Summer holiday thanks…

Summer holiday thanks…

I haven’t blogged much this year, but one thing I did want to document was how fab the summer holidays were this year… in more ways than one. Continue reading

DanTDM – YouTuber


I can honestly say, I’ve just had one of the most stressful half hours of my life!

True story…

Would you believe that DanTDM is a YouTuber – yes, that’s his actual job, it’s what he does (who’d have thought) and for those with children and tweens who are into, dare I say the word, Minecraft, they will know this young guy well I’m sure.

Just to put you in the picture DanTDM (don’t ask me what the TDM stands for because I have absolutely no idea) has 590k followers over on Twitter and over 10 million subscribers on YouTube *gulps* – now that’s a lot!

Stampy is long forgotten and these days it DanTDM all the way… MasterB even styles his hair on Dan’s and wants to go blue in the summer hols!!

Anyway the point of this is Dan announced his first ever tour earlier in the week and it’s all MasterB has been talking about since.

Looking at the dates, the only one we could make due to holidays was his last date in Milton Keynes, about a two and a half hour journey for us from home.  But I thought ‘what the hell, it’s something he’s excited about and can be an end of school year well done treat‘.

Little did I know the pressure I would be putting myself under!!!

The site was due to go live at 10.00am this morning and I was sat ready with my credit card to get straight on there and purchase the best seats I could possibly buy.

10.00am – site not live!

10.01am – site still not live!!

10.02am – site still not live – stressing now!!!

10.03am – site live!  Go, go, gooooo!!!!

I went straight to the Milton Keynes date matinee performance – SOLD OUT!  OMG what was I going to tell B?  I knew he wouldn’t believe me when I told him I literally got on the site as soon as it went live.  He’d think I was like blaaah blaaah blaaah bimbling around.  Aaaaarrrggghhhhh!

Quick thinking, made me look at the evening performance (the very last performance – is that what you call it, I have no idea?  I mean who ever thought I’d be buying tickets to go and see/watch a YouTuber on stage fgs?  What’s he going to be doing?).  No evening performance tickets left or VIP tickets (where the kids get to meet their hero with apparently a whole host of other cool stuff) – meanwhile I tweeted DanTDM (@DiamondMinecraft) in my panic and he replied with ‘VIP tickets sold extremely quickly!!‘ – you’re telling me!!!

Dan suggested trying the venue’s website directly for tickets as he believed they still had some left, so I swiftly opened a new tab and navigated my way around to find the show on the right day at the right time and …… Yippeeee I managed to nab myself TWO TICKETS in the stalls.

Woohoooo I cannot tell you the relief I felt.  I would be able to tell MasterB what a wonderful mother I was with my dedication to the cause and had secured two, not too bad, seats for DanTDM’s first tour!!!

Phewie!  A cup of tea was called for – had it been later than 10.30am in the morning I might possibly have poured myself a glass of Blush!

So Milton Keynes look out for us in August when we hot foot it up for the DanTDM first UK tour!

I will of course let you know how the DanTDM show/performance/thingy goes… but in the meantime if you tried to get tickets but didn’t manage to, my commiserations – I feel your pain.

Carpe Diem x






Happy Birthday Barnaby

Happy Happy Birthday Barnaby!

Today is our darling boy’s 11th *big intake of breath* birthday.

Where did that time go?

He’s grown from this; a premature tiny babe

baby Barnaby

… to this; a strapping gorgeous 11 year old!

Barnaby Oct15

It’s so true when they say that time goes waaaaay tooooo fast and you have to make the most of each and every day – it’s so precious.

So today I am sending my love with special sparkles and the biggest hugs to my boy.  We are all off to London for a few days and I hope you have the bestest time ever.

Love forever

Mummy (soon to be known as mum I have no doubt) xxxxxxxxxxx

Carpe Diem x

Parenting – probably the hardest thing you’ll ever do!


When you send them off to school having had words… how rubbish does that make you feel?

Reeeeaaaaally rubbish.

That thing with a tween when you ask and ask and A S K them to go finish getting ready and brush their teeth as they need to get going to school.

Yep – that.

Oh it’s so frustrating and annoying.

I don’t remember being like that, but maybe I was (I’m sure if my mum is reading this she’ll let me know) but there really is no sense of urgency – even at this age.

When does that kick in?

The thing about it is, it leaves you feeling so horrid.

And I’m pretty sure he feels pretty rubbish too.

It’s that pushing it and pushing it until I finally flip and shout!  I hate shouting, but sometimes it happens when I can ask no more and a switch is switched inside me and I lose it.

Then I feel eugh… and he feels eugh… we both feel eugh.

So the question here is, should all electronic equipment be banned from school mornings?  MasterB seems to have crept into the whole sitting and watching stuff on the iPad in the mornings.  Meaning he then puts off and off the going back upstairs to get read to get out the door! (that’s a shout-y voice by the way)

It’s something I’m considering because every single morning is the same and it’s tedious, it’s tiring and it makes me feel rubbish.

I’d love to know if you have to set ‘rules‘ for your tween on school mornings?

I love MasterB with all my heart, but boy oh boy can he be frustrating at times.

The good news is I can text him as he walks to school to let him know I love him and to have a good day.  Phew.  That makes me feel an incy wincy bit better, but there surely must be a better way.

This parenting thing sure is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.

There, now I’ve got that off my chest, I shall continue with my day and await my gorgeous tween’s return from school … when we start it all over again.

Is it too early for Blush?

Carpe Diem x

What I’ve learned being a parent to a nearly 11 year old…

What Ive learned as a parent to a nearly 11 year old

Parenting is an ever-evolving learning cycle.

You think you’ve cracked it, but little did you know the next big thing is about to hit you right in the middle of the face!  Boom!!  And off you go again.  Into the unknown once again.

As our darling MasterB turns 11 towards the end of the month, I thought I’d share a few of the top things I’ve learned along the way:

  • There is nothing as important as Minecraft!
  • You are embarrassing  just because you are his/her mother – end of!
  • Homework is a battle – get over it.
  • You should know where he/she has left his/her phone, iPod, iPad, headphones and anything else electrical that is used on a daily basis.
  • On a similar note, you should know to ensure that all electrical devices are fully charged.  How could you possibly not know to charge them just when they are running out of juice and wanting to be used immediately?!
  • There is nothing as important as Minecraft!
  • The door will always be shut and you should cough and perhaps even knock before entering.
  • You should definitely learn that putting your clothes in the laundry basket is a totally ridiculous unreasonable request.
  • Music CANNOT be played at a reasonable level.
  • If your tween has friends over, do not under any circumstances attempt to make a joke – in fact it’s best to avoid all forms of communication and just let them be.  A difficult one I know, but trust me it’s for the best.
  • Your tween will definitely know how to download stuff from iTunes and the internet better than you.
  • Do not under any circumstances question whether teeth have been brushed for goodness sake!
  • Be prepared for the same conversation or should I say moan, each and every morning (or night) when attempting to get him/her in the shower.
  • He/she will tell it as it is – if you’re not looking your best, be prepared to be told, if he/she doesn’t like your hair, be prepared etc etc!
  • Kisses on the lips – few and far between.  Absolutely make the most of them when they do happen; they are precious.
  • There is nothing as important as Minecraft!
  • Your tween is not old enough not to throw a complete and utter wobbler!
  • Although nothing-else in your tween’s bedroom/playroom is played with, touched or even looked at, the mere suggestion that the lot could be got rid of is ridiculous!
  • You will not be called mummy in front of friends or when out and about.
  • Enjoyable family time is a rarity and as such one that should be embraced wholeheartedly when it does occur.
  • Even though your tween is nearing 11, you should still attempt where possible to let them win at board games.  The sulking really isn’t worth anything else trust me.
  • There is nothing as important as Minecraft!

… and finally

  • There is nothing in this world that compares to the love you have for your child (no matter what age) and when you get that rare and spontaneous cuddle and/or kiss and even those words that melt your heart ‘I love you mummy‘ it makes everything worth while.

I hope you’ve found this useful.

Enjoy your day!

Carpe Diem x

Disclaimer:  this is by no means an exhaustive list… trust me.

I’m linking this post with You baby me mummy and Mum’s daysThe List‘ linky…

You Baby Me Mummy

My Captured Moment #19

I always love linking up with Heledd who blogs over at Running in Lavender with her linky ‘My Captured Moment’.

It’s where you link up with a photo or a series of photos that have captured a special moment in time – one or ones you haven’t and won’t ever forget.

It’s my favourite linky because it makes me think back to such special times and I always end up with a great big fat grin on my face.

Here’s this week’s

My Captured Moment #19

in his cot for the first time

This might not look like much, apart from a beautifully decorated nursery, but this was in fact the very first time that baby MasterB was put in his big boy cot for a nap.

Like all new borns he spent a lot of time in his mummy’s arms – I used to adore just sitting holding him and gazing at my amazing and beautiful babe – or in his carry-cot (we had a Silver Cross pram that doubled as a carry-cot so there was no need for a moses basket).

But the time came when I thought he needed to get a bit more used to his big boy cot and so on afternoon nap time I put him in his sleeping bag (best baby invention every #justsaying) and lay him down.

I couldn’t believe it but there was no fussing and he pretty much went soundo straight away.

I snuck in and took this adorable photo of him snoozing away – his very first sleep in his cot.

So sweet.

This again is definitely a very special #MyCapturedMoment for me.

Carpe Diem x

Running in Lavender

My Captured Moment #18

I always love linking up with Heledd who blogs over at Running in Lavender with her linky ‘My Captured Moment’.

This is where you link up with a photo or series of photos that have captured a special moment in time – one or ones you haven’t and won’t forget.

It’s my favourite linky because it makes me think back to such special times.

This week, I’ve once again chosen a little series of photos…

My Captured Moment #18

Barnaby crawling

Barnaby crawling

This was when a certain young man decided he could crawl… and rather liked it.

He was off on a little mission – to the kitchen.

There was something in there that was attracting his attention.

Barnaby crawling

the washing machine

He loved that washing machine.

Funny isn’t it, I don’t know what the fascination is for little ones and washing machines but a lot of them seem to have it and MasterB was one of them.

He was so cute, if a little late and lazy, when he first started crawling and so I can remember it well bless his little heart.

These little snaps are definitely captured moments that I will always treasure.

Do you remember when your little one started crawling?

Carpe Diem x

Running in Lavender

My Captured Moment #17

I always love linking up with Heledd who blogs over at Running in Lavender with her linky ‘My Captured Moment’.

This is where you link up with a photo or series of photos that have captured a special moment in time – one or ones you haven’t and won’t forget.

It’s my favourite linky because it makes me think back to special times.

This week, I’ve chosen a little series of photos…

My Captured Moment #17

Ready steady go

Ready – Steady – Go!

Barnaby and Kipster in the garden

How adorable are these two.

Kipster and Barnaby

These shots were taken after we had just picked up our gorgeous little Border Terrier puppy, Kipster.  We headed straight out to the garden to see if she would perform any little jobs for us (which of course she didn’t) and I just love how MasterB interacted with her.  It was so sweet to watch.

Kipster and Barnaby Love

These really are special moments in time and I’m so glad we captured them.

Carpe Diem x

Running in Lavender

If you’d like to read part one of the Kipster story, you can do do that here…

Is ten too young to get serious about homework?

The learning debate…

is 10 too young to get serious about homework

In our house recently, we had a discussion regarding working hard at school, taking more responsibility for yourself and the whole embracing homework as part of every day life as a school child and that it’s not going to go away so you might as well get on with it so that you can then go on to do other things in your spare time.

Where we live we still have a middle school system and MasterB being ten (11 in October and so one of the older children in his year) has just gone up to year six.

Now I’ll be honest, they don’t get a lot of homework – well certainly not so far they haven’t and most of the time it’s work that can be done, slotted in during the week around activities, or if not, completed at the weekend fairly easily.

Saying that, it’s always met with the same emotion…

Why do I have to do this?

It’s not faaaaair!!

They didn’t show us that in class.

I already know how to do that!

… and lots of sighs, banging around, lounging across the table to be told ‘Please sit up right and concentrate‘ and sometimes even tears (and that’s just me!).

As an aside, some people believe that children of this age shouldn’t even have homework

And don’t get me started on those tweenisms again!!

It’s all so painful.

The family discussion went along the lines of…

We’re very proud of you and how hard you work at school and you’re a really good boy, but you need to start taking a bit more responsibility for yourself.  You need to plan your time better.  Unfortunately throughout your school life you will get homework – it’s a re-cap of what you’ve learned in school.  It will help you to remember things better and help with exams which, unfortunately, are inevitable.

We know it’s a long way off and hard at your age to think about what you want to do when you’re older, but if you work hard at school now, you will have more choice in the sort of job you want, leading on to having the sort of life you want.

We want you to be the best you can be.  To fulfill your potential and not just do the bare minimum – go above and beyond.  We’re not expecting you to be top of the class, but want you to do the best for yourself.

It was quite a meaty drawn out discussion that encompassed other things too, but that’s the basis of it.

We all agreed that MasterB would take more responsibility for himself including packing his own school bag the night before, planning out time for homework as well as reducing his amount of time gaming each day.

All good.

A few days later I met up with a couple of friends with boys of the same age (and in fact at the same school) and the topic came up in conversation.  We had mixed views, though none of us claiming to know the right answer, but all just doing what we think is the best for our children.

The question then arises, are we being too hard on him at the age of ten? 

Ten is still very young – they’re still children at the end of the day.  Should they be feeling bogged down with school work and homework and the pressure of doing well at school at this young age?

Are we being hard on him, or just wanting the best for him?

After all some children/teenagers need a bit of pushing and encouragement to put that extra bit of effort in and can go on to do really good things.  We’re thinking MasterB might be one of these.

Some of the children in his year are currently preparing themselves to take the Grammar school test (not an option that MasterB wanted to take, which we supported his decision in by the way) and they are studying soooo hard.  They’re the same age and yet have the desire to want to do really well at school even at this young age.

It’s hard though isn’t it; knowing what’s the right thing to do.  Do you just let them ‘be‘ and find their own way at this age, or give them a bit more direction and help?

I’d be really interested to know other people’s thoughts on this subject.

I’m not sure there is a right or wrong – it’s probably down to the individual child but as always this parenting thing is as difficult as ever.

Carpe Diem x

My Captured Moment #16

As you probably know I love linking up each week with Heledd who blogs over at Running in Lavender with her linky ‘My Captured Moment’.

This is where you link up with a photo or series of photos that have captured a special moment in time – one or ones you haven’t and won’t forget.

It’s my favourite linky because it makes me think back to special times.

Here’s my chosen one for this week…

My Captured Moment #16

MasterB on holiday

I completely adore this photo of our gorgeous boy – he’s soooo smiley and sooooooooo happy!

This was taken back in March 2007 when we were holidaying down in Bodmin at Glynn Barton Cottages where we had the most wonderful holiday.

This particular picture was taken in the playroom where there was a pool table (Master B’s first experience of a pool table and he loved just chasing the balls around the table) and board games, puzzles, books, lego, cars, a doll’s house, videos (as they were back then) and lots lots more fun things.

He absolutely loved it and every day, no matter how busy we had been during the day, we had to pop over to the playroom for a bit.

Definitely one of my cherished captured moments.

Carpe Diem x

Running in Lavender

#SaveSyriasChildren campaign

Save Syrias Children

I don’t know the ins and outs of the awful crisis in Syria, except that there has been a brutal war raging on for four years.  This has affected and devastated the lives of a whole generation of children.  It has cost the lives of 11,000 children and turned more than 1 million into refugees.

Can you even imagine?

Without knowing too much of what the war is actually about, what I do know is ‘that’ image will stay with me forever … and I have absolutely no doubt millions of others who have seen it across social media, the news, and other media.

It’s truly haunting and I have goose bumps as I write this post.

It breaks your heart to see.

When I was added by a blogging friend of mine to a private bloggers’ Facebook group set up by three wonderful ladies, Amy, Aby and Em who having been affected by the reports and dreadful images wanted to do something, how ever small, to help in some way, I knew instantly that I wanted to be part of whatever it was they were planning.

So a whole host of wonderful and amazing bloggers have grouped together to do a massive shout out about the situation in Syria in the hope to raise more awareness and vital funds.

Did you know:

  • More than 10,000 children have been killed; 5.6 million children need humanitarian aid
  • Inside Syria 3.5 million children have been forced from their homes
  • Nearly 2 million children have fled the country and are now living in over-stretched refugee camps or villages
  • Alost 3 million children are unable to go to school (2.3 million inside Syria, 685,000 refugees)
  • 10 million people do not have enough to eat

After lots of quick discussion and arranging talks with the people at Save the children, it was agreed that we would all publish a post on our blogs and share across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in unity hoping to have as big an impact as possible.

Here’s the thing …

Save Syrias Children

How chilling is that?

There’s lots that you could do from the comfort of your own home.

Please don’t turn a blind eye.

Do Something to help.


Whatever you decide, don’t choose apathy.

#SaveSyriasChildren  – to donate £5 please text SYRIA to 70008

We have.

Thank you on behalf of the children of Syria.

Carpe Diem x

For the Save The Children’s terms and conditions visit Save the Children T&Cs

and web donations can be made here Save the Children Syria Appeal

If you want to find out more information about the Syria crisis you can read more here.