CircusSeen Boot Camp

My girls love the circus. Being an Ariel performer is one of the many things B plans to be as an adult, despite the fact that she’s very much not a performer. K loves the greasepaint and glitter and performing is her natural habitat. So when I found a holiday workshop learning circus skills, in a real theatre, on the actual pier, they both begged to go. This is unlike my kids. I was keen because I suspected they would love it but also I thought it would be creative and physical and a great opportunity to meet other children...

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Waste and smoothies

Like many families, we put a lot of food in the bin or the compost.  I hate waste and I nag incessantly about it which drives us all mad. It’s exacerbated by our trying to introduce foods to our littlest, who doesn’t enjoy trying new foods and is very selective in her eating.  She hates anything ‘fresh and crisp’, like salad or fruit (it’s a texture thing), but will eat a few cooked veggies. I’m interested in Ellyn Satter’s approach – dividing the responsibilities of eating and taking the stress and bullshit out of feeding your family.  I’m trying to...

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Thrifty Crispies

I have been wondering what to do with the rest of this packet of Lavash bread I bought last week.  It was great wrapped around humus and served with kofta in a picky mezze last week, but despite being well within its use-by date (its very long dated), it was too dry to wrap around anything today. It’s from our lovely Teeba on Boundary road (for those of you near Portslade).  Teeba’s great for fresh herbs, veg, fruit and nice, interesting, super-cheap breads as well as cheap coconut oil and buckets of yogurt. Anyway, I remembered seeing that corn...

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Top 5 – Things I love about living in Portslade

There’s lots happening in our lovely city and especially close to home in our little Portslade.  So for my first post in absolutely ages, I wanted to write about the Things I love about Portslade 1. Our new pub, The Railway Inn.  Okay, so the play area is not finished yet but it will be soon, the roasts look excellent, and it’s just ABOUT TIME we had a decent pub in the Slade.  The Railway Inn is the sister pub to the George Payne over in Aldrington, and most of Portslade is absolutely thrilled.  You can read more about it here. 2. The community.  More and more families are moving from Brighton and Hove to Portslade, as we have lovely more-for-your-money properties and gardens, free parking and great transport links.  If you’re already here, or your thinking of moving over, join our Buzz on Boundary or Friends of Vale Park group. 3. We’re so close to Brighton.  Okay, so we’re not IN Brighton, but we’re close enough to zip in on the train and not have to worry about parking.  Or take a bus (every 6 minutes). 3.5 Because of above, we can rent a room out to students or independent travelers to produce a very decent extra income. 4.  The vibe.  Portslade is friendly and real and exciting to be a part of.  We’ve got lots happening, including rumours of a new cafe.  There’s £40k apparently coming for...

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Curiosity Hub, Brighton

Yesterday, me and my big girl had a day together.  We hardly ever get special time, but it came about because she was booked in to Curiosity Hub at Lighthouse Studios in Brighton, and K is too little (she’s 4). The event was in celebration of Ida Lovelace Day (which is actually on Tuesday 14th October) – an international celebration of the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). We’ve come across Curiosity Hub previously, and B is currently attending their after-school session at the Cornerstone Community Centre and adoring it. We originally met at the Mini Maker fair in Brighton, but I had heard about them and emailed back and forth a few times even before that.  I love what they are doing.  It should be happening every day in our schools. Creative, interesting and inspiring stuff.  The children build models with Lego then add motors and link the whole thing up to a click and drag computer program to animate it all. The session yesterday was a freebie to introduce girls specifically to science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). Curiosity Hub itself is for everyone  It’s simply a cool and interesting club for interested kids and is another one of the many reasons I am happy to live in this wonderful city. This is not a sponsored post.  Just another fantastic example of people doing amazing things for kids...

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This morning I find myself for the first time, alone at eight am.  K has always slept in after a late night, but not so B, who is six and usually (like her father), up at dawn, irrespective of bedtime.  We were late last night after a bonfire and barbecue on the beach.  Squeezing the last moments out of the summer holiday. We’ve had several firsts these last few days.  K has cracked riding her bike.  I could not be prouder of her.  She’s a fierce little dynamo and is loving mastering new physical challenges. B learnt to swim this year and is getting the knack of her roller skates.  she bought a skateboard with holiday money from Granny too, so is working on that. School starts on monday, and although its only a short taster for Miss K, she can’t wait.  We are both frustrated by the staggered start which covers the first four weeks of school, doing random, changing 2 hour sessions to start with.  As a second child with a feisty spirit and sparky intelligence, shes fired up and ready.  And of course, B will be full-time from day one, leaving us lonely and bereft after a wonderful summer. And I have a new job.  Exciting and interesting and challenging.  And one which I can work around school drop offs and pick-ups.  I’m thrilled and nervous and excited....

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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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Non dairy milks for non-extortionate prices

We quite like non-dairy milk in our house.  Our Nana is allergic to cows milk and is a long-time soya milk devotee.  D and I prefer almond milk for those days when we feel bloated and run down.  I also like coconut in my coffee and we’ve dabbled with oat milk too.  I often order a soya latte just because I like it. But it’s always all so pricey.  At £1.60-£1.70 per litre I started thinking about doing it cheaper.  After all, one of the reasons almond milk is so low in calories is that is really low in almonds....

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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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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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