Everything Else

Completed Prayer Mat Project

Back in January I posted about how I was crocheting my own prayer mat! Catch up and see how I finished up the project Here !

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Everything Else

It’s Finally Here! – Relocating Our Homeschool


It’s Time To Reveal!

I am extremely excited and have been waiting to share this news with you all for quite some time. I am happy to finally be able to announce that the One Hundred and One Pursuits family is

returning to EGYPT!

Read More Here

Everything Else

The Pros and Cons Of Homeschooling That Often Get Over Looked

Untitled Design.png

When the children and I went swimming this morning I was suddenly hit by the fact there is a few wonderful (perhaps less important) aspects of homeschooling that don’t very often get mentioned and I thought it was about time they hit the spotlight….


Don’t forget to follow us on the new website to keep up to date with all our latest posts

Everything Else, Homeschooling

Footpath Flowers

Disclosure: This Post may contain affiliate links.

Footpath Flowers by Jon Arno Lawson and Sydney Smith is a beautiful, creative and moving piece of story telling. Unlike many books we seem to come across in our libraries picture book section, this book was 100% illustration with zero words yet each picture speaks loud and clear a fantastically descriptive and inspirational message.  Continue reading “Footpath Flowers”

Everything Else

Bedtime Math App

This week a friend of recommended a fantastic website bedtime math.

It’s full of wonderful little real life stories followed by a few short math exercises which are organised by age.

We’ve been doing several a day and finally decided to download the app. Now when we are waiting at the doctors or for a bus we can have some fun learning a few facts and practicing our basic math skills.

Little M delights in helping me write and draw pictures of the problems on the whiteboard. And the best part about it it’s all absolutely free.

Pop over and check this fabulous resource out perfect for even the smallest mathematicians!

For more math inspiration check out our MarchMathness posts.

Common Place Book, Crafts, Everything Else

Memory Trees: Helping Children Cope With Losing Loved Ones


Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. We love the books we’ve read and share with you here and think you may too and have added these links for your reference only. However, if you do choose to purchase a book via these links we may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.

We recently picked up a unique little book at the library called The Memory TreeBy Britta Teckentrup. Mourning the loss of their friend forest animals gather and swap fond memories. For each story they share a little tree begins to grow bigger and bigger…. I won’t  spoil the whole story as it’s certainly worth reading with your young ones. Even if your child has not recently suffered a significant loss it’s a great book that can prepare them for Coping with grief in the future but also to think about how we remember and celebrate people who left their mark on the world which has remained long after their passing.

This book left such an impression on me and gave me the idea that perhaps creating memory trees could help young children through bereavement and serve as a keepsake to hold on to.

Trees could be created in different ways:

  • Draw a tree on a large sheet of paper. Cut out paper squares to write memories upon which can be stuck on the trees. You could assist your child in writing their own memories, you could add your memories and you could even ask other family members to contribute their memories too
  • For a more 3D reminder you could use a real small indoor tree and hang your memories with string and card.
  • Some people plant a tree next to their loved ones grave or in an old favourite spot of there’s with a bench or rock beside where people can sit when they wish to spend some time remembering and connecting with them again. Planting a young tree will also give the opportunity for the tree to grow with each visit and memory shared.
  • You could perhaps even make the memory tree part of the wake. Friends and family a like can add their memories for you and your children to read through at some time in the future whenever you may be ready.

Of course you needn’t be limited to trees. I remember seeing in a film once, (can’t recall the title maybe you can help?) a woman who wrote letters to a family member who had passed away and took them out into the garden and hid them in between rocks on a wall.

It can be really difficult loosing someone or something you love and even harder still to say goodbye. For very young children finding healthy ways and outlets to express those emotions and to cope with such big changes is vitally important. One concern that many of us have is that we may begin to forget all those wonderful memories we had, that we may forget the tiny details about the people we cherished and still hold dear in our hearts. A memory tree could certainly help ease the fear for children (maybe even adults too) knowing that they will always have those things written down and to hold onto for as long as they wish to keep them.

“Gone but never forgotten.”




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Everything Else, Homeschooling

Reading List – 100 Books In A Month Challenge

Affiliate links: We love the books we’ve read and share with you here and think you may too and have added these links for your reference only. However, if you do choose to purchase a book via these links we may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.

As promised here’s the list of books we are reading for our reading challenge. I’ll continue to update it as we go along and may it simply serve as inspiration to those of you who are looking for some new books to read your little ones.

(Since A and M are only 1.5 and 3 years old these books are aged t there age group yet many are suitable for older children too). Continue reading “Reading List – 100 Books In A Month Challenge”

Common Place Book, Everything Else

A Failed Plan Could Be Your Biggest Gift

“Not a thing had happened the way she had planned; no, not a single thing. But it seemed to her she had never been so happy in her life.” – Understood Betsy

It’s true that regularly in life we make plans and for one reason or another the outcome is not as we had imagined. Plans can often be thwarted by influences beyond our control or sometimes it’s simply that our they no longer fit in with what we desire and thus they must adapt. Continue reading “A Failed Plan Could Be Your Biggest Gift”

Everything Else, Homeschooling

100 Books In A Month Challenge


A few days ago I came across an inspirational post over at My Story My Song. Paige tells us about a reading challenge that she set for her class. 100 shared books in a month. Not only did her class meet this goal but they exceeded it and gained much more from it than simply getting through a list of books. Continue reading “100 Books In A Month Challenge”

Everything Else, Homeschooling

How To Keep Your Children Engaged During Storytime

Everyday I read as much as I possibly can with the children. Be it children’s books at bed time, reading my books aloud as they play, signs, magazines or even recipes. It’s become second nature.

Each day before we settle down to sleep we have story hour. The boys love choosing their stories for the evening so usually we all get ready for bed, grab our books, climb under the covers and all lay down to read together. Recently however within a few pages the fidgeting began and before I knew it the boys were climbing about and playing again. They weren’t listening at all and it became a point of frustration for us all. I knew they loved their stories but somehow I just couldn’t hold their attention and keep them engaged through to the end.

Then the penny dropped. Continue reading “How To Keep Your Children Engaged During Storytime”

Everything Else, Homeschooling

# March Mathness – Hexaflexagons

Spent some time this week watching some videos by Vi Hart about how the awesome Hexaflexagon was discovered, explored and eventually made public.

We didn’t get round to making one ourselves yet but it’s certainly on our to do list and I think it’s a super fun topic to explore this month.

Since I couldn’t do it justice in the any way near as much detail as Vi who has already done such a great job at explaining and has some fantastic templates and tutorials on her webpage you should just go check it out for yourself!

To explore the awesomeness of the Hexaflexagon click here


Everything Else, Homeschooling

Our Month of Mathness

At the beginning of this month I wrote about how we were planning to participate in the month of #MarchMathness.

I thought it was about time I wrote and let you know what we’ve been up to. Continue reading “Our Month of Mathness”

Common Place Book, Everything Else

Simultaneous Love and Dislike

“There are few people whom I really love, and still fewer whom I think well.”

Elizabeth Bennett (Pride and Prejudice By Jane Austen)

We can vary rarely choose the people who we truly love in life. Our immediate family, that one true love who we tried so hard to avoid but couldn’t stay away from, the children we have been blessed with, or the best friends that grace us with their presence and even through the biggest of disagreements you never can shake them off. Continue reading “Simultaneous Love and Dislike”

Everything Else

Onion Fly 11 Mrs 101 Pursuits 0

Since discovering the onslaught of  maggots raging their way through our onion plants as a result of an onion fly mob attack, I have been keeping a close eye on my two remaining plants and I’m afraid it’s not good news. Continue reading “Onion Fly 11 Mrs 101 Pursuits 0”

Everything Else

March Mathness

The wonderful DeMilles at TJed shared with us all that March is the month of math aka #Marchmathness. It’s the first year I had heard of this and we were a little slow on the uptake but yesterday we rose to the challenge and began our month of math Continue reading “March Mathness”

Everything Else, Homeschooling

Rediscovering The World of Make Believe

One of my prominent yet vivid childhood memories centres around a pink city play set I had. If there is any truth left in this memory after years of distortion, it was similar to Legos whereby I built up a city with different pieces, clipped together, on a roll out background which included houses, ponds, roads and green scapes. I remember fondly a little pink and white swing and a small doll that I used to put on it. I’d play for hours taking this doll from her house to the park, to the shops and back again. I would reenact these little scenes numerous times over.

There were many other toys and activities throughout my early years with which I made up my own little stories. Such as Continue reading “Rediscovering The World of Make Believe”

Crafts, Everything Else, Homeschooling

Hexagon Knot Bunnys

Around about a year ago I fell into possession of a book entitled “A Beginners Guide To Constructing The Universe” by Michael S. Schneider. If you could approach anyone of my high-school Math teachers they would probably be able to tell you that I would certainly never be a mathematician . I had always felt like a fish out of water Continue reading “Hexagon Knot Bunnys”

Everything Else, Homeschooling

Pancake Art and Facial Burns

This evening after a full hearty dinner Lil M and I headed back to the kitchen with our hearts set on making some golden syrup covered pancakes. Yum!

M helped me to measure out the flour and baking powder, cracked the egg into the jug, poured in the milk and stirred to his heart content the smoothest pancake mix. Then he stepped back and let me take over to do the cooking.

Earlier in the day I’d been browsing Facebook when a video came up on my news feed. It was somebody making pictures of cats in the pancakes they were cooking. I was amazed and wondered how on earth they did it as the video didn’t show their technique. As I began cooking my pancakes this video sprang to mind and I thought I’d give it a shot. I tried to make a heart shape which ended up like a rather odd blob, I attempted a smiley face but that didn’t work at all and I made some circles which came out fairly well defined. Okay so my pancakes were pretty rough but it was fun to try.

All good things must come to an end how ever and this pancake adventure was no exception because when I got a little heavy handed on the pouring and perhaps a too enthusiastic with the flipping, extremely hot pancake mixture splashed up over the right side of my face and burnt the corner of my right eye.

3 hours later the burn is still rather sore and a little itchy.

So warning for anybody who wishes to attempt pancake art, tone the enthusiasm down it might look pretty but it can be dangerous… may I perhaps, at the risk of being ridiculed out of the bloggersphere, suggest for such experiments as these a pair goggles or an entire face mask to ensure your eyes remain in tact!

Seriously though guys please remember to be careful in the kitchen especially with your little sous chefs. I always make sure that once the oven or stove top is on that the little ones stand back or well to the side and today I’m really greatful that M was out of the firing line when this occurred. Its always fun to have M help me in the kitchen and he does so every single day but it is also super important to remember that accidents can and do happen. Boiling liquids, hot foods, and excellent heat conductors such as metal pans can be a real hazard and no body wants to spoil great kitchen fun with a trip to A & E so play it safe.

Untill Next Time…


Everything Else, Homeschooling

Gift The Universe Your Passions, Enthusiasm and Achievements

I am sure we have all at some time or another found ourselves in awe of a person who is enthusiastic and passionate about an activity they are learning and exploring. As they tell you all about it you can feel and see them glowing and as that energy reaches you it warms you inside. It lifts and inspires you. You begin to radiate, you feel excited for them and sometimes you become to grow curious about the topic yourself.

That energising feeling remains with you throughout the day. Sometimes you find your self explaining it to others. Or perhaps you find yourself in a class, at work or in a meeting and your mind keeps drifting back to the conversation you had earlier that day. You long to get more involved. You don’t want this fever of joy to fade. When you finally get your chance you jump at the opportunity to do some more research ; take a trip to the library and read all you can. You hit Google untill the early hours of the morning. You bubble over with all the new things you have discovered and stired into your cauldron. You run to make a few new purchases so you can get started on your new adventure. You start sharing it with others your work, your knowledge your new found passion and excitement and the joy spreads on.

Today I witnessed the begining of such an effect with Little M and it’s a pleasure to see just how much inspiration to tackle the learning of new subjects, can come from seemingly small moments in time. As we made our walk home from the park, my friends son was taking great pleasure in telling us all the things he had been learning this term at school. I was amazed at the facts a 5 year old can retain about Florance Nightingale. The year of her birth and death, which war she served as a Nurse in, her contributions to modern nursing. In fact J (as he shall be known for the purpose of this post) taught me a few facts I had never known!  He that continued to show me the mental arrithmatic he had been learning including addition and his 10 times tables. You could tell J really enjoyed his learning and he was proud of all he had achieved. It it was such a pleasure to share his joy.

M however, a little tired and cold seemed as if he was barely paying any attention to all that was being said. Yet clearly he was internalising the entire conversation and J’s enthusiasm and knowledge sharing had hit deep with M, who having learnt to skip count in tens via a game on his Leap Pad, suddenly seemed to have made some connection and as he was role playing  kept repeating “2 x 10 is twenty, 4 x 10 is 40 and 1+2 is 4…..” So okay some of his answers were off, he is only 3 after all but it was the enthusiasm and joy that he was now finding in this new topic he had discovered that really got me. He happily read a few multiplications that I wrote down for him and we talked about the sign names too for the first time and he was 100% engaged.

There is a few lessons I learnt from observing all this today:

1. Don’t underestimate what your child is absorbing even when they don’t seem to be paying attention

2. Children are capable of absorbing, retaining and understanding far more than I ever thought I could at that age

3. Peer learning is an extremely valuable tool

And last but not least number 4.

Never hesitate to share the things you enjoy, are passionate about or proud to have achieved because you never know who may be listening and who you might be helping in the process.

Everything Else, Homeschooling, Mini Adventures

Two Buses, One Show and A Whole Heap Of Educational Inspiration

Our day began today by dropping Little A at Nanny’s for a few hours whilst great Nanny, M and I took a bus ride to the local theatre.

A Tigers Tale was the fantastic production that we had the privilege of going to see and we thoroughly enjoyed every minute. Little M was gripped and really couldn’t stay sitting in his sit, for standing up was the best he could do to get physically involved.

The show was based on a true story about Continue reading “Two Buses, One Show and A Whole Heap Of Educational Inspiration”

Common Place Book, Everything Else

“The Way to Be Happy Is to Be Good” – Gene Stratton-Porter

“The way to be happy is to be good.”

Laddie, a True Blue Story By Gene Stratton-Porter

Affiliate links: We love the books we’ve read and share with you here and think you may too and have added these links for your reference only. However, if you do choose to purchase a book via these links we may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.

This one little sentence has been bounding about my head ever since I first read it several months back. It has been a useful reminder to me when my hearts desires have been in conflict with my rationale mind.  Continue reading ““The Way to Be Happy Is to Be Good” – Gene Stratton-Porter”

Everything Else, Homeschooling

We Made A Rainbow!

Our incomplete rainbow experiment weighing heavily on my mind this morning, I couldn’t understand how, having followed all the instructions in the magazine, we could have failed to achieve a rainbow. I vaguely remembered doing a similar experiment at school with a prism but I can’t quite remember the specifics and it was bugging me. Our lesson felt incomplete and I had a little time on my hands so I took to my trusty Google friend (a reoccurring theme I feel) and felt utterly stupid when it came to light that the glass needed to be filled with water! How did I miss that one in the instructions? Well I didn’t as such the picture shows the glass partially full however no where in the written text does it mention water at all thus I forgive myself entirely.

Continue reading “We Made A Rainbow!”

Everything Else, Homeschooling

Toddler School – Experimenting With Refraction

Refraction Fun
Triangular Image Produced And Captured on Camera by Little M 12.02.18


Today we had some fun inspired by an activity we found in a magazine last night. M and A have loved playing with our small camping torches since we got them in the summer. This seemed like the perfect opportunity for them to do something a little more purposeful with them rather than randomly lighting up point on the ceiling (though making shadow puppets has provided hours of entertainment). Continue reading “Toddler School – Experimenting With Refraction”

Everything Else

Schaduf – Roof Top Gardening In Egypt

I’ve spoken previously about my dream of having my own homestead, one that inspires and gives back to the community and I am hoping to undertake this adventure in Egypt.

Whilst doing a little research today I came across a video made by a company with a fantastic vision not to dissimilar from my own. The company is called Continue reading “Schaduf – Roof Top Gardening In Egypt”

Everything Else, Homeschooling

Breaking The Cycle – End The Battle Of Wills

Since becoming a mother parenting on the whole has been enjoyable. I love the time I get to spend with my children and they are truly to of my best companions. I don’t dare say it has been easy every single day, that there hasn’t been moments where I want to tear my hair out, hide out in the bathroom and I have most certainly on numerous occasions questioned my suitability to be looking after another living being. Yet for the most part each day I go to bed with a smile on my face loving my little cherubs and feeling accomplished, whole and all be it a little exhausted from a day well worth living.

This week being the exception. Continue reading “Breaking The Cycle – End The Battle Of Wills”

Common Place Book, Everything Else, Mini Adventures


Orwell Country Park 2018


Whilst taking a gorgeous late afternoon walk beside the river we stopped to admire and capture the above tree. It filled me with awe and wonder. All of its roots are at least partially exposed and approximately 50% of them are no longer rooted at all. The sandy, muddy bank has eroded away from beneath the tree yet it does not lean. It remains standing tall and strong creating shade and shelter. The roots which are still buried appear to be strong, run deep and connect to the trees surroundings. Tough enough to support and suspend the entire tree.

Imprinted in my mind are thoughts about the importance of the roots we cultivate Continue reading “Roots”

Everything Else, Finances

Fiscal Fast – The Good. The Bad and The Rest.

My 30 day Fiscal Fast has drawn to a close. It was enlightening yet I can’t pretend I was entirely successful. I held back on updating you all over the last week or so because honestly it was difficult, I broke my no spend rules several times and it is hard to admit, I felt I had failed. The lessons I’ve learnt over the past 30 days about my spending habits were what made the experience worthwhile. Continue reading “Fiscal Fast – The Good. The Bad and The Rest.”

Common Place Book, Everything Else

Self Sufficient Living – The Dream

“Maybe he’ll make money, but he’ll never be the man you are. Truckling to other people for his living, all his days— He’ll never be able to call his soul his own.” 

Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder


Quite some time ago in the history of the human race self-sufficiency was all there would have been to life. Finding and creating your own shelter, water and food. Working each day purely for the natural resources to sustain yourself and your offspring. Continue reading “Self Sufficient Living – The Dream”

Crafts, Everything Else, Homeschooling

Crafts – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!


This should be the mantra in every household that is striving to live a little more sustainably.

Becoming more conscious of how I play my part in using the Earth’s resources is important to me. I dream of one day being able to lead out and live self sufficiently on a little homestead and Continue reading “Crafts – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!”

Crafts, Everything Else, Homeschooling

Crochet Baby Comforter

I’ve been very quiet for a few days because I really wanted to share my success with you all on my new crochet adventure but I couldn’t.

On the 10th of January, Lillyahana (my friend’s daughter), graced us with her presence. I was super psyched for the family and wanted to impart a little gift and keepsake. I knew that her mum would be her usual supermum organised self and that clothes, toys, blankets and all that other baby paraphernalia would be well taken care of already. I wasn’t sure what to contribute. Yet I’d caught the crochet bug and decided a nice purple hand-made gift would be ideal. So here it is.


I even lined the back with some purple material we had hiding away upstairs.

In addition in true homeschooling style Myles wanted to join in with his own little embroidery project too!


Watch out all there might be a hand made gift heading your way soon!

What keepsakes have you received from friends and family that still hold a special place in your heart today?

Common Place Book, Everything Else

Growing Onions – We Have Shoots!!


It’s been 11 days since we planted our first onion bottom, when we looked this morning our little pot on the windowsill held this small little white nub peeking out at us. It is tiny and only just breaking the surface of the soil but it’s exciting.

Sometimes things really do just happen over night. One day It’s just a dirty, muddy, dark, uncertain, barren pot of soil. You know there should be something bubbling under the surface. Some growth. Some small miracle waiting to happen. Yet you see nothing. No result. You grow impatient, concerned, perhaps you even become disappointed and ready to give up. Your at the tip where hope; that beam of light viewed between the gap of dark curtains is so thin that it almost disappears. The next day however something wakes you from that slumber. You dare to peek and suddenly the little beam of light reappears glowing just slightly brighter. Hope returns. Excitement becomes you and you see it. That brilliance. That divine miracle just beginning, continuing to grow up. It peaks out of the surface and suddenly it’s potential becomes clear.

I never knew growing an onion in a pot on the windowsill could be a doorway to understanding so many aspects of life. Another example of the importance of trying, of believing and of never ever giving up.

We began here –

Growing Onions From Kitchen Scraps

Onion Growing – Part 2

Growing Onions – Quick Update


I wonder where this journey will end….

Common Place Book

The Secret – Rhonda Byrne

The Secret is a book written by Rhonda Byrne. Its pages claim they contain the key to achieving all youve ever wanted and that the key has been known and used by every sucessful human being from the historical greats such as Abraham Lincoln, Plato, Einstein and Mozart to today Olympic athletes.

I havn’t actually read the book yet but I just happened to watch a video version of The Secret on Netflix and hope I can get my hand on the book soon.

It seems to consolidate all those tips that people tell you can lead to success such as positive thinking, meditating on your goals, visualising desired out comes, vision boards, journals and more. Below are the main three points I took from the video and ones I hope I can implement daily.


  • Make a list of all the things your greatful for
  • Get in the daily habit of reflecting and really feeling the emotions attached to the things you a greatful for
  • Gratitude rocks
  • Appreciate yourself


  • Believe that what you ask God for you shall recieve
  • Believe that you deserve what you desire


  • Spend time each day daydreaming about the exact details of your perfect dream life.
  • Close your eyes and imagine that the things you want most are yours right now. How does it feel! What can you see? What sounds can you hear? What can you smell?

What do you do each day to be mindful of all the great things you have in your life? Do you have any techniques ways or habits you use to help you visualise what you wish your life to be like?

Everything Else, Homeschooling

The Pitfalls Of Being Busy

How many times a day do you find yourself saying to your loved ones these phrases or something similar? – “I can’t right now”, ” Maybe later”, ” I’m too busy” or “I’ve got far to much to do I can’t stop right now.”

Do you spend several hours a week giving those who matter most, your full attention undisrupted?

This post is for those of you who may feel like your to-do list  is as long as your arm and playing with your children, spending quality time with you spouse or giving your family and friends the full support they deserve, just keeps unintentionally dropping lower and lower down in the ranks of priority. Continue reading “The Pitfalls Of Being Busy”

Everything Else

Growing Onions – Quick Update

Well, when I took a look in the back garden I really couldn’t see a clear place where I could plant our onions. Since we are only residing here temporarily I didn’t want to go digging around or disturbing anything that doesn’t belong to me.

I opted for putting two more onions outside in a container instead. Since I love to reuse stuff, I peiced a few holes in this empty mushroom container, placed two onion ends inside and filled it with compost. I figure there may be room for one more in there. I’ve left this one outside under the kitchen window and will wait and see what happens.

Onion saga to be continued….


Teaching The Littles To Read and Write

So last week little M gave me the shock of my life. He wrote his very first word!  This being the 3 year old who never wants you to sit and instruct him on how to recognise letters, pays zero attention when you point them out in literature or media and who rarely traces letters or shapes. Continue reading “Teaching The Littles To Read and Write”

Common Place Book

‘The Inner Ring’

The Inner Ring By C S Lewis is a fantastic reminder to us all to be mindful and wary of our desire not to be left out. To be apart of something to fit in. Every time I read it or any article with a similar resounding theme one powerful statement always pops into my mind. This quote was revealed to me in my early teens by a friend who challenged my every thought, never engaged in frivolous conversation and no matter how frustrating I found him at times, I always left our encounters thinking deeper about the state of our society and life in general, than I had ever done before. Continue reading “‘The Inner Ring’”

Everything Else, Homeschooling

Family Blogging – Little M’s Contribution

As a parent I am conscious about modelling the behaviours and attitudes I wish my children to adopt throughout their lives. One of the areas where this most concerns me is related to screen time, how much and the actual activity it involves. My thoughts on this are quite extensive but this post is for Little M and as we are writing together I’ll leave those opinions to share with you another time.

Since starting this blog I’ve spent a lot more time with my phone in my hands or with the laptop open than I usually would and it was becoming obvious little M really wanted to spend more time on my phone or other electronics as a result. I wanted to get him involved some way in the blog so that he could begin to understand that I was not just watching videos or playing games but proactively creating something and documenting our adventures. Since most of my adventures are family endeavours and most of what I will write in the future will pertain to us all I thought it was important to give little M a role of his own (A is still a little too young but perhaps he’ll have one in the future).

M loves to take photographs. He has his own digital camera, he takes photos on his leap pad and also on my phone and likes to play around with the settings therefore I thought perhaps he’d like to become One Hundred and One Pursuits official photographer. when I presented the idea to him he leaped at the opportunity.

And so we began today with Onion Growing – Part 2.


Everything Else, Homeschooling

Onion Growing – Part 2

*This is M’s first photo contribution. He also typed this post himself, enthusiastically with a lot of dictation and guidance.*

Yesterday we chopped another onion and saved the root part to plant, this time hopefully in the garden, so that we can compare its growth with our first onion experiment (if they grow at all).

I temporarily placed it on top of the other plant pot until I had the chance to take it outside and then promptly forgot all about it until this evening when I was preparing yet another onion for dinner. I know we eat a lot of onions!

I picked it up to take a look and found this –


Little new white roots beginning to peep through.

Just 24 hours not even buried in the soil and we have several millimetres of new growth! I never expected it would make progress so quickly and wish I could see beneath the soil to view the progress of the first onion bottom we planted. I could dig out carefully and take a look but I think I better not disturb it and rather look forward to its first little green shoot peeking out of the soil.

Ill get this second beauty planted tomorrow in the garden hopefully. Check back for more updates soon!

Everything Else, Finances

Fiscal Fast – 7 Day Menu

So here it is. I’m not sure whether or not it’s what experts would consider nutritionally balanced but it’s certainly all good, simple, cheap wholesome meals to keep us going and enough variety to please everyone in the house hold. Continue reading “Fiscal Fast – 7 Day Menu”

Everything Else, Finances

Fiscal Fast – Cold Enduced Hiccup

That’s it! We have managed to avoid serious colds all winter.  Until now that is. Everyone except me seems to have quite a cough but no sign of runny noses. Yet I on the other hand have escaped the cough but have been hit hard with a stuffy nose and even as I type I am trying to hold back an impending sneeze.

I recognise that colds are not the end of the world and perhaps expected at this time of year. I’d normally battle them with some lemon, honey, ginger, teas, oranges, home made chicken and vegetable soups and plenty of vitamins but this is where the ‘hicupp’ lies; Continue reading “Fiscal Fast – Cold Enduced Hiccup”

Everything Else

A No Spend Year

Well for those of you who thought a no spend month was fantastic or perhaps when I mentioned the idea of a three month no spend challenge you thought I was pushing the limits then you should really check this out!

Little Llewellyn Homestead


They are aiming for a no spend year! You heard me right a whole 12 months. Their rules of course are a little more inclusive than my shorter challenge. They’ll need too budget for food, but no extras, no dining out, no buying new clothes, books, toys etc. Limiting all nessicary purchases to second hand items! Sounds like the start of a new way of life. A much more sustainable one too.

I’ll definitely be following this one for tips and to see how they get on!


Everything Else

Growing Onions From Kitchen Scraps

Did you know you know that for every onion you use you could grow another?In fact I discovered today, from Mrs Happy Homemakers blog that there a quite a few other vegetables you can re grow from the bits we tend to waste and discard too!

Take a look at Mrs Happy Homemakers list here!

Growing onions is something I’ve been meaning to try for a while. So as I was prepping dinner today I decided to follow my own advice to just take 5 minutes and do it now. I popped out to the garden, filled a pot with soil, took my onion end with its roots on (wishing I’d taken a picture now), placed it in the pot and covered with soil. Done.


I’ve put it on the kitchen window and now I shall wait, water as needed and see what happens.

I’ll update you in a few days time and let you know how it’s growing.

In the meantime if you’ve ever grown vegetables from scrap I’d love to hear about how it went!

Please comment below!

Common Place Book, Everything Else

‘You can not fail if you never ever give up.’

If you’ve ever watched a great movie or read a great book; one where good strives, trips, tumbles and in the end triumphs over evil. Or studied the lives of histories most prominent, successful and remarkable individuals such as Albert Einstein, Hellen Keller, William Wilberforce or even Walt Disney. You’ll notice one pattern that was common between them all Continue reading “‘You can not fail if you never ever give up.’”

Everything Else, Uncategorized

Just 5 Little Minutes

Sometimes we are all guilty of putting off things that we know we aught to be doing. In fact alot of the time it’s things that we really WANT to do  but there’s some barrier holding us back. The excuses or reasons we find ourselves giving when others ask us how we are getting on are usually along the same line:

  • Too tired
  • Too busy
  • We are worried about the outcome
  • It’s hard
  • We don’t have the right tools/equipment to get started
  • We are not sure where to start
  • Waiting for somebody else help or advice
  • Lack of support

Maybe there’s a few other reasons out there too.

Now I’m not saying these points are not valid. Sometimes we do get over worked and need to rest, sometimes a task really isn’t possible to complete without two people and sometimes the outcome may be worse than what we had hoped for. Yet the truth is there is always going to be reasons, for not doing something and if we let those road blocks stand firm in the way we will never get things done.

A friend reminded me to day that often the longer we procrastinate and avoid the tasks the harder it appears to be to get started. So my advice….. just do it. Right now. Stop what you are doing set a timer for 5 mins and begin working on that one task you’ve been wanting to get round to.

Perhaps it’s reading a book. 5 minutes.

Writing a novel. 5 minutes.

Weeding the garden. 5 minutes.

Cleaning out your closet. 5 minutes.

Go swimming….  Okay unless you’ve got a pool in your house you’d probably need more than 5 minutes for that but perhaps you could take 5 minuets to get your stuff together in a bag, select a day and time and stick it on the calendar.

Practice Maths. 5 minutes.

Learn to bake. Start with 5 minutes of looking up a few recipes and writing a shopping list for ingredients.

You get the idea!

Whatever it is get started now. I guarantee you will not just feel better about the task it’s self, you will increase your motivation. You may even find you just can’t stop after 5 minutes. If you did 5 minutes everyday or even slowly increased the time so that each day you were spending as much time as you can give on that given task it’d be completed before you know it.


Go on run with it.

Stop reading.

Take 5.


Everything Else

Fiscal Fast – End of Week 1

Week one of my Fiscal Fast has flown by rather undramatically and I am almost disappointed that there hasn’t been more to share.

The biggest achievement of the week has to be the DIY Washing Up Liquid.

The hardest part of the week…hmm well in all honesty it’s been pretty easy. We’ve even had less tears than usual from little M when being told he can’t have a magazine. Infact, before we even entered the last shop we visited ( we tooka family member shopping) M said quite cheerfully “I don’t want magazines anymore.”

**Internal Happy Dance**

We are certainly finding more positives than negatives arising from this no spending challenge. Not being able to purchase a few books that I would like for doing some research has been a little frustrating though but I am learning that with just a little more effort and time finding reliable information on the internet is more friendly on my bank balance at least.

Difficulties I anticipate for week two:

We only have 1 and a half toilet rolls left so I am not sure how that’s going to pan out. Plus we are also running low on disposable nappies. I tend to only use disposables on little A for over night or for longer outings so I guess we will stick to cloth nappies for the longer outings from now on and when the disposables run out all together we will have to use cloth at night too which has its own challenges but that’s a whole other post for some other time maybe.

I can’t say for certain how much I’ve managed to save in comparison to other weeks persay because to be truthful I don’t usually monitor my out goings week by week but I can say that I have been able to pay a decent chunk off of my debts and added £103 to my savings.

In addition I’ve had some amazing little light bulb moments throughout the week which I’m pretty sure would not have occurred if it wasn’t for the challenge or at least they would not have seemed so significant if they had.

It’s pretty amazing what a difference just 7 days of no spending can make to your purse and mind.










Crafts, Uncategorized

Handmade Prayer Mat – (سجادة الصلاة)

Over the past few months  I have been reading several books, ‘Little House in the Big Woods Series, ‘Little Women Series’ and Walden, to name a few, which all included aspects of making and mending the things you need as opposed to buying or discarding them. It occurred to me whilst reading at just how wasteful our current culture of consumerism is, where in we buy new and discard old items so frivolously,  that items rarely see the true end of their life span. Continue reading “Handmade Prayer Mat – (سجادة الصلاة)”

Everything Else, Uncategorized

Goodbye 2017!

Celebrating the new year Is not something I’ve brought myself to do very often throughout my life. This year has been no exception here I lie warm and cozy under the duvet, just awoken by the neighbours extremely loud but very pretty fireworks. Im a sucker for pretty things! I got up drew back my curtains, climbed back under my duvet and Continue reading “Goodbye 2017!”

Common Place Book, Uncategorized

The One Thing You Wish Your Child Would Know

Whilst re-reading ‘Leadership Education: The Phases of Learning’ by Oliver and Rachel Demille it became evident that the first time through this book over a year ago I really only skimmed the surface of what it had to teach me about the education and raising of my children.

In chapter two the Demille pose a question  – “If my child could do or know only one thing what would it be?”

A flood of answers rushed to my mind. There are so many things I want my children to know and pin pointing one  was extremely difficult.

But here it is…. Continue reading “The One Thing You Wish Your Child Would Know”


I almost broke…

So far setting up this blog has had a few minor challenges. Firstly, I struggled to figure out how to remove or change the logos. I’ve typed up entire posts only somehow to loose them or accidently delete bits and have to start again. Secondly, making the decision whether to keep it minimal and leave out images and photos, what to include what not to include took quite a bit of brain power. Thirdly, I already knew I enjoyed writing but I never anticipated that once I started I wouldn’t be able to stop. Even when I’m not typing I’m thinking about all the things I could write about.

Today though the challenge of setting up my blog AND of my no spend challenge clashed and luckily I stopped my self just in time before I aimed the latter. You see I’ve been wanting to add some features to my site but in order to do that I need to upgrade and to upgrade I need to spend money. I was going through the motions and luckily the thought crossed my mind as I was about to hit the pay button ‘No wait, pay! This is a no spend month right!’.

I got to admit I was a little bit gutted as my mouse hovered over the button how can the very challenge I’m writing about impede my ability to push forward with improving the very platform upon which I am sharing it with you all! As gutted as I was I navigated away from the page as quickly as possible and who knows maybe it’s a blessing in disguise. Now I’ve got more time to think it all through and look over all my options before making a decision!

There are so many avenues to throw our money into every single day that breaking that spending habit can be tricky sometimes!

I almost broke…almost…

via Daily Prompt: Almost

Everything Else, Finances, Uncategorized

DIY Washing Up Liquid

Day 2 of my Fiscal Fast had me realise that I was already quite low on washing up liquid and sticking with the strategic plan of using my backup options first, I set to thinking about what I could use instead.

For years my grandmother has ranted and raved about the superb qualities of soda crystals. She swears by them for cleaning almost anything and I often use them to soak really greasy dishes in before I wash them up and the results are truly astonishing.  Tackling grease and scrubbing or long soaking of stuck on  foods are a thing of the past. Which got me wondering what was used before liquid dish soap was invented and why don’t we just use soda crystals since they are cost-effective and clean excellently? Continue reading “DIY Washing Up Liquid”


Fiscal Fast – Day 1


This morning an idea struck me (it’s been one of those light bulb days). It is said that when it comes to tackling big challenges we often set ourselves up for failure by being ill prepared or taking the wrong steps first. I was thinking about what the hardest parts of my previous no spend challenges had been and why? Continue reading “Fiscal Fast – Day 1”

Everything Else, Uncategorized


Due to a 14 month old whose learnt to open ‘n’ dump the contents of every draw and cupboard onto the floor, limited storage space in our temporary accommodation and a passionate dislike for tidying all day, I have been at my wits end trying to keep the floor toy and clutter free.

I’ve been through sorted them out and got rid of toys we no longer need but there is still so many that bring them joy and have tons of educational functions also. I toyed with the idea of putting them all out of reach and letting them choose one toy for the morning and one for the afternoon but that seems a little too regimented for our household!

This morning however after my youngest dumped the entire draws contents on the floor I snapped and gathered all the board games, puzzles, threading beads and a few other toys that contain multiple bits. I cleared out the cupboard in my beureu in our ‘back room’ (where the children are forbidden to go without being accompanied) and I put the entire hoard neat and tidy inside! I’ve told my oldest if he wants something that’s up there he can ask for it otherwise we will pick one game to play as a family each night from the cupboard.

Less mess and stress for me, new tradition for us all and perhaps the games will stay in tact and perhaps the nature of keeping something out of reach will give the games more allure and they’ll actually play with them rather than getting them out to just dump all over the floor! Maybe there will be some they never get out and then we will know which ones we can get rid of without much fuss later down the line…

Or perhaps it’s all just wishful thinking. Either way the dumping has ceased for now, the rooms are less cluttered and I can breath a sigh of relief and relax with a cup of coffee feeling like the morning has been productive!


Everything Else, Finances, Uncategorized

It’s Fiscal Fast Time!


Over a year ago, when I was searching for tips to cut down on spending, I came across a blog about Fiscal Fasts. I wish I could remember the exact blog but since discovering it I’ve been unable to locate the post I originally read.

Fiscal Fasts have become one of my utmost favourite ways to meet my financial goals and Continue reading “It’s Fiscal Fast Time!”

Common Place Book

Moments to Cherish

Each and everyday there are a million things I am greatful to for – another day of life granted to me by God,  the roof over my head, the food in my kitchen, my fleece outfit for keeping me warm and saving me money on heating…

The list of things I have to be greatful for is endless but those that I Cherish the most are my family. Especially my children.

Today my mum presented one gift to each of our boys. My youngest took little interest in opening his at first, despite his brothers not so subtle coaxing to get on with it, it took him over an hour before he decided to take the paper off and have a peak.  The awe filled look on his face as he unwrapped his wooden clock puzzle, pointed and said “Clock” was a true cherishable moment. He didn’t say ‘thank you’ but it was clear to us that he meant it.

His 3 year old brother, who had gently worked his way into his gift, thanked my mum and was clutching on to his two new cars whilst his Uncle and Nan peiced the track together, suddenly paused and with doe like eyes, twisting his body side to side looked up and said “Nan why did you get this for me?”

There was something about this question that caught me off guard. Continue reading “Moments to Cherish”


Feathers and Quills

Quill pens are known to have been in use from as far back as the 2nd century B.C and began to lose their popularity sometime during the 19th century due to increased production of the metal pen. (History of





On its own, out of context, this may seem to be a pointless piece of information and like many of the facts we are encouraged to nail down in our brains at school, is likely to be forgotten in a few weeks because seriously, how many people need to know or use that information daily? How many were even interested in the first place? My guess is very few. So why am I sharing these inert facts about the history of quills with you now? Continue reading “Feathers and Quills”


The Begining

“If you don’t do you guarantee your own failure.”


For some time now I have been toying with the idea of starting a blog but I’ve been unable pin point a topic that I felt confident enough to lay down my opinions and share them with the world. During an online conversation, regarding the advantages and disadvantages of digital common place books, the suggestion of making a common place blog was put to me. It was then that I was confronted with a harsh reality; that the real reason I’d never started a blog was because I was afraid.


Afraid to fail.


In fact it was the reason that I have buried my desires to delve deeply into many pursuits and to develop ideas that have swum around in my head for years.

Yet, it is also one of the reasons that I have been able to dip my toes in so many different waters experiencing many mini adventures in my life. I have danced Ballet, Tap, Modern, Jazz, Flamenco and Lindihop, performed as a child on great London stages and in small local town theatres. I have sang, entered cruise ship auditions, lived in London and attended performing arts college. I have been a model, a sales woman, an insurance advisor, a karate instructor, a scuba diver, a dive guide, an environmentalist, an aspiring marine biologist and conservationist. I’ve driven motorbikes, dabbled in musical instruments and even rocked a mohawk for a while. I have  been fortunate enough to travel to Paris, Barbados, Turkey and the USA. I have undertaken an internship in Egypt and fallen in love. I have learnt little bits of Arabic, Swedish, German and Japanese. I have swum with turtles and driven boats. I’ve witnessed meteor showers out at sea. And of the books I choose to devour I am a student. Next month or year I am sure there will be another subject waiting for me to dare to dabble. However to date my greatest adventure of all is marriage and parenting which I hope will last me a life time.

Although all these little experiences have been quite grand to me in unique ways, I have always been ashamed of my inability to turn my fleeting passions into a permanent career or hobby like my fellow human beings appear so apt at doing. It is a trait of mine that I have been trying to out run for a lifetime.

When I spilt these inner most feelings (a rather condensed version) to the conversation group the response I received was simple yet it was like a red hot poker driving me into action. “If you don’t do you guarantee your own failure.” 

My fear has driven me to inaction or to retreat at the first hurdle and as a result I have yet to experience the rest of my eclectic desires and interests. I am yet to run free and see just how much potential my ideas hold. It’s time. I start today. Going forward I embrace my nature and revel in all the adventures big and small, long and short. My first pursuit is the opening of this blog where I hope to share with you as many of my future pursuits as I possibly can.


And if you’re still with me, Thank You for helping me take my very first steps!

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