Make a Rocket BackPack and WIN with Harvey’s Furniture this Easter!

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 When it’s the preschool holidays, it can sometimes be a challenge to keep my tiny terrors suitably entertained. Luckily, here in the SPJ household we do like to get our craft on, and choosing the right kind of one for Freddie and Sasha to enjoy can mean they are occupied for a decent amount of time. Even better, is when that craft can be done from the comfort of our living room AND they get to use what they’ve made/ play with it! (Even if this does mean knowing the best way of cleaning up this mess afterwards!)

The other day I decided to make Rocket Backpacks for both of them to wear, and it was the perfect craft for them to get involved with. I carried out the majority of the construction, yet they could decorate their backpacks with bright star stickers, as well as practicing their cutting when making the ‘flames’ out of tissue and crepe paper. 

As you can see, they had lots of fun, and there was a fair bit of jumping off the sofas and pretending to be astronauts afterwards! For more ideas this Easter, you can have a look at some other fun and easy projects HERE on the Harvey’s Furniture Website. For this project though…

You will need:

  • 2 Drinks bottles
  • Silver paper
  • Piece of cardboard 20cm x 20cm
  • 2 pieces of elastic 8cm each
  • Stapler
  • Scissors
  • Star stickers to decorate
  • Red, orange and yellow tissue or crepe paper
  • Double-sided sticky tape

Instructions:

  1. Staple the pieces of elastic to the cardboard to create loops for little arms to fit through.SPJ 4
  2. Using the double-sided tape roll the silver paper around both of your drinks bottles, and get your little ones to decorate with the star stickers. SPJ 5SPJ 8
  3. Stick 4 strips of double-sided tape on the other side of the cardboard, and stick both of your bottles onto them, bottle tops facing down. SPJ 9
  4. Get your children (or do this yourself if they’re too young) to cut long strips of the crepe/tissues paper to make ‘flames’ for the rockets. SPJ 16
  5. Wrap more double-sided tape around the bottle tops, and then stick the strips of tissue/crepe paper on. Repeat with until you have a variety of flames. SPJ 10

Voila- a super-cool rocket backpack!

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 …Now all you have to do is clean up the mess!

*My best tip is to remove stickiness off leather (yes, glue gets everywhere, despite my best intentions!), by filling a bowl with warm soapy water until bubbles form. Using a barely damp cloth, I dip the cloth into the bubbles on the surface and rub the leather gently until the sticky bits have gone. You can dry it out with a dash of bicarbonate of soda. When it dries just vacuum it off!*

You can see some more great furniture cleaning tips, such as looking after your fabric and upholstery, cleaning leather furniture, and removing scratches off glass, all on the Harveys website. There are some ace tips from some fabulous fellow Mums too! 

To celebrate Easter, all things crafty, and reward you for cleaning up the aftermath ;-) , Harvey’s Furniture are hosting a FANTASTIC competition, giving their social fans and Spirited Puddle Jumper readers the opportunity to win a children’s den from ‘Not On The High Street’, by sharing their own Easter children’s project photos.

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The competition is open from today until the 13th April 2015, and is centred around the hashtag: #HarveysHandmade – you can post your craft pictures on their Facebook Page, Tweet them, or share them on Instagram. @HARVEYSHQ 

Good luck, and enjoy your crafting this Easter break!

 

A big thanks to Harvey’s Furniture for partnering with The Spirited Puddle Jumper.

Retaliation: Is It Ever Okay For Your Child To Hit Back?

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I’ve been in two minds about writing this, but weighing it up I thought it would be interesting to get opinions of others. After all, we’re all in this parenting lark together, right?

Last Thursday I was dropping F off at preschool, when one of his teachers wanted a quick word in private. My heart pounded as I followed her into ‘the quiet room’, wondering what was wrong. Turns out, what his teacher said next surprised me, and got me thinking about a contentious subject when it comes to parenting.

A few days previously, F was apparently minding his own business in the playground, when, unprovoked, a new little boy went up to him and punched him in the face.  Freddie’s teacher ran over to defend him and tell the boy off, but before she could, F had instinctively hit him back, twice as hard, leaving the original tiny perpetrator in tears and with a fat lip. Apparently they had been keeping an eye on said boy, as despite being small, he had been pushing and punching other children since he arrived, so had form for doing this. Freddie’s teacher said that whilst they certainly don’t condone violence, she didn’t tell Freddie off, it was the other little boy who was chastised, with then general words to the pair of them to be kind to one another. She said that from an experienced teacher’s, and a parent’s point of view, she didn’t think it was always a bad thing that a child learns what might well happen if they decide to go up to another child and whack them in the head. She wanted to tell me a. what happened ( as any good preschool/nursery would) and b. Let me know that my boy had a bit of ‘fight’ and ‘spirit’ in him, which she was surprised about as much as I was. 

Bear with me if that sounds a bit of a weird thing for a teacher to say to a parent, to justify any sort of hitting, and before you think my boy is a wee thug. You see, I know, and Freddie’s teachers know, that usually F is a kind and sensitive little boy. That’s not me being deluded as a parent, and protecting my ‘precious little snowflake’, it’s just a fact. (S, on the other hand, can be a feisty little madam and a situation like this involving her might not surprise me as much!). Don’t get me wrong, Freddie can scrap and argue with his sister, but when it comes to confrontation with other children, he’s always been the one that backs off. The one that gives up the toy when another child grabs it, the child who isn’t in to ‘rough housing’ with the boisterous boys, or the one into ‘fighting’ games, Power Rangers, Ninja Turtles or Super Heroes (yet!). And weirdly this had made me a little worried about when he starts school in September. Despite being a big chap (95th centile for height) and having many friends as preschool, I have had concerns that due to his softer nature that he might be an easy target for more ‘physical’ boys at ‘big school’.

Anyway, when his teacher told me what had happened I was quite shocked, but I also surprisingly felt slightly pleased, and then really guilty for feeling slightly pleased, that my son had hit this boy back. It goes against everything in my parenting nature to want to ever give the go ahead for my child to be violent towards another, yet I actually felt reassured (and that’s what his teacher wanted me to know), that if ever F has any problems at school he quite possibly wouldn’t just sit back and be pushed around, despite his outwardly passive nature.

All sensible advice and common sense tells us to tell our children, if they were ever physically attacked, to go and tell a teacher. Which is what I would still tell either of my children if a situation like this ever arose again. However, I’ve read enough chat threads on Mumsnet and the like, to know that in these situations, some bullying has only ever stopped once a child has actually stood up to an aggressive child and given them a taste of their own medicine. 

Which leaves me asking the question: Is it ever okay for your child to hit back?

My personal view is that at primary school level, teachers should be supervising and able to sort any bullying issues out, without a child ever having to retaliate with violence. Being honest though, if it was persistent, if I felt my child was being seriously affected by being punched/pushed/targeted, it MIGHT get to the point where I would tell him or her to give it their best shot back. The thing is, giving your child the message that using their fists is okay, is one fraught with difficulty and potential danger the older they get. Watching the news and seeing all the knife crime stories involving teenagers makes me feel sick. As adults, I would always tell them to walk away if conflict occurs in a pub, club, or whenever alcohol if involved- the risks of fighting back are just too high when judgement is impaired. 

It’s such a tricky subject, one of many parenting minefields that I’m sure we’ll navigate as the years go on. 

So all this brings me back to my boy. The usually gentle giant who apparently has a mean right hook. 

I haven’t actually talked to him in depth about what happened, as preschoolers tend to have very short-term memory. When I asked him if he’d been hit, he looked a little confused, then said, in a typically just-turned-4 way “Oh yes, X wasn’t very nice to me in the playground” and that was it. I kissed his head, and said that if it happened again he should walk away and tell a grown up. Inside though, I had mentally relaxed about his ability to stand up for himself, and whilst not necessarily a desirable trait, he has shown he has a bit of fire in his belly.

But isn’t this an awful trait to be glad about? Am I a terrible parent for feeling this way?

What would you do?

 

BritMums

 

Linking up with Let’s Talk Mommy and ‘Share With Me’ and Super Busy Mum’s ‘Mad Midweek Blog Hop’

 

Beginner’s Guide to a Feng Shui Home

Feng Shui is something I’ve always been quite curious about when it comes to the home, and the spaces we inhabit most often. Can something as simple as placing an object, or a piece of furniture really make that much of a difference to your relationships, finances and health?

Well, I’ve been doing a teeny bit of Feng Shui-related research, and below are some simple tips I’ve found, for when it comes to ‘zenning’ your home and your life, so they are positively brimming with calm and happiness! I was surprised how many we already do, and I also had a think about what else I could do to improve my Feng Shui home:

Eight-point system of Feng Shui

Right, first up: Stand inside your home, keeping your back to the front door, and then look forward. You can then section up your home as per the diagram above. So for example, in my house, the bottom left hand corner of my Living Room would be the ‘Knowledge’ section, and the top right hand corner of my kitchen would be the ‘Relationships’ zone. Good shizzle is supposed to happen when you place certain objects in these certain zones. Some objects will have symbolic power, and others will have a literal connection to that area of your home. Comprende? Good – let’s begin!
Money: You are advised to place fresh flowers, or a jade plant here. Here would also be a good place to safely store cash or other valuables. Luckily for me this is the part of my house where my dining table is, and the spot where my fresh daffodils are currently residing!

Reputation: Shout about your achievements here! Display awards, accolades and certificates, plus here would also be where you could place good luck charms, such as a four leaf clover. A small back wall in my kitchen is here, and I’m off to a good start ‘reputation’ -wise as Freddie’s swimming certificate has pride of place!

Relationships: Pairs of objects or imagery are advised if you want up things in the ‘relationships’ stakes. Lovebirds, butterflies and cranes are particularly welcome, as is an image of two trees intertwined. If your living room is in this spot, a love seat, pair of pillows, or two matching chairs would give you extra Feng Shui brownie points. Unfortunately for me, the only thing matching in this spot of mine (top right hand corner of my kitchen) is a couple of Emma Bridgewater mugs in the cupboard. Must.Try.Harder. 

Children and creativity: Apparently this is the perfect place for a pin board or some kind of craft or sewing zone, or even a chalkboard wall or zany wallpaper. Now since this area of our home is either the downstairs loo, or the stairway heading to the first floor, it’s a bit tricky to get the old sewing machine out. However, we do have some incredibly loud Orla Kiely wallpaper in the toilet, (which is next to our chalkboard wall, although this is a little off target area!) so I’m going with that as doing my bit for the kids and creativity. 

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Friends and travel: Ideal for playful, happy photos, artwork/postcards/greetings cards made by mates, or a map that reminds you of your travels. Sadly, this is where our coat pegs and show bench are (although surely all the shoes and coats are indicative of all the traipsing in and out of the house that we do?). I like the idea of having a map near the front door, and the children like looking at maps too, so this might help us Feng Shui this neglected corner of our home. 

Career: This front part of your home should be as bright and as well lit as possible. Apparently you should put something here that relates to your passion and/or your job. Maybe i’ll keep a copy of my favourite photo book here, as it might help me take some better blog pics!

Knowledge: Here, you should create a ‘reading nook’ or a spot where you can have deep conversation. Well, we are doing well on both counts, as our main bookshelf in the Living Room is here, as is our newish purple sofa. Whether ‘deep’ counts as conversations relating to Crystal Palace FC, which child will wake first for a wee in the night, or the merits of our new Espresso machine is anyone’s guess…
Family and health: This is the area of your home that you should keep super-clean, and also maybe have a family photo wall. Well, our dining table in the kitchen is here, so I like to think I keep this in pretty good nick cleanliness-wise, although we are slacking on the photos. I think I’ll put a few on the dresser (there is no spare wall for us to hang some on), and hope that we all stay fit and healthy.

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So what do you think of these tips? 

Have you ever looked into making your home Feng Shui?

 

Thank you to Furniture Choice for partnering with The Spirited Puddle Jumper.

BritMums

My Home Style – Easter Decor Special

Huzzah, let’s do this Monday! It’s that time of the fortnight again where Emma and myself sift through all the fabulous pictures on Instagram and blogs and choose our favourites, all tagged with #MyHomeStyle (My Home Style). This is always one of my favourite posts to write, and enjoy having a nose in everyone’s homes/seeing what’s floating your interior boat. As usual, there are always so many ace ones to choose from! 

This fortnight the pics I’ve chosen have a nod to Easter. I am actually away over the Easter weekend on my hen do (eek!), so I fear my home will not be given as much attention of the Easter kind as it usually would do. However, in lieu of any major Easter decor plans, I am going to get my fix through these lovely homes! 

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Kicking off the first of the Easter trees, I love this fab sideboard display by Karen (@makingmemoriesinthechaos). The tree is really strking, with the eggs complimenting the vase, plus I LOVE the little rabbit candles to the right of it.

 

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#MyHomeStyle favourite, Chloe (@chloegraceb), has created a great Springtime mantelpiece display with bright pink tulips and a bit of ‘bunny-with-edge’ on the side! A great look for those not into having a ‘twee’ Easter theme.

 

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This rustic hare door hanger cushion of Emily’s (@brickdustandglitter) is a lovely nod to spring.

 

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Now, I’m sorry, but I couldn’t not include my co-host Emma’s (@littlewoodlife) beautiful Gisella Graham Easter egg door wreath- simply perfection! I actually saw this at a garden centre I visited last week and was eyeing it up, but we don’t have anywhere suitable to hang it until we have our new front door fitted later this year. Next Easter, it will be mine!

 

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I already store pasta, stock cubes, rice and the like in big kilner jars, but Emily’s (@brickdustandglitter) idea of displaying Easter sweets and treats in them is a great one- they look so colourful and cheery, although I don’t know how long the contents would last in our household!

 

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Becky’s (@beckyshome) Easter tree is a definite statement on her dining table- so, so beautiful, and the sort I’ll be hankering after when I pull my finger out and invest in some Easter decorations that can be brought out year after year.

 

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I’m including more daffodils this fortnight, because, well I can, and it won’t be long before my favourite flower season is over! I just love how the bright yellow of the daffs in Nanda’s picture (@nandawiaderna) works so well with the soft purple of the cushions behind them. Two of my favourite colours in one shot is always going to be a winner for me!

 

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 Emily (@brickdustandglitter) has achieved a hatrick of photos this week, topping off the post with a snap of her beautiful Easter tree display, which is so classy and tasteful, yet striking at the same time. Love how she’s placed the Lindt bunnies and cross too. 

Top of the class for Em this week! 

Since this fortnight is Easter-themed, and there were oodles of other non-Easter pics tagged too, I am going to run an extra ‘My Home Style’ post next week. There were too many beautiful photos not to show the world!

Are you decorating your home for Easter?

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 BritMums

Pancake Saturdays

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When I had children I always knew I wanted to create a few traditions for them, lovely little rituals they might want to recreate with their own family once they’d grown and flown, and things they’d remember fondly even as adults.

Step forward, Pancake Saturdays!

This ‘treat’ breakfast has crept more and more into our weekends, and whilst so simple, is something we really look forward to. 

Freddie and Sasha are now old enough to sit at our breakfast bar on the big stools (a treat in itself when you’re 4 and 2), and they sit and chat to us whilst helping whip up some batter, and squeal in delight as Adam and I attempt a bit of (dodgy) flipping! Whilst I’m definitely a traditional lemon and sugar kinda girl, the children are Nutella all the way, which makes this an extra special breakfast as it’s something they’re only allowed every now and then. 

With them sitting closer whilst we cook, we find we all chat more, they are in good spirits and it really sets us up for the weekend and puts a smile on our face. 

Do you have any special weekend, or family rituals? 

 

Linking up with Katie and ‘The Ordinary Moments’

Painting and Refinishing Your Radiator- Top Tips for a Flawless Finish

You all know that I love nothing more than a good home renovation project that makes a house more into a home by giving it a warm, cosy feel. Here I’m going to talk about something that can be found in the majority of homes and is surprisingly a big style-crush of mine, ever since we bought a slimline, column one for our kitchen. Something that when they look neglected, can totally spoil an otherwise beautifully finished room. What am I talking about? Radiators of course! Weirdly they’re something I really notice when I go into a house, and I have my eye on some beautiful ones for our hallway as I feel the one we have now just doesn’t do it justice.

 In addition to savings on your heating bills and being more environmentally friendly, cast iron radiators offer endless styling and customisation options. If you have just bought vintage style radiators or already have some installed in your home but they’re looking a little worse for wear, a refinishing or re-painting project can be a great opportunity to update or change the look of your home. But what is the best way to get a beautiful, flawless finish that will complement your rooms? Take a look at some of my important tips to remember when attempting to bring your cast iron radiators back to their former glory

 Surface Preparation

 The design and beauty of cast iron radiators can turn into their worst aspect when it comes to cleaning them, so having the correct tools is essential to getting completely clean and smooth surfaces. If your radiators are rusted or have peeling paint, then it will need to be removed before refinishing begins. A good set of vent brushes, abrasive paper and hard bristled copper brushes will be adequate for smoothing off any imperfections while a damp cloth with household cleaner is sufficient for getting rid of dust, dirt, and grease.

 Avoid Using Powder Coat!

 Whether you are repainting your cast iron radiator, or are outsourcing the work to a contractor, make sure that no powder coat is used during the refinishing project. Powder coating achieves a beautiful looking finish but the heat required to bake the paint means your radiators face the risk of cracking or having their structural integrity compromised.

 Choosing the Right Paint

 The answer to the tip above is that there is no need to stretch yourself when it comes to buying paint to use on your cast iron radiator.  Most cellulose or acrylic based paints are suitable for achieving great looking finishes, the only requirement being that your chosen paint has to have the ability to withstand high levels of heat and is not water based as these tend to result in rust patches.

 Swap the Brush for a Spray can

For the best looking results, it’s best to paint your cast iron radiators using spray-paint. While cast iron’s texture makes it quite easy to achieve a flawless finish, using a brush to paint your radiator will make it quite hard to achieve a smooth and consistent finish. For this purpose, using spray paint will make it easier for you to reach in and around all the columns and those hard to reach areas.

 

Enhancing your home and filling you with the warmth it provides as well as pride in your achievement, a beautifully finished cast iron radiator can prove to be the centrepiece of any room and the envy of your visitors. Remember to plan ahead for things such as good weather for optimum drying conditions, as well as extra help if you are going to be moving the radiators as they can be quite heavy.

So, do you think it’s time to give your radiators a makeover?!

 

Thanks to Castrads for partnering The Spirited Puddle Jumper

10 Ways To Gain Confidence Blogging

The very first ‘Spirited Puddle Jumper’ blog design!

 

It’s been just over a year since I started this little blog of mine, probably about a year now since I started blogging regularly. It’s only been the last couple of months that I’ve finally felt comfortable in my ‘blogging skin’ so to speak, as I’ve realised that it’s taken me longer than I thought to find my feet- whether it’s working out what I want from my blog, networking with other bloggers, and generally finding a writing/photo taking style of my own.

I’ve been thinking about the subject of confidence when blogging a lot lately, especially having talked to other newish bloggers, who despite being fabulous at what they do are still riddled with self-doubt on occasion (myself included). Whilst some may not think I’m particularly qualified to talk about this subject, I thought I would share (in a ‘share the wealth’ sort of way!) the ways I feel I’ve become a more confident blogger over the last few months. 

I would love to hear any tips you have too!

1. Blog about what YOU want to blog about, not what you think you SHOULD blog about. I’ve spent most of the last year flitting from blogging topic to blogging topic, not really sure where I fitted in. I started off this blog doing children’s crafts, then blogged about my family, food, interiors, photography, plus other random off-topic stuff, without really knowing what it was I should to be writing about. I’m not solely a ‘Mummy’ blogger, nor am I a great enough photographer to warrant a photography blog, or a total ‘foodie’, so what was I? Well it turns out I like writing a little bit of everything, focusing more on the home and interiors as the months have gone by, as well as going full circle and enjoying writing my craft posts again. And you know what? Being myself has started to pay off, including landing some blog work for a big furniture company whose brief was aimed at bloggers who write about both interiors AND crafts! So it might take you time to find your feet, but the moral of the story is to just write about what YOU want to, you’ll get like-minded readers, and good things will come your way.

2. Remember that other bloggers are only human. It can be intimidating when you first start blogging and come across other, more successful and established bloggers. BUT you should remember that these bloggers were just like you a few years ago and nice ones won’t think you’re a weirdo for approaching them on social media/their blog to say hi. Just because someone has been blogging a long time/ appears to know everyone, it does not make them better than you! I’m not doing down established bloggers (in fact, most ‘big’ bloggers are secure in themselves and are happy to offer help and advice), but just to remind you that YOU are good enough too! Which brings me to…

3. Treat everyone the same (initially at least!). I’ve tried to have a golden rule that unless I’ve actually met someone a few times in the flesh, I can’t make any real judgement on them, and it gives me confidence if I’m feeling a bit ‘out of things’ on social media and the like, that unless they’ve met in real life, lots of people don’t really ‘know’ who they’re talking to. You might not necessarily like someone’s blog or posts, but they could be a cracking real-life pal, and vice-versa. It puts online ‘relationships’ into perspective, I think. I also try and comment on blogs I like regardless of whether they appear popular or not. I love it when I find new blogs to read, and try and support them too!

4. Practice makes perfect. Just like you wouldn’t get on a horse and expect to be gallop off into the sunset straight away, the same goes for blogging. My first blog was truly TERRIBLE in every sense of the word (ever heard of ‘Young, Hip and Homely’? Nah, me neither….), and it’s taken me until now to find my own style, a blog design that I like, improve my photography and gain any sort of readership. And of course I still want to improve all the time! Don’t get disheartened if your blog isn’t as you want it straight away, and you’ll find you’ll gain confidence as time goes on. If you’d have told me a year ago I’d have learnt about code, gone self-hosted and have brands approach me I would never have believed you! It’s a good feeling to keep on learning and progressing.

5. Ask for help. If you’re stuck on something blog-wise, or want some advice, just ask. Like I said in point 2, most experienced bloggers are lovely, more than happy to share their blogging wisdom with you if you’re polite and friendly!

6. Don’t lose heart over rankings. If I had a pound for every fabulous blogger who I’ve heard get disheartened over their ‘TOTS’ ranking, I would be on my way to being a rich lady! Sure, a higher ranking may get you noticed by potential readers and brands, but it is not the sole marker for great blogging. I look at my score generally, as opposed to my rank on TOTS, HIBS and Foodies 100, and try to not to read too much into it. For example, in February I hardly blogged due to family illness and lack of time, yet my March score has improved and I’ve gone up 30-odd places in my ranking, so I don’t really get how it works! (Maybe someone can enlighten me?!) It’s certainly not the be-all-and-end-all.

7. Work out what you want from blogging. Do you want to make like-minded friends? Hone your writing/photography/tech skills? Shoot up the rankings? Get a certain number of page views each month? Earn money? Having one or two specific goals can help focus you and give you confidence when you start achieving them. For me, it’s carry on earning money from mainly interiors-focused posts, so I’ve started thinking about how I might achieve this. I’d also like to improve my photos, as well as meet more of my favourite bloggers ‘in the flesh’.

8. Try not to compare yourself. Always the hardest one! I love devouring other blogs, but do it in the wrong frame of mind, and I find myself wishing I could be more like X when it comes to writing/ taking photos/ being deep/funny/an all-round blogging superstar. Deadly for your confidence levels! Remember you are YOU, it what makes the world go around, and if all our blogs were the same it would be boring!

9. Don’t be afraid to promote yourself! Whilst it can be a yawn-fest seeing a constant twitter-feed of self-promotion, at the same time don’t be afraid to shout it you think you’ve written something great! Add it to the Britmums ‘My best post of the week’, the TOTS 100 ‘Good Reads’ section, or simply tag someone in who you think might like a gander.

and lastly…

10. Remember that you’re never going to please everybody. Whilst I’m not a particularly controversial blogger, there have been a few times when I’ve doubted whether or not to click the ‘post’ button. Providing you’re not being malicious, you should probably just do it! Not everyone is always going to like what you read, but if you think you’ve got something interesting to say, funny to share, or a host of gorgeous photos, then the chances are someone else will too. Oh, and trolls? If you’ve been ‘trolled’, it might not be pleasant at the time, but you can then sit back, revel in your new-found blog ‘fame’ and know you’ve ‘made it’ ;-) 

 

Linking up with ‘Let’s Talk Mommy’ and ‘Share With Me’ and Super Busy Mum’s ‘Mad Mid Week Blog Hop’!

10 Minute Meal: Cow Dairy-Free Salmon and Broccoli Pasta

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 Since the children were diagnosed with an intolerance to cow dairy, this creamy, cow dairy-free creamy salmon and broccoli pasta dish has been one of our go-to meals for them, especially if time is a little on the short side.

It gives you extra parent points for containing both the salmon and the broccoli #winning and both Freddie and Sasha love it. I personally find soya cream a little unpalatble, but a decent amount of good quality Pecorino makes a cheesily flavoursome sauce so you would never know the difference. Follow the recipe card below, and enjoy!

10 Minute Meal: Cow Dairy-Free Salmon and Brocolli Pasta
A speedy supper for those who love pasta, but can't eat cow dairy.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 50g dried pasta of your choice
  2. 1 tin of skinless and boneless salmon
  3. 4 large florets of broccoli
  4. 1 carton soya cream
  5. half an onion
  6. 3 large handfuls of Pecorino cheese (or to taste)
Instructions
  1. Boil the kettle, whilst preparing the broccoli and slicing the onion finely.
  2. Put the pasta in a saucepan to cook for 10 minutes, whilst simultaneously steaming the broccoli florets.
  3. Whilst these are cooking, heat a dash of olive oil in a non-stick saucepan, and cook the onion for 3 minutes, stirring so the onion doesn't burn.
  4. Add the cream to the onion until simmering.
  5. Add the cheese and stir well.
  6. Add the tinned salmon to the cheese sauce.
  7. Take the sauce off the heat, before draining the pasta and broccoli.
  8. Add the broccoli and cheese sauce to the pasta, mix well together and serve immediately.
The Spirited Puddle Jumper http://www.spiritedpuddlejumper.com/

 Linking up with Vicki and ‘Tasty Tuesdays’!

House Renovation News- Loft Conversion Go-Ahead!

You may or may not remember a while ago I blogged about our dream of carrying out a loft conversion within our current home? Well, fast forward several months and I can confirm that the dream is about to become a reality come September, as we’ve been given the go-ahead! We have signed the forms, put the deposit down and will prepare to create our new grown-up space. Our current room is still a decent size (this will become Sasha’s room), but I think because we always knew that this might be something we’d carry out, it’s the one room in our house that we haven’t really done anything with. I can’t wait to get my hands on it and turn it in to a (slightly more) grown up girl’s haven! 

In the meantime, my mind has been bubbling with ideas for our new bedroom in the loft. The room will be bigger than our current one, and will have an en-suite bathroom and built-in wardrobes. We could have opted for a walk-in wardrobe, and whilst this sounds good, we felt that this would cut the room in half, as well as diminishing the natural light available to us. 

Here’s a bit of an ideas mind dump for our new bedroom and bathroom so far…

28 Simple And Elegant Mid-Century Modern Beds | DigsDigs

^^^I adore this style of cast iron bed, and I think this is the sort of thing we’ll be after for our new bedroom. I’m still on the hunt for a reasonably-priced high street one though- I will report back if I do!

Built in wardrobe and chest of drawers in an attic room to make the best use of the space.

^^^These are how I imagine our wardrobes to look like, and I like the idea of maximising storage space by going into the eaves too. We will still need somewhere to keep the Christmas tree!

Simple and awesome attic bedroom. Love those skylight windows and inset potlights.

^^^Windows-wise, we’ve opted for a big dormer extension, plus 2 large VELUX windows (like the above), in order to let in as much natural light as possible, something that’s very important to us. What’s also important to us, is the ability to be able to sleep in, and not be woken by that glorious natural light! We would likely go for some decent black out blinds, such as these ones by VELUX. 

Now, as far as the new bathroom goes, I’m itching to go a bit left-field and do something totally different to our current one.

Rory Dobner Tiles

^^^I saw these ace, gothic, Rory Dobner alphabet tiles in Liberty at Christmas and fell in love (although my Mum was not quite so impressed). I imagine them dotted around our proposed walk-in shower, and possibly around the rest of the bathroom.

1970's Bathroom suites in hideous colours!

^^^Now, I’m prepared for someone to come along and give me a bit of a slap, as I am wondering if I could get a traditional avocado bathroom suite to work in a modern bathroom, with fresh tiles (like the above) and contemporary taps and radiator fittings?! I keep seeing whole suites that have been ripped out and are selling near me for 99p on Ebay, and I keep being drawn to them like a moth to a flame. I think it could work! Whether Adam will let me or not is another thing. Please tell me yay or nay on this one! 

You can follow my ‘New Loft Space’ board on Pintrest too, among others:

 So, what do you think? Would love your opinions! 

A big thanks to ‘Velux’ for partnering The Spirited Puddle Jumper 

Freddie at 4 Years 1 Month

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Our fabulous little chap turned 4 at the beginning of February, and, as usual, time seems to fly since the last time I did a ‘Freddie at X’ post! What I love about these posts is the noticable changes in my children since the last one- it really is a lovely little diary to keep. I hope to print these off for them when they’re older, and make them into a little book.

F is coming on in leaps and bounds in so many aspects of his little life, and I think the difference that a few months can make is really noticeable at this age. Since last time, he can now get himself completely dressed alone (hurrah, at last!), albeit with some nagging encouragement, can write his name confidently, and just has an air now of a child about to start school- all confidence, questions and boundary testing. 

Here is our Freddie at 4 years, 1 month:

  • As I mentioned above, he can now fully dress himself without help, although we will still often have a panicked “I can’t DO IT!” when it comes to putting socks on, before of course putting them on just fine. 
  • Is testing boundaries all the time. The other day Sasha and he were fighting, and I gave them a warning that if they hit each other again, they wouldn’t have a bedtime story. They continued to give each other a whack, so I followed through, explained there would be no story and why. Freddie was upset at the time, but the next day was constantly doing naughty things, and when told off would ask “Does that mean I don’t get a story?”. Really pushing to see what would happen that day. I know it’s all normal, but frustrating at the same time!
  • Is asking more and more questions- you can really see the little cogs turning in that brain of his. He asked “what does ‘apologise’ mean?” earlier in the week, which was interesting as I thought he might know what it meant as I’m sure we’ve used it in conversation i.e “Apologise to your sister,please!”. A lesson to us to not assume that they know every word that we use without explanation! It’s obviously been going over his head for months and we had no idea.
  • Is so beautifully protective over his little sister at preschool. I told this story here the other week, and it makes me well up thinking about it. They fight like anything at home, but my god do they love each other too!
  • Is SO fast at running, and can kick a football really hard and high already (definitely takes after Daddy here). I think Adam will be starting him at mini soccer in September, and we can’t wait to see how he takes to it!
  • Definitely needs daily ‘exercising’ still! If we’ve had a day when we’ve had to stay in due to bad weather/illness, then he will be climbing the walls and he runs about and gets quite fidgety. They say small boys are like puppies… I don’t like to stereotype, but…!
  • Enjoys doing some jobs around the house, especially taking out the recycling. His little chest puffed up the other day with pride when he helped moved some quite big boxes out of the way #aaaw
  • Definitely had an opinion of who he likes and isn’t so keen on at preschool, and why, and is developing a good moral compass “That little boy shouldn’t run on the flower beds Mummy, it’s naughty, the plants won’t grow…” Now let’s hope this one carries on! <eyes lovely new spring flowers in the garden>

and finally…

  • Still likes watching Ben and Holly and Thomas the Tank Engine, although the Peppa love is starting to wane a bit (woo!)

 

Teaming up with Katie and ‘The Ordinary Moments’