A Beautiful Sunny October Day #countrykids

Last Sunday was just the sort of day I love.  The sun was shining, the sky was blue and we went to the park with friends and family.




We did a bit of swinging…PicsArt_1413567400578


A bit of hanging…




A spot of exploring…



Some rock-hopping…


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And to finish, a bit of modelling ;) ……


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I actually love sunny days in Autumn, Winter and Spring more than I do in the Summer.  The sky always seems much bluer and the way the sun hits everything is just lovely.  You can do much more too since it’s not too hot.  We’re not fans of the heat.


We’re linking up with the marvellous Country Kids over on the Coombe Mill blog.  If you’ve not been over to Fiona’s blog before, please do visit because there are so many other bloggers who link up with brilliant ideas for outdoor fun AND Coombe Mill looks like such a fun place to have a brilliantly child-friendly holiday.


Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


Filed under Life, Outdoors, Spud & Pooh Bear

Mesothelioma Awareness Day 2014

Today is Mesothelioma Awareness Day and I know most people probably won’t have heard of this rare form of cancer and even more will have trouble pronouncing it!  Unfortunately, I have actually come across this cancer before and when I was contacted by Heather, I was happy to help raise awareness by sharing her story and some facts about Mesothelioma.

Eight years ago Heather had just given birth to her daughter, Lily, when she was diagnosed with Mesothelioma and was only given 15 months to live.  After life saving surgery to remove her left lung, Heather survived and is now working hard to raise awareness.


Heather and Lily

Heather and Lily


From what I understand from a family member who works with people diagnosed with Mesothelioma, it is an aggressive disease and the average timescale patients are given after diagnosis is 10 months!  The only known cause of Mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos and there are increasing numbers of diagnoses being made of people who were only experienced second-hand exposure i.e. from the clothes of their partner or parent.



Click for enlarged version


My biggest fear as a parent is being diagnosed with a life limiting or life threatening disease especially whilst my boys are young.  It would be absolutely awful knowing I wouldn’t be around to see them grow up.  I can’t imagine how Heather must have felt to have been given such devastating news so soon after giving birth.  Thankfully Heather is a survivor but she is one of the lucky ones thanks to her swift diagnosis.  I personally have friends and family who were exposed to asbestos so it’s also important to me that we raise awareness and work towards a cure for this cancer specifically.  Although it is rare, approx 2,500 cases are diagnosed in the UK and US each year, it is very aggressive and patients can be relatively young when diagnosed.

Mesothelioma usually sits dormant for 20 – 50 years after exposure so if you think you may have been exposed, please have a look at Mesothelioma.Com (US site) and Mesothelioma UK to find out about the symptoms, support and more information.  You can also follow the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance on Facebook and Twitter.

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Filed under Charity, Life

Drugs in Breast Milk Helpline needs our help!

As a peer supporter, a mum and even at work, I signpost families to the Drugs in Breast Milk Helpline EVERY SINGLE WEEK.

GPs are notoriously hit and miss when it comes to breastfeeding knowledge.  It isn’t something they have adequate training on unless they take it upon themselves to do it.  This means that it’s a bit of a lottery as to whether your GP gives you the right information with regards to any breastfeeding issues but thankfully, there are people they can refer you to and there are also some invaluable resources out there which they can call upon if they aren’t sure of the right course of action for you.

The Drugs in Breast Milk Helpline is manned voluntarily by Wendy Jones, pharmacist and registered BfN Breastfeeding Supporter.

You can consult the information sheets and frequently asked questions on the Drugs in Breast Milk Page but if you have a query which isn’t covered in those or have a more specific case, you can email and phone Wendy for a more personal response which is absolutely invaluable.

It’s not only information on medication which is provided but also on alcohol, beauty treatments, dentistry and routine surgery and how that can affect breastfeeding or not.

I cannot stress enough, the importance of being fully informed when it comes to breastfeeding so you are able to make the right decision for you and your baby.  Too many Mums are told that they must stop breastfeeding if they need to take antidepressants when that is usually not the case.

The Drugs in Breast Milk Helpline empowers women.  It enables them to go to their Healthcare Provider armed with the facts and get the right treatment for them.

There is even an information sheet on breastfeeding and the Norovirus.  How I wish I’d known about it when the wrong info from  a health professional and my own ignorance put an end to Spud’s breastfeeding.

Every Mum to be should be aware of the helpline as there are so many unreliable sources they will come into contact with especially on-line.

Unfortunately, the helpline is at risk of closure due to lack of funds.  If the helpline did close, it would be devastating.

I’m not exaggerating when I say I mention the helpline and information sheets at least twice a week on-line, and in real life to Mums looking for reliable information on a whole host of medication and procedures.

If you have used the helpline as a Mum or if you use it in your role supporting Mums, it would be great if you could complete one of the following surveys:

Mum’s Survey

Supporter’s Survey

You may be wondering why it matters if a Mum stops breastfeeding needlessly to take a medication or have a procedure and perhaps you will never understand but as a Mum who stopped breastfeeding because of misinformation, I can tell you now that it does matter and it is important.  This short video shows some of the responses to the surveys so far and goes a little way to explain why it is so important to Mums and babies…

#savedrugsinbreastmilkhelpline video




Please share any ideas you might have to raise funds long term and you can  donate to this priceless cause by texting DIBM88 followed by the donation amount to 70070.  You can also donate on JustGiving.



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Filed under Breastfeeding, Charity

Ooberkids Republic ‘Pocket Money Cookery’

This week we’ve been reviewing a new cook book from Ooberkids Republic with the idea to encourage school children to cook healthy food on a budget.




Ooberkids Republic is not just about cooking, it is primarily ‘an online portal offering core-subject Science, Mathematics and English homework support for primary school children aged 7-11 years old’ so if you have older children, it’s really worth popping over to the website to find out more.

Having looked through the recipes in ‘Pocket Money Cookery’, my first thought was that it was a bit old for my five and three year olds but as you will read here, we actually had so much fun with the recipe we’ve made so far…


We plumped for ‘Broken French Dinner’ or ‘Catto’ and it was Pooh Bear (3) who wanted to help me out in the kitchen.  Here are the ingredients we used (not actual quantities) and it’s the first time I’ve ever cooked with Mozzarella and I’ll definitely be using it again.


I wish I’d done more cooking with the boys in the past now.  We bake cakes and biscuits but they’re usually too impatient to decorate everything and get fed up with the actual baking process so I was expecting to have to finish the dish by myself but Pooh Bear helped out from start to finish!




He was very proud of his creation.  Here it is just before it went in the oven…



…And here is the finished Catto.  It would have had more breadcrumbs on the top but I did separate dishes in little ramekins in the hope the boys would find it more appealing (didn’t have any worries there in the end) and Pooh Bear got carried away adding the breadcrumbs to those leaving Daddy’s and mine’s a little lacking on the breadcrumb front!




I know for a fact that had I served up the same dish and Pooh Bear hadn’t helped me, it would have been tricky to get him to eat it all but he shovelled it in leaving just crumbs on his plate which was brilliant!




We were hoping to make a sweet recipe over the weekend but a tummy bug put pay to that so keep an eye out for another blog post this week involving hedgehogs and chocolate.

In addition to the recipes and methods of the dishes, CeCi (author) includes lots of interesting facts about the ingredients, information on how to prepare the meals safely  and hygienically and nutritional notes from nutritional therapist Jessica.


Disclosure: ******We received a digital copy of ‘Pocket School Cookery’ with the understanding that we review the book but as usual, all thoughts and opinions are honest and unbiased******

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Filed under Baking, Reviews, Spud & Pooh Bear

It’s not all Home-Made Jam and Glitter Glue there are Bad Days too.

Yesterday the boys were making ‘sumfing’ out of bits and bobs and sticky tape which then evolved into painting and inevitably, messy play.  They covered their hands with glitter glue and paint and did some mark making with dinosaurs and a broken hair clip or two.

Since we were having fun, I took some pics and shared them on Instagram.

It looked like we were having a chilled afternoon, making a lovely mess, having fun.  We were.

Minutes after I posted those photos, Spud decided to paint Pooh Bear’s feet.  I had no problem with this except Pooh Bear didn’t want his feet to be painted so I pointed this out to Spud and asked him to stop.  I asked him twice then he flicked his paint-laden brush in a huff.

This is when I saw red and took the brush off him before marching him upstairs and plonking him in the empty bath declaring “that is the end of that!”.

Lately I’ve been seeing red more than I used to and I hate it.  We have days and days when everything is fine but then there are those times when Spud and I in particular seem to clash.  We’re so similar and he’s at that age where he is trying to assert himself and giving us an insight into life with a teenager.  I can see him reflecting my behaviour at times too and I’m trying really hard to be patient with him but it’s a work in progress some days.

I think the reason I’m sharing this is because we ALL have difficult days.  Days when we’re not proud of our behaviour or that we can’t wait until the end of.  Thankfully, the better days outnumber these but we need to remember that what we read online is naturally edited.  I don’t feel like blogging when I’m having a bad day.   I don’t feel like doing anything when I’m having a bad day.

I went through a phase recently when I didn’t want to write or share anything, good or bad.  I’ve come out the other end now and am enjoying getting back into the swing of things on the blog.

I’m aware that if you read this blog, you will come away thinking that we are somehow perfect and happy all the time.  This isn’t the case and I’m not consciously trying to hide this from anyone but unlike others who find therapy in writing about difficult days, I tend to shy away from social media and blogging completely.

Today has been a good day.  We’ve had the odd disagreement about ice cream, as you do, but it’s been a good one.



Filed under Blogging, Life