Simple Pleasures

I'm not in a great place right now. It's not something I'm ready to go into detail about just yet, but the medication I was taking for PND has changed recently and the change over isn't going too well.

Added to stress at work, exhaustion at home and worrying about our finances (again) I was glad to walk out of the workplace on Friday with a weekend and half term ahead of me. Friday was actually my birthday but I wasn't really up for a lot of fuss and as I was working anyway we ended up spreading the 'celebrations' (for want of a better word) over a couple of days.

Said celebrations included Matt taking the day off on Thursday. It was great to have him home in the morning instead of rushing off out and he came with us to our usual mum and baby group followed by tea and cake. In the evening I was treated to a lovely takeaway and an early night!

Friday could have been better. It's not great working on your birthday at the best of times but I'm really not enjoying work right now and sat at my desk for most of the day just wishing it would end.

Super Stocking Fillers with Snapfish

When it comes to giving gifts on a budget it really does pay to get creative and go for a personal touch so I'm quite excited to share with you my experience of using Snapfish to create wonderful gifts for friends and family this Christmas.

The Snapfish website has quite a range available for personalised stocking stuffers, from cute acrylic keyrings and fridge magnets to photo canvas prints. I decided to go for these fun photo mugs which I could tailor-make to my own requirements using some designs of my own and some of Snapfish's handy embellishments.

As much as I love my friends, and as patient as they are when it comes to them listening about my children's achievements, I didn't really think that photos of me on the side of their work coffee mug was going to go down well. Instead, I picked some a couple of quotes and created the main design myself .

Ollie at 18 Months

Time goes so quickly when I'm running around after you, attempting to stop you pulling out all the plates and bowls from the cupboard, chasing you every time you start scampering up the stairs and picking you up when you've run head first into a door or face planted the floor for fun.

Today Lily asked me, "How many years is Ollie?" and I realised that you've actually jumped right past the 18 month mark and are now more than 19 months old. Your first birthday is almost a distant memory as so much as happened in the seven months since.

My Christmas Wish List

This year, Christmas shopping in the Kirsch household started in June. Yep, I've turned into one of those penny-pinching Mums so desperate for a bargain that I start stocking up with over 6 months to go. I am not ashamed of this, I have saved a fortune by buying in the sales and picking up preloved items for a fraction of the original cost.

There are only a few small items and stocking fillers left on the children's lists, a few more to get for Matt and just a couple for friends and family.

So now, my thoughts have turned to what I would like for Christmas.

It feels weird. I'm of the mind that if I don't really need something then it seems a bit silly to make a list just for the sake of it. However, experience gained from living with Matt for more than 7 years now tells me that it is best to give him some idea of what to look out for.

I start looking around this time because it's also my birthday next week, and so I can easily kill two birds with one stone and give him a list to cover both.

But where do I start? Beautiful, fun, delicious, stylish, crafty, novelty... surely even someone as fussy as me can find something worth splashing some cash on?

And so, without further ado, in no particular order, I present my wish list for 2016:

Share the Fun at Legoland

Possibly the best decision we made this year was to use part of a gift from family to buy our Merlin Annual Passes. We were fortunate that the gift coincided with their summer sale and so we chose to buy premium passes for the same cost as standard passes. Along with other benefits they also came with 'Share the Fun' vouchers which mean you can bring a friend for just £10.

We used these earlier in the summer to take some family along to Chessington World of Adventures which was brilliant and last weekend we went with friends to Legoland Windsor.

Faith, trust and choosing primary schools

Today I'm wading into the murky waters and discussions that surround choosing your child's Primary school.

A month before applications open and I have already come to realise that the school Lily will go to is less of a choice and more of a lottery. I can rank the schools in my local area in order of preference but I do not, in anyway get to 'choose' where Lily will receive her early years education.

It's a hard fact to swallow.

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