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Review: Sainsbury’s Lentil Dahl Soup

Sainsbury’s Lentil Dahl Soup

Now that we’re nearly at the end of October the weather has definitely taken a turn, it’s officially soup weather.

We always have tinned soup in the cupboard as it’s a great option to have when we’re rushing around with the kids and we want something warm and filling. My all-time favourite soup is tomato soup, preferably with a stack of bread but is also amazing with cheese on toast.

A pot of Sainsbury's Lentil Dahl soup in a bowl with a spoon

Sainsbury’s Lentil Dahl Soup

However, I also love beans and pulses so this Lentil Dahl soup ticks all the boxes.

Sainsbury’s Lentil Dahl Soup is packed with carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, lentils, and chickpeas with a blend of fragrant spices.

It’s a lovely chunky soup that didn’t need any extra seasoning.

The use-by date is always really good on these fresh soups but you can also freeze them.

A bowl of Sainsbury's Lentil Dahl Soup in a bowl with naan bread on the side

Our Thoughts

I loved this soup.

It ticked all of the boxes in terms of texture and taste and was really filling having half the pot with a couple of mini naan breads.

This soup is only £1.60 and lasted for two lunchtime meals making it 80p per portion so very affordable.

I would definitely buy this soup again. Give the Lentil Dahl Soup a try yourself next time you pop into Sainsbury’s.

*This was a sponsored post but all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

A bowl of Lentil Dahl soup with naan bread on the side

 

Review: Tesco Finest Maple Bacon & Extra Mature Cheddar Quiche

Tesco Finest Maple Bacon & Extra Mature Cheddar Quiche

Quiche is quite a versatile dish and as a kid, I remember it only being something we had at a party as part of a buffet. This Tesco Finest Maple Bacon & Extra Mature Cheddar Quiche looks a lot fancier than the ones that we used to have.

Tesco Finest Maple Bacon & Extra Mature Cheddar Quiche

When you think of quiche, generally Quiche Lorraine or Cheese and Onion Quiche spring to mind but there are so many other fillings that can be added to a quiche that can be enjoyed as a lunch option or part of a hearty meal.

My eldest had a bit of a thing for broccoli quiche which had a tomato base when he was younger. He would have quite happily have eaten this every day if we’d let him.

Hot or Cold?

Which side of the fence do you sit? My Mum and Dad always used to put the quiche in the oven and have it with salad and all the trimmings (beetroot, coleslaw, and such likes) as my Mum used to call them.

I prefer mine cold and will happily have it with salad as part of a meal or as a quick and easy lunch option to take to work with me as it’s really filling. Having said that, the pastry crust is crispier if you put it in the oven.

Tesco Finest Maple Bacon & Extra Mature Cheddar Quiche

Tesco Finest Maple Bacon & Extra Mature Cheddar Quiche

I’m expecting good things from this quiche as it’s part of the Tesco’s Finest range.

The quiche is topped with slices of streaky Maple Bacon and cooked with extra mature Cheddar Cheese.

It can be eaten hot (cook in 20 minutes) or cold and can also be frozen to eat at a later date.

Our Thoughts

The quiche looks yummy and was tested by myself and my eleven-year-old daughter, Isabelle.

It tasted as good as it looked. There wasn’t too much pastry or too much filling, it was just right. The bacon was evenly distributed and there was bacon in each bite. It’s quite naughty as it contains butter, cream, and cheese, but as a treat, this would be nice.

This would be delicious hot as well as cold.

I would definitely buy this quiche again and may get one and freeze it for our Boxing Day buffet.

*This was a sponsored post but all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

tesco-finest-maple-bacon-extra-mature-cheddar-quiche/

 

 

Book Review: Find Your Why – Joanne Mallon

Find Your Why – Joanne Mallon

When I was asked to review Find Your Why – Joanne Mallon I jumped at the chance. I’m not a particularly ‘Woo’ person, but I think there’s definitely something about positive thinking, setting goals, and a positive mindset.

find you why - Joanne Mallon Book review

If you look at people who you consider to be successful, they all have a very common attribute. They set goals and make them happen. What’s the saying “from small seeds grow big oak trees” or something along those lines. The gist of it being that the seed is the idea, and every step you take is watering and nurturing that tree until one day the tree is a flourishing oak.

Setting goals and then breaking that goal down into manageable pieces makes it more achievable. Your goal won’t be the same as the person sitting next to you, and your version of success in life and career won’t be the same either.

Book Review - Find Your Why - Joanne Mallon

Find Your Why by Joanne Mallon is a very easy read which gives you much food for thought.

This book helps you discover ‘Your Why’ and is packed full of loads of tips and advice which will enable you to work out what these are and reach them. Knowing what you want in life is the driving force behind why we do the things we do.

Essentially we are in control of our lives and future lives, and setting goals and putting things in motion gives us a good sense of wellbeing and positivity.

This book makes you sit and think about what you want in life and how you can make it possible.

Book Review - Find Your Why - Joanne Mallon

My Thoughts

My first thought is how gorgeous the book looks and feels with the embossed front cover and nice thick white paper. The book is also full of inspirational quotes which I really like anyway, and they also make you stop and think about what they mean for you.

This book made me stop and think about a lot of things that I want to achieve both personally and professionally

I’ve got quite a few goals on the go at the moment with the top two being:

Buying a house – this is something we’ve been working towards for a while and hopefully, it won’t be too long before this box is ticked.

Scaling my business – I freelance as a Virtual Assistant and I love it but want to set up multiple income streams so that I can work flexibly around my kids whilst enjoying life.

Overall I really enjoyed this book and even better is that’s it’s not a one-time read. I know that I’ll be rereading this book time and again so that I can recap and refocus on whatever it is I want to achieve.

I would definitely recommend this book. Joanne also writes a blog www.opposablethumbsblog.com

*This post may contain affiliate links which means that I receive a small payment should you click the link and make a purchase at no extra cost to yourself.

Pumpkin Picking and Halloween Activities in Exeter

Pumpkin Picking and Halloween Activities in Exeter

It looks like Halloween is back on this year with lots of places to choose from Pumpkin Picking and Halloween Activities in Exeter and the surrounding area. It does look like everything is on a pre-booked basis so if you find something you fancy make sure you snap up some tickets.

Pumpkin Picking and Halloween Activities in Exeter and surrounding areas

I definitely want to take the kid’s pumpkin picking this year. We haven’t done it before and last year the place we were supposed to go was rained off on the day we’d booked and then cancelled for the remainder of the dates due to flooding which was a shame.

Here are some of the great activities and places to go this Halloween.

Halloween Pumpkin Trail at the Devon Railway Centre

Halloween Pumpkin Trail – Devon Railway Centre

Running from 23rd – 31st October, the Devon Railway Centre. Follow the Pumpkins to find the Halloween Treasure. Find out more via the Devon Railway Centre Facebook Page.

Childrens Halloween Activities and Pumpkin picking in Exeter

Halloween Party – The Creedy Centre, Crediton – Sunday 31st October

Run by Unique Sweets and Treats and Paint Pots of Devon there are two sessions running on the day. The Admission Price includes sweets from the Trunk & Treat attraction, unlimited squash from the Café, free access to all the games & attractions. For more details and to book tickets head to the Facebook Event.

Pumpkin Picking and Halloween Activities in Exeter

Spook Fest – Crealy – 23rd – 31st October

Featuring NEW spook-tacular attractions, creepily good live shows and entertainment and the return of some of your favourite Halloween attractions! The fang-tastic Halloween event includes…
The Creaky Hotel (Under New Management)
The Haunting Of The Wilderness
Scarecrow Scare Maze
Book Of Spells Live Show
Buddy & Blossom’s Halloween Bash
Pumpkin Patch’s Plot (Includes FREE pumpkin)
To book Tickets via the Crealy Website.
The Jolly Group Pick Your Own Pumpkin

Jolly Pumpkin – Pick your own – Silverton – 15th – 31st October

Pick from 50 different varieties of pumpkin, Squash, and Gourd starting at just £1. Ticket booking is essential but no time scale on how long you stay. Put your wellies on and grab one of their colourful wheelbarrows. Refreshments are available. For more information and to book tickets head to the Jolly Pumpkin Facebook Page.
Spooktackular Halloween Train Play

Halloween Spooktacular Train Play – Topsham – 31st October 10am – 4pm

Fancy dress is optional but there will be prizes every session for the best dressed.
Pre-booking only via their website www.trainplaydevon.co.uk
ullacombe farm shop halloween party

Halloween Half-Term Party – Ullacombe Farm Shop – 26th October 10.30 – 12.30

Held at the fabulous Ullacombe Farm in Bovey, there will be lots of spooky party games with prizes, decorating Halloween decs, learning dance, and singing a song from some Halloween-themed musicals! Suitable for ages 5+ and just £15 to join in for the 2-hour workshop. There is a £5 non-refundable deposit to pay upon booking. This is a drop-off session with parents returning at the end for a mini-performance from the young spooks! For more information and to book a ticket head to the Ullacombe Farm Shop Facebook Page.
Exton Village Halloween Walk

Halloween Walk – Exton – 31st October 5pm

A thrilling and super scary, sweet-filled Halloween walk on 31st October. It will start at Copper Beech House (with the chimpanzee!), will pass by a number of our generous hosts, and end at the puffing billy for snacks. Get your costumes and dramatic makeup at the ready! Head to the Exton Village Facebook Page for more info.
Thorne's Farm shop

Pick your own Pumpkin and Charity Scarecrow Train – Crediton – 28th – 30th October 10am – 4pm

Pick Your Own Pumpkin festival with the added bonus of a charity scarecrow trail around the farm. Great for all ages. Bag of sweets for completed trail finds. Fancy dress is optional. For more details head to Thorne’s Farm Shop Facebook Page.

Shaldon Zoo Halloween Fright Night

Fright Night Shaldon Zoo – Saturday 30th October 3.30pm – 5.30pm

A fun filled evening for all the family. Come dressed in your favourite costumes and enter the fancy dress competition. Do a spooky walk around the zoo and see the animals who love to be awake after hours. To book tickets head to the Shaldon Zoo website.
Days Pottles Lane pick your own pumpkin

Pick Your Own Pumpkin – Days Pottle Lane, Exminster – 16th & 17th Oct and 23rd – 31st October

Pick your own pumpkins straight from the field, prices start at £1. No booking is required. Homemade food and drinks are available. Carve them onsite. Thre are is also an electric bike track, inflatable obstacles, face painting and archery. For more details head to the Facebook page.

Whatever you do this Halloween – Have a Spooktacular time!
See what we get up to in the next Family Life post.

Our Family Life 2021 (39/52)

Our Family Life 2021 (39/52)

Monday

Our Family Life 2021 – I knuckled down today and got a load of work completed. There’s something so satisfying beating a deadline and today was that day. I love listening to podcasts whilst I’m working rather than music – much more productive.

My faves are Chillpreneur with Denise Duffield-Thomas and Influencer Insights with Abi Hugo. Definitely worth a listen from a blogger/business point of view.

toddler boy sat in a car tyre

Tuesday

A full workday so not much to report.

Wednesday

It’s getting to that time of year when drying washing becomes a bit of a pain. I so wish we had room for a tumble dryer. One day I’ll get my utility room but until then it’s crappy Airers and washing draped on radiators (not that they’re on at the moment).

Oh and I’ve started my Christmas shopping. Last year was not the most organised so I wanted to get a head start to make sure that A – it’s done and B – No last-minute grab what’s there and pay over the odds for shopping happens.

I’ve no idea what we’re doing for Christmas this year but I want to be the organised one with all the shopping done and dusted mid-December!

Thursday

A work day in the office.

Friday

today was super busy. The morning seems to fly by and then it’s time to drop Freddie off at my mum’s so I can do my driving lesson. My instructor is pushing me quite hard which I like as I just want to get my license now. This is oy lesson number 3 but we’ve covered so much already including reverse parking, changing gear a million times with lots of clutch control, and driving into a parking space all of which have been fine. I’ve booked my theory test which I’ve got on the 1st November and fingers crossed I pass so I can get my practical test booked in.

I think my biggest fear of driving is going to be the kids in the back of the car moaning like they do on car journeys but we’ll see.

it was the school fair after school. It wasn’t as big as usual as they spaced everything out a bit more so the queues for everything were huge. Belle and her friend ditched us mums so they could go off on their own, but Freddie enjoyed the bouncy castle and the playground climbing space which he doesn’t usually get to play on. Belle was staying at her friends so by the time we got home it wasn’t long off bedtime so it was a quick shower for Freddie before bedtime.

toddler boy playing with playdoh shapes and cutters

Saturday

Belle spent the day at her friends and Freddie was tired after a week of preschool so we just pottered around at home. I had some coloured icing leftover from Belle’s birthday cake so I set up Freddie’s tuff tray with his playdoh cutters and let him play with that.

He really enjoyed that and was pleased that he could have a little taste as well as play with it. Once he’d finished I took all the cutters to be washed and came back to find an empty tray. The dog had scoffed the lot!

I phoned the vet as it was a lot of icing and was told that he would most likely have a sore belly and maybe some sickness and diarrhoea.

The dog has been drinking a ridiculous amount of water which I suppose is a good thing to flush the amount of sugar out he’s eaten.

Sunday

We popped out to TK Max to see if there was anything Hawaiian-themed for the Blog-on conference but there was nothing. I did manage to get a gorgeous leopard print notebook and a Bento box for Freddie so not an entirely wasted journey.

When we got home  Charlie (the dog) had left the biggest puddle of wee in the middle of the floor and looked rather sheepish. This is so unusual for him and obviously the result of his excessive water drinking.

Poor Charlie. He’ll always be led by that belly of his!

If you like reading our Family Life 2021 posts, then you can find more in the Family Life tab. You can also find us over on Instagram.

Our Family Life 2021 (38/52)

Our Family Life 2021 (38/52)

Monday

A child-free Monday which is the norm now that Freddie’s at pre-school all day on a Monday. Whilst its nice, I’m really missing my little side kick and am counting down the minutes until I can pick him up. It does mean that I can get a decent chunk of work done. Thankfully, when I picked him up he’d had a lovely day which put my mind at rest no end. He doesn’t say a word when I ask him what he’s been doing, so it’s lovely that we have an app that updates us on what he’s been doing.

He did say that he’d had a lovely day, and had a huge smile on his face which put my mind at rest.

Tuesday

A work day for me from home. I wonder if I’m on borrowed time now that lots of people are returning to the office, but hopefully I can work from home going forward as I really like it. I don’t take the mick, but I do sit in my comfies and pop downstairs every now and again for a Freddie cuddle. Best of both worlds in my opinion.

Wednesday

Nothing to report. Just a bit of housework and organising upcoming work.

Thursday

As I work for the NHS, we now have to have weekly LAMP testing and it’s totally gross. You have to spit in a pot first thing in the morning before you have a drink or brush your teeth. It might not seem like a big deal, but it’s stomach churning and really hard to do. It’s making me gag. Bring back LFT”s or give me a weekly PCR any day over this grossness!

Friday

I was supposed to have a driving lesson today but my instructor has COVID so I thought it would be nice to take lunch to my Mums. She’s been having Freddie so I can do my driving lessons. I went to a local deli and picked up one of their boxes full of gorgeous salady bits topped with chicken. Turned out that I went a bit overboard but it also meant that my Mum had enough leftover to have for her dinner as well instead of cooking.

On the way to school we went to the park where Freddie made friends with a little boy and girl. It was so nice seeing him interact with other kids when previously he would fall over himself to get away from other kids.

Saturday

We had Ryan and Little Boogs over so we made some cupcakes which went relatively well. I find with kids that you have to split whatever it is you’re doing into however many kids you have so that there are no misunderstandings as to what each of them own. Blue cupcake cases for Luka and pink ones for Freddie. We set up two decorating stations with icing and sprinkles for both. Freddie was done in 5 seconds flat whilst Luka took his time over each cake.

Sunday

Sunday’s are definitely our lazy day when we do everything at a much slower pace. It’s probably the best thing to come out of COVID and something we’ll cling onto going forward. Playing and eating being at the top of the list!

Ryan and Co popped back today to give me a gorgeous bunch of Sunflowers that Luka had picked at Darts Farm which was a lovely surprise.

Our Family Life 2021 (37/52)

Our Family Life 2021 (37/52)

Monday

It’s the last day of the school holidays. Belle starts in Year 6 and Freddie starts pre-school. We have no idea how Freddie is going to be when we drop him off tomorrow. Essentially we’ll be dropping him off with strangers as he hasn’t met any of them before. I don’t feel great about this, so today we’ve had extra cuddles and maybe a few extra treats.

Tuesday

Back to School! I’ve been a bag of nerves and didn’t sleep very well last night. Never mind kids getting separation anxiety, what about the parents! Freddie was very excited, and we hoped that the excitement would continue when it was time to leave him. Belle left us as soon as we got in the school gates to find her friends. We stood in the line waiting to drop Freddie off and he was absolutely fine. He found a ride-on police car and things were looking hopeful until it got to our turn and he had to go in the door. Parents aren’t allowed in the building, and it was really hard watching his face crumple when he realised we weren’t going in with him. I’m not even going to try and hide the fact that I had a little cry as we walked back through the school. I hated leaving him. They said they would ring us to let us know if he’d settled. I literally counted down the minutes until we could go and pick him up. He seemed fine as he was sat on the carpet with all the other kids. It was only when he spotted us that he started to sob. That cuddle was literally the best ever!

He was fine once we were back home, although he did look a bit worried when we went to pick Belle up thinking that I was going to leave him there.

Wednesday

It’s Belle’s 11th Birthday!
We always let the kids pick what they want for breakfast on their birthday. It’s usually pancakes with fruit and whipped cream, but Belle wanted doughnuts for brekkie so we had a tray of Krispy Kreme doughnuts which was a lovely treat. She opened her presents and was very pleased with what she’d got. She wanted money to go on a shopping spree, so we bought her a purse with some cash in, and then the rest was just bits and bobs that she likes such as face masks, make-up, a switch game, and some other trinket type bits.

It’s always a huge rush when a birthday lands on a school day, but the morning went smoothly until we got to school. Freddie was due to go back to pre-school and immediately started to cry and cling to me. He kept saying that he wanted to go back through the gate and that he’d been to school already. Today was far worse than yesterday. He was sobbing and clinging to me so much that I almost just took him home. The teacher convinced me to leave him since we’d have to do it all again tomorrow otherwise. After he was peeled off me, I left desperately trying to keep the tears in check which didn’t work at all. I stood around the corner for ages before I left to go home. They did phone me to say that he had settled after about half an hour, but you never know if they’re just saying that.

I was the first one there at pick-up. Freddie was so pleased to see me and we had a lovely walk home with him chattering away about the water that he’d played with. He was super clingy for the rest of the day, and again when we picked up Belle he was very worried that I was going to leave him there again.

The Grandparents came round to wish Belle a happy birthday and she got even more presents.

Belle chose Macdonalds for dinner. She had wanted to go out but we thought it would be too much for Freddie as Chris didn’t finish work until 6. She had a lovely day though so that’s all that mattered.

Thursday

A workday for me. Chris dropped Freddie off and he had a bit of a wobble but was happy to walk in the door. It’s so much easier when Dad’s drop the kids off. I’m not sure if that’s a man thing in general, but they don’t seem to have the emotional attachment when it comes to things like this, and the kids behave completely differently.

It was my Nephews birthday today so we went to a local pub for dinner. Freddie doesn’t really like sitting at the table and quickly found one of those sweetie machines that he preferred over the food we’d ordered. It was nice to all get together as the last time was at my Dad’s funeral back in May.

Friday

Freddie should have been at pre-school this morning, but we’ve decided that five mornings a week is just too much to and fro-ing from school, so we’ve changed it so that he can stay all day on a Monday with a packed lunch and miss the Friday off. Freddie heard the words ‘Paw Patrol lunchbox’ and was totally on board.

All in all, it was a knackering week for all of us!

Saturday

We had a family birthday party for Belle. Her two specifications were a balloon arch and a pinata. The balloons weren’t a problem at all, but finding a pinata was difficult. She wanted a flamingo which we weren’t able to track down. We found a flip flop which we were going with until at the last minute the party shop were able to get me a cactus.

The party started off as a bit of a disappointment as we had a lot of latecomers and then my brother came minus his four children who we’d been waiting for. I was really upset for Belle as it was looking like a washout, but we managed to salvage it and ended up having a good time. The pinata was a lot of fun. It’s amazing how hard kids can hit with a stick and the look on their faces when all the goodies fell out.

I think it’s fair to say that once everyone had gone and the tidying up had finished, that we all just flopped in front of the TV exhausted.

Sunday

No rest for the wicked as my Mum would say. All I wanted to do today was veg in front of the TV, but instead, Belle and I went on a birthday shopping spree. She ended up having almost £200 to spend. She thoroughly enjoyed it and spent the most part of her money in New Look where they have a great range for her age group. She bought loads and was still left with £60 which she wants to save for nearer to Christmas.

When we got home she put on a little fashion show for us which you can watch on our Instagram Reels. 

What a week!

If you like reading our Family Life 2021 posts, then you can find more in the Family Life tab. You can also find us over on Instagram.

Our Family Life 2021 (36/52)

Our Family Life 2021 (36/52)

Monday

It’s Bank Holiday Monday and like every other Bank Holiday, it’s just me and the kids. Bank Holidays for retail workers just don’t exist so half the time we forget as it just feels like a normal day. Belle is starting to feel better so I made her get up at a decent time and have a bath whilst I stripped her bedding and let some fresh air into her room. We had some lunch and then decided to walk to one of the local parks. It was lovely as there were only two other children there so they pretty much had the run on the place.

10 year old girl stuck in a baby swing at the park

Belle decided to get into a baby swing and then pretended that she was just having a rest when really she was stuck. Freddie said we should leave her there, but after much faffing (her) I was able to pull her out.

Toddler boy sat on a bridge at the park

Freddie likes to play Tigers. It’s a game that he’s been playing for a while where he tells us there’s a tiger chasing us and we have to run away before he ‘gets us’. The only safe place in the park was the wobbly bridge. Belle pretends that she’s too old for stuff like this but really she loves it just as much as he does.

Toddler boy standing in front of a statue

Tuesday

A workday for me. It’s a week until Belle goes back to school and Freddie starts pre-school. I’m dreading it. I know he’ll love it, but as far as I’m aware parents aren’t allowed in the building so I’m worried that come next Tuesday they’ll be expecting us to hand Freddie over at the door and leave him there. I have no idea how he’s going to react, but I know that if he doesn’t want to go in and we can’t go in to help settle him in then he’ll no doubt be coming home with us.

Wednesday

It’s exactly a week away from Belle’s 11th Birthday and I’ve still got some last minute bits to get. She wants a balloon arch which I’ve managed to order from one of the local party shops. I also bought some really cool palm leaves which I’m going to dot around to keep inline with the tropical theme. We’re having a family party but she was quite specific that she wanted a balloon arch and a pinata. The pinata has proved a bit trickier. She wanted a flamingo but I’ve had no luck in tracking one down. Fingers crossed I manage to find one.

  • Ten year old girl sat with Lego friends models

Thursday

A workday and nothing to report.

Friday

Into town today to get the school bag that Belle wants from New Look. Belle was very impressed with the girls 915 range in New Look and wants to come back for her birthday shopping spree. We got ourselves some lunch and went and sat in the sunshine which was lovely. There’s only so much we can do with little legs in tow so we have to be strategic when we go out and about so that he doesn’t get too tired and I end up having to carry him. He did amazingly though and it turned into a really lovely afternoon.

Saturday

We’re out tomorrow so we’re having a day at home today. Belle made an Angel Delight pudding kit that Nanny had given her and we just played in the garden, did jigsaws and playdoh and cars……

Sunday

It’s my Nephews 2nd birthday on Tuesday so we’re popping down to see him today as it’s back to school on Tuesday. Chris is working so we’re catching the train. This has bothered me all week as we haven’t used public transport since before the pandemic. My brother lives in Dawlish so the trains are always busy with beachgoers. Thankfully the train was relatively quiet but I was a bit OCD with hand gel and making sure that the kids didn’t touch everything and that Freddie definitely didn’t lick the window! We didn’t make it past the amusement park without Freddie sitting on a few of the ride-on things. I’ve promised that we’ll be able to come back soon to have a go on some more of them and Belle wants to bring some coppers to play on the 2p machines. It was a lovely afternoon and the kids all played really well together.

The train back was a little bit busier than the way down, but still not overcrowded.

Toddler boy sitting on a ride at the Meuse entrance arcade

If you like reading our Family Life 2021 posts, then you can find more in the Family Life tab. You can also find us over on Instagram.

Our family Life Weekly blog post

Our Family Life 2021 (35/52)

Our Family Life 2021 (35/52)

Monday

Our Family Life 2021 – It feels like we’re having a lot of days at home, but the kids seem to want to just be at home having lounge picnics, playing on the trampoline, and generally just being together. As the chairs were delivered the other day we have a huge empty box and oodles of bubble wrap which has kept them both entertained for the most part of the day. Freddie was enjoying being dragged around the room by Belle whilst he sat in the box. They added in cushions and made it into a ‘person nest’ and also made catwalks with the bubble wrap, prancing up and down to see if they could make the bubbles pop. Amazing isn’t it, you spend a fortune on toys and yet a box and bubble wrap has kept their attention way longer than any of the toys they have.

A toddler boy playing with bubble wrap

Tuesday

Back to work for me. It feels like I’ve been off for ages, so lots to catch up on.

Wednesday

Lunch box and school bag shopping today. It should have been an easy task but there aren’t that many physical places that we could go to have a look at them. We ended up getting a gorgeous marble print lunch bag in WH Smiths and an almost matching water bottle in Wilkinson’s. As the weather was gorgeous we decided to get some food and sit by Exeter Cathedral which is such a good sunspot. It was busy but there was still plenty of room for everyone to sit distanced. Belle and I used to sit there a couple of times a week when we did her baby groups so it was nice to do it with both of them.

A shopping haul of lunch box, water bottle and stationery

I had to add in this picture of Belle and Freddie. Freddie is tapping on Belle’s shoulder so that she’s turning her head – leaving him free to pinch a bit of her pudding. He’d finished his. Aww, it was hilarious!

Thursday

I was in the office today and it was really nice to be there. With being on annual leave and isolating, I think it’s been about a month since I was last physically in the building. We now have to do weekly Lamp tests which is a spit test and quite honestly I would rather have a PCR than do this even once a week. You have to spit in a pot when you first wake up before you have anything to drink or brush your teeth. It made me gag and was absolutely disgusting!

Belle went for a sleepover at her grandparents so the house was a lot quieter.

Friday

Animal duties today. Cleaning the hamster out and giving Charlie a good brush. Freddie is still obsessed with watching the hamster videos on youtube and so thought Cookie would like to have a drive in some of his cars. She played the part very well and kept him entertained for ages.

A hamster in a toy police car

Saturday

Freddie has been potty trained for quite a while now, but is still in pull-ups. Only for the simple reason that he doesn’t like wearing pants. We bought bigger ones thinking that maybe they felt too tight, but he didn’t like them. So we bought some boxer shorts to see what he thought about them. He tried on all three pairs before quickly putting his pull-ups back on and his boxers on his head. I’m not overly fussed as he’s not wetting in them or anything, he just prefers them. we’ll keep trying until he cracks it.

A toddler boy with a pair of boxer shorts on his head
Sunday

A day of home jobs and making sure we have everything ready for back to school and the start of pre-school. We also have a lot of stuff that we need to sort out in the bedrooms. Belle still plays with her Barbies and other dolls, but there are a lot of toys in her room that she hasn’t played with for ages and could go to the Charity shop. We also need to sort out storage for some of Ryan’s stuff that he doesn’t need as he’s on base during the week. It’s one of those jobs that once you start you have to keep going as it’s just such a mess. I get really nostalgic when I start sorting through things so it takes me way too long as I do all the ‘remember when…….’.

If you like reading our Family Life 2021 posts, then you can find more in the Family Life tab.

Our Family Life 2021 (34/52)

Our Family Life 2021 (34/52)

Monday

Family Life 2021 – What a lovely weekend we’ve had. Today we decided to get out and about with the dog. We have the regular places that we like to go to, but we thought we’d try somewhere new. I’d heard about Mamhead Sensory Trail on Facebook as a great place to take kids as well as dogs so off we went. My niece came as well which It was a lovely walk that was pram and toddler friendly, but you can stray off the path if you have older children who want to explore and climb a little bit more. We had heard that there was a secret rope swing, but it must be well hidden as we didn’t find it. We drove past the spot a couple of weeks ago and there was a coffee van there, but unfortunately, it wasn’t there today so we had to make do with water.

A family with a dog walking through Mathews sensory trail

Tuesday

I had big plans for places we could go this week, but Chris has done something to his shoulder and finding driving difficult. He’s booked in for a sports massage, and we’ll just do bits more or less on our doorstep which is hardly a hardship. We took the kids to the park today. Freddie is quite adventurous with his climbing, but he’s still at the stage where he still needs a little bit of help – not that he wants it. It was nice to see him running around on all the equipment, not trying to avoid all the other children like he has been doing.

A tree trunk that looks like an elephants head

Wednesday

We went back for our Summer Holiday Toddler Sense class this morning. Belle came with us and met her friend there before going off to her house for the rest of the day. Freddie had a lovely time and was much more confident than last week. They did some chalk drawing, dancing and maypole dancing which I think Freddie quite enjoyed. The only thing was that he kept making a beeline for my bag to get his snacks out so I had to keep chasing him away like a pesky seagull.

As Belle was with her friend I popped into my mum’s for a cuppa before heading home. My mum has a budgie and Freddies is quite fascinated by him and all the bits he has in his cage. He’s not flying at the moment which there doesn’t seem to be any reason for. It happened around the time that my Dad went into the Hospice which is slightly odd.

A toddler boy sitting on a basket swing

Thursday

A chill day at home. Freddie was happy playing and Isabelle was playing an online game with her friend in her bedroom so I even managed to sneak in a bit of work which was good. Freddie likes to have the hamster’s cage on the floor so that he can show her his toys and watch TV with her.

A toddler boy climbing on foam shapes at toddler sensory class

Friday

We did a spot of shopping today. As Belle keeps reminding us it’s her birthday in a couple of weeks and we’re having a little family party so we must get organised for everything. We popped into a couple of charity shops which is one of Belle’s favourite things to do and fast becoming Freddies as well. We didn’t manage to get any goodies on this occasion as I’m trying to get them to realise that we don’t have to buy things just for the sake of it.

Our new dining chairs came today which I absolutely love. They’re the ones that I wanted originally but Chris dismissed them and still isn’t keen. I love them though!

Grey dining chairs with telescope legs

Saturday

Our Grandson came over for the day which is always a treat. We played on the trampoline, built bricks, raced cars, played hide and seek, and watched a movie. It’s always busy when Luka comes over, and the boys are like little Duracell Bunnies. I literally flop down at the end of the day!

Sunday

Was a pyjama day for us. Do you find that since Covid, that you appreciate the slower pace of life. Gone are the days that I run myself ragged just for the sake of being out and about. Sometimes, it’s just nice to be at home, in the garden, or playing.

If you like reading our Family Life 2021 posts, then you can find more in the Family Life tab.