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 […]
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 […]
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.
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. […]
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.
- 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!
- 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.
When you are a single parent you get into your groove. I have got used to the daily routine of parenting solo. But changes from the norm can sometimes bring chaos. Planning a single parent holiday can be daunting and stressful. But I like most single […]
Last week, it was my eldest daughter’s 17th birthday. As well as being an exciting celebration for her, as she is desperate to learn to drive. Also, she is edging even closer to officially being an adult in a years time. But for me, it is a reflection and celebration of 17 years of motherhood.
17 years ago, I started the most daunting phase of my life. Even though I pretty darn excited too. Initially at the age of 17 myself I don’t think I took on the bigger picture. Actually, I think my naivety did me some favours as I have never been an overthinker and just jump in and learn to swim! That bigger picture involved another human being would be solely reliant on me for the next 18 years. Scrub that for the rest of her life as I would be lost without my own Mum.
I learnt quickly that I came second to this little human being and rightly so! Some people actually many people said I was too young to become a mother. Well, I like a bit of a challenge and I set out to prove all those doubters wrong. Yes, I had never really adulted before so everything was new. Within weeks I learnt to cook, clean, budget (ok that one took me a little while to master) and care for a newborn baby. I realised very quickly that motherhood was for me and the sense of achievement and proudness as I watched her hit milestones and learn new things was euphoric.
I have so many stories of the early days when my maternal side kicked in and I trusted my gut. Her entry into the world was long and pretty exhausting after she had already kept me waiting 10 days past her due date. Labour and the yucky bits that followed it kind of shocked me, as I don’t think anyone is fully prepared for it. But quite quickly after the birth, I realised that I had brought new life into the world. Which surely means that I was one strong person that was capable to deal with whatever life throws at me. A motto that I have always lived but ‘Not Why Me But Try Me’.
The gorgeous little blonde bombshell has taught me so much in the last 17 years and for that, I can’t thank her enough. Life has been far from smooth, involving 3 house moves, separation, 4 new siblings, a marriage. Then relocation to a new county, a divorce and too many beloved family members taking their last breathes on planet earth leaving us for whatever is on the other side! But through all that s**t there has been us an unbreakable mother and daughter team. I will honestly say she has made me the person I am today. And yes I was young but that means I get to love her even longer.
Recently the kids checked out the Mardles – The Egg Who Couldn’t Wait book and Mardles Cutie Stickers. Mardles bring characters to life with their augmented app. The app is quick and easy to download on Apple Store, Google Play and Amazon Apps. Once you have […]