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As you may or may not be aware I have been working from home for over 4 years. When Covid-19 hit and self-isolation was ordered it was, in some ways, business as usual for me. In fact 93% of my company were working from home with 3 days of the announcement.

Don’t get me wrong things are different. There are no trips to my office booked. No meetings in the calendar. Or quick trips to the shops to break up the day. There is less to talk about on calls – no ‘what are your weekend plans?’ or ‘what did you get up to?’ I mean don’t get me wrong there are still things going on but we are two weeks into isolation and things are starting to get a little quiet.

Work however is busier than ever.

It’s the little things that I find help when working from home. Now I don’t want to overload you with advice as I’m sure anyone new to working from home will have had plenty of it recently. However here are my suggestions for for making things a little easier.

When we started talking about having kids, we had discussed that we would both ideally like to have one each, but planned on Sarah going first as she definitely wanted to carry (I was on the fence about it!) and she is 5 years older than me. We decided after initially wanting to try IUI, to do IVF mostly due to Sarah travelling a lot for work – we found IVF much easier to plan our lives around, whereas with IUI twice Sarah ovulated on the day she was heading to an important meeting or away was for work!
I didn’t feel at all concerned about not having a biological connection to my child – I think maybe it was because from early on we knew that if we were to have kids that it would be likely the case for one of us (whether it was through one of us having the child, or if we’d adopted), it wasn’t something I spent much time thinking about. Also, I love Sarah with all my heart so I knew it would be incredible to have a mini-her running around!

We knew the time would come for Annabelle to have her first haircut but neither of us were looking forward to it. There were a few reasons; Firstly her hair had reached a perfect length to put in pigtails/bunches. Secondly we weren’t sure how she would react to the whole experience. Thirdly what if she wriggled at the wrong point and she ended up with a wonky hair style.

Okay, okay, all but one of those reasons is vanity related but I’ve always feared a haircut in case something goes wrong.

Thankfully Annabelle’s first hair cut was plain sailing. Here is what we did to prepare her:

Having an energetic toddler means we are always looking for ways to wear her out. When we were invited to check out our local trampoline park – Rush – we jumped at the chance (pun intended!). Checking out their website we noted the closet site to us was less than 10 minutes away. With a rainy weekend forecast we booked ourselves on to the toddler open jump session that started at 10am.

Trampoline parks seem to have been springing up over the last few years around Birmingham but we never had the opportunity to visit one. Then along came pregnancy, Annabelle and having a small baby and it didn’t make sense to check out what the parks had to offer. In all honesty this was probably a mistake.

We were lucky enough to be invited for a cider talk and tasting, as well as making pizzas (!!!) with some fellow Brum bloggers, at The Stable in Birmingham. We were really excited as we’ve visited The Stable before, for their pre-opening celebration as well as a few more recent delicious dinners out, and also because making our own pizzas sounded so much fun!

The Stable started in Cornwall, using fresh and locally sourced ingredients and forming relationships with lots of cider makers. This combination was such a success that they are now opening up plenty more in locations across the country!We headed to the restaurant’s Birmingham location, which is very well located between New Street station and the Mailbox, and found it immediately.

As Christmas is fast approaching we are getting in the festive spirit. December is always jam-packed but this year is our first taking Annabelle into consideration and making sure that some of the activities are ones she will enjoy.

So when we received an invite to Santa and Steam at Churnet Valley Railway we were SO EXCITED. It was a last minute invite but we agreed to switch around previously arranged plans so we could make it. The invite explained that we would meet the Santa Express at Kingsley & Froghall station in Staffordshire. What the invite didn’t mention was that the experience would be a wonderful, Hogwarts style journey jam-packed with memorable moments.

If you are looking for a festive, family experience that will start the Christmas period of in the perfect way check out the details for Santa and Steam here.

Seeing your baby sick is horrible. Our hearts go out to anyone with a child with a serious illness – you are heroes!

Our Annabelle came home from nursery on Tuesday and I naturally checked her back. Sometimes she gets eczema there and the previous week I had noticed a small rash. That rash had eased and almost disappeared over the weekend so we didn’t consider it was anything more.

As the evening continued the spots had got worse. AndΒ  stretched further down her back. Annabelle then started to itch her head (well paw at it like some cute animal trying to get a fly). It seemed that in the space of a few hours our girl had gone from energetic to lethargic. Something definitely wasn’t right.

Our life is far from quiet and sedate. We are known to squeeze an unfathomable amount of things into a weekend and often work is a chance to catch our breath. However one thing we are aware of is that we often stick to doing things we are comfortable with. Or heading to the same places as it’s easy.

Buckt has been an opportunity to challenge our thinking, benefit from experiences we would have never considered and learn something new about ourselves along the way. It’s also given us the chance to recommend new things to do to friends and family visiting or living in Birmingham.

If you are looking for a great Christmas gift for your other half, a couple you know, friends, family, colleagues or maybe you, then Buckt could be the ideal choice!

If you want to join the Buckt community and try something new in 2020 check out the website here: Buckt

And we can get you 50% off your first Duo Box if you useΒ  the code SARAHPLUSLAURA or quote our blog where it asks ‘where did you hear about Buckt?’

To clarify, discount codes aren’t applicable to gift orders, so quote our blog where it asks ‘where did you hear about Buckt?’