Why should I use my vote?

So today is the deadline to register to vote- have you? (Click here to go straight to the site)

use vote

I’ll be voting and I don’t mind telling you that, as always, I will be voting Labour- I have many, many reasons why but this post isn’t a party political one- it is an urgent one.

I URGE you to vote.

Of course I’d love you to vote the same way as me but who you choose to vote for is none of my business, that’s between you and the ballot box BUT for all of our sakes, VOTE.

If you really need a reason to do it, here are 10…

  1. It’s free- you’re not charged for putting your X in the box.
  2. We are lucky to have to right to vote- so many people around the globe are disenfranchised. And I’m not just talking about in 3rd World countries either-  did you know that in many USA states you must have photo ID to vote? Just imagine how many people this caveat excludes! This is something that could quite easily happen here too if some of the rumours are to be believed!
  3. No right to complain- your vote is your voice! If you don’t use it to have your say then do you really have a right to complain about what the government does?
  4. Have a say in where your hard earned cash goes- this is your chance to dictate where your taxes are spent. Yes, I appreciate you can’t just say ‘I want my money to go to the NHS’ but you can weigh up the manifesto pledges and decide which best matches your desires.
  5. The sense of righteousness- how can you be smug if you don’t vote!
  6. You don’t live in a dictatorship- Democracy shouldn’t be taken for granted! As futile as people think they are, the House of Lords often acts as our buffer against a dictatorship’ish (YES it’s a word!!!!) leadership. What if none of this existed here though? Could you imagine if you were just told what to do and how to live your life all of the time?
  7. People literally died to give it to you- do I really need to go over this again?! Especially you ladies out there- click here to find out more in a very child-friendly manner.
  8. Representing your age group- under 35’s are traditionally the most underrepresented age-group in the UK voting system and they are often the subject of some of the most ruthless policies- I wonder how the politicians get away with that? Oh yeah…. you don’t register to vote!
  9. It’s quick- LITERALLY TAKES 2 MINUTES!!!!!!!!!!!
  10. You count- don’t be fooled into thinking your vote won’t make a difference- even if you have no desire to vote for any party, leave your ballot blank and pop it in that box- YOU COUNT!!!

So, in conclusion-VOTE!!!!!!

I’ve tried hard to convince you but now its down to you!

See you on the other-side of May,

Mrs T Xx

Safe Sensory Play for 0-6 Months

As an Infant/ KS1 teacher of 10 years I’m highly aware of just how important play is to learning and development and as a new mum I want to expose my precious treasure to as many different types of play as possible!

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Yes we sing, read, visit playgroups, the library, park and even go to Baby Sensory every week but I also want to enhance Little Miss T’s experiences when we’re at home too.

She has the essential hoard of wooden and, dare I say it, plastic play equipment that seems to appear from nowhere once a baby is born but I want her to also have a chance to get messy and stimulate those senses!

Easy, you would think, but before babies are weened it’s actually rather tricky to expose them safely to messy and sensory play of the kind that looks creative and fun. So as a starting point I’ve compiled a list (and linked back to any relevant bloggers) of some of the things Little Miss T and I have had fun with-

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  • Bubbles!

Bubble machines are fab if you can get one (ELC has excellent ones!) but a good old pot of bubbles works a treat too! We’ve tried blowing them outside on a windy or sunny day and enhanced bathtime with them- mess free and baby won’t yet be able to grab at them quickly enough to get the solution on their hands so they’re super safe! LMT loves watching how the light and colours dance on them as they float about!

  • Soggy spaghetti!

Boil it up, rinse under cold water and then pop into a messy play tub (or your baby bath/ washing-up bowl) with a splash of warm water. Rather than putting this out to touch with hands I stripped LMT to her nappy and sat her in it- she’s able to sit and hold her head up really well now but even when teeny she could sit with my support or lie in it.  Top tip- do it in a warm room and keep your eyes peeled so that they don’t stick some in their mouths if you’re not ready for them to eat solids yet- LMT loves putting everything in her mouth at the moment but during these kind of activities she seems to chill out and just squidge about with her feet!

  • Balloons!

Whilst they’re still gummy and toothless balloons are great fun! LMT likes to lie on her tummy and reach out for them or bash the balloons on the ground. Watching  them bounce and float around is fun too! She also loves looking through them and seeing the world in a different colour! Top tip- don’t blow them up too big so that they still have some squidge to them, little ones can handle them much better then.

  • Sandwich-bag painting!

The idea from Pinterest is that once the paper and paint is secure inside the sandwich bag, you tape it to the table or ground in front of the little one but this has never worked for us as LMT likes to pull everything to her mouth! This activity is still perfect as I don’t have to worry about paint covered hands being stuck in her mouth yet she gets to feel the squidgy texture, watch the colours combine and create something too! If you’re worried that the paint might seep out then simply tape the edges of the bag or use edible paint rather than shop bought. Top tip- paper goes soggy and tears so card is a much better option! 

  • Gloop!

Or Oobleck as you might see it called. This is simply magical! Combine 2 cups of corn flour with 1/2-1 cup of cold water and mix. Just like with the soggy spaghetti I let LMT sit in it and she enjoys trying to grab at the mixture (it changes between a solid and a liquid). At this stage I’ve always left it its natural colour but as she gets older I will add food colouring to change it up a bit. Top tip- despite its liquid appearance, gloop can often go hard (part of the awe and wonder if it) so I wouldn’t advise poring it down your sink during clean-up!

  • Jelly!

Super easy and it smells divine!!! Hartley’s crystals are the best as they are sugar free and use natural colourings so should they ingest some then you know it’s as safe and as healthy as jelly can be! An alternative is to use a sachet of Vegi-gel and make your own natural coloured jelly up. We’ve used this for several activities including the favourite- sitting in it- but also inside sandwich bags with other objects in there such as buttons, sequins, pasta twists and glitter!

  • Ice cubes!

Lots of fun either in a sandwich bag or simply on her high chair tray. When using the sandwich bags I’ve also added splashes of food colouring to them before freezing just for a little variety and interest.

We’re just about at the first tastes stage of weening so LMT is beginning to explore food- if you’re going down the purée route  then the leftovers of these can also be a great sensory play resource and it will ease your sense of guilt over the waste when they don’t like or refuse to eat something! Bonus! 

Have lots of fun stimulating those senses and be sure to let me know how these activities work for you- we’re always on the look out for new twists to old faves!

Until next time,

Mrs T Xx

Why I’m ok with Daddy getting the giggles

So Little Miss T is just over 5 months old now and her hearty chortle warms my cockles but it’s not usually me who manages to earn a good belly laugh from her- it’s her daddy! 

At first it really bugged me that I spent all day with her and yeah, I got plenty of gummy grins and the odd chuckle but the real, long lasting and heart felt giggles only appeared when Daddy was about. 

All he had to do was make a silly noise or shake the nappy bag (!) and out would pop the most glorious sound and there I was doing a multitude of silly dances, songs and faces, blowing raspberries on her tummy and moving Heaven & Earth only to be greeted with what was really a noisy smile! What was I doing wrong? Why couldn’t I get her to giggle too? 

But my view on the giggles all changed last month when I was upstairs and could hear the 2 of them giggling and cooing away downstairs and my heart burst with love and pride.

This is THEIR ‘thing’!

I get the morning smiles, goodnight cuddles, moments of awe and wonder day after day and if this is the part of it that Mr T gets then I’m ok with that! 

There’s many things he’s been excluded from during our journey into parenthood, not on purpose just they way nature makes it and if this is something he gets to have that I don’t then who am I to be bitter about it? 

I’ll keep my morning smiles and goodnight cuddles along with the joy that I feel whenever I hear the 2 of them giggling together and Mr T can keep the giggles- I think that’s a fair trade, don’t you? 

What would you trade your partner for or are you happy to let them have their own ‘thing’ too?

Until the next giggle fit,

Mrs T Xx

Things that boil my blood (and eggs)

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Grab a cuppa….we could be here a while!

I should tell you now that this post includes a recipe for some delicious baked eggs, if you would like to skip my moaning and jump straight to the food (I wouldn’t hold a grudge) then click here to go to the lovely Rachel Khoo’s original recipe.

Now, you know me, I’m not one to moan BUT….!

Having been on a rather long journey towards motherhood I’ve managed to tot up a disturbing number of gripes about the subject before, during and after my eggs have finished baking (tenuous food link!).

So, Mr T and I have been married for 8 years this May and have just welcomed our first little bundle of joy, Little Miss T joined us in October and (just FYI) was conceived completely naturally dispite the fact we have been a child-less, married couple for quite a few years.

This childlessness was partly by design and partly due to nature.

My mother passed away (you will know the details from previous posts) the same year that Mr T and I got married. This left us with a huge amount of healing to do but also with a house to sort (hoarder!) and sell on- it eventually took almost 5 years to get through (the house that is) and was such a tiring  process that the thought of going through it pregnant/ with a young baby was hard to contemplate and so we kept putting starting a family off until the house was sold despite half-heartedly trying from time to time. Don’t get me wrong, if it had happened for us during this time then we would have been over the moon but it just didn’t.

Even once this obstical was out of the way, making the final decsision to whole-hartedly commit to staring a family took us some time. We love holidays and socialising so we spent a while giving it a go and then when it didn’t happen we just went on holiday and thought ‘oh well, at least we can drink and spend whatever we want without a worry’.

This all changed New Year 2015. We were in Las Vegas living the highlife, sipping beer at 9am whilst popping dollars into the BlackJack machines and we both agreed, that whilst living said highlife was mucho fun, we both wanted more and so Little Miss T’s journey into this world began and my long list of annoying comments began to grow! Continue reading

Yep… I disappeared again!

Well, I started 2016 with the best of blogging intentions. I endeavoured to combine my teaching blog with my beloved personal blog, gave it a face lift and then walked away!

You see… I have had a very busy, stressful and tiring 7 months and despite all of my good intentions, I just never got back to my blogging bliss. Let me give you the run down of the last 7 months…..

Work- we started the Spring term with a bang! A new Head Teacher with lots of ideas does not an energetic, relaxed and thumb-twiddling teacher-blogger make! In truth, I was worn out and working my ass off just to keep my head above water- think ‘swan’ metaphor only my cool, calm exterior often slipped!

Then in February we discovered the most amazing news EVER!!!! Mr T and I are expecting the first Mini T to join our team this coming October. We found out quite early and now, at almost 7 months, I feel like it is the longest pregnancy known to woman! Add this news and new found definition of exhausted to the work related changes and you can begin to see why I struggled to keep connected to you guys.

To top this all off, we bought a beautiful, almost 200 year old house last year and whilst planning what decorating we needed to do before Mini T arrives, we discovered we not only needed new double glazing (can you hear the bank account weeping?) but that we have rising damp in most of the downstairs rooms- I wish this news was as funny as the TV show! So, even when I am home, organised, relaxed and feeling like I can possibly stay awake past 7:30pm, my time is taken up inspecting the latest work, cleaning up after said work or prepping for upcoming work! JOY!

Yes, I concede that this post does have a slight air of ‘moaning’ to it but I just wanted to let you know that…

sometimes life gets in the way of even the best of blogging intentions

Continue reading

‘Twas the week before Christmas break….5 teacher tips and treats to see you through! Xx

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Worn out? Check! 

‘Comfy’ clothes for school? Check!
Desk a mess? Check!
‘To-do’ list a mile long? Check!
Glitter in unmentionable places? Check!
In need of a spa day? Check!

This can only mean 1 thing……it must be the week before Christmas break!

Teacher-wellness at this time of year is very important so, in order to help you to take a moment for yourself and get into the festive spirit too I’ve complied a little list of teacher tips and treats…
Monday
School- have all cards, calendars and decorations made ready to be sent home at the end of the day to avoid that last minute panic!
Home- indulge in a minced pie whilst taking 5 minutes to enjoy the twinkling christmas lights on your tree.
Treat- Scholastic Voucher Codes and Discounts for December
Click here
Tuesday
School- double check all assessments are done and get that data handed in (if you haven’t already) so you’re not sat on Thursday night still compiling it!
Home- take a hot bubble bath to some festive tunes!
Treat- Paperchase- Treat Me
Wednesday
School- colouring in is therapeutic- let the kids doodle away to some festive tunes while you make sure you’ve got any paper work ready for those who need it and you’ve got the photocopying done for the first day back in January- I know this seems early but you’ll thank me later!
Home- get in the festive mood with a Christmas film and a few chocolates!
Treat- Bodyshop- Voucher Cloud deals for December click here
Thursday
School- take down the festive displays and get the boards backed ready for the first week- there’s nothing worse than realising you still have all of your festive stuff up when you just want to go home on the last day!
Home- Prep a tasty meal to have when you get in from work tomorrow- you deserve a feet up end to the Autumn term!
Treat- Dorothy Perkins- Voucher Cloud deals for December click here
Friday
School- let the kids watch a DVD and take some time to file any paper work, tidy your desk and do some general housekeeping- you will not be wanting to do this once the bell has gone- trust me!
Home- Glass of wine? Hot chocolate? You decide- it’s officially the holidays!!!!!! Celebrate!
Treat- Photobox- Hot UK Deals codes for December click here
And to help you stop getting snowed under and keep your Christmas cheer I’ve made a little checklist for you to use-

Have a wonderful last week of school- let’s make it a stress-free one!