6 Awesome Tips to Help You Stay Motivated in Your Studies [Collaborative Guest Post] Lack of motivation is a problem anyone can experience, but students, especially those with various obligations such as college, work and family, can find it extra challenging to stay motivated and attain their study goals. If… Read More »6 Awesome Tips to Help You Stay Motivated in Your Studies
Poor (and Skinny) Man’s Tiramisu [This post contains affiliate links*. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.] I mean, how genius are the Italians in creating the Tiramisu? They literally took all the best flavours in the world, which are obviously coffee, chocolate and wine, and invented a dessert out of… Read More »Poor (and Skinny) Man’s Tiramisu
Cute and Easy Knit Top for Teens Lockdown hasn’t been all bad – many of us have found time for new hobbies or relearned old ones. I took up knitting again and as I only know the most simple of steps – I can cast on, cast off, knit plain… Read More »Cute and Easy Knit Top for Teens
13 Things I wish I knew before Covid-19 entered our home We had a Covid relay in our house with 4 of the 6 of us testing positive one after the other. From the onset of symptoms in the first child to the end of quarantine from last child, with… Read More »13 Things I wish I knew before Covid-19 entered our home
Managing Covid-19, Kids and Cans of Beans. Four out of the six of us in our home tested positive for Covid-19 in the past week – we have all been tested now. Thankfully none of us have a severe case so far, but I am keeping my eye on Athol,… Read More »Managing Covid-19, Kids and Cans of Beans.
Winter just became Huggable! Our Kigurumi Onesies Review This has been one of those years where we need ALL the hugs, smiles and comfort we can get. Sadly we are limited in the hugging of other humans and in some cases have to resort to being hugged by huggables –… Read More »Kigurumi – Winter just became Huggable!
The Best we could Hope for… this year, or any year actually. This has been a year filled with disappointment as one after the other of our hopes, dreams and plans have been eroded or dashed. I’m trying to figure out what could be worse about lockdown, to be all… Read More »The Best we could Hope for…
Turing Tumble – Build Marble-Powered Computers (Review) [Ad] We were kindly sent the Turing Tumble for review purposes, all opinions are our own. What is the Turing Tumble? This is the game that would be born if a marble run and a computer had a baby. It’s a lot less… Read More »Turing Tumble – Build Marble-Powered Computers (Review)
I’m not joking, I’m still suffering from the wounds. It happened like this. I was driving along on my way to an appointment, absorbed in the latest Covid stats, or some tranquil LyricFM music – I don’t quite recall which – when I gradually became aware of an uncomfortable pricking… Read More »Liberty for my Ladies. Or My Bra Almost Killed Me Today
A Girl’s Guide to Being Awesome Giveaway and Book Review We were recently sent a copy of A Girl’s Guide to Being Awesome by Suzanne Virdee for review purposes and to offer four readers the exciting opportunity to win a copy of their own! This fabulous book is chock full… Read More »A Girl’s Guide to Being Awesome Giveaway and Book Review
My Varicose Vein Laser Surgery Experience In October I had laser surgery on my leg to remove some varicose veins I have thanks to my once upon a time 4kg babies. (Kids – the gifts that just keep giving 😁). I was given a xanax beforehand to relax – lovely… Read More »My Varicose Vein Laser Surgery Experience
(but not further than 5km unless it’s for work) I spotted this bush with its bright pink berries growing on the corner of our road for the first time last week after living here for 15 years. I’m normally quite observant so I can only deduce someone sneakily planted the… Read More »This blog post goes all over the place
Lucinda Grace – Faith Inspired Stationery Review Who doesn’t love new stationery!? I can spend ages browsing the stationery aisles of a supermarket just to look at all the pretty notepads and pens so I was delighted recently to be gifted a parcel of Lucinda Grace faith inspired stationery for… Read More »Lucinda Grace – Faith Inspired Stationery Review
The funniest Covid-19 memes and jokes – Part 2 Argghhhh, will this pandemic just never go away??? Back in May when I compiled a blog post of all the funniest Covid-19 memes and jokes (if you haven’t read it yet, click on that link), I/we never imagined we would still… Read More »The funniest Covid-19 memes and jokes – Part 2
Jana Reinhardt Hummingbird Necklace Review I was delighted to recently receive a beautifully delicate Jana Reinhardt sterling silver hummingbird necklace for review purposes. Hummingbirds remind me of our exciting road trip around the USA two summers ago so I have fond memories of these amazing little birds and the people… Read More »Jana Reinhardt Hummingbird Necklace Review
My back to work journey after nearly two decades at home being a mum I am one of those mums who decided to stop working full-time in order to stay at home to raise our children. I have often asked myself whether I regret that decision while I watch my… Read More »My back to work journey after nearly two decades at home being a mum
Creating YES Situations With Teens and ConnecTEEN book review Sometimes my teenagers ask me for things or want to go places that make me feel uncomfortable as the requests are unwise, impractical or unsafe – my first instinct is to say NO. But what if there was a way we… Read More »Creating YES situations with teens and ConnecTEEN book review
I ran into another minor back-to-school crisis last night – we had run out of lunch box fillers!! Oh boy, how would my poor kids survive? Thankfully it occurred to that I could quickly make a batch of spiced oat muffins which would be ready within 30 minutes, and all… Read More »Easy Lunch Box Spiced Oat Muffins
Help! My girls have contracted ‘Tiktokitis’! Pandemic-wise we have had a very tough time of it lately haven’t we? First it was Baby Shark, then it was Covid-19 and now I have identified a new strain of illness. I’m not entirely sure but I think it’s ‘Tiktokitis’. The latest condition… Read More »Help! My girls have contracted ‘Tiktokitis’!
Our Biggest Back to School Concerns During Covid-19 in Ireland [This post may contain affiliate links, please read my full disclosure policy for more info.] Our children are finally (hopefully?) returning to school after being at home since March, but this Back to School season is like no other we… Read More »Our Biggest Back to School Concerns During Covid-19 in Ireland
Conservation Crisis by Tunza Games – Board Game Review [Advert] Recently we were sent the board game Conservation Crisis by Tunza Games for review purposes – perfect timing for these last rainy days of ‘summer’! My kids have the enormous privilege of travelling to South Africa every two years to… Read More »Conservation Crisis by Tunza Games – Board Game Review
[Ad] In the summer time our skin needs special care and protection from the effects of the sun. This particular summer that’s past we have also been washing our hands a lot more frequently. Both of these cause our skin to dry out and feel uncomfortable. As a family we… Read More »My Three Balmonds Summer Skin Care Favourites
This is a collaborative post, for more information, read my full disclosure policy. During lockdown we did things as a family that we’ve never done before. It was quite strange that this happened really. It was like the enforced lack of freedom caused us to be more imaginative and adventurous… Read More »During Lockdown We Did Things We’ve Never Done Before
We are currently travelling home from our first ever caravan adventure and in spite of the miserable old weather, we absolutely loved it! In my eagerness to share this with you, I’m typing this on my phone as we trundle along the highways of Ireland. We have had our caravan… Read More »Caravanism – we’ve converted.
Of Treasure, Cottages, Pens and Palaces Yesterday morning was our second Sunday back to church after lockdown and things are very different compared to the way we were at the beginning of March! Because we are limited to 50 people meeting indoors we now have two services of an hour… Read More »Of Treasure, Cottages, Pens and Palaces
I just signed up for an online Digital Photography Course! When I was a Graphic Design student back in the early 90’s, one of our subjects we had to take was photography. I couldn’t have signed up for an online Digital Photography Course way back then because they didn’t exist,… Read More »I just signed up for an online Digital Photography Course!
Our Favourite Lockdown Baking Recipes Because of the slower pace of life these past three months of lockdown, and maybe also because of a need to comfort eat, (and possibly a sugar addiction) we have been baking up a storm! I have collected a number of recipe books through the… Read More »Our Favourite Lockdown Baking Recipes
Now I am mother of an adult! Actually, her birthday was 3 weeks ago but I think I’m still reeling from the shock. Last night I was overcome by a sudden urge to call up my friends who already have grownup children to ask them how they transitioned from being… Read More »How Did That Happen?
There are days when I feel like my kids and I are sliding from one end to another on a giant seesaw of sound, trying to stop somewhere in that middle part, just above the fulcrum, where the balance is – the ever present fulcrum of yet another parenting conundrum.… Read More »Parenting on the Seesaw of Sound
The funniest Covid-19 memes and jokes [This post may contain affiliate links, please read my full disclosure policy for more info.] OK, I know a pandemic isn’t a joke, and Covid-19 certainly isn’t the funniest situation, but humans have always been remarkable for finding humour in the direst circumstances and… Read More »The funniest Covid-19 memes and jokes
How to make a Simple Fabric Hammock Making a hammock out of fabric is incredibly easy, in this post I explain how you can make a simple fabric hammock in less than an hour. It’s so simple that my old hammock which is over 16 years old was made for… Read More »How to make a Simple Fabric Hammock
30 Board Games that my Teenagers and Tweens Highly Recommend Here is a list of 30 of our favourite board games that we enjoy as a family with tweens and teenagers. These are all games that are suitable for children over the age of 10, and a few of them… Read More »30 Brilliant Board Games for Tweens and Teenagers
I have four kids aged 17,15,13 and 11, and I was curious to hear what was going through their minds regarding our current situation during this lockdown due to Covid-19. I ran a similar interview series on my blog a while back and we all enjoyed the process so much… Read More »I Interview My ‘Quaranteens’ and ‘Quarantween’ about our Current Situation.
Balmonds All-Natural Starter Set Review [Ad] Balmonds was kind enough to send me their All-Natural Starter Set for review purposes, all opinions in this review are my own. We are a family of sensitive skinned people! My husband and two of my children suffer from eczema, I have dry and… Read More »Balmonds All-Natural Starter Set Review
Easy Home Made Bread Recipes Making home made bread is comforting, sometimes necessary when you’ve run out, and can even become a daily obsession! Eating it is always delicious. Some recipes are so easy, it needn’t be a chore to make bread, especially if it becomes a habit in the… Read More »Easy Home Made Bread Recipes
Relish these Present Days Fia is 11 and, being the youngest of my four, is the only one still in the primary school in our village. She usually walks home from school by herself now because she’s old enough, in my opinion, and it’s not that far, but occassionally I’ll… Read More »Relish these Present Days
Painting with Watercolours – Tips for Beginners Painting with watercolours is one of the trickiest mediums as watercolour paint is not at all forgiving! Because watercolour paint leaves a translucent layer, you can’t paint over mistakes. However, I believe that there are no such things as mistakes in art, only… Read More »Painting with Watercolours – Tips for Beginners
Telestrations Board Game Review – the laugh-out-loud sketch pass & guess party game Telestrations was gifted to us for review purposes, all opinions are my own. Telestrations is an hilarious game – it’s a bit like a cross between Pictionary without the time pressure, and broken telephones. This is one… Read More »Telestrations Board Game Review – the laugh-out-loud sketch pass & guess party game
You may well ask, I did! Our kids started helping with mowing the lawn when they became teenagers but I’m not referring to grass and gardens in this instance. By now you have probably heard of helicopter parenting – the need to hover around your children all the time and… Read More »What is lawnmower parenting and am I guilty?
7 Easy and Fun Art Projects for Kids Aged 7 and up Here are 7 different art projects – one for each day of the week (if you’re up for that!) – which are all both easy and fun to do with your kids aged 7 years old and up.… Read More »7 Easy and Fun Art Projects for Kids Aged 7 and up
I have been trying to figure out how to write this blog post without actually saying anything. Or rather, saying too much! If I write about my kids or share images, I have to ask their permission first and there are some topics that would be an awkward invasion of… Read More »What does it mean to be a ‘good enough’ parent?
Barley, Cranberry and Rhubarb Yoghurt Loaf This is a typical yoghurt bread recipe but I added some rhubarb yoghurt and cranberries to add some sweetness for a teatime treat. You could make this sweet loaf with any flavour of yoghurt or just keep it plain and simple and use only… Read More »Barley, Cranberry and Rhubarb Yoghurt Loaf
Some of the (well) hidden perks of having a teenager We have two teenagers in the house at the moment and in September we’ll have three (actually four if you count the visiting Spanish student). If you mention the word teenager in polite company you are often met with knowing grins and a… Read More »Some of the (well) hidden perks of having a teenager
Yes, you can learn to draw, if you really want to. Like riding a bike or learning to swim, it is a skill that you can develop as an adult
Resources and 18 tips for safe screen usage for tweens and teens The good, the bad and the downright uuuugleee… Are you concerned about your teens and tweens screen usage or know where to find the right resources for their online safety? Most of the battles with our kids are… Read More »Resources and 18 tips for safe screen usage for tweens and teens
Creative Gift Ideas for Teens and Older Children Do your children also love to make a mess? The positive word for this is being creative, I think, and I’m all for creativity! I don’t have a great love for cleaning though and to be perfectly honest, I’m a bit up-tight… Read More »Creative Gift Ideas for Teens and Older Children
Easy Peasy Homemade Fudge Recipe This fudge recipe is so easy, all you need to be able to do is stir reliably and not remove yourself from the stool you set beside the stove top for about 20 minutes. And because it’s homemade, it makes an ideal gift. (Christmas gift,… Read More »Easy Peasy Homemade Fudge Recipe
Some wonderful suggestions on how to get a teenager to pick up his dirty socks The biggest problem with being a human being I find, is that you have to live with other human beings. As well as their smelly socks. I suppose you don’t really have to. There are… Read More »Some wonderful suggestions on how to get a teenager to pick up his dirty socks
Drawing with Oil Pastels – Some Tips for Beginners In my previous post about drawing with chalk pastels, I spoke about how to draw dogs and some tips on using chalk pastels. In this one I am exploring their bolder, almost more childish cousins – the oils; and focus on… Read More »Drawing with Oil Pastels – Some Tips for Beginners
Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain – using the book to teach others how to draw This review of Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards is written from the perspective of a teacher using the book to teach drawing to others. ~ This… Read More »Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain – using the book to teach others how to draw
~Affiliate post – my full disclosure policy can be found here ~ For almost 18 months I treated blogging as a hobby, a guilty pleasure! (Weird how I felt guilty about taking time out from house hold chores and parenting to write, but it just felt so indulgent). About a… Read More »On going Self Hosted on my Blog with SiteGround
Or ‘My Button Keeps Popping off My Pants and other Food Stories’ I am fortunate to have been pretty much the same shape and size my whole adult life but now I have bumped into a bit of a mental hurdle and I’m literally clambering over it to the next… Read More »‘broad bean’ and other edible body shapes…?
This post is inspired by two other bloggers who both recently wrote lists on gratitude and beauty. I think I’m meant to showcase some new products but as I have not received any freebies I’m not feeling the love need. So instead my first impulse was to write about all my well… Read More »10 beautiful gifts that make me grateful
I am approaching that Middle-Aged crisis everyone warns you about. Actually forget about approaching, I’ve fully been immersed in it since I turned forty. The worst part is looking in the mirror every morning, there’s no denying it, I am fading faster than a polaroid. My laugh lines are competing with my neck wrinkles for attention.
Younger women and bloggers are flooding Instagram, YouTube and Facebook with beautifully glamorous shots and videos while I’m overusing filters to smooth out the lines and deleting about a gazillion selfies in disgust.
Am I too old or too ordinary to be a ‘You-Tuber’? Ought I to stick to peeling my potato tubers and forget about bright lights and stardom? My kids are devoted to a young attractive British couple who vlog on You-Tube and it seems that millions of other people watch them while they put on makeup, do DIY projects, go shopping and eat out. Then this couple, because they are cute, earn millions in advertising revenue through other people watching them explain why this product or that restaurant are so wonderful. Because they have said so, others too will buy that product or eat at that restaurant who will then in turn invite the couple back because they pull in the crowds.
I wonder, could I make a career the very same way, or at the very least eat out now and then? Could I grip the world with my fascinating exploits? Of grocery shopping and home dinners? I doubt it. I’m not in my 20’s and so I haven’t perfected the art of the selfie. I just don’t look so darned cute anymore with all my pesky wrinkles and stray grey hairs. But here, I AM always up for a challenge and a bit of a laugh so…nothing ventured etc…Read More »Forget Keeping up with the Kardashians, the Joneses or Anybody else for that matter…
The Cost of Children vs the Value of Children? I recently heard a couple of discussions on the radio about family sizes and the cost of children. I’m trying to figure out whether or not I chose to have my four kids (I do choose to keep them though), I… Read More »The Cost of Children vs the Value of Children?
Babies and Children could do with some Basic Improvements -IMHO. With all due respect to the wonderful way children are made, I would like to suggest a couple of improvements in their basic design. These are simply for making my life easier as a Mum. BTW I’m a professional Mum… Read More »May I suggest some Design Improvements in children?
For the sake of my kids and society at large I am practiced at putting on a brave face but I am struggling a lot at the moment; every now and then the facade cracks and I spill awkward tears before strangers. These past six months have been a dark… Read More »Fear, Anxiety and Worry- the three false lovers I’m breaking-up with.
26 South African sights you will never see in Ireland. That’s right, you will never see these scenes in Ireland (unless you look at my photographs), because these are all typical scenes you would find in South Africa. Some of these are so normal to South Africans, it has taken… Read More »26 South African sights you will never see in Ireland.
“Boys break your house, girls break your heart.” Anon. When Can I Resign from Being a Parent? It seems to me that boys are brilliant at breaking things, or worse, themselves and girls are brilliant at breaking you, either way your parent-heart is a little bit dented every time. When it happens to me I… Read More »When Can I Resign from Being a Parent?
Should You Encourage Your Teens to Study and Live Abroad? [Collaborative Guest Post] It has definitely been a challenging year for everyone. For children and teenagers it has been a time of uncertainty with regards to school being disrupted and the future of their education being unknown. We have been… Read More »Should You Encourage Your Teens to Study and Live Abroad?
Supporting Your Child Through Study and Exam Stress [Image: Unsplash. This is a collaborative post] We usually talk about stress in negative terms but apparently some stress is a good thing as it prepares our brains to perform better and forces us to adapt to new situations. Obviously too much… Read More »Supporting Your Child Through Study and Exam Stress
How to Help Keep Your Children Confident and Sociable as They Grow Collaborative Post (Feature image Unsplash) I wouldn’t have called myself a confident child, I was quiet and a bit shy, although paradoxically I longed for the limelight! Talking about a Nativity play? Make me Mary!! (Albeit a softly… Read More »How to Help Keep Your Children Confident and Sociable as They Grow