Saturday was an extremely lazy day in our house. Outside was bitterly cold, we were all feeling slightly under the weather and I think to be honest suffering with the belated January blues. January was actually a great month for us, we cracked on with lots of decorating in the house, we ordered new sofas and a new bed, we did some entertaining and spent lots of time with family and we still managed a couple of nice days out even though we were so busy. And when February came along we kind of ran out of steam I guess. The first week was a wash out weather wise and then the temperature dropped and being cold always makes me grumpy, and living with half decorated rooms is a little bit depressing to tell the truth. So we’ve been in a little bit of a February slump. So on Saturday morning we woke up and none of us really had any desire to get up and go anywhere so we had one of those amazingly unproductive days that make you feel a little bit guilty but at the same time you secretly love them. At midday we all ended up back in our new super king sized bed for random snuggles…

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10 years we’ve been together this year and I think it’s safe to say life is not quite as romantic as it once was. This time in our lives is not about wining and dining in fancy restaurants, nights out at the theatre, or even the cinema. It’s not about overnight trips away at a moments notice or travelling to far flung places just the two of us. The new experiences we are having together are much closer to home these days. We don’t have hours to talk of our hopes and dreams, our past and our future, we’re lucky to get through a sentence without being interrupted or forgetting what we were trying to say. This is not the time for Sundays spent in bed, we’d be quite happy with more than an hour before one of the kids comes in to join us! ‘Us’ these days means five not two. It’s hard to hold hands with each other when we’ve only four between us and there’s six of theirs. Six little hands, all needing a piece of us, it doesn’t leave much  time for each other. Life at the moment is chaotic, it’s busy, frustrating and sometimes relentlessly hard. But it’s still romantic… just in a different way. When you…

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Everyone loves a good bedtime story, but how often do you incorporate reading and storytelling into the rest of your day? We aren’t teaching Mabel to read at the moment in the widely accepted sense because she is still only four and I think that waiting until she can pick it up quickly and with confidence will have more benefits in the long run than trying to force it before she is ready. But before teaching phonics, I am absolutely passionate about fostering a love of books and storytelling in any way that I can and letting her pick up some reading skills naturally along the way. So for that reason, I try to make sure that we read as much as possible. My three all love a book, but it’s not always easy to get them to sit down and listen to a story when they are such active little balls of energy and there are so many distractions around the house during the day. One thing that I have found works really well is to take a book with us when we go out and about on one of our adventures. It’s a nice excuse to sit down and have a…

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The worst thing you could do to my children is keep them cooped up indoors for longer than a day or two. They won’t tell you that they want to go outside, they won’t beg to go to the park or anything like that and in fact most of the time when I want to get them out of the house it’s under duress, unless I have some kind of carrot to dangle in front of them for encouragement. But they don’t know what’s good for them though you see, for some reason they think they’d rather stay at home to scream at each other and trash the house as they spiral further and further down into insanity until they get to the point where I just can’t reach them anymore and there’s nothing to be done except take them somewhere with open space and let them run, jump, splash, climb, swing, slide and scream it out of their systems. And that’s exactly the point that we had gotten to on Thursday morning, after not leaving the house all week. I had already decided the night before that enough was enough. I couldn’t take it anymore, they couldn’t take anymore, and rain or no rain we were going out in the morning. It…

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It’s been almost 5 months since Mabel didn’t start school, so I thought I would write a little update on how we’re finding it so far. Well, where do I start? I’ll be honest it’s not quite what I was expecting back in August when I started preparing for official home education. I had all these plans, schedules and topic lists, I had visions of pinterest crafts and workbooks and projects we could do together and well, it hasn’t exactly worked out like that so far. Don’t get me wrong, there has been a bit of that. But there’s mainly been an awful lot of err… not that. Because Mabel at the end of the day is four years old, pretty much all she wants to do is play. Also sing, dance, make a lot of mess and watch cartoons… but mostly just play. Which when you think about it is probably what she is meant to spend her time doing… after all she’s not even five yet. When I want to sit down and do a carefully chosen and planned out craft activity with her, she couldn’t be less interested. Then the minute I turn my back, out comes the paint,…

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As parents we’ve been awake before sunrise more times than I could possibly count, but I can’t remember the last time I actually saw the sun rise. I have this foggy childhood memory of early morning trips to cook breakfast on the beach with my Nanny and Granddad, snuggled up on fold out chairs under big thick blankets and enjoying the peace and tranquillity of the sea before most people were out and about. There was something so exciting about it and it’s something that I’ve always had in the back of mind mind as a tradition to recreate with my own children one day. Quite why the idea decided to strike me on a Friday afternoon in January I’m not sure, but once I had the thought in my head it just wouldn’t go away. I wasn’t quite brave enough to attempt bacon and eggs on a camp stove this time, but watching the sunrise with a mug of something warm I could definitely manage. So that is how we ended up bundling three children in the car at 7.30am on Saturday morning with a flask of hot chocolate and a random selection of mugs chucked in my handbag, and…

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Social media and I have had a bit of a turbulent relationship since I started blogging. On one hand I absolutely love it. I love that being online these days you can be part of these amazing little communities without even leaving your sofa. I especially love Instagram for this and I think the new(ish) stories update has made it even better. On my worst days with the kids, when I’ve hardly slept the night before, I desperately need a shower that I’m not going to get, and I’ve cleaned up so many messes by 10am that the thought of trying to leave the house leaves me exhausted, pale and sweaty… well on those days I can just open up a little app on my phone and there you go, a little escape. A whole world of people, from other mums like me having the same issues, living the same life, to extremely glamorous people living their lives against white backgrounds… and everything in between. When I’ve shared problems online I’ve had support and condolences from people I have never met and that is truly amazing. Sharing my day to day on Instagram/Facebook/Twitter (lol I never go on Twitter), makes me feel…

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Balance. The answer to all of life’s problems it would seem. Whether you’re struggling with your diet, trying to keep all family members as happy as possible or trying to find that elusive sweet spot between work and life… all you need is a bit of balance. A little bit of everything is good for us apparently, just as long as we keep the scales level. And it makes sense it really does, but I’m just so rubbish at it it’s funny. I can’t seem to be able to spread myself between several projects, giving them all equal attention and enthusiasm, as much as I might want to. I have a tendency to throw myself into just one thing, letting any semblance of balance fly out of the window while almost everything else in my life gives way to the current project taking all of my attention. I started the year with four main goals, or areas to focus on this year. In a nutshell they were a healthy diet and lifestyle, being more proactive about getting out and about with the kids during the week, buying a new car, and sorting out the house. The idea of course was…

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