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Our Family Life 2021 (6/52)

Our Family Life 2021 (6/52)

Goodbye January – Hello February!

January felt like the longest month ever. It was the hangover of Christmas with lockdown thrown in for good measure. So what’s to look forward to in February? Half term of course. Not because we have plans but because it means no homeschooling!

Having said that, the homeschooling reigns are over to Chris this week as he’s off work. I love how he checks the teachers feedback every day to see if he (yes, HE) has been given any Dojo points. Apparently we’re in competition and he thinks he’s a much better teacher than me!

Tuesday was just homeschooling and not much else. look at that hair? I know the pic is a bit blurry but he’s two and doesn’t stay still at all. I think when this lockdown is over we might need to shorten these beautiful curls. It’s ridiculous how much like his sister that he looks!

Wednesday I went for my Covid-19 vaccine. I’m considered a key worker, but far from being frontline working with poorly people I work in admin for the NHS.

I went into the building and was entered into a queue, all socially distanced using spots on the floor. We moved from spot to spot until we reached the desk where we were booked before joining the next lot of spots on the floor. At the individual jabbing stations, there was one admin person and two nurses. I was asked a series of questions before presenting my arm to be jabbed.

A short sharp prick later and it was done. I was then led out to an area where you had to sit for 15 minutes to make sure we felt well. This was the hardest bit as all the windows and doors were open and it was freezing.

I felt fine, and that was that until mid April when I get my second jab.

We also went on a little bike ride which turned into a puddle jumping session. Fred was so wet that I had to pour the puddle water out of his boots. He loved it though so it was worth it.

Thursday my arm was sore. It started to progressively hurt as the day went on yesterday, but today it’s hurting a lot. Small price to pay for getting that one step closer to normality.

Friday we needed to get out of the house so Belle got on with her schoolwork so that we could have a quick lunch and get outside. We were all ready to go when it chucked down so we waited until it stopped and left. We went to the quay and the kids had ice cream and I had a piece of blackberry and yoghurt topped flapjack which is the nicest I’ve ever had. We had a lovely walk and felt better for being outside.

Saturday we just a day of chilling out whilst the kids played. It was much needed before Chris went back to work.

Sunday was a day of playing games and Playdoh. Freddie can now hold his attention long enough to play a couple of games. He likes matching pairs and the shopping game from orchard toys which are quick and easy games. Chris was back at work so it was just me and the kids.

Only one more week of homeschooling before half term.

We CAN do this x

Our Family Life 2021 (5/52)

Our Family Life 2021 (5/52)

Another week, and today is another work day but I can’t concentrate one little bit. I have a funeral to go to tomorrow and it’s the only thing I can think of. Losing someone, particularly now whilst we aren’t able to see people is so hard. Working was a welcome distraction.

Tuesday 26th January – it was the funeral of my brother-in-law today. Taken far too soon. It was a shock and will be for some time.

The funeral was very different to the usual set up, but I’m glad that we were given the chance to say goodbye. It was very strange wearing a mask throughout. It was hot and your your face underneath literally gets covered in snot. There was no wake, no drink to toast his life, but it’s something we can do when the time is right.

Wednesday was our lovely Charlie’s 7th birthday, and not a year goes by without cake and presents for him.

Making a cake and wrapping presents for him was a welcome distraction after yesterday.

We love how he knows when presents are for him. He throws himself into shredding the wrapping paper making so much mess, but it’s all part of the fun.

Much like children, I can’t believe that our fur baby is seven already (49 in dog years). As a labradoodle he’s a bit of a nutter by nature, but he has slowed down over the last year or so. He too is craving the attention of people other than us.

Thursday – let’s just say. Homeschooling, work and a toddler – Day written off!

Friday our son comes home with his son which is always a lovely distraction. Freddie loves having his nephew here to play. Ryan’s currently working towards his A level in maths which he needs for his engineering course. I’ve no doubt that he’ll smash this if he puts his mind to it.

Saturday was just a day of playing. I had intended for us to go for a walk but the weather is absolutely shocking at the moment.

Sunday is the first day of a week off for Chris. He works really long hours and so we don’t really get much time together so we spent the day chilling, playing and being silly on the switch. We even roped him into a Just Dance session. Shame that I couldn’t sneak a video of him absolutely killing the dad dancing.

Like Christmas everybody is looking forward to the back of January. It’s been a tough, long month……..

Our Family Life 2021 (4/52)

Our Family Life 2021 (4/52)

Monday’s I would usually be at home with the kids, but I’ve had temporarily change my work days to Monday and Friday to fit in with Chris’ job.

We also had a delivery of rock cakes and chocolate cakes from Nanny which was a welcome treat.

Homeschooling will probably feature in these diaries quite a bit since it’s taking up most of our time.

To break up the day a bit Belle made us lunch today. We had a picky lunch which is a favourite of ours. It’s just loads of randoms like crackers, cheese, pickles, cucumber etc.

As the days are long and stressful for all of us, we have to take the wind where we can and pick our fights, and know when to just let things go. We finished up the day with a bedroom disco which the kids love and it gives me a minute to regain my sanity.

Thursday was a work day for me, and I should confess that it’s one of the days that I wake up with a smile on my face knowing that I’m not the one homeschooling today. There’s definitely a spring in my step on the way upstairs for a day of hard graft. I think Chris appreciates that staying home with the kids isn’t the day off that he once thought!

I even took the opportunity to nip out to the shop ON MY OWN! It was lovely to be outside without the constant kid whinging noises or somebody wanting something. I’m not ashamed to say that I took my sweet time walking there and back!

Friday…..looking forward to the weekend and therefore the end of the school week. I don’t know if it was because Belle knew it was friday, but she ploughed on with her work so we finished off the day watching a couple of episodes of the Jurassic World cartoon series on Netflix which was really nice for all of us.

We also had a huge duplicate session and made robots.

Saturday – We seem to be working on incentives at the moment. Using treats and activities as a way of getting through each day. Most of the time it works so for now we’ll keep doing this. It’s totally exhausting but we take each day as it comes.

Belle wanted to do some baking this weekend so fairy cakes was the simple thing to do. We made a batch of 12 and split them up so that they both had six each to decorate.

Isabelle spent ages decorating hers whilst Freddie was done in around seven minutes, but he enjoyed it all the same.

Sunday was just a day of staying in pyjamas until nearly lunchtime, playing and chilling. We need to get outside but the weather is shocking at the moment with so much rain.

Another week down…..another week closer to the end of the pandemic!!

Our Family Life 2021 (3/52)

Our Family Life 2021 (3/52)

Another week of homeschooling to get through, but so far so good. We’re managing with a little bit of bribery, and lots of encouragement from Belles teacher who sends a video every morning just to say hello and outline what the kids are doing that day.

We had a bit of upset with Belle getting annoyed with the activities that I’m doing with Freddie. I guess a lot of mums and Dads must be in this position. I do activities with both of them when the school work is finished but she can’t help getting FOMO about anything we do whilst shes doing schoolwork.

We did manage a bit of painting for my nieces birthday which Freddie really enjoyed.

It was my nieces 12th birthday today. Another birthday during a lockdown. We used our daily exercise to walk to her house for a doorstep visit since she’s so close to us. It was lovely to see her and my sister.

It was also a work day for me, and I’m not going to lie, I literally skipped up the stairs. No homeschooling for me today – over to you Chris!!

All the days seem to blur into one at the moment so I have to check my phone just to see what day it is. Its hard to get pictures of Freddie these days since he never stays still. If lockdown goes on much longer maybe we should do away with our regular furniture and set up a soft play so he can burn off all that excess energy.

Friday was my Mums birthday. We ordered her and my dad a sweet and savoury afternoon tea from a local company who deliver. We also used our dog walk just to pop by and wish her Happy Birthday on the doorstep.

The weekend our son was back with our grandson so it was hectic, but nice that Freddie had somebody to play with.

Isabelle received a certificate which was hand delivered through the door from school. it was such a nice thing for somebody to take their time to do it m, and at the weekend as well. It was for showing outstanding values throughout the school with a little well done note.

That’s another week done. Another week where not a lots been happening. I keep thinking we’ll do some baking and then I remember that thing that’s taking over – Homeschooling!

Is anybody else feeling so so tired at the moment?

Our Family Life 2021 (2/52)

Our Family Life 2021 (2/52)

4th – Belle went back to school today. We received an email from the school over the weekend saying that the Teachers Union had advised teachers to stand down, so it was a watch and wait situation to see if things would change. There was to be yet another announcement from the Prime Minister. At the moment primary school outside of Tier 4 areas have reopened but high schools remain closed until mid January.

Lockdown 3!

As expected, Boris made his announcement (on time this time) and all schools have been shut until February half term (at least) except for children of keyworkers and vulnerable children. We’ve entered another national lockdown (Lockdown 3).

As a keyworker, Isabelle could continue to go to school, but it just doesn’t feel safe for us and as we have no issues with childcare we feel better having her home with us.

Back to homeschooling!

Back to daily walks!

Essential shopping only!

The message is to Stay at Home – Stay Safe – Protect our NHS.

We waited until Tuesday to break the news to Isabelle, and she was very upset. She was upset as she’d just got a new teacher. She was upset that she only got to spend one day back with her friends.

Homeworking and Homeschooling

I’ve now been given a laptop to work from home which I feel much better about. However, it does mean that the kids and I are going to be together pretty much 24/7 which is a bit daunting.

One day at a time is all we can do.

Our first day was total and utter shit. Isabelle was the most reluctant student ever. The work took forever! There were three tasks to do – English, Maths and Science. By 7pm we literally gave up as I had to get Freddie to bed.

Well today was even more fun!

Think I’ll retrain as a teacher.

NOT! With friggin bells on!

We had to complete what we didn’t get done yesterday and still didn’t manage to finish school until 4.45pm.

This on top of me fitting in a full days work is an absolute joke. No silver lining here – Utter Utter Shit!!

I wasn’t hopeful when I woke up on Friday morning, but we ploughed through the work and she even scored herself two Dojo’s (merit points). So this afternoon Belle was allowed to do what she wanted so she opted for some tablet time in her room.

Saturday and Sunday were chilled days as we needed a break from the school work and get out in the fresh air so we took ourselves off for a dog walk. Freddie loves being outside and extra points if he can splash in puddles and squish in mud.

He was able to do both and it was great to get outside. The rest of Sunday we watched films and then topped off the weekend with a much needed takeaway.

Our Family Life 2021 (1/52)

Our Family Life 2021 (1/52)

So last year so the start of the Coronavirus pandemic and life as we knew it changed. I started the Coronavirus Diaries but I didn’t publish many of them as they all became a bit ranty as we grew less enthusiastic about how to entertain the kids, and FaceTime and zoom calls became something we dreaded. Our Family Life Diary is going to be a weekly catch up of what we’ve been up to, so that we can look back on how life was during a global pandemic as it already feels like we’re on rocky ground. 

2021 had so much promise….

A new year and a fresh start is how it’s supposed to go. Setting goals and making plans for the year ahead.

Sadly it’s likely that the beginning part of this year is still going to be a time to live each day as it comes with all plans on hold or with back up options. We’ll await the next instalment from Boris on that one.

I thought that instead of a coronavirus diary, I would write a weekly update on what we’ve been up to, more for ourselves to look back on.


Christmas for us was how we’d planned it to be. Us and the kids at home which is what we did. Obviously we would have liked to have still visited family instead of doing doorstep present deliveries but the actual day itself went as we’d hoped.

Mum and Kids in Matching Christmas Pyjamas on Christmas Eve

Boxing Day was a bit rubbish. Chris went back to work so it was just me and the kids. We would usually go to my mums and my brother and sisters would come over with all the kids so it was a bit of a low day.

We spent the next few days eating our own body weights in cheese, pate and chocolate.

Toddler standing in mud on a dog walk

The weather has been awful with lots of rain and wind but we did manage a nice dog walk. Freddie was happy walking in the ‘squishy mud’ and we found some amazing icy puddles to crack. 

New Years Eve

New Years Eve was spent pretty much how we spend every year. We ordered a takeaway and had some nice drinks.

This year was slightly different as we let Belle stay up until the real midnight this year. For the last couple of years we’ve put the previous years New Years fireworks on YouTube on the TV at around 9pm and done our own countdown and cheers before happily packing her off to bed at around 9.30pm.

Harsh you may think, but we thought it was genius!

My Favourite First Job of the Year!

Is of course writing my calendar and starting to fill my Planner. I like to sit down with something good to watch and a glass of wine. I use my best pens……like a pig in muck!

Board Games

Freddie’s not really one for sitting down to play games or do jigsaw puzzles, but we’ve managed to play a couple of the Orchard games which are really quick to play and a good introduction to family games.

Buddy the Elf brought the kids Pull My Finger which is also a great game to play when you’re two years old! parp!!

The plan is to post our week’s activities every Monday so we can keep a diary of these odd times and all entries can be found in the Family Life link at the top of the page. 



A Winter Warming S’mores Dip Recipe

A Winter Warming S’mores Recipe Dip……….

December is well underway now and as we hurtle towards Christmas with not a lot else to do due to the lovely Coronavirus, we’re at home more than we’ve ever been before.

We’ve all had to get a little bit more creative at home to keep us going through this time. I’ve already lost count of how many Christmas films we’ve already watched, and the requests for hot chocolate are nearly daily. We’ve also had many a living room picnic, pizza and a movie and attempted a few board games (impossible with a two year old).

Back in November, Nanny brought over a goodie bag to make this S’mores recipe which sounded disgustingly sweet, gooey and chocolatey – perfect for yet another Christmas movie so I thought I would share it with you so you can try too.

S'Mores Dip Recipe


What you will need:

  • A metal/oven proof dish
  • Skewers
  • 200g Milk Chocolate
  • 300g Marshmallows (the small ones work the best)
  • Strawberries
  • Pineapple chunks
  • Sweet breadsticks
  • Digestive biscuits

S'mores Dip Recipe

How to do it:

Pop the chocolate milk and 200g of the marshmallows in a pan and heat very gently until they’re all melted and smooth.

Pour into the oven-proof dish and top with the remaining marshmallows.

S'Mores Dip Recipe

Pop under the grill and keep a close eye until the marshmallows turn a golden toasted colour.

Using the skewers with a selection of fruit and biscuits, scoop up the gooey yumminess and get stuck in.

S'Mores Dip Recipe

Enjoy x

If you liked this S’Mores Dip Recipe and are looking for more Christmas Inspiration then head over to our ‘Everything Christmas’ Pinterest board where I’ve saved loads of stuff from decorating tips to Christmas recipes.

Christmas Gift Ideas for Children

Christmas Gift Ideas for Children

Most people are putting all their focus at the moment on making sure they have a nice Christmas despite the unknown that the Coronavirus has thrown at us. I know from lots of parenting groups and social media that a lot of parents are putting a lot of thought into the gifts that they are buying for their kids, with longevity, entertainment factor and fit for purpose being top of the list.

We’ve spent a lot of time at home over the last few months, so our choice of toys and activities for our kids have been a high priority to enable us to keep them entertained.

Here are some great ideas to keep your kids entertained with a selection of beautifully crafted toys, activities and subscription services for the gift that keeps on giving.

Be-You_tiful Art Wall Print

Be-You-Tiful Art Print from LCornelius Creates – £4.67
All children and beautiful inside and out – it’s good for them to have positive reminders!

Childrens Indoor Wooden Climbing Frame

An Indoor Wooden Climbing Frame Set from Home for Dreams – £111.60
I would love one of these for Freddie, it might stop him climbing on all the furniture!

Large Lego Name Sign

A Large Lego Name Sign from Made Happy Gifts – From £6.95

Rock Painting Kit from Tanku Toys

A Rock Painting Kit from Tanku Toys – £13.99
Isabelle has really enjoyed finding other people’s painted rocks and has left a few herself.

Three Bears Cookery Subscription Box

A Three Bears Cookery Club Subscription Box – From £11.49 per month.
A subscription box is a great gift that your child will receive each month. It’s the gift that keeps on giving!

Happy Shopping x


Fun Stocking Filler Ideas for Kids

Fun Stocking Filler Ideas for Kids

I’m not sure about your kids, but in our house the stockings are our favourite part of Christmas Day. We all pile onto our bed, and I usually nip downstairs to make tea and coffee in the hope that the coffee waft will wake Chris up enough at whatever insane hour they (I) wake up.

We try and make them a bit fun and silly as a nice way to start the day. Now that our eldest is an adult, the kids know that Father Christmas no longer fills his stocking, and that it’s us that fill it full of funny bits and bobs.

Here are some great finds that will put a smile on your kids faces, big and small.

Squishy Dinosaur toy from Hyde and Seek

A Squish-a-saurus from Hyde and Seek. My kids love a squishy toy so these would be a very welcome addition to their stockings – £4.95

Child Led Play Mini Christmas Tree Lights Playdough Kit

Mini Xmas Tree Lights Playdough Kit from Child Led Play – £6.50
This would be a lovely calming activity for your little one to do to wind down from all the Christmas Festivities.

Colourful Creations Mini Pain Set

A Colourful Creations Mini Paint Set from Rascals Toy Shop – £2.95

Christmas Sweet Chocolate Bar

A Christmas Chocolate Bar from Stamford Heavenly Chocolates – £3.50
You have to have chocolate and sweets in a Christmas Stocking and this has both!

Unique Gifts to Buy for Her this Christmas

Unique Gifts to Buy for Her this Christmas

This year has been pretty awful for many of us in many ways, so Christmas is the perfect time to show the women in your life how much you care by buying the perfect gift. I’ve been scouring local, independent and small businesses from around the UK and have found some absolute gems for all the women in your lives.

Brass Hoop Earrings made by homeless people supported by Pivot a social enterprise

Pivot – handcrafted jewellery like these Eclipse Earrings made from Brass can be bought from Pivot, a social enterprise that empowers people experiencing homelessness to pivot their lives by designing, making and selling jewellery.

Washable Make-up Remover pads from Cecily Jacks

Washable Make-up Remover Pads from Cecily Jacks – £10.00
Even small steps towards a more sustainable life is a good step.  Washable pads are also much nicer to use than cotton wool pads.

Tribal Tassel Basket from Hyde and Seek

A Black Tribal Tassel Basket from Hyde and Seek – £24.95
I’ve seen these quite a lot across  instagram and look gorgeous for storing blankets or my preferred choice of a lovely potted plant.

Essential Oil Infused Eye Mask from Bags of Lavendar

An Essential Oil Infused Eye Mask from Bags of Lavender – £10.50
Practice a little bit of self-care or take 5 minutes away from the hustle and bustle.

Blooming Marvellous Mega Melt

Blooming Marvellous Mega Melt from the Happy Soak – £4.50
Grab a good book, a glass of wine and drift off to a tropical paradise via your bath tub.

Silver Personalised Double Bangle from Emma White

A Silver Personalised Bangle from the Jewellery Makers – £160.00
Have your bracelet engraved with words of your choosing.

Popup Blooms Flower Subscription Service

A Flower Subscription Service from Pop-up Blooms
It’s always nice to receive flowers and may-be you’d like to have a go at a bit of flower arranging with their handy hints and tips.

Mary Kilvert Dog Lovers Notebook

A Dog Lover’s Notebook from In Your Dog House Gifts – £12.00
I love my doggy and I love stationery so this would be great for my endless to-do lists.

Happy Shopping x