Pledge with me to do these 6 things to keep the summer smiles throughout this term

We’ve just had a glorious summer holiday. Eight weeks of the kids running around, playing with friends in the garden, visiting the family and just being young, yet very soon we’re all going to be absorbed into the craziness that is the autumn term – trying to cram in work, school, homework, play and family time into two short days at the weekend leads to stress, tiredness and Mr Crankypants coming out of the closet. I vow to do my best to make this school year different. Oh yes, and we’re moving house … Help!!!

Our family adventure holiday this year was to a place that Jon and I had always wanted to go to – The Azores. We touched down after the flight laden with maps, backpacks and hiking boots. We threw our phones away, substituting them for cameras, picnics and together time. We were totally happy and on the plane flight home I vowed to continue this trend on as much as humanly possible throughout the term.


I adore my family and spending time with them is my biggest priority, period. They might test my patience from time to time. but my gosh they make me laugh and love harder than I ever could have imagined. The magic that we felt on the holidays, that’s what I want to feel as much as possible all year round.  and I know from reading all of the loving blogs written on here that you feel the same as me. Let’s all vow to do the following together.

Getting the kids involved with the planning

With the summer holiday being as long as it is I found myself asking them more and more: ‘what do you really want to do?’ We live out in the country but we’re close to towns and so it was easier to find out what they were feeling like some days, rather than get myself in a spin trying to organise a regime to stick to. Sometimes with the semesters being so packed full of things that they have to do it’s great to ask what they’d love to. Ella is always either really active or really quiet – it’s either biking with her friends or crafting at the table. Noah is the same – he loves his lego and other days all he wants to do is go kayaking.

Create rituals

After a hot summer bbq’ing we’ve all kind of fallen in love with the ease of having a steak and sitting outside. Instead of keeping the fire pit in the garage ready for next year I’ve moved it into the garden and are planning on having more bbq’s even if it means bundling up in our snow gear and eventually eating the food indoors. It’s just something different that takes us back to a more carefree time.

Noah absolutely loves kayaking and whilst we all do it together, more often than not it’s me and him having a paddle together. It’s our Saturday ritual that we both now look forward to. We did it all summer and I’m determined to carry it on throughout the fall, although that might mean we need to buy some warmer wetsuits.

Putting the phone away

When we were away we told people that we wouldn’t be checking our emails or answering calls. So why is it any different when you’re trying to have family time at home? Quite honestly, if you let people know that between 6pm and 8pm you’re with the kids and not likely to pick up the phone, friends and family will latch onto that pretty quickly and make sure they contact you at times when they know you’re going to be free. Just because you use a mobile doesn’t mean to say that you need to always be contactable. You need to destress as much as the children do from screens.


Memories need to be captured. Period. The funny moments, the triumphs and the lessons. If it’s one thing that creating DiaryZapp has taught us is that’s it’s all about finding the magic moment in each day. It’s so awesome to already look back on six weeks of funny times and memories that the kids have. I’m determined to start my own!


Inspired by the classic shots of people trying to hold up the Leaning Tower of Pisa, we had so much fun on holiday trying to style silly shots of the landscape – Noah holding up the volcano, Ella holding the sun in her hand. Why should that fun stop just because we’re home? Just because it’s the every day doesn’t mean to say that’s not photo worthy. So take the photo of the wellies and the puddles, grab your camera when you’re going to take the dog out for a walk. Capture these moments, because they’re the magic that make the world go round.

Eat together

As a family the only time we don’t eat together is when Jon or I are travelling. Whenever we can, we always come together around the kitchen table for supper and a chat about our day. Even if you do just have a nibble with the kids and prefer to eat your main meal with hubby later on, try and take the time to all be together the same way you are when you’re on holiday. You end up discussing the better points of the day and in that you find something to be thankful for.

So this is my pledge – I’m honestly going to try my hardest to stick to these six things. Any more to add to the list, please let me know!