Autumn Bucket List for families.

Originally posted on :

It’s that time of year again when I share with you our Bucket List for the most beautiful season, (in my opinion!),  Autumn.

Crunch and jump in piles of leaves.

Plant daffodil bulbs to enjoy in Spring.

Visit a Farmers Market.

Decorate pumpkins.

Make a scarecrow – we will definitely be recreating Harry and Betty from The Scarecrows Wedding.

Go for long walks and bike rides in beautiful places.

Visit Starbucks + Costa for a seasonal favourite!

Make caramel apples.

Create a Thankful tree.

Make leaf prints.

Make apple prints.

Make apple tart and apple crumble.

Make some Autumn playdough.

Fly a kite.

Bob for apples.

Go to a ‘Light party’.

Watch some Fireworks.

Camp out in the back garden – star gazing, toasting marshmallows and telling stories around a fire.

Go on a hike in Tullymore and have a picnic.

Go on a nature / scavenger hunt.

Decorate our…

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A time for everything.

It has been almost exactly one month since I last blogged – one month, bar one day. I didn’t intend for it to be so long, life just kind of got in the way. September has been busy with so many new ‘things’ and routines; a new chapter for us as a family. And while there have been many changes for the little ones, there have been huge changes for me. Without sounding too selfish, I have found September pretty tough. As I type this, this morning, the house is empty. It is silent. Today is the first day for L to stay in preschool for the full time – I will collect her at 1130am. This week has seen S stay in for the full time also, I will collect him at 2pm and J has also started a couple of after school activities meaning that I haven’t collected him until 3pm some days.  And while I have to admit to longing for a few hours to myself in the past, I have discovered it really isn’t all it’s cracked up to be!

For 5 and a half years I have always had at least 1 little companion by my side. Every. Single. Day. There has always been someone to change and feed and read stories to and play with. At 1030am today there will be no strawberries to chop, or milk to pour or cheese to cube, there will just be a kettle to boil. My nest feels a little empty this morning.

I know I will get used to it, perhaps even come to embrace it. But for now I am going to wallow in self pity. Drinking gallons of coffee, eating ALL the chocolate digestives and Wispa’s and shed a *few* tears as I look back at these photos….September you’ve been big!

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Drink. More. Water.

A month ago today I decided to drink more water. Since then I have tried really hard to drink at least 2 litres of water per day and only have 2 cups of caffeinated drinks. And have I noticed a difference?? Absolutely!! Honestly, even I am shocked. I have to admit to be a little sceptical at first, but I can honestly say that I notice a big difference.

Now, I did take a shocker of a picture at the beginning, and I did take another one today before I got my make up on and my hair did!!

water challenge

I know, I know – not really a fair test – the lighting is completely different!

Now. Is there a – wow, girl hold the phone (!) – you look shamazing moment?? I’ll let you decided ;) I do notice that my skin doesn’t feel as tight and dry as it did. I also still weigh the exact same, I didn’t find drinking more water curbed my hunger pangs or love of snacking. Rage! Ha!

For me the biggest difference was – in my head. Oh, I know, the irony! Seriously though. My head. It is really hard to describe. It is less fuzzy or something. It feels clearer, I don’t have those annoying floaters anymore – you know what I mean the wee floaty black dots! I don’t feel as groggy. I’m sorry, this probably doesn’t make very much sense, it is so hard to put into words. But, my head just feels so much better. Less clogged. Just a whole lot clearer.

I also seem to be a little more evenly balanced – less highs and lows. I no longer have that 4pm slump – that, get me to a horizontal position now please, slump. My heart isn’t racing like it did and the palpitations have definitely eased off.

So, I honestly feel great, So much better. I have found in the last few days, now that the kids are back to school that I am reaching for the kettle more…maybe it’s the weather too. So, I need to watch – old habits could slip in so easily. But I am determined not to. I know a few of you had got in touch too, to say that you were interested to hear how I would get on. Well, all I will say is – DRINK. MORE. WATER.

Things I’m loving lately (August)

August is practically over AND Emma’s linky is nearly finished, but I’m hoping I will make it by just the skin of my teeth!! Emma, over at Life At The Little Wood is hosting a lovely little link up about things that you’ve been loving in the past month. I really love the idea behind it, in one of her posts I remember she described it as a catch up with the girls or reading one of your favourite magazines…that sounds like fun, right? So I am excited to join in.

Without further ado, here’s what we’ve been loving in August.


A few little new things for me on this front this month. First up, a new doo! Now, ok, so I did get it cut at the end of July, but it has been the month of August really that I’ve got into the swing of having it a good 6 inches shorter. It’s so much easier to wash and dry and make look semi decent in the mornings. I’m hoping there’ll be a few less ‘hair scraped back in a messy bun/ponytail moments’ this year on the school run!


I’ve also been trying out a new tanning product this month too. I do love a bit of fake tan it has to be said – takes away a little of the ‘blue’ tinge of my very Irish skin. I think it was Emma (LATLW!) herself who recommended this, so when I saw it on offer in Sainsbury the other week, I thought I’d give it a whirl. First impressions are good, nice colour and no streaks. Will see how we go as the weeks go on, could be a new fav!



I thought here I would share some of my favourite outfits that I’ve worn this month. Cue embarrassing poses!! I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves!

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These are L’s new boots for Autumn! We really wanted the pink patent ones, but they were completely sold out in her size. We got her convinced that these were just as fabulous and she hasn’t had them off since!


Mmmmmmm home….this one I don’t really have very much to say on this one! Can I loosely mention my rekindled love for reading this month?? I do that in my home mostly!! As a child and teenager and indeed a student I was a real bookworm. Once the little ones came along, it seemed I just couldn’t find the time. When I went to bed at night I was fast asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow. This summer however, I have changed that and am carving out some time in my day to do some reading. This month I have read


I feel I need to tell you that a couple of paragraphs has TMI for me!! Just incase one of you read it and are shocked!! Lol. It is a great, easy read though, kept me interested and eager to find out what happened! I think I’m a little naïve / innocent at times!!


Haven’t started this just yet, am reading another book at the moment. My sister picked this up for me as a wee surprise, am excited to get stuck in though have heard good reports!


Now food I can do. This month, (this summer, really!) we have been all about picnics and grabbing something quick when we come back in after a long day out on day trips. I have been drinking my 2-3 litres of water every day….I set myself a challenge at the beginning of the month……and drinking only 1 – 2 cups of coffee. It has been going well and I will update you on that soon.

There have been a lot of cuppa’s in bed, just one of the perks of a wonderful husband, who is a teacher!


Cuppa’s outside at sunrise on our garden bench


And cuppa’s on the run, when we wanted to get somewhere early!


There has been these AMAZING cupcakes! It was our Holiday Bible Club this month and we had a Frozen theme. I had asked some of the ladies to bake me a few top hats / rice crispie buns for the kids….1 lady showed up with these!!!!


There has been a lovely ‘last day of the holidays’ morning tea with Granny and Auntie Laura


And farrrrrrrrrrrrrr too many of these



And that’s been the things we’ve been loving in August!

How has your August been? I’m looking forward to September now. I’m ready to light candles and snuggle under blankets, bring on boots and jumpers and less of a need to shave the old pins!! Autumn is definitely up there as my favourite season – it’s a tough call between it and Winter.

#mysundayphoto – Back to school

Jonah and Seth

I have decided to join in with one of those blogland linky’s! I always love to see how others have selected their favourite picture of the week. This is mine! It’s not the best photo ever I know, but it is a very special one to me. While I look completely in control and happy and relaxed inside I was a wreck. I had hardly slept the night before, I spent the morning feeling all jittery and on the verge of tears and snapping at my husband (sorry honey xx).

On Thursday J started back to school – a big P2. He was so excited to be going back to see all his wee friends. He was excited to be a P2, to him it meant he could go on the ‘bigger bars’ in the playground, he was allowed to go on the swings. He was going to look after his little brother, show him the ropes. He was delighted at being a big P2 now. I was a little devastated!! I know as parents one of the best things we can do for our children is to let them go, encourage independence, but it’s tough, right?

That same morning S was starting P1. He was bouncing with joy, he couldn’t wait. He was going to big school with his big brother. He was going to learn to read books and play outside. He couldn’t get the time in quick enough. But this little boy of mine was only 4 in June – he is still my baby boy. Will he be ok? Will he have someone to play with? Surely I could just keep him at home a little while longer, no?

This photo will be one that I will always treasure, for I know it marks the end of a chapter and the beginning of a new ‘way’. I now have 2 children at Primary School….how did that happen? Oh time, could you please slow down, even a little…..


Farewell Summer….

Wow! Can you believe it? The schools are almost all back this week. My husband was back today, J will start P2 on Thursday and my little S will start P1 on Thursday also. I really can’t believe it. The summer holidays always go quickly, but for some reason this year they have completely flown!

How have they been for you?

I have been reflecting on ours today – I think when something finishes it always forces a little time of reflection, don’t you. I really feel like we have had a ‘holiday’ in the truest sense of the word – “an extended period of leisure and recreation, especially one spent away from home or in travelling” (Oxford English definition). We haven’t done anything particularly fancy, but I feel refreshed, replenished and ready for a new ‘year’, (it’s funny I’ve always thought of years as September to June, with 2 months of nothing at the end!!) We didn’t get anywhere near even half the amount of places on our Summer Bucket List ticked. I had great plans of suitably preparing S for school, recapping all of J’s Read, Write Inc work and number skills and doing all sorts of arts and crafts with L, but truth be told we have had a pretty lazy summer. We’ve dozed in bed until after 9am every morning,  had PJ days, stayed at home and read books, watched dvds, played in the garden. And had lots of very simple, family days out consisting of picnics and play parks. And, it has to be said. It has been great!

I think J, S and L have really enjoyed it too. They have been playing together, making memories, never far from one and others side…nor ours. I hope that they will look back on this summer fondly in years to come – not for it’s excitement or grandeur, but instead for it’s simplicity. A summer of great, family times, decorated with a whole lot of love and relationship strengthening and the odd 99 poke to keep it real ;)

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Saving a few pennies with Legal and General.

When Legal and General recently got in touch with an article providing tips on how to save on water, electricity and heat bills, I have to admit to being a little intrigued. As a stay at home mum I am always interested in ways of saving a few penny’s here and there, every little helps and all that ;)

Now, I have to admit to being a little clueless as to any green technology that could help you save energy and also reduce your carbon footprint. It would definitely be hubster who would be much more interested and up to date on that sort of thing. But, the article really made me think and explained it in such a way that even I could understand! (and that is something!!)

There are 4 main areas in your home that they address – *insulating your home, *heat from unlikely sources, *making the most of your water supply, and *solar power that really is free.

Below are 3 little tips that I hope to implement around our home to help us achieve a greener future:

  1. While my linen curtains from Next are indeed very pretty, they do not provide much in the way of insulation. Perhaps I could get them lined, to help us stay extra cosy in the winter months?
  2. I will be checking out The Green Deal Home Improvement Fund which currently offers cash back for making improvements to your home.
  3. One for my hub – I know he and the boys would really enjoy setting something like this up in the garden – a homemade rain harvester! (more details can be found over here)
Are you guys energy-efficient in your homes? Are you trying to reduce your carbon footprint? I have to admit I am very bad at this kind of thing! I just about manage to sort my rubbish for recycling! Please do, pop over and have a read at the article yourself – you might find something of interest for your family.
This is a sponsored post, and while I have received a ‘thank you’ gift, I genuinely found the article interesting and informative.