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Month: June 2018

#Blogstravaganza #76

#Blogstravaganza #76

Hello and welcome to #Blogstravaganza, with myself and Jo from Cup of Toast! 

Happy Friday one and all, I hope you’ve all had a great week! Thankyou to all you lovely linkers, it’s absolutely fabulous to have you join in each week!

#Blogstravaganza News!

With the new GDPR guidelines coming into force very soon, I have a new GDPR compliant form for those who would like to receive #Blogstravaganza reminders via email each week. If you’d like to join the list, please do SIGN UP HERE!

Featured Blogger

My favourite post from last week was this one from Daydreamer Mum! Grab your badge here:

Tale of Mummyhood
Cup of Toast

It would be great to continue to spread some love over on Instagram, please do remember to use the #Blogstravaganza tag on your images! Here are a couple of my favourites from this week!

Don’t forget the join the #Blogstravaganza – Opportunities, Blog Share & Support group on Facebook.  If you want to share your posts, get some advice from fellow bloggers or simply have a chat, do head over and check it out!

 

Tale of Mummyhood
Cup of Toast


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Teachers. Do They Get the Respect They Deserve?

Teachers. Do They Get the Respect They Deserve?

I know immediately that the answer to this question is no. Teachers definitely do not always get the respect they deserve. I’m not just saying this because I’m married to an ex-teacher. I’m also not just saying this because I know a lot of teachers and I don’t want to upset them. Over the past decade I’ve witnessed numerous individuals working in the education system, be worn down by the sheer lack of respect that they get from students, parents and their employers.

Since Hubs left the profession a few years ago, I don’t suppose I’ve given it much thought. With the biggest starting school recently though, I’ve been thrown back in to the education system and its been a reminder of how hard teachers really do work. One of the main reasons I’m so impressed with the staff at my daughter’s school is because I am ‘that parent’. You know the one that looks at every single school within a ten-mile radius before deciding on the right one. The parent that wants to know what their child has been up to, for every second that they’ve been in another person’s care. Unfortunately for the school in question, I’m the parent that ALWAYS wants to help out too. Putting up with this is a lot of hard work, yet teachers make people like me feel at ease each and everyday. That’s before they even start teaching for the day.

The thing is, I find trusting other people with my children a difficult thing to do. They’ve been in my care since they were born, then all of a sudden I’m expected to leave them with a stranger to find their way in the world. I know it’s natural progression and thankfully the biggest loves school. Her teachers have given her an incredible start. This really makes me wonder though; how many parents recognise the effort teachers put in, to make sure their child is happy, safe and thriving in their school setting?

 

When teachers go above and beyond –

On meeting our daughter’s nursery teacher, I knew within seconds that she was ‘the one’. How ridiculous does that sound? It’s true though, I just knew that this lady and her team were the right people for the job. The whole team has such a high level of early years knowledge, they make the whole teaching process look so easy. The scene I witness daily is the image of the perfect learning environment.

One of the things I love most about the staff that teach in the school we chose, is that they work tirelessly to continue to develop their student’s social and emotional skills. The emphasis on learning through play creates a breeding ground for a fun education. They endeavour to provide a safe learning environment for children to flourish and they’re absolutely nailing it. Another thing that I’m incredibly impressed with are the links the class has with parents and upper school. No stone has been left unturned, to make the beginning of our daughter’s school career the best it can possibly be. I’m so grateful that the school we have chosen has such an amazing open door policy. After all, school is a journey for the whole family, parents and siblings included.

 

When the community get it wrong –

 

‘Those teachers, they get thirteen weeks holiday every year!’

‘I wish I had a job where you could finish at 3pm.’

‘I’d love a job where you only have to mark a few books.’

 

These are just a few of the things I’ve heard said about teachers. If you’re honest, I imagine you’ve heard them a few times too, you’ve probably even been guilty of saying them. Just in case you were wondering though, all of these statements are so wrong! Teachers may have 13 weeks per year when they don’t have to work in a school with children. That doesn’t mean that they’re not sat at their desk at home grafting until the wee, small hours every night. Believe me, they are. As for finishing work at 3pm each day, see the above statement. Oh and a few books to mark? What about reports, lesson plans and everything else teachers have to tackle on a daily basis? Teachers work damn hard and they deserve all the respect in the world for doing so. 

 

 

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NCC Home Learning – Creative Writing Diploma Review

NCC Home Learning – Creative Writing Diploma Review

*I have been provided with access to the NCC Home Learning Creative Writing Diploma, for the purpose of this review. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

 

Taking home learning courses has long been one of my favourite things to do. Ever since I became self-employed back in 2012, I’ve taken a variety of distance learning courses in order to broaden my knowledge and skill set. Some I’ve really benefited from, as they’ve provided me with ways to grow my business. Others I’ve never revisited after completion. I’ve enjoyed every single one though and even if I haven’t always applied my new skills, the learning journey has been invaluable.

I’m a huge fan of home learning, mostly because you’re able to fit studies around daily life. Even before I had children, I would have found it difficult to commit to structured learning as I worked all hours. The only way for me to continue to learn was to invest in distance learning courses. Educating myself in this way has opened so many doors for me, whilst also allowing me to continue to build my business by day.

 

Why should you choose NCC Home Learning?

As much as I have always enjoyed learning from home, I have had both good and bad experiences with distance learning providers. Most I would use again in a heartbeat, others I would now avoid like the plague. The beauty of having so much experiences in this kind of education, is that I know a good company when I see one. I know what it takes for me to learn to the best of my ability and so I thought I’d pass on what I love about NCC Home Learning. They are a provider that I have been impressed with from the outset and I couldn’t be happier to recommend them to anyone who is in the market for a little home learning!

First of all, NCC have hundreds of courses available to choose from. Whether you want to top up your existing qualifications or learn something completely new, there’s a course for everyone. There are also a lot of courses to choose from if you’re considering a career change, that will provide you with a good grounding to finally take the jump. One of the best things about NCC is that they have a great tutor support system in place. So if you need a little help, or you want to discuss some aspect of your course there’s always someone at the end of the phone to help you.

As you’re probably already aware, distance learning can often cost a tidy bit of cash. The journey is always worth spending the money, but not everyone can afford to enrol. That’s why NCC price match their courses and they offer an interest free payment plan, to help make reaching your learning goals even easier. By enrolling with NCC you also get access to a free NUS extra card, which is always a bonus when you’re trying to look after the pennies.

 

Another string to my bow –

As I’ve been blogging and freelance writing for over two years now, I decided that the ideal course for me would be the Creative Writing Diploma from NCC. I felt that this course would expand my knowledge and give my writing more depth. There are also other writing genres that I would love to explore, including novels and poetry, this course will give me the head start I need to take things to the next level.

I’m part way through my diploma and I’ve found the course so interesting and easy to follow. It’s been a few years since I was last enrolled on a course and honestly, I’d forgotten how much I love them! It’s so easy to get lost in the learning process and before I know it hours have passed by. What I adore about this course is that it has provided me with a new challenge. I find that it pushes my boundaries and really makes me think, I’m learning so much along the way.

Thus far, I’m incredibly impressed with the Creative Writing Diploma from NCC. I’m very excited to complete my course and I’ll see you back here in a couple of months time with an update and another string firmly added to my bow!

 

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#Blogstravaganza #75

#Blogstravaganza #75

Hello and welcome to #Blogstravaganza, with myself and Jo from Cup of Toast! 

Happy Friday one and all, I hope you’ve all had a great week! Thankyou to all you lovely linkers, it’s absolutely fabulous to have you join in each week!

#Blogstravaganza News!

With the new GDPR guidelines coming into force very soon, I have a new GDPR compliant form for those who would like to receive #Blogstravaganza reminders via email each week. If you’d like to join the list, please do SIGN UP HERE!

Featured Blogger

My favourite post from last week was this one from One Frazzled Mum! Grab your badge here:

Tale of Mummyhood
Cup of Toast
It would be great to continue to spread some love over on Instagram, please do remember to use the #Blogstravaganza tag on your images! Here are a couple of my favourites from this week!

Don’t forget the join the #Blogstravaganza – Opportunities, Blog Share & Support group on Facebook.  If you want to share your posts, get some advice from fellow bloggers or simply have a chat, do head over and check it out!

 

Tale of Mummyhood
Cup of Toast

 


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The Ease of One Child Parenting

The Ease of One Child Parenting

Ok, so the title to this post is probably a little misleading. Parenting and easy don’t really go well in the same sentence. I suppose what I mean is that when you’ve been bringing up two children for the last three years, then when that number drops to one for part of the week, I do believe that parenting gets easier. The logistics of having only one child to care for, are much simpler than having multiples. I love having two children, but I have to admit that I can see the positives of a little one child parenting.

The biggest was so young when we had baby number two, so I really do find it hard to remember only having one child to look after. For the best part of two years I’ve been permanently attached to two kids. For half of that time I had two kids that couldn’t walk, then for the rest of the time I’ve had two who think it’s hilarious to run in opposite directions. With me stood in the middle wondering which one to retrieve first!

 

Altering the dynamics –

Since the biggest started nursery, our family dynamics have completely shifted. It’s been a really difficult time for me, I certainly wasn’t ready to let her go. So for the first week, we filled every minute away from her with some sort of activity, anything that meant I didn’t have to think about leaving her with what felt like a stranger. I thought that if I didn’t think about it, then one day I’d wake up and be used to it.

The trouble is, I can’t fill every single hour of nursery with super fun stuff for the littlest to do. For a start, the house would start to look like a complete tip as I’d get nothing done and work would just pile up. So now, when the biggest is at nursery we spend some time at home too. I have regular periods where I only have to parent one child and do you know what? It’s not all bad. All of a sudden life with kids has become simpler then ever before.

There’s less bickering, no chasing each other around shops or disagreeing on what they’d like for lunch. I only have on child to keep safe on the playground and only one hand to hold as we walk down the side of the road. I only have one child to wrestle into their car seat and I only have one child to entertain whilst trying to do a million and one other things at the same time.

 

Getting used to our new way of life –

Even though there are many positives to only having to parent one child, I’m still not completely sold on the idea of one child parenting. I’d much rather have both of my girls by my side, but I know things have to change. Slowly but surely I’m getting used to our new way of life and soon enough I’ll have a few hours of completely child free time to contend with. For now though, I’m going to relish the ease of one child parenting. Who knows, I might even start to enjoy it!

 

 

 

 

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HomeDNA at Home Genetic Testing Review – GPS Origins Ancestry

HomeDNA at Home Genetic Testing Review – GPS Origins Ancestry

*This post was written in collaboration with HomeDNA.

 

Recently I reviewed the healthy weight at home genetic testing from HomeDNA. I was so  impressed with the in-depth results I got, that when I was asked to review their ancestry test it was a total no-brainer for me. History has always been my thing and so the chance to find out more about my own ancestors and ancient family history, was something I just couldn’t pass up.

As with the first test I did with HomeDNA, they sent out a test kit to complete at home and send back to them. The test kit came with four swabs that I used to collect cells from the inside of both cheeks. It’s so easy to complete the swabs and all I had to do was seal them in the envelope provided, fill in all of my details and send them over to the lab for testing. The process is super simple, then all I had to do was sit back and wait for my results to arrive in my inbox! Once my test had been analysed, I received a report with detailed explanations into each area of my genetic origins.

GPS Origins genetic test –

This test is designed to uncover your ancestral lines, including the journey of your DNA. Once you get your results, you’ll learn about so much including; genetic communities that share your origins and you’ll discover why your ancestors settled in particular places. All of this information is gathered from a unique algorithm that has been developed by a team at Sheffield university, headed by Dr Dr Eran Elhaik.

Gene pool percentages –

The results that I found particularly interesting were my gene pool percentages. These are the percentages of different gene types that make me who I am!

My top three were;

  1. Basque Country – from my ancestors based in Europe.
  2. Fennoscandia – from my ancestors based in Norway, Sweden, Finland, a part of Russia known as Kola Peninsula and Denmark during the Viking Age.
  3. Orkney Islands – from a small group of Islands located off the North Coast of Scotland.

Before I took this test, I had no idea that my ancestors were located so far and wide! It’s so interesting to know how vast our gene pools really are.

 

 

DNA migration routes –

Once you’ve learnt all about what makes up your gene pool, you can then use the interactive map provided to find out more about the migrations routes of your ancestors. You can explore what was happening to them at specific times and places in history. Through this tool, I found out that my ancestors lived alongside the Swedish Vikings and that they lived through the 1349 Black Death in Sweden. There’s still so much more I have to read through, but I’m already so amazed at everything I’ve learned so far!

Theses reports from HomeDNA contain so much information, that initially it can all seem a little overwhelming. What’s great though, is that every report includes a guide to understanding your results. This really helps you to enjoy reading through your report, enabling you to gain a full understanding of who you are and where you came from! 

 

 

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#Blogstravaganza #74

#Blogstravaganza #74

Hello and welcome to #Blogstravaganza, with myself and Jo from Cup of Toast! 

Happy Friday one and all, I hope you’ve all had a great week! Thankyou to all you lovely linkers, it’s absolutely fabulous to have you join in each week!

#Blogstravaganza News!

With the new GDPR guidelines coming into force very soon, I have a new GDPR compliant form for those who would like to receive #Blogstravaganza reminders via email each week. If you’d like to join the list, please do SIGN UP HERE!

Featured Blogger

My favourite post from last week was this one from The CubKit! Grab your badge here:

Tale of Mummyhood
Cup of Toast
It would be great to continue to spread some love over on Instagram, please do remember to use the #Blogstravaganza tag on your images! Here are a couple of my favourites from this week!

Don’t forget the join the #Blogstravaganza – Opportunities, Blog Share & Support group on Facebook.  If you want to share your posts, get some advice from fellow bloggers or simply have a chat, do head over and check it out!

 

Tale of Mummyhood
Cup of Toast

An InLinkz Link-up

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Building an Online Business – A Blogger’s Memoir

Building an Online Business – A Blogger’s Memoir

If you’d have told me three years ago, that I would find myself with a lucrative online business I wouldn’t have believed you. Prior to writing my first blog post, I hadn’t picked up a laptop in years. I had no need to. I was a hairdresser, who’d just had her first baby. I had no intention of going back to work, so the closest I got to technology was the TV remote for a Netflix binge.

Then one day, I discovered Instagram. I was drawn in by the world of hashtags, likes and Insta businesses. So I created an account, started posting a few snaps and soon realised that I could really make something out of this. That’s when I created my blog and The Tale of Mummyhood was born. Building my blog wasn’t easy though, I had to learn so much along the way. There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes of blogging and I know from experience that it’s not for the idle among us!

 

One step at a time –

One of the things that made me start writing was that I always thought I could do better than hairdressing. There I said it. Shoot me. I’ve always had a little niggle that I should have weighed up my options more. I’m not taking anything away from the passionate hairdressers among us though, some of those guys are incredible and they’ve found their calling. Me though? Not so much. I was always in it for the money and I can tell you that if you’re a self-employed hairdresser, there’s a lot to be made.

My background however, meant that I really had to take building an online business one step at a time. Some days I would stay up until the wee, small hours. Trying to work something out, that I could now do in seconds. I had to persevere and I had to open my mind and be willing to learn. Not only that, in this game you have to continue to learn. Soak up everything you can from those around you and don’t ever think you’ve cracked it. You haven’t, there’s always something new to get your teeth stuck in to. There’s no end in sight and I had to make my peace with that.

 

Making time –

I once read that the a large proportion of blogs are abandoned within three months of them being set up. The prime reason for this, is that the creators just don’t find the time to write. They don’t put the hours into their social media platforms and they don’t take time to engage with their potential audience. I get it, I really do. It’s time-consuming and hard, but it’s essential if you want to make your blog a success.

I put an incredible amount of hours into my website. I love it like a third child and nurture it each and every day. The trouble is, there’s ALWAYS something to do. As with all kinds of technology things don’t always run as smoothly as they should. You have to be completely on the ball and take the time to rectify any problems that smack you in the face on a quiet Sunday morning. Yep, us bloggers have to work Sundays.

I didn’t realise until I was too far in, that blogging seeps into every aspect of your life. You can’t go on a day out with the family, without taking a million photos. As well as mentally planning which bits you intend to write about. You can’t go to bed without working for an hour, or three, on your social media platforms. If you let it, blogging becomes all-consuming. I swear you could work 24/7 and there’d still be more to do.

 

A family friendly business –

The thing I’m most proud of when it comes to my blog, is that I’ve succeeded in  building a family friendly business. I get to be the worker that I want to be, as well as being the parent I want to be. It’s been a bit of a bumpy road at times and like many other bloggers before me, I’ve contemplated shutting the whole lot down. When I step back and look at what I’ve built though, I know that every hour, every tear and every bit of frustration has been worth it!

 

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#Blogstravaganza #73

#Blogstravaganza #73

Hello and welcome to #Blogstravaganza, with myself and Jo from Cup of Toast! 

Happy Friday one and all, I hope you’ve all had a great week! Thankyou to all you lovely linkers, it’s absolutely fabulous to have you join in each week!

 

#Blogstravaganza News!

With the new GDPR guidelines coming into force very soon, I have a new GDPR compliant form for those who would like to receive #Blogstravaganza reminders via email each week. If you’d like to join the list, please do SIGN UP HERE!

 

Featured Blogger

My favourite post from last week was this one from This Mummy Rocks! Grab your badge here:

 

Tale of Mummyhood
Cup of Toast

It would be great to continue to spread some love over on Instagram, please do remember to use the #Blogstravaganza tag on your images! Here are a couple of my favourites from this week!

 

 

 

Don’t forget the join the #Blogstravaganza – Opportunities, Blog Share & Support group on Facebook.  If you want to share your posts, get some advice from fellow bloggers or simply have a chat, do head over and check it out!

 

Tale of Mummyhood
Cup of Toast


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Cosy Club – New Menu Review

Cosy Club – New Menu Review

*We were given a complimentary meal at Cosy Club for the purpose of this review. As always, all thoughts and opinions are our own. 

 

As parents, it’s not very often that we head out into our local cities. In fact, it’s a very rare occurrence! Before we had the girls, Hubs and I were suckers for a night out on the town with some great food thrown in for good measure. Alas, the littles have changed our ways, so these days when we get the opportunity to go out, we grab it with both hands and run like the wind! So when we were invited to our local Cosy Club to try out their new menu, you guessed it, we definitely didn’t say no.

The week that we visited Cosy Club was a particularly busy week for us. We had the biggest’s birthday and she had her first day at school. As you can imagine, I was a tad stressed throughout the week. Starting school has been so easy for our girl, but for me it’s been more trying than I imagined it would be. Letting your first born head out into the world is really difficult to get your head around, so a nice chilled out meal with Hubs was a real treat for us to regroup and catch-up.

Cosy Club –

Having never visited a Cosy Club venue before, I wasn’t sure what to expect. They describe the experience as ‘Mansion splendour meets village hall eccentricity’ and as it turns out that’s the perfect way to envisage a visit to Cosy Club. When we walked into the unassuming entrance we were met with a real treat! The doors open up into a large entrance hall with a big staircase, that heads up to the bar and restaurant. There are grand paintings trailing all the way up the staircase, flowing into the lounge and bar area which is full of big leather sofas to sink into and relax!

 

 

My favourite part of this venue was the huge restaurant area. This room looked really amazing with high ceilings, tall windows and it even had the original balcony still in place. This room just oozed history and the decor complimented this perfectly. From the deer heads on the wall, to the sparkling chandeliers and the quirky tables and chairs, this place just felt incredible to relax and enjoy a yummy meal in!

 

 

The food –

We were invited to Cosy Club to sample their new menu, which includes some of the most amazing food. We really were spoilt for choice!

Hubs and I had a good selection between us, take a gander at some of the great food we got to try;

 

Halloumi sticks with chipotle jam.

 

Squid & chorizo.

 

The Brigadier burger.

 

The Major-General burger.

 

Warm chocolate brownie.

 

Nutella and vanilla cream doughnut.

 

Overall, we had the best afternoon at our local Cosy Club. The food really was gorgeous and our puddings were to die for. The next time we get the chance to go out on a date night, we’ll definitely be heading back!

 

Find your local Cosy Club

 

 

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