One Mum, Lots of Children, A Business and Lots of Chaos

Author: mumunderpressure

Alcudia, Majorca with Melon Holidays

Alcudia, Majorca with Melon Holidays

If you regularly read our blog you will know the kids and I went to Alcudia, Majorca with Melon Holidays. So following our post before the trip, its time to review it. By the time we headed to the airport, the kids were super excited […]

Shrek the Musical at Bristol Hippodrome

Shrek the Musical at Bristol Hippodrome

There are not many Thursday evenings that are spent watching men dressed as green ogres talking about farting….but last night was one of them. Yes, my 5 year old daughter and I went to watch ‘Shrek The Musical’ at Bristol Hippodrome. I can categorically confirm […]

Family days out in the Lake District

Family days out in the Lake District

Later this week we are heading to the Lake District, with Grandma, on holiday. Looking at the forecast the weather looks like a real mixed bag. So I have been researching family days out in the Lake District and as sharing is caring here are my findings:-

  • Hilltop – J aged 9, my bookworm, has read every single Beatrix Potter book. Meaning there would be no way we could visit the Lake District without going to the home of Potter herself. Hilltop is the first memory I had of a National Trust day out as a child. When I visited many moons ago, it was lovely to see the actual veg garden where Peter Rabbit caused his fictional mischief. It’ll be lovely to relive this with my kids. 

    Lake District Hilltop
    Hilltop – Credit NT
  • Mirehouse – We are actually staying in Keswick so Mirehouse is very close. It looks like there is loads to do, with lovely gardens to explore, including a Bee garden and the playground looks cool (that is such a Mum phrase!). Mirehouse is a family run house and winner of Cumbria Tourism Awards 2017 – Visitor Attraction so definitely worth a visit. mirehouse
  • The World of Beatrix Potter – Unless you have had your head buried in the sand, I am sure your kids have raved about the recent Peter Rabbit film or the CBeebies TV series. So The World of Beatrix Potter will be great for all the Peter Rabbit fans in our family. It looks like a fun back day out. I have also stumbled across a great offer from PicNiq for up to 16% off. The offer includes a steam-train ride on a Victorian carriage and a lake cruise. Plus admission into the award-winning World of Beatrix Potter. 
  • Carlisle Castle – I’m sure it’s not just my kids that love to play knights. Carlisle Castle looks like it has loads to explore. Families can even explore the turret where Mary Queen of Scots was held captive. Also, there is the Cumbria Museum of Military Life on site. 
  • National Trust – Allan Bank and Grasmere – Allan Mere is home to many red squirrels. So I am sure the kids will love to spot them. It is set in woodland perfect for a family picnic, plus indoors they have an art room with drawing and painting supplies. 
    allan bank
    Red Squirrel at Allan Bank – Credit NT

     

  • And of course the many Lakes – you wouldn’t head to the Lake District without visiting a lake or two. There are so many to chose from across the 912 square miles. The largest lakes include Windermere, Derwentwater and Coniston Water. Not only are they beautiful to look at they are also full of fun, many offering cruises and watersports.
  • Not forgetting the Mountains too – so you never know if we are feeling energetic we may head up  Scafall or Skiddaw. 

I’m sure we will find many more places to explore while we are away. This is just for starters so if you have any other recommendations please share with us.

An Officer and a Gentleman at Bristol Hippoddrome

An Officer and a Gentleman at Bristol Hippoddrome

An Officer and a Gentleman is currently on stage at Bristol Hippodrome. Last night I went to watch it, being an 80’s baby I never knew all the hype around the film. However, when I have spoken to people about it they have raved about Richard […]

Single Parent Holiday – Majorca Adventure

Single Parent Holiday – Majorca Adventure

This summer I will be travelling solo with 4 children on a single parent holiday to Majorca. As T is 17 she no longer always wants to holiday with us. I have started thinking ahead to our adventure. I am slightly nervous but also very excited […]

Camp Bestival – What To Pack

Camp Bestival – What To Pack

Later this month we will be returning to Camp Bestival for our second year running. Whilst the kids are still at school it has got me trying to be super organised. So I’m working out what we need to pack. We are kind of cheating, I prefer to making the camping experience more relaxed, by opting for a pre-setup tent. We had a great experience with Pitch Village last year, so we are staying with them again. Meaning we don’t need to lug the tent and sleeping bags to our pitch. 

 

Clothing – Last year, I did over pack as it was our first ever camping experience, this year we will be lightening the load slightly.

  • Shorts – last year we all wore shorts the whole time even though it rained most of the weekend. 
  • Layers – being in England some days it is possible to have all seasons in one day. Even if the daytime is nice and warm the evenings and nights can be chilly. So a vest top, shirt and then hoody works a treat. 
  • Wellies – even if rain isn’t forecast after last years washout I wouldn’t risk not taking them. Plus fluffy super comfy socks to wear with them are essential as the Camp Bestival site is massive.
  • PJs – last year the nights were a bit chilly, I opted for trackies and hoody to sleep in as I hate being cold. But the kids were fine in their PJs inside their sleeping bags.
  • Sunhats – if the weather is hot the kids will be outside for hours on end so hats are essential.
  • Trainers – if it is nice and sunny, even though flip-flops keep your feet ultra cool, the amount of walking calls for trainers.
  • Flip-flops – these are great for the morning/night runs to the shower/toilet blocks. also whilst pottering around by the tent.
  • Raincoats – whats the scout saying, always be prepared.  Make sure you have properly waterproof coats for the whole family.
  • Fancy Dress – Camp Bestival is known for having a yearly theme and this year it is Nautical. The Saturday is fancy dress day, so it’ll be time to pull out the stripes. some families go all out, but I’ve run out of time to get my creative flare going.

Food and Drink – We plan to take food for breakfast and lunch. But treat ourselves from the scrummy food vendors for dinner.

  • Water bottles – great to have on hand to keep the kids hydrated especially if it is hot. We have a couple of large collapsable bottles to save us heading to the water sources constantly. Using reusable ones is doing our little bit for the environment too. I also take the mini squash bottle to add a few drops to my fussy none water drinkers!
  • Cool box – before I go I freeze items for the first 24 hours, that should hopefully stay fresh for that time. But past then it’s not much use unless you have an electric one and an electricity source.
  • Snacks galore – my gosh these kids can eat and unless I want to spend a fortune on snacks, I take tons. With the weather hopefully being hot, crisps and biscuits mean no melted mess. We also try to keep it healthy so lots of fruit too, but mostly apples and satsumas, as berries and bananas don’t travel well.
  • Wraps – they don’t get squished like bread. However, the kids have pretty weird fillings as they are things that are ok to be left out of the fridge, like chocolate spread, marmite and jam. Or tinned tuna if they fancy it. 
  • Cockery – plastic plates, bowls and cutlery
  • Plastic tubs – to store food in
  • Pans – to warm up beans or spaghetti
  • Camping stove – to have a warm lunch

Other Kit – things to make life easier

  • The Trolley – not only great for when we arrive and have to unload the car but for the whole weekend. F’s, 7 and A’s, 5  little legs get pretty tired so the love the occasional ride in the trolley. It is also fab to load up with drinks and snacks for the whole day. This saves us coming back and forth to the tent.
  • Cash – It is hand to have 
  • Phone charger – an essential bit of kit of course!
  • Phone power pack – the battery can drain quickly especially if you are taking lots of photos and video
  • Picnic blankets – we plan to spend most of our time chilling and a it’s nice to have picnic rug sit on.
  • A chair – ok I know I’m not that old but itis nice to sit on a chair instead of the floor. so we always take a camping chair for me.
  • Toliet roll – portaloos, enough said. 
  • Hand Sanitiser – same as above!
  • Baby Wipes – a mum’s best friend, essential to keep those faces clean and to give the kids a quick wash.
  • Mini Fans – if it is a hot one then these are handy to help keep 
  • Torches – when walking back to the tent late at night, even though the whole site it lit it can help to have a torch or two. Plus remember spare batteries as the kids love to play in the dark tent with them and we still need power for the night toilet runs!
  • Toiletries – deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, hairbrush, hair ties, shampoo, conditioner and my styling stuff otherwise I’ll look like a frizz ball.
  • Glitter – the kids love getting into the festival spirit and plastering glitter all over their faces/hair. If you can biodegradable glitter even better.
  • Washing Up Liquid – to clean water bottles and plates etc.

The What If’s –

  • Sun Cream – if the kids are out all day, it will need to be reapplied throughout the day.
  • First Aid Kit –  plasters, savlon, calpol, antihistamine, paracetamol, aloe vera

That is our mighty packing list, just need to pick up a guide of all the timings when we arrive and we will be set for a cracking weekend. 

The Play That Goes Wrong at Bristol Hippodrome

The Play That Goes Wrong at Bristol Hippodrome

This week Bristol Hippodrome welcome The Play that Goes Wrong. It is a hilarious light-hearted comedy. The Play That Goes Wrong has been a huge hit in the West End since it’s launch in 2013. It has also been played worldwide on every continent except Antarctica. […]

Thriller Live at Bristol Hippodrome

Thriller Live at Bristol Hippodrome

Thriller Live has hit the stage at Bristol Hippodrome. When T and I were invited along to review it, I was a bit excited. Our whole family are Michael Jackson fans. I have pretty much grown up on his music. With my first ever live […]

Pros and Cons of Being Self-Employed

Pros and Cons of Being Self-Employed

For the last 8 years, I have run my own business. It has come with some challenges but also some massive WOW moments. Being self-employed it now a way of life for me and our family. It is what we know and I know that I don’t think I would ever manage to not be my own boss. So as a reminder for myself on the tough days, I thought I’d share my pros. But there is a couple of cons so we better get those out of the way too. Read on for my pros and cons of being self-employed.

Before I start though a bit of a disclaimer, I an not saying anything is wrong with being a Mum and employed. Afterall we are all different and therefore different things work for each family.

little pickles markets

Pros

  • Being in charge of my own hours – with all of the children in full-time school, I have the flexibility to work around school runs. 
  • Getting to see the kids special times – whenever they have an assembly at school I don’t have to ask my boss if I can go. 
  • Helping Families – my business is about saving local families money. So I get a real buzz from helping families. 
  • School holidays – I don’t have to worry about childcare in the school holidays. There aren’t many jobs that allow you 
  • Being in control of your income – there is no cap on my income, so the harder I work the more I can earn. 
  • Do what you love – I love meeting new people, I love chatting and getting to know team members and regular customers. 
  • You get to chose who you work with – our events bring loads of people from all walks of life. But my lovely team is built up of some great people I have chosen to grow my business with. Oops I have just realised that sounds like a line from one of those MLM businesses. I can assure you that’s not my cup of tea.
  • Work wherever you like – during the week I can work in my office, in a cafe, in the garden or even in the car. 
  • Setting your own targets – no grumpy boss telling me to reach a certain target etc. It is all up to me to decide on my current target. 
  • No day is ever the same – Variety is key for me. I get bored by routine, so love the fact that the different roles I carry out means every day is different. Which in turn keeps me on my toes and always learning.
  • To feel proud of myself – often us humans don’t congratulate our own successes. However I am very proud of what I have achieved in my 8 years of being a businesswoman, even picked up an odd award or two!

Cons

  • Keeping Focus – This is my biggest weakness, getting distracted. If it is a sunny day, I think that I’ll work in the garden, then I see the lawn needs cutting etc. And before I know it my working day has gone. 
  • School holidays – Being around for the children in the holidays is a massive pro, but it can also be challenging. I need to keep the business active over the school holidays, meaning I need to dip in and out. This means that I either need to get up early or stay up late to get my to-do list done. 
  • Irregular Income – Being self-employed doesn’t mean you earn an hourly wage, so you never exactly know how much you will earn. Also, you sometimes need too but in the work well before you get the reward (wonga)
  • Weekend working – My business is focussed around weekend events which has worked will for 8 years, so this won’t change. However now the kids are all at school, I sometimes don’t want to leave them. They know and understand Mummy need to go to work to keep a roof over their heads. And the positive of the weekend working means that I get the school holidays at home. Even if I need to do a bit of work here and there.
  • No sick pay – if I feel rubbish I just need to power on through, as there is no such thing as sick pay if your self-employed.
  • Working hours – with all of the children now at school technically I should have more working hours. However in reality that doesn’t seem to be true. The school days are only 6 hours long, factoring school run time, I only have about 5 hours sat at my desk. So this means I sometimes have to work in the evenings to catch up. 

So there’s my list, wow thank you if you are still reading. As you can see there is more pros than cons of working for yourself. I absolutely love it and I can’t ever imagine now being my own boss. 

Miss Saigon at Bristol Hippodrome – Review

Miss Saigon at Bristol Hippodrome – Review

Being a busy Mum nights off are rare, but last week I went out! A trip to the theatre to see Miss Saigon was our destination. Miss Saigon opened at Bristol Hippodrome on 23rd may and will be running for a month until 23rd June.  […]