30 September 2013

Musing on a Monday {Grandparent tax}

For the last four days we had a little glimpse into life with Grandparents on the doorstep. A little tease at the benefits, the most obvious being childcare - we saved £44 in just two days with their presence on the school run thus avoiding breakfast and after school clubs. We, that's me and the husband, actually managed a night out at the pub together. Which was lovely. Despite the 24 hours I needed the next day to recuperate but hey, the Grandparents were here! Unfortunately, this is a luxury for us and we see little of the Grandparents due to a combination of distance - Norfolk is pushing it for childcare and France is just taking the p***. They are clearly not local so we don't get the help and support that often. Sometimes this gets me down. 

But, I've been thinking and I may have an answer. Well, a financial one. I have a suggestion for our trusted politicians. I haven't put much thought into the logistics and fairness of it but I think that's how politics works.

Here it is....


And here's how it works...

If you have no Grandparents in a 30 mile radius of your home then you are entitled to a tax break to compensate your childcare outgoings as a result of the Grandparents not being able to help out. To fund this all you lucky souls with Grandparents on the doorstep get taxed more!

There you go.
That's fair isn't it?!
I'm sure there are some flaws and it clearly doesn't make up for the emotional crap of not having family nearby but it could soften the blow.
Grandparent tax? {Melksham Mum}

What do you think? Could this work?!

x x x
Image found here


23 September 2013

Musing on a Monday {worry}

I'm a worrier.
I worry too much.
I worry so much that it often consumes every square millimetre of my head until I explode. Usually when the wrong person is nearby.

I'm still stood at that fork in the road daring to turn right.
I worry what will happen if I do go right.
I worry what will happen if I carry on to the left.

I'm often told to stop worrying.
But somebody has to, don't they?
If I don't worry then things won't get sorted - that's my twisted logic.
I can't let things drop.
I think I need to worry. It's become an obsession.

It's not healthy is it?

I need to take this on board...

And believe this...

Every little thing is gonna be alright

 x x x
Images are from my Inspiring/Words Pinterest board from where original links can be found.


16 September 2013

Musing on a Monday {same old sh*t or crazy new sh*t?}

I've been thinking. In fact I've been thinking a lot lately. When stuff happens I tend to think. Sometimes I overthink. Which just causes my head to explode. So I try to keep a hold of things. However, having time at home now does free me up. To think.

Life throws obstacles at us and we have to choose how to overcome them: take the easy route or take the challenge? Go with the norm or try something new? Be led or be the leader?
Basically this...
Same old shit Crazy new shit
The husband made a huge decision with his career which has meant a lot of risks have been taken. I always thought we were safe people, ones not to take risks and to take the easy option. Ultimately people dealing with the same old sh*t. However we braved it and now we have new sh*t to deal with. It all boils down to one thing: One ridiculously long commute = a hell of a lot of impacts and stress. Too much to go into here but it is leading us to make another big decision. Another choice to be made in which path to go down.
Are we brave enough? Do we stick with what's safe? I don't know. For now I just read words of wisdom I have found to try and make me feel better...
Stop being afraid...and soon you'll see....
Tomorrow we're going to go exploring. Investigating. Number crunching. We might just go round in circles. We might find a solution.
Watch this space.
x x x
Images are from my Inspiring/Words Pinterest board from where original links can be found.


9 September 2013

Musing on a Monday {just me}

Today has been the first Monday in a long time that I have looked forward to. I cannot remember the last time I had a Monday quite like it. It's been a long while coming, what with having children and stuff, but now the wait is over. I now have Mondays - and Tuesdays - to myself. No work. No children. Just me and the house.

Today that meant doing the school run - which I haven't done for over a year, shredding - I'm back on that and loving it, and being able to do my new fitness interest, yoga, in peace. FYI: Yoga is not beneficial when you have a seven year old hollering from her bed at night or chewing a carrot in your year and trying to be helpful with 'encouraging' words as you bend your body in ways that it hasn't been in since doing gymnastics at Junior School.

This, by the way, is my current personal goal...
Crow Pose
I would really love to do an Introduction to Yoga course but I'm watching the pennies at the moment so instead am having a go at Erin Motz' 30 Day Yoga Challenge on good old YouTube. She is so lovely and calming and I feel all gooey at the end of each session, which has to be a good thing right? Anyway, I digress...
Mondays...Mondays are so different now, in a good way. I'm really hoping that working part time across three days, rather than five, will sort out the whole work/life balance thing that we are all desperately trying to find. I want to use my two days to do the things I want to do - yes, there will be the household chores and projects that need doing but it will be in my time rather than taking it out of weekend time. I want to be more available on a weekend now so I plan to shut work completely away and focus on the kiddies and family life knowing that I have my time at the beginning of each week. Financially, I should really be working full time but in reality that would break me - that may sound weak but I don't think I could do my job full time and be happy. I take my hat off to those that do.
So now I'm pondering, musing if you like, on making some plans. The road trip across America may have to be put on hold. But, the house needs sprucing up so I can crack open some cans of paint over the coming weeks, this blog is going to go through some changes soon and I will continue to give myself some me time. It's been seven years so I think I deserve some!
Are you finding time for yourself? Have you found the elusive work/life balance? Does it exist?!
I'd love to hear your thoughts.
x x x


3 September 2013

Summer Bucket List 2013 {update}

So, the summer holidays are over and I thought I would see how much of our Summer Bucket List we actually achieved. We gathered our ideas back in June with the idea being if it was on the list it would get done! Well, did we do it?!
Here's some evidence...
Go to Camp Bestival:

Fairy hugging at Camp Bestival 2013
Camp at Greenacres:
Space to play at Greenacres

Go stargazing:

Star gazing

Go to a beach:

Wells next the sea

Go to Norfolk:

Blickling Hall, Norfolk National Trust

Fly a kite:

Norfolk Beach Life - Melksham Mum

Watch the sunset:

The Big Feastival sunset

Visit a castle:

Lulworth Castle

Go on a nature walk:

Yeo Valley - timeline

Build a garden fort:

Garden fort

Visit a museum {The MShed, Bristol}:

The MShed Bristol

Here are the facts!...

Summer Bucket List 2013 {Update}

22 smileys vs 13 sad faces. Not too bad but not great.
The excuses?!:
Of the sad faces some were financial as I left these to the end of the summer and my holiday budget was kind of gone. Also have you seen zoo prices? They are high!
The camp fire was bad planning on my part - forgetting to book a fire pit at Greenacres.
Camping in the garden didn't happen due to this and being too shook up to camp out there.
The rest? Well, we have had such a jam packed summer I'm not feeling too bad about them and some can easily be passed over to an Autumn Bucket List!
How was your summer? Do everything as planned?!

Update: I've just looked back at our achievements and realised they are pretty much all outdoors. So, because of that I'm linking this up to the awesome Country Kids. Go check it out!

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall
x x x

2 September 2013

The Big Feastival 2013 {Review}

The Big Feastival 2013 {Review}

On Saturday we travelled up to the Cotswolds to check out Jamie Oliver's and Alex James' Big Feastival for the day. The drive up took us through the rather idyllic looking town of Burford and into the countryside where Alex James' farm awaited us. The drive onsite was a doddle with no queues, by the time we had arrived, just past 11a.m. A short walk from the car park took us past the camping area - of which I was little bit envious as we were just going for the day - which looked spacious and close to both the parking and the action. A big tick.

The festival site itself was nicely laid out with all the expected touches and the kiddies were soon raring to go and check it all out.

          The Big Feastival 2013The Big Feastival 2013
The Big Feastival 2013
The size was ideal for a day visit, and easy to navigate with children, and as with all good festivals there was an area devoted to them - The Little Dudes Den. A favourite with my two was Adam Henson's Cotswold Park Farm where the children were able to handle chicks and rabbits, get up close with Kune Kune pigs and meet sheep, donkeys, chickens and ducks.
© 76 sunflowers

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