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Monthly family roundup: what we got up to in September 2017

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Another month of 2017 done and dusted, can you believe it?  I just had a quick skim read of my August 2017 family roundup and even though this month has flown by, August seems like forever ago - perhaps because it has well and truly turned into autumn here in Gloucestershire.  We’ve had the surprising warm day, but otherwise it’s like someone switched a switch to autumn as soon as September arrived.  I can’t believe only one month ago we were sunning ourselves on a beach in the UK!

Our months are always filled with so many activities too.  Every day is busy nowadays.  Especially now Bella is back at school and she currently does four extracurricular activities!  Reuben is also back at playgroup and I’m back to working more in the day times and less in the evenings.

Here’s what we got up to in September 2017:

Bella 5 years 3 months

It’s probably been the busiest month for Bella as she started back at school and is now in year one!  I can’t believe she’s completed a whole year of school and is no longer in reception.  She settled back well and likes her new teacher. 

She’s also continued with dance after school and now does drama too.  She also goes to the after school club once per week and has swimming lessons on Saturday mornings.   She’s very busy!

We’ve just joined our local David Lloyd recently so she’s also going there 3 times a week, but that’s more just to play in the kids club.

Bella got ‘writer of the week’ and a certificate one week, and she also got to bring home a ‘dance bear’ for one week for great dancing in dance.

Her reading and writing are coming on so well.  They have three new books a week in year one so we read every day, plus one homework per week.  There’s also two online apps we use in partnership with the school – Bug Club (Active Learning) and Mathletics.  I’ve popped my old broken laptop into Bella’s bedroom so she usually spends ten minutes or so doing these online whilst we get everything ready for bedtime.  The main difference so far in year one, for us, is the increased reading books.  Bella also has to take them in every day for guided reading at school.  I’ve noticed her reading improve considerably in jut the four weeks she’s been back at school.

Reuben 2 years 6 months

Reuben is now at playgroup for 18 hours per week.  He does two 9am to 12pm sessions and two 9am to 3pm sessions.  He has a Friday off as that session is reserved for those starting school the following September only.

He’s been getting on well and they always comment on how able he is and independent, even though the older children try to help him, he’d rather do it himself!  There’s only two others who are younger than him, so he’s a baby one!  It’s mainly a preschool, but they can start from age 2.  Reuben is now 2.5 years old.

We have the odd morning where he’s been kicking off!  But usually because it’s started from home when he’s not wanted me to put his coat or shoes on, so he’s had a tantrum all the way to dropping Bella off and then continues once I get to his playgroup!

His language is coming on so much and we’re always surprised every day by the new words he’s saying.


Ben has been busy working in the garden mainly.  He built a roofed veranda on the back of the house.  The structure itself is finished, but we just need some decking and furniture at some point.  He’s started preparing a base for a workshop which he’ll build in October. He bought a pressure washer and sprayed our huge patio, so it’s looking nice and clean now.  I’m sure we’ve done the odd thing in the house, but I can’t remember now!  We still have a whole A4 list of jobs to complete continuing with our renovation and making the house our own.  The next indoor project is building a custom TV unit in the corner of our living room.  Ben put the TV up on the wall last night and we’ve ordered a rustic oak shelf in a custom size to slot into the corner.  Ben is always working on something in our house/garden and our list always seems neverending! 
You can find Ben and see some of his projects at


I’ve been settling into working in the day now the children are back at school/playgroup.  It’s great to not have to stay up so late every evening as I know I can get work completed in the day times without distraction.
I’ve also been working out every day now.  I’m determined to get rid of my mum bum!  I was already walking one hour a day and running once or twice a week, but I wanted to up this and get super fit.  I’ve got obsessed with healthy eating over the past few years and now I need to get obsessed with being active. 
Since the children returned to school I’ve started yoga again.  I’ve done this at least five times per week so far and sometimes every day.  I do anywhere from 10 minutes to 40 minutes at home.  There are lots of great YouTube videos so there’s really no excuse!  I’m also doing lots of glute exercises and aiming for at least 10 minutes a day.
I was going to Tewkesbury aqua aerobics for four weeks, but we’ve just joined David Lloyd so I went there instead this week.  I’ve also signed up for Zumba this week.  I’m also going another 3 days to use the gym, so I’ll be going five times this week, plus doing my exercises at home and walking one hour per day most days!
I love the feeling of being fit and healthy, so I hope I start to feel even more amazing in a few weeks.  I’m also looking forward to Ben going and toning up!
At home, aside from working lots, I decluttered and listed everything on eBay!  We currently have nothing left to sell and no clutter at all, until the kids grow out of clothes/toys.  I made an extra £188 from my personal eBay this month which you can read about here:
Income Report September 2017: Discover how I made over £2600 working from home
I love clearing out and only having what we need.  It makes me feel at peace!
I’ve also done all my Christmas shopping in September!  You may roll your eyes now or say ‘No, not the C word already!’ I wanted to budget for it early and make sure we had lots of money in October to November to really enjoy ourselves and not stress about all the outgoings.  It means we won’t be skint in December now and I’ll probably do this every year.