The Loneliness of Working from Home

I have been blogging for five years now. One year into the blog, I registered as self-employed and turned my hobby into a part-time job. And for the most part, I enjoy working from home.  There is a flexibility which means that I can work while the kids are at school, or in the evenings on busy days. It also means I can take a week off here and there when life gets overwhelming. But for all the benefits, it can be lonely.

I sometimes miss being in an office full of people. I miss chats while the kettle is boiling, jokes over lunch and after-work drinks. And it turns out that I’m not alone. In September, Epson held a briefing at their EcoTank Pop-up shop in Covent Garden. Vicki Psarias, from Honest Mum, was there talking about homeworking. She noted that 48% of freelancers felt lonely, blaming a lack of social life as one of the main reasons. Epson put on their pop-up during September and October to give freelancers a place to go and work.

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A Christmas Day Out in Leicester Square

I don’t normally think about Christmas until after Thanksgiving (the fourth Thursday of November). But this year, I’m feeling festive a bit early. And I think it’s because my family and I spent the day in Leicester Square on Saturday. My daughter was at a sleepover, so Husband and I took Dubz for a fun-filled Christmassy day in central London.

We rarely get alone time with Dubz, so we were really excited about having a day with him in Leicester Square. Sadly, Dubz did not get the memo and thought it would be the perfect day to be grumpy. We spent half an hour arguing that he would be cold if he wore shorts and no coat on our outing. We then gave up, and when he went outside he realised he needed more clothing. This made us miss our train into Waterloo. At this point, we decided to start again and hope for a happier day.

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5 Reasons To Visit Hamburg

Every year, Husband and I have a child-free holiday. Sometimes in the UK. Sometimes abroad. This year, we chose Hamburg. I call them holidays, but they’re probably technically mini-breaks as  we normally only go away for three to four days. What constitutes a holiday, I wonder. Anyway, whatever it is, we went to Hamburg.

Choosing Hamburg was not very scientific. We basically had a look at where we could fly with our frequent flyer miles. And then picked three places we had never visited but seemed interesting. I did about five minutes of research and picked the one that seemed fun but not too busy. A few people asked me if we had friends or family there, as it seemed to be a random destination, but Hamburg is actually a cool and trendy city.

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Love Where You Live – Kingston

My family and I have recently been thinking of ways we can help the environment as well as our local community in Kingston-upon-Thames. At ten and six, Moozles and Dubz are realising that we need to take an active part in taking care of our surroundings. Besides reducing our plastic consumption and recycling, we have started picking up litter as we walk around and when we’re on the school run. So, when we were invited to take part in a McDonald’s Love Where You Live campaign, we were thrilled.

There are seven bloggers, throughout the UK, who are involved with this campaign. There was a vote, where members of the public could choose which part of the seven regions would be cleaned up by the bloggers and McDonald’s volunteers. In Kingston, Richmond Park was chosen. Regular readers will know that I visit the park at least once a week for a walk. But this would be the first time that I would be picking up litter in one of my favourite places.

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Style When You’re Plus-Size

First of all, plus-size is such an annoying term. But I don’t want to say that I’m a ‘bigger gal’ or that I’m ‘chunky’. I’m just not thin. And I’m not saying that in a woeful sad way. Nor am I thrilled with my body. Like many mothers, I just never lost the baby weight. I’m not happy about this, but I can’t live my life beating myself up about the size of my thighs.

For a few years, after I had my son, I would mainly wear black and navy. I would hide behind/in dark colours, as I thought that they disguised the excess weight. But the thing is, wearing all black doesn’t make you look 30 pounds lighter. And it doesn’t make you invisible. But when you’re overweight, you often don’t want anyone to look at you. You don’t want to stand out in a crowd.

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How To Survive A Kitchen Remodel

For those of you about to embark on a kitchen remodel, I am sure you feel equally terrified and elated. You have probably been designing and planning a perfect kitchen for a long time. And once the builders arrive, your dream will soon be realised. But before then, you will need to survive the remodel. So I thought I would share some tips that I utilised when we had a new kitchen installed five years ago. And yes, my kitchen did actually look like that – not enough cabinets so everything on the counter, and a big space where an oven should’ve been, red walls and wood cladding (which is why there wasn’t an oven).

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The National Space Centre

Last term, in Year One, Dubz learned about space. And he loved every moment. Every day he talked to me about planets and stars and Neil Armstrong. So when we decided to visit Center Parcs in the beginning of August, we chose the Sherwood Forest location so that we could stop in Leicester to visit the National Space Centre. And we were not disappointed.

We visited the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida about six years ago. We really enjoyed it and found to be quite impressive. But our daughter found it to be a bit boring. The National Space Centre is definitely not boring. It seems to have been designed to enthuse children about our solar system and the steps we have made to explore it.

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Eurocamp Roompot Beach Resort Holland

Regular readers will know that my son got his first passport last year, when he turned five. And since then he has begged me to visit lots of different countries. But since we spent a fortune going to Disneyworld at Christmas, we had to watch our pennies this year when it came to family holidays. When looking into European destinations for our May half-term holiday, we decided to visit The Netherlands. And when we discovered Roompot Beach Resort, we knew we had to book it through Eurocamp.

You may remember that we had our first Eurocamp holiday last year and absolutely loved it. And Eurocamp offers guests a 5% discount on the following year’s booking (every bit of savings helps!), so we were keen to book. One thing that attracted me to visit southern Holland is its proximity to Calais. We took the ferry over, and the drive to Roompot took just under three hours. That’s actually quicker than driving to many places in France.

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FACES of Spitalfields at Spitalfields Market

Living in London, we are surrounded by so many cool places to visit. And Spitalfields Market is one of those cool venues. It is a unique and vibrant hub of activity where you’ll find art, music, fashion and more. And this September, there is definitely more. There is a new photography exhibit, FACES of Spitalfields, from photographer Manos Fotiou.

Launching on 20th September, the FACES of Spitalfields exhibit can be viewed as you walk around the market enjoying the various stalls, shops and restaurants. The photos are of the traders, porters, management and security with each photo having a lovely bio so that you can get a better feel for the people who work at Spitalfields.

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Finally Using Our Spring Raincoats This Summer

Every April I get new raincoats for the kids, and sometimes for Husband anid me. It rains so much in the UK that it’s essential to have light and waterproof rain gear. Unless you stay home every time it rains. But I don’t think that’s feasible. And it’s certainly a very boring way to live.

We all have Regatta winter coats (and love them), so we were eager to try out their lighter gear.  The only issue is that since we received our jackets in April, there has been a record low of rain. And no rain means no need for a raincoat. We wore our jackets four or five times this spring, but only on the school run. So we were actually a bit relieved this weekend to get some rain and wear our new coats on an outing. So off to Kew Gardens we went (and ate our picnic as we walked around).

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