Friday, 1 March 2019

A Snapshot of life lately

It feels like I blinked and February was over. I haven't posted on here for a couple of weeks so time for a catch-up and a chat.

A Snapshot of life lately

Allowing the kids some freedom 

Over the past few weeks I've been giving Harry and Heidi more and more freedom. I really hope this summer is finally the summer that they spend the whole time playing out with their friends. Some of my favourite memories from childhood are from long summers playing out on my bike and I really wish the same for them. I think about what I used to get up to at their age and I did so much more than what they do.

It's all been about baby steps. When we stay in Premier Inns we have to book two rooms (curse of a family of 5). Last month we decided to let Heidi and Harry share their own room (next door to us) rather than the girls having one room and the boys another which we have in the past. They were really sensible and it worked really well.

We've also been building up to H & H going swimming by themselves. You can actually do this from age 8 at our local centre and gradually I've been building up to it. First I'd watch from the gallery and help them get changed, then I'd sit in soft play with Jack while they went swimming and then this week, they made the trip themselves. They are sensible kids and they loved the freedom. Heidi is 10 next month and Harry is 12.5 - both are mature and responsible and I feel happy with them doing this. The plan is for them to go swimming every week now and I hope it's something they'll do in the school holidays too to keep them active. Jack, on the other hand, is nowhere near ready being allowed any kind of freedom. His personality is far too volatile and I honestly think it will still be many years before I feel comfortable with him going off by himself.

March is going to be a quiet month 

February was so busy for us - we had something on every weekend and our half term was jam-packed so we're taking it a little easier in March. No huge plans apart from a big family meal out and a weekend away with friends at the end of the month. I know that April is going to be a busy one so it's nice to take some time to chill I think.

I resigned from my role as school Governor last month. I've been in the position since Harry was in nursery so over 8 years and with Steve's shift changes, it meant getting to meetings was going to be too tricky for me. If you're thinking of becoming a Governor I'd highly recommend - it gives you a fascinating insight into what actually goes on behind closed doors at school and it's a way to make an actual difference to your child's education too.

Products I'm loving right now 

I've been meaning to share these products for ages now but it's so random that I haven't known where to mention them. Here seems like the ideal place. Last year I switched our cleaning products to be all eco-friendly but really struggled with finding an eco-friendly washing detergent. A lovely reader recommended SMOL to me and I honestly haven't looked back. 24 capsules (you can change the amount - we get a little more) are posted through your letterbox each month for just £3.85. Their capsules are the most effective in the world, are not tested on animals (or sold in countries where animal testing is a thing), are suitable for Vegans and their packaging is 100% recyclable.

You can sign up for a free trial here - I can't recommend enough. They make your laundry smell amazing too (not an AD btw). 

The second product I wanted to recommend (also not an AD) is Heist Tights. First recommended to me by my friend Nyomi. Now they are super expensive at around £20 per pair BUT they are 100% worth it. I bought a pair in September and have worn (and washed) them at least twice a week since then and they're still in fab condition. They are high waisted and truly never roll down and stay in position all day. I've never ever experienced this with tights and it has been a game changer. Tights season is almost over now but I'll be re-investing in a couple of pairs next autumn. Find out more here. 

Extreme February weather 

Can we take a minute to talk about the extreme weather? I can't believe it was snowing at the beginning of February and then 20 degrees by the end. Last February saw the Beast from the East and it feels like anything can happen in February. I saw lots of people ironically saying that nobody was talking about global warming but on my feed it was the opposite - everyone was talking about it. I don't know how I feel about it all if I'm honest. Obviously, global warming is definitely a thing but I think a couple of warm days can't be blamed on that - we need to look for a pattern of behaviour (whilst also trying to reverse or stop global warming in the meantime) before we jump to conclusions. I asked why it is only February that sees extremes of weather but then my friend Sharon pointed out it's also October and she's right. I remember it being -6 degrees and snowing when we went to see Blackpool illuminations in October half term one year and then brilliant sunshine and us playing on the beach and eating ice creams during the same half term the following year. Why is it only February and October that seem to have extreme weather? Is it something to do with the changing of the season? Who knows. I'm sure our scientists will sort it out.

While I'm on, I was gutted to see the very poor turn out in the climate change debate in the house of commons this week sparked by the worldwide student protests (which I fully support). When are our politicians going to take this seriously? So frustrating!! 

Sunderland is the place to be 

Once upon a time, Steve would be one of these blokes who wouldn't set foot in Sunderland because of his love for the toon but he seems to have mellowed a little in his older age and can you believe we've been three times this month??? I've actually been impressed and think it's definitely a place that despite pre-conceptions should be on your radar. We spent a lush afternoon at the Winter Gardens, watched an award-winning play (War Horse) at the Empire and have enjoyed fabulous meals at Mexico 70 and the Palm. A trip to the Glass Centre is next on my list. 

That's all for another month. Let me know your thoughts on allowing your kids more freedom, the extreme weather, products you're loving and Sunderland. 


  1. Ahh! We have to let the kids have some freedom eventually. Well done to them making the trip to swimming themselves. When I was their age my brother, my friends and I used to go swimming every Saturday morning ourselves. I have been letting my girls loose to the park, into town and out and about. I don't like it but I have to let them go and they have their phones in case anything happens.
    Well done on 8 years as a school Governor.
    The weather has been crazy hasn't it. From one extreme to another. I could do with some more of the sunshine. I have a ton of washing to catch up on after a broken washing machine x

  2. It's crazy how fast February goes when January is so so long!

    Ahhh so glad you've discovered Sunderland, I honestly think it's a bit of a hidden treasure and so many people are missing out by not going to visit!

  3. Thanks for the laundry capsules tip, I’ve just signed up for my free trial! X


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