• 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…

  • 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
    Discussions,  Home,  Personal posts,  Technology

    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.
    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…

  • 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
    Discussions,  Home,  Money,  Personal posts

    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…

  • 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…

  • 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
    Days out,  Discussions,  Family,  Holiday,  Home,  Personal posts,  School

    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.
    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…