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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The Siblings project is one blog post that I am determined to make sure gets done written single month this year. I’m not going to stress out about getting amazing photos, as long as it’s done that’s the important thing. It’s really hard to photograph three children together, and I’ve discovered that it only get’s harder when the littlest one is able to run away. And does. Frequently. But this project is my prompt to take the photos and my motivation not to give up and try again when I flick through the images on the back of my camera and Ernie is but a blur in every single one. So at the end of 2017 we will have 12 sets of photos of these three, showing them growing up together as one little unit. Maybe we’ll get one or two nice ones that can go on the wall, but mostly there’s going to be an awful lot of ones like these. Messy hair, no one looking at the camera, but in their natural environment, just doing what they do. Carl and I were talking last night about how’s there’s been a little bit of a change in their dynamic…

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On Monday I attended a mini online workshop with Michelle Reeves to help me find my one word to guide and inspire me in 2017. At the beginning of a New Year I always think a lot about what I want the themes of the year to be, how do I want to be feeling when I sit and reflect at the end of December 2017 and what are the biggest priorities in our life going to be this year? Choosing one word kind of links all of these things together and gives me a focus point. Something to build everything else around. You know I love a mantra and a positive affirmation and this is kind of along the same lines. The idea is to put your word up somewhere prominent where you can see it regularly and keep it in mind as much as possible as you go through your days. So it’s got to be a good word right? No pressure, just my happiness and success for an entire year riding on this one word… There are a lot of words in the English language to choose from and I am a ridiculously indecisive person so I was expecting this to…

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