Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Newquay Zoo

Over the summer when the sun actually came out to play we took a trip to Newquay Zoo whilst we were on holiday. We have visited Cornwall many times but had never visited the zoo before. Upon arrival we found a parking space up on the top car park by the skateboard park. Parking is not free so ensure you have change on you if you are travelling by car. We paid to get in and was offered a free return ticket that was to be used within 7 days. Sadly we didn't get to use this but would have had we been staying on holiday for longer.
As a family we love animals, especially myself, as most of my regular readers will know I hope to work within the zoo industry. This means as a family we love nothing more than a trip to the zoo or safari park and we have had the pleasure of visiting many.
The first enclosure we came to at Newquay zoo was the Squirrel monkey enclosure, my children loved seeing the babies clinging onto the backs of their mums. For me with a love of photography the enclosure was not that photograph friendly with the bars thick and tightly packed it took me longer than usual, but with a bit of strategic positioning and patiently waiting I got a shot I was happy with. 

Monday, 24 August 2015

Matalan School Uniform

As many of you know I have five children as the blog name suggest. This year all of my children will be attending school full time. Five lots of uniform to buy can be quite costly but Matalan have a fantastic range of school uniforms all at fantastic prices. I have bought uniforms from Matalan in the past and have always found them to wash great and also endure the daily rough and tumble that my children seem to put them through.

Matalan allowed me to choose items up to £50 and I was surprised at how much I managed to buy with that budget. So what did I buy:

2x short sleeved shirts age 16
2 x short sleeved shirts age 11
Black trousers age 16
Black skater skirt age 11
2x white polo shirt age 5
2 x white polo shirt age 3
2 x pleated grey skirts age 3
Grey jersey trousers age 3
and two packs of school socks


They had plenty of styles to choose from and all the colours you could need. I love that they are stain resistant, easy to iron and don't break the bank. My younger children have quite sensitive skin but the uniforms are soft against their skin and are comfortable to wear. My youngest daughter announced that her school skirt will be good for dancing in so she is rather happy with her new school skirt. How much dancing she thinks she will be doing in school is a different matter.

So when you do uniform shopping or are topping up throughout the year check out Matalan's back to school range. We all give it a massive thumbs up.

Monday, 17 August 2015

GCSE Results Day Countdown

As Thursday 20th August 2015 creeps nearer my nerves are growing. This year was the first time I had sat a GCSE exam since 1998. The results that will decide if I get into university next year could not be any more important. It is not only me that is collecting results. My eldest daughter will be collecting some of her results too. Academically she has always struggled, it has never come naturally to her and she has had to work hard to achieve what she has. Her dreams are to become a hairdresser, she is currently studying hair and beauty as one of her subjects so she has taken the first steps. I hope she gets onto the course she would like as she has no interest in anything else. 

It is full of ?????

For myself the studying has been hard, juggling five children, a full time course and retaking Maths and English GCSE was never going to be easy. I am proud that I achieved a Distinction* overall in my course. I just hope that on Thursday when I open that email I will be just as proud. I really do not want to have to sit those exams again. If I have to, of course I will. If that is what needs to be done for me to achieve my goals then I will do anything that is required. When I originally sat my exams I didn't care what I got, I had already had my dreams of joining the army ripped away from me due to eczema so I was a 16 year old on a path of self destruct. It is funny how years down the line your career goals change. I am pleased I never reached my goal of joining the army, I would not have had my beautiful children if I did. I would not be leading the life I do now and I would not be working towards my goal of working with animals.

In three days I will know my results, I will know what my next step is. Will I be celebrating or crying into a pillow? I honestly have no idea, I have no idea what those results will be!

Friday, 14 August 2015

Bird House Upcycling

 Ocean Finance  have a lovely competition running. I was selected to take part and I am so pleased with the results. The competition is to upcycle a bird box, they supplied me with a plain bird house and gave me a voucher for Buddly Crafts to purchase craft supplies to decorate the house. 
As soon as I started looking through the Buddly craft website the ideas came flooding in. I saw the natural straw sticks and knew they would make a great thatched roof.  I bought some twine to place around the edge and some wooden birds to place on the top. I glued down two horizontal straws that over hung the edge of the roof. I then applied two layers of straws vertically on both sides and rounded the front and rear edge off. I then glued a single layer of straws over the middle whilst creating a pattern. To finish off the thatched roof I placed the twine around the scalloped edges and placed a line around an inch and half from the edge.  I topped the thatched roof with two birds that I had glued together. No thatched roof is complete without an animal placed on top. Be very careful if you choose a glue gun to stick down your straws, the glue gets hot and you may get burnt fingers.
Now for the decoration. I love pyrography so I knew I wanted to include this in my design. I bought some tags with a scalloped edge and wood burnt the words "Home Tweet Home" onto it. I also darkened the edges a little. I then searched the internet for a design that I could place around the entrance of my bird house. I came across a beautiful doodle that would fit perfectly. I wood burnt it onto my bird house and placed the wooden shapes I had bought around the side of the bird house to finish it off. 

Now all I need to do is find a safe place out of the cats reach and hope that new residents of the bird variety move in.


I really enjoyed upcycling this bird house, I may purchase some more to decorate and place around my garden.

Disclaimer- I was sent the bird house and a £25 voucher to purchase craft items

Monday, 10 August 2015

Back to School with Leitz

As many of you know I am a full time student, my course entails a lot of written work and over the past year stationary has played a huge part in my life. Every weekday I would carry around a heavy file, that file would often change as they could not cope with the work I placed inside it. The lever hinge would break on me all of the time which meant I would have to buy a new file. I think I have solved the problem.

Leitz have sent me a selection of the their products. As soon as I saw the Leitz 180° Active Style lever arch file I knew that this one would be able to hold all of my work without breaking. It has a soft brushed finished in titan blue. It is lightweight and comes with an elastic band fastener to keep the file closed when not in use. It is made from a lightweight pp polyform material which is much stronger than a standard file. I find the corners of my old files broke down easily but I feel confident that I will not have any disintegrating corners with this file. Inside it features transparent pockets in which you can store items in, it will hold my timetable perfectly. I am a campus rep and possibly will be going for college president this year so it may also hold an whole new schedule of events and meeting. It has a pen holder which is perfect for when you are on the go and don't want to carry around a bag full of pens like I usually do. The mechanism on the file is what I love most about this file, it is the best I have seen, it also comes with a five year guarantee which shows you that the quality is far better than a standard file. It is always the mechanism that breaks on me, I am 100% confidant that this file will last me a long time. If I need to buy more than one file for either my college course or when I attend university I will always return to the quality of Leitz.
The file is not all Leitz sent me, they also sent me their NeXXt series style metal office hole punch and NeXXt series style metal office stapler. Both of them are also titan blue with the brushed finish. Both come with a 10 year guarantee and both are excellent quality. The stapler can easily staple 30 sheets of 80gsm grade paper together and comes with an integrated staple remover. As part of my assignments at college I am required to produce booklets and I would always have to use the college stapler but now I can complete my work at home. The hole punch is able to effortlessly punch holes into 30 sheets of 80gsm grade paper. It features a guide which allows you to place the holes where you need them and also collects the little circles of paper in the compartment under the hole punch.
Leitz also sent me one of their softcover A5 notebooks. Just like all of the other products the notebook is titan blue with a brushed finish. It has 80 sheets of 100gsm grade paper and is pacted with features. The features are:
Silver elastic fastener to keep the notebook closed when not in use.
Two page markers which allows you quick access to marked pages.
Pen holder
The last 8 pages are plain and perforated to allow you easy removal of those pages.
Two silver stick notes piles which allow you to mark extra important pages.
Integrated expanding pocket on the back cover.
This product will come in very handy when I need to add important notes during my campus meetings.


Lastly is the Leitz slim folio case for the ipad Air2. Now I am not that lucky to own and ipad Air2 so I can only tell you of its features. Its features are:


  • Sophisticated soft cover with a brushed metal finish in titan blue which provides all-round protection for the iPad Air 2

    • Cover provides an adjustable stand when open and folded to set the perfect viewing angle
    • Flexible for quick and easy iPad Air 2 removal
    • Full access to all sensors, connections and controls
    • Holds the iPad in landscape mode

    I would like someone to make use of this product so I am offering it as a prize, to enter just fill out the rafflecopter form below.
    a Rafflecopter giveaway