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!

2017 – It’s been Bittersweet 

This time last year I felt a total sense of impending doom. I wasn’t really in the mood for Christmas and New Year festivities. I was coasting, just about getting through all the challenges I had in my day to day life, not really feeling that I had anything to look forward too. 

I knew 2017 was going to be a difficult one, you see my Mum was very very sick…..She was in fact dying. At this point though we still had hope. The Doctors hadn’t yet completely pulled the plug on her chemo. 

As far as we knew 2017 was going to be about looking after mum and making her comfortable for as long as she was with us. Little did we know at the time though mum would pass away just 3 weeks into the year. Mum was just 58 years old. She never got the chance to retire and do all those things she talked about doing in the future. 

Death is very final, that is the hardest thing to get used to. It’s knowing that you will never see or speak to that person again, regardless of how much you want to. I still have this dream where my Mum is not in fact dead, but just in hiding. What from I haven’t got a clue but that is my current recurring dream. 

So much has changed and happened in my life this year. I’m constantly wishing I could tell Mum just how well I’m doing. Alas I can’t. 

The irony is though had my Mum not passed away when she did, I probably would never have taken those chances that helped me to succeed. Mums death taught me that life is short, you only live once, you have to take risks to get what you want. What’s the worst that can happen? You fail and have to try again? Perhaps that is Mums lasting legacy? She left me with the confidence to go out and grab hold of what I’m wanting from life.

This new mentality has seen me promoted at work and opened exciting new doors. I’ve been challenged into facing my fears. Hello Motorway driving! I’m working more hours and harder than ever, but I’m happy. 

I used to bear a grudge towards my Husband because he was doing what he wanted with life. I think I saw myself as a bit of a maitre always putting the family first before my own happiness. In being brave enough to be a bit selfish towards my family we are all actually happier. Family time is less, it is however considered more valued. This year we have made the conscious effort to do more together. Even if it is just sitting down with the youngest and playing a board game. I’m focused on creating good memories with my family because that is what you have to cling onto when you lose a loved one. 

This importance of family has extended beyond my immediate household and we are now doing more things with our cousins, aunts and uncles. This years has seen a hilarious weekend trip to Ireland, Christmas dinner in a power cut and plans made for a girly weekend abroad. I’m currently looking forward to our annual New Years meal out, minus my little brother, who is seizing life by the balls,  and has just left to work in America for a month. 

Who knows what 2018 will bring? Life can be very unpredictable. It can be that little bit better if you can accept life for what it is, embrace challenge, and realise that just because one day is a little bit sucky the next isn’t necessarily going to be. 

My Sunday Photo

This was my Friday evening… It was a very abnormal evening for me… I sat on the living room floor and played Lego with my 10 year old. 

Here’s the thing, I can’t remember the last time I sat and played with one of my children. It probably would have been a game of Monopoly though? 

Usually when asked my response can vary from, ‘Im too tired’ or ‘I have jobs to do’. Worst of all I can find myself panicking at my complete lack of imagination. I sometimes feel Ive actually forgotten how to play. What was different this time though? 

We had just sat and watched Channel 5’s Rich House, Poor House and It really struck a cord with me. 

In this particular episode the Rich family had a huge disposable income. They worked crazy hours to achieve that. This meant they could provide their Kids with a Big house, expensive golf lessons, money to spend on whatever material possessions they wanted. Guess what though? They rarely spent any time together. Sitting down for a meal at the same time was unheard of. 

Swapping their lives with the ‘poor’ family forced them to live in closer proximity to one another and actually spend time together. The kids described the experience as having ‘had fun’ that week. 

Our family live a fairly average but comfortable life. My Husband and I work full time. Any free time we get is precious. We do try to take them for days out as often as possible. 

The kids don’t get everything they want but money isn’t a worry. They have a warm roof over their heads, clean clothes on their backs and don’t go hungry. They don’t have to miss out on school trips because we can’t afford it. That is unless it’s the annual letter home  about the bloody £900 ski trip. Yeah…not happening! 

My point though is that kids aren’t any happier for all the material stuff. It’s the quality time spent with them that makes them happy. Watching rich house, poor house reminded me of this. 

So when Jed asked me to play Lego with him on Friday evening, I squashed the initial ‘ughhh I’m too tied’ reaction. Jed was thrilled. Two hours of Lego building fun later I realised that I had also actually had fun. I will definitely be saying ‘Yes’ to play more often. 

My Sunday Photo | #2

My daughter will probably hate me for sharing this photo. To me though it shows her happy and relaxed, laughing with her Dad. He was teasing her about how much rent she will have to pay now she has joined the world of work. (None yet she is going to be on a very modest apprentices wage FYI) 

This photo was taken whilst out for dinner celebrating that fact. We had all just raised our glasses in a toast to her. 

Molly started her placement for her Hairdressing apprenticeship just this week. We also collected her GCSE results meaning that those final ties with school and childhood have begun to be cut. 

My baby is all grown up and that terrifies me. Last week saw the book shutting on one chapter of her life and another one opening. This will bring with it the independence that carving out her career and earning her own money is going to bring. 

It signifies that she is no longer a little girl who is going to be reliant on her parents for everything. I say that Laughing, because guess who does all her ironing and makes sure she comes home to a hot meal? Mummy and Daddy! 

Whilst I still can though I will. I can remember what a shock to the system working full time was.

Molly wasn’t the most academic of kids. She is very creative and ambitious though. After taking part in her Schools work experience scheme she found something she  knew she would enjoy, becoming a hairdresser. I’m proud that she has gone out and found herself the opportunity to fulfill this ambition. 

She had a few knock backs finding the right training route. The local College turned her down originally because her predictive grades weren’t strong enough. Unfazed Molly decided that an apprenticeship within a salon would be better for her. I’m 100% supportive of her decision. In the long run I think it will work out for the better. 

Ironically she did actually achieve the grades to get onto the College course she had applied for. She is no A* student but I’m proud of her achievements so far. 

Molly is at a very exciting and scary point in her life. Once she has finished her training there will be so many opportunities available to her. I hope she seizes everyone of them. 

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

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!!! 

2017 Bucket List Update

At the start of 2017 I created a list of the  17 things I wanted to do this year. I have actually managed to do a few things on that list. 

It’s is crazy to me that it is the end of July and we are officially over halfway through the 2017. Where has the year gone? 

So much has happened in such a relatively short space of time. My life now  is very different to what it was like at the start of the year. 

Some of those things have been amazing opportunities such as going full time and being promoted at work. Other things have been very sad such as loosing my mum back in January. It has been bittersweet.

I decided it was about time that I revisited the Bucket List and gave you a little up date on my progress. 
London Zoo 

Way back in April we visited London Zoo. I enjoyed seeing all the animals but also loved all the old architecture, many of which are listed buildings. The Giraffe house with its huge split doors was built in 1836. 

Catch a Wave 

I said I was going to embrace the sea this summer and catch a wave. Well yay for it being so warm in the run up to summer as it actually wasn’t that cold when we finally headed down to North Devon for our summer holiday. 
I tried out both bodyboarding and Surfing. The later is much harder and I still haven’t got up off my stomach. I have the bruised and scratched knees to prove though that I did  indeed catch and ride a wave. 

Not quite sure if I’m pulling of the surfer girl look? 

Try Avocado on Toast 

I’m counting this Smashed Avocado and Bacon on Sour dough toast, from Jamaica Blue in Chelmsford, as ticking something off my list. It’s not quite the super healthy blogger cliche version but this appealed to me much more. In fact I enjoyed it so much I’ve been back a couple of times. 

Read the Harry Potter Series 

My son and I are making good progress reading through the Harry Potter series. We  have got as far as Goblet of Fire. 

I love this one to one time I have with my youngest. We don’t get to do it every day due to work constraints, which is why it has taken us so long. I’m sure we will have finished the series by the end of the year.

Visit Ireland 

Lastly I have booked my flights to visit family in Ireland this coming September. It will be a whirlwind weekend trip but I can’t wait. We are have a big girly weekend at my Aunts in a part of Ireland I have never visited before. 

We are a little over halfway through the year. So far I have ticked off or planned for 5 items on my list. With 12 still left I’m going have to pull my finger out if I want to tick them off before the end of 2017. 

Of course I will keep you updated when that happens.

Life in a Transitional Period

In the past couple of months life has changed immensely for me. I genuinely feel I’m going through a transitional period in my life and as a result learning more about what is important to me and my personal happiness. 

Life is full, I have such a busy schedule, so  time is now precious. If you have lots of free time it’s so easy to take that for granted. I know I did.  

When I do have free time I want to spend it with friends and family. My kids are growing up fast, I feel like I am running out of time to make those happy childhood memories with them. 

Two of my children are now teenagers and quite  naturally don’t want to spend all of their free time with their parents. That is a conflict of interest so I am working on achieving a happy balance. 

Im learning that material things are less important. I have a lot of clutter In my home and that is making me feel bogged down. I end up spending my free time running around and tidying up after people rather than spending quality time with them. This is not something I want in my life.

I want to simplify and down size my life by getting rid of some of this clutter. I have plans to do this over the coming months. It will be hard for me to part with things, I’m a natural hoarder. That will be why I have about 8 foundations then? Why??? I have one face!

As a bit of a self confessed shopaholic it is going to be hard to break my hoarding habit. I just need to remind myself of that end goal. Less tidying and more time for enjoying my free time. 

It not just me either. Nope! The boys bed room is full of Lego and Nerf Guns that im constantly standing on or falling over. Oh and I made an interesting discovery in my youngest ‘s  wardrobe the other day. He has tops in it that are aged 5-6. He’s 9! 

I have a few plans in the pipeline that will help me achieve a more streamlined and clutter free. I will share those on the blog as they happen so watch this space. 

In the mean time I you have any suggestions know of any relevant blog posts please link them in the comments below. 

Life Lately – An October round up! 

Where has October gone? We are nearing the end of the month and so far I’ve managed to produce just two blog posts. Ummm yes my life seems to be set on full throttle at the moment. It’s been all good though, so that’s no bad thing. 

To get myself back on the blogging band wagon I thought I’d share with you a little bit about what’s been happening on planet Schoolrunbeauty this October. So here goes…

Back in September I started my new job with Joules. This involved lots of traveling to and from Bury St Edmunds, on the train for my induction period. As lovely as the girls are at the Bury store I was glad when we finally got access to our shiny new store in my home town. 

We have been open for a month now and it’s going great, I love my new job. I have such a varied role and well let’s be honest, my uniform allowance and generous staff discount is a lovely perk. 

This month I have also started another module towards my Business Studies BA with Open University. Juggling this with work and the family has been a bit of a challenge. Hence hardly any blogging has happened. 

I’ve developed a routine that works for me at the moment. I take my youngest to school, head to the library for a couple of hours then go to work. I just need to figure out now how to get some regular time to work on the blog? Umm ….maybe I should sleep less? Noooo I like my sleep! 

So amongst all the boring day to day stuff I managed to get up to London with my little sister to a book event hosted by Fabulous magazine. This was held at the News UK building in London Bridge. You can read more about that in this blog post here.

We had a fun evening and got to meet one of our favourite authors Lindsey Kelk. As you can see I was rocking some joules on the night. 

Unfortunately I have had to work most of half-term but we did manage to have a family day out today. 

We visited Colchester Castle and then had an early dinner at Miller and Carter. 

The castle is great for school age kids. There are lots of interactive activities to keep them interested and you can pick up a special kids guide from reception that ensures you don’t miss any of these. 

The keep itself is the largest Normandy Keep in Europe. It stands on the foundations of the Roman temple of Claudius when Colchester was still the capital of Britian. The temple however was burnt to the ground when it was attacked by Queen Boudicca in AD 60. 

You can see lots of Roman artefacts in the castle museum as well as from the Saxon and Medieval periods. 

The castle prison is very interesting, though I didn’t last long In the cell area as it gave me the creeps. Er yeah….. I took one look, decided I didn’t like the feeling In there, and left rather swiftly. This was much to the amusement of my family, as I had previously been whinging at them for rushing me through the exhibits before I had seen everything properly, whoops! 

So that’s a little bit of what I have been up to recently. Hopefully I shall be a bit more successful on the blogging front next month. 

Family Day Out | Bodiam Castle 

Last Sunday we visited Bodiam Castle, in Kent, with my Sister and her Husband. 

The 14th century moated castle was built by Sir Edward Dalyngrigge, a Knight of Edward lll, in 1385. 

Once a magnificent medieval home Bodiam Castle is now owned by the National Trust and is opened to the public to visit.

We spent a good few hours climbing spiral staircases to reach the battlements, peering in dark corners and out of the little arrow Windows. 

During your visit there is opportunity to listen to talks about medieval life in the castle, given by characters such as the Brewster. Beware though he will offer to drink your wee as a means of diagnosing any ailments you might have, yuck!!

A favourite with the children was the Armoury, where they were encouraged to get hands on and try on the armour. We had to eventually drag them out of there as they could have spent hours trying on all the armour. Mummy was getting desperate for a cup of tea after climbing so many steep steps. 

We really enjoyed our day at Bodiam castle. It is a perfect place to take the children for a fun but educational day out. 

It is also falls into the category of an inexpensive way to entertain the kids especially if you bring a picnic along for lunch. There is a well served tea room available should you prefer. 

 If you are already a National Trust member then entry to the castle is free. Non members can visit though for a small fee. 

We intend to join the National Trust so we can enjoy more days out like this. A two adult family membership is available for just £9.25 a month. With over 500 owned National Trust places to visit that’s a lot of day tripping to look forward to. 

Have you visited Bodiam Castle before?

May the 4th be with you!

Hi guys!  

 So my inner geek really is coming out to play today. Let’s just say I love any excuse to dress up! With some major Star Wars fans In the family and a birthday party to attend I had the perfect excuse to dress up the whole family. Yup May the 4th be with you all! Happy Star Wars day!!! Oh and Ethan happy 11th birthday!

Be prepared for lots of cosplay pics!  



I am so pleased with how my daughters princess amidala hair came out. Girl’s working the up do today!

Bank holiday was good fun! What have you been up to?