A normal day

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A normal day

The few days in between Christmas and new year life goes on as usual. The kids are playing with their presents and are happy, we might go for a walk later at Cliveden, it’s a beautiful national trust place but the weather hasn’t been great. Later we are seeing some friends but it is these few ‘normal’ days that feel the least normal in the whole year. I guess it’s a few days of reflection and focusing on the future. We always get asked what our new years resolution is and we never make it though the whole year, sometimes not even the first week. Are we too hard on ourselves and put everything we want one giant step and it just seems impossible to get there and I know for me it’s putting it off, I want to lose weight but I can’t this month its such and such celebration and I eat all month instead of just enjoying that one day. I know this has to change and it will by taking one day at a time not a whole year at a time! I have a whole list of things I want to do in 2015 and instead of completing them or failing them in the first month I am breaking them down. I have put a lot of thought into this so here goes, the first 3 months…

January

  • To come off Facebook for a whole month – I am finding I am logging on throughout the day without even realising I am doing it. If I want to know what people are up to I will contact them personally.
  • To transition into a vegan household.
  • To save £50 – this doesn’t seem a lot but trust me, I am useless at saving money!
  • Remember to blog!!!

February

  • I want to go on a road trip – I have a couple of weeks off during February and would love to pack the car up and go to a couple of places and just discover them.
  • To use the gym at least 3 times a week – I am a little bit lazy when it comes to the gym. I need to have my gym stuff packed in the car and go straight after school drop off.
  • Remember to blog!!!

March

  • The month of saying yes more or no but do more things and learn it is ok to say no sometimes – I am a people pleaser and tend to say yes I can help someone out when actually it completely throws a spanner in the works with my day. It is ok to say no sometimes but remember to say yes to all those opportunities no matter how little they are, you never know what they might lead too.
  • To take more photos! – I love photography and I love my camera so this month I need to use my camera 3 times a week (if not more)  maybe to look into challenges I can take part in.
  • To actually organised the girls birthday parties – I always seem to leave it until the last-minute but this year I want to plan and throw a party. Ebony will be 7 and Paige will be 14 *having heart palpitations at this.

What are your new year or new month resolution? I would love to hear them. Have a great ‘normal’ day Lisa x

 

 

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2015 – The journey

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I hope you have all had a lovely Christmas and spent time with the people you love. I have had a great Christmas and eaten lots of yummy but naughty food. My girls have been amazing and I am feeling truly blessed but as we end a year and approach the next we always take a moment to look back, I have had a great year, there has been struggles and tears but lots of good times too. I am ending the year feeling an energy shift. I know there needs to be changes and I have been looking around a lot recently and just observing people in general. There is a lack of connection and I see people existing rather than living. We are being sucked into a materialistic life where we need to spend money on things we don’t need and sometimes even want. We are too quick to buy our children things just because the want them. I know my eating has slipped and I need to get back on top of that since my health is suffering. I ache more and get tired quicker and I know this is down to the food I feed myself and my children. This year I ate a plant based diet for about 4 months and I felt amazing. My mind was clear so was my skin and I lost weight, I needed to do this but I wasn’t working and slowly the wrong food crept back into my house. At this point my children were eating dairy and meat and it wasn’t so much the cost of the veg but the store cupboard supply like coconut oil, raw cocoa powder and all the nuts that was adding up. It really didn’t take me long to go back to a high sugar, dairy packed diet and I did start to feel ill.

food can be the best medicine or the slowest form of poison

In 2015 I am taking myself and my family on a journey, we will rediscover food and the earth and have a plant-based diet. Ebony has to do this due to her allergies and Paige, although reluctant will be joining us. I will blog about how we are managing as a family and the food we are eating. I am not going into this blind, my children will have a well-balanced diet and variety of foods. I know about calcium, protein and vitamins, especially B12. I will ask questions and monitor their moods and sleep and keep them healthy. I know people will have strong opinions about this and I also know we will have days we struggle and have decisions to make. I respect Paige’s decisions and if faced with a meal out with friends it is down to her what she chooses but in the home I will be cooking and I earn the money to buy the food. I really hope my family and friends respect my choice. It does surprise me that in this day and age I know I will be criticised for feeding my family fresh fruit and veg with beans, legumes and nuts but if I fed them on processed food no questions would be asked, so I am putting it out there now so feel free to ask questions, show support and give me any advice on raising a vegan family. We are going to have lots of fun and I can not wait!

I haven’t the patience for this today…

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I haven’t the patience for this today…

As I sit down to write this, with a hot chocolate and a whisper bar I know I am going to sound like a rambling mess. I haven’t blogged in a long time but today I need to. I am questioning myself again about school, well the education system really and if the schools promise to take our children as an individual, then surely my child would be outside learning and happy. How can they manage to do this with so many children? Ebony learns in a way that is very hands on and visual and very much her own way but yet I am putting her into a classroom where they all do the same thing just a different scale to suit that child. This is why I started thinking about this today…

So today I started the day in the usual way, get up, switch on the heating, flick on the kettle and go for a wee. I then remind the girls that today is a school day and the usual questions are asked by Ebony. “can I not stay at home just one more day?” “I miss you” “I feel ill did you not hear me cough like this?” *goes on to cough as loudly as possible turning a shade of beetroot. I know it goes down hill from there. Paige is great in the morning she gets herself up, make up on, hair straightened and ready whilst I look like I have just fallen from the highest tree and landed in a bowl of coco pops (thanks Ebs) Anyway this morning Ebony tried her best to get one more, possible 2 days off school and with me. By the time 8:15 comes along and Paige is waiting by the door, desperate not to miss her friends and walk in with them Ebony has lost the ability to walk and talk and when we drag her into the car and set off I ask Paige if she has had breakfast and a drink to which she replies “NO” **priorities of a teenage girl! I shove some spare change into her hand and lecture her and I know too well she has switched off as soon as she has the money and her earphones go in. The music gets turned up and we all have a little sing lifting the mood so we never part on bad  moody words. Now its time for Ebony to be dropped off, the crying has stopped, along with the cough and she has her head in a book. A huge part of me wants to drive home and sit with her and listen to the words being formed and cherish this but I know as soon as I do this she will want to do it all the time, and who can blame her, she is after all only six years old. I pack her book away and grab the ridiculous amount of things they need to take in, today it is library, ukulele and something boozy for the Christmas hamper, ***I leave this thinking I might need it later I will replace it tomorrow. Ebony has now started crying again I drop the water bottle on my foot and mutter a bad word under my breath as we walk in. I grab the teacher attention, who is aware Ebony isn’t great going into school and she has been off ill last week so I’m putting this down to a build up, plus falling out of bed last night surely didn’t help, to which she replied ” I haven’t the patience for this today” at that point I wanted to grab my precious daughter and take her home because to be honest I haven’t the patience for this anymore either. Ebony’s school is a good school, I wouldn’t be finding this decision so hard if it wasn’t but at what point do you just give home educating a go? With this question a whole new list of worries and questions open up. I need to think about this seriously and research it.

I can’t wait to pick my girls up from school, hug them tight and listen to them but first a Pilates class is calling.

*look into drama classes for Ebony

**make sure Paige eats breakfast

***pick up more booze for the Christmas hamper

Freezing time in summer.

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I am on countdown now. Everything has been planned and I cannot wait to pick my girls up and have some serious summer fun, yes the house will be a mess for the entire 6 weeks, the washing pile always seems to grow and I realise that my children have way too many clothes.  There will be moments that I just want need to sit down with an alcoholic drink but I was looking back at pictures of summer pasts and no matter what we did or where we were we had fun. It saddens me when parents complain about spending time with their children and I am no where near perfect, I am sure I will be shipping them off for a sleep over at some point. We hand them over to teachers, strangers to look after them and raise them for six hours a day so six weeks in one block does seem short to me. Anyway getting off point and I’m starting to ramble. I thought I would share some pictures of previous summers._DSC3826 _DSC4205 _DSC4245

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DSC_0062Look back at all the fantastic things I have done with my girls and it always makes me smile. Photographs are capturing the moment, freezing time so you can go and revisit them. As you can see I am drawn to the water. I would love to be closer to the sea and maybe one day we will be but for now we will have to spend time by the river this summer. I can’t wait to pick up my camera again and to freeze some memories in what seems to be the hottest day so far. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some places to go….

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This is what the summer holidays is about. Running barefoot in the sand.

This is what the summer holidays is about. Running barefoot along the sand.

 

Now six weeks seems like a very long time to entertain children for but personally I don’t think it is long enough. I love having my children at home and going on adventures and I am blessed that I can this holiday after my accident last year and having been a working mum during the holidays I know how hard it is to get the balance right. During the six weeks prices go up, places get busier and as a mum my day becomes harder. Did you know the average cost for the summer holidays is £660 per child according to the Guardian in 2011, so I’m guessing this might of gone up. I certainly do not have £1320 floating around to entertain my little ones and even if I did I wouldn’t spend that much unless a holiday was booked.

It’s all in the planning….

I’m not normally one for planning, I am more the get up, go and see where we end up. These seem to be the times I spend far too much money. I am sure there will be a few of these days towards the end of the holidays, after all we all know they only remember the last 48 hours of the six weeks when back in school and it will be the most random piece of information they tell the teacher.

The very best part of my summer holiday was going to Tesco and finding a feather on the way back.

 

Even though you had been and held snakes, learnt how to sword fight or visited the zoo with full on face painting and glitter tattoo’s. None of that compares to Tesco and finding a feather apparently. I do want to have days out with them and there are some great places to go. If you know what is on it is easier to save money. Here are my top places to go around my area that hold events for a couple of pounds. Picnics will be packed and suncream will be applied (hopefully)

We are members and if you are not, then why not? They hold fantastic activities for children and adults all throughout the year. We don’t have many passes and this is one I couldn’t live without. I wouldn’t even have a merlin pass instead. We live in beautiful Buckinghamshire with Cliveden and Hughenden manor right on our doorstep. Cliveden have wild Wednesday’s and open air theatre, unfortunately we didn’t manage to get tickets to see George’s marvellous medicine but will be booking way in advance for next year. Waddesdon Manor are holding a zoolab animal experience in August at a cost of £5 per child.

Now I haven’t been here for a good few years and it looks like from the website that it has expanded, Paige use to love it and very fun but educational as well. When I was sat down planning Paige mentioned it and I googled it quickly. They have some great summer holiday activities. The cost is £5 per child and the activities are 2 hours long.

My dad has a pass for here so we tag along, ok so I tell him whats on and we go. They do lots of free drop in events and some pre bookable ones like the sword fighting, I wasn’t joking earlier. It is worth packing a picnic and spending the day letting the kids run around whilst you enjoy a Gin in a tin or is that just me? (please don’t drink and drive)

Again another pass I have but it is two minutes up the road and Ebony has friends who have passes and we all gather up there. If you are planning to have a day out it is worth the trip although can work out quite pricey. This is another place that puts there prices up at the weekend and during the holidays, GGrrr This makes me mad. We love taking our children out and just seems unfair that they feel it’s right to do this, like they don’t make enough money anyway. Saying this being pass holders we will be taking advantage of this and seeing friends.

They are holding a Plantasia festival and it looks fab, we will be going to discover this and let you all know what we think.

These are just some of the places that are close to us and I can drive so I plan to explore a little further this year. Last year we loved walking to our local bakery for breakfast on a Saturday morning where I could catch up reading blogs, Paige would read her magazine and Ebony would skip in their courtyard. I am sure we will be doing this again too. Can you recommend anywhere we would like to explore?

Summer holiday challenge

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Meet my two beautiful explores.

Meet my two beautiful explores.

I have a passion, well I have a few but recently I have been thinking about the way I bring my children up. I have two wonderful girls with a big seven year age gap. Paige, my eldest who is 13 has always really loved school and the older she has got the more he has thrived but Ebony, who is six learns in such a different way. She hates school and would love to spend the whole time out in the garden finding caterpillars and training the dog. 

 

Every summer I set the children activities to do and for them to keep scrap books. Paige is a little old for this but I feel it will help Ebony. I have decided to keep my own summer scrapbook in the form of this blog.

 

There are a few guidelines 

  •  I am on a budget so to spend as little as possible on days out.
  • To explore this beautiful place where we live.
  • To do things that connect us to our community.
  • To document it.

I hope you enjoy my adventures and let me know what you are getting up to. I would love to hear of any unusual places.