Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Matalan School Uniform

When it gets to this time of year, I begin thinking of the new school year! Early I know, but better to get sorted out and I can relax for the rest of the summer.

With this being my manta, last year about this time, I was shopping in a well known supermarket. Not my usual one and my mum doesn't work there, so if you know me you should be able to work it out!
As I was wondering around, I saw the school uniform on sale and thought I would get what I needed. Couple of pinafores, skirt, tights, socks etc.
The children's school have their own logo polo shirts and jumpers and cardigans, so I didn't need to get those.
Anyway, a couple of months into the school year and the skirts and pinafores were pretty much ready for the bin.
At the time I bought them, I thought they were thin, but with regular washing they were now threadbare.
More school uniform was bought and I learnt my lesson to be a bit more choosy when buying it!

So when I received an invite from Matalan to visit their HQ and find out about their school uniform, I jumped at the chance.

On the day, when we arrived, we were shown into a room where there was a selection of school uniform and the new range of children's wear out soon.

We started the day by looking at the new range and picking our favourite and least favourite outfits in the various children's age ranges. This was hard, as there were so many gorgeous outfits.



We had an opportunity to speak to the children's designers and buyers and to find out a bit more about the buying process.

We then split into smaller groups to give our own personal views on Matalan, it's products and ways in which Matalan could become more family friendly. We had the opportunity to share our thoughts on the range of products and compare with Matalans competitors.

After a lovely lunch, we had a good look at the school uniform.
When we came to the school uniform range, it was really interesting to compare the uniform against other stores, on style and affordability. 
We were treated to a presentation on the whole design and manufacture process and the stringent tests that each item must pass before it can we considered fit to go on sale in the stores. 

Presentation on school uniform

This was very interesting as we had a chance to look at new improvements for this year's new range, such as softer, easier to wear collars and velcro top buttons. As a teacher, that idea is amazing, as when you are asked thirty times to fasten top buttons it becomes very tiresome!

Matalan's range of very reasonably priced jumpers and polo shirts.
Matalan,s range of dresses and skirts.

Finally, towards the end of the day, we watched a presentation on how the footwear and in particular, the school shoes, are designed and made. I found this quite interesting and one fact has stuck with me. That is that each shoe is hand made. I am not quite sure why this surprised me but it did. I find it amazing that each individual shoe is made by a person and how much time this would take for just one shoe, never mind a pair!!!

Fab footwear that I am very tempted to buy.

As the day drew to a close we were treated to a goody bag with lots of lovely Matalan goodies such as a gorgeous candle, socks for the children, sunglasses, caps and lots more. 
Gorgeous smelling candle!
To Ben's delight there was an Angry Birds wallet.


Gorgeous goodies in gorgeous bags!

We were also given some vouchers to buy some school uniform and that will be another separate post!
I really enjoyed the day. Everyone we met was so friendly and very knowledgeable on the products that Matalan produce.

I am hoping that this is the start of an excellent relationship between Matalan and myself as a blogger and mum.


#matalanbloggers
#matalanmums











Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Megans Sports Day 2014





Megan was fab in her sports day. I was one proud mum yet again.
She took part in the sack race, skipping race, running, obstacle race and toddler race with Ben, where they aced it!

And an added bonus this year was the beautiful weather!

Ben's Sports Day 2014


Ben took part in his first ever sports day at primary school this year as part of the nursery class. 
On the morning of the races he told me he was going to win all his races. I replied that as long as he had fun it didn't matter if he won or not. He answered me with, I know that but I will win! And he did!
He took part in egg and spoon, relay, obstacle, and toddler race with Grace.
He was fab, another proud mummy moment!

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Camping with the Sephtons

Last week we took our annual camping trip with the Sephtons.
For the first time we ventured over to the east coast to Mablethorpe, to a Haven there called Golden Sands.
We arrived late morning and had a picnic lunch then set up tents, before exploring.
The site had two pools, one indoors and one out, both with water slides. When we took a dip we found that the outside was a lot warmer than inside, that's if you were brave enough to walk out there first!
The kids loved it and spent a lot of time on the slides.

As usual we packed a lot into our week. We visited Skegness for a picnic lunch, a spot of football and playing in the park and spotting the dancing fisherman.
We visited Mablethorpe a couple of times, once going on the land train from outside haven. We found an excellent outdoor splash pool, cafe for ice cream and play area right on the beach and spent a happy, sunny day there.
We had a lovely Chinese meal one evening, our treat for the week.
We spent a wet afternoon around our site, in the soft play, bowling and playing air hockey.
We even had a day on the gorgeous golden sands connected to the site, and although the weather wasn't the warmest I have ever known it, it was still bright and sunny enough for the kids to have a great time freezing in the sea, building sand castles and finding shells and millions of star fish washed up on the shore.
To the kids delight we even made it into the entertainment at night twice too.
The boys and Molly had the best time ever dancing away and being entertained non stop and although the older girls were slightly more reserved, they had a ball too as they enjoyed dressing up to go out!
The boys in general were inseparable. A real pair of cheeky monkeys!
We were very lucky with the weather overall, only one really wet day. So lucky that we ate outside most days for breakfast and teas.
The spot we had pitched our tents on was opposite a park so the kids spent a lot of time playing there. There was also a patch of trees close by where the boys could be heard playing, climbing and bizarrely being squirrels!
The older two had a lovely time together. I love the way their friendship blossoms and the delight they have in being together even though they go to different schools and don't see each other as frequently as school friends.
And I think us grown ups had a great time too. Inbetween everything else and the hectic fun of being on holiday as a group of nine we still managed to catch up over a few cheeky drinks!
And that was the fifth successful Sephton/Wright camping holiday!

We are already thinking of next year and have got a feeling that Tenby/Saundersfoot could be getting another visit as we loved it so much last year.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Jake

It has been a sad week here, as last Monday we had to say goodbye to our gorgeous cat Jake.
He was 14, so getting on a bit, but it was only the last year that he started to show his age.
To be honest, I am really upset. Mr W and I had him from about the age of 2. We weren't 100% sure as he came from the cats protection where he had been a stray. That's 12 years that he lived with us, longer than the children and he was just as much a part of the family.
I thought he may of developed diabetes as he started drinking lots of water and had a couple of accidents in the house, which he never did. After a few blood tests we found out it wasn't that, but a problem where protein was leaking into his system and causing problems with his kidneys, bowel and liver. And the kindest thing to do for him was to let him go to sleep. And so we did. We all said goodbye to him last weekend and took him on Monday. It was incredibly sad, but the best thing for him.
Megs and Ben have coped so well. They were absolutely devastated when I told them, but made me so proud with the way they have accepted and took it on board.
The funny thing is this last week I have found myself catching thoughts of things I would of done, such as putting the chicken into the microwave so jake wouldn't jump up to have a nibble!
In some ways I wonder if fate hasn't stepped in. We are due to have quite a bit of building work done in the next couple of months, and Jake would of hated that. It would of really upset him.
We will get another pet in the near future.
Maybe, dare I even say it, a dog!!!! I have wanted a dog since I was small, so we will see. We are in no rush to decide, so until then HUSH! Not a word to Megan and Ben about the d word until we have made up our minds!
I will leave you with a couple of pictures of our lovely old man Jake.