• Blog graphic with title of post - meal planning to save money, stress and time - and two images. First image is Spike, blonde hair girl 4 years old, putting two thumbs up at chicken korma for tea. The second image is an example meal plan of our week, with curry, pizza, gnocchi, broccoli, chicken wraps and scampi and chips on it.
    Family,  Home,  Personal posts

    Meal planning to save money, stress and time – feeding a family of three including one fussy eater

    As a working woman in charge of cooking and food shopping, I learnt early on that meal planning was the way forward. It saved my sanity and stopped arguments almost instantly after me and T moved in together way back when. Why meal planning is important Meal planning for me means I know what to buy when I go food shopping. I do my plan before I write my shopping list on a Saturday morning. Because of this it saves us money too. When I am working, it means that I don’t have the stress of coming home and figuring out what to cook. Not that that matters at the…

  • blog graphic with title written in blue in the middle and two images of Spike, a 5 year old blonde haired, brown eyed girl enjoying herself. Image one is Spike on the sofa reading, image two is her laughing looking to the left of the camera after throwing rocks into the river on a sunny day
    Birthday,  Discussions,  Family,  Personal posts

    A Letter to Spike – on your 5th Birthday

    Dear Spike, Well this year’s birthday is a little different isn’t it? Yesterday we went for a socially distanced walk with Auntie K. At some point today or tomorrow, Grandma is driving up to drop your presents off at the end of the drive. Your birthday will be mostly celebrated with mummy and daddy at home. There are no fun days out. No birthday parties and no friends to have over for tea. Your past 12 months This year couldn’t be more different from the last 4. But we’ll make the most of it and you’ll end the day with a smile on your face just like you usually do.…

  • Graphic with blog title ‘planning a birthday in lockdown’ and two images. Image one is a colourful birthday cake which has ‘happy birthday’ written on it. Image two is a pile of colourful presents
    Birthday,  Discussions,  Family,  Personal posts

    Planning a birthday in lockdown – How we’re going to be spending Spike’s 5th birthday

    Spike has had a birthday party and a special family day out on her birthday since her very first birthday. It’s always a special day for her, and we always make sure there are memories made. Usually the days out feature the zoo but last year it was Coral Island where she felt very lucky all day!  This years expected party and day out plans This year she asked to go back to Chester Zoo, where we spent her 3rd birthday. She also was nearly the very lucky recipient of a birthday party at the Butterfly House and Mini Zoo in Lancaster. (Can you sense the theme – the girl…

  • Gift guide for a 5 year old - what we’re treating Spike to this year blog title banner with two images. Image 1 is Spike looking longingly into Waterstones’ window and the send if spike running through the garden with Dr Zigs giant bubbles
    Family,  Gift guide,  Gift Guides,  Home,  Money,  Personal posts

    Gift guide for a 5 year old – What we’re treating Spike to and what she is wishing for this year

    It’s May, which in our family means lots of birthdays. There are so many that when I found out I was due with Spike in the middle of the month, I thought there was no chance she wouldn’t share a birthday. She kept us waiting though and was born right at the end of the month. The day after her cousin’s birthday!  Gift buying amid lockdown   This year I started her birthday shopping early as I was worried that lockdown would affect shops delivering. So she hadn’t even started asking for things. Starting with the shopping in March meant I could gather interest in toys without her even questioning…

  • Blog title image with two photos of Spike riding a bike and the blog title, Learning to ride a bike - from ‘watch where you are going!’ to ‘its only a hill’
    Discussions,  Family,  Personal posts

    Learning to ride a bike – from ‘watch where you are going!’ to ‘its only a hill’

    Spike is quite late to the learning to ride a bike thing. She’s coming up to 5 and is still on stabilisers, with only a few outings on the bike she has because the weather over winter was awful. But I thought I’d share a little bit about her learning so far. A little late in starting Before we moved last August she had a balance bike but that was barely used. We lived on a main road and there weren’t many safe spaces to learn. She also HATED her helmet and I refused to let her ride without one. When we moved we got rid of the balance bike…

  • Blog title image with An Introduction to Bullet Journalling
    Bullet Journal,  Discussions

    An introduction to Bullet Journalling – how I have become more organised and less stressed

    Last year I found myself lost. I was forgetting about things left, right and centre and my work was suffering. My blog rarely got updated. I had to-do lists coming all over the place and would find them half complete three weeks later having forgotten about the other half. I needed to do something about it, so I decided to try out bullet journalling.  Bullet Journalling T started reading The Bullet Journal Method book by Ryder Carroll at Christmas 2018. He said it was fascinating and thought that it would really help him organise his life. I watched him follow the method for a year and thought it looked a…

  • Blog title image with caption Our First Month in Lockdown, Homeschooling, Easter Eggs and more with two images either side of text, one is Spike cutting out shapes for her homeschooling and the other is our wall mural lockdown project
    Discussions,  Family,  Home,  Personal posts

    Our first month in lockdown – Homeschooling, Easter Eggs and more

    So we’ve come through the other side of the first month in lockdown. How did your April go? Ours was a strange one like many will have been, but I thought I’d share a little about it… Our lockdown life To give a little background, we are homeschool Spike. My stepson stayed in his uni rental when uni closure was announced instead of coming home. So its just me, Spike and T. I have been furloughed as my company’s business, a holiday park, cannot operate. But T is still working, full time, from home.  Homeschooling  Homeschool is going ok. Spike is only in Reception so while it’s been a massive…

  • Blog Title image with Spike reading and with her bedtime storybook plus the title ;Becoming confident with reading’
    Discussions,  Home,  Personal posts,  School

    Becoming confident with reading – Spike’s exploration into the world of books

    Spike has literally been exposed to books since the day she was born. There have been books around her ever since, easily accessible for her to look at. And of course she’s seen me reading my books – knowing she cant and wouldn’t want to read them yet! Now she’s started school she’s become even more interested in reading and its making me so happy. Books from birth I started reading to Spike from the first night and I can count on one hand how many times she has gone to bed without a bedtime story. Even when we used to leave my mums house to drive home after a…

  • © David Litchfield Illustration / © Rankin 2020
    Discussions,  Family

    Raising funds for WHO and enjoying a great story with Joanna Lumley – Download The Bear and the Piano adaptation

    With so many of us staying at home, finding things to entertain the kids is difficult. For us, home is not somewhere we stay a lot. We love to explore. But when we are at home, we love to curl up with a good book. Our reserves are running low but thankfully Carrot Productions are here to help a bit – whilst helping WHO to raise funds to battle Covid-19 too!  The Bear and the Piano adaptation Last year, as part of the Carrot Productions showing of The Snowman, the team put together an amazing adaptation of David Lichfield‘s book The Bear and the Piano. The adaptation features amazing drawings…

  • Raimy hanging from a hoop with blog title and caption of feeling strong through aerial hoop

    My favourite fitness class so far – feeling strong through aerial hoop

    I’ve written before about how hard it is to find a way to keep fit when working full time and having a child to think about. Before I had Spike my body was completely different to what it is now. I was overweight, I know I was, but I wasn’t the shape I am now and I wasn’t as overweight as I am now. Since having her I’ve tried a number of fitness classes and more…  Weight issues  Although I’m overweight, I don’t do dieting. It makes me miserable counting calories and not eating certain foods so why would I want to do that?  Instead I try to keep fit,…