Sunday, 31 December 2017

51/52 The GraceFaith year long art project

Choosing a favourite piece of art, each week of the year

Going crackers! Quite literally as I've come to the end of 2017 and realised my week for this post is dated as the 51st. Scanning back I appear to have featured weeks 27 and 28 twice. Or was that 37 and 38? Don't suppose it matters now - out with the old and in with the new. Except, I'm not planning on keeping a continuous record of the children's art each week over 2018. At nine and six, they don't produce as much as they once did, preferring to spend time on other stuff they enjoy. Alas, the children are growing up. I will of course endeavour to record any other special creations here on this blog - mainly for them to look back on one day, much further down the line. In the meantime, Happy New Year!

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Sunday, 10 December 2017

48/52 The GraceFaith year long art project

Choosing a favourite piece of art, each week of the year...

And she wrote inside her Christmas card design...
... 'Harry Christmas!' What else?

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

The real Father Christmas? Lapland UK leaves you all in no doubt

LaplandUK will leave you all in no doubt.

It’s that time of year again - synonymous with visits to (or from) Father Christmas. He just managed a turn at our Infant School Christmas fair would you believe? A busy man, right now he can be found in department stores up and down the country, garden centre grottos here and there, and sometimes even riding through dusky town streets on his sleigh. Wherever it is that children see him though, there’s often a question that follows, “But he’s not the real one, is he?”

There is one place however where that question is never asked. Never even thought of. And right now, some very lucky families will be excitedly packing bags, boarding flights and heading on the long journey north to Roviemi, Finnish Lapland, to visit Father Christmas at his official home on the Arctic Circle; the snowy white wonderland that it is.

We went two years ago, with our two daughters, then aged four and seven, and as you’d imagine, it was a fairytale adventure from start to end. For Lapland cannot fail. Which to be honest, was part of the reason why I was totally apprehensive about visiting another Lapland with them recently - not quite as far north this one, indeed it was just up the motorway. But really, how on earth was LaplandUK ever possibly going to compare?

Friday, 17 November 2017

Musings of a 9YO

Fia: Esme, what will Father Christmas put inside our stockings?

Esme: Usually whatever you've asked for, plus loads of stuff from Tiger.

Note to self: Think I may need to redress the balance here.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

FRAMED - Blossoming in the garden of divinity

Read this today, and it resonated...
No matter how you are meant to blossom in the garden of divinity, may you love yourself more, not less, every step of the way. 
Matt Kahn, The Divine Nature 

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Bullied at five - a poem for #Antibullyingweek

Time to revisit this poem, which no matter how many times I read it, brings a tear to my eye.

Esme is now nine years of age, and the events that led to my writing this poem about her situation happened four years ago, when, as a summer baby, she'd just turned five and moved into year one.

Back then, she clearly could not comprehend what was happening to her and taking a hold. Sadly, communication often goes out the window in this scenario. You see, it doesn't make any sense that others are unkind, when they have only ever known the opposite.

Fortunately for both of us, she has since learnt to be a fabulous communicator. I cannot tell you how different things are for her. She is a confident happy child. I could never have seen how she would progress at the time I wrote this.

If you have a child that is suddenly not themselves, talk to them, look out for any tell-tale signs... remembering that little ones can be also be affected by bullying.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Despicable Me 3 - a review by Esme

When Mum said she had this on DVD, both me and Fia were pleased. We went to see it at the cinema when it came out and loved it, so it was good to get to see it again! And it's as funny as I remember.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

44/52 The GraceFaith year long art project

Choosing a favourite piece of art, each week of the year...

You can't go wrong with some good old fashioned colouring, especially when there is an important message attached. #lestweforget

Monday, 6 November 2017

The Piano Lesson

The piano lesson began when my dear aunt mentioned I should have her piano...

You can have my piano. It is worth more than yours and is much nicer.

Bless her, she wasn't to know!

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

The importance of praising our children - A feature


Do we instinctively praise our children? All the time? The honest answer is probably not. But we really ought to, and here’s why: The importance of praise is undeniable. Self-confidence, self-esteem, independence, and a general positive outlook on life is forged through praising children. Not to mention, they thrive on it.

But do we praise them in the right manner? That may sound odd but if we don’t actually communicate the reason why we’re praising the child, can it mean anything to them? It’s so easy only to say “well done” and not explain why you are saying “well done.”

Dr. Rachel Johnson, a Clinical Psychologist, whose area of expertise includes positive parenting support, says of praise, “Praise makes it easier for our children to learn and develop. But it is important to be clear on what you are praising. Empty praise is not only meaningless, but can affect a child’s performance and confidence in the long run.

Monday, 23 October 2017

Diary of a Wimpy Kid - The Long Haul, A review by Esme

And so, this afternoon has been wet and rainy. The first day of our holiday. Never mind, Mum arranged for us to watch Diary of a Wimpy Kid, The Long Haul. Here's what I thought...

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Saturday, 21 October 2017


HALLOWEEN is coming, so let’s hope it’s a dry half term as there’s nothing worse than soggy trick or treaters! Although we’ve plenty of ideas for keeping the troops occupied indoors - here’s our top ten list of things to do over the holiday week…

Thursday, 12 October 2017

DRY AT NIGHT - hypnotically speaking

DRY AT NIGHT - is your child wetting the bed? What's normal anyway?

Clincial hypnotherapist, Lynda Hudson is inundated with requests for help by exhausted parents whose children have yet to become dry at night. She talked to LIFE AS IT IS about her work

As a parent you may well be aware that children over the age of six-years-old commonly wet the bed at night. But did you know that their bodies have to produce an anti-diuretic hormone (ADH) before the bladder is able to hold nocturnal urine? For some children, this happens as late as age 12.

Sunday, 8 October 2017

39/52 The GraceFaith year long art project

Choosing a favourite piece of art, each week of the year

Looking at science this week, here is a play dough Rudolph reindeer Esme designed, complete with lit up nose thanks to it's wired circuit. Cool huh?!

Monday, 11 September 2017



If your child is leaving to go to school, you may be feeling a little bereft. But remember the transition will be challenging for them too, even if they don’t let on that they’re nervous. After all, they’re the one taking the leap.

The good news? The first day at school is a transition that you as a parent can help your child with. Plus, it’ll make you feel better to know that they can manage on their own. Read on…

Sunday, 3 September 2017

34/52 The GraceFaith year long art project

Choosing a favourite piece of art, each week of the year

Esme, who is Harry Potter mad, has had her ninth birthday this week. Check out these thank you notes that she's designed. Not bad kid!

Tuesday, 22 August 2017


There’s no doubt the Internet has changed the way children engage with information, many now even known to multi screen – using more than one device at a time - but when they’re reported to be watching on average over six hours of screen time daily, isn’t it vital to remind them and us of what life was like before the digital era, and of the stuff that childhood used to be made of?

Sunday, 6 August 2017

30/52 The GraceFaith year long art project

Choosing a favourite piece of art, each week of the year...

In France this week the girls made shrinkies with my friend's kids.

This delicate piece is my favourite:

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Today I found a note...

...and I simply must write it up for fear of losing it - something Esme said when she was six. She had not long been at Juniors, perhaps she was just seven? School had clearly had an assembly covering the charity Childline about feeling safe/being bullied. And yes, the number she quoted was correct; I remember looking it up afterwards to check!
Esme fights with Fia.
Esme stomps upstairs.
Finds Mummy working.
Tells Mummy that Fia is bullying her and has been bullying her every day this week.
Mummy says, let's make it better and have a story and a snuggle? 
Esme responds, Mummy, that’s not going to make it better. I'm going to phone Childline.  
Mummy baulks. What? 
Esme clarifies, If you've told someone you trust and they don’t help, and it doesn’t get any better, you should phone Childline. And, Mummy, I know the number. It is 0800 1111. 

Sunday, 9 July 2017

28/52 The GraceFaith year long art project

Choosing a favourite piece of art, each week of the year...

Esme's painting has become much cleaner this year, she loves the result of her latest pottery!

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Something to smile about - A review

Something to smile about... that's what the latest Colgate electric toothbrushes are. At least my elated 8 and 5 year old daughters think so. Honesty, the still very much mischievous 5 YO Fia has been going on and on about having an electric toothbrush for ages, and her face when she laid eyes on the bright Despicable Me themed battery brush was an absolute picture.
And then she heard it speak...

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Despicable Me 3 - A parental rite of passage

Sunday LIFE AS IT IS was invited to the preview of the new Despicable Me 3 movie at Leicester Square Odeon. It was of course completely brilliant and a great family day out. Parents, I'm pretty sure you'll be going... expect to laugh loads! #TakeYourMinions #InForATreat Here's me and the gang...

And here's Gru and Drew... not giving anything else away!

Friday, 23 June 2017

A World Like Nowhere Else - A poem

A World Like Nowhere Else

Spinning on its own Axis, where seas of silk lap graceful shores,
A world like nowhere else exists
Where quintessential currents run and elegance and power converge,
And tales of timeless greats are spun and showstoppers emerge
A world for all to celebrate; light years away from ordinary
A world which deftly radiates its realm; and bows to the extraordinary
Where earthly rigours found outside and lived outside are left outside
And wishes wished are realised through all the finer tastes this land will grant
To let its spell enchant; to walk its walk once through those golden gilded gates
To gaze at beauty styled and beauty stitched on graceful form adorned
To know that bay imperious Horse immortalised and cast in bronze is Yeats
That headlines here accomplished render sporting moments starred
This Kingdom... smiling Green Coats kindly guard; this universe beyond three centuries old
Such elements, such pieces of a jigsaw wrought to mould this multi-coloured globe
A blazing beacon to the most majestic sport of all where heroes rise and heroes fall,
And Royal Ascot's world stands tallest of the tall

Henry F Birtles

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Candy Crush Lip Balms - A review

Candy Crush Lip Balms
Flavours: Lemonade Lake, Chocolate Mountains, Bubblegum Bridge, Peppermint Palace
Available from: Primark
Age: Recommended for 6+
Price: £1.50 each

Sometimes the postman truly delivers. My children were absolutely delighted when they got home from holiday to find not one, not two, but four Candy Crush lip balms on our doorstop for them to try. Shame they never arrived in time to take away to Greece with us - they would have loved the 'grown-up-ness' of the soft and fruity long lasting glaze!