It’s late afternoon on Christmas eve and the magic is building. Children run around the house, struggling to contain their excitement. Suddenly, one of them notices something. A wooden box, tucked under the Christmas tree among beautifully decorated gifts. Prolonging the magic with a Christmas eve box I don’t know about you, but I’ve always found Christmas to be a little bit of an anticlimax. The run-up to it is so exciting. Christmas days out, visits to friends and family and presents gathering under the tree. And then the day itself arrives and there’s a frenzy of wrapping paper, too…

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Isn’t it amazing how quickly new routines form? Having spent the last couple of weeks of Summer longing for some extra time to get work done, it’s finally here. And I must admit, I’m rather enjoying it. Quality not quantity I thought I’d miss the girls when they went back to school and pre-school, and I really do. But the problem with school holidays is that life does go on regardless. I found myself trying to cram my work into a couple of very stressful hours a day. And as a result, I’d be trying to pick up little bits…

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What’s mindfulness? Asked my energetic five year old, whilst swinging from the door, chewing a pen and holding her sister in a headlock. “It’s about living in the moment and doing one thing at a time.” I replied, quietly drinking in the irony of the situation. Doing too much is symptomatic of the times we live in. We push ourselves to have it all, hurry our children to be on time and struggle to say no. As one of the worst culprits of taking on more than I can cope with, I’m sad to say I’ve passed on my affliction…

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Whilst making our┬áBostik blogger crafts, I’ve learnt something unexpected about us all. Much as we enjoy crafting, we’d rather make something useful. The most successful thing we’ve made was our back to school organiser. We’ve been using this everyday, so I decided we’d make something else that would be useful. Introducing the monster letter rack. I don’t know about you, but letters are a nightmare for us. We have loads that we need to keep, but nowhere to put them. So, they just ended up piled in a cluttered corner of the kitchen. So when I saw the monster theme…

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If there’s two things I love it’s festivals and gin. Not necessarily in that order. So, I felt like a child in a sweetshop when I walked into the Birmingham Gin Festival. The Birmingham Gin Festival – how it works The Gin Festival was held at the Custard Factory in Birmingham. On arrival, we were given a glass each and a pouch to put it in. The glasses also held a little gin explorer book. This tells you about the botanicals in each gin, as well as what mixer and garnish to have with it. This book has become a…

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I remember my first driving lesson. A quick rundown on how to use the clutch, accelerator and brake and we were off. Trundling down a fast country road at about 5 miles an hour in first gear. Utterly unaware of the traffic around me because I was concentrating on clinging to the steering wheel for dear life. Starting early for safer driving Young Driver teach 10 to 17 year olds to drive in a full size car. The logic is that it’s not age, but experience that causes one in five new drivers to have an accident within six months…

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When I look back at my childhood, most of my memories involve swimming. That was my sport. Training sessions took place once or twice a day everyday. Before school, after school and at the weekends. Hours and hours of swimming up and down the pool. Racing, representing the club or the county. Up and down, up and down. And the number of swimming costumes I used to get through doesn’t even bear thinking about. When history repeats itself A few weeks ago, I filled in a form on my old swimming club’s website. They take children from five years old…

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