On Being an Introvert 

It has taken me a long time to realise that I am not shy. I am an introvert.

When I was younger, like primary school age, I was really gregarious and chatty and I made friends really easily, especially when we were on holiday and things. In my teen years I got quieter and quieter and I just thought it was due to low self-esteem, I was ‘just shy’. Now I am more confident in myself, I realise there may have been an element of shyness, but overall, it was that I am just an introvert.

I have found lately that certain people just really do my head in and it was what prompted me to write the post. In theory I should get along with them; we have things in common and seem generally similar. Yes, I understand I’m not going to get along with everyone, but as a rule, I’m discovering these people are extroverts. The need to fill silence. The need to constantly talk can really do my head in. Having said that, my best friend is an extrovert but she doesn’t fill the silence with idle chatter and isn’t a ‘likes the sound of her own voice’ kind of person, which is obviously why we get along. I think the balance is right with us. She likes to be the centre of attention at a party. I couldn’t think of anything worse. Perfect.

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So for any extroverts out there, or equally other introverts, here are some things I have learnt along the way about how you should be friends with an introvert:

  1. If we hung out yesterday, we don’t want to do it again today.
    • No offense, but we need time to recharge after being with people. Even when we’ve really enjoyed ourselves and had fun, it can be really draining.
  2. If you call on the phone, it better be a major emergency.
    • We hate talking on the phone. I’m almost certain texting was invented by introverts who wanted to avoid phone calls.
  3. We like to listen because we’re good at it.
    • We pretty much have the superpower of listening but part of that process is processing. Silence is ok so don’t feel like you have to constantly talk. Superficial ‘small talk’ is the worst.
  4. Don’t text us and ask us to be ready to hang out in 5 minutes.
    • Obviously sometimes things happen spontaneously but for me especially, probably going along with my OCD, is that spontaneity should be the exception, not the rule. We need a lot more than 5 minutes to mentally prepare ourselves to be with people.
  5. ‘Tired’ can be code for ‘we don’t want to be around people anymore.’
    • If we say we want to leave the outing because we’re tired, it might not mean we’re literally tired. We might just be ‘tired’ of being surrounded by people.

I know for people that don’t ‘get’ this, it will sound like I’m a proper anti-social misery. Not at all. It just needs to be planned and prepared ahead of time to get the maximum enjoyment out of it.

Anything else you would add to the list?

Rebecca x

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Growing Fruit with Kids: Everything You Need to Know

I don’t know about you, but I love doing projects with my children. Whenever I have a free afternoon or weekend, I always look for ideas for new projects we can do.

If you follow this blog regularly, you will know that every summer we have an abundance of strawberries growing in our garded (usually some gooseberries too). Growing fruit is always a winner as we all love to eat it. In case you fancy growing some fruit with your little ones, I thought I would share what I’ve learnt so far.

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~ Opt for fruit that grows quickly

Kids get bored incredibly easy, so when it comes to growing fruit with your children, it’s a good idea to opt for fruits that grow quickly. Once your child has seen how growing your own food works, you can then move onto growing things that take a little longer.

~ Choose fruit that your child likes

The key to keeping your child focused on taking care of their fruit is getting them excited. The best way to get them excited about your new project is by growing fruit that you know they like. If your child knows that they can taste it once it grows, they will be happier to take care of their fruit plants.

As well as opting for fruits that you know your child likes, why not use growing fruit as a way to get them to try new foods? Many parents struggle to get their kids to try new things, especially new fruits, so growing new things for your child to try is ideal.

~ Go for fruit that requires a low amount of care

As you want to encourage your child to take care of the fruit themselves, it’s a good idea to choose fruit that doesn’t need too much care. If your child’s fruit doesn’t grow properly, this could put them off growing fruit for a while, so it’s important that it goes well.

~ Berries are a good option

If you are a little stuck for ideas for what to grow first, growing berries is perfect for children. Strawberries, blueberries and raspberries are all ideal, as they are easy to grow and grow pretty quickly.

While you can grow all of these berries from seeds, when you are growing with kids, it’s a better idea to start off with seedlings. You can buy soft fruit plants from most garden centres, as well as online on gardening sites, so they shouldn’t be hard to get hold of.

~ Invest in children’s gardening equipment

To encourage your little ones to keep up their good work and continue caring for their fruit plants, why not get them some equipment?

Make sure not to invest in plastic gardening equipment as this often breaks easily. You can pick up some fantastic children’s metal gardening equipment online on eBay and Amazon for low prices.

Growing fruit with children can be a lot of fun, and is a perfect project to start with them. Just make sure that before you start your new project that you are properly prepared and have everything you will need.

Rebecca x

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Creating an Amazing Children’s Birthday Party

As a child, birthdays are easily one of the year’s biggest highlights. They are a day that every young kid looks forward to and the party is a major part of the celebrations. Giving them one to remember ranks highly on the list of any parent.

However, the rising costs of everyday life mean that taking a group of 20 children to the zoo might be a little off limits. Even if funds are tight, though, you can still give your special one a party to remember. The key is to add some personal touches to proceedings.

Organising a child’s party doesn’t have to be overly difficult but it does require planning. Starting early will reduce the stress and also give you the best chances of sourcing the items needed to ensure the party is one to remember for everyone involved.

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In many ways, hosting a party at home is the best option for young children. It eradicates the problem of losing kids and also lowers the costs. The only real concern is making sure they don’t cause too much damage to your home. Utilising the garden is a great way to do this. If nothing else, having the party at home will ensure that your child remains centre of attention.

One factor that you should consider when creating a personal and memorable party is adding a theme. Celebrating a child’s passion is a great way to inject some extra fun and excitement to proceedings. Better still, it makes is a unique experience to their party and is another reason they will remember this day for years to come.

Once you’ve selected a theme, you can work with it to create some brilliant touches. Buying customised items from www.balloonsgalore.co.uk will help set the tone, especially if the guests are all dressed up to suit the theme too.

Likewise, you could design and print your own invites to highlight the theme to parents. As well as creating the perfect party, it also gives other a solid insight into what presents to buy your child too. As for the party itself, you can also use the theme to tailor the old classic party games. For example, instead of a donkey, the guests could pin a tail on the superhero or whatever character fits.

Food is another key aspect of the party. This is another area where your natural creativity can shine through and help produce stunning results. A personalised birthday cake will go down a treat. Meanwhile, be sure to cater for all guests. If any of them have gluten allergies, then this banana oat cake will help them feel a part of the celebrations.

The most essential thing to remember, though, is the children. This day is about them. As long as you find appropriate ways to keep them safe and entertained, the party will go smoothly. Your child’s friends are what makes the party so special, let them enjoy it.

At the end of the day, it’s only a children’s birthday party. What could really go wrong?

Rebecca x

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Henri Le Worm & The Hampton Court Flower Show

henrilewormMax, Chloe and I had a very exciting day this week as we were invited along to the Hampton Court Flower Show to learn all about Henri Le Worm. Henri is the character of an app and website that aims to remind children where food comes from and the important role that nature plays in it’s production. They were at the Hampton Court Flower Show showcasing a community garden, with the hopes of getting more and more of these and remind us all of what we can grow in our own gardens.

The app was created by Charlotte Salt and Olivier Blanc, Raymond Blanc’s son, so we were able to meet them all and see a cooking demonstration by Raymond on the day, using ingredients from the garden. We have lots of strawberries growing in our garden at home, so Max especially liked seeing these growing in the community garden and then we saw how they can be used, including a gazpacho.

It was also really interesting to see that you don’t really need that much space to grow a large variety of things. Strawberries, tomatoes, blueberries, peas…

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It was a lovely warm sunny day and it was lots of fun learning all about Henri Le Worm and what we can do to help our children be more conscious of the food they eat and how it is grown. The Henri Le Worm app is basically a cookbook with a variety of recipes but it takes your children on a journey in the garden, meeting different characters along the way. It is free to download so I’d recommend getting it for your little ones for over the summer, really fun and interactive. There are no crazy ingredients, just wholesome, ‘normal’ ingredients that you could in fact grow yourself. Perfect for getting kids involved in cooking and making them more aware of what they are eating.

Raymond was even asked why a worm was chosen as the ‘main character’ and he thought it was a good idea for children as they probably play at eat worms when they are in the garden – gross! haha.

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Do you grow any veggies in your garden?

Rebecca x

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*Our day out was free for us to try out but all opinions are my own.

Linking up to #PoCoLo at Vevivos.