Into the Void – Where does all their ‘stuff’ go at school? (A My Nametags Review)

“Nothing is really ‘lost’ until your Mum can’t find it”.

Oh my goodness me. If I had £1 for every time one of my kids has lost something at school, I would have enough money to buy my own Gin Distillery…now there’s a thought. I might put that to Dragons Den.

Where does all this stuff go?!

It seems to disappear into the void, never to be seen again.

If my kids come home and utter the words, “Sorry Mummy, I left that on my peg”, what they are basically saying is, “It has been on my peg at some point in my school life but it has been missing for about 8 weeks Mummy”. You get the jist.

When your little cherubs first start school, you diligently label everything with ‘proper’ labels (I did that for my eldest, actually, when I say ‘I’, I mean my mum because even in my 30’s, I am incapable of sewing labels into clothes properly. I once sewed my Primary School sewing project to my skirt on my lap and I had to be cut off – need I explain myself anymore) and you ensure that if something does get lost, you’re going to stand a decent chance of getting these things back.

By the time my second child got to school however, my eldest had managed to loose so much stuff, despite it being labelled, that I gave up with the ‘proper’ sew in labels and used a Sharpie (a permanent pen to you and me). The shame, I know, but it’s a sign of the times. My man would tut at me I’m sure.

When I was approached a company called, My Name Tags, to review some self adhesive clothing labels, I literally jumped at the chance.

My eldest has now lost 2 entire pencil cases worth of stationary in 10 months. That’s pretty impressive, and infuriating at the same time. He claims he ‘lends it to friends’ who then don’t give it back and that sometimes things ‘fall on the floor’ and he forgets to pick them up. Whatever happens, it’s costing me a bloody fortune (that Gin Distillery isn’t going to buy itself you know) and also means he often doens’t even have a pencil sharpener to sharpen his writing pencil – despite me having bought 8 over the course of 10 months. Head. Brick Wall. You get what I’m saying.

These self adhesive labels can be put on almost anything, probably including your children themselves if you are that forgetful 😉

The labels I chose had Mr Men on and the boys chose the design. Mr Happy with a striped background. Very eye catching and actually meant they wanted to label everything themselves! Winner! Saved me a job. I chose to just put our surname on them (which isn’t a very common surname so the chances of their being someone else in the school with that name are slim, it also means that when we hand down clothes from one brother to the next, they will not need re-labelling). I also put my phone number on them in case someone kind finds our belongings and decides to give me a call or a text.


They labelled everything from school jumpers, polo shirts, pants, shoes and shorts, to pens, pencils, rulers, water bottles and bags. They had a great time labelling everything.


The only caveat to these self adhesive labels is that they cannot be stuck on fabric, you have to stick them to a label, such as a sizing or washing label. The labels will stick to hard surfaces like pens or a plastic bottles quite happily though. This was fine for us though as socks, which rarely go missing, are easily replaceable. School Jumpers, Coats and Bags are not.

The labels come with usage instructions and are very clear in describing how to use them.

My eldest, who is 8, managed to read and understand these instructions no problem.


The name tags come in different designs and some have pictures, some don’t. There are Mr Men and Hello Kitty ones (which are a little more expensive) as well as other simpler pictures/symbols like teddy bears, bikes, cars, etc that you can choose from. All options are fully customisable on their easy to use website.

A sheet of 56 self adhesive labels costs a maximum of approximately £13.95 (plus £1 P&P). The labels have a 10 year guarantee, are safe in a washing machine, and delivery is really prompt.

With this school year coming to a close already, and the summer holidays looming, get ahead of the game and place an order using the link on the right hand column my website. If you put in the code SHIPFREE16, you will get the £1 postage for free! That’s £1 saved to be put towards the Gin distillery fund 😉

We are really pleased with our labels and I’ll be placing another order soon, ready for when my smallest monster starts pre-school in September…lord help the poor staff there!


Only 2 hours to go until I find out what items the boys have managed to loose at school today. As long as it’s not themselves they’ve lost, I guess it could be worse 😉


(Disclamier: I wasn’t paid for this review but I did receive some super smashing customised Mr Men labels to use on my kids clothes. All opinions and words are my own).

The Swimming Gala…

Today was the day my eldest had been dreading for a while. The Junior Swimming Gala.

Luke loves to swim but, mainly, only for fun.

He has swum for a good few years now, and has weekly lessons, but this wasn’t to pressure him into being the next Michael Phelps, it was to give him confidence in the water and for safety reasons so that if he was ever to get into difficulty in the water, he would stand a much better chance of being able to get himself out of it (not that I’m a worrier…). He is competent at swimming, but even he will agree he isn’t going to be ‘a swimmer’. The intention is there, but the co-ordination and determination isn’t. Much like his dad when he dances 😉

Anyhow, this morning arrived and Luke heaved himself out of bed ready for the Junior Swimming Gala, his little face full of apprehension…

This is his first year in Juniors, so the first time he has taken part in the event and, to be honest, I was just as nervous as he was. Not only was I nervous for him to be brave and have a good old go at it, but because I also had his toddler brother in tow who I had to try and entertain for 2 hours…

The weather report said rain about 12pm but seen as this is the UK, I packed waterproofs and an Umbrella as well as a multitude of toys and snacks to keep the minature menace amused.

During the walk to school, I gave Luke a little pep talk and he walked almost the whole way to school biting his nails. I did the standard, “It’s the taking part that counts, and someone has to come first and last…” speech, but I’m not sure it helped very much. He just stared at me and carried on biting his nails.

I used to be the same myself when I had sporting events looming. I would get nervous, to the point of feeling sick, and whip myself into a bit of a frenzy. I love sport, but I had no desire to want to compete against people individually, it’s just not in my nature and, sadly for Luke, he has inherited this same trait despite me trying my best to encourage him.

As we near school, the dark clouds descend and it begins to spit with rain. How sodding typical is that?! Junior sports day last week got rained off and now it was looking like there was a chance that the swimming gala would be too – I knew Luke would be secretly rather pleased the rain gods were similing down on him in a bid to sabotage yet another organised school event. The parents stood outside the school gate (well, the majority of us did, some didn’t get the memo and stayed inside the school after they had dropped their kids off at their classrooms, and thus bagged the few available poolside seats. Another one of my traits is doing as I am told…sometimes I wish I could be a little more rebellious!) and then at 9am, the gates were opened.

We got round to the pool and it was now, literally pissing with rain.

They decided to go ahead with the gala but keep the kids indoors in classrooms until it was their time to swim.

Us parents meanwhile, took shelter under a couple of gazebos that had probably been intended for the kids to use as shade in case of warm weather…(cue laughter). Instead, us parents huddled under them as best as we could and I decided to sit on the end of a bench, half in and half out of the Gazebo shelter so I could be near the pushchair – which actually meant I ended up getting more wet than I would have had I been stood entirely outside it because the rain was tiddling off the top of said gazebo onto my head like a minature version of Angel Falls.


The toddler began to get rowdy after 5 minutes. Chuffing great. He hates rain covers so I didn’t even attempt to put that on the pushchair and he also kicked off when I covered his legs with a waterproof coat. Other parents must have thought I was an absoloutely crap mum for leaving him in the pushchair with his legs and feet dangling out, getting soaked…I tried. It’s not worth the drama trying to force these things on him so I just give up. It’s only a bit of water as they say.

All around me, parents are shouting, taking photos and cheering on their kids and their kids friends. The competitveness begins come out in everyone and, despite the rain, people begin to really get into it all. Some parents sit quietly and watch, whilst others dig in their bags for a homemade banner and set of pom poms…ok, maybe not the pom poms but there were a couple of soggy banners. I was too preoccupied chasing the toddler to watch much of it and I now knew, after seeing the timetable of events, that Luke was only in a team ‘toggle’ race near the end of the gala. Bless his heart. Most other kids had swum in one, or two, indiviual events, but Luke was only to swim one length with the aid of a toggle…or woggle as I know them. It’s the taking part Gemma, remember, it’s the taking part. I was a little miffed as to why this was seen as I know he can competently swim a length and he is actually very good on his back, but at least he was having a go and, in my opinion, it was a good thing that he was only taking part in a group event so that the pressure was off him a bit. Less chance of a meltdown that way.

The individual races went first, we have a lot of club swimmers in our school and they flew like graceful torpedo’s through the water. Finely tuned swimming strokes, long limbs, competitiveness and budding talent. Everything I could only aspire to be in the pool…nowadays I look a bit like this when I get in the water;

funny pictures

 By the time Luke gets to swim, the gala has been going for almost 2 hours. We have been rained on, the toddler has started to get bored and he has also eaten all the unhealthy crap I took for him in case of dire emergency. I manage to weave through the crowd to the pool so I can watch Luke swim, the moment we have waited almost 2 hours for. He stands there in his swim shorts, with his swim hat on which is squishing his little features up so he resembles some sort of Caricature…and he is biting his nails still. He’s stood behind the swimming pool screen and I have one of those moments where I just want to scoop him up, despite him being 8, and tell him he’s still my champ even if it doesn’t go well – I’m sure he wouldn’t have thanked me for it if I had though.  The kids swim in groups and they take it in turns to swim to their friend who is stood waiting at the end of the pool in order to give them the woggle, basically, it’s a relay.

The whistle goes. Luke is last in his group to swim, he has the home leg. His friends stand there cheering each other on, he continues to stay quiet and bite his nails. The third person in his group goes and they are doing well until they reach the halfway point in the pool and the poor little mite clearly has a bit of a panic. The kiddie stops, looks very sad, and staff have to intervene and encourage them along to the end of the pool. The poor thing. I feel their pain and hideous childhood memories of school swimming 25 years ago come flooding back to me…the memories are so bad they make me want a Gin and Tonic, actually, no, make that just a straight Gin.

Luke, who is normally really good and compassionate with others then looks frantic. I worry that he is going to become a bit of a hooligan and start shouting at his friend to hurry up, to get out of the pool, blaming them for loosing, but he doesn’t. He is desperate not to come last, the pressure is evident on his face, but instead of becoming angry and cross with his friend, he begins screaming encouragement. He’s no longer biting his nails, he was getting involved. And I was so proud of him. That moment was better than his swim for me. To know that he could put his own feelings and worries aside when someone else was in need and clearly having a tough time, showed me what a super little boy he can be at times. Don’t get me wrong, he can be an utter bugger at times too, only yesterday he told me that he wished I had stayed at home rather than going to Nanny and Grandad’s house with him – pahahahaha!!! 😉

After his friend managed to finish their length, Luke jumped in and set off at his leisurely pace, eventually crashing into the wall of the pool at the halfway point 🙂

He kept going however and, with some encouragement from his swimming teacher, kicked his little legs as fast as he could go (whilst probably visualising a pork pie at the end of the pool, he is highly motivated by Pork Pies is our Luke…) and he managed to help bring his team home in 3rd place. Not too shabby given their team had a bit of a delay. Regardless of the 3rd place sticker he got, which he wasn’t impressed with may I add, he was my winner. He tried, he had a go, he cared for a friend who needed some help and he didn’t give up. What more can you ask for?

I’ll be sure to tell him how proud I am of him later. He might even get a kinder egg…or a Pork Pie 😉


This was Luke’s take on loungewear the other day…I had asked him to get dressed and this is what I was presented with. He had technically done as he was told…

I’m not sure I can deal with this every year, but deal with it we must. I’ve got another 2 boys to go through the school yet. I make that about 2027 by the time I finish the Primary Swimming Gala’s. Crikey. I’m going to need a lot of Gin.

 Do you like sports day and swimming gala’s?



Pardon you…

“A burp is just a fart that never made it down to your butt”.

A burp

(Quote by me, just now. Bosh. It’ll make sense why I’ve written it in a bit).


The middle one had his class assembly today.

He was to be a tiger and had one line to learn. This might not seem like a lot to some of you, but to us, this one line is momentous.

Little Zak barely spoke until he was 4.

He had a speech delay which never got a diagnosis as such, he was just a late speaker. We would get the odd word appear, and lots of noises and pointing, but never any actual words. He didn’t say Mummy until he was 4yrs 2months old, but when he did, it made my heart melt. He was, and still is, bright as a button though and so this made his speech delay all the more puzzling. Just one of those things I guess…

He had some speech therapy whilst he was at preschool and, thankfully, he has come on leaps and bounds and you’d hardly know he ever had a delay now.

The first time Zak spoke in a performance was in his Preschool nativity play aged 4yrs 3months. He had to be an Inn Keeper and had to tell Mary there was no room at the Inn. He was brilliant, and I’m sure everyone must have thought I was utterly bonkers sat there snivveling like a toddler, who was given a blue cup instead of their desired green one, but it was such a momentous occasion for us all. To see our little lad up on a stage, and speaking loud and proud, it was just the best. I think I used an entire packet of tissues in 10 minutes!

Anyhow, I’ve digressed from the main tale again…as usual.




Speaking on stage.


So, back to the assembly today. I have the toddler with me of course, and I have arrived at the school hall well prepared with snacks and juice to keep him quiet during the performance.

I make sure I seat myself near an escape route in case he has a meltdown and settle down for the show.

The kids are dressed as jungle animals and birds, they all looked wonderful. Some costumes painstakingly homemade, some dug from the depths of the dressing up box, some borrowed (me! Thanks so much Kerrie! You’re a tiger costume lending lifesaver!) – all brilliant. They looked the business.

They began with Zak’s group. He was in a group of tigers telling us facts about them. He nailed his line when it came to it and spoke loudly and clearly. I was a super proud mummy and couldn’t have asked for any better from my little tiger cub. His face lit up as he left the stage and he gave me a knowing smile as he walked down the steps.

The rest of his class all did superbly too. They were astoundingly confident, theatrical, and just looked like they were all loving life. It was truly heartwarming. They’re a gorgeous bunch of kids.

The toddler was loving it too thankfully, and was watching open mouthed at all the colours and he clapped along when appropriate. It was a bloody miracle! I was expecting to have to watch it from outside the hall doors, through the glass, but we managed the whole shebang! Whoop whoop! High five Ben!

After the class assembly had finished, the headteacher stood up to congratulate them and to hand out some awards to other children in the school. Standard procedure and this can go on for 10 minutes or so. Ben had started to get a little restless by now however and was demanding some juice.

I diligently got a carton of juice out of my bag and helped him hold it so he could drink it. I knew it was almost the end of the assembly so I was over the moon we had basically made it to the end tantrum free.

The hall was totally quiet as a little lad went up to sit with the headteacher to speak about his certificate and why he had got it.

Everyone was listening intently and he was having his moment to shine.

Then, out of nowhere, there came a noise…


It was Ben.

My toddler.

After guzzling the whole carton of juice, he had let out the most ENORMOUS burp I have ever heard him do in all my life.

Literally. It was like he had swallowed a microphone and burped into it.

With that, the parents at the back with me cracked up, the kids in the hall span around with glee to see who had made such a fantastically brilliant belch noise in the middle of the headteacher speaking, and the teachers were trying their best not to laugh their heads off too.

I had lost it.

Completely gone.

I was hot, I had tears rolling down my face, I was stifling my laughter to the point I thought I was going to burst.

I had to put my head in my lap because I couldn’t contain myself.

I had to remove my glasses because of the tears rolling down my face.

Utter hysteria.

And, as for Ben, well, he was doing his best Woodlouse impression and had curled up into a ball on the bench, unaware of why everyone was looking at him.

I evertually managed to compose myself, once all the kids had filtered out of the hall, and then we got to congratulate Zak on his performance.

Hugs all around and tissues for mummy, now for multiple reasons – happiness and hysteria.

And that was that. The last assembly for my middle one in Year 1. I don’t know where the time is going…

It’s safe to say I will remember this assembly forever.



Little Hearts, Big Love

The Polo Shirt…

Today’s pearl of wisdom, courtesy of my 8 year old…


Me: “Boys, please can you try not to ruin your polo shirts today. They’re coming home very, very dirty and I can’t keep buying new ones…”

Zak: “Ok, Mummy”.

Luke: “I’ll try to but I like hill rolling too much and I can’t not get dirty if I am rolling down a hill”.

Me: “Well, if you can try that would be super”.

Zak: “Mummy, why are they called Polo shirts anyway?”

Luke (in a sarcastic, know it all voice): “Erm, because they’re white like Polo mints, stupid!”

*Yes, Luke. That’s exactly why they’re called Polo shirts. Aren’t you the wisest one of all… (goes off to laugh)*


Post of the week over on Little Hearts, Big Love…

What a lovely Monday morning surprise!!

The wonderful Louise over at the smashing blog, Little Hearts, Big Love has chosen me as one of her two, “posts of the week” for her ‘from the mouths of babes’ where folks can linkup to share some of the funny things their kids have come out with.

You can read Louis’s post about it all (and read my post) here….

Little Hearts, Big Love – FTMOB Linky Mention
Thanks so much Louise!! You’re a bit smashing.

And thanks also have to go to my crazy, bonkers children who come out with all this stuff in the first place!