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Like every other parent of a three or four-year old due to start primary school this September, we waited in anticipation last Wednesday morning to find out if Harry got a place at one of our chosen schools, despite the fact I'm not ready for school. Surely my little boy is too little?!

Whilst we could select up to three schools in order of preference, we I decided to only opt for two choices. Rightly or wrongly, my mobility was the main factor in school choice for us. The husband would like to return to work at some point in the near future and, with that in mind, it would mean that in all likelihood I would be the person doing the school runs each day. Since I do not drive, our choice was limited to two schools; the one attached to the nursery he currently attends and another school which is roughly the same distance.

We were fairly confident that we would get our first choice.

Then I read on-line reports last Wednesday morning stating that Bristol had the highest number of children not receiving their first choice, or indeed any place after London. Cue more nerves. I am not sure that my e-mail inbox and spam have been refreshed and checked so much in such a short period of time.

On checking my social media channels, I found many people had been notified already and it felt like Bristol was the only area yet to find out where our children would be spending the next seven years, although of course we weren't.

It felt like 10 am was a very long time away indeed.

Then the email landed. Early. At 8.30 am. And I cried.

Tears of relief just streamed from my eyes as I realised we had got our first choice.

It may not be the best school in the area statistically but it is the most convenient for us, a distance that I can manage to walk, even slowly on my worst days. It means we will not have to move Harry yet again.

Harry returned to nursery yesterday and the husband took him in as he does every morning. I did ask him to find out if his best friends had got a place at the same school but of course he didn't. So I did the pick up despite not really feeling up to it and was relieved to find out most, if not all, of his friends will be moving up to the school with him.

There has been a sense of realisation in that my little boy is growing up before my very eyes and in a few short months will start formal education. I have had so much fun with him over the Easter holidays, even though it has been physically and mentally draining I have cherished the time. After all, in little over four months time, he will be at school full-time. And that is a very scary prospect indeed, even if he is ready I am not sure I am!

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On Easter Sunday the Mail on Sunday published an "investigation" into food bank misuse in an apparent effort to dispel so-called myths of rising numbers of food bank users due, in part, to the cuts to the welfare state. If you haven't read the piece you can do so here, I took the liberty of taking a screen grab to save you, my dear readers, having to give them a click. The things I do for you, right?! Don't forget to come back!

*waits*

All read now? Brilliant.

Now, I want to attempt to put my thoughts out there, after all that is what a blog is for. First, I'd like you to understand that I am coming at this from the perspective of someone who has had to use a similar project to the Trussell Trust called The Matthew Tree Project as recently as last year. ...continue reading

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One lady I can always rely on to be around, whether on Twitter, Facebook or via text, at any time of the day or night is Clara from Claraunravelled. A while ago she ran a linky called Mixtape Monday where we could share songs; some times she picked a theme, other times it was left up to the blogger. It was a linky I joined in with pretty regularly (at least as regularly as Clara set the linky up ;-) ) and I missed it when she stopped doing it.

So, I was thrilled when, on catching up with my blog reading, I discovered that she has revived this linky!

This week there is no theme.

Yes, I am nothing if not predictable. (You knew it would be a Robbie track didn't you?!)

I have done a lot of soul-searching recently and some realisations have been extremely difficult for me to accept and yet, I am reminded of this song in many ways. I have never thought regrets helpful, they are, broadly speaking, a waste of time. Every thing I have done or been through has led me to this point in my life; a point where I am happy, content, have a loving  family and some wonderful friends. Would I have all of this if I hadn't travelled the road I have? Who knows?

Thank you Clara for reviving this!

Clara Unravelled

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Those that know me well will know how much I love my bed. Or rather, how much I adore sleeping or simply resting in a bed. After a busy couple of weeks with the Easter break, I have found that I have spent more time than usual in bed over the last couple of days. My bedroom is a bit of a sanctuary, a place of peace to gather my thoughts or sleep when needed and it is pretty much out-of-bounds to Harry unless he wakes during the night or early in the morning, when he will come into bed and join us.

As much as I like my bedroom (even if it is still a work in progress 7 months after moving in!) there are times when I would like a TV in there. The husband and I often have different tastes in TV viewing and as helpful as On Demand or Sky + is, when watching a show on catch up, you can't join in with the discussion on Twitter and risk hearing all about it before getting a chance to watch. However, now we have our bedroom furnished, there is not really the space to put a TV or another item for a TV to sit on.

We recently visited my sister's house. She lives with her boyfriend who recently purchased a house in need of some TLC and with most of the work completed, we were invited to have a look around. I particularly loved the master bedroom, not just for the mirrored fitted wardrobes and lilac colour scheme but also the TV bed.

TV BedsFor some reason, it had never occurred to either myself or the husband to consider a TV bed. I must admit that in general I am not actually a fan of a TV in the bedroom as it is a place of peace for me but I do really like the idea of being able to hide the TV away when not in use and still have it available for any late night viewing and disagreements over which TV show to watch first. TV beds seem to fit that remit.

On returning from my sister's house, naturally we decided to do what we always do and turn to Google to look for TV beds and I must say that I was quite impressed with the options available both in terms of style and cost.

Whilst a new bed is quite low on our list of priorities at the moment due to the fact that we still have the main bedroom, bathroom and kitchen to finish, I would like to think that once these areas are finished *glares at husband* we will be able to save up for a new one; who knows, it may well save a few disagreements!

Do you have a TV in the bedroom? And if you do, has it helped those TV arguments or made no difference?

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.

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I used to love playing a bit of bingo. The husband and I regularly went to our local bingo hall with a few friends and found it really fun and enjoyable, whether we won (which we did some times) or not. The atmosphere was great and there was always a camaraderie among players even though you were technically playing against each other. Since children are not allowed in bingo halls, it was one of the many things that slipped once Harry was born.

So, I took to playing bingo online once Harry was in bed. I would sign up to whichever site was running an offer and play along. Most, if not all the sites that I play on have many games to choose from, each with their own on-line chat room, which I find hard to keep up with.

When I was invited to play a new game called Millionaire Genie on 888ladies.com I accepted the offer as I am always up for trying new games and who could resist the opportunity to win £450,000, certainly not me!

millionaire genie

Millionaire Genie has, as the title might suggest, an Arabian nights theme and I was given £5 credit to try this game and give my opinion on it. Whilst 88ladies.com is marketed as an on-line bingo site, Millionaire Genie itself is a slot machine style game.

millionaire genie

Aside from knowing that I needed to get 3 or more scatter symbols (that is the close up of the Genie) to trigger free spins or 3 or more pictures of the girl with scarf to trigger bonus game, I really didn't understand what I needed to do. So I summoned the husband to have a go since he has enjoyed slot machines before but he couldn't seem to really figure it out either. Unlike regular slot machines you might see in your local pub or bingo hall, this does not have a hold button, so each time you spin, all of the wheels spin.

millionaire genie

When you get a match, a gold line appears to show you.

millionaire genie

Of course, you can win multiple times on the same spin and you are shown how.

millionaire genie

The most I won was £2.00 which, whilst not a huge amount, was nice. In typical fashion and doing exactly what the game tries to do, I decided to play on.

The jackpot which the genie is sitting on is awarded at random thereby meaning the more you play the game, the better chance you have of winning the jackpot and you can bet from as little as 1 pence per payline. You can also choose the autoplay option and enable up to 75 spins at a time for you.

I must admit, I wasn't too sure about this game and it did take a little getting used to. By the time I had even the slightest idea of what  I was doing, my initial £5.00 had disappeared, although I was starting to get to grips with it near the end and found that I was beginning to enjoy the game. Despite beginning to enjoy Millionaire Genie, I think more regular bingo style games are for me!

The WhichBingo Awards are running at the moment where you can vote for your favourite bingo game.

As always, please ensure you gamble responsibly.

Disclosure: I was given £5 credit for the purposes of this review and compensated for my time. All words and opinions are my own.

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Harry is a bit of a joker. He likes to show off and loves making people laugh with his antics. He found some googly eyes from some craft set or another and decided to try them on. What do you think?

#satcapThis has to be one for the 18th birthday right?! So I turn to you dear readers for help; how would you caption this?

Mammasaurus has passed the reigns over to other bloggers now. This week is Keynko's turn to host. Hit the button below to find some more pictures to caption!

Keynko

I don't know about you but it feels like Easter is taking a long time to arrive. Even Harry has taken to asking "Is it Easter yet?" every single day. I am sure that, much like Christmas, the signs of Easter arrive earlier every year. In fact, I am pretty sure that I started seeing some Easter Eggs in the some shops as early as January.

Harry and I are both huge fans of chocolate. Luckily for us, the husband isn't usually that fussed and can take it or leave it. Apparently he needs to be in a chocolate mood. Who knew? Anyway, that said, it has been a while since I have had an actual Easter Egg, it seems that as you get older and have a child, people forget about the adults in the family! So I was delighted when Thorntons asked if I would like a selection of their Easter goodies! Win!

First up, of course I had to look at the choice aimed at children. I know, selfless of me right? I am fairly certain that any child (or adult for that matter!) would love one of these.

Chocolate Easter Eggs   Gifts   Easter Presents   Thorntons

Now, as much as I love chocolate, I can be rather tight-fisted and usually, I must confess, I would get cheaper eggs for children. As a result, it has never occurred to me to check out the selection at Thorntons and I was pleasantly surprised at the affordability! Let's face it, you cannot go wrong at with four excellent quality chocolate Easter eggs for £12.

If you are after something slightly bigger but still brilliant value you could always take a look at their amazing offer of 5 for £25.

Chocolate Easter Eggs   Gifts   Easter Presents   Thorntons

I can confirm that these are quite simply delicious, rather addictive and the chocolate is lovely and thick.

For those people who are fans of Raspberry Cheesecake, Chocolate Fudge Brownie or Banoffee Pie you could always get them Easter eggs in those flavours from Thorntons as well! These went down a real treat with my family of desert lovers!

Chocolate Easter Eggs   Gifts   Easter Presents   Thorntons

Thorntons really do have something to suit all ages and tastes, the above just shows a selection of what is available.

Disclosure: I was provided with this product purely for the purposes of this post. All views and opinions are my own.

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Harry adores being read to. As a lover of reading myself, it thrills me that he enjoys something that I do too, something that, even on my worst days, I can do with him. He is such an active child, so full of energy that I never thought he would enjoy such peaceful times and that I would miss out on many special times with him due to my disability.

Very recently, he has started to use his imagination more, involving in himself in imaginative play with his soft toys, or asking the husband and myself to be a certain character.

Yesterday, the husband decided to take Harry to the park for a little while and Harry wanted to take his cuddly meerkat with him. We managed to persuade Harry that actually, meerkat needed a nap so that he would be able to look after Harry when he went to bed later. So Harry decided that meerkat needed a bedtime story and I caught this; Harry was telling meerkat a story about the park and how it is lots of fun, that one day meerkat will be able to go as well but not today because he was too tired.

OneDad3Girls