, I did worry a little about whether I have done something to my ankle, but seeing as I hadn't stumbled or fallen, I wasn't too concerned.  Having now slept and rested up my foot, the pain is not quite as bad as it was, but it does still hurt to walk on it.  I think I will just monitor it for a couple of days and see how it goes.

All in all though, despite the pain, I really enjoyed the evening.  I was caught up in the excitement of the evening and the feeling of doing something good for charity.  If I do sign up again next year, then I will definitely sign up for the Twilight one again.

In the meantime though, if anyone would like to sponsor me, there is still time.  You can do so by clicking the button on the right or by texting JCRO58 £2 to 70070.  :-)

Jackie. x

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Hello, hello, hello!!!

I bet you'd all forgotten about me, it's been so long!!

Those who follow me on Facebook and Twitter have most likely seen my posts to say that I have now moved flat.  We finally, after 3 years of waiting, have been given a three bedroom flat.  And yesterday, after waiting two weeks, we finally have our internet installed, yay!

It was all very last minute and rushed.  On the 11th September I got a phone call from the local council asking me if I would like to view a property the following day.  After waiting on the list for a bigger place for three years I jumped at the chance.  I was told that it was a multiple viewing, so there would be others from the waiting list viewing the flat at the same time.  So, the next day, myself and Noah went over to the flat.  It was only the next street over from where we were, so we walked over.  There were another family there also to view it.  The flat was very similar to what I already had except it has an extra bedroom.  Perfect for us.  I asked the lady from the council where we were on the list and she informed me that we were in 4th place for this particular property.  Knowing how hard it is to get a place in our area, my heart sank and assumed we wouldn't get it, but I put our names down as interested.

The next day I got a phone call saying that families 1 and 2 had turned the property down, but family number 3 had accepted it.  This wasn't a huge surprise to me and I had already accepted the fact that we wouldn't get it.

The following Monday (17th Sept) at 11.30am I got a phone call from the lady at the council telling me that family number 3's application didn't go through and am I still interested!  Hell yes!  She then advised me that she had to do a property inspection of my current flat and the application form.  Can she come out this afternoon!  Eek, panic stations.  The appointment was made for 1.30pm, leaving me 2 hours to tidy up my flat that had looked like a bomb had hit it!!  Thankfully my mum took pity on me and came over to help.  We managed to get the flat into a fairly presentable state just in time.   The lady came over and the first thing she noticed was the damp problem.  I told her that we have had this for a number of years and have been fobbed off by their repairs company every time I called them.

Eventually she finished the inspection and passed us for transfer.  She did state that we had to remove everything from the flat, including the flooring etc.  She went through our documents and said that my housing officer needed to sign it off, but we will most likely be signing the new tenancy agreement and get the keys by the end of the week.  Oh my word!! From no flat to getting the keys in the space of a few days!

I got the phone call the next day (Tuesday) to say that my housing officer has signed off the application and that the only appointment he had was the next day.  As we had to pay 2 weeks rent in advance and I didn't get paid until the Thursday, I said that this wasn't possible.  The next available appointment was the following Monday.  I took the Monday appointment, but after speaking with hubby, I remembered that we had a cheque book that we could use for the rent, as the cheque wouldn't get cashed until after payday.  With this in mind, I called the lady back and made the appointment for the Wednesday.

The following day, I met hubby outside of the council offices and we went in to sign our new tenancy!!  We had the keys, we actually have a three bedroom flat!!  Up until that moment, I never really thought it was actually going to happen.  We were lucky in that by signing the documents on a Wednesday, the council only start new tenancies on a Monday, so we effectively had 5 days rent free to get all of our stuff moved over.

Due to hubby working all week and myself working nights, we only really had the weekend to move, but between us we managed to get a few things over to the new place during the course of the week and hubby got the flooring down in the living room before the weekend.  My sister was also kind enough to spend her Friday painting the boys room, so that it was dried and ready for them to move in there.

With the help of my mum, sisters and brother-in-law, we managed to get the majority of everything over on the Saturday, including all the big items.  (By hand I might add, as we didn't have a van!)  Sunday was spent getting the rest of the small stuff over and clearing out the old flat.  After 6 car trips to the tip and alot of to-ing and fro-ing, by 7pm the Sunday evening we had moved!

After two weeks in the new place, we are all pretty much settled in.  The new neighbours are all lovely.  PJ is happy to have his own bedroom and the little ones love their new room.  We do still have some unpacking and a little bit of decorating  to do, but to be honest, I'm in no rush now that the bulk of it has been done!

I now have alot of blog posts to catch up on now that we have the internet back on (over 200 posts are waiting for me over on blogloving, you guys can certainly write alot in two weeks!! lol), but you will hear from me soon.

Jackie. x

Friday, 7 September 2012

Brownie in a Mug

I'm sure by now we have all heard of the 5 Minute Mug Cake, but earlier today one of the cakey pages (seriously, go check this page out, her cakes are amazing!) I follow on Facebook posted a picture of a Brownie in a Mug.

One of the biggest differences with this recipe is that it doesn't use eggs.  This is perfect for me as I always run out of eggs when I need them!

I made the Brownie cake tonight and oh my word, it tastes amazing!  It was so light and chocolatey and just melts in the mouth.  Mmm, mmm.

Here is my version of the cake:

I urge you to try it, go on, you won't regret it!!

Jackie. x

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Swapsies August

During the month of August I took part in two different craft swaps.

The first swap that I signed up to was a Pin cushion swap with Hannah at Squintessential.  With my new found love for the sewing machine, I thought that this would be a great swap to take part in.  The rules to this one was basically, you have to make it yourself.  Simple enough!

For this swap, I was paired up with Anna from Black Cactus London.

I had come across an 'In the Hoop' pattern for the embroidery machine from which I had been meaning to try out, so I thought that this would be the perfect opportunity.  I chose to use a teapot fabric that I have in my stash, back with a matching red spotty fabric that I also have.

I was a little disappointed that the final product didn't actually show much of the teapot design on the fabric, but here is a picture of the fabric so that you can see how gorgeous it is! lol.  Apart from that though, I am happy with the overall outcome of the pin cushion and hope that Anna is too!
The finished pin cushion

The teapot fabric

The second swap was hosted by the lovely Kat and was an August Summer Swap.  The rules were simple, to make something that reminds you of summer.  It could be in any craft format that you liked, as long as it is handmade by you.  You also had to send a fridge magnet as well.

I was paired up with Hannah, who coincidently is the same person who is running the pin cushion swap!

My first thought was that this was going to be easy!  Ha, how wrong I was!  It took me ages to decide on what to make!  When I did finally make my decision, it was pretty straight forward from then on.  Trying to decide on something summery to make for someone who makes such beautiful jewellery was really hard.  I could tell from Hannah's blog and twitter that she is quite crafty herself and enjoys taking part in craft swaps, so I wanted to do something a bit different.  In the end, I remembered something I used to love doing....cross stitch.  Once I'd decided on that, I had a look about for a kit.  I found loads of different scenes that would be perfect for the theme, but in the end I settled on a beach scene.  Once I made the cross stitch, I then put it in a frame bordered with some craft paper.  I had forgotten about getting a magnet for Hannah, but a quick look on my fridge and I remembered that I had a duplicate of the same magnet from Cape Town, South Africa, so I sent one of those over to Hannah.

Cross stitch in frame
Fridge magnet

I really hope she likes them!

To see the other Summer crafty swaps, check out the linky below:

Jackie. x