So you suffer from the mum guilt? You scan instagram for those perfect images of parenthood and wonder why that’s not your life too. Knock back a glass of vino to make you feel better than pin a board of stuff you must do with the kids this summer. Sound familiar?

Last summer I was pregnant with my third child and mum guilt hit pretty badly. It was my daughters first summer holiday from school and her brother had just turned 1. I was suffering during this pregnancy, unable to walk far and so we ended up pretty much housebound for 6 weeks bar the few days daddy did day trips and a short holiday (just for daddy and Fizz). I was definitely the upper end of the mum fail chart.

Roll on this year and I started to make plans but am I making too many? I mean it’s not just the kids who are tired after a heavy school year.

So I’ll be removing pinterest on my phone and handed the summer bucket list over to my daughter. Are there any surprises in store?

Well first day she wanted to hang out and home! So we did just that. We caught up on chores and essentially sorted our home out to make it a nice place to hang out. We treated ourselves to lemonade and a snack lunch (Fizz’s favourite type of lunch).

Also on the list are picnics with friends, trips to the park and a few day trips out of Brighton. This year we don’t have a holiday and since we’ve only had one full family holiday before the boys were born it’s not something we miss as such.

So according to Fizz the list she’s done is great! It’s a mix of homely stuff, making stuff and just being free to take on what the day gives us. I’m not having to do supermum style things and we are just hanging out. In the words of Fizz ‘Isn’t that just super, mum?’

The problem with having a good life is that it means that you have something to protect. If you are worried something might go wrong, it can take the shine off the wonderful life that you do have. To deal with this many people take out insurance plans. If you are thinking of getting something or someone in your life insured, check out my pros and cons first.

 

Life insurance

Pro

 If you are buying a family home, then you will know that you have to have life insurance in place to be accepted for a mortgage. This means that your debt will be honored even if something does happen to you.

Con

 

It’s not the happiest of topics, but anyone with a family should think about getting their affairs in order and getting life insurance. If it means your family will be provided for in the worst case scenario, so it’s worth the temporary discomfort of dealing with it.

 

Health insurance

 

Pro

 

The Good thing about private health insurance is that you get seen quicker and have more choice over how and where you are treated. This can be a real boon if you have a painful or serious condition that you want sorted ASAP.

 

Con

 

While the NHS is still going, health insurance is seen as a bit of a luxury in the UK. If you can afford it and you feel more secure having it don’t let others judge you. Do what is best for your family. If worst comes to the worst, you can always say you get it as part of your work bonus package.

 

Dental plans

 

Pro

 

Getting a dental plan is a good way of spreading the cost of your regular dentistry throughout the year. It’s so easy to be put off going for a checkup and a scale and polish because of the expense involved.

 

Con

 

Dental plans can seem expensive at over £10 pp per month. But remember you will get a discounted rate off any additional work like fillings and crowns that your need.

 

Facilities and white goods insurance

 

Pro

 

With facilities insurance, you will be covered for boiler services. So you know that you are keeping on top of your vital home maintenance without having to pay out any extra. White goods insurance is handy because you can budget a small amount each month for the premium. Then you won’t have to find several hundred pounds in one go when your freezer gives up the ghost.

 

Image here

 

Con

 

You might not ever need it. But unless you have a crystal ball,  you won’t be able to predict the future. Boiler installations, central heating repairs, and new fridge freezers aren’t cheap. So it always much more economical to have it and not need it than the other way around.

 

Home insurance

Pro

You home and your belongings are covered for accident and theft. Some policies also grant discounts if you have an up to date security system.

Con

Could you be doubling up on some insurances? Check your policy as some will cover things like smart devices. This means that the gadget insurance you are paying out for is an unnecessary cost. Also, some high-value items need to be named on your documents so don’t forget to add any expensive jewellery and computing equipment.

 

So we are nearing the end of term and I just wanted to share our teachers gifts with you. They were all sourced locally in Brighton!


These customised medals are from Hickory Dickory Designs. They’re £12.95 each, were sent out and received within 48 hours and the quality is just lovely! I am so pleased with them!

We also got Fizzs main teacher this fab pin from Rock Cakes.  Only £7.95 and again you’ll receive it within 48 hours. It’s a really good quality pin. I love the message it sends too.


And for those that are looking for something a bit more booze why not go for some Brighton Gin

What are you doing to say thank you to your child’s teachers? 

With Beatlebum coming up to 8 months old in less than two weeks it is about time we get him a proper little space sorted in a shared bedroom. We have been really lucky to work with The Gro Company this year and with a Cosatto My Robot bed ready, from our Cosatto blogger ambassador residency with Jedi, we want to create a very vibrant yet calming space for the boys to have.

Obviously being summer time sleep can be a premium with small kids. If it’s light outside then it must be awake time! We had a Gro Anywhere Blind with Fizz and it’s still going strong 6 years later! We did get sent a new one to review and there are a few changes. The pattern is more focussed and now includes moons but the main change is the velcro to adapt the blind to size is a lot better than the original cord string. The same handy travel bag comes with too.

img_7717We’ve also got a couple of Gro bags in some lovely new designs. Having one for night snoozing and one for on the go means that we have some routine in place with the same items every nap time as well as bed time. I love the new travel go bag print. The Lion sleep bag is a thicker tog at 2.5 and of course I’ve already starting making those silly jokes about getting a ‘Lion’ or does ‘the lion sleep tonight’. Yes not so much funny to anyone else but me haha!

Then we come to settling the boy into bed! We have a Whisbear now that Beatlebum is a bit old. We do still use our Gro hush but we needed something that he can start to cuddle up to and this was perfect!

I’m also starting to express shortly and we are trying goats milks as an alternative drink for little one too. A bedtime milk is always in our routine and I have found with all three children this helps soothe them as they’ve got something to fully concentrate on too.

What helps your bedtime routine? And any tips for our room transition?

 

 

Upgrading the furniture in your home is a joy unlike any other. These are purchases that you get to live in, enjoy, experience on a daily basis. You can have an item for years, but if you love it, it will still bring a smile to your face when you see it. Somehow, new furniture and decor make the entire house feel better. Everything is fresher, more exciting, and it even makes your shabby old stuff look better!

Dining_table_by_Sidney_Barnsley,_Stoneywell,_LeicestershirePhoto from Wikipedia

Maybe the above is a little misty-eyed, but there’s also a grain of truth in there. Unless you have completely abandoned the idea of a home full of items you love, new things should be pleasurable.

Of course, some people take it too far. We all know the older couple who buys a new sofa and decides to leave the protective wrap in place, so you squeak every time you sit down. And goodness knows how they manage in summer; bare skin on that plastic? Yikes. Nevertheless, they do it because they want to retain that sense of newness and avoid any damage. They want to keep that lovely feeling and preserve it for as long as possible. It’s not exactly reasonable – unless you like sticking to your furniture – but it is at least understandable.

We all spend an enormous amount of time maintaining our homes. When we invest in new items, we want them to look the absolute best they can. It’s just… not really with the plastic still on. There’s got to be a limit, right?

One of the best way to keep an item looking new for as long as possible is to protect it. That means proper care. If you have a wood piece, then invest in beeswax or another natural alternative that will help it age nicely. For upholstery, you can buy special sprays which allow you to eek out that special new feeling for a little longer. And unlike the plastic wrap, it won’t be miserable to live with.

If you worry about watermarks on your new coffee table, then coasters are the obvious solution. If something does manage to overflow, then wipe it up immediately- the longer you leave something, the worse the damage can be.

 

There is also the longevity you can guarantee when you buy. If you buy cheap furniture made by people who don’t particularly care, then you’re going to end up paying for it in the long run. For example, if you choose Mobel Oak furniture over cheaper, synthetic alternatives then it’s worth going the extra mile to keep it looking good. There’s no point trying to protect something that is designed to be used fast, hard and disposed of. Make the investment up front and then take the time to cherish it.

Finally, if you did end up with scratches, stains or any other issues, don’t just abandon them as a lost cause. You can try repairs by experts or use products designed to shift the toughest of stains, which can bring life back to the most damaged of items. By combining a wise choice, protection, and quick action, you can enjoy a piece for years to come.