My Little Lockdown Loves

What a weird year 2020 was, and 2021 hasn’t really started all that great either. Trying to stay positive can be really tough….. but having a positive mind is really what keeps me going.

There’s plenty to feel down about- places we can’t go and people we can’t see but I wanted to write about some lovely positive aspects of lockdown or at least of what the last year has taught me. I like to limit how much news I read and have breaks now and then from social media.

Here’s some of my Lockdown Loves.

A Breath Of Fresh Air

Getting out for a walk was something we did on a normal weekend even before 2020 hit. What has changed in the last 12 months is we have discovered and explored our own local area. In the past we could traveled for days out and for walks but being unable to do that has made us look a lot closer to home.

At weekends we now tend to pop on our walking boots at the front door and over the last year have discovered some many paths that we just didn’t know about before!

Oscar and Isla’s stamina for walks has massively improved over the last year, they can now manage a 6 mile walk which is fab, only stopping to moan for more snacks. We love to walk up to Hartshead Pike from our house. We also love to discover some of the quieter parts of Saddleworth.

Treat Night

Everyday can feel like Groundhog Day at the moment, especially the evenings. Even though we can’t go out, I have tried to make the weekends special or feel a little different with Treat Nights.

The kids have loved our cinema nights with popcorn, we’ve had some great WII bowling competitions and we’ve even made our own afternoon tea. We also enjoy Zoom quizzes with our friends and family. Doing something a little different at the weekends certainly helps my family and I get out of the rut we probably all feel in.


At the start of the year, I decided to look after myself better. With the rollercoaster (or Corona-coaster as it’s known) of last year, I certainly wasn’t looking after myself. Eating and drinking to much and absolutely zero exercise (apart from walking with the family) wasn’t doing my weight or my mental well-being any good.

I have found my love of Yoga once again and aim to stick with it and do a daily practice. I love how yoga makes me feel during and after each session, it’s great for my body and mind.

This year I plan to not only take better care of my weight but also my mental well-being.

I’m Currently Reading

I’ve mentioned before how I joined a book club a few years ago and at the moment we’ve gone virtual. My aim when I joined was to read one book a month which at the time seemed impossible! I didn’t have time to read!

Two years on and I’m still loving getting lost in a good book. Last year I read 29 books, I’m already on my 4th book of 2021! Most days I read one or two chapters a night once the kids are in bed, those chapters soon add up and I’m whizzing through the books.

Some of my recent recommendations would have to be Thursday Murder Club and the Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle. Let me know what you’ve been reading, I love a good book recommendation.

You Are What You Eat

Looking after my weight and well-being meant a change in diet for me as by the end of last year I was overeating and drinking too much alcohol. I’ve stuck with what I know and pulled out all my Slimming World recipe books.

Over the last month, I have cooked delicious (and super easy) healthy meals and even lost 10 pounds with has made me feel great! A few of my favourite Slimming World recipes have to be Spaghetti Carbonara and Pizza-Topped Chicken! Delicious. Please share your healthy yummy meals with me, I love new ideas!

Feeling Fit

I’ve never been one for strenuous exercise and I’m certainly not a fitness fanatic, but lockdown has meant us being outdoors much more than ever as a family. I’ve also over the last 12 months become to love a walk on my own, I’ve been smashing my 10,000 daily step target and now with daily yoga I’ve never felt better.

The other morning I woke up really motivated to try running. I’m not a runner and have always felt too unfit to run, I used to get out of breath after a fast walk. But I loved it! Getting out for some fresh air myself was great and I hope I can improve my running over the next few months.

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Time To Switch Off and Reset

We keep hearing the phrase ‘we’re at a tipping point’ a lot at the moment, and that’s how I feel with my own mental health right now. We spend some much of our time looking after other people that we forget to check in on ourselves.

Just recently I’ve started finding the constant ups and downs a struggle. It’s the YoYo of emotions that have made me think I’m at tipping point. It’s the constant, 24 hours of news about tiers, restrictions, another full lockdown. It’s the missed celebrations, cancelled plans, thinking about Christmas. It’s the worry will school close, will my children be ok and on and on and on and on.

Like most people, we thought (back in March) this would be all over by now and be a bad dream by Christmas but even now there’s no end it sight.

I’ve decided I need to do something about my feelings. I don’t want my low mood to spiral out of control. Spending quality time with my family at weekends definitely helps and as you know being outdoors always makes me feel better. But I think I need to change my mindset and just reset my thinking a little at the moment.


Definitely sounds easier said than done, but to stop worrying about what I can’t control would help me a lot. Worrying about if we’ll go into a higher tier or a full lockdown is something I have absolutely no control over.

Whether I worry about it or not give it a second thought wouldn’t make a difference to it happening at all. If I can accept that then hopefully I could stop worrying so much and focus on things that I can control, such as my own behaviour, my own family and it’s day to day life.


This is something we hear a lot about these days but what does it actually mean? It’s paying attention more to the present moment, actually being in the moment and it can help your mental wellbeing.

I’m not very good at ‘being in the moment’. I’m usually looking to what’s next. I love planning and looking forward to things we’ve had booked in our diary. But maybe that’s part of the issue as so much has been and is still being cancelled.

Just being aware of a moment and your area around you right now can allow you to not take things for granted that you may have done normally. This is certainly something I can work on.


News broadcasted 24 hours a day right to your phone is something that I also need to sort out. Whether you want to read the news or not it’s hard to get a way from it. You open a social media app and it’s all over that, you open WhatApp groups and it’s shared all over there too. Plus there’s ‘newspapers’ that share what they class as ‘news’ and it’s just scaremongering.

I’m certainly going to try and switch off more, which is a big one for me as I’m always on my phone! I love social media (as you probably know) and I love taking photos. But over the weekend, I’m definitely going to switch my phone off and take a break. This weekend I might even take a camera out on our walks and leave my phone at home.

Plan for this weekend- I’m going to try and be more in the moment, embrace what’s around me and switch off from the news.

Have you got any tips for me to be more mindful?

The ‘Secret’ Garden of Heysham

With lockdown restrictions starting to be lifted, last weekend we headed to the coast to stay at our family caravan for the weekend. After months of not being able to go, it felt fabulous to be out and about.

As you may already know, our caravan is close to Morecambe, in a village called Bolton-Le-Sands. On Sunday we decided to walk along Morecambe’s promenade to the small village of Heysham, something we have done many times over the last few years. There’s lots to see and do on the walk from Morecambe to Heysham including a climbing wall, water fountains and a little playground. Check out the post I wrote about our first trip to Heysham back in 2018.

Usually in the month of July, we head to Heysham for the annual Viking Festival. You can read about when we went he Festival a year or two ago here. This event is always lots of fun but I’m guessing it will be postponed this year unfortunately.

There’s lots of interesting and historical things to see and read about in Heysham including checking out the stone graves and the ancient ruins of St Patrick’s chapel.

It was an extremely windy walk to Heysham on Sunday, the kids loved that we kept getting wet from the waves! As we reached the village, the wind settled and the sun came out. We visited a little tea shop and enjoyed ice creams and coffees. Heaven.

On our way back through the village to the coast we passed St Peter’s Church and a sign caught my eye- ‘Glebe Garden’. From the road I could see a beautiful garden full of pretty flowers and it looked like it was open to the public. We followed the sign and it lead us through the church yard.

Well, we then found a perfect oasis! The garden was lovely and very well kept, with colourful flowers everywhere. The kids seemed interested to look around too and I thought we’d get a quick walk round before they got bored.

Little did we know what treasures and surprises were hidden as we walked through the gardens, the kids didn’t want to leave! Hidden amongst the trees, brushes and plants were fairies, little houses, faces, animals and so much more!

It was such a lovely spot, there were plenty of benches in the garden so we could have taken a few minutes to rest in the sun. Although I had no chance of that, there was too much to see and my children thought it was wonderful. We must have circled the garden several times as we kept missing some of the little trinkets dotted around.

We’ll certainly be back soon. I’m not sure how we missed this beautiful garden on our past visits. Our children called it their very own secret garden.

Easy and Fun Spring Craft Ideas

I been looking for some easy crafts to do with the kids whilst we’re at home more than we’ve ever been before. These few I’m posting below are perfect for any age, especially with younger children with less attention spans. None of these activities take long to set up and are super easy for all to do.

Paper Mosaic Rainbow Pictures

Brighten up your window or even someone else with these super easy rainbow pictures.

You will need:

  • Coloured paper torn into small pieces (all different colours)
  • Card or paper,
  • Glue stick

Simply draw a rainbow onto your card or paper. Have your different coloured paper ready and in piles. Using the glue stick, stick the torn pieces onto your rainbow for a mosaic look.

Simple Flower Sticks

Perfect for this time of year, who doesn’t like lovely flowers in their home!

You will need:

  • Plain paper,
  • Cupcake cases,
  • Wooden sticks,
  • Gems or sequins or glitter (whatever you have to hand),
  • Glue stick,
  • Scissors.

On the plain paper, draw a flower and cut it out. Stick the wooden stick to one side and the cupcake cases in the centre of the other side. Finally decorate with sparkly gems or glitter.

We’ve popped ours in the window, we might make a whole bouquet!

Peg Paint Easter Pictures

Get ready for Easter with these eggstra easy pictures, great for decorating your living room or posting to your friends.

You will need:

  • Some pegs,
  • Cotton wool,
  • Paints,
  • Paper.

Firstly I drew an egg share of the plain paper. I got the kids to pop a piece of cotton wool on a peg, one each for each colour. That’s it, start decorating!

Bittersweet Birthdays: Twins Turning Four-Years-Old.

When my eldest turned four it was such an exciting time. He was super excited to be starting school just a few months later, he was so ready and he couldn’t wait. My twins at the time of his 4th birthday were newborns, less than six months old, so Joshua starting school eased a little pressure of having three at home all day. Mum guilt makes me feel bad saying this, but Joshua starting school when the twins came along made mum life so much more manageable.

Joshua is now nearly 8 and for the last 8 years my weekdays have been a mixture of part-time working whilst children are at school or nursery and spending my other days at playgroups. Apart from my part-time job (and more recently my blog), my life has revolved around playgroups, mums and tots classes and play dates with my mummy friends. And I love it! And I’ve realised how much I’m going to miss it!

This month (this week actually), my twins turn four-years-old and it’s such a different feeling than the first time round. The twins are probably (most definitely) my last children, so I’ve come to realise how bittersweet this birthday is for me as their mum.

In September they will be starting reception at school. No more playgroups, no more lazy mornings in our pjs just because, no more playing in the park when everyone else is at school or work……

Oscar and Isla turning 4 seems such a big deal to me. It’s like the end of a massive parenting chapter for me and our family. It’s the end of toddlers, babies, nappies, bottles, playgroups, weaning, prams, highchairs and everything in-between! Those things have been my life for the past 8 years.

It’s an end of an era, I’ve realised just how many ‘lasts’ we will have over the next few months. Time really does fly by so fast. It really is a bittersweet time, there’s so much to celebrate but I feel sad too.

My two are extremely excited about their upcoming birthday and I can’t wait to celebrate with them also, but I’m not ready for them to grow up just yet. I’m going to enjoy the next few months and make as many memories as possible, then I’ll definitely be counting down for the half term holidays.

Here’s to the next chapter! All three in primary school, assemblies, parents evenings, half term, growing up, leaning to read and write, and so much more!

Happy 4th Birthday Oscar and Isla x

Mummy’s Scrapbook with Design Bundles


I don’t know about you, but I seem to have boxes and boxes in the loft that are filled and overflowing with photographs, old cards from birthdays and special occasions and tones and tones of my children’s art work. It’s all just sitting there waiting for me to do something with, but what? From the first handmade card or the first painted handprint, these boxes contain a lifetime of memories, my families memories and as the years roll on I will enjoy looking at all the lovely things. But at the moment it’s all just stuffed into boxes collecting dust.

That’s how I recently came across Scrapbooking and loved the idea. I was looking for why to create and arrange these special items and I think I’ve found the answer. To a lot of people making scrapbooks is a hobby and it looks like so much fun. I love the idea of preserving items that have special meaning in such a personal and crafty way. I decided to give it a go myself and seeing as Mother’s Day isn’t so far away I thought I’d start here. Yes, make a scrapbook of memories for myself!

I had a rummage in the loft and found lots of lovely items for my scrapbook including some homemade Mother’s Day cards from my children from other the years and some of their lovely art work from school and nursery. I also found a few photographs, stripy Washi tape (which I love), some ribbons and other bits and pieces.

I also used some digital graphics (SVG files) which I downloaded and printed from a website called Design Bundles, which is jam packed with over 150,000 marketplace products all at really affordable prices, certainly perfect for all your ‘scrapbook ideas’. I used a few different ‘Mother’s Day’ cutting files and templates. I even turned these graphics into labels and ribbons using my husbands fancy label printer!

There was so many files to browse related to Mother’s Day, Design Bundles has a huge range of graphics, templates, mock-ups, patterns, illustrations and craft files, it was easy to find some inspiration for my scrapbook! I was really impressed. Once downloaded and printed, I was able to start making my book and putting all my things together.

On the front cover, I used colourful Washi tape as a border and I even made a frame with some printed labels. The label was created using an image I downloaded, there was some lovely quotes and phrases in the Mother’s Day bundle and this one was the fit perfect for my ‘Mummy Scrapbook’. I asked my eldest to write on the front for me and I’m really pleased with how it turned out.

On the other pages, I stuck old cards and the children’s art work. Using Washi tape I made an envelope for one of my favourite Mother’s Day cards that my eldest made me last year. Each page I added a lovely quote or some design downloaded from Design Bundles which I certainly think finishes each page off very well.

Have a look at the photos below of my lovely finished scrapbook! I’d love to know what you all think! I’m planning on sorting out all the baby photos and cards I have in the loft, I’ve accumulated quite a lot over the years! I can’t wait to get started on my next scrapbook.

See more from Out and About Mummy and what we get up to via Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

Why I’m Getting Involved With The ‘Get Kids Reading’ Campaign.

My eldest loves to read, he always has. He enjoys to read his school books with me or his dad in the evenings, he enjoys reading to himself in bed. Some of his favourites include the David Walliams’ books, the first few books of Harry Potter and all the Captain Underpants series. He reads for pleasure and it’s wonderful to see. He gets excited when receiving a book token as a gift and loves (maybe as much as I do) wandering around a book shop searching for his new book!

But will it all change as he gets older? He’s seven years-old. As well as reading he also loves playing with his toy cars with his younger brother, playing on his scooter outside, watching the TV and occasionally playing on his new Nintendo Switch. As his exposure to more technology and in the future, social media, will his love of reading start to fade? I certainly hope not!

Reading and enjoying books from an early age is so important for a child’s brain development, that’s why I was so keen to get involved with this campaign.

Get Kids Reading is a literacy campaign helping modern parents understand the importance of reading for a child’s brain development and attainment in the modern world. The purpose of the campaign is to raise awareness around the dangers of social media for our children’s literacy (something I had never thought about) and to give parents access to high quality self – help resources.

The campaign, from Sooper Books has looked at recent studies and the suggestion of ‘how heavy social media use is impacting on the literacy of our children and the definitive link between ‘the amount of time young people spend on social media and their levels of literacy’. Also increased use of social media has been linked to increased levels of depression, lack of sleep, increased risk of cyber-bullying and low-self esteem!

As a mum of three young children (as I said my eldest is 7) I find this very worrying. On the flip side, research into developing a passion for reading early can help steer our children away from the mental health challenges of excessive social media consumption towards a happier, more fulfilled childhood. Reading has a direct impact on our child’s ability to learn effectively!

Social media is here to stay and technology is always changing, improving. We as parents need a smart and simple way to help spark and maintain our children’s interest in reading. This is where Sooper Books and the Get Kids Reading campaign comes in!

Sooper Books have created a free online children’s library of award-winning short stories in order to bridge the gap between other children’s fascination with technology and our need for them to read. These stories are perfect for busy modern families as they can be enjoyed and read anywhere, anytime and of course free of charge.

I think it’s a brilliant idea. Lots of children of all ages have tablets these days for games, TV shows and even social media app but this online library allows them access to some fantastic stories at a touch of a button.

To get involved yourself and to access these fantastic books, click the We Support Get Kids Reading below and Get Kids Reading!

Get Kids Reading Children's Bedtime Stories

A literacy campaign by Sooper Books© | Free Bedtime Stories

Help Your Child Be School Ready With These Simple Tips

I’m not talking about being school ready academically! Whether your child can write their name or not when they start reception isn’t that important, well I don’t think so anyway. You hear the term ‘school readiness’ a lot these days, but i’m talking about what things us parents can do to help the transition into school. To make the move as easy as possible for our children. There’s plenty of things we can do as a family to enable a happier transition to school.

Talk Positively About School

We talk a lot about how my youngest (twins Oscar and Isla) will be starting school in September. We call it ‘big school’ but they are just so excited to be going to the same school as their big brother. The more you talk about school, playtime, the classroom etc, the more they will know what to expect. I try to always be positive about school life, saying how much fun it would be. If you have older children in school already, perhaps ask them to talk about what they like about school.

Visit The School/Classroom

When possible, attend any taster days. I remember with my youngest before he started, we were invited to come into the classroom for the afternoon. First we had lunch together in the hall, it was lovely to walk him and watch up pick up a tray and queue for his dinner! He looked so small, but it was a lovely experience to share with him. Plus he was so excited he talked about it for weeks, making it easier to talk about school life as he knew what to expect.

Get To Know The School

If it’s a brand new school to you all, then get to know it. As well as taster days, perhaps find out when any events are on before your child starts school such as a summer fair. At the weekend you could maybe walk or drive past the school, point and encourage your child to say ‘look, it’s my school.’

Encourage More Independance

It’s so easy to see your own children as babies (mine aren’t four years old yet) but encouraging them to be more independent will definitely help them when transitioning into school. Get them to take their own shoes off and put them away, ask them to bring their own plates and cups into the kitchen. Practise putting any difficult shoes on or zipping their coats. These are all things that they may do at school and already knowing how to do things themselves will be less stressful for them. Let them take some control.

Fully Bathroom Ready

Parents all hope that their children will be fully toilet trained before they start school. I’m also meaning basic hygiene. Making sure your child can go to the toilet alone and wash their hands is essential for starting school.

Read More

Whenever you can, read together. Reading is essential to a child’s development. Even before your child can read independently, reading helps your child get to know words, sounds and language. It also can help children learn to look after books, stimulate curiosity and imagination plus develop so many skills. Studies have shown that reading for pleasure makes a big difference to your child’s educational performance. Just 5 minutes before bed perhaps, enhancing good habits now will make it easier as they get older. My eldest is 7 years old and he loves to read.

For us, the countdown until big school has begun. I plan on making the most of the next few months before I’m dropping off all three children at school!

A Day At The Beach In The December – Southport Beach

Taking a trip to the beach during the Christmas holidays isn’t probably on everyone’s to do list. When you think of the beach, you think sun, sand and ice cream! But we love being by the sea, whatever the weather, a trip to the beach with children can be a perfect cheap, if not free day out!

We decided on Southport beach as it wasn’t one we’d been to before as a family. We spend lots of weekends on Morecambe seafront due to our families having caravans there and we visit Blackpool several times a year so we wanted to try somewhere new.

During the Spring and Summer seasons, you are able to park right on the beach at Southport, so no long walks to the seafront with all your buckets and spades. Due to it being Winter that car park was closed, although there was plenty of other alternatives. As we drove into Southport we passed a large pay and display car park but we decided to park in a large retail park instead as everyone needed the toilet so we all nipped in McDonalds. This car park is free for 3 hours.

Just Look At That Sky!

The seafront was very clean and the area tidy which was great to see. From the retail car park, we got onto the Pier and walked towards the sea right to one end. Southport Pier is the second longest in the country with a cafe, toilets and arcades at the end (which was open out of season). During the summer months you are able to take the pier tram one end to the other. After checking out the views, we decided to walk the other way into the town.

At the piers entrance we had a go on the 2p slot machines in Silcocks Funland, a favourite thing to do when visiting the seaside! After losing all out 2p’s, we headed to the traditional fish and chip shop. To keep costs down, we had brought a picnic including a flask of tea. We picked up two portions of chips and headed towards the park. We sat at a bench and enjoyed a feast of sandwiches and chippy chips! Delicious.

There’s a great wooden playground close to the arcades and the lake. We crossed over the lake and walked along the lakeside which was very idyllic. It was a lovely sunny (but cold) day, there was plenty of people around and the lake was full of swans.

We got back on the pier and this time headed onto the beach. My three thought it was brilliant that they were wearing wellies or walking boots and headed straight for the water. The sea was miles out, but there was still plenty of water for paddling. We spent ages walking through the water, searching for giant shells and throwing stones. Throwing stones into water is a favourite past-time of one of my twins especially, Oscar could literally do this all day.

There’s something about being by the sea! I love the sea air, the views that go on for miles, the freedom of the beach for the kids to run. We have so many happy memories of spending days by the sea, I’m hoping my children will cherish these memories when they’re older, perhaps enjoy the same with their own children maybe.

If your looking for a trip to the beach this winter, I recommend Southport beach and pier, we’ll definitely be back soon the explore a little more.

For more ideas for days out, why not check out:

Dinosaur Themed Days Out In The North West To Take Dino-Mad Kids,

Fairytale and ‘Magical’ Parks and Woodland Walks,

‘Crafty’ Places To Take ‘Crafty’ Kids Near Greater Manchester.

New Year. New You?

Do you make New Years Resolutions? I’m no good at keeping them! Plus there usually the same every year that I make just because I feel like I should. Making unattainable resolutions can put a lot of stress on ourselves!

But does a New Year have to mean a New You? This year I have decided to look at what I can IMPROVE rather than CHANGE. Take what makes me happy and focus on that.

Last year I rejoined Slimming World since my twins were born almost 4 years old. 3 weeks before Christmas I reached my target and I was actually happy with how I looked! Clothes fit me nicer and I enjoyed buying a few new items of clothes. I suppose naturally over Christmas, I gained a few (7!) pounds so over the next few weeks/months I plan on getting those extra pounds gone. I’m not overly bothered what I actually weigh, I just want to feel happy in myself like I did just before Christmas!

Last September I joined my sisters book club. At first I said there was absolutely no way I could fit in reading one book a month! Not on top of my part time job, being a mum, life admin, my blog, a social life etc etc etc! But I made time and I’m loving it! Before children I used to read everyday so I’m so glad to be back doing it. After not reading in years, I’ve now read 4 books in 4 months and just about to start the next book ‘Life After Life’ by Kate Atkinson. It’s also nice as we meet once a month to discuss the book, but also even a glass of Prosecco and her homemade cakes! A couple of hours away from mum duties, bliss!

Last year I fell in love with Yoga and this year I plan on getting back into it. I loved how it made me feel during the session but also after it and for the rest of the week. Even the sessions where I took the kids along, I managed to clear my mind and focus on my body.

This year I have so many goals for my blog, most of them are just rushing around my head. I’m struggling to get them into any order but I’m excited for the future. I haven’t even bought a 2020 diary or calendar yet so that’s my first job. Then I’m going to sit down, plan and focus on my goals for the coming year.

Don’t change YOU and don’t make resolutions if you don’t wanna make them! Start with what makes you happy and take it from there…