time flies when you're being a mum

18 Apr, 2014

Welcome back to another Mums’ List! I feel like I’m beginning to get into my stride with it now we’re into week 7 and spring 2014 is finally upon us.

However, it’s been brought to my attention that as a non-blogger, this list/linky might not make sense to you…

I started Mums’ List as a way of keeping track of what’s going on in my life; marking milestones that are easily forgotten. But also to share what I am learning about blogging because it is what I spend the majority of my time doing! The linky is just a way of inviting other bloggers to join in if they want to.

If you are a non-blogger, I do hope you can still get something out of it because it isn’t all about blogging and if you skip from Real Life to the Inspiration section there are links to non-blogger stuff I’ve found interesting, which you might enjoy too!

I hope that makes sense and you can enjoy my Mums’ List, and feel free to still join in the comments section – you don’t need a blog for that!

If you’re a blogger, please join in! The rules are here and then all you need to do is grab the badge below and make sure you visit and comment on some of your fellow Mums’ Listers!

Real Life – spring 2014

Looking back through the photos this week, I’ve had a great time as spring 2014 has arrived. Lots of doing things with my little fella, the sun has been out and we are beginning to enjoy our garden…so despite my low mood, we’ve been active and he’s been cheering me up with the help of some very new piglets at Broom House Farm.

Mums' List 7 - Spring 2014. New piglets!

Spring 2014 has sprung at Broom House Farm

Mums' List 7 - Spring 2014. New piglets!

That’s almost a smile! Reuben’s looking at a tractor…

Blog and Social Media

It seems Facebook has turned ugly on us bloggers. I’ve seen a real hit in my stats this week from Facebook, which, after google, is my main source of traffic. Fewer people are seeing my posts in their feeds, apparently the cap is 15% of your Likers. So any suggestions on how to get around this, or ways to improve the chances of people seeing your posts would be highly appreciated!

On a happier note, yesterday I joined in Mammasaurus’ How Does Your Garden Grow linky for my garden update – the people who link are so attentive and I got a whole bunch of lovely comments. So I’d highly recommend linking in if you have any garden updates!

On the blog this week I’ve been a bit heart on my sleeve. What I’ve done and felt is what I’ve written about. I thorough enjoyed doing the Family Tree Egg Hunt and Easter Sensory Box. The Sensory Box itself was a total revelation considering last week I couldn’t see the point in it. Now I love it! Because Reuben loves it…

Mums' List 7 - Spring 2014. Easter Sensory Box


Bloggy one…

I’m not so good at commenting on other people’s blogs. I struggle to find the time when I’m trying to write posts, do social media and all that jazz, so I’ve signed up for Love All Blogs Blog Club!! This is a big commitment as I will have to read and comment on 27 posts every week. But it will also do me the world of good to meet some new friends, get some inspiration and hopefully get some comments and new visitors in return!

None Bloggy…

If you didn’t see my post yesterday, you’ve got to read this article: The Crossroads of Should and Must 

This is a great post for kids and adults alike (from my sis-in-law to be!): A Better Way to Say Sorry

Your Turn!

How has spring 2014 been treating you? I love reading all the Mums’ Lists so do join in and I will share on twitter.

To join in the linky please pop this badge on your post (make sure you copy all the code and paste it into the HTML section of your blog), add your link below and don’t forget to go and see some of your fellow linkers!

Mums' Days
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Should or Must


17 Apr, 2014

I’m on a journey. A journey to work out what the hell I want to do with my life! I’ve discussed it before, the thing I think I want to be, the thing that stops me either looking after my son full time or getting a proper job!

But there is something within me that is holding me back. It stops me from being the writer/blogger I want to be. It gets downhearted by stats and Facebook’s latest antics. Instead of feeling inspired it gets upset by other people’s successes. It ignores all the wonderful comments and feedback I get. It thinks too much about what it thinks I should be doing…(child/job)

I know I’m hormonal this week! I know I’m not alone. I know that seemingly half of all mothers (after the messages I got about the Evening Primrose Oil post!) are hormonal too and feeling less than great, less than useful. Not reaching their full potential. Not even knowing what their full potential is! The thing they must do.

Today, by chance, I was emailed this article: The Cross Roads of Should and Must. I feel like it was written for me! If you feel like you need a kick up the arse, I would suggest you read it. I found it particularly useful to write down my “what are you so afraid of?” list – it was meant to be 10 points long but I had more, and probably even more in my head that I haven’t even realised!

I’m not saying that I’m any closer to concurring my self-sabatage but I am at least a tad closer to recognising what might be holding me back! I have an amazing opportunity that I’m currently wasting, I just have to work out how to make the most of it…


16 Apr, 2014

Following on from the original Small Garden ideas post, I thought I’d fill you in on how it’s been going… The idea started with decking, but God love the Mums’ Days Facebook page as they advised me against it (super slippery when wet, you lose things in the gaps, etc!). So now it really is moving towards being the ultimate low maintenance garden! Back in March we still had a Christmas tree in the ‘garden’ so if you saw the Family Tree Easter Egg Hunt post you will have noticed a glimpse of some improvements (I hope!)!

Low Maintenance Garden – the update

low maintenance garden - the update

March in the Mums’ Days low maintenance garden – Where Christmas Trees go to die!

low maintenance garden - garden update

…and sheds

Our neighbours recently had a kitchen extension which required our wall to be knocked down. That was fine but the shed was moved, and left, in the middle of the yard, making getting in and out most difficult! So the first thing to go was the shed – sweet relief! Oh and the wall got painted white.

low maintenance garden - the update

Reuben’s head is handily covering the party amount of wine bottles

However, the contents of the shed had to go somewhere, some of it went in the garden but the rest is (still) spilling out of the breakfast room.

low maintenance garden - the update

It’s incredible what you can fit in a shed…Some of the contents

We’ve replaced the shed with a longer but thinner one but we’re yet to work out how to get anything other than what was in the garden and the bikes back in. It’s going to be like a complex game of tetris!

low maintenance garden - the update

Imagine this but without the crap on the left!

So, all that’s left to do with the shed is the game of tetris and some beach-y colours! Maybe this weekend, Mike??

In the other direction, we got rid of the Christmas tree and went vertical! I got two different wall pots for my birthday, which are now in situ but still need herbs and flowers, and followed advice to also get some wall climbers – so I’m eagerly anticipating the bloom of my two clematises (is that the plural?), which I do have. I also got a beautiful bay tree from my bestie, which I love!

low maintenance garden - the update

going vertical

To be honest with a tiny garden you can’t really go too high maintenance anyway, well that’s if you want floorspace. Some of my neighbours have forgone floorspace in favour of a forrest seemingly. But I was keen on keeping as much space as possible for Reuben to play in, which automatically leads to a low maintenance garden. A few flowers and herbs to water is fun and Reuben loves to ‘help’.

So, that’s it so far! I’ll do a final update when I think we’re there and the sun comes out a bit more…I’m not a perfectionist so it shouldn’t take too long!

low maintenance garden - the update

I’ve sacked off the idea of having a blackboard in favour of just drawing on the walls

Note: thank you to Uncle Geordie (yes, people in Newcastle are also actually called  Geordie as a name – I didn’t know either), Gabriella’s uncle for doing all the hard work!

I got such lovely advice from the How Does Your Garden Grow linkers last time, I thought I’d link up again…


Mammasaurus and How Does Your Garden Grow?
15 Apr, 2014

Reuben is now 20 months old and I’m still learning things about myself post baby. Today I have reached the realisation that I am now spending almost 2 weeks a month, a month, feeling down in the dumps. Glum. Not totally myself. A little bit blues-y.

It’s not the kind of blues that is totally holding me back; I’m still able to get out of bed (although it’s taking longer), and go out and do things. It’s my head space that is the problem…talk about overdrive. I’m worrying about everything. Over analysing every conversation.

I can usually tell when it’s about to happen as I will cry when Reuben doesn’t eat his tea. Reuben never eats his tea. But when my 2 weeks are arriving, that’s when it gets to me. I imagine Reuben as a 30 year old who will only eat fish fingers (not that he’ll eat fish fingers now. If only!). My mind gets carried away with itself and that’s the kind of thing it comes up with but for all aspects of my life.

I also want to eat crap and not move too much. It’s like a mini-hybernation. Although over the course of a year, that amounts to half of the year so therefore it ain’t that mini after all!

After a conversation with my lovely mum today, it turns out that my suspicion is right: I have this to look forward to until the menopause.

However, before I crawl into a bath and then my bed in the hope that tomorrow will be better, my mum did say that the benefits of Evening Primrose Oil can have a really good effect on balancing the mood swings. I HOPE SHE’S RIGHT because the other option (get pregnant) is not overly tempting right now!

That said, I have had a less glum day with my mum and Reuben in the sunshine! She’s 53 tomorrow. Doesn’t she look amazing?! I really hope I have her genes!!

benefits of evening primrose oil

So I will give the benefits of evening primrose oil a whirl and hope for the best. Do you have any recommendations for managing the mood swings?

I’m linking this in with #allaboutyou as it really is, in fact it’s borderline TMI! But if you can’t ask on your blog where can you?

#AllAboutYou Link & Pin Party Mama and More

Toddler activities

14 Apr, 2014

Following on from the half a dozen Easter Activities Post, I’ve been working on my Family Tree Egg Hunt today! Lots of cutting and sticking but since it was sunny I sat outside to do it while Reuben played with the Easter Sensory Box (as inspired by No Time for Flash Cards)…

Toddler Easter Sensory box - Egg hunt

I know people say that toddlers love this kind of thing but I was dubious as to whether Reuben would. Well, he absolutely loved it! Played for ages really concentrating on filling the pots or the eggs, and using each of the garden tools. There was a moment that he tried to tip the whole thing up but I was close at hand to save the day. Also, to stop him putting anything in his mouth/retrieving the things he did put in his mouth. He didn’t do it often but definitely bare in mind that you want to keep an eye on little ones.

I did a bit of a rampage at Sainsbury’s and the whole thing cost just over £6.  It was really easy to do and this is what I used to make it:

  • Tub (that everything goes into) – £1
  • Plant pots – £1 for 10
  • Fillable eggs – £2 for 8
  • Pinto beans – £1.10
  • Farfalle (bow tie pasta!) Tricolour – £0.95

I also put in some dried green lentils but they were lost so don’t bother! I was meant to add some little insects and sequins but I forgot. Next time!

Toddler Easter Sensory box - Egg hunt

The Family Tree Egg Hunt

Anyway, on to the main affair… The Family Tree Egg Hunt! Reuben LOVES chocolate and cake and all sweet things so the option of having an egg hunt with real chocolate ain’t on the cards. I figured this would be a nice alternative!

My theory behind this is that I wasn’t sure if I could get Reuben excited about collecting just eggs, so with the added dimension of there being people he knows on the back might make it more interesting for him.

Turns out, all I needed to do was dot them about, give him a bucket and tell him to pick them up! He did also enjoy turning them over to see who was there, so I think we’re going to enjoy playing with these over the next few days (months!).

Toddler Easter Egg Hunt - Easter Activities

All you need is:

  • A bunch of old Birthday cards;
  • Some photos of your nearest and dearest;
  • Some scissors; and
  • Pritstick
Toddler Easter Egg Hunt - Easter Activities

1. Cut your bunch of cards in to egg shapes (don’t worry too much, some of mine are very dubious eggs! I did consider using cookie cutters but they were a bit small)

Toddler Easter Egg Hunt - Easter Activities

2. Stick them onto your photos – I held them up to the sun to make sure they were in the right place, then cut the paper to size.

Toddler Easter Egg Hunt - Easter Activities

3. “Hide” them – you could probably hide them in more imaginative places than I did but I was mainly just gauging his interest! I’ll try more challenging places tomorrow.

Toddler Easter Egg Hunt - Easter Activities

That’s it!

What do you think? Do you fancy giving the Family Tree Egg Hunt or the Easter Sensory Box a go?!

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