We moved into a lovely new home about 5 weeks ago. It is so wonderful that we have spent the last few weeks just thanking our lucky stars for finding the perfect home for us.

Of course, now I have got to the point where I want to make the most of what we have got here but also make it our own with personal touches.


We have curtains on the bottoms two floors but the third floor has lots of windows with no coverings. I have spoken with the boys who reside up there and they have both said they would like some funky VELUX blinds to give their rooms the wow factor.

My younger son has a rug already but I think my teenager has his eye on one from IKEA as the catalogue keeps turning up on my sofa every time I leave the room.

We have given up on our original futon idea for his room as we had a spare bed so just moved it to his room.

I am enjoying getting to the point with the children where they no longer make the sort of mess that used to happen when they were younger. They no longer take food upstairs which is a big win and they have less stuff here too as they have really outgrown the toys stage. I thought we would never get to this point! So we are in a lovely chapter where I can channel my interior designer although let me tell you they have their own strong ideas too and quite right too.


School-Home Support (SHS) is the charity I have selected to partner with for the next 12 months.

School Home Support

Did you know?

Over 4 million children in the UK are growing up in poverty – 30% of the total number of children – and don’t always have food in the house

1.6 million children in the UK live in housing that is overcrowded, temporary, or dilapidated

These children who have done nothing wrong need champions and to access good education effectively so their lives can improve now and in the future.

SHS has been going for over 30 years and helps disadvantaged children and young people overcome barriers to education, such as poverty, housing issues and mental health issues by working closely with families. I agree with their philosophy that a child will never achieve their best in school if they’re hungry or worried about something going on at home.

SHS helps families with things like self-care, nutrition, money saving and parenting all of which are topics I cover on this blog so it seemed a great charity to get involved with on a longer-term basis.

As a former charity worker, I am delighted to promote a charity that takes such a holistic approach to supporting families and children. Often problems can seem to come all at once and as mere humans we can struggle to cope emotionally and practically when this happens. I was moved by Wendy’s story and it resonated with me as I suspect a lot of the people I counselled who were in debt back in my Citizens Advice Bureau days were also incredibly worried about the impact of their troubles on their children.

It is good to know SHS can get involved on so many different levels to help families move forward positively one baby step at a time. I hope you find ways to support the charity and I am delighted that they will be offering expertise from their practitioners via my blog.

I am really excited about this partnership with School-Home Support and look forward to sharing more about this wonderful charity over the coming months.


Mum Muddling Through
Post Comment Love

Do you want to draw a snowman?

Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice is launching its first ever snowman-themed Christmas card competition, which is open to children aged 4-12 years, resident in East Sussex, West Sussex and South East Hampshire.


Draw A Snowman

Snowman campaign

The activity is part of a wider Snowman Spectacular campaign this winter, which celebrates the charity’s longstanding friendship with its Patron Raymond Briggs CBE and 10-year relationship with his iconic and much-loved character, The Snowman who is the focal point for the charity’s Snowman Spectacular Fundraising Ball every December. In addition to the children’s Christmas card competition, look out next month for a Snowman Spectacular Online Auction and Christmas Appeal.

Draw a Snowman

The Christmas card competition, which is open from now until 24 November, invites children to get inspired by The Snowman™ and draw or paint their own spectacular snowman scene. The entries will be judged by a panel with The Snowman™ creator Raymond Briggs CBE choosing the final two winners.

Amazing prizes

There will be one winner in each age category: 4-8 years and 9-12 years, and each winner will receive a Sony digital camera, £100 to spend on Penguin Random House books, and a copy of The Snowman book signed by Raymond Briggs. The winning designs will also feature in Chestnut Tree House’s 2018 Christmas card range, available in their charity shops and online.

For more information about the competition, including tips for creating a good snowman Christmas card design, visit www.chestnut-tree-house.org.uk/snowmancard

The deadline for entries is Friday 24 November, when judging will commence. The two winners will be announced during the week commencing 4 December and invited to visit Chestnut Tree House to receive their prizes from The Snowman™ on the afternoon of Thursday 14 December.

Chestnut Tree House

Chestnut Tree House provides care and support to around 300 children with life-shortening conditions and their families across East Sussex, West Sussex and South East Hampshire – both at the hospice and in their own homes. The cost of providing this vital service is over £3.5 million per year, yet the hospice receives less than 7% central government funding so relies heavily on the support of the local community to continue providing vital care to local children and families.


Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

Cuddle Fairy

Once you are finally out of school and earning real money, on your own, there is so much to celebrate! And your newfound freedom and financial independence should be celebrated. However, it should also be guarded. So many young people are so excited about the here and now that they forget to plan for the future. Unfortunately, this is a mistake that could take decades to recover from. Many of the people who utilize the Freedom Debt Relief program are smart, savvy people, who made regrettable financial mistakes early on.  To make sure that this doesn’t happen to you, here are the most common financial mistakes you really need to avoid.

Top Financial Mistakes

#1: Failing to Set Financial Goals

Regardless of your age, you should always have financial goals. The sooner you start them, the better. If you set goals right away, in your 20s, with your first good-paying job, then you establish the right kind of financial discipline early on. Financial goal-setting and discipline is the foundation for all the other things we will talk about in this article. According to Freedom Debt Relief, once you get this right, it will be much easier to get the rest right. So, whether your goal is to stay out of debt, make a big purchase of a vehicle or home, or start to build your savings -if you have goals and you stick to them, you can make it happen.

#2: Not Putting Enough Money Aside

The one common thing that most older people will tell you is to begin saving your money early on in life. The sooner, the better. Sure, when you are young it may feel like you have the rest of your life ahead of you to save. But as you get older, you realize just how quickly time passes. And if you get into the habit of putting off your savings, it could be decades before you realize just how important it is! Freedom Debt Relief recommends that you start with your emergency savings fund. This should be built up to three to six months’ worth of daily living expenses. You should also begin saving for your retirement – yes, start in your 20s. Over time, with compounded interest, your retirement fund will grow exponentially compared to someone in their 40s saving the same amount of money. Time is on your side when you are young. Remember that.

#3: Establishing Good Credit

When you are in your 20s and finally fully independent, it is so tempting to spend money on various things – eating out with friends, grabbing drinks after work, taking a trip to somewhere you’ve always wanted to go, or even just decorating your new home. However, these things all cost money. And while that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do them, it does mean that you need to watch your spending and make sure you can afford them. It can be tempting to run up the credit cards. However, this is a bad idea. Obtaining credit cards is good because they can help you to establish good credit – which you will need to buy a car, home, or other big expenditure.


Freedom Debt Relief recommends that you avoid charging more than you can pay off each month. Use your cards to your advantage to help build your credit, not harm it.


If you do find that you’ve already overspent on your credit cards, there is help. Freedom Debt Relief could help you eliminate your credit card debt for much less than you currently owe. They have over 400,000 clients and have resolved over $7 billion dollars in burdensome debt.


Want to learn more? Contact Freedom Debt Relief online for your free, no-risk debt evaluation.



You’re headed to Phoenix and you’ll be ready for activities once you get there. Arizona’s landscape and temperatures make the entire state an outdoor playground. Here are things to do in and outside of the Phoenix area.

See a Waterfall

Tonto Natural Bridge Falls presents a break from the dry climate of Arizona. Observation decks allow visitors to catch a great glimpse of water tumbling down the 180-foot drop. For a different perspective, travel 300 feet down to gaze at the falls from the ground up.

Take a Balloon Ride

Temperatures rise during the daytime hours so a range of vendors offers balloon rides at all times of the day. See the sunrise from the sky; it’s a unique viewpoint and something you will never forget. Balloon rides are common throughout the state, so take your pick of vendors residing close to the Scottsdale Marriott at McDowell Mountains.

Go Mountain Biking

How do 16,000 acres of open terrain sound? To mountain bikers, it’s a dream come true. Depending on your interest, you could rent bikes and take a short ride through or do the entire 18-mile journey, making your way across the Sonoran Desert.

Watch Baseball

Arizona has year-round mild weather, making it a perfect place for spring training and minor league games. Scottsdale Stadium is home to the San Francisco Giants who train for months in the winter before the regular season starts in April.

Climb Rocks

Head to Lookout Mountain Preserve where you can find a single wall with multiple climbing routes. It’s a spot where advanced climbers come to have fun but beginners can get experience there too. It’s best, however, to go with someone who has experience climbing for loose rocks and steep sections pose a serious challenge and safety hazard.

Catch the Sunset

You must go to the top of South Mountain to see the sunset like never before. See a grand, panoramic view of Phoenix while taking in the last embers of the day. There are no words to describe the array and change of colors that occur within a span of 20 mins.

Ride’em Cowboy and Cowgirl

Try a hand at being a cowboy or cowgirl at the Ponderosa Stables. While you’re bouncing up and down in your saddle, open your ears to hear the guide’s history lesson of the area and how cowboys got by years ago. Take a breakfast, daytime, or steak dinner ride, which ends at a restaurant known for cooking-up tasty meat.

Get In the Water

Big Surf is located in Tempe and features waterslides that are not for the faint of heart. It’s an opportunity to cool down at an almost beach-like setting. It’s a great place to take the kids but can be fun and relaxing for singles and couples too.

Take a Walk

There are too many walking trails in the state to mention but you will enjoy Horseshoe Bend. It’s a short walk that ends with an incredible view. Be wary of friends and family members with mobility issues, however, for the trail is not wheelchair accessible. Don’t forget to bring a camera.