Liberty on the Lighter Side - (LoLS)

Born in the UK, reared in South Africa and now living in the Irish countryside with my husband, four kids, a few chickens and other animals, I love to write about the issues closest to my heart on my blog Liberty on the Lighter Side. With honesty and sometimes humour I discuss the ups and downs of family life, including parenting, being a woman in my late 40's, travel, arts and crafts and our favourite recipes. Before I was a mother I was Graphic Designer - creating is my all-time favourite activity. I'd love it if you joined my family on our adventures.

ballpoint pen sketch of my dad

Happy birthday Daddy, I miss you and love you.

Apparently 15th November is ‘I love to write day’? No idea who, where, what or why that is, but the date is significant to me as it’s my Dad’s birthday – he would have turned 71 this year. So in honour of the day, I’m going to write briefly about him.

Above is my recent sketch from a favourite photo of him taken on my wedding day in 1994, he is embracing me as I leave to go away on honeymoon (I didn’t include myself in the sketch as it’s the back of my head and big wedding hairdos are hard to draw). I love this photograph but it’s a bitter reminder of how much I have missed his hugs for the past seventeen years.

Read More »Happy birthday Daddy, I miss you and love you.

Shot on cartons decorated with string and label on a wooden table under Christmas tree with cones

20 Christmas Gift ideas for Teen Boys

20 Christmas Gift Ideas for Teen Boys

I remember when my son was little and he was delighted with his Christmas gift of a construction play set filled with chunky little plastic figures and robust plastic trucks. There was a cement mixer and little traffic cones and a crane that had a working winch you could turn for lifting crates. I am sure I bought it for him because I secretly wanted to play with it.

The main thing was it didn’t cost and arm and a leg and it also came in a gigantic box which, in the eyes of a four year old, implies a gift of great value.

Now that he is a teenager with definite ideas about what’s ‘cool’ and ‘trendy’ (i.e. blatant rip-off in adult language) it’s becoming more and more difficult to find a Christmas gift I know he’ll like that won’t break the bank. It’s all about the gadgets and technology nowadays, which don’t come cheap!

Teenagers often ask for cash or a voucher but I’m still an old fashioned believer that chosing a gift for someone that they’ll like demonstrates that you were thinking of them. The problem is, I don’t always know what he likes.

So I asked him to write it down, and using that as a starting point I’ve compiled a list of ideas with some added suggestions from friends and other bloggers.

Maybe you need to buy something for a nephew or a friend but don’t know where to start? This list will give you some inspiration.

Read my girl teen gift guide here.

This post contains affiliate links. Click here for my full disclosure policy.

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What if the whole internet died?

This time last week storm Ophelia blew our electricity and thus our internet away, which basically meant that to all intents and purposes, to us the whole world wide web had disappeared in a puff. Obviously it was still there but because we couldn’t access it, it may as well not have existed at all.

So then after a few agonising moments of not being able to check what the storm was doing to the rest of Ireland via Twitter or Facebook I quickly moved on to worrying about the world inside these four walls and started hunting for candles and sending hubby to dig out a camping cooker so that we could have a hot dinner.

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It's a dog's life sketch

It’s a Dog’s Life by Jeff Lucas

‘It’s a Dog’s Life – Finding the Profound in the Peculiar’ by Jeff Lucas

A friend recently lent me ‘It’s a Dog’s Life – Finding the Profound in the Peculiar’ by Jeff Lucas (published by CWR, UK 2016) to read and I absolutely loved it.

The blurb on the back says this:

With his usual comic eloquence, Jeff takes a different view of some of his more peculiar moments, and discovers the even a dog in the back of a stranger’s car can teach us something deeply profound about life.

Join Jeff as he tells stories from his life that illustrate how God can redeem his mishaps and show him, and us, the brighter side of life.

I think my kind friend took one look at that blurb and thought ‘here’s another quirky Christian writer who laughs about ordinary stuff, I better show it to Liberty so she knows she’s not the only one’. Read More »It’s a Dog’s Life by Jeff Lucas

The ‘Krismis’ Bed

The ‘Krismis’ Bed In a big country inhabited mostly by people with small houses – like South Africa (where we are from) – Christmas and Easter time often means a long journey home to be with your family and no spare bed for you to sleep in when you get there.… Read More »The ‘Krismis’ Bed