Displaying Christmas cards always ends up being a bit stressful. They start off being stood along the top of the piano. Then, they creep onto other work surfaces. And finally, we end up putting some string or tinsel along the wall to hang them up. So this year, I’m preempting it. It’s still October, and I’ve already made a Christmas card holder. Here’s how. What you need A fabric bag Coloured card Patterned card Buttons or sequins Ribbon Cotton wool or white fabric Bostik foam pads Embroidery thread Mini pegs Scissors Needle Black pen Method 1. Start by making the…

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The girls cuddled up on the sofa under a blanket clutching their bags of popcorn. My concerns about spending the evening cleaning it up off the floor slowly dissipated. Their trusty dog lay at their feet, ready to hoover up any stray scraps before they became part of the carpet. And I realised we should have done this months ago. A late night, chilling together as a family. Watching crap on television and taking time to relax. Getting it wrong It’s rare for us to do nothing. During term time, we’re busy running from one activity to the next. Ballet,…

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We walked into the communal room and the children made a beeline for a playroom and some craft tables. Volunteers from a local company were running a Halloween event for residents to make masks and decorations. One of many opportunities for children to retain some form of normality during their family’s darkest hour. What is Ronald McDonald House? Every parent knows that sinking feeling you get when your child is ill. You see their suffering, but there’s nothing you can do to help them. And so you wait, helpless, for them to get better. That feeling must be multiplied hundreds…

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The house was quiet first thing in the morning. The dog danced around on the wooden floor but there was a certain emptiness that was unusual for our chaotic home. For the first time ever, the children weren’t there. The joy of chaos That night, the girls had stayed with their granddad. I went about my day as normal. Working, walking the dogs and preparing for the afternoon. And before I knew it, they were back. We sprang into action. Running around the house getting ready. Shoes on, coat on and out of the door. Autumn makes me feel like…

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As we fought our way through crowds of people and deflected requests for sweets, it dawned on me. Half term wasn’t going to be the relaxing affair we’d been waiting for. It was going to be chaos, just like every other week. Days out I do long for lazy days at home. Playing games, snuggling on the sofa and watching films. But school holidays are so short and I can’t help but make the most of them. So, as usual we’re filling our days. Half term got off to a great start with lunch in Birmingham followed by the fabulous┬áDisney…

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