Kids – They are unpredictable!

No matter what age your kids are there is one thing that can be guaranteed. They can be very unpredictable. You will have carefully laid plans and without warning one of them will throw a giant spanner in the works. This weekend has been proof of that fact.

Very early Friday morning Mr S and I were supposed to be heading for a boozy weekend away in The Netherlands. My sister had kindly agreed to mind my kids. She had planned a full itinerary that was going to keep them entertained in our absence.

Thursday night we were all packed and ready to go. Hoping to get a reasonable nights sleep before we had to get up early for the long journey. (We would be travelling with a large groups by coach and ferry).

Well….that’s when our middle child threw a giant metaphorical spanner at us. Four and a half hours before we were due to leave we found him having a seizure. He has no history of having one in the past so you can imagine how much this took us by surprise. Forget sleepy dreams about heading off for our weekend away we were now heading to the hospital.

Fortunately our Son is okay, and typical him can’t quite understand what all the fuss is about. He’s a typical overgrown 15 year old that thinks Mum fusses to much. He has minimal recollection of having a seizure only the paramedic telling him he was heading to the hospital.

As yet we have no idea what caused the seizure, he does have type 1 diabetes so it could have been hypo related. His blood sugar levels however were not actually that low. We do know it wasn’t an infection as those tests came up clear. There is also a history of Epilepsy within our family. I had it as a child and so did his sister. We both grew out of it. Usually though everyone is allowed an isolated seizure before doctors will diagnose Epilepsy. We do have a follow up appointment at a ‘first seizure’ clinic so that might provide some clues.

Technically we probably could have still made the coach for our trip away as we didn’t have to wait too long in Hospital to be seen. Both Mr S and I though didn’t feel we could leave our Son with my sister. Not that she isn’t capable, but we would have spent the whole weekend worrying.

I would be lying if part of me wasn’t disappointed about cancelling our trip, that’s just natural though as anyone would be. We have decided to make the best of the situation though and instead have a staycation doing some things with the kids.

My sister also now gets to go to Wembley for a football match tomorrow instead of minding my tribe.

Today we had a lovely sunny walk across the local fields to eat lunch at the Wilkin & Sons Tearooms In Writtle.

Once lunch had settled the boys also went swimming.

Tomorrow we plan on heading to the Secret nuclear bunker in Kelvedon Hatch which is actually something we have been saying for ages that we fancied doing.

This was definitely not how we had been planning to spend weekend. I’m not sad about it though as I’m always complaining about my “working mum guilt”. Fate clearly wanted me to spend some quality time with the kids rather than having a piss up!

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5 things that happened when I stopped eating refined sugar 

For the past 30 days I have been taking part in a challenge to remove junk from my diet including things like crisps, cakes and anything that contains added or refined sugar. 

People that know me well will appreciate how much of a challenge this has been for me. The first few days of this were tough. I had a withdrawal headache and was cranky because I couldn’t eat what I wanted. 

Fortunately I am part of a 30 day challenge group on Facebook, and my husband has also been on this challenge so there has been plenty of support. 

Now  at the end of this challenge I thought I would share the five things that I have discovered since giving up the sugar. 

  1. At the beginning of my sugar detox I felt really hungry. I started having to look at food in a different way. I am now looking at food for its nutritional benefits and its ability to keep me full.    For example at breakfast I am now eating overnight oats made with natural greek yogurt and berries rather than a cereal bar. My sugar levels are no longer spiking and then slumping. I have so much more energy and no longer have a dreadful late afternoon slump. 
  2. My skin is looking clearer. I can’t give you a scientific reason for this, it just does. I am definitely a vain person so this is enough for me to make a go of sticking to a sugar free diet. 
  3. Now that the natural flavours of food are no longer masked with sugar it tastes so much better. I’m really beginning to appreciate food again. Fruit like grapes and strawberries taste amazing and are enough to satisfy my usual post meal need for a sweet fix. Home made sweet potato crisps are heaven! 
  4. I have got used to the taste of food without added sugar. I can really taste hidden sugars in food. Simple things like a tin of baked beans taste really sweet. Too sweet In fact. I’ve now switched to Heinz No added sugar beans, which I hated before. 
  5. In a bid to avoid those hidden sugars I have made an effort to take a packed lunch to work. This has saved me money. Win Win! 

I know I will struggle to stick to a completely sugar free diet on long a term basis. There will always be the temptation to indulge In the odd bit of chocolate, particularly around my time of the month. Going forward though it is about making sensible choices. 

Bringing Back The Photo Album 

When the first digital camera was invented back in 1975 it was heavy, slow and could only record black and white images. It was never intended for commercial use. In fact It took until 1990 for the first digital camera to be commercially available.

Originally it was  slow to catch on but the digital camera was to revolutionise how we took and viewed our photographs. No longer did we have to wait for our films to be developed and printed by a professional. Our photos could be instantly viewed, the unflattering ones deleted. All that excitement and urgency to get our hands on our photos was no longer. 

Today most of us have a smartphone that can instantly capture and share moments to social media. The need to print our images seems even less. 

I don’t know about you but I have years worth of digital images stored in virtual space not being appreciated. The missed opportunities of this was only reinforced by the death of my mother this year. I had a realisation that all I had left of my Mum were memories. I wanted something tangible to help hold onto them. 

It may sound overly dramatic but this was a bit of a wake up call for me. 

I am currently working on a little project to get all my favourite pictures printed and into albums. I am very aware that this is going to end up being a costly and time consuming project. It will be worth it though.

Currently I am using the FreePrints app available for iPhone to print those images from my phone, social media and Dropbox accounts. What’s helpful is that you get 45 free prints a month, only having to pay for postage. 

The quality of the prints are great and delivery is fast. I would love to leave a link but is it is app that isn’t possible. The icon though is a white butterfly on a blue background (see screenshot below).

For photo albums I like to use ring bound scrapbooks as I can really personalise the layout of each page. I can also add newspaper cuttings and tickets from events. I feel like I am creating something special for me to look back in years from now. 

My Sunday Photo 

I’ve seen quite a few other bloggers share a Sunday photo each week. This is usually accompanied by a little explanation of what is happening in that photo and what it means to them. I loved this idea so have decided to introduce this as a regular feature on Schoolrunbeauty.com.

Now my first photo is not a deep and meaningful family shot. Nope it basically demonstrates what a Plank I am. 


Yes Katy managed to set fire to the dinner this week! The downstairs of the house stank of smoke for about three days! 

In my defence I was knackered after a very busy day at work. I didn’t want to cook! I wanted a takeaway! Listening to the Husbands reasoning on why we really should be well behaved and cook, I got on with it. This is where it went very wrong!

Cooking pasta is piss easy. My ten year old can do it! Apparently my tired brain can’t though. I had put water on to boil, managed to switch on the wrong hob, of which I’d left a packet of pasta on. Queue the flames! Bang went my quiet five minutes to indulge in a cuppa. 

Did I get that much wanted takeaway? Nope. We now had a mess to clean up alongside trying to get something edible on the table. I’ve spent several days since trying to scrape melted plastic of the ceramic hob. Alas I think it’s probably ruined. Bugger! 

So moral of the story….I should shave got the Takeaway!!! 

2014 – Life lesson’s – A better, happier me

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So, this post may not be to everyone’s taste. It could even be considered a bit self indulgent. Maybe consider it as me drawing a line under certain parts of my life, and moving on.
You see, for me, 2014 brought with it big challenges. I’m not saying it was a bad year, but one of those years that the powers that be decided to throw several curve balls my way, just to see if I’d cope or not. I can honestly say the words “Well it can’t get any worse” were uttered from my lips several times, and then it did. Fortunately, for me I’m stronger than I thought and I m still here with my head held high and a smile on my face.

With help from those close to me I have been able to reflect on certain challenges and treat them as a series life’s important lessons. I’m bringing these forward with me into 2015 and compared with this time last year I am a far happier and balanced person.

So, if your still with me on this, you might be thinking were is she going with this? Let’s just say I thought it would be nice to share with you the positives lessons I have learnt.

1. I am responsible for my own happiness.

I have been guilty of blaming others in my life for my own discontentment, to the point of pushing them away. It was only when I pushed them to far and was faced with losing those people dear to me, that I realised, what me blaming them everything was doing to them.
Not only that, it doesn’t change my own discontentment. Instead of blaming others for things in my life I’m not happy with I have learnt that it is up to me do something about it. The only person holding me back is myself. It is so easy to go through life making excuses for not doing things, or to sit back and wait for that invitation, job offer etc . I have learnt to be more proactive and in doing this have achieved far more of the things that I have wanted to. Consequently I’m a happier person.

2. Positivity is catching.

I made a decision to try to only portray positive thoughts to those around me. This may be in person or in my Facebook page, twitter feed etc.

What I have notice is that if I put out positive thoughts, I get back a positive reaction. No one wants to be around a cranky little madam. I’d be lying if I said I managed this all the time. My husband bless him puts up with my PMT like a saint, most of the time. Also If I’m feeling negative I have learnt to stay away from social media. It’s so easy to get drawn into someone else’s negativeness if your feeling cranky yourself. It works both ways.

3. There’s always someone out there who has it worse than myself.

It’s very easy to take certain things in our lives for granted. I’m not talking materialistically but having people around us that care. I’m lucky there is always someone there to turn to if I need a hug, a kind word or even to tell me to snap out of wallowing in self pity. (Harsh maybe, but necassery sometimes)
Some people are not as lucky as I am, they do not have a large family like I do, or are yet to meet their life partner. If I’m having a crap day, I can guarantee I have some one to come home to, even if it his to just cuddle up on the sofa and watch a film.

4. I have a unhealthy relationship with shopping.

Now this is something I’m currently working on. I have realised that I’m an emotional shopper. If I’m feeling down then my first response is to turn to some retail therapy. Trouble is that initial buzz doesn’t last long and I haven’t dealt with the situation that is bothering me. So I will look to the next purchase to give me that buzz again.

This has left me with a disturbing amount of stuff. (Mostly make-up and skin care). It’s starting to stress me out a bit as clutter does not make for a clear mind. I also had a bit of a lightbulb moment and realised that it’s not stuff that makes me happy but experiences. Trouble is if your buying all that stuff it doesn’t leave a lot of money left for those experiences that cost money.

This is something I’m working on, I have the opportunity to go on a holiday of a lifetime this year and I’m determined to come away with lots of happy memories. No more spending willy nilly or that holiday will not happen.

I have decided to write myself a bucket list of the things I want to achieve next year. I may share that at a later date, I’m still deciding.

If you have reached the end of my rambles then thank you for sticking with me. I would love to hear if anyone else feels that they have achieved a happier state of being and how they did that.

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happy new year guys!!