A very happy birthday to my first furbaby, Rambo. He is 13 today. I can’t believe he’s been in my life for 13 years, we’ve done so much and seen so many places. It’s gone so quickly.

He is so good, his temperament is just perfect. He’s not a yappy dog. He barks to mark his territory but that’s it. When the kids were toddlers, they would pull his fur out in clumps and he would just lay there. He cleans the other pets in the house and always makes sure the kids are safe at night time. It’s so cute. He’s such a loving, fatherly dog.

This little man is my follower at the moment; more so than normal. He follows me everywhere. If I’m on the loo, he will sit at the bathroom door staring at me. When I’m in the bath, he pushes the door open and sits next to me and stares. Right now, he’s currently snuggling under the duvet.

Let’s hope we can go and explore somewhere new in the summer, with amazing views and miles of countryside. Our favourite.

Thanks for all the adventures Rambo 🐾 and the snuggles! We love you lots.

A very happy birthday to...

I wonder what is going through their tiny minds right now? Do you think they consider things like we do? Do you think they #dream of what’s going on? The kids seem to be taking it all in their stride and albeit they are sad they can’t see their friends, they seem to be just getting on with it.

Whereas, I go through waves of different feelings. I’ve discovered I’m at my best when I just take each day as it comes. When I start to think about things globally, or the time period of lockdowns and when the kids are going back to school... that’s when I start to feel worried and glum.

I worry that my employer will soon say “sorry Sonia we’re not paying you anymore as you’re homeschooling”, or the worry that I’m not teaching my kids correctly and they’re missing too much of their education. Or the impact of isolation on the kiddies at this age, making friendships and building rapport with people.

I hope these are worries over nothing. And I know all of the kiddies in the world are in the same boat. But, as a parent you can’t help but worry.

So for now I’m trying not to think negatively. Trying not to think more than 1 day ahead (except maybe planning Easter Sunday dinner) and I’m trying to keep smiling. So my babies keep smiling.

Keep calm and carry on. Isn’t that the saying!

#mummyphotoaday

I wonder what is going...

This afternoons activity with Daddy looked like lots of fun: they gathered sticks and the kiddies built their own pile of firewood for a camp fire. They then sat around the fire pit to test whose camp fire would flame up the best!

Isla created a very structured camp fire, logical and a pattern to where she placed her sticks. Noahs looked more sporadic but covered a wider area.

Neither camp fires took fire, it was quite windy. So the kiddies enjoyed a hot chocolate and marshmallow around their piles of sticks.

They had fun though and that’s the main thing. I’m loving all of these practical tasks they’re doing with Daddy.

I’ve been waiting, all day, for someone to tell me it’s all a dream and we are still going to Dubai. But, unfortunately, no one jumped out screaming April #fool and alas, we are still at home. I’m gutted.

Lots to look forward to though and right now it’s about focussing on our main objective: stay at home at all times, unless to buy essential food & walk the dogs! I have actually loved being at home everyday. It’s my favourite place.

#mummyphotoaday

This afternoons activity with Daddy...

“We are very excited to try out this new food from Forthglade, it smells woofing delicious” 🐾 Straight from the doggies mouth!

I am very excited to announce that I am a new ambassador for @forthglade. What does that mean? Well, I get to try out the products and tell you all how good they are and get special offers and discounts for my followers too!

It’s such a strange time with lockdown, however finding out about Forthglade couldn’t have come at a better time. When I went to get our usual dog foods in the supermarket it had all sold out. So, resorting to online orders seemed a very natural thing to do to ensure our furbabies are fed.

This food is a minimum of 75% meat or fish and is free from junk. With Snoopy, he has a tummy condition which means we have to be careful what he eats, it’s perfect. We will keep you posted on what they thought! 🐾 #gifted

“We are very excited to...

🌼 April is here and along with it comes another set of photo keywords for #MummyPhotoADay photo challenge.

We should have been flying to Dubai today, so my insta squares would have been very different to what they now will be. I’m expecting to see lots of Spring colours and stay at home families instead this month.

Don’t forget to use the hashtag #mummyphotoaday so I can comment and share my favourites throughout the month.

Does anyone have any creative stay at home plans for April?

🌼 April is here and...

My favourite pics from March #MummyPhotoADay - a massive thank you to everyone that took part. We have had a lot of new members this month and it’s been really hard picking my favourite 9! There are now over 4,000 photos to choose from.

All photos are tagged, but from left right:
📷 @cultivatingdelight
📷 @newmummyblog
📷 @confessionsofacrummymummy
📷 @houseofbaughs
📷 @sahrazade
📷 @otisandus.blog
📷 @_lisaslife_
📷 @socalshopgirl384
📷 @descendants_of_war

I’ve really loved seeing photos from @anywaytostayathome, @the_mummy_editorial, @freyalexandra, @becsbrewtifullife & @canonjacq.

All you have to do to join in is add #mummyphotoaday to your caption and the keyword of the day... I’m very excited to see what April has in store for us. Lots of fun “Stay at #Home” themed photos!

Thank you to everyone that joins in 📷

My favourite pics from March...

The kiddies had a lot of fun playing in the bath today. Swimming pools are closed, it’s too cold to get outside in a paddling pool so we put our swimming costumes on and pretended!

The kids had loads of fun making sparkly bath water and foaming soap shapes with @kidsstuffcrazy products. It’s amazing how fun products like this can keep the kiddies entertained for hours.

They literally played in the bath for an hour. The water had gone cold by the time they got out. It was the perfect indoor fun activity, especially as it was wet outside today.

If you’re homeschooling and self isolating with young children why not make a fun bath and invite the kids to make a mess with whatever you have in the bathroom! We also tried to make our own bubble bath using washing up liquid and #citrus juice - it wasn’t a nice smell 😂 the kiddies will try again in the week.

You can get the Magical Sparkle bubble bath and Foaming Soap from Kids Stuff Crazy at @superdrug - check out my review on the blog. #linkinbio

#mummyphotoaday 🧼

The kiddies had a lot...

Today has been a busy day, but nice and chilled at the same time. We let the kiddies have iPad and Xbox time this morning; our homeschool doesn’t give out homework! They built some cool stuff in Minecraft and worked together. Which was nice to see.

After lunch we took a longer walk than in the week, across the river. This is a walking route that is direct from our doorstep and took us 90 minutes in total, part of our one exercise a day under lockdown rules. It was nice to get some fresh air and just talk about whatever comes into our heads. We spoke about a lot of random things. 7 & 9 year olds do come out with some funny comments. Noahs favourites are “would you rathers”. We got home and Daddy made a delicious roast dinner and I did a deep #clean in the bathroom. Then had a long hot bath!

No rush for any of these things as we seemingly have about 12 weeks of working at home and possibly months of homeschooling. I just hope we can have family over soon as we miss them all.

#mummyphotoaday

Today has been a busy...

My top tips on getting outside and enjoying outdoor play #DirtIsGood

Persil have launched a national campaign and are focused on encouraging children to spend more time playing outdoors and interacting with nature. As you know, we love getting outdoors and exploring what nature has on offer so jumped at the chance of helping Persil to spread the good word. The word that dirt is good, #DirtIsGood

This campaign comes off the back of comprehensive global research which reveals 74% of children spend less and less time outdoors, in fact, they now spend less time outdoors than prisoners. Which is just ubsurd! How can children, these days, spend less time outdoors than prisoners? On reflection some days our children possibly do not spend much time outdoors, but on the whole and especially weekends, we try to get out and about as much as possible. Even if its just a dog walk at our nearest park, we walk and explore, play and jump in muddy puddles of course. Did you also know that 1 in 10 parents have never been on an adventure with their children? I cannot understand why, it is SO much fun!

I think it is a great project to get involved with, as the research is quite shocking considering what there is on offer to do outdoors with the children and most of the time free. #DirtIsGood as Persil say, there is no excuse to not getting outside and enjoying outdoor play with the children. Especially as in our house, we have a typical boy and by that I mean, one who likes to get outside and run around, burn off steam. Also one in the form of Daddy too! Daddy comes up with great ideas all the time to get outside and explore. Isla and I are more creative types and so when we go on our adventures we bring a different element to it. We don’t just go for walks, we explore and search for imaginary creatures, or sing songs along the way. There is always something to do for everyone. It’s not always about going out and paying for something to do either, just walking the dogs around the RSPB nearby or a local National Trust location, we just sometimes get up and get out. We love camping, exploring and making mini adventures. Its what we do best – outdoor fun. I think its important to get outside because there are so many days when you cannot, making the most of it at the weekends is great. Sitting at a desk all day at school or at work, you need that release when you get home and a 30 minute bounce on the trampoline can just change the whole outlook of that day.  It also creates magic moments where we as a family have special memories to share.

Most weekends, we spend at least one whole day outside (weather dependent) and these days are not necessarily expensive. Sometimes there is no cost involved at all. Our favourite outdoor activities are walking through the woods, scooting around places, finding fascinating scenery like in the Yorkshire Dales, but best of all running free at the beach. We go out, we have fun and we always take a spare pair of clothes incase we get muddy!  

Here are my #DirtIsGood tips on getting outside and enjoying outdoor play with the kids:

– Have a look online at websites like http://www.dayoutwiththekids.co.uk, it will highlight places near you that are great for family fun and they have icons to show what type of facility they are. Farms or parks etc. Oh and always check the weather forecast, BBC weather is usually correct.

– Take something that your children love, a particular character or type of game, and turn it into an outdoor adventure. If your little ones love Thomas,  take them out and involve trains. Or take a toy version of that character out with you and make it come to life in the surroundings. Or simply, get out to the beach and play tag with the children. Its good feeling like a kid again! There is something de-stressing about it. Get involved too.

– Be prepared: pack spare clothes, snacks, hats and waterproof coats, oh and wellies! We also take pyjama’s with us on longer adventures, just incase the little ones fall asleep on the way home. That’s always a sign of a good day out.

– Take a picnic, in a comfortable rucksack. That way when you are in the middle of your fun activites, you do not need to stop everything to drag the children around a restaurant or back to the car to get the food (I know sometimes that is a nice change though). It’s great to go on a journey, start from the car park and walk around the beach in a big loop for example, stopping for your picnic lunch half way around.

– Bring the camera! You can bet your bottom dollar that going out for the day will encourage the children to smile, be playful and sometimes we have got the best photos from these kinds of days.

– My main tip, saving the best for last, is to not plan a strict itinery! The children will want to have fun, let off steam and be free. That’s what they’re best at, so let them lead the day. Don’t plan the day to a strict 5 minute schedule, as the children will soon adapt it and that just causes frustration from all angles. Especially when the children are younger, like mine, our goal is to go somewhere and see where it takes us. 

You can find out more about the Persil campaign by visiting the Dirt is Good website: www.dirtisgood.com

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Sunday 3 April 2016
My top tips on getting outside and enjoying outdoor play #DirtIsGood

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