Thursday 30 April 2020

Our Garden in Bloom

Thankfully the weather has been amazing during the lockdown, so we've been spending a lot of time in the garden.
I don't normally tend to do much in the garden as it's usually Jons domain but this year I've decided to really get stuck in, the tulip bulbs that I planted last year in a bid to do something came back to life at the start of lockdown and they really encouraged me to get out and get muddy again.

Jon has always been a keen gardener and when we moved to Norfolk one of the first things he bought were his polytunnels! 
He is definitely green-thumbed, Last year due to our breakdown in our marriage nothing much was done and he didn't grow any veg, only what sprouted from the old compost that he chucked in one of the polytunnels and the house was on the market we turned the garden back into just grass mainly to help it appeal to more people.

This year with us working on our relationship and the house no longer on the market, Jon has been back in the tunnels, but with the lockdown on I have been helping out making sure nothing gets ruined whilst he's not around.

The boys are enjoying helping out planting up new vegetables.

Here's a list of all the vegetables we are currently growing in both the tunnels and in a veg bed outside in the garden.

Savoy cabbage,
Red cabbage,
Bell Peppers,
Hot Peppers,
Winter squash, 
Giant pumpkins,
Rainbow Chard,
Sage, Basil, Rocket, Spearmint, Dill and Wild Garlic.

We've planted extra this year as we're really hoping to be able to keep ourselves fed just from our gardens.
I'm a vegetarian so I could happily live on what's in the garden, the boys are all meat eaters but also enjoy their veggies minus Rupert who will only eat an apple once a month.
Luckily for him, we also have three apple trees in the garden. So maybe he'll be eating more of them by the end of the summer.

Indie keeping me company whilst I pot up new seeds.
My tulips and my climbing Rosebush

Apple blossom

I love walking around the garden and seeing new flowers opening up, one of my favourites is the pink clematis that we bought on a whim from Wilkos a year ago, this year it's really taken off and it's starting to cover some the fence nicely.

Baby lavender plugs planted up.

I love lavender so Jon bought me lots of baby lavender plugs, which myself and the boys all potted up and popped in the polytunnel to keep it safe until it's big enough to place outside.

We had lots of dandelions in the garden so we picked them all and tried to make dandelion honey, but it didn't turn out quite right, so I'm waiting for more to grow and then ill have another go.

The boys enjoying the weather.

Tulip bed

The wildflower part of the garden 

Along with doing more gardening, I spruced up our old garden bench with 3 coats of sage fence paint, and it really made it look good as new, though if you were to ask the boys what colour it was before they'd have no idea.
Noah only recently spotted the apple tree in front of the first polytunnel the other day, and it's was one of the first things we planted in the garden 3 years ago!

Planting up the sunflowers.

New flower seeds that arrived yesterday.

I love being able to pop out and grab some fresh herbs from the garden, I do the same with the lavender, sometimes the herbs are used for cooking other times they are used for herbal uses.

Onions sprouting.

I have found myself spending most of my free time just sat in the garden enjoying the peace.

I can no say I'm not just an indoor plant kinda lady, but I fully enjoy getting mucky in the garden!

The boys having lunch on the newly painted garden bench.

Are you enjoying your garden more during the lockdown?

xxx Stay Safe xxx

Monday 27 April 2020

- Exploring where we live -

We have lived in Heacham coming on four years now and still haven't really adventured off the beaten track and we usually jump in the car to go to Wolferton for our usual woodland walks, but with only using the car for essential travel I took to the internet to see what was about locally and within walking distance and surprisingly there is a place just down the road called the Millenium Woods and I've even driven right by the entrance and still didn't know it existed.

So after a week of just staying in the house and using the garden to play in, I decided it was time to head off for a little adventure, rather than visit the ducks we'd walk the other way and find this mini woodland and its famous cockerel.

Ru was giving an explorers kit for his birthday, so he packed that up and was determined to find some creepy crawlies but unfortunately all we found was one dead worm, far too many bees and wasps for his liking and half a dead mouse.
So we're going to have another go with it in the garden during the week and use it as part of our home learning.

We may have failed on the mini beast hunting but we did successfully find an old war bunker!
The boys were very unimpressed that we couldn't actually get into it as the door was locked, but they enjoyed running around the outside of it to see how big it was.

Whilst running around the bunker we bumped into the cockerel who greeted us with his morning call.

Mr Cockerel 

It was nice getting out to this little woodland as the boys were able to freely run around without the worry of bumping into other people, the only people there were us and it was nice for them to let loose and have some fun.

It was a tiny slice of normal in these crazy times.

At the back of the woods, we found a flower field and I tried to get some nice photos of the boys but there were too many stinging nettles and bees for their liking, so these were the best I could get!

An hours exercise well spent, I managed to get in my daily steps and more and the boys all got away from their beloved Nintendos and Xboxes without moaning too much! 

Brotherly love!

xx Stay Safe xx

Sunday 26 April 2020

Birthday in Lockdown.

Today was Ru-Bears 6th birthday, at the start of the year, he told us how he wanted to spend his birthday either at Roar or Banham zoo as well as going swimming at our local leisure centre.
But as Covid-19 took hold of the world his plans had to be put on hold.

He was pretty worried he wouldn't have a birthday and he'd have no presents from his family, but after some reassurance he let his worries slide and started looking forward to his birthday even though he wasn't actually keen on turning 6 and really just wanted to stay 5 forever.

The night before his birthday he warned everyone we would be getting up at 3am, which we told him wasn't happening but it did actually happen. I managed to keep him in bed with me till about 5.30 / 6 ish and by that time we had to get up as he just wasn't going back to sleep.

He ran downstairs shouting it's my birthday loud enough to wake the others along with the whole street into the kitchen where he found his teepee stuffed with balloons and foil dinosaur balloons hiding all around the kitchen.
If he couldn't go to Roar we'd bring Roar to him!

Watching a video his Nana and Gramps had made him!

Once the coffee had hit my veins I was ready to let him start his present opening, it was all over very quickly but he loved every one of his presents!

I'm pretty certain his favourite was his brand new all-red Adidas tracksuit and rainbow Vans.
Even though he's getting older he still holds on to his rainbow love and I love it, even when kids at school have been mean about it he hasn't listened!

He loved his new clothes so much he wanted to sleep in them!

He got some lovely presents from family and friends, his Nana and Gramps bought him the insect lore butterfly garden kit, as all the other boys have grown their own butterflies so it's nice that he now can have his turn. Butterflies are the one thing he really loves dotting around the garden.

The Cake!!!
I was toying with the idea of making Ru a birthday cake, seeing as my baking skills have rather come on since lockdown but I wasn't sure I'd be able to make it special enough so I asked my friend who bakes for Norfolk Deli Bakes if she could do one for him and she happily agreed!
The cake was very reasonably priced and I was able to collect it the day before his birthday from the Deli.

It was beyond amazing and all the boys and I were very keen to dig right in!

 For lunch, I did a mini party food selection along with cheese and ham toasties for the boys and a cheese toastie for me!
The boys loved being able to have a selection of goodie for lunch, as usually they only really get two treats a day as they are on rations, due to the first week of them all eating me out of house and home!

After lunch had gone down and the boys had finished a round or two on Fortnite, Ru blew out the candles on his cake and we all enjoyed a slice.

The cake was lovely, I'm not usually a chocolate cake fan but I did enjoy my slice. 
Ru had a small slice then ran back to Fortnite.

We had planned to do some mini party games such as musical bumps and musical statues but they were all happy playing that it never happened.

Ru had a lovely day and that's all we could have asked for.

xx Stay Safe xx

Saturday 25 April 2020


Award-winning animated musical comedy series from New Zealand launches on CBeebies on Monday 27 April 2020
Copyright © Kiri and Lou Ltd, Yowza Animation Corp 2017

Kiri and Lou– the award-winning stop motion preschool series premiere's on CBeebies on Monday 27 April 2020, airing at 9.10am weekdays (with episodes available on BBC iPlayer).

Kiri and Lou follows the friendship between Kiri, a lively little dinosaur and a thoughtful creature named Lou and helps young children learn about their emotions through everyday childhood dilemmas such as accidentally hurting someone’s feelings, loneliness, learning to share, empathy, impatience and being inclusive.

Original and imaginative, Kiri and Lou has been described as ‘a pick me up’ with its warmth and humour making it a real favourite among parents, grandparents and audiences of all ages.

Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords, What We Do In The Shadows, Moana, Rio, Men In Black 3voices Lou while Olivia Tennet (Lord of the Rings) voices Kiri. 

Hand-crafted in paper and clay and created using traditional stop motion animation from Antony Elworthy (Coraline, Corpse Bride and Isle of Dogs), this 52 x 5-minute series is written and directed by feature film director Harry Sinclair with music by Don McGlashan (The Front Lawn) and produced by Fiona Copland for Stretchy and Heather Walker of Yowza Animation (Curious George, Welcome To the Wayne).

Kiri and Lou successfully aired on commissioning broadcasters TVNZ in New Zealand and CBC in Canada. The series won a Cynopsis Best of the Best Award as well as being selected for screening at the Annecy Festival in 2019, the New York International Children’s Film Festival 2020 and most recently, as a finalist at this year’s Prix Jeunesse International. 

Programme Synopsis:

In a forest of cut out paper and with creatures made of clay, Kiri, a feisty little dinosaur with overpowering emotions and Lou, a gentle and thoughtful creature, may seem unlikely best friends. Joined by motherly Pania, sensitive Dalvanius and Sorry, a small but extremely fast little animal who cares about everyone’s feelings, Kiri and Lou invites children to learn about kindness, empathy and how to get along, as together they navigate a world of feelings with laughter, song and adventure. 

Join the conversation:

“Doctors should prescribe 5 minutes of Kiri and Lou a day. JEREMY WELLS and HILLARY BARRY, TVNZ 17 April 2020

“Raising thoughtful, kind children is a tough gig and adults need all the help they can get. Kiri and Lou is educational TV for emotional literacy and we all need more of that. THE SPINOFF

Friday 24 April 2020

- Lockdown Diaries -

I thought I would share a little post on what we have been up to during the lockdown so far.

We joined in with painting rainbows for our windows, for people to spot on their daily walks. Ru really loved getting creative with his paints and ended up doing all sorts of designs that we now have up on display, he's also posted a couple to his friends and grandparents.

Home learning has been a bit of hit and miss recently, it all started off really well and they were all very excited to be learning from home, but that soon wore off. 
The twins and Ru are easier to keep focused by using print offs from which I have been using a lot but Noah is a different story. 
We get sent 10 or more texts a day from his homework app to say he's been set more work or he has work due in, some of which he has no idea how to do and others his passwords no longer work for him to be able to log into the websites he needs to get on. 
So we are doing what we can and I am trying to find him other bits to do when his school app is stressing him out. A stressed-out pre-teen is pretty much like dynamite and I try to avoid it at all costs.

We are currently doing around 1-2 hours of work a day and getting in at least half an hour of physical activity, either in the garden or by joining in with Joe Wick's PE sessions in the morning.

We've been going for walks around the village occasionally, as we have a decent-sized garden that the boys play in every day so we tend not to need to go out on a walk every day and plus the thought of bumping into people really has put them on edge when we're out so it's just calm and easier to stay at home and play in the garden.
Though I am planning to make them walk to the beach and back at least once a week, as I do miss seeing the waves. 

We have been baking A LOT! 
we've done countless amounts of banana loaves,
chocolate chip muffins,
slow cooker bread,
cheese scones,
shortbread biscuits 
chocolate chip and marshmallow cookies,
and one vanilla sponge cake with sprinkles.


cheese scones
Noah's banana loaf
Vanilla sponge 

slow cooker bread

shortbread biscuits

The boys have all been creative with different slime experiements and building little characters out of air drying clay.

By doing crafty things like this, it helps limit their screen time - which if it was up to them, they'd be Fortnite all day long. 
It also helps them relax and enjoy being together because lets face it .... they can fight like cats and dogs when left to their own devices.

Most of our afternoons are chill-out time and the boys do end up doing what they like, be that playing on their games, watching a film or playing in the garden whilst I read my books. Life is less stressful this way and everyone goes to bed happy.

I have also managed to finish my first full year at uni, as my last TMA was cancelled so once I submitted number 5 I was done. I put my books away with confidence and now I am looking forward to starting my first part of year two in October.

We have also made our own playdough and have really been enjoying time together when the lockdown was first announced I was slightly dreading being stuck in with the boys as I just assumed it would be fights and arguments every day but actually it has been really lovely.
The boys are much happier at home, no stress from school, we aren't running around to all sorts of different clubs and we are just taking out time and doing things when we get to them.

I've been trying to keep myself from buying unnecessary things off the internet but I failed when it came to buying new plant babies!

A babyMonstera Deliciosa and Monstera Minima. 
Chlorophytum Green Orange

It really has been a bit of a wake-up and maybe we do need to take things a little slower and maybe question our usual routine.

We are already considering homeschooling the younger three as in June, their school is due to shut down and a lot of the local schools do not have room for more students, and seeing how they are all much happier with the home learning I think we may be on to a winner. There are also so many home ed groups in Norfolk that I know we won't be stuck for things to do or places to go and learn about. 

I definitely feel my mum mojo is back, I'm no longer stressing about my job, the house is constantly tidy, the washing is always done and put away and I am enjoying spending time with the boys.
I feel this has been a bit of kick up the backside from the universe and it's telling me what is more important in life!

Lockdown style! 
xxx Stay Safe xxx