Friday, 24 October 2014

Opposites attract - the prompt

This week's prompt over at Sara's Mum Turned Mom is:

Opposites attract

I spent a long time thinking about what to write for this. 

The obvious connotation of the phrase is love.  Do opposite personality types attract?  Probably.  There are so many of us in this world that it would be strange to think we were all attracted to people like us.

And then I thought about a scientific discussion.  Magnets famously repel magnetic fields that are the same.  So opposites in this sense - positive and negative attract.  But then my husband pointed out that magnets also attract neutral, which isn't an opposite.  So that became a dead end.

The only other thing I ended up with was a song by Paula Abdul, from back in the 80s, 'Opposites Attract'.  You know, the one with the cartoon?  And I've been singing that for days now.

Thanks Sara :-)


Thursday, 23 October 2014

Christmas Countdown - week two

Feeling like I need to get organised for Christmas continues. I loved reading all the festive posts that linked up last week.  You can read them all here; they really got me feeling all festive.

I particularly loved Northumberland Mam's review of Lapland Mailroom's personalised letters from Santa.  There's nothing better than seeing excited kids' faces towards Christmas and these are sure to raise smiles all round!

I've been thinking about what I can do to prepare for Christmas this week and settled on two tasks.  Getting all the Christmas cards I need, and making some yummy mincemeat in my slow cooker to use in mince pies nearer to Christmas.  I'll blog it in the next few days.

What Christmassy thing are you up to this week?  I'd love you to grab the badge and link up, and please don't foget to comment on another couple of posts.

Me add three

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Christmas present inspiration for six and one year old

So for this week's #ChristmasCountdown I promised myself I would audit all the secret piles of Christmas presents I've bought over the last month or two for our kids.  I love a bargain and always get them - and then promptly forget about them and end up buying double or worse, finding it again in January (this has happened!).

So I pulled out the boxes, and made a list of all the things I have so far.

For our six year old boy, this is:
  • One racing Mini Scalextric (a very lucky competition win)
  • A Hot Wheels racing battle case - he's big into Hot Wheels and I know he will love this.  I paid about £12 from Wilkinson's. 

  • Assorted cars (can you see a theme here - he loves cars).  There were half price and around £3 each in Sainsbury's a month or two ago.

  • A spy pen from Avon, £5.  He will love to write with invisible ink and see it with ultraviolet light in this bargain pen!
  • A bath-time Thomas the Tank Engine clock, because he really needs to know how to tell the time!  I got this from Boots and think it was a couple of pounds.

Toddler girl has fared less well so far!
  • She will LOVE this Duplo train which had 75% off in Sainsbury's a month or so ago.  It was a bargain at £5 and is perfect for her.
  • The wooden sort and stack will be great for her too, and was in the same sale.  I think it was only about £3.

So now all I need to do is think about how to fill the gaps.  Any ideas very much appreciated - what do your little ones love to play with?

Me add three

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Pumpkin week at Hatton Adventure World and ticket giveaway

I can't believe it's coming up to half term already, but I'm looking forward to spending a day getting all Halloween-y at Hatton Adventure World.  We last visited Hatton Adventure World in Warwickshire back in April and had a great day.

From 25th October to 2nd November, Hatton is letting every child who visits harvest and carve one of the 40,000 pumpkins it planted in the spring.  I wonder what our son will create with his? 
On our visit we're also planning to visit the pumpkin house and see all the creepy crawlies, and real spiders - although maybe I'll give the spiders a miss and visit the gorgeous boutique shops instead.  I know our daughter will go in her halloween outfit, and maybe she'll win a prize in the daily dressing up competition.

The lovely people at Hatton have given me four tickets to giveaway, which will allow a family entry during pumpkin week, or up to the end of 2014*.  Good luck if you enter - and really hope to see you there over pumpkin week!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and conditions

  • You must be resident in the UK to enter.
  • Competition runs from 19th October 2014 until 23:59 on 23rd October 2014.
  • Entry is via one and/or more of the methods in Rafflecopter widget.
  • Winner(s) will be chosen at random by Rafflecopter.  The winning entries will be checked and must be current at time of checking.
  • There is one prize.  The prize is four tickets to Hatton Adventure World which are valid until 31st Dec 2014.  The tickets can be used during pumpkin week, but * not on bank holidays or for entrance to Santa's Grotto promotion.  They cannot be used with any other offer or with a group booking or membership.  There is no cash alternative.
  • The winner(s) will be contacted by email or on Twitter (if appropriate) by 24th October 2014 and asked to confirm their mailing address.  If no reply is received within 48 hours, a new winner may be chosen.
  • The winner(s') name(s), as registered when logged into Rafflecopter will be displayed after the end of the competition.
  • Judge’s decision is final.

Win competitions at
Listed on Loquax 

Friday, 17 October 2014

A great big SIX #WotW

When our son was born, I had no idea I could be a Mum.  No idea how to be a Mum.  And then I held him, and he was mine.

Little did I know back then the huge impact he would have on every single aspect of my life.  How naive I was to say that my life wouldn't revolve around him.

And now he's turned six.  One third of his time as a young person, gone.  At times it's taken an age, and at times, it's whizzed by in a flash.  The joy, frustration, love, exhaustion, pride and exasperation have all been worth it.  Every single second.  I'm so proud of him, my all grown up baby boy.

Happy birthday, son.

The Reading Residence

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Christmas countdown linky - week one

Every year I promise myself I will be more organised for Christmas, and every year I end up in Toys R Us a few days before Christmas, panicing.  Yes, and wrapping presents up until 1am on Christmas eve too!

So this year, I'm starting a Christmas countdown blog series.  Each week I'll post one thing I've done for Christmas, or one thing I will try and do over the coming week.

I'd love you to join me and link up your Christmas themed posts.  Maybe you're being organised, maybe you've reviewed a great gift for someone, or perhaps you're just blogging about things you'll be making.  Whatever it is, I'd love to share the inspiration!

If you'd like to link up, please grab the badge and link up below.  Please share the love and comment on a couple of other posts.  The linky opens on a Thursday and closes the following Wednesday at midnight.

Week one challenge

So by next week, I plan to audit all the gifts I have bought the kids over the last month or two in the sales, and work out what else I buy for them.  What about you?

Me add three

Playing cars and sparking imagination

It was our son's birthday a short while ago and he was six.  Six! 

We were wondering what to get him for his birthday for a while.  He had a wonderful Kettler Go-kart in the summer, and is having a party, so we didn't really want to get him loads.  We try hard not to let him be spoilt.

So I wandered round the toy aisle of Tesco a couple of weeks ago, with a now extended Christmas toy choice, not feeling hugely inspired.  He loves cars, so I ended up in the car section.  There really wasn't much, but a Hotwheels Super Spin Car Wash play set caught my eye.  At £15 it was about the right price, and I knew our son had lots of Hotwheels cars and track too.

Well.  It has been the hit of the century!  The set itself has ramps, spins cars around manually (as if to wash), and the best bit is that you can link up track to a ramp and let cars go off as far as they can.

So far, our son hasn't stopped playing with it.  It's been a while since he's played purely with his cars, but this has undoubtably sparked his imagination again.  It's great when you find something that's a hit!  I can feel more of this range coming from Father Christmas!

Monday, 13 October 2014

Stepping up to 10,000 steps

Recently the company I work for has launched a walking challenge - 10,000 steps a day for a few weeks.  We all know we should be doing this every day, but it's hard, isn't it?  I can't resist a challenge so I thought I'd give it a go.

Like everyone who does an office job, I tend to sit still for long periods when I'm working.  Measuring over the last week or so, I don't even hit 5,000 steps on those days, agh!  So here's how I'm trying to build in some extra steps in my week and especially on working days:

Measure up

Recording steps is a great first start to increasing them.  I'm using my Withings Pulse electronic pedometer, combined with the app on my iPhone.  Looking at it at lunch time and realising I've only done 2,243 steps is enough to get me out for a walk!

Ironing madness

Ironing's one of those boring jobs.... but I've been trying to build in a few more steps by putting each item away as I iron it.  This means a few more walks across the landing, a bit more time, but added 500 steps to my pedometer that evening.

Treat - walk - walk - treat

Chocolate in the evenings is a bit of a vice of mine, so this week I didn't buy any at the supermarket.  Instead, if I really, really want some, I have to walk to the local shop.  This has the double bonus of saving me calories when I can't face going out and burning some off on the days I do!

Parking mayhem

It makes me laugh when I pass our local gym, and cars are gridlocked just outside it.  The same people who are so desperate to park so close are inside on running machines - crazy!  Park as far away as you can from the shop, school, doctor, whereever, and add another couple of hundred steps to your day.

Walking the school run

This makes a difference to me of about 4,000 steps a day - even in the rain we're out walking to and from school whenever I'm not working and have time.  Ditch the car - you will all feel much better for it.

I'd love to hear how you get to 10,000 steps a day, and woud really appreciate any tips!