How To Live More Sustainably: My Top Tips On Easy Ways To Become More ‘Green’

Would you like to find out more about living a more eco- friendly sustainable lifestyle? Are you looking for tips on Green Living so you can be more environmentally friendly? Then this post is for you! Read about my top tips for green living and overview of different ways you can live more sustainably…

I have talked alot about green living previously and regularly discuss ways that we can all help to protect our environment. But more often I cover specific aspects in-depth, therefore I thought it would be useful to pull it altogether into a post about my top tips for green living. So here is an overview of different ways you can live more sustainably…

Background image of wind turbines with title How To Live More Sustainably: My Top Tips On Easy Ways To Become More 'Green'

Go Electric

Have you thought about buying an electric car? There are many factors when choosing a car generally of course and some specific considerations when it comes to choosing an electric car. One of the biggest concerns – aside from the retail price, which is in the longer term offset by the low running costs and also is dropping dramatically as they become more common anyway – is the availability of chargepoints. However, as electric cars grow hugely in popularity, the distribution of chargepoints has become far more widespread. You can also get a NewMotion chargepoint to charge your vehicle safely at home too.

Electric car at charging station

Home

From a full renovation to simply changing a light bulb, there are lots of ways you can make your home more eco-friendly. Using LED lightbulbs, changing your shower head and toilet flush to low-flow and turning your water temperature down on your boiler are all fairly cheap and easy minor changes you can make. When it comes to buying new appliances, choose environmentally- friendly models with high energy efficiency ratings. Also opt for eco-friendly, ideally natural, products to clean your home so there are no nasty chemicals!

Switch To Clean Energy

I mentioned above switching away from fossil fuels in the context of vehicles; the same applies to your home. Install solar panels if you can or switch your supplier to a green energy company.

Zero Waste: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse (then Recycle)

The term zero waste sounds daunting I admit! But really the aim is simple – to reduce the amount of rubbish you create. Especially waste that ends up in landfill in particular. Key elements for achieving this are actually quite straightforward:

  • Refuse single- use plastics, especially ‘the big four’ (straws, bags, cups and bottles).
  • Reduce your waste by trying to choose items that have less packaging, especially plastic, when shopping generally. Try to reduce your amount of food waste too.
  • Reuse items. Invest in reusable bags, straws, coffee cups and bottles. Use long-lasting reusable containers to store food too.
  • Recycle as much as possible of whatever rubbish you do create. Don’t throw anything into the landfill bin that doesn’t belong there!

And an extra point on this subject…

  • Upcycle and Repair. Try to mend before discarding things. Upcycle old furniture and other items if possible. If you have any household items, toys, clothes etc… that you have finished using yourself, pass them onto someone else to use.

Graphic of bottle, bag, straw and cup with caption 'I will say no to plastic's big 4'

    Slow Fashion

    Fashion has alot to answer for in terms of environmental impact. With ever changing trends, there is a high consumer demand for cheap fashionable clothing. The problem is, this throwaway fast fashion culture has a high price on the environment. Make a capsule wardrobe with high quality pieces made from natural materials your new latest trend instead.

    Reduce Meat Intake

    Whilst not everyone necessarily has any desire to become vegetarian, or vegan, a plant based diet is better for the environment. Even reducing your meat intake by having just one meat-free day per week is a step toward living a more sustainable life.

    Picture of a delicious healthy vegetarian meal.

    What are your top tips for living a more sustainable life?

    *Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.

    The Benefits Of Weekend Trips

    It seems that vacations are far more expensive now than they used to be, but the one thing that we have on our side now is the luxurious weekend trip. And while we would all love to go and travel the world for months on end, it is rarely feasible! So from the perspective of someone who can only get away for a couple of days at a time, why is a weekend break such a perfect choice?

    Image of a map with a pin in. Title 'The Benefits of a Weekend Trip'

    It Feels Like A Longer Vacation

    If you spend three or four days in a different place, you are more likely to fill those days with activities, rather than usually when on vacation, spacing out the activities, and relax a bit more. Instead, you can cram in so much, that it feels a lot longer than it is. It may leave little time for sleep, but sometimes a short trip can be just what you need to feel rejuvenated.

    You Can Have A Few Vacations A Year

    A lot of people take weekend trips because their timetable only allows for a few days at a time. But by going on a few weekends away, you get to see more places every year. This means that you’ll be able to explore different locations and at different times. Plus if you pack in lots of cultural and local experiences while there, you can get a true feeling for somewhere in a quicker space of time.

    The Benefits Of Time Away

    Sometimes, a weekend away is all you need to reset the balance. Just 48 hours in a new city can give you the opportunity to take a look at your life and reflect on what is really important to you. By spending a bit of time in a new place, you truly get to see a different type of life and sample the delights of another country or culture. The benefits of this is that it can deeply inspire you; who knows, you might even think about moving there! If you do consider relocating, there are services like Monaco Relocation Services just as an example, that can help you to realise your dream. So time away isn’t just great for your state of mind, it may actually inspire you to start a whole new life!

    It’s Easier On The Diary

    Depending on your high pressured working environment, you might find it difficult to block book two weeks away, especially if it’s during the height of summer when everybody else wants time off too! But if you book a weekend away, it means that time off is easier to get. Also, it makes issues like pet sitters an easier option too.

    It’s Easier On The Wallet

    The prime benefit of having a weekend break is it will cost a lot less than a major holiday abroad. Of course, there are plenty of weekend packages you can purchase online, meaning that you can take advantage of a last-minute bargain deal, to drop everything for the weekend and get away for a bit.

    We all deserve a rest from time to time, and this is why weekend trips are so useful!

    *Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.

    VonHaus 2 in 1 Stick Vacuum: Review

    I was recently sent a 2-in-1 Stick Vacuum to review. This convenient little budget vacuum is part of the VonHaus range and is available to purchase from Amazon RRP £39.99 (at the time of writing it is currently on sale at £29.99). Manufacturer 2 year warranty is included.

    A picture of the vacuum cleaner with title VonHaus 2-in-1 stick vacuum review.

    This is a 1000W (max) Stick Vacuum Cleaner. It is 2-in-1 because it can be used at full length with its extendable handle, or you can easily remove the handle to convert it into a handheld device. Because of its size and suction, it does feel like it creates a high level of vibration, particularly when using it as a hand held, and it is not the quietest cleaner we have ever had! However, we found it to have very good suction from a small vacuum and it does the job well.

    The vacuum is bagless with a 1.3L transparent container, which is easy to remove and empty the contents straight into the bin. It also features an innovative HEPA filtration and sponge system, which locks in microscopic particles that other vacuums would re-circulate back into the air. This system prevents the spread of bacteria and allergens, leaving cleaner air and a healthier home.

    VonHaus 2-in-1 stick vacuum using handle.

    One of main design features of this vacuum is that it gets in the difficult corners and hard to reach areas. It makes doing the stairs really quick and straightforward, and it is easy to whizz around furniture. It comes with a few attachments, including a useful crevice tool, which is really effective. It also has a 6m quick release power cord, so it is fairly easy to access all areas. It is suitable for most floor types too.

    VonHaus 2-in-1 stick vacuum in handheld mode with crevice attachment.

    Overall, I think this is a good budget vacuum cleaner. It has some minor faults but it also has alot of positives and certainly does the job.

    *Disclosure: I was sent this item free for the purpose of review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

    Home and Garden Security

    Have you, or someone you know, ever been a victim of a burglary? Sadly it is a common crime. This Rattan Direct home and garden security article states that statistics show there were 390,144 reported cases in the UK between July 2016 and June 2017 alone, and as many as 1 in 7 homes have been subject to a theft from their garden in recent years. These are worrying figures. However, there are several security actions you can take that deters potential burglars and try to prevent this type of crime…

    Picture of a padlock and chain against a green wood background. Title Home and Garden Security.

    Fences and Entry Points

    First things first. Make sure your doors and windows have adequate locks… and use them at all times! Also make sure your gate is securely locked, whether you are home or not, and the fence surrounding your garden is high quality and kept in good condition.

    Security Cameras

    There are many types of home security cameras, for both indoor and outdoor use. Most are designed to be highly visible so they also act as a deterrent, but there are also some great hidden ones too. We personally have a combination of both! Some even sync with your phone so you receive instant alerts. Having a camera in the back garden as well as one covering the front of your home is sensible.

    Alarms

    Again, there are several types of alarm. As well as a standard burglar alarm, there are motion sensor alarms that can detect anyone who tries to enter a window. Some door alarms spot intruders by recognising those who are approved to enter and alerting to the presence of anyone else as soon as they enter the property. In many cases a silent alarm is sent straight to the home owner without the perpetrator even realising, making it far more likely they will get caught, especially if this approach is coupled up with cameras too.

    Security Lighting

    Even though many burglaries happen during daylight hours, making sure your garden is lit at night helps stop trespassers being able to hide in the shadows so deters opportunists. Many security lights are solar powered and therefore are eco friendly whilst still offering security. Alot have motion sensor settings, which means you or a neighbour are likely to notice the light go on and check it out.

    Valuables

    Keep valuables out of sight and/ or locked up. Remember this also includes garden furniture. And think about pets too! Padlock tool or storage sheds and pet enclosures with heavy duty locks. Bolt down expensive items if possible, and cover them over. Make it difficult and noisy to unlock, uncover, open or move so it is more likely to attract attention if anyone tries.

    Also leave car keys away from windows and doors. This is not only due to the fact that there is a higher risk of someone stealing them if they can be spotted by opportunists or because the thief knows they can be in and out easily unseen in no time. It is also because there are some technology devices that use the signal to unlock the car if the key fob is in range. So keep keys somewhere safe!

    You can find more home security tips in this previous post I wrote too.

    Whilst all this might seem excessive, especially if like us the contents of your home and garden are not even particularly valuable anyway, it also offers peace of mind and a sense of security for all the members in your family too.

    *Disclosure: This post is written in collaboration with Rattan Direct. It also contains affilliate links.

    Car Safety Checklist: How To Prepare For Long Journeys #CarSafetyChecklist

    How often do you check your car? They should really be given a quick once over regularly, every few weeks ideally. This is true of all cars, but especially older models. And it is even more important to do some essential safety checks before a long journey. That is why kwik-fit.com have set up a #CarSafetyChecklist campaign.

    A picture of a white landrover with the caption Car Safety Checklist: Things To Check Before Long Journeys #CarSafetyChecklist Kwik Fit campaign image designed by Living Life Our Way.

    Since it became part of the practical driving test to be able to demonstrate a basic understanding of vehicle safety a decade ago, most people should feel confident giving their car a basic check themselves. However it can also be helpful to take it in for a service periodically, to proactively avoid any potential issues before they become more costly – or dangerous.

    Whilst researching, I came across a handy acronym to remember 6 key areas to check: FLOWER.

    Fuel

    Don’t let your fuel run too low. Make sure you top up before a long journey, or at the very least when you pass the first petrol station along the start of journey. Too many people make the mistake of trusting a faulty fuel guage or simply underestimating how long it will take to get to the next services!

    Lights

    Make sure your lights are working. Give them a clean too if needed so they aren’t dimmed by dirt!

    Leaks

    Ok, so flower does not have two ‘L’s. But I would also like to add that you need to check for leaks too. Condensation from the air con is normal but anything else needs investigating.

    Oil

    Don’t wait for the red oil warning light to come on – check it regularly!

    Water

    Check your coolant level and screen wash.

    Windscreen Wipers

    Again, there might not be a double ‘W’ in flower but I am going to add another one regardless! Check your wipers too, especially in winter/ wetter months.

    Warning Lights!

    Ok, I am going for a triple W infact. This one should definitely go without saying, but incase it doesn’t; always make sure there are no warning lights on before any journey!

    Electrics

    Ensure that the radiator’s electric cooling fan starts running when the engine gets hot by running the engine with the car stationary. Also make sure your battery isn’t too old and worn out, especially baring in mind that battery problems are the most common cause of roadside callouts.

    Rubber (Tyres)

    Last but certainly not least; Check your tyres – pressure, tread and spare!

    Essential Items

    As well as doing the above safety checks, it is also helpful to have some essentials in your car too, especially for long journeys. Here is a list of handy items to keep in your vehicle…

    • Manual
    • Recovery details
    • Jump cables
    • Tools
    • Warning triangle
    • Water
    • Blanket
    • Phone charger
    • Light/ torch
    • Ice scraper

    Do you have any other car safety tips? Let me know in comments!

    *Disclosure: This post is written in collaboration with Kwik Fit.

    Common Health Conditions: Where To Go For Advice and Information

    I came across an article the other day discussing the ethics behind health bloggers; in particular, the dangers of non- experts giving advice and writing beyond their level of expertise. As a family lifestyle blogger, I have a health and wellbeing section, and cover this topic fairly regularly. 

    It got me thinking, should bloggers shy away from covering certain topics? Perhaps just leave it all to the professionals? I think it largely depends on the context it is written. Of course, nobody should be claiming to be an expert if they are not, or offer advice that could potentially be harmful. I guess some subjects are therefore by nature more controversial than others. But I do think well written and responsible health blogs have their place, and can be a very valuable source of information.

    For example, I often see on parenting groups new parents asking for health advice for their babies. Sometimes they are questions about rashes or temperatures; the kind of thing that it would be best to look up on NHS Direct or go to a pharmacy to establish whether it is safe to treat at home. But other things are questions that can easily be answered by other, more experienced, parents. Sensible, typical suggestions for dealing with a teething baby for example. Or little first aid tips like how to safely and easily remove a splinter. But if in any doubt whatsoever, it is always best to seek medical advice. Likewise, same applies when it comes to any other advice or health conditions for anyone of any age.

    health, medical, health conditions, wellbeing, advice

    It is comparitable to how people might ask friends or family for advice vs going to their GP. Of course, we don’t want to waste valuable NHS resources and professional’s time with things that are clearly fine to research ourselves or safe to treat at home, but if there is any doubt whatsoever then seek advice. Rule of thumb, in my opinion, is to treat blog posts and articles more like you are chatting to your friends rather than speaking to an expert!

    Personally, whilst I try to ensure that my health posts are informative, of course I absolutely do not claim to be an expert and I make sure that I signpost people on where to go for further information, advice and support. I offer ‘common sense’ practical suggestions about living a healthy lifestyle and ideas to support wellbeing, but I am careful not to cross the line into specialist advice. It is important however to reflect on this sometimes though and make sure I am consciously taking responsibility for the impact of the words I write on my readers. 

    Remember: if in doubt, seek expert medical advice. 

    health, medical, health conditions, wellbeing, advice

    Here are some essential sources for information and advice:

    NHS Direct

    The Independent Pharmacy

    Mind (mental health)

    Childrens Health

    NHS children’s health section

    www.healthforkids.co.uk (NHS site)

    www.gosh.nhs.uk/children/about-your-condition

    youngminds.org.uk (mental health)

    Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.

    Healthy Eating Made Easy: Roasted Vegetable Couscous Recipe

    Delicious and healthy roasted vegetable and couscous recipe. Ideal quick and easy, yet healthy, meal that will feed the whole family. Make mealtimes stress- free with this microwave recipe. Enjoy healthy, clean eating without hassle.

    Healthy eating is important to me and I generally try to use raw ingredients if possible. But like most people, we are often under time constraints, so quick and easy recipes are a must! 

    I was set the challenge to choose one of these fab microwave recipes to make and blog about it. So I picked this roasted vegetable couscous recipe because it is super healthy and almost vegan. (It does contain honey). As I have mentioned before, we are flexitarian, meaning we choose to eat mainly vegan food but we are also laid back about it too.

    recipe, healthy, vegetarian, microwave, easy meals, clean eating, family dinner, stress-free mealtimes, life hacks, roasted vegetable couscous

    Ingredients

    • 2 Bell Peppers
    • 100g Button Mushrooms
    • 1 Onion
    • 1 large Courgette 
    • 1 medium Carrot 
    • 1/2 Butternut Squash 
    • 2 Garlic Cloves 
    • 1 tsp Paprika
    • Salt and Pepper
    • 3 tsp Honey
    • 300 mls Vegetable Stock
    • 350g Couscous

    The quantities given for the ingredients were more than enough to serve all three of us with a huge portion as a main meal. It would be enough for a family of 4 – 5 in fact probably!

    recipe, healthy, vegetarian, microwave, easy meals, clean eating, family dinner, stress-free mealtimes, life hacks, roasted vegetable couscous

    Recipe

    Vegetable Preparation

    • Deseed the peppers and cut them into bite size chunks.
    • Finely chop the onions.
    • Peel the carrot then slice them thinly.
    • Slice the courgettes.
    • Chop the butternut squash into bite size chunks.
    • Crush the garlic cloves.

    recipe, healthy, vegetarian, microwave, easy meals, clean eating, family dinner, stress-free mealtimes, life hacks, roasted vegetable couscous

    Microwave Vegetables

    • Place all of the prepared vegetables in a large casserole dish.
    • Add a tiny amount of water.
    • Cover and microwave on high for 5-7 mins.
    • Drain and cool slightly.

    recipe, healthy, vegetarian, microwave, easy meals, clean eating, family dinner, stress-free mealtimes, life hacks, roasted vegetable couscous

    Roasting the Vegetables

    Pre-heat oven to 220ºC (based on convection oven – adjust for other types).

    • Put the vegetables onto the oven tray.
    • Chop the button mushrooms and mix them in with the vegetables.
    • Add some olive oil.
    • Season with salt, pepper and paprika.
    • Place in the pre-heated oven on the lower shelf and cook for 25-30 minutes, shaking occasionally, until golden brown and soft.
    • Stir through the honey and place back in the oven for another 5 minutes.

    recipe, healthy, vegetarian, microwave, easy meals, clean eating, family dinner, stress-free mealtimes, life hacks, roasted vegetable couscous

    Cooking the Couscous

    • Mix the vegetable stock with boiling water.
    • Pour 450 mls over the couscous initially then gradually add more boiling water if required.
    • Stand for 10 minutes.
    • Cover and microwave on medium until warm. (Approximately 5 minutes).

    recipe, healthy, vegetarian, microwave, easy meals, clean eating, family dinner, stress-free mealtimes, life hacks, roasted vegetable couscous

    Final Preparations

    • Separate the couscous grains with a fork.
    • Stir in the vegetable mix.
    Serve and enjoy!

    recipe, healthy, vegetarian, microwave, easy meals, clean eating, family dinner, stress-free mealtimes, life hacks, roasted vegetable couscous

    The verdict…

    I made a couple of simple, minor amendments to the original recipe but stuck to it for the main part. It was a fairly quick and easy recipe. Most importantly, it was absolutely delicious! Very filling, and so healthy too. I will definitely be making this one again!

    recipe, healthy, vegetarian, microwave, easy meals, clean eating, family dinner, stress-free mealtimes, life hacks, roasted vegetable couscous

    *Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.

    8 Frugal Ways To Organise Your Kitchen 

    8 frugal kitchen organization tips. How to organise your kitchen without spending a fortune. Interior design and home decor tips for getting your kitchen organised. Guest post by The Home Makers Journal.

    This is a guest post kindly written by Elizabeth Plumb from The Home Makers Journal.

    It has started to get a bit chilly at night where I live, which has me in a fall cleaning frame of mind. More specifically, I’ve been yearning to get my house in order. Since I didn’t really feel like buying a whole bunch of organization products to get started, I decided to see what I could come up with that would satisfy my need to get organized without spending a lot of money.

    kitchen organization, frugal organisation tips, home and garden, interior design, home decor, guest post, The Home Makers Journal

    Kitchen is used to prepare food stuff. So naturally hygiene conditions must be ensured while preparing food. Prolonged exposure of kitchen surfaces and items to dirt and dust may spoil the appearance and cleanliness of the kitchen. As a professional organizer, I am excited that I get to share both my love of organizing with you today, as well as the tidy, frugal ideas that I use to simply keep my sanity in my own kitchen.

    kitchen organization, frugal organisation tips, home and garden, interior design, home decor, guest post, The Home Makers Journal

    Maybe you can use some of these solutions, too? Here we go…

    Remove Cabinet Doors

    Remove a few cabinet doors to have easy access to dishes. Contrary to what you might think, these dishes don’t get dirty simply because they are out in the open. They are frequently used and don’t sit still long enough to gather dust.

    Use A Cookbook Stand

    Use an ordinary plate easel as a cookbook stand. It keeps your book open, clean, and in view while you are creating your newest culinary masterpiece.

    kitchen organization, frugal organisation tips, home and garden, interior design, home decor, guest post, The Home Makers Journal

    Use creativity, not cash

    Frugal organizers think past the label and outside the box. Even when they must purchase an item to complete an organization project, they make creative use of common products like eco-friendly lighting in the kitchen.

    Ever notice that the same item, say, a plastic box with dividers and a lid, can have three different prices when labeled as a box for fishing tackle, a box for small hardware items, or a box to hold cross-stitch thread? At home, the frugal organizer realize that the expensive plastic holders aren’t necessary!

    Keep Only The Best

    Keep only the best of your kitchen helpers. These are literally all of my casserole dishes and pie plates. I never need more than a few of these at a time. You can read more about kitchen cookware choosing tips on thehomemakersjournal.com

    Storing Utensils

    Store your utensils out in the open, in a pot, crock or ceramic pitcher, so that they will be easier to find and to use and to be returned after being cleaned.

    kitchen organization, frugal organisation tips, home and garden, interior design, home decor, guest post, The Home Makers Journal

    Shop your home for baskets and bins

    I sort of have a basket addiction. They come in handy a lot around our house, so when I needed a little more food storage, I put a couple of baskets from our living room to good use. They were only holding clutter anyway, which forced me to organize that little bit too. While searching our house for other baskets, I found a couple of wire ones to hold my cook books and Lola’s pet supplies too. And I repurposed a galvanized bucket sitting on a bookshelf that served a better purpose as a potato bin.

    Fill the Sink

    Always fill the sink with hot and soapy water before putting in the utensils. This will not only save the cost but also the wear and tear of your dishwasher. Other benefit of practicing this is that it will allow you to speed up your cooking process as you can wash and go without having to worry about a big pile of pans and pots.

    Use of Lids

    Making use of lids is also an innovative way of maintaining cleanliness in the kitchen. Lids of various containers can be used as a mat for jars and containers which contain sticky liquids. The reason behind it is that it helps to clean only the lids rather than cleaning the whole shelf. This eventually saves time and energy.

    Author Bio

    Elizabeth Plumb loves to share ideas on parenting, home decor, DIY, crafts, recipes and traveling. She writes over at The Home Makers Journal. You can find her on facebook, twitter and pinterest.

    Blogger Recognition Award

    First of all, thank you to lovely Trupti at Girls Glamour for nominating me. Do go check out her blog, she has a variety of posts, plenty of great reading!

    blogger, blogging, blog, blogger advice, blogging tips, how to begin blogging, blogger recognition award

    How did my blog begin?

    Well, in short, it begun as a hobby several years ago now (almost a decade infact!) when I first became a parent. I have written about the beginnings of my blog before. 

    My Top Tips For New Bloggers

    • Network – join facebook groups, twitter chats, and even attend conferences/ events if possible. Put in the time and effort to connect with other bloggers. It is a great way to get support and advice, and make friends too!
    • Take it one step at a time – there are many aspects to blogging and it is likely to be far too overwhelming to take it all on at once. Focus on one area to learn about and work on, until it starts to come more naturally and slots in to your schedule/ process easily, then start on the next thing.
    • Be yourself – whether you have a specific niche or cover lots of subjects, open your heart out or are more reserved, write how you speak or more formally, stick to your own personal style and just do you!
    • Focus on social media as much as your blog – if you want people to find and read your content, you need to engage with others and actually share your blog posts so they get seen!

    I now nominate the following fab bloggers:

    If you would like to take part, the ‘rules’ are simple…

    • Give a brief story of how your blog started.
    • Give your top tips/ advice to new bloggers.
    • Select other bloggers you think should be nominated for this award and tag them in the post. Remember to let them know they have been nominated! Don’t forget to also link back to the person who nominated you as well.

    Thank you to everyone, let’s all keep supporting each other!

    #EveryMomentCounts Photo Challenge with Families Online

    Families Online set us a photo challenge to capture a special moment every day for a week, on a different theme each day. This is the compilation post of our #EveryMomentCounts challenge.

    Families Online have set selected bloggers an #EveryMomentCounts photo challenge to capture a special moment daily over this past week, with each day having a different set theme. The aim of this campaign is to remember that even the seemingly ‘little’ family moments throughout each day are precious and actually do matter. Every moment really does count! The themes for the challenge are as follows…

    #EveryMomentCounts, Families Online, family, general life, family time, mindfulness, childhood unplugged, home education, photo challenge, Every Moment Counts, Living Life Our Way

    I don’t think these are ‘official’ rules of the challenge whatsoever, but I also set myself the additional challenge of picking just one single photo for each day. Each ‘moment’ captured was on the actual day of the challenge too – no throwbacks – because for me personally, I felt the point was to focus on being ‘in the moment’ and embrace those special little moments as they actually happen. That was just how I chose to interpret the challenge though, and also I felt this is how I would get the most out of doing it as well. 

    So here are my moments throughout the week…

    Day 1 – Together

    Monday was a tough day. But for days like that, it is even more important to capture and remember the special moments.

    We don’t often spend time at home all playing together (it is usually either one or the other of us with Squiggle when we are at home, not both) so it was lovely to grab a few minutes together. I particularly love this photo because I captured Squiggle affectionately stroking her daddy’s stubble too.

    #EveryMomentCounts, Families Online, family, general life, family time, mindfulness, childhood unplugged, home education, photo challenge, together, Every Moment Counts, Living Life Our Way

    Day 2 – Tradition

    I struggled to imagine how I might find much tradition in a regular Tuesday in September to be honest. But I decided to just get on with our day regardless, and see how it all worked out. After all, I feel that the whole point of the challenge is to just be in the moment, enjoying family time, and making every moment count!

    As it turned out, we found ourselves outside embracing the beautiful signs of Autumn, collecting acorns and leaves. Of course this is a tradition! We do it every year, ever since she was tiny. I remember spending many afternoons during my childhood doing the same with my parents, as no doubt they did with theirs, and one day maybe Squiggle with her own children too.

    However, I chose this particular photo, which is taken in the same spot we collected our autumn treasures just minutes later, because it is my favourite moment of the day. Squiggle had the biggest smile as she carefully jumped on and off the moving roundabout. And look at that lovely traditional style play area! They had those same rocking horses that you can just see in the background when I was her age, they were one of my favourites infact. Fun times!

    #EveryMomentCounts, Families Online, family, general life, family time, mindfulness, childhood unplugged, home education, photo challenge, tradition, Every Moment Counts, Living Life Our Way

    Day 3 – Laughter

    On this morning I could hear lots of giggling from my bed, as Squiggle played with her daddy whilst I caught up on some rest. It is lovely to hear her enjoying precious moments, even if they weren’t mine to share with her! But ‘the moment’ I chose for Wednesday was when Squiggle was delighted to discover that the paddling pools are STILL open at one of our local parks (brrr lol!) and ran through them, giggling and laughing happily. This photo really captures that. Love it!

    #EveryMomentCounts, Families Online, family, general life, family time, mindfulness, childhood unplugged, home education, photo challenge, laughter, Every Moment Counts, Living Life Our Way

    Day 4 – Three Things

    Continuing on with our Autumn exploration from earlier in the week, on Thursday we visited a beautiful local park that we hadn’t actually been to before, for a lovely nature walk and Autumn hunt. We found these 3 little treasures which we collected from different trees (obviously!) within a few metres of each other. We paused under a gorgeous horse chesnut (conker) tree with huge fabulous branches to take this photo of our little collection.

    #EveryMomentCounts, Families Online, family, general life, family time, mindfulness, childhood unplugged, home education, photo challenge, nature, autumn, three things, Every Moment Counts, Living Life Our Way

    Day 5 – Colourful

    We had a day at home on Friday and we actually used the theme as inspiration for one of our activities. Squiggle and I went into the garden with the challenge of getting as many beautiful natural autumn colours into one photo as possible.

    I adore this photo because of the vibrant red and orange berries on bold green leaves against the bright blue sky with gorgeous yellow and brown leaves in the background. So much colour at this time of year!

    I really loved this moment of our day because it’s a great reminder that not only is it important to savour precious moments, but that sometimes we need to take the time and effort to actually create those special moments too!

    #EveryMomentCounts, Families Online, family, general life, family time, mindfulness, childhood unplugged, home education, photo challenge, colourful, Every Moment Counts, Living Life Our Way

    Day 6 – Love

    Of course this picture would include Squiggle, whom I love more than anything! And this particular photo captures us outdoors in nature, which is one of our biggest loves.

    But beyond that, this moment also captures us watching some charity fundraisers and volunteers at the park – an act that no doubt comes from a place of love. And even though these people were random strangers, we felt grateful that we were able to witness this for a few moments too.

    So lots of love in this moment from Saturday, in various different forms.

    #EveryMomentCounts, Families Online, family, general life, family time, mindfulness, childhood unplugged, home education, photo challenge, love, Every Moment Counts, Living Life Our Way

    Day 7 – Reflection

    For the last day of this photo challenge, how better to end it than with a moment of reflection. I stood on this bridge, looking out at the water, and took just a moment to myself to reflect on the wonderful moments we shared as a family throughout the week.

    As a busy parent, taking a moment to myself is sometimes just as important as those precious family moments, hence why I chose this particular photo. I am grateful for the rare moments alone, as well as the many I share with those I love!

    (By the way, we spent lovely quality time together as a family, right before and after this particular moment for myself, going for a wonderful walk in the warm sunshine. It was a beautiful sunny Sunday!)

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    I really enjoyed taking part in this challenge; I loved how much it helped me to really be in the moment and focus on, and celebrate, those ‘little things’ each day. It amazed me how I noticed things so much more than I usually would, depending on the theme for the day, and generally too. I practice mindfulness anyway, but I am still genuinely surprised by how much difference taking part in this challenge made!

    Thank you to Families Online for inviting me to take part in #EveryMomentCounts