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Coronavirus Diary 28.08.20

Coronavirus Diary – an update. I started this Diary as a way of remembering the things we did as a family during lockdown but it took a swerve into being long moany rants which wasn’t supposed to happen.

We really enjoyed the extra time it gave us at the beginning when our life pace slowed right down and all we needed to thing about was washing our hands and what the best meal was going to be.

Apart from having to switch brands and choosing different meals, we fared pretty well with getting all of our essentials.

What we hadn’t expected was the fallout of making choices to keep our kids safe. Choosing not to see family, sticking to social distancing rules and most importantly not breaking the rules has been something that we’ve done, but not without consequence.

Our choices have been challenged and belittled which has been the worse part of all of this. We’ve talked about and questioned all of our decisions but ultimately feel that we’ve made all the right choices throughout this whole thing.

We’ve seen friends and family add picture after picture of days out where no social distancing is taking place and, well that’s up to them and I haven’t commented that I think they’re wrong to do it, but following the rules apparently opens you up for ALL the criticism.

And there I go again…

See, I told you that these entries just end up as rants!

A New Normal

So we’re all trying to ‘get back to normal’ but what even is that anymore?

I don’t want to go back to normal. Going forward we intend to take advantage of any free time we get to do stuff together. We haven’t been out that much, but the days out we’ve had have been great. The kids have such a renewed appreciation for a picnic, going to the beach or even a trip to the park

Since Freddie has only recently turned two, everything we do is amazing as he doesn’t remember going to the park, beach or anywhere before corona kicked in. His little face lights up wherever we go which gives me the warm and fuzzy’s.

We’re both back at work, chris for quite a while and me since last month. It was weird going back and still feels a little bit weird having to wear masks but we knew being at home wasn’t going to be forever.

It is what it is….

Back to School is looming…

For us, going back to school was our turning point of re-entering the world, and now the scaremongering has started and the doubts have started to creep in.

Isabelle has been counting down to going back to school for weeks. This is partly because she turns 10 the day after she goes back and has a present list longer that a loo roll.

So are we all sending our kids back to school?

We are unless anything drastic happens in the next 10 days. We know what we’re doing in terms of drop off and pick up and what she’s allowed to take with her. I know that there are a lot of parents who still feel in the dark about the return to school, but our school have been great at keeping in touch.

So unless anything happens we’ve got new uniform and are good to go for the new school year….

Until next time……

Coronavirus Diary 12.06.20

Coronavirus Diary 12.06.20

I’ve been quiet on my blog for a little while now as this whole situation has me quite frankly raging.

Social Distancing

So we’re now allowed to meet up with other people up to a total of six people. This means nothing to us as a family of five. We can meet one person, but who do we pick.

It didn’t feel like progress for us with a toddler who is not going to social distance, so we aren’t in a better position that we were before.

It makes me mad that when we’ve been on a walks we’ve seen oodles of groups of people (way more than 6) and definitely not social distancing from each other.

I’m losing sleep (literally) over the pressure to join these people and resume normal activities.

Did you jump at the chance to meet up with people?

I’m not judging you if you did (unless you’re not social distancing then I’m totally judging you) but I’ve got to say that it filled me with dread that there would be an expectation to socialise with family and friends.

I would rather wait! The world doesn’t come to a standstill like this on a whim. Thousands of people have died and thousands more will die unless it’s brought under control or a viable vaccine is discovered.

I’ve been called silly, over-protective and ridiculous and every now and again I do feel these things, and then I look at my kids and I know I’m not over reacting, I’m being their mum and I won’t apologise on any level for that. It’s my job to make sure they’re safe so that’s what I’ll do.

Usually I would say that it’s up to individuals to live how they want, but actually thanks to this selfish attitude this whole pandemic is likely to last longer so thanks for your ignorance (not you, hopefully).

Shops I’ve noticed have taken away the staff on the doors making sure that it’s a one in, one out policy. Our local shop has hand gel by the door, but there’s nobody making sure that the shop isn’t too crowded. The staff themselves don’t keep their distance and people in general are not sticking to the rules.

The fact that shop staff feel it’s ok to stand next to you or brush past you is surely the biggest no since they’ve been in contact with how many people during their working day!

Now you can see why I haven’t posted for a while. I can feel my anger rising as I type.

Life as it is

Life at the moment doesn’t feel that great. The days are long and behaviours have changed. We’re struggling to do any school work with Isabelle and have to really coax her out of her room to do anything.

I feel exhausted, dog tired each and every day. There doesn’t seem to be anything to look forward to at the moment with most days becoming a mundane blur.

Video calls and phone calls are becoming shorter and longer in between as there’s nothing to talk about.

Daily walks

It took us a good few weeks to go outside, but once we did it was quite nice.

However, the walks we go on are really hit and miss. We’ve had some really lovely walks where we haven’t really seen many people so haven’t had to do anything other than enjoy being outside. We’ve also had some awful ones where the playing fields we go to have been really crowded and we’ve given up and come home.

We know to avoid around and after dinner time as there are always lots of people sitting eating takeaways or picnics.

We went out today and as the sky looked set for rain it was really quiet so we had loads of space to run around.

I’m going to leave it that but I hope you’re all staying safe in a socially distanced way xx

A little Can of Can-Do – Creating Happier more Mindful Children

A little Can of Can-Do

Creating Happier more Mindful Children –  How’s Lockdown Life going for you? We started off doing okay. We took Isabelle out of school the week before the schools officially closed, and it felt like a school holiday. 

We joined in with online PE lessons, did lots of craft, baked and generally made the most of this unusual time off that we had. We’re in the garden a lot which has also been an absolute godsend. 

We’ve only been on a grand total of four walks since the whole pandemic thing began. Isabelle is a sensitive soul and had overheard lots of conversations and some snippets of the news and had come to the conclusion that going outside was dangerous, and therefore hadn’t wanted to leave the house. 

She does literally catch every germ going so I knew this was going to have her little worrying head spinning. 

Fast-forward a few weeks and things aren’t so great. 

We started to run out of craft stuff and I wasn’t sure if ordering it online was allowed as it wasn’t essential shopping. We binned off the PE lessons or it was just me standing there attempting it whilst Isabelle showed absolutely no interest. 

The toddlers not sleeping great so my patience and ability to entertain both Freddie and Isabelle was being stretched to the limit. Picking activities to do with a nearly two year old and a nine year old is hard. 

Spending so much time together each and every day has become a chore. The fun seems to have evaporated and we’re left with a tantruming toddler, a wannabe teenager and then there’s me who has become shouty frazzled mum. 

Something has to change 

We can’t go on like this so when I was sent a Little Can of  Can-Do I was intrigued to see what this was all about. 

What is a Can of Can-Do? 

Life is hectic for most of us, we live in a world that never switches off. Technology plays a huge part in our everyday life, but it does make it harder to have much needed ‘down time’. 

Whenever we were stuck my Mum always used to say “put can’t in your pocket and pull out can”. 

A Can-Do is a can of 28 cards full of daily affirmation and mindfulness exercises for Children. Created by a husband and wife team with the input of their three daughters, the cards were made to instill important messages about confidence, mindfulness and gratitude. Each card has a lovely brightly coloured picture with a prompt or exercise to complete which you can use over and over again. 

The Can-Do Can retails at £15.99 and is aimed at the 8 – 15 year age group but there’s nothing to stop you implementing this with younger children. 

We decided that we’d start off by doing a daily lucky dip. These are best done at the end of the day so that you can reflect on that days activities. 

The Sweet Game

Isabelle was thrilled with this challenge since sweets were involved so a lucky one to pick out first.

Red (something happy) – Played on my scooter in the garden. 

Blue (something sad) – Being told off by Mummy.

Orange (a good choice) – Picking Teen Titans over the Loud House to watch on TV.

Brown (something you didn’t feel you did well and how you could have done it differently) – Not letting Freddie go first when we play games and knowing that’s it’s kind to take turns. 

Yellow (something fun) – Playing in the garden. 

Green (something kind) – Helping Freddie on the slide and letting him take his turn first. 

Act of Kindness

Isabelle opted to buy a chocolate bar and leave it in her brothers bedroom for him to find, and as an act of kindness, I did the same for her to make her smile too. 

This is such a simple thing to do, and making somebody else smile definitely makes you feel good. 

Our Thoughts 

Isabelle loves a task to do, so these simple tasks can be completed every day and can take as little or long a time as you like. It’s something that we do ‘just us’ and as she’s getting really frustrated at the moment it’s a good chance for us to talk about anything that’s worrying her. The sweetie one was difficult the first time we did it, as she found it upsetting to say her bad behaviour out loud. 

I thought these were a great resource to get Isabelle to talk about how she’s feeling. She’s been doing a lot of shouting these last couple of weeks as well as storming off and door slamming. She’s not alone in this either. I feel like I’m with the kids 24/7 and it’s not a healthy combination. We’ve watched far more TV than usual as well as phones and tablets.  Being out in the garden seems to be our happy place at the moment. 

A new normal is needed. We need to get back into a little bit of a structured routine with some school work, craft and play time. We also need to get out of the house. We have some lovely places to go around us, but they do get really busy which is difficult to social distancing, but maybe we need to get up and out of the house earlier to set us up for the day. 

We’re going to use the Can-Do tasks regularly and will hopefully be creating Happier more Mindful Children, particularly on tough days as a reminder to be kind to each other!

Lisa x 

*We were sent a Can-Do Can for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are our own. 


Coronavirus Diary 14.05.20

Coronavirus Diary 14.05.20

I’m a bit gutted that I’m still writing Coronavirus Diary posts. It means that it’s still a huge life impacting problem. When I started it, I think like the rest of the country I never envisaged the life that we’re leading at the moment.

Prime Minister Speech

Like the rest of the country, we all awaited to see what Boris was going to come up with. We all watched and then when it ended we all said:

‘Wait. What’!

Never has a speech left us with more questions than answers!

Do we go back to work? Yes but No

Can we go out more? Yes, but do not see friends and family.

We can sit 2 metres in a park or on a beach but not with friends and family.

You can meet up with one person from another household as long as you social distance!

Who do you choose?

Schools to re-open

The schools will reopen to reception, year 1 and year 6 on the 1st June which has left all parents in total turmoil whether or not they will send them back. Many don’t have a choice as they will be required to go back to work.

It’s an impossible situation for many. Kids catch everything and social distancing will be impossible to manage especially in the younger age groups.

So all the kids go back to school and the germs are then brought home to spread to their key worker parents who unknowingly take it into work and the second wave hits us harder than the first.

Oh No….Hang On….

That won’t happen because we’ll stay ALERT!

Don’t forget to look out for all those really large Coronavirus germs that we can see dancing around before us. It’s like Pac-Man for people which you can zap with your super Boris Air Punch Power!

My opinion is that secondary ages kids should be the first to go back. They’re the ones that can’t afford to miss out on their education. Younger kids who do a lot of learning through play can get this at home.

Already social media is going nuts with everybody giving opinions. Parents who are sending their kids back are being shamed.

Some parents feel that their kids are in desperate need for the interaction and routine that school gives them.

Kids themselves are desperate to see their friends.

Is there a right or wrong to this situation?

Probably not, but shaming others for their choices (or not) isn’t helping anybody.

Everybody should keep their own house in order as they say.

Are you sticking to the guidelines?

I know we are, but there’s a hell of a lot more footfall and traffic compared to a few weeks ago even before the exercise rule was relaxed.

We’ve only just started going for walks and have only been out twice so far. The first time was a disaster with lots of people around making it very difficult to try and avoid people.

We saw lots of groups of people standing around chatting, definitely not 2 metres apart. Leaving the fields was a problem as there were groups of people blocking the pathways.

I know that the guidelines state that you can meet up with one person of a different household, in an open space as long as you socially distance but we’ve decided not to do this.

It would be great to see some of our family and friends but it would be impossible to stop Freddie from running up to them so it seems pointless to try.

Harsh maybe but if you have toddlers then you’ll know exactly what I mean.

FaceTime is just going to have to do for now.

Stay safe everyone x

Set up an Emergency Fund with Chip!

Set up an Emergency Fund with Chip

Sign up to Set up an Emergency Fund Chip and receive a £10 bonus by using my promo code BABY10.

If there was ever a time more in need to set up an Emergency Fund with Chip, a global Pandemic would tick the box. I’ll show you how to set up an Emergency Fund with Chip, the easy to use, goal setting, saving app!

How would you pay the bills if you lost your job tomorrow? Or if you became too ill to work?

It’s amazing how many people have very little or no savings and living month to month is the norm. Being able to or setting aside a decent chunk of money each month can seem daunting and not doable, and that’s where Chip could be the perfect solution for you.

Having an emergency fund is easy to save for with the Chip App
Start saving with Chip and get a £10 Bonus

What is Chip?

Chip is an App that you download on your phone that analyzes your spending habits to determine how much you can afford to put away in small unnoticeable chunks.

There are two ways you can link to chip, either through your debit card or your bank account. if you sign up with your card, the App will analyze your spending via your card and work out amounts to transfer to your Chip account every few days. You can also set up automatic payments which you arrange through the App.

The most effective way to sign up is through your bank account so that Chip can  gain a full analysis of your spending habits including mortgage and direct debit payments.

Whichever way you choose to set-up, you can manually increase or decrease the amount saved giving you full control of your savings.

Chip is an auto-saving App which is simple to set up and use
A little bit about Chip

Where does the money go?

Good question, and one of my first thoughts.

Chip is not a savings account and doesn’t have FSCS protection, your money is stored as e-money. They work in partnership with electronic-money specialists PFS (Prepaid Financial Services FRN: 900036) to store your money.

PFS store the money with a major retail bank (currently Barclays) in a ‘ring-fenced’ account, which means it’s never used for any trading activities.

You can also withdraw your money whenever you want. Just put in a request before 5pm and it will be actioned the same day. Any requests made at the weekend will be back in your account the following working day.

Adding your personal details to Chip takes a few minutes
Adding your personal details in a few simple steps

Setting a Goal

It’s so nice working towards a goal whether its for a Family Holiday or a Deposit for a House.

You can set up three goals, a short, medium and long-term goal which is great. Any payments that you make are spread across your goals making them much more achievable.

Setting up your account with Chip is quick and easy to do
Setting up your Chip account

Setting up my Account

You can download the Chip App on Android and IOS in a few minutes.

Next you will be asked to pop in your mobile number and a verification code will be sent to you.

You will then need to fill in your personal details.

Once verified you will need to connect either your bank card or bank account. A payment of £1.01 will be taken by Chip and then refunded within 3 working days.

Connecting your bank card or bank account to Chip is easy
Assigning your bank details is easy to do

Setting my Goals

You can set up three financial goals with the Chip App so I’ve set mine to:

  • A house deposit (60%)
  • A family holiday (20%)
  • An Emergency fund (20%)

A goal can be set for any amount up to £5000 so I set the house deposit to £5000, and both the holiday and emergency fund to £1000 but I can adjust along the way.

Since setting up my chip account I’ve saved £17.83. I get a notification on the day to let me know the amount and if, for whatever reason I don’t want it to be taken I can decline the deposit for that day.

Setting up easy goals in Chip gives you something to save towards
Setting up easy to reach goals

Making a Withdrawal

This is simple through the app. If you put in the request before 5.50pm on a week day, the amount will appear back into your account the same day. Otherwise it will be the next working day.

My Thoughts

So far so good. I love that random amounts are being taken rather than making a conscious choice to put away a chunk of money into a savings account. It’s nice to be able to pop onto the the app and see the amount saved going up. I love the fact that its an app on my phone that i can check whenever I want as well as still having access to my money should something unexpected happens.

Set up an Emergency Fund with Chip and receive a £10 bonus by using my promo code BABY10.

What’s not to love.

Happy Saving x

*This is a collaborative post with Chip. 


If Money Saving is your thing then have a look at our 365 Penny Challenge and download the FREE Printable. A great one to start with the kids!



Corona-Diary 30.03.20

Corona-diary – Our 14 days self-isolation is up

So our 14 self-isolation period is over!

Do we feel any different? Are we desperate to go out?

The simple answer is no! Obviously we would like to go out in the fresh air but I think we’ll stay at home where we feel it’s the safest.

Freddie developed a temperature the other day and the reality of one of the kids getting Coronavirus really scared me to the root. My kids get everything so I’d really rather not take the risk.

As long as we can get food I’m quite happy to stay inside our family bubble for as long as possible.

Going back to work

We’re both due back at work this week but hopefully we’ll be able to do this from home in some form. Things could get very interesting with the kids under our feet but we’ll just get on with it like the rest of the country.

#StayHomeSavesLives x

Corona-Diary 29.03.20

What does Lockdown mean to you?

My interpretation of this is that you only leave your house if you absolutely have to for the purpose of getting essential food supplies, going to work as a key worker or for the purpose of exercise whilst abiding the social distancing rules.

It’s not going for unnecessary drives to the country for long dog walks or social calls to others houses because they don’t have any symptoms.

The whole point is to contain any likely spread which you may do before you start showing signs. Who knows how many places you’ve left a dose of Covid19 for others to pick up.

I think it’s irresponsible and selfish that some people think they’re above the rules.

The Vulnerable

This group containing the over 70’s age group, people with underlying illnesses and pregnant people should be particularly careful.

My mum falls into the over 70’s and has health conditions as does my stepdad who is also currently having chemotherapy, but my mum is still asking my sister to do food deliveries several times a week which is Non-Essential just to ‘break up the day’.

I know the guidelines of 12 weeks is a long time but the alternative doesn’t bare thinking about.

It’s better to be safe than sorry so stay at home, binge watch a few box sets, make plans for when this is over, sit and have a coffee in YOUR garden or take part in the endless online stuff that’s available for literally everything you can think of…….



Corona-Diary 25.03.20

It’s going to get worse before it gets better….

So we’re in a lockdown and we’re all sat at home wondering what the hells going on.

How are we going to get past this?

Do we still have jobs?

How are we going to pay the mortgage or rent?

How long is it going to last?

Right now all we can do is make sure that we’re all staying home and healthy. Make no plans, just take one day at a time.

I really feel for staff who are not considered key workers but are forced into work for fear of no pay. It makes absolutely no sense that they go out every day putting themselves at risk. They could be unknowingly in contact with people who are not yet showing symptoms or they could be unknowingly spreading it themselves.

I do think it’s lovely that lots of companies big and small have offered what they can to make life a bit easier. There’s loads of homeschooling resources for free on usually paid for platforms, mortgage companies have offered mortgage holidays, some landlords have offered alternative arrangements for those who rent (not nearly enough unfortunately) and I’ve been inundated with emails from everything from my credit card company to our gas and electricity company advising what to do if we find ourselves struggling to pay the bills.

I notice that Sky have knocked a whole 50p off their sky store films which is still making me chuckle.

A missed day

If you’ve been following our diary you will know that Chris has been poorly with suspected (not confirmed) coronavirus. He’s on the mend and does lollop more and more like a functioning human being every day that goes by.

According to the government he is now out of the quarantine period but the rest of us are still in quarantine for another five days. I missed a days entry yesterday as Freddie developed a temperature.

It filled me with utter dread to think that my little boy could end up with the coronavirus of which we know very little about. It’s thought that children are more resilient to it and the symptoms they get may be milder and easier to fight than that of those in the vulnerable group.

We watched him with eagle eyes as he no longer wanted to play, opting to sit with us for cuddles as his cheeks turned redder and redder. We always know when he’s coming down with something since Freddie only ever seems to sit down when he’s not quite himself.

So we dosed him with calpol and had a very interrupted nights sleep with me checking on him continuously through the night.

This morning he was still warm but his temp was 36.1 and he was playing and climbing around as per usual. I’ve got everything crossed that this was and is nothing!


This is going well as long as it’s something Isabelle wants to do. We’ve been doing Joe Wicks PE sessions every morning and we have loads of apps and websites with very interesting stuff to do and watch. We’ve painted our rainbows to go in the windows and Isabelle is currently marking a collage using some of her old magazines.

Our school have been great at setting tasks for the kids to do with a huge emphasis that they aren’t expecting us all to have turned into teachers overnight and understand that children behave differently at school than they do at home. The work is give as a guide rather than a strict regime and we can send in photos for them to upload to the school blog for the kids to see what their friends have been doing as well.

Step away from the clippers!

A bit of an insignificant thing in the grand scheme and all, but it’s a fact that without being able to go out for haircuts etc there are going to be a lot of men in particular looking a lot less groomed than usual.

Chris used to shave his hair a fair few years ago and I never really liked it. To put it quite bluntly, it makes him look like his head is too small!

However, this morning he’s dug those damn clippers out and says he’s going to do it. The alternative is that he leaves it and ends up with some kind of mullet.

Corona-Diary 23.03.20

Cabin Fever is kicking in

This is the first day that I’ve just had enough. What happens in your family when the going gets tough?

You pull together, right?

Not in our case and not this time. We’re at each other’s throats.

Chris is ill so he can’t help with the kids but he’s in that limbo stage of feeling better but not quite so he’s wandering round the house like a lost soul and quite frankly getting on my nerves.

He’s still coughing quite a lot and I’m getting really cross with him coughing and spluttering everywhere, where the kids play and in the kitchen.

My hands are raw and cracked from the ridiculous amount of hand washing trying to keep everything germ free so that the kids don’t catch whatever it is that he’s got.

Obviously we don’t know that it is Coronavirus but I’m not taking any chances.


I’m currently on leave from my job and due back tomorrow but we’re self-isolating as per the guidelines due to Chris being ill. We’re currently at day eight so we have six more days until we’re considered not to be a risk to others. I’m part of the admin team at our local hospital so not patient facing, but I’m not going to lie that I don’t feel good about being in a hospital setting.

I feel that I should be grateful that like so many I still have a job but I do wish I could stay inside my little family bubble until this is over.


We did our first PE session with Joe Wicks this morning which Isabelle really enjoyed, but I’ve got a feeling that she’s not going to be the perfect student for me as her teacher like she is at school.

Hats off to all the Homeschooling parents, I have no idea how you manage to give them the time and prep needed. I’m going to go easy on myself and do what we can, no pressure.

What are you eating?

We’re fine for food. We keep a pretty good stock of store cupboard essentials including herbs and spices which makes it easier to whip up something. We also had a full freezer. I do wonder though when things are gone what random meals we’ll all end up eating.

Currently we have a small Tesco near us which seems to be getting daily deliveries, and apart from not being able to get pasta, tinned tomatoes or hand wash they have pretty much everything including fresh fruit and veg.

Pleading with people to stay home

So despite all the pleas for people to stay home people have ignored this and have been going around in groups. The beaches, parks and public spaces have been busier than ever.

I’ve just finished watching the Prime Minister announce that all non-essential shops are to close. People should only be travelling if they are considered a Key Worker, for medical needs or collecting essentials. Only groups of two should go outside (once a day) for the purpose of exercise.

Essentially we’re on Lockdown going forward which has been enforced due to the stupidity and ignorance of so many, and will be reinforced by the police.

Jeez this has just hit another level of scariness. We’ve stuck to the social distancing rules and have only been out once for a dog walk aside from going to the shop for some milk once this week.

Lisa x

Corona-Diary – Mother’s Day & Supporting Local Businesses

Mother’s Day

Mothers Day this year should have been a Cream Tea Cruise with my Mum, Sister and our kids. We would have eaten lovely little sandwiches and cakes whilst taking in the views around Exmouth.

Instead we stayed at home and I didn’t see my Mum today for the first time ever since both my parents fall into the vulnerable category as they’re both over 70 and have health conditions.

Isabelle was very concerned that she didn’t have any presents for me, but I would much prefer healthy kids than lots of presents.

I did get flowers, chocolates, cards and paintings from my kids which was more than I needed, but really lovely.

Supporting Local Businesses

Since we stayed at home we did have a bit of an unusual treat. As many local businesses are struggling given the current situation many are offering delivery services of food and provisions to keep themselves going as well as offering what they can to keep up community spirit. So with that in mind we ordered a take-away roast dinner from our local pub.

We did have to go and collect it but it was all within the social distancing guidelines. It felt good doing our bit to help a small local business as well as getting a nice dinner for ourselves.

The best place to find out about local food deliveries are Facebook pages and groups local to you. Have a look at the Facebook pages of places that you go to regularly to see what they’re offering. Lots of them are now closed to the public but are offering delivery services.

The same for buying your essentials. The supermarkets are being ransacked, but many independent or smaller ‘corner shops’ still have lots of stock available.

There’s a lot to be said for community spirit and pulling together in times of need. The more we support our local businesses, the more people get to stay in jobs and we benefit from what they have to offer.

Even when the Coronavirus outbreak is over it’s sad to think that lots of businesses won’t survive. There will be loads of people out of jobs and in general the country is going to take a long while to recover from this.

Lisa x