> The Beesley Buzz: Things I discovered: January

Things I discovered: January

Once again we are linking up with Everyone else isnormal's 'Things I discovered' linky. We are also linking this up with Ethan's Escapade's Small Steps Amazing Acheivements (See the 'People' heading below).

I'm putting this one under the 'eat' heading although technically the salt and pepper pots are objects but I just had to fit these in somewhere as I was so excited about them.

Granny found them at Covent Garden market and knowing what big Doctor Who fans we are, she bought them for The Brilliant Chef (and his mum) to use in the kitchen.

We also discovered home-made butter this month which is a great activity to do with the kids and it tastes super! The buttermilk by-product that results from making your own butter also tastes really good to drink.
This month we have really got stuck into playing with some of the amazing toys from The Toadstool that we received for Christmas.

The Plan Toys range is really high quality and the toys are so durable and sturdy that I have found myself telling friends all about them. We have written up reviews for the Frog puzzle, My first camera and Tie-upshoe because we loved them so much. I wonder just how much easier Christmasses and birthdays would have been if we had discovered 'Slow' toys sooner!
You can win one of these Science robot kits here

Another fabulous toy, also from The Toadstool, was the Brush Robot Kit which we found to be educational and fun! (The Toadstool have also given our blog readers the chance to WIN their own - see here to enter).


I was surprised to find that I enjoyed reading Clare Balding's autobiography as part of the Britmums book club in January.

Miss T has also really enjoyed reading lots this month as we have been taking part in Child Led Chaos' 300 book reading challenge. Although I am yet to write a blog post about how we are getting on, I did get as far as starting a Books Pinterest board to keep track of the picture books that we have read.

Children's picture books are my favourite type of book as I adore books by Oliver Jeffers, the Charlie and Lola books by Lauren Child, and the Julia Donaldson books (and many many more). So this has been such a fun challenge to take part in and given me and Miss T something special to focus on together since J returned to school.

Our wonderful meal at One Canada Square restaurant could have fitted under the 'Eat' heading as it was the inspiration behind us making our own homemade butter. But I wanted to list it under 'place' as we had not been to Canary Wharf for over 15 years and boy has that place changed in that time.

I remember the main retail outlet in 1999 being a single Tesco metro store (I don't think the other main towers had even been completed then?) - now the place is a hive of retail activity with food shops, clothing stores and of course restaurants and eateries too.

My boys have amazed me this month. It has been J's first time in a school for over 3 years and he settled in well and had done really well academically too.

He came home excitedly telling me that his spelling age was over 12 years and his reading age was 13 and a half (his actual age is 9). He has worked really hard and cooperated with all the assessments and tests he has had to do for the school to gauge his ability levels.

He has, in the first time for years, attempted cursive writing which has always proved too much of a challenge for him in the past because of his coordination difficulties.

D continues to do well. Even though he doesn't have the same difficulties as J does, he is not used to playground politics and as everyone had been so nice to him in the home-ed world he is finding it a bit baffling at times making sense of the playground when at school. His wonderful class teacher has been on hand to support him with his worries and guide him through.

They both have amazing teachers and for the first time in their schooling journey, I really do feel they are in good hands.

I would never have imagined being able to find a school that suits J. I am conscious that it is still early days and I know that with a condition like ASD life can be a bit of a roller coaster for him, but at the moment things at school are going well for him and I'm proud of him for that and extremely grateful to his school too.

Also under the 'People' heading I have to mention some lovely friends who I've been able to meet up with for coffee this week (again something that has been really tricky to do over the past three years as I would feel guilty if I didn't put the boys educational needs first whilst we were home-schooling). You know who you are - so thank you! 

Well last month I said that I wanted to rediscover some blogs I used to read and generally find time to read a few more blogs. Amazingly I got myself organised enough to even start to follow a few by email which I never had done before as I just used to have a haphazard way of popping along to my favourite blogs every once in a while. But the trouble is that now I just feel a bit too overwhelmed as my inbox keeps filling up day and night with blogposts to read. I'm going to have to find a happy compromise somehow because at the moment I'm not getting to bed before midnight (sometimes a lot later) and I feel like I am forever chasing my tail. If anyone has any tips on getting the balance right of how to keep up to date with reading your favourite blogs without it taking up every spare minute each evening do let me know!

I did come across a whole host of lovely blogs, some of which were new to me by joining in with the #SpreadALittleHappiness linky organised by The Reading Residence. Here's our post for it and there were lots of other happy posts to bring a smile to my face. 

Seven year old D's blog The Brilliant Chef got a mention in the Kids Blog Club kid foodie blogger round-up - so that was cool too! 

Don't forget to enter our CURRENT GIVEAWAY! Enter here to win a science robot kit.

Linking up with Things I discovered and Ethan's Escapades Small Steps Amazing Acheivements. (I WILL pop by to visit others on the linky over the course of the coming week - desperately need to get a few early nights to catch up on some sleep first!)

Ethans Escapades

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  1. I am thrilled to read that your sons are getting on so well at school Rebecca, that's such fab news! I imagine the whole playground politics must be tricky for both them and you....not easy at the best of times. Sounds like you've had a good month. The only way I manage to keep up with the blogs that are my favourites, is by having them on a blog roll on my home page. Obviously I dip in and out of others on a regular basis, when I link up to bloghops but generally I visit my favourites every time there is a new post :)

    1. thanks Suzanne - that might well be the way forward to use the blogroll properly. I set one up in our early days of blogging but don't really use it as a prompt anymore so perhaps i should update it and start using it again.

  2. Glad J has settled into school so well. I use Bloglovin to follow all my blogs - on your homepage it lists all the new blog posts with a line or two of each post, plus a thumbnail pic, and I just skim through, picking out which ones I really want to read and clicking "mark as read" on the others. It would be impossible for me to keep up with all of them, all the time, I follow far too many! I can't even keep up with my own blog at the moment!! X

    1. i didn't really get on well with bloglovin so gave up - i think because i already had some blogs i followed in all different ways so it only covered a few of them. thanks for popping by xxx

  3. Thanks for linking up Rebecca! I love those Tardis salt and pepper shakers too. V cute. And the brush robot looks fab. I'd like to enter but seems i have to become a fan of toadstools on FB which i'd rather not. No mind. More to the point, i hadn't realised you had moved your boys to state schools.....big decision there. And yes, the playground politics isn't always easy. They do get used to it/build resilience, but the main thing is to ensure you listen to them when they tell you about their gripes (usually just as i'm about to turn my son's light out!) and help them process it all. I'd love to have been a home schooler, but that's another story! Sxx

    1. thanks Siobhan. Yes both boys now in school so we are sensing what it is like to have a bit of 'normal' schooling as J's previous experience was far from normal. The Toadstool is a lovely little online toy company which J does his jokes for so we love following them on facebook to see J's jokes matched up with their toys. They really endorse the whole #SlowToy movement too - so real ethical values, selling educational and timeless toys. We love them! x

  4. So glad to hear that school is going well. I knwo exactly what you mean about the blogs - so many out there, just nowhere near enough time to read or comment on them all :( think I'm going to follow you and go to bed with a good book for the first time in ages!

  5. I'm so glad the boys have settled into school so well. It's must be a big change for them. I hope D gets used to the playground soon, a playground can be such a minefield.

    Thanks for linking up with Small Steps Amazing Achievements :0)

    1. thanks Jane. D is generally great at making friendships so i'm sure he'll be fine - he must have had a bad day the day i wrote this! xxx

  6. Great news about the boys, and am really liking your salt and pepper and this Things I discovered linky, I could be tempted to join in next time :)

    1. thank you - i'm sure you know as well as i do that school is a rollercoaster ride for kids with ASD but at the moment all is going well. xxx


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