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Showing posts from August, 2016

Visiting Canada on a shoestring- Saving over £1000 with AirTransat

Canada is the worlds second largest country, largely untouched by urbanisation. It's culture (and landscape) is dominated by nature- from its gorgeous mountain-scapes to its beautiful lakes and beaches it offers a lot for tourists to explore and enjoy. It's been on my personal bucket list for such a long time. Then in 2012 one of my best friends moved to raise her family in British Columbia. That sealed the deal for me - and ver since we've been planning to visit her there- but two babies, a home move and business start up have been somewhat draining on our personal finances. We really wanted to visit Canada, but if we were going to go there it would mean travelling on a shoes sting budget. We'd have friends to stay with- that would cut back on the accommodation costs. The big expenditure for our trip would be airfare. Over the past four years  I've been keeping a close eye on the prices of flights. Air Canada and West Jet both offered reasonable flights to Vanc

Want to take your small children travelling? It's probably easier than you think

I've always loved travelling, and having children hasn't really calmed my itchy feet. We've taken both the children to Europe, but this year we decided to take the plunge and go Transatlantic with two kids under three. I know what you are thinking! But no I'm not mad! This year we took the kids (aged 1 and 2) on a long haul flight. It was the first long haul flight for both of them - We were flying to visit friends in Canada which meant the 10 hour flight time was non negotiable.BUT it was okay! We put some forward planning in and it paid off. So fear not fellow travel lusting parents I have some top tips for you! A guide to enjoy flying with kids Don't spend money on reserving seats- every airline treats families travelling as priority customers you will be sat together any way Don't buy a seat for your infant- all seats cost in effect the same price whether purchased for an infant, child or and adult you will save lots of money for the inconvenience of

Summer Holiday's Dragging on/ costing a fortune? Here's 50+ things you can do for free in august

Summer holidays are well and truly off - its great to have a bit of nice weather but it's really hard to stay on a budget when you just want to make the most of every moment with your precious little ones. As a homeschool family we don't have terms and holidays but I know that can actually send life into a bit of a quandary. My kids need to keep busy all day else we all go insane- and with them home all the time we have to be really on our toes to keep them going without spending a fortune! So if you are in a pickle (or a rut) with finding ideas to keep them busy without breaking the bank.  Here's a list of  50 things you can do for free with kids during August. Go to the river with a jam jar and go minnow fishing Go for a bike ride to do the shopping  Go to the library and take out loads of books Go to the park for breakfast - take the bowls, cereal, milk and spoons with you Make a scare crow for the vegetable garden Plant some seeds and watch them grow -

Using tech in a gentle/off grid household

It's pretty normal in families I meet to shun screen time as a dirty word. Obviously there are dangers involved with exposing kids to too much too soon. Their brains need healthy interactions with real world objects.Its a core part of their neurological processing. They need these connections in order to be able to learn confidentially as they grow. I really respect parents who chose a screen free upbringing for their kids. But our lifestyle means we use our own tablets/iPhone to keep in touch with our work without being at work. It's a trade off - we are contactable and aware of the business but we raise our kids without having to send them to a nursery. There's many advantages to the one on one (or one on two) time they get with us, however it sets a precedent that If it's okay for us to use screens. We'd feel hypocritical to block their interest in tech when we so obviously use tech around them.. I think the key thing is showing our kids that tech is only

Using tech in a gentle/off grid household

I really respect parents who chose a screen free upbringing for their kids, but we decided that whilst we believed excessive and unprotected screen exposure was not a good thing, we would allow our kids to acces TVs and tech in moderation. Initially we thought this would just be tv-  but actually our lifestyle means we use our own tablets/iPhone to keep in touch without being at work. It sets a precedent that If it's okay for us to use them then the same should apply for the kids. We believe that our children are people in their own right and so it seemed to actually fit with out view of gentle parenting. I think the key thing is showing our kids that tech is only appropriate in moderation- Frog will happily sit in the arm chair all day if you give him a tablet in the morning. We found an appropriate time was quiet time, about 3pm, when his sister takes a nap. It gives him a good chance to zone out and gives me a good chance to get on with some housework, book keeping or blogg

Close Caboo Sling Review

I've decided to write a review of my sling collection. A friend of mine recently had a new baby, I guess I have a bit of reputation now for strapping children onto my body, using a now very well worn and extensive sling stash. In fact I'd quite happily talk slings to anyone. I'm often found pottering around the pub with a baby in a sling. 3 years of baby wearing later - none of the regulars bat and eyelid when they see me pouring pints whilst baby wearing. I've even been know to change a barrel with a baby in the back carry. So you could say I'm somewhat of an expert when it comes to baby wearing!! The first sling I will be reviewing is the Caboo Plus Cotton Blend Carrier (Opal)  I'ts the first sling I ever bought when I was pregnant with my first. Those day's are too hard. Your terrified of breaking this precious little life, who was previously tucked up safe and warm. The desire to keep them close is unbreakable, but you know sanity is also really

Back to school?

It's in the shops already and I have a little niggling feeling that I want to be more organised with my commitment to preschool at home this year. So I'm searching for some curriculum - would love some pointers. Anyone got recommendations for me. My son is nearly three and my daughter is 15 months.

Falling back in love with being "just" a mum

The last three years have been a complete roller coaster and I'll be honest over the last six months in particular I feel out of love with myself as a mother. I don't want to dwell to much on the why or the how- but let's just say two kids under three and a busy pub business has been an epic juggling act. Somewhere along the lines I forgot the parent I wanted to be. I think it's easier when you are in one camp or the other (at home or at work) when you have a foot in each it becomes dizzying. I always feel like I'm letting my work or my kids down. So how did it change? With a holiday. Last month we took a trip that we have been planning BC (before children) to BC (British Columbia). My old boss and best friend emigrated four years ago with her partner and daughter, their son was born a year later. It was so cool to finally see them again, for our kids to meet (off Skype) and to see how they were living now. When I worked with her, it was for a fashion brand in Londo