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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Into The Woods – A Review

Last night, D and I had a very rare night out.  We went to the Chocolate Box Theatre’s production of Sondheim’s  ‘Into the Woods’ at the Emporium on London Road. And we absolutely loved it. It’s not our neck-of-the-woods, and I had not been to Emporium before.  I have googled a bit this morning, and can’t find any history but I would be fascinated to hear how the theatre has come about. It’s an old church, an amazing space, but a bit rough around the edges, being pushed back into really valuable use as a theatre and creative community space....

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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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When your youngest starts school

Feisty little K starts big school in September.  Looking back, the last six years have gone in a heartbeat.  The girls are only 20 months apart and are now best friends and great playmates.  It’s comparatively (to having smalls) easy. People regularly ask me how I am feeling about her going (and my life changing).  I’m flipping thrilled!  I’m asked with knitted brows and tilted heads, but I am not even a little sad that my special mummy-time is over.  I havent taken great care of me.  I don’t do any classes or go out with friends. My life is almost pure mothering...

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About my burn

At this time of year, I start to become a little more aware of my burn.  It’s visible in a low-ish cut top or even a sleeveless vest.  My scars cover most of my right breast and a grabby off-sewn clutch of skin under my right arm. I’ve always considered myself incredibly lucky as far as my burn is concerned.  It was a terrible injury, but it wasn’t my face.   I was able to breastfeed both my daughters despite it.  It also meant some growing up and turning of corners for me. I was 23, turning 24 in the Summer of 1997.  And (as it should be), I was wild and living a somewhat risky and exciting life.  I rented a room in a big shared house and I partied.  Hard. Before moving to Brighton I had a series of epileptic fits and was on medication for a period.  My seizures were always great big ones.  Grande Mal.  The scary looking ones.  Scarier to see than to be.  I had them in hot places, out of the blue.  Sometimes when I was hung over.  Often 18 months apart. During a fit, I go rigid at first.  Then convulse.  Really convulse. I grunt and groan and my face is a pained mask.  I was always ashamed of my epilepsy and embarrassed and scared by the loss of memory that followed.  It was sometimes hours before...

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Actually camping with Kids. BPS’s Summer Solstice Camp.

Last weekend, we camped at the gorgeous Stonywish with our wonderful school, the Bilingual Primary.  And it was just gorgeous. We ran wild and free.  The kids and the parents too.  There was Shadow Drama and sculpture using clay and natural found materials.  But mostly, just self-led wild exploration and free-form-fun. The families at the school are a very positive, welcoming, creative and inspiring bunch.  I feel at-home and wonderful among them.  This weekend has glued into me that this is absolutely the right school and the environment for us. My kids got wet, climbed trees, jumped ditches, got hurt, supported each other, worked...

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Tobar Kid’s Compass and Bug Observation Dome

This weekend at our gorgeous Bilingual Primary School‘s summer solstice camp, my long-held theory that all children need to have fun, is nature, freedom and space was absolutely confirmed. Of course, I founded Wildplay, so I would say that wouldn’t I?!  But to see kids from around 40 families making their own games out of nature, ebullience and wildness was life-affirming and wonderful. My two have always been keen on nature and animals and biology.  When they have mates over they often play ‘bug hotel’.  This messy game consists of collecting buckets of mud and leaves from the garden along with any mini beasts...

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Bad thrift. Ten weeks of thrift (week 3/4)

Burnt (but saved with a scraping) cheap sausage rolls for the party. Princess teddy Thrilled and in a orgy of spending Getting stuffed Loving a bear in a full face balaclava Fresh flowers for the party table New hair. Not even sorry. Poor, poor burrito Once again this has not been a very thrifty week, and I’m beginning to dread writing up my thrift fails, as often the fails reflect badly on me personally.  I’m not great with rules and am very poor at discipline.  I am kind of wondering why I set this up for ten weeks at...

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Green People deodorant and Suncream

A few weeks ago the lovely folk at Green People asked me to review their suncream and deodorant.  These are two items I have struggled to find natural versions of, that I like.  I have even tried making my own deodorant, which you can read about here. I thought I might make my own suncream too –  I have seen various versions on Pinterest. My greatest challenge with suncream is my very allergic daughter, B.  She has never been able to have any suncream on her face, so just has to wear a hat.  We have used Jason’s Factor 30 Mineral...

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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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