I am Being Chased by Christmas

This has never ever happened to me before, I love Christmas, it really is my favourite time of the year. Yet I feel like it is chasing me into December. I can’t decide if I am just not ready for it this or someone has brought it forward.

It has been an exceptionally busy time at work with an exceptional workload that has consumed my mind and swallowed days off like they were slices of chocolate orange. You know that feeling? You eat it thinking you really need to do it, then after are just not so sure you should have done that. You know you needed the chocolate, but also really need to eat your 5 a day, but you just cant fit them in now.

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The workload is steadying out now, but what has that left me with?

A house that looks like a tip, I am cleaning at night trying to keep up with that, it’s amazing how my children just move things from one room to another. Joe makes an art form of toy moving, I can tidy a room in the house. Go off for a celebratory coffee at the thought of de Joe’ing a complete room, and when I return, he has hit again like a boomerang tornado. I swear he has a box full of random items that he just spreads about to keep me on my toes.

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How To Make The Perfect Irish Coffee

I have always wondered how you make Irish Coffee; it is not something I have ever tried. So this weekend I decided to give it a go. I can not believe how ridiculously easy it is.

You will need;

Coffee, I used Cherizena Christmas Coffee, A Colombian medium roast coffee infused with Jamaican rum, nuts, citrus and spices.

3 Tablespoons Irish whiskey, I used Wild Geese Irish whiskey, which is lovely with a light sweet and fruity taste.

Double Cream

1 teaspoon of brown sugar.

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Firstly pour the coffee and fill the glass about 2/3rd’s full

Mix in the sugar and whiskey

Then pour the cream over the back of a spoon, at first it look’s like it is going to curdle but be patient, in a moment or two it starts to settle and look like an Irish coffee.

 

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Education Today, Children are NOT Numbers

I went to Joe’s parents evening this week I didn’t really know what to think, we sat with the teacher for 5-10 minutes. She talked about Joe as a person, how he could improve his social skills. But overall she was very pleased with what a helpful, kind and hard working boy he is. Everything a Parent wants to hear about their child. I never saw a book until I asked for it, and she never quoted me one fact or figure stating where he was in the league tables. At first I felt a little aggrieved, like she had missed something, so I asked to see some of his work. As we sat at the table Joe happily talked me through some of the stories he had written, and felt totally at ease. Yet still I was a little niggled by the lack of facts and figures.

There could be a few reasons she didn’t bombard me with facts and figures; firstly she is a supply teacher. Joe’s lovely teacher retired in July. You would think that as someone who has not spent that long with the children, the easy thing to do would be hide behind the stats, its easier to quote figures isn’t it? But she didn’t, she had got to know each and every child. I watched her talking to parents, and she knew interesting little facts about them and was animated when she spoke. Joe was clearly very comfortable in her presence, she showed him respect, and he clearly respected her.

 

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I came away feeling like I have been groomed by education, groomed to believe my child is quantifiable by facts and figures. I can’t believe I was so uncomfortable at not getting fed this information. Information that ranks my little boy. The more I analyse this the madder with myself I am, he is not a number to satisfy government statistics, he is a child with feelings and spirit.

I actually cannot believe I allowed myself to be cognitively conditioned to see my child as a number in terms of education; something out current education system seems to have gotten down to a fine art. Don’t get me wrong, Joe’s school is a wonderful school that encourages a family atmosphere, support the children and help them grow into independent teenagers. The staff do care, you can see that in the whole ethos of the school, but they cant change sats and government guidelines.

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The Oast House, Spinning Fields

Last week I visited The Oast House, in Manchester’s buzzing Spinningfields. If you haven’t been to Spinningfields then you have to go. It really is the most amazing place no matter what time of year you visit.

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I visited with all the girls from work as a pre-Christmas lunch, and leaving drink for my wonderful friends Louse who I am missing so much. A few of the girls had never been to the amazing Oast House; we decided this had to be the place to start.

If you haven’t been to the Oast House before; you are missing a treat. Let me try to explain; but bear with me as the Oast House is such a quirky unique place, and very hard to describe. I never forget the first time I took my friend Cheryl; she looked at in shock and said “where are you taking me”. But as soon as she walked into the Teepee she got it. Forget Lapland, the Teepee is an adult festive wonderland.

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Party Dress Wish List

 

 

I wanted to share my favourite party dresses, I spent some time yesterday browsing for the perfect dress for the upcoming party season, the problem is I just can’t decide. I love them all, its sods law isn’t it, when you have to get a dress for an occasion you just can’t get one. Yet when you are browsing you find loads. All the below dresses are from John Lewis, and I love the fact there is a dress to suit all pockets.

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1. Damsel in a dress Itton Dress. £149.00

2. Miss Selfridge Premium Collection Katie Bodycon Dress £69.30

3.Lauren Ralph Lauren Montague Dress £210.00

4. Ted Baker Lace Top Fitted Dress £169.00

5. L.K. Bennett Cherry Sequin Bodycon Dress £350.00

6. True Decadence Baroque Sequin Bodycon Dress £42.00

Bad Dreams, Aren’t They Odd?

It’s still as clear as day, if feels almost like a memory, I was about 4, it was around 1976. I was laid in bed and two of the Apes from the seventies series planet of the Apes are stood over my bed. One of them was the doctor ape with white fur. I bet you are rolling your eyes already thinking yes, Sarah has really lost the plot.

Anyway, the Apes had a discussion about whether to take me or my bear they discussed it for a while and decided the bear was of more use to them. I mean really I can’t believe they chose the bear; I am quite offended thinking back.  But I remember laying in bed my little heart beating like mad, thinking thank goodness. I still to this day remember the fear I felt lying there watching these Apes deliberating whether to take me of Ted bear.

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Then I woke up crying, my Mum coming to my rescue. I know it was a dream yet it still it feels like a memory. This story often comes out at dinner parties, and has my friends in hysterics. They can’t believe I still maintain it felt real, although clearly it wasn’t. It was clearly a result of watching a drama about apes taking over the world. Until that point I loved the planet of the apes, but never watched it from that day.

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Q Hotel Ambassador

I would like to share some mega mega exciting news. If you follow me on twitter and Facebook you will already know that we have been chosen as the Q Hotels Family Ambassadors. I entered over a month ago with some trepidation, the competition was hot and some of my favourite bloggers had entered. The brief was to redesign the Quackers pack. So I got my thinking cap on, tried to look at it through the boys eyes and create something kids would love, want to collect.

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I was so shocked when I got the email to tell us the great news, we had won, how amazing.  We get to visit and review all 21 of the Q Hotels.  I feel so honoured too have been chosen for this fantastic role, by such an amazing brand.

Our next step is to sit down and plan our visits; I have so many great ideas for Q posts. The variety of locations is fantastic. I plan to write about city breaks, country walks, historical visits, trip to the races, great food and much more.

What a great way to travel the country, take in culture, experience adventure, and everything that is great about Britain. I can’t wait to take my family on this wonderful journey. Watch this space and come along with us for our amazing magical Q adventure.