Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Another scrapbook

Ok, so I still haven't actually started the baby scrapbook but my mind is always full of ideas on what to make next, sometimes before I have even begun one of my projects in waiting. I haven't started on the baby book and my mind is already on making a scrapbook for a dear friend of mine before I leave. She loves sending me images of those someecards via Whatsapp. We both love sarcasm and the ecards make us laugh. It particularly makes her happy as she's been going through a pretty rough patch both in her personal and professional life. My idea was to put them all together in a book and then give it to her before I leave. The idea has been on the back burner for a while because now I've decided to add our love of lists to the book. I bought her a copy of Listography for her birthday (or maybe it was an Eid gift). On her trips to Cyprus, we would agree to work on a list and message each other what we had written. Recently I came across a blog by Moorea Seal who is undertaking a 52 lists project whereby she writes a list once a week on a different topic she comes up with. I want to do something similar for my friend's scrapbook. There are some other ideas I have for the book but I don't want to let the cat out of the bag completely.

Now of course, all I have to do is stop writing about it and actually start making it!

Image below from here.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Baby book scrapbooks

Back when my little man was a newborn I made good use of the time he slept and made him a baby book. I've been wanting to do the same for my chunky monkey but just haven't gotten around to it. There are so many projects I want to do I don't know where to start. And my maternity leave is coming to end very soon.

I decided to spend more time on it tonight for a few reasons:

1. Maternity leave ends on 2nd June
2. The printer is in my brother's room and he's out so I can print without disturbing him
3. I didn't feel like crocheting tonight my search for all things cute, I came across some gorgeous free fonts. I have no idea how to make those free font picture thingummy things that all these other craft blogs put up so I just pinned them to my TypoLetteringraphy board on Pinterest. On my travels through cyberspace, I also came across two absolutely gorgeous blogs: mysunnysideuplife and Smart School House. They are definitely worth checking out.

Now, instead of writing a post, trawling the net more more cute, free fonts and just generally doing everything but, I need to get started on that scrapbook. I have everything I need put together. I suppose it's the getting started.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Washi Tape Notebook

I went into Paperchase a while ago ( I can never go in without coming out with something) and then went a little crazy with the washi tape.

Saturday, 18 May 2013


I have a job in Abu Dhabi!! With a private school. And everything seems to be happening all at once. We need to be packed up and ready for the move by the end of August. It doesn't seem like there's a lot of time between now and then, especially since I have to go back to work after the half term holiday. So much to do and so very little time. It's exciting though! 

I've started looking at properties to rent, shipping companies to transport our things and make sure all my paperwork is in order. For a while I was really beginning to lose hope that anything would happen this year and really thought I would have to try again next year. I had started looking at jobs in November and things only really took off this last month. The benefits I have been offered are really good: shipping expenses, flights out to AD and annual flights home for the entire family, education for my children, an accommodation allowance, furniture allowance, sponsorship and medical insurance for the family. Everything seems to be falling into place. 

It's still a little hard to believe it really is happening...

Friday, 17 May 2013

French Children Don't Throw Food

Much as I love reading books, I don't like writing book reviews. I enjoy reading them, I just don't write them. And so, this is not a book review as such. I saw this book by Pamela Druckerman in Tesco a while back and was taken in by the title.

It then sat on my shelf amongst a pile of other books waiting to be read. I finally picked it up about two weeks ago and somehow, despite having two kids and a million other things I have to do, managed to finish it in under a week (which is pretty fast for me now). I have to say I really enjoyed it. I wish it had been written four years ago - there are some parenting tip gems in there, from the Pause to get your little one to teach themselves to sleep; great eating tips (3 times a day plus a gouter with no snacking in between) to paying attention to what you eat. Oh, and not feeling guilty about having me time.

Of course, there are some things in there that I don't always agree with but that goes with every book written about parenting. You just take the good and discard all the rest.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Two more places... add to my growing list of places I have breast-fed:

1. Busaba disabled toilet
2. Staff room at work

Guilt-free "Me" time

I went out with a friend to my local Westfield today to buy a birthday present for another friend. We were only there for two hours but it felt to go out sans baby and 4 year old. I so needed the break. When I had my little man, I used to feel guilty whenever I went out. I'm not sure where that guilt comes from or why...but I could never enjoy myself properly.

Other than keeping an eye on the time for car parking charges purposes as well as feeding baby purposes, I didn't once feel guilty. Result!

Monday, 6 May 2013

Interviews and short breaks

Well, I went for that second interview for ADEC which was held in a hotel along the South Bank. There were about 20 other people who were there for it too - mainly, from what I gathered, secondary school teachers. They seemed to like me because they say I have been accepted and now just have to wait for all the paperwork detailing my contract etc.

The interview was on Sunday morning at 8am where they did a little briefing on what to expect from them beforehand. Some people came from Dubai, Austria, Glasgow and Folkestone for it! that is called dedication. And here I was grumbling at having to get up at the crack of dawn to get ready for an interview.

The following Monday, we all packed ourselves into two cars and headed off to Centre Parcs for a short break. Apart from a handful of places, I have not really been anywhere outside of London. I wanted to have a little break before I head back to work on 3rd June. I've been put off by prices at Centre Parcs, especially during half term breaks so we almost didn't go. I'm glad we did though. It was lovely.

Their website isn't the best for finding information - try finding prices for the activities you can book online. Unless you make a booking for a lodge (or google prices for the activities) it is near impossible to find a link for prices. I also somehow missed the link the first time visitors which tells you that you can drive your car to your lodge to unload your luggage and then drive it back to main car park. So yes, we lugged all our stuff from the car park to the lodge with a moany 4 year old in tow.

You also need a either take your own cycles or hire theirs to get around. You could walk but again with little kids, not always the best idea. And if the website says all the cycles are sold out, go to the Cycle Centre to find out if they have any. I did this the day after checking the website and so missed out on a days worth of cycling around thinking they had no cycles left. Oh, and they have trikes for grown-ups! My mum doesn't know how to ride a bike - bless her - and was like a little kid when she found out they had trikes for hire and took hers out for a spin.

We took enough food to last us a month so we didn't spend on any except for some milk when we ran out. The activities weren't too badly priced either. My little man got to do Little Outlaws archery on Tuesday, football training on Wednesday and balance bike training on Thursday. We also played ten pin bowling, hired a pedalo and tried not to crash onto the lake shore and just generally chilled out and enjoyed ourselves.

It was bliss having en-suite bathrooms in every bedroom and I'm kicking myself for not trying the sauna or the hydrobath in our lodge. Ducks would waddle up to the patio door in the morning and tap their beaks on the glass asking for food and the odd deer would make an appearance too. It was an all in all wonderful break away and my little guy declared he didn't want to go home. If you knew my little man you'd know that is a big compliment coming from him because he's such a home boy.