As a parent things are constantly changing. Recently the years seem to be flying by in a blur, and we have just started a pretty signifi...

As a parent things are constantly changing.

Recently the years seem to be flying by in a blur, and we have just started a pretty significant chapter in our lives.

For the very first time, all of our children are at school. Full-time school!  (With the exception of Boo who continues to be home educated).

It is a very strange feeling not having any little ones at home with me during the day anymore.  Having a baby at home has always been the norm for me.  And now they are rapidly growing up and finding their independence.

It is a new and strange situation for all of us. 

CJ is busy making plans to move on to a college education, which absolutely terrifies me.  
I'm pretty sure she just started nursery 5 minutes ago.  
She has even started looking in to which universities she would like to attend and has a career plan mapped out for herself. 

I love that she is so organised and driven, but I kind of wish she would just slow down and stop growing up so quickly.  

Emotionally I'm just not prepared for being the parent of a young adult.


Boo continues to be home educated and is so much happier.  His anxiety levels have decreased, almost disappearing completely, and he is revelling in the one to one attention he now receives.  
I have to admit he's not the only one enjoying the mother and son time we are able to enjoy now that Bubba is at school, and seeing him happy and relaxed makes it all so worthwhile.


Roo is in her last year of Junior School!  
We have completed the applications for her high school placement and she is extremely excited about the new adventure that lay ahead of her.  
I wish I could say I was as excited as she is, but it is yet another step up the ladder to adulthood, and it seems to be approaching us way too quickly.


On top of Roo finishing at junior school Little Man is also in his last year at infant school.  He is such a bright little boy and the teaches often pass comment on his ability to teach them new things and his pure joy for learning.

Next September I will have one child finishing infants and moving to juniors, one child finishing juniors and moving to high school, and another finishing high school and moving to college.

I have a feeling I am going to need a very large supply of tissues.


It really is scary how quickly they are all moving through the school system, but at the same time, I love seeing their characters develop outside of our little family unit.


There have been more than a few bumps in the road at the opening of this new chapter, which is one of the many reasons why I just haven't had the time, or the drive, to be here updating you all.


Photo by Matt Duncan on Unsplash

It took Bubba a couple of weeks to adjust to being at school all day after having been at home with me all to himself for a whole year.
There were mornings where he had to be peeled off of me by his teacher while he screamed and sobbed for me to take him home.
These were the days on which I had to hold in my own tears until I had left the school so that my baby didn't realise that it was hurting me too.

Those days were absolutely heartbreaking, but now he has adjusted to the change he is really enjoying school and we are seeing a new side to his cheeky little personality.

Lots more has happened in the months that I haven't been able to write.  
Too much.

But this is yet another new chapter.
One that will have as many ups and downs as any other, but that's what life is all about... the challenges.


I feel as though we are on a completely new journey now.  
Finding ourselves in uncharted territory all of the time... and I find myself juggling with my feelings about it all.

Feeling such joy that my babies are growing into happy individuals, and yet feeling sad that they don't need me quite so much anymore.

I guess it's normal to feel this way, and I'm sure we will eventually find our feet.

But for now, I will continue to feel my sadness and joy and wonder what on earth I'm going to do in a couple of years when my biggest baby leaves me to go to university.

Love Missy x

Having 6 children can make life rather hectic, trying to keep up with the extra curricular activities that everyone wants to take part in, t...

Having 6 children can make life rather hectic, trying to keep up with the extra curricular activities that everyone wants to take part in, the mountains of laundry and dirty dishes that are created, the constant stream of "Mum..... Mum..... Mum" in my ear, so finding the time to cook meals from scratch can be quite tricky.

Luckily Dolmio have made it a lot easier for me to be able to prepare a healthy meal for the whole family, by ensuring that their jars of Dolmio sauces are 100% natural; 



Thanks to Britmums and the Dolmio #ThankGoodness campaign I was sent a brilliant hamper of food so that I could try Dolmio for myself, and see just how easy it is to make a deliciously healthy spaghetti bolognese for the whole family.




I decided to stay fairly traditional and make spaghetti bolognese with my Dolmio sauce, but created a chunky vegetable sauce to see if the children would notice the extra vegetables that I had 'hidden' in there.

I even used courgette, something that my children have never eaten before, and NO ONE noticed!




In my sauce I also included red pepper, mushrooms and sweetcorn.  
People often think I am a bit odd for adding sweetcorn to my bolognese sauce but I find that it gives it that little bit of extra crunch and sweetness, and the children love it.






We served our spaghetti bolognese using the wholewheat spaghetti, which had been sent in our hamper, and with grated Parmesan cheese.
Everyone cleared their plate which is practically unheard of in this house (lots of fussy eaters), and they have even said they would eat it again! 
I'm taking that as a win.


This is definitely a meal that I will be preparing again and again, and I am loving some of the recipe ideas that have been featured by other families taking part in the challenge. 

You can find those recipes and ideas by clicking HERE.


If you fancy getting creative in the kitchen with Dolmio then I would love to see your creations in the comment section below.

Missy x


This post is an entry for the #Dolmio #ThankGoodness Challenge, sponsored by Dolmio. www.dolmio.co.uk/thankgoodness.

Today is Red Nose Day. As I'm sure many of you know already,  I have been busy fundraising with Team Honk again this year and as a te...

Today is Red Nose Day.

As I'm sure many of you know already,  I have been busy fundraising with Team Honk again this year and as a team we have already raised over £3,000, which is AMAZING!

Thank you to every single one of you who have sponsored us/donated.

I've been up to quite a lot in the last few weeks leading up to Red Nose Day, so you might want to grab yourself a cuppa (or something stronger depending on the time of day) before you read on to find out what I have been up to .......


The Honk Line

On Saturday 11th March 10 members of Team Honk (myself included) got together to walk 10 miles across London to raise money for Red Nose Day/Comic Relief.... in fancy dress!
We started off in Waterlow Park, Highgate where we had breakfast and got ourselves ready for the long day ahead.  




As we were about to leave Waterlow Park Jamie Oliver scooted past us (literally ... on his child's scooter), and Mummy Barrow managed to chase after him, apologise for intruding on his family time, and then asked him for a Team Honk selfie.
Being the lovely man he is, he happily posed with us before we left the park for the first leg of our journey.




The first 2 miles went quickly and smoothly, getting us past the Emirates Stadium nice and early before fans started to appear for their match later that afternoon.




Our next stop was Highbury Fields where the wonderful Firepod team made us all a delicious lunch of pizza, which only took 3 minutes to cook in the amazing Firepod oven!!
They joined us for the whole 10 miles, pulling the pizza oven with them.
We were in pizza heaven.







Not only did we enjoy pizza for lunch we also had a selection of snacks and treats to share between us, including some gorgeous homemade houmous made by Vassos Kouzina, a company owned by one of our very own Honkers, Sarah.




At this point I may also have been drinking cava from a teacup. (I definitely was).




Of course, it wouldn't be Red Nose Day without humour, so we decided to 'gallop' through Highbury Fields in support of another fundraising team who were preparing to do the 'Miranda Hart Gallop' around Cheltenham racecourse for their fundraising.
I won't even mention how this particular video ended up on the Radio Times website.

Cue the embarrassing slow motion video evidence .......





After lunch we walked another 3 miles to Lincoln's Inn Fields, where we stopped to drink tea from china teacups and ate biscuits, cakes, scones and more.
Yum!




The last part of the walk was a six mile trek and was definitely the hardest part of the day. 

By the time we reached the end we were all exhausted, but elated.

We did it! And by the end of our 10 miles we had already raised just over £2,000




After getting the train home I had a well deserved soak in the bath and a glass of wine before heading straight to bed.

I would just like to take this opportunity to say a HUGE thank you to Michelle from ABC Parties who came to my house at stupid o'clock in the morning to paint these amazing red noses on my face before I left for my 10 mile walk!






New Horizons Project Visit

On Thursday 16th March myself and 4 other wonderful bloggers were lucky enough to visit the New Horizons Youth Centre in London to see how money raised for Comic Relief is helping to make a difference.

I have been working with Team Honk for a few years now so it was really good to see firsthand where some of that money is going.




New Horizons is a safe haven for young people aged 16-21 and helps to provide them with support, guidance, helps to find them safe accommodation, and lots more besides.  
They are open 7 days a week and also have an outreach team who work on the streets and visit young offenders in prison, preparing them for life on the outside, ensuring they don't go straight back to the situations that got them there in the first place.

The first thing I noticed during our visit was the friendly, relaxed atmosphere. Every single person we encountered during our time in the youth centre were polite and respectful, holding doors open, smiling and saying hello.

Some of these people have been in situations we couldn't even comprehend, especially for such young people, and yet they were just like our own children.... laughing, joking and wanting to have a good time.


On arrival we were given a tour of the centre to see the facilities they provide.
There are laundry facilities, baggage storage and hot meals available twice a day, ensuring that these young people are able to find some normality in a safe environment where they can relax and make new friends.  






This is even more important for the young people who are currently living on the streets or 'sofa surfing'.  
New Horizons do everything they can to find accommodation for these young people who are in such desperate need, but unfortunately there is a severe shortage of housing available at the moment.

They also provide the young people with additional services such as access to a nurse for physical care, private counselling rooms, housing advice, and projects that they can attend, such as the women's group.




This is the group we had come to observe.

The full time women's worker is currently funded by Comic Relief and runs a workshop for the young women twice a week as well as being available to liaise with them and support them throughout the week, and liaising with the weekend staff to ensure continuity of care. 

A lot of these women have been victims of sexual exploitation and violence.

We were lucky enough to observe the women's group during their session, and the main thing I noticed was the respect that these women have for each other. Some of them were completely new to the group, but they all treated each other as friends and tried to help each other to feel relaxed by painting each others nails and sharing snacks.

The session was coming to a close at the time I observed them but, before leaving the women's worker Hazz asked each girl to say something positive about the person on their left, even if they had never met them before.
Each woman obliged, and you could tell how much it meant to each and every one of them to hear that positive remark.
Hazz then took the time to give each and every woman sitting at the table a compliment, while making it fun for them.

The group seemed relaxed and comfortable with each other, with absolutely no judgement being passed.

After observing the women's group we were then able to interview 3 of these incredible young women who were willing to share their stories with us.

*Please note - names have been changed to respect these women's privacy*

Farah was the first woman to talk to us, and had initially visited New Horizons with a friend before using the services for herself.  
She had been having problems at home, coupled with a sexual assault which she had kept secret from her family.  This led to her developing a drinking problem and spiralling out of control, especially when charges were dropped against her attackers due to a lack of evidence.
Her father disowned her and threatened to hurt her if he returned and so she ended up in a shelter.  This is when she started coming to New Horizons.
The woman's group has had a really positive impact on Farah and she is now pursuing a career in beauty and has been teetotal for a month.
Farah told us that the woman's group has turned her life around and that she is now determined to make the most of things.

Polly and Lucy then came in to tell us how they ended up at New Horizons.
Polly had fallen in with the wrong crowd and been in some trouble with the police, and Lucy came to the centre after living on the streets and developing a problem with alcohol.
Both women had nothing but positive things to say about the centre and the women's group, even going as far to say that it has changed their lives.
Lucy says she owes the New Horizons workers more than she owes her own mother.

The women's group has given these women confidence and the ability to find (and use) their own voice.  They feel safe there, and it is extremely clear that they have a lot of respect for the staff.


After speaking with Hazz, who has been the women's worker at New Horizons for the last 6 years, it is clear that she loves what she does.  
She wants nothing more than to help these young women to feel safe, supported and included.  Empowering them and helping them to find some independence after escaping some pretty horrendous situations.
And the women who attend the centre expressed how they felt they can tell Hazz anything and she will not judge them.




Comic Relief's funding has changed these women's lives.
Without it I wouldn't even want to think about where these women might be right now.  One things for sure, they would be in far worse situations than they are now.


Come Honk With Me

On Saturday 18th March I held a fundraising even at my best friend's pub; The Cornerstone, Shefford.




We sold tickets for the event and sold vodka jelly shots, cocktails, raffle tickets and cupcakes to raise money. We also had a 'guess how many sweets in the jar' competition and put a bucket on the bar for people to donate their loose change if they wanted to.




We had a brilliant night of music, drinks and dancing and managed to raise just short of £350!




A big thank you to everyone who came and supported me and helped to raise money for Comic Relief, and to my amazing friend for allowing me to commandeer her pub for the evening.


So there you have it .... I have been a busy bee for Red Nose Day and really appreciate the support of every single one of you.

It's not too late to sponsor me/donate if you would like to. Just click HERE.

Together we can (and are) changing lives.

Love Missy x


P.S ..... Here are some photos of Roo, Little Man and Bubba ready to celebrate Red Nose Day at school, just because ......








As Red Nose Day approaches, Comic Relief is shining a light on the extent of domestic abuse across the UK.  Charities funded by Red Nose ...

As Red Nose Day approaches, Comic Relief is shining a light on the extent of domestic abuse across the UK. 
Charities funded by Red Nose Day report overwhelming demand from those suffering every single day behind closed doors; an endemic which saw 1.2 million women experiencing domestic abuse in the last year and two women killed each week in England and Wales because of domestic violence.
Figures released by the National Domestic Violence Helpline, a vital support service launched by Comic Relief in 2003 and run in partnership by Women’s Aid and Refuge, show that demand for domestic abuse crisis assistance is at an all-time high with on average a staggering 230 calls received every  day. 
Gilly Green, Head of UK Grants for Comic Relief, says: 
“More and more women are finding the courage to come forward, which will help to tackle the stigma that continues to surround domestic abuse and ensure more people get the support they need."However, domestic abuse is still a reality for far too many people and help often comes too late. It is vital that we keep the spotlight on domestic abuse, encourage more women to seek help, and make sure that they receive the support they need as early and as easily as possible.”



With more and more people speaking out about their experiences, latest research also underlines that anyone can experience domestic abuse. 
Statistics from the Femicide Census released in December 2016 show that more than one quarter (25.7%) of victims of femicide were over the age of 56.
Gilly Green adds: 
“Little has previously been known about older victims of domestic abuse, with services currently largely geared to younger women. This abuse doesn’t just happen within couples – many women experience abuse at the hands of their children, which can be an impossible thing to talk about. Funds raised by this year’s Red Nose Day will help us to better support older victims of domestic abuse, whose specific needs have been largely misunderstood.”

As part of Comic Relief’s wider efforts to raise awareness about the issue of domestic abuse and to provide support for victims, Netmums have hosted a Facebook Live session with a spokesperson from Refuge who offered expert advice about how to get help....




To further highlight the issue, grime artist Rapman has recorded an exclusive track, ‘Promise’ for Red Nose Day 2017, telling the story of a young pregnant woman who becomes trapped in a controlling relationship.... 

*Warning* contains abusive language and violence






Comic Relief is seeking to give a voice to survivors and victims of domestic abuse, to encourage other victims to find the strength to seek help. 
One survivor received support from a Comic Relief funded project and will soon begin studying for a Masters on the issues around domestic abuse, while also providing support for other victims; another is a peer mentor for mothers after her own ordeal saw police being called to her home 11 times before she was able to seek help.
Polly Neate, CEO at Women’s Aid highlights the different forms that domestic abuse can take. “Many of us think of physical violence when we talk about domestic abuse, but it’s crucial that people understand any form of control – be it repeated comments about weight and appearance, controlling access to money, or restricting your contact with friends, family and even social media – is abusive.”
To help address the unprecedented demand for the services it funds, Comic Relief has opened a new ‘Tech vs Abuse’ programme. This initiative is currently open for applications from organisations seeking funds for innovative new solutions that use technology to support the hardest to reach victims of abuse. Some of the money raised during this year’s Red Nose Day will fund more initiatives to help provide early support victims of domestic abuse. Comic Relief is also partnering with Women’s Aid to tackle hidden domestic abuse by training community members – from hairdressers, priests and even sales reps – to spot the signs of domestic abuse. 
Money raised by Comic Relief will transform people's lives in the UK and across the world's poorest communities, including people affected by domestic abuse.

I have seen first hand just how much of a devastating effect domestic abuse can have on a person, and their family.
Together we can change things for 100's of people who are suffering from abuse, feeling isolated, and not knowing where to turn for help and support.

Together we can make a difference, and help save lives!

Missy x


For the 24-hour National Domestic Violence Helpline, call free on 0808 2000 247 or, for more information, got to www.nationaldomesticviolencehelpline.org.uk

We all want our children to be happy and to feel loved. So, today I am asking for your help.... On 6th March Boo will celebrate h...

We all want our children to be happy and to feel loved.

So, today I am asking for your help....


On 6th March Boo will celebrate his 13th Birthday.

When I asked him how he would like to celebrate his special day he told me that he would love to have a party, but that there was no point because nobody would come!

He told me he doesn't have any friends, and that nobody 'gets him'.


Boo has a rare chromosome disorder and ASD, meaning he is not like his peers.

He doesn't enjoy the same things as them; he doesn't act or talk like they do.

He is unique.  

And because of that he is lonely.


He has never been invited to a birthday party, and he has no one to invite to his own!

All he has ever wanted is to be accepted for who he is.


It breaks my heart to know that he has no one to celebrate his birthday with outside of our family.

Birthday, Balloons, Celebrate,


His 13th birthday should be is a big deal, and I want him to know how much he is loved.

And that, my friends, is where you can help.....


I want Boo to be showered with love for his birthday and would love it if you could send him a birthday card.

I can just picture his face as he receives cards from all over the country... maybe even the world, realising that people do care and are thinking of him on his birthday.



If you are able to help with 'Boo's Birthday Wish' then please mail your card to;

Missy. B & Family
16 Linnet Close
Luton
Bedfordshire
LU4 0XJ
ENGLAND

You can also send virtual cards via marissa_elana@hotmail.com


Together we can show my kind, caring, gorgeous boy that he is not alone... he is loved.


Missy x