A Quick Cuppa With… The Opinionated Dad

Hi all, how are you? How has your week been? What are your plans for this weekend? Well, as it’s Friday and time to wind down, grab yourself a brew (I know, I know, most of my readers are assuming at this time on a Friday evening that must be a typo for wine or pint, or possibly even cocktail… 😉 lol) Anyway, get whatever takes your fancy and ‘meet’ The Opinionated Dad

A Quick Cuppa With, The Opinionated Dad, blogger, interview, Living Life Our Way, guest series, Q and A

Tell me about yourself…

I am a 29 almost 30 year old dad and husband. I am quite a shy person if I am face to face. I think that’s why I enjoy blogging as I don’t have the face to face interaction. I think I am a good dad and husband. I do try my hardest. I am domesticated, knowing how to use the washing machine and dishwasher in our house is essential. At the moment I am a full time stay at home dad and carer to my wonderful wife.

Tell me about your blog. What inspired you to start it? Are you really as opinionated as the name suggests?!

I started my blog as a way of helping with communication issues I have. I’m not a big talker but I can talk better from behind a keyboard. I am opinionated but it’s mainly just in my head. I don’t think the world is ready for it to come out yet. I just thought that I would use the term opinionated as I have a lot of opinions on everything. One inspiration was reading what the Unmumsy Mum writes, I know I’m nothing like her but thought I would share some of my mind with the world.

Name one random fact about yourself.

A random fact….the only thing that comes to mind is I secretly enjoy watching Disney films like ‘The Little Mermaid’ and ‘Beauty and the Beast’.

Who is your biggest inspiration?

My biggest inspiration I would have to say is my wife and daughter. They are my life, my world and without them i would have nothing. I try to see a post in things we do everyday either together or by just observing them. I like to write what’s on my mind and the unmumsy mum has helped me do that by not caring that others might judge what she writes.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

The best advice I had been given must be to get as much sleep as possible before our baby came. However I didn’t listen and the first few months were horrific with lack of sleep. My wife and I even stayed up in shifts to try and combat the fatigue. I must be a glutton for punishment as I am going to be doing it all over again.

Any tips for other dads? Or bloggers? Or dad bloggers?!

My biggest tip is just be yourself. Don’t overthink and let your instincts take over. That can be applied to blogging as well. When you start writing just let it flow and get the article wrote out. You can always go back and edit it if you need to.

Where is your absolute favourite place in the whole world?

I wouldn’t say I have a favourite place really as long as I am with my family I am happy. If I had to pick a location though I would have to say in bed. I love sleeping and I tend to stay up too late and end up getting on average 4-6hrs sleep a night and sometimes I just want to sleep in.

How do you relax/ spend your ‘free time’?

In my free time I like to just chill out on the sofa with a strong coffee in my hand, a good TV show on and cuddles with my wife. That is when I’m not blogging mind.

What are your favourite family activities?

My favourite family activity has to be going to soft play. Not for my daughter, just so I can jump around and act a fool in there. I am almost 30 and the bigest kid at heart.

Where is your favourite outdoor place to visit?

My favourite outdoor place would be the park just round the corner. Sophia loves the park and always asks to go. She enjoys the slide and swings. I have a go on them everytime we go too.

Find more about his adventures here…

Blog: www.theopinionateddad.co.uk

Facebook: The Opinionated Dad

Twitter: @opinionateddad


Instagram: theopinionateddad

A Quick Cuppa With… Mumma and Co

Hi everyone!

I’m back for a quick cuppa with fellow blogger Laura! So grab yourself a brew and read all about her lovely family of six below…

Living Life Our Way, blogger, interview, Q and A, guest post, A Quick Cuppa With, Mumma and CoIntroduction

My name is Laura, I’m 24 and a mother to two children – Alfie, 7 and Holly who is almost 12 months old. We are a family of 6 including my fiance and his two boys. We live in the south coast and enjoy long walks, adventures and beating each other on Sonic racing. (I always win, of course.)

Living Life Our Way, blogger, interview, Q and A, guest post, A Quick Cuppa With, Mumma and Co

Tell me about your blog. What is the main theme? What inspired you to start it?

My blog is a motherhood, parenting and lifestyle blog. I mainly cover things which are parenting based, my own experiences and I try to use as much helpful information as I can to help others. I did try to make it more of a ‘crafty’ blog, but I am absolutely awful at crafts, so I guess my dream to become a cool, Pinterest mum will never work out! I wanted to start a blog years ago but never got round to actually starting one. I did finally start up my blog in summer last year, and it’s the best decision I made!

Do you blog full time or do you work as well? How do you juggle your time? Any tips?

I’d say I blog part time, for now. I do have my current job and I work there 3 days a week. I find it really hard trying to juggle my time, with two kids, work and household chores! The only tips which I would give would be to try and figure out how you’re able to manage your time wisely. The only time I am able to sit down at the laptop with a cup of tea when Alfie is at school and Holly is napping, or in the evening when they’re both in bed. It’s good to keep yourself in a strict routine so you don’t fall behind.

Name one random fact about yourself.

My blood type changes in pregnancy!

Who is your biggest inspiration?

I don’t actually have one! I mean, I guess I have a girl crush on Selena Gomez.. can she be my inspiration? Haha!

What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

Probably “sleep when the baby sleeps” is the best piece of advice I’ve ever received! After having Holly, my house was an absolute bomb site, but I’m so glad I slept whenever I could. I didn’t spend any time worrying about the state of my house & I felt so much better for it.

Where is your absolute favourite place in the whole world?

Probably Ireland, my mum and sted-dad immigrated there two years ago and I love going there to visit! Everyone is so friendly, it’s peaceful and some of the scenaries are incredible.

How do you relax/ spend your ‘free time’?

I like to relax when the kids are in bed by getting into my pyjamas, grabbing a glass of wine, putting a face mask on and watching a film! Ah, bliss.

What are your favourite family activities?

Our favourite activities are probably playing football at the park! (me vs. 4 boys doesn’t always go down well).

Where is your favourite outdoor place to visit?

My favourite outdoor place to visit is probably Lulworth Cove, we walk from there all the way to Durdle Door! Despite me almost having an asthma attack half way, it really is a lovely day out, especially when the sun is shining!

Find out more about Mumma and Co’s adventures here:
Blog: 
mummaandco.co.uk
Facebook: 
Mumma & Co
Twitter: 
@_mummaandco
Instagram: @_mummaandco

100 Days of Home Ed #LoveHomeEd – Day 48 (Katherine)

Introduction

I am Katherine. Iain and I home educate our two girls – T(10) and E(13) (and ourselves).

#100daysofhomed,freedom to learn,guest post,Home Education,interview,Q and A
How long have you home educated for and what made you do it?
We had decided that E, our eldest wouldn’t be going to school by the time school admission forms came around, and have been involved in the online and local home ed community since she was four, and her sister T was a few months old. That is now ten years ago.

We had three main reasons for choosing home education:

E was not ready to spend the day away from me. She wasn’t ready to separate having just turned four. She is also very chatty and we didn’t want her to have to tone that down to have to fit into a classroom.

I am an info-junkie by nature so when it came to thinking about about education I read up and talked to friends about the various options. It just so happened that a work friend was the daughter of education academics, and another had gone to Summerhill (a very different kind of school) – so I discovered autonomous education. A.S. Neill’s idea that the aim of education is to be happy and interested in life, and that children need freedom to find their interests struck a chord with us.

A couple of my friends from baby groups had already decided to home educate and it seemed to be a natural progression for us.

Briefly describe your home Ed style. Do you have a typical week and if so what does it look like?

We are autonomous, or unschooling.

That applies to me and Iain too, not just the children! We aim to meet everyone’s needs and interests. We each do our own thing, or do things in pairs, or as a family, in a very fluid way. We are a techie family and we take full advantage of the opportunities for fun and learning provided by gaming, Youtube and other techie things!

So our youngest gets lots of opportunities to play, and do her own thing. Time to play online with friends, and run around the park, interrupted with bursts of watching her favourite TV shows and creating and making wonderful things.

Our eldest is now 13 and doing some structured learning most days. She is studying for Psychology GCSE, and developing her study skills.

Iain is catching up on some gaming, and playing the guitar. I can often be found satisfying my info-junkie needs by going off on my own tangents when topics come up, and running a Big History group.

We have a core group of friends we see one day a week. And in the summer the girls kayak once a week.

The other things vary from week to week. The girls go to a couple of tutor lead groups for drama and creative writing. Monthly youth group, and soft play. Then a couple of small groups with more structure where we share topics.

What was your highlight of home ed last week?

We are having a few unusually quiet weeks at the moment. Lots of time at home, each doing our own thing. Lots of photography for a daily challenge, gaming, and enjoying the warmer weather.

The highlight has been board games evening. 

One thing I hadn’t expected about home educating was that it has given us a whole new extended family. Because my girls and I are making friends with whole families rather than individual people. So Tuesday evening we went round to a friend’s house. Most of the children disappear to play, and the rest of us play board and card games. Iain works full-time so it is always nice to do things with home ed friends that include him.

Another highlight has been the day E spent baking and decorating a cake in the shape of our rabbit for a friend’s birthday, and then the house full of people chatting, and playing, and eating the cake.

What is your favourite thing about home edding your children?

There are so many favourite things – I can’t narrow it down to one!

Definitely the social side, as you can tell from the last week’s highlights.

Apart from that – it is the freedom we each get to follow our own interests, and live and learn in a less stressful way. I love how each of us develops in our own unique way – that we can get involved in something, whether in short all consuming bursts, or over years of exploration. The girls really value the freedom they have to be self-directed, and independent.

It is fascinating how disparate things, and going off at tangents can years later turn out to be an in depth exploration of something we parents hadn’t seen at the time, but for each child was the obvious line of inquiry.

What do you find most difficult and why?

I find this a really difficult question to answer. Since our girls have never been to school we don’t have that to compare it with. The hardest parts are often just parenting, rather than related to home educating. Things like continuous tidying and laundry.


At points it is easy to become caught up in concerns about a child’s ability, or progress. Is this normal? Is my child doing OK? But then again every parent has these concerns, and we have the freedom to find ways through this that aren’t bound up in the school model.

What advice would you give to other home educators?

I’ve found it vital to get a good support system – one that values home education.

Make friends with other home educators online and in your local area. Make sure that you include yourself, and supporting your needs as well as your children. We have had a huge amount of support from other home educating families, and a big part of that has been that the parents are my friends too.

It can really help to talk to home educators whose children are older – their experiences can be a great source of knowledge and support. Finding out about a range of different approaches and experiences gave us the ability to try different things if something isn’t working, and the confidence to see that things are working but not in the way we assumed they would.

100 Days of Home Ed #LoveHomeEd – Day 46 (They Grow So Quick)

Introduction

Hi, I am Emma, mum of three boys Seb who is 6, Alex aged 4 and Barney who is 1. We live in West Yorkshire. 

Home Education, 100 days of home ed, #LoveHomeEd, freedom to learn, #100daysofhomeed, They Grow So Quick, guest post, Q and A, interview, Living Life Our Way

How long have you home educated for and what made you decide to do it?

Seb became compulsory school age last January so officially we have been home educating since then. None of my children have ever been to nursery or school. 

I first joined a home ed group on Facebook when Seb was around 2 years old and I found that it just made sense to me and I wanted the home ed lifestyle for my own children. So I began to find out about the local home ed scene and met some lovely people. 

Briefly describe your home ed style. Do you have a ‘typical’ week and what does it include if so?

I have found the longer we home ed for the more autonomous we are, I did originally plan on being fairly structured but it really didn’t suit us and we work much better with more flexibility. Each week is different and I love that. 

What was your highlight of home ed last week?

We had a fantastic day at a local farm. Going midweek meant it was very quiet so we were able to take our time and look at everything in detail. Another random highlight was Seb (who would be in year 1 if schooled) adding up at the shop, we had 3 books at £2.99 each and he told me how much it would total without thought. Little things like that show menthat he is progressing well even if his education doesn’t always look like traditional learning. 

What is your favourite thing about home edding your children?

It has to be the freedom and ability to be spontaneous. We are so lucky that we can wake up and if it is a beautiful day we can head off to the coast or to explore a new park. 

What do you find most difficult and why?

Some days are stressful! Like most siblings my boys can be best friends one minute and arguing the next. I think this is the same in all families though, schooled or not.

What advice would you give to other home educators?

Deschool yourself and don’t compare your child to others because we all learn at our own pace. 

Find out more about their wonderful home ed adventures over on their blog at www.theygrowsoquick.com 

100 Days of Home Ed #LoveHomeEd – Day 44 (GWkid)

Introduction

I am the mother of the GWkid on utube! We are home Educators for a while every day changes therefore so does learning people always ask when do you stop edding the answer is never! We learn all day everyday baby! when we want how we want and what we want. We are very blessed to be able to enjoy learning in this way.

#100daysofhomeed, #LoveHomeEd, 100 days of home ed, freedom to learn, guest post, Home Education, interview, Q and A

How long have you home educated for and why did you decide to do it?

We have been home Educating for approximately 2 years. We decide to home educate to provide God centred quality Education for our child.


Briefly describe your home ed style. Do you have a ‘typical’ week and what does it include if so?


I would say we are structure-flexible. Subjects activities and times within the day are set although we are very open to allowing the child to learn when they are ready in the format they most thrive in or enjoy weather it be outside with or without friends table learning games household chores or shopping. I use regular daily activities to teach the Bible along with Mathematics, Science, English, and my UTW (Understand the world) subjects. Again this style may change as the child develops to better support the learning more effectively and most importantly to increase the fun!


What was your highlight of home ed last week?

My highlight is at it is everyday watching my child grow and develop into the child God wishes him to be and me gaining confidence daily from God to know that my husband and I are blessed to be facilitating this beautiful journey.

What is your favourite thing about home ed?

Being able to bring our child up as we wish to.

What do you find most difficult and why?

Finding other families that match our way of HE was a struggle at first but to be honest it has become a plus as I think I was spending to much time worrying about creating a village of likeminded HE friends. When I stopped and just focused on my child and family God sent me friends that proved to be just what we needed rather than what wanted. Life has been stress free and easy ever since ! I love Home Education!

What advice would you give to other home educators?

Let the love for your child guide your guidance of them.

Find them on YouTube here.

100 Days of Home Ed #LoveHomeEd – Day 43 

We are a larger than average family, with 7 children aged 22, 21, 17, 14, nearly 8, 5 & 3. The eldest 2 are now obviously grown up and getting on with adult lives and our 17 yr old is due to start college soon, but the younger 4 are still very much in full time home education stage. We have been home educating for 7 years now.

Our eldest 2 went all through school with a mixture of success and struggles, but when J & S (now 17 & 14 year olds) were in primary school we started to wonder if there were alternatives. I had friends in the States who home schooled and I had always felt quite envious, presuming that here in the UK it would not be a legal option. I cannot even remember what prompted the initial Google search, but something did one day when the kids were on summer holidays between J going up to year 6 and S going up to year 3. I can’t even remember what I searched or where exactly that led me, but I suddenly found myself aware that Home Education was not only something legal here – but also very simple to do and actually quite common! It was like a suddenly realising you lived next to an amazing garden that you never knew existed – I wanted to explore every single possibility, my mind swam wildly with excitement and everything seemed to make so much more sense. 

J had never really been happy in school, he has ASD and struggled badly with the social side of things – and also the misbehaviour of classmates. S had health issues that meant she missed big chunks of time in class for hospital visits and stays. She was regularly sent home poorly or unable to go in for mornings – her worst time. The school were awkward about offering support, saying she was ‘clever enough and would catch up’. She struggled also socially because friendships were being forged in her absence and girls can be mean! We were struggling ourselves as parents, not really agreeing with the school system of over-testing and ‘one size fits all’ education.

Excited, but apprehensive I mentioned the idea of Home Education to my husband. Neither of us had enjoyed school, our kids were not enjoying it … so it just made sense! Cautiously I asked the children what they thought – no pressure, your choice. To be honest I expected reluctance, but they both jumped at the idea and that was that! We sent off de-registration letters during the holiday and they never returned. All decided in less than a week and we haven’t looked back!
We had one toddler too at that point (F) and have since had two more (R &E), none of whom have been to school – not even preschool. We hope they will always stay out, but the choice will be theirs.

We have tried many different approaches over the years. I love reading about the different styles of Home Education. I have never been one to follow a particular style strictly, I prefer to be inspired by the theories and take those that fit into our lifestyle. When life has been manic – house moves, new babies, etc. we have taken time off from scheduled work to be unschoolers/ autonomous. Inevitably though, both myself and the kids find ourselves wanting some kind of structure back in our days. I find it helps us stay focused and achieve more … even if those achievements are only those that the kids want for themselves. With so many children, at quite different ages and stages, all with different interests and personalities I found it too hard to meet everyone’s needs without some kind of routine. At least half of our household also like to know exactly what is happening each day too!

#100daysofhomeed, #LoveHomeEd, 100 days of home ed, freedom to learn, guest post, Home Education, interview, Q and A
Practising addition

A typical day for us would involve me and the smallest 3 waking somewhere around 6.30-7am. When we are all awake enough we have breakfast together and do what I call our ‘breakfast basket’, which is basically a selection of books I read aloud. Typically it will include picture books for the youngest and some fact books on a given theme for the week, some poems or a moral story to discuss. On busy periods I may just read our current chapter book instead. We use Five In A Row with the youngest – which means we cover various subjects just through discussing the picture books we read and using them as a springboard for more ideas. I often use my own choices of books too though, but with the same idea.
By this point the teens are starting to rise and we all get on with our designated household chores for the morning. After this I like them to go out in the garden for a bit of exercise and fresh air, while I do one to one with S – working on her English. They come in, I do some activities with the youngest two and F (8) has some time on the PC (I found he concentrates so much better later in the day if he’s already gamed, rather than clock-watching or asking constantly “Am I done now?”). S then goes to do her independent work. Some days at this point we have scheduled lessons or activities with other people. Other times the kids like to play on the LeapTV or just go off and play.

Lunch altogether, while I read our current read aloud chapter book, then various lunchtime chores. I am hoping to get more chance to get a trip to the park in after lunch as the weather improves, but so far that hasn’t happened as often as I’d like. Then I work one to one with F. This has to be very small bursts (10 minutes per activity). We practice handwriting, reading and maths, etc. He has a few workbooks he chooses to do, but for the most part we play games.

The little two usually appear again at this point – requesting ‘work’ too, so I have some basic workbooks or sheets they can join in with. We have different activities during the afternoons, some I reserve for play dates, park trips or others we have family activities we do until dinner time – board games, cooking, arts and crafts, etc.

One of the highlights of our week is nearly always on Tuesdays when we have our ‘History Tea-Time’… with table set with sandwiches and cakes and hot chocolate in a teapot I read books or we watch YouTube videos of our current topic. Last year we covered explorers, this year we are looking at inventors and inventions. I like to find picture books that really bring the events to life, rather than just factual encyclopedias for example. Food + read alouds often go hand in hand here – it helps wriggly bottoms stay on seats and ears listening if the mouths are busy chewing!

My favourite things about home edding include seeing my children bond so closely with each other and also getting to spend so much more of their precious childhood with them. I love feeling so connected with their development, getting to see them have those ‘aha!’ moments and really seeing them progress. Or the times when they enthuse to others how much they enjoy learning at home. I also enjoy being able to encourage their individual interests, to help them make the most of their strengths.

Another thing that I love about home edding is the choices available for trips, the amazing opportunities that our kids get. A recent example being a trip to the Holocaust Museum, for my 14 year old – complete with a chance to listen to and ask questions to a survivor. It was an amazing, emotional and unforgettable experience. He was an incredible man and left an impact on everyone who met him. From PGL  activity holidays to workshops held in The Royal Courts of Justice or The Houses of Parliament, from making pizzas in Pizza Express to a tour of the sewage works, our kids get some great experiences!

#100daysofhomeed, #LoveHomeEd, 100 days of home ed, freedom to learn, guest post, Home Education, interview, Q and A
Recent trip to Holocaust Museum

The hardest things can be not having enough energy/time in the day to do all that I want to with them. Likewise, trying to have realistic expectations of what is achievable! With such a large age range I can often feel disappointed that we don’t get to go on as many trips as I’d like either – but I console myself that as the little ones get bigger more will be possible!
My best bit of advice for other home edders would be that if something isn’t working, if your child is not enjoying it or it is hard work … try something different! Sometimes you only need a small tweak, other times a complete overhaul. Don’t be confined by a certain style or curriculum, what works for one might not for you and there is no point having all the freedom of choice that comes with home edding if you don’t make the most of it! 

100 Days of Home Ed #LoveHomeEd – Day 38 (Rebecca)

Introduction

I’m Rebecca, I have two boys. Stanley is 5 and Ronnie is 2. 

#100daysofhomeed, #LoveHomeEd, Living Life Our Way, 100 days of home ed, freedom to learn, guest post, Home Education, interview, Q and A

How long have you home educated for and what made you decide to do it?


We’ve home educated Stanley from the beginning. It started when we were offered a school place at a school which was not good at the time. Once we looked into home ed I fell in love with it and we decided to go for it! 

What was your highlight of home ed last week?

Stanley getting out the art basket and creating freely and experimenting with different materials. 

#100daysofhomeed, #LoveHomeEd, Living Life Our Way, 100 days of home ed, freedom to learn, guest post, Home Education, interview, Q and A

What is your favourite thing about home edding your children?
Spending my time with them and watching them grow and develop 💙

What do you find most difficult and why?

At first it was being different that scared me, I didn’t have faith in myself I guess. Now I’ve seen how amazingly Stanley is doing, I don’t doubt our decision!

What advice would you give to other home educators?

Have faith in yourself and your children! There will be harder days but it’s all worth it!! And get outside lots, it helps with concentration too! 

#100daysofhomeed, #LoveHomeEd, Living Life Our Way, 100 days of home ed, freedom to learn, guest post, Home Education, interview, Q and A

Here is my YouTube channel. I’d love you to follow our journey. 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJ7XiEI2hNfPGl6lr-JKH-w

A Quick Cuppa With… Eco Fluffy Mama

Today my guest is the absolutely lovely Tamsin. She is a fellow blogger who writes about green living, eco products and aiming for a zero waste. She is truly inspirational. Read on to find out some of her top tips…

A Quick Cuppa With, Eco Fluffy Mama, interview, Q and A, guest post, green living, zero waste, Living Life Our Way

Introduction

My name is Tamsin, I’m 29 and I live in Suffolk with my son and fiance. I used to work in the motorcycle industry, but sadly lost my job in 2011 before having my son in 2012. Before my son was born, I was really into power lifting but unfortunately had to give that up when my health declined suddenly. I suffer from multiple chronic health conditions and at times I find things hard. But lucky for me I have a supportive family and the most wonderful readers who constantly spur me on.

Name one random fact about yourself.

I hold a full motorcycle license.

Who is your biggest inspiration?

Amanda Tapping

Tell me about your blog. Have you always been passionate about green living and working toward zero waste? What inspired you to start the blog?

I’ve always been interested in natural skincare and holistic healing. But it wasn’t until I was pregnant with my son that I found out about cloth nappies, which opened my eyes to green living. I had no idea how truly wasteful our society is. Like many others, I never truly understood that there is no such thing as ‘away’, and that rubbish is a huge problem. After discovering cloth nappies, I kind of fell into the world of green living and have progressed towards a zero waste lifestyle (although I am absolutely not perfect or 100% zero waste! – I am still making progress, too!)


I started the blog as a diary of sorts for my working out and talking about my experience as a first time Mum. I wrote about cloth nappies and babywearing as it was something that I really wanted more people to know about. From there I expanded my topics to include reusable menstrual products. It’s what really what launched my blog from a little space of internet for waffling, to a trusted site for others also seeking information on living a greener life.

What is the best piece of advice you would give someone just starting out on their journey to zero waste?

Don’t panic and remember to start small. It’s all too easy to find out about zero waste, then realise about how wasteful society is and feel like we need to make loads of changes immediately. You will end up overwhelmed, stressed out and feeling defeated.

So my advice is to make a couple of changes at a time. Start with analysing your rubbish and work out what it is you’re throwing way – from there you can easily work out simple solutions. Also, invest in reusable bags and drinks bottles. You’ll make quite a big impact by just refusing single use plastic bags and drinks bottles.


Remember, it’s not all or nothing. Do as much as you are able.

How do you relax/ spend your ‘free time’?

I am a really keen amateur photographer, so I enjoy taking photos whenever possible. I also really enjoy reading and crochet. For me, crochet is a great stress reliever and I have found it has helped my mental health a lot.

Since Living Life Our Way is a family lifestyle blog, I’d love to hear more about yours…

What are your favourite family activities?

As a family, we really enjoy going on adventures (As my 4yo puts it). We pack a lunch, go for a walk and just enjoy the beautiful countryside.

Where is your favourite outdoor place to visit?

Clare County Castle – it’s in a little village and has a big hill with the ruins of the old Clare castle. There’s also an old railway and a park, too. It’s just a lovely area to visit.

Best family day out?

Gosh, tough question. I couldn’t possibly pin point one as I struggle to get out due to my health. So every time we’re out as a family is special to me. Especially the simple things like watching the sun set from our garden and the deer walking up past out back garden. Our place backs onto a field and all you can see for miles is fields and forests.

Find lots of useful advice, support and info on green living from Tamsin here:

Blog: www.ecofluffymama.com

Twitter: @EcoFluffyMama

Facebook: facebook.com/ecofluffymama

Insta: instagram.com/ecofluffymama/

This is the final Q&A in this series for now, but I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have… and do keep your eye out, as it might well make a return sometime! 

100 Days of Home Ed #LoveHomeEd – Day 37 (Tracey)

Introduction

I’m Tracey. Mother to 2 boys, step mum to 1 girl and wife to Dan.

#100daysofhomeed, #LoveHomeEd, 100 days of home ed, Living Life Our Way, freedom to learn, guest post, Home Education, interview, Q and A

How long have you home educated for and what made you decide to do it?

2 years. Deregistered Feb 2015. My eldest is autistic and has ADHD. School was not supportive at all and nearly broke me mentally with the constant fighting for help. My son lost a significant amount of weight and wasn’t sleeping. Verbal and physical bullying was being ignored by the school. I wish I had took him out earlier.

Briefly describe your home ed style. Do you have a ‘typical’ week and what does it include if so?

Unstructured except for the regular groups J attends. Weekly forest/coastal school, weekly media & history, weekly swimming and weekly Spanish. Everything else is based on whatever J is interested in at the time or going out on bike rides/beach walks/playing with his friends.

#100daysofhomeed, #LoveHomeEd, 100 days of home ed, freedom to learn, guest post, Home Education, interview, Q and A, Living Life Our Way

What was your highlight of home ed last week?

J teaching himself to solder by YouTube videos and making a little circuit to power a fan.

What is your favourite thing about home edding your child/ren?

Seeing him light up when finding something that inspires them. Seeing him become independent, happy and finally making real friends.  Having his community paed lower his medication due to his anxiety lowering and his concentration improving.

Living Life Our Way, #100daysofhomeed, #LoveHomeEd, 100 days of home ed, freedom to learn, guest post, Home Education, interview, Q and A

What do you find most difficult and why?

Having to defend my decision to HE and prove we are not weird hippy hermits.

What advice would you give to other home educators?

Relax. Have faith in the deschooling process when they are glued to screens and video games and never forget that children are ALWAYS learning.

A Quick Cuppa With… Abi Bumbles

Today’s cuppa is with Abi, who has one foot on either side of the blogging world. Yet both feet are also in Wales, and also often on skates! Read on to find out what the heck I am talking about 😉

A Quick Cuppa With, blogger, guest post, interview, Q and A

Introduction

I’m Abi. I’m 27 and live in North Wales. Not the super pretty bit with mountains and claims of dragons, but a sort of nice, large village. I share my abode with my husband and two Jack Russells. They’re all silly and I love them to pieces, even if between them they chew too many things and get annoyed at me for forgetting to do anything around the house. You might be able to figure out which does which.

I’m a PR with marketing agency and do my damnedest to not be one of the awful ones that gets ripped to shreds in blogger groups. I’m on both sides of the blogger world so end up with some pretty good insights. But that also means that no one really wants to listen thinking I might be biased. Still, it’s enjoyable and I’ve learnt a heck of a lot from all the flipping amazing bloggers out there.

I am, unsurprisingly, a feminist and am making efforts to live a more body positive life as well. These are topics I cover on my blog a lot because the conversations matter. I try to be as open minded as I possibly can, but hate for the sake of it is not something I can abide.

I’m also a bit tattooed because I think they’re super pretty. I’m starting on a half sleeve in February which I am excited and terrified about. I also blog about tattoos a lot because I find them fascinating and I think the more information available, the better..

Name one random fact about yourself.

I play a sport called Roller Derby, for a team imaginatively named North Wales Roller Derby. For those that don’t know, and that’s most people, it’s played on roller skates, on an ovaloid track, it’s full-contact, and no, you cannot elbow people in the face. It’s one of the most inclusive sports I have ever comes across, with women (and men) of every shape and size you can imagine coming together to make a team. There really is a place in the game for every shape of person, from super petite size 2s to big women who want to throw their incredible hips around.


I started playing at 23 and I couldn’t skate at all, could barely stand, and now I’m fully in the sport – on a team and learning to ref. If you’re up for the challenge and aren’t afraid to fall over then it’s the best thing you could get involved with.

Who is your biggest inspiration?

This is a hard question. I guess in recent years, my other half has had a massive impact on my life. We went through some tough stuff a year and a half ago which tested us to our limits and beyond. But we got through it. We survived and I can’t help but be inspired by him. He helps me find my better side when I forget it’s there.

Tell me about your blog. What is the main theme? What inspired you to start it?

I mentioned a bit already about the sort of topics I cover. It’s a mixed bag – well and truly a lifestyle blog. I do muse upon topics somewhat and maybe tend to border on train-of-thought writing, but I enjoy that.

I attempted to do Blogmas, with no prep, and that pushed me out of my comfort zone. I wrote a makeup review, stuff on days out, and even a film review or two. I failed Blogmas after 13 days, but I wrote a post about that too – silver linings and all that.

I’ve been sporadically blogging for the past few years but never managed to stick at it more than a few weeks, each time forgetting how much work it is. But I began my PR job in August last year and began blogging in earnest. I spent hours researching bloggers and matching them to campaigns, chatting to them, editing with them – the whole shebang. I realised that I loved it. I’ve always enjoyed writing and seeing behind the scenes made me realise I could do it. Thank you blogging world!

Do you blog full time or do you work as well? How do you juggle your time? Any tips?

I work full-time so my compromise with myself is to post a minimum of once a week. It’s about all I am willing to dedicate to it at the moment. I’ve tried to do it more in the past but failed because it started to feel like a job. While it’s be great to get the the point of earning from my blog it is primarily a hobby.


My advice, leading on from that, is – as fun as it is to throw yourself into blogging, make sure you keep the enjoyment. If posting once a week is all you can do without going mad – so be it. If writing about hair colour is what gets you going – do that. There are no hard and fast rules, so make your own.

What is the best piece of advice you can give to fellow bloggers?

I’ll put my PR hat on here and give some advice I’m dying to say but always hold back on – if you can’t do a post you’ve agreed to, tell them. Don’t ignore emails, or make up whatever excuse, or even ghost us (yes, it’s happened), be straight up and cancel on us. That way a PR can find someone else and not bother you for a month about something you don’t want to do. When a blogger does cancel, I’m not heartbroken and I don’t resent them. I’m actually really likely to use them again for a different topic – I trust them because they were professional. But when I’m put in a position to chase and pester, I probably won’t because I don’t have time and don’t want to peeve people off.


I always say that I’m willing to help in anyway I can, and I mean it. My job isn’t to yell at you until you do something, it’s have a professional relationship we both benefit from. Bloggers and PRs both need the other, so let’s be pals.

How do you relax/ spend your ‘free time’?

I pretty much like being sedentary when I have free time. And eating. Telly, lying down and eating. I suppose this is where I should say more about my love of blogging and roller derby, but I’m going to go with laziness instead.

Since Living Life Our Way is a family lifestyle blog, I’d love to hear more about yours…


What are your favourite family activities?

My family consists of two hyper dogs and big, slightly clumsy, man, so our favourite things to do together are play fight and take long walks. I guess that works for kids too if they’re particularly feisty.

Where is your favourite outdoor place to visit?

My grandparents live along a canal just down from the World Heritage site The Froncysyllte Aqueduct. I also used to work on one of the boats doing tourist trips across it and when I visit still like to go for a wander along it. Despite knowing it so well I love walking across it – the views are amazing all year round and there’s always the fun of people terrified of the heights.

Best family day out?

I don’t know if I’m qualified for this question but I am very eager to try Bounce Below. It’s an old mining cave that has been turned into a multi-level trampoline park. It’s beautiful and fun and scary – what kid wouldn’t love that?

Thank you for taking part!

Read more from Abi here:

Blog: www.abibumbles.com

Facebook: facebook.com/abibumbles

Twitter: @AbiBumbles


Bloglovin: abi-bumbles-18188781