Life with two Smalls and a fistful of daydreams

July Target List


I’m not feeling overly great about July at the moment. Maybe it’s because June ended on such a high and now I’m on the crash side. Maybe it’s because the Summer Holidays are approaching and, unlike the rest of the world, I find this very daunting rather than exciting – who knows? But it is what it is and I need to work with what I have.

With this in mind I am putting together a few little aims to try and meet, no pressure, to try to get me through the month. Sometimes goals can help.

If you follow me on Instagram you will have already seen my summer goals regarding my fashion and beauty aims:

   (And you have also now seen how shocking my handwriting is…)
Along with this, which I hope is going to help me feel better about my appearance day to day, I also want to try and use my BlendActive at least once a day – I struggle to eat fruit and I struggle to drink enough, I figure doing this will combine the two in a tasty way. Two birds, one stone. Also I love my BlendActive and using it makes me smile.

I am taking the pressure off myself to blog for the month as well – I’m not going to abandon it but I’m only going to post if I really feel like doing it. It has started to feel like a chore and I have wound myself up about not getting reviews done for books yet even though I haven’t read the books!

With that in mind I am going to try and ignore the pressure to review the books and just take the time this month to read the books. Really read them, and enjoy them. No deadlines or pressure involved. The reviews can wait until my head is in a better place.

That neatly brings me on to my reading list for the month of July. On my list for this month I have Timebomb which I started last month but didn’t finish, The Hunter’s Kind which I am super excited about, The Iron Queen which I have wanted to read for ages but keep putting off for review books and maybe also Raising Steam because it has been on my shelf for ages.

I will doubtless read some books with Tori as well, but I will let her choose those as we go along :)

We are hopefully going to use our newly acquired tent to go on some adventures in the holidays as well so that is something to look forward to – and a hopefully more hotel based break too at some point.

Fingers crossed I keep myself both busy and relaxed for the month and finish it feeling better than I have started it!

  


I have fallen out of love with 365 and think this might be my last post for a while. I will probably still take the photos, I just don’t know if I will be linking up to the linky. I will see how it goes.

For now, here is week 26 and 27 – I didn’t really have a theme for them   .

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  Arthur is four. I am not finding four a very easy age but it’s not all tantrums and rage and hitting, even if some days it feels like it.
There are good things too, laughter and cuddles and games. And obsessions.

Four year olds are very good at fixating on things – Arthur keeps singing about Transformers because one of his friends at school loves them. As far as I know Arthur has never seen a Tranformers cartoon or film in his life but still he runs around singing about them like a lunatic. But Transformers are not a true obsession. That title is reserved for four other extra special things – things that have taken over our house for the last few months and can get Artie excited with just a tiny hint…

1. Disney Cars.

Both films have been watched and rewatched, re-enacted with the hundreds of toys he has acquired, he loves the AppMates game on his iPad and the racing game on my phone. We have the PS2 game, the only poster on his wall is of the bad guys in Cars 2 & is surrounded by glow-in-the-dark Cars stars (yes, they are a thing…) and we have a fairly large collection of books as well. That’s all without going anywhere near his wardrobe…

  2. Thomas The Tank Engine.
Even longer standing than his Cars addiction is his Thomas obsession.

Before he could recognise letters or even speak in sentences, he could tell you the names of more engines than I was even aware existed. He has more trains than he knows what to do with (but never enough, obviously) and so much track that it spills out of his bedroom into the hall if I put it all out at once.

We have to regularly endure the movies and have now watched all of the original TV series several times. I still think Thomas is precocious, rude and obnoxious but there’s no telling Arthur he is anything but awesome.

3. Angry Birds

This is a fairly recent obsession – he has know about Angry Birds for a long time but in the last couple of months he has finally worked out how to play it properly. Now the trick is to get him to stop playing it. All. The. Time.

He will even spend hours watching all the Angry Birds Toonz as a ‘break’ from playing the game.

I thought I had an Angry Birds problem for a while but I haven’t got a patch on Artie!

4. Spider-Man

As I type, Arthur is sat on the sofa in full Spider-Man disguise (even his pants and socks are Spider-Man) watching something like episode 12 of The Spectacular Spider-Man season 2. He only finished watching season one two days ago. (He is also eating an Angry Birds yoghurt – the obsessions can be combined!)

I am debating getting him the comics some time soon – I think they will appeal to him and maybe help us encourage his reading for school :)

  


I had a very ambitious list for June and I didn’t quite make it, but I had a good go!

In June I read:

Read With Tori:

Charge Of The Three-Horned Monster (Dinosaur Cove Cretaceous #2) by Rex Stone, 5/5*: Good old Triceratops – lots of adventure in this story as the boys return to Dino World to explore even further.

March Of The Armoured Beasts (Dinosaur Cove Cretaceous #3) by Rex Stone, 4/5*: Possibly my least favourite of the series thus far, but still a great book. Tori enjoyed this one and I have caught her re-enacting the story with her toys since we finished it.

Flight Of The Winged Serpent (Dinosaur Cove Cretaceous #4) by Rex Stone, 5/5*: The series is back on form with this one! Really enjoyed the story and it had a quite few laugh out loud moments which are a delight to share at bedtime. Mostly I love how reading this series is teaching Tori all the dinosaur names – she can just casually drop Ankylosaurus and Quetzalcoatlus into conversation now and it is awesome.

Read Alone:

I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson, 5/5*: This book was brilliant but bizarre. It was like reading an abstract painting – it took a while to come around to the style but then suddenly you found yourself totally sucked in and unable to put it down. A story of love and how it can make you or break you, the different types of love there are – between siblings, parents, girls and boys, boys and boys, forbidden love, love that paints the sky with colours and love that tears you to pieces. I’m pretty sure my mum would hate it because of the style but then I thought I would too and I adored it. Well worth all the hype that preceded it.

The Gospel Of Loki by Joanne M. Harris, 5/5*: This was the House of Blog Book Club read and it was BRILLIANT! I will review it properly soon! (I suck at doing things on time atm…)

This brings me up to 29 out of 60 completed books (yes, I upped my goal a bit) – still on track but I need to keep going!

I did abandon a book this month – Vicious Cycle by Katie Ashley – I was really looking forward to this one but it was a lot of hard work for not much reward and I gave up pretty quickly. Maybe I was too hasty but I don’t think I will be picking it back up.

I have also started reading Timebomb by Scott K. Andrews which is really good and I am mid-way through listening to Zaria Fierce and The Secret of Gloomwood Forest by Keira Gillet which is an interesting adventure.

 


CMAnNothing Else Matters by Metallica


I have my brother to thank for my love of Metallica – he copied me a few of his CDs and I listened to them repeatedly for years.

For my 21st birthday a friend took me to see them on tour and they were incredible – sounded just like their records, full of energy and the pyrotechnics were very impressive! I like to count that as Tori’s first ever music gig as I as about 5 months pregnant with her at the time.

I don’t blanket love everything by Metallica, there are a couple of albums I really dislike, but the songs I do like I really like. This is one of those tracks – I was so pleased when they played it at the gig :)

 


If you have Spotify you can follow the playlist for my Music Alphabet by clicking this link – I will update it each time I add a blog post :)

Playlist so far:

Any Dream Will Do by Jason Donovan

Blown Away by Carrie Underwood

Cello Wars by The Piano Guys

Don’t Belong by Cold

Everybody’s Wrong by Hinder

Five Colours In Her Hair by McFly

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun by Cydni Lauper

Head Over Feet by Alanis Morissette

I Owe You Nothing by Bros

Just The Way I’m Feeling by Feeder

Killer Queen by Queen

Lullaby by Nickleback

My Happy Ending byAvril Lavigne

Nothing Else Matters by Metallica


CMAmMy Happy Ending by Avril Lavigne


Oh Avril. Avril, Avril, Avril.

If I could only listen to one person’s music for the rest of my life, I would probably choose Avril Lavigne. Her albums provide a soundtrack to my life – from learning all the words to her first single (Complicated) in 2002 before I even heard the track thanks to an obsessed best friend, through college, university, relationship break ups and start ups, kids and beyond until her latest album which brought together her work and that of Chad Kroeger from Nickleback and created a dream come true for me. (You should have seen me when I heard those two were getting married – I was stupidly happy!)

I went to see her in concert on her Black Star Tour with Liberty and loved it – she lived up to her records and had the most sparkly microphones I have ever seen!

It was tough to pick just one track to put in my alphabet – I must have changed my mind about twenty times – but I eventually went for My Happy Ending because it is one of my favourites and I have amusing memories of singing it with my friend from uni on the Lips Xbox karaoke game when he came to visit. I think it was for Tori’s christening but I may be wrong.

I have a forever girl crush on Avril Lavigne and her music and I hope she feels well enough soon to get back to recording and just enjoying life. Lyme Disease sounds nasty.

 


If you have Spotify you can follow the playlist for my Music Alphabet by clicking this link – I will update it each time I add a blog post :)

Playlist so far:

Any Dream Will Do by Jason Donovan

Blown Away by Carrie Underwood

Cello Wars by The Piano Guys

Don’t Belong by Cold

Everybody’s Wrong by Hinder

Five Colours In Her Hair by McFly

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun by Cydni Lauper

Head Over Feet by Alanis Morissette

I Owe You Nothing by Bros

Just The Way I’m Feeling by Feeder

Killer Queen by Queen

Lullaby by Nickleback

My Happy Ending byAvril Lavigne


I had a theme for this week but I decided on Monday that I didn’t like it so I had a theme-free week instead!

166I wandered a different way home to usual after the school run today and rediscovered this gorgeous bit of street art down a side road near the big church in town. I just love the colours in it!

167Arthur came barreling out of pre-school today desperate to show me his Stick Man that he had made! He was very chuffed with himself.

168My foxgloves are flowering outside my front window! I love how they are all white or pink apart from the one nearest that couldn’t decide and so is half-and-half instead!

169Arthur is starting to really enjoy his swimming lessons on a Thursday now and we have finally reached a point where he will happily shower afterwards without crying the place down because he doesn’t like the water on his head! Also, the last few days it has occurred to me that he is starting to really look like a little boy now – he is losing his baby fat and starting to look a lot more grown up.

I don’t think I like it.

170Ah, BritMums Live Day 1 – the bit where we broke a world record by wrapping people in loo roll. Or, in the case of Zoe and I, by wrapping a Twirlywoo in loo roll. I haven’t laughed so hard in a very, very long time. Nor have I drunk so much wine since… probably last BritMums.

171Day 2 of Britmums and I got all productive despite MORE wine and made myself this foxy hair clip which I love and have been wearing ever since!

172As per tradition – my BritMums weekend was rounded off by a visit to our favourite play park – Hanley Park Sensory Playground in Stoke-On-Trent. It’s too far to go to normally so collecting me from the train station gives us the perfect excuse to go and have a play. This moment is where Caius stopped running and tried to let the hamster wheel settle, forgetting that laws of physics meant it would settle with his stretched out weight evenly balanced… Tori was afraid he was going to fall on her. It was hilarious.

 


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