• A fantastic day out to bolton abbey in yorkshire
    Days out,  Family,  Travel,  Walking

    Beautiful waterfalls, amazing ruins and stepping stones – our awesome day trip to Bolton Abbey

    Last month was my birthday, and as always I wanted to celebrate with a special day with my family. A lot of things weren’t fully open near us, but thankfully I don’t mind driving that little bit further for special occasions. It turns out Bolton Abbey was the perfect place to visit. Beauty in the Yorkshire Dales Bolton Abbey is a ruined abbey in the Yorkshire dales. Its a massive estate with lots of walking trails, cafes and great areas for sitting and relaxing. The abbey and the stepping stones are what I wanted to go for but after we’d made the decision to go, I discovered the Valley of…

  • Blog post about judging the suitability of toys, books and TV shows for your child, with blog title in graphic and two images of Spike, one reading a Jurassic Park book about dinosaurs and the other watching Jane Goodall’s Documentary on my knee
    Discussions,  Family,  Personal posts

    Taking stock of what your kids are taking in – judging the suitability of your child’s toys, books & TV shows for yourself

    I recently read a thread by Jack Monroe about the David Williams books and what’s in them. As an avid book lover I was shocked to discover the theme and language used in these books. However I couldn’t help but think that this is what happens when we don’t take stock of what our kids are taking in. Or think about the suitability of toys, books and tv shows aimed at them. Having an awareness  It’s good to have an awareness of what Spike is taking in. I like to watch stuff with her then have conversations about what she’s watching. I like to read the books she reads first…

  • Birthday,  Days out,  Discussions,  Photography,  Travel

    Our August In Pictures

    This August was a strange one for us. We were meant to have a family week. We were expecting to go away for the first week of the month. But it didn’t happen. Instead we’ve been desperately trying to fit in our days out around work, kids club and other commitments. August is also my birthday month, which always means a fun day out in the sun (sunshine not always guaranteed.) And thankfully there was no exception to that this year. Days out – Grizedale Forest, Loughrigg Tarn, Rydal Caves and Bolton Abbey We had a couple of great days out in August and I loved each and every one.…

  • Why I buy second hand clothes for Spike and myself. Blog title graphic with two images of Spike warren second hand clothes I've bought her
    Discussions,  Family,  Home,  Money

    Buying second hand – Being environmentally friendly, money conscious and giving a helping hand

    If you’ve got children you won’t be surprised with the fact that they grow out of everything in a blink of an eye. Spike is a slow grower and when she turned 5 she was still in mostly 3-4 or 4-5 year clothing. Then she shot up another 5cms and I was pilling up the clothes that didn’t fit. Thankfully I’ve found something that helps the wallet when these growth spurts happen… buying second hand clothes. Needing a whole new wardrobe after a growth spurt As I put clothes to the side that she was growing out of, the drawers started to thin out. With my furlough wages I couldn’t…

  • Kids plasters always come in handy on days out when you have a little one as clumsy as Spike
    Ad,  Days out,  Discussions,  Family

    Being prepared on a day out – dealing with the inevitable with a little help from Safe and Sound Health

    This post was written in collaboration with Safe and Sound Health , but all words and pictures are my own. Spike is so accident prone. She falls on also every day out we have. So in addition to the standard lunches and water bottles, I like to be prepared with the essentials like kids plasters whenever possible. Our trip to Grizedale Forest Last week we made the most of the sunshine and headed to our nearest Forestry Commission Forest, Grizedale. We’d spent New Year’s Day here and loved it. We spend a lot of our weekends travelling out to places like thi. Spike loves to explore and me and T…

  • Days out,  Discussions,  Family,  Home,  Photography

    Our July in Pictures

    Last month I thought Lockdown had gone quick. It’s nothing compared to how fast the last two weeks had gone. I’m back at work, Spike is back at kids club. It seems like two minutes ago when I was collecting our June pictures together. July just wizzed by. July 2020 We managed to fit a fair bit into July. Visiting friends. Spending some time in a coffee shop. Climbing a big hill. paddling in rivers. Visiting one of our favourite day out locations in Cumbria, Lowther Castle. We had a week where my sister stayed to look after Spike while I worked so she got to explore amazing trees. Plus…

  • Blog graphic with title - our plans for summer 2020 with two images of Spike a 5 year old girl with blonde hair. First image Spike is looking away from the camera looking at a water feature at Haigh Hall Country Park and the second she is posing for the camera in a floppy sun hat and 70s style top with flower on in front of a river in the sunshine
    Family,  Holiday,  Home,  School

    Our plans for Summer 2020 – What we’ll be doing during Spike’s first summer holidays

    Summer 2020 was meant to be Spike’s first proper ‘summer holidays’. With me and T both working full time we arranged a week at Spike’s aunty’s for her, and a week off work together for a holiday. With the rest of the summer spent at kids club for Spike. But of course, because of Covid-19, things were a little up in the air. Now though, it seems to have settled and as long as a second wave doesn’t arrive we’ve got things sorted – though they have changed. Working full time in school holidays We always knew that having full time, 9-5 jobs meant that some of the summer would…

  • Our June 2020 in pictures blog graphic with blog title and two images. First shows a 5 year old blonde girl with her arms outsretched under a canopy of trees in the woods, the second shows the same girl painting a money box shaped like a cat.
    Discussions,  Family,  Home,  Personal posts,  Photography

    Our June in pictures

    I think time sped up when lockdown begun. Do you agree? I can’t believe we’re at the end of June. But with lockdown no on the wind down and me facing the prospect of returning to work, I thought I might start reflecting on our months. June 2020 June was a lot of the same as previous months. We worked on our lockdown project a little. Spike started playing with some friends on our estate and because social bubbles are a thing we got a visit in with Auntie K and a socially distanced garden day with grandma. Natures playground We have made the most of the slow pace and…

  • Lancashire and Cumbria days out. Two photos of Spike, a blonde haired brown eyed preschooler enjoying Lowther Castle and Mrs Dowson's Farm
    Days out,  Family,  Home,  Travel

    Our favourite North West Days out around Lancashire and Cumbria

    Lancashire and Cumbria are awesome places to explore and while a lot of attractions are currently closed, it still has a whole host of places to enjoy for walking and playing in nature. We’ve been talking a lot about our favourite attractions and walks in and around Lancashire lately, to put onto our Lockdown wishlist and I thought it would be good to do a little round up of some of our favourite Cumbria and Lancashire days out! Free days out I’ve a whole blog post about free Cumbria and Lancashire days out from a few years ago, but to be honest we hadn’t even gone that far when I…

  • Blog title graphic - sitting at the table for mealtimes - with two images. On the left is Spike, a 4 year old blonde haired brown eyed girl eating cake, the the right is Spike eating beans and sausage looking very cheeky
    Discussions,  Family,  Home,  Personal posts

    Sitting down together at the table for mealtimes – what we’ve noticed since we changed our ways

    Growing up our dining room table wasn’t used. It was an extension of the shop that my parents owned. Often covered in newspapers, magazines or stock that needed to go out into the shop. I think I just about managed to eat breakfast on it most mornings. But that was it. And I can only remember eating together as a family around it at Christmas. Breakfast would often be eaten alone, tea time was spent in the living room around the TV. Or in my bedroom. Even when I spent mealtimes in the living room, my meals were often at different times to my parents once I was in my…