23 Jan 2015


There has been so much devastation happening in the world around us lately, that we sometimes forget to stop and appreciate the simple things in life, the small, sometimes silly things that make us smile and be thankful.

Recently I was thinking about posts that focus on being thankful. For me these posts are always thought provoking, they make me stop and think about all I take for granted, both big and small. I'm sure I am not the only one that loses myself in the daily grind, the day to day events that keep us from appreciating what is right in front of us.

I've written posts about this very topic before. Posts about how thankful I am for life and those that share life's journey beside me. Beautiful sentiments that are cliche and traditional.
This time however, I've written a list that is much less intense and more appreciative of the everyday things that we don't usually include on thankful lists, things that are usually overlooked that brighten my every day life....

. That my kids are finally at an age where we can watch TV shows that interest us both instead of         watching Nickelodeon ALL the time

. I am thankful for shape ware

. For the small change that I find in the bottom of the washing machine, my very own pay day !

. Toilet paper, where would we be without it ?

. I am thankful for photo apps that can wash away 40 years of lines

. That my Insta pep talk app sends me hourly notifications

. Ice cream, need I say more :)

. Clean sheet day

. Pillows

. Running water and electricity, something I know we take for granted

The more we look around us and take notice, the more we find to be thankful for. Not everything has to be big and obvious, the small, mundane, common and unconventional things matter too. Not all lists need to have deep meaning, as sometimes it is the small wonders of life, the things that we usually take for granted and don't take to much notice of that make our lives a thankful one.

Linking up my not so conventional list with the gorgeous Grace for FYBF

22 Jan 2015


So this time next week I will be cursing that we didn't  get back into "school routine" sooner.
As usual, late nights and lazy mornings become a ritual around here during the holidays and that does not bode well for an easy transition..

When the boys were younger, we stuck to a strict routine, ALWAYS. Now, we throw caution to the wind and live on a whim.
Well during the holidays anyway.
But, as the return to school rares it's ugly head, so do the early mornings, the lunchbox prep and the homework fights.......

Sigh, I am so NOT ready

Yesterday we did the "back to school" shopping, the first of many dreaded days of a new year.
It was mayhem....
Kids screaming, mums shoving, and dads, well as per most years were hardly in sight. They are a breed in distinction when it comes to school prep.

First stop, the dreaded shoe shop. They say girls are undecided when faced with a choice. HOLY COW boys..... Just pick a pair of darn shoes.

Our uniforms have changed this year, not only do the students have an everyday uniform, but a formal one as well, which is going to bring about a whole new struggle. My boys don't take to change easily, and the formal shirts, I just wont go there !

Over the years, I have always "followed" the book lists to the letter, always getting everything required, only to have unused items sent home EVERY year. Are you kidding me ?
Finally last year, I started to buy just the basics, if and when the teachers said an item was needed, I purchased said item then. I don't like waste in any form.

Rulers, it took us three different shops before we were able to find the regulation wood or plastic rules, what's going on there ? Is there a shortage this year ?

And finely haircuts, although I could only convince one of my teens that a haircut was necessary.

So as another school year beckons, I am asking....

Why did the holidays go by so fast ?

beck xx

19 Jan 2015



There is nothing like summer fruits, mangoes, nectarines, peaches.  I wish they were available all year round but sadly we are confined to enjoy them only a few months of the year and that means we must make the most of their juicy goodness.

We have been enjoying the fruits of summer almost every day here, fresh from the fridge and also in a few desserts we have been rather naughty there !

A few favourites have been Peach Cake Dessert and Summer Fruit Crumble yum.  We are typically not huge dessert eaters, but with the abundance of fruit available right now, its inevitable that desserts will be enjoyed.


* Sliced neectarines, peaches, mangoes & blacknerries
* 1 1/2 cups plain flour
* 3/4 cup brown sugar
*115g butter

Chop the fruit into large slices and place onto bottom of an oven proof dish. In a bowl combine the flour, sugar and butter, and using your hands mix through until the mixture resembles a crumb like mixture. Bake in the oven for a half hour or until the crumble topping is golden brown.
Serve warm with a dollop of cream, custard or ice cream.

Simple and easy !


beck xx

17 Jan 2015



Just before Christmas, I was approached by the lovely Kaitlin Gardner of An Apple a Day about guest posting on Craftypjmum. While I have never ventured into this realm before, I was more than happy to welcome Kaitlin to Craftypjmum.

Please pop over and take a look at Kaitlin's blog An Apple a Day .

Kaitlin has written a very informative post about the safety aspects of teaching our children to swim. It is an important message, and one that every parent needs to address......

What Safety Skills Are Taught During Swim Lessons? 

When my sons were nearing the age for swim lessons, I wasn’t sure what would be taught about safety in those classes. When in doubt – ask. I checked with a couple of supervisors for swim schools, and found out the basic safety elements that should be covered in swim lessons. Here’s what I learned.

The importance of safety. It’s just a fact that the water can be dangerous, and especially for small children. The highest rate of unintentional drowning is among children ages 1 to 4. It has also been reported that formal swim lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by as much as 88 percent. The first line of safety from swim lessons is to make sure they know how to swim. If a child knows basic swim strokes, they are much better prepared to stay safe in the water. In addition to the basic swim strokes, other safety skills are taught. Learning how to tread water can help a person stay safe in the water until help arrives. Safely using a diving board is an important aspect of the lessons as well. Once basic swim strokes are taught, later lessons can build on that foundation by refining the swim strokes and teaching additional swim methods like side stroke, breast stroke and back stroke.

Here are resources with more information.

Swimming Pool Safety: Layers of Protection

Why Is It Important to Know How To Swim?

Swimming and Water Safety

Safety rules. 

The next item for children to learn is that there are rules around the water. A good orientation will not only state the rule, but the logic behind it, so children will see why it is so important. These are some of the major rules covered:

Don’t run at the pool. Running on a wet surface is just asking for a slip and an accident.

Never swim alone. If something happens, there will be no one around to help.

Use the buddy system. A person is safer if someone else is watching out for them.

● Don’t use the diving board unless an adult is supervising. If an accident occurs on the diving board, it’s important to have an adult nearby.

● No rough play. A roughhousing session can lead to an accident.

● Always obey the lifeguard. The lifeguard is trying to keep you safe in the water.

Regular reinforcement. Just like in school, lessons aren’t a one time exposure to a swimming skill.
Later lessons build on what is learned in beginning lessons, requiring a child to show proficiency at skills before advancing to the next level. Increasing proficiency will be a part of the progression through swim classes. In the area of safety, regular discussion of safety rules, along with checks on comprehension, will assure that children understand the need for and importance of being safe around the water. When a child is given not only beginner lessons, but moves through to intermediate and advanced lessons, it gives them a more solid foundation in water safety. That translates to greater comfort and confidence around the water, which might help a child stay calm when most needed.

Lakes and oceans. There are special considerations when swimming in larger bodies of water, in addition to the rules which apply to a swimming pool. For instance, in the lake, don’t dive when you’re not sure how deep the water is. In the ocean, be aware of the effects of currents in the area where you are swimming. Swim class will have a discussion of these considerations.

With the proper grounding in safety, my boys will be able to confidently enjoy all the pleasures the water has to offer. As a parent, that makes me smile.

Kaitlin Gardner started An Apple Per Day to explore her passion for a green living lifestyle, and healthy family living. She and her husband have just moved to rural Pennsylvania, where they enjoy exploring the countryside to discover interesting and out of the way places. She is also learning how to paint watercolors.