Saturday, 17 January 2015

Happy 17th birthday Lauren!

January 13th was Lauren's 17th birthday!

I have no idea where the last 17 years have gone, it is crazy! But what I do know is how proud I am of my beautiful, clever, sweet young lady - my oldest baby who will always be my little girl in my eyes, no matter how old she gets. 

Every year I buy the kids a new outfit to wear on their birthday - here is Lauren looking stunning in her new outfit.




Monday, 12 January 2015

Year one - semester one - an update.

I have now finished my first semester at uni and have ten days off before it's time to go back and start semester two. It has been a manic few months but I did it all, just hope I pass! I was not sure if I should post about this as I am not sure how interesting people will find it, but then my blog has always been about my efforts to improve my life for myself and my family and this is a big part of that so here goes!

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Resolutions 14/15

Last year I set myself three new year resolutions which I'm ashamed to say that I failed big time to complete!

I set myself the challenges of 1) Giving up smoking.
                                                2) Losing a minimum of three stone in weight.
                                                3) Opening up a new business.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

My top 5 blog posts from 2014

I thought that it would be a good time for some shameless self promotion!

No, seriously, I thought it would be nice to remind my readers of the most read posts of last year and show the posts to any new readers who might enjoy them. 

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Friday, 2 January 2015

Gratitude jars.

If you have not heard of gratitude jars before, a simple search on pinterest will bring up hundreds of examples. The basic idea is that each day that something lovely happens you write it down on a piece of paper and add it to your jar throughout the year and then at the end of the year you and your family can read them all out and reminisce about all the great things that you have been thankful for during the year.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

An update to finish off 2014!

Hello out there! I can not believe that it has been nearly four months since I last posted, returning to a full time degree has been a lot more hectic then I imagined. Life has certainly been busy but I feel like I am getting things under control and I am hoping to start posting much more regularly!

Monday, 1 September 2014

Summer 2014 update - part two

Hello my friends, can you believe that it is the 1st of September today already? The summer holidays have flown by for us and we have been so busy organising everything for all of the changes that we have going on in our lives at the moment.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

42 days of summer!

The summer holidays are always a controversial topic with many parents dreading occupying their children for such a long time, other parents worrying about how they will manage with childcare during the long summer holidays and then the parents like myself, that actually can't wait for the summer holidays as we have so much fun each year! No matter what your view on the summer holidays is, there is no doubt that they can be stressful if you are not prepared, so I thought I would share some of my tips on making the most of the summer holidays.

My top tips for a stress free summer (although a little later then I had anticipated) are;

1) Plan! I am a huge believer in the old saying - failing to plan is planning to fail! Now I am all for children having time to use their imagination and deal with feeling bored rather then being totally over scheduled with every minute accounted for, but I also think that as a parent you need to know what you are doing and when, so that you can plan for work commitments, plan budgets, book activities etc so every year I make my children summer holiday books which tell them what we will be doing each day. You can read about these on a previous post which I wrote here. The idea is that the children do not have to continually pester me about when will we be doing certain activities and I can create a good balance of activities and free time where they can play in the garden or out with friends, use their imagination and over come boredom. Having a routine for each week mapped out in the books makes life so much simpler and is good for the children as it keeps them more focused and we are all kept happy.

2) Make a back up plan. I like to keep a few indoor activities in a secret place so that if something happens that you can not predict, such as bad weather or one of the kids becomes poorly, and you can not do what you had planned there is still something fun that is on hand to keep the kids happy and you sane!

3) Be open minded. I think that the summer holidays are really important for bonding with your children and as a family and they are also the perfect time to make memories that will last a life time, so the summer holidays are a time for letting your hair down and being silly! Do cart wheels in the garden, join in at the soft play, cover yourself in homemade face packs, dig for worms in the mud and get stuck in with the kids, they will love you for it.

4) Relax and be a bit more flexible with the children. Yes it is important to still keep some kind of routine for the children as most children do thrive when there are rules and boundaries in place and they know what they are doing, but does it really matter if they have sweets three days in a row, or if they stay up a little later then usual? You need to relax your expectations and there will be far less arguments and stress.

5) Make a budget and stick to it. Money can often be tight for families now more then ever, so decide on a budget that you can afford and then plan your holidays with that in mind. If you are on a very low budget there are lots of free or low cost activities that you can do if you do a bit of research and use your imagination. 

This post was inspired by the McVitie's/Britmums blogging challenge and McVitie's were kind enough to send me some of their BN biscuits. 

We received a packet of the chocolate flavoured biscuits and a packet of the raspberry ones.





The biscuits are artificial free and 45% wholemeal and whole grain. They are also really tasty and make a great treat after a busy morning or afternoon of summer fun!

I was a bit worried about the raspberry flavour if I'm honest, but they actually taste great and my oldest daughter Lauren who is 16 said that the raspberry ones were her favourite. 

I loved the chocolate ones the best as I am a bit of a self confessed chocoholic and Faith said that she could not decide on a favourite flavour as they were both equally yummy!

The biscuits are a good size to fill hungry tummies and I will definitely be keeping some in my cupboards from now on!





I had to laugh when I came into the kitchen and found Faith using two of the biscuits like dolls talking to each other! It's because of the cute faces on the biscuits so they are also great for imaginative play!

This post is my entry for the 42 days of summer linky challenge sponsored by McVitie's BN - Learn more at http://www.mcvities.co.uk