Tuesday, 5 July 2022

Allotment progress

Thought I'd share some plot progress with you, as I haven't really shared much since we took it on in February.

We had a big task to level the ground out and give the soil a good turnover, as nothing had grown on the plot for a few years.

Once Jon had used a rotavator to work the soil, we set about laying a ground sheet to help with weed control and set the beds up and put woodchips down for the paths.

We have done it all gradually but everything has really taken off.
Vegetables that we've planted so far;
Broad beans,
French beans,
Runner beans,
Tomatoes of all kinds,
Yellow courgettes,
Red onions,
White onions,
Rainbow chard,
Sweet potatoes,
Purple Kale,
Red Cabbage,
Brussel sprouts.

Once we've harvested some of the beds we will do a crop rotation and plant up some new veggies

We are already getting little harvests of early crop potatoes, broad beans, and now our courgettes and cucumbers and starting to be able to be picked.


The kids all love coming down and helping pick what needs picking and lending a hand with the watering.
Then chilling in the bean teepee whilst we do whatever needs doing.

We are planning on getting Ducks, we have the run and the duck house, we just need to set it up.
We still need a shed and want to add a polytunnel to the other plot during the winter and we are hoping next year to add a couple of beehives and maybe some more chickens.
I'm also keeping my eye out on the Facebook marketplace for a playhouse for Bea so that she has someone to play with when she is there with us.
I think it will make the whole experience for her more enjoyable.

We are going to completely change the layout over the winter to help us maximize our space and get the most out of it, but for now and in our first year we are feeling very happy with what we've done so far.


Friday, 24 June 2022

How to Raise a Team Player


A team player means you’re able to handle tough decisions, be able to manage problems that are presented in front of you, and be able to feel resilient and capable of handling your own. These are key for a child to pick up their first extracurricular activities, sports, and other hobbies that involve a group of people, but it’s also key for their development in school projects as well.


In this guide from a prep school in Hertfordshire, we take a look at the ways you can help your child to be a team player.

Test their communication skills

Being a team player means you have to learn to communicate. Your child should be well versed in knowing how to talk to others and give their own opinions, their thoughts on a situation, and work out an action plan. Team players need to communicate to ensure a plan or project is going ahead as planned, and to inform others if there are changes to said plan.

Allow your child to explore a range of different activities

Exposure to different activities is a great way to see what your child enjoys and what they’d rather avoid in the future. A lot of these activities rely on teamwork, so it’s a perfect environment for your child to practice being a reliable member of the team. From team sports like football to big art projects for a mural at school, they all rely on children working together to get the job done well.

Put your child in the driver’s seat

Independent thinking also factors into a child’s understanding of how they can be an effective team player. Teams always need a leader to put a team in the right direction and your child could have the qualities a team could be after. Leaders direct teams, take into account other opinions and work together on making the best decisions for the group.

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Thursday, 23 June 2022

The Benefits of Coding Lessons for Children


Coding is a great resource for children to have in their back pocket that they can use to help them in a variety of ways. From building websites and animations to designing prototypes and products from scratch, there’s a lot that coding can be used for in modern-day society, which is why coding is a beneficial tool for kids to have.


In this guide from a grammar school in Surrey we take a look at the big benefits coding lessons have on children.

It can help your child discover what coding can be used for

There are heaps of reasons why coding is important in the modern-day and it can be why a lot of kids can naturally feel interested in learning about it. It can be used to make some of their favourite video games, apps, and animations they find online. It can also be used to make decisions using carefully built algorithms, which can really entice a child to learn more about the greatness coding can bring to them.

Sparks a child’s creativity

In the same vein as finding out what coding is used for, it also helps your child learn to be creative. Since there are so many different areas of coding to explore, your child can better learn how they can make their own creations with just a few lines of code. The results are done in real-time, so your child can look at what they’ve created and make amends to their designs. 

Improves a child’s writing skills

Code is only made through typing, so your child will soon have a real grasp on their writing skills once they pick up coding lessons. It will teach your child how to spell words correctly, as well as being able to know when and where to use each word that operates different parts of the code.

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Wednesday, 22 June 2022

Helping Your Child Develop their Problem Solving Skills


Managing problem-solving skills can be a fun way to test your child’s ability to handle things in their own way, as well as building their resilience. 

From the moment they start being able to talk and interact with things around them, your child should have the freedom to build their problem-solving skills.


To help your child with their problem-solving skills, here are some ways to help from this private school in Surrey.

See how your child picks things up in their own way

At a young age, it can feel really difficult to feel like you shouldn’t jump in and direct your child. You should however make it so that they can handle what they can before you intervene. If you dive in too early it can mean that your child is going to be more reliant on you as opposed to handling the problems themselves. Take a step back and see how they get on, and if required you can point them in the right direction.

Set up problems in a controlled area

To test a toddler’s skills, most of the time you will have to find ways to help them figure out problems in a controlled environment. Free play is a good way to have problems set up and allow your child to figure out what they can do next. 

In giving them a space to learn freely they get the opportunity to find what problems they can solve and what they need a bit more help with.

Identify strengths and weaknesses

A lot of life is spent solving different problems and knowing what to do when they arise. All of us have our own strengths and weaknesses, which is important for a child to realise early on to help with their development. When your child grows a bit older you’ll be able to pinpoint the areas they need more support.

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Monday, 20 June 2022

How Do My Child's Lifestyle Choices Impact their Education?


Lifestyle choices impact a child’s ability to focus, their overall functional skills in the classroom, and their concentration. All of these aid a child’s chances to progress in school, and it can mean that your child can fall behind on their studies if they’re not careful.

 It’s important to check in with your child’s progress and ensure their lifestyle choices are not having an impact.


In this guide from a nursery in Surrey we take a look at these lifestyle choices that can have a particular impact on your child’s progress.


A common one will be what your child eats in a day and if they’re able to have a balanced diet. A sensible mix of fruit and vegetables, as well as carbohydrates, grains, and plenty of fluids will make for a happy and healthy child. 

This doesn’t mean your child can’t have a treat now and then, but it shouldn’t be a constant thing. Foods high in fat and sugar can impact a child’s concentration, weight, and sleep patterns.


Taking up exercise in whatever way your child likes to enjoy will benefit both their physical and mental health. Schools have a range of sports and exercise programmes for children to explore which can help them find a love for exercising on a regular basis. 

By exercising regularly, children are able to improve their level of fitness, their engagement in class, and improve their personal development skills.


A child that isn’t getting enough sleep every night can seriously impact their focus in the classroom. It’s why your child should be heading to sleep at around the same time each night, with any distracting devices potentially keeping them awake removed.

 Improved sleep will give your child the chance to pay more attention in class, as well as getting them into a healthy routine.


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Sunday, 5 June 2022

Bea at nearly 16 months old.

I haven’t done a Bea update in a long time, so I thought I’d share one now, seeing as she’s nearly 16 months old!!!

Where has the time gone?

She is turning into such a character.
We’re still breastfeeding, in fact, she still feeds like a newborn.
If I’m sat down most often than not she’ll be on me having a feed just because she can.

She hates her cot, so much so she’s never slept in it, and Jon is cursing the day I made him but such an expensive one! 

I’ve completely failed at setting up a routine with her, all the boys had such a strict one and all benefitted from it and I’ve no idea why I can’t seem to get my bum into gear and start a proper one with her.
I keep blaming the fact its because she is breastfed but I know that's not the real reason, it's just me being lazy in a way.

She still has contact naps so I don’t ever get a moment's peace as she’s always on me or with me, so if anyone could point me in the direction of a good how-to book with guild line’s on would be great. 

She is getting better with food and is now enjoying most things I give her. 
She loves apples, though even more, she loves biting into every apple in the fruit bowl just to find that perfect one! 

She loves being outside exploring and trying to make friends with the chickens.

She still hates being in the car.

She loves music and dancing around the kitchen.

She loves water play, any water she finds her hands are in it, her current favourite is playing in the dog and cat bowls when I'm not looking and then emptying them all over the floor. I really need to buy her a water table.

She doesn't really play with her toys, I don't think they are suitable for her or just don't appeal to her so I need to find some that she likes as currently, she won't really play like the others did at this age and would rather just sit on me and feed and occasionally go over to her toys and just chuck them about then come back to me,
Even if I show her, she doesn't tend to spend more than a minute before she knocks them over and moans for a feed.

 I think if I can get her into a decent routine, get her used to sleeping in her own bed without needing constant feeds throughout the night and get her to start using up all her energy in a good way by attending more groups, weekly swimming trips and play at home we'll both benefit from it.

She is a right little diva but we all still adore her funny little ways.

Any help with a routine or toy recommendations would be fab.

Thursday, 12 May 2022

Helping Your Child Transition from Nursery into Big School

When the time comes for your child to move up to a big school from nursery, they are probably feeling a mixture of emotions. It can be both exciting and daunting, as there will be lots of new experiences coming their way. 

To make the transition a little easier, I have teamed up with a nursery school in London to share some advice on what parents can do to support their little ones.


Talk About School in a Positive Light


To help your child feel less nervous and more excited about their new school, try and use positive terminology when talking about it. Talk about how exciting it will be to make new friends and explore new hobbies. Avoid saying things like “I hated school when I was your age” because that will fill them with anxiety. 


Take Your Child to Visit the School


If possible, try and take your child to the school a few times before their first day so that they can become more familiar with it. You don’t necessarily have to go inside because even simply getting them used to the journey to and from will help ease some of their nerves.


Encourage Your Child to Be Independent


When your child starts big school, they will be expected to know the basics of looking after themselves, like dressing and undressing for PE, using the toilet, or managing cutlery when eating. With this in mind, encourage your child to attempt these things at home without your help until they become more proficient and therefore more confident. 


Buy the Uniform Together


Get your child involved in buying their new uniform and other school supplies and try and make it an exciting, fun experience for them. Once you have bought the uniform and shoes, encourage them to practice putting it on and taking it off before the start of term so that they are ready for their first day.

Wednesday, 11 May 2022

Top Tips for Preparing Your Child for the School Bus


Catching the bus to and from school is a big step for children and it can often fill them with a sense of anxiety. With that said, it’s a good idea for parents to try and prepare their child as much as they can if they are going to be riding the bus going forward. This should help them feel less nervous when the time comes. So, how can parents help prepare their child for the school bus? Here are some tips from a senior school in Surrey.


Practice the Route


Before your child has to start catching the bus on their own, you should practice the route with them a few times first. This will help familiarise them with the journey so they are confident about when they should get on and off. It will also help them feel more comfortable with getting the bus as they’ll know what to expect. 


Talk About It


Don’t avoid the subject of the school bus. Try and ease your child’s nerves by talking about it and using enthusiastic, positive language to describe the experience. Give them the opportunity to ask any questions they may have so that you can put their fears to bed.


Find a Travel Buddy


Talk to the school and see if they can inform you of any other children in the local area who might be catching the same bus. That way, your child will have a familiar face whom they can travel with, even if they don’t necessarily sit together. 


Prepare for the Worst


Chat with your child about what they should do if things go wrong like if they lose their bus pass or money, miss the bus or if it doesn’t turn up. Your child needs to have a plan in place for these scenarios so that they don’t end up panicking.

Tuesday, 10 May 2022

How to Help Your Child Learn a New Language


There are lots of benefits to learning a second language, particularly in childhood. It can support cognitive development and aid memory and concentration, as well as improving the ability to multitask. In most UK schools, children must learn a language as part of their education. As a parent, there are various things you can do at home to help them, as explored below by private school in Cheshire.


Encourage Regular Practise


When it comes to learning a new language, the phrase “little and often” comes to mind. Memory is aided by repetition, so the more often your child practises the language, even in short bursts, the more likely they are to remember it. Even if you schedule in half an hour or so each day for studying, the language will sink in more quickly than if they only practise once a week.


Label Everything


As mentioned above, constant exposure is key, so it would benefit your child to label items around the house in the target language so that they can practise the words and phrases every time they see them. 


Use Technology


There are lots of apps and games your child could download onto their smartphone or tablet to help them learn the language, as well as TV shows, music, and audiobooks they could engage in. This will expose them to the language in a fun and entertaining way, as opposed to sitting with their head in a textbook for hours on end. This makes it more engaging and memorable.


Look for a Study Buddy


If you can’t speak the language yourself, you won’t be able to practise with your child. However, you could encourage them to invite a friend over after school so that they can practise together. They will be able to work on their conversational skills, which is difficult to do when studying alone.

Monday, 9 May 2022

Helping Your Child Become More Independent

Helping your child with their independence is important for their self-esteem and overall development. This is because it aids them in completing certain tasks without needing help from a grown-up. It’s also important for helping prepare them for the future when they eventually fly the nest.

 I have teamed up with a prep school in West Sussex to share some advice on how you can help your child become more independent. 


Give Them Space


You don’t always need to jump to your child’s side and save the day whenever they have a problem. Doing so won’t help them learn how to overcome obstacles independently. Give them some space to figure things out on their own because even if it takes a little longer, it will help them with their confidence and give them a sense of accomplishment. 


Give Them Chores


As your child grows older, give them some responsibilities around the house. Doing so will allow them to develop various key skills so that they don’t have to rely on you forever. Start off with some simpler tasks so that it is easy for your child to succeed, as this will make them feel good and motivate them to do it again in the future. 


Ask Their Opinion


Help your child understand that they can have their own thoughts and ideas by regularly asking for their opinion, like what you should have for dinner or what movie you should watch. By doing so, you will help them understand that their views are valid and give them some self-assurance. They shouldn’t have to rely on you to speak on their behalf or make decisions all the time, as this won’t lead to an independent thinker. 


Embrace Failure


As your child gets to grips with doing things on their own, they will most likely fail from time to time. When this happens, don’t be too hard on them or make a big fuss as this will damage their self-esteem and they won’t want to try again. Instead, remind them that everyone makes mistakes from time to time, even grownups

Friday, 29 April 2022

Here come the girls

So we finally have chickens again!
We got our new girls just over two weeks ago now and I could not be happier!

All the girls are hybrids so should lay most of the year.
I also picked 6 different hens so that I can get 6 different coloured eggs.
I miss having a basket full of rainbow eggs so it was high on my wish list to get that again.


We’ve named them 
Agatha, Audrey, Lilith, Violet, Hetty and Ivy.
They should lay, blue, olive green, white, brown & dark brown eggs. 
I have two blue egg layers, but they may be slightly different in colour.

Though I think of the blue eggers Ivy may be an olive egger, as I think she is the only one laying and we’ve had two olive eggs. 
So I’m not 100% sure until all 6 start laying. 
I’d say in a week or two we should have all 6 girls laying. 

Olive eggs are definitely my favourite!

I love having them in the garden and from Monday they can free-range as the avian flu restrictions are being lifted. 
I can’t wait to see them wandering around.

Lilith and her fancy feathers! 

I already want to set up another run for some Pekin bantams! 
Chickens are so addictive and they definitely have magic healing powers! 

Along with the chickens and all the gardening that I've been doing my mental health is definitely improving.

I hope you're all ready for lots of chicken-related posts.

Thursday, 28 April 2022

Summer Is Just Around The Corner, It's Time To Get Your Property Ready


Many families are spending more time in their gardens as the weather improves, kids in the yard playing, and adults having a BBQ with some "bevies." 

Summer is most definitely on its way; now is the ideal moment to consider preparing your garden and home for summer evenings!

Give your garden a fresh look by changing it. If your garden needs improvement, now is the time to do so. Here are a few ideas for getting your property in tip-top condition before inviting guests over the summer:

Considerations When Making Garden Improvements.

Garden renovations may increase the value of your home and make your gardens more pleasant for entertaining.

Add a garden room to your property

Garden rooms/offices are extremely popular at the moment as a result of the UK's pandemic-induced shift in working habits. What about a garden bar? Perfect for summer BBQs! Consider a summer house or gazebo if you don't want to build a garden room. These may be utilized for entertaining guests or as an additional seating area.

Seating Area And Patio

Patios and sitting areas may also be a good place to start when it comes to quick improvements since they are so easy to maintain. For example, patio cleaning with a pressure washer is simple and will greatly improve the appearance of your garden while freshening it up for summer. After being cleaned, you should consider applying a weather sealant to the surfaces to prevent the growth of moss, algae, and lichens in the future.

Enhance your existing UPVC windows and doors

One of the most significant upgrades to your home that may enhance its worth is UPVC Window Spraying. Even though doors and windows on your property are typically one of the most expensive things to alter and improve, window spraying has grown in popularity in recent years.

At the moment, replacing your windows' colour with a more fashionable hue such as Anthracite Grey or deeper tones of grey appears to be an "in" thing. 

According to Genesis Collection's study, changing the colour of your UPVC windows may raise the value of your property by £61,000 in some cases! As this is a more complicated solution it would require a professional spraying company such as Spraylords.

Gardens that require minimal maintenance.

A low-maintenance garden may also add value to your home if you want to sell it. After all, they don't need cutting, so replacing your grass with fake grass is a good idea! There are many different grades of artificial lawns available to suit any budget. 

They do however come in varying qualities and with different "pile" lengths, similar to buying a carpet.

Another excellent strategy to cut maintenance is to be inventive when it comes to the plants you choose for your planters. Here's a list of low-maintenance plants that are great for your garden, depending on the colours you want to use.

Privet hedges, while beautiful, can be a pain to maintain since they require constant trimming. If you want to create a low-maintenance garden, composite fence panels might be a better alternative. Composite panels are generally constructed from recycled plastics that are long-lasting and require no upkeep. The same may be said for decking boards.

Garden Furniture Ready For Summer

Furniture in your garden is an important aspect of making it the ideal location for entertaining throughout the summer. There are a lot of things to think about when it comes to garden furniture, if you have children do you need some hard-wearing furniture? Children play in the yard utilizing the table and chairs as "garden forts"...

All of this can make the garden a lot more pleasant to sit and relax on, including rattan furniture sets, fire pits, etc... All of these things can improve the comfort level in your garden.

Weeding and Plants

It is the time to weed. Weeds tend to be dormant throughout the winter, waiting for spring weather to improve so they may burst into life again after it arrives. Because weeds grow rapidly, maintaining a weeding schedule is critical. 

Maintaining a minimal amount of weed growth might be difficult, but it will certainly make your garden and outdoor area.

Now is a good time to begin preparing your flowerbeds for the coming months. Adding fresh mulch to the beds, which will aid in weed suppression and moisture retention, is a great place to start.

It's also a good idea to start pruning any bushes and trees that need it now, which will encourage new development and make the plants appear neater. If you have any climbers or vines, now is an excellent time to begin training them in the desired direction.

Finally, after the winter season, clean up your garden and remove any leaves and debris that have accumulated. This will make the garden appear cleaner and more appealing.

Exterior Painting

Painting your decking, fences, and garden walls may be a time-consuming job, to put it mildly. Rather than spending time in your garden painting when the sun is shining, wouldn't you rather be outside in your freshly prepared garden enjoying that sunshine instead?

Exterior painting is often completed every few years, and it's one of the most time-consuming tasks when taking care of your outdoor spaces and property's outside appearance.

Outside Lights

Even though the hours of daylight and temperatures are increasing, summer nights are still warm. By installing exterior lighting on your property, you may extend the amount of time you spend outside. 

They might be wall lights, decking lights, or garden spike lights, each of which may enhance the ambiance in your gardens significantly. 


It's time to get your home and garden ready for the summer! 

There are several things you may do to increase the value of your property and make it more appealing to potential buyers. 

From UPVC window spraying to low-maintenance gardens, there are plenty of options for adding value to your house.

There are a variety of activities you can do to get ready for your guests, such as weeding and cleaning up seats, and it's also necessary to prepare to entertain visitors during the summer.