How to get your kids to enjoy maths

Maths. Some kids hate it, some kids love it. I'm lucky that both my boys love their maths, I'm also lucky that I have a husband who is a maths whizz. Give him a maths question and he'd probably be able to tell you the answer. He amazes me a lot of the time. I've always been a bit rubbish with my maths so I'm glad the boys have him to help them.

Despite the boys being good at maths though it's always good to stay on top of it. Just because you're good at maths one week doesn't mean you'll still be good at it later if you don't practice. As with everything practicing is key, and it can help those that aren't good at maths.

There are many apps and programs out there to help your children with maths, usually associated with a school in some way. My youngest, LP, has an app on his iPad that the school uses for maths homework. Unfortunately they rarely use the app which means he doesn't have much homework, and when he does it's simple stuff he finishes in no time. He needed an app that would work out how good he is at maths and challenge him. Something that would learn with him and continue to challenge him.

It is not that I'm so smart. But I stay with the questions much longer.

Albert Einstein

That's where Smartick comes in. It's an app that helps your children with their maths practice, encouraging them to do 15 minutes of practice every day. We incorporate Smartick into our daily routine (when we can) and LP uses the app every day as part of his "chores list". Funnily enough though he doesn't see it as a chore, he thinks it's fun!

Designed for children aged 4 - 14 years old your child starts with a "test" for the app to work out how they are currently doing with maths. After the test is complete the app will offer up questions that it thinks they can cope with but are slightly challenging. Your child progresses at their own pace, building confidence and avoiding frustration (for the most part), and hopefully developing a positive attitude to maths.

When LP started using Smartick he got a little frustrated with it, not with the maths but with the app itself, he didn't understand how to move pieces around the screen or how to put his answers in. This was partly due to him not reading the text properly and partly that the app wasn't as intuitive as it could've been.

Since LP began using the app he's seen all kinds of questions and sometimes they stump him, or at least they did the first time he saw them. He was so used to being asked arithmetic questions that when he was given a maths question that was worded differently he didn't quite know what to do. After a little explanation he was fine. Smartick is a great app that will not only test your children's maths knowledge with simple adding sums but it will also give complex questions too. It includes mental calculation and algebra while helping your children to develop their problem solving and critical thinking skills.

Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.

Benjamin Franklin

But it's not just about doing maths is it? At least not for the kids. They want to have fun, usually that's what they want to do first if they can get away with it. Smartick has a game-type thing after the daily tests...

By doing the daily tests your child earns stars and with these stars they can "purchase" (not real money) decorations for their virtual home. LP has come running into the kitchen exclaiming that he's just bought himself a teddy bear or a poster for his wall on a couple of occasions. His motivation is always the stars, if he earns enough stars he can buy something else for his house.

LP is also motivated by the diplomas the app gives. So far he has earned two and he was so impressed when Smartick told him he'd earned them that he couldn't wait to tell me and his dad.

The very best thing about Smartick is that it can be used anywhere, online or on a tablet. Which means, even if you're going to be away from home, the children can still do their daily test.

Smartick say that 94% of children improve their grades in school after only 2 months of using the app. I have to say that LP certainly does better when he's doing his daily tests, he seems more open to mathematical questions.

While there were a few teething problems for LP learning to use the app overall I'd say it's a great tool for helping with your child's maths. 

Why not get your children started this summer, you can try Smartick for free and then select your subscription on their website.

How do you help your children with their maths?

Post Comment Love

Monday Stumble Linky

Post Comment Love 28th - 30th July

It's Friday again and that means it's time for Post Comment Love. Link up your best/favourite post of the week and Stephanie and I will be sure to read, comment, and share. We're loving all your great posts so keep 'em coming!

Well the summer holidays have started for us and the weather typically took a turn for the worse. We are taking every chance we get to go in the pool and enjoy the outdoors. At the end of last week we went to Halfords to buy some stabilisers for LP's bike, he still hasn't learned to ride. Because of the Hubby's fall at Beeston Castle last year he's been unable to run for a long time but now he's finally better we can get LP on his bike. He is LOVING it. Despite not really being able to do it he loves being able to go out on his bike and learning to ride gives him a buzz. He is SO happy, which makes me happy. I just hope the weather improves so we don't have to skip days!

We take LP riding along a road near us and he loves it!

I'm writing this on Wednesday (26th) because we're heading to London on Thursday for another (!) night out. Bunga Bunga here we come! I can't wait. I just hope (again) the weather holds out. I'm also hoping to do some video on the way down there and while we're there so a new vlog will be up on my YouTube channel soon. I just need to get the time to edit the video!

With a jam-packed holidays it's going to be a squeeze to get much work done but I think I'll be able to get a day in here and there. With a trip to London, a weekend in Venice, and a family wedding in York these holidays are probably our busiest yet! But it'll be fun and that's what matters.

I expect those of you who don't experience the school holidays are looking forward to clearer roads during rush hour and those of you with kids off are wondering what on earth you're going to do for six weeks. Personally I love this time of year, much like the New Year September is like a new start for me. I cannot wait for the start of a new school year, the boys go back excited to make progress and I have determination for the blog. I'm taking these holidays to relax (as much as possible) and welcome the break. 

Blogger Showcase It could be YOU!

This week we've had a little hiccup again, I guess that's what happens sometimes. Instead of our regular showcase I thought I'd remind you of our questions and if you're interested in being featured then do please send us your answers.

Here are the questions:

Send your answers to

I'd love to see some regular linkers answering our questions - I think it's a great way to let others know how you got into blogging!

And if you do answer our questions you get to display our 'featured' badge ever-so-proudly on your blog!

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Each week you'll be able to link up from either of our sites and between us Stephanie and I will comment on every post linked.

The rules; Link up your best post written in the last week and we'd like you to comment on at least two other linked posts, as well as the hosts.

Help us spread the #PoCoLo word on Twitter and include the badge on your post.

Please do pop over and say hi to this week's Blogger Showcase. It's always nice to get a comment or two.

If you'd like to be featured in our Blogger Showcase please do check out the questions and email your answers to us at

Thank you for popping by.

Post Comment Love
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Codenames Review - Board Game Club

We love board games. From Carcassonne to Ticket to Ride and Game of Life our collection of board games is always growing. We like to spend time as a family, sitting around our dining table, playing our board game of choice. Our latest favourite is Colt Express, a game that involves a Marshall, robbing trains, and stealing from others. The boys love it!

Recently I was contacted about joining the Board Game Club, a group that loves board games too. It is a chance to be sent board games and review them, giving honest feedback. Well, you can imagine our excitement. Of course it's something I'm interested in!

Our first game to review is Codenames.

  • Two rival spymasters know the secret identities of 25 special agents. Their teammates know the agents only by their CODENAMES.

  • Your mission, should you choose to accept, is to make contact with all of your agents before the opposing team. Spymasters will give one-word clues that can point to multiple spies on the grid. Your job is to correctly guess the names of all your agents while avoiding those that belong to the enemy. 

  • But watch out - a deadly assassin lies in wait!Who will be victorious in this award-winning game of word association, deduction and team play?

  • Codenames: win or lose, it's fun to figure out the clues!

Codenames is available for £16.99, and is suitable for 2-8 players aged 14+.

So, as a family of four we had to split into teams that were relatively equal. The Hubby teamed up with LP (8yrs old) and I teamed up with BP (12yrs old). One person from each team had to sit on opposite sides of the table. So The Hubby and BP were on one side and me and LP were on the other. This is because one person from each team is the Spymaster; the person who has to give the clues.

To start with you have to lay out the codenames cards in a 5x5 grid. The Spymaster then gets to see a card that shows them where their spies are, they can then come up with one-word clues associated with the codenames of the spies. This is something both boys struggled with. The layout of the card that shows where their spies were was difficult for them to understand and it took a lot of repeating to explain. For LP I had to point them out (while trying to keep things secret) and show him which bits on the card related to the grid on the table. After a while he got it, but I think he's a little young for the game. 

The codenames are laid out in a grid and you have to guess where your spies are.

The game itself only takes 15 minutes or so to play, so we ended up having a few rounds. The difficulty we found was trying to think of a word that relates to more than one codename, even the Hubby and I struggled with that one. This is probably down to the cards that were drawn, if there was a better selection in the grid it might've been easier. There are lots of cards to choose from and I'm sure we'll get another chance to try it out. 

Despite the difficulties with the one-word clues and the placement of spies the boys enjoyed the game. They found it more entertaining than the Hubby and I, this could be because thinking of one-word clues that relates to just one spy is hard enough for them. For the Hubby and I it wasn't that much fun, thinking of one-word clues that relates to one spy is no fun and we wanted to think of something that related to more but that was not possible most of the time. Like I said, this is probably because of the cards selected.

LP enjoyed working out where the spies were...

My conclusion is that the game would be more fun played with older kids (older teens?) or other adults. Having a good vocabulary will definitely help with this too, knowing how words relate to one another and being able to give great clues are important. 

You place your coloured spy card on top of the codename when it's been guessed correctly.

Given that the Hubby and I were playing with our boys I think we did the easier version of the game and this made it less fun for us. On the other hand the boys loved it. Even after a few rounds they wanted to play again and they want to play amongst themselves.

The game is over when someone has found all of their spies.

As a family game Codenames is okay but would be better for families with older children, think 15 and over. More people, older people, might help to make it more fun. 

It was fun trying out this game and I'm sure the boys will pull it out to play again soon.

I was sent Codenames free of charge for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own. 

My summer wardrobe

Summer is always a tough season when you're overweight, you want to rock the cute dresses but don't have the confidence. You want to wear shorts but think you'll look ridiculous. This is just how I'm feeling at the moment. I want to look good this summer but being overweight makes me a lot more self-consious.

Picking out new clothes is always a difficult choice but when the lovely people at JD Williams got in touch asking me to review a few of their items I couldn't wait. On choosing three items and receiving them I did my first ever vlog!

Maxi-dresses are a wonderful thing for summer when you're feeling like me. They can look great, but they cover up all the bits you don't like, providing you choose the right style. This gorgeous summery maxi-dress from JD Williams is just the right style for me.

The weather just took a turn for the worse when the photo was taken. At the waist, where it is tied, you can lift the dress up so the top half hangs over the bow. I didn't realise how pink the dress was when I ordered it, or how sparkly it was. In the sun it sparkles lots when wearing. Due to the pink colour I managed to have a pretty awesome matching day. The dress matched my Apple Watch, which is rose gold, my rose gold heart bracelet (from home of juniper) and my Carvela backpack (which is also pink). It was easy to wear, light and airy. I did think it would be slightly see through, when I held it up in the light I could see through it, but when wearing it was okay. I also thought the material would be scratchy but again when wearing it was okay. The material was light and didn't irritate at all. You can get this dress for £32 and there's also a gold version!

Summer sandals have always been a bit of an issue with me too, it's so difficult to find comfortable and stylish sandals. The sandals above, from JD Williams, are flat with elasticated straps. Elasticated straps can be really good, they can also be really terrible. In this case they're excellent.  They don't pull or pinch my skin, even when my feet swell in the heat. The sole is strong and sturdy so as to not feel stones through the sole when walking (which can happen with other sandals) but it is flexible enough for them to mould to your feet when walking. These sandals were comfortable and I'd be happy to walk around in them all day.

I like to keep my tops loose fitting and floaty if I can. This shirt is just that, however the material is a lot heavier than I expected. It's not one I'd particularly recommend for a really hot day but if it's a bit blowy or overcast then this shirt would be great. It goes well with a pair of blue jeans and I love the overcoat bit, it sways when you're walking. This top is available for £31 and in sizes 16 - 30.

I wore the dress and the sandals on a day out with the family. I wore the dress all day and was comfortable throughout. The sandals didn't hurt my feet despite walking around on a relatively warm day. I like this combination so much I'm wearing them when I go to London on Thursday and I'll be taking them to Venice too.

Add to these three pieces my favourite jeans and a couple of t-shirts and I think I'm set for the summer.

What are your favourite fashion items this summer season?

I was sent the stated items free of charge for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own. 

Post Comment Love

The storm rages on - Flash Fiction

Spending even a little time with creative writing makes me feel wonderful. I am truly me when I'm creating and as much as I love blogging, this is where my heart lies. This piece of fiction is re-written from a shorter piece I wrote back in September 2014 entitled The Storm Rages On.

The Storm Rages On

The front door slammed shut and the walls shook. My heart jumped into my throat.

He was home.

I stood at the kitchen sink, my hands soaked in suds as I washed the dirty pans. My back was facing the kitchen door but I heard his heavy boots hit the marble floor tiles and knew he was looking at me. I smiled, putting my mask in place, and turned my head to look at him.

Even over my shoulder I could see something was wrong. His eyes burned, his face was red. As I fought back the tears, my heart pounding in my chest, I pulled my hands from the water, grabbed a towel to dry my hands and turned to face him.

"You didn't clean the drive..." he said.


He glared at me for a second more before spinning on his heels and storming into the lounge. I heard the drawer open. I heard the metal clasp bang against the wood of the draw as he pulled the leather belt from its home. My stomach flipped. The lump in my throat hardened. My hands trembled.

The snap of the leather hitting his waiting open hand made me jump. I darted up the stairs, being sure to keep my steps light. I pushed on our bedroom door at the top of the stairs and closed it behind me. It clicked loudly and I froze. I held my breath. I listened for his heavy boots on the stairs.

"Andrea!" his voice boomed from the lounge.

My heart hammered in my chest as I scanned our bedroom for somewhere to hide. My eyes fell on the small wardrobe tucked away in the corner of the room. At five feet 3 inches tall, and with a petite figure, I could easily squeeze myself into the back of the wardrobe. He wouldn't look in there, I hoped.  I pulled the doors open and climbed inside. Shuffling myself as far into the corner as I could I buried myself in clothes and shoes. I wrapped my arms around my knees, closed my eyes, and prayed he wouldn't find me.

"Andrea!" he yelled.

His heavy footsteps stomped from the lounge to the kitchen. He walked through the kitchen, his feet slamming against the tiles, and opened the back door. A second later the door slammed shut and the footsteps came back into the house.

"What is this crap Andrea?! Where are you?!"

It sounded like he was at the bottom of the stairs.

A moment of silence and he ran upstairs; his footsteps like thunder inside the house. The bedroom door burst open. I held my breath.

Please don't let him find me. Not again.

He walked into the room. Through the small gap between the wardrobe doors I watched as he pulled a bag from under the bed and slammed it onto the bed. He opened his drawers and threw clothes into the bag, zipped it up, threw it over his shoulder, and hurried out of the bedroom.

The bedroom door closed behind him but I couldn't bring myself to check. My heartbeat thumped in my ears.

I listened as he went downstairs. The front door opened then slammed shut, shaking the walls again.

All was quiet.
No footsteps. No yelling. No shuffling.

I stayed in the wardrobe a while longer, in the quiet of the house he would hear me crawling out. After a few minutes, once I was sure he'd gone, I pushed open the wardrobe doors and got up. I stepped into the bedroom to see he'd thrown clothes around the bedroom in his hurry to pack a bag. I sighed but left the bedroom as it was.

Taking hold of the bedroom door handle I pressed down slowly, still trying to be quiet. The door opened without any noise and light flooded into the room. I still heard nothing and decided he must've left.

I walked down the stairs, my heart still racing but my tension eased, and rounded the banister, heading for the lounge.

As I walked through the lounge door I spotted it; his bag, in the middle of the floor.

I looked up.

"Hello Andrea." He smirked, still holding the belt in his hand.

Let me know what you think. Would you like to see more fiction?

Post Comment Love 21st - 23rd July

Post Comment Love is here and Stephanie and I cannot wait to read your awesome posts. Link up, read, comment, and share posts you find. We'll be sure to do the same for you!

It's been a better week this week, despite the terrible weather. At the moment it's raining again but I don't really mind it. The only downside is still having to do the school runs in the rain. I've been working hard this week to get things done before the boys finish school on Tuesday. I've got plenty done but it never feels enough, do you know what I mean?

I have been able to keep track of what I'm doing, and what I want to do, by using my planner though. I'm actually writing things down and sticking to a timetable, which seems to be working well at the moment. But as always it's almost the holidays and it's bound to go wrong over the holidays! I'm not going to sweat it though, that's what the holidays are for. 

The boys are definitely ready for the break, I think they're excited about all the things we have planned. Venice, London, York, are just a few places we'll be visiting. I'm sure that by the time the boys are back at school (6th September) we'll all be wiped out and ready for school to start!

Do you have any trips planned for the holidays?

Blogger Showcase Emma from Our Fairytale Adventure

Who are you?

I'm Emma, I write the parenting blog 'Our Fairytale Adventure' which is about life with my partner Mr. C and our two boys Bear and Monkey. We are a really close family and love to travel, so have decided to travel as much as we can over the next 18 months before my eldest Bear starts school.

How did you discover blogs / blogging / why did you start blogging.

I've always been passionate about writing, love to read and I guess as a millennial I've grown up in the digital age, so I've always been aware of blogging as an industry. I studied journalism at university, so when I became a stay at home mum and started feeling a bit lost, I went back to writing and created a blog.

What do you find most challenging

Blogging is a very competitive industry, so in order to keep propelling the blog forward there are a lot of different things to consider from follower growth, creative content, SEO, networking and sometimes it can be difficult to do all aspects of blogging well.

Are you blogging for fun or do you have goals?

I blog for fun and it is primarily a hobby. That said as it grows, I do work with more and more brands. I'm hoping I can get my blog to a place where it supports some of our travel plans over the next 18 months.

Have you ever attended a blogging conference and if you have what did you think?

I have attended a couple, I went to one in London last year which was quite honestly awful. It was cliquey, I wasn't given a schedule so didn't know what sessions were on, the ones I attended were 90% useless and the brands weren't particularly relevant either. It was a complete waste of a lot of money. That said I attended a smaller event in Manchester shortly afterwards, absolutely loved it and booked tickets again for this year. I think it's a trial an error process when it comes to blogging conferences.

What are your three best posts:

That's a difficult one...

'It's 3am mummy' is one very close to my heart and is about how my children see my through the night wake up calls -

'Miscarriage and rainbow babies. My children. My loves. My joys. My rainbows' is a really emotional one for me because it talks about how much my children mean to me and talks about miscarriages I had before I had my children -

'Create a sensory garden' is a post I really like because I think it is the starting point for when I started to address the topic of conservation with my children. I want them to be proactive in their efforts to save our planet and think this is a really important foundation block for them to develop a healthy attitude towards nature -

Describe yourself in three words:

Fiery, compassionate and kind

Are you a tea and biscuits or a coffee and cake kind of person?

Can I go with tea and cake? I'm more that sort of person!

What is your idea of a perfect night out?

To be honest I love different experiences and think there is great adventure in trying new things, so I don't think I could say what a 'perfect night out' would be.

Your perfect night in?

This one is easy! An autumn night, with a fire lit in the fireplace, blankets, hot chocolate and my family all snuggled together watching a film.

What would your best friend, other half, mum or kids say is you best quality?

At a guess, that I'm a really caring person. You'd have to ask them though!

Connect with Emma here:


Thank you for answering our questions Emma and feel free to grab our 'featured' badge and display it ever-so-proudly!

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Each week you'll be able to link up from either of our sites and between us Stephanie and I will comment on every post linked.

The rules; Link up your best post written in the last week and we'd like you to comment on at least two other linked posts, as well as the hosts.

Help us spread the #PoCoLo word on Twitter and include the badge on your post.

Please do pop over and say hi to this week's Blogger Showcase. It's always nice to get a comment or two.

If you'd like to be featured in our Blogger Showcase please do check out the questions and email your answers to us at

Thank you for popping by.

Post Comment Love
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Getting weight loss back on track

I've been through this before, many times, but losing weight is so tough! I've been wanting to lose weight again for a long time but now that the restrictions on my exercise are gone I can get back to trying. It is time to get back on track with my weight loss.

I'm the heaviest I've been in a long time and we're heading to Orlando again next year which means I have a little more than a year to lose LOTS of weight. The last time I tried to lose weight I was walking every morning with a friend and that helped me lose weight. In fact it was fairly easy to lose the weight once my body got used to the fact that I was walking every day.

So I am walking again. I started last week, getting up at 6am every day so that I can get in 30 minutes of walking before I have to get the kids up for school. It'll be more difficult to keep this up during the summer holidays but I'm going to keep at it. 

The walking helps in two ways, one is the obvious one = the weight loss. If I walk 1 mile in a morning then it's 1 mile more than I do at other times. Do that every day and that's 5 miles per week. I know that doesn't sound like much for someone that walks less than half a mile per day it's huge. I'm hoping that as my body heals properly I'll be able to do more than 1 mile in 30 minutes. Maybe I'll even start running at some point, but I'm leaving that for later. The second way walking helps is with my health. 

I think self-discipline is something, it's like a muscle. The more you exercise it, the stronger it gets.

Daniel Goldstein

Health has been a big issue with me recently and having a cervical cancer diagnosis was quite a scare.  It made me realise that I really do need to take care of myself, I mean, it was cancer! Fair enough, it's all gone and it was a fairly easy procedure to have to go through but at the end of the day I had cancer and I need to look after my body. I only have the one after all.

As well as the walking I'm reducing my portion sizes. I've been doing it sneakily over the last few days and I'm trying to be strict with myself about my food. It's not always easy, especially when pizza is on offer, but I'm trying and I think those first steps are important. 

This morning when I weighed myself (which I do every day) I was 13 stones 11.9lbs and to be honest  that feels pretty rubbish. The last time we went to Orlando I was 10 stones so I've put on nearly 4 stones and that is not good. I'm hoping that the combination of walking and eating less will help me lose weight. 

I want it to happen fast, but I know that's not possible or healthy. All I'm doing now is starting every day with a good thought and trying. Today I managed my 30 minutes and drank a large glass of water before my morning coffee. It felt good. 

Take care of your body. It's the only place you have to live. 

Jim Rohn 

I guess my reason for writing this post is that despite me gaining a whole load of weight and feeling like it's impossible to get back to where I was I can still do this. I've done it before. And now I realise how important health is it's time to take care of myself.

What steps do you take to stay healthy?

Post Comment Love

Not quite a tween, but getting there

LP is eight years old, he has two years until he 'officially' enters the tween stage which begins at 10. In many ways he is still my little boy; he likes to have cuddles, he likes to play games, and sometimes he'll even get out his toy castles and boats and play with them. At the same time though he is starting to show a few signs of tweendom. He's not quite a tween, but he's definitely getting there.


LP is an active boy, he loves nothing more than playing football with his friends after school. He attends two classes after school where he plays football and multi-sports and has even asked if there are any others he can do. He doesn't like to be in one place for long and if he has to sit for long periods he soon gets bored and fidgets. 

On the other hand he can sit for a while if he is occupied. He has recently taken an interest in an electrical set BP was given for Christmas a few years ago. He likes the idea that he can do things on his own and discuss it with his dad. And he loves learning.

 LP climbing at a park in Stoke-on-Trent, he loves this place.

In contrast BP, who is 12, hates activity. He loves sitting in front of his TV watching Doctor Who or some movie, and if I let him he would sit there for hours on end. 


LP LOVES to learn. At the moment he's like a sponge and soaks up all the information he can get his hands on. The other day he happened to ask me about the gear stick in the car, which led to me explaining about gears and how the car works. Which then led to more questions about breaks and the engine and even the hand break. Since our conversation he has said he wants to see a working engine - we showed him the Audi engine but because it's covered you can't really see much so we need to find a way to show him a real, working engine. 

  • Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later.

Og Mandino

We also have a subscription to a science magazine that he loves reading. His last issue taught him about what causes hay fever and then, at school, they learned about flowers and why some people get hay fever. He was so happy when he was able to answer questions that no one else could. 

Add to those that LP is amazing at maths. He obviously gets this from his dad (certainly not me!), who is a maths whizz too. LP is coming on well in maths at school and he recently passed a test in school that only Year 6's have passed, LP is in Year 3. 

I am hopeful that even as he grows into the tween/teen stages his love for learning continues. 


LP has lots of friends, he's a popular boy in school. It is partly to do with being good at maths, his teacher often comments that the other children always want LP on their team when they're doing maths quizzes in school. But it's not just that, he manages to get involved in all kinds of activities with his friends, be it playing football before school or learning about science in school. 

He loves acting around, like this, with a scarf around his head. He's pretending to be a ninja, while watching the TV, obvs.

As friends become more important the older he gets I'll be taking more notice of his friends' influence on him, although to be honest I think it'll be the other way around. 


Master Sulker. That is LP. He has mastered his skills of sulking over the last year or so. His sulks can last hours and once he's in that mood there aren't many things that can bring him out of it. This is the main reason I'm noticing the changes in him. He didn't used to sulk, it would just be a sad face for a few minutes then he'd be back to smiling. These days he can be happy one minute and then sulky or crying the next. I know he is still only 8 but I believe these are the first signs of tweendom, and I am not looking forward to any more of them!


This is really part of the section above but I thought I'd mention it. As LP has got older he's become more sensitive to things, like when his brother calls him names. He takes it to heart and can often end up in tears, sometimes he'll even say that he "hates" BP, or call him the "worst brother EVER!". While it's funny to hear I understand that he is sensitive to the name calling and I have had to mention it to BP.

  • Healthy boys grow into healthy men.

Clayton Lessor MA, LPC

I know the next few years are going to be tough, with BP turning 13 in August and LP fast becoming a tween ahead of time, but I am doing all the reading I can and hope I'm prepared. I am their mum, I'll be here no matter what, and I'm not afraid to be Evil Mum either!

Do you have a tween/teen in training?

Post Comment Love 14th - 16th July

Post Comment Love is back for another week, link up your favourite or best post of the week and Stephanie and I will read, comment and share. Get that extra love your post deserves.

This week has been interesting, I did something I never thought I would; I recorded a vlog! The weirdest thing about it was that I didn't hate it. It isn't long, just 2 and a half minutes, but I took my first steps to being in front of the camera and it wasn't too bad.

I have ideas brewing (again!) and I have a few more vlogs planned and time allowing they should be happening over the summer. It's quite exciting. I have realised (I don't know how?!) that people like to see regular people online, they want to see mums, and everyday people, doing everyday things, just like them. I'm planning on showing our Disney Pin collection, something we've been collecting for a few years now and we'll be adding to it next year! I'm thinking a tour around our house might be good too, although there's lots of cleaning required first(!), and we have a collection of magnets on the fridge that I'm going to share with you all.

If you're interested you can find me over on YouTube, I'd love you to give me a thumbs up on a video or subscribe, I'd be eternally grateful. And if there's something you'd like to see then let me know and I'll try to accommodate.

In non-blogger news I'm heading to the doctors again today. Discussions about next steps and follow ups after my cervical cancer diagnosis. I'm a little bit nervous, I hope they don't say I should have a hysterectomy. It's not that I don't want to have one because I want more children or anything but the idea of being put to sleep in order to have a proper surgery scares me to death. I feel physically sick when I think about it. But of course if the doctors say that's the best course of action then I'll have to do it. We shall see.

I have just one week and two days left until the boys finish school for the summer. I can't believe that LP will be going into Year 4 and BP into Year 9. Time is flying!
We booked a short break to Venice for the holidays last week, we'll be heading there at the start of August. We went to Venice when BP was just 18 months old and loved it (although a pushchair in Venice was not our best idea!) so we're looking forward to going back. I'm hoping to do a lot of filming while there and get another vlog in there somewhere too.

A photo taken back in 2005, I have no idea where it is in Venice though!

Are you going somewhere abroad this year?

Blogger Showcase RawMum

New on the blogging block RawMum began blogging in January of this year, she describes herself as organised, raw, and honest, and you can read her responses to our Blogger Showcase questions over on Stephanie's blog.

Do connect with RawMum, you can find her here:

Thanks so much for taking part in Blogger Showcase RawMum, feel free to grab your 'featured' badge.

Post Comment Love
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Each week you'll be able to link up from either of our sites and between us Stephanie and I will comment on every post linked.

The rules; Link up your best post written in the last week and we'd like you to comment on at least two other linked posts, as well as the hosts.

Help us spread the #PoCoLo word on Twitter and include the badge on your post.

Please do pop over and say hi to this week's Blogger Showcase. It's always nice to get a comment or two.

If you'd like to be featured in our Blogger Showcase please do check out the questions and email your answers to us at

Thank you for popping by.

Post Comment Love
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The Addams Family Musical

After taking the boys to see The Wedding Singer and The Lord of the Dance, which they both enjoyed, we've decided to spend time taking them to see more plays and musicals. Last week we saw The Addams Family and before the Hubby booked it I had no idea it was a musical.

As the Theatre Royal in Nottingham is our closest theatre that's where we see most of the shows. I love that it's just 30 minutes drive away and it's fairly easy to park too, we use the Trinity Car Park in Nottingham and walk to the theatre from there.

  • All the world's a stage.

William Shakespeare, As You Like It

Anyway, we booked our tickets and it was a 5pm start. This meant we had to head straight to the theatre from school (after the boys got changed) and we had dinner after the show. There were a few complaints from LP but he soon settled down when the show began.

  • Wednesday Addams, the ultimate princess of darkness, is all grown up and has a shocking secret that only Gomez knows. She's fallen in love with a sweet young man from a respectable family. With his cherished Morticia in the dark will Gomez manage to keep his daughter’s secret until the two families meet for a fateful dinner with hilarious consequences? Join them, plus Uncle Fester, Lurch, Pugsley and more for a heart-warming story of love, family and friendship… with a twist!

I wasn't sure what to expect, I watched the movie years ago, when I was about BP's age, and didn't really see how that could be a musical. Hubby was the one to book it and he assured me it was meant for kids and it would be entertaining. I had no idea what the story would be but as Cameron Blakely, who played Gomez Addams, came onto stage and began singing I couldn't wait to find out.

Fester Addams came onto the stage and I was sure I recognised him. It was more his voice, something about it that I recognised that I couldn't quite put my finger on. I spent the whole show trying to figure out who the actor was who played Fester and it wasn't until I went to the website that I found out it was Les Dennis. Of course it was! Les did an amazing job, he got a few laughs and the boys loved his character.

During the first half of the show LP couldn't sit still. Top Tip: Take your kids to the toilet before the show begins! From about 10 minutes in he was unable to concentrate and when the intermission began he wanted to dash off. Despite his distraction though he did say he enjoyed the first half. 

With these kind of shows I never tend to expect much from the vocals, I don't know why but I feel like they often don't have great singers. In The Addams Family that certainly wasn't the case. Cameron Blakely was great, Samantha Womack, who played Morticia Addams, was good, but Carrie Hope Fletcher (Wednesday Addams) was amazing. When she started singing my jaw dropped and I looked at the Hubby and whispered "wow, she's really good!", the Hubby nodded. Carrie had a few good songs and she didn't drop a note, I was very impressed. It's always nice to hear great singers live, especially when that's paired with a performance and I have to say that whenever Carrie was on stage were my favourite parts of the show. 

We bought the boys an ice-cream during intermission, which is becoming a bit of a routine now as we've done it every time we've visited. It's good though, the boys get to have a treat and are really good afterwards. 

As the second half began the boys were sitting quietly waiting and we were all smiling. The second half of the show seemed to be over more quickly but it was just as enjoyable. I think LP enjoyed it more having emptied his bladder and when we came out both boys were smiling and chatting enthusiastically. 

  • Theatre just fills me up so much. 

Lea Michele

The Addams Family is a great show for kids and adults alike, there are jokes that the kids won't understand but there are also ones to make them laugh too. This is definitely a family show! It's on tour at the moment, playing in Southampton at the end of July and heading around the country. 

Highly recommended by us.

We're heading back to the theatre soon to see Around the World in 80 Days, check back soon to find out what we thought.

What is your favourite musical?

A Journey Begins - Flash Fiction

It's been a long time since I last wrote any fiction. For whatever reason I haven't felt the need to write fiction, it could be boredom, or the 'sparky new thing' syndrome. I have two novels on my computer that I've failed to completely finish and it's a always bugged me a little that I didn't see them through to the end. They are probably rubbish but how will I ever know if I don't finish them right?

Recently I've noticed a trend. I'm inspired by photos, I want to explore where the inspiration might take me. At the same time though my niggling self-doubt holds me back. So, in order to battle my self-doubt demons and attempt to get back to writing fiction (which I actually enjoy!) I decided to write a short piece of flash fiction. I was inspired by a photo I found on StumbleUpon, which is usually where I find my inspiring photos, and couldn't stop the words coming.

Across that bridge lay the unknown.

I was drenched. Strands of hair stuck to my face and my ponytail clung to the back of my neck. Raindrops trickled down my back and goosebumps shot across my skin. I stood at the cliff-side unable to step forward.

An orange walkway bridging the chasm in front of me swung in the wind. Staring across the bridge, the rain hammering my head, I wondered if I really had the courage for this.

Hundred year old trees surrounded the bridge, their branches reaching out like old, wrinkled hands. They offered new life with a handful of new leaves. Moss hung over the branches and the pouring rain dripped from the moss, making a pitter-patter sound on the ground deep below. Did the moss represent my old life? The one I was about to leave behind?

I couldn't see across to the other side of the bridge, the bright orange path ahead lead into darkness. The ropes holding the bridge up looked worn, like they might snap at any moment, and it made me nervous.

I blinked as rain trickled into my eyes. My back ached, I carried all that I owned in a heavy backpack. My feet hurt. Had I really come this far to give up now? 

I took a deep breath and stepped onto the bridge. It creaked. I stopped, gripping the handrail ropes. I dare not look down. There was a hundred feet drop beneath my feet and the chasm below was sure to swallow my determination. I wouldn't make it across. There was nothing sturdy to cling to to pull myself across that bridge, there was no way I could do this without doing it myself.

One step in front of the other. That's all it took.

One step at a time I forced myself across the bridge. 
And into the unknown world ahead...

Flexing my brain, allowing it to be creative feels good. I don't know what this means but time will tell.

Post Comment Love

Post Comment Love 7th - 9th July

Welcome back to Post Comment Love, another week and more wonderful posts for you to read through. You'll find all sorts of topics here and you'll definitely find something you like! 

Another week down, another week closer to the summer holidays. We still haven't planned anything but our list is getting longer, I'm sure there'll be things we don't manage to do! The boys want to go to London, we've got a family wedding in August in York, we want to go to Venice at some point, plus all the days out and such... it's a lot. I'm not even sure we'll have the energy for it all.

I don't know if I mentioned but last week the Hubby had a business meeting in London and he happened to go out to a club of some sort. He enjoyed it so much that he suggested we go, and of course I replied with "How is that going to happen?!". Well it turns out that it can happen! We're arranging to go to London again on the 27th July, which is just after the holidays begin, so that we can go to somewhere called Bunga Bunga. It's a variety club of some sort and I'm not quite sure what to expect, but it should be fun.

Well instead of waffling I'm going to sign off and let you get linking! Have a great week!

Blogger Showcase CC from Straightforward Lifestyle

Who are you?

Well hello! I’m CC, and I’m a passionate digital media graphic artist at heart, since the day I came out my beautiful mother’s womb. Photoshop is my sister, and Watercolor is my best friend. 

A crazy writer whose fingers had massively hit 5k words a day to create 100k word young adult e-books (but never sold one anyway, because I’m Lazzzzy.) 

An ambitious risk taker and workaholic addict. 

A born otaku, and an emotional Korean-drama fan. (I cry in every damn heartbreaking episode).

One fact is that I look like a 16-year-old child that doesn’t have wrinkles on my white face ha-ha (not funny). My age is a secret passcode. My mortality is treasured from the depths of my soul. 

How did you discover blogging?

Blogging and I already met two years ago, or was it? I don't remember, but whenever I often look for a life passion career on the web, I always get fascinated whenever blogging pops-up, ya know, because of blog success and stuff and something like that. I'm always the type of gal to have her own fan base and brand, so I could say that's how blogging and I met.

Why did you start blogging?

Ah yes, nice question. I started asking for Blogging's number when I was at the edge of confusion between choosing a life passion career and my destiny. I've been dating a lot of life passion careers--wedding invitation making, YouTubing, e-book writing, and graphic designing, but none of them worked out for me. 

It's my dream to soar into the clouds and lie down on a bed of soft roses to sleep for the rest of my life. Meaning, I wanted to be in a career where I'm happy and passionate about. And I think, for so many years, blogging was just waiting for me to call him. That moment, I was then, fascinated by so many resources and guides from the internet, that I'm pretty confident to take this as a challenge and business.

What did you find most challenging?

Everything is a challenge. The start is always the hardest. In a world full of nothing, you have to build up something from scratch. Through your efforts. And that's one of the biggest challenges I'm being faced on. Building your own brand from scratch. Without any friends or families to guide you, only yourself and your lucky conscience.

What is your favorite topic to write about?

Oh! Oh! I've been waiting for this question my entire life! 

I definitely don't miss out to write advice and tips about relationship struggles. But that's not all. I love to write everything that is related to mind, or psychology awareness, like attitudes, feelings, emotions. My pen does all the work when it comes to relating something in my life, and that's one of the best things I enjoyed working on.

Are you blogging for fun or do you have goals?

Like I said, I wanted to soar into the sky, so it means, every action I make, is a living goal that I must make. Oooohh, I love how that rhymes! I don't take fun as my child if she doesn't pull her best friend named "Goal" by her side. That's my motto. Every choice I make comes with a responsibility, and that responsibility will soon turn into a goal, beating fun out of my time.

What is your favorite thing about blogging?

Ah, I see. Nice question. The fact that I chose Blogging as my partner means that I can do whatever I want in our relationship. I am very creative, and I love love love to combine my child called "Art", and his brother, "Writing" into producing a crazy, unique, sibling called, "Style."

There are no rules in blogging. You are your own boss, and nothing will ever stop you from turning a plain vase with a single flower into dozens of multi-colored roses with an expensive vase.

Have you attended a blogging conference, and if so, what do you think?

Never, ever in my life, I had attended something like that. My excuse is lame because I'm not living in the US. But here in the Philippines, it's not a common to be launched as a conference, so I have never been one.

My mind is out of ideas, and I'm clueless when you asked me what I think of it. So maybe I'll just imagine that there are bloggers and writers exchanging calling cards and handshakes, and seminars and stuff? 

What are your 3 best posts

Ahaha. (punches stomach to stop laughing) I'm still working on my first blog post since I'm just starting out this month and year. So I have to dodge that question. :)

Describe yourself in three words!

Ambitious. Artistic. Work-a-holic

Are you a tea and biscuits or coffee and cake person?

Coffee and cake. I hate biscuits and tea, except for creamy milk tea and bitter green tea, of course, :p

What's your idea of a perfect night out?

All night making out with my best boyfriend in my world. Oh!, don't forget an elegant dinner.

Your perfect night in?

My home, my room, my destiny.

What would your best friend/OH/Mum or kids say is your best quality?

Cross out the kids, I'm too young to have one. Ha-ha. Just kidding. Every work, artwork, blog post I made is my best quality. Ask everyone around me and they'll spit out "CC's drawings." I've been showcasing a lot of artwork since I was young. And since I'm a perfectionist, I don't let that one little speck get away with my clear slanted eyes.

You can connect with CC here:

Thanks so much for answering our questions CC, do feel free to grab our blog and display it ever-so-proudly on your blog. 😉

Post Comment Love
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Each week you'll be able to link up from either of our sites and between us Stephanie and I will comment on every post linked.

The rules; Link up your best post written in the last week and we'd like you to comment on at least two other linked posts, as well as the hosts. 

Help us spread the #PoCoLo word on Twitter and include the badge on your post.

Please do pop over and say hi to this week's Blogger Showcase. It's always nice to get a comment or two. 

If you'd like to be featured in our Blogger Showcase please do check out the questions and email your answers to us at

Thank you for popping by.

Post Comment Love
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