Mama OWL Blog

Preparing for Secondary School - Buying Uniform

Friday, 24 March 2017

I can barely believe it but the time has come for my youngest son to move up to secondary school. We have received our offer of our first choice school and now we begin the process of buying his new uniform and all the equipment he will need. There is so much to buy that I find it best to start as soon as you get your offer so that you can spread the cost as it can all add up.
Different schools will have all have their own lists of the required uniform and equipment that you should be able to view on their website, but from my experience these are the things that they cannot do without in their first year. There are many options available both in leading supermarkets and on the high street for purchasing school wear, in addition to school wear specialists such as Trutex. You may also only be able to buy certain items from the school's preferred stockist so it's best to check straight away just in case things need to be ordered direct from their supplier.

With them spending so much time in their uniform, you'll need to look for things that are not only comfortable, but hardwearing. My boys are much harder on their clothes than my girls have ever been and often come home with muddied knees from diving around on the field with their mates playing games or just from being pushed over into hedges (yes... much fun, many japes... I thoroughly enjoy all of the extra laundry).
Sticking with plain black socks makes life easier in the mornings when they're scrabbling around getting dressed, and it also means less time pairing up because they're all the same. I have wasted years of my life pairing up socks from our 'sock orphanage'... Just get plain ones. Trust me. In terms of sports socks, buy some thick plain ones to wear with trainers, as well as some that will be suitable and comfortable to wear with outdoor field sport boots. (Related: buy them a boot bag).
Let them choose their backpack. You'll only get it wrong if you try & pick for them. Even when there is nothing wrong with it and it looks almost exactly like the one they've been using for the last year. I'm all about a quiet life these days and currently I'm outnumbered by teenagers, so let me save you the earache - Pick your battles!
We received complimentary uniform items for review purposes. All words and opinions are our own.

The Best Books for Tween Boys | World Book Day 2017 #DoSomethingBooky

Thursday, 23 February 2017

I have mentioned many times before how important I believe it is to instil a love of reading in my children, and I have to admit I have found it much harder to do with the boys than the girls. Finding books that tween boys will enjoy can be tough task but I think we have finally cracked it with H (who is 11) as he has been building up quite a collection of stories he really enjoys, with titles by the amazing and hilarious David Walliams featuring heavily! I asked H to share some of his favourites:
  • Horrible Histories Blood-curdling Box of Books (Terry Deary, Peter Hepplewhite)
  • Mr Stink (David Walliams)
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid Collection (Jeff Kinney)
  • Tom Gates Collection (L. Pichon)
  • The World of Norm (Jonathan Meres)
  • Gangsta Granny (David Walliams)
  • Tiger Wars (Steve Backshall)
With World Book Day coming up next week (Thursday 2nd March 2017) we have looked to his collection for costume inspiration, and with the help of Party Delights wide selection of fancy dress H has decided to dress up as Walliams' Gangsta Granny. The Burglar Granny costume comprises a dress with Velcro fastening, swag bag, and eye mask and is currently £13.99, with a grey wig available to purchase separately to finish off the look priced at £3.99. How to tell your son is a rugby player - he will always take the opportunity to join in with fancy dress, especially if it's drag. As my friend Alice said, we can only imagine what he's going to be like once he gets to Uni...
His other top choice was Mr Twit from Roald Dahl's The Twits, but due to his sister's reluctance to dress up as Mrs Twit he opted for Gangsta Granny and I think he pulls the ensemble off very well. I love his sense of humour and how keen he always is to join in the fun and have a laugh, I know I am biased but he really is such a lovely kid.
After her refusal to be Mrs Twit, E eventually decided that she would like to be Roald Dahl's Matilda which I thought to be very fitting considering she shares the character's love of reading. Her costume comprises the blue dress, newt, and book prop, and Party Delights also have tights available separately to complete the costume.
Will your children #DoSomethingBooky for World Book Day?
The children received complimentary costumes for review purposes. All words are our own.

Meal Plan Monday | 200217

Monday, 20 February 2017

Meal Plan 200217
Monday 20th
Gammon and chips
Tuesday 21st
Baked potatoes with salad
Wednesday 22nd
H is performing at the school dance festival this evening so it will be a case of whatever we grab after it finishes, it's going to be a late one
Thursday 23rd
Sausages and mash
Friday 24th
Spaghetti Bolognese
Saturday 25th
Chicken fajitas
Sunday 26th
No idea, as the Mister and H are off to Twickenham to watch ENG vs ITA which I am not remotely jealous of...

Meal Plan Monday | 130217

Monday, 13 February 2017

Meal Plan 130217
Monday 13th
Burgers and Chips for the Mister and kids
Tuesday 14th
Macaroni Cheese with broccoli (no romantic meal for two here on Valentine's Day...)
Wednesday 15th
Chicken Salad
Thursday 16th
Spaghetti Bolognese and garlic bread
Friday 17th
Chicken Curry
Saturday 18th
Homemade chilli with baked potatoes
Sunday 19th
Roast to welcome J home from skiing in Andorra
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