Admitting you can’t do it all – when you feel like you’re failing

As I’m writing this, it’s Saturday night. My husband is at work, the littlest two asleep, the bigger two in their beds reading. I’ve been busy all day, ‘Autumn Cleaning’ the house, sorting through things ready for a car-boot sale next week, helping the teen sort her wardrobe out, playing with the toddler, doing laundry, cooking meals, diffusing tantrums. I have a mental to-do list running that’s longer than my arm. Jobs that I ‘have’ to get done before we start homeschool/work/back to normal schedules this week. I keep adding more and more to my list. Hunting Pinterest/my cookbooks for more Autumn-y meals for our weekly meal plans. Finishing reorganising our playroom cum craftroom cum school room. Sorting my whole house out ahead of said car boot. Catching up on blog posts I need to write. Writing all the blog posts that are swimming in my head, begging me to write them down. Reading the pile of books I’ve had sat by my bed all summer. Watching a movie. Doing paperwork. As I made dinner, I made a list of what I could do this evening once the kids were in bed. And then it took me an hour to get…

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Staycation Ideas for Families

If holidays abroad aren’t an option for you, or you’re simply looking for a family staycation in the UK, there are some great, affordable options to suit every family and budget. The benefits to a staycation are that travelling costs are minimal and there are a great range of options of family-friendly ideas- whether you’re looking for a hotel stay or self-catering accommodation. The UK has beautiful countryside that is studded with castles and country houses, balanced out by dynamic cities bursting with fantastic attractions aimed at kids or families, many of which are free to visit, and the seaside is always popular with kids. If you’re looking for some ideas for Staycations, here are five that are on our visit list London The capital has so much to offer families and is a perfect getaway for a family holiday. We’re thinking of finding an Airbnb for us to stay in, my budget is low so I prefer to be somewhere we can self-cater to keep costs down. WIth a huge array of museums to viist, some iconic sites to take in, as well as theatre shows, palaces, and some beautiful parks, there is something to suit every age and budget.…

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Kid-friendly bedroom makeovers

We’ve had a few bedroom swap-arounds this year. When we moved in, Kiki and Baya shared the master room, Lola had the small back bedroom and Beastie had the other front bedroom. Fast forward 18 months, and I decided to swap Lola and Beastie’s rooms around, as he doesn’t’ even sleep in his room, and his was a little bigger {and lighter} than Lola’s. Then a few months later, after a lot of nagging from Kiki, I finally did one last swap and let her have a room of her own. Now, technically, Baya and Beastie share a room – in as much as his bed, wardrobe and soft toys are in Baya’s room, though he still sleeps with me so she mostly has the room to herself. We’ve plans to move one of them down into the playroom in a few years when Beastie and Baya can’t/don’t want to share and we need a fifth bedroom. I’ve also been doing a little bit of decorating here and there, making their rooms reflect their personalities. I saw someone asking on my Facebook the other day if you let your kids choose their own decor. Within reason, I do – I…

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Review | The Good Life Experience 2017

Early September marks the end of the summer, a return for all of us to our normal routines after a summer break. While I love the crisp autumn days and the feeling of a new start {thanks to years of school starting in Spetember}, yet packing away the tent and saying goodbye to festival season is always a little sad. Thankfully, this year, just like last, we spent a weekend at The Good Life Experience, the perfect mid-September remedy to the end of summer! Set amongst the picturesque fields of Hawarden Farm Estate, former home of Prime Minister William Gladstone and now owned by his great-great grandson Charlie Gladstone (also the force behind vintage lifestyle brand, Pedlars). It’s a small but well-put-together festival celebrating the outdoors, traditional crafts, campfire cooking, music, talks and simple pleasures that are designed to bring people together. The main tent’s musical lineup is curated by the festival’s co-founder, Cerys Matthews, and spans everything from the Flint Male Voice Choir to British Sea Power – with something in between to suit everyone. The Caught By The River stage has some great musical offerings too – Joan Shelley on Friday night was a highlight for me. The daytimes are full…

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Recipe | Mid-Week Fruit Salad and Meringues

Dessert in our house is usually fruit alongside whatever home-baked goodies we have made that week. Lately, I’ve been keeping a dish of fruit salad made up in the fridge, which is perfect teamed with a little yogurt, or heaped on top of a slice of cake {balances the naughtiness out, right?!}. Some days we just need something a little fancier… days like today, when it’s cold and wet, and we have a million things to do before we go away! This dessert looks decadent, tastes delicious and the kids always feel like they’ve had a real treat! It’s also quick and easy to throw together which is always a bonus in a busy house. We walked up to our local Lidl on Tuesday, as it’s my favourite place to stock up on fruit and veg – their prices are SO low compared to other supermarkets, and I can fill a trolley full and still spend less than £50 which is amazing when I have four hungry kiddos to feed. It is actually Red Tractor Week this week – a week of celebrating great food, great farming and quality food that you can trust. Supported by BBC Countryfile presenter and Red Tractor farmer Adam…

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One year on

It’s been a while since I’ve really ‘written’ here… not just chit chat, but the deep and meaningful. For a while, I stopped as I wasn’t sure it fitted here, but lately, I’ve been pondering and this space is a reflection of my whole life, not just parts of it. It’s been a year today since my world collapsed, I went back and read an old post I wrote about it yesterday, and it amazed me to realise how far I’ve come. How I feel like an entirely different person from the one who wrote that post. I AM an entirely different person, those broken pieces have been put back together, but in a different order. I’m stronger than I ever was, more settled, happier, freer, braver… far more capable than I ever gave myself credit for. Looking back at some of the things I wrote as my marriage fell apart, I see a woman who had lost sight of herself. Who’d allowed herself to be defined by somebody else for most of her adult life. Someone who had forgotten that she held the power of her life within. The only regret I have of that time is that I…

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