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...

How to camp outdoors for cheap

Camping is a great way of experiencing the outdoors. It’s also a budget-friendly way of vacationing with your family. Travelling costs are quite high, something that may leave you wondering whether you can even afford to vacation with your family this year. Nonetheless, those much-desired trips to Disney World or Hawaii are not the only great way to vacation.

Even though spending time with your loved ones is priceless, creating memories doesn’t have to be costly. In this regard, you should consider taking an affordable family camping trip. Here’s how to camp outside for cheap.

Consider a “Staycation”

If you are looking to take your loved ones on a camping trip, you don’t have to worry yourself about where to go. There are tens of campgrounds at national and state parks, and national and state forests. Most public recreation areas are a great destination for camping excursions. It is generally advisable to stay closer to home since it will help you save money.

Stay at a County or State Park Campground

It generally costs an average of $12 to $25 to camp at an affordable camp ground. This is way less than what you will pay even at the cheapest motels. You may have to fork out up to $40 to $50 at popular campsites. Again, this depends on the services that will be rendered you.

The cheapest campsites are those found in county and state parks, and are managed by park rangers. Besides parking space and a place to set up your tent, most campsites have fire pits, charcoal grills,and picnic tables.

Take Advantage of Campsite Amenities

When camping, there are lots of inexpensive fun activities that you can engage in. Most campsites have amenities such as hiking trails, fishing lakes, bating facilities, and even swimming zones. You can even find playgrounds with swings, and basketball courts.

This means that there are numerous opportunities for families to play and engage in other fun activities together.  Many public parks and stateparks offer kids nature program, while some even show outdoor movies on weekends.

Rent or Re-Use Camping Gear

If you are going camping for the first time,you can get high quality camping gear for less than $600. Remember this is a one-off purchase since you can use the gear during your subsequent camping trips. You can also rent camping gear from outdoor stores.

Tents are arguably the most pertinent camping gear. If you have a family of four, it is recommended that you get a tent that sleeps six people. You will appreciate the extra room that a bigger tent provides. You will also need 3-season sleeping bags, which are rated for 30° to40°weather. If it gets too warm, you can simply unzip the zipper. You can save money by bringing along your own bedsheets and blankets. This will also provide additional comfort.

Your campsite is likely to have charcoal grills. This is great especially if you intend to undertake some cooking. When cooking meals that require a skillet or a pot, you won’t attain the desired result in case you have a propane camp stove. 2-burner propane stoves cost around $35 to $80.

Propane cylinders cost $2 to $3 and last an average of one week. When camping, you may also need a cooler to keep your drinks fizzy and your food from going bad. You should pick a cooler that is big enough to accommodate all your needs.  If you have your own camping gear, you will incur fewer expenses since you will only need to pay camp ground fees and the cost of food and incidentals such as charcoal and ice.

Additional Camping Tips

Some items that you can take along with you when going to camp can be found at home or even bought at grocery stores. These include cups, glasses, pillows, silverware, pans, flash lights, food, and pots.It is good practice to buy cheap tarp for placing under your tent to prevent water seepage in case it rains.

Lanterns are not recommended when going for camping excursions because they will not only make your tent uncomfortably warm but will also attract bugs. Rather than shopping for camping gear online, you should visit local Target or Wal-Mart stores. There, you are likely to find whatever you need at great prices.

Camping is an affordable way of creating lasting memories with your loved ones. If you are doing it for the first time,you will need $600 to purchase new gear, less than $200 in campsite fees for one week, and another $200 for basic provisions such as food, gas, and ice.This means that with only $1,000, you can have one week of great outdoor fun for a family of four. The cost will be even lower during subsequent excursions because you won’t be buying camping gear.

Got a Secret Santa who doesn’t know what to get you this year? Spread the word that you’re looking for camping supplies, and you’ll save money and heal their Christmas headache!

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