Bright eyes

I love these two weeks of the year, Halloween followed by Bonfire Night; it just brings out the child in me, lots of happy memories and things to look forward to, and it feels like Christmas and the promise of more family time is creeping up too.

Speaking of family time we were lucky to have coincided Mr B’s holidays with the Roker Park Illuminations. We both remember this from our childhoods and when we saw it was on again this week we planned a little trip out. We weren’t disappointed, the Alice in Wonderland theme was lovely, it was totally unspoiled as there were only a handful of stalls and food vans and there were just lots and lots of little bright eyed children enjoying the displays. Joss knows the words lights, bunny rabbit and cat and so she was very chatty. We bought a little glow wand for on the way home and enjoyed some quality time on a really lovely evening!

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Gathering items for an Autumn box

I blogged about treasure baskets a while back. Today we wrapped up warm and wrapped Joss in our winter wooly sling and headed out for a walk.

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We gathered items for an Autumn treasure box, leaves, pinecones and conkers, a seed head, and other nice bits and bobs that we can explore together. I have in mind to create a lion picture with yellow and orange leaves for the mane, I think we might also gather a big pile of leaves for in our yard and play with the wooden animals in them on a nicer day! I really enjoyed going out as a family today, and having a purpose in mind, to gather items, made it a really worthwhile fun walk!

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Toddler Play Monday and Autumn Fun

For this week’s Toddler Play Monday another blogger, the lovely Anna from In The Playroom, is picking up the Meme mantle with a great idea for cooking with kids, but I do have a quick idea to share. We saw lots of ideas on pinterest and I liked the idea of a threading project for Joss. This was a very quick activity which we tried one work morning when I was getting my hair dried! We got a piece of ribbon, and cut two large toilet roll inners up into inch thick pieces, Joss enjoyed threading them onto the ribbon and I think next time we’ll decorate them with some washi tape to make it more eye catching!

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I couldn’t resist sharing this photo from this weekend, I find this time of year tough for the weather and dark days but there’s something really fun about wrapping up warm and heading to the coast for a blustery icecream!

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there and back

What’s the Story?

This weeks What’s the Story? is a very simple one, a photo from earlier this week taken on a walk. Joss has just started to look up when we’re out and about, looking for stars, aeroplanes and clouds. Mr B and I love this walk that we do, I’ve often blogged about it. We like to spot things we haven’t seen before, seasonal changes and of course patterns in the clouds!

When I was younger my parents used to bemoan the fact that we kids weren’t interested in the world around us, now I know that comes with age!

So what do you see in this photo?

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At first I pointed it out because I saw an elephant, but once Mr B had spotted the crocodile I saw it more clearly too, snap snap!



Children’s Centre Funding Proposals

This week at work I was engaged in responding to Budget Proposals around Adult Social Care. In doing some research and reading I came across a campaign urging me to respond to proposals around our local children’s centres. I have blogged about their importance before here.

The local campaign page can be found here:

The Facts

  • The proposed budget cuts may result in a 56% reduction in Gateshead Sure Start centre funding.
  • If these cuts go ahead some of Gateshead Sure Start centres may be closed.
  • It is not known yet what the criteria will be for closing centres; it may be down to areas of higher disadvantage or it may be down to current centre usage.
  • Sure Start staff members may face disciplinary action if they help with this campaign.

You however, can help!

I was doing some further reading around policy and development this week for a secondment I applied for recently, more on that later, but I came across a great read arguing for longer term thinking about children’s services, you can read more here

This was my response on Facebook:

As their parents face cuts in other areas of their lives, job losses, reduced family budgets and increasing prices the idea of cutting their children’s opportunities to access play and learning facilities that support their development, whilst often supporting parents’ mental health and opportunities to engage with other parents is not a sustainable long term solution. Children’s Centres should be seen as a long term community asset, and other options for their future explored. As a new parent last year I was offered no antenatal classes, there were no support services for new parents, and I had three health visitors in six months. The Children’s Centre baby massage class was where I learned to parent, the sensory rooms provided free opportunities to talk to other new parents and the brilliant parent outreach workers provided a friendly welcome and sympathetic ear. I fear for new parents who couldn’t access these opportunities, there is very little available for under fives outside of them.

Please do respond to similar consultations in your own local authority areas and get involved in the debate about funding our children’s futures, its vital we speak up now before it’s too late.

Cowl not scowl

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I’ve mentioned before I like crochet but I’m not very good at it and tend to go off track a bit and get bored, hence making smaller projects rather than the blankets that I love but would take me the next five years to complete. This wee cowl took around five hours, not bad for an amateur and was a good excuse to practice the basics, it’s made of a chain 100, then a row of double crochet, a row of treble and another double, a row of three doubles and three chains repeating to make some little holes, and then the first three rows repeated, and joined with a darning needle. I am quite pleased with it now I’ve seen it on her!

All About Me

I was tagged in this All About Me meme by the lovely Chantelle from Mamamummymum which originated on the wonderful Gina’s Cold Tea and Smelly Nappies blog

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First of tell us your name and what you do……

I am Angela, Mammy to Joss, wife to Alex, part time charity project manager, part time student, full time ‘tired busy but just keeps going’ person!

I live at home with…..

Alex, Joss and our dog Toby. I’m writing this from home on a wet and windy day, I look knackered, but on a good day we look like this:

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My favourite thing to do is…..

Heading along to the Farm at the end of our street for a walk, to feed the animals and a breakfast in the cafe is always a welcome treat on a day off

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My favourite thing to eat is……
Ooh, tough one, I just love to eat! If I really had to choose then homemade pizza, I love bread and cheese!

When I get cross I……

Stay really very quiet for a while, then I explode, I’m not proud of it but am learning slowly to get a handle on it!

Sometimes I worry because….

I worry, that’s right folks, I am an anxious sort of person generally so I get caught up easily in worries, and then worry about my worrying. Sometimes it feels like I carry my worries around in a suitcase and sometimes I get them out and unpack them to get some space, I am learning to leave things out of the suitcase and forget and move on about others.

My favourite book is……

Alice in Wonderland, young or old it’s pure magical escapism, and the fancy dress options are endless!

My favourite toy is…..

My tablet, as I use it all the time for uni work, but my favourite of Joss’ toys is her Lego, I very much get involved in playtime and am a big kid at heart!

I dislike…..

Empty chocolate boxes, dark winter days and itchy scratch wool

When I grow up I want to be…..

A fun parent to this lovely lady with lots of creative ideas in all aspects of life!

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So now I am to tag 5 others to take part, if you’d like me to tag you please leave a comment!

My first tagee is Jen Palmer from http://www.smilesandtrials.net – hi Jen!

And finally, don’t forget my competition to win one of five Nursery Trader VIP passes is still running here!