Starting School

Hello there lovely people! I haven’t blogged for a while have I? I went and got myself a job last September and I’ve been busy busy busy!!!  I’m now a receptionist at a primary school. I’ve settled in now and I think I finally know what I’m doing!

I’ve been wanting to blog but wasn’t sure what about. I don’t review a peanut because someone sent me a free packet!! So I’ll blog what I know about! Primary school! I am going to give you hints and tips, not just as a parent, but from the inside! Ready?

So your child is either starting primary school for the first time, or possibly going back after a Summer break. Whether you’re a parent who is dreading the thought of your child starting school or whooping with joy to get them in because 6 hours ‘peace’ sounds amazing, then I am here to help you!

Let’s pretend that we’re all new. Your child will have various items given to them. A book bag, maybe a water bottle? You will have bought the obligatory school coloured jumper, cardigan, blazer etc. The most important thing of all with these items? Label them! Please, label them! You don’t have to sew a fancy pants embroidered name label – a biro and a tag is fine. These items will go missing! No they won’t?? Yes they will!!! Your child, at some point, will misplace a jumper/shirt/trousers! My eldest at 7 has bought home other people’s PE shorts, she’s worn someone else’s dress (how on earth she didn’t notice it was waaaaaay to tight I don’t know!) At our school, all lost items end up in the lost property. If it’s in there and has not got a child’s name in it,  it ends up going to the charity shop. I once saw a Superdry coat head off! Label everything – label your child to be honest!!

Make friends! The mums/dads/carers at the school gate are your friends! You will spend every school drop off and pick up with these people for SEVEN years! It’s really hard to avoid them! These are the parents of the children who your child will play with. Life is so much easier when everyone says hi to each other!

If your child is sick/has an appointment/other and won’t be in attendance – phone the school and tell them! If you’re child does not turn up and the school can’t get hold of you they can actually report your child as missing. Programme the schools number in your phone.

Your child will be given newsletters, notes, dates to remember, trip permission forms and many other items. Keep them safe!! Schools have a lot of information to give out to various years throughout the school! If you have a form which needs to be back before a certain date, it’s for a reason! Let’s face it, no one wants to be the person who forgot it was non uniform day…..!!

Teachers! Did you know the teacher of your child is human?! Talk to them about anything which concerns you. They will happily speak with you. If you can’t make drop off or pick up times, phone the school office. They will happily schedule you an appointment to speak with your child’s teacher.

If someone else is going to pick up your child, tell your child’s teacher or the school office. Our school is very strict – if no one has sent a message saying another person is picking up your child, they will not let your child go. It saves a lot of telephone calls!

Head lice! Not fun but a fact of life in school. The best advice I can give is to keep hair tied up at all times in school. Use a head lice comb once or twice per week and if your child does have any, inform the school. We send out a generic letter with advice on how to treat! “Jimmy has nits” is not appropriate on a letter….!!

Free School Meals. Some schools offer  free school meals to all of Key Stage One. This is brilliant! No packed lunches to sort out, but a free meal for your child. If your child is in KS1 and you earn under £16,190 per year, you can still apply for Free meals. The school will get a subsidiary into their budget. No one knows who gets free school meals apart from the Headteacher/Governing body, school secretary and cook. It is highly confidential. You can apply for Free School Meals by heading here.

Good luck to your child (and you!) if you start school in September. You’ll both be fine! Mrs Bash says!

Just a small snippet for now. If you have any questions, please ask below, or just comment if you wish!

Let me know how your munchkins get on – I would love to know! Now get labeling that uniform!

Love

Mrs Bash x

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Leibster Awards

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So, that Budget Food Mummy went and nominated my lil ol’ blog on the Leibster Award. An award to celebrate the ‘everyday’ man’s/woman’s blog if you will. Thank you H! You are a poppet (or as I should say, as we are both Cornish “Youm bleddy ansum maid”!

The Leibster Award rules are as follows:

– Thank the person who nominated you and link to their blog.
– Answer 10 questions given by the nominator.
– Nominate and link 10 bloggers (with less than 200 blog followers).
– Notify all the bloggers you nominated.
– Create 10 new questions for your nominees to answer.
– Drink gin (OK, I made this one up, but feel free to join in anyway!)

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So, here are my ten blogs to read and enjoy. I genuinely love these blogs (I’ve even read one from each person today to refresh).

Drumroll please…….

In no particular order…..

I give you……

The Pie Patch

Tealady Mumbles

Inside Martyn’s Thoughts

Rubbish Wife

Rachel in Real Life

Mischievous Mum

Building Beyond

MumtoAandB

MisterDoctorBeckyMark2

Life on Planet G

So there they are! Go and show them some love and read their brilliant blogs!

Here are my questions as set by Budget Food Mummy. My questions for the above bloggers are below!

1. Why did you start a blog?

Honestly? Because everyone I followed on Twitter had one!! I wanted to see what the fuss was about!

2. What is your dream job?

I’m not sure if I’m honest. I have never actually known what I wanted to do. I’ve had wonderful jobs which I have enjoyed (working with children mostly). I do love writing, so anything ‘wordy’ really!!

3. If you could visit any country in the world, where would you go?

I’ve always wanted to go to the US, specifically New York at Christmas time.

4. What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

I once owned an African Land Snail named Tallulah and I cried when she died!

5. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I have always wanted to live by the sea in Cornwall. An ambition my hubs and I both have. Hopefully that’s where we’ll be but who knows!

6. Who is your inspiration?

Tough one! I’m inspired by lots of people whether it’s someone’s compassion, someone’s strength, someone’s determination! I take a little from a lot of people!

7. Top 3 films.

Eeeek, I love films! My top 3 change daily! OK I’ll go for
– Dirty Dancing
– The Impossible
– Stealing Beauty

8. What is your most prized possession?

Apart from the obvious cliché ones like my husband, children, family and friends, if we’re talking materialistic things it’s got to be my jewellery. All of it has a special meaning or memory which is attached to it. I have the wedding and engagement ring of a great great Aunt which was given to me. I treasure them.

9. What is your most favourite post you’ve written?

That’s like saying “Which is your favourite child?”!!! I enjoyed writing all of them and always get nervous to hit ‘post’!

10. What advice would you give to a fellow blogger who has just started?

Write about what ever interests you. Don’t compare yourself with others. Just because a blog is more ‘popular’ doesn’t mean it’s better! Write what you want, when you want and don’t feel pressure to blog everyday.

So, here are my questions for my nominated bloggers.

1. What did you want to do for a job when you were a child?

2. What is or has been your line of work?

3. What are your top 3 books?

4. Where did your blog name come from?

5. What are you most proud of (apart from offspring if you have any)?

6. Who is your blogging crush?

7. Which celebrity (dead or alive) you would like to have dinner with?

8. If you could live anywhere in the UK, where would it be and why?

9. Are you a party goer or would you rather stay in?

10. And the most taxing question of all – what is your favourite biscuit and do you dunk?!

Thanks again for the nomination. I look forward to seeing all of the responses!

Thanks for reading!

Love

Mrs Bash x

Teacher Presents (again!)

It’s the time of year where I trawl around searching for a little ‘something’ for Miss B’s teachers for the end of the school year. Now I know that teacher gifts can cause great divide as to whether parents should get the teacher something or not. I am in the ‘yes’ party and I feel that the teachers and T.A’s at Miss B’s school work very hard. I can see the progress she has made, so a small gift is appropriate.

Last year I used Lotties Florigami which I wrote about here. Charlotte makes the most beautiful paper flowers. They are individually hand crafted with love and a ton of patience. If you haven’t seen her work, I urge you to take a look!

This year I thought I would go with something different. I do love hand crafted items. My lovely friend Jackie started her business ‘Maid It’ last year. Jackie is a ‘proper Cornish maid’ (hence the name) and her craft and bespoke work is just lovely. I have already bought a beautiful bag from her. The quality of work’woman’ship is outstanding.

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Jackie, this year, posted on Facebook a couple of teacher gift ideas. Homemade keyrings and brooches. They were just lovely so I ordered two brooches for each of the T.A’s and a keyring for the teacher. They arrived today and are just perfect!

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They are simple, inexpensive gifts that just say ‘thanks’! Miss B has already decided which T.A is having which colour brooch!

Jackie can be found here. Go and give her a ‘like’ and be sure to check out her other items too!

Thanks for reading!

Mrs Bash

PS. I wrote broach, but apparently it’s brooch! Go figure…..!!

**Disclosure – ‘Mrs Bash says’ received no payment for this post. Just a review of a blimmin lovely product!!**

Second Hand – yay or nay?

Second hand, pre loved, vintage – whatever you call it, with these things someone has had it before you!

I think if it’s described as ‘vintage’ it’s really old and possibly smells of damp, if it’s ‘pre loved’ it’s posh second hand and if it’s ‘second hand’, you will need to wash it first!

I love second hand stuff, no scrap that, I adore it!!

I have lost count of the bits and bobs I have acquired over the years which used to belong to someone else. It goes back to my childhood where my dad once picked up a huge climbing frame for my sister and I from a skip! A quick sand down and a paint and it was perfect!

I once had someone say to me “Would you be offended if I gave you some second hand clothes for your daughter?” No way! Bring it on!

I have had some fantastic clothes recently. My eldest daughter grows nearly weekly, so to keep her clothed could be expensive. Not if you’re me it’s not!

My friend’s daughter had 2 black bags of clothes she didn’t want and had grown out of. I took Miss B to her house, stripped her to vest and pants and tried it on. I must say here that Miss B is 6 and wears 8-9/9-10 (depending on the style). My friends daughter is a tiny 14 year old so some of the clothes are too old for Miss B. She really doesn’t need any strappy tops!

We ploughed through and came away with a bulging black sack of hoodies, t shirts, tops, trousers, shoes, coats, shorts (some brand new with tags) for £30. It worked out at less than £1 per item which included brand names! Bargain!

I always keep an eye on fb selling sites. Bundles of clothes are always popular. Recently I bought from a friend from fb, jeans, 3 pairs of shorts and a lovely dress all for £6!

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£2 for this dress! Woop!

I have had another load of stuff from a friend of mine so now she gives me ‘first dibs’ on stuff before she sells. Yesterday I had 6 items for £6 including this..

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The child this black and white dress was from wore it once to a Christening and grew out of it before wearing it again. We had it for £1!

Now, call me crazy, but I’ve even bought clothes with holes in them! Oh yes! If an item has a hole, the seller may say you can have it for nothing, which is great, especially if you need ‘old clothes’! Not me! I love a patch! Not sure if it’s fashionable to patch any longer but I love it and you can get some amazing designs! Pop in “iron on patch” into the search box on Amazon or Ebay and see!

Miss B recently fell off a zip wire and put a hole in a brand new pair of leggings. Not a problem! I bought a set of 2 rainbow patches for £1.99 (with free postage) and did this…

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I patched the knee on one side, then added the secondary patch to the other side to strengthen the knee! Jobs a goodun!

I also buy second hand for me. I love rummaging around charity shops. My last bargain was a fab going out top for £3.

I always pass on things my girls have grown out of. Some I have sold (albeit very cheaply) or I have just given. The best thing with buying second hand is I get a lot of use from it. I lend things to my 7 year old niece who then gives it back for me to use for my youngest daughter. The dresses above will end up being worn by at least 4 children, more if I pass it on again!

So how about you? Do you love a second hand bargain or would you rather not? What’s the best bargain you’ve ever had? As usual please pop your comments below!

Thanks for reading!

Love

Mrs Bash

How I met my hubs…

There has been a bit of a craze recently for blogging about how people met their partners. I’m going to join in!

When I left college I managed to get a job as a nanny through knowing the child’s parents through my parents (it’s not what you know….!)

I was a live out nanny and commuted the huge distance of 4 miles to work. I started in 1999 and was given to look after a 12 week old baby with no relevant experience or knowledge! I know!!! Anyway, turns out it was the best job ever and through studying childcare whilst working with the baby and a bit of “winging it” we both survived. I realise now it was like being a parent but with a full 10 hours sleep, weekends off and more patience! (Oh and getting paid a healthy amount!)

It was through being a nanny I first met who was to be my future husband. As a nanny, I didn’t just look after the baby, I was asked to complete a few chores for the very busy parents. I would do the ironing, a bit of cooking, cleaning etc.

One of the jobs would be to go to the local Post Office and pay car tax, buy stamps, post items, get a birthday card and so on. In the Post Office was a man! A very nice man! His name was Andy.

I saw him on occasional Post Office visits throughout my time as a nanny and always liked him. The conversations between us (through bullet proof glass!) got longer over a couple of years until I found myself trying to think of an excuse to go in. It wasn’t too hard as I have an obsession with stationery (read here). I would buy a book of stamps, a posting box, pens pencils etc until my bedroom at home was starting to resemble a mini Post Office!!)

I finally plucked up the courage and was brave enough to push my phone number under the counter slot one day.

I changed my job in 2004 (unfortunately when the ‘baby’ started school I wasn’t needed any longer!) My new job took me 200 yards up the road to the local pre school (I never travel far!).

In 2004 our pre school and his Post Office entered into the local carnival. Whilst I was dressed as a pirate, Andy wandered over to me and gave me a lolly to the giggles of my colleagues and one saying “He fancies you”!

Well yes he did!

We went on our first date in August 2004 and that was it!

We married in 2007 with our daughters arriving in 2009 and 2012.

My nanny baby was pageboy as I would never have met Andy if it wasn’t for his brave parents! (He’s now 16 and seems to have survived my nannying ‘skills’!)

I now live above the Post Office and now the stationery is free (not the stamps/postage or car tax unfortunately!)

I must point out that when we finally were together, I returned all of the unwanted stationery to him and got my money back! I’d spent nearly £50!

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Here we are on holiday a few years ago. One of my favourite photographs of us.

So go on, tell me how you met your partners. I’m a sucker for those stories! Please comment below!

Thanks for reading!

Love

Mrs Bash x

Are the “Terrible Twos” really terrible?

The answer? Is yes!! So you may have noticed I have not blogged for a while. I haven’t given up and I have missed it. There is a reason for my absence – the youngest person in our family turned two in October and boy oh boy did life change! It’s like a switch was flipped!

The terrible twos are hard! This is my first experience (despite having an elder daughter). Miss B was a laid back baby and nothing phased her, she is still like that at 6 and is, for the most part, an ‘easy’ child. And then there is Mini B! Mini B is little. Her 2-3 age clothes hang off her, she weighs 27lbs and is 85 cms tall. Hubs calls her ‘Dinky’ and it suits her! Her personality? Her personality is as big as the sun on a scorching summer day! She is feisty, bright and loud! A huge ball of energy. She flits from activity to activity and is a lover of life. Now times all this with tantrums, various forms of “NO Mummy” and throwing herself on the floor in different locations. I’m not going to lie, it’s been tough! Really tough! For 24 hours a day 7 days a week for about two months I have been at my wits end. It’s the tantrums over the little things. She wanted a packet of crisps at 8am once. I said “No because your breakfast is ready”. Cue the packet of crisps being launched across the kitchen, a knee drop and sobbing! Oh the joys! So I did what I had to do, I got tough. Like, really tough! I know some of the tantrums are through sheer frustration (on her part and mine!!) and annoyance that she can’t communicate what she wants to say, but to me, occasionally, she is being a pain!

You know what? Getting tough worked. After about a week of being “tough love” mum, I now have a different child! The tantrums have lessened and her and I are a lot happier. It has been hard and there have been times when I have just wanted to lock myself away and cry, but I persevered and it worked! We have introduced a “time out spot”, I don’t make empty threats, they are followed through and good behaviour is rewarded (usually stickers) and bad behaviour is ignored or earns time out (depends on the severity).

Mini B is still a tour de force and is a miniature ball of fun, but her personality shines brighter now without the many tantrums

Tell me I am not alone in this! Give me your stories in the comments box! Have your two-year-olds broken you?

Thanks for reading

Love

Mrs Bash

When Sock Monkey came to stay….

Sock Monkey is Miss B’s class mascot. He’s been doing the rounds through her class over the last term and today it was Miss B’s turn. She appeared from her class at 3.15pm this afternoon holding Sock Monkey aloft and hollering “Mummy, look what I’VE got”!

Now as most people know, you have to write something interesting in the book. Sock Monkey HAS to enjoy your house the most! I took Miss B across to our church (next to the school) as I was going in there anyway to photograph the poppy displays. I duly took a photo of Miss B and Sock Monkey next to a giant poppy ready to print and stick in the book with a few sentences.

It was all going so well….

We got home, I sat Mini B in front of Peppa Pig and Miss B wrote some beautiful sentences for the book.

Then something happened. Miss B thought it was a brilliant idea to use the loo whilst wearing roller skates and holding Sock Monkey! Who would like to guess what happened next…?

I have written a letter to Miss B’s teacher. It goes like this…

Dear Mr ********

We have a confession re: Sock Monkey. Miss B decided to use our bathroom whilst wearing roller skates (as you do) and holding Sock Monkey. The inevitable happened and poor Sock Monkey nose dived (with no real style or finesse) straight into the toilet bowl! Miss B screamed and I think I heard a yelp from Sock Monkey! Poor little thing was bought to me by Miss B (still wearing skates) whilst I was lovingly preparing chicken nuggets (call me Super mum!)
I’ll brush over the fact that Miss B had already emptied her bladder into our loo, and I’ll try and laugh that she dripped the sodden monkey through my hallway, dining room and kitchen.
Needless to say Sock Monkey has had a deep clean in the washing machine. He has hung out (literally) in my airing cupboard overnight and is now as fresh as a daisy for his next visit.
Please find enclosed his unofficial photo.

Regards,

Here is Sock Monkey’s unofficial photo –

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And here is Sock Monkey in his present environment.

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Sock Monkey has bought a lot of laughter on this cold and wet day – mainly to the adults!

I really hope he dries overnight tonight and I really hope the class teacher has a sense of humour!

Thanks for reading!

Love

Mrs Bash

Thank you!

Thank you. Two simple words which can mean so much. Someone opens a door for you? Thank you! A person gives you a huge hug after you’ve lost someone. Thank you.

I say thank you all the time! Yesterday I said it a lot as it was my birthday. I said thank you for my cards, gifts, messages etc. I think when someone takes time out if their busy lives to do something for you, you say thank you.

Well most people do….

I have a bug bear. Actually it’s a huge one. The thank you note. Mini B and I have birthdays within two days of each other, so I duly sit down after the excitement has died down and write thank you notes for all gifts received. I know who bought what as I sit with a pad and pen writing each person’s name next to the gift as it is opened. I don’t buy expensive fancy notelet’s, just something to convey thanks! They’re not long, just a simple:

“Dear ****,
Thank you for the *insert gift here*. It was very kind of you. We/she/I loved it.
With love
*appropriate name*”

Times a version of that note a few times and there you have it. You’ve been lucky enough to receive something nice (or not!) and the person who gave it to you is pleased you like it!

Am I the only one who does this? Now don’t get me wrong, I have received some beautiful thank you notes. They are always gratefully received, but I have also received nothing. Now I know not everyone may have time to write a note, so a text message (in this modern time) is acceptable and even a Facebook message is fine as the item has been acknowledged. But nothing? To me, that is rude!

I have bought beautiful presents for people and have heard nothing! It annoys me so much, I have contacted them and said “Did you like the ****?”! “Oh yeah, thanks!” is the reply! I shouldn’t have to chase!

My etiquette is possibly old fashioned, but I think in this day and age it’s easier to contact people more than ever!

So do you write thank you notes? Do you like receiving them? Am I expecting too much?

Tell me what you think!

Love

Mrs Bash

PS: Whilst I was writing this, Mini B asked for a banana. As I gave it to her she said “Thank you mummy!” She’s two….

Oven Pride

As some of you know, I love to cook! I do the mundane everyday cooking but my favourite is baking.

My most recent bakes include this:

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These

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And these

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I love the pleasure of eating them all sharing with friends and family!

There is a huge downside to all this cooking. It’s the ying and yang of cooking – the cleaning of the oven! Words can not convey how much I despise this job! I’ve done the oven a few times myself and moaned and grumbled the whole time. I can’t stand the smell of the industrial strength products or the texture of greasy wire brushes. Yuk yuk yuk! I have a slate floor, so just kneeling in front of the oven alter is enough to give me back ache and freezing cold legs. You see? Awful job!

Then someone popped up on my Twitter news feed! Duchy Oven Clean! Yes, there are people who will CLEAN YOUR OVEN FOR YOU! A person will appear and you can just watch them do it! How amazing is that?!

I DM’d them faster than it takes to scoff a sausage roll!

I have a double oven (Range master Professional if there are any oven boffs present!) I don’t use the side oven a huge amount so only needed the manky fan oven cleaning.

Then Matt appeared! He is an oven cleaning angel! In he came carrying a bag of lotions and potions to bring my sad dirty oven back to life. They promise to bring your oven back to “near showroom condition”! I didn’t believe this for one moment….!

Well Matt dived head first (literally) in to my oven! Did he give it a quick wipe around? Oh no, he produced a small drill and took the sides off! He was going where no one had ever been before!

The sides and shelves disappeared into his van (I assume to be soaked in some kind of Harry Potter magic solution) and then off Matt went, scrubbing, scraping, wiping and spraying until every last bit of burnt on food was gone! Duchy Oven Clean use 100% eco friendly products so there was no smell of chemicals! Hurrah!

Look at him go!

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Look at the colour of the water in the bucket! Eeek!

Not only did Matt emerse himself on the inside of the oven, he also cleaned the front and made the stainless steel shine!

Matt worked for two and a half hours on the oven because I am a disgusting toad who hates oven cleaning he is an oven angel!

Look at my oven!!!

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It is exactly as I bought it! I swear I could take it back to the showroom and they’d think I had never used it!!

So thankyou Duchy Oven Clean! Thankyou for doing the job I hate and thankyou for doing it so brilliantly!

Find Duchy Oven Clean here!

If you book a clean, tell them Mrs Bash sent you!

Love

Mrs Bash

**Duchy Oven Clean cover the Cornwall area, if you live in Scotland, it’s quite a long journey for them**