Sunday, 21 August 2016

It's The Final Countdown!

Some unrelated but rather pretty flowers.
Guys, I am due to have a baby in five days. FIVE DAYS. Whether I have a baby in five days or not is another matter altogether, but I cannot believe that the final days are creeping up! I've been trying to keep as busy as possible, and we successfully managed to visit my family up north for a family wedding - much to the surprise of most of my family! I'm pretty sure everyone was certain I'd chicken out, but the lure of a parmo was greater than my fear of giving birth on the side of the M5! 

Since getting back from the north, I haven't really ventured out too far from home and instead have tried to keep on top of boring householdy things like tidying up and sorting through all the tiny baby clothes I have recently acquired! I've also had a little baby shower thrown for me this week, which was a nice surprise. I'd like to say that I have some nice, relaxing things planned for before the baby arrives but I'm more likely to be fancying a nap than a manicure at this stage! 

In all honesty, I don't think I'll have my bundle of joy by my due date, as I've just got a feeling he'll be late! Dylan came the day after he was due, but as each baby is different you can't really compare that sort of thing. Who knows, he might surprise us all and be an early bird - watch this space! 

Chelsea x

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Thursday, 18 August 2016

Back To School Without Breaking The Bank*

With the return to school looming, many parents will be shopping to get their kids ready for the start of the new term. This can be expensive as all the necessary items – clothing and stationary, for instance – mount up in cost. If your child is going to a boarding school like Rossall, where they will be away from home, there may be more to keep in mind that a public school, for example. However, regardless of where your child is going there are a few simple tips you can follow, which can help you get your kids ready to go back to school, without breaking the bank.

Spread the cost

Firstly, try not to buy everything in one go. Consider spreading the cost by buying things piece by piece. Doing this, while doing the weekly grocery shop, for instance, means you can include the cost of different items, such as stationary, pencil cases and lunchboxes, as part of your weekly budget.

Monday, 15 August 2016

Have You Noticed The Change in Office Etiquette?

When I carried out my internship last summer, it was my first venture in to office life. I'd always worked in a customer-facing environment before that, so it was quite a culture shock to suddenly sit down at a desk for eight hours a day. To be honest, I had based most of my office knowledge on The Office, but luckily I haven't had to endure any David Brent characters, yet... 
When Calibre asked me to write about the changing behaviour of the office, I couldn't believe how recent some major changes had been! It seems insane to think that less than 10 years ago, people would smoke in the office. As a pregnant lady, I'm really glad that I didn't have to sit in a stuffy room with stale smoke affecting me and my baby! I didn't really think that drinking in the office was officially a 'thing' either, it just seemed like something Mad Men did to keep Jon Hamm looking suave as Don Draper. The office I work in is predominantly women-led so I could imagine wine sales going through the roof if we still had office-drinking in place today. Not sure how many calls we would answer, though.  

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Win! A bundle of Scooby Doo DVDS!

It's finally here! I'm heading off up North on Friday! As I'll be busy fitting in visiting my entire family, attending a wedding and catching up with my Northern buddies, I thought it would be the perfect time to host a little giveaway. I've always loved Scooby Doo - in fact we even had a Great Dane with similar markings when I was growing up - as it reminds me of my Dad a bit. He likes to think he does a cracking Scooby impression, so whenever I think of Scooby dooby Doo, it just makes me think of him! 

Anyhoo, if you'd like to be in with a chance to three Scooby collections - with a whopping 13 episodes and 5 feature length films to keep the kids (big and small!) entertained - all you have to do is enter the competition below! Competition ends 19th August, so don't hesitate to get your entries in!

Good luck everyone! 
-Open to UK participants only 
-Competition ends 19/08/16
-1 (one) winner will receive 1 (one) Scooby-Doo! 2 DVD Summer Edition (containing a double bill of content) and (one) Scooby-Doo! 3 DVD Summer Edition and (one) 13 Spooky Tales
-The prize will be delivered to the winner within 28 days of confirmation of delivery address
-There is no cash alternative to Prizes which are subject to availability, non-transferable, non-negotiable and non-refundable. Prizes may not be sold, offered for sale or used in connection with any other competition or promotion by the Prize winner
-The promoter of this competition is Fetch Dynamic Ltd
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Sunday, 7 August 2016

Better than Linen

I honestly cannot believe that Joe and I have been married for four years. Four whole years! I like to think that we've already overcome so many obstacles and that it'll be plain sailing from here on, but with a new baby arriving anytime soon I know life as we've come to know it will be turned upside down yet again. But, if anything, I know that with Joe by my side I'm a better parent, a nicer person and far happier than ever before. Still pretty lousy at cooking and cleaning, but that's Joe's fault for being such a good chef/hausfrau. 

Thanks for putting up with me, Joe - here's to another year of wedded bliss! 

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

TMTW #13 - It's All So Quiet...

Best bits? It feels like so long ago now, but my dad visited! It was so great to see him, and Dylan really enjoyed our sort of camping trip too. 

My favourite thing? Leona only went and got married - I was really honoured when she invited me and the boys to her wedding, although I'm certain she only did it because she likes Dylan more than me. 

Any regrets? Not blogging or reading more! You might have saw my recent post about how far behind I am with my Goodreads challenge, but I've really not been helping myself. I guess I can blame a certain Pokemon app for that... 

What's in store for August? Well, hopefully a baby! We're also driving up North to attend a family wedding, sooo... feeling slightly insane for even considering a 6hr trip on the motorway at 38 weeks pregnant. What else? We have our anniversary on Sunday, and I'd also like to squeeze in as much time as possible with Dylan before his baby brother arrives - and before he starts school in September, sob! 

So July was a bit quiet, wasn't it? My apologies for that! I feel like I haven't really done a lot this month, but we've slowly been getting everything prepared for the baby's arrival so that's all good. I also went swimming with Dylan for the first time since he were a tiny baby, and it was actually lovely. It was so nice seeing his confidence grow as we were in the water, and I really hope we can continue going - it's a great way to break the time up over the weekend too! 

How was your July? 

Chelsea x

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Monday, 18 July 2016

The 'Save The Goodreads Challenge' TBR

I feel like I'm being maybe a biiiit optimistic in giving myself a TBR list, but I'm really failing with my reading goal this year. Apparently, I'm 7 books behind schedule, which is really naff. Last year I managed to beat my target by 6 books, so I guess technically I'm only 1 book behind schedule, right? Right? I'm just going to tell myself that's how it works. 
I recently joined the Kindle crew, after years of having it drilled into me that *real* books are best during my degree, and I'm so glad I did. As much as I love buying books and adoring all the beautiful cover designs - a Kindle is just a million times easier to chuck in my bag and not feel weighed down by a hardback or an 800 page epic. I do find I need to keep myself away from the Kindle bargains, as I do already have 10 or so ebooks I haven't started, as well as a sizeable amount of physical books in my TBR shelves. 
I've picked out three physical books to read to save the ol' Goodreads challenge, and they are The Girl With All The Gifts by M. R. Carey, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews and Asking For It by Louise O'Neill - the latter I forgot to photograph, doy. Asking For It is actually a lend from the library, so I should probably start that one first, and I'm hoping to head to Bath to see the author give a talk so yeah, need to read it. 
My Kindle TBR picks include It's Not Me It's You by Mhari McFarlane, Hitman Anders and the Meaning of It All by Jonas Jonasson, The Muse by Jessie Burton, and The Yellow Room by Jess Valance. A good mix of books there, I'd say. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that I think I'll enjoy all of these titles - I remember the publicity trail for It's Not Me It's You sparking my interest when it was first published, and I already know I enjoy Jonasson's style of writing. Jessie Burton's sophomore title has been hotly anticipated since the release of The Miniaturist and I'm already hearing good things about The Muse. I haven't read anything by Jess Valance before, but The Yellow Room is already getting 4.3 star reviews, which is pretty good going, and I love a gripping YA novel.
So, there we have it. Seven titles to get me back on schedule somewhat, and hopefully getting me out of this reading slump I seem to have found myself in. If you're on Goodreads, let's be friends and you can keep an eye on my reading progress too! 
What are you reading? Anything you'd recommend for my growing TBR pile? 
Chelsea x
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