Category: Life

Hosting students and other strangers

It’s going well.  No, really.  We like it.  And we don’t feel invaded.  We are lucky to have enough space and we enjoy meeting everyone. We wondered initially if we were spoilt by our experience with our first student, who was easy and very low maintenance.  Then we had a pair of strapping teen boys – a bit harder work.  More shopping.  More cooking.  Lost keys and dirty laundry.  But sweet, very well-mannered boys. Chatty and interesting. Next we had a couple through Airbnb, which after catering for students, was a walk in the park. They needed a bit...

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My week – burns, beauty and musical theatre #TWTWC

As usual I am late (very late – I missed at least one week) for The Week That Was Captured (#TWTWC). But better late than never, so here I am. Last week I blogged on Monday and Tuesday and worked with a friend on her WordPress site. I had the best week ever on the blog and was really pleased with the post I wrote about my burn.  I also explored talking about beauty with the girls. And lots of other stuff – I posted most days. The previous week included B’s 6th Birthday party, which we did thriftily, and K had a taster session at her new school, which she is desperate to get to (and so am I). Highlights of our fortnight included K’s sports day, our final catch (and a very tasty meal) from Catchbox of sole and crab claws.  And the truly wonderful ‘Into the Woods’ at Emporium in Brighton by Chocolate Box productions. Our two Italians arrived on Saturday, and I have stressed about what to feed them.  Sophisticated Milano boys, older than their years and I think quite foodie.  I fed them my spag bol last night, and they ate, but I’m sure it wasn’t what they expected.  I’m playing it safe with bangers and mash tonight. And think I’ll stick to traditional English or Asian food in future, so that I am more likely to get it right....

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Week 4-5. Thrifting it up!

Last week I forgot to write about our big British Gas win. You may remember my Home-Made Heater, that I made last year. I used it a lot when I was working alone and didn’t want to turn the heating on. With a few candles I can warm a small room. We also had our chimney cleaned and the cap removed so we can have an open fire, which is gorgeous. (Although I haven’t calculated what we spent on wood through the winter). The fire is a treat really, but again heats one room not the whole house. We’ve...

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What I would tell my newly pregnant self

There are no prizes.  No winner.  Ignore the stuff that doesn’t matter.  Don’t try to host everyone.  Don’t try to make things happen. Wait, observe, enjoy. You will never get that time with your first baby again.  Not with your second (you are too busy).  One baby is very, very hard work. Two can be devastating. You know what your baby needs.  And you know what you need. Trust yourself. You are a wonderful mum, but you will be better with some sleep and self-care. It’s okay not to see your friends, if it means sleep.  Good friends understand and will wait for you. Don’t let social stuff become a pressure and an obligation. Babies can communicate if you are observant and listen carefully.  Forget routines and lifestyle advice.  Listen carefully to what you need too. Ask, get, pay for help.  Pay someone to tidy, clean, do the laundry.  Take a mortgage holiday if you have to.  This stuff lasts a few years – you will be paying the mortgage for decades. Do what you need to do to get through.  Whatever makes is easier for you. Breastfeeding is good and easy, but so is not breastfeeding.  Same goes for co-sleeping, potty training, baby-led weaning.  None of it matters in the grand scheme of things as long as you and your children are valued and loved. Be kind, prioritise sleep, try to...

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Teaching your children about beauty

I worry a lot about this. I try* not to tell little girls I like their dresses or that they are beautiful. Because I know it’s important that they are much, much more than the sum of their attractiveness. But I can of course see beauty and particularly in my own children (awkward to write but every parent recognises what I’m saying). It takes my breath away. And it is true that attractive people get more breaks. Look at the mug-shot-man all over social media recently, being offered modelling contracts, reality tv and a chance to completely change his...

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other stuff

As well as writing about my 40's, I run Do Stuff U Love.  It's a small business, helping other small businesses in Brighton, Hove and Worthing to manage websites, blogs and social media


Have a gander

Support Zero Waste Week at the same time as stocking up on these lovely giclee prints (I'm thinking Christmas pressies) by my talented friend, Zoe who blogs over at ecothriftyliving.
For each print sold in September 2017, Zoe is donating £2

Zoe’s Zen Art for Zero Waste week

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