Game of Thrones

I think we are a day behind the USA in watching the season finale but it has me wondering what I will be doing on my Monday nights from now on! 

There have been periods of disappointment but that will be expunged  when I will re watch the whole series starting from season 1 again! 

I’m looking forward to reading the books!  

 

Where is the summer? 

To date our May and June have not fulfilled the promise of sun filled days and warm dusky evenings.

We have had chilly evenings when you need a sweater or blanket to snuggle up in on the sofa sipping a hot drink! 

I have been harsh as I have turned our central heating off mainly on principle as it can’t be on this time of year!

How I long for those warm evenings when we can still enjoy the benefit of the increased daylight. It makes it so much more pleasant pottering around the garden listening to the birdsong.

So fingers crossed the weather will improve and summer will be here before we know it! 

I’m off to work where the heating is still on! 

Children and pocket money 

My 10 year old is becoming more money conscious and for that reason I am wondering whether it’s time to introduce a pocket money chart.

My older children did get pocket money but it was largely reward driven or as they chose to tell me driven by blackmail!

The YD is in my view very fortunate. She dances 2x a week, goes to Guides, has swimming lessons and has a guitar tutor once a month (and forgets to practice) At school she fences and goes to netball club and she is an altar server at church!  On top of having a tutor for 11 plus practice there is little time for anything else and everything is paid for by me.

It is important though to appreciate the value of money and I have been looking for some ideas.

I suppose the thought behind this is as recently she was at her Dad’s and he said getting a lunch box out of a school bag and putting a dirty school dress in the wash and cleaning shoes  was too much to expect for a 10 year old. Ridiculous in my opinion but I thought I would do some research 

I found this article which is good:
 Should you hand over pocket money to children on a reward basis?

Yes says Siobhan Feegard. Founder of Netmums.com and mother of three
In the supermarket this week my nine-year-old daughter came running over to my trolley with a DVD in her hand. “Mum! Hotel for Dogs is out – can we get it? Please, please, pleeeeeease?”

I explained that she could, if she wanted to buy it out of her own money.
“Mmm, how much is it?” She was suddenly interested in the price. She paused and thought: “£13! I can rent it for £3 if I want and it’ll probably be on TV soon anyway.” She put it back.
As usual, my kids are delighted to spend my money on whatever they can get in the trolley, but are much more sensible and thoughtful when it comes to putting their hands in their own pockets (or piggy banks). I like to think this is because they have, to some extent, earned their money and it therefore has a value to them.
My children’s pocket money is reward-based. They each have certain weekly jobs: they tidy their rooms, fold and organise their clothes and clear the table. They also know that if they are asked to do little jobs such as taking out the recycling or sweeping the floor, then that is part of the deal. None of their jobs are arduous and they don’t feel put upon. The concept is that we’re a team and we work together and as a reward and a thank you for their contribution they get their pocket money.
There are also opportunities to earn a little extra money sometimes, especially if they are saving for something special. Occasionally, I have to explain the difference between family teamwork and the opportunity to earn extra money – such as when I recently emptied a basket of odd socks on the kitchen table and asked the three children to work together to pair them up and was asked: “How much per pair?” But my raised eyebrow was greeted with good humour, the socks got matched and no money changed hands.

There are pitfalls to financially rewarding children that we need to be aware of: with any motivation for children the rules needs to be clear, transparent and very obviously fair. And I don’t want money to be associated in their minds with the giving (or withholding) of love.

Hence, my children’s pocket money is not based on them “being good”, which is in any case too difficult to interpret and unachievable for most normal children all day, every day for a full week. And I know myself well enough to know there will be certain fraught moments in every week when I yell: “Right, that’s it. No pocket money this week/month/year/ever again.”

I also don’t believe in paying my children to be kind, considerate and well-mannered. This is something we expect from them as part of our family and as little human beings. For motivation and reward for good behaviour such as going to bed on time, or learning times tables, I’d rather use a reward-based activity or experience that involves time together: a bowling, ice skating or cinema trip instead of money. Sanctions for bad behaviour will usually be addressed with a time out (“go to your room”) or withdrawal of favourite toys such as games consoles or mobiles.

In this age of disposable income, credit cards and buy-now-pay-later,
I really want to instil good money management skills into my children, and I believe allowing them to earn – and spend – their own pocket money is a great place to start.
No, says Mary MacLeod, Chief executive, Family and Parenting Institute
No. Pocket money is not a wage or a reward. It’s a gift. Giving pocket money is about giving pleasure. When I used to run into Ullapool Post Office, aged 10, and ask my father (he was the village postman) for a “tanner” to buy sweeties, he would look up from sorting the mail, delighted to see me, reach into his pocket and give me the sixpence with a wide grin. For him, the lad who had grown up with next to nothing, the pleasure of being able to give was immense. And I remember still the delight of giving and receiving.

Funnily enough, pocket money only became a common practice in families around the 1940s and 50s; perhaps it was a small cultural expression of satisfaction following the upheaval of depression, war and evacuation – children’s pocket money signifying peace and prosperity. Now, in another time, we seem to believe pocket money produces materialistic, spoiled children who take everything for granted. We worry about this as we do about almost everything to do with parenting.
If you Google “pocket money” you get sent to one place after another (out of millions) to learn how to manage pocket money, how to deploy it to improve children and get them into good habits. Without being against the lessons that can be learned through the judicious use of rewards, I believe we should worry less, enjoy more and see pocket money as one symbol of the “gift” relationships within families.
This symbolism is expressed in different cultures at the big festivals – weddings, christenings, naming ceremonies and funerals – where money is given in ritual ways to assist families with costs, help people embark on family life, and to express regard, esteem, care and hope for the future. Giving pocket money, we love the look on our children’s faces, the way you can see them thinking, almost out loud, as they decide at the sweetie counter. We love our children having fun, getting a longed-for toy or clothes they love to wear. We are touched when our children want to spend their money on a gift for us. So money is not just a commodity, it’s a token of love and attachment.
Of course, pocket money can be functional as well as symbolic. It teaches lessons about money – saving for something you want, having the freedom to make your own decisions. Withholding it can be a useful tool when parents are responding to bad or unkind behaviour. Extra pocket money is a great reward for kindness and helpfulness.
But if pocket money is only for good behaviour or in return for chores done, some of the pleasure and fun goes, despite the useful lessons learned about working for what you get. We don’t want children only to be helpful because there is a cash reward. Rewarding children doesn’t necessarily have to be with money – words of praise give as much or more as a cash handout. Children don’t need to have pocket money to feel loved.
Maybe we wish for a cash-free utopia where children don’t manipulate and whine and parents don’t use money to battle for children’s affection when they are at war with each other, or to assuage guilt. But money is not just the “root of all evil”, it is also the root of much pleasure and good. And nowhere more so than when we give to each other freely to show love and care and to exchange pleasure and delight.
I am going to ask the YD to make a chart based on these below, for her to identify her areas of responsibility will be a good start and we can negotiate pocket money after this. We will use £3-5 pounds a week as a start! 

  
 

I do rather like these for guidelines! The last one is so sweet! I’m definitely learning to sit reverently  x

   
 

PRAGUE

Lovely writing from Emma, I hope you have a read of her blog and enjoy it as much as I have!

Mountains are Waiting

IMG_6660IMG_6654IMG_6644 Our bus to Prague was completely sold out, and we couldn’t really figure out why, although it was a Friday afternoon. Until we arrived, then we discovered that the Ice Hockey World Championships were underway in the Czech Republic. So there were people everywhere, wearing jerseys supporting their country whether it was Czech, Sweden or even Canada. I guess being Aussies means we’re sort of out of the loop when it comes to sports like ice hockey.

We’re staying at the Post Hostel, it’s a little bit out of the centre of Prague, maybe a 25 minute walk but only 7-10 minutes on the tram. The hostel is brand new, only open for about a month, so everything is completely new. Even the towels are still fluffy! We’re in a four bed again, and the rooms here are absolutely huge. Plus after our first night when the Canadian couple in…

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Argh!!!!

Why Is it that once you embark on something on the internet it becomes such an enormous time wasters! I tried to design a new bathroom online and failed miserably, setting up the room size window and doors took ages and by the time I had that right  the stress of trying to fit a bath into the room in all sorts of ways has made me realise I need to give up the dream of the double ended bath and go for the big luxury shower instead! I suppose every cloud has a silver lining!

Instead I decided on planning some fun things to do in Bellagio, Lake Como, Italy where I am travelling to in a couple of weeks. That has proved rather therapeutic, the thought of electric bikes, private boat tours and ferry trips coupled with good food and wine certainly proved an escape! However suddenly realising the time I had spent fantasising myself as George Clooney’s new wife brought be back to earth with a bump.

I needed  to do a shopping list –  but there were of course other pressing jobs needing my attention such as trying to sort out Amazon Prime so that it could actually work on my TV. Needless to say after further research I discovered to my disappointment that my TV is not on Amazon’s list of compatibles even though it’s a Samsung Smart TV.  Is it a conspiracy? As an aside last weekend the same task actually wasted the whole afternoon as me and TOH nearly came to blows due to the poor instructions and lack of information from the said Amazon Prime. I have now bought the hdmi cable which is in fact the cheapest and easiest option! Well,  we will see when it’s delivered (by Amazon Prime)  can it be that hard connecting cables to the TV and iPad! So thanks Amazon Prime the whole TV streaming thing is a bit of a con for the 50 plus technophobe! You have had 2 subscriptions from me hopefully I will soon get to view some programmes 

Time check  –  going shopping in 45 mins now need shower, eat breakfast pay for our August holiday and do the shopping lst! I need to rewind back to 6.30 am when I woke up or not get so distracted!

Beautiful pictures  for contemplation and positive energy thoughts, enjoy I’m having a shower.

  

  

What is it about the first of the month! 

  

How many healthy eating plans, diets or exercise plans start and fail within a short period of time?

The penny has finally dropped for me – as when I am feeling accomplished at work it has an impact on my home life, resulting in less stress and feeling more empowered in my life including gym and diet. 

My job is stressful and I often bring it home with me and if I don’t do it, it sits there staring at me and mocking me so consequently I feel too guilty to go to the gym which then has the downward spiral with the diet. The “why bother” syndrome!

The whole work life balance is something that can really go out of kilter and so for me I know I must address it in order to accomplish the other small achievements.

My goal is to celebrate my small accomplishments and leave work at work! 

Hooray for the weekend

The Easter bank holiday has to be one of the best breaks. Two extra days off work and chocolate! It’s a shame though that we haven’t got much sunshine here as it would be a great opportunity to get out in the garden. 

It’s a great to spend time with our families. Yesterday we had a retro evening playing Buzz and having a bit of karaoke. 

So now I have found my mojo I have been trying out spinning. This is something that I never thought I would enjoy but I really love it! Fortunately our gym have a dedicated room which is often empty so you can just go in and use the programme for your choice class.  TOH and I are now confirmed spinners and have even thought about getting a bike rack to take the bikes out at the weekend. 

I have also been to a “back to netball” session for a few weeks. Netball used to be my passion but I had a knee injury which caused me to give up and I  thought I would never play again. I have rediscovered that joy and hope to keep it up. We played a match last week which I thoroughly enjoyed even though I was a bit red faced and struggling with my fitness I had that feeling of right I’m ready to do it again!

My interest in exercise has now been rekindled which is great hopefully the pounds will start to shift! Next on the agenda is the functional training! 

#healthyliving #weightloss #exercise

So where has my weight gone!

I think I have finally discovered that the stone I have lost seems to have mainly disappeared from my face and ankles! There seems to be no difference to my middle which if course is where I need it to go from!

I posted a picture of TOH and myself and the comments from friends brought this realisation to me.

We had a night out in London on Friday and visited Oblix at The Shard for a couple of cocktails – expensive but well worth the experience and then on to Vertigo 42 another bar with fantastic views. Thank goodness for Amazon vouchers 😃 I have taken the view that for the same price as a night at the cinema with a meal beforehand and drinks and sweets (in the good old days! Lol!) we can have some really nice treats and of course amazon or groupon have some great offers!

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Salmon coconut oil and lime!

Looking forward to trying out this dish. I am marinating the salmon in lime juice and some coconut oil, it smells amazing!

Will cook with stir fry veg, ginger and garlic in a little coconut milk can’t wait! TOH needs to hurry back from the gym!

Feeling much more positive and seem to be getting back to where I was last weekend. Goodness only knows what happened 4 glasses of wine and 2 bits of cake and I seem to have put on 4 pounds!!

Do you think it’s odd?

It is strange isn’t it when you post a blog as much as you kid yourself that you don’t think about your stats that you do have a few sneaky peeks to see if you have had any views!

I have been super excited as I have had more than 20 views which is my highest view! Woohoooooo! Thank you for reading

It’s also a little scary that as bloggers we are anonymous and can hide behind our words and yet strangers stumble across our posts and can connect with us through their words.

I am enjoying my blogging experience although TOH and my family look upon me with amusement and of course have not read my blog but it’s odd I am not sure I would really want them to read it!

I read a post from someone whose friend had been reading her blogs and it got me to thinking how would I like it? I mean it’s like an invasion of privacy but that’s just crazy as this is a public domain and we are putting ourselves out there to be read……………….

Anyway enough musing watching a bit of Gavin and Stacey which I love!