Tuesday, 12 February 2019

A McCullough Family Catch Up

Well, I guess it's time for a McCullough catch up! - Just a wee bit of an insight to what we have been up to from December! 

Obviously December was an extremely busy month, with Christmas Nativities, Christmas Showcases in the dance school, Christmas parties, visiting family, and then off course Christmas Day itself and the whole hype leading up to it. 

School Nativity:

So this year, for the second year running, Lacey-Beth played the part of an Angel in the school nativity - and Lexie-Anna played a Star - Unfortunately, I couldn't get a proper photo of Lexie-Anna to upload as other children that I don't know them or their families personally were in the pics, so I can't obviously upload them. 
Anyway - the school nativity was fabulous as always, and the girls really enjoyed taking part. 
A bit of a bittersweet one this year - as it was Lexie-Anna's first school nativity, however, it was also the last nativity Lacey-Beth will take part in, as from Primary Four onwards, they don't participate. 
So it was a bit sad that it was the first and last time we'll have seen the girls, together in a nativity, still lovely all the same. 

ABD Dance Exam and Medal Test:

So, another huge milestone reached for Lacey-Beth. On 17th December, she took part in her very first dance exam and medal test. The exam she had to do the examination dance moves / stretches that she had been learning for weeks since August - and the medal test she had to perform her Jazz/Modern solo to go for a Bronze medal. 

And after a six week wait - she finally got the results, and she PASSED both! 
She passed her exam with a merit, and passed the medal test with a high merit. 

This is the first time her dance school have done examinations, and the first time Lacey-Beth has ever sat such an important exam. She loved every moment though, and was so proud of herself, as were we very proud of her. 

And she's now moved up a level for the next exam! 

Dance Christmas Showcase:

The girls took part in their dance school's Christmas Showcase performing a dance each on stage. 
Lexie-Anna was a gingerbread lady, and Lacey-Beth a snow woman. 

The Christmas show as always was incredible, and the girls really enjoyed themselves, and loved performing.. Their dance school always puts on a fantastic show for both Christmas and End of Year. 

Photo Competition:

Lacey-Beth entered a photo competition for a local shop in town, and WON
This was the photo she entered with, captioned with - Dancing infront of the Tree

She won a christmas hamper from the shop - so kind of them. The basket they gave her was absolutely beautiful, and im now using it to keep all my cleaning products in. 

Sweet Shop Competition:

I, also feeling very lucky, entered a competition for a new local sweet shop in town, to win a giant lolly - and won. So the girls were over the moon to get this huge lollypop that was bigger than them. 
And no, they couldn't finish it. 

Hand Foot and Mouth:

Lexie-Anna came down with hand, foot and mouth disease, which unfortunately meant she had to miss a week of school. And unfortunately, during this week, her class were doing fairytale day, which she had been looking forward to, bless her. So, we decided to do fairytale day at home, and let her have one of her christmas presents a bit early, to cheer her up a bit - so she was over the moon to dress up as Rapunzel. Her favourite princess atm. 

Improving with Writing Work: 

Lexie-Anna is definitely improving with her writing work in school. She's doing fantastic, and her teachers have said she's a little pleasure. Very hardworking and tries her hardest at everything shes asked to do! Very proud to hear such a good report, especially as I know she had been fretting about going. 

The Ear Piercing Incident:

Lacey-Beth decided she wanted to use some money she received from her great grandparents on Christmas Eve, to get her ears pierced. 
Now - a little story here - Lacey-Beth got her ears pierced for an Easter Present, two years ago, which she let close over, because she was terrified about changing the earrings, and needed to after one of the studs fell out - so two years later - with her closed holes, she was desperate to get them pierced again - using the argument, she was older now, and wouldn't cry, and would be brave, and everything else - So I said, fine, its her money, let her do what she wants with it - so yes, she was brave, she got them pierced no issues - but now, two months later, shes gone and let them close again, due to being afraid to put new earrings in after a problem with Claires Accessories studs. 

So NO.. while shes under our roof - she will NEVER have another piercing again! 

Christmas Eve:

 Christmas Eve, we had a quite day! We went into town for a walk that day, then had a chinese for dinner that night, while we watched the Christmas Chronicles on Netflix. 
The girls had a bath and put their Christmas Eve PJs on, and LOVED their LOL Christmas Eve Boxes. 

Christmas Day: 

We had a lovely Christmas Day! Spent the day at my Mum and Dads for dinner. The girls had the best day ever and got everything they asked for. Lacey-Beth is absolutely smitten by her Baby Boy - Jack! 
The Luvabella Boy! 
Definitely worth every single penny! 

A magical Christmas, and spent with the most important people, which is all that matters. 

D a n c e:

The girls are still loving their dance days! 
Lexie-Anna got pupil of the week just after Christmas and it made her week - and Lacey-Beth is coming on well with her private lessons and is LOVING her new solo. 

First Dance Competition of 2019:

Lacey-Beth competed in her first dance competition of 2019 at the start of January. It was a Lyrical comp, so she only danced her lyrical routine, but she got to wear her new lyrical costume, and it was beautiful on her. 

She didn't place in this comp, but she loved every moment and had a ball. 


Lexie-Anna has always hated eating Mince - spag bol was never a favourite of hers. 
However, I made some meatballs last week, and she loved them. 
I was so chuffed that she had tried them, after thinking she wouldn't entertain the thoughts! 
Such a challenge for her to do this, and now she's found a new food she can enjoy at dinner times! 

So yeah, this is pretty much it in a nutshell. Nothing else much exciting has happened over the last month or so! 

Hope you have all been well? 

Monday, 4 February 2019

Instagram Influencers: How they helped me

If you don't know by now who Mrs Hinch is, where the hell have you been living? 
Instagram Influencers such as Mrs Hinch, Lynsey Queen of Clean, Little Miss Mops, The Secret Cleaner, and Sian, from TheMumWays are all the range right now in the world of Insta. 

I've never really been "big" into Instagram, I had my own personal account for family and friends, and that was that, then I'd seen this hype on Facebook about Mrs Hinch and how wonderful her cleaning tips were - so being the nosey cow I am, I had to go check her out, and instantly I was hooked. 

Now, obviously with being an instagram influencer, comes a lot of backlash, negativity and LOTS of trolls, which certainly has been the case for Mrs Hinch, and when this hype started, I can remember being so excited to purchase a Dave and posting about this, that and the other cleaning tip that I'd tried that week, that so many people were leaving shitty facebook statuses about how people clearly never cleaned before Mrs Hinch. 

Which for me, wasn't the case, and i'm pretty sure for a lot of other people who became hooked with hinching. 

Cleaning to me was a chore though. I mopped, hoovered, dusted, just the same as I do now, but it didn't seem fun - it just seemed like a job needing doing, something that I'd no choice but to do, something tiresome and dull. 

Whereas now, cleaning (or hinching) is a lot brighter, more fun, colourful, exciting. 
Mrs Hinch doesn't just share tips, tricks and the latest zoflora scent, she puts the fun into cleaning, she makes you want to get up off your ass and vera the floor, she makes you want to bounce out of bed to Paul the Toilet, she makes you wanna dirty your sink, just so you can CLIFF IT. 

So, how did these insta influencers help me? 

Well, my best friend suggested to me, I should make a 'home account' on Insta, and I thought, why the heck not - I couldn't think of a good home account name - Mrs McC clean with me, was a bit shit to be honest, and most catchy names, were already taken, plus the fact I am the least bit creative so thinking of a catchy name wasn't gonna come easy, so I decided, why not use my blog name, and just have it as a blog/family/cleaning account, mix it all up a little? 

So I started following a few - then following some more - soon I was gathering up quite a few 'home accounts' and loving it. I was becoming hooked. 
I followed Mrs Hinch, obviously - Little Miss Mops - and all the usual. Then found The Mum Ways. 

The Mum Ways - Sian is one of my favourite accounts on Instagram. I love watching her stories, and find her amazing. She keeps it so real, and talks about everything from cleaning to mum life. When comparing my life to other mum accounts on Insta, I always felt I was lacking something - like I was doing something wrong - but watching The Mum Ways - she makes you feel like a normal mum! She shares the normal every day realities, not just the best bits that most people (including myself probably) do share.  She makes me feel good as a mother, because of how real she is, and it helped me come round to the idea of being able to do selfie videos! (I still don't think i'd have the balls to go live) 

Mrs Hinch - the lovely Mrs Hinch! 
She has helped inspire so many people, and continues to do so everyday! 
Like i said before, cleaning before Mrs Hinch came into my life, was a drag, it got done, but I never got excited about it. 
Mrs Hinch - although is a cleaning account - she adds that oompf to cleaning that makes you want to get it done. 
From naming the majority of the products she uses - to getting you to write little but often to do lists - and the insta music videos that you can secretly have a little boogie too while filming yourself cleaning your loo. 
Cleaning got a lot more fun, and the cleaning aisle in Tesco has become my new favourite place. 

I've also found, since I am enjoying cleaning a lot more now, that it is keeping my anxiety at bay. Don't get me wrong, I'll always suffer until I learn to control it properly, but cleaning is something that keeps my mind busy, keeps me motivated and gives me a focus. I'm always wondering what new tips Mrs Hinch has lined up, is Little Miss Mops doing an end of tenancy today, what science is The Secret Cleaner gonna share with us today? Is The Mum Ways gonna give us a dance this morning?

It's like a little community, on your phone screen, and although that does sound bad, it actually isn't. All these home cleaning and mum accounts I have found to be so supportive of one another, like a little family. These are just a select few I have named - there are LOADS more amazing accounts that I follow, and love to watch their stories daily because each of them bring something to their stories that I feel I can relate to, or think, wow, what an awesome tip! 

And because I have become a little bit more confident since joining this little community, I do want to thank them all, for sharing little bits of their lives on their grids and stories each day, for us all to enjoy, and learn from.