Can we wrap them up in cotton wool?

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything, life is flying by at the speed of light and as we jump from one week to the next when I think to write about something we’re into the next “phase” or something else is occupying my mind and, well it’s just all a bit overwhelming.

Frank is really testing the boundaries at the moment and I don’t think there are many locals that haven’t seen him kicking and screaming on the school run but alas I’m not going to talk about that now il save that for another time!

What I want to write about is my oldest child the 11yr old and not him in particular but in general his age and the fact that he has started the big wide world of secondary school.

Wow said everyone you must be so scared? you must be so sad?? Nope not me I was fine it’s so exciting and he was excited, I didn’t want to bring any negativity to something that is going to happen whether we like it or not. There is so much to be gained at secondary school friends, challenges, holidays and an opening to a world of learning and possibility that they may not even Know existed!

Joe was buzzing to start and I was so excited for him!

He went of on the school bus and I norotically wailed a little bit as we followed the bus in the car but all was well and he is really really happy there. As of yet I have not had to moan about him doing homework or being organised which I am shocked at as the boy often cannot find something right in front of him! He has astounded me and it’s been a really positive start to the term. There is a great app which parents get and it tells you all the homework set so you can check they are doing it and also when it’s due in! So clever! No getting away with that one bud!

There has been an array of new friends mentioned and he now wants to go out to play all the time, ping ping ping go the txt messages and then out of no where comes my complete and utter anxiety! what is my son is doing? who’s he with? what these people like? what do they talk about? Could they be a bad influence? and just like that I want to wrap him up in cotton wool and keep him with me forever, by my side away from all of the nasty in the world.

Now do I sound crazy? (maybe a little) I’m really worried about him making bad choices, all I can think is that this is his big chance and you have to take it. I loved school but I also followed the crowd, I certainly wasn’t an individual and did what i had to to fit in. Smoking from a really young age, drinking and to be honest not being particularly nice at times. I was a child and yes I was learning, I wouldn’t say I regret my choices but I just so desperately don’t want my son to follow the same path. I want better for him and I know if he applies himself he can be anything he wants to be.

I just want him to be ‘kind’ treat people how he wants to be treated, be an individual and know that it’s cool to be kind, like who you like and not follow the crowd! It takes a big person to say no, to apologise, to stand up for others and I think he has the ability to be that person.

Hopefully I’m worrying about nothing, he has made new friends and old ones have not been mentioned so much which I feel sad about but he has only been there for one term and is probably testing the waters. Im finding it really hard knowing what’s enough? How I should set the boundaries, I don’t just want to do what everyone does I want to do what’s beat for us all but also gives him freedom and shows I trust him. How much should I let him out to play? Family time is also important and I want him to still do things with us after all he is only 11 he is a child and still fairly naive. I want him to know that we are here for him and always an ear to listen, I told him that the other day and he said “of course you’re my mum” That one comment made my heart burst.

I don’t know if anyone can relate to this I’d love to hear from you if you do? or if you will all just think I’m a mad woman but I have so much rolling around in my head and I just feel like wrapping him up in cotton wool and pressing rewind!

Oh boy just know I love you and have your best interests at heart I so want to do right by you and I’m trying my best.

Parents of teens I salute you!

Thanks for reading



I wanted to write a blog post about how to survive the summer holidays but I have nothing….. well that not totally true I have things I would do next time, things I wouldn’t do but I am categorically not a summer holiday smasher more a mere surviver of a long uphill struggle.

The first few weeks were lovely the no routine was great and I had this lovely idea of us all at home playing together, baking and playing games whilst birds sang around our heads.

I survived just…. I feel absolutely shattered and like I am running on about 10% my body is crying out for some down time but just when that comes some disaster strikes! be it a spilt pot of painty sodding water splashed from floor to ceiling or a world war breaks out because one child crunched to loudly in front of the other. I mean I had 4 children so they would have each other but I spend most of my time thinking they would all rather be only children.

They are running me ragged and I know I am not the only one that has tidied up 600 times today and cleaned the wee from the toilet seat again but to me I am! I feel like “Beyoncé wouldn’t put up with this shit” as I huff my way around the pissy toilet seat once more trying desperately to rid the stench of boy wee that I will probably have ingrained in my nostrils for the rest of my days.

I’m sorry but I’m done I’m ready to say bye darling and get them through those gates, I’m ready for a coffee and a catch up with friends while the little one runs off all the steam at a toddler group and I drink all the tea. I am ready for a nap time where I can maybe have an hour to do sod all I am sooooo ready. A part of me feels bad saying this but I think we’re only human, I love spending time with my children but when it’s just you every day for 6 days of the week something has to give and if you can spend 6 weeks straight having the best days ever like the bloody 12 years of summer of whatever that quote was then good for you and I applaud you but I’m not that mumma I am now about half a stone heavier with double my monthly alcohol consumption I had before. We’ve laughed we’ve loved and we’ve cried it’s really bloody hard especially if you want to do it right there’s no guide book and we make mistakes. There’s so much pressure to have the best summer ever and sometimes you have to remind yourself that you are doing bloody great!

So I congratulate you if you have got this far and I hope you all had a lovely summer we have most definitely had some lovely times and made some great memories. But 6 weeks! come on we’re not bloody superheroes.

Enjoy your hot coffee’s next week, peace out!

Lessons learnt….

Save your holiday for the summer holidays

Book summer camps 😆

Stock up on activities 🤦🏼‍♀️

Keep wine chilled

Do some kind of wine relaxation/yoga

Feeling the heat

It’s so hot right? Its nice though it’s really nice, so good to finally have a summer holidays with some decent weather we’ve waited years for this. I also don’t think my summer clothes have ever seen so much action, the jeans are well and truly rested.

I’ve been trying to stay home more these holidays, we’re always out and about but it is exhausting and ends up costing a fortune. I thought it would be nice to try to enjoy the little things more like playing in the garden, baking, board games, paddling pool, movies, bike rides, paddling in the stream, the little things that come for free. It’s going well and we have had a nice day out to Cotswold wildlife park with nanny and a few play dates with friends along the way.

When I was younger my sister and I used to go to our “nanny goats” for a week every summer. We used to have so much fun just exploring and making our own fun, we would go to her cleaning jobs with her and have fun exploring these big houses! We would have eggy bread and omelette’s and would love every second. On the last night we would have a little party in the garden where we would light candles and tell stories, my nan would make us “elderflower champagne” we thought it was wine… it wasn’t! We had the best time and I hold those memories so dearly that I want to show my children these little things, the sweeter things in life, spark their imagination’s and bring back the magic!

So whilst the pools constantly being cleaned and the ice lollies are constantly re-stocked the pressures on! The pressure to fill everyday with sunshine and rainbows and keep everyone happy.

As we hit the half way line I’m feeling a little bit frazzled, like guys mum need a little down time, what happened to watching a film with some popcorn? My kids are go go go! Staying home is great when the kids comply but it can be incredibly demanding! Hats of to you mums and dads out their parenting their asses of these holidays because it’s not easy and it’s ok to say that, it doesn’t make you love your kids any less.

I love having the kids at home and being able to spend quality time with them, not having to usher them off to school at the crack of dawn is amazing but it’s NOT easy I try bloody hard not to lose it but sometimes enough is enough, especially when they are arguing over everything going!

“Mum” “mum” “mum” Constantly!

Also I’m pretty sure they know where the tap is? Do you wait on our kids hand and foot or do you simply say “you can go and get that darling” Or more realistically “I’m not the live in maid” ??

Is this ok? At what point do they have to start pulling their weight? My oldest empties the dishwasher every morning but that’s a drop in the ocean to a family of 6. I kid you not the second my bum hits a chair they need something else. Do I just accept that this is what becomes of having lots of children or do I get them to pull rank? It generally takes me losing my mind before they take note and then that lasts a matter of hours and we’re back to square one. I mean to get them to even tidy their bedrooms is a task!

What do you do? How do you run your ship?

Mine might sink if I don’t find a solution soon, I’d say I’m gonna run away with circus but I’m pretty sure I live with them……

The older kiddies are all of to a summer activity course today and I’m not gonna lie I’m so looking forward to a bit of quiet time and time to get some jobs done.

Anyhow let’s hope the sun keeps shining and the wine flowing because tiredness aside this is a beautiful summer and there’s a lot more fun still to be had!


Tour De Trike with Little Tikes (AD) July 14th

Anyone that knows me will know that Frank and I are often whizzing round places on his trike, we are always out and about on school runs and meeting friends so being in a buggy all the time can be very mundane.

When Little Tikes contacted me to see if Frank and I would like to take part in their ‘Tour de trike’ influencer campaign I was absolutely delighted. Little Tikes are like the creme de la creme of children’s toys they know what children like so I knew we wouldn’t be disappointed.

Little Tikes sent Frank the Perfect fit 4-in-1 Trike its for children age 9months to 5 yrs, it grows with them eventually becoming a trike they can steer and pedal themselves (perfect right?)

The teal colour is lovely and catches you’re eye, Frank squealed with excitement as daddy assembled it trying to get on it at every opportunity!

I am very impressed with the Trike, the steering is so smooth and feels very secure and the handle adjusts to a good height for my husband to comfortably use it also.

I have to say the accessories are fantastic! The storage bucket at the back is a really good size you can fit a small bag in it or a ball, nappies, wipes and still have space! I’ve not found a trike with such a big storage space its perfect! Frank loved the drinks holder it’s great for these hot days and he also enjoyed some yoghurt raisins from there too.

We went for a little trip to a beautiful flower farm and the trike made it so easy for Frankie to touch and smell the flowers, to Franks delight the owners also had some lovely dogs he got to stroke.

I prefer using a trike to a buggy, I love my buggy but a trike makes for a more exciting journey for a little one, he never wants to get in his buggy but will happily get into the trike.

I think he feels more grown up in a trike especially when his siblings are on their bikes, there’s more of a sense of fun. He can see around everywhere and I think it feels like more of an adventure.

I pushed Frank along the rows of flowers and we watched the bumble bees and butterflys as they landed on them. I selected some lovely flowers and then we went home for lunch.

We’ve since been out for ice cream and to the park using the trike and I’m pleased to say it is a huge success!

Thankyou Little Tikes we look forward to many more adventures and are delighted to be taking part in #tourdetrike.

This is a collaboration with little tikes and all opinions are my own.

How to do Center parcs on a budget….

Does anyone else hear the words Centre Park and think bank loan?! It is renowned for being expensive and I have heard many time “oh yes we would love to go but it’s so much money to stay in the UK, we could go abroad for that price”.

This is true it is a lot but there is ways around it to cut the costs and I’m going to share them with you.

1.) Go in term time, I know I know we’re not allowed, but seriously our children aren’t little for long and these memories are so important. I won’t be doing this anymore due to my son going to secondary school but I’ve been told taking a day before terms break up can even make a difference. We’ve Kinda thrown caution to the wind with him off to big school this year and gone “let’s just do it”

2.) If you like anyone enough to stay with them sharing a lodge is great as you split the cost! We book with my sister, her husband and there 2 children and we get a great big lodge with 4 bedrooms, a games room and a sauna! Which I might add has been impeccably clean every time and house keepers also come in the day and clean too! I could not fault the accommodation at all.

We also pay a refundable deposit on an Xbox so we can play just dance and have a bit of fun in the evening, it gets everyone involved and we all have a bit of a giggle!

Split the lodge cost between 2 families and Bobs your uncle, you will be surprised!

3.) pre book your holiday well in advance and spread the cost. Also you can pre-book your activities over the year, maybe one a month so you don’t have to spend a big chunk of money, the activities range from £1 for Story-time, £12 ish for animal fun, £30 ish for 2 hour activities where you can leave the children and have a bit of time out (I recommend these). So the prices vary and there is so much for all ages. I will also say that the staff are fantastic! I advise booking them early as when you are there they will be mostly fully booked.

4.) Make full use of the pool, it is free and the one at Longleat is new and it is insane! There is a toddler splash area with mini slides, sprinklers and water play activities, a huge pirate ship splash area with more slides. There is a new ride with giant rubber rings which is so much fun and for roughly age 7 upward (there is a height restriction) these are so much fun for adults and kids, we screamed our heads off!! There is also an outdoor pool, more water slides, rapids and jacuzzi I mean you could spend hours, get out have a drink in the cafe and get back in again. There are even little beach huts you can hire.

5.) Take a food shop with you! The first time we went my sister organised us as I tend to plan the day before and she is a super list writer! She planned meals, told me what to buy and do you know what? She’s a bloody genius! For a 4 night stay we each bring a dinner for one night, we go out for one dinner (to the pancake house which is amazing! The funniest show!) and we do a little BBQ one night, job done! We also make a pack lunch everyday using part baked rolls and take cereal and toast. As much as I thought my sister was slightly crazy this saved us so much money and also saved me putting on a stone in weight!

6.) If you fancy Longleat safari park it is next door and it’s cheaper to buy your tickets through center parcs. I love Longleat, we went on the Friday and it was so quiet!

So there you have it there are ways to cut costs and for a fun family break I would totally recommend it, this is not an ad it’s just a little holiday memoir as I always thought center parks was a no way for us and it isn’t at all, if you really look into you can definitely cut costs.

All this being said would I rather go abroad?? No it’s a totally different holiday which I enjoyed just as much! Going abroad is great but this is great too, it’s really good family time and a great place to learn new skills and work together depending on what you choose to do. Going out on family bike rides and spending evenings together interacting rather than going to entertainment every evening. For what we spent we couldn’t go abroad like people think, and it really is so beautiful!

I’m also so thankful for my children to be able to make memories with their cousins, they have so much fun and just hearing them giggling makes it so worth it! Except the slime incident i mean if center Parcs had of seen that we wouldn’t be allowed back!

We all got so much exercise cycling around everywhere and it really boosted the kids confidence on their bikes, My husband and oldest son did a highropes course and zip-wired across the lake! It looked terrifying but I was so proud!!!

If you ever go you must go and see the show at the pancake house!! It is hilarious and the kids love it.

One last thing…

If you can, spend a morning at the spa!! It’s about £35 and sooooo lovely one of the best!!! My sister and I went for a morning and the guys had the kids, they then went quad biking and we had the kids, works out perfectly. It’s not all about the kids right?

Thanks for reading and enjoy any trips you have planned this year!



The last summer….

This is my baby, my first-born, the boy who turned my whole world upside and made my heart burst with unconditional love. The boy who cried with happiness watching me and his Dad get married, the boy that makes me burst with pride in everything he does…..

Guys my big boys going to secondary school in September!!!! I feel like he’s flying the nest! Am I alone in this?

I specifically remember secondary school being a turning point from childhood to adulthood, the world of a teenager who thinks they are an adult. A naive child that thinks they’re an adult is more fitting to what you actually are but in their eyes an adult! The things I got up to doesn’t bare thinking about….

It’s so scary we’ve sailed through the last 11 years smoothly with not to many bumps, we’ve been really lucky that the boy has an awesome bunch of friends some that he’s been friends with since age 3!

Being football mad he’s also got to know boys from other local schools, we can go pretty much anywhere and if there’s someone with a football then he joins them it seems to be a mutual passion that builds a friendship in a second. I love this about football socially it’s fantastic not so much when it’s on tv all the time, but socially brilliant! he’s going to know so many of his year when he starts in September all thanks to football.

This last year at school has been filled with cycling proficiency training, a residential stay, a bubble wrapped sex ed talk, internet safety, first aid and soon a trip to a safety centre where the children will learn all sorts of things like making a 999 call. This is all the prep work, all the prep to send them up to secondary school ready to take more responsibility and care for themselves, ready for a little more freedom.

We are all different and how i choose to bring up my children will never be exactly the same as anyone else and that’s great, stand for what you believe in and do what you think is right! After all these boundaries, rules and structures are what makes a child feel secure and loved whether they realise or not.

I personally feel like I have to release the reigns a little bit and I am kind of ok with that but it is still scary. He has had a phone for the last year and has started going out with friends for an hour here and there, but come September he’s going to be getting on a school bus and possibly hanging out in the next town blagging me to come and pick him up later! I know I don’t have to let him do this but I trust him and he is a pretty mature kid, he has given me no reason so far no to put my trust in him so I guess this is when it gets tested. I have to give him chances, he will make mistakes that’s what we do and that’s how we learn but we will figure out what works and if I have to pull those reigns back in that’s what we will do.

I think I’m going to have to get him a door key!!!!! THIS seems massive!!! Bet he’ll blimen loose it he has his father eyes and can’t find anything!

I am actually really excited for him, for all he is going to learn, the fun he will have, the people he will meet. We all say it, these years are the best!!!!! Simple things like getting chips in the park with mates and playing in the stream in your shorts! Making prank calls and buying all the 10p crisps! These things are the best days and I feel like it is going to be such an amazing adventure for him.

This summer I’m gonna plan lots of fun family adventures and squeeze him as much as I can because I have an inclin that the next one he might not be around quite so much……

The instamum series… @she_plusfive

I would love to share a lovely mumma of four, Brenda is such an inspiration I have followed her on Instagram for quite some time now and I’m absolutely smitten with her lovely family!

Tell me a little bit about yourself and your family?

I was born and raised in Mexico. Moved to the USA when I was 13 and have lived here ever since. I married in 2010 and have four beautiful children, expecting number five due in June 2018. We are a homeschooling family, we embrace simple minimal living and encourage our kids to be nature oriented as much as possible.

Did you always want to have a big family?

Yes! Ever since I was little I dreamed of being a mother, and I always knew I wanted more than three kids.

Do you children fight? How do you deal with it?

I haven’t met a set of siblings who don’t haha! I will say though when they have their little quarrels it’s usually because of sharing issues, and not taking turns. It really varies depending on who I’m dealing with at the moment. Each one of my kids is so unique that I have to use different approaches with each one. My son for example, we put him in time out for about ten seconds inside a closet and he comes out ready to apologize and move on. For my oldest daughter a simple look will do the trick. I feel like my parenting style is pretty gentle and I do my best to respect and validate their feelings.

What is your favourite thing to do with your children?

Cuddling is by far my most favorite thing. They share stories, or tell me what they’ve read, or simply letting me play with their hair and snuggle. It recharges me.

Do you think it’s important to give the children 1 on 1 time?

Very much so. And for a large family like us it is definitely something we have to put a lot of effort into. I try to spend as much time as I can with each one individually but sometimes it isn’t possible to do so. When the younger ones nap, I focus on my oldest daughters.

What is the most important to you when it comes to bringing up your children?

Our faith. My job as their mother is to mold their characters for eternity. I want them to love The Lord with all their soul and mind and strength.

How do you balance home life? There’s a lot of washing involved! Are you super organised or do you just wing it?

There is no balance really. Every day is so different from the next. My husband and I make a pretty good team though. We both do laundry, we both do dishes. Whoever has the time and is available does it without being asked.

Do you make time for yourself and do you and your husband get to spend time together?

I recently started working out 30 min a day and it’s made a huge difference in my mood. Even something small like a 15 min bath, or a hot shower, or even a trip to your favorite store without kids can be huge! Hubby and I try to leave a couple hours for mom alone time every week (for everyone’s safety haha) As far as dates together, that’s hard. There’s only a handful of people we would let watch our kids and schedules often work against us. We try to be intentional when we’re together at home.

Do you enjoy pregnancy?

I do enjoy it! All my pregnancies have been amazing. No throwing up, no morning sickness, no pain. With this one I had some hip pain but going to the chiropractor helps a lot. I crave a lot of sweet stuff with this baby! Donuts, cakes, pastries! I don’t give into my cravings often because I’m trying to stay healthy but I do crave sweets.

If you could give 3 tips to any mother/ father out there what would they be?

1.Put the phone down.

2.Laugh more.

3.Give yourself more grace and embrace your parenting style without comparison.

The newest addition will be arriving any day now and I personally think what a lucky baby to be joining a family clearly full of so much love!

What an inspiration!

Check out Brenda on Instagram her page is full of love and creativity! @she_plusfive

Thankyou Brenda and good luck with your new addition xxx