• finding time to listen to my favourite podcasts, image is of two photographs - Raimy a 31 year old woman with dark purple hair bullet journalling with headphones in and the other Raimy's bullet journal and pencil case with her phone playing The Guilty Feminist podcast
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    Finding some ‘me’ time – my favourite podcasts and how I fit in listening around parenting

    This year I have been focusing on getting ‘me’ back. I used to listen to so much, read some much and watch so much that I always had things to talk about with people – other than parenting. Yet during 2018/19 I discovered this wasn’t the case any more. I wanted to do more to be me. I started slowly with dance during the start of 2019, then started hoop when we moved. Slowly I’d been reading more and more too. But my latest love is podcasts. I have learnt so much and discovered so many new people from my podcasts lately. So I thought I would share my favourite…

  • 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.
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    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…

  • Managing money and savings when you have a family. Image is blog title with money in jar with a plant growing out of it and a screenshot from the app MoneyWiz 3
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    Managing money and starting to save – top tips for forecasting your spend and stop living month by month

    If you had mentioned the idea of doing a post about money on my blog just a couple of years ago, I probably would have laughed in your face. Me and T have never been overly careful with money. We lived month by month and had credit cards and store cards. A few years ago, just after we had Spike in fact, we started talking about saving for a house. But it seemed so unrealistic at the time. Managing money wasn’t even in our vocabulary! Our situation when we started saving Renting our house, paying off old debt and spending more than we made. They are all traps that get…

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

  • A blog graphic with post title and two images. The first showing a girl in a unicorn scarf/hat browsing books in Waterstones and the second a 3 year old girl in front of art showing wings at Chester Zoo
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    Our Post-Lockdown Wishlist – Days out and things Spike is looking forward to when we can start the new normal

    Early on in Lockdown Spike was asking a lot of questions about the things that we could not do. It was devastating to hear her ask to visit people, see friends and go on her favourite days out and have to say no. While the questions have stopped, the wishing has started. Spike refers to the lockdown period we are in as the ‘Nasty Bug Days’. She often wishes to do things as soon as these days are over. I have told her we’ll keep a list of all the things she wants to do and try and get to them as soon as we can. Here’s just a few…

  • 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.
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    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…

  • 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
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    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 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
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    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’
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    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…