I quit Facebook – here’s what happened

It was one of those slow-burner decisions, bubbling away at the back of my mind for months. I'd dabbled with social media black-out days and deleting apps from my phone, but in the end my decision to quit Facebook was made on a whim. I'd logged in, realised I'd lost ten minutes of my life doing nothing and feeling no better for it and, in a sudden rush of frustration, deactivated my account. You might think that, as a blogger, this was a stupid thing to do. Facebook is a huge source of blog traffic, a way to connect with new and old readers alike. Perhaps not my full bread and butter, ... read more

How to deck all the halls without spending all the money

I love decorating and I love Christmas. But I don't love spending so much money we have to eat beans and gruel for the month. So when it comes to decorating FOR Christmas, I'm a less is more kind of gal. (Did I just type "gal"? Sorry. Gloss over that.) Despite current Instagram myth, it IS possible to deck the halls without bankrupting yourself. You don't have to buy a whole new set of bedding for each room, re-wallpaper the lounge in a festive print and invest in a whole new set of cushions. You really, really don't. But what you DO need to do, if you want to embrace Christmas at home ... read more

A spirited child …or just plain naughty?

Yesterday morning I spent half an hour negotiating with my youngest daughter over what to wear. I'm not talking pretty dresses or trendy Instagram outfits - I would simply have been content with the basics, something over her pants. Maybe a jumper, even. This is one tiny example of spirited behaviour that I try my hardest not to crush day in day out. And it's fine, I don't want her to change. However, some of the other stuff... I struggle to call it "spirited" as it seems, to me, it's just plain naughty. After the dressing fiasco I came downstairs to find Effie had climbed up onto the ... read more

Teaching kids the true meaning of Christmas FAIL

You can't teach kids the true meaning of Christmas. I mean you can, if the true meaning is presents, presents, presents and more presents. Obviously you can teach them to humour you, to tell you all the stuff they know you want to hear, about Christmas being a time to show gratitude, love your family, be kind etc etc. But when it comes down to it? It's about the presents. This is the first year my seven year old has been fully consumed by Christeria, as her pre-Christmas excitement levels reach a dangerously hysterical peak. And we're not even into December yet. As a fellow-Christmas lover ... read more

My five year secret

It started when I was little. I remember sleep-overs with friends when we'd pretend to draw on each other's backs and guess what the picture was. Or sometimes it would be a specific sound - the rustling of paper or a teacher's voice as she'd read the class a story. I never spoke aloud of my "tingles", in fact I don't think I ever really put the feeling into words at all. It wasn't until much later - at the age of 29 - that I finally found a name for it. "ASMR" or "Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response" has since been coined as a term to describe the pleasant tingling sensation that would ... read more

Breastfeeding a three year old – the end

Last night, exactly three years and one month to the day she was born, Effie stopped breastfeeding. I never thought I'd be the kind of mum who would be breastfeeding a three year old, it just worked out that way. "Boobie" was always such a huge source of comfort for my tactile youngest child that, a couple of weeks ago when we tried to force her to go cold turkey, it was so distressing for everyone that I gave in. I couldn't sit by and watch my three year old get hysterical to the point of vomiting when there was something so easy I could give her to stop it all in seconds. Yet here we ... read more

The best day ever and staying healthy in autumn #nodulldays

I love this time of year. It might sound controversial but as soon as the clocks go back I get a little chill of excitement at being cosy - candles and blankets come into their own and I actively look forward to evenings on the sofa and weekend movie afternoons at home. Although I get dragged kicking and screaming into autumn, once the clocks go back I accept there's nothing to be done and start to properly embrace it. As much as the days in are comforting though, I'm aware I don't want anyone in my family to lose out on their essential Vitamin D from the sunshine, which isn't always easy ... read more

Half Term Lessons: Experiences don’t have to be expensive to be magical

I learned a lesson over half term. Actually, it's something I knew already but apparently I needed to be reminded. Children don't need experiences to be big or expensive or hugely flamboyant for them to be magical. A fun memory doesn't need to cost loads of money for it to become an important one. This might seem like a really obvious fact but it's one I think I'd lost sight of somewhere along the way - and, to be honest, I don't think I'm the only one. Take Christmas, for example. I love Christmas. I'm totally down with having the whole of December dedicated to festive merriment (just ... read more

Tempting a fussy eating toddler back to food #NoJunkJourney

Looking back, I think we were pretty lucky. Freya was never a fussy toddler and, at the age of seven, she eats pretty much anything. In fact, her favourite food is moules mariniere! Her sister, on the other hand, has proven to be a very different customer entirely. When it comes to fussy eating, each day is a new adventure. What Effie will devour with gusto one day she'll turn her nose up at the next. This is a new phase - and I know it's just that, a phase. But when you've slaved for half an hour over a delicious home-cooked meal from scratch it's hard not to take it personally when your ... read more

Girls’ bedroom makeover reveal – a pink, mint and gold haven

How many photos is too many in a blog post? This post might be the record... It's been a couple of months in the making but the girls' bedroom makeover is finally finished. We chose a pink, mint and gold colour palette to reflect some of their favourite things: ice-cream, iced donuts, macaroons and candy floss. All the really healthy stuff, then (!). We decided to put them in a shared room after the success of them sharing on holiday last summer. Freya's room had never been decorated, we'd just put up some decals and shelves, and focused on the rest of the house. In fact, she's never had ... read more