Birthday Traditions

Birthday Traditions

While (slowly) making my way through the 30 Day Writing Challenge set by @MyTalesFromTheCrib (on Instagram) I came across this writing theme and it really stuck out for me. Birthday traditions are my favourite traditions. As early as I can remember, I have always cherished birthdays. My mum used to go out of her way to make birthdays an extraordinary event for us. This in itself is a tradition that has carried on with my own children.

I have always tried my hardest to make birthdays in our house unique celebrations. Like everything else in our orbit, they are often done on a budget. This is, however, in no way a suggestion that they are anything less than magical. My superpower is, of course, to make a lot from a little.

Next week, I have not one but two birthdays. The Little Fairy is set to turn 9 on the 13th of April and The Master of Mischief turns 5 on the 14th of April. A timetable even I never saw coming. Some call it bad planning; others call it convenient. I know that I had serious doubts about my time management in April 2016. I spent the day before birthing a 9lb baby waddling through a children’s indoor ball pool and activity centre. It wasn’t the most fun I’d ever had. Managing two birthdays in two days has never been easy. Over the years however, I have mastered it to a fine art.

In this post, I share a few of the birthday traditions practised in our family home.

Birthday Pancakes

Birthday pancakes have been a tradition in our house since my eldest child’s first birthday after weaning.

The birthday person wakes up to balloons, presents, and PANCAKES!

We pile them high with fruit, chocolate chips, whipped cream, and sprinkles. We top them off with a candle and gather around the breakfast table to belt out an uneven pitchy chorus of Happy Birthday. This is the ceremonious and somewhat sickly start to birthday shenanigans.

Funny Cards

This is one of my favourite traditions. It started after I met my husband. Most couples share sentimental and meaningful cards with one another on special occasions. Not us. My husband (in all his childishness and immaturity) goes out of his way to find the funniest and often most inappropriate card he can. The results are never disappointing. It provides a good laugh and has become a competition between us to see who can find the daftest card. Even the kids have joined in with this. Their card choices are getting funnier each year. Birthday cards with poo, boobs, funny animals or inappropriate jokes are the best kinds.

A Homemade Cake

This is a tradition that started when I had children. This was because as a young single mother, I struggled to afford fancy shop-bought cakes. Instead, I would make them myself.

As the kids got older, my skills improved, and I found that I was actually quite good. Ten years in, and I am still making birthday cakes every year. What started as something for my children has spread to friends and family too. The kids will always pick a theme, and we design the cake together. It’s a fun activity as well as something unique for them to remember.  

Whether you make something elaborate or a basic sponge, a homemade cake is so much nicer because it’s made with a little extra love.

These are just a few traditions that we practice for birthdays. Do you do anything differently? Have you changed any of your customs due to the lockdowns?

I have seen some lovely ideas from families who have had to spend birthdays apart, from letter writing to pre-recorded video messages.

I hope everyone is staying safe and enjoying their birthdays regardless of lockdown. While it has been hard celebrating with limited visitors both last year and now. We have all undoubtedly had at least one birthday in lockdown. I think it is lovely how people have adapted and overcome these difficult times.

Hopefully, we can all be back to celebrating with friends and family again soon.

Until next time…

Hannah XO

Writing Challenge Theme: Reflection

Writing Challenge Theme: Reflection

I recently wrote that I am taking part in the March 30 day writing challenge. 22 days in and I have completed *cough* one task, by writing a long list of reasons why I am supposedly amazeballs. Unsurprisingly, sticking to a deadline wasn’t on there.
While reading through the list of themes I have yet to complete, reflection really stuck out for me; mainly because it’s something I both love and hate to do.
I truly believe it is important to reflect on how far we’ve come in whatever journey we are on. Reflection helps us to keep focus and continue knowing we are so far from where we started. However, as someone who has suffered/suffers from anxiety at varying levels, reflecting back can often trigger feelings of worry and guilt about what I could have done better or differently in the past.


A wise man (my dad) once told me that we should only ever glance at the past, never stare.
These words blew my mind, and they are now words I live by.
In the spirit of reflection and avoiding hurling myself into a spiral of self-doubt, I have decided to use this post and theme to reflect on three things that have brought me happiness over the years.

First and foremost, having kids is top of the list. Is it corny? Yes. Do I care? No. While they have caused me great anxiety, guilt, and pain over the years (labour, in particular, stung like a bitch) they are without a doubt, my greatest joys. Not only do I burst with jubilation at their confidence and individuality (something that I never had at their age) I cherish the fact that they make me a better person. Giving birth to my first child a few months after my 20th birthday was possibly the scariest thing I’ve ever done. I was just a kid myself. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. Over the years though, my children have shaped my personality into the loving, caring, slightly bonkers woman sat writing this blog post. When I look at the married mother of 3 I am now, compared with the petrified 20-year-old single mum I started out as it is a journey I’m proud of.


Next up on my reflective list of joys through the years has to be music. There isn’t a single scenario or feeling that can’t be relived through music. Births, deaths, and everything in between. For me, memories are anchored to music. When my son was born, the theatre staff had the radio on, and Madonna’s ‘Holiday’ was blasting out. I remember the upbeat rhythm of the song calmed me. When we attended my auntie’s funeral last year, we exited the crematorium to Take That’s ‘Rule The World’ and I took comfort in knowing it was a song she loved. ‘Times Like These’ by the Foo Fighters takes me back to Leeds Fest which I attended for the day with my dad (the coolest dad in the world) just to see Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins playing live. It was magical, and something i’ll never forget.


Finally, a source of great joy and comfort to me has been my husband. I kissed a lot of frogs before I found a prince and I consider myself extremely lucky to have found a kind-hearted, fun and caring gentleman. He walked into my life when I was at a low point and has spent years building me back up with love, support, positivity, and encouragement. Make no mistake, he’s not perfect, nobody is. However, he deserves a huge shout out for everything he is and does, as a dad and a husband. I credit him for giving me the confidence to take the huge step towards my own dreams. With his support and encouragement, I returned to education and I’m now one year off getting my BA. The world is scary, life is tough but there is nobody I’d rather weather the storm with than him.

So, there we have it. A reflective look at the people and things that have brought me joy over the years. Do you have anything different? What brings you joy? How do you feel about reflecting on moments and parts of your life?
Let me know in the comments.

The theme of this post was set by the fabulous MyTalesFromTheCrib who you can find on Instagram. She has some amazing writing theme ideas. Check her out!

Life in our house is about to get less hectic as we move into the Half Term/Easter break. With no lessons or assignments due I am hoping to be able to work my way through more writing challenges and post more family and budget-friendly recipe ideas.
Keep checking back and stay safe wherever you are.

Until next time…
Hannah XO

What Happened to September?

What Happened to September?

Hello again, it has been a while.
I’m going to keep this post relatively short. It has been a funny old month; I keep thinking about the Green Day song ‘wake me up when September ends’. I feel like I should have asked someone to wake me up when it started.


I have had a lot of confusion around my returning to classes. This, coupled with the kids heading back to school, new work placement and the ever-changing distancing rules, have meant that I’ve missed an entire month! I have absolutely no idea where the days went. I had so many beautiful plans for posting about seasonal changes, exciting September crafts, school transitions, recipes, the whole she-bang. I missed it all.
In light of my missing month, I thought I would do a roundup of my September highlights before getting my ass in gear and diving headfirst into October (which we are now well into)


So, my top September moments.


Firstly, the kids are back to school! Let’s all have a mini Mexican wave for that! It was a bloody long time coming. Seven months, to be exact. Their return to school has had a happy ripple effect on so many other areas in our home. My shopping bill is back down to a reasonable amount, the cupboards are full for longer than five minutes, and we are back into an established routine. Although I’ve been stressed and hella busy, it has been nice to settle into a ‘new normal’ (even though I despise this saying, anyone else with me on that?)


On another happy note, the master of mischief has taken to school like a duck to water. He even bagged a certificate within his first week. Regardless of the fact every child got one, it was a milestone moment for him, and he was so proud, as were we.


As well as the kids, I too have returned to classes. I am now a 30-year-old second-year degree student. I still can’t believe I get to say that. The second-year has seen us dive straight back into it. I am only three weeks in yet somehow feel like I am a month behind with three assignments already looming. The classes are socially distanced, so although we are physically in class, the risks are managed. It’s been strange adapting to the new procedures, but it is definitely nice to be back. Wonder Husband says I’m a superhero for juggling classes with three children, placement and keeping the house running smoothly. However, I feel slightly more like a glutton for punishment. I had another wacky idea that in amongst everything that I already do, I want to learn Makaton. I really feel like it will open more pathways and benefit me in both my career and personal life in a variety of ways, so watch this space.

Another event in September for us was the packing away of summer. Does anyone else go through their wardrobe and bag up all the clothes they won’t wear in the coming season? I do, and I take so much pleasure in it. I particularly love going into the autumn/winter season. It may be an unpopular opinion, but I bloody hate summer. I am, shall we say, of a curvier nature and hot days and sunshine do not agree with me. I much prefer to layer up than strip down. Bagging up summer dresses, shorts and vests give me a sweet sense of relief.


The fall is by far my most favourite time of year. There is magic in the changes.

“And all at once, summer collapsed into fall….”

Oscar Wilde

There are so many special things about fall that I love. . the unboxing of winter jumpers, scarves, boots, and hats means that it is the season for layers. Preferable mainly because layers hide a multitude of sins. Not washed your hair? Stick on a hat. Can’t find your bra for the school run? Big jumper, big coat. Salads are swapped out for stews. Light nights are replaced with cosy evenings, while pyjamas & fluffy socks become life. Most of this year has blown by in a blur. With this, I am making a solemn vow to slow down and enjoy what’s left of 2020.


Throughout the rest of the season, I am excited to share some delicious hearty recipes, fun and creative craft ideas, spooky Halloween ideas, and so much more.

Keep your peepers peeled for more posts coming.

Until next time…XO