Popsy Virtual Run

In October I am planning to run my very first marathon! 😱 I’m not entirely certain what possessed me to sign up for a 26.2mile run but I did. So as I am going to run that far anyway, for fun (?), then I might as well try to raise some money for a worthy cause while I’m at it.

Popsy is a local charity that arranges outings and holidays for partially sighted and disabled children. They do have some amazing holidays but to accommodate all the different needs they hire a jumbulance .

It may not be cheap but it does allow children who are unable to access any other kind of public transport – buses, trains, planes – to experience a holiday. I’m hoping that by pushing myself out of my comfort zone for 26.2miles, I can raise some money to allow a child to go on holiday with Popsy to Disneyland.

To do this, I am hosting a virtual run. The cost of this run will be £10 and you will earn this medal…..

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So how does the virtual run work?

  • Sign up using the button below
  • Complete 26minutes of activity any way you chose- walking, running, wheeling etc
  • Send me proof – pictures of you doing the run, fitness watch read outs, Strava upload etc
  • Wait for your medal to arrive in the post

It’s as easy as that!

If you are signing up for a child who may want to be presented with their medal at the completion of their run then please let me know and I will send the medal out before your run.

The medals will be sent out 2nd class to keep costs down as all the profits from this race will go to Popsy.

To enter you can email me at mehubbyandkidsblog[at]gmail[dot]com replacing the [at] and the [dot] with the relevant symbols. 

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Sofa-so good

There’s actually been a bit of DIY going on here at alifetimeofdiy. I know! Shocker right? The front room which we use as our main room was one of the first ones decorated when we moved in 7 years ago and to be fair it was starting to look shabby.

The floor was replaced a little while ago and is still in good condition so we kept that as it was but the rest of the room needed painting and decorating. 

We also decided it was time to change our beloved settees. We’d had the one since we bought our first house together 14years ago and the other we bought second hand 6 years ago so they have both had good lives. We donated the one back to charity but the other one wasn’t in good enough condition for them so that was disposed of by the council after a few unsuccessful listings on freecycle. 

We bought our new settee in the sale (is there ever not a settee sale going on?) and we love it. It looked massive when it arrived though. It came in two parts and the first half was supposed to be the shorter end. That looked big enough! 


Then they brought in the second half! 


Wow! It seemed to take up most of the space. 

Although it may be because the rest of the room looked like this:

Thankfully it didn’t look like this for long. The room needed to be emptied so that we could finish redecorating. 

We’ve lived with the new settee for about 6 weeks now and we love it. The kids enjoy lounging on it and it’s really comfortable. We are really pleased with it even if it means our savings took a big hit. 

Stay tuned for the big “reveal” post. Please try not to get too excited lol! 

Pin Up

Wow I have neglected this blog haven’t I? Let’s just move swiftly along and pretend it didn’t happen shall we? Fab. 🙂

Okay so I’m going to start back with a crafty post. I am slowly starting to sort out my craft things in the attic and whilst doing so I found an unused canvas. I’m not really one to paint or draw so I decided to use it to make a notice board for Little Lady’s bedroom. I had some pink fabric in my stash and some ribbon so I had a go while she was at school.

Hubby was a bit wary of allowing me to use the staple gun unsupervised after last time when I pinched my thumb in the handle lol! You’ll be glad to know I came away unscathed this time yay!

I roughly measured the fabric by folding it around the canvas.

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I then cut it to size, folded the corners neatly and stapled it to the frame. Of course you could finish the edges of the fabric but to be honest I didn’t bother.

I didn’t have enough of the ribbon I wanted to use so I had to space the strips very carefully. Once I was happy with their position I stapled those to the frame too.IMG_0950

The process was repeated with the ribbon going the opposite way.IMG_0951

And as easily as that it was done.IMG_0952

Little Lady loves it and has it hanging above her desk for her “important papers”. She is also pinning her dance rosettes to it which are looking good.

If I did another one of these I would use more ribbon to make the criss- crosses closer together but as I made this with only things I already had, I am quite pleased.

Have you ever made a noticeboard like this?

The Impossible Dream?

Last weekend brought D’s 4th birthday. Now let’s just take a minute to wonder how on earth my baby could be 4?? Argh! Time moves so fast!

Anyway moving on. So D turned 4 and he decided he wanted a party. With a bouncy castle naturally!  So I booked a hall and the bouncy castle but then my mind turned to the waste side of things. How little waste could I produce at the party? I knew I couldn’t go Zero Waste as it’s quite difficult to get ingredients without packaging here but I could at least try to reduce unnecessary waste.

The main culprit at parties are party bags. Plastic bags filled with plastic tat that break and/or gets thrown away the same day. I decided to make my own party bags out of fabric I already had.  

The bags were all different sizes depending on how much of that particular fabric I had. D wanted a dinosaur party and I did have some dinosaur fabric from a few years ago. Each child also got a toy dinosaur in their bag which seemed to go down well.

Food wise we tried to keep waste to a minimum and I made the birthday cake using items we already had to decorate it  


Cakes were made in reusable cases 

And all the food was placed on proper plates instead of disposable ones

 Drinks were served in plastic beakers we had borrowed from church so no cartons to throw out afterwards.  

Despite all this we fell down in a lot of places. I had surgery the week before the party and was quite poorly afterwards meaning I didn’t  concentrate fully on the zero waste aspect. I panic bought crisps and other party foods that have a lot of packaging at the last minute. We also used tea bags instead of loose tea as I wasn’t well enough to concentrate on a lot of things at the same time. I also panic bought sweets and surprise eggs to go in the party bags.

Next year I plan to start preparing early and make reusable napkins to wrap the birthday cake in for the party bags (we used paper napkins) I would also like to make more of the food myself.

Although my surgery didn’t help our zero waste quest we still only took away one small bag of rubbish at the end of the party. Which I was quite pleased about, considering.

My one sadness though is the one thing I cannot control and that is other people. Any tips on cutting down the mountain of wrapping paper we were left with?

Or is a Zero waste party an impossible dream?

Lonely at the Top

I am a big fan of social media. Okay FaceAche gets on my nerves sometimes with all the “look at me” and “poor me” statuses but on the whole I am a big fan of social media. Why? Well it’s a great way to keep contact with people you may not see very often but also for me it stops me feeling lonely.

I am pretty much on my own every day. I work from home most of the time and most days I spend my time with D. Hubby works every other weekend so one in two weekends I spend on my own with the kids. Don’t get me wrong I love my kids and love being able to stay at home with D but it can be very lonely.

Conversations that revolve around Paw Patrol or Team Umizoomi is not my first choice I must admit. By the end of the day I am desperate for some grown up conversation, desperate to connect with another adult.

Even at work, I spend most of my time with children and young teenagers. I spend my working days doing things like checking which felt pens work:

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Or sharpening a gazillion colouring pencils by hand

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Only to be complained at because I bought the wrong type of biscuits/squash *rolls eyes*

And after a full day of conversation with a 3yr old who is currently undergoing intensive speech therapy, twitter is my saviour. Twitter has people ready to share their own stories of being a SAHM/D or workers who share their commuting problems, making me grateful I don’t have to do that. But most of all, people who make me feel “normal”….. Whatever that is 😉

What’s your take on social media?

Tea for two?

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Can you believe I found this post in my drafts folder, unfinished? This post is actually from last October!
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Item number 21 on my Day Zero List is to raise £500 for charity and this ties in nicely with number 78 – Organise a Charity Coffee morning at home.
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I chose a date and sent out invites to everyone I knew. I cleaned the house from top to bottom. I made some cakes, and bought some cakes, and then I cleaned the house again! Having people round makes me very nervous. I feel that they are judging me and the house. I feel that the house has to be magazine perfect. I get myself worked up and so stressed that I hardly invite anyone around to the house. And this time I had invited a lot of people. :/
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In reality I had no need to worry as people were coming for tea and cake not to see the house (although I’m sure some did come for that reason 😉 ) I decided to keep the “coffee morning” theme going and arranged flowers in tea pots despite the eyebrow raising from hubby. I thought it all came together pretty well and I managed to raise quite a bit towards my £500 target.
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Home Truths

It embarrasses me to admit that my house is constantly untidy. In fact if I were to take a photo of the front room floor at this moment you would see what I mean. Actually wait right there and I will…..

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If you were to visit me, you would need to squeeze past the pushchair in the hallway, negotiate shoes that have just been flung rather than put tidy and then clamber over the train tracks in the front room before you even get to sit down!

I always thought that when I grew up and had a house of my own that it would look like something out of the magazines. Perfectly decorated, accessorised beautifully and – more importantly – tidy! Maybe I’m not grown up enough yet???

Our main problem (if you don’t count the kids 😉 ) is clutter. Basically we have too much stuff! No amount of organisation or storage is going to give us a tidy home. One of the items on my Day Zero list is to declutter 100 items. So far I have decluttered 78 items and I still have a long way to go!! To clarify, I haven’t been counting individual items but boxes or bags of items that have been donated or sold on, ie a box of toys so a lot more than 100 individual items have left the house already!

A bag of toys that was rehomed

A bag of toys that was rehomed

So far we have been through the play room and Little Lady’s toys and books. I have also made a start on my wardrobe and have so far removed 36 items, although according to my rule that will only count as 1 as it fitted in one bag.

Paperwork that was years out of date

Paperwork that was years out of date

I made a good start on old paperwork too and shredded two boxes full of bank statements that went back to year dot, well near enough anyway!!

In January I decluttered 31 items. There was a few individual items in that count as they were big things like my running buggy and D’s baby carrier and isofix base but mostly that was boxes of toys. I must admit here that the attic is chock full of pretty much every toy they have ever owned! I have serious hoarding issues 😮 I am doing my very best to conquer this though. I have given away pretty much all the kids’ baby clothes I had held onto and most of their baby toys.

There aren't even any "Nan's " in our family!

There aren’t even any “Nan’s ” in our family!

Originally keeping all our baby items was a good thing. They were all saved for “the next one” and poor D has lived with his sister’s hand-me-downs throughout his 3 years on this planet (toys not clothes I hasten to add!). But alas, there will not be another “next one” so it all needs to go. The items are being donated to various charity shops or to friends and other items are being sold on selling pages etc with the money going to Little Lady’s Disneyland fund! Well she did do a very good job of her bedroom. The box below is one of 4 boxes she decluttered! Like mother like daughter I’m afraid!

Books and toys

Books and toys

No wonder my house is never tidy! How on earth can it be with all this stuff?? I am a woman on a mission this year and I will get the clutter down to a managable level. We will never live in a minimalist house I know that but if I can reduce our level of “stuff” to a half then the house should look a lot better.

I hope! 😮