Blue Monday has arrived with heavy bills, broken resolutions and all that jazz.

Not here – here’s to Happy Mondays!

yesterday

1. I am enjoying some quiet time snuggled up with dogs and duvets and watching daytime telly.

2. We had a really quiet weekend. Sometimes boring weekends are the best of all eating what you like, doing what you like and chilling.

3. The compromise on the Christmas tree is that it stays up with lights but no decorations until 1st February. Christmas was great last year so we are keeping the spirit going in a small way.

4. I am immensely proud of my teenage son. He is doing so well at school despite his struggles with handwriting and spelling. The potential grades teachers say he is capable of are astounding. He is nearly two months into his first relationship with a girl and he is managing it so well. Wish I had been as wise and savvy at 15!

5. I love this house. It costs too much but it is worth it because I enjoy it every day.

6. I adore my children. In the mix of everyday life it is all too easy to forget how blessed I am in having these 3 amazing individuals in my life.

7. I am finally having a clear out and stuff will be going on Ebay very soon.

8. I got offered an amazing review opportunity of something that we actually will all benefit from. Expecting a special delivery or two today.

9. Home education remains relaxed playing with words of the day and incorporating famous paintings and their stories into our day.

10. I have decided I need to be a nicer person. That is not putting myself down. I am a lovely person but I can be better and do all in my power to not hurt others.

Blue Monday? Not here!

3 Little Buttons

Let me state straightaway that I am not a fan of David Bowie.

It was the average Monday morning and we were under pressure to get my son to school and my husband to work on time.

Suddenly we looked at the telly and saw the words “David Bowie has died”

Disbelief is an over-used work. I think it means that when you see something like that your mind can only cope by wondering if it is some sort of sick joke. You wait for the harsh fact to change and it will not budge.

I am not a fan of David Bowie. I have not followed his career closely, put posters of him on my walls and yet ….

I am transported back to a youth club in Birstall. I was approached by a boy for the first time. He was a little quirky and hence intriguing. He talked about Bowie who I knew little about and I went into that actress mode that women use when they will say anything to keep a boy talking to them. It was the Eighties and I remember dancing to Let’s Dance and China Girl.

It’s an individual memory and that is the point – so many of us have personal memories related to Bowie.

I am not a fan of David Bowie and yet ..

I remember watching the film Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence over and over again.

There was a fascination with those mismatched eyes.

I loved Under Pressure with my favourite band Queen.

I heard he chopped up newspapers and put random words together as part of his creative process. I loved that idea!

I am thinking of Boy George who was a huge influence on me who has said how Bowie gave him the freedom to be different.

As the family discussed the news, my husband was back in the Seventies and myself in the Eighties whilst my youngest son said that Bowie had obviously known he was about to die which is why his album was released. As I watched the boys set off, I realised the old lady next door will have her own fond memories of Bowie.

I don’t know much about Bowie and I want to know more. How often do we do that after someone is gone?

Co-incidentally this week in home education we wanted to study a musician beginning with B so I guess we have our answer.

I am not a fan of Bowie so I may get this wrong.

It seems to me here was someone from an ordinary background who did extraordinary things. Whilst doing this he appears to have not given any particular heed to what the babbling voices of critics thought.

We are all blessed with an individuality so perhaps if we celebrate that and work it to the maximum we too can do extraordinary things. Use that intelligence. Be bold and creative. Put your hands over your ears when the critics bang on.

It is so sad when is becomes was but I think where the creative arts are concerned the legacy always keeps a special soul alive.

Blogging to jogging

Are you looking for a weight loss linky?

Blogging To Jogging

I hope you will join in with Blogging to Jogging, the weekly blog hop for folks who are starting their 2016 by tackling those extra pounds (or in my case stones!)

I was delighted to see 10 blog posts linked up to Blogging to Jogging last week all taking very individual approaches to success and sharing challenges too. We all have them and we are stronger together backing each other up on the days where we despair.

This week, my questions for you which you can answer in your blog post or not as you see fit are …

1. Who do you give your power to when it comes to weight loss?

2. What is your quick healthy eating snack idea?

3. What help could other bloggers give you on your weight loss and healthy living journey?

I have had a great start to 2016 healthy eating wise. However, I have also felt a bit wobbly emotionally as although I lost a lot of weight last year, I still have a very long way to go to where I want to be. So this week I need your encouraging words if possible too.

The Rules

Very simply, please comment on at least two other posts and more if you’d like to and grab the badge for your own post, linking one post per week. Tweet me (@kateonthinice) once you’ve linked and please use the #BloggingToJogging tag so that I can find your posts easily to RT them and you can also use the Twitter hashtag on Instagram if you have any relevant photos.

I am so looking forward to reading your talks of health, fitness and well-being. I promise to comment on each post and to promote via my social media networks.

Please display the #bloggingtojogging badge on your post.


I have had a great start to 2016 and hope you have too.

1. I have managed to keep Christmas going and the tree is still up! Our house, our way! My home made Christmas cake went down so well that I am making more tonight yet again,

2. I have had lots of sleep and at times to suit me so including some naps in the afternoon.

3. Him Indoors is back to working shifts we are familiar with which helps me plan my day better.

4. I have developed systems for things like housework, correspondence, bills and so on using a little purple book with VIP on it. It is working wonders! I even have labels on things which is unheard of!

5. It seems to me if you expect good things to happen they have a habit of doing so.

6. I find myself letting something go and long past the time I should have done.

7. I am able to help others who are going through tricky times having gone through similar myself – we can all do this!

8. Home education is growing on me all the time. I have worked it out that it is a bit like Christmas in terms of setting what you want to do, when you want to do it and playing to people’s interests. My daughter loves art and science. My son loves music and games. You cannot approach them in the same way all the time and it is good to celebrate their individuality.

9. I have got my charity shopping down as it was becoming a bit over the top. It is an indicator of more balance in my life.

10. I am very much enjoying having a new washer and drier (one of those new-fangled safer ones) as both packed up over Christmas.

11. I gave a reindeer a new home because I felt sorry for him.

12. I have started to feel stronger about supporting my teen as he approaches exams and so on at the grand old age of 15 having reached out for support on social media. Always ask for help – people are keen to help and often your stupid questions are the same ones other people have and are scared to ask.

13. I am back to healthy eating with a veggie curry bubbling away as I write and with a new weight loss linky for 2016.

There are other things but I don’t want to bore my readers so that will do nicely for now and you have other cheerful things to read.

Ojo's World

Do you have tips for learning about maths?

Making learning maths fun is important I think. How many of us remain a little scared of all things numeracy? Is it really so terrifying and if we think so, what messages are we giving to our children? How many of you struggle to understand your children’s numeracy homework even at primary school age? Just me then?!

I have decided to incorporate things that I hope will make maths much more fun for both myself and the children.

It is important to have a laugh! Looking at answers people have given to exam questions can be fun. People can be very inventive when asked to “find x”. I certainly struggled to understand how numbers could sometimes be letters. How about you?

Keeping things simple initially helps – both myself and the children need to feel good about their ability to tackle maths. Set them up to succeed and as confidence grows, play with new concepts and tasks.

Accepting that times and methods have changed since you were at school. The positive spin on this is that it means your children can help explain things to you that you don’t get – they love that in my experience! Also you get to develop your knowledge which has to be a good thing.

Don’t assume everything was covered in the classroom. Check what they have and have not heard of and what methods they have used.

Consider the links between art and mathematics and music and mathematics. These may be the key to unlocking your child’s interest in numeracy.

Use everyday opportunities for learning such as shopping and cooking. Learning does not have to happen in a classroom style format.

Devise affirmations about maths with your child. I am using this more and more. Examples include “Parents and teachers make mistakes too” and “I am not bad if I cannot work it out yet”

One this home education journey of ours, I am working things out every day but I think if we share what we know that tends to be a good thing.

Do you have any tips on making learning about maths less scary?

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